Friday, October 31, 2003

Scroll down to read my interview with Christian author Jane Kirkpatrick...

Seeing Mark Lowry tonight!

The station is sponsoring a concert of the Christian funnyman/singer tonight, and I'm helping with the product table. Mark's stuff has been increasingly funny lately, IMHO. Unfortunately, I think a lot of Christian comedians are really lame, but I recently saw Mark's "Remotely Controlled" video (I know, it's kind of old now), and some of the stuff was guffaw-inducing. Not to mention, the guy can sing, and he's the co-author of one of the prettiest Christmas songs to come down the pike in years: "Mary, Did You Know?" Mark has secured his musical legacy with that song.

I interview a Christmas carol expert every Christmas season, and he once told me that of all the newer Christmas songs, "Mary, Did You Know?" has probably the best shot at becoming a classic.

Another beautiful Christmas song (not by Mark Lowry) is "Strange Way to Save the World," by 4Him. In fact, their entire Christmas album is a far as I'm concerned, Christmas wouldn't be the same without it!

Last year I put a whole thing about my favorite Christmas music on my website. I'm planning to do that again this season.

Why am I thinking about Christmas music right now? Oh yeah...Mark Lowry..."Mary, Did You Know?"...and maybe it's cuz my sister Beverly called me today and told me there are TWENTY INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND in Casper, Wyoming where she lives!

Shoot, it's just too early for such a big snow!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

For Parts One and Two of my interview with author Jane Kirkpatrick...

Scroll down a bit. They're on my entries for October 28th and 29th.

This Christmas, I'm going to pack a shoebox!

For the past few years, I've said I was going to do this, but never "got around to it" (queen of procrastination that I am).

This year I'm going to do it. In fact, the next time I go to the grocery store I'm going to pick up an extra item or two to put in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

You simply get a shoebox from out of your closet and fill it with things for a needy child. Children in Bosnia, Kosovo, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, and many other war-torn and poverty-stricken countries will receive a shoebox full of gifts...and the gospel message will be given along with every box.

This is from the official website:

"Operation Christmas Child sends a message of hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and Christian literature. This program provides an opportunity for individuals of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on missions project that reaches out to suffering children while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ, God's greatest gift. In 2002, we collected over 6 million shoe boxes worldwide and distributed them to children in about 95 countries."

What an incredible way to teach your children about giving, and share the love of Christ with a hurting child! Kathy Klag of Operation Christmas Child tells me that small stuffed animals are one of the favorite gifts of the children, because many of them have no toys, no pets, nothing to hang onto and love. The kids are starved for color and fun. You can include hygiene items, warm socks and gloves, hard candy and chewing gum.

You can click here for more information, suggestions for packing your shoebox, and how to find out where you can drop off your box in your area.

Quoteworthy: The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children." -- Dietrich
Bonhoeffer (1906-45).

Whew! Does America's vile child abuse/pornography subculture and the appalling abortion rate come to mind?

God help us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Part Two of My Interview with Jane Kirkpatrick

(To read Part One of the interview, scroll down to my October 28th entry)

Cindy: Tell us a little about The Tender Ties series, and this remarkable woman that you wrote about, Marie Dorion. Now, I hear it as "DOH-ree-on" in my head, but do you pronounce it a little different?

Jane: "DOH-ree-on" is how I pronounce it, but when we went back to the Ioway nation and spent some time with them, because this is their ancestor, they pronounce it "de-ROIN"...and the French, my French-Canadian contacts, pronounce it Do-ree-OHN, so there are a variety of little pronunciations. But I just call her "Marie" (laughs). And she was the only woman in the Astor Expedition, which was the first big fur-trapping expedition after Lewis and Clark came back. And there were two pieces--this is like, 1811 and '12..that really intrigued me. One was that she was the only woman in this 60-man expedition, and she was with her husband and two little boys that she took with her. Indian women were very important when people trapped when they actually were fur-trading, but this was an exploratory expedition to see if they could set up a post on the West Coast, and that would help trade with the Orient without having to bring it back through St. Louis. So, there wasn't any reason for her to be there, and that was intriguing.

And then the second thing, in doing the research I discovered that there was about a five-week time period where they were negotiating for horses that she and Sacagawea were together at the same time for about five weeks. So here were these two Indian woman, they were both pregnant at the time, they were both married to French-Canadians,and they were both affiliated with these white male fur trapping expeditions. And I thought, "Now, what did they have to talk about, do you suppose?" (laughing)
And then, she remains in the Northwest. But for me, it's a story about how sometimes very short contacts with people can really change our lives and can really affect us.
And I think, the other thing for me, is that this is the story of a woman who wanted to do the best she could for her family without losing herself in that process, and I think that's a struggle that we face today.

