I have a home in Africa…

31 03 2007

My parents and little sister leave for Rwanda next week. They’re volunteer missionaries for American Baptist Missions. They’re excited, and I am thrilled for them to be returning to Africa. And I’m jealous.. I want to go back to Africa. I’ve never been to Rwanda, but having been born in Zaire (aka the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Belgian Congo..) I have always felt a tug to return. As much as I love all travel, and going anywhere overseas, I have been quite emotional about my parents’ trip to Rwanda. Rwanda is not the Congo, and my parents are not going to the Congo, but Rwanda is a neighboring country. Rwanda is in Africa.

Cathy walking to churchI simply want to go home. Yes, I am at home in Madison, Wisconsin.. in Vermont… in Thailand… in South/Central American countries.. in Europe… My family’s itinerant background helped me to be comfortable in many countries, something I am grateful for.

But I still dream of one day going “home”, to Africa. I don’t necessarily want to move there, live there… (I’m happy in Madison) but I want to visit where I was born, where I spent the first 7 years of my life, where I played with snakes and bugs and monkeys and ate bugs and dirt and got malaria.. and where I made friends in the villages, and where, as pictured in my parents’ slide (above), I went to village churches…

Someday… in the meantime, I look forward to hearing about my family’s experiences in Rwanda.

trying to post a slideshow

28 03 2007

of Abby and Entropy

[rockyou id=61970023&w=426&h=320]

Family fun

28 03 2007

This week, Jim’s brother and his two sons came by for an overnight visit. Even though they live within a few hours’ drive, we don’t see them (or other family) as often as we’d like. It was great to hang with Mark, Fred and Nikolas, play Monopoly (Nikolas, thanks for paying me so much rent throughout the game!), laugh a lot, take photos of squirrels and the dogs, and just hang together.

I wish all our family lived closer.

oh well. Enjoy it when we can.

It’s that time again.

24 03 2007

No, not spring. Though it certainly is time for Spring. It’s time to write a sermon again. It happens often. After all, I am a pastor. I feel as though I have a better grasp on the text than I sometimes do–thanks to the Wednesday night Lenten study where we discussed John 12:1-8. And on one hand I’m eager to get started…. But it’s the kind of day where I want to stay in bed and veg out. Completely. Watch my taped “Greys Anatomy”, watch all kinds of TLC episodes, read one of the 7 books I want to read… scrapbook…clean my house which is screaming to be cleaned. But I need to write.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to write. I even love to write sermons. But they also continue to instill fear… the public nature, the people nodding off in the pews, the fact that anybody sitting in the pew can critique this aspect of my job that I work so hard on…. and this is a bit disconcerting.

But what’s most disconcerting to me is that it’s God’s Word. It’s God’s Word I’m supposed to present and apply to daily life, and keep people engaged in, and enable people to transform their lives, etc. It’s God’s Word that I, sinful-messed-up-often-angry-at-God Cathy am supposed to preach… It’s God’s Word, and I don’t want to mess it up. That instills fear.

On a more mundane level, there’s the fact that our printers aren’t working.. neither the one at home, nor the one at church. Given my last-minute-sermon-editing-routine.. (printing the final copy minutes before church begins), this translates into something else fearful: I have to finish my last edit before Staples closes tonight! Ha.. That should be fun.

So.. it’s that time.. and instead of writing about how this is what’s ahead for this gloomy foggy Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin… maybe I should get started.

Here I go…

the side effects

22 03 2007

of the nap study, which I didn’t notice until late last night…. if you look closely, you can see the rectangular red splotch on my left cheek. No I wasn’t paddled on my head. But I did have 14 electrodes hooked up to my head yesterday, and last night/this morning I had 6 of these red splotch marks! They’ve faded, fortunately, but I think it’s kind of funny, so took a picture.


Go here

22 03 2007

My friend Steve has a funny video posted on his blog… “Middle Ages Tech Support”.. Go here and view it! Hysterical…

When napping is no fun

21 03 2007

I completed the nap study. I was supposed to take 5 naps while being monitored….and maybe watched, too, I’m not sure. But I only slept for parts of three naps, I think. Not sure. The super-nice-and-funny tech couldn’t tell me the results, but I knew I didn’t sleep too much.

The odd thing is that yesterday, when I was going to try to not take a nap, I was so sleepy I took four naps. Today, when 14 electrodes were sticking out of my head and attached to a heavy box I had to carry around with me when I wasn’t “napping”, I was quite awake. Go figure.

