Saturday, January 31, 2009

Best laid plans

Well ... the best laid plans.

Max & I thought we were heading out today - it's a beautiful day. All of this buildup, all of these plans. Awesome! I can't wait!

Last night as we were driving to dinner, I asked Max if he was getting a cold.

"Yes, but I didn't want to tell you about it."

"Why not?"

"Well, I don't like to whine about these things."

This is not the first time the idiot has tried to hide his sicknesses from me. Imagine my surprise when I would call his workplace and discover that he had gone home sick. I had no idea!

I thought we had finally worked through this, but I guess not. He still thinks that by letting me know he is sick, that means he is whining.

I finally told him that sick meant sick. And it's ok to whine a little when you don't feel good.

He insisted that it was just stuff in his nose and he was fine. I knew better. He should too. After 50 years of putting up with this stuff, don't you learn?

He traipsed off to bed about 9:00 last night hoping to get some extra sleep. By the time I got to bed (about 1 am), he was tossing and turning, snuffling and snorting. Argh.

"Max, are you awake?"

"gurgle, gurgle ... yes."

"Max, would you like me to get some Nyquil for you?"

Silence. Then, "yes."

"Ok, I'll be back in a few minutes. I'm going to put the poor dog out one more time."

I took Leica out, grabbed a bottle of water and then the Nyquil. We dosed him and within the 20 minute time period, he was out like a light. Before he fell asleep, I not-so-quietly reminded him that this is why you tell people that you aren't feeling well. They can take care of you! He just grunted.

I knew things weren't happening today when I finally pulled out of bed at 8:30 and there was absolutely no movement from him. When I saw his face at 10:30, he muttered something about losing the morning. A shower didn't help revive him and there was no way we were going to wander around southwest Iowa looking for awesome photo opportunities.

Not that I'm complaning? I think I'll take a nap.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Once Upon a Time

There was a little girl who listened to everything that happened in the house. She was always in trouble because she heard too much and knew too much. Her daddy would have to explicitly tell her that most of what she heard could never leave the house.

Yup. Me.

Mom and Dad were always catching me listening at the door to their conversations and since Dad was usually talking about something that was happening in the church, he really needed those conversations to be private. But, how do you do that with a little kid hanging around eavesdropping all the time?

I find myself doing that still, but now it seems as if the world invites me to listen in on their lives. But, I have to confront myself and ask, "How much do you really need to know? At what point is this useless information just filling up space needed for other things in your brain?"

Twitter kills me. I follow a few people on there and it's a lot of fun. These are celebrities in the geek world and I enjoy their banter. But, this morning, @thinkgeek decided to let us know that @mrskutcher (Demi Moore) and @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher) were twittering. I checked it out. Then, I discovered that @celinetherese (Celine Dion) was also twittering, so I had to check it out.

At that point I realized that I really don't have any affection for any of those celebrities and really don't care what is happening to them or even what they think about anything.

I shook myself from the glazed look that happens when I am staring at the screen and clicked back to Facebook, where I am friends with at least 175 people and can get immediate updates on all of their lives.

Hey, at least I care about those people!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Think Without Limits

Sometimes Dove Chocolate offers me more than a smooth milk chocolate rush. "Think Without Limits" was the message inside a few of the chocolates that I have opened in the week or so and every time I read that message, I feel a little inspired.

I've been writing about Paul in my Pour Out a Blessing blog through the month of January and this is a man that forced everyone around him to think beyond the limitations of their worldview. He dragged the apostles away from the belief that only Jews could be a part of the Kingdom of God. Because he allowed the Holy Spirit to stir his mind, he was able to think without limits.

It is difficult to throw off the limitations that the world places on us. I've felt encumbered by those limitations during my lifetime and wished that someone would have told me to think BIG! It never occurred to me as a high schooler that I would have been a great researcher or an engineer, that I could have loved physics or written a novel. I was a musician. All of the focus in my life guided me down that path. I wasn't encouraged to take math classes that terrified me, I wasn't pushed to think outside the box that had been set up around me.

To be honest, I also know that God has guided my life and brought me to this point right now. Any regrets aside, I am where I am because of what happened in my life and I love my life right now. But, even now, I find that it is difficult to Think Without Limits. Sometimes I don't even recognize the constraints placed on me by the world around me. I'm old enough that fear of failure is even more prevalent than ever before. I don't have time to figure it out if I really screw it up. Well, not as much as I used to have.

It's exciting to let my mind wander and delve into the unknown, to read things that would mean nothing to anyone but me as I attempt to make sense of the world in my own twisted way. I love the exploration.

The only other thing I want to do with this little bit of information is encourage people much younger than me to not allow themselves to be limited by the world and their own fears. Because at my age, I have forgotten the failures and I have forgotten the fears, but I have not forgotten the fact that I didn't try to do things that would set my mind soaring.

