Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ghosts of Christmases Past


Once a girl swallowed a magic pebble on Christmas Eve. Her mom had to call the doctor to find out whether she should throw it up right now or let it take a leisurely trip down and out. Down and out was the winner. A few days later the mom was exceedingly happy to fish a glowing blue orb out of the commodious sea.

One year later a girl suddenly stood up and ran away from the traditional Christmas Eve chili dinner. Time was of the essence and the door leading to the commodious sea was closed. A chili volcano erupted. The dad did not take pleasure in the aftermath. The girl declined all offers of chili for at least a year. It's possible the dad did too.

Nothing unusual happened on Christmas Eve in the following years. The mom and the dad were relieved.

Monday, December 20, 2010

small

I see small best.

I treasure small.

I see tree,

not forest.

No scope. No panorama.

I see less.

Leaf.

Bark.

Bug. Bud.

Bird. Limb. Knot.

Minute. Detailed. Intricate. Individual.

Invisibles in forest vision.



You conquer forest,

dreamer.

I linger among trees.

Dreamy.

Small, small me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

gratefuls beginning with 360

360 brings to mind turn, turn, turn...


swirly swirls of a dry blowy snow
in a warm car with my loves, watching
classical christmas on pandora
in a warm car with my loves, listening

no rush to decorate
only decorating this much

maddening expectable changes at work
that mostly keep boredom away
the cheese always moving
this rat can roll with it (better than I credit myself, sometimes)

a driver's license
a driver's permit
another car

lost the six most michelinian pounds of my michelin man middle
can see the difference
can feel the difference
am liking the difference


360-376




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Illume

In the dark
the freshly licensed driver
made ready for her maiden journey.

Her sentimental mother
stocking footed in the cold
readied the camera.

(the picture would have been here)

Instead
her startled mother
jumped up and down
waved her arms
muttered.

The new driver left with unlit headlights.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Gratefuls


350. Ran my first 5K with Steph and Steve.
351. I still feel like running.
352. After months of failed automatic back-ups on the external drive, I figured out how to make the computer and the external drive talk to each other and got a successful back-up.
353. The computer died after the successful back-up.
354. Steve borrowed some equipment from a friend and was able to load the info directly from the old drives into the new computer. Even though we didn't even need the back-up, it was a relief to know it was available.
355. We got an iMac! I am supposed to love it! I am trying to figure it out and it's a good thing I like learning new languages! It's a good thing! (If delete = backspace, what = delete?)
356. Mo decided she was in charge of the Thanksgiving Feastmaking this year and I don't ever need to do it again. She did a fantastic job. Yum.
357. We invited friends over to eat with us at the last minute on Thanksgiving and we didn't even clean up the house like we were having guests and they didn't even care.
358. El's birthday event was a smashing success. And a surprise. And fun.
359. After a summer of drought I was sure the fall colors would not be very interesting. I was wrong. It was a spectacular season.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Squeeze

On my way home from work I was thinking about sponges.

Sponges are really good at soaking things in until saturated, but they won't release the stuff they've soaked in unless they are squeezed.

(Or dry out, but that's another analogy).

It made me consider the areas in which I feel squeezed.

I thought about what I release when I am under pressure.

I'm ashamed by how much of it is bad.

And just what am I replacing there in the voids for the next squeeze?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Still Running

It's past midnight and I really should be sleeping. I can't go there now, so I am here.
*
My brain is full. Maybe dumping some of what's on my mind will help?
*
I started running two (2!) months ago and I can now run 25 minutes straight. No stops or walks. My run is often more of a trudge. Perhaps it's as slow as a walk at times. I press on. The goal is to run a 5K at the end of November. Steve is working toward that too. It's fun to have a common goal outside of our daily routine, a goal that doesn't revolve around marriage or kids.
*
We used the Couch-to-5K Running Plan to get started. At first, it's a thirty minute walk with occasional run time. I wasn't strict about the schedule. If I thought I couldn't advance, I repeated a workout. I took some days off in Week 4 when my knees screamed, "HEY! WE ARE 45 YEARS OLD...WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?" There are two options to the plan, timed runs or distance runs. I got an app for my iPhone that gives voice prompts so I'd know when to walk and when to run. I didn't even measure distance until a couple weeks ago.
*
I am slow.
*
Since I am doing the longer runs now, I've switched to Nike+GPS. It updates me on my pace, time and distance. After a run, I can look at the map and see where I was fast and where I was slow. Today I ran 3.26km in 25:18 and burned 207 calories. Unfortunately, I probably drank at least 207 calories in Pepsi tonight. Oh, that is why I can't sleep!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Familiar Gratefuls

