Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Please read

There is a fascinating article posted, written by an atheist on why Africa needs Christianity. See the January 24 post at


I think I have found the choir's Easter music! I'm excited!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poetry Monday

Tenth Avenue North - By Your Side from the album Over And Underneath

Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching?
As if I'm not enough?
To where will you go child,
Tell me where will you run?
To where will you run?


Cause I'll be by your side
wherever you fall
In the dead of night
whenever you call
Please don't fight
these hands that are holding you

My hands are holding you
Look at these hands, at my side
They swallowed the grave,
on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life


Here at my side
wherever you fall
In the dead of night
whenever you call
Please don't fight
these hands that are holding you

My hands are holding you
And I, I love you
And I want you to know
That I, I'll love you


We Have a Bobcat

No, not the cute miniature bulldozer sort of bobcat that would help us control our property. This was the omnivore sort of bobcat, that populates a great deal of our country but is very rare to see outside of a zoo. Todd spotted it (literally, with his million-candle power flashlight) in the dark this morning, standing down by the garage. It was big, too, but definitely a bobcat, not a cougar.

In researching this newly recognised resident of our mountain, I discovered that he (too large to be a she) is likely the reason for the disappearance of three cats from our property in the last 4 years. I like snuggling with a cat, and they kept the outside mouse population in check. But we haven't replaced the last one, because I thought there was a cougar in our territory. Maybe there is - we have seen one a couple of times. But bobncats definitely eat small mammals. Well, we haven't had to deal with any skunks lately! But it's just not right to raise cougar/bobcat kibble.

And, no, before you suggest it, I detest having a catbox inside. And cats being nocturnal creatures, I can foresee being awakened in the middle of snooze. A friend of mine told me that she keeps her cats inside at night without a catbox and they are fine. But what if they didn't come in when we called? Large predator cat crunchies. On the other hand, I really like kitty snuggles and purrs, and the rodent population had exploded outside. I must give this a think.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Michael's Turn

If you had been watching me at the wrestling match today waiting for Michael's turn, you might have thought, from the way I was concentrating on playing Bejeweled on Todd's cell phone, that I was bored. Au contraire, mon frere. I was frantically trying to withstand the barrage of screaming voices from the crowd, strong young men desperately straining to physically dominate each other, and an atmosphere of intolerable testosterone density.
And I have to say, his team didn't look so good! Lots of pins for and losses to the other two teams. All I wanted was for Michael to do his best. This is his first year wrestling since 4th grade, and we hadn't been able to see him wrestle all year. So here he was, at home, second to last match in the whole shindig. He stepped up to the middle of the mat, shook hands in feigned friendliness, then a second later had grabbed the unfortunate young opponent and turned him on his head. His legs were kicking up in the air! (Too bad I didn't get a picture of that.) After the referee explained to Michael and his coach why he wasn't allowed to do that (something about a full Nelson...) the match resumed.
Michael is in the blue uniform, which is called something I can't remember just now. The pictures tell the tale of the match. Michael won overwhelmingly on points, but he also pinned his opponent! Well done, young man!

Now, anyone who asks me will hear my opinion of wrestling. Okay, so you didn't ask but I'll share anyway. I think that wrestling is the hardest sport for a mother to watch and the best sport for young men to participate. In. It teaches the timid to be brave, the meek to understand physical contact, the weak to strengthen their muscles, the brainy to discover their brawn and loners to become part of a team while still competing individually.
Obviously, it's not going to be a sport in which everyone excels, but it's really worth a season's try. If the mother can stand it. (Shudder.) Keep a video game handy. Or a very good book. Earplugs would be good. Perfume.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Poetry Tuesday

Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

-Pablo Neruda

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tyler's Honor Choir

Tyler had a wonderful and successful experience at State Honor Choir! Thank you to everyone who talked to the Lord on his behalf. I'm sure he grew tremendously as a person and performer as well as a vocalist. He had to: stand up for what was right (didn't let his roommates sneak a girl into the room), learn choreography for the first time (impressive!) and survive in an environment of hundreds of people, none of whom he knew, all doing different things.

There he is before the concert, sitting on the back riser with his hands folded, patiently and calmly waiting.
Ah, there he saw mom and gave me a very sweet smile. Sweet, but cool, of course.

The Choir Director was Elena Sharkova, a most impressive and vivacious woman. If you google her, you'll be impressed too. What a great thing that these kids were able to sit under her direction and learn from a real master. And she was funny!
Tyler is all ready to go again next year, but his choir teacher says he'll need a a taped audition for High School. Maybe it's time for voice lessons...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tyler's Honor Choir and Prayer Request

Tomorrow I take Tyler north to Eugene for his experience at State Honor Choir! It's interesting parenting an Asperger's child. He has these amazing musical abilities, and I'm thrilled that he was chosen for this honor (sic). But - there will be no one there who knows him, who knows what to do if he gets frustrated or loud. Or gets lost in space (figuratively, most of the time). So the plan (after much prayer, thought and discussion with Todd) is for me to take him up early and try to speak with the folks who will be supervising this huge group of Middle Schoolers (a shudder actually just ran through me!) and try to explain Aspergers in words of one syllable about a young man who looks perfectly normal, and try not to come off as simply an over-protective mother.

If I am confident that someone responsible understands the situation, I will leave him in their care and trust them, Tyler and God with his safe-keeping. This is a 2-day event, by the way, and so he will have to maneuver sleeping in a hotel room and remember to take his pills (which, although naturopathic, really make a significant difference in his ability to relate successfully to the world around him). He will have Todd's cell phone for emergencies, and I can be up there in an hour. Pris and I plan to attend his performance Friday evening, and hopefully everything will go smoothly and he will have had an enriching and satisfying experience.

Still, if you think of him, would you please pray for him? And me. I'm a little anxious.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Poetry Friday

Dream Variations

To fling my arms wide

In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me-
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening...
A tall, slim tree...
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.

Langston Hughes

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Christmas Choir on YouTube!

I hope you can take 9 or 10 minutes to listen to our 3 songs from Christmas weekend. We just had a marvelous time!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Eve

How's that for a buffet table? Chowder and sandwich fixin's along with snacks and condiments.

You won't catch Todd letting me put his picture on the web often, so look quick! This picture may self-destruct in 5-4-3...


This was a while ago. The weather has been rainy rather than snowy for about a week.
But it was serious for awhile!
Annie wasn't too sure where to piddle!
This rainbow was just disappearing as Todd called me to look.
See, I really prefer green to black and white!