Saturday, September 29, 2007

Brother, I'm Dying

Picked up the latest copy of Paste and found a review (by Desa Philadelphia) of Edwidge Danticat's new book, Brother, I'm Dying. It is the story of her uncle, a pastor, who was driven into hiding in Haiti because of police and gang battles and then died alone in a U.S. detention center. And it is the story of her father. Both men lovingly impacted her life.
I think I want to check it out. What about you?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kung Fu

Tonight found me watching a friend take a belt test in Kung Fu. His parents could not be there and I gladly filled in. I'm nice that way -- sometimes. I'm used to sporting events that involve clapping, screaming, shouting, yelling, whistling, and throwing hands in the air. This was nothing like that. The room was beautifully painted in relaxing colors and calming music washed over us. Everything was very pleasing to the senses, except for that really sweaty guy, but he was working hard. In fact, he down right scared me a few times. I kept thinking, "he does know I'm just two feet from him," as he spun and kicked. When he brought out his bamboo pole I got really worried. Not knowing anything about Kung Fu, or any martial arts for that matter, mess-ups were hard for me to spot. It helped when the person would pause with a "deer caught in headlights" look or said "Chihuahua" under their breath or just had the panic-stricken "I'm gonna throw up" face. My friend did a wonderful job. At least, he told me that he had accomplished what he had set out to do. So, in my book that makes it wonderful. At the end of the testing came the tea ceremony. That would have been very lovely except that they lit incense. I do not like the smell of incense. I never have, but now that I have been to China three times, it brings sad memories of people bowing to huge statues after purchasing packages of incense to light and offer. I'm so thankful that my God does not require that of me. He requires all of me, but I don't have to bring incense along.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ask her to say "water"

This past weekend this tour revolved its way into town and I had the privilege of trying to keep up with this lovely lady.
It was a delight watching and listening to her. She truly loves the girls and the people she works with. Her heart and spirit overflow with joy and peace. I found her refreshingly amazing. Oh, her name is Brie Reed. Check out her blog for teenage girls. If you ever meet her, ask her to say "water".

I have decided...

that not only are hippos the most dangerous animals in Africa, they are also the most disgusting. I had the misfortune of being at the backside of a hippo's enclosure at the San Antonio Zoo once. His disrespect for his watery environment was vividly burned into my memory. Having never forgotten that scene I was informed while watching a Nature show on PBS last week that what I had witnessed years ago was a very common occurrence. YUCK! Let me just say that hippos make hiney sniffing dogs seem well mannered.

Hippo are found on the shores of Lake Kariba

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lesson learned

Today at work I decided to do a really stupid thing. We offer toddler basketball classes and have a lower goal that is made to hang on the existing rim. It is a good idea, however it is hard for two out of shape women to maneuver. Especially when perched on a rickety volleyball stand. Wrestling it onto the goal was especially tricky due to the added metal to protect the permanent backboard from players who like to hang on the goal during their dunking attempts. We finally got it into place and locked into position.

The stupidity took place when I thought I could get it down by myself. First of all, I'm scared of heights. As in when I stand on shaky volleyball stands. This removable backboard weighs about 45 lbs. No biggie. HA! I unscrewed and released the orange rim and got it safely down. After climbing back up, I released the safety lock and unhooked the backboard from the permanent rim. That is when everything went south rather quickly. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, I realised there was no way I could move. The ground was too far away to just let go of the backboard and it was too heavy for me to lift it back over my head and onto the stand. Just about the time I was on the verge of screaming, a man playing basketball with his son mercifully looked over and witnessed my dilemma. Running to my rescue he took the board hanging from my hands. I thanked him profusely and told him that I had bitten off more than I could chew. Never again will that be happening.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Finding hope in smoldering ashes near K&A

Some people know about the warehouse fire that wiped out homes in Philadelphia. Well, it looks like beauty is beginning to rise out of the wreckage. Read here for encouragement. The column was written by Nathaniel Popkin. I found it through Another World Is Possible. More information can be gathered at The Simple Way. You will find some different thoughts about the American Dream and what it truly means to be Jesus to people. They do things in an unique way. It seems to be working.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

R.I.P Hildy

It is a sad day in Dallas as we say good-bye to a legend. My family loves the Dallas Zoo and we mourn when they mourn. We've been blessed in watching the keepers interact with the animals and know how much they love them. Observing a rhino and a caregiver playing tag is one of my favorite memories. Hildy's graceful moves and amazingly long tongue were great examples of a very creative Maker and we enjoyed watching her.

Hildy was old, but she has a legacy -- a BIG legacy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

So you've had a bad day...

going through the blogs I like to read everyday I came across this one. can you imagine dealing with these situations and people every day? i thought my stress level was stressed when I was teaching school. that was a walk in a big, beautiful national park compared to this. read her blog. and if you can, think of a way to help one or more of these children.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Part of my family went to see "Hairspray" this afternoon. I know it has been out for a while, but when you have 5 kids, sometimes it takes longer to get to the movies. Being a fan of good musicals, I loved it. However, something did surprise me. I cried. Racism has always bothered me. Growing up in a small East Texas town, it was all around me. My parents were very good at teaching us there was no difference. It insulated me to the reality of what was going on in my community. Even though extended family members made their beliefs known, I didn't realize how deep it ran. Now that I'm older, it is very plain to me that there was quite a chasm.

I don't understand racism. Especially when it is spouted by "never miss a Sunday" church goers.
It blows my mind. Sometimes I just stand with my jaw dropped. Sometimes I speak. I've got to learn to speak more. As Motormouth Maybelle sings, "'Cause just to sit still would be a sin".