Tuesday, September 30, 2008

KATHY

Kathy passed to Glory on the 28th. 

Here she is with her family four days before,




Because so many of you graciously prayed with me for her and her family, I share Jim's note with you here:

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for your warm thoughts and prayers. I must tell you that at around 3:45 p.m. this afternoon Kathy Meyer passed away. She had 5 close friends and our family of Tim, Ame and grandson Shawn with is. As the time got short the pastor came and he and I did the Commendation of the Dying service. It was a very tearful service. Kathy, whose eyes had turned up and breathing labored also teared up. I dried them as I dried my own while saying the prayers. Then she turned her eyes and focused them on me and as we finished the Lord's prayer she stopped breathing.

It took us all by surprise. I thought we would have a few more days, but the hours turned to minutes and then our breaths stopped; and all started again, but one.
I am sore and tired and I will send later notice when the memorial service will be.

God Bless you and good night.

In The Rest And Peace of Our Lord,


Jim

Saturday, September 27, 2008

BLOG AWARD



I got this today from 
Ruth, whose blog I enjoy and admire in reciprocation.

Thank you very much. I get to give this to five of my favorites which include, but are not all:

1. Jan Edmiston at
A Church for Starving Artists
For working so hard to move a real church in a real time.

2. Gannet Girl at
Search the Sea
For brilliance and openness with such bravery under fire.

3. Kievas at
Sharing a Journey
For pureness of heart and a fascinating point of view.

4. PureChristianIThink at Rebel Without a Pew

For humor in trying circumstances and courage in keepin' on.

and a new one:

5. A.K. Muckracker at
The Mudflats
For bravery and diligence in bringing the whole story in profoundly dishonest times.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NEW GAME SHOW AND WE ARE THE SPONSORS!!!

This will only take 5 minutes.





Go Marcy!!!!

Hat tip to
FranIAm

700 BILLION QUESTIONS

Christopher Dodd has asked some good questions of Paulsen and Bernanke:



I have a few more,

~The government does not have 700 billion in cash available, considering the national debit and it's enormous increase the last 8 years. This money will have to be borrowed. Who will the government borrow this money from?

~How much will the interest expense be on the 700 billion borrowed to service the bailout loan?

~How much of that 700 billion bailout will be spent on executives parachute payments? (as in, the contracted amount due to an exiting executive. These days parachutes are paid regardless of an executives actual performance in a company. Ethical or not)

~Paulsen and Bernanke claim that congress must approve this bailout to avoid an economic disaster. What do they call this situation we're now in?

~Will this bailout cover the bad mortgages written by foreign banks, central and private? Would those bad debt bailouts on foreign banks include bad mortgages made in other countries?

~Henry Paulsen is Secretary of Treasury. Bernanke is the new head of the Fed, replacing Alan Greenspan. These men and their predecessors are supposed to be very smart with economics. So are their predecessors. If they are so damned smart about economics how is it that they did NOT see this coming? My dad, deceased two years now, saw this coming years ago. Smart as HE was, he was not an economist. Given this question, I suggest that not only did these so called experts see this coming, but they stood by silently and somehow, somewhere have or will profit from it. Which leads me to - Why should we listen to them now?

~This is an "unreviewable bailout", which means there will be no transparency on how the money will be doled out. As a citizen and expected contributor of this bailout, I demand an audit of any monies paid out - bailout or other. Would you want an audit? If there are enough of us, we could organize a class action and get one.


Here's another angle on this mess regarding personal credit and ethics:



Let me get this straight: Nobody broke any laws in foisting this debt on the public. Companies, their shareholders and executives have all been laughing all the way to the bank with their profits and salaries while the debt load of the American public was unethically, but not illegally, pushed to 970 billion.

Now Paulsen and Bernanke want to not only add 700 billion to the 970 billion of Americans' personal debt, they want Congress to give the Fed (Bernanke) FULL regulatory reign over the banking and insurance industries as well as all of Wall Street. If they get this, then you and I will have to bail the country out as well as completely submit to the fiscal vagaries of Bernanke and their
Board of Governors who are made up of the wealthiest people in this country (who have already PROFITED from what has created this mess) and how they run our markets. I, for one, do not want that.

I am contacting my congressman today to urge him to FIND ANOTHER WAY. Our system of Capitalism is gone. Free markets are pretty well gone as well. If you and I do not work to educate ourselves on this nasty web of "spun" lies then our children and grandchildren will have to shoulder all this, soon to be trillions of dollars of debt for generations to come.


