Monday, October 03, 2005


I just saw the most beautiful meteor. What a fire ball! It's very clear tonight. Tim and I were walking Ryder, looking at the Milky Way, Sagitarius and Scorpio, and of course at the blinking lights of the planes flying in the flight path above us. I followed the sky up until I was looking overhead. A fire ball starting across the sky behind me-I was bending over backwards to follow it. It had the longest trail I have ever seen. The fire ball was bright white. Tim saw it just as it went out. He saw the color change to orange. I was watching but I was bent over backwards watching from a different angle and I didn't catch that. It started right above my head and went all the way across the sky to the NNE. What a sight. Thank you, Creator, for blessing us tonight with this beauty.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


I love mornings like today. The boys and Tim are off to school and work, it's raining quietly outside, the animals are in here content and sleeping. I must say Sweety (kitty) is a bit resentful as he is every morning because I won't let him outside until after the neighborhood has quieted down. It's a quiet neighborhood anyhow but I like to wait until everyone has gone to work, etc.

Ooh, I just heard on the news that a 7 year old boy beat his baby sister to death in Florida. And "prosecutors are deciding whether to charge" this kid. That is the first thing people think of? Where does this violence come from? What kind of life has that child had? What is the difference between a child who has murderous thoughts about their baby sibling and one that beats that child to death? The parents were "outside talking to neighbors". Is that neglectful? I really am not sure.

I can't say I would never have been in the yard with my children inside alone. I guess it depends on how long. I remember dropping off to sleep sometimes the first summer I was raising the boys. They were 4 & 7. I know that was wrong and thank God the boys were never harmed. I remember one time they were outside with their neighborhood friend and I was sleeping. I just remember that once but I have blown it up in my mind to they were unattended the whole time, which was not the case. It was just an incredibly stressful time. I was a new stepmom. The boys were still grieving terribly and that made my relationship with Andy, especially, difficult. He was so angry. I just cringe thinking about that time. I am so thankful we weathered that summer okay.

Okay, I turned this pleasant time into ruing the past. I guess I just can understand how neglect happens. My mom was neglected, I was neglected, etc. I think I have broken the pattern now, thank God. You know that "there but for the grace of God go I"? I feel that a lot. Part of it is just being an overly empathic person. I've worked on that over the years but it's still there. It's not such a bad thing, I guess.

Becoming a Mom is tough. "What to do when you're expecting" didn't apply to me. Being a Mom is the greatest joy in the world. I am so thankful for the opportunity.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day today! Blue sky, breezy, 75 deg. I wish I could be working outside today but, alas, I will have no time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fun Mark Twain Quotes-He's the best!

We are all erring creatures, and mainly idiots, but God made us so and it is dangerous to criticise.
- Letter to the President of Western Union, New York, 1902

...among human beings jealousy ranks distinctly as a weakness; a trademark of small minds; a property of all small minds, yet a property which even the smallest is ashamed of; and when accused of its possession will lyingly deny it and resent the accusation as an insult.
- Letters from the Earth

The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted.
- Mark Twain's Notebook

Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.
- Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

I really like this one-very pertinent to our times.

An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
- "Glances at History," 1906

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Yay - Rain!

I took a long nap this afternoon and when I woke up it was raining so nicely. Tim said it had been raining for a couple of hours. The flowers are smiling! Weeds too, but who cares about them? Thank you, God, for the perfect steady rain!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Home front

Tim took the boys and a friend to Baltimore for Games Workshop "Games Day". I'm sure they are having a blast. They made it in about 2.5 hrs. That is good time from Richmond. The boys are such homebodies. B went to a friend's around 3:00 yesterday and came home at 5:30. Another friend called to invite him over and he became so upset. He was overwhelmed and wanted to be at home. His friend had a lot of other kids in his neighborhood from his class and I think B. was extroverted out. He needed some time with other introverts (Brother and Dad).

