Saturday, April 28, 2007

Trees are budding, grass is greening...

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Tim and I enjoyed the day by driving around town to various houses on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour. We went to a house I had seen on TV--one with a Flintstone theme in the basement. The room was filled with Flintstone memorabilia: and an episode played on TV. We got a chance to take the Flintstone trivia quiz--eventually we were able to answer five questions correctly and won a chocolate Flintstone sucker.

Did you know the Flintstones were going to be called the "Gladstones" till the last minute? Hard to think of Fred as a Gladstone. Here are questions we answered correctly: What was Fred's boss's name? What TV sitcom was the Flintstones based on? What is the name of the town in South Dakota that appears in the Flintstones? (and has a Flintstone something or other there I believe?)

If I remember others, I'll let you know..and I'll give you the answers soon, too!

Fun, fun fun, yaba daba doo!

Till next time,



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Dozen Roses from Five Men

Today is Administrative Professional's Day--another day Hallmark can rack up the cash with an assortment of card purchases.

Today I was on the receiving end of this marketing scheme.

And I loved it.

I only found out yesterday about this special day, as I was seeking to send a note of congratulations to a friend who received a deserving award at a Bethel dinner last night.

This morning I arrived at the Anthropology/Sociology office, and a dozen peach colored roses in a beautiful white vase greeted me, with a card signed by each faculty member.

I was very touched.

You see, one year ago today was my last full day of employment at my previous job. The next day, I found out that budget cuts prohibited my continued work there. It was a sad day.

This year, I feel loved and appreciated again by a marvelous staff. I am challenged and cared for by both groups of friends and co-workers at each of my part-time jobs at Bethel.

Thanks, guys, for the privilege of working with you, for your scholarship, kindness, and friendship. I am truly blessed.

Till next time,


PS To see this great group of folks, follow this link: http://cas.bethel.edu/dept/anthropology/faculty


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Computer time or cleaning time?

Things at work are hopping. With a faculty member on the college side of my job leaving, we are busy planning for the future for our department. On the seminary/registrar side of things, we are in the middle of our data migration and registering students for fall in the new system. Lots to learn and do. Sometimes my brain hurts.

Meanwhile, at home, other things need to be attended to. The boys' departure has left dust and empty spaces that need to be filled/organized. Bins stored in the basement need to be opened and sorted. We need to get rid of STUFF! Paperwork that has been neglected during tax season needs to be dealt with. Now I have ended two sentences in a preposition.

It's always hard for me to get motivated to work at home. Maybe it's harder now that I'm working closer to full-time. In the back of my mind, I have work stuff and feel I am due some rest when I'm home. On the other hand, I should be motivated to work at home when I'm here and have the time.

To blog, or to clean? Hmmmm.....what will I choose.....

Till next time,



Thursday, April 19, 2007

She passed!

Christina passed her driving test today! She was very excited when she saw the instructor approaching the car, because he matched the description of the guy who "passes everybody!"

Well, I don't know if that's true (probably not), but I think it gave her the confidence she needed to do well (but she was still nervous enough not to be cocky). She made a couple of mistakes, but not enough to fail the test.

She got the Camry from her brother, who took the Tundra from us until he can afford to get the old Toyota pickup at Grandpa's fixed. Now we are an all-Toyota driving family (except for Tim's work van, a 2004 Chevy box-style van/truck. I don't remember what you call them.).

Tonight we went to register her for her senior year in high school. The boys have moved out, now she is looking forward to her last year in high school and freedom in driving.

The Empty Nest Is Coming.

I say, "fly, little birds, fly away--but don't forget to visit the nest where you ate your first worms and were protected by Mother and Father Bird."

Till next time,



Saturday, April 14, 2007

They're gone

Mark stopped home last night on a break from pizza delivery. He's spent the last two nights in his new home with his brother, Luke in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis.

In Mark's room is the empty frame of his bed. His boxspring is still in the back of the Tundra (he moved the mattress over in his own truck). Luke's been gone now for several days.

All that's left are the bed frame, Mark's desk/entertainment center, some books, papers and clothes. Mark sorted a lot of his clothes and made bags for ARC (American Retarded Citizens)--they pick up used goods to sell in their thrift stores.

