Monday, July 24, 2006

A year later....

A year ago my husband was just getting out of the hospital after a very serious operation, followed by a spell in ICU. His at home care took much of my time, as the surgical wound was very large, and he had the complications of several bypasses put in to let his system recover from all the work on him. Happily I was not alone. The hospital arranged a nurse and I had my Mom, son, and daughter all lending what assistance they could. They made sure he always had plenty of water/tea/juice to drink. One of us remained with him at all times ~ usually me.

Tom came home from his last scheduled 'reversal' of those bypasses a year to the day that he was sent home from his first major surgery with this hospital ~ but what a difference! This trip was the smoothest by far. All his nurses were nice this time. Tom was awake, relatively 'with it' and recovered a bit ahead of schedule. He was more ambulatory even before he left than he was for months after the first surgery. God broke the weather around us again. The hottest days were ones we didn't have to travel, and were always less intense than places 15-20 miles away. The strong storms broke around our location instead of over us. Travel days were cloudy and cooler than the others. Praise God!

Tom did so well recovering from the trip home that we were able to celebrate with some take-out Chinese within a few days. :D

So, yeah, it went well. Main problem now is reminding him to take it easy for awhile yet. He's been very alert since he had to put down a (confirmed) rabid fox that appeared in the yard one day. It went after Mom, but she successfully fended it off and Tom responded very quickly and accurately. The animal control guy was very impressed with his marksmanship. Since then, he has been shepherding Mom through the shots they asked her to get. She wasn't bit but she had a scratch, which she is pretty sure came from the bucket she was using to defend herself. Still, no sense in taking chances! Tom isn't happy it happened, but he is glad he is able to take care of her. I am glad he was able to act so swiftly, otherwise it would have been worse!

So, I've been rather busy 'round the house lately. Just the same, I probably would have posted sooner if Mysterium weren't right around the corner. Always gets crazy helping plan that puppy in the last week or two. I helped last year too, when I could, until Tom's condition once again claimed all my attention. By the time the gathering began, I had forgotten it was even that weekend! This year there is still a small possibility I may make it. Won't know for sure for another couple of days. It's gonna go down to the wire again. Actually, I've helped plan 5 of 7 Myst fan gatherings and I've only been able to go to one of them. Personal reward factor has been very low indeed. Well, whatever. I started because I wanted help make the community happier at these shindigs, not just me. I know I have helped there. Besides, everything to do with that group has been on the altar for a long time now. I do what I do because of honor, friendship, and obedience to what I think God wants of me. Can't shake the impression that what I am doing there is still important. I used to spend a lot of time praying for folks, offering whatever practical counsel I could, or at least a sympathetic ear. Haven't had time to really spend on people outside my family in a long while, so its no longer clear to me what this might be.

My birthday was pretty cool. Spent a chunk of each day we remembered it (before and after) watching Michael Palin travelogues & other old fav movies I'd received in honor of the occasion. Mom surprised me with Captain Jack & penguin stationary, a nice shirt, and perfumed talc. (Didn't even know anybody sold those anymore) Becka got me a lovely medieval themed journal. I know just what should go in it. :D My favorite gift, however, was a very nice "Sea World" penguin my son won just for me at Busch Gardens. That was a first. Now that is love, because I know he loved that penguin! (& It was the first carnie game he won by himself) I had a lovely cake a week before we went in. Mom surprised me with one to eat on the day, in case I was home but I wasn't and they ate it before Tom and I got back. I teased them about it but I didnt really mind.

Finally got to see Pirates of the Carribbean II: Dead Man's Chest this last weekend. I must say I enjoyed it very much, even though Jack's character was made rather worse than it seemed in the first film. Still, how could I *not* love a film with so many Monkey Island scenes brought to glorious technicolor...undeadness? One of the more difficult bits in the early Monkey Island game involved sneaking into LeChuck's cabin...and, well, I won't spoil it, but I was actually impressed when Orlando pulled it off in one go. I seem to remember needing a few 'saves' myself. *cough* Anyway, CG work in it is so good you have to remind yourself that such things can't happen. I saw the first Pirates film with Tom for my birthday the year that came out. That feels like a very long time ago.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lil Brown Dress makes her goal!

Congratulations! That's a long time to go without a personal update ;)

I like simplicity. I liked the brown dress idea. I already use a simple wardrobe with additions to my basic black, browns & greens etc. Just the same I don't think I would have made, let alone enjoyed such a pledge. I salute you!

Salute Smiley

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sweet Carmel Meme :-D

Apparantly get-to-know- you questionaires are now sometimes regarded as 'Meme's

Accent: American Standard

Butter or Margarine: butter.

Chore I Hate: mess happens. stinkiness happens. I deal with it and go on. Stinkiness not found for awhile because the cat hid while doing it, because a glass was forgotten for a couple of days...with juice in it, or because the container was invisible behind the jelly in the fridge that nobody likes... this takes on a whole different dimension. I deal with that too, but I don't like it very much.

