Friday, September 30, 2011

Football Friday

Pictures will come next week.
Tonight, I will join classmates of 20 years ago at a reserved section of a football game.
I will cheer and clap.
But I will go home happy, regardless of the outcome. I'm weird that way.
Then tomorrow, we will all meet to talk and catch up, eat dinner, and....watch football.
That's what happens when you live in Alabama.
Go Blue Devils and Roll Tide!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

here we go again

This time last week we were en route to Alabama for Aunt Margie's funeral.
Today we are making the 12 hour drive once again, but this time for a high school reunion.  Bobby semi-joked last week while meeting 3/4 of the White clan that he at least knew a few people, but this week he wouldn't know anyone.)

So what do I do on a 12 hour drive?
  • Sleep
  • eat breakfast
  • fix the radio for Bobby
  • sleep
  • restroom/gas break
  • fix the radio for Bobby
  • sleep
  • read
  • talk
  • sew
  • fix the radio
  • threaten to drive
  • sleep
  • lunch
  • read
  • gas/bathroom break
  • sew/and or sleep
  • bathroom break
  • arrive
What occupies your time while traveling?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

oh.my.word.

If you visit http://wral.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says "strange news" you will be startled and shocked beyond belief. Seriously.  And for those of you who like warnings: read/see this before you eat and it will help your diet tremendously.

Between the non-sense happening here in NC over the gay marriage bill, seeing what is happening in Utah and California makes me say "Come quickly, Lord." But honestly, even if I wasn't a Christian, I would have no desire to run around "au natural".  Just as some men proclaim all babies are ugly, red wrinkled things, I think the naked body makes the saying "Beauty is only skin-deep" laughable. Just saying.

Monday, September 26, 2011

full

too much on my heart to write...so this will suffice




light pollution

When I first moved here, the sky wasn't too terribly different from Alabama or China. The stars weren't quite as bright and the sky not quite as dark, but not by much.
And then the 40/42 area started building up quite rapidly, adding nightlights around buildings and parking lots, and one corner of the sky became a bit brighter at night. Then the property at White Oak was sold, and now thanks to the White Oak Shopping Center (which I happen to love), a huge section of the sky became bright at night.
Saturday morning as we left Alabama very early, I took my time walking to the van with my head titled backwards, glorying in the bright little specks I seldom distinctly see here.  I  must have been dwadling more than usual, for Bobby stopped and looked up and exclaimed "Wow!"  I think he was amazed at the difference.
And that's one of the many things I'm looking forward to seeing again this weekend: stars. You wouldn't think that fake light cancels out real light, but it does. The scientific neighborhood calls it "light pollution".  Either way, once you finally see the real thing again, it's totally breathtaking.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the best things in life...

The best things in life come in small packages.
                        ~ Margie Ingle

She was the second-born, but the first to live.
She was the shortest child of 8 siblings. I bet the closest she ever came to being 5' was when she wore exceptionally high heels.
She was valedictorian of her senior class, but demoted to salutatorian because she was "starting to show". Unwed mothers were not welcomed in society in those days. The principal didn't even want her to graduate. Years later he would apologize.
She was positive, no matter what life threw her way.
She loved to sew, and was an excellent quilter. She actually preferred piecing, and would send her quilt-tops away to be quilted.
She was feisty.
Two weeks ago, as hospice came to help, her eldest described her as "a wrinkle in the sheet". Her tiny frame seemed to be shrinking with each failure of the heart, with each round of infection and pain from her broken hip.
At 3am this morning, with her daughter-in-law by her side, she entered the presence of her Lord and Savior, 2 months shy of being 83.
I imagine she's enthralled with all the colors of heaven this morning.
And I can't help but wonder if her new body is as tiny as her old one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

just for Jen

I didn't grow up with cable. PTL and the 700 Club sounded like golf clubs to me the first time I ever heard about them. And tele-evangelists?  They were for people like my Grandma who didn't have a driver's license and was stuck in her apartment, lonely, without a way to church, or for people in nursing homes or hospitals.
So suffice it to say I'm not up to par on the television church world.
So when a friend sent me a comment, surprised that I hadn't blogged about Pat Robertson's divorce and Alzheimer's comments, I actually had to Google and YouTube it to find out what all the hurrah was about. Here's the link, in case you're like me and are willfully ignorant of such http://youtu.be/vsaqfP87Z58.

