Monday, March 30, 2009

Tell me the old, old story - in a brand new way.

I just finished reading this book. The church I grew up in was the Foursquare Pentecostal. This wiki link explains it well enough. After my divorce at age thirty, I basically left the church. I still love to attend there and do so on a rare occasion with my parents. I now live two hours away from the church in New Castle where I attended. My membership will remain there until the day I die. PBS recently ran a very interesting show on the life of our founder, Aimee Semple McPherson. I just googled PBS to share the link with you and found they have featured her twenty-nine times. My great-grandma told me that Sister Aimee was quite scandalous in her day. I admired her just because she was a leader in days when it was unheard of for a woman to be a leader, never mind a leader in the church. Now, when I do attend, I attend this church, which is a good place of spirituality for both Doug and I. I love this poem, which sums up how I now feel:

My church has but one temple,
Wide as the world is wide,
Set with a million stars,
Where a million hearts abide.

My church has no creed to bar
A single brother man
But says, "come thou and worship"
To ever one who can.

My church has no roof nor walls,
Nor floors save the beautiful sod
For fear, I would seem to limit
The love of the illimitable God.
author unknown.

All these years, I have carried my faith inside. It is personal and I keep it close in my heart. And when I feel as if I am most at worship, I am in nature.

As I finished this book, there were tears running down my cheeks. The scene where his eyes are touched so that he might see as they see was beautiful. Each creature worshipping. It brought to mind all of the places where I have found most holy- the Smokey mountains of Tennessee, the Rockies of Colorado, sitting beside Lawn Lake with a sky full of stars pressing down on me at midnight, the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, the Grand Canyon, sunset at Cedar Bluffs which is very near my house, laying in the grass to photograph daffodils and literally hearing the grass growing...these are the times I listen and hear and see the majesty of His Holiness. These are the times I am in awe and worship.

I found William P. Young's interpretation of an age old story to be amazing. No matter what your belief is regarding your faith, if you haven't read this book, I would urge you to do so. It is beautiful.

Thank you, Debbie, for loving me enough to share this story with me! Love you! Me.
Debbie & me at my party the day I graduated from Ball State University, 5/5/07.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New "do."

I have lived in Bloomington for sixteen months now and have only had my hair done here, once. A colleague, continued to urge me to try the person who does her hair. (And Robyn's hair always looks great!) So, yesterday, I went to have my hair done here in Bloomington. I love the color and have some great high-lights. I also got new glasses, yesterday. So, here are a few cheesy shots that Jennifer snapped of me at lunch time. sitting pretty.
how is my lighting, dahling?

daffodils compliments of our national chair. Apparently, I love them!
The whole time I've lived here, I've been driving to Muncie (from Bloomington, two hours to New Castle, then another 40-45 minutes to Muncie ) to see Glenna to get my hair done. I love Glenna, love the shop- very upscale, every hair dresser in there could be a model for a magazine ad. Beautiful ladies. They walk past and you think "oh! I want to look like her!" Anyway, when I go to Muncie, I usually have lunch plans with friends there, or stay in New Castle with Kathy and go see my parents. There are many reasons to head north. A friend from Muncie emailed yesterday to see when I would be up again and when I told her that I just got my hair done in Muncie she replied
"oh, cheating on Glenna?"
"gulp. guilty."
I'm certain I'll be back to Muncie again to see Glenna (and everyone else in New Castle & Muncie), but in the mean time, it is good to know that I've found someone in Bloomington that I am happy with.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here is what they are doing

While I'm on the keyboard, this is what they are doing. Do you think Chelsea is smiling?I think she is smiling.
Why wouldn't she be smiling? When I ask duggles what he is doing, he always says the same thing "hanging out with you."
This is what they do while I'm on the keyboard at the desk.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

They are at it, again!

In the past three days, I've removed two ticks from Chelsea. If you live in tick-land like we do, it is time to start checking your animals. We took Chelsea to Lake Monroe last night and she was jumping into the lake to fetch sticks. She was wet, sandy and dirty (stinky, too). So, for the first time ever, duggles bathed her. I am usually the one to give her a bath. So, I was able to take photos .

