Monday, July 31, 2006

Im a Reality TV Junkie!

I cant believe Im admitting this but I totally am a reality tv junkie. You name it I've watched. Big Brother, American Idol, Survivor, Real Word, Road Rules, Celebrity Fit Club, The Surreal Life. America's Got Talent, Treasure Hunters, Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Joe Millionaire, Project Runway and the list goes on and on and on. Theres just something about watching reality tv that makes me laugh. I dont know why I like to watch these shows. I think part of it is the humor and craziness I find in each one. But then again I probably like to watch them because they let me dream and escape to a new place. I like to watch The Amazing Race because they do a lot of traveling. Some day I hope to travel myself but for now this show allows me to escape to these places a long with them. I think I watch shows like the Bachelor/Bachelorette and Joe Millionaire because it allows me to root for the underdogs etc. I must admit I hate watching the shows when people totally get humilitated. Simon Cowell on AI is imfamous for that. Even though I watch all of these shows, I must admit that my fave has and always probably will be Big Brother and this season with the All-Stars is no exception. WHat is it about this show that attracts me to it? Im not quite sure. Is it watching these people cock their evil heads? Is it watching these people humilitating themselves on national tv? I dont think its even of those things. For me, Ive noticed that I tend to gravitate towards certain people. Ive always like Kaysar, but I must also say Im a huge fan of Season 6 so maybe thats why but I dont think so. I think its because of who Kaysar is. He seems to be such a great guy. This week he gave slop to Chicken George because he already was on slop so he didnt make anyone made. Now I have to agree with Janelle's statement, that Kaysar is playing it safe, but part of me wonders if he is just holding back and will strike when everyone least expects it. James seems to have changed this season. He doesnt seem as vindictive and Im not quite sure how I feel about that. Is he trying to save face? I guess we'll just have to stay tuned and see what happens. I should close for now. Got to go make supper, buy groceries, and be back in time for Real World/Road Rules Challenges. I REALLY AM A REALITY TV JUNKIE!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Flaming Friday Five!

1. What's the high temperature today where you are? 98, tomorrow 103 and Sunday 104

2. Favorite way(s) to beat the heat? I love to sit in the shade and read a good book as long as I have plenty of water to drink. Anything involving water sounds good to me too...swimming, tubing, boating etc. And of course, ice cream is always good on a hot day!

3. "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." Evaluate this statement. Wow! Ive always lived in places where there has been high humidity. I have to agree with the above statement humidity just does something to your body and makes it seem so much hotter. I must say Dubuque, Iowa was probably the worst humid climate Ive ever lived in. People always said I would get used to the humidity but I never did!

4. Discuss one or more of the following: sauna, hot tub, sweat lodge, warm-stone massage. Saunas and hot tubs are great but I dont think Id want to be in them during this heat. Not sure Id ever want to try a sweat lodge because I sweat enough these days in this heat. And the warm-stone massage sounds great but I think Ill wait until its cooler out to try it.

5. Hottest you've ever been in your life? Wow...That is a good question. When I worked at camp, there were several summers where it was just unbearable. We were constantly telling our campers to drink water so they didnt get sick etc. But probably my hottest story was when a friend and I road tripped a couple of summers ago, we drove through Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, etc. While visiting my aunt and uncle in Arkansas, it was sooooo hot. My aunt and cousin took us to this great place called Dripping Springs. As we were hiking up to the spot, my friend H and I were like we might just have to jump in but of course when we got there, there was a sign saying no jumping in the water. :( Ill never forget how hot it was that day because my cousins little boy Sam was two at the time. He thought he had to lead us ladies since he was the only male. And his little legs just kept climbing up and down those steps, his face was so red by the time we were done. After our little adventure, we had to go to Sonic to cool ourselves off!

Non-temperature related bonus: In your opinion... who's hot? There are so many people that are hot but during this heat and dry weather, the farmers that continue to work the crops and work day and day out in this heat our hot! But I also think Matthew Macoughney is pretty hot too!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happy Blog-Aversary!

