It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who'da Thunk It

Who would have guessed that drinking a smoothie would be near impossible? Not me. But guess who knows that drinking a smoothie can hurt like all get out. Me.

It isn't because my throat is on fire. I don't have a sore throat but I can't swallow. Any one remember having mumps? That would perhaps be what this is like. My entire left-side facial lymph system is freaking out and swollen to great proportions.

It all started with wanting a better bed. That's all, just a better bed. I wake up feeling a hundred years old when I sleep in my bed. I know it doesn't have to be that way because when I sleep on a three inch mattress in my trailer I bounce out of bed as if I was... at least thirty-two again, lets make that thiry-one shall we, I was pregnant when I was thirty-two, no bouncing out of bed that year, so thirty-one it is.

So after a summer of sleeping in the trailer on a three inch mattress on a plank and then two nights back in the house on our big fat giant bed, Dirt woke up saying that we needed a new mattress.

"Say what? I thought you liked our mattress? I thought a new bed was unnecessary?" I say, working hard at keeping three-or-more-years-in-the-making snark out of my voice.

"My limbs are dead in the morning when we sleep in here (the house)."

So not only has Dirt conceded that we need a new mattress he also has conceded that a queen size bed is a better size than the king we have always had. The first house we lived in only a twin mattress could fit up the stairs to the bedroom, so Dirt built a boxed in frame and we put two twins together, two twins sort of equal a king. And we have been doing the king thing ever since.

The big hurdle to go queen is that years and years ago, when we moved downstairs here at the farm and let the Steph and Michelle have the upstairs two rooms, one for play the other for sleeping, Dirt built me this fantastic bed out of barn boards and logs.

My brother had been by when we were building it and told us of the Greek tragedy where the hero had built the marriage bed incorporating the main post in the house as a bed post. Wow. That totally fit Dirt's and my understanding of the marriage bed and marriage and the building of the household. Even though our bed was not an integral part of the construction of our house, it became symbolic of how we see our marriage bed, honored and set apart, not common.

So for Dirt to consider a smaller mattress is huge, because now he has to remodel our bed. He has had to modify it over the years to accommodate a deeper mattress and box spring, so it isn't that he can't touch it at all, it is that he will have to decide which six inches of the barn board head and foot boards gets cut out.

He's funny, Dirt is, I never took him for being overly sentimental or deeply tied to symbolism. But apparently he is on marriage things. A few years back, when I had to have an MRI to rule out MS, I had to have Mike cut my ring off (he is a jeweler) and afterwards I asked him to take my wedding ring (which is just a band, by unregretted choice) and my mom's wedding ring and make me a new ring. When it came down to Mike needing to discuss what the design should look like, Dirt put a kibosh on the whole thing, Mike resized my original ring and that was the last of that.

So now he is going to have to cut into our bed, this could be a big thing for him. Bigger than letting me have a bigger window in my bedroom.

Because I have the threat of MS hanging over my head, I always wonder what it would be like to be bedridden, and how a once active outdoor person remains in decent spirits when it happens to them. So when I was looking at moving my bedroom around a bit (which isn't a big thinking project, not many ways to arrange a twelve by eleven foot bedroom really) I thought it would be great to have a bigger window so that while lying in bed (invalid or not) I could see my whole Lilac Bench Garden. Some of my favorite gardens can be viewed from my bedroom window and it even has a view of half of the pasture area.

With a window that goes down to just fifteen inches off the floor and is five feet wide I will be able to take in so much more than I can out the existing window. Lying in bed, looking out the existing window I can see the top of the barn roof and tree tops. Which is better than nothing or a brick wall but....

I found a perfect window on Craig's list, eighty bucks and right by where Dirt works, he went and picked it up on Thursday. But I really feel bad, not because I am making him do more work, but because I can't help him.

On Tuesday I began taking everything out of my room, Wednesday found me pulling the existing closet built-in out. I didn't have a mask on even though I know that even regular old house dust can stir up my asthma sumpin' fierce. With all the clothes out and the rods, I stepped to the back corner of the closet to take the rod holder off of the wall. As I turned the screw driver I felt the floor mush a little, one more twisting reef on the driver and then my foot went clear through the floor and into the crawl space below. Shoot Fire!

As I pulled my feet from out of the hole that they had both managed to fall into, a zillion thoughts raced through my lil' ol' head. Not the first of which was how mad Dirt was going to be with the extra work. What didn't cross my mind all that greatly was what the stirring of all that old bug dust was going to do to my lungs, let alone any other body systems.

That evening when we took a break from our work to relax, Dirt having accepted the news with a, "oh that soft spot finally broke through," I notice my jaw hurt like I had been leaning on it while watching T.V.. But I didn't remember leaning on it. Well it had been a long crazy day and I probably just forgot. I moved it around a little to loosen it up, but that didn't seem to help. Brushing my teeth later it really seemed to hurt worse. Out at the trailer, I went to lie back in bed, and I couldn't believe how bad it hurt. Wow.

