Friday, May 08, 2009


I love violets!

This is what I'm looking at as I wash dishes ...

... and hang laundry on the clothesline.

Product Registration

Oh, I seldom fill out those little white postcards that come in the package with appliances and electronics. I guess I always saw them as one more way for companies to snatch your name and address so that they could send you junk mail and phone you and try to sell you more stuff.

But yesterday changed my mind.

We received a letter in the mail addressed to the former owners of the house OR "current resident." It turns out that our refrigerator is being recalled. A component of the compressor has been discovered to be causing fires. The repairman will be here on Wednesday. In the meantime, though, I'm nervous. Granted, the fridge is 4-5 years old, and it's no more dangerous today than it was last week when I didn't know about the problem.

But now I know.

Our smoke alarm hasn't worked properly since we moved in. A new one has been duly purchased and installed!

And from now on, privacy issues or not!, I will fill out those little product-registration postcards so that the manufacturer can hunt me down when there's a recall.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

How the Holy Spirit Comes

The Large Catechism teaches us that where the Word is preached, and only where the Word is preached, there is the Holy Spirit. Even life-long Lutherans have a problem with this sometimes; we want to think the Holy Spirit comes to our feelings, or zaps us with power, or kinda sorta not-exactly-magically works in us. But our Confessions teach that He works through the Word alone.

In recent years, Pastor has been pointing out places where inspiration results from the Word given earlier. For example, Simeon knew that Jesus would be in the temple because of what he'd heard via the shepherds and Zechariah. Zechariah's song at the birth of John was very similar to one of the psalms. Mary's song (the Magnificat) is remarkably like Hannah's song. And so forth.

So what do we hear in Acts 1? Jesus tells the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit is poured out. Interestingly enough, what are the disciples doing during those ten days? They are in the temple. They are immersed in the prayers and in supplication. Even here, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit did not come beaming magically through the air, but He came with and through the Word.

The New Star Trek Movie

We recently saw an advertisement for this month's Star Trek movie. Certain people who are related to me are very excited about the release of this movie. But it's new. It's different. I'm not into "new and different." So I see this picture of some guy in the movie. And what do I complain to Andrew?

"That's not Spock! That's just some guy pretending to be Spock!"

Oh, good heavens -- I have lived with my geeky family too long! (And Andrew is still laughing at me.)


Hit the jackpot at the grocery store yesterday: found some already-frozen (can't be refrozen) chicken breasts getting close to expiration date for ONE DOLLAR per pound. That's cheaper than apples or spinach. Guess what? I brought home a lot of chicken breasts. We had chicken for supper. I put a dozen big breasts in the crockpot yesterday afternoon. This morning I pulled them out to cool enough to debone.

And suddenly I have kitty friends who think I'm so wonderful, and don't I think they're so wonderful? Smooch smooch smooch. "I'm such a good kitty... don't you want to share your chicken?"

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Count of Monte Cristo

I'm bad. I never read the book. We watched the movie, though, the other night, and it was GOOD. We especially liked Richard Harris (the true Dumbledore) playing a fellow-prisoner alongside the main character.

I loved the first Dumbledore.

Eating Meat

Charlotte's Web was copyrighted in 1952. It's been a long time since I read this; I think the older kids read it on their own instead of having it be a read-aloud. Maggie and I started it yesterday.

The story begins with 8-yr-old Fern begging her father not to kill the runt of the pig-litter. She says that he wouldn't have killed her if she had been born particularly small. The dad tries to explain that that's different; Fern is a person. But she says that doesn't make any difference. And there is no answer to her claim.

Later in the story, when one of the sheep tells Wilbur that he's being fattened up, the phraseology is that the people are going to "murder" him in late fall. The word "butcher" is not used. It's always "kill" or "murder."

Ten years earlier than Charlotte's Web was the movie Bambi where we learned about evil Man in the forest who shoots innocent animals and sets fire to their homes.

The PETA-type people have been working subtly for many decades. Their work is finally paying off. Small wonder that things are finally falling into place so fast that it seems there's no way to stop it.

Monday, May 04, 2009

All Things Jesus Has Done

One of last week's Bible stories ended with John's statement that
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)

And today's Bible story (Acts 1) begins with Luke telling Theophilus about the former account (the Gospel According to St Luke) that he made of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.

I find this fascinating. On the one hand, John says there's no way to write down everything Jesus did. And yet Luke says that what he recorded in the Gospel was ALL that Jesus began to do and teach. Some have mentioned that Luke says in Acts 1:1 that the word "began" is there, and that is definitely important. But I'm also thinking that there is a unity, a wholeness, a singleness-of-purpose, to which Luke is referring.

Luke DID record "all" that Jesus taught and did: the miracles/signs, the doctrine, the suffering and death and resurrection. And yet, as John notes, not every individual event could be recorded. That fact, however, does not detract from the truth that Luke recorded it all.

I think this says something about Jesus' work, as well as about the Scriptures.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Jean Styles

Given that I wear only jeans, I shouldn't expect them to last forever. I owned three pair of pants, and in the space of two weeks, two of those pairs became worn/torn enough to be unwearable in public. I mean, like, they were only about 4 or 5 years old, which means each pair had been worn about 450-500 days. How dare they wear out already?!!

Hating shopping with a passion, I got online and discovered that my favorite jeans are no longer manufactured. Boy, I couldn't find anything without Spandex. Okay, okay, I'll order two with a little bit of stretchiness to them. But I made sure to buy the high-waisted ones. When they arrived and I tried them on, I discovered that the "high-waisted" jeans don't even come up to my belly button. I can't even imagine what I might've found if I'd chosen the hip-huggers or the low-rise jeans.

After a couple of weeks of wearing these, I'm beginning to tolerate the style. But they are not flattering. I am not a chubby person by any means, but this style makes me look like I have love-handles bulging at my waist. And Gary said the jeans make me look pregnant. (He's right.) If these jeans make scrawny ME look fat, why does a normal woman buy these? How does this company stay in business?

Eventually I discovered that Lands End has some high-waisted jeans that look like they might actually come all the way up to a person's waist, and they're all-cotton and no spandex. I might have to find space in my dresser drawers for a fourth pair of jeans.

Who Did More Work?

Let's say I make a list for myself of today's jobs:
brush teeth
drink a pint of water
take my vitamins
eat breakfast
clear table from breakfast
get dressed
do a 10-minute grammar lesson with kid
grade an algebra worksheet
cut bread for sandwiches
make sandwiches
clear table from lunch
wash dishes
brush teeth

Let's say my neighbor's to-do list for today consists of painting the living room. She does it.

Who did more? I crossed 13 things off my list. She only crossed 1 off her list. If we were working in the private sector, should I be paid more because I finished more tasks than the other gal did? Seems pretty obvious that the answer should be NO. But sometimes it doesn't work that way in real life. Sometimes racking up the numbers takes priority over a genuine assessment of the work that was accomplished. But why should that surprise me? It's the way things work in public schools and the way things work in government. Why would it not eventually spill over to private business and even the church?