Friday, May 17, 2013

Do you know your love language?

What's a love language, you say? Have you ever wondered how you receive- and give- love?

The 5 Love Languages is a great book that's expanded to a series applicable to just about anything you can think of - work, children, teens, etc. 

Typically, people express and receive love in five ways: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts. I find this utterly fascinating.

I know my top-2: Physical Touch and Quality Time.  I would much prefer a hug and having a meaningful episode of quality time with a friend or family member to a present or an act of service.  (Sometimes this leads to me hugging people I've just met...though there's no reason to be alarmed.)And Lord knows, I do not take compliments well and shy away from words of affirmation. "Awkward Turtle" ensues and I feel quite uncomfortable. 

Oddly enough, I scored a ZERO on Gifts.... this explains why we call my sister the Christmas Elf, and not me. 
 And as many times as I've taken the test, it's the same- by one or two points.

When giving love, not surprisingly, I often struggle to affirm people with words and I have anxiety about gift giving.  Since it's not how I most receive love, it doesn't come as easy to me.  I mean, honestly...why can't everyone just want to snuggle?!

But this brings me to the greater point - improving how I love others, by becoming more aware of their love languages.  If I  know someone is better at gifts, or appreciates words, I will try to love on them that way more often.

I'm going to encourage my family to take the test. Help a girl out! And I'd encourage you to take it too - a great exercise in self-awareness.  Happy Friday.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Good & Bad of people

Saturday morning I went to spin class at my gym. In my exercise-high, I left my iPod neatly wrapped in my headphones behind my bike, and sauntered out.

I would only remember this as I scrambled around my apartment for it the next morning on my way to workout. (I am ALWAYS losing things because of carelessness, just ask my mother.) Nervous, I headed to the gym hoping someone had found it, only to discover - someone had broken in to our gym!

Broken glass, shattered entrance, police cars all around the building.  While several early arrivals stood there and spoke to one of the employees, we were stunned.  It's in a secure building where you need a key card - so was someone lurking?   What time had this happened? Wasn't there an alarm? Or do they have access to the building already?

Which leads me to question: What on earth do you want to break into a gym for?  I'm guessing there's not a lot of money there- people use credit cards to pay their fees these days. Are you going to haul a treadmill out of there?  Here's a tip: Bosu balls are like $20 at Target. 

Maybe it was some sort of twisted sequel to Pain & Gain going on (warning: based on a true story, still, that whole scene is messed up).  But in all curiousness, what on earth could possibly be so pressing to shatter the doors of a gym?

That was the Ugly.

So I went about my day-  brunched, walked, and headed back to check on the ipod.  Lo & Behold - open the skies to singing angels- someone had turned in my ipod to the front desk where they had locked it in a drawer.

"Alright, she finally got to the point of the story," I know that's what you're thinking... I agree, this is the most mundane story to be blogging about.  Heavy lids...slow fingers...sleepy...

But THAT, my friends, was the Good

In each dim circumstance, there is always a little light. Let me guarantee you, for every thug breaking and entering a workout facility, there are 35 more filling a spin class that will hand in something valuable to the lost & found.
Humanity, we are winning.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A New season

I first began blogging what is now 6 years ago. I was anonymous just for the sake of being anonymous - who wants to be known for their opinions in the public sphere? That's an awfully scary place. But mostly it was an outlet for my energy and opinions on politics, books, current events, sports, faith... to share the things I found inspiration, beautiful and ridiculous... and a channel for my journey from girl to woman. 6 years later... I'm no closer to a woman than I am a girl, but I realized I've missed writing. I've missed the ability to comment on the world around me- if not even a soul read my words, to put it down. I released it for whatever good it might do - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the uglier.

