Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Man Fully Growed

Poor Cubby Bear.  It was Son3's 19th birthday and the first on which he was employed full-time; he'd be out the door before sunrise on his special day.

Back at the farm, Son4 and Mom were studying American Government and Economics and what to do about sloping floors in a piggledy old house and laying plans for making the birthday boy's afternoon and evening a gleeful occasion.  We struck out of here in the early afternoon to pick up a cake mix and the birthday boy.  If I got the cake baked as soon as we got back home, it would be cool enough to decorate before dinnertime.

We ran into the road grader about half a mile from the house.  This man likes to scrape mountains into the middle of the road before he smooths it, and the last time I tried to straddle the pile, I about took the belly out of my van, so I hugged the side of our narrow gravel road this time.  Error. 

I don't know what was lurking in the grass, but whatever it was had a knock-down-drag-out with my tire and won, which I didn't know until I'd pulled onto the blacktop, where some other crew had made a bumpy, dirty mess digging out a culvert, confusing my travel issues.  I'd no more put the period on the sentence, "I think maybe we have a flat," when Son4 said, "Hey, we're leaning."  Leaning.  Reminds me of when I was pregnant with Son4, his dad had moved ahead of us to a new job in another state, life was not a picnic, and 4-year-old Son3 asked, "Are we tipping?"  Yes, that's what he asked: Are we tipping?  Listen, I can tell you tipping is far worse than leaning, but I'd rather not do either. 

So I slowly coaxed my van to the first street in town, since there is no shoulder betwixt here and there, and I was thankful for that decision a few months ago to join the cell phone world.

"I'm at First and Locust, and my tire is flat as a pancake."

"Is there a can of Fix-A-Flat in the van?"

You know, it was 93º in the shade.  I was in the shade.  I was also leaning and seeking no good-wife awards at this moment in time.  It was Son3's birthday, I needed to get a cake mix, pick up the birthday boy, bake a cake, decorate it, and be ready to go to dinner at 5:30.  "I have no idea whether or not there's any Fix-A-Flat in here, but it doesn't matter.  The tire is flat as a pancake and I had to drive on it like that at least two blocks to reach a place I could pull off."  In my mind, driving on a pancake meant I'd ruined the tire, and no can of anything was going to put me on the roll again.

Well, he really couldn't leave, because he had to start-up "clear" before day's end.  Now don't worry your pretty head with "clear."  Just go with it, because I knew what it meant, and it's all about me in the first place.  He'd send Son3, who was due to get off work in 15 minutes anyway; he could just leave early.  "Well, ask him to stop and get a cake mix on his way."

So Son3 showed up about 30 minutes later with a cake mix and jacked up my van.  All my other flats have presented themselves in our driveway, so Charles has always just thrown the tires in his truck and gone to town for a repair or replacement.  This meant no one had ever removed the spare from beneath the van...and no one knew how to do it.  Calling Charles resulted only in learning that while I was leaning on the road, a water line had broken beneath the plant, and 18"-tall, muddy fountains were dancing through the cracks in the floor.  One area (containing a new $12,000 piece of equipment) already had 6" of standing water.  Fire truck, EMTs, city vehicles, and the water department were on the scene.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I'm leaning here!  Don't make me tip!"Never mind.  We'll figure out something."

So I told Son3 to just put the tire in the truck, go back to town, and buy me another one.  About that time, Mrs. Piecrust called me, and we discussed whether or not I can stand to remain on Facebook, with every depravity known to mankind floating past my face.  You know, sometimes you're just better off imagining it's not out there.  So we explored that for a while, then she needed to get back to work, and I let her know before she hung up that in addition to the depraved state of the world, I was sitting in town, under a tree, leaning, on Son3's birthday, and the plant was flooding.  The birthday boy had been crawling around in the dirt and gravel for at least 40 minutes and was gone to town now.  Hadn't I been cool, hot, calm, and collected during our conversation?  ºÜº

Then Son4 and I took up a game of hangman.

I called Son3 to see how he was faring at the tire center.  When I learned it would be another 20 minutes before the new tire was ready, I told him he better go to the bakery and choose a birthday cake.  I'd make him a real cake on another day.  He agreed it was a good plan.

By this time, two officers of the law, in two different vehicles, had passed me three times in this little zero-horse town.  After all, I'd been sitting there nearly three hours now, and I guess they have to be somewhere appearing to do something.  And now one of them decided to stop.  "Are you getting help?" he asked, with a sober look on his face.

"Yes.  I'm just waiting for a tire," I replied with a big, fat charade of a smile.

"Well, don't let that thing fall," he said in a commanding tone, same sober, official look on his face.

