Thursday, December 31, 2009

this page turned with gladness

Don't take this personally, 2009, but I am oh, so glad to see you go. It's not your fault, you were simply the vehicle by which we measured the days that failed to live up to our hopes, dreams and expectations. That may make me sound a bit negative, but I prefer to see it as realistic. I call 'em as I see 'em. This year has pummeled us with hurts and disappointments, and catapulted us into hard, thin times. To hell with building character. Character is no match for the need to feel loved, the desire to be successful, or the benefit of a life intact. Character doesn't pay the bills or heal a broken heart. And for the record, it's a challenge to work toward paying bills when your heart is broken. Just sayin'.

But lest you think that all I want to do is spit on the year let me counter that impression with what I DO celebrate.
  • There's McKinlee. Yes, she's still peeing every 2o minutes, but we had a run of luck not long ago when she went three days without an accident. Yay, McKinlee!!! Turns out that if you're mindful of her wee bladder you can prevent a few of those puddles by taking her out regularly. I know, this is obvious. She's a love, that little girl. Full of energy, cute as a button, occasionally cuddly and always ready to love on you. Yeah, we're going to keep her.
  • There's Junior and Trisha. They are the bright spot of our life and a breath of promise. Love those two to pieces and so, so grateful that they are my family.
  • There's Epiphany. There are still a whole lot of challenges ahead for this little church, but we did some good and momentous things in 2009. We are finding our compass, which is like having our own personal sheepdog to keep us where we need to be. That's sort of a biblical metaphor if you think about it.
  • There's my expanded blog world and the people I have come to know through it. RevGals has been an anchor of stability and a web of connection. Several of those amazing women have become staples of my grounding and the glimpses they offer into their lives and ministry encourage and console me. Through them I found others: Kim, Diane and Cake Wrecks, to name a few.
  • There's a collection of TV shows that have distracted me and made me laugh or offered me brain food. Reruns of "Burn Notice" are on as I type. How can you not love a series whose hero asks his girlfriend, "Fee, do you have any explosives?" and she replies, "I'll pretend you didn't ask me that."
My point is this. The year might have been crap. No, that would be Crap. But I continue to laugh, love, hope and have positive thoughts. And occasionally I get some things done that I set out to do. My prayer is that 2010 will prove more edifying, satisfying, and pleasant. And if I'm really lucky I'll overcome whatever gets in the way of writing thank you notes.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

on the mend!

After blogging yesterday I returned to bed for the rest of the day, getting up in time for most of NCIS and the Kennedy Center Honors before Nyquil and a return engagement under the covers. This morning my lungs feel clearer and my congestion is leaving room to breathe. But enough sick talk!

There is no telling what the day ahead holds. I still have half of our Christmas cards to send out (I am beyond embarrassed that it has taken so long to get this done), so there is always that task. There's a book I'd like to get back to. There's always cleaning. And filing. Grin. There are thank you notes. I used to be so good about that and for some reason I have turned into a total derelict in that department. I need to make some Pampered Chef calls to schedule some shows. Anyone? If I feel well enough later and it isn't raining I'd love to take Juliet for a walk. She's been deprived these last several days, and she's eager for her stroll through the 'hood. Me too.

Right now I'm planning to enjoy some coffee and consider my options. Make a list. Check it twice. At least. Cross things OFF the list! And I think I'll start with a thank you note or two. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

still down and out

Slept this morning until morning was close to being gone. At midday yesterday I thought I was over the hump--coughing subsided and congestion eased, but then a few hours later it was all back with a vengeance. I'm drawing on various medicinal combatants for help and will simply have to ride this out. Not fun!

During the lull in symptoms I did, however, get a lot done just sitting at my desk chair and going through stacks and stacks of "stuff" on my desk. It is now almost clear, which does my psyche and my soul good.

In the midst of this cleanup I also decided that it's time to purge the collection of cooking and scrapbook/papercraft magazines that I have hoarded. There are lots of ideas and projects and materials and patterns that I have kept on hand with the firm conviction that there would be a time down the road when I would "get to it." When I turned 50 I confronted the reality that measured against my "to date" track record, this would not be the case at all. It's okay. Dreams with a small 'd' can be let go. The space freed up by the purge will improve the feng shui in this house, and we can certainly benefit from that.

