Take 7 (9)

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I went crazy this week.  Like, back-in-time/save the world/extremem-homemaker crazy.

I made my own laundry soap.

Is that crazy?
I’ve wanted to do it for a while.  And this past weekend when I saw that our current laundry detergent was almost gone I jumped at the chance to make my own!

And I did.  And I used it. And it appears to have worked.

Is that crazy or what?

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Last week I went and saw the Sound of Music for the first time ever with my husband.  I never realized what a good, wholesome story it is.  They just don’t make them like that anymore!  He bought the tickets for me since he knows I like musicals.  Out of all the people in the audience that night,  we happen to  sit next to two people that we knew (and it turns out many of our friends went that night as well!)

I love how this big city still feels like a small town :)

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My parents came into town last week and dropped off some key items that made our house a home.  Things we scooped up on:

two floor rugs,

a quilt made by my mom for our bed (yahoo!),

a quilt rack,

boxes of crystal and china from a great aunt,

a tea cup fountain,

a Christmas tree skirt,

boxes of childhood toys,

planters for the springtime,

and some other stuff that went straight to goodwill :)

How exciting!

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I’ll be honest, some days I think the Quick Takes are the only thing that keeps this blog going.

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Thanks for all your quirky music suggestions.  I found (remembered) another.  Do you know Regina Spektor?  She’s super talented and has a voice like a bird.  This song is really cute, fits my “quirky” requirement, and is guaranteed to get stuck in your head for hours at a time…

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I got my husband the best present ever this year.  So I guess I lied when I said I talk to him about everything before I post it.  Although I have tauntingly told him that, I didn’t tell him what it was.  So I guess I’m still in the clear, since I haven’t told you all what I got him either.  Maybe I’ll post on it after Christmas :)

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For this next NFP class we’re starting in January, right now we have NO ONE that we know.  That’s pretty significant for us, since although we’ve now taught 3 complete sessions (9 total classes), we’ve always had at least one couple we know getting married that we’ve managed to coerce into taking our version (hey, we know a lot of people getting married!).  We planned it that way so that we’d be a little more at ease with the teaching since we trusted our friends to give us good feedback.  So now that we’re out on our own, I guess this means we’ve made it in the world, huh?

See Jen at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

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Quirky Music

I rediscovered my CD’s in my car this morning.  I admit I have weird agglomeration of music, since I usually don’t look for it myself but go off almost entirely by recommendations, usually from my little brother and friends (like Zhar!).  It fits me though, since my music is quirky much like myself.

I found a CD a friend made for me in college and the first song was by “The Mountain Goats”.  Its called “Jenny” and you can search for it on lala.  I forgot how much I like that song!  Its very raw and the lyrics never quite make sense, but somehow it does.  But the song is so quirky that it just makes me smile.  Makes any sad day new again!

Like here are song of the lyrics:

“you roared into the driveway of our southwestern ranch-style house
on a new Kawasaki, all yellow and black
fresh out of the showroom.
our house faced west,
so the big orange sun positioned at your back,
lit up your magnificent silhouette.
how much better?
how much better can my life get?
900 cubic centimeters of raw whining power.
no outstanding warrants for my arrest.
whoa-whoa. whoa whoa.
the pirate’s life for me.”

I guess it sounds a lot better in song form.

Anyway, I was just looking them up to listen to some more songs, and I saw that they just released a new song.  AND they appeared on the Colbe.rt Report two months ago.  My quirky music going mainstream?

They do sound more polished.

SO anyways, I write this because its been a while since I’ve had any quirky recommendations and its been a while since I’ve had a good need for new music.  Anyone have any suggestions?

Take 7 (8)

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I ate my salad with a spoon yesterday.  I ran out of forks.  Our other trick is to use 2 knives as chopsticks.  I still opted for the spoon.

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I just discovered that my hometown has Google maps street-view now!!!  I’ve been trying to check-in on the old house that I grew up in in order to see how big the tree is that we planted in the front year and sure enough, its HUGE now!!!

In case you’re wondering, we also just found my office-mate’s parent’s house in Gyeongju, Korea.

Google street maps has stiffled productivity today.  If not that, then something else would have!

(seriously, it feels like everyone is already on vacation)

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We’re going to buy a Christmas tree this afternoon!  I made an advent wreath after Thanksgiving, I put lights out on our balcony, and I put up our wreath on our front door, so I do have some decorations up!  I’m way more fun to decorated a (town)house than an apartment.  The tree will perfect the house though and make it smell good! :)

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This week I’m planning on painting, painting, and more painting.  I have to finish the last few feet of wall in the kitchen, the other 4 walls (yes, somehow there are 5 total…) in our bedroom, AND I would like to finish painting our table/chairs.  Why the rush? Well….