Today's my blog-aversary. Thats right exactly a year ago, I started up this blog. I started up this blog to stay up-t0-date with friends etc but its turned into so much more than that. Its become a place for me to sort out feelings, share stories, etc. Sometimes I wonder if Im just rambling on and people arent getting much out of my blog, because if thats the case that would not be good. I want it to be a place for others to share in my life in ministry. I want it to be a place where I can be me and share my feelings...my joys, my sorrows, my pains but part of me also doesnt want this blog to be overtaken by those feelings either. I want it to be fun too! I hope you all enjoy reading my posts and have a piece of cake or chocolate or something and celebrate my blog-aversary with me!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Heres What Happened

So I suppose Ive kept all of you in suspense long enough, but the thing is nothing happened. I still went to the cabin for the weekend. I still had a blast. However the gentlemen they were trying to set me up with wasnt able to come. I did learn a little bit about him. I learned that he is just recently divorced but that his wife was strange, weird, etc. But who am I to judge since Ive never met either of them. But all in all, it was a good time. It was fun to get away and just relax in the prairies of ND. I love the prairies....hence my blog title. This whole situation has gotten me thinking though...thinking about the many ways Ive matured etc. At one time I was very naive about a lot of things and to some extent, I still think I am naive about some things. However not as much, I've really grown. Its interesting how life experiences really can change a person. I know that I wouldnt be the person I am today without the obstacles Ive struggled with, without the friends Ive made, etc. Its so cool that the RGBP ring has been such a blessing to me. Thank you all of you! I hope that I will continue to grow and learn from all of you! You all are a blessing to me!

Speaking of friends, M and L got their carepackages today which totally made my day. It was so fun to make them and I hope that I was able to put a smile on their face. I am going to do more of that kind of stuff. Like I stated in my challenge to all you last week, I think we often forget to look for the little things in life so I continue to challenge us to look for more of the little things and to bring more little things into important people in our lives.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Flying the Coop

Well Im flying the coop for the day! If you want to know about my impending adventure today, you will have to read my post from Thursday of this week. It will be nice to get away for the day and just relax and who knows what will happen? But just wanted to let you all know that today Im flying the coop and will post more tomorrow. Hope you all stay cool today. Enjoy some nice cold treats, go swimming, or just find something to keep you cool for the day. Talk to ya all later!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Let's Celebrate Friday Five!

1) What is your first memory of the RevGalBlogPals? I had been blogging for almost a year and I saw the RevGalBlogPals link on my friend Mark's blog. Since I am a women in ministry, I thought it would be cool to blog and read blogs of other women doing the same thing. I also think its awesome we have so many guys on the blog ring as well. It's a true example of women and men partnering in ministry!

2) Have you met any of the other ring members in real life? The only one I've met is my friend Mark who I went to seminary with, so not sure if that really counts, since he got me interested in the RevGalBlogPals!

3) Of those you haven't met, name a few you would love to know in person. Im with everyone else on this question. There are so many I would love to meet.

4) What has Ring Membership added to your life? The ring has brought so many things to my laugh. First off, it has brought other individuals into my life that have dealt with the same situation as me. Secondly, it has brought me new friends. Thirdly, the members of the ring also arent afraid to give advice and all your advice has helped me a long the way. The ring has added so many awesome people into my life that I hope some day I get the opportunity to meet. ROCK ON REVGALBLOGPALS!!!!!

5) Describe a hope for the future of the WebRing. Im with everyone else it would be cool to start a retreat or something we're we all could get together, chat, and meet.

Congratulations!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What Do I Do?

I must say Ive had a rather interesting day today. This morning I went with the pastor of the new church Im working at to text study. I go with to text study every Thursday. We have breakfast and then we go to the church and discuss the texts for this week. Well one of the younger pastors...a little older than me....has a cabin near the lake for weekend getaways etc. This morning after text study he mentioned that his family, another family, and another pastor were going out there for the weekend. He thought it would be cool if I went with. I said Id see what I could do and left it at that. I said I would call him and he was like no Ill call you. After we got back in the pick-up one of the other pastors would rides along with us to text study said I think he is trying to set you up with this younger pastor. I started laughing quietly and was like here we go. Let it begin! Being a single gal I knew that people would begin to set me up. Now I would love to go away for the weekend just to get away but Im a little scared and leary about this whole blind date thing but the thing is it was never billed to me as a blind date thing if you know what I mean. So now what do I do? Do I go and have fun? The gentlemen who invited me has two young children and Im a sucker for kids so another reason would be to have fun with the kids etc? I guess Im not sure how I feel about this but it sure would be nice to get away for the weekend. What do I do? HELP!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Challenge From Me To You

