Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Return

I'm going back. Never would I have thought even one year ago that I would be a chaperone of 6 American teens, trapsing across the globe, braving airports, and loving Korean food. (Mom would tell you that as a child I had a steady diet of grilled cheese sandwiches!!) I had never been out of the USA, and had only been out of the Pacific Northwest once.

Now our county has elected me to go again! There will be 2 chaperones this time! Up to 8 kids will get to go. We leave in July for 2 weeks with our friends in GunPo City, S. Korea. It's a time of fostering friendships, learning to appreciate other cultures and building community.

I'm SO excited! and Mom, I didn't order one single grilled cheese the entire time, and I ate all my vegetables!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yoo Hoo! yoo hoo!

Come out, come out wherever you are!

"It is true. Because it has been ordained by someone with the graphical capabilities to make a button, you are now required by your conscience to delurk." - Kim

Stand Up and Testify!! :) I lurk. I admit it. "Hi, my name is Deeapaulitan, and I'm a blog lurker." (hi Deeapaulitan)... whoo, boy, did that feel good. Your turn!! C'mon, don't be shy... I promise not to put you on a mailing list, or sell your vital stats to the greasy guys at the local computer chop shop! It's just nice to know you're out there. That you stopped in for a laugh or to be challenged... that I'm not all alone in the vast blogosphere of life.

Jerry Maguire: If anybody else wants to come with me, this moment will be the ground floor of something real and fun and inspiring and true in this godforsaken business and we will do it together! Who's with me besides... "Flipper" here?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Finding Relevance in Relationship

For my 35th birthday my in-laws bought me a subscription to Sunset magazine. This months edition has an article on "The Wests' Best Places To Live". Based on what criteria did they choose these places?
*Sense of Community (interaction with and feeling responsible for...)
*Pedestrian Friendly (wide sidewalks, courtyards, and low traffic)
*Functionality Packed into a small area
*Ability to Form their own identity while respecting heritage
*Remaking/refurbishing space

I found this interesting, with the growing emphasis on being 'culturally relevant' within our family's hearts and the church in-general, that this periodical would list much of what we feel God speaking to us about relevancy as a way of building a neighborhood into a community! It still all boils down to 2 things ~ RELATIONSHIP and being intentional!
by Amelia Ashton (abridged)

3. Organize regular wine-tasting parties. You’ll be surprised at all the local sommeliers.
4. Hold small music concerts on a common green. Encourage karaoke (responsibly).
5. Sponsor a holiday celebration such as an Easter egg hunt, a summer solstice party, a Fourth of July bike parade and party, Oktoberfest with grilled bratwurst, or a Halloween block party.
6. Start a regular “Mom’s night out.” Wine and dine, or catch a late-night mani/pedi.
Help each other
7. Create a new kind of Neighborhood Watch: Build a “care force” that helps out with dinners and errands when neighbors need a hand, and/or host an emergency preparedness night in which you get organized and learn about your neighbors’ special skills (CPR training, etc.).
8. Schedule an annual “barn raising,” at which a volunteer work crew helps neighbors with household projects, from fixing the pipes to mending a fence.
12. Host movie nights, using a garage door as the movie screen. Alternate which home gets to pick the rental, and don’t forget the popcorn.
13. Consider building a gate in fences between backyards to foster camaraderie and use for emergencies.
Develop community spaces
18. Put up a community website and a Yahoo group site for public notices, referrals, ads, and event notices.
19. Got a swimming pool? Use a flag system to let neighbors know when their kids can join your kids for an adult-supervised swim. Green flag, come on in. No flag, don’t ask.
Create a community-friendly front yard
20. Plant a colorful perennial border between your sidewalk and the street, put a chair or bench in your front yard, then prepare to say hi to your neighbors when it becomes part of everyone’s stroller route.
21. Instead of tall, narrow walls or fences that close neighbors out, build half-walls wide enough to function as a seat.
22. Plant in front of as well as behind perimeter walls. “It’s like a gift to the neighborhood,” one homeowner said. It also inspires adjoining houses.
23. Build a firepit in front of your house. On cooler nights, throw down some beach blankets, share a glass of wine with the neighbors, and watch the kids play. Or just settle down out front in some folding chairs on a Friday or weekend afternoon, and invite the neighbors to join you.
24. Hang a swing from your porch to get you out front and socializing.
It's all about loving people and wanting to be a part of making their lives better. How cool is that? It would mean that, in my little microcausim of the universe, Jesus' vision for His world would find life!

