Friday, January 28, 2011

New Book?

I am in the very early stages of flirting with the idea of writing another book. The idea of writing  is not the daunting part. It is the marketing. Writing and marketing are two different skills. I enjoy the first and tolerate the second. I know I could do a better job marketing my first book, The Pewsitters. In fact, if you have read that book and would be willing to help me out, I would love for you to write a review of the book on

That right there is marketing. Asking others to spread the word is not too farfetched since I have had some very  positive feeback on the material. I do not feel like I am asking people to make something up. In fact, I think some would write a very nice review for me. I just have not pursued  things like this that need to be done for the word to get out. Word of mouth works, but only if you ask people to put in a good word!

So, I guess I am taking a marketing run here, to test the waters for another book. Can I do those things necessary for an author to sell books? And if not, why would I want to author two books, and not get them into the hands of people for whom they are written?
Okay, here's an ad for my book:

The PewsittersThe Pewsitters
Skits and Devotions for Church and Home
by Katherine Hussmann Klemp "Author Katherine Hussmann Klemp offers a glimpse into God's hand at work in the lives of everyday Christians through these thirty-six user-friendly scripts and devotions."
$14.99 (paperback)

There. That wasn't so painful.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have been sneezing and snuffling for the past 24 hours. Allergies. And the worst part is that I am beginning to suspect that I am allergic to the chlorine in the swimming pool. That would be a real bummer, if true, since the only exercising I enjoy is swimming. Perhaps I should try to locate a salt water pool (at least I have heard that such a thing exists) to try out my theory.

 I cannot think. My head is plugged with fogginess, my eyes water so that it is difficult to read. So what do miserable people do when they can neither think nor read?

Well, apparently this one blogs.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Enough is Enough

I think I live a little too close to Wisconsin. I will be really happy when the Super Bowl is over. "Everything Packers" is starting to get old. I don't think it is a case of jealousy. (The Packers are the Vikings' arch rivals, you know.) It is just that I am not that interested. (Admittedly, that is because my team is not in the superbowl. )

Perhaps a good way to describe it would be to compare it to a young, unmarried 18-20 year old male spending a couple of weeks with a bunch of women friends whose main topic of conversation was their children. It is not that this young man does not like kids, it is not that kids are not interesting. It is just not his thing at the moment, and so he does not share their delighted response.

Nah, it's jealousy.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Too Much Stuff

My daughter, Paula, comes about once a week to help me. She is a natural organizer of things. She helped me organize the play room in the basement so that the grandchildren do not leave it in unmendable chaos. Matchbox cars in the car bin, blocks and tinkertoys in the builder bin, a lego box, a game shelf, and so on. The kids love it, and I keep it clean because I finally know where to put everything when I pick it up. Simple. You would think it would be a no-brainer, but it was a revelation to me.

Life is harder when you think in scattered patterns, as do I. I'm a little dyslexic with numbers (it can take me a few times before I enter a telephone number correctly, especially if I am under pressure. I love speed dial.).  I often liken my day to a burst of fireworks. I see all the tasks I need to do flung on the scene in one huge explosion, and I run franticaly, trying to catch each falling ember before it hits the ground. Unfortunately I rarely give thought as to whether any one task is more important than another. Hence I might put in a load of wash, unload the dishwasher, and finish a chapter of a book before I check the schedule to see whether or not I have any morning appointments.

I am getting better. It is probably because I have smalled my world down.  Now that the kids are grown up and I am pretty well retired, I juggle far fewer tasks than before. Anyway, Paula and I are trying to reduce the collection of things in the basement.

We did not get very far today, because we had to listen to a collection of about fifty unlabeled cassette tapes. (Partially listen...we could pretty much tell if it was something we wanted to save or not by the first few minutes on each side.) The trouble is, some of them did have stuff I wanted to save. Our children used to do radio commercials, so sometimes it was a recording of one of their radio spots.  Other times it was one of the hilarious comedy routines Marcus used to do when he was 10 or 11, or a recording of Clockwyz (the kids' band...they even did a few proms at local high schools.)  I do want to downsize, but a lifetime of not weeding out is coming home to roost.

I just hope Paula keeps coming back. At this point she is my only hope.


Thursday, January 20, 2011


For as long as I can remember, I have always dressed one foot at a time. By that I mean I put on a sock and then a shoe and then repeat the process on the other foot, sock then shoe. Most people put on their socks and then their shoes. I do too, sometimes, but most often I use the sock, shoe method.

