27 May 2007

Sick days

Heard at a friend's house, for the "C" file:

"Nice booger."


Actually got a fair bit done yesterday around the house while managing to laze around a bit for recuperative purposes and take in Grad party #1 of the weekend. The general ache has subsided somewhat, but I still wasn't up to hanging around outside in the wind and bluster at a campground. After church today, we stopped by the Evil*Empire to pick up various accoutrement and a card for Grad #2. We arrived at their home to find it empty, but there was a young lady there looking just as perplexed. We tracked them down on the cell phone at their church instead of home (well, their kid that graduated last year had his party at home; I didn't bother looking that closely at the invitation.) The young lady and we took great comfort in each other making the same mistake, and were told that someone else had called from the wrong church, so it must have just been a confusing day.
We returned home in time for coffee time and King's Kids at church, then came home, baked a cake and had a fire in the pit and good conversation around it. I should stay home sick more often. The flu-like yuck has been replaced with a more cold-like yuck. I am losing my voice and the family is secretly rejoicing.
I did manage to croak through a song at church today. I had arranged a replacement to take my turn at special, but it didn't pan out so it was fortuitous that I stayed home. Nina's still doing OK, but her grandma is having health issues now. It's just one thing after another for them. The song I chose for today was, not entirely by coincidence, a song by Casting Crowns about ministering to others in difficult times. Sometimes events transpire that we as people of faith have a hard time understanding. The trite "bad things to good people" scenario doesn't even begin to cover it sometimes. In his lyrics, Mark Hall reminds us that we do not have to explain why things happen, we just have to love people and take care of them. I wasted a bit of time off looking for a legal music widget to play this for you, but instead, you just get the lyrics.

Love them Like Jesus

The love of her life is drifting away
They’re losing the fight for another day
The life that she’s known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart

You’re holding her hand, you’re straining for words
You trying to make - sense of it all
She’s desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She’s looking to you

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus

The gifts lie in wait, in a room painted blue
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon
Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to grey
As the little one slips away

You’re holding their hand, you’re straining for words
You’re trying to make sense of it all
They’re desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view
They’re looking to you

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus

26 May 2007

It's always something...

A couple of weeks ago we had planned a visit to Omaha for a graduation. We would also drop in on Cliff on the way. A couple unexpected bills made us have to cancel the trip. This weekend, friends of our are camping at the state park near my hometown. We were going to "camp" at grandma's (HDTV and beds inside: my kind of camping), join our friends to visit and play at the park, and get down to the cemetery to decorate. iPastor has been battling an ear infection for two weeks. I had hoped he would be feeling better for the trip, but not so much. Then yesterday I woke up with a fever/chills/ache/nausea version of the crud that's going around. So we will spend out weekend at home instead. We're both feeling a bit better, but still not up to travel and socialization. We have a couple of graduation parties to visit, but those can be short & sweet. Maybe we'll get something else done around here. One kid wants to play musical rooms again, so we'll maybe get her settled in.


Another to file under "C"

"Pick up your lizard and put it away."


Well, you all enjoy your holiday weekend, hopefully without driving up the demand for gas. That means no RVing, boating, plowing, four-wheelers, wet jets or NASCAR. Have fun with that.

21 May 2007

File under "C"...

...for "Conversations only heard in homes with small children:

"Get your fairy out of my oatmeal."


Otherwise, the girls and I lived through a day-long,, two-show, dance extravaganza marathon, and we are done with that for the year. iPastor, on the other hand, still has to edit, dupe and ship the video. Hopefully that will be a much less complicated process this year.
Now we are back into the rut, and I am re-determined to continue with the clutter busting. We just signed on for our fifth exchange student (Hi Alex!) from EF (which we highly recommend, both the experience and EF, at least our local branch rocks!) Although I always hope to improve my home just for my own comfort and my family's, the impending arrival of a new kid in August gives me a deadline of sorts. I feel this way every time, and I always make some progress, if not huge strides, so here's hoping...

Now it's off to work again.

