Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Today begins the annual New Year's Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-fi channel, and buddy, We'll Be There.
When I was growing up, my mother deemed TZ as "too scary" for us young'uns. But my sister was older, and it was one of her favorite shows. And sometimes she let me watch it on the Upstairs T.V.
Now, this was a very special tv. My father was one of the original techno-geeks, and loved to get new gear early in the game. He purchased this tv on the very first day they were for sale in our town--my sister's fifth birthday, November 21, 1953. The story goes that all he could get on it was one station, with the Today Show, the Evening News, and a few prime-time things. Through the years I wondered if he had really bought it on the very first day, until a few years ago, when an announcement came on: "WKJG-TV 33, celebrating fifty years of broadcasting--November 21, 1953-November 21, 2003." So, there you have it.
Daddy bought a color television when there were very few programs telecast in color. I still remember the blurbs: "A CBS production, presented in Living COLOR." And, of course, you all know the NBC Peacock--his feathers used to pop out one by one, color by color. Our new tv was a beautiful maple console. Mother would put something on a doily on top. Daddy climbed on the roof to put the best antenna he could find.
Well, the old black-and-white found its way upstairs to the room I shared with my sister. And, come Twilight Zone/The Outer Limits/Saturday Night Creature Feature time, she'd let me watch with her. Even though she wasn't supposed to. Older sisters *are* good for some things!
I still remember the night we Got Caught. We were watching a movie called "The Killer Shrews" (this movie was actually on just last week on TCM, but I declined to watch it--it has barely a one-star rating...) and we heard Mother coming up the stairs. Jan told me to play like I was asleep. I thought it was going pretty well until Mom discovered I was still wearing my glasses.
Oops. Janet got the Cord Taken Away. This is the equivalent of taking your teenager's cellphone away. Mother put the TV cord up on the refrigerator for a week.
And Janet wouldn't let me watch the Twilight Zone with her anymore.
I've carried the scars ever since. So, today, the TV will be running the TZ marathon, at least until Alvin Fernald sneaks some football game or another in.
By the way, I still have a part of that television. The plate glass front of the screen sits on my dresser, keeping photos safe. But, alas, the cord is gone forever. But that's okay. I have a cellphone, and nobody can ground me from it!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The ice storm was a tad more serious than first described. First reports were that 2000 homes were without power--eventually 120,000 customers were in the dark. That, folks, is more than half of the people in our city. Many of those were "out" into the fifth and sixth day. This combined with windchills one day of thirty below zero. Shelters were opened north and south in the city. Many retailers were closed on the weekend before Christmas. Our church, which survived the first onslaught, succumbed on Sunday morning. It is on the same grid as a cluster of hotels, filled with refugees from their own homes--a double whammy. Some people, returning to their homes days later, found the effects of frozen water pipes. Happy Christmas Eve!
Yet, we all know how blessed we are. Though we did not lose power (and none of our in-town children did, either), we had resources throughout the city, had we done so. Neighbors and friends opening their homes. A really good chance to Slow Things Down.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve service at church, and a quiet morning at home. Johnny Tremain and Lily came over Christmas mid-morning, and Don Quixote, as is his custom, made cheesy omelets for all. Violet went home at noon, which was a good thing, as another freezing rain/ice episode followed. This slowed things down slightly, for the after-Christmas sales, but we were treated yesterday (Saturday) to sixty-three degrees! So now, all the ice is gone, and only the memory of our glassy-iced world to remember it by.
Today (Sunday) we had the Christmas choir/children's choir/dance thing scheduled for last Sunday. It was really quite nice, focusing on Christmas "after the fact," with nothing else to fight for our attention.
Tomorrow? Gathering up a couple of medical receipts to finish out our insurance account-thingy (where they take money out pre-tax for medical expenses) before the 31st. Planning menus (and throwing the vestiges of multiple parties that are "growing" in the frig away). Laundry. Maybe the library.
Oh, how I love Normal. When I can find it!
Friday, December 19, 2008
We are at the end of an ice storm, here where I live. The gorgeousness of iced trees and fences belies their danger: I see large branches over two of my near-neighbors' sidewalks, broken by their very heaviness. The news (which I can hear thanks to electricity) says that 2000 homes in our city are without power. I am safe and snug here in my home, coffee in hand, at least for the moment.
