Color blindness at Walmart

paintbrush-24251_1280It’s getting time to repaint the downstairs of “this old house”.  I’m not terrible adventurous when it comes to paint, so I’ll probably just stick with white.  I was checking out some options at the paint department.  Do you know how many shades of white there are? 

Neither do I…

Interestingly, the definition of “white” (in terms of paint, anyway) seems to have more to do with comparison.  Pick just one, and yeah, that’s white.  But put it next to a “whiter” white, and I can see that the original looks more blue, or green, or whatever. 

And the names they give to these infinite variations on a theme are pretty funny: Rarified Air, Intimate White, Big Chill…etc.  (You know, people are paid to do that.  Someone must have a sense of humor.) Continue reading “Color blindness at Walmart”

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Which way?

flu-1679104_1920Week #2 of what has turned into a nasty sinus infection.  The cough is so persistent that REM is a luxury, and of course, lack of sleep sets me up for another migraine, which greeted me this morning when I woke up after a few hours of rest.  Bob was about to drag me to the doctor (nurses are such good patients, you know) but I betook myself yesterday and was first in line. 

The doctor (one of my former students, BTW) basically said I was already doing all the right things, and then added an antibiotic and high-powered cough syrup into the mix. 

As I write this, I’m sitting on the patio.  The birds are singing, a distant rooster is trying to wake up the town, and Bob—bless his heart—is sound asleep in our bedroom which I vacated in the middle of the night so at least one of us could get some Z’s.

And I realize I am at a juncture.  I can follow my symptoms down that road of negativity, or…

I could rewind what I just wrote: I am sitting (not lying in a sickbed) outside (the weather is beautiful, sunshine dappling through the trees in the cool morning air) listening to birds.  I’m drinking my pot of Yorkshire tea.  I have a healthy husband who loves me and our family.  Most of my plants are actually thriving in the garden.  (Okay, people, that’s a big one, just saying.)

The list goes on from there.  And I’m reminded of someone in worse straits than I:

“A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.  Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”

Severely beaten and thrown in a dungeon, not a pretty site.  There was no denying their pain or predicament, but they were also at a juncture.  Gripe and complain, or focus on and use the resources they had (each other, love of God, voices to worship).

Admittedly, God doesn’t always send His breakthrough in the form of an earthquake.  But almost always there are others watching and listening to how we respond prior to the breakthrough. 

The highest miracle, and the bottom line of all life’s situations, is the spiritual breakthrough of those influenced by Paul and Silas’s reaction to their circumstances.  Hmmmm…

My tea is now gone, and thankfully, so is the migraine.  Time for a little gardening.  (Shhhh…don’t tell Bob.)

Acts 16:22-25 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.

Ties that bind…or strangle.

IMG_20150103_172451138Several years ago, I read a study synopsis from a well respected site indicating that the most influential power in a child’s life was his parents. (Golly-gee-whiz, I wonder how many man-hours and tax dollars went into that one.)  Of course, ask any of the teachers in my middle school, and they could have told you that.  Better yet, I have a Book that pretty well spells it out from years of experience and Wisdom. 

Needless to say, there are some forces in the Universe that are inherently powerful, for good or evil, and parenthood is certainly at the top of that list.  It’s not that parents can take credit for all the choice their kids make (positive or negative), but their influence is still credibly incredible in some capacity throughout a person’s life. 

So it takes some real courage when a child, even an adult “child”, has to back up and re-evaluate patterns of thinking and doing that Continue reading “Ties that bind…or strangle.”

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!”

Back seat Buddha

pixabay
pixabay

I love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.  My NYC artist daughter says that the collection there is considerable, and she would know.  I’m a particular fan of the antiquities section, Egypt and all that, and Bob always likes to visit the Orientals.  Of course, part of the artwork that is preserved has to do with the culture’s endemic religious artifacts, including the stone/metal/wooden idols, some little and some not so little (there’s a Buddha in the stairwell that would not even fit in my house….)

Of course, in our post-modern (whatever that is), enlightened and Continue reading “Back seat Buddha”

Madison Avenue Blues

Here’s a little ditty my husband wrote years ago.  I post this in response to a blog I follow at Hope Stands (samuelkee.com) concerning a recent Super Bowl commericial.  I feel your pain:

Advertising slogans designed to persuade us to choose
Values that identify people by the products they use
Help to guarantee the consumer pays his dues.

Don’t you know the customer’s right, but he’s playing the game?
Habits can be modified; economic trends are explained,
Once the proper stimulus has the buyer trained.

The beautiful people they put on the spots
You know what they’re here for.
When you’re not responding to what’s in the shots
The sponsors have to show a little more…

Who can feel a sense of regret when the profits are high?
Marketing obscenity stimulate the public to buy.
And popular celebrities blindly lead the blind.

People like to follow the stars, if you know what I mean.
Are they more legitimate when you see them up on the screen?
Try to look just like them and hope that you’ll be seen.

They practice the angles and polish their lines
Production at its best.
They’re selling illusions, I hope you don’t mind,
But real life is where it comes to rest!

Sales are up, the ratings are high, and they’re keeping the score.
Strategists, predicting that you’ll be there in line to get yours,
Organize the programs that bring you back for more.

Exercise the right to decide where your money is spent.
Where you lay the silver down comes across as silent consent,
And what you choose to purchase is what you represent.

The timing is perfect for making a choice,
So how will you behave?
Your purchasing power can give you a voice,
Or turn you into just another slave….

Thanks for reading……dawnlizjones

If….then

Choices…consequences.  If I eat too much chocolate, then I get fat(ter).  If I pull the car into the garage too fast like my husband has repeatedly warned me against, then I rip off the mirror, busting the window into a gazillion shards of glass, costing us hundreds of dollars, and having to call my husband to tell him that I pulled the car into the garage too fast…again.  You know, things like that.

We live and breathe if/then’s.  Of course, we’re in good company–even our stone age ancestors had to learn that fire was good in some ways…and not so good in others.

Here’s one of my fave’s that’s really worth chewing on.  It’s a quote from the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10 Amplified Bible)

What do I sustain myself, my very heart and soul with?  Okay, money is always a good indicator about where our hearts are, and I’m in total agreement that no matter how little one has, some of it has to be given away to help someone else.  But how about the other things “with which I sustain myself”?

A big one for me is time.  Is my life so full of chores and projects and responsibilities that I don’t have time to pause and listen to a friend in need? Or is a child’s hug somehow an interruption?

Another one is talent and personal skill set.  Can you make music? Sing? Build a wall (or a new drum “cage”, as the case may be in our church)?  Can you make people laugh?  Cook?  Okay, maybe these aren’t the things with which you bring home the bacon, but not everything of true value is recognized on Wall Street.

I think it was St. Augustine that said “men’s souls hang on your gifts”.  Jesus, Himself, warns us not to bury what He has given us, but to invest it wisely.  IF we pour out (not dribble, by the way) these things to help those in need–not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, relationally–THEN our own personal clouds begin to dissipate as well.  Interesting paradox, this whole “losing my life to find it” thing.

If I get up at 3:30AM to write this post, then I’ll probably need to sleep in.  Good thing it’s Saturday….

NIghty night……….dawnlizjones