Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Castor Oil

Here I am. The nursery is finished, the house is clean, the bags are packed, the birth plan written. Every thing is ready. I desperately miss sleeping normally, painting my toe nails, and, oh yeah, not being huge. So it’s easy to figure out why in a moment of desperation Monday night I tried one of the oldest old wives tails in the book. I drank some castor oil.

Castor oil, for those who don’t know, is a laxative. It is thought to “induce” labor by causing your intestines to spasm, which in turn, causes the uterus to contract. After researching it online, I learned that one of two things would happen. Either I would need to go to the bathroom A LOT or I would need to go to the bathroom A LOT and I would have a baby. Again, I’m a desperate woman.

I took the stuff about 9 pm. I mixed a two oz. bottle with half a can of coke (something someone online recommended.) It wasn’t too bad. I mean I’m not going to go to a restaurant and order it, but it wasn’t horrible. The worst part was my last swallow because some of the oil had already settled at the bottom and I got a swig of just castor oil. Ugh.

So we sat around, watched some special on the History Channel about Star Wars, and about 11 pm I got sleepy. I went to bed, only to wake up an hour later needing to…well you know. Then about 2 am, they started. I’ve already had contractions here and there, so I knew what they were. They weren’t bad but I started having a lot.

I walked into the living room where Charlie was reading and watching T.V. “Honey,” I said, “I’m having a lot of contractions, and they’re no big deal, but I think we should start timing them.” Well that got him excited. He got out his watch and a little notebook and started writing them down. My doctor has advised me to go to the hospital when contractions are about 5 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. Other doctors may suggest something else. After about 30 minutes, mine were averaging about 3 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. However, even though I was uncomfortable, I didn’t really feel in labor. So we called the hospital. The nurse said to stay home until contractions began to intensify. Then, we needed to go to the hospital.

I decided I just wanted to relax and watch The Little Mermaid. Charlie started to get ready. He got dressed, he made sure his bag was packed, he practiced cutting the umbilical cord on a hot dog. I just sat there watching Ariel, nothing changing, nothing getting more intense, and no baby coming.

Needless to say, nothing every happened. At about 8 am, my contractions fizzled out and I realized that Harrison was not coming after all.

The moral of the story: If you’re pregnant and you want your baby to come, don’t drink castor oil unless you want to poo a lot and want a big let down.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Figured out why I loved womens curling

I loved watching womens curling during the winter olympics. it was about the only event I SCHEDULED time to watch....

I guess I never knew why, until I saw this video... Ignore the photos... just listen... Awwww yeah....

Monday, May 21, 2007

No Fighting Boys!

I remember Mullins saying to me once how he wanted to arrange a mariage between Isaac and Alexandra. Unfortunately, Luke had first dibs. I have pics to prove it. Well, it turns out Noah and Caleb might be fighting over our second daughter. We just learned today I was going to forge new ground for the Midnight Cafe by having 2 girls in the family.

I was going to post some pics, but I found out my scanner needed some drivers after an XP crash a few weeks ago. I'll try to do that a soon as I finish the driver download.

The Brewster's Are Going To China

We got the offer to go to China today. We will accept tomorrow. We have to be there early August.

Holy Crap!

We have talked about this for so long now it is unbelievable that it is actually happening now. It feels a little like we’re being whisked along without much control. When I sent our resumes I just wanted to see what would happen, or how we would react if we got a response. Then we got a response and now and offer, and I can’t think of what else we would do, so we go.

I’m really excited, and incredibly nervous.

There is so much to do, too. We have to get work Visas. Amy has to have her dissertation proposal approved. I plan to sell most of our furniture and haven’t the slightest idea how much to ask for anything, or how to even go about it. My dad says he can store anything else. We have a car to sell, insurance to obtain, packing to do….and more things I can even imagine at the moment.

China. Unbelievable.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The art (and workmanship) of Kellie-J

Kellie J... if you know her, you love her. if you don't know her, you've no doubt heard tales of her and you feel like you know her.

She is, as some of you know, in a tough situation now. It is unfair and shouldn't be happening to as nice a person as her. But never the less, she is in it.

