Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ruth moved in!

Ruth has moved in and I am so happy. I'm sorry for her mother losing her, but I am happier at gaining her. In place of rent money, she will do clean-up around the house. Yay!! She is trying to get a job doing care for a friend's disabled child. She prunes. (have I got a hedge for you!) She has her AA and is trying to make enough money to go to massage school. I'm wondering if she could make some money taking care of our 85 yr old houseguest. I refused to be his aide. I make a crappy nurse and I would rather just be his friend.

I've been having fun with my kindle reading machine. When I can't breathe because of this present cold, I have fun in my bed ordering sample chapters for free and like magic, they appear in the machine. That is so cool. I've also read a number of free "eh" books on the machine and then deleted them and right now I can't remember titles or authors.
Oh, I finished Jeffrey Overstreet's Auralia's Colors whilst at sons' house for Christmas. Very good and very different. I left it for my grandsons to read. I have ordered the second book now.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake is another beautifully written novel by Margaret Atwood with the usual spice of "men are evil and stupid" or is it "men are stupid and evil" and the usual screed about overpopulation. I despised the protaganist who is much like the protagonist in Catcher in the Rye. There is one chapter titled Asperger's U which was fairly funny. I don't know why she thinks humans reverting to the nature of bunnies, as she did here and in another novel where the forest takes over and absorbs the excess babies, is such a good goal.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another book

I finished This Child Will Be Great, a memoir by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Another Oh My Goodness book. As she lays out year by year the wars and causes in Liberia, I remember why I have always felt so hopeless about Africa until I went to Rwanda. Ellen Sirleaf persisted and now is president of Liberia. She has the same problem Rwanda has, which is: how do you build a nation full of murderers?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Voyage to Arcturus

I reread David Linsey's Voyage to Arcturus because something I was reading said it was great literature and loved by C.S. Lewis. After 38 years all I could remember was a three-legged lamb that spun as it walked (was it a guide?) and a voyager whose perceptions kept changing, and shapes moving in some medium. Since it was a philosophical treatise as well, I understood almost none of it then  I can remember when my husband and his friends would discuss philosophy at the Lutheran student center near the U of Washington in Seattle, and I would look from one to the other and wonder how they knew what they were saying. I certainly had no idea what they were saying. If you are going to talk about, say, desoxydyhydrosiltransferase, I'm on it, but abstract philosophy is over my head.
Okay, so I read it again with the difficulty that I fell asleep every other page or so. I had the electronic reader Kindle set up so it would fall down when I fell asleep and that would wake me up so I could start again. I was a more patient reader back in the 70s. Right now my husband and I are watching the old Outer Limits television series in black and white. We cannot believe how slooooow it is. Yet when we watched it as children we did not perceive it as slow. Anyway, David will spend two paragraphs describing the appearance of someone when the appearance has no relevance at all etc. plus I cannot follow what seem to be random statements that compose the dialogue. Once I believe they were discussing Stoicism. I wish he could have been clearer the way Lewis was in Pilgrim's Regress which was also a journey through philosophies. And the end of it all was: life hurts. Not a conclusion to throw confetti for.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A little more on the Narnia movie

One thing I forgot to mention about the Narnia movie was the visceral delight I felt from the scenery. Marvelous rocks and shores and such blue, blue water. Gorgeous. I love our ocean shores here and try often to go to Long Beach in Washington, and Sea Side and Cannon Beach in Oregon. But our water is not blue. It is gray. On sunny days you might see some green in it. And the temperature of the ocean on those beaches is not far enough above freezing for many people to enter. We walk and play with the sand and pick up shells and dig for clams and have picnics and fly kites and look in rock pools and take pictures and visit the art stores and search for treasure amidst the washed up seaweed. What most of us don't do is swim.
A bit late in life I finally read Utopia by More. I cannot imagine ten people living like that for an entire life, let alone an entire society. Maybe programmable robots can. Right now I am reading about ten books at the same time. I need to focus.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas prep and Narnia

Today we decorated the Christmas tree for ourselves and we are sweeping and putting things away. Yesterday we took a young friend to go see the movie Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. I loved the intro and the ship and the sailors and how they handled the slave market. The green smoke monster that made people disapperate made me say "What?" I knew things had to be compressed for the movie, so why did they add something? And then they added the stowaway. The goldwater and dragon hoard were done well. Why they had Lucy take off the dragon's armband, I don't know. I shall need to wait several months before I can buy the movie and watch it captioned. They changed the spell that Aslan needed to talk to Lucy about because they made it a movie about the temptations of the main characters. OK. And then the adventurers needed to collect all seven swords to defeat the evil green smoke monster island, and I groaned inside: video game. A great deal more was made of the sea monster than Lewis made of it and it was a truly scary monster. Some good fight scenes. And then Hollywood Cliche like Secret of NIMH and countless countless other animated movies, the seven swords were joined and a column of light shot upward and Edmond's sword glowed and when he hit the monster crackly lightning killed it. Oh gag. And then the green smoke monster island releases all the people it stole including the stowaway's mother so we can watch the tearful reunion. OK. I got it. Hollywood movie endings must circle around to the beginning and tie up all loose ends to be satisfying. Watching Reepicheep sail off to Aslan's land was cool. Oh, and so was the Wizard and the, the, not Puddlelumps, but you know what I mean. Dufflepods? I'm sorry there could not be a lamb on the beach preparing a meal or indeed a great many things I would have included, but movie adaptations cannot be as complicated as books, I know. Plus there is no way for Hollywood people to understand the layers of meanings in Lewis's books.
Then we went with my sister's family to watch the Asante Children's Choir. Wow. It was wonderful to watch those children singing in English and dancing some Rwandan dances and then new dances to worship songs. Yes, I remember when those kids had not seen a toilet and did not know what to do with it, and sinks, and bathtubs, and managed to break all of them before they learned. I do hope they have learned how to turn pages on books by now. LOL. I remember watching them run screaming from the choir house when I showed them a rubber snake when I was going to teach them prepositions.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dad facing surgery.

My dad is choosing to have surgery done to him to stabilize his neck. I don't know when this will happen.
Today, during a break in the rain, I laid down many leaves on the weeds in the garden and broke the pumpkins I accidentally left on the porch too long and they froze. Sprinkled slug bait. Now I will continue removing by hand every single marked indent I should have let the computer do on Circumnavigation.

The Prince of the Marshes

The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart. An absolutely fascinating look at Iraq through the eyes of a UN provisional government person. I have to keep reminding myself that the US invasion and occupation was not to make the Iraqis people we can like and enjoy, but rather to make Iraq a country that won't threaten us anymore. The deep, deep selfishness of tribal outlook and corruption amazed me. And then, of course, the corruption and ineptness of the people was blamed on the US. Yeah, right.
The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons: A sprawling, massive novel following a whole series of sprawling, massive novels. His accomplishment astounds and awes me.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Some books about Rwanda

I received the books about Rwanda: as we forgive by catherine claire larson, Our Lady of Kibeho by Immaculee Ilibagiza, and Land of a Thousand Hills by Rosamond Halsey Carr. I am looking forward to reading them.

On the treadmill I am slowly working through the book about culture and found it striking when he stated that denial, critique, and consumption of culture does not change culture. Only the making of more culture changes culture.      Ah, but can you get published?

I read Cradle by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. For some reason one or both authors thought it needed lots and lots of really explicit sex. I ended up skipping many chapters to get to the stuff I wanted, which were aliens.
A little story here: At a science fiction convention I ended up sitting with two other writers and the woman mentioned that sometimes she was embarrassed to meet her fans because she knew they had read her explicit sex scenes and wondered what they were thinking when they looked at her. The man said that whenever he wrote pornography he couldn't (have sex). And I've heard from a couple wives that when their husbands watched a lot of pornography, they could not (have sex). Do I detect a pattern here?
Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord Of The Rings by Lin Carter where he slapped together some outlining, some quotes, and mentioned possible influences and done! Wonder if I should try that, but I'm not that interested in Harry Potter.

A 1953 book called a classic on the front, Costigan's Needle by Jerry Sohl. I started it. Maybe if I had read it all the way to the end I might have found that it was indeed a classic, but I don't think so. 
40 Days in Ordinary Time by Judith Quinton was an emotional ride. 
We're Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy And The World's Getting Worse by James Hillman and Michael Ventura. Wonderful title. Started and dropped because of its vulgarity. 
The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction edited by Avram Davidson, Thirteenth Series. Some hits, some misses. 

Alpha Redemption by P.A. Baines. I like the interweaving of back story and regressing story. A computer coming to faith strikes me as odd, but then, I think androids "wanting" to become human is risable also.
The Secret of the Gnome which I read at my grandson's and so don't remember the author was a lot of fun. Rumplestiltskin in his later years.
The Eye of Warlock by P.W. Catanese. Hansel and Gretel 50 years later. Also fun.

I reread Orbit 21 edited by Damon Knight. And what have we here? Nestled amongst so many bright lights of the sf world is a short story by me! Wheee!
The Twelfth Imam by Joel Rosenberg. Exciting, yes indeed.
Molly Banneky by somebody. A picture book I sent to my grandaughter. Fascinating look at a bit of colonial history.
The Streets Are Free by Kurusa, illus by Monike Doppert. Based on a true story of child activism. How much child and how much guidance I don't know. I like the lesson of taking things into your own hands.
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson illus by Sophie Blackall. Good to read to the first child when the second one is coming.
Caps For Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina: Now there is a fun classic.
In the Days of the Comet: Boring preaching.

