Monday, December 31, 2012

The last blog post of 2012

Soon I'll head over to my folks' to spend New Year's Eve with them. I still have my year-end Mary Bennet problem in that I'd like to say something not only very sensible but downright profound but I know not how.

As I thought about it, my mind drifted to movies that incorporate New Year's. In When Harry Met Sally..., Harry and Sally finally acknowledge their mutual love at New Year's. In Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget meets Mark Darcy at a New Year's Day luncheon--the turkey curry buffet.

That's all I could think of off the top of my head. Any other suggestions?



Also, is New Year's a holiday particularly suitable to be included in romantic comedies? Are there any dramas or mysteries with New Year's in them?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Year-end pondering

At year's end, or New Year's, it seems as though one should stop and reflect on the year that is passing and consider what one hopes to accomplish in the year ahead. I find myself like Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice when her father asks her opinion:

Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.

I went to church this evening, and we had a most suitable service. We celebrated communion, and because it was an evening service it was "old style" communion—the way they always were when I was growing up. The elders handed the trays of small squares of bread to those at the ends of the pew and we took one and handed the tray to the next person. We all held our piece of bread until everyone was served and the pastor served the elders, then the pastor said, "Take, eat, remember and believe that the body of Christ was broken for the complete forgiveness of all your sins." Then we did the same with the trays of small glasses of grape juice, and the pastor said, "Take, drink, remember and believe that the blood of Christ was poured out for the complete forgiveness of your sins." They used to say "remission" rather than "forgiveness."

I have been in churches where you can choose either grape juice or wine—grape juice for those who find wine a stumbling block—but most CRCs I've been to just use juice. We are not a "dry" denomination. We do not believe that the consumption of alcohol is wrong or sinful, but I think there is a feeling that if any recovering alcoholic is in the congregation, we don't want that person either to refrain from receiving communion or take the wine but then be led by that small experience back into their old ways. I think wine is would be more correct, but I understand why we use juice instead. The only problem I have with it is if the pastor administering communion refers to it as "juice." I find that distracting. If it must be juice, it must be, but don't call attention to the substitution. Any minister can avoid the issue just by saying "the cup" without specifying what is in it. That's the wording of the biblical passages about the Last Supper and the Lord's Supper anyway.

The text for our sermon was Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, also very suitable for year-end reflection. The gist of the sermon was that good and bad things happen and we don't understand why but God is in charge. Good to remember.

Our pastor also read a list of all the deaths and births that occurred in our congregation in 2012. In my extended family, I lost two uncles this year, one in April and one just a couple days ago.  They were both good, kind, dear men, faithful and loving husbands and fathers. Tomorrow is the funeral of the uncle who just died three days ago. My cousin who is his son was blessed with a baby daughter this year, so there too we have the coming and the going: A time to be born and a time to die, as this evening's text had it. If I am granted a normal life span, say 70 or 80 years (as Psalm 90 would have it), then I am more than half-way between those two times, closer to the end than the beginning.

I once had a good Dutch Christian Reformed pastor who mentioned that in his youth they always read Psalm 90 at the New Year. I suggested that to my parents once, but my dad was not into it. He didn't care to dwell on the brevity of life while celebrating. Although that's part of what makes celebration precious. As in Keats' Ode on Melancholy:

She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die;
And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
And be among her cloudy trophies hung. 

Keats was very mindful of the brevity of life, since his brothers died of TB ("consumption") at a young age, and he himself died of it at age 26. It's actually quite amazing that he wrote so many masterpieces in such a short life.

Although I haven't actually talked to them about it, I do expect that I'll spend New Year's Eve at my parents' place with them. I ordered olie bollen, a traditional Dutch New Year's treat, and a stick of banket to bring along. My order is at the Lynden Dutch Bakery, which turns out wonderful food. It's so nice to be able to just order these treats. I would certainly never make olie bollen, which requires a deep fryer, and, although when I was younger I did make banket a couple times, I would really rather buy it than bake it. Sadly many people live in towns where you can't buy these because there is no Dutch bakery. Such deprivation.

Um

When I was driving in my car today, I thought of something to blog about. Now I can't remember what it was.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Try, try again

I've been kicking around ideas for New Year's resolutions. I may try again to establish a schedule that gives me regular, adequate hours of sleep. I've tried that before. I'm trying to remember what year I made that resolution and it just never happened. I may try again.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Not without hope

Received some expected, but sad, news tonight, of the passing of a very dear uncle.

