Tuesday, July 31, 2007

TIME FOR A COMMERCIAL BREAK

(I confess to totally stealing this from Barbara B, who brilliantly stole it from someone else. Why? Because it's wickedly brilliant!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE - FLOODS AND DROUGHT


Sally writes today:
Here in the UK we are struggling with floods, other parts of the world have similar problems without the infrastructure to cope with it, still others are badly affected by drought.... My son Jon is in Melbourne Australia where apparently it has been snowing ( yes it is winter but still!).... With crazy weather in mind I bring you this weeks Friday 5...


1. Have you experienced living through an extreme weather event- what was it and how did you cope?

September 1992 my husband and I were on Kauai. Our last day there, September 11 as it so happened, Hurrcane Iniki hit the island dead on. We were lucky enough to get into the Kauai War Memorial auditorium with 1,500 other people when it hit. It lasted for 7 hours. We sat in auditorium chairs the whole time. Every now and then someone would open a side exit door to stabilize the room pressure and each time a palm tree, just outside, was bent lower and lower.

Just before the eye the winds got so strong that all the lights went completely out and we heard the copper roof start to rip off. Water came in on people to the left of us and you could hear a rush of wave made of people as they screamed and moved to the other side. After the eye the storm was not as severe.

Then the three days afterward, sleeping on the floor, helping on volunteer teams to clean bathrooms and clear rubble, were surreal. We got out first because we were in the only shelter on the entire island with running water and they needed it for the residents. Actually we got out second because Japan sent a ship in the next morning to take all the Japanese nationals home.


2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?

I believe we're already too late and God will deal. That said, we still need to do as much as we can to help. From what I've read I believe that we have far too many people living today than our planet's resources can support in our current lifestyle. When God deals with this, I believe it will be harsh.


3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of the earths resources agree/ disagree?

Absolutely agree. And I believe we have been sadly remiss with this issue.


And because it is summer- on a brighter note....


4. What is your favourite season and why?

Fall. The weather's crisp and cool. It has my favorite smells. And I love plaid wool skirts. Even though I don't currently own any.

5. Describe your perfect vacation weather....

Hawaii. Any time of year. As long as a hammock and umbrella drinks are involved.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE - LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD

Sally writes:
"When I began work here at Downham Market a wise friend told me that after one year I would see a few changes and sense God at work- years two and three would cause me to question and to wonder why I had chosen to accept the post here and in year four I might see the beginnings of something new."

And so with that in mind alongside yesterdays celebrations I bring you Friday 5 Looking back, looking forward..

1. Share a moment/ time of real encouragement in your journey of faith

After trying all the churches in my neighborhood, I chose my best friend's Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. In the Sunday School I had so many questions. I would stay after and ask more. The teacher was very kind and took extra time to answer my questions. She gave me the courage to arrange a meeting with the pastor and get baptized. I was ten years old. I remember her kindness. She made Jesus a real person for me.

2. Do you have a current vision / dream for your work/ family/ministry?

I pray daily, sometimes lamenting, that I will have career vocation with my writing in the church. With dramas or presentations. My wildest dream would be to write and produce Christian film. That would be so sweet. I have so many ideas for really good stories. I especially want to take scripture and make it alive for our time. With great humor, where appropriate. To inspire folks to pick the book up again and check it out. I got to do some of that at my church until.....well, just until. I have to believe that God has a plan somewhere for me to do this before I am too old and decrepit to remember how to spell decrepit.

3.Money is no object and so you will.....

Buy camera equipment. Hire a crew. Make the films from #2 above and market them without mainstream entertainment interference. Hire really talented actors who are not necessarily famous. With maybe one really famous one to get it sold. Introduce media into worship and church life as a scripture based tool. Teach others how to do this too.

Then go to Italy for custom made shoes.

4. How do you see your way through the disappointments? What keeps you going?

When things are really really bad, I'll down a brandy before bed. Play my music really loud. And read. And go back to scripture and pray. And rant to God and lament. What keeps me going: easy, only one thing besides God holding me upright and that's my boy. My precious gift of being his mother.