Encourage your spouse, encourage your children, encourage your nieces and nephews and godchildren and your friends. Encourage your parents and your siblings. No one should be limited. This world is so full of exciting and amazing things! And there is no limit to what we can create.

Think Without Limits

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I never would have believed it

I discovered another friend on Facebook this weekend and I got a little emotional about it!

I've moved quite a bit in my life and met many people over the years. When I move away from a community, I always expect to lose contact with a good percentage of people and I've learned that is part of the transience of life.

It is incredible to me that social networking sites are changing that landscape of my life! Sharon and I were never close friends, but we were comfortable friends. Her father sang in choir and was our high school principal. She was in youth group with me, graduated with me, we went on a lot of summer trips together.

She left a long message on my wall about what has been happening in her world since we graduated and I just could not believe that I was connecting to her again. I assumed that I would never know any more about her.

Rather than isolating us - as experts worried - the computer has given me a chance to re-connect with old friends, stay connected to current friends and begin connections with new friends.

This just makes my life amazing! I can't wait for another day and another chance to see what happens next!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saying "I Love You"

I've been noticing something happening online and it's pretty cool. Mostly on Facebook, but a little bit in other places as well.

Married couples are expressing their love for each other publicly in ways that the world notices. Just little things in comments on each others pages or status updates, short blogs about what their spouse has done for them or how much the other means.

Maybe it's because most of my friends and family have healthy marriages - who knows.

I can only think that other people see these things like I have and smile. I know I do.

Decidedly Lowtech

There are certain things that I can't do digitally. Try as I might, I find it nearly impossible to deal with a calendar online. And I have tried. Since I save my calendars (the lowtech items), you can tell the number of times I have tried to take it digital. There are years missing from the collection.

My calendars maintain more than just dates. These give me information around the things that happen to me. I tend to write a lot of notes and hints at stories surrounding the dates. Now, when I do look back at the calendars over the years, I find myself startled at the memory loss that has occurred. There are things written in them that trigger no memory at all. Oh well...

When working at the church, I tried several different types of calendars: MS Outlook, a desk calendar (that went away quickly - too much crap on my desk), a wall calendar. So, when I left, I tried to keep going with the Outlook calendar. I just don't have enough activity to necessitate keeping that up.

I have found the best calendar in the world for me now. A moleskin calendar/journal. It's awesome! It has a weekly calendar on the left side with a blank lined journal on the right. Where has this been all my life? It's no bigger than 3 1/2 x 5 1/2" and even has a little pocket in the back for 3x5 cards.

We'll see what unfolds this year.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ready for Spring

I really blame December.

Bitter cold temperatures in December put a damper on the fun of winter.

I am a cold (or maybe, cool) weather climate type person. I hate heat. Sweating and humidity are just plain gross and I am glad to complain all summer long. I have always loved snow and don't seem to mind the cold as much as many of my friends do.

However, this year I'm tired of this. I want to open the door in my study and let the sunshine and fresh air flow through the house.

Why does it occur to me that this doesn't bode well for my attitude the next couple of months.

February Study

I thought about doing "Great Lovers of the Bible," but honestly, there aren't 28 great marriages (or non-marriages) to write about, so I created a different outline for the month.

I'm going to call it "What I Did For Love."

There was no problem finding 28 different relationships to discuss. Everything from marriages and lovers to best friends. For the most part, they are love stories, which means that I avoided Samson and Delilah, Herod and Herodias and some others that were so vile.

I will be all over the Bible and hope to put lots of references into the text so that you don't have to chase everything down with me. Maybe you will meet someone you haven't met yet, maybe you'll have a different outlook on the passage than I will, but that is what this is all about.

Now is the time to invite someone else to join us on the journey. They can either get to my blog at or can email me to sign up for these to hit their inboxes every night at nammynools (at) cox (dot) net. Tell a friend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No, I'm not going to!

I have a splinter in my toe. It did not come out when I pulled the piece that was sticking out. I really got it in there ... like 1/4" or so. It's just under the skin, so I can see the damned thing. But, when I try to get to it, it hurts like heck!

So. It's going to stay there for right now. Stupid toe.

My father used to tell me that we could cut it out at the ankle. I didn't like having him remove splinters. Hmmm ... that's weird. Did I really have that many splinters in my toes that he said it often enough for me to remember that? Must've.

Nope. Not dealing with it tonight.

Oh. And my sweet husband refuses to do it because he doesn't want to hurt me. Rats.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rrrrruff Week

I was none too happy last week when I managed to get a cold. Hello, folks, I'm avoiding public contact here! How in the world did that happen to hit me?

But, honestly, it went better than things usually go for me. I started sneezing and sniffling on Saturday and was finished with it by Wednesday for the most part. Let me tell you ... that's GOOD for me!