For the brilliant and quick cartoon version of all this, go see Mock Paper Scissors

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NOW I GET IT

Back in March I noticed this. Bush presented a proposal to bring the banking, insurance and stock market under the regulatory control of the Fed. Congress did not pass this.

Bush leaves office very soon. I picture him at his desk, sitting across from Cheney. Both men tapping their pencils and feet in agitated annoyance.

You all know what's happened in the markets lately. Now the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, says "more is needed".



It seems that Bush will very likely get his way after all. And we will have King Bernanke with his 12 Federal Reserve Bank arms to watch and regulate how we make our money and spend our money.

Crackpot theory #923 - it really might not matter WHO is elected president when this happens. This will change the fabric of the country permanently and mark the end of free enterprise.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TIME TO BUY MORE MATTRESSES



more
animals

This little fellow was prepared for the economic roller-coaster this week.

Fortunately we were too. But only because a friend's colleague (economics professor) predicted the very events of last week about 4 or 5 months ago. And we heeded.

But most people haven't.

I find the timing of all these financial disasters (mortgage industry, banks and investment house failures, job loss due to overseas relocations, etc) to be curiously coincidental with the decade where baby boomers will be inheriting a good bit of wealth. Well, NOW: or not.

Juxtaposed with the recent spate of natural calamity, I don't believe it's going to get better soon. In fact it looks like we're probably headed for a long time of this:



(thank you Google Images)

Unless.......unless, and I'd say it looks doubtful, unless we, the peeps, start putting our grass roots heads together and taking back our lives. It can be done. Mustard seeds and mountains and all that.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PRAYERS FOR KATHY AND JIM



Kathy is dying.

Here is part of Jim's e-mail that I received this morning:

"Kathy has started with Hospice. We had two doctors, a nurse and social worker here the other day. The doctor asked Kathy to tell in her own words the history of her disease. He read silently along with hearing her statement the medical report . When Kathy had come to the end of her story, Dr. asked if we had any questions. We had only a few. then he asked if we would like to hear the statistics of life expectancy for this kind of Gallbladder cancer and Liver cancer disease. I looked to Kathy, for it was her decision if she were ready to hear such news. She nodded her head and said yes. Dr. examined Kathy and found her stomach extended and hard with tumors and her ankles and feet swollen. She is still yellow with Jaundice and he learned that she sleeps 18 - 20- hours a day. He said that is normal as the body is exhausted with fighting the disease and is weakened. After his examination he told us that Kathy has in the neighborhood of 2 months, 3, maybe 4, give or take. You could have heard a pin drop with the long silence.

Kathy and I had heard bits and peices in the hospital about her condition. We knew it was terminal but it was a relief and a shock again when Dr. put some flesh to the prospects. We now have work to do both together and apart. Our relationship is beautiful and loving. We are in this together and with God's strength we will see it through. It is hard to think of being alone, one without the other and sometimes I just can't go there."


Please send a prayer Jim and Kathy's way. And if you leave a comment here, I will forward this post to Kathy's e-mail so she can read how much love left in the world came to say "hey" to her. Thanks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

LATEST FROM ALASKA



Apparently a number of Alaskans do not feel that their governor represents them. What this writer describes as "the biggest political rally ever in the history of the state" seems to have been organized by a group of women over coffee. Perhaps a group of "community organizer" types. And you know how much trouble they can be now!

Also Les Gara, the Democratic State Representative from Anchorage, who states that he likes Ms. Palin, has observations on what McCain's choice and campaign staff has done in Alaska 
here.

(Both links are from Mudflats)

VOLUNTEER OR UNPAID EMPLOYEE??

Yesterday I received a 8-1/2 x 11 manila envelope from Upscale Church where Wonderboy is still singing in the children's choir. Inside was a booklet entitled "Be Christ's Hands at 'Upscale Church'".

It listed approximately 80 volunteer opportunities, some of which include the formerly paid staff positions now empty after a large portion of the staff was fired due to inability to meet the monthly operating budget. 

All the "positions" were listed in this order: Job Description, Time Commitment and Skills Needed. 

