Deciding Who to Vote For

Tomorrow is primary day in Virginia. Since we have open primaries here, you don’t have to be a registered Republican or Democrat in order to vote in the primary; the only rule is that you can only have one ballot on a given day, so if both parties have their primaries on the same day (like tomorrow), you have to pick which ballot you want. If they were held on separate days, you could vote in both.

I only decided that I’d vote in this primary a few days ago. The main reason for my ambivalence was that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to vote Democrat or Republican. I mean, I know which candidate I want for Governor, but I expect him to get the nomination, so it felt silly to actually bother voting in the primary. It was receiving a fabulous pamphlet in the mail (addressed to my husband, actually) that made me really care about the state delegate race. The reason I normally don’t care about the state delegates because the candidates usually don’t care; plus, I’m from Norfolk where the districts are usually not very competitive.

Since I was drawn towards voting for a specific candidate, deciding which ballot to choose tomorrow morning was easy: Democratic.

So, what follows is me examining the candidates to show why I will vote the way I’ll vote. And since I’m a glutton for punishment, I suspect I’ll be doing a similar review for the Republicans, though there will be a lot more partisanship for that one!

Governor:

The Democratic candidates for the Governorship are Ralph Northam and Tom Periello.

I’m 100% for Ralph. I’ve liked him ever since he ran for state senate. He doesn’t run negative ads and this is important to me. Yes, Political Action Committees (which I feel should be illegal) do send out negative ads to support him, but honestly, the one I have next to me right now from “Virginians for a Better Future” that says that Perriello “supported the controversial amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would have barred health insurance plans that cover abortion from receiving federal assistance”, which is true (Perriello doesn’t deny it), even if it is old. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t that negative! If we divide a (roughly) 8.5×11 double sided ad into 4ths, 3/4ths of the ad is on topic while the negative is the last 4th. This is very different from most ads of the same size which are so entirely about the “bad” candidate that you don’t even know who you are supposed to vote for!

When I’m evaluating a candidate for voting, the only things that matter to me are good investigative journalism and their website. Negative ads will make me dislike a candidate, but sometimes they’re alright (I couldn’t get mad at Hillary’s negative ads about Trump because it was all shit he’d actually said).

A candidate’s website should have a minimum of two things: a good biography and a thorough issues page. I count too much reliance on news articles and videos as a negative.

I prefer that the issues be broken down into bullet points rather than long paragraphs. This is because in the real world of governance there will be compromise and I’ve found that it is more effective to start with simple ideas and hash out the gray areas during the debates. Too much detail implies that there won’t be enough room for compromise.

Really, Perriello and Northam end up looking very similar on their websites. It comes down to my own previous feelings on it and an issue I have with Perriello implying that he has an endorsement from Obama this election when he’s really using endorsements from his previous (successful) Congressional campaign. I don’t like subterfuge like this. For me, endorsements expire after the election is over and must be actively renewed to be valid. This is because the candidates are different for each specific election and if we were to assume that endorsements are always “the best of the options available” then changing the collection of candidates will change the dynamics of the options. If a candidate is the best of everyone conceivably possible then they will get an important endorsement every time it’s requested! Yes, it is important that Obama didn’t endorse Perriello during this cycle! I will not speculate as to the whys and it wouldn’t matter if we’re talking about the former president or the local newspaper: a lack of endorsement is a lack of endorsement.

Lt. Governor

This is the race that I’m really undecided for. I’m currently tempted to vote Republican for the November General Election, though it will depend on the actual candidates involved then.

Justin Fairfax, Susan Platt, and Gene Rossi are the candidates for this position.

First thing to note: McAfee is throwing up a warning about Susan Platt’s website. This is a wee bit concerning, but without knowing exactly what McAfee considers “risky behavior”, I can’t make a judgment one way or the other.

Let’s start with Rossi’s website because I’ve already looked at it earlier today and wasn’t impressed. His “priorities” page involves only 4 topics. Sorry, but he needs to have opinions on and plans for a lot more stuff and not just additions hidden within these 4 overarching topics. The other issue with Rossi is that this is a Virginia election. I was reading through his biography and realized that most of what he was saying involved Connecticut, where he was raised. Sure, he moved to Virginia in 1989, but the only thing it appears he’s done in Virginia is graduate 3 kids from a public school, work as a federal prosecutor, with a minor sentence about being on the board of a program that helps women after incarceration. Honestly, I think he should be running for FBI director!

