Thursday, July 27, 2006


My Grandma (a great supporter of little league and a baseball fan) has this simple explaination of the game on the spare bedroom wall (for the uninitiated).
You have two sides: one out in the field and one in.
Each man that's on the side that's in goes out and
when he's out he comes in and the next man
goes in until he's out.
When three men are out, the side that's out comes in
and the side that's been in goes out and tries to
get those coming in out.
Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When both sides have been in and out nine times
including the not outs, that's the end of the game.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Saints preamble

As long since promised, here is the start of some of my thoughts (or at least an outline of my plan of attack) in reply to the question posed long ago in response to the following post:

Pride is the deification of self, and this today in some of us is not the order of the Pharisee, but of the publican. To say "Oh, I'm no saint," is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means that you defy God to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless." Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God. Why are you not a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one.
Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest (June 12th)

The question was:
What does it mean to be a saint?

Well, this is a good question...
I think sainthood has many facets and thus can be answered on many different levels (However, I am not implying that I am capable of answering it on all levels!).

At this time I am neither capable nor interested in addressing the issue of the Church’s varying positions (Catholic, Protestant, Catholic v Protestant..) through the ages on this topic so I shall completely ignore the church history side of the issue.

Also the question of what it is like to live as a saint can only be understood once the Bible's view on who is a saint is explored.

So we must start with the Bible (always a great place to start anything). I’ve looked up references of saints in the Bible. The word “saint” occurs 95 times.

I am no Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic scholar so I don’t have a clear definition of what the root word behind what is translated in the KJV as “saints”. However, it seems to be used in the same or very similar context(s) as many of the quotes overlap in meaning throughout. Also between the OT and the NT there seems to be a continuation of the same idea.

I will continue this later with a start at some references and the question of who is being refered to as a saint in scriptures.

Hansel & Gretel

I can imagine coming upon something like this is the woods & being quite tempted. Too bad it's usually a witch who lives in places like these. Funny how temptation/evil always looks so sweet...

Still, I'd love to live in a house like this (only maybe not actually made out of food -- it might be a tad impractical).

Okay, I guess I'll settle for making one every Christmas.

Plan Bs

I fixed my watch band this morning. The process was much more strung out and complicated than I had originally planned since several steps had to be added meaning that plan A quickly multiplied into many plan Bs (building and branching off one another).

I wonder now: had I known before I started the lengths I would have to go to fix my watch, would I have made the attempt or simply taken the 'easy' route and brought it to be fixed by someone else (or even purchased a new one)?

Having seen the job to a sucessful conclusion, I am pleased that I tried this task. But I am also thankful I didn't know before I started just how complicated it would be.

I think that often life works itself out in exactly this manner. Thinking of the future, I am glad that I don't know the obstacles set before me because I doubt I would set out if I had prior knowledge of them. But I can trust that I shall be given the strength to endure everything that comes up as it comes up, taking on one plan B at a time.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Millions of peaches

Gma and I have been enjoying lovely ripe peaches for the past few days. Every peach I have taken from the basket has been as near to perfect as a peach can get: juicy, tender, sweet, with not a spot or blemish in sight. At supper last night I commented along these lines to Gma and she thought it might have something to do with these peaches having been bought at the very start of the season.

I had never connected the two before but as she said it, I realized that early crops are usually better. I did know that the first cut of hay is usually better quality. It makes sense. At first fruiting, the plant is overflowing with vitality and gives its best to the fruit.

Something else I hadn't connected until this discussion was that this better crop is the first fruits that we are to give to the Lord! I had only thought the idea of giving Him first fruits had to do with being so eager to give that we do not put off the offering. But if we think of our first fruits as not only the first but the best, it intensifies the standard.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

pic of the day

(and not even yellow!)

In His Courts

I like Psalm 84; I was happy to read it today as part of my devotions. One thing that struck me this time through was the flow between verses ten & eleven; I realized that I had never viewed them as building one off the other.
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

When verse eleven talks of "no good thing will he withhold" my mind has always had a tendency to think of it refering to my list of 'good things' or things that I would really like to have. But the context of what is good is set in the preceding verse.

Long life is indisputably a blessing yet to be in the courts of our God for one day out-balances ten times the length of days anyone can expect to live! When I saw that, the next verse took on a different meaning than I had seen previously. This means that if we are looking merely for temporal blessings we are underachieving! God had promised us eternal life in His Kingdom. Not one day, not a thousand days, but forever! How does that match up against time on earth?