Dog or Cat: either can be wonderful :-D

Essential Electronics: to those who would live wired, I suppose they are ;-)

Favorite Cologne(s): Sunflowers, Spiced Green Tea, Green Tea(hard to find now), Liz Claiborne, Ghost Myst, and an unidentified Arabian oil-based perfume my hubby got me last year. It has such a warm scent :)

Gold or Silver: I would be pleased to receive plenty of either. I won't complain, promise!

Hometown: New Jerusalem?

Insomnia: *presents insomnia pet for your inspection* Its been feeling neglected for awhile now. You can have it if you like...

Job Title(s): wife, mom, nurse, crafts artist, writer, feeder of pets, adding more but I don't think I want to anounce until I have something I am ready to show

Kids: two great young'uns abide with me. I don't know how they put up with me sometimes, but I'm grateful they do. They even allege to enjoy it. lol

Living arrangements: A decent-sized house with lots of headroom. Tis' a pity we're mostly short. lol

Most admirable trait: affection, honesty, forgiveness. All fresh gifts passed on daily by Jesus

Nicknames: The main one I go by now is MMMmmmmooooommm!!! Then there's my hubby's endearments. :-)

Overnight hospital stays: for me or for the whole family? recently had one connected to pre-surgical check on my hubby. It went very well! One more session, and we may finally see the end of this trial. Unbelievably he may *still* be cleared for a small vacation trip soon afterward. I was surprised the doctor said that. We'll have to wait and see tho

Quote: I am always encountering quotes I think are worthy of thought and remembrance.

This one caught my attention recently in 'Christianity & Culture' (Part of Lewis' 'Christian Reflections")

"our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern. There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan. But will Brother Every agree in acknowledging a real difficulty about mere recreational reading..., as about games? ... It is a serious matter to choose wholesome recreations: but they would no longer be recreations if we pursued them seriously"

God made us with a need to relax, to play. Hard to find many guidelines for what is 'edifying' play and what isnt, aside from avoiding obvious sin. I've heard about everything condemned by Ephesians 5:4.

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.
3 But lewdness and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no lewd, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. -Webster 1833 ed

"much bad criticism, indeed, results from the efforts of critics to get a worktime result out of something that never aimed at producing more than pleasure."

Amen. He was referring to literary reviews but the concept is larger than that. Some people don't know how to just play. That would be sad enough but then they will judge others' responses based on their outlook. If all they do is for an intended effect or to get ahead in "x" way, everything you do must be for some deeper darker purpose. :/ IMHO Online gatherings seem to be especially vulnerable to the effects of people who join a play group with work/ politics/ personal ambitions foremost on their brains.

I had a dream recently about otters playing in the surf near an island with Riven-blue waters. They were just a bunch of tumbling, silly, friendly, innocent creatures splashing each other and dancing in the waves. For a minute I thought I was also an otter until I realized they were molting, and beneath that they were injured. I reached out to help one and realized I had hands. I was human but that difference wasn't enough to help them, so I prayed. A thinnish Ursula sat on a rock nearby shouting to the otters to do her bidding (they mostly ignored her) and insults at me ~ including "where is your God if he really is on your side?" ~ until Aslan bounded up the beach. Everytime she'd look, he'd look like something else ~ a smaller lion, a deer, a lamb, even a donkey. She'd turn away and laugh at us for paying these lowly creatures any mind ~ but we could see the huge lion steadily approaching.

Eventually Aslan appeared next to her and blew her off her perch. The otters laughed and spontaneoulsy healed as they rolled about in energetic play. The rest of the dream was just plain fun. Aslan bounded in and out as he pleased, which made us feel safe. I collected shells, played in the sand and splashed the otters. fun. I like fun. 'Ursula's are too focused on success to know what innocent lesiure time looks like!

Religion: 'mere' Christianity. I believe the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety. I will accept any other sincere believers as being in the same spiritual family as myself be they Catholic, any variety Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, or un-Orthodox. ;-) I've even known a few sincere Mormons & Jehovah's Witnesses that I truly hope are claimed by heaven when they go to home.

Conversely, if the fruit of someone who claims to be a believer is consistently bad (See Galatians 5, Ephesians 4, Colossians 3, 2 Timothy ch2-3, Titus 3) their denominational protestations don't mean a whole lot. Everybody screws up sometimes but the believers will regret any wrong-doing intensely, will want to work out differences, won't seek to see how far they can spread the quarrel and who they can use against you, and will try to not to keep sinning in the same ways.

Siblings: Both half-brothers passed away years ago (when I was still a kid). I've been trying to adopt another ever since. My Mom doesn't seem to think this will work...

Time I wake up: varies wildly during trials like these.

Unusual talent or skill: writing, crafts of different sorts, design concepts

Vegetable I refuse to eat: lima beans - blecch!