I began thinking about all the fun things I could do this week, especially since the middle of the week promised nice weather. I was looking forward to watching the inauguration and maybe even cleaning around here.


My body decided that it had not had enough attention.

Saturday night was awful. I hurt all over and just figured that, given my age, my hormones were messing with me. It's happening sometimes and I don't get too excited about it. Deal with it and things pass. But, things didn't pass. By Sunday afternoon I was miserable. My body ached, I couldn't get comfortable whether I was sitting up or lying down. I tried to go to sleep. Finally I just sat at my desk and cried. I could not figure out what was going on and I was ticked off.

Monday, everything became quite clear. I had the flu. Not the upper respiratory, feeling yucky flu, but the full-blown, body aches, upset stomach (and all that goes with it) flu. I managed to dose myself with enough over-the-counter stuff to keep me asleep throughout the day. And, by the way. Knowing what's going on makes things a whole lot easier to deal with.

Monday night I was up and down. But, my dear, sweet husband took time on Tuesday to take care of me. I slept late, got up in time to watch the inauguration. But, HEY! I still felt awful and things were not clearing up in the belly/intestinal area. At all. I had tried eating on Monday and that didn't work so well. Max got saltines and cottage cheese for me on Tuesday. At least that covered the hunger pangs.

Today ... I'm a bit better. I actually put clothes on and the fever was gone for the most part. I'm still not eating normally yet. Even 'bland' seems to upset the digestive system, but at least I can tell I'm on the mend. Tomorrow will be even better.

The best part ... no, I just ... the worst part. In the middle of all of this, the hard drive on my computer died. Max spent the time that he was off taking care of his wife, also taking care of her computer.

Since this post is all about complaining ... I shall continue.

I really, really, really, really do not enjoy rebuilding my computer system. At all.

I personalize everything. I spend a lot of time getting Outlook just the way I like it and then I do the same thing for Firefox and for my desktop. I install a ton of software and build a little 'nest' on my hard drive. For some reason, every six to nine months, the powers the be out there in nevernever seem to be entertained by forcing me to crash and rebuild. It's been this way for the last several years.

Outlook is the worst. Every different option is in a different place and none of it is obvious. You'd think I would have it down, but honestly folks, I'm so darned trusting that I actually believe I will never have to do that again and I forget how to set things up. So, I go back and complain and moan while I search for all of the tweaks that make Outlook personal to me.

Will someone write a program that I can install to re-build my nest with one mouse click?

Anyway ... that's where I've been the last few days.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How little I really know

Sometimes I freak myself out as I'm traveling around the internet. You see, I love information. I'm smart enough to know that I can't have all of the information in my mind (yet), so I've chosen several favorite avenues of thought to pursue. But, even as I wander those highways and byways, I am stunned at how little I actually know.

Thank heavens for Wikipedia and the internet at large. This compendium of human knowledge makes more available to me than I would have ever thought possible. It overwhelms me and at times reminds me of how small I really am.

The next step for me is to eliminate the sensory input required to process this information. My favorite part of the Matrix movie series was the immediacy of acquiring information. Jack me in!

Not your mama's music

Well, that's not true either, but I had to laugh tonight. I went to McKenna's (74th & Pacific) to hear Thousand Houses. Love the music, the guys are really quite talented.

Carol, Alison and Lynne all came out to eat supper with us and hear the band. And then ... left! before the show was over, because they were all tired. Are you kidding me with this? We're older than all of you and it's a Friday night! Wimps.

Yes, that is the problem with old folks like us hearing local bands. The show doesn't start until most of us (you) are in bed (9 pm or after).

So, why hasn't that changed with the aging of the baby boomers? Don't you think they ought to start the shows at 6 pm or something? We can eat at the normal dinner time for oldsters (4:30 - 5 pm) and then listen to our favorite bands before we toddle on home and go to bed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Smartest Husband. Ever.

You know, some women have husbands that know to bring them flowers and chocolate and diamonds. And while that would be nice, it's not what I need.

Everyone knows by now what my addiction is, right?

If I need to tell you - it's my computer.

I called Max about 2:30 this afternoon.

Diane: Max? My computer died.
Max: What?
Diane: My computer. It's dead. This is what it says, "(I have no memory right now, but I read him the message on the black screen)"
Max: Oh.
Diane: What does that mean?
Max: Well, it could be the hard drive.
Diane: Are you telling me that I am going to have to rebuild this thing. Again?
Max: I'll be home in a couple of hours. If I can repair it, I will. But, don't worry ... everything is back up.
Diane: Sigh. ok. I'll pull out the laptop. I love you.

I called him back.
Diane: Wireless is disabled. Help me!
Max: Here's what you do.
(and we did it - and for the life of me, there's no way that I can tell you what we did. I couldn't remember those steps to save my life!)
Diane: Thank you. I love you.

