Monday, April 30, 2007

The closest thing to church I enjoyed yesterday was the music from St. Paul Sunday. I never tire of listening to the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers. I tried to pick a favorite track on this program, but couldn't decide between Eric Whitaker's Water Night and Randall Thompson's The Paper Reeds by the Brooks.

The furthest thing from church that I enjoyed on Sunday was Desperate Housewives. I watched a couple of episodes when this soap started 3 seasons ago, but lost interest. Lately, it's been my choice for 8 pm on Sunday nights. Brothers and Sisters, which follows it, is getting me hooked, too. In case anyone wants to know what to get me for Mother's Day, check out the pink tee shirt on the Desperate Housewives website.

Or a CD by VocalEssence would be great, too.

Since my house hasn't been touched in over a week, I've got to get busy whether I feel like it or not. Mike is out until about 4 pm, so it's a good time to clean downstairs. Mick told me he wasn't coming back in the house until his litter box was changed. I'm glad my smeller is out of order.

Hope everybody has a great week!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

I've recently learned that my favorite form of entertainment, Internet radio, may soon be silenced. Since I am a regular listener, that will make me, and millions of Internet radio fans like me, very unhappy. If you want to keep May 15 from being "the day the music died," go to this website where you can sign a petition. If you've never discovered the pleasure of free Internet radio, you have about 15 days to tune in. My favorite is where I alternate between several genres. I don't want any artist to be cheated of royalties, but I also don't think it's fair to make Internet radio webcasts pay more than their fair share. More info here.

I woke up mad at the world this morning, foul humour extraordinaire. Just when I thought my cold had run its course, the waterworks began again. How can one person's sinuses produce so much drainage? It was 2:00 before I finally fell asleep last night, and that was only after moving to our guest bedroom. Everything in my bed was conspiring against my getting any rest. My very warm dogs snuggled too close, my legs were in bicycle pedaling motion against sheets that felt like sandpaper, Mike would not quit snoring no matter how I turned him, and the Benadryl mixed with the Ibuprofin gave me that inflated med-head that magnified every annoyance. Bad trip, indeed! Mike was so ready to escape my petulance that he went to church this morning without me. That very rarely happens.

He just came in, bringing lunch with him. He can be unusually sweet when he wants to be. He went to his "Intangibles" buddies' newly formed church that split from the original "Chrch of the Highlands." (I love how some Southern Baptists are trying to disguise their true identity by not including the word Baptist in their name. That didn't stop this group from being as contentious as any of the others) The new church is called "Church of the Intangible Presence," for now (I'm kidding), and they're meeting in the community center at the park across from Cock-of-the-Walk. For those of you who don't know, "Intangibles" was the name of the rock band that Mike played in pre-stroke with a couple of other insurance guys. After Mike's stroke, the Intangibles became a contemporary Christian rock band, playing church gigs on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights instead of club gigs on Friday and Saturday nights. Their new church had lots of tangible "Intangibles" music, he said, and about a hundred people attending. He likes their real rock music better, but they've been faithful friends to him, so he went to support them.

Makes me wish I'd felt like going to St. Philip's this morning, which, I'm sure, is back to their dignified traditional style after last week's walk on the wild side.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mr. Bad Cold has about run his course. I woke up this morning drenched in sweat, weak, but I'm feeling better as the day progresses. My colds always start with sore throat, neck and shoulders, earache, then congested head, then it moves to my chest. It usually takes a week to 10 days for it to go away, so I'm on the mend, thank goodness! The last couple of days have been a fog, with zero energy, a raw nose, and very little appetite. Today I'm hungry, a good sign, I guess. I'm afraid my dogs may have caught the bug; both have been sneezing and Gus has had a hacking cough. Their appetite remains good and they're energetic, so they're probably ok.

The Democratic debate on MSNBC made me feel confident about our whole field of candidates. I still haven't made up my mind. I'm still favoring Obama, but would be satisfied with Clinton, Edwards, or Richardson. I thought Hillary looked the most presidential during the debate. Her plan to keep troops in Iraq worries me though. We've wasted enough blood and money on their civil war.

