A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.



The Little I can Do

My husband just won a sports bike yesterday -- any one think we can get it down to someone who lost everything in the hurricane? It will just rot here and our church doesn't have any suggestions (no room to store something so big I suspect.)

As I travel the buses back and forth to work, I look out at the cloverleaf of freeways that come together. And I think back on the pictures of New Orleans I have seen -- with the freeways broken and covered in water. And I wonder to myself what I would do if I were stranded here in a natural disaster like that. I'd be up a creek without a paddle, that's what I'd be. I'm a strong swimmer -- but I DON'T like mess. (And the water in New Orleans is NOT safe to be walking around in, no matter what you see on TV! I am so worried- - which means I ought to be praying. About the epidemics that could be caused there.) And I'm no good at walking.

Nevertheless, it seems.. the little I can do to do my part. Instead of driving to a park and ride every morning, leaving my car there and taking a bus that takes me right to work, I'm going to walk down to a closer bus stop (but one that involves walking -farther- and mostly uphill, on the trip back) that doesn't involve running the car. It's not a lot. But it's the least I can do for the next couple of weeks while they try to work things out down in the southeastern states that were so recently crippled by Katrina.

There are still people stuck in New Orleans, people trying desperately to get out. I am very thankful it is not me and my family. And yet, in a way, it is my family -- at the very least Americans if not Christians as well down there. So I can't bring it in me to care. To get angry at local news that already YESTERDAY had gone on to day to day news. How can anyone care about politics as normal when we have people trapped in New Orleans! I wanted to scream but just turned the radio off, praying and turning to the Web instead.

A part of me does not want to see New Orleans rebuilt -- not so many feet underwater with government funds. But mostly, I just want to see the people saved. I want to see all the people who lost their homes and EVERYTHING there get back on their feet. When it is going to be months until the city recovers basic services -- what are others going to do? My dad travels this road a LOT. how will he get around? What's more -- not having the roads will keep tourists away and these are tourist towns... They need us to come. Prayer is going to be needed for a very long time. Surely, eventually, I can start to meld back seamlessly into my own life --> but not yet. I go to work, go through the motions (after all, I tell myself, life as normal must continue over here so that we can make money to afford to support the relief effort over there. If we stop everything here we don't help anything there, after all), but my heart is elsewhere right now. And it is going to remain there for a while.



I just keep going from website to website, trying to understand what is going on over in New Orleans.

The water started rising today, culminating with they are going to evacuate the Superdome. And the hospital. And they have declared everyone should LEAVE the city. And all these looters there -- taking things that they have no possibility of keeping, it seems. Maybe just taking things because that's the only way they know to operate? (and NOT just food, water, etc. stuff. Big screen TVs. Jewelry, etc.) There have even been shots fired, mostly by the looters themselves. One police was fired -- but there doesn't seem to be the will to really punish the looting either when you hear them talking about it -- even the Mississippi governor is much firmer... OTOH when you have people on top of rooftops, you don't WANT them wasting time trying to figure out what to do with looters... There are still lives to be saved.

(Though the unique nature of New Orleans is making figuring out what to do with the refugees interesting as well. New Orleans being under sea level is causing all of this further confusion.)

I hope my sister's family is fine. Her husband's grandparents live on Leewood Rd just NW of Picayune, MS -- which is REALLY close to New Orlean. And they survived Camille, so she doesn't think they would have left this time. And her cousins are in Covington, just across that (now-fractured) bridge from New Orleans. They had wonderful big-family reunions at that homestead.

For that matter, I can remember traveling across that bridge and talking to my dad about how Mississippi occasionaly changes river beds and this lake could one day again be the riverbed -- then going and trying to find more information at Texas A&M. It's hard to imagine that just a few days ago (Sunday) I was praying for the hurricane's path. And now that it is over... there are still people there. In fact, in New Orlenas, in many way conditions seem to be "lord of the Flies" as if they are far away from our civilized America. because they are stuck away by lack of roads, water, etc.

And all of my blog-hopping -- none of it helps the situation. I want to give -- though I don't know who to. After what happened in 2001, I don't trust the American Red Cross anymore. Yet that seems to be who everyone mentions... Doesn't matter right now. Decision to make with my Boaz instead of by myself this time.

Pray for peace.


"Close miss"

Katrina came on land as a category 4, not 5, and at the last minute inched a bit eastwards and barely missed a direct hit on New Orleans. But it sounds like this just moved the bulk of the damage to Mississippi, (And maybe Alabama?) This occurred to me last night as I was praying, that even if there was a miss it would just mean someone else would get hit instead. But I just have to trust that God knows what he is doing.

And even in New Orleans, it is bad enough. They're talking about electricity being out for a MONTH. I wonder if children have gone back to school -- one high school is flooded up to the second floor. And all these windows blown out!

I lived with hurricanes growing up. But NEVER was it this scary. Nor do I remember it ever seriously affecting our school lives. Hurricane Alicia is one of the "notable names" I remember.

Updated: I just looked it up. This was "only" Category 3. No wonder that it wasn't so bad! And the big "60s" hurricane that devastated Galveston that they always told us about (Carla) turns out to have been just a Cat 4, and it just about destroyed the island.

