Friday, February 25, 2011

I miss....

Probably borderline complaining... having been sick for almost a month and really missing some things from the States, I think it's not unreasonable.

I miss Buffalo Wild Wings... specifically those chicken wraps that come with all the extra crispy tortilla chips. Seasoned with a great conversation with close friends.

I miss Dairy Queen.... can't wait to get back and have a nice big blizzard with nuts and chocolate and who-knows-what-else.

I miss my friends.... being in the same time zone (or one hour different) and communication being something simple.

Which reminds me... I miss Oreos ... plus, this really isn't as cool as it looks on TV.

I miss American TV being easily accessible. Yes, watching Biggest Loser via skype with my sister, Miriam, is kind of cool... but it's not particularly convenient. Plus, next month when new seasons of my two "guilty pleasure" TV shows start it will be even more complicated.

I miss Denny's and Eat 'n Park and Kings ... especially for the concept of breakfast any time of day. And, along with that.. I miss fluffy pancakes and waffles with fruit sauce and/or lots of maple syrup.

I miss Pandora .. BUT not nearly as much now that I've been introduced to Grooveshark (which even has some advantages over Pandora -- a collection that includes Fr. Stan AND Dolhai Attila?! I can get behind that!)

I miss intense discussions over Cove cheesesticks (I realize that even if I was living in the States I would probably still be missing these)

I miss singing... both because it's a physical impossibility at the moment (and probably for over another month with bronchitis) and because I haven't had a voice lesson since May. Should be getting a list of voice teacher possibilities soon, but, until I've got a voice, it doesn't make much difference.

I miss hugs ... not a European concept :(

I miss well-celebrated English-language Masses ... I go to the Saturday English Mass because of the community. Maybe that's horrible, I don't know. The priest is so distracting... makes it seem like it's Fr. L's Mass not God's. The rest of the week, I go places where I have an easier time meeting Jesus but on Saturdays it's really hard to see Him. And, I wish I could go to the English Mass on Sundays but now that I've left I really can't go back without getting sucked back into the problems.

In a similar vein, I miss charismatic worship, especially when connected with Adoration .... yes, I've had my "difficulties" with CoGL (the community my parents are part of back home) and don't miss that at all, but I really miss things like iPraise at SVC or Fan into Flame or FOPs at FUS.

OK... I better stop before I get too deep into the complaining :(
Have to say, I'm still thankful for the things in the previous post. AND, I also know there are things I would really miss if I wasn't here. Two sides to every situation I suppose.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Thankful

I'm thankful for the privilege of having known Mamma Sue.

I'm thankful for the way the Internet allows me to stay connected with people in the US.

I'm thankful that no one I talk to regularly lives in MST or PST.

I'm thankful for my dear friend and "twin," Jen, and for the many ways God has made her a blessing in my life.

I'm thankful for getting to see a long awaited flower begin to blossom... even from thousands of miles away.

I'm thankful that I have never had to deal with a serious injury or illness.

I'm thankful for the people in my life who make me want to be a better person.

I'm thankful for the ways I've grown this year (both the past 12 months and 2011 so far).

I'm thankful that I have a job.

I'm thankful that I live in a city I love.

I'm thankful that I have health insurance.

I'm thankful that I speak enough Hungarian to (usually) get by.

I'm thankful for my "commute" which provides Rosary time built into my day.

I'm thankful that it is so easy to get to daily Mass.

I'm thankful for my imagination and for my will and reason which help keep it in check when it tried to run wild.

I'm thankful for God's sense of humor... yes, even in those times when I feel I'm the punch line of His latest joke.

I'm thankful that it's been warmer this past week, especially since I turned my heat up because I'm sick.

I'm thankful that I was raised in a Catholic home but also that I've had the chance to choose it for myself.

I'm thankful for Skype.

I'm thankful that I decided to write this list rather than complaining about some corollaries of these statements.

I'm thankful for (and excited about!) my upcoming trip to Sweden with Deb :)

I'm thankful for my family and friends (yes, I know this is basically a "given" but still good to state).

I'm thankful for movies that are available online and for the work my Dad is doing on finding a proxy or filter so I can watch American TV.

I'm thankful for my Mom's health and that we have gotten closer in the past few years.

I'm thankful for the perspective Teresa often gives me when we talk (is she really three years younger?).

I'm thankful for fun "Watching Biggest Loser via Skype" times with Miriam.

I'm thankful for the colorful, funny letters Helen has sent... and that she hasn't complained when I've not responded :(

I'm thankful that John is being a pen pal with my Year 5 students.

