Monday, December 29, 2008


We celebrated Christmas Eve with my one service then driving to LH's church for his late 10 pm service. We got home and broke out the bubbly and the brie and crackers. Scrumptious.
Christmas Day was a quiet, restful day. The Zopf I made was great for breakfast. We opened gifts from family and friends. Called my sister. Called his Dad and sisters. Took a nap. Grazed on some goodies. Made Turkey and mushroom pastetli for dinner with green peas.
Friday was grocery shopping morning and a trip to the shopping area to pick up some deals on wrapping paper, etc. I even went to Macy's and found a cashmire sweater on sale.
Found a dog toy for the new grey we'll be picking up tomorrow.
Saturday we drove to resort town on the Lake for Christmas with FIL and SILS. Had an enjoyable visit and dinner at Damon's. Great ribs in the middle of winter.
Sunday we slept in!! I cut down the last of the Siberian Iris leaves and the Russian Sage. It got cold and snowy before I could cut them down. I stripped the thyme, oregano and marjoram and put the leaves in their containers. Laundry was completed, a button resewn on my winter jacket, a sock darned and the hem let down on a pair of pants.
Today we drove up to the City on the North Coast and visited Crate and Barrel where I found a couple things on sale for 2009 Christmas gifts!!! I start early and am done by Oct. Had lunch at an Irish pub and made a stop at Trader Joe's for tasty treats. I finally bought the chocolate granache cake for my upcoming 1/2 century mark birthday in Feb. Got the van washed and ready for tomorrow's road trip to Ft.Wayne, IN to pick up our new Greyhound. We are so excited. We pray that Jett will welcome a new bud and that his spirit will pick up. He gets lonesome all by himself.
Treats are packed, the water bottles - for us and the dogs are in the fridge, chillin'. We are ready to go and anxious to meet this new fellow who will share our couch, hearth and hearts.
Pray that we will have a safe journey and return and that Jett will take to a new buddy and friend.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Are Gold Lights

Your holidays are a time of abundance and riches.

Even if you don't have a lot during the rest of the year, this is the time that you splurge a little.

Your holidays traditions tend to be a bit old fashioned and dignified.

You like old holiday movies, properly wrapped presents, and family recipes passed down over the years.


Let us go in faith
to ponder in our hearts
the mystery of this moment.
And may life be born within you,
Christ Jesus be seen among you
and joy surround you like the angels' song.

Merry Christmas to you all and the peace of the Christ-child be with you and all the world.

Just in case you're wondering, I put the tinsel on the Christmas last night and it was completely done by 8:30 pm on Dec. 23rd. The latest our tree has ever been finished!!! There are a lot less ornaments and tinsel on it this year. Just ran out of time. But it sure looks lovely even in its simple garb.

Monday, December 22, 2008

So far during Advent:
*I had a cracked wheel replaced with a new wheel
* LH had a ball joint shear off and had that replaced.
*We had to put Ben, our beloved sweet greyhound down.
*LH was taken to the ER by our EMS for uncontrolled nosebleed.
*LH was taken to the ER by me several hours later that same day for another
uncontrolled nosebleed.
*LH went to the ENT Doc for a cauterization - it seems to be working!!!!
*Our neighbor helped me bring the tree in from the garage and set it in the
tree stand. What a help that was.
*LH was not considered further for a new position.
*We received news that USADOG has a new greyhound for us!!! We pray for good
weather on Dec. 30th when we drive to Ft. Wayne, IN to pick him up. A new grey
to start a New Year!!!
* Attended an Advent event at LH's church
* Attended the Women's Assoc. luncheon
* Hospital and nursing home calls
* Children's Christmas program
* Made M & M, chocolate pretzels for above program
* Bought and bagged gifts for 13 staff people at two churches ( most gifts already
bought earlier in the year - just a couple little things to purchase.)
* Vacuumed the floor, mopped the floor, cleaned toilets, did the laundry.
* Made and baked Amish Friendship Bread - passed along the starter.
I am so ready for Christmas Eve and the week vacation to follow!!! It has been a busy, interesting, worrisome, grieving, rejoicing, tiring, prayerful, grace-filled Advent.

Very simply, tell us 5 things you need to accomplish before Christmas Eve.

1. Finish decorating the tree with ornaments and tinsel.
2. Find Jett's Christmas present - leather toy from LL Bean buried in the basement.
3. Unearth my tried and true Christmas Eve Benediction.
4. Stop at the grocery store and get Brie (for Christmas Eve midnight champagne
toast)and mushrooms for turkey paestetli (turkey and mushrooms in white cream
sauce poured into pastry shells for Christmas Day dinner, plus bread to break for
Christmas Eve Communion.
5. Put fresh sheets on the bed.

BONUS: Bake a Zopf - traditional Swiss braided bread.
I did put together a brief Reflection for Christmas Eve on Saturday. So that
one is done!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them or pass them on to
anyone in your family?
Deep, dark brown that melts into the iris. I inherited my Grandma H's eyes.
Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I can see her looking at me. I'm
very glad to have her eyes - they twinkled and were warm with love.

2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them?
When I was younger, I wanted green eyes.

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like 'em or hate 'em?
Glasses - tri-focals for the middle-aged fogey!!!!
I updated them this year with a rectangular frame. Love the
frames. Hate the non-glare lenses that seem much fussier than
regular lenses.

4. Ever had or contemplated laser surgery? Happy with the results?
Nope. Waiting 'til it absolutely has to be done. When I'm an old fogey,
should I be blessed to live that long!!!!

5. Do you like to look people in the eye or are you more eye-shy?
I tend to be more eye-shy, but know that in my profession, I attempt to make
eye contact and work on it. Actually, when administering communion, especially
by intinction when folks come up to receive, I look each one in the eye with
a love that is beyond me - with Christ's love. They are the ones who usually
look away as though they can't bear such grace.

BONUS: Share a poem, song or prayer that relates to eyes or seeing.
"Open my eyes that I may see, glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key, that shall unclasp and set me
free. Silently now I wait for thee. Ready, my God, thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! (Clara Scott)

We have a tree sitting in a bucket in the garage.
But when will it be in the house? Decorated with lights, ornaments and tinsel?
Pick your date and we'll see who wins a blessing!

a shy, gentle, sweet creature came into our lives. He had funny forward ears, an Elvis sneer ( a mouth tick), and a weepy eye that just needed drying at times. He was a black brindle male with a white chest just 2 1/2 years old with nary a racing record. He was even related to our first greyhound. Ben was the sweetest greyhound ever. He wouldn't hurt a fly, never had a bad thought and didn't ever growl. He only barked at the neighbor man when he yelled at his kids. Ben didn't like yelling especially at young children. Ben like children alot. Ben never asked for much, except to be loved and not yelled at. He never demanded anything, not even your affection. He gentled me - a daily reminder to be more gentle.
Whoever had him, must've yelled at Ben a lot and used swear words - Ben knew every swear word and would make himself scarce whenever he heard them. I think it was because he didn't run or train as they wanted. Perhaps his lip tick came from a hard smack or nerve damage - the same with his weepy eye. I don't know. He glommed onto me and it took him a few years to warm up to LH.
It was only after we had his dew claws removed (after he tore one while running in the backyard)that he discover the pure and utter delight of running for the sheer delight and fun of it. Ben loved to run as play!!!! Oh, how he loved to run just because he could!!!!
On Saturday, December 13th, we walked Ben to Rainbow Bridge and in mercy had him put down. The arthritis in his hips had done him in. His sight, hearing and spirit were still strong, but his arthritic hips betrayed him. Ben had a good soul, you could see it in his eyes and heart.
We grieve a great grief, LH and I. I miss him so much.
So does Jett who is grieving too and all too quiet for the rascal he is.
Our Benny and Jett duo has ended. Only Jett remains physically with us, but Ben, Ben will be in our hearts and memories forever. Dear sweet, gentle Ben...

Monday, December 08, 2008


You can now place dates on when you think LH and I will
actually have our tree up and decorated. We don't even have the tree yet!!!
And it is done by Christmas Eve Day.
Winner gets receives a blessing!!!!!
So pick your date and we'll see who wins!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Friday is our 21st anniversary. Friday is LH's church's chili supper.
I don't like chili. Friday is both our days off.
Celebrate our anniversary with a nice dinner or go to church for chili supper.
No brainer for me. Out for a nice dinner it is.
Hope it doesn't anger the church folks. But, that's just as it is. LH has given
more of himself and time and still they aren't satisfied. This is a church known
to be hard on their pastors. LH has begun to feel it and is looking around.
Out to dinner it is!!!!

