Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Busy Saturday

I got a good night's sleep last night.  Bob came over as soon as he got around so as to not disturb the children. He had his grandson, his wife and three children and a two month old baby staying at his place. They slept fairly late so we went to breakfast at Eggberts as usual. When we got home, I let Missy out and went out with her to give her some company and try to keep her on the carport area. She did fine until time to come in the house. Then she balked. I could not get her in so I left her out and came on in to clean house.  She stayed close by.

After I finished vacuuming she wanted back in so this time the problem took care of itself. 

I scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen floors and vacuumed the entire apartment.  Then I dusted and put all the scarves in the dryer under no heat/fluff to get the dust out of them.About 11:00, I started dinner/lunch. We had some of that goulash. I thawed another pound of hamburger and made another batch of goulash. I took some of it and garlic toast to Bobby.

Bob and I had our dinner with garlic toast with the coleslaw he brought. We had mixed fruit for dessert.  He brought over his peanut butter and I made peanut butter crisscross cookies this afternoon. They are pretty good. Of course I had to try one or two to be sure they are edible. :)

We are taking up an offering at church tomorrow for my niece. She will need some money until her widow's pension comes in.  

More later...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Laundry on Friday

I'm working on my laundry today...starting very early. Bob and I will go to exercise class this morning. When I get home, I will fix goulash for Denise and the family. I will also take them some Texas toast. I will have to stop at the market for macaroni. I have the rest of the ingredients.

I went out on the carport for awhile after I got the laundry in and took Missy out for an outside  break. It has been raining but has stopped now at least temporarily.

Bob's grandson and his family are over to Bob's apartment sleeping. They are awake now and getting ready to go out to Denise's house.  He came over earlier and had coffee with me to avoid waking them up.

More later....

After I got back from  taking the meal to Denise and her family,  Bob and I decided to go to Bartlesville. I wanted to get some hamburger patties from Peck's and also take some used printer cartridges to Staples. We ate at Dink's Bar B Q and then walked the mall. Neither of us bought anything.

When we got home, I went to Country Mart and bought some groceries. I wanted some stew meat but they didn't have any. Maybe they will have some tomorrow.  I want to have stew one day next week.  That's something I can do in the slow cooker.

Bob's grandchildren are going to stay at his apartment again tonight and leave tomorrow morning.  His daughter is doing better now that her kids are with her, Dee lives at home and goes to the college in Independence. The others are grown and out on their own.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another Long Thursday

This will be a long day. This job ruins both my mornings and my afternoons.  Unfortunately, it's the only available position in this program here in Coffeyville.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my short days and I always have a lot of catching up to do in the afternoon on those days. I don't know when I'm supposed to job hunt. I guess on Fridays. day off.

Yesterday there was another glitch at work. Brent, the volunteer who works Tuesday afternoons did an X out at the end of the day on the cash register and was supposed to have done a Z at the end of the day. That meant when I Xed out at the end of my shift yesterday morning,  the tape showed my X out Monday (an error..I should have Zed out on Monday but missed the correct letter) and both his afternoon Tuesday and my half day on Tuesday morning and yesterday's Wednesday morning when I Xed out at the end of my shift. This cash register thing is a mess. The letters we use are so small and smeared with ink that they are impossible to read and the person ending their shift has to "feel" for the correct setting.  We are having to deal with this because a couple of weeks ago the cash register was short some money.  That reflected on me because I was the new kid on the block and the woman I worked with that day was a five year volunteer.  I hated that but that started this Xing out thing on my half days instead of just one person Zing out at the end of the day.  I don't know how the shortage occurred but I do know it wasn't me.  Wendy says doing this protects me though.

Tomorrow I am going to Bartlesville with Bob. He has a doctor's appointment and we will have lunch there afterward.  I want to stop at Dewey on our way home and buy some hamburger patties at Peck's.

Tonight we will have our "warm over" Parmesan chicken and a veggie and some tomatoes.  I will get some mixed fruit for dessert.

