Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Youngest

Last night El had the chance to babysit.

She is my baby - eight and one half years younger than her eldest sister; two and one half years younger than her closest sister.

She's the baby.  And I think we've done her a disservice by treating her like the baby.  We didn't encourage her to do for herself as we did the other two.  We tied her shoes and cleaned up behind her because it was easier and faster than taking the time to let her do it herself.

Last night she showed me that she isn't scarred by this pampering.

She is very good with little children.  She sat for hours playing blocks with a 3 year old.  She knew that I was here for emergencies, but that the job was hers.

I am a proud mom.

And while this little guy reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright:

this one was more like Godzilla when it came to the construction and design process.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Mother of Invention

The girls are playing one of their favorite games.  We've had it a long time.  Can you tell what game it is?
 Here's a close-up of the board:
 That's right!  It's Clue.  We've had it so long that we've lost several of the playing pieces.

So they have scrounged around the house to find substitutes.  I believe this sword (that is standing in for the knife) once belonged to an action figure of Aragorn, son of Arathorn.  Looks like it's being wielded by Mrs. White in the dining room.
Standing in for Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum in the Lounge are yellow and purple erasers.  Mr. Green is also represented by an eraser somewhere else on the board.
When you don't have what you need, sometimes you use what you have...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spanish Art

Today we spent much of the day at Castillo de St. Marcos in St. Augustine.  It was built by the Spanish from 1672 to 1695.

The Spanish turn everything into a work of art.
This sword hilt is beautiful.

 The towers in the corners of the bastions are so graceful to look at.  (Mr. H isn't bad, either, but he's not Spanish.)
 Look at the detail on this mortar.
 You wonder about putting this much creativity on something built for destruction.
They even have names engraved on them.
 In an otherwise uniform curtain wall, the entrance to the Chapel of St. Mark is very distinctive.
What a beautiful piece of history.

Just imagine if we put the same attention to detail into everything we did.  What if we tried to make everything we created a thing of beauty?  Something to strive for, isn't it?

Gear Is Good

Mr. H and I started off on our anniversary (31 years ago, we went on our first date) trip yesterday morning after we dropped the girls off at school.  After the, at times, torrential rains of Monday and Tuesday, the weather was gorgeous, but cold. If you know me at all, you know that I really do not like being cold.  There is a heater under my desk, a spare shawl in my office, and I'm the only one comfortable if the A/C goes out.

Nevertheless, I was game for the trip.  Last winter Mr. H got me a HiVis yellow riding jacket that has a thermal liner.  My riding pants have 2 liners: one is quilted, the other is water/wind proof.  So I layered-up:  an undershirt, a long-sleeved T-shirt, a turtleneck sweater, and a microfleece jacket under the riding jacket, then leggings and fleece pajama pants under the riding pants.  

Yes, I looked and felt like Ralphie's little brother.  Mr. H made a comment while I was getting dressed about how much he loved me because "a lot of women wouldn't wear all that stuff because they would be afraid it would make them look fat."  I smiled.  That's why I have him and they don't!

The temperature was in the 40's as we started off. (Mr. H's bike has a thermometer on the dash). It stayed around 47 for QUITE some time.  I had started off wearing a pair of Harley Davidson thermal liner gloves (my only Harley appearal) under my winter riding gloves.  They are rather like sweaters for your fingers.  When we made our first stop, I couldn't get my helmet off because my fingers were so cold.  They did seem to warm up as soon as I took my gloves off.  For the next leg of the trip, I left off the liners.  The winter gloves are really too big for me so I was able, occasionally to pull my fingers out of the fingers and make a fist in the palm part of the glove to warm them up, then slip them back into the finger spots.  I can't wear these gloves when I ride my own bike.  Loose gloves can be dangerous when operating the controls.  But they were fine with me riding pillion.

The highlight of my day came late in the day, about a half hour west of Jacksonville.  We pulled into a rest area so Mr. H could un-cramp his wrist before we got into rush hour traffic.  We nodded to a policeman walking back to his car and pulled into a parking place about 4 spaces from the police car.  I waited for Mr. H to shut off the engine, then unplugged the com cord.  I stood up on the pegs and swung my leg over....well, that was my intention anyway.  My foot caught on the back rest and I knew I was going down.

Two thoughts passed through my head almost at the same time.  1.  Catching that curb with the middle of my back is going to HURT! and 2.  I hope I don't drag Mr. H AND the bike down on top of me, because that would hurt even more.

