Friday, July 30, 2010


I kinda like the fact that the plagues of Egypt that helped free the Israelites can be explained scientifically.

It's like evolution - I don't think that it and creation are mutually exclusive. God used natural resources, because, hey, He made them too, right?

A fresh water toxic alga, when it dies, it stains the water red. It would have forced the frogs to leave the water, which would have meant that mosquitoes, flies and other insects would have flourished, leading to diseased livestock and boils, with more diseases being passed on to the human population.

And a volcanic eruption could have triggered the hail, locusts coming to Egypt, plus blocking the sunlight causing the stories of a plague of darkness.

But, to quote Dr Robert Miller, associate professor of the Old Testament, from the Catholic University of America, "I'm reluctant to come up with natural causes for all of the plagues. The problem with the naturalistic explanations is that they lose the whole point. And the whole point was that you didn't come out of Egypt by natural causes, you came out by the hand of God."

Isn't that cool?

But back to the second plague - the one with frogs.

I live as far as you can live in Arizona without falling into Mexico - less than three miles from my front door.

But the nice Mexico - San Pedro mountains and valley and open land - no border towns, no squalor, no pottery or rugs being sold.

Well, a whole lot of illegal immigrants and drug smugglers also - so don't ask me about SB 1070 unless you want an extremely long winded answer (yeah, it's why the politicians don't really every come this far south).

But we may have rattlesnakes, jackrabbits, quail and a WHOLE lot of coyotes (both animal and human, I'm afraid). We have hummingbirds - millions of bats spend their winters here - the odd bear shows up now and then.

But we don't have things that need open, year-round accessible water sources... like frogs.

Even desert frogs here only live in certain areas - we don't have anything like that around here.

Until it rains.

Like the last couple of days.

And then we have THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of frogs that spring forth from some underground caverns where they have been buried in alien hibernating cocoons to survive the radioactive wards...

Well, they come from SOMEPLACE, immediately beginning crying for an extremely quick hook-up so they can produce baby frogs to come forth in the next monsoon - think of micro-second speed-dating for amphibians - but they don't even SOUND like frogs, they sound like some tiny kitty bawling for momma.

So I can every evening now just PRAYING - come on, can we move on to some OTHER plague now? PLEASE?!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


... but from a galaxy far far away.

I think women are planners, organizers, list-makers, but not from some deep-rooted and natural maternal instinct.

It is because we are regularly thrown into chaotic relationships with the opposite and distant sex, saddled with 99.99% of the household responsibility, children raising and discipline, feeding and choices in everything from nylons to nappies to nutmeg.

And if we didn't shape it into some remotely reasonable shape, we would go quickly and quietly mad.

Or, in some cases, perhaps not so quietly.

Tonight was another superb example of men having the advance responsibility for a church activity - on the calendar for weeks - discussed at umpteen meetings - for a large, loud and energized group of 50+ teenagers.

And the adult men leaders still at the last minute haphazardly slopped together an activity, and slip slided away with major deviations and course corrections in route, even to the point of sending someone away to purchase refreshments before the activity ended.

While the group of women I am a part of, with the exact same responsibilities every other month, already have these sessions planned for the rest of 2010, to include activities, methods, assigned responsibilities, hand-outs and any snacks budgeted, planned and purchased well ahead of time.

This evening did go well - we moved outside because of the sweltering heat in our church building - the activity involved a lot of moving and shouting, although the original concept (something involving throwing marshmallows) was vetoed.

And it succeeded admirably in the our ultimate goal of providing a safe, welcoming environment for our church teenagers to interact and learn gospel principles together.

Darn it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I love both my horses dearly.

But they are complete opposites in everything.

When something startles us while on a walk, Sally will stand firm and tall, stare grimly in the distance at whatever might be the threat, and trusts me completely and utterly to fight it off.

While Najale, of course, will immediately rear up into the air, waving his huge hooves right at my head while wildly whinnying - and then flees at a full gallop for the farthest and/or opposite horizon, dragging me along.

Some nights I take the horses out by myself. Tonight my husband was especially tired, and the rains have provided actual grass for the horses to graze on, so I felt a sense of obligation.

And guess what?

About a half mile from the house, something startled all three of us.

My arms are now a good 18 inches longer than they were before we went for a walk this evening - I feel like an ape with my knuckles dragging on the ground.


This was posted on a blog I follow, and it is just perfect. This blackboard gets erased every day - which is the perfect way to deal with fears:

1. Acknowledge them. Fears are a very real, honest emotional response to many things.

2. However, 99.9% of the time, our fears are of something that might happen - that is possible, at least in our mind, but it HAS NOT OCCURRED yet.

