Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who decided the New Year would begin on January 1st?

Since my partner in crime has had a convenient lapse in memory, I am forced to take on this rebellion in singular fashion. I'm boycotting the New Year beginining on January 1st. Not that I'm a religious resolution-setter anyway, but still. Think about it:

  • I'm supposed to be all googly excited about new starts when even Mother Nature's starts are frozen in the ground.

  • I'm supposed to be turning over a new leaf when the majority of them have been raked up and, if I do find one to turn over, it's all brown and moldy.

  • I'm supposed to feel rejuvenated and reborn when it's the middle of the dormant season. Animals are hybernating, for heaven's sake, why am I supposed to be all bubbly with energy?

Instead:

  • Why not think about new starts when the earth is oozing with little buds getting greener by the minute from the sunshine?

  • Why not consider turning over a new leaf when trees are bulging with little tiny backbones hunching, anticipating their breaking out into whispy little appendages?

  • Why not harness all my spiritual energy when the alive season is starting. "Spring" says it all. It's a come-alive word with images of Tigger bouncing all over the place and Eeyore isn't quite so blue from the cold.

So don't look for any miraculous, marvelous, monumental milestones from me until at least March. I've always been the black sheep; the one with rebel blood in my veins. Some things will never change no matter when resolutions are supposed to be made.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wholly Holey - Wholly Holy

This is a whole bunch of nothing but, so what else is new, right? I've been trying to crochet a scarf with some chunky Light & Lofty yarn. The kind of yarn that's so soft you could fill one of those ball bins with it, jump in, pull it all up around you and just stay there forever. However, because of all the chunkiness and texture, it's been difficult, to say the least, to crochet with. Where I've been is immediately filled up with the loftiness of it and where the next stitch needs to be is not just an open space crying out for the crochet hook to dive in. I've had to feel for the placement of each stitch. In fact, when I was first starting this project, I turned all the lights off. I figured since I had to feel for the space whether the light was on or not, I might as well enjoy the ambience of the flickering Christmas tree lights while I worked on it.



I couldn't help but think that this is how my mom crocheted hundreds of afghans - by feeling where to insert the crochet hook each time. After that many, her fingers were adept at staying in place and guiding her hook as she created masterpieces out of yarn. The Law of Compensation. Practice Makes Perfect. However you want to explain it. And, granted, like anything I persist at, I've noticed that over time I've developed the senses and abilities needed to be proficient. But still . . .



Well so then my next thought was . . . I bet this is how the Savior touches and works with us to create our Masterpiece. Obviously He's already proficient at the Process of Creation. Unlike my hands that become calloused after repitiously (is that a word?) doing the same thing, His hands would be soft and tender and He'd know right to put His hands to guide the stitches needed to make me Whole. I just need to trust, I guess and stop unraveling everything He does!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Birds and the Bees - Nativity Style

Bear with me as I try and be as discrete as possible.



Tyler and Layne came over this afternoon. Tyler was being taught how to be viscious and ruthless at checkers by Grampa so Layne helped me put out some Nativity sets. I have the Fisher Price set so I don't have to worry about little hands breaking pieces. I also have what's left of a very basic ceramic Nativity scene which I made in Relief Society umpteen years ago. I didn't make the whole array because I knew what the life expectancy of fragile niceties were in my house. I actually think Joseph bit the dust the first year. If not the first one, the second one. So I just have a donkey, a manger, Mary and baby Jesus. Well, this is what our first attempt looked like:



Notice anything (body) missing?



Yup. Baby Jesus is nowhere to be found. It's one thing to not have Joseph. He could be off visiting with the Wisemen or the Shepherds (if he was related to Alan). But no Baby? Layne and I look through the whole box of decorations and find no Baby. I know I try and pack the pieces away as carefully as possible so they are less likely to get broken or lost. So I'm racking my brain trying to think where I would have stored the Baby in hopes of avoiding this very situation. Then I remember. These ceramics are hollow.



With Layne by my side, I pick up Mary, give her a gentle shake, and,



 Lo and Behold . . .



"Gramma, look, Baby Jesus was inside Mary!"



I don't think the Angelic Choir could have announced it any more clearly. Luckily for Gramma there was no additional conversation or questions around the entire situation. {Ha! I just thought of something even more ironical. There is no Joseph and still . . . I'll leave the rest up to you.} 





Anyway, now the manger isn't empty and Mary has her baby to watch over and protect. She doesn't look all that bad for having just delivered a baby, either, does she?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Dentist

I went to the dentist yesterday. Love that. I chipped a tooth while eating - what else - a frozen chocolate chip. Like the dentist said, at least it was worth it. As luck would have it, my tooth will need a crown. So, the dentist filed and sanded and drilled and squirted and sucked and molded and x-rayed and did whatever else it is dentists learn to do in their six plus years of school. An hour later, he was finished and my previously chipped tooth was ready for the temporary crown to be temporarily cemented in place. {As opposed to the permanent crown being permanently cemented in place} Thank goodness for several mouth-numbing injections and lots of nitrous oxide!!! I felt no pain while my tooth was being fitted for its crown.



