Tag Archives: Reflections

Just another snowy day reflection. . .

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p1020579Inside is good. . . .

Our predicted rain is snow. We trust science with big stuff, like gravity tolerances, and atomic fusion. . .so when the weather instruments and weather people say it’s going to rain, and instead it snows–it’s okay. Unpredictability happens. Predicting weather is a power we claim but have not actually mastered.

We shouldn’t mind or feel lied to. We should infer “a probability” of rain when rain is predicted, with all other possibilities remaining possible.

Rain was predicted for today. The temperature dutifully soared into the 40s, and now has resumed its trend at right around freezing, 32.7° F. The probability of snow is greater at the current temperature than the probability of rain. Snow is falling.

Cats and weather both incline toward probabilities that involve extremes. Effie puts up with rain, though she positively embraces snow. But she much prefers sunshine to either.

Cats are fickle, while weather is mutable. Weather cannot possibly be fickle because it lacks consciousness. Weather is a system driven by forces that have no stake in consciousness. Sometimes forces controlling weather are extreme.

Cats are driven by conscious imperatives and exert force on their environment and cohabitants. They don’t know where things originate. Everything that moves is something to play with, kill and eat, nuzzle, or engage with some other action. Everything that does not move is fair game for climbing, sleeping on, or toppling. Cats’ days are full of decisions to make.

Effie observed the sky and her landscape from a window. When snow began falling, she was ready to go out and engage with it. She frolicked in it; then she stared at a bird and clicked her teeth at it. What a wonderful day Effie is having!

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The bass elude again

We returned to the Snake River’s Nisqually John area today, casting our lines in mid-river and in lagoons bounded by canyon walls. No takers, but we know Smallmouth are not extinct, because we saw a few jumping. The day began cold and cloudy, warming as the sun reasserted diurnal dominion.

Hells Canyon and the Snake River always reward our visits, with or without delivering up the River’s fish. Today’s special reward was the sight of Red Osier Dogwood blooming up a canyon wall.

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Getting a grip. . .

My husband and I have determined our ISP to be up for replacement; no further comment. “Lousy” is the strongest descriptor I will use, although I am not unwilling to insert “Comprehensively” as a modifier before “lousy.”

We haven’t watched either presidential debate, but from the news coverage, I wish the media would cover it up more deeply, like out of sight entirely. I’m too easily tempted to watch the invective duel, even though it is a spiritual pathogen. At least with swords, one or at most two people are hurt; with guns one is likely to be killed. Invective duels may wound the spirits of hundreds of millions of people. I remain NOVOFOP (Not Voting For President), a depressing prospect, but necessary for me.

Closer to the upside, I am having an MRI of my elbow Tuesday.  The pleasant woman who called today to confirm my appointment asked whether I weighed more than 350 pounds, the limit of the MRI’s capacity. I couldn’t help laughing as I replied that I actually weigh under 100.

My right elbow was injured in an auto collision in March. The pain has been fairly constant and limiting, and I decided it was time to get it diagnosed, as my doctor has repeatedly suggested. It seems disinclined to heal on its own after seven months, and I want to know what I’ll be living with. One doctor, a pain specialist, suspects a deep tear in a tendon that he says would “require” surgery. No it wouldn’t. There is no compulsory surgery in this country. If I just know what I’m dealing with, I can deal with One More Thing.

Frustration is part of life. Even carefree Effie has her own coping mechanisms, like sharpening her claws on my shin. I don’t know whether she has frustrations, or, if she does, what they are, but she definitely has a good grip. And, like me, she is loved, and she really has it pretty good. ^-.-^

 

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I suspect that Effie understands this, instinctually

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Without entropy, how would we aspire;
Without aspiration, how would we grow?
We reclaim from the dust so much more than we know. . .

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Recipe for consolation: a gentle rain, a millet-eating cat, and a dear friend’s blog post. . .

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I just came in with Effie from our garden and a gentle rain, and saw that Heidi had just launched a lovely post on her blog, with a heartening reminder of God’s sovereignty from the fifty-second Psalm. It was particularly meaningful for a number of reasons, most having to do with some current local political contentions, an arena which probably always involves man’s stupidity of boasting of evil. I took extraordinary comfort in the gentle rain and the simple joy of seeing Effie’s enjoyment of her wild millet, and then the focus of Heidi’s post.