Max got home and I told him that I would be fine with the laptop tonight. I didn't want to be like everyone else in the world that made him fix their computers right away. He sat down at his desk and I could tell that he was itching to fix the problem, so I cleaned off the little table that sits over the computer and pulled everything away from it.

He went over to the computer and began pulling the all of the USB plugs out of the back. He started the computer. It came back to life. He reinserted the keyboard and mouse plugs and handed me the headset.

He got it for me for Christmas. It had been messing with things from the beginning and we had even downloaded and run a firmware update on it. As soon as he was able to think about it, he realized that there was an issue with one of the USB attachments.

I love my husband. He's just so darned smart!

Prince Caspian

I finally watched the movie tonight and it was terrific.

The exchange between Lucy and Aslan in the forest really struck me, though.

Lucy: Aslan.


Lucy: I knew it was you. The whole time I knew it. But the others didn't believe me.

Aslan: And why would that stop you from coming to me?

Lucy: I'm sorry. I was too scared to come on my own.

How many times have I allowed others to define my belief in God? Yet, when confronted with it, all she needed to do was say "I'm sorry." It was finished. The grace of God extended to us when our faith seems so small and weak. As small as a mustard seed ...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Isaiah 25:1

It's the 15th of the month. I have another scripture verse to memorize.

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." (Isaiah 25:1 - NIV)

As I read through the scripture verses in the comments on Beth Moore's blog, I got a little emotional (it's what I do). But, it is so cool to see how God's Word impacts people differently. No matter what they are doing, where they are at in their lives, God can speak into their hearts by the Word that He has given us. Goodness, I am so grateful.

Right now I am trying to create the mnemonics that will anchor this in my mind. I don't have confidence that I can simply memorize. I actually have to work at this and think about what the passage means. Kinda cool.

Max shoots Leica

And he does it so much better than I do.

Same dog, same space, and the man kicks my butt when it comes to taking a simple picture of a dog. Oh well ... I'm just glad that he's my husband and I get to take advantage of his talent.

He's using his rented lens and loves what can happen - it gives him great focus on what he chooses and then drops out everything else. How beautiful is this? So, I have 14 days of him playing with this fun lens.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A bit of a high

You know that sensation when pain finally leaves and all of a sudden you feel a little high?

Sometimes Advil does it for me. I like it.

But, right now, the fever from this flu/cold has left me and I feel really great! I don't know that I want to leap tall buildings or race locomotives, but I feel great.

I'd like to keep this feeling. Thank you.

Annoyed ... not angry ... just annoyed

Ahhh, the tough life of not being in the workplace. (I jest)

Today I was to wait for Fedex to show up with a rented camera lens for Max. Signature required. I woke up early (for me) after having had 4 hours of very strange sleep. By the way, I'm still sick and would like to grab as much sleep as possible. I tried to stay awake, tried to stay awake, tried to stay awake.

And I did. For awhile. I checked the tracking on the last few Fedex packages we have received. Hmmm, this could get here anytime between 10:30 am and 2:00 pm. Alright, I'll just deal with that.

I packed up some reading and my phone and headed downstairs - discovered the comfort of the couch and napped (trying to finish my sleep cycle). Up and down the stairs with an ear constantly listening for the arrival of a vehicle out front and a knock on the door.

Checked the tracking on this package - still on the truck at 3:00 pm. Alright, fine. I'm going to eat my lunch. But, I'm right at the top of the steps and the front door is right at the bottom of the steps. A good firm rap on the door and I'll hear it - heck the night of the murder down the street, the police (I hope it was them) knocked on the door at midnight and I heard that! Scared the devil out of me. But, anyway ...

Weird. This is really getting late. i checked the tracking on the package again. EXCEPTION! Attempted at 3:18. No one available.

What the heck? I was right here! Waiting for you. There was no rap at the door. Now, why in the world would he want to walk all the way up the steps to our house, take the time to fill out a door tag and not make a good, sturdy attempt to wake the dead?

I have no idea.

So, Max is going to Fedex when he gets home from work tonight to pick up his package. He's not going to make me go through this again tomorrow. Whew!

By the way, who KNEW that you could rent high end lenses for your camera? He's going to check out a lens that he didn't think he wanted without the huge investment. Pretty cool for a camera geek.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Technology - Incredibly Awesome

I read a friend's blog this morning and she was excited about the fact that while she's in class, she can keep up to date on Hilary Clinton's confirmation hearing because the NY Times is blogging it. And how next week, she'll be able to bring the Inauguration to her classroom because of technology.

It seems to be taking me a lot longer today to come alive - mostly because I feel like heck and I'd rather just crawl back into bed. But, alas, I have things to do and places to be, so even though it's slow-going, I'm moving.

But, as I sit with glazed eyes and snuffly nose, in front of my computer, I get really excited about the immense amount of information that I have access to every day. And I love social networking!

