Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taken by:
Alonzo Hornbeck,

Poplar Bluff, MO 63901

My hometown is Poplar Bluff.
A friend emailed this photo to me today.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Confession: I've been "lurking". To all my blogger friends...I haven't had computer time at home the last couple of days. When I blog at work (I have a student teacher at the moment and I need to get out of her hair sometimes!), I can't "comment" because of our filter. (But I can blog!! Go figure!) So...I've been lurking. I can read, but can't comment!! Or answer yours. Later this week??? I hope the pace slows a bit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Stopping by a snowy field

Pulling out of my drive, the beauty was incredible (even if I am sick of the snow). Everywhere I looked, it seemed as though some benevolent baker had frosted the entire world with this wonderfully brilliant sparkling white lighted frosting. Cold white icing everywhere, on everything!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mournful Monday

Again?? Oh No!

Getting home tonight! They're saying 6-12 inches of the stuff!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sunday Snippets
Pearls of Wisdom from Kindergarten

Pearl #1

6-Year old: Grandma, did you know that in the old days, they didn't have toothpaste or toothbrushes?

8-yr old: They just washed their teeth.

6-Year old: And their teeth got rotten and fell out. And did you know that there were native Americans here? Lots of them?

8-yr old: They didn't have electricity or anything.

6-yr old: Yeah. In the old days life was very hard. And on my hero chart in my classroom there's a guy who made it.

Me: You mean Benjamin Franklin who discovered about electricity?

6-yr old: That's his name. You know him Grandma?

8-yr old: He's dead.

Me: I know about him and what he did.

6-yr old: Grandma where was my Daddy born?

Me: Right here in this city.

6-yr old: Was that in the old days? Were there lots of Native Americans?

Me: (Choking on laughter, dying to tell my 36-year old baby boy that his baby thinks he lived before electricity.) No. We had electricity then. (I should have said, ask your Daddy!!!)

Pearl #2

6-yr old: Grandma did you know that eating lots of candy is not good for you?

8-yr old: Candy is very unhealthy. It has sugar, the unhealthy kind of sugar. Fruit has the healthy kind of sugar. It's okay to eat fruit with healthy suger.

6-yr old: Yeah, if you eat candy every day, it will make you the F-word.

me: Really? How's that.

6-yr old: Well, if you eat lots and lots of candy and you eat it every day, it will make you the F-word.

8-yr old: You don't have to say F-word. You're not calling people that. It's okay to say the word.

Me: (Silent, in fear and trepidation)

6-yr old: (With intonation one might use when saying "Duh") Well, we are too talking about people. It's people who eat candy. You can't call people FAT it might hurt their feelings, so I just say "F-word."

Me: (Still silent!! Too astonished to speak.)

Pearl #3

8-yr old: Grandma, Papa's walking really slow.

Me: (without thinking) That's what happens when you get old.

8-yr old: Papa's not old. He's just, just, in the middle.

6-yr old: Yeah. He's just middle. It's not like he's 100 or 1,000 or anything.

8-yr old: Well he couldn't be 1,000. Nobody ever got that old, not even in the Bible.

Me: Right. You're right. Even Methuselah only lived 969 years. So I shouldn't say Papa's old?

6-yr old: No Grandma, Papa's not old. He's just middle.

Me: Okay, so Papa is just middle-aged.

6-yr old: Middle age. He's not even 100.

To Sum up:
1. The old days were hard: no toothpaste or toothbrushes, teeth fell out, there was no electricity and lots of native Americans.
2. Her daddy (age 35) might have been born before electricity.
3. One must not use the word "Fat" when referring to people
4. And as long as Papa (Grandpa -- my better half) is not 100, he's still middle-aged.