 I'm dusting off this blog- the sun is coming out - and I'm sharing this publicly, hoping some of you might even read it and offer your comments. I'm in a new place, having moved from my beloved Midwest back to the area I grew up, Washington, D.C. It hasn't been the smoothest transition, but I'm not one to bemoan my situation for long if it's less than pleasant - I am one to see the glass half-full, suck it up and make the most of it. Afterall, there is so much good around me. I'm immensely blessed, and undeserving. But in all honesty, I'm in a season I don't feel properly dressed for. The wind picks up at the most unexpected moments and I'm without protection from the elements. Exposed. Aware of my loneliness. Joel Osteen had an email last week I found poignant:
"God has set up seasons in our lives. It’s easy to get frustrated when our dreams aren’t coming to pass on our timetable, but every season is not harvest season. There are plowing seasons. There are planting seasons. There are watering seasons. Sure, we would love for every season to be a time of increase left and right, good breaks here and there. But without the other seasons, we wouldn’t be prepared. For example, it’s during the plowing seasons that God brings issues to light that we need to deal with. He’s getting us prepared for promotion.
If you’re not making as much progress as you would like, the key is to not lose any ground. Don’t go backwards. Hold your position. Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that, you are passing the test, and God promises that your due season of harvest is coming. Be encouraged because your appointed time of increase, favor and promotion is on its way, and He will fulfill every dream and desire He’s placed within your heart. Remember, harvest is coming!"
So for now, I will do as Joel reminds: Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard.

 I'm asking God to reveal the issues I need to deal with, and the purpose for this season.

And giving Him the dreams of my heart... And in the meantime, offer my little-older/little-wiser commentary on this new season, the terrible drivers in Northern Virginia, and all other things in life.

 Here goes nothin',
Little Miss Sunshine

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't rain on this corn parade!

I'm an ethanol supporter, this we know. I think it stands as an alternative to oil importation and our dependence on foreign energy.

DISCLAIMER: I understand the government subsidizes ethanol, and as a conservative, I should despise that concept. But if we're talking subsidies, you right-nuts out there, perhaps we should equally despise fossil fuels?:
•The federal government provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Subsidies to fossil fuels—a mature, developed industry that has enjoyed government support for many years—totaled approximately $72 billion over the study period, representing a direct cost to taxpayers. -Source: Environmental Law Institute
No. I'm not for that. Just shutting up the critics for the time being...

Arguments aside, I want to call attention to Senators John Thune and Amy Klobuchar, whose recent editorial in the Forum is calling attention to their efforts in Washington, D.C. on behalf of this renewable fuel.
As a Democrat and Republican, both of us are strong advocates for American-made biofuels. But we also recognize that times have changed. Ethanol is no longer a new industry, and our country is facing serious fiscal challenges. Given the shifting tides in Congress, we felt it was important to get ahead of the curve so that ethanol could determine its own future.

Despite divisions in Congress, we worked with Sen. Diane Feinstein of California to map out a compromise that balances the need for deficit reduction with the need to continue promoting domestic renewable fuels as an essential pathway to energy independence.

The outcome of our efforts is a bipartisan agreement reached on July 7 that is supported by ethanol industry groups, as well as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union.

In summary, this is what our compromise proposes:

It eliminates the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit at the end of this month instead of the end of 2011. This change would result in savings of just over $2 billion.

Under the bipartisan agreement, $1.3 billion from the remaining credit will be dedicated to reducing the federal budget deficit.

And unlike many legislative proposals that would have eliminated any support for biofuels, the remaining $668 million of the 2011 VEETC savings will go to targeted incentives for small ethanol producers, infrastructure like electric charging stations and blender pumps that are needed to bring greater competition to the fuel market, and cellulosic incentives. Our agreement gives consumers a real choice at the pump and is good for all families struggling with high fuel prices.
I'm for this- eliminating VEETC to save $2 billion. Not rocket science, eh?

Bipartisan work to support agriculture, development, and energy independence while also making CUTS - snip snip snip. And paying down the deficit. And giving incentives to small producers, which eventually benefits CONSUMERS.

I can hear the scissors rockin'.

That said, get your own ethaknowledge.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aaron Rodgers: Ability on his feet

I find this diatribe quite telling, to single Aaron Rodgers out for playmaking on his feet. This elevates him above Manning and Brady, one author believes:
What Brady and Manning have on Rodgers is they’ve performed great and won big over long careers. Rodgers still faces the test of time.

But Rodgers has something neither Brady nor Manning ever have had, and that’s the ability to make plays with his feet. In the last two seasons, Rodgers has rushed for 672 yards, which is second in the league over that time, behind only Michael Vick (771 yards in seven fewer games). At ages and 26 and 27, Manning rushed for only 174 yards and Brady only 91.

