Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prayer and Selfishness

" Our Father who art in heaven."

What does this mean?
"With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are his true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father."

Being a daughter of Adam and Eve, I have a problem with selfishness. (Yes, I realize that you all know that already.) Besides being selfish toward my neighbor, I have come to realize that I am selfish toward God as well.
I want God to make me what I want to be. To make me respected, admired, accomplished, successful, even loving and gentle. To keep me from disgrace, from ignorance, from being left out, from pain, even from sin and temptation.

Obvously, some of these desires are good and right, and some are truly selfish. In reality, even my best desires are tainted with selfishness. When I pray to be kept from temptation, am I really asking that I not be subjected to the hardship of resisting temptation? When I pray that I might be gentle, am I motivated by the desire to have other people respect me for my gentleness? No matter what I pray, I find that sin has crept into my motivations.

So how and what does prayer ask? I have been mulling over this question since kindergarten days. At one time, I thought that we should never ask anything for ourselves. Another time I was sure that I must enumerate all needs every night so that I would wear God down like the persistent widow. For a while, I concluded that we should pray only for our neighbor's needs and salvation, and still later, I surmised that maybe we shouldn't bring any requests at all. Perhaps only praise was what God wanted.

Two thoughts. First, as I have been reminded many times in these past two months but am never tired of hearing, prayer is the voice of faith. It is the voice that trusts that for Christ's sake God's answer to us is "Yes". It is the voice that speaks to God what He has already said about himself and asks for what He has already promised to give.

Second, I find Luther's explanation of the introduction to the Lord's Prayer fascinating.

...so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask him as dear children ask their dear Father.

How and for what do dear children ask their dear father? Do children only ask stuff for their siblings, for their friends, for their pets? Are children, even dear ones, selfless? Are they thankful? Are they even always polite in their requests? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

So, if we are to pray like children making requests of their paternal parent, then we are to pray even in our selfishness. We are to speak to God with concerns, requests, and thanks.
And we are do do this boldly. I don't know about you, but the thought of talking to God in the same way I sometimes (to my shame) have talked to my dad has me trembling. One word of that, and I would be expecting a lightning bolt! How strange that we are to speak to the Almighty Triune God with boldness and confidence in the same way we address Dad?

And though we must pray in selfishness because of our fallen human nature, we need not fear. We can be confident. How is this possible? Because Jesus already died in my place for all the selfishness and sinful motives that taint even my prayer to him. His blood makes my prayer acceptable.

I used to think that Christ made prayer acceptable to God simply by the fact that God listens to those who have faith and not to those who don't. That was when I still unconsciously assumed that a human could pray totally purely and righteously. Then I looked in the mirror.....

Looking in that mirror of the Law, I can see that my prayer is not holy. My hands folded or raised are not 'clean hands' nor do my words arise out of a 'pure heart'. Even as I open my mouth to pray, my soul is lifted up to the idol of myself and in doing so I call upon God deceitfully. (psalm 24) I definitely cannot 'ascend the hill of the Lord' or 'stand in his holy place' on my own. Such filth as comes from my lips would surely not enter the presence of the Lord who is only Holy. But thanks be to God! Jesus does not save us by making us capable of pleasing God. Rather, He pleases the Father in our place. He makes prayer acceptable to God by cleansing it from our sin through his blood. In a literal sense, Christ died to pay for our prayer.
Isn't that a thought!

So in spite of my selfishness, I pray. I can do this boldly because of Christ, even though my flesh tempts me to doubt that my prayer is acceptable to God. For His sake, I know that all God's promises are "Yes" for sinners like me.

That is what I learned from Luther this week.

Frustrations abound!


I had resolved not to touch blog or other online diversions until school work was done as a consequence of having much homework and studying to do. I was getting along nicely, actually getting a flow of thought going when, suddenly, I noticed the battery on my laptop was getting low. And like an idiot, I had forgotten to bring the power cord! Wonderful. Well I decided to make the best of matters. I sent my work as an attachment to myself just before the battery completely ran out of juice. At least I thought I had. I planned to just get on email from the college computers and finish my work, but unfortunately, somehow my paper hadn't attached itself to my email.

So here I am with a paper due tomorrow, a free hour and a half until carpooling people are ready to go, and looking forward to a full evening.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I want to cry. I'll blog some instead.