A few years ago, I logged on to Myspace so that I could connect with a cousin and my niece and nephews. I found that I had friends on there! I tried Xanga, but wow, was I a lot older than most of those kids and I did NOT want to know what some of my young high school friends were doing. I got on to Facebook and discovered even more friends. I even made a few friends because of Facebook. But, the wonderful thing is that I get to hear about their lives and their daily interactions with the world while sharing a piece of mine with whomever wants to keep up with me.

Then, there's Twitter. What a fun, fun concept. Critics poo-pooed the idea. Why would anyone want to watch status updates and how incredibly self-centered is it? Well, it's not ... really. I have a few celebrities on there that I follow. Because of Wil Wheaton, I was able to get my husband the coolest Christmas gift ever (Night Flight DVDs). I just began following LeVar Burton (you probably know him from Reading Rainbow or as Kunta Kinte, but I'll always know him as Geordi LaForge. I stay up on the latest doings of a great geek cartoonist, enjoy updates from ProdigalJon (one of the funniest Christian authors happening right now), and I get updates from NASA and my favorite geek online store!

These things aren't necessary to my existence, but offer a lot of fun and craziness in my day. Following celebrities? It makes them a lot more normal and begins to blur the line between celebrity and normal person. The online community has made it possible for more and more people to gain a bit of celebrity status for themselves, which will soon break down the mystique surrounding the whole thing.

In the early days of online activity, the cool stuff was reserved for the ubergeek. You had to really know what you were doing to be able to access social networks, chats and bulletin boards. Little by little, those walls came down so that everyone could play along. Video games were originally played only in arcades and by people whose parents could afford the consoles. Today, all of this has become a normal part of American life.

I am a geek. I love the new things that technology brings us. I have a great deal of fun playing with new toys and new possibilities. Technology? Incredibly awesome.

That's weird

It's 4:30 am and I almost didn't post because I figured it would stress some of my friends out to see that I was still awake at this hour. HAH. What a riot. I used to be careful of posting while I was at work because I didn't want to stress out my supervisors. Good heavens. I'm an old lady and I can write when I want to write.

Speaking of writing. I've been reading some books - pure bubble-gum garbage. And I'll be honest. These books were awful! The writing was hideous, the dialogue was incredibly obvious. There always seemed to be a phrase that would cross the page turn and I could predict everything the author was going to write. Awful!

You see, I'm more than tolerant of a mediocre book. Once I get enveloped in the story, I set aside the actual writing and just flow with the story. I enjoy it immensely. So, I started to wonder if I would actually be able to identify 'bad' writing. Well, I've discovered that I can. The worst thing ... I was enjoying getting to know some of the characters. But, every time I turned a page, I would mutter something to myself about how terrible the writing was. I decided I could live without this series. I also decided that if this is the crap that publishers are putting out, why in the world is it so difficult for good authors to get published? I've looked at this woman's webpage, she's not giving anyone special favors - that's for sure!

Just another in the line of "I don't get it."

However, these little books have stirred me into knitting again. I'm about 75% finished with a Christmas afghan. How about that? We'll hope that I can finish it before I lose this seasonal desire ot knit. I'm closer than I have been, so that's pretty exciting! I have a bunch of fun yarns to whip up some scarves, but I refuse to start another project until this one is complete. Yikes.

I've taken my Nyquil and should start nodding off at any moment.

Oh, and no I'm not one of those that will publicly bash an author in my blog. See, I don't do public critiques well - unless someone has done a great job. I guess I will always have my mother speaking into my heart, "If you can't say something nice about someone, say nothing at all." The poor woman that has written these awful books is proud of her work - I'm certainly in no position to criticize her for things that are making her money. Good for her ... I'm also not planning to ensure any more of my funds get to her pocket, though!

Monday, January 12, 2009

No, you're right ...

I haven't blogged much in the last few days.

Why? Because I've felt like ... well ... crap.

I felt it coming on late Saturday night. The sneezing, that little tickle, the left nostril starting to plug up. Oh yah ... here it comes. Before I went to sleep, I found one little lonely vacuum sealed packlet of Dayquil. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I slept.

Only to wake up with cotton mouth from sleeping with my mouth open (that had to have sounded like a freight train), a headache and a light fever. JOY!

So. once I kick this stupid germ-filled body's butt, I'll be back to writing more normally. But, until then, don't hug me, kiss me, or drink from my water bottle, because I can't be responsible for how the germ will travel.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Coming of Age ... and Beyond

It was one thing when I had to put up with the fact that my new pastor was now going to be younger than me. I learned to deal with that. I wasn't happy about it, but ok, I'm getting a little older. For Max, it was baseball players that were all younger than him.

However, NOW I have to deal with the idea that the President of the United States is 2 years younger than me! That's just painful.

