Saturday, December 29, 2012

Where were you?

Fifty years.

What a mind-boggling thought. Half a century. And yet, I know where I was fifty years ago today.

I was flower-girl at my beautiful sister Rosie's wedding!

Oh, there are photos, really cool ones, but they have never been scanned onto facebook. I don't even have possession of them all, but let me tell you how it was.

Because the wedding was during Christmas week, the church was already decorated with evergreens and red and green and gold. Naturally, Rosie's colors were red and green. My grandmother made everything--all the dresses, the pillbox hats, my headband, Rosie's dress and even her headpiece and veil (a huge rose, of course, for Rose Anne). The maid of honor, her best friend, and I wore red velveteen, and the bridesmaids (my sister Janet and Auntie Marylin) wore green. I remember feeling deprived in a few areas, however. The maid of honor and bridesmaids carried white rabbit fur muffs decorated with a poinsettia instead of flowers. I think I carried a basket. (I angst-ed over not having a muff for forty-five years, till my sister Janet blessed me by giving me hers!) The other girls also wore dyed-to-match satin heels; I had to wear plain ol' black patent Mary Janes. My mother wore champagne satin, with a black velvet pillbox hat. (I was so impressed with her dress, I wanted to have one as close to it as possible, when my own daughter got married!) It was very, very exciting to be part of the wedding party!

There was a buffet supper at our house after the rehearsal, and all the grown-ups were dancing afterward to phonograph records. Daddy left early the morning of the wedding to get sweet rolls from the bakery--my first ever pecan roll....I can still taste it, I think. The reception was in the school cafeteria, or what you might call the "church hall." Potato chips were in paper bowls on the tables, and we had fountain pop--a real treat! Of course, we had cake, and husband and wife opened their gifts at the reception, a tradition that I wish had never become passe.

Unfortunately, Rosie's marriage lasted only twelve years, but produced two beautiful children. But the glamour of that day stays with me (as you can see).

I have been both mother-of the-groom and mother-of-the-bride. That last one just 'bout kilt me. I think I didn't leave the house for six weeks afterward. When I think of my  Mom that day in 1962--not only mother-of-the-bride, but with an 18-month old and a 2 1/2 year old (and four other children, as well)--now, SHE was a Super-Woman.

Rosie passed away in 2001. My mother, father, and Auntie Marylin are gone, as well. But I thank the Lord for memories, because I can remember that special day, today, fifty years later.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Shoes.

