Saturday, April 19, 2008

StL Post-Dispatch Article

Just in case you haven't already seen it, the religion section of the St Louis newspaper has an article on LCMS and Issues, Etc.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Curly Girl

A couple of years ago, Rachel brought home the book Curly Girl for us to read to learn about Maggie's hair. Between Maggie's hair and my own curls that I've begun to develop since Maggie was born (curls? contagious? who knew?) I figured I should make another stab at learning how to care for curly hair. So I fetched the book from the library again.

One of the basic premises is that we need to embrace our curls and get over the whole thing with straightening them.

I used to hate curls. Not exactly like I had a problem with too many curls. I didn't need to iron my hair straight; those who did iron were going for the look I had naturally. My mom could curl my hair and hairspray it to death, and those curls might last an hour or two. I remember my mom and grandma trying to entice me to eat bread crusts: "They'll give you curls." Well! Talk about a way to discourage me from eating the crusts!

But now I like my curls. The major problem I'm having with the book's advice, though, is that we ought not brush our hair. The author acts like brushes are "straightening devices." When I wash my hair and air-dry it and have those nice loose ringlets, I love how it looks. But when a person goes out in the wind, or sleeps and then doesn't have time to rinse out her hair the next day, HOW do you untangle hair without a brush? Even if the brush straightens the curls, that'd be better than the tangled mess of not brushing.

I'm thinking maybe Maggie could use a wide-toothed pick in the shower with the water running through her hair. But that brings up the second problem with the book. What about the next day? We don't want to spend the hour or more per day wetting and air-drying our hair so that the curls are shown off to best advantage. Honestly, I'd rather use the brush and be frizzy than to take the time to primp. There's so much I like in this book, but there are practical problems to be solved here first.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mail Forwarding

The last time we moved was prior to the post office's standardization of addresses. Last time we moved, we notified the local [small town] post office and then they forwarded whatever came to them. It's not working that way this time.

When we moved last time, there was only a church mailbox at the new place. We wanted our own mailbox with a separate address. What they used to do, once upon a time, when there were two homes at the same farm (like when the kids built a house next to Grandpa's) was to give the second house the designation "A" after the address. For example, there might be four rural routes for a city, and the boxes were lined up in order. If George was "Rural Route 3, Box 42" and his neighbor Betty was "Rural Route 3, Box 43" then when George's son grew up and built a house next door so as to live close enough to help with the farm, then George's son and daughter-in-law got "Rural Route 3, Box 42-A."

So that's what we did at church. Church was 1584 and we were 1584-A. However, when the post office did their fussy fussy standardization about a decade ago or so, somehow the post office changed our address. We ended up as "Apartment A" or some such thing. None of the people who wrote to us had the "correct" address according to the post office. But the mail came. We had a smart mail-lady and smart real-life people at our local post office.

Problem is, now none of the mail gets forwarded. We can't give our correct address to the post office because they don't recognize it as a real address. Nobody sends mail to the address which the post office recognizes as the so-called correct address. And the mail that comes to the church address for us cannot be forwarded. So what do other pastors do when their personal and family mail is delivered to the church address, and they must move?

The moral of the story is: make sure NOW that your mail is coming to the address that the post office says is your proper address.

Ethanol and Environmentalist-Whackos Make Us Short on Grocery Money

If the grocery prices are getting to you too, check out Marilyn Moll's blog-page with frugal recipes and vegetarian dishes. I ever-so-slightly tweaked one of the recipes, and it's simmering on the stove now and smelling awesome.

Hat-tip: Kathy


Recently I've been blessed (and, boy, do I mean that word with all seriousness!) to be getting to know the widow of a faithful pastor. We've chatted on the phone several times, and she is such an encouragement! I can talk about a Bible verse, or a struggle, or the liturgy, or some other way to "talk theology." But the words of God's grace come so readily from her lips! She speaks of the hope within her. She tells about Jesus. She reminds me of the forgiveness of sins and the power therein. She hurts from physical pain and from missing her sweetheart, but there is no chafing in her voice, just reliance upon a loving heavenly Father. And what she says is not contrived, it's not religiosity, it's not forced. I'm sure she would disagree, but Jeanne is one example of what I see as the epitome of Christian womanhood. Someday, when I grow up, God grant that I can be even half as beautiful a pastor's wife as Jeanne and Erma are.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Today's Accomplishments

Gary managed to repair the antique barrister bookshelves that had been minorly broken since we got them.

