Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clearly the whole Halloween thing...

Interferes with Blogtoberfest, thankfully almost over!

I have enjoyed trying to write more often, though, and hope it has helped get me back in the habit. Blogging on my work website has taken some of my good writing (non fiber-related) so I should remember to cross-post, too.

Almost done with the hood of DS's new sweater, sleeves next.

Fantasizing about what to knit next, of course. I have chosen a new fingerless mitt pattern for the teacher gifts this year: Susie's Reading Mitts. So pretty! I probably want some myself, but since I am in terrible sweater envy, I don't know. I have some Cascade 220 burning a hole in my yarn stash and a huge need for a bright green or orange Basic Chic Hoodie.

Yes, of course, I have a lot of sweaters. But my only handknit hoodie is Rogue, which is just too hot for my climate except once or twice a year or at camp and the yarn pilled right away AND my setting in of sleeves was less than stellar.

Plus I'm really enjoying the sweater for the DS, even though it has NO cabling or anything, so quick, so mindless. We'll see how I feel after the sleeves...

In non-fiber related news, we held our first (for us) Halloween Carnival at the church where I work last night and it was a huge success!! Congratulations, A! Thanks to all the volunteers especially J (Anonymous)!! And today all I have to do is manage to pick up a pre-roasted chicken and some jelly at the store and pick up my forgotten slow-cooker at work, thank goodness. The hard parts of Halloween are all behind me!

Have a safe and fun night tonight!

May peace prevail upon the earth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Facing Everything Unafraid

[cross-posted from my work blog]

I've talked a lot about fear in this blog so far (I went back and read the old posts before writing this). But mostly in a "Wow, isn't it nice not to feel like that anymore" sort of way.

But we all feel fear sometimes, of course. Recently I had to deal with my fear of confrontation. Oh, stop laughing! There are indeed some kinds of confrontation that I fear!

Lately I've been fearful of the outcome of the Health Care Reform debate in Congress. And fighting my fear. The summer was a real roller-coaster ride: the Public Option is dead, the Public Option is a deal-breaker! Every day, one or the other. But now the closer we come to the end of the debate, the harder it is not to worry about how it will come out, how will people get the heathcare they need, how will we stop the unneccessary deaths that happen every day?

The United Methodist Church's statement on Health Care Reform from The Book of Discipline, 2008:
¶ 162 V) Right to Health Care—Health is a condition of physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being. John 10:10b says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Stewardship of health is the responsibility of each person to whom health has been entrusted.

Creating the personal, environmental, and social conditions in which health can thrive is a joint responsibility—public and private. We encourage individuals to pursue a healthy lifestyle and affirm the importance of preventive health care, health education, environmental and occupational safety, good nutrition, and secure housing in achieving health. Health care is a basic human right.

Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent disease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all, a responsibility government ignores at its peril. In Ezekiel 34:4a, God points out the failures of the leadership of Israel to care for the weak: “You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured.” As a result all suffer.

Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities. Countries facing a public health crisis such as HIV/AIDS must have access to generic medicines and to patented medicines.

We affirm the right of men and women to have access to comprehensive reproductive health/family planning information and services that will serve as a means to prevent unplanned pregnancies, reduce abortions, and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The right to health care includes care for persons with brain diseases, neurological conditions, or physical disabilities, who must be afforded the same access to health care as all other persons in our communities. It is unjust to construct or perpetuate barriers to physical or mental wholeness or full participation in community.

We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care.

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission. [Emphasis added]

Now that the end of the process is near, it is important to trust, it is important to pray. It is important to face the future unafraid and know that we are not alone, thanks be to God!

May peace prevail upon the earth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Well, that was interesting!

I just spent an hour being a member of a focus group discussing our school district (very good in general) with the new Superintendent and some of the School Board.

I gave them a piece of my mind about: putting my son in a combo class with little notice and no availability of the principal; the fact that unless you call first or something, their email spam filter bounces parent communications; our old kindergarten teacher looks haunted with 30 children in her class; that the API scores are not that important to parents, only to administrators.

