Thursday, February 28, 2008



Dad's ashes were put to rest last Friday, and on Saturday there was a lovely memorial service. Interim Pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Jody LeFort, did a wonderful job with words of comfort and healing. We appreciated her care for my father, and for my mother.

Here is the eulogy I prepared for the service.

My son, Thomas, has on occasion asked me why I tease him so much. After some reflection, I was able to answer the question. I learned from the master.

Many here knew my father as a kind, compassionate, creative person. All these things are true. But it is also true that my father had a wonderful sense of humor, an odd sense of humor. When I think of my father, this is the first thing I think of.

My earliest memory of Dad and his sense of humor was when Lora, Chuckie and I were very young–probably before we started school. My mother recited the old poem about “Wee Willie Winkie” to try to get us kids settled into bed quickly.

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
"Are the children in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock?"

"Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat is singing purring sounds to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's a wakeful little boy who will not fall asleep!"

Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,
Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.

"Hey, Willie Winkie - the child's in a creel!
Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her thrums
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!"

Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
A small short little child, who can't run on his own,
Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.

I remember hearing that poem, and then hearing a “rap rap rap” on the window. Surely Wee Willie Winkie wasn’t visiting us! It scared me a little, but when I found out it was just Dad, it became funny. Often when I tuck Thomas into bed, I think of that poem, and that time that Dad became Wee Willie Winkie.

I understand that Dad engaged in this kind of play with others as well. One of my favorite stories is from when he was much younger, and living at home with his parents on the West Side of Cleveland. There was a man who moved into the neighborhood, and this man had long hair. No big deal today, but in the 50's it wasn’t all too common. His sister Sandy asked him why that man had long hair. My father told her that it was because he was posing for Jesus pictures.

I recall there was a time period where my father teased my son by calling him “Skeeter.” No matter how many times Thomas corrected Dad by saying, “But I’m not Skeeter! I’m Thomas!”, he would continue calling him “Skeeter.”

Once we were traveling through Montana. Dad got pulled over for speeding. Never having witnessed law enforcement officials ever dealing with my father over any kind of incident, I was worried. I didn’t know what was happening. When my dad got back into the car after his conversation with the State Troopers, he told me he was going to be arrested–but quickly changed the story when he saw how upset I was.

It wasn’t until I was a teenager that Dad perfected his teasing ways. We were in Virginia, visiting Aunt Sandy, when we went to do some shopping. Much to my dismay, Dad was wearing a shirt which kind of looked like an Ohio State jersey, plaid shorts, and worst of all, he was wearing tube socks with big red stripes and tennis shoes. This ensemble was unacceptable to me, and I was really, really embarrassed to go out into public with him dressed this way. I expressed this in my own teenage angst kind of way, and made some comment about being embarrassed. My father’s response was not to tone down the tourist outfit, but to stop in the sidewalk and do an equally embarrassing little dance that the whole world could see. And he made sure that everyone there knew who he was with, too.

There are many other tales–including practical jokes which I won’t repeat here today.

Dad's sense of humor wasn't just teasing, though. He was also a master of using humor to lighten a situation, or to make someone feel better. When I was in kindergarten or first grade, I was diagnosed with a lazy eye. I would have to wear glasses and have a patch over one of my eyes. Dad drew an eye on the patch I would wear. A few weeks ago, when Thomas and I were visiting him in the hospital, we returned that favor, drawing a cat's mouth and nose and whiskers on the masks we had to wear while visiting him.

Mom and Dad had a wonderful marriage, which had a lot of laughter and adventure. Together, they modeled for us kids how to make it through the perils of the world, how to hold things together even when things got rough.

And for Mom and Dad both, things would get rough. Both had their bouts with cancer, one right after the other. They lost their daughter, Lora, far too soon. But together, they weathered those storms, and displayed a strength I will always admire.

So here's to my dad—a man who knew how to love and to laugh, how to make others laugh, and who knew how to face peril with courage and humor.

Saturday, February 16, 2008



Dad died Thursday morning.

Wonderful husband. Wonderful Dad. Talented artist. Empowering teacher. Devoted brother. Loyal friend. Unwavering fan of OSU and the Cleveland Indians. Sort of liked the Browns. Not interested in NBA all too much.

I loved him, and I will miss him.

Monday, February 11, 2008


My Song of the Day

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Home Again

I've been in Cleveland visiting my parents. Dad had heart valve replacement surgery--but also is recovering from pneumonia, a stapf infection, and an ulcer. He's got a long way to go. If you think of it, please pray for him.


Superwhat? I Chose Supermovie!

I'm a Browns fan. So whatever is going on at some stadium somewhere tonight matters not to me.