Susan Platt’s website is still giving me fits. Now, it appears to have one of those “pop-ups” that has darkened the background to emphasize itself and is playing some kind of audio (there’s a video auto-playing), BUT I cannot locate the “pop-up” itself in order to close it and bring the main screen back up to full brightness.

User-friendly webdesign is really important to a good campaign! What’s funny is that this website worked fine on my tablet earlier today. Ooh! Esc worked to at least brighten up the page (closing out the hidden annoyance?). Still, she’s getting a frowny face right now from me.

I like that she has lots of work experience both in Washington and in Virginia. I feel that there are some jobs that benefit from a lot of specific experience in a few choice positions and some jobs benefit from a resume that appears to spread yourself too thin. For the higher levels of government, I think it’s important to have your hands in a lot of different pots simply because it indicates that you’ve interacted with a lot more people and are more prepared to work with people who have differing opinions.

Note: it looks like all 3 Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor are relatively new to elected positions in politics.

I love that Platt’s list of issues is extensive while being concise.

Okay, now for Justin Fairfax’s website.

He has way too much reliance on news articles! His “Frequently Asked Questions” is written in 3rd person and I don’t like that. I don’t want to know what other people say about him, I want to know what he says about what he’ll do. The saving grace of his website is that it is possible to find his campaign literature, which includes a concise, bullet pointed list of issues which sound like they could come out of his own mouth instead of being written by a friend about him. The problem is that you have to hunt and peck for this pdf.

I think I’ll vote for Mrs. Platt for Lt. Governor tomorrow.

State House: 64th District:

Rebecca Colaw, John Wandling, and Jerry Cantrell

I’ll start with the easy one: I had to use Google for Rebecca Colaw’s website because for whatever reason VA’s election commission didn’t have a direct link for her. This is a problem! I think that a state’s election commission should always be a person’s first stop for investigating the candidates and in 2017, not submitting a web address in time for it to go on their website is inexcusable.

Her work experience is the Air Force and being a lawyer, which is fine, but remember what I said about spreading yourself thin being an asset here? Yeah, some extra curriculars would go a long way.

As for her platform, it has many topics, is bullet-ed, but generally is too vague. Yes, apparently I’m very picky about this. There is being open to compromise, but there is also not having a solid plan to start with.

Anway, moving on.

John Wandling is a blogger (amongst other things). Hmm…This kind of turns me off. I mean, bloggers are great, but it doesn’t mean that we’re the best choice for government. This is because bloggers have their soapboxes. They have their rant-inducing issues. I know what mine are! But this is not necessarily good for governance! Remember that compromise thing?

His issues page only has 3 topics and ends with him telling us to go to his blog to see his opinions “on many subjects that might interest voters”. Uh, why not give us a concise and extensive list of these subjects and opinions right here on the page that is supposed to do this? I call this laziness in favor of an easier format.

I don’t want to make this final criticism, but I must. He’s an IT consultant, but his website looks like it belongs on Netscape…I guess I’m showing that I’m a millennial because I expect better from people working in the technology industry. Whereas Platt had too much, Wandling needs more.

Okay, I’ll finish with the guy who made me want to vote tomorrow. I didn’t look at his website earlier, so let’s hope that it’s as good as the pamphlet he sent.

Damn. How the heck did I pick the most Christian candidate available?!? Haha. Discalimer: He’s a Mormon, which I understand isn’t Christian according to many denominations of Christianity, though I certainly consider it Christian. He’s noticeably omitted any reference to women’s reproductive rights, which is unfortunate, but not unexpected. But, when you compare these three Democratic candidates, he has the most information on what he will do for healthcare and it is a very liberal platform. Only Colaw says that “women have the right to make their own choices”, but that’s it and it makes me uncomfortable to assume that this statement means she’ll approve broad protections for women when it could just as easily mean passing laws that close Planned Parenthood locations because their hallways are 6 inches too narrow so long as there is one location that exists in the state (Roe only provides that women be allowed to get abortions without unreasonable inconvenience, but doesn’t define what is unreasonable). Just because women have the choice doesn’t mean that the choice is an easily obtained one. This is why it’s important to write what you mean!