Last night Christina spent the night at a friend's. She worked her last night at Papa John's this week. Thursday is her drivers' test.

Tim's working this morning at his mom's. In the days before the boys' move, several kids were over, to spend the night or just to hang out. Now it's quiet.

A new stage of life is here. It's a good one.

I should begin by vacuuming and dusting, and organizing the remnants left behind.

The remnants of memories of two little boys will stay in my heart, I hope, for a long time.

Till next time,



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The robins are confused and the green dress

It is snowing. It is almost mid-April, and snow covers the grass and the trees. It's pretty, and it's melting on the pavement, so it's not really affecting travel too much.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! And we just celebrated Easter!

Today I saw a bunch (what is a group of them called, anyway?) of robins standing confusedly in a patch of snow. No worms will come out of the frozen ground, I'm thinkin'.

It's been a pretty busy week at work after a restful Easter weekend. The Sound of Music, my absolute all-time favorite movie, was on three times this weekend. (No, I didn't watch it each time.) But I did notice something I've never seen before.

The green dress.

Do any of you SOM fans know what I'm talking about?

The scene is the abby. Maria has returned after her confusion about her feelings for the Captain. She has been in seclusion, but the Reverend Mother thinks it's time she talked about why she came back. The Reverend Mother is greeting a "novice" who is coming for the first time to the abby to join the celebate group. As Maria waits in the corner, the RM dismisses the novice with a "Welcome, my child" (or something like that) and then "Take her to the robing room."

Flash back to Maria's first encounter with the Captain. She is wearing a dreadful dress--very gray and coarse-looking. The captain is dismayed by her apparel, but she said that all the worldly goods she had were given to the poor when she entered the convent. "What about this one?" the Captain asks of the ugly dress. "Oh, the poor didn't want this one."

Now back to the novice going to the robing room. She is wearing a simple, but pretty, green dress. Then comes the scene where the RM convinces Maria to go back to the Captain to find out if this love thing is real between them. The classic "Climb Every Mountain" is sung.

Next scene: the Captain's children, missing Maria, start to sing "Raindrops on Roses" to see if the song Maria taught them will cheer them up. Suddenly, a familiar voice joins the chorus. It is Maria, clad in guess what---THE GREEN DRESS!

As many times as I've seen this moving, I don't know why I never gave the Green Dress the significance it obviously has. Green represents new life--a new beginning: a pretty dress, a fresh start at love. Why else would this novice have any significance in the story line? The screen writer didn't have to include her in the script, but we needed to know where Maria got the green dress from.

Anyway, I thought that was cool. I also think these temperatures are too cool. I heard 60s are promised for the weekend.

And although "snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes" are some of my favorite things so are "silver white winters that melt into spring."

Emphasis on the "melt into spring" part. We're ready to go from gray days with white snow to days dressed in green.

I'm ready to trade my turtleneck sweaters for a bright green spring dress.

Till next time,



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! He is risen! He is risen indeed!

It is a cold, but nice sunny day. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at church, and after a joint service with the Mennonite church that hosts our Evangelical Covenant Church, we drove around a bit and then went to our daughter's new place of employment.

She is now a hostess at Baker's Square.

She brought home a free pie--lemon supreme.

Tim's parents joined us there for Easter dinner. Between church and dinner, we drove by the new place our sons are moving to.

That's right, Luke and Mark are moving out--to a three bedroom home in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of north Minneapolis--just minutes from downtown.

It's a nice home, the price is right, and they may move as soon as tomorrow.

Christina is still working at Papa John's, and was scheduled for this evening, but it's very slow there today, so they sent her right home.

Lots of change in the air--new job for daughter, new house for sons.

It's spring, warmer temperatures are on the way, house cleaning is to be done! I've enjoyed a fairly restful weekend before heading back to work tomorrow.

We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus today and our new life in him. He makes our lives new each day in so many ways.


Till next time,



Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

It's been a tough week for Tim. He's been running himself ragged--very busy with drywall and still doing tax stuff every day. He's come down with a bad cold now and can barely speak, but still he drags himself to work.

