Jen has a cold

*cough* *hack* *sneeze* Sorry for not updating really regularly. I have the cold from hell… AGAIN!!! Thankfully I don’t have work until Friday, so I can spend some time in bed resting.

The site visit for Jon’s internship was yesterday and it went really well. Jane (the Contextual Ed person) came down and met with Jon and Bill separately and then together. Then, she tookJon, me, and Bill out to dinner at Olive Garden. I was (and still am) in the “food is yucky” stage so I barely ate anything more than some soup and a breadstick. (Brian, I *did* eat. You may NOT pull out the mixing bowl, Cheerios, soy milk, and duct tape!!!) The last thing was a meeting with Jon and his internship committee.

Today, I’ve mostly crocheted, slept, been bossed around by my Flufferpie (who is an EXCEEDINGLY bossy kitty), and played Text Twist (a Yahoo Game that is VERY addictive.) I have choir practice tonight but I’ll probably ditch because I’m not feeling up to leaving the house.

Oh yes… no word from the library yet. I don’t know whether to be afraid or to chill.

Life

Equality Issues
I just finished Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and it was an eye-opening book in a lot of respects. She works at a bunch of low-paying jobs, such as waitressing, housecleaning, retail, and others and talks about how badly people are treated and how one really has to work two jobs in order to support one’s self. I was thinking, “Yep! She’s on it!” throughout the book and it made my desire to find a non-retail job more passionate. The majority of the people at Drug Emporium are very nice but I feel really out of place there because I can’t really talk to any of my co-workers about anything in my life.

Prayer Requests
-that I get a call back for the library position
-that if I don’t get the library position, God has something else better in store for me
-that I can make it through the next two weeks (work this week and psych stuff the next week)

Back in Ohio
We got back to Ohio last night. Our flights were smooth and the day seemed much shorter than it was — mostly because I slept a lot of the way to Minneapolis (something I shouldn’t have done in hindsight). Our cats are slowly forgiving us for being gone — Cullen is uber-affectionate and Finian is allowing himself to be cuddled after he scolds me.

What a Funeral!

The Memorial Service
I just got back from the memorial service for Ann and I have to say — I have NEVER been to a memorial service where people are clapping along to the folk music, telling stories about someone’s funny exploits, and where the pastor does the blessing with a squirt gun. (Then again… ECA has *NEVER* been a normal church.) It was a really joyous occasion — EXACTLY how I want my funeral to be.

One thing that Nolan mentioned was that ANN was the one called to ministry — not him. I fully believe it and I had never thought about how much of a ministry I have as a pastor’s wife. (Well… a vicar’s wife now.) Ann left definite footprints and she and Nolan are very much the reason I am in seminary to be a pastor.

It was also VERY wonderful to see people again. I keep forgetting how much of a family ECA is to me. It was amazing to see how people had grown and how people had changed.

My Sumo Cat
Mouse was diagnosed with an abcess this morning and they drained it about 1 pm. We’ll pick him up in 30 minutes (6:00 pm PST) when he’s more out of the anethesia. The vet is more of a valley girl than I am and she thought Mousie was a cutie! (He’s a strange looking cat, but he is the sweetest cat.)

Bon Annee

Blog Additions/Changes
Bene has a new link and a new domain. Check it out!

My friend Michelle (a.k.a. Mikao) has been added to my list. Mish and I have known each other via snail mail for about… 9 years? We’ve lost touch in recent years and when I saw the site on blogs4God last month, I was wondering if it was indeed her. Then, I got a message in my blog around Christmas Day saying that it was her. So… go read her blog. I am really looking forward to getting back in touch with her this year.

