Thursday, December 30, 2010

END OF THE YEAR -
There's always a bit of sadness to see another year come to an end. It seems to happen quicker ever since turning 50. I am sad this year for what hasn't happened and come to be yet in our lives. LH still searching for a position and I living an hour from home. Granted, things could be worse - I could be further from home.
But this is the first time I can remember feeling sad over what hasn't happened rather than what has happened in the year past.
Perhaps losing FIL right before Christmas also plays into this sadness somewhat.
I am not sure how to greet this new year, with trepidation, I imagine. Since 2010 was disappointing in some regards and what I had hoped would happen, didn't materialize, I enter 2011 with trepidation. I know my interim position will soon be coming to a close here and without much on the horizon, we face being incomeless and having no medical insurance.
I try not to become overly anxious and trust in God, but it does get the better of me at times. I am trusting, hoping, believing...even when it is most difficult to do so and takes every tattered shred of faith still within me.
I feel ready for our lives to move forward and onward and we are in this insipid holding pattern, as though forgotten and just circling around and around until the call comes for clearance to land. I hope the fuel lasts until our landing but the tanks are getting empty.
So, I say goodbye to this year, to the joys and the sorrows, the continued dark night, to my FIL, to my garden, to broasting in the apartment this summer, to my family for a wonderful wedding celebration across the pond, and to all that didn't happen, both good and ill.
I pray to greet the new year in faith and trust, open to new adventure, and for things to happen for which we have been waiting and hoping.
May you make peace with this old year and embrace the new year soon to unfold.

Monday, December 27, 2010

POST CHRISTMAS -
The days before Christmas were busy, as usual, making sure the bulletins were done and the power point presentations were together.
On Thursday, Dec. 23rd, FIL entered the Church Triumphant and Eternal, may he be at peace, the peace he didn't have much in this life. FIL had a full life, although not an easy life. These past 2 1/2 months were hard on him and us and offered him no real quality of life. LH and I are mostly grateful that he didn't linger any longer. He will be missed.
Now will come the all the legalities, the cleaning out of his apartment and settling affairs. A memorial service will be planned for spring as all of us will have to travel at least an hour or more or journey in from Canada. That gives us all time to plan the service.
FIL will not be far from us. Every time LH goes on and on about something, he is his father. Whenever, he makes a political commentary, I hear his Dad. We have warm and good memories of times shared together. For such a gentle man who hated conflict of any kind, I wish he had had more peace and a better time of things. He treated so many children for a variety of ailments and illness as a pediatrician, some curable and others, not. But he was ever gentle and ever patient with them all.
LH spent Christmas Eve with me and worshipped at the church I am serving. I was grateful we could be together and enjoyed the company in the van on the drive there and back.
Christmas was a quiet one with phone calls to family and the Boys were happy with their quacking duck toy, little fleece blanket and of course, special doggie Christmas cookies. Jett is doing well and we are so grateful for every month we have with him.
Sunday's service was low attendance, but we had five children present and a continental breakfast followed worship and most everyone stayed. I have today off and it is snowing.
My SIL's will come on Friday and it will be good for them and us to remember FIL, exchange gifts and wish them well for the New Year. Much is yet before them.
I pray that LH would find a position and that our lives could move forward now too. With FIL gone, we no longer feel tied to even stay in the state, but opportunities for full-time calls are not plentiful. We remain faithful and trust God will open a way for us.
As you leave this year behind, and look to all the New Year will bring and offer, I pray God's blessings for you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THE LONGEST NIGHT -
It is the longest night tonight and the shortest day. It seems like I've known the longest night for a very long time. I have been living it. There is some comfort, for in the dark of the longest night, the stars still shine and I continue to look upward for any glimmer and shimmer the long dark night offers. I can still wonder. I can still laugh. I can still be touched and moved by pieces of scripture, a line of a hymn, and love when it lives around me.
I know not what next month will bring or how we will survive or when LH will have another interview, but for now in this longest night, I still make my way to the manger and long to behold as never before the birth of the One who is Love, Life, Hope, Peace, Joy,and Grace. It's all I need in this long, dark night of my soul. And all I really want or desire or need for Christmas. Come, come to the manger and behold the gift for you, for me, for all the world so desperately in need of all Christ brings...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - CHRISTMASES PAST
My 500th post is a day late, but nonetheless, here it is!

Tell us about five Christmas memories you have.

1. When we (my sister & I) were young, K-5th grade, we had to memorize
Swiss and/or German Christmas poetry verses and then recite them on
Christmas. Some were easier and some harder. Never did enjoy it that
much. One year when I was 6, we memorized, "Josef Lieber, Josef Mein".
My sister got to be Mary and I, Joseph. We wrapped the wool african
blankets (my Dad had brought back from his time in Ghana) around us as
cloaks and used the play crib with a doll. We recited the hymn verses
and read the Christmas story from the Bible.

2. One year, when I was about 5 yrs. old, my older sister read the
Christmas story from the Bible. I just had to read something too, and
it was Yertle the Turtle that I had checked out of the church library!

3. My sister and I made Christmas cards from the year before Christmas
cards our family received. We cut off the picture and glued it on
construction paper and wrote in them. We gave them to each other, our
Mom & Dad and aunt. We also made tags for our Christmas presents using
the pictures from old Christmas cards, punching a hole, and tying a
ribbon through it onto a bow. We even used a neat scalloped little
paper cutter to make fancy edges and that was way before all the
scrapbooking stuff ever came into being!!!

4. Every year we helped bake Christmas cookies - mostly traditional Swiss
cookies that we cut out. We also made Swedish Rum Balls that we got to
roll in our hands and then roll around in chocolate sprinkles. Snowballs
were fun and we put a Hershey's kiss inside them. Of course, eating
them made it all worthwhile.

5. After our aunt gifted us with a piano and we had lessons, every
Christmas Eve, we'd gather and do a lessons and carols service
complete with a special Christmas prayer and incorporated
English and German Christams carols. There were more carols than
lessons. Then it was off to church for the late night worship service.
In actuality, we worshipped twice on Christmas Eve, within our family
and then with our larger church family. That was pretty much tradition
in our family. We always enjoyed a special Swiss meal - Pastaetli -
puff pastry filled with sweatbreads or turkey on a creamy sauce with
mushrooms. Of course, we ate in the dining room with china and silver
and crystal and candles. It made for a very special time for our
family. Sometimes, my aunt would join us if she had Christmas off. As
a nurse, she would have to work on some Christmases.

These are some of the memories of wonderful Christmases we shared and which still reside warmly and richly in my heart. I learned the mystery and wonder of Christmas, the gift of the Christ-child, and it still touches me in my deepest places no matter what my life's circumstances are. The miracle of God's love in Jesus Christ still enters in every year and casts its glow of grace and peace within and around me. I am thankful that I have always celebrated Christmas well and knew its wonder and mystery.

Monday, December 13, 2010

SNOW DAY!
It is snowy, bitterly cold, with a gusting wind causing near white-outs.
Since the schools are closed here and along much of the way to the church, I have taken a snow day, myself.
I have done some reading, put the Christmas gift bags together for the church staff, and I feel some homemade chocolate chip cookies baking coming on.
I hope to be able to make the drive into church tomorrow.
The boys are happy that I am home an extra day even as they snooze the afternoon away.
LH is firing up the snowthrower but with the wind it'll have to be done again.
It is too early for such arctic conditions - it's still fall and only mid-December. This is January weather.
I am glad to be in the warmth. The oil space heaters at the apartment take quite a while to heat up and take the chill out of the air. I can imagine it will be close to Dr. Zhivago-esque tomorrow. I have even had to use my grandma's cherry pit sack (heated in the microwave until hot) to slip under the sheets to pre-heat the bed and then slip under my very warm duvet and nestle my feet under and around the cherry pit bag. Nice and toasty warm. Looks like tomorrow night I'll be doing that and bringing in a hot lunch while I eat in my winter coat until the heaters warm up.
There's nothing like being home on a cold, arctic day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - WHO OR WHAT LIFTS YOU UP?

So, for today's Friday Five: What lifts you up when you are low or troubled? Who helps you remember that you are not alone, it's getting better all the time, etc.?
Your five responses can be people you know, people you DON'T know, music, places, foods, scripture, surprises, something you do for someone else. It could be a pair of slippers. It could be a glass of water.

When feeling low these are things and people that lift me up:
1. Swiss milk chocolate and a glass of cold skim milk. Always makes me
feel better.

