Friday, July 26, 2013


Recognizing that RevGalBlogPals are from around the world, your weather may be different. But play along and tell us how YOU beat the heat when it's in season with this week's Friday Five.

Tell us your favorite:

1. Cool treat
That would be a fresh peach or cold watermelon. Chocolate ice cream or frozen custard.
2. Cool drink
Nothing beats a glass of ice cold water!
3. Cooling-off place
Our home with air-conditioning. LH likes it cool and sometimes I even have to put a sweater on!
4. Cool clothes
Linen is the coolest as is pure cotton whether a dress, skirt and shirt, or capri's with a shirt. I have
a few linen pieces and some cotton skirts and dresses that I wear on very hot days. Keeps me cool and comfortable.
Too bad so much of what the manufacturers make these days is polyester.
5. Best alternative to air-conditioning
Nothing really beats air-conditioning unless you are fortunate enough to have a pool. I could be in a pool all day
long on a really hot day and have done so in Florida at my parent's home when they were still alive. Now that was
refreshing and totally wonderful!

Share a photo of your favorite hot weather "chill out" spot

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


The neighbor teen(young teen)finally got around to mowing the lawn yesterday. It was getting shaggy, the lawn not the teenager!
The father was with him as the teen started the mower and off he went. The father then went inside to work.
Now this is not the first time this teen has mowed. It must be about the third or even fourth time. And some of the same issues are apparent from the first mowing to this last one.
He has improved somewhat in mowing straighter. That being said, he doesn't always overlap his rows which means you get some skinny strips that he's missed and the grass stands taller than what has been mown.
He also hasn't discovered that when mowing next to the driveway, sidewalk or corners, one has have the mower wheels on the
said driveway, walk, etc. so that the grass hugging the driveway, sidewalks, etc. also get mown. Otherwise, you have grass next to the driveway, sidewalks and in corners that stand tall next all the rest (more or less)that was mown.
Obviously, there is room for improvement. Obviously, mowing the lawn is not merely a simple matter of mindlessly walking back and forth behind a mower. There is a little more to it and lessons to be learned.
1. You should mow a different pattern with each cutting, good for grass and growth.
2. Never cut the grass too short - you can fry your lawn in the summer by doing that. (The teen was fortunate in that it rained
before the lawn was fried and wrecked.)
3. Look back before you start a new row and see if you mowed it straight or not. That way you can straighten it out.
4 See above about grass along driveways, sidewalks and in corners - the mower might need to be a third to half on the
driveway to cut that grass and give it a nice crew cut look that matches the whole rest of the lawn.
5. Take pride in what you're doing, no matter how small, simple, menial, chore-like it is, make it look good, do the
best you can.
6. If you missed a spot or ignored the grass along the driveway, sidewalks, corners, go back and do it and finish it well.
The father never came back out to check the work nor offer any advice, which most teens don't really welcome but still need to hear, and take in.
Had it been me, I would've had the teen back out there cleaning up his attempt to mow. It would have been an unacceptable job, and my teen would know it.
It seems to me that we have so lowered our expectations of most everything - especially service jobs - that we settle for things that are less than acceptable. And to what end? To make others feel a sense of accomplishment when they could have done so much better and had a truer sense of accomplishment and a job well done? How else do we learn if we are not held to a higher standard, or motivated and encouraged to do better than a half-baked job or turn in a crummy report that we know was not as good as we could do.
This father has missed a most wonderful teachable moment in his son's life - to strive to do well and the best job that you
can. If it's not up to par, go back and fix and finesse it so it is up to par. Take pride in what you do, big or small, spectacular or mundane. Offer up something better than just mediocre. Hold yourself to a higher standard.
Maybe that's one of our problems today - settling for something less, even when knowing it could be so much better.
There's been that idea of "just showing up", which does indeed mean something. But when you "show up", give it your best
and your all. Don't just put in your time, punch the time clock, go through the motions. Make it all count for something, take
pride in helping, doing, serving, mowing, cleaning, repairing, etc. Yes, you get credit for simply showing up, but there's
so much more awaiting you if you give your best in every effort and do something.
I miss things at times, or forget to cover every detail, but I try to the best I can and take pride in what I do. I want others to be more than satisfied with my offerings and not feel that they are settling for less than acceptable.
I pray, that this teen may still learn the lesson and get the message, but, I fear the opportunity has been missed and the family will merely accept the less than acceptable and live with a funny looking lawn. It's not the most important thing in the world, but it is a teachable moment. When we do the best we can in the small, simple, most mundane of tasks, we will offer the very best when it comes to the larger things in life, mowing the lawn included.

