29 December 2011

Twitterpated Still!

Dec 29: If 2011 had a hashtag what would it be? Well, I've taken the 25 minutes to condense all of my hashtags from my currygirl twitter account in 2011 right here! My favorite is #twitterpatedstill


Short but sweet.

Dec 28: Who was important to you?

In no particular order:

28 December 2011

Whereas the author gives up TV

Dec 27: What did you give up?

TELEVISION. Yep. It's been 5-ish months and it's been pretty ok. I'll watch The Daily Show online here and there, and maybe an NFL game at a wing place if I'm really in a pinch. Overall, it's been pretty nice to have the tv out of the house. I've noticed how I get more done if the tv isn't an option.

Books I've read since:

The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
The Particular Sadness of Lemoncake
My Horizontal Life
Mystic River
The Art of Fielding
Unbearable Lightness
(Most of these are from Dana)

I've also started guitar lessons for the first time in my life. Having a tv would have delayed me practicing my scales and nerdy guitar theory stuff. Now I can read a book instead of practicing my scales! Yea!


Dec 26: Who surprised you?

Well, we did have that volunteer who strung us along and sent in his travel arrangements prior to orientation. We waited for him at the airport and his mother answered the phone and said, "Oh right, ____ isn't coming. Didn't he tell you?"

27 December 2011


Dec 24: What did you make?
Airport runs. Faith journeys. Campfires. Beans and eggs and tortillas in a big ole' cast iron skillet. Room for a new washer and dryer.

Dec 25: Where did you spend the most time?
Hmm. I feel like i answer these prompts with a hmmm. I spent a lot of time in Schaumburg, Elk Grove and New Windsor. This one was lame!

24 December 2011


Blogvomit: To hurriedly catch up on prompts at the end of the year!

Dec 19: What was the best decision you've made this year?
I finally gave up Charlela Lane (the worst street name in all of America that sounds just like an old French whore) and took up with John Smith Dr. From a French whore to a syphilitic guy who loved Pocahontas. Yep! 

Dec 20: Who came into your life in 2011?

Hmmm this one is a toughy. I don't like to make too many new friends because I'm weird like that. A whole bunch of new volunteers came into my life. And I'm guessing older volunteers who are done probably left my life too. You win some, you lose some.

Dec 21: What did you learn?

I learned a lot of geography. I can drive from home to New Windsor, MD without a map! I memorized all of the interstates and their corresponding names and numbers this year, finally. (The Eisenhower is known as the Ike and as I-290!)

Dec 22: What gifts did you give? What gifts did you receive?

Disney World! My folks took my brother and his family, plus me to Walt Disney World this week. It was my mom's dream for her grandkids to see Disney for the first time. Receiving the gift of family time was a nice way to end 2011!

I gave a few gifts this year, too! A tent light, fancy chocolates, and some other little items were my highlights this!

Dec 23: What sunrise or sunset was most vivid?
Driving home from Champaign-Urbana to Schaumburg at an early hour 2 weeks back. The sun was just coming up over the horizon and it stayed on my right shoulder the whole drive back.

During summer orientation, we did a footwashing on the back side of the property with the sun slowly sinking down. Feet, grass, basin, towel, sunset. Perfect.

18 December 2011


When were you the angriest?

Funniest you should ask this. I'm on the way to Disney today. How could I ever be angry knowing that Disney was waiting for me in late December? There's a little bit of Zwick anger in my mom and brother. How do I know?  A few dents in walls, a few storming off's after broken down lawn mowers in the yard. And for me, I did throw my shoes at the floor last month. One at a time. As hard as I could. One bounced back and hit me in the shin. The other sorta hit a sleeping dog. I'm better now, I promise. But really, have you seen the traffic on Gold Rd lately? Could people just make an attempt at using a turn signal? Ok I'm done.

17 December 2011

Working through their shit

When do I see God at work?

Wow! It seems weird to tell God when and where I saw him/it at work. Like, he's a construction worker and I saw him out on the tollway waving people through the zone safely. Mostly, I saw a lot of groups of people come together* and work through their shit** together for 3 week chunks of time. Giving each other EYES OF COMPASSION, washing feet, talking for hours into the night about the possibilities in life. That's the good stuff that happens regardless of what antics BVS staff has in store.