The Diaconal Ministry Formation Event is taking place on the campus of Gettysburg Seminary over the next two weeks. The Formation Event is a requirement of all those planning on being rostered as a Diaconal Minister. It is recommended that you attend the event before your first year of seminary. However many attend after their first year of seminary because they are not sure of their calls etc. Hard to believe that I attended the formation event three years ago. It was definetely an eye-opening experience for me. It truly solidified my call to Diaconal Ministry. At the formation event, I made some great friends who have been there for me throughout this journey. I opened up to them about my life experience; sharing about living with a mom who is mentally ill etc. I remember a bunch of us going to DC and just spending the day together. I dont know what it was about the formation event but it was definetely an experience that has put an imprint on my heart. I also remember one night my friends Blaire, Nicole, and I walking out to the Eternal Flame. We just sat there, prayed, listened to each other, and basked in God's amazing grace. It was a moving experience and there was just something about that night that makes me so thankful for the friends I made at the DMFE 03. It is so cool that many of us are now consecrated diaconal ministers. So I ask you to be with those at the formation event this summer, that they are moved by their experience as well and that they make friendships that will be forever. I know that I sure did and I hope that the candidates this summer can do the same. They just need to let the Spirit move them so I pray and ask you to pray with me that the Spirit moves in them and with them these two weeks as they attend the DMFE 06. And as I think about my DMFE experience and look back at my binder from that week, I have found some interesting things from that week. We did a session in one of our spiritual direction sessions in which we listed things that had happened good or bad that showed us good. I had put things like being told I looked cute, getting a napkin from someone when I needed one, a hand on the shoulder, a nice tight hug. I think so often we lose track of these awesome moments of God's love. I ask us each to pay more attention to these moments. Can you think of something someone did for you recently that showed the awe-someness of God's love? And not only that, lets try to bring those moments in other peoples lives. So my challenge to you all is to see how many smiles we can put on peoples faces by leaving a comment on their blog, sending a quick email, making a phone call, writing a letter, etc.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pet Peeves Friday Five

1. Grammatical pet peeve-okay so Im a grammar freak since my minor is English. But what especially annoys me is the inproper use of words like there, their, they're etc. I also get annoyed when people finish their sentences in prepositions. Sorry all but since my minor is English, I can often be the grammer police...sorry.

2. Household pet peeve-Since its just me, I am having a hard time with this one but I must say people who leave the toilet rolls empty. I also hate it when toothpaste is left in the sink. I also hate cleaning bathrooms. Oh yeah and when Im at my dads or when I have visitors, I hate it when they leave empty containers in the fridge.

3. Arts & Entertainment pet peeve (movie theaters, restaurants, concerts)-I agree with many of you on this one. I get annoyed when people use their cell phones during movies. I also get annoyed by teenagers making rude noises etc during a movie. And being an actress myself, I get annoyed when people use cameras during a show even though they are asked not too. It is hard to move on the stage when you are blinded by flash.

4. Liturgical pet peeve-For me its readers that read the lessons with no word emphasis, emotion, etc. Other than that, I cant really think of anything else at the moment.

5. Wild card--pet peeve that doesn't fit any of the above categories-Okay so this pet peeve has to do with an issue Ive dealt with all my life and I hope people understand why its a pet peeve to me. My pet peeve is when people say, "Im going to have a nervous breakdown." That is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Since my mom did have a nervous breakdown, this phrase always gets me. I always want to say to them do you know what its really like to have a nervous breakdown. (I hope I dont offend anyone by this pet peeve. Its just truly how I feel)

Bonus: Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: What do YOU do that others might consider a pet peeve? okay so Im definetely aware of my faults. Instead of being late, I am usually extremely early. Since going to seminary, Ive also become a little bit of a procrastinator. As my friend M likes to say, Ive learned to master the dow of the slacker. As my friends also know first hand, I am very bad at making decisions. I always make everyone else make the decisions. Im extremely bad at directions. I always have people tell me left or right when I am trying to get from point A to point B. Im sure there are more but Im going to err on the side of grace for now.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hump Day Thoughts

Happy Hump Day! Life around here has been busy. My sister has been visiting me from AZ which has been great. She went to Bismarck today to see an old friend that we grew up with. I just got home from work and I almost got rained on. The weather here has been extremely hot and dry. A lot of farmers are extremely worried...no rain, no place for cattle to drink, crops dont grow etc. Its sad. Where my dad and family farm in Ashley is especially bad, they havent had rain for days. Its been dry here in Beulah too but not as bad as there. Tonight it looked stormy when I walked home from work and within minutes, it was raining but it was shortlived. In fact I think its over now. But enough about that, I have been reminiscing and looking at pics today. Amazing what memories a pic can bring back. I wish I were at seminary helping my friends move. Something about helping move brought closure to my life. I helped like 30 people move a couple summers ago. It was insane. I just hope and pray that my friends who havent gotten calls yet get calls soon. Other than that, a lot of people I know are at the youth gathering in San Antonio. Hopefully in three years Ill be able to bring some youth from my church.

