Friday, June 26, 2009

On Men and Marriage for Father's Day weekend

From Father's Day, a great post on gentlemen and being gentlemanly here.

As a resident of SC, I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't mention the current debacle in state government. Of course the governor's trip to the "Appalachian Trail" has been done to death in the media, late night talk shows, etc., etc. But just in case you aren't completely burned out on all things Mark Sanford, give this comment a read, from this article in the NYT.

Comment 104.



June 24th, 2009

3:28 pm

Convervatives, and religious conservatives in particular, have built up extramarital sex to mean everything. It affects their positions on abortion, on constitutional amendments against gay marriage, on birth control, on foreign aid for birth control, on sex education in public schools, on abstinence, on AIDS, on ordaining ministers, on funding Public Health departments, and even on the Supreme Court for goodness sakes. This is why an affair, while a deeply sad but relatively common event results in resignations and press frenzies like the one we just witnessed. As a liberal, I take no joy in watching someone's marriage, and now career, fail. I only hope that the focus is on the bigger picture the Republicans paint as a party, and why their base obsession with sex makes every one of those policy positions fasle, hollow, and hypocritical. Today's conference was a real man living in the real world honestly unburdening himself from an unsustainable weight of lies, both private and public.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unity: Priceless

Movable chairs in the sanctuary are NOT one step away from drums on the stage, really!!

So our church's annual meeting is this coming Sunday. The building program will be on the table again. My take on the issue is simple. Why spend $500,000 more to accommodate bad theology??

We're pursuing building a bigger building primarily because we need more space for fellowships times/shared meals, etc. Times when the entire church body needs to be sitting around tables (and eating, LOL). But why can't we make better use of the space we already have? We do have fellowship hall space already (classrooms with folding walls that we rearrange for dinner each Sunday afternoon over ht summer), it's just not quite big enough for our current attendance levels.

Last summer someone asked if we could run a couple extra tables up the center aisle of the sanctuary to relieve the space crunch inside (in air-conditioning--we do also set up some tables outside, but when it's in the 90's and the humidity is 70% and higher, it's just nasty out there). "But why would we want to ruin the carpet in the sanctuary too?" was the immediate question raised (by a teenager, no less). In a sense I understand the concern, (especially since their family is a major part of our church's janitorial service, (although the tone wasn't a self-serving one), we ought to take the best care we can of the facilities we have. But really, that's just bad theology.

People are the body of Christ. The building is just a tool. If the purpose of the church is to edify and equip the saints, how does having a dedicated "holy" sanctuary help accomplish that end?? We're looking at spending half a million dollars to prop up your bad theology? Really??

We *could* solve our space issues for a lot less money by ripping out the pews and getting those wicked cool chairs instead. Make our current sanctuary space more multi-purpose. But I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. Too many of the "old-guard" (though not necessarily old in years) still view the sanctuary as that "special place" where voices may not be raised, little feet may not run, and food shall absolutely never be consumed (other than the elements of the Lord's table, of course, LOL).

Several years ago we were looking at a similar building project. I happened across a great little book titled "When NOT to Build" written by an architect. He included his testimony in the beginning of the book--since it seems kinda odd for an architect to be advising against building, LOL. His opening point was that too often we jump to building bigger buildings (and spend the Lord's money) before we need to, before we've made effective use of the space we already have (good stewardship anyone?). He goes on to outline how churches in that uncomfortable "almost too full but not quite" stage of growth could make more efficient use of their existing space until the need for building is real, not just perceived. :-) Great little book, highly recommended reading.

So... what to do?? Spend WAY more $$ than we need to to prop up bad theology? Maybe we should. What price can you put on unity??


So we had our annual business meeting before I could get this posted, LOL. After a fair amount of discussion, we voted to table the "chairs instead of pews" discussion for exactly a month. Give folks who heard the proposal for the first time today to get their theology up to speed, LOL. Most cogent dissent? "Might there be a change in spirit with a (slightly) less formal setting?" and "Could we have a bit of time to think and pray about this?" ('Not necessarily' and 'yes' being the answers.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy little dragons

Yep, she likes him! Want proof?? Incredibly enough, this picture wasn't posed.

BD#2 had been snuggled in the recliner with the baby and I (since I had the audacity to refuse to give her the "big rocking chair" all to herself, LOL). I had to vacate the room for a second, so I asked BD#2 if I could leave BD#3 beside her "just for a minute." When I came back, this is what I found. :-)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Slugs, slugs, and more slugs

It started with one slug being held captive til the kids got to see a house-less snail. Then there were two slugs. Then there were six. By the time I finished collecting slugs (all out of our kitchen mind you), I had developed a regular slug condo--two tenants per unit. I should go into real estate, ROFL. *not*

Today (finally, it's Friday!) we decided to practice our catch and release skills. One last look at those slug "housing units" before the older kids helped evict the slugs.

