Notes from Love and Respect: Insights for Wives

It has been a good practice to read through Love and Respect and be reminded of the insights I learned my first time reading it a year ago and to discover new practicalities now that I'm in the thick of marriage. I'm about half the way through, so I thought I'd take a moment to share some of the notes that I've been taking at the end of each chapter, which summarize most of the main points thus far in my reading. (And check off one of the items on my to-do list for this week!)

Understanding the importance of unconditional respect
  • Must give unconditional respect to my husband. Men need to feel respected at all times, but especially during conflict. He hears criticism as contempt. Respect is the key to motivating men--not criticism! 
  • We must inspire them by acknowledging their great potential. Build him up, don't tear him down!
  • Men fear they never can fulfill their wives' expectations, which is why respect is empowering!
  • The real issue in marital conflict boils down to Love and Respect. Every time. When he is frustrated or icy or angry, consider whether he's interpreted something you've done, said or not done/said as disrespectful.
How can I exhibit respect to my husband?
Here are the key ways respect and disrespect are exhibited (whether intentionally or not): 
  • Through your facial expression and tone of voice.
  • Delivery is of utmost importance. Consider how he'll interpret what you're about to say and protect his heart from any harsh words!
  • Respect is also telling him what I appreciate and admire about him. It's a good idea to take some time to mull on this and come up with a list of things I respect and admire about him--particularly in the areas that matter most to him. (This is the section I'm reading through now--learning about the priorities that matter most to men and that we, as wives, must seek to respect even moreso.)
Respect during conflict in marriage
  • Often an apology can neutralize an argument. But an argument can be avoided altogether if we take time to clarify the situation, our needs and interpretations. Beware thinking you are being respectful just because you're willing to apologize. It's important that we act respectfully all the time--not just after an argument!
Misinterpreting our spouse's actions
  • Because we tend to focus on our self, we misinterpret our spouse's actions and words and true meaning. We often assume they don't love us, rather than stop and think about their needs, situation, vantage point.
  • I must assume he is not meaning to hurt me or act unloving, even though I feel that way. I must assume the best and try to see the alternatives--perhaps he's not trying to hurt me but acting a certain way because he's frustrated at work or stressed about some decision?
Inspiration to keep trying
  • Proverbs 24:16 says, "For a righteous man falls 7 times, and rises again." We will fail in this process but must press through.
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Currently Reading: Love and Respect


Coffee Does Not Go to Waste In This Household

My husband is the one who made coffee a daily habit for me. Before marriage, coffee and I were acquaintances who spent some time together when I was with friends and we wanted a low-key place to hang out or I was at work and needed something to warm up my hands.

But now, it's an everyday affair. For our one-year anniversary, we even bought a new coffee maker (all glass, non-electric) that we'd seen at a coffee shop that looks like it's out of the '70s. Hippie, skippie!

My husband gets up in the morning, boils the water, measures out the grounds (soon we'll be grinding our own when our grinder shows up from Amazon!), pours them through the filter and hands me my cup of fresh, hot coffee. He takes his black, I add in my requisite half-and-half and homemade simple syrup. (You can click here to read more about my favorite coffee-making essentials.)

And when we're done, there's usually a few tablespoons of coffee left in the pitcher. We used to just pour it down the drain, but now I know better. Those tablespoons add up, and now I collect them in a glass jar we keep in the fridge for making cold coffee on a warm summer's day. (Way better than coffee shops' "iced coffee," which ends up being watered down and only a few sips!)

But lately, I've found another use for our cold coffee collection: Soaking your feet! I'd spent a lot of time on my feet and decided to look up a recipe for a foot soak. Lots of them called for epsom salts, which we don't have.  But then there were a few that recommended using coffee, because the caffeine in it brings down any swelling. I've been soaking my feet in coffee about once a week ever since!

So last night, while my husband and I sat on our couch and watched the latest episode from the John Adams series we rented from Netflix, we sat with our feet soaking in our coffee spa. It was the first time I got him to try it, and I think he's discovered yet another reason why he loves coffee, now, too!

