Friday, July 31, 2009

Word of the Day


I came across this fabulous word while reading Jane Eyre today. Confabulate means to engage in conversation and comes from Latin: "con"="together" and "fabulari"="fable."

So, engaging in conversation is making fables together.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I've been so consumed in the house search that my brain has not latched onto any other ideas or poems or quotes to share. We put in a bid today, and now we wait. I'll try to get some pictures up later tonight, and I hope my brain will start processing things other than this after today!
Here they are:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Who is John Galt?"

"John Galt spent years looking for it. He crossed oceans, and he crossed deserts, and he went down into the forgotten mines, miles under the earth. But he found it on the top of a mountain. It took him ten years to climb that mountain. It broke every bone in his body, it tore the skin off his hands, it made him lose his home, his name, his love. But he climbed it. He found the fountain of youth, which he wanted to bring down to men. Only he never came back."

"Why didn't he?" she asked.

"Because he found that it couldn't be brought down."

from Atlas Shrugged (p. 178) by Ayn Rand

Friday, July 24, 2009

Live the Questions

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Being Hungry

The world is
not with us enough
O taste and see

the subway Bible poster said,
meaning The Lord, meaning
if anything all that lives
to the imagination’s tongue,

grief, mercy, language,
tangerine, weather, to
breathe them, bite,
savor, chew, swallow, transform

into our flesh our
deaths, crossing the street, plum, quince,
living in the orchard and being

hungry, and plucking
the fruit.
Denise Levertov (1923-1997)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Again

UPDATE 4 (7/24/09): We see this is now listed as "pending sale" on the website, so we know it is going to someone else for sure now. We saw a couple of possibles in Riverbank this week, but they weren't great enough to cause us to give up what proximity we have now to school, work, family and church (location, location, location). It feels like we're on hold - probably indefinitely.

UPDATE 3 (7/22/09): We still haven't heard FOR SURE that we've lost this house, though our realtor feels certain it is gone. We have more information - our bid is lowest of the 4 by far (though at market value) but the only conventional loan. It almost seems the highest of the bids is someone playing a game, because, for the condition of the house, that bid is outrageous. We've looked at 4 more houses AGAIN today, and the more we look the more we realize this one would suit our needs (desires?) best by far. We know God has a good plan for us - whether that is the house posted here - another house - or staying in the one we now have - small and cozy but filled with love and precious memories.

SHORTENED UPDATE 2 (7/21/09): I never have liked shopping of any kind, and house shopping is the WEIRDEST kind of shopping I've ever encountered. There were no bids Friday; our realtor felt very optimistic. As of this morning we hear there were 4 bids yesterday . . . We looked at 4 more houses today.
UPDATE (7/19/09): Our bid goes in first thing tomorrow (Monday). Then it's wait and see. We did a second walk through today. Click on "comments" at the end of the post if you're interested in how that went.
Well, we are home again (from Michigan) and we are back to LOOKING at homes again!

We had a GREAT but busy time away, and when we got home we hit the ground running again just continued to rock and roll! There've been lots of events in the few days since we've been home in addition to the house hunt. I haven't unpacked a thing from my suitcase yet!

