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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I really need a new blog design.

Any takers?
Sometimes you just gotta feel like Eeyore.

I joined an email list for alumnae of the Academy a few days ago. I'm always curious to see if I'll find someone I know and I like to keep up on the scuttlebutt going around the fleet.

The problem is, as I was browsing the list of names, I recognized a lot of them. LT So-and-so, someone I know who flies F-14's. LT So-and-other, who flies helicopters; Ens This-n-That (who, by the way, has no career ahead of her if she's still an O-1 after five years!), who teaches at University of X. I look around my room and see a cross-stitch partially finished, a few books scattered on the floor, some projects in progress, and I think to myself...hmm. I should have done a lot more with my life. Then again, maybe not. Really, though, will Latin, liturgy, and leafy greens affect Bailey in a way that is much more significant than what these other women are doing with their lives? I know I'm really not missing anything, but sometimes, well, you see things other people have done and feel a pang of guilt that you didn't finish what you started.

I just had the desire the other day that when the children are grown and on their own (Lord willing! and no, I'm not pregnant yet), I would love to go back to school. I'd love to major in music performance - on the piano. Or do something crazy, like pre-med or Russian. Who knows. I've always wanted to learn to play the clarinet. Maybe I could do that.

Latin, liturgy, and leafy greens. Loving your children and laughing with your children's children. Isn't that the most significant calling?
Excruciating ambiguity

To the person who left a comment on my blog with the text "I'm not sure what you are trying to get at on this one", if you ever come back, can you tell me which post you commented on? It's driving me crazy. Nevertheless, thanks for the comment!
The most useless test ever


What kind of evil am I?


Monday, November 25, 2002

It's all okay...

I went on-line to the forum for the software I've been using to score the music for the Pastor's conference. I found out how to solve all of my problems. I don't have to flatten out the rhythm, I got the piece to fit perfectly on one page. There are only a few things this software doesn't do automatically - or at all - but for what I need to use it for, it works just fine. I'm so excited I can't stand myself.
I need to convert!

I tried a classic oven recipe this weekend - No-Peek Chicken - in my crock pot.

No-Peek Chicken

2-4 bone-in chicken breasts (or whatever parts you like - enough to cover the pan in a single layer), skin removed. Do not use boneless chicken.
1 package Lipton Onion-Mushroom soup mix
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom if you prefer that flavor)
1 1/2 cups white rice, uncooked (I used brown rice)

Combine the rice, cream soups, and 1/2 of the envelope of the soup mix. Spread on bottom of 13 X 9 inch pan. Lay the chicken parts on top of the rice mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 the envelope of soup mix. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.

It worked, but the chicken didn't get quite as tender as it does in the oven and the rice was a little coarse. So, I looked up oven-crock pot conversion and found this chart:

Low heat is approximately 200°F degrees,
High heat is approximately 300°F degrees,
Cooking time on high is approximately half of the cooking time on low.
Do not remove the lid if possible during cooking as the appliance will lose heat and increase the cooking time.

To modify for the crock-pot, assemble ingredients as per the recipe. Add 1/2 - 1 can water. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.

If you omit the chicken and follow the recipe, the rice alone makes a great side-dish. You could probably significantly reduce the cooking time and double the recipe if you need more rice. If you don't want the meat from the chicken soup, substitute with cream of mushroom soup.
Commodore of the commode

Bailey has recently discovered the toilet. She enjoys flushing it and flushing things down it. We can't close the door completely from the outside, so I have to constantly watch her to make sure she's not in there getting herself in trouble. So far she's dropped down a whole roll of toilet paper, a toy, a brush, and some other odds and ends.

I thought maybe we'd pass that stage with no interest. I wouldn't be so lucky!

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Powers of 10

My dad sent me this link. Check it out if you have a few minutes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Help!

Does anyone know where I can find information or an article on the Internet that covers how to sing a Genevan tune? I want to write a short piece to go in the music packet for the Pastor's Conference. I could write one on my own, but someone's almost certainly already done it better.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

"Insomnia...it happens every four months and lasts three months each time."

