Saturday, April 14, 2012

Masks of God


Really?  That's the word?

"Vocation" seems to be a popular topic among Lutherans in the last decade.  We often hear about how people are "masks of God" to one another, so that they are the hands and voice that serves the neighbor, that we are how God takes care of people.  So I'm reading something in Luther, and I notice the translation larvae was in the footnote.  Sure enough, when I hunt up the Latin, "masks" or "specters" or "ghosts" is the English for larvae.

For those of us who teach science to children (or even who were taught science once-upon-a-time), that word has an interesting double meaning.  The "larvae of God" to one another.  Huh.

"All About Me"

This alphabet meme was going around a while back.

Age: 51
Bed Size: Queen
Chore You Dislike: keeping homeschool records
Dogs: nope -- cats instead
Essential Start of Your Day: psalms
Favorite Color: for clothes, probably a deep red
Gold or Silver: definitely gold
Height: too tall, but shrinking already
Instruments You Play: a little piano; even less guitar and recorder
Job Title: the real job = home-maker and teacher; the job-for-$ is bank teller
Kids: six by birth, two by marriage, and two grandkids
Live: in Wisconsin for nearly half my life
Mom's Name: Doris
Nicknames: not usually -- but sometimes Suze (from Mom) and Susannah (from Steve)
Overnight Hospital Stays: tonsillectomy which I should have refused
Pet Peeve(s): spelling and grammar mistakes on labels and signs  -- how are kids supposed to learn what's correct when they see mistakes plastered on bread labels and McDonald's signs?
Quote From a Movie: So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where He is there I shall be also!"
Right- or Left-Handed: left
Siblings: one brother, one sister, three sisters-in-law, three brothers-in-law
Time You Wake Up: usually around 6:30, but I'd prefer it was 8:00
Underwear: every day
Veggie You Dislike: I used to dislike kale, until Rachel introduced me to kale chips.
What Makes You Run Late: underestimating the time to do that One Last Thing
X-Rays You Have Had: dental
Yummy Food You Make: nearly all of it -- I am a good cook
Zoo Animal You Like Best: I could've spent hours watching the colony of small monkeys that used to be at the Madison zoo.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ann Romney and Michelle Obama

So the first lady had to work outside the home because the Obamas couldn't afford the luxury of having her be a stay-at-home mom. 

And Mrs Romney stayed home and raised five kids, having to cut expenses in the early years, just like normal people.

So one family feels the need to increase income.  The other family decides to stick with the income they have and make sure they live within their means.  Does this tell us anything about how they'll handle the nation's budget?


So at the beginning of Holy Week we hear the epistle  to the Philippians.  Because of His humbling Himself to the death of the cross, God highly exalted Him, so that "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. 

And then on Good Friday we sing, "Christ the rock of our salvation, His the name of which we boast ..."

And what inscription sits atop the cross?  Pilate wrote --and refused to wussify it-- "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews."  That cross, that name, that dead body -- His the name of which we boast.

Galatians 6: God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Non-Christian Easter Celebration

How do non-Christians celebrate Easter? 

I know how non-Christians celebrate Christmas.  It's pretty much the same sort of things our family does, minus the church services.   But our Easter celebration is almost exclusively the church services.  Okay, we eat ham for dinner, but we do that on non-Easter days too.  And depending on the ages and availability of children/grandchildren, we either hide some M&M's in plastic eggs, or just break open the bag of M&M's.  Eating M&M's isn't normal for us; that's something unusually celebratory.  But c'mon, ham and M&M's surely isn't much of a celebration for normal people.

When I was at work during Holy Week, I listened to people wish each other "happy Easter!"  And this week, I've heard people talk about their Easter celebration.  I don't know what that means, though.  As I've listened, I gather it's got something to do with families getting together and candy.  Some people who don't usually go to church might go to church for Easter.  But many don't, and yet they still "celebrate Easter." 

I suppose Christians in other parts of the world are befuddled by American celebrations of secular Christmas.   But I am befuddled by what's involved in an American celebration of secular Easter.  Anybody have some clues?  Have you noticed what neighbors, co-workers, or non-Christian family members do to celebrate Easter?

Plowing Ahead Blindly

It's one of those days where the failures seem insurmountable, and I wonder why I even try instead of just lying on the couch, watching movies, drinking.

Usually life passes and I'm content enough to keep plowing ahead.  Just do the laundry, put the food on the table, keep the cluttered pigsty from becoming too dirty or too cluttered, go to work, squeeze in some school for Maggie.  No thinking.  Just doing.  And no stopping. 

But today.  For some reason, today I'm thinking of all the other things that need doing.  How will I ever manage any garden work?  What about real cleaning, like shampooing the carpet or fixing the drywall on that one spot in the ceiling?  I want to play piano.  I want to watch movies.  I want to go for a walk.  I want to lie in the sun and read some books.  There are a couple of projects for church that I'm itching to do (one that needs to be finished in four weeks).  And somehow, this kind of mood always makes me unhappy with the shabbiness of my rugs and my old-fashioned storage spaces and the ugly paint in the bathroom and the cobwebs draped across undone projects tucked in the corners of the basement.

