Thursday, December 27, 2007
The whole day was a Sabbath day.
Phone calls to family
Being with the Boys all day
Baking gingerbread cookies for LH
Quiet time, holy time
lighted Christmas tree
being ever so thankful
feeling blessed beyond belief
Monday, December 24, 2007
"In the fullness of time, God sent the Son." (Galatians 4:4)
"What good is it to me if the eternal birth of the divine Son
takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself?
And what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace
if I am not also full of grace?
What good is it for the Creator to give birth to his Son
if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture?
This then is the fullness of time:
when the Son of God is begotten in us."
Meister Eckhart - 14th century
May Christ be born within you this Christmas.
And may you bear God to a world in need of Christ's light,love, life, peace, hope and joy.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Just happened by Cheesehead's place and yup, read her favorite things meme, and now I've been tagged. So we'll give it a whirl:
my greyhounds - Ben & Jett
hard back journals
my corner of the sofa
chocolate chip cookies
the music of cowbells on an alp
the way the lights on the Christmas tree color the ceiling
colored Easter eggs
Zopf - Swiss bread
boiled wool slippers
freshly fallen snow on trees and bushes
the hushed quiet when it snows
70-75 degree days
time to just be
warm towels out of the dryer
fresh herbs & tomatoes from my garden
Have to end somewhere...may as well be with sunsets. Consider yourself tagged!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
So far, I've completed three Advent services.
Attended an Advent Event
a youth group Christmas party
did the service at the Retirement home
made plenty hospital/nursing home visits
working on home visits
sorted and gift bagged all LH's staff gifts
sorted and gift bagged all my staff gifts
wrapped, packed and sent 4 Christmas boxes full of gifts
sent 22 German Christmas letters
sent 25 Christmas cards and letters
handed out 9 gift cards to needy families (and bought went to the store and bought the gift cards for the church)
working on Christmas Eve very short reflection
and finishing all the parts of the liturgy for the lay people on Dec. 30th:
offering invitation, prayer of dedication, benediction, prayers of the people
the Christmas tree is up au natur! No lights, no decorations, no nothing!!! Hoping the lights will go up to tonight. I will hang ornaments and tinsel the next couple of nights.
Still have family gifts to wrap up.
I am very, very tired!!!
Monday, December 10, 2007
My computer came back today! All clean and fresh-faced from having it's clock cleaned!!!
Now, perhaps I can settle into Advent and get all my services together.
Between all the folks in the hospital and no computer, it's been...well...better not say!
Last Tuesday the heat went out in the offices and I froze since it was such a bitterly cold day. Heating folks can't make it out til Wed. morning.
Had Christmas Lunch with the Women's Association at a restaurant. I was glad for the drive so I could crank up the heat in the van. Was still cold at the restaurant and had a cup of coffee just to warm up. It worked!!!
On Wednesday, still no heat and cold and snowy. Arrived at the church to see footprints up the stairs to the door by the kitchen. Door was unlocked, boots and jacket on the floor and beautiful sounds from the sanctuary piano. School was cancelled due to the snowy morning and gifted HS student was practicing piano - all morning!!!
Shoveled the 2 sets of stairs and sidewalk out front. (Our custodian has a near full-time job with Friday and weekends off. He has to be at work very early in am so we have no one here to shovel during the week!) Went to spread salt, the bucket was next to empty with barely a handful. The shovel I used was old and beat up.
A trip to the local Hardware store was immanent. The Red Cross Bloodmobile was that day at 1 pm and they arrive at 11 am to set up.
By now I have held off going to the Hardware store still waiting for the heating company to arrive. Just as I told piano student what to tell the furnace guy and walked out the door and down the steps who should arrive? Yup, furnace guy. Tell him the offices have no heat and I have to get to the Hardware store.
Trip to Hardware store to get new shovel and 50 lbs of ice melt. They load it in my car. The ice melt bag is not nearly as big as a 40 bag of dog food or a big bag of fertilizer. I think I can handle it! I'm showing off, that a woman pastor can do what a male pastor can do. (Sinner that I am and stupid as I am!!) I actually get the bag up the steps and to the door. Can't open the door with the bag. Set bag down, open door, use big butt to hold door open, lift, twist and plop bag over threshold. Cut bag open, dump into bucket. Now go sprinkle ice melt at all doorways and down steps.
As soon as I had the bag over the threshold who tromps up the inside steps? The furnace guy!! Where was he 10 seconds ago, when he could've helped me? Igniter is burnt out, will check his van for a new part. Of course, doesn't have the right part, returns to company and will be back.
Red Cross arrives. I take off for my monthly clergy lunch. I am so ready for lunch and to get away from a very crazy morning. Lunch is good.
Drive in the clear opposite direction to make a hospital visit. Good visit.
Decide to return an extra book from the Mainline Christian bookstore in this town. I had already tried to return it once before, on a Saturday, with holiday shopping traffic in this shopping mecca of this part of OH, and there was an accident on the street of the bookstore. No traffic was moving for 20 minutes. (I gave up, turned around and went home by another way!!)This time I made it and instead of having credit in my account, found two other books and bought them.
Went home and called it a day!!!
Some days just make you wonder why you're a minister?
The weird thing that happened ocurred after dinner, when my knee (the one I had torn the quad muscle off two years ago) began to hurt, pull and feel tight like it did 2 years ago. I took some medication and had to be careful with it for three days. It hasn't ever hurt like that for 2 years. I surmise it was trying to be a macho martyr of a pastor and tried hauling that 50 lbs. of ice melt.
Lesson learned - it doesn't pay to show off, or brag or try to be a macho martyr pastor. Ask for help next time! Believe me, I will!!!!!
Hope this week will find me infinitely more productive and less stupid and sinful!
Hope springs up from within and without, especially in Advent!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal:
1. dessert/cookie/family food
Has to be fruitcake, the candied fruit makes me shudder
2. beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog with way too much egg and not enough nogg, etc...)
eggnog, I'm just not a fan of it
3. tradition (church, family, other)
getting together with in-laws, not that thrilling
plastic Santas and Snowmen, etc. How tacky!
5. gift (received or given)
Outrageous socks with bizaare colors and circle mirror sequins on it that
I received from a friend. Totally tasteless and so not me! (Maybe it was a
Bonus: Song/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it
Barking Jingle Bells - how obnoxious is that?!!? And I'm a dog lover!!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I came home around 5:30 pm. Changed clothes. Began cooking dinner. Fed the greys.
Made the salad. Stirred the sauce. Heated the tortellini. Served dinner. Ate dinner.
Cleaned up. Made a pan of brownies. Put them in the oven. Washed a bunch of dishes.
Went through my mail. Removed the brownies from the oven. Mixed a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Filled 3 cookie sheets. Popped them in the oven one by one. Did the dishes again. At 9:40 pm, I finally got a moment to sit on the couch. How many pastors bring dessert to their informal Hanging of the Greens time at church?
I guess that's what quaint about small churches and women pastors.
Remember this is the church that has potato chips as a side dish to pizza?!!!?
I should've made veges and dip - had I known that the one to do so wasn't coming tonight!! It probably would've taken a lot less time!!!!!!!!
I would have like to did other things last night!!!
Your Inner European is French!
Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.
Ooo-la-la!!! My Swiss roots are soaking in white wine and cream sauce!!! Of course, the Swiss have the best of the French, Italian and German worlds. I think I just confused the quizzers!!! Thanks to Lutheranchik for the invite to the quiz!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Just 7? I've a cupboard full of mugs and enjoy collecting them:
1. Mug with a picture of my Dad when he was about 2 years old on one side
and the other with a picture just a couple years before his 70th
2. Pottery mug from Moorefield Pottery (local potter) - beige and green and white
with a distinctive design.
3. Ceramic mug from Africa Cafe in Cape Town, SA - just couldn't resist it's
narrow shape and the animal print and colors on it.
4. Pottery mug - rusty red clay with primitive black images of animal, human,
snake, water from the Southwest. I like the color and the
primitive design and the handle is way cool. From a Southwest
store that is no longer in Cedarburg, WI
5. Pottery mug - beige, blue and green glaze from a 10,000 Villages store way
6. Tartan & Thistle mug - small mug of muted blue, purple burgandy with a water
color thistle on a watercolored tartan background from
Scotland which National Trust for Historic Places puts
7. Pottery mug - white with purple pink rim and handle with fireweed painted
on it in the same color with green leaves. The handle is
a rounded tube/snake shape and can't be stored upside down.
It is from (Black)Raven Pottery, in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Guess that's the 7 for today. Thanks, St. Casserole. It was fun going into the cupboard and picking out the 7 mugs!!! Now I'll be using some Christmas/winter ones for Advent and beyond.
What kind of mugs are in your cupboard? Nosey people want to know!!!!!!!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Thankfully the Turkey day marathon of cooking, cleaning, decluttering, and clean up are all behind me. It is a lot of work!