"Ohhhh, no," I answered, eyes big as saucers and trying to align myself with his gravity.  Don't let that thing fall?  Did I seem too cheerful about my plight?  Just needing someone to boss around today?

Son3 showed up with the tire and a birthday cake, and I didn't let the van fall.  [*Sahhh-lute!*]  I made the mistake of asking Son3 if he was tightening the bolts really well and was met with the clown acts from both 3 and 4: (3)"No." - (4)"He's just finger tightening them." - (3)"With my pinky finger."  Man.

Hot, and some of us filthy, we were back home 3 hours after we left the house for an intended 35-minute excursion.  Son3 opened his gifts, cleaned up, and we went to town for dinner.  It was a birthday none of us will soon forget.  Son3 — to be sure — is a man fully growed.  And we didn't tip, but we sure were leaning there for a while.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  Psalm 46:10, 11

Friday, August 20, 2010

Playing Chicken

The other day I was mowing, and as I neared the chicken coop, where some of the birds were scratching and pecking around in the grass, Midas was standing directly in the path of my next swath.  Well, that's okay, I thought, because the lawn tractor is big and noisy.  Heavy on the noisy.  So I didn't even lift my foot from the accelerator.  But neither did Midas move.  He just stood there staring at me with that chicken in the sunlight look on his face.

Five feet.  Four feet.  Three feet.  Starting to wonder about my heavy foot.  Two feet.  One foot.  Okay, I'm pulling my foot!  So I came within about 6" of smacking that chicken, before he leapt out of the way.

He was playing chicken with me! I thought as I inched past on the mower.  Wait a minute...playing chicken?  He is a chicken!  Did I just learn the origin of playing chicken?  Well, I'll be.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14

Thursday, August 19, 2010

David Kupelian

Great Article on World Net Daily: Why Conservatives Are Abandoning the 'Gay' Issue

"Moreover, many might understandably ask: With a maniacal Marxist coup underway in Washington, an economy in dire freefall, a wholesale invasion of the U.S. across our southern border and a 13-story mosque about to be built at Ground Zero – who the heck cares about same-sex marriage?

The answer is: You better care, because once gay marriage is legalized in America – something for which there is virtually no precedent in the 5,000 years of Western Civilization – your schools will be required to teach your children that homosexuality is totally normal, your pastors and rabbis will fear preaching their faith's core moral values, and gender confusion and immorality will reign supreme in America."  (read the rest here)

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.  (Leviticus 20:13)  The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.  (Deuteronomy 22:5)

The Great Porcupine Debate

Son3:  Why did God give porcupines quills, when there was no death or destruction before the fall?

Mom:  Well, He had foreknowledge.

Son3:  No, He didn't create the world to fail.

Mom:  No, He didn't.  But he had foreknowledge that it would.

Now, this exchange continued far longer than I would have welcomed, if I hadn't been stuck here anyway, waiting for a film to finish loading.  Eventually, Son3 asked why God didn't give the mouse quills [for protection], so I told him the mice weren't elect, and the porcupines were.  I don't even believe in election (as set forth by Calvinists), so he knew I was messing with him.  Listen, I was pretty tired of being jabbed by a porcupine.

And I'd just finished that mouse whammy, when I realized Son4 had arrived on the scene and was standing next to Son3, listening-in and looking bumpy and bulbous in his middling parts, with the tail of his t-shirt folded up and clutched in his fists.  Our hens' egg production was way down while the temperatures were in the upper 90s and low 100s, yet it looked like quite a passel of fruits he was toting.  My eyes got big.

Mom:  Are those the eggs you got today!?

Son4:  No, I have the mumps.

First Son3's porcupines, and now deadpan humor from the baby Son4?

Nine.  There were nine eggs today, which isn't too bad, considering we have quite a few old freeloaders out there.  We continued this conversation with him imparting the news we'd gotten a dozen eggs the night before, but I was asleep before the count, and how the weather certainly must have been our recent problem.  About this time, Son3, who had silently excused himself when he lost my porcupine attention, reappeared with the answer to his doctrinal question, which he held while weighing-in on egg production:

Son3:  You know, chickens don't lay when they're in a molt.

Mom:  I know.  (Our chickens aren't in a molt, but I saw no reason to go head-to-head with Son3 again.)

Son3:  Know Dad's explanation of porcupines?

Mom:  What?

Son3:  So all the other animals could have pens.

He seemed happy with that, and my film had finished loading, so our debate ended.  Thanks, Charles.