This morning I went to Lowe's and Strange's (greenhouse) and got some gardening stuff. I'm turning over a new leaf and keeping my gardening tools together and clean, so I got a 5 gal bucket with organizing pockets to store my stuff. Then when I walk to the bed I just bring the bucket and don't have to keep coming back for stuff. I planted some black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia) and some of those annuals I had bought a week or so ago. I forgot what they were called. I planted a ton of pink petunias this spring and I am so glad because it has been dry for about 3 weeks. Petunias are so forgiving. I can't believe I've had to water in May! I love being outside and I love flowers.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I rediscovered Ranier Rilke tonight..

"...let happy memories sustain you if your strength fails you, they are always there, and their current does not run backwards, even across foggy country it floats toward the future."
-Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

"Oh purity: Is it still possible? Is it possible still to be pure again? Is there a spring that would not be polluted by washing away one's shamefulness? Can such stained water still show itself in nature, which knows waste and ordure, but no evil, nothing opposed to herself, for she encompasses even what is most alien within her."
-Rilke and Benvenuta: an Intimate Correspondence

"Oh, how I believe in it, in life. Not that which makes up our time, but that other, the life of little things, the life of animals and of the great plains."
-Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

" life there is an immanent justice that fulfills itself slowly but without fail."
-Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

"Life is very singularly made to suprise us (where it does not utterly appall us)."
-Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

"I could give you no advice but this: to go into yourself and to explore the depths where your life wells forth."
-Letters to a Young Poet

And there is so much more. I haven't been writing because I don't think anyone reads my blog. I hope you do because these quotes from Rilke are jewels. Blessings!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | The role of religion in the Deep South

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | The role of religion in the Deep South

This is a really special article about racial healing and true Christianity at work. And it is especially nice because the BBC reported on it. It's nice to read something nice about the US from a foreign reporter. It is a pleasure to have a nice thing reported upon. I'm all warm and fuzzy now. Hee Hee!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. Mine has been a blessing.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Violence Begets Violence

I saw this on the NY Times website, I think I saw the headline elseware.

MILITARY's report of SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES Military investigators received 1,700 reports of sexual assault in 2004 involving at least one service member, the Pentagon said. This includes cases in which a service member was either an alleged assailant or a victim. It is the first year the military has tracked this statistic. But the number of military members claiming they were victims has been tracked. The data showed 1,275 cases involved at least one member of the military saying he or she was a victim of sexual assault in 2004, up from 1,012 in 2003. (AP)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Religious Tolerence

Here's a quote from -

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." Blaise Pascal

Here's another one - (religious intolerance?)

You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them" Pat Robertson, Fundamentalist Christian tele-minister.

Here's another good one 'Remember the Golden Rule'

Christianity's main rule of human behavior, the Golden Rule, tells its followers to treat other people as they would wish to be treated. This is called the "Ethic of Reciprocity" and is found in various forms in almost all other world religions. Yet, even a casual examination of today's newspaper will show that religion is often a cause of intolerance, hatred, mass crimes against humanity, and genocide. In the past decade, such behavior has occurred in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Cyprus, Nigeria, Sudan, Middle East, Iraq/Iran, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, and other countries. Even the United States is not free of religious hatred. In recent decades, there were three remarkable events -- all perpetrated by Fundamentalist Christians: a lynching of a Wiccan, a call for the napalming of all Wiccans, and an attempted mass stoning of demonstrators advocating for religious freedom.

This is something I have been thinking about for a long time. I am glad to find something about it on the internet.

Thursday, April 28, 2005 - Ivory-billed woodpecker not extinct, as feared - Apr 28, 2005 - Ivory-billed woodpecker not extinct, as feared - Apr 28, 2005

I love this story!! It is just a great story. A woodpecker thought to have been extinct for 60 years has been documented in Arkansas. Isn't that refreshing? I must say this ivory-billed woodpecker looks very much like the pileated woodpecker I used to see in my yard when I lived near the James River here in Richmond. Once one was pecking on my gutter! This story made my day..

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US to sell bunker bombs to Israel

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US to sell bunker bombs to Israel

Here's something you won't hear on the evening news (or any US news)! Why is it okay for some countries to have Nukes, but not others? Who makes the rules? Does the US follow any global rules anymore - or did it ever, for that matter. I betcha our President won't be mentioning this during his "news conference".

