Someone in the family bakes bread and the tenth loaf of ten gets forgotten in the back of the oven until two days later when soon-to-depart college son decides to hurriedly bake oatmeal-raisin cookies to take back to school and preheats the oven and we all begin to smell freshly baked bread.
Yeah. For real.
Some slightly crazy people in this family did the 4am Black Friday thing. Not me. I did finally get out at 1 or so to timidly check on a special at Kohl's. Alas, it was gone before I got there and even if they'd still had what I was looking for and were giving it away for a dime I wouldn't have waited through the nearly two-hour line to check out. No thanks, I'm doing just fine online.
Good thing I did a thorough cleaning/purging of the refrigerators before Thanksgiving because there's sure no room in there now!
Thanksgiving Postulate #6: There will always be one fewer salad/dessert fork than you need. Corollary: You will find some later on the deck. The sterling silver ones.
Another good thing: I bought my first roaster oven this fall and used it to cook one of the two turkeys for Thanksgiving. Now I'm wondering why I didn't do this years ago! I got the biggest one I could find and it claimed to hold a 24lb. turkey. Mine was 22.88 lbs and fit comfortably in the oven, which is really sort of an oversized slow-cooker. The advantages were numerous: the turkey stayed incredibly moist (and the leftovers are STILL moist); it frees up a LOT of oven space; it eliminates the spattering mess in the oven; and one that I hadn't expected: after we got most of the meat off, I poured hot water over the carcass and turned it back on and it simmered for a couple of hours to make great stock. I usually do this the next day in a stockpot and it's a messy affair, but this made it simple and can be done right away so that it doesn't just sit out at room temperature making a playground for bacteria. I know I'll find lots of uses for this appliance (chili for a crowd, etc.) but if this was its only use I'd be very happy I got it!
Also very useful was the oven in our new outdoor grill! Extra ovens are always welcome, right?
Thanksgiving Theorem #22: The deviled eggs always go first.
Tomorrow, The Papa leaves us again for a couple of weeks...we're all kind of getting tired of this but at least it's the last trip of the year so we'll grit our teeth and get through it. We'll postpone our Tree Night this year until he gets home, shortening the total time we will get to enjoy the Christmas trees but making sure he's with us for the event...
I finished Cry the Beloved Country on Friday. There's little way to describe how moving this book was to me, and I highly recommend that if you never read it or if it's been many years, that you work it in next year between some of the newer fiction on your list. Whether your interest is in history, intergenerational family relationships, Africa, race relations, children, or faith and forgiveness -- you'll find much here to savor and to appreciate.
Thanksgiving Guideline #12: It helps if the tablecloths are roughly the color of jellied cranberry sauce.
If you're like me, you'll be tempted to go see Australia. No, I probably won't be able to convince you not to, but just don't say you weren't warned. I've been waiting for this one for a year...which is about how long it seemed to last. And I could've spent the year and the ten bucks in a lot better ways. One reviewer says, "Baz Luhrmann’s Australia isn’t a history of the penal colony turned commonwealth, but Luhrmann’s absurd, cliché-ridden filmmaking ought to be a jailable offense." I concur. If you must see it, wait for the DVD. Don't be swayed by any talk of having to see it on the big screen for the cinematography...in the theater you won't be able to multi-task to dull the pain. I had hoped it was going to be a new Out of Africa. All I wanted was Out.
I'm looking over my always long list of books that are patiently waiting for me to read them...I have one month left in the year and more books than I can read in three years, with new ones popping up all the time. But as I look over my "Books Read in 2008" list, I'm quite satisfied with the amount of reading/listening I've been able to do and with the breadth of material--fiction and nonfiction, light and heavy, new and old, long and short. And just having the list and watching it grow has encouraged me to keep reading...if you haven't started keeping a visible list, make a New Year's resolution to do that in 2009!
Thanksgiving Theorem #1: The likelihood of all dishes being ready to serve at the same time is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent planning toward that goal.
Stephen Curtis Chapman, always a class act, has written a moving tribute to President Bush as he leaves office and turns over the reins to Barak Obama. Chapman has had an excruciatingly painful year, but rather than retreating from life he proves that his contributions to our lives are far from over. Go listen: Goodbye Mr. President. (hat tip: Lyric)
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a solemn time of looking back at the time of waiting for the Messiah, a joyful time of contemplating the gift of the Savior, and a hopeful time of preparing our hearts for the coming fulfillment of every future promise. So I close today with these beloved lyrics:
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.
