Wednesday, December 28, 2005

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

For the second time in 5 days we've managed to squeeze the eight hour trip between our place & Port Orange, FL (see pic below) into more than 12 hours. On the way down Friday it was 12 hours & 5 minutes. Today on the way home it was 13 hours and 15 minutes. We're tired.. and may never travel on I-95 South-bound south of S. Carolina again. But......................

We had a GREAT time with hubby's folks, enjoyed warm weather and happy sunshine, & got lots of good house-buying advice too. Yeah!!

Projected New Years Resolution #1: Find a house & move into it before next winter.

Projected New Years Resolution #2: Buy a generator to power said house with when the power goes out (see last week's posts)!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the newly 31 year old. *You* know who you are!! =) If I had a picture from that week-long visit, I'd post it, but like Ta Martin, you managed to escape the camera's lens. Oh well. Happy birthday anyway old man!! ;-)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas '05

Dear family & friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We thank our Lord and Savior for this special season to remember His birth. It is a testament to who He is that much of the world still celebrates Christmas even after more than two millennia have passed. Yet this is only one aspect of His influence. Nearly the entire globe marks the passage of years with a calendar based on His incarnation. Also, the multitude of Christian religions ultimately trace their roots back to the Savior. Lastly, his teachings forever changed the world’s cultures and gave rise to some of the greatest civilizations on Earth. However, let us not among these many effects loose sight of the reason He left His heavenly throne: He was born to die, be buried, and victoriously rise again for each of us. Truly, this is His greatest legacy.

In addition to our Savior’s gift of eternal life, as a family we have much for which to thank Him. We began this year with Melinda approximately two-thirds along in her first pregnancy and us looking for the Lord’s leading regarding my then recent employment interview in Connecticut.. In a whirlwind of activity, we completed twelve weeks of birthing classes, read and discussed a variety of books about childbirth, and received countless and greatly appreciated gifts of every sort for our son. On March 24th the Lord blessed us with Kenneth Paul, who of course single-handedly forever changed our lives; and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Since that day it seems like there were almost as many firsts for us as there were for Kenneth, but we enjoyed them together. On April Fools Day Kenneth had his first tub bath: oddly enough he did not find it the least bit amusing. But by April 14th he had forgiven us enough to give his first real smile. September was a regular potpourri of firsts for all of us. For one, it was our first road trip and our first time out of the country together while attending a wedding in Canada. For another, Kenneth gave his first real belly laugh while visiting certain cousins in New York. Apparently Kenneth was studying during that road trip because during our first week home the last week of September he sat up by himself, ate solid food, and rolled over, each for the first time. Whew!

As we look forward to our first Christmas together as a family of three, we would like to thank each of you who helped us through this year. Some visited, some gave gifts, and we are sure that many prayed. Please know that from Kenneth’s safe arrival to a final negative answer from Connecticut, many your prayers have been answered during the course of this year. As we remember our Savior’s birth, it is our prayer that you will know Him as your Savior; and in so doing enjoy the joy and peace of His love.

Merry Christmas,

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Daytona Beach, FL!! =)

OK, so the picture was taken on Christmas Eve, but it still counts!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

36-Hour Layover

That's how long we have at home between moving back in after the power being restored and leaving for Christmas in Florida. Wheeeeeeee...........

Baby Dragon was SO funny when we first got home. Every new room we carried him into, he would just look around & squeal & grin. Guess he missed being home too!! =)

Moving in last night was an adventure. The phone rang like 4 or 5 times in the first 5 minutes we were home. We discovered several fatalities from the extreme cold... two fish & two plants. Lost a gallon of milk out of the fridge too, but all things considered, the trailer & contents fared pretty well while we were gone. The Lord is good that way isn't He?!

Off to finish packing for the trip....

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

As of about 7 pm last evening.....

Although our land-lady didn't get home to find the power on until 10:40 pm, she did call & let us know that the electricity is back on in our little trailer.... only 133 hours w/o power (5 days 13 hours, which translated into 6 days away)... but who's counting?! ;-)

Later this morning I must begin the sad task of extricating us (and all our accumulated stuff) from the Ramey household. Clothes, baby food jars, mail, play pen, tin of tea, baby toys, still un-eaten cranberry-pear pie... (maybe I'll send that one to work with Hubby tomorrow!) The sheets for the air mattress need washing, one warm down comforter needs to be relinquished, and alas but the carnivorous couches must be vacated for some time to come.

It's been a grand stay at Chez Ramey though...

......warmth... enchiladas... Halo... meeting SB... tea & shortbread... working washer & dryer... access to Xanga at 5am.... Woodchuck cider..... adult-style sleep-overs (which means we're supposed to go to bed BEFORE dawn!)... NCS drama scenes DVD (2x)--yes, they really were that good!... lasagna.... Narnia movie.... one giggling-while-teething baby.... home-made egg-nog... Martins.... catching up with the Rameykim after two months of schedule-busyness induced absences (I think 5 & 1/2 days straight has amply made up for that!.... Fiesta's..... Jack Knipe--here's to a fellow speed-demon Jersey-ian... Hollister & Hot Topics (in the same mall trip ).... mint-chocolate-Andes candies cookies, all 7 dozen of 'em.... Who's your Daddy? onesies [Ans: Darth Vader]... stumping 20Q.... wine with milk .....scarring teen-age boys who think they're not easily embarrassed .... Shit Happens posters.... Mike's Hard Lime... DodgeBall (the movie) at 1 am.... birthday bashes for N8 the Great.... 147 pancakes.... Rachel's visit.... tail lights smashed out by ice-laden tree branches.... a glass of cab.... Bonnie-at-the-shooting-range story.... a town called Honea Path... big pot 'o chili on a cold day.... good times with friends, both old & new. Thanks guys!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Light at the end of the road... so to speak.... =)

No, our lights aren't on yet, but when Hubby ran by the house tonight there were power crews on the street next to ours. Perhaps their estimate of power restoration by 11 pm tonight will prove accurate after all. -] That'd make all of us happy.

Poor Baby Dragon seems to have given up on ever returning home. He took a 2 3/4 hour long nap this afternoon, that after sleeping 11 hours last night. I think our partying last evening wore him out!! :-D

One more night at Chez Ramey, then we get to lug all our stuff back home & pack up for the Christmas trip to Florida....for which we leave on Friday morning. We'll be home for a grand total of 36 hours inside 2 weeks time... Hopefully the fishies will survive another week without us!!

I Wanna Go Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sound whiney enough for you?

Wouldn't trade the accommodations or host & hostess for any place or anyone in the world, but I still wanna go home. This "extended stay plan" is seriously re-defining "strangers & pilgrims." Is this how we as believers are supposed to feel in this world??

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Smashing Success

Almost half of the lasagna disappeared, Cheryl brought a kicking good salad & bread, the eggnog kicked back at us.... T'was a good night. -]

By Tuesday, Dec. 20th at 11pm...