May we learn to align our schedule and priorities with Christ that we may long for time in His courts!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

purty posies

A cheerful vase-full of evening primroses.

This boquet lasted for quite a while. Even though each flower lasts only one day, there were enough buds ready to open for several succeeding days.

telling lyrics

People who know me know that one of my favourite musicals is The Music Man. I love the catchy tunes and clever lyrics. I also love the moments where Meredith Wilson (she wrote the music) drops some of the silliness and deals with interesting issues (she retains the word-play, though).

Marian (the librarian) sings My White Knight, a song I could have sung not that long ago (with some details changed). She sings that dreaming of falling in love is not enough, someone you love must fall in love with you (or you must fall in love with someone who is already in love with you). This sounds awfully complicated but thankfully things like this seem to be worked out every day (what are our chances without God's help?!). I also like the lines starting with "all I want is a plain man..." (just forget that Professor Hill is a con-man for a minute!).

My White Knight

Being in love used to be my fav'rite dream.
Oh, yes.
I've been in love more than anybody else has.
I guess.
My first love heroic'ly ran the streetcar.
I tingled at ev'ry clang clang.
Next I fell for the principal
But, oh that teacher who sang "In the Gloamin'."
Knee-deep in love--what a lovely dream!
And yet, somehow,
Me deep in love's only half of what I'm longing for now.
I still love my being in love with someone,
But tell me, why couldn't there be
Somebody being in love with me?
All I want is a plain man.
All I want is a modest man.
A quiet man, a gentle man
A straightforward and honest man
To sit with me in a cottage somewhere in the state of Iowa...
And I would like him to be more interested in me
Than he's in himself and more interested in us than in me...
And if occasionally he'd ponder
What makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great.
Him I could love 'til I die.
Him I could love 'til I die!
Being in love--what a lovely dream!
And yet, somehow,
Being in love's only half of what I'm longing for now.
And so then,
Tonight I'll be in there dreaming
And hoping that someday there'll be
Just once!
Somebody being in love with me...

A toast to the father of cool

104 years ago yesterday, the fore-runner of the modern air conditioner was invented by Willis Haviland Carrier. It was intended to help a print shop maintain quality printing throughout the dog days of summer but soon the idea spread. By 1915 he, with several other engineers, started their own company and air conditioners were helping different manufacturers consistently to produce products of a higher standard.

By 1924 different benefits pertaining directly to human comfort were seen when people flocked to the first air-conditioned department store. Other stores and movie theatres soon caught the trend and benefited from the popularity of a cool hang-out spot.

1928 was the year that the first home-sized air conditioner was produced. With the Depression and war, sales were not that hot to begin with but as general prosperity of the populace picked up, more and more families picked up one of Carrier's units.

Carrier remains a well-known name in air conditioning to this day. I think we have much to thank this man for so I would like to propose a toast (of something suitably cool like iced tea) to the father of cool who has made our summers livable.

For my main source click here


Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. -Plato

Monday, July 17, 2006


I'm listening to the title song from Gigi. It isn't a top favourite of mine but I have like it ever since first finding it in one of Dad's music books.

It is interesting how a song can bring back memories. This one not only reminds me of playing through Dad's songs but also of a young friend I have. I haven't seen much of Heather since she was in the first few grades of school but at the time that I did see and play with her frequently she would occasionally call me "Gigi". This was not from the song at all (I doubt she had heard of it) but from a shortening of my name.

Many of my memories are connected with songs but few songs connect such unconnected memories!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Last week (while I was absent) mold was discovered behind my bed. This may seem like a horrible thing and it did cause disruption, extra work & inconvenience, yet looking at it in retrospect I can see how several good things came from the incident.

First, casters were affixed to the bottom of my bed. This may not seem that exciting, yet it is something that has been on the long-term to do list for a long time. Not only does it raise the bed from the floor (it's a captain's bed) but it makes it much easier to change the sheets (a simple roll away from the wall and all sides are easily accessible).

Second, my room was cleaned thoroughly and vacuumed (need I comment further?)

Third, my room was rearranged. I tend to take after my Mom in that once furniture has found a place, I am not eager to move it again. Yet I enjoy new things and this move has made my room look like a whole new place to me (doesn't take much to make me happy!).