Why, then, must I feel so much pain and anguish while I am being fitted for my eternal crown? Is an hour in the dentist chair equivelant to a lifetime? I know there are answers to those questions. There is prayer and scriptures and personal inspiration and temple attendance to help deal with the pain. And I guess it's got to hurt more because I'm being perfected and the dentist was merely putting a protective covering on my tooth.



Anyway, I was just wondering.



And I'm sure I'll still eat frozen chocolate chips because I do love chocolate. I guess I'm destined to keep making the same mistakes over and over and over. At least I know what my mistake was this time. Most of the time it seems I screw up just because I'm more addicted to being human than I am to chocolate.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Am My Own Evidence

One of my favorite TV shows is Cold Case. I especially love how they pull it all together at the end and show resolution and peace and forgiveness. Tonight the main part of the plot revolved around a teenager who was a member of the debate team at his school. There were a lot of mini plots where different aspects of debating were discussed and explained. It was quite interesting. In case you missed it, I'll spoil it for you and tell you the kid didn't commit suicide because he lost the debate - he was killed because he had come to the conclusion he needed to quit the team and his debate coach wasn't really excited about his decision.



Anyway, a couple of points that jumped out at me were:

  1. The only person who can judge you is you.

  2. I am my own evidence.

Specifically point #2. The main character spent all his time researching for every debate meet - thousands of pages he would read and memorize and take notes on - just to prove his side of the debate. He created his last case on his own and was sure he could win because it was about the kind of life he was familiar with. Therefore the statement, "I am my own evidence."



The only way I could ever come close to being a debater is if I could take at least a two hour recess and review everything and then come back and wrap it up - I'm not a spur of the moment thinker or talker. However, I seem to carry on quite a few debates with myself on an ongoing basis. And I can't help but wonder, what point is my evidence proving?



Is it proving that I know who I am and where I came from or is it proving that I am more natural man than spiritual? Does my evidence show specifics or vague blowing-in-the-wind ideas? Bottom line - what do I want my evidence to prove? Still thinking on this.



Off that subject, I changed the music for my blog. I love Christmas music. When the kids were little, I started playing Christmas music on Halloween night. I like variety but I can't hear enough of "The Little Drummer Boy". That is my all time favorite. So there are several different renditions of it. Roger Whitaker and Neil Diamond are at the top of the list too. And the Forgotten Carols - some of them anyway. With the sifting of snow we got yesterday, I'm definitely getting in the Christmas mood.



Alan and I went Christmas shopping yesterday. Miracle of miracles, we spent the entire day together and we both lived to tell about it! Anyway, I bought me a shirt at Sears that just says "Don't Stop Believin'". I won't. Not in the magic or the fun or the poignant or the miraculous or the spiritual or the 'Black Friday Fun'. I believe in it all. So, as I play Christmas music more and more often, and don my new t-shirt and work away in my sewing room, my evidence will prove it is a joyous season of the year. And I LOVE IT!!!



Now if I can just get my tree up before the family party Wednesday!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chin Up

I always felt there was a deeper meaning to me telling my kids to keep their chin up during struggles. However, I think I've come to realize just how inspired I am to use that particular instruction as one of my many trite pieces of advice.



I have an old Charlie Brown comic strip where Lucy is showing Charlie Brown a handful of coins she has found. He is immediately interested and asks her how she found all that money. Lucy tells him she keeps her eyes on the ground at all times. Of course, Charlie Brown is not going to be left out, so he immediately adopts her philosophy and hunches over so he can see the ground while he walks around. In the last frame, you see a $5 bill floating past in the air above him. Naturally he doesn't see it because his eyes are on the ground looking for the pennies and nickels and dimes. So now add that to what I was reminded of in Primary Sunday . . .



. . . When Heavenly Father wanted to help the wisemen find Baby Jesus, what sign did He give them? A Star. And where was that sign? UP in the sky. And when Heavenly Father wanted the shepherds to be able to know about Baby Jesus' birth, how did He tell them? Angels singing. And where were those Angels? UP in the heavens. Where does Heavenly Father have us look for signs? UP. I was thinking of a gazillion examples of this in the scriptures. Always, we need only look UP.



If the chin is up, so are the eyes. If the eyes are up, signs are seen. Worth more than $5 bills.