Tuesday, December 25, 2007

HAPPY HOLY-DAYS

i started saying happy holidays before it was considered the pc thing to do. i've had the priveledge of knowing people from different faith and non faith traditions all my life.

and while today is christmas i know that this is a holy time for many, even if the "holiness" of the day is secular.

i would take the time to google all the different names for this day and season, but i have to go make breakfast for the silent prince (the princess kitty is still dreaming of sugarplum fairies)and finish getting the house ready for our company today.

so happy holy-days to all of you. may they be a blessing and a joy. may sorrow and sadness fade away in your lives. may the world come to know and embrace peace. and may there be love in your hearts and in your homes.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, December 23, 2007

death takes a holiday

mike farrell, better known as bj hunnicut on M*A*S*H wrote an episode of the show that aired december 15, 1980 entitled "death take a holiday." in the episode instead of enjoying the christmas holiday party, hawkeye, bj, margaret, and father mulcahy try to keep a soldier from dying until after christmas day is over.

when they are unsuccessful, haweye changes the clock so that it reads after midnight on december 26 saying, "look, he made it."

some of you may remember me talking about my brother's friend karen who had been battling breast cancer. she almost died at halloween, but recovered and was able to go home. ever since i have been hoping that she would live through the holidays.

this morning my brother called as i was attempting to get out of the house to get to church. as soon as i heard his voice on the phone i knew why he called. why else would he call on a sunday morning right before church?

karen died last night.

as wonderful as this time of year is and all the joy that surrounds it it is also filled with so much loss for so many people.

please remember karen and her family in your thoughts and prayers as well as all those who are so touched by loss this time of year. may they all be blessed with the peace that is intended in this holy time.

God's peace y'all

Thursday, December 20, 2007

what it's really about

went to finish my christmas shopping at the mall today. everything is done, but the goodies that santa leaves in our stockings (which should find their way into a shopping cart when i do the grocery shopping for christmas dinner.)

i went into the hallmark store to find ornaments for the kids. at one point as a young child my mom started giving my brother and me ornaments every year so that when we grew up we would have things to put on our tree. decorating the tree is always a stroll down memory lane.

standing in line i let a woman go ahead of me. she was holding an ornament that was maybe 3/4" tall in the shape of a candy cane with a girl's name on it. it was a tiny little trinket, hardly anything at all. we started chatting the way people sometimes do when they are standing in a long line. it was an ornament for her daughter. she told me she tried to give her one every year for christmas. i told her that i was doing the same thing.

then she said that it was a lean christmas. she was rubbing this little ornament between her fingers and looking at it the way you look at something that you have to settle for because you can't afford anything else. i knew this look. i've looked at things that way too.

i told her there would be better christmases. i had been there too.

and then the woman behind the counter asked for the next person in line and she walked up to the register and i jumped behind her and asked the cashier if i could buy her ornament for her.

at first she refused, but i said it was only $3 and i really wanted to buy it for her and would she please let me.

see, hubby had a biopsy last week. we haven't really shared this with many people because to tell everyone seemed to make it worse. but yesterday the doctor called and said there was no malignancy. i told the woman that my christmas had come early and i just wanted to do something nice for someone else.

so the cashier rang up her ornament, put it in a bag and handed it to the woman, whose smile was totally worth every cent and then some.

at the doorway of the store she turned around and yelled merry christmas to me.

as i was finishing up my purchase the cashier said what a nice thing that was that i had done, "why did you do it?" she asked.

"she told me that she was having a lean christmas. i've been there and this is really what it's all about isn't it?"

of all the gifts that are in my house waiting to be wrapped, that was the best one i bought this holiday.

God's peace y'all

Monday, December 17, 2007

a dark christmas


we haven't gotten a tree yet; maybe tomorrow. the fact that i am hosting chritmas dinner and the dining room table is filled with christmas crap i gotta put somewhere isn't stressing me out to very much, at least not yet.

what's stressing me out is that if you pick up any box of christmas lights and read the warning on the box (yes, they have a warning on the box) it says that handling the wires on the lights can expose you to LEAD and you should wash your hands after touching them. here's the article.

i'm going back to the days when you put actual candles on your tree and just hoped you didn't burn down the house!

God's peace y'all

Sunday, December 16, 2007

cancelled

ah, new england in the winter.

i cancelled church this morning. our street is a sheet of ice and on a hill which means that you have to go up and down at least once to get here. it's also not on the most well-travelled road, which means that the snow and ice from the last storm had just started to melt. i've been stressing about it since friday when i first heard the weather reports. it was a bit of a relief to get up and see all the other church's notices of cancellation on the tv screen. at least that way i knew i wasn't alone.

there have been a rash of fires in the area lately. i was on the phone with a mom from a neighboring town last night seeing what we could do to help her and her family as i was reading a report on-line about a family here in town whose house had just gone up in flames. at the same time she was telling me about another family who suffered tragedy when the dad ran back into the house to rescue his other children after having just saved one and died with the kids.

the mom i talked to has 4 kids and one of them is special needs. i remember well what it was like to be displaced at the holidays, but at least i still had all my stuff. they lost their two pets: a dog and rabbit. it's heartbreaking. i sent out emails last night at about 10:30 to see if people had stuff they would donate and one woman (who works nights) had a list of things to me in an email she sent before 4 in the morning.

i'll spend some time today digging through our things and finding boxes to pack it all in. they literally need everything.

meanwhile the prince and the princess have been sick most of the week. who knew that such small bodies could produce so much snot? the princess kitty blows her nose and i am amazed by it. as hubby says, "i am both disgusted and impressed." there will most likely be a delay for school tomorrow, but i am wondering if i shouldn't just bite the bullet and take them to the doctor's. the princess would rather not miss school. so far she has perfect attendance. oh well.

and for those of you who feel a bit stressed by the fact that christmas is just around the corner. here's this.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

when the punishment fits the crime

a month or so ago 3 teens were killed in a car accident. the driver was a young man who had just gotten his license back after driving drunk. he was underage.

one of the girls at church was friends with the girls who were killed (the driver's sister and one of her friends who were 14-15 yrs old.)

many people have been very hard on the parents who let their son drive a brand new car even though he had a dui on his record. my heart bleeds for these parents, but i agree... the princess kitty would never drive again until she lived on her own and had her own car if she ever drove drunk while under my roof.

many people blame the system that allowed a teen to drive again. i believe he shouldn't have been allowed his license back until he was at least 21.

so finding this picture and caption on my homepage tonight helps me remember that sometimes there is justice.

Members of the Maricopa County DUI chain on a work detail as deputies gurad them Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007 in Phoenix, Az.. Men convicted of drunken driving will don bright pink shirts and perform burials of people who died of alcohol abuse as part of a new chain gang in Phoenix. A sheriff's dept. spokesman said the DUI chain gang is the first ever that's dedicated to one type of crime.
(AP Photo/Matt York)


God's peace y'all

Monday, December 10, 2007

more christmas gift ideas

i've only gotten two gifts so far this year. i am way behind on shopping. this might have to do with the 2 grand we just had to spend on the cars.

please don't remind me how many shopping days we have left.

in the process of making my list for what to get for who i found this site. if you still haven't finished your shoping this year consider spending lots of money here. it will go a long way.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, December 08, 2007

the wheels on the bus go slip and slide

driving home from doing some visits yesterday the snow began to fall. it wasn't bad at first, just what the weather forecast predicted, but once i was on the highway i realized that it was starting to stick. it wasn't supposed to do that even with the unbelievably cold temperatures.

once home i ran over to work to pick a few things up from my office then walked home realizing that the road outside was turning white. inside i mentioned to hubby that i had a few things to do on the 'puter. upstairs i started to settle in when i remembered that i was going to call my brother, but in order to multitask i needed my bluetooth which was in the truck so i went out to get it.

