Friday, June 06, 2008

Tornado Sirens

This sound filled the air. "What is that?" About the time I began to suspect it was a tornado warning, Paul walked in the door, coming home from work, saying that Mark Belling was interrupted on the radio to announce tornadoes.


This is driving me nuts. There's bad weather, and I have to rely on somebody setting off the sirens? And how do I know if the officials are crying wolf or if there's really danger? I cannot see the full sky now that I live in town!

Seventeen years ago I remember worrying, as spring and "weather" arrived, that there were no tornado sirens out in the country to warn me of dangerous weather. And today I worry that, even though there are sirens, I cannot see the sky and depend on my own two eyes and knowledge of the clouds and weather patterns.

Monday through Friday

Two months ago, Pastor Petersen wrote about how it is good to be a pastor, how it's a good job with many blessings. Gary and I had been talking about that topic while he was applying and interviewing for jobs. And then along came Pr P, affirming all that we recognized was just good about the daily life of a pastor and a pastor's family.

But it was not to be for us. Not anymore.
And it's hard to adjust.

And I know now why so many homeschool moms say that they deeply appreciate that their husbands give them the gift of homeschooling the children. I've heard moms say how glorious it is that they have control of the day, when the kids get up, when mealtime is, whether they ditch the books to go on a fieldtrip, whether they set aside spelling to read another four chapters of history, whether they take the opportunity of good weather to go for a walk or dig in the garden or play at the beach while saving the bookwork for Saturday when it's going to be rainy. That freedom of schedule is an awesome thing to revel in!

I used to know it was a good thing. But I didn't appreciate it as much when Gary had it too, when he could determine whether to mow the grass or make shut-in calls, when he could go on a fieldtrip with us if we could help in the evening with putting the newsletter together, or whatever. But now that he doesn't have that freedom and is tied to his cubicle, it makes me feel sooo thoroughly indulged that I still have that freedom. I feel kinda guilty for having so much when he's sacrificing so much.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


There's a problem that comes from learning about nutrition and healthy eating. And there's a bigger problem that comes from actually eating well and seeing what a good effect it has on you.

When you're too tired,
or short of money,
or bummed out,
or short on time,
what do you cook, anyhow?

When it seems like making "real food" is beyond your capabilities, and when you feel like you can't eat out or buy insta-food from the grocery store (because you know you'll feel like crud after you eat it), then there's almost nothing left to eat.

No wonder we've been eating so many fried eggs on ww toast recently! Or home-made granola for supper. Or hamburgers. Lots of hamburgers too.

Call Day

When there aren't enough calls to go around when it comes time for placing the graduates of the seminary, that's gotta be pretty discouraging for the guys considering sem. I can't even imagine what it must be like to transplant your family, give up your career, sell your home, take on student debts, and then find after 4-5 years of school that you're not going to be a pastor after all.

Called You by Name

I am Jesus' little lamb.
(Hey. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
We are lambs.
We look like Him.)

Ever glad at heart I am,
for my Shepherd gently guides me,
knows my need and well provides me,
loves me every day the same,
even calls me by my name.

(Hey. We were signed with the holy cross and the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in our baptism. As Isaiah says, "I have called you by name. You are Mine.")

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Jane recently wrote about her garden, and Glenda wrote in response about her farm market and her neighbors who share.

I never used to enjoy gardening. I would do it if necessary. The one year we actually had success was when we took a temporary paddock for a borrowed horse, and tilled it up for garden space. Hey, horse poop and spilled hay makes clay into good soil!

So here we are, in a new house, with a need to cut costs and be even more frugal than before. And now I want to garden. I'm not sure what's going on in me. Maybe there's something about having those baby plants come up and need care; in years past that was just draining because I had PEOPLE who needed so much care and I didn't have energy to waste on plants. Or maybe there's something about the need to make this place MINE that is helped along by putting my seeds into the dirt and getting food out of it. I'm not sure what it is, but there's some desire in me to garden that I never knew before. A friend is putting in extra rows of beans and some extra tomatoes for us, knowing that we aren't prepared to garden yet this year, what with having had to wait on the septic system before doing any tilling. But even with the assurance of beans and tomatoes from someone else (like Glenda has) I just love putting in a foot or two of lettuce every couple of weeks, and putting out one hill of melon in my tiny little patch of dirt south of the garage.

