Friday, February 13, 2009

Perspective . . .

This quote was in a daily e-devotional I recently subscribed to, and I thought it was pretty amazing. It is a way of looking at difficulties that I have never considered before:

There is nothing—absolutely no circumstance, no trouble, no testing that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him, and I accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, and I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the rest of victory. Alan Redpath

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love in Bloom


Boys are stupid . . .

Will you be my Valentine?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Grammar Girl, You are My Hero

THIS made me smile, and by the way I knew ALL the correct answers, yes I did. I want to be Grammar Girl . . .

Grammar Girl's Top 10 Language Myths:

10. A run-on sentence is a really long sentence. Wrong! They can actually be quite short. In a run-on sentence, independent clauses are squished together without the help of punctuation or a conjunction. If you write I am happy I am glad* as one sentence without a semicolon, colon, or dash between the two independent clauses, it's a run-on sentence even though it only has six words. (See episode 49 for more details.)

9. You shouldn't start a sentence with the word however. Wrong! It's fine to start a sentence with however so long as you use a comma after it when it means "nevertheless." (See episode 58 for more details.)

8. Irregardless is not a word. Wrong! Irregardless is a word in the same way ain't is a word. They're informal. They're nonstandard. You shouldn't use them if you want to be taken seriously, but they have gained wide enough use to qualify as words. (See episode 94 for more details.)

7. There is only one way to write the possessive form of a word that ends in s. Wrong! It's a style issue. For example, in the phrase Kansas's statute, you can put just an apostrophe at the end of Kansas or you can put an apostrophe s at the end of Kansas. Both ways are acceptable. (See episode 35 for more details.)

6. Passive voice is always wrong. Wrong! Passive voice is when you don't name the person who's responsible for the action. An example is the sentence "Mistakes were made," because it doesn't say who made the mistakes. If you don't know who is responsible for an action, passive voice can be the best choice. (See episode 46 for more details.)

5. I.e. and e.g. mean the same thing. Wrong! E.g. means "for example," and i.e. means roughly "in other words." You use e.g. to provide a list of incomplete examples, and you use i.e. to provide a complete clarifying list or statement. (See episode 53 for more details.)

4. You use a before words that start with consonants and an before words that start with vowels. Wrong! You use a before words that start with consonant sounds and an before words that start with vowel sounds. So, you'd write that someone has an MBA instead of a MBA, because even though MBA starts with m, which is a consonant, it starts with the sound of the vowel e--MBA. (See episode 47 for more details.)

3. It's incorrect to answer the question "How are you?" with the statement "I'm good." Wrong! Am is a linking verb and linking verbs should be modified by adjectives such as good. Because well can also act as an adjective, it's also fine to answer "I'm well," but some grammarians believe "I'm well" should be used to talk about your health and not your general disposition. (See episode 51 for more details.)

2. You shouldn't split infinitives. Wrong! Nearly all grammarians want to boldly tell you it's OK to split infinitives. An infinitive is a two-word form of a verb. An example is "to tell." In a split infinitive, another word separates the two parts of the verb. "To boldly tell" is a split infinitive because boldly separates to from tell. (See episode 9 for more details.)And now, the number one grammar myth, which my Twitter friends chose over splitting infinitives [fanfare music]

1. You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. Wrong! You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition when the sentence would mean the same thing if you left off the preposition. That means "Where are you at?" is wrong because "Where are you?" means the same thing. But there are many sentences where the final preposition is part of a phrasal verb or is necessary to keep from making stuffy, stilted sentences: I'm going to throw up, let's kiss and make up, and what are you waiting for are just a few examples. (See episode 69 for more details.)

Jules, we should fight word crimes together!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New Chronicle of Sam, with a Side of Jilly

Sam, my five year old grandson, is a veritable fount of hilarious comments these days. Here are the latest gems:

"Mom, I used your cell phone to call my friend Samuel, but I got the circus instead, and they said 'All circuses are busy, please try again.'" I laughed for five minutes about that one.

Sam wanted to go to the Apple store with dad. Because he was hungry. LOL

Daddy showed Sam a scary video on his iPhone, and then commented that it probably was not appropriate for him until he was older. Sam said "That will NEVER be appropriate for me."

Jillian, the two year old, is quickly catching up with her brother, but most of her antics involve doing things. Things like peeling all the bananas in the fridge while mommy was washing her face. Or opening all the yogurts. Or peeling several oranges. This girl is a ninja - she can get into trouble if you blink your eyes. Of course, she has a partner in crime - the neighbor girl, Malia, that Lindsay keeps several days a week. The two of them apparently manage to get in about four times the amount of mischief. All the while looking like this:

Yeah, she's not trouble comin' . . . :D

Where - or When - Have You Been?

Ha, couldn't resist a little shout out to all my fellow Losties. That show rocks my brain, in a good way. So. I have been remiss in posting. For some odd reason, some days I look at my blog and feel intimidated and want to run away, because it's calling me to post, but when I think about posting, there is SO much stuff in my brain that honestly I could post for hours and just keep on going, but I don't have that kind of time. So what do I do? I look at it, and then procrastinate.

So today, I'm *working* from home because I live in North Texas, and we have dire warnings of the "biggest ice storm in years," which of course sends everyone scurrying for cover and safety, stocking up their pantries and panicking at the thought of having to DRIVE anywhere. LOL. My bestest boss EVER called me this morning to tell me that she wants our whole team to stay home and work rather than risk getting there and then having troubles getting home. Sweet. Of course, I was already fluffed and puffed and putting on my work clothes, rather than still in bed, which would have been REALLY sweet. But I will not look this gift horse in the mouth. Jay had just left, so I called him and laughed triumphantly into his voice mail.

