Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peek-a-boo Menstrosity

Hang up the phone gentlemen! This one's for the ladies and it's all about "menstrosity." That's a word I made up to assemble into one conjunction the concepts of "menstruation" and "monstrosity."

Here I thought I was having a light-by-comparison visit from my Aunt Flow, relishing the fact that this must be my "nice ovary period" and then that bloody bitch had to go and play a game of peek-a-boo.

Just when I thought it was safe to downgrade to Regular grade tampons, the flood returned. Shrewdly, disaster was averted with the use of my EWD System. That's my Early Wetness Detection System. I narrowly avoided the bloody deluge, and ruining a pair of good work pants for that matter, by narrowly extricating myself from a conversation with a verbose township patron.

Thank goodness I'm always prepared with the proper necessities and accoutrements to handle such silly shennanigans on the part of "The Curse." You never known when she'll jam you up and ruin a perfectly good pants suit.

It just goes to show, you can never trust your flow to be anything but faithfully awful and oftentimes unpredictably presumptuous. Your period doesn't care if you're at work or running errands. You could be trying to squeeze in one last romantic moment with your husband, and WAM! Like a relative, come a-visiting...

"Ding Dong! It's your Aunt Flow! I know I'm a day early dear but you see I had the opportunity to catch an early flight, and so...HERE I AM! My usual room dear?"

"Yes thank you."

"Your uterus? That room with the lovely view?"

"That's right. Come on in Aunt Flow! Good to see you? How've you been?"

"Wonderful dear. I hope I'm not interrupting anything important?"

"No. Not at all (grinding teeth). Right this way. Let me show you to your room."

And like any good hostess, you're always always ready for unexpected company.

Semper Paratus ladies. Always Prepared. Always Prepared.

If your flow is fickle, like mine she may choose to play a game of peek-a-boo with you. That's why you always keep your dynamite at the ready. And when I say "dynamite," I mean tampons, oh, and a goodly supply of backup shielding in the form of those winged knights I call "Always pads with wings." Two varieties, regular and overnight when your company is overly demanding.

Why can't you keep stories like this to yourself you say? Hardly. It's too much fun to write about, and you always have the choice of not reading this post.

Just remember ladies, when the curse comes a-calling, have your arsenal at the ready, so you're prepared for that fickle menstrosity and her occasional game of peek-a-boo.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lost in TV Land

I'm spending a Sunday evening baking my brain in front of the TV and relaxing on the couch. Goodtimes. I love the holidays. Tomorrow, I go back to work for three days and then I can enjoy another 4-day weekend. The only "bad" thing about tomorrow is that I have to weigh in at the gym. I went off the diet over this last week. I don't think I gained anything, but I didn't lose. If I'm lucky, I just maintained my weight loss. I may have gained a couple of pounds because Aunt Flow is here for a visit. That would suck, but it's not the end of the world. I've eaten too many carbs. I love carbs.

Friday, December 26, 2008


It's been a quiet morning in Telford, PA. At least, it has been in the Schoonover household. Jeff and I are enjoying a morning to ourselves. Even the cats are amusing themselves, lingering nearby...watching us with their great golden and green eyes.

Jeff has left a pot of soup to simmer on the stove. I'm catching up on email and hearing news from the rest of our family and friends in the aftermath of another Christmas come and gone.

I was just accosted by a whirlwind of news that manifested itself over the Internet, in person and over the telephone. My Aunt Judy, recovering from a brain aneurysm had a fall and banged her head and is back in the hospital. A friend's grandmother passed away at 93. Another friend was delivered of her baby in the wee hours of the morning. My nephew is celebrating his first birthday this weekend and all is calm and bright. We're not getting company this weekend. Instead we're getting double the company next weekend. It promises to be a bustling holiday season.

On the bright side of that moon...I get another week to recover from my cold before being hostess to the next wave of familial guests. It will be good to see them and to not have to sneeze on them. I'm sure that sentiment is mutual.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Celebrating Christmas

This year, Jeff and I simplified...no tree, no Christmas cards, just gifts, our annual family progressive dinner and some Christmas cookies. I just didn't make time to get to it all this year, and I'm only a little bit sorry, not much, just a little bit.

The Christmas Cantata at church was uneventful this year. No one in the choir fainted and fell off the risers, and almost everyone smiled. I don't think anyone fell asleep during the message and pastor preached a good sermon. I can't tell you what it was about, but I know it was good. It almost certainly had something to do with salvation, because it was one of two times a year he gets to preach directly to the twice-a-year-attending Chreasters, those who attend at Christmas and at Easter.

