31 October 2008

Suck no more

You know how certain words are somewhat off limits?
Well, suck is one of those words.

Here is an acceptable use: My vacuum sucks!

Unfortunately, that is not currently true.
My vacuum no longer sucks so I had to take it in for service.
Of all the cleaning jobs, I love vacuuming.

When we were kids, particularly on days off, but also on weekends,
(as my sisters could testify to) we always had jobs to do.
If choices were on offer, vacuuming and ironing were the jobs I picked.
Dusting is a chore I still avoid. Dusters don't seem to breakdown like vacuums do. Bummer that!

27 October 2008

to vote or not to vote

Recently a friend's seven year old asked me who I wanted to be president. Interesting question. I considered the reality that I will vote for someone, but there are many days I'm not sure either candidate is who I want leading our country.

In hanging out with some friends recently, a couple of them said they were so undecided about who to vote for that they were considering not voting.
The statement horrified me.
"You must vote," I insisted.
"Women previously did not have the right to vote," I argued,
"they fought for that right."
As if voting now fulfills the fight for the privilege of voting.

Still, I couldn't let it go.
"Just chose something," I pleaded...

But the question lingered. If you do not feel supportive of or drawn toward either candidate, do you vote? Does not voting symbolize something? Do you chose a certain issue and make that your basis for voting? Do you have a responsibility to vote? What is communicated if you remain silent?

Any responses out there?

20 October 2008

this is where i live

and these?

these are some of the endearing (tee hee!)
creatures that sometimes await me
literally outside my window.

(and at this particular moment
outside my car window.)

Did I mention I live in the city?
Because, really, I do. And by city,
I mean not remotely in the country.

But I'm not complaining.

I never get tired of this view.

18 October 2008

I really don't know it all! (as if that's news to anyone)

It really surprised me. On my way to work this morning,
as I neared the entrance to Calvin College,
where there are a series of traffic lights lumped together,
while I was dutifully waiting at a red light,
a car blew by me, and "ran" the red light.

Of course I noticed the car. I have this ridiculous competitive streak in me that tends to want to "beat" others out of a stop. It's as silly as it is innate. The other reason I noticed the car, aside from their blatant disregard of the traffic signal, was that it had a Washington state license plate. Ah. Rebel Calvin student, I determined.

Or likely not. The car's driver was a rather seasoned older lady who DID stop at the next red light giving me the chance to glance, or as the case was, completely, without inhibition or manners, stare at her. Not such a young irresponsible college student.

It's good to be surprised on your way to work on a Saturday morning.

17 October 2008

while driving

Fall color explodes all over Michigan.

Such could be the daily news headline this week.
It is glorious.
The sight of it truly catches my breath.
It was so overpowering,
it was all I could do to keep driving
while I passed some of the spectacular sights.

Color. Here. Over. The. Top.

But, along with that splendor,
I was on the way to lunch
to celebrate my friend Denise for her birthday
(I'm sitting next to her in the photo here).
And that was fun, too.

Sigh. I miss working with her!
Happy Birthday, lady.

16 October 2008


Is there any truth?
Yes. But we might not find it in our political system. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm, but I am weary, and at times I am fearful regardless of who is elected.

Personally, I'm advocating the strategy of pray pray pray. Pray for God's agenda to rule the hearts of ALL who serve in political office. This isn't a new strategy, of course, reference our friend Daniel. He certainly pursued faithful, fervent prayer in spite of a leader who did not profess faith in Yaweh. And we read of amazing outcomes.

Could we talk to God as much about our leaders as we talk or complain to each other about the candidates? Could we pray for their hearts to turn to God's heart? Could we engage in Christ-like living so that we care for the poor, the orphan and the alien among us? Could we adjust our personal spending habits to say with integrity to our government that spending beyond our means is not what we support? These are only a few areas. Those are huge challenges for me personally. But these ideas feels more hopeful than other things on offer. This is not a popular or politically correct comment, but Jesus still is the only hope. Of this I'm certain.

