Showing posts from 2006

To do lists...

An interesting phenomenon occurs in my life. Each of my to do lists (and yes, I have several) seems to grow. Is someone getting them wet? Feeding them after midnight? I don't know. I only know that I am getting on an airplane in twenty-five hours and I have waaaayyy to many things left on my "To do before heading to the farm" list. I am consoling myself with the thought that none of it is brain surgery, and no one will die as long as Jon remembers to take Tele to the Kitty Spa for the week.
Oh, and anyone getting any ideas, know this: we have at least two armed guards on duty at all times here, and a very large German shepherd.

By the way, any ideas for getting rid of a sore throat? It's just post-nasal drip, but it is driving me crazzzzyyyyy!!!!

What NOT to ask

My by-no-means-exhaustive list of sure-fire convo busters at our home:

1) Did you ever read that Stephen Hawkingbook?

2) Have you ever read (insert pretty much anything here, except gear manuals) ?

3) How is your (insert Mother, sister, father here) doing?

4) What would you like to have for dinner?

Surprisingly, this did not make the list:

What are your thoughts on the Twin Paradox?
Answer: Well, when I got my first job, I bought a pair of Docs with my first check. And I am a twin.

Genius. Sheer genius.

A Prince Among Men

That would be my Jonathan. I don't know many husbands who would willingly spend more than an hour in a fabric store, let alone help with decisions and contribute to a discussion on the merits of marabou versus feather boas.

Last week, the women of Grace Point gathered for an ornament exchange. This is, of course, woman-code for "evening of snacks and chatter and giggles." We were each asked to share the worst Christmas gift we had ever received. Oh. My. Gosh. I am still in shock at some of the gifts given by husbands. Holy cow. I am truly grateful for my husband's shopping prowess. He may leave things to the last minute (it is convenient that I will be leaving for the East Coast three days before him), but he always gives thoughtful gifts. I am, frankly, a little in awe of his ability to find things Christmas eve- especially as I looked for MONTHS to find a darned TMX Elmo. In fact, I am seriously considering handing over the entire job- lock, stock, and bar…

Friday's Feast

What was your very first job with a paycheck?

I worked at Chick-Fil-A. What a great company for a teenager-- Sundays off and scholarships. Before that, it was lots and lots of babysitting.

Did you ever lose something really important to you?

Last year, some crackhead broke into our place and stole a bunch of DVD's and some of my jewelry. Among the jewelry stolen was a diamond necklace which belonged to my great grandmother McLellan. It still upsets me that whoever stole it got probably $20 bucks for it. It didn't have much monetary value, but it is irreplaceable to me.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

I know it is silly, but my father always took the time to buy something small for each of us, something he alone picked out. One particular year, he gave me a really nice Paul Mitchell paddle brush that I had been wanting but couldn't really justify buying (it was a $30 hairbruch, for cryin' out loud!). Just know ing that my dad car…

Could someone please explain to me...

How Salisbury Middle School can be the ONLY middle school in Wicomico County to make Annual Yearly Progress under NCLB and nothing happens. But let one teacher allow students to unrinate in a soda bottle and it is NATIONAL NEWS!!!!!?????

Let that be a lesson to you...

One tough Cookie

There has been some sparring going on over at the Family Guy's place. It would appear that we have a class-A man law violation in progress.

Cookie is her name, and she sent this message. I think it goes to any detractors, not just Uncle Jon (who will, by the way, be completely stupid over this dog).

NB- The message is PG. Mild language and violence.

Simple? Christmas?

Devin began a new series this week at Gracepoint. Christmas: Simple. The guys on our set up crew were cracking the inevitable jokes about our set. Things like, "If this is simple, I don't wanna be around for over the top." And my personal favorite, "Wow! Those are the coolest decorations EVER!" (Said in a dorky little kid's voice by a thirty-something guy on the team)

The preparation of our worship space for Christmas: Simple seems anything but. It highlights, for me, however, that simple does NOT mean easy. It is easy to say that we are going to keep Christmas simple, but how easy is this to really do? J and I are pretty committed to keeping things low-key, but we are still shopping, and wrapping, and baking (well, I am). We are still crafting, and shipping, and stressing. Throw in a two thousand, eight-hundred mile trip and we have recipe for Christmas-Simple-You-Have-Got-to-be Kidding.

And yet,the list of things we are not doing is equally as lon…

To Beta or Not to Beta...

This morning, when I logged onto Blogger, I was offered a chance to switch to the new and "improved" Blogger. I passed because, frankly, I have heard horror stories.

I am going to ask any fellow Blogger users who may be reading what they think of the "new" version. Are you happy you switched? What do you love about the new version? What do you hate?

Christmas yumminess!

There are some things which are oft-maligned in our culture: the postal service, meatloaf, and fruitcake come to my mind. I just don't get it. Granted, the USPS is far from perfect, but I will take it any day over most countries' postal systems. Meatloaf? Well mine is pretty darn yummy-- just ask Jon.

Which brings me to fruitcake. Why has this lovely creation become the butt of so many jokes? Is it because of companies like Cla*ton, and the garbage they try to pass of as confection? Whatever the reason, I am starting a campaign to restore respect to the Noble Fruitcake.