Try it for yourself:

Simple Coffee Soak to Soothe Your Feet!
  • Find a large basin (we've even used a large stockpot), and fill it about 3/4 of the way with hot water. You want the water to be as hot as you can stand it, because your feet will thank you.
  • Pour about 1/2 cup of coffee to the water and stir. The water will be a rusty brown color, which is perfect. You really can add as much as you like, but I find that to be sufficient.
  • Find a comfy spot to rest in, and soak your feet until the water has cooled down. Your feet will be nice and soft and totally relaxed!
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Getting New Recipe Ideas

In my quest to try at least one new recipe a week, I’m always on the lookout for recommendations and twists on various dishes. Magazines are one of my favorite places to find recipes, mostly because they include photos and you can rip them out (which I don't feel comfortable doing with cookbooks!).

When I got to go back to my beloved Buckeye State for a short visit recently, my mom gave me her most recent magazines to go take with me and page through. Armed with half a dozen new magazines to feast on for ideas (old Rachael Ray’s and ReadyMade’s), here are some of the recipes I’m holding on to and looking forward to trying, sooner rather than later:

From Everyday with Rachael Ray (May 2010 issue)
Pesto Barley with Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes
Tortilla Bread Pudding
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Tex Mex Brown Rice Chili
Banana-Lemon Pudding Cake

From ReadyMade (April/May 2010 issue)
Making Your Own Pasta
Making Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar
Making Your Own Sausage

What are some of your favorite magazines for finding new recipes?

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Favorite Film Recommendations

Once upon a time, I posted an entry asking you lovely readers for movie recommendations, thanks to our foray into the world of Netflix.

I figured it was time to repay the favor and share some of the favorites we've stumbled upon over the past few months. Most of these are the ones you can stream for free from your computer, which is one of my favorite aspects of having a Netflix subscription.

As I mentioned in my original post, I gravitate toward movies that are pretty clean, especially when it comes to sex and violence. That holds pretty true for all of these recommendations:

Ever since reading Christy a few times over while I was growing up, I've had a thing for Appalachia. And that's only half the beauty of this movie, The Songcatcher. Set during the 1800s (I believe), a city-gal musicologist, Doctor Lily Penleric, takes a sabbatical to visit her sister who has started a school for the Appalachian children. Lily goes there to escape the double-standard of academia  (where she gets no credit for her research due to her gender), but ends up discovering in the Appalachian folk traditions, musical gems she never knew existed. She then goes around recording these songs--hence the name "Songcatcher"--which is where the beauty of this film shines, bringing to life folk songs that are hauntingly beautiful. There are also issues of earning trust and her culture clash with the Appalachians as well as (of course) a sweet love story laced in.

Phoebe is a 10-year-old girl who decides to try out for the Alice in Wonderland play at her school. She falls in love with it and turns out to be a natural on the stage. It's here that she feels "at home," when everything else around her seems not to make sense and be out of her control. She begins lashing out and doesn't know what's going on, even with herself. I'm not going to ruin this story, but it's a touching and psychological portrayal of a little girl, discovering and learning to cope with how she's different from everyone else around her.

I saw a commercial for a new TV series that is coming out soon that I think has to be based on this movie. I can't vouch for the series, but the movie itself is really funny! The premise is that the main character works for the customer service department of a company that makes cheesy American products like eagle-head cookie jars or cheese-head hats. To save money, the customer service department gets outsourced to India, so the main character has to go train the new workers (and his replacement). It's a funny and good-hearted story about the culture-clash he faces and, ultimately, how he begins to embrace the Indian way-of-life and actually enjoy himself. It was especially enjoyable for us, because our church supports a few missionaries to India, so we've heard them share stories about what life is like there that brought some of the nuances of the film to life.

This is a documentary that was recommended to me on my original call for movies. Once I watched it, I've found myself mentioning it to a handful of people, which is why I've included it on this round-up. The documentary takes place in Ethiopia, where harsh living standards for women and malnutrition end up causing devastating effects during child birth. This movie follows a handful of women whose lives have been ruined by these realities, leaving them physically affected and outcast from society because of untreated fistulas. Each of them makes the decision to try to get medical help, journeying for up to 24 hours to the one hospital that will treat them. It's there that "they find a haven that they never imagined, transforming their long and arduous trek into a "walk to beautiful," says the Amazon description. I enjoyed this movie because it opens up a reality I was completely unaware of, and it made me ever more thankful of the medical freedoms that I otherwise take for granted.

