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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cultural Mishap

Our usual handyman wasn't available to put away the supplies for the church. Hubby asked the young man across the street who's been shoveling walks this winter to put them away.

He neatly stacked the TP.
Then shelved the paper towels.
Added the trifold towels in their little paper wrap.

Then he put the Kleenex on the shelf.

Kleenex?? Where???

And he said to Bob, "I think I may have blown it."
"What?" Hubby replies.
"Well, I took the Kleenex out of the wrapping" replies our helpful fellow.
And there in the garbage can were the boxes.
"No Problem," replies the ever patient Bob. To me he says, "Guess I gotta find some kind of plastic box to put the Kleenex in."

And our helper heads out to the farm next week to begin his real job. Hope the hay or the feed doesn't end up like our boxless Kleenex.

(BG -- this one is for you!! I know you'll get it!!!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Session three

It really is amazing what a little working out will do. I didn't make it today....but I did on Thursday, Friday AND Saturday. I'll try for more variety tomorrow. But I really do feel totally much better!! Thanks Linda for the Inspiration!! (Tonight, I'm far too tired for humor!!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Movement One and Two

I decided to join the "movement" over at 2nd Cup even though I may have been officially too late to get in on the action. So beginning on Thursday, I decided to move my "Ahem" for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week....and to my immense's for only two weeks. So at the end of two weeks, I shall reevaluate my insanity and see if I can tolerate such activity. Since it has been officially Spring Break for me for the last 4 days, I've been celebrating with such activities as shopping, cleaning closets, shopping, visiting with a friend, shopping, studying, shopping. Well, you get the picture. So my first attempt at shhhh!! exercise was to walk around the store in these for half an hour.
Really! I did! Don't you think that should count for the first thirty minutes of movement???

Okay. I didn't either. Although, my calves thought it counted. And so did my lower back later that evening. But in order to wholeheartedly participate, I went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood later in the evening. Thirty minutes. My broken finger was aching dreadfully from the cold.

Then, this morning, I did 30 minutes of Yoga -- well about 20 minutes of Yoga with 10 minutes of Callanetics thrown in for good measure. (and if you think I took a picture of me doing Yoga, you're crazier than I am!) It's all my poor body would take after the 5 inch stilettos. By the way, I did buy them!!! Yep. Those are some killer shoes--and I bought them! Please remember that I'm nearly a senior citizen. Surely that buys me a bit of sympathy. No????

So after the session this morning, I wore these today.
Nothing like my beloved Crocs to rest my permanently 5 inch arched feet. I kept a sharp lookout for Clinton and Stacey today because I surely didn't want to be caught out in my Crocs. No way are my comfy shoes going into the garbage.

I'm trying to figure out what movement I shall attempt tomorrow without offending either my arches, my lower back or my the rest of my muscles which are complaining about the workout today. Does a BM count as movement???? Although I might put other parts of my body in distress if I tried an entire thirty minutes at BM "movement."

Maybe Pilates tomorrow. I could dust off one of those balls and maybe I won't break my neck!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Plus ,ca change, plus c'est la m^eme chose.
Alfonse Carr

[The more things change, the more they remain the same]

And the more my "to do" list continues...the same!

Clean my office
Organize pictures
File papers
Clear Counters
Clear Desk

Prepare for Study Group
Bake Apple Bread
Make Coffee
Prepare Cheese Tray
Research Japanese Music

Clean Kitchen

Yada Yada
Lesson Plans
Create Webquest
Make Dividers for info Notebook
Make Rubric for project
Prepare Sample Project

Clean Closets
Remove winter clothes
Return Spring/Summer clothes to closets
Check clothing for needed purchases

Didn't I just do all of this last month????

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just too funny!!
(I know it's just a tad sacrilegious..okay more than a tad...But I think God has a sense of humor too!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We Didn't Start the Fire
(Your history lesson for today)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Spiritual Warfare
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Things are astir in Elgin. Just how do I know this? It's a discernment issue -- but the same conclusions could be reached either by intuition or logical reasoning. Sometimes two and two just equal four.