Monday, July 22, 2013


When I happened to go through a stack of books in my study/storage room, I came upon a book I'd forgotten about. So, I promptly pulled it out of the pile and set about to reading it. The book, Two Women of Galilee, by Mary Rourke was a fictional account of Joanna, wife of Chuza, chief steward in Herod Antipas' court. It mainly centered on Joanna and a bit less on Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It was an interesting read - a bit sparse in really fleshing out relationships. But interesting nevertheless.
I suppose I should go through that stack a bit more often, it seems that there may be another one or two books just waiting to be discovered. In the meanwhile, I will focus on Wonderstruck and get back to it.
When we made a trip to TJ's on Friday, we found a new thing - Chicken Gorgonzola. A frozen chicken dish, well seasoned with pesto and gorgonzola cheese. It was very tasty, and meaty, we didn't even finish it all. I had leftover for my spinach salad the next day for lunch. Pretty good, to get a dinner and lunch out of it. Try it sometime. I didn't even have to add any ground black pepper to it as I do with most prepared foods. That's how well-seasoned it was.
Two things found, one old and one new, in a week.
I find it a grace to discover or find something that adds something to my life - a new read, a new taste, perhaps, even a new exercise. It keeps me growing. If it's something good, it gets added to try again another time. If it turns out, not so good, well, one learns and it doesn't need to be repeated.
LH keeps saying, "You don't know what's in the pickle barrel, until you take the lid off!!" So, I keep an open mind, try to welcome new discoveries and continue to crack the lid on that pickle barrel!!
May the adventure of discovery, finding something old, something entirely new add spice and meaning to your life this summer, help you to grow, add to your wisdom, knowledge, spirit, but not your girth!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Speaking of things to recommend - Lea & Perrins Steak Sauce beats A-1 hands down!!!
It's too bad all the restaurants insist on using A-1 which I never liked instead of Lea & Perrins. I think once you've had L & P you won't go back to A-1. It's a better flavor that compliments a steak and doesn't cover it up.
By the way, TJ's Latkes are very good as is their Creamy Polenta with Spinach and Carrots which goes excellently with grilled Italian Sausage. Just something to consider in these summer months.
I'm also recommending that people stop being so lazy and actually use the turn signals on their cars. Is it too much to ask that you use basic rules of road when driving and have some courtesy to other drivers? I mean, I can't read minds and know that you want to change lanes or make a turn left or right when you are ahead of me. Do you people even know where the directional control is on your vehicle and that it is standard equipment? With all the traveling I'm doing, it is more and more apparent that drivers are either 1. lazy, 2. ignorant, 3. too absorbed in their own little world while in their vehicle, 4. on their phone. Pay attention people! You will cause an accident one of these days, and I hope it won't involve me! Out of 4 cars heading to the entrance ramp of the Interstate this morning, I was the only one whose right turn signal was on as I got into the turn lane for the entrance ramp. It is a sorry state of affairs when drivers are just to lazy or too oblivious to other drivers not to use their turn signals.
So there you have it, some recommendations as the week progresses. Not extremely spiritual, just some observations.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I am in the midst of Steve Wolf's, Comet's Tale on my Kindle. I's a story about a rescued greyhound who in turn rescues Wolf who is debilitated with degenerative disk disease. I see a lot of my different greys in Comet. The book makes me miss Earl - our first grey, my soul mate and who was a Pet Pal volunteer at the big teaching hospital in the city on the North Shore.
I am enjoying this read.
The other is a little treasure, Marjorie Thompson's,The Gift of Encouragement; Restoring Heart to Those Who Have Lost It.
May what a wonderfully insightful book this is and with great prayers and practices. I encourage all pastors to read and have a copy of this little book full of such grace, and to be able to offer that grace and healing and encouragement to those who minister with in our churches or even as spiritual directors. It's worth every penny!!
I have also started Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg - just started it, like I'm about 5 pages into it.
I really don't like reading more than two books at a time - one for professional development and another to feed my soul. So, I think the last book will have to wait until I completely finish Marjorie Thompson's.
In the meanwhile, I am just waiting for November 5th, when the new installment of The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency book comes out - The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon!! It's been two years since the last book came out and I have been hankering for another one. Just 16 weeks away! But a long wait since I am so eager to delve into the latest adventure and mystery solving of Precious Ramotswe and sink myself back into Botswana.
Hope you are enjoying your summer reads as well. What are your eyes alighting upon?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


