Saturday, July 22, 2006

On our way...

Our flight to Indiana leaves tomorrow morning; we're heading to KC tonight to alleviate the morning rush. I don't know if we'll be heading to Texas or Louisiana after that; either way, we won't be back until next Saturday.

I took some great photos to share with my son's sweetie one day...Natalie had him dressed in a pink dress, shoes and wig! Maybe I'll post the pics when I get back; though I usually don't post pictures of my kids, you'd never recognize him on the street after looking at these photos! ;)

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A prayer request

For those of you who will say a few prayers tonight before you go to sleep: if you have a second, please include my husband's grandmother.

She has taken care of everyone else--including me--during her life. Now she is facing assisted living/nursing home care; while family is mystified as to why her condition is deteriorating, the beginning of this sentence was enough explanation for me. As kindred independent spirits, I understand her condition as her way of proving that there is another way. If I were her, I'd wave the white flag at this point, too.

We are scheduled to leave this weekend to visit Indiana for a second time to see if that is where the hubbie would like to practice next year. We are planning to head down to Texas immediately afterwards to visit his grandmother. I'd kept most of my suspicions to myself until tonight when the hubbie admitted that if she can't hold out until we get there, we will have plenty of time to see what and where other arrangments will be if she should pass.

I just wrote two very long posts about this amazing woman; I immediately deleted them. I meant each as a tribute; I did not mean either as an obituary, but that is what they began to sound like. While Miss I is 85, I had the privilege of meeting her uncle years ago---when he was 109. I am not counting this strong lady out yet but a few extra prayers never hurt anyone.

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Empty nest

When the eggs hatched, I wondered if there were only three this year. (Two years ago, there were five babies.) A day or two later, I counted four little heads and from time to time this summer, I could count five open mouths. From my limited vantage point, it seemed that the last bird was crowded, smaller and being sat upon. (I'd be smaller too if my mom kept flying by and feeding a sibling who was sitting on me!)

This week, the birds appeared big, healthy, strong and ready to fly. (Though they'd perch on the very edge of that nest for a while before they'd go. It reminded me of my son learning to jump in the pool: "'m ready"

As the birds left, one by one, my husband stood by the window watching them.
"Whoa! That bird almost took a dive but both parents came at him from different sides!"
Good parents.

Soon, only the smallest bird was left in the nest. Rather than a big, fluffy chest full of feathers, his was notably sunken in; while I'm no veterinarian, the little guy did not look too healthy. This was the guy who'd been left in the back of the nest, obviously. My husband kept noting the lonely, scrawny bird. "Can't I go give him a cracker? That little guy can't fly."

While I understood his sentiment, I could not see any way to deliver meals to the bird without touching him. We kept waiting for his parents (who still brought a few things to the siblings sitting on the porch) to tend to this guy.

Yesterday morning--as I was bloghopping, actually--I heard a great deal of chirping, squawking and general bird commotion out on the porch. I nodded, thinking that the last hold out had finally left the nest and the family was bound for the trees.

I did not discover the actual reason for all that commotion later, when I remembered to go out to water the flowers. The little bird was still lying directly below the nest.

I still had a few hours before the hubbie would return home and I knew the kids would check the porch before then. Besides, after his vigil the night before, I couldn't ask him to handle it.

I did tell him later and got his standard response: "it's the circle of life." Indeed. However, if a bird I'd barely seen inspires such a long post, we might do well to hold off on getting a real pet just a bit longer!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What if God was one of us?

Or rather, what if Mary was one of us?

Of course, she was one of us. She was wiser and more patient than I’ll ever be but completely human, nonetheless. Two Women of Galilee imagines part of her life as she interacts with characters who make brief appearances in the Bible.

The main character, Joanna, suffers from consumption and has tried every treatment that Roman doctors or supernatural healers can provide. Her illness and curiosity lead her to followers of Jesus. When Joanna encounters Mary, she is surprised to learn that the Healer's mother is her cousin.

The story of their estrangement and reunion is based in the context of the Roman occupation. When the Romans took control, Mary’s father took his family out of the city and raised his daughter according to the ancient traditions. His brother, Joanna’s father, recognized an opportunity and kept his family in the city; they gave up their religious beliefs and pledged allegiance to Caesar. Assimilating with the Roman occupants, Joanna’s family became wealthy. She married Herod’s chief steward and her friend among the elite women of the court is Claudia Procula, Pilate’s wife.

It is a clever take on the events that led up to Christ’s crucifixion. Rourke gives her readers credit for being familiar with the Passion and does not re-tell that story but describes events that unfolded behind the scenes. For example, the Bible tells us that Joseph, a good and righteous man from Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; this novel imagines how—and why—Joseph took care of the burial arrangements.