What a week it was! On Monday evening, whilst my LH was getting an adult beverage out of the garage dorm style fridge, he yells that I should take a look at my tire.
Yikes! The wheel was cracked and an edge sticking out.
6 days earlier, I had slid into the curb on my way down our street. I also slid into the curb the very next morning as the street dept. didn't treat the road. I slid into the curb harder the 2nd time as I was going about 20 mph not thinking that they hadn't treated the street by now. I stopped at the stop sign at the bottom of the slope and made my left turn and parked the van. I got out and looked at the passenger front end and tire and didn't see a thing wrong. While I was looking, another person slid into the curb at the point I did. Seeing nothing wrong, I drove 17 miles to the church office. I drove all over the county making visits. I drove 1/2 hour to Football Hall of Fame city to make a visit and back. I drove to the Presbyterian College Town city 20 minutes in the opposite direction. For 5 days, I had been driving on that cracked wheel - highway at 65+ mph and in town, commuting 34 miles each day. I think all the driving on a cracked wheel caused it fissure more and push that piece outward. I am still giving thanks to God, that it didn't collapse while I was driving and cause anyone harm, including me.
So, that meant on Tuesday morning, a quick 2 minute drive to the dealership with service shop. They don't have wheels in stock. They will have to go pick one up somewhere and can't go til after 11 am. They drive me home while it is snowing, snowing, snowing.
I call our stated clerk and let her know I won't be in the office. Work on my sermon and service and get it all done! Yeehaw! My car is finally done very late afternoon. While I work on sermon, the turkey stock is cooking. I picked up the turkey Monday after work, since the weather report for Tuesday didn't sound good at all. That was a good call to make.
I cooked the rice.
Wednesday was a vacation day for me. I slept in til 8 am, what a luxury! Had my breakfast and coffee. Then received a call, that a parishioner had been in an auto accident the night before and was in ICU. I took care of a few things, changed into
more professional duds, and headed out the door. The roads were now clean as could be even with snow on the lawns. The street dept. had salted and plowed!
Drove down to Football Hall of Fame city and made my visit. Since, I was on vacation and in the region's shopping mecca, thought I'd look for a black sweater. Three stores later, not one in my size! Ok, so what's all this about the bad economy? Not one black sweater (to go with a skirt) in my size.
Got home and began the stuffing, the cheeseball and after dinner the Pumpkin Mousse dessert. Fortune smiled on us, as it was cold enough to keep the stuffing
in the garage. Actually, it's been too cold. We've had Dec/Jan weather for most of the month of November. What happened to some 45 degree days?
Thanksgiving Day found me up before 8, fed and let the dogs out, had breakfast and coffee. Washed the turkey, seasoned the turkey, stuffed the turkey. LH then sewed up Turkey Leaky. (Named because it leaked all over the fridge and I had major cleaning and sanitizing work the day before.)
LH basted Turkey Leaky and checked on it all day. I set the table, cleaned bathrooms, put the plate decorations out, rolled the cheeseball in pecans, put out all the serving plates and silverware. Scrubbed potatoes. Cooked and mashed potatoes, microwaved the sweet potatoes, stuck the rolls in the oven all while the turkey rested. After serving, I cleaned up the table, put stuff away, served coffee and dessert. FIL and 2 SILS left while I was decarcassing the turkey, separating human leftovers from dog leftovers. Washed and dried all the crystal, china, silverware, pots, pans,etc. I finally finished at 9 pm too exhausted and sore to put the china away.
Spent Black Friday, doing the usual Fri. grocery shopping. Then worked on my Christmas letter. Then I spent 2 hours working on the German version of the Christmas letter. (yup, I actually write 2 Christmas letters; 1 english and 1 german) The German takes longer as I cannot remember all the vocabulary and have to look up words. The grammar always needs to be checked about a day later when my mind is clear. Even then, the grammatical errors still slip through, but I believe that most of my relatives grasp what I am trying to say.
Sunday was our First Sunday of Advent service which all went very well. LH's church had an Advent Event from 3 pm- 5 pm which we attended. I wrapped several skinny teddy bears - the service project and frost & sprinkled several left-over cookies also destined for the shut-ins. I made a cranberry/popcorn string for the birds as well as a peanut butter slathered pine cone rolled in birdseed. Since it was raining all night long, those items will go out when it is drier.
Worked up my liturgies for the rest of Advent.
I think it's been quite a week with more ahead. Now, if it would just quit snowing and being so darn cold!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


1. Do you have a food processor? Can you recommend it? Do you
actually use it?
Yes, it was a wedding present from the church where my husband, LH
first served as an associate pastor. We'll be married 21 years this
year, so that's how old it is. And it is an all in one: Oster Kitchen
Center - blender, food processor and standing mixer. Love it.
Don't use the food processor much except to ground nuts for Christmas
cookies which I haven't had time to bake in years.

2. And, if so, do you use the fancy things on it? Mine came with a
mini-blender (used a lot and long ago broken) and these scary
disks to julienne things. (used once)
Got the disks too. Usually, I just chop stuff by hand with a knife.

3. Do you use a standing mixer? Or one of the hand held varieties?
The Oster Kitchen Center has a stand mixer that came complete with
dough hooks!!! I use the standing mixer for bread dough and other
larger quantity of dough (like Christmas cookies). I use my Krups
hand mixer for cake dough and to mash potatoes. It also was a wedding
gift and now, gasp! 21 years old!

4. How about a blender? Do you have one? Use it much?
Nope, not very often. I will run my turkey stock through it around
this time every year. Once in a great while, LH might make a daquiri.

5. Finally, what old fashioned non-electric ktichen tool do you
enjoy using the most?
Ohh, I've got lots of gadgets! The whisk is great, my half-moon dough
cutter, wooden spoon, silicone spatula, can drainer lid, my spaetzli
maker (Betty Bossi - plastic container where you put in the ingredients
plunge the plunger up and down and around (not all that easy) and then
pull plunger to top, take cap off the other end, hold over pot of boiling
salted water and push plunger against dough.) Nice neat little spaetzli.
My silpat mat to roll out dough that doesn't stick to it. Oh, what a wonder
that mat is and worth every penny!

BONUs: Is there a kitchen appliance or utensil you only use at
Thanksgiving or some other holiday? If so, what is it?
Two utensils: Metal long fingered short handled forks for
lifting the turkey out of the pan. The metal
baster which LH uses throughout the day to
baste the turkey as it cooks.

It appears as though winter has come early to these parts. For two weeks it has been cold and snowy. It will be a warm 38 degrees today!!! We had a record low of 14 degrees one night last week. I know I pray for cool weather the night before and Thanksgiving Day, so I can put the stuffing in the garage overnight, but this is a bit much!!! What happened to late fall and 40 degree weather?
I slid down the slope of our subdivision road twice last week, right into the curb kinda sideways. Thankfully, it was the tire that hit and not the van itself. The first day I was going about 15 mph, the second day I was about 20 mph when I realized it was still icy. After I stopped at the stop sign and turned, another vehicle slid into the curb.
I called the Street Department and complained. I know communities are trying to save on salt since the cost went up, but...when you keep sliding into the curb or even slide through a stop sign North/South and the other direction E/W doesn't have a stop sign, it's an accident just waiting to happen.
The forecast is rain then sleet then snow. I'll be getting my turkey tonight before the snow falls and hampers my getting around.
That way I can cook up the stock tomorrow night, cozy and snug at home.
The annual Thanksgiving fest is about to commence! Marathon cooking for two days and a day spent mostly in the kitchen. Ahh...but I can catch the scent of the turkey even now!!!!
Ben and Jett are already smacking their lips at the turkey skin and parts that will be coming their way.
This will probably be the last Thanksgiving in this house, at least I hope that is so, since LH is on the move to pursue a new call. I pray that it won't take forever to sell the house and that we can find something comparable wherever we land.
But for now, it is enough to deal with Thanksgiving and Advent and all that they bring.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I am staring into the face of Advent and I am not prepared, am not ready. for this.
It. is. as. always. too. soon.
I breathe deeply making space for Christ to enter in and exhale my anxiety of all there is yet to do. I tire even thinking of it all.
Every year. It is the same. A whirlwind of services and activities. So much happens at the last minute, even when I have prepared earlier. Others are the variable factor. Somehow by the grace of God, it all gets done and falls rightly into place. Trust. My watchword for Advent. Allow the Spirit space to work. Trust.
I know what is to come in these few short weeks. Trust. Just trust.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I celebrated the grand-opening of a new shop in this little village by checking it out, praying a blessing, and congratulating the parishioner who took on such a challenge in some very trying economic times. I pray she will serve the community well and that the community will support her.
It is a flower, card and gift shop. Now the church can order Sunday morning flowers again from the flowershop in town. If you need a get well card or birthday card for someone you just remembered is having a birthday you can get it in town. Say you need some helium balloons, miscalculated the number attending a family party and you need a few more paper plates, coordinating plastic flatware, etc, you can get it in town. Then there's the dips and mixes and soups. And all kinds of holiday bowls and plates. The Christmas tree is full of ornaments - Remember when you stop believing in Santa Claus, then you start getting underwear! How about: Our family is full of flakes!
There's stuff for kids, babies, and school colors and mascot stuff. I found a Christmas book to use for a children's sermon!
And it's pretty tasteful for the most part.
A breath of fresh air and new life into our little town. May it be around for a long time to come. May blessings abound all around.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I just read the obituary of a man who died in a car accident with a parishioner of mine. It happened last Wednesday, on her way to choir practice. A school music teacher, great with kids, wouldn't hurt a fly, simply a nice person. She stopped at the stop sign, looked both ways twice, pulled away and BAM, they hit. (He did not have a stop sign)
He was 29, married, expecting his first child in May '09.
This will shatter her even more, if that is possible. She is inconsolable and it is tragic to both parties and families. No one ever thinks that this could happen to them and that another person would die because of us. We could not imagine the dark place in which she is living at the moment. But Christ is there as He always is, in our darkest hours, in the devastation of our lives. I know. I once was shattered as well. It is a long journey. It takes much prayer. It takes outside help.
I have been praying for them both. A lot.
I pray she doesn't read the obituary. But I am sure she will and has.
There will be new life for them both and new life for this young widow and her unborn child. But for now, we grieve, and we pray.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


We will now be paying an extra $1,200.00 + in property taxes for the next 28 years!
How insane is this? I just know the schools will be coming with another levy in a couple years for salaries, etc.
Neither LH nor I are making an extra $1,000.00 a year. Mostly we're just thankful we still have churches to serve that can still afford a full-time pastor at the minimum.
Oh well...we won't here for the next 28 years. We'll have moved on by then either to other calls or to the Final Call to God's eternal glory.
Makes me wonder how much more taxes we'll be paying in the next 4 years. I don't know about you all, but I am feeling taxed out.
Don't get me wrong, I have and do support paying taxes, I have and do support our schools, but when it gets to 27% + that is just too much. That's more than a quarter of all we earn and gaining on becoming a third. Even the church is fortunate to get 10%, what makes government think they need more than a quarter? Those of us who pay our taxes quarterly know what a chunk of change our taxes are. If the rest of wage earners had to pay quarterly, there would have been another Boston Tea Party by now!!!!
I pray for our country, for our new leader, for the wisdom, resolve, and vision to lead. I pray for the safety of our nation, for freedom and peace.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Got to our polling place this morning about 8:25 am and the line for our precinct was moderate. I was hoping it wouldn't take more than 45 minutes. I took my place in line, behind a Methodist minister serving a UCC church in town who lives in our subdivision. Since I keep such a low profile, he doesn't know who I am. Since he had a sign on his front lawn proclaiming the candidate of his choice I knew which candidate he was voting for. I voted the other. I think it will be this way all day.
We had two issues on the ballot that hadn't really been in the papers much and caught me a bit by surprise.
The three really big issues: Curtailing interest rates on payday lending, opening up casino gambling, and combining school, rec center, and library levy guaranteed to raise our property tax $120.00 per month or $1200.00 per year. I voted yes, no, no.
Normally, I support our school levies which we did just two years ago that added a sales tax in our county for schools. Every year there seems to be yet another school levy. The burden is beginning grow heavy from all these levi's. They were asking much too much this time.
I was out within a half hour!!!!!!
Hope you are out voting!

