Saturday, November 20, 2010


Yesterday morning on the way to school, Number One Son and I were delayed by a rather long freight train carrying a load of coal eastbound across the nation.

D: "Oh, look! It's the Polar Express!"

Gonna be a lot of sad boys-n-girls.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

literary lovin'

I've been rather MIA lately. I can talk about trivialities and meaningless stuff with great loquacity, but to dig deeply and bare my soul --whether in person or on the intertubes--puts a choke chain around my throat and glues my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

A dear former student and friend of mine posted this meme on FB earlier today, then tagged me. Since it has just the right dosages of both distance and intimacy, I'm not at all bovvered with making this my first post after a Great and Enduring Silence.

The Challenge: List fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and who will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
**this is not a ranked list.**

1. A.A. Milne (the Discriminate Use of Capital Letters should have tipped you off)
2. Emily Dickinson
3. Paul the Apostle (yeah, if I were a better person I would have put him first, right, but this is off the top of my head. :p)
4. Amy L. Efaw. :)
5. Elizabeth George (the Christian devotional writer, not the romance novelist)
6. Bill Shakespeare
7. Rex Stout
8. Clive Staples Lewis
9. Beverly Cleary
10. Theodor Seuss Geisel
11. John MacArthur
12. Douglas Adams
13. J. I. Packer
14. Jane Austen
15. Jo Rowling

Monday, June 07, 2010

conspiracy afoot

I found a checklist in the laundry room (which, in fact, is just one tiny side of the garage, but it sounds more impressive to say Laundry Room like I actually have an entire room designated for cleaning clothes) -

I'm posting it here so I can let the FBI know that I'm keeping tabs on this hotbed of rebellion. Motherhood isn't for sissies. Here's the list:

___ Machine Gun

___ C-4

___ Grenades

___ Toxic gas

_X_ Rope

___ Harpoon gun

___ Dalek Sonic Screwdriver

_X_ Dress shoes

_X_ Dark socks

_X_ Blazer

_X_ Loud tie

___ Neat haircut

_X_ Skirt Dress Pants

Destroy this list!

As long as the first few items remain unchecked, I suppose I don't see anything very subversive about dark socks, dress shoes, and loud ties. However, I am a bit baffled as to the appearance of "skirt" on the list - my son never has expressed a desire to embrace his Scottish heritage by wearing the family tartan in kilt form; and he disdains the man-skirt/utility kilt fashion that I've seen around greater Seattle. He changed his mind, regardless.

I will have to keep closer tabs on the laundry, to be sure.

Friday, June 04, 2010

crazy, mixed-up kid

In others, I admire a well-turned phrase, a piquant wit, and ghastly puns. I'm pretty good with words myself, though a master by no stretch.

But so far I haven't been able to find the words to write this post. And I need to.

My dad died on May 18, 2010. There. I typed it. It was peaceful and quick, and I was not there. I was here in WA teaching piano lessons at the time when the phone call came from my mom. "It's Graduation Day!" she said. We spoke for a few minutes about I know not what, certainly details of his passing and words of comfort were exchanged, but I shut down at that point.

And I went and finished teaching for the remainder of the afternoon.
And went out to dinner.

May 18 was also my 40th birthday, and my 19th wedding anniversary. I needed to celebrate. I was obliged to celebrate, really, though I'm sure it must seem rather macabre from an outsider's perspective. We had sushi with friends - A. ate spring rolls and teriyaki...tried one Las Vegas roll, I think. He really doesn't do sushi.

With the timing of Dad's passing - so close to school year ending, A's trip to NY, and our already-scheduled trip to CA - Mom decided it would be better to wait and have a memorial service at the end of June when we can all be there.

So in many ways I've been numb and in limbo for the last, oh, whatever number of days it is now. Dealing with the grief as it comes up in unexpected ways and at unexpected times.

Last night capped it, though. Dad was an income tax preparer for many years. I was wondering about my piano business, my income taxes, and how, if at all, I was paying into Social Security and Medicare, so automatically I picked up the phone.

And realized.

So, right now, I'm just a crazy, mixed-up kid. 40 is the new 20, right?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are Christians Meant to Feel Guilty All the Time?

Are Christians Meant to Feel Guilty All the Time?

