Monday, January 26, 2009


List 5 things that help you deal with Cabin Fever.
(Mostly pplies those of us in the cold & snowy North)

1. Catch up on my mending, hemming, resewing buttons, and ironing etc. Opps, have
yet to do the ironing and it's already the end of January.

2. Snooze on the couch along with the greys. Although, Toby hasn't figured out
how to get up on the couch. Every greyhound we've had figured it out by
the second day with us.

3. Cook lasagne. Yup, just this Saturday made my yearly panful. LH makes lovely
individual freezer packs that will make for an easy dinner later on. The boys
got some leftover meat sauce and a couple noodles.

4. Fight the cold - fill the feeder event. The quick dash to the Finch feeder, bring
it in, refill the seed and dash back out again. Not really a dash, because I look
like Randy in A Christmas Story!! Puffy heavy coat with hood, scarf and gloves,
plus with the snowy/icy patio, you step carefully.

5. Fun with computer solitaire and reading.

BONUS: Since I am now serving at 3/4 time, I hope to have more time for photography
and being creative, like say, working up a skit for Joy Sunday following
Easter Sunday.

Your Sleeping Position Says You Need Peace

You are calm and rational person with a good deal of balance in your life.

Friends consider you to be kind, caring, and truly loyal.

You are easy going and trusting. However, you are too sensible to fall for mind games.

Open to the world, you are not afraid to be yourself.

If you don't get enough sleep, you are: Able to cope

It's hard to sleep next to you because: You're a bed hog

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In winter, up north, you cannot hide. The trees stripped bare of their leaves exposing their frame and the snowy white ground that shows every track and mark. That is winter's revealing.
This winter's revealing is displaying our inability to meet our budget and no persons to fill our Deacon positions. I anticipate that our Deacons will disband, our Women's Association may meet for one more year, that I will be asked to serve 3/4 time. We spent all our mission money this year which is a blessed thing, when needs are great and overwhelming. Our budget is pretty bare bones.
There are times I feel overwhelmed and old. I know how to "do" church, lead mostly traditional worship, Taize worship, etc. and know how to "be" church, relationships and small groups. But there are those moments when I feel like this all is so over my head and beyond me. Which I realize ministry usually is!
If they are not willing or able to change or seriously address this, then I suppose I will walk with them to the closing of their doors. Unless, LH, is called somewhere else and we have to move.
They are old, worn-out and tired and the younger ones are trying to hold on to their day jobs. I don't have any answers. I keep praying. I keep serving. I continue to ask for wisdom and guidance and insight. It's all I can do. It really all is in God's hands and I am but God's servant.
That is winter's revealing this year.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Brrrrrrrrr...It's colder than cold here. A taste of pure arctic air!
I never made it into the office today. The state highway was totally snowcovered and icy. Not even tracks down to the pavement. This state route (2 lane) is hilly and curvy. There was no way, I was going to be able to negotiate the road. For all of three hours in the office today, it wasn't worth the risk.
I feel so bad about the Old Folks Home worship service last night. It started to snow in the afternoon while I was making a visit to a homebound parishioner. As I left, the main road in the village was not in good shape. I was on my way to next bigger town to make a visit in the nursing home there. I was on the Famous President Highway (4 lanes) and it was awful. Just at the stoplight with another state route where I make a turn, the traffic was all backed up. There was a multi-vehicle accident due to the slippery conditions. I finally got through that with the snowing falling fast and at a good clip when I decided that if I was going to make it home, I had best begin the journey. It took me over an hour to get home and this state route was better than the one I usually take. My tires were on pavement most of the way home. It continued to snow through the evening and I was thankful that I made it home in one piece.
Although, those who know me well, know that I often drive 5 mph over the limit, usually on the interstate. I always obey school zones and when the weather is bad, I will not speed. There have been days when I've driven 35-45 mph in the winter when the road is snow covered depending on how slick it is. I was passed twice yesterday while driving a respectable 40 mph which I felt was safe given the conditions and maintaining assured clear distance.
I have my sermon and prayers finished. I will work on the annual meeting prayers and Lenten breakfast devotion I'll be leading during Lent. Plus, if I am ambitious enough, working on "Are You Smarter than a Session Member?" for our Joy or Holy Humor Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.
So, although, I wasn't in the office it was a productive day. The greys were thrilled that I was home with them and the den floor was littered with 2 sleeping greys!!!! These are the warm comforts in the dead bitter cold of winter!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't Cha -

