Monthly Archives: March, 2011

Simply Sanctity

Something I’m sure I’ve mentioned here before is my struggle over discerning my vocation. I’m not a great decision maker, and my vocation is a phenomenally important one. Before I left on the mission trip, I sent an email request for prayers to my friends and family, including my old friend Tim, and he brought up the topic of my discernment. That and significant time at a work meeting discussing marriage preparation has gotten me thinking again.

a drawing of a woman looking off in the distance

photo by Caitlin Doe

There was a long period in undergrad when I seriously discerned a call to religious life. My conclusion was that it wasn’t the right time for me to discern that particular aspect of my life. Later I started preparing to join ACE, and that took over all my spiritual discernment energy. Now that I’m settling in, I have much more time to think. Tim asked me if I was discerning again, and I replied that I am not. He said that was probably for the best. He’s in seminary in Rome right now, and one of his priest professors mentioned that if we focus on becoming more holy, which we know for sure God wants, we’ll be better able to discern what He might be calling us to in the future. I’m inclined to agree. My line of work is particularly suited to just focusing on sanctity and letting the rest come as it will (and as He wills). That is good enough for now.

Me, in Photos

As I was setting up Firefox Sync (more on that later), I discovered this ancient meme. It seemed neat, and though I try not to steal images, it’s an interesting way to show who I am. (Click for the full-size mosaic.)

The Rules:
Answer each of the questions below using the Flickr search engine.
Choose a photo from the first three pages.
Copy the URL of your favorite photo into this site: bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php
Save mosaic to some form of photo hosting thing and share with the world.

1. First Name (I fudged this one a little because all I got were photos of Lohan.)
2. Favorite Food
3. Hometown
4. Favorite Color
5. Celebrity Crush
6. Favorite Drink
7. Dream Vacation
8. Favorite Dessert
9. What I Want To Be When I “Grow Up”
10. What I Love Most In The World
11. One Word That Describes Me
12. My LiveJournal Name (angelicid)

Photo Credits (L-R): Lindsay’s Chipmunk Encounter, French Fries, 105-365 Clinton, MD, HPT – Two Yellow Fish with Purple Tails, Shane West – May 2010, Expanded coke zero can!, Australia, Cheesecake, mom and me, 1976, Jesus Eucarístico, “Neat”, Angelic

The Day I Held My First Chicken

Work left me a little down today, so I need to feel needed, and there’s nothing like writing (and receiving comments, hint hint) that does that for me. So tonight I am going to share an article I wrote about the spring break trip I took for work. I can’t share most of the photos to protect the privacy of my students, but the article gives a pretty good overview of our week.


This year’s UCC Spring Break Mission Trip group traveled to Tacoma, Washington, to spend a week
with the people of L’Arche Tahoma Hope, a community for adults with developmental disabilities
and their live-in assistants. We returned from that rainy, cold, joyously dirty trip a few weeks ago
with memories and experiences that will remain with us for life.

Before the trip began, some of the seven student missionaries worried about the work they’d be
asked to do, how they would interact with the core members with disabilities, and how Tacoma
weather would affect them. Various fund-raising and spiritual activities helped solidify our bond
as a group, and we ventured forth from Austin on Sunday evening to a place none of us had ever
been. Upon our arrival, Kevin, the facilities director at Bellarmine Preparatory School, escorted us to the wrestling room that was our home for the week. Aside from having the opportunity for a little WWE-inspired nighttime recreation, we were grateful to not have to sleep directly on the floor!

Our plane to Tacoma was the Spirit of Disney II. Best plane ever!

On Monday, we began the mission in prayer with the Hopespring and Farm communities,
participating in a Lenten ritual of writing our intentions on scraps of paper and stuffing them into
the “wailing wall” at the front of Hopespring Chapel. We took a tour of Hopespring, Ananda, and
the Farm. That evening, we had the delight of joining Jesuit Volunteer Carolyn and her fellow JVs at their house downtown to learn about the realities of post-graduate service.

Brian, one of Carolyn's JV housemates, drew this for us when we visited them on Monday night. I did wonder what was going on when I overhead someone say 'cow pie.'