The temperature is rising, so it is only raining now. I went outside to see if I should salt the sidewalks, but it's raining too hard. I was meditating on the awesome-ness of the weather, when I saw a streak of lightning, followed, of course, by the rumble of thunder. A thunderstorm in the midst of an ice storm. In December!
The weatherman predicts, as is often the case on a day like today, Wind later on. The blessed wind that will dry much of the watery sidewalks, before below-freezing temperatures again tonight. All the schools are closed today, a day early for the Christmas break.
Just meditating on the awesome-ness of a God who loves us more than we could ever know. So He sent a little weather to encourage us to slow down, "look up," and say Hello.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Next, you have to put them together so they end up in a spherical shape. I have never put pieces together with safety pins before:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Besides all of the fun Christmas stuff going on, he did something for me that I so, so appreciate: he fixed up the tv in the basement so that Alvin Fernald could put ALL of his video game stuff down there.
This was no small operation: not only is the basement tv analog (rendering it useless as of February 9, 2009, I'm sure all of you know), but it is also *not* what we used to call "cable ready," and, in fact, doesn't even use a remote. MacGuyver and Alvin went to Radio Shack to get this and that, and fixed it up, but Alvin has to *click* the dial to station number 3 to begin play.
Ah, the bliss of not tripping over control cords and the "guitar" from Guitar Hero. Not having to listen to the droning music on the "setup" modes.
Later we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner--yum. [and then shopped in the store and spent too much money...], then to Wal-mart for Christmas lights--somehow they disappeared since last year. I couldn't find even one strand in all of our Christmas boxes.
Later last night, we cut out fleece stockings for Mac and Tiny Dancer, and I whipped them up on the machine. I showed T.D. how trim them with a buttonhole stitch, which she will finish at home. It was a rich, full day.
Today: Put lights on the tree so we can decorate it! Hop on over to a brand-new Wal-mart where, rumor has it, they will have gasoline for 99 cents all day (I'll let you know on that one...though Joe Hardy bought gas there on Tuesday for $1.23...). Begin gathering patterns for handmade toys and dolly clothes for the grands. Mail a package for my sister.
Guess it's back to normal 'round here!
Update: Gasoline at the new Wal-mart was $1.39. However, gas went up all over town to $1.79 (from an average of $1.45 or so) OVERNIGHT. So I guess driving across town to save FORTY CENTS A GALLON was worth the trip!
Friday, December 05, 2008
Spices crowding a two-tier twirly lazy susan thing. The ones that fall off and fall behind, keep it from twirling. Behind the peanut butter and sugar bowl, cans and jars that won't fit on the twirly thing, as well as baggies of "bulk" spices that I've accumulated.
Well, the situation had been critical since summer. Odd things would fly out at me when I opened the cupboard: I just shoved them back in and went on my merry way. Until two days ago...
...Avalanche. That's all I'm gonna tell ya'.
Here is a photo of what burped up outta there:
I stopped counting at 70 cans, jars, and baggies. SEVENTY.
Included in this array were four cans and three baggies of nutmeg. Hoarding for the next Y2K, I guess. Three cans of cream of tartar. Now, I make homemade play-doh like the rest of y'all, but Come On. But: the spices I use most, I had only the jar I knew about, half-full. Except for the cinnamon--I had to BORROW cinnamon last week from a neighbor. I did find two, Full, jars of that.
I also consolidated all the boxes of birthday candles. And, you know the "number" candles? Well, you could conceivably use two of the same number--Charming *did* turn 44 a few years ago. But I had three 5's--unless I'm planning for someone to turn 555, I can get rid of one of those, right?
So, what happened then? Well, I threw away some old stuff. Somehow, the cans that were so old that they don't have a barcode, I couldn't bear to throw away. Symbols of a kinder, gentler time, you know? (I promise, I WILL deal with those. Pretty soon.) I kept one full and one opened can of nutmeg, as well as one of the cream of tartars. I took all the extras (as well as Eleven Boxes of Jello I didn't know I had) and packaged them up for Forget-me-not and Lily.
So I put the cupboard back together, and, as you can see, it is still packed pretty full:
And, it wasn't a perfect job. I'm so jealous of Jen I could spit nails.