I volunteered to help out for the Pastor's Conference...and I was given a project! I need to re-score or clean up all the music they will be using. Some copies were nth generation - mostly or almost illegible - and others were jury-rigged to the point where they were more of an eyesore than anything else.

Trouble is, my computer crashed on Thursday and I had to rebuild it. I lost the registration number for my notation software. I emailed the company I bought the software from and support sent me my number right away. I rolled up my sleeves, started in on the project, and...it's now 1:30 in the morning. The software I use is not high-tech and I'm having a problem scoring one of the jigs from the AGP. I decided to flatten out the syncopation in the line that was giving me trouble (the alto line) as I doubt many of the men there will be singing alto. I think Pastor Wilkins was more concerned about the tenor and bass lines.

In a last-ditch effort to feel as though I had accomplished something tonight, I discovered that I can copy the files from the notation software as a windows metafile and import it into Word as an image, so that means Duane can have it printed on a good printer for me.

It's just the little things that make me so happy.
Bailey's version of the catechism

Bailey, who made you?

God!

What else did God make?

Aw ting!

Monday, November 18, 2002

Ramadan Address

President Bush's speech given at an official state dinner on the 7th commemorating the beginning of Ramadan:
Good evening. Thank you all for coming. I'm honored to welcome such a distinguished group of ambassadors and American citizens to the White House to help usher in the holy month of Ramadan.

Islam is a religion that brings hope and comfort to more than a billion people around the world. It has made brothers and sisters of every race. It has given birth to a rich culture of learning and literature and science. Tonight we honor the traditions of a great faith by hosting this Iftaar at the White House...Ramadan is a special time of prayer and fasting, contemplation of God's greatness, and service to those in need. According to Muslim teachings, this season commemorates the revelation of God's word in the holy Koran to the prophet Muhammad. Today this word inspires faithful Muslims to lead lives of honesty and integrity and compassion.

In hosting tonight's Iftaar, I send a message to all the nations represented by their ambassadors here tonight: America treasures your friendship. America honors your faith.

We see in Islam a religion that traces its origins back to God's call on Abraham. We share your belief in God's justice, and your insistence on man's moral responsibility. We thank the many Muslim nations who stand with us against terror. Nations that are often victims of terror, themselves.

Tonight's Iftaar also sends a message to all Americans: our nation is waging a war on a radical network of terrorists, not on a religion and not on a civilization. If we wage this war to defend our principles, we must live up to those principles, ourselves. And one of the deepest commitments of America is tolerance. No one should be treated unkindly because of the color of their skin or the content of their creed. No one should be unfairly judged by appearance or ethnic background, or religious faith. We must uphold these values of progress and pluralism and tolerance.

George Washington said that America gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. This was our policy at our nation's founding; this is our policy today. America rejects all forms of religious intolerance. America grieves with all the victims of religious bigotry. And America opposes all who commit evil in God's name.

Ramadan and the upcoming holiday seasons are a good time to remember the ties of friendship and respect that bind us together. Learning from each other we can build bridges of mutual trust and understanding. Working together we can create a better future for people of all faiths.

I thank you for coming to the White House this evening. I wish you all a blessed Ramadan. God bless.

Advent, Part III

While the Blue Trinity hymnal has some good Advent and Christmas hymns, the Lutheran Hymnal really has it beat, hands down.
Advent, Part II

Tune: Macht hoch die Tur

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates! Behold, the King of Glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near, The Savior of the world is here.
Life and salvation He doth bring, Wherefore rejoice and gladly sing:
We praise Thee, Father, now, Creator, wise art Thou!

A Helper just He comes to thee, His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness, His scepter, pity in distress.
The end of all our woe He brings; Wherefore the earth is glad and sings:
We praise Thee, Father, now, Creator, wise art Thou!

O blest the land, the city blest, Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes To whom this King in triumph comes!
The cloudless Sun of joy He is, Who bringeth pure delight and bliss.
We praise Thee, Spirit, now, Our Comforter art Thou!
Advent

Tune: Aus meines Herzens Grunde

Arise, sons of the kingdom! The King is drawing nigh;
Arise, and hail with gladness The Ruler from on high.
Ye Christians, hasten forth! Your praise and homage bring Him
And glad hosannas sing Him, Naught else your love is worth.