Monday, January 28, 2008

We've been discovered.

Well, truthquestioner, we've been discovered. No more nice little conversations between ourselves with only Karen looking in on us. Now we must submit to the crushing responsibility of creating postings that we are not afraid to show to everybody on the planet!
The word has gone out, and there is to be no more hiding my little blog. We'll just have to weather out the torrents of criticism, I suppose.
To all you as of yet uncommenting readers, I hope you realize this milestone in the breakdown of our security. For the first time, this blog and I are letting people have a little peep hole into my mind in print. So, don't poke too hard through that peep hole. There are some pretty soft and sensitive substances in there. (brains, maccaroni, or mashed potatoes - you decide which!) But if you want to poke please do. Don't spare the stuffing! There is nothing worse than finding out that someone disagrees but does not want to hurt your feelings by telling you.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Apples to Apples Results

Ahem! It is my pleasure to announce the results of a long and gently ferocious game of Apples to Apples. The main combatants were Magsplat[+], Anan, Snap, and Sarahlaughs (alias Truthquestioner). While I have not the results for Anan and Magsplat[+], I will hereby publish the determined characteristics of the Snap and Sarahlaughs. (Check http://blog.higherthings.org/superanan/ and http://crazyvogelhaver.blogspot.com/ in case the former reveal their true character traits!)



Friday, January 25, 2008

The Conversion of St. Paul

Here's the man:

"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, recieve my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death."

[Nasty man]

"On that day a great persecution broake out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephan and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison."

[And no, they didn't get cable TV.]


"Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or woment, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice from heaven say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

[Talk about shock! Though, as I think about it, Saul shouldn't have been terribly surprised.]

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

[As Pr. S. never fails to point out, Jesus didn't just tell Saul the Gospel and make him an apostle then and there. Nope! Instead our Savior tells him to go where he can get the Gospel preached to him and be baptized BY A MAN.]

"The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.""

[So, if Paul was praying, and prayer arises from faith, then Paul had faith before Ananias came to him? {yells} "Pastor. Question!"]

""Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest al who call on your name."
But the Lord said to Ananias,"Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord - Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming her - has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.""

[New Question: Now Ananias calls Saul, "Brother". What does that indicate? And we see that Saul was not yet filled with the Holy Spirit. Just wait, baptism's coming up.]

"Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength."

[Anybody have any ideas about what "food" that was?]

"Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ."


This has been A DAY!!

First of all, welcome to January 25, 2008, the day when truthquestioner watches strange new movie (in class) has strange new thoughts (not surprising) talks to strange new people (actually not so new but still strange) and takes her first voice lesson at college (72 min from now).

I think that I'll post several things if I have time so bear with me. I realize that I am really writing to myself, since Karen is the only one who can read this yet.

First, the strange new movie. In interpersonal communication class, we are watching "Dangerous Minds". I'm not sure what to think. It is interesting. What do I mean by "interesting"?
Now I totally digress. When I say "interesting" I usually mean that something is worth thinking about and considering, but I simply haven't taken a position on it yet because I haven't thought about it. On the other hand, I do use the word "interesting" to mean that a subject has caught and held my attention. I also use the word when I don't really have anything to say.
Wow. That's three different meanings for one word!

Any way, I might tell y'all what I think of "Dangerous Minds" once our class finishes watching it. I might even post the report I have to write! (a new subject for the SCHOLAR)

Strange new thoughts. That would be wondering what the orthodox approach to cultural differences is. I've never asked the question so I don't have an answer. (Pr. Stuckwisch, here's and addition to the list...)

Strange (old) people. There is a guy I generally stay away from that I ended up talking to for an hour today. Same song as the last conversation I had with him, but second verse. This time however he came a leap closer to doctrinal orthodoxy. We concluded that Christ died for the sin of the world and actually agreed that faith is a gift from God and grasps the promises of Christ. He even conceded that God works faith by the Holy Spirit through God's Word!
If we ever talk again (preferably not, though) we might just actually get to open the whole Sacrament can of worms.
Even though I'm a little nervous about this guy, it was exciting to see him actually get closer to what Scripture says. In our last conversation, he had argued that we are saved because we do good things. This conversation was a HUMONGOUS step in the right direction. (if that is spelled wrongly, please correct me.)