They're going to show the video of the meeting to the Principals. Yay.

Actually, I'm glad I said it all. Our school is very good, really, I just happen to have an issue this year and they just happened to pick me randomly.

It doesn't hurt that one of the School Board members is a member of my church, though.

Anyway, I don't know what, if anything, will happen, but at least the higher-ups were asking good questions.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

My New Philosophy

And believe me, I've been thinking about it.

Better to worry about my own behavior and other people's happiness. Not so much my own happiness and other people's behavior.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Holy Moley!

The Nobel Peace Prize! I'm gobsmacked!

I agree with Michael Moore. Contratulations! Now earn it. We know you can.

Yes you can.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Easy things and difficult things

Some things are easy and others are difficult.

And then the difficult things get easy and the easy things get harder.

Do they go back? When do we stop mourning the loss of the old easy things and just get on with it?

I fight the impulse to drop the things that used to be easy and wait it out. Slog it out, as it were, till the tide turns.

I try to focus on the things that are easy now and enjoy them. But I miss the old easy things.

Why can't everything be easy?

Oh, yeah, humans.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Still thinking about hate speech...

I just read this great quote in Roger Ebert's blog comments (a blog I highly recommend!):

Dostoevsky knew that *129 years ago*, as his loathsome Fyodor Karamazov said:

"... it is rather pleasant to feel wronged -- don't you agree? So a man may know very well that no one has offended him, and may invent an offense, lie just for the beauty of it, or exaggerate what someone said to create a situation, making a mountain out of a molehill. And although he is well aware of it himself, he nevertheless does feel offended because he enjoys doing so, derives great pleasure from it, and so he comes to feel real hostility toward the imaginary offender."

Emphasis mine. I certainly felt the hostility directed toward me last week. I hope the hostile person derived some pleasure from it. Otherwise it really was without value.


Friday, October 2, 2009


Cross-posted from my blog at

I'm sure you've seen the buttons and the bumper stickers designed to make us think: WWJD?

What would Jesus do?

But I have a variation.

Who Would Jesus Exclude?

Wayne's sermon this week was so on point to where I was in my head, it was like he read my mind, seriously! And that list of people that the newspaper forum pastor would leave out of heaven:

"It would include liberals overall, homosexuals, couples living together outside of marriage, anyone who supports abortion at any point, most all people of other faiths, people who don’t interpret scripture literally, those who think we imprison too many people in our country, leaders of countries with different governance systems than the United States..."

Funny thing is, I am or have been in six of those categories! So either I'm out of luck, or that guy is wrong. I know which one I hope!

Funnier still, or maybe just odder, I don't think Jesus would exclude anyone. Really. I mean, he included tax collectors and Philistines, prostitutes and thieves. Jesus certainly accepted people of other faiths, and sympathized with the imprisoned. We know He never said anything about homosexuals at all.

At any rate, acceptance of others, not just tolerance, not just politeness, not even just cold civility are enough. Acceptance. Even love. Remember the sermon from long ago about agape love? Agape has been defined as "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being." That might be a bit convoluted but seems to be saying, wish well even upon those who wish us ill.

It would be nice if no one wished anyone else ill will, regardless of differences of opinion, but that is an awful lot to expect, isn't it? If we could all peacefully coexist, that would change the world. Ahem.

Change the world.

That sounds awfully good to me.

May peace prevail upon the earth.

This is my response to a really odd experience I had at an event last weekend. The Pastor couldn't have been more on point if he had been sitting next to me at the time (he was not present).

Why is it so hard for some people to co-exist with others who disagree with them? Why must they lash out? Why must they act like poorly adjusted schoolyard bullies? Why do some people who profess to be Christians continue to behave as though they are "those without sin?"

I am determined to be open and welcoming to all. However, I do retain my freedom to express my opinions in a civil way and to protect myself and those I love from abuse and attack.

May peace prevail upon the earth.