I am starting with this recipe, my great-grandmother's:

White FruitCake

3/4 pounds butter
2 c sugar
6 eggs
4 c sifted flour
3 t b powder
1 t salt
1/2 c juice and rind of one lemon
2 T vanilla
8 oz citron
4 rings pineapple (2 red 2 green) (chopped)
2 lb white raisins
2 c + coconut
3/4 lb blanched almonds

Cover raisins with cold water, bring to a boil, drain and cool. Dredge the fruit in 1/2 cup of the flour. Line p…

I have never been a joiner...

...But I did it this time. I figure I will post with more regularity this way.

I warn you, though. These women are pretty much way more clever than I.

Works for me Wednesday... Mr Giftwrap!

It's been awhile since I played along, but I do have a tip for this week.

Mr. Giftwrap is where it's at! (Yes, Shannon, I know that was grammatically incorrect)

Order one roll of fantastic paper, and wrap everyone's gifts. (This is the good stuff, folks-- nice and heavy.) Then, go nuts with packages ties, exercise all your creativity with bows, and take the headache out of storing ends of fifteen different giftwrap rolls. I have chosen a lovely green stripe that will carry us beyond the holiday season. The best part is that they also sell dispensers, eliminating the great scissors hunt.

Shipping is reasonable, and free above a certain threshold. I ordered one roll (417') and one dispenser and qualified.

Mr Giftwrap to help me organize my gift-giving certainly works for me! Now go read the mess of tips on Shannon's site.
You Are Midnight
You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.What Time Of Day Are You?

A vow of silence? Me? Bwahahaha!!!!!

Weekend rundown...

Or maybe it should be "rundown from the weekend." Either way, I am experiencing that exhaustion peculiar to good times spent with family, good food, and good beer.

Just the highlights:

Six of us for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, two pies, the usual suspects. I was aiming for 1:00 pm, and Jon finished carving the bird at 12:59. Score!!!Braved a store or two on friday, mostly because Gram needed shoes (she has rulers for feet, so we had to head to the mother ship). Two pairs of shoes, one watch, and a sprint through The Body Shop later, we headed out. Mission accomplished in under three hours.Crown and Anchor for lunch. This is where the good beer comes in-- one of the few places which knows better than to serve Guiness in a frosted glass. I mean, what is up with that? Oh yeah, their sausgae rolls-- better than anything across the pond.Nasty Habits playing Cabo Charlie's. Gram dozed off and we took a funny snapshot of her with two …

Breaking all the rules?

There has been much spirited discussion of rules at Wolske SW. Specifically, what my brother-in-law calls "Man Rules."

Not suprisingly, my darling husband is in egregious violation of several of these alleged rules. To wit:

The rules clearly state a man shall not be in posession of a pet smaller than a regulation football.
Our Tele is quite the petite feline, weighing in at a whopping 6 pounds. I know we are clear with respect to her weight, but she is pretty tiny. I shall have to measure her to be sure.

The rules declare no man shall purchase clothing in any department other than menswear.
Jon likes flare leg jeans or a really good boot cut. So far, the best fit has come from a pair of Tommy Hilfiger women's jeans. They are a little low in the rise, but other than that, fit like a dream. (I am probably in lots and lots of trouble for posting this one)

The rules limit the beauty regimen of men to soap, shampoo, deodorant, and shaving.
My DH has a Clinique habit, and I am…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Forty-one years and still going strong!

(This is not in any way meant as commentary. It is merely a holiday tradition)

To whom it may concern:

Good morning, it is I, the woman whose broadband access you have been enjoying. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind. Mi casa su casa and all that. Recently, however, your use has had a detrimental effect on my VOIP phone service. Truly, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that my wireless connection is unsecured. We programmed a password when we set up the network, after all.

I wanted to do you the courtesy of warning you that your free-surfing days are numbered. As soon as I get some free time and some know-how, I will be locking you out. In the meantime, please understand that I will be turning my router off when I am not using it. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you, though I don't know why I should even care.

If you call Cox Cable, they will be more than happy to hook you up with your own cable internet connection, and you will no longer need to pirate mine.

Happy Surfing!

Your Neighbor

If you are not watching... Why not?

I am not so much a sitcom person. I mean, I watched Friends, but that is more a matter of cultural literacy for those of us under 35, right?

How I met your Mother is my new crack. Take this little gem:

Thanksgiving hen party...

Oh my. I just realized that my Rock Star husband will be the ONLY MAN at our Thanksgiving festivities. Dad can't come because he has chickens, my brother can't make it because he works retail, so that leaves Jon with Mom, Gram, Amanda, Dana, and me. Shoot even our cat and Gram's cat are girls!

I think he has some serious husband capital coming to him for this one.

I *heart* Kodak Easyshare!

