Casting call: princesses and mermaids

IMG_20150103_172451138The most-darling-three-year-old-in-the-Universe, (my oldest granddaughter) is R-E-A-L-L-Y into princess stuff.  Like, it’s a struggle for her mom to get her to change out of one of her (many) princess outfits if they need to go public somewhere, like to the grocery store.

Graciemermaid (1)Of course, then she got a mermaid bathing suit, and it’s been rough getting her out of that one, as in this recent chat with her mom:

“Don’t ever make proclamations about how you’ll parent or what your child/ren will do.  That’s how you end up in a suburban bank with a 3-year-old mermaid perched on your hip.”

Ah, parenting…

But, along with Pooh Bear, mermaids, and tea parties, the princess things still rank pretty high on her radar for now.  And as with all things (grand)parenting, it give us great pleasure to follow those interests with her.  What will develop next? Continue reading “Casting call: princesses and mermaids”

Why stay hidden?

wood 2I grew up on the edge of a large Midwest city (Indianapolis).  My graduating class in high school was over 700, and I attended the main campus of a Big Ten university immediately thereafter.  I have been to visit my daughters on both coast in L.A. and the Big Apple, and accompanied my husband’s small college on a trip to London several years ago. 

crowdAll this to say, crowds don’t bother me. 

It’s not that prefer them; I don’t.  In fact, I’m writing this on my somewhat secluded patio in my comparatively sleepy small town with my quiet mutt on the pavestones as the birds sing around me.  Yes, in a way, I’m hiding.  Intentionally.  Is that so bad?

But I’m quite adept at hiding in a crowd also.  I really like not 
Continue reading “Why stay hidden?”

I didn’t sign up for this…(sez who??)

I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew.

Now, that’s an analogy that needs no explanation; it’s just part of our vernacular, which probably means that there are a WHOLE BUNCH of us that do it.  Frequently.  Constantly chewing and rarely swallowing between bites.

Like signing up for a 50-mile two-day bike hike when I was in high school with no serious preparation, wishing in mid-stride I could fall off and ride the rest of the way in the S.A.G. (Support And Gear) vehicle.  “SAG” is aptly named for another reason… Continue reading “I didn’t sign up for this…(sez who??)”

Tie your own shoes

Dawncartoon[1] (1)TO THIS DAY, I still have middle-schoolers walking around with their shoes untied!  Kids!  This is NOT a fashion statement, this is a HEALTH HAZARD!  You trip, then I have to take care of you!

Remember teaching your little ones to tie their shoes?  Some used the bunny ear technique.  In my house, we used the old-fashioned loop/knot design.  It all takes time and practice, but then, of course, my youngest ended up wearing flip-flops to high school in January, so why bother?

The point is that teaching self-sufficiency is a 
Continue reading “Tie your own shoes”

Labor Day

Did y’all know this about Labor Day?? Really neat perspectives from a bloggish buddy!

Salvageable

The industrial revolution changed the world. One thousand years ago, Chinese technology created a new and better version of steel. Over the centuries that recipe spread, until it reached the British Isles, where iron and coal were abundant and were near each other, and where transportation by water made it easy to distribute what was manufactured. Labor-saving devices such as mechanical spinners and looms allowed increased production, and what happened in Britain began to happen in other European countries, in North America, and eventually throughout the world.

Capitalism had already begun to develop in medieval Europe. Workers formed guilds which controlled each craft, putting the power of production into the hands of workers. Along with the guilds came financial leagues which led to modern banking and a new financial system. With the industrial revolution came a new form of capitalism. Only those who had access to wealth could buy the…

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Reuben, more than a sandwich

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Jacob’s progeny was an unruly bunch.  Our dysfunctional society has nothing on them, and Jacob’s in particular reads like a trashy dime-store novel.  Of course, having two official wives and two sort-of wives probably didn’t help much.  So let’s start with the first born, who’s name is immortalized in the rye and sauerkraut sandwich, Reuben.