This is a relatively conservative part of Hampton Roads, VA, so I’m not surprised by any level of conservativeness on the part of Democrats. I prefer this middle ground.

 

 

“Bible Study on Wisdom”

I love snail mail and as well as writing to pen pals all over the world, I participate in my swaps via Swap-Bot. Generally most of these swaps are to move around Friendship Books, swap out my craft stash, and write the occasional themed letter, but every once in awhile there’s a swap that gives me a chance to be a bit of an activist. This is one of those.

The swap coordinator gave us 10 questions to use to delve into the Bible on the topic of Wisdom. Here’s my answers that will go to my partner:

Bible Study on Wisdom

  1. What is the wisdom from above like? (James 3:17)

Since I prefer to study the Bible using 2 versions, I have the KJV and NIV open in Bible Gateway. As usual, the words used differ in each translation. The KJV describes wisdom from above as: “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” while the NIV says it is: “first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

I’m not an English major, so for me the differences are slightly nit-picky, but they are still noticeable. I react differently to the idea that wisdom from God should be without hypocrisy than I do to the idea that wisdom from God is sincere. In humanity, there are plenty of very sincere people who are complete hypocrites and don’t make for very good advisors.

As a definition of what wisdom is, this does a poor job. It’s much too open-ended and non-specific.

2. What is the wise of heart called? (Prov. 16:21)

Huh. KJV: Prudent. NIV: Discerning. Merriam-Webster has similar definitions for these words, however, I read prudent as being cautious about decisions, whereas discerning is being very discriminating about understanding. I find the second half of this passage, in both translations, to be the more interesting. The KJV says “and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning” while NIV: “and gracious words promote instruction”.

For me, “increaseth learning” feels like an internal discussion (it’s the wise person who keeps learning) while “promote instruction” is an external action (it’s the wise person who teaches others). This, of course, makes the use of “prudent” and “discerning” important because I feel that the prudent person is very introspective about what they know whereas the discerning person is comfortable enough in their wisdom that they feel that they can teach others what they know.

3. Who is it that gives wisdom? (Prov. 2:6)

God. There is no disagreement here in translations (except for some -eths)! But, to whom does God give wisdom? Solomon below implies that it’s only those who directly ask for it, but this doesn’t happen often in reality. Most people only get called wise once they’ve garnered a lot of experience and learning, though there are many young people who are “wise beyond their years”, though I’d argue that this is because they spent their childhood learning about the world while their peers played.

4. Why did King Solomon ask for wisdom from God? (1 Kings 3:5-9)

Because he felt young and unprepared to be king…

5. What is the wisdom of this world from God’s perspective? (1 Corinthians 3:19-20)

Foolish…

But, this is an overly simplistic description! And one that is increasingly used by some religious people to dismiss realities of the known world! I mean, there are some people who honestly believe that the Earth is only about 6000 years old because that’s the number calculated from the Bible and these people think that scientists have pretty much made up the idea that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old! In 2017, these “Young Earth Creationists” are the ones who look  incredibly foolish for their willfull ignorance of science!

6. What does Prov. 11:30 tell us about evangelism?

Well, these translations are completely different. KJV says that the evangelist who is saving souls gets to call themselves wise whereas the NIV says that the evangelist is wise and will saves lives. This ends up being functionally opposites, though in both cases the label of “wise” is handed out a bit like candy.

7. What does Prov. 13:20 say about our companions?

Having wise companions leads to being wise whereas foolish companions harms the individual. However, without a definition of wisdom, the overall effect is the obscure idea that you should hang out with the “right” sort of Christian and everyone else is going to Hell.

8. What is the virtuous woman’s speech like in Prov. 31:26?

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (KJV) vs. “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” (NIV) “Faithful instruction” is of course very different from “the law of kindness”.

