Friday, March 30, 2007

The Winner.....So Far

Every time Tom sees these pictures he salivates and says, "Those were the best ribs I've ever had IN MY LIFE!!" And he knows ribs. We found these in Jackson, Wyoming, in September of 2005. They were smoked, then barbecued. I had a taste. He's right. Delicious!

We discussed mailing the bones home for Sammy, our pup, who would have devoured them in giant slurps, but quickly concluded that would be silly.

I'm going to be away from the computer for several days, in case you wonder what's going on. I look forward to catching up when I get back! Have a TERRIFIC weekend, all!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Caroline Stayed

"Two isn't any better than one. We should have a couple more kids."

Back in 1989 our two boys Ben and Joe, then 8 and 5, were the joys of our lives. But when Tom said those words to me one night as we were talking about our family life together I was not surprised given the fact that he'd had a lonely childhood, being raised an only child. It was meant to be, that we'd have more. I'd been having the baby craving but didn't want to say anything. I ALWAYS have the baby craving.

After a sad miscarriage, God sent us Cassie. JOY! I've already posted about her, in October. Fabulous funny Cassie!

Now it was time for us to pray and hope for another child, so Cassie would have someone to grow up with, the way the boys had each other. We humans tend to think we can plan things any old way we choose; we tend to be dense.

Another miscarriage. Another tailspin. Another time that God graciously pulled me up and out of heartbreak and pain before I could crash and burn. Times like these reveal just how much God is loved, husband is loved, wife is loved, kids are loved, and friends are loved. The pulling together and support......but that's for another post.

Six months later I found myself pregnant again. Dare I hope! I did, and to my horror, right at the same number of weeks where my other two miscarriages had occurred, the familiar symptoms appeared. No. NO! Please, no.

Tom and I went outside, under the kitchen window, on a little white bench, and I cried. He cried, his arm firmly around my shaking shoulders. I so much wanted this baby. My arms needed her. My heart needed her. Our family needed her. "I guess we've taken our fertility for granted," said Tom, the practical one. I could only nod, and feel the utter emptiness, the heavy sadness. I trust in God's decisions for my life, I do. However, coping is not always easy.

Well, I fully expected this baby to leave. In anguish I waited. I hoped, I prayed, I cried, I talked, I was silent. Another doctor visit. "What? Everything is fine? I don't believe it. I can't believe it. I have to guard myself." My poor mind wanted to do cartwheels of joy and clam up in fear all at once. But then, I heard it: her heartbeat. Strong, clear, fast. A living baby!!

"Don't get your hopes up. Wait until you feel movement," I instructed myself. Defensive guarding.

It wasn't long before I felt that little bubble, that flutter we moms know so well. Caroline grew, she stayed. She didn't leave us, she stayed.

Twelve years ago I went into labor at night, heading to the hospital at eleven o'clock. Two hours later, Caroline came into this world hollering to beat the band. She didn't want to be held, to eat, to be bathed. I think she wanted to go shopping.

After she and I settled into our hospital room Tom went home and told the boys, who were taking care of the sleeping three year old Cassie, that they had another sister. They nodded happily, and fell right back to sleep.

Me? I slept for a few hours until Caroline needed my attention. Delighted, I tended to her needs, then peacefully counted her long fingers and toes again, and decided her head was about the size of a softball. I kept my tiny pink daughter right there on my chest until the sun came up. I was so 'high' that I could do no more than doze a little.

I prayed a lot that night, prayers of gratitude, of thanksgiving, of wordless, tear drenched emotion. "Thanks for letting this one stay."

Caroline turns twelve in May. She's my sensitive child, the one who teaches us to slow down, to notice the little lovely things, to appreciate the deeper side of life. She's athletic, smart, clever.

She can find just the clothes and accessories she wants and save money at the same time. A very good trait in a little girl!

"Thanks for staying, Lima Bean!"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Different Does Not Necessarily Mean Wrong

Our cats had litters now and then, when I was growing up. Getting a cat fixed wasn't something my folks wanted to do, so when a cat gave birth they just took the unwanted kittens to the pound once they could be weaned. How I hated to see the babies go. Playful, tiny, soft kittens.

