Thursday, December 28, 2006

A 21 year old seal point Siamese

This could be a long blog, but I'll keep it short so you'll read it.

My 21 year old cat had to be put to sleep this morning. My mom was the brave one, holding him in her arms fighting back tears as they put him to sleep then and there.

I named him Hugsby when I was two years old, after a character in a kid's book I loved but was unable to yet pronounce the name of.

Hugsby was only 2 or 3 weeks old at the time- you're not supposed to be able to take a kitten from its mother until about 8 weeks, but my parents really wanted it and the lady sold it anyway.

Hugsby, a pure bred seal point siamese with blue eyes the color of the sky- just look at the top picture on my blog taken just a few months ago- was so tiny, he could fit into my two year old hand and had to be fed with an eye dropper. He came to us with his older half brother Andy, a black and white cat, who was more or less my brother's cat (until a few years later when he ate tacks off our bulletin board and punctured his internal organs) while hugsby was MY BABY.

Hugsby had been with our family through so much. Through separation, divorce, new cats, a gigantic move to the suburbs, through graduations, and through marriage, and even my pregnancy :) Even those visitors outside of our family couldnt deny how special of a cat he was.

What did he love most?
- Of course, ATTENTION. The most vocal species of cat, he could send a profound meow throughout the house in the middle of the night calling someone to come pick him up two floors down in the basement. He LOVEd to be pet, to sit on any book you were reading or any open lap.

-HEAT. He loved lying in the sun and getting so close to the fireplace you'd think he'd burn his fur off, too hot for us to touch

- FOOD. Now food doesnt just mean normal cat food, it can also include grass, artificial plants, human meat, etc...He would eat anything, even things that made him throw up :)- thanks mom for always cleaning it up!

-Other cats. Hugsby has always been the KING in terms of cat territory. Both of our female cats would sleep with him but not without him or with the other unless he was there. If hugsby called, Lucky and Freeby would come running.

-ME. Hugsby loved me. Yeah, i provided all of the above, but he was there for me in my worst moments : crying in my room alone, worried, angry, or lonely. He knew. Sometimes i think he was holding me rather than me holding him. He was also there with me in my best- even got to meet my husband...I thought about putting him in a tux and bringing him to the wedding, but Melville or Hanso would have probably thought that was over the top :)

Our remarkable Creator made a remarkable cat who has returned to the ground today. I think the blue of his eyes will be added to the sky and the warmth of his fur to the bright sun. I think God wept a little today as He held a tired, old, suffering cat ...I dont know what happens to animals when they die, but I do know that they must be loved and cherished by God if we as people can love and cherish them so much.

I hope some little girl is receiving a new kitten today that will be as much a friend to her.

Just as God takes away the first "baby" and love I ever had, He bring a new one to Keith and I in just a few days! I think HUGSBY Jagger would be a nice name for a new boy or girl dont you ? :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Barfing up a kid...

My latest adventure? After a long and winter wonderful trip home to Wisconsin for my baby shower with many friends and family I thoroughly enjoyed seeing, Keith and I stopped at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Indianapolis Sunday night for a break from the road...Well I hadnt been feeling too well in the car, but no biggie. Only a few hours later though I began the hurling.

I vomited from 11pm Sunday night once or twice an hour until Monday at 3pm. At the point, we called the Dr who said we needed to hit the emergency room. I was extremely skeptical of the need for that. But finding out that Medicaid did not cover medical care in Indiana we left for Kentucky just in case of a need to go to the hospital...The four hour car ride home was not the most fun and I puked up a bunch of gatorade I had worked so hard on keeping down.

Keith and I debated, but choose to stop at the hospital on the way to Wilmore, we didnt want to drive back once we were home 45 min just for the Dr to tell us I was fine and to go home. So we went into the ER. Well the ER sent us to maternity since Im well over 20 weeks pregnant and beyond their expertise. We tried to tell maternity that I wasnt even sure if I should be there- I think I told the nurse multiple times that we were just taking a precaution- just to see how dehydrated I was...Well before I knew it, Keith and I were thrown into a room, I had to put on a gown, lie in a bed and pee in a cup. "What time do you think we'll get outta here?" I asked my tired husband. "By midnight" was his answer. I thought maybe 20 minutes...What does the nurse say "Get situated...We'll prolly get you outta here sometime before NOON tomorrow.." WHAT!!! I was immediately strapped to an IV bag, a baby and contraction monitor were placed on my huge belly and I had to take 20 cords with me when I had to pee- though I wasnt peeing at all at this point. Soon enough i was injected with multiple drugs ranging from Pepcid, to Reglan, to Zofran, to Benedryl. Benedryl knocked me out hard. Turns out I was so dehydrated I was having tiny contractions...Dont know if it was necessary to be there, but like a prison- there was no chance of getting out or anyone listening...

I woke up to the nurse 4 or 5 times that night. Keith slept on the cot. I kept down my breakfast and we were let go at about 10 with 5 different drug prescriptions to fill at walgreens- of course, i only filled 2 and havent used the pills since...

But all is well, baby is kicking me currently and I stopped vomiting...A LONG trip home from WI it was- I must say lying in the maternity ward with a gown on strapped to a bed with my husband anxiously waiting in the room was a real eye opener for what is coming in a month! A real live breathing hungry crying looking like me and keith BABY!