Living as we do, so far far away from family sucks. Especially the nephews and nieces. (The only advantage, and it is a tinytinysmallminescule one, is that C says Aunt Kelly way more often and better that he says Uncle Jon)

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law take lots of pictures, though. And they upload and share them. I can look to my little heart's content. A few weeks ago, I took the plunge and ordered prints. It is fan-flippin'-tastic! Fifteen cents for a four-by-six print, and less than a dollar for five by sevens. I ordered almost forty prints of varying sizes for less than ten dollars-- including shipping to the store! Hot dog!

This weekend's project is to get some of them framed. We have a lot of pictures of Hutsons and Joneses, but not so many Wolskes. I guess I will just have to make a trip to Michael's... oh gee, what a shame.

It's that time of year...

Yep. It's getting closer... My sister is that person who starts to play Christmas songs November 1. She is already bugging Dana about putting up the lights, and I can all but guarantee that she will be driving her coworkers nuts within a week. It's cute actually. Mandy has always been that way-- it stems from her naturally generous spirit.

My mom used to play a game with me when I was small. Each day during Advent, she would place a new decoration in our home. When I returned from school, it was my job to guess what was new. Preparation was always important, and that lesson was well-taught. As we prepared our home for holiday visitors by decorating, cleaning, or baking, I learned the importance of preparing our hearts.

As a little girl, I especially looked forward to Sunday dinner, when we lit the candles on our Advent wreath. I was torn as to which week I wanted to read-- Hope, so that I could light my candle every week, or Joy, because that was the pink candle? Ever…

Last shots before my model quit...

I fell in love with this yarn last year, and simply HAD to have it. And so it sat, for months and months. I am so glad I waited, because I was able to give this cap to a friend who is cute enough to be worthy.

These are the last two caps J would model. I think it was the super soft pink cap that finally pushed him over the edge. *sigh* I guess I wil have to get one of those foam heads to document my projects.

This purple is for my Mom (who will not have time to read this post until after the first of the year, so I am safe). i am trusting you who know her to keep your mouths shut. See that flower on there? I made that, too. I am getting quite good at this loom knitting thing. J refers to it is "not really knitting." Of course, he says this, but had no problem picking out yarns for five more projects. My husband is VERY tactile, so going to the yarn store is an adventure; he likes to touch everything. I always call him over for a touch test-- he hasn't failed m…

If you listen closely...

... I think you can hear the angels singing.

Bobby, of course has exhibited the class which I have come to expect.

Pardon me, while I do a little dance. (You see, I do not have any class)

Finally, a little respect!

One of the joys of being maried to a musician is his affinity for gear. Basses, guitars, speakers, amps, mixers, you name it. MJ spends hours poring over magazines, even user guides. I mean this man will download and print the manual for a console!

I imagine it is frustrating for him that these things pretty much go over my head. I understand the basics of sound reinforcement, but I am not gear-savvy. Very often the conversation goes something like this:

MJ: So, we have this fantastic board that came into the shop today. It is a 128-channel desk. Full meter bridge, the works. I had to test every channel... sooooo sweeeet. It's an xxxx Supercharger.

Me: Oh! Wow, I'll bet you were in hog heaven. Isn't that the same brand they were using at that big place?

MJ: No, this is so much more than that board. This one has the PX15000 super-rated flux converter. The crossovers have dual overhead cams, and the drivers are supercharged.

Me: Oh? That's nice.

This exchang…

So tickled with myself

I can't stand it!

A couple years ago, in an attempt to stop the dreaded hand motion of snack bowl-to-mouth, I decided to learn to knit. Off I went to my friendly neighborhood craft store to spend my saturday afternoon (and about fifty dollars). Twenty-five months later, and this is what I have:

No kidding. That is a whole twenty-seven rows of veryverytightknitting.

Having seen this, you can imagine what my husband was thinking when I can home, very excited, with this little gem. To his everlasting credit, he said nothing. He is a very smart man, my hero.

So, I started my new adventure, four skeins of yummy yarn to add to may already impressive pile. And I did it! I made this as my first project:

(Isn't he just the cutest model?)

This lovelt rolled-brim cap with a tassel on top took me all of four hours to complete. And that is as a complete novice.

This cureent project has about two hours into it, and maybe ten minutes of gathering left. I snapped in still on the loom for yo…

Those who cannot remember the past...

John Kerry Tries To Tell Other Jokes :: :: Humor, Parody, Satire

John Kerry Tries To Tell Other Jokes :: :: Humor, Parody, Satire

Sorry, but it is still a little early, and I am giggling at these.

H/T \John @ Locusts and Honey

I guess we are movers and shakers...

Yesterday alone I received a call from our county Sheriff, First Lady Laura Bush, former President Jimmy Carter, and General Wesley Clarke (Ret.)

At the office. I love how congress exempted themselves from the do not call registry.

It's almost over...

Election day is here. If you are a voting kind of person, I wonder if you are as confused and disenchanted as I am.

We have had a particularly ugly election season here in NV. We have charaltans, carpetbaggers, and career politicians galore. From the sheriff's race all the way to US senate. I have tried and tried to weed through the garbage, visiting each candidates websites to see what they are really all about, and guess what? Nada. Complete garbage there, too.

My only solution is to vote only in those races which I feel confident. That narrows it down to, well, let's see... US senate. Yep, as of 4:30 this morning, I fell confident in my vote for US Senate and that's all.

