Friday, December 31, 2004

Grandma died about midnight on Dec. 29th. I am so glad we went to see her last summer. She was a very special person. She was a hard worker and never complained. For years she came to visit, riding the bus from Northern Minnesota to Michigan every year until about seven years ago, when she decided the bus was getting to be too much for her, and we would have to come see her. She taught me how to make a good pie crust. She gave Charlie heck for putting his feet on the furniture. She never got a drivers license (or drove a car). She wouldn't have a microwave in her house. She never had a critical word to say about anyone. She was always happy to do whatever everyone else wanted to do. She loved good food. Everyone loved her. Grandma was 94.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

These are my favorite photos collected from Flickr.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dec 21

Dec 21
Originally uploaded by CaptPiper.
I've just been so busy DOING my day that writing about it has become too much of a chore. However, at Flickr, a group has done "A Day in the Life Of... " for Dec. 21, the winter solstice. That was fun. Go there for a record of my day on the 21st.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

ON the left side of this photo is the brother of one of the teachers who taught in our school last year. We're in prayer, Amy!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Thank you for your compliments. I believe most people don't think about taking pictures as much as I do. It's a passion I've had ever since I was a child. I drive my kids nuts!

Of course, all my photos are not perfect - far from it. You only see the best ones. But I can still offer my opinion of how good photos - sometimes even perfect ones - occur.

When grandpa is sitting in his favorite chair, pipe smoke floating, a lamp backlighting his white hair like a halo, you think, “Wow. This is my grandfather. How many more moments will there be like this? Better preserve it.”
When your son is getting his first haircut at a barbershop, and you like the way the light is reflected by the mirrors and the serious look on his little face, the concentration of the young hairstylist - That’s when you pull our your camera and quickly snatch a few photos to help you re-visit this moment ten or twenty years from now.
When you are on your way home from work and the sun is making shafts of light as it filters through the clouds, and there is a rustic foreground to complete the picture, you take a photo so you can share this joy with someone later.

Good photos result from
A. Always having your camera with you. I can’t tell you how many fabulous photos have passed into oblivion, un-captured, because I didn’t have my camera with me. That’s why I bought an ultra-compact I can carry with me in my purse. I’ve never regretted that purchase.
B. Being in the frame of mind that you THINK about taking pictures when a good opportunity presents itself.
C. Experience in knowing what the camera can do and can't do.
D. A background of composition. I was an art minor in college and the understanding I gradually attained about balance, values, use of color, pattern, etc. has contributed much to my understanding of what is aesthetically pleasing in a photo.
E. Taking lots and lots and lots of photos. I read somewhere that the average professional photographer takes around 120 shots for every ONE that he/she actually uses and gets paid for. I had taken over 400 photos while on vacation this summer, a proliferation made possible by the digital camera.
F. Luck
G. The person looking at the photograph. Some people will have an emotional connection with the subject of a photo, while someone else, looking at the same photo, will feel nothing.

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Some beautiful things occur when the sun is shining from one part of the sky and in the other hemisphere of the atmosphere there is a bank of dark blue clouds.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

My world is moving too fasst....

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

When I went to bed last night, there was no indication of who had won the election.
I woke up early this morning wondering if they knew who had won the election yet, and if there were any court battles pending, etc. I just laid there in the dark and couldn’t sleep, but didn’t want to get up so early. It felt like a Twilight Zone Christmas because instead of wondering what St. Nicolas brought, you wonder whether it was Santa or Satan who visited your house last night.
Finally the alarm went off and I felt Tim stirring, so I turned on the TV. The local newscast was on and the results of all the local elections were being discussed. Finally I found a station that was discussing the national election, mainly the Ohio issue, and finally I got the scoop.
Santa had been here.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day, 2004

I voted right after school today. The day was bone-chillingly cold, but everyone standing in line was warm and friendly. No one asked anyone else whom they voted for - I supposed they figured it was no one's business, but also I think people were half afraid of making anyone feel "harrassed" with a discussion of any issues about which one feels strongly. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes from the time I first got in line to out the door, done for a ducat, done. (Pardon, I've been teaching Hamlet)
I voted for Bush.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Originally uploaded by Chin Hor.
Everyday, when I check in at Flickr, I always cast my line at least once into the "Everyone's" page to see if I can discover any new, outstanding photos. Today This was there. It's my birthday, and although I happily left twenty-two behind long, long ago, I am borrowing Chin Hor's photo. No one took any photos of me.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I wore my gorilla costume while handing out candy tonight. I was at my sister's house. We live out in the boonies and no one ever comes to our house. Not that many kids came to Jan's.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

One last golden holdout.

