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.