Running can be a double-edged sword, because it also leaves a quarterback vulnerable to big hits, and the greatest threat to the Packers the next couple of seasons is the two concussions Rodgers suffered last year. Brady and Manning, while lacking playmaking ability outside the pocket, are masters at sliding in the pocket to avoid rushers and quickly getting the ball out when they can’t avoid, as their sacks numbers show. Manning has been sacked an average of only 17.8 times a season in his 13 years as an NFL starter and never has missed a game. Brady has averaged 27.1 sacks in his nine seasons as a starter.
If you actually watch Aaron Rodgers on the run, it's timed- it's almost premeditated. He finds a hole on his way to the endzone and somehow floats into it. Rarely do you see him rushed. Rarely is it anything more than a few feet in the RedZone, ball in a one-handed palm grasp, and held over the goal line for 6 points.

It will be this effort, not the frantic scrambles of his predecessor, that I think the coaches will include in their playwriting. Sure, the ill-fate of a Michael Vick rushing high and tackled to season-ending injury is a possibility.

But with the smarts like Manning and the cool like Brady, I think Rodgers will best them all.

Remembering Bob

As we remember Bob Stenehjem today, what comes to mind is not only the loss of a father, a brother, a husband, and a friend, but of a community leader.

Though I only knew Bob a short time, it was time well spent. Whenever I saw him, he was jovial and joking, serious but always willing to break character for a laugh. Bob's institutional knowledge of the state of North Dakota and politics will be sorely missed.

We know he is resting comfortably with our Maker.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

March was a good month

for blogging...that is. The rest of this late spring and early summer has been consumed by flood fighting.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who are fighting to save their homes and livelihoods.

Here's a clip from NBC's Today Show to bring all those outside North Dakota up to speed on what recently has happened to the community of Minot.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Monday, May 2, 2011

Let Freedom Reign!

Just to remark on the occasion - Osama Bin Laden is dead. American troops shot and killed him, and took custody of his body.

I am so proud of our men and women in uniform, and grateful for their perseverance, dedication to the cause, and for never wavering on the promise to deliver the man behind our tragic September 11th attacks, and countless others around the world - to deliver the promise of freedom over terrorism.

A toast to General Petraeus and the American Military - may God bless you.

I only wish I could have seen President Bush's face upon hearing the news.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Presidential announcementszzzzzz

You snooze, you... snooze. Presidential candidates are announcing, and I suppose now's the time. If you're early, you get out there, start raising the moolah and collecting the name ID. But what is with the two and a half minute "announcements" these Presidential candidates are doing? Talk about snoozers.

I like Mitt Romney (though I haven't thrown my hat in for anyone but NEWT), but what a sleeper. Come on, Mitt. You're better than that! What with all the immediacy of reading the news in the morning, checking email, etc., I have tried to watch this announcement ad now a total of 9 times. It's like trying to get through to a voter the week before Election Day~ impossible!

I can't get into it. It's slow, filled with empty music - oh wait, that's just the drone of the whir of the camera crew. There's no music. There's no video. Even Obama put in stupid interviews with "everyday Obamans," I mean everyday Americans.

Back up the truck. Obama's not even IN his video. Is that the choice we as voters are faced with? A video with the candidate's talking head or a video without the candidate?

I'm looking for PIZZAZZ. I'm not talking about flashy, cheesy-neon-I'm-a-hooker-in-Vegas type showboating- I'm talking about eye catching and interesting. Not the run 'o the mill shots of communities (like the conservative, small town, church-going, rural America that doesn't really support you, Barack...)

Show me you are a straight talker. Show me action, decision making. Do'nt show me you can talk about the problem. That's why Obama's in trouble - he's too busy listening to his own voice talking to make any damn progress.

Make my smart phone worthy of your 2 minutes. Hell, make it 30 seconds. Make it "We're going to fix this mess and do it without apologizing for hurting people's feelings." BAM. Words on a one-color background, and a shot of the candidate. Now THAT, I would buy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Help, a review

Have you read The Help? As it was nothing I expected from the title, this book is captivating, colorful and contagious.

This is a book that literally paints it black and white. The juxtaposition of mothering middle-aged maids and 20-something white ladies of fine society in Jackson, MS during the Civil Rights movement delivers nothing short of quippy one-liners from the maids, bucking the high-society snoots with Marriage Degrees - humor and truth wrapped in a transparent bow.

The voice of Skeeter can be seen as a narrative encompassing the entire book. Her conscience however, I believe, is that of the author in a post-segregation modern world. Making the only white character to appear with sympathy for the black maids not only a female, but the only character without a wife and children among her peers makes me wonder if she is in a way, apologizing for the behavior against black people in the '60s. And, it poses a key question- simply how real could a character like Skeeter have been in racist, segregated Jackson in the early '60s?