That's Duke Power's most recent estimate for electricity returning to our trailer. Therefore we continue our stay at Chez Ramey.....(For some reason the song "Welcome to the Hotel California" just popped into my head. ;-)) Mad props to C&L for continuing to put up with baby food jars scattered in random places around the kitchen & dining room, diapers showing up here & there, toys strewn across the living room... and that's just from the kid, never mind his parents!! O.O But speaking of the baby...

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...
One of the baby's front-n-center top teeth *finally* broke through Friday. We project it's partner to be through soon, although at this rate we may still be at Chez Ramey when that happens...

In other news.....
I would also comment on a fantastic sermon preached this morning in Honea Path, lunch w/ "Mr. K & crew" at Fiesta, and a great Narnia movie watched tonight while the proprietors of Chez Ramey watched the baby, but my neurons are ceasing to fire at an alarming rate & I must close before I'm unable to find my bed.

I hear we're to be invaded by hordes of folks from Clemson tomorrow evening-night / Tuesday.... This should prove interesting. Baby is looking forward to a personal showing of "Scary Elmo." I am looking forward to Lori's lasagna. Hubby is looking forward to NOT having to commute from Anderson to G-ville for the rest of the week. (Now he can sympathize with Mr. K!)

God bless us every one.. and the Christmas goose too!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

You know it's cold when...

You open your powerless refrigerator & think to yourself "it's colder in the kitchen than it is in the refrigerator."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Camping Out

Running away to Anderson to escape the falling temperatures in our trailer. Taking sweet haven at Lori & Coart's for as long as our power is off. (Hopefully not too long, or else my little fishies will freeze).

Had fun 4-wheeling in the pasture today, trying to get off the property with lots of limbs down & way too many trees hanging low over the driveway. Praise the Lord we only had two limbs come down on the back of the pick-up truck. Several twigs drove themselves through the (formerly water-proof) tarp on the back.... and one of the back tail lights was smashed out... but the truck still runs fine & was not too dented, we have a warm place to stay tonight, there was no damage to the trailer, & the damage to our truck is pretty easily repairable.

In 8 winters of parking under two dying trees, this is the first damage to property that we've had. The Lord is good. :-] And yes, we know it's silly to park under dying trees during ice storms, but that's where the driveway is. Deal with it!!

For now we're basking at Chez Ramey, playing Halo & catching up on Xanga... big people sleep-over indeed!! Only person sleeping here so far is the baby!! Poor thing only got a combined total of 45 minutes sleep since waking in the COLD trailer this morning...

Our power went off at 6:15am. We packed up & headed to my aunts in Greer for lunch... Wouldn't you know that about a half-hour after our arrival they lost power too?? We did warn the Ramekins that we might be the harlosers (as opposed to harbingers) of their power too, but they were nonplussed & told us to come anyway....

I'm secretly suspicious that they were just interested in the shortbread, pies & cookies that we promised to bring with us. =) Anyway... back to the adult sleep-over... =-)

Update on that Adult Sleep-over thing.....
At 4am, the last of the adults finally decided to turn in for the night... *ahem* morning. Sweet sleep.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Almond Shortbread...

Made some yesterday, and it's begging to be dunked in a steaming cup of Rooibos Macadamia tea from Teavana. Fortunately I have a tin of said tea..... Yum!!

and yet more Christmas cards to mail.....

Oh, all 40 of the first batch of Christmas cards w/ letters are mailed, the second set of 20 photo cards arrived yesterday. They should be going out tomorrow (if I get off the computer & write them). I'm afraid all the local yokels will just be getting letters, as I think we're running out of photo cards again and I REFUSE to buy another 20!!! There's just NO way that I'm going to send out 80 Christmas cards & letters!!! However, lest any L.Y. feel deprived, those missing the official photo card will get a 4x6 print of the sepia print from last post (in proper resolution, naturally).

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Christmas is Coming....

...and I'm enjoying playing this album from '96. Awesome...

Just above you see a rendering of what might have been our family Christmas photo (if it hadn't clashed so badly with the card that we wanted to use). So... we opted for a color photo instead. But we still thought this photo was cool.

And yes, now I have like 95 billion envelopes to address & a Christmas family letter to edit & print.... and trying to find paper that's narrow enough to fit in the envelope with the pictures (only 8" wide) is an exercise in INSANITY. (and I didn't need any help in that department)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who knew?

To continue the saga of wildlife around our place.... (see also turkeys, bugs and birds)

...have noticed lately that the squirrels are getting fat. (See?! ) They must be: they sound like people walking around on our roof. No kidding. They jump from the trees surrounding our place down to our (flat) roof, then race from one end of the house to the other... honest to goodness they really do sound like little kids running around.

The best funny on me was the first year I stayed home from work. I was sitting in the living room, engrossed in a book, when I heard the sound of someone tramping around on our roof. Assuming it was our landlord checking things out, I grabbed a jacket & headed out to the deck to holler up to him & see if he needed access to the house for anything.

Imagine my surprise when all I saw on the roof were two squirrels playing tag. *Sigh*

Back to the book... face a bit red... after all, it's not every day I think someone is tramping around on my roof... and find I've been rousted from said book by a squirrel!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

There are no words...

...and as you well know by the length of my typical posts, this is a rare day. I think the Lord handed me this toddler-sitting job for the day to keep my mind off the "what-might-have-beens." ;-) To make a long story short, we heard from Connecticut yesterday. All the openings were filled by internal transfers.


Happy Anniversary to Us

Hard to believe that it's been 8 years..... but it's been a good 8 years.

Funny: in the midst of a "who shall we ask to baby-sit for our anniversary dinner?" conversation last night, the phone rang. 'Twas a friend, needing some kids watched today, wondering if I could sit for her today & maybe she could watch our little one for us "sometime." I said.. "Um... tomorrow's our anniversary... how about you pay me back for tomorrow morning tomorrow evening?!" Hee hee... well.... that's what we're doing.........

So here I am, enjoying wireless Internet access in the same room with two very "busy" toddlers....... earning free baby sitting for our anniversary evening. Good deal, I think!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


And to learn more of "this" kind of grace... perhaps I should dust off this book!!! *grins*

I'm done!

Well, I'm finished reading the book... not done digesting. Will try to put together a cohesive review sometime soon. Am also trying to get the hubby to read the book. =) At this point let me just say:

1. The church & educational circles in which I've swum (been swimming) know precious little of this kind of grace. That being said.....

2. Maybe my parents didn't screw up as badly as I have previously thought.

3. I need to learn more of this grace..... the grace that "is sufficient for thee"--2 Corinthians 12:9, the grace that encourages me to come BOLDLY to the Father's throne--Hebrews 4:12-16, this grace in which I am to stand--Romans 5:2...

So ... here I stand!! =) God is good... to meet us where we are... and to teach us....

