Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"People who suffer from dental anxiety often fail to visit the dentist."

In an effort to fully prepare myself for some upcoming dental work, I determined to convince myself that a heightened sense of dental anxiety is perfectly normal. ("Normal" of course is a definition that varies greatly throughout the planet.) A few tidbits I have gleaned which make 'normal' about as trivial as 'good' in terms of descriptor:

  • A Google search using the phrase "how many people suffer from dental anxiety?" offered up the suggestion: do you mean "how many people suffer from MENTAL anxiety?"?
  • At the website you can " ideas, get help, and network with people with similar interests."
  • offers up the brilliant observation that "...people who suffer from dental anxiety often fail to visit the dentist..."
  • I have been warned at another site that "people affected with dental anxiety might get filled with a deep sense of insecurity..."

In an age of across the border Xanax and a fancy disorder name for everything, I'm going to take my Entophobia, exchange some ideas with those of similar interest, perhaps skip a dental visit or two, and rest in the knowledge that every other insecurity I experience can be traced to my dental anxiety. For, truly, all of this internet bonding has to only aid the dentally challenged in conquering this fear and surely not in feeding the fear. And upon conquering the dental fear with the aid of the Xanax swallowing, Valium toting internet community, one can simply go to the helpful site, to find a new obsession....

"Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill." - Johnny Carson

"Adam & Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething." - Mark Twain

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jeans Don't Belong In Church....& other things my father taught me

My dad has lived long enough to go through many seasons - not only of his own life, but in the world in general. Sometimes I sit back and realize that much of what he taught me - and what so many would now mock - has served me so very well in its simplicity.

  1. Jeans don't belong in church. In the way of context understand that my dad knows full well what it is to be poor. To eat from what could be scavenged, to have not much in the way of real earthly possessions. In fact upon recently watching the latest American Girl movie starring Kit Kittredge, he commented on the Depression-Era 'stars' as being very wealthy. Even by virtue of the number of chickens they had to raise. So it is not from a context of elitism that my dad had certain rules about how someone should dress for worship. He knows full well that sometimes all a person has is one pair of overalls. Yet, growing up he taught me that if you do have something better why wouldn't you wear it? If you have a suit for a wedding, why is that same suit too much of a burden to put on for worship? If you'd look dapper for a job interview why not for time spent in the Lord's House. Now, surely, should you - like the young boy my dad was - truly have only a pair of jeans (or overalls) wear them knowing that the Lord knows this is your best and you are offering it to Him.
  2. If you have to tell people how good you are at're probably not very good at it. I even had this little snippet of wisdom shared with me in 4th grade from a teacher much younger than my father but who, in her years supporting a husband through Seminary, had encountered a good many students whose horn tooting proved to be not very accurate.
  3. If you can't see God's hand in the 'bad' you'll most certainly miss Him in the 'good'. Watching far too many men grow a business from desperate to highly successful, my dad would often comment how easy it was for these men to miss God entirely in the 'good' which probably meant they didn't have a foundation back when things were 'bad'.
  4. There is nothing new under the sun. That one Dad gleaned from Solomon, but has seen it repeated in over 80 years of living both in circles of Christians and in circles of the decidedly non-Christian. He often says now that one of the worse things he thinks has happened through the years is to label everything as a disorder or disease or illness. Some quotables: "Depressed?!? Depressed is waking up to the soldier friend next to you having a slit throat. Depressed is raising 8 children in a time when a wife could not go get a job and therefore children had to suffer. Depressed is lard sandwiches minus the lard." He would say the same about countless 'syndromes' which have, in his thoughts, emasculated a good many men and essentially told them that no one expects anything of them anymore. "The worst thing for a man is for people to stop expecting things of him."
  5. The only constant is your Lord. I really can't expound on this anymore except to say that I know he has found this to be true - first hand - through more experiences than I have space or freedom to mention.

So for Monday - five things dad taught me. Five things I may have scoffed at, mocked, and completely disagreed with from time-to-time in my life...well, four of the five at least.....and then I realized that over 80 years of life experience really can't be trumped by much.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easy Blueberry Pie

Let me first say that the easiest blueberry pie is purchased from some Amish farm woman pre-baked. The second easiest is in the red Sara Lee box. But if you want to feel like the Amish farm woman but with electricity and cool clothes, then this may be the way to go.

1 - 9 inch frozen pie shell - bake according to directions

After removing the pie shell from oven add two cups of fresh blueberries

In a sauce pan combine:

2 cups fresh blueberries
2 T lime juice (skip it if you don't have it)
1 cup white sugar
3 T flour
1/2 cup water

Simmer until thick. Pour over the pie crust with the blueberries already in it. Chill & serve.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Feels, The Sounds, The Smells

Today was one of those great multi-sensory days. I'm sure the fact that it feels as though spring has firmly been planted into not only the calendar but also the very earth itself has a great deal to do with the sensory (not quite) overload.

There was dirt - ah, sweet dirt. How I love dirt! I could spend at a garden center what other women would hungrily spend on shoes. (Not saying I don't love a few good pair of shoes either...) My strawberry boxes are filling rapidly and there were weeds to pull - those horrid little buggers which I shall curse in a month or two brought me joy today. There's little that is as rapidly fulfilling as pulling a weed out with a nice full dangling set of roots!