Many of the "volunteer positions" listed require that an application be filled out and a background check be performed. (PS I forgot to add that a minimum of one year's membership in good standing is also a "job requirement" to volunteer)

Is this the upscale version of the emerging church? Yikes! is all I can say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

FRIDAY FIVE: BACK TO SCHOOL




Mother Laura writes this week: "It's time for a Back-To-School Friday Five!"

1. Is anyone going back to school, as a student or teacher, at your house? How's it going so far?


Wonderboy started his new school September 4th. He is loving it! He comes home happy and excited and gets his homework done all by himself. Well, since the teacher actually teaches him the material *ahem* unlike last year, it makes all the diff! 

The extra driving and starting 1/2 hour early, however, has shrunk my day to the size of a pea.

2. Were you glad or sad when back-to-school time came as a kid?

I was never glad to go back to school.  I loved getting the new clothes and the school supplies.  But *did*not*like*school. It bored me to tears.

3. Did your family of origin have any rituals to mark this time of year? How about now?

Twice a year, August and December, before each new semester, my mom took me shopping for my school clothes. I got to pick out whatever I wanted to wear. She never said a word, God bless her, because I know it must have been hard.  When I was in junior and senior high, she would take me to the  grown up store, called Mickey Fine's. These are special memories I have with my mom. I even remember some of the sharp looking outfits I picked out there.

4. Favorite memories of back-to-school outfits, lunchboxes, etc?
I liked to buy mix and match skirts and tops outfits. I remember one navy blue straight skirt that had a sleeveless matching top with red piping. I outgrew the top (not the way you'd think.....I come from a long line of lady linebackers with built in shoulder pads), but the skirt fit like a glove and I wore it for two years. 

The only lunchbox I remember was a red plaid lunchbox (that looked exactly like this one from Google Images)




that I think I had in first grade. I can still remember how the bologna sandwiches smelled when I took them out (before the days of those little freezer cooler thingies). I'm amazed now that we never got sick from half day warmed mayo. And the thermos! Sometimes my mom would surprise me with chocolate milk!  Lunch was my favorite class!

5. What was your best year of school?

School didn't work so well for me. I was skipped twice and even then was bored and under-challenged. When I finally found Drama and Play Production things perked up a little. But the teachers picked such lame plays.   In Junior High I was hell on wheels for my mom. I've since apologized.  And now understand all the reasons it went the way it did.  In my 2-1/2 years of High School I had far more fun after school than during. And still graduated with honors in the top 10 percent! Almost never did homework. Did it all during class. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A.A.A.D.D.

I was sent this in an e-mail today by a concerned friend who suggests I see a doctor about:
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder
I swear I have no idea what she's talking about.

This is how it manifests:


I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back
on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter
catches my eye--they need water.
I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Some one left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know
I was busy all day,
and I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail....


Now I know this is not correct because anyone who knows me knows that I have a set of reading glasses in every room, three in my office and one in my purse! So there!

(hat tip to Sharon, wonderful Mom of Wonderboy's new BFF from new school)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

PEACE DAY SEPTEMBER 21

Here is someone who, along with others, is doing something very positive.




International Day of Peace

Peace One Day


I've marked my calendar and am thinking of what to do. Will you join me?

Monday, September 08, 2008

DON'T VOTE FOR GARNER ST. JOHN!!

If you think Palin's a poor choice,

I offer you 
this poor excuse for a candidate's website.

Here are outtakes from his campaign video that tell the real story:





(Note this is a satiric website created by one of my former Improv classmates. One of the more brilliant Improv classmates. The one I am wondering who did not call me to be part of this satiric website..........)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

That'll Teach Me to Look Stuff Up......



I had such a good idea for a post, courtesy of Wonderboy's dad. I was going to write about the political button of "oil", offshore drilling and ANWR. This was going to be based on the question: Would America actually get that oil, if the offshore and ANWR drilling happens? Or would it be put up for sale to the highest bidder? I have not been able to find any evidence that America owns anything but a small portion of the oil rights in ANWR. Even then,  there's no guarantee the government wouldn't sell it elsewhere. 


I am not an expert in any of this. Here are two of the more reasonable sites I found that distracted me from the above.




According to the projections on Peak Oil and the projections on demand far outstripping the rapidly dwindling supply, we just do not have time to implement sustainable alternatives. Apparently it just isn't gonna happen. 

Our food supply is dependent on petrochemicals and petroleum based fertilizer. Organic farming requires a much larger amount of arable land than would be able to supply the exponentially growing population. No petroleum, no dinner. 