Monday, November 03, 2008


We enjoyed a fairly mild Halloween evening. I could sit on the porch, in my rocker, wearing a sweatshirt and was warm enough. We gave out 7 1/2 bags of Butterfingers, 3 Musketeers, Milky Ways and Snickers bars (fun size and 1 per child) and 1 Milk Bone Dog Biscuit (who enjoyed his treat greatly at the bottom of our driveway). 2 other dogs were out but they didn't stop by, they lost out!!! I think we're the only house that gives out milk bones to our four-footed trick or treaters!!
My greys got their Milk Bone treats as well.
I managed to fertilize the yards (front and back), take down the flower boxes off the porch railings and pull out the geraniums.
I tackled cleaning the windows and LH popped the screens out so that I could clean the tops of the windows on the outside and not merely the bottoms. The one great room window has a broken set screw which means the top half of the window slides down when you undo the latch. Will need to get that fixed.
But I am thrilled to see out the windows!! The dogs have already snotted up the sliding glass door.
Jett pulled a post Halloween stunt yesterday evening. I had let him out and we had the screen slider in place with the door open to let in some cooler air and keep the bugs out. I stood in front of the screen slider with about 6 inches between me and the frame. Jett comes barreling past me at 20 miles an hour and boom, right through the screen, ripping the screen, scraping a hind leg. He was past me and through the screen before I could blink!! No wonder we call him Jett!!
His leg bled a little but nothing too bad, thank the Lord. Now we have a sliding screen door to get rescreened.
If it's not one thing, it's another. We will no longer use the screen slider, ever. Not if there's a dog in the backyard wanting to come in!!!
My right shoulder is sore from all the window cleaning. I hope by tomorrow it won't ache as much.
This Halloween has had some nasty tricks with our windows and screens.
Hope the treats of this month will be greater - newly upholstered dining room chairs, being done even as I write this, new screen slider and great room windows that stay up, a blessed Thanksgiving Day, a clean Election.
Looking forward to the end of the elections. I am so tired of the ads and the false accusations from both sides.
This will be a most busy week but I know that God will guide me through with some sanity. Pastoral care issues: a parishioner's surgery, a parishioner who's moved from assisted living to nursing home, a parishioner who's moved from home into nursing home. Difficult transitions to make full of grief, anger, and depression.
That ends it for now as I go to the Women's Association meeting, give the lunch prayer and lead the Bible Study.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This weekend: got up at 5:30 am two mornings in a row :(
Little Town Church had its annual Pancake Breakfast and Pantry Sale (no crafts this year). I think it went well, although perhaps a few less than last year. The bakery sold rather well along with fresh corn meal, homemade soups, quince jelly and jam and apple butter. I worked til 10:30 am and headed home for my afternoon Lutheran tutorial!!!
Yup, LH took me to the Lutheran church to go over the liturgy of the communion service and where to stand when!!!!
On Sunday, I drove the easy commute to TLC and the first service began at 8 am. I was not decent and in order when I missed the post communion charge, the assisting minister went to the post communion prayer, we sang "Thank the Lord" and then before the benediction, I squeezed in the post communion charge!!! It worked and God did not smote this low church Presbyterian!!
The second service went much better and the congregants were actually alive, awake and laughed at all the humorous parts in my "Zwingli Schtick". Yes, I've crafted a Zwingli Schtick!!!!!!!!!! Zwingli I can pull off. Calvin, I will not be able to pull off - the tall thin body is beyond my physical ability as is the long beard. Next year, I will have to come up a long lost letter from Calvin rather than portray him. Remember, next year, 2009, will be the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth!!! My Calvin Bobblehead is waiting to be a children's sermon next year!!
I took a long nap Sunday afternoon - just exhausted - and a long quiet evening.
I'm looking forward to sleeping in this week on my day off!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Tell us about 5 favorite places you have lived in your lifetime.
1. Suburb of Chicago
2. Switzerland
3. Mansfield, OH
4. Cleveland, OH
5. Between Akron & Cleveland, OH

What did you like?
1. Suburb of Chicago - great place to grow up, access to the musuems, nightlife,
and Lakefront. What's not to like about Chicago? Great restaurants, shopping and
the most wonderful bookstore at the time - Kroch's & Brentano's (like Border's).
Could be in Chicago in 1/2 an hour. Traffic wasn't so bad in those days!!!
2. Switzerland - visited several times for weeks at a time, lived there a whole
summer. It's beautiful, clean, and simple. Lived with my Grandma
and travelled all over Switzerland, could speak like
a native.Enjoyed the company of all my relatives.
3.Mansfield - had my own apartment as I began my ministry. Smack dab between
Columbus and Cleveland
4. Cleveland - being close to the airport and city musuems, ball park, etc. The
West Side Market is great with fresh meat & veges of all kinds,
cheeses, bakery and imported goods.
5. Between Akron & Cleveland - the meadow behind our house, the spaciousness of
that, my herb garden and perenial flower beds,
quiet neighborhood

What kind of place was it?
1. A suburb, neat, clean with some green space
2. Countryside; hilly, could see the mountains on a clear day from my
Mom's hometown, green and fresh
3. Small town: hilly, lived in an apartment with a balcony overlooking a
a cornfield across the street.
4. Suburb: OK, close to stuff, working class neighborhood, a brick split-level
5. Small town: neat, clean, subdivision, middle class, a vinyl sided colonial

Anything special happen there?
1. Grew up, graduated from HS & Seminary, had my first kiss
2. Just being with relatives and meeting two guys I fell in love with
3. Got engaged and married in this town
4. Moved in with LH two weeks before our first anniversary,lost both my
parents during our stay here, got our Beagle, our first greyhound and second
5. We bought our first home! LH turned 50, our Beagle passed away, now
have two greys