THis situation prevents her from being near a computer, much less an internet connection. Whats worse is that she can only go home to see her husband for a few days at a time. Sounds like jail, but it isn't. Though she may describe it as something close to that.

This post is not to describe her situation. It is hers and I leave it up to her to decide who knows about it and who doesn't (In any case, please pray for her, she is a good soul and a sweet girl).

Due to the situation she is in she has forced herself to stay busy (for her sanity). And this week she decided to start BUILDING (Yes, I said BUILDING) a toy box for her nephew. Well, she succeeded in less than a week. And of course it had to be painted. If you know KellieJ you know she is a good artist with a very original style. The paintings had no reference points. They are shaped simply out of her idea of the nursery rhymes. She sent them to my email via her cell phone and I asked her if I could share them with the cafe... enjoy (and click for larger images)

Church For Sale

I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile, and Charles’ last post has reminded me to do it.

The congregation Amy and I attend is apparently located on some prime real estate. It is near a large shopping district, is a block away from a major state highway (which is also the route to Indianapolis) and sits on the corner of two busy city roads.

A few weeks ago the church was contacted by CVS. It turns out they are highly interested in this piece of property and want to buy. They are offering a very substantial amount of money. Part of the deal is that CVS agrees to buy the church another piece of land in the same area of town and build a brand new building, to our specifications, on top of it.

It’s really a very sweet deal, and from what I can tell, everyone is all for it. This is interesting to me, since many of our members would fall into the camp that the church shouldn’t have bake sales and yard sale, or in anyway take “outsiders” money for the church. And yet CVS (a company who will surely sell such unsavory items as booze and cigarettes and all kinds of unsavory magazines) flashes some big bills in front of our eyes, and suddenly everything is ok.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why Can't Church Do That?

I've had this one in the back of my mind for a while, but it resurfaced today. Our congregation is having a Yard Sale at the building to support the youth group's summer mission trip. Someone asked me about it, and I can not for the life of me figure out what would be wrong with such an event.

I had spoken to the preacher at my last congregation about it after he mentioned it being wrong in a sermon to have a "church sponsored" yard sale. I asked him, "So if we can't have a church wide 'sanctioned' yard sale, can 5 or 10 familys get together to have a yard sale at someone's home and give that money to the church or a special mission trip fund?" He said, "sure." I said, "so what is the difference with the elders saying, 'we support this; bring your stuff; the teens will do the work and keep the proceeds for the mission trip.'?" The basic answer I got was, "It's just different." Sorry, that's not an answer that's a cop-out. I just can't see a difference, nor can I see a Biblical reason why a "Church santioned" yard sale is wrong?

The only example that I can think that could be remotely related in the Bible is the money changers and animal sales in the temple. And the problem there seems to me that people were lining their own pockets. I do not mean to step on toes (and I don't think it really applies), but this would more closely related to selling Mary Kay or Boy Scout Popcorn at Church.

The Brew Wedding

In case you didn't get to go to the Brew wedding, or in case you just want to relive the fun times of it, here is the video! Enjoy!

I am posting this with semi-Brewster-approval

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Closet Abba Fan

If you had asked me anytime before this week if I was an Abba fan, I would have said “No, not really, I don’t listen to them.” And that would be an accurate statement. I didn’t own any Abba CDs ever, didn’t really know which songs were Abba songs. My mental connection to Abba would have been: “Dancing Queen?” Or “Yeah, there’s that musical Mama Mia, sounds interesting, but I haven’t seen it.” Or more personally, “Kathyrn, a grad student in linguistics, she’s an Abba fan. Gee, I miss Kathyrn, wonder how she is.” And that’s about it.

So what changed? Watching Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown, the ubiquitous Travel Channel hostess, I witnessed her experience an evening cruise with an Abba tribute band. It sure looked like fun.

So a few weeks later, I saw Abba: The Definitive Collection at our public library and picked it up. It fell into my pile of disks and sat in the car uncertainly, not knowing if it was going to be played. Other more familiar genres of music made their way to CD player first, filling my hour-long 3 times a week commute with comforting sounds. Then, on my way home from one of my last commutes (semester-ending no renewal of contract teaching gig), I thought “what the heck!” and then, I was enchanted. Not so much by the first two songs, but by the ones I recognized.