~Lyrics by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
to the person or persons who gave a generous, unexplained, and anonymous gift to one of my girls this week. While we don't know whom or why, we treasure your thoughts for her and your expression of love and tangible care.
has spoken at 10:38 PM
“Legalistic remorse says, ‘I broke God’s rules,’ while real repentance says, ‘I broke God’s heart.’ Legalistic repentance takes sin to Mt. Sinai, gospel repentance to Mt. Calvary. Legalistic repentance is convicted by punishment, gospel repentance becomes convicted by mercy.”
- Timothy Keller
hat tip: Of First Importance
Planned Parenthood Gift Certificates May Be Used for Abortions
hat tip: Anne W., who observes, "and it's totally the gift that keeps on giving, since it ensures that you won't have yet another person on your gift list next year."
Yeah, I knew there were good reasons for staying home today. It'll be a long time before we see the headline "Granny dies in stampede at Amazon's Black Friday online event".
Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede
And....my hands-down favorite shot of the day has to be The Papa sharing a special moment with a special niece:
Hope your Thanksgiving left a sweet taste in your mouth as well...
I've written several times in the past few years about doing all or nearly all of my Christmas shopping online, and in that time many, many more people are doing the same thing. When I hit my first "Submit Order" button in 1998 very few people were shopping online and surveys showed that most people were still afraid of the whole idea. Now many of us don't think twice and would rather shop this way than in a, heaven forbid, bricks-and-mortar mall.
This year I've discovered a new reason to largely confine my shopping to online: budgeting. I've been sticking to a careful budget for each person/family on my gift list and keeping a nice grid (shocked, aren't you?) with each family member, each gift and the cost including any tax or shipping. Now, the way I USED to shop was to go from store to store collecting gifts in a fairly haphazard manner, soon losing track of what I'd bought for which person and how much I'd spent. I'd get home and realize I'd bought several things for one child and only one gift for another, and then on the next trip out I might or might not "even it out" and might actually make the disparity greater. The result was almost always spending way more than I had intended, mostly because of disorganization and absent-mindedness.
Enter the Amazon Wish List. Because Amazon sells 95% of what I'm interested in purchasing for Christmas, I've
Of course I buy a lot of things that aren't on Wish Lists, but I usually find most everything I want on Amazon anyway. Shopping this way saves me time, stress, money, and wear and tear on my body and my car. And it makes me feel very efficient.
Are you doing anything similar?
Accused drunk driver ends up running over himself
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
A Sign of Things to Come?
(Oh, and it's astounding to me after so many years of hearing of the horrors of "blacklisting" in Hollywood, that the very people who have bemoaned it are now endorsing it--WHEN it's for a good cause, of course.)
Labels: Social Observation
(And I say that as a fan of Manilow!)
Noise Violators Sentenced to Listen to Barry Manilow
Wonder if there's a single week when more cooking is done in this country than Thanksgiving week? I spent the day yesterday cleaning my oven and my pantry, and tomorrow morning I will clean out the refrigerators in preparation for the big grocery shop in the afternoon. And then for 72 hours, with short breaks for sleeping, I will be cooking non-stop until our Thursday afternoon meal. Every year on the day after Thanksgiving I think, "I hope it's ten years before I ever have to do that again!" And then eleven months later I can hardly wait to start over. This year is no exception...I'm chomping at the bit!
We've had a sweet reunion today, one that will continue this week, with our friends Lolo and Dina and their four precious kids. God is so good to allow us to cross paths again and enjoy each other's company, catching up on more than a decade of changes in our lives.
It's gotten to be a real riot around here on Sunday nights. Seems as if most college papers must be due on Monday. Enough said.
It's a sad day when a young man can't share his faith on his college campus. But Ryan Dozier can't, at least not on M-W-F. And not without permission.
Can The Papa come home yet? Please?
Okay, I've given in. Usually I say no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. THAT'S been real effective. (Really effective for you fellow grammar buffs.)
Grandma Barbara's annual homemade Christmas candies have arrived. Hoo boy, we are all OD'ing on chocolate, groaning and reaching for the next kind....
My latest book: Cry the Beloved Country. Halfway through, I describe it as...poignant. Apartheid literature is not easy to read.
Lyrics from this morning's service, my favorite verse from one of my favorite hymns...
she waits the consummation of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious, her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
~~"The Church's One Foundation," lyrics by Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900
Tonight as I write this, I pray for all who read...that you will experience a week of gratitude for the blessings of our mighty and loving God and a new awareness of His tender care for His children. Happy Thanksgiving week!
God save us.
