Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cutting an Orange

"Do it lovingly--in perfect  quarters like little boats, or in staggered exfoliations like a flat map of a round world, or in one long spiral, as my grandfather used to do. Nothing is more likely to become garbage than an orange rind; but for as long as anyone looks at it in delight, it stands a million triumphant miles from the trash heap.

"That, you know, is why the world exists at all. It remains outside the cosmic garbage can of nothingness, not because it is such a solemn necessity that nobody can get rid of it, but because it is the orange peel hung on God's shoulders like a chandelier, the wishbone in His kitchen closet. He likes it; therefore it stays."

--from Robert Farrar Capon in  The Supper of the Lamb, our next book club read. I've barely begun it, and already am collecting quotes from it. This will be fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mad Dog?

Our sweet lab/chow, Meshach (a girl with a boy's name) has been a brick the many years she's lived with us.  She never asks anything of us. In recent years she's had a couple of panic attacks (and tore up the kitchen once when the smoke detector when off and we weren't at home), but other than that, steady she goes. She loves to go to "sleep away" camp when we go out of town, and gets an occasional brushing and bisquits, but that's about it. She's got a dog's life for sure. For Shach, the sun rises and sets on Spouse, but if she needs mothering, she sure knows to come to me.

It's interesting how the family dog reaches those senior years after the kids leave home just as our aches and pains are starting.  We can sort of commiserate together. Shach is pretty healthy except for some dimming vision and hearing, and oh!––how I ache for her when I see her arthritic limbs lower and raise her body.

Recently Spouse bought her a big bone. I can't remember the last time she had one.  She went mental with it. For hours she carried it around the house just beside herself. I think she must have been looking for a place to bury it. 

The next morning she would not go outside without it. Since then we have enjoyed watching her bury it (quite deeply), dig it up, carry it around for a bit, and bury it again . We think she should just keep it in her little dog house, but no, bury it she must. At least three or four times a  day. She tosses the dirt over it with her nose. (Oooo--her nose is all muddy!)  What fun to watch. She actually can't be too senile if she remembers to search for the bone. 

Photo: Shach after her "summer cut." (Bows were removed after photo.)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Crown is Waiting

Youngest son just had his "hands on" dental board exams this past weekend. Can you imagine--having to round up mostly strangers who have in their mouths something you need to show that you can fix? And not only that, these mostly strangers--you have to count on them showing up at the right time and the right place! Or, you get to try again later at a huge cost. My own dentist told me how when he did his boards, he had to put one such candidate up in a hotel and buy him a meal and drive him to the appointment to be sure he showed up!

But we thank God that they all showed up and son felt he did okay, though still waiting to hear for sure. That's a big sigh of relief and answer to prayer. There's still the written exam, but I was mostly worried about those people showing up and opening their mouths.

We're proud of our son. I've got a crown for him--waiting for graduation day! Oh--not on his head, but in my mouth!

Photo: showing off dental lab on the white coat occasion

Friday, February 22, 2008

In the Pink

A friend commented recently about our coming granddaughter: "I bet you're doing some handwork!" "Yep!" After years of crocheting and knitting baby sweaters, caps, blankets, and booties for other babies, it's deliciously fun to be making something pink for one of our own! 

The first thing I ever knitted was a pink sweater for myself, in highschool. I think I still have it as a sort of monument, but I bet I hardly wore it. I think it looked pretty homemade. But when I learned to crochet, I found it much more forgiving. I could easily correct mistakes and my hands would fly. In nursing school we'd all climb on the bed in one of our rooms in the evenings (all-girl school you know, so no guys to hang out with) and crochet the night away while our tongues flew––you can imagine. Ponchos, scarves, vests, shawls, afghans––they were all "in" in those days. It's fun to see young girls taking up knitting and crocheting again.

Now, back to my pink!

Julian of Norwich

God, of Your goodness
give me Yourself;
For You are sufficient for me.
I cannot properly ask anything less,
to be worthy of You.
If I were to ask less,
I should always be in want.
In You alone do I have all.

15th century

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life is One Click After Another ...

... or so it may seem at times.
Photo by lulu

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Wow, the daffodils are in full bloom. A little early, I'd say. I went out to pick some to add to the wimping tulips. Jack from across the street saw me and yelled, "What are you doing?" I had already told him a few minutes earlier that I had lost my voice (and suggested if he finds it to let me know) ... so I gestured and used sign language to tell him the obvious.  "I understand what you are saying," he yelled to me through the stiff wind that had kicked up. I held the bouquet out towards him, gestured it towards his house, then beckened him to come get a bouquet for his mom. I saw him hesitate, toes on the curb. I knew he was not allowed into the street. But suddenly--aha--we realized we could walk across the lawns around the cul de sac and meet without crossing the street. I believe a sign of intelligence is being able to understand folky sign language and gestures.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentine Tea

President's Day

Something about President's Day...brings warm thoughts of my childhood. There was so much fun stuff in February...Valentine's Day followed by Lincoln and Washington's birthdays (we celebrated them separately, or maybe it's because I grew up in the Land of Lincoln.) I remember most of all the silhouettes we made out of black paper. Not sure why, but that was what we did. One of the favorite things we did in homeschool was to have the boys research Lincoln's boyhood home and we made a huge display of it on our kitchen wall, including his sleeping loft!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008


It seems with Spouse's health crises over the past two years, we've forgotten about the eye doctor. No wonder I could no longer see with my glasses––to the point of not even bothering with them. (Actually since I am near sighted, my distance vision has improved as my near vision has, of course, worsened ... one of the few benefits of needing specs to see the blackboard in school.) So we celebrated Valentine's Day by going to the eye doctor together, and soon we will be seeing clearly again.

