Ending the Year on a Sad Note

Ellicia Stanley died today. God be with her family in this hard time.

How do you ask God for something when he didn’t answer the last one with a yes? I guess you just ask. I’ve been praying for her. I even asked a friend who is a cancer survivor to write her. We prayed for her at church. Dang.

It worries me because I know she has a daughter who has been living with her and her husband. So her mom is gone and her family is going to change. Ouch.

In honor of the idea

that what you do on the first day of the year is how you will spend the year, I am devising a list (of 125) of my blessings. I hope that I will be blessed this year and that I will recognize my blessings.

These are not necessarily in order of importance.

God loves me.
R loves me.
M loves me.
E loves me.
My folks love me.
My sisters love me.
My brother loves me.
My brother calls me once a week.
I have friends.
Paula loves me.
Angie loves me.
Bev loves me.
Amy loves me.
Kim loves me.
Jessica loves me.
Annalise loves me.
Paula and Chris are still happily married, 15 years later.
Amy and Thomas have a strong marriage and four wonderful kids.
Bev and James are doing well and have three incredibly brilliant children.
Angie and Louis have been married over twenty years and have raised one and are still raising two great kids.
Kim and John are happily married and raising two wonderful children.
Jessica is happily married.
K’Lee is healthy.
I got to see Jenny today.
Eve is beautiful.
I have a great house.
It doesn’t leak.
It has central heat and air.
It has nice solid floors.
There are no holes in the walls.
I have a big well-equipped kitchen.
I have a beautiful dining room set.
I have attractive front porch lights in silver color that I like.
I have more books than most people, plenty of bookcases, and enough money to buy more.
I have amazing art work.
I own a Tarkay serigraph.
I own two Treby artist’s prints of serigraphs.
I own two Benfield serigraphs.
I own two works by my grandmother.
I own two works by my grandmother-in-law.
I own three works by unknown artists whose work I love.
I have my great-grandmother Lee’s rocking chair.
I have my grandmother’s china cabinet.
I have a great collection of blue glass from the Depression era and earlier.
I can remember meeting people now.
I can walk several miles.
I can ride a bike several miles.
I can read.
I’ve read hundreds of books this last year.
I found at least two new authors I liked this last year. (Jim Butcher and Robin Paige)
My boys are in good health.
My husband is in good health.
My mother actually seems to be getting better.
Our dog is healthy and energetic and loves us.
I have wood floors.
I have more room in my house than I need.
I have more room in my house than I use.
I got to go to Belize over the holidays.
I went cave tubing for the first time over the Christmas holidays.
I got to go on a cruise with my husband and boys.
I went horseback riding with my husband.
I went to Chichen Itza and saw the Mayan ruins.
I saw them with an articulate and knowledgable guide.
My youngest son enjoys church.
My husband is a Christian.
My youngest son is a Christian.
My youngest sister is a Christian.
I have friends who are missionaries in foreign lands. Just this week I got a newsletter from Uganda and a YouTube video from Thailand.
My husband has a job that pays well doing something he does well.
My husband has several hobbies that he enjoys.
I finished my first novel, even if I haven’t sent it off again.
I’ve been to several foreign countries.
I was able to work as a missionary apprentice.
I have beautiful wood art work.
My father planted rose bushes for me along my driveway.
I have a computer.
I have enough time to read blogs and write a blog.
I teach classes I enjoy.
I am able to homeschool.
I have two brilliant sons.
I have more money than I need.
My husband is involved with our church.
I get to teach a class on missionaries at our church this quarter.
I have two nieces and a nephew who love their Aunt Suzi.
I have been happily married for eighteen years.
I am still married to the best husband on the planet.
I have a great sex life.
I have a working washer and dryer.
I have running water in my house.
My electricity, gas, and water are reliable.
I have a working refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave.
I have a toaster oven and a mixer.
I have beautiful serving dishes.
I have more than enough plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware.
I have my grandmother’s wedding china.
I have a lemonade set from my grandmother-in-law.
I can see.
I have glasses that restore my vision to what it used to be.
I have both arms, both hands, and all ten fingers.
I have both legs, both feet, and all ten toes.
I have a working spleen that no longer hurts me.
I no longer bleed ten to thirty days a month.
I survived my hysterectomy, even though my bladder was cut.
My bladder works fine now.
I weigh at least 30 pounds less than my highest weight.
I have friends who email me and ask how I am doing, even when we haven’t talked for ages.
I can write. I have written poetry that I am proud of and impressed with. (Maybe not this year, but I have done it.)
I have no heart problems.
My thyroid problems are being taken care of with medicine.
I have lots of shoes, including high heels and flats.
Every room in my house has furniture.
I have numerous antiques.
I have three toilets that work.
I have two bathtubs that work.
I have four sinks that work.
I have indoor plumbing.
I have the opportunity to teach students at all age levels.
I have a blog.
I remember a Christmas when we broke down on the side of the road. But we didn’t break down until we were in town and there was a hotel and they had room and we had money to pay for the room. We didn’t sleep in a stable.
I didn’t hit anyone with the RV on the return from Thanksgiving, when a truck decided to park in the middle of the road at the bottom of the hill on a two lane highway with a speed limit of 70.
I have insurance.
I can afford to buy glasses for myself and my son.
I got the most expensive (for me) Christmas gift given to me this Christmas and I enjoyed it and was grateful. (FYI: About $1500.)