As for the voice lesson, I really can't say because I haven't gone yet. I have no idea what it will be like or what my instructor will have me do. I just hope I can sing some halfway decent songs. I remain forever suspicious of modern lyrics!

Not Yours, Truly!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jazz Vespers?????

Take a look at this:


I found it while researching St. Timothy.
Somehow "Jazz Vespers" seems to be a type of oxymoron. If you want to do Vespers, do it the historic 'catholic' way. If you want to do jazz, go right ahead but don't call it Vespers.

That's just my take on it. (Never mind that no one asked my opinion)

St. Timothy

Ahem! There seems to be a discrepancy in St. Timothy's feast day. Take a look at this (it's from Wikipedia, but don't scream)

Greek and Eastern Orthodox: 22nd
LCMS and Traditionalist Catholics: 24th
ELCA and Roman Catholic (2nd Vatican): 26th

Hmmm. Well, whether this is two days late, two days early, or right on time, A Blessed Feast of St. Timothy to You!

Here's a few tidbits that I could find on Timothy.

"Timothy was recorded as having first recieved the episcopate at Ephesus as Titus also was appointed over the churches in Crete." (Eusebius')

Martyred after opposing a pagan procession
Born at Lystra
Son of Greek father and Jewish mother (Eunice)
( http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=367)

Name (Timótheos) meaning "honoring God"
Martyred in either 80 or 97 AD

Accompanied Paul on many of his missionary journeys.

I'm not going to write much else, but if anyone wants to search further:
http://www.stanlemon.net/writings/timothy.html (somehow looks familiar...)
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=498 (I'm not sure this is the same guy)
http://www.in2greece.com/english/saints/timothy.htm (not much info, but great picture)

I've now gone through 25 pages of search results . Never ever google some topic as broad as St. Timothy. I think most every link was to some church or parachurch organization. That was tiring, so I'm done!

Aaughhh!!! I just looked at how many results I could have seen: 636,000 to be exact!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tolkien Quotes

I love Tolkien's works. I don't know what it is about his style and content, but he pulls me in, absorbs me in his fantastical culture and history. Maybe that is it! Tolkien is the only author I know to create not only a fictional context for his story, but a whole history, language, culture, and lore for his tales. Anyway, here's some interesting stuff from him, punctuated with some less polished stuff from me.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
(The Fellowship of the Ring)

I particularly like this rhyme, especially the first two lines, for two reasons. First, it sort of parallels the the I Cor. 1 verse which says that God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Second, I secretly hope that someone will someday consider it to reflect me. There is often pure gold in material that doesn't exactly look valuable. And though I sound pretty crazy sometimes, please remember that just because I wander, I am not necessarily lost. :)
The last two lines remind me of the heritage I have in the Word of God, the historic liturgy and the Lutheran Confessions. We know that the Word of the Lord will stand forever and if we are "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone" our "roots" will not be "reached by the frost".

"Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded..."

"He deserves death."

"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many live that deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the wise cannot see all ends."
(The Fellowship of the Ring)

This is a very interesting one. I've looked at this section from very different angles, but finally came back to my original view. Pity and Mercy are good God-given qualities. This is not to say that criminals shouldn't be punished. That is the God-ordained task given to the government. But it is a weighty thing to deal out death. Especially for those to whom the task of bearing the sword has not been given.

For those who defend authority against rebellion must not themselves rebel
(The Simarillion)

This convicted me right from the get-go. (The context of the quote is great too, but I can't state it exactly because I don't own my own copy of the Simarillion and therefore do not have it with me right now.) We cannot defend a person's authority (ie. "parents and other authorities") and still rebel against their authority at the same time. Not only is this inconsistency, but it is mockery.

"And thou shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but my instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."
(The Simarillion)

Again, this is an interesting passage. Eru/Iluvatar is speaking to Melkor/Morgoth who has in jealousy and rebellion attempted to ruin the music of the Valar by dissonance. I think the passage speaks for itself as to meaning. Whether I fully agree with the theological sense of the meaning is still up for debate.

"White!" he sneered. "It serves as a beginning. White cloth may be dyed. The white page can be overwritten; and the white light can be broken."

