Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Red Tent

The new book I'm reading is down right interesting. It's called The Red Tent and the storyline takes place in the biblical days of the Old Testament. Although this book is entirely fiction it is definately based on true characters of the bible. Now, if that doesn't spark your interest allow me to continue my persuasion.

The story is narrated by Dinah, pronounced DEE-Na. She is the only surviving daughter of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Jacob falls in love with the lovely Rachel but marries her older sister, Leah first who is "large" and has mismatched eye colors. He then marries his beloved Rachel but also takes on the women's other two sisters, Zilpah and Bilah. They all bare him many many sons, and like I mentioned, Dinah is the only child of Jacob's who is a girl.

The title, The Red Tent, is used in reference to the tent in which the women go to "rest" during their menstrual cycle! For three days they gather together eating sweets, drinking wine, rubbing each other's backs with oil, and laughing, all the while they are more than likely bloated, cramping, cranky, having headaches, feeling 10 pounds heavier, and of course bleeding onto straw.

The men in their camp do not understand anything about this monthly routine, nor do they wish to learn anything about it. To them, it is painful and unsanitary, but the women claim that it is the most joyous time of the month. Now, I for one, dread my period. My boobs swell and become painful and tender, I have cramps, my lower back aches, I get headaches, I become paranoid and emotional, and particularly dazed and "out of it." Just blogging about it makes me think anything about it being "joyous."

But the book states that in the biblical days, the women saw their menstrual cycle as meaning the death of last month and the beginning of life for a new month. They perceive it to be a cleansing of one's old self from a month ago. When the women started their very first cycle the blood was was sacrificed into the earth as an offering for good health and easy conception. The only thing women were expected of back then was to cook, marry, and deliver healthy strong sons.

I found this menstrual theory of the biblical women the most interesting about this book. I see my monthly period as a complete nuisance. Maybe I should also remember that it is in a way a cleansing experience of an old month and the start of a new, I don't intend to go sacrifice my blood by any means, but I do hope and pray for a healthy and easy day and not in the near future. About another 5 years!

So there, ladies! Go have yourself a happy period and excuse me for being so vulger with this blog!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

16 and Pregnant

Last night at Abby's apartment we watched an episode of 16 and Pregnant. There really wan't anything else on and since Abby doesn't have a dvr to scroll through a tv guide, we couldn't tell if there was anything else that would have been more appealing. I'm sure there was, however, Abby asked if I had seen this episode. I had not. She said she watched it the night before and it made her cry. I had seen the commercials advertising this show. It was the season 1 finale of a 16 year old couple who were pregnant and made the decision to give the baby up for adoption.

While watching the show I kept thinking to myself how mad I would be at this couple if they decided to keep the baby in the end when they had already worked it out with a perfectly fit husband and wife that could not have children to allow them to adopt their baby. I noticed that this 16 year old couple had to be mature beyond their years to make the decision to selflessly give their child a much better life than what they knew they could offer. The pregnant girl's mother was completely against the adoption idea. She wanted her daughter to keep the child and raise her. The daughter was hurt that her mother was unsupportive of her decision. Instead she had to lean on her boyfriend and the boyfriend's mother who all agreed that this baby would be far better off with a family that had the capability of providing for her in the best possible way.

In the end the 16 year old couple does follow through and gives the baby up to the married husband and wife. There didn't seem to be any second guessing on the 16 year olds after the baby was born. They at first decided they would not even see the baby but they did hold the newborn for awhile. They both cried as they held her but they also reminded each other what a wonderful life she was going to have with a family that had everything it took to care for a baby.

After they said their goodbyes and the proud new adoptive parents drove off with the baby the 16 year olds went on with their teenaged lives. Studying for tests and spending time with friends. They remained together and even said when they were older they would like to get married and have children together...again. This couple came across as though they were the best of friends. As unlikely as it is for highschool couples to get married I couldn't help but hope that it does work out for them. They seemed to bring the best out in each other. Like I said earlier, they were mature for their age.