One litter I remember particularly well, probably because I was a little older, about 10. The word 'runt' had flitted through my consciousness, but not until little Snowball was born did I become aware of what a runt actually was. She was the teeniest, tiniest kitten, the one the others shoved aside to get to mama's milk, the one the mother cat didn't seem to notice or care for, the one........who was different.

Mom warned me against naming the kittens or growing attached to them, advice I normally heeded, but for some reason this little white skinny thing kindled my flickering sensitivities. She needed help, or she would die. From the corner of the blanketed cardboard box I gently lifted Snowball over her robust siblings, setting her next to her mama for milk. I waited while she drank, nudging the other kittens away if they bothered her. I did this before school, after school, and before bed. Every day. Snowball was always smaller, always shoved aside, always different, but she lived, and grew.

Dad declared it was time to take the kittens away. How I'd dreaded the day! I asked him to let me keep "just one?". Somehow I understood his position. He wasn't being mean, just practical. As the box of kittens was loaded into the Lincoln I ran outside and climbed a tree, hiding myself and my tear streaked face amongst the mulberry leaves. I'd kissed Snowball good-bye and could still smell her creaturely breath and fur on my sleeve, feel the warmth of her tiny body on my cheek. "Good-bye little kitty," I sniffed sadly. I sensed somehow that something important, something 'grown-up' was happening in my mind and heart, knew it even at that young age.

At the dinner table the topic of the discarded kittens came up. I asked timidly, "Do you think they will all be adopted?" Of course I really wanted to know about Snowball, as I was quite hopeful the other fat lively kittens would be quickly chosen.

"Sure, all but that little runt," my mother replied. My siblings nodded their heads in agreement as they chewed and swallowed.

"Yes, they're cute and healthy, they'll find homes. All but that runt. She'll probably die. I'm surprised she made it this long," Dad said matter-of-factly, cutting his tough pork chop and stabbing it with his fork.

I had a piece of tough fried pork chop in my own mouth when these shocking words were spoken. No way could I chew that thing now. It felt like it had grown to three times its actual size. Rising emotions seized my throat. My upper lip quivered. My breathing came in irregular mini-gasps. My eyes began to water, everything went blurry. I put my napkin up to my face and with my tongue pushed the pork out of my mouth into that napkin, set the wad on my plate, and left the table murmuring shakily, "I need to go to the bathroom."

Once out of sight in the bathroom, I silent-sobbed until I could breathe again. Sobbed for Snowball. Sobbed for all those who were weak, who were different, vulnerable and unnoticed. It hurt deep, way deep in my soul. It was awful.

I knew I had to go back to the table or everyone would figure out I was crying over a "stupid runt kitten." As it was, no one was the wiser, no one knew of my love for Snowball or of my efforts to save her. After rinsing off my face and seeing my red eyes in the mirror, I tucked my chin and returned to the table. "Please, please, don't let them notice and make fun of me."

The meal was finished, dishes done, kids sent to bed, and no one noticed my upset. At all. Ever.

I've never said anything until now. I felt guilt for a few years for not trying harder to rescue Snowball. Maybe she died physically while still tiny, maybe not, but she has lived in my heart for forty years. I'll always remember that little 'runt,' unnoticed by her family, unable to reach vital nourishment without help, her own mother indifferent to her needs.

Because of Snowball, and the feelings of compassion and action that she aroused in ten year old me, I have an inkling of how God intervenes in the lives of those of us whose differentness is misunderstood. By intruding upon the indifference of our given environment He provides special means of nourishment for our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits, while watchfully caring for and guiding us in ways unknown, though appreciated, to growth.

When those who ought to care do not, when differences seem too complicated to sort out, when ignoring comes easier than effort, from 'outside of the box' can come God's merciful hand to set things right, his own way.

He makes all the difference.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sweet or Savory?