Some fears are life-saving - fears of heights, weapons, dangerous situations can keep us alive.

But most fears ARE NOT OF REAL THINGS, they are of POSSIBILITIES which can APPEAR real to our minds and thoughts.

So I love the image of simply wiping them out.

Your thoughts cannot hurt you unless you allow them to.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Does anyone alive remember that horrible, short-lived TV series with I think Jerry Van Dyke and his car possessed by his dearly departed mother's soul?


However, my friend Bob Dukelow listed on Facebook all the cars he has long-term relationships with.

Which prompted this.

All the cars I have known, loved and named. In different colors, of course.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Yesterday, I spoke of math.

Today I am attempting to follow some logic.

Now this website tells us in no uncertain terms that as straight Americans, we should boycott Home Depot because "The Home Depot has given its financial and corporate support to open displays of homosexual activism on main streets in America's towns.”


The "common sense" they are claiming follows this sort of train:  if A + B could possibly in an alternate universe be transported back here through the eight dimension and be made into a violet Shih Tzu, then AHA - SEE?! We were RIGHT!! A + B makes you GAY!

Now the reason I even got on board this insane sequence is because this "logic" was forwarded by someone I consider a good Christian.

Which opens the big nasty can of worms entitled "judgement."

Okay, I realized that by pointing the finger at someone else, I'm doing just as bad as they are - in fact, it's worse, since I supposedly know better.

I just would like everyone to realize that we all live in these big huge glass houses, and I guess I'm going to try to just Windex and squeegee my own windows so I can see clearly.

But not to aim for someone else.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I sort of miss math.

That's another portion of my brain that powered down when I fractured my skull a few decades ago.

I miss my hearing more, but math was something that just 'came' before. It wasn't just memorizing multiplication tables and plugging numbers in, but there was a current there, a stream that mixed up the figures out and brought out the answers.

One of my favorite books in the whole wide world is "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", and I would quote verbatim the section about how Francie assigns numbers human characteristics... unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the book here, and can't find enough on-line to quote it.

But I can relate to it - and if you haven't read the book before, you now have no excuse, so read it, and this is in Chapter 22.

Okay, so what were we talking about?

Oh, right, math.

So although any of my natural math-talents are gone like a freight train, I don't have a problem doing math - it just isn't as much fun anymore.

And especially there is no joy in trying to explain to certain individuals how certain basic mathematical principles work - like if you don't spend money, then it is there when you need it in an emergency - it If you pay things on time, you do not get charged late fees or get anything nasty on your credit report.

There is such a thing as assigning priorities even outside of math - and I cannot seem to communicate that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


A few months ago, I wrote about my dog Murray, and facing the issue about if and when to have his life ended.

It is amazing the amount of euphemisms we have for death - to pass on, pass away, go to one's final rest, depart this mortal coil (was that ever used before Hamlet?), give up the ghost (does that only apply when you die on Halloween?), go to met your maker, kick the bucket (wouldn't that be a hanging?), expire (yes, just like a warranty), take your last breath..

And on and on and so forth.

It's interesting that with animals, there is a HUGE difference between what we call the death of domesticated vs. 'farm' animals. Our kitties and puppies? They are put down, put to sleep, put out of their misery, going to the great big kennel in the sky - we go major guilt trips.

But cows and pigs? Slaughtered, butchered, bleed out, stunned... we don't think twice about it the next time we eat a hamburger, have pork chops, fry some bacon. They are 'just animals', after all.

Murray was part of my family - a very furry child - and a wonderful example of Christ-like love.

I am going to miss him, but I am also so thankful he is free of his pain now. 

And all of you who get up to heaven before me? Tell him hi for me, okay?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I web-surf.

It's like encyclopedia hunts used to be back in the Dark Ages, when we actually have to go to places like LIBRARIES and had to look things up in BIG BOOKS with lots of NUMBERED PAGES - but then you would find one thing, which lead to something else, then something else, etc.

Except with the Internet it is a MILLION BILLION GAZILLION times faster - and so that much easier.

Yesterday I did uncover more than I needed for my blog, Itsy Bitsy Spider Part One - and I'm sorry, but I MUST share.

And I am NOT making this up - all of this is from

This website is aimed to help arachnophobia, people who ALREADY have a huge fear of spiders. 


