Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

I would have forgotten that this day was a once in four-year occurance, but I happened to be listening to NPR Science Friday this morning and was quite intrigued by their discussion about time. If you click on NPR Science Friday in the previous sentence it should take you there. It's about 15 minutes long - good stuff.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

There is a new update at the DAVID link at right.

BREAKING NEWS - This just in :-) David's cardiologist just called and wants to move the surgery date up to March 11. David's not home, so I'm not sure if we'll be making this switch. We've been so eager for this to hurry up and happen, but I had my mind wrapped around March 25, so I need to readjust my expectations and timing. I think this will be a really good thing if it can work. Then David's surgery will be done before Easter break, and he'll be able to do part of his recovery over a vacation time - and the boys will be home with him then. David or I will post when we hear more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bustin' Out

Spring is bustin' out all over! I've even seen robins in the yard the last two days, so I guess it's official (at least in California ;-).

Although I posted a calla lily earlier, I can't resist another - my favorite!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There is an update on DAVID.

Defiant Dutchmen

I had heard this before but wasn't sure if it was fact or fiction, but now that I've seen it in the current issue of Mental_Floss Magazine, I know it really happened this way!
When Napoleon seized the Netherlands in 1810, he demanded that all Dutchmen take last names, just as the French had done decades prior. Problem was, the Dutch had lived full and happy lives with single names, so they took absurd surnames in a show of spirited defiance. These included Naaktgeboren (born naked), Spring int Veld (jump in the field), and Piest (pisses). Sadly for their descendants, Napoleon's last-name trend stuck, and all of these remain perfectly normal Dutch names today.
Whenever I have to sign that little credit card receipt at the grocery story I am reminded of how thankful I am that the Dutchman I marred has only a 5-letter last name. I can't imagine how the Van Zwaluwenbergs and the Vlaardingerbroeks of the world handle that. I also have no idea what those names mean, but it might be interesting to find out!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Birthday Boy

Have a happy 11th birthday, Caleb!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Permanent Holiday Spirit

We put up stockings at Christmas just as many other families do, but in our family we have a natural-born "events coordinator," so it doesn't stop there. Caleb's love language is definitely the giving and receiving of gifts (which will probably make some woman very happy some day!). He has instituted the tradition of Valentine's Bags (pictured above), which work pretty much like Christmas stockings. Caleb is ALWAYS in the holiday spirit.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seasons

It feels very much like only 2 weeks ago I was still noticing trees with fall color that I was planning to take pictures of for one last look at my favorite season. Time has flown, and spring is here!And here are our new daffodils breaking through.
(Thanks to Amy and Julene :-)

One last look and good-bye to fall.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

DAVID will be posting news on his page soon!

No Time to Hate

I had no time to Hate—
Because
The Grave would hinder Me—
And Life was not so
Ample I
Could finish—Enmity—

Nor had I time to Love—
But since
Some Industry must be—
The little Toil of Love—
I thought
Be large enough for Me—

-- Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quote for Thought (12)

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick
themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."


Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Secret

Two girls discover
the secret of life
in a sudden line of
poetry.

I who don't know the
secret wrote
the line. They
told me

(through a third person)
they had found it
but not what it was
not even

what line it was. No doubt
by now, more than a week
later, they have forgotten
the secret,

the line, the name of
the poem. I love them
for finding what
I can't find,

and for loving me
for the line I wrote,
and for forgetting it
so that

a thousand times, till death
finds them, they may
discover it again, in other
lines

in other
happenings. And for
wanting to know it,
for

assuming there is
such a secret, yes,
for that
most of all.

-- Denise Levertov (1923-1997)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shepherdess of the White Night

I haven't posted a poem in a while, and this is, afterall, supposed to be "Mostly Poetry!" So a poem is far overdue!

In my current situation, the first four lines of Edna St. Vincent Millay's Nuit Blanche have come to mind. I think the imagery is great, a very nice vignette.

I am the shepherd of those sheep
That climb a wall by night,
One after one, until I sleep,
Or the black pane goes white.

I love that last line because it took a little while to dawn on me (no pun intended)! I used to think the pane going white meant that she had counted SO MANY sheep that they got all piled up so that all she could see out the window was white wool. It was only later that I realized it was night turning to day - dark to light.

Words, especially in the form of poetry are a balm to me. Being able to put a struggle - any struggle - into poetic words somehow helps - doesn't fix the struggle but makes it more bearable somehow.

See DAVID

There is a new post at DAVID's link to the right.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bumper Sticker Quote



Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Just a Thought

Just a thought . . .
. . . but if she's REALLY a psychic, why the need to advertise?
Shouldn't she know to call me?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Compositions in Grey and Green

I love how the world looks after a storm passes, the rain having made the greens more vibrant with the sky still a dark grey.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

See David's Site

I have a new update on David. His spirits, which have been so good throughout, are really low right now. The details are at the DAVID link at the right in the post entitled "vá para trás."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

No Eye Has Seen

This is a composite picture of my great-grandparents - on the left, their wedding picture - on the right, their 65th anniversary picture attempting the same pose. For a number of reasons I'm thinking about time and eternity, and those thoughts brought this picture to mind.

