Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dreams and Puking

"I had a dream last night," an acquaintance said to Ken over the telephone, "and God told me that He was going to heal Rees." Oh puke. Ken tells me that he remained silent while the man continued,  "I sense that you're the kind of person who'd receive it."  Double puke.  He then began "encouraging" Ken on matters of faith and healing and dreams and God, to which my former Marine, veerrry polite husband replied, "Thank you for sharing that; I'm glad you were comfortable enough with me to do so. 'Bye, now."

Ken relayed this entire exchange to me hours later, when the children were all abed and we were half asleep ourselves. Got my blood pressure speeding and kept us up much too late . . . discussing. I cried. Also punched the pillow a few times.

What arrogance. To assume that healing depends on our "receiving" it. To assume that Ken needed or wanted teaching on anything. To assume that we'd be overjoyed. TO NOT REALIZE THAT THIS IS HURTFUL (Although since we have navigated through this bogus theology, there wasn't much hurt, merely bafflement that people embrace such beliefs without  t h i n k i n g  logically. Or historically.  Or theologically. Or Biblically. And these words fit together like a flowering Venn diagram.).

Do I want Rees to be miraculously healed?  Of course.  A million times, of course. I know that God still heals today. I also know that many more faithful followers live, suffer, and die, asking and loving their Lord  (Check out Hebrews 11). But how about a breakthrough cure of the basic defect to repair the mutated protein, enabling all people now and forever born with CF to have a properly functioning chloride channel? How about all those talented, hard working, blessed research scientists? Isn't that a miracle? Wouldn't we fall on our knees and thank God?

Since the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1Timothy 3:15), I trust Her teaching on life, suffering, and miracles; I entrust my son (and all my children) to Her to be taught, to be strengthened, to be loved, to be led ever closer to Our Lord. And Heaven, where all will be miraculous and perfect.  Thanks be to God.

Just dreaming  (Just kidding),

Saturday, June 25, 2011

At the Farm, a poem written by Clare who was supposed to be walking her dog.

At the farm I hear :

Chickens eating breakfast,
A car driving far, far away,
Birds chirping in the many trees of spruce and birch,
A goose, honking its delight to the skies.

At the farm I see :

A goat, walking silently across the pen,
A rabbit, lying ever contented in its hutch,
A chicken, pecking at small grass seedlings and savoring the taste of spring,
An insect, buzzing across the lawn.

At the farm I feel :

A small bug, climbing along my arm,
The cool spring breezes, playfully tugging at my hair.

At the farm.

By Clare A. Howell  (Who is not really in trouble for not walking her dog!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Weekend Recipe : Backpacker Bars

We hike and camp more in the summer than in the winter, but only slightly more, because Ken is big on winter survival skills and takes out all but the smallest two to test their mettle.  I remain home to welcome them back with cinnamon rolls  (My outdoor survival skills are somewhat lacking.  Where was I?  Oh.  Summer camping food...).

These bars are very, very healthy.  And very, very high in calories.  Perfect for hours on a trail or in a tent with hungry kids.  And husbands.  I also made a pan for a dear friend who just gave birth to her fourth child and spends hours on the couch with a nursing newborn.  Keeps health and energy up without having to leave the couch.  Keeps the other kids full for a long time. Again, without ever having to leave the couch.

1 C   butter
1 1/2 C brown sugar, divided
1C  quick cooking oats  (or whir regular oats in the blender for a few seconds)
1 C  whole wheat flour
1 C  white flour
1/2 C wheat germ
1 T flavoring  (zest, vanilla, almond ...)
4     eggs, lightly beaten
2 C sliced or chopped nuts
1  C chips  (chocolate, white, peanut butter, butterscotch ...)
1 C  dried fruit
1/2 C  shredded coconut

Oven to 350

Cream butter and 1 C brown sugar.  Stir in oats, flours, germ, and flavorings.  Press mixture into bottom of an ungreased 13x9 pan  (I often use a 10x15 and they're just not as fat.).

Combine eggs,  next four ingredients, and remaining 1/2 C brown sugar.  Mix gently, but very well.  Spread evenly over crust.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  Cool before cutting

Our favorite combinations :
* walnuts, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, orange zest
* almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, vanilla
* pecans, broken pieces of banana chips, butterscotch chips, orange zest

As an aside, Ken and I have now been married for 21 years and to celebrate, we locked the children at home with a list of jobs, lunches, and movies, and headed out to a favorite trail system.  Spent six hours hiking together.  Glorious.  Believe me, no restaurant dinner could possibly taste as good as backpacker bars in the middle of the mountains! 