*together = sleeping, eating, praying, traveling, discussing, complaining, discerning, singing, weeping, complaining, wondering, dropoffdaying
**this may be the first time I've cussed in this blog

16 December 2011

Short & Sweet, with a wick

When was I spontaneous?

Ummm. Barreling down I-70 toward Ohio. Veering off to the Candle Outlet near Richmond. Crystal had a look of shock on her face that I actually stopped for something more than gas and a bathroom break. 

15 December 2011

If you say struggles enough times, it's a really weird word.

When did you struggle?

Hmmm. My, what a lovely, happy question! It seems like only yesterday I was writing about taking the easy way. And now I have to ponder the idea of struggle. I looked up the definition. I read the etymology. (I really like to know the stories behind the words.) I used it in a sentence. I repeated it back to myself. I was in my own spelling bee and I was winning! And in those 4 minutes of not writing about a struggle I faced, I've got nothing. I guess one of my struggles is not recognizing the past stuggles I've faced. Power struggles, traffic/commute struggles, work struggles, I've had them this year. And when I think of them, it just sounds complainy.

14 December 2011

El Tunco!

Where did you find the best cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice)?

El Tunco is a tiny little surfing on the Pacific coast of El Salvador. When we visited there in the spring, I had the best liquados! Of course the smoothies at the little place near Sarah's home and school ranked right up there as well! Mmmmmhmmmmm!

13 December 2011


What cracked you up?
I've never posted video to my blog so let's see if this works. Here's the funniest pitbull in my life, Eli. He can go from snoring and twitching in his sleep to running laps in the condo in about 10 seconds. Eli is about 6 years old but he still acts like a puppy.

12 December 2011

Camping Camping

When did you feel the most relaxed?

Ans. A photo essay for your pleasure.

11 December 2011

Grand Rapids

What rocked your world, changed your life, shifted the ground beneath your feet?

This event definitely left a mark on me. To think that a person like me was being followed, watched, and put in danger because of a biblical difference really made me quite nervous to be at Annual Conference. I found myself thinking a lot more about my safety, about who knows and who doesn't. I'm glad conference is behind me and that I came away from it all pretty wrecked, but loved by my close circle.

10 December 2011

Sunrise! Sunset!

When did I take the easy way?

Hmmmm. Another toughy. I don't get a lot of chances to take the easy way. The best time to take the easy way is during the last day of orientation. This year, I've got to fly home instead of driving 700 miles across the country. It's sort of a sweet delight to get to O'hare and be home and comfy before sunset. It probably won't happen too many times in 2012 (except for Summer! Yippy!), but I'll take that easy way every time.

09 December 2011

Can you reach earthly nirvana?

What was your favorite blog post that you read or wrote?

Recently, I've really loved web comics. I have a certain few that I check on a daily or monthly basis. But the most memorable one I've read lately is from Lucy Knisley. I do a lot of silent time in short bursts during orientation, and this one pretty much explains everyone in the room trying to quiet their mind.


08 December 2011

You can't always get what you want....

Where did you spend your money?

Interesting prompt for today. I've really tried to live way below my means and save a considerable amount of money from each paycheck. The website that's really peaked my interest in personal finance is www.getrichslowly.org. I've topped off my pension designations and also quit using a credit card. Living debt free isn't always 'roller-coaster thrilling,' but I've had a lot of fun doing the things that I plan for, instead of mindless shopping.

So, to better answer the question, I guess I'd rather share where I haven't spent my money.
--No more magazine subscriptions.
--Hardly any music bought on iTunes.
--No fancy car washes anymore.
--No clothes or shoe shopping without a plan and a fistful of coupons.
--No fancy grocery store shopping: No Dominicks, Safeway, or Whole Foods.

And where my money has gone this year:
Tithing. Camping trips. Overnights with the Mexis. Glasses & Contacts. Dentist!

07 December 2011

Chicken and Thunder

What astonished you?

I had to look up astonish this morning. I knew the word's meaning but I was curious about the root of the word.[To strike with lightning] And that got me thinking about camping. Crystal and I camped once a month from May to September this year. Our first camping experience in May was the coldest and rainiest we experienced. Since the word astonish has it's root in lightning, I'd have to say it was the quite astonishing to have a park ranger tell us to evacuate our tents and move to safer spots to ride out a massive storm picking up speed on Lake Michigan (we were about 200 feet from the shore). Alas, we arrived safely at a chicken joint in Wisconsin!

