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Early Morning Track Ponderings

One Word this week was track

I try to go to a local walking track at least three days a week. I go at 7 and the Texas summer is telling me I may need to go earlier.  I started this morning with Spirit In The Sky playing in my ears, setting the beat, the cadence as I move around the track even though muscles are complaining.  Thinking about spirit. The human spirit.

A minute isn’t long enough for two miles of thinking.  I have to come back and revisit this.

Okay, where was I.  Spirit In The Sky, warm day.  I’m walking along, swinging my arms.  Twice around is two miles. The song starts me thinking about the human spirit – isn’t that a misnomer?  Human equals flesh – spirit, God.  My misbehaving, undisciplined, flesh, complaining, moaning, whining it’s way around the track, down the path, on the journey.

I start out moving to the song, the music keeping the speed until my body settles and muscles loosen and I fall into rhythm with comfortable ease.  About halfway through the walk the comfort isn’t quite as comfortable and I look at the shoe prints in the sand ahead of me and just follow those footprints still listening to the music knowing the goal is worth it. The killing the flesh, struggle to be stronger, healthier.  Can’t get there without some pain.  There’s pain – arthritic feet but you walk through it, past it.

Sometimes there is shade and a cool breeze.  The walking is pleasant.  I’m on the path and the path is smooth and easy on my feet.  Other times the shade is gone and the sun beats down and I’m sweating and wishing I was somewhere else and I could be, it’s a choice after all.  Sometimes I choose wrong but the path is always there and I come back.  There is some ugly trash along the path but also beautiful flowering trees.  Others walk the path as well.  We nod and speak and all keep walking.

The track is not far from where I live but it isn’t exactly at my home.  I have to act to get to it.  I have to choose to get in my car and drive there.  I choose to listen to the music and keep walking, putting one foot in front of the other, finish the race, claim the prize, complete the walk.

The spirit moves us, not our spirit.  We move along the path, track, onward on the journey, wherever the spirit takes us, flesh dying, spirit moving, til we can go home.  Trials on the way and joys too.  Never alone, spirit always with us, nudging, prodding, waiting, speaking if we listen.  Waiting for us to choose, listen, move, obey, and then come home.

Stealing Time #5 Sunday Scribbling

Sunday Scribbling prompt was absurd.

Cassie and Kell walked down the street.  The street was familiar and yet it wasn’t.  Subtle differences caused by time. “Look!  The Community Center is still there!” Kell exclaimed.

“Maybe we shouldn’t get too close until we know a little bit more about this time.”  Cassie said thoughtfully.

“You’re probably right.”  said Kell as he glanced around and behind him uneasily

They turned down a side street and headed toward a line of shops.  There were people strolling down the sidewalk.  Some were looking in windows, some talking, and some sharing a cone from the ice cream shop.  About halfway down the street they spied tables and chairs at an outdoor cafe.

“There!  Let’s see if they have pizza.  I know I could think more clearly if my stomach wasn’t growling!”  Cassie said. Cassie and Kell walked down to the cafe and went to the window to place their order.  There was a chalkboard menu to the left of the window and thank goodness, pizza was listed.  Cassie looked at Kell and he grinned and turned to the tattooed, pierced, and bored looking teenager behind the counter. “Two slices of Pineapple and Canadian Bacon Thin Crust and two bottled waters please.” he said.

After he had paid, they found a table and chairs in the shadows and sat down to eat.  Neither one spoke for a few minutes, too busy chewing and licking melted cheese from their fingers..  Cassie reached out and stole a piece of bacon from Kell’s pizza,  “Hey!” he laughed.  The smile kind of died on his face.  It seemed so absurd to be sitting here eating pizza as if all were normal.

“Maybe we need to figure out what we know and then work on what we don’t” Kell wiped his mouth with a napkin and took a swig of water.  We know we are in the future, but we don’t know when.”

“And we know you are supposed to do something – but we don’t know what.” Cassie added. There has to be a reason for my dreams and my uh, ability.”

They finished their water and bundled up their trash and threw it in the can by the counter.  “Come on, lets get a newspaper and some supplies and head back.” Kell grabbed Cassie’s hand and they headed down the street to the drugstore.  They picked up a paper, and some toiletries, coffee and breakfast bars for in the morning.  Kell paid for their purchases and they headed back towards the apartment.

