In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Fast is Broken!

On Pentecost Sunday, we broke our fast. Saturday night was our last evening of the fast, and it was a doozy. For me, Saturday was probably the hardest day. While I'm at work, I could distract myself from the fact that I wasn't eating. At home, there wasn't much that could do that would make me forget that there was food just feet away from me. However, we did have to put our basement back together after our drain tile project. Between that and napping, our Saturday went fairly quickly.

Of course, breaking the fast is probably more difficult than keeping the fast. You can't go from no food to lasagna right away. We spent a good portion of the day juicing fruits and vegetables. The more difficult portion was that our roommate was graduating from seminary. She invited a bunch of us to Buca's. For those of you who don't know, Buca's is an Italian restaurant that serves huge portions of food family-style. Of course, we couldn't eat any of the food (without the possibility of getting sick), so we ate a little salad and roasted vegetables.

Likewise, yesterday we were invited to another friend's for Memorial Day dinner. Instead of grilling, he set out a plethora of fruits and vegetables and we all munched on the food. So far, no illness!

I'm not completely on a full diet. I'm eating a lot of fruits and vegetables for the next few days. After a little bit, I'll introduce yogurt into my diet. Yogurt has good bacteria that I need to replenish in my colon.

The fast was a success. I feel good and I'm excited to start eating good food again. I'm not excited about eating any junk food. Amazingly, the fast has really turned me off to fast food and processed food. I'm ready to eat, but I want to eat some quality stuff!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Continuing to Fast

I'm now in day five of the fast. Only two days to go after this one.

For the first couple of days, all I could think about was eating. There was a point on Tuesday morning when I got really sweaty and shakey. That has passed. I'm feeling pretty normal right now. Since I'm getting nutrients from the pills that I'm taking, I don't feel like I'm depleting much right now. I'm really just missing the act of eating. I want to put food in my mouth and chew. I want to be social and eat with friends an co-workers. I just want to be able to eat.

My Other Half said that he would like to do the fast again for two weeks. I don't know about that. Right now, I'm looking forward to Sunday morning when I'll break this fast. I'm not sure I can last for two weeks.

All this thinking about food has been good in a way. Since we lost our CSA membership just before starting this fast, it makes me want to find a new membership. I can't imagine putting sugar or processed food into my system after going through all this work to get that junk out of my body. It renewed the interest in getting organic, farm-fresh produce into by body.

On that note, it appears that we found another CSA that we could join. My Other Half registered yesterday, and we are waiting to hear a confirmation. This new CSA may be even better than our first choice. It is more expensive, but it has a longer season, so we will be getting food later into the fall. They also have several options for spring and winter. This can extend the fresh produce further into the year. It's my hope that soon we can apply for "The Works", which is a year-round program.

I'm just hoping that after working this hard to get all the toxins out of my body, I'll be more hesitant to put them into my body.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Plumbing Issues

Warning...this post may be more than you would ever want to know about my life!

There are two major projects going on around my house this week. They both involve a way.

For one, we are getting a sump pump and drain tile system installed in our basement. We have lived in this house for 6 years. On four occasions is has rained hard enough to let water seep into the basement. Those occasions may be rare, but they sure drive us crazy when it happens. The first time it happened, we thought that we could install a track around the basement that would channel the water to the drain in the floor. After that point, we didn't get any water in the basement for about three years. Then, one fall it rained incredibly hard. The water started flooding into the basement. We learned that our basement floor was not level, and that the water would actually channel in the wrong direction and pool in the corner, where it would then top over the track. Not helpful! We spent that night with the shop vacuum continually running. We would wake up every couple of hours to drain it. Ugh

Earlier this spring, we finally decided that we had enough. The other half of the duplex was moving out, so it would make it easier to do this little project. Not two days had passed since we made this decision, when the basement flooded again. It was like God was affirming our decision. Either that or God wanted to get one last jibe in before we took care of this issue that we should have taken care of years ago.

