News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Archive for March, 2012

Did Jesus make at least one mistake?

Catholicism teaches that Mary was like us but did not sin, and back in December on her feast of the Immaculate Conception, I made a horrible mistake . Because of some misunderstandings on the phone, I accidentally scheduled one of Phil’s rides to dialysis from home when he needed to leave from work. This meant a lot of frustration on both of our parts, and he didn’t make it to dialysis that night. I was in the shower when the banging on the door started. I’d canceled a ride from home around the same time and ignored the knocking thinking the dopes hadn’t canceled my ride. Because the ride was to dialysis, our paratransit service became very concerned when nobody answered the door. I was out of the shower when the police and fire departments showed up thinking Phil was unconscious somewhere in the house. NO, just his wife causing everyone including herself major anxiety.

I had been planning to go to Mass for Mary’s holy day, but it was just too cold. The feast day plus this colossal screw-up equaled me thinking about whether Mary made mistakes. There was a good little Catholic part of me who cringed at a thought which bordered being heretical, but after talking to some trusted people of faith in my life, we all concluded that because Mary was human, she probably made mistakes.

Hold onto your hats everyone, because the heretic had another blasphemous thought last night. Did *Jesus make mistakes when he was in human form on earth? Again, like us in all ways but sin, it would seem logical that he might. I stumbled on a passage which always puzzled me when reading a book I highly recommend by Father Joseph Girzone called “Jesus: Understanding God’s Son. Girzone takes the gospels and tries to put the events from them in chronological order. He often speculates on what Jesus might have been thinking based on his reading of the Gospels, and it has been insightful. Ironically, he just mentions the incident I’m about to outline without any commentary.

This is in Mark Chapter 8 verses 22 through 26 in which Jesus is healing a blind man. Mark is my favorite of the gospels. His feast day falls on my birthday April 25, and Mark’s gospel is very short and to the point! Verse 24 in which the blind man first says he sees but not clearly (people look like trees) has always tickled my spirit . The humor is because people look to me a little like trees with no branches feel to me — tall and shapeless. I’ve always been a little bothered about why that verse is in here. Mark was so to the point, and yet this verse is here. It’s the only instance I know of in which Jesus’ healing didn’t work all the way the first time. Although we’ll never know for sure, I have come to the conclusion that maybe Jesus’ humanity interfered somehow in making this healing work right the first time. Girzone wrote about how during this period, Jesus had many heavy things on his mind and may have been suffering some kind of depression. Aren’t we all prone to mistakes when we have many things on our minds and feel down? Maybe Mark put it here for people like me who feel so inadequate when we make mistakes. Even Jesus makes a mistake, because a part of him is human.

Rebecca Kragnes and Zane (Black Labrador and Seeing Eye Dog)
E-Mail: rebeccak
Twitter: RebeccaKragnes


an anniversary worth noting

Many of you know I am an avid reader and am on the advisory committee for my state library. But as great as our library is, I love having other sources for books — particularly new material or books missing in a series. One of my favorite resources is
which happens to be celebrating its ten year anniversary. I joined about five years ago, and that membership always pays for itself. Inevitably at some time during the year, I want or have to read a book which is not available from the library. Like many blind readers, I’d rather listen to a human voice read an audio book. But I don’t like the idea of being limited to only books available in this medium. Bookshare’s books are in text to speech and marked up in a way in which chapters and sections are easy to find. My Victor Stream’s synthesized voice does a beautiful job of reading their material. Unlike some audio books from the library, bookshare offers electronic Braille copies of their material as well. I like having the option to read a book in Braille or audibly.

I couldn’t end without expressing my gratitude to the people who do the work of scanning and proofing books for this program. I don’t have the patience for either, but I thank God for those who do.

Bookshare is on Twitter and has its own blog — also on WordPress. after reading the first
tenth anniversary post,
I chose to follow it.

I happen to be reading a Bookshare title right now by an author I’ve come to love Joseph Girzone. I gobbled up the Joshua series and most of his other material available through the library. The book I’m reading now is called “Understanding God’s Son” and is perfect for Lent. Rebecca Kragnes and Zane (Black Labrador and Seeing Eye Dog)
E-Mail: rebeccak
Twitter: RebeccaKragnes

quick Sunday blog entry

I’m hoping this entire entry will post. I’ve never had a problem with entries not posting completely until last week.