Don't cha just hate it when meetings go on far too long?
Like last night, an hour meeting that lasted two hours. I just know there are lonely people out there who need to extend meetings for the social aspect.
Me? I have enough meetings as it is being a pastor. Why do I want to attend more?
What is it with the Scouts that their people just don't know when enough is enough?
We've given one woman her Native American Name: S-Talks-A-Lot.
What a waste of time when I could have been home an hour earlier and spent time with my greys and LH! (Especially, since it was so squally and cold and not knowing how clean and good the interstate would be.)
Have to go again next month. Yuck. I discern that since it is draining my energy and my interest level is at zero, this is not where God wants me to spend my time and energy. Maybe, I'll stick it out for a time or two and then bid farewell.
Two back to back 12 hour days with no going home in between is enough!

Monday, January 12, 2009


What a better thing to do on a very snowy Saturday, when your sermon's written and all is together for Sunday morning, but the roads are a disaster than to roast a chicken for supper?
The divine aroma filled the kitchen as it cooked. I steamed some frozen asparagus and cooked up some roasted chicken flavor rice and veges or noodles & veges combo. When it was time for supper - the chicken, which had been roasted with 1/2 can beer in the well of the dish, was a beautiful and enticing amber and golden color. I placed it carefully on the cutting board on the counter. LH cut white meat for me and a leg and thigh for him. It was savory and moist and the dinner was fine.
After dinner, LH goes to the sink to wash his hands while I am scraping meat off his chicken bones as tidbits for the boys. The boys were in the kitchen area attraced by the delicious aroma and the sound of plates being scraped.
Flash! Toby (the new greyhound) runs past LH's chair and into the living room with something amber and golden colored hanging from his mouth. The thievin' rascal absconded with the half chicken sitting on the cutting board on the counter. LH ran after him and wrestled the chicken from Toby who hadn't even had a chance to take a bite!!!! have gotten so far with such a enormous, scrumptious morsel in the mouth and not even one bite!
My jaw just dropped in disbelief as I numbly said, "Toby's got the chicken!" It was almost like the scene from 'A Christmas Story' when the Bumpeses bloodhound dogs ravaged the roasted turkey.
We now have two thievin' rascals living with us, and in the home of two preachers yet!!!
(We made sure that Toby didn't break any chicken bones or swallow any - he simply didn't have the chance! And oh, how wonderful that Toby is so good natured that he didn't even growl when LH rescued the roasted chicken and took it from him!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Share with us your preferences for Pancakes!

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
I usually use a Buttermilk mix.

2. Pure and simple or with additions cooked in?
I like 'em pure and simple although I have added Maine caviar: blueberries.

3. For breakfast or for dinner?
Definitely for breakfast! I am not a fan of pancakes for dinner and I take
no delight in Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers. I'd rather have some meat
and veges for dinner (or chicken or fish).

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best sidedish?
Pure maple syrup - can't abide the fake stuff. Best sidedish - that would
be sausage links!

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
Since we never go out to eat for breakfast, can't say as I have one.
Have been to the Waffle House while on vacation and it's pretty good.