My first encounter with Alzheimer's was at the age of 5. A great uncle had it, and we were unable to unlock any door at that house or use any door except the front (and then after a parent unlocked it) because Uncle Silas would wander off. Each door had multiple locks on it, so Aunt Fanny would hear the rattling and could get there before he would be gone. The bathroom walls and floor were covered in layers of taped newspaper, because he sometimes forgot what indoor plumbing was and would just go wherever. Such a life is not easy on anyone, neither the patient nor the caregiver.

My second encounter with a spouse unable to communicate normally was in high school. A man in our church had a stroke and was not able to talk or move. His wife recognized she was physically and medically unable to take care of him, so he went to a nursing home. But every morning she packed her bag and joined his side for the day, then left at night. It was hard for her, and if he was cognizant, I'm sure it was equally hard for him.

I was blessed with many godly examples of spouses who honored their vows of "in sickness and in health" growing up, as well as the difficulties of what that truly meant.

Robertson's comments illustrate very clearly the problem of seeking advice from someone who does not know you nor the situation. A pastor would be more attuned (hopefully) to the person's spiritual health and could ask probing questions and help give direction.  All we know is the scenario as the person asked it. And as the scenario was presented, beside the ponderings of has this person been given emotional support from his church or received information from a local Alzheimer's support group, where are their children, has this person been in faithful in church and seeking God, has the spouse's Alzheimer's been the violent sort, etc I had to wonder "which is the lesser evil?"  If a person is cheating on their spouse, whether the spouse is in their right mental capacities or not, that's still sin. When the person is not in their right mental mind, we tend to be more forgiving or understanding of the sin, but it doesn't erase the fact that sin is sin.  So which is worse, to sin by breaking your marriage vows, or to say "I'm going to sin anyway, so I'll just sin by divorcing them and go commit adultery with someone else." Or, do we recognize it as sin for a person to be "angry with God" as the caller stated in her opening words?

Such scenarios are not new to the world. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte tells the story from the woman's point of view who finds herself in love with a man who has hidden his crazy wife. I personally know of three situations where a mental illness has wreaked havoc on the marriage, prompting adultery in one situation and severe problems or separations in the other two.

If anything, the sadness of such reality reminds us that living a righteous life in a sin-cursed body is never easy. Sadly, we tend to follow the OT observation "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" (always mentioned when telling of the depravity of Israel), instead of digging deeper and saying "The LORD says..." and doing it, regardless the cost. Living right is hard, but when it comes at the cost of our time and emotional state-of-being, we sometimes find it harder than normal.

It would have been great if Robertson had emphasized the importance of honoring the marriage vows, directed the man to a local pastor and support group, addressing the anger as part grief and part sin, but also challenged the church to help the hurting more than we semi-adequately do. If his local body of believers (assuming he had one) were faithfully socializing and reaching out to him, the emotional need to see others would not likely have been so great. And it's also very important to recognize that not every situation is the same. While some people are able to care for their loved ones at home, there are also situations where it is simply not feasible. Like with parenting, care-giving is very personal and individualized, and ultimately it is only the care-giver who stands before God and gives the account of their responsibilities, not the on-lookers.

I would never recommend a person seek advice from a tele-evangelist. Your local pastor who knows both you and the situation would be a much better person to seek advice from. They're seeing the situation, and are seldom just making a judgement call with the one-sided information being provided.