In the meantime it's tea, tissues and tenderness.

Monday, December 28, 2009

inevitable



I've been lucky. I haven't had a down and out episode of being sick since Christmas of 2004, when I came down with strep on Christmas Eve. That was not a happy time. I was serving four small churches in the Sewanee area and commuting from my home 90 miles away. Some friends in Monteagle had offered me their house to stay in over the holidays since they would be gone, and allowed me to have the dogs there. When I realized the degree to which I was becoming ill I managed to get help from a colleague to take one of my Christmas Eve services that evening, but then when my own duty was done I loaded the dogs in the car and drove the familiar road back home so that I could wake up Christmas morning sick in my own bed. It was a smart choice.

But that was then. This Christmas I woke with a bit of a scratchy throat and a mild cough, but over subsequent days the throat and cough have become worse. This morning nasal congestion descended. Such fun, during holiday times, to be laid low. Fortunately I am not utterly miserable. I can be about the house and sit up and participate in conversation. But my head hurts, and my throat is raw from coughing, and I don't have much energy. Bah!

I'm not really surprised to find myself sick after the pace of the weeks leading up to the holiday, and I will ride this out as a good sport. Still. I'm oh, so mindful of my friend Kim's desire to share the love, and not the germs!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

the day in pictures

How to hold the attention of six dogs (Emma is checking)...

Trisha and friends

Puppies are growing up! Remember Emma (chocolate lab)?, and there's McKinlee, 11 months old

Ken is excited to open a gallon-size can of peanuts from Rigel. This dog really knows his dad.

Tex and Scooter during a lull in activity. Christmas outfits for all the dogs next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

celebrating being

Y'all know that I am a dog person. The kids arrived last night with their three beloveds, so for the next few days we are a household of four adults and six--yes, six!--dogs! This clip was sent to me by my friend Yolande, and it is too wonderful not to share. Moved me to tears! Enjoy every moment of it, and celebrate being.

Monday, December 21, 2009

in search of

It all began with a last name. It was a friend's last name, and that faint, tinkling bell of memory hinted at connection. Didn't I have an ancestor with the same last name as my friend? Might we be related?

In due time I pulled out my files, read and reread material once familiar and subsequently blurred by time. I felt again the itch, the tug of interest and curiosity of lives that came before and shaped the lives that in due time would shape my life. Ancestors.

I stumbled upon a couple of interesting items, one that when I first learned it held no meaning. Another was brilliantly new and wonderful. My first and middle names are Anne McKinne. It is my mother's name, and it was her mother's name, and by the time you count the generations back to the first Ann(e) McKinne it turns out that there are seven of us. Ann (without an 'e') Galphin married Barna McKinne in 1810. It turns out that Barna's mother, Elizabeth, is the one whose maiden name is the same as the friend mentioned above. It turns out that Elizabeth is buried in the church cemetery of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Augusta, and that an early incarnation of that church included a window given in her memory.

With those two items of interest tucked into my mind Ken and I ventured to St. Paul's on Sunday while we were in Augusta. The present church, shown here, was built after what is known as the great fire of Augusta in 1916. The interior of the church is beautiful--open and airy with gorgeous appointments and windows. We're told it is a close replica of its predecessor, but less dark. The structure before that was also lost to fire, as was the one before it. There was no chance of finding the window. The grave would be another matter. We learned that until 1820 when a cemetery was created, St. Paul's was the lone graveyard for the people of Augusta. It looks sparse now because bodies were relocated to the new Magnolia Cemetery after its opened.

Elizabeth McKinne died in 1809, and we had been told that many of the grave markers had deteriorated over time, and some were now illegible. I began my search among those, locating a chained off area with McKinne names that were discernible. Not there. I continued to move through the yard, finding at last the monument that marked the location of my great (x5) grandmother, Elizabeth. It is pictured here with one indicating the place of burial for one of her sons. Hers is the one to the right with the egg-shaped, finial sort of thing. Ahhh. Success. The inscription on the marker leads me to believe she rests in peace. A part of me rests knowing where she is remembered, and giving thanks to those who loved her then who make it possible for me all these years later.

Blessings upon you, Miss Elizabeth.