343. Fall leaves on blacktop after rain
344. Yellow trees in morning fog
345. Prescription given without doctor visit
346. Itch relief
347. Pain free running
348. Bittersweetness
349. Friends who become family

Saturday, October 9, 2010

College Application Grateful

342. I am thankful for college application essays. I know my Mo hates writing them, but they are a picture window to her beautiful soul. It's a privilege to read them.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One(ish) Word Gratefuls

336. Texting
337. Commiseration
338. Anticipation
339. GiftCardRedemption - yeah, so I cheated on that one.
340. Cheating - tee hee.
341. Silliness


Monday, October 4, 2010

one month doth a habit make

I am a runner. I can say that because I've been running for exactly one month and I haven't quit running and I don't plan to quit.

I am a runner.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

JOY on her bucket

Did I tell you this before?

(don't let the dangling prepositions scare you!)

I think I've already started that thing older people do -

you know -

they tell you stories about that shopping trip six months ago on a Saturday morning:

It was in the spring. Yeah, because I drove the new car and they had bulbs for sale out front, Pepsi was on special and so was that Dial soap, you know the yellow bars? Not the liquid, no way, that's such a waste, it's the bar soap for me! And I ran into Buddy, you know from the shop? Remember him? That reminds me did I tell you about the phone call I got while I was in Arizona? Don told me that George had gotten hit by a car and died. You know George walks along the road looking for cans so he can turn them at the store for a nickel and anyway he was out walking after a snowstorm. A snowstorm! Yeah, I think it was the one that hit the day after we left. That's why we left early, you know. It was all icy and he didn't really get hit by a car and die, he fell on the ice and broke his hip. I found that out from my brother after we got back. Thought George was dead for oh, about two months. Or was it three? Guess he won't be walking along the road getting free cans anymore, heh heh heh. Oh and Buddy, well he just had a hip replacement last week, but that doesn't have anything to do with it. Buddy told me to come into the shop because that part I'd been waiting for was finally in. And I didn't even have that car anymore, I had just gotten the new one...

So, do I have a point to my story? I think so, but maybe it's just a point in my running narrative that will get missed in all the details. It doesn't matter to me what you think though, because like the older people I know, I'll just tell the story and it'll be up to you to follow it or roll your eyes and say you've heard it all before.

When we moved here eleven years ago, some new friends allowed us to stay in their house for a week while they were on vacation and while we waited for August 1st, the closing date on our home.

We were getting ready to leave because they were getting ready to return, so we tried to be good house guests and cleaned up after ourselves. I like to clean my way out of places, so when upstairs was done I worked through the living room and the kitchen was the last room. I needed to mop the floor, so I found the mop and the bucket and the cleanser, and just as I was about to start running some water into the bucket, I saw it.

JOY

In tiny print, written in black on a blue bucket was this single, small, humongous word. Yes, I know that is an awkward sentence, but this is my story now listen!

Now I suppose I could get all obvious and say something like, "We ought to tackle our housework with JOY!" Something like that. It would be a nice, predictable way to end all of this. I could get up from here feeling oh so good about myself and go tackle some laundry with JOY because seriously, there is a lot of laundry that needs done here and it seems that I'm the one who'll be doing it.

And it's possible that the obvious conclusion, what I first thought of the JOY bucket, was even her intent when she wrote it. I know I certainly need to write JOY all over a whole lot of things that make me think WORK, or YUCK, or WHATEVER, I GUESS I'LL DO IT BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS. So the obvious conclusion is actually a valid exhortation to find JOY in one's daily dailies. I'm not knocking it.

But you know, my friend of eleven years is a gentle and understated sort of woman and her bucket said

JOY

So I think now I know what she really meant. There is a quiet JOY to be found in unexpected places.

Sometimes those places are dirty buckets.

Or stories about shopping trips.

And I think I made my point.

Again?


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

but - he is getting better

El made this. I must give credit where credit is due. She's created a masterpiece depicting the last two months of life with our dog. And yes, we can laugh because he is getting better.

Caspian's (ok, also OUR) woes began right before July 4th. He's had a skin infection twice, and this second infection spread to his head.

He got a nasty case of conjunctivitis that started with red eyes and progressed to the red part swelling so much we often couldn't find the iris, leaving him temporarily blind. See above. But - he can see again now.