My son gave me a book called Unit Operations   An Approach To Videogame Criticism. I goggled at him and asked if I would be able to understand a single word of it. In the first two pages, Ian Bogost, the writer, taught me a new word: moil. whooo.  So I thought a poem on the way home while best beloved drove through light snowfall. Boil, moil, and toil, As invisible armies fight invisible foes, And toxins spilt stab joints and veins, dum de dum forgot this line, Coiled capillaries deliver, ah, not fluenza, not affluenza, effluence? to tender liver, Cells leak, a fever peaks, and I don't recall the rest. It sounded better in my hypnogogic state than it does on a cold, white screen. Anyway, it promises an interesting read whilst I keep dictionary near.

Abscission cells

I do hope the early ice and snow has not killed all the abscission cells so that all the dead leaves hang on like rags all winter long.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reading some more books

On my treadmill is Making Culture by Andy Crouch. I am going through it slowly, for I watch the Animal Planet channel while walking, and during the commercials read about culture and permutations. Sometimes I would like to watch another channel but something has happened to either the TV or the remote and I can't change the channel. So why don't I fix the problem? Because it's easier to let it go than to figure out (possibly) how to solve the problem.

The best book I've read lately is Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey: The RIVER of DOUBT. A riveting story of the intersections of cultures and physical difficulties. I have always admired Teddy Roosevelt. Now I see that he had some psychological quirks, perhaps even problems. And I feel so badly about his son for whom there was not adequate medication then, and ended his glorious life badly.

The Aedyn Chronicles   Chosen Ones  by McGrath: I loved the full cover illustration, the many drawings inside to text, the subtle page illustration at the beginning of each chapter. But the, ah, imitation of C.S.Lewis?, the something of the text made it hard slogging. I tried twice to finish it and could not make myself do it. When the main character proclaims the Truth is not always logical, I gave myself permission to quit. I'm sorry Mr. McGrath. I wanted to love the book, and I'm sure many people will, but I was not one of them.

Legacy by R.A. Salvatore: Lots of Plot, fun to read. Set in a universe that seems like hell to me.

Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold: more wonderful adventure of one of the most enjoyable heros: Miles.

The Secret of the Swamp King by Jonathan Rogers: Almost as much fun as The Bark of the Bog Owl. I thought it would end with the hero crowned as king, but ended up with Saul casting out David, metaphorically. I look forward to the third book.

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler: I enjoyed the writing but not the story about people who would not give each other any space or forgiveness at all.

Abiding Darkness by John Aubrey Anderson: I enjoyed it, then the miracles got to be a lot and the hero more Christ-like than Christ. It's hard to explain this southern story. One weeps at the end.l

The Bad Place by Dean Koontz: more thrills


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dad has been moved.

Dad has been moved back up to Longview to a care facility near my sister, to the facility that she has ministered at for, what, thirty years now?         Do I go up to visit him taking my wookie daughter since I have to take her somewhere today, or do I go up after work? And do I go to the home meeting tonight, or should I stay home with best beloved who has caught what I had the last two days which kept me from visiting Dad at OHSU. 
Our autistic friend is in the hospital, possibly with pancreatitis, possibly with an ulcer. We haven't been able to visit him either, and the woman who keeps track of him hasn't answered the phone lately so we don't know what is going on. I believe I'm well enough to check on him. I don't have enough time before work though. Juggling time.

Monday, November 8, 2010


As I look over my posts, I realize I am writing them stream of consciousness style and that some of them are confusing. I need to get more organized........


I look around the office. I know what the kitchen looks like. My yard.  My life.  Right.

Ah well.

More on Dad's broken vertabra

Ok, Dad is looking better and complaining about the hospital food.  I woke up at 2am with some sinus problems, so I don't know if I will be able to see him or not today. He should be more comfortable with fewer things attached to him. He shares a room. A couple days, and then where?

Yesterday I believe I finished everything on Shatterworld except the cover for it to be ready for publishing as an ebook. Oh, not so. I still need to insert the blurbs....

Friday, November 5, 2010

Broken neck

In a moment everything can change.
My dad fell and cracked a vertabra in his neck. Later today, we (children and neighbors) will go to OHSU to hear what a spinal specialist has to say about Dad's prognosis and treatment plan. He is not paralyzed, but is immobilized by a number of gadgets while scans and tests are run.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Storm Drains

Today I cleaned up several of the neighborhood storm drains and put the resulting leaves and muck on my garden. It's nice when civic duty and self interest coincide.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winter Rains

It appears the winter rains are arriving a little early and washing the leaves off the trees. It's time to put my notices on neighbors' doors that I want their leaves. Slowly, slowly I am turning the food garden's dirt into soil.

My beautiful baby boy booger in Afghanistan forgot to tell me he got the books a long time ago. He did say they were helpful and he borrowed a few. I emailed back the question: what did he borrow? but there is no answer. Booger.

The little black banty Homberg chicken has been shedding black feathers everywhere. It's nice to see her tail has grown back.

I am finally taking the plunge and buying a Kindle electronic book reader. I was years behind everyone else in buying a microwave. This time I am only a year behind.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Such a beautiful fall

Such a beautiful fall here with cold nights, cool mornings a pleasure to work outside in, bright sunshine backlighting the leaves as they change color and watch the outliers detach and fall. I'm rearranging the border along the park fence in an attempt to keep leaves of my lovelies out of the spray zone.
Today I baked delicata squash from my garden and our houseguest ate the last of the apples from my dwarf trees. Everything is growing beautifully, except of course in the two death spots along the fence. What on earth did the previous homeowner  pour into the ground there?
Tonight we will go to an Imago Dei homegroup to see how we might fit in. Could this be a place that my husband can teach again? He feels like he is dying inside without an outlet for his gift of teaching. He quit Bible Quiz so that he could spend more time with me, but I'm wondering if that was a good idea.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I am waiting to hear that the books I sent to my son in Afghanistan arrived in good shape. He had emailed us that his first shirt was thinking of starting a book drive for the unit since so many guys had come without something to read. For me, asking for books is like waving raw meat in front of a rottweiler. In minutes I was out the door to the Goodwill outlet and a variety of other thrift stores and a bookstore and checking my bookshelves. I spent ahem dollars on books and ahem!!!! dollars on shipping. I thanked my husband for not complaining at me about the expense and said I wouldn't buy any more and he nodded excessively happily. I sent thrillers and adventure and history and sports and military and a few sf and religious and misc, hoping there would be something for everybody there.

One of the things I am most grateful for in my life is the opportunity to have started 11 libraries in primary schools in Rwanda. I also helped start a small seminary library in Burundi, and added to the libraries of the National University of Rwanda and to  And a lot of poor kids were handed a book. How long the poor kid was able to keep the book before it was sold for something else the family needed, I have no idea. I would like to think that in a bookless society I made some kind of impact. I had so much fun looking for books that were not American-centric, that featured blacks in leading roles, and that carried interesting information in accessible language. It was a challenge to find picture books about Jesus that showed him at least light brown. Oh, I found the neatest nativity story with black angels and a black Jesus, and gave it to a man (for his little girl) who protested that Jesus was not a black! We had an interesting conversation about identification and European depictions of Christ and other culture's pictures of Christ.

I grew up walking downhill two miles to the public library in Kelso, WA and walking uphill home, arms laden with as many books as I could carry at least once a week. My dad told me that the library was the poor man's university. I grew up with perhaps an unholy reverence for libraries and books. Every birthday and Christmas I could count on at least one kid saying, "Oh, look, Mom got me a book. Who would have guessed?"