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


On Saturday, LH and I went on the annual LH's church hayride, provided by a parishioner on their small farm. When we arrived and parked, there were 2 calves ambling in the pasture. We stopped and admired their cuteness. One cow walked away from us and looked like she had swallowed a rain barrel!! Very pregnant.
The hayride started a half hour later and we took the usual ride up to the higher pasture, across it and down to the corner that would lead into a field surrounded by trees. As we were coming down off the ridge, where we admired the lovely rolling countryside, all the cows were near the opening toward which we were driving and they did not seem concerned enough to get out of the way. They clustered together and a couple were butting heads. We got fairly close before they started moving away and the one cow had something sticking out her hind end. OMG! She was ready to give birth. The farmer jumped off the idling tractor and his two sons eventually joined him for it was obvious the cow was having trouble. There we sat, two wagons of church folks of all ages, kids and elders, watching the drama unfold and hoping to see the miracle of life before our eyes. The cow had more trouble and the calf was breech. With rope from a bale of straw, they tried pulling the calf, the rope broke. One fellow offered his leather belt and eventually, they pulled the still born calf free from its mother and got the afterbirth out. It was just so sad.
The blessing was, that we were right there. Had it happened after we had left the field, the cow might have lost her life.
And that's how a city girl nearly witnessed the birthing of a calf!! It was the most dramatic hayride I have ever been on and one which folks will be remembering for a long time as we all reflect on life and death, and the grace of God's timing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My oldest aunt passed away last Thursday. I am saddened by her death, for it seems that with each aunt and uncle and parent who has died our connection to our larger family is lessening, fading. I don't really know my cousins - their lives are in Switzerland and mine is here. Oh, I know a couple of them fairly well, but they are so far away. Except for my annual Christmas letter, a stray and sporadic e-mail, I don't hear from them. They are busy living their lives and I am busy living mine, except for those moments, those times when I yearn for a closer relationship, to be more a part of their lives and they a part of mine.
I've noticed that it gets increasingly harder and more awkward to return to the homeland of my parents, to my second home. The ones I grew up with (well, saw every 5 years), the relatives I got to know, love and appreciate, the ones that warm my heart and soul with memories - are all gone now. Grandparents, all my uncles, my aunt, great uncles and aunts - except for the youngest have joined the Church triumphant. I miss them greatly at times. They were full of life, fun, work and toil, they were honest, salt of the earth folks, genuine and quirky.
I think I was amazed to learn when I was 6 that I had a huge family across the pond and over the alps. I miss the way it was when my parents and my cousins' parents were together. How they just connected, brothers and sisters, who remembered growing up together, hardships, school pranks, and as I reflect on that, how warm and connected I felt. Now they are all but gone, one aunt with Alzheimer's remains, and I miss that connection, the ties that were our parents that bound us together and now are memories we keep close in our hearts and store in our minds. It's just not the same any more. I miss them all so very much, even as I give thanks to God for the gift they were and the grace to have known them, if only in brief segments of my earlier years.
My aunt was the spittin' image of my paternal Grandma. Even her voice sounded like grandma's. They could have been twins and not just mother and daughter. With my aunt, I had a direct link to my Grandma who passed away when I was in 7th grade. I have her dark brown eyes, they always told me. I shrugged it off! Who wants to look like their grandparent? But, with the passing of the years, as I gaze at her picture, trying to discern just who she was and how we might have gotten along, I see her beautiful, kind, wise, strong, dark eyes, with just a hint of twinkle and that reflect a deep and abiding faith, I am thankful, grateful that my eyes are just like hers.
I last saw my aunt 3 years ago. LH and I drove to the Nursing home and she was still in good shape for 89. We had a most delightful chat in her room at the table and she even walked with her walker down the hallway. She shared a few things about her life that I never knew and most of the cousins don't know either. She gave me strength when I did my Dad's committal, her faith tapped into mine into all the faithful, that great communion of saints. She mentioned that getting married late in life to one 23 years older than she, was the most wonderful gift of her life. The 7 years they enjoyed together as husband and wife were the best years of her life. And her face shone with love and delight at the mere mention of that fact.
We will see one another again some day, Tante Dorli and I. It will be a wonderful reunion with all the relatives I knew and loved the best, whose faces, smiles, eyes, quirks, voices have left their imprint on my mind, soul and heart and with whom I will always be connected though the cable becomes a tiny thread.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This coming Sunday, LH and I are taking part in a pulpit exchange of our churches.
Kinda cool to think that Presbyterians and Lutherans are exchanging pulpits when Zwingli and Luther never could agree on the presence of Christ in Holy Communion.
It only took 279 years!!!!! Never, never give up hope!!!!
It is a bit challenging putting together a service for husband. I am anxiously awaiting his scripture choices so that I can plan one hymn and a couple prayers.
I am doing my "Zwingli" schtick with a couple modifications and updates for a Lutheran congregation. I am most nervous about the communion service since it has been awhile since I've lead the Lutheran liturgy. I'm desperately praying that I won't goof something up (ie: skip to the wrong preface, leave out part of a prayer, etc.) I figure if I do stumble in the early service, I can redeem myself in the late service. God gives me two chances to do it "right"! (Actually, God gives me chances over and over and over again to get it right, which is not necessarily about "doing it right"!) God is very forgiving - Lutherans, well, we'll see!!!
(in reference to giving to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's)

1) When was the last time you flipped a coin or even saw one flipped in person?
Long enough that I can't remember!!!

2) Do you have any foreign coins in your house? If so, where are they from?
Quite alot! They are from Switzerland, Greece, France, Philippines, Scotland,
Germany, South Africa and Canada. We always keep a few coins as souvenirs.
We also have Swiss Francs for our next trip.

3) A penny saved is a penny earned, they say. But let's get serious. Is there a special place in heaven for pennies, or do you think they'll find a special place in, well, the other place?
I could live without pennies and the country could save much in production without the penny. My vote is the nickel being the new penny and everything could be rounded off to 5 cents.

4) How much did you get from the tooth fairy when you were a child? and if you have children of your own, do they get coins, or paper money? (I hear there may be some inflation.)
Let's see, back in the old days that would be a quarter! I hear kids get at least a dollar these days!!

5) Did anyone in your household collect the state quarters? And did anyone in your household manage to sustain the interest required to stick with it?
LH is the collector in our house although I contributed quarters that I had and received with him. He is also into numismatics and collects paper money from various and sundry eras and times, although mostly US.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I spent the weekend and my study leave attending the Radical Amazement retreat led by Judy Cannato in Michigan.
The journey began as a pilgrimage to the retreat center not far over the border from OH. I had a great drive up. Then I reacquainted myself with the center and stopped in the bookstore. Found a few items and then went to a couple places in town and had dinner.
Our first session that evening revealed perhaps 2-3 protestants out of 25, all women, and some really radical nuns!!! It makes me wonder if the priests at the churches they attend have any idea how radical they are!!!!!!!!
The retreat itself focused on Cosmology and I am still chewing on some of what was presented. The biggest sticking point for me was that Jesus was presented as human being filled with God's energy and highly evolved in the unitive state. Although I can appreciate this new terminology, there seemed to be no reference to Jesus as the Son of God. There is where I had the problem.
That does not mean I had no experience of the Holy and spent time with God. I enjoyed the times for reflection and prayer.
The book, Radical Amazement, by Judy Cannato will give you much to think about and consider.
The drive home was uneventful (thanks be to God) although there were lots of Sunday traffic.
It was a good time away and I sought a time apart, to be with the Holy One of Love, and to be stretched. That it was...

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I will be going on retreat tomorrow until Sunday afternoon and I am looking forward to the time away and apart. My Spirit needs this more than I can say. The leader is RC and I will probably be the only protestant clergy there, but that aside, it should be interesting and meaningful.
I plan to bring my journal and a couple books for hopefully some quiet evening time.
My hope is that there is some free time for reflection. We always leave a couple hours for that whenever we lead a retreat (our Synod's Spiritual Formation Team).
It will be much warmer than I had planned and am debating what I will wear, from long pants and sweater now to capri's and t-shirts. I had not anticipated that it would be this warm.
LH and the Boys will get along fine without me.
I need time with God away from here, to listen and to savor.
I will be off-line as well. I will resist the urge to bring my laptop and tap into the internet. A retreat means to me to shut down from the world and to come into God's presence itentionally and letting the rest of the world and its turmoil be held in God's hands, while my spirit focuses as completely on God as it can.
I will check back with you all next week. God's peace be with you, sustain you and keep you.

Monday, October 06, 2008


As seen at Lutheran Chick's "L" Word and therefore, tagged.
Bolded means I've tried it.

1. Venison. Love it! If I ever hit one, I'm claiming it!!!!
2. Nettle tea.
3. Huevos rancheros.
4. Steak tartare. Had it at home and in Switzerland
5. Crocodile. Tastes like chicken!!!! Almost.
6. Black pudding. My people call it Bluetwurst, too. Not for me. LH really likes it.
7. Cheese fondue. MMmmm...made the Swiss way with lots of cloves of garlic, crusty french bread, and a touch of kirsch. Raclette is also very good and eaten with boiled potatoes. I even like to make grilled cheese sandwhich with Raclette cheese in the broiler. Smelly cheese is tasty!
8. Carp.
9. Borscht. Had it at a church I served. Bleech!!!
10. Baba ghanoush.
11. Calamari. Have made it myself!
12. Pho. No.
13. PB&J sandwich. Although, I had to have been in Jr. Hi before I ever had a PBJ sandwich. My Swiss folks never cared for it and we didn't even have it in the house. Every once in a while, I'll make one for myself.
14. Aloo gobi. That's a mystery.
15. Hot dog from a street cart.
16. Epoisses. Huh?
17. Black truffle. Other fungi, yes - procini, morelle, etc.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes.
19. Steamed pork buns.
20. Pistachio ice cream. Does pistachio pudding count?
21. Heirloom tomatoes. I guess the ones my Mom planted which are
not always easy to find anymore, might qualify.
22. Fresh wild berries. One of the best things on earth - fresh raspberries. Have picked, bought them already picked. Also picked blackberries.
23. Foie gras. Not a huge fan.
24. Rice and beans. Like rice, not a bean fan.
25. Brawn, or headcheese. Again, a Swiss-Germanic thing. My folks loved it. I hated it. Yuck, made from pigs head.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.
27. Dulce de leche.
28. Oysters. Make mine Rockefeller!
29. Baklava. Now here's a sweet and tasty treat.
30. Bagna cauda. Never heard of it.
31. Wasabi peas.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. Hearty soup for a winter's day.
33. Salted lassi.
34. Sauerkraut. Ach, ja, mit cervelet und bratwurst!
35. Root beer float. Was a big thing in the early '70's, got over it.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. How about just the cognac and nix the cigar?
37. Clotted cream tea. It doesn't even sound appealing. Make my tea natur.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O. Sounds like a college thing to do.
39. Gumbo.
40. Oxtail. Makes a great soup, and for wonderful Osso Bucco. Excuse me, Osso Bucco is made with veal shanks and not oxtail. A simple lapse of body parts!!!
41. Curried goat.
42. Whole insects. I have my limits!
43. Phaal. What?
44. Goat's milk. Nope. Cheese made from goat's milk. I've had unpasteurized milk and a horrible tasting pasteurized milk direct from the milkman in Switzerland. We put Suchard Express (chocolate milk powder) into it to kill the taste. Finally, the milk in the box was SO much better!!
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$130 or more. How about some for a bit less $$? It's been smooth.
46. Fugu.
47. Chicken tikka masala.
48. Eel. Haven't ever eaten it and most likely won't. However, I do like my eelskin wallets and an eelskin purse would be nice.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut. My greyhound's favorite sweet snack. I like the chocolate custard ones myself.
50. Sea urchin.
51. Prickly pear. Pretty sure I've had the jelly.
52. Umeboshi. Huh?
53. Abalone. Mom made it once. It was just like rubber. The one inedible meal she ever cooked.
54. Paneer.
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal. Sometimes when we're on the road travelling we might get one and probably once a year otherwise.
56. Spaetzle. Knoepfli. One of my very favorite foods. Kinda messy to make, but delish. The Betty Bossi Spaetzli Maker helps and she even has a recipe for spinach spaetzli which are really great.
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV. I'm pretty sure I have some or one along the way.
59. Poutine.
60. Carob chips. Yup, used to use them when I made dog cookies.
61. S'mores. Sometimes I'll still make one in the microwave!
62. Sweetbreads. Use them in Pastaetli. Was a traditional Christmas Eve dinner at our house growing up. It always looked and smelled wonderful in it's delicious white cream sauce all poured into a flaky pastry shell.
63. Kaolin.
64. Currywurst. I've had wurst and I've had curry - just not together!
65. Durian.
66. Frogs' legs. Mmmm...tastes just like chicken!
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake. No, no, yes, no.
68. Haggis. Had it in Scotland and it was very tasty and good as long as you don't think too much about what it is.
69. Fried plantain. Does fried banana count? Dad used it in his African Country Chop
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette. I don't think so!
71. Gazpacho.
72. Caviar and blini. Can live without it.
73. Louche absinthe.
74. Gjetost, or brunost.
75. Roadkill.
76. Baijiu.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.
78. Snail. Mostly as escargot!!! Tasty.
79. Lapsang souchong.
80. Bellini.
81. Tom yum.
82. Eggs Benedict. Enjoy them at least once a year when I make them New Year's Day.
83. Pocky.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef.
86. Hare. Make mine Rabbit! Grew up with it and still make it from time to time. Usually it's domestic.
87. Goulash.
88. Flowers.
89. Horse. Had plenty of opportunity in Europe, just can't bring myself to do so.
90. Criollo chocolate. Don't know this chocolate. Make mine Swiss chocolate.
91. SPAM. Ughh, had it when we camped once or twice. I don't care for it and won't eat it.
92. Soft shell crab.
93. Rose harissa.
94. Catfish. Best Catfish I ever had was in Natchez, Mississippi at the Magnolia Grill or Restaurant or something like that, right by the Miss River. It was just the best ever.
95. Mole poblano. I've had them in the yard, but never eatin' 'em.
96. Bagel and lox. Love bagels not so much the lox, just too limpy and tastes like raw fish. Give me smoked salmon from Ewig Bros. in Port Washington, Wisconsin any day!!!
97. Lobster Thermidor. Love lobster anyway you cook it!
98. Polenta. Italian corn meal mush!!!
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
100. Snake.