18 May 2007


Life in my comfy rut plods along as per usual. The end of the school year is approaching at a frightening rate. One of the signals of this is dance recital, which happens tomorrow. Firestorm is the official videographer of said event, but this year, the Minnesota Scottish Fair unfortunately moved to the same weekend. iPastor is the regional commissioner or grand poobah or whatever of the Minnesota chapter of Clan MacDougallso his loyalties were a bit divided. He swapped labor with one of our trusty occasional camera ops, and will head off to the Fair while someone else runs the cam for once. I won't have to run a camera either, so for the first time in seven years, I will not have to watch the show through a viewfinder. Cool. Now I have to buy a ticket...
Nina seems to be responding well to chemo. She was almost her normal self last week at church. She still has a long road ahead, but hopefully it will all go this well.
With that, I leave you to go get all the little dancers settled in for their beauty rest. G'nite!

10 May 2007

Nina update

Nina's folks put up a page for her at Caringbridge.org. Her site name is ninabuchanan. If you want to send a special little girl some internet love, go check it out.

09 May 2007

Lum nips

So, two visits to the dentist in two days. I (finally) had the last two wisdom teeth out, and about 5 other fillings. It's a good thing I'm typing this, because my mouth is still too slack and numb to form coherent words. The aftershock from yesterday's visit was minimal, and the two other extractions I've had with this dentist were painless, so I'm hoping the record holds. Otherwise, I'm starving, but can't hold food in my mouth without it sliding out the front just yet.

Thing 4 was bitten by something in bed that left a nasty ol' welt on him the size of a silver dollar. iPastor took him to have it checked. Other than itch, it didn't seem to be bothering him, but it looked awful. That stuff creeps me out. Waiting to hear about that. (update: Doc says keep an eye on it. Duh.)

Been trying to get out in the yard as much as possible. Having a couple days off for the dentist freed up my afternoons a little. I'm enjoying the nice weather. I'd like to get my garden in soon, but it will have to wait until I have some cash to buy plants.

Well, I'm off to putz in the yard and hang laundry on the line, until my mouth loosens up enough to eat.

06 May 2007

A very blustery night

I could have told you last night would be windy. I have an awesome pink crabapple tree. Ever since I started this bloggity thing, way back in primeval old Blogger days, through a domain that dumped us for excessive spam traffic (hey iPastor, we still need a refund from those guys, we paid for ten years...) and back to Blogger again, I think I should post a picture of my beautiful flowering crab. Every year when it blooms, it is absolutely gorgeous for about ten minutes, then we get wind and/or rain and it's gone. It bloomed Friday. Last night we had sustained straight-line winds of 25-30 with gusts over 60 for about 6-8 hours. This morning at about 7, the dogs went haywire and the wind switched from the south to the east and kicked up for about half an hour before dying down to a stiff breeze. There are trees down all over, but our yard is OK. We have shingles in the yard and a broken window, thankfully one of the old storm windows. A friend at work lost her roof.

I should get out and work on cleaning up the yard a little bit, but I just got done clearing that path in the basement, so I'm taking a little break. iPastor and the Cosmic Junkie are on their way back from the Home Despot with a new washer for Mama Goose! Woot! I'm livin' civilized again!

In other news, iPastor and I went completely insane (again) a couple of weeks ago...

...and brought home Polly, aka Polly Lobster, aka Polly Piddles. iPastor mentioned once that he'd love to have a beagle if we ever got another dog. After we got the cockers mostly settled in, someone posted Polly on Freecycle(tm). We're suckers.

That brings the canine population to three...

See that black and tan boy, Tiger? I started giving them a scissors cut, because I have been too cheap on time and money to get 'em to the groomers, but I wanted them to be able to see and not overheat. Anyway, the B&T is almost the same color as the red now with his coat trimmed. I think he's what they call "sable" but I'm not really certain with the whole Cocker terminology thing. The vet thinks the red is actually red sable as well. I don't care, I'm lovin' 'em, not showing 'em. We're really working on training the dogs and people to a potty and play schedule. I think Polly's got a bladder the size of a walnut. She pees every 20 minutes, but never very much. iPastor dutifully went off to buy dog food, but missed the trusty farm store by a few minutes. So he popped across the street to the Evil*Empire, and came home with a bag of Ol'Roy. I have NEVER smelled anything so vile as those dogs on cheapo food. Blearg!