I was reading a magazine the other day. I read very few magazines, outside of doctor's offices. Just no time, I guess. And I was, in fact, at a doctor's office, or rather, the County Health Clinic. I had a nice selection from which to choose: Redbook, Ladies' Home Journal, People. Of course, they were all ancient: Will and Kate's Upcoming Wedding!! I don't even remember which magazine I chose, but I was interested in an article about Keeping Your Marriage Fresh. I kinda took offense when the article began by talking about being Comfortable as an Old Shoe, because that would keep you from Having New Adventures.
You understand the saying, don't you? Being married a number of years, you, as a couple, become "comfortable as an old shoe." You fall into the "comfort rut," whatever that means.
I had a pair of shoes in high school. They were brown oxfords, and were the most comfortable shoes I think I've ever had. I had them repaired a number of times. New shoelaces (of course), new soles, had them re-sewn a few times, where the stitching had ripped. Even when the grommets started coming out, I was still wearing them. Finally, the holes where the grommets were started ripping, and I couldn't fix them anymore. It went sore against me to throw them away. I might have even had a funeral for them, but I don't remember.
I have never forgotten those shoes, and have been "on the lookout" for some to replace them ever since. (Mind you, I graduated almost forty. years. ago.) I finally saw some about five years ago that sorta looked the same. They were:
["Ontario" oxford by Eastland]
Carnival Shoes carried them for four years. Every time I went in the store, I'd look, but they never had my size. I finally looked for them on Zappos, but they no longer carried them. I did find them this fall and snapped. them. up. They are NOT, however, the "same" as my favorite shoes. They are very, very comfortable, but the leather is more rigid (my fav's were supple) and the sole is much heavier. But these may be the closest I'll ever find.
But I digress.
I wanted to talk about New Adventures that, for some reason, the magazine article thinks can't be had in Old Shoes. My first image of a new adventure would be, maybe, a hiking trip. And why would anyone in their right mind want to take a hiking trip in brand-new shoes that have yet to give a blister? I think that my mind would be on my feet, 'way more than my new adventure. Any adventure would be more fun if I wouldn't have to give a thought to what was going on on the foot-end, right? Obviously!
So, back to the idea of long-time married couples being in the "rut" of being old shoes. The comforting thought here is that, we know each other so well, we don't have to worry about "what will he think?" We know, for the most part, what each of us will "think" about just about any situation we could imagine. Now, imagine a New Adventure of any sort--we are already ahead of the curve of any dating couple or newlywed couple on the planet. Yes, for them, many things they do are New Adventures. Us, not so much, with the "vicissitudes of life" happening every day.  But when New Adventures happen, we only have to slip on our old-shoe-ness and take off.
Charming and I are in a transition season before one of our greatest adventures--that of the Empty Nest. We've taken longer than many couples, having our last child at almost-forty. And I am so, so, so looking forward to the Things that are Coming Ahead.
And I already have my comfy-shoes partner. Fortunately, I'll never have to throw him away. He's a keeper.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Man, I am so sick of political postings on Facebook. You know, I have never heard of anyone changing their political views because of what you are posting. And some of you are so vitriolic! I'm "hiding" a lot of posts these days.
[my beautiful mother. She'll be speaking to this issue later on in this post.]
And yet, we claim to be Christians. We make a show of "praying for our President and all of those in Washington," because "the Bible tells us to." But woe unto you if you consider voting for someone not "approved" by the church. (Now, don't get the idea that I'm speaking of myself, I am not disclosing my preferences, but you could probably tell what they are by my blog posts of the last seven or so years...)
Our church had a Harvest Party last week. My son-in-law thought it would be fun (and controversial--he likes to "stir up the pot") to put on a President Obama mask and use his pretty-darn-good President Obama voice imitation, and walk around. He thought maybe he'd get a few good-natured comments from the parents.
Boy, was I surprised at what happened.
One parent, who had brought two children to the party, told them to go over and "find out who is under that mask!" Other children came up to him and said, "you are going DOWN on Election Day!" Others (grownups)came up and said the most vitriolic things you could imagine, including "how could you come to a church party in the costume of such a wicked man?" It wasn't a Hitler mask or even a Bin Laden mask, folks. It was a mask of the President of the United States. Our President. Yeah, that one who we pray for every Sunday.
He further stirred up the pot by telling a few adults (no children present for this conversation) that he was thinking of voting for a write-in candidate instead of one of the two main choices. He got an earful of "how can you waste your vote like that? That is so irresponsible!!!"
This is where my Mother chimes in.
My mother, born in 1921, did not take voting lightly. Throughout her life, she treasured both her "right" and her "responsibility" to vote as part of the privilege of voting. Throughout her life, she told me this story:
"When I married your father, I promised to love, honor, and obey him. But there is one place where I do not have to obey him, and that is in the Voting Booth. In the voting booth, it is between me and God."
You are not "wasting your vote" if you are voting your conscience. If ninety million people vote for the Democrat, and ninety-one million vote for the Republican, then really, only one million of those votes "count," and one hundred eighty million people have "wasted their vote." In this country that is different from any other that has ever existed on the Earth, we have the privilege and honor of voting our conscience. Of voting for the candidate who best reflects our ideals. Don't you think that people around the world would give their right arms for the chance to "vote their conscience?"
In my opinion, you only waste your vote if you don't vote at all. And that, my friend, is irresponsible. I helped my mother vote for the last time, in her room in the nursing home, in 2004. And yes, I know for whom she voted, because I had to fill in the little circles. But I'm not telling you. How she voted is between her and God.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tiger Lily turns 2.

My beautiful granddaughter Tiger Lily turned two in June. She is gorgeous (naturally), and has curly red hair and blue, blue eyes. Here she is at her other Grammy's after a dip in the pool:

(She looks just like me, at least in the chunky-thigh department.)

