Garage Sale Finds

August 10th, 2006

I think after salvation, family, friends, food, shelter, gainful employment and freedom would be the blessing of garage sales. What a wonderful concept! When people in a community have too much junk, they put it all out in front of their houses and invite their neighbors to sift through it and give them money in exchange for the very stuff they don’t even want! Garage sales are a socially acceptable way to be nosey and look through someone else’s stuff - and if you like it enough, you can buy it at a deeply discounted price! There is something strangely satisfying about that.

I’ve been trying to buy furnishings and household items for an apartment and so far I’ve run into some amazing deals:

1. A $3 crockpot - only used twice.

2. A Pampered Chef Generation II Cookware set along with an extra saute pan for $15 (I talked her down from $20. How cheap am I?). I may have to toss two of the pieces, but the rest are in great condition.

3. A matching couch and loveseat in surprisingly good condition for $30. The price tag said $40 and at first I figured it might have either been $140 or possibly $40 for each piece. When I inquired about the price, the lady said she would take $30 for them both. I didn’t even have to bargain!

4. A solid (possibly oak?) wood dining room table with a leaf for $42.50. The feet are ball and claw. The table top is in a sunburst pattern. It needs a little TLC but will be well loved. At first when we tried to take the leaf out and close it, the table was stuck. It is a solid, heavy wood table and probably had not been messed with in years. Two men volunteering at the church rummage sale and my future father-in-law (who subsequently bargained the same two volunteers down to $3 for a computer chair originally priced at $10) worked the table for an hour and with the help of some furniture polish and elbow grease, got it to open and close with some ease.

I like Wichita for several reasons and one of them is that garage sales begin on Thursday. Three days each week, I can go look through someone else’s junk and if I like it, I can buy it. Next on my list: Dining room chairs with padded seats I can recover and an ottoman. A big, fat ottoman.

Radiating Love

July 25th, 2006

At church on Sunday a sweet older gentleman sat behind us during Bible study. He caught my attention afterwards, waived his hand in the air a little, pointing to my fiance and I, and said, “You two radiate love!” I didn’t know exactly what to say, so I told him we were soon to be married. He said, “Oh, you’re not married? I think everyone should be married!”

Lifestyle for Sale!

July 16th, 2006

I seem to be taking a bit of a summer break from blogging and am enjoying it immensely. I have a few things consuming most of my time and I can’t really blog about those things at this point, so I just haven’t had much to say.

I have, however, been able to take some pictures. For those of you craving some intolerance, here you go! A Christian Lifestyle Store. If your lifestyle isn’t Christian enough, go on by and get a few statues, framed pieces of art or a candle! They sell mostly books and music and would be more accurately described as a bookstore. I did see books by Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Joel Osteen, though, so calling it Christian isn’t entirely accurate. Perhaps a better name would have been Perfect Work Righteousness Christianish Bookstore.

Despite all this, I did make a purchase there. Afterwards, I realized I could have made the same purchase for almost 1/2 the price at Sam’s Club.

A Beautiful Sunset in the Park

June 28th, 2006

Wellness through BBQ

June 17th, 2006

Today Dan took me to the Kansas Masters BBQ Championship which was, oddly enough, sponsored by the Center for Health and Wellness. We got to taste test some seriously excellent artery clogging BBQ ribs and beef brisket and listen to some very loud live music. Maybe I’m just getting old.

I sure wish I had my camera with me because this is what I saw: Volunteers with shirts that said “Center for Health and Wellness” dropping handfuls of greasy ribs, pork and beef into bowls often held by people who were clearly struggling with their own health and wellness. To their credit, I did see a nurse with a stethoscope cruising the grounds in a golf cart. She may have been puffing on a cigarette, but smokey air is better than no air at all when your arteries have had all they can take and you need CPR, right?

Just as I predicted…

May 31st, 2006

I still haven’t completely unpacked, but I did get a job.

Attention to Detail

May 30th, 2006

Last week I was looking through the paper for a job and got bored, so I started looking at apartments which just happened to be next to the following column:

Lutheran Carnival

May 30th, 2006

Your Lutheran Carnival entries are due Friday. Here is how to enter. Mrs. T Swede is hosting!

Novel Kansas

May 18th, 2006

big sky and bricks

There are things here that to me, being from Alaska, are simply charming. I don’t know that the rest of the world would find them so interesting and novel, but I do - things like old buildings made from brick and an enormous amount of sky.