He's drooled constantly for weeks. The drool had the viscosity and adhesive properties of Elmer's Glue for a while. See above. But - now it's just thick enough to hang down in slimy strings. He likes to rub them off on the couch right before we arrive with a towel. (As an added disgusting bonus, he leaves froth in the bowl after he gets a drink. Froth. Like beer bubbles).

Blindness has prevented Caspian from engaging in one of his favorite outdoor pastimes: eating poop. See above reference to his breath. But - dog poop breath is only slightly worse than sick dog breath.

While he hasn't been eating poop, he has had mild interest in his food dish when we've helped him find it. He often got a bit of kibble stuck in the corner of his mouth, or more accurately, on the semi-dried drool/hair clump at the corner of his mouth. See above. But - I removed last clump yesterday.

I have nothing to say about the yellow teeth. They are just extra information. See above. But - they do add interest to the composition of the piece.

There's more. But - it's not in the picture.

PS. I need new carpet. And a new couch.

Monday, September 27, 2010

rainy morning gratefuls

316. Rainy morning, of course.

317. The rightness of obedience.

318. How much our girls like each other. Still. In these teenager years.

319. Twenty two years, one month and one week of marriage.

320. Time. Alone. For a while.

321. Mo seeing the spiders at the same intersection as I did days later.

322. A compliment to a daughter, because she's awesome.

333. El telling me about her sense of smell, and telling me she likes my smell.

334. Risky, vulnerable moments that are met with grace.

335. Friday morning conversations with my man.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer Gratefuls (in numeric but not sequential or significant order)

302. Spider silhouette on darkening sky.

303. Discovering Chicago together.

304. Fabulous week at camp.

305. Being with family.

306. Fire pit and tiki torches and new chairs.

307. Nice surprises that squeeze my heart some.

308. Test results that are positive. Which means negative. Which means good news.

309. Laughing with each other.

310. The long summer sunlight in the evenings at camp.

311. The sliver of daylight shining on the improbable tree between high rises.

312. The brewing storm over a mid west town.

313. Giordano's Pizza. Newtown Pizza. Homemade pizza.

314. Returning from work to find the girls have finished 'the list'.

315. Friends who feel free to come over on short notice because they believed the open invitation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

prime gratefuls

I had a birthday. I went out to eat two times. The three people I love the most made it extra special. It is a milestone year - it ends with a five. The month and day are seven and thirteen.

I cannot work in an eleven. I don't care. Much.

This is the prime of my life.

301.

--Shortly after I wrote this I remembered an eleven. We moved here eleven years ago that week. Why I feel the need to update this to include the eleven is beyond me...


Sunday, July 4, 2010

sleight of hand

In a particularly cruel sleight of hand, Middle Age has replaced my hourglass figure with that of the Michelin Man.

Related Posts:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

she embarrassed her daddy and made me laugh all hysterical like

While taking apart a flashlight El says, "Wow. Did you ever notice that battery sizing is the same as bra sizing?"

I wonder aloud where the 9 Volt fits.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

2 am gratefuls

295. Roadside tiger lilies in the rain.

296. Roadside tiger lilies in the sun.

297. Smelling fresh turned earth in the morning.

298. Smelling fresh cut grass in the afternoon.

299. School's out.

300. Summer's here.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notice

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long time coming grateful

294.

I've needed to be quiet lately. It's easy for me to be grateful for some things

daily glimpses of protection
or guidance
or the glory of creation

moments of awe and wonder
over where I've been and
who I am now and
those I have the privilege of serving.

I do those gratefuls well. They're elementary for me. They're memorized like multiplication tables and spit out by rote. There's danger that they will lose their true significance in trying to write one hundred answers in five minutes or by singing the sixes to the tune of Jingle Bells.

Six times six is thirty-six.
Six groups of six stinky socks equals thirty-six stinky socks.
Six sixes.
Thirty-six.

Always.

It's remarkable.

And that's how I've tried to live my gratefulnesses.

But there are deeper gratefuls I've had to work toward lately. They are the hard won, higher math kind of gratefuls. They require acceptance that

'n' stands for the unknown
and 'x' is the way things are
and 'y' is my responsibility.

And perhaps they plug into this formula somehow.


I'm not there yet. I'm not grateful yet.

But I want to be there and I am working toward there. I can be grateful for that.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

the best ice water

Sometimes I start to write something but something else shoves its way in and decides to take over.

So tree pruning and Death and Dying Reports will just have to wait for another day, because there is only one thing to say right now.


