October 24, 2014 | 0 comments

I’m having trouble watching the news these days.  I am so tired of men and women commentators trying to talk over each other.  Interrupting someone used to be considered rude; now it’s the name of the game.  Each side is so busy trying to get their viewpoint across they never hear what the other side is saying.  It’s not a discussion; it’s not even a debate.  It’s a free-for-all. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if one side had two full minutes to present their position, and then the other side had two minutes to present theirs?  No cross-talk, as in interruptions or snarky comments or commentary or derisive laughter or rolling of the eyes.  Let’s see some mutual respect.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I’d love to hear both sides!  Please!

Someone recently visited our state capitol and was able to view the legislature “in session”.  One man stood in the room giving a speech.  No one else bothered to attend because...

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October 17, 2014 | 0 comments

Rick and I live in town.  It takes five to ten minutes to drive to the supermarket, the mall, post office, bank and hospital (a nice thing to know with the march of time and years).  One of the main boulevards people use to get from one side of town to the other is two blocks away.  Few seem to care about the posted 35-40 mph until John Law is on their tail flashing his or her red lights.  Cars aside, lots of people are out walking their dogs or by themselves.  Some are running or cycling up and down the hills, getting or staying in shape.  Even with all this human activity, there are a surprising number of wild animals among us.  

We had something (a raccoon, perhaps) that took up residence in our attic space until the local pest control set up a trap and said raccoon decided to vacate the premises.  We screened all possible entry points to prevent his/her return.  We’ve had woodland rats, a rattlesnake, and gophers, though...

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October 15, 2014 | 0 comments

One idol that periodically troubles me is food.  Or maybe it’s weight.  My mother got on the scale every day of her life and adjusted what she ate according to the numbers.  It sounds obsessive, but she was health conscious because she had been very ill with tuberculosis in her twenties.  I saw a picture of her in a bathing suit and said, “Wow, Mom.  You were so slim.”  Her response:  “I wasn’t slim. I was sick and skinny.”  She wanted to maintain a healthy weight. 

What is a healthy weight?  The new fad is for a woman to have gaps between her thighs.  Really?  All through grade school and high school, I didn’t want gaps.  I wanted my thighs to meet and be toned and tanned.  I’m laughing as I write this.   I finally got the meeting part.  Forget toned and tanned.  And now that I’m in my late sixties, I don’t give a hoot.  Well, I do, but I’m not willing to diet and exercise or lie/...

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October 3, 2014 | 0 comments

I got into the “Life of Moses” BSF class!   I am so jazzed!  The class was full and leftovers (like me) packed into several pews hoping the wait-list would not mean waiting too long.  I finished the eight year course a few years ago, “graduated”, and was therefore (rightfully) at the bottom of the list, along with others I’ve known and loved from previous classes.  (We’re all eagerly anticipating the new, upcoming class next year:  Revelation!)  The newbies were squeezed in to other existing groups, but the leaders needed to find and train another facilitator.  One lady, an experienced leader – bless her! -- had planned to move out-of-state (but her house didn’t sell in our down market) decided to return and voila – we had an answer to prayer!

The new group is packed with graduates, though no one ever really graduates from studying the Bible.  And BSF will allow you to...

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September 26, 2014 | 0 comments

I read a story the other day about an expedition that traveled the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon.  About halfway in, the explorers hit dangerous rapids.  Some of the explorers were thrown from the boats and died in the turbulent waters.  Others managed to make it to the riverbank.  The river ahead looked threatening with more rapids.  The decision of what to do was split.  Some decided to turn around and go back.  Some decided to forge ahead.  The two groups went their separate ways.  Those who went forward did meet more dangerous rapids – but only for a short period of time before the river calmed and the rest of their exploration proved calm and safe with gorgeous vistas.  Sadly, every member of the group who turned back died. 

This story has a spiritual message, too.  Stay the course.  Don’t give up.  Keep walking the walk with Jesus.  Times may get harder, but stay in the boat.  Ride...

