Friday, May 23, 2008

And All the Children Are Above Average

I was awed yesterday by the quality of work done by the guys who installed the septic system. They were fast. They were polite. They were hard-working. They explained everything that needed explaining. When they had to dig a trench up to the house for the electric wires, the guy set aside the tulip bulbs that were disturbed rather than just destroying them or discarding them. They had to put in dirt to make a "bridge" to cross the ditch, and at the end of the day they undid it and seeded it. They carefully smoothed all the dirt -- even the dirt dug up last fall for the perk tests -- and seeded it and threw out straw for mulch. This is SO awesome compared to the septic system we had done last fall at the old house.

Now, at the time, I didn't have any complaints about the service at the old house when the septic was installed. What they did was good enough. But the Lietzau company is outstanding in comparison.

It made me think of schools. Everybody thinks their local public school is doing a fine job. Sure, there are bad schools out there. But ours is just dandy. They're all above average, right? But that's what I thought about companies who do septic systems. The one from last fall was just dandy. Until I saw Mr Lietzau's company in comparison. I think it's probably like that with doctors and mechanics and nursing homes and hair stylists and all sort of other things too, not just schools.

Minor Pick-Me-Up

Done with the editing job I was in the midst of. It's so nice to work on something I'm capable of instead of something that I'm always floundering at (this motherhood/housewife thing).

Today we needed to start watering the grass seed that was spread yesterday. I'm a little bummed because we had hoped to put strawberries in that nicely dug-up top soil. But a friend told us that mound systems get very dry on top. Since I'm not very good at keeping things watered [understatement!], I think I'd just kill the strawberries if I decided to go for it. So now I have to spread grass seed in the place where I told the workman yesterday to NOT put seed. And we struggled with leaky faucets and leaky hoses and leaky connections before Andrew managed to put together a working hose for wetting the soil & seed. (It's hard to go from working on something I'm adept at --like the editing-- to working on something that stymies me at every turn.)

So, bummed out, I went to town to do errands: copies from the library, laundry detergent because I ran out with ALL the laundry I've done today, and a little hand-held broadcaster for the seed. The grocery store had Newcastle Brown on sale, and I wanted some. No good reason; I just wanted some. So I picked it up with the laundry detergent. And I got carded. I wanted to laugh. I asked the clerk if she were looking for a tip. Maybe it's their policy to card everyone under 83? But you know what? As shallow as it is, it made me feel better for a few minutes, even in the face of leaky faucets and leaky hoses and way too much lawn to water.

Oh, vanity....

Pastors' Wives Music Video

Just in case you haven't seen it linked elsewhere, this is a riot!

And like my friends who also found it hilarious, I want to give the preemptive comment that, no, Gary does not talk about us in sermons. In over twenty years, it's happened less-than-a-handful of times, and he always tells me/us first and gets our okay.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


There is a backhoe in my backyard!
There have been dump trucks coming and going!

Tonight I will be able to do some laundry in my house. My poor lonely washer has been resting for 11 weeks and is now going to be pressed into service once again. Bye-bye, laundromat.

And we will be able to flush. How's that for mega-cool? Y'know how the rule is always "Go to the bathroom before you get in the car" and "Go to the bathroom before you go to the store" and "Go to the bathroom before we leave for church"? Well, for the last 11 weeks, it's been "Hold it until we get to the library" or church or the store, places where we could flush. But now we can flush at home!

The glories of plumbing!!!!
I love plumbing!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Working on some editing today, Pastor and I ran across the word "inchastity" in the Book of Concord. Everywhere else in the book, it was translated "unchastity." So we debated whether that was an intentional translation or a slip of the typing fingers. After all, I said, "in-" can be a prefix for negating. Pastor was skeptical about that one, and he spent a few seconds trying to come up with a word that used "in-" as a negation. He couldn't think of any, so he asked me. It took me about 1/2 a second to come up with ...


For some reason, a few people found that amusing.
(Of all words to come to mind.... sheeesh.)

Gas Prices

An excellent point heard on Mark Belling's show today:

The Democrats want the Saudis to increase the supply of oil. There isn't enough available; that's causing the price to rise. An increased supply would help keep prices from sky-rocketing so badly.

So why are they so dead-set against AMERICA increasing the oil supply? If we need more, why don't they change a few environmental policies and a few tax policies and a few OSHA policies so that we can GET the oil we HAVE instead of asking the Saudis for more?

Glory in Mercy

The antiphon for Sunday's introit was
Blessed be the holy Trinity and the undivided Unity!
Let us give glory to Him because He has shown His mercy to us!

And we go from the Introit (O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!) directly to the Kyrie (Lord, have mercy upon us). Then we go straight to the Gloria in Excelsis (Glory be to God on high... We give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory... Have mercy upon us.)