Have you seen any of these movies? Any additional recommendations?


This Week's To-Do List

Last week I posted my to-do list for the day...which turned out to be more like a to-do list for the week. It took me until Thursday to mark them all off, and that doesn't bother me one bit. I'd rather space them out like that than go frantic for a full day, trying to accomplish them!

Also, I ended up adding much more to the list as the days went by, including a few recipes that I can't wait to share!:
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas (SO simple!)
  • Chicken Stock from Scratch (this was amazingly easy to make and made way more than I needed)
  • Soft & Chewy Granola Bars (from a recipe my mother-in-law pointed me to from Smitten Kitchen)
I still really want to try the chocolate pudding pops recipe I alluded to, but need to get some popsicle molds before I can. (After some research, I'm leaning toward getting these or these ones on Amazon.)

And now, looking ahead to this week...

  • Drop donations off at thrift store (they have been sitting in a closet for months now)
  • Finish last projects for work and submit monthly invoice
  • Continue reading Love and Respect (I hope to start sharing some of my notes soon, but haven't gotten around to typing them up yet)
  • Perhaps type up some of my notes from Love and Respect?
  • Daily quiet time & prayer
  • New magazines in the mail to read! Real Simple and Martha Stewart!
  • File away notes and recipes from old magazines that have been sitting on the floor by my desk
  • Decide what new recipes to try this week, especially to finish up our excess of celery, carrots and chicken stock (any suggestions?!)
  • Buy plane tickets to go to Virginia Beach with the fam in August (from our travel fund!)
  • Try to make sure we don't go over our budget for the month (we're inching closer!)
  • And I'm sure, more things to come as the week progresses...
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An Outdoor Photoshoot

One of the items on my "27 Things to Do This Year" list was to do a photoshoot with Michael. Now that we've been married a year, it feels like our photos ought to reflect that; as well as the fact that I don't go around wearing a floor-length white gown very often.

While we were in Ohio visiting family and friends, we took an afternoon and waltzed around my parents' backyard to take some photos alongside various vegetation. (I'm a sucker for the great outdoors. Our wedding and engagement photos also attest to this. Perhaps one day I'll try one of those urban photoshoots that all the cool kids seem to be doing these days. But for now, I like lush leaves and prickly blades of grass at my feet.)

Here are some of our favorites. Special thanks to my sister who played photographer and never once complained about the bugs or sweltering sun!

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A Little Facelift for the Blog

BTW...Some of you have already noticed, but I've been tinkering around with the layout / look of the blog. Here's a sneak peek if you're reading via RSS or email. Let me know what you think!


For the "In-Between" Times of Life

Psalm 126 is one of my favorites because I can relate to it oh-so often. It's what I refer to as a psalm for the "in-between" times:
Psalm 126
When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.  Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
In my previous Bible study in Grand Rapids last spring, we studied Beth Moore’s “Psalms of Ascent,” and looked at this particular psalm. It tells how the people are bemoaning their current situation in light of how God once blessed them so much . They desire those times again and beg God, “Restore our fortunes, LORD.” (Oh, the times when I've longed for the past like that!)

And yet, the beauty of this psalm is that they hold on to hope.

We don't do much sowing or carrying sheaves nowadays, but it's those last two sentences that grow wings and come alive to me. Look at how they talk about “sow[ing] in tears” and “go[ing] out weeping, carrying seed to sow.”

As we studied this psalm, I saw the power in these two lines: How these people pressed forward in spite of their current hardships: they continued planting…because they knew that the Lord would come along at some point and bring harvest to their actions. In spite of the discouragement and disappointment they're experiencing now--in spite of the circumstances that they face today--they look to God for hope and  hold fast to faith.

In other words, they trust not in what they can see, but in God's Word and promises.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 says this another way: “If you worry about the weather and don’t plant seeds, you won’t harvest a crop.” Even when skies are bleak or stars aren’t aligned, we have to set out and press on. We can't let the looming weather steer us away from the task at hand.

