Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two Down

I spent the last two weeks caring for a coughing, sneezing, sniffling, headache, fever, can't get any rest child. No sleep at night, coughing until her lungs hurt and her stomach muscles cramped. She's all better, but the other two just got the same bug.

Does this mean two more weeks of sleepless nights? Two more weeks of worrying if everyone is washing hands enough? Two more weeks of isolation?

I hope not. Pray for quick recoveries and plenty of rest for everyone.

Excuse me now. I have to go wipe down some surfaces.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Only So Many Words

You can measure how much writing I'm getting done by how often I post to this blog. I've heard that men and women have only a certain number of words per day to use up. Often, by the time my husband gets home, he's used up all his words so I have to do all the talking for the evening.

In the same way, I must have only so many words to write at a time. This week, I've been plugging away on a story idea and have nothing left for all of you who are checking in on me.

Sorry about that. When I hit writers block, I'll be back with a vengeance!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maybe You HAVEN'T Been There

Have you stood at that spot in Four Corners and known that you could mark off 4 states from the ones you've visited? Not so fast. Turns out the Four Corners marker that is supposed to be on the border between Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado has been a little off all these years.

Well, actually, 2 1/2 miles off. 2 1/2 MILES? That's not even on the dartboard!

What else did they misplace? I'm worried about this now. What if I'm not where I think I am?

For those of you who used this marker to check off those four states, looks like you have some traveling to do.

Easy Fix

For the past two years, I've been clenching my teeth at night. I wake up every morning with a sore jaw and the feeling that I've been stressed all night without knowing why.

Last week I broke a filling. I went into the dentist for a new filling  but when I got home, something was off. I went back again and had them grind the filling down so I could touch my teeth together on the other side of my mouth.

And guess what?

No more clenching my jaw at night. No more headache or clicking jaw.

Turns out I wasn't stressed at all! I just had a high filling for the last two years.

Don't you wish all solutions were that easy? That one day we'd wake up and realize we could easily end the recession by trimming out fingernails? Or end world hunger by tapping the heels of our shoes together? Or lose weight by making a wish on a falling star?

Oh well, at least I'm not stressed!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Growing Up

One of my daughters had her first babysitting job tonight. The other has her first gig tomorrow. I lay awake last night wondering if I'd given them all the tools they need to handle the situations that will come up. Probably not. How am I possibly going to cram all the experience, wisdom and knowledge into them with the little time I have left? What if they're missing some huge piece of the puzzle? What if I forgot to tell them how to dial 9-1-1 or to wash behind their ears? What if they can't discern who to trust and who to avoid? 

What if? What if? Growing up is hard, but letting someone else grow up may be even harder.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hey, Bidder, Bidder!

Come on down to the Unknown Artists Auction tomorrow night! The evening features
  • cheesecake!
  • entertainment by the Kennedy viola duet and a Karaoke team
  • a silent auction of 5 pieces
  • a bidding auction of 20 pieces
  • the chance to take home art by a local artist (my contribution is above and authors of Millstones and Rosemoor also have entries)
  • the chance to donate towards building houses for poor families in Mexico

Friday, April 17, 6 p.m.
Vancouver Church of Christ
9019 NE 86th St.
Vancouver, WA 98662
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cedar and Seder

As each week flows into the next, it's easy to forget the small milestones that mark the passing of time. Here are a couple from last week.

The first hike of the season... really just an excuse to get out and breathe fresh air. We chose to spend an afternoon with friends at the Cedar Plank Longhouse in Ridgefield, WA. If you squint, you can spot a couple of natives measuring the doorway.

The following Saturday, I dusted off the Seder plate and enjoyed an evening of good food and fun with family and friends. I think we lose so much of the rhythm of life when we ignore feast days. A once a year reminder about salvation, safety, and new life is always a good idea.

Gummi Boils

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

War of the Tulips

Europe dragged the North American colonies into three different wars in the 1700's - King William's War, Queen Anne's War, and King George's war. French colonies were pitted against British colonies were pitted against Spanish colonies in battles that had nothing at all to do with the colonies and everything to do with differences between the protectorates across the ocean.

Three wars. And all for nothing. For all the fighting, all the loss of life, all the drama, nothing was ever decided by any of the wars that made a lick of difference.

I think I may be embarking on such a war, a futile fight against an enemy who hides in trees, blends in with its surroundings, and refuses to fight in the proper fashion.
The War of the Tulips (aka the War for Squirrelish Domination)

It's early in the year, but the fight is on. A neat row of tulips grows along my fence. I wait each day to see them open in their vermillion brilliance. Today should have been the day for the first ones to burst forth with shouts of spring.

Alas, this morning I found the first of my precious tulips decapitated. Headless, its body drooped to one side. It has lost the will to live. This afternoon, 2 more flowers met their dreaded fate. And this evening, another 5. When will the carnage stop?

Desparate, I pluck 4 flowers prematurely, whispering apologies for my violence. But they are My flowers. They live at My pleasure. Or so I think. Inside, I prop them in a vase and mourn their fallen comrades.

I know this battle won't be the last. Next will come peas and lettuce (which suffer at the hands of the squirrels great garden ally, the slug), tomatoes, carrots and, finally, the heartwrenching stripping of the walnut trees.

I fear the battle endeth e'en before it's well begun.

The New Math

The size of your tax refund is directly proportional to the size of your emergency dental bill (and/or car repair).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Perfect Timing

More often than I expect, events in life fall together in a way that just makes sense. Take yesterday for example. We started a new history book which will finally, after 4 or 5 years of studying through history in chronological order, launch us into the colonization of America and its birth as a new nation.

Over a year ago, I put my name in the government's hat and asked them if I could receive a set of American art through the Picturing America Project. The set arrived today and it's a beautiful set of 40 pieces of American art that tell the story of our nation through photographs, paintings, sculpture and other art objects. I'm so excited about how it will dovetail with our history study over the next year or so. And I'm excited to share it with other educators who can also use it to expose their children and their students to the power of art to reveal stories.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Creating Beauty

God loves beauty. Why else would he have created spring? White magnolia blossoms, pink flowering plums, and yellow daffodils paint a canvas that, only last week, was brown and gray.

God loves beauty. When he finished creating each day, he declared his creation good. When he made humans in his own image, he declared it very good.

If God created things to be beautiful, and he created people in his image, I've got to believe he created people to make beauty. Sculpture and color, shape and sound, words linked together as pieces of poetry. When we create something lovely, it brings glory to God.

What beauty have you created lately?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Sometimes life hands you little blessings that you're not expecting. Like getting to witness the delivery of 6 kittens without having to leave home. Even though I don't own a cat.

My friend Shelli and her daughter Hannah have been visiting for the last several days. They brought their motor home and their extremely pregnant cat, Recy.

Last night around 11:15, Hannah came crashing in the door to announce the immenent arrival. We woke up one of my kids to come watch and, after the 4th kitten was born, woke up a second child. It was too good to miss!

This is picture of the 6 kittens and their mama not long after the last one was born, around 2 this morning. What a fun reason to stay up so late!
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