Still missing my computer at the office and it sure is crazy without one! Have to use the secretary's. Now her black ink has run out and I will run out to replace the cartridge so desperately needed.
I printed the letter to be sent to 11 local families about the gift cards we will be giving them to get their children some warm clothing or shoes for Christmas. We've done this every year for many years. In the last two years, the Methodist church has joined in and given us some money to help with the project. We work with the wonderful school counselor who knows the children and family situations all too well.
So, when I spoke with the counselor, she mentioned that there were 11 families with 27 children, this year: 2 families that had 5 children each. The 2 large families would get 2 $100.00 gift cards. All the others would get $100.00 gift cards.
Only problem was that our mission committee allotted $1,000.00 for the project and the Methodist gave us $200.00. Which means, if you do the math, a total $1200.00:
$400.00 to 2 families, leaving 9 families with only $800.00!!! We were short by $100.00!!!! As my brain began to whir, and my prayers went up to God, my secretary called out and asked if I received the phone message from Sunday afternoon. No, I had not. Then the good news, the secretary said, the Methodist have an extra check for $100.00 for us for the kids!!!!!!!
Wow! Sometimes God is at work long before we even know what we need. And sometimes God performs miracles in an instant. Usually, though, God works quietly and slowly.
But today, today! God had everything in hand even before I began to unravel and all was neatly tied up with an admonition, "Hush, my child. Do not be anxious for anything! Just wait on the Lord. For I will provide what is sufficient and will supply your need. Trust me. Look to me. Wait on me." Truly, a lesson this Advent season. God already knows what we need and is already at work to provide for us, whatever is sufficient. May your Advent, be a time of patient, but expectant waiting, trusting in God, and not being anxious over anything. God is already preparing all that we need.
1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?
LH and I hosted as we do each year - his Dad and 2 sisters. It all ran far more smoothly than ever.
2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different?
It was the whole turkey and nothing bu the turkey, seasoned (with herbs from my garden: sage, rosemary, thyme) stuffed, and roasted to perfection!
3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year?
The table is set with our china, crystal and silver. Everyone gets a favor and 2 Ferro Rocher - the gold one with the whole hazelnut, surrounded by chocolate/hazelnut cream encased in chocolate wafer, covered by chocolate with bits of hazelnuts. We use our gurgling cod to serve ice water and our brown Swiss cow to dispense milk or cream for coffee.
4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between?
It is my tradition to be done with Christmas shopping by the bdginning of November.
So on Friday, I do some grocery shopping for the week, and head back home to work on my Christmas letter and the German Christmas letter. That pretty much takes the rest of the day far from the irritable crowds and long lines.
5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up?
Not 'til Advent begins!!! This coming Friday, we will put a wreath on our front door and LH will put the candles in all the windows. We will buy a real tree sometime later and get it up the week before Christmas. Usually, we are too busy with planning services, writing Christmas cards, wrapping and sending all our Christmas gifts to decorate too much. Keep it simple and enjoy!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Mostly at the church and at home. I'm ok. The church computer is not! It is very sick and has been taken away by the computer ambulance to have its slate wiped clean and so that it can begin again.
Thus, I did not have access to my computer.
At home, I usually am doing a whole host of other things and very rarely get on the computer except once or twice a week to check my home e-mail and to work on my sermon. LH is on the computer most evenings when he gets home from church meetings. I will not compete with him for computer time.
Felt pretty lost, lonely, and greatly frustrated without a working computer. Thanks be to God, that I was able to print out my liturgy for Sunday's worship and also the following Sunday. Wheeh, that would've been awful to start all over again.
I did manage to print out the Advent Candlelighting liturgies this morning.
So, the most important was saved! Now my naughty computer will go to confession, be cleared and wiped clean! And can start anew and afresh all scrubbed clean, glowing, and ready to begin again. Would that we might take our forgiveness and pardon in such a way, that we do feel scrubbed clean and washed, and wiped clear of all our sins and ready and truly believing we are indeed forgiven to begin anew.
We tend to hold one to one thing or another or doubt that we can ever be fully forgiven for everything. But what grace, what freedom there is in knowing and believing, trusting and accepting that forgiveness is ours, is mine!!! Totally and completely!!! Thanks be to God!!!!!!! I am forgiven. The hard drive of my life is erased and wiped clean and I can begin again and anew. How glorious is that?!!?
May the grace of our being forgiven be a blessing for which you can always and ever give thanks.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Spent most of Sunday, either lying or sitting or reclining on the couch! Felt so "good for nothing"! Didn't get a stitch done, although there is always something to be done; laundry, ironing, putting clutter away, throwing out the tons of catalogs, among others.
Woke up yesterday morning, took a shower and let the warm water massage the hip and ate breakfast, let the Boys out and made them breakfast. And my hip felt almost normal. No pain, no real ache. Had a good morning and the Bible study went well. Worked on my liturgy for Sunday and made a couple visits. Noticed a growing soreness. Got home, changed, rest a few on the couch, made dinner, did dishes, stripped the bedlinens and washed and dried them and remade the bed with a different set of linens. Sat on the couch for the rest of the evening.
Felt pretty ok this morning, but not as good as Monday. I mean really. I can't spend the rest of my life sitting, reclining and lying on the couch! My plan is to make time to rest inbetween my doing and see if that helps. Haven't had to take any pain pills which is good. I just want to be my normal self again. (Sigh)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
In the past week, beside all this hip pain, I have been approached by two folks looking for Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction has not been all that sought after here in Amish Country. So, I haven't done much in direction in the past 4 four years and am feeling rather rusty.
Now, out of the blue, these two folks have appeared seeking spiritual direction. I understand it as God's way of telling me to get myself in gear, and to offer what I have been trained to do, to dust off those skills which have been languishing and re-engage them. Perhaps, I need direction as much as those coming to me do. I mean, that the benefits I receive from offering direction and the holy offerings of directees touch me deeply as well. So, God is giving me a wake-up call, "Awake, O Sleeper, Awake!"
Now, comes more time spent in prayer, that God would provide me with the wisdom and gifts needed to offer direction again. And to trust in the Mysterious and Holy Presence who is ever present and at work. May I be made worthy and able by God's own Spirit.
Wake-up! I've been asleep too long!
And that's putting it mildly! A week ago, I stirred mincemeat for 3 hours almost nonstop in the church kitchen for the church's Fall Bazaar and Pancake Breakfast.
My hip was sore last Thurs. night. I proceeded to do my grocery shopping, leaning on the cart helped and sitting in the car driving from store to store helped ease the pain. I didn't sleep well. On Saturday, I got up early and drove to church to help with the pancake breakfast. Yes, I had pain. I served and bussed tables for a while. The pain got worse and radiated to the left groin. Visions of hernia and even kidney stones burst in my mind.
LH took me to the ER Sat. afternoon where I stayed until nearly 7 pm. Some blood work, a small pain shot and CATscan later, I was waiting for LH to pick up and take me home in the same amount of pain as when I went in. No, hernia or kidney stones.
I took some pain meds (which didn't help much) and barely made it through Sunday morning service. I sat during the hymns and for the children's chat. I was miserable.
Went to the Doctor on Mon. morning and we think the muscle from the back to the hip joint is totally inflamed with a hint of arthritis. Stronger pain meds needed and given! Anti-inflamatory welcomed. If this doesn't help, which it doesn't appear to be doing much good, I'll be getting a cortisone shot. The pain meds (have to take 2) keep me relatively pain free for 5 hours at a stretch, but when they wear off, it's awful. I've been sleeping on the couch for the past three nights so as not to disturb LH with any moaning.
As much as I don't want the shot, it's beginning to look more and more enticing, especially if it well really relieve the pain.
And all this, just a couple weeks before Thanksgiving when I will be cooking and standing in kitchen followed by Advent and Christmas.
It's rather uncomfortable to lay, to sit or to stand or walk for any length of time without the pain meds. I've been tired all week and have had it with the excruciating pain. Enough all ready! Looks like the shot is in my future. What a royal pain in the behind!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
It's a gorgeous fall day here in Gateway to Amish Country. The sun is shining. The sky is azure blue. The trees are modeling their fabulous colors. And it will be near 70 degrees! What's not to love?
Later, after the the visits are made and a quick dinner is eaten, later, after the gloaming begins the little ones arrayed in Halloween finery will show up on our front porch and utter those 3 words they've waited a year to say again, "Trick or treat?" I answer with treats to keep the tricksters at bay. The jack o'lantern glows brighter as the darkness deepness and kids and parents are on the prowl to get the most or best candy in the neighborhood. I marvel at the faces all painted and the expectation of something special treat in their bags, buckets and the optimistic ones toting pillowcases!!!
Later, after the little ones are tuckered out and done sampling the sugary confections they received, I snuff the lights and call it a night, say good-bye to the spirits that may be, and set my sights on honoring the saints.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Let the Boys out and fed them
Ate breakfast and read paper - only 2 sections
Drove 20 minutes to civilization to return a shirt and get thread at JoAnn's.