Friday, December 18, 2009

with seconds to go

I am waiting for one item of clothing to come out of the dryer and then I am packed and ready to be on the road! We had an eleventh hour crisis of dog care for the weekend, but all is well and resolved, and we will drop them off locally and be on our way.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are looking forward to ours!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

edging toward christmas

Although the tree has been up since Thanksgiving weekend it wasn't until last night that ornaments finally took their place on the branches. It is always a joy to me to unwrap these gems of memory. I noticed for the first time last night how dominated the collection is by sheep and dogs, though I shouldn't be surprised! Pictured here are a few of my favorites.

The angel is from my friend Kathy, who died a few years ago. It was her last Christmas, and I had visited her in St. Louis to help with shopping and wrapping. She gave angel ornaments to a number of friends that year to thank us for being her angels in so many ways during her illness. This one will always go on my tree. Next is that rather mischievous-looking sheep in mid flight. A dogsitter from my days in Sewanee gave me that one year to thank me for the privilege of spending time with my beloveds. I adore the border collie asleep on the rug, a dear reminder of Brenna, who died while I was in Sewanee. She was a sweetheart who loved to snuggle without encroaching too much on personal space, if you know what I mean. Except when it stormed, in which case she made every effort to become one with the nearest warm body. Absent a body, the bathtub was her next choice. The last whimsical critter was from Mom, who knows well how to indulge my sheep interest.

This morning I woke to the sound of loud banging and then a whining and whirring that one associates with an electrical tool. Ken was dismantling the old mantel at the fireplace to accommodate a reproduction antique setup that I have had for several years. Nothing like tackling that sort of project a week before Christmas! I had deferred decorating the mantel because he had indicated that he "might" take care of this, and sure enough, the wait was worthwhile!

Today is full of errands in anticipation of a trip to Augusta this weekend for a Christmas shower for Junior and Trisha. Everyone is invited to bring an ornament or Christmas decoration for them to hang on their tree, the first for both of them. I think that is such a fun idea for a shower! Thinking about the shower is what prompted me to post ornaments today in the first place!Anyway, we're looking more and more like Christmas here. Today I will also wrap some presents to put under the tree. There is a lone one there now that has proven to be an excellent training tool for the dogs. Every time they get near to it they are reprimanded, and the discipline is working. At least so far!

Blessings on your day. I'll try to sneak in one last post before the weekend!


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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

scrambling

Our inventory of computer peripherals has gone through some transition. We had two computers, two working printers, and one printer on standby. Then my printer bit the dust. I used Ken's. Then Ken's computer got zapped by a virus and his printer couldn't be accessed. The standby printer had been nonfunctional for so long that the ink had dried up. It was also, in the context of technology, obsolete. Spend the money on ink cartridges and hope for the best? I opted to use a gift card from Best Buy to buy a new printer. Merry Christmas to me!

The good news is that I can now print again. The good news is that I can now catch up on all the things that have been awaiting printing. The bad news is that I am overwhelmed with such tasks and the followup details that attend those print jobs! Eeeek!

So here I am to apologize for my lack of attention to this blog, and the lack of time to visit (never mind comment) on the blogs of others. Soon! Soon! In the meantime enjoy these days of Advent preparation, and may your weather be bearable.

Monday, December 14, 2009

once a chore, now a choice

I mentioned previously that I used to have to walk the dogs at least twice a day for their exercise and relief when our yard lacked containment. During that time I came to enjoy the benefits of those walks and watching the neighborhood's transitions through the seasons. I thought that once our invisible fence was in and the dogs could utilize the yard fully I would still take them out for occasional walks. Never happened.

Of late (the last several months) Juliet has disregarded the boundaries of the fence and taken off for strolls through the neighborhood. Not a good thing. In the morning I would go out with her in the yard to keep an eye on her, make sure she took care of business and then bring her back into the house. I know this option didn't satisfy her, but she was safe, which was my main concern.

More recently I thought she would benefit from walking to aid her with what comes naturally (if slowly). And God knows the exercise would be good for me. So we have begun to walk. I started the twice a day routine, but evening walks are a challenge to me, who likes to settle and "tuck in" after dinner. Now we walk once, but we make it count. Thanks to the generosity of my friend Janet I have a pedometer to record distance, and I have experimented with routes through the neighborhood to find tracks that will take us two miles.