This hot-blooded young man had a one-night stand with one of his father’s sort-of wives (i.e., his step-mother), eventually getting him booted out of line for the first-born blessing rights, which was a really big deal back in those days.  (Jacob would have known that, having maneuvered the same kind Continue reading “Reuben, more than a sandwich”

Eclipsed!

eclipseAs the picture shows, I’m not a fashion diva.  I tend not follow too many trends, especially if everyone else is following them.  I figure I’m either retro or trend-setting myself, depending which way one looks on the time-line, I suppose.  I basically have three fashionista rules: cleanliness, comfort, and coverage. 

But when it came to what style of sunglasses to wear to view the American Eclipse of 2017, there wasn’t much choice, at least here in my small town.  So I shelled out a full dollar for my NASA-approved specs in preparation for the light show.

In my part of the country, we were to get about a 96% solar coverage.  It was pretty neat, but enough light still filtered through so that I wasn’t spellbound—the pull of the paperwork on my desk was still there, so I was in and out of the school building for our few minutes of historical phenom. Continue reading “Eclipsed!”

Run, run, run-away

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280The Israelite judge, Jephthah, is generally known for the weird story about his daughter, poor kid.

But I think we generally miss the importance of this guy’s backstory and how God may have used it to his (and His) advantage.

Back in those days, having sons was pretty well tantamount to status (as opposed to having daughters; now where they thought the baby boys came from, gets me…)  And although even our secular Western culture has fairly well done away with that mindset, they (and us) still deal with the “world’s oldest profession”. 

So while Jephthah’s dad, Gilead, had several socially legitimate sons, little Jephthah was not one of them, and was treated accordingly. 

“…and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. ‘You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, ‘for you are the son of a prostitute.’  So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Soon he had a band of worthless rebels following him.”

Because, back then, with those kinds of credentials, that’s about all the following you’re going to get.  I can only imagine what hardship he must have suffered going from the house of his father (probably bullied while he was growing up anyway, but at least provided for) to ousted into the “real world”, possibly as a teenager.  Homeless.  Despised.  Without family or connections.  Or money.

As usual, the plot thickens—

“At about this time, the Ammonites began their war against Israel.  When the Ammonites attacked, the elders of Gilead sent for Jephthah in the land of Tob.  The elders said, ‘Come and be our commander! Help us fight the Ammonites!’ But Jephthah said to them, ‘Aren’t you the ones who hated me and drove me from my father’s house? Why do you come to me now when you’re in trouble?’”

Run off the farm, rather than living in the lap of luxury, Jephthah has been hardened by life’s boot camp, and is now evidently the one most suited for rescuing those same brothers with soft, un-callused hands. 

And rescue he does, like the rushing in of the cavalry. 

The point is this.  People do us injustices.  We have to suffer the consequences of others’ stupidity, prejudices, unkindness, or just low-down thoughtlessness.  I’m bullied, kicked out of the club, whether physically or emotionally.  Bereft.  Alone.  (At least it feels that way.)

But God has other plans, and this is just part of the Divine Boot Camp.  Plans for rescue, not vengeance, for redemption, and restoration, and it may be for the very ones who turned me out.  

man-2257145_1920Jephthah’s hands and muscles may have become just as soft as his brothers had he stay in his dad’s house all that time.  Instead, he became the hero.

Which is God’s training for all of us, to be heroes in one way or another. 

Judges 11:2-7 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

A personalized present

IMG_20150103_172451138When it comes to summertime, my husband kind of makes out like a bandit.  To begin with, there’s Fathers’ Day in June, followed by his birthday in July, and (dare he forget) our anniversary in August.  So he can just stay in celebration mode all summer long, and keep Amazon pulled up on the computer 24/7 as the gifts roll in. 

Now, lest I make Bob sound like E. Scrooge sitting at his table fingering his coins, nothing could be further from the truth. But even with his generous spirit, I’m the one doing most of the Amazon gift giving, for my husband’s special moments, as well as for other family members. 

C’mon, ladies, you know how we do.  Check the list, buy the gift, wrap it, put Dad’s name on it, take it to the post, whatever.  No biggie.  Just gotta remember to tell him what “he” sent so when the phone call comes in… Continue reading “A personalized present”