Tom took me to an Italian restaurant this afternoon where I ordered a garlic chicken pasta dish. The waiter smiled pleasantly and asked, "Do you like garlic, reaaallly like garlic?"

"Yes, I LOVE garlic."

Assured that I would be okay with this obviously garlic-strong dish, he stepped away to put in our order.

"I really DO love garlic," I repeated to Tom, "and onions, and herbs. MMMM. I guess I'm savory oriented."

We both paused as he gave me a knowing look.

"Yeah, I do love sweets, too. Do I have more of a savory tooth or a sweet tooth? I don't know. Both, I guess."

"You're bi-molar."

Sweet and funny and little off his rocker.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"A" is for Apple Pie

Gutenberg College sent Joe his quarterly grades, which we received today.

Another quarter behind. Two weeks of Spring Break are perfect for resting and recreating...

....and eating your favorite dessert; apple pie. Good job, Joe!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Desert Meditation

If colorful flowers can dot arid landscapes, offering quiet beauty and cheer......

.......if slender-rooted, wind-whipped greenery clinging to hard flat rock can thrive, even crack the rock...... much more shall we, made in the very image of God, move beyond mere dwelling, to beautiful, fruit-bearing, growth.


"I've heard your anguish, I've heard your hearts cry out.
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren't worn out.
Set down your chains, until only faith remains.
Set down your chains."

~~~~"Life Uncommon" by Jewel

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kindred Hearts

Friendship. Tried. True.

If you’ve linked over to Cassie’s blog you may have read the post where she expresses pain from a cruel situation. Betrayal of friends is tough. The mean girls from my childhood have been replicated, and it pains me. Pains me terribly. Because they have hurt one of my cherished children. Deep disillusion. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last. Still.

I told Cassie that, in time, and possibly when she least expected it, she would discover sincere friendship.

In consoling my children I often wonder if my words are right, if they are true in the reality of a situation or if they just sound wise. It’s hard to know. Not everything I believe is concretely validated.

However, sometimes God gives a front row seat to a scintilla of his goodness. Oh my, the sweet awe.

Such a front seat blessing occured this week after the play that we attended in which Cassie’s friend starred. She and he have not seen each other at all this school year because of misaligning schedules. Even kids can become too busy to keep in touch.

In the last moment of the last scene of the play, Cassie’s friend took two flowers from a vase and handed one to his leading lady as they exited, stage left. Applause was loud and long. What a great show! The lights were turned up, my daughters and I raised from our seats, and headed to the aisle stairs.

There, standing at the bottom of the steps, was Cassie’s dear friend, holding the flower shown in the picture, with an eager glad smile on his face. Cassie lightly stepped toward him, he handed her the flower, and they hugged a heartfelt, tender hug, while sincerely, emotionally exclaiming how very much they’d missed each other! To others it probably looked like an ordinary pair of friends hugging, but the four of us knew how gratifying was this reconnecting, how needed. This moment in a crowded theater amidst jostling actors and audience members was absolutely lump in the throat, tears in the eyes, as if no one else was around beautiful. Neither kid knew just how much the other meant until they had been separated, left to wander among less than kindreds for months. Wonderful it is to be known.

Cassie’s friend had no idea what she’d been through, nor did he know how desperately she needed his genuine friendship at that very moment.

After catching up and promising to get together we headed for the car and home. Glowing, tears in her eyes, gently smiling, Cassie uttered not a sound. She didn’t have to.

But I did. I whispered, “You have a true friend, an always friend.” Tears rolled down her blushing cheeks, she sniffed the yellow flower, nodded and answered emotionally, “I do. I do.”

The contented filling from reconnecting with a flower bestowing friend would not have been so deeply encouraging had Cassie not first painfully lost something which she’d held dear, a thing which turned out to be false.

“In my loss I rejoice, for what I have found.”

Holy ground.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Witching Hour