So that's my two cents worth on the issue.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

reflecting

When I was 14, I got very sick at church camp one year.  Sick enough that I was allowed to miss services and all activities.  One afternoon while in and out of sleep, two counselors came in and were talking. They must have checked on me at one point, because I don't remember them coming in, only their low voices. Initially they were discussing the normal pastor wives/mom topics, but then they got on the subject of the future of the church. One of the ladies, whom I greatly admired, said her husband believed (and bear in mind this was almost 25 years ago) that the day was coming when the church would be persecuted in America for its stand on homosexuality, and that the church would have to choose whether or not to remain publicly recognized or go underground. I wasn't even sure what homosexuality was!  When I told my Mom about it a few weeks later,she sighed and said, "No, I don't see that.  I hope not."

Today, as I see more and more billboards going up equating religion with bigotry and then saw the picture in today's newspaper about the upcoming campaigns for the NC Constitutional Amendment and read the President's comments about homosexual marriage, I fear that pastor's predictions may come true within my lifetime.

The scary thing to me is that I know more and more people who profess to be Christians but who are openly practicing homosexuality. Thankfully many of the churches have dealt with the issue and situation, but there are just as many who call themselves Bible-believing who have not.

Several years ago the Christian Law Association ran an article that today's churches and their failure to follow Biblical mandates have made it very hard for them to defend this issue on religious grounds and the freedom of religion. So many churches have not disciplined families for divorce on non-biblical grounds, so we've failed to uphold our own beliefs about the sanctity of marriage. That's one area where Protestants can learn from the Catholics: they are unwavering in their requirements for marriage and divorce.

These past few days, I've kept going back to Joshua's saying to the nation of Israel: "Choose today who you are going to serve."  As our state now embarks on a multi-million dollar fight before the November 2012 election to decide how we will define a marriage in our state constitution, it is time we decide where we stand.

"All that it takes for for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

blessings

Some days, you just don't feel up to snuff.  That's what my Granny used to say.
Yesterday was one of those days, and I am so thankful for a loving husband who comes home and doesn't complain about what I didn't get accomplished.
I'm thankful to have friends who read my blog, are an e-mail or phone call away, should I decide to call them.
I'm thankful my friends aren't "yes people" who only tell me what they think I want to hear. I like the fact they shoot straight with me.
Modern appliances...can you imagine how difficult life would be without a washing machine, dryer, electric oven, electric-pump well, car, telephone, computer, or hot water heater?  Blessed, indeed! :)
Positive attitudes...my sister who continues to count her blessings even though her life is one big unknown at this point, a high school friend who is praising through pain after burying her mom last week, a church friend who smiles while hurting and watching her mother steadily decline in health, and the list goes on and on and on...Do these people realize how much their steadfast faith encourages me?
A secure job...yet another niece posted last night that their only source of income is now on the line. Sometimes we groan about getting up on Mondays and Thursdays (after a weekend and late for us night at church), and yet I should be praising God there's a job for us to get up early for.
And the list goes on...
Isn't it great that God's mercies are new every morning?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

sigh...

There's nothing worse than ironing the LAST piece of fabric and beginning to pin layers together when you realize that you have THREE pieces in places that you don't think should be. Two clouds side-by-side in rows 2&3 and TWO fox windows in row 3 and TWO night skies in row 3.  Where was my brain?  What was I thinking?  And I actually tape-labeled everything together this time so the pieces would be correct. I double-check my tape, and yep...exactly as I laid them out.  But life goes on.  Whatever bed this quilt winds up on will just have to deal with multiple foxes in the same row.  They do attack more than once in the same night, you know. My former chickens would tell you about it if they could.

Friday, September 9, 2011

on the brink no longer

I have officially fallen over the edge.
I am INSANE.

 As of now, I am committed with an invoice and confirmation number to deliver a quilt no later than Oct 10 at 3pm to the NC State Fair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

a little bit of excitement

We're on Day 19 of the egg chart (21 is the latest hatch day and 22 is the extra day added in) and 2 of our 9 eggs are piping and peeping! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

trashy Americans

Well, it's been talked about for years, but this morning it made the news (thanks to NASA releasing new photos).  We've trashed the moon. Not only did we leave behind tracks and crash/landing marks, but astronauts also threw out backpacks and other such items.  Leaving them for the moon people's goodwill perhaps?  Evidently they didn't want them either, for everything is still there.