But at least I can begin my holiday baking 1) without the fear of flying spices hitting me in the head, and 2) knowing that I actually probably don't have to buy any spices!
Just my little contribution to a Frugal Friday!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
--Railroad ties are four feet, eight inches apart. This is exactly the same width as the Roman chariot. *One*, awesome that the measurements are exactly the same. *Two*, had no idea chariots were that wide. I'll have to watch Ben Hur more closely next time.
--Saw Venus and Jupiter hangin' out together last night. You're not too late to the party if you didn't see them. Read about it here. Be sure and read the entire article. I love reading how people have seen these same astronomical "treats" throughout the centuries. It boggles my mind how I can see things 250,000 miles away (the moon), 93.2 million miles away (Venus), and 540.3 million miles away (Jupiter) With My Naked Eye. People: Only God could do that!
[ooh. I had a question, then I think I answered it myself. If Venus is 93 million miles away, and the Sun is 93 million miles away, and Venus is the next planet between us and the sun...But then, of course, it's the Elliptical Orbit thing, isn't it? I sometimes forget that the planets are not all lined up all the time, like the illustrations in the science books, and are truckin' around the sun at different speeds...]
--let four boys with guitars, who last year at Alvin's birthday sleepover were braggin' about How Good They Were (or were going to be), alone for a year, and they come back, a lot more serious about music, and playing for hours, finding their "groove." No need for braggin'. And an impromptu mini-seminar from "expert" Charming into the bargain!
By the way, only one of the above was actually learned during schooltime. I love, love, love, how homeschooling has made us love learning for its own sake!
Friday, November 28, 2008
I was a college freshman. Now, my dating life had been pretty lean. I didn't get asked out until the middle of senior year. I had two dates with a nice guy (and he gave me a very satisfactory "first kiss"), but all he wanted to talk about was cars, so we went our separate ways. I went to the prom with a friend, and I had a blind date senior summer with an airman when I visited my sister and her husband on the airbase. That was it. Four dates.
I was sure that college would be a Fresh Start. I was at a women's college with 1,800 students, across the street from a men's college with 7,000. The odds were on my side, right?
I went to mixers and parties and such, and, though I had fun times, Nobody Asked Me Out. I was really beginning to wonder what was wrong with me. My mother continued to tell me that I was beautiful, and she even predicted that I would be married by the time I was twenty.
The Wednesday after Thanksgiving break, a friend of mine asked me to dinner at the Men's Place (okay, it was Notre Dame). We had reciprocal dining privileges there. She was going out with a guy who had three roommates, and he wanted her to bring three friends. We arrived, and were introduced to the four guys, each one cuter than the one before. The last to be introduced was...Charming. My first thought was, "this is the handsomest guy I have ever seen." Then I argued (inside my head)--don't be ridiculous, it's just a guy. My second thought was, "I want to marry him!" (inside my head--what is the MATTER with you???)
Dinner did not hold promise. Charming was talking just as much with the other two girls who came with us as with me. After dinner, walking across campus, I trailed behind Charming and the other two girls (the sidewalks at ND hold three-across comfortably). Somewhere along the line, his other two roommates disappeared. We went back to his dorm room, where Charming played his guitar for us for awhile. My infatuation was growing by the minute: in the '70's, *everyone* wanted to date a guitar player.
Charming excused himself a little later, saying he had a date.
I went home a little later, chalking up the experience as another fun time, but expecting little else. Until about 11:30 when I got a call. From Charming. I had accidentally left my purse in his room. It took him a good long while to ask me out the next night, but after he did, It Was All Over.
It is really hard to grasp the fact that thirty-five years have passed. Inside, I am still that 18-year-old girl that fell hard for the "handsomest guy I had ever seen." And, he is still that handsome! I know better than to say that Love at First Sight is real, but those feelings are still there, along with the real Love that came later. And, by the way, we were married at twenty.
So, Happy Anniversary to my darling. Let's do another thirty-five, okay?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
What Barbara Means
Do you think these tests just spit out random answers? "We're rotating answers A through H today. You are "F" in the rotation. So here it is...