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were full days of work on the Farm. We began with a group
check-in, then split into smaller groups to do tasks such as seeding, splitting, transplanting, and
moving plants; feeding chickens and collecting eggs; and splitting wood to break down into mulch.
Working alongside Debbie, Greg and his assistant Linda, Leana, Les, Robbie, Tawna, and Zach
helped us all get accustomed to farm life. Each day, two of the missionaries helped at Noah’s
Workshop, a day program for other core members. Our nights included a dinner at Bellarmine with
Les, Stacie, and another assistant, Vicky; a simple supper and Lenten prayer chain-making with the Anawim and Farmhouse homes; and an evening in downtown Tacoma taking photos at the high school from 10 Things I Hate about You and the Museum of Glass.

This chicken tried to hurt the missionaries, so I scooped it up by the ankles and it died! ... Okay, not really.

Friday was our last full day at L’Arche. We started with a rousing sing-along of classic hits, and then we celebrated Mass in Hopespring Chapel, chased some more chickens on the Farm, and ended the night tearing up the dance floor with our friends Les and Debbie at a Metro Parks dance for people with disabilities. Our flight home on Saturday was bittersweet, but we were ultimately glad to return from our journey with renewed spirits to influence our communities. What has started here will surely change the world.

Friday Fives: Inspiration and Memories

Man, there is nothing like a week of out-of-town work to throw me off my game. I’ve been committed to this blog for nearly ten years, though. I’m not ready to fall off the frequent posting wagon just yet. It may yet be cause for prewriting posts, but I’m not sure. Is it disingenuous to post old thoughts for the sake of generating traffic or entertaining my readers? That’s not what I want my blog to be about.

For now, there is the Friday Five.

March 18: Inspiration

  1. Most inspirational quote for you. This is not a question. I would probably go with my email signature, “if you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire,” by St. Catherine of Siena. It’s convicting.
  2. Favorite inspirational film? This is not a question, either. So close. I don’t usually watch movies to be inspired; I just like stories.
  3. Who has inspired you, and why? Besides Jesus? Honestly, a lot of my friends inspire me just by the choices they’ve made and the lives they’re leading. Jim’s commitment to preparing for his future family is inspiring. Lyzii’s devotion to her students, her husband, and her kids is as close to “having it all” as there can be, really. My priest friends have given their entire lives to serve needy people. (I’m the first to admit that even the holiest-seeming people can be frustratingly clingy.)
  4. If you were to die tomorrow and would have ONE saying that would live on forever, what would you leave behind? Andie flattered me tremendously once by quoting one of my favorite church sayings. I go to Mass a lot, as you might expect, and people tend to ask me how it was. I’m like, “What do you mean, ‘how was it’? Jesus came. It was great.”
  5. What inspires you to continue, when you feel the least motivated (in whatever goal you are trying to accomplish)? Knowing that my life is not in vain keeps me going. If I didn’t feel like my work mattered or that I had something to accomplish with my life, I would never make it out of bed in the morning. Then again, I have trouble getting out of bed lately just because I’m lazy.

March 25: Memories (Again)

  1. What smell brings you a fond memory? Musty sheets remind me of my grandma. I used to sleep over at her house sometimes, and when I would go into the linen closet for towels, they would smell musty like that. Honestly, it was years before I figured out that musty fabric has the same basic smell so it wasn’t unique to my grandma’s closet.
  2. What song makes you nostalgic? “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” will always, always remind me of middle school slow dances. I never got to dance one (never ever), but I remember the drama that went down.
  3. What taste reminds you of school? What a weird question. Tomato sauce from industrial-sized cans.
  4. Which season makes you remember the most things in your past? I think places help me remember more than seasons. I like winter, but that’s just because of the smell.
  5. Which memory do you treasure? There are too many to list. That’s a good problem. :)

Also, happy Solemnity of the Assumption! I had a delicious celebratory Whataburger tonight. Friday solemnities don’t happy every day…week…whatever.