Bonus round: Most unusual food you've ever eaten: Brains, when Mom substituted them for sweetbreads, not the same. Gemsbock, wild boar, Kudu, Arctic Char, Kingclip, Dolmades, strong mutton stew (in Greece), & Buendnerfleisch - air dried beef.

If you've read this consider yourself tagged! And provide a link to your place!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am saddened to say good-bye to our hummingbirds, Hummer and Mazda. Last night I took our little flowerbox feeder down, emptied it, and didn't put it back. Mazda will come and look to eat and there will be no nectar waiting for her. It makes me sad. But I do this because it's time, time for them to leave for the south and more warmer climes. The cold temps are on their way here and so I had to...take down the feeder. And it makes me sad to say good-bye in such a way. And I wonder, what does she think, when she flits by and there is no nectar? Perhaps, she is hungry and now there is no food for her. But I have to relinquish my care for them and let them go their winter's way. No more will they flit and hover nearby. They drained the Bee Balm long ago and their brown bald heads remind me, it is that time, to say good-bye, to let go. I will feel better tomorrow, knowing they are winging their way to where it is warmer and food more plentiful. But for today, I honor my sadness, for that is fall's lesson - to let go, surrender, relinquish and to acknowlege and honor the sadness inherent to that. Tomorrow, I will look forward to the hummingbird's return in the spring and putting the feeder in my flowerbox full of fresh, red sweet nectar and welcoming them back with a refreshing and satisfying meal at the end of their journey back. But for now, I grieve their leaving...

Monday, September 29, 2008


Had Presbytery meeting on Saturday. Drove 2 hours to get to the meeting. Stayed four hours. Drove 2 hours home in time to check mail before dinner. Would've been a nicer drive in a couple weeks when the trees would be peaking with their fall color. I stopped at a pottery place whose sign I've seen everytime I've been in that region in the last 23 years. I found an urn and a candleholder for pretty cheap and in a matter of no more than 15 minutes. It was a short stop and not necessarily the type of pottery I really like.
It was interesting with the morning spent with a speaker regarding church planning and development. Worship was traditional with communion. Comissioned 2 lay preachers.
Missed some of the afternoon stuff. Oh well. I made a few copies of Presbytery Bingo, but didn't have time play and the meeting wasn't boring this time around. Will save it for next time!!!
Of course, when I returned home, the neighborhood block party had begun. There were at least three others of us who did not attend. I suppose it is just as well, as I was pretty tired from all driving that day and still had to go over my sermon and service and the Adult Sunday School lesson. Not attending the block party is still a sore spot between LH and I, we differ on the whole thing. But, it's over and we are busy.
I really felt it yesterday afternoon when I got home, ate lunch and could barely keep my eyes open and promptly feel asleep on the couch for an hour and a half!! Felt much better afterward.
Filled the Finch feeder with thistle seed, fed the Boys, rubbed Jett for a good long time. Rubbed Ben for awhile.
Made Beet Salad to go with some Brats. Did the dishes. Went over the Bible Study lesson and readings for Monday morning. Caught the season opener of "Desperate Housewives." Talked with my sister.
Hoping for a quieter weekend this week!

1) What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS POINTS if you include the recipe!)
Apple Crisp. No recipe since I prefer the crisps someone else makes!!!

2) Have you ever planted a tree? If so, was there a special reason or occasion you
can tell us about?
When we moved into our new home years ago, we had no lawn and no trees. I had
always wanted an eastern redbud (beautiful spring flowering tree), I really
like Birch trees and to plant a Gingko tree was on my Bucket List. So, we
planted a redbud out front (which has now died and will be replaced this fall).
We planted a River Clump Birch in the back and I, by sheer providence,
found and planted a Gingko tree. I enjoy my trees immensely.

3) Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise)appeal
to you? Why or why not?
I've done my share of roaming as an interim minister. I kinda like being in
one place for awhile. Alas, roaming seems to be in my blood, as both my parents
crossed the pond and my Dad had lived on three continents. I suppose I will
stay put only so long until I or LH will make a move to seek a new call.

4) Who is your favorite "historical legend"?
Wilhelm Tell. Duh. No brainer! Whose the biggest, best and baddest legend
in Switzerland? - William Tell!!! Sharpshooter extradonaire! Didn't take
c--p from the Austrians, stood his ground, united the peoples and a
country called Switzerland was wrested away from the Hapsburgs (Austrians)
and became a nation unto itself - free, democratic, and neutral.

5) Jonny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled across
the west. Do you have song that comes to mind when you are trying to be
cheerful or is there something else that you often do?
Most often the Taize song: "In the Lord, I'll be ever thankful"

BONUS: What's your favorite apple variety?
Jonathan. Can't hardly find them in the store anymore so I eat Gala's.
Now it's your turn to share!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The floor care team has finally finished cleaning all the carpeting and floors in the Sanctuary, fellowship hall, downstairs classrooms and hallway. Interesting that the Offices were not cleaned! Hmmmm....But at least it is quiet today without the constant droning and noise from the machinery.
It is refreshing to have - quiet. The phones were quiet. No much traffic into the building today. Visits that didn't work out. So, it is quiet. Still. A time of prayerful work, of listening to the still, small voice that only comes in the sheer silence. I don't mind the quiet, a respite from the noise within and around me, to hear, to listen, to notice, to pay attention to God. There will be times when bustling through my day, I will have no silence. So, I will savor, cherish and honor this quietude and know I have no need to fill it up...
A 14 yr old computer tutor. Must be responsible, knowledgeable, able to explain in everyday language. Must have patience. Needs to be familiar with blogging, Skype, and other applications. One hour at a time for a reasonable fee.
I'm thinking it's time to advertise for some help. Sometimes, I feel like I'm falling further and further behind in all this technology.
This would make a great fundraiser - rent a teenager - for computer tutorials, or raking leaves. It would even make a great silent auction item!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008


As this vivid season begins, tell us 5 favorite things about fall:

1) A fragrance -
The scent of leaves burning, which doesn't happen much anymore because
of town rules and restrictions, especially on a crisp fall day.

2) A color -
Firey orange trees (well actually their leaves!)

3) An item of clothing -

4) An activity -
putting the garden to rest: cutting down, pulling out, and putting down
cow manure and raking it in

5) A special day -
I should say LH's birthday which is Thursday and happens in fall or my sister's
birthday on Tuesday, also fall. I could say our anniversary which is the
beginning of Dec. and still officially fall.
But this year, it will be a retreat in MI I'll be attending in two weeks!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I did not blog about Three Cups of Tea, merely mentioned in my vacation post that I had read it.
The book is still with me, not literally, but within me as I continue to reflect on the amazing web of relationships, the sacrifices, and the wonderful schools that have been built in Afghanistan & Pakistan by Greg Mortenson.
If I won the lottery, his organization would get quite a share.
I am humbled by his calling and work. And I lift up his integrity and honesty. The world, our young persons need more of these qualities.
If you haven't yet read the book, by all means, do! It is very readable, keeps your interest, inspires and encourages, touches and humbles.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Although we did not have the rain or storm sturges that our Texan brothers and sisters experienced, we did get the winds up to 70+ mph. For several hours late Sunday afternoon and evening the winds blew bringing down power lines, uprooting trees and shearing the tops off of pine trees.
Fortunately, we lost power only momentarily several times in the evening. Others were not so fortunate. Our subdivision has all of its power lines buried which makes all the sense in the world. The village where I serve lost power and school was cancelled, businesses closed and I worked at home. We cancelled Session and Worship Committee meetings and rescheduled for next week.
The residual winds of Ike, if you can call them residual at the rate Ike blustered through here, shredded our neighbor's play tower canopy which now bears a Halloweenish ghostly haunted house look.
Our prayers have been with the good people of Texas and those in all the countries Ike has touched.
We did get the rain we have sorely needed in these parts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. My rain gauge totalled 4+ inches. The frogs in the retention basins were celebrated their joy in song!
Will have a very long week next with several committee meetings and Presbytery that will be 1 hr. and 50 min. drive each way on that Saturday.
For now, I will enjoy the breathing space that was given as gift to me this day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The love of the faithful Creator
The peace of the wounded Healer
The joy of the challenging Spirit
The hope of the Three in One
surround and encourage you
today, tonight and forever.