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
Watching our meager retirement account dwindle before our eyes in the past few weeks has left me really appreciating anything that makes me smile. My kids do that. Evidently they have no idea that our IRA is worth half what it was in the summer (and not because we, like they, spend it all at Taco Cabana)...so they've started a campaign of sorts over on the famblog to settle once and (almost) for all which of them is (are) getting "The Inheritance." If you want some more cheap but stimulating entertainment, go over there and scroll down to the post entitled "The Inheritance" and then read up. But don't miss the comments...that is where much of the campaigning is taking place. Please feel free, if you know us even a little, to leave your own observations :-) I guess for now, the Warren Vocab posts are on hiatus while they get the china and Christmas stocking issues settled...
(Oh, and to the kids...I'm sorry to have to tell you that it's looking more and more like you ARE the inheritance!)
And what about the Oxford Comma? Are we not allowed to use that anymore? I miss that Oxford Comma.
W.O.W. to the rescue!
Oh, I am SO with you, Suzanne. Doing without it has almost the same effect on me as seeing the possessive "its" written with an apostrophe. But we've covered that.
The Oxford comma, also known as a serial comma, is defined as "the comma used immediately before a grammatical conjunction (and, or, or nor [note serial comma]) that precedes the last item in a list of three or more items."
I am not only a fan of the Oxford comma; I'm one who believes that the world is just a more beautiful, more ordered, more reasonable place when it lives here with us. Alas, some of the English-speaking world does not agree, with the British largely opting out of its use and Americans somewhat divided. The two most frequently used American style guides, The Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook, have opposite leanings. Chicago "strongly encourages" the use of the serial comma, and AP generally shuns it but allows its use in places where its omission leads to confusion. (Those familiar with the two guides will no doubt recognize AP's bias in favor of any rule that saves space, since it was written and is maintained as a guide for newspapers. I say if you're worried about the space a comma occupies, you need to find a cheaper source of newsprint.)
So what's the issue? Ambiguity.
Consider the apocryphal book dedication: To my parents, Ayn Rand and God. Apart from the interesting genealogical questions raised by the implied appositive here, the omission of the comma before "and" draws the eye to some sort of connection between Rand and God that is not shared with the parents. (If you know anything about Rand, this is highly unlikely.) A serial comma would be kind of an equalizer, making all three in the series share the same weight. Oh wait...this raises theological questions. We'll cover that some other time.
Another easy place to see the wisdom of the serial comma is in the following construction:
At Granny's House, we like cheese, Spam and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Okay, I know we're out of the closet in our love for Spam around here, but we do NOT eat it WITH peanut butter and jelly. At least not on the same sandwich. Usually. In the above sentence we're talking about three different kinds of sandwiches, but not using a comma after the Spam sandwich makes one wonder if the Spam goes on the bread with the peanut butter. It doesn't. Usually.
This aspiring designer loves to decorate with greens, neutrals and black and white.
Here is a case where even AP would agree to put a comma. Without it, it's not clear that the black and white palette is separate from the black and white.
Occasionally but rarely, the use of the serial comma can actually create confusion, but to my mind these instances are so infrequent and so easily remedied that this shouldn't be a reason to routinely omit it.
Five years ago you wouldn't have caught me dead writing a sentence without the Oxford comma. Now you may occasionally catch a place where I've omitted it, but only because the demands of professional writing have both inoculated and softened me a bit. I write for several Canadian clients, and the Canadians, choosing to remain with the Queen on this one, have opted out. It wouldn't be smart for us to disregard the conventions of a whole nation because of a personal preference, now would it?
So Suzanne, you go right ahead and use that comma unless you're writing for a publication, company, or country that will cut your hourly rate if you do. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
And just for the record...Ayn Rand had no children.
Sometimes my kids crack me up.
Okay, a LOT of times they crack me up.
Tonight, they have me laughing the rest of my mascara off, recalling one of the funny recurring episodes from our homeschooling years...go read and smile with me.
And don't miss The Papa's observations in the comments...
HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, turned 60 last week. This makes Prince Charles the longest-living heir to the throne in British history. It also raises the question of whether he will ever be king. After all, if Queen Elizabeth II lives only as long as her mother, that means adding another twenty years to her reign. The Man who Would Be King would then be 80 himself. The math is not on his side.
Even so, the Prince has been working on changes he proposes to the 1953 Royal Titles Act. The most significant proposal is this -- Prince Charles, if crowned as King, wants to be known as "Defender of Faith" rather than "Defender of the Faith." This represents a seismic shift, but it perfectly fits the postmodern Prince.
