My neighbor is running for president

There are a lot of Democratic candidates for president in 2020 so it should not be surprising that one of them is my neighbor. He used to live about a 5-minute walk from my house but recently moved just across the river.

What is surprising is that this neighbor may actually be the best of the lot. I don’t know if my husband would agree yet; he is slower than me to make up his mind about just about everything. And just because I’m for this person doesn’t mean he’s going anywhere. My favorites tend not to get too far, let alone win. The exception was Barack Obama, who also happened to come from the neighborhood where we lived for a while, in a different city. Continue reading

Inspired by Marie

Having invoked Marie Kondo in my last post, I thought I should at least watch her show to see what all the fuss is about. So I started streaming Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix and was quickly hooked. Although I watched the first few episodes alone, I invited my husband to jump at about episode four. He liked it too. Could we try this at home?

We are neither neatness freaks nor hoarders. I like a tidy home, but closets and drawers are usually a mess. I sporadically try to impose order therein but have trouble keeping things properly folded, sorted, stashed. Vic has more tolerance for visible mess than I do and has often been resistant to my requests to sort through his clothing or get rid of old books and papers except when we move, which has been infrequent. Continue reading

Law of Three on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

I’ve been wondering how to apply the Law of Three in the larger social arena. A series of events this past week showed why it is so much easier to keep it on the very personal level and leave it at that, though I am not really satisfied to do so.

I was one of the thousands (millions?) who weighed in on social media about the kerfuffle on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the confrontation between the Catholic white boys and the Native American elder. I missed the initial video and the elder’s comments after the incident but saw these in numerous reposts, and because many people were commenting by then, I did not. But when the longer video appeared, along with the (condescendingly smirking or uncomfortably smiling, depending on your viewpoint) white boy’s explanation of his side of the events, I thought it worth drawing attention to the fact that the situation might have been more complicated than it looked at first. Continue reading

Our 2018 movie list

Vic and I watch a lot of movies and series on Netflix and now, thanks to pirating our son’s account, a few on Amazon Prime. For the last number of years we’ve been sending out a list of our favorites to friends as part of our year-end letter. Now I do it on this blog.

I see that our list this year is shorter than usual. That may be because we watched less and read more; we wasted a lot of time on series that were ultimately unsatisfying (more about that later); or because Netflix keeps making it harder to track our personal viewing and ratings, so I might be missing some things here. Nevertheless, some patterns emerge. We mostly enjoyed biopics and reality-based movies. This year we majored in race and minored in World War II and horses. And we binge-watched some really good series. Continue reading

One foolish act

Several stories stick with me from my August trip to Congo. I didn’t write during the trip; there was just too much going on and not much solitude. So, like I do with a detailed dream of which I only remember a snippet, I will honor a few stories that have stayed with me. Here is one.

Three fellow travelers and I spent a full week in the dusty outback city of Tshikapa, in Western Kasai province, where the fourth teacher-training program, sponsored by the Mennonite women of Congo and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission, was being held. Sixty-one people–many of them educators and pastors–were following an intensive course in teaching illiterate adults to read and write.

It was marvelous. It was rigorous. It went well.

Tshikapa is the provincial capital of the region that has suffered the most recent, excruciating violence in that country. Continue reading

Candidates, mind your underwear

Indiana has a primary today and I got my first chance to vote in my home state since college.

I am glad I am not a Republican. The three Republican Senate candidates are apparently competing for biggest hater and most Trumpier-than-Trump. It is not a pretty sight.

Some of my fellow liberals are planning to take a Republican ballot and vote for the Biggest Loser, the one most likely to be defeated in November by our middle-of-the-road Democratic incumbent, Joe Donnelly. I’d say that’s waaay too clever and scheme-y to work. Besides, which one would you choose?

When it came to the key race on the Democratic side, candidates for Congressional District 2 to replace current Tea Partier Jackie Walorski, I found myself a last-minute Undecided. I am never Undecided. But I was influenced by a commercial, of all things. Continue reading

What I don’t write about

I haven’t posted for a while and I don’t really know why. Sometimes I think it’s because my life is very miscellaneous right now, too many different things going on, no one thing predominant.

Accompanying a close friend in a serious health crisis.

Preparing for another trip to Congo.

Helping plan and lead Lenten worship services. Continue reading

Food and creed on a snowy day

IMG_1088I keep thinking I want to write something profound, theological almost, but I am not up to it. Instead I meditate. 45 minutes this morning, no problem. And I think about diet and plan carefully for a food-shopping excursion during a brief break in the frigid, snowy weather. It wasn’t really a break but Vic had to go out for a doctor’s appointment so I went along and went around the corner to the supermarket and bought at least 10 meals worth of vegan food. Beans and more beans, greens and more greens. Continue reading

Our latest Best Flix List

We watch lots of movies at home and every year we rate them and send our list of favorites in a year-end letter to friends. Last year I didn’t write a year-end letter and this year we didn’t watch as many movies. So I decided to combine our list for the two years. Oh, and because I write this blog I’m thinking of giving up the Christmas letter altogether. So, friends near and far, this is for you.

The Best Movies Vic and Nancy Watched at Home in 2016–17
Continue reading

#HimToo?

Today one of my favorite senators resigned in the face of charges of sexual harassment. Pinching, butt- and breast-squeezing, forced smooching–moves familiar to most women. Not rape, for sure. Not seduction of teenagers. Just opportunistic grabbing. “He was quick,” said one recipient of Al Franken’s unwanted attentions. “He knew what he was doing.”

Did he know what he was doing? Continue reading