Sunday, November 30, 2003

What is your literary taste?
(A post at The Native Tourist got me to thinking about this.)

As a teen, my first favorite author was Agatha Christie, followed closely by C. S. Lewis, whom I began reading when I was about 17 - the theology stuff; I thought his fairy tales were beneath me. *blush*

In my 30s I learned to love Tolkein, Austen, and Rosemary Sutcliffe, and my current favorite is Dorothy Sayers, so all in all, it appears that I have a very provincial taste in literature.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Our old advent wreath finally broke down after being used more than half a decade, so I'm making a new one. It's not quite done yet - I ran out of greenery, but it's coming along...

I used a foam wreath form, one garland of greenery (n.b. the $2.99 garland from Hobby Lobby is puny - I'm going to have to buy another one), a bunch of holly, and bunch of ivy. I cut the branches off of the garland, and cut the holly and ivy into managable sizes, then stuck everything into the wreath form. It's pretty easy to get good looking results, and only costs about $20 to make, including the candles.

We have used the devotions from Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration for 10 or 11 years now. The kids love it so much that earlier this year, when Mosey heard Mike and me talking about making a few changes in our Advent celebration, she nearly broke down crying! They love doing the same things each year.

On the first Sunday of Advent, Saturday night for us, we turn out all the lights and the children try to walk around the living room without bumping into each other or the furniture. Then Mike quotes from Isaiah 9:2 "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light," and strikes the match to light the first candle.

This year we'd like to sing more Advent hymns during the season and save the really bright Christmas hymns for the Twelve Days of Christmas, but I only a few Advent hymns. Any ideas?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The Twenty-Second Lord's Day after Trinity

LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church
in continual godliness;
that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah 58
1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward.

9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

My sentiment exactly
Thanks to Alexandra for pointing me to this jewel!

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your head.

Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how many you had before you lost or won.

Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven-or five six bundle of sticks.

Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.

Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky-or the answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again and see how it comes out this time.

If you take a number and double it and double it again and then double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.

Arithmetic is where you have to multiply-and you carry the multiplication table in your head and hope you won't lose it.

If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?

If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

Friday, November 14, 2003

Why is it...?
The things I most want to blog about the very things that get stuck at the ends of my fingers and won't come out.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Mrs. Cumbee's Botany Lesson
I found out what the mystery plant is (isn't it wonderful what a little Googling will do!). It's an Agave, which is in the amaryllis family. It is related to aloe vera, which is why it looks so much like one!

The agave can be used in many ways: different varieties provide soap, food (in the grocery stores here, I have seen blades of agave for sale - I just never associated them with this "tree"!), and fiber (the popular sisal comes from agave). The flower stalk produces a juice that, when distilled, is called tequila.

The century plant, as it is also called, has a long lifetime, though not 100 years as its name implies. Plants take from 10 to 50 years to mature and it's at this point that the bloom stalk begins to grow, and does so at a rate of up to two inches a day! After blooming, the plant dies, but new plants will grow up from the fruit it dropped.

My husband, who took the picture below, says he's pretty sure the plant is taller than I estimated. He was only able to get about 50' away from it since it's on private property, but he figured the leafy part of it was at least 4' high, which would make the whole thing 16' or more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Dr. Seuss tree

Well, that's what we call it anyway. I have no idea what it really is.

These plants are growing alongside the road about 3/4 mile south of our house and we've been watching with interest all year - they didn't have those tall parts last year - those grew up this spring. The picture doesn't reveal how impressive the things are in person. The bottom of the plant is like a huge aloe vera - it's over 3' high, and the top part must be 12' or more.

Sometimes living in west Texas is like living on another planet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Time travel
Elaienar is chatting with her friend Miwaza right now. Here in Texas it's 8:45 pm, but in Japan it's almost lunch time tomorrow!

Technology is so cool.
Carmon reveals all!
Out of her frustration and anger, Carmon has made a rebellious decision that affects not only herself, but her children, too. And probably her husband. She just didn't mention that.

The weather was still hot and everywhere I went, girls and women were dressed immodestly. Women older than me with their bellies poking out between their crop tops and their low-rise jeans. Little girls with platform shoes and provocative clothing. Tight everything and no shame. I got mad, I got frustrated, I made a statement.

Carmon is now wearing dresses every day.

Does this mean that Carmon has turned into a frumpy prairie muffin? Has she even come to the point of wearing jumpers?

"Yes, I (gasp!) have been wearing some jumpers," says Carmon. "But I said modest, not frumpy...and there is a difference."

Oh, and just in case there's any doubt, let me assure you that jumpers are not frumpy.

Sunday, November 9, 2003

WARNING! Pet Peeve Ahead
I find it supremely annoying that some Christians who refuse to celebrate Church holy days have no qualms about celebrating and promoting State holy days.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Quiz time!
Apparantly I am a classic first-born.

You are Meg March
The eldest of the four, a femine Meg takes good
care of her younger sisters and helps by being
a role model. She is ladylike, soft-hearted,
well-mannered and generous. All in all, Meg is
a typical soft woman who possesses qualities of
a housewife. Despite the soft-heartedness, Meg
is someone who is decisive and faces challenges
with courage.

Little Women-- Which Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

:: E L I N O R ::

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility!
You are practical, circumspect, and discreet.
Though you are tremendously sensible and allow
your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side
that few people often see.

Take the Quiz here!