Sunday, November 28, 2010


Just found a neat online community at  Where did you find or need to find God today?  Per the Sacred Space website, "This site is based on 'examination of consciousness'—a prayerful review of the day intended to help people recognise God in their daily lives."  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

advent 2010

I've enjoyed the gift of a growing appreciation of and participation in the season of Advent over the past few years.  There are a number of books, websites, and other resources to use as we celebrate this time of year.  Currently I'm enjoying:
The Jesuit Communication Centre in Ireland puts out a booklet of daily readings and considerations for Advent.  They also have guided retreats for Advent that you can download and follow.  Also scroll down the page and take a look at their online prayers and "Living Space," commentaries on the daily scripture readings from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP); I was pleasantly surprised by the level of thought (or prayer, I should say) they put into the entries.

Simply Wait:  Cultivating Stillness in the Season of Advent by Pamela C. Hawkins
Hawkins gives a theme for each week of Advent:  anticipation, hope, patience, and obedience.  Each section is divided into "Responding to the Word," "Readings," and prayers.  I have been looking forward to using this book all year.  I was captivated by the first page:  "ANTICIPATION...Wait with this word for awhile before you turn the page.  Let Anticipation settle into your thoughts.  Let this word soak into your life.  Let it spread across your imagination as you look toward Christmas.  Do not hurry.  Wait.  And when you have taken some time with this word, turn the page."

In previous years I've also enjoyed the book Watch for the Light:  Readings for Advent and Christmas, a collection of daily writings from various authors.  I love the diversity of the authors and the selections, from Meister Eckhart to Sylvia Plath, Bernard of Clairvaux to Annie Dillard, etc. etc. etc.  Readings go from Nov. 24 to Jan. 7, the day after Epiphany.

You might also enjoy this website: which offers a variety of readings from the diverse body of Christ.  The Advent reading includes the scriptures for the week from the BCP. 

You can find the BCP online at - scriptures are under "The Lectionary" - we began Year A on Nov. 28, the first Sunday of Advent 2010.

May we all be able to pay attention, wait, listen, and receive what God has for us in this time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

yelling with grandpa

There seem to be only 3 or 4 different commercials on the channels Grandpa likes to watch, and they are played over and over and over.  We're all sick of them.  Today for the millionth time, the lady on the Medicaid commercial said, "Sign me up!"  Grandpa looked up from his puzzle and yelled, "Somebody sign her up!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

fun with grandpa

Today when I got to Grandpa's he asked me, "Do you know what Thursday is?"  I decided to tease him and said, "Yeah, it's Thursday."
"But do you know what day it is?"
"It's Thursday."
"Yes, but do you know what special day it is?!"
"Yes, it's Thursday."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

living with people versus living alone

1.  You have to wear pants.
2.  You don't have to wear a bra if you walk slow enough.
3.  You have to shower more often - or at least think about it.
4.  They come up behind you and whistle and scare your pants right back off.
5.  You get to pay them back.
6.  If you move in with family, you get to see your relatives more often.
7.  You get to see your relatives more often.
8.  People eat your food.
9.  You get to eat their food.
10.  They throw your food away; the food that you just bought 4 days ago!!!
11.  They feel bad and you get to play mind games with them.
12.  You need to consult with someone before you buy milk, or you need to be prepared to drink a lot of milk.
13.  You can't eat/drink shared food items straight out of the carton - you have to actually dirty a dish.
14.  They block your car in the driveway.
15.  You get to practice precision driving skills at 7:00 a.m., or you get to wake them up.
16.  They share or do all of the yard work - hallelujah!
17.  On Sundays they bring in your paper and bake cinnamon rolls - and share!
18.  They change the oil in your car, then give it a thorough cleaning-out. 

(I highly recommend moving in with at least one retired person.  It also helps if they love you and you love them back.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

fun with grandpa

Today when I went into Grandpa's room/space at Mom & Dad's house, I was a bit groggy from a fitful night's sleep.  Grandpa was extra perky.  "That," he said, pointing to his book of word search puzzles, "almost fell out of bed."  Grandpa likes to tell silly jokes, so I thought this was one of them.  "It did?" I said.  "How?"
"Huh?" Grandpa said.
I put the book on his tv tray.  "Are you still working on #10?"
"Yeah.  Can you count that high?"  (giggles)
"Ha ha."  I shove Grandpa and open the book to puzzle #10 and point to it, "So how did this almost fall out of bed?"
"Huh?...No, this," he said, holding up his mechanical pencil, "is almost out of lead!My brain's so big it clogs up my ears.  It's fun to make a non-senile elderly person wonder if he's becoming senile (eye roll).