Walking in the woods, the wind is blowing fiercely, the tree tops swaying overhead in wide arcs, and the leaves almost all down, leaving the stark, lonely branches against the sky. But the golden rod has turned prophet, forecasting the snow that will cover the weed heads, branches, and nakedness of nature in general... soon. When is soon? All times are soon. Is this cheesey, or what?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Finally - Blue Skies

After ten days of miserable cold wet gray dreary poo-poo weather, today was beautiful. It started out with fog so thick that after I got about a mile down the road, I turned back and spent an hour at home, waiting for the sun to burn some layers off the cloud that lay on the ground.
All day at school I longed to be outside, soaking up some vitamin D. When the day ended, of course there was a teacher meeting that went twenty minutes over for the simple fact that every teacher has an opinion and thinks everyone else needs to hear it.
When I finally pulled in the driveway shortly after six, I grabbed my camera and ran down to the river to catch the last dying rays of sun as it crawled up the tree tops. I was enjoying my hunt for photos when I stepped in a hidden hole next to the river and fell head first down the bank. I expected the next sensation I had to be water up my nose, but I landed head down at a 45 degree angle. My head was about a foot above the water and my feet were in the air. I couldn't find a good hand hold of weeds or sticks to pull myself up, so I just lay there and yelled for help. I had heard the boys' voices in the back yard just before I went down, and they now came running. Sam took my camera, which I had instinctively held out of the water, and then he and David pulled me up. I was unhurt and just a little muddy.
Hamburgers for dinner.

Friday, October 15, 2004

On my way home from retreat, my children abandoned me for the bus, so I had freedom to take little photograpic side trips, limited only by the fact that I was totally exhausted and didn't want to fall asleep while driving home. This is one of those lovely compositions I would have missed had I not turned aside for a "wasted" ten minutes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Life is just too busy to even think of something to say. Evey moment full or stolen...

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Work up this morning to heavy frost. By the calendar, summer was over September 22, but according to nature, summer is over when frost takes out all the summer flowers and the garden vegetables, so now it's REALLY Autumn. The trees had stared to change, but the color will be much more noticable now. I have to try and enjoy it without the sadness of knowing everything is dying and soon we will be locked in the jaws of winter.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Another foggy morning. I HAD to take the back roads.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

This was the last Sunday that I was to play the part of Proffessor Wonder for the Kindergarten/First Grade Sunday school class at EVFree. It's been kind of fun, really. But the best part is that I don't feel rushed on my way to church in the morning. I go early so I can rehearse the skit with my partner and I can stop to take a photo on the way if I so desire, and nobody is freakin' out because we might be 45 seconds late to church. There are lovely things to be seen and composed, even on the way to church.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Playing around with an old rear view mirror I picked up at a barn sale.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Took the backroads to work on Monday. the kids have learned that there's no use in complaining to try and hurry their mother when the light is like this and she's on a photo hunt. This beauty was captured on Fisk rd. I call it "Glorious Mailbox". It's going in the calendar!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

I stopped at a friend's house today to drop off some photos and while I was there I noticed that the field of alphalfa by their house was just loaded with butterflies. Most of them were some form of dusty miller, but the varieties were amazing! At first all I noticed were white and yellow, then I saw some that were bright orangey-gold with more pattern on the wings. Then I noticed ones like this which appear white, but upon closer inspection, they are yellow-green and pink! I sat there for about a half-an-hour in the bright sun and hunted butterflies with my camera. You can't approach them. You just have to sit quietly and wait for them to forget you are there and wander close. It doesn't take long; Butterflies have very short-term memories.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Today I am drowning in despondency.