Then I hit the pavement.

But I was wearing so much gear that I didn't even feel it!  I started laughing and Mr. H just looked at me wondering what was wrong.  I managed to open the visor so he could see my face and know I was okay.  However, remember I looked like Ralphie's little brother?  Do you remember the line from the movie?  "Randy lay there like a slug!"  I know exactly how Randy felt.  He couldn't move because he couldn't bend any limbs.  Mr. H had to give me a hand up.  And remember the policeman we saw on the way in?  He came over to see if all was well.  I know he must have thought I was intoxicated!  He inquired as to my wellbeing and then asked where we were headed.  Mr. H was quick to give him an answer and then asked the best way to get there, road conditions, traffic, that kind of stuff.  The officer was very helpful, telling us which lanes tend to back up and what to watch for.  Pretty soon we were back on the road and shortly arrived at our destination.

Today is a walking day, so I won't need any riding gear, but boy! am I glad I have it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

This year, Thanksgiving was very low stress for me.  We went to eat at Mr. H's Mom's house and she did most of the cooking.  In fact, if we had brought absolutely nothing, there would have still been too much food.  Our 2 oldest girls each made a pie to take:  the eldest made apple and Em made pecan, even though she doesn't LIKE pecan pie, she didn't want her older sister to get all the pie-making glory.

It was a beautiful warm day.  The camellia bushes were loaded with buds, but only 2 had opened.
 We sat out on the back porch after lunch.
 This little guy came over to see what we were doing.

We watched football and ate snacks later.  Can you tell what color skittles no one likes in our family?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Toy

I got a new toy!!

Actually, I should say "we" got a new toy, because it's a joint, early Christmas present for Mr. H and I.
It's a Canon Rebel T1i.
And I've been experimenting...
Mrs. Jones

I know, I know... I have lots of pictures of cats, but they are always available models.
 Mr. H is always a good model, too.
I love this view from my backyard.  I probably have quite a few pictures very similar to this.

 For some reason, I find this very appealing.

 My mom gave me this for my birthday a few years ago.  It's hanging on my front porch.

 I was experimenting with motion settings here.  

 These 2 sit on top of my monitor at work.

 I like the effect of the sun through the tree.
 I know, more cats:  real and wooden.
 One of my favorite spots on the planet.

 Up close and personal with moss on the tree.
 Yes, another cat picture.
Yes, I like taking pictures of trees, too.

Well, that's a small (very small!) sample of our experiments so far.  Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

End of Day . . . Homeward Bound

Behind me, the full moon has risen.  There is a high, thin layer of clouds that has captured her reflected light and transformed itself into a pale, bright veil around her.

Ahead of me, the sky still bears the afterglow of sunset:  crimson fading up through gold and lavender into deep indigo.  Trees on the distant horizon are like black lace stretched at the bottom of the sky. 

Closer to the dark road, light glows from the windows of otherwise invisible homes. 

Soon ...
        very soon ...
                       there will be light shining from my own windows.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Warm Memory

This morning I was taking a pan of muffins out of the oven.  I set them on top of the stove and started to close the oven door.  I changed my mind and just left it open for a bit, letting the oven pour its heat out into the kitchen.  I backed up to the open door and let the heat rise up my back.  I would be hard pressed to find anything else that feels that good!

It reminded me of winters when I was growing up.  We had a floor furnace in our house.  Don't feel bad if you have no idea what that is.  I just explained it to El.  In the hallway of the bedroom end of the house, there was a metal grate in the floor.  Below that grate was a big heater.  And the grate got hot when the furnace was going.  I remember winter nights (and mornings) standing above the furnace (careful not to stand ON the furnace) in a long night gown.  The warm air would billow up the gown, ballooning it out, surrounding me with warmth.  On cold nights, it gave me a head start on warming up the bed.

When our eldest was young, we lived in a mobile home with floor vents.  I taught her the joy of standing over the vent in a long gown, too.
I can understand why floor furnaces were replaced with other heat sources.  The little boy who lived across the street from me all those years ago had a grid-pattern scar on this chest and stomach from a fall onto the hot metal.  I never thought about how dangerous my position above the furnace was until I saw what could happen if one got careless.

Friday, October 29, 2010

His Presence

This morning, I read Psalm 26, where I found this in verse 8:  I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where Your glorious presence dwells.