That's all for today, folks. From the Kindergarten Room.
Addendum: The following day:
6-yr old: Grandma, was Uncle Rob born in the old days before electricity? (He's 19-months older than her dad)
me: No. There was electricity even when Uncle Rob was born. (Her expression was a bit dubious)

Thursday, February 21, 2008


When we left the apartment in Quito, we moved to Santo Domingo De Los Colorados. The town was just a large village. There was a restaurant on the town square that we frequented. The building was simple cement block construction with a solid wall in the rear and on one side. The front and the other side had a wall that was about waist high. We liked to sit by the half wall. On the other side of the wall there were usually 3 or 4 shoe shine boys. They boys were between 7 and 11 years old. When a bus came in or a likely customer appeared in the park, they'd trot off and offer their services. Between jobs they waited, crouched on the other side of the wall.

The restaurant discouraged the boys (or any one else for that matter) from approaching diners and asking for food so that beggars didn't run off customers. However, there was always food left on our plates and those of our little boys. For us, our dinner wasn't complete until we shared what was left. We would call the boys over and let them eat when we were finished. We'd sit the plates on the wall and the boys would come running. They'd crouch down on their side of the wall for a few minutes. When they'd finished, they'd stand up, hand us back the plates and say thank you with a brilliant smile.
To this day, I hate throwing away food. My mind always goes back to those skinny, dirty little street urchins, the shoeshine boys and their absolute joy at eating food from a real plate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Hungry

I was reading Boo Mama's blog today about her trip to Uganda...I had a flashback to the first time when I met true hunger.

We had been in Ecuador for only a few days and had rented an apartment -- the top floor of a three flat. I was up early and stepped out on the balcony with a cup of coffee. The early morning sun shone on the city of Quito. Our little bario was the equivalent of suburban American with neat houses, brick streets, as well as very un-American iron gates and tall fences surrounding our homes.

My husband had set out the garbage for pick-up that morning right outside the gate. I had dumped coffee grounds, left-over rice, scraps from our plates, potato peels and wrapped them in newspaper. (The Ecuadorian equivalent of a plastic bag.) I was watching a Quechua Indian woman walk down the street with her baby strapped on her back. She was colorful and interesting to my Gringa eyes. I watched as she walked slowly toward me.

She didn't stop at any other homes that I saw, but she paused as she drew near our drive. She stooped then and reached into our garbage can, found the newspaper wrapped packet, and laid it on the top of the garbage. To my amazement, she opened the newspaper, reached in a took a handful of the mixture. Before I could recover my senses, she reached her hand up to the baby on her back and feed him my garbage. Tears rolled down my face as I stood motionless, unable to do anything but cry. She picked up the rest of the newspaper wrapped "food," and looked up to wave as me before she moved on down the street. I turned to my two and three year olds calmly eating breakfast at the table and marvelled at the grace of God.

I resolved to never mix coffee grounds, potato peels or other inedible things with my leftovers again. For the rest of our 3 month stay there, every morning I left a neatly wrapped package of left over food right on top of our garbage. Each morning she'd come by and pick it up, wave to me and go on her way. She didn't speak Spanish; I didn't speak Quechua. At that moment we were simply two young mothers feeding breakfast to her child.

Hunger had a face. I was never the same again.


If you'd like to help feed a child, go to Compassion International

Monday, February 18, 2008

Al Capone's Hideaway
St. Charles, IL

My BIL is here from California so the entire family went to dinner. I chose Al Capone's since we hadn't been there in . . . years???.... A weeknight dinner made it a bit tough for the little girls, but they made it. The food was delicious.

The Ambience?? Really fun. In the entryway there's a pair of shoes set in a cement block, a bathtub (where the liquor was made in the 1920's) and an old stove. Over the bar hangs a real Tommy Gun. (I'm assuming the "guts" are gone!) There are pictures of Al Capone everywhere. Oh, and I'm the woman in the red dress! ROTFL

The building really was a speakeasy in the 1920's, a place where they actually did make moonshine in the bathtub. It's been a restaurant since then, later becoming legit. Several of Al's buddies are historically connected with the place, and the legend is that Al himself hung out there. Since the Fed's were looking for him all the time, he couldn't have been there too much! It's right on the river (Good place to dump the bodies!) for stealthy transportation in and out and in a beautiful setting.


