Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You Know It's Cold When...

You know that you are keeping your house too cold when you're in a hat, mittens and winter jacket indoors and you're still not warm!

I love the tall ceilings in my northern Illinois home, but I need to keep the temperature set to 62 during the day and 55 at night to keep my heating bills within reason. (In the summer I keep it set to 88 day and night... but that's still WAY too warm). The thermometer reads 60 in the room I'm in. Brrrr. So, here I sit fully covered in multiple layers and I'm still cold!!! It's actually not even that cold outside... considering what it could be, and NO we don't have snow yet. Sigh!

Maybe I need to consider Florida or Arizona in the winter? Any suggestions?

Hope you are nice and warm. K

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm Sorry. My Str8apology.

As a straight Christian I want to issue a public apology to the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered) community. First let me say  that I’m sorry for my thoughts, my spoken words, and any silent complicities that have contributed to the wounding, damaging and marginalizing of the GLBT people loved by God. Every GLBT person is loved by God, unfortunately they are not loved in the way that honors Jesus by the Christian community and for that I say, “Shame on us.” I am ashamed of myself. I am ashamed of my community. I have sinned against people that Jesus loves. We have sinned and are sinning daily against people that Jesus loves. Our actions and our words convey on a daily basis that they are not worthy of God’s love.

I have failed to act in a manner that demonstrates Jesus statement ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:38-39.

I’m sorry.

For years I have held the ‘traditional’ Christian view of the GLBT community, and I’ve believed and verbalized that ‘God hates the sin not the sinner.’ I have, however, always objected to the ‘God hates gays’ campaigns and the whole ranting about the ‘gay agenda’ by religious and conservative leaders and medias (despite being a conservative myself). But objecting to something and saying that I object to it are two different things. I personally hate conflict and prefer to hold my opinions to myself when I know others will disagree with me.

My views/opinions began to change a few years ago when I read Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America by Mel White. While I struggled with some of the interpretations of scripture that were presented, the points that he made started the progression of change in my own personal opinion about the GLBT community.

This past summer I read Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin which further stretched my thinking on the issue. I highly recommend the book Love is an Orientation for a thoughtful presentation to Christians that doesn’t push one way or another... just encourages Christians to learn how to build bridges and demonstrate God’s love to GLBT community. Every Christian should read this book.

Recently I read Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality, Revised and Expanded Edition: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church by Jack Rogers. This book, is written from a Presbyterian perspective. He reviewed the history of the church as it viewed slavery, african americans, divorce, and women's roles over the past 200 years and in the process really helped me to have a better understanding of what a Christian view of the Bible could be. More about this in another post.

I know that God loves us - each and every one of us - and His love is wide enough to include the GLBT community. While there is not yet any definitive evidence for a ‘gay gene’ there is clear evidence that for most of the GLBT community the orientation and attraction to people of the same sex has been part and parcel of them for their entire lives (or as long as they can remember or at least since the first stirrings of adolescence). They did not choose this orientation anymore than I chose my straight orientation.

People who are GLBT are humans created in God’s image and there is no controversy about the passages encouraging us to love others including GLBT people, as ourselves. Regardless of our interpretation of the Bible, it is clear to me that we as Christians, are to demonstrate God’s love to all people. Jesus spent his time reaching out to the poor, oppressed, outcasts, those people that the religious leaders spurned. He told us to do the same.

It is time that we start paying attention to the gigantic log in our own eyes and quit worrying about the speck of dust in the eyes of GLBT people. Let's build bridges with people who matter to God.

I’m sorry.


If you are interested in further explorations, discussions consider visiting these websites:

Love is an Orientation
Canyonwalker Connections
Bridging the Gap
Grace Rivers

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Three Dogs No Cat

It's true. Sadly I don’t have a cat, not because I don’t like them, but because several family members are allergic to cats. My last cat died in 1986 at the ripe old age of 17 and I’ve never gotten another.

I do, however, have three dogs


The oldest is Oscar, a red/apricot Standard Poodle who will soon be 12. He is very laid back and is quite happy to let the other two bully him. He does however, love to be petted and can be quite a pest to get said petting. Unfortunately Oscar has a wiry texture to his fur/hair and petting him feels like petting a hairbrush. Not so enjoyable.

He used to love to chase frisbees and would jump high in the air to grab them and then return them to my feet. Well.. he still loves doing it but now he injures his shoulders and his hips so the poor boy has been grounded. No more high flying frisbees for him.


Dorcas is my 6 year old ‘alpha female’ bully of a Boston Terrier (or as I say, Boston Terror). She is the ultimate definition of hyper... particularly when someone comes into the house, or into my bedroom, or into our space. Unfortunately I am not consistent enough to have trained this behavior out of her. In addition she is VERY aggressive to other dogs. Taking her for a walk where she might meet other dogs is a challenge and I can NEVER take her to a dog park or to doggie day care.

Dorcas also loves chasing windshield wipers. I can no longer take her in the car with me unless she is in a crate because she will spend the entire trip running from the front to the back of the car in the hopes that she will ‘catch’ that nasty wiper. She yells and screams and cries and digs at the windshield. I have attached a video below of Dorcas chasing the wipers. The first few times it was hilarous. Now, not so much. (Sorry about the video quality. I'll try to do better next time!)

Dorcas will sit on my lap for hours but she is always tense. It’s like she’s this giant spring waiting to be released. So while she is a lap dog, she is not a calm companion.

