Conflicting Marital Advice

We went to Jon and Angela’s baby shower (boy) the day after Christmas. Since the day before Christmas Eve is our official wedding anniversary, I told Jon we had been married 25 years now. He asked what advice we would give.

I told him, “Hold on.” Don’t let go. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.

Ron, on the other hand, said later that, if he had been able to (some big shower thing happened and stopped the conversation), he would have said, “Let go.” Don’t hold on to every little thing. Don’t focus on the things that are going wrong or that you don’t like. Don’t get all caught up in what is wrong.

So, if we had given advice, it would have been (apparently) conflicting, but I don’t think that it is at heart.

Don’t give up on the big things. Don’t focus on the problems. We’d both agree with that, I think. Though Ron would probably mention that a lot fewer things are “big” than you might think.

marriage advice from themetapicture dot com

Image from


When I first came to my new position, I was asked for a six-word autobiography. My teaching blog is down, but it had to do with coincidence being God’s working in my life. It was beautiful and succinct. This will be far more rambling, but it also is a weaving of God in my life.

First, I visited with my good friend AB in Weatherford, halfway between our two homes. I spoke of “being the answer to Jesus’ prayers,” an idea I learned in the preaching of Phil Ware. She spoke of a recent sermon/talk which said that the fields are white for the harvest when we are willing to be used in the harvest–that, in fact, our willingness to be used by God makes the harvest white.

Then I was reading Popular Religion in Late Saxon England and Jolly spoke about salvation as an event and a process. It is/was, she said, a one-time thing and in the same way was a metaphorical spiritual journey.

While reading God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom by Tumminio, I texted AB this quote: “When humans follow that example (of Christ) and commit to love the way Jesus loves–caring for all people and not just those for whom it is convenient–they help to bring about the reign of peace God hopes to create on earth” (Location 1786 of 2877).

God tied the Yale story and AB’s teaching into a thread.

He also tied Jolly’s book to Tumminio’s book. I highlighted the following: “The first part (of salvation) is recognizing there is a problem that affects all humans–sin.” I wrote Event. Then I highlighted: “The second is a solution that corrects that flaw, and that solution results in salvation.” I noted Process. (Location 1758 of 2877) The author did not use those words in the discussion. But in the “Questions for Your Reflection” at the end of this chapter, she wrote: “Is salvation an event or a process? Which characters are saved over time in the story and which ones receive salvation in a moment?”

Maybe the autobiography/idea was closer to –Connections: God weaving disparate life events.

Image was a tapestry once for sale at Grimalkin's Hearth.

Image was a tapestry once for sale at Grimalkin’s Hearth.

I am taking the gifts of interlacing that God is giving me in my life just now and celebrating them here. Thank you, God, for the time to read, the eyes to see, the mind to comprehend, and the grace of your connections.

I also had some interesting ideas for the research and creative projects for my students next semester. I will need to develop those before I forget them.


We’re at Dad’s and it doesn’t seem exactly like a holiday. I know it is because I am stressing about being in my sister’s house and taking care of it– and taking care of Dad. It feels more like work though.

Today I have:
fed dogs
brought in trash (Didn’t have to take it out because R did! I got to sleep in 2 more hours.)
done 3 loads of laundry
unloaded 2 dishwashers and put away dishes
loaded a dishwasher
taken Dad for a hair cut
gone to the grocery store
checked and sorted the mail (Dad’s, S’s–junk or real) and it’s 10:30 am.

I need to walk the dogs and I need to send my diversity abstract to LonCon, but I haven’t really written the one about London and I don’t know if the other will fly. Maybe I will send both? Did they say you can only send one?

My alarm is going off for LonCon abstract, so I need to get that done.

Reading Leechcraft

I finally pulled out the Anglo-Saxon Leechcraft book and started looking at it some more. I was working on writing poetry and I actually ended up with a poem about the visual rhetoric of the book as it is looked at from the outside and first few pages.

I discovered that it was published by Burroughs Wellcome, a company which has become GlaxoSmithKline much more recently. My dear friends B and J G from NC have worked there for years, though B is now homeschooling instead.