If you've managed to rummage through my archives enough, you may have read the 2006 July Fourth posting, which recounts the evening that Sammy, our dog, sniffed out a baby opossum playing dead under the lush leaves of our vegetable garden, while we were outside roasting marshmallows. Our normally easy-going beagle barked like a psycho.

For some odd reason Tom has always been taken with 'possums. He thinks they are cute. (Don't even ask what this means about his attraction to ME!) He rescued the little unharmed baby creature from Sam and, after much convincing, set him free. He and the girls were worried about the baby's survival chances. I was hopeful that the little guy would reconnect with his mother. (The above photo is the opossum right after rescue from the tomato patch.)

Two weeks later, at midnight, Sammy began barking like a maniac. Sure enough, there was a critter out there, on the fence. It was the baby 'possum, back for a visit. It only took a few midnight visits before Tom was hand feeding the 'possum and scratching the little bug-eyed thing's noggin.

Okay, rewind. Three years ago Joe named our beagle Samwise, after the true and faithful hobbit friend of Frodo, in 'Lord of the Rings', because our newly weaned puppy, Sam, was Joe's loyal friend right from the start. In the 'Lord of the Rings' books Samwise has a creepy nemesis named Gollum, who is constantly trying to steal the precious ring from Frodo. Samwise is on to Gollum, and foils him every time, faithfully warning Frodo.

Fast forward. Last summer this 'possum became Sam's nemesis right away. Each night the pointy-nosed, rat-tailed marsupial waddled along the tall fence pickets in the quiet darkness of night, until he came to rest among the branches of our flowering shrubs. For a few weeks Sam went bananas every single time, barking, jumping up against the fence, looking at Tom wild-eyed as if to say, "He's an enemy! Warning, warning! Don't TOUCH him! What the heck are you DOing!! Flee! Flee! Danger, danger!" Naturally, my animal loving family picked a name for the nightly visitor: Gollum.

Can you picture this? While a glowing-eyed, pink-nosed, slumping animal skitters along cedar pickets, Sam, after waking from his bed, begins tearing through the house. The crazed beagle then shoots out his doggie door. Clawing at the lawn as he streaks to the corner of the yard he hurtles his muscular body into the shrubs, where he then jumps, snaps, and barks, like a deranged nut. Tom, usually awake at this time, smiles and mutters contently, "Gollum." Out the door he saunters, cat food and veggies in his fist. Joe, also awake, meets Tom in the yard with a flashlight. The girls, not supposed to be awake, tippy toe in their little jammies down the walkway, squealing with girlish delight to watch as Daddy feeds the grizzled Gollum, then scratches him between his eyes. At midnight, mind you. Me? I remain in bed wondering how I ended up in the looney bin.

(Okay, this scraggly nocturnal creature IS sorta cute in an ugly kind of way. I have been known to participate in the Gollum Ritual. Thankfully, most nights last summer we just rolled over and went back to sleep. So did Sam.)

Tom was sad and concerned when the cold, rain, and snow kept Gollum away for two seasons.

Sam barked his crazy bark last night. We thought it was cats. The following morning, however, Joe told us that at midnight when he heard Sam bark he looked out his garden window, just in time to see Gollum hunching and skittering along the pickets, heading for the shrubs, looking for a good scratch. (This photo is Gollum after a head scratching last summer.)

Tom's little buddy is okay. He's so happy!

Good-bye peaceful midnight. Hello looney bin.

(Now I know why Grandma referred to midnight as, "The Witching Hour.")

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cell Phones - Revisited

Okay, is this a cosmic joke on me?

Tonight all you blogger friends who commented about my last post, the one about cell phones, came to mind. Why, you ask? Read on.

This evening I took my daughters to the theater, to see a play which starred one of their friends. Marvelous play! But guess what?

Yes, even though we'd been told three times in the moments preceding the play to silence our cell phones, the gray-haired fellow (65?) who sat directly behind Caroline let his phone ring twice before the play began. He gleefully sent a return text to whoever rang him up, after telling and showing his wife all about it.

"Okay," I thought. "This is too funny considering all the cell phone yapping I've been doing in the last, oh, 24 hours. He'll mute his phone in a few minutes. Calm down, old girl. You're being too critical. Iain says this guy's connecting. Lighten up! Something to admire. Find it. Well, he IS keeping his wife and friends entertained with his stories of getting drunk on different types of beer and wine-in-a-box." (Sometimes one can't be too picky on the sort of thing admired.)