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We’re going to have permanent house guests!  Mike’s brother officially got a job here and him and his wife will be moving in with us for a few months starting at the end of this month.  I’m excited to have them here and I have so much to do before then!

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I wish I could take pictures to update the process, but alas I still can’t find my camera cord AND we took picture messaging off of my cell phone plan, so now I can’t even email them to myself.  Still taking the pictures, just trying to find a way to work around the technological difficulties….

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I’ve taken up knitting.  After three days of knitting in the evenings I’m currently, oh I’d say 1/12 done with my first scarf.

I think this is going to take a while.

If you enjoyed these, step on over to Jen @ Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Maybe I’ll get it tattooed

Some days  I just want to take a sharpie and write this on a post-it and carry it around with me all day.  Or maybe write it on my forehead.  Just so I actually remember it and apply it. It just needs to be drilled it into my brain and heart somehow, because while I know that worrying will get me nowhere, I continue to.

Yes, its been one of “those” days/months.

Luke 12: 25-26:  “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”

…anyone else?

Two sides to every coin

I’m always amazed when I read an issue that’s marketed and reported completely differently from two sources.  Its quite incredible how the same story can be portrayed in an entirely different light depending on what direction the author wanted to go.

And this is why you should always. check. your. sources.

Maybe I’m particularly sentimental to this issue in my own life since if I had listened to the misconceptions of others, then I might not have every made the greatest discovery of my life.

The issue I’m talking about today, though, is the newest news coming out of Uganda.  I found this headline on CNN.com:

Why is Uganda attacking homosexuality?

Woah!  Crazy article there.  Can you imagine what it must be like over in Uganda now?  At least we have the developed world’s perspective.  Interesting.

Now, flip over here to see this headline regarding a story on the exact same issue:

Only two kids? Ugandan attitudes towards homosexuals have a lot to do with their attitudes towards fertility.

Hmm, now that one seems to give a different perspective, one more likely to be of the country’s perspective itself.

I don’t claim to know all the details of this issue, but there you have it.  Two completely different tales, from two different sources, with two different motivations?

Makes me want to think a lot longer than just twice before deciding what an certain issue is really about.

A loooooooot longer.

Secular Scientific Review of NFP and FAM

I recently found this review article in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine entitled “Fertility awareness-based methods: another option for family planning,” written by two family medicine doctors.  Since the question of scientific effectiveness inevitably comes up during the first NFP class of each session, I will likely include this to hand out to the participants that are more inquisitive or express doubt in the scientific certainty of the method.

It’s an 11-page review paper that is well-written, concise, and will serve as a better reference than reading all these articles, plus it also compares different methods of NFP, such as basal body temperature methods, observation only methods, and sympto-thermal methods.

What’s great about it too is that it was written from a secular source with an unbiased scientific perspective, since some people are naturally turned off by anything attached to a religious affiliation (which sometimes includes Catholic universities).

Its also interesting to note that there was no funding source attached to this paper.  According to the authors, one of the reasons they wrote this is that both doctors noticed an increasing number of young girls coming into their office on the pill suffering from strokes and were motivated to research alternatives to hormonal contraception.

I recommend reading it if you can get access.  Here’s the abstract:

Modern fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) of family planning have been offered as alternative methods of family planning. Billings Ovulation Method, the Creighton Model, and the Symptothermal Method are the more widely used FABMs and can be more narrowly defined as natural family planning. The first 2 methods are based on the examination of cervical secretions to assess fertility. The Symptothermal Method combines characteristics of cervical secretions, basal body temperature, and historical cycle data to determine fertility. FABMs also include the more recently developed Standard Days Method and TwoDays Method. All are distinct from the more traditional rhythm and basal body temperature methods alone. Although these older methods are not highly effective, modern FABMs have typical-use unintended pregnancy rates of 1% to 3% in both industrialized and nonindustrialized nations. Studies suggest that in the United States physician knowledge of FABMs is frequently incomplete. We review the available evidence about the effectiveness for preventing unintended pregnancy, prognostic social demographics of users of the methods, and social outcomes related to FABMs, all of which suggest that family physicians can offer modern FABMs as effective means of family planning. We also provide suggestions about useful educational and instructional resources for family physicians and their patients.

Lasting Impressions

Last week, I surprised my husband in his office on the day before Thanksgiving by bringing him bubble tea!

“Wow, that was a great story!”

