how do they do that?

This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the
Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of
Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines
components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of
Bancroft, Iowa, yes farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment,
calibration, and tuning before filming this video, but as you can see it was WELL
worth the effort. It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at
the University of Iowa and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian Institute.

I don't know how lots and lots of things are done. I don't know how my car works, or my computer goes where I think I want to go. I don't understand how music moves one and not the other and I don't understand what dreams mean.

There is so much I don't know yet I go on. It doesn't seem to affect my daily life. Once in a while, the not knowing takes me down for a bit but rebound is usually pretty close and available.

I don't understand how we are still looking at any AI people other than Danny...and Adam. Not everything is deep but the passion is always there.

Tomorrow is April 1. April Fools Day, tradionally the day one plays tricks on another. This is circulating around the news - not sure what to make of it but just spreading the news. I don't know how someone can affect all this many computers but they can and have...

What is Conficker.c and what do analysts fear it may do?

Conficker.c is a worm, a malicious program thought to have already infected between 5 million and 10 million computers.

Those infections haven't spawned many symptoms, but on April 1 a master computer is scheduled to gain control of these zombie machines, said Don DeBolt, director of threat research for CA, a New York-based IT and software company.

Don't know if it will materialize tomorrow but I am posting this earlier, just in case. If you are reading it, you are proably safe. I wouldn't usually be the voice of doom but after my crash a few weeks ago on just an update, I will watch the news in the morning before booting up. Especially because I really don't know to fix my computer if it crashes. See ya April 2!


A couple of friends of mine spent spring break in San Francisco on a mission trip with their teenagers. This is not the first time I have had second-hand knowledge of this trip, several others have done this before. This trip is not about sight seeing, it is about working with the homeless. taking meals to those who are having a life experience with AIDS and kids living in conditions that are familiar to some of us.

As I thought about them during the week they were gone, there were many prayers for safety. There had been some incidents in the past that could have had some bad consequences and they did bring home a memory that will stay with them for the rest of their lives but they came home, safe and sound.

I will not mince words - I am not sure that taking kids into these kind of environments is what we should be doing. 20 years ago, I had few reservations about letting my girl travel to Mexico to help build mud churches - my whole philosopy has changed since then and so has Mexico.

But my friend said something yesterday that stayed with me. As she told me Stories of visiting with homeless men, I literally got goosebumps. I am fairly sure, I could not do this kind of work. She said she thought about me and said something about my radar being more sensitive. I think she is very right. Our life experiences are ours for a reason. We may not all be able to do the same thing but we can do Something. I remember people saying they could never do Hospice and I got an A during training when we took a field trip to the funeral home. I loved working with Hospice - may do it again someday. What a honor it is to be a part of someone's Life during a difficult time in their lives. You really aren't doing that much but to them, it feels like everything.

I am in awe of my friends's and what they did last week. I am so glad that we do not share the same radar. They may not have changed one life but that wasn't their goal. The goal was to show up. I think that is always the goal. Just to show up. When God show you Something, when you start picking up signals on your radar, all you have to do is show up. Nothing more, nothing less. That is the real mission, that's where it's at and that is all you really have to do...

If today could speak to you, what would it be saying?

I am going to go out on a limb and say, I would stop and listen to the violinist. I wouldn't know he was the famous Joshua Bell - all I would know is that I need to stand still in this Moment.

This isn't because I am smarter or more culturally advanced - it is because being a student of Living in the Moment, has to pay off at some time. Learning to stop....... is not a talent given to a few precious souls. It takes training and lots of it and there is the expectation that you are going to forget and fail... often. It takes dedication, action, seeing the value and practice, practice, practice. Pastor Pete talked about being disappointed last week. There is another D word that I dislike so much. Deserve, not disappoint.

IMHO...I am not even going to look up the official definition in the dictionary - this is mine and the one I am going to use.

Disappoint - an situation/experience that carriers with it an expected lowest common denominator outcome that never materializes and the resulting feeling, left behind by said situation/experience.

I don't think we should ever be disappointed. Mad, angry, or any other passionate response - yes but disappointed, never. It doesn't makes sense to expect a minimial outcome to anything. Sometimes we get way more than we ask for and somethimes we are left there to stand...and move along. And sometimes the answer is NO.

Instead of expending any energy being disappointed - be in training and practice, practice, practice. Train to live in the Moment. It doesn't matter what those around are or are not doing. You will find the Disappoiment Train leaving your station, and your day will have a new beginning...

conversations over Spring Break...

discussion while watching Calliou...
Morgan - It's not fun being a kid everyday.
nana - Really?
Morgan - It's hard work.

