Monthly Archives: March 2010

the harlan’s ode amendment

you know that spinach dip I bought?

turns out the date was important or something.

grievous dip, which art expired.

I’m checking your product expirations more carefully from now on, Harlan’s.


circle yes or no

We’re talking about relationships at PowerLife tomorrow night (friendships in particular, from the looks of the curriculum, but I’ve already gone ahead and asked a panel of married/engaged adults to serve as a panel) and I’ve been spending this afternoon reading about middle school dating (courtesy of a couple google searches) and wishing I could do that outside.

What’s sad is that most of the hits besides parenting websites (which I am finding to be somewhat useful) are “ask” sites where middle school students ask questions to the void about the boy or girl they really like and if it’s okay to date him or her and what that means and how to deal with break-ups, etc.  The open nature of the Internet allows other kids to reply, and I am shaking my head in disbelief at the advice that’s been handed down by “sage” wisdom from the 8th grade (or high school).  What sorts of examples these answerers have had to draw such sad conclusions, I can’t imagine.

Perhaps the most disappointing find was an adult’s query about her 13 year old daughter and her friend’s 14 year old son who had dated for a year and ended the relationship suddenly.  She wrote as though she had expected the relationship to last forever (along the lines of “how do we get them back together”).  Really?  I’m torn between being glad she is involved in her daughter’s life enough to talk about the relationship, but isn’t that much involvement a bit too extreme?  Can we consider that the purpose of middle school dating isn’t even the same as high school, which isn’t necessarily even the same as college and beyond?

I applaud the encouragement of healthy relationships that some of the parenting articles suggest; not really awkward 1-on-1 romantic dates but sort of task or goal oriented outings…perhaps going to a science museum as a family and sending the kiddos on a mission by themselves to get them talking…or invitations to family gatherings, or group hanging out.

When Jesus was 12, he was spending his extra time at the Synagogue (okay, that might have just been the one instance during Passover when his parents couldn’t find him…but I suspect his relationship with God was persistently a priority)…so when we ask the telltale “What Would Jesus Do” in respect to middle school dating, what can we conclude?  I hope to emphasize God-honoring relationships of all kinds (especially friendships–middle school can be a critical friend-circle decision time).  It’s hard for me to visualize Jesus as a 12 year old.  This is a representation I found in a church I went to for day camp last summer (no hard feelings if you drew it or really admire it…it’s just so feminine and Caucasian…)

Supposedly Jesus at age 12. Mercy.

I’m going to circle yes for the question:  Do I need a carwash?  Might go take care of that now. 🙂

an ode to harlan’s

Harlan’s, thank you.

You are my local store.

You carry a surprising variety of food.

For instance:

hummus (well, you did once)

ravioli (maybe you could get the cheese kind?)

a fancy spinach, artichoke hearts, and parmesan dip (which I bought today and which expired yesterday).

and the staples like bread, cheese, milk, and frozen dinners.

except I don’t buy your frozen dinners (sorry).

Don’t let me forget the quick-sale items (like the solid whipping cream I bought for 50 cents–that’s butter!).

I don’t mean to come across as complaining,

because I think you’re really great.

Your clerks are nice and helpful

and you sell ripe bananas at reduced prices (hello, banana bread!)

It was really a pleasure to return to your aisles again

after a long absence.

I’m not really sure how you come up with your prices,

but today I noticed the better economy of buying the bigger  box of wheat thins.

That made me feel smart.

I suspect you did that so I would feel smart.

So thanks for that.

I hope you stay in business for a long time.

You’re swell.


I really wanted to write something funny today.  A gut-busting laugh would be great, you know?

The only trouble is that I can’t really give you comedic timing in writing.  I’m not the funniest joke teller (I can get on a roll…just ask my kind audience of recharge attenders this fall), but sometimes the timing just works out so that the normal-ish thing I say is met with laughter.  That warms my heart.

I’ll leave you with a joke I found on the Internet.  It didn’t even evoke a groan, sadly, except for my stomach rumbling because it’s lunch time.

Who invented fractions ?

Henry the 1/8 !


The first day of spring is this Saturday, but you could have fooled me this afternoon.  This was the best day of winter that we’ve had so far!!  It was apparently close to 60 degrees today, so my gal pals from church and I bought some chalk and went at it in a local park.

gabby's artwork with some shadow fun.

this got cut off a bit.

It was so nice to be outside enjoying the sunshine.  There were tennis courts nearby which made me totally nostalgic for tennis in high school (even though I also remember kind of dreading the occupation of my after-school time with practices…not to say it wasn’t fun, but it was a shift).

This weekend was such a refreshing one (and an extended one) with the addition of a much loved sister, some sweet family time and fellowship with awesome friends.  That’s where the inhale title comes from.  But as I was getting going this morning, I cringed to realize that when I am inhaling like this, when things are sunny and good (even though it was rather misty and cold to start out the day), I’m not always quick to breathe in God’s goodness and exhale praise and thanksgiving.  Chalk that up (ha, oops) to my false perception of self-reliance or even the mixed up schedule/routine that I have been enjoying while staying at my dad’s house, but the excuses don’t really cover it.

So may I encourage you to breathe out Praise of His Name as often as you breathe in His goodness?  That’s my task for the night/week/month/forever…

As a side note, I’m looking forward to a quiet WEDNESDAY night at home.  I had a couple because of snow and Christmas break, but still.  It’s a rare occasion to be delighted in and treasured.  There’s always homework, I suppose…but it is what it is!! 😀

I hope you got outside tonight.  Maybe I’ll squeeze in a walk around [hopefully not soggy] camp tonight, too.  Ye-ah!

out of the corner of my eye

On my way to Ames this morning, I turned to head south and out of the corner of my eye I noticed something I had not seen before (and it would turn out I just didn’t remember seeing it):

a cornfield.  It’s been covered in snow for so long that I forgot that was what it was.  I had a double-take moment and actually had empathy for folks who look at Karen and I like that because we look alike.  Crazy.

And then, as I was driving from Ames after discipling this morning, similarly something caught my eye alongside the Interstate:


It was odd to my eyes.  My brothers, this should not be :).  The snow is melting a lot, but wow.  You know you’re pathetic when the grass looks foreign and it’s March 11th already.

Dinner time…and baking.  I’m thinking I might try a MIllionaire’s Shortbread Bars recipe (I had a Millionaire’s Shortbread trifle in Cornwall with V once that was to die for…wow).  Peace, y’all.


I left Iowa for Cornwall, England a year ago today.  I think about how much I was required to grow on that day and through the 11 weeks of my stay and I wonder how long some of that would have taken to do apart from such a trip.

Last night I looked at a photo album I compiled (in a horrendously sporadic order, but I’ve already penciled in captions, so I hate to move them around) and concluded that when it is spring I will always think of Cornwall.  The spring there is lovely, lots of vibrant green and bright colored flowers, the smell of the sea air and the gorgeous gardens.  Even the rainy/misty days (which there were plenty of, though not until I had been there for 3 weeks or so, which amazed my hosts) were pleasant.  You’d have to scrape a slug off the side of your milk carton in the morning (the milk was delivered), but it was a lot warmer, so the rain wasn’t so bad.

I might bake some scones (towering scones, naturally) tonight after work.  Or shortbread.  I have one package left of my Fox Creme biscuits (which were “best by” June 2009, sadly), so I might bust those out with some Tetley and remember coming to Penair from the train station for an adorable setting of tea and biscuits, my first food in the country and first meal since the plane trip.

Not much else to write.  Just a bit nostalgic.  Have a good Thursday!