In the morning when I woke up I knew something else was going on besides leaning on my jaw while watching T.V.. But by that evening I could not believe the pain and the amount of swelling that had occured. Now every lymph node on the left-side of my face, in front of my ear, below my jaw, up by my cheek, behind my ear, down my neck, are all swollen to very large portions, some the size of walnuts and all are freaking tender.

By Thurday evening I couldn't chew, anything. Swallowing felt like I was spraining something in my mouth or jaw. Yesterday, Friday, I spent the day on the couch while the girls finished up the room. I knew Dirt needed to really get going on busting up the wall for the window, making the hole in the closet bigger because now he is using it as access to run electricity under the window to put in some baseboard heat. Yay, no more having to leave my door open to make sure I don't have a cold clammy room.

But this project is growning huge. And I can't help. Even with a mask on, walking into the room to tell Dirt the final placement of the window, I can feel my body revolt. Not to mention getting up and moving around causes more pain and sometimes a little fever comes of the movement. I'm ready for a catheter and a feeding tube.

On that cheery note, I bid you a good afternoon in your world, Dear Reader. (I will have more on the room including pics the girls took of the process.) In spite of the complaining and whining it really is a good day here, the sun is shining, family is working and playing (costumes you know), friends call and one drops over with a present, life is sweet. Life is always sweet because our life here at Victory Farm and Gardens belongs to Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grab Your Running Shoes, We Are Covering Some Ground

I have a lot of favorite blogs to read, if I let it get away from me like a day or two, I can actually have Goggle Reader telling me I have something like 400 to 500 items (posts on blogs) to read, yikes.

Sometimes that is a little daunting to wake up to, ya know what I mean? But then it is easy to dispatch because I can read most all of them off of my reader and not have to click over to their actual blog, unless they are one of those folks that "make" you come to their blog by only letting GR show a snippet of each post. If it catches my interest I'll pop over and finish reading it, but sometimes I wish folks didn't do that. It causes me to want to read their stuff less not more, but what the hay I'm not one to try and make a buck off how many times my blog has been viewed so, yeah, I get it, umm, I understand it but I actually may fail in "getting it".

I've dispensed with a lot of other reading that I used to do that I don't anymore 'cause I have blogs to read. I don't "do" magazines any more. Well I would like to subscribe to one in particular, well two actually, they are farming magazines. No, not country fu fu living magazines but Stockman Grass Farmer and Small Farmer's Journal, they have solid, actual farming articles that spur me on, one I pick up often from the local library and the other I discovered through the editor's book on pastures and I sent for a copy of the newsletter, oops off track here. Suffice it to say I have given up some of my other types of reading for the delight of reading blogs. Real life by real people. Not fluffed up nonsense and darn near lies by "professional writers". But I am bordering on complaining so I'll stop and continue with what I was really going to say.

One of my favorite blogs to read, Farside_of_Fifty, had some great posts that I read today (the other day now, as this is a delayed post). One was about her dog, nice darn dog, great breed; another on historical markers and a social studies teacher, and another about larch trees or Tamaracks. They were great. All her posts are great, even when she is storming about silly self-absorbed neighbors. The pieces, like usual, were windows into her life and they brought up thoughts and memories of mine, like a good piece of writing ought.

We don't see larch on our side of the Cascades but it is a tree that is cemented in my blood from childhood. My father grew up in the land of larch, and he taught me about them and most all of the trees in Washington including ones he came to know as an adult living on the wetter Westside.

Farside spoke of a social studies teacher in a post just before or just after, I forget which, her post on larch. She spoke of her social studies teacher as the only teacher in their local education district as one she would give more than two cents for, or something to that effect. Someone who actually taught. Those sort of teachers are rare, whether in Minnesota or Washington, in the sixties or now. It was the mention of social studies that caught me not so much the good teacher. But that played a part.

When we took Stephie, now nearly twenty-eight, out of second grade and became her primary source of education, the janitor at the elementary school gave us a slew of sample text books. That was the day that signed the death warrant for "text" books in my brain. I shuffled through them and decided on a few to keep.

We, Steph and I cracked open a social studies book meant for third graders and settled in for some fun and interesting facts. We learned a lot about Hawaii in that first chapter. Wow, who knew. The chapter spurred us on to learn even more things from other sources. But eventually it was time to move on to the next chapter. Washington! My favorite state!

We snuggle on the couch with Baby Bert and crack the big impressive book open to Chapter Two, Washington State. And I began reading; "Washington state is also called the Evergreen state" But then come the words; "A conifer tree is an evergreen and a broadleaf is deciduous." You know the sound Dear Reader, the needle scraping on the vinyl record. I read further to myself to see if they correct their gross generalization, but no, they left it there. Misinformation.

There is a lot of misinformation out there. This misinformation in particular is rampant in the world of information dispensers. The number one example of misinformation in the arbor world to me is equating evergreen with conifer or broadleaf with deciduous. The similar and related problem is when we think of evergreen and broadleaf as opposites.

