Monthly Archives: August 2013

Dear Diary

At dinner tonight, my grandma told me that back in the day, when she went on trips, she would keep a diary of what went on throughout the day.

So, here is my diary for today:

Dear Diary,
Today I learned what a spade is.

The kind of spade that you use for digging.

I also learned exactly what “spading” entails.

In the process of learning about spades and spading, I made the acquaintance of several large worms and one enormous beetle. I also sentenced several weeds to their deaths.

After all of that, I learned that gumbo is not easily removed from spades, and since my Gramps wouldn’t dream of putting anything away dirty, I got in there with my hands and cleaned the spade up before putting it away. It sparkled like a diamond when I was done.

That one was for you, Gramps. I hope my nails don’t get all cracked and brittle and I hope it won’t completely ruin my cuticles.

On another note, the photo above details exactly what my love life is like. I spend a fair amount of time dreaming of Prince Charming. Meanwhile, if Prince Charming even realizes I exist, he’s got his nose pointed the other direction. Ok, so maybe he isn’t really that supercilious (hopefully not!), but this is what it feels like sometimes. Or maybe the problem is more that I believe that people should turn their noses up at me, so when they are indifferent, my brain says, “See? You’re right. You really aren’t good enough. You can dream all you want, but in the end, your life will consist of man after man turning his nose up and walking away.”

That is all. Ta-ta.

PS The photo is courtesy of me, taken by me, at my grandma’s house. She has a shelf full of these lovely “Kid” figurines. I think they are absolutely adorable.

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Posted by on August 31, 2013 in Current Events


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Fattening Friday

I called my grandma and the first thing she said to me was, “You sound chipper!”

I think she must have thought I was calling to tell her that I wanted to introduce her to a boyfriend or something.

(Sorry Grandma. I think I’d have better luck with men if I shopped amongst the octogenarian bachelors on your street.)

At any rate, it was odd that she should say that because I was rather crabby when I called because I had just been cooking, and that never goes well for me. Cooking is the most frustrating thing in the world, aside from brothers. And maybe paying bills.

No, paying bills is much more pleasant to me than cooking is.

I got to thinking about why I might have sounded chipper, and I realized that I have been laughing all day.

Literally. All day.

Why? you ask.

Well, it’s like this.

My coworkers are all going on this diet thing beginning on Tuesday. I guess there’s this competition to see who can lose the most weight in 3 months and yada, yada, yada. I didn’t really pay much attention to it — just like I don’t really pay attention to much of anything at work aside from my actual work.

So my coworkers decided that because they are all doing this diet challenge, we are going to have “Fattening Friday” tomorrow — where everybody is supposed to bring something really unhealthy and fattening.

I was sitting there, not paying attention to their conversation (as is my wont), when all of a sudden, one of them said, “Mari! That announcement was for you.”

I looked up from my work and said, “What?”

They asked me if I really hadn’t heard them.

Yes. I really didn’t hear you. I was reading an e-mail.

(On a side note, I am very good at blocking things out. I do it almost all the time.)

They didn’t believe me. They must think I just pretend like I’m working while they chit-chat. Nope. I’m actually working. And I’m not listening.

I asked what they had been telling me, and this is how I became privy to tomorrow’s Fattening Friday potluck. They explained the concept and what they hoped to accomplish with this little party and then one of them asked, “So, what are you bringing?”

After thinking about 3/10 of a second, I said, “I think I’ll bring a salad.”

Everybody busted out laughing.

And one of them said through guffaws “That was funny.”

Thank you. Thank you very much.

It’s only taken them almost 2 years to “get” my sense of humor. I feel very accomplished tonight.


Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Current Events


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Hatin’ on August

August is my least-favorite month.

There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning feeling like your head is about to explode.

The heat.
The heat wouldn’t be so bad if the humidity wasn’t at 900%.

If you combine the issues from the allergy section and the issues from the heat section, your head might as well explode because you can’t breathe anyway.