The lights darkened, the play began, I relaxed. Five minutes into a 90 minute performance his phone rang. The sound split the silence in the audience. He eagerly sent a return text. The phone rang again, again, again, again, again, six times all together in the first half of the program. When I turned my chin over my shoulder in a sort of sidelong glance, he responded, "Oh, sorry."

You may think I'm lying, or at least exaggerating, and I know I am struggling with a bad attitude about this, but the ringing happened again, again, again, again, again and again before the play was over. Yes, six more times during the second half, twelve in all. I counted. I breathed deeply, and I counted, and I really did enjoy the play - somehow!

TWELVE TIMES!! (Taking shallow breaths now, can you tell?)

We were sitting in the center of the theater so there was a large circle of irritated, passive people who were too polite?/self-conscious?/chicken? to say anything.

Funny thing? During the 15 minute intermission, yep, his phone was quiet. Not a peep.

Oh well.

(Bottom of the Pacific Ocean!!!!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should

The beach. The glorious Oregon Coast! My two friends and I were there for a long weekend, a supposed holiday from home and hearth, not because home and hearth are undesirable, but because we needed an emptying of sorts, to better live our lives.

The drive up and over was filled with delightful catching up, and sorrows shared. A good beginning.

Interrupting our revelry, her cell phone notified her there was a text message. Nothing important. Her co-worker texted, "Have a fun time! Wish I was there!" in text speak.

Similar messages were sent five or more times before our 2 hour drive ended.

Settled into our lodgings, we headed for the shore, to walk and be soothed at the sea's edge. She checked for messages. Ha, yes, a funny phrase from another friend. One of her adult daughters sent a funny picture. Her son sent a funny picture. Her husband asked where was the new tube of toothpaste. In the presence of our coast's guardian, the Pacific Ocean, lighted with millions of sunshiney sparkles, ebbing, flowing, hissing, crashing, salty-scented, squealing gulls, seaweed littered sands, shells and foam, and there she stood, staring at her tiny tiny screen at a picture of her grandson slobbering. "Isn't that funny!!"

Getting irked, was I, just a little. A teeny bit. "Shake it off," I told myself. "Keep your mouth shut."

At meals, in town shopping, back on the beach, in our room visiting, sharing, out came that cell phone with calls, messages, nothing crucial, just little 'funny things.' For all four days. Interruptions everywhere.

Irritation turned into zeal - I wanted to stomp that phone and throw it into the ocean, or was it HER I wanted to stomp and throw. Both!

I believe the term going around is 'absent present'. This is what she was, for though she was physically with us, her dealings were back home. She never really left home. She brought her trivial day-to-day stuff with her and subsequently dumped it at our feet.

I did manage to get to the beach alone, to unwind. Somehow, though, the purification, the washing I'd become accustomed to on these trips was elusive. Try as I may, the annoyance barred the full-fledged escape I needed.

I felt gypped.

I have a cell phone, yes, yes, I do. It's the family phone, intermittently used, given to the kids when they are on outings, or for emergencies, and for calling home when we are on trips. It costs us $17 a month. We seldom use all our minutes. And, yes, I understand cell phones for businesses. They are indeed handy. It's the silly stuff, the constant silly stuff that bugs me, when taken immediately, as if there were no such thing as an 'off' mode. When do the minds of these constant chatterers digest life's daily input?

Peace constantly shattered leaves little room for gently swirling, settling thoughts, dreaminess, even meditations. I wonder, what does this do to the psyche, to be always chattering, always 'on'? How vivid can experiences be when they are disturbed, when the mind is unnecessarily pulled away to another person, another place?

I was born 100 years too late.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Quiet Life

Naturalist Olaus Murie was a quiet man, who lived a quiet yet profound life.

When questioned about his ability to get along with everyone, including the very disagreeable, he answered simply that in each person he met he looked for something to admire. admire.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Give Us This Day......


