Tuesday, January 31, 2006

free at last

rest in the arms of God
reunited with the one you loved
the one who taught us
freedom in loving our neighbor
despite color or creed or
position in society

rest in the arms of God
reunited with the one who loves you
the one who held you in grief and loss
who holds us now

rest in the arms of God
with Martin and with Christ

rest in freedom.


last night i sat down and watched A&E's made for television movie: Flight 93 about the plane that never reached its target on 9/11.

i don't know what compelled me to do it; i typically hate movies where i know that the main characters will die in the end. i had that same feeling last night that i alwasy get, where i hope that the ending will be different, happy. it wasn't. they still crashed.

watching it was interesting for me. the day of 9/11 i was in the car when the first reports of a small plane crashing into the world trade center had just occured. when the dj's on my favorite rock station told me that a second plane had crashed there i didn't get it; was one plane following the other? i was in denial until a member of the church rushed into the church saying he needed to pray... that another plane had rammed into the pentegon.

it wasn't until about 4:00 in the afternoon before i made it home and was able to watch a tape of what had happend. watching the actors watching the planes in "real" time brought me right back to that moment. not that the movie was that good (though i suppose it was well done enough) just that i had missed the experience that they were having.

like most americans, i didn't lose anyone that day that i knew personally; except that we all lost people that day.

and so much has changed since then for the worse. people are less giving now, too many people don't care if they loose freedoms now, we've become far too conservative, we've gotten used to being afraid... a stark contrast to what the passengers on flight 93 did.

i get frustrated by movies where i know the main characters are going to die... how do we know what really happened? how can we know just how heroic they really were?

except that we know that these people made a decision to do the bold thing. it wasn't a safe thing and most had said final good-byes to those they loved. they gave up the freedom of life for others. it wasn't a conservative decision; it wasn't a selfish decision. they didn't question whether or not the people they might save were gay or straight, republican or democrat, christians, jews, or pagans, rich or poor. they just did what they knew they needed to do.

God bless them for it and God bless their families.

take a moment and remember them:
The Crew
Jason Dahl
LeRoy Homer, Jr
Lorraine Bay
Sandra Bradshaw
Cee Cee Lyles
Wanda Green
Deborah Anne Jacobs Welsh
The Passengers
Christian Adams
Todd Beamer
Alan Beaven
Mark Bingham
Deora Bodley
Marion Britton
Thomas E. Burnett Jr
Willam Cashman
Georgine Rose Corrigan
Patricia Cushing
Joseph DeLuca
Patrick "Joe" Driscoll
Edward Porter Felt
Jane Folger
Colleen L. Fraser
Andrew Garcia
Jeremy Glick
Lauren Grandcolas
Donald F. Greene
Linda Gronlund
Richard Guadagno
Toshiya Kuge
Hilda Marcin
Waleska Martinez
Nicole Miller
Louis J. Nacke II
Donald and Jean Peterson
Mark "Mickey" Rothenberg
Christine Snyder
John Talignani
Honor Elizabeth Wainio
Kristin Gould White

God's peace y'all.

Monday, January 30, 2006


i love quilts. the one posted here was done by a woman at the church who is an amputee. years ago she wanted to start quilting but only had one arm. she began to make calls to find someone to teach her how to do it, but all of them kept telling her that it was impossible to quilt with just one arm.

and then one day she talked to a woman about teaching her to quilt "i'm an amputee and only have one arm, can you teach me?"

and the instructor's response: "i don't know, let's find out."

she now makes incredible art and i was lucky enough to "win" this one in a silent auction for only $35. it is certainly worth 3 times as much. usually it hangs in my family room which has tomato colored walls.

when my grandmother died i inherited all her quilting supplies. i am nowhere near as good at this artwork as either my g-mom or my church member, but i enjoy trying.

i love the story of this particular quilt especially because i lost my favorite quilt to mildew over a year ago. that quilt had been made by my great- grandmother when she was in her 90's. one of the pieces in the corner had been inverted, but i never saw it as a mistake; instead it made the quilt an individual like me.

i mourn the loss of that quilt and so i am greatful for this one an the beauty it brings to my home(even this tiny little temporary home we are in right now.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

thoughts of autumn

hubby gave me a digital camera for christmas so i decided to take some pictures.

