28 August 2008
26 August 2008
Downtown Angola, Indiana at twilight
Historic buildings have the ability to inspire, cause us to remember, teach us about our past, and even give life to communities. My wife and I traveled to the northeast part of the state.....Angola area, to Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana's north regional annual meeting. We made a few stops in the progressive dinner schedule. The first was Powers Church, then to Pokagon State Park for BBQ in one of their stellar CCC structures...and back downtown to the Masonic Lodge on the historic city square. Angola's city square/circle monument seems to be a mini version of Indianapolis, and is probably the finest downtown square in the whole state.
But let me tell you about the Powers Church. It was built in 1876, eight miles east of Angola and was used by several congregations over the years. The setting against the cemetery is picture-perfect and the building is in a remarkable state of preservation, down to the original oil lamp holders. In 1976 descendants of the family who constructed the church decided they wanted to save the structure and began a preservation effort of ambitious proportions......right down to meticulously hand-painting wall paper to match the original which was cleaned, repaired and touched-up. The efforts have paid off....the building was listed on the National Register in 1983 and is in use for summer Sunday evening services. Hat's off to the Powers family.
For more information about Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana visit http://www.historiclandmarks.org/
22 August 2008
20 August 2008
I think the word is out among the animal kingdom. Visit my house and you're welcome to stay. We had 3 sleepless nights due to a bat in our house, for which I spent half a day Friday and half the day Saturday tearing the house apart......caulking every crack 1/4" or bigger. 3 tubes of caulk and 2 cans of expandable foam. The bat has not returned. Side note: if you see a tennis racket in someone's home, does it mean they play tennis or swat bats? I believe here in Indiana, it's for swatting bats.
We've had a mole problem for a few years now.....but the mounds are getting quite tall in the front yard....so much so, the building inspector stopped by and asked if I had a permit for excavation. So, this friend of mine, the wii guy, suggested using a spring loaded steel trap, as he had, to rid myself of the varmints. It worked! Joy of joys........I've snapped two little guys in half and have about a dozen more to go.
Then there is our snake friend (or friends?). I saw him the other evening, Saturday night, after a long day of caulking for bats, by our back porch where I like to sit and relax. He slithered into hiding while being chased by the dog. I didn't think too much of it until he showed up again, I think it was the same one, yesterday morning. This time he reared back to strike when I went to pick something off the ground. One of the biggest garter snakes I've seen. So, now I'm thinking.....I'll let you live being the environmentalist I am (forget the mole story for a moment). So I got a broom and tried to chase him west toward the river....instead he went east toward the foundation of our house....then into the foundation of our house. A time or two I had him pushed away with the broom, but I sure was making him angry....as angry as any snake I've ever seen.
I'm done with our town living wildlife adventure......I'm moving out into the country where the critters used to live.
18 August 2008
after the "restoration"
16 August 2008
14 August 2008
13 August 2008
It was a little bittersweet this morning, watching my kids head off for their first day of school, my little girl's very first day of kindergarten. Bittersweet because while I love being home with them during the day....I certainly was able to get a lot done in a quiet house this afternoon. I think I was the only dad at the bus stop this morning too. Cherish your kids, time goes by so quickly you'll blink and they'll be gone.....I used to not believe this, but it was just yesterday my son was playing in his 1 year old cake.
12 August 2008
Two weeks ago our pastor spoke on various ways we can hear from God. Now a good friend of mine once commented...."you evangelicals always think you're hearing from God, do you believe you hear from Him audibly??" So, this may warrant some explanation. Sometimes we know in our spirit God is prompting us to do something, to approach someone, reach out to someone. There are times when something is "revealed" to us, such as a deeper understanding of scripture. Often in nature God gives us a metaphor as a message to us. And there are times, I believe, that He can even speak in an audible voice....just as He did to Moses, John the Baptist, (S)Paul, etc.; although I haven't experience that!
11 August 2008
10 August 2008
08 August 2008
06 August 2008
It sounded like a joke, didn't it? Between some recent mailings I received and a phone call yesterday afternoon from a pollster, I couldn't help but blog.
