Monday, July 28, 2008


So, do you remember that infection I had a couple of months back I was complaining about? Well, poor Hannah's got the same thing on her leg, and Harry's fighting one off, too. What's it with these super germs, and how do we get rid of them?!?

Meredith's old bedroom is transforming into our new guest bedroom and study. The paint is just about finished - I have to take a fine brush after a few sections of trim and go over places where the old red paint still shows. It's now the color of a new clay pot - maybe just a touch lighter. And light it is! The room is so much more open and light. The red, although it was M's style when she was going through her medieval European castle stage, never truly suited the north facing room. I'll post pictures when I have the room completed. (or maybe not. Ken and DJ will be our first guests in the newly redecorated room in mid-August, and it would make a nice surprise.)

Homeschool Activity Fair is two days away. I think I'm ready - I just have a bit of printing to do and some organizing of paperwork. I'm not sweating it. It will go how it goes, and someone else will do it (or not) next time.


Friday, July 25, 2008


Found this entry on an old blog of mine. Thought it was good enough for a repost:
Have you ever read the book of Jeremiah? I don't mean " have you ever looked up some verses in Jeremiah in a Bible study, or hurried through him so you could check Jeremiah off from your Bible-in-a-year reading list." Have you ever picked up Jeremiah and read his words outloud - slowly - lectio devino ( is that spelled right?) style? After studying the weeping prophet as depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, I decided to try and listen to what God was saying through him, and what he was tring to to express himeslf to the people of Isreal - and just maybe to us today.

It's powerful stuff - as bad as Ecclesiastes in it's own way. He makes my boughts of blackness seem positively sunshine filled. Now a days we would tackle him, hold him down and shoot him full with psychotrophic drugs.
What do we teach our kids about how Christianity works?

" If you're happy and you know it, Clap your hands! ( clap, clap - Jeremy you're not clapping...)
If you're happy and you know it, CLAP YOUR HANDS!!( clap, clap - JEREMY clap, please...)
If you're HAPPY and ya know it, then your face will surely show it! ( See me smiling, Jeremy? If you believe in God, and are a good Christian, you need to clap and smile, JEREMY!)
If you're happy and ya know it, clap your hands! (oh, I GIVE UP, just sit there with your scowl and end up in Hell, see if I care...)"

No wonder kids fall away from the Church when they reach the teen years. They are told their confusion and moodyness is an indication of unbelief. maybe not outloud, but that is what they hear.

Have a nice day, all you happy Christians. I'm going to hang out here with moody ol' Jeremiah. He and I are going to be friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I find this interesting.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Northeast
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

too much people

On Sunday, the guest minister at our Church explained that he was an introvert. He is exactly the same sort of introvert that I am, by his description.

In volunteering to be a runner for the World Changer's Springfield mission week, I have spent two long days in a pick-up truck driving circles around Springfield with a lovely lady that is a fully gregarious extrovert - and who just loves to hear herself talk. Then, as we made stops at our assigned work crew sites we'd chat to more folks, and team leaders would call me on the phone and ask for items to be fetched and delivered. We didn't have ANY down time in two days. We made 1/2 hour each day - under protest from our needy crews- to eat lunch. She talked through lunch.

I got home tonight and one of my very best friends stopped by - to talk. My kid wants to chat while I'm starting dinner ( she sat home all day and did nothing...) and my older kid, husband, and pets all need attending.

Then, there's calls and EMails about homeschool fair.

Finally, Finally everyone gets from me what he or she needs.

I am empty - poured out to those that needed me today -and too full of those very same people. I must find some silence and space. I will sit here and eat oreos, and contemplate Mme. Julie Recamier (by David) and The Astronomer ( by Johannes Vermeer) and try to regain my balance so I can do it again tomorrow.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Whoop-te-do for us

They opened a THIRD Wal-Mart in our town of 120,000 this week. We also have a Meijer and a Super Target. They made a big whoo-ha about the new Wally-World being 'green!'. Golly-gee, it's got LED lighting, recycled content in the flooring, sustainable resource wood in the cabinetry, and - drumroll please - solar panels!

They paved a farm field, and a couple of acres of wooded scrub to put up this thing, and the out-lots knocked down several more acres of trees. They built this in a previously undeveloped section of the area just outside the city limits, when we have two or three former commercial zones moldering into urban decay within just a few miles of there. I would almost have welcomed a Wal-Mart at McArthur and Outer Park Drive - for instance (a reference for my local readers.)

I detest Wal-Mart. I go there as seldom as possible, and buy as little as I can get away with. That machine is America's least common denominator. Harry will laugh at this because he knows I don't mind Sam's Club as much - and they're twin siblings. Sam's has great meat, fresh fruits, frozen foods, OTC meds, laundry and house cleaning supplies, and bakery goods that save a great deal more than the $35.00 buck a year fee. As you can see I'm still a total Capitalist, and inconsistent in my opinions.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I have no patience

The sale on my mom's house fell through ....AGAIN

The guy that's taking care of the estate gave back the earnest money....AGAIN

We're back to square one....AGAIN

He says he might have another buyer, but at yet another lower price....AGAIN

I'm flippin' sick of not being able to close the door on this whole stinkin' situation.....STILL

Thank God For A.C. and other random stuff

It's that time of year again. When the heat and humidity gang up on Central Illinois in such a way that being outside feels like punishment. Yesterday I put a sleeping bag out on the deck to air, and I had to run it through the drier to get the moisture out of if when I brought it in before I rolled it. I'm still patting myself on the back for insisting on this geo-thermal unit way back when we built this place. Kick the thermastat down and bring up some of Earth's luscious coolness from 165 feet below.

