Friday, January 21, 2011

Relationship evangelism.

"Grace was no insistent evangelist, flinging her message out and demanding an answer. She breathed the fragrance of Christianity in her smile, and her words came involuntarily from a heart that thought much "on these things."

--Grace Livingston Hill, Re-Creations.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


At every Super Bowl time, the governors of the states of the two contenders will make friendly wagers. But for this weekend's Bears/Packers game, librarians in Chicago and Green Bay are getting into the act with their own wagers.

If the Packers win, the Chicago Library will be the happy recipients of the following books:

Little House in the Big Woods

Old Bear

Quickie Makes the Team (by a local Green Bay author)

When Pride Still Mattered (about Vince Lombardi)

and, finally: We're Going on a Bear Hunt.

If "da Bears" are victorious, the Green Bay Library will receive extra copies of:

Meet the Bears, and

The Stinky Cheese Man.

How darn cute is this?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I love Men.

I get so, so tired of tv shoes and movies that make men look moronic. I think I first really noticed it when the show Home Improvement was on the air. It was funny, for sure, but Tim was always the one with the Idea that Wouldn't Work, or Messing Up everything so that Mom or Wilson or one of the boys had to straighten it out.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't understand men. But they don't understand us, either. We have a joke around here: if women weren't around trying to "civilize" men all the time, they'd just stand their jeans up in the corner of the cave every night. Saves on laundry, right? And I've laughed at my share of oh-my-goodness-MEN! jokes. But I notice from time to time that it gets to be a habit. A habit that definitely needs adressing.

I like to look at Charming's hands. They are what he calls "ping-pong paddle" hands--as wide as they are long. No long fingers as would befit a guitar player of more than forty years. But I love to watch them as they move along the strings. I love those hands when they are holding mine. When they comfort one of our children or grandchildren. When they are fixing the toilet at 11 at night, or changing the taillight on the car at 10 degrees outside. Things that he doesn't ask me to do. We actually had an agreement: I wouldn't make him change diapers if he didn't make me "wrestle" a toilet (changing the wax ring). I know, I know, you have to do that about three times in your lifetime, but still...

My sister lost most of the men in her life last year. My father passed away in March, and her father-in-law in November. And in August, she lost her dear husband. But she still has her two strong sons to stand by her side, and wrestle that toilet if need be.

I know that women are as capable as men at doing just about anything. But I think the Bible teaches that that Protector/Provider role is a good thing. My "knight in shining armor," as Kate Hepburn said to Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond.

Maybe this post doesn't make any sense. Maybe it's just where my mind is wandering this afternoon. But I think maybe I need to do a little less man-bashing, and a little more appreciating these days.

Love you, honey. Thanks for doing that toilet thing.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year's Ponderings

I didn't have any real New Year's plans, except for catching some of the Twilight Zone marathon on Syfy channel. Blackeyed Susan commented, "so many of them are about outer space!" Certainly the America *I* lived in in the late 50s and early 60s was obsessed about space! We were in a race with the Soviet Union. They won the first two rounds, the first artificial satellite, and the first man in space. But we caught up with the first man to Orbit the earth! President Kennedy vowed that we would have a man on the moon by the end of the decade. And the wondering about whether there was life on other planets pervaded our television programs. Why we assumed that those life forms were always more intelligent or technologically advanced than Earth's, I don't know. Why couldn't we be the most intelligent, and find lesser life forms on other planets? Oh, well, I don't make these decisions...

I went to the grocery on New Year's Day, and found an incredible bargain. I bought two four-packs of New York strip steaks for about $2.60 per 12-ounce steak! We put away the two biggest ones for a later date-night, and invited Susan's boyfriend and Alvin Fernald's girlfriend for dinner. Yummy-yum yum! I baked my favorite pie (Marie Callendar's Razzleberry) and vanilla ice cream for dessert. We had dessert in front of...more Twilight Zone. It was an impromptu party, and very, very fun! One of the things Charming wants to do this year is to do more things with our youngest two children, who, at 17 and 16, usually can find something else to do besides spending it with parental units...

I'm not good at resolutions. But, going along with Jen at The Pause That Refreshes, I wanted to make a personal goal of sorts. So here it is:

No Barb-bashing this year.

This is extremely personal, as it is something that only I do. I can get to feeling worthless faster than breathing, almost. Listing all of the things I've been a failure at. All of the things I need to do that I'm not doing. BUT...since God thinks I'm fabulous just the way I am, and my family loves me *anyway,* then I am doing nothing but wasting precious time, taking this responsibility on myself. Or listening to the Enemy, if that is what it is. He is the "accuser of the brethren," and the "Condemner." So if I am hearing negative things about me, they are going to have to be shucked into the garbage where they belong. Let me know if I'm falling down on this, okay?

I will also continue to read some of the classics that I've missed along the way. Last year I read Dracula, completing my Monster trilogy (in 2009 I read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein) and the unabridged Little Women (562 pages!)

Well, I am off for Monday Morning Errands. I'm jealous of Jen, who is going. nowhere. today.

(maybe tomorrow!)