My new washer is here, and we have to do some strong-arming of a corroded spigot, so I will leave you now and head to the basement. Toodles.

03 May 2007


Initial reports from Minneapolis Children's are encouraging. The doctors feel Nina's got excellent chances for full recovery. She's got a long road ahead, though. She's already started chemo. If she feels well enough, she can meet her class at the zoo for her field trip Friday. Please keep the prayers going. The family also cares for a disabled grandma at home, and has been doctoring Nina's little sister quite a bit lately as well. I am amazed at their resilience, and their commitment to each other over the past few years' challenges.

Yesterday, our old washer finally died. The poor old thing has been rigged and fiddled with for so long, it finally gave up the ghost. I think we'll have to wait until Sunday to make a trip to Home Depot for a new one. Those folks are foolish enough to give us credit! It means foregoing a new mower this year, but the neighbor already volunteered to do that, as she's scrounging for summer work, so it all works out in the end. It seems he washer always dies when the laundry pile is knee high. As I went to the basement and made the discovery yesterday, I was starting to get that feeling of disgust/dismay at the mess before me, and I stopped and remembered my healthy, noisy, PITA kids. My life is fine. A trip to the laundromat never hurt anyone, and the dryer and clothesline still function perfectly. Thing 3 asked this morning what detergent I used to make her clothes smell so good. Just the sunshine...

Now I suppose I'd better go fold and put away the first batch. Gotta clear a path to put the new washer in.

02 May 2007

Pray for Nina

Our friend's 8-year-old daughter has just been diagnosed with leukemia. This is the cherry on top of several other health and caregiving issues for them. Please pray for Nina's health and her family's strength.

01 May 2007

May Day!

So, a moment to catch up, perhaps?

Chronology is out the window here. We'll be time shifting all over the place.

First off, women's retreat was lovely, the drive to Austin was not. There is no real expedient route from the WC part of our fair state to the SC or SE. Many of the US highways have been upgraded to 4-lane; many others have not. Most of the state roads seem to have been planned to get from one US highway to the next. In a nutshell, it took 4 hours to go 150 miles. Yuck. Once there, we had a delightful time. We had a n awesome speaker on words and how we use and abuse them. We also had ample time to hang out and do girly things. I have nail polish on for the first time in, um, I can't remember. The drive home sapped the life from me, and I crashed for a power nap. Rested and renewed, indeed.

Today was mayday, so the Things and I hastily made baskets in the car this morning, and Thing 4 passed them out. May baskets used to be an after-school activity in the neighborhood where I grew up. We'd tape ribbon handles on dixie cups, load 'em with candy and pass 'em out. We never got into the sneaky stuff, we'd usually meet up in a gang outside and trade, then take any extras around. One of the aforementioned girly events was thrift shopping, and I hit a sale and got a whole batch of little wicker baskets for about a dime each. Beats monkeying with tape.
Our after-school hours are monopolized with dance today, so iPastor and I drove (how lazy! but we were hauling putzy little baskets) around the neighborhood to hang them on doorknobs.

Thing 4 was just getting a handle on the "ding dong ditch" methodology.

Sometimes, however, stealth went out the window, such as when the little yardapes were outside.

We took a basket to where the seniors have coffee every day, and he did get "caught" and kissed. He didn't quite know what to make of that. It got the folks buzzing about Maydays past. iPastor says they actually brought little baskets of the dixie cup kind to school much like a Valentine party, and they had a gym teacher who made a big deal of setting up a maypole.

More to come later. iPastor and the Thing have gone off to deliver one more basket and have coffee with friends. I need to get ready for work!