2. Talking with my sister on the phone. She's my best friend.

3. Being home with LH and the greys, and nuzzling my greys, Jett and Jazz.

4. Listening to Marty Haugen's "We Come Dancing" CD.

5. Snuggling under my duvet, wrapped in warmth.

Bonus: Do you like the song "Jingle Bell Rock?" If you do, who do you prefer to hear sing it? Bobby Helms, Brenda Lee, Mean Girls, Stephanie Smith, Chubby Checker, Billy Gilman, Brian Setzer, Hilary Duff, Thousand Foot Krutch (I am not making this up), oh, there are so many more! I am currently partial to my friend Marco.
Not my favorite but better than many of the Christmas Carols played on the radio where they ruin the carol by singing it in a maudlin way. I don't know who sings the popular version I hear on the radio, but it's ok.
I really enjoy Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas carols much, much better.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

And it came to pass that at the Presbytery meeting last night, we worshipped and we sang. (It was an Advent Lessons and Carol type service.)
And the One for whom I am waiting met me in the old, familiar Advent carol - O Come, O Come Emmanuel
O Come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
In my captivity to this dark night, this exile and banishment I have been feeling, in my hope wearing as thin as a piece of paper, the Great Silence came to me in this song of the season, with hope and reassurance of the coming of Emmanuel - God-with-us, God-with-me. It is the rejoicing part that is so very hard and difficult when the way seems endlessly dreary and bleak and there is no sign of movement toward release and the new thing God is doing and bringing.
I could barely choke out the words for the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes, and had to stop singing. It is precisely for those such I,exiled, mourning, lonely, captive, banished, fearful, anxious, despairing that God came and is coming to release, bring home, set free, embrace, make a Holy Way through and out, and to cause the desert to burst into bloom and hot dry sand to become a pond of cool fresh water. I cling to God's promise, as tenuous as it may seem, as improbable and impossible as it may be. That is the hope of this season of Advent. That is the hope of this season of my dark night.
O Come, o come Emmanuel...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Twenty-three years of marriage we marked on Sunday, and we are as poor as church mice, living apart, just as when as our marriage started. Only this time around, I can be home every week without a 400 mile drive, one way.
This year, I received a bouquet of a dozen red roses from LH. He who never gives me flowers during the year or even in these 23 years, had a dozen red roses in a vase waiting for me as I entered the door.
Yes, I blew up at him earlier in the week, feeling stressed and sorry for myself, allowing fear and anxiety to take hold, not feeling appreciated for the sacrifice I have made, am making for us. I told him so.
And then days later, I walk in from the garage, just glad to be home again and to my shame the dozen red roses sit in a vase on the table.
I have paid for them, many times. But, I zip shut my mouth. Twenty-three years of marriage, and I know when it's best not to say anything, but "Thank you." I am touched and humbled and know that though he won't speak it, he does love and appreciate me.
Afterall, it is for better and for worse, and this is one of the worse times we are navigating in our lives and marriage. It is also for richer and for poorer, and this is one of our poorer times, again.
Twenty-three years and counting...

Monday, December 06, 2010

FEELS LIKE SIBERIA -
In this dark night as I deal with the idea of exile and the feeling of banishment, winter has come in full force. It is barely 25 degrees today and snow is falling although not as heavy as it probably is back home.
At my humble apartment there is no heat, only two space heaters and it was about 40 degrees at most. I ate my lunch in my winter coat and rested on the loveseat with boots on, the winter coat, a throw over me and my cashmere gloves. I was still cold. It feels like Siberia in my soul and on my person. I am held in an icy grip of the soul's dark night and wonder when I will ever be warmed again by God's love.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Warm Welcome -

Pondering the scriptures for this Sunday in Advent, and thinking of being welcoming and welcomed, I hold close this memory.
In 1965, my family flew to Switzerland for the first time. Dad hadn't been there since 1951 and Mom since 1956. A long time to be away from your mothers and siblings and family.
Even as a young child I will never forget, driving to my Grandmother's, my Dad's Mom's house and arriving at this chalet on a hillside overlooking the lake. As we entered the upstairs living room, my Grandmother who was sitting at the table, simply said, "W! W!" with such loving delight and indescribable joy, with a warmth that could melt an iceberg and a with a longing finally fulfilled. As if she had been waiting for just this very moment to see her son again. I can still hear the joy, the love, the warmth of welcome in her voice.
How much moreso does Christ Jesus welcome us to him even as he calls our name. I hear in his voice the very same depth of love, warmth, joy and longing finally fulfilled when we come to him! In this season of welcome and being welcoming, that is a welcome imprinted deep upon my soul.
TO THE MAKERS OF SCOTT TP:

You thought we wouldn't notice how you thinned the paper on the roll to being nearly see-through.
You thought we wouldn't notice how you shortened the square of paper.
You thought we wouldn't notice how you narrowed the roll of TP. My TP holder has lots of extra room width-wise.
You thought wrong.
We did notice. We are not happy. You have taken a good, solid, reputable,
dependable product and cheapened it to the point that you have no where else to cut or skimp. And you have blown your reputation. You are now producing a miserable, cheap, and awful product. More and more of us are leaving you "behind" and finding other TP up to par.
I know this isn't Advent material, but I just had enough with the cheapening of what used-to-be a good product. Now that it's off my chest, I can resume more theological, more focused mindset on Advent, itself.

Monday, November 29, 2010



You Are Orange Tea



You are a down to earth and humble person. You pride yourself on being pretty happy.

It's easy for you to be content. You know what matters most in your life, and you focus on those things.



You are a bit on the shy side. You prefer to think rather than talk, and you mull things over in your mind for a while before acting.

If someone asks you a question, they'll get an honest and thoughtful response. You give great advice.

Friday, November 26, 2010

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - PIE-OLA

Please answer these five questions about pie:
1) Are pies an important part of a holiday meal?
Not necessarily. For Thanksgiving, I make a Pumpkin Mousse dessert
that doesn't require any baking and is lighter and easier to eat
than a heavy, dense pumpkin pie. With just the 2 of us at Christmas,
an apple crisp is easier and smaller. I do miss the mincemeat pie
I used to bake at Thanksgiving when I served at the church where
they made excellant mincemeat. Topped with vanilla bean ice cream
and served warm it was so delicious.
2) Men prefer pie; women prefer cake. Discuss.
Maybe it's the chocolate in the cake that appeals to women.
Give me a good chocolate chip or chocolate oreo cookie over cake or pie
any day!
3) Cherries--do they belong in a pie?
I suppose they do. Used to have cherry pie on Washington's B-Day
at the SAR luncheons. If any fruit pie is more gooey than contains fruit -
Ewewww...count me out. Ditto for Cool Whip/Whipped Cream desserts.
Yuck.
4) Meringue--if you have to choose, is it best on lemon or chocolate?
You mean a baked meringue shell? Or like chocolate cream pie?
Make mine French Silk!
5) In a chicken pie, what are the most compatible vegetables? Anything you don't like to find in a chicken pie?
Peas, carrots, leeks, asparagus, broccoli, and corn. Leave out the
potato pieces.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

QUIET ON THE HOME FRONT -
It is quiet, too quiet this Thanksgiving morning. We have not wrestled with a slippery heavy turkey, washing and cleaning it, seasoning it, stuffing it and putting it in the oven.
There are dishes that aren't being used and still in the cabinets. The china, the silverware, and the crystal reside in their usual resting place.
The dining room table doesn't sport its fall cloth and is full of items still waiting to put away from where I dropped them on my trips home. The crowns from Christ the King Sunday are still on the table.
There are no warm smells emmanating from the oven or the sizzle of the turkey roasting, or from the stuffing and stock made the day or two before. There are no potatoes to be scrubbed and peeled, no cheeseball and crackers, no sweet potatoes to be microwaved.
It is quiet, all too quiet for Thanksgiving. There is a deadness which reflects the deadness in our lives. And I miss the hustle and bustle, and the getting ready, and the smells wafting through the house, and looking forward to receiving the company of family.
It is quiet, all too quiet, this year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ADVENT -
In this dark night, it seems as if this entire past year has been an Advent that keeps continuing...I'm ready for the coming...of new life to born into our lives. But we are still waiting...hoping...praying...trying not to lose heart...or hope. This extended waiting has dulled us, wearied us. We started out expectantly, anticipating this new thing God would bring to us or bring us to. It has yet to happen.
Yet, another disappointment with an interview that went nowhere for LH.
I am still living an hour from home. Still freezing on the cold days and nights, relying on space heaters for a little warmth, still hauling laundry back and forth and clothing changing from summer to winter, and groceries every week.
It will last longer. I am thankful for serving this good community of faith and thankful we have a small income coming in from me.
But this waiting is hard...and doubt creeps in. And I wait for God to break in into my life again...filling me...being close to me. I am ready or so I think, to move on, to begin anew and again...God apparently still has some work left do with my spirit and in me.
And so we wait...awhile longer...but not too much long...dear God.

Monday, November 22, 2010

MONDAY MARATHON -

Have pretty much gotten the bulletin and liturgy ready for the First Sunday in Advent - this coming Sunday! I worked on it last week already and trying to work ahead.
Still am working on the sermon, prayers and kids' sermon - which will be a series of boxes within boxes - 5 of them each wrapped in different Christmas paper with a bow. There will be a tag on each bow - do not open until the next Sunday! Thankfully, we had to order a new big fry pan from major on-line retailer and it came in a nice big box. The smallest and last box that will get opened on Christmas Eve has a cutesy nativity scene. (not necessarily my style but cute for the kids). There's bit of prep work involved in this but it builds the anticipation over the weeks.
Now, if I just had my sermon done with sermon title, that would be great.
Have one pre-surgery visit to make this afternoon. So, I will get it done hpefully today, so that I can begin working on the next two weeks of Advent.
The secretary will be taking vacation in the middle of December and I really have to have things in place.
I think I will be pretty worn out come Christmas. Since I have to commute in on Friday, Dec. 24th (my normal day off) and then commute back on Sat. evening for Sun. Dec. 26th, I have graciously been given Monday, Dec. 27th off. Thanks be to God.
Well, back to the old keyboard in Word and praying for more inspiration!

Friday, November 19, 2010

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - THANKS FOR THE UNEXPECTED

1. I am thankful that Dad B is still with us, at least for awhile longer.
And as long as he is not in pain or suffering.

2. I am thankful that Jett is still with us, at least for awhile longer
and as long as he is not in pain or suffering.

3. I am thankful that I still have an interim position at least through
the New Year, although the church is ready for a new pastor.