To paraphrase another leader of his generation, it depends on what the meaning of "the" is. At least for Britons it might be more palatable than what he first said he wanted to be called. Read the particulars in Al Mohler's blog:
Defender of Faith? Throne Language for the Post-Modern Prince
Labels: Social Observation
The world has never seen such freezing heat
The Papa is in Hawaii again, re-re-readjusting to the time difference. This trip and one more to Las Vegas before Christmas is going to have his body clock so messed up it'll take him until Valentine's Day to get straight!
Finally, finally fall has arrived in our world. Last night we had a near-freeze so some of the plants went in the garage and the heat came on several times. This should mean a nice crispness for our annual Thanksgiving football game in the yard...
This week I picked up some pretty new tablecloths for Thanksgiving/Christmas, getting them at pennies on the dollar through the website of the soon-to-be-defunct Linen's 'n Things. Boy, do I hate to see that store go.
I've made yet another middle-of-the-course correction in our math curriculum this year. Math is something I've never messed with too much, but for several reasons our old Saxon standby isn't a good fit any more and I've had at least one false start this year trying to replace it. This week we'll start in on Teaching Textbooks...I'm pretty excited about it but trying to reserve judgment because I was excited about the last change, too. Stay tuned.
When brand new suitcases have the wheels knocked off by the airlines, they won't pay. Trust me.
Planting myself firmly between those of you who will sneer, "What? I'm already finished!" and those of you who will snarl, "What? I haven't bought a thing yet!" I will tell you that I'm about halfway finished with my Christmas shopping. The UPS man, though he comes here nearly every day anyway, is carrying larger armfuls of Amazon boxes and will soon have earned a plate of cookies on his stop. He's very amused by us--the full house, the homeschooling, even the Friday co-op which he finally asked me about a couple of weeks ago. I think with most of the world at work on weekdays he's happy for something of interest to punctuate his day.
In addition to the Spam surge I posted about last night, it seems that a lot of other old-fashioned (processed) budget foods are flying off the shelves as well: Velveeta cheese, Jell-O, instant mashed potatoes, etc. I'm laughing at people's ideas of "budget," though...here in SA we're paying well over $2 for a 12-oz can of Spam, and though I happen to love the stuff, I'm not thinkin' that's really cheap. After all, our little informal meat co-op yesterday got ground beef for $1.83 a pound, which even after cooking will leave you with 12 ounces of meat with no salt, preservatives, etc. Okay, you do have to open the 10 pound chub and divide it up, but maybe we're all going to be re-learning how to do stuff like that in the next couple of years. And Velveeta cheese, budget? It seems to me that a lot of folks are confusing "budget foods" with "comfort foods." And maybe we need some of both. I don't know...my favorite budget food is still a 6 ounce can of HEB tuna for $.60. And ramen. And whole chickens. And dried pintos :-)
Speaking of tough economic times, here's an interesting look about what we could be in for, and this author thinks it could look very different than the last Great Depression.
Depression 2009: What Would It Look Like?
From our glorious Sunday morning service today...
That we who know Your favor may serve You as our King
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill
We'll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless You still
To marvel at Your beauty and glory in Your ways
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise!
Hope you're having a worshipful, restful Lord's Day!
Are you, like me, trying to find places to trim the budget right now?
Economy's Spam Sector Picks Up Steam Amid Downturn
(At Granny's House the preferred use is sauteed strips of Spam added to Kraft Mac and Cheese.)
And if you're really adventurous, or just want to remember what life tasted like in the Islands, there's always
How to Make Spam Musubi
Birth Control in a Frito?
I'm very relieved to know that there are still groups around who want to build global harmony and understanding and break down the barriers between religions and help us to see that they're all basically trying to do the same thing.
The Charter for Compassion
The Charter for Compassion is a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community. Bringing together the voices of people from all religions, the Charter seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world.
Over the next months this site will be open for the world to contribute to Charter for Compassion. Using innovative group decision-making software, people of all faiths, from all across the globe, will contribute their words and stories on a website designed specifically for the Charter. A Council of Sages, made up of religious thinkers and leaders, will craft the world’s words into the final version of the Charter. The document will not only speak to the core ideas of compassion but will also address the actions all segments of society can take to bring these ideas into the world more fully. The Charter for Compassion will then be signed by religious leaders of all faiths at a large launch event, followed by a series of other events to publicize and promote the Charter around the world.
Of course, nothing is said about sin (it would not be compassionate to call anyone's choices sin) or sacrifice (that might keep less committed people away) or redemption (which would imply that man is in a condition from which he needs redemption) or Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life (that would be exclusionary and discriminatory of those who have chosen a different "way"). But those are details that can be worked out later, no? In the meantime, can we just hold hands and recite The Golden Rule and have a cup of chai?
So...how does the Charter come into being?