9. Why should we listen to advice? (Prov. 19:20)

Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (KJV) vs. “Listen to advice and accept discipline,  and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (NIV) It’s interesting that Merriam-Webster has “obsolete” next to the definition of discipline where it means “instruction” (I was under the impression that the NIV was supposed to modernize the language of the Bible).

Of course, for me, it is more important to be able to identify good advice than to understand that one should get advice.

10. Why is it foolish to boast about tomorrow? (Prov. 27:1 & James 3:13-17)

Do not boast about tomorrow,  for you do not know what a day may bring.” (NIV) Of course, this is actually a good example of sound advice :-).

I’m glad that We’ve gone back to James 3 because I’d skimmed it before answering Question #1 and feel like this Bible Study would have gone better had we started here:

“13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” (NIV)

This finally seems to answer the very practical question of what wisdom is and how the average person can recognize a wise person…sort of. It does involve “using the word within the definition” (“you can recognize the wise because they act with wisdom”), which means that everyone can define wisdom by their own standards.

But, I do like that it specifically calls out anyone claiming to be wise who secretly harbor envious and selfish ambition! For me, this gives me Biblical based reasoning for why a Clergy member should be scorned when they live in a mansion and otherwise live a life of wealth. I feel that a vow of poverty is the most important thing a Clergyperson does because it shows that they aren’t in it for the money. The Clergy make their living as a salary derived from collections from the faithful who would obviously prefer that their donations go towards the needy and not a Lexus for the Clergy!

Of course, “wise” people (illustrated by  this passage) can earn such vast wealth, but clearly, what matters most is what they do with it and profit sharing plays a large part in illustrating their humbleness (sharing wealth rather than hoarding it for themselves).

———————————————–END—————————————–

Obviously, I’m not a Christian. I’m a Deist. This is also my first Bible Study and I’m more curious about how this ranks as such a thing.

I feel like the specific questions asked are supposed to guide a person to a specific conclusion. Is this normal? I just found it annoying! I mean, I was expecting an in depth discovery of what the Bible means by having wisdom (meaning that there would be a lot of questions dealing specifically with definitions) and instead the questions led me down a trail of the obvious (of course God is the source of wisdom! This is a Christian Bible Study!). I could have answered half of these questions without opening a Bible!

As for analysis, you can see from my short answers, there didn’t seem to be much room for analysis outside of an overarching question of “what is the point of this question?”.

I’ve heard many Christians complain that non-Christians will all too often attack the Bible using choice picked verses that are “taken out of context”, but this entire Bible Study feel like nothing but verse mining. It felt like the author had searched for the word wisdom in a searchable Bible and picked the passages that sounded most relevant without thought about the overarching idea. If nothing else, I wish that there had been bigger sections called out for analysis!

On a related note, this felt a lot like the assignments I most hated in school. “Fill in the blank with the missing word taken directly out of the passage highlighted.” Honestly, I don’t think that the people of this Bible Study are actually supposed to think about anything but the simple answers to simple questions. If otherwise were true, the questions would have been better.

I think that a proper Bible Study should deal with only one section (as big or as small as necessary) while drawing upon any other relevant passages as necessary. They should not, for any reason, require lots of jumps around to look at single solitary verses.

By the way, you’ll notice that I happily utilized two different versions of the Bible for this study (to give me something to analyse). I’m curious as to what will potentially happen if people involved in this swap receive a Study that uses a Bible that isn’t their own version (since version seems to be very important to many people). Will it force some people out of their comfort zone?

Not Wasting Food

For about a month, I’d been craving a meaty hand-pie. I have no idea why, since I’ve never had them before. I guess it was too much time spent watching documentaries on historic British “houses” (more like castles or palaces) and thinking about the food of Harry Potter.

Since I’m a timid soul who doesn’t like exploring new restaurants on my own (and my husband has a tender stomach), I knew that I’d have to make these pies on my own. And since I’m cheap, I knew I’d be making the pie crust by hand (because why should I buy something that is just flour, butter, water and salt, all of which I always have on hand even though I don’t bake that often).

