Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poisoning Myself

I was reading the news online day before yesterday and discovered how many medications are actually very dangerous in combination with others. The only over- the-counter med I use is aspirin for occasional back pain and my leg aches and Vicks for my dried out tissues in my nose.

I got my bottle of Vicks and read the label. I discovered first of all, that it is good to combat nasal congestion. I knew that because I had used it for several years. Then I read further and discovered it is not to be used in the nose or mouth. It contains camphor which is a poison. I'm not exactly sure how it's supposed to help nasal congestion without putting it in the nasal passages except as my mom used to when she put it on my chest and then covered it with a flannel cloth.

But I have been poisoning myself for years by putting it in my nose at night. It eventually melts and rolls down the throat as I sleep.

Oh well....maybe I have been strengthening my immune system since I take no meds a this time of my life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

After Christmas Busyness

Sunday and Monday were quiet days. Sunday after church a group of us ate at Sirloin Stockade and then we came on home and I did my notes. That evening we watched 60 Minutes and just enjoyed sitting around. I visited my sister at the nursing home a couple of hours.

Monday I read a good deal of the day and also started working on a paper I will present at the Restoration Studies Symposium in April. We went by the market and bought a few items.

I finished my class newsletter and found out how much it would cost to mail. It will cost .57 apiece. I will send out 195 copies. I will take the CD to the printer today. It is 7 pages plus one page on the back blank where I can place an address label.

This morning the Worship Commission will meet at church and take down all the Christmas decorations and prepare the church for the baptismal service on Sunday.

Tomorrow I will go to Independence to get my hair done and that night, New Year's Eve, we will go to a dinner party at my cousin Sue's home. She and her husband have a dinner every New Year's Eve.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas Lunch

One of our son-in-law and daughter's couple friends, Cyndi and Jeff, the couple I married in October, invited us over for after Christmas lunch. We never saw so much food in our lives! You name it and they had it. They treat us like royalty...which is nice, but unexpected.

I cleaned house this morning and put away our Christmas decorations and took down the tree. By the end of December, I am very tired of it all and ready to put it away. Bob vacuumed for me. Then I made the green bean casserole for the lunch.

Bob is very tired this evening. I imagine his sugar is up because he probably wasn't as careful as he should have been. He is taking a nap now and it is nearly 5:00. We could have stayed and played games, etc., but Bob was really exhausted.

It started out such a nice day but has become quite cold this afternoon and evening. I don't think we're forecast any snow though unless the forecast has changed. According to the forecast, it's supposed to be sunshiny and 53 degrees tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After

Our Christmas dinner and gift exchange was a great success. Everything turned out well....including the food. Slinky spent the day outside because it was a nice mild day. I tried to put him out again this morning but he began barking to get back in. I let him back in and gave him his cinnamon toast. We will put him out today since it's supposed to get almost to 70 degrees. Then it's supposed to rain tomorrow and get cold again.

Scott went home last night. When he goes home early, he usually regrets it later. But he had a friend who spent Christmas alone over last evening so they probably watched a movie and enjoyed the company. Scott spends his visits with us on the cell phone talking to someone or the other. When he isn't on the cell phone he's on the computer.

We did go out to John and Leslie's to look at the house day before yesterday though.

Then yesterday I cooked all morning and cleaned up all afternoon. We did get over to see my sister in the nursing home though. I wonder if she will ever get to come home. I also wonder if the socket was so badly damaged that it cannot heal. The surgeon told me he removed a lot of splinters and that the ball was spongy. He replaced it. But he has not been very forthcoming with information.

I was exhausted last night and fell asleep in my chair and slept right through "This Old House". Bob woke me up to go to bed at 9:00.

My leg bothered me again last night. It's getting to be a regular every night occasion anymore. I took some aspirin and that usually takes care of it but it has not been working lately. I guess I need to make an appointment and see what's going on there.

Getting old is no fun.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

It is 5:40 and I have my pecan pie in the oven. I have fed the dog and the cat and let them both out briefly. It is cold out there but so far no freezing rain or snow.

This is the lull before everyone gets up and wants breakfast. I am enjoying a quiet cup of coffee and waiting to uncover the crust of my pie for the last 20 minutes of baking. I accidentally put 1/2 cup of oleo in it instead of 1/3 cup. I hope that's not going to make a huge difference but only time will tell.

I am wishing each of you who are reading this a very Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Nice Day

This has been a nice day. The weather got warmer..near 40 degrees and I was able to let Slinky out and clean the kitchen and dining room for tomorrow. Bob even took him for a walk. He loved that!

We went out to Leslie's this morning so Scott could see how their new house is coming along. The sheet rock is all in now and most of it is taped and mudded. The entire crew is sick today and so they went home. After the tour, we went into town to the Railroad Inn and had lunch.

Bob's glucose has been all over the map lately. Monday, it was 139. Then yesterday it was 180. That was the day his dizziness struck again. He has Menier's Disease and no one knows what causes it. He felt bad all day. Today it was down to 145. I hope it stays down for Christmas. I have a lot to do.

I'll make my pecan pie early tomorrow morning. Then I'll fix breakfast for Bob and Scott before I get the pie out and put the ham in. I will fix a sweet potato for Bob and mashed potatoes for the rest of us. We'll have Bob's Waldorf Salad and broccoli and cauliflower for a veggie. We'll have dressing and hot rolls with butter and jelly. We will also have green olives and black olives. I will put some cheese out too.

Leslie is bringing a pumpkin pie so we should have plenty. I will serve it with no sugar cool whip for Bob's sake.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cold and Brisk

It is cold and windy today. Scott is here. I got up at 5:30 when Slinky barked to get out to do his duty. Then when Scott got up and fixed bacon and eggs for him and when Bob got up I fixed the same for him. Bob is not feeling well today. He had another spell of his Meinier's Disease this morning and then learned his glucose was up to 180. So he has had to watch it today. We had pork roast for supper last night with green beans and cottage cheese but the pork was only 3 carbs per serving. Then he had some unsweetened strawberries and later on had a fudge bar with no sugar in it. I didn't think that was bad so we fixed some popcorn and he had a little of that. I didn't think he had anything to affect his sugar though. He was very discouraged and has not felt well all day.

Last night Scott's Jeep was missing and coughing and stalling so we took it in to my mechanic and he worked it in and he found one broken spark plug and one cracked spark plug so he changed them out with platinum plugs and tuned it up and ordered a new air filter which was filthy. We will take it back in the morning and he will put the new filter in it.

I will go to Independence today to get my hair colored and cut. My appointment was to be tomorrow but snow and freezing rain is forecast so I got it changed to today. Thursday morning I will bake my pies. We will have ham and dressing, mashed potatoes (Bob will have a sweet potato) broccoli and cauliflower for veggies, fruit salad, hot rolls, with oleo, and pecan pie and also pumpkin pie made with Splenda and no sugar whipped cream on the pie.

I will put the other leaf in my table and put the tablecloth on it and set it Thursday morning after I put the pecan pie in the oven. I will also flip out the flip top server so we can serve buffet style.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Son Coming Today

Our son, Scott is supposed to come today for the week. We are not sure when to expect him. It will probably be around noon.

We went to the market to pick up a few things for the week. I am going to attend a Minister's Week conference in Tulsa next month so I made my reservation and paid my money for that. Marilyn, Judy and Howard will be going too. I hope the weather is nice. That was a good piece of change I paid for that Conference.

It is January 13 - 15th so I have no guarantees on the weather.

Slinky woke me at 4:00 AM to get out to do his duty this morning and I was just about back to sleep when he decided he was lonely and started whimpering and barking. I finally gave up and got up around 5:00 AM. I don't know what he'll do when I am gone to the Conference. Bob is stone deaf with his hearing aids out. He may make a mess of some kind in the kitchen. Oh well...nothing I can do about that from Tulsa.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Dinner Sunday

This is the Sunday of our Children's Christmas Program. The Worship Commission has planned it so I don't know what to expect. But it will undoubtedly be a good program. They always do a good job. Afterward, we will have our congregation's Christmas dinner. I have no idea how many will be there. It's 10 degrees out there. But however many there are, we will have a good time, I'm sure.

As soon as I finish my first cup of coffee and get my face on, I will bake a pumpkin pie. Bob made his cranberry salad last night.

The water in my icemaker..water in the door..of the frig froze last night even though Bob had wrapped all the pipes. I just put a hunderd watt bulb out there, hoping to thaw it out but the heat may not be able to get through the wrap. I'll just hope those pipes don't break.

We have our "Living the Questions" group tonight at Jack and Marilyn's home....if they don't cancel it because of the cold.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bartlesville Trip

Bob and I went to Bartlesville again today and walked the mall (a trip of 40 miles) and ate lunch there. I also bought gas there since it was 149.9 there and it's 169.9 here in Kansas. Then we came home and read all afternoon. It was 47 degrees so we let Slinky out for the afternoon. It's cooling off now so I just put him back in.

While he was out this morning, I scrubbed the kitchen floor...not that it will do any good since he's back in now but I feel better about it.