We're repainting Hannah's lair this week. Five years ago we surprised her by redoing her baby pink room into something more adolescent while she was away at camp. It's time for another change from the blochy berry and denim colors to a cool green and rich cream. I'd like to have the whole main floor repainted - it hasn't been done since we moved in - but due to many puzzle pieces that don't fit, that ain't happening real soon. **sigh** I need to repair and paint the studio walls, also. Good thing it is nice and cool down there...

Homeschool Activity Fair in two weeks from today. I'm on my third day of agressive pinning down of my presenters. That's the worst part of this whole gig. Why should I have to beg people to get their crap together, when this is for their benefit? It's not me who's making money here, it's them. Yup, this is my last year doing this, alrightee.

9:46 AM... H Girl is still in bed. I've been in her room three times since 8:20 to tell her to get motivated. Time to get cranky.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Funny thing is that while I was gone, I kept thinking of eloquent things I wished to write down someplace. Now... I got nuthin'. The Pow wow was good. It was steaming hot, there were biting flies and nasty no-see-ums, it poured rain the last night, I felt wonky, and a friend fell in the mud and shattered her wrist - but it was still good. Hannah had fun, and after some encouragement found some kids to run about with that didn't seem like hoodlums. The hotel was close enough for cooling off mid-afternoon. We didn't overspend our budget too much. We saw a lot of old friends we don't get to see much, and had a few laughs.

I took a few pictures of Meredith working at the squatter's studio. Lucky worshippers at RCC might get to see these Jerusalem sky line paintings if they get finished. I get the impression that Meredith works up there more than the professional guys that are supposed to be making their living at this. Slackers.
Don't expect much posting for a while except if I happen to be awake in the middle of the night - like I am now. I'm multi-tasking several projects and making up for those times I take unscheduled vacation days.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Today we're leaving for the once-every-three years event called National Pow Wow. It's at a county fair grounds outside of the sputtering city of Danville Illinois. We're lucky to live near because there will be Pow Wow people there from as far away as New England, Texas, The Carolinas, The Dakotas, and the Golf Coast. Pending people who can't make it because of the current gas prices, there should be about 300-400 dancers there. It started last night, and goes until Sunday. Last time, in '05, we were part of the staff, so we spent the entire week over there. This year since we learned our lesson we aren't part of the staff and we'll leave tonight and come back on Sunday.

Here's a picture of Harry carrying the American flag in '05. I don't remember which session this was for since a different veteran carries it every time.

Here's Hannah on the right. Isn't she the cutest lil thing? She tells me that at the end of the last NPW she remembers thinking that she'd be 'almost 15' at the next National, and that seemed impossible. Surprise! Although 14 2/3 is more accurate.

I'm a little sore from a back problem I acquired on our last trip. Keep me in your prayers. I'll likely have to see a physician for this when we get back, and most of you know how much I dread that.


Monday, July 7, 2008

An Exciting Day

Today Hannah rode a horse for the first time. It was a good experience. We visited the ranch of some homeschooling friends. Ben - the young man in the photo- homeschools because public school used to interfere with his rodeos. He is a champion calf roper and team roper. I think the team still ropes calves, but not being a rodeo person I'm not completely sure about any of this. Ben has won every saddle he owns - two already this summer alone - and has a showcase full of obnoxious prize belt buckles. Their home is a lovely turn of the 20th century farm house they have lovingly continued to restore since they purchased it 10 years ago partially done. They own about 15 horses. The ones that were ridden today by the kids were the 'pet' horses. The rodeo horses are kept in a different pasture like elite athletes. The horse Hannah rode is the easiest rider they have. In fact she would have liked a little more umph under the rump after a while since this horse was pretty much stuck in 'mosey' and liked to stop and eat grass every time Hannah's attention wandered. We've been invited back to ride again and to watch Ben do some 'roping' later in the summer. Maybe I'll ride then, but today I'm having back trouble so it would have been a very bad idea.