That to me is “a leap of faith.” Even if we don’t see fruit or hope immediately, we don’t give up. We continue on: asking, praying, doing, and ultimately trusting in Psalm 27:13-14: “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

I often find myself in moments where I’m wishing I were already at the finish line, able to look back and smile appreciatively at everything in hindsight. Like with the unknown about our job situations or where we'll end up settling down. And yet, I know that what I do now--sowing with bold prayers, planting seeds by continuing to tithe rather than give in to the urge to stockpile finances, etc.--will bring about a harvest...when the time is right.

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My Monday To-Do List

Inspired by Frugral Trenches and her weekly "Must Get Things Done Monday" list, here's what's on my to-do list for today, which will likely spill over into tomorrow and perhaps the next day!

  • Go to credit union to deposit paycheck
  • Stop by post office to mail package
  • Write press release for work
  • Flesh out some ideas for new blog posts (I usually write a bunch at once, and then post them over a few days)
  • Quiet time with Bible and prayer
  • Reading in "Love and Respect"
  • Shower (and use my homemade shampoo!)
  • Order new craft project from Amazon with Swagbucks I've saved up (more about this creative endeavor later!)
  • Look into ordering new toaster (Michael noticed a spark shoot out recently) and coffee grinder (for our anniversary, we got a Chemex coffee maker and now Michael would like to go gourmet and grind our own beans!)
  • Cook batches of dried black beans and dried chickpeas
  • Run by grocery stores to stock up on fruits / veggies / bread and pick up ingredients for some new recipes I want to try, including one for homemade granola bars that I got from my mother-in-law and a recipe for homemade chocolate pudding pops that I found online
  • Take a walk outside when it gets a little cooler
  • Drop prescription off at pharmacy
  • Drop recyclables off at Whole Foods (we don't have recycling at our apartment building, but the Whole Foods down the street provides a free drop-off that will take all recyclables, including glass, plastic, paper, etc.)
  • Maybe stop by Staples (right next to Whole Foods) to pick up some more computer paper (it's on sale this week for $1 with a mail-in rebate)
Anything exciting on your to-do list for today?

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{ photo by jclement }

Currently Reading: “Love and Respect”

Michael and I have been married for an entire year now. While some aspects of our marriage have that cozy, lived-in quality about them ("Can you believe it's only been a year?!"), there are others that remind us that we've still got years to figure each other out and learn what it means to love one another. We've barely scratched the surface at "getting" this thing called marriage.

Which is why I pulled a thick book off the shelf the other day. I had first read it months into my relationship with Michael when we were first seriously thinking about getting engaged. (Lest you forget that our whirlwind courtship was less than a year in the making, that translates to about month seven at this point.) Our friend, Dave, who officiated our wedding months later, encouraged us to read this book, raving about how it had enlightened his marriage and the marriages of many of his friends.

That book is Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. After his prompting, I dove into reading it while Michael and I were still dating, and it offered great insight into the workings and wirings of men and women. But now, a year into wedlock, I decided it was time for a refresher course, for when I can apply the principles to a marriage, not just a dating relationship.

I've mentioned before my caution in reading relationship books because I've found that all too often they're apt to try to shove a square peg into a round hole with a one-size-fits-all approach that is just not true for us. I've read some doozies of relationship-advice books, and am well aware that there are some out there that are liable to do more harm than good if you're not careful.

But with Love and Respect, I've found that it fits us quite well--in describing what I need as a woman and a wife, and how I'm to best treat my husband.

So this is the book currently sitting on my bedside shelf (even though it wasn't on my list of books to read), as I retrace my steps through its biblically-based wisdom. As in the past, I'll share some favorite passages and thoughts as I go.

In the meantime, are there any favorite marriage or relationship books you've read or would recommend?

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Remembering Our Wedding Vows

In light of our one-year of marriage (and looking forward to so many more to come!!), I pulled up a copy of our wedding vows and the sermon our friend and pastor preached on our wedding day when he officiated for us. And it was such a good reminder of what marriage is really all about.

