Saturday, January 23, 2010

Your Bank

Barbara had a blog post recently about banks. She wrote about bank failures and gave some information on how to evaluate the safety of your bank. Don't be put off by the language about using this as an economics lesson for your homeschooled teenagers; this is something we should all check out. Our community bank in Darien had a 5-star rating, but our current bank is going downhill with an increasing "troubled asset ratio." Barbara has several links; the easiest one just tells how many stars your bank rates.

Today's Laugh

Where do forest rangers go to get away from it all?

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What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant???

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Whose cruel idea was it to have an "S" in "lisp"?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today's Laugh

If you can't say something nice, something something surreal.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Some people complain that homeschoolers will never learn to deal with bullies. Hey, I went to public school, and I don't know how to deal with bullies either.

Ignoring them doesn't work.

"Tattling" (also known as "going to the authorities") works insofar as the authority is able to keep watch and is willing to act against the bullying.

Retaliation through physical force or other means is usually not appropriate, besides the fact that it's usually ineffective.

I've heard that the only way that stands a chance is to speak out clearly against the bullying, calling it what it is, in a voice loud enough to bring attention to the bully's misbehavior, and having the whole group agree on certain consequences for the bully, such as being shunned. In other words, those who observe the bullying must side with the victim and not become intimidated themselves.

The thing I struggle with is attitude. I know that behavior follows attitude. If a person behaves inappropriately and clearly has had no change of heart, I struggle with saying "I forgive you" when their apology doesn't take responsibility for what they did. "I'm sorry you were hurt" or "I'm sorry you can't take a joke" is not the same as "I was wrong." Works flow from faith. Good works flow from a right faith; not-nice works flow from a false faith or a me-centered faith. So if you see that the antagonizer has had no change of heart, you can't reasonably expect the bullying behavior to stop.

But I guess --in the Kingdom of the Left-- we don't care about faith. We don't care about attitude. We don't care about outlooks. We only care about behavior. Ill behavior is punished; good behavior is rewarded; we don't care what the motivation is; we just care about the actions. It's just so hard when you know the hurtful actions aren't going to go away.

Today's Laugh

Life is as easy as 3.141592653589...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Split Heels

Winter means split, cracked, painful heels. Taking good care of your feet prevents the worst of the problems, but the dry air from the furnace still wreaks havoc on your feet as you get older.

This year I decided to try comfrey. Comfrey is an herb that encourages skin-cell production; it's good for healing cuts and other skin wounds. I had good luck with it before. I poured olive oil over a shot glass full of comfrey leaves and let it soak for a few days. Using a drop or two of that oil on my heels every day [well, you know how it goes, maybe it's actually 4-5 times a week] has done wonders for the cracking and splitting!

The only problem is that the cat likes to sneak onto my dresser and slurp up the olive oil. Weird Rosie!

Today's Laugh

I was waiting tables in a noisy lobster restaurant in Maine when a vacationing Southerner stumped me with a drink order. I approached the bartender. "Have you ever heard of a drink called 'Seven Young Blondes'?" I asked. He admitted he'd never heard of it, and grabbed a drink guidebook to look it up. Unable to find the recipe, he then asked me to go back and tell the patron that he'd be happy to make the drink if he could list the ingredients for him. "Sir," I asked the customer, "can you tell me what's in that drink?"

He looked at me like I was crazy. "It's wine," he said, pronouncing his words carefully, "Sauvignon blanc."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

For the Joy Set Before Him

Once upon a time, Pastor Wieting arranged an evangelism festival. He asked a Pastor Vetter to come speak. It was awesome! Not about what we should "do" to obey some command to "evangelize" people, but it was all about the Gospel promises to us and to our neighbors. One tidbit has stuck with me these past 20+ years since I heard Pr Vetter.

Some people wonder why God allows evil to continue in this world. "If there really were a God," they say, "He wouldn't have allowed evil to continue." Couldn't God have killed off Adam and Eve, and just started from scratch and gotten it right on His second try?

That's when Pr Vetter pointed out that, if God had done that, He wouldn't have had YOU.

We are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. If our parents had been wiped out, WE wouldn't BE. If there could have been perfect people on the world, they would have descended from somebody besides our first parents, and so WE would not exist at all.

Come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (from Hebrews 12:2)

Pr Vetter said that the Lenten verse tells us that WE are the joy set before Jesus, the reason He endured the cross. To have us as His own is His loving motivation.

Today's Laugh

Don't take life too seriously; it's not permanent.

Monday, January 18, 2010

To the Fort

Finished up the bulk of the work on my current editing project. The last steps can be accomplished while I'm out of town this week.

Van is packed full of CCA material. I'm off to symposia to fill in for the deacon for the week ... and to see old friends! The hard part is always the self-discipline -- making ourselves sleep at night instead of trying to squeeze in every last minute of visiting we can.

With hopes of coming home at the end of the week both
-- satiated with the joy of being with buddies, and
-- not drop-dead exhausted.
This is my goal! (And it would be all the cheerier if I hit good traffic through Chicago. But I don't want to wish for too much and push my luck....)

Today's Laugh

The teacher asked the children to draw a picture of Mommy at work. This is Sarah's drawing:

The next day, Sarah's mommy sent this note to the teacher:
Dear Miss Greenwood,
That is not a dance pole on stage in a dancing club. I work at Wal-mart, and that's me selling a shovel.
Yours faithfully, Nancy Anderson.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today's Laugh

Me? A skeptic??

I trust you have proof...