Cindy: Very true. And another thing that is wonderful about reading about Marie, is, I would have thought that I would have very little in common with a Native American woman that lived so many years ago. And yet it just goes to show you that so many themes, and so many of the issues that women deal know, issues of how their children interact with them, and their husbands, and friendships with other many of those issues are still issues that we as women are dealing with today.

Jane: Right.

Cindy: And so, I did identify with Marie, and I can't wait to read the next book because I became very caught up in her life. Another thing about your books: obviously so much research is necessary to get it know, to get the story right, although you do have some license to use your imagination of course, and add some things...but you have to get it right about how they dressed, and what they ate, and all of that sort of thing...

Jane: Exactly.

Cindy: Do you enjoy the research aspect, or is that just something, a chore that you have to do...or do you actually enjoy it?

Jane: No, I really enjoy it. I sort of think about it as...trying to uncover little mysteries, about, "Well, what would they have talked about over their dinner table?" And then it's like, "Well, would they have had a dinner table, and if they did, what would it have been made of, and where would they have gotten the wood, and would it have been smooth or rough?" (laughs) So, it's really fun to do that. It can be very addictive, and I have to start writing before I think I should. I'm always researching while I'm writing, I'm finding some new little tidbit or I'll look up something I didn't realize I needed to address. So, it's an ongoing process, but I love that part...but I have to say that I love the writing more. So that's good. That's a good blend, then.

For more about Jane Kirkpatrick, check out:

Jane's website, or
My website

In the "reading" section of my site is information about many of my favorite authors, as well as several book reviews, including the review of the first two books in Jane's "Tender Ties" series: "A Name of Her Own" and "Every Fixed Star."

I wanted to see what all the "24" fuss was about, so...

I checked it out myself last night. My son, my brother (who is a police officer) and some other people had told me this series was intriguing, fastpaced, well-acted, and well-written. I must admit, after last night's episode (the first in the new season), I have to agree. The fact that the series revolves around terrorism make it even more timely and relevant.

So far, so good.


The Frog in the Grocery Sack!

Earlier this week, my radio co-host, Chris Carmichael, shared with me on the air about a friend of his finding, in the bottom of her grocery sack...A FROG!!!!!

I told him she should take it to the public health department. If it really is from parts unknown, it could be carrying some kind of disease or something. We already had a big problem with diseased prairie dogs in the Chicagoland area, and I just thought discretion would be the wisest move.

Well, apparently a listener took issue with my comments.

Chris told me yesterday (off the air) that he got a call yesterday from an irate listener. (It never ceases to amaze me what listeners will sometimes get irate about ).

She said, "I have a complaint about the tacky comment you and Cindy made today about the frog in the grocery sack."

Genuinely puzzled, Chris replied, "Oh? What was that?"

"Well, for your information, frogs are as common as flies in Costa Rica, and for there to be a frog with the bananas just means that those are healthy bananas. I just think what you said was really tacky, and to talk about suing the store was really uncalled for!"

Chris was stunned, as was I when he relayed this to me. The only thing we could deduce was that she was offended by my suggestion that Chris's friend take the frog to the county health department, and I stand by that remark. We have had too many cases of diseases (sometimes fatal and incurable) being caused by animals from parts unknown.

Also, it seemed she was insinuating that we had somehow impugned the health standards of the nation of Costa Rica, which country we NEVER ONCE MENTIONED ON THE AIR.

Also, we NEVER mentioned or suggested anyone suing the store, and we purposely did not mention the store's name on the air!

Really, our conversation centered around how freaky it waa to find a frog in your grocery sack...and I still think that's pretty freaky.

BTW, Froggie has been adopted by Chris's friend, and as far as I know, she hasn't taken it to the health department.

My name is Cindy, and I'm a cryptoquote-aholic.

Yes, it's true. I am now hopelessly addicted to those little word puzzles in which you have to have to figure out the code and substitute the nonsensical letters to find the quote.