I hope they will be blessed for the rest of their lives because they gave their baby a chance to have a normal life in a household with a mother and father that were of age and had the finances to support this child. I could tell that it was the hardest thing for these teenagers to do but in the end they both exclaimed with happy smiles how they felt so much peace about their decision. Unlike the other teenaged parents on this show who kept their babies, this unique couple will get to experience their highschool life they way they should and maybe be in inspiration to other teenagers who are expecting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

No Title

I admit that I have slacked tremendously on blogging. The truth is I just can't think of anything interesting that would be worth reading. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but I live a boring life. Since it's summer and school is out, I wake up to no alarm and usually around 9 or 10. I roll out of bed, make coffee, eat a bowl of chocolate malt o' meal, and read my current library book until lunch time. After lunch I usually meet up with Abby to do something that we planned the day before. Today we are going to Dillard's so that I can get a makeover and buy some makeup for my wedding day.

Tuesday was my birthday so I'm using my birthday money to buy new makeup. Good makeup. On Sunday my wedding will be exactly 5 months away. I've been engaged already for 5 months and I'm getting married in another 5. These past few 5 months have flown by which means it will be here before I know it! It's exciteing to think about. I'm definately ready, but at the same time I want to enjoy and soak up this time of my engagement. All the planning and preparing is so much fun and I want to make the best of it.

One of my bridesmaids, Rachel, who is pregnant and due weeks before my wedding, called to tell me that she didn't feel like she would be able to be a bridesmaid anymore. She was very upset and disappointed and since she lives in Dallas and will be breastfeeding a new born, she's not even sure she will be able to make it. I was disappointed too. Rachel is one of my very best friends. She has always been a spiritual encourager and guider to me. She was there at the very beginning of mine and Bryan's relationship. I couldn't imagine her not standing up there beside me. But the most important thing is the care and well-being for her and her baby. I told her that I completely understood and not to worry because she will forever be a bridesmaid in my heart rather she's there or not. I told her that she needed to do what was best for her and her baby!

Other than wedding planning, I'm moving into my new classroom on Sunday. I'm half excited and half dreading it. I want it to be perfect and I am thrilled to no longer be in a portable but putting together an elementary classroom is a huge pain. Since Bryan is in Houston doing an internship with the Rockets til August, I have to rely on the help of myself and Abby to get it together. All of my stuff is packed away too, so part of the time will be unpacking and figuring out where to put stuff, then we will actually get down to work and start organizing and decorating.

Well, I'm done blogging for today. Maybe tomorrow I will have something more interesting to write about. I am going to a wedding that is going to be big and nice!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Granddad's update...Abby goes to London

Well, my granddad is doing teriffic. He was in high spirits all afternoon and even cracking wise jokes about his surgery. He was very relaxed and happy; not at all tired. After visiting with him for while Abby and my mom decided to go to eat lunch at Freebirds. I was going to wait on Bryan to arrive to the hospital so I didn't go. I was starving. Mimi went down to the cafeteria to get some lunch but I was in no way eating hospital cafeteria food. Plus, I wanted to stay with my granddad and keep him company.

I sat at the foot of his bed and talked with him glancing often at the monitor that displayed his heart rhythm and pulse. It had been at a steady beat of 70 beats per minute. I was making sure it stayed consistent not that there would be any reason why it wouldn't but being a nervous granddaughter I had to look every so often. I know granddad saw me looking at it each time but he never flinched or looked at it. I think he knew what I was doing and he understood, so he pretended not to notice my darting eyeballs peeking at the monitor every 3 minutes as he talked.

When Bryan arrived Granddad was talking about his brother, Johnnie. He asked me if I knew that Johnnie had died over the weekend. I said yes and then rubbed his knee and asked if he felt okay about his brother's death. Granddad is never one to complain or feel down and he quickly assured me that it was okay. He said Johnnie had three wives. His first wife died of gangrene infection when her appendix burst while she was pregnant with their first child, a girl named Dorthea Sue. After his wife died, Johnnie could not bear to take care of his baby so he let his and Granddad's parents raise her. Johnnie remarried a second time and had another daughter named Linda. They were married for awhile and then divorced. His third wife only stayed married to him for a couple of years before they divorced as well. I asked Granddad if Johnnie's first wife hadn't died would he have stayed married to her. Granddad said he believed that so and that they would both still be alive today.

When he said that I realized that Johnnie had lost his first true love early on. Having been a widow he died at 87 years old due to a stroke. He could have fought through it had he had something or someone to keep living for. At that moment I was so grateful that I was there with my granddad to remind him that I love him, I need him, and I am one out of many in his life that he lives for.

