Monday, September 27, 2010

I was brushing my hair and a large amount of it was coming out with the brush. I decided this was something I could not ignore. Despite my dislike for doctors, I made an appointment to see one. I took the kids along. There were several people there waiting for appointments, including some family members. I had been waiting for a very long time and the children were bored so I left and drove to our second property to check on it.
I vaguely recall buying a second piece of property. Did we ever actually close on it? Has my husband been making payments on it? What was the price?
The place was a mess. Apparently we had purchased post-eviction, only they had never cleared the contents of the house.
Oh no, why did we buy this place? I think the whole floor needs to be replaced. They didn't even level the hilltop underneath when they built it, and I think the rooms are cock-eyed!
I ended up discovering a squatter. She was a nice young woman, living there with her boyfriend. I did not really mind, since my husband and I weren't using the place right now.
Am I liable if they get injured? Should I have them removed so I don't get in trouble?
I started looking for the children. I was having difficulty finding them and things were getting confusing. There were more squatters - virtually a community of them secreted away throughout this sprawling, tri-level house. One of them was the leader, a sinister man that looked a little like the terminator that was not Arnold. His name was John Connor. He did not like me, and I suspected something bad would happen to me and my children if I stayed. I gathered them together, thankful they were all unharmed, and headed for my car. Someone had changed the mode, and what had been a cross between an SUV and a mini-van was now a cross between a jeep and a convertible. I did not know what the correct controls were for getting it to change back, but I was scared so I just dumped the kids inside and drove off. The roof was malfunctioning and I couldn't see very well, so I tried to put the top down. This caused erratic driving and I saw flashing lights in the rear view mirror. I pulled over and tried to explain that I was having problems with my car. Yes, I know my kids aren't in car seats, we were in danger and had to get away!
Then I was back at the property, trying to keep my kids together, avoid John Connor, and try to find a way to bypass his sabotage of my vehicle. I did not succeed in avoiding John Connor, but fortunately before this dream could get any weirder or take even more sinister turns, the alarm went off.

As I explained to my husband, I think my brain was taking revenge on me for my lack of worry during an earlier conversation involving his application for another (less stressful) job that would involve a pay cut.
You're a woman! It's your job to worry and be fearful about the future! If you won't do this while you're awake, I'll do it for you while you're asleep!
I am glad that we do not, in fact, have a second house full of squatters to worry about.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I've been bouncing around the idea of predestination in my mind and here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

We know that both God the Father and God the Son existed before time and now exist outside of time. I believe that because of the union between Jesus and the church (those that accept his salvation) that God could indeed know before the beginning of the world which individuals would accept that salvation, because He knows His son.

I am not, however, willing to embrace the Calvinist view of predestination in which we are essentially puppets. It seems to create a picture of God in which He one day sat down and drew up a list and arbitrarily assigned part of the list to salvation and part of the list to wrath, and nothing anyone does matters because either they're on the one or the other, and nothing they do can change that.

Foreknowing what will happen does not have to negate free will. Knowing that Bob will get himself killed while jaywalking drunk through heavy traffic is not the same thing as handing Bob the alcohol and then pushing him into the road.

To put it another way - I believe that God created everyone, even knowing that many would reject Him, but I am not willing to take it a step further and claim that God decided for us which would accept salvation and which would not. I believe it is quite possible for him to know what the decision is without having to be the one to make the decision.

While pondering, I asked myself the question: what if the Calvinist view of predestination was correct? How would I know if I were destined for salvation or wrath?

Then I realized it would not matter or make a difference in the way I live my life.

Either I strive to live my life according to the precepts of God and I am destined for salvation
I strive to live my life according to the precepts of God and I am destined for wrath
I live my life according to selfish hedonism and I am destined for wrath

No matter what the eventual destination, I would be better off living my life according to the principles set forth in the Bible than in embracing selfish hedonism. My life is what it is because of God and the teachings revealed through the Bible. It is a life that gives me great joy and satisfaction - joy and satisfaction that could not be obtained by living a life revolving around the pursuit of my personal pleasure.