Foggy Morning in Bridgewater

Usually, when people think of fall (okay, me too) they think about the trees turning color in October. But one of the really neat things about it is the morning fog. As the air gradually becomes cooler than the earth - the sun-warmed water, patchy fog adorns my trip to school each morning until I can hardly bear to pass by without stopping to capture the beauty of it all. Result: Late to devotions again. But in my heart, I have already done a sort of worshipful devotion. God, I love You and You are amazing!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

So little time these days, but I'm having some fun with my camera still. The sad thing is that my little carry-it-everywhere-with-you camera, my Nikon 4200, needed to go to the camera hospital and will probably be there for four to six weeks. I'm going to miss it. Meanwhile, my Nikon 5700 will see more action.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Timothy is picking Roma tomatoes in preparation for making delicious salsa. I hope he can resist the temptation to make it hotter than I can stand. He usually makes more than one batch, and marks the mild for me.

Friday, September 03, 2004

I was wandering around outside with my camera the other day. I looked up and saw the beautiful sky, around and saw the sunflowers, and down below was this garden visitor with a beauty all his own.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Every morning about 7:35,40, the kids and I pile into the car and head for school. Yesterday morning there was a fog layer. I love fog layers. So I took the back roads for enjoyments sake. It made me a little late, but sometimes it's just worth it.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I took this photo while I was on the road yesterday night. Photo? you say. Looks more like a pastel drawing. Yes. Isn't that neat? I used the "pencil fine" special effect frimthe new imaging program I've been playing with. I think the reason it turned out so well is that there was no direct light. It was soft diffused light that happens after the sun has gone down. Other photos didn't turn out as well using the same effect.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I have spent the evening obsessed with this little project. Why?

Monday, August 23, 2004

It's back to work tomorrow. Summer is officially over. *twitch

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sam and I went for another bike ride today. This one was a litle longer than our usual around-the-block tour. Even though this shot is not in perfect focus, I still liked it.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

This morning I went to take photos of a volunteer workday for the new school. People were sweeping, spreading concrete, putting up drywall, and just doing whatever they could do to advance the construction of the school. I get to walk around and take pictures of it all.
Afterwards, I talked to Amanda the principal, and she was telling me about some of the changes taking place in school this year. They are not changes I like. In addition the 11th grade didn't do as well on the writing portion of the MEAP as they "should have" so that makes me feel powerless. Maybe I should find another job. --So depressed - I begin to feel the weight of my job settling back on to my drooping shoulders.
Later another English teacher reasured me that the MEAPs should not be taken too seriously and explained how they change certain portions of it, but don't tell the teachers HOW it's being changed. Then, when the students don't do well, they don't compare your students to other students, but just compare them to some nebulous pre-determined bar. The teachers are informed that their students aren't up to par. She told me that this happens on a regular basis. "Just go to the seminar on the writing portion of the MEAP and give your students MEAP style tests, so they are prepared."

I'm still depressed.

Then I went out into the garden and picked broccoli, corn, and tomatoes. Cosmos swayed in the cool breeze. The sun passed its light through a golden sunflower. An orange dragonfly posed for my camera.
Such peace.
So little time.

Friday, August 20, 2004

On Tuesday I enjoyed an early morning bike ride with my son. I am still thinking about it.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It Happens

I hate it when stuff like this happens. I was backing out of the parking lot at the grocery store at the exact same time as the person parked opposite me. Even though we were both careful and looked for oncoming traffic, we didn't see each other. Boom.
The good news is that we both happen to have the same auto insurer and when both parties in an accident have Farm Bureau, they waive the deductable. (Yeah!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tim and his dad discussing Tim's new toy.

Lucy on morning canine patrol.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I thought I could send two photos at once, but I guess not. Here's the August photo as previously mentioned.