Hopefully Thanksgiving travels will fare much better...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Utterly Meaningless

I've been frustrated in searching for meaning lately...I have no real job, real friends are far away and almost out of reach, I don't feel like I've had the time or opportunity to do much real service, I'm not using my degree at all, I clean and serve coffee a lot...In my search for meaning, this is where the Creator has brought me back to:
Ecclesiastes 1:

The words of the Teacher, [a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

3 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

11 There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

So, what is the meaning if it is all just a "chasing after the wind?". Is apathy our greatest call?
But wait! :

13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

And finally:
6 Remember him...7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

The meaning seems to be as simple as to come, to be, to let go, to enjoy Him, and to return to from where we came. A simple call to contentment seems to be the faith I'm called to these days.

As for the meaningless things of life :)
Soccer is over next week. My girls team ended up setting a school record and making it to their regionals. They are headed to Florida for some fun times and a national Christian College tournament I can't make.
Im headed home to Wisconsin for a baby shower next weekend and to Indy after that for Thanksgiving with my family.
Starbucks is up in the air as to whether I'll continue once the baby arrives (or once he/she decides to let a little chemical message out of its brain firing up my hormones to let he/she loose).
Keith is enjoying new jobs, but loaded down with papers.
Christmas will be our first as a married couple, celebrated without our family in Kentucky awaiting our own little "gift"
"Remember the Creator in the days of your youth"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Orange glucose soda

HI! It has been awhile...I now weight 20 more pounds than i did at the beginning of the baby jagger pregnancy. I have 3 more as an experienced women's soccer coach under my belt, as well as a month and a half at starbucks and have made it to midterm time of 3 graduate seminary courses.
Yesterday, we had another baby appointment. I had to fast until 10:30 am (more difficult to do when pregnant and someone inside of you is taking the calcium from your teeth and iron from your blood so they dont remain hungry)...Then i had to swallow some glucose orange soda stuff and get my blood drawn. Im waiting to hear if I have gestational diabetes or not. I almost hope i do because im so tired all the time (even after of 10 hours a sleep a night, i have to take a nap midday)- im wanting them to tell me there is something wrong with me and here's what you can do about it...

Im getting burnt out on soccer. We're playing some horrible competition which makes games long and unbearable from a 4-0 halftime on. I guess our season might extend into late NOV. ending at a tournament in Florida which will be impossible for me to make, but im not sure im ready for the extra practices that will accompany it either.

The last few weeks of seminary chapel have been quite interesting.
XXX Church paid us a visit and spoke on ministry related to pornography- which does include handing out bibles and setting up boths at porn conferences which they are ASKED to attend by the head porn people or whatever you call them. I guess this ministry came out of a need to address the porn problem in youth ministry and to address the easy access to it on the internet. Their speaker was really quite fantastic.

The next week of chapels was followed by takes on the Iraq war. One professor spoke more in favor of just war theory , another more in favor of pacifism. In between, an Arab-Texan student with a Shiite father and Christian mother gave a personal testimony. It seems obvious what the church should do on the iraq situation, but our country isnt the church and its a while nother question what the country should do and how we react in the middle of that. Any thoughts?

Otherwise I continue to learn about frappacino's, christian ethics, anthropology of mission, history of the sacraments (were visiting and eastern orthodox church tonight), baby's kicking one's ribs, and coaching philosophies...
Sorry I dont have much more to write, but such is the life of Eve Jagger this days- learning to enjoy being a cocreator with her husband and of THE Creator.

Tell me what's up with you!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Coffee "Partner"

Some quick news.
I was in need of a part time job. A low pressure, willing to work around my soccer coaching schedule, with some employee perks part time job.
And I had this friend who loved working at Starbucks. Starbucks provides full time benefits for part time "partners" (since we can share in Starbucks "bean" stock we are considered partners rather than employees). I, then, happened to be downtown at a local starbucks having a small job fair. So i interviewed. I knew the girl interviewing - she had been in a Spanish class with me. And had been in Americorps.
Needless to say, things came together and I had a job offer in a couple of days.
I began training. I have a green apron now- which nicely outlines my pregnant belly.
Coffee tasting is part of the job, and of course, marking my thoughts on each coffee's aroma, flavor, body, and acidity- see Im learning already- in my Coffee Passport.
It's hard to swallow the backsliding from a non-profit community enhancing career minded job to a parttime, i dont even have a college degree yet, franchise.
But hey, Humility isnt bad when it comes with benefits!
Let me know what you think of Starbucks. I like their drinks, but I've never been one to actually purchase them- I cant even buy overpriced maternity pants, Im sure as heck not gonna be expensive coffee that goes in one end an out the other...they do, though, at least promote environmental and community awareness.
We shall see...Im also afraid of burning myself. Any thoughts on burns?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Sad L word

It's a discouraging cycle. I have a few weeks off work before I start coaching. You'd think I'd be loving it, swallowing up every moment of pure "Eve" time without the noises of children or the stresses of work. Yet I find myself despairingly lonely. Why? I've been in my apartment alone alot. We just moved in and I've had to spend a good deal of time putting things in their proper place, cleaning, cooking, etc...Keith is working over 60 hours a week- both a parttime and fulltime job, so he's not home much. And it is just so freaking hot outside- which would be more bareable if it were not for my wicked allergies and growing pregnant belly.

