A Beautiful Day and a Wonderful Life

Well it is official: I’m a married lady now! We had a beautiful wedding, a perfect honeymoon in the Kona region of Hawaii, and now are settling into a wonderful life.

My new husband and I have spent the past month adjusting to a married life, and so far it hasn’t been much of an adjustment. We have split up chores (he volunteered to do the laundry and I’m taking dinners, though neither of us like doing the dishes!), we have worked on decorating the apartment with the types of art we like, and we’ve dealt with daily life things like the TV converter box being on the fritz and a bathtub backing up.

We remember two things: love and compromise. I figure with these we’ll be able to do anything.

As you may have noticed, my name is now Engman. This is why my blog title and links have been updated (hopefully all of them) to my new name.

I may have a new name, but the musings and curiosities will continue.

Ah, newlywed bliss!

My wonderful, hansom husband Walter…oh and me. :)

My wonderful, hansom husband Walter…oh and me. 🙂

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That Dream Within a Dream

“Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togevah tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…” — The Impressive Clergyman, The Princess Bride

Impressive_Clergyman

The greatest movie of all time—hands down—is The Princess Bride. Don’t bother arguing, you won’t win.

The Impressive Clergyman’s speech is both hilarious and memorable, and is only one of so many great moments (Inconceivable!). It is also one that is especially important for me. In a week’s time I too will be entering into that Blessed Arrangement.

My Fiancé is the greatest—again, don’t argue, you most definitely won’t win. And this Bride couldn’t be happier. Which leads me to the theme of the movie—True Love.

Here are a few things we learned about True Love:

  • True Love doesn’t happen every day
  • Only one couple in a century has it (sorry, dibs!)
  • Death cannot stop True Love, all it can do is delay it for a while
  • True Love is the greatest thing in the World (except for a nice MLT)

So in a week’s time when this Bride makes her vow to treasure her True Love forever, know that he and I will be living that dweam wifin a dweam.

PrincessBrideKiss

One Fumble Doesn’t Mean You Lose the Game

Wandering away from the topic of writing yet again, let’s talk about something some people really don’t want to: epilepsy.

Full disclosure: yep, I am one of the millions of people in America who has epilepsy. Had it for longer than I can remember, and at this point in my life it is simply another descriptor: woman, writer, short, clumsy, Christian, epileptic. Oh well.

I’m not trying to be blasé about this, on the contrary: Epilepsy needs to be thought of as something more than a scary thing whispered about and hidden away. That is why I’d like to bring up an event that happened in Minnesota this past weekend.

The coach of the University of Minnesota’s football team, Coach Jerry Kill, had a seizure on the sidelines during a game. People were frightened, people didn’t know what to do, and other people found it a time to make ignorant comments and jokes.

For Coach Kill this was not a new thing. He is a spokesman for the local Epilepsy Foundation, volunteering at their camps for kids and doing other work. He has helped children and adults see that having epilepsy does not mean that we are unable to achieve.

“It’s really about having a good, positive attitude and making sure you can do what you want to do,” Kill was quoted in the Star Tribune as telling kids at Camp Oz, a camp for kids with seizures, earlier this summer.

But does the public see things that way? No.

Think about this: when was the last time you heard about a celebrity with an autistic child, or with cancer, or Parkinson’s, who was mad fun of? They are held up as a great example of working through something with bravery and resolve—as they should be!

But Kelly Osborne has a seizure and she is made fun of on Twitter, and there isn’t any other mention of her. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has had multiple seizures (the definition of having epilepsy is having multiple, recurrent seizures) yet there is no talk of his issues.

And as for Coach Kill? There were some who say he shouldn’t be coaching any longer. Why? Well, he has epilepsy that’s why!

“People with epilepsy make what happens between their seizures count,” the Epilepsy Foundation said in a release. “Life involves risks and stepping up to adversity. If we follow the logic of those who fear injury or bad outcomes, we might as well sideline the entire sport of football. If football ended, we would lose in Coach Kill a role model who inspires every time he steps on the field.”

Should Coach Kill, or I, be airline pilots—No. Coach football? Well, Kill can but not me! But if a person with epilepsy wants to be a politician, or an actor, or a writer, then we can. Saying that our disorder makes us less able is plain ignorance: no one would tell a diabetic not to pursue music (B.B. King, Gladys Knight, etc.).

So I hope people will support Coach Kill, and all the other folks out there who have epilepsy.

By the way, the winning touchdown in the Atlanta Falcons game this past week was made by Jason Snelling—who has epilepsy.

Coach-Kill-Star-Tribune

Fumbles Can’t Stop you from Playing to Win

Hey, I’ll Take Those Books!