If you want to know the truth, my name means "stranger" [think Barbarian], and my family will tell you that I am Stranger Than Most.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Ten years ago, I had a bad experience with a crown. Everything was going well, until the dentist put the Permanent Crown on. I had to bite down on a cotton wad for thirty seconds until the cement set. As I bit down, the tears literally rained down my face. It. hurt. so. bad. I mentioned it, and the dentist apologized, saying something like "it was probably because we had messed around in there so much" or something. I figured a couple of days would take care of the discomfort.
People, it was TEN MONTHS before I could chew on that side. I cancelled my next six-month checkup, but, after the ten months was over, I decided to give dental health another go-round. In the ensuing years, I let him do anything except Go Near That Tooth. However, I have had a lot of gum issues in that area. He warned against Bone Loss, and, three years ago, suggested that we Re-do That Crown. (sound of "Psycho" music with stabbing motion--eee! eee! eee!)
I said no, thank you.
You know about Pockets, don't you? The hygienist sticks a probe into the gum around the back, middle, and front of each tooth. 1's, 2's, and 3's are acceptable. I hear her going around my mouth: 2,3,3. 3,2,3. 2,2,2. 3,3,2. 2,1,2. (what?? I have a ONE?) Then, the Dreaded Crown Tooth: 6,7,6. People, Seven is not healthy.
I love the times in which we live. She took a little syringe thingy with anesthetic (no needle!) into the gums in the area. Then she took an sonic-wave thingy to remove the plaque. (no scraper--though it did "zing" me a couple of times. (Don't worry, though--the circulation in her wrist where I grabbed her, has probably come back by now.) Finally, a laser treatment to kill all bacteria. She said, "You may smell a little burning. Maybe see a puff of smoke. Hear some snap, crackle, pop sounds." As I smelled the acrid odor (how often do you get to use the word "acrid?"), she said, "that's just the laser, killing necrotic tissue." I felt like I was on CSI!
So, the end result is that I am starting with a Clean Slate. With good dental care, I should be maybe seeing some 5's by my next visit.
Then Dr. Bob came in. He said my only "cavity" was an old silver filling which had started to deteriorate. He'll just clean that one out in a minute, he said. But. We really need to talk about Replacing That Crown. It's Not Doing Well.
Yeah. Tell me about it.
I got out to the front office to check out. Which dentist would I like for my next appointment?
Gotta be Dr. Bob.
We have a History of Pain together.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I can never decide whether I like the handmade stuff or the vintage stuff better. (well, I already know. I love it all. But you get it all-in-one over at Julie's place.
So, go check it out, and put your name in for the giveaway. You'll have a difficult time deciding what you like best!
Monday, November 17, 2008
--I need to sign up for all the insurance *stuff* for next year for Charming's work by Thursday.
--I need to Not Forget to go to the dentist on Wednesday. Of course, I made the appointment six months ago. Used to be, the dentist sent a reminder postcard about a week before. Now he sends them for the whole month on the 1st. So I've had almost three weeks to forget.
--Our Thanksgiving meal will be this Friday, since Thanksgiving Day is the busiest of the year for Charming (can you say Cr*cker B*rrel??) and Nobody Gets Thanksgiving Off. Now, if all of you people would quit going out to eat on Thanksgiving, he could stay home. (okay, off my soapbox now--I *know* that there are older people and others who can't or do not desire to make a mess that takes three days to clean up.) It's okay. We're going to have a great time Friday. Charming's Dad and his wife are coming, as well as (I think) all my kids. Long about twenty in all will be here. Which leads me to...
--I need to make desserts on Thursday. Need to thaw the turkey starting 'bout Wednesday. Need to BUY a turkey before that.
--Pay the car payment by Thursday. Check already written, in my purse, to be dropped off at the bank today. Check this one off.
Guess it's not so bad. Adding, of course, cleaning and schoolwork and grocery shopping, but that is an everyday thing. Oh, yeah, one more thing:
--Remember to have a Good Attitude. Every day.
workin' on it.
Have a wonderful week!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
You Should Be Allowed to Vote
You got 15/15 questions correct.
Generally speaking, you're very well informed.
If you vote this election, you'll know exactly who (and what) you'll be voting for.