I've been lonely before. Everyday we might feel it at some point . But the kind of loneliness I'm talking about is the kind that slowly creeps in as a constant feeling. I did feel it in college quite a bit, got out of it my last two years or longed for it after papers or long classes. It is harder to feel it now, though. After being newly married and knowing a baby is on the way that will keep me in the house alone for even longer hours. I think maybe a baby will help the loneliness, but I'm not so sure...

I asked someone I look up to how they deal with loneliness. This person is in a type of ministry that often leaves her drained and without real people that give back to her. She couldn't fully answer my question as to how to deal with the sick feeling other than to cry it out, to remind herself that loneliness is momentary, that there will be people later, that they are people even know that are loving her and thinking of her. She still feels it ,though.

I miss my cats. I miss my friends. I miss my husband. I miss fellowship.

So here are my questions, don't leave my mind lonely :)
-What is loneliness?
- When do people feel most lonely?
-How can we deal with it before it becomes a state of being?
- Is it possible that sometimes marriages, children, and jobs (that surround us with people)
can make us feel more lonely ?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Haven't written in awhile, you might say I'm a slacker, but HEY :
The baby is doing well... I got to hear its heartbeat the other day- thump thump thump 153 bpm!
Last week was an interesting one- I had intended to chaperone a youth mission trip from my church in wilmore- 8 youth and two adults. Ends up only 2 youth are going. 2 teenage boys that is, with 2 female chaperones...But the Youth Minister decided to see if any adults in the church were willing to go and 3 more females ended up with us. So, yes, 2 teenage boys had 5 mothers for the trip, but they were treated like adults for the most part and distracted themselves with mini play stations.
We drove to Chicago on Monday- despite a bumper that fallen off on a trip from Kansas the evening before- We ate a good pizza place and made our way into the heart of downtown to
"The Friendly Towers"- home of the Jesus People USA. Bascially, it's a Christian commune- a bunch of Christians (many foreign) living together in a large apartment building sharing wealth and income in common purse. This frees them up to pour into ministry that they would not otherwise be able to do. It also allows them to bring in the poor and disabled that might be in need of extra help. JPUSA people would probably be labeled "hippie" style, but it is their ability to be laid back and flexible that allows them to thrive.
Our service was more of an indirect ministry. JP USA people were out at the Cornerstone festival in Illinois doing ministry and making a large chunk of money for the year. In their absence, there was no one to cook and clean for the senior residents who live on the top two floors of their building- so we took on this INSANE task in order to free them to leave for the week.
Old people- bitter, rude, impossible to satisfy- also with few and far between friendly moments breaking through. My life consisted of coffee, grits, bacon, and patties for a few days. Lots of spills, messes, and complaints, but in the end was a rewarding experience. The reward lay more in the fellowship of our service team and in knowing we were helping JP USA out and giving thema break for a week, then actually feeling rewarding from serving seniors.
And then there were those few hours at the Chicago beach that provided a nice break and some sun. Although high ecoli levels kept us out of the water.
AND the thai food- mmmmmmmmmm- i ate for four that night!
So I got to be a psuedo socialist for a few days- or at least see a common purse community> I was actually more of a slave most of the week. Man, did my feet kill.
Did anyone ever see the movie "PIE" - i mean the math symbol but am not seeing it here on the keyboard? Wacko stuff
Im back in KY. Allergies once again at a maximum...minimal puking has returned. Bye to seniors, hello to crazy kids again.
If you're ever in Chicago , check out JP USA. Cool people, lots of stories.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Hey ALL-
Keith has posted our first ultrasound on his blog...It's a pretty good shot of the 4.2cm guy inside my uterus :)
If you'd like to see it either click on the link in the margin labeled "Husband" or visit

Thanks for all of your support, excitement, and wonder at our "bean" (that's its name this third month"

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's not that I'm fat...

It's not that I'm fat, I'm just PREGNANT.

That's right...close to 2 months...Crazy, I know-after only 4 months of marriage-, but a blessing of God and a lovely result of intimacy with my husband. Don't worry, I think I'll be an alright mom. And I still back up NFP all the way (if you want to know what that is and why i back it up, just ask me)...Not an "accident" - sex does make babies-, but not quite planned, we'll leave it at that.

Aside from the constant ALL DAY morning sickness, I'm doing alright. I got to see my good and psycho rock climbing friend Rachel Melville and her equally insano rock climbing man Dan Spors this weekend- look at her massive arms! I wouldn't want to run into that forearm EVER.

Keith is looking for some more stable employment...I'm trying to make it through 1 more month of Americorps and decide what to do next with my life...and plan a child into the equation. The worst part is that I've been looking forward to our great america trip with keith's family for a LONG time now and I can't go on the rides...ahhh! If im gonna be nauseous, i should at least get to go on roller coasters.

Life is hot in KY. Our summer highlights include:
June 1-3 : Chicago, Great America with the Jaggers
June 12: Keith off to a Canada fishing trip, Loriann to visit me in KY
July14-16: Luke Palmer's wedding in MN!
August? : possible trip to New Jersey

The little "pup" (that's the baby's name this second month- upgraded from "bun" the first month) and I will be in touch with you all!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

As the Greyhound glides...

Have you ever played "Truth or Dare?"...If I ever come upon the chance to join in this teenage game of honesty and risk again, I would have the ultimate dare. I dare you to ride the Greyhound...alone...through the a young, white female.