"In which case it is no longer white," said I. "And he who breaks a thing to find out what it is, has left the path of wisdom."
- Gandalf/Mithrandir (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Oooh. This could leave a mark... Remind you of anything? Anyone? White is not white unless it is kept pure, unadulterated. Introduce a little falsehood, and a teaching is no longer true. Introduce a little hormone and the chicken is no longer organic.....(yeah, laugh). In the same way, this should serve as a warning to us not to sacrifice truth at any cost.
Has scientific research "left the path of wisdom"? Consider embryonic stem cell research...

"It is perilous to study to deeply the art of the Enemy, for good or for ill."
-Elrond Halfelven (The Fellowship of the Ring)

The thing speaks for itself. Do not study the "arts of the Enemy" too deeply, even if you mean well by your research. This is perilous ground. Mind your steps.

"The world is all grown strange...How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged...Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing amoung Elves and Dwarves and another amoung Men. It is a man's part to discern them..."
(The Two Towers)

Yes, indeed! Our world has grown strange. Men say that evil is good and good is evil. Absolute truth is condemned as narrowminded or discriminating. We Americans push for freedom to live whatever lifestyle we please under the name of "diversity". But Good and Evil are not differently defined than when God spoke to Moses, despite what society would tell us. It is indeed "a man's part to discern them".

"There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark."
(The Two Towers)

This is another statement that I'm not quite sure what it fully means. Let me put it like this: You may know that something unpleasant will happen to you if you do what is right. (The cross is always a given.) But remember the consequences of refusal to carry out what is necessary, the cost of failure to defend the truth. "If anyone disowns me, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.." God grant that we not shrink from a confession of His Son, and may he give power to our feeble words.

Well, that's it for now. I'll probably add more later.

What Quotes Tell Me

What does a quote tell you about the quoter? For me, a quote tells me what kind of literature/media a person reads/listens to/uses, what his opinion is on the subject with which the quote deals, what he thinks is funny, and whom he admires.
You may think that this is taking the whole quote business a little two far, but consider this: How do you react when a person quotes Shakespeare as opposed to when a person quotes Clinton. How do you respond when a person quotes Scripture? Is there a difference?
I'm going to begin posting quotes that I think are interesting or valuable. Hopefully this will tell you, the reader, a little bit about me and what I think.
I'll commence this operation with the renowned "wise" man of the Poor Richard. I've selected some of the best of Benjamin Franklin and disposed of some sayings that I do not consider quite so wise.

A slip of the foot you may soon recover;
but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

All would live long, but none would be old.

Anger is never without Reason,
but seldom with a good One.

At 20 years of age the will reigns,
at 3o the wit, at 4o the judgement.

Be slow in choosing a friend,
slower in changing.

Educate you children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and ecil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.
(you can definitely tell what Franklin believed about the Will and Reason. Unfortunately, he was wrong)

Genius without education is like silver in the mine.

Glass, china and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended.

Having been poor is no shame,
but being ashamed of it is.

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak of all he knows nor judge all he sees.

These are some of the best quotations from an old deist; not all wise, but all equally well sounding.

Energy Production in a Cell

disclaimer: If you don't want to be confused don't read this post. It made me confused, and I wrote it!

Let's see if I can get this right.....
ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) is the "energy source" of the cell. Energy is released when the Hydrogen bonds between adenosine and one of it's phosphates is broken. To store energy in a form that a cell can use, ADP (adenosine di phosphate) must be converted to ATP by addition of a phosphate.
There are generally three steps to the production of ATP by a cell:

Gycolysis (literally "glucose -breaking")
Citric Acid Cycle or Kreb's Cycle
Electron Transport Chain

Let's start with Glycolysis.

Glycolysis is an anaerobic process occuring in the cytosol by which the six carbon molecule, glucose, is broken down into 2 three carbon molecules called pyruvic acid. When the carbon bond in 1 glucose molecule is broken to make the 2 pyruvic acids, enough energy is released to create 2 ATP molecules out of 2 ADP molecules and 2Phosphate molecules.
C-C-C-C-C-C-C --------> C-C-C + C-C-C + ATP + ATP
Now for the Citric Acid Cycle (this is the tough one):
This stage of energy production is aerobic because oxygen is required to move the pyruvic acids into the mitochondrion where the cycle takes place.
Let's consider one pyruvic acid at a time.