Grandpa talks to himself when he's working on his puzzles.  Today he said, "I can't find 'DEEP''s so deep I can't see it...(checks word list)...D-E-E-P.  P-E-E-D.  Peed."  "There you go, Grandpa," I said, "just look for 'peed.'"  Grandpa giggled.

Grandpa asked me to get out his remote-control car the other day.  I turned it on and handed it to him, and he immediately did a beautiful parking job then made sure I knew how talented he was.  I say he got lucky.

The other day he was looking at the "Kansas Most Wanted" pictures in the paper.  Just as I opened my mouth to say, "Are you in there?" Grandpa said, "You know, you should be in here." We did find two Andersons, though, so we decided the paper must've printed the wrong pictures.

As Grandpa's physical health has declined over the past year, the list of things he can no longer do continues to grow.  But yesterday he told a visitor, "I am really fortunate.  I have people to bring me meals and I get to fill up this trash can every day (pointing to one by his chair) and someone else empties it."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

just checking

Every once in a while, I like to check on the laws of physics and make sure they still apply.  There's "new math;" who knows, maybe there's new physics.

1.  If I drop this big, heavy box into this trash bin with some sawdust at the bottom, will the sawdust fly up and into my eyes and mouth?  Yep!

2.  If I stare at this green light but am lost in thought and don't move, will my car move forward anyway, since it's got 150,000 miles on it and it's seen plenty of green lights before?  Nope.  Will my fellow motorists appreciate this experiment?  Nope.

3.  If I put on my pull-over hoodie backwards, will the hood swivel around to its proper place, or will I pull the hoodie down only to find that the room's suddenly turned solid blue?  The latter.

4.  If I back down a hill without looking where I'm going and step in a hole, will I fall?  What do you think?

plan B...ra

Walked to and by the river Monday - I really need to get in better shape.  After a block or two, I remembered the benefits of interval training - changing or amping up your activity for short bursts of time throughout the workout.  So I decided to jog.  Well, I hadn't planned on running, so I'd left the house without a bra - just a t-shirt and sweatshirt (and pants, underwear, socks, shoes).  So as soon as I started jogging the "girls" started bada-binging all over the place.  Several cars were passing by at the time, so I put my arms up to hold everything in place.  Yeah, that didn't look weird at all - I felt like I was pointing to my bouncing boobs with those flags they use to land aircraft.  So that was the end of that.

Went walking yesterday, too.  Remembered interval training.  Forgot bra.  I have an index card taped above my doorknob on which I write stuff I need to remember to take with me when I leave the house.  My door's open a lot, so it's visible to others in the house, and my cousins and their young children are often here.  I'm hoping I'll just remember to dress appropriately without having to write "WEAR YOUR BRA!" on the card.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

little rockers

Mom and Dad bought me this little rocking chair for my first birthday.  I loved to sit in it and read like the grownups.  I've kept it ever since, not using it except as a sentimental keepsake for the past 35+ years.  When I moved in with my aunt and uncle, I didn't have enough room for it so I put it in storage.  A few weeks later I decided that was dumb - the rocker's store-bought, not made by some long-dead relative, now it's gathering dust and doing no one any good, and I have a picture of myself in it and that's sentimental enough.  So I brought the rocker to aunt & uncle's and put it in the rec room for my second cousins, A and B, to use and enjoy.  I'm liking this way of cherishing this "possession" much better than the old way.

So what do you think these pics say about our personalities?  Here I am, reading an ad for men's shoes.  (?)

Here's A rocking a baby doll:

And here's B watching Dora!

You know the Brave Little Toaster?  This is the Happy Little Rocking Chair.  Awww.

Monday, November 8, 2010

for the love of Benji and Ben and Sam

I started feeling the need for a dog fix this weekend and got one of the best I could've asked for.  We're always on the lookout for cheap/free movies for Grandpa to enjoy.  Yesterday I was "just browsing" in the movie section in Target (I'm getting much better at looking with my eyes, not my wallet) and found a collection of four Benji movies for $5.  With the combination of missing my dogs, being in Target, and finding a bargain, I was in no condition to resist.  Plus, I wasn't just buying it for myself, I was buying it for Grandpa, too!

