Monday, April 21, 2014

Good morning

Since I have come back from "back east," I find that jet lag is working in my favor, in that I am easily waking up early in the morning. The fact that it's getting lighter in the morning helps, too. We're heading into the time of year that makes atonement to us for the dark winter mornings that feel like the middle of the night.

Yesterday was Easter, Resurrection Sunday. The Lord is risen. He is risen indeed.

While I was gone, spring made advances here in Western Washington. Azaleas and rhododendrons are blooming. Trees have their sweet, tender little early leaves. Magnolias and fruit trees are blooming. Tulips are up. It's a beautiful time of year.

Soon I'll put on my dog-walking clothes and walk the dog. Then I'll get dressed for work and eat some breakfast before heading into Bellingham for a day of useful toil.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


My bunkie was glad to have me home again.

He spent the time I was away boarding at the vet's office. They know and like him there, and I know they took good care of him, but he still was ecstatically happy when I picked him up. And I was happy, too.

So far his only sign of PTSD is a tendency to lick me more than usual -- which is a lot. Oh, well. He'll soon regain what level of sanity he's capable of.

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Enjoying the comforts of home

Out and about

Well, I'm back. I've been away from home for almost two weeks. I visited my brother and his wife in Toronto, Ontario,

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and from there I drove in a rental car

to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend the Festival of Faith &Writing at my alma mater, Calvin College.

My sister was at the Festival;

she came from California, and we stayed with our aunt and uncle who live in Grand Rapids. Our aunt also attended the Festival. Then I drove back to Toronto and came home from there.

My sister wrote a blog entry about the festival and did such a fine job that I don't need to repeat her effort: Festival of Faith & Writing 2014.

I reserved an extra day of vacation after my return, so I could have one day at home relaxing, recovering from jet lag, and doing a bit of laundry and/or housework before going back to work.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Two books

I have been reading two books in the last few days, turning to one or the other as the mood strikes me. One is Life, God, and Other Small Topics: Conversations from Socrates in the City, edited by Eric Metaxas, and the other is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The Metaxas book is a collection of talks given at the "Socrates in the City" forum he organized in New York City. Each speaker's chapter includes the introduction Metaxas gave, the talk, and the questions and answers following. Chuck Colson and N.T. Wright are two of the names I could recognize right off the bat, as well as Metaxas himself whose biography of Bonhoeffer (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy) I've read.

The other is a childhood favorite that I still like to revisit. I think of it when I go to Hi Hoe Nursery in the spring because they have a secluded area called a "secret garden."

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Branches, cages, cars, and coffee

It seems like I blog on weekends. The weeks go by quickly.

In the late afternoon today, I worked more on clearing up the back yard. The branches I've been cutting off have been lying around, and I'm trying to pile them near the creek. There's so much brush and so many thick blackberry stalks that it's all quite a lot of work. I got some aerobic exercise out there.

This morning I went to the DOL (in Washington, we have a DOL: Department of Licensing; when I lived in California, it was the DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles) to renew my driver's license. Before I left, I imprisoned my dog in a cage.

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Is this the saddest picture ever?

I have to lock him up because if he has free range of the house when he's alone, he wreaks havoc (or "reeks havoc," as a student of mine once wrote in an essay). Solitude makes him insane.

In between the DOL and the yard work, I visited with my folks. We had coffee, looked at pictures, and spoke on the phone with both of my out-of-state siblings.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Today I did manage to accomplish that great deed, the taking out of garbage.

Yesterday was a good but a long busy day. I knew my afternoon would be free today, so I planned to do some yard work, weather permitting. In the morning, when I walked the dog, the weather was beautiful. Through the morning hours taken up by church and some family tasks, it clouded over, but by the time I had eaten a little lunch it was sunny and beautiful. Perfect weather for yard work.

But I felt so, so tired. I tried to whip up my energy to get out there and work, but I couldn't. So I said to myself, Why not take Sunday as a day of rest? What a concept. So I sat in my recliner and I slept for close to three hours.

I woke up slowly. I was tempted to have a cup of coffee, but I thought that would give me such a boost I might not get to sleep at a normal hour tonight, setting myself up for a difficult Monday morning. So I resisted that urge and am doing the fairly non-demanding task of sticking a few loads of laundry in the wash. I hope to have a good night's rest.

I am so glad that washing clothes is so simple and no longer involves boiling water, standing and rubbing everything up and down a washboard, dipping, twisting, wringing, and the like. It used to be one of the worst household tasks. I read that when pre-industrial women had any household money to command, the first job they would hire out was always washing clothes. Now, throw it in the washing machine, twist a dial, push a button, and go away and do something else for while. Come back, throw it in the dryer, twist a dial, push a button, and go away again. Yay for modern civilization and the comforts of a mechanized society!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Saturday morning. Today, my sister-in-law and I are going to help my mom host a "sisters-in-law tea" in honor of my mom's birthday, which was last week. It will be her sisters-in-law mainly. I need to put some things in my car and go pick a few things up from the store, but first I am having a leisurely morning.

It is chilly and overcast, but not raining, this morning. I have already walked the dog, so he is settled down. I have a lovely cup of coffee. Too cold yet to sit outside on the deck.

Since the time change, when I get home from work, I take the dog on a little walk around the back yard, and almost every afternoon I pause in the walk and saw one or two of the lower branches off trees. That is how I am getting my pruning done.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Monday. Maandag. Montag. Måndag. Lundi. Lunes. Lunedi. Dé Luain.

At 22:10:25 PDT on Monday, 17 March 2014 the waning moon's phase was 97.72% full.

I went and found a video of wolves howling, but my dog didn't like it.