Showing posts from July, 2006

Nasty Nausea and Thrift Store News

I seem to have a stomach bug. Stayed home from Church yesterday, (which was a bummer because everyone is so dear and I really miss it when I don't come), and slept on and off. Finally after getting somewhat dehydrated and rectifying the situation with a couple of pots of mild peppermint tea (an old Swiss remedy) I was able to vomit. Not enough, though.

Still feeling icky today. Warm drinks make me sweat, which is good I guess. Meanwhile I'll stick with mint tea, saltines and sugar free vanilla ice cream. Morning but not the best for me, I'm finding out.

Blech, blech, blech.

I guess I'll go camp out on the couch and play board games with the kids.

Ah, yes, thrift store news:

I went to the thrift store Friday pm just to get some "alone time" and see if there was anything nice in the sweater department. Most of what I own is BLACK and I've decided I need more color in my winter wardrobe. Summer is the time for winter thrift store sh…

Something to smile about

I stepped out of the shopping center this evening, to dusky overcast skies and the smell of rain. Drifting on the breeze was wonderful, live saxaphone music coming from a black man in the back of his pickup truck. He was playing Jazz like only a black man can, (even when it's politically incorrect for me to say so).

It was wonderful, like a breath of uniqueness in a sterile, prepackaged buy-this-now-and-don't-think world.

I rolled my windows down so I could catch as much of his music as I could.

I drove out of my way to thank him for his wonderful music.

I smiled.

Changing the world

Well, I had the joy of keeping my nephew and niece for about 24 hours after "Grandparents camp" was over, and before my brother could drive up from big city down south to pick them up.

Such cute kids! My niece is two and in the throes of potty training. She has a day care deadline to meet by mid August, I think. She's doing really really well. I even managed it without the "treats" although she's sly enough to try and talk me into extra freezy pops for about half an ounce of pee in the potty....."I don't think so, missy!" Yesterday I tried to convince her a raisin was candy. It is, afterall, just as forbidden on MY diet as candy is. We called them fruities and it was good, but the request for the freezy pop was probably revenge for my raisin ploy. It's not like I had not been spoiling them rotten with snacks upoon request and extra freezy pops anyways. After all, it's only 24 hours.

I'd also forgotten what it's like…

I always did love a good missionary story!

It's been a very crazy non-normal week. Last weekend we had a big family get together, with many meals hosted at my house. I say meals because our place is too small to sleep everyone, so it was motels for the out of towners and my sister and BIL at their place here in the same town. Good times had by all, but it left me physically squashed. But thanks to Mamaw and PopPop camp, all the kids and cousins are with them so I have had blissful quiet and freedom for the past couple of day. Dh took Monday afternoon and Tuesday off and we headed up to Louisville Monday evening, and back by midnightish. Tuesday we went and saw "The Devil Wears Prada"...very Faust, if you ask me. I liked it. Dinner was at home. Today was a work day, which was nice because I got all the laundry done, got weekly lesson plans laid out for the entire school year (yah, I'm homeschooling 2nd grader, 3rd grader and 5th grader this year.). It helps to have a plan. I'm not so scared anym…

My weird brain

...Today I was wondering if medicinal use of leeches to help with varicose veins might be something the medical community should investigate....

...We and some friends went to the Old Spaghetti Factory in Louisville the other night, after getting to venerate the myrrh streaming icon of St. Anna, and the meal was so bad, complete with two cockroach sightings, that the manager gave us each (each couple that is) coupons for a free dinner for four at Old Spaghetti Factory....redeemable anywhere, from what I understand. Do I HAVE to go back the the yucky one in Louisville?....

...and if you like Chicken Marsala, go to Johnny Carinos, not Old Spaghetti Factory. J.C's is better...and no roach sightings!...

