Another collaboration between September and myself,

being about a rather poorly illustrated biography of Leonardo da Vinci. Perhaps there is a time and a place for crudely cartoonish illustrations, but at any rate, its proper place is certainly not in a biography of Leonardo. But of course, I didn't notice just how silly it was until September pointed it out, although I'm not quite sure that September's objections were the same as mine. In fact, I'm not 100% certain about the precise nature of her objections in the first place. But at any rate, here they are.

This book is a bad book.
It's a bad book, she said.
There's people who cover people--
And they don't like it.

She took another long look,
Took a long look, then she said
They're trying to take a horse--
And it's not good.

But cuddle up, sweet mama,
and fold me in the blanket
so we can be toasty.


Onward Christian Soldiers

"Hey Mom, wher're we goin' today?"

"Well, I was thinking of taking you guys to the Salvation Army store."

"Do they sell guns there?"

"Um... no."

"Why don't they sell guns there?"

"I don't know. Maybe they do. I've never checked. They sell a lot of different things."

"Oh, so do they just sell swords and spears and bows and arrows, like in the Bible?"

"I don't think so. They just sell clothes and furniture and stuff."

"Oh, okay, so they have soldier boots there? Is that why it's called Salvation Army?"


You should probably beware the brioche dough of the Pharisees, too.

I'm guest blogging at the evangelical outpost about my life-changing experiences with bread dough.

No, not the one a few years ago where I sort of ate too much brioche dough and the yeast sort of colonized in my stomach, and I sort of thought I was going to explode, until raw garlic came to my rescue for the first of many times.

No, this time I'm blogging about good experiences with bread dough, experiences in which none of the dough made it into my mouth before first being baked into wonderfully scrumptious breads.

Although I guess that other bread dough experience was a very good one, too, because that was the first time I discovered the anti-microbial properties of raw garlic, and though I've never repeated that particular mistake of eating anything containing live yeast, it turns out that garlic can kill all sorts of unwelcome invaders and has saved me a tremendous amount of agony, not to mention thousands of dollars in copays for doctor visits and antibiotics.

But I think these experiences with bread dough were even better, because while the other helped me understand garlic better, these helped me come to a deeper understanding of the gospel.

And the gospel is even more powerful and healing and cleansing and purifying than raw garlic.

Which is actually saying something.



A few days later...

Easter Sunday was just lovely.

The process of tumbling out the door to church was fraught with more than usual chaos. It seemed that everything that could possible go wrong did... but then again, it seemed that nothing that could go wrong really mattered. Death itself is conquered--is there room in this flood of joy for fretfulness over smaller troubles?

And in the end, we did make it to Sunday School--and very nearly on time, too!

We'd planned on a picnic, but in the chaos of the morning, I'd forgotten the food, and anyway, it was pouring rain. So we just went home.

But by the time we got home, the rain was gone, and Andrew set up the grill on our own little porch, and smoked our burgers with some chips from some gorgeously aromatic purply logs he'd split a week or so earlier. (What a wonderful place Houston is to go scavenging for firewood!)

So we had our burgers on the porch--our newly open sunshiny porch, now that Andrew has gotten rid of one of the overgrown shrubs--beside our new little barely-sprouting vegetable garden, and the big stack of fragrant firewood. It was as pleasant a place as you could ask for, and the burgers were delicious, with avacados and mushrooms and swiss cheese and carmelized onions, on sourdough rolls fresh from the oven. An nontraditional Easter feast, perhaps, but a very yummy one.

As we were finishing up, we noticed two little pairs of eyes peeking through the fence, and so for most of the afternoon we were joined by a very adorable pair of boys from our neighborhood. A good time was had by all.

It was one of those days to savor, a bright sunshiny day of loveliness and bliss that sparkle out like jewels among the days of one's life.

Yesterday morning, September wanted to know if it was still Easter.

Yes, my child, it's still Easter. Now and forever.


Have you ever noticed...

...how raw carrots smell like roses?

And make superb teethers for little ones?

And have rings like trees?

And have give a musically percussive snap when you bite into them?

And are altogether wonderful?

God makes good things.


We've been reading Now We Are Six. There's a lovely little poem about a charcoal-burner, and Nathan wanted to know what on earth a charcoal burner was, and so I looked it up on wikipedia. It was also a good chance to clear up a trivial controversy that had been floating about our house--Andrew and I had been disputing whether charcoal was partially burnt wood, or simply another word for coal.

Turns out we were both sort of right. All coal is vegetable matter that's been condensed down through heat and pressure. It's a process that can happen over many years, deep in the bowels of the earth. Or people can make it happen much faster.

Of course I don't understand the process very well, but I did my best to explain it, and Nathan seemed to find my account very satisfactory indeed.

Dawning recognition broke forth on his face. "Oh! Like when you have a special piece of meat, and you cook it very carefully... that's charcoal!"


A new kind of bullying

September approached me, in tears.

"Nassan tried to flip me."

Concerned, I asked her to explain. She didn't look injured... but that sounded pretty serious. "He tried to flip you?"

"Well, yeah. He had the pancake flipper, and he tried to flip me."