I've really been enjoying George's recent postings of old pictures. One of my favorites is a great picture of the Grant family; and check out the cute picture of Lisa Monts and her good looking daddy. I saw him at the funeral home last month and he is still a handsome man. I wonder if anyone besides me has ever noticed the old portrait on the wall of the Batesville Cracker Barrel that looks just like him. Maybe it's one of his ancestors.

I've picked up some new readers and to you I say "welcome!" The site meter is not giving me a city, so their identity is still a mystery to me. It has to be somebody I know, though. Who else would find 22 minutes of interest in the very mundane life I live? So Mystery Readers, I'd love to know who you are. Leave a comment or send an email, ok?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I've felt so bad that I've slept off and on all day. The Aleve Cold and Sinus pill I'm taking is supposed to be the Non-drowsy formula, but it hasn't kept me awake. Everything above my belly-button is malfunctioning.

I'll let Rick's news from yesterday be the post for today. Congratulations on the new additions to your family and thanks for the pictures, Son. Did Clay and Cooper get to observe the births?

From Rick: Our Sheltie, Maggie, started labor around 9am this morning and by 4:30 was done. She had 2 girls, 3 boys and 1 stillborn. The breeder (Nina Plail and her friend Judy, who's dog Genie was Maggie's mother) were with us most of the day to help with the deliveries. One of the girls is struggling to drink from Maggie, but all the others are doing great. Please pray for the little girl puppy - "Fluffy," whose name came from the Harry Potter series. The others are named: Hagrid, Weasley, Drako, and Hermione. Maggie has been a terrific mom (and Tucker has been a great "Uncle"). The father of these puppies is Billy - see their website for some pictures of this handsome dog.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yesterday's picture that I guessed to be 1962 was probably 1963, since my teeth are braceless and I seem to be proud of the new smile. Was I a beanpole, or what? I'm really enjoying the old pictures on George's site. Thank you, Amy for sharing these with us.

I missed a good photo op yesterday when Dave and Mary came by here to change clothes on their way to Kirk's induction to the Mortar Board at MC. I can't remember the last time I saw Dave so dressed up; he looked dang near dignified! I hope pictures were made at their dinner. Congratulations to Kirk for receiving this honor. Mortar Board is a senior honor society dedicated to the principles of scholarship, leadership, fellowship, college loyalty, self awareness and service.

Benji sent an interesting link to an article about "Jesus Love-Bombs." Unfortunately, it reminds me of Cursillo. I'm feeling none too spiffy today, think I'll go back to bed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I've been watching the congressional hearing on the misinformation campaign that exploited the stories of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch. The opening statements of Tillman's brother and Ms. Lynch were powerful and compelling. It made me mad all over again about the deceitfulness that has characterized this administration.

I really wanted to go to Janet's funeral today, but have come down with a horrible head cold since Sunday. I thought the congestion was just allergies, but then came the sore throat and body ache, and I knew the Sudafed was not going to help much. I hope Judy and the others forgive me for not showing up. I don't feel up to a drive across the spillway, much less to Tupelo, and especially not with Mike, who would insist on going with me. I will solicit donations from the rest of my readers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in her honor. Go to the funeral home website for the obituary and to post condolences and to make donations.

George sent the best picture of my Johnson family that came on a CD from Amy Bostick, daughter of Sharon Monts Jeffries (?). He's posting it on his site in the next day or two, but I'm using it today. I'm guessing this was made around 1962. We're sitting on a bench on the porch of the old gym, it appears, and since Paul is in his baseball uniform, it was probably right after one of his games. I say "after," since he is standing behind us; the grass and dirt stains on his pants were not visible this way. He looks to be about 12 years old, Betsy 14, I was 15.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More sad news. Judy's sister Janet lost her long, hard battle with cancer yesterday. She was only 47. The funeral is tomorrow in Tupelo. I last saw Janet at Deanne's wedding in December. Weighing only about 85 lbs., she looked frail, but would not have missed it for anything. Deanne and Vance were not just her niece and nephew, but her surrogate children. I've always known she was their favorite aunt, but it never bothered me because she had no children of her own. She was much more devoted to them than most aunts are, and I always admired that about her.
My sympathy goes out to Judy, Paul, Vance, Deanne, Boots, Agnes, Bobby and the rest of her family. Even though this long nightmare is over for her and for them, she will be greatly missed. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
Happy news on Sunday from Ricky: Cooper's AAU baseball team, the Tampa Blades, came through the loser's bracket and made it to the Slugarama Championship Game (Fire Division) today versus the Mets Baseball team. It was the 3rd game of the day for the Blades and 5th of the weekend.
During the Championship Game, the pitching on both sides was excellent, and the Blades had a 1-0 lead after the first inning. However, the Mets overcame the deficit and wound up beating the Blades 3-2. The boys played great all weekend and finished 2nd place in the Fire Division and 5th in the state out of all 10&Under teams. It was a Great finish and excellent effort by a team that was ranked 34th in the state going into the weekend!
Thanks for the news, Rick, and the picture. Way to go, Coop! Gramma's very proud of you!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