I'm also happy that I was able to introduce one new crop to Rwanda that was a success, golden grain amaranth. May its use spread. And I gave pictures of myself gardening to a number of diggers and told them that God honored them and their work. Sadly, this was a new thought for them.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I am so sore from moving rocks around yesterday and day before that I might need to stay inside and actually work on some manuscripts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Tired today after piling a lot of rocks along the base of the fence facing the park to help protect the garden from the weed spray the park people use. More piling and pulling and shoveling and brush moving tomorrow. Talked with a neighbor rolling by on her scooter. Had some more sweet potato fries at Burgerville. How I love sweet potato fries month.
Am reading The Time of the Comet? by H.G. Wells. Last month read Confessions Of An Eco-Redneck. Enjoyed but I think a hunter would like it better. It would be good of people knew how much hunters contributed to conservation. So easy to think of the yahoo hunters shooting up everything.  Also read a book by a guy with Plant With Purpose about the Christian's responsibility for creation care.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More books:
Elisha's Bones: a good, fun read even if I can't suspend my disbelief to go along with a story that posits that a group of caretakers had a mural painted in Lalibela hundreds of years ago to give clues to the rich families that take turns keeping Elisha's bones. Maybe it's in case the group forgets the names of the families over a few hundred years. But they'll be sure to remember there are clues in the mural. I learned that St. George's lance had a name: Ascalon.
And Ascalon is the name of the Guild Wars book my oldest son lent me. A fun plot book with nothing of great substance. Or maybe it does, if I deconstruct it properly. It does show us that disparate peoples with disparate goals still can work together to accomplish some great thing.
Rooms: a book that is an extended metaphor for the places we need to face our sins with Christ. And the house, with a two-story tall stone fireplace and huge windows facing Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, I want that house!
The Vanishing Sculpture by Donita K. Paul. I liked it enough to give to my niece.
I read a short book about the Swazi, and then one about the Bunyoro, except the one about the Bunyoro was really about how the anthropologist went about his work and writing the book about the Bunyoro which is what I have to get next if I want to learn abut them. Well, that is irritating.
The Secret Life of Lobsters: Who could know that lobsters could be so interesting?
A whole batch of Dean Koontz including State of Fear (hilarious) and Taking, which I did not figure out was about the Rapture until the last ten pages. Ooooh. An interesting version. Full of nonsense visual effects (maybe this is a movie script?) and nonsense blood and gore such that I just skimmed the last half of the book to see what he was getting at. I am trying to remember why American Protestant Christians call it the Rapture. A Greek transliteration like baptism?
A lot of SF, that apparently did not impress me much because I cannot recall any of the books right now. Oh wait,     ILL WIND: what if somebody develops a bacterium that eats oil voraciously and everything made of oil?   Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks:  Well written with an ending I did not at all expect. He must be British rather than American. Anathem by Neal Stephenson: What a lot of fun Figuring out the etymology of the words was fun too. The word speely defeated me until this morning. This one is going to my nephew Zach who has a PhD in Philosophy and teaches in a Catholic university.
Strength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder about Burundi. Everything he writes if fascinating. Burundi has the same problem as Rwanda, except the hutus and tutsis were more even in their killing of each other.
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet: memoir of an autistic man. Except for the math and synesthesia, nothing struck me as exceptional. I could have written parts of it.
The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. A thoroughly depressing book by someone who did things I can't imagine doing for more than two minutes. Her Christianity was so far away from mine, I could have been reading about a Muslim mystic.
Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet: a marvelous coming-of-age story set in Mumbai. Fascinating.
Whiteman by Tony D'souza: I thought the writer was someone else. I only remember it was unpleasant and I only read a few pages.
Discomfort Zone: a comedy, but I can't seem to remember it. It may be another I did not finish. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hard times

It's been over a month now that my sister-in-law died in Rwanda on a mission trip from a car accident. I think I can finally post about a few things. Or not.
She was such an accomplished person, an immigrant from Korea, PhD, professor of computer science or some such at San Francisco University, loving Pastor's Wife. Organizer. Columnist. In Rwanda she taught the teachers at the National University of Rwanda in Butare how to use computers in the classroom. She also taught the diggers at the daily morning worship at 6am. She was always kind to me.
My husband is now president of Come And See Africa.  His brother is going to build the Kim Foreman Bible Institute outside one of the gates to the NUR.
I have been sleeping a lot, for that is how I grieve.

Two days before attending her funeral I went to the funeral of my 98 yr old uncle-in-law. The military did a salute for him. I had forgotten he had served in the military. While in Morocco, he sent my mother a leather purse of many colors. My father did not go because he was afraid of falling while walking over the uneven sod of the cemetery.  He did hear the salute. When I visited him right after, he seemed confused.

Some time before that my sister and I attended our sister-in-law's wedding held in the nursing home in which she worked so the groom's mother could attend despite her Alzheimer's. I was surprised that I wept through the whole ceremony. She should still be making my brother happy, not this other man! Absolutely not fair since she can't help it that my brother died. And he died the way we should all like to go. They were cuddled in bed, he said "I love you." and then he died instantly of a heart infarct or something. Oh how we wish he could have waited another twenty years. We scattered his ashes around Mt. St. Helen. I may have mentioned all this in another post. I got ahold of myself, and in the reception line I was genuinely able to wish her well. It's good that she is able to grace another man's life.

Sometime in all this, my dad actually asked me to stay longer when I offered to leave after my weekly visit. How odd.
When I went to go see him yesterday, he told me to get out of the driveway because he had to go to a doctor's appt. So I moved and he drove off. I'm deaf, he's deaf, and it's hard to coordinate these things. I still managed to leave my purse at his house, so I had to drive up this morning and get it. I filled his bird feeders and we sat and talked a while. His feet are looking better. 

Our 86 yr old house guest is looking and feeling better too.
Our youngest son is in Afghanistan, and apparently enjoying himself. We celebrate his son's birthday on Saturday. Our oldest son emailed that the middle son may have gotten a job. I grouched back that I don't care about "looks like". I want to know when the papers are signed! I inordinately fret about the son with ankylosing spondylitis. I wish I could take some of his pain upon me.

I've been struck by something I've never noticed before or forgot in Deuteronomy. Moses, speaking for God, is telling the Israelites that He is not giving them the land because of their righteousness, because they don't have any. I suddenly realized I was reading about grace.  Praise God for His grace toward us sinners.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunshine and fruit

A few days of sunshine and the strawberries have sweetened up. I am freezing bags of the delicious fruit. I pick early in the morning before it gets hot and throw over the fence the rotting ones. The worst are the ones that look perfect until I pull them and all their overripe guts squish into my hand. Eeeeee! The birds seem to be leaving my crop alone, perhaps because I send them so many onto the short lawn of the park. So far I haven't hit any passersby. The blueberries are darkening, and the raspberries are beginning to ripen. I eat a few every morning. Soon I'll have enough to freeze bags of them too. For some reason the edible honeysuckle is not producing anything this year. I'll have a good blackberry crop. Last year I managed to burn all the little schizandra berries I tried to dry. We'll see how this year goes. Of course, the birds got all the cherries again. Why do I try to grow them? So far, the plums and apples look good. The black currant is weighted down with fruit. The rattail radish is growing all over with thousands of the radishy seedpods. I pull them up to cover the blueberries to hide them from the birds. But what everybody stops to look at are the pink and yellow and red california poppies carpeting the orchard. Oh, and I need to check on the goji berry to see if it survived the winter.
Today I pulled up a diminishing number of weeds at my wookie's house, and then drove to Dad's and watered his garden. Most things are looking good.
Now I need to straighten out the basement. Two married kids and their kids and a single son are coming to spend the fourth of July with us.
Tomorrow will be our 38th wedding anniversary. We are going to Mongolian BBQ, my favorite. I could eat there every night.  I have to pick what I can chew, which is very little now that I have braces.  For supper tonight I made a canned garbanzo with pureed frozen mixed vegetables and goat cheese soup.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Day before yesterday I battled blackberry (which fights back viciously) at my dad's house. Yesterday I pulled weeds for the church which is planning a large neighborhood 4th of July party and outreach. Today I pulled weeds and pruned and gave advice at my yard while best beloved and I worked on a small patio under the four-way trellis and in the shade of the mimosa tree. I have two pretty plastic Adirondack chairs to go there.
Summer has arrived and the afternoons are grueling hot for me. I never did like hot weather and direct sunlight on my skin feels uncomfortable, but apparently one of the medications I take increase my sensitivity to heat to a ridiculous degree. My favorite temperature is 64 Fahrenheit. For working hard, I prefer the low fifties.

Monday, June 21, 2010

new bird feeders for Dad

Last week the oddest thing happened: my dad gave me money. Background: his main birdfeeder broke. And the suet feeder cannot keep out the gray squirrels. He spends hours every day on the back deck watching the birds. We couldn't find in the phone book any business that advertised selling bird feeders and the stores he knows sell only wimpy birdfeeders that only feed squirrels. So I say I'll drive into town and look. He gave me 160 dollars and asked me to get a bird feeder that's less than 150 and squirrel resistant. I found two metal bird feeders at the second place I stopped for a little over 60. So I gave him the change, filled both feeders, and set them up. Then Dad handed the change back to me, and when I asked why, he said it was gas money.What can you do? I thanked him. I am still startled. He has never given me money during the two decades I've driven up once a week to visit Mom, and when she died, to look in at him. Something has changed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More books

I've read too many books to mention them all. I just finished Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil by John Berendt--(Interesting--how do people live that way?) The Secret Supper by Javier Sierra--(Boring- but as I examine The Last Supper, I do wonder why John who is shown with no beard to represent his youth also has no shoulder? And why is the bread thrown all over the table?) And Kingdoms Of The Wall by Robert Silverberg which was so interesting and then ended with the moral that since there are no gods, we need to do science. I am now reading God's Battalions by Stark, and next will be King Leopold's Ghost by Hochschild. I hope I can handle the horror of what Belgium did to the people of the Congo.
Last week, Best-beloved and I went to movies two days in a row. We went to see the Prince of Persia because it looked like it would be fun, and it was, with great parkour, special effects, costumes, fighting, explosions etc., and yet I could not make myself care about the beautiful characters and I dozed off near the end. The next day we went to see Babies, a documentary following the birth and lives of four babies, one each in Mongolia, Africa (Namibia?), Tokyo, and San Francisco. It was way too short. The audience joined me in laughing or gasping.
My hairy hairless Chinese Crested/Italian Grayhound is poking me as I type. She's as bad as a two-year-old in wanting attention.
Perhaps because of the constant rain this year, the strawberries in my yard are not the essence of delicious as they are most years. Should I bother to pick them? The weeds I pull and lay on the ground keep re-rooting instead of decomposing and returning to the dirt what they took out as I work to turn my dirt into soil.
Dad's yard is beginning to look spiffy. No one will think the property is abandoned now. It is nearing his wedding anniversary. He said that she wasn't supposed to go first. Yeah, none of us wanted her to go when she did. Mom was kind to everybody. I miss our sending each other interesting articles. Did Dad say Mom has been gone for seven years? That can't be right. And has it been ten years since my husband fell off the roof and crushed his feet and lower leg bones? I remember the events too well for them to have been that long ago.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Odd dreams

Lately in my dreams I am continuing to read the book I have set aside, sometimes even editing the wording until it sounds right, and reading so far that when I wake up I cannot tell whether what I remember of the book is what I actually read or what I made up in the dream.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rain, rain, go away.

