Sunday, October 04, 2015

Joseph's Decision about Mary's News

Remember when Joseph was thinking about "quietly divorcing" Mary?  He pretty much had two choices: a) accuse her of adultery, or b) divorce her and let people think the baby was his while still leaving Mary free to go be with The Other Guy. 

If Joseph accused Mary of adultery, she would be stoned.  But not just Mary.  If she were killed, then her baby would also die.  Joseph's compassion (even prior to the message from God) was not only for this woman, but he also was showing compassion to that baby in sparing His life.

Monday, September 07, 2015


The psalms often mention people trembling before the Lord.  It sounds like shaking-in-your-boots, terrified panic.  I'm pretty sure that's the intent of the word in the original language.

But there's another kind of trembling.  Trembling with excitement, with anticipation. 
The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!  He dwells between the cherubim.  Let the earth be moved (Ps 99).  
Later in the psalm He is called "God-Who-Forgives" though He takes vengeance on sinful deeds.  He forgives.  He promises.  We have some things to anticipate, things to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Obeying God Rather Than Men

Story: King Saul orders somebody, anybody, to kill this popular young David fellow.  Prince Jonathan objects.  David escapes.  Jonathan wants David to come back to the palace.  David says, "Not on your life!  Your dad is plotting to murder me."  "No, he wouldn't do that."  "That's what you think.  He's hiding it from you because he knows you wouldn't like it."  Jonathan comes up with a plan to test it out and still ensure David's safety.  (1 Samuel 18-20)

In chapel, Pastor asked the kids about the fourth commandment.  Jonathan was disobeying his father.  Wasn't that sinful?  (By the way, in case you're wondering, the answer is NO, not sinful.)  As we read the story, and as Pastor brought in other passages, something crossed my mind.  

We cannot truly honor someone unless we are holding fast to the Word of God.

Any time we have to fudge on God's word a bit, whatever "honor" we are showing to somebody isn't really honor.  It may be for self-preservation or for gaining power or for some other reason.  But it's not honor.

So when there are ethical problems with regard to abusive husbands, or parents using kids as drug-runners, or governments enacting unjust laws, the answer will always be in God's word, especially in connection to His word of promise and mercy.


Monday, August 31, 2015

A Very Clean Pantry

My poor pantry was feeling left out of the cleaning binge.  So it had its own little meltdown.  A beer bottle exploded. 

1.  It was inside the closed pantry.  So flying glass stayed contained in the pantry.
2.  It was beer, not wine.  I had a wine bottle explode once.  That required not only cleaning but also painting walls.
3.  Gary was home when it happened, and did a huge portion of the clean-up work.
4.  From here on out, liquids should live on the bottom half of the pantry, and dry goods (noodles or sugar) should live on the higher shelves.

When you empty out the whole pantry, onto the kitchen floor and counters and table, it's rather surprising to see how much food we are blessed with, with it spread all over instead of contained in its proper spots behind a closed door.

So, do ants and other nasty critters like beer?  We have cleaned and scrubbed.  But I fear missing ANY drips of beer, lest I should entice pests.  (I mean the six-legged kind, you silly.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Is "Retirement"?

Yesterday was the first day I Should Have Been At Work, but wasn't.  (No, I haven't fully quit yet.  I'm still taking some short shifts until they replace at least one of the open positions at my branch.)

Such conflicting emotions!

Instead of doing one of a gazillion things on my After-I-Quit-Work to-do list, I spent the day with my daughter and newborn granddaughter.  Rachel ended up in the emergency room this weekend.  The surgeons removed a troublesome organ.  They sent her home on narcotics.  I spent a couple of days there, taking care of things that she simply couldn't.  While running some errands Tuesday morning, I wondered about certain customers, whether they'd come in yet.  I wondered how my co-workers were keeping up with the work, whether it was a busy day or a boring day, wondered who was subbing for me, etc.  And that's when it hit me.  Tuesday would have been loads easier physically and mentally if I had been at work instead of tending to family needs.  And yet ... working Tuesday would have been awful as my mind and heart would have been preoccupied with my babies and grandbabies, wanting to be there to help but unable.