Frappuccinos at Moxie Java...
Gage - I am going to grow my bangs long, buy a electric harmonica (not sure there is such a thing), a electric piano, drums and I am going to sing.
nana - What are you going to sing?
Gage - Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that you're my God.
nana joins in. a duet at the coffee shop, you should have been there.

Uno at Flying M.
nana - No One leaves until I win - 3 out of 5 or more if needed.
Keaton - with a big grin, sounds great to me.

There were many more that I can't share, Mostly having to do with bodily functions or if you are a girl, getting AWAY from said bodily functions. (Miss M on sleepover placement - I don't want to sleep by Keaton because he farts and it "mells")

You learn alot when you go one on one which I try to do often. Everyone gets their own time and attention and that makes the times we are all together, better for all.

We ending the week with an art project that was pure genius. Inspired by an episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, they each got a 12x24 canvas. paint, brushes, newspaper,tin foil, coffee filters and plastic forks and made their own work of art. They are beautiful and my set is next. It was a great success.

While the art will live on forever, the conversations are what will flee and I am trying to hold on too. I know firsthand that words can hurt but they can also heal. Those said in anger when you are mad at your brother and have to share a room with him anyway or those said in fun when everyone is trying to tell you about Monsters VS Aliens, at the same time. We are all busy but listen to these little snips that come your way, grab some paper and write them down. You won't be sorry...

If today could speak to you, what would it be saying?

I am going to go out on a limb and say, I would stop and listen to the violinist. I wouldn't know he was the famous Joshua Bell - all I would know is that I need to stand still in this Moment.

This isn't because I am smarter or more culturally advanced - it is because being a student of Living in the Moment, has to pay off at some time. Learning to stop....... is not a talent given to a few precious souls. It takes training and lots of it and there is the expectation that you are going to forget and fail... often. It takes dedication, action, seeing the value and practice, practice, practice. Pastor Pete talked about being disappointed last week. There is another D word that I dislike so much. Deserve, not disappoint.

IMHO...I am not even going to look up the official definition in the dictionary - this is mine and the one I am going to use.

Disappoint - an situation/experience that carriers with it an expected lowest common denominator outcome that never materializes and the resulting feeling, left behind by said situation/experience.

I don't think we should ever be disappointed. Mad, angry, or any other passionate response - yes but disappointed, never. It doesn't makes sense to expect a minimial outcome to anything. Sometimes we get way more than we ask for and somethimes we are left there to stand...and move along. And sometimes the answer is NO.

Instead of expending any energy being disappointed - be in training and practice, practice, practice. Train to live in the Moment. It doesn't matter what those around are or are not doing. You will find the Disappoiment Train leaving your station, and your day will have a new beginning...

what a day...

PS. AS of 4 hours ago, the news on Stellan was he is holding his own after a long, hard day of little ups and some bad downs. Still no official word on the Future.

I spent a few afternoon hours at our local tattoo parlor today. I was so excited, to see the Process and just be in this unfamiliar territory. As I watched my friend get her Mermaid on, I just clicked away and was looking forward to some great shots. What I didn't know until a few hours ago is that my camera malfunctioned and I have no decent pictures. It makes me sick to my stomach. I reset the camera and everything seems to be working now - we will see tomorrow. For now, I have my memories and hopefully, can make it up to my friend, somehow.

Also on our third sleepover of the week and for the last 6 hours, have been buried deep in everything Gage. He is the one who keeps us on our toes and makes these night so much fun. Rarely crashing until midnite, he just fell asleep as he was watching The Clone Wars, - hardly anything that would make me sleepy but perfect for him. We will meet up with the rest of the fam tomorrow at Boondocks and play ourselves silly. A great way to wind down Spring Break. Doesn't take much to make us happy - please, just no more snow.

Heartbreak comes in many different sizes and colors. There were definitely some low points today but there were some great Moments. We take them all and count our blessings - that is all we can do. Try again tomorrow and forgive what is done. I pray that Stellan has a good night and that my friend forgives me. My mind is empty but my heart is full and that is a great way to end a week...


Stellan, his mom Jennifer have not been far from my thoughts, prayers and heart for the last few days. If you can, please say a prayer for Stellan and his family today. Sweet Jesus, be near...

holding hands...

It mostly doesn't matter who it is... just the visual of a couple holding hands, makes most of us smile. Even more so if you know the back Story. This one is about a brother who spent the night at a sleepover and a little sister who missed him...she even had a good cry the night he was gone, she missed him so much.