Friday, October 7, 2005

Two Funerals and a Wedding

(sub-titled: Be careful what you pray for)

This has been an interesting week for our Pastor. The wedding is pretty straight-forward, well, hopefully it will be.. it's tomorrow. I'm getting over being aggravated b/c the gift I bought was broken, so I had to go trekking back (in the rain) to exchange it. But finally, I have a 10 pc box of CorningWare to give. Yeah!! ANYWAY... the two funerals.... this was weird. OK. Weird isn't the right word. Try sobering. See....

There was this guy at our church (call him Bob) who decided to cheat on his wife... not just cheat, but moved in with his "new love" (incidentally also from our church). The leadership of our church tried talking with Bob, but he blew everybody off... determined to do what "felt right" to him. Fast forward two years. Earlier this week I got a call... Bob died Monday. We all knew he had health issues (from before he left his wife) but they weren't necessarily life-threatening.... now he's gone. Bob's funeral was Thursday. During the service, his wife's father dropped dead... right there during his estranged son-in-law's funeral. Wow. So now Pastor has another funeral to preach....

Be careful what you pray for. See, last Sunday night at the end of service, Pastor was praying that we as a church would have the opportunity to reach out to a number of young people who were raised in our church but have since "gone astray." Bob's 2 sons are among that group, and IMHO, some of the young ones who've strayed did so merrily following Bob's example. I say the whole two funeral thing is sobering b/c I can't help hoping that maybe *now* some of the young ones will be faced with the reality that God will not be mocked. A believer CANNOT sin continually & unrepentantly and expect God to sit back & not chastise. And to be honest, Bob was being chastised... he was said to have been miserable. (So miserable that his "new love" left him a few months ago.) Pastor had questioned if Bob ever knew the Lord at all... but you'd think that an unconverted man would have found happiness in his sin. Bob never did--he was miserable in his sin to the bitter end. And a premature end at that. So then....

We pray... that the young ones affected by Bob's death will turn to God in repentance for their own waywardness rather than turning away from God in bitterness.... that the last few miserable years of Bob's life will be an example to them of the consequences of "going ones own way" and that the suddenness of Bob's death will have a greater impact on them than his going astray did.... that the young ones will turn back to the Lord while there's still time.

And I wonder: what about me?? What am I holding on to that I *know* to be sin... presuming upon God's patience & love.... assuming that I'll have time to make things right "later"???

This week has just been a sobering reminder that none of us is promised tomorrow.. and it's wise to keep short accounts--with men & with God.


Update on 'Bob'.... Pastor mentioned in church this morning that Bob had been turning back around over the last two weeks or so before his death... begun reading his Bible again, apologized to his family for the mess he'd caused, etc. He's reported to also have said: "If I had only done what I knew was the right thing to do." So we continue to pray for his family..... The Lord knows & loves them just the same -- meaning He desires us to be reaching out to them just as we should have been before their loss. Yea, sobering.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


Well... maybe I should just say Progress. In the last 8 days the kid:

Sat unassisted.

Chewed his toes.

Began eating "solid" foods.

Rolled over.

Cut his first tooth.

That's my big (6 month old) boy.

Sunday, October 2, 2005


Well, "vacation" trip is over & clean-up/house recovery seems to be winding down also. Therefore, I am wading into the latest borrowed book--Tim Kimmel's Grace-Based Parenting.

Only one chapter in so far.... will have something intelligent to say after sleeping on it.... well, not literally sleeping on the book, but you knew that! If anyone's interested in learning more about the book sooner than waiting for me to get through it... the AMFM (Association of Marriage and Family Ministries) has an overview of the book on their site. From what I've read of the first chapter, I think the overview is a just representation of the book.

Ode to a Fan

First of all, praise God for air conditioning... and fall nights when a/c isn't necessary.

Last night, a dear friend of 21 years passed on....

I first met "him" the summer between 4th & 5th grades. We were living in the upstairs of my great-grandmothers old farmhouse for a while and it got HOT up there in the afternoons. Stifling is what we used to call it. Anyway, off we went to Jamesway one Saturday & came home with the cutest little fan. It only stood about 9 inches tall and didn't oscillate or anything fancy like that... but that little fan got me through Jr High and Sr High (when Dad refused to run a/c at all b/c it would "run up the electric bill too much").

Then it went with me to college (to drown out the sounds of snoring roommates). After college it got a several year-long break, but was called back up for duty when I got an office job with a dear bunch of chilly women. Really!! I've never met such a large number of always-cold women collected in one place before! The thermostat was ALWAYS set above my comfort range (yes, maybe I'm just cold-blooded).

Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised that the fan still worked after 5 years in storage, but it did serve me well during my almost 5 years in that office... and then the little fan that could got to 'retire' from office life... and helped keep the kid cool for the first 6 months of his life. Actually the fan kept his little mobile bears mobile... which delighted him to no end.

Guess we'll be going out to buy another little fan soon.... Anyone know if the brand Tatung is still around?? I hadn't heard of it before or since.... =)

Good-bye little fan......

Went & found Tatung on-line. Chinese-owned company, based in Taiwan... still make fans & all kinds of other things... too funny.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Some days surprises are good things... blessings.... some little random thing that brings a smile to your face. Other days surprises are ugly reminders of past failures, sins forgiven but still bearing consequences, petty inconveniences. How easy it is to lose sight of the fact that Almighty God is my Father--He desires to give me all things right & good. I have the sweet presence of His Spirit to uplift & encourage. So today, I'm passing on some reminders & surprises that I've received of late.

On the topic of surprises, here's a Xanga to read: (no longer public). Personally I think that post leads well into Jack's song text post. So... if I had any question in mind as to God's ability to use struggling believers, I think I've been answered, again! =)

Then there were my own "little" surprises of the last 2 weeks.
  • I had a good time on our mammoth trip!!!
  • Gas is as cheap in New York as in Virginia... and it's all the same price or cheaper than gas in SC!
  • The son travels well. So well in fact that he only cried three times while we were gone. No kidding!!
    1. I smashed his arm between my shoulder & a door I was trying to open--bad mommy!
    2. His head got cracked with a cousin's head.
    3. One major gas attack, first one in about 4 months--his mom's fault again, too many weird things in my diet.
  • The critters all died while we were gone... well, except for the fish. They seemed especially glad to see us last night.
  • I'm allergic to my house! I was starting to come down with something before we left. It went away while we were gone, but now that we're home, it's back again!

So... I'm off to blow my nose..... again....

We're Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Yeah!!! Umpteen kazillion miles & too many little kids to count later, we're home again. 'Twas very sweet to sleep in our very own bed last night.

Now to wade through all the stuff that we've been carting around in the bed of the truck with us, distribute various items (inc. a HUGE tin of TH coffee to my dear LJ), find the packet of mail that's been held for us, chase out all the critters that decided to move in while we were gone.... yanno, do all that "just home from a long trip" stuff.....

THEN I'll curl up with the book I never read while we were traveling, sip a big mug of my very own TH cocoa, and rest a while!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Entering non-cyber space....

