Friday, May 31, 2013

Fresno Fun Frolics

This post will be short, as I didn't get one done in advance. As usual, my week in Fresno with Lia has been JAM-PACKED. Not only are they in a new house in a new neighborhood, but there is a new puppy in the mix as well.

I've been taking Lia to the communal playground 2-3 times a day. In the afternoons when school has let out, there are a lot of kids, and Lia seems to be loving it all. Such a change from where they were before. No kids!

I REALLY wanted to get my hair cut this trip, but don't think that's gonna happen. I wanted to do that the last time I was here, and it just wasn't possible. So I might have to suck it up and wait until my next trip down.

Other than that, it's always a joy to be here. Lia is my own heart's blood. See ya next week!

Friday, May 24, 2013

May 2013 Book Report part 2

The Baker’s Daughter by D.E. Stevenson

This story takes place in Scotland, and Ms. Stevenson does a marvelous job of getting the reader to see the wild beauty of the moors. Sue is a young woman who chooses to go to work as a cook for an eccentric artist, to get away from her angry father and contentious stepmother. And Mr. Darnay is VERY eccentric. When his wife leaves him, Sue stays on, taking over as maid as well as cook. Of course she falls in love with him. There is great angst all around involving the wife (so to be ex-wife), town opinion, Sue’s wayward brother and assorted unhappiness. But it all works out in the end. And I was glad that the ending wasn’t contrived. Too much. It felt like a natural turn of events.
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Late, Late at Night by Rick Springfield

I had SUCH a crush on him in my younger years! What a gorgeous guy! And I loved his music too. This was a really unexpected book. Unlike a lot of celebrity “autobiographies” that have an acknowledged helper to write it, or the ones that you KNOW are ghostwritten, this seemed to be entirely written by Mr. Springfield himself. The language alone would go a long way to confirm that. He is VERY free with his language! So be warned. Aside from that, it was very well written and engaging. I enjoyed reading it, aside from the language. I have a great sympathy for him and his battle with depression. I know that demon very well, unfortunately. All in all, I would say this was a good book. Very honest.
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The Revolving Boy by Gertrude Friedberg

Odd little sci-fi book written in the 60s. It’s always amusing to read early sci-fi and see how the author treats the unknown “future” with all the handy gadgets and technology. The story concerns a boy who was part of an experiment that was shut down shortly thereafter. He was the first and only baby to be born in zero gravity in space. It turned out later that he had Absolute Direction; he always knew where he was. As a result of just going through a normal day, with all the twists and turns one makes, he would have to literally unwind at night. He would go through all the movements from the day in reverse order to center himself. It turned out this was all caused by a signal from another life form that he intercepted when he was born in space. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, but I really enjoyed the futuristic gadgets and lifestyle descriptions. I looked for info on Ms. Friedberg to see what else she’d written and found out that this was her only novel and her only work of sci-fi. She was mainly a playwright.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Leap Of Faith

A few months ago, I posted on Facebook that I had made a huge leap of faith and asked for prayers, saying I would explain all at a later time. That time is now.

Several years ago, my Brit penpal had mentioned a program called “Messy Church” that had started in the UK. It was an outreach program to draw people into a non-threatening church setting. I was greatly intrigued with the idea and thought it would be fun to try. At the time, however, I knew our current pastor would not be receptive to the idea in the slightest. So the excitement gradually faded and I forgot about it.

My friend recently mentioned it again in passing as it is something they do at her church, and once again a spark started in my mind and heart. We have a different pastor now, and I felt that this time, there might be a chance for this program. I once again looked up the website and watched a few videos on Youtube. I became more and more excited about this. I felt that the Holy Spirit was leading me to become involved with a program like this at our church. I contacted two women who would be the best ones to promote this to our pastor, because of their positions in church leadership right now. I gave them information about the program, along with several URLs that they could check out. Then came the leap: I pledged myself to help in any way possible to implement this program in our own church. I knew it might mean getting up in front of people. Maybe a LOT of people. It might take some serious time and effort on my part. It would definitely take me out of my comfort zone. I was told that this program would be discussed some time after all the Easter events.

Between moments of panic (WHAT was I thinking?!?!?!?) and excitement, I began to do some research into possible craft projects that could be incorporated into the program, since that is my area of expertise. I started to rehearse in my mind how I would present these projects. I told the two women involved that I would make some sample projects for their approval. The hope was to start drawing in people with young children, something totally lacking in our congregation right now.

