Saturday, May 17, 2008


We were all sitting around the kitchen talking and I asked my husband what he wanted me to call him on my blog. He suggested "Turtle", and everybody agreed, so that's what I'll call him.

However, I do have one reservation. Let me hereby declare to the world, that I did not acquire him because I have a turtle collection.

Here's the true story. When we got married, Turtle was appalled to discover that I didn't collect anything at all. It was somehow un-American, uncivilized, and utterly unnatural for someone not to have a collection. He had, at the time, a stamp collection, rock collection, record collection, and a boy scout badge collection. Since then he has added several collections, most of which involve books, bees, bows, bikes, or boats in some form or another. Well, I was a new bride and in order to please this man, I told him I would collect turtles, because I already had an onyx one. Well, you know what happened. Everybody started giving me turtles. Now I have a real collection.

Several years later, Turtle joined a church camping fraternity. He had to have a name to put on the stick thing that identifies each wild, buckskinner of a man's tent, so he chose "Bellowing Turtle". He does bellow at times...and he is a little slow, particularly when we are all trying to leave for a camping trip or something, so the name stuck.

Now, I guess he is stuck with the name in Blogville. Way to be famous, Turtle!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Eagles and aspirations.
Bracing breeze and circles
High above the tedious earth,
Lifting up my face to feel the light of God's face.
And thus seeing--far below--that beloved speck of dust called earth
The shimmering lakes and the green of lawns
Where little people play out the passion of their short, frenzied lives.
From my mighty spot, aloof and lonely, I am strangely moved;
My heart is sore--for their frailty, their glorious plans gone wrong.
They weep in the dirt, and I so want to carry them...up...up...up
Into my arms, soaring.

Our Sunday Scribblings prompt is Soar/Sore

I cannot think of this prompt without thinking of that marvelous chapter 40 of Isaiah.
which ends like this:

28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Keep Walking...Keep running...Keep Soaring.

(The picture is from

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So I like Oddities...

"Mom, it's just a terribly messed up cup I made the first year of clay class, a mistake."

"I think it's neat. How did you get the glaze to crack that way?"

"It cracked because it wasn't good glaze. It didn't work."

"Could you find that glaze again, because I like the way the face peeps out."

"No. I don't even know what kind it is; someone had mixed it and left it and it was ruined. That's why it didn't work."

"It looks a little like wood. How did you do that?"

"I had to stain it, and it wouldn't take an even stain. You can't even drink out of it. It's toxic."

"Well. I like it. It has personality. It will also remind you of the first year of clay class."

"I know."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My House, The Dead Sea.

Seven years ago when we moved into this house we had lots of extra space. We had been living in a small four bedroom house with a bath and a half, and four teenagers; That year our two extras--a foreign exchange student and a foster child-- moved off to college, and we accepted the pastorate of a church near the school where I teach. The parsonage was huge and beautiful. I still live in it with a kind of awe. We had to buy extra couches for the front living room and an extra bed for the guest room, but, for the most part, we left it bare; it was heavenly. That was seven years ago.

Do you remember reading about the Dead Sea? It receives water from the Jordan river and a couple of little wadis, but it has no outlet. The water evaporates and leaves minerals and salt. Fish die. People float. It stinks.

That's my house. Well nobody is dying yet, but I'm floating. There is too much inflow and not enough outflow. I'm on the cleaning offensive. I'm going to dig three canals to the Gulf of Aqaba and let this stuff sail away. Trinkets, extra clothes in sizes that might fit someday, dishes I don't need, even (gasp) books. It's going to go. In a month there is going to be a town-wide garage sale here. I'm enlisting. Here is my junk. Please, please take some.

For years I've been assigning maps in geography and my students have been labeling the Dead Sea. Recently, I google-earthed it and discovered that the resourceful Israelis have drained the water off the lower part--the part below the Lisan. It seems that there is great mineral wealth to be harvested there. When I first saw it, it surprised me. I mean, changing natural landmarks like that...uncovering the bottom of a sea; what admirable nerve! I guess they figure if they did it once they can do it again.

Israelis, you inspire me.
I'm going to harvest this house--pump out the sludge and discover treasures. In fact, I'm starting with the attic.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Poke Lines

On Facebook, you can reach out and poke someone. Whenever they log on to their facebook, they might poke you back. Then you can challenge them to a game or puzzle, and if they are online, you might chat, in a lazy corruption of the English language. Kids love it.

I'm sure the telephone, when my parents were young, seemed just as wonderful. Imagine, touching a family member who lived half a world away, or around the next block. Before that time, if you moved to Wyoming, you were as good as on the moon...letters being slow and unreliable, winters and snowdrifts being long and isolating.

By the time I was a little tyke, phones were a normal part of life. True, families still had only one phone--big and solid and black with dials. I remember giggling with my little cousins as we "prank-called," asking unsuspecting, anonymous voices whether their refrigerators were running, or whether they had Prince Albert in a can. It's a good thing nobody traced the calls. My grandmother would have been indignant, and we would all have been confined to the corners of the living room to sit and pout individually.

Now, of course, cell phones have invaded like vermin. Nobody is ever alone anymore. My children call them electronic leashes: "Yes, Mom, I'm still alive. I'm just leaving for home now." "Just letting you know that I'm out of my studio and back safely at the dorm. Yes. I know it is late, but I have to work on these projects or they won't get done in time." I've noticed, however, that they wouldn't dream of leaving them behind. They have become comfortable with the idea of being able to poke anybody on their list. As a matter of fact, so have I.

Our Sunday Scribblings Prompt was Telephone

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Catching Up

It's interesting how the up on the end of words changes the meaning like it does. For instance, I could never title this post "catching". It would sound like an epidemic was running rampant.

It's Mother's Day, and I feel blessed to be a mother to my three unique children. True, they are grown up now, but they are always my children. Yesterday they all pitched in and helped me clean up the house. They guys took all of Elijah's clothes down to the local laundry place and washed them there, while I washed about seven loads here and hung them up. We all dusted and picked up stuff, scrubbed windows and sorted. I even cooked up a briskett.

Claye began to sort and clean her room/studio/ye olde curiosity shoppe. It's shaping up a little and might actually be livable in a week or two.

Babystepper and Art came over, with the two grand-babies. They really liven things up. They brought me some new glasses from Michigan and we exchanged them for the unmatched jelly jars and mugs that were filling up my cabinets.

All in all, it was a profitable, enjoyable day, thanks to some great family. Things are looking up.

I'll have to 'fess up though, that I tend to overuse the word "up". Do you think I'll use it up?
Hmm. I wonder why it's never confess up?