A pyruvic acid (3C) will be changed to acetic acid (2C) by removal of one carbon. The carbon that is removed will be exhaled as CO2 (carbon dioxide) [note: the oxygen atom originates from the glucose molecule] In addition, a hydrogen atom is also split off of the pyruvic acid as it becomes acetic acid. This hydrogen atom is picked up by the carrier molecules NADH and FADH.
C-C-C -------> C-C + CO2 [exhaled] + H (NAD/FAD) [carried away to be used later]
The two carbon, acetic acid is now picked up by coenzyme A and is dropped off at the Krebs cycle. Let's see if I can illustrate this

<ahem, Paint keeps blurring when I try to upload it. >

Inspite of my good intentions as an illustrator, I must refer you to this link. There you can take your pick of numerous Kreb's Cycle illustrations and learn alot more than you can here.


Anyway, the two carbons of pyruvic acid added to the 4 carbons of oxaloacetic acid make six carbons and become citric acid. For some reason, I'm not quite sure what the step with the isocitric acid is; I'll have to ask my instructor. Isocitric acid loses a hydrogen ,which is carried off by a carrier molecule for later use, and a carbon in the form of carbon dioxide which is exhaled .[note: the oxygen in the CO2 originated from the glucose]

The resulting five carbon a-ketogluteric acid does the same thing, losing a hydrogen and carbon.

Now both of the carbons that originally were added to the cycle have been lost along with their oxygens. We are left with the four carbons that came from the oxaloacetic acid plus two hydrogens; this is succinyl CoA.

Succinyl CoA becomes succinic acid. As this change occurs, the energy that was released from the breaking off of the carbons changes 1 ADP and P into ATP.

Succinic acid sheds a hydrogen, which is again picked up by a carrier, to become fumaric acid.

Fumaric acid undergoes the same procedure to become malic acid.
I'm not quite sure how fumaric acid returns to oxaloacetic acid; again I'll have to ask my instructor and update this post.

Now the second pyruvic acid is changed into acetic acid and goes through the cycle.

So, the Kreb's Cycle now ended let's survey it's results:
We now have
-2ATP (one from each pyruvic acid)
-8 H (in the form of NADH or FADH, 4 from each pyruvic acid)
-4CO2 (exhaled as waste, 2 from each pyruvic acid)

So far including Glycolysis, from one molecule of glucose we have obtained
-8 H (in the form of NADH or FADH)

Now let's look at the Electron Transport Chain:

I wish I could illustrate this one, but after all the trouble with the last illustration, I'm not going to try.
Basically, as I understand it, the principle is this: those eight hydrogen atoms that were plucked off in the Kreb's Cycle have electrons in high energy orbits. The carrier molecules (NAD and FAD) drop off the 8 hydrogens at a chain of proteins on the cristae (folds of inner membrane) on the mitochondrion. Here, as the hydrogens are passed from protein to protein, their electrons drop from energy level to energy level emitting (what do you think?) ENERGY!

This huge amount of energy is enough to create 32 ATP molecules from 32 ADP plus 32P molecules.
Byproducts of the Electron Transport Chain are heat and H2O (water)

Let's conclude this mess. From one glucose molecule we get 2 ATP from Gycolysis, 2 ATP from the Kreb's Cycle, and 32 ATP fro the ETC.

In the end, our byproducts CO2 and H2O.

1 C6H12O6 ----------------------------> 32ATP

Not bad, huh?

Ok, so maybe my explanation is bad. I know that it's definitely flawed and didn't even begin to scratch the surface of energy production. At least I've now tried to write down the main points of my professor's lecture for somebody else. If anyone has any questions, go ask your own instructor. If anyone has any comments, don't tell me I did a good job, because I didn't. I anyone wants to point out mistakes, go right ahead!

the SCHOLAR begins

Why would I post about something as boring as school?

-It is scientifically proven that if you teach some one something that you have learned, you will retain the content better than any other learning method.

- Since siblings wouldn't care to be forced to hear what I'm learning, I'll use my nonexistent readers as subjects in this experiment. Understand then, that if you proceed to read any of my posts, you have unofficially given your informed consent to be part of an experiment from which I benefit and you might, (depending on the quality of my recollection) or might not.