If you're interested in some of the things discussed last night, I browsed to "hear" what was being said about the latest debate and the following was posted:

FactChecking Debate No. 3
October 16, 2008
Sorting out fact and fiction in the presidential candidates' final debate.
Spin and hype were apparent, once again, at the third and final debate between McCain and Obama:

* McCain claimed the liberal group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.” He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.

* McCain said “Joe the plumber” faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers.

Update Oct. 16: ABC News reported the morning after the debate that Wurzelbacher admitted to a reporter that he won't actually make enough from his new plumbing business to pay Obama's higher tax rates. ABC said his admission "would seem to indicate that he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut."

* Obama repeated a dubious claim that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.

* McCain claimed that Obama’s real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that.

* Obama incorrectly claimed all of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week, but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher percentage of attack ads than McCain.

* McCain described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list.

* Obama strained to portray himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.

As I said, Jesus is the hope of the world. I am still hopeful in (and praying for) His love changing everyone and everything.

14 October 2008

funfact friday tuesday edition

It occurred to me that maybe no one else can relate to this. I recently returned a set of silverware to my sister. She has her own place once again so she needed some of the stuff that I was storing, er using. So, I packed up her precious silver (is it, really? silver?) and delivered it to her. And then returned to my house to use my shall we call them eclectic collection of various styles. You would remember this eclectic set as the set you used at college. You know, the hand me down from everyone, very little matches, you don't care if you lose one. Yes. That set.

But here is the funfact, I have favorites. Even while using my sister's matching set, I had a favorite spoon from my collection.
And I use it and reuse it.
Just this morning I used it for my cereal.
And tonight I washed it and reused it to eat yogurt.

It's what I like to eat with.

No, this information will not even begin to solve the economic crisis.

But it distracts me from yet another must write before the deadline paper.
So there you go.

Any other favorite fork, knife or spoon people out there? What about favorite coffee mugs? I know u exist!

Okay. To paper writing I go.

13 October 2008


Have I blogged about the conversation that my coworker and I experienced a few weeks ago at a local coffee joint? Ask me about it sometime.

Today is about a similar moment. We order our coffee. I had a free one that my coworker used, AND I had a coupon for myself. I love that I had coupons. (I never have coupons, well, except expired ones, which then makes me give up on coupons all together.)But forgive me, coupon excitement is NOT the point here.

Anywho, we wanted to enjoy a few moments of this glorious fall day, but there were folks sitting at the one outside table. In my previous story, we sat down at the table anyway, and had an incredible conversation with the others seated there.

Perhaps the people at the table were warned, because by the time we finished ordering they were gone, leaving the table for us. Today, we sat, trying to memorize our school verse. Here it is: May the favor of the Lord rest upon us. Establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands" (Psalm 90:17).

We'd been squinting and sipping for a few minutes when a gentleman asked, "could I have this chair?" he motioned, as if to take it away from the table.
"Sure, but you can sit here," I laughed, "we're nice."

And so he did.
We kept memorizing.
He made a phone call.
He mentioned it was his sister's birthday.
We commented on his cool Iphone.
He said it was a great phone for his business.
Which led us to talk about his business.
Which led into a conversation about my coworker possibly joining the business.

My coworkers hours were reduced recently, and the opportunity for him to be involved in this business, using a gift he already has, on his "free" time would be ideal. The two jobs could really mesh into a decent income. In addition, this new opportunity could possibly provide moments for Pat to talk about Jesus with people who may not have a personal relationship with Jesus, which is Pat's very favorite thing to do.

I can't really articulate how amazing these moments are.
But there is such a sacred sense that we would really miss out if we didn't occasionally drop in at this coffee shop and sit at this table and talk to strangers.

It's like a portal for encouraging us that God is at work and He invites us to participate. And I would hate to miss out on that.

Now, winter is coming, so I wonder if the portal will move inside???

11 October 2008

B's birthday

Here are a few shots of the birthday boy
walking through a wall of streamers as he
gets surprised by an impromptu party.