Then came the day of the big meeting where the Messy Church program would be brought up.
Total rejection of the program.
I couldn’t believe it. The woman who is the head of Christian Ed at church was surprised as well. We’ve talked about it all a couple of times since, and decided to bide our time and see what takes place. For now, instead of any kind of corporate fellowship program, we will have what they’re calling Fellowship Night where we can bring games and snacks and have fun. At our own little tables with our own little cliques.

I will freely admit that I have had a lot of fun the last two Fellowship Nights. And I have gotten together with a few people that aren’t really part of my core “clique”, if indeed I have one. BUT….no kids. No young couples. The majority of the people are in their mid 60s and above. Yes, it’s fun and yes, I enjoy it. But it’s a far cry from what I thought the Holy Spirit was leading me toward.

For now, I’ve shelved all my Messy Church dreams. But this time, I won’t let them die. I will find a way to get this going. But I need to have patience and wait upon the Lord for HIS timing, not mine. I will put aside MY agenda and wait for the appropriate moment. I believe the Holy Spirit was softening my heart for a future experience, not an immediate one.

So prayers are still appreciated. Thanks for the ones that were already lifted. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May 2013 Book Report

The 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith

This was the original book that the Disney movie was based on. I saw the movie when I was a child and loved it. I never knew it was based on a book, until recently. The book was written in the 50’s and was not as gentle as the way Disney did it. Cruella was truly evil. The illustrations were a bit on the scary side, too. Definitely not a book for a young child.
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Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell

This autobiography was written almost 20 years ago, long before Alzheimer’s set in for Mr. Campbell. I was a bit saddened to learn that a lot of his music and his television appearances were when he was under the influence of booze or drugs or both. He had a very fine testimony toward the end, for which I’m glad.
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Lady Pamela by Clare Darcy

This Regency Romance was a true romp! Loved every minute of it, and am keeping this one in my library. Pamela thinks her brother has stolen an important document from her grandfather’s papers and tries to retrieve it and save the reputation of both. She disguises herself as a governess and enlists the help of the friendly coachman, who is himself Lord Dalven in disguise.
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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I’ve had this classic for a long time and only now got around to reading it. Lots of clever word play. At first I thought this would be a good “read aloud” book for Lia, but there is too much that has to be seen firsthand for it to be enjoyed. Milo and the watch dog Tock explore the kingdom of Wisdom in order to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Wow! Questions!!

I haven’t done one of these things in YEARS. For a while, they were all over the place on MySpace and Facebook. I’ve forgotten when and where I stumbled across this one. It was titled: Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire. Tons of questions. I’ll just answer a few this time. In no particular order:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being in some place of great natural beauty. Alpine setting, perhaps. Although I’m very fond of the redwoods along the coast in northern California. Living in a cozy little cabin. Having deer come up and visit. Having my kids and grandkids living nearby. Watching Marv putter around the place. Sitting in a comfy chair outside with a good book and a nice cup of coffee. Breathing the pure air and listening to the birds.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Years ago, it was books. I am an unabashed bibliophile. I amassed an enormous number of books. Then rubber stamps came into my life, and I was a tad distracted. I still bought and collected books, but stamps took over for many years. I think I have enough of those, and have gone back to books, but in a very judicious manner.

On what occasion do you lie?
When do I not? I mean, really, who DOESN’T say “Fine” when asked “How are you?” That’s one of the biggest lies that people (me included) tell all the time! I try not to ever ask that of others, unless I REALLY am interested in how they are doing. I will usually say something like, “Beautiful day, huh?” Or, “Cute dog, what’s its name?”

Which talent would you most like to have?
That’s a tough one! The first thing that came to mind was to be able to play the piano really well by ear. I have a friend who can do that and she is awesome! She can play in any key you like. Then almost as quickly came the wish to be able to carry a tune so that dogs don’t howl…I love music, and I love to sing. Now, I CAN play the piano fairly well, with sheet music. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t sing worth a damn! And as much as my family and friends love me, they will agree with that statement without reservation!

What is your most marked characteristic?
I am the most loyal friend you will ever have in your life. I will do everything in my power to help you, if asked. I will defend you if others speak ill of you. Unless betrayed, I will be there always. I will love you and pray for you.

What is your motto?
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13