Let’s get Henry a dog!

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Henry is the son of my friend Kendra. He was diagnosed with autism a few years ago and we’re trying to raise the funds to get him an autism-awareness dog that can be trained to find Henry if he’s missing (a huge risk with autistic kids, especially ones like Daniel and Henry who are non-verbal) and can sense if he’s overwhelmed/overstimulated so his people can get him to a place where he can get back to calm. This post is going to stay stuck at the top of my blog until further notice.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook + Answer Me This: July 26, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY July 26, 2015

Outside my window… dark. (Surprised?) Earlier, it was about 90F and thankfully, the park was breezy when we were there between 4-5 p.m.

I am thinking… about my to-do list tomorrow: calling my doctor to get a consult with a G-I for my ulcer (which landed me in Urgent Care on Saturday afternoon), calling Daniel’s pediatrician to get a referral to radiology for the x-rays that the orthopedist wants, and calling Microsoft to figure out what in tarnation is happening to my laptop.

I am thankful… for Margaret, my partner in doing music for VBS earlier this month. Our music director/organist had a medical emergency and she stepped in to play piano for Communion and the recessional hymn. We did the first hymn acapella (which sounded amazing) and spoke the service music instead of singing it though the choir could probably have cantored it. Girlfriend is hella talented and did a better job sight-reading than I could have done actually *playing* back when I had decent piano skills in high school and the beginning of college.

In the kitchen… crackers and chevre for dinner because I knew it wouldn’t mess with my stomach.

I am wearing… grey shirt and capri sweats. For church, it was a black shirt (Old Navy) and a paisley skirt (Kohl’s).

I am going… to watch some Viperkeeper videos when I’m done with this.

I am wondering… if we will ever get Daniel to sleep through the night in his own bed. (I just came into the bedroom and found my precious sweetling asleep on my side of the bed.)

I am reading… Vanishing Grace by Phillip Yancey. Next on my TBR list is The Alpine Zen by Mary Daheim.

I am hoping… to get in with the G-I specialist soon. This stupid ulcer is driving me crazy.

I am looking forward to… Daniel going back to school in a month — the kid is bored!

I am hearing… silence as I haven’t put anything back on Youtube.

A Daniel story for today… my in-laws had new lighting put in the kitchen including one over the sink. Daniel can’t reach the switch for that one so he’ll pull an adult over and point to it to get it turned on and off. (His pulling on me is why my pinky is sprained at the very least and possibly even fractured. Kiddo is strong and has a good grip.)

Around the house… silence. Everyone is asleep except for me.

A favorite quote for today… “A pilgrim is a fellow traveler on the spiritual journey, not an experienced guide.” — Phillip Yancey, Vanishing Grace

One of my favorite things… this rendering of the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili by Peter Hollens and Malukah. (It was the main theme of the game, Civilization IV.)

A few plans for the rest of the week: errands, medical appointment scheduling, possible doctor’s appointments, PT on Tuesday, and whatever comes up.

A peek into my day… A raccoon we’ve been feeding and her four kits. Jon had only seen two of them and had named them “Bonnie and Clyde”. We’re currently searching for more fitting names.

The five banditos at the back door.

Post Script…

After you’re done reading my answers to these questions, go congratulate Kendra on her new little sweet pea and see what everyone else has had to say.

1. What’s your favorite grocery store splurge? For me, it’s probably ice cream or some kind of fruit that I want but isn’t in season. I’m in California so I can get pretty much anything but I’ve lived in places where the selection of fruits and veggies was limited due to the climate and what the store chose to stock.

2. How’s your penmanship? Mine is pretty as long as I’m printing. I can’t do cursive anymore without seriously thinking about it. Seriously, the only time I use it these days is to sign documents and even then my signature has flattened out and is pretty utilitarian.

3. Do you have a “Summer Bucket List?” Nope. My life would probably be improved if I did but there’s too much in flux in my life to create one.

4. What’s the best thing on the radio right now? I generally only listen to Air 1 or NPR so I’m liking the latest Casting Crowns album, Thrive.

5. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Ice cream is a weakness. My favorite flavor of all time is Oatmeal Cookie Chunk from Ben & Jerry’s. What I would eat on a daily basis if I had a choice would be sorbet because I’m lactose-intolerant and I have an egg allergy.

6. Have you had that baby NOW? (Again, you can skip this one if you want.) Funny you should ask that… my friend Jenny just wrote a blog post on that!

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Crowdsourced Content

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

What I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Daniel is off school for the next month and now that we’re back from my parents’ house, I’ve got him pretty much all day. My mother-in-law has stepped up and helped *A LOT* this week because I’m fighting stomach issues (which is meaning that I’m feeling more run down than usual and am napping a lot) but today, I had him prety much all day so writing this post with insightful Quick Takes was just not going to happen.

So… I decided to take a page from Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum and crowdsource some content. I had three people give me questions that I’ll answer (and I’ll put one person’s two part question into two Quick Takes) and then I’ll give you two things I saw online that amused me. Sound like a plan?

— 2 —

From Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum: Your feelings on Klondike bars? Absolutely neutral. I don’t think I’ve eaten one in years so I honestly can’t say what I would or wouldn’t do for one.

— 3 —

From Beth Anne of Beth Anne’s Best: In honor of your 15 years of blogging, what site did you start blogging on? I started out hand-coding a web journal on Peacefulwaters.Org, my own domain, in July 2000 and used Microsoft Front Page to generate some of it. (I’ve been doing website stuff for 18 years so this wasn’t that weird.)

— 4 —

From Beth Anne of Beth Anne’s Best: What sites have you used over the years? This is actually the second part of the question and I split it up because her question could honestly have been a post of its own. I did the hand-coding for a year and then did Livejournal for a bit, tried Grey Matter a few times, used Moveable Type for a few months, and then switched to WordPress’ predecessor b2. I fully switched over to WordPress in 2004.

::Meditatio:: itself has existed in pretty much unbroken form since 2003 when I switched to b2 and has been hosted on Grace-Filled.Net since 2005. I’ve imported all of the hand-coded stuff, the Livejournal entries, and one of the Grey Matter sections. I still need to import about 6 months or so of Grey Matter and Moveable Type which unfortunately has to be done by hand and it requires a working CD-ROM… which I currently do not have. (Laptops don’t like falling on hardwood floors. It’s under warranty but that would involve sending it to HP for weeks at a time.)

— 5 —

From Jen (@Jentoinfinity): How many people have you met IRL from blogging? You can name them if you want or just a number. This is kind of a weird question because I’ve known some of my blogging friends since before they had blogs, as in the case of my BFF Rebecca who was my maid-of honor, is Daniel’s godmother, and whom I have known for 20+ years. As far as fellow people I’ve met because of my blog, I’d say 3? I met Ellen of Stranger in a Strange Land in 2002, Dawn of ladydusk in 2003, and Chris of Father Christopher (and formerly of SomethingUnderstood.Org) in 2004.

Related to this, I think one of the stranger things that has happened was standing in the receiving line at a church in Ponoka, Alberta where Jon was interviewing for an associate pastor position in 2009 and having someone come up to me and tell me that they love my blog. It turns out that they were talking about my Blogathon site but it gave me a shock for a few days because I keep pretty quiet about my real name on here.

— 6 —

Something for which I really respect Sen. Lindsey Graham. So some of you might have seen the news about this yesterday:

This was Senator Graham’s response:

Stay classy, Senator!

— 7 —

Finally, some lovely music. Here’s one of my favorite videos from The Piano Guys:

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#5Faves: Miscellanea (XLI)

#5Faves

One

Schick Intuition. I ended up using a sample of this while visiting my parents in San Jose last month and got hooked. It has the razor imbedded in the shaving cream which saves some money (no need to buy shaving cream) and it saves time because I don’t have to lather up.

Two

Trader Joe’s Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. Mint chip ice cream is one of my kryptonites. These are ice cream sandwiches with the mint ice cream in between two chocolate Joe-Joe’s (think Oreos). They are sinfully delicious. Yet again, Trader Joe’s nails it!