Enter two of my father's favorite trees, the larch and the madrone. The larch is a conifer, needles for leaves and cone-bearing yet, deciduous, its needles turning a beautiful burnished yellow/gold in the fall and dropping leaving the tree naked until spring. The madrone, a broadleaved evergreen tree, the only thing it regularly sheds is its outer bark. Not just a broadleaved bush that is evergreen like rhododendron or salal or kinikinic or Oregon grape, but a tree.

Teachers, aren't always where we think we find teachers, my father, and my mother for instance, I think, no, I know, I learned more from these two people than any other institute of learning. I learned things I needed to learn. Mom and Dad, imparted to me everything I now hold as necessary to a good and thoughtful life. Yes, I learned from others, but all that, I do believe, was secondary and would not have made a hill of beans without the teachings of my parents.

Well, suffice it to say that the book slammed shut and went to the garbage. Not to mention we wondered what misinformation we just swallowed about Hawaii that we had no idea about. Oh we will never know the horrible mistakes we could be perpetuating to this day because we read that first chapter.

What is the point of my story? Don't believe everything you read. Think about it. Why would evergreen be synonymous with conifer, or broadleaf's antonym? Think about the words being used. Think about the words being used in the situation before you? Words matter. Origin of words, not just their common use, matters.

The other point? Don't be too hard on people who don't seem to know stuff that they talk about, they were probably educated with text books. Actually there are plenty of places to pick up misinformation. So if you feel the need to correct, correct in gentleness knowing that you may very well be the next corrected.

Mispronunciation bugs me a lot less than improper usage, spelling bugs me even less than that. No body cut down a tree because they couldn't pronounce or spell its name but I am betting there are many a Tamarack that were cut down in January when folks went out to start doing a little early landscaping and saw that the tree the nursery sold them last year is now dead.

I know my mom's neighbor would have. Every year for at least three of the last years that my mom lived there, he would tell my brother or I that my mom's tree by his fence was dead and that while we were out there taking care of her place we should cut it down. I guess he would always forget that he saw it lovely and green each summer, this fellow wasn't old enough to suffer dementia. It became a family joke. But seriously how many Tamaracks have been cut down because we people are lazy and think that conifer is synonymous with evergreen?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Okay, I Give In

I have often said since November that I think Facebook is ridiculous. I've said if it is not completely ridiculous, it is at least a major waste of people's time or it is a blatant display of how much time people waste. Something like those type of complaints have ushered from my lips or at least rolled around in my grey matter.

But I give in. I have to declare Facebook as being a nifty tool. Someone got a facebook account just so she could find me. Me. Little ol' grumpy-pants,-yell-at-the-world,-sack-cloth-and-ashes,-we-are-screwed-up" me. And because I have a Facebook account and I am actually attempting to use it, even though it requires that I say no more than a sentence or two (that is torturous quite frankly), she did indeed find me.

So for about a month and a half now, an old friend (clear back to seventh grade folks!) and I have had a couple of conversations, visited in person and on Facebook. And today she is coming for another visit to Vicktory Farm and Gardens so I won't tarry here long so that I can run the girls into little town this morning, return a movie to BB and books to the library and be back to greet her with a fire in the woodstove, a cup of something warm and some little toasty things to nibble on.

And I suppose I would have to say that some of last weekend's basking in an old friendship with a family we don't see but once a year, accidentally at the Fair, would also have to be attributed to stupid Facebook. It is just too easy to say, "hi, come on over for dinner" when you "see" a person on Facebook often.

And not to mention Facebook is going to be instrumental in the girls and I getting to know the sister of a good friend just a little better than seeing her occasionally at said friend's house for events that we would both be there, like wedding and house warming and moving days. Because she is going to come and make applesauce donuts with us next week! Just because of some silly little banter on Facebook, and because another Facebookian who knows both of us in real life, a reluctant and grumpy sort (kinda like me only far more pessimistic) who doubted the accuracy of our being able to say we are friends said, "oh, yeah and you guys are going to be real friends and actually talk?" or something to that effect. Well Bucky, this is Facebook Throwdown with Lanny.

So there it is, I cave, I cave to Facebook. But I admit I am not sure how some people can have 450 "friends". I just have 45 and I run to keep up with them. Yes, only 45 Facebook friends, isn't that like way sad?

Hey, is sad the only word these days that is still used in it's original manner or did I just say that it is actually cool that I have only 45 Facebook friend or something equally weird?

Have an awesome day Sweet Listener and Brave Converser. I'd have included a picture here but you can just see Facebook for yourself on your own computer. Maybe, just maybe, I will have some illustrations for you tomorrow. Oh wait, I will be without computer tomorrow, so you will not be hearing from me 'til at the very least Sunday. Because, yes, I am trying to get back to posting nearly every day. We'll see how that goal works.

Tute ta lue

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've Met the "Boys, Will Be..." Myth Busters

And you are going to meet them too.

I don't usually keep my blog promises, but I'm pretty sure that, unless I am run over by a bus, I'll be keeping this one.

