A boy, born Tuesday afternoon, 9 pounds 13 ounces, 21 inches long, lots of dark hair.
…there, I’ll post it here:
(I haven’t read the comments on the original article.)
The author’s position is logically very weak. Trying to reconcile the creation account in Genesis with the current scientific narrative by defaulting to “the science is definitely right, so our theology must be wrong” ignores the fact that science just can’t handle supernatural activity–science always assumes that God = 0. Science also doesn’t do well with one-time events that can’t be replicated in experiments (which is one reason that cosmologists keep coming up with one harebrained idea after another for what happened at the beginning of the universe–there’s no way to test any of it). The Bible definitely asserts that Creation was a unique set of events initiated and orchestrated by a very active God–who rested afterward. Many Christians are struggling to reconcile Genesis with current scientific knowledge, and whatever really happened at the beginning, it’s not nearly as simple as this author would like it to be.
Scientists are also frequently and embarrassingly wrong–just look back 150 years at what scientists used to believe. Compare that to a Christian theology that has endured through a couple of millennia already. The author is absolutely delusional to think that his new and improved scientific theology will last for 500 years or more.
It is perilous to set the doctrine of creation from the Biblical account in Genesis at the same level of theological necessity as various extra-Biblical traditions like indulgences and purgatory (see the first two paragraphs of the article).
As for the article as a whole…I have to say, “Ew ew ew ew EW!” This is the highest quality of Christian reasoning coming from an ordained minister? That was published in a denominational magazine?? No one at all noticed the Infernal reek coming off of it??? I’m not sure why those snippets of committee report are included at the end, because they are almost sensible, while the article itself goes right off the theological deep end.
I’ve been alternating between periods of activity and periods of rest. (In the down times I’ve been playing a lot of my favorite online Boggle-like game–while I still have two hands free to type with.) Today I cleaned the oven, did a lot of weeding in the flower garden, spent a couple hours writing, and started pizza dough for supper. The house is now about as clean as it can get.
A while back I wrote in a few fun activities on the calendar, in the two weeks after my due date. Two of my three previous babies went at least two weeks overdue, and the other one was born just a few hours before his due date.
Last week I discovered how to make single-serving chocolate milk by mixing the cocoa powder with honey before adding the milk.
One of the most gratifying things that I’ve done lately is to reorganize my closet. It was getting smaller and smaller as it got more and more disorganized. I started by making a quick map of what was in it and where, and made a list of simple rearrangement tasks.
The two biggest things that I did were to separate the shallow storage (items frequently used) from the deep storage (items I won’t need for a while), and to make better use of the vertical space. This closet is under the eaves and has little headroom, but there was still room to go up, and also a great deal of hanging rod space that was going unused. Also, some things, like outgrown children’s clothes, I had just been throwing into the closet, not being able to reach the right container in the back, so I put them where they should go.
After doing all the rearranging (which took about twenty minutes, including planning time, because I was mainly shifting units of storage around within the closet), I am very happy–everything, including the deepest storage, is accessible now. The closet feels much larger now. I drew an “after” map of its contents, and the improvement is obvious. I might also put the spare blankets up on hangers, instead of in a bin.
Our landlords have just one garden hose for the house, and it is certainly long enough to reach everywhere. But we have struggled a lot to manage the Hundred-Foot Hose: it twists and kinks and tangles like crazy, and there is nothing in the far reaches of the lot that we need to water, anyway. I actually found it easier to water the gardens using a watering can, than wrestling with the hose. Also, I prefer to have the hose put away most of the time, while MFH (who doesn’t do most of the mowing) likes to leave it out. MFH’s solution: “Target has hoses on sale this week!!” But I wanted to think about it. I finally got the idea of storing the hose, connected to the outdoor faucet, under the back steps, and then just pulling out as much as we need, when we need it.
For another problem, the broken earpiece on my glasses, one of the things that I found at the rummage sale was a pair of glasses similar to mine. I found that the earpiece would almost fit my frames–close enough that I could wire them together. (I’ve seen some very nice repairs that old-timers made with bits of wire, and it’s a skill that I am working on.) Then I painted the earpiece with nail polish to match the rest of my frames. I also salvaged the nose pads, which also almost fit, and attached them with hot glue. So now I have fairly respectable spectacles again.
Next problem: I was still running out of clothes that fit. I did make a long skirt out of one of the tablecloths from the rummage sale, but I was totally out of clean shirts that fit. It finally occurred to me that I could wear more of the shirts that I have if I wore them with a skirt–around home I usually wear stretchy pants, with the waistband pulled low because I don’t ever like tight things around my waist, and then a long shirt over that. But I do wear my skirts with the waistband riding higher, and they are not so tight, so a shorter shirt would work. (It just makes me look like a pyramid, this late in pregnancy.)
Finally: the children have some things in their room that seem to exist only for the purpose of being strewn across the floor. One day I bagged these things up, and put the bag away. It is now a lot easier to pick up in there.
I’ve been spring cleaning and nesting at the same time, and have been getting a lot done, slowly: cleaning out the flower garden, raking the yard, redoing some of the vegetable garden fencing, washing windows (it is so nice to have windows that are easy to wash), cleaning light fixtures, polishing furniture, cleaning underneath everything, and making a batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent (with the fels naphtha/Zote/Ivory soap-based recipe that can be found all over the internet).
I was cleaning the light fixture and ceiling fan blades in the kitchen right after I made the laundry detergent, and found that the detergent worked very well for cleaning the dust and grease off those (which I took down before scrubbing). For windows, I usually put a little dishwashing soap in warm water–I started this doing because most of our inside window grime is made of food. It did finally occur to me that dishwashing liquid is actually designed to leave glass shiny and unstreaked, so it should be expected to work well on windows.