First, I'd like to uplift Greyhound for their new marketing campgain. The silver symbol of the greyhound appearing as sleek and swift as a panther leaves one with little doubt about the functionality of the bus. Throughout the Greyhound stations, banners of jubilant, young people riding home to eat grandma's chocolate chip cookies, to see a new nephew, or to attend a friend's wedding hang from the ceiling- giving you a sense of goodness, company, and happiness. That is until you get on the bus...

No one was riding home to see grandma. Passengers were quite poor. Many were Mexican workers on their way to Chicago or Indianapolis to find more work. There were single moms with crying babies along with Ghetto-fied teenage homeboys. There were even some homeless men. None of this bothered me. Ill admit I got nervous when they weren't any seats left except for next to some of the scariest passengers-but i was often saved by a nice 40 year old woman who saw the desperation on my face. And let me tell you, finding a seat on this buses is no joke. The open seat next to a person is guarded by bags, mean looks, and "seat's taken" when it obviously wasnt. I actually had to a push a "sleeping" lady over in order to get a seat on a crowded bus. She grumbled when i sat down.

The layovers were the worst. I sat in Cincinnatti's, Lexington's, Indianapolis's and Milwaukees stations in the middle of the night, sometimes up to 3 hours. I ve never studied vending machines so much in my life...being too tired to read and feeling too awkward to sleep, i found food was a better source of distraction than the stares of strange men.

Before I tell my most memorable experience, I'll give a quick description of Greyhound's specific traits (as opposed to ther coaches, public buses, airplanes, or amtrak).
- Crabby, antisocial drivers who wouldn't stop the bus if it were on fire and get to the next station at exactly the right time, no matter HOW late the bus left.
- Huge luggage compartments where luggage is not so much stowed as shoved, crammed, and dispersed like peices of garbage
- Station attendants who insist on people lining up to board at least an HOUR before departure
- Greyhound security station men more concerned with you sitting on a table than people selling drugs or stealing bags
- Stacks of tickets all connected, if any one ticket in one's package is disconnected from the others, all tickets are VOID.

So anyway , here's the craziest i encountered.
Id been alseep on an off from 3am to 4am next to a middle aged lady. Across the aisle from me was a young black guy and next to him a mexican immigrant who spoke NO english. I woke up to see the black guy looking at the mexican next to him about every 5 seconds. Is he going to steal something i thought? Then i began to notice the anger in his face, it was dark but he was so close i could feel the tension. Then he started rubbing his fist as getting ready for a heated battle. Eventually his cussing got louder. Within 15 minutes he is swearing up and down that he is gonna kill the Motha F-er next to him. He claimed that as he fell asleep the Mexican fondled his crotch area. Over the course of the hour the Mexican almost got busted in the face twice, was called a homosexual and a child molester. The only word the Mexican could visibly comprehend was "police". Obviously concerned about running into any police, but having no idea was this black guy is about to rip his head off, he offered his phone, his money , and even his face to take a beating if it meant NO police. This only enraged the "molested" victim more as he felt the mexican was trying to get off for his sexual offense ...the "victim" mentioned several times that he wasn't racist but make quite a few racial slurs about the mexican.
I thought it was interesting that this all happened in this time of immigration controversy and tension. I know the mexican did not molest the black guy. I dont know why the black guy made it up, but no one doubted his story. Before the bus reached its destination everyone was sneering at and showing visible disgust for the mexican.

So if you must travel, GO'll never be the same again.
Im still trying to figure out how i got home.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Aint no Redwoods in Mississippi

Imagine sitting in a back yard. Imagine sitting in a deaf man's back yard. Imagine sitting in a deaf man's back yard in Mississippi. Imagine sitting in a deaf man's back yard in MS inside a white FEMA trailer. Imagine sitting in a deaf man's back yard in MS in a FEMA trailer with 8 seminary students - oh what a trip it was to the south!

Keith and I spent his "reading week" traveling to Long Beach MS to help with hurricane relief through a First United Methodist church there, so overwhelmed with devastation that theyve hired a full time relief coordinator who works over time. Long Beach is about an hour from New Orleans- hit by the same hurricane and facing the same tragedies along with all other cities that lie along the Gulf Coast.

Aside from the biting gnats and giant cochroaches, the trip was good. It was humbling to see humanity in a state of desperation, but encouraging to see the perserverance and hope therein. I was also humbled by the deep faith and sacrificial love expressed in service by those on my team. My dry soul was watered- even in a dry and weary land.

We restored the fence of a deaf man who needed it to get a new hearing dog that he'd lost in THE storm. We did yard work for a new mother who'd recently undergone c-section and shortly thereafter found herself confined to a wheel chair due to scoliosis. We cleaned up a community park, still littered with debris 7 months later. We spent time in a wildlife reserve...I'd love to say we helped clean it up, but it was so full of fallen trees and roof shingles, little could be done without giant forklifts and plows. We tried to plant some pines...we also tried to plant Redwoods until someone told us those dont grow in MS :) But, regardless, it is impossible to plant any trees in soil made of sand, tar, and roof.

The destruction is one of those things you just have to see for yourself. You've got a good 10 years to get down there before they run out of need for outside help. Dont get me wrong though, this people aren't giving up by any means. Once again, you think you're going to do ministry but you actually get ministered TO.