Be certain to check for ticks! Your fur children will love you for it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No more of this

I read an article in a magazine recently about how to decrease your contribution to the landfill. One way, is to stop using liquid hand soap. For quite some time now, I've used liquid hand soap in the kitchen and both bathrooms. This is the end. We are already using bar soap in the kitchen and when we've finished off our current bottles in the bathrooms, we will begin to use bar soap. I love hand made soap. The egg lady makes it and many others living in this area. It is cheaper, doesn't come in a container and smells good. Now, what else can I do to decrease my landfill contribution? What can you do? Write and tell me your ideas.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet bird

I bought this sweet bird in Madeline's French Country Shop in Nashville, IN. Isn't it just adorable? Go in and see shop owner, Brenda Kay and tell her that Cheryl sent you.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Narcissus Pseudonarcissus

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"The moon, the moon, they danced by the light of the moon"

Ashton reccomends it - and so do I. I love my little Nikon P80. One of my favorite subjects is the moon. I have long been a woman in the moon. I will spy the moon through the window, often times when I raise the blinds in the very early morning. I'll grab my camera, run outside and start shooting. These are a few of my favorites. The first three photos were taken about a month ago. The last three photos were taken a couple of days ago. The first photo is a bit out of focus, but I like the effect.

I usually am shooting away, changing settings. The problem with operating in that manner is it is difficult to know how I was able to get the shot. I think it is going to take awhile before I become one with my camera.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The dynamic duo - back together, again.

I have been blessed in this life time with several best friends. The original best friend is Becky. Her mother was my kindergarten teacher. I was moving between semesters to a new school - the school that her daughter, Becky, attended. Her mother said "why don't you come to my house for lunch and the two of you can get to know one another and then you will have a friend at your new school. So that is what we did and our friendship began playing her her playhouse beneath the basement stairs. That was forty-five years ago.
In the eighth grade, one of us called the other-"I bought a new winter coat, today." "I bought a new winter coat, today, too!" "Mine is brown wool, with a belt, big buttons, a hood, it is midi-length." "That sounds exactly like my coat." We shopped separately, but bought the same coat. When Bec arrived to visit me in Bloomington on Friday, we hadn't seen one another for nearly two years. I said "oh. my. goodness! we have the same purse! -Kohl's?"
My purse is on the left, hers on the right. When we told the story to someone this weekend we were told "you must have been sisters in a former life."
When she arrived on Friday afternoon, we dashed to Nashville. We got there so fast that when duggles called, he didn't believe we were in Nashville. "How did you get there so fast?" "Because Cheryl drives like a bat out of hell." Let's just say I've made the drive between Bloomington and Nashville many, many times.
On Saturday we explored Bloomington and then Saturday evening, duggles took she and I to one of our favorite local restaurants to celebrate Bec's fiftieth.
Not too bad for a couple of old broads, huh? One of us has an awfully ornery look on her face.
Duggles had fun, too.
The card I made for her featuring all of her favorite things.
On Sunday, we took her to Cedar Bluffs, which is one of our favorite hikes. It is five minutes from our house, you climb just a bit and get a spectacular view.
Chelsea, me, Bec. For those of you who haven't seen Chelsea for a while, she is nearly full-grown. She will be one year on June 30.
For a lady who is turning fifty, I think she looks amazing. She looks just like she did in high school.
Look! A Trillium! Spring is coming. The bluffs is an area that is known for spring flowers.

Hey, Bec! Wait for us!
It was a wonderful weekend. It went by too fast. There are still things left on our list to do next time.
Wow. Forty-five years. I'm glad it was with you. Love you!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Look what I found!

A bit of green within the brown A bit more, here.
A returning plant in the sun garden!

Just in time for St. Paddy's day...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Incarcerated Puprs

DSCN2147 You.  You know who I’m talking about.  And you have no one to blame but yourself.  This is what happens when you chew [two] holes in Daddy’s loveseat and when you get into Mommy’s purse and get the Netflix cd out – that was in the envelope, ready to go back to Netflix – and you chew it beyond recognition. 

