Monday, August 03, 2015

Recent Events

Elizabeth's arrival is the best of the recent events.  But, oh!, I do wish I had the strength and endurance to go help more, visit more, snuggle more. 

Gary's hungry.  He's having some health problems that require [deep serious voice--] Dietary Changes.  Right now it seems like there's nothing he can eat but veggie salads.  Nothing with sticking-power.  Yeah, but how much of that is real, and how much is scientists and chemists trying to figure out the art of medicine?  Once he gets the pain under control, I suppose then we can begin experimenting.  I'm wondering: if we fix guts, might the rest of the body straighten out too?

Sister, brother, and I divided up most of the belongings of my mom's house.  I've heard stories from other families about what happens when a parent dies.  Oh my goodness -- I am so thankful that we can get along and be nice to each other!

Maggie and I have an appointment coming up at Easter Seals to see if they have any programs that might benefit her. 

Between Gary, Maggie, Rachel, and me, it seems like we're seeing doctors or making appointments or receiving test results practically every day.  My head is swimming. 

Pretty soon I will be leaving my job.  Working and homeschooling and healing-from-stroke was at the utter limits of what I could do.  There was no margin.  Mom' death and helping with settling things just didn't/won't fit in.  So something has to go.  Since Maggie's not expendable, and since I have no magic wand to [poof] achieve full healing from my brain injury, the job is the only thing that I can take a break from.  I will miss it.  I will miss some of the customers.  I will miss the paycheck.  But mostly I will miss the nice feeling of having finished a task completely and correctly.  I keep reassuring myself that I can always reapply for the job when some of these family matters are wrapped up.

Google tells me that the European Union has instituted new rules for cookies on websites.  That means bloggers must inform readers about cookies and obtain consent.  I don't know how to do that!  And I don't have the time or brain power to bother with figuring it out right now.  So my counter (which is, I think, the only cookie I have) had to go bye-bye.  If you leave an anonymous comment, please sign something on the bottom so I know who you are, so I can allow the comment to go through.  (You could use initials, or first name plus last initial, or "Friend in Janesville," etc.)  It's getting tempting to just shut-down the blog or make it private (readers by invitation only).  But I'd need to save a lot of information first, including printing out recipes.  And that too is too much work right now. 

Katie, Maggie, and I watched "Pride and Prejudice" at APT last weekend.  Sarah Day does such a great job with fussy, busybody women-characters!  And Marcus Truschinski is the best Mr Darcy I ever saw.  

I'm working on lacto-fermenting veggies.   The corn relish was made with fresh-picked corn from the farm.  I made it a few years ago, and it was my favorite pickled recipe.  It's great to make another batch.  I should get my hands on some more corn while it's still available.  The pickle-batch I set aside today was sauerkraut.  Fresh, unheated sauerkraut is so much yummier than the cooked/canned soft kind.  I think broccoli slaw may be my next attempt.  There are so many possibilities that sound good.  And non-vinegar pickles are so much tastier ... as well as being super-healthy.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

New Grandbaby

Baby Elizabeth arrived a few days ago.  She is so little and so pretty and it's wonderful to hold her!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Life Which I Now Live ...

THIS life.  This life of deciding whether to take a nap or doggedly continue weeding.

This life of having overslept and needing to rush to get dressed to make it to work on time. 

This life of laundry and mowing and dishes and teeth-brushing. 

This life of figuring out where to work or where to rent or whether to go to the doctor for the owie.

I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me.
And the life which I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Gal 2)

Paul's not spouting some theological mumbo-jumbo.  He's talking about the here-and-now, the nitty-gritty of what we do each day, each hour, each minute.  No matter what mundane aspects of life we're slogging through, we continue on in faith in the Jesus who saved us.  We serve Him.  We worship Him.  And when we don't --when our sinful flesh has its way-- we depend upon Him all the more because He forgives, He rescues, He saves.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Potatoes Are Done

The centipedes will gobble up Yukon Gold that sit in the ground too long.  So when we saw the potato vines beginning to yellow, we decided to get out there and dig 'em up before we lost 'em.

Somebody was having a grand time helping move potatoes from the bucket back to the dirt, or from the bucket into the wash-water, or from the muddy water back into the bowl of dirty potatoes.  Somebody else decided to help Nanna scrub potatoes. 