In my head, I knew that I wanted the crust to be chewy, not the flaky stuff that is traditional for most kinds of pie. When I looked up a recipe for the pie dough (because while I know the ingredients I don’t know the proportions) a peirogi dough immediately caught my eye. I thought it would have the perfect texture for what I wanted.

I have a (relative) lot of homemade jams and jellies that were given to me as a gift for Christmas, so I figured that while I was making meat pies, I could make some fruit ones as well, using the jam as filling.

I made a fabulous meat filling using some pork chops (diced up), grated cabbage (out of a bag of coleslaw mix because I can’t eat a whole head of cabbage), some grated carrot, onion, and some sweet potato (in retrospect, I should have left out the sweet potato). I cooked the pork, onion, and potato fully before stuffing the pierogi dough. I wanted the veggies to stay crunchy figured they’d cook enough in the oven.

This is where I seem to have made the critical error. I’m a lazy cook and love to just throw stuff into the oven and have it come out cooked. I have bought frozen pierogies 3 times before and have used all three cooking methods recommended on the box (saute, oven, and boiling) and had already determined that boiling was the ideal way to cook them. I did NOT take my own advice after making a pierogi dough for my meat pies.

I stuck those suckers in the oven and what came out was a tasty rock. Well, not a rock, but they definitely took some serious chewing to eat (I’d also miscalculated on my fruity pies which leaked and seemed to not have enough filling, either).

So, I found myself the unfortunate owners of some pretty, but not the tastiest meat and fruit hand pies. Did I mention that the meat pies were quite dry because I hadn’t included a gravy? Yeah…

After a couple days in the fridge, I knew I had to do something with them. I hate the idea of wasting food, though, so I didn’t want to throw them away without a second chance. So, I cut 2 of the meat pies up  into bite sized pieces and threw them into a pot of chicken stock. The pierogi dough sucked up that liquid beautifully and finally got the texture that I’d craved. I had enough to cover my lunches for work for the rest of the week. I put 2 more meat pies into the freezer for future enjoyment.

By the end of the week, I knew I had to do something with the fruit pies, and I found another meat pie that I’d packaged for my lunch before realizing that I needed to do something better. So, I cut the fruit pies up into pieces  and put them into a baking dish along with an apple I’d cut up and a can of sliced peaches (including the light syrup). This I put into the oven for like an hour and a half at 325 (stirring occasionally and looking for the fruit to be tender, but not completely mushy).

The result was delicious! Kind of a deconstructed fruit pie.

As for the “final” meat pie (since I still have 2 in the freezer), I chopped it up and threw it into some left over canned baked beans. Also delicious! And not one bit of my cooking adventure ended up in the trash!

But I think that the next time I want to make a meat pie, I’ll use a traditional pie dough and I think I’ll get some personal sized pie dishes to make them in so that I can enjoy some proper gravy.

Birthday Card

I am entering this card into 2 challenges this week. The first is Seize the Birthday–Anything Goes.

The second is As You Like It Challenge–Favorite Colour (and Why). My favorite color is orange because it’s kind of the non-conformist color. I mean, it doesn’t rhyme with anything (?) and I think a lot of people are afraid to wear orange because it’s a very bold color. But see, orange can play nicely wit everyone :-).

Our “Christian” Wedding

So, you already know that we consider our wedding to have been non-conformist. My husband and I are Deists, not Christian. But while writing a review of The Pilgrim’s Progress, I realized that there are a lot of Idols and Symbols associated with a modern wedding that aren’t what I consider Christian.

I really feel like my husband and I had nearly the most “Christian” version of a wedding–there were no frills, no Idols, nothing but us in front of the very few people who matter most to us. We actually planned it, rather than a quick elopement, so it was done with purpose in a place that felt special, but wasn’t ornamented to make us seem any more special than anyone else.