gives me the chance to catch up on phoning some folks to check in on them, to prepare for Council this evening and to get in some reading.
It has felt like living in Florida these past two weeks with rain nearly every day. Yesterday evening the rain gauge registered 3 1/2 inches that fell after supper and before the late night news. During the night, between 3 & 4 am, it stormed again. Jazz came up and laid on the floor next to my side of the bed instead of in the dog bed at the foot of the bed. He hates thunderstorms. Renoir slept in his bed downstairs not at all perturbed.
After a very hectic June, it's nice to have a bit of breathing space. And ponder, stewardship for the fall and how to start a small Sunday School with old material.
And in the meanwhile, it's pouring and the steam is rising up from the paved parking lot and my van has been washed, clean, of dust, dirt and bug remains on the windshield. I am amazed at how lush it is here when usually at this point in the summer, everything starts looking rather peaked and dry. Even our lawn, full of native plants ( clover, crabgrass, and assorted others)is still green. I haven't had to water the garden or flower beds for the past 2 weeks which has been nice.
Last night a toad came to visit and rest on the front sidewalk leading up to the house and got baptized and seemed to enjoy the summer evening's rain and a bath. It's always good to see the toads knowing that they eat various and sundry critters around the garden and yard. I even noticed a couple of ladybugs this year in the herb garden, also welcome since they eat aphids. I wasn't too happy to see the slugs, but I suppose they, too, need a place to live. I may need to put down some more crushed egg shells which add calcium for the tomatoes and which the slugs detest.
The call committee at the church will be interviewing a couple of candidates and so it makes it hard for me to know how far into the fall I should plan. I suppose I'll be needing to update my dossier before too long and to see what God has in mind for me next. I weathered this one fairly well and they have settled into this interim time.
I keep hoping for somewhere to serve that would be a bit more permanent but then I am reminded that reminded that our good Lord had no place to rest his head and the disciples were always on the road as well. It seems that's how I am to spend my remaining years, forever wandering from place to place. Still it would be nice to have a few more hours, a pension, some medical insurance. It is as it is and I am grateful for each opportunity to serve, to stretch and grow, to be challenged and to keep on the move. I am, after all, in good company!!
For now, I will be content with the summer rain, the deep-throated rumbling of thunder, and the day that is yet before me.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


I don't rightly remember just how I stumbled onto RGBPs back in the summer of 2006. But somehow by the grace of God I did. I lurked for quite some time and through the lurking got to "know" the regulars and instigators - St. Casserole, Songbird, Cheesehead - whom I miss, Lutheran Chick, Yearning for God, Spooky Rach, Quotidian Grace, and others. When I wanted to comment, I realized I also needed an identity and to be a part of some very amazing clergy women. So, I found my voice and identity as I pastored a small, rural congregation whom I since left.
Being a non-techie required some extra help in getting my blog set-up and I confess, after all this time, I still haven't got the hang of how to do everything. I still have problems posting pictures - maybe because my computer doesn't recognize my camera card and I still can't put pictures on my computer. I could use a tutorial and help from a 12 year old!!!
But these Gals have been an inspiration and encouragement in my own spiritual and faith journey. The prayers have been wonderful and upbuilding. Ideas are shared. Ask the Matriarch, helpful. Although, I have not contributed much, I have been enriched by these great women struggling, serving, loving, challenging, and triumphant souls.
I count myself blessed to be but a very small part of such a wise and faithful ring of sisters. Thank you all! What a gift and grace you have been, are and continue to be though there be miles between us, though we have never met in person, though our positions differ, though we are diverse in denomination, politics, and even understandings, there is a respect and mutual honoring one of another. Thank you. Thanks be to God for you.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Thanks for all of your prayers for my BIL who is still in the hospital and will be until Thursday. The procedure was mostly successful, but he will need to be on medication. We're just very grateful that all went well and he is recovering nicely. We love him dearly and want him around for a long time to come!!!
To think that 38 years ago he began dating my sister and shyly coming to our house - a young man, far from his home country of Switzerland and with a heavy accent who spoke more Swiss than English, and came to be a son-in-law who was more like an adopted son. Our family loved him and he loved our family. He knew exactly how to handle my Mom and he greatly admired my Dad. He even asked my Dad for permission to marry my sister. He has quirky sense of humor and works so hard and long hours managing his own business of freight forwarding. After they married, weekends were often spent at our home or their home with barbeques or grilled meats in the summer and dinners in the winter. My folks doted on their granddaughter and watched her often. Then came their grandson whom they lavished just as much attention and care.
Although, we often teased each other - and I am stilled owed one - for pushing him into the pool at my parent's house in Florida when he was fully dressed - just because he was just in the right place for it and never saw it coming!!! - he is family. He came down to Florida to help with cleaning out my Dad's condo after he passed away and drove the truck all the way to the North Shore of Ohio and then on to the Windy City. He is outgoing and private. A loving husband and a good father.
With my parent's both gone, he's still (aside from my sister) a strong connection and tie to my folks being a part of our family for so many years. He's the one who helped us navigate our way around Basel, knowing it very well and has been a source of strength to me since my parents' passing. I can't imagine he not being a part of our lives. I was just 17 when he married my sister and he has lived through all my dramas and traumas!!! He's the brother I never had growing up!!!
So, thanks to God and thanks for all the prayers as he continues to heal and get well.

Monday, July 01, 2013


My BIL is having a heart procedure done today and all prayers that all will go well are most certainly welcomed.
I had hoped to send a little edible fruit arrangement to the Lake House on Wednesday, but apparently the only fruit they can
deliver there is chocolate covered and not the cute little arrangement of fresh non-coated fruit. I. am. bummed. I suppose if they were home (Windy City) it would not have been a problem.
Guess it will just have to be a get well card. Sigh. I really wanted to do this for them. Meanwhile, I keep praying for him and the heart doctors who will be doing the procedure.
Thanks to you all.