In other news, Hannah had her braces removed today. I didn't get a picture, since she looked a little 'post-horse riding' and would have been reluctant to pose for a close-up. She had a big wad of bubblegum in her face about 3.5 seconds after the dentist had finished removing the glue. Stay Tuned, I'll get a picture of that new smile soon.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

Monday at 6am M Girl leaves for Atlanta for her first official business trip with her company. In spite of all of the ways she manages to worry me, I'm very proud of her.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pictures Revealed

In the sculpture garden, outside the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis , in one of the shrubbery 'rooms' there is a large display of hedges interspersed with glass panels of varying opacity. Some of them are nearly mirrors - like the one here on the left. Some like the one in the right photo are nearly transparent. Some of them have other effects. The one in the background in the right photo, which really is through the glass, had an interiour grid that made it almost opaque unless you were moving and then you could see jerky images beyond the glass through cunningly spaced slots. It was a fun piece of work. People reacted to it in varying ways from wondering where the sculpture was in this area to my idea to use it for a bit of fanciful photography.
The Walker Gallery its self convinced me that I should just give up on Contemporary Art museums. Those I have visited so far in this art voyage have been a vast disappointment. After a short while wandering around their stark white interiours gazing at the seemingly random weirdness that seems to be avant guard for the last 25 years I start getting snarky, then I forget to be quiet, then I get in trouble with the guards.
Visualize, if you will - You walk into yet another huge white room. The size is about 30 x 30 with 20 ft. ceilings. The walls and ceiling are an unrelieved bright white. The floor is of a white, slightly speckled commercial tile, and the lighting is glaring. On the far wall is a very large pink X - nothing more. In the corners are squares made of gray bungee cords that cast slightly interesting shadows (yawn) and on another wall is a massive white canvas that is covered with dark gray scratchy lines and reddish blotches. In the center of the room sits a blobby 'sculpture' about three feet tall that looks like an over sized child's play-dough creation with a few wires stuck in for fun. The room also contains one excruciatingly bored museum guard. Get. Me. Outta. Here.
So, if you are ever in Minneapolis - the free Sculpture Garden rocks. The adjoining art museum can be skipped.
Cheer! ~M.E.


" Many hold political or religious opinions not because they have examined them or have any reason to believe they are true, but just because they like the associations."

I randomly came across this quote in a book I picked up this morning. I don't even always agree with the author - but his observations often cut through a lot of fog. We discussed this some in our book study of world religions. Many religions have such gaping flaws in their belief systems that one is left wondering how they have any adherents. It must because people like the associations they have when they are part of the group.

Often during my recent studies I have wondered why the young-earth Creationist beliefs are still prospering in our modern scientific culture. Clearly YE 'scientists' do their science backwards with an agenda of proving something they want to be true, sift evidence for the few crumbs that might be construed to support the position they hold, and are generally thought fools by the greater scientific community when - very sadly - this doesn't have to be the case and Christians do not have to compromise to find that the Bible and God's natural creation can be found in a high state of agreement.

I have several clues to why this happens; one being that since Darwin, Christians have come to distrust science so have come to trust and believe in many things that are bad ideas scientifically because they are postulated by Holy Men. Another is this one - we like to associate with these people, so we'd better just buy into what they are selling. A third is because God isn't supposed to change so we don't like to have to re-examine our faith beliefs when new data comes around - if it was "good for the Hebrew Children, it's good enough for me!" Many new things (ideas) are bad, so anything new could be bad, so lets just not let anything new polute us.

I heartily recommend David Snoke's "A Biblical Case for an Old Earth". It is clear, well researched and he builds good arguements for his views - including those places where I still disagree with him. I have one more book to read. This one is from a pure scientific viewpoint on the most recent thoughts on the age of the universe and of the earth.

More on Minneapolis follows... ~M.E.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

City Ghosts

I just started working on my pictures. This one is my favorite so far. Any guesses on how this image was accomplished? ~M.E.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The picture some of you have been waiting for...

At least DJ and Walt, that is. This is Jerry and Lynne St. Croix along with Harry and me. Lynne is a cousin on my mom's side of the family. I haven't seen her since Meredith was a babe. She doesn't even remember that visit. She and I starting talking after Ruth died. Sometimes good can come out of the worst situations. They live about 30 minutes north of Minneapolis. We had a fun but short visit. The first of a hopefully long relationship.


A Date with Twins

This is the photograph one must capture - or so I am told - to prove you have indeed visited Minneapolis. I heard about the big spoon w/ cherry before I left home, and again as I was digging for my camera a local was advising her tourist friend of the same thing.

This is the picture I have chosen to represent St. Paul - the smaller but no less sweet twin. The weather has been stunning while we were here. The museums and other places we visited were not very busy and the people were generally polite and even the 'rush hours' on the freeways were not long or difficult. Twins fans at the baseball were even polite and tolerant of the visiting tiger fans. It was sort of like the cities were on their best behaviour for our first date. It's time for us to go home before I fall in love.

We return to Goldenwood tomorrow. More pictures after I can get to the main computer - and my photo programs so I can make them look spiffy.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

random from Minnesota

~We're in St. Paul MN where Harry has business. Hannah and I tagged along

~ I have a cousin who lives here I haven't seen in over 20 years.

~ We went to the Twins/Tigers game last night. Tigers won. Harry's happy (being originally a Michiganian - and always a faithful man.)

~ Hannah is sick. She missed the game. I'm glad she's 14. Any younger and I'd have had to miss the game, too. There are advantages to be had when kids are older.

~ St. Paul has a rocking arboretum. We went there yesterday afternoon.

~I hope today goes as planned. Hannah seems a bit better this am, but maybe not better enough to go on with the major plans. may have to change them some.

cheers! ~M.E.