It'd more than enough to drive a woman to her knees.



1) I am almost convinced that the FairTax is the best thing since sliced bread. I am convinced that it is a vast improvement over the current tax code. Signed the petition last friday, drafting letters today. (Don't gloat, Dad. It's not becoming.)

2) I am very disappointed in our local polititians. Can I write in "None of the above," pretty please?

3) My favorite campaign quote: "Sure, I'm a carpetbagger, but I want to be your carpetbagger." From Jack Carter, who will hopefully be defeated by our incumbent Jon Ensign. I like the balance that having a senator from each party provides.

4) Lemon-honey scones, dried cherry scones, double peanut butter cookies, and a scrubbed (yes, scrubbed, not mopped) kitchen floor are the results of my Saturday. Roast chicken, chicken salad and chicken noodle soup are the results of my Monday. Woohoo! I get more productive in the autumn. Tonight will be a new bread recipe. I am not living in complete CHAOS any l…

The downside to being a nerd...

So, at my father's behest, I am reading The FairTax Book. Rather, I am listening to The FairTax Book (I love me some!)

We listened this morning on the way to work and will listen again tonight. (Do you feel sorry for my poor husband yet? Because he really wants you to!) In the meantime, I have been doing some reading, and that's where I got into trouble.

I Googled and found a few blogs devoted to FairTax. So I started reading, and then I clicked link after link, and eventually ended up reading essays on the Mises Institute website which have NOTHING to do with my inital search. At the end of the day, instead of being clear on my one question about FairTax, I am muddy about lots of other very interesting topics.

Ugh! BTW, anyone else having issues with Blogger? I couldn't get on last night to post. So I started reading...

Lazy blogger, I know

In my defense (weak though it may be) I would like to say that I have been reading (rather listening) and watching. I have one post pretty much in the can for later today, and two more cooking.

My new favorite website...

At least until I find something better.

Larknews. It's like a Christian The Onion.

This story in particular had me chuckling... Maybe it isn't such a bad idea?

More amusing Google ads...

I am a Gmail girl, I must confess. No matter how much I might like the idea of not being caught up the Google madness, I cannot reisit its pull. I love the keyword search, I never have to sort.

Anyway, I was amused at the ad bar this morning:

Why Mommy is a Democrat- - The book George Bush doesn't want your kids to read.

Curiousity won out, and I clicked. Here is what the site says:

Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic Party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and whimsical illustrations, this colorful 28-page depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their commitment to these principles and explain their support for the party.

Why Mommy is a Democrat may look like a traditional children's book, but it definitely…

More baggage than Samsonite

Rachelle at Seek First His Kingdom is asking about our baggage. You know, the stuff that we let keep us from being who God created us to be? Yeah, THAT baggage.

She wants to Know what baggage we are hiding behind and what it will take for us to let it go...

Funny things baggage; they are cumbersome, and yet we are loathe to part with them. Even in our literal bags-- how much of a hassle is it for travelers with new TSA regulations? Can we not stand to part with our shampoo for a few hours? Someone I know smuggled lip balm in her bra rather than be without.

Our spiritual baggage is no different. To what lengths will we go to hang on to them?

Control is the biggest bag in my luggage set. Control is my steamer trunk. When it comes to surrendering control, I am that person at the gate who insists on carrying on the 31 inch pullman. "I'm sorry, God, I know what you said and I understand the rules, but THIS is how I want to do it."

Yeah, and that works out so well for me, …

Profoundly sad

The body count for this school year is nine and counting. Six students, one principal, and two gunmen. This morning, as I popped online to check the weather forecast, I discovered two Clark County schools were on lockdown this morning.

All is this is beyond my conprehension, and I am in awe of parents as they grapple with not only the presence of such evil, but also with the explanations.

Wow! Just... wow!

We had our first youth gathering tonight at GP. Transparent is a monthly worship environment for students, and we had nearly 50 kids come out. Not bad for our first time out there.

Since it was the first service, our regular worship band played. Next month, we'll have some of our student who are also musicians stepping up to lead.

These guys also came out:

Welcome to the 21st century...

We are a little behind the times, here at thebassplayer's house. We don't have cable, or Playstation, or even X-box. We have no VCR, no Tivo, no Direct TV. We do have guitars, basses, and a keyboard. We have highspeed internet, a DVD player, and VOIP telephone service.

And this week, we joined the happy people who get movies in the mail. It is so cool, I tell you! I don't know why I didn't sign us up earlier. Three movies shipped yesterday and showed up in my mailbox this afternoon! I also have a coupon for a free in-store rental each week of the month. This couldn't possibly be more convenient, since Blockbuster is right acrss the big street from us.

No more waiting for movies to show up on the bargain rack at our favorite big box store, no more wondering what the heck people are talking about, no more railing about having spent money on a crummy flick. Nosiree. We can see movies when we want, we can be in the loop at lunchtime, and we can send back anyt…

Into the wall

My father-in-law is what some might call a NASCAR fan. We, on the other hand, have been known to put a race on for our afternoon nap. Something about the drone which helps us sleep. I like to watch the last few laps and the highlights (read: the wrecks).