Fertilized the front and back lawns
Worked on drawing cathedral on banner paper, complete with wood doors and stained
glass windows. Used the yardstick and several crayons. Turned out pretty well for
one who can't draw. This was for the Fall Festival Potluck Sunday evening where
the kids stuck a numbered post-it on the "Wittenburg Door", actually church door.
A Reformation variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey!
Worked on children's sermon, prayers, etc.
Shortened four pairs of pants.
Did dishes while and after phone call from niece in CA. She really needed to talk!
Went over sermon, prayers, etc.
Reviewed Confirmation class material
Watched the news
Went to bed - exhausted!
Realized too late, I forgot to do the RGBP's Trivia Game. Oh well...
Still didn't get to the weed pulling in the flower beds and garden and putting down the cow manure! Hopefully this coming weekend.
In anutshell the RGBP's are wondering:
1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
We hung silly cardboard decorations in the front windows and front door, carved
pumpkins, tried roasting the pumpkins seeds every year, Mom sewed our
costumes, we went trick or treating, threw out most of the candy but ate the
chocolate ones, often collected for UNICEF with the orange boxes, picked out
out pumpkins at Naples farm market in Chicago suburb and went to the Haunted
House at the Flower and Landscape Store.
2. Do you and/or your family "celebrate" Halloween? Why or Why not? And if you do,
has it changed from what you used to do?
Not really. I think it's all too over the top and just don't have time.
I hand out candy (chocolate kind) and like to see the kids all dressed up!
3. Candy Apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O'Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Definitely the caramel covered in nuts!
Since the youth group has a pumpkin carving night, I carve one as well.
4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so what do you do?
Bonus points for pictures.
I decorate for fall with Indian corn framed by real oak leaves on the
front door and an uncarved pumpkin on either side of the front door. A
lighted pumpkin glows nightly (just 5 days before Halloween) from the
upstairs front bathroom window. The mantle sports two gargoyles, and two
white metal bell ghosts that hang from our stocking hooks. In the dining
room there are orange chinese lanterns and gourds on the serving table.
I do set a nice Thanksgiving table with floating leaves candles, leaves,
and whatever favors I've purchased that year.
On the kitchen shelf is a small flat wood pumpkin - a small wood or glass
object reflective of the seasons sits on the one shelf.
That's about it.
5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring out an
Yes, sometimes it just plain fun and refreshing!
BONUS: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food - apple of pumpkin ones.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Deep red/orange earth
wild, untamed both the bush and Jo'burg
pain, and heartwrenching poverty
joyful worship full of song and hope
friends just like you imagined and knew they would be
penguins huddling in the shade of shrubs seeking relief from the heat
waters emerald green and deep, deep blue crashing onto shore, lifting spray in praise
2 oceans meeting where the cape juts out in a craggy mountain towering over the waters
Table Mountain with its incredible views and flat top that by afternoon wears a white vaporous tablecloth of clouds
The amazing beauty of God's creation and creatures - the far reaching roar of lions
interrupting sleep, the dainty grace of impalas, the sweet eyelashed face of giraffes,the crunching munching of white rhino, double rainbows arching over the African veld-
how hard can it be to see an elephant? Pretty darn hard, when they're amongst the trees.
Camouflaged waterbuck and kudos who blend into their surroundings until they simply just disappear from sight.
Cape Buffalo who know you are there among them long before you even see one.
Bee eaters, ibis, spoonbills, lorries, black eagles and guinea fowl fly, soar, sprint away and rest in trees
The beauty of the bush full of millipedes crossing the road and chameleons hanging on trees. Flowers blooming and the flat top acacia trees, purple jacaranda and birds of paradise blooming prolific like petunias.
The red/orange sun rising to greet the day and the warm yellow orange glow as the sun kisses the day goodnight.
Cool breezes that refresh and heat that burns in the midday when the lions lay around deceptively tame as house cats.
Food that explodes with flavor and becomes a symphony in your mouth.
Music with steady rhythms and drum beats that resonnate in the soul.
Hawkers plying their wares on the street and in lanes of moving traffic.
Houses surrounded by concrete wallls topped with coiled barbed wire, electric driveways gates and spiked fencing that discourages even the most determined to break in. Barred windows and doors and these are the middle-class living in a wideopen prison of everyday Johannesburg.
Tightly knit Soweto that stretches far and wide not merely a neighborhood, but a large town. Squatter boxes of corrugated metal, cardboard and plastic - room enough to sleep, to be somewhat sheltered from the rain. Cooking happens outside, and the clothes dry on lines strung at the back of the shack, if you can even call it that.
Refugees from all over Africa find their way here, to make a new life, escape from bloody wars only to fight poverty, to fight for a job and food for their children.
Grapevines standing in rows upon rows of the many vineyards and wine estates, green, lush and hilly.
European architecture and church bells that peal and ring.
A land of great and many contrasts - beautiful and wild.
Monday, October 22, 2007
What is it that everytime I fly the TSA opens up at least one of my suitcases and ignores LH's? I always find the slip in my suitcase.
Then, this time, Greek Letter Airline broke my favorite tapestry suitcase - the wheel frame damaged and the wheel torn from the fabric. It would've taken too long to go through the claims process, so it got left behind in South Africa to be tossed away. I did purchase a new suitcase - a wee smaller than the tapestry, but almost a bit deeper - at a flea market in Jo'burg. And it just cost $43.00!!!!!!! I know I paid $80.00 for the tapestry.
When we got home and I went to unpack, the TSA approved lock was missing from the suitcase. Obviously, the opened up the suitcase, checked it, closed it back up and forgot to put the lock back on.
So, this weekend I had to buy a new TSA approved lock.
LH comes home with nary a slip in his suitcase, nothing broken, and his lock still securely attached.
I just don't get it!!!!!
Maybe "they" know I'm the one who packs all the gifts and stuff in my suitcases. Fortunately, nobody wanted the Amarula bottle, wrapped in bubble wrap, in a tin, and stuck in my dirty underwear bag!!!!
I think I'll stay home for the rest of the year!
Guess I like that my understanding (limited as it is) of the Eucharist incorporates a breadth to it.
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|You scored as Calvin|
You are John Calvin. You seek to be faithful to Scripture, and to harmonize difficult sayings. You believe that in the Lord's Supper those who have faith are united to Christ, who is present spiritually, yet in a real way.
Friday, October 19, 2007
1. If you were a food, what would you be?
Probably a ham - a little full of it, willing to be a bit of a fool,
kinda portly and rotound like a ham.
2. What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?
Ahhh, there's been many. Probably one of the tastiest was after a picture
postcard day in Zermatt, Switzerland on our way back to the chalet. We stopped
in Sion, french area of Switzerland and ate the most delicious dinner of wild
boar. The waiter couldn't speak much German and his english was worse!!! He
pantomined the menu offering we pointed to and we guessed correctly - wild boar!
It had been marinated for week and was ever so tasty.
There was the arctic char in the Yukon and the muskox, carribou stew, and
reindeer sausage. Just recently was the Kingclip in South Africa - a most
excellant fish. The smoked herbed salmon from Ewig Brothers in Port Washington,
WI is also scrumptious. Maybe I should stop now, I'm getting hungry!!!!
3. What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?
Hmmm...that would be cabbage pie or quiche just like my grandma made with
onions, garlic, bacon and boiled cabbage cooked in bacon grease and put in
a pie shell. Then 2 eggs are beaten with some 1/2 and 1/2 or cream, and nutmeg
salt and pepper, with 1 cup of shredded emmantal and grueyer cheese. Yummy!
4. When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to
be a hit?
That would be the Green Bean Casserole with 2 cans of healthy request cream
of mushroom soup, cooked french cut green beans,soy sauce, salt, pepper,
savory, diced ham and cooked spaetzli, and the french fried onions mixed in and
at the last 5 minutes of cooking - adding the rest of the french fried onions.
One dish - all the food groups. Also rather tasty.
5. What is the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?
Beef tongue - but not necessarily willingly. When I was old enough, I got to
make a hot dog instead. Tripe - but it was awful, although grandma made a sauce
to die for with it.
Sweetbreads - throat glands found only in calves (veal). There are quite a bit
of work, but very delectable.
Bonus Question: What's your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great
Boring as it is, a gin and tonic.
But I do enjoy wine with meals - good merlot, chardonnay, pino
grigio, beaujolis, cabernet, etc.
Just returned yesterday from the longest night in my life. We left Jo'burg at 6:45 pm, flew over 8 hours to Dakkar, Senegal where it was 1-2 am in the morning. After over an hour to refuel, security check, food restock, and take on new passengers, off we went for almost 9 hours to Atlanta. It was just getting light when we arrived in Atlanta. So we had a 16-17 hour night!!! Got home even after our flight to the City on the North Coast got cancelled and we flew into Cincinnati had an hour layover and then to City on the North Coast. We arrived home about 2 hours later than originally scheduled. But, safe, sound, very smelly (up 2 days in hot weather) and sore!!!! More about the trip later....
