Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Information Overload

I do not know why, but yesterday I watched 2 things that I should never have watched. The first was a video on YouTube of the now infamous Neda dying on the street in Iran. I've since seen the video on the news, but the gory details are blocked out. The YouTube video doesn't block anything. It replays in my mind, but a switch in my brain flips off at a certain point. There are things I want to know, but my brain cannot go there. I so regret watching it. I think my brain will have to process the information at some point and if I cannot or will not do it willingly during my waking hours perhaps my brain will do it automatically while I sleep. Either way I do not like the prospect. What made me watch that?

The second thing I watched that I should not have was "Jon and Kate plus Eight". Obviously their life has turned into a train wreck. Why did I want to see it? Right up to the end I hoped they would announce the end of the show and say they were going to do whatever it took to keep their family together. Not the case. The very end stated, in writing, that legal proceedings were begun yesterday to dissolve the marriage.

Strangely, (MORE strangely?) I did not pay much attention to the literal train wreck that happened in my corner of the world yesterday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My scanner is working again - woo hoo! So... I've been making cards like crazy this past week. For some reason that I do not understand, I am extremely pleased with what I have created, they all look good. A few days ago I made a fun card that I loved; when I showed it to Eric he made some general blase comment like "It's really nice". It felt like he was about as impressed as with a kindergartner's art project. (Except he would show MORE enthusiasm for a kindergarten art project that was brought home by his child, understandably.) So today I gave him a chance to redeem himself. I showed him what I think may be the best card I've ever made. He mustered up all the enthusiasm he could and said "It's really nice!" Really - - - nice? This card has everything! Fabulous color, stamping, coloring, water coloring, sponging, embossing, HUMOR!!!! And it's "nice"?

I need some positive affirmation from somewhere so, please, tell me you like this card. Just, please, don't say it's nice.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


If you are going to read this post, I must apologize on many levels. I tried to write a poem this morning. It started in the tone of Genesis and with lofty ideals. It quickly (VERY quickly) spiraled into the tone of Dr. Seuss. In my defense, I read a LOT of Dr. Seuss to Ethan this morning so it is kind of stuck in my brain. And I like his rhythm and rhyme, oh I like it a lot. I try to stop myself; I cannot! Oops - see! Perhaps most maddening of all, I have not finished it but I'm putting it here anyhow. I can't finish it yet. The last verse just happened this morning.
And so I just stopped - very much without warning! (But you've been warned.)

In the beginning there was stress
and it was bad.
Then God said "Give me your stress".
I gave Him all that I had.
Then Satan stepped in
and turned the wheels in my head.
"Don't you think it is better to feel stress?"
he said.
And I sat and I pondered
and I thought on the matter.
(All the while popping cookies -
my bottom grew fatter.)
And at last I decided
"Why yes! I should FEEL.
I've a right. I've been wronged.
I got a raw deal!
And so I decided
to worry and stew;
be obsessed with my problems.
What else could I do?
And now I'm a wreck.
My blood pressures high.
I'm tired, I'm cranky.
I think "I, I, I".
Now God whispers quietly
"I'm here, 'member me?
I told you I'd take all your stress,
set you free."

. . . to be continued.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Around Here

Here is a taste of what we've been doing around here lately:

I took Anna on one of my flower-buying excursions and told her she could choose something, anything she wanted. She chose snap peas! Here they are about a week after sprouting.

Approximately 2 weeks after sprouting. They're doing great! We have them on our front steps so that (hopefully) none of the resident wildlife will eat them.

I somehow found a spurt of creativity and have made some rather nice cards. Here are some:

I tried to take individual photo's but can't figure out how to turn off the flash so the photos aren't turning out. My preferred method - scanning - isn't working because... well, that's boring information. It's just not working. Too bad, because Anna wanted to make a card like one of mine and so I helped her this morning. It turned out pretty good. If I get the scanner figured out I'll post her card.

Also, Ethan has been working on things like this:

This is actually an on-going collaborative effort between the kids and I. One person starts something on the white board and then others add to it, whatever they want. I'll give the credit to Ethan though, since he isn't making cards (yet!)

That's the excitement around here!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I don't even know what to say.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I badly need to exercise so 1 week ago I decided to start walking. I walked part of a trail that winds through a section of our neighborhood. It was extremely pleasant. The temperature was not too hot and there were many beautiful things along the way. A creek runs along much of the path and it goes through meadow and wood. I saw a cardinal and a goldfinch, and all along the way there were patches of honeysuckle which smelled heavenly. However, my excursion was marred by the fact that I was alone. I PREFER to walk alone, except that since much of the trail is wooded and away from the road I worried about things like, oh, being killed and my body left in the woods. So a week passed without another walk.