It reminds me that "the sanctuary" or the temple is no longer a fixed point of architecture.  Today that sanctuary is where ever the believer is.  WE are the sanctuary.  WE are where the Spirit of the Lord dwells.

A few weeks ago, a team from our church went to Peru.  On that Wednesday night, the team in Peru and the church in Agricola had a Skype conversation.  We were able to see and hear each other and ask questions and get a feel for what they were doing.  I remember Mark saying that the place felt cold, not from the temperature, but from the spiritual darkness.  The message of Christ had never been there.

Last weekend was Praise in the Park in Lucedale.  Mr. H and I took our beach chairs and found a place on the hill.  As I looked out on the crowd, I recalled what Mark had said and realized that this was just the opposite.  These thousands had come with one purpose and that was to Praise the Lord.  The presence of His Spirit was tangible.  It made you look around, expecting to catch a glimpse of His back.

That's what happens when people who love the Lord come together.   Our churches should feel the same way.  There should be that expectation of' something wonderful is going to happen!'   It's up to us as the sanctuary to lead the way.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pre-Dawn Coffee

This morning before light, I took my coffee out on the front porch.  I haven't done that in a while.  It was not too cool for just a long sleeve T-shirt.  I sat on the swing and looked out over the yard. The moon was exceptionally bright in the back yard, casting a very distinct shadow of the house into the front yard.  It was pretty low in the sky because the shadows were pretty long.

There are not a great number of trees within our neighborhood.  At one time it was a 100 acre pasture.  This morning the yards of our neighbors all had a thin layer of fog hovering just above the ground.  I wonder if I had been on one of their porches, if I would have seen the same in my yard.

It's always amazed me how noisy it is outside in the dark before the sun comes up.  I counted at least 7 individual rooster voices.  There may have been more, but loud sounds tend to echo around here and these guys are loud.  They provide a non-stop soundtrack for the pre-dawn hour.  And somewhere in the vicinity is a large pack of dogs.  I've always wondered if all that barking in the dark was actual communication (like that scene in 101 Dalmations when the dogs are putting out the alert for the missing puppies) or just the irrisistable urge to make noise.

Amid all that screeching and barking, there was a much mellower sound:  an owl.  I have no idea where this bird was located, but its "Hoo-hoo-hoo Hooooo" was a nice change from the frantic emanations of the canine and fowl variety.

The sun will be up soon.  Already, I can see a lacy pattern beginning to form through the leaves of the pecan tree outside our front door.  The sun is brightening the sky behind it.  The dogs and roosters and that owl will be drowned out by the light.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Treasure Chest

We were looking for furnishings for the eldest to take back to school for her new house.  I missed out on a great buy at a yard sale, but it did make me think about coffee tables.  At one time in our early married life we used a foot locker made by Mr. H's dad many, many years ago.  

Yes, we still have it, and yes, our eldest wants to use it.

So we found it out in the storage shed and brought it in.

And it was full of treasure!

There is a copy of The Reflector dated November 3, 1980, just after MSU defeated Alabama.  The little football on top is from Homecoming that same year.  Right there together, you have the Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.  USM beat us at homecoming 42 - 14 that year.  (The Maroon Band, however, was AWESOME at halftime!)  That was the last game MSU lost that season.  We went on to beat the Bear 6 - 3 in one of the most amazing football games I have ever witnessed.

The other 2 objects are evidence of how the world has changed in the past 30 years.  When we registered for classes, we looked through the catalog, picked our classes and signed up accordingly.  I'm not sure that there is such a publication any longer.

And the real prize is the Radio Shack pong game!  You could play tennis, hockey, or squash.  The angle, ball speed and bat size each had 2 options.  The 2 sliders  moved the paddles up and down.  That was it:  no sideways, no diagonal.  But ground-breaking for its time.

Definitely a treasure box.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Is It Wrong to Lie to the Printer? (or How to Print a 6 3/4 Envelope)

Technology is a fickle thing.

When it works the way you expect, it's wonderful.

When it refuses, there are few things as frustrating.

That's where I was on Thursday:  frustrated.