Today I spent a couple of hours with Maggie, trying to put together a gift for someone, and it turns out that it won't work and we're back to square one.  We still need to find a gift, and those hours were for naught.  I need to go to a meeting with Gary tonight, and I need to put on my non-introvert facade.  I need to do a grocery run for soft foods, so that Little Miss Swollen Cheeks will have ice cream and sherbet for her sore jaws tomorrow.  Because of an overbooked calendar (a calendar that is so empty of events that many of y'all would covet it) for these few weeks I have three days at home to do all the regular work that I usually struggle to accomplish in eight days. 

Plus, right now there are thinking things to do.  I have to be prepared for a meeting with the school psychologist on Monday, as we have asked the school for an evaluation for special education services (anticipating the need for transition services and some sort of government-provided health insurance for Maggie someday).  Also, Gary has applied for a different position at his company, which would be a significant change from what he does now.  These and other matters require thought, deliberation, planning, and research.  And you can't just squeeze that in around the edges as you plow ahead blindly.  And yet, if you stop (!) and think and give something serious consideration, all that other daily stuff isn't being accomplished. 

I feel whiny.

Well, the living room was cleaned.  And next week we go back to having chapel every morning.  Now maybe I should see if I can find the bedroom under the piles of papers and herds of dust bunnies.

Exceptionally Good Deals Online

When the kids want to buy something online, and find a super-dooper el-cheapo deal, I've always been a little uneasy.  I couldn't say why.  Even though it's unlikely, I've wondered if maybe it was stolen merchandise.  Then there's also the mantra, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." 

I learned recently that sometimes a disreputable company will post unbelievable prices.  After all, the customers think, why pay $30 for something when you can buy it for $4?  Yes, that's a real price.  And yes, you'll get your merchandise.  But the company might also implant malware that will log your key-strokes, so that they can obtain your passwords to various accounts as well as financial information.  If they get past your firewalls and other protection, that cheap stuff is going to cost a lot more in the long run.

Sometimes it's worth it to pay more.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Christmas List from About 10 Years Ago

I found this tucked into a book today --

Andrew: hamster toys and a chess game
Philip: a passport and a glasses repair kit
Paul: art desk and a hat
Rachel: CuddlDuds and specialty soaps
Katie: photography class and CuddlDuds
Gary: loofah, Limbaugh Letter, black pants, outdoor fire pit
Maggie: Ken doll and a toy stroller
Susan: jojoba shampoo from Geneva Inn and potholders

In Nanna's Cupboards

Matching lids and pots.  That's math for a 1-yr-old, right?

Wisdom Teeth

So Maggie's scheduled to have her wisdom teeth out on Friday.  We've been trying to decide between laughing gas and the IV sedation.  Her teeth aren't impacted, and she actually has room for her wisdom teeth.  But vcfs folks have teeth that rot.  She's had molars erupt with decay already in them.  One of the wisdom teeth did too.  So it seems best to get rid of those teeth that are waaaaay back in the back of her jaws.

Two weeks ago she caught a cold/cough from one of the kids in preschool.  Of course, with her immune deficiencies, she is still coughing away.  Two nights ago, she had that inbreath that sounds like whooping cough.  (We went through this last year, and it wasn't whooping cough; don't panic.)  Yesterday she discovered that her inhaler helped.  So now we're wondering if we have to postpone the oral surgery, or alternately if her cold will determine which kind of sedation she needs.

What really struck me was something the nurse said when I was consulting with her yesterday.  "Well, it's still three days away.  Call us on Thursday.  It's very likely she'll be fine by then."  In two days?  Things could change in two days?  Oh.  Yeah.  I guess for most people, that's realistic.  But for Maggie, I'm thinking, "Good grief, why would I expect things to be improved in only two days?!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012


So yesterday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal (page 3B) contained an opinion piece by one of the paper's writers.  He discussed the public's response to finding out that certain people in the media (radio, paper, tv) had signed the recall petition for Governor Walker.  The question these days is "Should reporters have the right to sign petitions?"  The employers say no.  Some employees suggest that this is like blacklisting.

Eugene Kane wrote,
The ethics code of my company is comparable to those of other media organizations that want to always remind their employees of the dangers of exposing a conflict of interest that could impede their ability to report or cover the news.

Got that?

Read it again.

Apparently the danger is not that the reporters HAVE a conflict of interest that messes with their ability to report the news.  The danger is that the conflict of interest be EXPOSED.


And that's why people don't trust the media.

Hunting for Eggs

Sunday, April 08, 2012

What Might've Been Today's Closing Hymn

After five glorious days of multiple services, the thing that came to mind at the end of second service today was:

'Tis good, Lord, to be here,
Yet we may not remain.
But since Thou bidd'st us leave the mount
Come with us to the plain.

The end of the Job reading: "How my heart yearns within me," ....