I get myself a glass of ice water and sit down to write. A certain daughter snatches the glass out of my hand and drinks some of my cold water. I breathe out my Longsuffering Mother Sigh and pretend it really bothers me.

She says I make the best ice water.
She kisses my cheek and says I am the best mommy ever.
She grins her grin.
And she says goodnight.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It took a whole year for me to remember to write (some of) this, but that's because there was more than I thought to it.

I think I've said it before, but I have the most beautiful drive to work. Some days I want to speed past the turn and keep driving. Something about the hills and the trees and the seasons and all Creation right there along Route 532 takes hold of me and leaves me teary eyed - or just plain giddy.

Hawks eat snakes. I did not know that until a few weeks ago when a hawk snagged a snake at the side of the road. I had to hit my brakes hard, not to get a better view, but because the ascending hawk and the wiggling snake nearly hit my car.

The low part of the road parallels a creek. The creek draws the eye most days, but there is a little pond on the other side of the road at the base of a driveway that is worth watching as the seasons change. A redbud tree grows by the pond and the clearing behind it is the perfect green for the tree. Scandalous. I never noticed the tree until this year and when I saw all that color, the only word I could come up with to describe it is scandalous. You know, scandalous in a good way. According to the dictionary, scandalous cannot be used in a positive context. I think it can though, especially in regards to the redbud tree on a canvas of green.

It's the green I've meant to write about, sorta. More specifically, it's new grass - and how it took me back to when my babies were babies.

Background is necessary here too, I guess. Ever since I was a little girl, I've had visions while riding in cars. It sounds so weird when I say it like that, but it's true. I don't mean real things like what I've described above, close encounters with hawks and breath stealing trees, I mean things transforming before me in an outdoorsy, otherworldly, Wonkaesque kind of way. It's a game I play. Sometimes it plays me.

Here's one example. I used to run beside the car on the way to Grandma's house, each step made perfectly at the top of a mile marker or road sign or billboard. Sometimes I took the easy route and ran across the tops of electrical poles, but most of the time I took to the low road. I was big. I had long legs, perfect legs for making all those steps on the tops of the signs and poles. I never missed. Big steps. Long steps. Elevation changes. I never fell. It was mesmerizing and it ate up the miles.

So, back to the grass. This happened last year.

I was driving to work in early spring, in the first of the green days, after a rain. The grass was new and longish. Long enough to almost need its first mowing. The grass grows all the way to the road at that place and there is a gentle rise from the road. In my mind I stretched my hand out to that rise. I could see every individual blade of grass, each one it's own length and shape. Some still sparkling with raindrops and some already dry. I saw them all. My hand stretched out to touch each one of those individual blades of grass and they each leaned toward my hand, reaching for my touch. At that moment, my girls were babies again and the gentle rise was their baby brows and the grass was their baby hair and my hand -

the reach of my hand was enough to make each one of their uncut, individual baby hairs lean in to me.

And I touched them all, each hair.

I pulled them close and I smelled them again, my babies.

And in this place I never had to cut their hair.

I tried to make it happen again this year. I waited all winter for the days of new grass, the rain, the stretching of the blades. On the perfect day, in the exact place, I looked for the vision.

I saw it, but it was a memory.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

trees - day two (gratefuls abloom)

293.

flowering trees abound

oh!

to weave, and lose my fingers in weeping cherry's tresses!

stately bradford pear surveys

aglow

such a purply not-red redbud

at distance

each skyturned dogwood blossom poses afloat

and the apple orchard basks pinkpinkpink

orderly disorder under sun.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Break Gratefuls

288. Awesome time with TN family.

289. Lots of driving hours for Mo - without incident.

290. Crossing Zorb off the Bucket List.

291. The anonymous gift that made it all easier.

292. Safe home.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

trees - day one

Trees

I think that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day, 
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer


Helen rooted me.

She planted scripture in her conversation without quoting chapter and verse.

She was humble.
Unthreatening.
Sure.

She tended my love of simple words.

She gave me this poem from memory on a Saturday morning. I stopped dusting for a moment.

Perhaps that was the day she asked me to wash her feet.







Tuesday, March 23, 2010

peachy gratefuls

284. The peach pie that El gently insisted we get from the farmer's market.

285. The peach horizon under the rain clouds this evening, on the way in.

286. The short time spent on something that could have taken a long time.

287. The way the clouds looked like mountains on the way out.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Recipe

Cam, I am asked me for a recipe today, so I decided to share it here - along with a story. Any recipe worth it's chocolate chips has a story.