Even TIME Concedes to Uncle Sam

I'm excited. I really love this man's adherence to the Constitution and his ability to relate that adherence in a positive light.
My favorite moments in the hearing were watching Senator Kennedy "UH" and "UM" his way through 'trap questions'. I find it ironic that the man, who in the 70's was thought to "be scandalous and deceitful" was now trying to derail 'Uncle Sam' .
Alito Confirmation Appears Likely
In spite of attacks from the left, an unfazed Alito seems destined to be confirmed

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006
The end wasn't pretty for Democrats. After three days of testimony, Judge Samuel Alito appears headed for confirmation to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, and already political operatives on the Hill have turned to damage control and exploitation.
Democrats are licking their self-inflicted wounds, trying to figure out if they can somehow turn the timing of that vote to their advantage. Democrats publicly concede their side failed to mount an effective attack on the judge. Democratic attempts to target Alito's positions on abortion and civil rights got no more traction than before, and even Alito's concession that justices need "the ability to revisit" controversial cases failed to provide usable ammunition for his opponents.
By the time three witnesses from the American Bar Association took the floor to explain why they had given Alito the ABA's highest possible rating, Democrats could already see the writing on the wall. The final blow came when a panel of seven current and former judges from the Philadelphia-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals lined up to praise their colleague on the bench. Vermont's Senator Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the committee, effectively conceding defeat, declined even to ask them a question.

Hooray for 'Uncle Sam'!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In My Mind's Eyes

A new blog I've begun reading recently inspired this post. It may mean nothing to most of you out there, but to those of us who are hopeless children at the tender age of 35, well ~ deep sighing, and sniffles are allowed.

I love that art stirs emotion in me. I'm one of those kind of people who, placed in an art gallery, would stand and stare at a painting unaware of time's turnings or other's fancies. I get drawn in and lost. Some of the most brilliant artwork available today is that of the illustrators of children's books. Their ability to capture mood and emotion is almost unsurpassed.

Here are a few who touch my soul:

In order of appearance:

Eva Erikson
Anne Yvonne Gilbert
Barbara Cooney (3)
Christopher Denise (3)
Audrey & Don Wood (2)
Charles Fuge
Elsa Beskow
Eloise Wilkins
Lilian Hoban
Frances Evans
Garth Williams (2)
Howard Knotts
Jeffrey Brian Fisher
Jerry Pinkney
Jon Berkeley
Jill Barklem (2)
Patricia Ann MacDougall (2)

Maggie Kneen
Tasha Tudor (2)
Sean Rubin
Simona Bucan
Holly Hobbie (2)
Yoshiko Jaeggi
Nick Price

Yoshiko Jaeggi

What a gift to be able to illustrate my mind's eyes .

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Spanish Coffee? What's That?

James has this quirky habit of embarrasing minimum wage employees and his kids, whenever we are in drive thrus (oh, ok - forget drive thrus - just out in public is good enough). He drives into McD's and asks the unsuspecting victim at the other end of the mic, "How much are your $1 fries?" When they answer with "$1.08 with tax", he promptly says, "Ok, but what about before tax?" By this time the poor soul is wondering if this is some kind of psycho and in a shaky voice replies, "Um, that would be $1, sir." James then goes for the jugular and says, "Oh good, and what if I got 2 of them?" A wary chuckle usually comes through the squak box as they total that up for him. He relieves them before pulling forward by letting them know he was just kidding... But it doesn't stop at McD's. At Starbucks he asks if they serve coffee products, and then after they affirm that fact he places his order and adds a $1 fry... At Krispy Kremes he asked if they had any donuts. The lady behind the counter must have had one just like him at home because she told him, "No. We only serve pizza here!" Totally took him off guard!!
SO... when our good friends, Frank and Dawn, took us to McMenamin's on New Years, why would I expect anything different?
We are sitting at the bar, waiting for our table and also for another friend to join up with us, when the bartender asked if we'd like something while we wait. Dawn pursed her lips and then perked up and asked, "Do you do Spanish Coffee's here?" Sara, the bartender, got a knowing twinkle in her eye and said, "Oh Yeah... we do Spanish Coffee". Now - I am below a featherweight when it comes to alcohol (is there a gossimere weight? - that would be me). A hefty merlot will knock me on my butt. And so I, in my gossimere ignorance, ask Dawn, "What's a Spanish Coffee?" Before she barely has time to breathe, a really bad impersonation of a Santa Poco Mexican comes from behind me saying, "Ohhhh,'s like beer."
Oy Vay! That's mi "Amigo" husband!
I had one... they're nothing like beer.