As comforting and warm as this story sounds, within a few hours when he was trying to give her a kiss, she was belting him. She no longer wanted much to do with him. I didn't realize that when she is sitting on her nana's lap, NO ONE can touch her...even the brother she had cried for the night before. All bets are off and you better stay out of her way.

Most who hold hands know this dance. Holding hands is just for a Moment in time. It was never meant to be a constant. Those who make it so are missing the true meaning that can only come from using the HH moment sparingly. It is a time to just remind the other person how special they are and how much you care. It is not meant to be a verb, just an adjective. When you start mixing up verbs and adjectives, you have a whole other problem on your hands.

Sometimes when you over do things, they lose their meaning. A little bit goes a long way, like perfume and wasabi sauce.

As these two cruised the candy store, he guided her all around so she could make her choice. He really is a gentleman, when she lets him. She really is a little lady, until he gets too close in her face. Like all love, it never runs smooth but we all do what we can...

dear Body,

I couldn't help but think about you last night as I was taking a bath and accepting what I was seeing. If you are a bath-taker, you know what I mean. If you don't, that Moment when you see all you really are - is the reason you are a shower person.

...but in the middle of all this, it occurred to me that I have never said Thank You to this body of mine for it has done for me despite my lack of care for its needs. It just seemed like a good time to express my sincere gratitude for all it has done and will continue to do.

I was reminded of the number of phank you's I hear from my grandbabies for everything from a coke to a Ghostbusters t-shirt to a sleepover. Sometimes those phank you's are accompanied with a hug and a kiss. They are honestly thankful for all that is done for them - it is written all over their little faces. It is that kind of thankfulness I had in mind when I was thanking my body.

When I think what I have put it through and ask it to put up with daily, I am somewhat ashamed. Like expecting your car to run for a million miles with doing nothing more than putting the key in the ignition, over and over - many times every day. It was just one of those Moments that come from nowhere and you just need to pay attention to while it is happening. I didn't make any deathbed promises to change my evil ways but I did think I need to say phank you, more often - for all you do, for all you put up with and for giving me the best that you've got. From the bottom of my heart, and with a hug and a kiss, phank you...

March 20...

was only the first day of Spring but at least in our little world, a bit more. We started the morning by enrolling Miss M in PreK. She will be reprising the Smith role with Miss Brandi and Miss Shelli at Gage's old school. As we walked in the school on Friday, both Miss B and Miss S grabbed all of us and hugged us tight. Miss M is so excited and we are giddy. It will be a great time and Miss M will most certainly make it her own. Miss Brandi really misses Gage, as most women do but looks like they will still be able to see each other, once in a while.

We continued our morning with Miss M's playgroup at Mc Dee's. The kids got to run and play and except for Morgan, probably took good naps for their mommies. A quick grocery shopping trip before we picked Keaton up from early release, took the rest of our time.

Keaton got in the car and yelled, We got to watch channel 7 at six tonight!!!! and he proceeded to tell us about his morning. One of the kids in his class didn't know it but would be surprised by the return of his dad who had been in Iraq for the last 15 months. Keaton said, B cried when he saw his dad, the teacher cried and so did Keaton. They all got to ask the dad questions and then they all went home with an military goody bag - when you are 9, it just doesn't get any better.

On the way to Sonic, we discussed how hard it would be to have their daddy gone and not see him for two Christmas's. We counted our blessings right there and then. B was going to get to spend spring break with his dad and Keaton thought that was just cool.

Looks like Spring Break is off to a great start. We are having a Keaton sleepover at nana's tonight, then an American Idol sleepover at their house on Tuesday. Will pick up Gage Wednesday night for another sleepover and finish with a Miss M one later in the week. There is a trip to Powell's Candy store and Wahooz too. Looks like we have a Plan and while we are living ours, we will be thinking about B and his dad - hope their week is super...

that kind of day...

A quick trip to Costco today for ah...toilet paper was the inspiration to gather my babes for a quick photo. It was the perfect end to a interesting day.

I had spent a few hours this morning watching the AIG CEO, Edward Libby be questioned by Congress. We have all heard and been disgusted by those who have run our economy into the ground. The news this past weekend that AIG was using 165 million dollars to pay out retention bonuses just added to the madness. The 165m was to be split up between 418 people. 73 people would received over a million each, 4 got over 4 million. 11 no longer worked for AIG but got the bonuses anyway.