I had seen (and photographed) what I think was the same tiger swallowtail butterfly in May. And here he was again, looking somewhat the worse for wear, in August.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

This summer has been an oasis of joy. The cool temperatures have, I'm sure, been a part of that feeling of contentment, but mostly it's because I have been aware of how happy I am. My husband and children, my home, the wonderful people in my life, my faith, the beauty of the countryside - I have never felt so completely content. A feeling of joy makes my heart overflow with grateful appreciation to God for all the love that surrounds me.
I've been through some hard times in my life. I guess that's why I recognise and appreciate the good times when they come.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I visited a local flea market the other day. Mostly flea markets are full of just junk, but the fun is that among the trash, you find little treasures. I found a turquoise colored glass bud vase that looks like a jewel in my kitchen window. I found a litttle brass nome. And I found bunnies. But I had to be content with taking them home in a photo.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Originally uploaded by tamaki.
This is a photo by Tamaki, who is an artist in Japan. He takes lots of great pictures, but I really loved this one.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Letter to My Children, Written in 1990

To Emily and Samuel
from your Mother

The Introduction to My Journal for You
April 9, 1990

When I was eight-years-old, my mother died of cancer.
The rest of my life I kept looking for a message from her. I thought that maybe, on some milestone day of my life, someone would come to me and say, "When your mother realized she was going to die, and wouldn't be here to see this occasion, she wrote a letter to be given to you when the time came." Then they would hand me a letter that would contain a precious message from the mother I missed so deeply, whom I barely knew and to whom I never said good-bye.
Every birthday I wondered about it - At my high school graduation, at my college graduation, on my wedding day... Finally I confided my dream to my older sister, Jan.
She told me our mother didn't leave any letters. She said Mother was so intent on having a positive attitude and "beating this thing", she never admitted to herself she was dying until she was too sick and in too much pain to think of such a thing and act on it.
Now I wonder what it would have been like to know my mother as an adult. I have asked people who knew her to share their memories. I have pictures, but don't remember the sound of her voice. Sometimes your Aunt Jan tells me I just did something or said something just like mother would have said it. It makes me happy and sad at the same time because then I feel the void her going left in my life.
So anyway, I'm saying all of this to explain why I'm writing this book, letter style, to you, my children. It will contain family stories, advice, and explanations of why we did things certain ways. This book will allow me to communicate to you all I want to tell you someday just in case something happens to me before you are old enough to understand and remember. AND if I don't die, well... great! I will write down some things that I might forget or just never get around to telling you. It will give me a chance to let you know me.
It's hard to imagine "years from now". Emily, you are only two; affectionate, rebellious, a lover of music and dancing, artistic with your crayons, and full of energy. Even now you are trying to turn the page while I am trying to write. You are squealing, making faces, and waiting impatiently for Daddy to take the oatmeal cookies out of the oven.
Samuel, you are only two months old, but you smile and talk when anyone pays attention to you. Emily is so exuberant in her affection to her "Baby Bother", she makes you nervous. You look worried when she is right in your face, leaning on your stomach and kissing all over you. Right now you are in your swing and waking up from your nap. No doubt you are making plans to keep mother up late tonight. Or maybe you are wondering when mother is coming with the chow. Well, she's coming right now!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

We camped (or perhaps I should say trailered) in the Porcupine Mountains in the UP this summer. This is Overlooked Falls, a small but beautiful little waterfall. I love to visit waterfalls, but the kids find them boring.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Lake Superior is my favorite of the great lakes, although Lake Michigan is a close second. It is cold and crystal clear, big, strong, dramatic, and sparkling turquoise BLUE. It was there I learned to enjoy snorkling in order to be able to get a good look at the beautiful rounded rocks beneathe it's surface. Swimming in July and August is cold, but not impossible.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Cally only feigns sleep. Let that dog get six inches closer... closer... just a little closer.... Ka POW!