Normally I'm fond of rain, but the weeds I pulled yesterday are prospering in today's rain. They were the same weeds I pulled four days ago. If it ever stops raining, I guess I'll pull them again.


Today was the day I wanted to go and counterprotest that evil, tiny "church" of Westborough that is coming to Portland to picket all the synogogues. I wanted the Jews to know that I love them and that these fools do not represent Christianity. My husband forbade me. He said the police asked that nobody come and the best way to deal with these fools is to ignore them. It's hard when the press makes such a big deal about such a tiny number of people. Why? And who is paying for these people to fly around the country? My husband thinks it may be a homosexual group giving them money, betting they will end up raising more money and sympathy for them. So... I am resentfully staying home.
That reminds me of the time my son told me just before he went to play a football game in a tiny town that the tiny town's school coach headed up the local KKK, and my son's team had been racially heckled the last time they played there. I got fierce lion roaring mad and said I was going with them and if anybody said anything about my beautiful son they were going to hear from me! His eyes got wide and he pleaded with me not to go. Okay, fine. The game turned out to be quiet because the association told the school they would have nobody to play football with if they ever heckled like that again. And they would be banned forever. Better than me yelling.

Cover Illustrations

My eldest son said I could pay him whatever I wanted for the covers to the Shatterworld Trilogy he is working on. He did not think it fair to charge by the hour as I said I would because he is learning a new program and using the illustrations as the practice piece. So let's see, the first time Shatterworld alone was published I think the illustrator was paid $400 by the publisher. So three times 400 times the inflation from fifteen years ago is....something to contemplate. I hope my son takes payments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My income work is not fun

Whine, whine, whine. If I must work, as I am "encouraged" to do, I wish I could use my college degree and work in a research hospital lab. But with my hearing as it is, I don't know if I'll ever be able to work in a lab again.
Next month I will work less, dropping to one day a week going to my wookie's house and washing feces off all the knobs and faucets and doors and then washing and brushing her, medicating, feeding, and then taking her out for a coffee and paper run. I find it so depressing and demoralizing. I think of all I had hoped for her and how hard I worked to give her opportunities how she has refused everything that might add a little width to her life. And then I realize that I am holding an improper attitude. I need to enjoy her for who she is and where she is right now. It is not my place to wish her to be something else. And yet, and yet.
I'll go to autism websites and asperger's websites and read missives from mothers asked for advice about one thing or another, and almost all of them say they love their kids and would not want them any other way. And I think, "Are you crazy?" I want my daughter to be different, to be able to talk, to be able to behave politely in society and at home, to be able to work for an income, to not beat me up when she's mad, to not be so destructive of machinery and goods around her etc etc. And then I think of my son with asperger's syndrome, and no, I would not have my delightful son be any different. Well, I would like him to write to me from time to time. And I do wish he had enough social whatever it takes to be able to network, schmooze, and find a wife. But that's just because I would like his life to be easier. Raising him was the easiest thing I've ever done, and fun too.

Finished Atlas Shrugged

I finally finished the longest book in the world. Well, maybe. I have never read Remembrance of Time Past by Proust. And I don't remember if I've read War and Peace or not. I've read a lot of Russian novels, and the fact that every character has at least four names keeps me confused. Back to Atlas: I found out what my husband was laughing about when he was listening on his MP3, among other things was that long speech by John Galt. He kept thinking about what the average radio listener would have thought will hearing that speech. Mostly, "What?" "Did he say cannibals? I'm not a cannibal. Why is he talking about Africa?" "What did he say?" "Is he ever going to shut up?"       I am so glad that libertarians have simplified the meaning of the book. Ayn's philosophy works well in a society composed only of healthy single adults without children.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Atlas Shrugged

I am reading the longest book in the whole world. I did not think Moby Dick was too long. I did not think Lord of the Rings was too long. Atlas Shrugged is way, way too long. The characters lecture each other over and over and, ahem, repeatedly. Just in case we don't get it the first or third or twelfth time. So I am interested in quirks by the writer: it is important and a matter of principle to wear expensive clothes. Slim equals good. Fat equals bad. Thanks a lot, anexoric Ayn Rand. High word count of violent, violence, serene, suffer, values, principles, motion, looters etc. There's a strain of sado-masochism in the sex, which puzzles me. My husband and I like each other and like sex, but not once have we thought S&M would add anything worthwhile to the practice.
This book exemplifies the basis of the libertarian party, and preaches a lot of what I can agree with, and preaches a lot of appalling morals. Except for two children so far, all the very few children seen are feral rats. Everyone in the government is a fleshy feral rat. I suppose that because it is a morality play there is no character development beyond the type needed in each space in the plot. One thing I like is the adoration given to the industrialists. I need to remember that she lived through the communist takeover of Russia and saw how they used language, and how they destroyed all viable means of production. She is warning us how that happens in this book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Asberger's and consequences

The worst thing about having Asperger's is being so often mistaken, for me specifically about belonging to a group. I recently joined a critique group (the old one I belonged to for a decade ended when everybody moved or got a job) and was put on probation. Then my probation was extended an extra month because I did not give long enough critiques of the other members' works. OK, longer, more detailed critiques coming. So I thought I was doing okay and getting along with everybody when I got the email today telling me that I was being dropped from the group. I am blind-sided about this type of thing every single time. How is it that so often I think all of us are getting along in a group and I can't tell that I am truly bothering the other members? How can I stop bothering people when I can't even tell that I am bothering people? Heh, and my husband wonders why I don't join more organizations and get more social. He has never been asked to leave a group, (indeed he is usually asked to assume leadership) and so he has no idea how much it hurts.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A chickadee was just tapping at my window while I was looking at Carole McDonnell's blog. Was it telling me that all the bird food was gone or picking up invisible to me insects? I got up and set out suet and sunflower seeds amongst excited chirping. The dog got excited because I always give her the suet container to lick and chew on. Happy, happy Pepper, the hairy hairless Chinese Crested mix.

I finished The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd last night. How I wish I could write as beautifully as she. She has a gift for using the exact right adverb or adjective that describes everything. Her metaphorical use of mermaids is masterful. But as to the plot.... Sigh. I despise adultery. It's engaged in enough that there must be billions of people not getting their perceived needs met. And I need to remember that not very many woman have my wonderful husband. ... So the main character in her midlife crisis has a few months of glorious sex with a monk and becomes alive and can do art again now that she's broken out of her box of marriage. It's fantasy sex with someone she does not know who might leave his socks on the floor or might behave abominably in traffic, but she doesn't need to deal with it, so this is good for both of them, and she returns to her marriage revitalized. Whoopee. She also discovers that the pipe she gave her father as a child is not, after all, the cause of his death. Instead, she discovers that her father committed suicide after coming down with the same hideous brain-eating disease his father did. And instead of finding a way to kill himself by himself, he has to involve two monks, his wife and two of her friends, who make it look like an accident. Guilt drives the mother of the main character to, thirty years later, cut off her fingers. Once the mother is forced to confess this to the daughter, she is freed of the compulsion to punish herself. Uh huh. So now I have been taught that having a fling would help me return refreshed to my marriage.

Being in love is an awful lot of fun. I can see the attraction. Since I make friends among men more easily than I do women (unless the woman also has a mild case of asperger's or has no problem with my differences) I've had the chance to skirt the edges of falling in love again. When I find my emotions going there, I simply draw back until the hint of the possibility goes away. Why can't everybody else do that?   I suppose my attitude is why my feeling daughter finds me such a chore sometimes. She told me she's tired of explaining why she likes the dangerous things she does. After all, I'm never going to get it. I suppose so.  I solved my mid-life crisis by taking college classes. I already have a B.S. in medical technology, so I was relaxed in the classes and massively outperformed the students half my age. Wish I could have been that good the first time I went to college.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Funerals and grief

Our houseguest's wife died. She was buried wearing the Coptic cross I had gotten for myself in Ethiopia. I did not feel sad; I felt exhausted and unable to cope. And a couple days ago, I simply could not find any of the nouns I wanted while speaking. He is having trouble getting through his days, so I am preparing more meals for him. The mother of our music pastor died, and the funeral was extraordinary as was the life of this mother of eight musicians volunteer and worker in education.

I have finished what I hope is the last proofreading of The Circumnavigation Of Shatterworld. Othersheep of Written World Communications has indicated an interest in the Trilogy. Perhaps I won't need to self-publish it after all.  We'll see. So today I need to write up some synopses.

Reading, reading: Since I had denied myself SF for Lent, I went on a Dean Koontz tear and read 5 or 8 of his books in a row. I enjoy his thoughtful, elegant writing, but suddenly I did not want to read about one more murder or creative way to violate a body. I had had it. So I read Ebola by Dr. William T. Close. Absolutely fascinating. I fell in love with the nuns that gave their lives in service to the Africans in the Congo.

The Parrot's Lament by Eugene Linden: What a fun book about animals thinking things through.