Those cars go, what 300-400 miles in any given race? Round and round and round. Really fast. It occurs to me that the slightest hesitation, the tiniest miscalculation could put a car into the wall. The drivers must trust their team to keep them and their cars in top shape. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter how well put-together a machine is if the driver is not paying attention.

I am thinking that my spiritual life is like that. (Not the round in circles part) I need a solid pit crew in my church family, but when it comes down to it, I have to take responsibility for my own spiritual growth.

Becoming a part of Gracepoint has really brought this home for me. This weekend, we had the opportunity to reach out to the Nort…

Jonah- Part 1?

Neil Simpson has a Bible study blog upon which I have recently stumbled. I picked up the tail end of Mark, and this week he begins Jonah.

I have to confess, I am not sure when the last time was that I read the book of Jonah. Certainly, I knew the story from my sunday school days, but as an adult? Cannot recall, which says that I probably haven't. Perhaps my early familiarity with the story is why, or perhaps (and more likely) sheer arrogance. After all, Jonah is a *children's* story. What can I possibly learn from this?

I did read this morning, and I had to read twice. The first time through, I kept giggling-- thinking about fish-slapping, no doubt. With a more serious mind, I read a second time. I was struck by a few things:

1) Language would seem to indicate that, while Jonah initially fled, he was pretty resigned to the fact that God there were going to be consequences. While he was aboard ship, the crew were panicking at the storm. Not Jonah, though; he was asleep …

Schooled by six pounds of feline fury...

J and Tele have an interesting little game going. Whenever he is getting dressed, she tries to attack him. This ends up being much mayhem and hand play (with the vet has told us is a no-no), with J usually getting the upper hand.

Usually. Not tonight. Tonight, as he was getting dressed for band practice, the game took a different turn. I hear wrestling and laughing and-thunk! J went for Tele, missed her, and slammed him hand on our footboard. I turned around in time to see him attempt to shake it off, and I can't stop giggle about it.

Schooled. By Tele the cat. Darn.

I heard my dad smile today.

Does that make any sense? I really did hear it-- when I called the farm this afternoon. The smile, not so unusual, my dad is pretty smiling kind of guy. But this one was different; there was a lift in his voice.

The cool part is this: he was smiling because my mom came home early from work. Tonight there was nothing going at church, no Weight Watchers meeting, no PTA. Tonight, my parents had dinner together. On a weeknight. And it isn't anyone's birthday. And THAT is why my dad was smiling.

I love that my parents, after thirty-seven years of marriage, still take such delight in each other's company. I am grateful to them for their example to the sibs and me of what marriage can be-- specifically what Christian marriage can be.

Over the last four decades, my folks have weathered many storms, some literal and others figurative. Each trial has served to strengthen their bond, and consequently, our family.

J and I have another of our crazy busy weeks ahead; we are ba…

Summer is almost over...

Is it time for a new blog design?

The ever-talented Susie over at Bluebird Blogs is giving away a free blog design to TWO, yes two, lucky winners. Pop on over, take a look at her portfolio, and enter for yourself.

The girl does some good work.

Perceptions (and expectations).

A chalice? Or two faces?

This morning GP added a second service. We had a taste of two services last Easter, but this week, we made it official. I cannot fully express how awed and humbled I am to be a part of some pretty serious mission work here in Las Vegas.

As would be expected, tensions were high and tempers sparked. We had prepared ourselves as best we could, but the reality played out somewhat differently than we had imagined. The sound board was a bit of a jumble, so I ran drama rehearsal dry. Our actors were fantastic-- keeping their focus amidst drum tuning, light placement, and countless other distractions. Finally, the sound guys were ready for us; newly miced, our actors once again took their places. Piece of cake, to dial them in, right? WRONG!!! Feedback like you wouldn't believe from one, no signal from another, and still with the drum tuning (ugh).

We meet in a school cafeteria, and the noise level was out of control. I could not communicate with the guys…

Baby it's cold inside.


When I got in to the office this morning, it was 50 degrees inside the trailer. Someone left the swamp cooler on last night, and we got down into the 60's. As much as it pained me, I did end up turning the heat on for a little while. Just to bring it office temp up to par, mind you.

We are entering the season of low utility bills here in the Las Vegas valley, and it is none too soon. Two months in a row of $200 electric bills was enough for this girl-- and that was keeping the thermostat up at 85!!! I actually needed a light jacket going out this morning- yay!

I love how the changing of the seasons turns thoughts to new beginnings. Not just spring, which is the most obvious, but all seasons. As the trees lose their leaves and prepare for winter (not here, obviously, but somewhere) I am reminded that I too have things to lose, habits or attitudes which may have served a purpose but are no longer useful.

How many extra leaves am I carrying that are preventing me from new…

I am a selfish, spoiled brat.

And reading Susan Godfrey's and her family's journey is just the reminder I need.

God is good. All the time.

How I met my honey...

Barb over at A Chelsea Morning is asking, and I am telling. Of course, as I prepare to wow y'all with the amazing tale of how I met my Rock Star, he is stuck in his undershirt. Yes, the man can turn my knees to jelly with a look, but he can not get out of his undershirt.