The more the Ceo was grilled, the more the information became unbelievable. Bonuses are traditionally based on a company's profitability but one of the senators had a copy on a contract that stated on page 10 that bonuses would be paid regardless of the company's losses. Hard to imagine being able to write your own terms but probably harder to imagine having your name being published as receiving one of these bonuses and having to face your neighbors. Mr Libby also told Congress that he asked everyone who received over $100,000 to give 1/2 of it back. No one in the room was impressed. The government is talking about taxing the bonuses back to the people who own 80% of AIG - you and me.

It was a fascinating study in human nature and the ability to defend your beliefs without having a clue as to how hollow they sound. I couldn't do it. I couldn't begin to explain now to take greed and make it palpable to a nation who is hurting like ours. As the sparks flew back and forth, I thought about the people I know who have lost jobs, houses and their 401K's. We all know life isn't fair but somedays it strikes home more than others.

I didn't put my day and the photo together until later today and then it made me smile. After wanting to cry earlier, it balanced out what I had been feeling all day. While we will never understand how things can get so screwed up, we do understand that they do and often. This won't be the last scandal because we all know, we are capable of so much more... and worse.

Cain and Abel.
King David.

Craig Scott whose sister, Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the April 1999 Columbine shooting was in town tonight to speak about Rachel's Challenge. He talked about his sister and how they had fought that fateful morning and how he didn't get to say sorry. After letting her out of the car at school, the next time he saw her was in a casket. He talks these days of being kind to one another and how one person can make a difference. It was a great way to end the day. A wave of emotions that will end with prayers for all of us, and that tomorrow. God willing, we have a chance to try again...

the human in all of us...

While turning on the news on any given day is a crap shoot at best, when you can look at life (and people )in a true, corrected perspective, it is a good day. This reoccurring phenomena on Jay Leno never ceases to amaze and scare me. It makes so many other things in life makes sense and helps me to put my expectations where they need to be to.

We are human and that means we can't understand or explain everything. We were never meant to. If you can help someone along the Way, great but if you think that all is gold that runs thru your head, step back and get some perspective. While I am always surprised when I watch Battle of the All Stars, it is only because it brings a sense of familarity.

Give yourself or someone else a break today. I imagine that in our own particular lives, we could also stand in these guys shoes. I have heard some things that were spoken as the gospel truth that couldn't be more off the mark. This is also why we can never say, we have arrived. It's not treu - we have so far to go...

the furious love of God...

Went to church with the kids on Sunday and the best part was Miss M wanting to have her picture taken in their very lovely bathroom. Not sure what her deal was but nana was more than happy to oblige her. There are very few times in a girl's life when she wants here picture taken, when she feels good enough about herself to have it documented so I say, go for it - no matter where or when.

Church was fine. Ok, maybe not that fine. Everyone in our family showed up so we took up the whole back row except for the end seat, right next to mine. Thinking that is wasn't necessary to put my purse and our collective coats on the chair because who would even want to sit there...except Karl, that's who. DD immediately had her DH move down to the extra seat by him. She know her mama. The seat next to me is never open to strangers, never. Issues and this one is mine. So the morning started off bad and then a few statements before and during the sermon hit me wrong. Nothing outstanding just the same church jargon - you would think we could learn to say something different. Still trying to figure out if something the pastor said is biblically correct or just his opinion.

Woke up yesterday and this stinky cold is coming back. Feel asleep early and then couldn't sleep. I wanted to finish the book I was reading so I could pass it to my friend who is heading out of town. The cover flap marked the place where I had stopped reading the night before and I picked it on pg 24 and read these words.

How is it then that we've come to imagine that Christianity consists primarily in what we do for God? How has this come to be the good news of Jesus? Is the kingdom that He proclaimed to be nothing more than a community of men and women who go to church on Sunday, take an annual spiritual retreat, read their bibles every now and then, vigorously oppose abortion, don't watch x-rated movies, never use vulgar language, smile a lot, hold doors open for people, root for the favorite team and get along with everybody? Is that why Jesus went through the bleak and bloody horror of Calvary? Is that why He emerged in shattering glory from the tomb? Is that why He poured out His Holy Spirit on the church? To make nicer men and women with better morals? The gospel is absur and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died and rose again with but no other purpose in mind: to make new creations.

I am only here for the furious love of God - nothing else. Brennan Manning reminded me once again, of the what I know to be true.

...the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness and extravagant, furious love. This, my friends, is what it really means to be a Christian. Our religion never begins with what we do for God. It always starts with what God has done for us, the great and wondrous things that God dreamed of and achieved for us in Christ Jesus

This furious love of God will allow me to walk back into church, any church and do the best I can. One of the things that hit me so wrong last Sunday was the same stale call to come and make friends at church. I have enough friends, thank you, not interested in any more. Then I remind myself that my best friends, each and every one either came directly from a face to face at a church or thru a church friend. Every single one. The church is no match for the furious, wonderful love of Jesus but because of that love, I will go back - again and again...

the stocks and bonds of life...

