Yes, My Mom Swears

But only for severe situations.

My colleague asked today if my mom ever swears. I said that she sure does, but only in the most dire of circumstances. She jinxed us!

I wasn’t home from work for more than 15 minutes, and I hear my mom making not-so-fun noises in the kitchen. When I got there, she was saying the S word meaning doo doo and barely hanging on to a pan of bubbling hot lasagna. It was a frozen lasagna that she’d baked.

It first slid off of the cookie sheet she baked the pan on. So she moved the cookie sheet and picked up the pan of lasagna wearing two kitchen hot pads that are really giant mittens with near zero flexibility to move your fingers around the edges of anything. Then, we both watched in horror as the thing slipped (seemingly slowly, but actually with some serious zip) down onto the door, the crack between the door and the oven, and into the oven.

(I use “pan” loosely: it’s really a cardboard container that no longer holds its shape or contents once hot. We may never buy one of those again. We’re not much for cooking, and cleaning up is for the cleaning fairies that don’t ever visit our home.)

Oh, so not pretty. But I now wish I’d taken before and after photos. It took an hour or so to clean it, after waiting for the oven to cool down, but we managed to get it ALL cleaned up. And the oven now looks better than before it ever met that nasty lasagna.

Please, let’s not talk about when my mom swears again. Please.



Posted by on October 5, 2017 in Uncategorized


Love Never Dies

My brother’s had a surprise that brought him both joy and sadness. A customer said this week that he remembers his sister Barbara and when she died.

This took the floor out from under him. This is the 60th year since she died of things we now vaccinate children for. She got German Measles that went into Encephalitis, and she passed from this earth in under two days.

He is sad because he has few memories of her, other than her dark hair and that she reminded him most of our dad. And there are few people left on earth who do remember our sister Barbara. Their mom died only a few years after Barbara, our dad passed on 13 years ago, and our parent’s generation that knew her from birth have nearly all moved on from this world.

But he was glad because someone does remember her. Someone who actually met her, played with her, and spent time with her … even if only in school. Because this man was about three years older than Barbara, his memories are better than my brother who was three years younger than Barbara.

Although I never knew her, I will always tell you that I am one of five children. I never met Barbara, and I miss my sister Cheri who passed on 24 years ago, but I still am one of five children. This is the same for my nieces and nephews. I will always tell you that I had seven, and six are still living.

My brother will take longer to tell you this, but only because six decades have not diminished the loss of first Barbara and then a few, short years later, his mom too. Learning to live without people can be done physically, but the emotional attachment never ends. And I don’t believe it should, because these people live on inside of us.

Just because someone has left this life, doesn’t mean they have left the hearts of those still here.

Dad with Barbara 1951

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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Uncategorized


Faith in Action at Sunnyside

Today we held a craft fundraiser at church. A church friend had this great idea as a new possible fundraiser for the Missions Committee. We had a good weekend with friends working on our own or church projects, chatting together, and sharing a meal (and ice cream with ALL of the fixing, except bananas. We forgot the bananas – oops!).

Over the two days, we encountered just some of the people in the church who use their works to make faith happen.

  • Marsha came as a participant of the fundraising effort, but instead of working on her own project, she spent an hour first doing office work for the church and then her craft “project” was actually for an upcoming neighborhood event preparing hand crafted signage for the day.
  • Kerrie didn’t bring her own project either; she created beautiful gift tags to sell at our annual church Bazaar fundraiser for Missions projects.
  • Nearly half of our basement has been renovated, and we were the first group to be able to use it. Several people came by just to see the beautiful changes. Thank you, Don, and all of the volunteers and workers who made this modernization possible!
  • Our kitchen has been a growing mess for a year, and more so with the building projects happening now, but our Pastor Matt and Marsha worked a near miracle Thursday by completely organizing the kitchen into a room with counter space, all of the supplies in the appropriate places, and nothing to trip over anymore. We were very grateful to be able to use the stove to heat our meal today.
  • There is also roof repair over the lobby, and Jack came by and spent an hour cleaning and readying the church for all of tomorrow’s activities.
  • Waffle church is in the morning – a concept fun for kids with waffles (regular and gluten-free), maple syrup (the real deal and low sugar), and interactive worship time (crayons for everyone!). Ben won’t be able to come early and help as he’d planned due to his work, but he stopped in just to make sure there were enough supplies for the event and to lend his waffle maker. While there, he also helped us finish cleaning up and load our cars.

These are just a few of the people who put their faith into action for the lives the church impacts every day. This is a place not only of worship, meetings, and Sunday School; this is a place of compassion, love, relationship, peace, forgiveness, welcoming, justice, grace, and growth. We take Jesus instruction to welcome all, feed the hungry, and clothe those in need as a call to action. All are welcome in this place. And we do mean all.