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

~ Ray Bradbury

 

I do not own an e-reader. The thought of needing to plug in my book is mind-boggling to me. That being said I do use an app on my phone so that I can read some books that are only available in electronic form.

Does this mean that the only way to stay with the times is to eventually give up my hardcovers and paperbacks, to throw up my hands and resign myself to a life without the feel of a turning page, or the look of a well-loved book?

Not me.

But apparently there are some who have done just that. On September 6th, the Fairfax Times reported that a county library in Virginia has been throwing out books—right into the back dumpster. A volunteer from the local Friends of the Library found a stash of books, including classics like Harry Potter, gardening manuals and travel guides, and children’s books like The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Curious George. It is estimated that in seven months 250,000 books were thrown away!

The reasoning behind the book-toss was because the library had to move from “a print environment to a digital environment” according to the Fairfax County library director Sam Clay. That, and a lack of funds.

Mr. Clay is acting as if library patrons stormed their walls holding their e-readers, demanding digital books, and raising hell over all those disgusting paper things on the shelves.

Perhaps even more idiotic is that these books that were sent off to the dump were normally sent to the Friends of the Library—to be sold to raise funds for the library!

We decry the burning of books; we think in sadness of the destruction of the Library at Alexandria; yet here is a library director of over 31 years who chucks books out to the heap with such indifference and callousness.

I hope no one unplugs his “digital” library—good luck reading any books then.

Buring of Library at Alexandria

The Burning of the Library at Alexandria

Our Lady of the Kitchen

In the coming months I will finally have a kitchen of my own, one that I can arrange my way. My soon-to-be new hubby will just have to learn where I’ve put things!

This also means I can finally decorate my kitchen how I like. A few years ago during my conversion from Protestant to Catholic I came across an interesting bit of Catholic kitch: the Kitchen Madonna. The figure of the Blessed Mother in her own kitchen holding a loaf of bread and comforting a child Jesus seemed both adorable and interesting.

Kitchen Madonna

Oh, Holy Mother, pray for me that I don’t burn dinner too often…

Most of the time we think of Mary as being the devout, loving Mother of Christ. Or as the woman of God who said “yes” when He asked. And as Catholics we ask Holy Mary, Mother of God to pray for us.

But we often forget that she was also a woman and a mom.

Thinking of the Holy Mother as cooking and cleaning and taking care of her own household with Joseph making furniture in the shop out back is perhaps an image many Christians may not think about. Seeing this adorable plaque reminded me of her role as a wife and mother, as a woman that knows and has been there. Which is especially comforting for a soon-to-be-bride.

While she is everything from Queen of Heaven to Mary, Untier of Knots—she is also Our Lady of the Kitchen.

When Life Hands You The Ring…

You forget about life! Or at least that is what happens to a part time writer, full time Bride. After a day of mundane web/clerical work is done and you’re planning a relatively nice wedding to the Love of Your Life, there doesn’t leave much time for the ‘ol Blog.

 

Thankfully I have had time for my other writing, and the creation of fiction has helped my sanity in between picking a cake and deciding on the flowers. So in light of my lack of time as a blushing and ridiculously excited Bride-to-Be, I’m turning to a great friend and writing cohort’s advice:

 

Therapy as We Know IT— From A.M. Dunnewin’s Blog: In the Hallway With the Revolver.

 

Thanks Gal, for giving this Bride a moment of Therapy! 🙂

 

And Check out A.M. Dunnewin’s Book Tour for her Novella Speakeasy!

It’s a Great Big Universe, and We’re All Really Puny

Today, NASA reveled that the Curiosity Rover found that conditions on Mars were once suitable for life. The composition of the rock sample analyzed by Curiosity included various minerals such as nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, hydrogen, and oxygen which are considered key ingredients for life. Granted, the life that NASA scientists agree could have been on the Red Planet would have been microbes, not little green men, but it does make one think. It’s humbling. In the grand scheme of the Universe, we are not much more than a microbe.

So take a look up into that Great Big Universe and ponder how small we are. Or, just sing along:

Tracking ‘Ol Kris Kringle

Merry Christmas!

Looks like Santa has started his annual trek across the globe bringing tidings of comfort and joy to all the children of the world.NORAD Santa Tracker

Now years ago, I’m told, my grandfather who was a Ham radio aficionado would let my mother and uncle track Santa using the radio communications. We may have changed technologically, but the spirit of joy and hope is still the same today.

Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

So Very Thankful

Happy Turkey Day!

Today is a day for pausing, mid cooking and cleaning and of course eating, to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. So today I am pausing and thanking God for my Family & Friends—there is nothing more wonderful in this life.

I’m also thankful for the beautiful landscapes of California, which have finally begun to look like Fall:

Red Fall leaves on a tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as the blessings of humor without which life would be pretty dull.

Funny turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!