I kind of can't believe we are taking on the possibility of moving as I look toward beginning such a new and demanding phase in my career in just over a month. It's both exciting and exhausting. We did find a house yesterday that I really fell in love with, that I think will serve our family well. We will probably be making a bid on this one Monday. If you'd like a tour, check out the following pictures!
In past years I've seen a few houses of this style and have always been intrigued by them - wondering what was up with the garage configuration - wondering what was between the one-stall garage and the house . . . . . . a closer look at the garage configuration, separate two-stall and one-stall. We hear that most people use the one-stall as a workout room. If we get this place it will be the shed and camping gear storage - although it would fit a ping-pong table nicely - hmm . . . Two views of the front of the house from inside the courtyard between the one-stall garage and the front door.An elegant (too elegant for us, but . . .) front room that we would use as a library/sitting room - with an inviting jigsaw puzzle out at all times!Formal dining, which for us would mostly be formal gaming!I can't even imagine having this much kitchen (especially since I currently have a total of 10 square feet of counter space - far less than what is on the island alone here!) We would finally be able to get our lovely wedding gifts of 22 years ago out of storage in the garage and have them available for use! I guess if we get this place I'd better develop an interest in cooking!As with any house, pictures at a distance look great, but a closer inspection reveals items that need repair.This is the family living area connected to the kitchen (which is the reason we began looking for homes in the first place - wanting to be able to interact with family and friends as we work in the kitchen).Upstairs - again, much elegance here with the high ceilings - would have made more sense to me to skip the high ceilings and have more floor space! Not that I'm complaining, but this would have made a phenomenal gaming loft instead of being empty, pretty space that's just for show. Ah well . . . I do wonder how you wash these windows and that light fixture and how you get spiderwebs down! Perhaps you just don't worry about it since they are so far away no one can see that. (Never having lived in a two-story house, I'm also currently wondering how we move our big, heavy furniture items to the upstairs. Apparently people do it . . .)This is what our realtor calls "the obligatory purple room." And it is true that nearly all 6 of the houses we looked at yesterday did have one purple bedroom. He (and we) thought that was a negative, but when we brought photos home and showed the boys, Jacob and Caleb got all excited and said they wanted the purple room - YEEHAW! - no painting needed in that room! This is California, so you look right out at the houses nearby; this is actually a decent amount of distance for this area. I say this from the perspective of just having been in Michigan. - quite a master bed/master bath (though I have to wonder who puts carpet in a bathroom?) - here too you see the proximity of houses - this one looks right down into a neighbor's yard and windows - - a view down on the backyard from the master bath (better remember the close the shades when bathing!)Not much of a back yard, but, again, this is California and decent-sized for this area. At least the trampoline will fit! That will pretty much take care of the yard space. It has a covered patio - only house we've seen with one - a plus for us who like to barbeque. It's in kinda bad shape - sagging and so on, but . . . Most homes we've looked at have had nothing but dirt in the backyard - never been landscaped, never even had grass, no cement area, no overhang - all things we would have had to put in is we purchased one of those homes, so this looks to us like an oasis.This is looking across the courtyard from the front door to the one-stall garage - not as pretty from the back as from the front, but I love the whole courtyard idea.This is the other side of the courtyard.

IF (and that's a BIG if) we get this home - or another larger than what we have now - we hope to be able to practice hospitality better than we have in the past - for friends and for family - particularly as our boys have families of their own in the future (DV) - sure would be great to be able to host holidays for the family. It will probably take us a very long time to furnish this home, but the way the market is this is certainly the time to buy, so if we get it it will probably be quite empty and bare for a good long time. One huge plus of this particular house is that it is only 2 blocks from the boys' high school. That would be quite a boon to us as my new job will make me far less able to provide transportation for them. I know I shouldn't have my heart so set on this as our bid may not be accepted, but I can't help it. :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who Am I?

Who am I? that the Lord of all the Earth
would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt?

Who am I? that the bright and morning star
would choose to light the way for my ever wondering heart?

Not because of who I am, but because what You've done
Not because of what I've done, but because of who You are

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow
a wave tossed in the ocean, vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord You catch me when I'm falling
and You've told me who I am
I am Yours

Who am I? that the eyes have seen my sin,
would look on me with love and watch me rise again?

Who am I? that the voice that calmed the sea,
would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me?

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow
a wave tossed in the ocean, vapor in the wind
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord You catch me when I'm falling
and You've told me who I am
I am Yours
Words and Music by Mark Hall

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 500th Birthday JC!

Born Jean Chauvin on July 10, 1509, John Calvin celebrated his 500th birthday today. Well, actually, we celebrated for him - a lovely little event at Calvin College. I think Calvin would have been pleased. (I'd be pleased if someone celebrated my 500th birthday in 2465!)The celebration was both serious and light. We began by singing a hymn from the Geneva Psalter (I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art). We sang acapella in unison on the first verse and harmony on the remaining three. The sound was amazing coming from a varied collection of people many of whom were sitting on the gym floor. This was followed by a video presentation depicting Calvin roaming the halls of Calvin College, having fun hitting golf balls off the roof of the science building, playing frisbee, etc. - quite a lively guy for 500!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

For Now

Whew! We are having such good times (and full, busy times) in Michigan that I haven't gotten much computer time. Here are a couple of snaps of what's up - and now - back at it!