06 December 2011

I am, I said

When did you celebrate?
Back in the day I used to go to Murphy's with my 2 neighbors who lived in my building in Champaign. One was a grad student and one was a singer/actress. We'd go to Murph's for Leinie's and cheap burgers on weekends and throw some dice. Some of my favorite mugs in my place are from Murphy's. We'd also go there for the jukebox. I believe it was the only establishment that had Neil Diamond's hits readily available for play. The last time I was in Murphy's was in the fall of 2001. Fast forward to last night! My friend, the grad student, became my friend, Dr. Hughes! The celebrating that we did last night was a mini-reunion of sorts. We told all the old stories in the beginning that I remembered. Then we got into the minor ones that I sort of remember. Celebrating Dr. Hughes' success was a great reminder to me that friendships can start in all sorts of places, even dingy apartment complexes. Here's to you, Dr. & Mrs. Hughes.

And you ask, what Neil Diamond song did we play the most? This one!
I Am, I Said:

LA's fine, the sun shines most the time
The feeling is laid back
Palm trees grow and the rents are low
But you know I keep thinking about
Making my way back

Well, I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
LA's fine, but it ain't home
New York's home but it ain't mine no more

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king
And then became one
Well, except for the names and a few other changes
If you talk about me, the story's the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried but it won't let me go
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
But I've never cared for the sound of being alone

I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can't even say why

I am, I said
I am, I cried
I am...

05 December 2011

You're a freak.

Nothing really sticks out to me this year. Maybe it's because I've made a vapid, dance music station one of my presets in my car. I could sing you a lotta songs, but I haven't really bought any good music lately. With that being said, my favorite music leading into a podcast is from Freakonomics!

04 December 2011


What was the best book you read in 2011?

A math equation that explains my favorite book of the year.

    500 pages minimum
    Fictional Midwestern towns
    Historical facts of Herman Melville
    A counter cultural love-story
+ House rehabs

Ans. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

03 December 2011

All my bags are packed...

Where did you visit this year?

Somerville AL, Gotha FL, Newark IL, San Pedro Sula Honduras, Copan Ruinas Honduras, San Salvador, El Salvador, El Tunco El Salvador, New Windsor MD, Arlington VA, Grand Rapids MI, Saugatuck MI, Minneapolis MN, Eden Prairie MN. Kettle Moraine WI, New Windsor MD, Phoenixville PA, and Philadelphia PA!

02 December 2011

Black beans

What was the most delicious meal you ate?

I'd have to say it was while we all went camping! Fried eggs, a batch of garlicky mashed black beans, and tortillas. Coffee out of the french press helped!

01 December 2011


When was I most grateful?

Hmmmm. Hard one. Thanks, Dana. I'd say I was most grateful when I completed orientations. There's such a quiet thrill of being done, of packing up, of giving rushed hugs at the airport and knowing that I'm just coming home. That thrill of being done and sending off people and coming home happened in Florida and Maryland in 2011. I'm grateful for great volunteers (and crazy ones, too), great people at home (and dogs, too), and a quiet little life waiting for me when I come back.

Navel Gazing!

Hello friends! Let's do some mutual navel gazing! I look at yours, you look at mine! We'll take a new prompt each day in December. Here's a sneak peek at them!

  1. When were you most grateful?
  2. What was the most delicious meal you ate?
  3. Where did you visit this year?
  4. What was the best book you read?
  5. What were your favorite songs?
  6. When did you celebrate?
  7. What astonished you?
  8. Where did you spend your money?
  9. What was your favorite blog post...that you read or wrote?
  10. When did you take the easy way?
  11. What rocked your world, changed your life, shifted the ground beneath your feet?
  12. When did you feel the most relaxed?
  13. What cracked you up?
  14. Where'd you find the best cup of coffee (or tea, or wine, or beverage of your choice?)
  15. When did you struggle?
  16. What’s the most whimsical/spontaneous/ridiculous thing you did?
  17. When did you see God at work?
  18. When were you the angriest?
  19. What’s been the best decision you made this year?
  20. Who came into your life in 2011?
  21. What did you learn?
  22. What gifts did you give? What gifts did you receive?
  23. What sunrise/sunset was most vivid?
  24. What did you make?
  25. Where did you spend the most time?
  26. Who surprised you?
  27. What did you give up?
  28. Who was important to you?
  29. If the year 2011 had a hashtag, what would it be?
  30. What aspects of your life need attention in 2012?
  31. Where were you on January 1, 2011?