I always make a quilt for the grands' second birthday. Tiger Lily's favorite things are horsies, monkeys, kitties, and princesses. I added ballet dancers, because I know that will be a favorite as soon as she discovers ballerinas:

I love the green and white polka dot border. It is also the backing of the quilt.

In other news, I am having brunch today with an old friend, catching up. All of our children are growing up, and you know, that means it is hard to find the time to have Mom-time. She is making zucchini bread, and I will add strawberries and coffee. But conversation will be the Principal Thing.


Friday, July 13, 2012

It's time for Me.

After almost an entire year, I have been able to make something for myself. Me! Me! Me!

Some time back, I found a piece of vintage barkcloth at the thrift store. Baby boomers will remember this fabric. Whenever I see it, I think, "family room curtains." It is heavier than quilting cotton, and has a really great "hand" for purses, in my opinion. I used my favorite purse pattern, as well. It is sorta-big without being as big as the duffels that girls and women carry today. Don't get me wrong--I'm a "big purse" girl. This "sorta-big" size holds all that I need, and can be carried on the shoulder.

The purse is lined with brown/white polka dots. Gotta spread that polka dot love.

I always make my purse pockets special. I have many cute, cute fabrics in my stash, usually in fat-quarter size (18" x 22"), so they won't make anything big. This particulat one is of vintage girls going to a birthday party (carrying festively wrapped packages) in the rain. The print is complete with umbrellas and puddles!

The pockets are lined with Ivy fabric. Ivy has a connection with our high school , and with the school I am attending, Ivy Tech Community College. Besides, ivy is green, and green is the greatest color in the universe!

My new purse has been filled (which means my old purse has been cleaned!) and is Ready. For. Shoppin'.

Monday, July 09, 2012

In everything...

I was thinking about the verse in I Thessalonians 5:18:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I think we'd all agree that this is not always easy to do. I've sometimes heard people rail against this verse: "What?? My husband just left me/I just found out I have cancer/My son got his girlfriend pregnant. I'm supposed to thank God for that???"

I guess I never noticed before, that little word "in." God does not call us to thank Him *for* everything, but *in* everything. "FOR everything give thanks." That would change the situation entirely, and I couldn't do it. But switch our thinking to "IN everything?"  We may be barefoot, but can remember that old proverb, "I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." Not so difficult to do.

We've just been through two weeks of 95-105 degrees, four and a half days of which we had no power. Threw out the contents of my frig, but had opportunity to clean it sparkly clean and, even though I threw out four bags of food,  have managed to eat every meal since. Friends offered their lovely home for a respite. Got considerable visiting time with neighbors, since there was nowhere else to go. Time slowed down for a bit, and isn't that what we are always saying we want?

We don't have to thank the Lord FOR the heat/inconvenience/loss of food and the basic comfort factor. But I can thank Him IN the circumstance, for we all know that there are always an abundance of things for which to be thankful, no matter what is going on in our lives.

Friday, July 06, 2012

A Stream-of-Consciousness Recounting of the Last Week.

(this may not interest you at all, I'm mostly doing it for myself.)

What a week! Not only did it hit a record high (106 degrees--to be repeated today!), but we had a storm-of-a-decade last Friday night. Our power was out for four days and five hours--a total of 101 hours! We've never been without power for so long. 138 of 146 (95%) of the circuits which serve our area were damaged. I spent three of the four nights at home (more of that to follow), and was blessed by a church couple in letting us stay in their home for the fourth night. (Actually, they volunteered to house us all of the nights.)

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about these last days is that the quiet and the crisis give you time to think about the Lord and how good He is to us. For one thing, this happened in the summer (but really, could I have not learned these lessons at 80 degrees?) so we didn't have to deal with frozen pipes or anything. We still had water and gas, so I could light my electric-pilot stove with a match, and showers were uninterrupted. Coffee in the morning went a long way towards making it through the day.