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Basketball bad news

Tim and I had double-whammy college basketball disappointments the other day. First, we read Roy Williams of UNC is losing his 3 best rising seniors, including the indomitable Sean May. What a disappointment! Even more disappointing, Jerry Wainwright is leaving University of Richmond (Tim's alma mater). We really like Jerry. I hate to see him leave. Thank goodness we still have Jeff Capel at VCU and COACH K! Now, onto Nascar.... May Mark Martin win his first championship this year, his last in Nascar. He deserves it above anyone! Go, Mark!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Evil's Willing Followers

Evil's Willing Followers

Very interesting article about the Holocaust. It's actually a review of a movie about Hitler called "Downfall". If we see Hitler as a mere man, how do we explain the complicity of the German people in the Holocaust? I am just interested in how large groups of people can be convinced of an evil that doesn't exist (the Jews, attacks by other countries) by an evil person or persons. I am interested in group thinking and mindset and how to prevent something like this in the future.

It doesn't happen on an open page. It happens very insidiously. I guess in our times of corporate owned media, the validity of information we receive as a large mass of people concerns me. Thank goodness for the internet! I don't know how I would think if I didn't check out news sites from other countries. It would be a lot more difficult to receive balanced information. Of course, I guess you could always watch the F station. Isn't that fair and balanced? Ha Ha!

Sunday, April 24, 2005


I have been feeling a little anxious. So, tonight when Sweety (cat, a male) didn't come home, I began to worry big time. I let him out at 1pm and it is windy and 42 outside. I was more worried than I have been in a long time. I spent about 1 1/2 hrs feeling like this. About 10 minutes ago I prayed (finally!) about it and asked God to bring Sweety home and take care of my anxiety and a moment later a sweet peace came over me. I heard Sweety cry in my mind's eye and I went to the back door and called him quietly. He wasn't there then I saw a flash of his eyes and he was running toward the door. Thank you, God for bringing our little fella home. I feel so bad about letting him out anyhow but he tries to get out all the time and wants it so badly. I just worry he will get hit by a car. We live in a quiet neighborhood but I think that's what happened to Booger and we don't ever want to go through that again. Thank you again, God.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Haven't done much blogging this week.. We are in Taurus now, started the 21st I think. Let me talk about my dog, Ryder. He is 12 years old. When I got him I was living with Rick, my old boyfriend, and I had been thinking that I would like to have a dog. I hadn't had one since I was a girl and she wasn't mine, she was the family dog. I felt like she was a little neglected-in danger of getting hit by a car, she'd get big ticks on her. I don't think people took as good care of their pets then as they do now. Anyway, I had a picture of a dog in my mind and my friend, Cheryl, who is an animal rescuer-you know how strays find their way to people like that-showed me of a picture of a dog up for adoption. Well he looked like the dog in my mind's eye. I knew he was for me/us. He was named Frankie by the humane society but we named him Ryder. He was found in Church Hill, an old area of Richmond and he was mangy and underweight. He was about 8 months old. Well, we got him and he changed my life for the better. When Rick and I broke up a year or two later, I got Ryder. We became very attached. I also had 2 cats-Buster & Booger. Buster ran off in 1995. Booger and Ryder entered into the Brown family (Tim and the boys) with me in 1998. What a rude awakening for Ryder! He had to share me with a man and 2 kids. He didn't like it one bit. Of course, I've always felt guilty about shattering his universe that way and he is still my baby. He's a long haired dachshund/beagle mix and has become slightly plump in his old age, just like his "Mumma". I wish I knew how to insert pictures because he has the sweetest face you have ever seen. He is my shadow. He follows me everywhere in the house. Before I met Tim he went everywhere with me and he and I loved that. If weather permitted once in a while I would take him to work and visit him in the car during the day. I was convinced he'd rather do that than stay home alone. Once we drove to Indianapolis and I couldnt' find a pet friendly hotel on the way so I snuck him into my room. He only barked once, thank goodness. Being a hound, his nose is always stuck to the ground and he loves to run and chase and be chased. Frequently in his dreams he's on the hunt with light barks and growls and paws going! It's so cute. I love that boy. I have a language just for him. He was Cutie-Patooty long before Roseanne called anyone that! He's older now and tires out so much faster than he used to, but he still loves to play and run. He's such a good boy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Beautiful April Day