(Kate McIlhagga)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

There are times...
when I could just smack LH! We will be the most unneighborly neighbors when the upcoming block party/pig roast someone in our part of the subdivision is hosting happens on the last Sat. of September. The invitation flyer came Labor Day weekend and along with the pig roast, there will be rented tents, tables, chairs, tableware (plastic and paper), an inflatable jumper, games and prizes for the kids. We are to bring a covered dish, our beverages and submit $35.00 per household regardless of how many children or no children.
So that became the sticking point for LH who succinctly stated,"I'm not paying $17.50 for a handful of pork, a paper plate and a chair." No amount of cajoling could convince him otherwise. He contends that the gathering will not even happen due to the cost. I contend that it will and we will be the only neighbors not in attendance. He promises to make it up to me if he is wrong. The bet is on.
In the meanwhile, I am thinking of ways he could make it up to me. Any ideas?

Monday, September 01, 2008


I took a bit of sunshine,
some of the goodness of earth
and rain
and saved the taste of summer
in the corn cobs I blanched
and stripped
all packaged neatly
in three freezer bags.
I placed them in the cold, dark
freezer where they will stay
suspended summer
until in the middle of winter
on a cold, bleak and grey day
I will open a bag of sunshine
and taste summer all over again.

A bit banged up, battered and bruised I am back from the Beach!! I actually met the challenge of Lake Michigan and went in and swam despite the waves and cold. Too hard to swim as it was choppy. Since the Lake level is higher this year and with the waves churning up the sand, I forgot about the two boulders that are there and promptly stepped on one, slid on it and scraped my knee. The biting flies found me a wonderful buffet bar and I banged my other knee on the quick closing screen door.
Despite that, I had a great time with my sister, BIL, and niece. Enjoyed two croquet games where I came in last and second to last!!! Yipee! My best standing ever!!
I did manage to beat LH at our Woertentaefelnspiel (Word Dice Game- fashioned after Scrabble), two nights running!!!
We discovered a new Cheese store - Cedar Valley Cheese Store with all kinds of cheese and cheese related items. Yes, I came home with Swiss cheese atenna topper!!!
(People will think I'm a cheesehead from WI rather than Swiss!!!) And we picked up the most incredible smoked salmon from Ewig Bros. in Port Washington, WI.
Since LH caught a bug and was sneezing up a storm on Monday, we spent a quiet day at the Lake on Tues. It was the most beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, there was a bit of wind making the Lake choppy and it was really cool - like 3/4 sleeve shirt and denim capri's cool, like you can sit in the sun all day and never got hot kinda cool. It was marvelous. I spent the day reading Three Cups of Tea, writing a poem, watching the Lake, going for a long walk on the beach and seeing the tail end of a snake slipping through the beach grass. I also saw the resident garter snake in the Lake House yard which I rather would not have liked to see at all. It slid between the rocks of the flower bed. (Ugh...shivers up the spine) Except for seeing the snakes, it was a perfect vacation day, a gift of Sabbath.
Now it's back to the hectic busyness of the fall season! (Sigh) I will treasure that vacation day through the year and pull it out when things get really crazy (like Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter). Then I can savor it all over again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I am so ready to hit the Beach! I'm mostly packed for our trip to Chicago and Wisconsin and my spirit is saying, "Let's Go!"
In the meanwhile, I have a couple visits to make.
Can't hardly wait to see my Sister. It's been a whole year since we've seen each other. Sure we talk on the phone every week, but it's not the same as being together.
I have a free massage coming too!!!! OOoooo...can I leave now?!!!?
See you all in a week!
Lowered Drinking Age Initiative

I understand that if one can drive, vote and serve the country at age 18, that they should be allowed to drink. However...the irresponsibility of the majority of teens leads one to think this is not a good idea.
When I check the College list I was grateful to see that my Alma Mater was not on it, but was surprised by several church affiliated institutions who were on the list.
There was drinking at my Alma Mater, but it wasn't near what is being done today, no hoses and funnels, etc. That's just sheer stupidity.
When the story appeared on the news last night, I said to LH that these colleges don't want to spend personnel, time and money enforcing their policies on underage drinking and also don't want to be liable for those students who die or are injured from their irresponsible drinking in violation of college rules and policies. Actually, I think the liability issue is the thrust behind the wanting to lower the drinking age. That way the college can't be sued by families.
They ought not to be anyway, because their child engaged in risky behavior, used poor judgement, and was irresponsible.
Perhaps, families ought to model responsible behavior, talk about drinking issues, etc. in the home as the child grows up.
Lowering the drinking age will make no difference to those who engage in such binge drinking. They will do it whether it is legal or not.
Hope these College Presidents use their degrees and use their wisdom.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Share 5 transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.

1. The last blooms of the flowers fade and all goes to rest.
2. Harvesting my herbs and hanging them to dry.
3. Plucking the last ripe tomatoes and hanging the vines in the garage to
ripen the few remaining green ones.
4. Putting away my summer clothes and pulling out the winter ones.
5. Weeding and fertilizing the wee garden and flower beds and fertilizing the

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

Throwing on a sweater and still being able to sit on the porch to watch
the kids at play, to savor the sunset, or just to view the stars.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


LH and I are looking forward to 1 more week of vacation next week as we plan to head to the Windy City and the Lake House in Wisconsin. I will be so glad to see my sister and BIL again. One added bonus, my niece will be there as well for the weekend!! Back from the craziness of LA to the flatness of rural central IL as she begins Med School. Not much rock climbing there! It will be good to see her in person and not just hear her voice breaking up on the cell.
I am preparing myself to lose at the annual Croquet game, it has become a family tradition. I actually am starting to look forward to losing!!!
Sports was never my forte. I was always too klutsy and not all that competitive.
I just wanted to play for fun. It can be fun to win, but just playing the sport is fun. I fail to see that on many athlete's faces any more.
And although I got my swimmer's badge at age 9, was the youngest in the test class and put in a lane closest to the pool's edge (in case I had a problem!)and I came in fourth out of 6 or 7 only to be approached to be on the swim team, I declined.
I didn't want deprive myself of the delight and pleasure of swimming by having to compete. It would've sucked the joy right of swimming for me.
Later, in High School, I did join the Synchronized Swim Team and had a blast with it, especially the shows we put on. It wasn't the competitive, precision, mechanical thing it is now. We learned new and different stunts, choregraped them to music and made costumes and just had fun. It was wonderful.
So, I don't have to win at Croquet, I just want to enjoy playing the game and being with my family.
Maybe, that's how it should in relationship with God. It's not about winning, it's about simply being with God for the sheer delight of it and to love God. It's not about who has the biggest church, who does the most mission, who has the slickest programs, etc. I keep hoping that our church members would catch on "are we having fun, yet" in our faith with God and in our faith community. Can we not enjoy our faith, our calling as Christians, as Presbyterians? Shouldn't we be having fun in our life together in Christ? I think we need to recover the sheer delight of being in God's love and to take a rest from beating ourselves up and over with certain issues that the church cannot bear at this time. Let's get back to the love of our Lord and somehow, it will work out as it needs to in God's time not ours.
Onward to my Croquet game...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wasn't that just a nail biter of a race in the Men's 4 X 100 Relay last night!!?
I am more impressed by Cullen Jones than by Michael Phelps (media hype poster boy).
So inspiring to see these talented athletes compete. I pray that they are competing fairly with their God given talents and hard work of training and practice and not by using drugs of any kind to enhance their performance. May they be clean, honest, above-board and display good sportsmanship.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


No one's talking about it much, but was anyone disturbed at all that the Olympic Flag was goose-stepped to the flag pole and raised by China's military? I, for one, was rather taken aback. It seems to me that usually the Olympic Flag is brought it by past Olympians or coaches etc. Never military. The Military doesn't have a place at the Olympics and I felt it was a slap in the face to all the world. A reminder that China's military rules along with the communist party.
I found it very disturbing, that it had no place in a ceremony lifting up the Olympic Games and the achievement of all these world and world class athletes.

Monday, August 04, 2008


One Mom who brought her preschooler to VBS said her preschooler was very excited about coming to VBS. Her Mom told her they would leave home a bit early to come to church and see who the teachers were going to be. The preschooler responded, "Isn't God always our teacher?"
Kids are wiser on some levels than we are!