The materials required to create the alternatives of solar panels, windmills and such require machinery that runs on *petroleum*; and is made of  precious metals, the supply of which is also dwindling rapidly. Metals that are mined with equipment that is manufactured with and run on *petroleum*. 

Ethanol based products would not even make a dent in the problem and the creation of the ethanols is now part of what is destroying the rain forest. I read other articles that said the amount of grain it takes for one fill-up of an SUV would feed a family of five for more than a month. 

While scaring the bejabbers outta me, these things also help distract me from worrying about the election so much. You can read yourself where it gets into the likely wars and famine and police states and end of general fun everywhere. That was more than I could take tonight.

It was profoundly naive of me to think that all we need is a do-over and change from petroleum to alternatives. But our products, medicines, economy and jobs are dependent on the black goo. We eat it, drink it, work for it, turn on lights because of it, wear it, go places on it, and a lot of it we use once and throw away. It's like we're all covered in a global oil slick. 



I have to think that there is a way to change this. But we have to start now. We have to organize. We have to pull together. Maybe create some kind of life manual that will start to turn this around as the fecal material hits the oscillating rotor. I will look around for organizations already set up. The ones I found tonight just wanted signatures on petitions. And money. I'm talking about organizations that give ideas and procedures and new ways to do things we do every day that will move us in the right direction. If you know any, please leave them in the comments.

Things like growing our own vegetables in our yards. Wearing clothes until they are actually dirty, instead of just once. Going back to candle light when bright light is not needed. Get medieval with ourselves on our consumption of everything. Starting now. 

Wonderboy and I watch Project Earth on Discovery. There are some very bright people out there working on a lot of things to help. It's you and I who have to start doing something right now. This second. Every choice we make from here out apparently has far wider consequences than we can imagine. 

Including who we elect this November. IMO, more of the same is just gonna dig us deeper the wrong way. (not-so-subtle political plug)

Meanwhile we need a catchy slogan. Anybody got any ideas?




Saturday, September 06, 2008

PRESBY POLITICS

Now for a break from the US political circus, I will shift to a Presbyterian political plug.

Blog Pal Robert Austell was at the PCUSA General Assembly this past June where he wrote a resolution that was passed overwhelmingly. This resolution calls for presbyteries to create a gracious process when a church seeks to break  away. His points for this are outlined in his post. I urge my fellow Presbyterians who read my blog to read it here because it is really good, IMO. Especially the part about the impact on public witness.

It is a good and positive thing Rev. Austell has accomplished and I wanted to share it today in the midst of so much national political tsuris

I return you now to our regularly scheduled program.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

RODENT CONSCIOUSNESS

The guinea pig is sick. All the hair on the back half of her body is gone. Either ringworm or something else. She's not eating so much and is lethargic. Gonna call the vet first thing this morning.

TJ the hamster died after only 3 weeks with us. Now Curly is sick. 

Maybe some people should just stick to one kind of pet. Cats work for me because they practice such diligent self care. All I have to do is put out food and clean the litterbox. The only sacrifice is smooth upholstery. Playing with them and loving them up is easy. 

I thought it was easy with Curly as well. Now I feel like such a failure. 

School starts this week and I refuse to allow this to foreshadow it. I insist on a brilliant and positive year this year. And I shall take my cleansing breaths this morning and transform rodent consciousness into a sunburst crown of positive light.

That and maybe two cups of coffee this morning.

UPDATE: CURLY HAS MITES! LITTLE CREEPY UGH-Y CREATURES THAT ARE MAKING HER HAIR FALL OUT.  SHE GOT A SHOT. NEEDS THREE MORE OVER THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS. $73 PLUS DOLLARS LATER AND A CLEANED OUT CAGE AND  I'M KA-CHINGED OUT!! 

Monday, September 01, 2008

OBVIOUS vs OBLIVIOUS

Issues

Lack of vetting (thank you Cathy), with, among other questions,  a cloud of investigation on ethics after a campaign based on ethics. 

Lack of experience


13 years of "elected experience" consisting of 1.5 years as Governor of Alaska, 6 years as Mayor of Wasilla AK with a population less than 8,000 during which she fired the police chief for not supporting her political campaign, before that 4 years on the city council of Wasilla.

No doubt she's a "go-getter". No doubt she's ambitious. Nothing wrong with those two things. It's just all the other things that don't add up.

Hurricane Gustav


Praying for friends