Andy's birthday was Sunday. We celebrated Sat. with him and friends to Laser Quest then CiCi's for all you can eat pizza & cake. Then Sunday I had a meeting of all the parents of kids going to Europe at my house. I was nervous about that because I don't know most of these people. It went well. I made Memom's pound cake and it was a hit. Sunday evening we went to dinner for just the 4 of us to celebrate his day. We went to Fridays. Last night Mom, Dad and Lynn came over to celebrate. As usual, an extended birthday. Everything went well. Oh, here in a Richmond suburb 2 kids fought at a high school and were suspended for fighting. Eyewitnesses had seen a gun; the next day it was found, loaded, in the clinic bathroom. Lovely! Now, I read that the other kid (without the gun) is still suspended! Okay, I am sure there is more to the story, but I just don't see any alternative. Wouldn 't one need to defend oneself from an armed opponent? I just pray for all involved there. Guns are too available, enabling kids to make snap life and death decisions. God, please keep children safe in our schools.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Church in the Wildwood

I love the old country hymns--

There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

For some reason that one just popped into my head so I thought I'd blog it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Fun Night

We had a wonderful dinner with Will and Amber tonight. They are so much fun and so sweet. Will works with Tim and Amber is Barrett's teacher. She is also a redhead. My hubby and boys have wonderful red hair. I love redheads because of that. Once in a while I'll see a very young redhead tot who reminds me of the boys when they were young. (I became their Mom when they were 4 & 7, but I've seen pictures.) They are becoming so independent. It is esp. hard w/ B, because he's only 10. But I have to let the little fella grow up. Hard! But I will because I don't want to screw him up! Hee Hee! A will be in high school next year. Wow! He's going to Europe with a school group this summer. Yikes!! I love seeing them grow and being able to share humor and current events and historical events, etc. They are the greatest and so is Hubby!! Thank you, God, for my family. I am so thankful to have a family.

Monday, April 11, 2005

10 K and gas mileage

Whew! I feel so much better than I did yesterday. I was incredibly sore from the 10k yesterday. My feet hurt, etc. Today I feel much better. I am so thankful. I didn't think I'd be able to mow the grass today but it looks like I will. Right now I should be changing the laundry over. Let me go do that. Yeah, today it's just a little muscle soreness. Yesterday it was bone soreness. My feet hurt plus I had some blisters that were hurting. Anyway, all better now. Thank you, God.

Gas mileage. I just read that some of the used Toyota hybrids like the Prius were selling for over the listing price for new ones. I'm glad people are thinking about saving fuel again. In 1983, I bought a Honda Civic CRX. It cost $8000.00. It got 60 miles highway, 50 city. I drove it for 9 years and in the end it still got about 48 miles to the gallon. In 1993 I bought a 1991 model of the same car, same gas mileage for $8000.00. I drove it for 7 years until I became married and had 2 kids and started driving a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I feel guilty all the time for driving it but we can't afford a new car. I'm waiting for Toyota's Highlander hybrid to come out. What I don't understand about the smaller cars like the Prius is why can't you just use a gas engine and get the mileage I got on my CRX? Just wondering. I haven't done enough research to really know, but I have been wondering when I see this great mileage of 36 miles to the gallon on cars when I know Honda was making one which got 50-60 mpg in 1983. Oh, well. I am asking God for guidance on my next car. I drive cars for 7-9 years at a time so I want something to last me a while. I'm older (and heavier, unfortunately) now so some of those tiny cars might be uncomfortable.

Just the usual ramblings....

Saturday, April 09, 2005

10 k All done!