this is a painting that was done by my grandmother. i have several of her pieces decorating my walls. i love having them because they give me a feeling of ancestry and memory of where i've come from.

if i'm an artistic person it's because of my grandmom.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

in honor of lionel, daisy, and in memory of sadie

i was sent this in an email today.

i'll post it in honor of lionel and daisy who made the long trip to be with the pobble (if you scroll down her blog to her post on 1/18 you'll see their picture). she loves her new pups.

and in memory of sadie who was loved by mr and mrs brutally honest and who i'm certain must have loved them the way only a dog can love.

and because my very own 'ohana (which means family in hawaiian) is right now torturing the cat.

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.-Anonymous

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.-Ann Landers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.-Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.-Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.-Andy Rooney

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.-M. Acklam

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate.-Sigmund Freud

I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.-Rita Rudner

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around threetimes before lying down.-Robert Benchley

Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.-Franklin P. Jones

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I haveknown will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.-James Thurber

If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise.-Unknown

My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money.-Joe Weinstein

Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul -- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!-Anne Tyler

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.-Robert A. Heinlein

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.-Mark Twain

You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'Wow, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'- Dave Barry

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.-Roger Caras

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.-Phil Pastoret

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.-Will Rogers

God's peace y'all

Friday, January 20, 2006

18 is a magic number

it is also the lead level for the silent prince.

18 is the best that it's been since all this began. the dr is certain that it will go back up again, but he doesn't know how much lead was actually in his bones.

there's something else the dr doesn't know... he's no longer the princess or prince's doctor.

four months before the whole lead fiasco began hubby took the prince to the pediatrian and asked for a lead test. the pediatrician (dr t.) sent us to a geneticist.

a little over 3 1/2 months later the school nurse asked us if we had ever had the prince tested for lead... something about explosions occuring in the prince's diapers. we told the nurse (who i shall now refer to as the medical goddess) said she would request a lead test from the doctor.

a week later the prince was in the hospital for lead poisoning. dr t visited with us once in the hospital and then dr v took over. we aren't sure how dr v got us, but he did.

now hubby never really liked dr v but we liked the practice so we put up with him.

meanwhile we took the prince to the geneticist, who we liked very much. dr p ordered three tests. the first was a heel prick test that is typically done on newborns in the hospital. this state tests for 40 different things while other states only test for a few. the next test was for something called fragile x and the third test was a basic chromosome test.

we took the prince for the tests the same day and waited... and waited... and waited. eventually dr p called to tell us that the heel prick test was fine. forty things to cross off the list of maybe's.

but the other two tests still weren't back. so we conitnued to wait.

then about a week ago dr v called to say that the prince's lead levels were at 44 and he would need to be put back on the chemet (the meds used to get the lead out). we had to take the prince in for more blood tests to see if his system could tolerate the chemet, which can effect one's white blood cells and therefore his immune system.

we heard back from dr v. hubby answered the phone.

dr v: yes, the prince could tolerate the chemet, but he would need to take an iron suppliment.
hubby: are his levels from lead in his bones?
dr v: yes. he'll need to get another blood test in 2 weeks.
hubby: ok. btw, we're still waiting t hear from the geneticist about the fragile x and the chromosome tests taken back in november.
dr v: oh he doesn't have fragile x. i had him tested when he had one of his lead tests.
hubby: well, this would have been helpful information. when were you planning on telling us this, dr?
dr v: oh, it slipped my mind with all the lead stuff going on. you should let the geneticist know the results.
hubby: we should let him know?
dr v: yes, give him a call and let him know.
hubby: o...k...


hubby: that's it! we need a new doctor! ok, he threw in some explitives, but this is a family site.

grandmom and grandpop were especially upset. grandmom got to work and found us dr s. dr s is the son-in-law of a member of their church and ranked as the top surgeon in the state. his secretary called us the day after grandmom talked to dr s's wife.

we like dr s!!!

meanwhile the prince doesn't have fragile x and his chromosomes are fine.


and the moral of my story is: you gotta trust your doctor.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, January 15, 2006

continuing the dream

i came home from church today and sat down in the living room to channel surf. i stopped on a local station that was running a tape of maritn luther king jr preaching. i flipped forward 2 or 3 stations then went back. i'm glad i did.

this was a man from whom light shone. it shone so brightly that even his death could not smoother it.

here is a piece of what he spoke:

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept -- so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force -- has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

read the rest; it's prophetic.