Some things I didn't realize:
-THe daily battle isn't so much against nature or debris, but against corrupt insurance agencies who are offering NO compensation for lost houses
-Chiquita banana trucks and semis of a certain chicken company were also destroyed in the storm and left yards covered in raw chicken and rotten fruit that these corps were not picking up
- Mexican immigrants have been doing most of the roof repairs
- People dont believe life will ever be "normal" again, but rather that they can only return to a "new normal"
- Tragedy is more difficult to deal with when there is no tangible thing or person to blame it on...blaming the ocean doesn't do much good...
- Beaches are still off limits due to debris and polluted water
- FEMA means Federal Emergency Management Agency. BFE means Basic Flood Elevation level.
- Even Taco Bell can look like hell :) when hit by a hurricane...not to mention a Walmart that was completely gutted (though it deserved it)

It was a journey.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Livin Jagger Style

Time for an eve-keith UPDATE!

Let's see...Keith is still working it at Shaker Village. He now watches American Idol on a portable TV at the Village on long, lonely evenings while there. He seems to be rooting for Mandisa. Im all for Taylor! Otherwise, he is continuing to study at the seminary working on Hebrew and an inductive study on Matthew.

I am still the tutoring Coordinator at the E 7th street center. In the midst of deciding what to do next year...While I'd like the cerification that goes along with the MSW degree and the easy career opportunity that follows, I'm also very interested in study for a few years at the seminary. I want to dig into Missions and Evangelism...and while you were most likely just disgusted by and got defense hearing those words, I want to tackle this issue. I almost feel embarrassed to say I want to study this. I feel like putting the degree on my resume would actually LESSEN my chance of getting any job. However, this is the very reason I want to be involved in the subject. Something is not right (obviously the history of colonialism and intolerance that has come with the spreading of Christianity) - but also the church's present inability to truly reach the downtrodden and the broken- not to mention the our inability to see the evangelism that is needed INSIDE the church community. I want to be a part of helping, of applying my mind, experience, and heart to this issue...I have a feeling alot of humility awaits me there too.

Otherwise, Im with VISTA until the end of July...My brother is also getting married then.
Keith may or may not take courses over the summer depending on benefits full time work may offer him.

We are leaving this weekend to go do some hurricane relief work in Long Beach, MS with the seminary. They received a grant FROM a church in Korea to send students down there. I think it's an awesome opportunity, especially with an international sponsor. We are planting seedlings, delivering kitchen boxes to local people, and whatever else comes up. Flexibility is key.

Im currently playing intramural ultimate frisbee, basketball, and soccer in the seminary's gym on weeknights. Basketball is the most organized, soccer less so, and frisbee is a weekend outdoor recreation. Men make up most of my teammates and opponents, but i love challenge and the run. It's keeping my spirits up.

How is married life? This seems to be a reoccuring question. Im not sure how to answer it. My main response is "What is married life exactly?"..which is an answer in itself. Keith and i are simply learning what it is- on top of learning how to live in the "holy" little town of Wilmore. Somedays its surreal, some days it hard, somedays its nice. Simply put, I am enjoying my husband- in the small increments i get to see him that is.

Since the wedding, we have been lucky to recieve several visitors. Michael Cummings came on his own in spite of car trouble to hang with us for a few days. The Hofmeisters (minus the Lori) were passing through Lexington on the way back from a trip to NC and met Keith and I for dinner and a college bball game on TV. My Uncle, aunt and cousins also came down for a short weekend trip to a CRAZY kid's Museum and downtown Lexington...they were sports sleeping on the floor in our teeny tiny livin room.

Any questions? Just comment :)

We are missing YA'LL

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who me? Opinionated?

Opinion: a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter (according to Merriam Webster Online that is)

So keith and I were talking last night about ME. If you know anything about me, you probably know that it wouldn't be hard for us to come to the conclusion that I'm...well...extremely opinionated. I have certainly reached this self-knowledge prior to yesterday evening, but I have yet to really tackle the issue.

Am I really opinionated-more so than others- or is it just that i actually state it aloud more than others?

If I really do weigh this much on the opinionated scale, do I need to go on a diet? What would that look like? Do i bother or intimidate others? Do I keep people from speaking up?

Here's an opinion: I really am not as opinionated as my mouth may make me seem. I often debate inside my head. Even when I do say something with an extreme amount of passion behind it, there is still an internal peice of me that disagrees or leaves my statement open for questioning. So while I may seem temporarily closeminded or "set", it's just me getting some entertainment out of myself. In fact, I do believe that I think aloud or reach some level of self-actualization as I express myself- so my thoughts are not fully processed before they are shared.

Maybe I'm kidding myself. Maybe I am just opinionated.

What do you think?

And, I will admit, many of my opinions can teeter on ridiculous. But not all...There are those opinions backed up by my real and strong values. Some are based solely on EVE principles...where these principles come from or are founded are in a mystery in itself. I just like having principles in my pocket in case a situation comes along where i must take sides or where i must decide soon. Do you have principles in your pockets? Do you have values in your spirit?

PLEASE post comments and let me know what you think of my opinionatedNESS.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Uganda and Ruffles

Maybe it wouldn't sound appealing to you, but I wanted to hear the Ugandan Professor's talk on "Restructuring the Social Work Cirriculum in Africa: the case of Botswana". I'm still not quite sure what he way saying- something about there being no governmental assistance of citizens and the difficulty of privitized social service. While his speech would make an interesting blog, I found myself more intrigued by the sociology of the room in which I was seated with 50 other random people than his expert analysis. And, while the man had a lot of knowledge, his thick monotone accent and complete inability to engage an audience made listening to the 2 hour lecture near impossible.