First the good news: An eight year old made a decision to be baptized today. She understands the issue of sin and forgiveness, at her level, and decided she wants Jesus to be Lord of her life. Her parents were there and her grandparents, both sets of them, to witness this momentous occasion. There was such a sweet spirit in the House as she emerged from the tank. She quietly exited, but afterward, in the dressing room with her mother, she broke into tears sobbing, "Mom, I just can't tell you how I feel. This is so different. I don't know how to explain, but I feel new."
Yes, sweetie, you're a new creature in Christ Jesus.

More good news: My friend from class was there. Following the service, she asked lots of questions. Her visit there was dual purpose. As a part of a multicultural education class we were to step out of our normal sphere and write a report about it. My friend is also interested in finding a church to attend with her husband and children. She had done her homework and asked pertinent questions about the infilling of the Holy Spirit, healing and baptism.

Other good news: Excitement among the children runs high for Highpoint. Andrew is gathering a group of young adults for Frontline Generation.

The visible battle: Octogenarian with PTSD issues from WWII has returned to the fold with a vengence. He persists in interrupting the morning sermon with scripture quotes totally unrelated to the sermon at hand, extraneous remark uttered loudly to the dismay of all and sundry. And for some reason our ex-soldier has managed to recruit a board member to defend his angry antics. Antics that threaten to turn our morning service into a circus.

The battle complication: In a small family-oriented church, even such a ill-matched duo bent on division could be able to create chaos in the complex web of relationships that bind us together.

The real battle:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

My prayer: "Lord please help me to remember that I'm fighting against spiritual influences and that the battle must be won on the spiritual level in order to see the results I'd like on the human level.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I just ran across looked fun...even if I am a day late!!!! we go!

Writing a check for my friend's tuition was my last random act of kindness.

Another place that itches and I can't scratch!

Always remember to consider God even in matters of the heart.

Coffee, tea or Caramel Collision Coffee Cooler!

For a time of reflection, take separate paths.

6. Our kitchen reminds me that there is always time for a cup of tea.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing friends, tomorrow my plans include going to class and Sunday, I want to have a great time at worship and then play with my granddaughters!

Try it if you want...just click on the "Fill in Friday"

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Country Girl Meets the System

My first grade began one Spring day when my mom tired of watching three pre-schoolers and asked the teacher at the school across the street if I could go to school for the remainder of the school year.
We lived four hours away in a large city, and I had missed the age cutoff by one month. Mom was worried about me starting school in the big city in the fall. She was tending the store at this country crossroads and taking care of her sick sister in addition to caring for her own two children (age 6 and 2) and her sister's four year old son all day while my Uncle worked at a factory in town in order to keep body and soul together. The teacher agreed, if I would behave, so Mom sent me off to school the next morning.

I thrived in Ms. William's first grade class.
I could read, write and spell excellently well and I could do simple addition and subtraction. I was easily the best student in first grade. At the end of six weeks, she passed me on to second grade. The next fall, when I began school in the city, the cultural discontinuities began. While I could easily read the second grade reader, they required phonics exercises which I could not do. When my performance was so irregular, the teacher began to check records and discovered that I had only attended six weeks of first grade. First I was moved to the first grade. I stayed there for two days while I was tested. Following the testing it was decided that I could return to second grade. I never did learn phonics. To this day, those little wiggly, squiggly symbols are virtually meaningless to me.

That was the year of the long autoworkers strike. By November my Dad had decided that it was going to last too long and cost too much. He chose to take the savings that he had, to follow his dream and buy the farm that he was saving to purchase. So once again, I found myself in a country school. This one was a one-room schoolhouse. One teacher taught all eight grades.

Cultural continuity resumed. I was a stellar student. Since I was reading fluently in third grade, I began teaching the first grade readers while the teacher worked with the non-readers. My "teaching" consisted of round robin reading. Our circle was over in the corner by the potbelly stove first thing every morning. I also listened in to all the other lessons. Soon I was included in the fourth grade math class and occasionally could be included in sixth grade history if my work was completed to the teacher's satisfaction. For me it was Mecca.

