Friday, November 25, 2011

Tired! After two days of cooking, working, writing a sermon, polishing silver, washing crystal and china, setting the Thanksgiving table, stuffing and roasting the turkey, decarcassing the turkey, and doing all the dishes by hand by myself, I'm tired. The silverware is back in its drawer, the china has been put back in the china cabinet, the tablecloth is in the washer, the stuffing has been frozen and the stock is awaiting being put in little tubs and frozen for any recipes calling for chicken broth.
We enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving with LH's sisters and the food was good. They brought the green bean casserole which is always so yummy and some homemade banana bread.
The boys, Jazz and Renoir behaved very well, except for coming into the kitchen as the turkey was roasting and just sniffing the most wonderful aroma that, of course, for dogs is surround smell!!!!
Today, I am working on my Christmas letter in English and German. And trying to find a book I was going to use for my children's sermon Sunday. Haven't unearthed it yet.
Next will come the wrapping and packing of Christmas gifts so they can
get out in the mail.
But the weather is sunny and in the 50's and I have my butterfly bush and Siberian Iris leaves to prune. There will be a walk with Jazz and Renoir this afternoon.
Thankfully, I was gifted with a morning to sleep in, a quick run to the
grocery store for our weekly items, the bank, and the car wash. Errands accomplished and ran into no traffic and huge crowds where I went. WhooHoo!
I avoid crowds and the insanity of Black Friday.
Just going to enjoy the day and rest some.

Friday, November 18, 2011


1. Where will you be on Thanksgiving Day? With whom?
LH and I will be here at home and joined by my SILS, his sisters.
Jazz and Renoir are already salivating over turkey tidbits. We will
be missing LH's Dad who passed away last December.

2. Are there any family traditions or memories associated with Thanksgiving?
Most of them revolve around the food, the items made. I always enjoyed
wonderful Thanksgivings growing up with my family who learned to
make turkey and the trimmings as immigrants and did it very well.

3. What will be on your Thanksgiving menu?
Turkey! (Whoohoo!!) Missed it last year. Wild rice, rice, bread
stuffing made with Sweet Italian sausage, bacon, white wine, homemade
turkey stock, mushrooms and seasonings. Yum. Mashed potatoes, sweet
potatoes, wheat rolls, whole cranberry sauce, and SILS will bring the
green bean casserole. Pumpkin Mousse dessert will take the place of
Pumpkin Pie - so much lighter and easier to digest. A chedder cheese
ball will our appetizer. There will be drinks and Bella Sera Pinot
Grigio to complement the turkey. Oh, and homemade gravy.

4. Are you trying anything new this Thanksgiving?
Nope. Just the usual which we missed last year. Although, I may
have a Flying Elephant after dinner. (Amarula, Kahlua, & Grand
Marnier). Basically, a variation of a B-52 which uses Bailey's.
I prefer Amarula from South Africa.

5. What is the weather forecast for this day (next Thursday)?
We pray it will be cold Wed. night to store the stuffing in the
garage overnight. We hope it will be in the 40's, cool enough to
offset the warmth of the oven and roasting turkey and the warmth
of our being together with family.

Bonus: Prayer, poem, song, or whatever you choose to exemplify your image of Thanksgiving (giving thanks).
This year around the table,
we'll count our blessings, one by one.
But we'll all be mostly thankful
if the turkey comes out done!!! (Martha Bolton)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

With the holiday season nearly upon us, I ran across this useful bit of information that might come in real handy!


Use as sandbags during heavy rains and flooding
Use as railroad ties
Use as speed bumps to foil neighborhood speeders
Use as bowling pins
Use slices in skeet-shooting competition