Bonus: Any tasty recipes out there for pancakes or other special breakfast
dishes? Bring 'em on!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Ughhh...writing the annual report is always a work keeping everything in perspective.
What can I say this year? Our membership is rapidly aging and declining, our attendance is down (due to rapidly aging membership and kids/families involved in sports that have meets & tournaments on weekends and Sundays!) and we have less money to keep doing all we do and support many missions. I will not be meeting Presbytery minimum this year.
In the end, I have mentioned the above, with the exception of my not meeting minimum, but lifted up all the wonderful things and the sharing of gifts that has blessed our life together. And indeed, God has blessed us with only 2 deaths, 3 confirmed into membership and a family who is worshipping with us fairly regularly.
We gave away all our mission money!!! Helped countless school children with back packs and school supplies and items for Christmas, local families with clothing and food, medical mission in Honduras, Bridge of Hope school in Liberia and tuition for 1 1/2 students, and all the Presbytery missions, plus Christmas Joy, One Great Hour of Sharing, and Peacemaking Offerings. We served over 65 kids at Vacation Bible School.
I will be thankful if we come through this year as we did last year - few deaths and making the budget by the skin of our teeth - which hopefully, they will approve my dental insurance.
All in all, I feel very blessed to be here, even though I am frustrated at times. I pray that I continue to serve well, ably, with a loving heart and wisdom. I pray that this church will come to life some more.
So, what started as a chore, writing the annual report, became a blessing for which I give thanks to God and an encouragement to us all, to keep on keeping on for the sake of Christ our Lord and for the good of the realm of God.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Give it a try!

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You Are Copper

You are provocative and challenging. You help people realize who they really are.

You live a very balanced life. You always take time for love and art.

You are both a powerful and generous person. You always have time to give back.

People find you to be incredibly ethical and loyal.


It's been a bit crazy by us this past week, what with the new greyhound. What a high energy grey this one is. We named him Toby, as we don't like calling our dogs by initials. He's 5 years old, white with fawn patches. Actually, Toby and Jett look pretty good together. Toby has had a couple accidents. He is very curious and pulls clothing out of the laundry room that may be laying on the floor ready to be washed.
He eats like there'll be no tomorrow, wolfs it down fast and goes straight to Jett's dish. That will be a challenge - especially since Jett doesn't always eat his breakfast at 7:30 am and may stroll over at 10 am. Now we have to put his dish up and away. If he doesn't eat breakfast early it will become his lunch.
Toby's run laps in the backyard and has learned to lift his back legs coming in from the patio. Two major ouches hitting his back foot knuckles on the ledge of the sliding glass door. No blood thankfully! He is a counter surfer and sticks his inquistive nose everywhere. This one seems to have no fear just a alot of curiousity.
He has taken to the round dog bed which Jett took over after Ben crossed Rainbow Bridge. Toby is good natured though and very likeable.
We are trying to give Jett the attention he is due, but he is sulking. Not happy with the new intruder. I think Jett still misses Ben.
When Toby and Jett are both at the door wanting to come in, it's pandemonium as both want to be the first through the door. Not good, since they could hurt themselves. Hope this will work itself out.
We are still getting to know each other and getting used to one another. It takes some time. With some greys it takes time for them to come out of their shells. I don't think Toby has a shell to come out of, he's more wysiwyg!!!
Toby is sporting a new collar and has a new leash - royal blue with rainbow interwining celtic chain design. Since he came with a teal harness, I had to find something to kinda match. There is teal in the rainbow chain design.
This is Toby's first day with both of us at work all day. I'm hoping he can handle it. When I came home from church yesterday, he couldn't hardly contain himself with joy and energy, as though I and LH had been gone for weeks. It'll be interesting to see how he is this evening after I've been gone all day.
That's been what's been keeping us busy from the 30th til now into the New Year.
Course, I did spend New Year's Eve making and cooking Island Meatballs and most of New Year's Day in the kitchen baking a ham, cloving it and making the glaze, making scalloped potatoes from scratch, and an apple crisp for dessert. My FIL came for the afternoon and evening and we enjoyed dinner together.
Now, it's back to the pulpit and preparing for Sunday and making visits.