Raincloud days often are so beautiful.

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Tuesday windows

Given the blessing of structuring my own time for the most part, I suppose it satisfies my sense of order and need for self-discipline to maintain a routine, with particular household tasks assigned to particular days of the week. My task assignment logic accommodates my limited energy. So far, I have kept my current routine ever since we completed the remodeling and organization of our current home, six months after moving in five years ago.

Tuesdays I clean the inside glass and tracks and inside frames of all the windows in our house, and wipe down all upholstered chairs and the kitty hammock. The window-mounted hammock was Coolidge’s perch of choice for 13 of his 17 years. It replaced the custom bay window we made for him when we replaced all the windows in the house where we were living when we adopted Coolidge as a kitten. When we moved four years later, I saw the hammock in a catalogue for about $500 less than a custom bay window. Its fleece cradle was also softer.

For the final weeks of his life, Coolidge was too weak to jump into his hammock, and I didn’t lift him into it because I was afraid he would hurt himself trying to jump out. He no longer jumped onto window sills, or anything off the floor at all. He preferred a blanket or towel on the floor. I continued to wipe down the windows every Tuesday, even though there were no longer nose prints to wipe off.

Coolidge lived and died with his sense of autonomy for the most part intact. In his final days, I had to syringe food, and finally only water, into his mouth. I still feel the presence of crushed heart shards that seem beyond repair.

The hammock is now Effie’s. Effie is young and active, outgoing and playful; she has boundless energy and loves the outdoors that Coolidge emphatically shunned. She monitors the grounds from every window sill in the house, as well as her hammock.

A sense of purpose is restored to my Tuesday windows routine. Not only do I share play time with Effie as she pursues her white mouse toy suspended about my wrist as I clean, but once again, nose prints present themselves for wiping from the glass, and tiny toe prints for wiping from the sills, because she muddied her dainty paws a bit when I took her out in the garden. Effie is also an ace fly assassin, adding organic residue to routine nose and paw prints. Fly matter is removed upon first appearance; some things don’t wait for the Tuesday routine.

The seemingly trivial is not always trivial. A sense of purpose elevates the trivial to the purposeful. Since purpose is a human imperative, and life can too easily be trivialized, I find Effie’s nose prints on our windows at least as significant, for instance, as Descartes’ Causal Adequacy Principle.

Young Coolidge

Young Coolidge

Effie

Effie

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Warm reflections and saguaro dreams (still dashed)

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I live in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington. As is nearly every other inhabited part of the world to its own denizens, this is the best place in the whole world. It can be hot, and I think I take the heat pretty well, provided our central air conditioning keeps going, which, blessedly, it has. I’m comfortable inside at 76°, with a roast in a 425° oven.

The outdoor temperature in the shade is now 102.6°; our altitude is 1300 ft. My husband told me earlier this afternoon that it was 111° in town, where his office is, at 800 ft.

Feeling a little competitive, I Googled the current temperature at Death Valley. The temperature in Death Valley, elevation -282 ft., was 113°. Yes! We are gaining!

Too bad it gets too cold for Saguaros—but they don’t grow in Death Valley, either. At least we have rabbitbrush. Not to mention future grapes, apples, pears, nectarines–and popcorn!

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Laban and Jacob

Laban probably would not make the 10 Favorite People of the Bible list of very many Bible-reading people. He’s edgy. He pushes the line between honest and poor-faith dealing. . .and he doesn’t do much that demonstrates any intent to glorify God. He’s Jacob’s uncle, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. A guileful streak runs in the family–just like the ringstreaked cattle Jacob breeds, outbreeding his uncle’s herd and increasing his own. But he’s earned it, and he’s Jacob, after all, and we admire him, because God set him apart as a patriarch, a grandson of Abraham, head of the Messianic line. There were certainly some men undeserving of admiration in the line as well; but for the very most part, we admire Jacob.