Well, sometime later this morning we're off to New Jersey for the last major leg of our 'tour de norte americana.' Alas, my parents have not entered the computer age, so there will likely be no more posts until we get back home. Oh well.

Sunday Sept 18th
We left at 8:30am to drive 2 hours to the little church my brother-in-law has just been called to pastor. Anyone ever heard of W_ville, NY?? It's remotely near Ithica, and is actually very similiar in feel to the area where they currently live (Red Creek). Don't these "town" names tell you something right off the bat? I do use the term town loosely as they have one stop sigh each. W_ville must be a bit larger though, because it has its own post office!! ANYWAY......

Sermon was good, then the folks had a luncheon for us all.... saying good-bye to the intern who's been there for close to 10 months & welcome to the new pastor (my B-i-L... aka my husband's sister's hubby, hence my brother-in-law). Good food. Baptists sure do know how to do pot-luck dinners!! After lunch we checked out the parsonage, took pictures, etc., then loaded back up and headed to choir practice at the B&S-i-L's church. Why they're going to choir practice on their next-to-last Sunday there, I dunno. I guess some people are just dedicated. =) We got stuck after church b/c their pastor had announced that this was their next-to-last Sunday so everybody & his brother wanted to tak to them. Can't blame 'em. The B&SiL are pretty cool.

Monday, Sept 19th
Hubby & B-i-L took a big load of stuff down to their new place in W_ville. Kids hung out and watched Pinochio like 2 1/2 times in a row. T'was a get stuff done day.... relatively quiet, 'cept for yelling kids & yelling parents & screechy old dryers (sounded like it's in desparate need of like 5 cans of WD-40). Anyone know why it's called WD-40?? I heard once.... but don't remember......... I let go of my boot strap & my brain wandered off.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

New York.... New York....

Actually we're nowhere near the city. We're much nearer Lake Ontario & the Canadian border. Had rain today, so the chillin's spent most of the day tearing around inside. Well, actually it cleared up a bit this afternoon, so they were outside for a while. Grammy & Grampa V came out from CT for to see us all today. That was cool. Haven't seen them since the little dragon was just 2 months old, so he's changed quite a bit!

Speaking of the babe.... he's making waves as usual... He fell asleep in less than 5 minutes (and QUIETLY) for each of the 4 naps he took today. (Yeah! Proud momma!) Only one major whack on the head.... I was holding him so one of his younger cousins could see him/entertain him by jumping up & yelling "Hi K!" Naturally I leaned over with the baby *just* as his cousin was jumping up... so they both got quite a whack on the head. I heard skulls meeting..... sigh. Kid is fine, he was really more startled than hurt. Got a hard head, that one! (like his mom & dad!)

Well, church is tomorrow... need sleep before then! Hard to be in the right frame of mind for worship when I'm short on sleep!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Early New York Posting....

Ha!! We're staying with Posts, so it's kinda funny somehow. Maybe it's just the cumulative effects of 6 nights in strange beds, but I'm tired!!!

Wednesday, Sept 14th... Slept in. Had blueberry pancakes with *real* maple syrup on them. Hung out with our hostess who works PT for the Gideons in Canada. Went to the wedding rehearsal at 5. Well, it was supposed to start at 5pm. We got there at 5:30 and the matron of honor and flower girl as well as the bride's parents were all missing. Once everyone showed up, it all went well.....
Rehearsal dinner afterwards was a HUGE pizza party at the brides parents' house. Cool. Hung out yakking & catching up til midnight. Found out it's illegal to park on the grass in Guelph. They'll actually ticket you if they're in the mood. No, we didn't get a ticket even though we had parked on the grass. Apparently they saw the out-of-country plates on our pick-up truck, assumed we were red-necks with shotguns, and left us alone.

Thursday, Sept 15th. Wedding day (no, not mine). Slept in again. Had omelets & toast for breakfast. Was introduced to "Map-O-Spread," a processed sugar spread that tastes like maple syrup. Sweet, strange, if you ate too much you'd understand how Edmund felt after a box of Turkish Delight. Hung out at the hosts house. Tried to find the cousins who were driving up from Chicago.... Hotel they were supposed to be at had no record of them.
We got to the wedding (at 4pm) with 10 minutes to spare. Just long enough to toss the kid into the jail-like crib in the nursery then get to our reserved seats. Being cousin of the bride does have its perks.

Reception was an old-fashioned sit-down dinner that started 2 1/2 hours after the wedding started. Good food. Had chocolate cheesecake for dessert. Didn't hold a candle to LJ's though!! After the reception, we went back to the hosts place & crashed since by then it was after 10:00pm & baby dragon was TIRED!!!

Friday, Sept 16th. Driving & Kids day... Driving kids day.... Kids driving day... Kids driving me.... well.... you get the picture. Last day with my family in Guelph, ON, Canada. Got up & packed this morning, then headed over to my aunt & uncle's place (bride's parents). They had graciously invited the entire world over for breakfast. Actually, just the cousins who were in town for the wedding. 7 cousins in all, responsible for 9 "little cousins" all under the age of 9. Had brunch with them all, then hit the road for Red Creek, NY again.

Took about 10 minutes to cross the border. Guy asked our citizenship, where we were going, where we'd been; then waved us through. Didn't even ask to see photo ID, much less proof of anything else. Oh well. 3 hours post-border crossing, we arrived to another house-load of kids. This time we had supper with a total of 7 kids (nieces and nephews) under the age of 9. My poor baby dragon, the only one common to both groups, was looking a little shell-shocked by bedtime. I think he'll sleep well tonight!

Speaking of sleeping well...... it's that time. Before too long there will be the patter (or stomping) of 5 little pairs of feet on the floor above us, so I'd better sleep before they wake up... for it's certain there will be no sleeping after they awaken!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Mid-Canada Posting

Well... when we left on this trip, I was hoping to do a post a day. HAHAHA.

Saturday we had a great trip up to the mountains of Virginia.

Sunday we had a great little church service, picnic lunch with the folks from church there, then on the road again to northwestern New York... arrived at 1:30am Monday...... fished the spare key out from under a carpet in the back porch & let ourselves in. Schweeeet sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... But anyway!!

Later Monday we drove west on NY 104 straight to the Canadian border & were across in 10 minutes. An hour & a half later, little BD #1 got to meet another one of his 3 namesake Uncle K's.

Tuesday we slept in (yessssssssssssssssssssssssss) had a HUGE breakfast (sausage & eggs & toast & coffee & juice) cooked by our air traffic controller host. Cool guy!!!

Well....... nieces are all in bed, so it's time for the adults to have their pie & ice cream. YUM!!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Pre-Trip Posting....

Kinda sounds like I'm planning to OD soon... No fear.... well, at least not of my doing drugs any time soon. Anyway...........