I took Abby to the airport today. Her flight left Lubbock at 6:15. She had a layover in Dallas and then she would go from Dallas to London as we all sleep tonight. I told her to call me as soon as she got to her Dallas gate. Expecting to hear from her at no later than 7:30, I became increasingly anxious when 7:50 rolled around and she still hadn't called. I texted and she didn't respond. I texted her again. Still no response. I called her. It rang once and then went to voicemail. I freaked for a minute and then said a prayer for her safety. I felt God's peace and therefore could somewhat carry on. Ten minutes later my phone rang and I jumped up hoping it would be Abby. It was! She said she is on the airplane about to take off. Her next stop would be London. I was relieved and could finally relax enough to read and watch tv.

It had been a long yet rewarding day. I didn't sleep much last night because I was somewhat worried about my granddad. After seeing how well the surgery went today I know I can sleep soundlessly tonight. Abby is somewhere above the ocean right now probably sleeping. We'll only be an ocean apart and yet I feel like she went to another planet. I'm already ready for her to come home!


In my last blog I mentioned that I hoped something really cool would happen yesterday that way I would have an interesting blog to write about. Well, I would definately not refer to this as something cool, but rather unsettling news. I found out that my granddad was taken to the ER on Friday night by my Mimi because he was having chest pains and feeling lethargic. They admitted him to the hospital in Lubbock where the doctors said he needs to have a pace maker put in because his heart rhythm is irregular. He had the surgery this morning at 8:00.

My granddad is actually in pretty good health considering that he will be turning 87 in September. He does all his own yard work, still shoots the cats that come into his backyard with his beebee gun, and is very active at the First Baptist Church of Lamesa where he and Mimi are members. It's the same church my mom grew up in and married my dad. Granddad suffers from high blood pressure but he takes medicine that keeps it under control. He has had two major surgeries other than today's. When I was a sophomore in high school he had knee replacement surgery on both knees. The first surgery was that summer and the second surgery was during the beginning of the school year. In between his knee surgeries my Mimi found a lump in her right breast which turned out to be cancer. Luckily it was caught in the earliest stage and all she had to do was have a masectomy on her right breast. No chemotherapy or radiation, just the removal of her breast. It was a blessing. Unfortunately she had the surgery the same day as Granddad's second knee replacement. When each of them awoke from their surgeries the first thing they asked my mother was how the other was doing. They were much more concerned about eachother than they were their own selves.

Granddad is the third child of 8 kids. He was born and raised in Lamesa, TX. His dad was a farmer and his mother was a housewife. He had 6 brothers and only 1 sister. He joined the army as a late teenager and was accidentally stationed in Tennessee. Apparently there was another soldier with the last name Kidd who was supposed to go to Tennessee but they got them mixed up and sent my Granddad instead. While in the army, his mother gave birth to twin girls who died a few hours later. She actually had a total of 10 children. They were born too early and she was too old to be having babies. While in Tennessee Granddad met a girl named Faye McCulloch (Mimi). Faye's father did not want her to date a soldier but then he met Granddad and said he was an exception. They got married and moved back to Lamesa. They had two children, a son named Wayland and two years later, a daughter named Nancy (my mom).

Granddad is my only grandfather that I have ever met. My dad's father died when my dad was only 5 years old. He was killed in an accident at work in the oil rigs. As a child we regularly visited Mimi and Granddad in Lamesa. Granddad was a doting grandfather to all three of us. He would alternate pushing Abby and I on the swing set in their backyard and playing catch with Aaron. He would also play Uno with us and let us win occasionally. I remember when I was 16 he tried to teach me how to drive a standard. He was very very patient considering that I failed miserably.

My granddad is a very special man to me. I was very saddened yesterday and worried after I learned of his need for surgery this morning. I prayed all night long that things would go well. Most importantly I prayed that God would give him peace. I imagine it's not easy being the eldest surviving child of your siblings and having a few minor health problems. I know this is part of old age and that life is never a certain thing, but I hope my granddad never thinks about it and instead just keeps living his life!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Uninteresting Things

It's been awhile since my last blog but there hasn't been just a whole lot of interesting things going on that could turn into a fascinating story. I compare my blogging to Abby's, who is an excellent writer. I feel very inadequate so that may be the real reason why I boycotted blogging these past few weeks. But I've come to terms with the fact that Abby is a natural writer and her blogs are always up to par with interest, intellect, and perfect grammar. She's awesome!