Articulate parrot

A parrot, N’Kisi, with a 950 word vocabulary. After meeting Dr. Jane Goodall, and seeing a picture of her with the animals, asked, “Got a chimp?” Being shown a picture of a man on the telephone, N’Kisi asked, “What are you doing on the phone?”

BBC’s article on N’Kisi.

From Mirabilis, one of my daily reads.

Fun Brain Stuff

Since I often quote stuff here on how to make your brain better and stave off Alzheimer’s, dementia, and senility, I offer this fun article from Wired on what the writer did to lower his brain age.

It includes showering with your eyes closed, eating beans on toast for breakfast (That sounds good to me.), and sleeping more.


I saw my mother today. I know I must have seen her before we left on the cruise, as we went to her house, but I don’t remember seeing her. But today I realized that she is several sizes smaller than the last time I saw her. Maybe 60 pounds. And she is off oxygen.

Maybe I should give up nightshades after all. If that did it for her, what could it do for me?

Politically Correct Classes

The list of 12 pc classes that are bizarre includes a class of history on the American Dream. Death of a Salesman is a story most of my age group read in high school, but maybe they don’t teach it there anymore. I don’t know all the texts, so this might not be a very good class.

However, my chair and a history prof are offering dual classes in history and English on the American Dream. They’re both liberals, but I would expect that the course is full of important literary information, at least. Grapes of Wrath is a good one of these…. Of course in literature it is usually the unfulfilled American Dream.

Virgin Birth

Apparently parthenogenesis (virgin birth) is found in 70 species of vertebrates, including the recently proven virgin birth experience of Komodo Dragons.

What’s really odd is that all the children of virgin birth Komodo Dragons are male.

Maybe Bones was right. Maybe there is no one single happening in the world. Of course, the thing about Jesus’ virgin birth, is that it would be a one-time event for humans.

Longevity and Good Brains

Most of my female ancestors lived to be in their 80s. One lived into her 90s. I have always supposed that this would mean I would live into my 80s or longer.

In an article that reminded me of Heinlein’s Lazarus Long , Live Science says that a longevity gene also gives good brain power.

That’s good. We would not want Jonathon Swift’s Strulbruggs hanging around. I would prefer to live as long as my mind was reasonably good (if I wanted it to be great, I’d be gone about eight years ago) and then leave.

Getting rid of bacteria

without killing them seems to be the way to go.

Live Science says the scientists are using displacins to get rid of bad DNA/plasmids on bacteria. Apparently regular bacteria can spread this “infection” of infertility to bad bacteria.

Can they do it without “disarming” good bacteria? It doesn’t say.

Thoughts on church

People don’t come to church because of stuff like worship style, they come because of personal connection. The rest of it is about us, and frankly, this bit does not reflect well on us.


This kick in the shins is found at Blogotional, another of my daily reads.