Cally loves surveying her domain from the safe felling of the trailer.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Post vacation thoughts

We're back from vacation.
Tim and I both have a sense of time passing and things changing. Next summer will be our last with both children "ungraduated". They still argue and fight and play together and insult each other, but it's less irritating when you imagine yourself a few years into the future traveling in a quiet car, just you and your husband, your children somewhere else.
We figure vacations are going to get a lot more expensive because we're going to have to come up with really great trips to make them want to come with us when they don't have to.
We went to Cozumel in January and it was great! If we could dig up the money to do that again, they would definitely want to come. But we will also be trying to pay for Emily's college education. Expensive vacations might be out of the question.
We are thinking about Arizona - Grand Canyon - Tim's Aunt and Uncle live out that way and would like us to visit. Then there's a fishing resort an older couple told us about north of Thunder Bay (top side of Lake Superior) on Whitefish Lake. They said the fishing's great there. This would be a draw for Sam, but I don't know if Emily would come.
Meanwhile, time passes.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Advice to the Love Lorn

A while back a young friend on a message board was asking us older wiser heads for advice about his love life.  I admit I got a bit carried away, but perhaps someday I'll write a book and this can be a chapter:
Hey Matt….
Honestly, I WOKE  UP at 7:30 am thinking about your story.  This is WAY longer than I intended it to be. 
    I was thinking that I really can’t understand how YOU feel, in part because I am a woman,  and in part because I never had experienced the apparent intensity that you feel toward this girl.   THEN I realized I had felt like that once, but didn’t have the guts to tell that person how I felt. 
What I can share is a woman’s point of view. 
What we have here, to boil it down, is a young man, infatuated with a slightly older woman who prefers to think of him as just a friend, but he wants more than that;  what you want to know is can you  do anything to change that. 
Probably not much.  At least there is nothing you can do to change her feelings overnight.  One of the problems with the guys I dated who professed their “love” to me is that, when I said I felt only friendship for them, they weren’t interested enough to stick around and see if they could change that – except for two guys, Dave (not his real name) and Tim.  I married Tim. 
Dave and I were good friends in high school and after.  Then one day I received a letter from him in which he hinted around that maybe his feelings were becoming stronger than that.  When he came back from his tour (he was part of a touring acting company), he professed his love and actually said he wanted to marry me. (we were in our twenties, but the basic idea still applies.)  I explained that I loved him, but my feelings were of the “brotherly” love type.  I said that if he wanted to try and change that, we could do stuff together and see what developed.  All successful romantic relationships have a strong element of friendship, so that was a good sign.
 For two years we “dated”, and Dave was great.  He never made me feel pressured and we had a good time together.  He even lost weight to be more physically attractive.  There wasn’t anything he could have done differently or better.
  At the end of two years, he was preparing to go off to a university that was a long ways away.  He took me out to a very nice restaurant.  When we got back to my apartment, I gave him a big hug and said, “Dave, I love you, but I don’t think my feelings are ever going to become the marrying kind.   You have to know this before you go off to Wisconsin, so you can feel free to find someone there.”  He was sad.
 Two months later, he was engaged to someone he met at college.  Now they are married and have four kids! 
After Dave I dated a few guys who pushed for the physical aspect of the relationship before I had a chance to get to know them.  When I wasn’t ready to “make out” on the second or third date, they took it as rejection and “dumped” me. 
Then Tim came along.  We dated and when he brought me home, he gave me a little peck on the cheek and said good night and that was it every Saturday night for the first two months!  He gave our relationship time to develop and solidify.  By the time he was ready to give me those longer, slower type kisses, I didn’t feel as if I were kissing a stranger.  Every date was like another piece of the puzzle that we fit carefully into place to see what the picture would be.  He built our relationship slowly, patiently, and, over time, I grew to trust him and realize that this was the kind of man to whom I could entrust my future happiness and my future children.
 About a year later, we married, and now we have been married for over eighteen years and - it is good!  Our love, which started as a tender plant that blossomed and bore fruit, has turned into an oak tree with deep roots and strong limbs that shelter our children and don’t shake with every blast of wind that comes along. 
But, I wax poetic.  Teaching literature makes you subject to sappy metaphors.  (get it?  sappy?  a tree?  haha.)
Here Matt interjects, “Hey Piper, will you knock off the crap and get on with the lecture?” 
To win ABC, follow steps A,B, and C.
Step A:   Accept that you and she are friends and be content with that relationship for now.  Don’t put any pressure on her; just be your charming self.  If it is meant to be, it will happen without you forcing it.  Actually, it’s a good thing that she is reacting to your admission of love like she does.   If she was ready to rush into a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship with someone she knows only superficially, I would suspect she’s one of those needy girls looking for a man to lean on.  They can be clingy and whiney and that gets old real fast!  Her independence and clear-thinking indicates a person who is emotionally healthy, and that’s probably one of the things that you find attractive about her. 
Step B:   Don’t YOU be the needy/clingy/demanding one.  Be someone who is attractive because you are relaxing and fun to be with.  Girls like intelligence, self-confidence, and tender, protective strength.  Build the relationship slowly and patiently.  Show that you think of her and are considerate of her feelings and respectful of her opinions.
Step C:  If you want a Queen, you have to make yourself into a King.  Visualize the person you want to become.   Have some clear-eyed, long-range goals for your future and be working towards them.  Keep in mind that as you make choices now, you are building a foundation upon which the future structure of your life’s happiness will rest.  (more visual metaphors) 