Here's an excerpt from Dave's sermon from our wedding day, July 10, 2009:
" Michael and Carmen come to this ceremony today prepared to make some promises—vows—to each other. This is a “covenant”: One vows to keep their end of the agreement, even if the other fails to keep their end of the agreement.  
In your vows, you’re not saying one thing: better; richer; health. You’re saying two things: better or worse; richer or poorer; health or sickness.
May God give you the strength and the love to keep these promises at those times when you don’t want to, and it seems like it would be easier to break them. Make no mistake marriage is not always easy. However, marriage has many joys!  
Marriage is:
  • Companionship in all of life’s paths
  • Shared goals for happiness, family
  • Unconditional support in good times and bad
  • Knowing that two can do more than one
  • Having someone to encourage you in the valleys of life
  • Writing a story for your friends to read
As we close, I want to briefly look at why God designed marriage like He did:
  • It is because he is so interested in YOU knowing how much He loves you that He was not content about being a big ‘ol invisible, intangible God out there in the universe that you only experience when you see a cool cloud arrangement in the sky with the sun shining through it… 
  • The best way to describe it is this… Michael, He wants Carmen to know His physical, tangible, in-her-presence love so much that he is putting you in her life as an instrument, a channel, to reflect it…to lay your life down for her whether you think she deserves it or not because that is what Christ did for her…that’s how much He loves Carmen. Carmen, He wants Michael to know His physical, tangible, in-his-presence love so much that he is putting you in his life as an instrument, a channel, to reflect it…because that is what Christ did for him…that’s how much He loves Michael.
That is a huge responsibility. But wouldn't you want to be the recipient off that love?! That is the ideal and the target for marriage. This concept changes everything because it’s not about you…it’s about the love that God has for you both.

As followers of Christ you need conduct your marriage in the shadow of a cross, with the knowledge that He died for us. And if you truly want to say thank you to Him, then He wants you to go home and channel all that gratitude in the eye and heart of each other."
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Celebrating Our 1-Year Wedding Anniversary

Down here in Atlanta, the day started off with rain, which was especially fitting. Today was our one-year wedding anniversary.

A year ago, a single day on the calendar was transformed and would never be the same again. It was our wedding day. On that day, July 10th, the heavens opened up and rain started splattering the ground. And yet, there were more important things about to take place than sunshine or rain.

Once the sudden storm passed by and we moved the wedding vows indoors from the puddles and mud, Michael and I got to become husband and wife and begin our marriage together. From that first unexpected change-of-plans, our marriage has been watered and taken root.

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by; sometimes imagining it's been much longer than that, and at other times wondering where it all went.

Today, in celebration of the past 365 days, we woke up and went out to enjoy the day, despite the gloomy skies and looming rain that threatened, a mindset we're trying to live out daily in our marriage.

We drove down to the farmer's market and, with my own sweet by my side, we picked out some new sweet potatoes. A symbolic way to kick off the next 365 days, no? And by this time, the clouds had been carefully tucked away and azure spread all around.

Continuing on the theme of looking back in time fondly, we went to a natural history museum later in the afternoon, where we browsed through art and artifacts (and even musical instruments) of the Incas and Mayans and other early South- and Central-Americans. We saw a mummy the size of a 10-year-old and delicate Indian jewelry. We learned about Roman sculpture and meandered the grounds surrounding the museum, where I got to see my first sunflowers of the season standing tall against the sky.

Afterward, at a nearby coffee shop, we took a moment to reminisce over our first year together and talk about what we've learned, what we're thankful for and what we look forward to from this next year. A simple celebration, but that's us. That's what we're happiest with. Each other.

Happy anniversary, Michael. I love you!

{ an impromptu photoshoot }

{ time machine }
{ sunflower city }

{ who needs champagne when you have coffee? }

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Watch My Husband's Music Video (and Get a Sneak Peek Tour of Our Home!)

I've mentioned before that my husband, Michael, is a musician on the side. (Here's his first CD on Amazon!) Well, he's been writing new music and is getting ready to launch a new project to release some of those songs.

In anticipation of that, he created a video announcing the project, which his friend filmed. And where did they film it? In our apartment! So you should watch it to learn what Michael's up to, but you can also to get a quasi walking tour of our place, from the front of our apartment building, down the hall to our door, through the living room and into our kitchen. Like a two-for-one deal!

(Funny enough, my parents haven't had a chance to come down to Atlanta yet, so this was their first real-time glimpse into the humble abode we've been building.)

Watch the video for yourself!