Bryan and I took our engagement pictures last Thursday in the depot district of downtown Lubbock. I'm really looking forward to seeing the proofs! My photographer is Cris J. Duncan. He is hilarious and very professional with his work. He made the hour long session really fun for both of us. Awesome Abby came to help me get dressed in the three different outfits I brought. She also helped out Cris by holding certain lighting props. The pictures will be very urban and contemporary. We were in a run down alley for one location and as we were posing a homeless man walked by. Abby was highly fascinated but very concerned.

My new laptop finally arrived on Saturday morning at my parents house in Levelland. It's a pink Dell Inspirion 1545 with 3gb of memory and a 250gb hardrive. Basically a good laptop to upload lots and lots of pictures and still have plenty of memory to run fast. That's the whole basis of my new computer. I know it came with a lot of other really cool gadgets and games but I it will mostly be used to upload my millions of pictures and surf the internet on a regular basis.

On Wednesday Abby leaves for London for a week long vacation. She is staying at Josh Montgomery's flat. He works in London and has been for a year and a half. Amy Montgomery is there visiting also and so Abby and Amy will get to tour the streets of Europe during the day while Josh is at work. I'm really sad that she's leaving, but I'm also excited for her because this will be a teriffic trip and she has always wanted to go to London. I know it comes off weird but a week without her feels like a month. I've already cried about it. Abby is my best friend and the person I am the closest to. We have a 26 year old bond that no one can ever relate to or fully understand. We don't do well when we're apart from each other. If I go a day without seeing her I feel very empty inside like something is missing. To makes things worse...Bryan moves to Houston for his monthly internship on July 5th and Abby won't be back until the 8th. Good thing I have my parents!

Well, this is all the updating I can do for now. Maybe something really cool will happen so that I can actually write an interesting blog. Until then...take care, friends!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mimi's Cheesecake

As a kid growing up in the wonderful small town of Levelland, TX there were many predictable things to count on happening: a) there would be drama and gossip b) you went to church every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night c) Daddy would come to your rescue for every pickle you got yourself in and d) Mom always cooked dinner and occasionally some of the best desserts!

My mom cooked dinner every night unless there was some unusual occasion that we went out to eat or there was a banquet or party that she had to attend.  She also cooked lunch every Sunday.  My mom cooks up recipes that my Mimi has given her.  Unfortunately, I'm still a rookie when it comes to cooking...maybe soon I'll inherit Mom's and Mimi's recipes and be a genius in the kitchen with  the pots and pans.  

Other than recipes for meals, Mimi also has a ton of dessert recipes.  These desserts are either cakes, pies, cookies, fudge, candy...etc.  Mimi is a baking goddess!  I may not be great at cooking up meals but I do love to bake desserts!  Mimi's desserts, of course, are my favorite.  Everything is predominantly homemade.  Although following a recipe is desserts still can never taste as perfect as Mimi's.  One dessert recipe that I love to make is Mimi's Cheesecake.  That's what I call it because it's her's!  This homemade cheesecake is incredible and would even put the Cheesecake Factory to shame.  The secret is yellow cake mix added to the batter!  

I feel that summertime and Christmas time are the best seasons for desserts.  Cheesecake is perfect for summer because you eat it cold!  So, I went to the store yesterday to gather up the ingredients to make up Mimi's Cheesecake today!  I'm also sharing her recipe with you long as you promise to title it "Adriene's Mimi's Cheesecake."  We have to give Mimi credit!  

Mimi's Cheesecake:
1 package of yellow cake mix
2 Tbs. of oil
2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 C of sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C of milk
3 Tbs. of lemon juice
3 tsp. of vanilla
1 can of fruit pie filling

Reserve 1 cup of the cake mix.  Mix remaing cake mix, oil, and one egg in a large mixing bowl (This is the crust).  Press the mix into the bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan going half way up the sides.  Set crust aside.  In same mixing bowl blend cream cheese, 1 cup of reserved cake mix and sugar.  Beat on high for one minute.  Then on low, add 3 eggs and milk.  Blend for another minute.  Slowly add flavorings.  Blend again for another minute.  Pour batter onto crust.  Bake at 300 degrees for 45-55 minutes depending on your oven.  The center should be firm not jiggly when ready.  Let cool.  Add fruit pie filling (I like blueberry) and chill before serving!  Enjoy!