i didn't make it past my front steps because the pickup truck that was right outside my door kept sliding all over the road. it was right in front of the driveway and the back end refused to straighten out every time it moved. for about 10 minutes i stood outside cringing as i watched it narrowly miss a parked car and the watch children sign that is posted in the grass between my house and the driveway. at one point the driver and passenger got out of the truck to peer down the steep hill they would certainly go tumbling over if they tried to continue down the street.

not being able to take it anymore i ran to my truck, now somewhat certain that the pickup was not going to come careening into me, but rather down the hill instead, and got my bluetooth. brother never answered my phone call.

hubby was now outside waiting for the buses to drop off the prince and princess. the princess usually goes right over to the day care next door, but when she got off the bus and saw daddy she decided to come straight home.

the prince usually gets off the bus at about 4:05pm. i knew that the bus would be late because of the weather, but when the phone rang at 4:05pm and the caller id said it was the school district i knew there was an issue.

it was the school social worker. the buses still hadn't arrived at the school to pick up the kids. (i found out today that they were trying to match drivers up with routes that they were more familiar with so that they would be better able to navigate the icy hills.) all the kids were watching a movie inside and would be on the road as soon as they could.

i asked if i should come pick him up. we have 4-wheel drive and pretty good brakes, but the social worker convinced me that it was safer to just let the buses come when they could.

that was my first mistake.

at 5pm i called the school and the buses had just left. they were going to take their time and i was just fine with that. i wondered how they would maneuver up my street and called my mom.

that was my second mistake.

"i don't want you to be worried mom, i just wanted for me to be less worried." she laughed that little laugh that told me it was too late... now she was worried and then she informed me that my dad was trying to get up their driveway and had just narrowly missed slipping into the wall. their driveway is the only thing steeper than my street.

at 5:30 i had started dinner. i knew the prince would be really hungry by the time he finally got home and then the phone rang again. this time it was the aide on the bus. they were stuck and waiting for a sand truck to unstick them. hubby started insisting that he was going to go get him, the princess kitty started to freak out, and i began to regret the fact that the only booze in the house was beer.

15 minutes later i called the bus back. they were still stuck, but much closer than i had originally thought. i got directions to their location and hubby got into the truck and went in search of him. now i was worried about both of them. i had already talked to my mom again and this time my dad called. i was on the phone with him when it occurred to me that i should have asked hubby to call me once he had the prince. i began to wonder how soon i should give up on the worried and concerned about their safety feeling i had to the worried and scared feeling i was verging on.
2 seconds after hanging up with my dad hubby called, "i have the package." he told me, but he didn't want to drive back up the hill to our house so instead he was going to park at the grocery store at the bottom of the hill and walk up with the prince.

and dinner wasn't too over done by the time we finally sat down to eat it.

dad called hubby today and told him that there were kids in the next town over who were stuck on a bus until 11pm last night. the d.o.t. claims they had no idea the bus was stuck.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

still here

honestly, i haven't forgotten about you all out there in blogland. i've been crazy busy now that we are in advent and getting ready for christmas. for many of you the stress of this time is about holiday shopping and decorating and partying. for me it's work on top of all those other stresses.

especially because this time is so commercial and i have to remind people that ultimately that's not what this time is about. not that i don't love the commercial, i do. i spent 2 hours downloading christmas songs onto my ipod so that i could listen to them before christmas and get into the holiday mood.

the weather has gotten very cold and we have been getting tastes (nasty at that) of winter weather. my truck, which i just had worked on to the tune of $600+ no longer has heat. ok, i can bundle up to drive, but this also means no defrost, which can make it difficult to see while driving. now i have to bite the bullet and find more time to put it in the shop. i have a GREAT mechanic, but he takes his time getting the work done.

hubby and i could share his car, but his seat doesn't move back and forwards (we don't know why). hubby is 6'3" i am 5'2". my feet don't reach the pedals unless i put a pillow behind my back. this is fine when i have to run to the store a few blocks away, but to go any distance... forget it!

i've also been working on the church's website: http://www.salemlutheran.blogspot.com/. i posted this there:

Don't know what to get that person who has everything? In doing your Christmas shopping this year consider giving gifts that continue giving.

At Heifer International you can make a donation in another person's name that will help purchase livestock from a hive of bees to a cow that will support others who depend upon such things for their livelihood.

Know someone who loves coffee, or chocolate, or handcrafted items? LWR (Lutheran World Relief ensures that when you make a purchase from their coffee, chocolate, and craft projects that the people who grow and make these things are given a fair price for their work ensuring that they too can have a Merry Christmas!

God's peace y'all

Thursday, November 22, 2007

things i am thankful for

that i finally was able to get my mammogram and it wasn't half as bad as i thought it would be.

that we have 2 cars so that we can still get around even though hubby's car in in the shop.

that we have enough money to pay the astronomical bill for hubby's car to be fixed.

that i have a friend who is willing to talk to me when i am freaking out even though she has lots of other things to deal with herself. (thanks pobble)

that i inherited my grandmom's rolling pin and could use it to make the pie crusts to go with the pumpkin pie.

that my brother and his wife, slick, we able to come north for thanksgiving and that they only had to deal with the traffic caused by the major accident (God be with those whose lives are affected by that tragedy.)

that my uncle will be at the thanksgiving table with us today.

that i didn't have to clean my whole house to host dinner today and that my parents are such wonderful hosts and that my mom is such a fantastic cook.

that slick is making the apple pie. my mouth is already watering.

that my dad is making his cranberry relish. mouth still watering.

that the princess kitty loves to bake, even though she makes a huge mess in the kitchen.

that the silent prince has learned how to wave bye-bye.

that my hubby is my hubby.

and that i have so many blessings... including all of you.

God's peace y'all and happy thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

remembering

this is the prayer that i spoke last year at the veteran's day service here in town.


O God, today we give you thanks for brave men and women throughout the history of our country.

We give you thanks for those who yearned for the ideal of liberty and independence.

We give you thanks for those who struggled to keep a divided country united.

We give you thanks for those who stood against the desires of madmen and their bloody solutions.

We give you thanks for those who answered the call to serve on foreign soil in nations divided by civil war.

We give you thanks for those who came home unappreciated and scorned.

We give you thanks for those who were captured by our enemies and those who were lost and remain missing, but not forgotten.

We give you thanks for those who give aid to our allies, for those who fight to protect not just Americans, but people of all nations, for those who wear a uniform many of us can not.

We give you thanks for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifices so that the ideals of liberty, independence, freedom, and justice are not just ideals we hope for, but realities we live.

We give you thanks, O God, for our veterans who have given of themselves in times of peace and in times of conflict.

We lift them up to you and ask for your blessing on them and on this day of remembrance.

And we pray for a world of such peace that their work and courage will never have been in vain.

Amen.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

stealing a tag

i always enjoy a good tag, even when i steal it from someone else.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
the princess kitty did while blowing her nose. hubby believes children should not have noses until they are 18 and out of the house. listening to her blow her nose makes me agree 100% with him.

2.What were you doing at 0800?
heating up the water for my morning cup of tea so that i could then have my morning cup of coffee.

3. What happened to you in 2006?
do you know how hard it was for me to remember who made me laugh last night?

4. How many beverages did you have today?
tea, coffee, water, sip of hubby’s juice, and a sprite

5. What color is your hairbrush?
black

6. Where were you last night?
at home, heating up dinner, putting the kids in the tub and bed… then off to watch house and a very creepy law and order svu.