Arise, ye drooping mourners! The King is very near;
Away with grief and sorrow, For lo! your Help is here.
Behold, in many a place— We find Him, our Salvation,
O blessed consolation! In His pure means of grace.

Arise, ye much afflicted! The King is now not far;
Rejoice, ye long dejected! Here comes the Morning Star.
The Lord will give you joy; Though troubles now distress you,
With comfort He will bless you, E’en death He will destroy.

Arise, ye poor and needy! The King provides for you;
He comes with succor speedy, With mercy ever new.
He Who a beast did heed Lets not His children perish;
All hopes that man may cherish He can fulfill indeed.

Be righteous, ye His subjects, The King is just and true;
Prepare for Him a highway, Make all things straight and new.
He means all for our good Then let us bear our crosses
That He Himself imposes, In an undaunted mood.

O rich the gifts Thou bring’st us, Thyself made poor and weak;
O Love beyond expression That thus can sinners seek!
For this, O Lord, will we Our joyous tribute bring Thee,
And glad hosannas sing Thee, And ever grateful be.
AAPC Lunch

Duane and I decided the best time and day would be lunch on Tuesday. Let me know closer to the conference if you think you're interested. We'd love to have you stop by, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Also, if anyone who is coming doesn't have a place to eat Tuesday night or Wednesday, let me know. We want our home to be open to anyone who'd like to come by.
I'm not gonna ride in that! I want my giggles back!

Duane rented the Thumbtanic and Thumb Wars DVD a few nights ago. Disturbing. Witty. On the leading edge of video and audio technology.

Not really.

You've got to check it out. I thought about Rick when the Han Solo character demanded payment from Obi Wan in girl giggles. When Luke sees the ship, he says, "I'm not gonna ride in that! I want my giggles back!"

Friday, November 15, 2002

How well do you know me?

Here are the answers to my quiz.

1) My favorite movie is Lady Jane.

2) I was born in Baltimore.

3) My favorite color is green.

4) I attended the Naval Academy before transferring to the University of Maryland.

5) Physics was my first college major.

6) My favorite hobby is NASCAR. Yeah, right. Really, it's scrapbooking. Although Duane had a good argument for cooking. I'll take either answer.

7) My dad's family came from Scotland originally.

8) I "played" (rowed) crew in college.

9) I am adopted.

10) My great-great grandfather fought in the battle of Gettysburg.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Duane's sick

Duane just woke up and turned the oscillating fan on high. He said he's hot.

It's only 63 degress in this house right now. I'm absolutely freezing.
AAPC & hors d'oeuvres

I'd like to have a get-together sometime during the Pastor's Conference for everyone who blogs. I couldn't name everyone off the top of my head. If you're interested and you'll be in the area Sunday night (officially a day before the conference starts), let me know. We'd love to have you over. Or we could do lunch Monday or Tuesday. Just give me your ideas. We live about five minutes from the church so it's very convenient. If you need somewhere to come to rest or visit, feel free to stop by as well.


The Marshall Tragedy

I caught the last half of a special on PBS tonight about the Marshall Tragedy. I was stunned that I had never heard of this event. As I watched the documentary and heard the story of how the school rebuilt the football program, I wondered how events like this can happen and I can go through my life never having heard of them. If I asked my Mom or Dad about it, they would say, "Oh, yes. I remember that. It was such a horrible event..." I wonder if anything like that happened in my lifetime before Bailey was born that she will not learn about until she asks me if I remembered when it happened.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

What's your battle cry?





what's your battle cry?


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

What is your Bacon number?

How many degrees of separation do you have from Kevin Bacon? I have 5 - legitimately. I know my sister, my sister knows Danielle, Danielle is friends with Emily Procter (of CSI:Miami), Emily Procter was in Leaving Las Vegas (1995) with Elisabeth Shue, and Elisabeth Shue was in Hollow Man (2000) with Kevin Bacon.