Mosquitoes will flourish -- Isn't this one of the places of the West Nile Virus?

Director of Homeland Securities expects casualties -- For whatever reason, these people did not evacuate. But the rescue workers are now going to have struggle with their decisions NOT to get there in time to save the ones calling for help. No decision we make is entirely outside of consequences for others :(



Pray for New Orleans

God has not given me the spirit of fear. Over and over I repeat this, but it does not do much good as I watch Katrina's size in the Gulf, and all the projections of what it could do to New Orleans.


We're back!

Actually, we've been back since Sunday. But work's been busy. And somehow I've just been exhausted so going to bed early at home.

We had a great trip back east -- although for once we bought NO souvenirs! (wow. I can't even believe I am saying that. At the end I rushed to try and get stuff for friends but couldn't find anything even for that :( )

We got up to Pennsylvania for a day and ended up with 120 pounds of genealogical material that we shipped back to ourselves. So we'll have that to go through once it gets here.

Other than that, we spent the time with various family in the DC area. It was a LOT more satisfying than the last trip, which was spent mostly seeing the sights. But I think partly that is because it is more like the type of vacation I am used to growing up with.


Bai for now

We're off to Washington D.C. for a week.

Pray it won't be too bad, weather wise.
And for us as we ascertain if our grandmother is a Christian or not.


Great quote

"Someday we'll all be in a perfect church. We'll just have to die to get there!"
-- Valerie (Kyriosity)



In doing some assorted research around the web, I managed to connect up our sad nearly barren branch of my husband's tree to many of the others who share the same last name out there!

I am so excited to dig deeper into genealogy.

AND, I found, while in Washington d.C. next week we'll be just two hours away from the old family homestead!


Something for moms

What Did I Do Today?
Grandma Hugs Quotes

Today I left some dishes dirty,
The bed got made around 3:30.
The diapers soaked a little longer,
The odor grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before
Are staring at me from the floor.
The fingerprints there on the wall
Will likely be there still next fall.
The dirty streaks on those windowpanes
Will still be there next time it rains.
Shame on you, you sit and say,
Just what did you do today?

I held a baby till she slept,
I held a toddler while she wept.
I played a game of hide and seek,
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess that's true.
Unless you think that what I've done,
Might be important to someone
With deep blue eyes and soft blonde hair,
If that is true...I've done my share.


Recessions seem to be one of those things, like prophecies, that are only interpretable after the fact.

I heard on the radio that the depth of the recession was in the middle of 2003. (I was given my lay off notice in July.) And that every job lost in the tech bust and the after effects of 9-11 has now been replaced (And I just started my first full time last Monday.) I guess I was the last holdout ;)


A child is born

Brain-dead woman dies after giving birth

The woman kept alive after a stroke (the day before Mother's Day! How heartrending!) to save her child has died. The child, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, was born yesterday, although she is still very premature and still needs prayers.

It is uplifting to see this story after what happened earlier this year. I am glad the baby is doing all right, though she still seems very tiny to me, too small for this hard, faithless world.


Sewing and Movies

Thursday night, after work, I went to a sewing day with the ladies at church. We learned how to make these cool pillow wreaths (except it appears our "recipe" was off a bit.) I'm sure I would have gotten further along if I had started more promptly after I got there. But first, I had to destress and eat and talk... so I didn't REALLY get started until 8pm. At that, I had the pieces all cut out and the first seam all done by 9pm! So I felt very accomplished. Of course, have I done anything on it since then? Nope.

I'm kinda thinking of going to the craft store, seeing if I can get purple and brown cloth that goes together, and making one to take to grandma when we go in August. It is going together fast enough I think I can get it done... if I stop being lazy.

Then on Saturday night, we went out to eat with my Boaz's parents -- it's their last weekend in town before they move to Arizona. (They are traveling starting today. Your prayers for safe journeys this week would be appreciated!) We had a really good evening and I feel better about them leaving. (Later last night, I wondered if the problem I've been so stressed out about is the last time someone left town that I really cared about, the wife and mother died before I could see them again. Unexpectedly. Which -- more next post.) Anyways, with my in-laws we went to see a movie called "Sky High" and it was REALLY good.

It doesn't have as many quotable quotes as "The Incredibles" -- but it was definitely inspired by that movie, and done very well to boot. Yes, in some ways it was predictable. But it had one twist I didn't expect. and several interesting ideas. and if it HADN'T been predictable in the way I expected, I'd have been disappointed. So if you're interested in going to see a movie check out "Sky High" -- I had never even heard of it before mom suggested it as a place for us to go.

Oh and it had wonderful previews! I am used to going to movies and finding previews for movies I wouldn't at ALL be interested in going to see. This time, there were three interesting ones! Harry Potter, Oliver Twist and the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe!!! -- It looks like they are doing the Lord of the Rings treatment to the Chronicles of Narnia books. There as also a chicken Little trailer (based on the book/rhyme I guess) that looked interesting, though more of a "I'll catch it on video" thing. AND on the way out of the theater I saw they were redoing "Yours, Mine, and Ours"! So this bodes well to be a good movie season. (OTOH, it's much CHEAPER when there is nothing to see on the big screen... We'll see how the budget goes.)