Today we embark on an 8 state, 2 country trip... in excess of 2000 miles--which may explain why I've been obsessing about gas prices. Given that gas prices are up because of Katrina though, I think I'll just shut up & count my blessings.

As we leave, I'm wondering how many species of critter will decide to take up residence in our absence. Haven't seen too many mice lately, but I think I have an explanation for that. Monday I got to see my dear friend the king snake staking his claim in the wall by the water pipes for the washer. Hopefully he will continue to monitor & keep the rodent population in check while we're gone.....

So... we leave today for Virginia. Then it's on to Red Creek, NY and Guelph, ON... back to Red Creek, then to Ocean City, NJ..... I can see the lines on the highway flashing by already!! We have miles to go before we sleep......

Speaking of which, I need a wink or two before we depart. Will try to update occasionally while we're gone... lest I forget what's happening from one day to the next....

Grace & Peace & lots of Love... and if you want to come feed my fishes, see LoroJoro!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Grace, part 2......

"I wanted to read it cuz I am often at a loss when trying to understand people that use the term "grace" just a little too much (IMO)..." If you care to read the context of that comment, see my parenting post.

With all apologies to you dear three who are currently in her direct line of fire, I want to re-phrase my question about grace a bit. I kept the little slip of paper because I vehemently disagree with that definition of grace.... but I can't explain properly (or at all at this time of a.m.) why I disagree.

Yes, her comment reminded me of the little slip of paper about grace.... and yes, I chuckled at her comment because it reminds me of my own reaction when I hear "all truth is God's truth" for the umpteenth time in a month... buuuuuuut anyway!

I think there's a connection, isn't there, between a person's view of God and their view of grace? Between a person's view of grace & their perspective on their fellow believers? (Mote & beam, etc.) I say to myself (after spending a bit of time talking to LR last night about a certain e-mail from her), I wonder if her being "at a loss when trying to understand people that use the term grace" has anything to do with her propensity to argue that anyone with whom she does not agree must "defend their position" and/or "prove from Scripture" that their position is a valid one?? I do agree w/ LJ that there's a worldview difference at play here... man, I hate being a Johnny-come-lately in good discussions.....

Anyway... so.... what say ye? What is grace? Is it over- or under- used/utilized??


As a believer, how do you define grace?? This morning I went looking for a slip of paper on which I'd scrawled a definition of grace I once heard. (I'll forgo mentioning where and by whom the comment was made.) I wrote it out for the specific purpose of questioning its validity.... here it is.

Grace: God's enabling power to do what He expects. *????* Accurate? Valid? True definition? Thoughts... Comments... Alternative/replacement definitions??

**In the years that have passed since this was first posted, that definition has been modified. First to: God's enabling power to do His will. Later to: God's enabling power and desire to do His will. Now it stands as: God's enabling power to do what the flesh cannot. My questions still linger. Is this a valid, Biblical definition of grace?

Monday, September 5, 2005

Grace-Based Parenting?


Yes, I know... That's a weighty topic with LOTS and LOTS of angles, takes, depths to be plumbed, arguments to be made... in general... a controversial topic... but a topic with which most married couples must grapple at some point.

As a relatively young parent myself (my first is only 5 months old), I have no advice to give, but I do try to keep an ear to the ground for those dispensing advice. Funny thing.... advice is always easier to dispense than to accept, no?

Anyway, I was visiting with friends this evening and had the book Grace-based Parenting recommended. Actually none of us had heard of the book before, but the book was recommended to a friend... Before we go spend $20 on an "advice book", just wondering if anyone else out there has heard or or knows anything about the book. I did go look it up on-line (hence the link) but thought I'd pose the call for testimonials.... if anyone out there has any........... Thanks!!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Killer whale bumps local boy


A Ketchikan boy found himself face-to-face with a large and apparently charging killer whale Saturday in Helm Bay.
Ellis Miller, 12, was standing in about 4 feet of water when the fast-moving orca estimated at more than 25 feet in length broke the surface a few yards away and headed straight for him.
“I looked underwater and there was this huge head right in front of me,” said Miller, still wide-eyed on Monday. The killer whale bumped the boy, but did not bite or harm him.
The pressure wave from the animal’s quick approach helped propel Miller and a woman who was standing in shallower water to the sandy beach a few feet away.
Six more killer whales surfaced moments later, and the pod patrolled the beachfront for about 10 minutes. On their final pass they slapped their pectoral fins and tails on the water repeatedly — directly in front of where Miller and Kathy Arntzen watched from the beach.
Then the pod was gone. “We just sat there in awe,” Arntzen said.
Whale researchers say such in-water contact between killer whales and humans is extremely rare. They say it’s difficult to know exactly what prompted the behavior, but the possibilities range from simple curiosity to an aborted attack.
“I suspect that the whale that approached (Miller) thought he was a harbor seal splashing,” wrote John Ford, a researcher of killer whales with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, British Columbia, in an e-mail to the boy’s parents, Kevin and Nettie Miller.
There has never been a documented fatal killer whale attack on a human, and there are very few instances of killer whales initiating contact with humans, researchers said. The only relatively well-documented bite was one suffered by a surfer in California in the early 1970s.

Dude............ How cool would this be for a "what I did this summer" essay on the first day of classes?!?! =)

(My friend Jen teaches school in Ketchikan, AK, which is how I found out about the story....)

Monday, August 8, 2005

Speaking of a freakin' wildlife preserve ....

Ever see a fight between an ant & a click beetle?? I have! :-D

The other morning I heard what sounded like something dripping in the sink... or some demented wood-pecker slowly imitating a Chinese water torture device. I checked all the sinks in ear-shot, no drips but still an annoying drip/tap/pop sound every so often. I didn't find the source of the noise until I went to the fridge to refill my water bottle. There, just under the edge of the fridge, was a big black ant, trying to carry away the spoils of his hunt... a half-dead click beetle trapped in a small dust bunny. The ant would grapple with the dust-encased click beetle for a few seconds... finally find the best way to carry him... carry him for a few centimeters... then "CLICK" ... the ant would go flying through the air, then have to start his conquest over again.

Insect farms 'R us........

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Little known animal facts

Horses: Scared by wild turkeys. *AND* Lizards go "BANG".

I know these things to be true because I have heard and seen them...on my property...within the last month. In fact, I just heard a 5-lined lizard with an electric-blue colored tail come in to visit for a while. I know this b/c I went & investigated after hearing him coming in. Dunno how long he plans to stay, or if the regular brown lizard that came in last week has left yet or not. I always figure if they can find their way in under the door, then they can find their way back out again. Of course, if it's a black king snake that I find in here, I'll be *helping* it back out.

The banging lizard story really isn't a big story.... I was sitting on the couch last week when I saw a brown lizard hanging out between me & my most favorite a/c vent. (Most favored a/c vent status changes depending on what room I'm in.) Anyway, I was just going to get closer to him so I could see him better, but apparently I looked hungry.... for he turned tail & dashed for the door through whence he had entered my living room. Unfortunately for him, the flashing on the underside of the door was hanging a tad lower than he remembered. I heard a definite *BANG* as he shot out under the door. I opened the door & looked for a stunned lizard but didn't see anything. I guess he shook it off & kept going........