30 November 2011

Looking back!

Time for the 2011 Reflections in December!

16 October 2011


15 orientations are under my belt. I guess I sorta understand my job. Clear indicators that I'm exhausted  after an orientation:

1. Falling asleep on the plane before take-off while people are still walking down the aisle to their seats.
2. Sleeping on the way home from the airport.
3. Trying to organize the dogs to listen to announcements before breakfast and dinner.
4. Falling asleep after a half glass of wine.
5. Sleeping during each car ride no matter the distance.
6. Trying to do a head count of all people (dogs) present before going to the grocery store alone.
7. Making lists of how I'm tired.

15 September 2011


Holy moly! It's my mom's birthday! Highlights of her 61 years include (in no particular order):

  • Teaching Jetta how to be the family dog. 
  • Playing catch with me from the ages of 5-18!
  • Playing countless hours of Go Fish! at the kitchen table and rummy in the later years.
  • Teaching me about the best musicians: Neil Diamond, Journey, Air Supply!
  • Being in a homecoming skit based on the New Kids on the Block!
  • Making whoopie pies for my class, Girl Scouts, birthday parties, etc.
  • Being the watcher of all water skiers and tubers in case we fell or let go of the rope while Dad drove.
  • The amazing catcher of falling potatoes shot out of the family heirloom potato gun.
  • Lover of her neighbors (Frannie, The Parks, The Hartsworns, The Rabbits, The Tills, the list goes on and on)
  • Resilient mower of lawns when I was at Camp: our own, Franny's, and Lois'!
  • Prompt letter writer, card-sender, thank-you note writer in always consistent handwriting whether I was at camp, sports camp, college, Nigeria!
  • Survivor of one big romp of pneumonia!
Love you, Mom!

04 August 2011

The view from my 12 speed, 1979 Schwinn Varsity

I've been biking at Busse Woods a lot this summer. It's a 7.7 mile loop plus another 4 miles to and from my apt. As I've become more consistent in my riding so have the types of people I notice using the same path. A quick snapshot of the regulars:

Older guy on a recumbent bike: neon green shirt, messy beard, appears to be sleeping and biking simultaneously.

Mismatched young adult couple: girlfriend is in running shorts and tank top, boyfriend is in khakis, polo shirt, black dress shoes. Neither one is talking. Just staring ahead and walking painfully slow.

Biker gang: 3 very skinny and tan men with skinny butts and huge bulging calves wearing matching shorts and red and black shirts. Their bikes also match. They never make eye contact(shiny sunglasses prevent that) with anyone, they average about 25 mph while dodging the previous mentioned folks, and like to say ON YOUR LEFT with arrogance.

Roller blader: Male: Usually a guy in 3/4 length pants (i call em' capris) a black tank top, and some type of fedora with actual feathers on the side. Female: mid 40's, brown hair, all spandex clothes, usually chewing gum at the pace of her strides.

I'll stop for now. Won't you join me sometime?

03 August 2011


So you wanna go camping! Here's a list of the essentials!

Hot dogs, buns, onions, buns, ketchup, mustard, chips, smores, apple, beer.
Eggs, butter, garlic, tortillas, beans, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, coffee, half and half, sugar, beer.
Grits, butter, avocado, lime, salt, garlic, pepper, coffee, half and half, sugar, beer.

Hammock. Rope. Sleeping bag. Air mattress. Pump. Pillows. Fitted sheet. Lawn chairs. Stove. Camping fuel. Aim n' flame. Newspapers. Lantern. Cooler.
Pot. 2 skillets. French press. Camera. Water bottles. Fruit in drawer (see birthday edition). Bug Spray. Aloe vera. Swimsuits. Pjs. Shorts. T-shirt. Flips. Flops.
Tent. Screen house tent. Book. Journal. Camping reservation. Beer.

29 July 2011

Best Parts: Vacation edition

Walker Brothers' Pancake house with 4 cups of resplendent coffee. DANA!'s mix tape (cd) as the background to Chicago traffic.
Hand made garlic naan with my Mexis.
Bubble tea  at the AHN.
Biking another 13 miles in flip flops.
Celebrating Alicia's life with a lotta ladies.