X-rays: the initial check-up dental thingy is the only one I have had for years

Yummy stuff I cook: lamb roast with scratch gravy, homemade bread, decent breakfasts, quiche variations, noodle & rice casseroles with my own spices, scratch soups...

last books read: the Bible, "Babylon Rising" by Tim LaHaye, "Food Allergies and Intolerance," "Humor for a Mom's Heart," "Culture of Complaint" (I'll read political books from all over the ideological spectrum: Huffington to Coulter.), and a bit ironically, Deerproofing Your Yard & Garden - as I actually like to see our antlered neighbors stroll across the yard.

Strange to finally find this book now. I was looking for something like it for years on behalf of someone online I once thought was a friend ( seeking to be a good friend) and kept on because resulting discussions informed us that some local pals had the same trouble. I've never actually had that much trouble myself, despite our deer's fondness for our cantalopes & legumes. I recommend this book to anyone who has deer for neighbors whether you've got problems or not, as it explains rather well why deer do what they do when they do.

currently reading: "," "Christian Reflections" by C.S. Lewis, "Steal This Computer Book", The World's Religions, and rereading Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" & the Bible

verse for the day:
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. Proverbs 9: 10-11

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Pattern quiz

I liked two patterns about equally so I put 'em both on here.

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.

You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.

People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.

But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

+++++>>>>> and <<<<<+++++

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is an incubator for good ideas, it just takes a while for them to develop.

But when you think of something, watch out!

Your thoughts tend to be huge, and they come on quickly - like an explosion.

You tend to be quiet around others, unless you're inspired by your next big idea.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

(clickee the image for more cool ecards you can send to friends all over the net from

Tis a glorious day to honor our vets
and remember the declaration that said
We are a free people with God-given rights
to tyranny we'll not bow our heads

Tis a Hot, stormy day, this 4th of July
and many still wonder if we
are still proud as a people
of our leader and laws
are we still the land of the free?

Liberty is always journeying on
there is never an end to the cost
We must always be ready to answer all men
or our dearly bought freedom be lost

So let us stand strongly and bravely for cause
that we believe in heart's heart to be right
'gainst enemies out and temptations within
that our torch remain brightly alight


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Blogging Independence

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Everybody is already celebrating the 4th around here. They have for days! Those beautiful fireworks will be shining somewhere in the area for several nights. The 4th is a big deal here, with all the military, gov't orgs, and the Revolutionary/Civil War historical sights in the area. Its quite impossible to forget the price of freedom when surrounded by so many reminders. Thank you so very much, veterans present and past, for your dedication to our country and to liberty.

freedom rings out o'er our land
purchased dearly by the blood of brave men

Also want to point out that one of the freedoms so dearly purchased is freedom of speech. That is, freedom to speak of your faith and out of your conscience, to come right out with happy sentiments as well as uncomfortable truths.

I was surprised how openly people declared their beliefs (religious, political, & other) when I first started checking out other folks' blogs. Blogging has become the new 'front porch' or even the 'soapbox in the park' where people can dare to be people again. People dare to debate the issues of the day, ask for prayer for a friend, or just share their lives.

Had a friend grouse that blogs were just online diaries. I said no, more like a public announcement system. What you announce is up to you, be it politics or how cute your grandbaby was in church today. Diaries are private.

To put it another way, imho blogging is the online equivalent of your own corner at the local soda fountain/barber shop/diner/general store where everybody meets and can have a say ~ with improvements. Your comments stick around instead of being 'interpreted' for latecomers. You can't get shouted down. You can allow others to comment or not. Even better, those comments will always come in order & can't be changed later. Anyone commenting on your blog is there because they want to be. You are never 'holding them up' or 'drowning' other conversation. You are never 'off-topic.' You decide what belongs here. Speak intelligently and you may change those your words touch.

Lots of folks are natural essayists/lecturers. & They'd like you to think about what they are trying to get off their chests. Face to face conversations benefit by sparking new thoughts but limit you in other ways. You always think of something you wish you'd said. Bloggers benefit from having the time and space to collect their thoughts without interruption. (okay you may have distractions around you in rl while you post, but that is why 'draft' & edit are such a nice features :)

People have remarked on their surprise at the large number of people who enjoy blogs. Who do they all post to? Each other, of course! Blogging is talking. People love to speak when they can do so freely. Blogs are a freer form of communication than most. You can share your thoughts with anyone who stops by ~ or just friends & family. Its great to find folks who have similar interests. That's also why people like webboards, especially when they are actively and fairly administrated. Ones that aren't run well face the danger of being taken over by cliques, but this is another reason blogs & personal websites are great for expanding freedom. The world always has its share of would-be tyrants, but on your sites, forums, & blogs you have a voice too, and that is a crucial checking power. You can get the truth out, as you know it. You can share your insights and have them expanded by other thinkers. You can talk over life, the universe, and everything. Blogs can be very good things indeed.

aaahh freedom!

Liberty will always rescue the art of conversation from her underground hideouts.

sparkling wit glows bright
only with free flowing air
closed boxes stifle life