So, in the end, predestination means diddly-squat to me and I find that I am at peace.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Well, I've spent a couple of weeks brainstorming and have now finally started writing the first chapter. Unfortunately, while I thought the writing would be the easier part of the process, the opposite has turned out to be true. I can brainstorm and hammer out ideas while washing dishes, folding laundry or making lunch for the children. I cannot write while doing any of those activities. By the time approximately twelve hours of child care ends each day I've usually turned into a mental slug. Still, I'm going to keep working away at it, and I think if I start going to bed early and getting up an hour or so before the children wake up that I might manage to be more productive.

My sister thought I spent far too long picking out names for the main characters. I told her names are very important! After all, there is no way Twilight would have become so enormously popular had the main characters been named Hepzibah, Fernando and Billy. Not that I expect to write a bestseller. I'm not even sure I'll be capable of getting published. Still, I figure first impressions are important as far as publishers are concerned. And at least I feel like I'm doing something more productive with my time than playing computer games!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bieber Fever

The ignorance in this story is appalling. I'm no economist, but I can read and understand the basic gist of what has been happening. Painting the democrats as the hope for the future of young people is akin to painting Jeffrey Dahmer as the hope for the future of young homosexuals.

Orwell was a very smart man.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So I'm online this morning and a pop-up materializes claiming my computer is infected with spyware and click now to remove blah blah blah... I have seen similar pop-ups in the past so I simply exited and tried to continue what I had been doing - only to discover that I could no longer use Firefox to browse the internet. Something called security suite kept claiming my computer was infected and that it could not perform the specified commands and would I please purchase their anti-virus program? It certainly was infected - infected with something called security suite which was on my toolbar and preventing me from doing anything online OR opening task manager. Fortunately my husband and I each have our own computers, and his was not infected. I located websites describing the problem and (very luckily) stumbled upon a user comment that told a fast way to fix the problem that did not even involve downloading new anti-spyware software. Someone named Anthony had left the following comment:

This is the easiest solution for Security Suite

Guys. I struggled with it a lot. Security suite does not infect any of the existing files. It is a separate application which runs and prevents other applications from running. It gives unnecessary pop ups making you believe that your system is infected with virus. Tried malware bytes and other clean up softwares. Security Suite appears as harmless to virus cleaner becuase it does not infect any files.

Here is how to get rid of Security Suite.

Open Windows explorer and got C:UsersYourNameAppDataLocal. If you are not able to open windows explorer, Go into safe mode and do it.
Find the newest ‘Date modified’ folder(s). Mine were: zsdxcxedw. They looked suspicious and were modified at the same time the virus started. If the Security suite virus started at the same time these folders were created/modified, chances are that’s the virus software. Delete this file and reboot your computer. You are done now.

Thank you, Anthony!

I tried his suggestion in normal mode first and then had to switch to safe mode. After clearing the files, which weren't too difficult to find (there were several) I connected my external hard drive and, while still in safe mode, backed up my documents, pictures and music. I sure am glad my husband kindly picked that up for me a few months back. After rebooting, I did find I had to fix the settings in Firefox, which the program had altered to run through a proxy setting. Now everything seems to be working smoothly again, and hopefully it will stay that way!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I am both excited and nervous. I've determined to try my hand at writing a book and getting it published. After much consideration I have arrived at a setting, general plot and cast of characters that I believe would be marketable to a secular or Christian young adult market (allegory is a wonderful tool). Now comes the hard part: organizing my ideas into a coherent story and actually writing the thing.

I'm nervous because I know my track record of procrastination and dropping projects if they get difficult or tedious. I have good reason to go through with it this time though - my husband.

He hates his job. I know he isn't the first (nor will he be the last) to intensely dislike his place of employment and to feel stuck with it, but as it happens, he works in a very high stress field (so high stress that according to the collected statistics, men working 25+ years in this field are - with alarming frequency - dead within five years of retirement). At the moment, with the job market being what it is, he has not been able to find other employment with a reasonable rate of pay. If, however, we could speed up our payment of the principal of our mortgage and no longer have the expense of paying for the house, he would no longer have to worry about finding employment at his current rate of pay, as well as having the freedom to look outside our current state of residence.

It is not feasible for me to seek employment outside the home. We would not be able to successfully juggle schedules and still have family time and we both believe that our children receiving a proper upbringing is extremely important (they are our children; we are not going to pay someone else to raise them for us). At-home employment is not an easy proposition either. I have no particularly marketable skills or business savvy. I'm not particularly talented or gifted - except in one area: writing.