I have a lower number another way. I was an extra in Patriot Games with Harrison Ford, who was in The Devil's Own with Brad Pitt, who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon, so the number is 3.

The Oracle of Bacon site at UVA has a fun database search engine. You can also link any two stars together. We've never thought of two actors who had a number greater than three. For instance, Jimmy Stewart and Reese Witherspoon have a number of two - Reese Witherspoon was in Little Nicky (2000) with Jon Lovitz and Jon Lovitz was in American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) with James Stewart.

As if you needed something else to help you waste your time.
How well do you know me?

I threw some in there that I'm not sure Duane knows.

Give it a try!
Randomnly Inferior

Duane (my husband, by the way) has a "random" blogroll. I'm not even listed first! What do I have to do to be first on his list?
Pan-Auto-Excommunication

I decided to respond to a post I had seen on the Topica ABA email list. I've been lurking for a while and nothing struck a chord until yesterday. Duane posted an interesting thread on hospitality and I've been thinking a lot about hospitality lately. This is a long post, but relevant. One of the men on the ABA list posted this:
Brethren,
It is getting more common to hear of programs designed to "train" Christians to "witness." It seems to me this idea of training a witness is subversive of the whole concept of being a witness. A witness is a person who has witnessed something. The only way to be a true witness is to relate what you have experienced. In courts of law, witnesses who tell something other than what they have witnessed are deemed incredible and can be barred from giving testimony. Why, then, should anyone consider a Christian "witness" credible when his testimony was learned in a training session. Being a true Christian witness is nothing more or less than telling others what God has done in our lives. It takes no training to do that. If we are unwilling to tell others what Christ has done for us, the problem is that we are unconcerned, afraid, ashamed, or perhaps have little or no experience to relate. The solution to these problems rests within the Lord and His life changing power, not in some craftily designed witness training program.
To which I responded:
Pastor Osgatharp,

I most certainly agree with you on the matter of "witness training programs." Although I have the utmost respect for men like D. James Kennedy, the founder of "Evangelism Explosion", I have to say that their programs seem superfluous to our task of living every day for Christ.

When we were members of an independent church in Illinois they had a Sunday School class geared toward "sharing your faith." We never attended, but were told of the content. Formulas, answers to "situations", how to knock on doors, how to answer this or that - too much information. Evangelism, if true to the Gospel and a faithful announcement of Christ, is a good thing in any form. However, the command from Christ was to make disciples, not "converts." Now, don't misunderstand me. Here's what I am saying.

Inherent in the spreading of the gospel and the salvation of the lost is discipleship. The result of faithful discipleship is conversion. Disciples are students; we are the teachers. Not all students remain faithful to what they are taught, but God has promised the victory of the gospel to the church and to the world.

A very important aspect of understanding the effectiveness of discipleship on the nations is having an optimistic eschatology. Our daily discipleship in the world (a day-to-day account of the works of God in our lives) has much more impact than these "instamatic-Christian" programs. Crusades (a la Billy Graham), PK rallies, and parachurch organizations have all proven to produce many seeds that shoot up and wither away at the first sign of trouble. I think that the "un-conversion" rate for programs like these runs around 85%, meaning that 85% of the people who "convert" eventually fall away.

Instead of having the mindset that we need to aggressively bonk our neighbors and co-workers over the head with a Bible and drag them into church, we need to cultivate real and meaningful relationships, discipling them in Christ and praying for their conversion. These are the relationships that last, and that type of influence and love can't be substituted in a rally or a door-to-door tract program. Church is the community of the people of God; non-Christians should not feel comfortable in our churches. They should feel comfortable in our homes, in our lives, under the umbrella of the gifts Christ has bestowed on us that we, in turn, share with them. We ought to make them want to be a part of the people of God on a daily basis; then comes worship and ingrafting into the covenant community.

Now, I am NOT saying that God does not work to save those in a church setting. I am not denying that at all. I am saying that our discipleship and hospitality outside the church will have much more of a far-reaching effect than any other type of program out there, including evangelistic church services on Sundays.