Dorcas is also a champion tugger. She loves to play tug with her favorite cat toy and would play frisbee forever. She isn’t so great at dropping said frisbee when she returns it so I keep a second in reserve, throw it out and she drops the first.

She bullies my other dogs and will snip at them when she loses her temper. Mellow Oscar stays out of her way and lets her win any confrontation, but my third dog, Mr. Winston (having taking lessons from Dorcas on how to be top dog) will challenge her when she snips at him and all of sudden we have a full blown dogfight in progress.

I can’t play frisbee or throw balls for those two at the same time and if I’m outside playing with one, the other is screaming in the house.


Winston is the final member of our trio. He is a three year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is extremely cute and is loved by everyone. Children love him. Adults love him. People who don’t like dogs like him (they don’t love him... like is as far as they can go). He is my calm companion and chief cuddler. Winston loves to chase tennis balls. At the dog park he can outrun almost every breed no matter the size to catch his ball. Everyone is amazed as they watch him go. He’s not a very big dog, but he is fast. Superfast. Lightening fast (well maybe that’s an exaggeration.)

Also, Winston's other mission in life is to keep my deck and yard free from squirrels and chipmunks. This task isn’t so important in Illinois because I don’t feed the birds there. But in Door County, I feed the birds and we have lots of trees and lots of critters (squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and skunks). Both Dorcas and Winston do not like these creatures at all and as soon as we walk in the door of our cottage in Door County they are on FULL ALERT.

Below, Winston barking at the squirrels.

Then, when I open the door to the deck and the forest outside both Dorcas and Winston burst out like they are shot from the gun. Oscar stays back until the mission of clearing the yard and feeders is accomplished and then he leisurely heads outside. It is dangerous around Dorcas when she is on a mission.

As someone with no life partner at my side who is also extremely introverted, my dogs provide me endless hours of entertainment and companionship... plus very welcome unconditional love and affection and lots of warm laps with a few barks thrown in for good measure.

Cheers! K

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Backstory

Whenever I my interest is captured by a new blog, after reading the most recent post, I jump to the oldest post out there in the hopes of finding out the starting point. Why did this person start to blog? What is their history? How did they get to this point? Inquiring minds, mine, want to know. Sometimes it is there, and then again, sometimes not. Usually though as I read through all the back entries the stories emerge gradually, like peeling the layers off an onion. I love learning about the lives and legacies of the bloggers. So, for my blog, I’m trying to provide that starting point. It is, of course, harder than I expected.

As an extreme introvert, it is hard for me, in the day to day reality, to connect with people. Reading blogs is one of my connections with the outside world. Thus far I have chosen to remain silent. I have not commented on others blog preferring to lurk in the background. But now that I have decided to try a (semi) disciplined approach to blogging, maybe I’ll break out of my shell and comment.

Oh well, now for some history.

I’m a 64 year old leading edge baby boomer, a retired business woman, who struggles with my weight, a Christian, ex-hippy, foster parent/grandparent. I am single - (divorced really but the marriage lasted five years and the single part has lasted 40+ years so I think of myself as single). No kids from my body but several from my heart. And.. I haven’t been on a date since 1981. Yup. That’s a long time. I had pelvic inflammatory disease in my mid-twenties brought on by a Dalcon Shield IUD. Google it, Wikipedia has all the boring details. Anyway, when I was 28 I lost my uterus and both ovaries. The lack of hormones for the past 30+ years has contributed to my celibacy... that and my Christian faith.

Lacking the ability to have any children of my own, I’ve had fun spending lots of time and energy on my 12 nieces and nephews plus I’ve had several children live with me over the years: a couple of ‘foster’ kids were with me for ten years, a widow with two young girls lived with me for four years, a single mom with an infant daughter and a single mom with three daughters both lived with me for less than a year. And most recently, my foster grandson and his mother lived with me for a couple of years after his father, my foster son died. It was so much fun to have a young one (2 years old - four years old) living with me. I’ve missed them so much since they moved back to Portland.

Right now I have a woman with grown children living with me. (Her children don’t live with me.) She is the age of my original foster kids and has two children and five grandchildren. Marie was homeless... well sleeping on her daughter’s couch when a friend made her plight known to me. Although employed at large retail store as a first tier manager her medical expenses have made it difficult to afford both a car and an apartment. She has epilepsy and emphysema and her medical expenses, even with insurance, are astronomical. She has the whole second story of my house these days as my knees make navigating the stairs challenging.

I’m also technology geek and love to have all the newest pieces of hardware... and software. Most particularly, I’m currently an Apple aficionado having a MacBook Pro, iMac, iPhone, and iPad plus several Kindles of all generations. I bought my first computer in the late 70s and have never looked back.

Here I am now: retired, two homes, one for sale, both parents still alive, two grandsons. Why do I want to write a blog now? Well why not? I’ve been reviewing some beliefs that I’ve held for years... revisiting, and realigning. So I thought, why not record the process, plus review the past- hence the detours.

Isn’t a blog just an online journal? When reading blogs,  I prefer those that update everyday or have a unique slant; however, I’ll never manage to post everyday and I don’t have a unique slant, challenge or task that I’m recording. Still, I wanted to try to record this part of my life's journey and reflect on my past journey on a blog. Just know that I’m not following a single path but will probably take many detours. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

So here we go! K