The Boneman's Daughter by Ted Dekker. After the elegance of Koontz, it felt almost painful to read Dekker's prose. I understand that his prose is thoroughly acceptable and engaged in by an entire generation of whippersnapper writers. I myself use the occasional sentence fragment because sometimes that is the best way to say something; but this new style where up to half the sentences in a book are fragments is detestable to me. Sentence. Modifier fragment. Intensifier fragment. Another intensifier fragment. Aaaaargh! I got to the end of the book and Dekker has there a small essay describing how the book was a metaphoric description of what was going on between him and his daughter. I cried.

I read two sequels of Marcher Lord Press books: To Darkness Fled by Jill Williamson and, and, I can't find it. My husband must have taken it to work with him. The title is something like The Stream Supernal by Kerry Nietz. I hope Kerry doesn't get his head cut off for telling thinly veiled true stories. The Williamson story I must accept as straight metaphor because no economy would work in her world. People who don't wonder how pencils are made will enjoy the adventure of the story.

Lent ended and I read a batch of SF novels that were pretty much all meh. I dropped Earthbow by Sherry Thompson after two chapters. I was disappointed again after purchasing a fantasy written by a Christian. I want to support the Christians who write in the Fantasy field. I wish I could stand the writing of said people. I like high fantasy with writing that is close to poetry. That's why I don't write fantasy. I cannot achieve what I would want to write. I am prosaic, so I write prosaic science fiction.

We have had variable weather here for the last few weeks. When the sun shines, I run outside and work in the gardens. I am far behind in maintainence. I am always behind in maintainence. I hid some treasure chests in the cave (a rock covered dogloo) for the next batch of grandkids. I took the middle grandson and matching niece to Good Will and we bought all sorts of treasures for the chests. They found a cardboard chest that I hope can be a painting project for this summer.
For my Dad's birthday, I drove up to his house in Kelso and planted seeds of dry loving flowers in the front planter, took out some of the junk on the front rocks and planter, did some preliminary pruning on the Japanese maple and exposed the lantern, sprayed weeds close in to the house, emptied out the tomato planters and put in a few inches of chicken manure, had enough potting soil to fill two of the concrete planters and put in two tomato plants 6 wks early on a gamble and some lettuce, planted some flowers in the fern garden, did a little cutting on the blackberries, hauled and dumped wheelbarrows of dirt, etc. Doesn't sound like much for all the hours I put into it. Then when I ran into the house to grab some scissors to open the bag of fertilizer for the tomatoes I had bought for him, he shouted, "Close the damn door!" He had never even looked at what I had done for him. Now, my dad is my dad, and he usually gives back whatever I give him as a present, saying he doesn't want it. So I know that it's gambling to give him anything, but every so often I hit it right. I thought I might have done so this time. Apparently not. Well, he was likely sick. He had told me he slept in until 10:30 that morning. That should have been a clue. And as much as he maybe appreciates the work his kids have put into his place to make sure it doesn't look abandoned and as much as he has been asked before anything has been done, he likely doesn't like the reminders of his present feebleness and seeing so much of his work through the decades being dismantled. I should have shrugged it off. But this time, the hurt cut deep. Now, he's been ticked for decades that every one of his kids became a Christian and a Damn Republican. He's still mad about an 8 yr old preacher's kid that persuaded him (when he was 6) to join him in shoplifting some candy bars. The police caught the boys, took them to jail, and called the fathers. His dad called him jailbird for years. So, if he can't forgive that (happened 79 yrs ago), there is no reason to expect he'll ever forgive me. And as Mom taught me: don't ever ask for what someone won't give you. So why did I suddenly expect that he was going to respect me? I dunno. I think I was a little sick too. I had to spend the next day in bed. Every time I stood up I sneezed uncontrollably and felt cold. I could hear Dad behind me saying he felt cold as I hastily shut the door, grabbed the scissors, and ran out again, closing the door. I had planned to watch TV with him for a few hours when I couldn't work anymore, but after fertilizing the tomatoes, I just put away all the tools and threw out all the garbage and drove home. I couldn't even say goodbye. I just left. Well, since I'm the Christian, I need to go back and keep on loving him.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I read Shadow Of God, a depressing book about the siege of Rhodes where the Muslims won the war.

Christian Short Stories, An Anthology  edited by Mark Booth. Some of the stories were too sentimental for my taste now. I think that is the one thing that has changed about my taste. Other than that, I still read and enjoy what I read in the Fifth Grade. I'm not sure why the Outcasts Of Poker Flat was included. The Father Brown story was fun to read again. I really liked The Song Of The Min.ster by William Canton, which was scarcely a story at all, but rather a hymn of praise to God. The minister had been angry about the art being added to the church when he had a vision. A quote from the story:  As he crept back to his cell he saw with unsealed eyes how churlishly he had grudged God the glory of man's genius and the service of His dumb creatures, the metal of the hills, and the stone of the quarry, and the timber of the forest; for now he knew that at all seasons, and whether men heard the music or not, the ear of God was filled by day and by night with an everlasting song from each stone of the vast Minster.       It was good for me to read again The Artificial Nigger by Flannery O'Conner. I first read it in my twenties and could not for the life of me understand why this ugly story about ugly, ignorant people was a good Christian story. This time I got it! All we can bring to God is our ugliness and ignorance, and He gives us grace. If we bring Him our pride, He can give us nothing.
 The story reminded me how at one time I thought I wasn't too bad a person (looking back now, I'm appalled). But raising a handicapped child taught me thoroughly that I am indeed a sinner and need God's mercy.


I was teary all during church yesterday. I could not figure out why. Was God touching me? A young man was praying hard in front of me and I prayed for his family. It is so hard to love two people and then find out each has done awful things to each other. They want to be able to trust each other again, but nothing the other says can cause that to happen. I still love and ache for both. How much worse to be a child in the middle of that angry marriage and angry divorce. Then I figure out that he is just sleeping. I thank God for the family facing cancer and the good diagnosis after surgery. I pray for the families in much deeper financial crises than ours. The sermon was about, among other things, tithing. My good friend is crying because she and her husband had had just the day before another fight about her tithing the subsidy checks for their adoption of handicapped kids. I told her she didn't need to tithe those checks, and then I dragged her to the pastor who said the same thing. Then he pointed out that she also needed to honor her husband, and if he forbade it, then she was free of the requirement to tithe. God knew the desire of her heart. And then I realized why I was teary. Yesterday, I opened myself to the thought that I just didn't do enough for my daughter with autism plus.
That always agitates me. We tried all sorts of special diets, supplements, as much sensory training as I alone could provide (which actually did help, she stopped cutting her hands on broken glass and fingerpainting blood on the walls), auditory training, and advocating for her at school. I would still like to try a secretin trial. Beyond that, we could not afford to do, or were too tired to do, or felt would be unfair to our other children.

     I read Mixed Blessings by that guy who played the chaplain in MASH. As I read it, I grew more and more resentful of the gain after gain they made with constant interventions, costly interventions we would never be able to give our daughter. Then I cried when their son lost it all in his teens. I decided then that our daughter was getting all she needed and I need not be jealous of other people's resources.  After all, if nothing but sensory and auditory training had any effect on her, why did I think these other therapies would do anything for her?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mother Warriors