The Charter for Compassion site is powered by the Kluster ™ platform:
Kluster™ is a collaborative decision making platform, a turbo-charged collective wisdom machine that turns questions into answers, ideas into opportunities, and analysis into action. Unlike conventional "crowdsourcing" that pits people and ideas against each other, Kluster™ brings them together. Our approach is based on real-world group decision-making models, taking into account individual influence and participation. Not only does Kluster™ identify the best ideas, it actually improves them in the process.
Integral to the process is The Council of Sages, bringing to the table all the world's great traditions. All you have to be is monotheistic; and really, if you're not, that can be worked out too. The difference between "one" and "many" is just really not all that big.
And, of course, like all great movements, this one starts with redefinitions. Karen Armstrong, a noted author, former Roman Catholic nun, and leader in the organization promoting the Charter, explains, “I say that religion isn’t about believing things. It’s ethical alchemy. It’s about behaving in a way that changes you, that gives you intimations of holiness and sacredness."
Ethical alchemy. Hmmm....I'll have to chew on that one. Because believing things is such a burden.
(Oh, and by the way, you are invited to help write the Charter. They want as many viewpoints as possible, as long as yours agrees with theirs. Hurry--only 107 hours left.)
It's always fun when something we're studying in history comes up in the news. (I realize there are problems with that statement but just ignore them.) We're currently in the era of the Roman Empire, so I was delighted to see this story hit the internet today:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Nov. 13) - A hobbyist with a metal detector struck both gold and silver when he uncovered an important cache of ancient Celtic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht."It's exciting, like a little boy's dream," Paul Curfs, 47, said Thursday after the spectacular find was made public.
Archaeologists say the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins was minted in the middle of the first century B.C. as the future Roman ruler Julius Caesar led a campaign against Celtic tribes in the area.
Read the details (to your kids!) here.
If you are still "on the fence" about attending, please call or email me or Aubrey so we can convince you that you need to be going with us!
Labels: WholeHearted Mother
If you think they're out to get you, you're not alone.
Paranoia, once assumed to afflict only schizophrenics, may be a lot more common than previously thought.
Totally a surprise: That MSNBC actually retracted a false story.
Not a surprise: That Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones magazine congratulated the perpetrators.
Obama is toast.
Buy it now.
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
Well, it's time for him to hear our voices on the sanctity of life. Who knows whether God will stay his hand and channel his heart to rethink this pivotal issue?
FOCA Would Wipe Away Every Restriction on Abortion Nationwide
This would eradicate state and federal laws that the majority of Americans support, such as:
FOCA would erase these laws and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future.
- Bans on Partial Birth Abortion
- Requirements that women be given information about the risks of getting an abortion
- Only licensed physicians can perform abortions
- Parents must be informed and give consent to their minor daughter's abortion
If you believe that God can and will use ordinary Christians in this battle, no matter what the odds, please sign the Fight FOCA petition at the site of Americans United for Life. I'm going to place their ad my sidebar for a while to encourage everyone to remember to add their voices, voices that the new president has promised to hear. As we pray for him, let's pray that God will change his heart on the sanctity of life, from conception to natural death.
hat tip: Trish
Labels: Sanctity of Life
Meet the new candidate for "Pastor to the Presidents":
The Times of London reports that the president-elect sought out New Hampshire homosexual bishop Vicki Gene Robinson for advice three times during his presidential campaign. Robinson, whose ordination in the Episcopal Church has caused a deep rift within the Anglican Communion, was reportedly sought out by Obama to discuss what it feels like to be "first."
Robinson notes in their three private conversations, Obama voiced his support for "equal civil rights" for homosexuals and described the election as a "religious experience." Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, believes Obama's consultations with Robinson show the true tenor of his upcoming administration.
"It looks like Billy Graham has been replaced by a gay bishop. We're moving to, perhaps, our first anti-Christian president; it's beyond post-Christian. Gene Robinson advocates homosexuality as part of the Christian experience," he explains. "Now Bible-believing Christians cannot accept that. Homosexual practice is sinful, as taught by the scriptures. This man [Obama] pretends to be faithful to Christianity, even as he works very hard to undermine it."
I'm afraid this is just the beginning.