I am humbled by the passion, energy, and diligence of these people I call Sunnysiders. Membership is not required to enter these doors. Faith in action is also not required, but it seems to be a side-effect of those who come here.


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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Uncategorized


National Parks: From Dating to Married

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Posted by on September 2, 2017 in Uncategorized


Cat People: The Best of People

This bumbling butter fingers managed to drop her phone yet again, this time flat on it’s face with an undesirable sound. The last day of May was the last day of my phone’s life.

The first day of June I headed to the phone store expecting to spend a good, long time there awaiting my options. But I was pleasantly surprised when the body builder guy with a buzz cut and a serious business sense quickly came to my assistance and started the process of ordering a replacement within minutes of my arrival. Wow!

He was all business and serious techy stuff until he verified my email address which contains the word cat. This big burly guy turned into a four-year old little boy, grinning from ear to ear, with a vibrant sparkle in his eyes! He asked how many cats I had, the type of cats, and their names.

I shared about our girls and then asked how many he had (clearly, someone that excited and giddy had to have at least a couple to his name). He has three: two Persian and one bobtail. He was so animated and excited. The service got even better after that (I didn’t imagine it possible, but it’s true), as if being a fellow friend of cats put me in a special class of people. True or not, I couldn’t have had a better experience all around. I even received the replacement phone in 23 hours.

My Prayer for You: That all of your utility experiences are as good as this and that all people surprise you for the better.

IMG_5536 SIGNED Shorter

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Posted by on June 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Easter 2017

Easter is shaping up into something nearly overwhelming for me again this year. Last week Friday, Kerrie asked if my mom and I would like to see “The Case for Jesus” with her. Wow! I hadn’t known anything about it, and I was moved by the research (being part geek).

Then, we had Palm Sunday, where we walked around the church waving our palms and singing hymns. The joy in celebrating was visible on the faces of this church family.
Maundy Thursday night was dinner with church friends – a day to remember what we’ve done wrong and need to change, a day to remember Christ’s last supper and breaking of the bread with his loved ones. We enjoyed each other’s company and shared stories of life, love, fear, and humor. I felt blessed to be with friends.
Saturday was my Uncle Ralph’s 90th birthday. His daughter invited family to gather to celebrate this family treasure. He’s a walking miracle, and we got to hug him, tell him we love him, and enjoy our family. Remember the treasures in your life.
Today, I saw this article. Today, I feel hopeful for the good in the world to spring a new on Easter Sunday: While the men were hiding, the women delivered the good news.
On Easter, we’ll gather with some family and some friends after a morning full of Easter celebrations at church. May Easter bring you new joy, life, and love. May you be with loved ones on the important events in your life. May you always have hope for tomorrow. May you know you are loved (because you are).
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Gone but Never Forgotten – Erin Joy

Today, my niece Erin would have turned 38, but instead she’s forever 26. In these 11.5 years since she’s been gone from us, it’s been easier to grieve, and to remember the joys instead of the sorrows. She was a joy to me, and I still miss her every day.

We all probably have a loved one or several that we miss. I truly believe she’s in a better place, and that I will get to see her one day again, along with all of the others who’ve gone before us.

Bad things happen, but God is not behind them. Instead He weeps and grieves with us, gives the loved one a forever home, and holds us in the palm of His hand until we can walk and talk again.

Today I can stand up and tell you about a beautiful, talented, vibrant, and wise woman named Erin. I am a better person for having had her in my life. Because of her, I got my first tattoo. Because of me, she learned to love Pierce Brosnan. Because of her, I learned to love Heath Ledger. She was born on my half birthday, so we would celebrate each other’s half birthday when we celebrated our birthday. Easter is hard, because she and I would take turns giving each other an Easter basket filled with games, books, puzzles, and candy. She would do one year, and me the next.

Erin, her friend Lynn, and I became a trifecta of friendship. It’s because of this there are craft days in my life then and now, stories of snorting jingle bells from the back seat of my car, and that tattoo. Lynn and I are pretty sure that Erin is still present at craft days. We feel her presence and hear her laughter.

Erin, you are still loved, respected, and your cat Joy is well cared for. If Joy gets to see you again before me, I hope she is kind in her description of the diet I put her on and forcing her to be cuddled and loved.

Two friends in their mid-twenties. One standing, One sitting. One lives today, One is missed greatly. Signed, Gray tiger cat resting on a blanket and surrounded by yarn and yarn and more yarn is dark colors that cooridnate with the floral brown and red and moss couch.IMG_0017 Small

IMG_0020 for print dif

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

Ex-Mana Book Group

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx


The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World

The Accidental Minister

A spiritual but religious site