Saturday, August 02, 2014

Be Prepared!

Is it possible to "be prepared" without hoarding?

Part of the problem is not knowing what to "be prepared" FOR.
~ Being prepared for power outages and huge blizzards would require a stocked pantry and candles and flashlights and kerosene heaters and offline resources.
~ Being prepared for a terrorist attack might require the same things, as well as heirloom seeds and ammunition, as well as oddball stuff like knowledge of medicinal herbs, and do-it-yourself equipment (tools, well-water with a handpump, wood stove, non-electric grain-grinder), and maybe even being debt-free.
~ Being prepared to flee might require some of the items/knowledge listed above, but it would also require a memory full of hymns and psalms and catechism and Bible verses.  And good hiking shoes.

Preparing a pantry full of emergency meal rations and batteries won't do any good if you're flooded out or if you're a refugee.

Old-fashioned paper maps and compasses and backpacks and and water-purifying tablets may be necessary for someone who must flee, but they won't be much use during a massive blizzard that isolates you for a couple of weeks.

Oh, I want to be a pack-rat!  I want to store things I may need someday.  I hate running to the hardware store for a 9-cent bolt.  When my jammies wear out, I want to dig a "new" pair out of the hand-me-down box and not have to shop for more.  I want my years of Backwoods Homes available to teach me how to be self-reliant.  I want scrap fabric and used buttons.  I want sleeping bags and a propane lantern.  I want iron skillets and an outdoor cooking-tripod.

A recent article, The Problem with Minimalism, makes the excellent point that people must store goods ... unless they have enough money to buy whatever needs replacing whenever they have a need.  That includes parts for car repair.  And it includes packed-lunch versus grabbing fast-food.  And it includes toys and educational supplies and old-fashioned books that your grandchildren will need long after your children have outgrown those items.

But what about balance?  There was the day when Paul had outgrown of many of his shirts, and had worn out the rest.  I knew there were shirts in his size in the basement's hand-me-down collection.  We hunted and hunted and found nothing.  We finally bought a few shirts at Goodwill.  A few months later, sorting through the massive collection of clothing, I found nineteen t-shirts and polos in his size.  NINETEEN.  But the collection was so unwieldy as to be useless when we needed to grab something.  That was when I pulled back a bit, before I hurtled from Hoarder-Cliff.

Sometimes we need a knock upside the head to remember that God will provide daily bread, and to let go of depending upon ourselves and our possessions.
And sometimes we have to have the good sense not to toss God's gifts in the trash, just because He provided them a couple of weeks (or several years) before we saw how much we'd need them.

But how to know which is which?

Road Work in Our Subdivision

I bet Alia would've loved to watch this!

Friday, August 01, 2014

A Few Non-Wedding Pictures


Matt and Rachel

Rachel at a friend's wedding

Philip on his trip to Puerto Rico

Andrew's Rosie-kitty (who still lives with us)

Reading Challenge

Update on this year's reading list:

finish proofreading New Testament Catechist  [done Feb 11]

Light from Heaven (the last Mitford book) [done March 6]
the Father Tim series, by Jan Karon

the Kristin Lavransdatter series, by Sigrid Undset
Bridal Wreath [done March 27]
Mistress of Husaby [done April 30]
The Cross [done June 15]

Hammer of God (again)

The Complete Guide to Creating a Special Needs Life Plan, by Hal Wright

Anne of the Island [done July 31]
Anne of Windy Poplars
and maybe a few more in the series
(with Maggie)

likely some proofreading on Bible Stories for Daily Prayer

a Luther biography with Maggie
Narnia (again)
Horses of Heaven, by Gillian Bradshaw
maybe try out an Elizabeth Gaskill book
something by Beverly Engel or Robin Stern
Quiet by Susan Cain [done July 20]

additions beyond original list
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause [done July 29]

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
by Elaine N Aron

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Is It Valuable? (Matthew 13)

My father-in-law collected oodles of Henry Major's paintings, drawings, and statues.  He is convinced they're valuable.  I don't think they probably are.  But I'll find out when we put them for sale on ebay.

Pastor mentioned Antique Roadshow in the sermon this week.  He pointed out that the value of an item is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.  You may have something that you think should be tremendously valuable (such as the Russian 3-stringed guitar my father-in-law owned), but if nobody else cares and nobody else wants it, you're not going to find anybody who will pay five bucks for it. 

In the "kingdom parables" at the end of Matthew 13, Jesus sells all that He has to buy the treasure of the world.  What a wreck of a "treasure"!  But He loved.  He sold His life and His blood.  He placed value on a world of sinners who hated Him.  The Lord set an immeasurable value on the world when He gave His Son as the purchase-price.  (Really??--the world is worth GOD's suffering and death?) 

So when we think, "How could God love me?  Look at what a miserable excuse of a Christian I am," we look at what He says.  We look at what He was willing to give to buy us.  And as it is on Antique Roadshow, that is what determines value.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


But it was misdiagnosed.

Itching began last Wednesday.  Rash started Thursday and kept getting worse.  Doctor visit on Friday with a diagnosis of mites (from cuddling the cat on Tuesday and Wednesday) or chiggers (from sitting in the grass on Tuesday) or scabies (huh?).  This [substitute] doctor didn't test because these problems are all treated with the same Rx-cream and the same washing regimen.

Followed instructions carefully.
Refrained from hugging and touching anybody at the rehearsal dinner.  I told them I had cooties and to stay away for their own protection.
Wore long sleeves and long skirt and high neckline for the wedding, continuing to be careful to not-hug or at least to avoid any skin contact. 
Rash continued to get worse.
Continued to wash, re-wash, and again re-wash sheets, towels, clothes, etc.
Itching kept me up at night.
Rash continued to spread.
Sores became oozy and weepy.

Returned to doctor.  This time it was past office-hours and we went to FastCare.  This doctor diagnosed a bad case of poison ivy.  She prescribed steroids and an astringent wash for the sores.  In two hours I could already see significant improvement!  I slept comfortably last night.  Sores are healing nicely and no longer spreading.

The chigger diagnosis not only delayed treatment for the poison ivy; the medicine for it also worsened the rash and spread the urushiol oil.  It's sad that I could've felt this good for the wedding if the rash had been correctly diagnosed the first time. But at least it's on the mend now.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Daughters

Rachel, Katie, Olivia, Maggie, Mandy

Aren't they beautiful?!!!!

A lot happening this week, some wonderful and some nasty:
broken plumbing,
returning to my job,
kitty's serious illness,
a kid's moving out,
a humongous case of chiggers,
and a kid's wedding. 

I should post more pictures when I get a chance to see them.