You're likely to have strong opinions, and you have the facts to back them up.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Ooh, like Jen, I LOVE forensics. Charming gave me a set of Quincy, M.E. dvds for my birthday. (oh, the primitive forensics before DNA...)
2. I got saved during the Jesus Movement. (One Way, Jesus!)
3. I took a ride on the Wabash Cannonball. (listen to the jingle, the rumble and the roar...)
4. My fingerprints are on file with the FBI. (see here for details.)
5. In 2000, Charming, I, and five of our children voted at the same precinct. (three of them still lived at home, one across the street, and the other down the street just three houses.) We, along with my three youngest, walked to the voting station. Three of them were voting for President for the first time.
6. I don't like jazz music (except for Mr. Rogers and Charlie Brown). I'm probably the only person in the universe who doesn't like jazz.
7. Ditto for Star Wars. Never seen it. or them. even the new ones.
Now for the tagging: I choose Michelle, Angel, Ruthie, Cindy, April, Julie, and Brenda.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Violet, who is a dorm rector for a women's dorm at a university, was on Fall Break this week, so she planned a visit for Mon-Thurs. Ordinarily, we would have been able to do at least a modified schedule of academics, between visiting and FUN, but she had news that Eclipsed Everything Else.
Violet has a new boyfriend.
It is a story that was 18 months in the making, as that is how long they have been emailing each other. Not secretly or anything, (even though she never told ME) but just in a pen-pal way. Because he is French. As in, from FRANCE. And, naturally, if you have a Frenchy pen-pal, you are not looking to meet IRL anytime soon, you know?
Mr. France finished up his Ph.D. in Chemistry last month (he studied for four years in England) and decided to reward himself with some travel. So he asked Violet if she would be amenable to a visit to the U.S.A. He had been once before, at age 2, when his parents visited NYC and Disney World. Guess they thought they'd get a True Picture of the U.S. !!
It was a little scary, having never spoken to each other, but it all worked out. Having a solid friendship-base made the relationship thing easy to begin. From all reports, he is a Keeper. Loves the Lord, and anxious to both learn more about Violet, and to do things to please her.
So, by the end of ten days, they had what my Mother used to call an "understanding." His mother asked Violet to visit, so she is going after Christmas.
Suffice it to say, since Violet planned to tell each sibling the "new News", that we had lots of company. Charming was off Tuesday and Wednesday, so FUN was the order of the day. Under those circumstances, schoolwork was pretty much impossible.
Violet went home yesterday, but I had to cram all of the week's errands into one day. Today (Friday), I am at Forget-me-not's house (it is 6am) because she is scheduled for gall-bladder surgery at 8:30 am. It is very strange to have one of my children going through something without ME in the waiting room. I have even been with both Forget-me-not and Lily at the births of their children. But Blueberry and Oxford will be better off, keeping to their routine. The surgery is supposed to be just an hour long, so hopefully, Rocky and Forget-me-not will be home later today.
So here I am at Friday. Forget-me-not will still need help for a few days, so my need for Routine will have to wait a little longer. Yet, I am grateful that she lives just five minutes away, and we are able to "do Life together." No mommy wants to be far away when one of her babies is goin' through something.
I still have to deal with the fact that, if Violet and Mr. France end up in a Positive Conclusion, that she *may* not end up living five minutes away from me. More likely 4000 miles away.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Blackeyed Susan took a week off from ballet classes, thinking she might want to quit altogether. At twelve years into her dance education, she has well passed our time-rule of "you have to do it for at least two years before you can quit" that we instituted 'way back with our first Band Student. Five weeks into the dance year, she seemed to dread every class. She has other things in her life she wants to pursue (by high school, many of the ballet girls do nothing else but ballet and school--six days of ballet per week can do that to 'ya). And she said that she was finding it more difficult to finish her schoolwork this year.
So, quitting was fine with me. As the week went on, I didn't hear any Wistful Sighing of things missed. But, Wednesday night, she told me she'd like to go back, at least for a few days, to Reconsider.
Smart girl. She went back last night to pointe class, but will miss tonight because of a promised babysitting job. We'll see how next week goes.