A friend asked me to give her "recipes" for Mexican food...just everyday beans and rice and stuff. That's like asking Grandma for her "recipe" for chicken and dumplings. You just take a bit of this and a bit of that. So I sat down and wrote out reasonable quantities, ingredients and directions. It was so much fun that I think I'll start a new blog for food. Something about a Gringa's guide to Mexican food...but that's been taken (I googled it ... He's a guy, so it's Gringo). But I want this to be some folk wisdom with cultural stuff -- getting along with a Hispanic male as well as food. Maybe a Hillbilly's guide to Mexican cuisine??? Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Response to Threat
"Kickin' against the pricks" Acts 9:5

I had to laugh at myself and yesterday's post. I'd describe it as both honest and naive. My reaction to the school violence at NIU yesterday reminded me of Aunt Lois and her habitual response to threat. Always fearful, hypervigilant, anxious. When what I need to do is simply Remember who's in control.

That's not to say that I'm still not taking my Louisville Slugger to school with me. I will. But after taking time to think, I realize that all I can do is take reasonable precautions.

In July 1966 when Richard Speck murdered eight nurses in Chicago, I had just graduated from high school and was leaving for California for college in September. My Dad spent a great deal of time talking about that incident and how the girls might have protected themselves. He intended to impress on me that I would be capable of defending myself, and he did a good job.

"One man cannot overcome eight women, not even with a gun. If even one of them had tackled him, she might be dead. But the other seven would still be alive," he said.

The lesson was loud and clear. I agreed. I'd rather be the one to die protecting the others than to allow him to tie us up one by one. And the odds would be with us that way. Killers pick victims whom they believe will be docile. A counter attack confuses. Interestingly enough, this is in sync with today's self defense teaching. "Never go to a secondary crime scene. Even if alone," they teach.

And so with my Dad's voice echoing in my brain, I mentally rehearse for dangerous situations. What will I do if someone approaches my car when I'm stopped at a light? What will I do if someone grabs me from behind? What will I do if......

But Thursday's attack took place in less than two minutes. The first police were on the scene in thirty second of the first 911 call. Other units were there one and a half minutes later. By then it was all over. There was no reaction time for anyone.

In the end I have to admit, I have so little control over my life and the fate of those around me that my efforts are "kicking against the goads." (The phrase I feel more like using is from the King James Version: Acts 9:5 "Kicking against the pricks." But I want to use it in the modern sense....however, even that means futile effort. So resorting to religious cussin' won't even help!)

And so, even though I'll have my Louisville Slugger handy, just in case, I know that ultimately, it's all up to the One who is truly in control.

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Valentine's Day thoughts

Northern Illinois University is located just 45 minutes from us. Yesterday's tragedy struck very close to home. Getting ready for work this morning, I made a decision. Monday, I'm taking a baseball bat to work. It's the only weapon I can think of that might work. The way my room is arranged, there's a very limited access and a spot I could wait unseen should there be an intruder. My room is on the third floor, and right by the door is a closet in which to store/hid the bat. I think I'll have some warning. I hope so. It's all I could think of.

And I have to be more careful. No more going to school with a phone nearly out of charge. I have to keep my cell phone in my pocket. Not in my desk. Not back in the office. Not in my purse. In my pocket. Close at hand. Fully charged. Ready to call 911.

That's the tragedy. A school teacher with thirty 13-year olds in her charge has to think of what to do in the event that an armed intruder makes it to the third floor. What is this country coming to???

Just me and my Louisville Slugger. Never dreamed it could come to this.
Valentine Thoughts

Last week I ordered chocolate covered strawberries to be delivered to hubby's job site on Valentine's Day. Because I didn't do anything for our office staff at Christmas, I ordered a dozen for them to arrive on Tuesday. (No premium delivery charge for Valentine's Day!) My mouth was watering all day wishing I had some too!!

When I got home Tuesday night, I was met with this:

Yep. A dozen chocolate covered strawberries arranged as a dozen roses. I laughed when I saw them. Bob didn't understand. I expressed appropriate appreciation, but I was still laughing.

