Minggu, 30 Maret 2008
Whiplash, topically, that is. We had a great sermon @ church again. Don't know about any of you but without worship the week just ain't done.
All right, it's movie recommendation time. This one will be tough to hunt down but do it. "After the Wedding". It's in Danish, and a few other languages, but it is beautifully filmed and the complexities of the plot actually are presented in a straightforward manner. If anyone likes the new James Bond actor one main character in this is cut from the same mold. The 40 something woman is gorgeous. I digress. The story, which is the reason for the film, is strikingly moving, touches your heart and eats at your soul as well as your conscience. The cinematic contribution is extraordinary in places, very intimate at times. It's a long film so make plenty of popcorn.
We had one of our foster dogs for spring break, while her family vacationed. Everyone welcomed her back gleefully. Never think dogs don't remember. It's just selective. She was picked up and taken home this afternoon so now no one is eating. They are bummed.
Speaking of dogs, we've had a run on runaways in this area. Plus, there seems to be more short tempers flaring in multiple dog homes. What's that about? Dogs always seem to know what is going on before we do so I hope this is fluke-ish rather than indicative of our future! Doomsday ready, I am not!!!
Rabu, 26 Maret 2008
touch act to follow
I want a window
with a room
Multiple Personality Disorder
Wild Child born of a different form
known by no one but held by many
you run unpredictably hither
So abstract your thinking
none can pursue the depth
of the twirls and times which
resist and survive in a dimension
Mind minglers distract and confuse.
Your awareness goes beyond what we
sense when you capture our thoughts,
refusing your own dream,you
want us to be your security.
like two eggs
poured out side by side
to be scrambled until inseparable
or left alone, sunny sides up -
anyway you do it,
I always thought that when I reached the age I am I would have it all figured out. But the older I get the less I know. I'm going to trust God, pray more, worry less, and definitely eat more chocolate!
If you want to stay active and in shape you need to find a fun way to exercise with friends. Something you look forward to doing, not something exhausting that you dread. For us, that is racquetball. I always look forward to the next game; it's always fun. I play with friends and when I'm done playing I discover I got a fee workout. Oh, and when you go back home, if there is a furry, four-legged creature hanging around to greet you, that's pretty cool too.
Life is what you make it - tired old saying, but true. You cannot expect other people to make your life more fun or to be there for you all of the time. Everyone is busy leading their own lives and you are not their top priority. If you are lucky enough to have a loving spouse/partner, a loving family and terrific friends, then you have a very rich life.
Sometimes I think I never grew up. I still believe life is all about giving of yourself and loving others. I have seen much death and destruction and sadness over the years. I have read and watched and been a part of many of these things. Yet, there are those moments, triggered by a picture, a comment, a sound, a smell- something where time stands still, and I am able to focus on how beautiful things may be.
When I read your request I had something pop into my head immediately. So here is my one thing I've learned in life and I feel it applies to more than Christmas.
Somehow or other it came just the same...
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!
Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store
Maybe Chrismas...perhaps...means a little bit more!
Selasa, 25 Maret 2008
Capturing a loose dog, especially one which has not fully bonded with its new owners and home, is a challenge. Long story short, we all did as much as we could to provide familiar scents for her to track. Clever girl that she is she did get into the live trap 2 times without engaging the door closing device! Clever woman, her new owner, put a piece of cardboard down and Sally had to step on it to get to the food and when she did the pressure set the release off and closed the door.
She's fine, trimmer than before, cleaned up now, and feeling relieved that she's inside. We'll get a couple pounds back on her, work with her more and see what happens. Everyone is grateful. For now who can ask for anything more?
Minggu, 23 Maret 2008
We're getting snow. Very funny, God! I think Christmas was a lot like this. Well, it's not enough to stop people from going to church and on to dinner, or even the mall. Nothing stops people from going to the mall, who am I kidding? We went to the 5:30 service last night so that families with guests would have more room today.
Update on missing pooch - I know you're all tired of me going on about lost little Sally but get over it. She needs to be captured. And, if you'd all pray hard for that I'd be done with the story!!!! Last night she was spotted crossing the road at her usual fast trot pace and that was encouraging for her owners. They went back home and re-baited the live trap. Sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. the trap was cleaned out of food but the gate was not tripped. Sally had been captured in a live trap before (during her stint as a wild, unloved, uncared for dog). We're hoping she just got lucky and missed stepping on the closing device and will realize now that there is good food there and she will return. One of our dogs went down on Friday and "laid her scent" making a trail back to the house. Now Sally knows her way even more so we have to all believe she will soon return and be captured!