Sunrise at 30,000 feet

May 16th, 2006

I’ve been too busy to blog lately - but with good reason. Very good reason. The following photos of a sunrise were taken by me on a flight to Kansas. They might have been taken somewhere between Colorado and Texas - I’m not sure. I was up for nearly 24 hours by the time I took these photos.


I was originally assigned a middle seat for the first leg of the trip which was six hours. When I got on the plane, there was a man in the aisle seat and a woman in the window seat. She asked me, “Do you like the window?” It turns out she and the aisle seat guy were travelling together and she happily moved to the middle so I could sit by the window and take these pictures. What a lovely surprise!


Even more lovely was the fact that my fiance would be waiting for me to get off the plane in Kansas. And to top all the loveliness off, I get to spend the summer with him.


I see the news on TV, the internet and hear it on the radio. I know President Bush spoke on immigration last night and appears to finally have a slight clue about the problem - but its really hard for me to care right now. I’m entirely too distracted.

If you will excuse me, I have unpacking to do and a job to find. Lord willing, I can get both done this week. I’m fairly good at getting jobs. It’s the unpacking I’m concerned about.

My Great Grandmother

April 28th, 2006

My Great Grandmother owned an apartment building in Chicago during the depression. This was a time when people were too proud to take charity. There wasn’t a sense of entitlement like there is today. A time came when the tenants had trouble affording rent, though they wanted to pay their landlord something. My Great Grandmother accepted all sorts of items in lieu of cash for rent. The stolen ring was one of those items. Jewelry wasn’t terribly valuable during the depression when all you wanted was to heat your house, pay your rent and eat a meal. It is sad to see a piece of family history disappear like that, however the good part is that there were two more rings to choose from. I hadn’t seen them in several years and was delighted to find one I actually like better than the one that was stolen. Never in my life has jewelry been comforting to me. I think I may have officially entered womanhood.

CSI: Pawn Shop

April 26th, 2006

Possible scene of the crime: A postal shipping center

The evidence: A bubblewrap envelope which appeared to not have been tampered with and a ring box that is missing its ring. A photo of said ring minutes before its wayward departure.

Victim - customer: Victim intended to send a family heirloom engagement ring to her fiance so he could have it repaired and use it as an engagement ring. Victim padded the ring in a small amount of bubblewrap, tucked it inside the bottom of a jewelry store box, closed the box and slipped it into a padded bubblewrap envelope. Victim foolishly left the shipping center without ensuring that the package had been secured with its own self-stick tape.

Suspect1 - clerk: Suspect1 received the unsecured, still open, bubblewrap envelope, processed paperwork to insure the item and presumably send it on its way.

Witness - fiance: Witness received the bubblewrap envelope, opened it up, found the jewelry box inside, but instead of finding a ring, found only a piece of tape. Victim did not put tape inside the box.

Action taken: Victim contacted the manager of the Shipping Center to report the missing ring. Manager said he would file an insurance claim with headquarters and interview the staff in the morning. Victim also filed a police report.

Since the police really have bigger fish to fry than looking for a possible ring theif - if indeed the ring was stolen in their juristiction - they can’t reasonably be expected to devote many man hours to this possible crime. Victim and Victim’s family who are avid CSI fans are going to hit the pawn shop scene in the morning in an attempt to retrieve the missing ring.

Will the family heirloom be recovered? Will there be any evidence linking the ring to a suspect? Will victim at least be able to claim the amount for which the ring was insured?

Stay tuned!

Ice Cream for Breakfast

April 20th, 2006

Well…Frozen Soy Dessert, really. It’s surprisingly good, though.

I figured I could have ice cream for breakfast because in addition to my cereal this morning, I wanted some juice. Then a thought occurred to me…half a serving of ice cream has less sugar, fewer carbs and calories than does a glass of juice.

That’s not the only social rule I’ve been breaking lately. Dan and I settled on a date to get married. We did that so people who have to travel will be able to make arrangements. So he asked my mom’s blessing and here we are planning our wedding before he has actually popped the question, which of course will happen as soon as the ring is ready and we are together again.

In the meantime, what do we call each other when we are in Engagement Limbo? We’ve never done this before and don’t know what the heck we’re doing. We think fiance/fiancee would be appropriate.

On the other hand, we are Lutherans and don’t believe in limbo to begin with.

So it seems I had ice cream for breakfast and am engaged before the proposal. Any which way it comes to me, I’m thrilled because both the ice cream and the man are irreplaceable.

He is risen!

April 16th, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXI

April 10th, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXI is up at Necessary Roughness. Thanks, Dan!