I will use the case of the Ruffles to explain the silent imprisonment we face as creatures of a social nature. When i originally sat down, I had no intention of eating, i actually felt more like throwing up (little did i know the flu was slowly taking over my body). I hadn't been seated for more than a minute, though, before the lady next to me leaned over to notify me that they were providing "free" lunch in the wasn't so much of a nice gesture as i felt her real meaning was "hey girl, there is a FREE lunch in that room...i said free...if you don't go get one it must be because you think you're better than me, or thinner, or richer"...I didn't want to deal with the uncomfortability of sitting next to this woman for another hour without having gotten this free lunch. So i went and got it.

At this point, I think I need to at least try to explain the tension in the room. Postures, faces, gestures, and the extreme preoccupation with the lunch were all saying the same thing "Get me the H outta here!". However, it was much too early in the lecture for anyone to have a justifiable excuse for leaving early, so all had to endure it- but no one would do so happily. If anyone made a noise, shifted in their seat, went to the restroom, or tried to leave they were given death stares by all others in the room. These stares were only acceptable because of their ambiguity. Anyone could say the stare was out of respect for the speaker whom YOU just interrupted by making a noise, shifting, or leaving. However, beneath the surface, the stare was actually pure evny and hatred: "Who are you to think you can make a noise, shift, or leave when i have to sit here like a decent social being and endure this torture?". I even recall one women standing up to leave for a restroom break and accidentally nudged the empty seat next to her. Not only did several people turn around and deliver THE stare, but she had such a heavy look of shame upon her face i felt i should follow her into the bathroom to make sure she didn't punish herself- all for nudging a chair.

I spent a bit of time observing, analyzing, and stereotyping most members of the audience with the intention of getting a feel for their exact state of mind and pain at the moment; the bad student who needed to take notes but didn't know where to begin, the foreign student who had a hard enough time understanding native English speakers and couldn't make out a word of what the Ugandan was saying, the sorority girl who was anxious to check her cell phone messages, the campus worker who wanted their duties tied to this lecture to end. After I quieted my pity for practically every individual in the audience, I became aware of my own predicament.

I wanted to eat my Ruffles. I didn't want to eat anything, but the Ruffles and I had saved them for when i was truly bored. By this time, though, I knew the rules. NO noise- and we know how noisy opening a chip bag can be in a sea of angry and silent listeners. I scolded myself several times for not having opened the bag when everyone else had sanctioned a communal opening half an hour ago. I was the only one with an unopened bag and there would be no exception to allow me to open it and disturb the "peace". Now, I like to pretend that I'm above social norms, but I now know how foolish this is. I spent half an hour deciding whether or not to open the bag. About five or six times, I would get up the nerve to touch the bag or try to find a tiny tear to begin with...I even tried to poke it with a paper clip end ...It didn't happen though. I didn't get to open the Ruffles until after the lecture...and post-lecture chips are not half as satisfying as "Im bored to death" lecture snacks.

Maybe you think you wouldn't have submitted to the no Ruffle noise rule, or the no shifting in your seat regulation, but i can assure you that if you are a human being living in society, you wouldn't have left that lecture early without a heavy feeling of guilt and shame- for leaving your fellow man alone to preserve the norm that keeps us civil.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Still Lighting that Unity Candle

" Keepin it goin" was the theme of this years Seminary Marriage Retreat. While it may be too early for Keith and I to warrant a retreat for our marriage, it was worthwhile.

The Seminary booked a bunch of suites at the Embassy Suites up in Lexington for real cheap. They also went in early and decorated the place nicely- sparkling grape juice (since the Sem's ethos statement prohibits alcoholic beverages although they might heading for a change in a bit here), rose petals on the bed, chocolates...They reserved the ballroom for Friday night and a Seminary couple taught basic Swing Dance moves to all who were interested. keith and I were in for learning a few rock steps and simple turns. There was also a live band of about 15 playing, but once there music got going only the experienced swing dancers could keep up. Regardless, Keith and i got to "play" together and when the hall got to loud, we could go out to the lobby and enjoy the water fountains- no not the drinking ones, those are called BUBBLERS!

Then we went back to the room and spent some time browsing through some old cards, emails, notes, and pictures , some from before we had even started dating. I stayed up watching late night Malcolm in the Middle. The other Jagger was snoring away.

In the morning, we were spose to be up for a breakfast buffet...needless to say Eve and Keith slept in and the Eve made the Keith run downstairs last minute to grab us some food. What a wonderful Hubby I've got.

Then the sessions with Marilyn and Steve began. Marilyn is actually in charge of the Spouse Ministry nights i usually go to, she is hilarious, blunt, and an amazing story tell with an awesome Canadian accent that makes me feel at home- its my dream for my Wisconsin accent to grow into one as great at hers...Anyway, they were married in 1978 and are a real, happy couple. They were not afraid to share their weaknesses or to talk about sex, to joke about the mistakes, or to encourage people to make an EFFORT at a long lasting marriage. Their definition of marriage is "Someone covenanting with you to do the work of life with you through self-giving love"- this is obviously a Christian subculture defintion.