And so it continues. “It” being the search for what is wrong, why Cathy is so dang sleepy when she’s not being tested for sleepiness. I meet with the sleep doctor (to discuss results) in a couple of weeks, so we’ll see what she has to say then… and if “it” is not narcolepsy and a simple medication isn’t an option, then we’ll figure that out then, I hope.

Cargo Latte

Besides the annoying electrodes, heavy box, adhesive in my hair, and little sleep today… the worst part of this nap study was no caffeine allowed today until afterwards! Those who know me well, know that I’m addicted to caffeine. So yesterday I weathered a horrible headache while trying to take myself off for a day. But yay! Around 4:45 pm today, Jim drove me through Cargo Coffee drive-thru, and I got a latte!! Fantastic, big, much-needed latte. Tomorrow I can continue my caffeine habit!

Wanted: Magic Diagnosis

20 03 2007

Tomorrow I go to Meriter Hospital for a Nap Study. To be technologically correct, it is a Multiple Latency Sleep Test, a test used to diagnose narcolepsy–or no narcolepsy. I went through the test 9 years ago–along with the overnight sleep test (bad night of sleep!)… and I “failed” the test. Meaning I did not nap when I was hooked up to the machines, but I fell asleep all day when I wasn’t hooked up. My New Jersey sleep doctor was still convinced that I had narcolepsy, put me on meds, prescribed daily naps which I basically ignored (naps, not the meds)… and I got better.

I went off those meds in 2002 when we started trying to get pregnant. I have managed fine–with occasional need for a nap–until recently. So I returned to a sleep doctor. Who doesn’t think I have narcolepsy. Apparently I don’t have all the symptoms, I’m not a normal case, etc. If this is the case, there’s good news and bad news.

Good: I don’t have narcolepsy.

Bad: I have something. If it’s not narcolepsy, what is it? Have I been mis-diagnosed for 9 years?

So, even though my new sleep doctor believes I do not have narcolepsy, I still get to go through this nap study tomorrow… fun. Or not.

What I really want? A magic diagnosis… I’d like them to say to me tomorrow, “you don’t have narcolepsy.. you have ____ and it’s so incredibly simple to resolve, and by resolving it we’ll also get rid of your fibromyalgia, infertility, excessive daytime sleepiness, and any other problems you may occasionally experience.”

Dream on, Cat. That isn’t likely. I can hope, but what I’m anticipating instead is more tests, doctors, trying this and that… oh, how I dislike diagnosing.

So, nap study here I come. Like it or not.

If my name were Angelina….

19 03 2007

I’d have an adopted kid by now. Heck, I’d have three. Maybe in between adoptions we would have gotten pregnant, too.. If my name were Angelina.

I know that the offical word is that there was no preferential treatment given, no fast-track, etc. that is unusual for adopting a slightly older boy in Vietnam. But come on.. really? I know that Vietnam is currently faster than China and Russia… I know that Angelina has a good reuptation as a goodwill ambassador for refugee children… and I’m glad that another orphanage child gets a good home. And I suppose, if I really admit it, I’m grateful that some superstar is doing something good for the world in her spare time. But I also know that money and fame seem to be talking a lot more quickly than ordinary people who are just biding their time.

Call me cynical, call me jealous, call me distrustful of “offical” press releases about celebrity adoptions. But I’m still ordinary, still childless, still waiting….

Lost & Found & Bummed

17 03 2007

oh, so sad…. I was so excited all last week, because finally, finally, finally, we were going to a Lost & Found concert… And finally, finally, finally, we got some Arborites to go with us! So exciting. I needed a good Lost & Found fix. Most of us do. If you don’t think you do, you just haven’t experienced Lost & Found. They have a unique way of cheering you up while challenging you about your faith. They’re zany, nuts, fun, hysterical.. They play the slinky-need I say more? I could…

Anyhow on the way to the concert (which was over an hour away), there was some confusion about whether the concert began at 7 or 7:30. So I called the church, and NO CONCERT!!! One of the Lost & Found band members (George) was stuck in NY due to the storm, and there would be no concert… Oh.

We were almost there, so drove to the church anyhow, just to mope. We headed home, stopping at Culvers first to drown our sorrows in fish fry and butter burgers. Considering how bummed some of us were, we still had a great time together. It’s not often we get to hang out with Gunnard, Michelle, Ulrika and Brenda…

Only 29 days until the next Wisconsin Lost & Found concert-April 15th, in Platteville.

Anyone else going?