For reasons I will explain in another post, I spent this past week in bee-yoo-teh-full Cleveland, Ohio. My son and I flew back Saturday, and James came to pick us up Sunday morning. I knew the Superwhatever was today, but was in no mood to see the Pats and the Giants. What I was in the mood for was U2.

God has used U2 in my life for 23 years. When I heard that there was going to be a 3D movie of a U2 concert, I was thrilled. I had the opportunity, thanks to my husband and son, to go and see it at an Imax theater today in Dallas. It was money and time well spent.

I've never been able to see U2 live--now I feel as though I have. Fabulous! If you are near a theater showing the film, you must go. Must. From the opening "Vertigo," to the finale "Yahweh," I was captivated, and even moved to tears in places.

It is coming to Wichita Falls in a couple of weeks, and our church is taking a group. Did I mention that our church is awesome like that? You can check to see where it is playing near you here.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Another Friday Five

From RevGalblogpals:

There are two types of people in the world, morning people and night owls. Or Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Or boxers and briefs. Or people who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't. Let your preferences be known here. And if you're feeling verbose, defend your choices!

1. Mac? or PC?

I own a PC, but prefer Macs. They are just more expensive, that's all. And, I married a fabulous PC dude.

2. Pizza: Chicago style luscious hearty goodness, or New York floppy and flaccid?
You know, I like both. But I love New York, so I'll take that slice.

3. Brownies/fudge containing nuts:a) Good. I like the variation in texture.b) An abomination unto the Lord. The nuts take up valuable chocolate space.[or a response of your choosing]

Neither. A lady in my church makes an awesome brownie. She mixes the brownies together, tops it with chocolate chip cookie dough, then frosts them. Yum!

4. Do you hang your toilet paper so that the "tail" hangs flush with the wall, or over the top of the roll like normal people do?

I'm no conformist. I hang it with the tail flush to the wall. I have a friend who had an ongoing battle with his roommate over this issue. He would make it flush to the wall whenever in the restroom, but the roomie would change it back. They never spoke of it to each other.

5. Toothpaste: Do you squeeze the tube wantonly in the middle, or squeeze from the bottom and flatten as you go just like the tube instructs?

I wantonly squeeze the middle, until I am running low. Then, I have to roll it up and flatten it.

Bonus: Share your favorite either/or.
Greek or Hebrew? I like Greek.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Friday Five--It's My Party

Tell us these five things about parties, birthday or otherwise.

1) Would you rather be the host or the guest?
The guest. I get a bit frazzled trying to get everything ready, and can't enjoy myself. I guess I'm a Martha.

2) When you are hosting, do you clean everything up the minute the guests go home?
No. No. No.
Will you accept help with the dishes?

3) If you had the wherewithal, and I guess I mean more than money, to throw a great theme party, what would the theme be?
I just shared a really amusing book with my son about John Hancock, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. So I think I'd like to have a Revolution Party, where everyone had to dress up like people from that era. Powdered wigs and all.

4) What's the worst time you ever had at a party?
Probably in Junior High School. Oh, the drama!

5) And to end on a brighter note, what was the best?
My wedding reception. To be surrounded by all those people that love and support me, and that we love too.


A New Daily Addition to the Blog

Over on the left you'll notice a comic strip called "Day By Day." A friend introduced this to me the other day, and I got a kick out of it. Hope you enjoy it, too. You can check out the archives of "Day By Day" here.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


My Favorite News Story of the Week

There was a Poodle scam in Japan, involving sheep. This story has made me laugh for several days now. Hat tip to Ace of Spades. Read the article here.


Friday Five

What are you...

1. Wearing
A knee length linen khaki dress, hose, and flats.

2. Pondering
My cluttered desk.

3. Reading
The Order of the Phoenix, in preparation for the movie this summer.

4. Dreaming
Vacation, vacation, vacation. We need one.

5. Eating
Chicken Fried Rice

Friday, April 20, 2007


Return to the Blogosphere with Rev Gal's Friday Five

I cannot believe how long it has been since I've posted. I doubt anyone really checks anymore. So I am attempting re-entry into the blogosphere with this weeks Rev Gals Friday Five.

Tell us about five people, places, or things that have brought surprising, healing joy into your life.

The keyword above is "surprising." No offense to my family and friends, but the joy you bring into my life is not surprising. You all live and breathe joy into my life, and the only surprise about that is that God cares about me enough to send you my way. So I'm focusing on the truly surprising sources of joy--geographic locations that have stirred my soul.

1. The Gorgeous Texas Plains
I never saw a sunset like the ones we have here in Texas. There is nothing like driving westbound on a flat plain and seeing that red sky go on forever. The breathtaking beauty I get to soak in is a source of joy.