Activist: 'Pastor to Presidents' replaced by gay bishop
Don't know if I can handle losing Tony Snow and Brit Hume in the same year! At least Brit will still be around occasionally...go here to find out what's more important to him than his job:
Are you a WholeHearted Mother,or are you asking God to make you one? Then you'll want to join us for the annual WholeHearted Mother Conference! This year, there are three from which to choose, and there just might be one near you. Even if there's not, this event is worth some travel, so look and see which conference you might be able to attend:
January 23-24, Charlotte, NC (Church at Charlotte)
Conference Early Registration Deadline: Friday, DECEMBER 26 (Save $10)
Hotel: The Marriott Charlotte SouthPark
Room Rate: $109/night (guaranteed through December 26)
February 6-7, Irvine, CA (Crowne Plaza Irvine Hotel)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 14 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 9 (Save $10)
Hotel: The Crowne Plaza Irvine
Room Rate: $85/night (guaranteed through January 23)
February 20-21, Irving-DFW, TX (Dallas Marriott Las Colinas)
SPECIAL Early Registration Deadline: Friday, NOVEMBER 28 (Save $20!)
Early Deadline: January 23 (Save $10)
Hotel: Dallas Marriott Las Colinas
Room Rate: $83/night (guaranteed through February 6)
Register by Phone: 888-488-4466 or 719-488-4466. Jennice will take your registration M-Th 9:00-3:30, or leave a message and she will return your call as soon as possible.
Register by Fax: 888-FAX-2WHM (329-2946). Use a downloadable PDF Registration Flyers (links above), fill out the form, and mail in or fax in the registration.
Here's a link to get you started:
Whole Heart Events
Those of you who are going to the Texas conference from HOPE San Antonio will begin to see your names posted on the sidebar as you register, so let me know once you've done that!
Labels: WholeHearted Mother
May God save the Commonwealth.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe signed papers Monday signaling a possible run for governor next year in Virginia.
Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor
So...how's the post-election week settling in at your place? For me, it's meant a 75% reduction in the amount of news I watch and read. I don't need to hear Rahm Emanuel's bio and I don't want to hear any more about how many executive orders O plans to overturn in his first hours in office, especially ones that will cost babies' lives here and abroad. It's now done, and while I wait with eagerness to see what God will do, I'm sick of the media's take and all the fawning and chills up the leg and Messiah talk.
I'm not liking papaya withdrawal. And I'm not sure, but I THINK that the fruit Eve succumbed to was papaya. I mean really, would an apple tempt you if there was papaya? The only thing is, she would have to have had the help of a very tall man to get it down so never mind.
HOW is it just two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving? I need to get busy! I haven't even bought the turkeys yet!
Yes, I had to return to the MouseTales at Granny's House. So far, one mouse down and we don't know how many to go. Monday the exterminator will be called, and this week I will probably have to break my pledge of never having another cat again in my life. Felines are definitely less undesirable than rodents. But only by a sliver.
Laundry. Lots all at once. That's what happens when two people come home from two weeks away and haven't washed a thing. I don't like doing laundry. I'm so glad that The Papa helps :-)
I'm 4/5 of the way through The Brothers Karamazov. It's meaty, complex, confusing at times, and captivating. It's certainly slowed down my reading pace, but it's worth it. I'll have to pick a few short ones after this!
This weekend Lyric and I watched The Other Boleyn Girl. I am intensely interested in the history of that era in England, and even though this particular novel and movie are partly fictional, there's enough real history there to make it more than just a good story. After the movie we went online and looked up some of the controversies and disputed bits about Anne Boleyn, her siblings, and their place in the court of Henry VIII. Despite some rather wide liberties being taken with the characters and events, it's a moving and sobering look at court life and at how young women were used as means to the desired political and economic ends of their fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands...and sovereigns. Shelley tells me that there are major differences between the book and the movie, and I may put the book on my list for next year. Ah...so much to read.
I'm in the mood to make a pumpkin pie. If I weren't suffering the effects of jet lag I'd probably get in the kitchen and do that right now. But I can see one in my immediate future.
I left in October, and returned in November to see the perfect new calendar page after my visit with Lyric. Yes, our food was great, but...
I love it.
Hopefully my jet lag fog will cleared in the next few hours and I'll be able to post something more interesting than papaya and laundry. Until then, get a great start to your new week!
In fact, there was a very special reason for my stopover in California. My cousin, who also happens to be my best friend, has been with her marketing agency for ten years. It's the largest agency in the world serving and raising funds excusively for nonprofit organizations...and she's just been promoted to vice president. Being "up close" enough in seven of the past ten years to see how hard she works and how brilliant she is, I'm not surprised that her value is recognized in this tangible way, but nevertheless it's a delightful development and one that makes me prouder than I have any right to be.
So it was an honor to be treated to a very special dinner last night celebrating not just Lyric's promotion but her incredible journey to this point after three decades in the business. As she says often, it's not a journey she would have chosen, but God has allowed her to work in a field that brings her tremendous satisfaction and has blessed her with remarkable success. So that deserves a great dinner, don't you think?