4. I am thankful that we still have a roof over our heads and food on
our plates and heat.

5. I am thankful that I won't have to do any dishes Thanksgiving Day, as
this is one of only a couple years when I am not hosting Thanksgiving
dinner. It saddens me greatly. But we will be going out to eat for
a turkey dinner with my SIL's and visit my FIL.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PREMATURE -
Although my FIL is terminal, apparently yesterday was not the day he was to join the Church Triumphant and Eternal. When LH arrived at the hospital, the medication had begun to work and FIL was awake, although unable to talk with a tube in his mouth.
LH had a good visit with his Dad and read him his mail.
He drove back there again today to see him and to complete some legal/financial business.
We are on the alert, however, knowing that FIL could go at any time in the near future. I doubt that FIL will ever get back to his apartment or drive again. I pray that I will get a chance to see him one last time when we go to visit on Thanksgiving Day.
This is one of very few times, when I will not have had FIL and SILS for Thanksgiving with turkey and trimmings. We will miss the leftover turkey, homemade stock, and the greys will miss those things as well.
Life intervenes and what was a tradition of us hosting Thanksgiving will change this year and who knows what the future will bring?
As for now, I will be content to just see FIL one last time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feeling Far From Where I Need to Be -
more physically than existentially. My FIL has been in and out of the hospital and nursing home these past three-four weeks. He was moved back to the hospital on Sunday and LH got the call from SIL that FIL's breathing was getting shallower. LH took off at 2 pm for the 1 1/2 hour drive to his home town and to see his Dad probably for the last time. It has come far more quickly than any of us in the family would ever have anticipated. Three weeks ago, he was driving and living in his apartment, but the disease has caught up with him, a man who never drank much alcohol his whole life, gets cirrhosis. Go figure. It was last Thanksgiving when we noticed that he was walking slowly and not as steady, when he was not as sharp as normal. He went to the doctor shortly afterwards and they discovered his ammonia levels were high. He didn't get diagnosed til May. He's been doing real well with no indication that the end would be this unexpectedly quick.
I want to be with LH and his family. I so feel for them and fear for them. They will be lost without their Dad, who supported the girls, and the twin boys. LH and older brother were not supported in any way. It will be a tangle and quite the unfolding.
My heart and spirit, and me just want to be with LH, to have gone with him, to be with him in his grief. And I am an hour away with obligations. In this tender time, I await to hear from LH. It will be a very sad Thanksgiving this year and sad Christmas. A family in grief and LH and I separated by the need for an income. My prayers and spirit are there with LH and his sisters and his Dad. I never got say to say good-bye to him or see him one last time.
In the meanwhile, I finished my sermon and prayer, newsletter article for December, Session agenda, and mileage for Oct. Too bad Session is tomorrow night. I won't be able to leave to be with LH.
This being away from home is so difficult at times. But I know that God is with them all. And may FIL's passing be peaceful.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WINTER'S REST -
Thankful for the Indian Summer we had last week, I was able to cut down the Siberian Irises for the winter and pull out the Chinese Lanterns. There are still some roots and they will come back next year again. I still have one set of Irises to cut down as the leaves weren't yellow/brown enough yet.
I pulled some extraneous grasses and throw some cow manure down on both perenial beds.
I laid the flower beds to rest for the winter with a touch of sadness. But I was glad to give back (some nutrients) for all the beauty and joy the flowers gave to me all spring, summer and fall. The flowers deserve a long rest and I will begin to look forward to spring when one by one they will greet me again with their colored faces. Wherever we may end up, I hope that the next owners will enjoy them as much as I have. The provided food for bumblebees, honey bees, and even the finches who ate their seeds.
Jett visited the vet on Friday and got his bandages removed. His left elbow looks the best it has since the end of May - yes, a bit bald but healing well. Soon, soon, he will get the air donuts off his neck and really be free and enjoy the remaining weeks, months of his life. He deserves that and as many chest rubs as he wants whenever I am home for my days off.
For now Jett can rest better and the flowers too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

RGBP'S WINTER'S ON THE WAY FRIDAY FIVE:

When it is cold outside:

1. What is your favorite movie for watching when curled up under a wooly blanket?
While You Were Sleeping - romantic comedy

2. Likewise, what book?
Whatever is on hand that I am reading. Really like The Ladies' No.1
Detective Agency serie by Alexandar McCall Smith. Have to wait til
spring for the next installment.


3. What foods do you tend to cook/eat when it gets cold?
Mince and Tatties, Fondue, Raclette, and Meatloaf. Green bean
casserole with spaetzli and ham bits in it. And let's not forget,
Lasagna Florentine (with spinach) and Cocquilles St. Jacques.

4. What do you like to do if you get a "snow day" (or if you don't get snow days, what if you did)?
Take a nice long nap and get caught up with laundry, etc. Enjoy the
company of the greys and bake chocolate chip cookies.

5. Do you like winter sports or outdoor activities, or are you more likely to be inside playing a board game? Do you have a favorite (indoors or out)?
Inside is more my speed. Although, I do shovel snow, if it's not feet
deep and not on our inclined driveway. Typically, I enjoy a game of
Scabble or on my own - Woerterwuerfel (Scrabble with 13 dice).
Scattergories or even Monopoly if there would be more than just
LH and I.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

INDIAN SUMMER -

From his pipe the smoke ascending
Filled the sky with haze and vapor,
Filled the air with dreamy softness,
Gave a twinkle to the water,
Touched the rugged hills with smoothness,
Brought the tender Indian Summer
To the melancholy north-land,
In the dreary Moon of Snow-shoes.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Hiawatha 1855

We get to enjoy a bit of Indian Summer this week with warmer, milder temps, vibrant azure blue sky with no clouds and unrestrained sunshine.
It is both beautiful and glorious. A gift of grace to savor, which I will.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

STEWARDSHIP GEMS -

1. The most expensive vehicle to operate is the grocery cart.

2. The greatest surprise of Mary's life was receiving a dollar on her
fourth birthday. She carried the bill around the house and was seen
sitting on the stairs admiring it.
"What are you going to do with your dollar?" her mom asked.
"Take it to Sunday School," replied Mary promptly.
"To show your teacher?" asked her mom.
"No," she said. "I'm going to give it to God. He'll be as surprised
as I am to get something besides pennies."

Did You Know That...
- a person who was given a bible as a child or youth is likely to
increase their annual gift by $221/year as an adult

- a person who reads the bible daily gives $545 more a year on
average than those who do not read scripture regularly

- Jesus spoke about money and possessions more than any other
subject (and that includes prayer!)

The single most reliable indicator of a person's giving is church attendance. Those who attend worship twice or more a month give 2-4 times more generously than those who attend sporadically.

Thought these gems might be of interest to you.

Monday, November 08, 2010

JETT UPDATE:
Well, after our visit with the Vet, I feel a little better. Jett's prognosis remains the same, but he may be with us for a month, or three or even eight months. Hard to say since we are not going to have extra x-rays and scans done, nor or we opting for chemo, which may only prolong his life by a month or two more at great expense nor will we ever amputate his right front leg or any leg. We will love him, monitor his quality of life and when the day comes, we will let him go in peace to cross Rainbow Bridge.
I think just knowing he could be with us for a while yet, made it easier for me.
I also remind myself that every year that Jett has been with us has been an extra year in his life that he may never have had. So, many greyhounds are destroyed when they can no longer race or win races and bring in money. It's a nasty business when you have so many wonderful hounds with so much love to give whose lives are cut short because of a money-making industry. So, there is that consolation that Jett will have had a real home full of tasty treats and morsels in his dish, a yard to run in just for fun, comfy couch and love seat with pillows to rest his head, kisses and chest rubs that make him feel good, all kinds of fun toys and a chance to be a regular dog with people who love him and care for him. That's not bad to have a second chance at life. I wish he could be with us for at least a couple more years, but that is highly improbable. So, we will take it day by day and week by week. That's all any of us can do anyway. One day at a time as God graces us with it and to be thankful for that day, and live it with love.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010Revgalblogpal Friday Five: It Is Well With My Soul Edition


We lead privileged lives.


True, some are more privileged than others but the fact that we are communicating right now via technological devices puts us in the privileged category.


There are many perks in my life for which I give thanks and then there are some that make everything right in the world during the moment I am enjoying them. I'm wondering what a few of those things - five to be specific - are for you.


IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL:
1. When I am at home with LH and the greys - giving the greys neck
scratches and chest rubs.