Into your hands, Father of mercies, we commend our brother in the sure and certain hope that, together with all who have died in Christ, he will rise with him on the last day.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Yesterday

I worked today. Yesterday, Christmas Day, was a wonderful day. Here are two wonderful people.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Increasing light

Friday was winter solstice, so now, whenever it feels dark and cold, I can tell myself every day is a little longer -- there is a little more light every day.

Sleep tight

As snug as a pug in a rug.

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Iron bars a cage

I assembled the dog's new crate this morning. Last night I hauled the rather heavy box down from my car into my house.

"Step One," I said. "Get it in the house."

Then I sat on the couch.

"Step Two," I said. "Take a nap."

I slept until the wee hours, then was awake for a few hours, during which I did not assemble the crate, then slept again for some hours until slightly later than I had intended to get up.

But after walking the dog, I finally cut open the box and pulled out the crate, hoping it would not be as complicated for me as the wooden crate had been. And it wasn't. Basically, it was packaged collapsed, and you just had to unfold it and hook the pieces in a couple places.

I had bought a soft pad for the bottom. It is made for this crate but sold separately, and I put it in.

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Yesterday I had put in on the couch and put some of my dog's favorite blankets on top, hoping to make it smell familiar and good to him. When I put it in the crate, he was immediately intrigued and did go halfway in to sniff, but then he backed out again. So I got his little bed out of the broken wooden crate, brushed off the wood chips, and tossed it in. Then he went all the way in.

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When I leave the house in a little while, I'll put him in and shut the door. I hope it withstands whatever he does in my absence. If only he was calmer about it all.

In Richard Lovelace's poem, To Althea, from Prison, it says:

Stone walls do not a prison make
Nor iron bars a cage
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love
And in my soul am free
Angels alone, that soar above
Enjoy such liberty.

If only my dog could read poetry.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Pawshank Redemption

Yesterday, I left my dog at home while I went to work because I knew I had to go to court a couple times, and not just to hand some papers to my boss or to file documents in the clerk's office but to sit in the courtroom and wait for the proper time to talk to a judicial officer. I also thought I might work a short day. So I put the dog in the attractive wooden box I assembled for him this fall. He is not safe to let loose in the house while I'm gone because he does (ahem) inappropriate things.

As it happened, I ended up working a rather long day and, as I drove home, I felt compunction for what a long, sad day my dog must have had. I anticipated that when he heard me coming in the door his yipping and wild scratching at the door of his box would be even more frantic than usual.

I came in through the upstairs of my house and, when I opened the door at the top of the stairs, imagine my surprise when my dog greeted me enthusiastically on the spot.

"You got out?" I said, with displeased astonishment.

He cavorted happily.

I went downstairs and what to my wondering eyes should appear:

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"Holy. Cow." I said. He must have scratched so vigorously that he broke the wood and popped out one slat and loosened two others. Then he must have wiggled through the opening. A wooden slat lay on the floor; chips of wood were scattered around.

I was almost awed by his accomplishment. Then I felt a sense of dread. What damage would I find in the house? I walked all around my place, looking for unspeakable messes, and I found he had indeed done (ahem) inappropriate things, but not irreparable damage--except to his box.

Who would have thought this little guy could stage a violent prison break?

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I later found a package at the front door and guessed that the deliverer thereof probably rang the doorbell. Under the best of circumstances, the dog reacts to the doorbell with a high level of energy and action. After being in solitary confinement for a great many hours, I suspect the sound of the doorbell ringing was enough to send him berserk.

Today, he and I went to Petco to buy him a new crate--a metal one--which I must assemble tonight, as I can't leave him alone in the house until I'm able to secure him, and I do want to go to church tomorrow.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dropping by

It's been particularly busy at work for me. I hope to take a break starting this weekend until after New Year's. So far, we're having a rainy, mild winter. We did have a "dusting" of snow, as they call it, yesterday morning. I'm good with no snow because it makes driving to work a hassle.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Waiting for the Light

Well, I guess we're one week away from winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. I will be glad when that's past and I can tell myself the days are getting longer again. It is hard to wake up in the morning when it is still dark outside.

