Reclaiming Valentine's Day

On my way home from dropping Genevieve off at early choir, two radio hosts discussed Valentine's Day. One of the hosts, a divorced woman, claimed she hated the holiday, and presented a list of why it was better to remain single. Not getting married until in my thirties, I appreciated her perspective, but pondered the significance of this day.
     In the United States, Valentine's Day has become the florists', greeting card companies', and restaurants' money making holiday where couples feel pressured to display their love by doling out cash. You hear a lot of griping this time of year. 
     "This is just Hallmark's way of making money" (I was thinking this when looking at their $7.99 cards).
     "My wife knows I love her, why do I have to spend so much on flowers?"
     "Who has time to go out for dinner?" 
     The holiday has its roots in an actual person,  Saint Valentine, who was beheaded on this day for illegally witnessing the …

Women's Rights! Stand Up and Fight!

Chicago hosted the Women March this weekend. Too bad they hosted on the same weekend when we memorialized the millions of unborn children aborted, no thanks to Roe vs. Wade. If you had wanted to see democracy in action, you should have gone to D.C. and seen the thousands standing up for both unborn males and females, the disabled, the marginalized, the forgotten.
In grad school, a fellow student from Indonesia joked about American women fighting for rights when most women in other parts of the world had absolutely no freedoms. Many of them have less value than animals. She said we have it so good in the United States. She was right. It's not perfect, but women marching in the U.S. seem like children living in a candy shop protesting they don't get enough candy.
Maybe I hesitate because the women's movement often means abortion on demand.
We've seen 45 years of legalized abortion. We were told it was going to be the great equalizer so women could be like m…

Housework Getting Done By Calling Customer Service

I believe the American Heart Association may find it beneficial to study modern technology in the customer service sector to see how it affects blood pressure and causes heart attacks. Call most customer service numbers and you can guarantee a wait of three weeks before someone actually answers. 
     "There is an unusual wait time. For faster service please go to our web site at" (which isn't any faster after you've had to scroll from one page to the next).
     Worse is the fake voice trying to have a conversation with you. 
     "Tell me what you need," the automated voice says. 
     You reply, "Customer service." 
     "I'm sorry, that is not an option. Tell me what you need."
     "My money back."
     "That is not an option. Tell me what you need."
     Another automated system will match your phone number to your credit card. "I see the phone number you are calling with matches your credit …

Human Trafficking Knocking at Our Doors

Over the Fourth of July weekend, we had an opportunity to visit with Les's extended family at their annual campout. His cousin and wife spoke to us about human trafficking in Wisconsin. They had heard one speaker say it was faster to find a prostitute than it was to order a pizza and having it delivered. It was stunning to discover something you have  read about lurking within your own State. That was the extent of my involvement with this issue until going to the library the other night.
    Hanging below the checkout desk was a large poster advertising Join the Movement, an event to bring awareness on human trafficking. My radar clicked on, and I thought it would be a great article for the newspaper I write for. The editor okay'd it, so I began researching. I thought this topic was also important enough to share with my blog readers. The facts are stunning, and I hope you make yourself aware and share with others.
     The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime explains huma…

Frozen - Not the Movie, But My Soul

Last week's blog I felt inspired and close to God even though my family and I careened into Christmas with the stomach bug. When I arose out of the fog, I discovered my dog in a deteriorated state. It isn't uncommon for her to struggle a bit with her arthritis at this time of year, so I wasn't too concerned. When we returned from our short stint in Arkansas, however, her back legs refused to work. I called the Vet, but they couldn't get her in and wouldn't prescribe anything over the phone for pain. So, during the New Year's weekend, we watched her carefully, and Les carried her outside to use the bathroom. It was a pitiful sight watching her flop down into the snow.
     Daughter Elizabeth drove to Oshkosh to spend New Year's Eve with her college buddies. We had expected her to return the next day so she could join us in visiting Grandma K. Four o'clock New Years Day she called on Bridget's cell phone asking to stay longer...Let's just say that …

Extol the Mighty Word Control

Heading into Christmas home plate last week my confidence surged. I had successfully performed with The Voice of Praise Choir and the Lake Geneva Symphony over the weekend; paid our bills; sent out our Christmas cards; ordered Christmas gifts; planned Christmas menus; orchestrated a caroling party for about 40 teenagers; had my hair colored and cut; attended a Christmas party; had most of my cookies baked - but had scheduled to finish them Friday and on and on...
     Then He showed up. Uninvited. Monday. 
     Misgivings about his visit tapped on my shoulders, but I forged ahead. I wasn't the one barfing in the toilet - Les and Bridget were. I had too much work to do to stop. Sure, occasionally I'd ask them if they needed anything, but I thought it would be best to leave them alone with Him so I wouldn't be bothered. He seemed to ignore me. I moved so fast last week, he didn't have time to catch up...or so I thought.
     Thursday night we went around the homes in our ne…

Isolation in the Auto Repair Station

 Technology. It is the new best friend for so many people. It doesn't disappoint you like real people, except when your hard drive crashes, you don't get phone reception, or the earphones wear out.
It's the holiday season and time for the Paurs to have another car repair. Fortunately it was just a tire, so I sat in the dank, smoky waiting room and tried to stare at the television with the volume set so low, I needed captions. Next to me was a woman with deep lines etched into her face with her over-processed hair pulled back into a ponytail. Her bangs poofed-out and were unevenly cut. A smoker, I thought to myself. She smiled. I smiled. 
     Then I opened up with, "Last year we had a nearly $2,000 car repair." 
     "Oh my," she said. For the next 20 minutes we discussed cars, lemon-cars, chiropractors, writing, and books. During this visit, another customer came in, headphones tightly pressed against her ears as if protecting them from any outside influe…