The horses vs. the that was a sight to behold. If only I had a video camera..... I was driving out about 3 weeks ago & saw the horses hanging out grazing by the edge of the driveway. This is nothing new. Some days they stand in the driveway just for the heck of blocking traffic, but this particular day they were acting strange. Their heads would go down like they were looking at something on ground level, then they'd rear up & shy away a few steps like something was after them. I figured there was a snake out there with them, but no.... when I got far enough 'round the bend in the drive to see, 'twas a wild turkey chasing after them. She'd run at them with her neck all stretched out--looking for all the world like she wanted to take a chunk out of 'em. I thought "she's nuts... the driveway runs along the edge of the woods, she could just run in the trees, the horses aren't much for the woods, they won't follow her"... but she stayed at it, chasing the horses further & further up into the pasture. Once the horses were a 'safe' distance away, she got her 3 little babies, barely as tall as the grass they were (had been) hiding in, to follow her down out of the pasture & back to the safety of the woods...away from the curious snuffling of the horses. Then her actions seemed a lot more sane. :-D

True stories. The truth is stranger than fiction some days... and much more entertaining to experience than to read......


So far as we know the dog lives on. Hubby's abrasions are healing up nicely, but he's still limping a little by the end of the day. Guy didn't have enough meat on the front of his shins to cushion the blow so he got a mighty bruise. No sign of infection though, so we're happy.

Little guy is sleeping peacefully. Nothing like a sleeping baby to make you smile.

Got company coming Friday night. Out-of-towners from the Northern lands. Guess I should feed 'em more than the "Southern classic" of Dr Pepper & Moon pies...can ANYONE out there explain that to me?? What's the attraction of Dr Pepper & Moon pies???? What?? What is it?? I just DON'T get it!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

We've got the dog on death watch....

That's what Hubby was told today, after being bitten (2x) by one of his offender's dogs yesterday. Actually the situation is not as serious as it could have been. The dog HAS had all of it's shots, so the "house quarentine/death watch" is just a precaution. They (DHEC) on behalf of animal control "watch" the dog for 10 days to make sure it doesn't have rabies. Apparently, if the dog had rabies, it would drop dead within the aforementioned 10 days & they'd know to start hubby on a rabies vaccine. For now he's just on antibiotics.

And, yes, they did get the guy they were there to arrest. ;-)

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Now, I will admit to watching the occasional round of golf on TV, particularly on Sunday afternoons (nothing else on but racing. Sorry-saw enough of that while growing up). Anyway... I got the following from hubby's dad today.......

Ever wonder why golf is growing in popularity and why people who don't even play, go to tournaments or watch it on TV? The following truisms may shed some light:

1. Golf is an honorable game, with the overwhelming majority of players being honorable people who don't need referees.
2. Golfers don't have some of their players in jail every week.
3. Golfers don't kick dirt on, spit on, or throw bottles at, other people.
4. Professional golfers are paid in direct proportion to how well they play.
5. Golfers don't get per diem and two seats on a charter flight when they travel between tournaments.
6. Golfers don't hold out for more money, or demand new contracts, because of another player's deal.
7. Professional golfers don't demand that the taxpayers pay for the courses on which they play.
8. When golfers make a mistake, nobody is there to cover for them or back them.
9. The PGA raises more money for charity in 1 year than the NFL does in 2.
10. You can watch the best golfers in the world up close, at any tournament, including the majors, all day every day for $25 or $30. The cost for even a nosebleed seat at the SuperBowl costs around $300 or more, unless you buy it from scalpers, in which case it's $1,000+.
11. You can bring a picnic lunch to the tournament golf course, watch the best in the world, and not spend a small fortune on food and drink. Try that at one of the taxpayer funded baseball or football stadiums. If you bring a soft drink into a ballpark, they'll give you two options -- get rid of it or leave.
12. In golf, you cannot fail 70% of the time and make $9 million a season, like the best baseball hitters (300 batting average) do.
13. Golf doesn't change its rules to attract fans.
14. Golfers have to adapt to an entirely new playing area each week.
15. Golf doesn't have free agency.
16. In their prime, Palmer, Norman, and other stars, would shake your hand and say they were happy to meet you. In his prime, Jose Canseco wore T-shirts that read "Leave Me Alone."
17. You can hear birds chirping on the golf course during a tournament.
18. At a golf tournament, (unlike at taxpayer-funded sports stadiums and arenas) you won't hear a steady stream of four letter words and nasty name-calling while you're hoping that no one spills beer on you.
19. Tiger hits a golf ball over twice as far as Barry Bonds hits a baseball.
20. Golf courses don't ruin the neighborhood.

21. And Finally: Here's a little slice of golf history that you might enjoy. Why do golf courses have 18 holes -- not 20, or 10, or an even dozen? During a discussion among the club's membership board at St. Andrews in 1858, a senior member pointed out that it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. By limiting himself to only one shot of Scotch per hole, the Scot figured a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out.

See... this last factiod would be funnier if you knew my father-in-law. He once told us (Hubby & I, out to dinner with C&L up in Maine) that Scotch is "an acquired taste; in fact, it tastes like iodine." Therefore it makes sense that even a golf-playing Scot would want to drink it only one shot at a time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sex Offenders...

...what to do with them.

Ran across this suggestion on a message board this evening. I think the suggestion has some merit, although it's not exactly a "christian" response....

I do not believe that they can be rehabilitated nor do I believe the registry works. A friend once said that they should be smeared with the scent of a female gorilla and locked a cage with a ready, willing, and able male gorilla and let them learn how it feels.


Thursday, July 7, 2005

A "cool-down" song

What I would have given to have been a fly on that wall... My girlfriend Nancy teaches English at a public school in southern Jersey. Each year several of her students are involved in the AFJROTC (Air Force Junior/Juvenile? ROTC). The kids who are officers in the program are responsible for picking the songs for the Jr/Sr prom. This year their advisor declared they needed to pick out a "cool-down" song... one that would make the hormone-happy teens step back & say "Whaaaa???" thus giving them a chance to 'cool down,' or at least give them a momentary reprieve from all the PDA. So... guess what the enterprising guys of the JROTC picked for their first-ever "cool-down" song? One of the "Silly Songs with Larry" of Veggie Tales fame!!!

Sorry, that just cracked me up. The mental image of all these kids at the prom... getting all hot & heavy with their dates... and then their next dance being to a tune from Veggie Tales?? Tooooo funny.

Oh, and BTW, Nancy said it worked...........

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Time is flying by...

Dude, it's JULY already!?!?! Where is the time going?? The kid is over 3 months old, just this week my best friend from high school days came for a visit & has gone again, I've had dinner with 18 people all at once, C&L have already been gone for a week, and I've crashed at their place for an afternoon...just for the couches. What a week!!