2. When I have some Swiss milk chocolate and a glass of cold skim milk.

3. Each week when I talk with my sister.

4. When I am at home with God, in sync, and love flows freely into
me.

5. Sleeping in my own bed with duvet and pillow and LH.

Monday, November 01, 2010

THE PHONE CALL YOU DON'T WANT TO GET -
LH just called to say he spoke with the Vet and the pathology report came back. Jett has hemangiosarcoma. My handsome, refined, elegant 9 year old grey is terminal as it is an aggressive cancer. This is the first grey we had to have cancer and the first dog I've had to get cancer. We will do what we can to keep him comfortable for as long as possible. We'll find out more at our Vet appointment on Friday. I can't see putting Jett through more just to prolong his life by an extra month or so. He's had a hard enough time of dealing with this surgery. I had feared it might be a cancer, but I was hoping the earlier blood test that was negative for cancer was true.
LH is still looking for a position, mine will be ending by the end of the year, no income, no health insurance, and now this, losing our beloved Jett. It is more than I can bear...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

JETT UPDATE -
Wow, that sedative from the Vet really worked. Jett slept all afternoon and evening. Course, he was exhausted anyway from being overstressed. Today, he finally had some morsels of cooked ground turkey. He ate some. More to come later and slowly work in the dog kibble. He hasn't eaten in three days and I was getting worried. It's not like greyhounds have a lot extra on them plus they have such a high metabolism.
Now he can walk and actually go outside without help from us.
Looks like he's on the mend.
Just have to wait for the pathology report this week.
Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, October 29, 2010

JETT UPDATE -
Jett came through his surgery well. He was still wobbly and with the leg bandaged around his chest, he was thrown by it. He barely laid down on the ride home and subsequently, overstressed his back leg muscles and could hardly support himself to walk.
He bleed through his bandage that we took him to our regular vet when we got home thinking he had pulled his stiches getting in and out of the van.
But no, just drainage from the surgery site. Rebandaged and sent home.
I spent the night on the sofa, helped him get water and then, had to lift him by a sling around his hindquarters to help him go outside at least twice during the wee hours. I got two interrupted hours of sleep and eventually three hours after he settled down.
He had one accident on the front door mat sometime in the 3 hours I was out.
Had a vet appointment today and she gave him a shot to help him settle
down and he slept this afternoon as did I.
Won't know any pathology results until next week sometime.
We are all hoping for a better night's sleep tonight and that he will have a bit of an appetite. Hasn't eaten in a day and a half.
Prayers for his recovery are much appreciated.
RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - COMFORT MEDIA


Today's Friday Five is an opportunity for you to list five of your favorite 'go-to' movies/tv shows/books. You can use images, links, explanations or netflix.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Always a favorite and one to watch over again and again.

2. Father Goose
A fun, humorous movie set in the South Pacific of WW II

3. Gone With the Wind
Who doesn't like the costumes and melodrama? I keep hoping that
Rhett and Scarlet do get together again

4. Fiddler On the Roof
Love the characters, the story, the faith amid the hardship

5. My Cousin Vinny
Fun, and Pesci and Tomei are great in this movie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PRAYERS -
Jett is in surgery this morning to clean up his elbow which hasn't healed in 4 months. The vet will do another biopsy and dental while she's at it.
Please pray that this surgery will help him to heal once and for all. He's been miserable and our carpeting has taken a beating with blood drops and cleaning more times than ever we could count in these past 4 months.
Jett is tired of the antibiotics he's been on for most of these months, the air donuts around his neck and not being able to stretch out on the couch.
This is costing an arm and a leg, of course. But we've already spent so much and we want him to heal and be well. Poor fellow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

OMINIOUS -

The winds are beginning to pick up and the sky is overcast. We are in for some major wind gusts and heavy rain as a cold front moves in on our warm front. It has been gusting through IL, IN and now, us.
I think my umbrella will be mostly useless. Will plan to be in car or building during the worst of the rain?!!? Is that possible?
Batten down the hatches, thar she blows.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

PICTURE THIS -
if you can, the slow downward slide of fewer picture books being published. Apparently, 4 year olds are now being pushed to read chapter books with little or no pictures. What is up with that?
I used to lose myself in the pictures of books, to notice the actions, the colors, the dipictions, and the wonder of it all. Whatever are doing to our children - that at 4,5, 6 and beyond, that they no longer are allowed by the parents to savor and linger over picture books? What are you doing to the creativity, imagination, and being able to see and observe and to notice? Please, you are robbing your children of play and wonderment all in the name of getting them into the right preschool, and eventually into Harvard or so you think. Let them read both. Let them just be saturated by the illustrations, the artistry, the beauty, the movement. They need that as much as content and information in their life. Let your children be children, well-rounded, with active imaginations, creative, and able to notice and appreciate beauty.
I am over 50 and I still can lose myself in a picture book. It is good for the soul, which ought not to be neglected in the hurry and flurry of getting your child into the right and proper schools and ahead of the "game". Foster the goodness and the beauty of your child's soul as well their intellect. You will never regret it ever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Five: The Perfect Blendship



If you're ever in a jam, here I am.
If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S.
If you're so happy, you land in jail. I'm your bail.
It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships are soon forgot, ours will still be hot.

For today's Friday Five, some questions about friendship.

1) Who is the first friend you remember from childhood?
Denise, she lived on the same block and we were friends until I moved
2 blocks north on the same steet when I was 7. We also were split in
school into three classes - fast, medium and slow. I was in the fast
class and she ended up in the slow. We drifted apart.
2) Have you ever received an unexpected gift from a friend?
Many little gifts too numerous to count or remember.
3) Is there an old friend you wish you could find again? Or have you found one via social media or the Internet?
Yes, my best friend in HS. I blogged about her this fall. I used
facebook and found her obituary and lamented not being able to connect
with her again in this earthly life. I did, however, become facebook
friends with a gal who we hung around with in grade school, which
was kinda neat.
4) Do you like to get your good friends together in a group, or do you prefer your friends one on one?
My best friend lives in MA and we stay in touch with email and phone.
Just not possible to get together very often, alas.
My sister is my bff and we get together at least once a year and talk
weekly on the phone. We grew up sisters and ended up best friends as
well as sisters.
5) Does the idea of Jesus as a friend resonate with you?
Can't imagine where I'd be without my friend Jesus. He's always there
for me even when I feel him not and always welcomes me to him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

QUICK CHECK-IN

It is another full week with yet another Memorial Service. Had one last week with the service one day followed by a luncheon and the commital the next morning.
I also had a Presbytery meeting 2 Saturdays ago and will be taking my second half day off to compensate this week on Thursday. With the Memorial service this Saturday, that will be another 2 half days off the next two Thursdays, except for Oct. 28th when I won't be able to leave until after 2:30 pm because of the Women's Assoc. meeting. I won't get home til after 3:30 pm, so not much of an afternoon off. It just goes with the territory but I am trying to hold to the 3/4 time. Plus, I really miss being home and am usually anxious to get home on Thursdays.
The herb garden has been mostly put to rest. I yanked out the giant tomato vines which are now in the garage where the beautiful green tomatoes will hopefully ripen yet on the vine. One year, I had a red homegrown tomato in January!!
I plucked the dried basil leaves and put them in a jar.
I still have to pluck the tarragon.
The marjoram remains in the ground and I hope to pull it out next weekend. The curly parsley bush is still in as is the rosemary. I also need to put the dried sage leaves in storage containers.
I replanted my garlic, put down Sweet Peet and crumbled egg shells on top. (The calcium leeches back into the soil and prevents blossom end rot).
Still need to cut down the front perenial flower beds and sprinkle some good old-fashioned cow manure down.
My hamstrings are still complaining today!!!
It's always saddens me some to lay the garden to rest. It was a bountiful year of tomatoes and herbs and I will miss them. However, I know the ground needs to rest and that the plants have given their best and also deserve rest. Don't know that we will still be where we are next spring. I pray that God will open up a position for LH soon and then, we will have to sell the house. Wherever we end up, I hope that I can plant another herb garden and grow some perenials.
For now, the growing year is over and I thank God for the fullness of the threshing floor and the overflowing vats of wine and oil. And there will still be parsley aplenty!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A sliver of hope
is all it takes to live.
A sliver of hope
can bring me to my knees in grateful thanksgiving.
A sliver of hope
makes me feel not forgotten by God.
A sliver of hope
reminds me to keep faith, to trust.
A sliver of hope
not much, but enough for today.
A sliver of hope
offers encouragement to go on.
A sliver of hope
is a gift of grace in this dark night.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What is God up to?
In this dark night of my soul, where self-esteem, humor, and hope have been smaller than a mustard seed, why would I get a phone call from one well acquainted with humor who heads an organization related to humor, full of names of well-known and extremely gifted folks?
How did my name ever appear as anything but an infintesimal blip on their radar screen? Just one of hundreds.
How can I who am grasping for humor and hope, be a catalyst for others?
Dear God, what on earth are you up to? Having a good laugh at the irony of it all!!! I will walk down this ironic twisted path hoping against all hope that you will be there providing the light. Maybe, we can share a laugh together?!!?

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Fall Word Association Friday Five
Hello everyone! The Canadian geese are excited, forming up and practicing, encouraging each other with honking, the Wisconsin fall color is at peak where I am, and in Kohl's Dept. Store the Christmas decorations are up. Yep, Fall is here. It's my turn to do the Rev Gal Blog Pals Friday Five. It has been a while since we did one of these word association Friday FIves, so here goes, with an autumnal theme. I know, fall is one way on this side of the world and different in other places, but please bear with me as I post words that say FALL--at least where I am.

Give us the the first word that comes to mind (you know how that works, right?) and then add a little something about why, or how or what.

1. Pumpkins - all orange decorating the front porch

2. Campfire - the wonderful wood fire aroma that wisps through the air

3. Apples - caramel & nut apples and the warm apple crisp fresh from the
oven

4. Color - the beautiful hues of red, orange, rust, yellow, brown, burnt
sienna, beige, taupe and green that delight the eyes

5. Halloween - kids in costumes coming to the door looking for treats, who
doesn't like to dress up once in awhile?

And since it is REV Gals and their Pals, here is the bonus question, sort of a serious one:

What does the following passage from Daniel 2 make you think about?

"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
Wisdom and power are his...
He changes times and seasons."