7.What color is your front door?
wood

8. Where do you keep your change?
in a little flapped compartment in my purse

9. What's the weather like today?
cold, but sunny. It finally feels like new england weather for this time of year

10. What's the best ice cream flavor?
ben & jerry’s marsha marsha, marshmallow

11. What excites you?
i don’t know? are the kids sleeping yet?

12. Do you want to cut your hair?

no, but I’ve been considering some color. Perhaps dark auburn

13.Are you over the age of 25?
nope, i’ve just been celebrating my 21st birthday for several years now

14.Do you talk a lot?
hubby often says i am stealing oxygen from people in 3rd world countries. do you think that means i talk a lot?

15. Do you watch the OC?
no

16. Do you make up your own words?
for suraly.

17. Are you a jealous person?
not at all

18. Name a friend whose name starts with an 'A'?
can’t think of a one and now i am sure i will be offending someone.

19. Name a friend whose name starts with a 'K'?
the fabulous kat-kat

20. Who's the first person on your received call list?
you mean i have to get up and check my phone? ok, hold on…. ah, the fabulous father of kat-kat

21. What does the last text msg you received say?
from the pobble… comments about her “boys” beating my “birds” in reference to the cowboys – eagles game last sunday.

22. Do you chew on a straw?
no, i suck on them otherwise no liquid gets through.

23. Where's the next place you are going?
downstairs for a soda

24. Who's the rudest person in your life?
right at this moment, the princess kitty who insists on reading me a book while i type this. (still waiting for the announcement that i’ve won the mother of the year award.)

25. What was the last thing you ate?
pizza with bacon topping

26. Will you get married in the future?
i certainly hope not since that would mean that i’ve lost the spouse i have currently

27. What's the best movie you've seen in the last 2 weeks?
buffy the vampire slayer. it’s been a slow 2 weeks (though i do love that movie)

28. When was the last time you did dishes?
i stuck some glasses in the dishwasher this moring, does that count?

29. Are you currently depressed?
no, why, has something happened?

30. Did you cry today?
almost, while watching an old M*A*S*H episode where colonel potter shares a bottle of brandy with the rest of the cast after his last war-buddy dies and he inherits it.

31. What was the last thing you said aloud?
“’ohana, stop it!” the dog is driving the cat crazy right under the chair i am sitting in.

32. What car do you drive and what Bumpersticker(s) do you have on it?
chevy blazer; one bumper sticker that reads, “women who behave rarely make history.”

33 Why did you answer this and post it?
i stole it from $2 because i’ve been having blogger’s block. a good tag always makes me happy.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO!!!

God's peace y'all

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the cow says "moo"

we had the best time ever yesterday (saturday.)

my chiropractor suggested that we take the kids to one of the local farms the last time i went to see her. she had just taken her kids and they had a really good time. "you take a hay ride, feed the cows and then pick out a pumpkin." she told me. the only cost was the cost of the pumpkin.

well, it was even better than that.

we went out to lunch and then headed out to the farm after the princess kitty's soccer game (yeah, her team crushed the other team 4-1). we made it just in time to hop onto the hayride before it took off. we wound up on the second trailer with otter, the black lab and other families out for the day.

the silent prince sat between my legs and when i asked him if he was having fun he shot me the biggest grin ever! we rode through some rough farm terrain, over hills and through streams until we saw the cows. at first i figured the pathway the hayride took went right through the herd of cows, but then we stopped so that we could scoop up the hay and feed it to them. i helped the silent prince feed some of the bigger cows while hubby helped the princess kitty reach down to feed the calves. well, really she didn't need much help at all! and we all got a kick out of being able to pet them. the silent prince really enjoyed that part of it.

then we moved on to the pumpkin patch where we picked out the biggest pumpkin we could find. daddy chased the kids around while i guarded it as we waited for the next ride to pick us up.

while hubby had the pumpkin weighed and paid for i took the kids to pet the sheep and see the biggest pig i have ever seen in real life. it must have been over 300 pounds! (it certainly smelled like it weighed that much!)

i think hubby and i enjoyed ourselves as much as the kids did.

then it was off to target to get halloween costumes. i usually make them on the sewing machine (last year the princess kitty was a fairy cat and the silent prince was an apple slice with a worm), but i'm still suffering from the bursitis which makes sewing a bit difficult. this year mommy and kitty will be witches and the prince some sort of vampire/ghoul (or whatever i can create out of the cape and makeup we bought for him.)

tonight grandmom and grandpop came over for ribs and grandmom explained that in her day hayrides were for the teenagers to go on so that they could smooch to which hubby replied... "yuck!"
thanks dear.
God's peace y'all


Thursday, October 18, 2007

a little support

in my last post i talked about the fact that i will be getting my first mamogram soon, but the fact is i should have talked about the woman i knew in college who is now dying of breast cancer and needs more than a little support.

karen (whose story was featured on the ABC news site) and i weren't really friends, but she was good friends with my brother and his group of friends so we often found ourselves in the same circles. (my brother and i graduated from the same college together.)

karen could use prayers as well as her family and close friends. she recently had both breasts removed, but the cancer is in her bones and is now spreading throughout her body. as her doctor put it she is in between a rock and a hard place with very little wiggle room.

karen is only a year or two younger than i am and has small children and a wonderful husband and support group that cares deeply about her.

her story has reinforced a need in me to remember to take care of myself and to remind others to do the same. my last post was meant to be humorous, but this is serious stuff.

so... if you are a woman between the ages of 35-40 go get a mamogram. if you are over the age of 40 make certain you are getting them regularly. and don't forget to give yourselves self exams, no matter what age you are. if you are a mom, teach your daughters how to do them. early detection is the best hope for women who have breast cancer.

and pray for karen and all those who face this terrible disease.

God's peace y'all

Monday, October 15, 2007

getting squished



october is breast cancer awareness month and so i have finally scheduled my first ever mamogram. at my last obgyn appointment my doctor told me that it was time to get a base-line.






i have now reached the age where i need to get base-lines and doctors use words that end in "itis" when i visit.






so i am preparing to get squished. and why not, the other day i got scanned in an mri for my shoulder, not the most pleasant experience i've ever endured especially since the brace they put on my shoulder to hold it still dug right into the spot on my back which really hurts.






but october isn't just breast cancer awareness month. it is also clergy appreciation month and i've been trying to come up with a way to make both those announcements together. however i am finding it difficult to come up with a nice way of saying that the congregation should acknowledge my boobs, because every way i've tried to say it that's exactly what it sounds like.

so here is a picture of my favorite boob-shot of me instead:

God's peace y'all!

Friday, October 12, 2007

worst fortune ever!!!

we ordered chinese tonight for dinner. the princess kitty called dibbs on one of the two cookies in the bag so i ate the last one and this was my fortune:

"If it seems like the fates are against you today, they probably are."

thanks, thanks so much.

God's peace y'all and watch out for those fates.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

vicoden, my new bff

this will be a short post.

i have bursitis in my right arm and i just dropped my cell phone in the toilet before i flushed (it was in my pocket.)

think it's time to take more meds.

God's peace y'all

this will be a short update.

i slept until almost 11am today due to my new bff i am sure. when i finally pulled myself out of bed i fidgeted with my phone which WORKS! of course my second new bff are clorox wipes which i used on the phone.

and as a side note... i am certain that my phone is a gay man named lazarus. lazarus because he keeps rising from the dead and gay man because i just have a feeling about these things.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

a rose is a rose is a rose


i was reminded of my favorite poet today when i read crackerlilo's post. here she is painted by picasso.

for your amusement here are some of her quotes.
God's peace y'all.