But enough about all that stuff, I have been thinking a lot...thinking about where my life is going and stuff. I love being here and love my new job yet I still yearn to be closer to friends and family. I think Ive been thinking a lot about it because I havent met anyone my age here yet. The ladies of my condo are great and its great being taken care of and checked on etc but I guess at my age I just am ready. I know that it will happen in God's timing and not my own but sometimes its so hard to be patient and stuff. I think growing up I had to grow up so fast because of mom's illness. I became mom to my sister in many ways since mom was sick a lot and dad was busy farming. I guess I just need to learn to cherish time which I think Im usually pretty good at but sometimes I wish God would bring Mr Right into my life and speed certain things up. Help me not to do that. Help me to cherish each and every moment of single life, of being a sister, of being a good youth and family coordinator, of being a good friend. I think you all get the point.

Well guess thats it. Thanks for listening to me ramble on my readers. This blog has been a good place for me to sort out my thoughts and listen to what others have to say. Hope you all are staying cool and God bless!!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Today was a busy day. My sister is visiting me for a week. Today we drove up to the camp I worked at for about seven summers because they had their quilt auction. Not only did they auction off quilts, this year they decided to try something different too. They auctioned off speciality baskets. I bid on the scrapbooking basket but it went for a little more than I wanted to spend. You know that place still feels like home to me probably because I worked there for soooo long. Once I hit those gravel roads that lead into camp, I feel like Im homebound even though I havent worked there for three years. I ended up buying a quilt myself. I only paid $40 for it which was a great buy. Some of the nicer quilts went for 1500 dollars. Its pretty insane how much some of those quilts go for but you know what the money goes to a good cause and thats all that matters. I also got to see some of the old camp staff I used to work with. It is crazy to see them again after so many years. I enjoyed our visits. Other than that, not much going on. I am thinking of all my friends at the ELCA Youth Gathering and look at the pics every day. Maybe just maybe Ill catch them but probably not since there are so many people there. I just hope and pray that all is well at the Gathering. But guess Ill close for now. Hope you are all staying nice and cool these days. We really could use some rain down here. Talk of drought sure is running rampant so please pray for rain for the farmers so the crops will grow etc. Thanks!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Short Friday Five

Short People----That would be me. I am one of the shortest people in my family. My younger sister is taller than me. However Im not that short, I have several friends who are shorter than me and are the coolest people in the world.

Short Hops---Short hops hmmm. Short hops are when I would play hopscotch with my friends growing up. I am such a kid at heart so I still enjoying hopping, skipping etc. When I worked at camp, my campers were good at short hops.

Short Stories---This is my fave question since I enjoy telling stories. My fave short stories include any of Max Lucados short stories like ,"You are Special etc." However my fave short story has to do with my stuffed gorilla I got while working at camp. Not only did the gorilla help with homesick campers, he also became a great storytelling tool. In fact, to this day, he still is used for that purpose. Anyone want to hear how Mr. Trouble came to be.

Short Lists---Hmmmm. Usually my lists are fairly long but I do have a few short lists. I have a short list of the places I would like to visit. But I must say my shortest list is the number of states I have visited. Its getting better as I get older but I still have a lot of states to see!

Short Stops---I usually intend on making short stops and visiting people but I always end up running into more people I need to visit and end up staying longer so my short stops end up being not that short of stops.

Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Feeling Inspired

I am feeling totally inspired today so I sat down to write some poetry. I havent written in awhile so I wasnt sure how it would go but once I began writing, it was awesome. No writers block today. Maybe I was inspired by the awesome people in my life...the ones Ive met and the ones I havent met. There is such an awe-someness to finding good friends...no great friends. My friend Heather sent me a surprise package today from Japan. She sent me Japanese Green Tea flavored treats so it will be interesting to see what they taste like. She totally made my day since I didnt expect the package from her. And another two of my friends got around to emailing me which also made my day. I sure get excited by the little things in life but I think sometimes we often forget to focus on the awe-someness of those little things. So here is my masterpiece from today...ok maybe its not a masterpiece but I think its pretty alright. Hope you all enjoy it.