White and whole grain, rye, buckwheat, and oat.



Bagels, muffins, Artisan breads.

French. Sourdough. Irish Soda. English Muffins. More.

But my favorite bread, on a drippy, gray, almost dreich honey whole wheat, warm from the oven, with a little soft butter spread on top. What's your favorite?

I can't wait to see the smiles on Tom and Joe's faces when they enter the house after work and school, the aroma of freshly baked bread greeting them.

To give such pleasure is a joy.

Simple Things.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tearin' Up the Road

As you may know, Cassie is learning to drive, and I have been the one teaching her so far. She’s a quick study, with a bit of a lead foot sometimes.

To ride with someone who is learning, to know years more than they do, to have experience galore compared to their none, tends to make one take shallow breaths until the key is turned off.

I find myself trying help her avoid rookie mistakes by anticipating her responses, her tendencies. To keep my instructions full but brief, to keep alert yet calm, takes a lot out of me. See, I don’t know all of which she is capable. I don’t know all of her reactions ahead of time. I’m not in her head. One false move and we could die, maybe taking others with us. (Wish we had that “L”, Iain.)

Yet, I have a sort of confidence that I know her enough, and I know me enough, and I know human behavior enough to keep the car where it belongs, when it belongs there, even with my daughter driving. However, anything could happen. Sobering thought.

God, on the other hand, is inside my head, he does know how I’ll react, and one false move, well, is there such a thing?

I take great comfort in the knowledge that my Teacher knows his business and knows me much better than I do. He’ll keep me where I need to be, all the time. I don’t have to worry.

But I do have to do some driving.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

St. Augustine Revisited

Joe came home from school energetic and vibrant after a "really good discussion" today.

He read me this quote:

"For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked."

St. Augustine, "City of God, Book 1, Chapter 8"

Thought provoking.

Revisited: Been thinking about this quote. It reminds me of Romans 9. Also of the passage that says something like Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.

It's easy to think of God as a kind, wise grandpa who gently lifts us from a destructive path, carries a big stick to shoo away those people and things that would hurt us, with a twinkle in his eye, and doting pats to our little heads, straightening our halos, a grandpa who requires us to remind him of what needs doing down here in the universe. Or, to think of him as an angry, lightening-hurling, crazy-mad sort of megalomaniac just looking for an excuse to torture humans. He is neither.

It's imperative that we get this as right as we can, the true nature of God and his creation, otherwise, well, won't we be following a different god than the God of the Bible? Won't it be a different faith? Isn't our salvation at risk if we don't have it right, if we aren't believing the Truth, but some watered down, plucked, twisted, synthetic pseudoversion? Paul implores of us to, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling [does this mean anticipation and excitement, maybe even anxiety?], for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13) Some interpret that passage to mean you have to earn your salvation through works. That's inconsistent with the rest of the Bible. Was Paul intending to communicate to us that we need to know for sure that the belief we stake our very lives on is The Truth? That we understand correctly? To keep striving for more accuracy, and thus clearer alignment with this Truth, as God changes us from within? This makes more sense to me.

This whole God thing is not so sweet and easy as I was taught it was in Sunday School. "...but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked." I want to get it right, because it matters, more than anything. And I feel the urgency, and the longing, to know.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Color of Prosperity

Yellow is supposed to be the color of prosperity.

If that's true, our valley is in good shape!

These delightful daffolils are blooming in our backyard right now.

On our daily walk today the kids and I saw this sight repeated in the yards of neighbors, parks, and other places. It's a jovial time of year!

Daffodils: Smiles in the shape of skirted bells!

"A garden is the best alternative therapy."