That made the book, already a jewel for its information–which I have been unable to access in modern English anywhere else, even more special.
anglo-saxon leechcraft cover image by ShD

Loving the Scottish Poem

It is so calling out to me to write something similar–even though my hand is not weary with writing.

My hand is weary with writing;
my sharp great point is not thick;
my slender-beaked pen juts forth
a beetle-hued draught of bright blue ink.

A steady stream of wisdom springs
from my well-coloured neat fair hand;
on the page it pours its draught of ink
of the green-skinned holly.

I send my little dripping pen unceasingly
over an assemblage of books of great beauty,
to enrich the possessions of men of art—
whence my hand is weary with writing.

from Mary Jones’ website

Sweet Potato Casserole

All food items (or software, as Alton Brown puts it) needed:
4 c sweet potatoes
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
7 TBS butter
1/2 c milk
1/2 c chopped pecans
I originally found the recipe at, but I made some minor changes.

4 c sweet potatoes, cubed (I did a few more)
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBS butter, softened
1/2 c milk (I used coconut milk. Truly good stuff.)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium heat until tender; drain and mash. (I cannot remember how long. Not 30 minutes, though.)

In a large bowl, mix: sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, 4 TBS butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a baking dish. (They said 9×13. I think mine was a little larger.)

For the topping:
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c all-purpose flower
3 TBS butter, softened
1/2 c chopped pecans

In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter till mixture is coarse. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle on top of sweet potatoes.

Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.


Stealing? Lost?

I have recently (in the last two months) looked for several pieces of jewelry that I have had since I moved here (as in, have worn since then) and have discovered that they are not in my armoire, not in my boxes, not in my steampunk acquisitions… They are nowhere in the house.

1. mystic topaz ring (5-stone) sterling silver
2. natural blue topaz earrings in white gold R purchased for me from Jarred’s Fine Jewelers
3. natural blue topaz necklace that matches it that he bought at same place
4. small (fits my pinkie) pink star sapphire ring that was my grandmother’s (and possibly my great-grandmother’s, as she was very tiny)
5. my Victorian pin to which I had affixed copper charms of jewelry (about an inch long each, five of them). The original pin was probably 4×2.5 (inches)
6. my grandmother’s silver ring with three small circular stones (amethyst, peridot, and aquamarine).

I know that “gremlins” get in our house and walk off with odd things, but who or what is walking off with my jewelry?

Update: I found the Victorian pin with copper charms in a box with a pair of shoes I wear with it. I’ve looked through the other boxes and haven’t found anything else yet. Maybe I will, though.


R and I finally decided what day we would head to Houston and when we would come home. Then I sent my sister an email asking about my nephew’s favorite color.

Turns out they are thinking of going to London/Paris for the week of Christmas. She wanted to know if Dad could come stay with me. I said yes. I also said we were already planning on coming to Houston and asked if we could stay at their house with my dad. (Dad lives with her.)

She did not answer that one.

Then I asked when they will decide. She said in the next few days.

So… Either we will be at home for Christmas–but R and M will drive to Houston for visits and photo shoots–or we will be in Houston by ourselves, but with my dad. I actually like the second choice better. Even if it does mean I would have to clean my sister’s gigantic house.

Pretty Sure I was Accepted

I am pretty sure I received a notice that my paper on diversity in speculative fiction was accepted by the Southwest Popular Culture Association. However, I can no longer find the email that said so–even in my trash.

That will be weird.

Oh, and I need to finish the paper abstract for LonCon–whether I do a similar topic or a different one. Think, think, think.

48 Hours of Ice

I went shopping on Wednesday for food and we have plenty. Ron actually went to Sam’s on Thursday, to make sure we didn’t need anything.

We have added some things to our list of provisions to get next time we will be housebound, though.

These include:
actual potato chips
chocolate desserts (Though I did find and share my English mints.)
soda pop
apple juice (to make hot spiced drinks)
more variety of meal prep foods

School was canceled for Friday. (Since I don’t teach on Fridays this semester, that didn’t impact me much.)

ACU says that the students were out playing ice hockey.