Phil is gone to a concert by a choir of which our friend Linda is a part. I would have liked to go, but it ran too close to my Malt Shop gig. Duty calls.

We were supposed to go to a hand bell concert yesterday, but we had to cancel for a very strange reason. For three days, I had this awful pain that would come and go in my right rib area. Sometimes movement caused sharp twinges, and other times it didn’t. I don’t know what the story was, but all of a sudden by last night, it was gone! I’ve never experienced anything like this, and it’s sudden appearance and disappearance was a bit startling. Somebody warned me my body would start doing weird things as I move toward forty, and this seems to be one of them.

There was a big mix-up on my medications this week, and I went without one for almost as long. One didn’t have refills left, so the pharmacy called the doctor. The pharmacist told me they’d give me some to get me through, but when Phil went to pick it up, there were no medications for me. I called again, and there was still no response from the doctor. Friday, the person who answered the phone said the doctor wouldn’t refill my prescription, and this is one I take all year round at the same dose. I called my doctor, and my doctor called the pharmacy back. It turns out that note was for another medication, and the one I needed could be filled. I got this information at three thirty on Friday just as I was getting ready to get my hair cut. The person on the phone learned I was displeased. Phil couldn’t get over to get it, because he’d miss his bus home. It wouldn’t go out until Monday in the mail. I know they can courier medications, because Phil gets his done through the special pharmacy when he’s sick. I pushed for this and got it. I told them when we’d be home and where to put it in the event they came when we weren’t home. We were waiting for a bus to meet a friend at our usual Mexican restaurant when the call came in that the courier was there. At first, they weren’t willing to leave it, but after clearing it with there dispatch, they did. I’ve noticed I have been touchy lately, and I sleep a lot more than I should. I can’t wait until my meds are regulated again. I started my first dose back on this medication yesterday, as I didn’t want to be up all night Friday.

It’s almost St. Patty’s day which means lots of green and finding a way to get to McDonnell’s for a Shamrock Shake and a couple fish sandwiches. Phil has Friday off, and I think we’re going to do something special for St. Patty’s day this next weekend.

Because we went to Mexican on Friday night we decided to try another restaurant in that neighborhood Saturday night called the Blackbird. It burned down a year or two ago when it was by the Malt Shop, and they always seemed to be busy and have great smelling food as we waited for our bus home from the Mexican place. The food was quite good, and it wasn’t quite as expensive as I thought it might be. It’s not something we’re going to do a lot, but it made for a nice change.

I’m also looking forward to my Scentsy party on Friday night the 23rd. If I neglected to invite you, and you are interested in the product, e-mail me. I’ll be glad to include you.

I know in Minnesota, we always talk about the weather, but it’s just breathtaking around here. We’re supposed to be between 65 and 70 most of the week, and am I ever excited! Phil moved the deck table to the center of the deck, because he thinks we’re done with the major snow. I really hope so.
Rebecca Kragnes and Zane (Black Labrador and Seeing Eye Dog)
E-Mail: rebeccak
Twitter: RebeccaKragnes

loose ends and leaping to conclusions

My apologies to those who see this post twice. for some reason, it wasn’t completed the first time. The editing program isn’t accessible, so I moved the post to the trash and am posting the whole thing again with this paragraph – atempting to tie up another loose end.
A friend wrote after my post on the Minnesota Community Sings and asked me to put a link in my blog for more info. For those who need the e-mail address for Braille song sheets, I’ll be happy to give it to you, but it might be irresponsible to publish it in a blog.

A week later, I had a very different experience from the sing-along I describe in my last post. A friend drove me to Coon Rapids to be a part of a jam session. Metro Mobility wouldn’t drop there, so I was fortunate to have a friend willing to drive. I tried my best not to have too many expectations, so I wouldn’t be disappointed. Apparently I still had too many. I thought the jam session was about mostly professional musicians getting together. Little did I know that twelve kids were involved in singing none too great. Apparently that’s a lot more kids than normal, but my friend told me that fifteen minutes felt like 45 to her. Now imagine what it was like for me — the tortured musician. Kids need experience, and I understand that, but I thought this jam session was composed of more professionals than was the case. Even the guitarist and bass player were pretty young, but they were good for their age. The drummer has a *lot of learning to do!
We might try it one more time, because the organizer said she might institute kids time for the first hour and adults for the second.
My presentation to the class on “nothing” about “seeing nothing” went very well. There was so much discussion, we didn’t get to the experiments. They promised to try dropping some cylindrical and round objects and finding them blind folded.