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I should be working on my sermon. I will be shortly.
Just thinking as I checked in on some of the RGBPs'sites, how long the 16 days will be without posting, or checking in and seeing what's being pondered and shared, and not playing the Trivia game. Ahhh, it will be fast from the computer. As much as I will miss this web community, their is the call to experience something new and entirely different. Can I be open to that if I drag what I've left behind with me?
No, it will be an immersion and I will fast while on vacation.
God bless all of you and know I will miss you. I do look forward to catching up when I return after Oct. 20th. Be well. Take care. Pray for one another as I will pray for you all. Pray for LH and I as we travel halfway and more around the world to South Africa and into another culture. May we be gracious guests and receive the hospitality of others even as we have extended hospitality in our little corner of the world.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
So to get ahead of our trip, I have been doing laundry and making piles of clothes. I think I have more shirts than days we'll be gone. I do it every time. (Course, us gals with shelves, sometimes, end up wearing our lunch or dinner on our shirts).
This means I will have whittle things down and hope I make the right choices.
I also have 4 books to take with (unfortunately 3 are hardback) and all the other stuff (shampoo, lotion, etc. and then there's the meds, prescription and non.) Not to mention, shoes. Do I bring one pair or two pair sandals? white Tennis and beige ones (for the bush and more rugged treks). Shoes? Don't get me started. It's not easy fitting an 11 W, with bunions. I have sandals that are too tight and too loose (those are the ones that used to fit great and over time and being worn are now too loose). Which ones won't give me blisters or hurt my bunions? It's always a challenge. How many shoes have I bought only to later discover they hurt more than they did when trying them on?
Well...the lesson of packing for me is taking only what I need, what is comfortable, what can be worn more than once and combined with other things. I always have an extra something, just in case. When all is said and done, I know I'll still have more than necessary. Some people can pack real light - even through life. Others are dragging steamer trunks of stuff. I think I fall somewhere in to the right of center, but not too off.
The challenge for me is what can I leave behind and not miss or regret not bringing with? Does it really need to come with me?
I ask those same questions when I leave a position as well. It has been helpful for me.
When you are stuffing the suitcase (s) of your life, ask those two questions and you might be surprised at what you are thankful to leave behind, what you will miss, and the discerning of what you really need to take with you; will it lighten your load or weigh you down?
Packing is always a challenge for me. You simply can't take everything with you and some things aren't necessary for where I am going or the time of year (the season of my life) I am going. Maybe, some day I will learn to travel with less but thankfully, I can handle 2 suitcases and let it go at that!
Thus endth the Lessons of the Luggage!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
LH's birthday is today! Last year we celebrated his half-century mark on the Isle of Iona. Today, it will be 87 F in the middle of rural OH. No cool sea spray, brisk winds, rainy drizzle, or the holy sense of being that is Iona.
In the hustle and bustle of readying for our big trip, the start up of Sunday School and Confirmation class, planning the two worship services during my absence and the one for when I return, plus Session, motivating the Nominating Committee, I feel drained and exhausted. I can't believe that one week from today we will begin our journey to South Africa. For me, it has been a dream and I long to meet my friend with whom I have been in contact since sophomore year in HS. Her Dad and mine worked together for five years in Ghana in the late 1940's. It warms me to think that perhaps her Dad and mine will be smiling upon us from heaven seeing their offspring meet for the first time on African soil.
In a way, this is a bit of a pilgrimage, to meet my friend and to be on the African continent where my Dad was (although not literally in the same area of Africa). I long to smell the smells, drink in the landscape and the people, to hear and taste this unique place. I want to look up at the starry night sky and see different constellations of stars. To see the different trees and blooming flowers and vines and bushes. To walk on the red, dusty earth that is Africa. To be inspired by the faithful and yes, even to experience the want, need, and poverty. To see the animals in their native environment. Aye, long have I waited and yearned to be in Africa. The time is drawing close, anticipation mounts, and there is still much to do until then.
As long as I remember to pick up something like a birthday cake for two, I won't let LH's birthday get lost in the preparations and busyness of these swiftly moving days.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Taking the weekend frost advisory to heart,
I pulled the basil out of the garden Saturday night. If it frosted, I saw no sign of it in our backyard. Although one town over on the golf course it did.
I knew if I left the basil in, we'd have a frost and I'd lose it. I knew if I pulled the basil, it would not frost and no more fresh basil.
I'd rather have dried basil than no basil.
I have lost too many basil plants to frost.
The other herbs are fine, although their days are numbered. I will pull them the end of this week and dry them. The garden will look very empty. Tadmore the Toad will burrow into the ground to stay warm instead of rollicking in the forest of herbs, parsley bush and arched over chives. There is a sadness to the letting go of another growing season. For I know what yet lies ahead; the cold, bleak, grey dreariness of winter. I rejoice over all that has borne fruit (8 tomato vines that are heavy with tomatoes in various stages of ripening, and several herbs), yet the sadness still remains.
The flowers are spent and will die off or snuggle underground until the longer, warmer days of Spring when they will reappear and delight my winter weary soul.
There is a spiritual lesson in letting go and surrendering. Each autumn I learn the lesson all over again.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I bought 5 red plastic portfolio folders (the kind with the pockets) for the Confirmation Class. Don't ya know it, there's a big label slapped across the front!
Removing the label in one piece has proven a futile endeavor. I am scrapping the label off bit by bit with my fingernail. I have 4 more folders to go. I am ready to string up the idiots of the company that makes these folders!!! I'd like them to peel off the labels on their folders in their board room. This is the 21st century, by gum, surely there are adhesives that come off more easily!!!
I am greatly peeved!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Our Friday afternoon jaunt into Amish country was short and the accident took the joy of the outing away. LH was just unsettled the rest of the day. To top it off, I didn't find what I was after: a set of 4 tasteful quilted placemats to give as a "Thank you for your hospitality" gift to my friend in South Africa. Apparently, it was the end of the summer tourist season and not yet the beginning of the fall/winter season and the quilt shops were depleted of anything more than 1 or 2 of a kind.
Any ideas on what I could bring that would be uniquely American and not made in China? It must fit in a suitcase, be somewhat lightweight and preferrably non-breakable. I'm open to ideas!
My penance is over and joy, o, joy, I have my van back and it looks like new and drives well. After over a month without the van it's taking some time to adjust to it again. This morning I reached to roll down the window!!!
Which just proves a point - any new behavior can be learned in a month.
I was able to pick up my van late Thursday afternoon. On Friday, LH and I decided to head to Amish country. He drives his car. No sooner to we pull into the Old Fashioned Hardware Store parking lot with inches to spare between the parked vehicles and outcroping, then an SUV begins backing up right into me. I just knew we'd be hit and fortunately, the SUV driver pulled out slowly and we were nearly at a standstill so the damage was minimal and I was not hurt! It did put a damper on the rest of the afternoon and LH was very upset. It all could've been a lot worse.
Can you imagine the Body Shop when LH brings in his car. "Didn't we just fix and return your wife's van?!!?"
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I now know a secret of the Gingko tree. The Gingko is one of the oldest trees in the world and which graces our planet. It has lovely fan-shaped leaves and grows very, very slowly. It has a lovely yellow color in fall.
It was on the list of things I wanted to do before I left this earth, to plant a Gingko tree.
So, when we moved 4 years ago into small, rural town 1/2hour from anywhere, I had the opportunity to plant some trees, and a lawn! And it was pure providence, that on a cold, wet, spring day, when no one (in the right mind) would go to a garden center (which is now closed and has become a subdivision), that I decided to go and look and price a birch tree. And as I walked in the yard of that center, my eyes beheld the most glorious sight in that dreary, soggy, gray day - a little Gingko tree in a black plastic container. Be still my beating heart!!! I quickly inquired about it and decided that as long as the price wasn't too outrageous, I was taking that baby home! I bought a river clump birch and that wee gingko (well, wee in comparision to a full grown Gingko - it had a 1 inch trunk). I have taken care of it. Fertilized it in the fall and watered it during the dry spells.
A year ago last spring, we had a very late frost in May. the Gingko's buds grew brown and died. I was heartbroken. Before long, with the warm weather, the gingko sprouted new buds which became green leaves. The only tell-tale sign of great stress was that all the leaves had a split down the middle. There were no beautiful whole fan shaped leaves that year.
This spring, the gingko was fuller than ever. It hadn't grown much in height, but as I said, they are really, really slow growers. It was full of leaves and beautiful. Then came the drought and our vacation.
When we returned home from vacation, the leaves weren't looking too perky and I watered the tree. Only it was not enough and a bit late. Green leaves just dropped off. I was worried that perhaps, this drought was it for the gingko.
But the Gingko is not one of the oldest trees in the world for no good reason. It is a miraculous, resurrection tree!!! It heals itself.