He had meetings with two different bosses today, and made suggestions about how to fix the problem of his team being so overloaded that they can't keep up with the workload. His suggestions were not met with scorn but were received.

Andrew started drivers ed. "Mom, there's a lot more to pay attention to when you're driving than I realized!" Yup.

How can I do 8 loads of laundry, make dinner, jog, stew a chicken to get a head start on tomorrow's dinner, do a little schoolwork with the kids, make granola and kombucha, chauffeur a kid to class, get a load of stuff from the old house, and still feel like I didn't accomplish anything? My brain says I got a lot done, but there's so much on that to-do list that's just not getting crossed off, day after day.

I knew there was a problem with water in the basement at the parsonage. But oh man! When I got there today, somebody from church had ripped out the carpet and baseboards in the basement, put up dehumidifiers and fans, and there were still puddles. They really need to gut the basement and replace a lot of studs.

Loads of wind today, and the empty above-ground pool didn't blow away. Yet. Here's hoping we can hang onto it a little longer. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, so hopefully the high winds will die down.


Ten weeks along, and that means the baby's feet are now like the "precious feet" pin, and the fingers are formed, and anybody who looked at a picture of the baby would HAVE to admit it's a lively baby and not a blob of tissue.

My Laundry Dream

This morning I put eight loads into the laundromat's machines on the way to Matins, picked them up on the way back home, and had them on the line (except for the socks and undies that went into the dryer) by 9:00. It gets done SO FAST that way.

It would be great to have a wringer washer or some other way to do many loads of laundry at home all at once. An old-fashioned wringer washer certainly takes more work than my Kenmore downstairs that works at the push of a button. But it uses less water and less soap, and a whole gob of laundry can be done all in one morning.

BUT... I'm spoiled with the regular new-fangled washers. And my mom reminded me once-upon-a-time (when I was longing for a wringer washer) that it's really hard to wash up one load right-quick simply because you need something cleaned NOW (like when the kids have uniforms that they need to wear to work). So the dream would be to have the regular wash machine and the regular dryer, as well as the wringer washer with loads of clotheslines. That'd be the best of both worlds!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Melody would be proud of y'all. Sitemeter tells me that my hits on Sundays are consistently lower than any other day of the week. In fact, if I look at the monthly chart, it's very cyclical. Six days of regular traffic, and then a huge dip, then six more days of regular traffic, and another huge drop.

A year ago I observed that blog-traffic on Sunday was nearly non-existent on Sunday morning and then much heavier in the evening. But now it's just lighter all day. I'm wondering why. Is there a movement to encourage Sunday as a day away from the screen?

Out of Mind

Out of sight, out of mind.

The new house is smaller. My desk is in my bedroom instead of in the living room and just around the corner from the kitchen.

I live in the kitchen. The living room is an overflow area of the kitchen, where we live part-time. But the kitchen is where I am. The bills that need to be paid cannot be on a desk in the corner of my bedroom, all the way down the hall. I'll forget them. The to-do list cannot be on my desk, in the corner of a room at the end of the hallway. I'll ignore it. The papers that need to be filed (or worse yet, dealt with and then filed) cannot be shoved off to my desk or to the file cabinet. They need to be smack-dab in front of my nose, in my way, so that they will be acted upon.

But when they are, I don't have counter space for bread-rising, kombucha-bottling, tortilla-making, or cantaloupe-slicing.

The obvious answer would be to deal with those papers papers papers immediately. Well, silly you! How could you think such an outlandish thing?!!? But even if I could solve the paper problem that way, some of those notes cannot be dealt with immediately, and need to hang around for a week as a reminder for what's coming up.

There must be a solution to this. I just don't know what it is.


Happy birthday to the kitties: Rosie, Hero, and Artemis.

A few of you may wish to know that it's Ken & Barb's 25th wedding anniversary today. They are "celebrating" by driving to South Dakota to be able to attend Ken's dad's funeral later this week. If you would, keep Lillian and the rest of the family in your prayers.

And tomorrow is a nice, round, zero-ending birthday for the esteemed Reverend Mother, my friend Erma.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Short News

Philip's looking for a job. His temp job is done, and he's hunting agaaaain.

Paul has pretty much decided on attending Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. Long drive. But a whole lot of huge positives about the school. We still want to see the financial aid package. But he seems pretty sold on the place.

Jane came from Indiana to visit for a couple days and cheer me up. Her company sure does cheer a body! It's great to have her here!

The potlucks at our new church are awesome. Real food. And enough that everybody gets to eat. Nifty!