Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why is it that every time LH and I go out to eat in a restaurant the salt and pepper shakers are always overfilled? When you go to shake out pepper you can shake 'til the cows come home and barely get a grain or two. When you unscrew the cap, pepper granules spill out all over the table. I am not a messy person, nor hard to serve or please. However, I do like to add pepper to my veges or meat or potatoes.
To all you restaurant supervisors/managers, please tell your wait staff NOT to overfill the shakers. They should be 3/4 to 2/3 filled, so that diners can shake out what they desire and not leave a mess for the busboy or busgal to clean up.
Thank you very much.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas came again this year, as it does each year no matter our circumstances or situations. Christmas finds a way to slip in beside us and settle in the manger of our hearts and lives. Each one uniquely different.
This year was no exception.
The Church of Another Denomination printed a very optimistic multitude of bulletins. There was great expectation and it was unfortunate that we did not come close to 200. 112 was the number. The head usher was a bit flumoxed that the candlelighting would be a bit different with ushers lighting the people at the end of the pew, instead of people picking up a candle and having it lit as they made their way back to their pew seat from
partaking of communion. A sort of dangerous practice and the first ones to commune would have their candles burning for quite some time.
Communion was also a wee different, as I again, had the manger with straw and a loaf of bread wrapped in white linen and offered a true invitation and my own Great Prayer of Thanksgiving which included the singing of "Gloria in excelsi Deo" refrain from Angels We Have Heard on High. The post-communion canticle was sung to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
and the "Lamb of God" was replaced by the fourth verse of "O Little Town of Bethlehem", which made for a festive communion. I intoned the words, "The Bread of Heaven come down for you" as I gave the bread to each one. It was visually and aurally rife and dripping with meaning and symbolism.
I got home about 9:30 pm and was mightily disappointed that the brie LH had bought was no good! There was quite an odor that wasn't obvious the day he bought it, but the rind was darker and not white on the bottom. So, fortunately, LH had bought some Jarlsberg Swiss and that sufficed but didn't go with the Nicolas Feuillatte champagne as well as Brie does. NF is my favorite champagne - bubbly but I never get a headache from it. It's crisp and clean - just like champagne ought to be.
Christmas Day we had a few more in the cavernous sanctuary than I had expected. I tried to do a pool - I came up with 25, one parishioner who helped light candles suggested 10, the assisting minister and organist didn't give an estimate - so I suppose I won since we had 38!!
I focused on the Isaiah passage and read a wonderful story by Norman Vincent Peale called "A Faraway Christmas". It was a very nice, warm service.
Afterwards, I got home earlier since there was no Sunday School and changed, had lunch, fed the greys, LH came home, had lunch then we opened our gifts and promptly went down for our naps. Late afternoon, we made several calls to our families and enjoyed talking with them and thanking them for their wonderful gifts. LH surprised me with a beautiful sterling silver bangle bracelet from the Scottish Jewelry Designer - Sheila Fleet. The three interlocking waved bangles move and change configuration which is evocative of waves. Truly unique and since I'm so intuned to water, it was perfect.
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Canada surprised me with a pair of winter olympic Canada mittens - red with a white maple leaf on each hand, just like the Canadian olympic athletes wore!!! They are great!!!
Although, we never did get a tree to put up, I bought a small swag of greens that I placed on a Christmas placemat and added a pine and cedar scented candle and it was lovely.
There was peace, a quiet joy, and a spirit of love that infused this Christmas. And hope was present as well. A quieter, low-key, simple Christmas but beautiful nevertheless.
I pray that Christmas crept in beside you and left you the gifts that your heart and spirit longed for - the Christ child - and a deeper connection and love for the Lord. May His peace be with you all these days of Christmas and throughout the New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2011


This Friday we're asked to name 5 items on our To-do List as Christmas
fast approaches and anything we've decided to skip this year. So, here goes:

1. Wrap staff gifts and write their cards.
2. Wrap LH's gifts.
3. Wrap SIL's gifts.
4. Cards and tip for newspaper carrier and mail carrier.
5. Launder white linen and white cotton towels for Christmas Eve
6. Order bread for Christmas Eve Communion service.(Threw that in extra, just a reminder for me!!!)
This year, I'm skipping baking Christmas cookies, putting up and decorating
a Christmas tree, and our Island Sweet & Sour Meatballs on New Year's Eve, we'll enjoy them New Year's Day instead. Can't stay up too late since we
have services on Christmas Day and New Year's Day! LH has to get the Brie for Christmas Eve. The champagne is already in the basement waiting to get

Saturday, December 10, 2011

In the thick of Advent, just some random thoughts and goodness:
1. Gifts have been wrapped. packaged and sent. Woohoo!!! Still have
to work on staff gifts and LH.

2. Christmas letters to overseas family and friends have been signed,
sealed and sent! Christmas cards still need to be done.

3. The sausage bread I made for the Advent potluck was a hit, again!
Came home with no left-overs, even though the recipe makes two
loaves and there was a table full of food. Guess who's making it
again this week? Dare I hope to bring some leftovers home?

4. The sermon for Sunday came together fairly well. Still have to work
on the Children's sermon. Cut lots of brightly colored ribbon for
worship so folks can shout out their joy and wave a ribbon. This
congregation needs play a little in the wake of all they've been

5. There was a package that came for me on Tuesday from a parishioner
from the last church I served. What a surprise! It was a green
prayer shawl and I've worn it every evening - enveloped in prayer
and warmed by love! What a wonderful gift to receive out of the blue.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

and I wonder where it goes so swiftly. Had a wonderful Advent 2 Sunday complete with a baptism of a beautiful baby girl, granddaughter of parishioner. I was so taken by her, I almost lost my place in the responsibilities of the parent section of the liturgy!!! What a precious handful to walk down the aisle with to meet folks.
Tomorrow will be our second Advent/potluck and I still have to prepare for the program.
Then there's the sermon writing for Sunday and final touches on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
LH and I decided not to get a Christmas tree this year. I will put up our nativity, hang stockings, and the candles are already in the windows glowing softly at night. LH did string lights on the newport plum out front and it looks nice.
With Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services, we will be ever so busy and so a simple Christmas seems to be in order.
I am still writing Christmas cards, the German Christmas letters are
done and awaiting LH's signature and paw prints (the greys' signatures), and there are still gifts to be wrapped and packaged to be mailed.
Seems I'm behind this year, even though I'm home more. Maybe, the older I get, the longer it takes to accomplish things. I don't know!
But, I am enjoying listening to the Christmas music and did my yearly, helped someone in need who came to the church whose need was different from
what the Salvation Army usually helps with. I was blessed to be a blessing and pray that the one helped would have fresh start. Then there was the
unexpected trip to the children's hospital to check on the custodian's son in ER and that went very well. We all continue to pray for the healing of this young boy.
So, although Advent appears to be moving swiftly there are those moments of pure grace, blessing and joy where time stands still and the Holy One enters in.
May you find those moments in your Advent season.