It was a nice respite to have a warmer day. I may be able to make it through the winter if we can have a nice day every couple of weeks. It's supposed to turn cold again tonight.

Tomorrow, Bob has a class for board members at Red Cross so he will be busy. I don't know what I will do. Maybe I will read some more.

I get very bored in winter. My idea of a good time is to dig in the yard and plant flowers.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joplin Trip

My daughter and I are going to take a chance on the weather today and drive over to Joplin...a 75 mile trip. She wants to do some shopping at the mall and we have a member of our church in the hospital there so we will visit her.

The forecast was for freezing rain and it was supposed to have arrived last night but it's 8:55 and we didn't get any freezing rain. She googled Joplin's weather and they say the roads are clear. So we'll see. Bob doesn't want to go for a change because he hates to shop. He will stay home with the animals and let them in and out as they have needs.

She is to be here at 9:30.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ponzi Scheme

This week featured the expose' that Wall Street money manager, Bernard Madoff, had scammed billions of dollars from investors by using a Ponzi scheme. Worse yet, he had not complied with the regulations that are required of money managers and no one had insisted he comply. But this is not the only evidence we have seen of greed and gross corruption. Think of the entire mess that came out of Wall Street this year. This financial center has been admired world wide and now big name companies such as Lehman Brothers, AIG and Bear Stearns have been discovered to be completely incompetent and grossly unethical

Where was the Securities and Exchange Commission while all of this transpired? Why did they miss so many clues? What happened to the high standards we expect of them?

The Madoff scandal is just “the blow that killed Willy”, as my mother would have said. This entire financial meltdown just points out gross incompetence that really shouldn’t have been bailed out. Those companies that were bailed out are still not making loans to assist businesses or ordinary citizens. Instead they are paying dividends to their stockholders with our tax dollars.

More than a financial bailout, this country needs an ethical bailout. It was a huge mistake to eliminate the many regulations that kept the financial markets from abusing the system. Free markets are fine as long as everyone is honest but obviously this is not a perfect world.

But the ordinary citizen is also to blame. Not only have so many borrowed money they knew they could not repay, but most of the country lives on either borrowed money or on credit cards. Note all the Rent to Own companies and Payday Loan companies that are thriving on fleecing the poor. And don’t get me started on credit cards with their huge interest rates. Where is the regulation that keeps the banks from raising the interest rates to unfair heights? No matter which was you look, greed prevails.

The rich feel the rules don't apply to them. And let's face it, they obviously don't.

Busy Day

Bob thought he should go with me for my hair appointment and meeting today. Juanita called and canceled our breakfast date. That was good. I was waiting until 7:00 to call her and advise against her trying it. She beat me to it.

So Bob went with me after I changed my hair appointment till 10:15. By then, it wasn't quite so treacherous. That's not a great idea. He's so feeble he wouldn't be much good to me if anything happened but it made him feel better so I guess that's good enough reason to let him go. Then we ate at Calico Cafe after the meeting and then went shopping for groceries for Christmas.

My meeting went well at 11:00 and we got the Martin Luther King Worship service planned. We will have one more meeting on the 7th of January. The service will be held at the Church of the Brethren in Independence on the 18th instead of the 19th. That's a Sunday evening and we thought attendance would be better.

The minister we invited from Bartlesville is to call me back after he checks his schedule at his church. I caught him at home and his schedule was at his church.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Sister

I spent the day with my sister. She is doing fine in the nursing home. When I left at 5:30 she still had not had her physical therapy. The therapist was in the house but he had not got to her yet. She had her nightgown on and was ready to go to bed. My brother-in-law came and he convinced her that if she went to bed at 5:30, she would be up at 4:00.

It was a pretty boring day. She told me everything she told me at least three times. She is really showing her Alzheimer's Disease. I feel really sorry for her though.

I got home and fixed myself a cup of tomato soup.

Tomorrow I hope to make it to Independence for my hair appointment. If I can't, I will have to wash my own hair.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold Monday

This has been a 10 degree day. I went to town this morning and bought stamps and mailed some notes. Later I went by the nursing home and visited my sister for an hour. Then I came home and worked on our daughter's scrapbook and got it caught up before dinner.

Slinky has been in all day. Every so often he barks once to let us know he needs to go out to do his duty. The cat, Missy, goes out from time to time too but neither can stay out long.

Tomorrow, I will go to the nursing home sometime between 8:00-9:00AM and stay the day until my brother-in-law gets off work.

I do not like winter. The older I get, the less I like winter. I understand why folks move south when they get older. When we left Bobby and Karan's last night the steps were covered with ice and it was sleeting. The sidewalk was also covered with ice so we crossed on the lawn. I was glad to get home although I enjoy "Living the Questions" a lot. We surprised two members with birthday cake and ice cream and a card shower.

I'm beginning to receive quite a lot of Christmas cards. I had put up my little tree several weeks ago. My living room is so small that I had to buy a small tree to fit into it. This is a photo of it.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Busy Sunday

We had a small congregation at church today. I don't know where everyone was. Well, those who did come were the most faithful ones. After church, we went with our daughter and son-in-law to El Pueblito, the local Mexican Restaurant. Afterward, Bob watched the football game while I did my "we missed you at church today" notes. I went to the market to buy some more stamps but they were completely out.

We have "Living the Questions" group tonight. It is to be held at Bobby and Karan's home. We will have a short birthday party for Judy and Marilyn, who both have birthdays this week.

It was 60 degrees here today and it is supposed to get down to 20 tonight and tomorrow. We will keep Slinky in the kitchen tonight. I guess he will be kept in the garage while we are gone this evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Windy Day

This has been a windy day. It's supposed to rain tomorrow and then get cold the first part of next week. We have stayed in and mostly read today. After lunch while Bob napped, I did go to the Medicalodge and visited my sister. She seems to be doing well at this point. The physical therapist came in while I was there and had her take a few careful steps to the doorway and back again. They don't want her to put any weight to speak of on her right leg. She will walk gingerly on her left foot with a walker for a couple of weeks. Maybe after the first of the year, she can start walking on both legs and the walker.

We usually eat out on Friday or Saturday night but tonight we will have chili instead. I thawed some ground beef and fixed the chili awhile ago. I need to go get some crackers for mine. I may have some chips to use instead.

Anyhow, I don't know whether there is anything on TV tonight. We may just read.

I read the book my friend, Gay, gave me for Christmas. It is called "90 Minutes in Heaven". It's an interesting book about an interesting near death experience and the man's experience getting back on his feet after a devastating auto accident.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bartlesville Trip

Bob and I went to Bartlesville today. That's about 40 miles. Gas there is $1.38.9...the lowest in the nation. While we were there, we filled up. It cost me $16.00. It cost me $35.00 earlier this year. Quite a difference, isn't it?

I was looking for a brown sweater. You would think that wouldn't be a large order but l could not find what I was looking for. They were either terribly plain or slim as a reed and good for people who weigh 98 pounds or something like that. Needless to say, I do not weigh 98 pounds. I need a woman's sweater...not a junior sweater.

We went to lunch at Garfield's I love to eat there, even though it's really pretty expensive. Today we had a meal that included refried beans and I have been suffering all afternoon.

We dropped by our daughter's home and looked at the small progress that has been done on their new home. It is truly slow going.

Our son-in-law is going to have a booth at the Arts and Crafts Fair at Cherryvale tomorrow. He did that last weekend at Independence and did have some sales. What they really need to do is put up a web page and sell online. They have a very poor location in the country. And the business is a nitch business. It's lodge type accessories. They have lots of "fish accessories" but, let's face it, not everyone is a fisherman.

We came home after that and Bob took his nap. I read my book (the one called "Blink") and finished it. Bob is reading it too so it will be out for awhile.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rough Night

Well, it was a rough night. About 12:30, I heard Slinky in the kitchen coughing. I got up and found that he had vomited on the utility room rug. I let him out even though it was 10 degrees out there and then cleaned up the vomit.

Then I let him back in. I have been keeping an elongated cardboard box between the kitchen doorway and the dining room to block the doorway. I don't want Slinky in the dining room. Well, for some reason, he decided that's exactly where he wanted to be. I went back to bed and then I heard his toenails tapping on the dining room floor. I got back up and found him lying on the dining room rug. I ordered him back in the kitchen and blocked the doorway again. Then I went back to bed. It's very cold in the garage too but after the third trip to the kitchen to find him in the dining room, I put him in the garage anyway.

An hour later, just as I was going to sleep, I heard him barking. I got up again and put him outside to do his duty and then let him back in. This time I laid a chair across the doorway too. Then I went back to bed again. I finally got about an hour's sleep. At 6:00, I just got up. Luckily we don't have a lot to do today. We will go over to Cherryvale to meet my friend Gay and her husband for lunch. Hopefully, Slinky will stay in the kitchen. I will leave the chair across the doorway and hope for the best. It's just too cold outside for him and also too cold in the garage.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Independence Ministerial Association

This has been a busy day. I went to Independence to have my hair done and then picked up Juanita for breakfast. After we finished our breakfast and visit, I took her home and then went to Wal Mart to buy gifts for four children whose parents are out of work and who will need Christmas gifts from our congregation if they are to have a Christmas. One of our congregation has donated a turkey and we have a huge basket of food to take to them too.