For lo and behold, after we received a week of gentle rain, it rebudded and you could see the new, fresh, light green peeking through the split in the bud. And then warm days, and a bit more rain and the leaves popped out and they've been growing.
Granted it's not as full as it was this spring. But it is as if the tree knew it had to sprout more leaves to stay alive and well, to soak up the rays of the life-giving sun.
The Gingko is a miracle tree of new life. And I am privileged, nay, astounded, to witness to the glory that is the Gingko.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saw this at Hazelnut Reflections and just had to try it!
You Are a Green Crayon
Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!
Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.
I am still doing penance for wrecking my van.
It's been 26 days, 4 hours and 40 minutes.
I miss my van very, very, much.
Roll down windows and manuel locks seem ancient.
Must always check the locks, especially when putting and
extracting things from the back seat.
I promise to respect the road.
Can I have my van back soon, please!
Book - Praying our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp, during a time of profound grief and a
shattering of my personhood. Although, she didn't say anything really
different about grief, it was the way she said it, the scripture and the
prayers and the prayer exercises that reached down deep and helped with my
Piece of music - Taize music brings me into God's presence and centers me
work of art - Monet has always spoken to my spirit. I enjoy so many different
artists and various pieces, also photograpers, it's hard to say
film - Fiddler On the Roof - Tevye had such a personal relationship with God and
that helped me deepen my relationship with God and helped me toss out the
"thee's and thine's" and made me more real, genuine and authentic with God.
unusual engagement with popular culture - this blogging thing. I don't even know how
to all this stuff and never imagined I'd
ever do it. But it has opened me to a
larger faith community with clergywomen.
Alas, I still haven't figured out the digital
that have helped/challenged you on your spiritual journey.
Bonus: is engagement essential to your Christian faith, how and why?
Of course, Jesus didn't just sit on the mountainside all the time!
Faith without works is dead and works without faith is shallow and
feeds one's ego. Where are we without one another living
out our faith and building up God's realm? (I can't even
(imagine!) I am called to offer that cup of water wherever
to whomever as God empowers me.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Thought I'd give it whirl and see if anything has changed. Nope, guess I'm true to form!
And of course, I experienced a technical glitch, typical me!!
Saw the Meyers/Briggs Personality Type at Quotidian Grace and checked it out.
Tried to copy my badge and it wouldn't take my URL.
INFJ - The Confidant
89 % Introverted
79 % Intuitive
63 % Feeling
68 % Judging
INFJ's make up 1% of the population. We are rare birds aren't we!!!
So, I am ever the INFJ! You can see the badge at http://stinuksuk.mypersonality.info
Just in case you were curious!!!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So there I am, calling on a mostly home-bound parishioner, elderly and frail, who uses a walker and a wheelchair.
SCENE: Living room of ranch house - full of stuff, furniture, plants, knicknacks, etc.
CHARACTERS: Female parishioner ensconced in her comfy, padded recliner
20 something female - Mennonite neighbor
2 year old son - active, into everything
40 something female pastor
Birdcage with two birds
Neighbor gathers up her son to go home shortly after my arrival. He has a small house figure in his hand and mouth. She puts it back on the table, he grabs it again, while she turns her back and sets a colorful glass vase back on the coffee table. She had set it high on a chest because she knows her son gets into everything and glassware around small children is never a good combination. She notices the house and puts it back on the table still a bit slobbery. They leave.
Pastoral visit commences with update on health and general conversation.
As the conversation progesses, parishioner says, "Oh my!" and glances down. My eyes catch a glimpse of something white, small and furry. I exclaim, "Oh My!" and ungraciously set my feet up on the edge of the coffee table. Upon a closer look, I realize it is not a mouse, but a wee hamster. An albino hamster with red eyes.
(Parishioner's granddaughter and family also live at the house - they own a pet shop)
Being a pastor, one part of me is concerned for the safety of the hamster, one part knows the parishioner can't help, and one part of me really doesn't like rodents of any kind. I find the hamster condo, which is a good-sized plastic cage with a roundish disk that rolls on half a sphere and there is a tube-thingy to connect the roundish disk to the rest of the hamster condo. It becomes apparent that a little toddler spies the colorful plastic things, moves the disk around and knocks the sphere off the tube. The tube is now open to the big, wide world beyond and out crawls the hamster. Mother never realized that her son knocked something apart.
I herd the hamster around the coffee table and back towards the condo. I make several grabs, but the hamster slips through and it runs around the condo twice and then heads toward the kitchen. The kitchen is full of stuff and nooks and crannies; not good. I head him off at the pass, make another grab and he's back towards the condo. Then he heads for a door. Whether the door leads to a closet or downstairs, I don't know, but I do know, a wee hamster in a closet full of stuff might never be found until too late. I chase him away. Twice more around the condo and then....got him! Put him squirming in the condo, close the gate. (I already had connected the the sphere thingy back onto the tube.)
Hamster Round-Up completed! Prayers answered - both that I could catch the thing and that no harm would come to it. The parishioner had a hamster/pastor tale to tell to the amusement of her greatgrandchildren and family. And I had a far from ordinary pastoral visit. You just never know what awaits you at any home visit!!!! Or what you may be called upon to deal with. That's the nature of being a pastor. And sometimes, you just have to suck it up and deal with things. (Ughhh...I will never own a rodent!!)And somehow, God's grace is ever present in the most mundane, most extraordinary, and even the silliest of moments. In ministry, there is always a first, somewhere along the line.
When I left, the wee hamster was nestled in a bed of cedar shavings totally worn out and exhausted.
I was thankful, that one of God's creatures was safely tucked where he belonged, and that the parishioner would regale her family with descriptive scenes of the Hamster Round-Up and Things You Never Thought You'd See Your Pastor Do!!!
Not the profoundest of home visits, but at least one of the most entertaining!!!!!
And that is worth its weight in gold to the one stuck at home in the winter of her life. Joy and humor are truly a gift to be enjoyed at any age and at any time of our lives and a grace beyond measure.
What has been your most amusing, interesting, unique pastoral visit?
~the only Latin you know is "Gloria Patri" and the phrase, "Ecclesia reformata,
~BOO is not a Halloween expression, but the Book of Order
~jell-o salads are a potluck staple
~Calvin klein is not a designer but the little bit you know about John Calvin
~you arrive on Sunday mornings just in time for worship yet early enough to
get a back pew
~you check your watch every 30 seconds if worship lasts more than an hour
~you serve on the Nominating Committee so that you won't be asked to serve
as an Elder or Deacon
~Session is not a period of time spent with your therapist, but the local
church's governing board
~covered dishes (preferrably filled with something yummy) are what you bring
to a potluck
~Presbytery is not "they" and "them" but really "us"
~Synod is that unknown, mysterious body between Presbytery and GA
~GA is pronounced G-A and not "ga"
~you know the acronyms for all the interest groups and ministries of
~you do everything decently and in order
~you always get asked to explain Predestination
~the ushers and elders always walk in step and in formation during worship
~you can point out all the symbols within the Presbyterian symbol
~you use "debts" and "debtors" in the Lord's Prayer
~you church name has a number: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth or Sixth;
once it gets past 6 there's been one too many church splits
~you've done all the Kerygma Bible studies
~you can recite "The Great Ends of the Church" and know they are not the ample
bottoms of fellow parishioners
~you know the answer to "What is the chief end of man?"
~next to the Bible on your nightstand is the BOO and BOC (Book of Order and
Book of Confessions)
~you actually know how to spell "Presbyterian"
~you know that TULIP is not just a flower, but a theological summation of
~you know Robert's Rules of Order inside and out
~the term "elders" doesn't refer to the older members of the congregation, but
those elected and ordained to serve on Session
~an Overture, is neither a flirtatious comment or a musical piece, but an
issue brought to GA by a Presbytery for action/vote regarding a particular
concern or amendment to the BOO
~you sit more than stand during the worship service
~communion is normally served to you in the pew
~you pay your per capita on time and in full to the church every year
~you are tempted to withhold your per capita every time you don't agree with
the denomination's stance on an issue
~you remember a church split during your membership as a Presbyterian:
local or denominational
~you check the PC(USA).org website daily or weekly
~you know that VBS isn't a sexually transmitted disease
~"Good Morning" is considered a liturigal greeting in the worship service
~you know the name of the present Moderator
~The Outlook is not a stock market forecast but a denominational publication
~You subscribe to "Presbyterians Today"
~you own Welch's grape juice stock knowing communion is served nearly once
~Ghost Ranch is not a haunted place, but a retreat center
~going to Louisville, KY is considered a pilgrimage
Just reflecting, tongue in cheek, on being Presbyterian!!! Any that you would like to add? Put them in "Comments"!
This is my 111th post, not the Barry Bonds homerun breaker record, but it is a trinity of 1's. Somehow, I missed the 100th post!
Monday, August 06, 2007
Still reflecting on the van accident last week and decided I needed some comfort.
Looks like I'm my favorite cookie!!!!!!!!