Grand to have such helpers!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I love pearls.  I often wear my "pearl" necklaces to work.  When my sibs and I went through my mom's stuff, I wanted one of her pearl necklaces.  (Hers may be cultured pearls, or they may be mere white beads.  I don't have a clue.)

I have been surprised by how many people compliment my pearls:  "Those are so pretty.  You don't usually see people with pearls nowadays, but I think they're so classy."

Yes.  Pearls are not bling.  But they're pretty.

Besides, comments about my pearls always remind me of the scene in Anne where Anne and Diana are standing by the shore after the event at White Sands:  "I'm quite content to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink Lady's jewels."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yet One O'er All the Earth

We're singing "The Church's One Foundation" this week.  It sure is somethin' to know that my friend Karl is in Ghana, teaching at the seminary there, while another friend (Rick) is in Singapore, teaching God's word over there ... while we're singing
Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth,
her charter of salvation
one Lord,
one faith,
one birth.
One holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses
with every grace endued.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Babies Suck

My class consisted of one [count 'em -- one] kid who was not yet ready for confirmation class with the pastor.  So during confirmation class, he and I would sit in my dining room and work on memory work, basic Bible stories, stuff like that.  One night he exclaimed about something not-to-his-liking, "That sucks!"

My eyebrows went up.  I gasped.  "You will not talk like that around me and my children.  You may apologize and not use that phrase any more while here!" 

"What?  What did I say?"

"You know what you said."

"But what's wrong with that?"

Kid kept claiming to not understand what the big deal was.  He kept asking me to explain to him what the problem was.  I thought he was being obnoxious.  But now I wonder.  Maybe he wasn't being intentionally provocative and ugly-mouthed.  Maybe he just didn't know the origins of that phrase.

One day when I was in junior high, some high-school fellows drove by and mooned the PE class.  A bunch of us were talking about it at lunch.  When I said, "Yeah, he stuck his a** out the top of the car for everybody to see," gasps exploded around the table.  "Susan said 'a**'!  Can you believe that Susan said that?!"  That's when I discovered that a** is not a substitute-word for hiney or tuschie or bottom.  I didn't know.  I used a word that I heard people using, and I knew what the word meant, but I didn't realize that it was considered naughty.

Many years later, I mentioned something about one of my daughters looking "hot" in a particular dress.  I thought it meant "pretty" or "fantastic" or "especially dolled up."  I didn't know that it had somewhat sleazy connotations until I saw the reaction of the people to whom I'd said it.  Whoa.  Botched it again.  Major embarrassment!

So maybe my student that day really didn't know the implications of the word "sucks." 

When something "stinks," there's a reason we use that word.  If a potato or raw meat or a rotten egg "stinks," it is spoiled.  It makes the atmosphere around it unpleasant.  Thus, if a situation stinks, it is likewise bad and unpleasant. 

I think a lot of young people don't have a clue where the word "sucks" came from in the 60s and 70s.  They're so used to hearing the word as a synonym for "that stinks" or "that's awful" that they never stop to consider what the word is referring to. 

Babies suck to eat.
Babies suck on their thumbs.
Bigger people suck on soda-pop straws or even the cap of their pen.

But can we please please please stop using the word "sucks" to describe things we don't like?

Friday, July 10, 2015


I've been making phone calls. 
I have an appointment for a haircut.
The car has an appointment for maintenance. 
I have a clue where to go next to request help in job training for Maggie and in obtaining health insurance for her as an adult.
We have an appointment to see the immunologist again, hoping to forestall another winter of pneumonia and other illness for Maggie.
I need to take care of some paperwork following up on Mom's death.
I sorted out the "I can't find anything" situation in the freezer.
I figured out the problem with the refrigerator-puddles and did a quasi-fix.  The real fix will require a much emptier refrigerator so that it can sit unplugged for a couple of days.

The birds think they shouldn't have to share the wild black-raspberries with me.  Ha -- I am bigger than the birds, and I scare them more than they scare me.

Grape vines are crawling all over the ground.  So are the tomatoes that came up "volunteer" in the plot of yard Formerly Known As Garden.  Staking things up would be a good plan.

I'm still recuperating from overdoing in April, May, and June.  I made a meal yesterday and today -- huge step forward!  I can even foresee a day when I might be able to help with the housecleaning instead of foisting the job on my daughters ... as long as I don't try anything big (like a trip ... which must be made regardless ...)