2. The Teton Mountain Range

The jagged edges of these mountains, the wildlife, the fresh air, the wildflowers, the sounds of birds. I tremble.

3. Crossing the Mississippi River
I've done it many times, and in many places. Each time I do, I'm reminded of how, in a relatively short amount of time, people settled throughout our country. I am in awe of the ingenuity and persistance of those settlers long ago, and feel a deep sense of gratitude that I can enjoy moving about this country freely.

4. New Year's Eve in Times Square
I am an introvert. The last place you would predict for me to be is at Times Square on New Year's Eve. But when our friends David and Laurie got married, that is where the church was, and that is the date they picked. I so enjoyed being there. People on the street were not nearly as drunk as I thought they would be, and everyone was so optimistic and joyful--it was contagious.

5. Holmes County, Ohio
The largest concentration of Amish people live in Holmes County. It was a joy to be near them, to enjoy their handiworks, their good food, and their gentle nature.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Clergy Burnout

Here is a very important article on clergy burnout. Honk if anything in it sounds familiar to you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


From First Things

From page 14 of the November, 2006 issue of "First Things."

The Dead Are With Us
by Gwen Hart

The dead are with us when they sing.
Though we can't see them anymore,
they sing in very little things.

They sing in clinking wedding rings,
in zippers of the clothes they wore.
The dead are with us. When they sing,

we hear their teaspoons jangling
in the corners of our kitchen drawers.
They sing in all the little things.

Their voices are not sparkling,
not melodious or pure,
but they are with us when they sing,

and we prefer that--anything!--
to silence, to the words no more.
We look for every little thing,

each pocket, box we can explore.
We feel them with us when they sing,
and that is not a little thing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I Am...

Which South Park kid are you most like?


You're pretty normal. Infact you're usually the sane voice of reason when everyone else is going crazy.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Go See This!

The children's movies of late all seem to be the same thing over and over again. I know this isn't just my opinion. Many parents I talk to feel the same way.

Last night, we took our son and several of his friends to see "Flushed Away" in honor of my son's ninth birthday. You must see this film, especially if you like British humor.

It's been a long time since I've really laughed and laughed at a children's movie. Yes, there are always jokes meant for adults which make one chuckle. But this movie was full of delightful little details that kept me on my toes. I want to see it again just to scan the background for things I missed.

The plot was a whole lot different, but a whole lot the same. What was the same as the others? Animal gets thrown into an environment not his own, and learns to live and love in a different world, learns how to work with others, etc., etc. Valuable lessons to be sure.

What was different? It didn't feel preachy. Ever.

Go see this.

Friday, November 10, 2006


RevGals Friday Five

1. Favorite red food.
Red M & Ms.

2. Tell us about the bluest body of water you've ever seen in person.
To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a "blue blue" water ever in my life. Maybe in Florida, but it looked more green to me.

3. It's movie rental time: Blue Planet, The Color Purple, or Crimson Tide?
How about Red Dawn?

4. What has you seeing red these days?
My messy house.

5. What or who picks you up when you're feeling blue?
My husband and my son.


Preach It, Peggy!

I've boo hooed the election. I've lamented. Yes, I am a Republican, probably one of the few in my family. Probably one of the few Republican female clergy. It's a pro-life thing for me, and a 9/11 thing for me, for the most part. (Please don't make any comments here about the Republicans being pro-life until birth--that kind of talk is very unhelpful.)

I was a Democrat up until 1996. Voted straight ticket. Said I'd never vote Republican. Then again, I said I'd never move to Texas.

Thanks to Peggy Noonan, I'm feeling a whole lot better today.

Remember when there was a Democrat in the White House, and a Democratic House and Senate? There wasn't much accomplished. The best thing to happen to Bill Clinton was the revolution of 1994 (as much as I hated it at the time).

I'm sure some things are going to happen which I won't like. John Bolton might not be confirmed, even though moderate Republican George Voinovich has changed his mind, and Bolton has proven not to be the maniac some in the Democratic leadership would have him to be. Judges will be more difficult to confirm.

I really hope that there is bipartisan effort for the next couple of years, and not just a bunch of showboating and stalling. I hope the newly elected representatives and senators behave. I hope they, as Peggy Noonan says, "Take responsibility, and love America."


Just Wasting Time on a Friday

School Smart

You're more of a 'school smarts' kind of person. You are best with the theoretical things, and your intelligence is both natural and learned - a blend of personal, experiential knowledge and book learnin'.

60% theoretical intelligence
20% natural intelligence

Take this quiz at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Katsaris plays Chopin Funeral March from Sonata No.2

In Memoriam. 1994-2006


Not Much To Say...