I used to be a crossword puzzle maniac, and that is still a lesser hobby. But I simply can't stop doing the cryptoquotes. My friend Vicki introduced them to me about a year ago. Our local newspaper carries one every day, right under the crossword. In no time, I was hooked. The cryptoquotes are usually pretty difficult (in fact, to be honest, I don't really like the ones that are too easy...I thrill to the challenge! :))

Soon, just one cryptoquote a day was simply not enough. Last week, I shelled out five bucks to buy a book of them at Wal-Mart. Now I seem to divide most of my leisure time between reading and doing cryptoquotes!

The thing is, though, you can't just mindlessly do a cryptoquote. You have to concentrate. One of the good things about it, is that you simply cannot dwell on your own problems or anxieties. You have to focus on solving the cryptoquote. And once it starts to fall into place, and you realize that you've unlocked the code, what a delicious feeling of accomplishment! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I interviewed one of my favorite authors: Jane Kirkpatrick

I had the privilege today of interviewing one of my very favorite authors, Jane Kirkpatrick, for the "Weekend Magazine" radio show I produce and host.

I wrote this about Jane on my website :

"From the time I picked up Jane's book, A Sweetness to the Soul ,I realized that here was a very remarkable Christian author. Her beautiful,lyrical writing style would grace any writing genre. Probably my favorite Kirkpatrick book,though, is Love to Water my Soul. Few authors possess such a gift of evoking a mood or capturing a description sheerly through finely crafted wordsmithing and absorbing storytelling."

Since then I've read several other books by Jane, and I'm a bigger fan than ever. The following are excerpts from my interview with her.

Interview with Jane Kirkpatrick

Cindy: I understand that you have some exciting news that has been passed along to you...I understand that you have been named a finalist in the Oregon Book Awards. How do you feel about that?

Jane: Well, you know, I know my name's on there, but I really feel that it's the story that the finalist. (chuckles) It's for "A Name of Her Own," which is the story of a remarkable woman, a remarkable mother who also happens to be a native American, an Ioway Indian woman....We'll find out in the middle of November whether I'm a runner-up or actually the story might win, but we're just so pleased that the story has been honored as a finalist, so we're pretty excited.

Cindy: Well, that is in itself an honor, but I would be thrilled if you won, because as I said, I read "A Name of Her Own," and "Every Fixed Star" I believe is the, is the third one out yet or not?

Jane: No, it will be out in April, and it's called Hold Tight the Thread.

Cindy: So is that what you're working on right now?

Jane: Yes, in fact in front of me are the finals right before it goes to printing, so I'm making all these tiny little changes at the very end...can't let it go, you know (laughs).

Cindy: Well, I got the first books in the Tender Ties series, and then I had read All Together in One Place, which I believe is one of three as well...

Jane: Right.

Cindy: And while I was reading the Tender Ties books, I loaned the other books to my sister-in-law, who is also a big fan of yours...and now I've finished the Tender Ties books long ago, and now I've got to get the other ones, so Beth, if you're listening, I want my books! (laughs) Just kidding.

Jane: Well, I always like Benjamin Franklin's quote...and he supposedly started the library system...but he said you should never loan your books out, because people are terrible about ever returning them. "In fact," he said, "I have an entire shelf of my library made up of books that I failed to return to my friends!"

Cindy: (laughing) That is so true, and really, my sister-in-law is good about returning them...I think she's probably still reading them, so I'll give her some more time on that.

Jane: Right.

Cindy: You live in the Pacific Northwest, and although there are notable exceptions...there are some books you have written that are not based in that area...most of your writing does tend to focus on the pioneers who settled that area as well as the native Americans that were already there. Why are you so drawn to writing about that specific area and those people?

Jane: I just think that I'm drawn to people that I call sort of "hardy." They're people who had a passion for something, or maybe they were dragged along, as many of the women were on the Oregon Trail...and I'm just intrigued with how it is that these women came to terms with life as they knew it having ended. You know, how did they find new vision and new direction? And I just think that they have so much to teach us about our own lives today, even though they lived 200 years ago. In some ways, the landscape is massive here, with huge mountains and valleys...and I grew up in the Midwest, I'm a Wisconsinite, and that landscape is lush, and wonderful, and invigorating...and it's different than what's here. And so I think I was also intrigued with, not only the relationships that women had to make changes with, but also how they dealt with things that were really beyond their control--whether it was a mountain they had to cross, or terrible illnesses for which they had no recourse, they had no medicines available, and how did they live with their neighbors to form communities? So, it's been great to be able to explore various kinds of options that I think are important in everyday life today, and set them in the past, and see what's similar and what might have been different with the times.

Cindy: Have you ever thought about writing a novel set in modern times?

