Thankful for Friends

One thing I was very thankful for this year was the opportunity to spend time with my dear friend Beth, her husband, and her parents & sister! I enjoyed the Thanksgiving meal with them, and also shopping with Beth on Saturday. She came over to see our new townhouse, then we hit the mall. Fun times! I hope to make a visit to Texas to see her sometime in the next year or so. Having friends so far away is sad, but I'm thankful that I have gotten to see her so much!

I of course forgot my camera on Thanksgiving Day but we took a few pictures on Saturday!

My cats, Lewis and Ebony, weren't as thrilled as we were about the pictures! (Beth made that quilt that's behind us for my wedding - isn't it pretty?)

Best friends!

Hooray for shoe shopping! :-) We have similar tastes when it comes to shoes :-) (The khaki pants in the background are not us)

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Memories... Like the Corners of My Mind

A few weeks ago, Paul and I rented Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet). I had it recommended to me by several people as a movie I would enjoy, and they were right (I love it when people know me so well they can correctly recommend movies!).

The premise of the movie is about this couple, Joel and Clementine, who are in a serious relationship for a few years. Then they have a fight, and Clementine goes to a clinic that erases memories for you. Joel finds out that Clementine has erased her memory of him, and decides to get the same procedure. However, as they're erasing his memories, he discovers that not all memories are bad, even if a relationship didn't work out. It made me think of memories and the role of them in our lives. I like it when movies challenge me to think, and it's especially nice when it can lead into a discussion between Paul and I.

I shrugged the movie off as "something interesting to think about, but unrealistic" until this morning. I saw this article and video clip about a new drug that, when taken, is supposed to make certain memories less poignant. It's rather interesting - having to do with suppressing the adrenaline that makes you remember things ("suppressing" perhaps is the wrong word, but from the article that's my understanding). The obvious benefit is for people who struggle with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), such as rape or a bad car accident. It makes me think of my boss' grandmother who accidentally hit and killed a pedestrian crossing the interstate. A drug like this could help her (another others) able to function in life without the horrific memories replaying themselves over and over in their mind.

And of course the downside - what limits would be placed on such a drug? How about an unconfessed murderer wanting to forget the crime he committed? Perhaps the protagonist of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, or Raskolnikov of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment would have appreciated something like this!

So I'm curious - would you take a drug that could help erase negative memories? And supposing it would be able to regulate the use so only true sufferers of PTSD would be able to take it - do you think it would be a positive thing for them?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I am very thankful to have a day to sleep in, and that my husband has the day off too! That's a rare thing in our lives! :-) (Now just pray that he gets Christmas off...)

Yesterday a customer called me to see if there was any way he could get a circular printed before Christmas. He had cancelled his circular back in October, he explained, because he was in the hospital and the doctors had told him he wouldn't live. However, he had defied the odds and is now back and able to run his store! Even though I don't know him personally, or any details of his illness, I was rejoicing with him about this unexpected gift of life.

I thank God for loving me enough to die for me, for loving me despite my inconsistent and fickle nature, for loving me enough to always be there for me. I praise Him for my health, my job, my freedom, my family, my hope for the future, for a house over my head, for two kitties to love, for friends, for a car to take me to work and take me to visit friends. There is so much I am and should be grateful for this season!

And I should end with saying that I get to see my dear friend Beth in only a few hours. Hooray! :-) This time we won't forget to take pictures. ;-) What are you doing to celebrate today?

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Psalm 100:4

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Sewing Fun

After reading this post on the Maidens of Worth site, I thought I'd try my hand at sewing my own skirt. (HT: Susan). I've been meaning to at least attempt to sew my own, but every time I read the back of a pattern, I get overwhelmed by all the jargon and I don't even try. I've been sewing quilts for a couple of years, and I enjoy every minute of putting them together. Sewing a skirt can't be any harder, right?

I went to JoAnn's and picked up several skirt patterns (And a few dress and shirt patterns. They were selling the Simplicity patterns for a dollar apiece, how could I refuse?) I also found a beautiful fabric in the clearance bin, and there was plenty for my skirt. The pattern I picked for my first one was very easy--no zipper, or fusible interfacing, or anything like that. I already had thread and tons of white muslin for lining, so I just picked up the elastic I needed and then I was all set.

