Thursday, December 27, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE: AULD LANG SYNE


Singing Owl writes "It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year.

With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.

Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you."

1. Driving back and forth and back and forth and back and forth from Camarillo to Glendale to pick up my mom after her spinal surgery in February, to give her a weekend with us for company. Realizing that after my dad's passing in October of '06, there would not be a break coming for either of us any time soon.

2. Looking forward to positive changes in my son's school with a new head coming in, only to find myself sucker punched by a chilling attitude of mean spiritedness and duplicity. A "brave new world" so to speak where I am told that my son is not "tough enough because this is a tough school now". *sigh*

3. Writing stories. Having wonderful stories to tell and being able to use my life, my experiences and my improv training in weaving them. And having them read and appreciated. Looking forward to writing more. Looking forward to publishing some things next year.

4. San Clemente last June. For both Wonderboy and I, one of the best all time starts of summer anytime, anywhere. Just being able to live on the beach all day long with the most excellent friends was so healing and restful. A great blessing for both of us. 

5. My mom finally, finally taking hold of her life again, after moving into her own apartment closer to me. Getting the physical therapy she desperately needed to get stronger. Finally getting a hearing aid (this Friday!!) so she can hear everything. And other good things for her. She complained to me a couple weeks ago that she has "all these doctors now". I reminded her that she has neglected herself for so many years taking care of my dad that she needs to catch up and that things will calm down soon. And she's jake with all of it. 

I have not sensed God with me for a long time. I still don't. My only sense of God for many years now has been that he considers me a bad joke, and at every other turn he drops another shoe. However I do feel a great comfort and strength from Jesus. I would suppose that the son and the holy spirit and I get along fine. But the father and I are at sixes and sevens. I suppose that sounds very peculiar. Oh well. So I try to tell myself to shut up, suck it up and remember that I live a far more blessed and cushy life than 96 or more percent of the rest of the planet. And then I look at my sweet, smart, tender hearted "not tough enough" son and realize I must be the luckiest mom on earth.  


PRAYER REQUEST FOR MARCIE

Today Wonderboy and I went to get the mail at our post box. Marcie has worked there for close to 10 years and I knew her even from before when she worked at our previous post box. 

Marcie has had a horrific Christmas. Her son experienced some severe pain and went to the ER. The hospital he went to is one that has a far from stellar reputation. Marcie's son was diagnosed with a muscle spasm and sent home. The next day he dropped dead. He had been mis-diagnosed.

He was only 36 and otherwise in perfect health. 

Please send up a prayer for Marcie and her family. I cannot even imagine this. God bless her heart.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

JUDY and JANET: GREAT MUSIC FOR KIDS

Janet and Judy are Wonderboy's church choir directors. They led him in Cherub Choir and now in Celebrate Choir. 

They are the reason that he considers singing in this choir "worshipping God" and therefore as important as school. 

They are also the only reason I stay at this church. 

All their other music is very cool as well.  


Here's another website for them: Janet and Judy

They have just finished recording a new CD of Christian music. Included will be a song of theirs  they sang last Easter. It is just wonderful. I'll let you know when it's out.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE: IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS

Gonna play this week. My Mindy Swap pal writes:

"I have debated with myself for weeks about today's Friday Five.

Self 1: It should be deep and theological.
Self 2: But it's almost Christmas, it should be fun and warm and sweet.
Self 1: But your last Friday Five was sort of silly. You should show your more serious side.
Self 2: You worry WAY too much!
So after consulting with my fourteen year old daughter, we're going playful, pals o' mine! I love stories, so I hope you'll tell some about your favorite Christmas memories."


1. What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave:

I blogged about this before, but Blogger kicks me out when I try to find it. It was a pair of nylon stockings that I got for my mom. I had sneaked into her lingerie drawer and learned her size and favorite color. Then my dad took me to buy them. I wrapped the box myself. It was the first really beautiful present I ever wrapped. With gold fabric ribbon and a beautiful bow. I was very proud of this at six years old.

2. What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.

Nowadays it's my bruschetta that I got from a restaurant chef. I don't have the exact amounts in front of me, but as I recall in my eggnog fog:  10 ripe plum tomatoes, diced; 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil; 1/4 cup fresh chopped oregano; one clove garlic (truly no more than that); 1/4 cup olive oil or less or more depending on your taste; salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and serve over sliced french bread lightly coated with olive oil and toasted in the oven. 

3. What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)

Opening gifts one person at a time. It takes for-flamin'-ever, but it makes the day last longer. (actually I'm probably the only one who insists on this. But being the queen bee of the family, all must obey my commands BWAHAHAHAHAHA)


4. Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?

My church is  starting a new tradition that we could do without: Canceling the choir's Christmas concert and giving them half the sermon time on Sunday to sing a "special song". Otherwise it's several hundred dollars of poinsettias that, until this year, were just left to wilt. Fortunately this year our congregational care pastor collected them and drove them to convalescent homes in the area. He is one right on guy. Unfortunately he's semi retired and only part time.

5. If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?

Lose the gifts. Lose the stress of decorating and cooking. Buy tickets to Hawaii to lay on the beach and play in the waves, with just the three of us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

ARLINGTON AT CHRISTMAS


About 5,000 wreaths are donated by the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merril Worcester, also pays for the trucking expense. He's done this since 1992. Groups of Maine school children visit this event to help out, along with their regular school trip to DC. Harrington, by the way, is one of the poorest parts of the state.

Rest easy, sleep well my brothers and sisters.

(hat tip to Auntie A and Marshall)



Thursday, December 13, 2007

ARE YOU MAN ENOUGH?


Today my son's Siggy made an observation about me that I have heard from many quarters since high school. It was prefaced with how society tends to have a different response to certain masculine traits when found in a woman. 

More bluntly, how a woman will be called a bitch or other such descriptive terms when responding decisively, clearly and with assertion, just as a man is expected to. When we are supposed to cowtow, put hand to head and assume the passive/aggressive vapors in the face of challenge or adversity. 

This was not meant as an offense and I certainly did not take it so. Because it is what it is, as far as my life experience. 

I am just wondering what you ladies out there might have experienced in your lives in terms of this.  I would imagine a number of you have met brick walls of stubborn slammed doors when trying to reasonably, responsively deal with various situations in life. Even from other women I have found this prejudice. 

Have you ever:
Had to slow down your words and insert verbal lace doilies to get a point across?
Called on a man to be a mouthpiece to say exactly what you said, in order to be heard?
Experienced increasingly angry responses the calmer and more reasonable you become?

And do you have any wise advice or happy outcomes to offer from your experiences?