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October 28, 2005

Is It Just Me?

I was asked to sing at church this Sunday. I have a CD of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" written by Robert Robinson (which has an interesting story attached to it). It was one of my grandmother's favorite hymns...either that or it's one I can still remember hearing her sing and it comforts me. At any rate, I found this CD and I like the arrangement. I started singing along without looking at the words because I've sang it long enough to have it mostly memorized. When me and the CD got to the second verse, I'm singing my heart out and I hear different words in the background. I stopped the music, looked at the little copy of the verses and see that they've changed one part of the verse completely! It should say "Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by Thy grace I come; and I hope by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home." That's been re-written in more modern terms. I don't think it conveys the same meaning the writer intended.

People who wrote the older hymns seemed to have more of a familiarity with the Bible and it's terminology which was translated into the hymns they wrote. Ebenezer means "stone of help" and was the name given to the stone that the prophet Samuel used as an altar when the Lord helped the Israelites in battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 7). Capturing the emotion written into the songs by the authors would warrant today's singers knowing the verses and events that inspired the writer. If nothing else, I would imagine that curiosity over such an interesting phrase would cause the singer to go home and check out the definition of "Ebenezer" and learn a little history...maybe even research the instruction and meaning of altars in the Old Testament.

But changing the words to make it more palatable? I just don't know about that.

October 27, 2005

Belching Crow

This fickle fan is incensed. I said up front I was a fairweather fan and this is why. We came so close to grabbing the brass ring and missed. I don't understand the nuances of plotting a winning ball game; but it seems like it's pretty much just hit all you can and then keep the other team from hitting all they can. This isn't rocket science. By last night, I wondered if their hearts were still in the game. I've seen better action at an American Legion Tournament played by high schoolers. I know, I know...they got the pennant...carried us into a World Series competition...blah, blah, blah. I'm just grouchy enough to say, "If you could be the come back kids and get so far, what happened when it counted??" Obviously, intent doesn't matter as much as performance which is why there is dancing in the streets of Chicago but just a bunch of litter here in Houston.

All that crow I ate the other it comes again!!!

October 24, 2005

Monday At Last!

I started the weekend running and haven't stopped yet! Middle Sis was at the Legion and we spent Fri. nite yakking until the wee hours. They're called the wee hours because no matter how much you drink or avoid, you'll be back in the bathroom between 1 and 2 a.m. most nights anyway. We just stayed up until the wee hours passed! We didn't do much Saturday but make a wonderful shrimp dip to share with the other Astro fans at the Legion Sat. nite (see recipe below). Church on Sunday, out to eat with pastor and wife, Middle Sis to my niece's, and grandkids over to spend Sunday night. What fun!! We ate fried potatoes w/sliced hot dogs using toothpicks as skewers, ice cream, 1/2 package of bar-be-que potato chips and chocolate chip cookies...and root beer. MMMMmmmm!!! Grandkids are a great excuse to do totally crazy things and eat stuff that's bad for you. I'm looking forward to TV tonight without an animated figure or sports figure on the screen. That's not asking too much, is it??! (By the way, Mikey finished bathroom floor...looks great!)
Middle Sis Shrimp Dip
Blend 3 small pkgs. of cream cheese with a can of tomato soup in a saucepan until thoroughly mixed (use hand mixer if necessary). Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Add 1 med. chopped onion, 5-6 ribs chopped celery and two small cans of baby shrimp. Chill before serving. Use small pkg. of gelatin if pouring into mold.

October 21, 2005

Bone Tired

Have you ever had one of those weekends that tire you out and it hasn't even started? I think I'm in for one of those!! Mike's 24 hour project in the main bath which started Monday should be through by noon tomorrow. That's been fun. Then he'll start on the other bathroom. My grandkids are in town and I'm wanting to do something with them while they're here but I'm up against cousins coming in from out of town. I'm not sure if a Granna beats a cousin in this day in age but I'm betting I'll lose to the cousins. I have so many terrific memories of spending time with my cousins that I really don't mind sharing this weekend. Then my sister came to town and will be spending a few days. We always have fun but stay up late yakking and I drag up after a couple of nights. Didn't used to be that way. I could stay up late and still function the next day. Now, I can go with missing sleep one night but to do it two nights in a row takes a toll. We'll probably be watching the Astro game at the Legion with a bunch of friends tomorrow night. Sunday is church, sis goes home, grandkids come over and back to work Monday. I'll need the rest! GO 'STROS!!!