The sun was getting lower and more people were out walking.  Cassie and Kell strolled with the crowd, taking their time.  As they neared the apartment, Cassie glanced in a window as they passed and saw a face reflected that stopped her in her tracks.  Kell stopped and turned to her and saw where she was looking.  As he peered at the window he too saw a face in the crowd that was looking directly at them.  It was there for a second and by the time Kell whipped around to see the real person, the face was gone.  Cassie still stood frozen in place.  Kell grabbed her ice cold hand and rubbed it.  One look at her pale face told him that the face was the one from her dreams.  “Come on Cassie, lets get inside!”  Cassie stumbled blindly, as Kell pulled her along.  He unlocked the door and then relocked it once they were inside.  He flipped on the light and dropped the shopping bags on the table.  “Cassie, talk to me baby!  Sit down here, come on, are you ok?  We are safe now.  We’re inside and he’s gone!”

Cassie slowly sat down and sat at the table shaking. “It was him.  He is here and he terrifies me.  I don’t even know why, Kell!”  She looked up at him.  “I’ve only dreamed of his face.  How can a dream face scare me so badly?”

“Cassie, I’ve never even dreamed of him and it scared me.  There was something about those eyes. They were so cold, even though he was smiling. We can’t let him freak us out though.  You got us this far Cassie.  You’re the bravest person I’ve ever met.  We can get through this!”  Kell, held onto her hands as he spoke.

“That’s the longest speech I’ve ever heard you make, Kell.”  Cassie let out a long sigh. “Ok, we can do this.  I’ll try not to freak out too often.”  As she spoke, Kell picked up the newspaper that was rolled up in the bag and laid it on the table.  They both looked at the paper and there on the front was a picture of the man they had just seen on the street.

The Phone Call

The prompt at Simply Snickers was actually for poetry so I’m mixing prompts and sites tonight.  This is my attempt at a very short story.  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

The prompt consists of three words cast, confuse, catch
She wrestled with the lock, rattling her keys as she struggled to get in and get to the persistent phone.  She shut the door and raced to catch it before the answering machine kicked in.  As she picked it up she threw purse, keys, and bags on the table next to it.

“Hello?” She said, and then sucked in her breath as the voice on the other end answered.

“Hello, Sarah” he said.

The room was spinning and she shook so hard she could barely hold the phone.  “How did you find my number?” She asked.

“The internet, Sarah.” He explained patiently.  “It wasn’t that difficult.”

“Why now?  Why after all this time?” She was near tears and clutched the phone so tightly it hurt her fingers.

“I wanted to…I just needed to hear your voice” He spoke quietly, almost pleading. “I just missed you.”

It had been six years but her heart was pounding like it was yesterday.  The die was cast and everything had changed forever in an instant.

“Please” she begged, “this confuses me!  It took so long….”

She had moved away, changed everything about her life.  Maybe not enough, she thought.  She couldn’t go back.  She felt it all wash over her again.  “No! No!” she thought “I can’t do this again!”

“I know” He sighed “I shouldn’t have called.  I’ll leave you alone.” He hesitated.  “It wasn’t your fault you know.” He whispered.  He heard her shallow, panicked breathing on the other end of the line.  “Sarah, maybe we could..”

“NO!” She cried “please, just leave it alone. ” She hung up with a sob.

As Jacob gently laid the receiver back on the phone, a single tear made a path down his face.  He lived just down the block where he could watch over her.  The fire that had taken everything away from them, including part of her memory was long over with. The rubble from their house, hauled off with nothing left. He bitterly thought the vacant lot was a metaphor for their lives.  Just empty space where there used to be a family.  Her self-imposed punishment was forgetting.  His was remembering.

Sarah sank to the floor.  She couldn’t breath, couldn’t hear or see.  She didn’t know how long she sat there just staring.  The floor became her bed and the next morning she would awake and wonder how she got there.  For now she let the darkness take her.  She laid her head on the carpet and closed her eyes.  She wished for a second that she could be different, then sleep came.  She didn’t dream.

Big Bang Theory Monday and ZORK

They are playing ZORK!  On Big Bang Theory!  ZORK was the first real video game I ever played.  Dale was working on the pipeline and we were living in a 25 foot trailer in Blythe.  One of the guys had an old TRS 80 – the kind that was all one piece, monitor, keyboard, and all.  He let me use it and I filled a legal pad with notes as I worked my way through the text based adventure.  I LOVED it!  You typed in north, south, east, or west and went that direction.  It would sya something like “You are standing before a wooden door” and you would type in open the door.  There were objects to find and many of them were needed to get to othe parts of the underground empire.  You can only carry so many items at a time so you have to figure out what to carry and what to drop.  There are some “bad guys” and some dead ends so it helps to draw a map as you go along.  In this very first version of ZORK, ZORK I there are no pictures – only text.  Your imagination provides the pictures!