You know how when you were in college, there was that house which seemed to be a 24-7 house party? Yeah, well Jon and I met there. It was summer, and I was working at Service Merchandise with several of his friends. One night, after work, I ventured out to the "party house." Funny how seedy that neighborhood turned out to be-- I was so totally naive.

***** Mom, stop reading***** You have not heard this before******I'd like for you to hang on to your illusions*****

I parked my car on a side street, and as I rounded the corner I saw a few people sitting on the front stoop enjoying some adult beverages. (All of age-- at least these out here. I cannot vouch for anyone inside) Our friend Ari made …

An yet another reason I am not feeling the love...

When it comes to HOAs.

We have no water. Our entire condo complex is without water. It is 6:30, and noone is anywhere to be found. Three calls to the HOA later, I am not sure when we will see the wet stuff.

I could go cool off with a swim... but wait! The pool has been closed for the last two weeks. I guess I will have to shower at the gym. Grrr.

A sign of the apocalypse?

I was just channel surfing. Lo and behold! G Gordon Liddy is sitting half-naked in a maggot infested pod. Yes, folks, the G-Man is on Fear Factor.

He kicked total buut in the first two stunts. I will not watch, no matter how compelling. I will turn the channel. I will do it now...

Spiritual gifts...

Several years ago, our young adult group took a spiritual gifts inventory. It was very interesting, as most of had been raised in a more mailine church setting. Some of the questions about healing and prophesy felt a little uncomfortable. (My experience with charismatic churches had been very limited and, quite frankly, not positive.)

Anyway, I did learn some important things about myself and my gifts. Helps was my biggie, then service, teaching, and music. The others were a smattering here and there. I must say, I kinda felt like "helps" was pretty lame. I mean, why not exhortation or knowledge? Even discernment, but HELPS?!!? How is that for ego?

Recently, I have grown to gratitude for God's gift to me. At Gracepoint, I can help. And you know what? It fills me up!!! I love being able to provide support for the creative team; I love that I can serve behind the scenes; I love that I can, in my own small way, contribute to the life and minstry of Gracpoint. Go…

Anybody else see the resemblance?


A question to ponder...

How old do you have to be before a fart is no longer funny? Because my Gram is 84, and I bet she would laugh at this...

Benedict XVI: "Social issues and the Gospel are inseparable."

Pope Benedict is concerned that the Catholic Church promotes social justice more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not sure why this is news today, because I have heard this concern expressed by evangelicals for years now. However, I am not going to discuss the fact that I feel the upper echelons of the Church are a little slow on the uptake; I want to provide something of a defense for no-strings-attached social justice.

It is no secret that I am an evangelical. I am a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Spirit-craving daughter of the King. I embrace John Wesley's image of a God whose grace calls us out, and enables us to overcome our depravity. The Word has power, and sharing the Word is not something to be ignored. We are called, commissioned to spread the Gospel. We are also instructed in other things:

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

A whole new light...

I have always considered Dick Cheney to be a cool customer. Not that I thought him unfeeling, but I really didn't give it any thought. He is always composed; cool as a cucumber.

That picture changed for me today. As he spoke to the families of those who died at the Pentagon, he was visibly shaken and rather choked up. I must say that I hold some amount of admiration for this. Hm...

PS Ditto for Rummy.

Horace Robert Passananti

Horace was vice president of claims at Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. His office was in WTC 1, and he, along with 294 of his colleagues, was taken in the coordinated attakcs of September 11, 2001.

Horace is survived by his mother, Marie, and two sons, Sean and Michael.

For more information on Horace:
His quilt block

For more tributes:

No energy...

Ugh. I am not sure what is wrong with me, but all I want to do is sleep. Last night, I went to lie down for a little while (5:30) and didn't wake up for ten hours!!!


Another to add to the ever-growing list...

... Of people whose eloquence I can never match. Instead, I link to them, hoping that someone who reads my blog will follow.

In particular, this passage speak volumes:

For a Christian, I'm supposed to be optimistic. But these days, looking at the Middle East, I only find myself saying Maranatha: Come, Lord Jesus.I am not a dispie (and I don't believe Greg is either, from this post), but I too feel his concern.

He asks if, when the time comes, we will stand up. When evil comes, will we?

(Also, check out his post from 30 August. Good stuff.)

So glad I don't have to make this decision...

I watched Katie's news last night. Frankly, I am not sure what all the hubub is about, but that is another post. What did interest me, was the story about the new HPV vaccine.

I am not one to go crazy for vaccines; in fact, I am find the growing list of vaccines required for school a little troubling. But I think some of the parents are kidding themselves. The key to the efficacy of the HPV vaccine is its delivery before a girl is sexually active. For doctors, this means age 9-12 years.

Part of me shudders at this thought, I must say. However, I think back to the first "talk" we had in school-- fifth grade. I guess I was ten years old? Mom had sat me down during the summer before school started and gone over things with me (read: grossed me out, I am sure).