Then I came home to lead a discussion on the book I chose for book club by phone. Despite the fact very few liked the book, they were great sports about it. In case anyone wants to know, the book was “She Ain’t the One” by Carl Weber and Sherrie Morrison.
With last Wednesday being leap year day, one of my favorite bloggers wrote a fun, positive piece.
Happy Leap Frog Day Make It Count!
I smiled, because I knew of something else happening that day. The Monday before I attended an Advisory Committee meeting for the
Minnesota Braille and Talking Book library. We learned the governor is sponsoring a year long initiative called something like “leap into Reading”. I tried to find a link to a press release about it but the page was not cooperating. Anyway, the mascot for the program is a frog named ReadIt. If he isn’t available, his sister Lily appears. Although the mascot is aimed at the kids, The program itself is a reminder for people of all ages that reading is a life long activity. I am enthusiastic about the program and hope to see some good press on it. Although I am not enamored with the live animal, I like the symbolic versions of frogs. I have this wonderful, shiny, stuffed frog made by a Chinese lady. Of course it helps that frogs are usually my favorite color — green.

Thursday I had a phone meeting as a member of an organization’s board, and although I haven’t made my final decision, I’m leaning toward not running for election as Secretary again. I used to think that it was one or two people who caused problems, but it’s becoming apparent that the board of the organization in question is becoming more about personalities and egos than its main purpose. I record the meetings, so I can write my report, and after an argument went on for ten minutes, I decided to take a shower. My showers are about ten minutes in length, and as I exited the shower, the same argument was still continuing. There is a lot of fighting going on, and the feuds last for weeks. I just don’t feel like writing the minutes is really making all that much of a difference in the world. this is part of the reason I entitled this piece leaping to conclusions. So many people see only what they want to see, so they are the good guys, while the other side is the bad guys.

Then last week, a person decided to initiate a direct message conversation with me on Twitter repeatedly telling me my soul was in danger, and I’m headed to hell. The only way I could avoid it was to stop contraception or abstain from sex. All this, because my husband and I have decided not to have children, and I happen to be Catholic. The guy is a wonderful musician! I should have known he might do this when I heard a Youtube song he composed. He was singing about how Satan smiles when people use contraception. I tried several times to end the conversation peacefully by saying we would have to agree to disagree, but he only interrogated me more aggressively. I’m pretty open about this decision and see no reason not to be, but before terminating the conversation and blocking him from seeing any future messages from me, I pointed out that he didn’t have any idea why we made the decision we did. I’ve talked to priests about my reasons, and they understand them. This whole thing really upset me, and I got a hold of my priest. To calm me down, my priest said that he, mypriest himself, was really the only one in a position to condemn me to hell, and he was passing on that. Obviously, people can believe whatever they wish about these things, but they have no right to hoist these beliefs on others. I don’t care if they are of the same denomination as the person they are judging.

Then today I had another startling experience on Twitter. I follow lots of people and occasionally retweet their comments with comments of my own. This is standard practice on Twitter. I did this once to him today, and I don’t think I’ve targeted him among the over 300 people I follow. I got a tweet telling me to stop tweeting him, or the next step was that he would block me. I was shocked to put it mildly. He’s another great musician, and he hasn’t even released an album yet. It seemed too intense of a first message. I might have started with “I’d like to request that you don’t reply or retweet me anymore, please”. Then if I continued to do it, his message today may have been justified. I immediately unfollowed him, and I’ll never buy any of his music, no matter how good he is.

It’s very easy for me to get bogged down in feelings of rejection and even guilt over things like these, but God reminds me through other encounters that these people really aren’t worth my time. As you may have gathered I follow a lot of musicians — some of whom are Christian

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