So here is the finished result!

I love this skirt! I've worn it to work already. I think I might make several more with this pattern with different fabrics. The best part was that it was so easy, and it only took a weekend. I'm used to quilting projects that take several months. Next I want to try a circle skirt pattern that uses a zipper, maybe in black and white (one of my favorite color combinations). It can't be that hard, right? :-)

I'm also working on another quilting project--a quilt for my dad. So far I've only got one block finished, but the others are part of the way done. I plan on having 9 blocks total (The finished size of each block is 15".) I'll set these on point, so the actual finished size of the quilt should be pretty big. (I'm not yet sure how big . . .)

So here is the completed block:

I love these colors and the pattern for this quilt, so I'm excited about completing this one. I hope to make one similar for my own home one day.

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And They'll Know We are Christians...

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored:

And they'll know we are Christians by our love,
By our love.
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love.
- Peter Schools (based on John 13:35)
This song came to mind as I was reading Joanna's blog post from Monday. She linked to an article on where Elton John said that "organized religion fuels anti-gay discrimination and other forms of bias". Joanna says in response: "If we are to be relevant and have credibility with the world we live in, we must be known by our love and compassion and creative, thoughtful responses to situations and people." She also goes on to say, "If I am known by MY love, perhaps I can undo the harm inflicted by others on the reputation and credibility of the faith."

I thought this was a very powerful statement. I am so often caught up in my own little activities that I forget I represent Christ to those around me. God has given me an opportunity to be a witness to 17 coworkers every single day, but too often I am more interested in lashing out with a vicious tongue behind other peoples' backs. Too often I play the "holier than thou" card, seeing myself as superior because I don't drink or smoke or swear. Too often I hide in my office, avoiding interaction with them because they are different than me. A simple "hi" and "how was your weekend?" can make quite a bit of difference.

Thank you, Joanna, for the reminder. I challenge you with the same question: Will they know you are a Christian by your love?

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Writer's Block

Between work and home, it has been hard to find the time to just sit down and write a post, let alone actually think of something significant to say. I can never profess to be a writer, let alone a great one. I'm a scientist by trade. Words come to me slowly, inadequately, and sometimes never at all. Of all the subjects in school, English was by far the most difficult. Take me to a chemistry lab, or explain the process of reverse osmosis, and I'm right there with you. Try to get creative words our of my head, and I'm stuck looking at a blank page.

So anyway, that's where I've been the past few weeks. Stuck looking at the blank pages (or monitor in this case), waiting for the lightbulb to hit and the words to flow from my fingertips. I've got so many thoughts swirling around in my head, they just need to get onto the page. Maybe once I get the creative juices flowing again, I'll be able to post something meaningful and worthwhile.

I'll probably always struggle with writing, but I hope to develop my skills. That's what's great about blogs, isn't it? I can practice my thoughts out on paper, working and reworking to develop my points and to clarify my meanings, without being graded. Hopefully I can get my thoughts flowing soon . . . :-)

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Sisterly Love

Jenny, pardon me if I steal your post for a minute!

I was reading my cousin's most recent blog post yesterday, and it tugged at my heart. There was an adorable picture of her twin daughters giving each other a hug.

Jenny's thoughtful response reminded me of my own sister. She's 5 years younger than me, and it hasn't been until recently that we have gotten to be close. The same goes for my younger brother. In many ways, we have been better friends as adults than we were as children.

While in my younger years, I may have wished to be an only child, I do believe my siblings have been a gift from God. Often in our young lives we were all each other had, as we moved from city to city and country to country. We sometimes fought bitterly and other times played lovingly. However, in the end we were family and that transcended all other previous disagreements.

Since I love quotations, here are a few about sisters and the relationships you have with them:

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. ~Amy Li

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life. ~Isadora James

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The Great Closet Clean-up, Pt. 3

Setbacks . . .

For more info on "The Great Closet Clean-up, see Part 1 and Part 2.

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