Maybe 9 years old isn't so for out in left field after all? And who says that a parent has to explain EVERYTHING to his daughter when explaining this vaccine?

Obviously, I am not someone with answers, I just c…

I knew what was coming when I couldn't check in online...

At least, I suspected. Anyway, I did get hit with some extra screening. The very nice TSA gentleman swabbed my bag inside and out, put the little disc into his supersecret contraband residue detector, and asked we what my cat's name is. No, not really. But i can bet that's what his supersecret-contraband-residue-detector came up with. I can see it now:

Explosive residue: Negative
Feline follicles: 10X normal levels.

Result: Not a terrorist, just some poor childless woman who thinks her cat is a person.

*sigh* It was almost anitclimactic. I mean, I allowed and entire extra hour, thinking that I would have all sorts of hassles. But Jon dropped me off at 1:45, and I had my computer plugged in and turned on by 2:08.

For anyone unfamiliar with McCarran on a thursday, this is little short of amazing. I will forever sing the praises of our airport's customer service, gimme an "M"... gimme a "C"... oh, you know the rest.

Making mornings easier...

Most of the time, we do our mornings in shifts. I leave for work around 6 or 6:30, and J doesn't get up until later. For me, breakfast is often cereal or a smoothie. These muffins are great because the batter stays in the refrigerator until I need it. I just scoop out however many muffins I want to bake that morning and-- voila! Freshly-baked, homemade muffins.

Refrigerator Muffins

1 (15 oz) package of raisin bran
2 c sugar
1 c oil
4 eggs
5 c flour
5 t soda
2 t salt
1 qt buttlermilk

Combine all ingredients; store batter in refrigerator. Bake muffins 15 minutes at 400. If not baking full pan of muffins, add water to the empty tins.

Note: Step up the fiber content even more by substituting flaxseed poweder for some of the oil.

So there you have it, a busy morning treat and two bonus tips. Works for me! Now go see Shannon and her treasure trove of tips.

Read. Feel Better.

If you need a little reminder that the world is not going to hell in a handbasket, then take a few mintutes to read this. And this. And even this. Heck, go here and see the entire list.

Now relax and smile. God is in control.

Vegan adventures...

I have been emboldened by my recent Amazon purchases to experiement with some of my recipes and make them vegan. We are reluctant omnivores, but have friends with varying dietary needs. I am trying to have more than three vegan recipes in my repertoire, especially something appropriate for dinner parties, yanno?

It isn't difficult for me to put together a vegetarian menu, as long as we are talking ovo-lacto, or lacto. Vegan is a bit more of a challenge to me, as many vegan food substitutes are highly processed (something to which I have an aversion, quite frankly). I splashed out last week and picked up some non-dairy cheese, my thought process being that cheese is already pretty highly processed, right?

So tonight, I made vegan pesto (yum). Served on TJ's protein packed organic sprouted wheat pasta (double, triple yum), it was huge hit with the Rock Star, who doesn't even know it was vegan. The pasta is really nutty, and it stood up nicely to the pesto, with its brigh…

For my nephew, on your first day of school...

Good morning, sunshine!

It is hard for old Aunt Kelly to get her mind around the idea of you as a kindergartener. I remember heading down to the hospital the evening after you were born. Uncle Jon was a little scared for you, you know that? He didn't see how someone so small could make it in such a mean world. Your dad told him you would be just fine though. And how could you not be? Your mom and dad love you and your brother so much-- taking care of you two is their best, most favorite thing to do.

Your smile and hugs and crazy antics have brought us too many smile to count. When you were younger, Uncle Jon used to drive us all crazy, you know-- he was constanty prompting you to "say Uncle Jon!" I guess that is why you guys are such good buddies. I don't know if his name was the first one you said, but you sure said it a lot-- your mom called us one morning and told us that you must be our child, since you woke up saying "Jon. Jon! Jon!" (Uncle Jon …

Jihad Evangelism?

Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig of Fox News are safe in Israel tonight. I am sure their families are relieved beyond measure. During their captivity, these men were forced, at gunpoint, to convert to Islam. I am not sure what to make of this. I mean, does it count? Can they take it back?

I don't know if these men are Christ followers, but something such as this is humbling. I wonder about having enough faith in God's promises to withstand such strain. Shoot-- even now, I falter daily, and I have it super easy!

It was very popular, in the days following the Colimbine HS shootings to make martyrs-- especially of young Rachel Scott. Her ability to stand firm in her declaration of Christ showed remarkable strength of character. I am wondering what the response will be now.

I can't find it in me to even begin to condemn them, and I pray that these men will be treated with grace. I also pray that neither I nor any of you ever have to make such a decision.

Too much quiet!!

I am the eldest of three, though I was an only child for almost five years. The thing is, there were always a lot of people around. At one time, my aunt and cousin lived with us, and at another time my Unlce Jim lived with us. A lot of people.

Today, it is just Tele and I. J is giving a workshop up in Overton, and I stayed behind to do some laundry and packing (5 more days- say yay!) for my trip home.