...eczema, on someone's scalp. Food allergy? At one time we thought perhaps peanuts, but he hasn't been eating much of that since my peanut allergy, but HAS been eating more dairy as a result of us getting rid of the peanutbutter. And the eczema is worse. So...could be a dair…

Something I"m contemplating.... does one pray? does one pray earnestly, deeply, contemplatively, genuinely? does one pray without ceasing?

Is it that thought, that constant awareness of my need for mercy from God? Is it that whispered prayer on a sigh as the memory of an old friend falls out of nowhere into my mind? Is it the begging for mercy as one more time I am tested to the limit of my patience? Is it the asking for mercy once again after I've been pushed past the limit of my patience? Is it scrubbing the bathtub in humility, at least for one small moment of personal victory, rather than in anger?

Is it the constant conversation of my life?

Is it all this? Or is there more, something I"m missing?

Am I praying earnestly even as I go through my life? And if not, how can I tell?

Dancing Shoes

Tonight I bought some shoes. For contra dancing. Nothing special, just something with soft soles so I can move my feet freely. Difficult to dance in Birkenstock sandals, which is my usual podattire. I was looking for something that wouldn't be so pathetically obvious that I'd gone out and bought shoes just for....

Yes, that's right. My husband and I are going to take up contra dancing together. We had so much fun at our friend's wedding that we did the research and found that the place for contra dancing in our town is just about a mile or so from our house. (Sometimes it really IS nice to live so near downtown). All comers welcome and an imminently affordable entrance fee for the three hour long dance.

I'm so excited!

We were practicing together in our living room the other night, this one move that neither of us could figure out at the wedding dance. Between the two of us, we eventually figured it out, so there we were, two silly and tired thritysomthin…

Today I must

clean my house. I"m mean, we don't live life in a pig pen, we keep things tidy, but I have my ENTIRE family coming to visit. Tomorrow.

We have a list.

We have a PLAN!

It WILL get done. I want to get all the embarrassing spots clean, like the refigerator and the grungy corner behind the dishwasher where I keep my brooms and mops.

But meanwhile I sit at the computer and BLOG, for crying out loud, and the sad thing is, I'm blogging about NOTHING just so I don't have to get up and start cleaning house.

At least I have minions to make the overall load on each person lighter.

Did I mention that I HATE the scrubbing etc. and it's not so much the actual work of it, it's the fact that within seconds of getting it all done, it will be undone by life, the universe, the minions and everything.

So, God have mercy, here we go.

Update: The house is clean and I did not even loose my temper AND the kids did their share. A successful day, indeed!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Here's the question:

Hi there. If you don't mind me did you come to be Orthodox? I am currently reading a book called The Way, and am enjoying it quite a bit!--abundanceinsimplicity

Here's the answer:

OK, starting at the beginning: I was raised in a very actively Christian non-denominational (or should I say trans-denominational?) home by parents who love and serve God first and foremost. For this and the faith they taught me, I am eternally grateful. Since my childhood was spent in Switzerland, where my folks were working with an interdenominatinal Swiss ministry, we attended, but did not join, the Swiss Reform Church. The issue that prevented our family from joining fully as members was infant baptism. Having come from, and out of, a strict Church of Christ background, my folks, and by extension me, just did not agree with that doctrine/practice.

When we returned to the USA, we became members of a large non-denominational charismatic Church that has also…

This is Fun

Facial Recognition program that can match you up with celebrity faces. I did mine smiling and straight faced. Both times, it came up that I look like Zsa Zsa Gebour. YIKES! Straight faced, I also look like the president (as in George W. himself), apparently.

Have fun!

Not so deep thoughts

I have not bloggged anything truly profound in several posts, I guess. My head has been very full of big decisions, and issues, and concerns, I guess. I'll be homeschooling my three youngest kids next school year, so many decisions about curriculum, lessons, etc. have had to be made. I have a deep sense of peace about it. I'm already training them to sit and listen to good literature being read aloud. We are working our way through The Horse and His Boy (from the Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis) and after I forced them to it, the kids played legos quietly while I read about three chapters tonight. That was good. I"ve heard it takes two months of "detox time" for every year the kid was public schooled. So, six months for my son, four for my daughter, and nine months for my older daughter...but I think she's so relieved that she's already "detoxed".

