Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy birthday, Ben!

My eldest son, Benjamin, "son of my right hand", turns 30 today.  How did those years fly by?  And what joy and delight he has brought to our lives!  Happy birthday, son!  May God continue to bless and amaze you with His love and His grace and His gifts!

Ben has always had a way with words.  I have been leafing through some of his old poetry lately, and thought I would share one in honor of his day. This was a reflection on one of Ben's early favorite composers, and is one of my favorites



Dmitriy

The caged bird sings sweetly still.
The conquered man can keep his will
to freedom.  The poorly forced music
sounds: constrained, strongest magic;
a cry of sadly longing dissonance
that echoes in time—sorrow’s resonance.
The sickening spiral of twisted wills
forcing men to turn their skills
to proportional, institutional norms,
to numbing, pressing, leaden forms
and unloved leaders crushing art.
The shackled mind has still a heart;
the body enslaved can be at peace,
for the power of beauty brings release.




Friday, April 25, 2014

Five for Friday

Today, after more than an hour on the phone and on hold with billing offices and  people in multiple states and of varying degrees of competence, all working for my local medical center, I offer 5 things that irritate me about medical billing procedures, in no particular order.  Let's just say it is not starting my weekend off  happily...

1.  Having to ask for an itemized bill. If you are going to charge me $460 for something, isn't it possible to tell me what that charge is for, and for whom?

2. Having to ask for a bill at all. I know I had an infusion on 1-31-14.  Shouldn't they be able to find and send me that bill easily? Shouldn't they do it without me having to ask for it?  Or, if it was included in my non-itemized $460 bill, shouldn't they know that?

3. Getting a reimbursement for something the medical center swore up and down in December that they hadn't received in October, so I repaid it in December, and now they have reimbursed me for it in April.  Essentially, I loaned them money for several months.  Shouldn't they pay me interest on that?!

4. I know I am responsible for losing my temper.  It is not the fault of the people I am talking to.  But honestly, incompetence to the tune of multiple tens of thousands of dollars really does get my dander up. Other businesses manage to keep their billing organized most of the time.  Is that asking too much?

5.  If I use a local medical center, why do I have to mail my checks to Cincinnati, and talk to people in Houston?  They not only don't know me, they don't know the billing procedures at the hospital they are working for.  That is just not right.

Phew!  Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Gentle Reader.  Now I am going to have leftovers for dinner, and watch a violent movie (maybe Catching Fire?). Then maybe I can calm down and be more philosophical about things.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Apple blossoms

There is something about apple blossoms.  It's not just their simple beauty, their blush. They provide cover and fullness after months of barrenness. They promise fruit and sweetness. And by moonlight they whisper of reflected light.  I love my backyard full of them.

In honor of National Poetry Month, I went hunting for a poem about apple blossoms, and here is what I found.  And it is lovely. I hope you enjoy it, too, Gentle Reader.

Apple Blossoms

by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

One evening in winter
when nothing has been enough,
when the days are too short,


the nights too long,
and cheerless, the secret
and docile buds of the apple


blossoms begin their quick
ascent to light. Night
after interminable night


the sugars pucker and swell
into green slips, green
silks. And just as you find


yourself at the end
of winter's long, cold
rope, the blossoms open


like pink thimbles 
and that black dollop
of shine called


bumblebee stumbles in.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Family Time

We continue to treasure our time in Tucson.
For those who requested photos that included Grandma, here are a few taken by others from Ezra's birth day:




And below are the Tim Finnegans on Sunday.  Ezra made his first trip to church to see his daddy be ordained and installed as a deacon at RMPC (http://www.rinconpres.org). Grandma and Grandma were bursting with joy!


Friday, April 04, 2014

Ezra


Please join us in welcoming our first grandson to the world! Ezra Jude Finnegan was born this morning, weighing 6 pounds 15 ounces, and measuring 19 inches. He and his mom are both beautiful and doing well. God is very good to us! And tonight we are praising Him.

1 Sam 1:27-- For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

An encouraging, busy week

This week has contained lots of rest, and visits, and sewing, and now preparing to head back to AZ for the arrival of our first grandson.  When we head south and west, our car will be loaded with a stack of receiving blankets for baby C., expected in Phoenix in June:

And a new quilt for the new grandson:



I also had the great pleasure of a visit from sweet baby James and his mama, and enjoyed time with a sweet friend of my children's who I now count as my own friend.  


Another dear friend, a real spiritual son of ours, Skyped with me from half a world away and we had a great chat. And I was able to send notes of encouragement to some, have lovely phone conversations with others, and answer homeschooling questions via e-mail.  And on top of it all, I spent two whole weeks in my own home-- a record for this spring!

God has gently been reminding me this week of His abundant blessings in my life, of His gracious answers to prayer, and of His continued plan to put me to work in small ways.  And I am one grateful child.