Then in the midst of a Tempest (the play, not a storm) there was the most giddy little group of talkative pre-teens sitting on an oh-so-green lawn. These wonderful girls were happily chirping about their 'Book Group' started by a quite lovely Anne-esque red-head imparting her own exuberance to these young women to be. They were chit chatting as well as any group of more mature ladies sans the coffee and husband stories.

Ah, finished up with the smell of a pot roast slow cooking in the oven with its requisite liquids & onions. Perhaps followed up with a fairly great taste, but somehow the smell is what resonated today. The mingling of scents provided a fine cap to the rest of the senses.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chicken Cashew Rice

Here's a good recipe as the weather changes & as time becomes a premium. Make it ahead and let it marinate in the fridge - because it's eaten cold there's no need to budget time for cooking!

4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 boxes Uncle Ben's Original Wild Rice
3 cups Wishbone Italian Dressing
2-3 cups cashews - whole or pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion greens

Cook (I boil) the chicken breasts thoroughly. Chop/cut into small bite-sized pieces.

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Chop greens from's usually a small bunch to get 1/4 cup usable greens.

Combine everything and toss completely. Place in fridge for at least an hour - I think it tastes best when it sits longer. (Interestingly, no one in the family likes it while it's warm.)

Sometimes It IS All About Me...

Okay, not's never all about me. It's generally all about the little people who rely on me & the husband who depends on me in different ways, and most importantly the Savior Whose expectations I really, really want to meet but generally don't do so in the perfect manner that befits Him....thanks be to our God & Father for his abounding grace, mercy & general long-suffering when it comes to me!

So here's my week - it doesn't make for terribly interesting blog fodder - but it may make you feel better about your own week and/or make you deride me for my wanton embracing of a far too busy life.

MONDAY - homeschool; order VBS supplies; edit Director's notes; bulletin announcements; clean out strawberry patch; work on play sets

TUESDAY - homeschool; purchase craft items for Friday's sleepover; finish set painting for Friday's play; deliver sets; ball practice for two children; karate for one child

WEDNESDAY - homeschool; assemble palm trees for Friday (yes - palm trees); craft a curtain for Friday

THURSDAY - homeschool; dress rehearsal; buy snacks for Friday's sleepover

FRIDAY - homeschool building; make dessert for post-play party; production of "The Tempest"; sleepover for church's girls group from Friday through the moment I finally get to sleep on Saturday afternoon

SATURDAY - finishing the non-sleep sleepover; ball practice for one child; karate for one child

SUNDAY - a MUCH NEEDED day of rest!!

This is very much NOT how I generally live my life - in fact I believe this week is 'pay back' for the times I have internally mocked those whose lives are far too busy by their own doing. I am now internally mocking myself and like introspection it's not something done well on an empty stomach. Think I'll go get a snack....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In the vein of Uncle Remus...

it seems a new storyteller for the 21st century has emerged from the DC area by way of Delaware. But don't take it from me, take it from the teleprompter:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oh The Bliss!

My sin Oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin - NOT IN PART - but the whole
Is nailed to the cross
And I bear it no more
Oh my soul

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making His House My Care

One of my favorite songs found in the hymnal to which I've grown accustomed has as its first verse the following:

Gracious Lord, remember David,
How he made Thy house his care,
How he vowed to seek no pleasure
Till Thy house he should prepare.
Lord, remember his devotion;
Restless in his courts he trod
Till he found a habitation
Fit for Israel's mighty God;
Till he found a habitation
Fit for Israel's mighty God.

Now I do not presume in the least to understand David's restlessness in regards to finding a habitation fit for a God as mighty as the one David knew so very, very personally. The weight of such a job escapes me entirely, though I appreciate the words used quite eloquently in this song to convey the sort of wandering David must have done both within solid walls and on the hills and fields he knew so well.

I enjoy this song when sung in church in part because I do appreciate the melody that comes right along with the words. And rhyme scheme is certainly appreciated especially when dealing with many of the 'lesser known' hymns because I must admit there are some for which I truly believe a good re-tooling would greatly increase the pleasure in singing.

Yet, my thoughts today, having just left the church of my earthly membership, is more in how I make "His house my care". My care, unlike David, is not in just the getting it done - no, now we have planning committees, and building & grounds committees, and architects, and contractors... No, my thoughts go more to the treatment of this house. While surely an outward shell and most definitely not the church in the sense that the great company of believers makes up the church by definition, there is still a certain amount of respect that should go into the physical - brick & mortar house.

To picture David struggling over a structure - one which he would never know enough peace to create himself - I picture how I was raised in a sense of respect for the building. No running, no jumping, no raised voices, no frivolous behavior of any kind. This was my upbringing. I can still remember the first time I entered the sanctuary of my church as a child during the week when it was still & silent. Mom was running the old mimeograph machine with the coming Sunday's bulletin and the utter stillness was palpable. I never dared near the area only the minister set foot upon and the closer I neared the front the more I felt enveloped in all that IS church.

Sometimes I still get that feeling, though it does seem that the busier one is in a church home, the less the building holds awe. Perhaps this is good....perhaps it's because as an adult we don't need the respect that comes from the vast stillness....perhaps it's because we are so very aware that He travels right along with us rather than making a literal home in a building. Yet sometimes - sometimes I walk into the sanctuary during the week and no one is there. It's dark except for light through clear windows. It's quiet. It is, in some lame attempt at putting a state of being onto a place, reverence itself. And in those moments I can most understand the restlessness that would come from the drive to find a 'habitation fit for Israel's mighty God'. And in those moments I vow all the more to both make His house my care, and to instill this care and awe upon my children.