More later....

My nephew died this morning. Bob was over here when we heard. Terry was his son-in-law.  We went right out to see Denise, his daughter.  We spent some time there and Bob went back after I went on to work.

Tomorrow I will fix a casserole dish to take out to her. Her three kids are there now.  The church will do something for them after we hear from the pastors. My daughter, one of them, went out there when we were there. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Better Wednesday

I got a good night's sleep last night. It helped a lot to get the mystery of Juanita's checkbook settled and balanced. I could then put that dilemma to rest.  I called the Westar Electric company about the correct account number and they got it changed.  So she should be good now. She has closed her second checking account.

I need to go through my cookbooks and figure out what to have tomorrow evening for supper.  We are having our leftover Parmesan chicken tonight with fried potatoes and a veggie. Bob will bring a salad. I don't know about dessert either.

This is another of my short days at work...thank goodness.  I only had two patrons yesterday so I read most of the morning.

I'm having a problem with Missy, my cat. She has decided she wants to go "out" every morning now. I will not let her go out without me and not until it's light out since the neighbor cat comes over here in the dark. I don't know how friendly he would be but I know how hostile Missy is and I don't want her to go through another cat fight.  So until it gets light, I don't go out with her and I don't let her out either. This means she follows me around meowing at me wanting "out". The early morning is the only time I can let her out. In the evening here it is way too hot.  Last night at bedtime it was up in the 90s.

Tomorrow is another "long" day at work. I work from 9:45 until 4:15 on Thursday....without a break.  Even though I can lock the register to go to use the restroom, that doesn't protect the souvenir shop.  I could lock it up and leave a note saying "back in five minutes" and I may have to do that sometime. I hesitate to drink water on the job because of this particular dilemma. Amie still hasn't said anything to Wendy about the fact that I'm not supposed to work there alone. She probably won't now. She is evidently busy and has forgotten.

More later....

I met Leslie for lunch and later learned Bob had eaten enough lunch to just skip supper and go to Braums and have an ice cream cone instead of supper.  Tomorrow evening we will have the Parmesan chicken we had planned for tonight. Bob stayed for wine and then went home about 7:00. I took my bath and watched PBS this evening.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another Exhausting Night

I didn't sleep well again last night. I awoke about 3:00AM and really never did get back to sleep. I got up at 4:00AM. 

I have way too much on my mind. Periodically the job bothers me..especially when I have too many people coming in at once.  I made two mistakes on the register yesterday and had to mark them on the tape. Then four people who came in and bought combo tickets (both the Brown Mansion and the Dalton Defenders Museum at a discount) called me and told me the mansion was closed. They evidently cut it too close on their time and missed the curator. I had told them to be ten or fifteen minutes early because Samantha leaves right on the hour by her time.  They will come back in today for a $22.00 refund.  That's strange anyhow because Samantha called to find out if I had sold any combo tickets and I told her I had sold four and they would probably come for the 2:00 tour since it was already noon and they had not come for the noon tour.  That troubled me.

Then the problem with Juanita's checkbook also bothers me. I am going back up to Independence after work to take Juanita to the bank to try to find out what happened to the other two bills that didn't clear the bank. If I don't get back in time to fix our hamburgers, we will just go to Braums and buy hamburgers and eat them there.

Trying to cook is getting more and more difficult. The job ruins both my morning and my afternoon. This is not good for a part time job.  I would much rather work either mornings or afternoon instead of half of both.  By the time I get home on Mondays and Thursdays, I am exhausted and really do not enjoy the cooking. And I have the cleanup afterward too.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another Long Monday

This is another of my long days. 6 1/2 hours seems like an eternity when we have no patrons.  I am hoping they come trickling in and not all at once.

I am going to fix dinner ahead of time today and cover it and put it in the frig to be baked after I get home from work. We will have Parmesan chicken, boiled potatoes and a veggie. Bob will bring a salad or some sliced tomatoes. John and Leslie and brought a bunch of their garden tomatoes to church yesterday. I need to run over to County Mart and get my Italian tomatoes this morning. That's the only thing I need for the recipe. We will have fruit for dessert.