But we’re not like Jacob–at least I’m not. Two consecutive verses convict me that I am more of a Laban, absent gender considerations. The two verses are the last verse of Genesis 31 and the first verse of Genesis 32.

. . .and Laban departed and returned to his place (Gen. 31:55). And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. (Gen. 32:1).

I have a prosaic life. I’m usually home; if not, at some point I go home. Like Laban. Unlike Jacob, I’ve never met any angels, at least none that I was given to know were angels. Jacob knew:

And Jacob said when he saw them, This is God’s host. . . (Gen. 32:2).

Yet Laban, the father of Leah, mother of Judah, is hardly insignificant in the scheme of redemptive history.

When I consider the possibility of anyone or anything ultimately being insignificant—then, like Job, I have to cover my mouth. (Job 40:4)

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Recent vantages

My recent migraine jag lasted just a week: a brief season, all in all. I chalked it up to cottonwood, a well-favored allergen in Palouse country. Our next-door neighbor has a humongously tall cottonwood tree, of which he is very proud. In February, the pollen attacks my sinuses, in May the fluff evidently triggers migraines; I hadn’t noted the correlation before. I sometimes wish cottonwood trees were illegal in residential areas, but then everyone would have them.

I was reflecting yesterday, which was Mother’s Day, on how fervently fond I am of my mother-in-law. She is like Naomi to me, though I am nothing like Ruth. I think I adore her so much because I know where good husbands come from.

I sometimes put myself through more discomfiting reflections on my own mother; these are more discomfiting because they invoke more self-scrutiny. I have finally whittled the dynamic down to something comprehensible: My mother’s inheritance from my grandfather was his disapproval, and she spent it lavishly on me.

Reading Ninety-three, Victor Hugo’s epic of the French Revolution, has not been awfully cheering, and it probably should not be. After all, the Whites (Royalists) represent the sacrifice of natural law and the liberty conferred thereby, to the imputed virtues of a few. The Blues (Republicans), on the other hand, represent a Godless reassignment of all to a fictive state of equality, empowered by self-rule, which necessarily means anarchy, and is inevitably destructive to order.

What is specifically less than cheering about this, is to see similar perspectives in current American politics. We still have a largely European heritage—a sort of inheritance—that some, who are in or seeking power, evidently think we are lavishing on ourselves, and not entirely to our good:

(CNSNews.com) – Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton says women won’t have full access to “reproductive health care” until “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases” are changed.

Does Madame La Guillotine now command newly reconditioned versions of liberty, equality, and fraternity, in the name of “Reproductive Health Care?”

22For as the new heavens and the new earth
that I make
shall remain before me, says the Lord,
so shall your offspring and your name remain.

23From new moon to new moon,
and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
declares the Lord.

24“And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

—Isaiah 66:22-24 (ESV)

Mercy.

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A temporary exodus from rhapsody into shade

. . .count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. . . James 1:2 (KJV)

Why?

Because:

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:3 (KJV)

Temptations are not hard to find; patience is. The ESV uses “steadfastness,” rather than “patience;” I prefer steadfastness because it seems to me to imply more fruitfulness, in the sense that Paul invokes in proclaiming to his Philippian adherents that he will “press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14, KJV). Somehow that commitment sounds more like steadfastness than like patience. Besides, I think patience is overrated, whereas steadfastness is a wonderful aspiration. Just a personal preference.

It’s amazing how quickly the glow can turn to gloom. Suddenly, a gopher snake sunning by my car transmutes our delightful field where I was about to walk to a waste howling wilderness. A spider on the ceiling warrants enough strokes with a fly swatter to require a paint touch-up. If our city cannot sustain a moratorium presently forestalling enactment of a new state law, a marijuana shop is ready to open in the same building as my husband’s law office. Believe it or not, we specifically hate this prospect. He will move his office. And last night marked my fifth consecutive night with a migraine. They missed me; they’re back.

I’m not feeling particularly cheery, enthused, or chatty. I pray for the blessings of God’s intervening mercies, grace to bear what I’m given with more steadfastness and without bitterness, and my friends’ forbearance.

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