Some years we don't exchange anything more than cards. And this year??? We BOTH pick chocolate covered strawberries.

So for two days, I held my tongue. When the strawberries arrived at his job, he called, laughing!! He got it. We've been together far too long -- we now share a brain!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lost and Found
Last evening I lost my cell phone playing in the snow with the girls. I found it this morning in the snowbank. It was almost buried with just the top half inch or so sticking up above the snow. Other than being quite cold, it was in good working order. But it got me thinking about losing things.
I've lost more keys than I care to name. Someday if we ever move from our present house (23 years there), I'm sure a couple of sets will come to life. I lost one set of car keys at the mall two years ago. I retraced my steps and asked in every store. I had them in my hand. I KNOW I just laid them on a shelf as I was looking at merchandise. We always have spares, but that one had the only remote opener for Bob's car. Fortunately, he likes to open cars the Southwest way.
I've lost two passports and a few driver's licenses. One trip to Mexico (pre 9/11) I used my FOID (Firearms Owner Identification) Card. That was funny at the time. I traveled to Mexico on an airplane with a FOID card for ID. It meets the criteria: it's a government issued foto ID with a current date. I wonder if I could travel even in the U.S. on a FOID card today.
Another time, (pre FOID) I traveled to Mexico with an affidavit sworn and signed by me, notarized at the ticket counter. (They used to do that!!) I just swore that I was who I said I was and signed it. Yep. They used to do that. I climbed right on that airplane. No photo ID at all. Just me saying I'm me!!!
So with my record for losing things, I was delighted to find my cell phone this morning. I was elated when I discovered that it still worked!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snow Fun and Bible Games

I got my "baby fix" today. Since I didn't get the girls on Sunday, they were here for awhile this afternoon. They came prepared to play in the snow -- so we did!!! Tomorrow it's supposed to be 38 -- those piles of snow will begin to diminish, I hope!

Taking them home, we usually play games. Tonight we played "Bible". The 6 year-old started.

6-yr old: It's about the story of Samuel. It was a woman who made a promise that she would.... Now you have to say what she said she would do.

8-yr old: She said she would give him back to the temple.

6-yr old: You're almost right. She said she would give him to GOD, but God lives in the temple so that's okay.

8-yr old: This is a man who is very strong.

Grandma: Did he pull down a building?

8-yr old: Yes

6-yr old: It was Sam. . . Saul? No . . . (with a bit of help she got to Samson)

6-yr old: This is a woman who saved her people. And she became the queen.

8-yr old: Esther.

A few more rounds. Grandma and Grandpa play a bit. As we're almost there, the 8-yr old says, "I had a good one, but I thought it might be too hard for you. There was a man who went to war, but he was afraid and had a woman to go with him to lead the army."

Grandma: Do you mean Barak and Deborah.

8-yr old: (Astonished silence) You know about Deborah??

Grandma: It's a good story, isn't it? Where did you learn it?

8-yr old: I don't remember. I learned it a long time ago. Not last year because it wasn't in Ms. S's class. I think before that.

Earlier today in a teachers' workshop, I had drawn this quote to comment on:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." - Mark Twain

I had thought maybe grandparents were exempt from that phenomena -- but I guess not. I think I passed the test this time. I'd better go brush up on my Bible stories. One never knows what's coming next....Quick, tell me about the book of Hezekiah!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rhoda Farland
In Memoriam
She was the manager of the Lane Bryant Store at which six women, five fatally, were shot by an armed robber.

While I did not know her personally, she was the friend of a friend. Please pray for her family as well as those of the other women who were killed. Your prayers are also appreciated for the lone survivor and her family.

Did I blow my resolution???

I was in the school office today to take a phone call for our team of teachers. I was called to answer because the parent requesting a meeting didn't speak English. I usually take the Spanish-speaking calls. And sometimes I take such calls for the office too. Although we do have a bilingual "Home-School Liason." Recently she's been quite ill, so the office is under a lot of stress to handle these calls. If I'm there, I happily help out.

