To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Monday, December 31, 2007

I have to say that I do not get this blog post at all.

Dave, who is in a wheelchair, has been traveling. He's had to deal with a lot of inconveniences and he's happy to be home where he's been able to arrange things more or less to his comfort. And he wrote an earlier post to that effect. Really, anyone who has traveled has been relieved to get home, right? But one of the disabled people who read his blog didn't care for that post and has called him on the carpet for not realizing how privileged he is; she does not have a shower stall, and so forth, so apparently he should not mention his comforts and should not take pleasure in them. I'm sure I completely misunderstand this because I really do not get it.

I started reading the infertility blogs a few years ago, wondering as I did so why because I easily had the one kid I wanted. (I think it was because I missed her so much when she went off to college and I had to work through that. No one has empty-nest blogs; apparently everyone else is happy to get rid of their children or is much more stiff-upper-lip than I am.) There I learned about something called the "pain olympics". How dare you complain about your five miscarriages, I have had eight, and so forth. (To their credit, the bloggers recognize the poison there and try to avoid it.) And that some people seem to feel that others need to hide their happiness at pregnancy and childbirth because it makes them feel bad; even infertile people who have struggled for years to have a baby, report feeling guilty about telling their infertile friends that their struggles have finally borne fruit and try to push down their happiness so that they don't cause pain to someone else.

One understands that one must be sensitive to others who are in pain, of course, and refrain from hurting them needlessly. But life goes on and we make the best of it, and take our pleasure where we can. Right? Finding small pleasures and enjoying them is one of the things that make life worth living. And when others find a moment's satisfaction in some thing they have or do, we rejoice with them, right? Dave's extra wheelchair in the bathroom is not taking anything away from anybody else. I wish he did not feel the need to explain that it was given to him by someone who couldn't use it anymore.
We saw pelicans yesterday at one of the pretty lakes downtown.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What we did today

Don't laugh. It's hard to take a picture of your own feet.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The articles that have been appearing about the tiger at the zoo getting out and killing a person are upsetting to me.

Primarily, of course, because of what happened.

But then because there was unwarranted speculation that the victims somehow caused this to happen. If they were strolling around the zoo minding their own business, this truly is insult to injury. Can't we wait a day or two to find out before we slam dead and unconscious people?

Then there's this: "Their names were provided by hospital and law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the family had not yet given permission to release their names." Said names reported in the article, of course. First, the people who spoke on condition of anonymity need to be identified and then fired, at the very least. Second, every venue that reported those names needs to do some soul-searching. You knew you were not supposed to have this information. Why did you report it? What news value did this have? Are you just automatically forced to blurt out every speck of information you get?

On a completely trivial note, the initial articles said that after a zookeeper was mauled by this tiger before, a feeding "shoot" was installed. Later articles had the word corrected to "chute". Perhaps when the reporters and editors have finished searching their consciences over the necessity of printing information they are not supposed to have and that informs no one of anything they need to know, they can review the concept of homonyms.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Shoes of doom

Also, we had to grab the camera when we opened the garage door this morning and saw this across the street:

Click to enlarge. There were 19 of them, hard to get in one picture.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I hope everyone has had a nice Christmas.

We went to church yesterday and just stayed in today. The weather is really nice but R and I both seem to have colds. Had blueberry pancakes for breakfast and homemade chicken soup for lunch, and opened presents. Last week F spotted some shoes at a department store that she had a fit about. Tried on the display model and assured me that they felt great. I told her to put them back, she didn't have anything to go with them. After we got home, of course, I doubled back and bought those shoes, together with a skirt and a couple of blouses she can wear them with. She is THRILLED, sang "I got shoes" at random moments, and couldn't stop looking at them. They are kind of a teal/dark gray/offwhite plaid, if you can imagine, and looked quite fetching with her pink pajama pants. When she gets her toenails freshly polished I'll get a picture.

The cats, as always, had a blast getting into empty boxes and playing with ribbon and crumpled wrapping paper. Even the grumpy old tomcat had to mess with F, arthritically clambering into one of her boxes as soon as she had the lid off and before she'd even seen what was in it.

Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, December 24, 2007

What Child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fourth Sunday of Advent

There's a star in the East on Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
It'll lead to the place where the Savior's born,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow

Leave your sheep and leave your lambs
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Leave your ewes and leave your rams
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Follow, follow
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Follow the star of Bethlehem
Rise up, shepherd, and follow

If you take good heed of the angel's words
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
You'll forget your flocks, you'll forget your herds
Rise up, shepherd, and follow

Leave your sheep and leave your lambs
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Leave your ewes and leave your rams
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Follow, follow
Rise up, shepherd, and follow
Follow the star of Bethlehem
Rise up, shepherd, and follow

- Spiritual. You'll hear it sung "Rise up shepherd and foller" on occasion.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why I need to stop reading the comment threads on newspapers:

A Woman With Down Syndrome Defies Expectations

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Third Sunday of Advent

I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior
Did come for to die
For poor on'ry people
Like you and like I
I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus,
'Twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers
And shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven,
A star's light did fall
And the promise of ages
It then did recall

If Jesus had wanted
For any wee thing
A star in the sky
Or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's angels
In heav'n for to sing
He surely could have it,
'Cause He was the King

- Traditional Appalachian carol

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Company Christmas party tonight. It will just be a dinner at a restaurant. We had to hurry up and do something PDQ because our boss will be out of state for a couple of months, starting next week, to do cancer treatment. Yes, this was just a bit sudden.

The home office has decided not to sell us in the near future, instead running the part of the plant that has me and a handful of other people employed. So for right now we look like staying in sunny Florida, which we are very happy about. Short-sleeve weather, while a lot of the country is suffering from ice storms. Been there, done that, don't need to do it again.

I have to say that I enjoy being in the lab by myself. The operators come over every now and then to bring samples and so forth, but other than that it's just me. If I make a mess I'm not inconveniencing anyone else. I don't have to fret about who used the beakers I just washed. I don't have to put up with somebody else's dadgum radio. Eventually I'll get lonely, I suppose. For now it's kind of nice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ken at has a gospel-song quiz going. Me and some other people got some of them but there are some left over. I have six to offer my readers. Don't be shy. They're really too easy.

1 - In sorrow he's my comfort, in trouble he's my stay - what else is he?

2 - I'm going to cast down my burden, and put on my long white robe: where, and what will I not do anymore?

3 - He will hear my faintest cry and answer bye and bye, when I have what?

4 - I know he watches me - why?

5 - When he walks and talks with me, where am I?

6 - After a few more weary steps, what will I do?

Bonus - what song has the line "Everybody talkin' 'bout heaven ain't going there"?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Second Sunday of Advent

Gabriel, fram heven-king, sent to the maide sweete
Broute hir blisful tiding and fair he gan hir greete:
"Hail be thu, ful of grace aright!
For Godes son, this heven-light,
For mannes love
wil man bicome
and take
Fles of thee, maide bright,
Manken free for to make
Of sen and devles might."

Monday, December 03, 2007

F is preparing for finals. Her comp teacher has said the final will be an essay to be written in class ... but he said F is not to write a book review, or anything "intellectual", b/c this is supposed to be easy.

For F, a book review is easy. She reads a lot and she thinks about what she reads.

And God forbid that anybody do anything "intellectual" in college.


I am flying to Tupelo on Thursday, to see family and take care of some stuff Friday and Saturday, and then flying back to Florida with F on Sunday for her winter break. We look forward to having her with us again. I miss having a young'un around, although the cats do the best they can to fill that gap.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Sunday in Advent

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1744