Related Links
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Unexpected insights from a boring Old Testament list

While I love making my own lists, I don't have much interest in reading them, other than to cross them off with a big swash of ink. You don't have to read through the Bible very long before you stumble upon some sort of list, whether it's a 'so-and-so beget so-and-so" genealogy or a list of do-and-don't laws.

I was reading through the Old Testament book of Numbers and reached a list that detailed a bunch of Middle Eastern places where the Israelites journeyed after they left Egypt on their way to the promised land, West of the Jordan River. As I was reading, I found myself start skimming, murmuring to myself, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. They moved a lot of places. Let's skip ahead to the good stuff."

Which made me wonder: Why did God include this laundry list of locations? Why is this important? Obviously it must be, to make it in the Holy Word, so what might that be? Over and over again they moved around on this journey to their home. Perhaps this is a bird's eye view of all our lives: God is moving us from point a to b to c to d to e...

And then I noticed that as Moses listed each location, occasionally he'd offer a short description like this place was a desert, this one was without any water or it was an oasis with "12 springs and 70 palm trees." This list goes from Numbers 33:5-37, so about 32 moves. Of these, there are 4 deserts they journey through, one noted place where "there was no water for the people to drink," a sea they journey through and one oasis that they reach after making their way out of the wilderness. Most of the time, though, the places were pretty ordinary with little to say about them.

Does this sound like our lives? A few notable peaks and valleys, and a lot of seemingly unmentionable stuff in the middle? And yet, God mentions it. Verse 2 says, "At the LORD's command Moses wrote down the places where they went as they traveled. This is the list." He watched and recorded it all. And because God is the same as he ever was, he continues to watch it and record it all in our journeys even now. Every blip on the map matters to him and take us to where we're going: The promised land.

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{ photo by Static of the Gods } 


Homemade Corn Dogs

I had a coworker who, when she learned I was from Ohio, recalled a story about when she was moving from San Francisco back to the Midwest. She was laughing at her friends' perceptions of what characterized the Midwest.

"They wanted to throw me a going away party," she said. "And they themed it a 'Midwest Party.' I had no idea what to expect and then I showed up and..."

"They served things like corn dogs, right?"

"Yes! I don't ever remember having corn dogs growing up, but that's what they thought we ate all the time."

Yes, indeedy. This "midwest is best" girl is fine with that. So much so that I cooked up a batch of homemade corn dogs the other week in celebration of official sum- sum- summertime.

This recipe doesn't involve frying the dogs so it's less messy and more healthy, and takes advantage of my love for bite-sized morsels (à la my brownies-in-a-muffin-tin). That muffin tin sure is getting it's fair share of use lately! Enjoy.

Corndog Muffin Recipe
¾ cup cornmeal
1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
½ to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 hot (or veggie!) dogs, cut into thirds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour eggs and milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir. Add cheese once well mixed.

Spoon mix into muffin tins, about halfway full. Add one hot dog piece to each section. Cover hot dogs with remaining mixture (so that the hot dog will be in the middle of the muffin).

Bake for 14-18 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins in regular-sized muffin tin. (Once baked, you can freeze the corn dog muffins and defrost/reheat in microwave like you would regular corn dogs.)

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The Ugly Sound of Anger

We live in a small apartment building, filled with only a dozen units. Built during the 1920s, our walls are thick and sturdy, erected to last. You would hardly know that our bedroom closet sits against a stairwell and on the other side of the wall behind our couch is nestled another abode. We're more likely to hear people shouting on the sidewalk outside our building than our neighbors inside.

That is, until the tenants that live upstairs get angry.

We started noticing the outbursts about six months ago. When the man would grunt and growl and then something would get banged on the floor or thrown against a wall. We can hear him thud around and other things bang against the drywall and hardwood. Sometimes there's a crash. Sometimes it can last all evening. Sometimes we can hear a video game cranked up in the background.

Michael and I will look up at each other, wide-eyed and frankly a little concerned. Anger should never look (okay, sound) like that. Especially when it's (presumably) over a video game.

This is not to say anything against video games or like I feel that we're in danger. It just makes me sad to hear someone get so angry over something so unimportant, so empty. It makes me wish he knew that there's more. It makes me pray.

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