Wish I could have seen the big Twitter thing coming - would have moved my 401K money over there. They have experienced a 900% increase in the last year. I am lost when trying to figure out where to put our money these days. It is not even about making money, just not losing it every day.

Speaking of losing everyday, there is more debate about the downfall of the newspaper. Colorado closed the doors on their 150 year old paper and many more are following suit. I talked about this last year when I applied to be on the editorial board of the local newspaper. I was a bit upset that I wasn't pick but less than a week later my FIL passed away and a few weeks after that I was doing very glad that I didn't have that weekly commitment. This year, I am glad for different reasons.

In an interview conducted by a local TV channel, the newspaper admits to a combination of the economy and change in technology for the newspapers woes. I think they are being a bit shortsighted - the economy will get better but no one is going back to the caveman way of getting our news. That ship has sailed and it is only going one direction. The news I read in the paper at 630AM was the news I read on the internet at 630AM Saturday and Sunday. I read nothing I didn't already know. If it wasn't for DH, I would be keeping my $130/year and invest it elsewhere. It doesn't make sense to invest in a for sure, unsure thing. If you close to retirement age, like we are - you probably aren't putting lots of money in 401K right now. If you are 30, you would be wise to put all you can in your account. You have the time to wait it out and there is potential for a large gain. If I were to throw everything in the pot, that would be a very unwise and perhaps, end with tragic financial results.

Sorry, Newspaper, it is your turn to die a natural death. No bailout or TARP funds can save you now. You are a victim of a much bigger monster - one you can't fight and have no way of winning. Your readers are a dying breed and the new generation just isn't interested in you - they have gone a completely different way and you can't compete on their level. As your generation of readers, the 60-80 year old's die off, so will you. Just like the dinosaurs, you have run your course. On behalf of those who have read and used the paper for years, thank you but the closing bell has rung, your stock now worth less than a penny a share and your investors have all scattered. Enjoy the rest of your days - Hakuna Matata.

PS Not trying to be snarky - maybe Little River Band's, Cool Change would be a better fit but the idea is the same. Just read today where the Seattle paper is going to the web only. It is a new world, we will all need to make changes, like it or not.

on the right track...

I preface this post by saying that life is good for me right now. Very good. While I believe that you learn more in hard times, the good times give you time and space to think about When happens. I rehearse different events that have not happened yet in my life every week. There is a part of me that says I will not be completely caught off guard and it just isn't in my nature, not to think about them.

One of the things I think about is will my beliefs about God hold up? when the time comes. I want to tell you with absolute certainty that they will. I do believe that I am prepared as well as I can be for today. If I am able to get to the Big Picture and focus there, I will be ok. I can't do anything about tomorrow and its issues. Tomorrow comes more insight and isn't here yet so no use in speculating about it. Tomorrow comes with its own circumstances and journey.

Of all the scenarios I have imagined, I come out at the end of while the present is at times, somewhat rough. It is not all pretty, smooth or am I proud of my actions. Except for the one where a man tries to steal my babies at a store and I jump them and hold them down until the police arrive. There is some bad stuff that goes on before their help arrives but it is my Story and that is just the way it is. All I can say is after telling my husband the Story, he felt bad for the person in my custody and hope he lives.

The truth is on any given day, I may or may not be on the right track. I will never really know until I get to the end of my destination. It doesn't matter if you are on the right track, that is never the focus but what the journey is like as you go down the track. Again, I am coming from a Happy Place but I've got to hope that I have learned something, along the way...

Beryl and Tourmaline...

Reviewed with Bob and Tom yesterday the icons for celebrating wedding anniversaries. I remembered that the traditional one calls for paper, the modern version is defined by clocks - knowing most men, this would seem to be a slam dunk if they can remember the date of your special day and I know there are men that always do. The others say those guys ruin it for the rest of them.

Both camps go thru the years and do have some similarities but also have generational twists. Year 4 traditionally calls for fruit and flower but the new version, appliances. I remember appliances was a dirty word when it came to anniversaries - one worthy of being shot at. The average marriage now lasts 7.2 years. Bronze/pottery and linen/lace are the gift of choice for Year 8. Yesterday it was suggested that if you make it that long, both choices should be changed to new home. I wholeheartedly agree.