Mother Warriors by Jenny McCarthy:     I finished this a while ago, but it is taking me a long time to figure out what to say about it.
     The author comes across as rude and crude in her writing, but I tried hard to not let that bias me against anything worthwhile she might say. A huge number of people on Wrong Planet hate her passionately. For some reason I thought she was associated with Autism Speaks; perhaps because that is also virulently hated by WP. So, I wanted to hear her side of the story.
     Good grief. I have no patience for such emotionality, as our emotional daughter can attest. I cannot understand why McCarthy and others hate the medical "establishment" but love and trust the vitamin makers. Perhaps it is because the vitamin makers advertise  by anecdote and doctors want double-blind studies; and because emotional people respond to anecdotes and not to statistics.
     I realize there is an empathy and sympathy deficit within me, but even so...     I have worked in hospitals and I can tell you that screaming in a doctor's face is not going to gain the attention you want for your child.
     An anecdote here: when my five-year-old daughter with autism plus was dying, wait, back up here.  After taking my daughter twice to a clinic and her getting worse, I took her to the ER because she wasn't swallowing. The doctor prissy-pranced around her and his first question was, "When did you first notice that your daughter was autistic?" What that had to do with a sore throat, I didn't know, but I also did not want to antagonize the MD, so I answered all his questions. He never touched her (perhaps he had once been mauled by an autistic kid), and sent us to X-ray. After X-ray, I picked up the antibiotic and went home.
     Two and half days later I got a phone call from the hospital somebody asking in an odd tone if my daughter was all right. "No, she's not," I said tearfully, "she can't swallow the medicine, she's flaccid, and she stops breathing every so often. I have to shake her to make her breathe again!" I was told, "Don't give her any more medicine. Don't give her anything to swallow or she could die. Bring her to the ICU now!"
     Somebody had screwed up. Was I mad? You bet. I raced her to the hospital and she was admitted and I crawled into bed with her while nurses hung up an IV bottle with an antibiotic. I propped her in my lap and shook her every time she turned gray. (I cannot recall what I did with our fourth-grader and baby.) Three or four doctors drifted in, asked me when was the first time I noticed she was autistic, and drifted out again.
     I talked to the mom of the boy broken all over in the bed next to me. Night found me up for the third night in a row, shaking my daughter every ten minutes or so.  In the morning, nothing had changed for her, another doctor asked me when had I first noticed my daughter was autistic, and changed the antibiotic which should be curing her epiglottitis. She just turned grayer.
      I left her long enough to make a phone call to my husband. How I reached him when he was four hours away at a dental class reunion in a time when all telephones were attached to walls, I don't know. Yes, I do; I had the hotel page him. I told him our daughter was dying and I needed him to come to X hospital right now.
      He said that he was having such a good time meeting people he hadn't seen in years and couldn't one of his sisters go be with me? I could not believe what I was hearing. "Your daughter is dying!" I said, and slammed down the phone. My mother handed me a kleenex. To his credit, at that point he did get into the car and drive the four hours. He said later that it did not seem real. What he never has said was that reunion was his first carefree time in years. Also, when his mind is focused on a thing, it is difficult for him to drag it elsewhere.
     During those four hours, our daughter got grayer as I shook her every two to five minutes. Doctors were becoming very puzzled. I was changing my daughter's diaper and noticed the lymph glands in her groin were swollen. A doctor came in and watched us a few seconds before asking, "When was the first time--."
     "Excuse me," I interrupted as politely as I knew how, "but could you look here? It seems like her lymph glands are swollen. Do you think they are?"
     He felt them, he felt her neck, and whoosh! he was gone. I was glad somebody finally touched her and that I didn't need to spend fifteen minutes telling her life history yet again.  
     A medical technologist jogged in, drew blood, and jogged out.
     A few minutes later a nurse switched the IV bag again. This time it had prednisone in it. A doctor explains that my daughter has mono, and that only in children between four and six years of age does mono cause an immune response that swells up the throat. She never did have epiglottitis.
     In fifteen minutes, our daughter woke up, and she wanted out of there now! My husband showed up. Another fifteen minutes of paperwork and my daughter bounced out of ICU.
     So..... I guess she wasn't dying.  Well, it sure seemed like it at the time. We tapered her off the prednisone over a two week time as she kept her head in the refrigerator and grew a potbelly.  Me, I was on 50mg of prednisone a day to save my life from glomerularnephritis and lupus, and I had to take two years to taper off. I am grateful it saved our lives, but I hate the stuff. It made me emotionally labile, and there were times I would watch myself screaming and inside would be saying, Stop it, Lelia, stop it! but I had no control for a year or two there.
     Okay. I told you all that to tell you this. I am quite well acquainted with the despair that can accompany having a severely autistic and violent child. I've done my share of dark nights of the soul, etc., but this book is over the top.  Also, she keeps characterizing autism as a horrible enemy. I can see why those of us who end up identifying at least a little with our syndrome would find it offensive to be called the enemy.
     She tells the stories of a number of parents in an overly wrought style. The kid who died while seizuring? Okay, I'll grant how awful that is. Did the kid get his problem from a vaccine. I doubt it, but it is possible. But kids have seizured to death all through history. They get seizures from the diseases vaccinated against also. One reason I am so deaf is because I had measles as a youngster. Children were born deaf when their mothers caught measles. Some children died in utero. When we were stationed in Japan, a number of babies in the nursery died from chicken pox. Statistically, life is better with vaccines. Of course, if it's your kid that is the one in 50,000 that dies or gets autism from a vaccine, then it is too much. I wish the vaccine schedules were stretched out more, but I understand the public health issues of getting the shots in while the kid is in the office because he might not come back.
     She tells the story of one kid who is supposed to be cured as long as he takes 200 pills throughout a day. 200 pills a day!!  Well, I need to take, ahem, X number of pills a day to stay healthy, but still...   She talks about a number of things that "work" for autistic kids and cure them.  I understand that "works" can mean any sort of improvement. Auditory training for our daughter "worked" in that she understood what we were saying for the first time in her life, so when her schedule changed and we had warned her ahead of time, she no longer tried to kill us for upsetting her life. She became a little more emotionally attuned to us. She made a friend (which, alas, we moved away from). I met others who had rather more dramatic changes, but I did not see anyone who was cured. Well, okay, there was the gal from Sound Of A Miracle, who fits within normal parameters now, but she still needs to deal with her hypersensitivities.
      In the book, she gives an address of where to go to talk to moms of cured kids. That is very tempting. I just wonder if I really want to open the door to thinking that if we had just tried this one more thing, our daughter would be more than a wookie.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tired and sore today, but happy. Two days ago I celebrated being up in good shape by going to a memorial service for my sister's stepmother-in-law and visiting some with her gathered children. The next day all of us went to Dad's house and cleared some more land. Best beloved and I cleared a lot around the cement fish pond. When had the grapevine trellis collapsed? I hadn't noticed because of all the blackberry vines. Today I hope to dig up all the compost covering the pond and concrete walks made by the birds and sunflower seed hulls over a number of years. Pulling all the vines growing in that was a chore and a half. Dad watches us do the work he can no longer do and pets our dogs. He still hates that we are Christians and, much worse, Republicans, but maybe he is coming to peace with it. It is amazing how willing to work hard my sister's girls are. I am jealous that she has all these girls (six living) to play World of Warcraft with to talk with and to go to coffeeshops with. I have one that can only talk like a wookie and one that would not enjoy going to very many places with me. I had so much fun with my mother, going to art shows and sewing expos and going on long drives to take the wookie to a center to give us a week's respite and gardens and comparing notes on books etc, that I had hoped to have such a relationship with my daughter. Ah, well. God knows.
I was able to talk to my sister's youngest about why eye gaze hurts for her is because for her and me, eye gaze stimulates the amygdala in the brain instead of the limbic system as it does in most people. I explained how I practiced eye gaze until I had finally desensitized and she would need to do so also or people would not trust her.
Anyway, it was a good day of work, and altho I got tired, I did not get shuddery like I did last month when I pruned for a few hours and notched my lopper on Dad's wires.
Then we went to Starbucks and discussed Shatterworld with my sister and two of her daughters. One of them could not finish the third book because it was too depressing. More talk, and ok, ok, I'll write an epilogue, but it won't be my husband's epilogue. And Ralph in a morning consult at Sheri's restaurant had already persuaded me that an epilogue was required. So, I haven't finished writing Shatterworld after all, grumble, grumble. I am also truly distressed at how many people say that my husband's additions are useful. Glower. He says he is the editor and publisher, so he has the right. Glower deeper. He promises he will not mess with the books I am writing for my oldest son's universe. Good. And oh, I am adding some more conversation of Elder Chin in the closet, but again, it won't be my husband's sermon. The niece who couldn't finish the book will try again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I need to be fairer to my husband. He took the books that I had written fifteen years ago and that had been lost when the computer died, and collated the different versions on paper and retyped all of them for a Christmas present to me. Then he organized a number of critique group meetings and collated all the comments into one document. Then he plans to finance the self-publishing of said books.    That is love.   If he had not done that, Shatterworld would still be sitting in boxes in the basement.
We found out the last infection is by an antibiotic-resistant bacterium. Since the lab called my husband (I am too deaf to talk on the phone anymore) I don't know the name of the little bugger, but I would not be surprised to find out that it is a pseudomonas, which is what I caught in Rwanda a little over a year ago. So I started a new medicine, and for the first time in a few months, my sinuses have stopped draining and I feel like I might be alive after all.
Yesterday I finished the first version of a prologue to Killing The Siij. Jay of the Outrageous Fiction critique group suggested I do that instead of a lot of flashbacks. Bowmark's version of the events were covered in The Scarred King. Since I want all the novels set in Joshua's universe to be stand alone novels, it suddenly made a lot of sense to show the event where Bowmark and Risli crossed from her perspective. Yes! And I wrote half a chapter about the young garloon just before he went on a seek. He shall gain a name on the seek. What shall I call him? Writing this novel is a lot of fun, and I'm glad a found a critique group that is helpful after the one I belonged to for over a decade dissolved because of moves and jobs.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am so tired of being constantly sick. I get one infection cleared up, and one someplace else shows up. On the other hand, I am feeling good about getting some good writing in on the novel Killing The Siij. I need to be working some more on proofreading the Trilogy and addressing the issues various people have brought up. And my husband keeps pressuring me to keep in his additions because they are so useful. And then there's the epilogue he wrote without consulting me at all. Well, he's a sweetheart and some of his ideas are good, but I still need to write in the additions the way I would and not the way he would. If I were to write an epilogue to the Trilogy, it wouldn't follow his history at all at all. He thinks the books are so important that he must contribute. And he's a teacher. And he likes to preach. I hate preaching in books, or so I think until my husband and others point out where I have preaching in the story. I thought that was dialogue when I do it.
Anyway, he wants this to be a collaboration; I want him to leave me alone. And then he brings up that if he hadn't typed the books for me, they would still be sitting in boxes and would never be published. Well, is that fair I ask you? What do facts have to do with anything? And... what I'm really sick of is being sick and being unable to accomplish much in a day.

Finished Darwinian Fairytales, Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution by David Stove.   Huh. The man believes in evolution, but he does not believe in natural selection, or scarcely anything said by Darwin, his followers, and Dawkins and his followers. He points out the errors with closely reasoned arguments.
Odder by Dean Koontz: a fun, engaging read if you don't mind some murder and mayhem. The short and colorful disquisition of Indians and gambling casino followed by an extended metaphor was worth the price of admission.
I'm in Hebrews now. Forgot to mention I read a number of magazines such as WORLD magazine, Christianity Today, Fine Gardening, Fine Sewing, Cloth Paper and Scissors. Why should you care? I dunno.