Friday, September 28, 2007

not again

this post will be a rant. this is your one and only warning on that.



they discovered more lead in toys made in china. these toys are thomas the train toys. thomas the train is a big hit with children with autism. they like the fact that thomas and the other trains don't show much emotion in their faces. it makes it easier for them to relate to the characters because people with autism don't often "get" facial clues.

damnit!


children with autism are more prone to getting lead posining because they are so habitual. take the silent prince who gets 80-90% of his sensory information from his mouth. everythingnew he gets he flicks and tastes. add to this the fact that lead paint tastes sweet.



what the hell do these people think they are doing? and what the hell are we doing buying so many things from a place that doesn't care about its people or the people of other countries?


am i generalizing? no, i am ranting! (ok, that's 2 warnings.)


my mother-in-law (hi, mom) has already announced that she will not be buying any toys for christmas this year. and that's just fine with me. the kids certainly don't need any more toys, but the fact that anyone has to make that decision frustrates me to no end.

ok, i feel a little better now.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, September 22, 2007

i LOVE 69

ok, first get your heads out of the gutter.

and i was born in 1970 so it has nothing to do with the year.

69 refers to the silent prince's body burden lead level.

it's been almost two years since he was first diagnosed with lead poisoning at which point the lead level in his blood was close to 60 (at a level of 70 or higher they talk about brain damage and fatalities) and his body burden level (the lead in his bones and soft tissues) was over 500.

this past week i took him for his blood test to see if the iron treatments we've been giving him helped move some of the lead from the bones and soft tissues into his blood. the brave boy didn't even flinch when they stuck him. he even laughed for the women drawing his blood. two days later we got a call from the lead clinic saying that his blood level had gone from a 29 to a 32 and that his body burden had gone from 102 to 69!

his blood level still isn't high enough to treat him, but this is the lowest his body burden has been ever!

YIPPEE! WA-HOO! HA-ZAH!

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

where were you when...

oj simpson is back in the news. i've only caught bits and pieces of the many and various charges that have been brought against him. i commented to hubby last night that clearly what goes around comes around.

then today i read $2 who had this to say... and i think he is right. let's not give this man anymore of our time. let the authorities do their job and let us leave him to obscurity.

except that this got me to thinking. i always believed him guilty. not because of his race, but because it was clear that he was an abuser and abusers will often times kill those they abuse. the true sin of racism is that it corrupted his murder trial and inflicted new wounds on race relations back in 1994 when it was taking place.

i was in seminary during the trial and watched almost none of it, except what i couldn't escape. i worked in the refectory where we students and faculty ate our meals and remember clearly playing the radio as loudly as we could so that we could all hear the verdict before praying and sitting down for lunch. i think i was the one to pray, though i don't remember what i said.

not long after the faculty at the seminary decided we needed to have some special classes on race and i attended a forum where students and professors talked about the issues with race and racism. one of the professors, who was running the forum, introduced the topic by saying something like this:

"my generation is defined by the question, 'where were you when kennedy was shot?' this generation will be defined by the question, 'where were you when the oj verdict was read?'"

i thought it was a terrible question to be defined by. and then of course we inherited a new question in 2001, "where were you when the towers fell?"

which all begs the question, why can't we be defined by the positives that take place in our world? is it because we have so very few? is it because we disagree on what the real positives are?

can we not be determined by events like the berlin wall falling (anyone remember where you were that day?) or what you were doing during live aid?

i'm a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. i'm an ever firmer believer in the power of positive doing. and while people often come together in the aftermath of tragedy wouldn't life be better if we came together before tragedy struck so that we can ask and reflect back on questions like these:

where were you when the levies were rebuilt?
where were you when the peace accord was signed in the middle east?
where we you when our troops came home from iraq?
where were you when the law was signed that all children have health insurance?
where were you..?

God's peace y'all

Monday, September 17, 2007

i got mooned

well, not really. this weekend was the annual harvest moon festival here in town and for the second year we had a booth at the fair.

last year our tent was right next to my chiropractor's booth. which was cool because they are cool people. this year, for electrical reasons, her tent was a few spots down from us and we were next to the mormons.

yes, the mormons.

who also needed electric and so i really don't understand why my chiropractor couldn't have occupied their space. it also puzzled me because the person who organizes the fair told me last year that he doesn't like to put two booths "selling" the same stuff right next to each other.

on the first day of the fair another pastor from town was walking around with two of her kids and i mentioned this fact to her. she wondered if they were put there purposefully so that my lutheran booth could counteract their booth. whatever the reason, it was weird to have them right next to us.

now, don't get me wrong. i am trying not to be judgemental, but i often hope that this particular group of people is very suprised when they get to heaven and discover they weren't quite right about a lot of things. (this is not to say that i expect the same won't happen to me.)

it was an odd thing to be neighbors. the first day i introduced myself as pastor cats from the lutheran church. and they (who couldn't have been more than 21 at best) introduced themselves as elder so and so and elder so and so. i told hubby later that i find it interesting that the mormons only seem to pick the best looking boys, which meant they were nice to look at although i kept wondering what kind of underwear they had on.

i also realized that while i am pretty good at small talk and not necessarily good at talking to strangers about God, that they are really bad at small talk but very good at talking about God as evident in this conversation.

cats: "so where are you both from."
elders so and so: "utah."

cats: "and how long have you been here?"

elders so and so after commisterating and doing some mathmatics: "about three years."

cats: "do you like it here?"

elders so and so: "it's nice."

cats, pausing to see if they want to ask anything about her.

elders so and so: "do you know anything about our church?"

cats: "a little bit." very short pause. "well, it was nice talking to you, i'd better get back to my booth."

while they sat on the curb i asked if they wanted a chair. i had an extra. nope, they were fine. later i asked if they wanted lollypops since the day was getting long and not many people seemed interested in either the mormons or the lutherans and i was told they had apples.

"you're so good." i told them.

i'll be honest and say i don't consider mormons to be christians. they have enough vast theological differences from the basic christian dogma for me to make that assertion. i would be more comfortable with the idea that they are a seperate religion than with the idea that they are a seperate sect of the religion.

i did get a kick out of all of it, especially when a reporter i've worked with in the past from one of the local papers stopped by and made this astute observation: there are some really interesting dichotomies at work here, she said. the fried food cart was opposite the booth for balanced body wellness center (my chiropractor), the old bitties who sold the crocheted goods were next to the sorority sisters whose combined age wasn't as much as the amount of years that the old bitties had been going to the harvest moon fair.

all in all it was a weird weekend which ended in complete exhaustion and a real desire for a vacation which i have no time left to take, but at least i got my fried dough with hot apple topping and whipped cream. mmm, fried dough.



God's peace y'all

Thursday, September 13, 2007

one in 94

last night at about 10pm my phone rang. rarely, if ever, does my phone ring that late at night. as i reached for my purse to fish it out i looked down at my jammies and hoped it wasn't someone from the church to say there was terrible accident and could i come to the hospital to pray.

but it was my teacher-friend (tf) who had earlier yesterday watched a story on the news about autism. she often calls when she sees something pertinent to my family's situation on the tv so that i can check it out.

apparently, governor corzine (NJ-D) just signed a bunch of bills into laws having to do with autism. why? because while the national autism rate is 1 in every 152 children new jersey's rate is 1 in every 94 children.

this is pertinent to me because both kids were born in new jersey and the silent prince was diagnoised with pdd-nos (pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified). pdd-nos became autism when we moved here and finally saw a developmental doctor.

i did some googling this morning and found this article about what took place.

first, it made me happy that i voted for corzine back in the day. my tf told me that he had said something to the effect of not being this affected by events since 9/11.

the new laws include helping doctors make earlier diagnoses and putting money and programs into place for children with autism who eventually become adults and are left-behind by the school system.

these two things, in and of themselves, are almost enough for me. it takes long periods of time to even get to see a specialist who can give an autism diagnosis (sometimes over 1 year) and i worry about what will happen to my silent prince once he is 21 and can't go to school any longer.

secondly, it broke my heart. hubby and i always joked that we hated the fact that are children are from new jersey. (growing up in philadelphia can give you those feelings about new jersey.) i know that i can't ask questions like: what if he hadn't been born in new jersey? because that's just a dumb thing to do. i can however be frustrated by the fact that so many children from new jersey are autistic.

and that's exactly how i feel.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the day after

6 years ago, yesterday, i remember finally leaving work and going home to see what had happened. i had only heard the reports on the radio and from the people who showed up at church needing to pray. (tuesdays were typically my day off, but i had to attend some meeting early that morning and had decided to make it a work day.)

last night as i flipped channels on the tv i remembered that 6 years ago it was a struggle to watch tv... especially the day after and the day after that. it seemed like weeks went by before there wasn't a constant focus on the pictures of those planes hitting the towers and people jumping to their deaths from burning buildings.

my favorite television moments after were the emmy's. ellen degeneres hosted and started off by saying that the best way to deal with our enemies was to have a gay woman hosting. and then later steve martin jumped up to accept someone else's award because he was tired of people not being there to accept them on their own.

i didn't watch any of the specials or news remembrances yesterday. i couldn't bring myself to do it. i suppose it stems from those days of not being able to get away from it in the one thing that is an escape (television.)

but i did remember and i know that for some people that day still hasn't, nor will it ever, truly be over.