Junior Noah Kitts took a great photo:
ACU image ice hockey snow day photo by Noah Kitts

I have walked the dog twice and put her in the backyard for about 3 minutes 2x. The ice is crazy and the roads are covered. Of course our road has people driving on it all the time, so it is not as bad as the others. And 8th is actually clear as long as you are only on the block before ours to the next main road. Odd that the South/North roads are mostly ice but that East/West is clear. I mean Amarillo and Meander are sheets of ice…

It’s the warmest it is going to get today. Well, it was supposed to be the warmest. But right now it is 19 degrees. It was supposed to be 20 but feel like 12.

I need to go walk the dog again.

We just went around the block again. Frozen ice is not fun to walk on and even the grass is frozen now, where there was sleet and snow yesterday.

It’s going to be 14 degrees in the morning when I normally go walk the dog. I am not going to go walk the dog at 5 am. There’s just no point of going out when it’s that cold and all we can do is go around the block. Hopefully later tomorrow it will get up to 46 (as expected) and the dog and I can do two or three miles. Since we have now missed TWO days this week, we should really go six, but I probably won’t. At least, not with the dog.

Jury Duty

R and I were talking in the car and I said no one ever picks me for jury duty and I think it is because of the PhD.

Then a week later I get a jury summons.

It’s for next Monday (not the coming Monday, but the 16th).

I have to tell them my race (state law), my employer, how long I’ve been employed, my highest education, my “home” phone number (cell only), and the age ranges of my children. That was a little odd, because the boys are 14 months apart. So I wrote 21-22 years of age.

I also had to give my husband’s name, occupation, employer, number of years employed, phone number. I think that is a bit odd.

I am supposed to call in between 5 pm on the 13th and 8 am on the 16th to see if my number or panel has been dismissed already.

Ice Day

School was cancelled last night for today due to inclement weather. I don’t have classes on Friday this semester, but I still felt the impact as I had plans to go to the gym (but didn’t) and a student was coming over to borrow costumes to shoot her final in photography (and couldn’t). I just took the dog outside, expecting to walk 2 miles, but be cold. Er, no. The sidewalks, the alleys, and the streets are covered in ice. I had to walk on people’s yards, just to take her around the block. Even then I slipped at least three times, though not ever badly.

So the world is about half covered in white and we have an ice day today and probably tomorrow, too. It will be Sunday before it melts. So Asia said she will come over on Sunday to borrow things. I got a bunch of stuff out and took pictures for her to see what I had. She was very enthusiastic.

At school the cafeteria and the police are open. Thankfully there is still electricity everywhere, so no one is freezing on campus.

I know there are people out here who, even if they stayed home, are still cold, due to the minimal insulation of their home.

I wish there were something I could do to eliminate some of that.

I graded papers, sent emails for two hours, and gave the sophomores their grades to date and let them know what difference the final could make to their grade.

I need to grade the business writing papers and send those folks emails, too. I probably will wait on that until tomorrow though.


I found a book by Kate Danley on my iPad Kindle. Apparently I read a short story collection she wrote in and enjoyed it enough to purchase the book. However, I also apparently hadn’t had time to read it. Or I forgot to read it. Or something.

However, today I found it. I read it. I liked it–a lot. And I read the next two books in the series today as well. I like the fact that I can download books and read them instantaneously. I don’t even have to go to the bookstore.

I still like going to the bookstore, however. I still like holding real books and reading them. But I do enjoy the benefits of the Kindle, too.

This past week (during Thanksgiving break) I also rediscovered Jennifer Estep. Apparently I recently started reading her books but then ran out of time and thought I had read them all. Nope. I was only on number 5.5. (She has novellas.) In the last three days I have read the rest of the series through book 9. Book number 10 is coming out Christmas Eve. I should go order it.

I wonder WHEN I started reading Jennifer Estep. And when I purchased the Kate Danley book.

I looked on Amazon. I purchased the Kate Danley book on October 7th of this year. Interesting. I purchased the first Jennifer Estep book on October 23rd. I purchased 5.5 on October 26th. Took me three days to get through those.

Then we had Halloween–though really we were working on it that whole week. But I guess I got sidetracked by Halloween and didn’t remember there were other books. I’m glad I got bored over Thanksgiving and started re-reading books. … I actually got bored before that because I started re-reading the whole Safehold series. Most of those I own in hardback. I wonder how much they are in Kindle.

Maybe I should consider reading the Mythos Academy or Bigtime books by Estep next.