For the past several years, we have had a Building Fund Pledge drive at our church.  We have printed envelopes with places to record what's actually in the envelope and any additional pledge for the upcoming 12 months.  We have used #10 envelopes for that. (definition from officeguide:   A #10 envelope is 4-1/8" x 9-1/2". It is the most common business envelope size and is commonly used for standard 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of paper.)  I have set up all the information on a Publisher file and just run them through my hp printer.  Not a big deal and no need to pay a printer.   The problem with them is that they are so much bigger than our regular giving envelopes. They just don't fit into the filing system that I use.  I decided this year to make a change.

A 6 3/4 envelope is smaller:  3 5/8 X 6 1/2 inches.  (Why it's called a 6 3/4, I don't know)  It fits into my office better.  So, I went in to the Publisher file and adjusted the document size and scaled down the text boxes, made sure everything that needed to be there was still there and was ready to print.  I didn't want to waste any of the envelopes themselves, so I cut some used paper the correct size, drew a flap on the back so I'd know how to load the real things, and ran them through the printer.

What I got was the center of my text box printed across the narrow end of the sheet.  There was no way to change the orientation and I discovered that the 6 3/4 envelope is NOT supported by my driver.  RATS!!

I decided to research the problem and discovered that this envelope size, while fairly common, is not listed on many printers.  One forum gave me a hint, though.  Don't try to force it to use this envelope.  Start with something it will use and then position your information so that even though the screen doesn't look like your end product, the actual end product is what you want.

I tried it.  I told it I was using a larger envelope size it recognized and moved the text box all the way to the right edge.  Almost perfect.  I flipped the box upside down and reoriented the paper that was standing in for the envelopes to flaps on the right.  Perfect!!!

So now, as a church lady, I am faced with a dilemma:  I can tell lies to my printer to get exactly what I want or I can go back to the larger envelopes.  Is it wrong to lie to the printer?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


It seems lately that I've been consumed by several things.

But those things are just about done.

I've been making Spanish skirts for some of the girls in the pit to wear for the "Images of Spain" halftime show.  The skirts are all done, with the exception of the elastic being permanently adjusted.  I can't seem to catch up with those 2.  I had some fabric left over from each skirt, so I started thinking about what to do with it.  (I hate stuff going to waste.)  Realizing that I neglected to put pockets in the skirts, I felt that providing something to carry a wallet, phone and keys in might be helpful.  Here's my solution:
 They are backpack bags made to match each skirt.  Since the girls will be wearing black shirts, I made the straps out of black ribbon.  They'll still have free hands to get all their equipment into the stadium, and won't have to worry about dropping anything.  I made the yellow, blue and green skirts.  The grandmother of sisters made the orange and red skirts.  I got them to bring me their leftovers!

Em had a friend come home with her after the band yard sale today.  They made cupcakes for their Sunday School class.  They saw this idea and went with it.  The eyes are miniature chocolate chips and the mouth is made with the same canned icing that the cupcakes are iced with.  We added red food coloring and, since it was too runny to stay in a shape, we added powdered sugar.  We put the ingredients in a sandwich bag, squished it up and cut a tiny whole in one corner.  Then, all you have to do is squeeze it out into whatever design you want.

The goofy face was an accident.  Once they realized that perfection wasn't required, they got creative!
Em made the vampire.

It's been a long week, with our revival most of the week and opening the new building for Sunday School tomorrow.  This evening was fun and I finished up several projects.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pictures from the New Building

Here are pictures from the new building.  This first one is of the children's reception area looking through 2 windows out onto Main Street.

These next pictures are from some of the classrooms.  This one with yellow/orange walls will be the home of our 6th graders.  There are 10 of those bean bag chairs in this room.  
Then there's this wild zebra, purple and green room.  Actually, an adult class will be meeting here on Sunday mornings, but on Wednesday nights, the GA's will LOVE this place!!!
The preschoolers have some awesome spaces to hang out in, too.  Every wall in the preschool area has cool stuff to do and cool stuff to look at.
This room is where I'll be on Sunday mornings.  It is going to be the class called Agricola Kids.  It is here especially for kids with special needs.   As far as I know, we'll be the first class of this kind in George County.
Below is a shot looking out from the stage in the children's worship theater.  It is currently set up for revival mid-day services next week.  Tables and chairs on the hard floor in the back and just rows of chairs up front on the carpet.
Here's part of the stage set-up in the worship theater. 
 To the left of the tall table and stools... this great red couch.

I can't wait to see the first FX (Family eXperience) Production!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tylenol Packaging

This afternoon, I opened a new package of Tylenol.  After opening the glued ends of the box, I unwrapped the clear shrink-wrap around the neck of the bottle and the lid.  Then I opened the cap of the bottle and removed the seal over the opening.  Three layers of tamper resistance.........