A True Friend
By Tara L Ulrich
A true Friend
Drives over twelve hours
To share
In your special day.
A true friend
Calls or emails just to say
I miss you
And am thinking of you.
A true friend
asks how your mom is
Knowing the illness
She struggles with
Each and every day.
A true friend
Sends a
special unexpected package
"A just because I like you" gift.
A true friend
is there to give
a hug
when you need it.
A true friend
Celebrates with you
In your joys
and comforts you
In your sorrows
Even if you are miles apart.
A true friend
Simply accepts
You for you.
A true friend
is an wonderful
unmerited
Gift from God!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jumbled Thoughts

Happy Saturday everyone! Today I found myself cleaning away...dusting, doing laundry, vacuuming etc and I couldnt help but laugh. For some reason, cleaning always makes me think of seminary. I think its probably because I was always helping people move in or out and I always ended up helping. I actually dont mind cleaning especially if I have a great cd to listen to. Today I was listening to the ultimate collection of Phillips, Craig and Dean. They are so awesome. But enough about cleaning, I watched a movie this afternoon that really has me thinking. It was a lifetime movie entitled "A Girl Like Me." Its about a transgender male who ends up getting killed because of it etc. This gentlemen/womens mother has been fighting for transgender people ever since. It makes me sad that people are afraid to accept people for who they are. I guess it just has me thinking in light of the whole homosexuality issue. One of my sisters best friends is gay. One time in our small town, his tires were slashed etc because of who he is. It made me sad but what made me even sadder was when my sister and I were sitting on our front porch talking about it. She looked at me and said, "Sis why cant they accept him for who he is etc?" It just broke my heart to see the sadness in her eyes. Im sorry todays post is so jumbled but I have a few things on my mind today. Another thing that has me thinking has to do with Wednesdays Round-up. I want to thank InnerDorothy and Bad Alice for sharing their stories. I know that it is not easy to bear your souls etc to pretty much complete strangers. I am not sure how many of you read one of my recent posts but it also has to do with depression and growing up with a mother who is bipolar. I used to be afraid to share my story because of the stigma associated with the illness etc. If you would like to read this post, check it out. Its the entry for June 12 entitled the Joy in the Midst of the Sorrow. Also if you would like me to post more or have questions just let me know. It has become such a part of who I am and so now I feel that it is important for me to share this story and this journey.

A Late Friday Five

Well here I go. Finally sitting down to play the Friday Five. Sorry its so late. I also apologize if my answers dont make any sense because Im half asleep. Today was my day off so I drove to Bismarck to get some shopping done and got back fairly late. Well here are my answers. Happy 4th of July everyone!

1) Do you celebrate 4th of July (or some other holiday representing independence?)Yes I do celebrate the 4th of July. We usually shoot off fireworks, cook out, etc. When I worked at camp, this was the week we always got off.

2) When was the first time you felt independent, if ever?I would have to say that there have been several times...when I first got my drivers license, when I went to work at camp by myself, when I went to seminary and most recently moving into my own place. Today I bought a cutting board, end table, cleaning supplies etc and I kept thinging wow I really have grown up and become independent.

3) If you're hosting a cookout, what's on the grill?I dont have any plans for the 4th yet. However my cookout definetely would have to be hamburgers, hot dogs, brats on the grill. There is just something so great about cooking on charcoal...always has been my fave. But my meal wouldnt be complete without pototo salad, chips, pickles, etc.

4) Strawberry Shortcake -- biscuit or sponge cake? Discuss. Strawberry shortcake is good stuff but I would have to agree that it is best on angel food cake. I dont think I have ever had it on biscuit.

5) Fireworks -- best and worst experience Fireworks have always been a big thing in my family. My dad always has loved shooting them off. I would say my best experience is shooting fireworks off with my family. Also after my parents divorced, mom used to take my little sis and I to see the professional fireworks done town. I remember laying on the hood of her car watching them. That was always fun too. The worst probably would have to be some of the stupid things we did like lighting Bob Cats in our hands and then throwing them. I definetely will never do that again or teach anyone to do that. Also its a good thing no body got hurt when we did that stuff.

Goodnight all and Happy 4th of July!