Friday, August 29, 2014

That "in between" time


It seems we are well ensconced in that in between time.  It's no longer quite summer but it's not yet fall.  Shadows are growing longer and the temperatures fluctuate greatly.  Days in the sixties are followed by those in the nineties.  Flowers of both the summer and fall kinds grow prolifically.  Pumpkins and tomatoes continue to deepen their colors while theirs leaves fade away.  Life slows down but yet it is busy.  It's time to savor the moment without thinking too much into the future or dwelling on the past.

Life is good.

Life is.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Funny Foto #11 - Marcie the Marvelous

We were hiking in a local park a couple of weeks ago. As we came around a bend in the path we saw this tree enclosed by a fence.  I figured the fencing was there to keep the deer from munching on it.

But, apparently this tree is special.  Very special.  The plaque at its base lets you know someone thinks a lot of this Sycamore.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Fairy Tales and Castle

Over the last year or so I have gotten hooked on the TV show Castle.  Since there is nothing good to watch on television in the summer I have been catching up on all the shows that I have missed.  I have been hoarding DVDs from our local libraries and watching a show or two each evening.

The stories are entertaining and the acting is well done.  Often there is some sort of lesson to be learned by the main character, Richard Castle.  As a writer, he is interested in the victim’s “story”- why or how the person ended up in the situation that he did.  He has a childlike curiosity about anything new or different.

I recently watch an episode from the fourth season title Once Upon a Crime.  Two women are found dead, once dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the other as Snow White.  Throughout the show Castle, Beckett and other members of the detective unit discuss why people like fairy tales.  
Beckett: Oh, yeah.   They didn't sugarcoat it.   They understood that fairy tales are pretty much horror stories.

Castle: Exactly, which is why we all need them to grapple with the unknown.  Which is why they tap into our primal fears.  Like being alone in the woods, or getting eaten by monsters.

Esposito: They're not horror stories.   They're life lessons.   If you do the right thing, you get to live happily ever after.
 Near the end of the episode there's yet another discussion about fairy tales.  
Beckett: And that's why we need fairy tales, in the face of too much reality, to remind us that happy endings are still possible.
As I was watching the show I wondered if the show’s writer was a GK Chesterton fan.  A lot of what was said sounded much like one of my favorite quotes of his from TremendousTrifles
The timidity of the child or the savage is entirely reasonable; they are alarmed at this world, because this world is a very alarming place. They dislike being alone because it is verily and indeed an awful idea to be alone. Barbarians fear the unknown for the same reason that Agnostics worship it--because it is a fact. Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Really?? Thank you very much!

We hosted a big family picnic a couple of weeks ago.  I had a lot of grocery shopping to do, and among the many items I purchased were two six packs of local beer.  As the cashier came to those two items, she stopped, looked at me, and asked me for my ID.

Really?  I’m pushing the half century mark and have been “legal” for longer than I haven’t.

For about a half second I was insulted.  As I handed her my driver’s license I silently thanked God for my marvelous genes and the cashier’s poor eyesight!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wonder Doubled: Do What You Want With Me

We have a new post up at the USCCB website For Your Marriage.

I made my weekly trip to the grocery store on Saturday. Our local store has a fairly good wine department and, several times a week, they will have tastings of a number of showcased varieties. A sample now and then helps make grocery shopping a little less tedious.

I have spent time talking with the woman who works there while I sample the wine. Sue is probably in her forties and has never married. She stayed at home to take care of ailing parents and, now that they have passed away, she is alone. She would like nothing more than to meet a nice man and settle down.

You can read the whole article here.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Saying goodbye to a furry friend

Yesterday Sis called Himself to come watch Sara in the afternoon.  Their dog, Hershey, who for the last three years or so has been 15 years old, had taken a turn for the worse.  It was time to take her to the vet for the final time.

 Sis was Hershey’s third owner.  Apparently the first one abused her.  She was terrified of men, particularly those wearing hats.  The next owners, friends of Sis, took Hershey in, but with small children it just wasn't a good fit.  They asked Sis if she was interested, and the rest, as they say, was history.

With a lot of love, training, patience and time, Hershey became a good dog.  She was super smart and never met a piece of food she didn't like. 

When Sis traveled for work either my parents or Himself and I dog-sat.  It was after doing that a few times I decided I wanted my own dog.  She was Jack’s first doggy friend.  No matter how much bigger than her Jack got, she was always the boss.  They were even blessed together on the Feast of St. Francis.

Hersey was patient when we "decorated" her with Christmas ribbons and bows or tried on her new raincoat.  She didn't think too much of that fashion statement so back to the store it went!