Postscript:  Did elephants have itches before the fall?  I may be onto something here.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:24, 25

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ultimate Proof of Creation

This is an excellent, fast-paced, oft-entertaining presentation by Dr. Jason Lisle, who provides the ultimate proof of creation.  Watch in high quality, 3-part segments on the Answers in Genesis website here.  Watch in lower quality, 6-part segments below.  Total run time 58 minutes.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1:7

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm Telling You


The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.  Nahum 1:7

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kinda Jammed Up Here

Also plum cobblered and clobbered.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.  Numbers 6:24-26

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ICE Cream

"You can imagine if you are an Hispanic American in Arizona, your great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state, but now suddenly if you don’t have your papers, and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re gonna be harassed.  That’s something that could potentially happen.  That’s not the right way to go."  - Barack Obama

Your papers.  Your papers?  I think that's supposed to be an incendiary term.  Maybe you have your papers — like his own which Barack Obama has paid enormous sums of money to keep hidden — and you were born in the USA to United States citizens, yet you're harassed by unconstitutional roadblocks or prohibited from acquiring a drivers license, because your newspaper birth announcement and legitimate, certified, birth certificate are not accepted as proof of identity.  Maybe you personally know a host of illegal aliens who simply paid a small fee to acquire false documents and stole social security numbers, easily being granted drivers licenses and gainful employment.  Maybe you can't communicate with your fellow workers or subordinates, so your employer suggests you learn a foreign language.

Maybe you still think you live in a free country, a constitutional republic.  Maybe you don't realize the Constitution, the highest law of the land, has been trampled by at least the last four administrations.  Maybe you're caught up in the left-right paradigm and don't recognize the Hegelian dialectic process at work: "The only way to completely stop the privacy invasions, expanding domestic police powers, land grabs, insane wars against inanimate objects (and transient verbs), covert actions, and outright assaults on individual liberty, is to step outside the dialectic.  This releases us from the limitations of controlled and guided thought."  [What Is the Hegelian Dialectic?, Kjos Ministries]

Maybe you haven't noticed you don't really own much of anything.  Maybe it hasn't occurred to you that if you don't annually pay money to the county, the state, the fed, one or all will take what you think you own: your house, your car, your motorcycle, your boat, your trailer.  Paid off?  Never paid off.  They're yours only as long as you pay the state annually for each one.  Better not fall on hard times, and better hope They don't increase their socialist/communist/fascist fees, or you won't own anything but your clothes and your television, and your television better run on batteries.  You can brown your bread over an open fire, so don't worry about the toaster.

Maybe you feel like you don't have enough stuff, so you like the concept of being given what others have earned.  Maybe you have plenty of stuff but think you'll get more stuff through redistribution.  Maybe you just like to give stuff away.  Give away your own stuff, and give it to whom you wish.  Give some to the Bush family or the Clinton family or the Obama family; they want your stuff, and they may even pass some of it on to others. 

Maybe you think capitalism is faulty and socialism preferred.  Maybe you don't even know a socialist economy was attempted in the early years of our nation's history (Jamestown and Plymouth Plantation), and it failed miserably, as it always does.  Maybe you don't know capitalism, free enterprise, is in keeping with Biblical precepts.  Of course, the degree of a capitalist nation's success and longevity is dependent upon the engagement of people of high moral character with a will to work, two elements which were significantly more abundant at the founding of our nation and are waning through the machinations of the socialist nanny state.  Maybe you don't know it's corporate fascism — not capitalism — which brought us to the place we are today.  Maybe you don't know there are over 73,000 regulations on businesses, so "the free market" has long been gone, eaten by The State.  Maybe you don't know The State mandated unqualified borrowers be given loans by banks, then saved the big banks while causing small ones to fold.

Maybe it's perfectly okay with you that the federal government can access your emails, your online searches, your blog, your medical records, your phone calls.  Maybe it's okay that you can't take your toothpaste with you on a trip, and you'll remove your shoes and be visually stripped naked before you board the airplane.  Maybe you just don't get it that the boogeyman is at the helm and hunting no one but you.  Aren't open borders and millions of invaders a HELLO? 

Maybe I'm just too riled this morning, and I recognize this is an incongruent rant. 

"According to CBS News, the tax dollar part of the vacation include [sic] an estimated $146,000 round-trip cost for the U.S. Air Force 757 aircraft, not counting ground time; about $95,000 in hotel costs for an estimated 70 security personnel -- Secret Service and military -- who get a $273-a-day government per diem, plus costs for the dozen or so cars in her motorcade.  I'm told that three shifts of agents are needed for a trip of this magnitude."   [Michelle Obama's Lavish Spain Vacation Sparking Criticism, Politics Daily]

LET THEM EAT ICE CREAM (with their cake).

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  II Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fragrant Rain

Last evening, the temperature dropped a welcome 30º in a brief period of time, and it began to rain.  Of course, the power went out, too, so we opened windows and a door.

