Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stain Fighter

Last October I wrote a blogpost about saving a cute Halloween shirt from wretched stain. The pertinent paragraph is:

So to make my shirt wearable, I hauled out my trusty bleach+milk concoction. That stuff is utterly amazing! I fill a shot-glass nearly half full of milk (the higher the fat content, the better) and fill it the rest of the way with bleach. It can't be made ahead; there's a chemical reaction that causes a slight color change and a significant rise in temperature; the effectiveness lasts for 10 minutes or less. Using an old toothbrush to scrub that concoction into a stain on white fabric has done wonders to clean things. I don't trust it; it's pretty strong on the bleach and I'm never sure whether it might ruin something. But when an alb or a surplice gets such horrid sweat stains at the neckline that it's in dire need of replacement, I've discovered that bleach+milk will garner us several more years before we have to go ahead and order new vestments for the pastor. (Those you can't pick up at Goodwill for three bucks like you can kids' clothes.)

Yesterday I tried it on a colored garment. I had a kombucha stain on a cuddly-soft gray turtleneck that had sleeves long enough for a chimpanzee. (In other words, the cuffs actually made it all the way to my wrists!) The stains were bad enough that even I, messy pig though I be, was getting ashamed to wear it. So I tried the bleach & milk. It worked! And there aren't even white spots. The stain-fighter left the gray color in the shirt unmolested, but the stain is gone.

All right. Maybe this is goofy to be excited about. But I guess I get cheap thrills now and then!

How Was That Spelled?

A few of us were at a College Visit Day today. As we were touring the campus, I noticed an announcement on the in-house tv station. Apparently it's "International Education Week." Got that? Education. About international matters. Education.

So what's on the menu for one of the days of International Education Week? Tailand dinner.

Ah, maybe a little more education IS in order!

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Shower

When I'm taking a shower, do I really need to know that So-and-So picked up the kitten? While my hair is lathered with shampoo, am I prepared to give a report on the outdoor temperature today -- to a child who is capable of walking to the front door and looking at the thermometer herself? While I have soap in my eyes, is it necessary for me to grade math worksheets orally, while the questions are being yelled through the door?

"They say" homeschoolers are in need of socialization. I say that I have no desire whatsoever to socialize while I'm in the shower or on the toilet. There is a REASON bathrooms have doors on them. How hard is this to understand???

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Slipping Off

I haven't worn shoes with heels for ages. I mean, like, years. And by "heels," I mean something where my heels are even with or higher than my toes. If I recall correctly, the last time I wore heels was prior to our family-trip to Daytona, when my mom and aunt were both telling me that I'd better get Birkenstocks before I forced myself into podiatric inserts. That was seven years ago.

My Birkies were falling apart. I was tripping over the loose soles. My friend Julie reminded me that it's okay (!!) to buy a new pair of shoes when yours are falling to pieces. But my shoes are Birkenstocks. And they fit me. And they're comfortable. (Those of you who do not wear Birkies do not know the love-fest that can occur between a girl and her shoes!)

So I epoxied the soles back on.

Julie thought I should still have better shoes. So today she brought me a pair of hand-me-downs that were lying around her house. Now, any NORMAL person would look at these shoes and say they're flats. Since I've been wearing them however, I have had the distinct feeling that I'm about to pitch forward and land on my nose. These heels are just gonna tip me right over on my face.

I think I've become a hippie who is addicted to my negative-heel Birkenstocks.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Depression Meds

Band-aids do not cure cuts. Band-aids do not help a wound to heal. Band-aids are useful in keeping a cut clean, so that infection is not so likely to set in. Band-aids are good for keeping blood out of the stewpot when you chopped your thumb when you intended to be chopping the onions and carrots.

I wonder if that may be what depression medications do. (No! Not the part about keeping red-cells out of your dinner!) I suspect that depression meds don't really solve the problem. In some cases, they are necessary to deal with fall-out from a problem. Or they may keep a problem from worsening, as a bandage protects a wound from being scratched or dirtied. Or maybe the meds temporarily alleviate stress so that a person can more easily focus efforts on other solutions to the depression. But can they actually be the solution themselves?