You may have all the solemnity you wish in your neckties, but in anything important (such as sex, death, and religion), you must have mirth or you will have madness. —G. K. Chesterton

Today we had Jazz Mass, so we had plenty of mirth, too. The jazz musicians, the Russell Thomas Combo, were some of the best I've heard. We attracted several new people to church who seemed to very much enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. The stuffed shirts stayed at home, so we cut up a little and didn't get glared at. Part of the medley they played for the prelude included "Girl from Ipanema", inspiring one couple to get up and dance, which raised a few eyebrows, but we didn't get struck with lightning, so I guess the Good Lord enjoyed it, too. Our 12 year old acolytes wore sunglasses, and there was hand-clapping during the choir's offertory, and applause afterwards (very un-Episcopalian). We processed out at the end of the service to "When the Saints Go Marching In." My Bible clearly says: Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Psalm 150:4

The frivolity reminded me of the time when Mother, who was playing the organ at FUMC in Baldwyn, ended the last hymn with a popular jingle of the time: You deserve a break today at McDonald's! Everybody laughed and the pastor promptly said the benediction because, he said, "It's clear that Jack is ready to eat lunch." I'm surprised Ricky Bishop didn't tell that at her funeral. It was always one of his favorite stories.

Some of the music will be added to the St. Philip's website soon, if anyone wants to hear it.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I remember when the week of April 19 was a happy week. Not only did we celebrate Georgia's birthday then, we also celebrated the end of the school year. Eight months of school was all we got when I was in elementary school. That changed to nine months when I was still in Plantersville School, but I don't remember what year it was. When the Oklahoma City bombing occurred, I grieved not only for its victims, but also for my old friend whose birthday would be forever associated with that tragedy. Now, it seems, there are even more events to make this week an unhappy one.

One of those events hit close to home this week when Mike Collier was buried yesterday. He was only 63 years old, and he had fought a long and hard battle with cancer. Mike grew up in Plantersville, one of those cute Collier boys who lived next door to my friend Jean. Wasn't there an early attachment between Mike and Carole McF? Too long ago for me to remember clearly. He and brother Bobby worked for Bellsouth, both in the same work group with my husband Don. Mike transferred to Jackson shortly before I did and was one of the first people I ran into down here after I moved. My anxiety about being in a new place lessened considerably when I saw this old friend from home, smiling and reassuring me. And he was always that way, every time I saw him, one of the most polite and pleasant people I ever knew. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Today is the anniversary of the Columbine school shootings. Already the crazy copycats are threatening to create mayhem. Thank goodness, one of them, a 28 year old mental patient in California, turned himself in. I had to turn off the TV. I don't have any control over the crazy people out there, but I do have control over whether they enter my living room and pull my spirits down.

This is the day the Lord has made, and I will do everything in my power to rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I finally got Harlee's rocking chair painted, then found out I had misspelled the song title that I used on the back. Zippity Do Dah is supposed to be Zip-ah-dee-do-dah. If Vance and Bethany want the correct spelling, they will have to paint it themselves. Personally, I like my spelling better. At least, I got it done before her first birthday. Here's what it looks like, Mr. Bluebird and all. Not showing up in the photo very well is the checkerboard seat.

