Archive for May, 2011

1. Yesterday, my back seemed well enough to risk a long drive, the weather didn’t look horrible, I knew my mother-in-law wanted my late husband’s grave decorated for Memorial Day, and I wanted to see the bookstore that’s taking over where I left off (I had to close up shop after David died). So I took the three hour drive up, checked in at the new bookstore (it looks nice), bought flowers, decorated the grave, and came home. The landscape was green, the sky had patches of bright blue, and it was snowing in the mountain passes. Must be spring in Eastern Oregon.

2. I forgot to put a jacket in the car, so after I drove through the snow, I stopped at the first thrift store I came to. I usually stop there anyway. It provides jobs for people who can’t hold regular jobs, whether from mental problems, physical problems, or some combination of that. The young woman who checked me out (with heavy supervision) did a good job, and was calm and cheerful, which is notable with her. When I stopped to buy flowers halfway across town, I crossed paths with her mother in the grocery store parking lot, and was able to make a good report. What the chances are that ‘Mom’ and I would see each other while in pedestrian mode, where we could mosey together for a chat, right after I’d seen her daughter in A-plus mode, I don’t know. But it was fun. Thank you, God.

3. Last Sunday I went to a different church than usual. I ran into people I used to know something like 15 years ago. They had been friends with my husband, but hadn’t heard he’d died. So we had a good cry, and they invited me to a potluck Monday, and to help with a Wednesday afternoon ministry to people who live in assisted living centers. I wasn’t a Christian when I knew them. It’s interesting, picking up with old friends who, for all intents and purposes, knew you as someone else. (If Christianity isn’t transforming you from the inside out, it’s not really Christianity. The changes might be glacial in some cases, but, truly, they happen when it’s the real deal.)

4. I went Wednesday afternoon to the assisted living centers, had a wonderful time, and am signed up to go every week, Lord willing, unless/until I get a job that might require me to work Wednesday afternoons. I think I’ll try to find a job that lets me have that time off, though. I like working with old people. They bless me more than I bless them, I think.

One of the regulars on this Wednesday Bible study ministry is a 13-year-old girl who plays piano for the residents. This week, she brought two kittens for the residents to hold and play with while she visited. I am told that the girl used to be anxious as Wednesday approached, but now looks forward to it. She is certainly a hit with the residents. She’s shy, but poised, if that makes sense.

5. These assisted living centers are not on the industrial model. Both had big aquariums, and one place had a huge bird cage with a pair of what I think were a type of cockatiel. Something like that, at any rate. When we sang hymns, one of them joined in, with a vibrato wordless melody. I can’t sing worth a lick. The bird outsang me.

6. I have several books on Kindle. This week I decided to put them on Nook, too. What worked for Kindle did not work for Nook. The good news is that I’m learning just all sorts of computer skills I never knew I needed to know. The bad news is that it is eating up hours and hours, learning and practicing all these computer skills.

7. I got part of a vegetable garden planted this week. The last time I tried to raise vegetables, deer, earwigs, and other plagues, got all but one green bean. Seriously, my total harvest was one bean. I am hoping for better results this year.

On that subject, nearly every gardening website I’ve visited this year has said, sometimes in capital letters, to be careful not to grow more produce than your household will be able to eat, lest you have to foist some on the neighbors. Excuse me? If you don’t know neighbors who want the stuff, expand your notion of neighbors. Around here, for instance, several churches provide food baskets to poor people, or hold community dinners, or run soup kitchens. If you’re so protected you don’t know people in need, why not find someone who does?

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, go to Conversion Diary.

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(Shameless self-promotion warning)

Trouble Pug is currently at #41 in Kindle Children’s ebooks > Animals > Dogs, at Amazon. It was a little higher than that earlier today. I expect it to drop through the day, unless there are fresh sales. (I’m not sure, but I think rankings get updated hourly.)

But, at any rate, as long as it is currently my bestselling book (that’s not saying much at this point, but it is my bestselling book), I thought I’d mention that it is less of a dog book, than a Christianity confronts feminism story. I don’t know about you, but my heart breaks for kids raised by feminists. For that matter, my heart breaks for feminists.

One of my “advance reader copy” readers got angry with me for not being harder on Sunshine Smith (the lead feminist character), but he missed the point. If you believe that God can and does remake people from the inside out, hatred can give way to a wish for God to reach into someone’s life and convert them. Like He reached into mine, and converted me. (The younger me had more in common with Sunshine Smith than I sometimes like to admit.)