So today after I had arranged a phone conference with our parent, the secretary asked if I could take a call in Spanish. She handed me the phone in a sort of desperate motion. (I'm speaking in Spanish, translated here for my English-speaking audience)

Me: This is Mrs. PJ, may I help you?

Caller: BLub, Blub, Blub

Me: I beg your pardon?

Caller: Blub, Blub, Blub

Me: I'm sorry. I don't understand. I'm a teacher who speaks Spanish and happened to be in the office. I don't know who you are or what you want. Can you start at the beginning and I'll try to help you.

Caller: I'm Mrs. Blah Blah. I'm calling for a Spanish language interpreter.

Me: Well, I'm not an interpreter. I'm a teacher who speaks Spanish. For what do you need this interpreter?

Caller: For a meeting with Mr. Dean-of-the-school

Me: I don't see Mr. DOTS in his office right now, you'll need to make an appointment to see him.

Caller: I have an appointment to see him.

Me: When is this appointment.

Caller: At 4 o'clock.

Me: (Staring at the clock on the wall which now says 4:08) And where are you now? Are you here at the school now? (I'm thinking she's calling from the parking lot, etc.)

Caller: (Irritably) I'm at home.

Me: Well, if you have a 4 o'clock appointment with Mr. DOTS, I'm sure he's in the building. However, since it is already almost 10 after 4, you can't possibly be here for a 4 o'clock appointment. I don't know if there's anyone else in the building who speaks Spanish except me and I'm on my way out. I won't be here at 4:30 which is the earliest you can possibly make it. Perhaps you need to call and reschedule, and. . .

Caller: ("Click")

I ask you: Did I break my new year's resolution??

New Year's Resolution:
To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time.

-James Agate

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Sunday

And what am I doing??? Checking out the blogs online. As it turned out I didn't get the girls today -- so I'm a bit blue and looking for distraction. (Distraction from ... a bag of stories to be graded written by 8th graders!) Grade stories?...leave notes for online friends?...look for interesting things online? Did I mention grade stories??? I didn't think so.

Today I found some beautiful hand stamped silver jewelry over at Hazelnut Cottage. There's a contest at Island Life. I entered, but if I don't win, I'll accept gifts!!! LOL Head on over. She really has some nice stuff. I especially like the Inspirational ones. Grace and Mercy are just what I need about now. Or, send a Valentine to your sister -- or your BFF.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Big Mama has a giveaway from CWDKids. for $300. Yep. Wardrobe money for your little one! Go check it out. But not before you check this out.

And this gives me just the excuse I need to post some previously unposted pictures of my littles ones guessed it...CWDKids clothes. I found them online last fall and purchased the above outfits. I'll take credit for creating the kids too (although I didn't buy them online) -- but they are a generation removed -- I guess that makes me....1/6 responsible??? I'll take that!!
1970's Flashback

I don't get away from work and/or my computer much, so this may be old hat to all of you who regularly visit the supermarket. But this morning I inherited the grocery run since my lovely spouse, who usually does this, has a pulled muscle in his back. I rounded the corner and nearly burst out laughing. Naturally, I pulled out my camera (as the people around me stared) and took this picture, still chuckling to myself. (As the people stared more!)

Whenever did we go back to colored toilet paper? And, of course, there's a story:

Flashback to 1975 and coordinated bathroom colors which included the toilet paper! Bathroom tissue came in a rainbow of colors. We were poor enough that I was grateful to have a roof over my head and running water indoors, but I ALWAYS bought paper that matched my bathroom decor. (Oh, I wish I had a picture!!!)

We moved to South American in 1976. In Quito, Ecuador there was a supermarket to shop -- you went along the aisles and put what you wanted into your cart, American-style. There, the TP was wrapped in solid white paper, but I could just pull out the paper and peek for the color. It came in beige, blue, green and a kind of tan which was about the texture of crepe paper.

