Saturday, June 21, 2008

Creation of Angels

Does Psalm 104:4 indicate that maybe the angels were created on the second day?

The psalm starts with light (day 1) and then goes to the heavens (day 2). It then talks about the seas and the grasses and trees (day 3). Then the sun and moon (day 4). Finally it talks about the creatures in the seas (day 5). In the section where the psalm is talking about the second day of creation, the psalmist mentions that God makes the angels. That doesn't assuredly mean that the angels were created on the second day, but it sure makes me wonder if that might be when it happened.

Zippy's Demise

Eleven years ago we bought a 4-yr-old Corolla. She already had 122,000 miles on her. And she had an irreparable dent in her back bumper. She had been sitting on the used-car lot for a while because nobody wanted her with that not-too-big dent. So we got her for a very good price. My dad thought we made a bad decision, buying a car with a dent. But she was good to us. She lasted many years. I don't think we fixed anything for the first 7-8 years we owned her; we just kept up with periodic maintenance.

Her brakes failed on Monday. Repairing her would have been manageable, except that her fuel lines were about rusted through too. The mechanic told me that, by law, he wasn't supposed to let me drive her home because the brakes were in that bad of shape. He told me that I didn't need to hurry to get her off his lot; a few days would be fine. Hey, I don't move too fast or think too quickly! I thought "a few days" was plenty fast. I found a junk dealer who would pay us for the car, instead of just having her towed away for nothing, or given to one of those places that takes donated vehicles. Because of symposium this week, I couldn't sit on the decision. And I didn't want to inconvenience our mechanic by leaving her sit on his lot for the whole week. So I sold her on Wednesday. It was heart-breaking. She had gone over 300,000 miles. She was the only car I ever had that had a name.

We're not sure whether to start car-shopping to replace her. We are inclined at this point to manage with the cars we have. So now it's time to get serious about toughening up my leg muscles so that I will be able to go UP and down and UP and down the local hills when we bike to town and back. We'll also need to buy another bike or two, and some helmets. I think the loss of Zippy is going to force us into more exercise, which will be good in the long run, but right now will be a bit of a strain on our time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


After news of the GM plant closing, the city I love(d) is dealing with more devastation. This time it's flooding. The paper has a variety of stories, but none of the stories told me what I'd heard from Janesville people: that the library may have to close because of flooding and that the bridges are being compromised.

When we read about the signs of the end of the world, the floods and earthquakes and wars, I realized that those things would mean ruin and mess and injury and death. But something else crossed my mind this weekend. It also means ruined crops. And later, food shortages.

Gas prices are rising. Food prices are rising. There are shortages of food in other parts of the world. Our government has mandated that we need to put a certain amount of corn into making inefficient fuel for our vehicles. And now God has destroyed a whole lot of the corn crops. Even those of us with dry basements, even people in other countries, are going to be feeling the sting of these floods. (But not at all as much as those who are losing their homes and possessions!)

Presidential Race

Jane recently posted about Obama's opinions on abortion rights, with quotes about how he thinks that even babies who are born (as in, they didn't have the sense to not die from the abortion, but were born alive) should not be considered real persons, under the protection of law.

And then Cheryl brought to my attention Obama's stance on a Supreme Court decision handed down last week. Obama agrees with a court decision that says enemies of our nation who are held in prison camps should be awarded all the same civil liberties and protections that citizens have. McCain condemns this decision.

The second half of Paula's post on these topics sums it up pretty well.

Baby Picture

Katie posted a link to a picture of my grand-daughter. She tells me it was hard for the sonogram technician to find the baby at first, ... because this is one VERY active baby, doing somersaults, and pokin' Mommy a lot. It's supposed to be another month-and-a-half or two before Katie should be able to feel the baby. I foresee a tree-climbing, bike-riding, couch-bouncing speed-demon on her way.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spinach Feta Bread

10-oz pkg of frozen chopped spinach
6 oz feta cheese (about 1 ¼ or 1 ½ cups crumbled)

1 ¾ cup milk (warmed to about 110°)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp sea salt
½ tsp nutmeg
2 pkg dry yeast (about 1 ½ Tbsp)