I'm so glad-I finished the 10 k today. I'm glad it's over. I did it in under 2 hrs, I'm pretty sure, which was my goal. Tim finished it in 48:38! I'm so proud of him. Way to go, Darling! It is a wonderful race. The only thing I don't like about it is the crowd. There are about 18,000 people in it. It makes parking and getting around difficult. Not good if you're a little claustrophobic. Otherwise, it is wonderful. It a beautiful route, down Monument Avenue. There were a lot of good bands along the way. Lots better than last year's bands! A lot of people have race parties at their houses along the way. There are cute cheerleader squads along the way too. It was very easy once I got past the 1/2 way mark. There were a lot of dogs, too. I saw a lot of cute dogs and thought of Ryder. Luuuuv! When we arrived home the boys were outside playing basketball. That's great. I love for them to play outdoors.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Stressed! 10 k race tomorrow

Well, I'll be crawling over the finish line here (Richmond) tomorrow after I have walked, definitely not run, the Monument Avenue 10 k race. I am not looking forward to it. I have not trained and I just want it to be over. I am glad it is going to be relatively cool. Tim is running it; he'll probably be done not long after I pass the 1/2 way point. He has been training. This is special because it is the 1st anniversary of his first race. Since then he has done 2 half marathons and 1 whole marathon. I'm so proud of him. Today has been incredibly stressful. I have been feeling depressed and unmotivated this week. I am grieving the death of a man who made a huge impact on my life. His funeral was last Sunday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Liberal Baptist: A Progressive View of the Bible

Liberal Baptist: A Progressive View of the Bible

I wanted to save this blog because it is the closest to my theology I can find, and expresses it beautifully. I have to print the whole thing here.

A Progressive View of the Bible
In a recent graduate seminar dealing with baptist distinctives someone proclaimed, "liberals do not have an authority." I could not disagree with this statement more. As a baptist, I affirm the authority of the written scriptures, which is contained in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Testament. I believe that this Bible contains a written record of God's revelation to and interaction with humanity. I also affirm that the Bible is a crucial source for instruction for the Christian and the church. Just because I differ on the nature and proper interpretive method of the Bible does not mean that its' message is not authoritative for me.

I do not believe, however, that the Bible was verbally inspired through passive humans who recorded those words with little (or no) influence from their cultural and temporal understanding. Rather, I believe that God inspired the general thoughts of these human authors within the framework of their culture and understanding. This requires much "cultural translation" if the message of the Bible is to be applicable for our day.

I also do not maintain that the stories contained in the Bible must reflect actual historical events. Rather, the biblical narratives portray traditions that were developed over a period of time and that likely had some historical basis for their origin. Such a view does not, however, weaken my faith in God or in the message the scriptures communicate.

Christians must reject the notion that the Bible is a rule book of universal, timeless absolutes. In its place, we must embrace a vision of the Bible that appreciates the cultural context in which those books were written. We must understand that our culture, and our understanding of humanity, God, and the universe have significantly improved. New insights into science, technology, psychology, etc. should be brought to the table as we attempt to interpret the message of the Bible for our day. Only then will we arrive at the true meaning of the scriptures.

posted by JC Baker @ 4:56 PM 3 comments

Yahoo! News - U.S. Blacks Lag Behind Whites in Money, Jobs -Report

Yahoo! News - U.S. Blacks Lag Behind Whites in Money, Jobs -Report

I can't believe this is still so. Well, actually I do. Until we fully understand the real history of racism in this country, and realize what I call the "instituitonal racism" that still exists, nothing is going to change. If you live in America, you come from a culture of racism. You have to work consciously on changing this for yourself. So few of us do. I wish people understood this issue better. I am not black. I am white. I constantly am working on my own racism. It starts with noticing-how would this news report appear to a black child watching it? I'm not talking about the aforementioned report, but a report that ran on one of our local stations in Richmond years ago. I still remember it. It was a report on crime in a certain area of town. Yes, blacks are in this part of town more than the burbs but it is still a predominantly white area near the VCU campus. The report was talking about the rise in crime. It showed whites at a bar having a drink, then it showed a young black man being arrested. I noticed. I wrote a letter to the station. This is what we, as whites, have to learn to do. I fall back all the time, but I try. Think about that little boy watching that news report. What does it convey to him?