I traveled wa-a-a-y back into my memory to remember how to do things old-school: open the windows late at night (when it finally got below 80 degrees, the temp of the house), and close them after a couple of hours in the morning. Of course, we did not have access to fans, like my childhood, so sleeping was pretty bad. When I'd wake up after a couple of hours, I'd jump in the shower for a wet-down, and back to bed to air-dry. Hopefully, I'd get to sleep before I dried!

I really, really don't do well in the heat. I'd be a quick candidate for heat stroke, but mostly, I just feel like my organs are melting inside. I quickly turn beet-red, and then get nauseated. So mostly I did dishes, did a little hand-sewing, and wet my head a lot. After the third night, it got worse. My son and I drove out to my friend's house to get keys for that night (they were going out of town). She asked me if we wanted water--I declined because I had a bottle in the car. I did not, however, drink it when I got back to the car. When we got home, we fell asleep for two hours. My son had to run an errand after that, and called me awhile later. I couldn't quite understand what he was saying, and vice versa. I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I had taken a drink. I also realized that I hadn't been to the bathroom since about 9 am. Thank God I "saw the signs" and began to drink water. I drank about 24 ounces in 45 minutes, and my neighbor brought me an electrolyte drink (I didn't remember eating, either). Soon I was feeling much better, and was grateful that I had said yes to my friend, with her lovely air-conditioned home! My daughter told me to keep water beside everything else I drank: coffee and water, milk and water, pop and water, alternating "sips."

Power was restored late Tuesday night, so we slept a second night at our friends's home. We came home Wednesday and tossed the refrigerator and then cleaned it (eeuuww). My daughter facebooked: "I'll bet there are 100,000 newly-cleaned, shiny-bright refrigerators today!"

There were originally 138,000 customers without power in our area. They reduced the number to 3400 before another storm hit yesterday (Thursday). 10,000 additional customers lost power, some for the second time. We were fortunate this time. My a/c, however,  is still trying to recover. After running for twelve hours, the thermostat still said 80 degrees. Overnight Wednesday it got to 75, then with the above 100 degrees yesterday, it was back to 78. I think it says 74 this morning. Charming thinks that all of the 2x4s in the walls got hot, that is why it is taking so long.

The point of all this is that, no matter how much we think we are in control, God can remind us in an instant that He is the one in control. (I didn't tell you about the myriad trees uprooted and crashing branches that virtually stopped traffic in many areas of the city.) Suddenly we are all reduced to Survival mode, the way so much of the world lives their entire life. I think of our soldiers, living in this heat, with full gear, and being shot at, to boot.

Lord, help me to be grateful, every, every day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Brown Grass, Green Weeds, and Moi.

My lawn is brown.

My weeds, however, are a lush, vibrant green.

I am sure that there is some spiritual lesson to be learned from this. I find that anything, no matter how small, can be used to illustrate something God is doing.

At first, I thought about the parable of the Seeds. You know, the ones that fell on bare ground and the birds ate them, etc. But there was no mention of weeds. Just thorns choking the good plants. These li'l boogers aren't choking anything, although they may be taking the underground water from the grass. But I think that weeds are the plants that survive with less water than grass.

So then I thought, maybe I should be a weed. I'd be thriving in the desert, you know?

Nah. I'm pretty sure God doesn't want me to be a weed.

So I asked Charming, and he had a pretty good answer, something like "sin is pleasant for a season," and "don't be envious of the [weeds] while they have the upper hand. Eventually, the grass [God] will win out."

I thought that was worth pondering. Some people are thriving in this economy. The facebook guy who is now a billionaire--what did he actually *do?* He didn't make a product. You can't even physically touch what he did. But he's a billionaire? **

The economy has been poor for what, four or five years now? Charming is still working very hard at a job which makes $20K less that five years ago. I've tried to get a job, but being out of the market for 17+ years doesn't put you at the top of anybody's stack of resumes.

But God.

I've heard a sermon by that name. But God. God has not changed. He is still on the throne. He is still in charge, no matter what things look like. He is in charge of the rain, which is what will give grass the upper hand, not the weeds. But there is nothing we can do to change the situation ourselves.

So, the "weeds" are ahead, or so it looks. That's okay, I'm not looking to the world to provide. I'm looking to the Maker of the grass. And the weeds. And waiting for His time. I went to the production of Doorway to Narnia: Aslan by His Other Name last weekend. So maybe it's always-winter-never-Christmas right now. But Aslan is "on the move" and Spring is coming.