Thanks be to God for the glory of God's wisdom and power for our lives and the seasons of life through which we live and God brings us.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Sky Is Blue -
Yes, for the first time in 5 days, we actually have a blue sky today!!!!
For the past 5 days it has been cold, dreary, rainy, rainy, rainy.
Yesterday, shortly around 5 pm, the rain and grey sky moved east and the sun broke out in the west and there was a beautiful rainbow that appeared in all its colorful promise. I love rainbows and whenever it looks like there will be a possibility for one, I look for it. All too soon they fade in muted shades of washed out colors.
And it astounds me, how so many miss it. They don't stop, take notice, or even see. Too busy doing whatever it is they are doing or involved with, to notice the beauty, the hope-filled promise before them, the grace among them. I noticed. I was touched. I gave thanks to God. And my spirit felt lighter and brighter just to be touched by God's beauty and grace.
If we don't stop to notice, to look, to see what is before us and around us, we miss so much. We miss God. We miss out on grace. We miss the healing of our souls. We miss the joy that is scattered around us waiting to be drawn into us.
Today, I give thanks for blue skies and sunshine and a rainbow full of grace.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world,
the forms may change yet the essence remains the same.
Every wondrous sight will vanish and every sweet word will fade,
but do not be disheartened.
The source they come from is eternal....
growing, branching out, giving new life, new joy.
Why do you weep?
That source is within you as well..."
Rumi

Simply contemplating this Rumi quote today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

THE PEW FORUM QUIZ: RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE

Was it any surprise that folks are biblically illerate in this country and at this time? It has been a number of years in the making.
I finally got through to the website and took the quiz!! I scored 100 percent for a white mainline protestant. Good Seminary training, but most of it didn't require any Seminary training at all. Just a good college education. Just good Sunday Schooling.
The results are pretty amazing and appalling. Simple, religious questions, and people of faith should be scoring high on some of the questions.
I scored better on this than the RGBP's FunTrivia and so feel as though my education has paid off!!!!
Go over to Pew Forum and check it out!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A TWIN TALE OF HOSPITALITY -

When I was in High School, I made new friends when I joined the Speech Team and Thespians. A few of them were, dare I say it, Lutherans! This was way back in the 1970's. Since my home church was small and had no youth group, I was invited to attend some of the Lutheran youth events. And I went because they were my friends, and because I longed to grow in my faith, and it was a whole lot of fun! They didn't seem to mind a Presbyterian in their midst.
Every year, this Lutheran youth group went on a 3 day retreat between Christmas and New Year's to Lake Geneva, WI. At the end of each retreat was a worship service that included communion. Bound together in the love and faith of Jesus Christ our Lord, we left blessed and graced. One year the Lutheran pastor asked me to bring a message for our closing communion worship service. I felt welcomed, a part of and belonged to this group of faithful believers and my friends. Never once did it seem to cross anyone's mind that perhaps, as a Presbyterian, I shouldn't be included, or I shouldn't commune with them.
Years later, I was invited to an acquaintance's ordination at his home town in Ohio. He was being ordained a Lutheran minister and by a quirk of God's design, he eventually became my husband. I went with a Presbyterian couple through whom my future husband and I met. The worship service included Holy Communion. As people in the pews went forward for communion, they handed in little cards to the usher. We had no such cards nor did we realize they were in the pews. My Presbyterian frinds and I sat there in the pew suddenly feeling that we were not invited to the Table. We were left out and excluded. I have never felt so unwelcome in my life or that the Lord's table was closed to me. I had never experienced being shut out from communing. Only after the majority of the people communed, did the pastor realize that there were visitors who weren't Lutheran, and he, then invited us, 'others' to partake. I was so hurt that I didn't go forward.
Hospitality has been defined as when strangers enter welcomed and leave feeling they have been in the company of friends.
Obviously, I experienced true hospitality at the table of the Lutheran youth group and didn't experience it at the table of my husband's ordination service.
I am thankful and grateful for our Presbyterian understanding that the Lord's table is indeed, the Lord's table, not ours, not the church's. It is the Lord who is host and invites all who believe and trust in Him to find welcome there and leave the table feeling they have been in the company of the greatest Friend and friends by faith. The table of our Lord is an open table extending hospitality to all the gathered.
As we celebrate World Communion Sunday, we are reminded that Christ our Lord welcomes us all to His table. Though our bread, language, skin color and dress differ, though we may be young or old, rich or poor, Jesus welcomes us to Him and offers Himself in love in the bread and the cup for our life and life together. What greater hospitality can we ever know or experience? What better hospitality can we offer to others than the love of Jesus our Lord, a place to belong, to be included and a part of? May we and all who step through our doors be welcomed and leave feeling that we have been in the company of friends.

Monday, September 20, 2010

LATE NIGHT VISITOR -

In the middle of the night, when all the lights are out and all is dark, except for a bit of moonshine, it comes quickly on padded feet, so stealthly, so quiet. No one is any the wiser of its trespassing, or so it thinks.
But I have seen the evidence of this nightly visitor. A denuded tomatoe vine stripped of leaves, chomped shorter, and toothmarks on the grren tomatoes still on the vine, and then, the little brown pellets left on the ground by the patio. I know who you are! As if it weren't enough to chomp and chew, you had to leave your calling card.
Beware, Mr. Bunny, 2 rabbit dogs live in the yard where you are trespassing. And greyhounds are very fast. You have been warned. Do NOT enter our yard! Do NOT set one foot in my garden! Stay Away from my tomatoes! For I will release the hounds!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SIGNS OF THE TIMES -
One of my favorite denominational publications, HungryHearts Newsletter,
will be published only on-line beginning with the next issue. Sigh.
Although, I do understand that it will save money and is less costly to produce, I am not ready for that yet.
First, they redesigned the website of our denomination and it is not as user friendly to find and access the information one is searching. It will take longer to log on, get to the website and then search for the newsletter. I can open up my snail mailed newsletter and begin reading, long before I access it on-line.
Furthermore, I cannot curl up on the couch with my computer, I cannot take it with me into the bathroom (I confess!), nor read it while eating breakfast, lunch or dinner at the kitchen table. This is a time, when I get quite a bit of reading done, especially while away from home.
It is truly unfortunate that we have come to this - the pleasure of reading has been greatly diminished and curtailed.
Not only is it this newsletter, eventually, Presbyterians Today, will go on-line as well as The Lutheran. Newspapers are on on-line and deprive me the pleasure of reading the paper at the breakfast table or on the couch on a Sunday afternoon.
Does anyone else hate it, when a news anchor, mentions 5 Ways to get around a detour and then says, check it out on our website?!!? Just tell us, darn it! By the time I log onto the website and wait for the page to appear with all the ads, and flashing stuff, you could've told me at least twice. It takes way too long to read a story, go back to another page and pick up another story. Besides which, there are many older viewers who don't have computers and are left wondering how they will get around that detour on the way to the doctor's office.
No, I am not a big fan of on-line reading. I spend enough time on the computer crafting the liturgy, on-line text studying, emailing, and writing the sermon, children's sermons, prayers, etc. that I desire the pleasure of reading without having to look at a screen, recharging or changing batteries, and reading whenever and wherever I am.
Call me old-fashioned, but reading on-line does not and cannot rival the pleasure of reading a hard copy. I will go into this on-line publication reading, kicking and screaming, and digging in my heels. I cannot help it. Reading is supposed to be fun and pleasurable. Something to savor, and to linger over. That simply doesn't happen on a computer, pardon me. Enough said!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

In My Lifetime -
I've:
used a yellow plastic middle to play 45's on a 33 record spindle
used an Olivetti manual typewriter, an electric Selectric typewriter
with the ball, an electric typerwriter, a word processor and
computers
skated on the sidewalk with metal skates adjusted to fit your
shoe with a metal "key"
roller-skated with 4 wheels not in-line
ice skated outdoors at the community park flooded field rink
camped all over the USA
used an outhouse, and a chamber pot
hiked down the Pilatus, hiked down the Rothorn once not using
a marked trail, next day using the marked trail, hiked to the
summit of the Titlis,
rode gondalas and chair gondolas, riden on cog wheel trains,
funculars, planes, trains, buses, trams, bicycles, autos, and
horses
made campfires and s'mores
swam in the Pacific, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Michigan,
Hallwilersee, Lake McDonald (yup, the one in Glacier National
Park) and put my legs in Lake Huron. I've touched water in many
places
I rode in a Desoto as a baby
I wore leggings to school in the winter
I rode a tricycle
I walked to school everyday; rain, snow, hot, cold, sunshine,
twice a day, since I went home for lunch everyday
cleaned chalk erasers
got sent home from school, once
got sent to the corner in school, once
used a cash register where you had to figure in the tax and
make change using your head - the cash register didn't tell
you how much change to give back
I wore pedal pushers
left my footprints in the orange Bay of Fundy,
watched whales, and dolphins
played a band instrument
was in a car that drove through a redwood tree
saw the Man in the Mountain in New Hampshire before it broke
off
watched "Family Classics" on TV along with Bozo the Clown,
Captain Kangaroo, etc.
helped butcher a cow
shot a rifle and a pistol
was in a state prison (as chaplain!)
met the killer Richard Speck, theologian Hans Kung, writer Walter
Wangerin, Jr., took 2 con ed classes with Bruce Metzger, one
with Walter Brueggemann, dined at a table next to Chevy Chase at
Chez Paul
been on top of the CN Tower, Sears Tower, John Hancock, the Prudential
building, saw the Empire State Building,
got wet from Niagara Falls, stepped on the trail of the Grand
Canyon, saw the Yukon River, drove the Top of the World Hwy,
used a rotary phone with a coiled cord
used a tape recorder, played 8 track tapes
rode on a CAT bulldozer and grader, ridden in trucks
jumped on a trampoline
played with yo-yo's, jump ropes, a Lionel electric train, a chinese
jumprope, an Easy Bake Oven, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and Barbie dolls
planted flowers and vegetables
peeled potatoes at the homeless shelter - more than I could ever
count
ridden the El
ate Gino's East pizza
washed and waxed the family's car with paste wax that had
to set and then be wiped off
used a hammer, screwdriver, staple gun and pickaxe (to be continued)
There is more to come, as I reflect on my life thus far.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A NEW AFTER DINNER DRINK - A FLYING ELEPHANT
While on vacation, one evening after dinner, my niece brought up having a B52 and my BIL made me one. It was a tasty combination of Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahula, and Grand Marnier. Which got me to thinking...that it would taste even better with Amarula.
So, at home, I've had a Flying Elephant - Amarula, Kahula and Grand Marnier. Even better than a B52.
If B52's are about flying, and Elephants love the amarula fruit, then I must be drinking a Flying Elephant!!!!
Try it and you'll enjoy it too.
All Creatures Great and Small -