The 411 on Jen’s Activities
December 27th: It was the Bergstrom family gathering. I got to meet Jon’s aunt Leslie and uncle Peter for the first time as well as their daughter Libby and son Glenn (who are wonderful children). I got to see his other cousins who well… are not. We served In-n-Out burgers — the pinnacle of fast food. Justin (our best man) came over and we discussed the fact that he and Jon are the only people in their Boy Scout troop that are not gay. It was nice to catch up on the “coming out” gossip.
December 28th: We (me, Jon, and Justin) went to Disneyland. We got on everything that we wanted to go on except the Matterhorn (it wasn’t open that day) and we took advantage of the Fastpass system. We got soaked on the way out by a downpour that lasted most of the night.
December 29th: Jon was preaching at this home congregation and I was the communion assistant. It was an interesting service. After church, we came back to the house and hung around. We played lots of Boggle that afternoon (which is a full contact sport in the Kibler household) and went to a graduation party that evening. I then got to listen to my father-in-law play piano while my mother-in-law meowed Christmas carols. (I’m dead serious.)
December 30th: We flew up to San Jose. It was a quiet rest of the day because Mom and Dad had to work. I helped make dinner.
December 31st: I had coffee with Abra, which was great. She is a good friend and it had been 9 months since I’d seen her. After that, I went shopping with Dad for dinner stuff. I spent my New Year’s Eve (and much of morning) in San Francisco with some high school friends, Sean (my twin), and Jon. We got home at 4.
January 1st: Another quiet day. Went shopping with Mom and got The Cat Who Went Up A Creek, the latest Lillian Jackson Braun book. Read most of the day. Sean’s girlfriend Jeanette is over now.

My sumo cat has a lump on his head that we think is an abcess. Pray for Mouse (yes… his name is Mouse) that it’s nothing serious.

I also met the elusive Trail Kitty, who actually likes me. He is scared of Sean and Jon but I’m apparently OK. We bonded last night when I went out into the garage and he let me give him some love. He is a very soft cat but also a BIG kitty.

Tomorrow is Ann’s memorial service. (Ann is the wife of Nolan who is the pastor emeritus of my church in San Jose.) It’s a folk service and should be good. I’m going mostly for closure’s sake. I’m OK with her death but it’s always good to go to things like this to resolve all feelings. (Boy… I have so learned this the hard way.) I’m nervous about going because I’ve been gone for so long but it should be OK.

Airport Security

Upon reading this (courtesy of my surrogate big brother and part time viking Brian), I thought I might want to tell the story of flying from Ontario International Airport to LAX. (It was a 15 minute flight and a waste of gas. There is a reason why United is going bankrupt.)

After spending a few days with my in-laws, I was flying up to San Jose ahead of my then-fiancé Jon to work on some wedding prep with my mom. We got to the Ontario airport about 90 minutes before my flight (which was almost too late) and when I went to the ticket counter, they informed me that I was going to be the one to have my suitcase randomly checked. This alarmed me somewhat because I had the following in my suitcase:
-2 vaccuum-sealed packages of Turkish coffee with the writing being about 75% Arabic and 25% French. (It was from a Lebanese shop.)
-my hijab from the Islam class I’d taken with the pins in place for easy fastening
-a few copies of the Qur’an
-some Arabic picture books that they gave us at one of the mosques
-a few other books from my Islam class

This is of course post-9/11 and I was mentally trying to figure out how to explain all of it since saying “I am a seminary student” could easily be misinterpreted. Thankfully my screener was from a Muslim country in Africa and had a sense of humor, teasing me about all of it as he was going through my suitcase. (“Ohhh… is this Turkish coffee any good?” “Nope… haven’t tried it but it smells weird.” “You know… you can get a better version of the Qur’an than this.” “Yeah… but my Arabic isn’t that great.” “If you’re a seminary student, shouldn’t you be a nun?” “NOOOOOO!!!!! I’m Lutheran.”)

When I got upstairs, the metal detector went off and they wanded me and put my shoes through the machine. (Oooooooh… steel-toed hiking boots from Lands’ End…) Then, they informed me that they would have to wand me, pat me down, and search my carry-on bags at the gate. When I got to the gate, my checker was the one-armed gate agent who had checked me in. Getting patted down by him was an interesting experience though I would have preferred a woman do it. (It’s kind of strange to feel someone’s stump [in place of an arm and hand] patting down your chest.) I got on my nice little 15 minute flight to LAX and had an easy time once I got there.