I watched events unfold at Va Tech until I couldn't take anymore. This type of terrorism is not something we can fight a war over. I hope there are no repeats of this tragedy, but as long as people feel inferior and hold grudges, we're vulnerable. I just hope the English teachers in my family see the red flags in the writings of their unstable students and attempt some dialogue with them. One of the English professors of this young man talked to him about the violent images he used in his stories and poetry, and recommended counseling to him, but it obviously didn't help. If there is a way to prevent things of this nature, I don't know what it is.

Mike and I both concluded almost immediately, after hearing about the shooting spree, that Bonnie will never get a college education. Her mother withdrew her from school after the Luke Woodham incident at Pearl, convinced that public schools were all dangerous. I'm sure the Va Tech massacre will be one of her excuses for continuing to keep Bonnie at home.

I'm going back to my paints. The VT colors, orange and maroon sounded, at first, to be clashing, but I've done several paintings, mostly florals, and it's not as bad a mis-match as I thought it would be.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I had good intentions of writing a post today, but the shooting incident at Virginia Tech has claimed most of my attention. Rather than writing, I'll post pictures of some of my more recent artwork. Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

(borrowed from an email message on the HoB/D forum, author unknown)

The young women who were offended by the Imus remarks have accepted his apology. Maybe Don Imus, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson can learn from them which wolf to feed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mike is in Imus withdrawal this morning. I would have pulled the plug on this crusty old curmudgeon's show long ago, but he did some interviews I enjoyed and had performances by some recording artists I admire. His charity work is commendable, but he's mistaken to think that gives him license to be so careless in his speech.

Carelessness caused his downfall, I believe. He's smart enough to know, if he had just thought about it, that derogatory remarks about a women's college basketball team, who deserved to celebrate their achievement in getting to the NCAA finals, were outside the bounds of acceptable radio talk. I don't know if he's racist or sexist in his heart of hearts. I do know that his brand of humor is not funny to me. He regularly labels and puts down people, and that is as offensive to me as any of the other TV and radio loudmouths out there whom I avoid if at all possible.

Mike sometimes watches comedians and movies that make my skin crawl. I get as far away from it as I can, and wish he didn't enjoy it like he does. I think it contributes to his bad attitude and his coarse language. This trash will be available as long as the market demands it, so it really shouldn't be any shock when an old white guy, the original shock jock, lets a line from a popular rap song slip out in a conversation. He's a tiny tip of a huge iceberg that seems to have frozen our sense of decency and civility in American society.

"Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?" If our speech can't pass those 3 tests that our grandmothers gave us, we need to keep our mouths shut.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Skip's visits are always too short, and much too infrequent, but he had dogs at the kennel to "get out of jail," and I totally understand that. Lady, their youngest, an English setter, is scared of thunder storms like Jay-Jay, so she needs to be close to her people during bad weather. I tried to get him to go with me to meet George for lunch at Barnhill's, but he'd had a late breakfast and wasn't hungry. Mike joined us, so we talked less about Plantersville than we usually do.

Skip brought a few pictures, mainly of grandchildren. These two are my favorites. First, Skip and 4 year old Zach, son of Jonathan; second, Zach and his 1 year old sister Amanda. Both children have curly blond hair.

After I told my story about my very young sons and the Easter bunny, Skip read the story that he'd written for Zach. I gave him a perfect segue. He can share his story when he gets his blog up and running. Mine isn't quite as dramatic. It happened in 1972 when Benji was 4 and Ricky was 7.

On the Saturday night before Easter, I came home from work to find a rabbit sitting up in the middle of my parents' driveway, staring at me as though I were intruding on his private property. He soon hopped away, but not before I concocted a tale for my sons. When I went in the house, I said, "Guess who I just saw outside?"

"Who, Mama, who?" they asked, eyes wide with excitement.

"The Easter Bunny! He was right out there in the front yard hiding Easter eggs!"

"I wanna see, I wanna see!" Benji responded, jumping up and down.

Ricky, the skeptical older brother said, "Oh Mama, that was just that old brown rabbit that we saw in Granddaddy's garden!"

Now who do you think is the engineer and who is the poet?

Here's another of Skip's photos, Wild Azaleas.