Great energy is bubbling up as we begin a new Sunday School/ Church Program year where I am serving as an interim. A computer lab is in the works and the mission committee is challenging the whole congregation to open their Bibles, find a Bible verse with an animal mentioned, memorize it, tell it to a mission committee member, write the book, chapter and verse on an animal shape to put on the back sanctuary wall and $1.00 gets donated for each verse to the Heifer Project. We'll have to wait until Thanksgiving to see what kind of animal we will be able to purchase. Animal shapes have been cut out and ready to be plastered to the glass wall, Sunday school materials are all geared to Heifer project, and everytime I open the Bible I am running across some verse mentioning an animal. Animals get mentioned a lot in the Psalms!!!
It's a great way to start a new year and combine learning with a mission project, and get folks, young and old, to crack open their Bibles!!!
Whether the creature we are able to buy is large or small, it will be a great creature that will help a family or community.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

 

A wave along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
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Lake Michigan along the beach!
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Who wouldn't want to stay a few more days?!!?
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RETURN -

Back from the Beach and wishing we could've stayed a couple more days!!
With my niece also with us for the weekend, it was busy! There were 5 people and 3 dogs! Lake Michigan was a bit too chilly to swim in, but I did get my legs wet and enjoyed the walks along the beach.
We managed to get in the annual croquet games and it mattered not whether I started first or last, I came in last anyway!
LH and I visited our usual spots and enjoyed them.
Vacations always seem to go by so quickly. I didn't get a chance to write, but I did manage to finish: Life Among the Lutherans by Garrison Keillor, and the Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexandar McCall Smith, the latest installment of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. I have since begun the Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery - a more erudite novel than most.
There was a quick visit to the Talbot's Outlet Store with a couple finds. The trousers will involve some significant shortening.
It was fantastic to use our transponder for the Tollways for the first time! We just zipped right through the Tri-State and for half the price. I didn't even need to save up change for all the tolls around Chicago. Just zipped right on thru in the left lanes and no more dangerous weaving from left lanes to right lanes and back again at least 4 times. No more picking up tickets in OH or IN!!! Simple, easy, and time-saving. I picked up some extra plastic velcro to use on my van's windshield, in the event, I go by myself sometime.
Upon our return, it's been the usual, bail the dogs out from the boarder's, laundry, grocery shopping, laundry, unpacking, laundry, and with the gift from niece of a 4 pound zucchini, shredding it, freezing it and making some delicious zucchini patties for dinner. A mess, but well worth it. I got to use my food processor and shredder attachment that haven't been used in used in ages.
Nearly 23 years ago, the church staff where LH was serving as an AP, gave us an Oster Kitchen Center for a wedding gift. It has been one of the best wedding gifts I ever received. It is a mixer with 2 sized bowls, beaters and dough hooks. You can take the mixer off the motor unit, and add on the blender, or the food processor, or the shredder slicer unit. All fits on the same motor base and you don't have to have multiple appliances that take up more room in the cabinets. You just have the smaller pieces that fit on the one base. It makes all the sense in the world, except for appliance makers that want to sell the whole unit and make more money. I wish they still made it. I have made all kinds of dough, bread, cake, and cookies, blended my turkey stock, shredded veges, made nut meal, etc. All with the one power unit. Isn't it just frustrating when a good product is made and then they stop making it? It happens far too often and more's the pity.
Slowly, I'm getting back into the routine of daily life. Tonight, I head back to the apartment and tomorrow is a full morning with a baptism and communion. At least, I'll be home again and have Monday off and a short week. Not a bad re-entry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Reminder -

"He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer." (Psalm 102:17)

This scripture reminds me that no matter how poor in spirit, or even poor I am, bereft of feeling God's presence in this dark night; no matter how lonely, withered up and empty of spirit and heart, God will hear and not dismiss, reject, toss aside, or think less of my prayer.
There is comfort in this - and I will continue to pray to the Great Silence, even like the widow who kept coming to the unjust judge, although God is never unjust. I will continue to prayer all the prayers of my heart to God, the Great Silence, and God will not despise my prayers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FACEBOOK -

If you have the time, Facebook can be fun to keep in touch, share photos, and new things.
I have kept in touch with my family, (I still use the phone, mostly), with past parishioners, relatives and friends. Over the weekend, I received a friend request from someone from elementary school! In my hometown, we went to school together from K-8th grade, at least public school. So, we knew each other for a good long time and most of us went to the same HS together, although, we took different classes and got involved in different activities and eventually by the time we graduated and went onto to college we lost touch. Sometimes, new kids who moved into town, joined our classes in grade school. This friend was one of those. It was special to remember her and several of us who hung out together and played together.
Which got me to thinking about my best friend in HS. We lost touch many years ago. She landed in Kansas and I in OH. I always wrote her a Christmas card but then lost her address. She hadn't always returned the Christmas card with one of her own.
We met on the very first day of HS in the Cafeteria. She lived in the town next to mine. She was cute, with long, straight blond hair and bangs, and blue eyes. Her favorite dress was blue jeans. We discovered a common like of grape-nuts and John Denver. We didn't have all that many classes together after Sophomore year, but in Junior year, we were in German 3 together and took Independent Reading - which meant we goofed off most of the year, did reading which we both were pretty good at and pulled off A's.
K graduated and got married either during college or right after HS. I went to her wedding in a small country church in IN. I think it was right after graduation from HS. She went off to Kansas, had three kids, eventually divorced. Met someone new, got married and had three more kids. she worked in a lab. She was smart, down to earth, and had a good sense of humor.
I got married much later after gradschool (Seminary) and never had children, much to our disappointment. I lived in a suburb of a metropolitan area and she lived in the country. But I always remembered her.
Thinking that Facebook is such a great connector, I tried looking her up oon it, knowing it had been 18-20 years since we heard from each other. How neat it would be to catch up and reconnect.
I was lead to a site of obituaries and there was K. She died 10 years ago at the age of 40, just a month before my birthday and the just before we found out that my Dad was terminally ill. I was crushed, saddened, and grieving for her, her children, and not being able to reconnect afterall. Her memorial contributions went to the American Cancer Society, so I am thinking she had cancer and I never knew. I will forever remember her face and the long, straight blond hair and sparkling blue eyes and the friendship we shared at the most important time of our growing up years.
And our reunion will have to wait until I leave this life and join in the saints in light and see K once again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday Five: De/Re/CLutter?
Since posting about decluttering, I am still muttering about the need for it in my house. How about you?
1. What things do you like to hang onto?
Craft stuff, shoes that I keep hoping won't hurt my feet, and
denominational magazines.

2. What is hard to let go of?
Craft items or just something I may need sometime. If I throw it
out - then shortly thereafter, I find I needed that item!!

3. What is easy to give away?
Clothes that no longer fit.

4. Is there any kind of stumbling block connected to cleaning out?
Time and the quantity of some of the stuff - gifts bought early for
SS teacher, VBS, staff thankyous.

5.What do you like to collect, hoard or admire?
Love, love, love pottery - bowls, plates, mugs, vases. I can no
longer buy mugs as there is no place in the cabinet for them.