October 20, 2005

Eating Heart-Healthy Crow

To whatever I said about the Astros in my previous posting I'd just like to add...
They boys did us proud and everyone in the Houston area is grinning from ear to ear...well, except for the Fed-Ex delivery guy (who's name I won't mention) who hates the Astros and roots for the New York Yankees. I've already heard of people who were in line late last night at Academy buying up the appropriate shirts to broadcast our new position as World Series contenders. My husband, who boycotted the sports page after Monday night's fiasco, barely looked up from the paper this morning. Enthusiasm is definitely running high. I'm excited too, but I think I'll save my unbridled joy for the Designer Shoe Warehouse 50% off sale.
Go 'Stroes!!

October 19, 2005

We're Movin' On Up

League City is no longer just a small town; a cluster of homes and businesses anchoring the south side of Clear Lake and the crown jewel of the Galveston County mainland. Nope, we're big time now. And how did I come to this conclusion? Was it the golf courses (more than one!? The marinas? Booming real estate market? Naw, better than that!
This morning on my drive to work, I waited for a green light right next to a van marked League City Forensics! I didn't know we had forensics in League City...murders, yes; forensics, no. I think that puts up right up there with all of the forensic and cold case TV shows I watch. Maybe we could be the next location for Jerry Bruckheimer to consider. CSI League City...catchy, huh!?
Now, about those killing fields and the Corvette repair shop incident...

October 18, 2005

Clayton Williams all over again!

Remember the wonderful campaign for governor years ago between Clayton Williams (of Claydata fame) and Ann Richards (of beautiful white hair fame)? What hype!! I couldn't wait to read the papers or watch the news to see what salvo had been slung as I slept. They were worthy opponents and the whole election campaign was exciting and fun to follow. We hadn't had a woman in the Texas capital since Ma Ferguson although Sissy Farenthold had given it her best shot in her campaign in the early 70's. I worked with local NOW leaders so I was pretty ate up at the time with the whole feminist thing...even vacationing in Dolph Briscoe's stomping grounds with a "Sissy Farenthold" bumper sticker on the car (why I didn't get a ticket over there I'll never know!). Back to the issue at hand...I was Republican and had every intention of voting for Clayton Williams and he seemed to have the election sewn up. But one little wobble toward the end of the campaign and he lost!!! I forget who said it, but the memorable headline afterwards was that he "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory"!!!
I think we saw that played out again last night at Minute Maid park. I will never know why our local teams can make it so far and then choke at the last minute. The Astros will have a chance to redeem themselves, but to be so close and then lose the game last night doesn't do alot to convince this fickle fan that they can get the job done. We'll have to wait and see if the curse of Clayton is still operating in Texas!!

October 13, 2005

The Key of Me

I've got a great weekend lined up! Friday night is the monthly birthday party at our American Legion Post and Vic Squires will be there doing karaoke. Saturday night is the wedding of some friends and they're having karaoke also. What fun!! I love karaoke. Me, a mike, music, and an audience! Life doesn't get any better than that! When my sisters and I were young, our mother would have us sing for company. "Now I Belong to Jesus" was our signature song. The same guests would listen to the same song over and over. Because we were good? No, because my mother would make them. The Lovely Johnson Sisters had a captive audience. It wasn't like we had much of a choice either. Whatever Mama wanted, Mama got...and Mama wanted to show off her talented (?) children. I loved to sing so I mostly didn't mind. I grew up in choir at school and church. In high school I dropped out of choir to pursue the lofty goal of being a Cardette (pep squad for HHS). Shame on me! I still sing some, but seldom march anywhere. With the advent of karaoke (thank you Japan or Korea or whatever country originated the idea), it was a golden opportunity to sing some of my favorites..."You're So Vain" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and even stuff from the 50's just rings my bell.
So, look out listeners...I'll be in rare form since I missed last month. Feel free to toss money!

October 10, 2005

I'm So Confused!

