New Content?





















Hi Friends.


Long time no see.


Looking for new content? You won't find it here ... so head on over my active blog. It's a little different than The Spill but still very much me.  I'd love to have you stop by and sign up.

I'm now writing at:




'Come on over!


~Kelley














New Address

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The Spill has moved down the street. 
It's just a hop, click, and a jump from here ... and it'll be worth the trip.
Come on over!



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Microwave Suspicion

More thoughts from the microwave ...


Cutting Edge Technology: The Amana Radarange.


Last week, I wrote about Microwave Orphans and a trait my sisters and I inherited from my mother. We leave things in the microwave, beeping, and forgotten. When we're together for reunions or visits, our shared microwave forgetfulness becomes humorous. "Who left their tea in the microwave?" (Some of you admitted to the same tendency.)

My family had other microwave dysfunctions.

Our first microwave oven arrived in the kitchen of my childhood, in a cardboard box. My Dad unloaded it on the bright blue counter, next to the refrigerator. He plugged it in. We stared in amazement.

At that time, they were called Radaranges. I don't know why. 'Maybe because 'radar' sounded very space age?

An Accidental Discovery. Apparently microwave technology was discovered accidentally back in 1945. A self-taught engineer from Maine was doodling around building active radar magnetrons for his company when he noticed that a peanut chocolate bar in his pocket had started to melt. The radar microwaves had melted his candy bar. From there, the first food to be intentionally cooked by microwave was popcorn, then an egg, which as you can imagine, exploded directly in the face of one of the technicians. To verify his food heating findings, Percy Spencer created a high density electromagnetic field and confined the microwave power in a metal box. When food was placed in the box with the microwave energy, the temperature of the food rose rapidly. Years later ... we now have the microwave oven.


Our first microwave arrived back in the late 1970's. It had big dials -- no buttons. Each dial turned to set the cook time. ( I found this picture of the exact model, on Craigslist).


Kitchen Science. It was an unwieldy appliance and it took a while to learn how to use it without ruining food. But, wow, it sure was fun to sit and watch what happened when the heat got going. My sisters, brother and I alternately experimented with boiling water, melting marshmallows, hot dogs, bread, cheese, potatoes. Bread wilted and hardened like a sponge. Hot dogs split and puckered. Potatoes morphed into rocks and exploded. Eggs exploded, too. Cheese melted into liquid like the time lapse reel-to-reel movies they showed in 5th grade science class.

Not that we got to watch it all happen, directly. We saw the process only in 'before' and 'after' segments. Why? Because, when my Dad unloaded the rocket-ship radarange on the bright blue kitchen counter, my Mom also laid out her precautionary microwave instructions.

Stand Back. In order to use this new technology safely, we were instructed to load the food, shut the door, set the time, hit the cook button, and step around to the other side of the refrigerator like an x-ray lab technician who sets up a patient and steps behind a shielding wall. We protested and rolled our eyes at Mom's over-concern.

Her radiation worries floated around the kitchen. The power of the microwave wasn't fully understood. And maybe, just maybe, those radar waves could cause sterility or reproductive cancer in women. Maybe we'd end up barren. And, no one would know for years to come. So, in absence of a heavy leaded apron, we sighed about Mom's hovering caution and compliantly stepped around to the other side of the fridge.

With time and familiarity, all caution was lost. Eventually, we stopped stepping around the fridge. A couple years in, we got to stand and watch the cheese melt, start to finish.

The 21st Century Version. Now, as a mom, I have more compassion for my mom's concern about the radarange and our reproductive organs. Turns out, radarange cancer was a false alarm. Sure enough. 'Proof that it's hard to predict the dangers of new technology. As a kid, I didn't understand the fridge exercise. But now, as I watch a constant sea of evolving technologies whirl around my sons, I get my mom's issue.

Used to be, things like 8 track players, Atari or Intellevison would appear on the scene once every couple years, just in time for Christmas. Now, new tech possibilities flow through homes like electronic air current -- iPad, iPhone, wii, youTube, Facebook, PS2, avatars, google maps, Hulu -- electric gadgets and information are our society's constant clamour. They beckon for time and beg for our full attention -- like the melting marshmallow and exploding egg. And now, years after our first microwave was plugged into the wall, I have my own hovering concerns.

My kids roll their eyes at me, the same way I rolled mine at my Mom. And I'm left wishing it were possible to know, for certain, when it's necessary for my kids to 'step behind the refrigerator'.

Only time will tell.
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Piercings & Scars


"But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed."
Isaiah 53:5



"Now Thomas ( called Didymus ) one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting. Believe."