School starts.

I’m not hatin’ on school. I love to learn.

But. It’s sad when everybody starts going to bed at 7:30 to get ready for their school routine.

It’s sad that learning becomes mandatory. Because its funner to learn when you don’t have to.

It’s sad that all of a sudden one day you’re driving down the road and you realize that the speed limit is 15 MPH because school is now in session. This makes me particularly sad because my job consists primarily of driving and getting places on time. It’s really bad on 11th, because there is one school after another on that road. The Middle School. The High School. Lake Area Tech. Mount Marty College. They are all neighbors to one another and you have to drive 15 for about a mile straight.

It’s frustrating.

The Pool.
The pool closes in August. Just when it starts getting warm enough to want to go to the pool, the pool closes for the year.

Everybody’s busy.
No more spontaneous picnics. No more random shopping trips. No more fun and games. It’s all suffering through the sinus issues, the sweltering humidity, the crazy slow speed limits and the homework and school schedules.

August is awful.

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Posted by on August 23, 2013 in Current Events


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You Can’t Win ’em All

As soon as I got to work today, I found out that I won a pair of tickets to a (very expensive) dueling pianos show this weekend.

Cool, right?

The rules of the give-away were that you have to attend the show with your “significant other.”

Yes, the rules said “Significant Other.”

So, I took on the task of finding a “significant other.”

I texted a friend, asking if he wanted to attend with me.

No response.

* * * * *

While I was waiting to hear from my friend, I decided to go to a Tupperware Quarter Auction.

If you decide you want to bid on an item, you put a quarter (or two or three — whatever the asking price is) in a cup, the lady draws a number and if it’s your number (and you bid on it), you win.

You can put $10 in right off the bat and have a chance at everything that’s up for bid. Or you can bid on individual items. Since I’m not a “stuff” person, I decided to bid on only the items that I would actually use.

The first item I bid on was two containers.

I won the containers.

My number was called on an item I didn’t bid on.

And then I bid on a one-gallon pitcher.

And I won that too.

For a total of $7, I left the Tupperware gig with $40 worth of merchandise.

* * * * *

I went home and looked at my strangely silent phone.

No response from Guy Number One regarding the show.

* * * * *

Shortly after I found out that I had won the tickets, my coworker wrote me a note that said, “You won tickets to the show! You should totally take me! (Unless you have a date or something.)”

Well, I guess it’s good to know somebody wants to go with me.

And I’d be cool with that — if they hadn’t put in the part about taking one’s “significant other.”

No girl who is attracted exclusively to men wants anybody to think they’re “with” a chick.

* * * * *

Moving on to Guy Number Two…..

This whole asking dudes to go to a show with you is completely awkward.

Especially when you’re a girl. A shy girl. A girl who doesn’t really know how to talk to men in the first place.

Especially when you’re a girl who was taught her whole life that nice girls don’t kiss boys. Or talk to boys. Or look at boys. Or be seen in the presence of boys. Or ride in cars with boys. Or go to shows with boys.

Especially when you’re a girl who was taught that girls are supposed to wait patiently for boys to notice you.

Guy Number Two is busy that night. Dang it.

* * * * *

Moving on to Guy Number Three….

I just might have to settle for going to the show with a chick.

No, really. I enjoy the company of my coworker.

I can win tickets. I can win Tupperware. I can win all kinds of things — all in the same day. But I guess there are things you can’t win. I guess you can’t win ’em all — especially when it comes to finding a guy to go to a Dueling Pianos show with you.


Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Current Events


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On I-29 in South Dakota, exit 84B exits onto I-90 West toward Rapid City. I’ve learned this well. I go to Sioux Falls (what I like to call “going to town”) for work a lot, and when you drive the same route several times, you sort of start to pick up on these things. One time I went to Sioux Falls 3 times in a 7-day period. It was awesome!

