Thursday, January 28, 2010

Controversial? You Decide!

If you've read many of my past posts, you know that I'm involved with mentoring and supporting ex-Amish folk who have come out of the strict, and sometimes oppressive, Amish world. As an ex-Amish, everything is difficult:learning to drive, getting a GED, filling out the paperwork for job applications, Social Security cards, etc. It's like walking up a VERY steep hill, one tiny step at a time. Add to this burden the fact that family and friends may shun the ex-Amish (often do!), and life is VERY hard sometimes to navigate. Many ex-Amish have help from Mission to Amish People. This group helps the ex-Amish learn how to live in the modern world. The director is Joe Keim. He and his wife are also ex-Amish, so they know first-hand what these young people are facing.

This past summer, a young man came to MAP for a summer volunteer project. He created a touching and very moving video to promote the ministry that MAP does for the ex-Amish. But guess what? True to our Christian ways, some are flat-out against this video because...(hang on to your seats): THERE IS CHRISTIAN ROCK MUSIC USED IN THE BACKGROUND. Gasp!

To me, the beautiful testimony in this video is far above any style of music that the young man chose to put in the background. God has touched LIVES...and we complain about the music?!

You decide. Let me know what you think about this testimony and how MAP ministers. Here is the link to the video:

Mission to Amish People video.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Freezer Stuff

I'm getting ready for the new refrigerator to join my kitchen this Saturday. And in the process, I'm cleaning out the freezer of my old refrigerator. I'm looking through containers and reading the tape on top of obscure packages to see what might be cooked into dinner each night. Sometimes, I can't believe what I've saved. I mean, how many meals can a tablespoon or two of tomato sauce create? Why did I save that?

There are meals in there that were leftover and saved for future use, but when I think about whether my family and I liked that original meal, I have to admit that sometimes, we didn't. I mean, that's why there's so much of it in there, right? So...why freeze it to serve again? Hmm.

There are one or two frozen waffles, a few pieces of chicken fillet, a couple of hamburger patties--not enough for an entire meal, but maybe someone would want it for lunch? Yeah. Right. In my household, neither of the guys ever look in the freezer to make lunch. It has to be right in front of their faces before they eat anything that I don't prepare and hand them. Alrighty then, let's pitch those things. Or wait! How about mish-mash night? A little of this, a little of that for dinner...that'll work. A few more packages cleaned out. Check.

This may not be a good week for company to come for dinner. I'm just saying...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is It...*gasp* H1N1?

I've been a fanatic about using those little alcohol towelette thingys at the grocery and everywhere else this past sick season to keep from catching the nasty H1N1 virus (or any other virus), and so far, it has worked. None of us have gotten sick--but tonight, right after dinner, I had a sore throat and headache and runny nose... and I was tired...sooooo very tired, and of course, right away, I'm thinking: Is it H1N1?! Naw, but I do feel kind of sickly and weak. I wonder if this means I can NOT do revisions tonight? Maybe it's revisions virus and I'll have to take a few days off. Anyway, I hope it goes away--I REALLY do have too much to do to get sick now. Sniff. Pass the Kleenex.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Message Board About the Amish

Do you have questions about the Amish? For instance, why do the Amish have to drive buggies? What happens when an Amish young person, who is from a strict sect of Amish, leaves the family and community? How can ex-Amish be helped to get a new start in life? And, what about head coverings? Are they necessary?

These are just a few topics and forums that can be found on the Amish Forum and Discussion Board. A unique perspective about the Amish can be gained on the boards. Many of the posters are ex-Amish, and bring the questions and opinions about their people to the forums.

For a unique and personal look into about the Amish, the Message board is a great place to start. Non-Amish, as well as ex-Amish, are welcome to post and become members! Questions are encouraged and many of the posters will do their best to answer honestly and from their own personal experiences.

Here's the link: Amish Forum and Discussion Board.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Arlen!

My hubby's birthday is today, and in his honor, I'm reposting a story I wrote for him. He's a wonderful husband and father. A good man. Happy Birthday, Honey!

A Kiss for Her Baby
© By Dee Yoder

The piping hot water in the sink is turning my hands a lobster red. I pull a casserole dish from the sudsy water and run the sponge over and around the rim and surfaces. My shoulders ache from the tension and stress of the day, and I can’t wait to finish this last chore.

As I rinse the glass under steaming water, I suddenly remember where the dish came from. I examine the gold rim and the bright red flowers that are centered on the creamy white middle. She held this dish…and she washed it clean, just as I’m doing…maybe one hot summer evening like this one, after a supper of tuna casserole or, maybe, home-made macaroni and cheese. I place the glass container carefully on the drainer board.

The darkened window above the sink reflects my shadowy face, and I stand still and stare into the past for a minute, trying to imagine my tall husband as a little boy. Did he help her set the table? Would he remember the food she’d prepared in this bowl? Did he laugh with her; stand beside her as they washed and dried the dishes together?

I look around my own modern kitchen and take a swipe at a bead of water on the countertop. The floors are swept, and the dishes are done. The house is quiet at last and I smile at the neatness and order that I know will disappear again in the morning. I turn out the lights on another hectic day and amble down the hall toward bed.

When I come to my son’s room, I stop and peek in. His dark head is snuggled deeply into his pillow, and his blanket is stretched tautly over his long body, one foot sticking out, as usual, for “air” at the bottom of his bed.