Three

Ceiling fans. It’s hot and seriously humid here (84%!!!!!) and the various ceiling fans in the house are helping to keep me from completely liquifying. By the way, the storms this last weekend set records and confounded meteorologists.

Four

Viperkeeper. I have a strange fascination with his snakes even though I am terrified of them. The weird thing: this is what I watch before I go to bed.

Here’s his FAQ (no snakes involved):

Then there’s Elvis (a king cobra):

Five

My local Trader Joe’s. Amber, the assistant manager, let Daniel ring the bell today and the various checkers and employees always greet him by name. I don’t think I would have had half the conversations I’ve had with people there if it wasn’t for Daniel and their efforts to make him feel special. They seriously go out of their way to interact with him and it’s a great help to me in getting him socialized and more chill in public.

Go love up Jenna and the others.

15th Blogiversary

Wow. As of today (July 20th), I have been blogging for 15 years. When I started, I was a 20 year old college student who was in a long distance relationship with a seminary student doing chaplaincy in Oregon. In the last 15 years, this is what has happened:

-married that seminary student and have been a pastor’s wife for 13 years
-lived in 4 different states
-learned to drive
-had a kid and almost died in childbirth
-lost a gallbladder
-went from being an uber-opinionated 20 year old to a more mellow 35 year old
-graduated from college and did a year of grad school

I’ll be excited to see what the next 15 years hold!

The Simple Woman’s Daybook + Answer Me This: July 19, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY July 19, 2015

Outside my window… dark and probably still raining. It’s the second time this summer I’ve been greeted by serious rain between Pasadena and home on 210 when I’ve been coming back from visiting my parents. Given the fact that California is seriously short on water and that little brush fire in San Bernadino County almost prevented Jon from getting to church this morning, I’m completely content to let it rain and rain and rain.

I am thinking… about the things that await phone calls and efforts tomorrow. Argh. Social Security is *STILL* a mess and I’m hoping that my worker actually follows through and untangles this mess.

I am thankful… for a good week with my parents, time with Rebecca, and being able to attend my church back home.

In the kitchen… I microwaved some frozen pizza for dinner.

I am wearing… black v-neck shirt and navy/white striped pajama bottoms.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, Daniel to retain skills over the summer, patience as I work with Daniel in these coming weeks (not something I possess in large quantities), the marriages of some friends, and some special intentions.

I am going… to watch some Viperkeeper videos when I’m done with this.

I am reading… Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey. I’ve picked it up again and I’m enjoying it.

I am hoping… Daniel sleeps in tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… seeing how far my minion and I can walk tomorrow morning on our death march.

I am hearing… Viperkeeper talking on one of his FAQ videos.

Crocheting… same old same old — amigurumi stuffie and Daniel’s big boy blankie.

Around the house… quiet as almost everyone is asleep.

A favorite quote for today… “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” — Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

One of my favorite things… Coca-Cola. I missed it this last week.

A few plans for the rest of the week: dealing with Social Security, errands, and whatever comes up.

Post Script…

After you’re done reading all of this, go see Kendra and some other superheroes.

Answer Me This

1. What’s currently on your To Do list? Speaking firmly with Social Security, calling to get a radiology referral for x-rays before we see the peds orthopedist, finding ways to help Daniel keep up his skills, and cleaning off my desk/sorting my mail from being gone for 9 days.

2. Better type of superhero: magic/radioactive powers? Or trauma/gadgets/hard work? Hard work and gadgets. I’m the daughter of an engineer and I love figuring out how things work.

3. Finding out if baby is a boy or a girl before birth: Good idea? Bad idea? We chose to with Daniel and I don’t regret it — I don’t think I could have waited to find out. Given that I was in no shape to give them the potential names at Daniel’s birth, I’m glad that I knew ahead of time so that I could give them the name before I was too far gone.

4. Have you ever appeared on a stadium jumbotron? Nope. Never been to a professional sporting event. This will change in September when Jon and I go to the Episcopal Dodgers Night. I have been informed by my priest that I may wear my Giants socks (note to self: acquire some!) but that I am not allowed to boo Clayton Kershaw or Yasiel Puig. Whatever!