Driving home from church two weeks ago, my car broke down. Charming's diagnosis, from the white smoke coming from the exhaust and potent gasoline smell, was Blown Head Gasket. ($$$$$$$$$$$$). The good news was, if that was indeed the problem, my '07 was 33,588 miles into a 36,000 mile warranty. But, as we had No Money to fix a car unless it was a warranty issue, we waited until Charming could get together with our wonderful Mechanic Neighbor. He concurred with the diagnosis, so I called the dealership. I now have my car back, after several tries by the service department. Their notes read (paraphrased into my own shorthand):
Head gasket and fuel injector bad. Fixed that, car still misfired. Fixed something else, car still misfiring. Took wheel off, found so-and-so wire melted. Fixed that, installed new computer ($$$$$$$$$$$!!!), finally runs good.
How much did I love that right-hand column of N/C, N/C, N/C's because it was All Covered Under The Warranty!
Lily talked me into sharing a table at a Craft Bazaar on November 1st. Thing is, most women who do that sort of thing Plan For It for an entire year. I had two months. So far, I have made twenty cute-as-pie aprons, sixteen shopping bags (I'm calling them Eco-Friendly shopping bags so I can charge Big Bucks for them...) and seven purses. Still to come, three more purses, and (hopefully) a number of cutie Christmas smocks for toddlers, like I made for my grandkids last Christmas.
The thing is, my house is suffering big-time. It is not good for me to be un-balanced. This weekend, I need to re-assess, and get things back right-side-up.
Today is Charming's day off! It may be more of a Sabbath, stay-at-home day, rather than a go-do-stuff day. We didn't set an alarm, and so far, I'm the only one up.
Do you find it difficult to take a Sabbath kind of day, especially during the week? Charming works most Sundays, and, on days he "opens," doesn't even get to church. Yet, on his days off, he feels the need to get things done. We know from practical experience that taking days of rest and reflection are vital. It's just So Hard To Do, you know?
Sunday, September 28, 2008
That was Friday. The Activities Director called me back and said that all the paperwork had to be at the County Clerk's office by 5:00 pm That Day. She had mailed all the stuff the day before. She told me she asked Daddy if he wanted to vote and he said no. (yep, having an elderly parent can be frustrating...) I told her I thought I would call the Voter Registration again and see if I could do something. The A.D. offered to do so for me. She called me right back and said that they were going to fax her another form. She ran down to Dad's room (it was near 4:30 already), got the info, and faxed it back. (by the way, I love Daddy's nursing home!)
So it looks like Daddy will be voting!
He called me that evening to tell me a story. He said, "it was one of you kids' being born, and it was Election Day." (well, only one of us was born near Election Day...it was '56) Mama was in the hospital, four days post-partum, and wanted to vote. A man from the Election Board came, accompanied by the sheriff. They had to move Mother's roommate's bed out into the hallway, and the sheriff Locked the Door and stood outside while mother gave her vote to the man. I don't know if they do that anymore (especially the Sheriff part) but it reminds me of my mother telling me (every election time) about how, in this country, voting is a Sacred Privilege.
"When I married your father, I promised to love, honor, and obey him. But when I step into that voting booth, it is between me and God. Not even your father has a right to tell me how to vote."
Gosh, I love that. It sounds so unbelievably barbaric to today's sensibilities. And, that is not to say that Daddy did not know how Mother voted. They would get the sample ballots out of the newspaper, and fill them out the night before, so they wouldn't take up too much time in the voting booth. And, I think they filled them out together!
Finally, a bit of history for you younger folks. When I was in high school, the 26th amendment was passed. This lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. I thought the argument "for" the amendment was well-founded. The Vietnam War was raging, and the slogan was, "if you are old enough to kill for your country, then you are old enough to vote." Remember, young men were being drafted--the army was not all-volunteer at that point. It gives me pause to think of all the young men drafted into all the previous wars, who had to fight without this right. So many of us don't have a clue how precious this privilege really is. Others of us take the right casually, seeing it as optional.
Of course, we cannot forget the fact that we, as women, have not always had the right to vote. Here is a link featuring women who were jailed and beaten for protesting because they did not have the right to vote. And here is a link to an article about the "night of terror" some of them endured in 1917, because they protested Mr. Wilson's White House.
This election, we keep hearing the words, "the most significant election in decades." Well, if you haven't been around as long as I have, I have news for you--they say that Every Election. Every election is significant--we saw that when we elected Mr. Bush in 2000. He took office in January 2001, and wasn't really expecting the world to change the next September.