So. A "snow day." Wonderful. Make more coffee. Put on cozy sweater (too ratty to wear in public, but like a soft knit bathrobe and just the thing to wear around the house when it's cold . . .). Check email. Post triumphant bragging status on Facebook about getting to work at home. Tidy up a bit. Have toast and Kashi oatmeal for breakfast. Check more email, read some blogs, watch weather on TV. Decide I am sleepy and perhaps I'll take a little cat nap in my cozy reading chair. Take laptop in bedroom so that I can hear the beep if any important emails arrive during said nap. Settle into chair under lovely blanket, dog curled on lap. Doze off. Phone rings. Daughter and granddaughter are coming by to use my computer and printer to print out grocery coupon list. "We are nearly at your house." :-\ So much for nap. Not that I don't adore seeing Jill. It's just the timing.

So, I got up, played with Jill, and decided I'd go ahead and do my work since I was up anyway. They were here about an hour and a half, and I finished up my work. Now I have a day, or half a day, in front of me, and I'm mulling what to do. I have plenty of chores that need doing. But what I WANT to do is eat something HOT for lunch and then curl back up in that cozy reading chair and (1) catch up on a couple of DVRd shows; (2) read a book; and (3) have that nap. Actually, I should probably have the nap first, before Jay gets home early (and I expect he will) and Curlyboy gets home from school (yes, THEY both had to go today. Heh.)

Chores can wait. Snow days don't happen that often, but it is looking good for tomorrow to be another one. Snow days are wonderful. Just wish we had some actual SNOW.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some Thoughts for the Season

I have not blogged in a long time (I guess since November 14), because life has just been zooming by with way too much to do. But I got an email today that included this quote, and it really brought me to a halt for a few moments and spoke to something that has been percolating in my heart, so I want to share it. Read it, think about it a little, read it again, and then see if you can find a way to live it out. Merry Christmas to all my many friends who don't read this, and especially to the few who do. I love you deeply and value you being in my life, though I know I dont say it nearly enough.

"The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social, no holiness but social holiness... You cannot be holy except as you are engaged in making the world a better place. You do not become holy by keeping yourself pure and clean from the world but by plunging into ministry on behalf of the world's hurting ones." --John Wesley, Preface, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1739.

Friday, November 14, 2008

You'll try and try, and one day you'll fly away from me . . .

Well, I knew this day would come. But that doesn't make it any easier to take. My youngest child, Curlyboy, turned 18 today. That is a huge milestone for him, one that he has been anticipating with excitement for some time. His Facebook page has had daily updates all week. I know he is excited to be stepping into adulthood.

But it's not that simple. I have tried to impart that little piece of wisdom to him, as has his dad, but, in keeping with one of God's little jokes on us all, an 18-year-old does NOT hear the words of wisdom, or if they hear, they dismiss with a roll of their eyes because, after all, they are invincible and all-knowing, and parents are . . . well . . . old. We've all been there, with our own parents. I also know that, around the age of 22, 23, something like that, a magical thing usually happens and we parents become wise again. It's like suddenly we KNOW stuff, and the things we told them all those many nagging days and nights actually make SENSE. And we just nod sagely and try not to say I TOLD YOU SO.

In the meantime, I know that I now have to prepare for the hardest thing of all. To let my baby boy go out into the world and learn the hard way, and have some hard knocks, and to balance on that fine tightrope of being there, having his back, but not rescuing or fixing problems that he needs to learn to deal with on his own.

I KNOW all these things, intellectually. But my heart, my very SOUL, wants to protect him from all the awful things that await in the world. I have experienced some of them myself, and I survived, but that doesn't make this any easier. He has led a pretty sheltered, easy life. Lifelong church attendance and meaningful involvement therein, two parents who are still married and in love and happy, many friends, many hobbies and activities enjoyed over the years, not rich or spoiled but certainly not doing without much that was desired. He's had a great life. And our hope is that he will have an even greater adulthood.

He has all the tools and character traits he needs for success (well, except for that procrastination gene - can't do anything but pray about that one). He's kind, compassionate, funny, gentle and tender when he needs to be, smart, talented, wise, level-headed, a great peacemaker, a good friend, handsome and never lacking for female companionship, especially friends that are girls, he will make an outstanding husband and father someday. He's an immensely talented musician who loves kids and wants to be a high school orchestra director.

But 18 is NOT a grownup, not in the sense that most 18-year-olds think it is. They are not prepared for leaving home, for all the responsibilities about to be thrust upon them in college, for financial decisions, for dating decisions without the oversight of parents to provide those bumpers. But then, is anyone ever prepared? Like, are we prepared to be parents? Not really, until we are, and then we figure it out as we go along, making mistakes and learning along the way.

So, on this momentous day of my youngest child's life, I just want to say that, in spite of all the mistakes I've made along the way, and there have been many, he's turned out pretty darned wonderful, if I may so brag. We have so, so many wonderful memories, and we will make more during this last year of high school, I've no doubt. The thing is, many parents can't wait for their kids to get out of the house, to be "free." But we actually LIKE to hang out with Curlyboy. He makes me laugh pretty much every day, and he's smart and good at intelligent conversation, and we have a lot of fun together. Movies are kind of our family "thing," and he and I share a love of several TV shows that we watch together. There are so many little things that we are going to miss terribly when he's off to college in another city (not too far away, but far enough). And he's already pulling away - independent, off with friends doing this or that much of the time. He still checks in with us, still keeps a reasonable curfew, still follows our rules. But every day that passes, we can see him growing up and away more and more. Just as it should be. As it's meant to be.

So, if all is as it should be, as it's meant to be, why is it so bittersweet?