How do you do this? 
      1.  Choose a talent and commit to developing it.  Whether you have ability in art, playing an
           instrument, singing, playing tennis, martial arts, acting, or maybe just involve yourself in
           community service,  becoming good at it will 
               a.  make you stand out from the crowd and get respect.
               b.  give you something with which to feel good about yourself, building self-
               c.  make a nice tool with which to woo your beloved.
            Most people have talents, but don’t develop them because it takes a long time and they
            just don’t have the gumption to stick to it.  That’s why people who are really good at
            something stand out.
      2.  Be a class act. 
                a.  Choose to do the right thing.   This will not only ultimately create a sense of self
                    satisfaction, but will result in you having a good reputation, which will ultimately
                    make you more attractive to the right kind of woman.
                b.  Dress neatly.  You can’t control the fact that you inherited grandpa’s big nose, or
                     your mom’s bad eyesight, but you can control looking like a lazy slouch or an
                     immature kid who thinks he has to look like a gansta to be cool, or dying your hair
                     bright orange, which only makes people think you are desperate to be noticed. 
                     All that kind of stuff does is make you fit in with other questionable characters who
                     are doing the same thing.  (How do you get attention?  Refer back to 1.)  How a
                     person dresses is only a surface appearance, but it is an indicator of what is going
                     on inside.  First impressions are important. 
                 c.  Watch your language.   I don’t wish to offend or be critical of others who use
                      profanity, so I’m not going to say any more about it here, but if you’re looking to
                      appear classy, it works against you.  
                 d.  Educate yourself.  Read a lot.  Go to college if possible, but it’s not necessary.  Be
                       a well-rounded person who has opinions and can back them up with intelligent
                       reasoning.  This requires a foundation of information. 
                 e.  Develop healthy habits.  Avoid McDonald’s French fries.  They make you break
                      out.  Get exercise. You don’t have to look buff, but you don’t want to look like a
                      couch potato either.  (On the other hand, buff is big points in the attracting girls
                 f.  And I hardly need to say this;  avoid drugs and alcohol.  I have seen nothing but
                      pain and trouble from using this stuff to dull your senses. 
3.  Dump the baggage.   Yeah, so your childhood wasn’t perfect.  Deal with it. 
          Some people have great sob stories that they love to share with everyone.  They use
          a difficult childhood to excuse their own failings and bad habits.  Initially, this
          whining gains them sympathy and attention.  But ultimately, others tire of being a
          listening ear and a leaning post.  These people end up sabotaging their
          relationships and are seen as a potential risk.  Or they will be picked up by a
          person who sees them as a sure thing – as someone who will put up with anything
          because they seem to need someone else so badly.
                 If you truly have serious problems, get help.  Some people have their hands so
          full of the baggage, they have no hands left to pick up and hold on to the happiness
          right there in front of them.
Step D.  I just thought of this.  Somebody once told me that a good sign when looking at potential mates was to observe how a man treats his mother.  They explained that, when a guy wants to marry you, you are their goal, and guys are very goal oriented.  Even if they treat you like a queen during the dating phase of the relationship, you still don’t know how they will treat you after you – the goal - have been obtained, and they have moved on to their next goal.  To get an indication of this, you observe the guy’s attitude toward the other woman with whom he has a close relationship – his mother, and whereas you don’t want the relationship to be abnormally close, you do want to see him treat her with respect and consideration, because that’s how he will be treating you, more or less, after you’ve been married a few years.   (This is a generalization, of course.  A friend of mine married a guy who disliked his mother, but there were extenuating circumstances.  The marriage is 20 years old and good.)  When I saw that Tim had a great relationship with his mom, that was a very good sign. 
     I said all that to say this:  Work on your relationship with your mom.  Your attitude toward woman in general is heavily influenced by the kind of feelings you have for your mother.  Scary?  You bet.  But you actually have more power here than you think.
     Teens tend to let their parents do all the work involved in having and maintaining a healthy parent/child relationship, and then resent it when things are less than perfect.  Some parents don’t know how to do this.  They haven’t had good role models in this area, so they are either too controlling, or too critical, or too hey, whatever.  An adversarial tone builds up, and life with mom and/or dad becomes a series of battles and one-upmanship.  Teens can work to diffuse this.
    1.  Always tell the truth so you build trust.  It may take them a while to realize they can trust
          you, but if you don’t betray that trust, you can point out to them that you have shown
          reliability and honesty and have earned their confidence.  My daughter used this on me and
          it worked. 
    2.  Be affectionate.  Tell them you love them.  Parents need your reassurance as much as you
          need theirs. 
    3.  Share when you have problems.  And if they start giving you the big lecture, gently explain
         that what you really need right now is someone to listen;  you’ll let them know when you
         want advice.   Then make sure you actually ask them for advice once in a while.  Even if
         you don’t really want to hear it.  There might be something in there you can agree with.
Learning to develop and maintain a healthy relationship will be a big advantage later on.  Some people spend their whole lives trying to find happiness;  some people create it. 
Now, if you’ve actually read all this, you must be serious.  Most of this stuff is long-term, and you want results tomorrow.  Sorry.  That’s life.  But life can be GOOD!
Good luck, God bless, and I hope you find happiness. 