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour

5-6 cups white flour

Thaw (but do not squeeze and drain) the spinach.
Stir together milk, oil, egg, sugar, salt, spice, and yeast.
Stir in ww flour and 1 cup of white flour. Beat for 2 minutes.
Stir in spinach and crumbled cheese.
Add the rest of the white flour, stir and knead till dough makes a ball and is not too sticky.
Let rise once or twice. Punch down between risings.
Shape into loaves and bake in greased pans.
Two 9x5" loaves would bake about 55 minutes at about 350-375°.
Six small loaves (about 2 ½ x 5 ½") would be about 35 minutes.
Muffin-sized rolls or breadsticks are about 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Roast

In an attempt to get some barbecue made today so that we'd have something real to eat at the end of the week in between sessions at the symposium, yesterday I took a chuck roast out of the freezer to thaw overnight. When I grabbed it off the counter this morning to put into the crockpot, I noticed something scribbled on the white paper wrapped around the roast. I assumed the butcher had hand-written somebody's name on the meat, but I couldn't figure out why someone else's meat would've gotten mixed up with our side of beef.

Then I got it.
"Roast" was crossed out. "Norris" was written in.

Chuck Roast Norris.

I knew that came from one of my sons.
I live with weird people!!!

John Back from the Dead?

In Matthew 10, Jesus sent out the Twelve and gave them authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.

In Luke 9, the same event is told much more succinctly. Immediately following the commissioning of the Twelve, we hear the story about Herod wondering about Jesus, and who He was and what He was up to. Some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist back from the dead, or maybe Elijah. I don't think I'd ever noticed those two stories back-to-back before.

Yeah -- people really were being raised from the dead. No wonder John-come-back was considered a reasonable possibility. Before I'd always thought they were being so stupid to have thought up an explanation of John's coming back. But other people were being raised. Why not John too? (Of course, that wasn't the true explanation of who this Jesus-guy was, but the rumors going around don't sound so outlandish in light of Matthew's version of the previous story in Luke's account.)


It's nearly summer solstice. The longest days of the year. Nevertheless, any single cloudy day has really been getting to me. It's daunting to think what the "seasonal affective disorder" is going to be like come January. I sure do hope I've got the "things" of moving (the boxes unpacked, the clutter in the garage, the pictures on the walls) finished well before the short days hit in September.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Keeping Up (or not)

Bonnie is one of the lovely women at church. She was widowed quite suddenly last fall. Ever since I've known her, she always seems such the optimist. She knows and believes and says that God is working everything out just right, and even when things hurt, she still cheerfully confesses that He is good and gracious, and her praise for Him abounds. On Sunday she was kindly and encouragingly reminding me that it doesn't matter if I feel overwhelmed, because we are in God's care, and it will all work out, and what's necessary will be done (because if it doesn't get done it wasn't really necessary after all).

And then today I spent hours on errands, including an exploratory trip to the west, which ended at my friend's store, after five other stops. And a trip to fetch milk. And catching up on laundry and bread-baking after vacation. And dinner. And Paul and I tried to figure out some things about registering for classes for his freshman year for college next August. And the little car's brakes failed, so we had to get it in to the mechanic and are now waiting on the verdict. (I hate deciding whether a car is getting too old and worn to fix again!)

I kept thinking throughout the day of all the necessary things that weren't getting done. And how I just keep getting more and more behind. I wish I could believe in my gut what my intellect consents to: that Bonnie is right and that God does know what He's doing. I just wish I didn't chafe against it and argue over it so often.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


1. I normally dress fairly conservatively. Even when the heat calls for shorts and tank tops (or even spaghetti straps), my clothes tend to be frumpy and modest compared to most of what you see out there in the stores and on the streets.

2. I don't like other people undermining what I teach my kids. If something is good and right to do, it's good and right -- not relativistic. In other words, I don't buy into the "it's good for me, but you have your own right and wrong."

3. During the past week, we were at a resort for a grand ol' family reunion with wonderful wonderful people. Also at the resort was a group of Amish folks. They were fun to visit with and chat with around the campfire. The kids were sweet and cute, and the parents enjoyable and friendly.

Thus #4, the dilemma. My kids love the swimming pool. I would put on my swim suit to go to the pool or beach with them. It's not a bikini. It's not particularly revealing as swimsuits go, and actually rather modest. But it's still a swimsuit, with naked arms and near-naked shoulders and most of my thighs exposed. And I felt like I was undermining the Amish moms simply to have a swimsuit. Even though I was more covered than most of the other females at the pool, I could just imagine the Amish women trying to explain to their munchkins why they wear the clothes they do and why they don't run around with that much skin exposed. It was weird feeling like The Bad Influence, while wanting to minimize the Bad Influence I was being, yet without avoiding the pool altogether.