Next week I teach in our small group - about the mind sciences. YIPES. Thank goodness for Google. I can probably get a lot on Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity and United Church of Religious Science. We've learned a lot about the other religions and cults - WORLD RELIGIONS & CULTS 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz. It's good to be informed.
Kamis, 20 Maret 2008
The two girls were in a nearby town at a festival.
The demolition shot was in Biloxi, MS, while on a break during a mission trip. We worked on several home projects for elderly and distraught people. You get dirty. You learn you have always set your own limits and therefore underestimated yourself, especially in God's eyes. But He always offers more chances for you to wake up to your capabilities!
Mission trips have a way of bringing new understanding. But, then, so do butterflies gathered on a cone flower on a summer's day, and small, giddy children, anticipating the excitement of what's next at a small town festival.
We should take time to be amazed by the small things more often.
I have learned to try to smile at every one I come in contact with. I heard somewhere that when you smile, you are giving that person a gift.
As for life's lessons, I guess I'd have to say I've learned that life
definitely isn't fair. You just make the best of every situation, and with
God's help, move on.
And, I've learned that it is far more rewarding to give rather than receive.
There are always unexplained coincidences in life. As it turns out today I posted these as a draft, to work on the text later, and if you look closely you'll see the first photo is wild turkeys. After shutting down the computer I hopped in the truck to go to APL for a bit. On the way, about 2 miles from our house, was a flock of wild turkeys! The males had their tails spread. They were parading around for the females who were discreetly giving them the once over.
Spring has sprung, no doubt about it!
Oh, the closeup photo is at the botanical gardens we visited in CA. The next one is a far north shoreline. We were driving along shorelines then delving into the woods. What a sense of smallness this gave us!
Rabu, 19 Maret 2008
Minggu, 16 Maret 2008
for complete Epicureanism, "Eat, Drink and be Merry for Tomorrow We Die!", but a reminder to find joy, satisfaction - and perhaps even fun - in every day.
“The longest distance in the world is the 18 inches between your head and your heart.”
A sense of humor is a way of looking at life. It’s all about perspective. There are multitudes of challenges that we must face in our daily interactions and throughout life. Looking for the humor in daily living can provide the avenue to maintaining a positive outlook and even our sanity. Not everything in life is funny; many events we must deal with are tragic. But if we can remember to look for the humor in situations, it makes it much easier to cope. I often try to inject a bit of humor whenever I meet with friends/relatives/strangers/other. If I can bring a smile to their face, my day's work is done. So, in the immortal words of George Washington or was it Ben Franklin who first said, "When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you", keep on smiling Kate. Your smile warms my heart and brings joy to my being!”
I used to think that the point of life was to find the "calm" spots...and that if I could just get through this one relationship problem, or this illness, or this financial strain....then I would finally be happy. God has been teaching me that the goal isn't to get through life without difficulty. The goal is to be transformed by the difficulties instead of just suffering through them.
Brain tumors, little paychecks, scary adoptions, new puppies eating my sunglasses and pooping on my carpet....they are all stretching my faith and transforming me into who God wants me to be!
But, just when I think God's not paying attention, I've accepted my own personal invitation to a pity party, knocked on the door, and He opens it with a "Surprise"! Today I heard what we all should realize is so very, very true:
Mercy is that God does not give us what we deserve. Grace is that God gives us what we do not deserve.
Re-read those two sentences until they truly sink in and you are amazed at the stunning clarity. Be humble. And so it is, I know God has every right to throw the book of criticism at me as He gives me a good scolding for my lack of appreciation. I know He has His hand out and is not sprinkling me with grace. He is dousing me with it. While I have been poo-pooing what goes on He has allowed it and continued to take care of me. My travels have been safe. My searches have been safe and even promising. My heart has been filled with encouragement to continue.
Some would say that asking for prayer for bringing home a lost pet is mis-use of time and prayer. But God doesn't think so. By my going to church today I found the time I needed to have that message reinforced and to boldly ask others for their prayers about this. God's work is always amazing. It's difficult to grasp His direction because we are so "in the now". But, He is at work. Maybe someone I asked to pray for little Sally will do it and be changed. Maybe Sally is out there for reasons we do not comprehend. Maybe she is His message this week.
