Plain Speaking #2

We just finished a survey of doctrines in Sunday School, wrapping up with a couple weeks on Eschatology, the study/doctrine of “end times.”

Wanting to pick my parents’ brains when they came to lunch that afternoon, I began by introducing the context and saying,”there’s two things I don’t understand–”

“You’re doing better than me,” Mom answered.

Same Question

It wasn’t long after Jay returned from his long trip that he noticed I didn’t have the toilet paper on the holder.

He made a sort of snort, carefully drawing my attention to his assembling the roll in its proper place.

“I don’t know how you get along without me,” he said in his most long-suffering voice.

I touched him before I answered, and didn’t try very hard to keep the catch out of my voice.

“I wonder the same thing every day you are gone.”

Plain Speaking #1

One advantage of being very like my mother is the opportunity to “borrow” that perfect line.

Approaching a pair of women debating something she heard one of them say, “Well, let’s ask Florie, she knows everything.”

To which my mom replied, “Florie has an opinion about everything.”

More Folktale Wisdom

A line from a story kept repeating through my mind Thursday:

“Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest your blood run cold.”

It’s from the story Mr. Fox that runs along the lines of Bluebeard but is slightly less creepy to me.

In my mind the line is a reminder of mortality; in this case of my own, very human, limitations.  I found it an effective warning and was careful not to bite off more than I could chew.

Explaining Boycott to Children

I will leave names out, but a while back my husband suggested we join the boycott of a particular business because of some issues they were supporting.

The next time my girls asked to visit the place, I told them we wouldn’t be going for a while.  They of course asked why, and this was what I came up with.

When you spend money some place, that is how the business earns the money they use.  Some of it is used to keep the business running, and some is used for whatever the owner wants to use it for.

If we give our money to (Business), the owners are going to use our money to support things we disagree with.  Things we believe are wrong.  Mother and Dad won’t use our money to support those choices, so we can’t give our money to the people who will use it in that way.

Not giving them our money, choosing to spend it elsewhere, is our way of saying we disagree.

No, I don’t know if the 4- and 5-year-old got it.  But they did start asking different questions.

Instead of saying “Can we go (there)” they’d ask, “Are they still using their money wrong?”

Natasha said more than once, “It makes me sad they use their money that way.”

Melody asked, “Can we stop and tell the people there to stop spending their money wrong?”  Which led to other talk about how the local employees shouldn’t be scolded for decisions they don’t make.

When the word came that the boycott was ended, Jay e-mailed the news from work and I mentioned it the next time we were out.

Nearly effervescing in their excitement, the girls jumped at my suggestion to go, and Natasha said, “We really should spend our money there now, because there will be other people who won’t be happy (the business) changed how they used their money, and now they won’t go there.

That convinced me she, at least, understood the concept, because she was able to turn it back around and reapply it.

Of course, it could also be a sly bid for more visits, but it was also well-reasoned, and worth admiring.

Seven Quick Takes (Vol. 3)

Again, from Jen’s idea.

~ ~ 1 ~ ~

Jay’s talking about wanting a pellet-burning stove.  I’m asking where it will go.

I’m asking for a double bed with drawers.  It will take up less room (in our little room) than the queen-sized bed (we never use all that space anyway), and let us get rid of at least one dresser.

Both changes will make more room for book cases ;)  Eventually.

~ ~ 2 ~ ~

The cast list was sent out last week, and my name was by “doting mother,” which comes just before a list of “my” seven children (a boy, three girls and my own three kids).  This might have seemed really cool, except just a couple days before Jay had fielded a call while I was out, inviting me to play “the matron.”

Leaving aside the self-image rearrangement that I looked more like a “matron” than a lady (hmmm?) the description of the role he was given created some questions that have yet to be cleared up.

  • The role was described as comic relief
    • I’ve never actually done “comic relief” before.  My humor is more about situational stuff and wordplay.  It would be a new thing to learn.
  • Am I the “doting mother” or the “matron” who’s constantly dumping her seven kids on Cinderella (highlighting her helpless plight)?
    • The compatibility of the two alludes me
  • What is the behavior of these 7 children?
    • I have yet to see a comedy where the children behave properly
    • I e-mailed the director and said I would be willing to herd 7 children, but not 7 brats (I suppose that was horrid, but it’s true.)
    • I’ve often thought that more intimidating than unruliness (and less-frequently explored, perhaps because it’s more complex) is the “perfectly behaved” children who are positively devious and make their digs by cunning rather than brute-brattyness.
      • This possibility actually creeps me out more than spiders.  Or at least as much.

~ ~ 3 ~ ~

I have my latest project (with Christmas for the deadline): dollhouse dolls.

I was so excited to see Barbara Curtis‘s post about the hugely discounted M&D dollhouse that I bought it the same day (it’s still going for under-retail now, but then it was $47.99, I think).  Local retailers ended up being out of the little dolls, so now I am in the process of making little flexible family members to live in said house.

It may even turn into an “entrepreneurial opportunity” as one owner of a sold-out shop emphatically affirmed her store would be very happy to offer locally made dolls.

