Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Holy Cow it's a great book! I'm about 2/3 through it. I find that even though it deals with the issue of slavery it is universally applicable. As I've read and questioned in my mind the author's motivation, I wonder if she is simply decrying the wrongs of slavery or if she intends a higher more universal message. As I read the book I find that it is a study of the human nature to rationalize immoral behavior. In the story there are many characters; slaves, slave holders, and non-slave holders who have varied rationalizations for thier own acts, beliefs and prejudices.
I see a current issue in a similar strain. I think in many ways the treatment of those who break the law to be immoral. For example: those with wealth expereince a very different judicial system than those without wealth, we penialize instead of rehabilitate, and create lables and burdens that last a lifetime, to name only a few. There are a variety of rationalizations we use in order to do this. I don't see this any different than the issue of slavery. I believe it is a continued way to dehumanize an individual.
There is and must be a better way. But first I think we need to stop seeing people in a hierarchy where any one of us is better than the other, or that any one of us is worse than another. -But for the grace of God, go I-
I wonder, have you read Uncle Tom's Cabin?
What are your imprssions?
Is there another book you've read with a similar theme?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
These nasty little sugary snacks and my beloved Dr Pepper had become a terrible curse. I found myself eating this crap when I was sad, lonely, tired, bored, etc. They were a substitute for joy, companionship, energy, excitement, etc. They were my drug. One author, I can't remember who and just now don't really care enough to find out, said that for an addict the feelings produced by a drug is a synthetic substitute for the feeling of spirituality that those prone to addiction crave. This spiritual craving, longing for what he calls reunion with deity, is more intense for those who experience addiction. I have no idea if this is true but it has been my experience that there are fake substitutes for every good feeling we experience. The good, I believe, originated with God. The bad is a cleverly disguised, sorry a-- imitation that, I would suggest, originated with that which is in total opposition to God. Yep, you guessed it, 'ol mr nasty himself.
Now I'm not suggesting that Dr Pepper is evil or that my beloved Chocolate Chip Cookies are the devil's recipe. Heaven's that would be blasphemy 'cause I gotta say- they are GOOOOOOOD. And remember all good things come from God. But 'ol mr nasty can take those GOOOOOD things and twist them, manipulate then, taint them and voila-deception, fake crap.
SOOOO, (yep, I'm starting a sentence with the word 'so'. JJWT's little miss bimbo can poke fun at me yet again) I gave up the sugar and soda to break a pattern, to form new habits, replace the 'fake crap' with some gen-U-wine 'real' good stuff.
Was it easy? Oh, heck no! I wanted the 'stuff' bad. It was during SUPERSTAR'S birthday and a trip to the cabin. Both of which I was required to make cakes and cinnamon rolls. Chocolate Chip Cookies were made almost weekly. Of which I partook of NONE. (I did lick frosting from the cinnamon rolls from my finger once, but that was an accident. Heck can you really call that a slip? I didn't think so either.)
I was so looking forward to my sugar fix today. I had threatened to eat a whole pan of CCC's myself . I ate the first cookie. It was ok -not great, not what I was expecting, not what I remembered. I took another cookie and didn't finish it. I didn't NEED it and certainly wasn't enjoying it.
The taste of my Dr Pepper was 'blah'. However, I have come to see there is something very different about my body's reaction to the Dr Pepper that certainly didn't happen with the cookies. Oh man, oh man alive! Oh baby- it made me feel like I was "In LOVE". Oh... my heart beat faster, my breathing was uneven, I wanted to pull my head back and smile with that crazy, oblivious, puppy dog, glazed over look. Yep, I was "high" on the Dr.
I still will get sad, lonely, tired, bored, etc. But now I have some experience (a little brief but still...) at sitting with the feelings, recognizing them for what they are and making an attempt to create joy, companionship, energy, excitement and/or offer up a prayer of gratitude. I certainly will not numb them with mr nasty's fake-crap. I can drink a Dr Pepper or eat a cookie for the mere enjoyment, not because I NEED them.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Anyway, I took the test and am pleased to learn that I'm a "savage". No really, I love the description for my princess. I think it fits.
I Am Pocahantas!