Look for the lost in your life. Do something so they are found. May your actions roar!
As you do for the least of these, so you do to our Lord.
Sabtu, 15 Maret 2008
Today we ventured out into the world. I mean, we went shopping. Or, better, we tried to go shopping. It seems some things are clearly missing in the "experience" these days, most notably one thing known in years gone by as customer service.
It's not that the economy is so bad, I observe. There are new cars flooding the highways and bi-ways so there is money. I even see "sold" signs replacing some "for sale" signs. I don't know about anyplace else but in Springfield, our nearest city, shopping as a upbeat activity has died. And, it didn't go easily. It has suffered and now, with its final gasp, we all are quietly nodding, knowing that we saw the death of a good thing approaching.
For us, it started with trying to get our printer fixed. I know, I know. It's a disposable world. BUT IT IS A GOOD PRINTER and all it needs is a $15 part which we have already. It was sold to us by the manufacturer (Canon), which failed to enlightened us with a chuckle and a "Good luck with that." in terms of finding someone to put the part IN.
Hubby thought he'd struck gold when the Geek Squad which works out of Best Buys stores said they'd do it for $39. Take it on in. Well, too good to be true? Yup. You bet. They want $35 to send it away to see what needs to be done and to get an estimate. They don't understand the English we speak which began with, "Here's the printer. Here's the part. We were quoted $39. Please replace the old part in the printer with the new one." Later telephone conversations held between hubby and the Geek Squad HQ yielded a) no supervisors b) no service c) no association with Best Buy and d) an inordinate requirement to repeat the sordid and sorted details 5 times. At best he got, "I'm sorry you feel that way." See page 6 of canned scripts for answering geeks.
Moving on, our next stop was at a place that had COMPUTER in its name and then a "location" word. It did not have PRINTER in the name and alas, they don't work on them, don't know who does. CRAP. It's a good printer! He was nice about it but when we weren't buying anything and he couldn't fix it, it was "Next" and we were looking at the door.
How about a little mid-afternoon wine tasting. Alrighty then. Luck had it we were next to the store hosting such an event. But, turns out it was ales, whiskeys, and other St. Patty's Day stuff being poured early. That was OK, just not what we wanted. I put this in only so you'd be able to see that both entries for today refer to "Patty/Patti". There's gotta be a connection.
We moved on to a famous wool brand that used to make blankets and now makes clothes as well. I had a new suit in mind, for Easter and such. Saw it in their catalog; it was just what I wanted. There were no other customers in the store. My "attendant" rotated up and asked if she could help. I told her what I wanted. They don't have it. Pretty much that was the end of the discussion. The three employees then were on the verge of linking arms to keep me from looking at anything else. It was offered that I could order it and they'd waive the shipping. Nice thought but what if it doesn't fit. I was hoping, ready for this?, to try it on. I know returning it and getting another size probably would not be waived. We'll never know. See, a savvy sales person would have shown me around, even had me try on something else for possible purchase or even sizing. Not these ladies, they'd probably just straightened the shelves and racks. How dare I touch anything. I found yet another door waiting for me to open it.
We did visit two other stores and both were stocked with pleasant employees but nothing appealing as far as merchandise. Perhaps they have had their customer service classes but only after having to trim the inventory to what appears to be Rachel Ray's wardrobe extras and a bunch of filmy, stretchy, sequined items with martini, wine, highball images printed on them. Probably not the right touch for Easter Sunday choir, ya think? Besides, all items were of unfamiliarly low quality and made in China. What is with that?
At this point we have spent $0 other than the gas and stopping for coffee. My guess is we would have spent the $39 for the labor to put the part in the printer and then bought ink, say another $50. A reasonable wine would have allowed us to drop $15 - $50, depending upon our tasting habits. A new outfit for this sweetie, upwards of $150 including the trimmings.
I think that people are being more careful with the money they have to spend. We're on a fixed income (How I've waited to use that!) like many people. But, we're able to provide for ourselves and were willing to spend what we needed to spend to get what we wanted. It's not about the money. It's not even about the merchandise, available or not. It's about the way first line of contact with the customers - that's the sales people - treat those who make it possible for them to be there - that's the customers. We who are willing to spend money, given a few options, a few questions and answers exchanged, a few minutes of time and a little willingness of spirit, are now mere inconveniences.
With few exceptions (Isringhausen Imports being most notable) I'm beginning to understand, more and more, the beauty of shopping on line. Click.