My mom just adored that dog.  When she was sick Hershey often laid nearby keeping her company.  The first time Hershey was in the house after mom died, she trotted to where the hospital bed had been, though she had never been in the house when the bed was there.  She ran in circles and whined.  She apparently sensed something wasn't right.

She protected the new little human that invaded her space when Sara arrived two years ago.  Sara learned quickly that her doggy would scarf down any food she didn't want to eat.  Food often went flying off Sara's highchair for her furry friend!

We often called her the "energizer bunny" since she was always happy to go for a walk.  Even age and health issues didn't slow her down.

Sis and her family are going to miss their Hershey terribly.

I think we will too.  Let's just say I stopped on the way home from work yesterday to get Jack his favorite goose liver and hot dog treats.  Got to spoil him while we have him!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The things nightmares are made of

Do you ever have a bad dream that reoccurs often?  It's not so bad as to be a nightmare but it's really, really uncomfortable.

I have one in which I'm trying to leave a downtown urban area and go home.  There are several routes I can take that will get me there in similar amounts of time but one requires getting onto a bridge which is accessed by a very steep on-ramp.  Since this girl does not like high, open structures I try to avoid it.  But, in the dream I accidentally get on that ramp.  Not good!

I used to think it was one of those dreams with deep meaning, something my subconscious was trying to tell me or work out.  Now, not so much.  On my trip for work it came true!  When I drove into Portland to see the roses I had to cross the Willamette River on the Fremont Bridge.

As I started up this ramp it began to feel strangely familiar.

The further I went the more unsettling it became.

I would have driven my rental car right down that middle line if it was possible.

If I could have driven with my eyes closed at this point I would have.

The sweet relief I felt when I reached the other side was tempered by the thought that I would have to repeat the experience to get back to the hotel!

I have decided that I can never live in Portland.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Funny Foto #10 - Rolling Bones

I was on my way home from work one Monday evening when an old car passed in front of me as I waited to make a turn.  I did a double take.

This really awesome old car had a very quiet passenger!


Monday, August 4, 2014

How have you "bean"?

Thanks for asking!  I've "bean" doing well.

We have spent a lot of time in the garden this year and it shows.  We learned the hard way last year that if we let the weeds get out of control the harvest is less and it is much more difficult to get at.  We are starting to enjoy the fruits of our labor, literally.

We have one long row of beans.  The green, pole beans are in front and the yellow, wax beans are behind that.  The pole beans have a way to go before they are ready to harvest, but we have had a couple of big pickings from the wax already and I anticipate more soon.

We are eating well now and will this winter with the five pounds I have already put up.  Yum!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Plenty of parking in the im-pond lot

Usually on Saturday mornings we head to the park for a hike.  We were a little surprised at what we saw on the way there yesterday.

Given all the tire tracks on the left side of the pond, I'm sure someone had to have been doing something stupid.

A couple of times we have seen cars in the front as the pond sits at bottom of a hill at the end of a really sharp curve in the road.  But the back???

I'd love to hear the story they tell their insurance company!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

The big “but”

Our county fair is this week and I had great hopes of enjoying all its sights and sounds and smells.  Back in May they announced that the headline entertainment was going to be a fairly big name country group.  Since I like much of their music and the tickets were reasonably priced, I decided to go.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. 

But.  There’s always a ‘but’.  But, it wasn't.

When I bought the tickets we didn't have plans for our big family picnic we had this past Saturday.  We didn't know my sister would be having back surgery this last Monday.  And, I didn't know I would be spending the better part of a week on the west coast for work just prior to the big family picnic and Sis’ surgery.

All I wanted to do this week was take it easy, really very easy.  But, I had a ticket and sitting listening to music should be relaxing. 

Getting to the fairgrounds was anything but easy.  When I was just a mile away the traffic came to a screeching halt.  And did not move.  At all.

One hour and fifteen minutes later, after the concert was to start, I finally arrived.  But there was no parking.  None.

The only fair employee to be found was telling the gridlocked, stopped cars that we could go to town to park and walk back.  That would be another half hour consumed just trying to get there.  If I was lucky I might get there an hour into the concert.

But I didn't. 

I went home.  And it was relaxing and calm.


Friday, August 1, 2014

First Photo - August

July's weather was for the most part very pleasant, not too hot and not too cool.  We've had a nice amount of rain so everything is staying green and growing well.

July was crazy busy, mostly in a good way.  I am glad August has arrived.  I am hoping to slow down, enjoy the views, and munch on whatever goodness we harvest from the vegetable garden.