It made me think about the reason for all those barriers between me and the pain reliever inside.

If you are younger than, say 35 years of age, you've probably never seen any kind of medication or even food items without at least one of those tamper-proof lines of defense.  Ketchup and mustard have the clear wrap to keep you from opening the bottle in the store, and then when you get it home and take that off, you still have to unscrew the cap to remove the seal under the cap.

It hasn't always been that way.

In 1982, the way we think about the products we ingest changed forever.

The Tylenol Tampering Murders is a link to a lengthy accounting of the events surrounding the Tylenol case, complete with the stories of the victims, police investigation, and Johnson & Johnson reaction.

I remember the way the Johnson and Johnson Company handled it. Not the details, of course, but the big picture.  They didn't wait to see what they would be required to do.  They did the right thing.   They recalled EVERYTHING and stopped production to see what could have happened on their end.  That had never been done before.  If you haven't looked at the above link yet, you can read a brief synopsis of the company's actions here.   The fact that you can still buy Tylenol (and trust its safety) almost 30 years later is a testament to the decisions made in a horrifying time of crisis.  Their response was based on the company's credo, written in 1943, way before mission statements became popular.  Here's the first sentence:
We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.
Isn't this the way we would want to be remembered in a crisis?  Not that we obeyed the letter of law, but that we responded in a way that was the most beneficial to those who were at risk.  That our first responsibility is to those that trust us.

There is a lesson here.  Let's not forget it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

After School Snack

It's 9:00 a.m. and I'm starting an after school snack for the girls.

They are both bringing home a friend from school today.  Em and her friend are both in the band, so they have to be at school shortly after 5 to load the bus and trailer and do whatever it is that bands do to get ready.  (It's a trade secret:  you have to be in the band to know that kind of stuff!)  El and her friend are in the Middle School band, but tonight are just spectators for the High School game.  Both friends are coming with us specifically for the youth group bowling after the game.  (I love church activities that attract friends!)

But since we will be leaving the house before a chance for supper, there will be a substantial snack consumed beforehand.  Band kids typically get the 3rd quarter off, but when the game doesn't start until 7:30, 3rd quarter can be WA-A-AY past a normal supper-time.

So here we are at the after school snack preparation.  (You thought I forgot where I was going, didn't you!)

 Home-made bread!

After a long hiatus, last week I made my first attempt in quite some time.  It was acceptable.  That's about all I can say.
However ........... I assessed the results and made a few changes:  less flour, different rising schedule, more my intuition and less specifically following directions.

I've made notes in my cookbook, too.  Makes me feel rather like the "Half-Blood Prince."  For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Harry Potter, here's a VERY BRIEF explanation from wikipedia:
Harry discovers that the previous owner of his Potions textbook, the "Half-Blood Prince", has annotated the book with refinements that allow Harry to excel in class.
 We'll see how much excelling is going on in an hour or so...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Sound of Summer

There is a sound that I associate with growing up in Mississippi.

It's the throbbing buzz of unseen cicadas.

I have loved this sound for as long as I can remember.

I walked out to put mail in the box this morning at church.  Standing at the mailbox looking across the road, the view is what you see above.

Resonating from the shade of these trees is a chorus of cicadas.  I really didn't want to come back inside

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Wind-Up

Every morning, I turn left out of our lane.  Just up the hill is a driveway.  Lounging in this driveway and spilling out into the road are 3 dogs.  Two of these dogs appear to be siblings.   Apart from their coloring (one has darker fur on its back and sides than the other) they look remarkably alike.  They also look remarkably like Luci.  Luci was given to our eldest daughter for her first birthday by a very old friend of Mr. H's.  From the time she was about 2 years old, Luci was a constant bedtime companion.  Luci went to camp several times, but a head lice outbreak forced Luci (and every other article brought by every single girl in attendance that week) to take a spin through a commercial washing machine.  Luci stayed safely home on the bed for subsequent camps.

Hmmmm....where was I?  Oh, yes.  Two of the dogs look like live versions of Luci.  The 3rd dog looks like a white shepherd.  It's the 3rd dog that performs a trick that amuses me.  This dog is usually in the road when it sees a car coming.  It takes a few steps back up the driveway, then it turns back to face the  road.  Here's the amusing part:  now that it is facing the road, it reverses several more steps up the driveway, then launches itself towards the road.  It reminds me of one of those little wind-up cars that you pull backwards to wind up, then let go to zoom across the floor.

