Monday, October 31, 2011

Random Monday Morning Thoughts

--When airport security has to do a full body pat-down on an 80-year-old man because his artificial hip sets off the X-ray machine, something is wrong with the priorities of our screening/security system. He was very matter of fact about it. I say that when 80-year-old men start hijacking planes, then we should check them. And not until.

--Could someone please explain to me why racing is a sport? What kind of athleticism do you have to have to drive a car? Probably makes plenty of sense to other people, but at first thought it doesn't to me.

--This morning I heard an announcer on a radio station say to a caller, "Love you! Mean it!" When we start saying "Love you" to so many people we've got to clarify the ones to whom we mean it, we're throwing that phrase around too freely.

--And finally, the following quotation was on Facebook last night. My husband liked it. I'm glad that Clemson is doing well; however, doing well does not equate to a national championship or an unbeatable team. People just talk too big, which tends to ruin the wonderful success that they are having.

"Dear Clemson fans,
As some of us have told you, all it would take was someone playing defense to stop you. I just didn't think Georgia Tech could find one. Now, can we please stop all the 'No one in the country can beat us' and "We are going to be National Champions" nonsense? You are good but not that good."

Friday, October 28, 2011

Go! Fight! Win!

At our school, students often make locker notes, particularly to inspire the athletes before big games, such as this:
Obviously, as shown below, some wag had too much time in study hall:

I saw this on the empty locker next to my colleague's room this morning, and had to snap a picture of it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"She Never Saw a Little Bear."

You'd have to have known my Aunt Marian to smile at the title of this, but many of us at her funeral yesterday, when the minister used this phrase as part of his comments, understood it well.

Aunt Marian could tell a story better than anyone I know. She didn't stretch the truth past truthfulness; she just knew exactly how to tell the details so that the story was hilarious. If she saw a bear, it wasn't just a bear, it was a "TERRIBLE-big bear," or "the biggest bear you've EVER seen." She enlivened many a gathering with her details. Her laugh was unique and infectious.

Her care and concern for others was a trademark. Her unequivocal and enveloping love for her children and grandchildren was widely known and appreciated.

I could tell many Aunt Marian stories but will limit this to two (or maybe three. . .).

When Andrew was about two months old, she and Uncle Chuck were on a trip, and detoured several hours to come see the new baby. Due to work schedules, we could only spend about half an hour together, but they made the effort and I never forgot that. Both of them oohed and aahed and made this mother very happy. The yellow afghan she brought for him that morning is still in our closet (next to the one she made for our wedding).

About eight years ago we made a trip to Illinois for a reunion and stopped to stay a night with them. She heard that ML had had a birthday the day before, and made her a cake and gave her a gift bag. That was some gift bag. It wasn't just two or three things - that bag was packed with little things that a twelve year old girl would love. ML told me on Friday that she still wears one of the hair clips that was in the gift. Aunt Marian's generosity, especially for birthdays, was well known.

But one story touches me the most about Aunt Marian. She was hugely loyal and supportive of her children in every possible way. I remember when my sister showed slides of her work at a college and radio station in the Caribbean, at an informal program there in central Illinois. One of Aunt Marian's daughters did not "get the memo," and showed up dressed more informally that the other people who attended. Afterward she said to her mom, "I guess I embarrassed you today." Without caring who was watching, Aunt Marian folded her daughter in her arms and said "Oh, no, sweetie, you could never, EVER embarrass me!"

She was the wife of the elder of a huge church. But most of all she was a wonderful Christian wife and mother. She was my aunt, and I will miss her.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Lately, we are big on morning glory muffins. They are stuffed with all kinds of things. They only have 2 1/2 cups of flour, which usually translates to about a dozen muffins, but because of all the add-ins this recipe makes two dozen. In addition to the basics, these muffins contain shredded carrots, applesauce, shredded Granny Smith apple, crushed pineapple, coconut, raisins, and pecans. Two of them, warmed, with a little peanut butter, make for a very filling breakfast. And they are good for Mike when he has to work nights. There is a fresh batch cooling in the kitchen right now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Football Interruption

There's a group of young boys, 6th-8th grade, who play a loose version of football on the front grass of our church every Sunday night before the service. I'd call them the "welcoming committee" except that they are totally focused on catching passes, not welcoming anyone. It's enjoyable to see them having such a good time, especially since they do make an attempt to stay out of people's way.

Last night as we were walking in, one of the boys, who is in my eighth grade astronomy/earth science class, stopped long enough to say "Hey! I saw Cassiopeia last night!" Then he went back to full concentration on his game.