Monday, April 09, 2007

One of my favorite Baptist bloggers is hanging up his spurs. Godspeed, Jerry, in whatever this latest challenge is. The SBC needs "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, repent! repent!" and he's been a good one. Who will do it now?

Congratulations to Karen, who made a "high pass" on her preliminary exams (yay!). Now all she has to do is finish her book-length dissertation in a mere three months and she'll be done with her Ph.D. Thanks for the update, Benji.

I don't know about the rest of you Southerners, but I'm ready for this cold snap to be over. By this time next week, I'll probably be wishing it would come back. At least, it was mild enough yesterday for the children at church to hunt Easter eggs, one of my favorite sights.

I told Betsy I would help her hang pictures today. Skip just called to say he's coming tomorrow, so I need to do some work on my house, too. Mike wants to meet at Fire Mountain for lunch. I'm glad I didn't need a do-nothing Monday. Better get busy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Whew! I'm tired! Good thing I was raised on Baptist revivals, or I'd never made it. By this morning the choir was beginning to sound tired, too. We had a string quintet playing in addition to the organ, so maybe the music didn't sound too phlegmatic. Last night's Easter Vigil service was well attended and the choir sounded good. This morning with twice the crowd, we were less energetic, except on Handel's Worthy is the Lamb.

The rainbows were not as apparent as I'd hoped, but a lot of people felt like since our parish is so accepting, they didn't see the point. One of my gay friends said if St. Philip's was any more inclusive of him, they'd have to name the church after him. It was not promoted or explained very well, and I felt responsible for that, maybe next time we can do more.

Betsy cooked a delicious lunch and invited us. She's really enjoying being back in her house, it's so much better suited for entertaining guests than the condo is, and I'm happy for her. Richard seems less disoriented than he was, he's taken some interest in the dogs, so that's good. Gypsy had to be euthanized on Friday, she had a bad case of heart worms, but Dusty and Nick look healthy. I hope they are. She's let them sleep indoors, since it turned cold again.

I feel a nap coming on.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

When I first learned about the Rainbow Presence demonstration planned for Easter Sunday, I immediately decided to support it. I bought a rainbow ribbon for the cross I wear with my choir robe, and I bought extra ribbon for any others who might want to join in this peaceful demonstration. Nobody that I mentioned it to knew about it, but most thought it was a good idea and wanted a rainbow ribbon to wear. A couple of people were opposed, even hostile, and their attitude stung. I can only imagine how that hostility hurts my homosexual friends and family members who have been courageous enough to be honest about their sexual orientation. It made me more determined to champion full inclusion in the larger Episcopal Church.

I don't want to stir up trouble, but I've never been one to shy away from controversial issues. St. Philip's has been so welcoming and inclusive of all, whether that is due to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, or a well-thought-out policy put in place after years of heated debate, I simply don't know the history. I do know we have the reputation of being the most liberal parish in the Jackson area. Due to the positive responses I received, I concluded that full inclusion has been a matter of prayerful concern for many people. Maybe it's time for those of us who support the progressive direction being forged to stand up publicly and let it be known. I hope it helps those who are opposed to rethink their positions.

Following the Good Friday service, several St. Philip's people met at Fat Tuesday's for lunch. I enjoy it, as it usually brightens the somber mood we're all in following that service. I get impatient with the heavy, dark atmosphere that permeates our observance of Christ's crucifixion and the events leading up to it. Knowing how the story ends, I'm eager to get to the Resurrection; I want to just skip over the solemnity that leads to Easter, and get to the happy part. Maybe it's the Baptist in me. Can't we just condense this into a 90 minute dramatic musical and be done with it?

Art: Lamentation of Christ by Sanders Hemmeson

Then I remember that Jesus suffered much worse than we do in our long, drawn out remembrances of his suffering. The very least I can do is walk the "way of the cross." Stretched out over the entire Holy Week, it's certainly not asking too much. (Music: Lead me to Calvary)

King of my life, I crown Thee now,
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.


Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid,
Tenderly mourned and wept;
Angels in robes of light arrayed
Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.


Let me like Mary, through the gloom,
Come with a gift to Thee;
Show to me now the empty tomb,
Lead me to Calvary.