Jane: You know, I'm actually working on something that is going to transcend some times. It will be historical in the beginning, but it will move towards a contemporary ending...and the reason for that is that it's a remarkable story that really started in the early 1900's, and I really feel as though God brought it to fruit in the year 2000. So, yeah, I'm gonna try that, I'm a little anxious about it, I have to tell you, (laughing)...I like living in the 1800's.

Cindy: (laughs) Well, you certainly bring that era to life, but I do look forward to reading whatever you write about. But one of the things I love about your writing is, although the Christian message is unmistakable, it could be enjoyed by anyone who loves fiction. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I could give one of your books to a person who is not a Christian, and while they would definitely see and feel the powerful foundational undercurrent of God and Jesus Christ, yet they would not be hit over the head by it with a two-by-four. (laughing) Do you know what I mean?

Jane: I do, and I appreciate that comment, because I work hard at make it accessible. And I think that's the gift of fiction, really, as opposed to non-fiction sometimes, is that you can tell a story, and the spiritual elements, the faith elements, can come sort of beside someone; they don't really kind of jump up and hit people over the head. And I think that's in many ways how our lives are touched. I'm really fond of saying that our lives are the stories that other people read first...and so I think that, as we live our lives with faith and with our belief systems intact, that that's what people are drawn to. We don't have to have a label on our heads that says "I'm a Christian and that's why I'm doing these things," it's that "I'm doing these things out of great love and because things were done for me."

Cindy: Exactly. And make no mistake, the message is not is definitely there...I just like the way you work it in. (chuckles)

Jane: Well, I appreciate that. I think that's one advantage of writing the historical novel, is that people in the 1800's who had a faith life, it was pretty out there on their sleeves, and it wasn't like something they did on Sundays; it was a part of their everyday life. And they had the same struggles that we do, but I can make those characters be able to have thoughts and explorations that seem a part of their everyday living, whether they're out gardening or their taking care of their babies or whatever it might be. And sometimes that's harder to do in our fast-paced contemporary world.

Coming: Part 2 of the Jane Kirkpatrick Interview

Friday, October 24, 2003

For the thousands of people who faithfully read my blog...

Actually, make that "all two of you," and that includes me :)...yes, I realize I haven't updated my blog in a few days. I've been horrifically busy! Remember all those obligations I mentioned earlier? Well, as of last night, I completed them. But it was whirlwind week, starting with last Friday night.

On Tuesday, I spoke and sang to the ladies of First Assembly of Belvidere. What a sweet time of fellowship. We joined hands and prayed afterwards, and my heart was warmed as several of them lifted up in prayer my dad (who is dying of liver disease), and my mom, who has the difficult role of caregiver. These ladies were an incredible blessing to me!

Last night, I MC's the Stateline Pregnancy Center banquet ( and sang as well). I was touched by the level of commitment many people have to the pro-life movement. These are people who are really out there in the trenches, doing the grunt work involved in championing the rights of the preborn and people like Terri Schiavo. Wonderful people.

Now I'm rushing to finish writing this before I do two interviews and then head off to a weekend with my husband. He is hosting a girls' volleyball tournament in a nearby town, and I'm tagging along.

So this is just a fly-by to let anyone who cares know that I'm still alive. See you Monday, Lord willing and if the creek don't rise! :)

Monday, October 20, 2003

My busy weekend!...

This past weekend was definitely short on R-n-R...but overall, it was good.

It started Friday night, with Doug and I making our way to his brother Kelvin's church in Beloit. We were the special guest singers. I love visiting Kelvin's church. It's rather small, and there is just a sweet spirit there. It appeals to's so without airs and grandiosity of any kind.

I had heard the special speaker, Johnny Pope, several years ago at a couples' retreat. He has a speaking style that is eloquent and often humorous, and his message on prayer really spoke to my heart.

Afterwards, I asked him if he had visited Ireland recently. The last time I had met him, he and his wife had just returned from a trip to Ireland, and he absolutely loved it. He said no, they hadn't been back, and they had never done anything that topped it. We chatted a bit about our mutual love of all things Irish, and he reminisced about some of the sights he saw there.

I also asked him to give my regards to a mutual friend...evangelist Tim Lee, who has been a dear and kind friend to my family in Texas. He said he would pass along my greetings to Tim.