These cookies were banished from my home and my presence nearly 16 years ago. I forgot about them until recently. El asked what I craved when I was pregnant with her. I told her I didn't think I craved anything. The only thing I could remember was going on a date with Steve and eating french fries and a piece of chocolate pie for dinner. Weird preference maybe, but not a craving. I didn't feel right about my answer though. Her question bugged me.

Shortly after her question, El was supposed to take a couple dozen cookies to school, for sale in the cafeteria as part of a fundraiser for the orchestra. (Batches 1,2&3)

And suddenly I remembered The Cookies.
And suddenly I could answer her question.
And suddenly I slapped some poundage on the behinds of everyone I love, for these yummies are not conducive to weight maintenance.

Indisputable fact. The best recipes come from church cookbooks. Janesville United Methodist Cookbook(that's the church where we got hitched!) is a small, red, three ring binder. Tucked behind a blue tab with the modest label COOKIES & BARS, at the bottom of page 93, is the beloved Recipe. I am forever indebted to (and furious with) a woman with the initials CB.

Quite recently, Cam, I am named them Your Pregnancy Cookies, as in, "Oh, yay, I hoped you'd bring Your Pregnancy Cookies!" (Batches 7,8&9)

Warning: this recipe must be tripled. Honestly. One or two batches will not make it to tomorrow. Mo made some cookies yesterday. Steve just finished off the last one. (Batches 15,16&17, and yes, the numbers are off because I could only double batch one time, due to the tragic circumstance of running out of chocolate chips)

Chocolate Cookies, Your Pregnancy Cookies*, or The Recipe**

1 stick margarine (I use butter)
1 T. water
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cook margarine (butter), water, and brown sugar over low heat until melted (or may microwave). Add chocolate chips; stir to melt. Beat in eggs, flour, soda, and salt. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Some advice:
cook the butter-water-sugar mixture until the sugar does not seem 'grainy' any more;
let the mixture cool below egg cooking temperature before you add the eggs;
the dough is the right consistency when it doesn't stick to your fingers;
the dough will look strange - don't worry.



*No, I am not pregnant. Puh-leeze.
**I am reminded of the Baldwin Sisters on The Waltons. CB of Janesville United Methodist Church has honored us with her Recipe. I entrust it to you to honor and protect; revere it, for it holds healing powers. Or perhaps it will begin your downward spiral. See you at the bottom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

in like a lion gratefuls

282. Umpteenth chances given.
283. Umpteenth chances received.

Monday, February 15, 2010

alone

i'm here all alone in the house
everyone else has somewhere to be
but it's here, all alone, for me

so often i ached for alone
what i would do with such richness
but today it's here and i confess

alone is dismal company

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowy Week Gratefuls

275. Husband shoveling more and again

276. Children shoveling

277. Neighbors shoveling

278. Shoveling induced soreness

279. Finding saved documents with a one word search

280. Amended insurance claim

281. Holdback check


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I first believed because Ed preached.

I started going to church with Steve when I realized he had not gone crazy and joined a cult that was going to steal all our money (what money?) and invite us to spend the rest of our lives in a compound. The church shared space with an exercise club. Can you really blame me that my mind headed down the cult trail?

During the week, sweaty women peered at their overweight reflections on the mirrored walls and imagined themselves in perfect bodies. On Sundays, we faced those same mirrors and considered eternity. And sometimes we checked out what others were wearing.

I started going to church with Steve after seeing him change for the better; while I was there I listened. I hid under my hair and cried. I hated those mirrors for months.

Ed preached Isaiah 9:6 for four weeks leading up to Christmas. I listened. I needed to hear that God generously gives wisdom without finding fault. I needed to hear that God is mighty and that does not mean He is mean. I needed to hear that God will always, always be there for me. My Abba. I desperately needed peace. Jesus.

Desperate girl
crying behind her hair
lifted her head and received.

***

Tonight, hundreds of miles from here, Ed's family and community gathered to mourn and to celebrate his life.

If I were there, if I had the guts to stand up in front of a group and speak, I'd say that I'm thankful Ed introduced me to my Jesus through Isaiah 9:6. I learned a lot from the Four Quaker Questions, and I love to use them on others. He was right - behind every face, there is a drama going on...

And there's more, but you know, I can't talk when I'm all choked up.