I believe the church chose this time of year to celebrate Christ's birth because it is symbolic of the light coming into the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A brief sort-of conversation

The phone rang tonight as I was finishing supper. I trotted from the kitchen across the family room to get it. I looked at the caller i.d. and it was a company that provides a service to my house. I wondered if my payment was late. I answered. A recording said, "Please continue to hold." I hung up. "I don't think so," said I.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Amen to that

I’ve always preferred the term “late bloomer” to “complete failure” . . .

Max Lindenmann, Diary of a Wimpy Catholic, Avoiding the Advent Trap

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent 2012



Taize: "Wait for the Lord," Jacques Berthier, 1923-1994

Chorus:

Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord, keep watch, take heart.

Descant verses:

Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make a straight path for God.
Prepare the way for the Lord.

Rejoice in the Lord always.
God is at hand.
Joy and gladness for all who seek the Lord.

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
All the earth will see the Lord.

I waited for the Lord,
My Lord and my God.

Seek first the kingdom of God.
Seek and ye shall find.

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Time and space

From "Advent Retreat" at Sacred Space:

Ignatius suggests that whatever time you allocate to your prayer, you should be faithful to it, even if you are bored or find it difficult or distracting. Many people say ‘I don’t feel I’m getting anywhere’ but you are offering God your goodwill, time and space. God does the rest, deep in your being where you cannot notice what is going on.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Little hands

This is a tale of my great-niece. Here she is with my niece, her mommy.



Every other week, my niece comes over to my house while I'm at work and does a little housework for me. I have contracted with her to do this because I tend never to get around to it, and then my house gets unacceptably dirty.

My great-niece is preschool age, and she comes with my niece. When I get home in the evening after they've been here, the cleanliness tells me my niece was here, but I find other clues revealing my great-niece's visit.

The next time I turn on my TV, for example, it's tuned in to a station that shows children's programming, and the volume is rather louder than I generally have it.

A while back, I bought this dog carrier on wheels, thinking I would need it to smuggle my dog into my workplace.



It turned out, happily, that there was no objection to my bringing my dog, so now I just walk boldly into the building with him on a leash, and this carrier stays home.

Meanwhile, back when I was in college, my mom gave me a gift of a little stuffed lamb. Perhaps I was a bit old for such a gift, but my mom doesn't see it that way.

This is what I look like about now:



This is what my mom sees when she looks at me:



So one time I came home after the housecleaning, and eventually I noticed that the little stuffed lamb was in the dog carrier. The next time I saw my great-niece she said, "I was at your house." I said, "I know, because I found a little lamb in the dog carrier." She giggled.

The last time they were here, after I was home a while, I noticed my dog was nosing around the box I got for him. He likes to sit in there sometimes.



I noticed the door was shut and latched, and I knew the little girl had found that interesting. So I opened the door for him, but noticed after a little while that he did not go in the box. So I looked more closely and realized the little stuffed lamb was in there. So I took it out to make room for him.

I'm guessing that my great-niece likes to pretend that the little white lamb is my little white(ish) dog.



It's kind of fun to find evidence of my little sweetheart's playing around my house.

And that's my story.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

One degree of separation

Beautiful sunny clear autumn day today in great state of Washington. My folks and I drove to Birch Bay to look at the water, which was a stunning blue color.

I was going to post some pictures, but I got this message from Blogger:

Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos. Upgrade storage

Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more   I will probably buy storage, if I must, but I have to think it over first.   Meanwhile, here's a link to a Facebook photo album, which includes the photos I was going to post here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh, boy, oh, boy

I made my sister laugh by telling her about my dog's reaction when I sing in the car. My dog goes to work with me, and on the commute he spends much of the time with his paws on the dashboard, snorting excitedly at pedestrians, bicyclers, and dogs.

Get your motor runnin',
Head out on the highway,
Lookin' for adventure,
And whatever comes our way.
Sometimes I sing in the car, because I'm such an irrepressibly exuberant lark. Or just because some tune drifts into my mind. The dog pays no heed. There were a couple days last week where I kept bursting into "Danny Boy." He would not pay attention as I warbled my way through the first verse:

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling,
From glen to glen and down the mountain side.
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling;
It's you, it's you must go, and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or all the valley's hushed and white with snow...

Until I got to:

It's I'll be heeeeeeeeeeeeeere in sunshine or in shadow...

I'd strain, not altogether successfully, for the note of here, and my dog would turn his head and look at me, then cock his head to one side.

Every time.