-- Don't panic and run screaming into the other room; it is important to know where the spider is. (Oh my gosh - we are talking to people who are TERRIFIED of spiders)

-- If you are not afraid of spiders (wait a minute, the site is aimed at arachnophobiacs) , try and get a closer look at it, making sure not to get near enough (or directly under it) so that it can bite you. (like, DUH)

-- If it is a thick, hairy, strongly built spider and looks like it has camouflage (check for the lack of a violin shape on its back anyway, to be sure), it is probably a wolf spider, and is relatively harmless. Sometimes it bites and leaves a slight sting, but aside from that, wolf spiders can be safely left alone to deal with flies (and we all hate flies, right?). (I can't imagine looking that close, and I am not that frightened of spiders!)

-- A common mistake made in identifying the Black Widow is thinking it is a large spider. The largest ones are only about 5/8ths inch long (body length). (Great - it's venomous AND tiny so you CAN'T SEE IT COMING RIGHT AT YOU)

-- If the spider is brownish, and semi-skinny, look carefully on its back; if you see a darker brown streak that vaguely resembles a grotesquely stretched violin (let's use calm, rational adjectives here, friends), this spider is almost definitely a Brown Recluse. This spider is very venomous, and it is aggressive, and will bite if threatened. (Okay, let's NOT use calm rational adjectives - let's use ALARMING and FRIGHTENING words so everyone can freak out MORE)

--  Very large spiders more than 3 inches in length (about the width of a dollar bill just to be safe) if found in the United States actually are all relatively harmless. For example, the Giant House Spider can grow to an enormous size and will prevent the encroachment of more dangerous spiders.(Excuse me, I am going to run screaming into the night)

Now this next section is even MORE fun:


--  Take a deep breath, and pick up the closest object to you that is hard, flat and smooth (to make sure that the spider doesn't get in a crevice, depending on the size). (size of the crevice, or size of the SPIDER?!)

--  If the spider is on the ceiling, clear the floor directly underneath where the spider is. You can put something (like a large pan) under the spider in case it falls. (So get DIRECTLY UNDER the MOST HORRIFYING thing you can think of....)

--  Go back and get prepared for some fast acting! You will need to keep that hard flat object close by or in your hand as you are spraying the spot where the spider is.

--  Spray the spider for as long as it takes for it to be weighted down by the liquid. (Which is going to take what, HOURS?!)

-- If the spider is on the wall or floor, use the hard flat object to whack it where it stands, and be sure that it is squished, because spiders are sturdier than flies or roaches. (AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

--  If the spider is in its web, use a vacuum cleaner with a long nozzle to quickly suck the spider in. Let the vacuum run for a few seconds to make sure the spider is not still in the nozzle. (And have to LISTEN to the THUMP of the ENORMOUS arthropod BODY)

--  Avoid striking a venomous spider. Doing so may simply knock them to the floor, where they can easily escape. The spider may also fall onto your hand or another part of your body. It is far safer to kill the spider from a distance with a vacuum cleaner.

-- If the spider is venomous, be careful not to get bitten

Okay, I don't know about you, but I am going to go HIDE someplace inside a STERILE ENVIRONMENT for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Phobias are horrible for the people who suffer from them.
But they are sure fun to giggle at... that is, if you do not happen to have that particular phobia.

We laugh at Howie Mandel and characters such as Monk dealing on-screen with his mysophia (irrational fear of germs). Nicole Kidman is a lepidopterphobe - she is terrified of butterflies. Rumor has it that Orlando Bloom is afraid of pigs (think of it - has he been cast in the remake of "Animal Farm" or "Babe"? Eh?) - and Woody Allen is scared of... well, everything.

A phobia is defined as "an anxiety disorder characterized by extreme and irrational fear of simple things or social situations." But where is the line drawn? Aren't there rational fears?

Researchers say that we are born with two 'natural' fears - loud noises and falling. The falling one makes sense - gravity works - but loud noises? Obviously that must be negated by adolescent hormones, since every generation seems to come up the loudest and most annoying music possible.

And a very common fear is arachnophobia - fear of spiders. They are creepy - they have eight legs, eight eyes, they don't have blood - I mean, they don't even have sex.
(But did you know arachibutyrophobia is fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth? Doesn't that make arachnophobia sound remarkably reasonable?)

The topic tonight came in the form of two spiders in my bed last night - three in the kitchen this afternoon - a one FALLING ON MY LEG WHILE I WAS SITTING ON THE TOILET TONIGHT.

No, I am not developing arachnophobia - I am developing arachnehomicidal, which is the refined ability to STOMP fiercely and lethally on spiders.

Who's with me on this?!