Interestingly, it often seems that emerging from times when we feel as though we are at our worst (mold isn't pretty!) we tend to advance/grow the most. If the mold hadn't been discovered, my room would have remained unchanged (for who knows how long) but because it was brought into the light, a thorough cleaning was necessary.

I only hope that I remember this lesson when God chooses to mould me by showing me my moldy parts.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

yellow jellow

My favourite colour is yellow; it is so cheerful and bright and beautiful. At the same time it can be clean and fresh yet warm and homey.

I will admit, there are some rather horrible shades of yellow and that some yellows look better in some circumstances than other yellows. I will also admit to wearing many more blues (and maybe even more reds/burgundies) than yellows. But no other colour gives me that same immediate joy on seeing it.

But enough of words! Have some yellow, and may it brighten your day!

little reminders

Yesterday returneth not;
Perchance to-morrow cometh not;
There is to-day; misuse it not.

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:31-34

Some Enchanted Evening

In honour of our first occasion of seeing an open-air performance of Shakespeare this summer, I shall call for a song (or a sonnet).

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Though art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade;
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
- W.S.

It was a performance of All's Well That Ends Well that we had the pleasure of attending yesterday evening. It was enjoyed by all (despite the rather chilly temperatures!) and I am happy to say that it ended well this time too.

In this sonnet Shakespeare touches on the idea of the immortality of writing. Watching the play last night, I was struck how the acting brought the play to life. It can be fun to think about how some words written on paper can become an entity and live on down through the generations; just think how many Helens there have been over the course of time. And yet, although he was speaking of the immortality of the work or the subject through the work, I think that the author also has claim to some of this extra life that seems to be floating around here.

But I'll leave it there since there are so many paths branching off that I don't want to have to keep them all straight.
Just some pots to thonder...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

my two dogs

My older dog, Sparky, behaves perfectly before my camera. This may have something to do with the fact that I have taken countless pictures of her for many years now. My younger dog, Shasta, is a different story. As soon as she thinks that attention is being paid her she wants to be in on the action and comes running towards the camera. Even when she sits in one spot, her head is seldom still. This leaves many photos of her blurred in one place or another (digital cameras come in handy here!).
however, I recently discovered that if she sits down by Sparky she is much more settled and willing to pose for the picture. Here is proof:

It reminds me of what I've heard about training a young elephant by placing it with an older elephant (not quite on the same scale, though!)

Poetry appreciation

I ran across the following poem in a poetry anthology while cleaning my room yesterday. While my room might have been cleaned sooner had I spent less time reading the book and simply put it in its place on the shelf, I prefer to think of the time spent as a "stop and smell the roses" moment (or more than moment).

I am much indebted to Dr Stewart for my appreciation of this poem since had it not been for his patience in speaking through it with me, I would not have spent any time tasting each line, each word.

God's Grandeur
The world is charged with the grandeur of God,
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is smeared with trade; bleared, smeared, with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And, for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
-Gerard Manley Hopkins


It is a rare cool day in the midst of summer's heat. Because of this and because of a likewise rare block of spare time, my thoughts turn to baking.

I enjoy baking more than cooking. I believe that it is mainly because I enjoy sweets more than savouries. I also have had much more practice baking since in my family my Mom would make supper and, if I felt like contributing, I would supply a dessert. So it is that I get excited about the thought of baking cookies yet am far from that sentiment when I look ahead to a time when I may have to cook at least one meal every day. But since there is no use in borrowing trouble, I will simply enjoy the time I have now when I can bake when I have the time and the only cooking I really do is with my man (which tends to make it a more enjoyable enterprise).

So if I have the time today I think that I shall bake some gingersnaps. Here is our much-used recipe gleaned from Mom's friend Michelle:

Michelle's gingersnaps
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. shortening
1 egg (put in measuring cup before the molasses)
4 tbsp. (1/4 c.) molasses
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. each cloves & cinnamon (I even add extra cloves)
2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
extra sugar (to roll cookies in)

Cream sugar, shortening, egg. Add molasses. Sift together flour, soda, spices & salt. Roll into balls, roll in sugar. Bake @ 350 (F) for 8-12 minutes (watch for burning since they contain molasses). Yields aprox 3 dozen.