I had some great photos to go with this but I lost them in a cup of coffee last fall, so I will get some more for future posts in this series. But for now you are just going to have to close your eyes and imagine... oh wait, this isn't in Braille, open up and keep reading and just let your mind wander off and imagine these lovely folks that I hope will:

Knock your socks off.

Encourage you to a knowing that you can have amazing sons like they do. And that you do not have to live through terrible twos, horrid adolescence and wait for them to be thirty to see decent character lived out in their lives.

Oh and a side note, and perhaps a separate series, that you can be in business or work for family, and with and for people that are nearly like family, and do it for longer than a month or two. They have been doing it for years.

Suffice it to say, I'm in love, we both are, Dirt and I, yes with each other but also with some new found friends. And yes, actually I've been holding out and keeping them mostly to my self, well we have shared them with the Bowermans a bit, but I haven't told ya'll about them much.

And forgive me if my gushing may sting, trust me I love all of you too, really I do, so maybe love isn't the right word for the special feeling I feel towards these people. Maybe astounded, or relieved is what I feel.

I knew that with my daughters, rearing them was not a crap shoot. It was not a case of "do my best" and hope for something less than a disaster. I knew that I did not have to despise my child at two, or sixteen. That none of them needed, like the world thinks they need, to go through a horrid rebellious stage. I knew that I did not need to beat them down and strip away their humanity to get there either. Actually I knew I couldn't take that approach if I wanted them to continue, on into adulthood, how they were as young people in my home.

(I'm writing "I" and "me" a lot, but please, see that "I" and "me's" are really "we's", Dirt and I, it is just that the convolution of making sure that every time I mention us, I mention us, it gets to be rather halting for me.)

The problem with having only one gender for your offspring is that people can continue to deny that the same result can be reached with the gender (opposite from yours of course) they have. And yes, of course those who birthed and are raising both will still have an out because they are having to deal with a "mixed" household, and we have only girls and they (this family you will be introduced to over the next few months) have only boys. But if you just want to look for excuses as to why you are going to insist on having what most everyone else has, a crap shoot and eventually nice twenty-five or thirty-year olds, then by all means excuse away. I'll have a funny post up about something innocuous in a few days for you.

And I certainly do not wish to give the impression that my girls are anywhere near perfect or that I did it on my own, or with some amazing program that I'm going to tell you to buy at the end of this post.

Sorry girls, but yes, my girls could be better. I could have had my head out of my... well I could have not been in residual lingering rebellion during the first five years of my marriage, that could have helped. I could have not been over come by neurotic anxiety in the ten years following that and then I could have not gone through crushing, immobilizing depression that had me in bed for over twelve to fifteen hours in a day, or twenty-four if I had no outside appointments, for the next five. So yeah, I could have done a little better job and then maybe I could say my girls are pretty close to perfect.

As it is, I didn't experience: rolling eyes, stomping feet, snotty attitudes, incredibly dishonoring words from their mouths, run aways, blatant disobedience, laziness, rudeness to my friends, slamming doors... .

What I have experienced consistently from all of my girls, now ages twenty-seven, twenty-three, eighteen and sixteen, is: tender hearts, open minds, sweet dispositions, loyalty. Obedience in stuff like: pleasantly working hard, like grown men in many instances, daily; not getting to go everywhere or just anywhere with just anyone; not a lot of material goods and faddish clothes; not dating; not pretending not to date; not moving out on their own, being "independent" and having daddy pay for the "independence"; being corrected when they were off base, and willingly changing.

But this series isn't about me, it is about them. And I can't wait to tell you all about them from my perspective and include little snippets of interviews that I am going to force them and me, us, to do, just for you.

But now the sun is up, well I am assuming it is, because I can see the leaves and grass out my window, which means that I need to get my rain gear on and get out-of-doors and pretend to be the farmer I think I want to grow up to be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


What color is your kool-aid?

It is a quote from a friend today when we had heard some disturbing news and wondered why some folks are okay with nonsense. Unfortunately, I suppose, most nonsense is the type that slowly, ever so slowly, nearly non-detectably comes to a rolling boil and you find your sad little self in it.

Don't understand the question? You don't get the "kool-aid" reference?

The year: 1978

The man: Jim Jones, founder and leader

The place: Jamestown, Guyana

The beginning: 1950's Indiana as Methodist student pastor, then his own church, which eventually became Peoples Temple Christian Church, Full Gospel.

The unforeseeable tragedy: 909 people died after drinking cyanide laced Kool-aid at the direction of their Pastor Jim Jones. 909 people.

Yes, they were way off base. Way off. Not even the same planet really. But they had followed a personality.

Here are some interesting things said and seen at the scene:

To encourage others to participate in the mass suicide after the Temple folks murdered a senator and his delegation at the airport one temple member states "the ones that they take captured, they're gonna just let them grow up and be dummies."

In the one photo of the dead bodies on the pavillion is a sign above Jim Jones' chair it reads: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Huh, really.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ahh I See.

So the consensus is..... No pictures please!