This is my favorite show EVER!

P.S. If you are curious there is a java version of the game that you can play online ZORK

Have fun 🙂

Happy Easter

This was a special Easter for me as our church held our Easter service at the high school where I work.  he last two years it was held at a neighboring school with an auditorium that holds about 650.  Last year some people left because there was no place to sit.

Our auditorium holds a little over 1000 and I was worried that people wouldn’t come because the weather was bad this morning.  I don’t know any exact numbers, but it looked pretty full to me.  That’s just awesome.  It’s encouraging to see that many people, in one place, worshiping together – especially in a community this size.

The service began with the itty bittys singing and it looked like there was about 40 kids up there.  I got so tickled at a little girl in the front who was just about to dance, hopping and raising her hands whenever they would sing “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” – she was so cute.  She was just so excited to be up there.

I was thinking about an Easter before the kids were born when we lived in Littleton.  My best freind and I decided we would go to the sunrise service at Red Rocks which is a natural outdoor amphitheater formed by what they call the “hogback” where the foothills push up at the edge of the Rockies.  The guys had no interest in going so I made us a thermos of coffee and she brought quilts for us to wrap up in.  We left at 4 in the morning because a LOT of people go and it isn’t easy to park.  Even getting there early, we still had quite a hike up to where people were sitting.  It was beautiful and peaceful even in the midst of the crowd.  I found a picture on Flickr – not from back when I went but you get the idea.

This gives just a hint of how big it is.

Hope everyone had a joyous, peaceful Easter holiday.  He is risen! Amen!

My Life As A Computer Program

Scribblesoup for Writers Block has an intriguing prompt this week – your life as a computer program.

#57: Life, programs….viruses
If your life was a computer program what would it be? Are there upgrades, viruses…?

My life as a computer program

  1. I would probably be one of those time wasting games that is fun but not particularly useful.
  2. I would be a beta version (forever)
  3. There are no cheatsheets – you just have to learn as you go
  4. There will be spam and lots of it
  5. There is a virus and it periodically slows everything down – it can be partially cleaned but never completely removed (guess I’m a PC LOL)
  6. There are hotkeys that set off certain sequences of events (see number 3) and forget the undo button – it’s disabled
  7. It WILL occasionally freeze up and nothing will work except to reboot (hope you saved – now I know I’m a PC)
  8. Some parts of the program are poorly designed and while they serve a purpose, they could have been written much better.
  9. There are “easter eggs” but you have to really hunt for them (if you don’t know what an easter egg is go here)
  10. There is a manual but you will have to study it your whole life and you still won’t “see” until you die.
  11. I will interact with other “programs” but not always well and often with unexpected results.
  12. I won’t always do what I’m supposed to do, but sometimes I will do even more and better!
  13. Sometimes you will click all the right buttons and I still won’t do anything.
  14. There are upgrades but they are costly and don’t always get the desired result 🙂 (warning – they may not be compatible with the old system)
  15. I will use a lot of resources and won’t always start when I should.  There are NO menus )see number 3)

Scribbling Prompt – Scary

The Sunday Scribbling prompt this week is Afraid.  What are you scared of?

A lot of things scare me.  Bees and wasps, snakes, pain, Fiddle Head Ferns (I know but they always made me think of aliens), saying the wrong thing (which I DO frequently – you would think I’d be over it).  There are things I worry about but I think those are a different category.

If I really search for the things that can keep me awake – I am afraid of time.

There have been crystal pure moments in this life, where time stopped and I stepped outside of it, barely breathing. I saw everything at once, heard every laugh, smelled the sun, and knew without a doubt that if I was asked at that very moment, where I would like to be, I would have chosen that time and place.  Every color, intense and perfect, feeling complete and peaceful joy.

I don’t mean the big events like births and weddings. Those things are marked by the calendar.

I mean the small, seemingly insignificant times when for some inexplicable reason, it felt as if God’s finger tapped me on the shoulder and whispered that I should look and remember, take it with me. I mean a time when I wasn’t just there, but I was truly present – in that moment.

As a Christian, I know I have the hope of heaven. I believe that Jesus Christ paid the price for my sins.  I believe that God loves me more than my human self can possibly imagine.

My human self can’t imagine anything more beautiful or joyful than those moments. This is a paradox and my most confusing sin.  We are not supposed to be tied to this world – and yet we are given these gifts of moments that make me love this world in a way that goes to the very heart of me.  Oh, I know there are terrible things in this world.  You’ve only to turn on the evening news to get bombarded by violence and tragedy.  We see evidence of how little humans care for other humans every day.  But when I think of how a person’s mind works and through little lines and sounds that form words and how we make leaps of imagination, form relationships, paint pictures, and create music and love, I am in awe.  When I think of the small every day miracles when someone does the right thing for no reason or when someone makes a small gesture of love without being asked it makes me want to hug the world!