The water people are coming in just a couple of days. They will need access to the whole back wall of the basement. What makes this more complicated is that we use the basement as our office space. We are pretty set up in the basement. In order to get them the access they need, we have to completely tear apart our basement. This is pretty much accomplished. In fact, I'm typing this on my Other Half's laptop on a TV tray. It's not the glamorous blogging lifestyle that you might have imagined.

OK - that's one plumbing issue. Here's the other one (WARNING: This is where it can get pretty gross).

We have been getting more and more into homeopathic medicine lately (my OH has been into this for quite a while, but I'm catching on slowly). During the month of May, we are taking on two toxin cleanses. Two weeks ago, I spent the week drinking copious amounts of apple juice and then topping the week off with epsom salts. Did you know that epsom salts are for something besides your feet? Well, apparently it is. It makes a pretty efficient laxative. I won't go into a lot more details, but there was a lot more in me than I ever imagined possible.

Fast forward to this week. This week is a modified fast. I'm taking nutrients, but I'm not eating any solid food. We are on a pretty strict regimen for this. Every couple of hours I take green pills (that's really what they are called!) and beet pills. I call that my "salad". Then, three times a day I drink a mixture with betonite and psyllium. It tastes like clay.

However, tonight was probably the most interesting part of the whole thing. Tonight was the first of three coffee enemas. Yup I took coffee and put it there.

Now, you might be asking a bunch of questions about this procedure. I sure did. These questions included:
  • Can we cool down the coffee before we put it in there?
  • What roast of coffee do we want? French? Sumatran?
  • Does the darkness of the roast determine the darkness of the waste?
  • Should we get shade-grown coffee, since we are going to put it where the sun don't shine?
  • Couldn't we just use a mocha? Where would you put the whipped cream?

Of course, your biggest questions probably is: Why do you do something like that?

First of all, let me say that my other half is VERY convincing. He also gave me some literature on what we are trying to do. Mostly, we are following the regimen outlined here. You can browse it yourself and see what you think.

We are on day three of the seven day plan. Here's hoping I make it!

Two plumbing issues are getting fixed at once!

p.s. You should be happy that I didn't use some of the images that I found when looking up "coffee enema".

Losing the Farm

A while back, I wrote about our efforts to become a part of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). We researched several farms to find one that would best fit our need. For those of you who don't know CSA, it's basically like buying a share of a farm. For a period of time (about 15 weeks), you will get 5/8 of a bushel of whatever they have fresh that week. It's usually a pretty good variety and the food tastes better than what you can buy in the store. Plus, it's organic and locally grown, so you know it's good for you!

Anyway, we had chosen a particular farm. The price seemed like a good starter price, plus they delivered to a location near our home. We contacted them, and they said that we were a little too early to sign up for summer of 2007. So we waited. Finally, they sent us the brochure and we send them the money.

A few weeks ago (actually, at my other half's graduation), I got a message from the farm. They were canceling their season. Apparently, this farm didn't have a resident farmer. They relied on seasonal growers. They couldn't get one this year, so they canceled.

We haven't been able to do anything about it, since we have a lot going on, but last night I was able to look at their recommendations as to where to go. Unfortunately, it's now pretty late in the season. There are few places left, and they are more expensive than what we originally signed up for.

I'm still hoping that we can get to be a part of a CSA. I think it's a really good idea. Unfortunately, I don't know if we will get to start in 2007 or not.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Death of Jerry Falwell

I had intended to write some before this point, but my life got in the way. One topic that really grabbed me was the death of Jerry Falwell. It was sudden and unexpected (at least by me).

Since I didn't post the news right away on my blog, I've had time to hear the reaction of others. The news continued to analyze his words and his actions. I told one of my colleagues the day I heard the news. She said something to the effect of, "Thank the Lord for miracles!" Also, when I was in San Francisco, someone had set up a tombstone that read "Dance on His Grave". I'm not surprised at these expressions, but I'm not sure I want to express them myself.

