Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fox News says:

DENVER — Mindful of the pitfalls of hosting cocktail parties while Gulf Coast residents are being evacuated, John McCain’s campaign suggested Thursday that Republicans could postpone their upcoming national convention in St. Paul if Tropical Storm Gustav makes landfall over the weekend.”

Considering all the work that has been put into the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, I would guess that there would be more than a few people put out if this happens. And considering that there was a right leaning commentator who asked (tongue in cheek or not???) people to pray for rain tonight on Obama’s speech, this is certainly an interesting development.

Since the Republican Convention is in MY state, I have more than a passing interest in how it all plays out. And should our governor, Pawlenty, become the Veep pick, well, I’m just about ready to say, “Good Riddance” except that I wouldn’t want him to be a heart beat away from the presidency. He presents himself well, but his fiscal policies have deeply hurt some of the institutions that affect me personally: nursing homes (scores have closed), libraries (hours shortened considerably), schools (funds cut, cut, cut), state parks (hours of the Park Rangers have been cut to the point that some have moved out of state.) They’ve even cut back on the guys who paint the lines down the centers of the highways. All these changes took place before the current financial situation, when incomes and spending in the private sector were still good, so they are now magnified by the downturn in the economy. BTW, Pawlenty in the spell check comes out Aplenty, and we don’t have a plenty.

Never thought I'd say this....(political convention version)

I never thought I'd say that I'm enjoying the speeches at the Democratic convention. I'm not enthralled by the political hack speeches, the canned speeches, but I am enjoying the heartfelt speeches, such as the one by Beau Biden about his father, Joe Biden, the nominee for VP.

I enjoy language, so I'm enjoying speeches of those politicians who are jabbing the word balloons of the opposition. It will be interesting next week when the Republicans have their turn. It is all too easy to get swept into the mood when one hears only one viewpoint. It will also be interesting to see what the commentators have to say, since they now seems so enthralled by the Dems.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Political Convention watching

I've never been too much of a fan of politics, although I do realize that it is important that we have good leaders who have good values, so I try to keep informed. I am always bothered by the impression that many people give that they actually believe that this man or woman can actually solve all these problems that seem perpetual. Yet we do need leaders who can look to the long term good of both the country and the world. Maybe the best leaders are the ones that have some charisma and vision. These people can call others to do more together than they would do on their own. These leaders can inspire us to help others rather than ignore the problems around us.

Using the term "good values" begs the question of what values? Well, "Christian values, " of course! [Tongue pointed toward cheek.] Then we need to ask, "Whose Christian values?" Do we want the values of those who preach the prosperity gospel? Or those who preach the gospel of exclusion? Or those that preach the gospel of me-me-me? Or those who preach that we need to give ALL away? Or those who see Christ in every needy person?

I've watched much of the last two evenings of the Democratic Convention in Denver. The main reason I watched was to see Michelle Obama on Monday and Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. PBS carries more of the other speakers than do the other stations, so I saw some of them as well. Those were the speeches that were the most interesting to me. On the one hand, there were the speakers who delivered cliches, promising that Barak Obama would do THIS and THAT. I couldn't help but wonder if Obama himself would start to wonder if he could deliver all that others were promising on his behalf.

Twice my husband walked into the room to hear only the last paragraph of a speech. Twice his impression was, "What a political hack!" My impression of the speakers and the speeches was much more positive, but yes, then both ended up with the usual trite exhortations.

The one cliche ending to political speeches that I just can't be comfortable with is, "God Bless America." And this is always said in the same political-speech-positive-yell as the other statements of the speech. Come on! Are they commanding God? Do they think we "deserve" blessings? Are they trying to prove that God is on their side or they are on God's side? Is it not possible to state this as a humble petition before the Lord? Do they remember to publicly thank God when there are blessings?

Economic Revival, on the way

I posted in July about how the economic downturn has effected my immediate family. Well, things are on the verge of looking up, it seems. Last child has moved to a town that hires many workers for the winter tourist season. Middle child, who lost employment because of the economy [actually the boss said that they were going to hire a woman who would be paid less; you will train her,] is in the last steps of being hired for a job that actually required the degree he earned in college, and which provides benefits. DIL-2B has a part time job san benefits, of course. First child will be starting a part time interim pastor position, sans ordination. After 4 years of seminary, an internship, and two seminary graduations, she is more than ready to serve and proclaim God's love for all of us.

How great it was to get phone calls about these changes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boundary Waters Videos

Some friends of ours are making great videos in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The link is here and also in the side bar under Great Videos!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How high can't you count?????

You've got to be kidding. I'm sort of cyber biting my tongue at this one.

And the retort: HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hoping to raise the profile of homelessness (Reposting with new link)

Catholic Charities to make poverty and homelessness an issue at the Republican Convention in St. Paul.

Just as a coincidence, I found a link to the blog called Under the Overpasses, which is written by the director of a homeless shelter, city not known. He says in the header, "I have been told that the most important thing in real estate is "location, location, location." Most of the people I encounter under the overpasses would heartily agree because location determines point of view. The world looks very different from under here. It is both beauty and abyss, comedy and tragedy. Park yourself here for a few minutes. Tune out the traffic and let's watch the world go by." Check it out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Worry put to rest and a trip to a paradise.

I did get to see an eye doctor on Monday for the problem I mentioned, black spots in my vision. After a very thorough checkup, he told me that I had detachment of the vitreous which means that some of the gel in the eye has pulled away from the retina. It can be bad if it causes a hole in the retina because that can lead to a detached retina, as serious condition. For now, I just wait and let him know if I get any continuous sensations of flashing lights in my vision.

This is one of those fun aging things.