God's peace y'all

Sunday, September 09, 2007

he was in the basement

first, the irony: yesterday we attended a local fair and the police were there offering fingerprinting and child information packets for kids and i had the silent prince fingerprinted.

now, the story:

sunday afternoons are family time for us. either my parents come the 25 minutes to our house or we travel the 25 minutes to theirs. since they happen to have central air and it has suddenly turned hot we made the decision to head to their house today.

the silent prince has a wonderful time at his grandparent's. he has the full run of the house and grandmom is constantly feeding him all sorts of goodies. we usually know exactly where he is just by listening for the sound of a bouncing ball on their hard wood floors (we still have hope for the nba someday because he dribbles like a pro).

we had a great dinner out on the back deck and the prince and princess kitty enjoyed ice cream treats (as did their mom). after we had filled up on grandmom's cooking grandmom took the kids in for a bath (i always pack the bedtime clothes for the ride home), hubby went to make his sunday call to his mom and grandpop and i enjoyed a few minutes sitting outside and talking before cleaning up the mess from dinner.

by the time the kids were out of the tub and dressed, hubby was off the phone, and the dishes were in the dishwasher it was time to hit the road. sunday is afterall a school night and it takes 25 minutes to drive home.

somewhere in the midst of collecting all our things the grownups all wound up in the back of the ranch-style house that my parents own and hubby asks: "where's the silent prince?"

we listen for the sound of a bouncing ball and hear none and begin to move through the house. my dad hits the kitchen first... the back door is unlocked... it is dark out... the silent prince is nowhere to be seen.

we all run out the door. hubby and the princess kitty make a dash into the neighbor's yard. the yards are all open and the silent prince likes to make life difficult by taking off towards the fish pond at the neighbor's house two doors down.

but we can't see, because it is dark. the prince doesn't talk and so he won't answer us if he hears us calling his name. he also thinks running from us when we chase after him is a really fun game.

i go around to the front of the house and scan the street. my father has gone back inside to look for the flashlight which is not where he usually keeps it. my mom pops her head out the front door and i tell her to check his favorite hiding places in the house once more. (one time he hid in the closet of the guest room for several minutes before we finally found him.)

hubby and the princess kitty emerge onto the street from a few houses down. he tells me to search the house once more and call 911.

back into the house i go, into the kitchen. my mother had looked down the basement steps, but the lights weren't on and we know how much he loves to be outside, but i am looking once more before calling the police and launching a full scale search.

i flip the light switch and take two steps down into the basement... and there he is, playing with a toy he has found in an old pile of stuff that must be going to a tag sale at church.

the princess kitty is behind me, i scream: "I HAVE HIM! I FOUND HIM! TELL YOUR DADDY I HAVE HIM!"

and i run down the steps and grab him, much to his dismay, and won't let him go. i hear hubby moments later tell grandpop, "no harm, no foul."

i can barely breathe and neither can the prince for how hard i am holding him. when i finally let him go it is to find myself in my mother's embrace. the only thing that keeps me from falling completely apart is that i don't want to upset the princess kitty any more than she is already upset.

and now both of them are fast asleep and safe in their beds and i thank God that i didn't need to use that set of fingerprints tonight.

God's peace y'all... and kiss your kids if you have them.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

sing along with me

well, dondon said he expected me to have music on my blog by the time i got home from vacation. it took a little longer than that... but here it is... a small sampling of what i listen to and sing with, at the top of my lungs, while i'm driving in my car.

and yes, the princess kitty (at age 8) knows all the words and can sing along too.

God's peace y'all... i'm going to bed now.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

it's the most wonderful time of the year

the princess kitty waiting for the bus to take her to her first day of third grade


the princess kitty getting on the bus to go to her first day of third grade


the silent prince waiting for the bus to take him to his first day of kindergarten


the silent prince getting on the bus to take him to his first day of kindergarten


God's peace y'all







Wednesday, August 22, 2007

put them on backwards and other exciting news

here's what i did...

i took a pair of old footy pajamas and cut the feet out then i put them on the silent prince... backwards!

he can't get out of them, can't pee all over the floor, can't make a mess when he poops!

i am an amazing brilliant mom!

also... i just received my first check for the work i did for my denominations publishing house. i am now officially a paid writer!!!

God's peace y'all

Monday, August 20, 2007

catching up with real life

the title for this post is thanks to $2.

first, let me say that catching up with real life sucks.

i've been trying to read some blogs, but there has been little time to really focus on any of that let alone write in mine. work is exhausting as it tends to be once you've returned home from a week and a half away. i'm getting lots done, but in the process realizing that the amount that needs to be done is way too much for a normal work day.

the silent prince is not in school or day care and it's frustrating to balance time between working at home and at work. (thank God for computers! and thank God for hubby who shares the time with me.)

speaking of the silent prince...

i've determined why it is so hard to potty train boys. it is because they have a natural toy hanging between their legs. and when your son with autism likes to flick things... well...

he has discovered that he can pull down his pants and pee everywhere. the other day i was working at the kitchen table and looked up to see him standing in the next room at the toy box peeing into it. he was so proud of himself. i only mopped the floor about 10 times that day... not to mention the times i had to clean and febreeze the couch, and put his clothes and stuffed animals into the wash.

i won't even go into why my knickname at home is the poop lady.

and then there are other things. things that i can't write about because they are personal for a whole other person and it's not my place to mention them here. and so for me there is a sadness in the universe i can do little about except to pray and hope that the sadness will turn to joy.

i have a few other random thoughts...

one is from vacation. traveling along listening to the music on my pink ipod shuffle via radio i discovered a truism in life: "who's cooler than david bowie?" i dare you to try and come up with someone.

the evangelical lutheran church in amercia (ELCA) of which i am a memeber had their national assembly while i was away. of all the things they decided upon one decision was to allow bishops more discretion in disciplining clergy they "discover" are living in same-sex committed relationships. a small step on the issue of homosexuality and the church, but a step none-the-less.

the beta version of the web-site i wrote for which is managed by my denomination's (ELCA) publishing house is now up and running. haven't gotten paid yet, but... i got to see MY STUFF in print!

i should post my latest sermon (since i haven't in awhile, but then i haven't preached since before vacation). it includes a funny story about my mother-in-law and myself and more thoughts on the decision made by the ELCA.


and then there is this random and yet disturbing image...



God's peace y'all and may the hello kitty force be with you...

"Luke, come to the pink side."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

so many options

since returning home from vacation i realized that there were too many options as to what to call this post all of which would change the outcome of what i would actual write:

~back to life, back to reality (one of my favorite songs from the 80's)

~i can face the world again (my love of rum and ice cream, but not rum ice cream)

~why did he do that? (but i can't blog this because it would be a rant and reveal things that aren't for me to reveal)

~mom, am i too young to go skinny dipping? (don't know that i should blog about that either!)

