35 Weeks and Homemade Vanilla

     How can I be so lucky as to stumble across a “Who Are You Meant to Be?” quiz by Oprah? Oh my goodness…I am just beside myself right now! If you know me well, then you know that I think Oprah is a fraud. She’s supposedly the richest woman of all time, and I don’t quite understand why she’s so busy funding education programs for women in Africa instead of using her money to just save the lives of all of the starving, sick, and dying children. It’s like the Chinese outlook on men, just reversed. Or, why doesn’t she give her gazillion dollars to our government and fix the deficit? She’s got enough followers that I’m pretty sure someone will take her in, feed her, and buy her a few women’s suits to help make up for her sacrifice. If Oprah used her fame and fortune to actually make a difference in the survival of the world, maybe she wouldn’t be number 1 on my “eye-roller” list. Education for girls? Puh-lease. If I’m stuck in a well with no way out and a box of supplies renewed weekly, I’m not going to be crossing my fingers, hoping that there’s a copy of Leaves of Grass in there. Walt Whitman may be a whimsical poetry gangster, but unless he has a brand of beef jerky, he needs to stay the heck out of my survival kit. Moving on… I’m about to take this life changing quiz and have Oprah tell me what my destiny is (fact: we once lived next door to a little girl whose name was actually “Mydestiny”. True story.)

My results….Okay…Who am I meant to be, O?

You are an intellectual: As a leader, {you’re often ahead of your time. As an employee, you try to surpass the competence level of peers, even managers. Incisive and curious, you’re driven to deeply understand how things work. But that’s things, not people. Oh, your family and friends are important; it’s just that you don’t need to spend hours engaging with them.} <–blah blah blah Social validation isn’t your goal—you’re secure enough in your cerebral pursuits.

What? I’m so confused. I’m secure enough in my cerebral pursuits? Oh gosh…I’m pretty sure I love people, and I know I said I didn’t want the poetry book!

What to watch out for: When you can’t find a way to be the expert, you may withdraw or simply withhold information, {hold up…I’ll withhold info from people? Since when?} which can make you seem smug or arrogant. If you feel yourself retreating into your own world, seek a friend’s help to pull you back. Also balance your cerebral tendencies through physical activities like jogging, hiking, or dance.

Good thing I like to go yogging (<–not a typo. Often times, I speak in movie quotes. It passes the time, and helps me to wade through the crowd and find my soul-friends. People that bounce my quote with the next line from the source and I are meant to be BFF’s)

Looking ahead: You discover who you are meant to be through accumulating insight and {yawning} knowledge. So follow your curiosity. Are you drawn to learning Mandarin? {no. not even in the slightest.} Join-ing  {why is there a hyphen in the word joining there?} a philosophy society? {you mean like the KKK? No thanks, not for me.} Studying and practicing Buddhist meditation? {like black magic and Bon Temps type stuff? Nah. I like chai lattes.} Delving into the complexities of computer programming? Writing a historical book? Pursuits that place you near the leading edge of technology, science, psychology, academia, or business are good bets. But any situation that allows you to work independently with freedom to investigate and innovate will fuel your drive.

Academia? Is that a disease? It sounds serious. I wonder if anyone who got this result was actually ever a Buddhist in school Majoring in Philosophy with a Minor in Mandarin.

Here is the list of things I have to choose from:

Biomedical Research
Computer Programming
Environmental Planning

Telecommunication? Really, Oprah? Cathi is not anything from this list. In fact, the quiz was titled “Who are you meant to be?” not “What career field should you work in?” Is that how our society views success and value of a person? In their career field? I think people are sadly mistaken. If education is what drives me, and my goals should be biomedical research or environmental planning, then I am destined for failure. I don’t think the question should be asked before you become someone. I think we just need to wait and ask ourselves that question in our last breaths. “What did I do with my life?” “Was it worth it?” “Did I make a difference for anyone?” “Did that difference have an eternal value or did I just hand someone a book and tell them to read it?”

      I spoke to a soon-to-be Young Life teen girl recently, and she told me that everyone walks around pretending like everything’s okay, when it’s really not. She said, “I wish everyone would just be honest with each other about what’s hurting them. Then no one would ever feel like they have to hide anything.” She couldn’t be more right. There are times when I am so open and honest on here and with friends, and I usually end up closing my eyes as I hit “publish”. I know I have to click it quickly before I change my mind on my level of openness. I’m often embarrassed at the amount of detail that I give away, but if I keep it to myself then my experiences are worthless. Sure, I might learn lessons from them, but how selfish is it to keep those lessons to myself. I’m sorry Oprah, but your quiz results couldn’t be any further from the truth. I’m guilty of a lot of things, but withholding information is definitely not one of them. Can I get an Amen?

     I’m always going back and forth between sharing and not sharing the struggles behind the scenes of this military wife life. I need to always remember that my tough days are lessons, and those lessons are achievements to be hung up and displayed. So, here’s my admission for this week: I’m so overwhelmed with the tasks that have to be done in my house. I am physically able to do them, but I can’t clone myself to be mom and dad, husband and wife, rational and impulsive all at the same time. If I just had time, manly intimidation, unlimited free babysitting, my husband’s muscles…I could get it all done. If I just had my husband here, then I could get it all done. I get so overwhelmed with the tasks and I melt down. When I melt down, I have to do it quietly and quickly, with my door shut so that my boys don’t see. If my husband was here, I would just fall into his lap and sob…but then again, if he was here my list would already be an afterthought, and I’d be sipping a pumpkin spiced hot cocoa while people watching and resting my head on his shoulder right now. This week, we’re 8 months into the separation and 4 months into the deployment. I’m still not used to this. It still sucks just as much as day 1. But, I’m still breathing, and I’m still so grateful for every lesson I’ve learned so far. God has amazing things in store, and this week is going to be another adventure in faith and struggle. I’m not ready, but ready or not…here it goes.

Activity #35: Homemade Vanilla

Homemade Vanilla

I like to make homemade Christmas gifts that are actually practical and useful. Last year, I made rice-bag heating pads. This year, it’s going to be homemade vanilla. It a little time-consuming, but totally worth it! All you need is vodka and vanilla beans. Don’t get expensive vodka, plain old bottom shelf will do. Also, don’t buy vanilla beans from the store. They’re way too expensive! Try http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com They send bonus beans, and the shipment came in less than a week!

All you need are vodka and vanilla beans

pour out about 1/2 cup into a different container

I used a coke bottle, and it the perfect size for 5 bottles

Slice the beans in half lengthwise

Insert 12 beans (24 halves) into each 1L bottle of vodka

Store in a cool, dry place for 3 months, shaking once a week.

Since a lot of my friends who read this will be getting this as their Christmas gifts this year, just pretend that you are surprised when I hand it to you, okay? And pretend like I didn’t say this was easy, okay? The house smells so good right now! I even have some vanilla beans left over! I may have to include them in my next package for my husband! Let me know if you try this, and how it goes for you! Please leave your love in the comments section below, and add your quirky suggestions to the box on the right! Enjoy your week everyone, and send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!

5 thoughts on “35 Weeks and Homemade Vanilla

  1. Sounds like an awesome idea! I may just use this for my brothers and their families as gifts! Thanks for the idea and good luck to ya girl!

  2. I”ve always wanted to try homemade vanilla! It’s crazy per ounce at the store and the imitation sucks! P.S. The fact that you hate Oprah makes my love for you grow exponentially! I have to tell you my parking lot Oprah story! PPS Maybe it’s a soft j? ANCHORMAN IS AWESOME!

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