Posted using ShareThis

Thanks to Lisa for mentioning this on FB. This is where my heart and mind have been lately. If I'm in a funk about things, usually it's because I'm dwelling on my sin rather than my gracious Savior. Timely and helpful.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Because I haven't posted in a long time :)

This sums up 3/4 of our family quite nicely, thank you!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the forgetfulness of God

I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 43:25

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD.
For I will forgive their iniquity, and
I will remember their sin no more."
Jeremiah 31:34

In those days and in that time, declares the LORD,
iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none,
and sin in Judah, and none shall be found,
for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
Jeremiah 50:20

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:18-19

spring is here, a-suh-puh-ring is here.....

To borrow a line from Tom Lehrer, all the world seems in tune on a spring afternoon. (No, I did not go "poisoning pigeons in the park," but I've been humming that song all day.)

Actually had a SATURDAY today, one that counted as such - it didn't involve HAVING to run here, go there, play this, drop off that. I slept in, spent some quality time with my husband, had several cups of coffee, made bacon California roll sushi (yes indeed), weeded and edged half the rose bed (it's large), and basically enjoyed the sunshine underneath layers of 30 SPF goop.

Topping off a charming day, my friends Audra and Yulia came over with their daughters, and we sat in my backyard whilst insanity ruled among the children. We finished the day with a marshmallow roast/s'mores over A's improvised firepit: a turkey roaster purchased from the thrift store, perched on a cement block. Just plop the lid on when you're done and you're golden.

This coming week will be D's school spring break, which does not match any other school's spring break. So he'll be around for a week while most of his friends will still be in school. That' s okay though.....this means I can sleep in instead of dreading the 5:50 am alarm going off, followed by a commute on the nassssty WA167. That alone will be worth it. A. is planning a day trip or two with the kidlets (I still have lessons to teach this week) - so I will get some alone time in the house - a rare boon. I plan to use Monday to do my income taxes. (My weekends have been pretty booked up until now!) Remaining time on Monday will mean a thorough spring cleaning of the kitchen, and then some big cooking - for enjoyment, not necessity. :)

And a run, too. Still chipping away at the interval running. My right knee is occasionally talking to me with some foul language, so I'm silencing it with ibuprofen and ice; glucosamine on the odd chance that it isn't quackery; and just pressing on and exercising anyway, because it's not like it's incapacitating pain anyway. Just noticeable, and only on occasion.

I smell like firepit - a summer smell if there ever was one! - though I plan to fully enjoy this spring as a continuation of this winter. :) Make it so.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"It's up to the government to resolve this kind of problem, they must take responsibility and tell us what to do." - Gelin Wesnel, native Haitian.

Culture shock.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

it never rains in sunny...western washington?

It's a rare event, but it does happen. California is getting hammered with wet weather, while we Pac NW-ers enjoy sun and 50ยบ weather. I even went jogging on Monday to 1) get rid of Christmas indulgences and 2) get my heart back in shape.

Okay, I didn't jog non-stop. More like: walk, walk, walk, walk, jog for about half a block; recover for 5 minutes to get my breath back; jog for half a block; recover for another get the idea.

I used to run distance, really. Had to for high school sports. Hated it. Hate the floppy feeling of it all. I much prefer step aerobics, floor aerobics, cycling, or the elliptical machine - lower impact than just the pound-pound-pound of jogging. Indoor, too, so not affected by Washington weather.

However, it's sunny out, and I have a vitamin D deficiency*.
(* statement not verified by a professional. Opinion only.)

I also have an mp3 player and I know how to use it. Nothing beats a good set of tunes to keep you motivated to keep slogging along. Come on, make it to the end of the go for 64, you can do it!

Yesterday was recovery from Monday. So this means today I need to go at it again.

Baby steps.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

raindrops keep falling in my coffee

Blattery rainy weather lately. I keep thinking about the character in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish where Rob the lorry driver has kept a personal journal demonstrating that it NEVER stops raining. Never. In the book, of course, the omniscient narrator informs us this is because Rob McKenna is, in fact, a rain god, so the clouds just follow him everywhere to cherish him, be with him, and water him. Rob eventually turns this into a lucrative career, receiving payment for staying away from important outdoor events; or conversely, going where crops need to be watered.

I, however, just get bucketed every morning as I walk from house to car, clutching my mug of coffee for warmth and a gradual, timed dosing of liquid awareness. The last two mornings I've been splashed by coffee as herking raindrops plunk into the cup and displace coffee onto me. Never fear, it was not wasted.