I need to get those gifts wrapped before Sunday.

Then I went to Independence Ministerial Association. Bob came up for that. There were 15 in attendance. We have had good attendance the past two years. It used to be six at the most. Then Mercy Hospital started buying our lunch and as I always say, "if you feed them, they will come." I have had several ministers who do not attend ask what we were doing in the community. At our meeting, I proposed that we submit a news story to the Reporter to keep the community advised of our activity. Everyone agreed it was a good idea. So the secretary will send a synopsis of our meeting for a news story to the Independence Reporter.

Later we came home and I sent out letters to my congregation with the new schedule for the next quarter of responsibilities. Then I fixed some soup for dinner.

I just took my bath and guess I will read this evening after the news.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Minister's Message

Every couple of months, I am asked to write a Minister's Message for the Coffeyville Journal. This morning the secretary of the First Baptist Church called to ask me to do an extra one because the minister of the First Christian Church has passed away over the weekend and he was scheduled for this next Sunday's message. I agreed. I had been wanting to share this message from my new book with my Christian brothers and sisters and this gave me the opportunity.

This is what I sent to the newspaper.

I have been reading a very interesting book lately. It is called "The Great Emergence...How Christianity is Changing and Why" The author is Phyllis Tickle, an internationally renowned expert on religion. She says this event is a monumental phenomenon in our world. This phenomenon has been slipping up on our world for decades. We know our world is changing rapidly in every way and those of us who are Christian and church goers in North America are aware that the Christian church as a movement has also been changing.

The Right Reverend Mark Dyer, an Anglican bishop, recently famously and humorously observed that every 500 years, the church feels compelled to have a "giant rummage sale". We are living near the end of one of those 500 year periods now. This should be psychologically very reassuring for most of us. He says every 500 years the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be at the time, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered in order that renewal and new growth may occur.

History shows us that when that happens, at least three things occur: First: a new more vital form of Christianity does indeed emerge. Second: the organized expression of Christianity which up to then had been the dominant one, is reconstituted into a more pure and less ossified expression of it's former self. Third: The faith spreads dramatically into new geographic and demographic areas.

Five hundred years back from our present place in history, places us in the sixteenth century and into what is now being called, "The Great Reformation", which began around 1517. Another five hundred years back takes us to The Great Schism" in 1054, which divided the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Another five hundred years back takes us to the sixth century and the Fall of the Roman Empire and the time of Pope Gregory the Great, who saved Christianity from paganism by moving it firmly into monasticism that would protect, preserve and characterize it during the next five centuries. The next backward move five centurys, takes us to the first century where Christianity moved away from Judaism. In 70 CE the Temple would be destroyed and in 130 CE the Holy City would be permanently barred against Jewish blood even entering it. And between those two dates, much of the structure of the Christian Church as we know it was born.

And the most wonderful thing about it all is that when these schisms occur, both parts of the schism change for the better and grow. We have all had the experience at some time or another of changing churches or seen a church divide only to find that both sides of the division then improve and grow.

So, if these two experts are correct, and statistics seem to bear them out, these next few years will be exciting. Yes, Christianity as we have known it will change but that change will revitalize it and cause unprecedented growth.

I hope I am still around to see this happen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Services .

We went to church as usual this morning. We had a pretty good crowd for us. The service was lovely, especially with the church decorated for Christmas. Sue had a good message too and Karan,who planned the service, also did a good job. We served communion and Jon, who was baptized last month, received his first communion.

After church, five of us went to the hospital cafeteria and ate lunch and then we went up to visit Phyllis. Tomorrow they will evaluate her and I believe they will send her to Windsor Place for thirty days for more intense therapy. She still is not on her feet.

Then we came home and Bob took his nap and I did my letters to those who did not attend to bring them up to date. Tomorrow Bob has a 9:00 doctor's appointment and we will see what the next step is on getting his sugar down below 132.

Tonight we will watch 60 minutes, one of the few programs we enjoy on TV that is not on PBS. Generally we watch only The American Experience, Frontline, Antique Roadshow, This Old House, Nova, and Bill Moyer's Journal and that's about all. We read a lot. Right now I'm into two books...just finished one of them. It was "The Great Emergence" by Phyllis Tickle. It was a good read and a very interesting proposition. The other one is "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. Have you heard of either of them?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Craft Fair

There is a craft fair in Independence today and after it warms up a bit Bob and I will go up there. Our son-in-law is putting a booth in there. He sells fishing and lodge related knick knacks. He has a little store called "Fisherman John's Outpost" out next to their home and he has a pond stocked with fish where people can fish and pay for the fish by the inch. He's quite a fisherman.

While we're in Independence where there's a superstore, we'll buy some groceries. I am getting quite a list.

I will find a picture of my son-in-law's store and post it here later. That's our daughter standing there using the cell phone.

My daughter, who has been out of work for two months, had an interview yesterday and they are going to hire on the 15th. She said the woman who interviewed her was very positive. I hope she gets the job,. She says it doesn't pay much but it will at least get some money coming in.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Testify or Impeach

In the coming weeks, we are going to find out whether members of Congress have any respect for the institution they represent. We will see whether they have the courage to stand up to the Bush administration and defend the Constitution they took an oath to protect. Specifically, we will discover whether they are willing to take the measures necessary to ensure that Bush administration officials testify before Congress.

On July 10, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to investigate the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and the questionable prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Karl Rove, a potentially key figure in both incidents, was issued a subpoena to testify before the committee. Rove failed to appear.

Congress now has a few options here. First, they could pass criminal contempt charges against Rove, as the House did against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. This is good, but will not result in immediate testimony.

The second option is to have Karl Rove arrested, under the theory of inherent contempt, and brought to Congress to testify. This is better, but may still be eventually unsatisfying if Rove ends up testifying yet asserts executive privilege repeatedly in order to avoid disclosing important information.

Another option -- which probably has the most potential for effectively compelling testimony -- is to tell the president immediately that he will be impeached if members of his administration do not provide full testimony before Congress by a certain date. This has historical precedent as one of the three articles of impeachment ultimately brought against President Richard Nixon was based on his refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas.

The final option is to do nothing and set a precedent for the future by which any administration can claim that Congress does not have the ability to force executive branch officials to testify before Congress. This would be an affront to our Constitution and Congress is dancing perilously close to this line already.

We cannot allow Congress to become subservient to the executive branch. They absolutely must exert their oversight authority and force administration officials to testify. For the sake of our nation and the principles upon which our government was established, I urge them to take whatever steps are necessary to compel testimony from Karl Rove and others.

I will be watching to see how our legislators handle this situation.

Slinky Baby

Well, I've done something I never thought I'd do. I've let Scott's dog, Slinky, into my kitchen. I put a box in the doorway into the dining room because I definitely do not want him in on the carpets. But it's 20 degrees out there and I didn't even have to beg him to come back in after I let him out of the garage to potty this morning. He actually scratched on the back door to get back in.

He simply cannot stay in that hall off the garage. He's too large for such a small space. He seems pretty happy as long as I am sitting here with my laptop and am company for him.

It's supposed to get up to 50 degrees today and when it does I will put him out...that's where he really wants to be. He just can't handle the 20 degree weather. And the worst is yet to come.

Bob and I would like to go somewhere later. We are housebound because of the weather. We went to Ministerial Alliance yesterday but were ready to get back in out of the cold weather afterward.

We Finally went to clean the church and then to the hospital to visit my sister. She is not doing too well. She doesn't seem to understand that she will have to bear some pain in order to get back on her feet and walk again. They say they tell her to step out on the toes of her good foot and slowly put some weight on the healing one but she doesn't seem to get it. It seems in the afternoons when she gets tired, her Alzheimer disease kicks in. So it looks like she will be going to the Windsor Place Nursing Center for a month or so. We will know more about it this coming week.

Slinky Baby spent the afternoon in the kitchen sleeping on the decorative rug before he went to the garage for the night.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday CMA and a Dilemma

This is the first Thursday of the month and the day we meet at noon with Coffeyville's Ministerial Alliance. Windsor Place feeds us a nice lunch and provides us with a meeting room. They have done this for years. I am the secretary/treasurer so I stay very busy at these meetings taking my notes and then when Bob and I come home, I get the minutes done and send them out by e-mail to the alliance members.

This morning I need to clean house and do some laundry...a task I usually do on Monday but just didn't want to do this past Monday so now it really needs my attention.

I am in a quandary about what to do with Slinky, Scott's Shar Pei dog. It is under twenty degrees out there. I have been putting him in the garage at night where it is some warmer because of the hot water tank there. But now the garage is 40 degress. This dog was born in Hawaii. Lived the last eight years in Georgia. He has never seen snow and this is Kansas and so he will see snow this winter. It's a dilemma.