Free-spirited and wise. You have a strong passionate spirit that touches and changes all who know you. The wisdom and common sense that you have is really what guides you through life. Even so, you also have a very playful side that loves adventure and excitement.
Which Disney Princess Are You?
Click the link above. Try it out.
I'd love to see which princess each of you are. Post it on your blog and leave me a comment with your blog address. Those of you who don't have blog, take the test and leave me a comment telling me which princess you are.
I can't wait.
I'm so excited!
I love princesses!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I just had the most heart wrenching conversation with my wonderful neighbor. She had just returned from the doctor's office where she learned that her husband has cancer. He has a mass the size of a softball in his liver. As we cried and hugged together, she shared with me all the fears and regrets that have hit her, blindsided her, like a Mack Truck.
This journey through life is brutal at times. It is not always easy to recognize where God's hand is or how God's plan can bring us through the pain of mortality. One thing I know for sure is that we are not expected to get through this life without coming to completely rely on Jesus Christ. Another thing I know and accept is that God has planned for the brutality and pain. He sees with a much broader and eternal perspective than we can. His plan is much bigger than this life.
Mostly I listened to her, provided Kleenex, offered short, kind words and lots of hugs. I am certain there will be more talks like this to come. Mostly I want to be open to be an expression of God's love for her and her family in whatever why He could direct me. Her daughter will be spending the night tonight with SUGAR in hopes that she and her husband can have time to draw strength from each other.
I think uncertainty is one of the tools the adversary uses to make us miserable (like unto himself). The only suggestion I felt impressed to share with her was to live in the moment. Avoid playing the "What If Game" or to play the "Worst Case Scenarios" over and over in her head or even to allow past regrets to fester. Life is in the present moments and when we obsess and worry about a future we don't yet know, it is stealing the joy and life from the present moments we do know.
Your prayers in behalf of her family are welcome as well as neighborly advise for me.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Yep, I named myself - first off Fall is my favorite season -love it. Second I needed to come up with another word that worked well with Fall and that I could find a picture of (you know, for my profile). Hum, I'd taken two years of French in high school (which was of little use when I visited Paris last summer). Thankfully Twenty years later I can still remember the french word for flower, Fleur. I could find an orangish flower. There is is FallFleur!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I can't remember but, I think I'm due. Oh ya, Tuesday last week, marriage is hard sometimes.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING
No, but, at least I can write in a straight line
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Swiss cheese - I know it's not meat. But the way I figure is that any sandwich with any kind of meat is made better with swiss cheese
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
I have four kids. My oldest turns 16 tomorrow. EEEK!
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
That's a tough one. I hope I would be friends with me but, I think it is difficult to be my friend because I don't let people get close. I think that most times I come off as cold and distant, a bit prickly. I probably would seek an easier target to be friends with.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Sometimes, but I try not to (unsuccessfully)
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No I'm not big on the height thing. I like roller coasters and snowboarding. That's enough of a 'dropping' thrill for me.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I've always liked Fruity Pebbles but I don't buy it. That tiny box is only good for one meal and then it's gone. Not really worth the high price. I really haven't eaten cereal for a while. I'm on an oatmeal kick right now. I love it with fruit or pecans and brown sugar.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
This an interesting questions. I was always told to untie my shoes so that they wouldn't wear out as fast. You know the hard rub on the back of the shoe if you don't untie. It's just second nature to untie when I remove my shoes.
My kids on the other hand drive me nuts 'cause none of them untie. I've threatened to stop buying shoes for them but since I'm a BIG pushover it does no good.
My son rarely ties his shoes at all (only to exercise) they just flop around on his foot like big ol cloppers.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
No, not physically, not really emotionally but, I like to think that I am spiritually strong.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Anything Chocolate. But I LOVE Leatherby's hot fudge sundaes with Toasted Almond ice cream with a side of sliced bananas. It is to die for.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
This is pretty sad and I am ashamed to admit, but, I first notice their body shape. I hate that I do this. I wish I first noticed their eyes, their mood, their spirit. I have and am working to change this but old habits die hard and some of those snap judgments totally condem me.
15. FAVORITE COLOR?
I love the cheeriness of Yellow.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
What I notice first about others....
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
I miss my grandma. She died when I was 13 which was way too soon. She was an amazing woman who lived her life with enthusiasm and joy. I think when I get to the other side she'll be the one I'm most excited to see (probably even before my husband and kids).