5. Are you more book smart or more street smart? I’m actually both, depending on the topic. If there’s something I want to do, I’ll read on it or do some trial and error to figure it out.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Taking on Some Controversy in the Media and Talking About A Couple Books

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

The bakers fined $135K for refusing to bake the wedding cake. I actually had some sympathy for the couple who refused to bake the cake. They should be allowed to politely refuse to do so and face some bad publicity for their decision. My sympathy vanished, however, when I found out that they not only declined rudely to make the cake but they also doxxed the lesbian couple by giving out their names, address, email address, and phone number. Granted, this information *IS* public record because of the lawsuit, but the husband of the baker specifically shared it in anger and people used the information to send death threats to the lesbian couple.

(Libby Anne has a good blog post on this.)

— 2 —

The Planned Parenthood debacle. So here’s the thing: it wouldn’t surprise me if Planned Parenthood has had some unscrupulous people selling fetal tissue and I’m good with Congressional panels looking into this. HOWEVER… the Center for Medical Progress acted pretty dishonestly inasmuch as they had actors portraying people from a tissue company and in the fact that the video was pretty edited. All of the sites like LifeSiteNews that have broken the story are acting really smug about it and in a really distasteful way. LifeSiteNews in particular is so liberal with the inaccuracies in the news that they report that I honestly wouldn’t believe them as far as I could throw them and this is making me really leery to believe what they’re saying. On the other hand, I don’t trust Planned Parenthood either.

Truthfully, the news makes me feel tired. This article from America Magazine probably comes the closest to how I’m feeling.

— 3 —

A situation completely foreign to me as a West Coaster. Libby Anne’s blog post referred me to this one about a teacher in Mississippi who lost his job when a student outted him as an atheist. This horrifies me because I’m the daughter of a secular humanist and an agnostic/Buddhist and it scares me that one of my parents could be the person behind Godless in Dixie.

— 4 —

Why California does better under Jerry Brown. My mother-in-law gets a happy expression on her face every time someone mentions Governor Jerry Brown because, according to her, the state just does *sooooo* much better under his leadership. I’m having to admit that I agree, especially as he just signed into law a bill ending religious and personal exemptions for vaccines. Only kiddos who have specific medical conditions and a note from their doctor are exempt from the requirements. The only two other states who have passed a similar law are West Virginia and Mississippi, which kind of surprises me because you’d think that those two states would allow religious exemptions given the religious nature of their populations.

— 5 —

Owning one’s atheism. Neil Carter of Godless in Dixie appeared in a report on CBS This Morning on atheism. I’m watching it right now and it’s interesting. It saddens me however that his girlfriend’s father shunned him and his girlfriend because of it. The father just passed away and specifically asked that Neil not be allowed to be around the family while they mourned. That’s pretty serious hatred of someone right there.

Still, I’m glad for Neil and the others in the video that they are owning what they believe. Do I agree with them on their stances? No. Do I respect their dignity as people and would I have a drink with them? No question that I would!

— 6 —

The book I just finished. I just finished The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows and while it wasn’t as good as her first book, it was pretty fabulous.

— 7 —

You know your book is old when… Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson has been interesting to listen to, partially because the book is pretty dated. They’re talking about things like payphones which I haven’t personally seen in probably 5 years!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#5Faves: Miscellanea (XL)

#5Faves

One

Cool weather. It’s supposed to get into the 90’s here in San Jose over the next few days. Have I mentioned a bunch of times that I hate heat? My parents also don’t have A/C so this should be *interesting*. Have I mentioned that my happy place is the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia?

Two

Nadia Bolz-Weber. My priest quoted her on Sunday. She has a new book coming out soon called Accidental Saints and I’m looking forward to it as her book Pastorix was excellent.

Three

Silence. I have it right now and am enjoying it. (Everyone else is asleep.)

Four

Iced vanilla latt├ęs. I seem to be caffeine-binging these days. The one I got from $tarbux today was fabulous.

Five

Officer Mock of the Pittsburgh PD. When he found out that two boys from his boxing gym needed a home, he adopted them. My heart was melting while I read the story.

Go love up Jenna and the others.