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.