I guess I will go to exercise class this morning. I have to leave about 5 minutes early though to get to the chamber in time to pick up my key and get ready for the day at the museum.

More later....

I did attend exercise class and later went on to work. I made two mistakes on the cash register right away and had to mark the tape with the errors.  I didn't sleep much last night for worrying about Juanita's checkbook. She had three July bills that did not show up on the August statement. She called the bank about one of them and discovered they had taken it out of the old account. she had closed. We still don't know about the other two. I'm not sure but I think they came out of the other account too. I am going back up there tomorrow after work and take her to the bank to check it out.  

I got home in time to fix the Parmesan chicken.  It was good but there was way too much of it. We will have it again Wednesday evening.

Tomorrow we will have hamburgers and french fries with pop (soda, to you Easterners) .

Bob went home after dinner tonight at 7:00. I went in and took a nice warm bath. My middle back was sore. Why, I don't know.  I will try to stay up later tonight so I will sleep better.  

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Next Sunday's Sermon "Here I Am"

Exodus 3: 1 -15

When the story of the burning bush was first told in the Hebrew tradition, it portrayed a concept of God that was entirely different from the prevalent understanding of the time. In the ancient Near Eastern understanding, gods were bound to a place and were worshiped at that specific location and they were also tribal gods. However, the God that Moses—and subsequently the entire people of Israel—encountered was a God that journeyed with people. This is a familiar and comforting concept for us today, but for the early Israelites, this was a new, powerful way to experience God.

Because of some of our best experiences and sometimes our very worst experiences, we know that God is always right there with us. 

In this ancient story, God’s initial visual manifestation to Moses was as a fire that did not change or consume a bush; neither did it change that specific spot permanently. And that got his attention! Fire was a traditional symbol for God’s presence and would have been familiar to the Israelites during Moses’ time. 

This God was not some unknown deity associated with a particular time and place. This was a God who knew each of them intimately, their strengths and their  weaknesses. This was a god that even we could recognize. 

And  God still chooses to call us by name to respond and be God’s servants. God can use our weaknesses to bring ministry to others. Sometimes we choose to ignore that persistent but still small voice of God but nevertheless, God still speaks to us. We are called, just as Moses was called, to be a people who know their weaknesses, who know their human frailty. Once we embrace that, and admit it to ourselves, God will help us overcome and use our weakness. It is sheer faith in God’s power and promise that was needed from Moses and us alike.

As the story of the burning bush was a new concept of God that was different from the prevalent understanding of God in Moses’s day, I had a similar experience several years ago.  For many years I believed in a god that lived in heaven, sat on a throne and had a long white beard.  Thirty years ago, that concept began to change.  After a deep discussion with Bob Mesle at the church’s first Pastor’s Workshop, I came home to investigate a different idea about God.   

That concept is called Process Theology.  Process Theology says that basically God is love.  The concept of an old man sitting on a throne in heaven in control of the entire world no longer makes sense to me for several reasons.  For instance, if God were completely in charge of our lives and events, and was still the loving God we know, there would have been no holocaust.  There would be no unnecessary suffering. 

Some such reasons for my change of concept of God are the very fact of the presence of terrible evil in the world, modern science, and modern studies in scripture and the history of religion. In the traditional Christian view, God is omnipotent, (in other words has all the power there is), can do anything God wants (that is not self-contradictory), is omniscient and eternal (that is, stands outside of time so as to see all time at once and because of this, knows the future infallibly) and is absolutely unchangeable in every respect. 

But like the experience of Moses, my old concept of God slowly changed.  Now to my way of thinking the basic concept of process theology has value because it makes good sense and also has good ethics.  Frankly, I find the ethics of the concept of the traditional god appalling. God has been described in scripture as directly willing and causing great evils: war,  slavery, plague, famine, and even hardness of human hearts. The scriptures portray god as a deity that commanded the Israelites to destroy an entire people and even kill their babies. 

