Monday, August 28, 2006

Precious Jewels

When I was a little girl in first grade at the local private Seventh-Day Adventist school, I learned a hymn that has stuck with me forever. I sang it with fervor then, I learned to play it on my recorder, and I hummed it while nursing my babies at 3 in the morning. Now my kids hum it to their baby friends, and play it on their recorders. The hymn refers to little children, but it has become such a lexicon for me, I find it pops up in my head at the funniest times. I may not be the most spiritual person you know, but every once in a while, I surprise people with it, not the least, myself.

Like when my Mama, my Girly, my Boy, and I are all in the kitchen, singing rounds in harmony, and working all together to can peaches. I feel so blessed, listening to their bright voices, hearing them laugh, watching them interact with their Gramma, listening with rapt attention to her oft-repeated stories about canning with her Mama. I didn't get to know her, so this makes it even more special- that my kids get to enjoy working and being with her, and that she lets herself enjoy them, vision or no. May not sound like much, but it is huge. My mom and my kids' moments together are as precious to me as gemstones. They shine and shimmer- like opals (which I have always prefered over diamonds) glowing in the sunlight that streams through my finger-printed kitchen window.

Then I am reminded of the song again, when the counters and kitchen table are covered with sparking jewels of jars, in a rainbow of gem-like colors. The red of tomatoes, that came from my garden, the dark purple-blue of blackberries we picked from the back and side yards (and we have the scratches to prove it!), the reddish-yellow of Rainier cherries we got from the food bank (even if the jam didn't gel and I have to re-do them sometime this week, they are so very pretty!), and the pure golden yellow of orange-peach marmalade and canned peaches, made with peaches from my sister-in-law's peach tree. A table full of sparkling jewels that we all put the effort into making, and will all enjoy this winter.

And Auntie Pam, the Boy ran scraps out to the chickens, washed jars, peeled and pitted, and when he couldn't stand to be in the kitchen without making wierd screechy noises, mowed the lawn. He is a great helper, too. And he is still singing to us, even though his voice is changing from that sweet high clear little boy voice to a deeper, mellow young man voice. Another gem.


When He cometh, when He cometh
To take up His jewels
Precious jewels, precious jewels
His loved and His own
Like the stars in the morning
His bright crown adorning
They shall shine in His beauty
Bright gems for his crown

Friday, August 25, 2006


Picture three generations of females in the kitchen, canning together. The blind Gramma peeling the tomatoes, the long-haired helpful 11 yr old pitting them (and re-peeling some of Grammas without saying anything, bless her heart), and the round, sweating, but cheerful 41 yr old mama dealing with all the hot water, keeping the tomatoes scalding, boiling empty jars, filling them with garlic, toms, vinegar, and salt, then putting lids and rings on. Then while the jars process, they all curl up on the couch and in the recliner (and on the laptop) and rest. We prepared 10 quarts and 4 pints in less than two hours!! Then we went out for burgers, and a trio to the dollar store. We are invincible! And now we are pooped! ;-)

Tomorrow, we will conquer blackberry jelly, and peach jam. Funny how it has been 65 to 70 degrees for the last two days, but goes up past 80 when we decide to can. Now I am off to make Gramma's bed up on the couch, and tuck her in with a kiss on the forehead. I love it when she sleeps over.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jack Sparrow attractive? I think not.

Okay, there was a lot of talk on the WTM boards when the Pirates of the Carribean (both the first and second) movies came out about how attractive Johnny Depp was as Jack Sparrow, but I just have to say no way. Come on, ladies, what is so attractive about an alcoholic man with no morals whatsoever, rotten teeth, unwashed dreads, who hasn't washed in goodness knows how long, and who either gets very little sleep or has an addiction to heavy black eyeliner in all the wrong places? Hmm, I ask you, what is handsome about that???!!

But other than that, I did enjoy the movie yesterday. After being at a funeral for several hours, it was fun to laugh at silliness, and be terribly scared at the crakken. The Boy had to hold my hand during the scary parts. 'Course I had to pry his fingers out of his ears (the loudness during the scary parts is what gets him) in order to hold his hand, lol.

Comparative Religion Studies

Yesterday, we went to a Catholic Funeral Mass for a cousin of the Papa Dude who passed away last week. As this seems to be the year for comparative religious studies, the church visit fit right in. Let's see, so far we have been to a Presbyterian church, a Unity Church, and a Catholic Mass. On Sept. 9th, we will attend a wake for the same cousin. We also have plans to try to visit a synagog, a Buddhist temple, a Seventh-Day Adventist church and maybe even the Mormon temple in Bellevue. We shall see what all happens, but so far the kids have really been enjoying this.

It's funny, but when they were little babies, I said that when they were teenagers, I was going to take a whole year to visit churches, and let them form their own decisions about what, if any, formal religion worked for them. Then I promptly forgot about it. Then this summer, I started seeking for my self, feeling a hole in my spiritual heart. During the same time, I realized, that through the children's history studies, they have read about so very many religions, but that they really didn't know much about Christianity. Hence the searching together. It is neat that I am now exposing them to all these interesting thoughts and ideas, when it had been my intention to do so now all along. Funny how fate/divine intervention/ life can work that way sometimes.