He smells like a hound. It must be his family. I don't want the doggy smell in my house. But he's such a sweetheart I don't know what to do about him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another Busy Day

This morning I went up to Independence to get my color and haircut done. Afterward, I met my friend, Juanita, for breakfast. Then I went by the courthouse to pay half our taxes. After that I stopped in at Nannie La Rose and used up the gift certificate Juanita gave me for my birthday. I needed new socks so I got four pair and a pair of earrings. My younger son, Scott, called today. He remembered my birthday at the gym last night but waited until this morning to call and wish me a belated happy birthday.

After that, I came on back home. My friend, Bill, was coming down to bring me a birthday gift...books, as usual. That is always a good gift for me. He had been to the hospital to visit my sister. That was good of him.

After he left, Bob and I went to eat at the hospital cafeteria and then we went to visit Phyllis too. She is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I saw her physical therapist and told her Phyllis needed more walking if she was ever going to get to go home. She walked this morning and I guess they came back to get her for another workout this afternoon after her nap.

I learned from a friend that Medicare will pay for 100 days of nursing home care. That may be the only way she will ever get the ability to go home again.

This afternoon, I finished the book I have been reading. It is called "The Shack". have any of you read it?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and we invited Leslie, our daughter, to go with us to Bartlesville to browse the stores and go to lunch with us. John, our son-in-law had gone to take a physical for a part time job he is planning to take on. So, that's what we did. We had a good time too.

After we got back home Bob and I went to visit my sister, Phyllis, who is still in the hospital here following surgery for a broken hip. She had a birthday card for me and I told her I would drop by to see her and pick it up.

There we learned that if she doesn't do better with her physical therapy they will have to release her to a short term nursing home or she will have to have 24 hour nursing help for awhile. The problem is they have not been pushing the physical therapy. They have had her on a walker twice. Once was last Friday and then again today. That's not going to do it. They have her lifting weights with her arms but it's her hip she broke.

Well, they don't have that kind of money. I don't know what they will do. Like most of us, they saved what they could after getting their kids raised but inflation has eaten up much of it. My brother-in-law hasn't heard the news yet. He has been working four days a week while he has their daughter, Denise, to sit with her in the daytime.

So, it will be interesting to see what they will have to do.

Another problem as I see it is that her doctor has only been in three times to see her in two weeks. Undoubtedly, he will be billing Medicare for at least one visit a day. If it were me, I would visit with the doctor about it or as a last resort turn him in to Medicare.

The birthday went well. Our eldest son, Keith, called last night and Leslie remembered too. Scott, the youngest, is all about himself at this point. I didn't expect anything from him.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Process Theology

Last night we briefly discussed process theism at our Living the Questions group. Not to dominate the discussion, I said little about it. But let me tell you how I believe the concept works for me.

I believe process theology works for me because it has good ethics. For me it is a better way to think about what the idea of "God" means. Frankly, I find the ethics of the traditional God appallingly erratic and often even demonic. God has been described in the Bible and in other culture's scriptures as directly willing and causing great evils like war, slavery, plague, famine and even the hardness of people's hearts. At best, God has been described as standing by and allowing needless suffering that the traditional idea of God could have easily prevented. To defend these ideas about God, we are forced to turn our ideas of good and evil inside out to explain why it is really all right for God to allow such great suffering.

That's why process theology has taught me that there is simply no reason to let our old ideas about divine power force us into a corner where we must persuade ourselves that gross evil is really good. It gives me a concept of a God who is genuinely loving in a straightforward and intelligible sense. The God of process theology does everything within divine power to work for the good.

Because of our freedom, each individual creates itself out of all that has gone before. Our past decisions both provide and limit future possibilities. Within these limits, the future is open.

Our universe, thank goodness, really does not center around human beings. Dominion has proven to be a tragic theological model for understanding our ethical relationship to the world. Instead we should come to understand our place is as just one of God's creatures in a complex and fragile world.

God's power, is necessarily persuasive, not coercive. Because God loves the world, God suffers with the world, calling to us in each moment to share a vision of the good and beautiful....God's community on earth where humans can live together in peace with all other of God's creatures. But God awaits our free response and does not use force.

I believe God is omniscient and knows everything there is to know. But because the future is open, and has a range of possibilities, it is not fixed or settled. I believe we always have the right to choose. And I believe God struggles to reach us but it is up to us to be receptive to God's persuasive spirit.

In process theology, God is constantly, in every moment and in every place, doing everything within God's power to bring about the good. But God's power lies in patience and love...not force.

Ethically, God is worthy of our love because God is perfectly loving. God is with us in our moments of greatest guilt and despair, yet God's love for us never waivers. God calls us to redeem ourselves from these experiences by gleaning whatever good can come from them for the future and sometimes even to help others.

And most important to me, God works with all people who will respond to God's spirit...not just us Christians, to bring about the greatest good for all.

Just wanted you to understand my thinking a little better.

Full Day

Yesterday was a full day. Both Scott and Ashley left for home. We went to church for the Hanging of the Greens service but not too many were there. The church looked lovely though. The service was very good even though there weren't too many there.

After church six of us went to the hospital, had lunch in their cafeteria and then visited my sister who is in the hospital following her fall and hip surgery. She is doing better but didn't get too much therapy last week when some of the staff was off for the Thanksgiving holiday. She will probably be there at least another week.

Then later in the afternoon I finished doing my Christmas cards. Then I did my notes for those who were not there at church. I also got the article ready for Friday's newspaper for the church page and changed the information on the church's web site.

Bob and I watched some of the Chief's game against the Raiders before the group from Living the Questions came at 6:00.

Then I had a surprise! They had ice cream and cake to celebrate my birthday tomorrow. I will be 73. That was a nice gesture. We have such a good group. Two were missing last night...Richard and Gretchen. Gretchen was out of town. Richard lives in Independence and doesn't come unless Gretchen comes.

I am not going to clean today. I did some sprucing up yesterday afternoon for the meeting and the place still looks fine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bad Food

This week on the JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with author Michael Pollan about America’s problematic food policies and what citizens might do for their –- and the nation’s –- health.

If any of you had the opportunity to watch this Bill Moyers' show on PBS last night, you may have been horrified to hear what bad food we are all eating. Everything we eat is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, which our pancreas cannot process, therefore does not create enough insulin, which causes type 2 diabetes and other horrible health problems such as obesity and heart disease. The huge farm lobby, is financed by huge rich corporations, that receive millions of dollars in federal subsidies that keeps that cheap bad and unhealthy fast food coming.

Corn fed cattle on large feed lots are creating unhealthy beef for our tables. Piles and piles of manure and piles of piles of corn can be found on these horrible feed lots, where cattle are crammed in to be fed up for slaughter.

Even our eggs from the grocery store are a problem as huge corporations keep the chickens in small cages just to capture their eggs as they drop them. To keep them from pecking each other to death, because of the terrible close quarters in which they are kept, their beaks are burned off....with no anesthetic.

Just as bad is the plight of pigs, also kept packed together until they are frantic. To keep pigs from trying to bite one another's tails off, their tails are pinched off with pliers, again, with no anesthetic.

The entire show may be available at now. Check it out. It may change the way you eat.

Because of Bob's newly diagnosed diabetes, we check every label and we have found very little food without high fructose corn syrup. Even our bread is loaded with it. Most of the bread from the market has it listed as the second ingredient, which indicates that it is the second largest ingredient. I may buy another bread maker and begin making our bread again. I gave mine to Scott's (ex) wife several years ago since they had family.

The new administration will need not simply to address food prices but to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of their new administration: unless this is done, we will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change. Unlike food, these are issues that were campaigned on — but as we try to address them we will quickly discover that the way we currently grow, process and eat food in America goes to the heart of all three problems and we will have to change it if we hope to solve them.

"Contrast this with the big bucks being shelled out in the recent $307 billion farm bill, much of it going to massive agribusinesses -- “A welfare program,” as TIME Magazine described it, “for the megafarms that use the most fuel, water, and pesticides; emit the most greenhouse gases; grow the most fattening crops; hire the most illegals and depopulate rural America."

In a press conference on Tuesday, President-elect Obama cited a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office: “From 2003 to 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies even though they were earning more than the $2.5 million cutoff to qualify for such subsidies, “ he said. “If this is true, it is a prime example of the kind of waste I intend to end as president.”"

But the farm lobby exploded over this announcement and Obama backed down.

So farm subsidies, which are mainly paid to rich farm corporations, keep fast food cheap and fast food available. Something needs to be done about the future farm bill. Our best recourse as consumers at this point is to read labels and cook at home where we do have some control over the ingredients in the food we eat.

There's an excellent article in Time magazine about the lame duck president. It can be found at,8599,1862307,00.html

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Day After

I don't know what we will do today. I would like to go to Bartlesville and start my Christmas shopping but I also need to go up to the hospital and visit my sister. We did not get up there yesterday.

Scott is not feeling well today. He is trying to take a cold, I think. I got him started on my zinc tablets to try to ward it off.

I fixed him an omelet this morning. Bob is just now getting up. He will probably want bacon and eggs too. I will need to get a few things at the market today.