At the very best, God has been described as standing by and allowing needless suffering that God could have easily prevented. I knew that was not a god I could worship.

Over time, 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 evils and needless suffering are really good and have some sort of purpose.  I felt and still do that we should have a concept of a God who is genuinely loving in a straightforward and intelligible sense. The God of process theology does everything in within divine power to work for the good. 

Dominion has proved a tragic theological model for understanding our ethical relationship to this world.  Instead I feel we must come to see ourselves as participants in a complex and fragile web of relationships in which each creature has some value and we are called to dominate none of it.  
I think my Bob realized that when he put great value on every life.  He would argue with me about the need to step on a spider and instead pick it up gently in a Kleenex and deposit it out on the patio. He hated to kill anything.

Process theism says God is love. It really matters if someone loves us. There is no human experience more fundamental to the Christian faith and tradition then the transforming wonder of being loved when we least deserve it. 

In process theology belief, God is constantly in every moment and in every place doing everything within God’s power to bring about the good. Process theology say divine power is persuasive , not coercive. Process theology says God works with us in sharing a vision of a better way but that God cannot force people or the world  to obey God’s will. 

It is through God’s love that all things live and move and have their being .  God is the source of our freedom and therefore cannot coerce or force the world.  I believe because God loves perfectly, God suffers with the world and calls each of us in each moment through God’s divine revelation to share the vision of the good and the beautiful.  

I have come to believe that God cannot overrule our personal freedom but waits for our free response  and constantly and with infinite patience seeks to create the best that can be gotten from each choice we make….. both good and bad.  I believe God is that still small voice that calls to us…when we listen.  God struggles to reach us through the dark glass Paul mentioned in scripture that constantly obscures our vision. 
This theology also says God is omniscient, knowing everything there is to know perfectly. But this also means knowing the future is open, as a range of possibilities and probabilities, not as fixed or settled. 

I have come to believe that every event reflects both the power of God and the power of the world. The world may be more or less responsive to God  but I believe there are no separate events in our world standing outside the laws of nature and history at which we can point and say “God alone did that”.   I believe we are the hands of God in the world. 

When I finally came to realize this, and was called to service in the church, I was able to say: “Here am I, Lord, send me”.  Even though I am a flawed individual, and I recognize my flaws and limitations, I know there are still ways I can be useful to God and to others.  In fact sometimes our flaws and imperfections help make us easier to relate to when we are attempting to be of service to others. 

 In his willingness to say “Here I am, Lord,” Moses was willing to step outside his comfort zone, embrace those parts of himself he considered “flawed,” and still serve.
Too often, we hide behind our imperfections and fears, instead of being willing to step outside our comfort zones, to fully allow ourselves to say, “Here I am, Lord.” 

May we also recognize that God calls the most unlikely people to respond. God works with our imperfections and helps make us new. We only must be willing to respond.
The power of God calling our name makes us respond “Here I am.” The power of God’s restoring vision makes us companions on the journey.

A Busy Sunday

This will be a busy day. First I will go to church and afterward out to eat somewhere. Then I will go on up to Independence to help Juanita balance her checkbook.  After that, I will come back home and if I have time, I will get the congregational newsletters letters ready for the mail. If not, I will do it first thing in the morning before work.

I slept fitfully last night. I awoke several times and my right leg ached again. Finally I got up and took a melatonin tablet. Finally I got back to sleep.

More later....` 

I went to church this morning and afterward out to dinner with some of the congregation. Then I came home and picked up my car and went to Independence to balance Juanita's checkbook. That took awhile. We had a good visit afterward.

Then this afternoon I got my congregational newsletters out.  Now I am working on next Sunday's sermon. 

Tonight Bob is coming over for ice cream (he made it) and our usual glass of wine. We will watch 60 Minutes. There's nothing much else on after that.