Find out what kinda cookie you are!
You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie
Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting.
You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!
Saturday, August 04, 2007
It was this past Wednesday as I was driving to the church on the state highway, that I caught the edge of the nearly non-existant berm, struggled mightily to get the van back on the road and landed sideways in a deep ditch. I remember trying to steer left and then just the green of tall grasses. I was very shaken and a couple folks stopped, one called 911, the other two men tipped the van the passenger side so that I could crawl out. I did have the presence of mind to turn off the car, unlock the doors, grab my purse and switch on the cell phone. My hands were too shaky to dial.
Still not sure exactly what happened. I know I was thinking of the things I was to do that day. The morning was clear and bright, hot, muggy with blue skies. It was totally unexpected, as these things are. There are telephone lines along the road and I was not near one, thanks be to God.
It took all morning to have the van towed and fill out reports. LH came and took me to the body shop where I waited for my rental. My penance is now to drive a little chevy Cobalt with manual everything. I have to unlock the back door by reaching in from the front door and then I have to remember to lock it before I shut the door. I am grateful that it has air conditioning and gets me where I need to go.
I haven't felt much like driving anywhere. When I got the rental home, I realized I left the garage door opener in the van. It took me a half hour to get myself into the car and drive the 3 minutes back to the body shop. It took much prayer for me to drive to the church on Thursday morning. I have had a couple accidents in the past, but this is the first time where I have had to build up my courage to drive again.
I suppose it is post-traumatic stress.
The left side of my left knee sports a colorful bruise and I ached in my left leg, right arm and neck some the last couple days. But I walked away from over $6,000.00 damage to the van with not a scratch. How blessed can someone be?
I'm sorry to say that I was not talking on a cell phone (it wasn't even on in my purse), I was not fiddling with radio channels, I did not swerve to avoid some animal on the road, I wasn't passing anyone. I can't even explain how it happened, except that I was coming out of a curve.
I am alive! And not one day has gone by that I haven't thanked God that I am still alive and here. I will have deal with all the insurance stuff and extra days of car rental, but I'm alive and ever thankful, to watch the bumblebees bury their faces in blossoms, to be held in LH arms, to hug my beautiful greys - Ben and Jett, to talk to my sister on the phone, to preach on Sunday, to iron my clothes and mop the kitchen floor, to write this today.
You are alive! Notice what you are doing today and be thankful, be grateful that you are alive and able to do all that you do this day.
Monday, July 30, 2007
LH got inspired to get a new digital camcorder in preparation for our fall vacation. And has been hounding me to learn the digital camera we've had for over two years now and has never been used. Ughhhh.......I hate to admit it. I did get so far as to charge it and put in the SD card, and I think I may have taken a picture of the dogs once. So, I brought out the manual and read til my eyes glazed over and I still don't know how to really work it. My mission in August is to learn to take pictures with the thing. I did buy a case and an extra SD card, wow, they come in 512 MB now!!!
Just give the old the 35mm camera and I'm in business! It's just that you can't e-mail the pictures or even post any on the blog. Now that would be a real feat, if I posted a picture on my blog ~ I'm not too sure I could even figure that out. Sighhhh....that's the problem with not having had kids, you just get behinder as technology moves forward.
I'll let you know when I get through that dratted manual!!!!!!!!
Due to severe weather experiences in different parts of our world, take a moment and share:
1. Have you ever experienced living through an extreme weather event ~ what was it and how did you cope?
Way back in '67, a major blizzard hit Chicago, closing down the city, closing down our town. I remember going with my Dad using the sled to walk 3 blocks to a Mom and Pop grocery store to buy bread, only they were out. We bought flour instead and my Mom made homemade bread. Took a long time to shovel our sidewalks but most folks didn't have snow throwers back then. There was so much snow, school got cancelled, yipee! And we (my sister and I) built an igloo and even made a mail box for it!!
I was young, it was a cozy time and felt safe and secure with my family.
2. How important is it that we wake up to issues such as global warming?
We should always cultivate awareness of all of creation and our surroundings.
Of course, the world has been warming since the end of the ice age. What should
we expect? Glaciers have been moving for centuries. Why all this hoopla now?
Perhaps, the earth and creation is still in process and we are the ones who
lose sight of that. How arrogant to think we are the only cause of the changing
of the earth. How much can we really do to stop the perhaps inevitable changes
our earth will undergo?
3. The Christian message needs to include stewardship of earth's resources, agree/disagree?
Surely, our stewardship is the right and good care of our lives, our time,
our families, neighbors, our resources, gifts, skills, talent and most assuredly,
the earth's resources. I try to reuse and recycle where I can. Our area doesn't
make it easy to recycle, it would be more convenient with recycle bins on
Just the other day, while in line at the Bull'e Eye Store, a mom ahead of me
bought her kids some candy. By the time, I checked out and walked to my car,
they were gone, but the purple wrapper from the girl's candy was laying there
on the asphalt and I started to boil. Could this mom not have said, "Here give
me the wrapper" to her child and put it in her purse or pocket til she got home?
Such a simple thing, and yet I see people throwing out their trash and litter
so often. I just don't understand. They have no respect for the environment,
for themselves, or for others. It's just so very sad.
And because it's summer and on a brighter note:
4. What is your favorite season and why?
I would guess Autumn. I like the relinquishing of the summer heat, and the
growing coolness. I like the show of beautiful fall colors. I enjoy the smell
of apples and apple ciders, crisp days, foggy evenings, and the garden being
laid to rest and no weeding required!!!
5. Describe your perfect vacation weather.
Easy enough, 70 degrees F, and sunny. What more could I want?
Actually, we are known to bring very hot weather with us every time
we are on vacation! It was 70 + F in Edinburgh the end of Sept. when we
landed. It was 103 F in Rapid City, the hottest days Dawson City, Yukon
probably had all summer long!!! Calgary, WI, IL, MI all have suffered from
heat when we have spent our vacations there - 100 + in St. Louis, not to
mention New Orleans! I have forbidden LH to vacation in the Antarctica for
fear it would spead the melting of the ice caps!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
It was mid-morning when I was sitting at the computer playing Write-up the Liturgy for Sunday game which I do every week. I had all the liturgical elements completed and was picking out the hymns. (Yes, the worship committee grants me the luxury of selecting the Sunday hymns - that way they are themed, more or less, to what I am preaching, or the season of the church year, but I digress.) So, I was thumbing through the hymnal when the outer door opens and in wanders a soul you just know is coming in to ask for assistance. His somewhat toothless grin was disarming and his story seemed plausible. On his way, with his uncle, from Texas back to upstate New York and out of fuel, both their truck (which had NY plates) and themselves.
Fortunately this doesn't happen too often, but being on a state route near a major historic highway that runs from New York's Times Square to San Francisco's Lincoln Park, we do have some transients that stop in looking for help. And fortunately, we do have a fund from which to give assistance in the form of gas and meal at the Subway or Wendy's.
So, I hear his story, emphasize with him over his mother's compromised health and offer the help that the church can. He is easy and not once asked for anything but gas and food. Not one appeal for cash money, which makes him more believeable than not.
So, he gets in his truck, where his Uncle was waiting, and I get in my van and off we go to the gas station, where we fill the tank and they get big gulps of pop. (The cups are as large as my Nalgene water bottle!!) Over to Subway, they get the large, hot sandwiches, chips and cookies for dessert. I wish them well on their journey and God's blessing.
I get a "Thanks, Sweetcheeks!" Never been called that before by anyone. So, I guess I'll be called and known as Rev. Sweetcheeks around these here parts!!!!!
Wonder what they would've called me had I been male!!!!
Just call me Rev. Sweetcheeks from now on!!!!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
We returned home from vacation and I saw two little beaks peeking from the bluebird house, but didn't Beau or Belle.
The next morning, I saw the beaks again and watched and out flew two sparrows! Oh no, could the little bluebirds have fledged already? Nope. The nest was empty. I found an empty bluebird egg with a hole and cracked in the lawn. LH told me he found a dead baby bluebird by the bluebird box which I must have missed, or else, LH spared me. It was a depressing day. I opened the box to get rid of those nasty little sparrows. I fed Beau and Belle some mealworms which they ate the next day. They must be so heartbroken. I know I am.
On Sat. am, I slipped into a neighboring town's Arts & Craft's fair hoping to stop by the woodworker's booth and pick up a cute picket gate shelf he had last year, that I've been kicking myself for the last 12 months for not buying. He wasn't there. In the last 4 years, he was there every year. I don't even have his card.
We bought a 3 wheel spinner in Colmar, France two years ago. It goes in my garden each summer until fall. It started getting faded. Just in the past month, it lost two yellow ribbons and more are starting to fray. Right before we left on vacation, a kitschy catalogue had one! Yipeee!!! I ordered it by snail mail with a check and left on vacation. Been thinking it should be arriving any day now. Got a check from the company in the mail, not available anymore! That catalogue was only a couple weeks old. Must have had problems getting them from China. Now, my spinner won't get replaced.