As you march and get down to my territory, 38 years in November, you are in for a big surprise. After 15 years, the traditional list is only active every 5 years. The modern version has wisely decided to stick with the yearly plan if only to save itself and fill in all the blanks. Traditionally, 35 years will get you Coral (move on, nothing to see here)and 40 will get you Ruby, which I suggest is the color of Disney World but back to 38. the modern way. I can take the next 8 months to anticipate Beryl and Tourmaline - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! I am worthy of Aluminum Silicate and Sodium Aluminum Borosilicate. I truly don't know what to say - totally speechless at this point. Where does one start? Would love to get a hold of the guy (there can be no question here) who came up with this fine gift idea.

So there you go, something to look forward too. I am pretty sure I can swing this to my advantage yet as of now, nothing Disney-related. This picture was taken on our 25th anniversary, the good old days of silver and silver. Ah, those were the days. When a girl didn't have to use Google and a pen to figure out what her man was going to get her for their special day.

PS. Miss C, 28 will get a modern woman orchids... Congrats my friend!


I am not by nature, a giddy person. I am drawn to giddiness by certain life experiences of which I am not privy to until necessary, then it is...uncontrollable.

Giddy ( gid/e)
1. affected by vertigo, dizzy.
2. frivolous and lighthearted.
3. possessed by a diving being.

Didn't see that third definition coming. When I think back to the things in life that have made me what I consider giddy, they are as varied in nature as nature itself.

James and Julia wedding dance - The Time of My Life.
Seeing my daughter and grandchildren right after they were born.
Diet Coke and chocolate chips cookies for breakfast.

The List goes on and on and would probably make no sense at some point. When I accepted God after years of rejecting Him, I was giddy. I was also giddy when I got a pair of black plastic gloves from Miss M a few weeks ago. The thing is, you never know. You never know for a reason. We aren't meant to know everything, good or bad, until we need to. Not one who likes surprises, I am learning that in either direction, it is ok to wait until it comes. Today, just being able to breathe made me giddy and it lasted all day. In fact, it is still on. That is what moved me to head over to You Tube and watch James and Julia's dance, one more time. Put the earphones on and cranked it up. The look on their faces and their friends just made me grin. So did Bakerella and Pioneer Woman making Cake Pop but there might have been a bit of envy in there.

Not sure I would have appreciated the art of being giddy a few years ago but that was before I knew better. Now that I do, there is no stopping me...

its only Tuesday...

This morning, I thought it was Thursday. That what comes from a few hours of sleep. After 5 hours of West Wing yesterday and very little of anything else, I dragged myself to the store and bought my new BFF - kid's Mucinex Cold. I have to take the kids version because I can't swallow or crush the mammoth dose of the adult version which so I so dearly coveted. While I hoped, little did I knwo that 12 hours later there would be a change and finally, one for the good.

Between thinking about where congestion comes from and the presidential antics of the staff of POTUS, my mind tried frantically to built a bridge between the two which most certainly shows some brain malfunction.

I woke up from yet another stupor and one of my favorite scenes was starting to play out while I gain some composure. It is when President Bartlet decides that doing what is right is more important than getting re-elected. One by one, they each respond

I serve at the pleasure of the President.

I have used this analogy before but like all things, I need to hear the repetition to make it stick.

Who do I serve? I would answer, I serve at the pleasure of the One who made me.
What do that mean? I guess it means that whether,

I am having a wonderful day,
or one filled with tears and grief.
Whether I have just lost a friend who I known forever,
or bonded with a complete stranger, for a few moments.
I imagine that whatever comes my way,
I will handle it,
and understand that there is a Bigger Picture than I can see or will ever understand in this life.

I want to have the same reaction as Leo, Josh, Sam, CJ and even Toby. With full confidence that my faith is not based on just the good times. I have no photos, no great YouTube video or cute blog to show today. Just me and what is running through my head.

Somedays are like this and its only Tuesday. Wow, could turn out to be quite a week. Looks like I am on the mend but am so happy I have had these days to remember who I am and what I am doing here which is an ever-changing process. Being holed up for the last 4 days wouldn't seem to have much affect on anyone but me...and that may well be the Plan...


As I sit on the couch waiting for another sneezing attack - I think. While it may not be the best use of my time, I find it interesting to have a block of time to ponder.

Why am I here?
What would my life look like if I didn't/hadn't ( insert theme here)?
What comes next?