And as another aside, of course these bars are perfect for CFers, what with all those nutrition-packed calories ; but so is hiking.  Hours of muscles in motion combined with sustained deep breathing helps to keep lung tissues supple and healthy!

Here's hoping you leave the chores for a few hours and get outside, too ~


Friday, June 17, 2011

Poor Rabbits / Poorer Babies

Mothers who savage their young ~ a phrase we were unfortunately introduced to this morning when Clare discovered that her longed-for baby rabbits had arrived, but were all dead.  Her joyous shouts quickly turned to screams of horror when she noticed severed body parts and five perfect kits huddled together, perfectly still.  Our books tell us that rabbit do eat their own kits ("savage their young") for several stress-related reasons : if their surroundings are too noisy, if they're immature, if their lactation is retarded, if the babies are weak or stillborn.  We are advised to dispose of the offending doe, as the chance of her repeating the repulsive act is too great.

Now that our household mood has quieted to sad brooding from wide-eyed freaking out  (I did attempt to find a better phrase but that's really what was happening here.), I've been turning things over in my mind.  I cannot help but draw parallels between a female rabbit savaging her young and a female human savaging her young  (abortion, of course) ~ from the stress-related reasons to the ripped up body parts.  Dead babies.  But in the animal world, the female is labeled brutal and heartless ; while in our world, the woman is called brave and pained.  Our society has so twisted the meaning of life and maturity that we are horrified at the nefarious rabbit ruled by instinct and applaud the frightened woman ruled by feelings  (instead of values).

Humanity is thus cheapened, lowered to an animalistic level. 

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead."  James 2:14,17

So many souls lost . . . what are we doing?

Still brooding sadly over rabbits and babies,

Clare laid out the whole ones before burying them.  Poor kid.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Not sure if I'm thrilled or mortified :

Rees relays to me that the first evening in the tents at ACYC  (Alaska Catholic Youth Conference), he told the guys, "Hey, I have to breathe in this stuff every night with a smoky machine and I brought my laptop with an entire season of Walker Texas Ranger to watch.  You can stay or go, but that's what I'm doing."  And they remained each night.  And they joked all week, winking, elbowing, and guffawing about Rees' legal marijuana and how excellent Chuck Norris is  (of course).

I know he will encounter prejudices and troubles when certain types of people learn of his CF, which is not immediately noticeable like Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy.  But thank God for these Catholic boys who shrug their shoulders, check out the machinery, declare it cool, and make jokes.  These same young men also labored behind the scenes for their youth pastor, waited in line for Confession  (tough to be too cool when you're in line to confess your sins...!), showed off for the girls, and prayed through many Masses with those same girls.

Rees is being grounded in his Most Holy Faith and his roots are strengthening for his unfolding future, which will undoubtedly include the Not Nice.  Right now though, he is surrounded and fortified by his family, his church, The Church, and his friends ~ faithful and loving.

Even if I don't like their marijuana jokes.

Smiling, but not exactly laughing,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What fairies may come...

Yesterday's excitement :

Drizzly day delights ~ complements of backyard twigs, pebbles, greens, and a glue gun.

We got the idea from this book, which is a nightmare for not-very-crafty sorts, but I swallowed my panicky desire to toss it in the trash and continued flipping until I found a page or two  (out of, like, 100)  that looked engaging and manageable.  In truth, it was Ian, Clare, John, and I who did the actual doing and gluing, but Luke and Joseph were right there with us, organizing, piling, and licking rocks, a Very Weird Thing that Luke enjoys.  Maybe he needs a better kids' vitamin?  Anyway.

Sprites and a porcupine.  I think.

Some may frown upon fairy play.  Some may associate them with anti-Christian paganism.  Bah.  A child's imagination is a beautiful thing.  It is within their fantastical stories that they make sense of and give value to all the goings-on and emotions of their world.  Nothing is trivial : what they do ; what happens to them ; how they feel ; even their faith.  Just listen.  It's rich, friends.   My only rule, thanks to this book, is that dragons and serpents must be evil.  Because some things just are.  Always.  Both in this world and the next.

Pretty ponies

So now we have a pile of charming woodland fairies, ponies, unidentifiable animals, furniture, and houses, ready to be played with.  Oh, and a hairy weed troll with his hairy weed dog made by me, thankyouverymuch.  Hopefully, Luke didn't roll over and snap the twig pony he insisted on sleeping with last night . . .  Who knows what the day will hold for them or what our yard will become?

                                                         Hairy weed troll and dog

Slumbering fairy with table and chair.

Playing and listening,