Seems I have noticed the word "clearly" being used so much these days. I almost wonder if it's a buzz kind of word. Spouse thinks it gives time (a nano second) to get to the word you really want to say. Listen for it. You will
clearly see how often it is used these days.

But speaking of "clearly," I have been aware lately how much more aware I am of my environment ... how
clearly I am seeing things around me. It is like putting glasses on. It may be my age or life stage ... but, my, there is soooo much beauty around. I am finding myself savoring views, the clasp of my husband's hand, the sound of a bird singing, even enjoying the view of the potted plant on my table. Which makes me think, if this is all so great, how much greater the views and the senses in heaven, clearly, will be!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Advance Warning

Coming soon to the three musketeers.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sure We'll Move

For many years we have gone to the mountains for a long weekend in February, usually near Valentine's Day. We go with friends who all started out together in a small group from our church. This year more than ever we were thankful for the gift of friendship we share together as we journey through the hills and valleys of life.

When we arrived at this amazing cabin at the top of a mountain, there was no heat. We cranked it up and nothing happened. Eventually they moved us to a smaller place along the river that was heated like a sauna. Though we moved back to the mountain top the next day, the heat was not really fixed until dusk. Brrr ... "cold, hot, pack, unpack" quickly became themes for the weekend.

We enjoyed good food, walking, talking, reading, worship ...

Even gourmet brussel sprouts!

So much beauty to enjoy ... outside and inside.

The flowers came up with us, moved with us, and went back home with us. Yes, some of Super Tuesday roses included!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

super tuesday

I must confess I am watching more TV tonight than I did on Super Bowl Sunday night. I guess for us, "Super Tuesday" is our Super Bowl, political junkees that we are. It's no secret that these primaries are like none other in history, and it has been a fascinating ride. Doesn't sound like it's over either. Boniface brought yellow roses (got them for a steal at our new Trader Joe's) to our Bible study this afternoon, and they are wonderful eye candy relief as we watch the returns tonight.  Thank you, thoughtful friend! 

Saturday, February 02, 2008

trial run

It's not often I practice a recipe, but I saw mini quiches somewhere and wanted to try them. I could not find the recipe, of course, so found something similar online, but without the piecrust I wanted. So I thought I'd give it a whirl, adapting the recipe. This was on my mind this morning, so I got up early to get it started and sure enough it worked! It will be nice for a ladies' brunch or (hint) Young Girls' Valentine Tea Party ... And, when Spouse got up, there was breakfast for him! Now, the question is, can I do it the same again?

Friday, February 01, 2008

look before you leap!

I told my friend the other day to remind her girls that "this is the year!!" She didn't seem to know what I was talking about -- even when I said, "they can propose to a man this year." In fact, everyone around the table we were sitting at seemed clueless about what I was talking about, so I began to doubt myself what I was saying.

But now, after ever-so-thorough research, I know it's true. That is, the fable or myth is true, if that's a possible statement. St. Patrick was the beginning, on the British Isles. In the late 4th, early 5th century, St. Bridget, head of the nunnery, went to St. Patrick, then bishop of Ireland, for help. All the sisters were in revolt, demanding the right to propose marriage to reluctant suitors. (Guess nuns could marry in those days.) St. Patrick was sympathetic for these women living in a society where only men could do the asking so he decreed that women be allowed to propose marriage during one year out of four. The "open season on bachelors" took place during Leap Year, and has ever since. (Leap Year occurring every four years in order to keep the calendar year syncronised with the seasonal or astronomical year.)

Apparently Bridget asked St. Patrick to marry her and he gently refused, softening the rejection with a kiss and a silk gown. Thereafter, men were obliged to make some sort of payment for refusing a marriage offer.  This was an unwritten law in the British Isles for many centuries, and in 1228 the Scottish parliament passed legislation imposing a heavy fine on any man refusing a proposal of marriage from a woman.

And where did the term "Leap Year" come from? The every four years that we needed that extra day to catch up.  "Leap Day" actually was completely ignored in financial and legal matters, with anything falling on that extra day dated  Feb. 28th rather than 29th. Therefore that date was "leaped over" as if it did not exist.

Of course things have changed significantly over time, and such things as  April Fool's Day and Leap Year are no longer taken seriously. But it is fun to know the history of such things. And, for my husband's cousin, we certainly won't leap over her birthday this year on the 29th. She's only had about eleven!

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