Obsessed with all things Lego, DD built the American Idol stage and after Simon, Randy and Paula the only person left was the contestant. Indiana Jones was the only likely candidate. How would Indy's life have looked had it made it into the Top 13? Besides the gazillions of dollars he had made from his movies, would that really have made him happy? We and he will never know. Life dealt him a change in journey and he seemed to adapt very well.

We all have our ideas and want to translate those ideas into reality. If you have watched any episode of the AI try outs, you know what I mean. What I don't understand about some of these people is do they not have ANYONE in their lives who will tell them the truth about their singing before they go on TV and are completely humiliated? Aren't they wasting valuable time that could be used to find their real calling?

I will only consider that Indy could carry a tune. Perhaps on a whim, he thought he might as well. Looks like he already had the Indiana Jones thing going on. The hat was a bold choice to wear at his audition. So he wasn't picked. he moved on to bigger and better things. No wallowing - just accepting that destiny doesn't always come as easily as ideas and thinking. Try something and if it doesn't work, move on. Keep trying, just don't get hung up there. Failing isn't failing unless you let it. Wonder what he chose to sing? Hope it wasn't Macho Man...

the art of a miracle...

Having lived the last 60 or so hours in a congested, aching and pityful world. I have thought about this video since I saw Friday morning before the sneezing started. Last night in the middle of chills that took over my body, my mind focused back to better times. I thought about the miracles I have seen and those that were yet to come. I am praying for a particular situation and every time I do, I am reminded of the miracles I have already seen and how small this prayer is in comparison.

Jason McElway is just another one of these miracles. If you are praying for a miracle, remember Jason or one you have experienced yourself. It will make your day and your prayer...

I've got good news and I've got bad news...

(photo from

... said DH when he uncharacteristically called yesterday afternoon. When given this option, I will always take the bad news first. Always - even though if the bad is bad enough, the good will get lost in the background. It was not life changing, only day changing. Had to cancel his appointment to get his eyes checked after breaking his glasses last weekend which would not be a bid deal for most people but for Mr Stevie Wonder, his glasses are a big deal. After he realized he had broke his 6 year old glasses, I watched him dig through drawers of stuff looking for his old glasses. That is what he has been wearing and will continue to wear until he can get some time off.

That he found those old glasses, didn't' come as too much of a shock to me. We are a family of two to whom finding things have at times been raised to genius level. Last week DD commented that the bedspread I had got her for Christmas was really defective. A comforter that had morphed itself into a tunnel surrounded in fabric. I immediately knew I had the receipt and we were in for an adventure.

I truly expected to have issues at JC Penney's and I was prepared. There would be no bad news this day, only good. DH felt sorry for the CS person who would be helping me that morning. I was prepared for battle. ready and armed. To no avail. Didn't need it. They gladly took it back and gave me a refund. Took the wind out of my very passionate sails.

If given the choice, none of us wants to have to wear a life preserver but will grab one when things start to go wrong. I've got no news, good or bad but if I did, I would ask each of you how you wanted it and that is how you would get it. I would also hand out life perservers, as needed. That is the least we can do for each other. I want you to make it, us to make it - no matter what...

more than a feeling...

Like it or not, our lives are a mix of old and new. Old School doesn't look so old anymore. Technology is taking us places faster than we could ever imagine. This year I can register our license plates online. 99% of the time I turn to the Internet for breaking news. By the time the newspaper comes, it is all old news. I have already moved on.

From digital photos to paying bills online, life as we know it, has and is changing every day and I could not be happier. From our cell phones, we know who is calling by the song that is playing. Email is awesome and now, Facebook and Twitter. Going to stay away from twittering for now but understand that doctors are twittering from the operation room. What is next?

If you have do your taxes online, you know of what I speak. I had my refund back in 6 days. The old way always took months. The cool thing is you can do as much or as little as you want. We can still function with USPO delivering our mail and depositing money in person at the bank. Like a sliding scale, whatever you are comfy with.

Whatever your level of comfort, I hope you are adventurous enough to check out Something new. It is a new world, filled with lots of cool things. For some photo fun, check out I put Gage's picture in a magazine, blew it up to a 11x14 and framed it. Truly gorgeous. I am running out of wall space - I feel a whole photo redecoration coming on.

For some fun, check out a new twist to the 365 day project at Humor and Lego's - what's not to Love?

DD's pastor writes a very interesting blog - He is a hoot in Real Life. I always have to think about his posts for days after reading them - love when something makes me think.

I would tell you to go read Anne Jackson's blog but she is giving up blogging and such for Lent. New ... meet old.

Not unlike juggling, another fine line we have to walk in this Life. It is a slippery slope to be sure, but take your time, go slow but go. You might learn Something and it might - change your world...