26 July 2011

Best Parts: Random Tuesday

A belated birthday dinner complete with a sombrero and tequila poured down my throat in a very quiet and suburban Mexican restaurant.
My Mexis. Always quick-witted with middle fingers flying.
Biking Busse woods unplanned and in flip-flops, all 13 miles there and back with my best friend.
Being handy with tools and a cumbersome fridge that fell on me, slightly.

19 July 2011


It's my 32nd birthday!

I went camping to celebrate!

We forgot all sorts of things: A Sleeping Bag, A Saucepan, The fruit in the fridge.

Thankfully, we ate a giant cookie at each meal!

15 July 2011

Best Parts: Birthday Eve

Best Parts:

A super quiet office. Writing queries as a spiritual practice! The perfect avocado for lunch. An on-time birthday card from Aunt Linda.

13 July 2011

Best Parts: Mid-week

Best parts:
Strong new tires! Picnic table lunches. A deep sleep on an empty couch. Getting back into the swing of things.

11 July 2011

Best Parts.

Cleaning cleaning! A day off. A tiny apartment full of SURBER'S! Mom's snickerdoodles. Eli's retrieving ability. A hearty night of sleep on the couch!

09 July 2011

Weekend Edition: Best Parts

Kayaking the rough waves of Lake Michigan. Shedding sadness and questions for a long paddle and an oversized life jacket.  Sleeping in my own bed. Eli snoring. South Indian food for dinner with my Crystal.

08 July 2011

Best Parts

A day off. Even if it meant running errands and plugging my ears with my fingers while a toddle had a fit at the dealership. A big hug right when I got home. Driving through Michigan. Dana's mix tape (cd). Mexitexts to check on me. Living out a lamentation with honesty.

30 June 2011

(No titled added. Please do a better job with that, please.)

Best Parts!

Footwashing at sunset with a dried out wheat field in the background.
DANA! knowing that my best part was a fake-out best part.
Watching people swimming in groups in a muddy lake.
Witnessing vols trying to hide from me as I came down to hang out on their 3rd floor.

19 June 2011

Best Parts

Best Parts:

Ice cream at Baugher's after a day of interviews.
One of my favorite session leaders spending a few days with the group.
Jazzercising to Ken Medema's music with volunteers.
Singing the boring alto line in every boring hymn in a semi-boring congregation.
Calling Dad up for Father's Day. "Your Mom and I sure tried our best. We tried to make the best decisions that we could."

25 May 2011

I led a chapel.

I did a little chapel this week. Wished you, dear reader, could have been there.

Welcome to Chapel: Please stand with me as I offer a prayer from the words of Sister Helen Prejean:
A Prayer to Abolish the Death Penalty
by Helen Prejean, CSJ
God of Compassion,
You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
so that we may love as You love
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death rows and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.

Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you.
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduring love may help them heal.

Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice.
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more.

Please remain standing and sing hymn #493 I heard the voice of Jesus Say

 The scripture I’ve chosen today has kind of set the course for a lot of interactions, ideas, and changes in plans I’ve rarely expected:
Matthew 25:
31-33"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
 34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

   I was hungry and you fed me,
   I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
   I was homeless and you gave me a room,
   I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
   I was sick and you stopped to visit,
   I was in prison and you came to me.'
 37-40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
 41-43"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

   I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
   I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
   I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
   I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
   Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
 44"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'
 45"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'
 46"Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."

As I’ve read this scripture at different times in my life, I’ve always been led to do something. The different cases of need: hunger, thirst, homelessness, clothed, and imprisonment have all kind of reached me at different points. In the past I’ve really been taken with the shivering part of the text and I’ve passed out old blankets from the trunk of my car when I lived in Phoenix. Sometimes I’d have a conversation with someone on the street and run back, grab a blanket and hand it over. Sometimes I’d see a person slumped over in the cold night air, and I’d quickly hop out and throw it on the person and dash back in the car.