The New York Daily News has a slideshow of the hotties that will be working with Barack Obama. Ummm ... that is just wrong! Who looks at cabinet members that way? And I'm totally uncomfortable looking at our future president in swim trunks and thinking that he's hot! Sort of like I was very uncomfortable thinking about the fact that my mother saw my father as a hottie when she met him and wanted to marry him. These things are not supposed to happen in my head.

So, I quickly turned aside to another slideshow of the cutest things on earth - and none of them are homo sapiens. Whew! Now, that one you HAVE to check out ... it swoops you into the cute zone.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

He's impossible to fool

Diane: Today. 1839.

Max: The Daguerreotype is announced?

Diane: &%#$() %)$&#&*( #(&*_%$@#$^&*

Max: You thought you could trip me up?

Diane: &%#$() %)$&#&*( #(&*_%$@#$^&*

I hate that he can do that.

*I used real curse words.

Two Amazing teachers

If you are interested in memorizing scripture, Beth Moore has just posted some tips in video format on her blog. Check it out. There are three video segments and she has some powerful things to say.

Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter) has a lesson on "Change" as we approach a new political climate. It's not a morality lesson ... well ... I suppose it is, but not in the sense you might expect. It's actually a lesson taught from Ephesians.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Read this.

EM Bounds quotes this at the beginning of the first chapter:

“A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’ So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.” — A. C. DIXON.

Bounds, Edward M.: The Necessity of Prayer. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999

Peter and Faith

I love when my mind takes small leaps of understanding.

I am reading EM Bounds "The Necessity of Prayer" right now. It's a fairly amazing book written, I think, in 1907. I was drawn in on the first page.

But, this was a cool thing:

In Luke 22:31-32 as Jesus is telling Peter that he will be the betrayer, Jesus says, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail."

Jesus was praying for Simon - for strength of faith. His prayers were to guard the faith of Simon Peter, because once faith is broken, the foundations of spiritual life give way.

Now, look at 2 Peter 1:5-7. What does Peter use as the foundation for the qualities of being an effective Christian? FAITH.

Faith which creates powerful prayer is faith centered on a powerful Person.

This is a great book.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Middle of the night randomness

It's 3 am ... I've been cleaning and straightening in the Study. I've always wanted to have a study. Dad did. It was the coolest place. Walls filled with books, his desk was a wonderful desk and he was always working on something there, whether writing his journal, his sermon, every other thing. When I was growing up, mom always sent us to find dad for lunch or whatever by telling us to look for him in his study. It seemed like a perfect place for me. His typewriter was on a pullout shelf from the desk on whichever side of the desk was against a wall. In the bottom left drawer (bottom right drawers were always file cabinet drawers) was a can of hard candy, just waiting for kids to show up.

I have a lot of cleaning and eliminating and changing and redecorating to get this room to 'study' status. Anyone want a huge bunch of photography books? I need to find a good home for all of Max's darkroom and photography books. I can NOT just give these to Goodwill.

Once I get them dealt with, I can get rid of the metal bookcase in this room and bring this beautiful bookshelf in that my brother made for me. Last resort will be boxing them up and taking them to the storage unit.

Now, why in the world are all of these Christmas advertisements on television? They can't be this screwed up ... oh, duh. Watching DVRd shows. Whoops!

I'm hauling things up and down the stairs - trying like mad to not make noise and wake up Leica and Max. Putting things in bags to give to Carol and Jim - must eliminate the excess, bagging up trash - my goodness but two people can create trash!

Writing the Pour Out a Blessing blog is freaking me out. I have to type the date in the posting options every day and I just watch months get chewed up and flee away. This always happens to me about this time each year. I realize just how quickly the next year is going to go by and I get a little stressed.

I just finished reading the Harry Potter books ... all of them ... in 4 days. Good heavens, I was barely functioning in life! It was pretty wonderful and it was fun to live in that world again. I'm glad to be finished with them now, at least I can come out into the real world and get some things done! Yikes! Have I mentioned lately that I love my Kindle?

I read Beth Moore's blog and she challenged all of the people reading to memorize scripture in 2009. If she is going to encourage me and give me tips on how to do this, I'm definitely going to make a last-ditch attempt at it. My first verse of the year is my resolution for the year: "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" 1 Cor. 2:2.

Memorizing scripture is just nearly impossible for me and I generally feel like a complete failure at it. I'm hoping this time I can actually make some headway. So far I get the different phrase parts of the scripture verse messed up and end up feeling stupid. "For I resolved (for I have resolved? no, Diane) while I was with you (no, that comes later you moron) ... " See how I am? Oh, I have until the 15th to get this thing anchored in my brain, I'll get there!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Blessed Quietness

Long ago, Carol and I used to do a lot of singing together. One of my favorites was a song called "Blessed Quietness." I had completely forgotten about it until I typed the title to this blog. The refrain goes like this:

Blessed quietness, holy quietness,
Blest assurance in my soul!
On the stormy sea Jesus speaks to me,
And the billows cease to roll.