One of the resources we are most enjoying right now, is the Victor Journey through the Bible. It has wonderful pictures and maps, to put the Bible stories into the historical context my kids so enjoy. We will also be reading The Jesse Tree, and I am also looking for a study Bible to use this year, for my own studies. I haven't been reading as much for learning this summer as I have been for fun (lots of mind candy, I am afraid), but am looking forward to getting back into it. I will be finishing Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis this September, as well as The Journey: Our Quest for Faith and it's Meaning by Oz Guinness.

Anyhow, it is late, and I need to rest. But this may be fodder for additional posts, as I continue my reading and seeking. And I chose not to link to any of the book titles tonight, but you can mind them all at Amazon, I think.


Monday, August 21, 2006

You've got to be kidding.

Last week, I found this written on the little paper that wraps the Always pads: "Have a happy period." What? Are they kidding? Shouldn't it say something more to the effect of, "Don't worry, it will be over soon? Maybe some women like their pads talking to them, but it was a little much for me. It is nice to actually be having cycles again, but sheesh.

I took the Boy down to the High School to register him for his Band class, and they had already transfered his records from the middle school, and noted that he would only be there for one class, so that's done. He won't be able to take drama there, as that class is at the same time as Band, sigh, so I have to find a way to get drama for him. Next Monday he has orientation. Today I bought him a backpack and a wallet. He is only two inches shorter than me. He is growing up.

I just got home from physical therapy, and it was a bit taxing today, so I am crawling into bed. The Girl has instructions on how to make supper. She is growing up too. I am hoping I can at least get a subject or two planned while I am resting. I am so behind in my school planning!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Friday Five on Sunday

I am trying to get back into the swing of regular blogging. As an easy way to start, here is the Friday Five from Miz Booshay.

Five things in my freezer:
ore-ida crinkle cut french fries
meat, meat, and more meat
blackberry juice (to make jelly with someday)
many chicken carcasses for my husband to make stock with

Five things in my closet:
several Indian kurtas
lots of scarves, hats, and bandanas
my 20 yr old stained suede bomber jacket that I can't part with
my suspender collection
a long, of-white woolen dress coat I am saving for my daughter

Five things in my car:
latin and math books
20 or so cassette tapes
my straw sun hat

Five things in my purse:
my fave pen
my cell phone
my huge key ring

Five things on my mind:
where will Boy go to college?
How long has that child been in the shower, and will we have time to watch movies tonight?
getting the Boy registered and oriented to high school tomorrow
can I really get all I want accomplished this upcoming school year?
looking forward to tomorrow's Physical Therapy, as my neck and back have been aching all day.

There, that wasn't too bad!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The book was better than the movie

We watched Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea last week. It wasn't bad, really, but some of the characters were better casted than others. Peter Lory (sp?) as Conciel just wasn't believable- he was too old- and his character wasn't faithful to Professor Aronax, like he was in the book. I thought Kirk Douglas did a fabulous job as Ned Land, and like Dy, I thought the musical scene was great. I also liked the kissing seal, lol.

The book was fabulous, though, and I highly recommend it. I am not sure what Papa is going to read next. I am trying to find The Pickwick Papers by Dickens, but he may end up reading some other Dickens. Lately we have been watching movies instead of reading.

Last night, we watched Treasure Planet, and I thought it was quite good. It made me want to go back and read Treasure Island, though.

Gotta go- I am figuring out my curiculum orders and getting ready for a monster bill-paying session tomorrow!


Hey all,
I am still here. It has been crazy busy here for the last two weeks. I have had a weekend of single parenting, followed by a week filled with so many Dr., physical therapy, and music lesson appointments, it was all we could do to get any school done at all, but we did. We then had a very hot hot week, and an impromtu get-together at friends' house last weekend. We also watched a couple kids of some friends of ours whose family got attacked by a nasty virus, and now both my kids are fighting it- raging high fevers and very sore throats, headaches combined with upset tummies.

What else have we been doing? Planning meeting, going to a new church, and visiting with Gramma. Hanging laundry on the line, chasing chickens out of the front yard, and baking zucchini bread with big fat squash from the garden, and cherry pie with cherries given to us by Papa's sister. Oh- the tomatoes will all be turning red soon!

We are busy planning and trying to figure out the kids's school situation for this fall. It may be drastically different this year. I will let you know details when I have any- we are still in research/planning stages on this.

On top of all that, I had to scurry to get invites done for the Girl's recital next weekend, and it is Papa's birthday today. The poor sick kiddos are upset because they haven't been able to fuss over and focus on Papa, even though he is reassuring them constantly that just the fact they are thinking about him is an amazing gift in itself.

Other than the fact that someone gave me a huge compliment the othher week by thinking I was my kids' big sister, and that Papa's sister was his wife,lol. that's about it.

Blogging is just taking last place in life right now, I am so busy living it is is unbelievable! Very good, though.