The morning commute under such circumstances is watchful and focused. On rainy days, the 167 freeway from 7:15 - 7:45 a.m. assumes the color of the sky above it -ranging from rain-shiny slate grey to rain-shiny grey blue. The only distinguishing features are the red of the taillights, the glare of the headlights on the water, or the occasional reflector on the road. I can hardly see the lines painted on the road on days like today. A little standing water here and there helps my massage therapist have something to exclaim about when I visit. Toss in a passing semi-truck or two with the resulting washout over my car hood and I'm a mass of shoulder and neck knots.

Please note that I have no massage therapist. With all the muscle tension going on, I'm tired by the end of the commute on rainy days. It's sketchy enough on dry days; exponentially worse when the weather behaves like Western Washington's does.

I am grateful to arrive home, intact, and mostly dry after sitting in a warm car. I have faith the sun will shine again soon.

Once Rob McKenna goes away.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

the non-resolution post

Well, well, where'd the time go?! Happy Twenty-Ten!

In reading up on some other blogs I follow, the common theme seems to be "boy, I wish I had something awesome/creative/inspiring to share, but I've been too busy/boring/uninspiring over the Christmas/Advent/Hanukkah/Kwanza season that I haven't posted anything..."

So rather than add my own variation on the same theme above, I will be just as boring/uninspiring as I regularly am and not give a fig. If you're reading this, it's probably because you know me and, despite that, are fond of me in some twisted way.

We enjoyed a restful, relaxing Christmas at home. My parents were unable to travel up from California, and we were unable to travel down to them, so it was a new experience having Christmas on our own. Some empty-nester church friends invited us over for supper that day, so it wasn't too lonely for them or us.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed all the late nights and sleeping in over the holidays- plus the lighter restrictions on TV and Wii hours. :) We had to get some practice in on our new Wii games, after all: Lego Batman, Super Mario, and Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics!

Now that school is back in session, however, D is no longer able to play Wii until his grades improve. :\ By necessity, I have taken to reviewing all his homework for him and sending it back to him to make corrections. This has made for some extremely late nights of homework, and more than a few battles. I think no matter what happens, I end up being a homeschooling mom - to one during the day, to the other after supper. The 6 am rise-and-shine time this past week was brutal--doubly so on Monday after staying up until 1:15 am Sunday night/Monday AM to finish assignments that were due. Why these were not done until the very last minute is bad parenting on my part. I should have pinned him like a bug to a styrofoam board with questions about whether his homework were done or NOT. Sadly, Monday night we had a similar experience - getting math done and then, REdone. The Tuesday morning commute passed in virtual silence, D stretched out in the reclined car seat, scrabbling for 30 extra minutes of sleep as we drove the 167 freeway to school.

I don't remember much of this week except for being very tired. This morning I awoke at 8:30 and still wasn't completely rested. I can't seem to shake off late nights like I used to. No doubt it has something to do with age.

And for the record, this May will bring my 40th birthday. I am debating whether to pull out all the stops and plan a big shindig, or just let it pass and ignore it completely.

What I'm reading right now: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Vol. 1 by Manchester. I had gotten about 3/4 of the way through, but didn't clinch the deal by finishing the book, so I'm starting over. This week I did not make much headway, with the exhaustion factor playing a heavy part. My goal this year is to read one non-fiction book for every fiction book I read. A. guffawed when I mentioned this to him. Clearly, he doubts my resolve and ability to stick to this. He is probably right, but one should set goals when embarking on a new year, fresh with no mistakes in it!

What I'm pondering right now: Stewardship. I have one life, one body, (one Lord, one faith, one baptism...) - and since taking the Dave Ramsey class from September-December have been thinking in terms of credits and debits - not just with finances, but also with my time, my sleeping habits, with my eating and exercising patterns, in my personal relationships....... Stewardship. I don't truly own any part of me --or my so-called possessions. It's all the Lord's. Am I managing these things in a profitable way for my Lord, as a good steward should?

I haven't made any "resolutions" this year - I never do. But I do like a good theme to build my thoughts and plans and life around. Sometimes a theme takes me several years to explore fully. This idea of stewardship should keep me suitably occupied for the rest of my earthly existence. I will be updating my personal mission statement sometime "soon" (my weasel word-of-choice that gives me all the procrastination time necessary) to reflect the idea of Stewardship. If you have thoughts, wisdom, insight, and scripture to share, I will add it to my notebook.

And with that, it's now 9:33 p.m. and I have church bulletins to print. Stewardship in action!