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Gift of Goodness -
In the congregation I was serving at the beginning of the year, I gave out star gifts on the Sunday before Epiphany as a way for them to be with the gifts of God for them in the coming year.
The star I picked (without seeing what was written upon it, which is the point of the Holy Spirit leading us to that which we most need) was "goodness". Great, I thought, somewhat sarcastically, now there's a hard one! I was thinking I would recieve one far more challenging. But this star gift of "goodness", was a reminder to me to look for the goodness that is everywhere and all around me every day.
I know I acknowledged the goodness of having an apartment to stay in while away from home, although, I struggle the whole time, with being away from home. I knew the goodness of coming home to stay!
This summer, I enjoyed the goodness of working in the garden, tending to our sick grey, the goodness of a cleaner house, the goodness of time with LH. Then there was the goodness of going to see my sister and being on Lake Michigan. The goodness of stopping by to see my niece and spend a wee bit of time together. I appreciated the goodness of an airconditioned van while driving in the heat and the goodness of an airconditioned home. The goodness of safe journeys and travel.
In an odd way, there was the goodness of my aunt's passing away. She was so ready to go for the past few years, had been longing for it, even within the mists of Alzheimer's. So, as sad as it was to lose my last aunt, there was goodness in her release. There was goodness in being to go
to Switzerland and to share what my aunt meant to me and my sister at her
Memorial Service. It was good to fly and be with my sister again, to see and be with my most of my cousins. I was graced with the goodness of spending a whole week with my closest cousin, to experience a part of Switzerland I had never been to, to share with one another the challenges and graces of our lives, to engage in deep spiritual conversations, to enjoy good food and a boccalino of wine as well as the beauty of lake and mountains.
Having to put down Jett was so very hard. The goodness was that he was
still with us when I returned home. The goodness was that he didn't have to suffer more than he did and love was there til the end.
There is goodness in this challenging interim that is so part-time and makes for some disjointed ministry, yet, there is time to read, to tend to our home, and do things.
Then there is the goodness of welcoming a new greyhound into our lives.
And that's when it hit me! Renoir is goodness, itself. All of our greyhounds have had a certain soul - Earl was without fear, stable, brave and giving. Baruch the Beagle was cute, but full of the dickens. Ben was a gentle, sweet soul. Jazz is our irrepressible soul. And now this one, Renoir, just plain goodness. Not one accident, did stairs, eats well, is quiet but curious, hasn't destroyed anything. Just pure goodness.
This year has been good, filled with goodness and it took a new greyhound with a good soul to point it out to me!!!
Oh, I may grouse about all the extra time I'm putting in for this interim, but it is good for me to serve again, challenging though it is.
My cup overflows with goodness, then surely mercy shall be with me all the days of my life. God has shone God's goodness in so many places in my life this year, many unexpected. And I am radiant with the goodness poured into my soul and spirit. What a gift to receive and be given this year. Thanks be to God!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

As of Monday, November 7th, we are the proud guardians of a new greyhound!
We spent most of the day travelling in my van to the Hoosier State to check
out three greys that we were matched for us - 2 males and 1 female. Jazz was a good sport spending 11 hours in the van and travelling in one day. He did kind of complain the last 2 hours for a bit. Not that I can blame him!
The female was a petite thing, but somewhat dominant and had a penchant for shredding her toys. Poor Jazz - he does not want his toy hoard shredded nor does he want to be dominated by a female! One male was a stunning grey - a red brindle whose brindling was very striped and looked like deep redwood. He also was a bit dominant and into everything. The very first male we saw was shy, white with "banana" brindle patches, long narrow muzzle.
We looked at him again after we looked at the others and he came into the room with more confidence the second time. Bright-eyed, curious, with a notch torn from his ear in a racing accident, he seemed to be the best fit for us and for Jazz. He also had been living at the rescue organization for a year. He's not quite 5 years old, raced in Iowa and Florida and had a decent racing record - won at least a dozen races! A champion!
He seems fairly bright. We will wait for his personality to really blossom in this coming year.
His racing name was from a movie, his nickname was from an animated movie and he didn't seem to care about his nickname at all. It drew nary a real response from him when we called him that. Hmmm...he obviously needs a new name for his new life. LH and I have been blurting out names since Monday. Nothing seemed quite right. Felt bad calling him "Newbie" because some day
he'll, hopefully, be the senior dog as Jazz is now.
Then yesterday evening, I looked at him and it hit me. Renoir! If Renoir had painted a greyhound - this one would've been it. There's just something about him - the white with brindle patches, the narrow muzzle, the bright eyes, his beautiful, elegant gait in the backyard - that brought up, Renoir.
Even better, he likes the name and reacts to it!!!
It's a funny thing, choosing a name. It has to fit the dog. The dog should react to it. The name gives identity. It belongs to us and becomes us. Where would we be without a name? Even a dog needs a name, an identity, to belong to the pack, to know they are counted as one beloved.
So, now we have a Music and Art theme going with our greys - Jazz and Renoir! Who would've thought it!
I can't wait for his personality to come forth. He handled the front steps after a 5+ hour van ride home with the greatest of ease and no hesitation. He has had no accident in the house and goes out. He is neat and clean, a picture of good health. I never thought I'd really be that taken with a white greyhound with brindle patches, but there is something in his eyes that shines forth.
We are thrilled to welcome Renoir into our lives and home. A masterpiece of a greyhound and already precious to me.
So, that's the Greyt news here after being busy serving the new church with an extra service this past All Saints Sunday afernoon - yup, two sermons this week and busily preparing for midweek Advent potluck gatherings, the pre-school chapel time, oh, and Christmas Eve - which isn't
planned out yet, and a baptism to plan on the second of Advent. Now, it's all about the Renoir for this week and the sermon for this Sunday!!!