These last few days have been blessedly quiet in my world. Max and I were commenting on it this evening. Other than a few football games, and some conversation between the two of us and varying phone calls, it's quite silent in our house most of the time.

Glorious Silence!

We know we're pretty fortunate and we also know that most people don't get much of a chance to experience this - especially when there are children in the household (of any age!). But, I turned the television off in my world last summer and though I watch some shows on our DVR, it's not on constantly, like it was for years.

One of the reasons I needed the white noise of the television was the high stress that I seemed to be under day to day. I could never get rid of it. The only thing that would put me to sleep was the noise from the television. If I woke in the middle of the night, my mind would immediately start chasing my fears and stress around and the only way to get my poor brain to re-focus on anything other than that was to allow it to become a vegetable again with television. I knew all of the night-time television shows and had watched some of the re-runs multiple times.

You can't imagine how thankful I am to be past that. Even though I stay up late at night, when I lay my head down on the pillow next to Max, I sleep. If I wake - even to get up and go to the bathroom - I can generally fall quickly back to sleep.

I know what a gift I have been given in the peace that I'm finding right now in my life.

Blessed quietness.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lost Youth

Well, I'm going to try very hard to stay the course in this blog, but I can't guarantee it. You see, I do 'snarky' really well when I'm talking to someone, but I don't write it very well at all. I believe that I stopped writing bad things about people when mom told me over and over again that I shouldn't write anything I didn't want my father to read. Dad did not like us saying bad things about other people.

HOWEVER! Tonight was a fun night.

The 9's were playing at The Slowdown. They are a great band. Musically really tight - and they put on one of the best shows in town. If you ever get a chance to hear them play - grab it - you'll have a ball.

Friends of mine are in the group and they originally put this band together years ago ... like ... ummm ... years ago! So, many of the band's followers are that many years older now. Good for them that they come out to hear the group play and good for them that they have a great time. But, oh my goodness! You are not 25 years old anymore. You have put on 50 pounds, your hair is either grey or you've lost most of it and you've gone from wearing cool clothes to wearing old man clothes. Please realize this before you swing your ass around on a dance floor thinking you're all that!

I had the best time watching people. Max was shooting pictures of the band, I was watching the gear, my friends were dancing and having fun. But, I have to tell you, I was laughing the entire time while watching people who are no longer young, act like they are ... well, that's not even the truth. They have actually forgotten what young is and the way they act is a parody of their former selves.

Like the couple at the bar. Late 40s, early 50s. I'm betting they're not married. They were making out - oh, they were making out. She had her back to him and was moving up and down ... trying to be so sexy. He had shaved his head (at least I didn't have to look at a really bad balding hairstyle), but had an extended goatee ... untrimmed ... not cool. For 45 minutes they were dancing this dance.

Now I remember being in clubs 15-20 years ago. When young people dance that dance, it really doesn't take that long for them to decide they need to leave ... but, I'm pretty sure he was going to need Viagra to deal with all she was handing out.

Oh, and the couple that hadn't spent too much time together - again - late 40s, early 50s. I'm betting he had never had a girl this hot when he was in high school and college and really had no idea what he was going to do with her. She wanted to dance - and she was all about showing off her body. Yes, it still looked good. And heck, she was wearing a little red halter thing that exposed all of her back and most of her front (remember the date? January 2 ... whatever). She had her hands raised high (to show off her assets) and was dancing around, looking good ... he raised his hands up to dance like she did ... and it was just ... sad.

Then there was a large group of people there - all of them in their late 50s ... trying to be funky as they sat jammed in a booth. Chair dancing - the funky dance. And the woman in front of me who came back from the dance floor, put her index finger on her husband's scalp and twirled around him like a top. The only problem was that she had to find a bit of the hair that was left in the bald / hairy mess that was his head.

Old people doing 'funky.' It was a sight to behold. They probably weren't able to do it 20-30 years ago, but they were so high and/or drunk that no one cared. They still can't pull it off, but they managed to get themselves drunk enough and were in a group large enough that they encouraged each other in embarrassing behavior.

I figure that most of these people will wake up tomorrow morning and a couple of things will occur to them as they attempt to roll out of bed. 1 - they're hungover. 2 - their body does NOT respond to that much strange activity anymore and everything is going to hurt. I'm guessing it's a good thing they have a couple of days to recuperate before putting on their business suits Monday morning and heading to work.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Day fun!?

It's New Year's Day and football is ON! Max and I chose to not have a television in our house, but that doesn't mean we don't have access to the medium. Max has an amazing HD monitor, so he can watch his sports shows. And when he's bored with a game, he just clicks it over to the monitor and reads his weird stuff online.