In this blog, 84B is sort of an exit from this (84) to other, somewhat related topics.

This morning in church, my pastor was talking about Philippians 1:21- For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

My understanding of this passage is that our goal should be to live in such a way that whatever we do brings honor to Christ (of course, we will never be able to do this perfectly), and also in such a way that we aren’t so caught up in life that leaving it (leaving life- dying) would be devastation or disappointment. Basically, it’s about balance — be grounded in our faith enough that we are compelled to behave in ways that honor Him, be grounded enough in the world around us that we feel compelled to share the love of Christ, but at the same time, not get caught up and carried away in the things of this world. Always, no matter what one goes through in a day, focus enough on Jesus to remember that one day, all of these things will fade away and we will trade it in for the beauty of forever with Jesus. To die is gain — not because we’ve lost something, but because we’ve gained something far better and far more beautiful.

My pastor challenged us to think about this verse and remove the words “Christ” and “gain” and fill in the blank. His example was that for some people, to live is to make money and to die is to leave it all behind. Or to live is to be popular and to die is to be rejected.

Throughout church this morning, I thought about my previous post (84).

For me, to live is to make everybody else happy at the expense of my own happiness, and to die is to keep doing it day after day after day.

I got to thinking. If you look at this situation from a biblical perspective, one could say that it is not biblical to be a people pleaser. Being a people pleaser puts people in the position that God alone is supposed to fill, and when that happens, nobody truly, truly lives. The pleased person doesn’t have to learn how to please himself and the pleaser doesn’t get to learn to please herself. No one is healthy. No one is happy. God is not honored — He’s left out of the picture entirely — and neither the pleased nor the pleaser is blessed.

My resolution today is to stop living for the happiness and convenience of others and to start living to honor God — and part of honoring God is to take care of me — so that the death part can be a one-time experience (many years down the road) instead of a continuous, all day, everyday deal. No more sad, bored and almost dead for me.

It is ok to say no!

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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Current Events


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I’ve been reading a book called Angel Sister. The main family in the story consisted of a husband and wife who were children of men who wanted to control and micromanage them. Their fathers let them know what they were expected to do (beginning with not marrying each other), and when they — as adults — “defied” their fathers, their fathers told them that they were ungrateful and rebellious, and then they told everybody else the same thing.

Several years later, the family was starting to fall apart. The husband began drinking. The wife was at a loss as to what to do. The oldest and youngest daughters were clueless that any of this was happening, and the middle daughter was the glue that held them together. She was the one that got dear old dad in bed when he came home drunk. She did everything she could to keep the peace in the family.

Near the end of the book, the wife’s father died. When she told her step-mother that there was nothing she could do now that he was gone, the step-mother told her “he always said you were an ungrateful daughter.”

The narrative throughout the next couple of pages consists of the thoughts that go through this character’s mind after hearing her step-mother’s words. She reminds herself of all she’s done. She asks what she could have done better. She comforted herself with words from the Bible that reminded her that even though she wasn’t — and could never be — perfect, God still loved her, and He would honor her efforts, even if her father (and step-mother) didn’t.

The following is a paragraph that concludes her thoughts on the matter:

It didn’t matter what Carla said. It didn’t matter what Nadine’s father might have said before he died. Nadine had been a dutiful daughter. Perhaps too dutiful. She and Victor had both let their fathers’ expectations of them color too much of their life together. Expectations that neither of them had ever been able to live up to.

* * * * *

There comes a time when one must be allowed to grow up.

* * * * *

I’m not a parent, but I think I understand how situations like the one in the book can happen. Parents don’t want their children to experience the consequences of making poor choices, so the parent tries to make all the decisions so that if something goes wrong, they can only blame themselves.
Or maybe the parent is just a jerk.

Of course, there are probably millions of reasons why this could happen. But this post isn’t about reasons.

* * * * *

It’s very difficult to be that child.

You know what is expected, and you (typically) do it because you know that if you don’t, word vomit will ensue.