So. Is your voter registration up to date?
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The Lord spoke to me yesterday through my Bible reading. Now it has all "fallen into place." Of course, *I* was the one who was "out of place" in my thinking. Nothing has really changed. Money looks just as tight. Other areas of my life seem just as out of control. But God has been there All The Time, taking care of me as He always has.
This morning I read a post at Mrs. Copper's Wife. It is called "It's Enough." She looks at the word "enough"--what does it mean? OF COURSE it means that we have what we need! Here is a little bit:
God's provision is always enough, no matter the commodity. He gives
us time enough, if only we would be faithful to use those hours to their best
advantage. He gives us wisdom enough, if only we would seek it out as the
treasure that Scripture tells us that it is. He gives His children rest
enough, if we would only choose to take the rest He sends.
Wow. Isn't that cool?
And, thank you to my many other friends, who often have a word "just for me." I appreciate you all so much!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Blackeyed Susan and Alvin Fernald had it exactly a week ago. Not having caught it after two or three days, I thought I had escaped. After all, there are 200 rinoviruses, right? Isn't there a chance that my children would catch one that I've already had, and therefore am immune to? But no-o-o-o.
This one Slammed In. Like a hurricane, or maybe more like a blizzard. From 9 am on Sunday to 9 am on Monday, I logged seventeen hours sleep. So, Monday, I got up at 9, then *only* took a two-hour nap. After all, I didn't want to toss and turn all Monday night, from having too much sleep.
At 10 pm, I decided to Hedge my Bet. Took a big swig of nyquil. Fast forward to oh, one a.m. See me THRASHING around in my bed. Throwing myself around, waking poor Charming up. (he only gets to sleep till 3:45 am this morning...) Dreaming little silly dreams, like all the stop signs in Wasilla, Alaska, being shaped like all-day suckers.
Before Charming could kick me out of bed, I came downstairs. Fortunately, the 1933 Little Women was on Turner Classic Movies. By the time Jo fell in love with Professer Bhaer, I was sleepy enough to go back to bed. But before I did, I checked that bottle of nyquil--you know, the stuff with Alcohol in it...there it was, in little print: May Cause Exciteability, Especially In Children.
Well, I'm fifty-three years old. Does that qualify?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
1 1/4 C. boiling water over 1 C. quick oats. Let stand 20 minutes.
In a bowl: 1/4 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. white sugar
Cream shortening with sugars. Add:
2 eggs 1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix well. Add alternately 1 1/3 C. flour and the oats. Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
1/3 C. melted butter 1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. milk 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. coconut 1/2 C. chopped nuts
Mix the topping ingredients and pour over cake. Place under broiler just until brown.
And, if you like, you can use my Grandma's rule for the nuts:
Saturday, September 06, 2008
"Yeah, I like that woman VP. She has a lot good to say, and she really loves her babies.
She reminds me of Mama." [my mother]
As far as I'm concerned, Sarah Palin can have no bigger endorsement!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Yesterday was my birthday, and I felt melancholy here and there throughout the day. It was my first since Mom passed away. Every birthday after I left home, Mother and Daddy would call me early in the morning and sing to me--most often the first greeting of the day.Today would have been my Mom and Dad's 65th wedding anniversary. I always felt special, being their "14th anniversary present.
"Mother had a "bride's book," which in no way resembles what we now call a "Wedding Album." Or even what my daughter and daughter-in-law had as a "wedding planner." Two-inch binders with places for cards, ribbons, and other mementos. Mother's was the size of one of those black "composition books," only about a quarter as thick, probably thirty pages or so. It is wonderful because it is handwritten by her--her own memories of her wedding.
She had a wedding shower. I notice that now we have several of them: kitchen, linen, personal, couples...she had *one*. She made quite a haul, mostly with linens. Several sets of "luncheon cloth and napkins"--those fabulous 1940's sets that we snatch up at antique stores. "Embroidered tea towels." "Embroidered pillowslips." Don't I wish I had them now? But, naturally, they were given and received in order to be used, and used UP. (I do have one of a pair of guest towels that she embroidered in the first year of her marriage--so threadbare, but it still says GUEST, with a garland of flowers all around.)