18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
Black yoga pants (not that I do yoga, they're comfortable and stylish). Shoes - black slides
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Subway sandwich (chicken breast something or other) a bag of ruffles potato chips and a bottle of water.
We took a youth trip and stopped at the park for dinner. Subway was on the menu.
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Not a single thing. I am up early but no one else in the house is awake. The house is completely still. I guess I can sort of hear the water falling into the pond by my front door.
21. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
22. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Henri Bendel -Lavender Leaves. The problem is that they don't make this fragrance anymore and I have to pay big bucks on ebay to get it.
I also relish the way my kids smell after softball/baseball - it's a sweet mixture of heat, dirt, leather and grass.
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
DARLING HUSBAND,He's been really sick the last few days (actually about a week) He asked me to bring him something to eat that might settle his stomach.
24. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Oh ya, I'm so glad she thought of me. (see the friend statement above)
25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I love watching my kids play baseball and softball. It's the best!
26. HAIR COLOR?
Wella brand - Dark brown. It covers the grey nicely and doesn't fade red.
27. EYE COLOR?
Honey brown. If you look closely you'll see that I have two small holes in my iris that make it look like I have black spots. Pretty Cool I think!
28. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Nope, never needed contacts or glasses. I've got pretty good eyesight. I am the only one of my siblings who doesn't need corrective lenses. My husband has even better eyesight than me. BUT, my kids on the other hand did not inherit the good eyes of their parents. They all are 'blind' without contacts.
29. FAVORITE FOOD?
Chocolate Chip Cookies (my recipe) fresh from the oven. Oh how I long for those cookies. On the 23rd for June I set goal to abstain from sweets and sodas for 30 days. I have seven more days and you can bet that on July 24th I'll be eating a whole pan of those babies myself.
30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Definitely 'happy endings'. I hate, Hate, HATE scary movies. I hate, Hate, HATE being scared and most especially the evil that is put into those nasty, scary movies.
31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Theater -Wall-E - terrible, terrible movie. I kept waiting for the Pixar magic to click in but the further along the movie went the more frustrated I got. Do we really need to be told one more time that, as a species, man is a stupid, lazy, sheep-like, planet wasting scum bag and that the only life form that could possibly survive man's destruction is a cockroach? I think NOT.
DVD - I loved watching Dan in Real Life. cute, Cute, CUTE movie. I loved the line 'YOU ARE A MUUURDEER OF LOVE!' Classic!
32. PLACE YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT?
33. FAVORITE SEASON ?
Fall - I love the coolness in the air, the smell of burning leaves and the brilliant colors. Hands down -fall is the greatest season.
34. HUGS OR KISSES?
Hugs - there's nothing like a warm, gentle hug to lift you up.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
see above - favorite ice cream and favorite food.
36. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Uncle Tom's Cabin. Just started it last night. I think it's gonna be a heavy one. Not just because it has 640 pages
37. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
Don't have a mouse pad
38. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT?
Did not watch TV last night. We are smack in the middle of a month without TV. Hence Uncle Tom's Cabin
39. FAVORITE SOUND?
The crack of the bat off of one of my kids hits!
40. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Hum - I'm not sure what to say on this one 'cause I don't really prefer one over the other.
I like some of each and just as much don't like some. So I don't really fit into either stereotype
41. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
England and France
42. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I can make the worlds best chocolate chip cookie
Life should not be a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely in
an attractive and well preserved body, but
rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used
up, totally worn out, and screaming
'Woo Hoo -- What A Ride!'
Sunday, July 13, 2008
It was originally published in Brazil in Portuguese. It has now been translated into fifty-six languages and sold more than twenty million copies. "The Alchemist" is a magical parable like story about discovering our own personal calling and the path God leads us on toward the realization of that great treasure. If there was ever a book (scripture excluded) that relates more to the theme and intention of this blog it would be this one.
As the main character discovers his "personal legend" and makes the journey toward it he faces the same kind of obstacles that we all face in pursuit of God's will: those both real and imagined. As the story concludes it becomes apparent that not only is there a treasure to be sought but that the journey in seeking it is a treasure itself and perhaps even more important or just as important as the treasure being sought.