Rourke has applied a backstory to the gospels and seeks to remind us that everyone is here for a reason.
“Look to the whole story, not the small part that each person plays.” ~ from Two Women of Galilee

This is a good beach read or-- if you also happen to live in Kansas--a good backyard/poolside read! There are a few distracting typos but they might be caught by the time the book comes out in paperback.

Between Indiana and Texas lie Arkansas and Kansas

While we will be living in Kansas for another year, the hubbie is interviewing now to determine where he’d like to go when that time is up. Remaining here is an option but not a strong one; Kansas City is a contender but it is Kansas City, Missouri that holds the attraction.

I have been asked for my preferences, which include living near water and/or living in the South. My husband has tried to take these into consideration but he is not interested in living on a coast and is certainly not interested in returning to the “deep south.” Apparently our geographical proclivities are about as alike as our politics.

While second trips to Indiana and Texas are planned, we all made our first trip to Fort Smith, Arkansas this past weekend. The hubbie was willing to check it out as it is in northwest Arkansas (close to Oklahoma and Missouri) so he can claim it is not in The South. I was willing to check it out mostly because I was sure his claim was mistaken. I spoke with hospital recruiters and realtors on the phone before we left and could just tell that we would find sweet tea and grits available on restaurant menus.

In fact, at lunch on Saturday, a waitress asked for our drink orders and I ordered iced tea. She returned with everyone else’s beverage and then apologetically asked what I’d like again. She could not remember if I’d asked for sweet or "unsweet" tea. I asked sweetly for unsweetened tea. She returned once more to make sure she’d heard me correctly but never did return with any sort of tea.

Offers are similar in the cities on the short list so a large part of the decision is deciding what we want in a community. Indiana has four seasons but may get a bit cold for me; Texas has a few seasons: HOT, a little hot and warm—which may be more heat than the hubbie can handle.

We may end up settling on Kansas City simply because it is between the other two.

This is my B4B entry.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On the road and in the air again

We leave in the morning for a quick trip to Arkansas. After we return, along with the promised "Between" post will be a review of Mary Rourke's Two Women of Galilee. The concept of the book is clever but the review is not. Yet. I'll revise, rewrite and post it on Sunday!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Between bloghopping and books...B4B is LIVE!

Blogging for Books is on! It's a week later this month so for those of us who were a little distracted with the holiday weekend, we did not miss a thing!

This month's topic is BETWEEN. You can think of something! ;)
Go. Write.
Details are here.

(I promise to enter this month as well. We're are heading out-of-town again this weekend so it may just be a midnight post on Sunday but I will make it this month. Stay tuned!)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The family is growing

Not our family, though we share part of the same house. This photo was taken a few days ago and you can only see a couple of babies here.

They've grown in just the last few days and I counted five open mouths this morning! I'm not sure if they're yelling "I'm still hungry," or "I want my own room!"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

An adventure at home

You can have adventures in your own backyard--or at the top of your stairs!

While some people travel to a summer home, my kids have constructed their own.

What's up, doc?

I have mentioned in previous posts how I occasionally let my yard go a little wild. While it is not quite a jungle, I wait until weeding will take hours before I actually get out there to do it.

This week I tackled what I kept referring to as "weeds" but it was actually a patch of bright, new, healthy grass--growing where I don't want any grass. (Much of my yard has brown (fried) patches or even holes right now but grass thrives in the spots I don't want it! (Along the edge of this rock wall, for example. Of course, I did not think to snap the photo until after I'd dug up the grass/weeds!)

Another resident of our yard has enjoyed the new grass. Yet while Bugs eats other areas of my grass down to the roots, he comes to this new patch for just a nibble. Maybe the new grass is sweeter and makes a nice dessert.

Bugs watched me from under the deck for a while, then inched ever closer, keeping a close eye on me as I dug up his salad bar. Maybe my attempt to clean up the yard was a little misguided. That rascally rabbit will have no choice but to eat more of the lawn now!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

You can read the text here.

Celebrate! Enjoy the day and be grateful for your freedom.

I'm blowing out candles today as well as lighting sparklers so I'm going to keep this short. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

It was the nightingale, and not the lark

I tried to use this line with my son the other morning. He can't read much beyond his own name yet, so quoting Shakespeare--even at 6:30am--did not impress him.

I tried to tell him to climb into bed with me to sleep for just a few more minutes but he protested.

"Hear that bird singing, Mommy? That's the bird that sings when it's time to get up!"