Scott took Ashley to a movie last night in Bartlesville. It was "Twilight". He said it was a chick flick but he likes chick flicks so that was fine. He is really enjoying his opportunity to see Ashley. He went to the bank to check his account and pay his bills this morning. He will go back out to see Ashley again today while Bob and I go to Bartlesville. This is a photo of them together yesterday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Busy Thanksgiving Day

Bob is feeling just fine this morning...thank goodness! I got up at 6:00 and the house was cold. I turned the furnace up but it did not come on. So I checked the breakers and none had been thrown. Then I took the doors off the furnace and hit a reset button and when I put the doors back on, the furnace came on. Thank goodness! The service call on Thanksgiving Day would have been horrendous! I baked two pies yesterday and will bake another this morning. We are going to Thanksgiving at our daughter's home. They have a larger table and a larger home actually. I am taking the pies, whipped cream and Bob's Waldorf salad. She will have twelve of us. My niece is taking the veggie dishes and sweet potatoes. My daughter will do the turkey, ham and stuffing.

Our granddaughter, Ashley, came in yesterday afternoon. We had not seen her since she graduated and moved to Texas. She drove 6 1/2 hours from Tyler, Texas, and will stay until Sunday. It was good to see her again. The photo is of her.

Our daughter learned that her unemployment appeal was denied so they will be struggling until she finds a job. She has had two interviews out of twelve applications. Jobs are not easy to find in this recession. She has a degree too.

But I intend to put all this stuff out of my mind today and just enjoy our family. Bob has invited one of his FEMA friends who is stationed in Independence away from his family so we will also have him. There will be Bob and me, Leslie and John, Scott and Ashley, Denise, Terry and Dee, Jeromy and Marlene and Dick. My brother-in-law decided to have Thanksgiving with my sister, who is still in the hospital in the skilled nursing area.

So Happy Thanksgiving to everyone here today! It's supposed to be 60 degrees here today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Menier's Disease

Bob has Menier's Disease and has had it for years. But he hadn't had an episode for fifteen years until this morning. I was out in the kitchen earlier this morning and he called out to me from the bedroom. I went running only to find that he was suffering from vertigo. I got him one of his pills and then checked his sugar to be sure it wasn't that. His sugar was 134 so I knew it was the Menier's Disease. He took the pill but still was dizzy headed when I left for my hair appointment. I told him to stay in bed and I would be back in less then an hour.

I was just finishing up in the chair when our daughter called. She had called to check in on us and her dad answered the phone like he was at death's door. He scared her to death. She called her brother to see how near he was to our place and he was 90 miles away still. So she called to see where on earth I was. I told her what it was and that I had given him one of his pills and taken his blood glucose but she was mildly irritated that I wasn't home. I had done all I could but he did not have his hearing aids in and could not hear her and thought she had hung up. She thought he was deathly ill and had hung up on her. Then our son called and told him he was going to call 911 but Bob couldn't hear him and said "o.k.". Luckily, Leslie called Scott back and told him what it was and not to call 911.

What a mess. I was home within the hour and explained what he had done to alarm our kids. He was properly penitent.

I discovered his meds were fifteen years old so I don't know whether they will do any good or not. I called his doctor, who was out of town, and got the one on call to call in a fresh prescription but it will be afternoon before he can get to it.

Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Quieter Day

This should be a quieter day. I know my daughter is going to be out at church this morning to begin decorating for the Hanging of the Greens on Sunday. I may go out to help her after I get my house cleaned. I have an appointment out there at 1:30 to meet the Superintendent of Schools from Independence. He wants to talk to me about their need for school renovation in Independence. They really are in dire need of help with their schools but their school bond issue has failed three times. The reason is they have shot themselves in the foot.

Several years ago, they passed a huge bond issue to renovate their Memorial Hall. Then they passed another to build a new swimming pool. Then they passed one to renovate their library and finally they passed one to build a new sewage disposal plant. All these projects are being taxed at the same time. Of course property owners are in rebellion over it and will not pass the school bond issue. You really can't blame them.

Why he wants to talk to me is beyond me. I live in Coffeyville where we built a Community Elementary School five years ago. It is a wonderful school with all the elementary grades in one building. But we have an electric utility plant here that helps pay for that school. They do not have that in Independence so it would fall on property owners to finance it. Taxes in Montgomery County have more then doubled the past six years as it is. When we bought this house six years ago, the taxes were $770 a year. Now they are over $1300.

So, no, even through they desperately needs school renovation in Independence, they probably will not get it. But that still doesn't answer the mystery of why he wants to talk to me. Well, I guess I'll find out at 1:30 this afternoon.

By the way, they put my sister in skilled nursing yesterday afternoon so we do not have to stay with her anymore...they say.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Progress Report

My niece went to Topeka to take her disabled husband to the VA hospital there for a check up so my brother-in-law is staying today with my sister and also tonight. My niece will be back staying days with her after today and I will stay with her again Tuesday night. I suppose he will stay with her Wednesday night and possibly Thursday because the niece is counting on bringing her family to my daughter's home for our Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe my sister will be doing a lot better by Thursday and my brother-in-law will be able to come too. He certainly needs a break. They are wanting to put her in skilled nursing either today or tomorrow. Maybe she won't need a family member to stay with her after that.

I hope my brother-in-law talks to the doctor about that today.

Our son will be coming in late Tuesday night to stay until Sunday. Our granddaughter, Ashley, his daughter, is driving up from Tyler, Texas, for Thanksgiving and he is dying to see her again. She will stay with our daughter and son-in-law. I will stay with my sister Thursday night but my son will be sleeping then anyhow. I will get home by 7:00 AM if things go as they have so far. I don't try to sleep in the daytime because that ruins my night sleep.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Especially Big Day

This will be an especially big day. This morning I speak at church, then we have our annual Thanksgiving dinner. After that, I will do my notes and go to the hospital to relieve my niece who stayed with my sister during church so my brother-in-law could go home and sleep. He stayed with my sister last night. I will stay with her tonight.

They have begun her therapy and of course it is very painful. They are giving her pain meds, which further confuse her and they are fearful that she will try to get out of bed in the night and re-break her hip. So someone has to stay nights with her. I don't know how long this will go on. And... I don't know how long by brother-in-law and I can keep this up.

She is back in her room now and will be there a day or two then they will send her to skilled nursing for two weeks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Progress Being Made

Bob and I went to see my sister yesterday evening and it was amazing the progress she had made. They had her sitting up in a chair and she had been bathed and her bed was changed and she was fully fully alert as she ever is. Bob, her husband, (we both have husbands named Bob) was out cleaning a shop he cleans in the evenings. Her daughter, Denise, was with her and had been all day.

My daughter and I are going to go to a holiday arts and crafts festival held at the recreation center here this morning. Then we will pop in and visit her. If she is doing well, they will move her into a room today or tomorrow. Then I will send flowers.

A couple of days in the room and she will go into skilled nursing for her physical therapy. There she can have the flowers my son sent to her and those her daughter in Wisconsin sent to her. That will cheer her up.

I hope she can recover quickly. I don't know what my brother-in-law will do about his holiday job. He may have to give it up. With her Alzheimer's disease coming on, he won't be able to continue too long anyhow. He will be her primary care giver.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Night At The Hospital

I was with my brother-in-law waiting for my sister to come out of surgery all afternoon Thursday. Then I stayed last night all night with her. Phyllis is in ICU now here in Coffeyville. As you know, she broke her hip Wednesday morning and had surgery yesterday afternoon. Actually, her hip broke and she then fell. The orthopedic doc said the ball joint was mushy and there were a lot of splinters.

Then last night while I was with her in her room, she had an incident. Her heart beat went up to 225 and nine nurses worked on her for a half hour before they took her to ICU where they could treat her with a med that brought it down. It was down to 90 by this morning and she is a lot better. Now they are working to get her blood pressure up to somewhere near normal.

She will be in ICU for another day and the in a regular room for two days before being transferred to Skilled Nursing for therapy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eventful Day!

Well, everything I had planned got canceled today. A friend called this morning at 7:00 and said there was an ambulance in my sister's driveway and it had been there for quite awhile. She wondered if I knew. I called my sister's house but no one answered the phone. So I jumped in the car and ran over there. Sure enough the ambulance was still in the drive. My brother-in-law was in the front seat so he rolled down the window and told me my sister had fallen on the porch and had hurt her hip and couldn't get up.

I went home and called and canceled all my appointments for today and went up to the hospital. Sure enough, her hip was broken. It seems the hip broke and then she fell. She had just had a bone density test a couple of months ago and they said then that she was all right. Evidently not...from the looks of the x-ray. The ball was broken off the hip bone and will now die in the socket so the surgeon will replace the ball with a new one...probably stainless steel, and put screws in the bone to hold it. The surgery will be tomorrow afternoon sometime. It is not yet scheduled. She is in traction now.

So I've been in the hospital with her and her husband and daughter most all the day. As soon as we got out of the emergency area, my brother-in-law called their daughter, who came right up.

