Thursday, September 28, 2006


Women on Wednesday (WOW) is an opportunity at my church for women to come together for a time of fellowship, praise and learning. There is usually a potpourri of classes that meet for about an hour and a half after our time altogether. This semester I have joined the class reading the book "Temptations Women Face: Honest Talk About Jealousy, Anger, Sex, Money, Food, Pride" by Mary Ellen Ashcroft. I'm still sorting out my thoughts on this book and the chapters I've read thus far. I wonder where is the line between pride as sin and pride as knowing we've done well and acknowledging it? I was reminded of this recently when in a conversation with a certain narcissist, I tried to take credit for how well the kids are doing. In conversation with other people (friends and family mostly) I usually remember to point any success I'm having with them back to the Lord. But I realized after the fact that I still have a residual urge to gain his approval and recognition for a tough job under tough circumstances. If I don't let go of that, I will always be disappointed with such conversations. Soli Deo Gloria....To God alone be the Glory.

SDG - Soli Deo Gloria

J S Bach appended these initials at the end of each of his Cantatas scores.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Inquiring Minds Like Mine

....want to know what happened to the huge spider that was in the bathtub last night, and couldn't seem to find it's way out? I was too tired and it was too late to get the "death vac" out, so I squirted it with some bug spray, thinking it would sedate it or something. This morning when I got up and peeked in, it was nowhere to be found. I can only hope it crawled down the drain and got stuck...Did I mention it was gargantuan?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Renfest

I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival on Saturday. And despite the gloomy, misty weather, it didn't put a damper on the day. As you can see, I dressed up for the occasion...I ended up making the outfit even though I set out to borrow one from a friend. I restyled an old fashioned cotton nightgown with eyelet trim into a peasant blouse and petticoat, gathered some calico into a skirt and finally found a use for the one yard of ultra suede someone gave me. It made a perfect vest. Even though I prefer the higher Renaissance fashions of lords and ladies, I think the peasant/bar maiden look suits me fine (and it's much less labor intensive to construct).

Hack and Slash were by far the best act going on. I laughed so hard my face ached afterwards... the artisians were, as usual, inspiring and the smells of food were fantastic. I was provided with the most thorough picnic ever which, because of the wet conditions and forgotten blanket, became a tailgate lunch for two. I was a little overwhelmed with all the variety, but it was all tasty and the company wasn't bad either. ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I think part of the reason I don't read as much as I'd like to is, when I get into a really, I mean really good book, I don't want it to end. The same is true for movies, and yet going in I know in roughly two hours (three if I'm lucky) it will have ended. It makes me a little sad, even if the endings are happy, jubilant or triumphant, because I become so absorbed into that world with those people it's almost like losing new friends. I felt this way with Wonderfalls. The show had one season (that I know of on DVD), a three disk series, approximately twelve hours, that I devoured in a matter of two weeks or less. Fortunately, the girl does get the boy in the last episode.

Speaking of which, I never before enjoyed watching people kiss in movies or television, but I have lately... hmmm. I used to think it was lame that older, single women, widows and "old maids" would watch romantic movies to live vicariously through the characters... I'm hoping it's more so a result of my liking the particular characters in Wonderfalls and wanting them to end up together that was generating such a response.

Unlike some of my avid reader friends, I'm not as satisfied rereading the books (or replaying the shows) until I've pretty much forgotten them. A big part of the enjoyment for me is the surprise of what is yet to come.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Friends of friends

Lately it seems I owe thanks to certain friends for connecting me to new friends. This is the way friendship should work, I think, a tangled web (no pun intended) of relationships. One friend in particular has connected me with several good people, kindred spirits even, for which I am ever grateful. This same person was the one who first introduced me to the blogosphere. In his latest post, there is a link to a very concise, informative, podcast interview with Salimah Perkins which I'd link here myself, but I can't seem to find the proper url. I've added her blog, Baltimore Chronicles, to my blogroll, because she's a real writer and a personal friend of a friend...let's keep the web spinning.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I read that during the time of WWII when people became more frugal with everything, that this hurt the fashion industry (among other industries) quite a bit. Unlike today, when people can buy cheaply made inexpensive clothes, things were made to last. That wasn't the problem so much as the fact that because people were paring down, they couldn't afford to buy new, nicely crafted, more expensive garments that last. And so the Americans of this generation learned to mend and darn. Actually, I think people have been mending and darning for thousands of years prior, but perhaps the war hit at the time of the birth of disposable things, and so Americans went back to mending and darning. I think that for the people of this frugal generation, the idea of mending and darning and saving and reusing was a hard one to give up. For some of them they continue with these old ways, even to absurdity.

People who mend and darn and reuse and remake are odd, eccentric even. I should know because I'm one of them. We look at things and determine their worth based on their potential. But there is certainly a point at which you say, this needs to be replaced. I'm a firm believer in giving old things a second life. I'm often taking old garments apart and remaking them, or using the fabric from something to make another thing. But this only works when the integrity of the material is still in tact.

I recently had a client ask me to mend a bed sheet. This bed sheet in particular was one that I had "mended" about five years ago. She had me cut it down the middle and sew the outside selvage edges into a center seam. "That way I can get more wear out of it, since it was wearing thin in the middle," she told me. Well it was work at a time when I needed it, so I did it, although I think it is completely ridiculous to put seams in bedsheets. I don't care how nice the cotton is (or in this case was). This same sheet came back to me a few weeks ago, ripped in several places and with a whole piece missing. It was even patched back together wrong by some amateur. Fabrics wear out. They dry rot. They become thread bare. I did my best with the sheet, it looked awful and terribly uncomfortable. One firm tug on the sheet over a rough toenail and "rrrrriiiiiiiippppp" it'll be in shreds once again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Today I learned that the Greek word for hospitality is directly translated "love of strangers". Isn't that cool? Well, today I was on the receiving end of that concept as my sister's friend from Georgia (whom I've never met) invited me to attend a cookout she was having while visiting nearby. How could I resist the offer to come to a beautiful farm in the country complete with a pond, swimming pool, hot tub, and trampoline? It seemed an appropriate way to spend the afternoon with the children, so I accepted and got to meet Julie's friends and their friends. We all had a really nice time. I'm not sure why, but it didn't even feel weird coming to a party where I knew absolutely no one. Perhaps it was because I've invited strangers to parties myself.

Two Memorial Days ago, I invited Everett, a man I met online from a divorce support chat room, to my Bible Study group's bbq at my home. He's a truck driver, and his tractor trailer had broken down in Baltimore leaving him stranded in a hotel room with his dog. He mentioned this in the chat room and my ears perked up at the word "Baltimore" so I chatted with him a little bit more. His truck took much longer than expected to be repaired and he had been in town for nearly a week when Memorial Day was approaching. I can't really explain it, I think it was God, but it was strongly impressed upon my heart to invite this stranger to my home for the bbq. I prayed about it, because I wasn't sure how "safe" he was and I didn't know much about him, but all I can say is that it felt like the right thing to do, and so I did it. My friend Anne, happened to bring her sister along and she and Everett hit it off immediately, they've been together ever since. Last month I learned they are engaged to be married!

I love this story, and I finally had a reason to share it with all of you...I guess the moral is love a stranger and you may change their life. Or perhaps the moral is trust your gut instinct, well at least that's what my therapist kept telling me to do, so I finally tried it and it turned out pretty well.