Here's how the song should sound:



But my performance is more like Beaker's:



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Boerenjongens

Tonight I tried to make boerenjongens ("farm boys"), a Dutch sweet or dessert topping consisting of raisins, sugar, and brandy. I looked online for recipes and found them from as complicated as one that involved zesting a lemon -- a thing I have never done -- to one that is basically equal parts sugar, raisins, and brandy.

I tried a combination of recipes. I measured how many cups of raisins I had, then measured that much water and that much sugar into a pan. I threw in some cinnamon and a little ground cloves. I heated and stirred till the sugar dissolved and the water started to boil. Then I put the raisins in. I had bought one box of regular (dark) raisins and one of "golden" raisins. I stirred and simmered the raisins in the sugar water for 20-25 minutes, then I spooned a few raisins at a time into a small strainer and from there into the canning jars (which I had prepared by washing and then keeping in a warm oven). The 12 small glass canning jars I had bought turned out to be the perfect size, the raisins just filled them. Then I boiled and stirred the remaining sugar water for a while to "reduce" it. I poured some into a measuring pitcher then poured in an equal amount of brandy, then poured the sugar water/brandy mixture into each jar of raisins until they were full. Then I put the lids on.

Things got a little sticky -- literally. If I happened to dribble some of that sugar water onto the stove, it was sticky to clean up, the spoons I used got sticky, and I'm fearful that when I go to take the lid off one of these jars it will be glued there by sticky syrup.

I also felt that maybe instead of mixing the sugar water with the brandy to pour into the jars, I should have just poured brandy in, to make them stronger. And I worried that the sugar water was still hot enough to evaporate the alcohol in the brandy so that the final product will not be an alcoholic treat. But, there they are. You're supposed to wait a certain amount of time to open and eat them. That time varied, too, in the recipes, from serving it the next day to waiting a minimum of three months. I plan to try one jar out around Christmas or New Year's.

I already think next year, less syrup, more brandy. But anyway, I'm sure the sugar will help them taste good.

I am a little fearful if they'll be okay. In the old days, canning gone wrong resulted in botulism. But part of me also says, How wrong can it go? It's raisins, sugar, and brandy.


So I decided not to give any jars away until I consume one and survive.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Song search

On the Veterans Day holiday (real Veterans Day 11/11 was on Sunday, but then we had Monday off from work), I was trying to find the perfect video of a patriotic song with accompanying pictures of military folks. I watched a few, then remembered I had intended to do things like laundry and other household tasks.

Sometimes when I try to find a video on youtube to express my mood, it takes so long to find one that I waste a lot of time, or go to bed late. Kind of a silly activity in a way.

But just talking about it makes me want to go look at music videos on youtube.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Season's progress

Three weeks ago, I took a picture of the maple tree in the middle of our cul-de-sac, with its autumn colors.


Today I took a picture of it denuded of leaves.


So the seasons progress through their cycle. Today looks like autumn because there are still a lot of leaves on the ground and blowing around, and not all the trees have dropped all their leaves yet. But the wind and the air temperature feel almost like winter.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For the record: Stitching

Also, I started a new pillow project today. I was able to see when I started the last one by going through this blog, so now I can see when I started the next one, which is a design of pansies.

Ta da!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Accomplished

It's just a little over two years ago that I ordered the kit and exactly two years ago that I started it, and tonight I finished it:


Tomorrow, my sister-in-law will help me sew the pillow backing to it (and by "help me" I mean "do the task herself while I watch") and I'll put in the pillow insert I bought, and it will be a finished product.

Hooray!

I had it kind of done last weekend, but when we looked at how the backing went on, my sister-in-law advised one more row of white all around the edge, so I did that this week, yesterday and today.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Favorite things

I'm hearing and seeing flocks of geese in the air this autumn. I say hearing and seeing in that order because I hear them first, then look for them in the sky.


One of the first times I heard them this fall, at first I didn't recognize the sound at first. I thought it sounded like someone's radio cutting in and out.

It also reminds me of the song in The Sound of Music, with the line "wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings." I mostly see them in the daytime, though.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

of making many books there is no end

I wrote a little while back that I was reading The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, and further that I can take Henry James only in small doses. By the time I finished Portrait of a Lady, however, I was in its grip. Even though I remembered the main story, I had forgotten some details, and I got into the tension of seeing how and when Isabel Archer would discover the secrets around her.