But those moments, oh those moments.  They hold me as much as I hold them.  I fear them stopping.  I fear not being here.  I fear not feeling that connection to another human being.  Will I take those moments with me?  Will I remember?  Will I be remembered?

At the same time I’m curious to see what comes next.  In Mark 9 we find the short but oh so meaningful prayer – “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” That sums it up for me. Am I flawed or do others have this doubt?  If we are to love God and desire to be in His presence, is it wrong to have this love for His creation?  Can we love the Creator but hate His creation?  If it’s wrong then why is creation so filled with beauty?  Is it part of learning to trust?

It’s Easter weekend and it’s scary to me to even post this.  This is a time of celebration.  The tomb is empty, Jesus conquered the grave.  I know these things but I want to know them MORE. A friend told me (teasingly I think) that I’m nosy.  I am, it’s true.  More than nosy – I like to KNOW things.  I like proof of things. I like things to make sense.  I love it when a bible teacher explains something that makes the Bible make sense.  I love the mystery and mystical”ness” but the logic and proof make me enjoy that part more. When I learn something that proves the gospel, it doesn’t all of a sudden make me start believing.  It’s more like YES!  I knew it!

Sooo, I hope I am not judged too harshly for doubts.  Isn’t that what faith is about?  We keep walking because we trust God to guide us, even when in and of ourselves we know we are lost?

Grandma and Faeries

I took a break from writing from prompts today and spent some time journeying back in time.  Here are some memories and stories to share.

Visiting my grandmother was always an adventure. She lived in Hamilton, Ontario which was about a two hundred mile journey.  I just looked up the distance this morning.  It’s funny, but I remember it seeming much farther. I know my brother and I must have asked “are we there yet?” at least a thousand times.  I don’t even remember what most of the scenery looked like – I was usually buried in a book.

Grandma lived on the very end of Aberfoyle Avenue, at the base of the mountain brow, across from King’s Forest, which had very few trees – just rolling hills and meadow.  There is a little road running out to the middle called Whitehouse Road.  Back then it was actually the driveway to a lonely, faded and peeling, two story white clapboard house.

My favorite place was a very old tree that was growing out of the side of a hill in such a way that one of it’s roots was out of the ground and formed a natural bench, sheltered by the branches.

I would take an apple and my sketchbook and sit looking out at that old house.  I imagined there was a girl locked upstairs, peering out from behind the curtains.  I would try to think of ways to sneak closer and see if I could catch a glimpse of her.  I had just read Jane Eyre and I’m sure was feeling the influence.

With the city behind me, a mountain rising to my right, and the horizon stretching on forever, the place had an edge of the world feel to it.  Throw in a cloudy day with a little bit of fog and you had the perfect scene for a Gothic novel.

I’ve since learned that Aberfoyle Avenue, the name of her street, is also the name of a village known as the Faerie capital of Scotland.  It was named appropriately.

visitaberfoyle has this to say:

The village of Aberfoyle sits astride the Highland Boundary Fault Line, which separates the Highland from the Lowlands of Scotland.  There is a strong magnetic field found on this geographical line.  It is in such an area that the mythology of the Celts is at it’s strongest and the activities of Celtic Faerie People are most evident.

The Fairy Minister

He heard, he saw, he knew too well
The secrets of your fairy clan;
You stole him from the haunted dell,
Who never more was seen of man,
Now far from heaven, and safe from hell,
Unknown of earth, he wanders free.
Would that he might return and tell
Of his mysterious company!

And half I envy him who now,
Clothed in her court’s enchanted green,
By moonlit loch or mountain’s brow
Is chaplain to the Fairy Queen.


The Rev. Robert Kirk was the minister (Episcopalian) for the parish of Aberfoyle from 1685, when he succeeded his father in the post, until his mysterious disappearance in 1692, following publication in 1691 of his book,  “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves and Faeries”.

Of course I’m all grown up and I know that fairies don’t exist.  Kings Forest is now a ski and golf park and my grandmother is long gone.  She came to Canada from Glasgow which is only about forty miles from Aberfoyle, Scotland.  She probably heard the stories and legends and I can imagine her believing in fairies when she was a girl. Life was hard in Scotland and I  picture the Scots shepherd in the Highlands with nothing but sheep and a good dog for company.  Cold and tired with the mists playing tricks on his eyes, it would have been easy to let his imagination turn to give name to the outside influences on his daily life.