The points that hit me most:

- Mutual self disclosure is a KEY bond in marriage (Keith and i felt this needs to be our main focus currently)

- An early marriage must focus on building a "marriage identity" that can withstand the weight of life

-A more seasoned marriage must focus on each person working toward self expressing and differentiating themselves again

-Your marriage should be unique to you as a couple- definately loot and pillage from couples you admire but never try to imitate them

-Each person must take responsibility for their own spiritual life, but you must share how youre growing with the other person...also, it's more important to LIVE devotionally together than to do devotions together

-Submission comes into play regarding each others gifts...if there is a decision that deals with a certain spouses gift or skill more, the other need to submit to following their lead

- All career choices should get filtered through the life plan or vision you have as a couple, not the other way around

-No one lives in their "First Choice World", we all live in a "Second Choice World"...we cant blame our spouses or think theyre responsible for our unhappiness. We just need to get over it, embrace the world we are in, and recognize how much our spouse does for us and means to us

-Dont let other peoples "toxicity" be imported into your marriage

- Watch out or completely exclude sarcasm in the home, especially make sure the truth is never joked about

-Get help early if there is a problem

-Have fun! Play together!

We certainly learned ALOT. The best part was giving communion to each other at the end and reaffirming our vows and our giving of ourselves to the other. So we danced, we discussed, we played, we listened, we prayed, we sang...did i mention we got lost for an hour trying to meet some couples at an applebees before the retreat? Nothing like getting lost to get a couple ready for needing a retreat:)

If youre ever at a marriage retreat remember to stop, take a breath, and look around you. There are so many amazing couples God has brought together or so many shapes, sizes, and personalities. Man and woman in His image- unified to be one creature before Him. I saw it for a moment...the united spirit of each couple serving as a reminder of the sacrficing love Christ has for us. And i get to be a part of it :)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Appeal of a Geisha

I just happened to finish reading the 500 page novel, "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden.
There has been a recent craze over the movie, and of course now book stores are selling the novel. The first time i took interest in the subject, though, was a few months ago when I saw Russell's computer screen with the backdrop of a dancing Geisha. Russell is my computer genius coworker who is one of those people that seems to know alot about anything and everything. I hadn't yet heard of the movie so i asked Rusell what a geisha was...

While he suggested reading the book, I never got around to it until the ladies in my apartment structure started a book club, doesnt it just sound so great? A seminary wives' book club...I must admit , it does sound boring and lame, but we haven't even met yet so ill have to let you know about it later. Anyway, when she told me the first book they would read was "Memoirs of a Geisha", i was in. Well that was a few weeks ago and I'm already finished with the novel and the club doesn't meet for 4 weeks...but those of you who know me well, know i usually get things done early, things that most people never even get to typical EVE. However, it wasn't my earliest that was responsible for getting the book done early, but the book itself was so interesting.

It is not often that I read fiction, so when i do i LOVE it. I think it's because I tend not to use a visual imagination so much when i read as an emotional one. So it is when i the few times I'm really in touch with and sensitive to my emotions. I think i even cried at one point while reading the book! So anyway...i wanted to share my reading experience with Keith. He just got back in from a funeral, so we went out for a dinner at olive garden (thanks to a wedding present gift card) and then to a budget theater.

Like any movie based off of a book, the movie lacked, confused, and completely changed several scenes. The casting and scenery were top rate though (I spose i have no idea since i see like 3 movies a year but I can be a critic on my own blog!). Anyway, i got to wondering why it is that this story- whether in book or movie- was so appealing to me. WHY would Eve Jagger care so much about Japanese geisha culture?
I believe i saw myself in the story...certainly im no Geisha, I'm not one to base my life on external beauty or perfection of the arts...But Chiyo (the main geisha) starts as a young girl with a rough childhood. She spends significant amounts of time trying to understand her destiny and training to be a geisha in the meantime. After one, sweet unforgettable encounter with the Chairman, she sets her mind to do all for him...every step she takes is to draw near to him. There are many men along the way. There is money. There is talent in dancing. She is well provided for by her older sister and her danna. Her longing for the Chairman never ceases though, and she treasures the smallest of moments with him and they drive her on.

Maybe you already see the parallel. This is yet another metaphor portraying us and Christ and the walk of faith. We meet him once and he changes us forever. We spend our lives in training and preparation and waiting for him. We are blessed by all kinds of people along the way- some whom we even see as the source of our blessing- little do we know that in all of it Christ is the foundation, it is his love for us in our peasantry and in our elegance that is behind it all- It is not until the moment that we see him face to face , that we are fulfilled- that life has meaning that we reach our destiny. Our past fades away, our future makes no difference as long as we walk with him.
I am a wife, not a geisha. Im a bride, not a mistress. We have our Memoirs, our moments of faith, our experiences of the I AM...someday we wont be relying on simple memoirs anymore.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

240 East Seventh

A Volunteer in Service to America...or so they call me. I've committed 1 year of my life to the Americorps mission of "antipoverty". I tend to wonder if it wouldn't be more a service to America to be "propoverty" since our country seems to thrive so much on the the exploitation of others. But , being the positive person I am (right hanso?), I will abandon my cynicism here and simply share my VISTA experience.
It all started with CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates for neglected and abused children. A well organized national association with quite a bit of money...unfortunately, the majority of volunteers happen to be upperclass KY white folk (simply because they are the only ones with 30 extra hours of time on their hands every month) many of whom spend more time expressing their disgust rather than learning the causes and complications of abuse and neglect within the home. The parent is the enemy, ripping the children out of the home is the only solution, and the CASA volunteer is the hero. Even in cases of mild neglect, Im concerned that prejudice against the "poor" family on behalf of the CASA may more harm for the child than a situation of non-intervention. So, in this instance, "antipoverty" is the word if one means "down with the poor"-don't get me wrong...some homes are not safe environments , but one should think twice before assuming foster care is in the best interests of a child. In any case, CASA felt that publications, grantwriting, speaking and fundraising were not in the best interests of the organization...leaving me with jack squat to do...and a meaningless existence.