“You’re not supposed to do that! You know better than that!”

“But I told you to do _____________, and you did _____________ instead. What are you thinking?”

“I’m so disappointed in you.”

“If you do that, you are going to ruin my whole week.”

“You were supposed to use that money for ______________, not for that stupid ____________.”

* * * * *

The past few weeks I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon.

It’s sort of like, if you don’t have the opportunity to assert your independence when you’re growing up, you will never have an opportunity to assert your independence — because every opportunity you have is shadowed by the lies.

The lies that tell you that somehow, you are responsible for making sure that everybody is happy and that if somebody isn’t happy, it’s somehow your fault. The lies that tell you that you’re not allowed to live because you’re so busy simply existing as perfectly as is humanly possible.

The lies bring death.

You’re so busy living for other people that you don’t get a chance to live for you.

And the saddest part is that the person who is telling you what to do and be doesn’t get any joy out of it either.

In the end, you have one person (or maybe two) who is pacified (neither happy nor unhappy) and a person — yourself — who is bored, sad and dead on the inside.

* * * * *

I’ve been that person for a very long time.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been reading and studying some stuff and have come to the conclusion that this has got to stop.

Because no one benefits from a person who is sad, bored and slightly petrified on the inside.

I’ve seen it in my work. I was so bored with work — because I’ve been conditioned to believe that the only reason you work is so you can pay your bills. And put food that you don’t even like on the table. And maybe buy some nice thrift store clothes that were in style in 1997. And, pay extra on loans. Like, every penny that doesn’t go toward bills, nasty food and severely outdated thrift store bargains goes toward paying off loans. Oh — and tithing.

Your money isn’t supposed to be used for living. It’s just there to help you — sadly — exist.

I’ve seen it in relationships. Picture the new dad who vows that his baby girl isn’t going to date until she’s 35. That kind of loneliness leads to sadness. Boredom. A hard little lump that’s supposed to be a vibrantly, joyfully beating heart.

People give you a purpose. But it’s a purpose that only brings stagnation. You’re there to serve people, and if you’re not serving them, you aren’t supposed to be around them. Giving. Giving, giving and giving some more. But you never receive anything in return. And you die a little bit on the inside.

I’ve seen it in how I keep my house. Why take care of something that is only meant to keep the rain and snow off of you? You’re not supposed to enjoy the place you are most of the time. It’s not supposed to be pretty. Don’t put stuff on the walls because when you move, you’ll have to fill the nail holes. Don’t buy anything new, because when you move, the windows won’t be the same size and you might not be able to fit that bed into the new place. Thrift store bargains are good enough.

All the things they say-

You can’t afford to get a better car.

You shouldn’t waste your time and money on a vacation.

Why must you be friends with THAT person when THIS one would do just fine?

Thanksgiving won’t be the same without you.

Just please…. let me be a grownup. That’s all I ask.

I want to have the freedom to traipse through a car lot without feeling guilty for entertaining the notion that I could plunk down a pile of cash and drive off with a new car.

I want the freedom to talk to men and not feel guilty because I’m not allowed to date until I’m 35. Or because I might be causing him to “stumble” simply by looking in his direction. That’s way too much pressure. I just want the freedom to…. be. The freedom to let things happen — and to not feel guilty because I’m feeling something other than sad, bored and slightly petrified on the inside.

I want the freedom to spend my money how I want to spend it — because if I can spend it how I want to spend it, it’s so much nicer having to earn it. Work is more fun. The people around you are more interesting. It helps end the sadness, boredness and deadness.

I mostly want the freedom to do what I want to do and to not feel like I have to hide it from people. Because that kind of secret brings sadness. Loneliness. Brokenness. Pain. Death. I’m so done with that. I just want the freedom to be me.

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Posted by on August 2, 2013 in Current Events


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Mindy Peltier

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Stretching out to touch His hem with 6 kids in tow:)

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