Back to Rockford, and a late dinner at Giuseppi's with Ray. I keep saying I am not going to eat late at night. It's terrible for me, and I generally try to avoid it. All I had was a small salad and some bread and sauce (Giuseppi's marinara sauce is among the best I've ever had), but still...I shouldn't be eating that late. Oh well, no use beating myself up about it...what's done is done. What's eaten is eaten. :)

Voice Wars 2003

I slept in on Saturday...what a luxuriously wonderful feeling...and then I was up and hitting the ground running. I cleaned house and did laundry almost non-stop. Not exactly a fun way to spend a beautiful autumn day, but it had to be done...and it did feel good to accomplish it.

Then it was time to start getting ready for my evening as an MC. Now, this was fun. A local special occasion dress shop called Sarah Grace had loaned me a beautiful dress to wear, and even these gorgeous sparkly earrings to go with it. All of my girly-ness came out in full force as I got to play "dress-up" for the evening. The dress was two-piece, black with a sparkly silver bodice and sparkly silver trim on the outer jacket (I'm woefully ignorant of the correct way to describe clothes.) Suffice it to say, it was waaaay more fancy than I normally wear for any reason. And it felt great...totally glam and glittery. Doug accompanied me and hung out backstage, and it ended up to be a really good time.

And, what, you ask, is "Voice Wars 2003"? Well, it was the event that I was mc-ing, along with my colleague, Chris Carmichael. Basically, it's a sort of Christian version of "American Idol." A talent contest, made up of solo vocalists. Some were quite good; others were...well... quite awful. Ten finalists were chosen, and a winner will be chosen later. The top winner gets a demo made at a recording studio.

One of the neatest things about any public appearance I make for the radio station is getting to meet really wonderful listeners. Truly, some of the nicest people in the world. Saturday night was no exception.

Sunday was busy, as always. Two services, punctuated by lunch and a nap on Sunday afternoon, and topped off with a visit to Culver's after church on Sunday night. I didn't order anything except a root beer. Culver's root beer is a treat...I can't resist it. And it was a nice way to end a VERY busy weekend.

Actually, that wasn't the very end of the weekend. When we got home, I soaked in the tub for a while, then crawled into my cozy bed. Doug and Elizabeth were singing in the living room while Elizabeth played the guitar. They were singing a Greater Vision song called "God Wants to Hear You Sing"...which was actually the duet Doug and I had sung in Beloit on Friday night. (The chorus sounds EXACTLY like Michael Card's "Love Crucified Arose," but that's neither here nor there.)

Anyway, the warmth that came over me as I listened to the voices of my husband and my daughter joined in sweet, that was a lovely way to end the weekend.

Savana's jokes

My little friend Savana, age 7, is constantly asking me to tell her a joke. I've just about exhausted my supply (even though she frequently asks me to repeat the ones I've already told her); and I find myself feeling really bad that I don't have anything new to offer her.

Seven-year-olds don't ask for much in the way of jokes. They just have to be simple and understandable...nothing abstract, please. Irony and incongruity should not be present. Corniness is fine, and actually even valued. The cornier the better.

So I think I'm going to do a Google search for some jokes for kids. That way, the next time Savana asks, I will actually have something to give her.

So far, her favorites have been jokes my dad has favored for years. She even often asks me to repeat little things I remember my Dad saying or singing to us during my childhood.

For example, sometimes when he would wake us up he would sing:

"Get up, ye lazy saints of God,
Get up, ye lazy sinners
We need the sheets for table-cloths
It's almost time for dinner."

Savana really likes that one. :)

Friday, October 17, 2003

The joy of finding a beloved book...

Some time ago, on an Internet forum I used to post on, there
was a thread about favorite books of our childhood. One of mine was
a book titled "Red Knights from Hy Brasil," by Christine Savery.

My parents bought me the book in Beirut, Lebanon, circa 1966. (We
were a missionary family at the time.)

I loved that book so much. It was about a British family whose
parents had been missionaries to Brazil...they all had flaming red
hair. The kids have to spend the summer with relatives in Ireland.
The story also revolves around a young boy named Shane O'Coghlin,
who the townsfolk in this little Irish village believe is the second
coming of the Irish legendary hero, Cuchulain.

It all sounds kind of obscure, I know, but it completely captured my
10-year-old imagination! In the course of the story, the five kids
learn lessons about faith while adjusting to life in Ireland without
their parents, and Shane ends up realizing he's just a normal boy
who needs Jesus.

But the book was lovely, mystical and fascinating, and I believe it
was the catalyst for my obsession with Ireland...which began at that
time and has only been stoked by the discovery that much of my
family history is rooted in Ireland and Scotland, on both sides of
my family tree. family was evacuated out of Lebanon suddenly during the
Six-Day War in 1967. I lost the book, and have never been able to
find it again.