Free at last, free at last. Here are two of our (former) tenants.

(And yes, we *did* wash our hands when we got back inside, thankyouverymuch!)

Thus ends our week-in-review.

Jay, Jon, and Jerry-rigging--Installment 2

To continue from where we left off in the recap of this very long week…

Thursday was a good news/bad news kind of day. Bad news: need to tear up the kitchen so dw guy can get to the motor on the dishwasher. Good news: Kitchen is easy to tear up, LOL. Bad news... oh, it's just too funny to tell in bullets, so I'm switching to paragraphs. Go get your coffee... ;-)

See, when we bought this house, the guy who sold it to us left us very explicit instructions about the eventuality of the dishwasher needing servicing. "Don't let anyone tell you the counter needs to be cut up to get to the dishwasher for servicing it," he said. "You can pull it straight out. All you have to do is 1) Unscrew that piece of floor moulding. 2) Pull back the linoleum--it's the flexible kind. 3) Pull up the piece of plywood directly in front of the dishwasher--it's only held in by one screw right in the middle." Sounds easy enough, right? I should be able to do this while the kids take their afternoon naps, right??

One flat-head screwdriver, 2 Phillips-head screwdrivers, a hammer, a box-cutter, a chisel, a putty knife, and almost two hours later... the dishwasher was fully accessible. No, really! It went something like this:

Move the microwave stand so you can move the stove (with a boiling pot of soup on it) so you can get more room to work in front of the dishwasher. (Besides, the second screw in the moulding was just behind the edge of the stove, so the stove had to move anyway.)

Pry off said moulding.
Start pulling up the linoleum.
Realize there's not enough space open to pull back the flooring far enough to clear that plywood that had to come out.
Move the stove further over.
Pull up the flooring the rest of the way.
See one screw head, kinda filled with spackling.
Get the box cutter out to clean out the Phillips-head screw head.
Get the screw head clean enough for the screwdriver to get a grip.
Plywood pops up a bit in that corner when the screw comes out... so far so good.

Spend next 20 minutes or so breaking up the spackling that had been driven into the cracks around that piece of plywood. The spackling on the plywood was a nice idea--smoother foundation for the flooring--but it pretty effectively sealed up things that I needed NOT sealed.

Chisel and putty knife came in handy--got all the borders of the plywood free of spackling but the board still wasn't interested in coming out. Hmmm... How was I supposed to get out a 1/2" thick sheet of plywood so tightly wedged in that a putty knife wouldn't fit between it and the sub-flooring next to it (much less anything sturdy enough to lever up the board with)?!? The one spot where I could get a hold on the board was under the face of the cabinet with only about 1" clearance--not enough to really get a good hold, LOL.

Spent another 30 minutes or so messing around with the claw-hammer, flat-head screwdriver, and the chisel trying to pry up the board. FINALLY got enough leverage in the right spots to slip the chisel under one side of the board. Alternating between the putty knife & the chisel, worked down one side of that board til almost one whole side was raised, but *still* couldn't get it to come out. Seemed like the board might have been glued down. He *did* say ONE screw, right?? Got to wondering (since that one screw head had spackling in it), what if there are more screws I can't see?? ..... ...... .....

There wasn't one screw in that piece of plywood, there were FOUR!!! And the last 3 had been so thoroughly spackled over that I didn't know they were there for the first 50 minutes I was working on it. *Smiles rather sarcastically*

Got out the last 3 screws 15 minutes before the dw guy was to show up. Yeah--there was a point to this exercise, and it wasn't supposed to be just to tear up the kitchen, LOL. Had a good laugh with DH and the dw guy about the lengths it took to get access to the dishwasher, then wandered off to let the dw guy work in peace.

An hour and a half later the dishwasher was up and running again. Jay says "so does it sound any quieter to you?" Me (thinking it still sounds like a freight train but not wanting to insult him since he'd been working for almost 2 hours & hadn't been planning to charge any labor): "Um... are you... kidding?" Jay:"Well, sort of. I had to put the old motor back in it." Apparently Whirlpool did some major reconfiguration of the innards of our dishwasher... and the slightly used motor would NOT go in our dishwasher--no way, no how. There wasn't even any way to co-mingle parts from both motors to make a new one--he tried. Nothing, NOTHING was interchangeable. Bless his heart, all that work...

So we're almost back to square one. At least the dishwasher is running again, albeit loudly as ever. And I now know there are 4 screws, not just one, LOL.