A Gaelic lesson – the phrase Woman of the Fairy Mound – bean-sìthe (in English – banshee and pronounced very similar)


I was not in a celebratory mood this weekend so when I saw the prompt from Sunday Scribblings was Celebrate I was dismayed.

A stressful week and then not feeling well physically had me kind of shut down.
We are still in Ephesians at church and as I opened my bible, it fell to the page that contained the following scripture.

Ephesians 14

Therefore He says:
“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Once again I’m reminded of how easy it is for me to forget that light.  We sleep, and anger creeps in.  We are spiritually dead, and self becomes all important.  How much of my time is spent “sleepwalking”.  God is faithful and calls me through His Son, to awake to the light and to celebrate that gift by letting that light shine through me for others, so that Christ can draw people to Him.  I mess up.  I close my eyes and sleep.  Today I celebrate the light that Jesus gives us all, and once again am humbled that though I sleep, again and again, He doesn’t let go of me and gently wakes me up to see that the light never leaves – I just need to open my eyes.

We’ve been sleeping for so long
Living in the dark alone
He has called us with HIs song
We remain His very own

We celebrate the light
Rejoicing in the Giver
We open up our eyes
And look to Him forever

Amazing how God knows what we need to hear, even when we are asleep.  Thanks Sunday Scribblings for this prompt

My Mother’s Hands

My Mother’s Hands

The writing prompt at Sunday Scribbling was Aging

Well, we’re all as old as we have ever been, and we’re all at different stages of considering the aging process. What thoughts do you have on the subject?

As I thought about the prompt, I kept seeing my mother’s hands in my mind.  My mother had the most beautiful hands in the world.  Slender fingers that tapered to small oval nails.  They were graceful and talented.  I remember those hands pinning a hem on a dress as I stood, complaining and whining about how long it was taking.  I remember them peeling and chopping whatever she was canning at the moment.  Her hands would be red and chapped from hanging clothes out on the clothesline in the winter.  It would be so cold that the clothes would freeze and when she took them off the line they would be stiff, in the shape they were in when she hung them.

Mama’s hands could feel your head and tell if you had a fever, pop you on the backside when you needed it (and there were plenty of opportunities for that) and yank the hairbrush through my tangled, fly-away hair as I fussed, telling me “you have to suffer to be beautiful”.  I should have listened.

I remember wondering one time how she could do everything she did and still have such pretty hands.  I know now, that I was seeing her hands through eyes that loved her and were in awe of her.  As I look at my own hands now, I know she saw the same things I see now.  A scar that wasn’t there, wrinkles and discolored spots, where there once was smooth, pretty skin.  My nails are chipped and short where I have broken them or, I’m ashamed to say, peeled them down to nothing when I was nervous.

Will my daughter look back and see mama’s hands?  Did mama look back and see beauty in Grandma’s hands?  So much of the good that’s in me comes down through the women in my family.  Whenever I create something special, whether it be food, or sewing, or painting, it’s mama coming through.  Whenever I do “the right thing” even when it isn’t the easy thing, it’s mama nudging me on.  Whenever I do something that is adventurous and out of my comfort zone, it’s grandma’s courage that takes me there.

If you are looking at your hands now, wondering how they got to look so old, and how they look worn, where they once were pretty as they wore a wedding ring for the first time.  Remember how your mother’s hands looked the first time they helped you guide a shoelace around the tree and through the rabbit’s hole.  Remember how your mother’s hands felt, the first time they brushed a tear away from your face when your heart was broken. Remember how they held your first baby and how you knew at last what it felt like to be her.

Aging is all about what is taken away from our outside.  Inside, more and more is added so that our hearts grow, as our bodies shrink.  We are able to hold so much more.  More love, more memories, more patience, and hopefully more wisdom.  I hope my daughter is able to look back and see what a gift the women who came before have given her.  How God shone through them, and how His hands lived in their hands.  I pray that His hands have moved mine, and that all that is good and right and beautiful in me, is Him working through the women before me to make me who I am to be mama’s hands for her.

One Minute Writing

I discovered several blogs today that give a daily or weekly writing prompt and then let you either post in comments or post on your blog and link back.  I thought I’d play a bit at OneMinuteWriter and I found out just how little I can write in one minute!

There is a timer on the site – you Just click and start writing.  These are the instructions:

1. Read the daily writing prompt.
2. Push “Play” on the timer on the right side of the screen.
3. Spend 60 seconds or less writing a response to the daily prompt.