Until I mentioned it on that forum, and someone suggested the
following site to me:

Sure enough, alibris had a copy of the book! But did I order it?
Regretfully, no. At the time, I did not have a credit
card, and I put off ordering it. When I went back to the site, the
book was gone. :(

In the meantime, I did find a book for my mom. She had fondly remembered a book
called "The Gauntlet" by James Howell Street, which she had loaned
out in the early 60's and never gotten back. I ordered it for her
from alibris for a few bucks, and she received a used copy that was
in very good condition. She was so pleased!

Well, a while back I started thinking again about "Red Nights from Hy Brasil" and how much I would love a copy of that book. I did a Google search and found a British
publishing company (Lutterworth Press) that has a few Savery titles
available...apparently, Christine's sister Constance was also a
prolific writer.

I e-mailed Lutterworth and got a very nice reply from an Adrian
Brink there. He told me that Lutterworth did not publish the book,
but he gave me the name of the publishing company that
did...Children's Special Service Mission. Armed with that info, I
was able to do another Google Search that led me to the following
British used book site:

They had three available copies! Yay!!!

Well, yesterday I arrived home from work to find a small parcel in the mailbox. It was "Red Knights from Hy Brasil." I can't describe the little surge of happiness and deja vu I felt as I saw that book. The copy was EXACTLY like the copy I had as a child...I mean, exactly.

I threw together some lunch, popped on my reading glasses (a recent addition to my mid-40's life!), and plunged right in.

The book is as good as I remembered it, maybe even better. I'm in love once again with 14-year-old Shane O'Coghlin, and I want to go to Ireland more than ever.

I'm also delighted that the Internet can enable a person to reach back and touch a happy piece of one's past in this way.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

It was an enjoyable ride...

Sure, I'm disappointed that the Cubs lost last night. But the world kept turning; the sun rose this morning, and life is soldiering on. People in New York are mourning the loss of loved ones in a ferry accident. I'm not going to let a baseball game rob me of my joy in living!

One thing did happen this baseball season that I had not anticipated...I became a true Cubs fan. Something tells me that when the ivy starts to turn green next spring, hope will be re-born in my newly-Cubs-fan heart, just as it will in the heart of my die-hard Cubs fan husband's.

In the meantime, y'know what? I'm kinda tired of baseball!!! :O

Serendipity is breakfast...

...when you didn't know you were getting any.

I did a quick scan of my kitchen this morning, wondering if there was anything I could take to work to serve as breakfast. Nothing, except Wonder Bread, which although wonderfully fresh and soft, I do not view as particularly healthy and filling. (Give me brown bread so thick and dense you could use it as a paperweight.)

So I was going to content myself with a few Hershey's kisses (yeah, real healthy) and my usual morning coffee at the station.

Then a listener shows up with biscuits-n-gravy and a huge carafe of hazelnut cream coffee! Ahhhh....thank-you, Dawn. That was wonderful!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


...the one thing that die-hard Cubs fans can count on, next to death and taxes?

No, I'm not going to discuss the game. I'm sure all the pundits and whatever is the baseball equivalent of Monday-morning quarterbacks have done that, ad infinitum, already. Including people who know a whole lot more about baseball than I do. :) I did watch the entire game, and experienced the emotions ranging from pleasurable enjoyment and anticipation, to stunned surprise, to total deflation. Isn't it amazing how a game can do that to you?

As I was watching the game...snuggled on the sofa next to my hubby...the thought did briefly cross my mind: "Should Christians even let themselves care so much about something that is so fleeting, so temporal, so ultimately worthless in the grand scheme of things?"

Well, naturally, we shouldn't care inordinately about it. But I truly believe it's OK, even necessary and healthy, to have diversions in this life. The priority we place on those diversions, and the nature of those diversions...those are the things to be cautious about.

So, if the Cubs lose tonight...which I really, really hope they don' will be OK. Even for my die-hard Cubs fan husband (not just Johnny-come-lately Cubs fan me. Life will go on; the things that really matter will still matter...

But shoot; it WILL be disappointing!

40 Days of Purpose...a few days late???

I have, sitting very near this computer, a hardbound copy of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life. No, it's not my personal copy. There is a yellow post-it note stuck to it that reads: "Cindy, If you were unable to pick up a book...feel free to borrow mine any time. See ya...Greg."