I'm aware that getting published is very difficult. The market is, from all accounts, glutted with would-be writers. But at least if I succeed in writing a book and then fail to find a publisher, the time will have been spent in a much more worthy endeavor than the two+ years I wasted playing World of Warcraft.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Every now and then my mother, one of my sisters, or some other random person will link a video and suggest having a kleenex handy. Pshaw, I think, I'm tough, I can take it. And then I have to get a tissue. Oh well.

This is very encouraging to watch and hey, if I'm going to cry, I'd rather cry over something that is good and reveals and celebrates our Father's love for us.
I haven't been reading World Net Daily all that much this year, but I clicked on it tonight and saw this article first thing. It just makes me sick. The treaty they mention is truly horrifying to any right-thinking parent that understands children need parental authority, boundaries and discipline.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I have stumbled upon many debates on evolution vs creationism or vs intelligent design. Very seldom do I add anything to these debates. I am a creationist. I am firmly convinced that the universe is crafted by God. I have at times in my life been assailed by doubts as to God's nature, and whether or not He cared what happened to His creation, but my belief as to the divine origins of the universe has never come under serious assault. I find that it would take a far greater leap of faith for me to accept evolution than to accept creation.

I am not sure exactly why I avoid the debates. Partly, I suppose, from lack of 'scientific' knowledge. From what I have seen, those that believe in evolution will cite studies that verify their beliefs and expect their opponents to do like-wise. I don't have a host of studies at my fingertips that call into question conclusions that supported the theory of evolution. I believe it is ultimately an ignorant house of cards, but that even if I were to push that house of cards over, the evolutionist would simply gather them up, rebuild, and refuse to acknowledge the collapse. No doubt the evolutionist would view creationists in much the same way.

I look at everything that is 'known' about science, and I see a field of study in which errors have been rife and sometimes enormous in scope.
They assume that certain conditions have been unchanging for X number of years, but either cannot or will not take steps to verify if that is the case. They'll claim they know the age of such-and-such, via this or that test. When it comes to light that the test in question was not accurate - and was perhaps grossly inaccurate because of missing data, they do not turn around and recalculate everything based upon those faulty time lines; they continue to teach as if the original conclusions were correct.

Each succeeding generation of scientists seems to take the attitude that mankind is near the zenith of scientific discovery and that soon all the secrets of the universe will be laid bare - and yet, each generation makes startling new discoveries that often cause more questions and show just how little we actually know.

I'm not an enemy of science and discovery. I find the universe and creation to be a thrilling place and everything that is revealed about the way the universe functions simply increases my awe at the power of my Creator. I slice into a lemon and I marvel at the way the thick peel preserves the contents, keeping them fresh and wholesome for weeks, but within mere hours of being cut, decay sets in. No matter how corrupted or degraded or mutated life has become, I still see the amazing hand of the Creator - in the growing bodies of my children, in the golden sunlight and the blue sky and the drifting clouds and the green of the grass and trees, in the wisdom of the Bible which remains as potent and true today as it was millennia ago.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r thru-out the universe displayed!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When thru the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Ignore this, just needed to be able to post the picture so I can link to it elsewhere.

As thoroughly entertaining as Jquip's suggestion was (and I can't say similar thoughts have not crossed my mind) my husband and I have decided that as long as they allow us to show pictures of compliance and drop the case at the hearing (we'll be reviewed by a 'special magistrate' - pretty fancy title for this little redneck Florida town) that we will also simply let the matter drop and try to push the lawn up on our list of priorities so as not to give the busybodies the excuse to set code enforcement on us.

I went out near dusk last night and tackled the first section of lawn - I discovered the street lights are actually bright enough to make mowing parts of the lawn after the kids are in bed feasible - though the mosquitoes are getting bad by that time of the day. Still, it will make the chore easier to accomplish until winter arrives and we barely have to touch the lawn until Spring.

As I mowed there was a weed that gave off a pungent but pleasing scent; oddly reminiscent of both citrus and pine trees. It still strikes me as humorous that we're getting in trouble for not performing a chore that I actually enjoy. I like yard work, and if our front yard were fenced and safe for letting the little ones run free while I worked, I'd be out there much more often.