We were able to share the evening at The Melting Pot overlooking Old Town Pasadena and enjoying some of the most scrumptious food I've ever eaten, accompanied by good wine and a fabulous view...if we hadn't also planned a football game for the evening we could have stayed for hours and hours. Instead, we have lovely memories of a night honoring my dear friend.
Thank you, Lyric, for your work, your life, your friendship, and your place in my family. I celebrate you!
To those who wondered, I didn't get a single Christmas card addressed but I did make some headway in holiday planning and Christmas shopping. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with The Papa, and when he was at work I was either in the shops or in the sand. Who wanted to be in the hotel room addressing envelopes? It's okay. Just having them WITH me made me feel productive.
I will head home on Saturday to several kids that I'm missing! And the next morning The Papa will return as well and we'll be together again for a few days before his next trip. The holidays will seem a little fragmented this year because of his travels (can you believe they're making him go BACK to Hawaii a week after he gets home?) but at least I have a house full of kids and often grandkids to keep things festive and happily stitched together while he's gone.
All right. I'm back to resting from vacation :-)
Well, Kristen jumped in there first with one of her pet peeves:
"referring TO yourself as "myself". double ARGH!!!
W.O.W. to the rescue!
Kristen is not really clear here, and some of you might be scratching your heads as to what she means. But she's right, there's a real misunderstanding of the use of "myself" and other reflexive pronouns. Observe:
"For more information, see Jim or myself after the meeting."
"We decided that the points of contact would be Sarah and myself."
"Tim, this morning Jeff announced that the emails will be handled by Barb and yourself."
Right, Kristen, double ARGH!
Before I explain the nuts and bolts here, let me demonstrate why the above uses grate on the ears. What if Jim were not at the meeting? Would I look around and then say, "Okay never mind, just see myself after the meeting"? Of course not...I'd say "See ME after the meeting." Or how about if Sarah backs out and I say, "We decided that the point of contact would be myself"? Well, I might say that, but I'd be wrong. And if Barb were not available, would the emails be handled by yourself? NO, they would be handled by you.
Not every language has reflexive pronouns, but if you're a speaker or writer of English, they're your birthright and you must learn to respect their unique function. A reflexive pronoun (myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves, oneself) can only be used when the action of the sentence is reflected back on the subject...in other words, when the subject and the object of the sentence are the same entity. You can dress yourself; I cannot dress yourself. I can wash myself; you cannot wash myself. Only I can drive myself; only you can drive yourself.
So, dear readers, there is no way you can see myself after the meeting, whether Jim is there or not. (And he should be--that guy is always missing meetings.) You can see me...you can see Jim...but only *I* can see myself.
Similarly, we decide that I will be the point of contact, or that the point of contact will be me. Not myself. Just plain ol' me. And the emails will be handled by you and Barb, or perhaps by Barb and you, but please note that Jeff can't insist the emails be handled by yourself. The emails can perhaps handle themselves, but then that's done on an OS that hasn't been invented yet. We're eagerly awaiting that one, yes Lyric?
This, by the way, is an error that happens most often when the reflexive pronoun is used with another person's name. When in doubt, remove the other person's name and see how it sounds with just the "myself."
And I will go into this further on another W.O.W., but please don't exchange one problem for another by saying, "If you have questions after the meeting, please see Jim or I." You'll be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. You will hurt yourself.
There are a couple of other uses for reflexive/intensive pronouns in English, but their uses are fairly intuitive and not often abused so I won't treat them here.
And just as a related freebie for those of you taking notes: there are no such words as hisself, theirself, themself, or ourself. And there's no such word as myselves unless you have been officially diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder by a board-certified psychiatrist. Then you may help yourselves. All of them.
Once again it's Wednesday and I'm sitting in an airport without too much time to go into an in depth Words On Wednesday problem. So I thought I'd ask you--what are some words you are sick of seeing misused OR overused?
Not long ago Elizabeth wrote in the comments that she'd like to see me address the use of the word "literally." She used the example of someone saying, "I literally had kids coming out my ears!"
Friends, there's a part of the body where children normally exit the mother and it is NOT the ears. If this is your problem, you definitely, LITERALLY need to see both an obstetrician and an ENT specialist, and possibly a plastic surgeon. You've got issues that we can't deal with on Wednesdays.
If you're going to use the word "literally" (and I suggest you keep it to a minimum since it's overused even when it's used correctly), please confine its use to occasions when something is literally true. "We were literally bankrupted by the onslaught of medical bills and had to start over." And NOT "We were literally disgusted to death by the results of the recent election."