Lord, send the Rain--we need it so. And thank You for lessons I can learn, even before then.

**I in no way am making a comment on anyone's salvation or lack thereof by my comments.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What I've been doing.

Finally! Will this week be normal?

I got out of school on May 4, with dreams and plans of so many things: organizing my fabric (and my craft room), getting rid of tons of clutter, reading a couple of  books on my "never get to it" list, and possibly, possibly, beginning something on my bucket list, including learning the fiddle, learning Spencerian penmanship, learning to draw (just a little!).

Well, since May 4, I have been: Making Costumes.

The company that Norah danced with this year is a small one, so no large costume budget. The director, Kimberly, got a vision of bringing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to life through dance, and it really turned into a Large Thing. Kimberly asked for sewing volunteers. I told her I would do anything but didn't want to do the animal costumes. Though standard dance fabrics of velvet, satin, and chiffon are difficult to sew with, as well. Give me good ol' quilting cotton any day of the week!

Because I seemed to be the most experienced sewist, I was assigned Aslan's pants (super-easy, I've done dozens of pj pants), Father Christmas's coat, and four satin coronation capes for the Pevensies. Along the way, other moms bailed, either from lack of experience, or whatever, and I ended up doing about fourteen pieces. And then there was the altering/adjusting. During Production Week, it seemed that everytime one of the kids put on a costume, it was too long/too big/ripped. So I (and other moms I dragged into it) sat for hours, sewing and repairing.

Even during the last two days (and up to 20 minutes before the performance, LITERALLY) we sewed animal legs (we sewed Oreius the centaur practically into his costume!) Let me tell ya', those digitigrade legs are something else:

(examples of digitigrade legs--not the ones we made)

The performance was last Saturday night. It was....Magical. Susan played a Tree Nymph, and one of Aslan's entourage of Big Cats. The masks were made by local artists in the style of The Lion King Live.

Blackeyed Susan (center) as the Tree Nymph

Susan (far right) as the Sumatran Tiger

So. That is what I have been doing for a month. Sunday I cooked an entire 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters, and Monday night we had leftovers with baked beans, green beans, and potato chips. Because I didn't do much else Monday (yesterday). I "hit the wall."

This morning (Tuesday) I am feeling much better. It's a good thing. I need a day to find my house, and then start on a kid quilt for my beautiful grandbaby who is turning two in nine days. (I can do a kid quilt easily in a week, so don't worry.) She likes Horsies and Monkeys and Princesses.

Piece o' cake. After all, I've made digitigrade legs.

Aslan and four of my grands

Aslan and Susan

Sunday, May 20, 2012


My uncle Al, my Daddy's kid brother, passed away Friday night. His death is the last of his siblings, which makes me feel really weird. One of my mother's brothers survives, and after he passes, I and my siblings and cousins become the terminal generation. I don't think I'm ready for that.

I never knew my great-grandparents, but there were plenty of great-aunts and uncles around when I was little, and they were all ancient. All of my aunts and uncles, and their spouses, came to my parents' 50th wedding anniversary in 1991. And my grandma, who died in '93.

Now it's my turn to be in the oldest generation?  Really? Already??

Not such a bad thing, I'm sure. I've been a great-auntie since 1984. My first grand-niece is grown-up and has a six-year old (so I guess I'm a great-great auntie!). And of course, I have eight grands so far.

And I love where I am. I feel I know some stuff now, and of course, being a grandma a very special thing. I also love having the "history" of fifty-some years. I remember when John Glenn took off in that Mercury space capsule. I know where I was when Kennedy was assassinated. I saw the Beatles "live" on the Ed Sullivan show in '64. I wore a muslin dress to my hippie wedding. And my grands think it's funny that I lived a fair part of my life without a computer and a cellphone. So, all in all, I think I'm Pretty. Cool.

I'm trying to balance this "numb" thing with my newish journey, going back to school, and coming to the end, next year, of my childraising. Charming says, in Tigger fashion, that "a whole new thing is opening up for us!!! We're going to have a great Next Phase of our lives!!!!"

