Friday, January 30, 2009

RevGalBlogPal Friday Five: HGTV Edition

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Will Smama writes:

Greetings all!
As some of you may know I am in the midst of my first home purchase. It is a new-build and so some of the fun was picking out upgrades and major decor items to my taste rather than walking into a previously owned home that needed to be upgraded room by room (pink and teal tiles in the bathroom, anyone?). As much as decorating is not my thing, I did try to embrace the moment because just how many times do you get to have a do-over on kitchen cabinets/floors/countertops?

And so, my questions to you this fine Friday involve your home past, present or future...

1) If you could, what room in the place you are currently living would you redo first? Either the kitchen or the master bath.

2) What is the most hideous feature/color/decor item you have ever seen in a home? Hmm... we looked at a lot of houses before we bought this one. I think the weirdest deal-breaker we saw was a feature in the den of one house, where it appeared that a bathtub-sized chunk of the slab had been jackhammered out so someone could have plants growing in the floor. Seriously. I think they were rhododendrons.

3) What feature do you most covet? Do you have it? If not, is it within reach? Having our fireplace, which came with a very picturesque gas log that does not really put out much heat, converted back to wood-burning. But it's just not practical here in the 'burbs. Nowhere to procure or store the large amounts of wood I grew up with.

4) Your kitchen - love it or hate it? Why? I want to hate it, but I can't justify hating it because I'm not the primary cook of the house, and he doesn't really care how it looks. So I am officially not fond of it -- the layout, the cabinets, the floor, the vintage 1978 harvest gold range and hood, the so-1990s ivy wallpaper.

5) Here is $10,000 and you HAVE to spend it on the place you are living now. What do you do? Gut the kitchen and start over.

BONUS: Why do you think there was such a surplus of ugly bathroom tile colors showcased in all homes built from the 1950's right through the early 80's? Well, early on it might be excused by black-and-white TV and a subsequent yearning for vivid color, but in the '70s and '80s I think it was just that we were a tacky society. We couldn't help it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time Suck

I could play with this site all night, really.

Remember those double-exposure shots they used to take at the department store, where the kid looked all angelic?

Found The Alpha's.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


At early service, the band did "We Shall Be Free" (Stephanie Davis/Garth Brooks) as our anthem. It went well, and marked the debut of a new band member on lead vocal (our band has never had this many people in it before -- nine! -- exciting...).

I got back into the groove of singing at both worship services today. Someone different gave the children's sermon at each service, but they both covered the same topic: Martin Luther King Jr. Day is tomorrow, he wanted segregation to end and for everybody to be treated the same, and also wanted us to love each other, because he followed Jesus like we do.

When I heard the second version of this message, complete with little kids explaining segregation and why it needed to end, I realized there was no flippin' way I could've heard such a children's sermon when I was that age. I remember people who were angry that MLK Day was a federal holiday. I heard casual use of the "n" word. I saw deep divisions. I remember deciding not to invite my summer camp roommate home with me during 4th of July break, because she was African-American and I was afraid of what some members of my extended family might say around her -- or to me when she wasn't around.

I don't know if the racial climate in that part of the country (or in my extended family) has changed or not; I don't spend enough time there to really tell. But I do hope that today's children's sermon in my childhood church was something like the one I heard in my own sanctuary.

Looking at who we'll remember tomorrow, and what we'll be celebrating on Tuesday, I begin to see that we've come far. And I still believe we have a long way to go. Which is why I consider "We Shall Be Free" one of the most patriotic songs out there: It calls us to be better than we are. It isn't over. We aren't finished. We can do better.

This ain't comin' from no prophet
Just an ordinary man
When I close my eyes I see
The way this world shall be
When we all walk hand in hand

When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there's shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free

When the last thing we notice is the color of skin
And the first thing we look for is the beauty within
When the skies and the oceans are clean again
Then we shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, walk proud
'Cause we shall be free
When we're free to love anyone we choose
When this world's big enough for all different views
When we all can worship from our own kind of pew
Then we shall be free
We shall be free

We shall be free
Have a little faith
Hold out
'Cause we shall be free

And when money talks for the very last time
And nobody walks a step behind
When there's only one race and that's mankind
Then we shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, walk proud, have a little faith, hold out
We shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, have a little faith

We shall be free

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Five: Take Me, Baby, or Leave Me

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Songbird asks: Whether it's new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

1. Although I've learned a lot about tact over the last couple of decades, I still tend to shoot my mouth off, and it gets enough results that I'm not inclined to quit doing so.