They have another daughter in Wisconsin and a son in Rogers, AR. They also have another son here in Coffeyville that they seldom see. My brother-in-law will contact him to tell him.

It never pours. She is in pretty good spirits though.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Health Clinic Meeting

I will go to Independence for my Montgomery County Health Clinic board meeting this morning at 11:00.

I finally heard from the library on the job at the library. They chose someone better qualified.

My daughter's desktop computer is down and so she did not send me pictures of the progress on their house this week. I will go out there after my meeting and take some with my camera. I want to keep her scrapbook up to date. This picture is of a part of the kitchen showing the insulation they are putting in this week.

The rest of today is rather benign. Tomorrow is another story altogether.

My hair appointment is at 8:15, breakfast with Juanita is at 8:30, my appointment at the radio station is at 9:30, I have a meeting to plan the Martin Luther King service at 11:00, Bob has an appointment with the hospital dietitian at 3:00, and we have a dinner engagement at 6:00. Now that is a full day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Special Dogs

Dogs are something else. Now that it's colder I put Slinky in the garage at night. The only way I can get him in there is to offer him some cinnamon toast. Then he comes in. In the morning about 6:00, I hear one bark...then a pause...and then another bark. He wants out to pee. I get up and let him out in the yard. His tail wags nearly off his body.

Later, after I get the coffee made and one cup in the cup, he waits for his cinnamon toast. He sits down for it....without being told, he knows he won't get it if he doesn't sit down.

Later, he comes to the door and barks once, waits and then barks again. He wants to go for his walk. If I ignore him, he goes to lie down..disappointed.

When I do come out for that walk, I pick up his leash and then he comes alive..tail wagging furiously. If he's out in the yard and sees me pick it up he comes running as fast as his legs can carry him. He loves his walk. He keeps me walking at an almost uncomfortable pace....but that's good for me.

He's quite a dog. Sometimes he comes to the window and puts his front paws up on the sill and looks in at me. He just wants company. I'd let him in but he smells bad. I don't know what to do about it. Even when it was warm enough for his bath and we bathed him twice a week, it wasn't long and he smelled bad again.

He's a real sweetheart but he still smells bad.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Events

We went to church this morning and following the church school class, we had our election of officers. I was elected to be pastor again. We had a good sermon and after church we went to Hong Kong delight for lunch. That might not have been the best choice for Bob's diabetes. He tested at 255 and hour or so after lunch.

Then we went to an Open House at one of the retailers. I bought my first Christmas gift.

I spent the afternoon sending out letters to those who did not attend to tell them the results of the election and bring them up to date on the congregational Thanksgiving dinner next Sunday after church.

Tonight at 7:00 we will attend our "Living the Questions" group at Keith and Joyce's.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Europeans

This summit in Washington is bringing up some interesting proposals. The Europeans, especially the French, are suggesting that our capitalist system needs more regulation to avoid huge corporate salaries, bonuses and other abuses. America has always scorned the highly regulated European system but, let's face it, the reason they were so severely affected by our financial crisis,is that we have intertwined our system with the entire world's. Because of this the American system and it's abuses has affected the entire world.

I have always said that capitalism is greed driven and when you consider all the abuses that have been apparent in it for decades, you can see the need for regulation. If corporate America were not so greedy, a free market would work. But it's greed has driven the rich to be even richer and the poor to be even poorer and the middle class to rapidly disappear.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Letter to the Editor and Congressmen

My husband has recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This is a man with no history of diabetes in his family and who weighs 153 pounds at 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall so his disease is not associated with obesity.

I have read several scientific articles implicating high fructose corn syrup in this epidemic. It seems it is made from cornstarch that's been processed with enzymes and studies have linked it with higher levels of compounds that trigger tissue damage. The pancreas cannot process it to produce insulin and so the sugar pours into the bloodstream and then into the organs of the body putting a terrific strain on all of them.

Why is it so difficult to get our FDA and our congress to see this problem? Are they being financed by the huge farm lobby? Neither Canada or Mexico uses high fructose corn syrup in their foods or soft drinks.

Have you ever tried to buy anything that doesn't contain it? Almost everything lists it as one of the first ingredients and therefore a main ingredient .

I would like to see hearings held on this subject and something done about getting this dangerous ingredient out of the food chain. In case you haven't noticed, diabetes is epidemic in the US and anywhere in the world where high fructose corn syrup is used in the place of sugar.

Sincerely alarmed,

(my full name and address and telephone number)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

House Cleaning Day

Generally I clean on Monday but Monday was a busy day so I was going to clean on Tuesday. Well, Scott came back Sunday afternoon so we were very busy. I believe that was the day we went to Bartlesville. Then yesterday was a rat race. So that meant we would clean today. The house looks good. While I was cleaning I put a pot of beans on and we had cornbread and beans for lunch. I don't know how Bob's sugar will hold up after that.

This afternoon I have an appointment with Tina at the radio station at 3:00 and then my job interview is at 4:00 at the library. I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be...that's for sure. They probably have a lot of interviews.

I spent an hour on this computer e-mailing church headquarters to get newly baptized Jon registered as a member of the church. Hopefully, that won't take forever. But think how much more work that would have been if we didn't have computers. Aren't they grand? When they work properly, that is. I wrestle with mine from time to time.

Here's a photo of Jon at his confirmation service.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Busy Wednesday

Well, we did everything we meant to do today. We went to Independence early though because fog was forecast. The fog didn't materialize however. Anyhow, Carol got me in early so we went to breakfast early too. Then we went to pick up the water for the church and Bob's pants at the cleaners and then went to Wal Mart to do some shopping for food that diabetics can eat. That's a bummer!

Later we looked around at HDTV's. I'm not ready to invest in one though. I think the prices need to come down further before we get one.

At last we went to Ministerial Association at Mercy Hospital. There was a good turnout...about 13, I think.

Later we came on home and I worked on the bulletin for November 23rd.

Tomorrow morning, I will clean house and later in the afternoon at 3:00 I have an appointment with the radio station and then at 4:00 I will have my job interview.

Next week, one day, I will need to go to the radio station in Independence and cut some new spots for Windsor Place. This will be the first time I have done their announcements there. I usually only do the ones for the Coffeyville Windsor Place.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Great Baptism!

We had a baptism this Sunday and the boy was also confirmed a member of the church. It went off well. The two elders who had seen to his pre-baptismal classes and were in charge of seeing to his spiritual well being at Hutchinson came down to do the baptism and confirmation. They did a nice job. Our Celebration/Worship Committee planned the service and they really out did themselves.

We had a basket dinner afterward. There were about 45 people there. The celebration committee decorated the church with kites and boy things like footballs, basketballs, boy toys, wagons, you name it. It was neat. Emma Stoner and her brother Ryan sang. They do a lovely job. Emma will be baptized in January.

Jon, the boy who was baptized is such a nice little boy. He is one of four and they are all nice kids.

Busy Wednesday Tomorrow

Tomorrow I go to get my hair done in Independence. Afterward Bob and I will go eat breakfast at Eggbert's. After that, we will go pick up Bob's jeans. I had them shortened.

We also need to pick up water for the church. We use bottled water there to drink. I need to stop and get my mascara in Independence too.

Then at 11:30, we will go to Independence Ministerial Association. When we get home we will stay at home. It will probably rain.

Scott, our son, left this morning. He has to report in on Thursday. We had a good time while he was here. This afternoon I worked all afternoon on my daughter's scrapbook and got it caught up. I hope to get my own caught up tomorrow afternoon.

Job Interview

The library called last evening and set up a job interview for me for Thursday at 4:00. I am really interested in this job as a library aide but with the economy the way it is, I probably have little chance of getting it. But I am going to give it my best shot anyhow.

Sunday afternoon our son from Ft. Leonard Wood came back to spend the rest of his leave with us. It rained yesterday so we drove down to Bartlesville where they have a small mall and looked around. Bob bought a new shirt and we all had lunch at Garfield's.

When we got home we rented a movie and watched it all afternoon. It was a good one called "Invincible". It was a true story about a football player who won a place on the Philadelphia team with an open draft from the public. It happened back in the 70's.

Then last night we watched The American Experience on PBS about the great depression. We all went to bed about 10:00 and had a good night's sleep.

I got up at 6:00 this morning and let the cat back in and let the dog out to do his thing. In cold damp weather like this week, we keep him in the garage at night near the hot water tank. He's such a sweetheart. I fixed his cinnamon toast after I got my coffee and went out on the patio to feed it to him a bite at a time.

It's raining again this morning so his walk will have to wait until it stops.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sermon for November 23

Recognize Jesus Among Us
November 23, 2008
Matthew 25:31–46

This teaching ministry found in Matthew Chapters 24 and 25 are end-time teachings of Jesus. They include three parables of judgment. The scripture is titled “The Judgment of the Nations” concludes the discourse.

Matthew portrays and anticipates the “second coming” in sharp contrast to the first coming. This time, he writes, Christ comes in glory, with all the nations assembled before him. He conveys God’s blessing to those who have done deeds of loving kindness.