~the challenges of unpacking

and so on...

vacation was wonderful, but it was too short. my sis-in-law (aunt kimmy) had a drink waiting for me (hubby's mom even emailed her to tell her she'd better have one ready... thanks mom.) and while traffic was horrible getting onto the outer banks we made good time. six years in a row we've gone and this is the first year that we weren't the last to arrive.

i read two wonderful books, both from my lovely sis-in-law, slick. the time travelers wife and wicked; the life and times of the wicked witch of the west. both very different and both well worth the read. and of course she and i did our annual take the princess kitty shopping day (it was only about 99 degrees that day) and then we went out to eat with her and brother and hubby for an amazing meal with ice cream for dessert at the fudgery (they actually mix fudge with the ice cream on a cold slab of marble.)

we spent a day on the beach riding waves with my fearless children, hubby, and my pseudo-godmother. i watched an amazing thunder and lightning storm over the sound from the balcony off of our room one night. went swimming just about every day in our pool, ate great food, and played blokus with various members of the household.

the highlight of the trip had to be when i walked up the stairs to see my dad throwing a ball to the silent prince who was CATCHING it! the night we went out to dinner i came home to find out that he had sat at the dining room table and rolled the ball back and forth with pseudo-godmother for 5-10 minutes!

i've also discovered that i did not give birth to human children but fish tha tonly look like human children.

and now i am back and must rely upon this picture to remind me of the joys of this wonderful week:




God's peace y'all


Sunday, August 05, 2007

whoops

sitting next to my uncle at the bar/island which separates the kitchen from the living room and dining room of our vacation house while reading blogs and drinking a rum and coke he happens to mention that i have not linked my brother's blog on this site.

what kind of sister and i?

well, i have rectified the situation on his very own laptop. check out acknowledge... move on

God's peace y'all (and yes, i'm having a FANTASTIC time on vaca!)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

3 things that make me happy




packing for vacation.

















discovering that the bottle of strawberry daquiri mix in my fridge already has alcohol in it.












and purple chrome nailpolish



God's peace y'all

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

she understood

hubby and i ran to the mall yesterday with the silent prince. we wanted to get a few things for vacation. hubby loves the store steve and barry's so we went there. sarah jessica parker of sex and the city fame has a new line of clothes there which are fabulous and downright inexpensive. (i'm wearing a new shirt and shorts right now that cost a little over $20 total.) the line is called bitten and you can check it out here.

her motto: fashion is not a luxury. i love it!

out of the steve and barry's i spotted a payless shoe and mentioned to hubby that since the kids have toes sticking out of their shoes perhaps we could find some end of the season shoes for them to wear while we're away.

we pushed the silent prince in the store in his new stroller (a three-wheeled number made by jeep) and searched the kids shoes only to discover that it is not yet the end of the summer according to the prices on the shoes. hubby (who had just bought a pair of sandles) was checking out the men's shoes when i noticed some girl's flip flops on an end cap. i was looking through the sizes to see if any would fit the princess kitty when i heard "no, no" behind me.

an elderly woman had snuck up on us and must have said hello to the silent prince when he grabbed the skin on her arm and started to squeeze and wasn't letting go.

i suppose there was too much stimulation in the payless and he was on overload. when this happens or when he gets frustrated because he wants something we won't give him he pinches or bites.

i pulled him away from her and did the only other thing i knew how to do: apologize, apologize, apologize.

she said over and over again that she was ok and that it was alright, but i was really worried that he had hurt her (he's certainly hurt me when he's done that.) and then the most amazing thing happened: she took my hand, looked straight into my eyes and told me her neice has a son with autism. i felt my eyes well up with tears; i really thought i might lose it right then and there.

she must have held my hand for 5 minutes in the middle of the payless. she told me how he sometimes did the same thing, but how much she loved him, how much her whole family loved him, and how special he was.

she told me the silent prince was a gift.

and she is right.

she was a gift too. who knew angels liked to shop at payless shoe source.

God's peace y'all

Monday, July 30, 2007

this is where i will be saturday for one glorious week!

for the 6th summer my parents, uncle, brother, his wife, hubby, the kids, and i will be on vacation together. this will be the second year that a family friend will be joining us.

we head out friday to spend the night at the half-way mark with hubby's sister and her husband. we've been doing this for the last two years and she always has a mixed drink waiting for me.

i have all but the last harry potter to read (i read the first one years ago), an 800 page historical fiction about mary queen of scots, and whatever really good book my sis-in-law brings along and lets me borrow.

i expect the hardest decisions i will have to make on a day to day basis will be:
what should i have for lunch today?
should i swim in the pool or go shopping?
do i want to go to the beach today or tomorrow?
is it too early to take a nap?

ahh... saturday!

God's peace y'all

Thursday, July 26, 2007

what i learned today


it is NOT illegal for a parent to take off their belt and hit their child with it where i live.
God's peace y'all and keep on your belts to keep up your pants

Thursday, July 19, 2007

no weddings and a funeral



i'm home again from PA where my grandmother, whose name was pansy, lived and died. it was a good trip all things considered. we were able to take the kids to the pool at the hotel the night before which was fun and relaxing after the long drive. and the silent prince slept the whole night thru in the hotel room (that NEVER happens).



we missed the family viewing the night before. had i been ready to leave when i wanted to leave we might have made it, but we would all have been dressed in shorts and t-shirts and as it turned out the princess kitty was pretty adamant about not seeing her great-grandmom's body anyway.



there was an open casket set up at the church so i was able to kiss her good-bye. it feels funny to kiss such a cold thing. because the body was right at the entrance to the church we spent quite a bit of time outside with the kids during which time this exchange happened:



man from the church: "you're from connecticut? is it true what they are going to do up there?"


cats: "i don't know, what are we doing?"


man from the church: "you're going to let those aliens off scott free?"


cats: "what aliens? you mean we have martians in connecticut? because i am totally opposed to martians."


man from the church: "now i'm not prejudice, but those mexicans... they have all those drug problems down there."


cats: "that's why they all want to come here. to get away from all those drug problems."


man from the church: "but they bring them all up here."


cats: "i don't know, i see a lot of drug problems caused by white kids int he suburbs"



cats' brother: "ok, no no more politics."



i was the preacher at the funeral (only almost lost it once) and though i was very nervous (why, i don't know) it was a good sermon and it felt right.



my grandparents were married for 71 years before my grandfather died almost 11 years ago and they had 6 daughters. the first birth was a boy, but he was still born. one daughter, who was my godmother, died when i was in college. from the six daughters came 16 grandchildren (my brother is the youngest) and from us came 31 great grandchildren (the silent prince being the youngest.



at the funeral of my uncle (who's wife it was who died of cancer) we put the princess kitty (then a wee baby) in the arms of the oldest great grandchild. she had just gotten married and we had a long conversation about how they were going to wait a couple of years before having any children. my grandmother took one look at her holding the princess kitty and said, "she'll rub off on you." not even a month passed and we heard she was pregnant with the first great-great grandchild. last thursday she gave birth the to 6th great-great grandchild two days before my grandmom died at the age of 100.5.

right now i know she is with my grandfather, wearing red, and dancing with a smile on her face.

