Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Office cat

SpookyRach suggested that I needed a cat for my office. Hey! I already have one! And it is very low maintenance. My mom painted this one about ten years ago. Every week or so I move it to a different location in the office. Oh, I have decorated the office for Christmas. I'll take some pix and post them later.

Yeah, the utilities workers came by and dug a hole in our street to fix the broken water pipe. I guess the part where they put asphalt over the mud comes later. For now we have a big mud square in front of our driveway.

Suddenlink did get our phone line operative, so now everything works--phone, internet, cable TV. The cost is lower than those three services purchased separately from other vendors, so I am happy. Just hope that Suddenlink is reliable.

I am so far behind on my preparation for the classes I teach online! Thank goodness for the upcoming Christmas break. Maybe I can get two or three lessons ahead. OK, it's bedtime now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just waiting.

This morning I noticed a puddle at our curb and realized that a water main had broken under the street and water was bubbling up to create a birdbath. The birds appreciated it, but I called the city to get it fixed. The phone rang and rang--no answering machine. Ten minutes later (after 8:00), I called back and the lady said they would send someone right out.

I was already waiting because the service rep from Suddenlink is supposed to be here between 8:30 and 10:30 to change my phone service. I called at 8:30 just to be sure that I was on the schedule. It took 27 minutes before a live operator answered. She reminded that he has until 10:30 to get here. In the meantime a truck from the city came out and painted a rectangle on the street to mark the area for the excavator to dig. As soon as they left the birds returned, intriguing the cat across the street. I cleaned out the refrigerator.

I checked my online class. I read a few blogs. I straightened up a bit. No excavator yet. No service rep. It's 10:19. Suppose I should start now calling Suddenlink so that it won't be too much past 10:30 when I get hold of them? ~subdued grrrr~

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Somehow it has been hard to return to the ol' blog. It would be wrong to refer to the following as "highlights"--they are ordinary events--but that's about all that has been going on the last few weeks.
  • Remember the plants that I grew from seeds I found in Australia? The seeds were in pods on the ground under this bush with wonderfully perfumed flowers. I asked my son to find out the name of the plant, if he could. Yesterday he told me it was jasmine. Hmm. OK, jasmine grows like a vine and does not produce seed pods. So this seedling of which I have five iterations apparently came from the seeds of a tree above the jasmine shrub. I still don't know what it is. One pot is in my study; the plant is doing well. One pot is in the sun room and it is doing fairly well. One pot is outside and the stripling endured last night's snow very well. Whatever it is, it's hardy. Here is a close-up of the top of the plant. The leaves grow in pairs which close at night and pop open in the morning. Strange.

  • We didn't leave town for Thanksgiving. My sister had invited us for dinner at her house (outskirts of Austin) and my brother said we could stay overnight at his house (San Antonio). Very kind of them, but the weather here threatened snow and the idea of driving down there at night in the snow (and returning in similar weather) was sufficiently offputting that we declined. Cat would not have been able to get off on Wednesday anyway (to make the 6-hour drive). When some friends from church invited us to eat at their house, we agreed. On Tuesday evening I got a message that the cabin near Santa Fe NM which had our name on the wait list (since summer) was suddenly available. No, we did not change all our plans and drive into the teeth of the storm just to get to a cabin in the snowy woods all to ourselves. How would I explain that to my siblings?

  • I got out the Christmas tree and added lights. Now it will be time for Cat to hang the ornaments. Sometimes she lets me help with that. We bought some 12" long glass "icicles" from a company that was going out of business; they should be a nice addition. I am taking the chili pod lights to my office to decorate. I like to keep it interesting.

  • Now I have to go finish grading papers and projects from my church history class. They give me a headache. Do American high school students learn how to read (with understanding)? I am beginning to doubt it. How I long to discover a student who really understands research and analysis. OK, enough whining--now for grading.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's a mystery

First of all, the papers got graded and grades turned in. I have notes for tomorrow's Old Testament, Biblical Interpretation, and Latter Prophets classes. I will have to write up notes for the Church History class, but I can get up early in the morning and get that done. The set for the Christmas play should be fairly easy to build and I will have help from some experienced people. So I am stressing less. But that's not what I want to talk about.

In Sunday school we are working through Ephesians. It has been a good study; we are taking about half a chapter a week. Here's what struck me out of this week's study. When Christians choose to actually submit to God's direction and wind up suffering for the sake of others (as did Jesus), it not only binds us closer together as believers and strengthens our connection with and dependence on God, it serves as the evidence of "the manifold wisdom of God . . . to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 3:10) that God's sovereign plan is working. When we Christians put aside our differences and act as "one body" (verse 6), we affect not just the members of our local church or the city in which we live, not just the denomination we claim, not just the visible Church around the globe, we--you and I--are the "theater of God's work" (J. A. Bengel) for the spiritual powers of the universe to observe. Everyone talks about trusting God, but just imagine how much God trusts us! Amazing.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

After a long hiatus

Here's the list:

  • Research papers and projects to grade before Monday

  • Old Testament summaries to grade before Monday

  • Final grades to turn in on Monday

  • Christmas drama to produce in four weeks (had our first meeting today!)

  • Hybrid class to prepare (starts next week); meets in Big Flat City 45 miles south of here for eleven weeks

  • New online class to teach; I have no lecture notes ready; starts next week

  • Projects from church history class to grade

And a month from now are the auditions for Proof. Do I dare even show up for that? The part (same one Anthony Hopkins had in the movie version) is very juicy. And of course there are the holidays which will require travel for us--once to central Texas and once to California. I may be scarce(r) around here for a while.