More on Noah’s Ark?

April 9th, 2006

In an update on the Mt. Ararat anomoly some speculate might be Noah’s Ark, published recently taken satellite photo.

It does look odd, but is it Noah’s Ark? To my untrained eyes it just looks like rock and ice.

Here is a radar image that makes the noted area look like a giant ledge on the side of the mountain.

Here is an annotated image, different from the first two. In this image it looks like it’s just part of the cliff. How in the world is an enormous boat going to stay on a cliff when snow and glaciers would likely be pushing it down?

I would love to find that under the ice and snow is a perfectly preserved ark, but these photos aren’t winning me over.

At the tone, the time will be…

April 5th, 2006

A lovely little thing will happen today during the third second of the second minute of the first hour of the fifth day of the fourth month of the sixth year of this century - it will be 01:02:03 04/05/06

If you miss it, don’t worry. It will happen again on 4 May for those who write the date in the day/month/year format.

It’s nice to have second changes in mathematic silliness. It would, on the other hand, be nice to have the ability to edit down to the second at which this post was published.

Are we tired of this yet?

March 31st, 2006

The banning of the Easter Bunny has been the topic in the blogsphere for a few days now, so it’s not news to most people that an Easter display was removed from City Hall in St. Paul, MN. Jay Leno just had a great comment regarding this:

“How come people want to take the God out of Easter but no one wants to take the Satan out of Halloween?”

While he is just as far off as the PC crowd, it’s a good point. They are far off because these symbols are not Christian symbols, except to those who don’t know what Christianity is, I suppose. They removed secular symbols from a public space for utter fear of offending non-Christians. What they should have done was remove the symbols for fear of offending actual Christians who rightfully despise watered-down secular “Christianity.”

Chicks, bunnies and grass have nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ or Christianity, yet because people are stupid, uninformed slaves of political correctness, they dedicate themselves to eradicating the secular signs of a Christian holiday - to my delight. Go for it! While you’re at it, could you get rid of Santa, his reindeer and Christmas trees? That would be lovely.

Lutheran Carnival

March 26th, 2006

is up at Lutheran Carnival!

State Representative Bob Lynn

March 19th, 2006

With an upcoming mayoral election, I’ve only recently started learning about local politicians and their views in my relatively new city of Anchorage. This morning I read in the Anchorage Daily News that State Representative Bob Lynn of Anchorage has had a Blogspot blog since 2002.

His most recent post entitled Unofficial Things I’ve Learned in the Legislature is way worth the read. He includes things like:

Being a parent of battling teenagers is great preparation for being in the legislature.

There’s a distinct legislative “culture,” similar to the culture aboard a life boat of 60 egotists, isolated in the middle of the ocean. Legislators must tolerate each other to survive in order to reach a destination – any destination.

The more innocous a bill appears to be, the more dangerous it may be.

There may be no relationship between how friendly a colleague is and how much they like you.

Political enemies will stab you in the front; political friends will stab you in the back.

The principal differences between the House and the Senate are length of term and size of the egos.

Lobbyists do actually occupy the lobby.

It’s important to learn how to yawn with your mouth closed at boring committee meetings.

There’s a direct correlation between the length of a legislator’s comments in committee and the number of TV cameras and reporters in the committee room. Ditto: House floor.

Old age, skill and cunning can trump youth, ambition and a full head of hair.

The flattering newspaper article of today will be in the bottom of birdcages and litter boxes tomorrow.

These were just some of my favorites, so follow the above link and give it a read.

I was highly entertained by Bob’s list and read a little more to see exactly what it is this man stands for. It seems like when a representative stands up for life issues, I will pretty much agree with him/her on other things, so whether it is wise or not, I use that as a rough litmus test. What did I find on Bob? In a two year old letter to a teenager, he states:

Yes, I am “Pro-Life.? That means I believe in the protection of God’s precious Gift of Life from the moment of conception until natural death.

…Just because something is “legal? and the “law of the land,? doesn’t necessarily mean it’s morally right.

Think about the old days when it was legal to segregate black Americans from white Americans, and black kids couldn’t even go to the same school as white kids, or eat in the same restaurant, or have fun at the same beach. Segregation was also “legal? and the “law of the land? but it was also an insult to God because God created all of us, regardless of color, or religion, or ability, or anything else. Finally, Americans stood up for what was right, and finally the court ended racial segregation. I hope that someday soon, all Americans will stand up to end abortion, and the court will make it possible to end abortion.

I think I like this guy.