God's peace y'all

do you see what i see?

here's sunday's sermon.

God's peace y'all!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

does it poop?

that's the new question in our home. the princess kitty has gotten it into her head that she would like a pet. not that we don't already have a dog and two cats. nope, she wants another pet: either a rabbit or a puppy. i said talk to daddy. and daddy asked: does it poop?

nothing else that poops is allowed to take up residence in our home. it's a rule. no more poopers.

once i called myself the poop lady. the silent prince was in diapers and the princess kitty was potty training and we had a dog... lenny... who refused to poop anywhere but where i would step in it at 3am. i was the poop lady.

i love hubby... no more poopers (even if the poop is this cute.)

thanks to gnight girl at this just in for the cute poo.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

something i've been meaning to say...

...about my last post.

crackerlilo made an important comment after my post about belief that i think i need to respond to.

i said: wow; even the atheists are asking why bad things happen to good people.

and crackerlilo replied: Is this really such a surprise? It's *the* question all us humans have, I think.

and then she sent me hugs.

no, crackerlilo, it isn't a suprise and i should have phrased that better. i never meant to imply that atheists don't care about why bad things happen. in writing my defense i allowed myself to take what was a cheap shot to make a point and that's not me.

what i believe about God also affects what i believe about how i'm supposed to respect others and their differing beliefs. while i don't agree with atheism (and to be honest it does frustrate me) i also respect the fact that there are many who don't believe and i also respect the fact that they don't (even if i wish they did.)

and that is actaully the long and short of it... to be honest i do wish that everyone else believed exactly what i believe (it would make my life SO much easier), but that would be a boring life where blogging wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

we should all struggle with what we believe, even if the belief is about a lack of belief. just like there are times that i wonder, "what if there isn't a god?" i would hope that i could be the kind of person who would prompt others to ask themselves: "what if there is a god?"

the question about why bad things happen IS a human question that should prompt us to ask... "so, how can i make things better?" and that's a question for believers and atheists.

thanks for the hug and the wishes for my bad to turn better, crackerlilo... and for your gentle reminder to preach and practice what i believe.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


the silent prince's lead levels have increased to 44. hubby and i will take him for another set of blood tests after a lunch meeting today to make certain that the medication he took before won't have any ill affects on him so that he can be put back on it again.

his doctor says that there must have been a high concentration of lead in his bones that has now seeped back out into his blood. it's what we want to happen, if it's what has to happen. this way the lead is coming out rather than staying attached to his bones.

still, the idea that he will have to be back on the chemet (his medication) isn't exactly pleasing to us. and the idea that we would have to try a different medication instead because the chemet is having adverse affects is even a less happy thought.

not long ago i read a blog about God; or more specifically about how there is no God.

Here are excerpts from the atheist manifesto

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle. The obvious must be observed and re-observed and argued for. This is a thankless job. It carries with it an aura of petulance and insensitivity. It is, moreover, a job that the atheist does not want.

Only the atheist recognizes the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved. Only the atheist realizes how morally objectionable it is for survivors of a catastrophe to believe themselves spared by a loving God, while this same God drowned infants in their cribs. Because he refuses to cloak the reality of the world’s suffering in a cloying fantasy of eternal life, the atheist feels in his bones just how precious life is -- and, indeed, how unfortunate it is that millions of human beings suffer the most harrowing abridgements of their happiness for no good reason at all.

Of course, people of faith regularly assure one another that God is not responsible for human suffering. But how else can we understand the claim that God is both omniscient and omnipotent? There is no other way, and it is time for sane human beings to own up to this. This is the age-old problem of theodicy, of course, and we should consider it solved. If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil. Pious readers will now execute the following pirouette: God cannot be judged by merely human standards of morality. But, of course, human standards of morality are precisely what the faithful use to establish God’s goodness in the first place. And any God who could concern himself with something as trivial as gay marriage, or the name by which he is addressed in prayer, is not as inscrutable as all that. If He exists, the God of Abraham is not merely unworthy of the immensity of creation; he is unworthy even of man.

wow; even the atheists are asking why bad things happen to good people.