No, I know, it really was more like, "No bloody pictures of raccoons!" Or more accurately, "No pictures of bloody raccoons!" So then that means no pictures. Not that I took any anyway over the weekend. On a bad roll here.

Been writing a lot today, none of it publishable at the moment. I'll tidy it up and get back to you on that. But for now I have to take advantage of the last few rays of day light. And do something that is a whole lot more resemblant of work than what I have accomplished today, so far.

Short, sweet and not even a tidbit or nugget really, sorry Faithful Stalkers, I will try to be better tomorrow. The kitchen is clean though and there is a vacant chair to sit on while I cook or trim some cuttings so you can always stop by and force me to talk.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where Is My Camera?!

I cannot seem to unzip my camera case, get the poor little thing out and use it.

Two amazing weekends have gone by,now almost three and nothin', well picture wize anywho.

Weekend before last we were over east of the mountains in some of my favorite spots on the earth (I don't get around much so favorite spots come from a small radius in relation to the whole world but the spots I find as favorites have huge childhood connections so they most likely wouldn't change even if I could go to Peru and canoe on Lake Titicaca) and I even put my silly little camera bag over my shoulder, it certainly helped make me look like a tourist but it didn't help me get out my camera and use it.

The bummer is that because I had the camera that meant that my girls who stayed at home taking care of the farm had none. And if my time east of the mountains couldn't be caught on film, uh, card, at least theirs could have been. Not saying that my weekend wasn't exciting but theirs was exciting and photographable.

Some fella decided to drive up to the farm except he missed the driveway by a bit, took out a telephone pole and wiped out a huge chunk of our frontage pasture fence! When his insurance folks called him about our fence he claimed that he never saw a fence, knew that he wiped out a telephone pole and had it on top of his truck sure 'nough but he did not encounter a fence.

That would be because his truck was on top of the fence!

His insurance company was decent and expedient about taking care of the fence and so soon we'll get to rebuild our front fence.

Yipee, 'cause I was getting a little bored with nothin' to do around here!

We got a lot done last weekend because of friends and we got a lot done back in September because of family (and friends that look a lot like family and kinda sorta are in a way, which will lead to a post soon on family relations and such, cause I gotta beef with our lack of naming things). I would love to show you pictures of all the work we did and the fun we had doing it, but the camera trigger finger seems to be stuck and very few pictures are being taken right now.

I will do my best to do better. I don't even have pictures of Leif Erikkson Day. Which was great by the way. The food was great but being with family and framily was even better. Dirt ended up putting the Lutefisk on his barbeque (which in not the same as a grill) and ate it later in the evening. Because it was not done in the "traditional" method I felt I had an out this year and passed it up. I might not be so lucky come Christmas Eve however.

That is it for now Patient Visitor, I'll be doin' a follow up on my last post, because it isn't that we think no one has the gift of pastoring, shepherding, but that it just doesn't look like the current common practice. And pretty soon, Mr. Vick, uh I mean Dirt, will sit down with me while I write out his analogy of school, college, and goin' to a church building for church done the way most Christians just accept that it ought to be done. Oh that and I will take pictures today of Anna skinning a raccoon that Martin treed, well arbored really, and tell you all about it.

God is good, all the time. Even when you gotta wipe the fan blades and the walls, there is always something good, amazingly good going on that makes the stuff on the fan blades seem like nothin'.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Being a Shepherd

Since there is no such thing in scripture as pastor with a big P like, "oh, isn't Pastor Jim the greatest teacher," yet, I know some really nice folks out there that are convinced that God has called them, or someone they know and trust, to be a Pastor, not just called to exercise the gift it takes to pastor brethren not unlike exercising the gift of prophesy in the Body, but supposedly calling them to a position that was done away with and use to be called Priest in OT times (that would be Old Testament times for you, Kind Late Night Listener), is it then something like God not wanting Israel to have a king but they, the Israelites begged and begged and whined and cried and so he relented and then "called" some to be king?

Betcha had a hard time following that sentence didn't you, Gentle Interpreter and Long Sentence Reader?

Look here's the deal, I'm not a scholar much less a Bible scholar and on top of that I am just a chick, female, woman, weaker vessel, so I could really be all wet here, however, when pastor is mentioned in the Bible it is definitely, (yes, in my understanding) not talking about a position of hierarchical authority as much as it is talking about a gift to love people, not unlike the gift of faith or the gift of prophesy, a gift to be exercised daily in amongst the portion of the Body that God places you in.

Com'on unless your super new at this or have been asleep during the "What is Your Holy Spirit Gifting?" sermon series, subtitled, "Do your aspirations match up with our needs and where can we abuse you at?", you know that pastor means shepherd. Oddly enough, sheep keeping is something this family knows a little sumpin' about.

And mostly all I really have to say about that is this: If the sheep herds of this world were shepherded in the same manner as pastors with a big P shepherd their flocks, there would be a lot of rotting wool and flesh in the world, the world's woolen mills would shut down, knitting needles would come to a permanent rest and there would be no lamb for the Costco ladies to hand out as samples, the mint jelly industry would collapse.