And I forgot to mention that our houseguest/boarder is in the hospital again for a week. He's 84, and very sick. He's also a delightful man, and an elder in our church. I'm beginning to wonder how much longer we are going to have him. I'm always sad when he goes to the hospital. He's running the race well, as is his wife in adult care. But, you know, that last bit is such an uphill climb.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A few more books

I finished Diabetes Type 2 & What To Do by Valentine and Toohey and this know-it-all learned a few things such as why I am hungry all the time and why losing weight is such a cumbrous process.
Connected   24 Hours In The Global Economy by Daniel Altman: Very interesting. Will I be able to retain the information I learned. Not likely. I don't have that kind of brain. So what kind of brain do I have? I always scored in the 99th and 98th percentiles of the Iowa basic skills test. So what? The tests are good predictors of how well you will take tests. They don't measure social smarts or musical smarts or body smarts or character traits such as perseverance or future state of health etc. Over the years I have managed to lengthen my three number short term memory to four numbers. Most people have a seven number short term memory. God made me the way he made me for His purposes, so I can't complain, but I sure wouldn't mind being given some social smarts. I just hurt my daughter-in-law again by being oblivious to nuances of things I say. I apologize, but I know I'll do it again sometime soon. Sigh. I hate hurting people.  Back to the original point. I don't understand things at the corporate and governmental level. I can cope with one on one most times. Groups are hopeless for me. After we leave a group meeting, my husband needs to explain what happened.
And I read some book about 20th century design that taught me nothing. I preferred From Your House To Bauhous.
Oh, and The Other by David Guterson: I love his elegant writing. I am about the same age as he and lived in Seattle for six years, from Ballard to the University District and back to Ballard again. So even though I did not care for a single character of his, I enjoyed going to all the places he mentioned and remembering the songs and events of that time, the 70s in the Pacific Northwest.
I am still working on Darwinian Fairytales which started out with arguments that sometimes seemed unfair and interesting but beside the point. Finally I realized that he was making a different point than I had anticipated. He was going after Malthus as interpreted by Darwinism. Now I'm in the part where the author is going after Dawkins and The Selfish Gene. I remember laughing all through The Selfish Gene, and I am enjoying reading someone who can explain why I was laughing a lot better than I can.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amazing What an Earache can do

I had an earache for several weeks that finally quit and transferred to the other side. I let it go thinking it might go away too. Instead it got too painful for me to chew and my sinuses never stopped draining and I felt sick. Went into a clinic and feel much much better today except I still can't chew hard, so how am I supposed to eat all my veggies? What happens if you blend celery? I'm about to find out. The sun is coming out so I think I'll go out and throw around some fertilizer.

I read The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwambe and Bryan Mealer.   How do I get this into the hands of everybody in North America and force them to read it!  What a story!!!!!!!!!  Favorite quote from the book: "I try, and I make it."  His story about how a three shelf library became this poor and starving boy's university is exactly why I want to build libraries in Africa.

Finished Bitter Scent by Michael Bar-Zohar.  Yi, yi ,yi, how amazing how many Nazis still run the world. Reading about corporations merges and splits and boycotts reminded me of how I wanted to boycott Monsanto, a truly evil company. So I went online to find out what companies where owned by Monsanto but not carrying that name so that I could carry out a comprehensive boycott. Whew. Mergers and splits and mergers and splits so that at the end of the shell game, if I understood correctly, Monsanto stood alone as a company that only handled the lawsuits of previous incarnations.  Sheeee.......  Now, I love genetic engineering of crops, but I hate companies that sue farmers that live downwind from engineered crops and receive pollen they did not even want for their crops.  And I can't help but wonder if producing corn that kills caterpillars is why I can't find butterflies anywhere in this town, let alone my butterfly friendly yard. And how do the scientists that developed the killer seed technology sleep at night?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A few more thoughts

I finished reading "a long way gone  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah: Ohhh God, Ohhh God, Ohhh God.

I had forgotten what I wanted to add to West Oversea. I so much admire the missionaries who dared to go to my ancestors in Scotland and England. And considering how often the Vikings "visited" England, there might be some Viking or Danish blood in me as well. The murder rate was horrendous. The religion was horrendous. The people enjoyed slaughtering foreigners. Thank You, Jesus, for the people who went in Your Name to my people.
On one of the New Year Celebrations in Rwanda I was asked to speak, and so I told the people there were Christians in Africa long before there were Christians in the British Isles and how glad I was for the missionaries. I explained just how dark it got in England and how desperate the people became for light. They worshiped mistletoe and oak trees and burned people in wicker baskets. On New Years the king would have sex with a white horse in front of everybody. The people built huge bonfires and prayed for light. And I read the verse about the people in darkness who have seen a great light. And I thanked God for Jesus who is the great Light in our lives.

I finished On Combat: there is a book to go on the reference shelf.

Oh, and we think we found out where Frank's patients went. It seems the receptionist was not calling the patients about six-month appts. After Frank held a staff meeting and said the receptionist was the first person he would need to lay off, suddenly his days were full again.

And speaking of Frank, my best beloved, he and one of the Chinese Crested dogs had irreconcilable differences and so little Kip went to the Humane Society. I'll bet he wasn't there for ten minutes before he was picked up. If he went to a household without a man in it, I think he'll do fine. So now we have the Crested mix who looks like a muppet, and the house is quieter and less tense.

I pruned the plum tree to a height where I can reach the fruit and coated all the stubs with a no-sprout chemical. We'll see if it works. Prunus trees love to watersprout. I brought in some of the branches to force, and they are blooming beautifully.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bright Day

A cool and sunny day meant I could go out and do a batch of pruning.

Frank and I have been trading illnesses for a few weeks now and I've been muzzy headed and bereft of any accomplishments. I see that developing the habit of blogging will be difficult. I would much rather add witty comments on other people's blogs.

For Lent, I am giving up reading science-fiction, except of course for the editing of my stuff.

Frank started to read Accedia and Me, and he had a completely different take from me. He is not impressed with the desert fathers and the exploration of their minds and mental sins. He says their main sin was going off to be by themselves. They should have lost themselves in service to others instead of wondering why they didn't feel like praying anymore.

What I've read the last few weeks while laying in bed feeling accedic:

Isaac Asimov presents The Great SF Stories 17 (1955)  So, that the year Clarke's The Star came out.
The Starbridge by A.C. Crispin    Aliens! Sex! What's not to like? Well, as I have said earlier, I like sex, but not in my reading or in my movie viewing.
Her Majesty's Wizard by Christopher Stasheff: the first in the series. His writing got better.
Hunted by James Alan Gardner: Aliens! I liked it.
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz: Oh I did laugh. Bizarre and hilarious.
West Overseas by Lars Walker: I enjoyed it and learned how to pronounce some Norwegian words.
Dinotopia Lost by Alan Dean Foster: couldn't finish. Charming idea but maybe I was just too sick to get into it.
Arana's Visitor by Julie Rollins: I think this would be a good book for a junior high group to read and discuss.
What are the Chances? by Bart Holland: A fun review of odds and statistics.
The Hottest Urban Legends by Jan Brunvand: good grief, the stories we tell each other.
When The Sky Fell by Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr: If you are into military sf and enjoy every single detail of how things happen, this is the book for you. This was not the book for me. I like biology and medical details, not machinery so much. But one detail did bother me a lot: how do ships "list" in space? I have a brother-in-law who should like this book. He has large photographs of airplanes, jets on his wall. Now why I dislike photos of jets and like photos of bridges puzzles me. They are both highly engineered works of man to get people from one place to another. So why...
Project ULF by Stuart Clark: I don't know why a microbiologist who should know better would have his protagonists capture specimens for zoos in the most amateurish way possible. There's the broken-hearted male and the beautiful girl and aaargh! I just don't like thrillers. So why do I like the thrillers by Dean Koontz who does the same stuff other thriller writers do? I dunno.

I'm almost through On Combat which is fascinating. I'm working my way through The Book Of Absolutes. The social part was tough. The physics part is much easier. I'm going to see if I have the stamina to read The Book Of Absolutes into an MP3 so my philosopher son can hear it while he is working on his sculptures.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I read some more.

Finished anthology Neutron Stars: had short story Love Among The Ruins by Evelyn Waugh, no date assigned to it but at least 40 years old: could have been written last week.
Finished Keeper of Dreams anthology by Orson Scott Card: amazingly good. Especially liked the notes after each story telling origin.
Working on Bitter Scent and On Combat
Reading in Galations. I have forgotten to mention where I am in the Bible when I post. I read a chapter every morning.
Wrote another page in Killing The Siij

Last week I put my daughter and granddaughter on a plane last week. She plans to make a new start half way across the country. I think it is a huge mistake and I fret (should be praying) about the safety of the two-year-old. Went on a chocolate binge.

We visited a friend in prison. Visited the sons in Kirkland. The one with ankylosing spondylitis was up and cheerful about some job interviews which did my heart good. Whenever I see him unable to move and in pain it breaks my heart. The eldest son is increasing his skill set at work, a dream of his. That and a silly thing like paying attention to his wife and children is keeping him from illustrating the trilogy I want to publish soon.
We got to see our grandbaby in Florida laughing on Skype, no, Facebook. This type of technology I love. But I do wish the telephones weren't so smart they can do a hundred things I can't tell them to do.