So I decided to give The Golden Bowl another try, and I now have gotten further in it than I ever have before. I fortunately don't know the details of how this story is going to unfold, so it's intriguing. You get to see the golden bowl of the title in an early chapter, and now I am waiting for its reappearance.

Still, these are very inward dramas. It sometimes feels like Henry James's books are all about people picking up on each other's vibes without actually saying or doing much. And he has big extended metaphors about how, for example, people or situations resemble a building. At one point a female character is dealing with a situation that is like a pagoda in a garden and she is walking around it looking for an entry, meanwhile seeing other characters looking out from within. This sort of thing goes on for paragraphs, and her attempts to penetrate the pagoda are a plot development, even though the whole thing is just a comparison in her mind, or perhaps only the narrator's mind. Another time, a male character is like a large neo-classical structure in the village green of another character's life. Fortunately, his siding is smooth, not pointy.

Really.

Still, I'm enjoying it and rooting for Maggie Verver, now married to the handsome and irresistible Italian Prince Amerigo.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Ready to fall

The days are getting shorter; therefore, the mornings are getting darker; therefore, it is getting harder for me to wake up in the morning. And it was not that easy in the first place.

Fortunately, this weekend we (finally!) get to "fall back."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hangin'

When it's dark, cold, and rainy out, it's good to come in from taking the dog for a walk and close and lock the door and know that I'm in for the evening.


My place is messy, with a plethora of chairs and an excess of coffee tables, but it's warm and light and, to me, homey -- gezellig. It's particularly soothing to be in for the night on a Friday, when tomorrow will be a leisurely morning. The dog and I can settle down to read, watch TV, or browse the internet.


Or chew a bone, as the case may be.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A touch of gold

Saturday I took a few pictures of the trees and shrubs that have gold tips and touches among the remaining green.


The big, gnarled old maple tree in the center of our cul-de-sac.


The green Japanese maple bush in front of our house. I love the lacey leaves on this one.


And this tree in our back yard -- I don't know what kind it is, but it's pretty.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Name that tune

Which reminds me of another pair of songs with the same tune. When I was in high school, I was so misguided as to buy an album by the group The Starland Vocal Band. Their only hit was a song that deserves oblivion, Afternoon Delight. However, on the album was a lovely rendition in 4-part harmony of a song called "American Tune," which, it turns out was written by Paul Simon.



I loved the tune, and shortly afterwards at a Good Friday service recognized it as "O Sacred Head Now Wounded."



Original composer J.S. Bach. It's part of his St. Matthew's Passion.

rose rose rose and love love love

For some reason tonight I remembered a round I learned somewhere. The words I learned were:

Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose
When will I see thee wed?
I will marry at thy will,
Sire, at thy will.

That was the whole thing. Somehow it always seemed romantic to me, like a medieval lady talking to the king. And the name Rose was extra romantic, because the smell of roses in boxes or drawers always feels to me like some English country house pot pourri.

I googled it and found a number of versions, none exactly like mine. Here is one with four verses, and the woman singing does a 16-part (!) round.



Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose,
Will I ever see thee wed?
I will marry at thy will,
Sire, at thy will.

Ding dong ding dong,
Wedding bells on an April morn,
Carve thy name on a moss covered stone,
On a moss covered stone.

Lay low, nobody home.
Meat nor drink nor money have I none,
Still we will be very merry,
Lay lay low.

Ding dong, ding dong,
Funeral bells on a November morn.
Rose, my Rose, is dead and gone,
Is dead and gone.

I also knew another song to the same tune, which I taught to little Sunday scholars to sing in a round:

Love, love, love, love:
Christians this is thy call.
Love thy neighbor as thyself,
For God is love.

So I googled that one, too, and didn't find exactly the version I knew, but this lovely song.



Love, love, love, love:
The gospel in a word is love.
Love your neighbor as your brother --
Love, love, love.

Peace, peace, peace, peace:
The gospel in a word is peace.
Peace that passes understanding --
Peace, peace, peace.

Joy, joy, joy, joy:
The gospel in a word is joy.
Joy that fills to overflowing --
Joy, joy, joy.

Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ:
The gospel in a word is Christ.
Love him, serve him, and adore him --
Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Worlds collide

At home, in paperback, I am (re)reading Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. Out and about, on my Kindle, I am (re)reading The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James. Both authors named Henry, but not much else in common. They are quite different reading experiences.

