Friday, September 27, 2013


Sometimes as pastors, chaplains, professors or caregivers, our lives are so very full and our hearts ache with worries for others (or, if we are honest for ourselves!) So for this week’s Friday Five, let’s list things that are on your happy list! (We’ll assume that your family and friends and pets are included, so branch out a little, if you can!)

What are your joys? Places? Food? Activities? Books? Season? Hobbies? Smells? Colors? To inspire you, Mindy came up with THIRTEEN things that bring her joy or make her happy. So go for it!

Thinking of a few of my favorite things, here they are:
1: My greys, Jazz and Renoir. They are warm, fuzzy, a comfort and just make me feel good. They are always happy to greet me
when I return home and are content with a hugs and rubs and a few tasty treats. Knowing they have a comfortable, loving home
with a second chance at life is a wonderful thing.

2. LH and his sense of humor! He makes me feel good, too! He's my best friend, comfort and support.

3. My sister, who is also my best friend, comfort and support. A shame we don't see each other more than once a year although
we talk on the phone every week.

4. Swiss chocolate - simply melts in your mouth. It's the best stuff on earth!

5. The color sage green. Just my favorite.

6. The smell of turkey roasting in the oven. Just about 8 weeks away. It's a warm, wonderful smell.

7. Fresh tomatoes off the vine. Good eating!

8. The Ladies' No.1 Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith - interesting and enjoyable read, takes me away to Botswana.
Ann Lamott's books are also a fav of mine.

9. On TV that would be the Big Bang Theory. Just love it and I always have a good laugh!

10. Travelling to some place new. Haven't done much lately. Still on the list: Greece, Alaska, back to Switzerland and of course,
going to Wisconsin to the Lake House on Lake Michigan - always good and refreshes my soul.

11. Finding something great on sale that fits well! Always a great joy! I guess I could include finding shoes that fit and don't
hurt my feet (bunions) is always a wonderful thing.

12. Walking around an arts and crafts fair and seeing the creativity that abounds. I simply love pottery, paintings, fiber art, etc.
Just looking is inspiring and is eye candy.

13. Book stores - I simply can't describe the feeling when I walk inside except it's like a kid going into a candy store. I can
spend an hour or two in there without even realizing so much time has passed!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Yesterday was a just enough day. I was home and cleaning house. I had just enough Comet left in the container to clean the 2 upstairs bathrooms. I had just enough Armstrong Floor Cleaner left in the bottle to mop the bathroom floors. When it was time for lunch, I had just enough pico de gallo to throw in my spinach salad and just enough lite Ranch dressing left in the bottle to finish it off on my salad. There were just enough saltine crackers left in the sleeve to polish off.
Which spurred me to realize that perhaps God was pointing out to me that just enough will do, that just enough is enough. Hard to ignore when most everything one is using that day are the last remnants and they are enough to get the job done. Over and over the message was came through.
I am to be content, I am to be grateful, for just enough. Just enough will see me through. Just enough is enough. Thanks, God, for that reminder.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Presently, I'm in the midst of a most fascinating book, Quiet by Susan Cain. "The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking".
Cain researches well and elaborates upon many different studies, especially in the field of neuroscience, the work in recognizing the qualities, challenges, that are part of an introvert's make-up and how it plays out in the world in business, politics, education, etc. It is a very readable book that is both affirming and examines how the power and wisdom of introverts are overlooked in an extroverted society and milieu. It is helping me to feel more comfortable in my own skin.
She includes some observations and examples from the lives of real people - from the famous to the ordinary. And Cain does note that balance is needed in any organization of a mixture of the two. However, the introverts often get drowned out by the extroverts!
Cain also advocates for finding one's rhythm and honoring the need for solitude and quiet for all.
There's a lot of information to chew on, which makes it both interesting and stimulating - like a continuing education course!
Who knew there have been so many studies and so many different studies, some of which are still being unraveled and discerned.
I would recommend this book to introverts and extroverts alike!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Just an ordinary enough Tuesday cleaning house. It was near lunch time and I happened to be in the kitchen, having just emptied a bucket of water from mopping the upstairs bathroom floors, when the phone rings. Not that unusual. However, it was LH calling, which he never really does unless something is amiss.
Turns out he was at the Old Folks Home and pulling out of the parking space back first to go get lunch when boom and a shattering of glass! His rear window was shattered by a hunk of metal - like part of a hook - from perhaps a semi-truck. Now the old folks home is on a main street, but it isn't a hugely busy thoroughfare. He never saw a truck. I think St. Luke (namesake of the Lutheran old folks home) was watching out for him. Had he parked where he would pull out front first - well - I really wouldn't want to think of how injured he could've been. He did get a hold of our insurance agent and was able to stop at the Safelite glass place. They cleaned out all the glass and determined the metal piece didn't come from a plane which would have literally gone through the whole car - window, seat, to the ground. His car will have the rear window replace on Thursday morning - putting him a bit late into the church office, but he will be there and that's the point.
What a randomly freaky thing to have happen. I've had two windshields replaced while highway travelling with stones cracking the windshield but nothing like LH experienced.
I finished cleaning house, made dinner for my beloved LH and with his car in the garage - rear window taped in plastic - he took my van to his council meeting tonight. I am ever so grateful that the rest of the day ended more ordinary and I am ever so grateful that LH wasn't hurt at all. Just really freaky thing, for a Tuesday, or any day.