I fell in love with Benji in the mid-'70's, an adorable, loving dog who could do amazing tricks.
Today, my "crush" came back.  Grandpa and I watched the first movie, Benji (only because "Gunsmoke" was pre-empted by a movie Gpa didn't want to watch).  I'd thought this was the movie where I'd first discovered Benji, but a look at the release dates makes me think I saw the 2nd movie, For the Love of Benji.  I was in 2nd grade, and I have a clear memory of leaving the theater that night with my parents and running into my teacher and her husband.  I'd made the shocking discovery that teachers were regular people in Kindergarten when I saw that teacher pass us in traffic.  But teachers also have fun?  They go on dates?? 

Anyway, I'm a bit relieved that this first movie wasn't the one I'd loved, because the dialogue and theme song were so hokey I wouldn't have been able to stand it had I not first loved Benji as a little girl.  There's even a slo-mo scene of Benji and his new dog "girlfriend" running through the park and drinking out of the same birdbath together.  Perhaps a clever spoof, but then who wrote the rest of the movie?  (The theme song won a Golden Globe, but that was in the decade that also brought us "Feelings" and "Muskrat Love."  Okay, I was a Captain and Tennille fan then, too, and I liked "Muskrat Love," and anything sung by John Denver, especially "The Garden Song," and I liked the ice skaters on "The Donny and Marie Show" and I had huge crushes on Donny Osmond and Lee Majors [the bionic manly man!]).  Oh well.  Grandpa and I had fun watching Aunt Bee from the AG Show play "Neighbor lady with cat." 

The movie I saw 30+ years ago, For the Love of Benji, is much more sophisticated than the first one, I'm sure.  According to someone on Wikipedia, "In this film, Benji is lost and becomes a stray animal in Athens, Greece, trying to reunite with his family while secret agents pursue him, trying to get a formula which was glued to his paw in order to get it past customs."

In spite of the sap, however, I ended up teary-eyed at the end of the movie today because Benji reminds me a lot of Oliver, and he was trying to save the kidnapped children and no one was listening to him and he made gut-wrenching sad puppy-dog faces.  I hate to ruin the movie for you, but it has a happy ending, and I got some of the dog fix I needed.

Later, my friend Ben called.  Ben is 3 years old (almost 4) and is the youngest son of a very close and old (in the good way!) friend of mine.  He and his brother Sam call me Auntie Kerri, and I love it.  Ben called me a few times last week to ask me to come over and play, but I had a cold and couldn't go.  He goes to preschool right across the street from my new digs and comes over with his mom to visit sometimes after school.  Today he called and I was honestly thrilled to tell him I was all better and just about to call him, too!  We played at his house and he told me everything about Legos. 

Actually, I doubt it's everything, because Sam has the ultimate memory for facts. I need to get into his will before he goes on "Jeopardy...."  Sam is the friend who will teach me next summer how to jump off a diving board all by myself.

I love being a grownup.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

it's going to be one of those days...

I can't complain too much, because a friend of mine woke up today to find her kitchen flooded and leaking into the basement, then the floor/ceiling fell in.  Great excuse for a new kitchen, I say!  I don't think she and her husband are at that stage yet.

After a month of living with my aunt & uncle, I decided to finally open some mail.  No one fun knows my street address, so why read it?  Well, I got a nice surprise from my car insurer - a check for $3.84 - woo hoo!  'What's this for,' I wondered, 'Being a super-duper driver?'  Nope.  "The attached refund is a result of the termination of your policy.  If you have any questions, please contact your agent."  If you are still breathing, please contact your agent.  If you no longer want to play fast and loose with the law, please contact your agent.  If you retain any sense whatsoever of the need for car insurance, please contact your agent. 

My former landlord misses me, too.  He wasn't too pleased with the condition I left the house in.  (I left it messy because the carpet had to be replaced anyway, and I'd found mold when I was moving, so I figured other stuff would need to be ripped out - really.)  He knew I wasn't expecting my deposit back, but he thinks I should pay more.  I'm going to send him copies of the receipts for the fence I paid for and a check for the difference and hope that ends things.  If not, I'll have to play the "at least I didn't leave a dead body, meaning mine, rotting in the house because of all the mold" card.  I've never played that one before.

Oh, goody!  Somehow I overpaid my final bill to the city by about $25.00.  I hope auto-guy sends me a check without chatting me up too much.

OH GOODY!  Due to "a changing financial services landscape" my bank has "made modifications to our account offerings.  Our effort has been designed around rewarding our customers for their expanding relationship with the bank."  Your bank's probably made changes, too.  Due to my "expanding relationship," my savings account now has to have a daily minimum balance of $300 instead of $200, or else it charges a fee (that's going up, too).  I currently have $7.00 in my savings account.  In a few minutes, I will no longer have a savings account.

That's why I don't open mail.