5. How important are your roots?

Given my personal history and my immediate family history, my roots have given me the perspective and insight I had to have to forgive my immediate family's creation of a blindly brutal and often callous upbringing. Though going through it, they did not see it that way at all. Anyway, having routed out that family history gave me compassion for their experiences and showed me how the experiences of previous generations informs our upbringing. Knowing what went into their life experiences helped me to heal so very much. I've gone back 4 generations at least on both sides.

Unless, of course, you're asking about my hair color. In which case, I must do the roots every 4 weeks. My hair just grows too fast.

6. Bonus= what would you like to add ?

There's one common thread looking back and looking forward and that's simply this: there is never enough time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

EXCUSE ME

Starving:
I'm hungry now. Too tired to walk.
Nothing left for my boy to nurse.
Can you see me here?

Fed:
I'm sorry, but no time right now.
I have to take my children to their
shiny school after their pancake breakfast.

Starving:
Do you see my boy.
My heart is broken afresh every day
that I cannot feed him.

Fed:
Sorry? What was that?
I'm late you know.
Have to go. We'll chat later.

Starving:
Somehow I have to walk another 15 miles.
It's said there's water there.
Can you see me here?

Fed:
No time, no time,
I have back to back meetings today.
Important business, important plannings.

Starving:
Perhaps your wife then?

Fed:
Oh no, no no.
She's busy, booked up
with chores and errands and things we need.

Starving:
Oh.

Fed:
Now don't be that way.
We help, you know.

Starving:
How? Do you mind if my boy
and I lie down now.
We're very tired.

Fed:
(wiping hands) Er, um, of course.
Well, we give. Money.
To charity.

Starving:
We don't want your money.

Fed:
It's not our fault, you know.

Starving:
We don't care whose fault it is.
We're just hungry.
And sick.

Fed:
I don't have time for this right now.
I have important planning to do.

Starving:
We don't want your time.

Fed:
I'll help tomorrow. That's what.
I'll book 5 minutes for you at one.

Starving:
We can't make it.

Fed:
What?

Starving:
We're dead at 6:00 today.

Fed:
Oh. It's not my fault you know.

Starving:
I still don't care.

Fed:
I'm doing important work here.
You'll see.

Starving:
Not us. We won't.

Fed:
Well, those after you. Next year.
We're making some beautiful
buildings. They'll change things.

Starving:
When? Not for us.

Fed:
You'll see. Well those after you.
Our buildings will bring in
only the best people.
Only the best. They're the ones.

Starving:
We need you.
Now.

Fed:
No time today. No time.
Important meetings, plannings.
What was it you wanted?

Starving:
Just a glass of milk.
For my boy.
So he can die without his stomach hurting.



Bloggers for Darfur
Genocide Intervention Network
The Hunger Site

Monday, July 16, 2007

SMOKELESS SMOKE ALARM


First, the joke:

Matilda lost her dear husband, Harold, of 60 years at 2:30 a.m. one early August morning. For two months after his passing she prayed for some message to come to her from beyond that he was all right. One night, at 2:30 in the morning, the smoke alarm in her garage went off. This alarm had not made a single peep in all the 18 years she and Harold had owned the house. It would not shut off on its own, so she had to get up and manually turn the thing off. This happened every night for the next several days. At last it occurred to her that the time the alarm went off was the exact same time her dear Harold had passed. The very next night the alarm went off, she went into the garage and spoke to it. "Harold, I know it's you. And I know you're all right. Now you have to stop this because I'm not getting any sleep and the neighbors are complaining". Immediately the alarm shut off and did not go on again the rest of that week. That next Sunday, Matilda went to her pastor and excitedly told of the events. She finished with, "Pastor, pastor, it's a miracle!! Harold has reached out to me from heaven and let me know he's all right." Her pastor was quiet for a moment and then just shook her head as she patted Matilda on the arm. "Dear, I hate to tell you this, but if it's the smoke alarm, he's likely not speaking from heaven."