They claim our space trash has become such a problem that it's now a hazard for satellites (the ones that are working and not just aimlessly floating around, that is). So I wonder if garbage companies who are running out of landfill space will attempt to make the moon their next dump site?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

sslllooooowwww progress

It started as a joke.
I saw some fabric in a newsletter that I thought was insane.
I posted about it on Facebook.
A friend made some offhand comment, joking, about how bizarre it would be to see that in a quilt.
A month later my brain was still creating ideas.
Two months later at a quilt show I found the very same fabric I had made fun of.
I bought it.
I bought the other fabric in the same series as well.
IF I can get the top finished this week, I'll not only start frantically quilting next week, but will also submit two sheets of paper to the Home Furnishings Department of the NC State Fair, obligating me to finish this entire project by October 10.
So if you don't hear from me much these next few weeks, you'll know why.
It's all Carroll's fault. ;)
She's birthed the idea for not only THIS year's quilt, but 2012 and 2013 as well!


Friday, September 2, 2011

heresy

With all the UNC football scandal, I've been reminded of one thing: I don't totally "get" football.
I think if I were in charge of a school that had a football program, the school would either a) have to cancel the sport or b) pay a lot of fines because I don't think any sport should have so many rules about off-the-court stuff that it would take at least a 3" binder to fill them.  Really people?

Granted, I think all these extra-specialized, non-job enhancing departments (one or two classes is okay, but a WHOLE department?) on things such as women's studies, gay studies, African-American studies, angry white male studies (okay, I just made that last one up), are ridiculous and a waste of tax-payers money.  They're not helping our economy nor the sense of unity in our country and therefore don't do a whole lot towards the betterment of individuals or our nation's job force. BUT, having said that, since such departments do exist, I do think the department heads should be able to hire the people WHO ARE QUALIFIED to teach the classes, regardless of any football rules.

Mr. Nyang'oro at UNC's hiring of a summer teacher who was more than qualified for the position has now cost him his position of department head (which was making an obscene salary of $159,000....REALLY?) because....get this...the man he hired had a part-time job as a sports agent. 

In my non-athletic mind, that's comparable to saying someone can't teach a class on religion because he's an attorney for the state.  There may be some valid concerns about a sports agent attempting to recruit or manipulate athletes, but the same could be said for any professor attempting to recruit or direct a student to their way of thinking or lifestyle or job field.  We don't penalize them.

I don't think we should do away with sports or football, but they should have absolutely no role or bearing in the classroom.  I think UNC and the NCAA have all shown to the world just how out of touch they are with reality. This whole fiasco goes to show how warped and misguided America's priorities truly are.  Pigskin and pads are fun to watch, but that's it...it's just fun. Let's put it where it belongs and quit making it oh so much more.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

scrappy

In the beginnings of my entrance to the world of quilting, I kept hearing/reading this saying, "If you find a piece of fabric that you REALLY like, buy a yard.  If you LOVE it, buy at least two."  I did that with a piece or two, but then started abstaining.  If I did that every time I saw fabric I liked, we would be both broke and our home would be over-run with fabric.
But this week I've thought about that saying. I'm racing a deadline to complete a quilt top (hope to post more on that by the end of the month), and there's a piece of fabric I've seen in the past that would work perfect in two of the blocks. I've been to two stores recently, and neither one of them had it. I don't remember which shop had it, if they still carry it, and don't really have the time or gas money to drive around looking for it. If I had followed the "rule", it wouldn't be an issue.
And actually, considering that our ancestors didn't buy fabric for quilts, they simply used what they had, I think it'll make this quilt a little more creative (bizarre?) if I don't have it. I'm a little nervous about this one anyway. So many times in design work the image I have in my head doesn't translate to the computer screen very well, and I'm afraid that might turn out to be the case with this quilt. With quilting that could be costly, both in terms of time and fabric.
So meanwhile, I'm still cutting and mixing fabrics, hoping everything will line up correctly in the next few days.
Onward, ho! :)