Sometimes, things just don't work out and unravel. And you go on, praying and hoping that sometime soon, things will begin to work out again.
Ran across this over at The Psaltery and thought I'd give it a shot. Now I know how boring I really am!!!!!
Your Score: Linear A
Not much to say, really. You're Linear A, the first alphabet ever written by the proto-Greeks - at least, as far as survives. Unfortunately, you made a bad career move and ended up being used by accountants and fish mongers, rather than to record epics. However, you did manage all your SEC filings on time.
|Link: The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Monday, July 16, 2007
I've noticed that it always takes me a day or two to really get back to the "normal" routine after being gone. It's as though I want to make vacation last just a bit longer.
LH and I enjoyed The Beach in Wisconsin. The water was cold though! Sunday was so hot, 90+ degrees (which was true to form for our vacations)that we put plastic chairs in the Lake and sat in them with our legs in the water. Made me feel cool for quite a long while.
My sister has new puppy, part Huskey, part Rottweiler. Cute as a button, but lively and quite a handful. They are also watching my niece's maniac boxer for the next 5 weeks. So, I had some dog therapy while on vacation.
LH enjoyed his kayaking. I strolled the beach. I came in last in the annual Croquet game, which is also true to form, even the Mai-Tai didn't offer me much improvement!
I was sorry to see several shops in the NativeTreeBurg town were closed up or going out of business. The Cheese Shop was closed, the Forest Flower Store was having a sad Going-out-of-Business Sale, they always had the neatest shirts and tops.
Even the Red Closet was up for sale - since the owner wanted to retire.
LH and I got caught in couple of rainstorms and caught a rainbow over Lake Michigan which was really beautiful. The night skies were sprinkled with gazillions of stars.
I never even finished the Ephron Neck Book, which is amusing. Although I should have it finished this week. Too much puppy and doggie distractions.
My Sister and I went for pedicures and my feet felt summer pretty and fabulous!
Had the usual Friday Fish Fry, and the Brats, afterall this is Wisconsin!
Saw part of a muskrat for the first time! And although I spotted deer tracks on the beach, I didn't see one this time.
Could've used another day, just to sit and read.
Fortunately, cicada season was over in Chicago!!
Unfortunately, Japanese Beetle season was in full swing when we returned home and one geranium succombed to the ravishing hunger of the nasty little bugs. I ended up getting Sevin for the first time in 4 years to dust my plants and salvage my geraniums, coneflowers, potentilla bushes, and burning bush as well as my Basil.
The stuff really worked and the beetles are dead and gone.
Now if we could get some rain it would do wonders. When we drove into the subdivision, it looked like something out of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" movie!!!
Everything that yellow brown, everybody's lawn too, except for a couple lawns where folks obviously watered regularly. It is so parched, dry, and the grass is crispy & crunchy. My wee Gingko tree has lost 1/2 of it's leaves and the Birch has several yellow leaves and has also dropped a fair share. Funny, though, how the weeds still remain green, even when the grass and tree leaves and other growing things turn brown and yellow.
It's good to be home and the Boys are thrilled to have their sofas and pillows back which they missed at the boarder's farm. Somehow, a week just doesn't seem long enough to let go, regenerate, and gear up. I think I'm still in regenerate mode.
How are you regenerating this summer?
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Over at One Wild and Precious Life, I ran across this posting and * the ones I've seen:
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies -- 10th Anniversary Edition:
*1 Citizen Kane (1941)
*2 The Godfather (1972)
*3 Casablanca (1942)
4 Raging Bull (1980)
5 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
*6 Gone With the Wind (1939)
7 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
*8 Schindler's List (1993)
9 Vertigo (1958)
*10 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
11 City Lights (1931)
12 The Searchers (1956)
*13 Star Wars (1977)
*14 Psycho (1960)
*15 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
16 Sunset Blvd. (1950)
*17 The Graduate (1967)
18 The General (1927)
19 On the Waterfront (1954)
20 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
21 Chinatown (1974)
22 Some Like It Hot (1959)
23 The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
*24 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
*25 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
26 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
27 High Noon (1952)
*28 All About Eve (1950)
29 Double Indemnity (1944)
30 Apocalypse Now (1979)
31 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
32 The Godfather Part II (1974)
*33 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
*34 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
*35 Annie Hall (1977)
36 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
37 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
38 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
39 Dr. Strangelove (1964)
*40 The Sound of Music (1965)
41 King Kong (1933)
*42 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
43 Midnight Cowboy (1969)
44 The Philadelphia Story (1940)
45 Shane (1953)
46 It Happened One Night (1934)
47 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
*48 Rear Window (1954)
49 Intolerance (1916)
50 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
*51 West Side Story (1961)
52 Taxi Driver (1976)
53 The Deer Hunter (1978)
*54 M*A*S*H (1970)
55 North by Northwest (1959)
*56 Jaws (1975)
*57 Rocky (1976)
58 The Gold Rush(1925)
59 Nashville (1975)
60 Duck Soup (1933)
61 Sullivan's Travels (1941)
*62 American Graffiti (1973)
63 Cabaret (1972)
64 Network (1976)
*65 The African Queen (1951)
*66 The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
67 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
*68 Unforgiven (1992)
*69 Tootsie (1982)
*70 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
*71 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
*72 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
*73 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
74 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
75 In the Heat of the Night (1967)
*76 Forrest Gump (1994)
77 All the President's Men (1976)
78 Modern Times (1936)
79 The Wild Bunch (1969)
80 The Apartment (1960)
*81 Spartacus (1970)
82 Sunrise (1927)
*83 Titanic (1997)
84 Easy Rider (1969)
85 A Night at the Opera (1935)
86 Platoon (1986)
87 12 Angry Men (1957)
*88 Bringing Up Baby (1938)
*89 The Sixth Sense (1999)
90 Swing Time (1936)
91 Sophie's Choice (1982)
*92 Goodfellas (1990)
93 The French Connection (1971)
94 Pulp Fiction (1994)
95 The Last Picture Show (1971)
*96 Do the Right Thing (1989)
97 Blade Runner (1982)
98 Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
*99 Toy Story (1995)
100 Ben-Hur (1959)
Wow. Just 39 out of 100. I thought I would have done better than that. Course, there were several movies that didn't make the list. And there are several on the list, that I will not and have no desire to see.
Which have you seen?
Monday, July 02, 2007
Yeehaw!! As much fun as VBS is, it sure is exhausting. Back to back to back 12 hour days with lots of energy expended in the space of two hours in the evening. I never got home before 9 pm and then had to water the garden and flower beds!
But we served 61 great and wonderful kids. Everything ran and went smoothly and well and those kids sang out with great enthusiasm.
Ahhh, but I'm glad it's over. I think I'm still tired even though it's Monday and I had my day off on Friday.
I've been blogging just over a year and someday will learn how to use the digital camera and update our computer so that it can do more. Until then, I know, it's plain and simple site. But then, I am in plain and simple country as well.
On the bluebird front, Beau was in and out of the birdhouse this morning, and when I peeked in, Belle didn't flutter out like usual. I'm thinking the eggs are hatching and Beau is helping provide food and Belle wasn't going to leave her new little ones. I put some mealworms out for them to help feed their (hopefully) growing brood.
I will be absent for the next week as we travel to another Great Lake, visit Chicago and head to the Beach in WI. Still have laundry to do and need to start packing tonight. Will leave on Thursday so that LH can march in the 4th of July parade as an SAR Color Guard, decked in his breeches, waistcoat and tricorn hat!!!
So, I'll miss checking in on folks but I plan to catch up on my reading: Nora Ephron's Neck Book (Can't ever remember the name) and Anne Lamott's new one. Can't hardly wait!!!
Have a great week and God's peace be with you all.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I was tagged by The Psalmist for this meme and so I oblige
1. I dig Jesus' sense of humor.
It delights me.
2. I dig the way he savoured people and their situations with
love, compassion, and the call to discipleship.
It comforts, assures and challenges me.
3. I dig that Jesus glorified God and enjoyed God forever.
It keeps me humble and reminds me that it's about God
and not me.
4. I dig that Jesus loved me enough to suffer, die and live again
for us all. It overwhelms me.
5. I dig that Jesus sees through the crap and loves me anyway. It gives
me endless hope.
Because there is soooo much to dig about Jesus, I tag:
Holy Grounds, Pink Shoes, Blanket In the Grove, LutheranChik's, and NuevaCantora
Rules for this meme:
a)Those tagged will share "Five Things They Dig About Jesus".
b)Those tagged will tag 5 people.
c) Those tagged will leave a link to their meme in the comments section of the
blog of the person who tagged them (meaning this post) so that everyone can
keep track of what's being posted.