I would like to share the quote I read that began my daughters' interest in the story. At this point in the story the main character Santiago has become aware of this "personal legend" (a treasure) and begun the journey to retrieve it. He has sold all that has to begin this journey and a thief has taken everything. Santiago has spent the night depressed and lost of hope with no money and nowhere to go.
- As he mused about these things, he realized that he had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief or as an adventurer in quest of his treasure.
- "I'm an adventurer, looking for treasure," he said to himself.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Started with Patrick McManus "The Good Samaritan Strikes Again". I read the first two chapters this morning as everyone was finishing breakfast. This author is quite the character. He has such a great wit (and a bit of sarcasm) which makes his story both entertaining and insightful. We're not quite sure how the story will progress at this point but we are all anxious to find out and enjoy his wit in the process.
I'm in the middle of the first book in the Atrimus Fowl series. There's a lot going on in the story and it is entertaining to read. I'm sure this will become a valuable resource for me in my Middle School classroom (when I finish my degree this year).
SUNSHINE had a difficult time finding something she's not already read. We asked the librarian for a book list for middle schoolers. He handed her a copy of the most recent award winners. She's read every one of them. She balked at the list of "classics" he suggested. I talked her into reading "Olive's Ocean". It's different than the fantasy books she's used to reading but, I think it's sublime. I hope she likes it.
We looked for "Molly Moon" , "Charlie Bone" and the "Stonewycke" series but without luck. Those books must be pretty popular 'cause there wasn't a single one not already checked out.
One other thing that I thought about was some great poetry. Last night I read Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" to the kids. We talked about both the literal and figurative meanings and some of the imagery he uses.
Tonight I think we'll read Carol Lynn Pearson's poem
On Nest Building
If I may try for the sun--
Monday, July 7, 2008
This morning when I got up SUNSHINE AND SUGAR were playing Settlers of Catan (usually SUGAR is the first up to turn on the TV). TV off.
When everyone was up we had a bit of a family conference. Together we talked about a schedule for family reading and what book we'll start with, scripture reading as a family and as individuals etc. But I must say...it is very quiet without the TV.
SUNSHINE wanted to read the new book by Rick Riordan (4th in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) "The Battle of the Labyrinth". When we went to the library (the small, small town library close by) we had a rather fruitless search for specific books. I think it's been raided by the many other people who have taken on this challenge. Anyway, "The Battle of the Labyrinth" had something like 350 holds placed on it. So this afternoon I took her to Barnes and Noble (she had a gift card left from Christmas). She's been reading it all afternoon and is about half finished. She may just read 500,000 pages herself.
I began read Artimus Fowl to SUGAR, we're on chapter 4. I had no idea Artimus was a bad guy, crazy, I thought with a name like Artimus he'd be a mentor good-guy type. Oh well.
We read Ruth from the New Testament after dinnner together.
Tomorrow we go into the "BIG CITY" to visit the library there. Hopefully we'll have more success.
Friday, July 4, 2008
She's had a great season. Her hitting has become awesome and she's turned into a fantastic defensive player. With this All Star team she had an opportunity to play a couple of positions she's not played before and it has given her a much deeper understanding of the strategy and complexity of the game.
And with that we can now move into a lazy summer.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
SUNSHINE'S is still going strong.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
6 girls showed up for try-out. Our league attempted to combine with another but the other league had not completed to correct paperwork early in the season and as far as Little League was concerned they did not exist. Calls were made to try to get more girls to come out without success. So no team.
8 girls showed up for try-out. Calls were made and a team of 10 was formed. Later two more girls came out to play. The tournament started last night (double elimination) She hit two amazing doubles, played catcher and second base. They lost 14-15. They play again tonight. If they win the tournament they will got to the state championship. If they win there they go to Tucson, AZ for the Regional tournament.
16 girls showed up for try-out. A team of 13 was formed (including SUGAR). Her first game is tonight. There is only one other team in our district so they will play the best 2 of 3 games. Because the other district in our state does not have any all star teams they are actually playing for the state championship. If they win. I'm not sure if there is a regional tournament or not. We'll wait and see.
Softball Season could be over this week or it could get really expensive (travel) and last forever.
I'm happy either way.