Mom:  I can smell the rain.  Doesn't it smell wonderful?

Son3:  Well, to be honest, for some reason it reminds me of a camel in a petting zoo.

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.  Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  James 5:7, 8

Thursday, August 12, 2010

When the Parasail Fails

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.  Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.  Proverbs 23:4, 5

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tomato Butter

I still have tomatoes flowing through the door.  Perhaps you do, too.  Try some tomato butter.  It's tasty.  See the recipe at CarolineNot Cuisine.

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.  Proverbs 25:21, 22


He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.  Proverbs 10:5

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Waxing Nostalgic: Lake Maurer

Without contest, my happiest childhood memories are of time spent at Lake Maurer (←see an ancient newspaper ad), a sprawling park nestled in the countryside of my hometown.  Mother taught me to swim when I was 3 years old, and she and my older sister and I would go to the pool at Lake Maurer nearly every weekday in the summer, when I was very young.  After my brothers were born, we didn't go very often, until my sister and I were old enough to walk or ride our bicycles to the lake.

Occasionally, we'd get to ride the train.  Sometimes we would stand on the bridge over the lake and toss popcorn to the fish, eager diners.  My sister and I skated on hot summer nights at the roller rink.

But my favorite part of this park in the country was the giant mineral salt pool.  While the park served the community, others also came from long distances and stayed in the cabins.  Mike and Jeannie, with their mother, summered one year in a cabin at Lake Maurer; Mike was my sister's age and Jeannie mine.  Jeannie was my first friend, although I couldn't have defined friend at the time.  I was three or four years old and spent a precious few weeks with her at the pool, yet I remember her name.

Jeannie (R) and I (L)

The kiddie pool contained a fountain with a tunnel beneath.
My sister and I spent a lot of time under the fountain.

Old inner tubes were the coveted pool toy of the era.
Here we are at the fountain with my friend, Martha.

I wish I had a hundred photos of fun at Lake Maurer.
This is the final in my stash:

When I was 13 or 14 years old, the whole of Lake Maurer was sold to a church and closed to the public.

With these precious memories solidly secured within my being, a pool represents good times.  Even a pool that came out of a box brings joyful memories and a pleasant respite from the summer heat.  This year we switched to a salt chlorinator, and the soft water is lovely.  Upon the occasion of my first dip this year, I planted myself on a floaty and lay down to bask in the sun.  Suddenly a scent wafted to my face, and I exclaimed, "I smell Lake Maurer!"  Forty-four years since I'd encountered that scent, yet it was unexpectedly and undeniably enveloping me.  It was good.  It was really good. 

One more thing I really liked about the pool at Lake Maurer:  Sometimes we would take a picnic lunch with us and sit to eat, dripping, on the benches under the pagoda.  Potato chips had, and still have, a flavor twisted and tweaked by baking in the sun.  So my backyard, out-of-a-box, Lake Maurer experience is complete, with a sandwich and chips at the pool:

Sometimes the little things are so big.

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.  Proverbs 27:9

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Knucklehead Moment in the Kitchen

I was in a hurry.  We'd be eating in about 10 minutes, and I wanted to hot-bathe the tomatoes before dinner, so I could peel and process them after the meal.  Forget the recommendation to do "a few at a time."  I'd load that pot to the hilt and just dance the tomatoes with some shakes of the pan insert, so they'd each get a good all-around of the boiling water.

So I lowered the tomato-filled, perforated insert into the pot of boiling water, then turned my attention momentarily to setting tea to steep.  Executing my plan to cut time corners, I then lifted the tomato filled insert several inches from the pan and plunged it back into the boiling water; had to be sure those tomatoes moved around, don't ya know.

Well, I don't know how the tomatoes took to this, as my attention was immediately diverted from their well being, because quickly ramming a full, weighty pot into another potful of boiling water (*smacking forehead*) causes a kitchen volcano.  It's science.  Don't do it!

Boiling water everywhere, including the faces of those freshly painted cabinets (how long can I say fresh when I keep abusing them) and the floor, and although I'd leapt out of the way and saved my sandal clad feet, the eruption doused the length of my dress.  Not for a single moment have I ever regretted my decision a dozen years ago to wear only dresses, and at this moment in time, I was probably the gladdest ever for a garment flowing away from my body, saving myself from parboiled legs.  Whew-wee.

Harvey helped clean up the mess, everything cooled down, and five quarts of tomatoes are ready this morning to magically become tomato butter.

Words to the wise: Don't dance your tomatoes in a pot of boiling water.  Oh, you already knew that? ºÜº

Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.  Deuteronomy 7:9