I'm thankful for the girls I met in college who are still my closest friends: it's true what people say - I didn't go to college to meet my husband, I went to meet my bridesmaids.

But, most of all ...

I'm thankful for all that God has done and is doing in my life, for the way that He always provides what I need, and for the many ways He constantly reminds me how much He loves me.

**** Please pray for my friend's family as they mourn the loss of their amazing mother ****

Friday, February 18, 2011

So close ... and yet.

With the coughing still getting worse, I've been trying to think of things to make it less painful. I had the thought that maybe if I had a stiff shirt or something it would give me something to push against. Glancing around my living room, what did I spot but the corset that I started making in a costume workshop last year.

Frustration: having a partially made, lightly boned, custom fitted, Victorian (I think, I'm really bad with clothing periods) corset with no one to safety pin me into it (the grommets aren't done yet so it can't be laced). I'm going to console myself by thinking that this would be a bad idea anyway.

Also, please pray for the mom of a friend of mine. She is in the hospital with very serious pneumonia. Thanks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Learning lessons the hard way

I've learned my lesson... I hope. Next time I get a horrible cough which keeps getting worse for two weeks, I will go to the doctor BEFORE it gets to the point where coughing fits leave me doubled over leaning on the wall. Before it gets to the point where my ribcage feels like it's been used as someone's punching bag. Before it gets to the point where the doctor says it's "definitely bronchitis, maybe pneumonia." Before the doctor sends me to the pharmacy to get 4 different drugs. Before I'm out of work for a minimum of 3 days (remains to be seen if I'll be back on Monday).

I have to admit, as miserable as all of this is, it definitely adds perspective. My whole life, I've been healthy. I've never had to deal with a serious illness or injury. Nothing truly awful has ever happened in my life. If bronchitis/pneumonia is the worst thing I need to deal with, then I've been living a pretty charmed life. And, even beyond that, this break is nice. Sure, I'd rather not be sick, but some extra rest is always good. Time to watch some movies, write some letters, and catch up on sleep that I've been neglecting lately isn't bad either.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Things I think about...

Watching Prince Caspian today, the following exchange really stood out for me.

[Caspian, Peter, Edmund, and Susan all kneel in front of Aslan]
Aslan: Rise, kings and queens of Narnia.
[Peter, Edmund, and Susan stand up, but Caspian stays on one knee]
Aslan: All of you.
Prince Caspian: I do not think I am ready.
Aslan: It is for that very reason, that I know you are.

How often this is true! The very fact that we can accept our own unprepared-ness and therefore understand our need to rely on God is proof that we are ready for whatever He has in store.


Words. Such an important part of life. And, often, one of the most abused. In the past few weeks, there have been a number of very different situations which have impressed upon me the importance of choosing one's words carefully.

1. The pastor from the Baptist church led Bible Study again a few weeks ago (Go here for the story of the first time he came). I got a lot more out of it than the first time: partly because of things happening in my life at that time and partly just because it was better. The topic was discerning God's will for your life, especially when it comes to important decisions. Although I didn't agree with everything he said (the joys of being a practicing Catholic, who loves/studies her faith, attending a non-denom Bible study), there were a number of good suggestions. One of these was, rather than asking for a "sign," to let something in the Word speak to you. Over the course of that next week a very unexpected situation came up which required a fairly important decision. I struggled with making the right choice for a couple of days. Finally, only hours before it was resolved, I went to daily Mass. Because it was a special feast day for the church, the readings were different from what I had read that morning. The "new" Gospel explicitly dealt with the issue that I was facing and gave me the final confirmation that I was making the right decision.

2. When the aforementioned decision came, it required a conversation (more words) which was painful for all involved. In the time before, I kept worrying over how I would phrase what I knew needed to be said. Finally, I took refuge in Mark 13:11 (Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.). Although the situation could have gone better, I was able to "let go and let God."

3. A day or so after this situation, a coworker pulled me aside to ask some advice. I always feel a bit strange giving advice to people who are older than I. It just seems odd to be telling them "what to do" when they are older (and wiser) than I. When I was talking to her, I kept praying that God would give me the right words. I'm not even sure exactly what I said but, after a few minutes, she told me that she knew what she had to do. Yet another example of letting the Holy Spirit speak.

4. We all have little idiosyncrasies when it comes to words and often don't notice them until they are pointed out. I've been realizing lately how much use I make of modifiers to "soften" statements. Problem is, that can change the meaning of my comment. It's always interesting to realize things like that.


Lots more I could write about, but this is it for the moment. (There you go, Miss SF, a blog post... happy now? :-D )