(We’ll see how interested I am after I finish our own bundle)

~ ~ 4 ~ ~

I was at Barnes and Noble yesterday, considering all the delicious ways to spend a gift card, and the oddest thing happened as I cruised the section of the children’s department where I read the most.

I felt a claustrophobic tightening in my chest.  Just standing and looking at books was making me dizzy, and not in a good way.

This I’ve noticed only once before: when perusing the Lloyd Alexander section in my local library.  Dude’s got a gobzillion books out!

I can only suppose the feeling is a goulash of emotions: anticipation (someday I’ll be there), anxiety (when will that be?  When will I be done?), overwhelmed-ness (at the prolific-ness of other writers), and maybe even jealousy (at the freedom they seem to have in order to be prolific…)

I had to make myself be still and pray, waiting for God settle my mind and emotions before I could finish looking for the book I wanted that day.

Unreal, but making me again thankful I have a God who’s bigger than my emotions.

~ ~ 5 ~ ~

Once that was over I propped myself in one of the cushy chairs by their circular fireplace and worked some more on the timeline of my novel.  I had two distinct packages emerge in the process, and solved a squished-time dilemma (I’ve needed an extra day and just found where it belonged).

So, I have to give Jay’s fireplace idea some credence.  There’s a lot to be said for watching the flames.  It’s like a shower for your brain.  At least for me, having something visual and real, but inconcrete, was very useful.

~ ~ 6 ~ ~

I’ve decided I like to eat too much for weights or Pilates to be enough exercise.

Not that I eat a lot (I imagine I’ve got that under control) I just like, a lot, to eat.  And the stuff I want to eat, that I’ve been eating, has maintained me 13-lbs above my target weight (trust me when I say my target is not unrealistic, or even low, for my height).

The trick, as with all exercise, is finding something sustainable.

Free weights and Pilates are doable because I can take from books and do them in my living room.  The walking with my dog has been put on-hold because sub-zero walks are far from the motivating delight “normal” walks are.

I’ve considered a step, as I like the space requirements and exercising to music, but I’ve not taken the plunge yet.

We did see one in the same place Jay noticed a pull-up bar he wanted, so we may end up getting both together.  Maybe for a new-year’s project.

~ ~ 7 ~ ~

After looking yesterday at all three furniture stores in-town, Jay decided he wants to build the bed frame himself.

His goal is to get the main support and frame built this weekend (so we can buy a mattress and get our bed off the floor) and to design it so that a later-constructed set of drawers may be slid under it whenever they are completed.

This was the design we liked best out of what we saw, only most of these drawers were simple “friction” drawers, where you needed to drag a wooden box out of a wooden hole.

Jay knows he can do better than that, though he/we might not even have bothered, truly, if it weren’t for the exorbitant cost of new furniture.  If I’m paying over a thousand dollars for an item (we’re pushing a house-payment here!) I expect to get *exactly* what I need.

I suppose we could be considered unreasonable consumers.  But there you are: Jay will take on a project, same as me, when he knows he can do it as well, or better, then what is otherwise available.

So the bed will come before the fireplace– but I expect the next time we’ve saved some house money the fireplace will be next.

Favorite Sports’ Simile

Usually I’m rolling my eyes at the sports’ commentators similes, as the speakers are so intense and seem to think they are so original.  And aren’t.

But this I loved (in reference to Olympic badminton), maybe it’s old to someone else, but it’s new to me:

Lands like a butterfly with sore feet.

How hard is too hard?

When I asked Jay whether I should quit something because it was hard, I expected a resounding No.

His answer:

That depends on whether it is required or rewarding.  If it is neither there’s no reason to keep doing it.

This is the rocket scientist I married.

And, no, that wasn’t sarcastic.  It was something I needed very much to hear, making me revisit motivation and find new encouragement there.

I don’t know about any of you, readers, but I have this image of quitting as bad in and of itself.  I suppose it’s a cousin to the feeling bad about saying No.

Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.

–Charles Spurgeon

Sometimes I think I say no too easially, and it makes me look/feel like the “difficult” person, but other than that (though sometimes that is no small thing) I’ve never regretted saying no.

So few words and still a story!

From Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett, 14th Edition (1968)

“My men, yonder are the Hessians. They were bought for seven pounds and ten pence a man. Are you worth more? Prove it. Tonight the American flag floats from yonder hill or Molly Sparks sleeps a widow!”

— John Sparks (1728-1822), before the battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777

A Balanced Approach to “Modesty”

Terry at Ornaments of Grace has a nice post about considering our clothing choices, but not in a leagalistic manner.

I laughed out-loud and knew I had to link when I read this:

I AM NOT giving up my jeans without a direct revelation from the Lord.

For the record, my standards might be even “looser” than hers, as I don’t feel a need to wear longer shirts or other clothes that conceal my figure (such as it is). She suggests tunic-length tops as a compromise for pants-wearing folks.

Me, I’m heavily influenced by a memory of my parents (one quoting the other) saying they liked it when a woman looked like a woman. And they weren’t talking about wearing dresses all the time.

I can only echo what I know every balanced person has concluded on this topic: it is about what people see and what you project, but it’s also about what’s in your heart.