Ya' can't stay down too long, with a Tigger in the house.

And would you say a prayer for my friend Annie? She lost her sister to cancer two months ago. She lost her mother ten days ago. Her oldest son got married yesterday, but not before her children found her husband dead in the living room when they awoke.

I have no words. This is one of those times when the Holy Spirit must pray for us, with "groanings that cannot be uttered."

Monday, May 14, 2012

National Apron Day, and other things.

(my beautiful Mother, on a tandem bike with her sister, in an apron, having a good time!)

I love National Apron Day!

I love the looks on people's faces when I'm sportin' a festive apron out in the marketplace. Some look away, like, "oh, my. I don't think she knows she's wearing an apron." Some are just curious, and when I tell them it's Wear Your Apron Day, they say, "how cool!"

Today it will be filling the gas tank (gas is at $3.62, and I'll get 20 cents a gallon off at Kroger), the dollar store, Wally World, and the florist, ordering a corsage for Alvin Fernald's prom date this Saturday. This evening will find my apron at the softball field. Three of my boys are playing on the church team. Spreading the apron love in my little corner of the world.

I finished my second semester with another 4.0 GPA. It's fun to challenge myself to get all A's. I wish I could have grasped this concept at age 17...

Now for summer. It's kind of scary how much Hope I am putting on this summertime. So many, many things on my list--decluttering, reading, quilting. I want to do them all, but just like any other time of year, the amount of things I want to do cannot physically be done. And I am an all-or-nothing girl (cue Ado Annie singing "with me it's all or nothin'...), so it is difficult for me to give anything up. But that just sets me up for frustration. Can you see the little hamster on the wheel, goin' nowhere fast?

I remember the summer between my seventh- and eighth-grade years. I decided I wanted to read 100 books that summer. (it was slightly easier because school years were 170 days as opposed to the 180 days they are nowadays, so we had twelve weeks of summer instead of ten.) Most of the books I read were about 325 pages long. I read 350-400 pages a day. And that didn't mean I didn't do plenty of other things, as well. Lazy days with my bestie Vicky. Bicycling, ice cream, and Dark Shadows on tv. But my weekly visits to the Bookmobile (before branch libraries, the library had bookmobiles that came to the neighborhoods) was the highlight of my week. The librarian soon learned what kind of books I liked, and made sure there were ten or twelve selections "just for me." I kept my list on the back of my bedroom door with several columns: date, title, author, and number of pages. I ended up with about 107 books, and was very, very proud of myself.

I was thinking about that summer the other day. It made me sad on one front, knowing I will most assuredly never be able to read 100 books in a summer again. (I can't even imagine doing that in a year--that would be nine books a month!) But that accomplishment reminds me that I do well when I keep a log of things I've done. So maybe the answer is to keep logs--one for reading, one for quilting, one for decluttering.

It. Just. May. Work.  But, first I am making three costumes for the play/recital Blackeyed Susan is in in three weeks. She is dancing with a small Christian company, so the costume budget is limited. We got as many things as we could at the thrift store, but I'll be sewing for several days.

But then--watch out!

Monday, April 02, 2012 I am...for a minute.

Five weeks left in my semester, then I will have a year under my belt. Unbelievable. I just finished putting together a PowerPoint presentation for a group project in my online class. Pretty proud of that--only my second PowerPoint. Still pulling A's in all my subjects. Still behind on my housework. Looking forward to summer--living on fresh fruit, maybe cleaning a closet or two. I don't have a graduate this year, so even the end of the year stuff is minimal.

I'm hoping to blog some this summer! I really miss it. I also miss quilting--looking at pattern books now--I want to make a quilt, start-to-finish, on break. Planning to read a classic or two--thinking of Jane Eyre. I've read it once and remember almost nothing except I didn't like it, but Violet says I need to give it another try. Also considering The Pilgrim's Progress, because I've never read it.

Hmmm. It sounds like I'm anxious to get back to my old life! Nah, I think it's just because it's summer break. My grandbabes will be out of the homeschool or regular-school modes, and fun is waiting to be had!

Gonna be rooting for UK (Kentucky) tonight. When we lived in Louisville, you were either a University of Louisville fan, or a UK fan. We leaned to the U of L side, so were disappointed Saturday at their loss. However, UK will get our support tonight! And, on the other side, Yeah for the ND Irish women!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I have figured out why I find it so difficult to post here with any regularity anymore.

Yes, I am in school, which takes up a lot of my time. But this semester, I have to blog once a week for my Interpersonal Communications class. One blog post a week is my limit, I guess. Maybe I should also post them here!

*Did you hear about the school shooting in Chardon, Ohio? That is where my friend
Jen lives. The Saturday before, one of Blackeyed Susan's classmates, whose brother is one of Alvin Fernald's best friends, died of a drug overdose. Our children are living with so much pressure--they need our Lord so very much. We need to be "Jesus with skin on" more than ever.

*I'm sorta being rebellious with my Comm assignment this week. We are supposed to break a social construct and then see what happens. For instance, you can sit and stare at someone until they get uncomfortable (and maybe punch you in the nose). Or you can get into an elevator with only one other person and stand very close to them. My problem is that my Mother taught me better than that. It was *impolite* to stare at someone, and we all know about that concept of "personal space." I do have a past incident I can post about. . .

My sister came home for Christmas in 1988. My brother, his wife, and I surprised her by picking her up at the airport in Chicago. Since she was not expecting anyone, Robin and I wore big, shiny Christmas bows in our hair, and brought one for my sister, as well. That would have been the end of the story, but we decided that since we weren't in Chicago very often, we'd just stop somewhere to "say we'd been there." We chose Saks Fifth Avenue (ohh, those golden doors!) and the door through which we entered the store was entrance to the Fine Furs Department. Here we were, three girls with Big Shiny Bows, waltzing through Saks, and looking at furs, none of which had price tags attached. We were out of our league, big-time. We noticed the sales clerks whispering among themselves (I imagine they were drawing straws...) and finally one came over to us and ventured, "Is there anything I can show you?" [for instance, the DOOR?] Well, shoot, it was Christmastime. How did she know but that we were picking out our stocking stuffers? Somehow, though, she did, so we made our way to the exit. I imagine the clerks calling us "rrrriff-rrraff" a la Mrs. Thurston Howell III.

*This past weekend was Friedenswald, a get-together of folk-music types and their groupies at a lodge at a church camp in Michigan. Food and music, music and food. These people have been getting together every year for 29 years. We've been going about 12. It's always a great time, and this time (because the friend's funeral was Saturday) Charming and I went alone, a great treat.

*Today will hit 65 degrees, which is wonderful. It is also the beginning of baseball practice on the home field for Alvin. He'll be on Varsity this year, but I don't know what position he will play. He has played first base, catcher, and pitcher in the past. His very best friend, Will, is a senior, and he is One Great Ballplayer. As a sophomore, he pitched some 96 mph balls, and his batting average is impressive, as well. He has heard from almost every MLB team's farm programs, and is ready for his baseball scholarship at Indiana University. Alvin is ready to be his manager ($$$$) when he's in the majors.

*If you are wondering where the great Thinker that used to blog here with wonderful pearls of wisdom went, she is spending her brain on homework. That is going well for her, though, as she has a GPA of 4.0, and is looking to repeat this semester, as well. She also received a scholarship for next year!

...and I'll look into re-posting some of those assignment-blogs. They were pretty decent.

Love you all!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Thought for the day.

Quote from our sermon yesterday:

"Oh, the beauty of the gospel that invites us in."

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

another digest.

I can't figure out what is the matter with me. I used to be a "thinker," and be able to pour out pithy blog posts pretty darned often. Of course, starting school last semester was sure to put a crimp in that. But here I am, in the third (and final) week of my break, and still no Astounding Thoughts for you to gather in to your bosom...just. another. digest. of. stuff. going. on.

(not in any particular order...)