I felt honored to be worthy of such an important interruption.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sharing Another's Thoughts

A week ago today, a fine man, one that I taught in the second year of my junior high teaching career, passed away suddenly. He left a wife and two children. I've not had much contact with him in recent years, but when he and his brother were in junior high and high school, his parents and family were very kind to me in many ways, including having me in their home several times. One of the plates in my fine china set is from them. I saw his parents just last summer at another funeral.

Another fine man, also in my classes that year, a close friend of the man who died, wrote an essay here, that is outstanding in attempting to digest such a loss.

This was a very thought-provoking part of his blog post:

"Oh yes, there is also the promise that our God is in the heavens doing whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3). And this, as much as it troubles us, was pleasing to God or He wouldn’t have done it.

"Yes, yes, He is the one who did it. And I think my friend would agree with me. Especially now.

"While that is unsettling for some, if I thought for one minute that God was up in heaven earnestly desiring to hold back the powers of death from His child, my friend, but ultimately unable to, I would never preach again. I would have nothing good to say about a God who is so loving as to not want people to die a physical death, but so impotent as to be unable to stop it. What assurance can such impotence give of a future resurrection and hope? That would be a God unworthy of the very lives we wish to preserve."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frugality Taken Too Far - Continued By a Blogging Friend

My friend Barbara, whom I knew casually in college but we have re-connected on the internet, has a great post on frugality here. She has put far more thought into the issue than I did in this post, and she has great things to say. I recommend her post.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wish They Were Little Again

I am not exactly sure where all these old double-scanned pictures are from. But they really make me miss the olden days.
The top picture is ML's first time at the ocean. She had no fear - if Mike hadn't scooped her up when she ran in the first time, she would have not stopped running. I love that pic. Sorry she is squinting in the second one, but it's still a sweet pic.

Both above pictures are of Bill, MH, ML, and Andrew, pics about four years apart.

Don't know if Andrew was maybe sick here or just resting. ML is wearing one of her dad's old T-shirts, and Kitty has gotten in on the action also. And the one above it - I could just grab both of those kids out of the pool and just hug and hug them.

Operation Christmas Child Bake Sale

My 7th graders are trying to fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The mother of one of them has gotten 100 boxes to fill! An admirable goal, so we're trying to bring things in.

So the kiddos want to have a bake sale, before and after school, to raise money. I can use the mini-bus one day and take them, with the money they make, to the Family Dollar and Big Lots stores to get things for the boxes that have not been brought in. They think this is great.

This is supposed to be my free period. (It's activity period, but they don't have choir until tomorrow.) So my room is full of seventh graders making flyers and posters to advertise their bake sale.

I sure hope they bring in some food to sell. I sure hope they've mentioned this to their mothers.

How do I get myself into these things! And if you live in the area - please stop by and buy something from my "children."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Couponing to the Extreme

Last night I watched EXTREME COUPONING for the first time.

Anyone who knows me knows I enjoy using coupons and getting good deals, especially at the grocery store. But watching these women on this show made me realize why coupons are getting scarcer and rules at stores are tightening up.

Two of the women had hundreds of ten and twenty year old coupons their mother had clipped back in the days when many did not have expiration dates. And they had a dozen or more of each of more recent ones. The store they went to had a limit to how many coupons could be doubled in one transaction. So - these women went back in the store TEN TIMES (no joke) to make ten separate transactions. They got almost a thousand dollars worth of groceries for $20.

I do not think that is a good thing. I think that is outrageous. That is abusing the system far beyond what is intended. What if everyone tried to do that! There would be no coupons for anyone because the companies would quit issuing them - neither companies nor stores could make a profit. I've seen other people who abuse coupons over the years in other ways - such as splitting a family into three booths in order to use three coupons that each state "one per party." These things are wrong. I hope and pray that I will never abuse "the system" that allows me to save money on many items.

NOTE: Here is a link to a far more in-depth post on taking frugality too far, written by my blogging friend Barbara. She makes some outstanding points.

Monday, October 3, 2011

For and Against

It bothers me, the number of my Christian friends and acquaintances, who are not only FOR one of our in-state teams, but are also AGAINST the other team in the state.

Until the two teams meet, why not root for your team, but be glad for the other team if it is having success? It is a credit to our state for either team to be known on the national scene.

I'm weary of hearing "I'm for (Clemson or Carolina) and for whichever team is playing (the opposite in-state team). I'm weary of hearing "It will be a great weekend if my team wins and the other team loses." I'm weary of hearing fans get very quiet when their own team is having trouble but the other is doing well, then "rubbing it in" when the reverse is true.

There is an unnecessary unkindness in that that is especially uncalled for in Christians. Be for your team. Root as loud as you can. And be against the other team when the two teams meet. But hope that the other team comes into the cross-state meeting with a 11-0 - or thereabouts - record! After all, that makes for a better game anyway.