Well, kids, it turns out I may have hit accurately for once. The NY gov and IL gov apparently were/are close friends and Blaggo has visited Spitzer on many an occasion. It is pure speculation from inside sources that Blaggo was treated by Spitzer to the amenities that come with knowing the in's and out's (oh, that was bad) of the prostitution industry. I'm not saying he did but I'm not saying he didn't.
Maybe wife Patti B. will be the one who turns out to do what the other wives have not been able to do or have been advised it is not in their best interest to do: THROW IN THE TOWEL. Slap the guy and say you're keeping the house. Get the banana creme pie good and cold then put it square in his face. (This is an older photo of her but the one being used on the bio on www.illinois.gov)
Of course Oprah has picked up on this. I was glad to see she found someone who had sued the husband's mistress and was initially awarded $500,000. It was her own doing that she decided to get away from the whole thing when it was appealed and she settled for $50,000.
HOT FLASH: She who laughs last, laughs best, all the way to the bank.
Rabu, 12 Maret 2008
Having said that I cannot ignore the similarities between the New York (former) governor and the Illinois governor.
Both are married men with daughters.
Both have been severely and rightfully criticized for their public decisions.
Both cheat/cheated on wives.
Both know how to spend money they don't have.
Both have qualified Lt. Governors.
Undoubtedly there are more...
Both have wives who either don't care about themselves or are way more understanding than I can fathom. Bless them!
Both must think they are the exception to rules.
Both kept their city homes, not located in the state capitol.
The big thing I see is that one paid for it financially and now professionally and personally. The other, still in office, didn't pay financially so hasn't paid professionally. Who knows about personally.
But, before you get up in arms, read me out, here...my issue is with all of us who jump on one guy's case and not on the other. As an Illinoisan I am glad to see New Yorkers hold this guy's feed to the fire and I wish our law makers had the same level of gumption. Our state is the laughing stock of the Union. Our Blaggo's tumbles extend way beyond a local lawyer's ex-wife and daughter and a state employee, who knows who else. He's shredding our state. Soon there will be nothing left.
His latest ordeal with the fairgrounds and allowing it to be shutdown, thereby crippling much of the area tourism, is just another of the unbelievable destruction he has been orchestrating. Check the sequence of events for just this one situation. The State of the State address is given, albeit thankfully short. His Nims announces that there needs to be cutbacks in spending. Voila, soon after the fairgrounds experiences minor electrical explosions and the gates are closed. Events planned through May are canceled.
We all know he works out of his home, thereby making it the capitol. That's why it never occurred to him to tell his employees that they should shut and check the doors at his real office when they step out to smoke on the balcony. More structural damage we are paying for due to their carelessness and his absentee management is just what we needed. Anyway, given that he is up north (and I do like it up there too), reportedly working and kissing the girls goodnight, we all also know he and Patti hate coming here, especially for the fair. First, she never smiles and never puts the youngest (and growing) daughter down on the ground to walk in the fairgrounds. Next, he is always late and late without apology.
I guess our governor has some characteristics I cannot ID in the former NY governor: arrogance and rudeness to name two.
If he were a puppy you wouldn't take him home.
Selasa, 11 Maret 2008
Check this out. The judge and jury holding court in my mind has yet to decide if there is a relationship between success at this quiz and any of the following: intelligence, gullibility, outlook on life, a preference for beef or chicken, hobbies, number of pets, or anything relevant to life itself.
It's fun, perhaps humbling or enlightening. I took it from a posting on Anne's site.
One of the things in life that I have found very beneficial is when a job needs to be done, get it done and do it right. And, handle those with whom you come in contact, in a caring and loving manner.
We need to always know that God is in control and everything that happens has a purpose -------Stand in faith with Our Lord and move on!!!!!!!!!!!
Life is what you make it (tired old saying, but true). You can't expect other people to make your life more fun or to be there for you all of the time. Everyone is busy leading their own lives and you are not their top priority. If you are lucky enough to have a loving spouse, a loving family and terrific friends, then you have a very rich life.
Sometimes I think I never grew up. I still believe life is all about
giving of yourself and loving others.
I have seen much death and destruction and sadness over the years, I have read and watched and been a part of many of these things.
Yet, there are still those moments, triggered by a picture, a comment, a sound, a smell; some thing where time stands still, and I am able to focus on how beautiful things may be.