The next year, the crops failed. For the winter we moved back to the city so that Dad could go to work in the automobile plant in order to earn enough money for the spring planting. I was in fourth grade. There were three fourth grade classes in the school; I was placed in the lowest. I was told that if I worked hard, I'd be able to work my way up to the next level. I was a fish out of water. Everyone had to line up to go everywhere. I have always hated waiting in lines.

Jeffrey first tipped me off. It was my second day in this school. After lunch the teacher handed out report cards with the usual instructions to have them signed and returned by parents. Then she announced that Jeffrey had made straight C+'s. Everyone smiled and applauded. There were whispered polite "congratulations" to the blushing little boy. He was shy, but seemed nice so at P.E. I asked why straight "C+" was such a big deal. To me it was not even an acceptable grade. I always earned A and B marks. To my dismay, I learned that even 100% on all class work equaled only a "C" because I was in the "C" class. My mouth dropped open. I alternated between anger at the injustice of it all, determination to get out of there, and discouragement at the bar set so high. Even at age 9 I recognized the trap I was in: how could I possible earn above a "C" in order to get moved up to the "B" room or the "A" room if even 100% on everything is still only a "C"? Or in exceptional cases, a C+.

I was bored with the work and with the books available. No more listening in to science and social studies lessons of the upperclassmen; no more peeks into Shangri-La courtesy of Lost Horizon by James Hilton. I missed my friends from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys, Rose in Bloom, Under the Lilacs, Eight Cousins. I can't recall the titles of the books available to us, but the stories didn't interest me and were far too easy, the characters and topics did not transport me to lands far away. I was an alien, alone, trapped in urban mediocrity.

Occasionally I made a Herculean effort to do something right and earn those valued "C's." Dare I hope for a C+? Handwriting was stylized and compliance was mandatory for all assignments. In addition, there was the problem of my usually hurried messy handwriting. I stayed after school one day to do a handwriting exercise that I thought would get me into the "Penmanship Club". I labored intensely over the paragraph and wrote perfectly round letters. However, when my mom appeared at the door to take me home, wondering why I was late that day, I handed the paper to the teacher only to be told, "You know that one exercise does not get you into the Penmanship Club. You must consistently use excellent Penmanship on all assignments in order to qualify." At that point, discouragement won. I realized I was doomed to the "C" room for the duration of our time in St. Louis. Until that day, I had never felt like a country bumpkin. I accepted my fate; I was a bona fide Hillbilly!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers. How many do you know?

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only 2 can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only 2 perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole & ripe, & the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. So, how did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only 3 words in standard English begin with the letters " dw," & they are all common words. Name 2 of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet that begin with the letter "S."

(p.s. I had forgotten #2, did not know 3 or 5. Got the other 6. No Googling!!!)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My New Favorite Blog

Pastor Bob's Place

Monday, March 02, 2009

There's Lettuce, lettuce, lettuce in my handbag
(to the tune of "Tomorrow")*
Ten Things to do tonight
10. Place new cords for laptop in laptop case
9. Find transparencies for tomorrow night's class
8. Prepare presentation for tomorrow night's class
7. Answer reflection questions for class tomorrow night
6. Double check calendar for this week so no birthday parties, purse parties, etc. sneak up on me
5. Find driver's license that is in my ticket folder from attending funeral
4. Find passport that has disappeared since that same trip
3. Finish grading papers from today's class
2. Reduce size of cargo in purse
1. Remove lettuce from said purse
(or maybe I could just go to an Art Linkletter program and receive an enormous prize for having the most unusual thing in my purse)
Who? Art Linkletter. "House Party" He was predecessor to Bill Cosby's "Kids Say the Darn'dest things" But on "House Party" he asked for ridiculous things from women's purses and if someone had that item (Oh say, a lb of cooked spaghetti . . . or remnants of a salad), she'd win money!
*We were watching "Annie" when the salad erred and jumped in my purse!

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