Initially, I was super excited. I wanted to do Kelly things. You know, the stuff that it really isn't good for hubby to see-- like eyebrow waxing. I hate coming home with red skin, because part of me wants to preserve that illusion that my borws are naturally perfect. You know, like how my legs are naturally smooth? Anyway, J being out of town gave me the perfect opportunity to my waxed, plucked, and shaped with plenty of time for the redness to go away. Good times.

Yeah, so that was done by 10, and the grocery shopping was done by 11, and the laundry by 12, and I have 9 more…

Have things changed so much in 12 years?

The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School -- New York Magazine

Or did I lead a completely sheltered life in high school?
The article is long, but VERY interesting.

Thoughts? Comments? Snide remarks?

Another Family-type announcement...

Ok, I said I wasn't going to do this, but it's my blog and I changed my mind.

If you are someone who is maybe planning on coming out to see little old us in the near future (before 7 January 2007, you may want to check out SouthWest. I found tickets home for Christmas for $200-- round trip! Apparently, they are featuring Annapolis as one of their vacation destinations. Not going to Annapolis, but I will surely ride on their coattails. Feeling the Luv!

Ok, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

And now for something completely different!

(With apologies to the Python crew)
Jeana over at Days to Come has been burning up keyboards all over the place with these four posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

I encourage you to read it, really. (Thank you, Shannon and BooMama)

It is pretty interesting how we hear things, isn't it? Especially with respect to very personal decisions. I love the grace exhibited by these ladies in their discussion. They are all very passionate about their feelings and opinions, but they are mindful that God's calling in their lives is just that-- in their lives.

I have no children, so I have not had to defend our choices for raising our family. I have, however, felt as though I had to defend our childless status. Two things strike me when it comes to this:

For one thing, it will never cease to amaze me how completely insensitive perfect strangers and casual acquaintances can be with their questions and comments. Yes, we have been married almost four years. No we do not have any c…

Will this be as much news as Mel?

A couple weeks ago, Mel Gibson's vile meltdown made national, and probably international headlines. The national news programmes led with his story for almost and entire week. Christopher Hitchens weighed in with some pretty poisonous comments, and we all watched in morbid fascination as a man's career went down into a whiskey bottle.

Andrew Young has resigned from Working Familes for Walmart after some dubious comments. What's that? What's that you say? You mean Today, GMA, and The Easry Show didn't lead with this story? Oh my! Could it be that they and we are much more excited to see Mel Gibson tank? And why is that, my friends?

Compromise is a beautiful thing...

My extended family is spread out all over this continent. In fact, when it comes to the Jones-McLellan clan (Mudder's side), the buld of the family is west coast, and we were the lone Easterners (this made for lots of fun at family reunions, when my cousins would ask me to say certain words, just to hear my southern accent) .

This meant that summer vacations were always road trips to see family. My mom would pack us up and take off the week after post-planning (oxymoronis) wrapped, and we would make our way from Tallahassee to Blaine. One summer we hit as many national parks as our time and budget would allow. Hot Springs, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Redwoods, Badlands, I have seen almost all of the National Parks system. We have rolls of bison photos and a twenty minutes of beaver dam video footage to share, if anyone is interested!

In our first year of marriage, Rock Star and I moved 2500 miles from our immediate families. Since then, every trip we have taken has been to see f…

When I was a young girl...

... My parents read to me. A lot.

For my mom, the choices were usually the classics remembered from her childhood. The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Heidi. Even when I was old enough to read for myself, we continued this ritual. Ostensibly, it was for A and R, being so much younger than I. But I know now that it was just as much for me. I loved that time, sitting there in my nightgown, fresh from a bath. (Snuggled up on the couch was always the best, because then I could smell that Mom smell and rest my head on her shoulder.)

When Dad read to me, it was a whole different ballgame. If anyone here knows my dad, you should know this about him: he is a storyteller. (And if you haven't heard him tell a story, you are missing something.) He drops his voice a little, and his inflection draws the listener in. I love to watch the kids at our home church when Dad gives the children's chat. He seldom uses more than one prop, but every child there is listening, enthralle…

So then, why bother?

Much discussion has ensued over at Locusts and Honey, and as is often the case, the comments- while intriguing-- no longer bear any resemblance to the original essay.

I want to look at activism as a whole, and why we, any of us, should bother. So, if any are out there reading, please share. Have you ever been an activist for a cause? What did you do? Do you feel you were effective? Why did you do it?

Some thoughts on activism...

Yesterday, John got me thinking about activism with his very well put essay on Christian rehtoric. J and I were discussing some things last night as far as our own perceptions/ experiences with activism.

My brother-in-law commented in the ensuing discussion the we could perhaps extend this reasoning to WTO protesters and Americans who complain about illegal immigration. I see his train of thought, but I think there are a couple ways the issues differ...

No matter how frustrating Illegal immigration may be, it is not directly a life and death issue. War is just that. The people who die of exposure in the deserts of Arizona and other border states are ultimately there by their own choice*, whereas many victims of war are not.

Chrisitan pacifists are claiming higher moral ground for their beliefs, and they may well be right. I'll wager that, come judgement day, God will have a laundry list for each of us, and whether we voted for hawks will be the LEAST of my transgressions. I am …