...except for the GOP got fat and lazy and deserved to lose. Just like the fat and lazy Democrats of 1994.

The analysis that I've like best so far is here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Don't Live in Missouri, But...

Here's an ad anyway.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Worth A Thousand Words

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Hey Ya

Hey Ya! Charlie Brown Style

This is a lot of fun. Hat tip to Dave at Atomic Dave.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Friday Five: Word Association

Due to a Presbytery Meeting, the Friday Five has become an "Early Sunday Morning Five" here at Transplanted Buckeye. The RevGals are doing word association this week. A word is given, and we are to respond with either a word, a phrase, a story, whatever comes to mind. So here we go! BTW--all the words are from Job.

Whirlwind: A friend of mine once read this blog and called me a whirlwind. I still don't know whether to take that as a word of caution or as a compliment.

Foundation: The Church's One is Jesus Christ, her Lord.

Lightning: Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening me! Galileo! Galileo!

Den: Den meetings can try my husband's patience, and mine as well.

Prey: What my cat leaves at the back door as a token of love.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


The Man Who Made Me A News Junkie

Has died. Christopher Glenn, who was the voice of the "In the News" news snippets every Saturday morning on CBS, passed away at 68 years old. I remember watching cartoons, and then waiting with anticipation for Glenn's snippet to come on. He made news cool for my generation the way Schoolhouse Rock made math, science, grammar and American history cool.

Friday, October 13, 2006


RevGals Friday Five: Creature Comforts

This weeks Friday Five from the Rev. Gals webring is to describe the creature comforts we like best in the following five categories.

1. Comfort Beverage:

Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi. I do not discriminate against either.

2. Comfort Chair:

Chair? Bed.

3. Comfort Read:

OK, I have a few of these. The first is a very odd one. Sal Fisher, Brownie Scout. I've been reading this book over and over since I was about seven years old. I couldn't find an image to post here. And yes, I was a Girl Scout up until I was a Senior in High School.

The second one would be any of the Harry Potter books. Love them. Have read them over and over. Have taught lessons from them to the youth.

The third is obvious. This is the version I have used since 10th grade. I've worn out the first, and am on my second. The new one is cool and leatherbound. I also like the New American Standard version, but my Student Bible is NIV.

Fourth, anything by Miss Flannery O' Connor.

4. Comfort Television/DVD/CD

TV: What kind of girl who grew up in the seventies and eighties would I be if I didn't say "Little House on the Prairie."

DVD: Muriel's Wedding

CD: Too many to mention. Way to many. Way, way too many. I go in phases.

5. Comfort Companion

Husband, son, cats, and friends.

John Piper is Bad - the video

Any true Calvinist will appreciate this.

Wierd Al - White and Nerdy

More Wierd Al fun for a Friday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Something For the Wish List

Here's something really cool I found on the Geeks are Sexy tech news website. It's a turntable with a USB connection so you can finally put your vinyl onto CDs! Hey, Santa! Are you listening? Here's a link to it at Amazon. Only $130!

Blogged with Flock


In Memory Part II

Here is part of my family at Hilton Head Island. Front row: nephew Tyler, son Thomas, brother Chuckie, my mom. Back row: sister Lora, my dad, sister-in-law Vicky.

This particular picture was taken on the next to last day I saw my sister. I wonder how that vacation would have been different had we all known what would happen five months later.

Lora loved Hilton Head. She organized this vacation for my family, and we were blessed to spend so much time together that week.

Among other things, Lora loved being with family. She was painfully shy growing up. I remember her not even being able to call for a pizza. She became more bold in college, as the shy often do.

Lora was near the top of her high school class. She was bright and diligent when it came to schoolwork. She was always a favorite of teachers because she always did her work, and she never caused any problems in class.

As a wife and mother, she was wonderful. During those years of pain from scleroderma and lupus, I never heard her whine or complain about it. Her joints ached so badly in her last year that her son had to turn the key on the ignition for her. She volunteered as room mother at Tyler's school, and was supportive of her husband in every way.

A word about her husband, my brother-in-law. He was an excellent husband to my sister. He took care of her in every circumstance. They met in college, during their Freshman year. Lora was the Sweetheart of Dan's fraternity, and was chosen to ride in the homecoming parade her senior year.

Oh, my relationship with Lora was not without problems. We fought a lot growing up, as sisters do. But time healed much of that, and we were very close when she passed away. She gave child-rearing advice to me, and loved my son as her own.

Marking her birthday this year was easier than other years. I knew more how I would feel. I've become more open with more people about my grief, which continues. October 11th will always hurt. Yet I cannot help but be thankful that God blessed me with such a sister.


Lora's Obituary

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