Tuesday, May 31, 2011

While the world sleeps

I find in the late evening I read. I read when I am alone with my thoughts and I don't like the thinking. I read when my husband works late and I don't have the security of his presence beside me. And I read when I find a book that can stimulate my failing memory and captivate my attention. Therefore, a good book can wile away otherwise hollow hours.

If you pick this up expecting an ordinary book, you will find it very disappointing. It reads like a housewife's private journal written in poetry. There is depth to her gifted pen, but you have to get past the lack of clarity. In the last chapter her analogies went too far and felt uncomfortable. However, the rest of the book stimulated me to savor the messy moments and mundane chores in communion with God like Brother Lawrence did in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God.

The fanciful title is perfect for this transparent and unique account. The author relates her childhood with almost unattachment so there is no self-pity or what-if. She writes with deep tenderness about her quirky parents and their obsessive behavior and how it shaped her youth. I loved that she is never a victim of her parent's folly and chose to love them unconditionally. I loved how her parents refused to go on Welfare and passed on dignity and commitment to each other. It is truly a endearing read even though it has some sordid parts.

A good, clean crisp mystery with an enchanting writing style set in 1950s England. For the chemists out there, they can verify the formulas and get ideas from the precocious heroine on poisons. Use them only on the slugs in your garden and the bats in your belfry, and mum is the word.

Church history is easy to glean from this series. I hope to have Alex read these this summer so he can gain perspective on the course of Christianity. After reading this, I think the church is still under attack, but in America most of it is internal. The wide acceptance of universalism, comfort Christianity and substitution of Christ's once-for-all sufficient sacrifice are more deadly than Nero's beheadings. Those ancient believers were being obedient to Jesus' words, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." They stand resurrected with Jesus. The modern church is teetering on the grave. May I have the wisdom to teach the tenants of Christianity to my children and may they have the good fortune to see their children walk in them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dinner Gong


The best features of the room were my parents. Unfortunately, they couldn't stay. Therefore, I had to do something.


Electrical conduit works great for a snap interchangeable art wall.

I chose a bold color (Valspar La Fonda Villa Fountain) and hung curtains near the crown molding to heighten the ceiling. Wired my new old chandeliers.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Egypt Puzzle

Tonight's dinner conversation with the kids was full of puns.

What has legs and cannot walk? a table.

What can run but has no legs? a river.

What has teeth but has no mouth? a comb.

Amidst the nonsense I started to only half-listen. Therefore, I missed the context of Fritz's next statement, "I don't trust anyone."

Alex sensibly pointed out, "You should trust Jesus."

Emily added, "I trust Jesus and the angels." Because of our predominantly Catholic community, my troubled mind conceptualized her praying to Angel Gabby.

But my doctrinal phobia was short lived, Jane, a week shy of five, piped in, "I trust Jesus and the angels and Egypt." That was one surprising addition! I giggled.

A few days away

Friday, May 06, 2011

Sweet and silly

Manchurian mustaches and goatees are all the rage.

Looking smart in his new Randy Jackson glasses.

They washed my car and then dried off on the pavement.

This picture exudes childhood happiness.

Leaf mustaches all around.

Silly villains.

Sweet consolation

It is beyond me, why you would sing stanza after stanza of "the ants going marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah"? Conceivably if you were an entomologist on the moon, you'd lift your voice in a deafening hurrah on detecting life in outer space. But I'm not. And these earthly ants are marching where they shouldn't.

Just yesterday, Jane asked if the black spots on her scrambled eggs were pepper. Looking closer, the pepper was moving...sugar ants. (Confession, she had slept a half hour later than the rest of the kids, and her breakfast had sat on the kitchen counter.) For some reason around here, the ants march double time. It is crazy, absurd. If I leave a knife resting over the edge of the sink, my fanciful mind thinks it is a diving board for ants.

Back to Jane, I did what a lazy, frugal parent would do, I decided to microwave the ants on her eggs rather than crack some more eggs and then clean another non-nonstick frying pan. I punched the microwave buttons with the fist of a killer. After 30 seconds the ants were still alive. After an additional two minutes I thought they were dead. I picked the ants off and left the pepper. Jane managed to eat a few bites before her eye caught movement on her breakfast plate. Unfortunately, the ants were incredible hardened to the microwave beams and some camouflaged stragglers revived and started goosestepping again. Now I no longer saw tiny black ants, I distinctly saw red arm bands and menacing uniforms. It was a Nazi brigade and Jane and I were disheartened allies.

It is a sad day in history when the forces of nature devour food set before children (the plural sounds more dramatic). Our consolation was that the ants hadn't found the banana bread.