Friday, August 01, 2008


Happy Swiss Independence Day!!!!
to all my family and my Swiss friends and acquaintances.
Wow! 707 years old!!
We celebrated by displaying the Swiss flag from our front porch. I wore my white capri's and a red T-shirt. We made Brats, Swiss potato salad and cole slaw (instead of sauerkraut). For dessert, I will indulge in a bowl of raspberries - something red!!!
VBS ended on a good note with an outdoor Beach Party carnival. There were different games for the kids - pick a rubber ducky for a candy prize, knock down three (plastic bottles with some sand in it), fish for a fish (by magnets in water), throw a ping pong ball into little bowls of water (no goldfish), do the Limbo, spin the wheel for a prize, throw an inflatable ring (3 of them) around the inflatable flamingo, get a tattoo (temporary of course!) We served hot dogs, chips, and freeze pops, water and lemonade. Each child received a tote bag in which to put their prizes and the parents talked and it was just a nice village/neighborhood gathering.
We were thrilled with the 55-60 kids we served each night - the majority were those who come every year with some fresh faces and new youngsters.
The kids will be singing in church for us on Sunday, and that will be a treat.
En'guete Alle!!! Lebet wohl!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Trouble With VBS:

-is, that the props for the opening beachcombing were not prepared ahead of time.
(I did have my starfish, decoration donations, and biblical costumes all neatly
ordered in the church library before I left on vacation)
Yesterday, at 15 mins. before the start of VBS I was combing through a pail of
shells looking for a joined clam shell and running to the SS closet hoping there
would be a white bead (Thanks be to God, there were chunky beads and white ones!!)
This is not good. Whenever I have props - they are lined up in order ready to go
in a safe place.
I wonder if the turtle will be here tonight or the sand dollar tomorrow.
Last minute does not work with this section of VBS.

-is, that I spent time editing, writing and putting together the opening and closings
split between us 2 pastors (which the Methodist minister has never once even
attempted to do, she shows up with her script [provided by me well in advance] in
hand and does it. This is year 5 for me in doing this.)
The week I leave on vacation, the MM tells me that the skits are being done during
snack time and not in the sanctuary during the opening. OK, not a big deal, change
a line to reflect what will come later.
I am knocked off my chair during snack when the MM does a prayer the exact same
prayer I am using for closing. Turns out the book I used for the opening and
closings is the same book with the skits and the M people doing the skits wanted
to follow that book to the letter with the prayer following the skit. I had even
copied the skits,highlighted all the parts, stapled them together, collated each
day and left it with our director. All this work, time and effort and now I had
to rework the prayers. I was furious. With our people and their people.
I could have spent my time doing other things. I have even approached the MM
into taking her turn with the openings and closings, "Oh, no, you write better
than I do!" Sure. She just doesn't want to bother with it and just show up and
do her thing. I am the one to help a little one, sitting with her all night,
helping with her craft, running to get a bandaid for a scraped knee, moving
my ample sized body to all the crazy motions to the songs as encouragement to
the kids I'm with (while she hangs around in the back talking to adults)
She's a Mom and I am not. Maybe, because she's done this with her now adult
child, she doesn't feel the need to do it now. Perhaps, I, who never had
kids, tries to be involved and helpful to our kids at VBS. But I don't
think in an obnoxious way, more low key way.
-is that I have to let all this go and I have for the most part. Yesterday was much better, far more relaxed and fun. It is really all about the kids. And they are having a blast! And so am I because they are really great kids and there have been
no major behavior problems! Whoohoo!!!!!!!

Our Little Rural Church is located at the Gateway to Amish Country in a region saturated with Mennonites. Well, our VBS this year is the Beach Party and we have been doing the Biblical Skits (much to the delight of kids and very amateur actors!)
The opening skit is where God tells Gideon to go, take a few men, nope, too many, a few less, and fight the Midianites. Our VBS Gideon had a different version and questioned God about fighting the Mennonites!!!!
Wow! We were roaring!!! Midianite. Mennonite. All "ites"!!! I guess fighting the Mennonites would have been much easier than the Midianites!!
We pray there will be no holy war here of Presbyterian & Methodists vs. Mennonites!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Tonight will be my first night at my church's VBS. They started last night, but I was still on vacation.
It will be 3 back-to-back 12 hour days. Today I packed a change of clothes, so I won't look all gussied up for the kids. Everyone else will be in casual clothes!
Since it's a beach theme, I have a t-shirt with a lounge chairs and table, flip-flops, palm tree and sand, There's 2 drinks on the table - (Mai Tai's in my view) but if the kids ask, their lemonade of course!!!!!!
Times like these where it would be nice to be able to run home for a quick, healthy snack, clothes change and maybe, even put my feet up for 1/2 an hour. As it is, I'm 17 miles and 25 minutes from home and it isn't good stewardship to go home and come back. I'm thinking I should schedule a pedicure for Fri as a thank you to myself, for a busy, hectic week.
Well, at least I'll be at a Beach!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

RGBP'S FRIDAY FIVE (a week late):
All about your blog:

1. So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog?
I am so utterly fascinated and connected with inukshuks from our times in
Canada, which in the Inuit language means "likeness of a person". Inuit make
inukshuks as signs of good passageways, message centers, to mark places of
good hunting grounds and goodness. I see inukshuk as a metaphor for us pointing
the way to God and God's goodness in our lives, pointing to God's presence
and grace. Thus was born, St. Inuksuk and the title: signs-along-the-way
2. Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there?
LH stands for my dear Lutheran Husband, the Boys: our greyhounds, Ben and Jett,
Little Town - the small rural village where I serve
3. What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama or
sheer, crazy fun?
Presby*Opia, Skewed View, Quotidian Grace, Holy Grounds
4. What 3 blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalsBlogPals, of course?
Real Live Preacher, the other two are RGBP: St. Casserole and Cheesehead
5. Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?
I happened upon Real Live Preacher, which led me to RGBP. I was fascinated
and wanted to leave comments and try my hand at it. I am self taught, which
means, I really don't know what I'm doing and therefore, haven't learned how
to link or put pictures on my blog. Course it doesn't help that our computer
system is old and not up to snuff!!!!
Bonus: Have you ever met one of the bloggers you read?
No, not yet. But it would be interesting to be in the midst of such
awesome clergy women!

As seen at St. Casserole's and of course, now tagged!!!
1.List these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
3. Tag 7 bloggers and notify them. Frankly, if you read this consider yourself tagged!!!

*Preached in German in Switzerland
*Planted my footprints in the Bay of Fundy (washed away with the incoming tide!)
*Hiked down the Rothorn twice(two days in a row - 1 a 6 hour hike, the other in 2 hours at breakneck speed since a thunderstorm moved in)
*Designed my wedding gown with my Mom who then sewed it
*Did Synchronized Swim
*Interviewed Walt Wangerin, Jr. once
*Play piano (not as well any more, not enough time to practice!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Back!!!
Back from vacation up in the Northeast in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton was beautiful. Saw countless crows, 1 deer, a bunch of grey seals, numerous puffins, razor bills, gannets, cormorants, a couple of great blue herons, several bald eagles and not one moose! The puffins are the hummingbirds of the Atlantic ocean - they move really fast, especially when the boat is pitching and moving. Pretty tough to get a picture although LH did get a couple on the video recorder. It was a grey drizzly day but still great to be out to see the puffins.
Our day trip on the Cabot Trail was a picture postcard day with beautiful views.
It rained/drizzled the next day again when we left, so we felt blessed to have had such a fantastic day on the Cabot Trail. Be it known, some of the craft and gift shops leave alot to be desired. The lobster was great, however!!! Even McDonalds (which we usually don't patronize much for a meal had the McLobster (lobster roll) which we thoroughly enjoyed up in New Brunswick. Kinda lobstered out now!!!
Spent some time with dear friends in Mass and visited Deerfield Village on a rather hot day.
Spent a night in Frederickton, two nights in N. Sydney where we saw the ferry to New Foundland and walked the beach for a bit.
Spent 1 hour and 20 minutes in Freeport, ME to visit LL Bean's and the Mangy Moose. LH isn't a Bean person. Had dinner at a Lobster Drive-in, kinda like Little Town's Dariette but serving seafood instead of burgers and ice cream.
Drove through Conn. in some wicked rain that did some damage in New Hampshire.
Visited a winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York - over priced for what it was; a simple red table wine that we consumed that very night in our hotel room! Had the worst dinner ever in NY - seafood alfredo - which consisted of 4 rubbery squid rings, 2 scallops halved and part of one small shrimp amid a bunch of pasta - all for an outrageous price. I complained and got no where. We drove home via Pennsylvania!!!!
Went to the Ceilidh in Baddeck which featured an awesome violionist, a great pianist, and one average male who sang in Gaellic. It was most enjoyable.
Because of the rain we came home a day early. More time to do our laundry, get groceries, throw out the rotting garlic, get oil changes, and pick up the Boys who spa-ed at the Farm.
Memorable was the elderly ME driver who nearly hit me as pulled from the left lane into the right and then drove 20 miles per hour in a 35 mile hour zone with a long trail of frustrated drivers behind him. Finally, I was able to pass him!!!
Such are the stuff of vacations, time away and time apart to refresh and renew our spirits, with new vistas, landscapes, people, food, and experiences.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Getting Ready...