May I be willing, Lord, to bear
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share,
Thou hast borne all for me.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Deanne sent the cutest picture yesterday. Thanks! Makes me wish I had some babies to decorate.

Our Maundy Thursday service went well last night, foot-washing and all. It's a solemn service ending with the altar being stripped bare for the Good Friday Service. The main theme was
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Where there is charity and love, God is there.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Love brings us together in one Christ.
Exsultemus et in ipso jucundemur.
We therefore rejoice in it.
Timeamus et ameamus Deum vivum.
Let us fear and love the living God.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
And from the heart let us devote ourselves with sincerity.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Amen.
Where there is charity and love, God is there. Amen.
The very last part of the service is the mournful chanting of Psalm 22 while the lights are dimmed. Then the choir processes out in silence, as does the congregation. Heavy. And today's service at noon is heavy, too. What must the original Good Friday have been!
Were you there?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One of the scraps of paper I collected while in Tupelo was a receipt with Jane's email address scribbled on the back. Until it turned cold again, I had no idea what I'd done with it. I found it yesterday in my black wool blazer pocket. I guess that's what she was talking about when she appeared in a dream I had recently. "You're going to lose that," she said. I tried to recall from the dream what she was talking about, but I never could. Anyway, I'm glad I found it, and if you're reading this, Jane, yes, I'm just as scatter-brained as I ever was, probably worse now than ever.

Gloria sent some gorgeous photos of carvings done by a chainsaw artist of oak trees lost to Katrina on the coast. I still don't know who the artist or the photographer is but this is my favorite shot of the ones she sent. New life from that which was dead, a striking metaphor just in time for Easter. Thanks, Madam Mayor!

We gave David the bouquet of gift cards last night. They were arranged in a vase with palm fronds. He was genuinely surprised and pleased. His house and lot, I discovered, back up to Betsy's next door neighbor's lot. The house is really cute, looks like it was recently renovated. I hope he enjoys it for years to come.

Mike just called from Tire Depot. He had a flat on his way to the gym, and he can't find his debit card. Gotta run.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Not every Sagittarian is as messy as this one, so for what it's worth our horoscope says this today:

Sagittarius Horoscope for Apr 4 2007
Sun is in Aries, Moon is going from Libra into Scorpio. Don't walk away and leave a mess. Clean it up and toss it out. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel once that trash is out.

"Walking away and leaving a mess" is one of the things I do best. And it does tend to bother me when it reaches critical mass. Otherwise, I'm perfectly content. I threw out magazines from 2005 yesterday, worrying all the time about the gorgeous pictures that could have been used for a decoupage project. I would need 50 hours in the day to implement all the ideas I get during my spells of inspiration.

In looking for one more shoebox to paint this morning, I came across a papered jewelry box that I rescued from Ricky and Mary Ann's garbage 3 or 4 years ago. Inside were the paper dolls with all the clothes I spent hours cutting out while I was in Tampa. The child in me was obviously in charge during that time and wanting to play. I got strange looks from the adults, even Bonnie thought it was really weird, but it didn't stop me. Clay and Cooper liked them.

Our weather is turning cold again with lows in the 30's by the week-end. Mother Nature can be quite capricious, can't she? I was encouraged to see the Supreme Court ruled against Bush on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions on Monday. It may not help the weather situation, but what will it hurt? To be responsible stewards of our resources is still considered a virtue by most people I know, especially the true compassionate conservatives.

I heard last night on Hardball that Texas Instruments saved over 88,000 jobs in Texas by challenging their engineers and architects to design a facility that would save as much energy money as a move to China would save. They did, and look at what a difference it made, not just for the families directly involved in the workforce, but for the rest of us. I hope and pray that social responsibility becomes the norm, for corporations and for individuals, before we've done irreversible damage to our environment.

Maybe I should be less messy in my personal habits.

Here's the latest from the Tampa Bordens. Thanks, Rick!