I can tell the three youngest, the one's I'll be homeschooling, are visibly more rel…

Original Crafts

Here are some samples of some of my work. I diddle. I do a bit of this and bit of that. There needs to be more original stuff in the world, so here are some of my small contributions.

This one is my old classical guitar that I painted a few years ago. I've seen better folk art, but this was pretty much my first attempt. I like how it turned out. Have not painted much since. Brushes are expensive.

Free hand machine embroidery on a scarf. The other end is similar but different. I won't bore you with it.

One of my quilts. This was made with bits and scraps of new fabrics, but the pieces were torn, not cut precisely. I like the unique irregularity that this gives, but I doubt any professional quilters would approve too much. But my stitches are tiny and it brought me joy to make it, and brings me joy to look at it and use it.

202 quilt squares, 4.5"x4.5" each. Four old shirts. This is what happens when I iron dh's shirts and realize they are all fraye…

The Wedding

What a fun day today was! It was the wedding, the dress I made, you know. Well, J and J are married, bride looked radiant and gorgeous, groom looked so very very know the drill.

It was also my first ever Orthodox wedding. No surprises, I'd read about Orthodox weddings before, but here are some impressions that stood out to me:

The wedding is on a Sunday afternoon, so we all got to see the bride and groom and all the family at Divine Liturgy this morning. There was a joyous anticipation through the whole day, and for the whole parish, and a certain rightness about this couple being together through the Liturgy and partaking of the Eucharist together before their betrothal ceremony.

After lunch at Church we all headed over to the wedding (well, we stopped by home because of course I got FOOD all over my white blouse and so did the kids get similarly grungy and we all had to change). We got there just in time and squeezed in the back.

Thing two: no vows. The big…

St. Veronica

by alana sheldahl
(luke 8:43-48)

...He must be the holy one from God
for he brings healing
with is power
he is love...

I am unclean and alone
sick in this body with no hope
I have been sufferinng for twelve long years
impoverished in body and in soul
I heard Jesus comes this way
I heard he healed the blind, the lame
I cannot touch him but I see him through the crowd
the one we’ve waited for,
so full of love and power.

He must be the holy one from God
for he brings healing
with his power
he is love...
He must be the holy one from God
for he brings healing
with his power
he is love...

Now I am reaching out my hand
I touch his garment on the fringe
and that is all I dare as I am
tainted, unclean, and cast out
But then I feel his healing flow
my bleeding stops that very moment
and Jeus turned and said: “Who touched me?”
“There are many here who press against you.”
“No, I felt my power.”

I know he’s the Holy Son of God
for he has healed me
with his power
he is love!
I know he’s the Holy Son of God
for he has healed me

God Answers Prayers

I can't post the details, but I had a really really good evening, and I think some things I have been praying about may begin to come to fruition.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Sieg Heil!

I was looking for some BOOKS for my kids to read, in a hopeful attempt at raising the level of literature from Captain Underpants and the Case of the Bouncing Bionic Booger Boy, (or something like that) and am astonished once again, even though I've noticed this and thought this before, at:

1)The number of fantasy novels with pagan godess worshipping majyck heroine themes.

2)The fact that most all of the "series" of historical fiction books are about girls and their experience. American Girl, Dear America, Royal Diaries, etc. etc.

3) That there seems to be NOTHING comparable for boys. At least not on the scale and scope.

4) The stuff geared towards boys are dumbed down sports stories readers.

It's insulting. I'll say it again: It's insulting. I am not just the mother of daughters, I am also the mother of a SON, and at this point in my life I feel like there is hardly any societal support for the raising of him.

Now, from the perspective of enriching the li…

Camping is so much fun!