Were supposed to have a family w/ 5 kids over for a cook-out tonight (Friday), but we got preempted by a family with 6 kids. (I've only got one kid, how can I compete?) There wound up being 6 adults and 12 kids over at our friend's place (the ones w/ 6 kids)....let's just say that supper was a happy, noisy affair--what do you expect with 18 people eating all at once? My dinner invitation may have been preempted, but they still wanted our company, and the food that I'd already made. Fortunately I had decided to fix the food *before* I cleaned the house, so even though we wound up having to travel for (& with) our supper, at least I hadn't "wasted" time cleaning the house in vain..... of course I suppose there's the down side of having to clean the house later today... but I plan to sleep a bit before then.

Gave blood yesterday. Got my "2 Gallon" pin. Uber-cool. Takes 16 units to get there. Didn't realize I'd been donating long enough to have given that much, although I probably gave more than that while growing up... forever skinning knees, shins, elbows, hands. Never lived up to my middle name (Grace). Ha!!

The kid's 'Fairy god-mother' (my best friend from high school, Nancy) was down this week. Bless her heart, she rented a hotel room so I didn't have to clean the house for her either. She arrived Monday with the requisite arm-load of new clothes & toys for the kid. Coolest is a set of alphabet "Peek-a-blocks" (A-airplane, T-train, etc., and all with at least one moving part inside). Poor kid never got to touch even one of them... but they've all been played with, so guess who did the playing??

We did all kinds of cool things while she was here (besides playing with the 3 month olds toys). Most notable was a side trip to Anderson on Tuesday so we could snap a pic of her standing in front of the T.L.Hanna sign. She shows Radio to her high school English classes every semester (they love it), but they never believe that she knows where Anderson, SC is--much less anyone who lives there. Of course we had to stop by C&L's while we were in town....

.....We took 81 back to Greenville, stopping by Dairy Queen for ice cream along the way. You can't really imagine how much these two Yankee girls like ice cream unless you know that the NE (NorthEast/New England) consumes more ice cream per capita than any other area of the country. Yum! [That tidbit was free!]

Now if you want an interesting perspective on education & educational philosophies (public, Christian, homeschool), you should have been a fly on my wall on Wednesday. See, BD1's FGM teaches high school English classes in a public school in New Jersey... I used to work with achievement tests for homeschoolers... we are both graduates of a Christian school in Jersey... and we were discussing "values education" in the public schools as it correlates to the false Aslan in C. S. Lewis' The Final Battle. I don't know that I made my point well, but we had an interesting discussion anyway!!

Anyway.... it's already past 5am. Little guy will be up around 7:15am, jabbering to himself in 3-month-speak and wanting breakfast shortly thereafter, so I suppose I'd better go get a bit of shut-eye before then. Hurray for weekends!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Trust...equals Peace?

How does one really learn to trust God? As someone who grew up in a Christian home and attended all the requisite church functions that accompany, I've heard a million anecdotes on trust, faith, & the like. 'Trust God, even when life hurts,' etc. How many of us learned Prov 3:5&6 as one of our first memory verses?? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on thine own understanding... in all your ways acknowledge him & he shall direct thy paths." Well and good, but HOW does one learn to "trust in the Lord"??

I was reading a FOF (friend of a friend)'s Xanga site this afternoon... the post from June 9th about the forgiveness of God--the painfulness & wonderfulness of it all. Somehow it all tied together in my head, hopefully I can 'splain. Maybe we're afraid to trust God because we're afraid of pain. If we trust Him, maybe He'll still allow hurts into our lives that we don't understand.... and I have to realize I need to trust Him in spite of my fears. He says "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).. and as I learn to love Him more, I learn to trust Him... and we don't fear those we trust. Hmmmm.

Since I just put an over-tired 10-week-old down for a nap it's on my mind... how much easier trust is for small children... nothing like being picked up by someone who loves him to put a baby right back to sleep. Jesus said we need to have "child-like faith" (Matt 18:3). Hmph... must be easier for kids to have it. (Hey! Maybe it's because they're short. If they fall, the ground isn't so far away...but I digress.) Bought a cool CD for my dad the other day. Completely not related to Father's Day, but he'll prolly get it about then anyway. He has Parkinson's & is struggling with his attitude. Always has struggled actually, but being mostly house-bound is making it harder for him to keep things in perspective. So..... he's determined that he needs to keep his focus on Christ--a good place to keep it, eh?! To that end he's working on memorizing Scripture (a good mind-renewing exercise) and looking for CDs of Scripture reading. I found a couple CDs that I'm sending him, but of course I had to give them a listen first. They're just a person reading Scripture passages, accompanied by orchestration, but one of the compilations struck me. It's a meditation on 'peace' that got me thinking about this trust question again.

Ps 4:8-I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Ps 119:165-Great peace have they which love thy law (there's a clue for how to get that peace):
Isa 26:3-Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (another clue about getting that peace).
John 14:27-Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you (God's not an 'Indian giver'). Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Rom 5:1-Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 8:6-For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Gal 5:22-But the fruit of the Spirit (not something I work up for myself) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...
Rom 14:17-For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (joy is an outcropping of peace).
Rom 15:13--Now the God of hope FILL you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope(so hope is a fruit of that peace), through the power of the Holy Ghost (see? it's done in the power of the Spirit--not my own strength).
Col 3:15-And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful (apparently thankfulness is related to peace too?).

And my personal favorite for explaining how all this is supposed to happen: 2 Pet 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.
2 Cor 1:4-Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

So... what I've gotten out of this:

1. God wants me to be at peace.
2. Apparently joy & hope also tag along with His peace.
3. I can get this peace by/through getting to know God better.
4. I get to know him better by studying his Word & through the ministry of the Spirit.
5. The better I get to know my God the more I will trust Him.
6. When I trust him I can be at peace.

Remember the way a baby will sleep peacefully in the arms of his mother? Check out Deuteronomy 33:26-27--"There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them." How cool is that??? He comes to my aid & chases out the enemy that's facing me... all the while supporting me with his Almighty arms. That's where the peace is--in His arms.

This has gotten long... Hope it's been worth reading...has definitely been a sermon(ette) to myself. So to close: Phil 4:6-9--Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ..... Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (The things we spend our time thinking on have a tremendous impact on our peace or lack thereof).

OK, now I'm done.... II Thess 3:16-Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Peace y'all!! =)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Flirting with Robert the Pale

All right... true confession time. Yesterday, I was a flirt. There now, I've said it. Feels better, having it out in the open like this. It's strange, the dance we humans do when we're trying to express our attraction for one another. Men try to be impressive, to stand out from the crowd.... usually they wind up making fools of themselves, but that's beside the point. Women, on the other hand, typically go the coy route. Nothing so obvious as actually saying "Hey, I like you; wanna hook up?" but we do try to give out hints, drop subtle clues (which men usually don't 'get' anyway... sigh), anything to let him know that we're interested without actually SAYING that we're interested. Nope, can't do that, heaven forbid that we actually be direct with someone!