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe."
John 20: 24-29
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Picture:
The Incredulity of St. Thomas,
by Michaelangelo Carvaggio (1571-1610)
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Good Friday and the Tire Swing

In honor of Easter and the holy possibility of new Life and new beginning -- I am reposting an article about a childhood friend, and the quiet business of becoming.


"Life is a Tire Swing" image by Pamela Murphy



Alleys and Backyards.
Andee Harty lived down the alley. She had long brown hair, an easy smile, and a golden retriever named Nugget. Andee’s real name is Andrea. We walked on concrete suburban sidewalks to Roosevelt Elementary school together, day after day, year after year. Sometimes, she had to carry her cello and we walked a little slower. We were in orchestra together, went to camp together, and drew a series of bubble people named “Herschel” in junior high English together. Her Dad had an enormous and ongoing boat project docked in their back yard -- which made him seem a little like Noah. I spent much time in that back yard, on the tire swing.

Jesus and the Tire Swing.
The tree tire swing was our Starbucks. We’d meet there, and spend countless words and chatter while swinging. Two freaky fridays happened on the swing. I’m guessing we were about 9 or 10 years old. It was Good Friday both times. Public schools were closed the Friday before Easter. It was a three day holiday. "Good Friday" is historically understood by Christians to be the day when Jesus was executed. I had just learned in Sunday School, that his approximate time of death was around 3 pm.

It was 3-ish, when Andee and I were spending our day-off by the tire swing. Sometimes I would sit on the top and she would sit in the middle hole. Other times we'd just push each other and take single turns. This time, I think she was laying in the grass and I was sitting on the top of the tire, holding the rope over my head, and not swaying much; just talking. I was telling her about the Jesus death-time, and feeling quite sad about it. As we were talking, the sky started to get cloudy and dark. A huge midwest thunderstorm rolled in and lightning cracked through our conversation. It was a black storm and Jesus death all at once. We both ran for cover.

A Yearly Miracle.
That very same series of events happened pretty much exactly the same way on Good Friday the following year. I decided I must have somehow missed this annual phenomenon. Apparently, every single year lightning cracked at precisely 3pm on Good Friday. The implications were miraculous. Right then and there, I came to believe that every year at the exact moment when Jesus had said “It is Finished” a big storm opened up and rained down on the world.

That stormy idea made me seriously question why everyone in entire the world wouldn’t believe what Jesus taught. It was a yearly miracle that no one was talking about. I was perplexed and amazed.

Debunked.
Obviously, the next Good Friday brought disappointing news. No 3 o’clock storm. No divine opening of the skies or booming thunder ... quiet instead. My wonder wasn’t a yearly miracle. But the tire kept swinging.

Swing Music.
Last fall, grown-up Andee and I stood reminiscing at our high school reunion. Andee asked me about a song we used to sing. We learned it in music class, in 2nd or 3rd grade, I think. 35 years later, all she had to do was sing the first line and it started playing in my head. It was an old english song, meant to be sung in a round. And we used to sing it around and around and around.


“White coral bells upon a slender stalk
Lily of the valley deck my garden walk
Oh don’t you wish that you could hear them ring?
That would only happen when the fairies sing.”


Yes, it’s a silly childhood song. But, as soon as she mentioned it, I could see the lines in the concrete sidewalks as we walked to school. And I could hear our small voices singing. In that moment of reunion, I was standing in one place as an adult, but in my mind,
I was on the tire again,
a pendulum swaying,
back and forth,

here, then there.

A Tree Metronome
ticking
away
years,


between
the wonder days
of thunder and miracles,
and
the greening silence
of life and growth,
swinging beats
between
then

and
now,

from
what we once believed
to
what we now know,

from
who we once were
to
who we are now becoming.


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Today's Questions:

How have I changed?
Who am I becoming?

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Tackle It.

Before
&
After.
Tackling the Mess.

The day of reckoning arrived. The hallway linen closet had gained a will of its own and needed to be tamed. Piles of towels and sheets had been displaced in the laundry room for weeks, waiting for their designated cupboard parking spaces to clear. Two full Goodwill donation bags helped clear the space and I won the battle! The closet is redeemed, for now.

There's something motivating about other people's before and after stories. Which is why I want you to see these pictures -- and be encouraged. Tackling just one closet or messy drawer can be extremely satisfying.

So, if you need a winter blues boost, take the Spring Closet Challenge with me. You don't have to conquer the world and put it all back in order -- just tackle one closet or drawer. And, if you're like me, you'll find yourself pathetically walking past the newly clean space just to stop to stare.
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Somehow, it's an empowering simplicity -- especially when other parts of life are feeling a bit chaotic. So, go ahead. Tackle it.
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