Saturday, September 07, 2013


My first ever Friday Five is dedicated to Nikki, sister RevGal, who was hungering for an opportunity to write about Haggis. With that introduction, today’s FF is all about food!

1) Is there a food from a foreign land whose reputation led to trepidation when you had a chance to give it a try? Did you find the courage to sample it anyway? If so, were you pleasantly surprised or did you endorse the less than favorable reputation that preceded it?
That would be Haggis. Knowing what it's made of caused me to be wary. LH ordered it in Oban, Scotland and I tried it and really
liked it. As long as I didn't think about it too much, it was quite delicious and something I would eat again!
In England, it was mushy peas! Why ever would one take a good pea and cook it to mush? I really didn't care for mushy peas at all.
Up in the Yukon, it was caribou and reindeer and muskox - all very good, especially the reindeer sausage!!!

2) What food from your own country/culture gets a bad rap?
Blutwuerst or blood sausage. Yuck! Kalbskopf or calf's head - where the head is cooked and you eat the gelantinous stuff. Never
will I try it. Senne Mutschli cheese - rather fragrant semi soft cheese but oh so good.

3) Of what food are you fond that others find distasteful?
Perhaps, that would be spinach. Many folks don't care for it. I love it cooked or raw in salads. I make spinach omlets that
are a dinner and oh, so tasty.

4) Is there a country’s food, not native to you, that you go out of your way to eat?
Greek! Dolmades, Gyros, Lamb, Spinakopita, Baklava, Greek salad, what's there not to love? I also enjoy French, German,
and Swiss foods.

5) What is your guilty pleasure food?
Swiss milk chocolate that simply melts in your mouth! The best stuff on earth!

Bonus: What was your most memorable meal (good or bad), either because of the menu, the occasion, the company, or some other circumstance that makes it stand out?
There have been so very many. One was in Sion, Switzerland with LH and his Dad after a day on the small Matterhorn in Zermatt.
We were on our way back to our chalet and stopped for dinner. Since it was October, it was game season. Being in the French-
speaking part of Switzerland it was a bit challenging not speaking French. We stopped at this little restaurant because it had
a game menu. The menu was all in French. We asked the waiter if he knew German. "Not really," he responded. How about English?
"Even less than my german!" he replied. We inquired about a certain game item - and he tried to explain! Then he mimicked a
snort, crooked his two index fingers on either side of his mouth and I guessed it - wild boar!!! It had been marinated for
a week and was simply delicious. After a picture perfect day with the Matterhorn we had an absolutely fantastic gourmet meal
for dinner.
In South Africa while in Capetown, we ate dinner at Café Africa - a multi course dinner with items from various parts of
Africa and good wine. The kudu was wonderful and each course was so delicious. We waddled out of there, thankful for the
20 minute walk back to the hotel. Another night, we ate at Panama Jack's, a little shack (known by locals) on the docks.
We enjoyed King Clip and great wine, that was simply divine. We took a taxi from the hotel to get there, since it's hard
to find. The taxi driver wanted to know how we heard of it being Americans!!! I told them, our friends in Jo'burg!!!
Up in the Yukon, we ate some memorable dinners of native food - see above - and a scrumptious muskox, caribou and reindeer
stew also with great wine. Being with LH, in some of the most wonderful places, with great food made for the best meals.
I would also say, that being with family, whether at Thanksgiving (when I cook) or at the Lake House in Wisconsin with
my sister, BIL and family with something grilled and salads and items we all cook together, along with great wine, good
company and being right on the shores of Lake Michigan - make for some of the best dining experiences ever. Company, great
food, good wine, and a nice view - always makes for the most memorable meals.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013


For a short week, it's been busy! Spent Labor Day morning mostly in the kitchen preparing a Mediterranean Eggplant, Zucchini, Quinoa Salad with Kalmata olives, and cherry tomatoes. It involved roasting the eggplant and zucchini - fortunately only one small tray got too roasted! It was really delicious. My SILS drove in for the afternoon and we enjoyed their company, skyped with their older brother and wife in Canada, and ate well - the salad, grilled Italian Sausage, green salad and cheesecake from Trader Joe's with a selection of various kinds with and without chocolate.
I went into the church office Tuesday instead of Monday and again today. Tomorrow I work on my sermon and do a bit of grocery shopping and perhaps, get my hair cut. I have a bunch of laundry to tackle as well.
Saturday I will be making an Asian Cole Slaw for the church picnic on Sunday and baking Snickerdoodles for the mission project of packing items for deployed military personnel.
The guest bathroom and powder room got a quick once over and the downstairs got vacuumed and dusted. Real housecleaning won't happen til next Tuesday - nearly a week later than usual. I have a birthday gift to wrap and pack, and surprise birthday planning to complete - the wrapping will take some time.
So, a packed short week.
The Boys are learning a new routine this week - being left alone on Tues. & Wed. for far longer than normal. So far they've handled it just great! Hoping I'm not jinxing it today by mentioning it!!!!!!!!!!!!1
I need to be updating my dossier. I don't think I'll be here for a whole lot longer. I pray that God will open up a fresh opportunity for me to serve. Such is the downside to interim ministry. It would be a grace to be a bit more stable for awhile.
But I am grateful to be serving.
Here's to short, busy weeks! They go by really fast!!!