as someone, who hopes that she could be considered "good" by most standards, who is having something bad happen, and who is a believer, i think i might be somewhat qualified to despute the above.

i don't believe that God picks and chooses who to be nice to, nor does God suffer from a lack of care, or an inability to help. i don't think God cares more about gay marriage than the atrocities going on in the world.

i do believe, as a christian, that God made a choice about how intervention would take place in our lives and that is namely to be with us when the proverbial poop hits the fan and covers us in the muck of life. that's why so many victims of natural disasters and personal tragedies can still say: "yes, i believe." because they have God to be with while the bad stuff happens.

but why does the bad stuff happen?

well, it's a little thing called free will. we all want it; the opportunity to believe that we are in charge of our lives, the chance to make decisions for ourselves. bad stuff happens because good stuff just can't happen all the time... sometimes because we make bad decisions or because nature has a way of exercizing freedom too.

i know a man who is dying. the list of things that could kill him is long and he's suffering from all of it. i can't visit with him because i have a bad cold and just getting the sniffles could put him in the grave.

the closer he gets to the end, the more certain he is that God is with him. he knows that the lung cancer came from his smoking. he doesn't blame God for it nor does he expect God to cure him of it. instead his expectation is that God is there while he suffers, while he tells his family how much he loves them, while he travels back and forth to the hospital, while he enjoys what time he has left as best as he can.

"i don't know how people who don't believe get through this." he told me once. it's because he knows that ultimately they are alone, while he is never alone.

the fact is that i don't believe in the god that sam harris argues against in his manifesto. and maybe that's the problem. atheists don't know the God that i know; they only know the god of the fundamentalists and fanatics who more often than not spout judgement and impossible paradoxes of salvation they insist people are capable of achieving if they try hard enough.

i don't believe in a god who deems to save some while letting others suffer; i believe in God who saves, period.

i know just how precious life is because i know that God is with me while i live it. that fact alone is often the only thing that keeps my sanity from imploding when i'm faced with the bad stuff. my life, the life of my prince is precious because God is with us now.

i don't have to wait for some pie in the sky when i die instead i get to thank God for all the good things i am feasting on right now knowing that when the plate is empty God will be with me in my hunger.

i'm fond of saying that there are those who are going to be mighty suprised when they get to heaven... i expect that i will also be one of them. but in the meantime i will continue to trust in God and share my belief with others.

God's peace y'all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

you want a definition? i'll give you a definition

or... it's not a shameless plug if it is for the pobble
or... the pobble is published!

my dear, dear pobble has her first book on amazon so ORDER early and often. i don't care if you have already take the SAT's, i don't care if you will never take the SAT's, i don't even care if you've never heard of the SAT's; it's only $9.95 and it's my pobble's first book on amazon!

i love my pobble!

God's peace y'all!

back in the saddle again

here's the first sermon in a long time that i actually got to write down and publish here.

God's peace y'all!

Friday, January 06, 2006

in need of a fix

hello, my name is cats and i'm a tv-aholic.

so, the cable guy doesn't come until sunday to flip a switch to turn on our cable. we've been in our little apartment since last thursday and without television ever since. last night i told hubby that i couldn't wait until sunday and his comment was that he hated to admit how much of a difference it would be in our lives to have television back.

when you have two small kids the tv can be your only form of entertainment. we've been renting lots of movies and i pulled out the season 4 of M*A*S*H dvd that i bought hubby years ago, but it's not the same. i missed er last night and i miss the daily show on comedy central. i even miss watching the kids' cartoons with them.

but not having cable also means not having the news. thank God i'm back on-line or i wouldn't know anything about the world. sharon being sick... miners dying... etc... and since i've been sick these last few days or dead tired from moving all i've wanted to do is veg in front of the boob-tube for a little while.

and then there is the fact that our cell phones get no signal at the new place which is set right between two mountains. i've become way too reliant on technology to be connected to others. i never called people on our home phone... in fact if it weren't for dsl i wouldn't even have a home phone.

ah well... it isn't too terribly bad here. at least i'm no longer putting $30 worth of gas in my tank everyday to make the commute from the hotel (which had cable and an indoor pool) and the prince and princess slept through the entire night last night for the first time in i can't remember how long. and the cold is subsiding and the workers will begin on the house by monday...

