Head Clutter

It’s been ten years since I started blogging. It’s been a month since I wrote anything here. I’ve written several things in my head, of course — which is where most of my non work-related writing takes place these days — but I haven’t come here and put it down, fingers to the keyboard, tappity-tap-tap-tap.

The thing is, my head is full and not all of it is pretty or pleasant. I could spew paragraph upon paragraph, raging about politicians who have sold out for …what? Blood money? Blackmail? Or are their hearts that hardened, to not care about the people they’re supposed to be representing?
An incompetent fool sits in the White House and tweets whatever strikes him off the top of his head (and Fox “news”), then meets with politicians and refers to other nations at “shithole” countries. The entire Republican party is at fault for making him their candidate, for not reigning him in and controlling his abusive rants. A sizeable portion of the voters in this country are also at fault for voting him and his administration into office. #Cult45 is harming this nation — hopefully not beyond repair but it’s going to be a long climb back to respectability.  A misogynist who is a serial sexual harrasser was elected to be President of the United States. He is a compulsive liar and a racist.  He was elected by wealthy people who believed he would bring them even more wealth. He was elected by people who felt marginalized and left behind in times of economic growth, who believed it when he said he’d bring the steel and coal jobs back. He was held up by white supremacy folks as being one of their own and he has proven that to be true by his words, actions, and inactions. The KKK and other groups have been emboldened by his presidency. But the group of people who voted for Number 45 and who bother me the most of all are the people who claim to follow Jesus Christ. It makes no sense at all to me as a Christian to support and excuse someone who sees forgiveness, compassion and humility as weakness, who brags about assaulting and using others, who constantly tears down others in an attempt to build himself up. And yet there have been many people who claim to be Christian — and in whose lives I have seen a desire to follow Jesus Christ — who have chosen to vote for and support this man and his administration. I’m told it’s about the judicial branch and abortion. However, I don’t see the ends justifying the means and I don’t know how to relate to people who continue to support him.

I’m angry. And sad. And frustrated.

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Careful…

jesus_is_coming_35_button

Admit it…. you laughed.

So did I.

But then I stopped, and paused to reflect.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Who’s the busiest of them all?

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Guilty as charged.

I am trying to set aside some quiet moments this season to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas, why we look for the perfect gift for someone we love.  I am trying to be intentional about Advent, this season of preparation. Today we light the “peace” candle on the Advent wreath.

Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.

In the midst of everything happening in our nation and in the world, I need the focus of Advent more than ever.   Peace be with you.

 

Dual Zone

led-christmas-lights
There are lights on the tree…

DSCN8486  UP above the fireplace
…and leaves hanging from the mantel.
Dual Holiday Fireplace decor
The fireplace decor sums up the situation.  Honestly, though, it’s okay if it takes another week or two to get all gussied up for Christmas — after all, it was just a few weeks ago that I managed to put away the final few pieces of the Christmas decor from last year!

 

 

 

 

What day is it again?

I can’t keep track of the days. “Black Friday” starts earlier each year, gearing up with sales on Wednesday or even Monday prior to Thanksgiving Day here in the United States.  I didn’t have time to shop since I had meetings and work to do on Monday, then work again on Tuesday and Wednesday. I did get to stay home Wednesday morning to do a little meal preparation; pies were baked on Wednesday night. Thursday our holiday guests arrived and we were firmly at home.

DSCN3537 and a quiet old lady whispering HUSH.

“And a quiet old lady whispering ‘Hush.’

I had thought we’d be standing in line at the big craft and fabric store early Friday morning — and for my beloved daughter-in-law and 70% off fleece and flannel, I would do such a crazy thing — but thankfully that was not on the ultimate agenda. Instead, we slept in, relaxed and then began “Small Business Saturday” one day early by shopping for a new-to-her Pfaff sewing machine in an older shopping neighborhood.  The rest of the day we spent resting, eating leftovers (hello, we had 7 pies plus a cranberry-rhubarb-apple crisp and a fruitcake from Costco), playing card games, and of course spending time with Little Foot. Goodnight Moon has been read countless times over the past few days to my delight.

DSCN3206 Small Business Saturday, starting it out right

Starting the day out right

We’ll enjoy “Small Business Saturday” at a slow pace, with fair trade coffee grown by small farmers, brewed at home and served in glazed ceramic cups from Gary Rith Pottery.  I might make a trip to one of two local shopping neighborhoods.  The little family will pack up and head home, and once the toys and high chair are put away, laundry started, and some general decluttering done, it will be time to contemplate decorating and Christmas gifts. After all, “Cyber Monday” and #GivingTuesday are coming up next, and Christmas is [less than] a month away.