The prompt?

Friday Fiction: Time
Write a brief, creative, fictional piece about time travel.

This is what I wrote

I kept my eyes shut for a moment until the nausea passed. It didn’t seem as bad this trip so maybe I’m finally getting used to it. After a moment, I open my eyes to the light and as I look around I know instantly where I am. I’ve been here before. I glance at the clock and as the hands click I run, knowing I have only moments….

Either I type slowly or some people don’t actually limit themselves to one minute 🙂

It seems like a good way to get ideas and practice.

The actual post is here

Just Another Day

This has been a very. long. day.  I stopped and got a Caramel Macchiatto (with skim milk of course) and listened to “Lost” and “Fix You” by Coldplay on the way to work.

I started out standing on the side of the road leading to the back of the school.  People who know me would stop and ask if I needed a ride.  “nope, just waiting for a truck driver from the prison” I said.  If I had been holding a can of beer, wearing a tube top, and sporting a tattoo, I would say that I had turned into a bad country song, but no – I was waiting on delivery of 50 computers and monitors from the prison computer recovery program.

(I can hear David Allen Coe singing “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” playing in the background)

Next I had to run to Central Office for a tech meeting where we learned all about upcoming changes.  The meeting only lasted an hour and ten minutes which was better than the last one.  (Cue Elton John singing “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – well not really, it wasn’t that bad.  That’s the only song I could think of for meetings)

Then I wolfed down a part of my lunch and picked up Dale to go to the Texas Scholars Awards ceremony.  This was my second year in a row to have a child there – and my last.

Background music “Another Brick In The Wall”

Went back to work and made sure we had everything ready for online testing tomorrow.  Answered some email, got some phone messages, installed Adobe Flash Player on some computers that needed it for the class in the lab, and the storm started move in (Eric Clapton singing Let It Rain)

By then it was time to go home, eat a few leftovers, and head to church which was great as usual but also interesting because the lesson was in Ephesians at the point that Paul decides to go to Jerusalem and despite warnings from everywhere he stops, he goes anyway.  Paul has always had a heart for the Jews.  He was born and raised and educated a Jew and even though he wants so badly to go to the Jews, God has always sent him to the gentiles.  He ends up taken out of Jerusalem in chains and with 400 soldiers guarding him and then spends years in trial after trial.  The question was raised, was Paul right to go despite the warnings – did he know that it was God’s will?  Or was he just being hard-headed.  It isn’t clear but an argument could be made that he was not in God’s will.  Of all the churches talked about in the epistles, Jerusalem was not mentioned as a key church where hundreds, even thousands were brought to Christ.  I don’t know the answer but a possible point was made that when we are not in the will of God, there is no fruit.

We sang Hillsong’s Mighty To Save.

Does your day ever have a soundtrack?

Hush-a-bye, don’t you cry,
Go to sleepy little baby,
When you awake, you will have cake,
And all the pretty little horses.

A Birthday, A Rebirth, and a Goal Reached

I used to write.  Before blogs, before the internet, before I knew what a computer was. In high school and just after, I wrote poetry.  I had a notebook that I kept it in.  I once wrote a long…long…long poem about peace (it was 1972 remember) and translated the whole thing into Latin.  Yes, I am that old.  It was the last class ever to be taught Latin in my high school and hey – it got me an A!

I had a friend in a band that read some of my poems and asked if they could try to make some into songs.  One of the guys in their band, Jim, wrote music.  they worked with it for awhile and invited me to a rehearsal session to work on some of them.  Just poetry is a little different than having a chorus or a bridge and we worked on that.

A week later Jim was dead.  He told his wife he was going hunting and went out to the woods with his gun, sat down on a log, and shot himself.

In all of my eighteen year old arrogance, I was more angry than anything else.  At that age your friends are EVERYTHING. You know all about them – every minute detail of every day.  Who they love, what music they like, what kind of trouble they are having with their parental units (because at that age we all did – let’s face it), their moods, and what ticks them off.  Jim was older and at the time I didn’t understand that as you get older, friendships change.  They are still important of course, but not as all consuming.  Other things in your life become important.  A confused girl grieved for you Jim and barely knew you.  I know now, the faces we show others often have nothing to do with our insides.

At that time I just could not see how someone could get to the point where they would kill themselves without someone who KNEW them for heaven’s sake, stepping in and doing something to help them.  Back then we believed you could fix anything by just talking about it.  Depression was not a medical problem – it was a counseling problem, we thought.