Just think about what you’ve done and when you are ready to be a good girl – you can come out of there.  But until then, that is you – incarcerated puprs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What do you know - she didn't make it up.

Growing up, Mother used many words and phrases which I considered outlandish or comical. One such word was "epizootic." She actually always said "the epizootic." I never knew what the term meant. I figured it was something she made up. She made it sound as if it was the most terrible, awful illness ever. And, indeed it was.
Mother would say it with a stuffy nose: "I dat da epazhootic." I didn't know what it was or where the word came from, but I grew up terrified of it. And with good reason. I've had the epizootic and lived to tell the tale. By saying that, I mean I've had something terrible and awful. Now, Doug is afraid he is coming down with it.
I said "Please don't."
He said "oh, o.k., just because you said please."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fever dreams

I've been sick for days. Since last Saturday. I went to the see doc Sue yesterday (that trip about killed me) and she informed me that I have "the influenza." "And I didn't get a flu shot." I said.
"There are so many strains who knows which one you would get anyway?" she replied.
Influenza is a killer. I've had fever, (day four and I still have a fever) aches, pain, chilling, the cough of death and exhaustion. She put me on a z-pak and gave me cough syrup with codeine for the cough. (Oh yeah, come to Mama.)
In the midst of all of this, I've had some crazy fever dreams. In one there were white birds hovering around - which I believe represents angels. I told Doug that we'll have to tell his mother that the angels were taking care of me.
In another, I was having these crazy dreams about my Lil Green Patch- which is a game I play on facebook. I even thought up a couple of new gifts that you could give to others- one was a bee to pollinate the garden. Another, was a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly.
Which just goes to show that some of the best ideas are born out of fever dreams.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

On writing.

Recently, when I referred a friend to my blog, she said "how do you find the time?

My response to that would be "you find the time to do what it is that you want to do."

Which is absolutely true, but I'm also an empty-nester. I've been through the years of frantically getting up, getting myself ready for work, getting them to school, getting me to work, only to repeat the cycle at 5P. Then, if I wanted to paint my nails or read a magazine, I stayed up too late to do so. Now, I have oodles of time to garden, play with my puprs, read, craft, indulge in moi.

At an early age, I watched The Dick Van Dyke show.

I watched Dick, Buddy and Sally write in a team environment.

It looked like a lot of fun. I couldn't have been very old. I just googled it and the show ran from 1961 to 1966. I was ten in '68, so maybe I watched re-runs? Nonetheless, I have to believe that watching this show influenced me, greatly.
For three years in my early thirties, I wrote a column for a local paper. Then, I went back to college to finish my undergrad. Everyone assumed that I wanted to study journalism. Not me. For journalists, less is more. For English majors, more is more. Journalists report just the facts, folks. English majors embellish. I was born to embellish.
I've always believed that as a writer, either you have it or you don't. For the most part, it is a yearning from within to express oneself. For me, it lends a balance to this madness called life. I remember watching Doogie Howser, M.D., the father of all bloggers. That was the back in the day when the cursor was a white rectangle that blinked and sat there staring at you, screaming, asking "what are you going to say next?" Even back then, I wanted to blog.

Are writers reporters, prophets, crazies, entertainers, preachers, judges, what? Who appoints them as mouthpieces? If they appoint themselves, as they clearly do, how valid is the commission? If Time alone makes masterpieces, as Anatole France thought, then great writing is just trial and error tested by time, and if it's that, then above all it has to be free, it has to flow from the gift, not the outside pressures. The gift is its own justification, and there is no way of telling for sure, short of the appeal to posterity, whether it's really worth something or whether it's only the ephemeral expression of a fad or tendency, the articulation of a stereotype. Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety.
My friend also commented that she didn't know if her life was interesting enough to write about. I feel it is my obligation to others - to my friends, my parents, my colleagues, my children, my partner, to MYSELF to be interesting. To at least try to make myself interesting in this dogmatic, boring everyday day-in, day-out existence of ours. If and when I cease to be interesting or cease to seek out those things that cause me to grow and stretch my limbs, then damn me. When my brain dries up and I begin to constantly repeat myself or can't remember what it was that you said five minutes ago, then shoot me and put me out of my misery.

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