Almost. But not literally.
Anyway...do you have a pet peeve along this line? Come on, fill up my comments box with something other than election issues--we're moving on! Let's confine this one to usage issues and not spelling, and I'll take a couple of the best ones and comment further once I'm back in pocket.
That's where I am tonight after this election. I believe that God has allowed us to be "married" to a man with poor judgment, dangerous friends, evil motives in many cases, and Godless principles. But the fact remains that God is in control and will not concede that control to any man.
Scanning some of my favorite blogs as the election results came in, I found this, and it's what I'll close with tonight:
No matter who you voted for--or whether you voted at all--it's important to remember that, as President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
- We are to pray for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
- We are to thank God for Barack Obama (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
- We are to respect Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7).
- We are to honor Barack Obama (Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17).
Between Two Worlds--President Obama
Good night. May God bless America.
Labels: Political Observation
Labels: Political Observation
Why a Woman Shouldn't Run for Vice-President, But Wise People May Still Vote for Her
hat tip: Lyric
How Smart Is the American Voter?
Obama and the Politics of Crowds
hat tip: Kristen
Labels: Political Observation
So it's the last Snippets before the election. What can I say, except that I feel like a lamb being led to the slaughter...
Thomas Sowell, one of the finest minds in our country and a man who I wish would be our first black president, says today in a column entitled "Ego and Mouth,"
After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis, is there going to be an even bigger gamble, by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth?
Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.
Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.
Did you see the Swedish study this week that found that heart attacks decrease by 5% on the day after the fall time change? Unfortunately it works the other way in the spring, but it does give one food for thought...an extra hour of sleep per night might lessen the overall risk?
My math for the week: assuming a 35% increase in the cost of living, a $20,000 cost to move, Hawaii state income tax, and several thousand a year for flights to see the A team families, how big a salary increase would The Papa have to demand in order to accept a job in the Islands? Hmmmm.....
I brought half my Christmas card envelopes to start addressing them here in the hotel this week. Wanna take bets on whether or not I'll get them done?
Also up this week: more Christmas shopping and Thanksgiving meal planning.
My stay in Hawaii so far has brought a nice mix of seeing all the new and remembering the old. Last night we drove through two parts of the island that are virtually unchanged from what they were when we first came thirty years ago. We had dinner with some fine folks who live in a house on the north shore, built in 1906 in a little town in the middle of what had been the sugar cane fields. The island of Oahu has changed all around it, but its idyllic setting makes it easy to imagine the world in which it first stood.
I'm reasonably certain that one of the reasons God doesn't let me live here permanently is that I would turn into a papaya. Ahhh....
Going into this rather scary week, where by Wednesday the world is probably going to look very different, I will continue to remember these words:
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He!
Lord Sabbaoth, His name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle!
~~A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Martin Luther, 1529
Please, go vote. And pray.
Please, read this.
And please, God, bless America.
How about instead of denying that there is any biological basis for homosexuality, we view the resultant sin just like we view other sins that may be affected by our DNA, such as alcoholism? God's grace saves us from the eternal consequences of sin when we are regenerated, but it also gives us power over sin in this life, no matter what nurture or nature has influenced us.
A very good discussion of this topic here:
"I was born that way...so it's OK."
So I was very glad to have some research to back up my feeling that a writer is taken less seriously and may suffer from a lack of valuable exposure when he or she doesn't show readers the respect of careful proofreading:
Blogging is fast, informal and easy to do. Spelling, grammar and factual errors happen - but do they make a material impact on the success of a blogger? A small but interesting survey run by crowdsourced copy editing service GooseGrade concludes that they do.See the results of the survey here: Errors By Bloggers Kill Credibility & Traffic, Study Finds
Approximately 200 respondents told GooseGrade that while blogs aren't a major source of news for most of them, they often find errors on blogs and that makes them less likely to share the content they find there with other readers. While unsurprising, these numbers are a good illustration of just how much things have changed in media - or not.
(I could have included a shot of the color of our shoulders, but I'll spare you :-) )
(Oct. 31) - A piece of space station trash the size of a refrigerator is poised to plunge through the Earth's atmosphere late Sunday, more than a year after an astronaut tossed it overboard.NASA and the U.S. Space Surveillance Network are tracking the object - a 1,400-pound tank of toxic ammonia coolant thrown from the International Space Station - to make sure it does not endanger people on Earth. Exactly where the tank will inevitably fall is currently unknown, though it is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere Sunday afternoon or later that evening, NASA officials said.
I don't know about you, but I'm staying indoors.
Space Station Trash Plunging to Earth