Effective Time

For nearly 20 years we've been having dinner mid-day. The main task of the morning was getting dinner ready. Of course there might also be errands or some schoolwork with the kids. But generally the plan was to eat mid-day and then get on with life during the afternoon and evening.

Now that we are eating in the early evening, I really struggle to get anything accomplished during the day. The pattern is drilled into me that I can buckle down to work (at non-food things, anyway) after dinner. But that isn't a good plan when "after dinner" starts about 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening. Somehow I've got to get my body readjusted and get my mind to agree. I'm just not sure how to get those daily patterns changed. I wish it were as easy as just starting to do it a different way, but that's not workin' so well. At least not yet. Routines and habits do not change just because my mind tells me that those habits have to get switched around Right Now. (Uh... maybe that difficulty in changing something is why we call it a habit.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Astronaut Farmer

We watched a great movie tonight. Even though I'd felt rather down in the dumps for most of the day, this was an interesting story and a great pick-me-up.

Movies languish for ages in our Blockbuster queue, so by the time they arrive in our mailbox, we've forgotten who recommended it and why, and even what the story is about. Reading the synopsis, I thought this movie was in our queue because it would be about vocation and someone leaving his exciting career to go home and take care of his family. Well, that wasn't the point of the movie at all. I think it must've been recommended by Claire Wolfe in Backwoods Home Magazine ... because this movie isn't shy about showing the government's control over a citizen's grand (and potentially dangerous) plans.

The story is a little heavy on "you can be anything you dream of being," but it still has LOTS of funny and light-hearted moments, a wife who is perpetually supportive of her dear husband, some very real (and very cute) little girls, and a foray into homeschooling.


Most of my readers aren't going to care, but a few will. The GM plant in Janesville is closing.

If it weren't for the church situation, I think Janesville would be my first-choice place to live in all the world. There are so many things I love about that city! And the plant's closing is going to be very very hard on the community.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Church Signs

One of the churches in town had a sign for a few weeks that said

Church parking lot for members only.
Trespassers will be baptized.

Now, if it had said "trespassers will be forgiven," I would've really liked that sign.
I like the current one even better. It really doesn't belong on a church sign, but ya gotta admit that there's no false theology in this one:

A balanced diet is
a cookie in each hand.
There are certain women you look up to, certain women you want to be like "when you grow up." They are fun. They tell good stories. They are glowing with love for their Savior. They are your friends as well as people to admire.

So when you get a phone call saying that one of these young 70-yr-olds or 80-yr-olds has passed away, what can you say? If it's relatively unexpected and this lovely woman was bopping along through life in pretty decent health, all you can think is, "NO." But "no" doesn't change it. "No" doesn't make it any easier that Armin and Harlan and Mel and Dorothy aren't joining us for Thursday morning Bible class any more. They're missed. "NO" is not the right response. But "no, it cannot be" is about all I can think right now. Again.

I used to think (back when I was young, and when 50 or 60 seemed "old") that it was odd when you'd see an obituary for an 83-yr-old, and it said that the person "died unexpectedly." I would think about how old the person was and wonder HOW death could be unexpected. But boy, in the last few years, I sure have learned different!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Weekend Away

It was a long drive -- to Fort Wayne yesterday morning and back again this afternoon. But it was a wonnnnderful weekend with so many people we love, and a lovely wedding, and a blast of a party. Not enough time with all those loved ones, but some is better than nothin'! And we made it in better time than we'd anticipated -- which is nice to know with a baby that we may want to see now and then in Ft Wayne. (Katie, it was about 5.2 hours on the way home, and that was with a potty stop and a slow-down for the construction in Chicago, but otherwise ideal traffic through the city.)