Just last week I discovered where that habit began. I was at the YMCA, I had finished swimming my mile (when I go I always swim a exceptions) and had taken my shower and was dressing. As I put on my sock I looked immediately for my shoe, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T PUT A SOCKED FOOT ON THE FLOOR IN THE DRESSING ROOM AFTER SWIMMING BECAUSE YOUR SOCK GETS ALL WET.

I've been swimming since I was a very young child. I was probably learning to swim at about the same time I was learning to dress myself.

Mystery solved.


Monday, January 17, 2011


My 15 year old grandson, Nicholas, plays hockey, and I went to one of his games this evening. I have only been to one other game this year. What really struck me this time was how well they played as a team. They won 8-2, even though they were playing one of the top teams in their league.

The passing was superb. It seemed that all the players touched the puck at least once every time they were on the ice, and no one player stuck out in my mind as being their "best" player. One of the boys had a hat trick, but I'm not sure of his number off hand, because others were always in on the play as well, either as assiting or keeping the puck in front of the goal. There was no solo flight down the ice to showcase a goal. Anyway, it was a good reminder of the power there is in a team that works together for the good of all.

I really enjoyed it. They have a tournament this weekend. I think I just might go.


Sunday, January 16, 2011


I always liked the story in Genesis where God takes the dust of the ground and forms a man, and then breathes into his nostrils the breath of life. I like this beautiful picture of the Master Creator at work. And how wonderful it must have been for Adam to know that he had been so lovingly and personally crafted.

Today was Sanctity of Life Sunday at our church. When our pastor quoted verse 13 of Psalm 139,"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb" he reminded us that God did the same thing for each of us; He formed our inward parts and knitted us together BY HAND. He created me in the same way he created Adam; with an extremely personnal interest to detail, and a hands-on approach.

And, yeah, it is pretty wonderful to know that.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What now?

Reset the dream button. That's what I once heard a speaker say we should do when we have attained the dreams of our youth. He said that when we are young we have these dreams to marry, perhaps have a family, buy a house, a car, do well in our career, etc., and then when these dreams are accomplished we ask, "Is this all there is?"

Resetting the dream, i.e. finding new visions for our lives, is good advice. Yet we are often tied to our current situations by more than our own needs. Others depend on us. We are not totally free to move into a new direction. How do we find the right balance between current responsibilities and framing a new direction? I guess it is just another one of the great challenges of life.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On Being Prepared for Invisibility

I am already tired of the news. An unbalanced member of our society fell off the edge. Stuff happens. Part of the media frenzy revolves around the media's own self-importance. Congresswomen are people we cover. You shot a Congresswoman. How dare you?

What offends me is that four elderly victims, who were not only shot, but who DIED, were not given the time of day. These were precious people, and even though they were not media darlings, they were the darlings of some peoples' lives.

I once observed two older ladies who had taken a cab to the University of MN hospital complex. The cabbie left them off on the wrong side of the road, and when they asked him to let them off on the correct side he yelled at them and told them to get out where he had dropped them, which they proceeded to do with haste and fear.

I am heading quickly into "old lady" status. Someone once said that when a girl is between the ages of birth and 18, she needs good parents. From 18 to 35 she needs good looks. From 35 to 60 she needs a good personality, and from 60 on she needs cash!



Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Past

The Christmas decorations are packed away for the most part. I'm still not sure of the protocol for getting rid of the tree. ("Getting rid of" seems a harsh fate for the truly lovely tree we had this year. I am actually loathe to part with it, but will bow to convention and send it on its way even though I am tempted to keep it until it looks far less lovely than it does right now.)

The decorations are gone, but this "Christmas past" will linger in my memory bank along with all the other Yuletide celebrations of my life. The warm memories of family and friends, and especially the joy of welcoming that special friend we have in Jesus, will enrich my days whenever I chose to pull those times from the recess of my mind.

Like Mary, I get to keep all these things and ponder them in my heart.


Sunday, January 09, 2011


I watched a lot of football this weekend. I had no really favorite teams. I was pulling for Kansas City, I guess, because that is my sister Mary's team. But then my sister Martha lives in Baltimore and is a Baltimore fan so that was a wash. It's fun to watch when you have nothing at stake to lose. On the other hand, it is difficult to enjoy the contest when you don't care who wins. Did I just waste my weekend?


Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Lips of Little Children

Psalm 8:1,2 "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger."