Since today is Day 3 of the 40 Days of Purpose, I have some catch-up reading to do. Fortunately, I'm a very fast reader.

MC Cindy ?

This coming week...actually starting with going to be an incredibly busy week for me. I have outside, public-speaking-type obligations just about every day. Two of those obligations actually involve being an MC.

I have MC'd things before, although not often. In one event, I will actually have a co-MC. In other event, I will also be singing.

I'm a little nervous, but also excited. Whatever happens...if I fall on my face, or do OK...I will probably write about it here. (Did you doubt it? :))

Funny Quotes from the Sports World

These, courtesy of Dr. Bob Griffin's "":

~Shaquille O'Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece: "I can't really remember the names of the clubs that we went to."

~"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein." Football commentator and former player Joe Theismann 1996

~Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player: "I told him, 'Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?' He said, Coach, I don't know and I don't care.'"

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I'm sleepy...

Today is a perfect day to snuggle up with a good book and a cup of Earl Grey. Trouble is, I'm not reading a book right now...I'm fresh out of books. I really hate that feeling. And I'm spoiled, because I get most of my books for free.

Speaking of that, I wasn't able to start the 40 Days of Purpose yesterday, because First Assembly was completely OUT of the "Purpose Driven Life" books. My only option is to obtain a copy on my own. Apparently they have them at Sam's Club for a reasonable price. Our engineer, Jon, asked if I would like him to pick a copy up for me when he buys his own...I said yes, but I don't know if he did so yet.

I spent seemingly forever at the doctor's office with Justin yesterday. He has an ear infection, poor thing. Even the fact that he is a fully-grown 20-year-old doesn't lessen my maternal concern and empathy for my sick "baby." :) The doc prescribed amoxycillin, and I do believe the worst of Justin's feeling bad is over.


What is UP with the lack of reading material at the doctor's office? At least, the lack of female-oriented reading material? I had to scavenge to come up with one Redbook, one Seventeen and one People, while there was a plethora of Golf Digests, Sports Illustrateds, Esquires and Auto Weeks. Go figure...

Doug and Elizabeth were on a field trip to Chicago, so I spent the evening watching "View from the Top." It's the Gwyneth Paltrow one where she's a flight attendant. It was mildly entertaining and pleasant.

Apparently, they had a wonderful time in Chicago...went up the Hancock Center, were interviewed briefly on WGN Radio, etc. I do LOVE that city!

Speaking of Chicago...

I have a date with the Cubs tonight!

I have this strange mixture of excitement and uneasiness. I'm new to this Cub-fan condition...hard to believe my husband has felt this way for over 40 years!

There was an interesting article in the local paper today about Wrigley Field. AP's Don Babwin writes:

"Wrigley Field may also have the most famous wall this side of China. Since the ivy on it was planted in the 1930s, it has come to life every spring, coinciding with the optimism of Cubs fans. Then, like the hopes of the fans, it withers and dies every fall.

"One thing announcers are sure to mention today is that the ivy is red and its leaves are dying--a reminder, perhaps, that even the field itself wasn't ready for the Cubs to be playing this long."

Did you know that Wrigley Field, built in 1914, is the second oldest baseball stadium? The oldest is...

Boston's Fenway Park, built in 1912.

Love the Friendly Confines! :)

Monday, October 13, 2003

Cubs Fever Continuing Unabated

Well, I didn't get to watch the Cubs game last night because of Sunday night church service, but after hearing the outcome, I was fine with that.

What I'm having a hard time getting used to is my new status as a bonafide (albeit not die-hard...I certainly haven't earned THAT title) Cubs fan.

Yep, I've caught the fever. It's funny, because for the past 25 years, the Cubs have been pretty much background noise in my life from April through September. Sure, I pulled for them because Doug loves them, (as do my sons,) but it didn't really matter to me. I was not emotionally involved in whether they won or fact, I had come to accept the fact that more often than not, they would probably not be winning.

But now, I care. I really care! What's going on here???

Not only that, but I'm finding myself intrigued and fascinated by some of the players and various aspects of the game.

Take, for example, pitchers. Pitchers are fascinating, because most of them have very individual styles as they face the batter and catcher. There's Mark Prior, with his serious, focused intensity. Kyle Farnsworth, with his ever-parted lips and questioning glance...and Matt Clement, with his squinting concentration. Just to name a few.

I have my definite favorites now, too. I love Kenny Lofton, Aramis Ramirez. Alex Gonzalez and Randall Simon. I think Eric Karros is real easy on the eyes, and we share the fact that we both have Greek heritage. And of course, who can not like Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood?