And the best time to do it is on the "other" end of a weekend. Most folks go Friday/Saturday nights, so we went Sunday/Monday night and practically had the place to ourselves. One other tent with rather bland looking middle aged people in it.

And the park service lady stopped by to warn us of some copper heads living under the rock by where we'd parked our car. Lovely. Fortunately our snake bite kit went unused.

We had a grand time hiking and absolutely foundering ourselves on s'mores and bratwurst.

On our hike, we went down to a creek and played in the sand and the water at the foot of a waterfall. The kids and I hunted crawdads and built a sand castle, climbed on rocks and learned to skip stones. Yes, there was plenty of sand. The rock is sandstone and limestone, and the creek had washed down lots of sand. It was beautiful. Wes took them on a guided tour up to the top of Rock Bridge (a natural formation that required more climbing skills than I posess a…

How to refurbish a cast iron skillet

Cast iron really is the best thing to cook on, in my opinion.

So imagine my delight when I found a lovely ten inch cast iron skillet at the thrift store one day. Used cast iron delights me even more than new cast iron. I like the idea that something is old and still perfectly, delightfully good to use. I like the durability. I like knowing that countless generations of my ancestors cooked on castiron: Colonial and pioneer alike.

So, I've had this small, ten inch skillet hanging on my wall as decoration because it had crud on it. Mystery, thrift store crud. You know, black build up. Most likely food, but there's that thought: what if it's NOT food. Or what if it belonged to some weird cannibalistic sicko and this is Bubba crud. My brain goes in these directions.

So I googled on how to clean a cast iron skillet. The cure for the crud is fire. Lots of it. Hot heaping coals of it. All night long heaping coals. The kind only to be found on a camping trip.


The crapification of America

Sometimes I get the impression that as long as we each have one of each, we don't care how shabbily or shoddily it is made. As long as it looks good on the outside and serves the moment, that is all we ask. If it breaks, we'll just buy another one, whether we need it or not...whether we can afford it or not.

The other day when I was reading John Holt on poverty, he said something that really stood out to me. One aspect of poverty, he wrote, was the inability for the poor man to have access to the goods and services he needs or would need to make his life not feel poor. Not only is his income low, but no one is building affordable housing for his income braket even though it would be theoretically possible. It's just that more money can be made making vacation homes for the rich than decent housing for the poor. So John Holt says. So is the capitalistic economy in which we live. The bottom line rules. This was written in the early 1970's.

Much time has passed s…

Somebody asked about the mantilla I made


The ecological impact of thoughtless behavior

Today was fairly laid back until it was time to go the the chiropractor and take the kids and a huge laundry basket full of books back to the Library.

I tried to find something really intelligent to read and came away with some offerings by John Holt and one by Wendell Berry, whose name I picked up from the Crunchy Cons book. Also a tome entitled _Slouching towards Gomorrah_ which I think will be rather polemical and divisive, but perhaps worth a glance since I'd actually heard of the title at some point.

There is a chapter in John Holt's book _Freedom and Beyond_ entitled "Schooling and Poverty" that I got immediately caught up in, even though that chapter is found smack dab in the middle of the book. Even though written when I was likely still in diapers, his insights were profound and much of them true. His analysis of the cure for poverty not exclusively being educational hits home. I live in a poor neighborhood, even though we ourselves are not "poor…

More about Crunchy Cons

Well, I finished the book. It was excellent. As Laura put it, could have used some tighter editing, perhaps, but other than that, the content was great. As a matter of fact, I intend to buy a copy. My reason is, it reads like a who's who of conservative thought, in some ways. Dreher does ALOT of name dropping, and I'd like to be able to mark up a copy and do follow up reading on some of the names he dropped. Names like Wendell Berry, a fellow Kentuckian farmer/writer/philosopher. Sounds interesting. I did not know there were interesting people here in my home state...just kidding (sort of).