But lately I’ve been drawn to the whole imprisonment thing. On several of the orientations, we invited SueZann Bosler, to come and tell her story of violence and forgiveness. That struck a chord with me and it added a layer of intentionality that hasn’t been present for me before. The quick version of SueZann’s story is that a person entered their house and fatally stabbed her father, the Brethren pastor, Rev. Bill Bosler. The person also stabbed SueZann repeatedly in the head. She laid silently near to him and pretended to be dead so the intruder would leave. SueZann lived through the attack and throughout the years through a trial and another sentencing re-trial, has asked the courts to sentence him (James Bernard Campbell) to life in prison, instead of a sentence of death. What’s really remarkable about SueZann’s story is that she ultimately forgave James Campell and became a fierce advocate for states and other countries to abolish the death penalty. One of her frequent statements that pokes fun at the absurdity of it all says, Why does the government kill people to show killing people is wrong?

As my friendship with SueZann grew and a few years passed, I realized that I could live up to the words in Matthew 25 in a new way. I got in touch with Rachel Gross who works as the main person for the Death Row Support Project. She and I were in conversation about the faithfulness needed to be a penpal. It’s quite a commitment to write to someone on death row. The odds are great that a person in prison could potentially outlive you, the writer. So in April of 2009 I got my first letter from XX, a 33 year old man, sentenced to death in Illinois for a brutal double murder that he confessed to (also confessed to me during a visit in 2010).

We began exchanging one letter per month. XX is much better at being consistent with sending his letters. Sometime we write each other at the same time and our letters “pass each other” on the way to their destinations. Sometimes we won’t write each other for a spell and then we’ll pick back up.
Quick summary: Met in person. Several times. Sometimes with card games. Sometimes behind glass due to clerical errors. 3rd visit was his re-telling of his crimes. Through it all it’s been very interesting. Some letters he’s completely coherent and other times he’s an entirely different person. 

“Combatants and slaves. Really sooth when creating pariahic artifacts. That’s nomenclature for a sort of esoterical mandala.”
And there’s something else that’s a bit nonsensical about XX that I learned early on, He’s a fan of The Office. I quote, “Dwight is a trip. He can’t help but fall prey to Jim’s antics. Jim and Pam do have a nice storyline. They all work together nicely, filling out their own niches.”

As Illinois and Gov. Quinn abolished the death penalty in Illinois earlier this year, our relationship changed. XX was relocated to a prison in Dixon, Illinois. Strangely, it’s about the same distance as his first prison in Pontiac, Illinois. And through this very quick, unannounced and clandestine move, XX has been through a readjustment phase. His letters are quite incoherent now and he isn’t writing much. I can only surmise that he’s dealing with the new idea that he has his entire life to live in prison and that the death penalty isn’t looming over him as in years past.
What I want you to think about today is the possibility of establishing a relationship (whether in person or by pen and paper) with someone in prison. What is really stopping you from this? I believe that most of the Bible because pretty figurative. In this Matthew 25 passage Jesus really calls us to act. Not to debate. Not to let someone else better suited to do this. But to do something. Let’s get it started…..

Hymn #323 I see a new world coming

May I close with the words that were sent to me in a letter from May 18, 2011
“Shall you realize peace in the midst of calamity.”

Can you commit to a penpal for a year or longer? Check this out and let's get it started:

22 May 2011

Elliot was dreamy

Yesterday, I was riding my old blue bike. At 6pm (Rapture Time!) I was really wanting to be lifted up on my bike just like Elliot in E.T. did. Alas, I'm typing about it now so I didn't get the chance to ride my bike up above the forest.

14 May 2011

Landscape Edition

Let's have a look at more vacation photos! Edition: Landscapes!


This is my favorite: The door that opened directly onto the beach at El Tunco!

09 May 2011


After the retreat in Honduras, 6 days were spent in El Salvador. Let's take a look, shall we?

                                                                 The Food Edition!

26 April 2011


Wouldn't you love to peruse my vacation photos?

18 April 2011


Things have been busy lately. I haven't written a thing since January. Here are some birds to tie you over. I visited them in Copan Ruinas, Honduras!

30 January 2011

A time to brag, a time to feel jealous.

Dear Reader,
Did you know that I am in Florida? Please let me brag. It's so warm here, I didn't wear a jacket yesterday. At lunch, I had to take my sweatshirt off to cool down. I have a porchswing. It faces east and when you sit just right you can't see the huge, ugly Baptist cross across the lake. I'm wearing flipflops today. I get to live the Florida life for 19 more days.

Best. Yours. Sincerely. Love.

PS. Wow. My blog has gotten ugly. Can someone design something nice for me.Shabbyblogs designy stuff is sorta shabby and old.

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