Where did my baby go? I can’t resist bending over him to stroke his hair. I used to do this every night. I smile at him and place a kiss on my fingertips to transfer to his cheek.

As I turn to go, I think about whether she did this, too. Did she stand over the bed of my husband in his teen years, watching his lanky form while he slept, regretting the passing of time and wondering, like I do, “Where’d my baby go?”

The question remains in my head as I slip into bed beside my sleeping spouse. His face is pressed tight into his pillow, and his snores are yet on the gentle side. Though I’ve seen many photos of him as a child, it’s difficult for me to imagine this slumbering giant beside me as her son, her boy, and her baby. I sigh as I watch him rest.

My husband had not been my favorite person today. We’d argued and disagreed over every little thing. I’d thought he was too bossy and he’d thought I was too nagging. He’d gone to bed in a huff and I’d been glad he was finally out of my hair.

His hair is ruffled and sticking up and I reach out to smooth it down, but I hesitate. I’m still miffed with him, and the anger I harbor makes me turn my back to him instead.

The devotional I meant to read this morning is lying face-up on the bedside table, so I grab it and open my Bible to Isaiah.

“… you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandied on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…”*

As a mother…comforts her child…. Hmmm.

I glance back at my husband and think about his mother. I’d never met her; she’d died long before he’d married me, and I’d often wondered if she’d like me. I notice my husband’s eyelashes fanned gently on the bend of his rough cheek. Their soft texture is all that remains as a testament of his little boy face; the face she stroked and kissed at night; the face she loved so much and held so dear.

I feel tears come to my eyes as I remember the harsh words I said to him today. Would I want my son’s wife to say those things to him? No, of course not. She wouldn’t want her son treated this way, either.

I quietly lean down to kiss his cheek as he sleeps. Twice.

“That one was for your Mama. And this one is for me,” I whisper.

Isaiah 66:13, The Holy Bible, NIV

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thanks for Your Support!

I feel blessed to have gotten so many comments of support while I was doing the safflower oil experiment! I saved all of your comments in my email so I could come to your blogs and thank you personally, but I'm getting so far behind on the emails that I'm afraid it will be next month before I get to that! (Not good--must get a grip--or a system.)

So, in order to be sure I thank you properly, I decided to write it in this post. Your comments blessed me and encouraged me greatly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And I sure do plan to get to each of your blogs before February--I just need a system for blog reading. LOL. (Any suggestions?)

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Final Day! The Great Safflower Experiment

Today is my birthday so it is a perfect day to give results of my 14 day experiment with safflower oil. I guess, considering how short the test was, it was a success. I lost an inch and a half off my waist, and a total of 3.5 pounds. Not bad. I wish it were more dramatic, but I plan to stay with the oil. It is painless and has given me reason to think it will help.

I think it has helped me to see that small changes CAN be effective if done consistently, and that was a good thing for me to discover. I plan to keep on with the oil, and keep on with the exercise. I think a little every day of each will be beneficial to my health. I've always wanted to see dramatic change, but I think I can now deal with incremental progress, too!

How about you? Have you tried the safflower oil? Let me know how it worked with you, and keep tuned to this blog. I plan to post, from time to time, how the oil is helping me to reach my health goals this year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hey--Three Pounds Down--No, Really!

Honesty alert: I REALLY want to report that I have lost seventeen inches and fifty pounds. That's what I really want to report, impatient gal that I am, but the reality is that I have lost THREE whole pounds. I did mention, didn't I, that I have a hard time telling if I've lost weight until the scale is consistently down at least five pounds? Well, I'm going to break that rule and report that my scale is consistently three pounds under my previous weight now. (Hey, I have to report SOME progress or I'm going to quit this thing, you know what I mean?)

Anyway, as far as inches, I still am down one inch (puh), but at least I'm not UP one inch. I have to keep repeating: OSU said it took four months for the subjects to lose 4 inches...(repeat a bazillion times). So, maybe 14 days of experiment with this oil is a bit presumptive, but I'm going to finish it out! Who knows what may happen in the next--uh--FOUR days? Wah.

Well, anyway...onward. Sigh.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Update: Still an Inch!

Sorry I didn't keep up with my Great Safflower oil experiment on here. The weekend was busy, busy!

I did keep up with the 2 teaspoons dose daily, but I have not yet lost more than that first inch that I reported last week. But, again, this experiment has made me more aware of what I'm eating, and how much exercise I'm getting, so that's a good thing, right?

Today I decided to take one teaspoon of oil straight from the teaspoon--a feat I think is quite brave considering my easy gagging reflex on oily things (thanks to a dose or two of Castor oil Mom gave me as a kid--shudder). And guess what? I didn't gag! It was pretty easy to swallow and not a heavy feeling or tasting oil. The second teaspoon went into my lunch, though.

As far as weight loss goes, I've lost maybe a pound. It's hard to tell, though, with me, since my weight fluctuates up and down by at least four pounds daily. I'd have to lose a good five pounds, and stay there for a couple of days, before I'd consider that I'm losing any weight. I also read that one of the effects of this oil is that it promotes lean muscle growth. This would add weight, at first, until enough muscle was produced to begin burning calories on its own.

So that's the report! To those of you who are giving this a try, too, hang in there! Let me know if your experiment is showing good results--I'd really like to read your up-dates, too. Okay, back to reality; school, writing, and other normal things. Cheerio!