Since November, THANK GOD (literally), I have been working up in Lexington at the East Seventh Street Center Kid's Cafe. We serve warm meals to children through an afterschool program in a low-income community. We are largely supported by a Lexington Church, but now exist under an umbrella non-profit with a free legal clinic and pharmacy. The Center is a good this case, "antipoverty" is "anti-illiteracy"....but it really comes down to working 40 hours a week trying to chase a child down and get them to take interest in a book for 5 min...heck, i'd even feel like i was battling literacy at this point if they took interest in the picture on the cover. My position is "TUTORING PROGRAM COORDINATOR", but i think the people we serve see me more as "The 'sweet' little white female who seems to have a preoccupation with children's homework"...basically, a joke. But somedays a smile, a comment, even a nasty look from a child who knows no other gesture of love make it seem worth it.

But i have a cool coworker, Aaron, who invests immense amounts of energy, time and thought into the center. I most enjoy conversations between he, Russell (our fun computer volunteer expert genius technology guy), and I in the middle of the day over a bowl of popcorn.

Well im off to a long weekend of tutor and volunteer training...and taking some kids to payless for free shoes followed by a free evening at the Lexington Children's Theater. Im sure there will be more to come about my VISTA experiences....despite Bush's HUGE cuts to the Americorps programs, i will still employed by and at the mercy of the federal govt until july.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ode to the Palmer

HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY TO MY PALMER!!! I wish i could be with you BRO! Don't get too crazy- xoxo (well maybe not the kisses) from your sis.
Palmer-Palmer memories:
-Pastor Bobebeebitz
-"Knock it off", "Where's the hamburger?"
-Grandma Jo's House in IN putting the popcorn stalks back up after the storm
-Ghostbuster/ Barbie Doll playing
-Basketball on 19th Street Late into the evening
-THe rozwadowski's and the subczhecks
-Chapel of the Cross, need i say more?
-Spilling Salsa on the white living room carpet
-Hugsby, Andy, Freeby, Lucky, Jinx, Bubbles, Mac, Sweetie, Kermie, etc etc
-Toilet Papering together late into the night and getting in trouble with mom even though she gave us permission to do it :)
-Fist fights, me punching you in the face
-Putting a hole in grandma's basement ceiling
-You and keith playing Lord of the Rings in Madison
-Senior/Jr Prom picture together
-You standing up in my wedding :)
I LOVE YOU PALMER, you ARE MY ONE AND ONLY BOTHER ! (haha, remember the bother thing?)

Friday, February 17, 2006

A response to A MELVILLE

Yes. I admit, and with great pride, that Hugsby comes before all the rest. It is true that if i could've put him in a BEEFY little suit and stood him up in my wedding, I would have. "Sick", "Ridiculous", "Cats drool"...these are some responses you might give, but it's only because you have yet to fall in love with a cat. And no, it doesn't count if you've fallen in love with a dog- or a pooch if your name is Wendell. Let me explain, Hugsby is first and foremost MY cat. He became mine when i spilled hot chocolate on him when he was 2 weeks old and I was 2 years old. He is quite valuable in and of himself- a pure bred, seal-point siamese- a 200 dollar creature we're talking.
I named him after my favorite book about a bumble bee named "Honeycicle", hence HUGS-BEE. Not only did he withstand the bonnets and the strollers, but he was there through thick and thin...when I would cry in my room alone without anyone to comfort me, he nudged his little head on my knee. Even in high school, if i was stressed out with work, he would crawl into my lap and snooze or slap my pencil out of my hand or lay on my book. He lived in 2 homes with me, lost a brother, and now has 2 mistresses (named Lucky and Freeby).
Why this exaltation of the cat? Perhaps because the cat is creature most capable of emulating human characteristics. Cats are independant, yet manipulative. Cats are giving, yet taking. Cats are often quiet, but express with boy langauge. Cats sleep, but are always awake to perceive a smell, sound, or touch. Cats are selfish, yet give affection at one's most needy moment. If any animal has a soul, it is a cat.
I love my friends. THerefore, I love Hugsby...and all of you!
So don't be dissin my kitty!

Monday, February 13, 2006

My first

HOLA Gringos and Chicas! I've created this page for my friends and family, to share with you my rantings, my insights, my worries, my hopes, and my laughs. I hope you post a lot and reciprocate my vulnerability. I enjoy relationships, and i live for deeper ones. I named this site after Hugsby- my 20 year old cat and the most loyal of friends, full of unconditional love- not to mention his elegant paws and captivating blue eyes :) Each of you is special to me in a very distinct way. You have shaped me in the seasons we have spent and will spend together.

The best news of the day though is that Keith ventured down to Danville to get me some "little cakes" (aka "petit fors") for us to enjoy at breakfast. We have been searching long and hard to find them - perhaps we will take a victory lap around our 2 inch apt :)
I can't wait to share a little cake with my little cake! Uh OHH!