This dog must not wind up enough, because it doesn't zoom very far.  Or maybe he zooms just far enough ... just to the end of the driveway.  I guess this is a smart wind-up dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thoughts While Mowing the Grass

I listen to my mp3 player while mowing the grass.

I usually put it on shuffle and just let come what may.  I discovered several things today:

~When an accompaniment track comes on (that I have put on there to practice while I'm in the car) I am really happy that no one can hear me over the noise of the lawnmower.  I wear ear protection over the ear buds because I want to preserve my hearing.  That also means that I can't hear what's coming out of my mouth so it's probably WA-AAY-YY off-key!
~There are some songs that I simply cannot listen to while on the lawn mower because the key they are in clashes mightily with the resonant tone produced by the mower itself.  Even with the ear protection on, I can hear that tone.  "The Butterfly" on the Celtic Odyssey CD is one of those songs.
~On the other hand, there are some songs that blend beautifully with the drone of the Deere:  "Answer My Prayer" on Acappella's Sweet Fellowship CD works.

I got a bit over half our grass cut today.  Now to re-charge the Zune's battery, so I'll be ready for tomorrow.

Friday, August 6, 2010


I find it odd that a copy of the classroom guidelines for a class at the middle school requires my signature.  I am not the one required to enter the room quietly, or sharpen my pencils and throw away my trash before the tardy bell.  I will not be turning in papers to the appropriate area (or any area).  I will probably never see the class activities posted on the front board.

Why does this list require the parent's signature?  Will the teacher complain to me if my child doesn't go quietly and immediately to her appropriate seat or if she talks with people in other work groups?  I would much rather the matter be discussed with my child, the student.  Are there really parents out there who do not expect their children to be polite and co-operative members of society in general?  Do they really have to have it spelled out for them how people are expected to act while in public?

My word!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

today's blessings

Someone called the church for help today.

Not the kind of help usually asked for, either.

This person didn't need financial help.

Not the kind of spiritual help usually sought here, either.

This person wanted literature help.

This individual wanted information on how church literature that would help his church grow.
Not so much to grow in numbers, but in knowledge of the Lord.  Something that helped them dig into the scriptures, that helped open up God's Word.

This person impressed me.  This person "gets" what Sunday School is designed to accomplish.  It's a discipleship thing.  It's to deepen a  person's relationship with the Lord.  This person loves his    church:  not the building, but the people.  And not just the people who think the way he thinks:  all the people of every age and mind-set.  He doesn't want to do anything that will hurt their fellowship, but he longs for them to all grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I pray his church understands how blessed they are to have this gentleman in the congregation.

Oh, I almost forgot the other blessing of the day!!

My eldest daughter graciously agreed to take her younger sister to the high school this evening for band pictures.  That may not sound like much to you, but to me, today, it is HUGE.  I have had somewhere to go every night for the past 4 nights in a row.  When I heard that Em had to be back at school at 6:15 this evening, I almost cried.  But, once again, I have been rescued by my eldest.  Thank you, Dear.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Smile for the Day

After Christmas this year I used some of the money I received to purchase a desk calendar.  I love Origami, so I got "An Origami a Day" calendar.  Each day's sheet has  instructions to fold something on one side and a color (sometimes solid, sometimes a print) on the other.  As you remove yesterday's page to reveal today, you fold today's project using the pretty side of yesterday's page.

Today's project is a frog.  The back side of yesterday's instructions is an alligator skin sort of print.

Look at the note to the side of the finished project  on the instructions below.  My day started off with a chuckle!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Very Full Day

Some days are just like this:  Monday's especially.  And today was more Monday than most!

Monday's are by far my busiest day at work.  It's payday and sort the offering day and staff meeting day. It's usually my grocery shopping day, too.  Tonight we previewed the Christmas musical that our choir will be doing this year:  God Coming Down.  (highly recommend!!)  Then Mr. H and I did the grocery shopping together.  We used to do that all the time, but eventually, his work schedule got in the way and I went by myself after bringing the girls home from school.