I have found that I follow a rule that I don't rejoice in anyone's death. Now, I certainly won't be celebrating Falwell's life. Most of his life was spent trying to make like more difficult for me and those that I care about. He has contributed to the level of racism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice, and discrimination that exists in our country today. He loved to make grand statements that belittles others or blames them for our problems. He is not someone I will miss.

However, I never wished for his death. Rather, I would have loved to see him reach out to others who don't agree with him. Now that he's dead, he has missed that opportunity. He's missed seeing how great and wonderful the world can be. Perhaps I feel more sorry for him than anything. He wasn't able to experience the presence of God in the way that many of us have. He never knew what grace really meant. He is to be pitied.

I also realize that Falwell's death does not mean anything for our socio-political climate. The haters are still there. We still have James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Bill O'Reilly on TV. And even after these people are gone, more will take their place. Rejoicing in Falwell's death is premature in the struggle for equal rights as well.

Can I ask that Jerry Falwell rest in peace? I'm not sure.

p.s. Apparently, others have been struggling with the same thing. You can also read the comments of LutheranChik, Luther Punk, Joe the Bear, PS, and Sleeps with Dragons on Jerry.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This Queen to That Queen

This weekend, I watched a DVD of The Queen, starring Helen Mirren. What a wonderful film. There isn't much that happens in this film, but it flows incredibly. If you have any interest in British history, or would like to figure out how a constitutional monarchy works, I suggest this film.

One thing that amazed me about the film is that it is historical fiction, but the history is only 10 years old. The film interprets what happened the week that Diana died, so this is pretty recent history. The royal family is still in pretty much the same configuration (with the exception of the Queen Mother, who died a couple of years ago). Tony Blair is still the Prime Minister (although he is on his way out). They are making a historical film...a fictional historical film about people who are all still able to react and respond.

If you watch the DVD, I have anothe recommendation. We were excited to see the bonus features, since we could learn a little more about the history of the royal family. There are not many bonus features, but there is a commentary with a historian. We ended up watching that the whole way through. He explained many of the references made in the film that I had missed the first time through. It was very informational.

If you have an interest in royal history, especially history you can remember, this is a fabulous film to watch.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Defying Gravity

Tonight I was feeling a little nostalgic. As I searched the internet, I could find the music that brought me back.

I wrote last fall about the closing of my favorite gay establishment, a bar named Boom! (the exclamation point was a part of the name). On Sunday nights, they would play video clips of showtunes and all the fellas (and a few ladies) would sing along when they could. I know, it's such a stereotypical thing to do. Get over it.

It was there that I first heard any music from Wicked. The bar played a clip that was performed at the 2004 Tony Awards. The song is "Defying Gravity", sung mainly by Idina Menzel, with some assistance from Kristin Chenoweth. It's a powerful song that grabs your attention and holds it until the climactic ending. Needless to say, I was mightily impressed!

Fast forward to this past April. I am able to attend Wicked in New York over the Easter weekend. The musical was quite good. Of course, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are no longer around, but it's still very impressive. Then, we get to the climactic moment when I can tell they are going to start singing "Defying Gravity". If I thought the song was powerful by itself, pulled out of context, then understanding the plot made it even more so.

For those of you who are not aware of the plot of Wicked, I'll give you a little primer. We have learned that Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, were actually classmates and eventually became friends. As Elphaba was born green, she was always an outsider. At best, she was amusing to others, but often she was seen as a threat. The point when she sings "Defying Gravity" was when she was able to embrace that she would always be an outsider. She's not going to try to live up to anyone else's expectations. She's going to disrupt things "as they are" just by being as authentically herself as possible. This decision is one that will have no turning back. She will lose what friends she has. She is risking her entire identity on the possibility of embracing herself as she is.

For those of us who feel like we are disrupting the balance of nature, this song gives us hope. We can see that there are no outsiders. Being authentically ourselves can free us from the gravity of our lives. Elphaba soared over the crowd as she sang her final verse. I think that someday we will also be able to sing.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

I'm through accepting limits
'Cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down:

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky!
As someone told me lately:
"Ev'ryone deserves the chance to fly!"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!