Friday, January 20, 2012


It was 14 degrees, sunny, blue sky with high thin clouds when I left to run my errands and do some grocery shopping. By the time I arrived back home it had risen to 18 degrees. Now, it has clouded over and the snow is coming - probably enough to fire up the snowblower. Seems a good time to reflect on movies!
Thinking of movie-watching, what do you prefer?

1. At home or at a theater?
Haven't been to the theatre since The Passion of Christ. More's the
pity! We usually watch at home, when you can stop the movie, let the
dogs and go to the restroom.

2. With whom?
I went to "The Passion" by myself. Hard when you don't have family or
friends in the area. Usually, LH and I watch movies at home, although
we did see "March of the Penguins" in the theatre together.

3. Movie you look forward to seeing?
There are a couple, but I forget which ones, since we now wait til
they're shown on TV. By the time, they come to TV, I've forgotten
which ones they are. We so miss Blockbuster when you could go and
pick up a DVD. The home subscriptions are too expensive for just 2
movies a month. Redbox hasn't really had any movies I was interested
in seeing. So, we haven't done the Redbox route yet.

4. Movie you like to see repeatedly?
Oh, there's several - Fiddler on the Roof, Under the Tuscan Sun,
While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, Secondhand Lions,
Hatari, Master and Commander, Harry Potter movies, Bringing Up
Baby, The Desk Set, Fried Green Tomatoes,A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Something's Gotta Give, Because I Said So, Casanova's Big Night, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, October Sky,My Summer Story (sequel to A Christmas Story - just as entertaining) Elf, A Christmas Story, and etc.
I look forward to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2.

5. Food with a movie?
Buttery or cheesy popcorn, naturally!

Bonus: Recommendations for home/theater viewing
Since we're so behind the times, I'd best not offer any. See
the list above!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's a soggy, rainy, grey day and I am stuck in the house as my van is getting healed. It began to make a weird whining whirr sound as I exited the interstate ramp early Sunday morning and continued down the main street and even into the church parking lot where a parishioner heard it. Interesting how these mechanical things happen not in your driveway as you return home but on the way to church and on a Sunday when there isn't much you can do about it. I drove home and it seemed ok. Late afternoon, I drove down again for a potluck and LH went with me. We heard it, though it was not as loud and really inconsistent.
However, I knew it could not be ignored. I was able to get an appointment late yesterday morning. The dealership is the closest one and they do huge volume business and even moreso after the closing of the dealership in our town. Their check in process alone is 15-20 minutes long!
Needless to say, it will be a very expensive repair - new water pump, new rack and pan for power steering, and the van won't be done 'til late afternoon today.
Being without the van today is really no big problem since I have to write a newsletter article anyway and plan for midweek Lenten program. There is no dearth of things to do at home. Mostly, I am chafing at the idea of not being able to go anywhere and being "stuck" at home. So, in a way, I have time and focus to write that article, to hem a pair of pants, and even do some reading. It all worked out as it needed to and with all the driving, my van will be
running well again.
I've taken my vitamin D, have the article well in hand, the books close by, and the sewing machine at the ready. The greys are snoozing comfortably in their beds and it's a good day to be home. LH went in to the office, so it will be nice and quiet for awhile.
May whatever this day brings be as it needs to be for you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wow, it's winter! First real winter driving on snow covered streets. I had no wait at the bank, found a great parking space at one grocery store and made it through in record time. Most of the elderly folks didn't venture out this morning. The dry cleaner was a quick in and out and the stop at W-mart included a decent parking space, no crowds, and quick check-out. The drive home went better. Now I'll just hunker down for the afternoon. I have two pairs of slacks to shorten and that seems like a good snow day project.
I did shovel some this morning as there was a 1 1/2 foot drift up against the garage door and by the time I came back it was at about 7 inches already. It's not snowing that much but the wind is blowing hard. The greys are not taking long outside as it's only 19 degrees.
I'm sure that attendence will be down at both Sat. evening and Sun. morning services. I suppose I will have to allow extra travel time as well.
Oh, the joys, of winter!
However, we have not yet had to fire up the snowblower!

1. Recommend a favorite worship resource or devotional book.
A devotional book I enjoy is Joyce Rupp's "May I Have This
Dance?" Also, Gunilla Norris' Gardening for the Soul or Mystic
Garden or something to that effect. It's about the tending of
the garden of our souls.

2. Recommend a blog that you like to read that you think others might find enjoyable.
I enjoy Skewed View, if only she posted a bit more often.

3. Recommend a fiction book that you think people might like.
The Ladies No.1 Dectective Agency series by Alexandar McCall Smith.
What an enjoyable read. And the first season, DVD set is really
nicely done. Too bad they didn't make more.
4. Recommend a favorite recipe website. O.k., if you aren't into cooking or food, then just recommend a random website that you find useful, hilarious, mind numbing or thought provoking.
Often I've gone to the Food Network just to check on some things.
I really don't troll the internet that much for blogs. I do go to
youtube for some fun!
5. And for the last recommendation--it's bloggers' choice! Make a recommendation for anything!
Cashmere blend socks for winter. They are soft and keep your toes/
feet warm without a lot of bulk. They are my absolute favorite thing
in these now turned cold and snowy winter days.