The teacher in me perked up and thought how great this would be for an ESL class. The music lover in me started to dance. And there you have it--my transformation from an uninformed listener to the beginnings of an appreciative listener. And all I can think is “Wow Kathyrn, you’re so right. I always knew you were wiser than me.”

Monday, May 14, 2007

Royal Flush

Working at a school, I sometimes will wander into the boy's bathroom to pee, rather than use the faculty restroom. I would only do this if the faculy restroom was not near me at the time.

Each time I use the boy;s restroom, I notice none of the urinals are flushed. At first I would assume this was a hygene thing; That they wouldn't flush to avoid getting germs. But then I noticed that if there are any in there at the same time I am in there, that they leave witout washing their hands!!!

Is it really that hard to flush a toilet? Are they conserving water? they must be because they sure dont drink any water, the urnine int he urinal is almost a deep red! These kids must drink nothing but beer, if they drink anything at all!

I've always wanted to put a sign above the urninal that was a step by step instruction on flushing the toilet...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fret (a 4-letter word)

I learned a lesson today. I was all worked up because I have a "test" at work coming up where I have to restore files and programs from back-up and then mak sure they work. Enter a program known as CENTRAX that our Environment Health folks use for accounting (one of 2 I will have to restore). It's a home grown program that works as a database and reporting program for the work they do. I was planning on having the CENTRAX admin come to the test and fix it for me after the restore was done. I found out late last week that she would be in another state one vacation that day. Literally, this morning I was all worried about my test and this program that I could feel my chest tightening.

Today I managed to catch up with her and talk it over. I decided to do a pretest test. I restored the folder from back-up to an alternate location on a separate server. No problems (I was not expecting any). Then I walk over to see the CENTRAX administrator to see what came next. She tested the data entry part and it worked like a charme. Next she started showing me a few files that needed to point to that folder. That's it?!?!? I was all worked up about that?!?!? It took me all of 15 minutes (if you don't count the 5 minutes I stared at the server while it restored the data)

Just goes to show you how you can easily turn the unknown into dread. Now who's up for "FreeSolo" rock climbing?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Prayers and Blessings

Probably the biggest compliment I’ve every received was a recent one. “I like it when Chuck prays. He’s talks to God like he was a friend.” Though mine is the reverse, it reminds me of Exodus 33:11 when “The LORD would speak to Moses personally, as a man speaks to his friend.” It seems to me that God wants that kind of a relationship. Even though the compliment was a meant to encourage me, it got me to thinking of my depravity. You see, though I may speak to God as a friend it’s because He’s been more of a friend to me than I have ever been to Him. Sometimes I feel like one of those friends that always come to you with his problems, needing to borrow something (and maybe never return it), looking for a favor, or asking for money. God keeps on giving to me, but what have I done to make him want to give to me so freely? Another verse comes to mind: Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?". (I understand this more now that I have a child of my own.)

We in the U.S.A. are very blessed already. We keep asking God for more, and because of His nature he wants to give (just like I want to give to my child). Yet, when He decides not to answer us for a while or says "no" we get all pouty. Like the Israelites who were blessed beyond measure, more blessings tend to make us “Expect” certain things from God rather than realize what we really have. Again, I am reminded of a verse: Luke 12:48 “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required;” Consider this more of a reflection than a sermon, because it will take a lot of faith to actually take these words to heart…even though that’s where they originated.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I will be out of a job again next week. The guy who I was replacing (and who everbody told me would never come back) is coming back on Monday. I am supposed to train him on the new stuff I've been doing and then hit the road. I'm guessing this will take two days.

The nice thing is that they are going to pay me for two weeks of work, regardless of how long the training takes.

My wife will be out of work in a couple of weeks too. The semester ends, and she cannot renew the contract.

We've gotten no word from the Chinese department.

My father-in-law has not yet found a job. They have to leave their house by the end of the month. Unless something happens fast, they will have to find a storage bin for all of their stuff and move in with some relatives in Nashville, TN.

I think I am cursed. Everyone near me seems to be losing their jobs, and finding no prospect of getting a replacement.

Strangely, I feel pretty good about it all, and my faith is stronger than it has been in a long while.