Here we go.....

Why I still keep my goats

Since the beginning of the fall semester, I've been struggling with this question: Should I keep my goats? I'm not at home to do morning chores and I can't really direct chores in the evening anymore.

Ever since I was four years old I've been the manager of the goat barn; keeping it neat, trimming hooves, mucking pens, making sure grain and hay aren't wasted (as well as wasting them myself), and coordinating breeding and kidding.

But then college classes hit my life like a loaded sand bag flung from a semi-truck, and I dropped out of goat chores. I gave my best milker to my brother, my two remaining elderly goats I entrusted to my sister, and I left the barn in the semi-capable hands of my siblings collectively.

I've been missing my goats. I didn't realize how good it is to see a creature looking up to you, depending on you for its needs. I didn't realize how relaxing cleaning a pen can be after a frustrating day. To take out all the pent up wrath on shovelfuls of manure that are barely light enough to lift. I had forgotten the enraged comical mixture of feelings that wash over you when suddenly a large idiotic calf dumps his bucket of water on you, then wails forlornly till you bring him more. I had forgotten Caprina's big dark blue eyes, watching to keep her herd in line, keeping the younger does in their place, neglecting her own feed to make sure everybody else isn't ursurping authority in her absence, accusing me with glares for my neglect of her and the herd. I had forgotten the simple, trusting, aged eyes of Chatter, dumbly accepting the fact that I can't stay all night, but silently pleading for me to return (and maybe even bring a handful of corn with me!). And Darey, how could I forget the ancient wether I have raised from a kid? The one who never gets sick and survives kidney stones that were supposed to kill him. You can't leave such creatures without a feeling akin to torture.

Well the long and short of it is that I've returned to the barn. Not full time, not even as manager (that's hard). I simply take care of the two senior citizens and clean rabbit and calf pens. It's not alot,(though sometimes I even neglect that) but it is enough to clear my mind, to bring my huge theoretical ideas back to the reality of mud, sweat, labor, and the clear, muddled noises and nuzzling of animals that depend on you.

There is something humbling in the realization that a creature depends on you, trusts you. It's a realization that forces you out of bed at night to check to make sure the 'bitties' are all safe, makes you get dirty, muddy filthy, when you'd rather be clean or dry, convicts you of your negligence and selfishness and makes you cringe inside when you find that there are conditions that may hurt your animals which you cannot change (such as barns flooding).

Anyway, I'm glad to be back to the barn. I might even beg my brother to give me back Caprina for the summer!

Reveling in the reality of dirt...........!

Third Day

So this is the third day: dry ground. Well, there is not much "dry ground" outside; mostly just snow and wind. But the day promises to be sunny and clear, so there is still hope!

Waiting for classes can be fun but also bring a sense of guilt. Fun because I get to do things that I normally don't have time to do, like posting on this blog. Incriminating, because I could be engaged in all kinds of useful pursuits, like studying or reading my text books.

As I relish these few minutes of relaxation, I think of all the things I want to write about. You may wonder why I haven't yet posted anything remotely interesting or edifying. I wonder myself. I think the answer lies in the fact that I like to have a lot of time to think when I deal with an interesting or engaging topic. Time has not seemed to be in excess lately.

Keep yourself "dry" today!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day two of the creation of my blog. So far, it is living up to it's name. I guess today I must mention something about water. The snow has melted somewhat during the day, but now the wind is whipping across the landscape and dashing hard pebbles of snow against protruding objects. I hope the animals are warm tonight especially the rabbits.......

Soon I'll write something more interesting(at least to me) but for now, I'm just trying to post once every day for the first 7 days.

There's something comforting about posting in a blog that nobody will read yet. It's almost like talking to yourself in the third person. (Please don't think I'm crazy)

Good evening,

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hello to all my faithful nonexistent readers. This is my first post on the first day of the creation of my blog. Light from darkness....... I've never done this before, obviously, so please patiently bear with me as I explore the wonderful world of blogs.

More thrilling posts to come. Hope y'all are excited. As for me, I'm worn out from technological exertions so I must wish all who are reading this post (that would be me) goodnight and apply myself to remedying my own sleep deprivation.