As noted previously, as well, walks have become an opportunity for nostalgic reflection, and it was through those experiences that choosing to walk emerged. I actually look forward to them (except on days like today--cold and damp), and at this Christmas season especially it's fun to see the lights (when I DO walk at night) and decorations. I have also discovered that the longer walk is essential to the endorphin experience for me, and that contributes to the pleasure of 1) being with Juliet, 2) enjoying the neighborhood 3) having time alone to contemplate whatever might wander into my consciousness and 4) the physical benefits. As for the latter, I do believe that a pair of pants are, in fact, a bit looser. Phew! I don't think I'll drop three sizes between now and April (Junior and Trisha's wedding), but finally I am doing my part to get myself there.

Right now I am going to enjoy the remains of my coffee, have a little time with Ken, then put on my walking shoes.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

the dilemma of integrity

This whole business with Tiger Woods has got me thinking. But first let me come clean. I'm a big fan of Tiger Woods. I watch golf because of Tiger Woods. I love his impish grin. Something about him simply captures and holds my attention. Maybe it's that he always wears a red shirt on the last day...

A week ago I would have said that I admired what I assumed was his integrity. And then the car crash, rumors, confessions and not only tabloid but major news sources couldn't resist writing about a private matter over which the public (and media) seems obsessed. "OMG, he's human!" Ah, yes, he is, and always has been. " He messed up!" Indeed he did. How human of him! "How could he cheat on that glamorous and adoring wife?" I won't even begin to respond to that one specifically.

So here's the thing. Integrity. That's what I've been thinking about. My dictionary tells me that integrity has to do with wholeness, entirety, unbrokenness, moral exactness, perfection. While there are indeed people who maintain a level of integrity by such a definition, no one is perfect. We all have flaws, and those flaws litter different areas of our lives. At what point does one's brokenness diminish the virtue of integrity to the the extent that such a label cannot, or does not, apply to him or her? Does it matter that poor choices which lead to unacceptable behavior is exacted privately versus publicly? Is integrity context specific, and who or what determines whether or not one might be considered to be a person of integrity?

As a culture we also have sacred cows of moral expectations. One of them relates to the violation of sexual boundaries, including adultery. But as a culture we are also fairly forgiving when that particular line is crossed. Like it or not, adultery occurs frequently, and I would venture to guess that almost every family has someone on the family tree whose indiscretions are whispered (and yes, my own family includes them). The sin, if you will, is commonplace, and visits all manner of individuals from the rich and famous to the lowest class known. It is also a private matter. Though it can affect others beyond the transgressor and the transgressed, adultery hurts most where trust is betrayed. It is for Tiger and Elin, his wife, to navigate the road that can lead to the restoration of trust between them, and heal whatever other elements in their relationship may have contributed to this breach.

I don't hold Tiger blameless, but I am also very aware from my own and the experiences of others in a multitude of situations that it is not for anyone to judge. Unless we are walking in his shoes, we can't know the life he lives or the private sacrifices he makes for the privilege of fame. I am sad for Tiger, for Elin, for the others involved that any of this has taken place, privately, and I lament the public thrashing he has received.

Tiger has chosen to withdraw from his professional life for an indefinite period of time to tend to his family. He compromised his two loves: Elin and golf. He is paying a dear price. Oddly enough, that, to me, is a sign of integrity.

Friday, December 11, 2009

friday five: holy help

At RevGals Sophia writes: It's the last week of the semester here so I offer another very simple Friday Five in honor of the past, present, and eschatological dimensions of this powerful season of the church year....

Please share five ways that God has come to you (your family or friends, your church or workplace, our world) in the past year, that God is coming to you right now, and/or that you are longing and looking for God to come.

This last year has been one that has seriously challenged my coping skills. I’m faced with behaviors of and choices by others than run counter to my norms and experiences, as well as what I have learned, integrated and affirmed about living a healthy life (in all the senses of that word). Even though I have resources for dealing with these challenges I have felt isolated and alone more than is comfortable or consoling. God’s presence has not been overwhelming, nor has it been detectable through the dusk of my days. Like the sun on a cloudy day, however, I do know that God is there. The connection has simply been weak (and we won’t go “there,” just now, to discuss how to interpret that!).