274. Ed

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Woodsmoke Gratefuls

267. Fluffy flakes

268. Shoveling husband

269. Sleeping until I'm ready to not sleep

270. Toasted bagel with butter

271. Coffee in the brown mug

272. Nothing urgent

273.
Three times catching the scent of frozen air with a taste of woodsmoke -
sometime last week
sometime today
sometime next week

Jeepers, Creepers

A couple of weeks ago someone decided that it was blog de-lurking day, and a bunch of bloggers asked their readers to de-lurk. I de-lurked at exactly one blog. I don't like de-lurking. I like lurking. When I get bored with a blog, I can stop lurking and no one is the wiser. Lurking is harmless right?

My kids no longer call people 'stalkers'. They use the word 'creeper'. I guess you could say I am a bit of a blog creeper, but in a good way. I don't have much time for commenting and making blog-friends and all that, so read-only is all I have for some blogs.

Anyway, those of us brave enough to de-lurk were supposed to tell her (among other things) when and where we had heard of her blog. I honestly cannot remember when I found her blog. I cannot remember when I found a lot of the blogs I read. I do know HOW I find a lot of blogs though. I subscribe using Google Reader, and Google is my own personal creeper. Google knows more about me (and you) than me (and you). For example, my friend Google asked me this morning if I wanted to put a couple of events on my Google Calendar based on dates I had written IN AN EMAIL. I did want to, and I did put them on my calendar. Thank you, my organized friend. I also feel a bit creeped out, and I am starting to wonder if I want to be your friend.

Google Reader has a 'Recommendations' tab that uses info from the blogs I read to see what type of blogs they are and what they all are reading to recommend more blogs for me to read. I've found some interesting reads that way. Those are the ones I lurk. I suppose that's how I found the de-lurking blog. I liked her writing and related to her struggles and I stayed. Sounds kind of creepy, huh?

I also find blogs through the people's comments on other blogs. I made most of my blog-friends that way. I appreciated their comment somewhere and I started reading their blog. I suppose those people seem more approachable to me and I have more courage to comment and begin to build a friendship. I have a few blog-friends. I've neglected them lately. I'm sorry.

I also have friends who blog. I believe that our friendships are enriched by knowing and sometimes talking about the things we write.

The other day I noticed that my own blog's subscribership - Blogger does not like that word, but I do - had spiked. While I wasn't paying attention, it zoomed out of the low 20's to the mid-20's. Whoa! What happened? I looked at the analytics that Steve set up for me a couple years ago, and noticed that a lot (ok, nearly all) of the traffic came from 'Next Blog'. People (like me) who use Blogger have a link at the top of their blog to go to the next blog. I have no idea how this works, this choosing of the next, but I do know that I have been 'next' to a lot of blogs lately. I do not click 'Next Blog'. It's a scary box, and I don't want to open it (again).

Steve says the 'Next Blog' link had been removed from Blogger for a while, and then reappeared recently. I guess that's why I have the new traffic at my blog. People who visit by that road stay for an average of 0 seconds. I guess I'm not offering enough 'WOW!' or 'EEK!'

I guess they must not be looking for 'HMM...' which is all I have to offer.

So, are you a creeper? When and how did you get here? Care to de-lurk?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

gratefuls on a saturday morning

263. Basking in morning sunshine.

264. A sweet song.

265. Togetherness.

266. Having no agenda.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti

I type and backspace over it. I restate. I backspace. The annoying upsy downsy line of the cursor flashes. Flashes. Flashes. | | |

I have something to say and I don't know what it is. I have something to do and I don't know what it is. I don't know yet.

Ready.
|
Set.
|
Go.
|

My journey to Haiti began long before I arrived, and has not ended. Never will.

I don't know when it began. Here's what I remember.

There were news stories. There were stories from Steve's childhood of a former neighbor. There are people I know.

There were hurricanes. A blog. There was another that embedded a news story in February 2009 of how Haitians are eating dirt baked into cookies to fill their stomachs.

There was a stirring. Prayer. A phone call received. Another made. There was a connection. Decisions. Immunizations. There was action.

There was travel. Worship. Work. Play. Laughter. Dust. Beans and rice. Braids, some of them reddish from malnutrition.

There was an earthquake.

There is now.

There are many ways to help.

Here's one.

Grateful #262. "My" people in Haiti are ok.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year Gratefuls

258. A new decade, a new year.
259. Dry spells, because the new green that follows is sweeter than that which preceded the dusty brown.
260. My eyes on her eyes.
261. Yes, when no question has been asked or thought.