The poinsettia plants that honor the living and remember the dead decorated the entire front of the sanctuary. The candelabras glowed with holy candle light as we celebrated the birth of our Savior, the baby Jesus, born of a virgin and laid in a feed box, on that holiest of days in December.

We will officially celebrate on the 25th day of the month, commemorating the occasion when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, the firstborn son of Mary, the mother of God. His birth was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. The Messiah was born so he could die to take away the sins of the world and so believers can live in eternity with God.

Over a thousand years ago, shepherds and wisemen came to worship the Christ child. On Thursday the 25th of December, we will celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and remember this occasion as the time when God became a man and the Word was made flesh.

My favorite Christmas hymn is "Lo, How a Rose Er Blooming." An oldie but a goodie. I've published the words of this hymn for you below. I wish you a Merry Christmas with your families. May you days be merry and bright, even if your Christmas isn't white.

Lo How a Rose Er Blooming

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When it Hits the Fan

Forwarded to me by my friend Jynell... Author Unknown

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a cup of coffee?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, 'Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Ask Yourself:
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Killing Time...on the Internet

What do you do to kill time when you surf the internet?
Here is my list of top 10 things I do to kill time while catching e-waves.

1. Randomly follow links from one web page to the next.

2. Read various blogs and leave various snarky, witty comments.

3. Read various blogs and leave insightful, thoughtful comments.

4. Fill your shopping basket with items you have no intention of purchasing and then indiscriminately close your browser.

5. Facebook until you can't tell people "What are you doing right now" anymore because they already know. You're killing time.

6. Add things to your Amazon wish list.

7. Add things to your Universal wish list.

8. Create superfluous aliases to your multitude of email accounts having no intention of checking any of them... ever.

9. Find images via Google.com to use in future blog posts.

And the 10th thing you can do to kill time on the internet....

Send flowers to people you love...just because.

Now it's your turn. Post a reply with the top three things YOU do to kill time online.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Hind Leg Off a Horse

Do you see that giant lizard attacking the town? That was me at about 4 o'clock this afternoon. You might have seen me on the 5 o'clock news. "Hunger-driven Dieter Terrorizes Telford."

It's day two of my diet. My stomach is still in "the shrinking phase" so I feel hungry when I should feel full. I met with my diet counsellor Lori and told her how day two had been tough. She looked at what I had eaten and told me I should try and spread my protein out- perhaps have some in my afternoon snack, and not go so long without eating.

I have to admit, I went 5 hours without food and it was killer. I'm supposed to be eating 6 small meals a day so going 5 hours without food wasn't helpful. Seriously... drinking that protein shake when I got home literally saved the lives of a group of small children that pass by my house on their way home from afterschool activities. I could have eaten them. Tragedy was narrowly avoided.

I'm looking at different ways of putting my food allowances together tonight in an attempt to avoid the starving wolf hunger I felt today. Lori also said that after a couple more days I shouldn't have such a hard time of things as my stomach becomes accustomed to eating less food...AKA the right amount of food. I lost a little weight between Saturday (when I signed up for the weight loss program) and today (my first counseling session with Lori since sign-up day) and we're going to make it a regular appt. I'll see her every Monday at 5:30 Lord willing and the crick don't rise.

My friend Rachy Rach signed up two to three weeks before me and she has already lost some poundage. I call her Godzilla on the weight bench. This chick is putting me to weight lifting shame. I love it. She's a beast. I tell her so and she laughs. I have plans to order her a t-shirt. Oh yeah. Godzilla.

Well, back to planning. Ciao!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Put Up Your Dukes and Fight Like a Woman in a Weightloss Program

I am so going out on a limb here...

I've decided to not only join a gym again, but to participate in their weight management program. I am officially learning new eating habits and I find this experience, challenging... Yoda might say, "A Cake-walk it is not."

No chocolate. No sugar. No sitting on my butt and eating for convenience. Now I have to fight...for my right....to loooooooooose weiiiiiight.

I want to look and feel good again. I want to have energy and I want to have confidence in my appearance. Right now, I feel like a lumpy frump with a pony tail. One week at a time baby. One week at a time. I'm putting up my dukes for the fight of my life.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is Your "Hut" On Fire?

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him.

Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost.

He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, "God! How could you do this to me?"

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him!

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.

"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Up...It's Down...Wait, No! It's Back Up Again!

197.4 lbs. One hundred ninety-seven point four friggin pounds.

Darn it all to Hades in a handbasket...I'm fatter again. Notice I didn't say fat, because, well...that never changed. I just got fatter. Sugar...grease and excessive amounts of fat are the Devil. Darn you lack of self-control! And darn you delicious carbs and holiday cookie trays! Shhhooooot. Now I gotta cut out da crap from my diet.

If it has sugar listed among it's first five ingredients...
If it's after 8 pm at night...
If I have one shred of willpower remaining....