The only thing we “splurged” on was our clothes, because I wanted to be pretty on my wedding day and I wanted him to be drop dead gorgeous (because we’re not the type of people who dress up, ever). However, the actual amount of time and money spent on our clothes was relatively little. My dress took about an hour to order online. Three quarters of that was debating if I really wanted the dress that immediately caught my eye in comparison to the rest that were available. It is black and white hounds-tooth patterned and doesn’t conform with any Idolized Ideal of a wedding dress (a tradition started by Queen Victoria and isn’t in the Bible, so far as I know). The rest of that hour was getting my husband to measure me.*

My husband’s clothes took a bit longer because we had to go to multiple stores, but the overall look was relatively cheap: Jeans and a gray button-down. New boots, which he needed anyway (and we did this trick again for his son’s wedding: they looked fine under his tuxedo). The most expensive item was his suit-coat, which we got new, but could have come from a thrift store if we really wanted to search it out, though he’s a big guy, so our choices were limited. But time is money and getting his suit coat new also got us a great relationship with that particular Philip Michael’s store in Chesapeake Square Mall, who helped us out when we needed to measure my husband for that tuxedo.

If being a good Christian means being austere (and really, I don’t think you can be both filthy rich and a good Christian), I think a big, audacious wedding ends up being more a status symbol than a sacrament. A few choice items, picked for their importance to the couple are wonderful, but more for the sake of filling up the space, well, maybe you shouldn’t be getting married in such an empty room!

We didn’t have a registry for gifts. Honestly, I find this entire idea a bit nauseating. I’ve seen the movie My Fake Fiancé where two broke people pretend to get married for the gifts, but really, as a person, I hate any time someone wants me to tell them what to give me as a gift! My least favorite part of Christmas is the gift exchange because I hate the idea of gifts being an expectation instead of a surprise. Ideally, I’d only give gifts when I feel inspired to give gifts and it seems stupid to literally hold onto items that you know someone will love because of the unspoken obligation to have something for them to open at Christmas. Seriously, I’ve started working on my Christmas presents for this year and I will have to store them for the next 8 months. Is there any wonder why people wait until the last minute to buy and wrap their gifts–that’s where all the incentive is.

When we invited everyone to our reception in May, I specifically told everyone not to bring a gift, but to bring a dish to share (it was potluck). Honestly, I loved packing up all the leftovers to fill our fridge! That was the best gift we could have asked for because I won’t be tripping over random stuff for the next 20 years. Okay, I will be, but it’s all stuff my husband had from before we married.

We didn’t have a cake either on our wedding night or at our reception. Wedding cake is yet another unnecessary Idol/Symbol/Tradition. While I’m amazed by the amount of work that can go into a gorgeous wedding cake, at the end of the day it will either be eaten or thrown away. It is food. I think everyone should take a moment when they buy their cake (and their flowers) and decide if they are getting it because it’s something that means a lot to their relationship or because it will make a good statement piece.

I guess there’s a fine line between a bride getting her vision and the audaciousness of a $50,000 wedding. And I guess that if you can afford it, you should get what you want. But, I think it’s important to keep your priorities in check with everything you do. I actually do have a really big problem with the divorce rate being 50% and while I’m libertarian enough to say that folks are more than allowed to do whatever the hell they want, I think society would be better off with better marriages, not more of them!

Oh. One final note is necessary. It’s actually really easy to identify when you’ve crossed the line from getting the wedding of your dreams and the wedding meant to please everyone–you’ve felt even the smallest twinge of regret over at least one choice. If you feel overwhelmed, you’ve definitely crossed this line! Yes, things can (and do) go wrong, but if you feel unable to run with whatever life throws at you, STOP. You need to reevaluate the situation. There is no need to rush into anything and I can tell you from personal experience working in a print shop, RUSH means that someone, somewhere screwed up (and because of that, more things will go wrong). There is no such thing as a job marked RUSH where everything was done right from the beginning.

*By the way, while my husband is a good sport about measuring me, keep in mind that husbands will shrink you an inch around the waist, where it’s easy for you to inadvertently suck in your stomach when he pulls the tape too tight.

Our Non-Conformist Wedding: Part 3, Finale

Well, I’ve got 3 posts in progress this morning and I just realized that I never offered a real conclusion describing our actual wedding :-). So, over a year later, let me answer some of those hanging questions!

We did get married at St. Luke’s.