BONUS: Tell us about recycling or whatever you can think of that goes
along with this muttering about cluttering.
I always donate clothing, shoes that I cannot wear that I thought
I could, and we recycle glass bottles, jars and containers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How I long -
to hear the words, the call: "St. Inuksuk, come out!" from my Lord, calling me, inviting me, beckoning me, compelling me out of the tomb of this dark night and into the light of new life, just as it was for Lazarus. I have been entombed by hurt, silence, anxiety, fear, despair, inertia, longing for the companionship of my Lord, for far too long. Or so, I think. I cannot stay here, but do not know how long it will yet last. Is there a stirring? Or is it merely my own impatience? I long to come back to life, to really live, for the joy of my salvation to be restored. Still, I wait, I wait to hear the words I most long to hear; "St. Inuksuk, come out!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

BANE AND BLESSING -

Had to give up my day off on Saturday and head back to small rural town for a Fest Day sponsored by the local churches for families. Each church helped pay for 6 inflatables and sno-cone machine, come up with 3 games and activities and provide: 35 cases of one kind of pop & 5 "registration" gifts - or door prizes.
Frankly, we only got 25 cases of pop (and there were 11-12 cases left, which we ended up donating to the Salvation Army), we had 2 games and 1 activity, and I donated 5 small gifts, which I thought were totally unnecessary. Do people come because they might win a door prize? The kids seemed to have the most fun on the inflatables and all the games gave out candy or small prizes. Isn't that enough? Do we have to bribe people with gifts of a bicycle?
As it is, the local grocery store, gave out free hot dogs, chips and ice cream.
It was an extremely hot day - 90+ and very humid. I was there from noon to 4:15 pm (it ended at 4 pm) and got heat exhaustation - splitting headache and sick to my stomach. I peopled the one game - Cotton Ball Relay. I got a brief respite, by going into the building to get the other volunteer and myself a free ice cream. I drank 3 bottles of water.
I gave out on the small couch for an hour and half afterwards running the a/c, box fan and ceiling fan!!!
The kids and families all enjoyed it - except for the heat.
To the youth with the boston terrier - you should have left the dog at home in the cool. It was too hot for that little guy with a snub nose. They can't get enough air in to cool off. Please, if you love your dog, leave him home with a dish of cool, fresh water next time.
So, the day was both a bane and blessing.
On Sunday evening my niece arrives at 6:15 pm, on her way from NH/MA back to IL. She had dinner with us and spent the night. We loved seeing her and having her stay. It was just all to short and she was exhausted from all the driving. After a squirrely morning, making coffee, breakfast, washing up the dishes, it was time to take Jett to the vet and for niece to take off.
On Sunday morning, LH returns from pulpit supplying and somehow, when he returned home, excitement could not be contained with the greys and Jett must've hit his elbow on the corner of a doorway getting to the front door. The edge of his "ouie" breaks open and bleeds a little. Not again! It was good for the whole week - no bleeding and the scab feel off.
Sunday was a bane and blessing.
Since Jett had a vet visit scheduled this am, I went with so he could relax in the van. The vet prescribed another round of antibiotics and topical salve for 2 weeks. Poor fellow, those inflatable donuts will not be coming off his neck anytime soon!! This has been going on for 9 weeks. And let's not even mention the cost!! Mostly, I feel bad for Jett, for I know he wants to experience the joy of just wearing his collar and being himself. I guess he needs some extra prayers for healing.
I, pray, that the week will be more of a blessing than a bane!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dog Days of Summer Friday Five
SingingOwl says:
I love summer, and wait anxiously for it every year. So how is it that we have arrived at the hot and humid "Dog Days" of August, and I have not done nearly enough of what I planned to do? I want to pack in as much as I can before snow flies once again.

How about you? And what is happening for those of you who are in a different hemisphere than I, and it may be cold?


1. What is the weather like where you live?
Ughh! Hot and humid, in the 90's and the air is heavy and sticky.


2. Share one thing you love about this time of year.
The flowers blooming, the garden growing, the hummingbirds and
swallows, ripe peaches and tomatoes.



3. Share one thing you do NOT love about this time of year.
Did I mention that it is 90 and humid? Any temp over 85 and
high humidity.



4. How will you spend the remaining days leading up to Autumn?
Will be heading up to the Beach in WI with a stop in Chicago and
spending time with my sister and BIL. That's always a good thing
and time. Otherwise, serving the church: you know, the preaching,
meetings and visitations plus planning for the fall program
church year.



5. Share a good summer memory.
All were mostly good. Each summer we went camping as a family, Dad,
Mom, Sister, me and the terrier mix dog, Rex. We had a tent pop-up
with a hard top and we travelled all over: out west to California,
Yellowstone, Glacier, Banf and Jasper, Sequoia, Yosemite,Grand
Canyon, Painted Desert, the Crater, the Petrified Forest, Springfield
IL and New Salem, Mt. Rushmore, the Smoky Mountains, Florida, around
Lake Michigan, DC, Gettysburg, Yorktown, and Williamsburg and the
Ozarks, plus all the States inbetween. It was always an adventure,
seeing different parts of the country, historical sites, hiking,
and hoping we'd stay at a campground that had a pool or horseback
riding! We helped set up camp, Mom and Dad cooked inside and out,
we set the table and carried stuff in and out, did the dishes, and
made campfires were we talked and sang and roasted marshmallows.
So many wonderful memories and time spent together - the stuff of
summers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Rain -
Raindrops dance on the pavement
while others beat out the rhythm on the roof
and all around is a glorious wet -
that the grass and ground thirstily drinks
and the flowers suck in all they can
the grime and dust is washed away
but in the heat
the steam rises
as the sun peeks out again
until later when the raindrops begin a new dance.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am still pondering the horror of the medical aid workers who were so brutally killed. Angels of mercy, speakers of the language, ones who had shared in the life and culture of Afghanistan. With whom had they drunk tea?
They were there to help, to alleviate suffering only to have their lives snuffed out for no good and for no reason. It grieves my soul.
I am still waiting to hear outrage from the Islamic community. Why are the Imans silent and not condeming of such violence and killing? Indeed, they haven't spoken out against any of the Islamic extremist violence. That's what I find so disturbing and unconscionable.
If it were a Christian group engaging in such violence, I certainly believe that the Christian community would speak out against that group and distance themselves from such atrocities which, of course, are contrary to the Christian faith.
And so I grieve, I grieve for these lives lost, cut short, for the ones they will not able to treat and to help, for a religion that allows such destructive and brutal violence, for a world that desecrates its life, beauty, citizens and Creator.

Monday, August 09, 2010

MY WEEKEND -
*Did my laundry
*Did my grocery shopping
*Cooked up 2 quarts of spaghetti sauce with tomatoes from my
garden as well as fresh herbs
*Made 2 1/2 quarts of marinated carrots
*Got my oil changed
*Pulled out my last 2 garlics
*Made dinner, did the dishes the dishwasher doesn't do
*Refilled the Hummingbird feeder
*Watered the flower beds and garden
*Rubbed Jett, scratched Jazz's neck
Probably will have another 2 quarts of spaghetti sauce to make and that's just from 6 tomato plants! This weekend will involve blanching a doz. ears of corn for freezing. Nothing like some fresh tasting summer corn on a cold, grey, bleak winter's evening!
It will be an early night tonight. I really feel it today. Course, some of that may be the heat and humidity, as well.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

SOMETIMES I DO COMPLAIN -

I did complain yesterday. Sorry. It is so boring to complain and usually accomplishes little. (except to vent a bit!)
Perhaps, I continue to murmur in the wilderness of this dark night so that God will not forget where I am. I do not want to go back to where I was, where we were two years ago. I just want to move forward. It seems as though this dark night is about staying in place. And after a year, it is hard to stay in this nebulous, unsettled place, this hammock over an abyss.
I just desire some movement forward, to a new place, where hope abounds and grace frolicks freely and new life takes root and springs forth in our lives. Maybe, I am asking too much. Maybe, I am just holding God to God's promises. Like the Psalmist, I cry to God and remind God and myself of all GGod has done and hold onto the hope of all God what yet do.

Monday, August 02, 2010

ANOTHER MONDAY -
Four nights at home all in a row! How wonderful is that?!!? I still didn't get everything done, although I did manage to pull some weeds and cut a couple of them down. (I know they'll come back!) One of them has roots that go under the driveway sidewalk, so every year I keep cutting it down and back it comes. I also have more chinese lanterns than M & M's in the bag!!
All because my sister invited me to take a couple, which I did. I keep pulling and digging them up every year as well. They've kinda taken over by the inkberry.
Jett is still healing and wearing his donuts. I think he's getting tired of them but it's still to early to take them off.
It's going to be a long, hot week and the little a/c in the bedroom/living room of the apartment needs the ceiling fan and box fan to help bring temps to the upper 70's. The kitchen and bathroom remain hot, humid and uncomfortable that I will now take my salad dinner into the living/bedroom room. I should vacuum, but it is just too hot for that.
Meanwhile, LH is home with the boys in central air conditioning and comfy as can be. Sometimes, it just feels unfair. I'm keeping us afloat and that is tenuous at best and he gets to be home and be comfortable while I am sweating like crazy.
It is going on a year and LH has yet to find a position. It has been a year of heartache, heartbreak and disappointment. We are finding it hard not to get too discouraged and chug along the best we can, pursuing leads, remaining hopeful and trusting. In my dark night, that is getting extremely difficult to do. My broken, wounded spirit does not feel strong enough for this at all.
But in three nights, I will be back home again.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE - LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH

And so I ask you to please name five things you like about where you are living now... and as your bonus - 1 thing you don't like.

1. I love that our backyard abuts the meadow where there will be no
buildings of any kind. We can watch the storm clouds roll in from the
west and see the beautiful colors of the sunsets, as well as the meadow
magically light up on summer nights with the twinkling glow of fireflies.
We enjoy the red-winged blackbirds, meadowlarks, swallows, bluebirds, the
groundhog that lives in the meadow, the toads and the butterflies.

2. I like that is is a quiet neighborhood where most get along with one
another and to watch the kids out playing.

3. I like that we are just 50 minutes away from the city on the North
Coast and the airport, art museum, and Trader Joe's.