In July we moved to the jungle village of Santo Domingo de Los Colorados. No supermarket. The main street was a jumble of buildings, cement block squares, wooden structures that looked like displaced tree houses, made from whatever material was available. The doors were garage-type doors (no remote openers), metal pull-down doors. One of the block buildings housed the "farmacia". I walked in to a square room about 15 x 15. Customers stood in a 5 x 5 square foot open space. There were wooden counters on three sides, some boarded up as the glass was broken, and behind the counters old wooden shelves with the merchandise. I waited my turn and more people walked in.

"Papel Higenico, por favor," I request in my best High School Spanish over the buzz of voices behind me. "Y tiene el color azul?" I further ask. (Toilet paper, please. And do you have the blue?)

The clerk drew himself up to his full 4 feet 10 1/2 inch height, puffed out his chest and made a formal pronouncement, "We don't sell by COLOR; we sell by QUALITY." In the silence that followed, I could hear people behind me began to snicker softly. "COLOR does not matter in toilet paper."

Red-faced and anxious to get out of there, I muttered, "Just give me four rolls." (Back then I really didn't like to be stared at. I was embarrassed, not amused.)

Not to lose his moment of glory in teaching this naive American, he asked, "Would you like our BEST quality?"

"Yes, please. Four rolls."

Four rolls, of our BEST papel higienico," he snaps to the boy waiting beside him who quickly scampered to the top of the ladder and brought down four rolls of the BEST QUALITY toilet paper from the top shelf. It was the beige color. And wiser, I made my way down the street to the next little shop to buy shoe laces. Behind me the chatter resumed in the little pharmacy.

A few weeks later, my husband made the toilet paper purchase. (Don't even think it. By then we learned NOT to ask for color.) He had an official from the Ecuadorian church with him. And my husband asked for four rolls of paper.

He was informed by his guest (an Ecuadorian national who assumed much the same posture as my sagacious clerk), "My brother, of course it's fine with me, but if you ever have another pastor with you, it's best not to buy so much. You may be thought to be extravagant by such a large purchase."

My diplomatic husband simply accepted this sage advice.

Do I need to mention that we were a American family of four (two of whom were under age four) recently moved to the tropics, eating strange food, and enduring the sweltering heat in a house without even a fan? We used the bathroom often!!! I'll spare you the details.

So today, I re-lived a bit of 1976 standing there in the supermarket with my camera in hand.
I chuckled as I bought a HUGE package of 12, yes TWELVE rolls of toilet paper wondering what Pastor C would think if he could see me now. AND I bought the blue to go with my newly decorated bathroom!!! I was in an extravagant mood.

Out my window it looked like this

In Santo Domingo the houses were a mixture of this:

and this...but jumbled tightly together and not painted so nicely

(These scenes are Santo Domingo, but taken more recently (YES! These are MODERN!) and I couldn't find one of the main street ANYWHERE!

The counters were a bit like this, but made an "L" around the room. Behind the counter was the clerk and a young boy to climb and get things. I had to make a verbal request for anything I needed.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Have you heard??? There's an Oreck XL Ultra on a giveaway over at 5 Minutes for Mom. I entered because God knows we need a lightweight high-powered vacuum these days. Bob's back is better since he visited the chiropractor tonight, (He's the chief house cleaner these days), but with this lightweight one, maybe I could even get into the act. (I might even be able to find the "on" button!!

Whatever your reason for wanting one, surf on over and give it a try. That's at 5 Minutes for Mom. Enter for your Oreck XL Ultra. C'mon. Check-it-out! You know you want to.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008




Over at 2nd Cup of Coffee Linda has been talking about humor...Northern funny, Southern funny... This is "anybody-born-before-1950-funny."

Copper Clapper Caper

P.S. At the end, this reverts to links with other videos from the site. This one is clean -- I do not vouch for the others!! (If anyone knows how to stop this, let me know!)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I sat down tonight wondering what I will blog about. Since I left school about 2 and a half hours ago I have driven through rain, sleet, hail and snow. They're predicting 12 inches for us this evening through tonight and up to 8 inches tomorrow. We haven't had that much snow since 1973 when we left town ahead of the snowstorm of the century. And I'm bored WRITING about snow...I won't bore you.