Towards the end of the Nebraska game, I decided to mess with one of his stocking gifts from Janet. It began to annoy me. It's a 16 piece puzzle, but there are only about 6 different sides. The pieces can go together in any number of ways, but it only works one way. The age says 10 to adult. I'm the adult. This shouldn't be hard.

Great. I have 15 of 16 pieces in place. Do I have to tear the whole thing apart to get this to work? I was feeling darned proud of my spacial perception ... until I got to this point.

Success! Only one piece was out of place. I turned away to watch the end of the game (Nebraska/Clemson) and when I looked at it again, I saw the solution. The best part? I have the solution in photographic form now. I'll never lose again.

I remember learning the solution (s) to the Rubik's cube. I no longer have them memorized, but when I did, I could put that cube into order in no time flat! Honestly, I looked up the solution online once when I had another cube in my hand and my fingers remember the patterns of twisting and turning better than I did. Hah ... that's how I used to memorize my piano solos for high school music contests. I would get those songs so ingrained in my fingers that they would operate the patterns without my brain being fully engaged. That way I could practice so that mom and dad would leave me alone, but all the while I would have a book open on the stand in front of me.

Max just asked me how I liked using my fancy point and shoot camera. Ummm ... whoops! Am I supposed to be showing it more respect because it's an SLR? *giggle* Yes, I do enjoy having a camera again, even if there is no way that I comprehend all of the things that it can do.

Looking back ... looking forward

I've only begun to re-read some of the blogs I wrote in 2008 and I find myself overcome with gratitude. I am so thankful that God has brought me to this point in my life. It is a choice every day to allow Him to be in control and sometimes I forget that it's necessary for me to make that choice, but when I do, I see a positive outcome.

In the post "A New Year" from December 31, 2007, I mentioned that I wanted to keep myself open to the movement of the Holy Spirit over the next year. Little did I know what that was going to entail, but I learned that by keeping myself open, things got exciting!

On January 14, I wrote in "Radical Prayer" that I was tired of weak, unfulfilled prayer. I wanted to learn to pray like I was living within God's will. What I discovered was that a life like that looked nothing like my expectations. It's not as hard as I thought!

I wrote about the little things I enjoy, Jello, Limeade (and naps), Fruit Loops, Sci Fi, Dungeons & Dragons, Vampires, Words, Geeks, Amazon's bookstore, Books, Dove Chocolate.

I had a fabulous vacation this year and blogged all the way through it. What a great experience that was! I know my friends enjoyed watching Max and me traverse Route 66 and the southwest, but I had a great time going through each day and actually remembering the fun that we had. I remember growing up with Dad always questioning us at the end of each day on vacation regarding our favorite things of the day. He didn't want us to chase through the experience without anchoring some of it in our minds.

This was the year that I finally made a massive life-change and stopped working day to day in the real world. I have no idea how long I'm going to be able to live like this, but when God said 'Go,' I said, 'ok.' My ideas and things that I had based my life on were challenged in big ways and I was able to actually look at them with eyes wide open.

Because of my father and the way we were raised, I felt that being a part of the local church was important, no matter how much I might disagree with the plans set forth by the leadership. In the past, I threw myself behind them because I believed that it was important to support the leadership, even at great damage to myself and my reputation. That attitude is now gone and though you will never find me challenging the leadership vocally, you will also not find me participating. There's a lot of freedom in that.

I fell in love with my husband over and over again throughout 2008. It's nice to be at this point in our relationship and still find things that are wonderful about your spouse. I also have been able to spend a lot more time with my extended family. I love them so much and am so fortunate to have this gift in my life. My friends have allowed me to make radical changes and given me support through them. It's been a good year.

I'd like to point you back to a lot of my blogs, because those words show the changes and growth that happened in my life, but I also know that the next year will bring even more change and more growth. I wish I could go to December 31, 2009 and look back so that I can make better decisions. But, then it wouldn't be the journey that it is going to be and I wouldn't have to lean on God to help me make it through the year.

As Max and I lay in bed last night trying to fall asleep, we both agreed that 2008 was much easier than 2007. Both of us lost parents that year and the changes that we dealt with were incredible. It's exciting to be on the cusp of a new year with expectations and breathless anticipation.

Low Rider Dachshund

Low Rider entered my world last night and Leica is none too happy. I'm just lucky to get a picture of the two of them in the same neighborhood. I had to turn the sound off so that she would sit still.

Max and I always thought the Snoring Santa and the dancing mounted fish were hilarious, but at some point you just don't need that crap in your world. And spending money on it for yourself - insane.

But, when friends buy you a great gift for Christmas, you just smile a little and dance the happy dance inside. Oh, and you play it over and over and over just to watch the animal bust it's moves.

But, Low Rider is cool, smoooooth and above all of that - or below it.