Her plight is quite selfish - write a book to get the hell out of Jackson. But it is the characters of Aibileen and Minny whose dimension cannot be caged. Their voices so loud you can hear them well after the book closes, each present a view of the world that slowly changes as the story progresses. Aibileen, discovering hope anew and believe it or not, control over her future after a decision made outside her control. Minny, acting out the results of a new found freedom, finally taking pride in the story of her own life. Minny's is one we witness, while Aibileen's is one we are told.

The kicker comes in the end. When you know the final 10 pages will bring an end to this bold tale, told so vividly you believe in hiding its secret from others, it delivers quite more than a grandeur statement of "what the world will bring" for each character beyond the pages the author has given us.

As Aibileen is forced from her job as Mae Mobley's caretaker, I could literally feel Mae Mobley's heart breaking. Her emotion around losing the closest thing she has to a nurturing mother figure is too much for a reader who has ever felt the scare of their mother walking in the other direction. Be it the first day of kindergarten or being dropped off at college- or perhaps watching a mother put her suitcase in a car and drive away - it is a universal fear.

Kathryn Stockett captures in the pages of The Help, a simple truth that though entirely apparent, I did not discover until the final pages. As women, we are molded by our mothers in inexplicable ways, some we never admit to ourselves. From comments and glances - intended or unintended - and further perceived by our young egos as negative reviews, to the gestures of unconditional love - large or small - the relationship between mother and daughter cannot be confined to the limits of "black and white."

Motherhood transcends race. Daughterhood is blinded by love and acceptance until tainted by a larger, uncontrolled outside world. And unfortunately, tainted daughters also become mothers. The Help, uniquely and cleverly unveils these truths. Bravo to Kathryn Stockett.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Arizona Gun Power

Guns on Arizona campuses have been OK'd by their legislature. I say BRAVO.
What I don't understand is this argument:
State Rep. Bob Robson said guns on campuses are a bad idea because students and others experience such emotional highs and lows due to grades, exams and other circumstances.

"To make it that you could walk up to the door of an education institution (with a gun) makes no sense to me," he said.
This isn't advocating that kids take guns to school. It's merely saying, if you've got one, you're not going to be penalized.

Arizona does not have a mandatory waiting period before obtaining a firearm,I understand that. It also doesn't have an owner license requirement. You DO have to be 21 though. So you can't stop a kid from getting a gun - from an older sibling, a family member, or buying a gun online. What are we to do - live in fear that the cheerleader next to you in Biology 101 might be packing?

For some who have seen school shootings up close- be it the great tragedies at Columbine or Virginia Tech, or the smaller incidents that fade away from yesterday's news - I believe this kind of law provides some relief.
But supporters said the bill would help people defend themselves from gun violence by someone who won't heed a campus's firearms ban.

"I find it hard to believe that on universities it just becomes a bubble — that somehow you're drastically protected when you enter the campus," Democratic Rep. David Gowan said.
Bingo. To imagine that a student would have been carrying a firearm and been able to stop his peer from murdering classmates, and that is prevented by the idea that classrooms are bubbles of safety, is alarming.

We cannot be bullied by students who are emotionally unstable over grades and tests to the point of drastic violence. We cannot allow innocent students to die, when there is clearly something that can be done to help prevent it.

Way to go AZ!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Herman Cain's emailing me

WHY?! Who the heck put me on never-been-heard-of Herman Cain's Presidential Exploratory committee email list? I want my money back.

Better yet, I want to sue the bastard that took my email from an authorized candidate and used it without asking me.

No, "That's just silly, LMS," they'll say. "Everyone does this. It's no surprise. And you can unsubscribe." So it's on, me now. I suppose it's always on us - the bloggers, the political activists-even more simply, the citizens and voters - to wade through the BS of politicians' emails and decide for ourselves whom we shall support. Even when we don't sign up to get their propaganda.

Who's BS is better, you ask? Sorry folks, I'm just not ready to wade into the shallow bogs of Presidential CRAP at this time.

Hey now...look-ee-there, Cain's got himself a 21% name-rec rating? I suppose all that traveling to TEA party events and working with AFP has helped the guy get some name ID.

Dramatic pause...pretend scanning of the email content...Nope. Still heading toward the unsubscribe door as we speak.