God's peace y'all


Monday, July 16, 2007

this was my day

well, first yesterday was hubby's installation at his new church. it was an awesome day! church was great in the morning and the service later was wonderful. lots of family and friends including hubby's roommate and best friend from seminary who came to preach perhaps the best installation sermon i have ever heard.

his mom was with us this weekend, which is always wonderful, but last night i was certain he said that he would take her to the train station and i would pick up the silent prince from the bus.

so i had my alarm set for 8am, but since i've had this horrific cold or allergies or whatever is making me cough and snot-up for the last week i decide that i would reset the alarm for 9 and sleep another hour.

of course the phone rang twice (i use my cell phone for my alarm clock so it was right next to my head). i took the first call, but didn't even check to see who the second call was from.

after my mother-in-law was out of the shower i jumped in because i had a 10am meeting. downstairs ready to go hubby asks where i'm headed. why? because he thought i was taking his mom to the train station. the argument ended with me saying i would be back in 45 minutes to get her and then leaving the house.

then my appointment was late (she apparently was having a similar morning) i was too tired to have a real conversation with her and hopefully all our plans will make sense when we go to actually implement them.

the ride to the train was very nice (though i was still trying to wake up) i love my mother-in-law and so spending time with her is no biggy. i thought i would walk her into the station, but she told me to just drop her off so i missed running in to the dunkin donuts for the iced latte i was now beginning to crave.

heading back i figured i would hit at least one dunkin donuts and be able to get my latte and a bagel, since i was now hungry. finally i find one (which is weird that it took me so long since they are EVERYWHERE in CT). i pull in to the drive thru, except that it isn't the drive thru so i turn around and try again. i wait forever, straining to hear the very soft voice that finally says, "can i help you?"

"a medium iced caramel latte with whipped cream and a..."
"wa-wa-wa-wa..."
"i'm sorry, what?"
"our latte machine isn't working."
"give me a plain bagel."

and i wouldn't have cared that it cost me $1 for just a plain bagel and no latte if just once the woman at the window had smiled, or said hello, or have a nice day... or anything remotely friendly.

so now i am in a very foul mood, but wait... it gets better and by better i mean worse.

my cell phone rings. it is the school nurse at the silent prince's summer school. he has bitten another child and the nurse called the pediatrician to see if his tetanus shot was up to date and guess what! it's not! so, the nurse informs me that he can not come back to school until he's gotten his tetanus. doesn't matter that his appointment is next month. i call the pediatrician and they say i can bring him in at 10 of 4 today.

i have to make 2 visits and i decide i will do them before going back home. i realize at this point in the game that if i go home i will never want to go back out again. one visit is at a nursing home the other is at the hospital. which one should i go to first? well, the one closest to the dunkin donuts so i can get my latte of course.

so i go get the latte (and i must say that i have never been displeased with the service at this particular place. my latte was ready the moment after i was given my change and the lady actually smiled at me.) and then i head to the nursing home. my visit is not in her bed. i go to the nursing station and ask... of course i have shown up right in the middle of lunch.

so i go find my visit eating lunch with her daughter and tell her that i will go to the hospital and come back once i am done there.

so i go to the hospital. i've been to see this woman once already, but i can't remember her room number so i go to the information desk. their computers are down. i laugh... this is MY day afterall. i know that she's on the 5th floor and i remember which way i went the last time so i figure i can read the names on each of the doors until i find her.

i get to the 5th floor and decide rather than reading names i will just ask at the nurses' station.

and do you know what they tell me? she's about to go down for some tests. i laugh again. it seems like a better idea than heading up to the 8th floor and checking myself in to the psychiatric unit.

i run in to see her anyway. we have a lovely 5 minute visit before the orderly comes in and says she has to take her away. we pray and i head out to go back to the nursing home.

my grandmother's funeral is wednesday and it will take us over 4 hours to get there so after agonizing over whether or not i should miss an important council meeting on tuesday night i finally made the decision that we should go tomorrow around 3pm (just in time for all the traffic of course) and spend the night in the hotel.

hotel life is not easy when you have a 5 yr old with autism, but if we leave at 3 we will be there in time to go swimming in the pool and relax before wednesday comes. everyone at church is very sympathetic and insistent that i do what i need to do. being able to arrive before 2 in the morning and take the kids to the pool sounds like a good plan especially since the princess kitty is now devastated that she will be missing the biggest and best field trip of the summer in order to go to a funeral.

there is a message on my cell phone. hubby has just remembered that he has vacation bible school from 6-9pm on tuesday and he feels funny about missing it.

i contemplate turning around and going back to the hospital to check myself in on the 8th floor again, instead i continue to the nursing home.

in the end, hubby made arrangements to not be at vacation bible school, the silent prince got his shot (and didn't even flinch my little brave boy), and now i am trying to finish writing my funeral sermon for wednesday.

and that's been my day.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, July 14, 2007

good bye

my grandmother died this morning. i'm sad, but ok and thankful for prayers that have been offered.

God's peace y'all

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

and my brain is currently completely empty


i have been tagged by the pobble

and given a "thinking blogger award. apparently there was some dicussion about who would actually get me as one of their tags. how nice to get "fought" over.

here are the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote

since i can't tag the pobble again (someone else got this honor) here are my five in alphabeltical order:

Acknowledge, Move On. this is my brother's blog. he's always been a deep thinker, read his blog and you'll know why

ABB. she has amazing thoughts and expresses them unlike anyone else i know.

Bible Bending. this is a new one for me. it examines the bible in pop culture.

Post Secret. i read this every sunday morning before church to put my life back into perspective

and honestly, everyone else has been taken by someone else already. but 4 is almost 5.

God's peace y'all

Monday, July 09, 2007

this time

i'm going to go see my grandmother. it's about a 4 hour trip and the decision was made yesterday to go with my mom. i didn't go when my paternal grandmother was dying. i had a chance and we decided not to in the end because i was days from giving birth to the silent prince. she died 12 hours before my water broke and i missed the funeral.

i don't have time to write the whole story. gotta go shower and get moving and ready for the trip.

i'll be back on tuesday evening.

pray for her passing to be peaceful and our hearts to be lifted.

God's peace y'all

Sunday, July 08, 2007

sunday

another good day at church, at least to my reckoning. just posted my sermon for today here. slowly and surely i have made the decision to talk about sexuality and the hypocracy that takes place in christianity. it will be a slow process and right now i am testing the waters and trying to prepare the soil. if you are the praying sorts... then say a prayer as i begin to tread on this dangerous ground. so far so good.

and.. if you pray i covet your prayers for my grandmom. she's 100 and last night my mom received a call from one of her sisters saying she isn't doing well. we're waiting to hear the update today. they call her "giggles" at the nursing home because she is always happy.

God's peace y'all

Saturday, June 30, 2007

freedom

i don't usually post my sermons here, just the link to my sermon site, but since it's apropos for the 4th of july i thought, why the heck not.

God's peace y'all

a sermon based on Galatians 5:1, 13-25

In the name of Jesus; amen.

I am surrounded by American history buffs. My brother is a big fan of World War II history, my father is big into the Civil War, and my best friend is a constitutionalist who once considered becoming a lawyer. Now I enjoy watching the history channel, but I can’t say that I am all that into American History except that this weekend it seems pertinent to understand some of the history of this country.

We wanted to be free from English rule. That desire launched our forefathers and mothers into a rebellion that turned into the Revolutionary War. It was the time that defined us as a country, at least to begin with.

Growing up in Philadelphia I used to walk streets where battles were fought for our independence. I have stood in the room where the Declaration of Independence was signed and even touched the Liberty Bell. I rode my bike through Valley Forge where the greatest battle our soldiers fought was against the cold of the harsh winter and one day I spent hanging out in Betsy Ross’s home where the first American flag was sewn.

I take the freedoms I have as an American seriously. They provide me abilities others do not have in other countries: I can worship as I choose in the religion I choose, I can speak my mind, and have access to news that tells me what is going on in the world, I can gather with others, and I can petition the government for redress of grievances.

No matter how other nations and peoples might feel about America this is the greatest country in the world and I would not choose to live anywhere else.

In our second reading Paul writes to the Galatians: For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Just yesterday I told my daughter that she couldn’t do something she very much wanted to do. Her response to me was, “We live in America; this is a free country.”