 

MTM: Tracking Autumn Views

On my way to work one day last month, I was stunned by the view of fall foliage looking toward downtown.

DSCN3455 Spokane vista in autumn, north hill looking toward downtown
DSCN3460 NettletonI knew immediately where I would go the next chance I had a few free hours with my camera — and then I cleared my schedule for the next afternoon.

There are a few places around town that still have streetcar tracks visible.  This part of the West Central Neighborhood includes Doyle’s Ice Cream Parlor which I’ve blogged about before. It’s been 28 years since I lived in this neighborhood but I remembered the amazing canopy of leaves and the streetcar tracks.

DSCN3461 overcast, websizedThe sun was alternately shining through and obscured by the clouds.

DSCN3463 sunny, websized

I had to drive in circles for a while, but I found what I was looking for — before the incoming storm brought wind and rain enough to bring down the leaves.

DSCN3469 West Central streetcar tracks

 

 

 

Growing Up

DSCN3483 (2)Last weekend the oldest parts of our church building celebrated 100 years as a place of worship. (The side in which I work was built in 1926, but the sanctuary was built in 1917 after the original church building from 1888 was destroyed by fire.)  With such a celebration happening, it was a treat to have The Engineer, The Author, and Little Foot come for a visit.  All that wasn’t the reason they came for a visit, but the timing was lovely.

It had been a month since we had seen them. Little Foot is growing up so fast, and if it’s possible (I think it is), he is getting cuter every month. The second anniversary of his birth will be in just a few more weeks. This boy melts my heart.  That bear is nearly as big as he is and it is his favorite toy. He talks to Bear and gives Bear turns playing with other toys. It’s really sweet to see.

Boxes make the best toys

The box with the coffee order for work arrived at the perfect time to be a toy for the weekend.

 

DSCN3480 Websized

Look! No Christmas decorations on the mantel — it’s a miracle! (Don’t worry, they’ll return.)

This evening SuperDad and I watched Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in “The Way We Were” and then clicked on the director’s commentary. Not only does the film make more sense when you see the parts that were left on the cutting floor, but watching it allowed us to hear more of that haunting music and Barbra’s incredible voice. It’s such a story of choices. In a strange comparison of sorts, my 18-year-old baby boy is off camping by himself in the snow several hours away. He drove himself there after school in his truck, sent me a text from the nearest town and told us not to worry prior to Monday night.  He only plans to be gone two nights — there is school on Monday — but if his post-concussion syndrome (headache, lack of ability to focus) is bothering him, he wouldn’t be able to drive and would wait to come home.

DSCN3432 Senior pic 4x6 WEBSIZED

One of The Scout‘s senior pictures, taken on a day he wasn’t feeling well.

Not worry? Me? Hahahahaha… Um, no — I’ll be worrying if we haven’t heard from him by sundown on Sunday, preferably by seeing him in person at home. He’s solo hiking and snow-camping in the wilderness without cell phone reception. But what do you do? He’s a legal adult and a very responsible kid person. Still… he’ll always be my baby.
websshare SENIOR PIC, 4x6 or 2x3

Just ask the kids, they have all the answers…

1.  HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY?    

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.   
—  Alan, age 10 

No  person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.   
—  Kristen, age  10   

 2.  WHAT IS  THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?   
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.  
—   Camille, age 10  
3.  HOW CAN A  STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?   

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. 
—  Derrick, age  8   

4.  WHAT DO  YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?   
Both don’t want any more kids.    
—  Lori,  age 8   
5.  WHAT DO  MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?   

Dates are for having fun, and people  should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.   
—   Lynnette, age  8     

On  the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.  
—  Martin, age  10   

 6.  WHEN IS  IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?    

When they’re rich.   
—  Pam, age  7 

The law says you have to be 18, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.  
— Curt, age   7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.    
— Howard,  age 8   

7.    IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?   
It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.  
—  Anita, age 9
8.  HOW  WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?    
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?  
—  Kelvin, age 8   
9.  HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?    
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
—  Ricky, age  10 
I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry about some of these quotes. 

Too much, too soon

IMAG1018_BURST002

We received a few inches of snow on Sunday. It seems like a cruel trade for that extra hour of sleep. I’m currently vehicle-less while the hardworking minivan is getting winter shoes put on her feet. For the fun of mixing metaphors, I suspect she’s waiting in a long line at the farrier today — we aren’t the only ones caught off-guard.

There will be no NaBloPoMo happening here. If they scheduled it for February, then I would have a decent chance of being able to participate, but work plus family in November is simply too busy.

I’ll try to post more later this week.