Oh com'on really, think about it. Do you run around your mega church or your wanna-be-mega church or your sour-grapes-we-like-being-small church and say, "Good morning Prophet Fred." "How nice to see you Evangelist Carl, how are the kids?" "Oh Apostle Rick, I've been meaning to tell you all about..."

Com'on, you so do not! If you greet anybody on Sunday morning with a title other than old Mrs. Migillicuddy, it is simply, "Hey Brother so and so." And trust me Brother is about as titled a position as Mr. and Mrs. anymore, 'cause I'm betting you call fellas "brother" that you can't be too sure really are!

Pastor is mentioned once (and with a little p no less), no body in the Tales of the New Testament calls anybody Pastor. The line from scripture does not read, "they met together daily and once a week with Pastor but the elders and those important congregants with marriage issues met with him twice a week."

I love how much weight the Church puts on stuff that is mentioned once, like the commonly used out for divorce, and then runs with it in a direction that would appear to be, quite frankly, opposite to the myriads of other bits of information we are privy to.

So, still squirmin' and wantin' to call shinola on me aren't you? Fine, how is it that you Pastor-followers can extrapolate from: "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ," (Ephesians 4:11-12) that the first and in the sentence indicates that certain fellas have both these gifts and those with this particular gifting are the only guys permanently mentioned on the reader board, sit in the big office, have the secretary, do eighty to a hundred percent of the talking, perform weddings and other ceremonies, get paid, get lackeys that follow them around, fetch their coffee, shine their shoes, steam their suits, answer their phones...

But yet you cannot even think to extrapolate from Matthew 23:8-10, "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ" that maybe, just maybe it ain't a good thing to hang on people, ordinary men subject to the strangle hold of pride, the title Pastor. Heck, Jesus didn't mention Pastor, just Rabbi, Teacher and Father. Pastor is way different.

Trust me from this girl growing up in that tradition that some, well lots really, like to discount as actually Christian because their fellas are addressed as "Father so and so", the practice of drooling on the guy with the title Pastor... yeah it ain't a whole lot different, trust me.

You might have your Bibles open during his sermons, that come straight from your denomination's Vatican, but you are just reading it the way you are told to, to uphold the human philosophy of life he is espousing. Read it for yourself. Think for yourself. Listen to the Holy Spirit yourself. Come at it without preconceived notions about Church and God and sin. Read it again. Then come together with others as on an equal footing, no one person more important in God's eyes than another, and discuss it, let it grow you, listen to what the words say to make you holy because your Father in heaven is Holy.

No really, like Luther told you you could, he risked his life to pound out those 95 Thesis and slap 'em up on the door, try a few out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Won't Believe What I Discovered This Weekend!

Oh Sweet Interpreter, I have made a huge discovery this week, huge! I never really saw it in myself, but apparently I talk too much. No really, I talk way too much. Especially to store clerks and such.

I did myself in this weekend. Saturday morning as we were getting ready for our Leif Erikkson Day celebration on Sunday, we realized that we, Anna and I, had forgotten to ask Dirt to stop on his way home Friday and pick up Salmon. Anna and I had picked up the Korv on Wednesday when we had gone to get her quail and our search for Lutefisk had failed. We hadn't gotten the go ahead from the resident Viking to fore go the lute and replace it with salmon yet, and then I forgot to remind Dirt to pick the salmon up on his way home.

So there I was, in little tiny Yelm, no Vikings in site, not a sign of a Swede or a Norwegian around, not even a Finn or a Dane. I stroll to the back of Safeway after getting a special little treat at the Starbuck counter inside, ya I know, it isn't the same, the Safeway gals don't make 'em like the folks at Starbucks but heck I can't get the kind of entertainment I got that morning at Safeway from inside my own car at the Real Starbuck's drive through.

So I get to the back where the meat and fish counter is, and... What? You want to know what happened up at the front of the store first? Sweet interpreter, for you anything.

But it really wasn't much, just a mom that should have her mom license revoked. Actually I think she only had a learner's permit and she was failing fast. Trust me, she was way louder than her toddler and four-year old were even thinking of being. In fact I was having a hard time even hearing anything coming out of them.

The capper was when she threatened the little ones with their grandparents. Yep, she threatened that if they didn't straighten up she was going to take them to meet up with "Nana and Pappa at Walmart" and they would be disappointed and not put up with their naughtiness.

So after that little show of total parental ignorance, thank you public/group education and peer socialization, ah nearly thirty I suppose and still showing off like in junior high about how tough her life is, show's over, well actually my coffee order came up and I wander to the back of Safeway.

I'm peering through the display case but I see empty spots instead of slabs of salmon.

"Can I help you?" the pleasant voice rings from the stocking hatted and gloved young woman behind the case.

"What do you have for salmon?"

"Ooh, not much."

"Oh, don't say that, I need it to replace the Lutefisk."

"That I have, I have lutefisk," she says very brightly ready to serve.

"No!" my mind screams, "No! No! No! I was nearly home free!"