Even so, there have been glimpses of divine presence that have helped me to limp along. Those have been:

1) My goddaughter. She is a source of amazing spiritual wisdom and insight, and has offered guidance and accountability that has helped push me through stagnancy and break into the light.

2) Dreams. One very profound dream contained images of Christ’s life and death and involved a player named Rami whose name, I learned, means “loving.”

3) The icon-writing workshop I took last spring. That was a week of grace and growth spiritually, sacramentally, and creatively.

4) Breath Prayer, offering me a way to include Christ differently in my quest for peace and wholeness.

5) A holy trinity of women are helping me to heal some old wounds that interfere with the health of my marriage. These professionals—a pastoral counselor, nurse practitioner and physical therapist—have opened the door to hope on a path I thought I was traveling alone. Their singular talents are gift enough, but the combined effect of what they offer incarnates salvation. This might just be the greatest gift God has bestowed this year.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

one liners (it's that kind of day)

  • It’s windy as all get-out this morning, and fortunately the wreaths on the windows are still in place (though they sometimes swing to and fro).
  • With all that I am not doing this Advent/Christmas season I still have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
  • Getting a functional printer in this house needs to move to number one on the priority list.
  • I wish I could harness McKinlee’s energy to help me accomplish the litany that is my “to do” list.
  • The sun is shining!
  • I wish Ken would move his bicycle out of the pantry.
  • I have developed a passion for dark chocolate-covered pretzel sticks—keep me away from Target!
  • Today is national pastry day (thanks, MJ!).
  • I’d rather be sewing.
  • I would love a grilled swiss and pastrami on rye for lunch.
  • We still don’t have ornaments on the Christmas tree.
  • The liturgical calendar in my office is still showing November.
  • Will someone be sure to get me a “Pooped Puppies” calendar for Christmas?
  • I’m offering special incentives for Pampered Chef hosts in January: who’s game to help me get my PC business back up and running again (catalog shows are also helpful)?
  • I love Advent!
  • I wore a necklace yesterday for the first time since I can remember.
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Overslept! Gulping coffee, Jules only gets to tour the back yard, and the fastest shower on record. Later!

Monday, December 07, 2009

rounding second base...



...and heading to third! It was a very full weekend, and the week ahead shows no signs of letting up the pace.

Saturday was the church's spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the International students at our local university, with money raised to create an endowed scholarship for the students. The university doesn't have a designated scholarship at this time specifically for International students. In spite of the fact that our volunteer coordinator was very sick all week and was not able to be there, the rest of us rallied together in our collective state of oblivion to make decisions as well as make things up as we went along. It all went very well! The kitchen crew worked out a system for getting food on the plate, and others of us floated between busing tables, offering to get drinks, assembling "to go" orders, and in general being genial hosts. We raised about $1400, not a bad effort for our little band of faithful, and considering that the SEC championship and other "critical" football games were in progress during the time frame of our dinner. We're also very pleased that out of the nearly 200 meals served, 70 of them were donated to a population of homeless families that are in residence at a local campground. Supporting one cause went to support a second cause--how better could it get?

Sunday was busy with church in the morning, walking Jules, heading out to an afternoon party, and then me scoping out possible finds at a local store offering 20% off my total purchase as a valued customer. It was worth the stop. I picked up a couple of items that were already half off, as well as scoring a tie for Ken suitable for wearing during Advent. He was tickled.

Today Ken and I will return unused food items purchased at Sam's for the spaghetti dinner, make a visit to a parishioner recently home from a hospital stay, and then I will get busy on some administrative tasks that never seem to make it to the top of the ever-changing litany of priorities on my to do list. Tomorrow I have an all-day clergy event, and Wednesday we begin a new bible study series. Somewhere between now and then I need to dust off notes of old and refresh my memory, as well as do some additional preparation for that class.

Somewhere in between I also need to figure out what is wrong with my printer and get it fixed. Ken's computer has been wonked by some sort of bug that tells him that every file on his computer is infected and won't function again unless he purchases some anti-virus software. We know this is a fake, but that's besides the point since nothing on the computer is operable. Which means I can't print anything from his computer, either. So annoying.

Glad to have a bit of time this morning to get back to the blog and to try to catch up with what everyone else has been doing. Cheers!