Friday Fives: Words and Memories

I fell off the wagon a bit. I did four loads of laundry on Friday morning, worked all weekend, and then worked extra hard all week. I’m still committed to blogging as frequently as I can, though.

March 4: Words

  1. What word irks you everytime you hear someone say it? You mean other people have that reaction? I’d probably say “societal.” “Social” means the same thing and sounds so much less pretentious.
  2. What is your favorite word? I love “juxtapose.” It has a J, an X, and a P, and it just means “put stuff next to other stuff.”
  3. What does it mean? Oops. I should probably read ahead.
  4. What word do you say far too often? I’ve taken to describing things as either “good times” or “bad times” as a reply along the lines of “awesome” or “lame.” Come to think of it, I do say “awesome” a lot. The 80s are so underappreciated.
  5. Name three words you think other people overuse: literally, green, and historic. Just because something happened does not qualify it as “historic.”

March 11: Memories

  1. What is your earliest memory? When I was about four, my dad bought live crabs to boil for dinner. He came stomping downstairs in his work combat boots and winter gloves and holding kitchen tongs. I nearly died laughing.
  2. What is your most vivid memory? I don’t think I have one. That’s kind of a lame answer, I know, but nothing really sticks out as if I were there.
  3. What do you remember best about the year you turned 10? I felt like the coolest kid because you got to have a dependent military ID once you turned ten, and I finally got mine.
  4. What memory do you wish you could erase forever? Anything that qualifies as an answer for this question is probably something I would rather not the Internet, and therefore the world, know.
  5. What do your parents (or other close relatives) remember about you that you have forgotten? They mostly know my baby stories. My mom likes to tell one in particular about my dependence on my pacifier. She lost mine one night, and I refused to sleep without it, so she had to send my dad out in the middle of the night to get a new one just like it. What can I say? I know what I like.

The Friday Five

Reading Minds

A coworker and I were discussing what superpower we would want to have. I wear a lanyard at work with my master key, my prox card for the electronic door locks, and sometimes a USB flash drive. When I walk, it jingles, such that the cat has basically belled itself and I can’t sneak up on people. He mentioned that I would make a terrible ninja. Little did he know that I was simply off duty.

As we got to talking about superpowers, I mentioned that I would want to be able to read minds, but only if I could turn it on and off at will. It was the episode of Buffy where she was able to read minds but started going crazy because she could hear everything that brought on the qualifier. I feel like being able to read minds would be just useful enough without being annoying, because I could choose whether to do it on a case-by-case basis.

And on a totally unrelated note, if you are ever asked what animal you would want to be, always choose a duck. Only ducks can walk and swim and fly. Three modes of transportation win any day.

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Coke Meets the Future

This may seem like a sponsored post, but it’s not. I just really enjoy Coke Zero.

I tried Coke Zero for the first time just over a year ago. I had always preferred Coke to Pepsi, but my dad loves Pepsi, so we never had it in the house when I was growing up. Then, as I became slightly more health-conscious, I avoided sodas because they’re so sugary. My mom converted to Diet Coke after we moved to Germany, but I was never sold on the taste. It turns out that Diet Coke is made from a different formula. It’s not supposed to taste just like Coke, so of course it doesn’t. There were some leftover sodas at school one day last year, so I tried a Coke Zero, and I was sold. The first one had a discernible aftertaste as I drank it. The second one didn’t, and none has since then. I will admit that there is an aspartame aftertaste, but I don’t mind it.

There used to be a convenience store in the mall right next to where I work, but it closed down after Christmas. I was crushed because that was my easy access to Coke Zero anytime I needed a midafternoon caffeine boost. But then I walked into the remodeled Schlotzsky’s a few weeks ago and discovered this beauty:

It’s called a Freestyle machine, and it is glorious. If I wanted to, I could mix a Cherry Vanilla Coke Zero! I didn’t even know they made Orange Coke, and now I can get it one block from work! I will additionally admit that I don’t know how much more difficult the Freestyle machines are to repair, but when’s the last time you saw more than one person at the soda machine at a time anyway? Hooray for freestyle Coke!

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