Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
About the Book:
Andrew Morgan is a wealthy oil executive in search of the meaning of life. In his quest for answers he encounters the ancient Mayan predictions that the world will end in 2012. That the claims seem supported by math and astronomy drives him to check on them. Then he meets Lisa Campbell, an attractive Christian journalist also researching the Mayan calendar. When he learns that she is a Christian, he quickly dismisses what she has to say.
As the time draws closer to December 21, 2012, a meteorite impact in Arizona, a volcanic eruption, and the threat of an asteroid on a collision-course with earth escalate fears. Are these indicators of a global apocalypse? Will anyone survive? Does Lisa’s Christian faith have the answers after all? Or has fate destined everyone to a holocaust from which there is no escape?
If you would like to read the first chapter of Mayan Apocalypse...go HERE.
Christian journalist Lisa Campbell meets oil baron Andrew Morgan. The two chafe and bond over the impending end-of-the-world-on-December 21, 2012 panic. But spanning nearly two years in under three hundred pages makes for some challenges in storytelling. A thread with secrets and another journalist ends up ringing a little "Huh" and detracted from the story. Also big chunks of time are covered rapidly and some of the relationship between Andrew and Lisa suffers.
The fascinating details of the Mayan end-of-the-world theory were intriguing but I knew nothing except the bare minimum of details and there wasn't excessive coverage in the novel. If you are curious about 12-21-2012 or love fiction that compares Christianity and alternative views give this a shot.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Big, Stinky, Black
(The rest won't rhyme so drop the cadence that just popped into your head.)
They wait for people.
They sleep for hours.
They bark like Cujo at any harmless deliverer.
But sometimes they get bored.
And the recyclables that we hoard..., as we gather enough for the trip to the bin to be worth the trouble,
Become too much to resist.
And when we come through the door.
We are greeted with leaping, whining, dancing
and dog hi-jinx.
And with home-chewed post-consumer confetti.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Robin Hood is the pre-story...the story of Robin Hood's journey to his calling.
Fans of epic, war or love stories should end up liking the introductory Robin Hood (and his merry men) as much as I did, though. And I would like to see a sequel with the telling of the classic Robin Hood story and there was a nice set up for that to happen.
Marion and Robin's storyline is sweet and should satisfy women who detest "guy" movies. There are battle scenes but they are played out in fast forward clashes that are not horrifically violent because there is so much going on and it moves so fast that the violence is mostly flickers and images.
Content Warning: Most of this film is older kid friendly but there is a scene toward the beginning of the movie that is uncomfortably sexual between Prince John, his lover and his mother. A bit creepy.
I'm just going to have to admit I'm a Robert Downey Jr. fan. In Sherlock Holmes he plays a quirky, borderline mad scientist, genius in the title role. The casting for the film was perfect. Jude Law is exceptional as the uptight and torn Dr. Watson.
The mystery is creative and nicely twisted. Sarcastic modernesque dialog and character interaction that ebbs and flows from love, hate, bitterness, wistfulness and true friendship and back makes this film a rich character piece as well as entertaining fun.
The action sequences are stunning, too, employing fast forward and slow motion segments that keep the viewer's mind hopping. Though this style is used in more and more films, Ritchie makes this quirky, choppy style work exceptionally well in Holmes.
Overall this is a family friendly movie. However, sensitive kids would likely have some trouble with some truly creepy scenes. There are elements of the occult and easily frightened kids will probably be spooked by several scenes.
Invictus is more about the heart of President Nelson Mandela rather than the Bokks rugby team. This film paints a beautiful picture of forgiveness, courage and the strength that comes from choosing to walk the high road with dignity. Two of the people I viewed the movie with thought there was a lack of action. I tend to like slower character pieces so that may be why I liked the movie more than they did. There are moments where the film clips along and is about Rugby, but Invictus is not just a pure feel good sports movie -- its bigger than that. Note for parents. A few characters drop the F-Bomb but with their accents it's muted. This story is one that older kids should watch because it is inspiring and powerful and it stresses the humanity and beauty in each of us regardless of skin color, ability or language.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, a]">[a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to b]">[b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Thoughts that have been pent up in my brain and have bounced around enough. They need to get out. Now.
Circumstances don't tweak truth but truth can tweak circumstances.
My beliefs don't disturb truth. Truth is truth. Gravity is gravity no matter what I do to lessen it's control over me.