Yesterday I had a meeting at work--but only had to go in for one hour. One of our team members (our IT guy) was out sick. He's been working round the clock trying to migrate our data base over to the new system.

His wife stopped in to pick up some stuff for him.

"This morning he said he thought he was going to die," she commented. "But I think it's just exhaustion."

The same is probably true of Tim. I tried to get some extra zzzs in for him today, but I don't think it helped him. I'm trying to get motivated around here, but have been feeling kinda blah. Don't know if it's blood sugar, hormones, or what.

I did an insulin check and had some lunch, so I think that helped.

In our "blah-ness," it's good to reflect that Jesus took on our sin on this day 2000 years ago. It was more than just blah-ness. As I struggle with a variety of things, I know that Jesus understands everything. He's been through much worse.

And we have Easter to look forward to.

After Friday comes Sunday. After darkness, light.After death, resurrection.

As Tony Campolo would say, "It's Friday, but Sunday's comin'."

I hope in all your Fridays you can see the light of Sunday. In this life, we look at heaven like the back of a tapestry, with all the loose threads and no seeming pattern.

When we see Jesus, he will show us the right side of the tapestry and every thread will be in place.

Today, Friday, I'll try not to worry too much about all the loose threads and needle pokes in my life. Jesus is the Great Weaver, the One holding my hand--the one holding the Great Loom. Can't wait to see the picture he wants to show me one day.

Till next time,



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rain, rain.....

Rain, rain, go away, come again as snow some day....

Finally the rain seemed to let up yesterday. Last night, after a very long day at work, I heard the forecast for today (tomorrow then). Possibility of 2-4 inches of snow.

It had been a long day at work. I arrived at 8 am to help stuff PO boxes. I ended the evening (8 pm) at the seminary, trying to serve students, when I got a sort of funny feeling. I decided to call Tim.

I couldn't complete sentences very well. I could think of what I wanted to say, but the right words didn't come out in the right order. I had checked my blood sugar--it seemed to be fine.

"You better eat something," Tim said, in spite of my glucometer reading. We agreed to talk again in a few minutes.

After I ate I felt better. Today my glucometer was off a couple of times. I think the reading may have been wrong yesterday. Before I went home last night, I was doing lots better. Tim could tell it in my speech.

Then I heard the weather forecast. But this morning, there was no snow, so we counted our blessings.

During the day I watched the rain come down. As people came inside at work, they talked about sleet and even small hail. It was sleeting/snowing when I drove home.

Now it's almost 9 pm, but the snow is starting to stick on our patio furniture. It's blowing quite a bit, too.

I guess Mother Nature is getting in her April Fools joke a couple of days late.

Well, I know the weather is in God's hands actually. I just pray he'll return the balmy sunshiny days we enjoyed not so long ago. Maybe it will come in time for our Easter Celebration.

In the mean time, we can know that the gray clouds and rain will produce green grass and budding trees. From dreariness and darkness come life and light.

We can look forward to that as the week ends and next week begins.

Till next time,



Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gray, rainy weekend

It's been raining all weekend and we've had flood watches. Two weeks ago we were under a drought. Go figure.

Last week it was 81 degrees. This weekend the mercury struggled to get above 40.

However, the grass is greening nicely. I think the rain has finally stopped. The good news is, we haven't had downpours or storms, just a steady heavenly drip.

Yesterday we went to an all-day wedding--service, followed by a lag time, followed by dinner, followed by a dance. It was fun seeing relatives that we haven't seen in awhile. Not quite as fun slipping on the beer on the dance floor (as we were walking by) or witnessing a slightly drunken argument on our way out. Kinda fun to see toasts of the best man and matron of honor, and to see the groom jumping off tables.

Today was church and clean up after our luncheon. I got home about 2:45 pm--our church custodian had a mild heart attack a couple of days ago, so several people pitched in to help set up and clean up for lunch. Please pray for Michael. He is doing pretty well, but still in the hospital.

Tomorrow is our "go live" day for our office on the new data base system. We will celebrate with pizza for lunch.

It will be a busy, but short week. Easter is coming!

Till next time,


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