I absolutely LOVED my dress! I decided that instead of hemming it to make it shorter, I bought a petticoat so that it would poof out instead of hanging drably. Perfect! Well, except for my adventure with the petticoat on the morning of the wedding when it decided to fall down, but I got that figured out and it was fine.

We were married by a former sheriff of Isle of Wight County. My husband has always respected him and the sheriff’s wife works in the office of the body shop husband tows for, so it worked out great. He was really awesome, didn’t mind that I wanted things short, sweet, and to the point. He had a favorite ceremony that he read to us and I thought it was perfect for us. Seriously, if I didn’t know that it was one he used often, I’d think it was written specifically for us!

The ceremony went smoothly, except that my husband and I both ended up saying “I will” 3 times instead of 2 because we both interrupted at the same wrong spot, haha. I did it even after I heard him do it and thought to myself that I wasn’t going to do that! Oh well. We had a moment.

I didn’t cry one single tear at my wedding! With my Stepson getting married this past Feb, I can confirm that I have cried at every wedding I’ve attended, except my own. Actually, I cried more at during my Stepson’s rehearsal (I was a bridesmaid), because I knew when to brace myself and look away during the actual ceremony.

But yeah, during our own wedding, I was grinning ear to ear during the whole thing! I was wearing my (now) daughter-in-law’s over-sized sweater to the church (they drove me over) and I’d stuffed some paper towels in the pocket for my waterworks, but ended up just forgetting about them. She texted later asking about them and I told her they were clean!

I did walk my own self down the aisle. St. Luke’s is set up with 3 “sections”, which are all well separated from each other. There’s a foyer, where I was able to leave the sweater, the main pews, and then the front set of benches situated in front of the alter, with a 3/4ths wall separating them  from the rest of the pews. When I called out that I was ready to walk, Charlie (the Sheriff) instructed everyone to rise and while I could see their heads, I don’t think they could see me (they were seated on those couple benches right up front). I could see my husband, though, but I don’t remember really looking at him; I was too busy trying not to fall over in my heels.

Oh! And my husband didn’t wear a suit. In fact, after seeing him in tuxedo pants at his son’s wedding, I hope to never see him in suit pants again, haha. I put him in a new pair of jeans, a grey button-down shirt, new work boots, and a suit coat. He didn’t wear a tie, his shirt had the top button undone. He was yummy looking. Perfect!IMG_0184

Yes, there is a step up for the actual alter (which, since it’s a historic church, is out of bounds), but my husband was able to help me onto the 6 inch wide step outside the fencing for our kiss and the first set of pictures. In real life, I’m a foot and a half shorter than him.

Oh! And since I hate PDA, I thought it was very sweet that by putting me up on the step for the kiss, we ended up with his back to our audience, so we could have a private kiss(s). He gave me our usual 3 pecks and a hug.

And then I nearly fell over when getting off that step by myself. He had to grab me/I had to grab him to keep me upright, haha.

We left from the church for our super short honeymoon (we got married on Monday and I wanted to be back at work on Wednesday). We didn’t get very far because my husband realized he didn’t have his nitroglycerin tablets which meant he didn’t have his house keys. And of course I didn’t have my house keys! The Kids were supposed to lock up the house when they left. So we spent a good hour and a half trying to get in contact with them because we really needed the rest of his pills that were forgotten.

We went to Luray, VA and toured the cave and various museums there. He had wanted to take me to the Eastern Shore for our honeymoon, but after discussing his first 2 marriages and honeymoons, I vetoed all trips east (both went to beaches)!

Look what we found!!

My husband and I were driving around a couple weeks ago (as a former truck driver, he loves dragging me on 4 hour drives around southeastern VA) and spotted this guy in Surry, VA.

The window says the shop name is “A Steampunked Life”. I wanted to go in, but the husband said he saw a closed sign on the window (I was otherwise distracted and missed this).

I looked them up online and they have a nice Facebook page and Etsy shop! (I’m just sharing what I found, I don’t know these folks.)

Anyway, the arm there is part of a hookah and on the back is the rest of it seeming to function as its propulsion system (we didn’t get a picture of that).

Surry is only about an hours drive from Norfolk and is even closer to Williamsburg.