Two of my family members along with two extended family members are on a 6 day canoe trip into the BWCAW. [Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for those of you who don't speak canoe.] This would be a long way for most of you to drive to get to, but if you were at my house, you would drive just under one mile to register at the US Forest Service office. Link here also. I'm already enjoying my time alone.

I just found some video links on this website!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Blueberry Afternoon

DH and I spent Saturday afternoon in the swamp. We got our shoes a bit wet, but mostly we weren't in any water, which says something about our need for rain. See the results of our work here:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Point of View

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep.   Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?"
Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell YOU?"
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.  "Watson, you idiot. Somebody has stolen our tent."

Dragon in the yard

Posted for Dr. John and Melli.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Anti Christ??????

You've got to be kidding me. Can't these people think for themselves? Do conservatives just believe what they are told on "their" media?

Summer's best and a worry

The last two evenings I had supper with friends at two different pot luck picnics. The weather was perfect, the company interesting and supportive.

I became scared late yesterday when I started seeing funny black spots, lights, and other abnormal things with my right eye. I'll be calling the eye doctor first thing this morning. I hope I can find an eye doctor to see today. I may have to go to my family doctor to get something set up. This could mean lots of waiting room time and lots of driving today.

My youngest comes home today after an trip alone to two western states to visit friends. She has adventure in her spirit: She has visited all continents except Antarctica and South America. She has driven alone and worked in several different states. Her next adventure is moving to the mountains. Ah the freedom of youth, and why not? She just turned 21!

In the past I've been an Olympic-a-holic. I'm not sure I want to sit and stare that much this year. We'll see.

Eye doc says see him Monday. Unfortunately, he doesn't have an opening in the morning at the office that is 2 miles away, so I'll have to travel 25 miles in the afternoon to his other office.

Friday Five - God Days of Summer

Friday Five - God Days of Summer

From the RevGalPals (of which I’m not a member):

It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.

I remember the Al Pacino movie though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.

As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily. In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you? Summer weeks with my cousin at “the cottage” which was one block from Lake Michigan. It doesn’t get really hot there, but we still had the lake to go to and play on the beach. Also “up north” in Wisconsin at some small lakes, with the scent of sun on the pine trees and the wind tinkling the aspen leaves.

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day. I always wanted a muumuu when I was a child, but it wasn’t all that great when I finally got one. I had a swimsuit when I was about 21 that was the best. The top was a cotton bandana print and the bottom was denim shorts with a bandana fabric sash. And, of course, I was skinny then.

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten? Probably the best things are fresh summer vegetables: sweet corn, green beans, garden lettuce. And how about homemade grape juice popsicles from which one could suck the delicious juice, leaving only the ice.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory. Well, see #1, but besides that, there is Holden Village and two visits to Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp in Colorado. And there's camping with our kids on Emerald Lake (and other lakes) with our kids (BWCAW & Quetico). Delicious memories!

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
I’d say that some friendships with great people from my church has been my best summer blessing this year.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit
? I am blessed to live where people don’t really know what it is like to be hot, humid, and uncomfortable. But the best thing on a hot day is a dip in a lake.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Important for president to be computer literate?

Is it important for our next president to be computer literate? What do you think?

What a Doll!

My cousin and I got into an email conversation about old times. One of the old time memories was seeing the movie Sleeping Beauty and then coloring in Disney coloring books of pictures of the movie as well as hearing the theme music, Tchaikovsky's ballet of the same name, over and over, swirling around the room, pretending we were princesses. I turned on the radio, and that music was playing!

I mentioned to my cousin that one of my favorite memories is playing with paper dolls. She said that just then, in came an email with a link to McCain & Obama Election Paper Dolls. Who knew? If I decide to enter my second childhood and want to really support one of these candidates, well, there I go.

Deer and Wolf

Two days ago I saw twin fawns cavorting in my yard. Just now I looked out and saw…a wolf! Wow. Double, Triple Wow!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Legs Are Too Long!

I have been amazed lately at how long I've gone between posting on my blogs. I read other blogs and respond frequently. I think often of some things to write about. Some topics might just be of interest to others. But after I've read a few blogs, I'm often ready to get off of the computer chair and get moving.

That's because my legs are too long. I have arthritis in my knees and in one ankle. When I sit too long, I'm extremely uncomfortable when I try to get up and my right leg is very weak. My computer desk is upstairs, only a step and a half from the stairway, and one of these days, I'll forget how weak I am and I'll fall right down that stairs.

Last week our church had Bible School. I was a helper, my favorite role, although in the past I've been a teacher and even the coordinator of the whole thing. The total number of kids who attended was 55, and I didn't get an official count of the teachers, but based on my memory of who I saw, I think we had about 25 adults and older teens teaching and helping.

I was encouraged to see who these volunteers were. They included two retired teachers (a couple) who helped in the kitchen. There was a retired pastor and his wife who were in the Bible Quest room. She said that it was a neat thing for her because in their churches, she had always done the music, not the Bible teaching. There were several teens and young adults who have been taking part, helping and teaching for the last 4 years or so. There was a retired art teacher who not only coordinated the arts and crafts, but also was able to gather the materials for almost no cost. She brought her husband and his friend to be teachers as well. There were some grandmas and grandpas who brought their grandchildren, and some of them stayed to help.

There was a lot of energy and preparation put into this week. With the coming and going I've been doing with my extended family in another state, I didn't have the time or energy to do the preparation. That's why I'm a helper. I helped in the art room. And there, I was bending over quite a bit. My legs are too long. I got a back ache that plagued me all last week and still isn't completely gone. Well, better the backache than the headache from preparation. These really are my legs!