Human beings need each other. I don't think that Lone Wolves are happy wolves.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Quote: (from Surprised by Worship Travis Cottrell)
"I find it interesting that we tend to base our beliefs regarding God's goodness and love on the nature of the surprises He gives us. As long as His surprises are happy ones, like birthday parties, we remain confident and secure: He really is good! He evidently loves me a lot! But all too often unwanted surprises have a way of turning our theology upside down."
I do...do...do...do hold God to a standard wherein He "LOVES me (insert balloons and teddy bears here) when I am getting exactly what I asked for...as long as it's good. But, I tend to doubt and pout when He gives me what I ask for by working that thing out in flesh squeezingly difficult moments of struggle.
Not only is this spot on, it's convicting.
I spent Saturday at a Beth Moore simulcast and her subject was convicting as well. (Her worship leader is the guy quoted above -- so you could maybe imagine that worship was rich, too.)
Her topic. Opening the mouth in wisdom and possessing the Law of Kindness upon my tongue.
Augh!!!! Why does He put up with me.?
Then I had two encounters today where I was blessed by the words of a friend. And I was GRACE STRUCK by the infinitesimally, magnificently massive workings of God behind the scenes, and how He answers prayers, even those prayed long ago. And I'm frustrated about being GRACE STRUCK because I want to just know that He listens, that He is good all the time, that He loves me.
Lord, forgive me because I am a sheep of very little brain. But then You already knew that...didn't you?
Friday, September 17, 2010
Isn't this carrot gnawing dog cute? Awww.
Well, she wasn't so cute on Wednesday.
We've been working on nice, appropriate guest greetings. This particular little sweetie, Lola, is very barky. And a 70 lb barking dog can be a little scary for those who a) aren't dog fans b) aren't big dog fans or c) anyone else who might be annoyed by that behavior. I do fall into the c category.
When we know someone is coming we try to set the stage to succeed. We issue a "NO BARK!" command and get them to sit and stay. We release them when they are calm, they usually take a few sniffs and go about their business. Win. Win. Win.
Mom came over. All went well. Very well, actually. Lola also has this sweet thing she does... a little kiss planted directly on the lips. Of course she has to jump up on her hind legs to pull that off, but usually she only kisses me or her dog-mom. So I was watching her carefully...no sign of that quirk, so I relaxed.
Then Feral strode into the room and slunk past my Mom.
And Lola barked. One sharp, "I see you, you weaselly cat!" bark...which echoed nicely in the cavernous room.
Unfortunately. Not only was the bark loud and sudden. But it was directly behind my unsuspecting Mom.
YIKES! It is totally impolite to laugh at someone who may have just wet their pants because your animals double teamed them...but I am a terribly impolite person who often apologizes while choking back gales of laughter.
My mom decided that she might need to use the ladies restroom after all.
Fortunately, today we were able to laugh about it and find the positive. Sometimes, as we age our muscles sag and by golly, laughing, sneezing and a sudden fright can all wreak havoc on our kegels. Right, Ladies? But this little incident proved that my mother can still call her bladder Ol Ironsides. We decided that the animals were maybe working in concert to test that out for her.... we'll just call it a homemade Cat Scan.
Sorry Mom, and thanks for the Dregs fodder.
And let me know if any of you would like to schedule one.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Create a new recipe with just five ingredients....
Fabulous Tortilla Filler...
1 can drained black beans
1 small onion chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
Juice of 1 lime
Garlic powder/salt 1/2 teaspoon or so.
So...now for more ingredients...or the stuff that goes with...
Slather on a tortilla. Top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream/plain yogurt, guac or avocado slices... or whatever else you can think of.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Short but super sweet.
Meet Eleanor. This is her happy little countenance after doing the jig that locked the car. I can only imagine the hi-jinx involved in getting the little fuzz-bundle to recreate her dance. And, oh my, the game that she and her daddy created. Which everyone but the dog daddy enjoyed immensely.
Ha. Scroll down to Monday if you aren't picking up what I'm laying down. The rest of the story is there.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
If the balloon extravaganza wasn't enough fun... we had even more on the weekend agenda.
A tea party at a local historical home Sunday afternoon, to be specific. This was a budget cruncher but the lady who invited us wanted us to come along, in the worst way, so much so that paid for half the ticket price. And the ten bones it took from the September budget was worth it.
The food was good. Tea cakes, cookies, cucumber sandwiches, scones, the basic tea party goodies. But the information was fascinating.
Did you know that The Underground Railroad has a legend attached to it?
There are locations within my town that were part of The Underground Railroad, the pathway formed for Civil War slaves from the south to travel as fugitives to the freedom found in the north during. But I didn't even think about the cleverness needed for communicating whether it was safe to approach the homes, or for directions along the way. Of course, with legends, there are always questions. But the speakers at the tea went through the significance of the Civil War sampler quilts that contained multiple quilt blocks with specific and helpful meaning.