When we buy these vintage linens, we always think about the women who made them and used them. We'd love to feel the connection to another time. Women just like my mother, whose entry under "Our First Home," tells of how, after their wedding night, they just wanted to come home, so they "brought groceries home, and [she] fixed her first meal," the second night of their marriage.So much lay ahead for them--they were married months before Pearl Harbor. They were destined to raise only five of their thirteen children to adulthood. Two cancers. The everyday ups and downs plus the "added dose" of sorrow for their lives, could not be seen when she filled out her "bride's book."
We all share that, in this Sisterhood of women. So many hopes and dreams as we open those wedding shower gifts. Life moves along, humdrum or tragic, year by year. I am so grateful to our Lord that He gave my parents 64 years. A marriage in which their love grew more deeply as every anniversary rolled around. I had a model of How to Do Marriage Well that enabled me to choose a husband wisely, and to be an example for me, for 30 years so far, and is now the model for my children to follow. That is the inheritance I have from them. I would have loved to have the linens from that long-ago bridal shower, but I have the better gift in the example of their LIVES. That gift will never be "used up."
Friday, August 29, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Next, a 35th anniversary plate, even tho' our 33rd anniversary is October. I can wait for two years to decorate with it, as it is my favorite color, Green:
Monday, August 18, 2008
The first year we lived in this house, 16 years ago, my middle-schoolers noticed that the time came up on the VCR, 8:18, and made up a chant, "eight-eighteen [the time] ON eight-eighteen [the date] AT eight-eighteen [our house]." And, if you have children, you know how absolutely irritating any kind of chant can be. I was really, really glad when *that* day was over.
As the years went by, they made it a game--who would notice and let somebody else know?
As the children grew up and left home, they still made it a point to call me and their Dad, and each other. Cellphones are really good for this, because you only have one minute to make sure everybody has gotten a turn to play. And, if you happen to forget it in the morning, you still have the p.m. to play.
I was gone this morning, getting a tire fixed from a nail we picked up on vacation somewhere. Later I heard that Joe Hardy called three of his siblings. I was ready for the p.m. round--I got three of my kids called. Two others had to be at 8:19, but, at least I tried.
All of this isn't really of any importance at all, of course, unless you belong to our family. The reason I share it is to make a point about Family Culture--those things that are a part of Who We Are. And, how some of those things happen as a result of a fluke, never "planned" at all. I just think it is so cool that we are at 16 years and running. I wonder if the game will go on if we move to another house? Can't you just see my kids, in their 50's, calling each other up?
We are so cool.
Or, maybe just weird.
It took about thirty minutes in line, to get through the border. Susan, especially, enjoyed all the Canadian flags:
Next in line--almost there:
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Somehow, I got so relaxed that taking photographs didn't happen, for the most part. Here is one of Charming and Alvin Fernald, getting ready for a hike:
...and we did manage to get the "group" picture, sort of. Here is Charming's dad, and the four of us:
I snuck a photo of Alvin skimming rocks on the beach, waiting for the sunset:
Thursday, August 07, 2008
If you did not know Jewels before (she quit blogging almost a year ago to give more attention to her family), you will want to visit her right away. She is the mother of a large family who has attained what so many of us want--a simple lifestyle. A life Lived Deliberately.
It will rest you just to visit, but besides that, she is a Titus 2 woman who shares her wisdom liberally. It is never a waste of time to stop by her place. Grab your "cuppa" and get on over there!
(I never took her link off my sidebar, hoping she would return...)
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I got to feed Oxford his breakfast, then put him down for a nap. His being here reminded me that I never took a photo of his baby quilt. Here is Rainy Day Friends:
First off, we have Forget-me-not and Baby Oxford, now five months old:
Here is Johnny Tremain, with Laura Carrot and Sweet Pea in Great-Grandma's pool:
Friday, August 01, 2008
Most of the squares have a NYC theme, and I alternated them with nine-patch squares. The bright blue in the quilt is one of my favorite fabrics ever, ever, ever.
Today was Alvin's last day of baseball for the summer season. He is in the middle front, with the green batting helmet:
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yesterday, Junior Asparagus came to visit. This is what I found when he left: