pegkerr: (Fealty with love valour with honour oath)
I went to adult bible study before church. Pastor was talking about today's text from Isaiah, which he was basing his sermon text upon rather than today's Gospel text. It's the famous part, often called "The Peaceable Kingdom." Here's the text:

1Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

3And He will delight in the fear of the LORD,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

4But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins,
And faithfulness the belt about His waist.

6And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.

7Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.

9They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

10Then in that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.

Isaiah, 11:1-10
This is a text often used during Advent because Christians recognize the shoot from the stump of Jesse as Christ, descending from the house of David. (As usual, I raised my hand and spoke about my habitual irritation that the first chapter of Matthew traces Jesus's ancestry, from father to son ONLY--no women here--through Joseph back to David. And wasn't that pointless, since the story of the virgin birth means that Joseph had nothing to do with Jesus' ancestry. As usual, Pastor acknowledged my point and moved on.) Pastor went on to mention that people reading this in Isaiah's time would take this as being about a newly crowned king, like, say, Hezekiah. I looked at the description of the ideal king here ("The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,/ The spirit of wisdom and understanding,/The spirit of counsel and strength, / The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. / And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, / And He will not judge by what His eyes see, / Nor make a decision by what His ears hear; / But with righteousness He will judge the poor, / And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth"). That doesn't sound a lot like Trump, I thought, sadly considering the recent election. He is so gullible that he bases his reasoning on every baseless thing he sees on the internet, and as for judging the poor and deciding with fairness for the afflicted, no. He sounds like the opposite of that. And the peaceable kingdom sounds like the opposite of Trump's America.

As Pastor continued, I idly started flipping back further to look for references to David and stopped suddenly when a bit of poetry jumped out at me from the middle of a passage of prose. I looked at the top of the top of the page, and read "The parable of the trees." Now, trees, as readers of this blog know, is a subject of particular fascination for me, but I didn't remember this at all. Here is the bit that caught my eye, which is taken from Judges 9:8-15:
“8The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them.
And they said to the olive tree,
‘Reign over us!’
9
But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I cease giving my oil,
With which they honor God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

10
“Then the trees said to the fig tree,
‘You come and reign over us!’
11
But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I cease my sweetness and my good fruit,
And go to sway over trees?’

12
“Then the trees said to the vine,
‘You come and reign over us!’
13
But the vine said to them,
‘Should I cease my new wine,
Which cheers both God and men,
And go to sway over trees?’

14
“Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘You come and reign over us!’
15
And the bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me as king over you,
Then come and take shelter in my shade;
But if not, let fire come out of the bramble
And devour the cedars of Lebanon!’
Read this commentary here.

My goodness, I thought. That's Trump, that's absolutely Trump. Read the verses around the parable, too, Judges 8:22 through the entirety of Judges 9 and the wikipedia entry here. He won his throne by treachery, climbing over a heap of bodies (think the Republican primary and then the general election). He is like the bramble; the other trees bore fruit, but the bramble bears only hurtful thorns, and when the other trees turned to him, he revealed only a penchant for selfish ambition and treachery. And that's what Trump has done, too. All he has for us is thorns.

And note the manner of his death: After cutting a swath through and killing thousands of his own people, he is hit on the head by a woman who throws a millstone down on the top of his head from the top of the tower he is besieging. Get this, he beseeches his armor-bearer to kill him so that he wouldn't be known as a man defeated by a woman. I guess treachery goes hand in hand with misogyny.

If the parable can be truly be applied today, putting Trump in the role of Abimelech, it suggests that Trump and the Republicans will end up destroying each other. And the Republicans should have seen it coming, but no, they started with treachery, and started robbing people and jostling for power, causing Trump to take revenge, and so they will reap what they have sown.
pegkerr: (I need hardly add that I have rarely bee)
I'm listening right now to Rez reading his long poem "Cataloguing the Flow: Elegy." There is an .mp3 embedded in his Star Tribune obituary.  It is comforting to hear his voice again, and so sad to realize I'll never hear it again in real life.

I'm going to miss Rez terribly, especially at Minicon. He was one of the favorites on the Lady Poetesses from Hell panel which performed on the last day of the con every year. I have many a fond memory of him in a granny shawl closed with a brooch and a silly hat, reading from his hilarious chapbook "One and Twenty Poems by Grace Lord Stoke." And trying (and failing) not to crack up.

Rez.jpg

(Photo credit David E. Romm [livejournal.com profile] barondave . Used with permission).

Rez, I lit a candle for you at the All Saints service at my church today. I will miss you.

pegkerr: (Default)
These were taken by a friend, John Walsh, who is a professional photographer. Thanks for doing such a great shoot with us, John!

Peg and Rob 30th Anniversary - John Walsh Photographer

We haven't had a nice professional photo taken of Rob in, like, forever:

Rob - 30th Anniversary Shoot - John Walsh photographer

And here it is! The famous Tunnel Through Time, taken every decade, now in its fourth iteration.

30th Anniversary Tunnel Through Time picture

And I'm adding this one, which is all about how hard this year has been )
pegkerr: (Default)
We finally caught up with Rob's oncologist who interpreted the PET scan from two weeks ago for us. Rob has put on a waiting list for a new clinical study. He may get called to go in for tests sometime in the next 2-8 weeks. He would be a good candidate, but he may be ineligible because of his participation in an earlier study. Read more at our CaringBridge post.
pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
It's all summed up in the first line of the report: "Mixed changes with however worsening of lymphoma."

Read the rest at the CaringBridge post here.
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
Up on Worthiest Words: A post about Open Arms of Minnesota. I'm doing a series on marketing in nonprofit organizations.

I lost my old job exactly a year ago today.

Some good things have happened since then. I think I'm closer to the job I'm supposed to have. Maybe. Theoretically. Surely?
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 37: Curse
The campaign is having some difficulties.

Week 37 Curse.jpg

This card is about how the fanart contest I had planned for EverTwixt ran into some problems. The day the contest was launched, Kelly (the owner of EverTwixt) fell down the stairs, resulting in a concussion and broken arm. An inauspicious start. We decided it was due to the malign influence of Baba Yaga, the nemesis of the stories on the website. We also determined that the contest had to be rejiggered, because we weren't getting the response to the ads that we'd hoped.

Week 38: Redesign
I spent the week redesigning the contest, hoping to still find our mystery artist out there somewhere.

Week 38 Redesign.jpg

This card represents both the fact that I redesigned the particulars of the contest, since Kelly was unavailable (landing pages, email automation), and the silhouette also represents that mysterious artist we still hoped to find.

Week 39: Certification
I took the test and finished the Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing course.

Week 39 Certification.jpg

The Inbound Marketing course is built on the four stages of inbound marketing as Hubspot sees them: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

Week 40: Treats
I begin designing the website for Barking Good Healthy Treats.

Week 40 Treats.jpg

Week 41: Girls
Meals with my girls mean love.

Week 41 Girls.jpg

This combined two Snapchats: Fiona and I send this a Snapchat to Delia informing her of our brunch at Turtle Bread Bakery. Delia also sent us a Snapchat, showing the set up of her table at her new apartment in Eau Claire. The vase of peonies were the ones I brought with me when we moved Delia in.
pegkerr: (Default)
My new professional (self-designed) website is launched. It's a bit bare bones (need to write more posts--a LOT more), I still have to figure out lead magnets (and how, exactly, the site will lead me to my goals) and I'm sure there'll be hiccups, but on the whole, I'm happy with it and happy to get it up. The name of the site is Worthiest Words. I am also on Twitter at @worthiestwords (as well as still at my old account @pegkerr).





pegkerr: (Default)
PET scan: liver glow GONE. Spleen glow GONE. Central glow deep in the abdomen (this is the one that really worried the doctor last time) GONE. Neck glow GONE. Slight glimmer on back of head remains, but no bigger than last time. New slight glimmer at tip of stomach: may be simply inflammation. Blood work looks perfect.

Our doctor said, "This is an enormous response. Marked improvement. Everyone's happy. Take the weekend to celebrate."

So...yeah. Thanks to Mayo! Thanks to our doctor. Rob's not ENTIRELY in remission, but he's pretty damn close. Which is absolutely amazing!

(I sent the girls Snapchats all day about "Our Day at Mayo" and took screen shots of most of them).

Our Day at Mayo )

Hubspot

May. 21st, 2016 09:45 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
A shiny new badge on my LinkedIn page:







pegkerr: (Default)
Week 35: Campaign
This is my first marketing campaign!

Week 35 Campaign.jpg

This card is about how hard I worked, trying to learn everything I needed to know to launch a marketing campaign for EverTwixt.com. (I'm not linking to the compaign, because it's been suspended for now, in part because of my boss's injury. But we hope to resume it soon.)

Week 36: Birthday
To celebrate my birthday, Rob and I spent the night at a bed and breakfast.

Week 36 Birthday.jpg

The scene in this picture (from a magazine I cut out long, long ago) reminds me somewhat of the bay window dining nook where Rob and I had breakfast in this beautifully restored Victorian home (it was a built by a wealthy German immigrant, but he and his wife had no children. After they died, it was turned into a hospital, and then a nursing home, before it was restored for its present purpose.) The (slightly whiter) teapot and cups added to the picture on the table is actually taken from a screenshot from a promotional video for the bed and breakfast. As for the bunnies, they were one bunny, taken from the promotional video, too. (I cleaned up the image in PhotoShop--hey, I'm developing graphics skillz!--and flipped it for the second bunny). Rob and I have a Thing about bunnies, and I was delighted to see it there.

Rob asked me to be sure to tell you all that he demonstrated his undying love for me on my birthday, the night we arrived, by taking me to a restaurant called The Onion Grill. (He loathes onions, whereas I love them.) I enjoyed the onion soup along with the rest of my meal. Rob enjoyed his dinner, too--after he picked all the onions off.

The bed and breakfast really was lovely, as were our hosts. We stayed in the St. Croix room. It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday. Here is the website, and here is the video that convinced us to stay there ) See if you can spot the bunny.
pegkerr: (I told no lies and of the truth all I co)
The flu put me badly behind, but I'm not quite so far behind now.

Week 31: Minicon
We're there every year!

Week 31 Minicon.jpg

The challenge that [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K. gave me was that the Minicon card had to be made entirely with materials found at Minicon. The image in the lower left was cannibalized from the business card of the Artist Guest of Honor. I used bookmarks left on the freebie table, promotional postcards, bits from the Bozo Bus Tribune, etc. I like this card.

Week 32: EverTwixt
EverTwixt awaits you if you dare.

Week 32 EverTwixt.jpg

As part of my attempt to switch career fields, I started a marketing internship with an old friend, a writer I met at Clarion almost thirty years ago, Kelly McClymer, who is attempting to start a new website, EverTwixt.com.

Week 33: PhotoShop
It's great fun, but an amazing time-sink.

Week 33 PhotoShop.jpg

Also as part of my training, I've started learning PhotoShop. This was an attempt to make a graphic that could be used as part of the EverTwixt site: one of the stories available for download, "Maiden Ash" is a variant of Cinderella, and this image is suggestive of the moment when the stepmother scatters ivory beads and jewels in the straw and tells the heroine to pick them all out into separate piles if she wants to go to the ball. Of course, in PhotoShop, I was doing the exact opposite: painstakingly assembling the layers: straw, then jewels and beads. When I made the card, I cheated and embellished the beads with some glimmering paint [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K.had hanging around.

Week 34: Shadow
"There are three shadows on the liver in your CAT scan, and two on the spleen."

Week 34 Shadow.jpg

This is what the doctor said when he came in to our meeting that week. (For details, you can see our CaringBridge). This is not an actual diagnostic image taken of Rob, but a graphic I found online, highlighting the liver. I added the shadows on it with PhotoShop.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have been working on marketing with a writing friend Kelly McClymer, whom I met at Clarion when I attended it in the late 80s.

Kelly's site is called EverTwixt.com, an immersive storyverse, and she has just launched a fan art contest. The Grand Prize is $200 and the opportunity to have your art featured as the cover of an ebook. Do you know any fan artists who might be interested? Help me spread the word? The registration is open now and closes May 9, and the contest ends May 25.

EverTwixt Art is Magic 2016.jpg

Click on the graphic above (or here) to learn more. From there, follow the link at the bottom of the page to get further details, and then click from there to register. Thanks, and please share this to let others know!

Edited to add:




pegkerr: (Deal with it and keep walking)
Rob and I just came back from Rochester. We have a mixed report. New spots on his liver and spleen. Are they tumors or inflammation? We don't know. The one deep in his body is probably a tumor, as it's right at the site of the tumor that started it all, which had apparently been eliminated by radiation in early 2015. One glowy bit from the last PET scan is gone. The doctor has decided the best thing is just to stay the course for now.

Read the rest on our CaringBridge post here.

I am so goddamned tired of all the uncertainty.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 24: Hamilton
I have been listening to it NON-STOP!

Week 24 Hamilton

I bought the entire soundtrack for $2.00 (LEGALLY) when it was on sale for that price on Google Music. The show has its hooks in me (as it does in so many other people I know). Fiona's a fan, too, and we love to exchange tidbits of knowledge we've gained about the show, the production, the actors. She is going to GO SEE IT in June and I am so very jealous.

Week 25: Hope
I'm seeing a glimmer of light on my journey.

Week 25 Hope

This image depicts a woman on a journey (remember Week 3, Embark, the last card on this post?) who sees a lighthouse shining from shore and starts to feel a little bit of hope. This was the week I learned I had been given a grant by the Dislocated Workers Program from the State of Minnesota. I am going to be receiving training in a lot of the concepts and programs I need to have to change careers from legal administrative assistant to marketing.


Week 26: Dance
This was the week of Excellent Cancer News.

Week 26 Dance

I picked this picture from The Tutu Project, one of the amazing photographs taken by Bob Carey in support of his wife Linda Carey, who has been battling breast cancer. Yeah, okay, we're not battling breast cancer here, but it's about the spouse of someone with cancer. It's trying to bring humor and happiness to something that's often very grim. It just seemed to fit this time.

Week 27: Training
I begin to learn new things.

Week 27 Training

Hubspot Academy Inbound Marketing. Landing pages. Adobe InDesign. A/B testing. Etc. Let's hope it will result in a new career direction.

Week 28: Caucus
I took Fiona, and we both did our civic duty.

Week 28 Caucus

Fiona and I were both agonizing as we walked through the door until I hit upon a simple solution: "I'll vote for Hillary. You vote for Bernie. We'd be happy to vote for either one in the general election." And that's what we did.

Week 29: Flu
Everthing is a painful, feverish blur.

Week 29 Flu

The flu hit both Rob and me HARD. Think gray mindlessness, with fever and aches lurking below.  I started on Wednesday of that week. After a week and a half, I ended up at the hospital, getting intravenous fluids. The flu shot didn't do a damn thing for me.

Week 30:  
Not today
Nothing will get accomplished today.

Week 30 Not Today

Yes, this is still a one word title. Well, a word combined with a graphic.

This card was created because I became impatient after four days of the flu. Surely I should be getting better by now? I kept fretfully listing off things to Rob that I should be doing. He lay in bed beside me, sick as I was, and replied "Not today." And when I tried to stagger out of bed and take three steps, I would fall back into bed and repeat after him, "Not today." The whole week was like that.
pegkerr: (Fiona)
This is the card I was dreaming off when I took pictures of Fiona when she was fifteen years old. I had a very vivid picture of the card in my mind, and it still isn't there quite yet, but it's a lot closer, what with all that I've been learning about software this week.

Fiona - Community Suit

Fiona - Community Card
I am the daughter always in motion, the spinner, the warrior, the dancer, the delight.

I remember when Fiona was four years old vividly. She was always spinning. I wrote, once, about a walk I took with the two girls around the block. Delia (barely two) lurched gravely along, diaper creaking, occasionally stopping to crouch to examine a bug, a stone, a leaf. And then she would be up and moving again, pacing herself as if she were taking a ten mile walk.

Fiona flittered in and around us, dancing around us, spinning joyfully, peppering us with exclamations and questions: "Isn't the sky blue! I can't wait until I can go swimming. I need a new bathing suit. Can we have spaghetti for dinner? How long until Daddy comes home?"

Later, the girls started karate, and that spinning girl always remained in the back of my head. This gets a little closer to what I had in mind.

As I said, the pictures were taken seven years ago. I imagine I will make cards of the girls through their lifetimes, as they discover new stages of themselves.

What do you think? Not quite what I'd envisioned (the spinning figures were meant to be more transparent/translucent) but I like it. At the very least, it is a relief to get out of my head and onto paper an image that has been knocking around in my head for years.
pegkerr: (Default)
We are back from a two day stay at Mayo. The latest PET scan and biopsy gave us good news, and we've learned some more about how truly fortunate Rob has been. You may read more at the CaringBridge link here.
pegkerr: (Default)
Week 20: Twelfth
Once again, we gather around the table to celebrate the end of Christmas.

Week 20 Twelfth

Yes, yes, this card should be named 'Twelfth Night' But I am limiting my card titles to one word. Not quite satisfactory, but I couldn't find a one word that would substitute (unlike finding "Hogmanay" as a substitution for "New Year's Eve.")
Again, this card was an experiment with different media. The table cloth and napkins are tissue paper, the forks are cut from aluminum foil. And the plates are from the foil wrapped around the Hershey's Kisses we had inside the miniature stockings.
We did indeed manage to gather around the table this year, although it was a Twelfth Night dinner this time rather than breakfast. That's just the way the schedules worked out.

Week 21: Severus
He was the bravest man I ever knew.

Week 21 Severus

This was the week that Alan Rickman died, and I made this card in honor of him and in honor of one of my favorite of his performances. Once I started thinking about Severus, I started making connections between his situation and mine (and not all of them are flattering, to say the least). This gets into personal stuff, so Elinor Dashwood will leave it there for now.
It was the last day of the previous week, January 9, that was Severus Snape's birthday. Rowling deliberately chose that day because it was the feast for the Roman God Janus, the two-headed god who guarded doorways, looking both into the past and into the future. An extremely appropriate choice for the ambiguous Severus Snape's birthday, and an appropriate thing for me to ponder, as I think about my career--where it has been as well as where it is going.

Week 22: iPod
I lost my iPod in the snow and felt helpless without it.

Week 22 iPod

At least by process of elimination, that's where I figured it wound up. I never got it back. I held out a week, gritting my teeth, and then I bought a replacement. Screw the fact that I am unemployed. I need one to organize my life.

Annoyingly, I found out when I upgraded to the next model, that I can't synch it on my iMac. The software on my desktop Apple is too old. Planned obsolescence is pretty damned annoying.

Week 23: Three
There are three things I do to help myself.

Week 23 Three

This was a tough week. Again, Elinor Dashwood will not provide many details. The three stones represent three stepping stones, the sort to keep you above the water you would drown in otherwise (I tried and tried to find an image of three stepping stones, but for a variety of reasons, what I found just didn't work. So I used an image of stacked stones). The stones represent three things I do throughout the week for self-care. The stones are carried by a manatee, and if you haven't found the site Calming Manatee, really, what are you waiting for?

I know what the next card is (Card 24) and I worked on it today, but I had tremendous trouble with figuring out the right fixative to use. I had an image with words superimposed over it. I printed the words on waxed paper, but every fixative I used just smeared or blurred the words. I have an idea for how to fix the problem, but it involves a trip to the store. So I started working on the next card (Card 25), and finished it, too. I worked on the cards OUT OF ORDER! I felt SO GUILTY! And I will not scan and show this past week's card until I finish the card for the week before.

This means we are almost halfway through the year! (It also means it's been half a year since I've had a job--groan). [livejournal.com profile] minnehaha K. impishly suggested that we could swap decks and I would do the rest of hers and she would do the rest of mine. I firmly vetoed this idea. But then she made the clever suggestion that we would each do the jokers of the other person's deck, one at Week 26 and one at the end. Which I think is a really cool idea.

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