Monday, January 09, 2012

It was a quiet week and a gentle week. I was able to do some reading, take down the Christmas decorations, and even make two visits to nursing home folks on my day in the office. I have so many more visits to go and can only do so many one day a week. Slowly, they are taking place.
Tomorrow is house cleaning day and it needs it since I didn't do it last week. It seems like every time I turn around, it's either time to clean house or write a newsletter article for the church newsletter!!! They both seem to come around more frequently than anything else!
I pray that your new year has started well. That there is room and space for gentleness and quiet.
It has been a strange winter. We are snowless once more after receiving about two-three inches last Sunday/Monday. By Friday and Saturday, with the sun and warm temperatures it was all melted away. On Wed. we are supposed to reach near 50 degrees again. Usually that happens only once sometime during the winter - a tease, a reminder, a promise of what will come again to ease our frozen and cold souls. I have contended that with the harsh winters of the last two years, that we are due for a milder winter. Perhaps, this is that winter. Week two of January and we aren't a frozen wasteland!!! I will savor this. It may not last. There are still 7 weeks until March, but somehow, at the moment, that doesn't seem such a long time.
I do miss the snow covering the lawns, the bushes and trees. I don't miss driving in it and the bitterly cold wind that whips right through you.
I know there will be some of that yet to come. The crocuses, iris, tulips and daffodils need some insulating snow cover.
I'm thinking I should do a pool - how many times will LH have to start up the snowthrower this winter? I'm thinking perhaps two times at most.
Any takers? Any guesses?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

There we were gathered around the kitchen table with LH's sisters, when LH noticed something furry on the back fence. We all gazed out the sliding glass door and beheld a cat perched on the top of the 4 foot high fence in the wind and the snow flurries.
We had seen that cat around the neighborhood before. It was without collar or tags and went into ours and neighbors front flower beds.
LH opened the door and out ran Renoir, who noticed something different about the fence and gingerly went up to it. The cat hissed and arched its back at least a couple times.
Then LH released Jazz who was all too interested and out of the door he bounded and ran right to the fence and jumped on the fence. There commenced a flurry of hissing, running and a greyhound with a cat in its mouth, and a cat on the ground and I couldn't take the scene. LH ran out and thankfully, the fighting cat ran way up the river clump birch tree and the dogs came in. We thought that the cat would be scared off by two quick dogs that were four times its size. But that cat was a feisty fighter and wasn't going to simply hop off the fence and run away.
The dogs were proud to have chased and run down what they saw as prey.
The poor cat stayed in the tree for a good long time and slowly inched
its way down the tree. It took almost an hour. I'll bet its heart was still pounding and thankful for nine lives, one of which was probably used up that very afternoon.
I doubt that we will see that cat anywhere near our backyard any more. The dogs have settled down with good memories of a winning chase until LH spoiled it. And I am relieved that the cat lives and hopes it has learned its lesson.
To all furry things that would seek to invade our property, be ye warned, the greys are fast and won't tolerate trespassers!!!!(To all bunnies, cats, and various critters) To you, cat owners in the neighborhood, keep you cat indoors for we cannot vouch for its safety once it comes into our yard.
That was enough excitement to last me the long month of January!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Dontcha just love a new year that begins so fresh and clean, so newborn, so full of hope and endless possibilities?
So far, I haven't messed up anything.
Well, except that the Eucharistic Prayer preface in my worship folder was the Easter preface instead of the Christmas preface. But, I doubt that anyone really noticed during worship, except me. Which just goes to show you that perhaps, most people aren't paying that close attention to the Eucharistic Prayer!!
Must remember that the secretary just doesn't know the ins and outs of all the liturgy. But, I never did tell her to change the prayer. Sigh. Just
have to keep working on it and pray that she gets it in time and doesn't see it as criticism of her. She's more sensitive than she lets on. And is the quirkiest church secretary I've ever worked with.
Looks like I've got some work cut out for me in this fresh new year!
After 27 years in ministry, even this low-church Presbyterian does know
a thing or two about liturgy!!
It's going to be an interesting year and I feel an Easter Vigil coming on....
Happy New Year to all. May it glisten and sparkle like fresh fallen snow with hope, possibilities and new adventures in faith!
One Last Lesson of 2011:

Just because a brownie looks delicious, doesn't mean it is.
At our last Advent Potluck at the Church of Another Denomination, there was
an plate of exquisite looking brownies and I couldn't wait to have one. It was THE worst brownie I've ever eaten. Maybe the mix went bad, or it was a cheesy brownie mix to begin with. Then, it had a burnt taste to top it off.
Perhaps, that's why they were frosted so nicely. Yuck!!