We have seen a church grow in leaps and bounds because the neighborhood knew the children of the church members and asked "What is different about those kids? They are so well-behaved, they love their parents, they respect adults..." The answer was that they were Christians, joined to Christ, and faithful to the covenant. Many community members came to the church and were brought into the fold by these kids' simple testimonies of obedience to Christ.

I pray that God would give me the grace to grow in my understanding of discipleship and hospitality so that I could be the instrument to bring about a real and eternal change in someone else's life.
In case you can't follow what I am saying, I am chewing on the idea that our day-to-day hospitality to those around us - everywhere - is what will help build these relationships that can lead to discipleship, conversion, whatever you want to call it. Proclaiming the gospel is important, but it is not removed from discipleship, daily fellowship, and care over each other's lives.

Okay, so here's his response. Does it have anything to do with what I posted? His response is actually what I was arguing against - a tirade against all things non-(put your denomination here) - and an insistence that to witness we must somehow be excommunicated from the world and all that is in it - including the church - because only beating someone over the head with (put any idiosyncratic theologies here) will bring about effective witness.

Disclaimer: If you think I'm advocating evanjellyfish-ism or I think we should "love each other at all costs", I'll beat you over the head with a macaroni noodle.
Sister Garner,

I agree with this idea of cultivating relationships with our neighbors in so far as it is possible. However, I do not think that such relationships are essential to being a witness. To the contrary, our witness may be the very thing that hinders such relationships.

For example, to be a faithful witness to you right now, I must tell you that your affiliation with the Presbyterian Church of America is not pleasing to Christ. Calvinism is not the doctrine of Christ. Infant sprinkling is not the ordinance of Christ. Presbytery is not the government of Christ's church.

If your family lived in my neighborhood, I would be as kind and friendly to you as I would be to my own parents. But my verbal testimony about your spiritual error would possibly, though not necessarily, keep us from a close personal friendship.

I have known some people in my life with whom I could have religious disagreements and still remain good friends. But usually such disagreements cool friendships and frequently sever them altogether.

Throughout the history of the Lord's people, we find that when they testified against the religious errors and sins of the community they were presecuted, sometimes to death.

Stephen, for example, intentionally went into the Synagogue of the Libertines and disputed with them about doctrinal matters. The cogency of his argument left them no recourse but to repent or rage. They chose rage over repentance and the result was Stephen's murder, to which Saul was consenting.

Though Stephen's testimony did not win any friends it most certainly did influence people, and the conviction brought about by it eventually brought Saul to his knees.

In parting, let me say that, while I certainly do not condone your family's affiliation with the Presbyterian church, I can sympathize with your disdain for the shallowness that characterizes the Baptist movement today. Notwithstanding, I think you have greatly erred in forsaking Baptist principles and I pray that you will return to the Baptist fold.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Well, at least they beat the spread!

Enough said.
Go Navy!

Navy is trailing Notre Dame at the half by only TWO points! There's no way....well, one can only hope!

I sure wish I had a real football team to root for. I never could get excited about Maryland. Well, I guess if I want to cheer for a Navy team that wins...go, men's lacrosse!

Go Navy!

Friday, November 08, 2002

For Sora

Molasses Sugar Cookies

¾ C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
¼ C molasses
2 ¼ C flour
2 t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ t cloves
½ t cinnamon
½ t ginger

Beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add egg and molasses. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture.

Chill batter at least four hours or overnight. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in sugar. Flick a drop of water on the top of each cookie (this will make them crackle like gingersnaps). Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Do not use an insulated sheet. (I use a baking stone.) Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen.

Pecan Tassies

½ C butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 C flour
1 egg
¾ C brown sugar
1 T butter, melted
½ C chopped pecans

Beat ½ C butter and cream cheese. Stir in the flour. Roll into 1/2 balls and press into tassie cups with a press.

For filling, beat egg, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir in pecans. Fill each cup with 1 teaspoon filling. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes. Makes one dozen. (Doubles well.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

1 C creamy peanut butter
½ C granulated sugar
½ C packed brown sugar
1 t baking soda
1 egg
½ t vanilla
¼ C flour
1 C semisweet or milk chocolate chips (personal preference)

Beat peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla till combined. Stir in flour and chocolate pieces. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls two inches on ungreased cookie sheet (do not use insulated cookie sheet). Flatten slightly with fingers.