Highlights from last night's Little League game. Cooper's team (Devil Rays) played as visitors versus the Rangers who entered the game as the 1st place team at 9-2.
  • Cooper started the game. Rangers scored 2 in the 1st inning. Weak defensve play on our part in the 1st inning, but it tightened up after that.
  • Cooper gave up a 3rd run in the 4th inning, but by then we were up 5-2.
  • Cooper had some soreness in his bicep in the 4th inning, so was pulled after he struck out the last 2 batters to end the inning and the scoring threat (runners at 2nd and 3rd).
  • Final stats: 53 pitches, 7 K's, 1 walk-actually it was an HBP - Cooper was throwing deep inside on a kid that was trying to distract him with an early bunt showing….well, it is called a brush-back pitch; the batter chose not to move his head/helmet out of the way quick enough. :-)
  • Cooper also contributed offensively - he walked, singled in a run, and scored a run.
  • He got the win and the final was 8-3.

Cooper has wins in the last 3 games he has pitched for the team. Last 2 games have been against the 1st place teams. So far this season he's averaging 8 strikeouts and 4 innings per game.

Clay earned his SECOND STRIPE for his Gold Belt in Tae Kwon Do last Thursday and is now wearing CONTACT LENSES for the first time.

Hope all is well with y'all and that you have a blessed and safe Easter. If you have a chance to check out the Easter Presentations that our church has been doing the last three weeks, they are posted online at and this Sunday's Easter presentation (as are all our services) will be streamed live on the Internet. I normally operate the Video Camera that gives the lowest floor angles from Stage Left.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mosaic, the band Mary Ann is in, is recording a demo next week. Maybe I will finally get to hear them. Anyway, they're hoping for a recording contract, and I'm hoping they get one. And I'm hoping you serious prayer people out there will join me in praying that God is glorified in their ministry of music, and if that includes a recording contract, hallelujah!

Her account of their spring break in Gulf Shores made me glad we stayed here. Poor Ricky (and Benji) have very dysfunctional families on both sides. I do believe the paternal side has the maternal side beat, though. At least, Clay and Cooper enjoyed deep sea fishing with their grandfather.

Clay got contact lenses this week for an early birthday gift. Maybe he won't have to wear the mask in karate like he did with the glasses. I'm glad to hear he's still enjoying karate. He wants to do the swimming team again this summer, and I think he should. He's really a great swimmer. Gramma's just not quite ready to accept that he will turn 13 in June. He's one of the sweetest children I've ever known and he's growing up so fast. (Or is it that time flies when you're over the hill?)

Benji and Karen are trying to figure out how her ex got the idea that Good Friday is not part of the Easter Holiday. I'd like to know that, too. Joint custody gets really complicated with people who don't think logically. I'll be so glad when they move back to Memphis. Maybe that will take care of most of the problems with her ex. Bella and Phin are amazingly resilient to have weathered the disagreements as well as they have. Pip was chattering up a storm when I talked to Benji. Maybe by the time he's three, we can understand him.

And that's all the news from Dysfunction Junction for today.

Monday, April 02, 2007

When I opened the front door for the dogs this morning, I was immediately struck by the beauty of lush spring growth in my yard. I don't have a carefully landscaped garden of flowers, just average shrubbery, grass, and 3 potted rose bushes, but after yesterday's rain, they were rejoicing, so thankful for that much needed thirst-quenching water. The whole scene was softened by a heavy fog, which lent an other-worldly charm to this surreal vision. It reminded me of Ireland.

It also reminded me of a line from one of yesterday's readings from Luke 19: 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." 40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

If stones can shout, then vegetation can rejoice, right?

We made our Palm Sunday procession through the parking lot singing All Glory, Laud, and Honor without getting wet. Our 10:30 starting time was bracketed by showers, 5 minutes before and 10 minutes afterward. Every Sunday has its miracles, but that was the one most obvious to me. The second most obvious miracle to me was that the choir got through Salvator Mundi by Thomas Tallis without a train wreck. I was singing Alto 1 on this particular piece and we got off track badly in a couple of spots, but Mike said it was beautiful. He didn't hear any chords that were discordant, he said, and he usually has a good ear for that.

Latin text:
Salvator mundi, salva nos;
qui per crucem et sanguinem redemisti nos,
auxiliare nobis, te deprecamur, Deus noster.

English translation:
Savior of the world, save us,
who through thy cross and blood didst redeem us:
help us, we beseech thee, our God.