So, I was pleased as punch to discover that heather had tagged me for a meme.
This one I really like because I always love to hear what people are reading!

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.

The nearest book to me (It arrived today and I brought it home on the off chance that tomorrow is a snow day and I could spend the day curled up with the book by the fireplace! Please!! Please!!! Please!!)

Drawing on the right Side of the Brain
by Betty Edwards.

Page 123:

"Emphasis on negative spaces unifies your drawing and strengthens composition and--perhaps most important, improves your perceptual abilities.

"I realize that it is counter-intuitive--that is, it goes against common sense--to think that focusing on the spaces around objects will improve your drawing of the objects. But this is simply another of the paradoxes of drawing and may help to explain why it is so difficult to teach oneself to draw. So many of the strategies of drawing--using negative space, for example--would never occur to anyone "in their left mind."

Okay that is boring to anyone not interested in education, psychology and left-right brain theory. (I'm trying to get out of my "left mind" -- maybe I can learn to use my "right mind.") And my readers are saying, "Just get a mind!!! Or get a life!!"

Fine. I'll agree. That book has limited appeal. (Although some of my home-schooling Mom friends and other educator/psychology people might find it interesting)

Next closest book:

Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God by Brennan Manning.

"Drop your various identities as author, evangelist, and spiritual leader, admired by your friends and respected by your reading audience. Simply present yourself to God, clinging to nothing but your humanness."

"And so the hours of prayer became a death to all past achievements and any identity not grounded in truth."

This one is a great book. I highly recommend it...(Is it just me, or did that passage speak to anyone like me who can become a site meter addict?)

And I now tag a few people I know love to read: What book is nearby???

Jen at MomtoJonahandJude
Mrs. Darling
Lisa B

And anybody else who'd like to play! Tell us what you're reading!! Or at least what book is lying nearby!

Hope all of you have a wonderful day -- and plenty of time to read!


Monday, February 04, 2008

And...did you notice, in yesterday's movie, there is no evidence of me ever jumping into that foam pit??? That's because I didn't. I wanted to. But I was worried I'd have to spend the night!!!!

I can envision the 911 call. "Send a tow truck please. We have a hefty 50 year old stuck in the foam pit."

It would certainly have made my Granddaughter's 8th birthday memorable. Almost as memorable as my older Son's 21st Birthday party. I slit my finger with a brand of knife advertised to cut a penny in half -- Most of the party I spent at the emergency room getting stitched up!!! I do learn from experience, so I did NOT jump into the foam pit.

When the athletic 30-somethings work to get out -- I'm not goin' in. Not these days!!! Maybe after I recover a bit more. . . . ?????

I'm still looking to swap spots with SOMEBODY for a week or so!!!

Guess what??? We got two more inches of snow yesterday!!! Yep. That put about 14 inches on the ground. And it was just beautiful. I woke up about midnight and it was like daylight outside. The brand new snow reflected our lone streetlight and the scene was out of a movie. it got to 40 degrees. Our snow is . . . slush. Melted, messy. And with about half of it still on the ground, the warm air creates ground fog. Soupy stuff that's hard to see through. I heard that in Springfield (about 3 hours South) the fog was so thick that the traffic lights that are triggered by sensors couldn't read when a car was there!!!

Now tomorrow, we're supposed to get two more inches. What is up with that????

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What I did Saturday

Saturday, February 02, 2008

February 1, 2008

The snow shovelers arrived early with the entire family. The eight year old wielded the snow blower like a pro.

It's a good eight inches deep and still coming down.

He cleared things out very nicely.

His work ethic is amazing for such a little boy battling a big snow storm!!!

Out my kitchen window.

Looking south out my kitchen window.

Later in the day, returning home from work, I snapped random scenes from my car window.
Here are some of them.

The snow is beautiful. I was happy to be home and out of the storm. I think we got about twelve inches total by the end of the day. Lots of that beautiful white stuff. But at least it isn't so cold. Upper twenties only. (24-29 degrees most of the day)

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