Bake at 325 about 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed and lightly browned around edges (cookies will look underdone). Cool.

Note: The dough should feel and look oily. Don’t add more flour!
Gotta love John

Which John Cusack Are You?


Providence

I have been renting my viola for four years now from a violin shop in Berkeley (sp?), California. I had called scores of violin shops and this place was the only one that would rent out-of-state. They also set a 16 1/2" up for me, which is unusual for rentals. Anyway, I've been pleased with it - it doesn' t have great tone, but it's good enough for my skill level. I was irritated to find out that the purchase price for it is $2600 which is pretty low-end for a higher quality viola of that size, but this viola definitely is not worth that much. The pegs weren't even fitted correctly when it was set up and they've been sliding interminably for four years.

While I was rehearsing last night my bow broke. The tip chipped (say that three times fast!) and the hair came out. I got a referral from our section leader to take it to an elderly gentleman in town who has been repairing and building violins for a long time. I took it this morning, expecting to drop the bow off and go. He was the friendliest person I'd met in a long time. He talked and talked...we stayed for over an hour. I looked at his WWII medals (several bronze stars with clusters, a Combat Infantryman's Badge, and others), and we talked about folk music and violins. His lady friend gave Bailey an oatmeal cookie and took her out back to run in the yard. He got to looking at my viola and said it was a rip-off; it looked, felt, and sounded factory-made. It is heavy, and the neck is thick. It is very difficult to shift positions on. Down on the C string the sound is not smooth and broad, like a viola should sound, but tinny and thin. He could build me a viola, he said, with better tone, a prettier varnish, and better quality for about $700-$800 dollars. Try it when it's done, he said, and if you like it, buy it. If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. Pay me as you go. I'm not in it for the money, I do it because it's what I love to do.

He showed me a violin his lady friend had just finished. It had a dark-brown stain on it with beautiful flaming. As soon as she pulled it out I gasped and said "I love that varnish!" He said he could stain my viola the same color. He said it's important to have your own instrument, something you can love and keep for years. They become part of your family.

I almost cried. I've always wanted an instrument of my own; I could never afford one. I couldn't find a place that would rent-to-own, and we don't use credit cards or take out loans. I can't believe that a trip to get a bow repaired turned into someone telling me they'd build me a viola. He doesn't know how much I appreciate him already and he hasn't even started.
I will not be defeated!

I volunteered (actually I was drafted) to make cookies for a church function Sunday night. Since the other girl who is baking is bringing six dozen chocolate chip cookies, I decided to bring three types of anti-chocolate chip cookies. I decided on molasses sugar, pecan tassies, and peanut butter.

Luckily I decided to try the molasses cookies before Saturday night. They didn't work. The flavor was good, but they spread until they were almost flat. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I had followed the recipe to the letter! I called my mom last night in a panic and she gave me her recipe. It was identical except it had 1/4 cup more flour in it than the recipe I had used.

I tried some this morning. They came out perfect. It had gotten to the point where I would not let this cookie beat me! It was a very personal war.

I wish y'all were here to share some of the cookies. They sure are good!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

When in doubt, post a recipe!

This is a recipe my Mom made all the time when I was growing up. It is simple, inexpensive, and can be tailored to the way you like your soup - hearty or thin like a broth.

Ham and Mushroom Soup

1 ham bone (Honey Baked Ham is the best; Heavenly Ham will work, too)
6-8 cups water
2 stalks celery, with the leaves
1 large onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C uncooked rice* (white or brown)
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
8 oz. jar of sliced mushrooms (fresh also works)
2 t mustard (Dijon is best; if you don't like Dijon, use a brown mustard. Don't use a yellow!)

Simmer first five ingredients for two hours. Remove bone, celery and onion. Pull meat off bone; tear into bite-sized pieces. If you like a lot of meat and the bone doesn't have a lot, buy 1/4 - 1/2 pound of good ham (thick slices) and cut it up.