Basically, this book covered all the lifestyle bases of how people live: food, home, education, the environment, religion, and the last chapter, entitled "Waiting for Benedict" which is not about the current Roman pope, but rather takes a look at what it will take for adherants to Truth to survive the coming/come dark ages...St. Benedict having precipitated monastic rev…

Livin' the simple life

I decided to try and do something profound and real with my kids today, so we made homemade granola together. The More with Less Cookbook is still one of my all time favorite cookbooks, both for it's chapters on food philosophy (use less of the world's resources, share with others, feed the hungery, etc.) and for the simplicity and genuineness of the recipes. No junk food there, but also no fancy shmancy "can't pronounce the name of this complicated ingredient" stuff. So, homemade granola it is: I used maltitol and erythritol to sweeten it, so I can eat it, too. Oats, flax seed meal, wheat germ, dry milk powder and cinnamon...those were my dry ingredients. Basically just mix seven cups of dry to about one or so cups of wet ( I melted a stick of butter and added some disolved erythritol and maltitol "honey"). Stir wet into dry and toast for about half an hour. The sugar alcohols cook faster, so next time I'll use less heat. The recipe called…

Baby Stepping towards

more awareness, more sustainability....hopefully less Walmart.

1. I discovered that Laura of "Laura's Lean Beef" fame has an excellent blog at It's nice to read the words and thoughts of the farmer who grows some of my meat.

2. I've noticed the newest fad in salad dressing is a salad "spritzer" spray that you spray on your greens. What a great idea, and I don't even remember the brand because of course the first thing I look at is the ingredients list, and of course the stuff has sugar in it. Blech. But olive oil, red wine vinegar and a one dollar small spray bottle work just as well. This falls under the "how to consume less" category.

3. Organic Kentucky grown tomatoes taste better than the pale red crap sold you-know-where. Duh!

4. I like my little house. It's cozy, and we don't turn the air conditioning on every single day. Today the thermometer read 101 in the sun, 97 in the shade. The air was …

Tw0 things I wonder about sometimes...

1) Why do I like submarine movies so much? Is there some Jungian significance or do I just like the fact that they are "there" and I am NOT? I mean, yeah, you have a bunch of men in a very physically cramped space with no resources execept what is on board and the technology of the submarine itself available to solve their problems...and there is always some sort of problem, otherwise it would not be worth making a movie about, no?

Last night Dh brough home K-19 Widowmaker. I love that one. Thus officially begins my submarine movie collection. Next I hope I get Hunt for Red October or that one about the enigma machine...

2) What do my recurring dreams mean, if anything? I know, everyone has them. My recurring dreams either feature slipping off a cliff (horrifying) or trying to save my children from a tornado (predictable) or (and this is the one that stumps me) waking up with long hair and being THRILLED about it. OK, I do think it would be cool to have long hair …

Free Range Organic Music

So, at the Farmer's Market this morning, I noticed that there were lots of "street corner musician" types. What an idea. Actually, I figured there would be, and I was already thinking along those lines.

So right after lunch, that's just what I did: I took my guitar down to the market, asked and friendly looking farmer if he minded music, and set up and started to sing my songs.

Open case, of course. I scored seven dollars and seventy five cents in about an hour, and had to stop because I blew my e-string. People were very friendly and smiled at me alot. (But I wasn't there to get money, just for fun.)

And then, as my we were leaving (one of my kids was hangin' with me), I went to use some of my earnings to buy a couple of peaches from the friendly neighbor farmer and he gave them to us for free...and he thanked me for the music!

Oh, and I'd made a sign that said: Organic, Kentucky Grown Free Range Music (No Growth Hormones, Antibiotics, GMO Fre…

Currently Reading

Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party)
by Rod Dreher

Loving it, so far, even though I'm not a member of the Republican Party (or any political party for that matter) and have more libertarian leanings than anything else. But crunchy fits. As does ultra conservative in the non-current "republican" sense of the word.

This book is worth a read.

Now, my birkenstocked self is off to the Farmer's Market for some locally grown produce on this lovely summer's day.