So yeah........ it's been a week. And it's not over yet. The slugs are still at it... but that's another post for another day--or at least after a couple hours of sleep! ;-)

Word of the day: Jerry-rigging. I've always loved that phrase. :-) Are you allowed to call one hyphenated word a phrase?? Anyway, having grown up in rental properties built by that man named Jack while riding in cars held together with baling wire (think duck tape on steroids), I learned early how to jerry-rig things. (It was the sections on gears and mechanics that garnered my high score on the ASVAB in high school, not that girly secretarial stuff, LOL.) Watching the ending of Foley's War on PBS Sunday night got me thinking about the entomology of the term Jerry-rigging, since the Brits called the Germans "Jerrys" during WWII, and wondering if there was any correlation. Did the term jerry-rig come about because the Germans (Jerrys) rigged up booby-traps?? Good old Wiki to the rescue... I love the Internet. I want my big computer back.

Jay, Jon, and Jerry-rigging--Installment 1

It's been a loooooooooooooooooooooooong week!!!


Sunday we all stayed home because DH had what appeared to be a sudden-onset sinus infection and had gotten maybe 3 hours of sleep Saturday night. I had been up late (early) too, and was just too tired to handle the logistics of two pre-schoolers and a nursing baby on "summer schedule" at church by myself. 10am to 2pm in one stretch is too long when I'd be outnumbered 3 to 1, LOL. Watched one of the last episodes of Foley's War on PBS (more on that later).

Monday the kids (BD#'s 1&2) killed our big computer. Just a simple thing--poking the on/off button to watch all the pretty red and green lights flash & the fans whirr... but they cycled it just right and scrambled something that ought not be scrambled apparently, b/c the computer just would NOT load Windows after that. *sigh*

Tuesday morning started with the dishwasher on the blink again. Probably just a blown fuse in the instrument panel, so I called our dishwasher guy. (Yes, we have a dishwasher guy!) He said he'd come check on it after work. Figured I ought to mention to him that it's been making a horrible noise these last few months. Not the "hard food in the grinder" noise, but the "motor starting to seize" noise. He said he'd check it out. Bless his heart.

Tuesday afternoon found out that the big computer might be *really* dead. Apparently cycling the on/off button like the kids had been doing can actually cause hard drive failure. I do hope not!! Per our computer guy's instruction (yeah, we have a computer guy too!), tried starting it in Safe Mode... but it hung on the driver for the motherboard. I'm getting a mother of a head-ache.

Tuesday night the dishwasher guy came by, took it all apart... nothing caught in the drain to explain the noise. Bypassed the fuse (this is the second time it's blown for no reason), ran the machine. Yep--that's the motor going. Good news is the dishwasher still runs & may for a good while yet. Bad news, it really does sound like a freight train in the kitchen. SO he offered to look for a (slightly) used replacement motor for it. (Bless him again.)

Wednesday the computer got dropped off at our computer guy's house for triage and the dishwasher guy called to say he'd found a replacement motor we could have installed for $50 (new ones for our model run around $170). Did I mention we like our dishwasher guy?? :-)

Thursday was a good news/bad news kind of day. Good news: the computer is up and running, just a couple of corrupted FAT files. Bad news: need to tear up the kitchen so dw guy can get to the motor. Good news: Kitchen is easy to tear up, LOL. Bad news... oh, it's just too funny to tell in bullets, so it's gonna take a while....

(to be continued here)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Of Slugs and Smiles

No, no one got slugged and smiled about it, LOL.

We now have house pets, 4 to be precise. Slugs! Found one last night crawling up the front of the dishwasher. Put it in a little plastic tub to show the kids when they got up this morning. Busy day today, forgot to show them the slug til this afternoon, apparently during it's nap. Momma forgot that slugs are semi-nocturnal. Oh well.

Power went out about 30 minutes after we let the slug out to play and stayed off, so back into it's little plastic prison the slug went. We went out for supper (left-overs don't re-heat well with no electricity) and a Wal-Mart run, and when we came back found 3 more slugs in the kitchen! These ones were behind the stove and on the floor between the stove and the dishwasher. *Insert eye roll here!* Got out another little lidded plastic tub, added one slug to the first tub and dropped the 3rd and 4th ones into the second tub. Now we have a slug condo on our dining room table, and the kids are thrilled that they don't have to share, LOL

On a cuter (but no less slimy) note, BD#3 cut his first tooth Wednesday. Since when do 5 month olds weigh 18 lbs and cut teeth?? He's as happy as ever. Sleeping about 9 hours at night on average, and charming everyone he meets. The older two get the biggest kick out of making him giggle. One day (when I figure out posting videos to YouTube or some such video hosting service) I'll let you hear him. But for now, knowing it's been forever and a day since I last posted, here are a few pictures. Enjoy!!

How's that for a drool string??

The tooth behind all the excess drool. (No, the slugs had nothing to do with his drool, LOL.) See that little sliver of white?? It's sharp!

Just because you needed a smile today! :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Worth Reading

Nope, still haven't answered that e-mail yet. Been doing some reading though, and have a couple recommendations for you.

Pathological Spirituality
BlogLords and Ham
On Separation

Hard to believe it's been 65 years this weekend since D-Day...