I have put off emailing to the pastors I support in Rwanda because I don't want to write them that I can't support them anymore as Frank's dental practice has lost so many patients for inexplicable reasons. Well, I know there's a recession, but goodness. He has commanded me to get a job so I am now waiting for the paperwork to go through the county and then I will provide respite care for my niece who is a companion home provider for my daughter. Just a little nepotism there.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I finished Accedia and Me by Kathleen Norris. I think I need to read it again. I don't understand mystics. And her writing style confuses me. I have no idea why she included at least half of the anecdotes, quotes, and longer stories. But then, I don't understand mystics.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They came, they left.

It was so good to see Pastor Jeremie and Jane. But it was for such a short time. One supper, one drive to church the next day. They had so many people to see. I discovered they have been all over the U.S. for three months. Jeremie showed us pictures of the empty ground his church was trying to procure that Pastor Rob and I (and many others) had prayed over when we were in Bujumbura (how I love that name). Now there are school buildings on it and the president of Burundi had gone to the dedication of the schools. And he did receive the books for the beginning of a small library in his beginning seminary.  So I have started 11 school libraries in Rwanda and a seminary library in Burundi. Thank you, God.

Books read in the last few weeks:
Molt Brother by Jacqueline Lichtenberg: I liked this. Good aliens.
The Long Mynd by Edward Hughes: I liked the writing but it had an appalling ending that somehow a romance was supposed to make it all better.
Day of the Dragonstar by Bischoff and Monteleone: Reminded me of Jeremy Robinson's Antarctos Rising. The dinosaurs kill all your enemies, But Then...   Except Robinson has an intriguing interpretion of Genesis and Revelations.
The Restorer's Journey by Sharon Hinck: What an excellent Christian book about depression. Of course, that's not what the Plot is. You can never once think the word depression or home-bound illness and still enjoy the swords and sync-beams and poisoned daggers. My favorite line: I am His to waste. I am so sorry the trilogy is going out of print. I so enjoyed seeing a Housewife in a sf story.
I finished The Bookseller of Kabul. On my treadmill is Caravans by Michener. I've read The Kite Runner. I read the blogs of various people over there in Afghanistan. If I lived there, I think I would be desperately trying to live elsewhere.
Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee: poetic writing, a delight, and funny too.

I am working on Accedia and Me by Kathleen Norris.

I wish I hadn't read so many books. I wish I had spent all that time writing. But that is how it is for now. I fade by the afternoon and go to bed around 5. I have a lot of time between 5 and 9-10 to read. So I have joined Herbalife to lose weight because I don't do it by myself, and I'm on the treadmill for an hour or so a day. Unfortunately, I have to do it in the morning which is the only productive time I have. I start by reading heavy works like Accedia until my mind goes blank and then I pick up the stuff that is mostly plot.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Reading The Bookseller of Kabul.  What pits of misery Afghanistan and Pakistan are. And reading this just after reading about women and fistulas in Muslim countries makes me weep for the evil of Islam. I have had friendly relationships with Muslims and had them over for dinner. But after 9/11 and finding that Islam has a word for the duty to lie to Christians and Jews and Pagans took the heart out of me. How much were my friends lying to me? Of course, finding out that Muslims do not allow adoption (which is a central doctrine and habit of Christians) is sad too. I remember how surprised I was when a PhD from Bombay (now Mumbai) asked us why we had adopted, and then why had we adopted children of another race. He said mothers should keep and take care of their children. Well, nice ideal. Last I looked, though, this was hardly an ideal world.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wish I knew

I wish I knew exactly when Pastor Jeremie and his wife from Bujumbura were coming and what they want me to do? How many meals should I prepare? Can I invite friends over or do they want to be left alone? Will I be driving them to visit sponsors?   Oh, I need to look for the dufflebag of his clothes he left when he visited two years ago. I wonder how many kids he is fostering now. I wonder if he's forgiven me for showing him the American custom of shoving snow down his back.

Finished Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee. Beautiful writing with the occasional surprise of synesthesia.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ok, before I run these books down to the used book store and maybe get some credit for them, these are some of the books I read in the last few months:
Finished Language of God last night. I thought it would be a difficult book, but it was exceedingly easy with a clear presentation of what Christians call salvation. I'll have to think some more about his argument about the truth of evolution. He said that scientists have discovered a way for the flagellum to come together bit by bit. I'm not so sure and I still have problems with dating and strata formation. Mt. St. Helens made lots of strata with trunk stubs in one week at Spirit Lake. Well, all in all, I thought it a great book with much to think about in it.
Adult Children Of Alcoholics: explains Clinton the liar.
Siege Perilous by Lester Del Rey: fun
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: Fascinating at first and then grows tedious.
Icy Sparks: interesting throughout, but how do you pop out your eyes?
The Hollow by Agatha Christie: okay
Blasphemy by Douglas Preston: silly
Sticky Church: oops, haven't finished it yet, back to the to read piles
The Voice of the Night: Interesting. Ghastly
Passenger to Frankfurt: philosophical treatise disguised as a novel
The Seven Basic Plots: really long with lots of repetition. Cracked me up when Christopher Booker said that Jung and his discoveries were as important as those of Einstein and Newton. I scribbled Don't Think So in the margin. I was reading fast. He may have said that Jung was as important in psychology as Newton in physics. I still don't think so.      The constant repetition reminded me once of a final I took at the University of Washington in a storytelling class. One question. I filled in two pages of the blue book. For some reason I had determined not to be the first one to turn in my answer. I waited. And waited. And waited. All around me, people were writing furiously. I read the question and my answer again. I had answered the question. What were all these people writing? I waited and they wrote. I waited and they wrote. I broke into a sweat. What nuance had they picked up that I missed? I studied the question forwards and backwards. I had answered it. By now, some people were filling in their second blue book. I absolutely could not see what to add to my answer. Finally someone else took up their bluebook and I quickly followed and left feeling defeated. My test result? A.   I could rewrite Booker's massive tome as a pamphlet.
Shadow Fires by Dean Koontz: good writing which always surprises me in a thriller.
Jack's Life by Douglas Gresham: written for children. I liked it.
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse: eh. written better than anything by Brown
Cosmic Beginnings by Soyinka Ogunbusola: could not finish. Perhaps correct spelling and grammar are Western oppressions, but it was too painful to read in a book I had high hopes for.
Starfire by Stuart Vaugn Stockton: I don't know why it took me so long to get into it, but once I did, I found it delightful to see how a society made adaptions for such disparate sizes of people. Well done.
Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb, given to me by a daughter-in-law who must have figured out that my love language is the giving of pertinent books!  I wish that Dr. Gottlieb had thought to research the thinking of those on the autism spectrum before he wrote these letters to his grandson. I can guarantee that his grandson will understand only maybe one of them. He writes in a language my daughter-in-law uses and I don't. At age 57 I am finally beginning to understand that type of abstract word usage, but I'll never enjoy it.
The Parasite War by Tim Sullivan: okay
Dread Empire's Fall by Walter Jon Williams: good writing, as always, by Williams. Nothing to make you think after you finish the book.

Let's see, not in the sacks are the Tim Downs Bugman mystery and the latest Pratchett which became gifts. Oh, I need to set aside the Starfire and the sequel when it comes out for a nephew.

As I look over this list, I realize that I am not feeding my mind well. Need to do something about that.

In the meantime I am shutting down which is my response to Too Much To Do. It's better than a meltdown, but it means Frank has to take care of everything.  I don't know how I'm going to clean up everything with a daughter and toddler theoretically living in the basement and I still don't know where to put everything. And the dogs keep picking my purse and throwing around hearing-aid batteries and lotion and the toddler throws everything on the floor for them to chew on. Oh whine whine whine. It's time to get up and clean Something.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Tiny Bit Done

I typed a few paragraphs on Killing the Siij.
Last night Frank and I read through chapter three of The Pacifists' War, and neither of us saw anything we wanted to change. We'll see what the critique group says.
I have not found anyplace that our dimwit dog has peed on yet. I'm starting over and rewarding him with treats for doing the right thing outside. Remind me to never ever get a Chinese Crested again.
I cleaned off some of the dining table. I had told Frank about how I wanted to rearrange things someday, and so, because Zach was here they did huge amounts of moving and dissassembling, and then after Zach left, he did some more and hurt his back and decided my bright idea was a stupid idea and now we are waiting for help to move furniture again and in the meantime the house is torn apart with debris strewn everywhere and the pastor from Burundi is coming to spend a few days with us this weekend.
I have discovered that instant paper mache does not stick to pipe cleaners. I have discovered that toddlers make really sticky floors, but I don't feel like cleaning them yet.
I finished Karen Hancock's The Enclave. I liked it, though sometimes the dialogue bothered me, with the bosses sneering at a Christian worker. My experience with professors and researchers is that when they discover you are a Christian or a creationist, they grunt in surprise, and then they just never talk to you again. On the other hand, her professors are insane, so.... okay.
I'm reading The Language of God right now. I always thought it might be Stephen J Gould who converted me back to believing in evolution. I lost my faith in evolution in college when I started studying dating methods and realized the number of assumptions you have to make I was not willing to make for dating to work. And then...long story. But no matter how much Gould I read (and everyone really should read his Mismeasure of Man) or Dawkins or anyone else, I have not been convinced.   But Francis Collins might convince me.