~~~Germaine Greer

"How fair is a garden amid the toils and passions of existence."

~~~~~Benjamin Disraeli

Monday, March 05, 2007

Of Yuk.....and Dragons

Being basically computer illiterate, it has taken me awhile to discover that this blog looks really yukky when viewed with Internet Explorer - at least, when I look at it with my I.E.

I created it on Safari and Firefox, and when I look at it with those browsers I like the look. It's green and cream, orderly, easy to use, and pleasing on the eye. On Explorer it's white where it should be cream, black where it should be green, the post text should be light brown, not black, and the comments and quotes on the side, besides being hard to read, look absolutely horrid in an ugly orangey color and without their neat little boxes. Blyaaaa. Besides the colors being off, the design is all goofed up.

So, for you who see it that way, I'm sorry. I appreciate your viewership all the more, after knowing what you have to endure.

I wonder if any of you see it with Internet Explorer the way I see it with Safari and Firefox, or if it's always just going to be ukky for you?

I suppose the fact that I have an Apple Computer in a world of PCs may add to the disconnect, too.


Today a new movie theater opened in our area, offering tickets for a dollar, so the girls and I took them up on the offer. We went to see Eragon. What a wonderful way to escape! I loved it. Anytime I can escape for awhile to a fantasy land where there is no technology, I'm pretty much there.

And the way I feel now after this browser discovery, I think I'd be better off flying around on a dragon this afternoon, than sitting here griping.

I'll go walk the beagle. That always helps!

Postscript: For my own tallying, I just received my first whiff of spring through the open window - a delicate scent of something blossoming somewhere, carried on the wind, to my waiting nostrils! Be still, my heart, sunny days and happy moods are on their way!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

One of Four and a Rubik's Cube

On Thursday Tom's mom had a frightening heart episode and her kidneys began to fail. She was rushed to the hospital in the nick of time. The cardiologist recommended her heart be stopped and restarted, like a computer, to get its rhythm back. It worked! Whew.

Being an adopted child, Tom was blessed with four parents, two natural, and two adopted. All loved. We lost his natural dad some years ago. Both Tom's adopted dad and his natural mom died within 3 months of one another two years ago. That was a rough spell. As the last one of four remaining, Tom's adopted mom remains a very precious person in Tom's life. He was raised an only child thus the bond between them is quite significant.

This morning we learned that Mom's kidneys are functioning again, not up to snuff, but quite sufficiently. She's diabetic, so this is a concern. Her heart sustained only minor damage but should need no tweaking in the near future. It looks like she gets to go home today. YAY!!! She misses her doggie, and he misses her. A tail wagging, joyful reunion awaits.

My dad had a small stroke a few days before Christmas. My mom seems a bit more frail each time I see her.

I don't like this.

But I accept it.

We have entered into the ranks of brave, compassionate souls who care for kids at home, have kids in college, and have parents who require just a little more time and care. When I say I don't like this, I don't mean that I dislike that our parents require more time and care, I mean that something is potentially coming which I am not emotionally or mentally ready to wrap my mind around. When I believed Dad was going to die in December a veil parted, giving me a glimpse of that which left me feeling like I was free falling, no ground in sight.

I'd better buck up, huh.

God is gracious to go slow with me, to let me adjust in the quietness of my overly sensitive heart (another one of my mom's descriptions of me - overly sensitive. I 'think too much' and am 'overly sensitive'. Wanna be my friend??!! Ha!)

On a more upbeat note, Cassie solved her brand new Rubik's Cube in three days! Holy Moly! No wonder math is so easy for her, and not so much for me. Caroline was right on her heels, with a little help from big sister. They get their brains from their daddy.

I feel stupid.

But that's okay.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Signs of Spring

Erupting all over the city are signs of spring!! Our backyard is perking up, too, as these daffodils and hyacinth attest.

Chopping wood is high on Tom's list of Favorite Things To Do. No fooling! In the rain, in work clothes, with a smile.

Cassie practiced driving again yesterday in the Autzen Stadium parking lot, with me as her 'Adult over 21' to guide her. A furious windy wet snow flurry offered itself to her growing list of inclement weather experiences. When the flakes fell hardest, she expertly stepped on the clutch and brake, yanked the emergency brake, shifted into neutral, opened her door, jumped outside and caught several snowflakes on her tongue. Caroline and I joined her!

Winter and Spring! Youth and Maturity!



All at once.

I'm feeling cheerier today.