“Yes,” I told her, “but that doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want.”

The freedoms we enjoy as Americans come with great responsibility. As Uncle Ben told Peter Parker aka Spider Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I don’t just have the freedom to assemble; I have a responsibility to assemble when there is a need. I don’t just have a right to free speech; I have a responsibility to speak out when there is a just cause.

The same is true with the freedom that Christ offers to us as Christians. We have been offered salvation, the greatest freedom, because it is freedom from damnation and hell, but this freedom comes with a responsibility to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

As Americans we love ourselves dearly. Two days ago Apple released its new iPhone a combination Mp3 player, cellular phone, and storage devise for all sorts of things from pictures to videos. At 3:30 in the morning, the mayor of Philadelphia, John Street, got in line outside of an AT&T store in order to be one of the first people to purchase an iPhone at 6:00 that evening. After spending about 8 hours in line some punk kid with a mohawk haircut questioned why he, the mayor of Philadelphia, wasn’t working when there had already been 200 murders on record for the city of Philadelphia this year.

His response? “I can work anywhere.”

We love ourselves dearly and I am just as much of a capitalist as anyone else in this room or in this country, but perhaps John Street standing in line to buy an iPhone had nothing to do with the responsibilities of his job as mayor of the city where so much of our history as a country took place.

Paul tells us that we should live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. It is easy to get caught up in the list of fleshy things that Paul goes on to list: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealously, anger, quarrels, dissentions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. These things drive us back into slavery and away from Christ. But be careful not to focus on this list only, to do so would be entering another kind of slavery where the fear of the wrath of God dispossesses the grace of God which Christ won for us.

It’s the second list where our focus should go: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. These are the fruits of the Spirit and they are the fruits that feed us in our lives as Christians. They are the fruits of freedom in Christ’s death and resurrection which we share.

This week as we remember the freedoms we have as Americans we should be called to a renewed responsibility to use those freedoms, but we should not ever forget that our true freedom was won on the cross and in the resurrection.

Love your neighbor, give thanks for joy, work for peace, have patience, show kindness, exercise generosity, be faithful, reach out with gentleness and let your self be controlled by the Spirit.

Amen.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

'Ohana, the amazing swimming dog


since it was 1,000 degrees today i took the kids in the pool after dinner. the water was still too chilly for me to go all the way in, but it was very refreshing. the three of us were having a great time until suddenly there were 4 of us in the pool.
that's right, the dog jumped in the pool.
'ohana is 1/2 border collie, 1/2 black lab, 1/2 gazelle and 3/4 fish. (and no, i am not that bad at math. close, but not that bad.)
she had a grand time swimming in circles around the pool until she realized that nowhere in the pool is she able to stand without going under. at this point i also realized that eventually she would drown if i didn't get her out. she jumped, i pushed, and the pool survived which is a good thing for the dog.
now to try and put the air conditioner in the window of the silent prince's room... i might want to get back into the pool after that.
God's peace y'all


Monday, June 25, 2007

why do they call it tossing your cookies?

i don't remember eating any cookies.

i do remember being sick as a dog (another weird saying, how sick can a dog really get?) this past friday night. now that it is monday morning i am finally feeling like myself again and sitting at the computer. it's been a long time since i've posted anything even though there have been lots of things on my mind.

i've been reading three new blogs worthwhile in their own ways:
bible bending: a site that monitors the usage of the bible in popular culture,
The Pentecostal Pariah: a mom with an autistic son, and
2 dollar productions:who replaces any need i might have for people magazine.

and that's all i can say right now. gotta go and pretend to have a life and work to do... actually no pretending needed; i do have a life and work to do.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

just practicing semantics

it happened again today. i opened up a piece of mail from an conservative religious group within my denomination and saw the words: "practicing homosexual."

few other things disturb me the way this phrase disturbs me.

from dictionary.com:
prac·tic·ing –adjective 1. actively working at a profession, esp. medicine or law.
2. actively following a specific way of life, religion, philosophy, etc.: a practicing Catholic.

ok, maybe there are some who could make the argument that homosexuals practice being homosexual if you follow the second definition, but i have yet to hear one person use the phrase: "practicing heterosexual" and this is why the phrase totally falls apart for me and becomes stupid and silly.

strangely enough i don't practice my sexuality... i'm not certain how exactly i would do that besides some obvious activities that are reserved for me and hubby alone... of course i haven't ever referred to that as practicing, not even the first time.

what do people think glbt's do exactly... to practice being glbt? do they have to keep trying to practice until they get it right? why is it that i don't have to practice being straight? or do i? omg, what if i'm not practicing and suddenly become a lesbian because i haven't practiced being straight enough?

sexuality is not like piano lessons folks.

and here's the next problem with this phrase. "practicing homosexual" is supposed to refer to those people who are having sex with someone of the same sex. if they aren't practicing... do they suddenly become heterosexual or asexual?

is my sexuality based solely upon whether or not i practice having sex?

maybe it's that there isn't a better phrase that we use such a stupid one. (it unnerves me even more when people who seem hip to this kind of stuff use this phrase.) but i'm not really sure that we need a phrase to describe this concept of glbt's who are in relationship or sexually active besides "single" or "in relationship".

sigh.

God's peace y'all

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

at least the sun is shining now

but not but a few moments ago this was my world

this is the front yard. i wish you could see the river that was my street.


'ohana, the dog, checking out the weird white ice ball things.

this is my herb garden. i really hope the sage survives the puddle in which in now lives.


a piece of hail in my hand. i waited until after it stopped coming down to pick this one up.

God's peace y'all

Monday, June 04, 2007

2 rainbows

ok, it had been just one rainbow, but then i couldn't log in to post this and decided to do some reading first and now it's 2 rainbows.

the first rainbow is something i received in an email this morning:

Autism Speaks created a music video of the Five for Fighting song, "World", which features images of autistic children and their families. It is a truly moving video and was the work of Bill Shea. The band is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks for each time the video is viewed - the funding goes toward research studies tohelp find a cure. When you have a moment, please
visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along to your friends and family. They are aiming for10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal.

here's the link.

the silent prince is doing well, but has suddenly turned aggressive. he grabs and pinches and bites. the other day at school without warning he jumped on the girl sitting next to him at circle time. i think he's frustrated. without words, he can't say, "i don't like this" "i don't want to do this anymore." "i want this instead." "i don't know how to do what you are asking."

he's also getting heavier and still does the trick where he makes his whole body limp when he doesn't want to go where i want him to go. this forces me or whoever is watching him to have to drag him or pick him up. and of course, if he really doesn't like that... he bites or pinches.

the silent prince may not be able to speak, but his autism can... so please take a moment to visit the video... and if you blog, to consider to link to it on your blog too.

that was the first rainbow, here's the second from Rambling Along In Life:

We have come along way,
but still have a long way to go.
Thanks to all those who have paved the way,
Some even gave their lives...
Keep their fight alive...
We won't forget!!



It is that time of the year again where I post a photo that shows the rainbow and ask everyone to pass it around in hopes of spreading the idea of diversity. It may not be as pretty as last years, but it is more of the point I am trying to make. This is a rainbow created by different forces in nature (a little sunshine, water and wind). Last year there were over 100 of you who participated in my challenge and this year I want more. As I find the picture on sites, I will link to that site here in this post. I will try and keep this post at the top of the page all month long with links to the other sites. This challenge is not just about being accepted as a gay man, but it is about societies around the world learning to accept people for being themselves... diversity. Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, skinny or fat... we need to be a little more accepting these days. The world is a mean place, let's work to make it a little nicer by showing this colorful rainbow that formed thanks to the right angle of the sun and a slight breeze across the pond. Mother natures way of saying she approves of this challenge... shouldn't we all.

God's peace y'all

"and vivian followed."

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