But I really NEED to exercise, so today I decided I would forgo the alone factor and walk the pleasant path with my kids. I knew they would never walk the distance without loads of complaining, but I was pretty certain they would tolerate it if they were on bikes. Anna hasn't ridden her bike yet this year, I think the neighbor kids must have teased her about having a princess bike so she didn't want anything to do with it anymore. She agreed to get on it for the sake of this adventure, so I wiped off the spider webs, raised the seat and thought we were good to go. Alas, the tires were flat. I headed into the house and dug around until I found an air pump. No use, it is part of our car camping kit and doesn't have the right kind of do-hickey to pump up tires. So I loaded the bike into my car and headed off to the nearest gas station to use their air machine. (Seventy-five cents for 3 minutes of air!) Finally we were ready to head out.

It is considerably hotter than it was 1 week ago and much of the honeysuckle has withered away but still it was nice to be out moving. We passed several people along the trail - couples with babies and couples with dogs. The kids were of course ahead of me since they were on bikes. There was a lone woman approaching and as the kids passed her she greeted them kindly. Just a second after they passed her she let out a fairly blood-curdling scream and ran toward me, wiggling all over the place. As you probably guessed, there was a snake at the side of the path. The poor woman was completely freaked out and apologetic for acting so nuts. My first thought was no problem, it's a snake, not a dead body. I am not as afraid of snakes as you might think, given my aversion to practically anything with 4 legs. But then the woman told me that people have been seeing copperheads around here. Now I had a problem. The snake was between me and my kids and someone recently told me that copperheads generally strike the hiker at the BACK of the line - ME. I had to put on my brave hat and walk past that snake. I steered as far clear of it as I could, and I kept my eye on it the whole time. I know basically nothing about snakes so I don't know what I was watching for. Perhaps if it lunged at me I could have a heart attack and beat it to the kill? I was sufficiently calm to observe that it was pure black and its body twisted and turned for quite a distance. I was reasonably sure that if it was a copperhead it would be some color other than black. And I've heard much of "black snakes" in the area so I knew it was probably okay. Still, I must admit, it was a bit disconcerting to be that close to a snake.

Toward the end of our walk we passed the screamer again. She told me she will never walk that path again, at least not alone. I should have asked for her phone number because...NOW what will I do? I mean, I SERIOUSLY need to exercise but now I have to worry about crazed killers AND snakes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

To my last post, Mrs. Sinta replied: "You just don't get it. You assume that they care about people."

And therein lies the problem. What kind of Christians are they? Are we? Christians who love like Jesus loved? Or Christians who think we could force the world to love if only we could get the right person/people in power?

My pastor has been preaching for several weeks on what he calls "Radical Obedience". It has been an awesome series of sermons. Last night he talked about how Jesus as the Messiah went against the common belief at the time of what a messiah would do. Apparently there had been many men claiming messiahship in the previous 200 years. People believed in them, followed them, obeyed them. When those men died, the people thought "Well, THAT wasn't the messiah" and moved on to the next candidate. Maybe the disciples thought that Jesus wouldn't die since they believed he was the true Messiah. Jesus told them that he too would die. The difference being that on the third day he would be raised to life. (Luke 9:22) The disciples argued about who would be the greatest once Jesus was in charge of things. To that, Jesus called a child to him and said the least would be the greatest. (Luke 9:46-48) Jesus' kingdom does not fit with any of our human ideas of kingship, it is counter intuitive to how we think things should be. Thinking about that is what brought me to the question in yesterday's post. So many people are spending so much time, energy and money trying to fix the world through political means, societal norms. God has never operated within political means or societal norms. I cannot help but think that all of these people are wasting their time, money and talent. Let the politicians be what they will. Live out the love that Jesus taught. How many are being changed by politics? Not many. Pray, give, serve, love. How many people would be changed by that?

And by the way, Mrs. Sinta is one who does live out the love of Jesus. She has shown His love to me in many ways over the years. Don't think for a second that I was offended by her comment. I was glad for the opportunity to use it to springboard into a bit more of what I was thinking.

I wonder...

...What if all of the Christian's who spend their time, energy and resources on political causes in America instead spent those things on sharing the gospel? I am talking about legions of people in countless organizations. Think about it!