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September 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Every now and then, I go out and wander around.  It helps me think.  Sometimes I window shop.  Sometimes I buy.  After wandering around today, I came home with two new pillows in vibrant turquoise, hoping they might add snap to the wheat-colored sofas and the other (eight) pillows of subdued colors.   Rick’s cheek gave a little telltale tick. “Do we really need more pillows?” Translation:  “Time to commit you to the loonie bin.”

Rick hid the navy blue pillow with metal studs behind the red leather corner chair.  Another pillow has gone missing.  Rick swears he didn’t do anything with it.  

You may wonder why I’m suspicious…

It’s a family legend how I went to Oregon for a visit with my folks and came home to find an empty living room. Not totally empty.  There were two metal folding chairs where a big sofa and two wing chairs had been.  Huh?  The first thought that popped into my head: ...

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September 13, 2014 | 0 comments

Intervarsity Christian Fellowship meetings have always been open to any student interested in finding out what Christianity is all about.  No one is barred.  Nothing is hidden. No one is forced to come and listen or take part in this gathering.  No one is coerced.  Yet, the California State University system has closed its campuses to this group.  Why?  Because the college system demanded IVCF open itself to non-Christian leadership. 

The CSU decision didn’t surprise me.  I live in a county where 97% of the population is unchurched.  I don’t know what the statistics are for the rest of the state of California, but at a guess, I would say about the same.  The Christian foundations of America are being systematically removed, history revised.  A lie told often enough is believed.  The battle cry is “separation of church and state”, which is a text out of context made into a pretext being used to remove Christianity...

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September 6, 2014 | 0 comments

I never have figured out how to write a proper book proposal.  I’ve gone to classes, read books and seen some great examples.  But when it comes down to writing one of my own, I make a mess of it.  Where’s the story?  I don’t know. I haven’t written it yet.

I’ve got a question (actually several).  So I started looking around and reading (eight books at last count) and asking people what they think.  A character started talking in my head.  And then another character joined the conversation.  I began to look for pictures of how I imagine them.  Keanu Reeves ten years ago.  Not bad.  I didn’t know he had a beard.  I’m taking dictation again.  A piece of a conversation here, another piece over there.  Sometimes I drive around and listen to the radio.   I never know when or where these imaginary people will start rambling on.  Sometimes they are stubbornly silent. Sometimes they start talking...

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August 29, 2014 | 0 comments

When Rick and I moved into Santa Rosa back in 2001, I joined a gym because they had an indoor heated pool.  I paid up front for three years so I’d have the reduced rate for the rest of my life. All those blessed benefits promised to those who spend time working out in a gym.   Swimming is good for arthritis.  Well, it’s good for anything.  The American Crawl uses lots of muscles.  So do the butterfly and the back stroke.   I had grand ideas of showing up every day and doing laps.  I knew it would be good for me.  I knew I’d meet other like-minded people who wanted to improve their health.

One of the benefits of membership is the availability of a trainer.  They want to show you the ropes, so to speak. They want to make sure you know how to use the equipment without breaking an arm, a leg, your neck -- or one of their expensive machines.  They can design a program that fits your needs, that helps you work on problem...

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August 25, 2014 | 0 comments

We live in earthquake country.  During the 1989 quake, we were on a soccer field.  When the earthquake began, everyone stopped what they were doing.  We could literally feel and see the ground roll under us.  The goal nets shook.  Trees swayed.  We didn’t know where the epicenter was or the level of destruction until later.   The Bay Bridge sustained damage, the two-level Cypress Structure of Interstate 880 collapsed on commuters.  We have relatives who drove that route daily, and the earthquake hit at 5:04 p.m.  Thankfully, they were not crushed under tons of concrete. 

Early this past Sunday morning, I awakened to another quake.  It is an odd feeling to have an entire house shake, rattle and roll.  We’re never sure if the earthquake is going to build or if we’ve already felt the worst of it.   I was drowsy, but waking up fast.  Oh, my God, feel that power! Rick was ready to plant a foot in...

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