And so it went throughout the service, in the hymns and liturgy, going back and forth, back and forth, between glory and mercy. It almost reminds me of the collect in summer:
O God, You declare Your almighty power above all in showing mercy and pity....

You'd almost be tempted to think that God's great glory is His mercy, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Daily Doings

The computer connection has been pitiful the last few days. Each page takes a long time to load, and the connection to the Internet keeps failing.

We had a gorgeous day yesterday for a fieldtrip with friends. We walked around downtown Milwaukee, learning about the history of the city and observing the architecture from the 1850s to 1880s. I've begun to wonder, though, whether we spin our wheels planning educational activities for these get-togethers. The kids want to play play play. They see their friends seldom enough that maybe the socialization time is more important than the fieldtrip's academic value. (After all, we all know homeschoolers are in desperate need of socialization. LOL -- okay, all you homeschoolers, quit bustin' a gut and get back to skimming blogs instead of laughing uproariously after having fallen off your chair!)

Gary bought and connected the digital tv converter. Wow, that is one clear picture on our tv screen! And now there are two channels that look similar to TV-Land and some PBS stations that look somewhat similar to the nature and history channels on cable. I figured out how to work the answering machine last month. I can figure out how to work the tv too. (I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!) Hey, Rachel, Daddy says you ought to get a converter box so that you'll have a signal that comes in for you! (The government gives you $40 toward it.)

I was on Charlie's talk show this morning. He told me I made an excellent point. Cool!

Tomorrow is Andrew's final exam for drivers ed. Last classroom lesson. Only four more trips to go for behind-the-wheel lessons.

Almost done with the next CCA project. I'm done with my part on the next project after that too. Yee haw!

Rumor has it that the septic system may be installed this week. I keep putting off doing laundry in an attempt to save quarters, thinking that right-quick I'll be able to run my very own wash machine in my very own house. But we're still on the water-conservation routine. If Mr Leitzau doesn't come tomorrow, I may have to do a couple of loads so that we can squeak through for another day or so before doing laundry at HOME.


A friend gave us a beautiful oak roll-top desk this past weekend. He had built it once-upon-a-time, so it has special meaning that way as well as being a very practical place to store a lot of paperwork-stuff that I haven't figured out in the new house yet.

I spent the whole day today working through the drawers of the old desk, figuring out which things should go together in which new drawers and new cubbies and new slots. And then there was the paperwork all over the kitchen counter and the top of my dresser, all of which has a much better place to live now.

I found beads from broken necklaces that had been stored away for little girls' projects. I found 150 million pens. (Well, okay, not quiiiite that many. But shame on the person in my house who decides to pick up pens from a hotel or from a college open-house!) I found a 1990 phone book from the town we used to live in. I found all the old Christmas cards I had designed. I found catalogs and envelopes and erasers and Canadian money. I found bank statements for banks where we no longer have accounts (and haven't had for years). Y'know, when I got rid of the junk, I didn't need nearly as many drawers as I'd been using before!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Narnia 2

We went to see Prince Caspian last night. It was okay. Too many battles. Granted, this book is probably the most battle-intensive story in the series. But I can see why BBC put this story into only one hour. I'm glad we went to see it, but I have no desire to see it in the theater again. Dvd's will be soon enough.

There were two little things I noticed and really enjoyed. At the start, when Caspian and his tutor were hiding, they slipped into the wardrobe in his bedroom... and didn't quite close the door. After all, it would be very foolish to shut oneself into a wardrobe. :-)

And I noticed on the catapults and ballistas in the final battle-scene that the enemy's weapons had Tash on them. I thought that was a cool thing to do to unify the series.

And boy, did Lucy grow up since the first movie was filmed!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Narnia 1

Anticipating the new movie out this week, we watched Rachel's DVD of Narnia last night.

At the end, Edmund was crowned "Edmund the Just." Like, as in "justified." Cool.

And I never noticed before that it was the humans that reigned over the rest of creation. I always thought of it as the outsiders coming to Narnia, fulfilling the prophecy, and being kings and queens. But no; it was man having dominion over the animals and all the rest.

How They Embarrass Us

Gary was working in the yard yesterday morning. The wee children next door were looking out the window, watching him, waving to him, yelling HI. One announced, "We're going to a birfday party!" Gary asked when. "When Mommy gets out of the shower." And then the other one piped up, "Yeah, she's naked!"

And to think our kids (and your kids) told people the same kind of helpful information....

Home-Made Soap

I've been noticing how the real soap (not the bath bars that we usually call "soap") lasts until the bar is tiny. It doesn't fall to pieces. It doesn't crumble away. You get to use the whooooole bar and none is wasted.

I really need to make a few batches of soap. It's been over a year and a half since I last made soap, and I've only got one bar left. That poor lone bar sure ain't gonna last me until I get my next batch made and aged. Unless I shower once a week .... hmmm, might work....