Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Site

I'm moving! Expect more posts, pictures, and recipes. Find me here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Life, as we know it

One theme that is emerging in our life is that we can NEVER have a normal roommate moving-in weekend. In my head, in an ideal world, I'd really like it to go something like, "Here's the (recently fully scrub-clean) place, we are so glad you're here, let's hang out for a while."

Nope. That is not the Loftus way. 

Our excuses for the house being messier than normal and us being nearly wholly absentee have ranged from Matthew being in the hospital AND having his brother's wedding the same weekend, to being right at the cusp of a new semester of school, to having our old roommate move out and moving the new one in on the same weekend.

Now our excuse is that Matthew has less white blood cells than a cancer patient. For an unknown reason. And there's a bone marrow biopsy involved that occurred a little too close to 5 pm on a Friday to be truly sure when we'll hear about the results. And the fact that I worked nights all weekend barely saw my husband enough to say hello in the parking lot, much less get an adequate amount of sleep.

Oh yeah. and there's a hurricane rolling steadily in.

So we say welcome to our new housemate, we're so glad you're here. Please excuse the sticky spot on the kitchen floor, and excuse me if I konk out and drool a little on the couch as you enter. Come on in and make yourself at home and make sure you have a working flashlight. God's still big and you know we're still crazy and as long as the power holds out we'll have a belated celebration dinner tonight, because our idea of "stocking up" is a trip to the Italian grocery involving homemade pasta sauce, much gnocchi, and a couple bottles of wine.

"2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. " James 1:2-4

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Reading List

I'm sharing mine in order to keep on track. I love knowing which book will be next! Let me know if you are reading anything along with me!

Christian Living/Justice Issues
Mere Christianity in progress
Christian Beliefs
Health, the Bible, and the Church
Washed and Waiting
Love is an Orientation

The Spirit hits you and then you fall down

Public Health
Mountains Beyond Mountains 

For Fun
The Help
Square Foot Gardening
Gifted Hands: the Ben Carson Story
The Poisonwood Bible

Baltimore History
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Not in My Neighborhood!

Monday, April 25, 2011

growing up

I had the pleasure of taking some pictures of my niece for her second birthday! I'm having so much fun being her aunt and watching her grow. 

 She now understands that she's supposed to "cheese" when the camera is out, but her cheese is a little forced and worried looking.
With some coaxing, the benefit of a beautiful backdrop, and my finger constantly on my dusty camera, though, we managed to get some good ones.

 Stoppin' and smellin' the daffodils at the Liriodendron.
Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Monday, March 7, 2011

On the things that scare you

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." I love the concept behind that quote. The sentiment is not unlike James 1:2, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds...," though I think on many day's Eleanor's words are a bit easier to live by.

That said, I don't follow that advice exactly. I mean, my driving used to be a little scary, and I do that on a  mostly daily basis... ahem. Anyway, this weekend I got the opportunity to do something that I've wanted to do for awhile.

Some people are surprised when I tell them I used to be very, very shy. (I still am, but it manifests itself a little differently.) I used to never sing in front of anyone. Ever. Sometimes my dad would hear me sing, but beyond that, I didn't sang for anyone. For years, I longed to join the choir. But I was too nervous to try and join!

Somewhere along the line, that changed. I realized I loved singing when I was around sixteen, through going to a church where we belted out songs on Sunday, joyfully, I began to find a louder singing voice. In the car, I sang all the time. I'd get stuck on voices that I loved: Ben Folds, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow (especially that first album), Fiona Apple-- and play certain songs over and over again, memorizing the feel and inflection of them.

When I escaped to the wilds of Maine for my first summer, we had to lead singing after meals and during worship on Sunday mornings. Gulp. By the end of the summer, I was loving it, and was often first to volunteer if there was a gap in the schedule.

This was also where I was opened up to the wonderful world of harmony. On a kayak trip up the Kennebec, two sisters taught me a simple song, and we sang it as we floated upstream, surrounded by craggy rocks and bald eagles. I was immediately hooked. Later, my friend Bethany slowly, patiently taught me to hear harmony, how to pick it out, ignoring all my terrible first attempts. I set two goals that summer: to someday soon be able to sing in harmony with other voices, without the radio, and to be less shy singing together with people more often. God blessed that as I was living with the Ashbaughs at that time-- Laura and I spent many a time seated at her piano (she was also very patient with me figuring out the whole harmony thing), singing worship songs.

This week, after a couple of practice sessions at the Kuk Coffee House, Becky, Candice and I sang The Chain by Ingrid Michaelson together. It was beautiful, and so much fun. And it accomplished two things: a goal set two years ago, and my scary thing for the day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

miss b's 5/6th grade goes camping

"Make sure you put your marshmallow stick in the fire for a little while before you put a marshmallow on it. You know... you need to fertilize it first."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Terrible things

During our first semester of nursing school, our instructor showed us a video about a woman who contracted HIV from a needlestick. She, a nurse at a hospital, had just given her patient an injection. As she recapped the needle, she stuck herself. She immediately reported it, took prophylactic medications, had her blood drawn monthly, and waited. Eventually, the test showed that she was HIV positive.

As novices who still stuck injection pads with trepidation, the movie was terrifying. As we discussed the movie afterwards, my classmates did a lot of lamenting about what an awful thing she was experiencing, how sad it was that that one instance had ruined her life, etc. While I agreed that her situation was unfortunate, I was much more struck by what happened in the nurse's life next.

She began to research needlestick prevention and learned that there had been many safeguards developed that often weren't purchased by the hospital because they were more expensive. She learned that many nurses were unaware of important safety rules. She began to travel and teach about needle safety. She got married and  adopted several HIV+ children.

When I looked at the woman's story, I was overwhelmed by all of the things that had blossomed out of her trial, rather than the awfulness of the trial itself. James tells us to rejoice in our trials, because they make us better. God uses them for his purposes, and we can find joy in that.

We've been experiencing some trial lately. When Matthew was in the hospital, I realized how important plasma donation is. It's used as replacement therapy and it's used to make other treatments. Matthew received five courses of IVIG, and the immunoglobulins of a thousand donors are in his bloodstream as I write this. Without it,it's impossible to say that he'd be alive right now.

I just made my first appointment to donate plasma. It's a small, small thing. But it's evidence of the good that comes from having trouble, so I'm thankful for the opportunity to do it.