Back to "real life":

Saturday morning. 2:00 a.m. The smoke alarm in my bedroom went off. No fire. No smoke. Just decided to go off. It is not a pretty sound. It inspires a thirst for plaster dust. You want to hit it. Hard. Many times. With a spiked instrument. Except that you are so tired, all that happens is your arm raises limply in supplication. It lasted for about 20 seconds, then shut off. This happened four or five times. That night. I was going to sleep in Saturday morning to make up some of the lost sleep, but Callie the main cat's stomach alarm meeeeooowwwer went off. In my face. (Yes, she still lives today. But on borrowed time).

Sunday morning, same time. Same thing. This time it went off only three times. Even so. Yawn. Nodded during Sunday sermon. Though I'm not Catholic, I asked, "forgive me Pastor, for I have snoozed".

Last night, it only went off twice. Just two short bursts, one after the other. That's all it takes now. It has us trained. Thankfully Wonderboy slept through it. But WB's dad and I slept with one eye half open. Waiting in pre-flinch for it to go off again.

These smoke alarms are not the kind with batteries. That you can just disconnect with a switch. They are wired into the house's electrical system. That means a $telephone$ $call$ to and $visit$ from an $$electrician$$. Before I am reduced to that, I'll see if it stops this week. And I'll talk to it, saying, "Dad, I realize it's you. I know you're O.K. And I just hope you're not bugging us from ~H-E-double hockey sticks~. Wherever you're at, Dad, please stop. And before you go, could you just jot down some winning lottery numbers at the desk? So much more helpful then being BLASTED AWAKE every 45 minutes. Thanks ever so".

It's 11:23 now. Monday night. And I'm really really tired. Gonna go read a bit. Then try to sleep. Although I'm tempted to go sleep in my car.

(My mom LOL'd when I told her about this. As I nodded off on the phone. )

Friday, July 13, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE: WOTCHER, HARRY OR NOT!

Reverend Mother gave us two options today. Having just seen the new Harry Potter and being a fan I picked:

Option 1: Accio Friday Five!

1. Which Harry Potter book is your favorite and why?

Prizoner of Azkaban. It has a stronger sense of romance intertwined with the adventure, action and treachery. Sirius Black is a desparately romantic character who I really like. And finally there is a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who is actually teaching them something. Then there's the hippogriff. I'd like one as a pet. Plus I enjoyed watching Hermione take charge and lead Harry through his tortured destiny with graceful strength.

2. Which character do you most resemble? Which character would you most like to get to know?

I'd be Neville Longbottom. Appears to be a bit addled and not up to speed, but then at the end pulls out the most extraordinary ability that even surprises him.


And a long dinner and brandy with Professor Dumbledore would be sublime.




3. How careful are you about spoilers?
a) bring 'em on--even if I know the destination, the journey's still good
b) eh, I'd rather not know what happens, but I'm not going to commit Avada Kedavra if someone makes a slip
c) I will sequester myself in a geodesic dome to avoid finding anything out

I'm with b.

4. Make one prediction/share one hope about book 7.

It's been said that two main characters are going to be killed. I think Snape dies while protecting Harry from Voldemort so that Harry can kill Voldemort. I had thought maybe Ron or Hagrid might go. But now I think it's Snape, who turns out to be good after all and old moldy Voldy. Pair ups: Harry and Ginny Weasley; Hermione and Ron, Neville and Luna Lovegood. Professor Macgonagall is headmistress. Draco Malfoy is expelled. But before all that, Voldemort does a lot of serious damage and for a time, Harry looks like he might actually go over to his side.

But all that's just guessin.

5. Rowling has said she's not planning any prequels or sequels, but are there characters or storylines (past or future) that you would like to see pursued?

That'll depend on if she's satisfactorily dispatched the story in book 7. She's a wonderful writer. And I'd really really love to know who it is in her life that inspired Dolores Umbridge.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ARE WE REALLY GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET?



What is your view of the following and where it might or might not be leading?

1. The Pope's new pronouncements on going back to mass in Latin and that if you ain't Roman Catholic you ain't Christian.

2. According to my internist, the various ailments we normally suffer, like colds and flu, are getting much worse because the micro-organisms are evolving into stronger resistant strains faster than our immune system is adapting to them. Mostly caused by the misuse of antibiotics, which is not being slowed, regulated or stopped, especially in the third world countries where the new resistant strains are emerging.

