Month: February 2007


I believe my actions define who I am, not my religion. Is this not true? The University of Minnesota did a study about a year ago that announced that atheists are the least accepted and least trusted people in America. Now, of course someone has to be at the bottom I suppose, but why does religion have anything to do with trust? I have to say I do not really know what “religion” I am, mostly agnostic/spiritual. I feel people need an inner sense of guidance in how to behave and improve one's self, but for those who do believe in God or gods and/or goddesses, that's just what they need to make sense of the world and I have no problem with that. I know I have traveled down this path perilously before, but I honestly do not understand why religion can trump action.

Take me, for instance. I don't drink, smoke, swear, take the Lord's name in vain or mention the “underworld” even in respect to Christian religions, party for hours on end, do any drugs including prescription, etc. I waited until marriage to lose my virginity. I am prompt and take on all responsibility handed to me. I pay all bills on time. Am I not trustworthy simply because I have not praised “hallelujah” every Sunday of my life? I donate to charity, fight for environmental causes, help others when I see their in need. I do not understand, why do people feel it is not possible to be moral without a prescribed religion? Do I scare people at my small height? Well, I should because I've taken judo, tae kwon do, kendo, and fencing… but not because I am not necessarily Christian… I hope… would people hate me simply because I do not feel Christian? You know how sometimes you don't feel like you fit in; I felt that way at church, and that's why I don't know now. I think it's cold-hearted and mean to discriminate against people for anything besides by their own actions. And even then there sometimes is a good reason for an irrational-seeming action. *sigh* I believe America has now come upon another age of discrimination (okay, not really, but I want to make up a word): sexism, racism, and religionism? Weird… I suppose there always must be something for people to hate about one another. If you hate or distrust me, please let me know. I would really appreciate knowing whether I am welcome or not. Sorry in advance if I offended anyone again.

Bye bye Lincoln, hello Taurus

On Monday last week, Hoyt was driving to his last shift before coming up for the wedding when the local doctor pulled out in front of him on the highway. Because Hoyt served and only clipped him at 50 mph, neither driver was seriously injured. However, Hoyt's baby was totaled. He ended up in a rental truck, the F150 (sucks for long distance driving – lots of gas and uncomfortable seats…), four hours after his shift ended on Tuesday. Because he had our new camera with him, he was able to take pictures of the scene. There was no question that the other guy took 100% liability.

So, with the Lincoln totaled, after putting 5200 dollars of repairs into it over the last 9 months, the insurance company gave us a total of 4200 dollars (3100 for the car, 500 for the repairs, and some additional for title, tags, etc). We were both stunned by the 500 for 5200 dollars of work, but most was counted as maintenance and not upgrades… so regardless of the fact that Hoyt lost his precious car, it was 100% not his fault, and we needed a car terribly, we did not get nearly enough money to get a reliable car to replace it. So, instead of being out of debt in six months (that was all that was left for the Lincoln), we are now back in the hole.

That being said, on Tuesday after the wedding, we went car shopping all day. How exhausting. We found a great Mercury Sable with adjustable pedals, fully loaded, but at 11k and barely any money from the insurance company (we still don't have the check and won't for a few more weeks – how inconvenient is that??), we went for the 2003 Ford Taurus that was 3k less. *sigh* And I had to take out a loan because Hoyt's credit is bad and he has the Lincoln to pay off still. Does this seem fair to anyone? The car Hoyt wanted to retire in gets totaled by someone else, and I end up back in debt so Hoyt can get to work and back up to Kansas because the insurance company won't give us enough money to purchase a reliable vehicle.

Needless to say, the Taurus (I do NOT like Fords) had some issues. And the dealership was definitely trying to rip me off. But, after sitting in the waiting area for 45 minutes, then telling the service manager you just got sick in the bathroom, they are more than happy to get you out of the door. The car was fixed twenty minutes later. Hopefully it will last a few years when we can purchase a car we both actually want instead of just need. I haven't uploaded the pictures of the Taurus yet, so I'll edit this post with a picture of the actual car instead of this photo I surfed up on the Internet. :-p

Sicker than a dog

Wow, I don't think I have ever experienced a real 24-hour disease before yesterday… I apparently caught the 24-hour stomach flu. 3 a.m. I woke up with an upset stomach. The day before I stuffed myself silly, so I thought I was just paying for that. Oh no… by late afternoon my system was completely empty, I had absolutely no energy (I couldn't even lift my fingers to type most of the day), and my entire body was so sensitive everywhere that I felt like one big bruise. The worst was my lower back, which made sitting and lying down excruciating.

I felt so horrible because I have not vomited in over a decade, and yesterday I did twice. It was that bad… I can't even begin to explain just what a mess I was! I tried to get some additional sleep, but I could not keep myself warm. So I had a sweater and a blanket wrapped around me underneath the covers without success. Poor Hoyt, when we finally went to bed, me all wrapped up, had to put up with my icy hands and feet because he was like a pool of heat I couldn't resist. :-p And about 3 a.m. I woke up from the heat! It was definitely 24-hour. But now that my stomach is completely empty, it's hungry but still very sensitive. What a pain.

THE Wedding Update…

Minnesota was cold, as expected. :-p We arrived on Wednesday at about 9 degrees above, but oh did it plummet. When we left on Sunday it was -15 degrees. Now that's what I call a winter wedding. 😉

Everything went splendidly. Hoyt did get a bit lock kneed and deer in headlights-ish for the ceremony, but he also did for the proposal. :-p For being a ham, he sure does freeze up! But the decorations, the music, the cake, the location, and especially the company made for a great 1920s train wedding. We had the ceremony at the train museum on the back of the presidential car (it was inside, you're crazy if you think I'd stand outside in a strapless dress in Minnesota February!), then the party moved upstairs into the great hall of the Duluth's historic Depot.

We had three live bands perform, starting with Mr. Gabriel James out of Minneapolis during the social hour. He played some great songs I recognized from his first two albums, and his third album just came out! Daniel Solberg and Shanan D'Agostino followed him with some wonderful jazz/early swing music. Shanan sang De-Lovely for our first dance, which was quite “lovely”. 😉 The third act was a six-man band pulled together after nearly a decade apart. They specialize in blues music, but they had the house a-swinging!

The cake, made by local baker Bev Bennett, was three green triangles with white squiggles and orange lilies for decoration. Delicious! We did do a dollar dance, that decommissioned me (there were a LOT of tall people! I need a chiropractic adjustment…) as well as Hoyt (bad knees, especially after picking me up so much!), so shortly after we vamooshed to our bed and breakfast, the Firelight Inn. Our room, the Isle Royale Suite, had a whirlpool facing a fireplace – can't get much more romantic than that! It is also the only bed and breakfast chosen for the Select Registry for b&bs in Minnesota! Highly recommended. We had some of the most interesting and tasty meals there, and LOTS of food. You certainly would not go hungry. 😉

The sleigh ride ended up canceled at the last minute due to the temperatures. She did not want her horses to be out in the -15 degrees (with windchill it was -35 degrees, so I suppose I can't blame her…). We did stick around for some sloppy joes and left overs at the warming house with a strong bonfire not far away. I attempted to make smores, but the marshmallow froze before I could get it off the stick, then I lost feeling in my fingers as I ran to the warming shack. :-p Ah well, good leftover cake at least!

I skipped the rehearsal dinner description! Hoyt's parents did a great job pulling it together and not “roasting” me. Another musician couple performed a few songs, one song written especially for us! Hoyt's father put together a slide show and with teary eyes read a poem to Hoyt. The food was pretty good too. 😉

Okay, I do have some pictures… but they aren't professional or even from the person we asked to take pictures of the reception! I'll post when I get those for sure. 😉

Wedding photos.