After putting all the groceries away, I decided to just sit for a bit and work on a new knitting stitch.  I had been playing around with something called seed stitch, which is knit 1, purl 1 repeated for an even number of stitches, then purl the knit stitches and knit the purl stitches on the next row.  It takes a certain amount of concentration to keep up with where you are.  My motion seems very erratic since I'm trying a new way of holding the yarn (which should speed things up once I master it.)

There is a website I use for reference when I'm stumped.  It has text, photos, and video, all of which are helpful.  I know that there are 2 general methods of knitting:  German and English.  One holds the working yarn in the left hand and the other, in the right hand.  Then I stumbled upon the Norwegian purling method (scroll down to the nest to last example on the linked page above).  From the text description, it sounded a bit easier.  Then I looked at the video.  It took me 5 times watching the video to figure out what she was doing, then 5 more times trying to follow along before I got the first Norwegian purl stitch completed!  Talk about convoluted!!!  I tried 3 or 4 more  and they were so sloppy and stretched that they were hard to recognize.  I'm guessing I have no Norwegian roots in my family tree!

Well, now I guess I've wound down enough from the day to actually go to sleep.  If the knitting itself doesn't do it, writing about knitting certainly does.  Good night.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Help at the Funeral Home

I was in town on a few errands for the church this morning.  I decided to be bold and do the running around on the Rebel.

First, a stop at the workplace of someone whose signature I needed.  Not a problem:  in and out quickly.

Next, to deliver something to the funeral home.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I was relieved to note that it was empty of cars.  I had not wanted to walk in to the midst of someone's wake or funeral, a stranger carrying a helmet.  Luckily, one of the directors was actually standing outside, looking in a flower bed.  Then the owner walked out the door, just as I was pulling into a parking space.  The look they gave me was priceless, by the way.  I raised my face shield to say I was bringing something from the church.  As I took my helmet off, Mr. Coco Sigler walked toward me saying, "I knew I recognized that bike!  Tommy told me he had sold it to you."  He and Dr. T know each other very well.  This past fall, Mr. Sigler joined Mr. H and several others from our church on bike trip to the mountains.

My intention, especially since they were already outside, was to simply make my delivery and be on my way.  They, however, invited me into the office and we ended up talking about bikes for more than just a few minutes. When I went back outside, I realized that I had left the key in my bike.  Not only IN the bike, but in the ON position.  For those of you that don't understand the implication of that, here's the deal:  when the key is on, the headlight is on!

Now you get it!  And you're correct:  the battery was dead., click, click.


I probably could have waited a few minutes with it turned off and it might have started, but it was HOT out there.  So I walked back  in and asked for help.

I knew that cars with standard transmissions could be pushed started by popping the clutch.  I figured that  bikes could, too, but I'd never done it.  The funeral director hopped on the bike, aimed it down-slope in the parking lot, walked it forward and popped the clutch and that was all it took!

This particular bike is very difficult to get into neutral while the engine is running (I thought it was just me, but Mr. Sigler couldn't get it out of gear, either.)  So he shut if off, and I got on, ready to try a new skill.  The bike had a different idea, though, and cranked right up.  I was prepared to try it at my next stop, too, but it cranked after that one.  (And YES, I remembered to turn the key off and take it with me this time.)

I learned several lessons today:  1) don't leave the key in the bike, ON or OFF.  2) I know the Rebel can be push started.  3)  Funeral directors can be of great assistance in your time of need!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Work Chair

My eldest and I were having a discussion recently about her father.  The man can do just about anything. The Creator's Spirit is definitely alive in him.

He does woodwork.  There are several pieces of furniture in our house that were designed and constructed by him.  The mantle over our fireplace and the built-in that houses our music and movies were all made by him.  We have a canoe that he built, too.

His father thought we needed a welding machine, so he learned to do that, too.

His most recent project has been to replace the home-office chair he uses on his work-from-home days.  The old one was uncomfortable and made lots of noise.  He had an idea to use one of the seats from a car that he had over in the shop (just the seats, not the whole car.)  We're not exactly sure what kind of car they came from.  Mr. H thinks his friend said they came from a Ford Probe.  Anyway, the pair of bucket seats has been over in the shop for several years now. Don't ask me why:  I have no idea.

So he cut the old chair off the casters, whose wheels he had replaced last year.  Then he welded supports on the underside of the seat to weld onto the caster base.  Pretty good looking office chair, huh?

Then he welded the arm rests from the old chair back onto this one and painted the metal parts on the bottom.

This man amazes me.