Friday, December 04, 2009

friday five: do nothing

At RevGals Sally writes:
I am reading a wonderful little book for Advent it's title: "Do nothing Christmas is Coming!"

So this weeks Friday Five is simple.

List Five things you won't be doing to prepare for Christmas.

1) For the first time in thirty years I won’t be sending a Christmas letter.

2) Because of financial hardship we won’t be buying many presents: just for the kids (two) and grandchildren (2).

3) I won’t be baking cookies.

4) I won’t be making snow angels (this assumes that we don’t get any snow, a 99% accurate assumption)

5) I won’t be drinking eggnog.

And while you are doing nothing play the bonus, put your feet up and listen to your favourite Advent Carol, and post it or a link to it...

Like many, I adore O come, O come Emmanuel, but I have a special fondness for Comfort, comfort ye my people. At the time of a spiritual renewal in my life that led to my baptism, I lived just blocks away from the carillon tower of the chapel at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. I could hear the bells easily, and this is one of the tunes that was played regularly that Advent. Hearing the music evokes that time in my life that was full of spiritual stirring and seeking, as well as other memories of that place and time. It will forever be special to me.



Simple!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

listen and enjoy

When I first heard this setting by Bobby McFerrin of the 23rd psalm I was blown away. More than that, it sents shivers down my spine. It still does.

I hope you enjoy this. I find it to be wonderfully moving and meditative.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

being a sponge

That's my baby up there in the blue, heading to a landing at Fort Gordon during a recent training exercise with his National Guard unit (photo from the Augusta Chronicle). I'm proud of him. Prouder than you can imagine. And this from a pacifist Mom.

I've just listened to a segment of NPR's "On Point," where a collection of knowledgeable people discussed--not debated--discussed, the dilemma faced by President Obama in making a decision about US strategy in Afghanistan. I was impressed not only by the depth of knowledge of the guests on the program, but the comprehension of the events of our engagement in wars of the "recent" past (at least back to Korea). To me, they sounded like they really know what they are talking about. Better yet, they didn't counterpoint one another, but were sharing observations and responding to questions from a place of knowledge rather than agenda. I listen carefully when people talk like that.

I also lean toward reading and am influenced in my thinking by the likes of Thomas Friedman, and Greg Mortenson's story in Three Cups of Tea. I referred to that in an earlier post. The impact of Three Cups of Tea continues: I pay far closer attention to news about what is going on in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and my views on that region are more precise as a result.

To offer some context: as noted above I am a pacifist (and was a registered conscientious objector in the early 80's, at a time when registering women for the draft became a topic of public conversation); I tend toward perspectives that emerge from issues of justice and compassion; I value diplomacy as a means to resolving conflict; my husband is retired Army, and my step-son is fourth generation airborne and spent five years in the Rangers. The latter opened up a new world of understanding and insight when I married Ken, and though I am firm in my personal convictions when it comes to war, a balance in my thinking exists that probably had no chance of seeing light without the exposure or such close proximity to a portion of the military machine. I believe in the draft, a view not popular with the mother of my nephew, a sophomore in college.

I have not been happy about the news that Obama intends to send more troops to Afghanistan. My view on this stems from my own pacifistic perspective as well as from what I have learned from some of my preferred reading. But I also listen to Ken, whose military history and shaping offers another point of view. And I listen to programs like "On Point" to find a way to a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the issues involved, and the consequences intended and known. I'm trying to soak it up and find as objective an opinion as is possible given my context, my capacity to listen without judging, and my desire to understand points of view different from my own.

I confess that it is a challenge. I want my president's decisions to prove warranted and achieve the desired results. I want stability for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I don't want further loss of life at the hands of the US military. Any life. I want our nation's relationship with other nations to deepen with understanding, cooperation and respect. I want the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to be supported in their efforts to respond to the agenda of the Taliban (how's that for a polite statement?). I want US policy to be guided by the desire to help those countries find the most peaceful way possible to prosperity. I don't want Junior's scheduled deployment fourteen months from now to be moved up. I don't want the cost of war to burden our citizenry any further. I know that doing nothing is not an effective means toward achieving anything positive.

Being a sponge is hard on the little gray cells and a heart that is torn. Maybe if I focus on what color sponge to be the burden won't feel quite so heavy. I'm leaning toward pink. That's a little out of my comfort zone.
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