How does a person decide what they want from their parents' house?  So many memories.  So many items that could replace what we've picked up at Goodwill.  On the other hand, that may involve more shuffling work than we can invest right now.  I keep teetering back and forth between "but I'd like it" and "I could surely use it" versus "we don't need it" and "we should be downsizing, not adding."

Another 3-6 weeks before new grandbaby arrives.

There's so much paper to shred that I am tempted to sign up for paperless statements everywhere.  But having everything dependent on the computer scares me.  What happens if the machine crashes?

That's all for now.  It's past bedtime.   :-)

Monday, July 06, 2015

Dirty TV

Tired, I forced myself to watch a couple of movies last night instead of tackling my to-do list.  Both movies had interesting premises.  Both were interesting and had the kind of story that could be nicely emotional.  But both left me feeling uneasy.

In one, a cabbie was driving a woman cross-country to see her hospitalized dad.  It could've been a fabulous story.  But ...
Near the end, although the two had grown somewhat attached, the woman went home to her husband.  Then the movie concluded with the woman deciding she really needed to go find the cab-driver after all.  I had had miniscule hopes that maybe, just maybe, there'd be forgiveness between the husband and wife, and that they would be faithful to each other, even if the joybells and the twitterpation weren't there.  Silly me.  Luv and Romance aren't about that kind of stuff.  Luv is about the twitterpation. 

Next movie was about a fellow with a brain injury.  They found that music got through to him when nothing else would.  Oh, a producer and a writer could do an awesome story with that kind of a set-up!  By the end of the movie, I didn't know what I thought.  On the one hand, the father of the brain-injured guy was relentless in his love.  He did whatever he could to reach his son.  He persisted.  That part was great.  But ...
The son had been a rebellious hippie back in the 60s.  Drugs, free love, angry music, and despising everything his dad had taught him.  The family became estranged.  It seemed to me that the story was largely about the dad having to come to terms with how he'd been unaccepting, and how he needed to change.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was dirty. 

Monday, June 29, 2015


Most people live together before they're married.  Friends will be aghast if a couple decides to marry without living together first.  "What's the matter with you?!  You should try it before you make the commitment!"  A fuddy-duddy asks, "So then what's the point of marriage?"  Finally Gary noticed that when his co-workers get married, it's often a signal that they're ready to have a baby.  There's often a sense that they should marry before they begin raising a family.

So, what is marriage anyway?

No, I don't mean the marriage that everybody knew when I was a little girl.  I don't mean the marriage that we saw in the Bible or in history books or in literature.  I mean, what is marriage now, today, in America, after the Supreme Court ruling on "marriage equality"?

Recently, Americans see marriage as having to do with romance and companionship.  For much of history, through most cultures, marriage has been (sociologically) more about children having a stable home with Mom and Dad.  From a theological viewpoint, marriage reflected the image of God (Gen 1).

So now we have a legal status of marriage which provides financial and legal and social benefits.  This marriage is currently available to any two people. 

Christians who marry at the courthouse will probably still desire to have their union sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  This is no different from having the pastor minister to a family when a baby is born, or when Grandma dies, or when Junior goes off to the military.  When big events occur in life, we pray and we listen to God's word and we sing hymns and we seek the Lord's blessing.  That will continue for Christians who marry, even if they can no longer marry in the church.

The thing I've been wondering is:
Is there a reason Christian couples should seek a legal-marriage in addition to ... uh ... well ... I don't know what to call it.  Can they enter into matrimony without the legal contract that is offered by the State?  Obviously, the State doesn't mind people living together apart from legal-marriage.  It's the Church that has been objecting to people living together without legal-marriage, calling people to repentance for their adultery.  But now that the definition of marriage is officially changed, will it still matter?  Can there be marriage-before-God (and before family and society) without having the marriage legally sanctioned?  Maybe not.  Maybe so. I don't know.

My friend Cheryl pointed out an article by Kate Ashford that listed some advantages of being legally married instead of merely being in a domestic partnership. POA's and wills can arrange for partners to have many benefits that normally come to legally-married folks.  But that can't cover everything:
~ No gift taxes on large monetary gifts to a spouse.
~ Upon death, an IRA can be rolled over to the spouse.
~ Spouses can receive survivor benefits from pensions or SocSec.
Also, the wife can change her name via marriage without petitioning the court for a name change.

So even if there are no theological reasons to be married by an agent of the State (although there may be!  I'm still wondering about this ...) there are still some practical reasons to go to the courthouse for a wedding license.