So.... what is one to do to garner the attention of a member of the opposite gender? You might guess that my answer is "we flirt." However, I'll bet that you would not have guessed that I, happy wife & mother of one--not the same one, granted , devoted a considerable amount of time today honing my flirting skills with a guy I'll call "Robert the Pale." It all began innocently enough. He whistled at me! I was a bit surprised as it's been a while since I was last whistled at. Nevertheless, I whistled back "just to see what he would do." To his credit he waited a bit before whistling at me again... maybe he knew I was married & was waiting to see if I'd really meant to return his whistle.

It was funny really, the little game we played. He'd whistle, I'd whistle back.... We had quite the exchange. He really seemed "into" our little dance 'til for some reason he quit whistling, apparently having lost interest in me. Now I could have acted like a typical female & rung my hands trying to figure out what went wrong or why he'd gone, but I've never been one to cry over lost chances...besides, I'm happily married, remember?!

So I ask you, did I do something wrong to flirt with this guy today? Whether your answer is 'yes' or 'no' I have another question to pose to you. Does anyone know what you're *really* saying to a bird when you mimic its call back to it?? Yes, I know, what the heck does that have to do with flirting?? Before you go calling my husband to tell him I was cheating on him today, or to tell him he needs to have me carried off in a straight-jacket; let me explain.

Robert the Pale is known to most of you as a bob-white. You know, the bird who whistles “bob-white”?? (Actually, he says “bob, bob-white.”) I had quite the “conversation” with one today while I was hanging out the laundry (nothing like the crisp fresh smell of laundry dried outside in the sunshine). He had to have known that I wasn’t really his type, no feathers, no wings, no beak (though my husband may differ on the ‘no beak’—I might hen-peck at him just a little). I don’t think it’s possible for a bird to be fooled by a human whistling at it—he HAD to have known I wasn’t really a bird. So, assuming that he did know I’m not a bird, why did he keep answering me?? I guess I just got wondering about that this afternoon as I repeatedly whistled “bob, bob-white” back to him. If he knew I wasn’t another bird, why’d he bother? And another thing, what was I saying to him??? Was I flirting? Proposing marriage? Advertising an empty nest? Marking my territory? Telling him off? What did I say? What did I say??????????????

Friday, May 13, 2005

School shooting in Anderson??

Well, I would have never believed it if i haden't heard it on the news... but some school "resource officer's gun accidentally discharged, injuring several students" yesterday.

I think someone needs to fact-check. Guns don't discharge themselves... they need to have their triggers pulled (kinda like pushing someone's buttons?!) The cop let a kid pull the trigger. Duh!! Lucky he didn't get something blown off his body that he'll want later. Duh, duh, duh. I think my husband is going to add this as a new chapter in his book It Takes a special Kind of Stupid...

An Open Letter

Dear Neighbors in Anderson:

When I first heard about an Anderson resource officer's gun accidentally discharging from his holster while he was at school and injuring some of the students I was shocked -- but not for the reasons you might suspect. It seems every month or so you hear about another school shooting, but this one was different to say the least. The first news report I heard about this matter stated that the officer's weapon accidentally discharged while in his holster and that some students were injured. This account implied that the officer was walking along his merry way with his gun holstered and then all of a sudden -- bang! Of course upon engaging my reason I realized that there had to be more to this story. As much as the media would like to have us believe otherwise, firearms are not just sitting around waiting for a potentially dangerous situation in which to discharge themselves. In fact, I challenge anybody to cite even one example of a firearm discharging itself while holstered or otherwise immobilized. But I digress.

As the story unfolded and I discovered the details I was again surprised. What was this resource officer thinking? Was he thinking? I can make a good guess to the answer of the second question. Don't get me wrong, I can certainly understand that we all face moments of carelessness. But I am a law enforcement officer, too; and I simply cannot fathom how any officer could make such a series of gross errors in judgment. As a law enforcement officer I am regularly drilled in weapon retention. In short this means using any means possible including lethal force to keep your firearm either in your holster or in your hand. Like all training it gets to be a reflex. If you are going for my gun, prepare to enjoy the last few seconds of your consciousness if you are lucky or of your life if you are not. All this to say that it is a fundamental rule of law enforcement not to take any chances regarding who is in possession of your firearm.

Of course if the news accounts are accurate, the officer was not reacting to someone trying to steal his weapon but rather daring students to try -- error number one. Is this really a good idea? Would it really be prudent to ask, "Hey, little girl! You wanna reach in my holster and shoot off my gun?"

It sounds like a statement from the Michael Jackson trial. However, I understand that the officer was attempting to demonstrate his holster's ability to retain his firearm. All I can say there is thank God it did retain the firearm because things could have turned out much differently.

OK. For the sake of argument, let's say you have good reason to demonstrate your holster's ability to retain your weapon. Another fundamental rule of law enforcement is public safety particularly when firearms are involved. The first action should be to unload your gun. After all, are you prepared to potentially risk your life and the lives of all the students and teachers in the vicinity relying solely on your holster's ability to retain your weapon? I don't know about you, but I do not trust engineers quite that much. But whether it was another lapse in judgment or a purposeful decision on the officer's part, he decided to leave his firearm loaded -- error number two.

Error number three was perhaps the most forgivable: the officer failed to expect the unexpected. In law enforcement you have to think outside the box and consider all the angles. And even though it is certainly understandable that the officer did not foresee that at least one of the students' hands was small enough to fit inside his holster with his gun -- well, as the saying goes, "Three strikes and you're out!"

I do not want to tar and feather this particular officer although in my opinion I believe he bears sole responsibility for this accidental discharge. And, fortunately, no one was seriously injured or killed. However, this incident does reveal a bit of a problem in law enforcement in particular and in society in general: our over-reliance on technology. Don't get me wrong: technology is a great asset, but it cannot replace our own common sense and responsibility. You see it everywhere from "wardrobe malfunctions" to frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers of everything from automobiles to firearms. I am sure there are already lawyers lining up to sue the holster or gun manufacturer or both, but in the end the ultimate responsibility for retaining the weapon lies with the officer.

Before we start casting stones at this officer, let us consider our responsibilities. Who's responsibility is it to educate and protect our children? The fact that our public education system requires the presence of resource (police) officers should be more than enough evidence for anybody to see that we are heading down the wrong path and have been for many years. Parents have long since left off parenting to the "professionals" appointed by our government. We complain about how bad things have become, but what do we do? In the long run perhaps improvements can be made at the societal level, but that may never happen and will certainly not happen soon enough to affect the children in our care. In the short run we can perhaps make the most effective change of all, get involved with our families on a daily basis. Children need parents more now than ever. And on a lighter note, I would like to thank this particular officer for giving me more material for my future book entitled It Takes a Special Kind of Stupid.