I find myself looking forward eagerly to tomorrow night, when the Cubbies return to the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field. If at all possible, I will be glued to the television set, and if they should win, I will be elated...though admittedly, maybe not quite as elated as my husband, who has been faithful to his team through over forty years of disappointment.

The question is, is this the beginning of a real relationship with the Cubs, or do I just have a really big infatuation for them? Time will tell, I suppose...

Therapeutic Massage

Well, on Thursday I was the delighted recipient of my very first therapeutic massage. Boy, can I highly recommend this!

I had mentioned to one of our radio station's sponsors, Dr. Heit (a chiropractor) that I have been having persistent pain in my right neck and shoulder. He offered me some free massages from his massage therapist, a certified miracle worker named Kimberly. Yes, naturally-modest me felt a little funny at first, lying on that table partially clad. But any such feelings were short-lived. I just surrendered to the incredibly wonderful feelings.

Yes, there was a little discomfort at times, but it was well worth it.

I now have an appointment with Dr. Heit for X-rays. Seems I may need "adjusting." That's fine with me, if I can just get rid of the pain, which has become a real annoyance.

40 Days of Purpose

We, as a radio station staff, are supposed to begin "40 Days of Purpose" today. It's a 40-day devotional based on Rick Warren's book, "The Purpose-Driven Life." Trouble is, I didn't get my book because I wasn't able to attend the kick-off at First Assembly on Saturday night.

I had really been looking forward to this. We are going to be meeting regularly and viewing Rick Warren video's in tandem with reading the book...but I've got to get hold of the book somehow.

Gorgeous Fall Color

Did I mention how breathtakingly beautiful the fall colors are right now? Right in front of the radio station, there are three red maples that are ablaze with color. I was truly moved while driving around this weekend. God, thank you for doing that...making those colors so gorgeous. You didn't have to do that! But I'm enjoying it to the fullest. :)

Friday, October 10, 2003

OK, the Harvest Time Sharathon is over. It's the three days every year when the radio station pretty much puts its hand out and asks its listeners for money. My former colleague, Mike Schlote (the SchloMan...who I miss like crazy, btw), used to call it the "Beg-a-thon." :)

Be that as it may, hundreds of listeners do open up their hearts and pocket books and pledge financial support...and most come through with it, too. I am always humbled every year by the feedback I get from listeners who say I actually make a difference in their lives! That amazes, and as I said, humbles me greatly. It also impresses on me the need to be careful about what I say on the air. I never know who is listening and how my words are going to affect them.

Anyway, what a BUSY week, and I'm so glad it's Friday! Saturday is the one morning of the week that I usually DON'T set an alarm. What bliss to just sleep till I wake up! I've got some Starbucks coffee that I will make in my own little mini-Mr. Coffee (no one else in my family drinks coffee), add some Sweet'n Low and yummy creamer, and hopefully my Saturday will begin in style.

BTW, they finally opened a free-standing Starbucks in my town. Before, there was only one in the Barnes and Noble and Marshall Field's. Actually, I will probably still favor the Barnes and Noble one. Doug and I like to go there after a dinner out (usually at Chili's), and leisurely read magazines while we sip our favored flavor-du-jour. In the summer, it was frappacinos...caramel for me, and chocolate malt for Doug. (He's not a coffee drinker, but he does like fraps). The coffee at Starbucks is actually a bit too strong for me, but I can make it to my liking at home.

In a pinch though, it's hard to beat the cappucino at your friendly neighborhood gas station. "Pumpkin Spice" is quite wonderful!

Justin has completed his first week of the overnight shift at WallyWorld (Wal-Mart, in case you were wondering.) He actually likes it fine. He is working in the deli, and does a lot of cleaning. Is having no problem at all with the hours. We're all just hoping he'll be able to make enough money to allow him to go back to Cedarville next semester. The way he has it figured, he will still be able to graduate with his class in 2005.

Ahhh...and the Cubs play tonight! I'm SUCH a fairweather fan...unlike Doug, who has faithfully supported them through the most dismal of seasons. But I'm really caring about them now--and frankly, I don't NEED this in my life. Being a Cubs fan. I have enough problems!

Oh well...GO CUBS!!!!!!!

I guess this is my introduction to the world of blogging....a modern technological wonder that appears to be tailor-made for people like me, who can't seem to stop putting their thoughts on paper (or cyber-paper, as the case may be!)

I think this is going to be fun!
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