Jesus spent at least one year among his disciples walking his way around Galilee, teaching anyone who would listen the concepts of God’s kingdom. The word “Kingdom” was common in that day of kingdoms. Today, speaking of such a situation, we might refer to it as God’s sacred community. The precepts Jesus taught were simple but important. If the world had implemented them instead of those of “kingdoms and empires” the world would be at peace today.

They include, “share your food”, “clothe the naked”, “befriend the lonely”, “heal the sick”, and “visit the imprisoned”, “do not be angry with your brother”, “be reconciled with one another” “turn the other cheek”, “go the extra mile”. ” love your enemies”, “pray for those who persecute you”, “do not store up treasures for yourself on earth” “do not judge” ”do not be a hypocrite” . Simple concepts these…able to change the world.

When we show one person such generosity, even the least among persons, we are showing the mercy of God; we are participating in the kingdom of love and grace that God envisions for creation. We think our commonplace actions are insignificant, but they are eternal opportunities. As often as we have truly loved, we have loved God.
This scriptural passage is commonly known as “the parable of the sheep and the goats.” Early rabbinical writings regarded goats as “armed robbers” because they jumped people’s fences, destroyed their plants, and cropped grass too close to the ground when grazing. So, the shepherd (Jesus) sends the sheep (the people of God) to the “right” side, indicating favor. While the goats are sent to the “left,” a less favorable spot.

This parable is an indictment of humanity’s violent resistance to God’s revelation that we are all created in God’s own image. At the 2004 International Leaders Meeting in 2007, this declaration was shared:

“We live in a world where the face of Jesus is torn. Humans hurt each other, rending the body of Christ. Systems and institutions crush the spirit and imprison the mind. God mourns where bullets, barricades of burning tires, barbed-wire fences, cultural prohibitions, violence, and minefields separate humanity. God shares the burdens of poverty, AIDS, orphans, imperialism, wealth, and conflict. God is persecuted with those who suffer in his name, and forsaken when his servants forget indigenous communities.

The church also tears the face of God. We show the world the lamb, the lion, and the child but fail to resolve conflicts in our own families and congregations.”—

To such a bleak history, the “Lord of history” speaks: “As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (v. 40).

This parable is not just a revelation of the crisis of history. It is a call to active love. The six mercies (food, drink, welcome, clothing, nursing care, and visitation) are ministries that can be provided without requirement of wealth, refined skills, or great sacrifice, yet they are lifesaving.

We encounter God in all of our relations. Every wife who comforts her husband, every father who gives joy to his child, every friend who consoles a companion, and every mother who feeds her infant encounter the Lord.

The parable is an invitation to personal recognition and acceptance. Each one of us counts as “the least.” We all bear the image of God, no matter how diminished or devalued we or anyone else may think we are. We are bodies of Christ.

A friend of mine sent me a video this week about a project started by his cousin Carol in Portland OR. She grew up with his sister Ruth and him in England. During the war her father was in the British Navy and when his ship was damaged it put into Portland for extensive repairs. There he met with the church members and made many friends and after the war he and his family emigrated to Portland. After high school Carol started working as a secretary for a bank in Portland and eventually retired as executive secretary for the bank president. She had the idea of starting a theater group for special needs children and persuaded the bank president to sponsor a small group. This eventually grew into full blown theater performances and this video was produced as she is now retiring from directing the performances.

The scripture passage we heard read is an indictment of those who devalue persons created in God’s image. At the same time, it is a celebration of the worth of each and every person—especially those considered by society to be “the least.” To love them is to love God.

The scripture is a call to active love. It is a call to acts of mercy where all of us can participate. We can give lifesaving, life-giving food, drink, welcome, clothing, nursing care, and visitation.

Let us ask ourselves these questions:

How can our congregation convey God’s kingdom in glory and God’s judgment in ways that minister to today’s disciples and friends of the church?

How in our world and our faith community are we neglecting or violating the Christ in our midst?

In what ways are the actions of our congregation and its members leading God to recognize them as serving the “least of these”? When, personally, did we most recently see Jesus in such circumstances? Can we share a time when we were hungry or thirsty or without shelter (literally or figuratively) and someone acknowledged our worth by serving us?

How do we recognize Jesus among us? We see Jesus in every act of charity…in every basket of food, in every shoebox for children, in every act of kindness, in every polite act of assistance.

I recently read an account of a gentleman in a line at the market. When it came time for him to pay his bill he reached into his pocket to find that his wallet was gone. Over his objections the man behind him quickly paid his bill. He decided that from then on he would watch for opportunities to do the same. A few weeks later, he was in line behind a woman who had quite a pile of groceries. As she was checked out, she noticed she had more then she could pay for and began choosing items she could take out. He reached around and paid her bill….then quickly left before she could object.

We all have such opportunities to display the face of Jesus. Sometimes, all we have to do is allow someone else to go first in the line. Sometimes it’s to allow another car the right of way. These are simple things we are able to do to reflect the teachings of Jesus. But these are simple acts we can all do. They are simple ways we can recognize Jesus among us.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Wedding

The wedding went off like clockwork. There were about 70-75 people there. Our sanctuary holds 64 so we put up some folding chairs. Some guests were relatives of the groom but many were friends of the bride. Karan has a lot of friends. But everything went fine. Howard, the Methodist minister and I did the ceremony. One son of the bride was there. Her other son and daughter could not make it. All three children of the groom were there.

There was a huge meal afterward. The guests all brought a dish and all had plenty to eat. There were three cakes. When I get some pictures, I'll post one of them.

Tomorrow now, we have the baptismal service and another basket dinner afterward. Then we will need to clean up after that service. Our daughter and son-in-law are going to the church this evening to check the water level of the baptistery and decorate for tomorrow's service. They will move the pulpit back and put the communion table where it belongs and put the offering table back in it's place. They will decorate for the eight year old boy, Jon, who is being baptized. He will later receive a certificate of baptism from the church. He will be confirmed following the service.

The Wedding Day

We went to the church last evening and practiced the wedding ceremony. Then afterward Bob and Karan took us all to dinner at the Tavern on the Plaza. Bob and I were bushed afterward and came home and took our baths and went to bed at 9:00. Our age is showing, I guess.

I got up at 6:00 this morning to feed the dog and cat, make coffee and start my casserole dish for lunch at the church following the ceremony. It's in the oven now.

Bob took care of his own breakfast after checking his sugar. It is down to 176 this morning. Slowly but surely, it's coming down.

This afternoon, I imagine we will spend cleaning up after the wedding dinner and preparing the church for the baptismal service tomorrow. While we are cleaning, we will begin filling the font. The water we tested in there Thursday night did not drain out.

Tomorrow following the baptism, we have another basket dinner planned.

Then Sunday evening at 7:00 we have our "Living the Questions" group at Lively's.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Busy Day

Yesterday afternoon Bob and I went out to the church and cleaned. While I cleaned he tried to fill the baptistery for the service Sunday. It held while we were there. There has been a problem with the drain leaking the water out. After this service Sunday, we will call a plumber to come fix it.

Meanwhile, Bob had a doctor's appointment this morning to get his sugar checked out again. It was up to 344 yesterday evening. Evidently he ate too many carbs yesterday. But this morning before breakfast it was 244. He tested two hours after breakfast and found it down to 196. The doctor gave him a blood pressure med to protect his kidneys. She said it was really not actually for his blood pressure. His blood pressure is 98/68.

We will go to Independence later this afternoon to visit a member in a nursing home there and then stop at the church and check out that water again. It will have to hold overnight Saturday.

This afternoon at 4:00 we have the rehearsal for the wedding we are having there tomorrow at 11:00. Afterward we are going to eat out. That will be a challenge for Bob with his diabetes. In fact, there is a basket dinner planned for after both the wedding and the baptismal service and he will have to be careful then too. I can see this is going to be real fun for both of us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Busy Thursday

This will be a busy day. Bob has a dental appointment this morning and then afterward we have our ministerial alliance meeting. I spent yesterday afternoon getting the agenda done and running it off and I stopped at the church on the way home from Independence yesterday morning and copied the minutes for everyone. Windsor Place will serve our lunch. I will just have a light supper this evening.

Scott and Jerod left yesterday morning. The American Airlines had lost Jerod's luggage last Saturday with all his uniforms and as of yesterday, they had not found the luggage. He goes on to California tomorrow to his school and will have to report without uniforms and luggage.

Bob's sugar is slowly going down. It is taking awhile. I believe he said it was down to 210 last evening after dinner. He still has over 100 points to continue to go down. It's very hard for him not to have his sweets and he has always required dessert after dinner. It's hard to find anything he can have without either sugar or carbs in it and nearly everything has high fructose corn syrup.

It rained..actually stormed..yesterday evening and last night. Slinky, the dog, spent the night in the garage. Storms scare him just as they do the cat, Missy. She stayed in on my feet until the rains past and then she wanted out so I put her out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Historic Election

Well...we did it! We elected the nation's very first black president! We stayed up last night and watched the entire thing..start to finish! Obama had a wonderful acceptance speech and, I must say, I was proud of McCain. His speech was just wonderful. Now I hope this country can pull together and get back on it's feet.

