Tuesday, March 24, 2009

press the green button for help. . .

. . .the evil printer at work flashed. I pressed the green button and out came my page! (alone with ten blank pages, but hey, you win some -you lose some.) That made me think of those Staples commercials, which, being a good Christian I have never seen, that all the people go around pushing the EASY button. I wish there were button like that in life. For those times when your stuck, Hey! push for help. For the times when you don't know how to make it. Bam! hit the EASY button. That would be so great.

But life doesn't have those buttons. So what do we do? Well. We do what you do when the printer isn't working and the push for help button isn't working. You pull out the manual. It may be half written in another language, and difficult to follow its instructions, but if you read the manual, and follow the steps, things start to work again. You can bet on it. (Or rather don't, I think that might be in the manual somewhere.)

So if your stuck, and if life is getting tough, stop looking for the easy button and start reading.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


some secrets about me.

1) I sometimes swear in German. Its a bad habit I developed from a few films who's main characters were Germain speakers, and from reading The Book Thief. I am trying to quit.

2) I am a bad driver. Mostly because I am a good driver. huh? I am a cautious, law abiding driver, which means, I understand that the word limit means maximum and not minimum, and that a yellow light means slow down, stop if you can, and not speed up. These plus a few other peculiarities make me the worst driver in Cincinnati. (that and maybe the fact that I am a little unsure and indecisive so I don't know whether I can get stop for that yellow light or not)

3) I enjoy romance novels and movies. Most of the time. Depending on the author and plot, and I often cry by the end of said book or movie. (Small fact. I can hardly stand to read most Christian romance, and those four in one books, mostly because I know the ending by the first chapter. Who doesn't?)

4) I am indecisive. Not only in my driving (see#2) but in many things. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, (still trying to fig. out how to not grow up) and I rarely finish writing things because the endings always throw me.

5) I weigh . . . Yeah right. I'm not telling you that. Or any of my other secrets. That's all for today. Now . . . go home and rethink your life (you don't want to sell me any death sticks.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

penny for your thoughts.

There is something intrinsically magical about a penny. Is it because they are one of the first things a child learns to attach luck to? I once heard the rule, find a *lost penny with the year you were born on it and you get three wishes. To this day I still check the date on the pennies I pick up.

Perhaps my infatuation with pennies goes back to when we lived in S.C. beside a train track. I soon found out that squashing a few penny's was a relatively cheap way to entertain yourself, and you had a great little charm left over. Since we've moved back near a train track, I have squashed several dozen little cents and arranged the charms in in my room.

Maybe it is my love of copper that make me favor the penny. Although they haven't made pennies out of copper for a while now. But bronze or brass is still better than other options.I always did prefer a metal that could turn your skin green, to a metal that actually has some value, (gold. eww). Or could it be its invaluable use in comedy? How many great movie scenes would we loose if there wasn't that person holding up the whole line, counting out his pennies?

Lets just say I really like pennies. If you have any other great uses for pennies, comment.

P.S. Tiffany - do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose.

Brittney - do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose.

Everyone else - please do not comment that pennies are good to shove up your nose unless you are willing to provide a photo of yourself demonstrating this.

P.P.S. Tiffany - do not post any photos of you or anyone else shoving things up their nose.

Brittney - do not let Tiffany post any photos of you shoving things up your nose.

* A lost penny is a penny that you find on the ground or other relevant locations, lost by someone other than yourself, or if lost by yourself, no lost in resent memory.

Side Note : You may make one wish if you get a penny with your birth year on it in exact change. You must get only the one penny in change.

Monday, March 16, 2009

and a few other things

So last weekend I was in North Carolina for a funeral. And a few other things which I shall now mention.

*miniature family reunion
~quite nice to see everyone again, even in such circumstances. If I heard the phrase, "I love our family" once, I heard it a thousand times. We are the most irreverent people in the holiness world I have no doubt. We laugh together so we don't have to cry alone.
(All Bro. Barrs kids, plus their families.)

(All the cousins, plus two . . . second cousins, once removed? first cousins, twice removed? we never have really figured that one out.)

*See the sights
~Tiffany, Kimmi and I went shopping (Carolina Thrift rock on!) and I bought two pair of shoes from the store my dear cousin Kimmi manages (we are so proud of her *sniff*) P.S. Thanks for the discount.
~ The Barr's plus Wilson cousins (You GBS people will see them both next year) went out to the old time candy shoppe and also a catch all store that my cousin Anthony proudly proclaimed could provide you with everything from pluming suppliers to cooking essentials and a quorum of the in-between. (Quorum is such a fun word and I know I didn't use it right, but I just really wanted to use it.)

* Pick up a few things
~The day we left, we procrastinated long enough to hit up a great flea market. Even though we spent all morning there, I still didn't get to all the stalls, :( but I did manage to pick up some very important items like deep fried-salt and vinegar peanuts (had never tried them, do not recommend, the salt and vinegar pork rines however, were excellent.), fresh lemons, a movie for the kids, two new types of jam to try (haven't opened them yet but will def. keep you posted.) etc.
~We spent so long shopping that morning that it was actually lunch before we left, and so we all went out as a family, (Allen Barr fam. Phillip Barr fam, and Wilson fam) to a tiny hole in the wall barbecue restaurant that did not get my order right. (how hard is it to hold the coleslaw? but when I switched with dad and got just the plain meat, it was good. BTW the whole family agrees the N.C. style coleslaw is just not normal, and not in a good way either. (The icky sandwich)

~Lastly we made a u turn, back tracked and headed to a grocery store where we bought enough Duke's mayonnaise and canned boiled peanuts (YUM!) to last until spring break when we plan to return and really stock pile. Along the way my aunt Cindy pointed out the feed store where she had bought her chicks, (which the kids had enjoyed playing with all weekend. . . all right and me too.) and much to Tiffany and my mom's dismay, we turned in long enough for me to acquire some new pets. 10 to be exact. 5 mixed (male and female) dominique (blk and white checked for you none farm people, and 5 female 'ideal 236' which are a mutt chicken breed that are suppose to be very hardy and good layers. (should be white with blk spots when adults)

Soooo. Next time I have a party I plan to; show off my little chickens, feed everyone good barbecue and boiled peanuts, and celebrate the sunshine. (will keep you posted on further party plans as well) Until then, as they say at the rodeo,

Goodnight, God Bless, and mind where you step.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The grandkids tribute

Here's the tribute that I was asked to write for my grandpas funeral. It was a long weekend, and I never would have got it done without Tiffany's feedback, and Anthony's help there at t he end. Thanks everyone.

I heard a man say once, when someone had passed away, “The world has lost a great man, but I have lost a friend.” For some reason that quote stuck with me, reminding me of the multiple ways which a single life impacts the world. We are here today because someone has died, but we are not all here for the same person. Some are here because Bro. Albert Barr the evangelist is gone. Others are here for their friend. There are siblings, children and other close family. But this is a reflection from a small group of people who have lost their grandfather. To us, he was not a preacher, though we listened to him preach, and he was not a father, though he had children, to us he was first and foremost, our grandfather. It is to difficult to find appropriate words to say goodbye, or to express how we miss the man who was our papa, so instead this is a reflection, of what we – his grandchildren – remember. What we think of, when we think of him.
First, the word Papa, he was never Grandpa, or Bro Barr, he was Papa. Fitting that we should never have called him by a formal name, just as we are selves were never called by our given names. If we were to think back, and think hard, among all his grandchildren we could perhaps come up with a dozen times that he called us directly by our names. We were sugar-lump, or baby, and some of our earliest memories are crawling into his lap to be bounced on a knee while we protested that we were not skunk-a-monks, whatever those might have been.
Many other people thinking of their grandparents will think of the things they did, or of the things they gave them, but we do not. We remember him instead, for the things he said. Not many grandparents are capable of engaging and maintaining the attention of a small child, but this was Papa’s specialty. We cannot sing Jesus loves me, without picturing him strumming away on the guitar singing it happily to a completely different tune, nor can we hear certain nursery rhymes without hearing his version, for instance,
Hickory Dickory Dock
Two mice ran up the clock
The clock struck one
And the other escaped with minor injuries.

He told stories and generally entertained so much that gathering around to listen to him was one of the few activities that could bring us in from play.
Once at Nanny and Papa’s house, we never wanted to leave. Inevitably we would beg to spend the night, and since we never came prepared we would always borrow a night shirt from Papa and throw pillows and blankets on the floor, fighting over who got to sleep under the table. He never missed a chance to join us in the living room, roughing it with us (from the couch). Such occasions presented opportunities to perfect his modified fairy tales.
Other times we would gather around him as he worked on the computer. He would walk us through step by step from the simplest actions like opening a program to complicated things like designing a program. Most of us still remember watching him work on the Sammy-O project which sadly he never finished. We were allowed to test the games, and sometimes our voices even became a part of the animated world.
Holidays such as Christmas, would find us gathered around him again – this time in mock frustration – as he would slowly read the names off each package, often slipping in a name unrecognized by anyone in the family. He was a person who found, and created humor in everything, a trait that has continued to be passed on. His ready laugh and cheerful face will remain in our minds forever, and his playfulness will be the ideal we hope to be when we are grandparents.
He did not sit us down to teach us, but we learned many things from him. We began to learn to love books, and poetry, riddles, and songs. His were the first sermons that we actually listened to, first to see if he would mention us, then to listen to the illustrations, but somewhere along the way the actual message became clear, and stuck with us. From those sermons we learned of sticking with your standards, of having faith in God’s promises and provisions, and what happens when you stick gum in a frog during a dissection.
As we grow older, we have begun to forget certain things and times. Each one of us has specific memories that we cling to, comparing and reminding the others when we come together to remember. But we will never forget the feeling of his hugs, or the sound of his voice. We will never forget him praying with everyone before we would leave the house. We can never forget the man we knew, but only regret that the youngest of us will not know him – the man who was our Papa.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

life is a soap opera

its true. life is just as messed up as those dumb shows you see clips of in the waiting room. so on tv the guy may or may not have kidnapped a girl that he is now madly in love with, but he doesn't know, because he has amnesia. then in life, you find that a co workers parents who have been together for over thirty years have seperated for messy reason? what do you say to that? it seems just as in

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The wise words of T H White

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and tremble in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then -- to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the minds can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you.
Look at what a lot of things there are to learn -- pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard of lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics -- why you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough."

(This is from the Once and Future King which I have read once, and am now enjoying a second time. I love the complicated way in which White say simple things, and the simplicity of his humor. The first two hundred pages focus on the young Arthur's life and education, but in such a way that the "story line" seems to only be a good excuse to relate stories, anecdotes, and general musings. This is the kind of book that I read on the bus and laugh out loud, read at work with dictionary.com pulled up, and read at home into the wee hours of the morning.)