On Monday we will be leaving on vacation!!!! I am so ready for 2 Sundays off!!!
We will be adventuring on the eastern seaboard; first to MA to visit our dear friends from Sem. and then upward and upward to Nova Scotia to Cape Breton. We have a date to see the Puffins!!!!
With all the planning we did for South Africa last fall, this one was much easier and we left time and space to explore anything of interest along the way.
So, I will be taking a break for a couple weeks but will return the end of the month with some fresh insights and tales to tell!!!
Still have more laundry to do and retrieve the suitcase from the basement. At least the Greek Letter Airline won't be breaking my suitcase this year!!!!!!
I always have a hard time leaving folks and always hold my church folks in prayer, knowing God has been taking care of them long before I arrived, while I am gone, and long after my time with them is over. But it helps me to leave with a clear conscience and to be open to vacation time and all that God longs to bring me in a different setting and way.
I have also done the liturgy and picked the hymns for the two Sundays I am gone.
Perhaps a quick survey would be in order:

When you leave on vacation and have supply preachers filling in, do you:
1. Plan and prepare the whole service, leaving the Scriptures and Sermon title
for the supply minister to provide?
2. Does the supply minister furnish everything using the order of liturgy the
church uses? (ie: Call to Worship, Invocation, Prayer of Confession/Assurance
of Pardon and Hymns from that church's hymnal)

It would be interesting to hear from all of you as to how this is handled in your churchs and/or traditions.
Since I do the first option, I am exhausted before leaving on vacation planning services that I will not be at and yet feel since I've done all the work, I may as well be at. Plus, there is the service upon my return to plan and work up.
Whenever I supplied anywhere, I requested a bulletin, for the liturgy, and provided all the repsonses and hymns. I also made sure that if there were regular responses (as in Lutheran liturgy) I used those. When I supplied I felt called to lead worship and not merely preach a sermon. Perhaps, I am way off base, but I have heard from a couple supply ministers that they expect the service all planned out and done for them.
Just wondering if my expectations are way off base or I've been doing too much...
In the meanwhile, there are visits to make, a sermon to write, hair to be cut, dinners to be cooked, dishes to be washed, worship to lead, coleslaw salad for the church picnic to be made, packing, cleaning out the van and vacuuming it. There are miles to go before I even begin vacation!!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

LH and I left Saturday afternoon around 12:45 pm to pick up my van from
the repair shop that had to fix my squealing brakes (after I had new brakes put in 2 weeks ago) and were inching down the sloping driveway. I looked out the window and there were swarms of bugs coming up from the front lawn. Since I already had dusted my potentilla bushes, the burning bush, and the geraniums with Sevin (ack! poison!) in order to do battle with the few beetles I had seen, I was blown away by how many there were flying around our lawn and neighbors' lawns.
My first stop after picking up my van was to the big box home improvement store and right at the cash register in the Garden area were the Bag the Bugs system. Cool. I bought the starter kit and the stake kit. Ran my other errands, got home and put the Bug Bag up around 3 pm. Wow, it drew Asian Beetles like flies to you know what! You could even see them drop into the bag - when the sun hit the bag in the right way. It was fascinating to watch.
Well, last night, LH goes to remove the bag and we estimate it was well over a half pound of Asian beetles. He put up the new bag and if this keeps up, I'll have to go buy more bags. I had no idea there were so many of these nasty buggers around and in our lawn. They have gotten worse over the last three years or then I simply never noticed before how they just come up from the ground. I tend to think it's just gotten worse. Don't know how I would've missed seeing them as I am somewhat attentive to my home and environs.
If we have bagged hundreds of them then there must thousands upon thousands underground. The bag sure beats having to put poison on my plants.
So, those bug bag systems do work, just in case you needed or wanted to know!
We will win this war!!!

1. Barbeques or picnics (or are they essentially the same thing?)?
Actually, grilling. In my midwestern mind, barbeque is slathered in sauce and
grilling is anything without barbeque sauce. Besides, with grilling you can
bring the food into the cool comfort of your home without bugs and hot, humid

2. The park/the lake/the beach or staying at home simply being?
At home simply being or with family over for eats. Usually, I am busy
preparing food to serve or cleaning bathrooms!!!

3. Fireworks - love' em or hate 'em?
I did like watching the neighbor's (don't know the people as they live across
the meadow from us)fireworks which were near professional. However, they set
them off even after 11pm Saturday night. Ben and Jett were none too happy and
poor Ben barely had his last call outside, when a big boom went off and
frightened him near to death.
4. Parades - have you ever taken part - share a memory...
Nope, not really. It seems to me when I was a Girl Scout our troop took part
in a Bataan Day Parade, idiosyncratic to this one Chicago suburb. Don't
really remember much about it. LH used to take part in a couple parades with
the SAR colorguard. But if it's too hot, you won't find him taking part.

5. Time for a musical interlude - if you could sum up holidays in a piece of music
what would it be?
I've always been partial to Copeland's Rodeo and the larger work of which it is
a part. Can't think of it at the moment. Must be a senior moment!

Hope you had a great fourth!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

For Gardeners:

Tomatoes are on the vines, still green and small, some bigger and there are flowers still turning into fruit. My mouth is already watering in anticipation of picking the first ripe tomato and enjoying it's warm, full of flavor deliciousness.
"But then I taste a tomato that tastes tomato.
I pick ripened corn and plop it into a pot of boiling water.
I slice the fresh zucchinis, snap the beans, and sit down
to a feast of flavors
that must be like the feasts of Eden before the serpent said a word.
So I thank you for this garden, God, and for the strength to tend it in
my way, and for my tiny harvest, and for the tang and savor of each bite."
(robert jones)

Weird, but my capital 'j' has ceased to work on the keyboard. Must be the PC demons at work. I may end up typing only small case "j's" if this keeps up.
Oh the wonders, the frustrations, of techno-gadgetry!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008


Yup, survived the week of VBS and the trio of 6th grade boys!
Friday evening was the program with the kids singing and thank you's. The trio even sang their song and did well!!! Great kids!
I am glad it's over. 1 week of really long days, rushing to get home in order to change. 1 week of not cooking and eating lighter. 1 week of feeding the Boys early. 1 week of the Boys being alone after dinner. (Jett destroyed LH's musical wood frog on the shelf by the front door, which he's never touched before. That happened on night three. Guess Jett was just angry that we were gone every single night!)
Friday was warm and humid so I decided to wear my linen dress and not the VBS T-shirt I wore every night for a week. I had these new Docker's chocolate mules that fit ok in the store and which I wore for a bit at home. They matched the dress wonderfully. I wore them for 1 1/2 hours. My bunion still hurts today. I could hardly sleep that night and had to hang my foot out of the bed so as not to put any pressure on it at all. I have lived with this bunion pain for three days and it hurts. I don't want to wear orthopedic shoes. I want to wear cute shoes. My feet are the curse of my grandma who had horrible feet - wide, bunioned, bent toes. I remember her shoes. I don't want to have wear such things. Why couldn't I have been given her beautiful legs and not her feet? (Sigh) Of all things to pass on to your granddaughter - troubled feet!
But, I do have shoes and some sandals for my feet that do fit and feel ok. I am thankful for those and that I have feet to carry me about my day and upon which I can walk. I pray that God would make my feet beautiful as I announce bring the good news of Jesus Christ, announce the peace which goes beyond all comprehension which he gives, and who offers salvation to all the world. Perhaps, as my feet continue in my ministry they will become beautiful for God.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

temps 80 something, humid, post-rain fall

Had a few missing this evening in all age groups.
Got caught in a backup on the Interstate at 4:10 pm due to an
accident. Fortunately, (our God is a providential God!)I was very near an
exit in the town where LH serves. I knew the road so, a gracious semi-truck
driver allowed me to merge from the far left lane to the center land and then
over to the right lane and onto the exit. In the pouring rain I drove past
LH's church and home in time to change, feed the Boys dinner and drive the
same way back to LH's church. One member and child were stuck in the parking
lot of the interstate for 1 1/2 hours. Some truck hit the overpass going
westbound. Then there was an accident on the eastbound lanes because of
rubbernecking gawkers!
Dinner was meatball subs (tasty) with green beans and cold, limp french fries.
Dessert was vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce! Yummm.
The 5th/6th grade does not disappoint. This time it was just the 3 guys. They
had quite a time with their lesson (paralyzed man lowered thru roof by friends
to Jesus). The lesson room was a backyard campout with a "campfire" (fake logs
with glowing light) stars and moon and just 3 lamps on instead of the flourescent
lights, a pup tent and three sleeping bags. The guys crawled into the bags as
if to hear a bed time story!! After the story and discussion, they created a
mad lib of the story with people going to see Jesus with sore "earlobes", sick
"corneas" and broken "eusophaguses"!!! The paralyzed man was lying in
the "highway" and his friends had to carry him to the "bathroom"!!! It was
downhill from there and a whole lot of fun. The house where Jesus was
a "googleplex" of a crowd had gathered and it was as big as a "blue
whale"...etc. There's no bible story like a jr. hi's version of the story!!!!!!!!
The rain held off and everyone had rec outside! It was rubber chicken football!
The singing went a bit better. However, now the main theme song is just lurking
in my head!!!!
I am glad that tonight will be the last night! It's been great and the children
wonderful with no real problems. Friday night will be their singing program.
I am tired, although the exercise of going up and down stairs has been good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


It was a quiet morning except for the 2nd call in two days from some mega pages phone listing company. I told them I didn't appreciated being called every day.
The next call was from some woman who wanted to reach Renown Local Door Company. She had to call the church? Was the Library not open? Graciously, I looked up the phone number and gave her the number.
The things we preachers get asked!!! I'm so glad I went to Seminary, received an MDiv and was ordained so that I can look up phone numbers for folks!!! At least, I was useful to someone today, even in the very ordinary and mundane task of looking up a phone number.
How did God use you today?

temps 80, sunny
Great night for VBS!!!
The kids actually got to have rec outside!!! The little ones decorated the
parking lot with chalk, the older kids played games!
Dinner - small sub sandwiches, celery with dip, a couple potato chips and
watermelon - hmmm...the watermelon tasted really good
One of the 5th/6th graders invited a friend so there were 5!!
Craft was decorating a small white plastic frisbee.
The service project was decorating cookies for a hospice as the volunteer
spoke about all the different volunteering she's done. And the kids didn't
get to eat any of the cookies ~ and they weren't all that disappointed.
It is a good experience to do something for someone else without expecting
something in return. That we help and do things for others out of love
for God, for them, just because without seeking a reward, although we do
get rewarded by feeling good for what we have done. So, I thought it was
a very good lesson.
The singing still leaves alot to be desired. I keep praying they will know the
songs and actually sing on Fri, evening for the program!!!
So, there will be another fun-filled night tonight.