"You do?" my big mouth says humbly and quietly out loud.

"Yep, right here," she announces as she reaches into the freezer compartment right behind her.

"Thanks," I say, feigning true enthusiasm for her find.

"Not a problem, I'm glad I could help."

I had to go to Wallmart to get wild caught salmon fillets large enough for the party. Sorry unionettes. Fortunately I didn't run into Stupid Mom, her sad parents and slightly doomed children (God still works miracles Sweet Interpreter).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Well It's Not the First Time

My last post isn't the first time I have been completely misunderstood and sure as shoot it won't be the last. I will remove my tongue from my cheek and find something else to write about over the weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Never Say...


Isn't that how that goes?

Man I'm glad I've had folks tell me that.

My cousin stopped by today and I sure as shoot am glad all my, well most all, my friends have told me that saying over the years. 'Cuz I thought for sure I'd have to send him and his friend packin' when they showed up with a gorgeous F 450 for me. It's even 1960's forest ranger green! They did an awesome custom paint job on it.

Yep, for me.

I was a little shook, 'cuz the whole deal brought back memories, knowin' my cousins like I do. Back in the day I was into petty theft, shopliftin' and jackin' stuff from other folks' houses and yards. I always figured I was headed to bigger stuff. Along with the drugs I was takin', I knew either I'd get too stupid to do it or I'd have to stop before I got caught.

But then I got convicted. No, not in court and thrown in the pokey. I got a conviction in my mind and heart. I wasn't gonna steal from others anymore, even those corporate oppressors. I was only going to have and enjoy those things that I could afford.

I've been doin' pretty good these many years since. I can even go back and give the idjit clerk the extra money she gives me. Or point out that I was buyin' five candles not four and did she want to charge me for that extry one?

So I was pretty convinced that in this area of conviction, I could say, "never."

But man that truck is durn pretty and it will haul lots o' stuff. Even I, will feel safe drivin' over passes to go get Bettikins her Large Black pigs and haul 'em on home in this sweet baby of a truck.

So even though I know how my cousin "gets" autos, I am sayin' "never say never man" 'cause you never know what will cross your path and cause you to be changin' your mind on some of those silly convictions.

Yeah, don't be tellin' me about that commandment that says don't steal. I didn't kill anyone, or even a whole nation and take their land. Heck, talk about theft. The way I read those stories, if you got a righteous enough reason for doin' what normally you ain't supposed ta do, then by golly go for it.

And shoot fire! when I'm lookin' at that truck and thinkin' of all the things I can do with that baby to get this farmin' thing really off the ground and start ministerin' to a bunch of folks that wanta eat good food and come spend a day meditatin' on the Word, then boy howdy it is easy.

And my cousin was tellin' me that he has a line on a couple of places he can pick up a tractor and some impliments. That is sweet! That will so totally polish off the deal. We can really get moving with that set up. I thought we were gonna have to deal with broken down stuff for a long time, limpin' along and never really be gettin' any wheres.

And man it was sweet talkin' with my cuz about our vision of ministerin' to folks through our farm and I was able to talk to him about the gospel and all that, and how I am a new person every day because of it. Man, he was blubberin' and said he so totally understood.

But don't worry folks, he won't be a hard nosed on fire new convert out there buggin' you cuz I remembered to tell him, "no matter how strong your convictions are, never say never." And don't forget to bring me those tractors.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Things Will Be Different This Year

If you have been a Dear Reader for a while and a careful Dear Reader, you know that I consider September as the beginning of a new year for me. No particular date and it takes all of September for me to get over the previous year and look forward to the next. So really maybe the end of September is the mark of the New Year for me.

And it is not just from me and my evaluation and decisions, often others willingly or not participate in my New Year. Things happen at this time of year, things change. Like the leaves. And it all adds up to a new out look for the Lanny Person and it happens in the fall, one reason I love fall, because I love change, I hug it with my whole being.

That said, listen up.

Next Year is going to be very different! Hugely different, knock my socks off different. And it all starts right away, it has already begun.

Last year was awful, it was the worst year I've had in a long time. I can't say the worst year ever 'cause I have lost both my parents, a ectopic pregnancy, a diagnosis of melanoma for Dirt, and other tragedies in previous years, last year wasn't that bad, but really stinking close.

Last year was empty, vacuous, dull, lifeless, dreary, sad, tasteless.

This year is going to be different, way different, last year's problem will be solved with the stroke of one weekend. A smile has crossed my face and peace is in my heart.

We have scheduled a clam digging weekend!

The tide is low and we have reserved a spot at Grayland Beach State Park. I will have fresh clams in my freezer. Clam chowder, clam fritters, clams, clams, clams! Everything will be right in my universe this year. Bring on the bad news, I'll hurdle it in one flick, I will have clams!

Oh and the other thing that clinches that this year is going to be the best year ever.... Salmon has officially replace Lutefisk at Leif Erikkson celebration this weekend. I did my bit. I ate the stuff for years, not large amounts, but I ate it. I encouraged my children to eat it and I offered it to others. I did my part. And I have a minuscule amount of Danish in my blood, wrong Scandinavian country and not enough to make my body tolerant of such things. But now, after being a team player, after having my kitchen smell odd from mid-October till the end of January, (the microwave would smell odd till March) I am freed.