Also, I persuaded MFH to photograph and part with some of his T-shirts from high school and college, and I used some of them to make myself long maternity shirts. With the warmer weather, I had zero shirts that fit. I cut and pieced them to make two shirts, and then just lengthened another. It turned out to be time well spent, because I found an XL maternity shirt at a rummage sale this weekend, and even that is several inches too short (and is just as shapeless as the maternity shirts that I threw together without a pattern). I always get enormous at the end of pregnancy, and I might still have as much as five weeks to go.
The children have been living outside a lot more. StrongBaby is very interested in all the wheeled toys–from the trucks to the scooters to his big sister’s roller skates. He persisted long enough with the roller skates that he started to get the hang of it; he’s so short that the falls didn’t bother him much. OLC has become very interested in nature, and is observing a lot outdoors this year. TLG has started to learn to cook.
I just had a smallish ball of yarn handy. I played around and knit for a bit, and then decided to make a knitted ball.
There are a lot of patterns online for this, but I used a simple short rows technique from a book from the Seventies, A New Look at Knitting, by Elyse and Mike Sommer (which is a excellent book to start with if you want to knit foofy shapes). Since Google didn’t help me find a pattern that explained this method of knitting a ball very well, I’ll do it here.
In knitting, you make a short row by turning the knitting before the end of the row, leaving some stitches unknit for the time being. You may have to bring the yarn between the needles (depending on stitch pattern) before you start knitting again. There are techniques for wrapping or tightening the yarn to avoid making a small hole at each mid-row turn, if you wish, but I’d skip that at first (actually I only just learned about those today).
So, if you start with 20 stitches on the needle, knit 18, turn, knit 18, you’ve created one more row on the starting edge, but not on the other edge. (I’m not saying left or right edge here, because I am left-handed and knit “backwards”, from left to right.) The needle holding the stitches is now not quite parallel to the bottom edge. You could knit straight at this point, making a strip that has a slight kink in it, or you could knit another short row, shorter than the first one, and kink it even further. Kink it far enough, and the strip will bend around into a circle.
To make a circle, you keep shortening the rows by two stitches at a time until you run out of stitches, then knit all the way to the end of the row and back. This makes one wedge-shaped segment (a slightly distorted triangle, really). Repeat 11 times to make a total of 12 segments, cast off and join the last row to the first row, and you have a circle.
To be more specific in knitting language, here is a pattern (20 stitches is enough to give you the idea without being tediously large):
Simple short rows garter stitch circle
Cast on 20 st, knit one row.
*Begin short rows for segment:
K 18, turn, K 18.
K 16, turn, K 16.
K 14, turn, K 14.
K 12, turn, K 12.
K 10, turn, K 10.
K 8, turn, K 8.
K 6, turn, K 6.
K 4, turn, K 4.
K 2, turn, K 2.
Knit down and back along entire row: K 20, turn, K 20.
Repeat from * to make a total of 12 segments. Cast off and join first row to last, and sew hole in center closed.
To make a ball, you work short rows at both sides of the knitting, kinking in both sides at the same time. A little mind-blowing, but it works:
Simple short rows knitted ball in garter stitch
Cast on 20 st, knit one row.
*Begin short rows for segment:
K 18, turn, K 16.
K 14, turn, K 12.
K 10, turn, K 8.
K 8, turn, K 6.
K 4, turn, K 2.
Knit down and back along entire row: K 20, turn, K 20.
Repeat from * to make a total of 12 segments. Cast off, insert stuffing, join first row to last, and sew holes at top and bottom closed.
In The Serendipitous Sabbatical, I briefly mentioned Paul Miller, who was unplugging himself from the internet for a year. Now he is back, and apparently considers the year to have been a failure, even though he learned a few things along the way.
I finally got hold of a copy of Hidden Art, by Edith Schaeffer, which I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. (She recently died.)
I guessed that she would focus on everyday art, as opposed to the High Art that her husband Francis Schaeffer focused on in How Shall We Then Live? This she did, marvelously, making a strong case for us Christians to be creative in our everyday lives and live with art and beauty, no matter how limited our means. Hidden Art is full of ideas, only occasionally going into the details of the how-to.
It occurred to me recently that I should dig the baby clothes out of the far back reaches of the closet, and get them ready. The weeks are skimming by, and we’ve been getting our birth supplies together. We’ll be canning up a double batch of beef bourguignon (known as “beef boojie-boojie” in our house) to eat over rice postpartum. I’ve been working through an endless list of small cleaning tasks.
TLG has been taking a strong interest in cooking lately. He is good at cracking eggs and peeling carrots.
…at one end of the bedroom closet. I was going to make a small table, and move my computer back into the bedroom, but God’s sovereign will, as expressed in the available materials, led me to put it in the closet. I contrived a homemade magnetic lock for the door–a metal pin that slides in a channel when pushed by a strong magnet from outside–to keep StrongBaby out. It unlocks easily, but requires a certain finesse to lock.
With that done, I’ve been able to type my twenty pages of notes into FreeMind, and to start organizing them into a more coherent structure. Once the outline is straightened out, I can go back to the laptop for writing. (The laptop is just too old to run the Java that FreeMind is based on.)
In other projects, we finally figured out why TLG was refusing to wear most of his pants–he kept saying they were “too big” for him because they were wider in the legs than he wanted, not because they were too long. So I took measurements (on a strip of paper because we are short on tape measures at the moment), and narrowed his pant legs for him by taking width out at the inseam. Now he is happy with all of his pants. I cut up the scraps into little disposable kitchen wipes, which are handy for wiping up grease and small spills. I haven’t been sewing as much lately, so I didn’t have them for a while, and I missed them.