4. I like that the greys, my boys, have a decent backyard in which to
run a lap or two.

5. I like my garden with tomatoes and herbs and my perenial flower bed in
the front where something is always green or blooming, except in
winter when snow covers everything. But the inkberry stays green! I
also like that the perenial flower bed is a profusion of color through
fall and unlike the other neighbors boring, variation-on-the-same-
theme bushes and shrubs that are near maintenance free.

BONUS: I don't like that it isn't a one level house and that it's so far
from my sister! Oh, and it could have a bigger laundry room - we
had to shoe horn in the washer and dryer, and a bit bigger great
room. A kitchen with an island and double ovens would be fantastic,
but I am happy with what we have.
Oh, did I mention - no real pizza, still missing Gino's East and
Eduardo's stuffed spinach pizza.
And there could be more culinary variety - like a good Greek
restaurant, and not just Mexican, (not a fan) and bland Amish cookin'.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

HOMEGOING-
Today, I get to go home! Nothing better in all the world than being home,
home in your own surroundings, home with your loved ones, home in your own bed.
Although I am going home today and it will be good, I still am not home with God. That yet eludes me. I used to be home with God, until this dark night crept in and took over and now I wander the darkness seeking that home with God. There haven't even been far off lights in the windows of my home with God to beckon me and lead me closer. Just darkness in which I am shrouded and the Great Silence to whom I pray. How much longer will this continue, I have no idea. But the longing to be home with God is as strong as ever. And the knowing of the home I have had with God will keep me looking, seeking, searching until I find it once again, even if it takes the rest of my days on earth. I pray that this dark night will not last that long, but when I hear of others, who may I, that I should be spared months and years of a dark night? God knows the time and God knows me. So, I just go on trust and belief. Help my unbelief, O Great Silence.
In the meanwhile, I do get a homegoing that soothes my anguished spirit. And it is enough for now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Greyhound News:
I was going to wait until I could post a picture, but not being home much and a busy weekend, it just didn't happen. Hopefully, I'll get it posted over the next weekend.
Jett is wearing 2 doggie inflatable donuts around his neck and looks like he's ready to go boating!!!
Poor, poor fella!
When we picked him up from being boarded, he had a slight scratch on his left front elbow. We watched it and tried to keep him from licking it. It got worse (from his licking, of course!) We tried to put the plastic bucket collar on him and he simply freaked and got it off by whacking it. The sore got worse.
We took him to the emergency vet (because LH waited too long) and Jett was put on 7 days of antibiotic, and that's when we got the donuts.
Now a greyhound has a unique physique! So the medium donut fit around the neck but, Jett figured how to just reach his sore. Jett could slip out of the large donut, but LH went and got the large one. Now, the large donut is around Jett's neck by his chest and the medium one is behind his ears. Thankfully, Greys have long necks to accomodate both and it works!!!!
Jett just looks pathetic and is always playing for sympathy.
The wound got a bit better but still bled a bit - drops all over the carpet and dog bed. As most dogs and especially greys, Jett uses his elbow tto lay down and to get back up, which aggravates and rubs the sore.
LH had to take Jett to the Vet yesterday and they tested the blood finding bacteria - so still an infection and more antibiotics, but no signs of cancer!!!
LH made a quick run to the store to pick up a couple more cans of Vienna Sausage - the only thing that seems to work for getting Jett to take his antibiotics. We have been through Liversausage, Peanut Butter, KauKauna cheese and even those Pill Pockets, which we had to cut in half to use. I hope he doesn't grow tired/suspicious of the Vienna Sausage otherwise we will be at wit's end.
I'm hoping this sore will start clearing up soon so that Jett can live without his air donuts, especially when the weather's been so hot. He's such an elegant, refined fella and these past 6 weeks have been a pain for us all, but none moreso than Jett.

Monday, July 26, 2010

THE CONTINUING DARK NIGHT:

The dark night of my soul continues. It's been a year already. I shouldn't complain as Mother Theresa's lasted decades.
LH's profile was submitted to a church in the same town where I am presently serving. It is a small town, tucked away, but within a half hour of the region's shopping mecca and 2 hospitals. I had checked out housing on the web and was not impressed with the few choices. But, I figured we could do some upgrades if need be.
I was somewhat despairing on my drive on Friday, even tearful. A whole year of trying, of waiting, of being in limbo and nothing working out.
After I walked in the door, changed clothes, made dinner and we were eating, LH mentions that he got a call and his name is no longer being considered because the church changed their profile and the profiles no longer match.
I was disappointed that yet another position was not working out but there was also a lightness in my soul, as though a burden had been lifted. Obviously, God's future for us does not include us living here. But where God and when? The question clings to the air like last night's fish and cabbage dinner!
The routine still doesn't sit well with me being gone from home most of the week. I miss my boys. I miss making dinner at home. I miss the dishwasher, the airconditioning, pulling weeds in the evening, our couch, the company of LH. Least you think these are mere creature comforts, I miss my spirit, the lovedness, the joy, the humor, of my relationship with God, the Great Silence.
I feel cast off from God's presence and as though God's spirit has been taken from me. That is really the hardest of all to deal with. I wander through my days, weeks, and the world, out of sync, a lost soul, ever seeking, searching, pleading, praying to the Great Silence.
The silence is deafening. Yet, I trudge on, plugging away, praying still, and doing my best. It's all I can do for now, for today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Saw this MEME at Life's A Beach and thought I'd try it out.

99 Things About Me (Everything that I have accomplished is starred *)

*1. Started your own blog
*2. Slept under the stars
*3. Played in a band - concert band
4. Visited Hawaii
*5. Watched a meteor shower
*6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
*7. Been to DisneyWorld
*8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis- watched one in my garden, I don't touch bugs!
*10. Sang a solo - a advertising ditty - Mmmm, Mmmm, good, that's what
Lenten soup suppers are, Mmm, mmm, good! Nobody really wants to hear
me sing!
11. Bungee jumped - but why?
12. Visited Paris
*13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
*16. Had food poisoning - in college during finals week
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
*18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
*20. Slept on an overnight train - Frankfurt to Basel
*21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch-hiked
- absolutely not!

*23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - guilty, mental health day
*24. Built a snow fort - and an igloo
25. Held a lamb
- seen them, touched them

26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - not for me
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - perhaps some day


*29. Seen a total eclipse
*30. Watched a sunrise or sunset


31. Hit a home run - I am not coordinated enough!
*32. Been on a cruise - just not RGBP's one
*33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - more than once


*34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - just was there again in June
*35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
*37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - except for this year
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing - not for me
*40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - again, why subject folks to my awful singing?
*42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
*43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - well, fast food
*44. Visited Africa - will stay with me forever


*45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
*46. Been transported in an ambulance - don't recommend it
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing


50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - how about top of CN
Tower in Toronto, or the formerly Sears Tower & John Hancock in
Chicago, don't they count?
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
- maybe some day

52. Kissed in the rain


*53. Played in the mud 


*54. Gone to a drive-in theater
*55. Been in a movie - I'm thinking home movies
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
*57. Started a business - didn't last long enough
*58. Taken a martial arts class - required for prison work
59. Visited Russia - would be neat some day
*60. Served at a soup kitchen - never peeled so many potatoes in my life


*61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
*62. Gone whale watching- off Cape Cod, gray whale in Port Renfrew VI


*63. Got flowers for no reason - does getting them for myself, count?
*64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - not on your life!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - not sure that I can
*67. Bounced a check - only once
68. Flown in a helicopter


*69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
- my doll Lena from Greece from my now
deceased Aunt in 1965

*70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - and Jefferson
*71. Eaten Caviar - just because I ate it doesn't mean I like it
*72. Pieced a quilt
- just for a small hanging made of joined squares

73. Stood in Times Square
 - been to NYC

*74. Toured the Everglades - been to the Everglades, didn't tour though
*75. Been fired from a job
- reluctantly resigned

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - been to England just not
London
77. Broken a bone
- thankfully not, tore the quad muscle off my knee though

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle - probably won't ever catch me on one
*79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book -does a poem and essay count?
81. Visited the Vatican - been to Geneva & Zurich/John Calvin & Zwingli's
churches
*82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
*84. Had your picture in the newspaper - hometown, in OH, and in Switzerland
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve


*86. Visited the White House
*87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
- just skinned the cow

*88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury

- been called to serve 3 times, but never ended up
serving
*91. Met someone famous
- do Hans Kueng & Walter Wangerin, Jr. count?

92. Joined a book club
- maybe some day

93. Got a tattoo - never
94. Had a baby - unfortunately not
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - have swum in Lake McDonald in Glacier
National Park though, also the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico
97. Been involved in a law suit
*98. Owned a cell phone


99. Been stung by a bee - thankfully not!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WORDS YOU CAN'T SAY IN CHURCH
were going around in my head, as I just said "NO, NO, NO!" I mistakenly hit a button with the side of my palm and poof! the prayers of the people I'd been working on disappeared in a flash and I was looking at a blank page on my screen. I just about had the prayer done too. It was worded just as I wanted it to be. I had crafted it just so. I am furious. I hate this keyboard. It has happened before. How infuriating!!
Makes me wonder why our real mistakes and failures don't just disappear and vanish so easily as the good stuff. I know, there are lessons that need to be learned, wisdom gained, forgiveness received, etc. But, it would be nice if they just instanteously disappeared as they ocurr. That is wishful thinking.
So, now its back to Word and a new blank page to start all over again. I think I'll tackle it after lunch and let the churning of the frustation settle into gentle waves until I let it go into the ocean of oblivion where it no longer matters any more.
Wish I could have really said the words you can't say in church!