Based on information found by author Jacqueline Tobin, the story is fascinating to consider.
Monday, September 13, 2010
We had a few adventures this past weekend. Not like my poor cousin, Scott, who got detained at a gas station for an hour in an attempt to get his 6-month-old Wheaten Terrier to retrace the steps she took when triggering the electric locking system. Bet he'll never leave his keys in the car again, ever!
I'll be sharing some of our weekend adventures which did NOT include locking ourselves or anyone else out of a car.
Friday night was to be a night of fun, music, and balloons. But it rained. However, there were three more opportunities to see floating balloons and we thought we'd for sure catch one of them. The next mornings' 6:30 a.m. flight was out of question since we had to begin a road trip at 8:00 a.m. But that evening as we rolled back into town we got to experience a little bit of the thrill.
(Sorry for the lack of photographic integrity. (aka poopy pictures) The photos were snapped on my phone and edited so that we could actually see the balloons. Ha. My good camera was at home. Right where I left it.)
I am really glad I got the pictures I did. Because when we rose at 5:45 to get decent for the 6:30 a.m. flight the next morning, I did grab the good camera. We got there a little late, parked, hiked and joined the throng of people. However, the whole thing lacked something. There were trucks and official looking ballooners and even a random basket here and there. But there were no balloons in sight. And we knew that balloons are touchy and weather has to be just right, etc. etc. etc. but...... Apparently the "start" of the event was a suggested, maybe even random, time. Turns out they weren't even starting til 45 minutes later... the exact time we all needed to be home so we could get ready for church.
: ( Oh, sad.
So. We sucked it up, called it an adventure, and are clutching these substandard pictures to our breast and calling them souvenirs.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I'm back. Kind of. The modem is in a box on my kitchen table and I'm in a coffee shop.
I had $2.00 left on a gift card so my wi-fi is truly "free." So no dipping into the fun money.
Hopefully, I'll be able to translate the instructions on the modem and get it installed and become back-back since this is going to be a challenging "fun money" month and I don't have weekly lattes figured into the mix.
But while the internet was uncontrolled at home I accomplished some of the following:
Lots of dog walks". Canning 14 jars of salsa. Playing some fun games... Catan and Bananagrams shout out! "Making" my own "sun-dried" tomatoes. Praying lots and getting some reading done.
Hope you have had a rewarding and growth-producing week.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Monday, September 06, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
I'm glad everyone enjoyed Rob's Wyoming photos. He's got a great eye. I'm going to have to join him sometime. It's Wyoming him...3, Wyoming me...zip
Speaking of trips. Just got back, (yesterday at 4:00 p.m. to be exact) from a trip to Minnesota. Friday to Wednesday full of shopping, laughing, talking and eating. Great time. I always feel a little guilty abandoning Rob. I didn't even talk to him save for two short texts telling him we'd made it in one piece and that I loved him. But. He was glad to see me and thrilled that I made him coffee this morning. : ). (Takes so little sometimes. Ha.)
Shopping. Did I say shopping? Yes. And I'm on this Cut the Crapola excess dump. How did that work? It was a little painful. We hit an outlet mall for an entire day and then spent a few hours at Mall of America. How did I do that and not blow every bit of my six-month budget of $300.00 to cover anything and everything fun and fluffy?
I did spend some. I bought two "fabulous-deal" gifts which do not come out of the fun and fluffy fund. We ate Indian food for lunch and went out for coffee for breakfast which did require shaking moulah from the fund. Then I found some amazing bargains. Clearance with an additional 40 or 50% off. This is the test of all tests in the area of self-control. There is nothing I love more than super clearance. And I bought. But. I got away with a mere $13.99 for three CUTE shirts. Making my total for the entire month of August just a fraction under $28.00. I'm okay with that. It's good practical experience and knowledge for our upcoming road trip to New Mexico.
We packed food so we didn't spend a thing on the road. We can do that for New Mexico which will take exactly twice as long travelwise. So I'm feeling pretty confident that I can keep this up and actually stay under budget. September's portion of $50 is already taking a hit. I've committed to two social activities that are going to eat up around $25.00. So outside of those, I'm going to have to be pretty squeaky tight.
We also finished out the month praying for our people every day, reading the things that we committed to read, and getting in our daily workouts. Month one was a total success. Month two goals are going to include immersing myself in music, increasing the amount I'm running, and purging my house of stuff I don't need or use as well as continuing to pray and grow and cut.