I have to take Sam to the doctor's today.
My ear canal is infected again.
I want to post photos, but can't figure out how to do it.  I know it can be done....">
There.  Let's see if this works.

Charlie's deer on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Charlie's deer on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Gotta try this button out.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday, All Day

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought of was "This is the last day of my diet.  Get through the day and tomorrow at this time, you can EAT!!!" 
Tim and the kids and I are all on the fat burning soup diet.  It's a seven day fierce effort to lose some weight before vacation, at which time I will gain it all back again. 
The first three days involve a lot of fruits and vegetables and THE FAT BURNING SOUP.   this is a concoction made of celery, green onions, green peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots in a Lipton chicken bullion base.
The soup is eaten everyday.  According to the instructions, it takes more energy to pass this stuff through your body than you get from the calories it contains, so in essence, the more you eat, the more weight you lose.  This would be great, except it tends to turn on you after two days.  Or as Sam put it this morning: I'd rather eat my own vomit.
Anyway, it's now 8:30 pm and I think I'm going to make it.  I have lost 7 or 8 pounds. 
Was it worth it?  Yeah.   Also, according to the plan, the diet also does a detox of caffeine and sugar addiction from your system.  If that were so, why is it the first thing I plan on eating tomorrow morning is the sweetest cereal I can find?

First Entry

I have just about had it with Freewebs.  I think they've gone on vacation and let their host website business disintegrate.  So now I'm shopping for a new, more reliable web host.  I don't know if this will work.   A Blogging site isn't what I had in mind, but none of the other sites seem to fit my purposes like freewebs did, so I guess I just start in.