3. That no matter how much we argue left and right, hawk or dove, attack or negotiate, it remains that the jihadic faction of Islam (NOT all Muslims, I must underline) hates our guts no matter what we believe and still wants to kill us all. What might happen if we took to praying for Osama Bin Laden and pray for the Lord to intervene with him as He did with Saul/Paul?

4. That costs of things are increasing at a rate at least triple to that of our income.

5. That it appears our planet simply does not have the natural resources to provide for the demands and requirements of our burgeoning and exponentially increasing population. Does it seem possible that the artificial increase of prices on fossil fuel is because the "powers that be" blew it when it came to changing our direction to renewable sources of energy and now they want to bankrupt us into making it happen?

6. That the media has perhaps insidiously taken over dictating how we spend our time in a day. If you agree, how would we turn that around?

That's about it off the top of my head today.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

THE CRITTERS STILL NEED HELP



Here is Callie the Main Cat sniffing her "Stuffie" doppleganger as created by St. Casserole. Thank you St. Cassie!!!

Even though Katrina happened a while ago, the folks and the critters still need our help. I've already donated to Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi for the folks. But I want to remind everyone that the animals still need help too. St. Casserole is a pastor in Gulfport who endorses the South Mississippi Humane Society. You can read about it in her blog.

Hurricanes are events with long, long lasting aftermaths. I was in Hurricane Iniki on Kauai and two years after that hurricane, the island was still hurting from loss of tourist trade which is their mainstay. Katrina was far worse and if you can't imagine the still lingering hurt from loss, go check it out.

Every bit helps.

Thanks. This has been a shameless plug for the Humane Society and St. Cassie's blog.

Friday, July 06, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE: HASTY EDITION

Reverend Mother has sensed the hovering, wondering waitng RGBP's and finally writes:

"Whoops! I have been in a family-induced haze these few days, with the July 4 holiday and taking time off while relatives are visiting. So I literally lost track of what day it was!"

So rather than make you guys wait even one minute longer for the five, I'll dig up an oldie:

Today, what are you:

1. Wearing

Old cut off sweatpants, with a white undershirt, covered by a $2 Ross dark olive t-shirt that says "Luckyville High Tigers" with a tiger in the middle. The t-shirt was thrown over my "pj" outfit to wait for the camp bus with Wonderboy this morning.

2. Reading

I'm so behind on my books, and I'm into several:
"An Irish Country Doctor" by Patrick Taylor
"Walking the Bible" by Bruce Feiler
"Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar" Understanding Philosophy through Jokes, by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
and Wonderboy and I are reading "The White Wolf" from the A to Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy

3. Eating

Green tea and Oatmeal. My standard breakfast

4. Doing

Sitting at my computer blogging!!!
Well, after this, it's yoga in the den, then work today. And I pray I find time to wash the car. I can't see it for the dirt. And laundry. Then later I thought it might perhaps be interesting to rewrite Romeo and Juliet so that I can play all the parts ;)

5. Pondering

A daring probe into the stranger regions of my neural pathways to be sure!
~How will I organize moving my mother, perhaps moving us, keep my job and maintain a calm, composed exterior all at the same time.
~How interesting it is when what I write and chat about with my son turns up in TV shows, other people's conversations, my pastor's sermon, and headlines.
~How the vagaries of our organic existence fall into any kind of rational juxtaposition with God's plan.
~Disappointment over discovering the tricks behind Criss Angel's illusions. But on the other hand, I learned how to levitate.
~Why the cost of EVERYTHING is increasing exponentially, while our income does not.
~What will I be doing 10,000 years from now?
~Jeans or shorts today?
You know, the usual.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

I am posting this strange and very rude song choice entry for two good reasons:

1. It is my reaction to recent dirty deeds done to a blog pal. and

2. For some bizarre reason, this song title has been running through my head for the last several months. I don't know why. But I'll just start singing it in the kitchen, in the car, doing laundry (well that makes sense).

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's the original version.