Last week I got a letter from "Keep the Faith", a Seventh Day Adventist organization; in it they railed on Geedubya because he said he "sees God in the eyes of the Pope" and said they were "shocked" and that this is "a wake up call" (I wish I had a dollar for every "wake up call"). It went on to say essentially that Bush is going to construct an idol to the beast because of a desire to coordinate our policies with Rome, yadda, yadda, yadda.....ok, it didn't say that specifically, but it is implied. This is pretty fundamentalist stuff here. Anyway, I quit reading at this point, but kept the letter for a Catholic brother in Christ because I knew he would be fried. I haven't spoken to a good Adventist brother in Christ about this yet, but I intend to.
Did you notice I referred to both of them as brothers in Christ? Because I have no doubt they are. It's too bad right wing nut jobs have to target the Catholic Church with this end-of-the-world garbage........rather than target the homeless and hungry with Christ's love. Not that I'm an expert on Catholics, but this is what I know: I've got a couple of awesome Catholic friends who have portrayed the image of Christ (ie: I see God in their eyes) far more so than some of the hate-monger evangelicals I've had the distinct privilege of knowing. I've sat and talked with nuns in a round table discussion where it was evident in the 2 hours we spoke they were far more concerned about reaching a hurting world than anything I heard in six years at a Baptist school.
Now to give props to the sevies (Seventh Day Adventists), and I mean no disrespect, they call themselves this. I went to a Seventh Day Adventist University, after going to a Missionary College, after attending a Baptist High School, being raised Charismatic, after leaving the Church of God (it's a wonder I can think straight). Fact is I didn't know it was Seventh Day until I was taking a tour and the guide asked me if I was "SDA"...thinking he meant some kind of disease, I repeated it back..."SDA? Uh, no, I don't think so" and he had to explain. I broke a cardinal SDA rule by having a pepperoni pizza delivered to studio once and a girl friend asked if I knew what I was eating and I said, probably hog mixed up with a bunch of other bits and pieces......they don't eat meat, particularly pigs. I tried not to offend and started referring to Saturday as Sabbath....which thoroughly confused them and they began to think I was SDA again. Some of my profs and friends from there are honestly some of the best people I have ever known.....with a concern for people unparalleled by even Catholic standards. I assume my name is on some SDA list, hence the Pope letter.
oh yeah, and John McCain. I got two.....2.......count them, TWO more letters from his campaign one day last week. In the one he addressed me as "Dear Friend"....I thought that was a nice touch. The friend letter was a pretty positive one, to get me jacked up about a RNC Victory this fall....it has VICTORY capitalized and in bold print 3x on the first page alone. The second one is more serious with an underlined statement saying Obama will surrender to Al Queda. So, I guess the difference is clear, Obama "surrendering" to Al Queda or McCain surrendering to big oil companies. Crazy. John did want to make it clear I can only give up to the legal limit of $2300. So how did he just get over a million bucks from the oil companies? I can't compete for influence even at $2300.
And since yesterday was a testy day with some insurance issues and phone calls I had to make, seemed like a perfect ending to the afternoon when someone from State Senator Charbenau's campaign called my house to ask if I thought Indiana was going in the right direction. The poor girl didn't stand a chance. I said "NO, absolutely not" and then she asked about voting republican and I said "the quicker we get those guys out the better", then she told me how Charbeneau understands the tough economy and voted for property tax reform, at which point I cut her off and said "let me tell you, my taxes, as a middle-income now out of work fella are going to go up by nearly $800 because of Mitch's tax reform while the slumlord across the street is going to have his taxes go down.....do you think that's fair?" uh, no, sir, she said. She asked if I planned to vote for Balmer (his opponent) and I said, "well, I plan to vote against Charbeneau." I wanted to go into the whole quality of life issue in Indiana, but I realized that the RNC may have the phone tapped, peg me as an Obama sympathizer and make me rat out my Catholic friends.
04 August 2008
The German influenced Catholic Church of Jasper-one of the finest in Indiana
01 August 2008
The free exhibit at the Clarian Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion on Aug. 6-17 is dubbed "Colossal Colon" and depicts healthy colon tissue as well as tissue with hemorrhoids, cancerous and non-cancerous polyps, Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis and various stages of colon cancer.