The crowds poured in to Grant Park in Chicago and into the streets all over America including Times Square in jubilation. Many people never thought they'd ever live to see a black president elected.

Obama has some very smart people to advise him and I am sure he will put a lot of thought and planning into the makeup of his cabinet.

"By electing Obama, the American people have emphatically rejected the selfishness, masquerading as freedom and rugged individualism, that has been the calling card of the American right wing since Barry Goldwater. In its place, they are calling not just for a new and expanded vision of government's role in American life but for a new vision of American society." Salon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Well, it's election day and we are all very interested in what will happen when the results come in. We will be watching PBS tonight to follow the results. Jerod, our grandson, did not vote...did not get registered to vote while he was out on the Arctic Circle with the Coast Guard. But the rest of us even voted early to avoid any lines.

This afternoon, we will go to see how our son-in-law and daughter's house is coming along. They are both interested in seeing it.

Last week I applied for a part time job at the library. They won't begin their interviews until next week but I probably won't get it anyhow. They have a way of hiding age discrimination.

But...nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Our son and grandson are leaving in the morning. They will go back to Ft. Leonard Wood to rest up a day before he takes Jerod back to catch his plane in St. Louis.

Jerod will be going to California for his school.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy Monday

We are expecting our son, Scott, and grandson, Jerod, at lunchtime. They were supposed to have come over the weekend but American Airlines lost Jerod's luggage so they sat around all weekend and waited for it to be found. It still isn't found but American Airlines says there is a 98% chance they will find it. We will see. All Jerod's uniforms are in that luggage.

I fixed chili for lunch. That's what Scott wanted.

They are about 30 miles away right now and will be coming in by noon, I figure.

It will be interesting to see Jerod now. I haven't seen him since Christmas. I wonder if the Coast Guard is making him keep his hair short?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Health Problem

This has been a busy Sunday as usual. We went out to church a little early just to check if it was clean and neat. It was. After church we went to Sirloin Stockade for lunch. Bob has to be very careful what he eats. We are trying to get his sugar down. Friday he was diagnosed with diabetes. He had a reading of 400. It is down to 267 this evening. We are trying to get it below 100. It may take awhile.

After lunch, I did my notes. Then we went to the market to find some things Bob can eat. I have a lot to learn about diabetes. I have no experience with it at all. Until my sister was diagnosed with it last fall, we had no one in our family with it and for that matter, Bob has had no one in his family with it either. And this is a man 5 foot 10 inches tall who weighs 153. Go figure!

I still think our use in this country of high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar in nearly everything on the grocery shelves is the culprit. Our pancreas cannot process high fructose corn syrup. It does not cause that organ to produce insulin.

Neither Mexico nor Canada uses high fructose corn syrup. There is a message in that.

How long do you think it will it be until our government figures this out?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I was reading the Washington Post this morning and they report the 'speech or debate' clause that was was created to protect Congress from interference from frivolous lawsuits, is increasingly broadly interpreted and is making it difficult for the Justice Department to pursue corruption charges against several members of Congress. A court decision regarding an investigation targeting Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., expanded the scope of protection under the clause, making many kinds of communications off limits for prosecutors.

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, tried to use the clause to have evidence against him thrown out but has so far been unsuccessful. Stevens was found guilty of lying about accepting favors last week but has vowed to fight on, both in the courtroom and the campaign trail. The NYT says leading Republicans have denounced Stevens and many believe he would be expelled from the Senate even if he were re-elected.

But then there is still Rick Renzi, (R), the latest member of congress to be investigated for corruption, and John Doolittle (R), Ton DeLay (R), Jerry Lewis (R), Jack Kingston (R),and former legislator Dennis Hastert (R) all being investigated for corruption and all using this obscure clause to try to avoid prosecution.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Something to Think About from AlterNet and Me - An Overview

"How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the United States come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president?

How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist?" Palin attended five colleges to receive a degree and John McCain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class. The level of ignorance in America is unbelievable.

On one level, this is easy to answer: Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people. U.S. education, like the U.S. health system, is notorious for its failures. In the most powerful nation on Earth, 1 adult in 5 believes the sun revolves around the Earth; only 26 percent accept that evolution takes place by means of natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; two-thirds of U.S. voters cannot name the three branches of government; and the math skills of 15-year-olds in the United States are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

But this merely extends the mystery: How did so many U.S. citizens become so dumb and so suspicious of intelligence? Susan Jacoby's book The Age of American Unreason provides the fullest explanation I have read so far. She shows that the degradation of U.S. politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies.

One theme is both familiar and clear: Religion -- in particular fundamentalist religion -- makes you stupid. The United States is the only rich country in which Christian fundamentalism is vast and growing.

And the United States is peculiar in devolving the control of education to local authorities. Teaching in the Southern states was dominated by the views of an ignorant aristocracy of planters, and a great educational gulf opened up. "In the South," Jacoby writes, "what can only be described as an intellectual blockade was imposed in order to keep out any ideas that might threaten the social order."

But this is true not only in the South, but nation wide. Try to have an intelligent political conversation with most anyone anywhere in America and you encounter folks who never do their homework but just take the words of right wing talk show hosts as gospel.

"The specter of pointy-headed alien subversives was crucial to the elections of Reagan and Bush. A genuine intellectual elite -- like the neocons (some of them former communists) surrounding Bush -- has managed to pitch the political conflict as a battle between ordinary Americans and an overeducated pinko establishment. Any attempt to challenge the ideas of the right-wing elite has been successfully branded as elitism.

Obama has a lot to offer, but until our education system is fixed or religious fundamentalism withers, anti-intellectuals will flaunt their ignorance."

And if there's anything we need in these perilous times, it's an intelligent president. Just look at all the damage an ignorant one has managed to wreak in just eight years.

George Monbiot is the author of Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning. Read more of his writings at This article in it's entirety originally appeared in the Guardian.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Voting

Well, we did it! We voted early today. We went to Cherryvale and met our friends, Tony and Gay, for lunch and afterward we stopped off at Independence at the courthouse and voted early. And we both voted for Obama. We don't believe there will be any surprises that would have induced us to change our vote anyhow. Scott, our son, and Jerod, our grandson, will be here over the weekend for awhile and we were going to be very busy and did not know how long the lines were going to be at the polls.

John McCain is very angry and is making a big deal about Obama backing out of public financing.

Here's "the rest of the story":

The hoopla over campaign financing is very frustrating because Obama knew the thing that killed Kerry in 2004 was the "527 groups," who pumped huge dollars running Swift Boat ads, bypassing financing laws. Obama's position was that he would take public financing IF McCain would reel them in. McCain refused. Of course, we never hear that in 'the rest of the story". McCain didn't want to do that.

Unfortunately for McCain, T. Boone Pickens and other 527 funders lost a lot of money on Wall Street this year ($2 billion for Pickens), plus they don't particularly care for McCain, so this money never materialized for McCain. They were smart enough to know not to back a loser. So McCain is furious with Obama for having that kind of foresight.

When we voted, we voted against any incumbent. That's our personal protest against the mess we are all in now.

Afterward we came on home and met the appliance repairman who repaired our range. It had a short in the switch. The range was bought in 1993 and after fifteen years, this is the first repair. Not bad for an appliance that's used every day.

Bob is gone to a Red Cross meeting tonight but will be back in about an hour or so.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Infomercial

Bob and I just watched the Obama infomercial and he just laid out the same plan he has laid out every time he speaks but he does it with such conviction that one has to believe he can do it.

This ad, which aired on CBS, NBC, Fox, BET, Univision, MSNBC, and TV One, was powerful. If this doesn't put the man in the White House, it will be because of America's racism.

I particularly liked it when he said, "I will not be a perfect president, but I can promise you this, I will always tell you what I think and Where I stand." That's so refreshing after eight years of a man who cannot bring himself to admit he was wrong.

He discussed health care as well as the nation's economic problems. He stressed his plan to offer tax cuts to the middle class and raise taxes on those who make over $250,000 a year. And, once again, he referred to our present situation as the "final verdict on eight years of failed policies." The video showed a lot of his supporters as well as ordinary people.

McCain, whose campaign could not afford to do this, sniped at Obama. "He's got a few things he wants to sell you. He's offering government run health care, an energy plan guaranteed to work without drilling, and an automatic wealth spreader that folds neatly and fits under any bed." Sour grapes, I'd say. McCain needs to check with

The ad did not appear on ABC because by the time they decided to sell Obama the time, the buy was already made.

Obama's eldest daughter, Malia, 10, was afraid the ad was going to make her miss her programs. Obama had to tell her that they did not buy the Disney Channel. That relieved her.

This is a good and decent man and we don't see a lot of those in Washington. I urge all my readers to vote for him.

Oh, as a postscript:

Joe the Plumber says Obama hates Israel. The Republicans had better put a bucket over that guy's head. Between him and Palen, they are going to lose all credibility with intelligent voters.