Fielding is a man of the 18th Century and the Enlightenment -- although still firmly grounded in Christianity -- and Tom Jones is a perfectly structured comedy, sometimes sophisticated sometimes broad and bawdy.




James a man of the 19th Century. Is he a product of Romanticism? I don't know. His style is unique, which is perhaps just as well. Somewhat rarefied and hyper-refined. He's a genius, but no one else should try to imitate him. I can only read a Henry James novel once in a great while because of the level of attention required. Thankfully, Portrait of a Lady an earlier work and not quite as "Jamesian" as some of his later stuff. I confess I've started The Golden Bowl several times but never have gotten very far.



Friday, October 12, 2012

A shot in the arm

Got a flu shot today. Last year, they gave me a Snoopy bandaid.


This year, it was Daffy Duck.



To our good health!

Inferiority complex

I have just been browsing in two eloquent blogs by people I know, Peripheral Vision, by Cathy Smith, and Stuff in the Basement, by James Schaap. Because they are my acquaintances, I want to say, "Hey, guys! I blog, too! Come read mine!" but while their blogs contain thoughtful, well-crafted essays and even complete works of fiction, mine contains "TMI" about my sinuses, sleep patterns, furniture, and food, with occasional remarks on the weather and a wealth of pictures of my flowers and my dog.

Browsing backwards to see if any of my posts are better than my recent ones (yes), I saw that in July, in an attempt to raise the level of my blogging, I made a quiz about Pride and Prejudice. That was a mild success, but then I forgot all about it and never did it again.



I'll have to make another quiz on a good topic. Meanwhile, I'll let my friends know that my blog has at least one interesting item, namely, the mention of their blogs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sneeze, cough, hack, bleah

It seems like I've been sick a lot lately. I had a sick day in August, I had a cold in February, and also last November. And I guess I didn't blog about it, but sometime in the last couple weeks I came home early from work with a bad headache.

Now it's a nasty cold. Yesterday I sneezed more than I previously thought humanly possible, and my nose ran like a river. It was gross. Today I have congested sinuses and a cough that is dreadful both to do and to hear. And I'm kind of achy. Still, I hope to make it to work tomorrow. I guess it's the mark of a good employee that your absence would be an inconvenience to your boss.

Right?

I know I'm sick because no food appeals to me. It's all tasteless, so I hardly want to bother...

I was going on about what I ate and why when it struck me that this is a rather dreary post. So here's a video that apparently went "viral" -- punny! -- this week:



Poor little dog. I think I know how he feels.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Defining terms

My dog likes to lie on top of my clothes. So when I leave my robe lying on the couch instead of hanging it up, I'm not being sloppy, I'm just being kind to animals.

No need to thank me, old friend.
The idea of defining terms reminds me of this bit of dialogue:

"Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrange with rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between the parties?"

"By all means," cried Bingley; "let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weight in the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you that, if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much deference."

It's always appropriate to quote Jane Austen.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Insidious naps

This morning I went to the morning worship at my parents' church. I was going to go to the evening worship at my own church, but overslept on my afternoon nap.

I got into my recliner with a pillow, afghan, and TV remote, fully intending to take a nap, but only of about an hour's duration. I put the Classic Arts Showcase Channel on TV, which seemed to start out with some operatic singing, and I woke up two or three hours later, at 5:55 p.m., five minutes before the evening service begins.

There is no way that at that hour I could lock my dog in his box and go away, even if I was fit to be seen myself. At that time of day he needed his dinner and, more importantly, his walk. His walk is not just for his amusement, it's for his necessary bodily functions. It must be done. So I fed and walked him and ended up spending the evening at home.

I told my dog that my recliner casts a spell over me. It lures me into a deep sleep.


The arms of Morpheus


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dog box saga complete

Well, today I got that dog box built. It took a very long time for me to get the door on. It was not complicated, but I just had to get the spring-loaded pins at the top and bottom of the door to match the holes in the box. A couple times a spring-loaded pin came popping out and rolled away, and I had to search for scattered hardware on the floor. But finally, for some reason, I was able to get it together.

To make it more attractive to my dog, I put his bed inside.


Just to see if he understood that this was his box, I told him to go inside, and he did. He wasn't thrilled about it, but he did it.


And this is what it's like with the door closed.


I have it next to the recliner so the top can also serve as a surface for a cup of coffee and the TV remote.

So that's one thing done.