And on that tack, what is the difference between anfechtung and clinical depression? Because a prescription sure ain't gonna cure anfechtung.

Did We Miss It?

As we were driving past Bloomington today, an anxious child asks, "Did we miss the exit?"

"Nooooo," says the mother. "We didn't miss the exit."

Child knows that the Market Street exit in Bloomington is loaded with fast-food joints. And she knows the mother had gift certificates to Wendy's (courtesy of an aunt and uncle last Christmas). However, the mother is aware that the child has had enough junk food over the last few days.

So about fifteen minutes later, child asks again, "Are we to Bloomington yet?"

"Oh, we're way past it."

"We missed the exit!!!"

No, we didn't miss it."

Oh,.... the definitions of "miss."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Time Change

Hey, I think I've discovered the secret to getting through time-change weekend painlessly! Travel one time-zone east!

Saturday I took a couple of kids and headed off to see Katie and Nathan. Katie and I sorted through the digital pictures from the wedding (already!?!) to get some photos printed out. We'll get to attend some awesome chapel services in connection with the Good Shepherd Institute's symposium. I intend to make Katie take me to her nursing home so I can see where she works and meet a few people over there. And I might even get to spend a little time with some friends too ... as if time with Katie and Nathan didn't already just load up the days with happiness!

It was easy to get up for church on Sunday morning, because their "hour early" (for time change) was the right time it would've been at home without time change. My body is taking this time-change easier than any in years. I suppose being off-schedule a bit, what with all the driving, will help us fall right into the proper times when we arrive back home.

I don't think it'd work to go west for "spring forward" weekend next spring. The Mountain Time Zone is just too far away for a goofy little thing like easing my body into the time-change. But I can dream, can't I?

The Same Tune

For the All Saints Day celebration at church, we sang Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (TLH 475). For those who don't know, the song basically calls on the angels, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the patriarchs and prophets, the apostles and martyrs, and the saints triumphant, to join the church militant in singing praises to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

But it's the same tune as St Bede's well-known Ascension hymn (TLH 212). So while you're singing the words of Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones, the other lines are running through your head too. "'This is the Savior,' thus they say. 'This is His noble triumph day.'" And "Again shall ye behold Him so, as ye today have seen Him go." And "Oh, grant us thitherward to tend and with unwearied hearts ascend."

I dunno. Maybe other people don't get excited about those things. Sometimes I just think it's a right-brained thing about making connections all over the place...

Attending Funerals

Until I was school-aged, and classes interfered, I remember going to funerals at church with my mom and grandma. They always seemed to be people I didn't know. Of course, I was 4 or 5; who would I know? Probably my mom and grandma knew the deceased, but that didn't make an impression on me. All I knew was that we went to funerals at church, even if I didn't know the people.

So when I grew up and had kids of my own, I went to the funerals at church. I suppose some people thought it was because I was the pastor's wife. But it wasn't. It was because of Mom and Nanna. And because I figured it was just right to go the funeral of those with whom you'd worshiped, those brothers and sisters in Christ, even if you didn't know them that well. They are family, regardless of whether you play cards with them, go to picnics with them, or sit next to them in the pew. So that's what we did. Even when a pastor told me once that it was "sorry" and "pitiful" for people to go to funerals of folks they don't know.

Then Pastor said something in Bible class recently that I never thought of before. He was in the midst of explaining to us how to talk to unbelieving friends and family members and co-workers about the Faith. It wasn't a pep-talk about how to "do evangelism." It was just the simple stuff of what to say (the contents of the creed) and what not to say (your "testimonial"). He mentioned -- somewhat in passing -- that this was why it was important to come to funerals at church, even if you barely know the person. At funerals, the Christian brothers and sisters are speaking the Faith to the mourners. The Christian mourners need to have the support of fellow-Christians in their time of need. But the unbelieving mourners hear the Gospel sung and spoken by the church-family. The unbelievers are there with the church-family and not "just" the pastor (who, in their minds, is there just because it's his job).

Who would've ever thought to list "attend funerals" under the heading "Evangelism Efforts"?