Wait! It gets better I promise!

I brought him bubble tea since 4 years before on that very day (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) we went out on what I believe was our second “date” to go get bubble tea.  We were both leaving for our homes for the holiday weekend that day and had wanted to see each other before we left so we we ran off to the local bubble tea shop, played cards, and spent a few hours talking.

I’ll remember that day forever for four reasons:

1)   This might have been the first time we both began to see how our interest in each other was reciprocated.  The call was made last minute and we both dropped what we were doing to hang out at the drop of a hat.  I think it hit both of us how much we both liked each other.  I think about it and can feel that flutter in my stomach again :)

2)  And we’ll always remember that I won at his card game!  Bwahaha :)

3) We talked about religion (or lack thereof) for the first time.  We were sitting outside since November has the nicest weather here and I heard the bells ring for the Catholic church from across the street, which brought up the fact that he was Catholic and I was not.

4) I made the BIGGEST “foot-in-mouth” comment EVER (yes, related to #3).

“Oh, so you’re Catholic?  Have you seen The Meaning of Life by Monty Python?”  And then (oh yes, brace yourself) I started singing the “Every Sperm is Sacred” song.  Oh yes, I did.  I do these things.  These horribly embarrassing foot in mouth things.  (Hopefully not so much anymore?)

If you don’t know which skit I’m talking about, here it is in all its offensive glory:

To which this wonderfully patient and non-judgmental person I am now lucky to call my husband sat there silently, with a just-long-enough- awkward pause for me to realize that what I had said was horribly offensive.

I laugh thinking about it now.

What was he thinking still talking to me after that?

Well, I know now since he’s told me.

“That is everyone’s first response.  They just don’t understand.  There was enough there to make me want to keep talking to you.”

That silly girl didn’t understand either.  But I’m glad someone saw enough in her to stick around while she figured it out, because while it wasn’t necessary that I become Catholic (from his perspective), it was necessary that we share the same values (from both our perspectives).  So we were going to have to eventually address the whole birth control thing since that’s a show stopper.

My goal these days is to always stand as strong as he did that day when people make similar side comments that offend my faith/beliefs.  Because I know that they are 99% of the time doing it out of a misunderstanding, not because they are trying to be mean.  There’s too much good in everyone.

Downside to Blogging

Few people may know this, but when I first had the idea to start a blog my husband was pretty against it.  He was under the impression that if I started a blog in which I shared some of my innermost thoughts then I would have no reason to talk to him anymore (I also had my reservations).  We talked about things I would and would not include and eventually both came to the realization that following our guidelines, the advantages of me writing on here outweigh the disadvantages.  One main this is that we always talk about what I’m going to write before I write it.  He’s always my first reviewer.

This post included!

Fast forward to this past weekend, on the plane ride to California for Thanksgiving and what movie is playing?  No other than Julie and Julia, the movie about the blogger that attempts to make all of Julia Child’s 500-some odd recipes in a year (while getting a book deal and a movie in the process).  My husband tuned in just in time to see the SPOILER ALERT scene where she fights with her husband.  “OOHhh this IS the perfect movie for us to watch!” he said (referring to his initial hypothesis that sharing too many personal thoughts on the web without consulting your husband will eventually tear a couple apart).  The end of the movie came and went, leaving us wondering what exactly it was supposed to be about (cooking?  following your dreams?  being a blogger and making money?) and just generally  unimpressed.

I hadn’t thought much of it until today when in (another) fit of procrastination, I thought, “Hey, why don’t I look up that blog of her’s?”  So, I did and GUESS WHAT I FOUND?

D-R-A-M-A.

This scathing review of her second book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat and Obsession, tells it like it is (and rather harshly).  Apparently her second book just came out like, yesterday, and its all about how she had an affair the year after the first book came out.  It was originally supposed to come out this past August with the movie, but the producer (rightly) anticipated the backlash from the audience that they would be significantly less likely to “root for Julie” in the movie and for her continued success at making all the recipes if they knew she was just a power/fame hungry, lying writer and that her angelically portrayed husband eventually gets screwed over.  Although her reasons for wanting to start the blog in the first place were rather transparently hidden (it appears as though she just wants to be famous like her more successful friend and uses the Julia Child idea as a starting block) apparently her quest for fame eventually led her to cheat on her husband and compare it to meat for the premise of a second book too.  At least that’s what the review asserts.  Odd, huh?

So, I guess Julia Child had a reason to dislike her (as the movie suggests).  Julia Child could apparently smell a rat.  And in the words of my husband:  Go Team Julia!