A week after Jim died, Paul brought my notebook back to me.  I never looked at it again.  I have no idea what happened to it.  I never wrote poetry again.  The band fell apart and I hope that somewhere, somehow, Paul forgives me for not being more compassionate about what he must have been going through instead of being so full of my adolescent, self-involved drama. I remember and forgive me.

When I was a girl
An old woman lived inside
She looked out through my eyes
She saw when I lied

But now I am older
The girl lives on still
Her heart is within me
My faith and her will

We’ve lived far apart
Through years and through living
Often at odds
My holding, her giving

I reach out before me
To meet her halfway
Will we now become friends
Keeping demons at bay

The past and the present
Now finally to wed
Hanging on to the best
Turning loose of what’s dead

We still are becoming
That young girl and I
The door has been opened
Her secrets are mine

The child and the woman
Hand stretching to hand
Our history stays with us
While futures are planned

The circle turns slowly
And life marches on
Fears are laid down
And the night becomes dawn

When we stop being so grown-up
When we love the young soul
When we heal them together
We again become whole

My blog is three years old today.  I reached my goal of losing thirty pounds.  I wrote a poem.

I think I will set some new goals.  Hello world.

Now You’re Cooking!

There is an interesting take on tutorials from Guy Kawaski (and a recipe and demonstration for making his world famous Teriyaki sauce)  It is worth the visit just for that! Show how to do something in about two minutes!

His cooking demonstration is an episode at There are plenty of videos as well as recipes in text form.  I don’t know about you but there are plenty of times I have read a recipe and felt a little nervous about parts of it.  A demonstration would have been great!  Now you can have one and you can even subscribe in your feed reader or through iTunes and for those of you that do not like rss, you can subscribe to the email updates.

There are other resources as well, including reference charts for safe cooking temperatures, conversion and measurement charts, explanations on equipment and how to use it, and general how-tos for anything and everything around the kitchen.  I’ll be sending the link for this to number one son!

This will go great with my new ab lounger 🙂

Do I Really Need More Exercise?

Yesterday while we were out running errands we stopped at a garage sale.  We got a deal on a stationary bike and an ab lounger – dirt cheap.  If you know me you know that I have been dieting and walking since the first of November and I am very near my goal.  The weather and time has been a big factor in walking.  Since I started this in November I walked through the coldest part of the winter and there were some times that it hurt to breath the cold air.  I walked anyway.  Rain is another story altogether.  I’m determined but not crazy.  Well, at least not crazy about walking in the rain.

At any rate, I had been watching for a treadmill or something that would allow me to get the exercise on bad weather days.  I was already loading up the bike and hubby asked if I wanted the ab lounger too.  He showed me how you use it and the price was right so we loaded it up too.

I didn’t think I had any “abs”.  Well at least not muscle… too much information, I know.  This morning, I find that I not only have them but they and my shoulders are yelling at me!  I don’t think the ab lounger and I will ever be BFFs but I will allow it to torture me if it helps me get to my goal and even set a new one.  Ouch – the yelling just hurt my ears!  My “abs’ and shoulders want to know if I have lost what little mind I had! They want to know what they have ever done to deserve this punishment?

I have promised them an oreo later if they will just shut up for now…

Six Degrees of Separation

Wikipedia defines Six degrees of Separation

(also referred to as the “Human Web”) refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is on average six steps away from each person on Earth. It was popularised by a play written by John Guare.

A few days ago I joined a group on FaceBook started by people who went to my high school in Michigan.  Today I got a friend request from Lori who is the sister of someone I went to school with.  She lives in Jacksonville Florida (which happens to be where one of my brothers lives) and has a bar there.

I found a name (Patrick) on her friends list that turned out to be the son of someone I hung out with when we were barely past being toddlers.  Both our parents and grandparents lived on the same dead end street and we made our little trek over the course of the day stopping at each house for cookies.  By the time we got back to the first place quite a bit of time had passed so we would get cookies again.  It worked well for us so we kept it up until the silly grownups talked and figured our little plan out!

Patrick’s older brother is Lori’s nephew. I haven’t talked to my brother yet (I have to actually call him since he isn’t on the internet as much as I am) but it wouldn’t surprise me to find he has been to Lori’s bar or at least knows of it.

I haven’t been back to Michigan in nearly thirty years and don’t know when and if I will ever get back so these were connections that would never have happened if I hadn’t been on FaceBook.

It used to be that if you wanted to get together with friends you had to physically get in your car and all drive somewhere.  Now I see my kids texting on their phone while chatting online and checking email all at the same time.  The connections are different than face to face.  I still miss the nuances of tone of voice and facial expression which are the things that give us emotional cues and smiley faces while helpful do not really replace those things.  The upside is that there is time to think about what you are going to say and you can always back up and delete and edit before you hit the send button.  In real life I tend to say too many words and not say enough about what I’m really thinking.