The book takes two girls from wildly different family situations, and throws them into time travel adventures. I want kids to get a taste for learning history (not the PC twaddle that gets shoved at them, but real history). I want them to have a good time, reading the book. But I also want to plant seeds that encourage kids to question propaganda. I want them to realize that sometimes people lie and cheat. I want to give them examples of people they don’t want to emulate.

There is a scene in the book in which activists lie to news reporters. It happens. I can’t remember how long I was a newspaper reporter before I got roped into helping perpetrate a fraud. They got me but good, at first. It was a horrible experience, not only to have been duped, but to have naively passed the disinformation along. In the book, the reporters discover the unreliability of their source in time. I wish that happened more often in real life, by the way, but I’m afraid that reporters get duped a lot. Sometimes some of them do their own duping, too. Sad to say.

Parents, please note: This book deals with the sinking of the Lusitania, and other subjects you may not think your child is old enough for yet. I recommend vetting it, before letting your kids read it.

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1. I wish I’d remembered that today was Friday before I did the last two posts. They would have made good Quick Takes.

2. I’m at page 64 out of 262 in the latest edit run of my next novel, which I have been working on since September 25, 2007. I know the date, because when I run the cursor over the file, it says “Short story started September 25, 2007.” Once I got dug in, I realized it would not be a short story after all, but do not know how to change what pops up when the cursor runs over it. Plus, I don’t see a reason to change it. Current length of manuscript: 98,194 words. It’s a pro-personhood/anti-racism/anti-tyranny novel set in the future. But with fun parts. And romance.

3. I have recently joined Twitter. I have mixed feelings about that. On the upside, it gives me a better newsfeed than Facebook. I have mixed feelings about Facebook, too, by the way. On Twitter, I go by KDJudson. It was available.

4. Today was finally warm enough to open windows all over the house. Finally, it does not smell like stale winter in here.

5. I live a half mile from a small dairy. When the wind shifted, I briefly considered closing all the windows again. The wind shifted again right after that. Hooray. It smells like spring, light and sweet and grassy.

6. Thanks to a couple of Focus on the Family radio broadcasts, this week I learned about Responder Life, which ministers to emergency personnel and their families. If you know a cop, firefighter, EMT, emergency room doctor or nurse, etc., you might want to check it out.

7. Currently reading: Marvels of Modern Science by Paul Severing, published in 1910. In the chapter on motion pictures, I have just been reassured that although early films tended to cater to the “lower instincts,” the matter has been addressed and “all such pictures have for the most part been eliminated and there is a strict taboo on anything with a degrading influence or partaking of the brutal” and that in many large cities a board of censorship “has to pass on all the films before they are released and if the pictures are in any way contrary to morals or decency or are in any respect unfit to be displayed before the public, they cannot be put in circulation…” Further, “…Let us hope that the future mission of the moving picture will be along educational and moral lines tending to uplift and ennoble our boys and girls so that they may develop into a manhood and womanhood worthy of the history and best traditions of our country.”

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, please visit Conversion Diary.

(Added: If you have come here from Conversion Diary, and are looking for something to do with Holy Subversion, please know that I simply did not think to check the automatically provided blog name to see if it had any more to it than it should. That remembered bit was from this book note, from when I linked to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. My apologies for the mix up.)

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Neat, in more ways than one.

(Don’t say I never provided you any useful information.)

hat tip: Barbara Curtis (Facebook)

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This Ray Nothstine post from 2008 has info on the airlift, and also references the book The Candy Bombers (which I see is now available on Kindle). Also noted: The Spirit of Freedom website of the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the memory of the airlift.

hat tip: Twitter

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Amen, and amen.

If you do not let yourself love those who have obvious handicaps, you will never know the depths of true love.

Will you be shallow, or deep?

Ruthless, or reliable?

Selfish, or loving?

Added: Sometimes Miracles Hide (The Movement), at the singer/songwriter’s website.

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All right, class. What happens when a jet going 500 mph hits a wall built to absorb shocks? After you’ve made your educated or uneducated guess, watch this crash test.

How did your guess line up with the actual results?

(I was way, way off.)

hat tip: Dennis Prager (Twitter page)

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I suggest reading the 1999 Patrick Garrity editorial linked from here.

Trivia: How old was Churchill when he became Prime Minister? What year did he become PM? (Answers at link.)

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First I read: Osama Bin Laden and the Terror of Narcissism by Russell D. Moore. (hat tip: Trevin Wax)

Then: Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful, by Jennifer Fulwiler.

Hmmm. Food for thought.

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