Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Last Visit

This is a picture of my mother, age 91 (on the right), and her sister, age 93.

I thank God that several of my cousins came and brought my aunt to see my mother in June, even if it was only for a few hours; we all had a very special time together.

My mother had been afraid she might never see her sister again, her last surviving sibling of a total of eight. My aunt had a stroke about two weeks after this picture was taken, and she died in September.

I believe God cares about our fears, our love for other people, and our need to see them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: How Well-Rounded Are You? A Quiz

How well-rounded are you? Here is a little quiz to test your knowledge on a variety of things. Answers are at the bottom—no cheating!

1. Who said “Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes”?

a. Mark Twain

b. Henry David Thoreau

c. Nathaniel Hawthorne

d. Paul Simon

2. Who worked in a family pencil factory?

a. Walt Whitman

b. Henry David Thoreau

c. Nathaniel Hawthorne

d. Emily Dickinson

3. Who invented the American novel of the sea?

a. Mark Twain

b. Edgar Allan Poe

c. Nathaniel Hawthorne

d. Herman Melville

4. Who said “Rebuke the devil and he will flee from you”?

a. the Bible: the book of James

b. the Bible: the book of Jude

c. Cotton Mather, Salem witch trials

d. Nathaniel Hawthorne

5. Who believed that, to be truly in tune with nature, we must become like a “transparent eyeball”?

a. Walt Whitman

b. Emily Dickinson

c. Ralph Waldo Emerson

d. William Cullen Bryant

6. Have the Texas Rangers ever played in the World Series?

a. no, never

b. yes, by the skin of their teeth in 1995

c. yes, in 1993

d. yes, in 1988

7. True or false? The moon is 1,974, 907 miles away from us.

8. True or false? The bright morning and evening stars are both Venus.

9. One of the favorite foods of Monarch butterflies is _____.

a. ragweed

b. milkweed

c. burberrry bush

d. mallowflowers

10. The first compilation of English property, the Domesday Book, was ordered by _____.

a. Frederick the Great

b. William the Conqueror

c. Alfred the Great

d. the Venerable Bede

11. The first English king to convert to Christianity was _____.

a. Hrothgar

b. Alfred

c. Aethelberht

d. Waelred

12. The “Bard of Avon” is a name commonly given to _____.

a. Petrarch

b. Shakespeare

c. Ben Jonson

d. Geoffrey Chaucer

13. Sir Thomas Malory wrote much of Morte Darthur , the first chronological collection of stories about King Arthur, while he was in _____.

a. Warwickshire

b. the English Lake District

c. love

d. jail

1. b; 2. b; 3. c; 4. a; 5. c; 6. a; 7. false; 8. true; 9. b; 10. b; 11. c; 12. b; 13. d

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Happy Stuff

Things that really make me happy, in no particular order!

1. chocolate chip cookies

2. hummingbirds

3. Vivaldi

4. Mozart

5. October weather

6. old movies I like, such as Tootsie

7. reading a good novel

8. reading the Bible

9. playing with my grandchildren

10. rain

11. going for a walk

12. hibiscus—pink ones and red ones

13. being with my family: In the picture up there at the top, that's me on the left, being silly with my daughter and my mother.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Callarmanian Love Theory

An October 8 Associated Press article says, “A lousy marriage might literally make you sick. Marital strife and other bad personal relationships can raise your risk for heart disease, researchers reported Monday.

“What it likely boils down to is stress (,) a well-known contributor to health problems, as well as a potential byproduct of troubled relationships, the scientists said.

“In a study of 9,011 British civil servants, most of them married, those with the worst close relationships were 34 percent more likely to have heart attacks or other heart trouble during 12 years of follow-up than those with good relationships. That included partners, close relatives and friends.

“The study, in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, follows previous research that has linked health problems with being single and having few close relationships. In the new study, researchers focused more on the quality of marriage and other important relationships.”

If we are being scientific about love, we must note that a Callarmanian theory posits these points:

· We were created by a loving God for a close love relationship with him.

· If we are not in a loving relationship with God, we are heartsick.

· We are weighed down by guilt, loneliness, feelings of inferiority, emptiness, and plain old unhappiness.

· These things ooch out into every corner of our lives, even the darkest ones.

· We feel stressed about life in general.

· We feel alone in the world, saddled with responsibilities beyond our ability to cope.

· We are mostly concerned about our own well-being.

· Sometimes we do despicable and harmful things in our efforts to find solace.

· God loves us and wants us to love him.

· But he is holy and perfect. No human is capable of perfect love.

· Through Jesus Christ, we are made acceptable to God.

· Jesus said what God mainly wants is for us to love him completely and to love other people.

· He can help us love him and through him to love others unselfishly.

· When our main concern is loving and pleasing God and then secondly loving and caring for others—including our spouse—we are more likely to be happy in “marriage and other important relationships.”

· Then our hearts will be healthier.

The heart is an original creation by my granddaughter.