Once again this proves contentment. Just when it looks like you are doomed to a life one way, and you settle in, you decide to become content, truly content and you stop struggling, then you can be released. And I am released from Lutefisk served in October. I went to three fish stores and even called up to Poulsbo to see if they had some. But all of them said they will not be getting it in until the end of November. Even the fish store that has faithfully supplied our last few Leif Erikkson Days will not be getting it in. There is nothing I could do short of overnight express from... Minnesota perhaps.

But Dirt has conceded, he quickly granted that salmon would be an okay substitute for the Lutefisk. Yahoo. Now my cold can go away, I don't need it anymore. I can breath deep and smell all the wonderful cooking smells that my kitchen can possibly muster on Sunday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Have You Ever

read Joel?

The whole of it, all at once?

It is fairly easy, it is fairly small, but it is packed, as oft the Lord's words are for those who read them.

I'm no Bible scholar so I will not pretend to be one. But it has spoken so much to me over the years. I know that some think it inappropriate to personalize the stories from the Old Testament that are meant to be a historical telling or prophetic message for a nation.

But I could not help but see it personally. I can not help but continue to see it personally to know in my heart that the locust ate my earlier life.

I opened the gates of protection, I let them on my land and they destroyed all that was there, all that my parents and teachers had planted, all that in my early years I had cared for and nurtured.

The locusts devoured my life and laid it open and wasted, burnt, lifeless, shameful, the stench that rolled off of a life once devoted to God, to my beloved Christ, was high, it lay in complete and utter ruin. All this at my very own hand of carelessness, rebellion and disregard.

But God is truly amazing and He has restored all that was eaten, burned and trampled. All of it and more than what was stolen or given away. The reality of what I brought upon myself was hard to look at, the repentance was not easy or quickly done.

But God was good, "gracious and compassionate" with me. He did not take my life as He would have been so right in doing, instead He held me in His hand and waited for me, "slow to anger and abounding in love." He waited for me to come to Him, to repent fully and then He began to restore.

He quickly restored beyond what had been given at first to me that I in turn had given to the enemy to destroy. He has heaped far more than I could have ever imagined, far more than I would have ever known to ask for. He has gently but firmly taught me in His ways and continues His instruction. He has renewed my heart and sent bitterness from me. He has gifted me with strength to do the impossible and the undesirable. He has protected me. He has let me see. He has freed me. He has blessed my children, and put a song deep within my heart.

He has indeed restored what the locust had eaten.


So something else I heard at the fair...

I was walking into the barn down at the far end and was pulled up short by the crowd, so I changed gears, slowed down and listened to the people around me. I spotted a nice little family, dad, mom, a baby in the carriage, and a little big sister about eight or ten. Dad looks like he can build things with his hands, I like that, and maybe they have shopped at Cabellas a couple of times. Mom is nice looking, wouldn't expect her to be overly sweet and she is no "mean girl". Nice family.

Dad says to eager daughter, "Now honey, there are a lot of really neat things in here, but a lot of dangerous things too. So you need to stay right by us and not run ahead. Okay. Princess."

Needle on vinyl scratch again. Uck.

Take all those notions back. Dad probably won't shop any where but Cabellas and he is the only one who knows how to fly fish and hunt the right way. Mom most likely never leaves anything out that isn't being used, helps people all the time but never needs help herself and is never more than two pounds off ideal. But then with a husband like "perfect man" what else would you be like.

By the time I get to our booth at the other end of the barn I am ever so glad Dirt never called his girls "princess." What a horrible thing for them to live up to or live with. How do you spell spoiled and out of control? P-r-i-n-c-e-s-s. Thanks for not being, or think you are, a knuckle scraper Dirt.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Real Quick Thought, Honest

I really must plant garlic today and get started putting tender flowers in their winter hibernation, so I will have to make this quick and leave my big fat long convoluted discussions with you, Dear Reader, for another time, like when I'm caught up to at least last month's to-do list.

Can we, followers of Christ, really expect extraodinary lives, while relying on ordinary mind sets?

If we feel the nudge, from the Holy Spirit, to take a solid stand (stick with a Spirit-led conviction), to walk a narrow untrodden, or nearly so, path (be really weird looking to just about everybody including "church" folks), but then we allow fear of man, fear of loss, or pain and or challenge to grip us, causing us to turn to decisions made through rationalization, deciding that the best route is the one most folks travel without question, without deep inquiry, the route of least resistance, the route of blending in or looking cool, the route of making sure we are happy and comfortable and receiving what we deserve, what then, Dear Reader, are we to expect that our earthly side of abundant life is going to look like?

Please read this several times, if you wish. Ponder it for days even, before you pen (type) a retort or amen. And if you are inclined to comment, please just let me have your comment before you read others. Have a conversation with me.