2. I love my dogs more than I love some people. If you don't understand that, somehow you'll learn to cope.

3. Foul language has a place in my life. I don't plan on kicking it out. When you are as verbal as I am, you need lots of words.

4. If you send me any form of written communication, know that somewhere in my mind I'm going through it with a red pen as I read it.

5. I have an unexplainable love for the United Methodist Church, cumbersome institution that it is, and I'm committed to helping it be less cumbersome and more about its mission.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Memoriam: Twinkie, 19??-2009

Twinkie, my sister's dog, has gone on. We got the call just a few minutes ago.

She died under the corner of the bed, in the same spot where she liked to hang out when she first came to live with them.

Her arrival was really good timing: she showed up as a stray, not long after the death of my sister's youngest daughter. Her presence helped their household work through a lot of grief over the months and years.

Small as she was, Twinkie was a protector, a loving companion, a mini-me to our Cub girl, and a darn good squirrel hunter by all accounts (although I'm glad I never saw it first-hand).

Rest well, Twinkie. Frolic. Be able to see again. Run, hunt, dance on your hind legs, and know you're loved.

An award from RevAnne!

RevAnne gave me this blog friend award! Ain't it purty?

Here's the explanation and the silly rules that go with it:
"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Hm...Eight? That's a lot!
Mindy, did you get this award yet? 'Cause you're exceedingly charming!
SpookyRach, who would probably prefer the little picture have skulls on it instead of Valentiney hearts.
Zorra, the most excellent dog mama!
ElastiGirl, the only person I know who has searched for -- and found -- a vet who will neuter a guinea pig.
Okay, that's four -- the rest of y'all, please tag yourselves and let me know!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Tuesday Interview: New information comes to light

Earlier today The Alpha made some time to go fill up the hole that gave us our subject for this morning's interview with Tuesday. While he was doing so (and a pungent job of it, I might add, with canine leavings mixed in as deterrent), Neighbor Dan made his presence known on the other side of the fence. The Alpha began explaining the source of said hole, and shared that he suspected a bunny chase was behind it all.

"Well," said Neighbor Dan, "I think she might've been trying to get at this."

And he stuck his hand down by the gap to show The Alpha one whole dinner roll, which had been sitting on the ground on his side of the fence. He didn't put it there. Who throws a dinner roll in somebody else's back yard? Honestly? (I suspect the same people who gave us Suburban Commando Bunnies. Which, by the way, are still roaming the neighborhood after more than a month.)

So, Tuesday wasn't going after bunnies, as she claimed in the interview. The Alpha claims it was my poor translation that led to "bunnies" instead of "bun," seeing as how a Shepherd-Collie mix will naturally speak a different dialect than an Australian Cattle Dog or a German Shepherd of partially-unknown origin. I make no claims to have any special inter-species translation abilities anyway, so I'll let it go.

But really, Tuesday... a bun? All that digging for a bun? Next time, just pull yourself up to the kitchen counter. I won't let it bug me, I promise.

The Tuesday Interview: New Dog issues

Yes, it's Tuesday. And so is the dog (file photo at right).

Typist: Good morning, girl.

Tuesday: Hello.

Typist: So, what about yesterday evening? What was up with that?

Tuesday: Bunnies. They taunt me. They sneak out of the yard.

Still, there was no need to dig a foot-deep hole along the fence line.

Define "need."

Well, you don't have any right to complain when we're cleaning mud clods out of the fur between your paw pads. You put them there. Your fault.

I was going to lick them out later.

Yeah, on our carpet!

Tuesday: I don't know why you make such a big deal out of carpet.

Actually, I don't either. It's pretty old.... But hey! We are having a house guest tomorrow, and things have to look presentable.

(sigh) Don't even ask me to stop shedding. It's my life's purpose.

Typist: Okay, here's the plan: there's still a hole under the fence line, and I don't want you making it any bigger. It's not safe to risk having you and Angus running around the neighborhood. You're both staying inside today.

Tuesday: Do I get the couch?

Typist: You have to share the couch.

(sigh) Okay.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Methoblogger/Tweeter meetup, Nashville

Here's the group of Methobloggers, Twitter types, and friends who met up Wednesday night at Congress On Evangelism. Gavin has more pics and a good roundup of our discussion, which went on for more than 3 hours. Thanks, Wayne (TNRambler), for suggesting the meetup in the first place, and thanks to everyone else who jumped in, especially Bishop Schnay-Z, one of the newer bloggers in the group that gathered. (Others pictured include Mid-Life Rookie, Reverend Mommy, Jay Voorhees, RileyByrd, Erin Richardson, and Amy Shanholzter.)

Great to meet some of you for the first time, and to see others again!