September used to be one of my favorite months. It signaled the beginning of school for the kids again. Surely we didn't have hurricanes after August. Labor day started dove season and that brought some really good eating. Ah, September meant that the heat wouldn't be around for too much longer.
The best reason to look forward to Septmeber, though, was the new television season. No more reruns or dumb throw away programs. Wow! Start off the month with the Jerry Lewis telethon and go right in to the Miss America pageant; always pulled for Miss Texas. Then the new westerns, law shows, sitcoms, variety shows and we could expect some sort of ground breaking show. Remeber "Love, Sidney" with Tony Randall? He was gay. Didn't last back then. Remember the one I think named Julia with a single black mother who was a nurse raising a little boy? Courtship of Eddie's Father was a dad with custody. Then came Angie Dickinson as a cop...girl with loaded gun. Who can forget the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Laugh In? We've seen alot of changes.
Which brings me to my confusion. I like knowing what's on TV so I can plan my weeknights around the few shows I really want to watch. Nowadays, they not only move shows around from different times and nights, they're showing reruns already in case you missed the show at it's set time and night. I never know what I'm going to see on Lost or desperate rerun?? stay tuned for next week?? I guess I must like the surprise though, it's not like I don't have a TV guide (that's as confusing as my phone bill) or the cable viewing guide. I just need to get my routine down so I know when I'm free to talk to real people again.

October 9, 2005

Mother Nature is PMSing!

It started with 4 hurricanes hitting Florida in one season. You had to figure that Mother Nature was either tired of tanned old women going topless on their beaches or maybe we might want to check that melting polar ice cap rumor more carefully. A few months later, we were in awe on the coast as we were blessed with a beautiful Christmas day on the coast of Texas complete with snow...clear down to South Padre! What a great surprise!!! As quickly as it began to melt, the tv's were overloaded with pictures of the tsunami of a magnitude that no one had ever witness or recorded in history. Since then, more hurricanes, earthquakes, minor tsunamis, rain and fire. The past 8 weeks we've had two horrible hurricanes, a major earthquake killing nearly 18,000 at last count and a small hurricane causing alot of flooding in Guatemala. Lots of hurting people out there in the world needing help and prayer.

I'm 57 and I've never seen so much. Surely, we hear more these days because the technology keeps us better informed. We see more because we have satellites that beam pictures from anywhere in the world right into our homes. I'm not alone in wondering what the future holds.

In the meantime, would someone give Mother Nature some chocolate and turn the lights back on in East Texas?

October 6, 2005

15 Minutes of Fame

Mike and I had our daughter-in-law and the grandkids, Hannah (9) and Jacob (6) over last night to eat and spend the night. It's a wonderful time in life when you can serve hot dogs with chili and be thought of as a great chef. I never know which of us is happier to see the other. I do know that they bring me so much joy.
After supper, we settled in to watch Nanny 911. The kids loved it. They were incredulous that children could be so out of control. I have to admit, watching kids bite, hit, and spit on their parents was like watching a wreck or a bullfight. You know that you should look away from the shame of the situation, but morbid curiosity makes your eyes stay glued to the scene at hand. The mother would get all misty after trying to wrestle a smart-mouth 6 year old into time out (which the child NEVER stayed in), thinking that everyone must think her a horrible parent. Duh! The dad comes in and everyone straightens up and flies right. Turns out, he rules them with fear...of his belt. The nanny makes him feel like the heel of the century for being abusive to misty wife and bratty kids (note: they DO tow the line when he speaks and it's not established that he does anything more than spank).
Nanny finally makes her point with mom, dad, kids, they turn into nice children that don't need to be on leashes, and another family is saved. They definitely needed intervention, but on national television? I wouldn't be able to face the PTA again! Was the money or exposure worth the aftermath? A followup series revisiting these people a year from now might be a better gauge of impact and/or exploitation. I think of Richard Hatch from the Survivor series. What's your first thought? That he might be an okay guy in some circumstances or that he walked around a bunch of people naked. Reality bites...and sometimes it bites, chews, and then spits you out!

October 1, 2005

Pieces of the Puzzle

I'm sitting here Saturday a.m. still looking at big bags and boxes of my life that I need to put back in some semblance of order. What a mess!! Read back a few postings ago and these were the things that I chose to make the escape with so that my life would be intact after the storm blew the remnants away. Now, they're just so much stuff that I again have to look at as I determine their importance. I literally had junk that I slammed into the last big sack...would my life have been different if I'd lost Uncle John's Bathroom Reader (three of them) to rain and wind? And my china, the Noritake "Lorelei" pattern that's been discontinued, was none the worse for wear in my hutch where it rode out the storm in a measure of style.
It's interesting to note that the things in our lives move up and down in importance as our perspective changes. I'd still take one or two sacks and boxes, but I sure wasted alot of time and space on things that don't matter much. What a great blessing to have discovered that...and I'm only 57...there's still time to change the way I approach the people, situations, and stuff in my life.
For now, I've got alot of puzzle pieces to put together, and they're all upside down. It's going to be a long day!!