On New Year's Day, Charming was feeling puny (and I had just recovered from my own 48-hr. bug), so we decided not to mass-infect our church family, and stayed home. While my offspring were still asleep, we read together Genesis 1&2, Matthew 1, and John 1. Though those chapters are oh-so-familiar, we tried to read them with fresher eyes. How astonishing that Almighty God would choose to share His story with us! We noticed with the creation story that it doesn't really matter if the "days" are literal 24-hour days, or "ages" or "eons" of time. What is clear is that our world (and us) did not just "happen." A Creator far bigger and wiser than we can imagine thoughtfully and deliberately created the world, in a specific order, for a specific reason. Then He hand-created Man (not just spoke us into being), and Himself breathed life into us.

Matthew 1 (and the companion Luke 1) give genealogies of the Christ, from His earthly father back to Abraham (and then from His mother back to Adam!). I find it fascinating that our Father thinks it is important for us to know the lineage, and places that lineage in time (fourteen generations from Abraham to the captivity, fourteen generations from the captivity to David, fourteen generations from David to Christ...) hey, can't do better than that!

John 1. What to say about arguably the most-loved book in the Bible? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The world was created by Him, and without Him there was not anything made that was made." "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us..." An unbelievable story, but believe it!

We also read all the historical notes in my Bible. Most interesting of those was about the four rivers mentioned in the Garden of Eden: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. The note said that photos taken from space show two dry river beds near the Tigris and Euphrates. And we talked about how the Garden of Eden was not destroyed--it's still there, somewhere, guarded by those angels with flaming swords. Fascinating stuff, and you can never get to the end of it!

I can't think of a New Year's resolution. Last year, I chose No Barbie Bashing, because I am really good at that. My naturally negative disposition can get me in a downward spiral quickly. But I have learned over the years that negative self-talk does no one any good, and does me pretty bad. So I determined to stop it, and did generally Very Well noticing it and stopping it in its tracks. I'd give me a solid B for the year.

The 48-hr. bug. That nasty ol' thing. Blackeyed Susan got it first--Wednesday the 28th at 3am. I got it Friday at 3am (making it a 48-hr. incubation, as well). Was I surprised when, 72 hrs. later (also at 3 am!) I. Got. It. Again. Mama was not happy. That was Monday, so I cancelled my trip to see my friend Kaybeautiful on Tuesday. We rescheduled for Friday. She said, "so in case you get it a third time, you'll be over it." ha. ha. ha.

Kaybeautiful lives 100 miles away, so we meet in the middle in a town that has a Goodwill and a quilt store. She always has 50% off Goodwill coupons for me. We usually hit the Pizza Hut buffet for lunch, and this time, I have a 10-punch buffet card that is full--free lunch for moi! She is also bringing my Christmas surprise from Violet (she and Violet live in the same town). Violet bought me a new winter coat! It was a $250-original-price-down-to-$99. I have never had a $250 coat! I'm so excited!! The little irony of it is that it has been in the teens this week, but will be 50 degrees on Friday. I never wear more than a sweater in that weather. Oh, well, guess I'll be roastin' this time...perspirin' but stylin'!

Per my tradition of starting a new quilt after Christmas, I pulled out one I've been wanting to do for several years. I waited, because I planned to piece it by hand, something I do like, because I can do it while waiting for kids, or if I'm fifteen minutes early for Bible study. The pattern is dove-in-the-window, and if you remember, Mary Ingalls made one in the stories. I looked for three years for the "right" color pink that I pictured it in, and then found it on the $2 table at Wal-mart! In fact, I found mirror prints--the same pink on a white ground, and then white-on-pink. I bought blue on white and white on blue of the same print, so I may make it a blue and pink quilt.

I made one square, and wasn't too happy with it. It didn't lay very flat, and is very complicated (56 diamonds per square). So I don't know if it is something I want to deal with during school. I may pick it up in the summer, or I may continue it now--that completed square looks just like I pictured it, even if it isn't too flat. Everything "quilts out," you know!

Which brings me to another thing--my camera is not working. If I can get Susan to take a photo of my square, I'll be sure to post it.

Back to school next week. My in-person classses are only on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Tuesday nights. I also have one online class. Hopefully, because I have that first semester out of the way, I can more keep up with housework and other things I love.

Have a wonderful weekend!