I cared for three of my grandchildren yesterday. One of the amazing things was how often they burst into song, and how often those songs were praise songs. The three and five year old go to pre-school and Sunday School at our Lutheran church. I know their mother often plays Christian tapes in the car as they travel about. My own children used to burst into song in the same way. Whether it was a conscious effort to show me a song they learned, or simply an unconscious activity as they played or colored or ate lunch, it just seemed to be a part of them.

I was amazed to read in Psalm 8 that this praise is ordained of God, and He calls it forth in order to silence "the foe and the avenger". The note in my Bible commentary referring to that verse says, "The mighty God, whose glory is displayed across the heavens, appoints (and evokes) the praise of little children to silence the dark powers arrayed against him."

Does anyone remember that children's song that goes "I don't want to march in the infantry, ride in the calvery, shoot the artillery, I don't want to fly o'er the enemy, I'm in the Lord's army?" Wow. That was literal. When we, as children, sang that and other praise songs, and when our children and grandchildren sing God's praises the astonishing result is that it silences the "foe and the avenger". What an honor.

I'm in the Lord's army, indeed! That is so cool.


Friday, January 07, 2011


I am finally able to pursue an agenda that belongs just to me (in a sense. As a Christian I know the folly of that idea, but within the framework of serving God, how do I see my year?). I have been doing more care taking than usual, because of Paul's surgery. The Christmas season held it's own demands. But now, this evening the grandchildren have been placed in other loving hands, so I am free to look at my life and determine a map for the future. I know I want to get back to an exercise regime, and eat less. More than that I want to spend time reflecting on the past year and planning for this one.

Deep breath.....go.


Thursday, January 06, 2011


I am babysitting three of my grandchhildren, ages 2, almost 4 and 5 and a half. So far so good. They are all asleep and it is barely 8:30 pm. Their parents are on a skiing trip (in state, not off far away). I remember enjoying my own children more as they aged a little. These little ones can be tiring, but already they are able to do a lot for themselves. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Fortunately, I have little pressing on my own agenda, so I do have the time to do this, and enjoy it.

Winter in MN can be harsh simply because of the lassitude it provokes. Do I really want to go swimming at the Y when 5 degrees is the high for the day? It is so much easier to stay home and do nothing than to explore the wide world that waits to be enjoyed by those with the drive to confront it. Lazy me. Cabin fever of my own making. I do have a car, and there are warm places to go. Ah, well. We'll see.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Direction?

I am happy to see the House turn towards the idea of lower spending and less government intervention in our lives. Freedom is risky business, but worth it in the end. Just saying.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Heading into 2011

Our Christmas season was more hectic this year than usual. Our family is growing, so our get-togethers are pretty big (22 of the 23 grandchildren were here for "second Christmas" on Tuesday, December 28th, along with all but one of their parents and aunts and uncles..) Two weeks before Christmas, Paul, my husband had surgery due to a major infection in his big toe (amputation of (L) great toe). The upshot was that, not only is my Christmas letter lying neglected, (although I still intend to send it out...the info doesn't change just because it comes late), but I did not get to do my usual reflecting and goal setting for the coming year. It has left me adrift. I am a goal setter by nature, (my weakness being not revisiting those goals on a regular basis throughout the year). Still, I don't like launching into the year with no clear cut path to travel.

Perhaps, just as the Christmas letter info does not change when sent out late, so, too, those goals won't be any less important if set later than the first day of the year. Yeah, that's it...I'm on it.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year 2011

I am determined to write every day, from this day on (Jan. 2,2011) for a full year.

My life seems to be excellerating. The days zoom by and my accomplishments seem trivial. I have always had trouble defining a productive day. Why does one action have more value than another? I cleaned out a closet, and that makes my life a little easier since I can now access the items that I chose to keep with more ease, but how important is that is the large scheme of things? Would I have been better off working for the dollar (I call that "selling your life for money"), or was the closet thing, okay? I did get the oil changed in the car. I know that is good for the car and I am the car's I fixed supper, so my husband and I did eat a fairly good meal. Was that important? We played a game of cribbage afterward. That was a plus since it binds us in an activity that we look forward to doing most days. We read Scripture together and that seems pretty important.

So, good day? Bad day? Now that it is passed, does it matter? Maybe I am trying to place my value too highly on what I do rather than on who I am in Christ Jesus; a child of the living God, a fellow heir in the Kingdom of heaven. Maybe that is enough, and I can go to bed with the full sense of being valuable, and loved, precious in God's eyes.

Okay, I can live with that.