Friday, April 11, 2014

And this is why I call myself a feminist. . .

Sexism is real, people. It's still around. Like. . . big time. And if you don't believe me. . . here's a real thing that happened last night.

I pulled up at the gas station last night around 11pm after Bible study. I was not dressed very interestingly. Long aline skirt and a t-shirt. And flip flops. 

A guy came out of the store and went to get into his van which was at the pump next to me. 

I heard a whistle.

I ignored it because it was 11pm at a gas station. Scolding people for disgusting chauvinist behavior downtown in broad daylight is one thing, but at this point, I just wanted to get my gas and get home. And you never know what kind of weirdos you're going to run into at 11pm at a gas station on the north side.

I heard, "Hey! Lil' mama!"

I looked around the entire station and realized I was the only woman there. Awesome. He was definitely talking to me and I was the only woman at the station.

So I continued to pretend I couldn't hear him. 

"Lil' mama over there, I'm talking to you, sweet thing!"

I picked up my phone to get ready to call the police. 

The guy's friend (I assume) spotted the seminary decal on my window. "Yo, man!" He said between giggles, "You be talkin' to a preacher's wife. Lil' mama over there a church lady!" With that, they left. 

I think this is the first time that I haven't bothered to be that annoyed by the fact that it was assumed I was the preacher's wife and not the actual preacher. I was just glad their sexist assumption made them go away. I wasn't really in any danger right there in the busy, well lit gas station (even if I was the only woman there) while I stood next to my lockable car with my cell phone in my hand. But there is something really dark and threatening about that sort of unwarranted and unwanted advance. It's a power play - a move to feel in control of someone. And it works. My brain knew I was fine, but fight or flight started to kick in. (I'm not sure which of the two I would have reacted with, either. My keys were between my knuckles, but I was also ready to just hop in the car and drive fast too.)

I associate myself as a feminist because I'm revolted by the thought of my son ever treating anyone that way. I'm a feminist because it's disgusting that my daughters might ever be talked to in that manner. I'm a feminist because my 7 year old daughter wants to be a pastor when she grows up and my 5 year old son wants to take ballet lessons and who on earth has the right to tell them girls can't be preachers and boys can't dance ballet? How on earth is it right to devalue someone because of their gender? Why does one gender get the right to treat the other like some sort of sex object up for sale? 

I know. . . not all men think it's OK to talk to random women at a gas station like that. There are many men who will read this post and be appalled that a man out there would approach/talk to a woman like that. I'm not saying we haven't come a long way. I'm just saying that we have a long way to go. As long as there are still little boys out there being taught that it's ok to behave like that, there is a need for change. 

Sorry, gas station guy. . . I'm not your "Lil' mama."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm a whiny grouchy-pants

There are just days when even the most seasoned of runners don't feel like getting their butts out of bed for a training run.

This was one of those days.

Terribly, it was one of those days for my running buddy too. She only got up because I texted her that I was on my way and I only got up because she was waiting for me.

It was just one of those runs and I was super grouchy. So grouchy that as we ran today, I kept a continual list of all the things I hated this morning. So, in order to cheer on all the newer runners out there who think that the veteran runners love it all the time and run with a smile and a spring in their step, here's my list of things I hated while running this morning. Other runners, feel free to add to the list in the comments.


  1. I hate getting up so early every Saturday.
  2. I hate this trail (we were on the Southside trail).
  3. I hate March.
  4. I hate these tights.
  5. I hate my IT band.
  6. I hate hills.
  7. I hate cloudy days.
  8. I hate rain.
  9. I hate running in Oakland.
  10. I hate driving in Oakland too. But I hate running it more.
  11. I hate that I've run nearly 200 miles this year and nobody has handed me a medal yet.
  12. I hate gu.
  13. I hate that my car keys are always sticky from the empty gu packets in my pockets.
  14. I hate this song.
  15. I hate this song too.
  16. I hate this zipper.
  17. I hate being cold.
I'm pretty sure I covered everything I had to whine about this morning. I whined surprisingly little about the actual mileage today. I was just in a bad mood and didn't feel like running at all. My running buddy is an incredibly understanding and patient woman. 

And we decided that for as much as all that stuff sucked today. . . in 5 weeks, we have a roaring finish line crowd and new bling waiting for us. And that we can agree is something to love.

In the end. . . I love running. Just not today. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stop Trying so Hard

This morning, I preached at my internship church - Bellevue United Presbyterian Church. I just love that church so very very much and it'll be terribly bittersweet when I have to leave after graduation this year. I can't say enough how honored I've been to be a part of the community there and how great it's been to have such an incredible place to learn and grow. 

This morning's passages are: Psalm 121, Genesis 12:1-4a, Romans 4:1-5, 13-15


Friday, March 14, 2014

Pittsburgh's youth need your help!

I'm running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon and 5K this year to raise money for the Pittsburgh Promise - an organization that provides $40K scholarships to all eligible Pittsburgh Public School students. I have 3 kids in PPS and have spent about 10 years of my life mentoring Pittsburgh youth. This cause is very near and dear to me.

This is the 5th year in a row I have run on the Pittsburgh Promise charity team. This year, I'm "racing" you all to the start line. I need to log at least 200 training miles before May 4th and my fundraising goal is $550. (All team members are asked to meet this goal in order to cover their entry fee into the race and to make it worthwhile for the organization to participate.) I have currently logged 125 training miles this year (63% of my goal) and have raised $395 (72% of my goal). Please help me reach my goal this year! Every dollar counts!

Please click here (http://www.crowdrise.com/pittsburghpromisepitts2014/fundraiser/charissahowe) or in the sidebar to view my fundraiser page and make your donation.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow Day Breakfast

I greased a glass pie pan.

Then I browned a pound of ground beef with ranch seasoning and laid it in the pan.


Then raw, fresh spinach.


Then I beat ten egg yolks (I made angel food cake the other day) and two whole eggs with a splash of milk and more ranch seasoning. I poured that over the beef and spinach.

Grated some tasty garlic cheddar over it (regular cheddar would be ok too.)

Laid a roll of fridge crescents on top.

Baked in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes (until eggs have set.)

Enjoy!