If I were to be handed a jumble of wedding photos and 65th anniversary photos of various couples to sort and match, I don't think I'd be able to identify this couple as being the same two people.

Time is an odd thing. We wake up every day and look in the mirror, and we don't see the change from day to day, but as days compound into years, which then compound into decades the change is profound. That's just part of being temporal creatures - beings that live inside of time and have our lives doled out to us second by second.

Earlier this week a friend and I were talking about Heaven, you see, her dear mother had just passed away Friday. Of the many things we talked about was how we would recognize people in Heaven. I only knew my great-grandparents in their old age, but their parents and grandparents only knew them in their youth. Now that they are in Heaven, outside of time, do they look like they did on the right or on the left or neither or both? Is there some spiritual quality about us aside from our looks that will allow us to recognize each other? My son asked this question years ago when my grandmother passed away, "Will I recognize her in Heaven? But if she looks old like I knew her, then how will her parents recognize her? What do we look like in Heaven?"

We don't know the answer to that question. Our being is so defined by time that we can't imagine what it will be to be outside of it. We can't imagine Heaven, but we do know Heaven will be wonderful - more wonderful even than we have the ability to imagine. As it says in
I Corinthians 2:9:

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.

To the Lucas family:
"May God comfort you at this time and bring you peace, resting in the truth of I Corinthians 2:9."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

On the Floor

I found myself on the floor watching this video - not sure whether it was more due to rolling in laughter or collapsing from exhaustion - maybe a little of both. Thanks so much for sending this on Jeff!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Never Say Never

My kids have known for a long time that they may buy pets when they grow up and move out, but that they can't have one while living here. I realize pets can be an important part of growing up - learning responsibility - being close to nature - and so on, but when I was a child, I became so attached to my pets that I could not stand the grief I experienced when they died. It was overwhelming to me. (Just to put into perspective how much I can't stand it when something dies, I get tears in my eyes when I see a dead animal on the road - any animal, whether it is somebody's pet dog or an opossum. If I find a spider in my house, I don't kill it. I catch it and release it outside. If I can't stand for a spider or opossum to die - how much more so a furry creature I've become attached to?)

Anyway, most Moms who don't want pets don't want the mess or extra work; I'll be honest and admit I don't want the grief. As an adult I have not wanted to have pets I could become attached to and then have to go through that kind of sadness again. So for their lives to date our children had not gotten to have that important developmental experience of having pets - and that was something that was just never going to happen.

Well, never is a long time. Our friends Ross and Jay recently had the boys over and played games with them while David and I had a much needed date night. While there, Caleb fell in love with their pet mice, some of whom they were trying to give away. (They'd bought 2 females, but it turned out one was pregnant when purchased!) The next morning I received an email asking if I would like two mice. I think it was the only weak moment I've ever had with regard to the pet thing. Somehow they caught me at just the right (wrong?) time, and I said "yes."

I said yes?!?!?! I said WHAT??!! Huh?!

So, now we are the proud owners of two mice - Hugin and Munin. The kids have been asking me for a couple of weeks if I've posted pictures on the blog yet - nope - so here they are. Please welcome Hugin and Munin:

I'm already attached, and mice have only a 2 to 3 year life span. :-(

Oh . . . the names . . . our friends are into Norse mythology. Hugin and Munin are the anglicized names of the ravens that sit on the shoulders of Odin, whom he sends out every day to fly over Midgard and bring him the news. The name Hugin means thought, and the name Munin means memory. Here is a beautiful statement of Odin about Thought and Memory:

From Grímnismál:

Old Norse:

Huginn ok Muninn fliúga hverian dag
iörmungrund yfir;
óomk ek of Huginn, at hann aptr ne komit,
þó siámk meirr um Muninn.

English:

The whole world wide, every day,
fly Hugin and Munin;
I worry lest Hugin should fall in flight,
yet more I fear for Munin.

Another translation reads,

Every morning the two ravens Huginn and Muninn, are loosed and fly over Midgard; I always fear that Thought may not wing his way home, but my fear for Memory is greater.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Newsworthy!!

This is my Math 20 class on the news!

video

I mentioned this in an earlier post entitled "Newsworthy??" (titled thus with question marks since I had no idea what the story was going to be when they came into my classroom with news cameras!).

The story is newsworthy! It has to do with budget cuts in higher education and the impact that is going to have on students and colleges in California. As they show my classroom they talk about how full it is - trying to illustrate how impacted classes are already. This is nothing! They should have been there on day one when nearly all of the 68 enrolled students and nearlly all of the 60 students on the wait list showed up in this room, which has seats for 80 people. It was standing room only! Students were coming up to me begging me to let them in, because they needed this class THIS semester. I added as many students as I could but had to turn many, many students away. Those that were turned away are now a semester behind (or yet another additional semester behind) on their math requirements, and they may get turned away next semester too. This is where things stand now, but this news report explains how much worse things will likely get, so it is newsworthy, impacting many lives.

That is the reason I've chosen to post, but I also thought it was kind of cool to let you see me (if ever so briefly) in my natural habitat. :-)