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!!!