reminds me of a song by Eric Idle

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life... Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a showKeep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.What have you lost? Nothing!)Always look on the right side of life...

think i'll go rent some monty python.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


back on-line, moved in the apartment and mostly moved out of the house.

on major cold-meds, banged up knee was rebanged up today... but i'm back on-line!!!

and if i could write one sentence that made sense i'd be in good shape.

time for bed and some benedryl (pobble, did i even spell that right, does it even matter?)

ahhh... what a life!

tee hee... i'm back on-line!!!!!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 a very ... something... year

december 24, 2004 we moved into a new home full of possibilities. the movers, who had included all sorts of extra charges in the final bill (nearly triple the estimate) unloaded our stuff into a house we hadn't even reached. under the direction of my mom, furniture was placed and arranged in the various rooms amid christmasy things mom and one of her friends had set up earlier.

when i arrived i had missed al l the insanity of paying the bill (a task accomplished by the then church treasurer.) mom had already begun to unpack and was in the process of making a hot dog on the stove for the princess kitty when i walked through the doors.

God, we loved the house.

the silent prince was still silent. he had been with the birth-three program in jersey working with wonderful and irreplaceable women: jessica the occupational therapist and wendy the special education teacher. by the time he was set up and working with new people in ct his hours had been cut in half and there we only a few weeks left until he was old enough to begin pre-school.

i loved work and its challenges. this was a congregation with resources and talented people. my organizational skills (or severe lack thereof) were balanced by a secretary who was excited to be included in decision making and highly skilled at her job. i loved being with the people and even made a girlfriend who my daughter nicknamed kat-kat.

and the pobble was now a 2ish hour drive away and we turned the computer room (for my pagan computer) into her guest room with the addition of a twin bed. the 'puter and the pobble certainly make for one pagan room in the parsonage.

the silent prince and the princess kitty turned 3 and 6 during the spring and received a swing set with a sliding board for their gift from us. and the princess kitty became the princess kitty ballerina/ hip hop dancer at the yMca.

sundays were now family days; church in the morning (where the children were absorbed into the congregation the moment they arrived until they were handed back to me when it was time to go home) and afternoons and evenings became time with my parents for dinner either at their home or ours.

it wasn't a perfect life. i went back on antidepressants and hubby struggled for several months with a difficult congregation. (which of course grew as he pastored and cared for them.)

life is filled with ups and downs and i came to jokingly but lovingly tell people at the church that it was a good thing i loved my job because they were a lot of work. of course this is the case for a church like mine straining to find health and wholeness.

and i started blogging. not everybody "gets" that. (but of course now that i am writing this out by hand in a $2 composition book i so realize why i blog... typing is so much quicker and easier than long-hand even though i still have to cheat and look at the keys.) and i love blogging and the community it has let me join in. blogging began because of a relationship formed at the desperate preacher site with brutally honest rick who has my heart and respect despite the fact that we have never met and our completely differing views on politics.

and then the holidays hit like a lead brick. and well, if you've been reading you know what that was all about. two years in a row we moved on december 28 leaving us unable to decorate a home or feel settled for christmas. and that sure put mary's story into perspective... no room at the inn, well at least we had the hotel (which i had become used to and enjoyed despite the close quarters and horrible commute.) and the people there were... well, they made a difficult time better and i told them that.

i miss the computer (my wireless card was pushed deep into my 'puter during a transport and the dsl won't be ready until the 3rd of january anyway. so here i am at my parent's place typing away...

and i miss the cyber community and time to work on my novel... i was well over 130 pages by the time this all hit and almost 2 months later i want a settled life to sit down and work on the story and the characters again.


and hubby's dad would have been 80 years old today had he not died the winter before hubby and i met so many years ago.

but i have felt blessings these last 12 months. even as i look back over what i just wrote i realize there is far more good that i remembered than any of the bad.

so... happy new years! continue to pray for us as it has certainly made our lives fuller and us stronger. over the next few days we pack up the house so that the abaters can begin their work on thursday. we see an end in sight and a new beginning on the way.

now i'm going to go eat dinner with my family, play with my children, laugh with the ones i love and give thanks for all the gifts that have been in my life.

i'll be back soon!

God's peace y'all

"and vivian followed."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket