March 6, 2015

Thought of the Day: A Lesson from an Apple


         There it sits innocently.  My mouth is watering as I steal another glance at a juicy red apple on the cutting board.  All I can think about is how sweet and delicious that fruit will taste when I finally bite into it.  I consider just snatching the apple up right then and there, listening to what my taste buds are screaming at me to do, and biting into it rather than wasting time with the cutting board and knife.  It is so tempting.  Yet I make myself wash the apple and slice it up all properly.   “Patience is a virtue” I remind myself,  that and the fact that I am a messy eater and  would more than likely end up with apple juice all over my face.  So, I eagerly cut the apple in half.

          The first thing I’m struck with is the sinking feeling of disappointment.  The apple is rotten to the core; all but a few centimeters of the outside edge is brown.   I cut the apple halves into fourths, hoping that it’s just a section of the apple that is bad.  Disappointment again, the whole thing is no good.  I briefly think that I might be able to salvage the outer edge of the fruit.  Upon second glance I know that is a hopeless cause.  Even if I cut away the bad, the minuscule bit of apple remaining would have a tainted flavor of sickly sweet rotten fruit.   Taking the trouble to cut all that rotten away would leave you with pitiful, ugly scraps of fruit that bear more semblance to an apple that had a run-in with a lawnmower.   I deem the fruit unfit for consumption and throw it in the compost bucket.  I’m still craving some sliced apple, and dealing with my regret at not buying more than one at the store.  I stare at the bad apple in the compost, shudder, and think to myself, “Blimey, I sure am glad I didn't just bite into that!” 

You can’t tell sometimes if a fruit is rotten.  With my apple; it was not squishy or bruised, it was still shiny and perfect looking on the outside, and it even smelled good.  Looks can be deceiving.  The last time I ate a bite of fruit gone bad, it was an overripe peach that left an aftertaste of dirt in my mouth.  It was hard for me to eat a peach after that, all I could think of every time I saw one was that horrible taste of fermented peach and dirt.  I didn't cut into that peach either, just went and took a big bite of it thinking it was perfectly ripe. 

See, being hasty and making judgments based off appearances is dangerous.  It’s not wise to do it with fruit, and it’s not wise to do with people.  What at first glance may look like a great deal, a wonderful person, or a scrumptious piece of fruit may in fact be pleasing on the surface, but have ugliness and rotten beneath all that grandeur.  Take your time getting to know people before you judge them.  A Coconut has a tough exterior and doesn't necessarily look yummy on the outside with all that stringy brown stuff, but it’s the delicious white meat on the inside (that you have to work really hard to get at) that makes the Coconut beloved by so many.  Sugarcane looks like freakishly tall grass, a lot of people wouldn't even know it to look at it, yet who doesn't like sugar?   Sugar is in almost everything!   A Geode looks like a lumpy gray rock, but when you break it in half, inside there is a spectacular cluster of beautiful crystals.

How often have you looked at someone in passing and thought?

 “They must be super rich, look at those fancy clothes they’re wearing.”      

“What’s a hooker doing in a place like this?”  

“Man, I hate how arrogant those football jock types are all the time, acting like they’re so important.”

“Yup, that one’s definitely emo.”

“He looks like he’s on drugs.”

“I bet that guy’s not really homeless, he’s just looking for sympathy and some free food and cash.”

“She must be a rebellious type with that spiky green hair, tattoos, and piercings.”

“Whoa buddy, lay off the Big Mac’s already, haven’t you got a lick of self-control?”

“Little miss perfect alert!”

       The Bible talks about judging people a lot!

Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.     John 7:24

Brothers, do not slander one another.  Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it.  When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.  But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?     James 4:11-12

Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.     Matthew 7:1-2

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.     Romans 12:3

…Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  You, then, why do you judge your brother?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.   It is written:  “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.”  So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.      Romans 14:9b-13

As for those who seemed to be important - whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance.     Galatians 2:6

 It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.     1 Corinthians 4:4b-5

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.     Leviticus 19:15

Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High.     Psalm 7:8

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.     Proverbs 31:8-9

        A while back I brought Guacamole to a Children’s Church Club as part of their snack for the day.  I normally bring fruit, crackers, and some cookies for the kid’s snack; but that day I decided to try something new.  I gave them their fruit and crackers and cookie, but then I whipped out a bag of chips and a small bowl of Guacamole.  As soon as the kids laid eyes on the green stuff in the bowl and heard what it was, they made faces and loudly exclaimed that they would have none of that.  See, I knew that this would happen and I had a plan to get them to try something new.  I put down my bag of chips and bowl of Guacamole, reached into my back pocket and pulled out a pack of gum, holding it aloft for them all to see.  I wave it back and forth a bit to get their attention, and tell them that if they would try at least one chip with a bit of Guacamole on it, they would get a piece of gum.  To my surprise almost all the kids’ hands went up and there were shouts of, “I’ll try it!” and “Me!  Me!” and “I want some!”  Going around and watching them try this new food; I saw expressions change from suspicion and fear to surprise, relief, and delight.  “Wow, that’s actually yummy!”  “I like it!”  “Can I have more?”  “Can you bring more next time?”  When I left that evening, with a near gone pack of gum and an empty bowl of guacamole, I was grinning like an idiot the whole drive home.   

        No I am not endorsing bribery, merely trying to illustrate the concept of hasty judgment and how it is a foolish thing.  It takes years sometimes to get to know a person well enough to know who they are underneath that outer shell, that mask they wear in public.  Sometimes you’ll be surprised that the most delicious food is often unattractive.   I've found that some of the dustiest, oldest, water stained, weathered book covers can hold priceless stories in their pages.  Your teacher who is always so nice at school, gossips about how irritating children are to her friends.  You see a pregnant teenage girl, and you think she has no self-control, you judge her for getting pregnant so young.  If you’d just care to find out, she’d tell you she’d been raped but that she didn't agree with abortion and was giving the baby up for adoption.  The handsome gentleman, who paid for your coffee at Starbucks and was flirting with you asking when he could meet you again, has a wife and kids at home.  The old lady who you see at the store, taking forever to pay for her groceries and haggling over the price of two day old bread, while there is a growing line of impatient people behind her.  People think she’s annoying and maybe a little crazy, they’d never know she was a nurse in Germany during WWII and saved countless lives.  Take your time, be patient, slow down, walk a mile in their shoes, check your thoughts, and think things through before you act on them. 

         I find it fascinating how you can learn lessons about people from an apple.  Sometimes the lessons you try to teach, the wisdom you wish to pass on, the advice you want to have someone pay heed too - can come to fruition by a simple parable.  If I have offended in any way, I deeply apologize, that was not my intent.  I haven’t written all this with anyone particular in mind, I’m not trying to point out someone’s faults, or to shame somebody.  I just stood in my kitchen, staring at that deceptive apple in the compost bucket, and I was reminded of the similarities between that apple and judging by appearances.  I usually keep these little lessons I learn to myself; the time I learned about parenting from raising my ducks, how Lemmings and people have more similarities I originally thought, etc.  This apple just wouldn't get out of my mind, so here it is!   

April 1, 2012


I must confess something...........

I put off doing my homework till the last possible moment because I don't like doing schoolwork on the weekends. 

THERE! I said it!  Huge sigh of relief.

Now I'm going to go back to finishing my New Web Tech presentation........ that I've been putting off for a week....... that's due tomorrow....... and I'm not even half way done with yet. 


Ahhhhhh!!!  Later folks!

March 29, 2012

How to Argue Effectively

Sometimes my boring interpersonal communications text book throws something off the wall and hilarious at me, this is a prime example:

How to Argue Effectively
by Dave Barry

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. You too can win arguments. Simply follow these rules:

Drink Liquor
Suppose you are at a party and some hotshot intellectual is expounding on the economy of Peru, a subject you know nothing about. If you're drinking some health-fanatic drink like grapefruit juice, you'll hang back, afraid to display your ignorance, while the hotshot enthralls your date. But if you drink several large martinis, you'll discover you have strong views about the Peruvian economy. You'll be a wealth of information. You'll argue forcefully, offering searing insights and possibly upsetting furniture. People will be impressed. Some may leave the room.

Make Things Up
Suppose, in the Peruvian economy argument, you are trying to prove that Peruvians are underpaid, a position you base solely on the fact that you are underpaid, and you'll be damned if you're going to let a bunch of Peruvians be better off. Don't say: "I think Peruvians are underpaid." Say instead: "The average Peruvian's salary in 1981 dollars adjusted for the revised tax base is $1,452.81 per annum, which is $836.07 before the mean gross poverty level."
NOTE: Always make up exact figures.
If an opponent asks you where you got your information, make THAT up too. Say: "This information comes from Dr. Hovel T. Moon's study for the Buford Commission published on May 9, 1982. Didn't you read it?" Say this in the same tone of voice you would use to say, "You left your soiled underwear in my bathroom."

Use Meaningless but Weighty-Sounding Words and Phrases
Memorize this list:
Let me put it this way
In terms of
Per se
As it were
Ipso facto
So to speak
You should also memorize some Latin abbreviations such as "Q.E.D.", "e.g.", and "i.e." These are all short for "I speak Latin, and you don't." Here's how to use these words and phrases. Suppose you want to say, "Peruvians would like to order appetizers more often, but they don't have enough money."
You never win arguments talking like that. But you WILL win if you say, "Let me put it this way. In terms of appetizers vis-a-vis Peruvians qua Peruvians, they would like to order them more often, so to speak, but they do not have enough money per se, as it were. Ergo, ipso facto, case closed. Q.E.D."
Only a fool would challenge that statement.

Use Snappy and Irrelevant Comebacks
You need an arsenal of all-purpose irrelevant phrases to fire back at your opponents when they make valid points. The best are:
You're begging the question.
You're being defensive.
Don't compare apples to oranges.
What are your parameters?
This last one is especially valuable. Nobody (other than engineers and policy wonks) has the vaguest idea what "parameters" means.
Don't forget the classic: YOU'RE SO LINEAR.
Here's how to use your comebacks:
You say: As Abraham Lincoln said in 1873...
Your opponent says: Lincoln died in 1865.
You say: You're begging the question.
You say: Liberians, like most Asians...
Your opponent says: Liberia is in Africa.
You say: You're being defensive.
You say: Since the discovery of the incandescent light bulb...
Your opponent says: The light bulb is an invention.
You say: Well DUH!
Compare Your Opponent to Adolf Hitler
This is your heavy artillery, for when your opponent is obviously right and you are spectacularly wrong. Bring Hitler up subtly. Say, "That sounds suspiciously like something Adolf Hitler might say," or "You certainly do remind me of Adolf Hitler."

So that's it.  You now know hot to out-argue anybody.  Do not try to pull this on people who generally carry weapons.

March 19, 2012


I went to bed at 3 in the morning after franticly designing a poster due in class later today. 
I woke up to a cat licking my foot and my annoying alarm blaring in my ears at 8 am.

I look outside and scream and fall over at the sight of 4 inches of snow on the ground with more falling each second.  It's March; we should be done with snow by now.

I throw a coat on and run outside to clean snow off the car so mom and I won't be late to the airport.

I help mom search for her missing glasses, she finds them.

I forget to eat breakfast.

I drive very slowly to town with mom freaking out every time I accelerate to more than 30 mph =)

I get reprimanded for running on ice by the guy shoveling snow at the Cascade gas station. 

I drive very carefully and slowly (in my opinion) on the freeway, while mom freaks out at my driving again.

I get mom to the airport on time!!! Woot!

I drive to Staples to get my poster printed, but alas my document is not compatible with the printer's computer!  I quickly pull out my laptop and export the file to PDF and it gets printed!  Yey =)

I drive to Smiths with the intent of purchasing sustenance, and I run into my dear sweet sister! 

I forget to acquire sustenance and get nail polish that was on sale instead. Darn....

I go to Michaels after parting ways with the sister and I buy spray-on-paper-glue.

I run errands for Cheryl and buy goat feed for her, at the feed store I have a lovely conversation with a lady who wants to buy one of my sister's goats, she gives me a very professional looking card which I later deface.

I drive to the bank thinking to run in, deposit my checks and then be on my merry way in minutes.  Think again.  I spend half an hour talking to a lady who wants me to get a credit card, uggg.

I go to Target to purchase a ruler since I carelessly forgot mine at home.  I sit in the back seat of the car and use the ruler and my exacto knife to cut my poster/foam board down to size for the poster I mentioned earlier.  I cut my finger in the process.  I then use the spray glue stuff to attach my poster to the foam board!!!!!!!!  PROJECT COMPLETE!!!!! There is much rejoicing.

I realize that I am growing weak with hunger, I run on the ice (again) to get to Little Creasers where I buy some delectable Crazy bread.  I devour it within minutes.

I become thirsty, so I dash to Albertsons to buy iced coffee.  I bump into a guy I don't like in the store and I make a run for it back to the car! 

I realize that I despise manual transmit ions when I stall the car in the school parking lot. 

I try to ignore the fact that everybody in the school is staring at me because my wet sneakers are squeaking LOUDLY on the floor.

I make it to the library and collapse on a chair, exhausted from the day’s events.  It's only 2:00 in the afternoon.

I still have classes to go to till 7 pm.  Dear God, please help me survive the rest of the day!

January 31, 2012


I wonder if most women have an indescribable desire to change their hair style frequently............or if it's just me.  In the last year, I've changed hair color regularly with some of the colors and styles ranging from: dark red, carrot orange, blond, light red, purple, black, brown, pinkish blond, coppery brown, gold, maroon, two toned, three toned, pixie short, long, shoulder length, boy style, etc.  I get a giddy feeling that tingles all the way down to my toes when I try something new with my hair.  My parents think I do this to revel in the shock people have when they see me looking different all the time.  Honestly I could care less about the opinions other people have about my hair, I do it because it's fun and I like change.  Through photographs my changing hair color is a helpful way to remember events that I might have forgotten otherwise.  Example:  My brother and I were trying to distinguish between two different visits from the same family members.  Only after observing the changed color and style in my hair were we able to determine which picture came first. 
I know, weird but brilliant =)

January 19, 2012

To Migrate


I used to love this time of year.
There is a sort of hypnotizing beauty in watching snow fall or trying to memorize the unique patterns of frost on the windows.
I enjoyed epic snowball fights with my brothers and making snow men that were reminiscent of ones we saw in Calvin and Hobbes comic books.
Snowshoeing in the fields on a still night when it would be so quiet that you could almost hear the snow falling.  Then to come back to a warm house to thaw out on the couch with a blanket, hot cider, a cat and a good book.
Those were the days.

There are farm chores to do during the day that require quite some time outdoors in all types of bad weather.
There is the hour drive to school every day in a car with the worst heater possible.
Not to mention the college building never heats up.... so it's hours in the ice box.
Then the cold drive home only to do more chores in the snow.
Playing in the snow?  No way, if I can spend most of my time indoors I will.
I freeze and stay frozen for most of the day (and night). I don't think my toes will ever thaw out!

I want to migrate to the equator and not return till all this snow is gone.

November 2, 2011

Juvenile DUCKlinquents

Lately I've been letting my ducks have complete freedom around the 2 acre pen along with the chickens and goats.  I figured "why pen them up in the barn at night when everybody else is free range 24-7?"  So the ducks are now enjoying barnyard freedom. 
At first they would waddle into the barn right at sundown and wait patiently by their pen for me to lock them up for the night.  When I consistently didn't show up, they would come to the barn's entrance and quack loudly at the house as if to ask, "Where are you, you're late!!" 
Eventually they found out that I didn't enforce their curfew anymore, and so the partying began! 
They would stay out far past sundown, chase the chickens around, poop in the goat's food, make all the water buckets muddy, taunt the dogs by running up and down their fence line just out of reach, etc...
 Now they've taken up the habit of getting up early in the morning, walking quietly to the fence by the cars and waiting for me to come out of the house.  I've dropped my book bag more times then I care to admit when they suddenly start quacking loudly as I reach my car. 
They enjoy it I'm sure (since they make a funny noise that sounds like chuckling), seeing me get all flustered as I pick up my bag and check to see if I dropped it in mud. 
Pretty soon I'll be the one laughing when the weather gets too cold for them to pull their little pranks.