Today I planned to spend a shorter amount of time with Rachel and Lizzy.  Instead the day was spent helping Katie get her car functional again.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

See what price my daughters pay when I make a "vacuum" of my calendar?  (Well.  Okay.  Not a vacuum.  But cleared out a little bit.)  It makes me wonder if I should protect my kids by going back to work!

Rachel says God had it all worked out.  She had a tiny baby ... and that baby is big enough to be safe/healthy but small enough to be carried by post-surgery mommy.  Rachel had been over-producing milk, so there was plenty in the freezer for Baby to live on while Mommy couldn't feed her.  And Nanna didn't have to be at work and could be butting in, soaking up some baby-snuggles between washing dishes and stuff like that.  I guess, if you're going to toss an emergency surgery into life, this probably was a darn-tootin' easy way to go about it.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Today's Laugh

What does the moon do when he needs a haircut?

'e clips.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Very Clean Refrigerator

I blame Maggie.

Today while cutting veggies, we were watching Good Eats.  Eventually Maggie commented on how clean Alton's chill-chest was.  "How can anyone keep a refrigerator that clean?"  I told her that if I had as many aides as he has, and if I were putting my refrigerator on national TV, ours would be that clean too.  At least for the camera.

A few hours later an uncovered glass of grape juice tipped over in the refrigerator.  Grape juice on every shelf.  Grape juice on the walls.  Grape juice pouring out the bottom of the appliance.  Grape juice all over the floor.

She had to go and comment on clean refrigerators.  You know the fates heard her.

An hour-and-a-half later, any qualms I had about having Not Accomplished Much today were gone.

Tomorrow we tackle the floor, including underneath the stove and fridge.  That grape juice sure was some motivation!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Why Space Is Called "Space"

A long time ago in a county far, far away
we built a model of the solar system.

(This was before Pluto was demoted.)

Most models of the solar system put either
~the planets' distances in scale to each other, or
~the planets' size in scale to each other. 
But not both. 

So we went out on an isolated country road, and made ourselves a scale model of the solar system, with the planets' sizes in scale to their distances from each other.  We made 1 inch equal to 50,000 km.  This is awesome.  When you plunk down a couple grains of rice and a few lentils and a marshmallow or two across the space of nearly two miles, you really see why we call it "space."

The next time we laid out our scale model, several years later, I realized that the planets aren't lined up in a nice, neat row.  So our model shouldn't be in a row either.   That time, we placed our planets in two dimensions:  Pluto was about two miles to the west of the sun, Neptune 1.5 miles south of the sun, and Uranus a mile east of our 20" sun.  That really shows you the vast nothingness that's out there.  This project also gives you a really good grip on the difference between the inner and outer planets!

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If you're interested in trying this out yourself,
and if you don't want to bother with the arithmetic,
these are the numbers we used:

Sun  20" diameter
draw it in sidewalk chalk, or use a smallish laundry basket as your model

about 96 feet away
(I took 22 paces, which are about 4.5 feet each, 
calling a "pace" a set of right & left steps, 
but I have long legs)
Mercury   1/10" (we used a crumb of rice)

about 180' from the sun
(another 18 paces)
Venus   1/4"  (we used a dried pea)

about 250' from the sun
(another 15.5 paces)
Earth   1/4"  (dried pea)
with the moon 7" away
1/16"  (a pin head)

about 380 feet from the sun
(another 29 paces past the earth)
Mars    1/7"    (a small lentil)

Then we went back to the sun, and drove,
using the car's odometer to measure distance.
Sun is your zero point.

Jupiter   (3" -- a baseball)
0.25 miles from the sun

Saturn (2.5"  -- a racquetball)
0.2 miles past Jupiter
or .45 from sun

Uranus  (1" -- large marshmallow)
0.45 miles past Saturn
or .9 miles from sun

Neptune (also 1")
0.5 miles past Uranus
or 1.4 miles from the sun

Pluto (1/22 "  -- a pin point)
0.45 miles past Neptune
or 1.85 miles from the sun

 ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Have fun!

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!