This looks like a job for....

But I can't afford for her to yell at me all day long so I'll settle for Lori at Genesis Fitness (but she doesn't yell, but she likes to reschedule). Which reminds me, I need to reschedule my first appointment for diet counseling.

According to my sister and other skinny friends like her...I must pack a healthy lunch...and one snack, and I can have one sweet a day.

Define "one sweet." Are we talking one, singular Hershey Kiss or a piece of cheesecake? I have to know because GI Joe says dats half the battle.

I need to go and get some serious diet counseling. I have a doctors appt. tomorrow with my new doctor, Dr. O'Driscoll. She gets to tell me how fat I am and she doesn't even know me yet. She'll tell me if my blood pressure is too high, and perhaps be able to give me insight into the mysterious pain in my lower left abdomen. It's not my belt cutting into my gut because I wore loose fitting pajamas and it STILL hurt the other night. It's been with me since April and it comes at random times of the month. That's why I don't think it's a problem of a womanly persuasion if you're getting my womanly double speak for period-related woes. There. I said it out loud. In plain English. Menstrual.

Nurturing Yourself

I've been on hiatus for awhile... I technically still am on hiatus... I wanted to share a list with you that my friend Jen put together on Nurturing Yourself as a woman.

She asked her friends to answer the question "What do you do to nurture yourself?" Then she asssembled the responses into different categories and shared them with the group. Her list follows:

responses from: “What I do to nurture myself is…”

Spiritual Activities:
~Observing the Sabbath: “Simple meals; Working harder during the week to rest on that day; Planning something fun for our family to do together or with friends; Making time to read & share what I’m thinking about or reading; Intentionally NOT making lists, cleaning, worrying, or spending money.”
~Stop & pray during stressful parts of the day
~Bible reading (especially the Psalms)
~Practicing the Presence of God
~Meditating on scripture or other reading
~Going to a conference to be renewed

Touch/Physical Outlets:
~Going to the gym
~Exercise followed by a hot shower
~Manicure/Painting fingernails
~Body treatment (i.e. homemade sugar scrub)
~Warm blanket or electric blanket
~Taking a bubble bath with candles
~Taking a dance class

Relational Outlets:
~Going on date (weekly)
~Time with a close friend or family member
~Going out for a meal or drink with a friend
~“Make-up sex”
~E-mailing friends
~Laughing & having fun
~Playing with children & seeing life from their eyes
~Sharing a hobby with others
~Avoiding draining relationships

Relaxing Activities:
~Reading a book or magazine
~Writing a letter
~Window shopping
~Making cards
~Doing a craft that requires focus
~Creative writing
~One evening a week out by myself
~Planning a party
~Listening to music: worship, classical, jazz…
~Deep breathing
~Drinking a cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chai, or wine
~Flower arranging
~Watching a good movie
~Cooking/eating a favorite food (i.e baking bread)
~Creating something new
~Coloring with the kids
~Doing laundry
~Taking a nap
~Go to bed early (to read)
~Playing the piano
~Being silent
~Working a crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search, etc.
~Getting up before everyone else in the house to have time alone
~Thinking about things for which I am grateful
~Finishing something

Calming Surroundings:
~Being in nature; feeling & listening to the wind and birds, being in the woods, by the water,
~Being in front of the fireplace
~Laying down in a room with dim lighting
~Going to a quiet spot, closing eyes, and calming the mind

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Been Awhile

Now you've got that Britney Spears song going on in your head don't you? The title of this post reminds me of Britney's song Break the Ice because it starts out "It's been awhile..." Now I'm not a huge Brit fan, but she's got some moves so I gotta give her props. She and MJ may have some personal problems, but they have talent. Nuff said...

I recently finished my last MA in Ed. class and I'm just waiting for my grade for the class and the beginning of the Spring semester. I'll be student teaching and doing my practicum to complete my MA and teaching certification in El. Ed. I start practicum sometime during the week of January 12th and student teaching on Thursday the 15th. Good times! Lot's of work. Nearly done...

Now it's time to gear-up for Christmas. It's crazy to think about it, but I think we might skip putting up a tree this year. Is that awful? I'm doing a cookie exchange this weekend at my house, and I only have a handful of friends attending. The only other people that might miss seeing our tree are my husband's family. We have a progressive dinner with them on the 20th and I'll be serving the dessert course. I haven't even done my Christmas cards or completed my Christmas shopping, or seen It's a Wonderful Life. I feel like I am missing the celebration. What I really need to do is sit down and read the Christmas story from the book of Luke and all will be well with my soul.

It's really all about Jesus.

What are you doing to celebrate Christmas this year? Give me a short list if you can.