My Dad Can Juggle from Pete Wilson on Vimeo.

Pete was pretty sure that his son's first grade class wouldn't be too interested in his occupation of pastoring a church. Then he remembered he knew how to juggle - it was a hit. Take that, Cotton Candy making dad.

His first set of juggling items seem harmless enough. The worse he could do it hit some kid but at that age, it would be cool. In Act 2, he brings out a machete, a egg and a bowling ball. Made me nervous instantly. Nothing good could come from this and although it would cinch his position in the favorite parent catagory, at what cost I ask?

Pastor Pete's choice of items made me think of those days of life that are fragile and out of control. Not sure where we are going but understanding that we are headed out fast is much like thinking about juggling a bowling ball and a egg, and adding a machete seems like suicide... and stupid.

If you are a stay at home mom, this is your everyday normal. It is also your life if you work outside the home. This will certainly resemble your life if you are looking for a job, don't have enough money to pay all the bills or have a teenager. Right about now, I would imagine that most of us feel like we are juggling more than we can handle and as we throw everything up in the air, all we can see in our minds eye is everything crashing all around us but the reality is that is life, The yin and yang of each season of our lives. The young ones have a long way to go and sometimes don't want help. They have everything in the air and are feeling pretty good about it. Nothing you can do. Sometimes, it can be the same for older people. Ever wonder why those who are 17 or 70, share the same description - senior.

I appreciate Pete's effort to wow Jett's class. Now I would challenge him to do that same routine next Sunday in both services and see if the congregation can get what the first graders saw. It's all about paying attention, about practice and about keeping your eye on the egg...


There is just Something about doing things together. You don't have to say much, most is understood - the rest, unimportant. It just about sharing the Journey.

You know those times you think it is just you and when you find out it isn't, you feel so much better? Even those of us who think we are mostly better by ourselves, we are not as smart as we think. Whether working together on a project or collaborating on a recipe or even checking out a good read. This is a scary world, nothing wrong with a little buddy system.

We are told over and over - don't go swimming alone, walk home in pairs, pray together and that marriage is the hardest work you will ever do. There are times when it is easier to go it alone but may not be the best choice. There are also times when you have no choice, you have to go it alone. A time and place for everything and everything in moderation but together can be a wonderful place to be...

about 77 hours ago...

Just before heading out to Keaton's 4th grade Idaho history concert, I wanted to check in with the world so I booted up my computer and...

nothing except a horrible, sinking feeling. I had planned to set up with Mozy to back up my files that day. Would I have gotten around to it on Thursday? Would I have it done by today? Maybe, maybe not.

When DD called called this morning and said my favorite SIL had not only fixed it, he backed up everything and they were on their way to my house to set it back up for me. I can't tell you how giddy I felt. Last night, it didn't look so good.

The real lesson all of this is how much I care about this stuff that really is not that important. To be nauseous over a computer. Ok, we all depend on our computers daily and not until yours crashes is it real and the very first thing I did was sign up for Mozy, There is no need to have such fear over losing computer stuff when you can cover it for $4.95 a month. That is money well spent IMHO. Let me tell you while I knew a crash was possible, even probable - it was always Down The Road. Like everything in life, DTR comes sooner rather than later.

Even as late as yesterday morning, I would forget that I was computer-less and walk into my office and be said. The only hopeful thing was that by Hour 24, the nausea was gone and I began to accept the worse. I had three scenarios in my mind but didn't factor in a hardware issue which last night seemed credible and looked like it was going to cost Mr D some money. There are many lessons to be learned and I have just started. I had pre-ordered Brennan Manning's book, the furious longing of Godlast year and it showed up on Friday. Coincidence, I think not.

I am my beloved's and His desire is for me (Song of Soloman 7:10 NASB)

Today's and tomorrow's (I am pretty sure this high won't wear off soon!) joy won't last forever. It was never promised to. In fact, there is a cost to follow Jesus even though the gift is free. Just realized that Miss M's birthday is on Easter this year, Looks like it will be quite a celebration.

We were getting coffee after Keaton's Idaho history concert on Thursday (the highlight was the singing and dancing about all the counties in Idaho - quite a musical accomplishment) and the coffee shop owner said, I am doing a little survey - what three things do you need to be successful? . Without even thinking I told her I thought there was only one thing and you needed to repeat it three times - gratitude. If you aren't grateful for what you have - nothing will ever be enough. Nothing will ever satisfy, nothing will fill that void. About 72 hours ago, I learned a quick lesson in gratitude, one I hope to remember for awhile...