Will relationships in the future change because of this way that we communicate now?  In the last few months many of my friends have appeared on FaceBook.  This used to be the almost exclusive venue of the younger crowd but there are a lot of us  more “mature” folks showing up.  There are groups for everything you can think of and places like FaceBook give us a place to “play” without clogging up our inboxes.  It also becomes a tool for communicating with groups and I can already see several of my groups overlapping with others.

The world becomes smaller in some ways but if we can connect so easily on the net, will face to face connections happen less?  When I was growing up my mother communicated with her family through letters on a regular basis and the rare phone call. We alternated years visiting. Gas prices and phone bills dictated how often and in what way you connected.  With the present economy concerns, will sites like FaceBook and Twitter become the new letter?  Instead of traveling to visit, will we meet as a group online?  We already have the capability to video chat and most computers now come with webcams.  We can easily create online presentations with pics of the kids and create an audio file to go along with it so grandparents can see and hear the grandkids.

Interesting things to think about.  Do you think we are more or less connected to people because of the internet?  Do you have a special way you connect using the internet? Has FaceBook ever surprised you?

Big Bang Monday Smiles

The guys are taking a train trip because Sheldon won’t fly.

My favorite quotes (that I could type – some were too long and passed by too quickly)
Leonard: “Sheldon we’ve only been on this train for ninety seconds and you’ve already said a thousand words. Just tell us where to sit and shut up.”

Leonard: “Oh look, now he’s boring on an international scale.”

*Summer Glau is on the train with them LOL (I guess the fact that I know who she is makes me a little geeky)

Howard and then stolen by Rajesh: “It’s hot in here, it must be Summer”

Leonard: “I see, it seems that once again you are caught between a rock and a crazy place”
Sheldon: “I hate when that happens”

Penny: “Hey Leonard what’s going on with Dr. Wackadoodle?”

Sheldon: “Leonard let me tell you something – personal robots cannot get here soon enough!”

Penny : “What up moonpie ?”
Sheldon: “No one calls me moon pie but meemaw”
Sheldon: “She calls me moon pie because i’m nummy nummy and she could just eat me up”

Beginning To Use iPhoto

To import pictures from your camera – open iPhoto.  Plug your camera in using the usb cable or using a card reader – plug your memory card in.
Open iPhoto, click file < Import pictures

Your pictures will all be in the iPhoto library – all your pictures.  One way I have seen this described is that iPhoto is a database of all your pictures.


Let’s look at Events and Albums.

Every time you import a picture from your camera or through drag and drop, iPhoto creates an event.  It’s iPhoto’s way of automatically organizing your photos according to the date they are added.  So an Event in iPhoto is just an instance of adding photos, whether it is one photo or fifty.

Albums are YOUR way of organizing your photos according to ways that make sense to you.

A photo can only be in one event because it can only be uploaded one time.

A photo can be in as many albums as you want because it doesn’t really physically move the photo – it just is a way of saying that you want to view all photos that fit this criteria you have set.

Lets use Christmas as an example.  Maybe you have taken pictures for ten years at christmas.  You have ten Christmas picture events because each Christmas you took pictures and each time you took those pictures you uploaded them to iPhoto,

Now at the end of those ten years, you want to see just the pictures of little Susie at Christmas so you can see how she has grown.

You create an album called Christmas Susie.  To create that album you just click File < New Album and give it a name. You will now see it in the list of folders on the left sidebar.

Now all you have to do is click on Library < Photos and drag the photos you want to see when you click that album and drag them in it.  You haven’t actually moved any photos.  You can still click on Library < Photos and see all of them.  But if you click on the album you will ONLY see the pictures you added to it.

If you want to make iPhoto actually work FOR you, you can create something called a “smart” album.  Just like creating an album you go to file < new album.  This time, choose smart album (give it a name) and a new box will pop up letting you choose criteria for what goes into the album.  If you want to specify more, just click the plus sign and you will get another box to add more criteria. From now on, any picture that fits that criteria will automatically be placed into that album for you by iPhoto.

You can customize your bottom toolbar a bit to fit your needs.  To do this, click view up at the top and select “show in toolbar”.  Whatever you check will show.  You can change this at any time.

Now if you want to create a cd of some photos you can select the album you have created and click burn in the bottom toolbar making sure there is a cd in the drive.

I hope this helps you get started organizing your pictures with iPhoto.