*Dispensation has been granted to St. Inuksuk from linking, since she still hasn't figured it out yet and is a slow learner. We retain hope that she will come around eventually. (The Powers That Be)
It appears that the egg count for Beau and Belle Bluebird stands at four and not three as previously mentioned. LH checked the nest in the box more closely and discovered the fourth egg. I feel like an expectant parent. Counting the days, looking out the kitchen window to make sure that Belle is on the nest (in the box) and leaving mealworms in the container on the fence so she won't always have to venture real far in getting a snack to sustain her solitary vigil. It will get very hot this week and I hope that she and the eggs will withstand the heat. Beau defends the box (nest) from those birds who venture too close. But it is Belle who sits in the box for hours and sacrifices the freedom of flying about the meadow with the sun on her wings under the expanse of blue skies. Now, she sits. Sits in a dark box, protecting and keeping warm her eggs, her babies. She has given up her freedom to raise a brood of dependent and demanding youngsters. But deep in her breast, in her heart, she knows that it is worth the wait, worth giving up her freedom, and worth the hungry beaks constantly begging for food. She knows it will be worth it when they fly on their own wings and savour the birthright of bluebirds - freedom to fly through the meadows. But for now, is the lonely, solitary box-sitting ritual and vigil and the waiting. And, I wait with her.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Since summer arrived this week the REVGALBLOGPALS are revving it up for summer.
1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s):
Watermelon, corn-on-the-cob, and anything off the grill
Water is still my favorite beverage, but I also like the Grapefruit Soda
from Italy at Trader Joe's - tastes best with lots of ice. (Pepita is better
but can't find it here only in Switzerland)
2. Song that "says" summer to you (need not be about summer explicitly):
Styx -"Come Sail Away"
3.A childhood summer memory:
Going camping every summer with the pop-up camper, visiting state and
national parks, playing Auto Bingo, tracking license plates, seeing
historic, scenic sites and looking for local wildlife (animals, not nite
clubs). We ventured all over the states, saw so much, got sick of each
other, set-up and broke camp together, hiked, toasted marshmallows over
the campfire, attended ranger programs and sunday services, looked up at
the starry night skies and just made many wonderful memories together as
a family. Our dog, Rex, went with us and loved it all as well.
4. An adult summer memory:
The wonderful day I spent in the pool at my folks' place in Florida. It
was sunny and 95 degrees, but I was in the pool the whole day and never
felt hot. I savoured that whole day, lounging, swimming, floating, doing
stunts in the pool.
5. Deacribe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future
(weather, location, activities):
I'd love to repeat the above! However, my parents joined the church triumphant
and the house was sold. So...LH and I head will head to a small beach area
on the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. I hope it's like today - sunny,
blue sky and 75 degrees. I enjoy walking up and down the beach, getting wet
at least up to the waist (the water's a bit chilly, but Lake Huron is even
colder), watch the gulls and deer and the waves. Lounge with a good book and
get a pedicure with my sister. I'm sure there will be the inevitable game
of croquet and I, as always, will come in last. But spending some time
relaxing with my sister and brother-in-law is a grace and simply relaxing in
such a great and beautiful place does wonders for my spirit.
Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer
(fewer services, casual dress, etc)
Not really. Worship is the same time. The air conditioner is running.
Some folks may dress more casually and on really hot days, I can
dispense with wearing a robe.
Share your summertime joy!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We are so thirsty here without much rain. The dryest spring here in this part of farmland and pastures. Our little corner of the county (where I live) is so dry, my birch has some yellow leaves and they are dropping. I've had to water my trees and know it is just a sip when they could use a gallon. The grass is brown and crunchy, the ground hard and parched. It's still spring!!! Won't even be summer 'til Thursday.
It looks like the end of July/beginning of August already. Hoping it will get better rather than worse. Have had to water the herb garden and flower beds nearly every evening. As a river clump birch longs for a soaking rain, my soul thirsts for God.
The thirst is palpable here.
On the bluebird front, finally, they have nested. Yayyy!!! That makes Sparrows 1- Bluebirds 1 for this season. (The sparrows, however, never did raise a brood since we dumped the three nests.) However, they did take over the Bluebirds first nest and prevented them from laying eggs.
It's been 3 years since the bluebirds raised 2 broods with us. We have been thirsty for them to make little bluebirds stymied ever by the nasty sparrows.
There are three little eggs in the nest. We are thrilled for Beau and Belle Bluebird and will be anxious vicarious parents these next few weeks.
Sometimes when you least expect it, the drought ends, the thirst is quenched and the refreshing, renewing rains fall with grace from Heaven. Thanks be to God!
May God quench whatever your thirst and refresh you this day.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
1) Find 9 people to do a Reader's Theatre for July 15th
on the Good Samaritan. So far 7...2 to go. ( 'Course that will mean nearly a third
of our attendence that Sunday!!)
2) Keep praying for new folks to come to church and to stay
3) Lose weight. Ever an on-going challenge, sometimes taken
more seriously than at other times.
4) Sew up the two green fabric panels for the chancel area.
5) Survive VBS!
6) Read something fun! Time for Nora Ephron's Neck book. (Had it since my
birthday in Feb. saved it for summer!)
7) Ahh, take time to sit on the fronch porch rocker!
Monday, June 04, 2007
So I went over to Psalmist (The Psaltery), read her entry and have been tagged.
Consider yourself tagged when you read this:
* I have bunions - thanks Mom and Grandmas
* I pluck chin hairs so as not to frighten small children and to avoid
being teased by Jr. Hi'ers
* Oldies are playing on my van radio most of the time (60's, 70's, etc.)
* Hated Swiss cheese when growing up, even though I'm Swiss.
* Have to sleep with a duvet even in summer, just for the weight on my feet.
* Spinach omlets are a fav food.
* My Greys know I'm happpy when I sing songs with made up words to them.
Well, there you have it! The ulgy and benign of it!! Now it's your turn.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
So, the red fabric panels were big hit on Pentecost Sunday!!!!!!!!
Yeehaw!! So many comments on the color and life they brought to the sanctuary!
I still have to shorten them 6 inches. But I admit, Wow! They looked great!
One parishioner asked me just this morning where they were purchased and/or who donated them. I told her I made them!
Not too hard to measure and hem up the sides of a piece of fabric.
Doing a banner, well, that takes a vision far greater than mine and drawing abilities, which I missed out on when heaven was giving away talent in that area.
Sighhh...of all the things I've most wished for was the ability to draw and paint.
Alas, I was given only the ability to appreciate the work of others. However, every artist needs an appreciative audience so I at least I can enjoy what others have created.
Because the fabric panels went over so well, I found some green batik material and will make green panels to leave up for longer periods of time during Ordinary Time.
I will be on the hunt for some purple fabric for Lent. And I suppose that means the fabric I had in mind for the Easter season which is stashed away in our cave of a basement should be brought to light.
Looks like I have a few more hours of measuring, pinning and sewing before me this summer!! At least this minor artistic endeavor I can manage!!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wow! One of my elders put up two long skinny banners that I feverishly sewed up last week. They hang on either side of the altar on the wall in this long skinny space. The church is all off-white so these red panels now pop! It was a pretty cool fabric at the Mega Store - red and orange mottled sort of tie dye with multi-colored threads running the length of it. The multi thread lines had blue, yellow, green, purple -some colors you can see in a fire. However, most folks will be sitting too far away to really see that.
I had to shorten the panels by 13 inches (ripping out seams I doublestitched to reinforce). Now I see there are still 6 1/2 inches too long - but a whole lot better than they were. They also could be 2 inches wider.
How in the world can measurements taken in December and carefully written down, change over the winter months? I am baffled!
Well, anyway, they are as they are at this point, and still look really great.
The hope is that if the feedback is positive - we'll make a couple other colored panels and perhaps, the Spirit will lead us into making proper banners with material and not felt with glued on felt!!!
Am praying the Spirit will spur us on to greater and better fabric panels and banners!!!
May the inspiration and encouragement of God's own Spirit be especially with you this day and the days to follow!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The phone rings for the umpteenth time and it's yet another solicitation call from some Christian company. It's amazing how often they are never upfront with who they are and what they are trying to sell you. Enough, I say enough!
When they ask for the pastor, I press them about what it is regarding. Some get huffy at that. Today there was one about the Pastor's outreach list. I again asked what their call was regarding. "It's about our service..." Yaa, it's about selling us a product or service. It's not about the Pastor's outreach list. They weren't too happy with me so I hope they don't call us again!!
Other companies want to send you boxes of items to sell as a youth group or other fund raiser. However, you still have to pay for all the items whether they sell or not. How about the previewing materials? It's all free, as long as send the items back before a very limited time. At least you can look first, before shelling out wads of cash.
Anyone else ever get bothered by all these solicitation calls?
I suppose it wouldn't bother me so much if they were just upfront about things instead of beating around the bush and telling me something is free when it really isn't, or that they really are selling something.
Recently, I received a mailing for Pastor Barbie. Maybe LH should become Ken. And we could put together a cutesy act and take it on the road. Ohhh, that was already done by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker!!!!