Sometimes a person can only wait so long
before melted wax morphs into the frosting. (Perhaps this is what happens when you need too many candles on your cake?) :-)

How do you fake a surprised face like this? It is truly fun to watch someone open a gift when they're not expecting it.

I appreciate that birthdays provide the opportunity
to reflect on the gift of a person,
and to pray God's best for the "new" year.

Happy Birthday Barkley.

09 October 2008

a maize ing

For some unknown perhaps media-influenced reason, I've been fearful of corn mazes.
Who knew? See, I have this memory of friends
jumping out of corn stalks
somehow related to children of the corn. I confess, I didn't watch the movie. So I'm only assuming it's scary. Corn stalks are associated with fear. Whatever. Let's blame it on attending college in Iowa.

This weekend, I enjoyed a fabulous fall experience. Sunny, warm days, brisk, nearly frosty nights,
with leaves changing color almost in the time you turn around.
In some trees the leaves seem to reach consensus or something, as the color starts spreading slowly and then, undeniably, it has bled through the tree, capturing every leaf. Brilliant!

Anyway, when the idea to traipse through a corn maze surfaced,
given my silly fear of such things, I admit I was hesitant.
But it was completely fun.

If the opening photo does any justice, it shows the detail of this particular field.
And they had a satellite photo of it, too, that accurately resembles the barn, et al. I was quite impressed. One of the most impressive things was that they actually create the maze as the corn is growing, as in, they don't just hack through the mature plant. They stake flags and mow it down almost immediately as it grows. (You probably knew that, but for me, new info.)

We wandered through the maze,
answering questions about corn, agriculture, etc.

Most of the answers, I could guess. But some proved a wee bit challenging.
I know you weren't with me, so here's one for you. See how you do.

Is corn a:
a. fruit
b. root
c. stalk
d. stem

Along with all the corn things, it was simply a lovely fall weekend.
The mums,
the pumpkins,
the gourds,
the corn,
it all worked.

Glory explodes in these days. And I'm loving the privilege of breathing it all in.

Thanks for the views, Papa!

04 October 2008

take 2

These were a few of my favorite things...

Co workers and friends...



more food


phone calls (not sure how to picture here),

wall greetings (think facebook logo)
(And yes, I'm being lazy.
It's my birthday--I can if I want to.)

And time with Barkley at his
first visit to IKEA...
among some of the highlights of the day.

And did I mention, I took a vacay day at work?
I highly recommend it as a birthday practice!

what a fun fine day.

03 October 2008

photo journey of a birthday

well...I intended to share these photos...and was so excited...but then, I uploaded a birthday gift, the latest version of Ilife, including I-photo and well, I don't know how to attach photos.

This is what I get to say about my birthday,
it was great.
I loved it.

I have some photos to prove it.
Maybe tomorrow.

This is one of the most lame posts I've offered. But i'll make it up. I promise.

01 October 2008

My Dad

I've told people for years that I was my Dad's 40th birthday gift. (Technically, I was a day late, which may say things about my life, but hey, still, I was so close.)

I called him just after midnight last night to be the first to wish him a Happy Day. And what is so cute and endearing about my Dad, is that he was reading the card I had sent him and wanted to explain something. (And I mention this for two reasons. This is one.) He commented that reading all those nice things on the card made him sound like he was a perfect Dad. And he assured me he was not perfect. He had made mistakes like anyone.

I quickly mentioned that birthdays are NOT the time to list one's imperfections. (Clearly, I don't want him to mention my imperfections tomorrow!)

Dallas Willard said that
the more you get to know someone in Christ,
the more you love them,
because you see them as Christ intends for them to be
And for the most part, that is the way my Dad loves. He greets people with warmth, generosity and humor as if they are his long lost friend, regardless of age or circumstance. I like that about my Daddy. And yet, he knows he is not perfect. That is true for us all. But we are loveable. And we are loved.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I'm so grateful for another year to celebrate you!!

Pix credit: top--Carmen, in Galena 0608
bottom--Hildred, on the Olympic Penisula (is anywhere more beautiful??)0208