Sabtu, 08 Maret 2008
No matter what happens in life, I always find something to be thankful for everyday. A positive outlook is a must and it will help to keep you healthy. And really, all you need is love.
OK, one of the things I learned is not to expect people to be grateful.
When you give something just give it and let go.
In a world chock-full of options, a little patience and
some prayerful thought and trust get us the divine guidance we need to
make the right choices. My life is nothing like I thought it would be
when I was dreaming in my 20s. It is, however, much better than I ever
imagined. Each new day is a gift.
IT 'S HARD TO BEAT THE OL' TIME CLAMP TO THE TABLE TOP HAND GRINDER.
The beautiful part of any moment of any day is that we can create something of it rather than letting the moment merely pass. We can consciously choose to connect with each other through the simple process of giving and receiving.
What if your day included the question, "What will I do with my choices?"?
More to follow...
I took it upon myself to see what I could do with the eggs one sunny afternoon. Baking would have been too simple. This particular dozen was amazingly colored - browns of every hue, ranging from pale yellow-y to blush rose. My favorite bowls are yellow. We have a self-designed stained glass window in one room. I drew all the items together and God threw in the sunshine.
My favorite is the little feather still on the one egg. Nice touch, chicky.
Off to the sides are photos I've taken on various outings. The bridge one, a scanned image, was years ago, actually on a business trip. Often I would take my camera just to provide some diversion activity and if the weather was particularly pleasant, as you can see it was, I would take photos. Ah, the days of film, real film. There was a sense of anticipation associated with using a film camera.
I digress (but isn't that part of the journey?); across the top of the bridge is written, "Cross this bridge at a walk." Fine advise during any season. We should cross all bridges at a walk. After all, some of them are fairly major - the bridges from one life stage to another, from moving on. Some of them are less significant in description but can be large in impact. The stroll should be thoughtful. We should never cross a bridge, literally or figuratively, without marveling at its structure. With any luck we will then marvel at much more!
And, so it was, just last year I was able to marvel at stone statues brought all the way from Africa and installed for a display at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. This is one of my favorites. The statues were larger than life. Walking through the gardens one crosses many bridges. It's especially interesting to go when special exhibits are there and the bridges transition visitors' moods from calm, woodsy plantings to explosions of exciting florals, each interspersed with artwork that miraculously seems to be in a perfect place.
May the bridges you cross lead you to perfect places.
Isn't time an amazing concept? Calendars and clocks, not to mention all the electronic gadgets we carry around or hang on our bodies.
Why? Man invented time. Has it proven worthwhile? Do we miss a lot by being timely, on time, just in time? Yes, the BIBLE clearly reveals God created the Earth in 6 days and then rested 1 day. But we do not know if that was a day as we know it or a day to Him. In our minds it would take an eternity to create this world. We use it while God waits for us. In time, in His time, that's what will happen. Enjoy St. Patrick's Day and then go all out for a terrific Easter celebration!
Selasa, 04 Maret 2008
But, you know what? It doesn't matter. Long ago I actually did listen to someone who told me that the housekeeping can wait. And, taking that to heart, I have learned that it does! Not that the place is a mess every day but it's not move-in ready by any means! And, we have trouble finding some things which has often led to frustration and a re-purchase of said item so the next time we need it our odds are improved from 1 in a million to 2 in a million.
I can always find room for a foster pup or dog. It's a challenge to make that commitment but the joy paid for accepting it is amazing. Likewise, there's time for a multitude of other requests to be filled. And, it's not for any other reason than it is the right thing to do. Everything else - the smiles, the successes observed, the burden lifted, the licked cheeks - all bonuses.
There's nothing like getting outside; outside your house and outside your head. Exercise your heart.
Come on, women. Don't vote for someone because he or she is one sex or the other. Vote for stability and ability. Regard for potential is what we must consider for no one candidate has yet been tested as President. Bragger's rights may go to one candidate and the victory to another. So be it. When the new President steps into a meeting room with foreign dignitaries and non-dignitaries, or with non-foreign dignitaries or no-dignitaries (that's about everyone except the UFO passengers) we don't want that person to recite a litany of "I did, I have, I was..." but instead to discuss what will hold this world together longer.
It ain't about the outfit. It ain't about the grades, the boyfriend (husband), house, friends, hair, jewelry, books written, clubs, secrets kept or told...It ain't Junior High. Change was a big player in that age group and change is mentioned in the 2008 campaign. Make sure it's not the same kind of change. Voting is a brain thing. Use yours.