Stir in meat, rice, salt, pepper, and mustard. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer twenty more minutes.

Add mushrooms and stir to heat through. Serve. This soup is even better reheated the next day.

*I prefer soup very, very thick. I use 2 cups of rice and approx. 3/4 - 1 cup of instant potato flakes to thicken it up. Customize it however you like it!

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Most bizarre yet

Someone found my blog today by searching for "places to buy lobster chunks in eastern nc"

I also had one yesterday that was from a search for "the life sicle (sic) of ferrets"

I can't remember ever using the word "ferrets" on my blog.
One election I cared about

Actually, there are two. I'm glad to see that Ehrlich is still ahead in the gubernatorial race in Maryland. I don't know much about him, but I can't stand that goofball Townsend.

The one race I was really watching was in Wisconsin between Tammy Baldwin and Ron Greer. I heard Mr. Greer on AFR a few weeks ago and was quite impressed with his platforms. He has a long history; there was an article run on him in WORLD in 1997 when he lost his job as a firefighter because he complained that a lesbian fire chief promoted another lesbian over several more-qualified white heterosexual men. His complaint, instead of being treated as a valid complaint by the EEOC, was called a "hate crime" by many in government, including the openly-homosexual Tammy Baldwin. Even though Greer lost this election, I hope he made enough noise that folks will start to listen to what he has to say.

Moose! Moose!

The characters:

Jen, my sister
Richard, her husband
Val, their niece
Moose, Jen and Richard's Plott hound

My sister has a new puppy named Moose. Jen's niece, Val, is about 3 years old. She knows which button on their phone is the speed-dial for Jen and Rich. Val likes to call and leave messages for Moose. One time Richard answered and she said, "I wanna talk to Mooser?" so Richard said, "OK, hold on" and then in another voice Richard said, "Hello, this is Moose," and Val shrieked "IT'S MOOSE!! MOMMY, MOMMY, IT'S MOOSE!!!"

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

That's a lot of lightbulbs!

My dad sent me this link. It always amazes me how you can see the major cities clustered with all the lights - and there are vast portions in the midwest and west that are so largely unpopulated. People don't believe me when I tell them how squished together the cities and states are along the eastern seaboard, but you can really tell in this photo.
What did you say?

I thought of Joel and Laurel last night when I heard Bailey say something that made my head turn. (Since Claire is their first, they are moving into uncharted territory!) When your first child begins to communicate verbally, it really changes your world. Since I had no idea how children begin to develop language skills, every day has been an adventure with Bailey learning to talk. She started verbalizing at about four months, and began forming words at about 11 months. She started in with short sentences (two-word phrases) at about 14 months or so, but now she's really becoming easy to understand.

She has always picked a "word of the week" and pronounced it quite enthusiastically and loudly. Her word last week was yogurt, which she said "oooooooOOOOH-GURT!" with a very artful crescendo leading up to the all-important GURT!

Yesterday in Fred's she looked at me, pointed, and said loudly "f$%#!" I turned beet red and almost started crying. She's never heard that word, and I couldn't be sure that's what she was saying. I kept telling her "I don't know what you're saying, Bailey, but stop saying that word!" as we walked through the store. I'm sure since I was trying to stifle a giggle, I inadvertently egged her on. She was enjoying the attention.

Last night we realized she's trying to say "frog". We'll have to work on it with her.
Socializin'

We're going out to dinner tonight with a handful of young couples from our church. I don't know if I remember how to act around adults.
Houston, we have a problem!

Our phone lines were down for two days and I couldn't log on to the Internet to update my blog. I had all sorts of insightful, intelligent, witty, and mature things to talk about in those two days, but alas, my memory has failed me.
Jumpin' on the googlism bandwagon

Here are Bailey's "googlisms":
bailey is an attorney
bailey is recipient of 2002 lighthouse
bailey is the boss among
bailey is top pt student in us
bailey is canada's top athlete
bailey is a 'significant other'
bailey is officer of year
bailey is a bit strange guitarist
bailey is featured in "indiana's trailblazing women"
bailey is a beauty
bailey is just stunning
bailey is world's fastest man; johnson injures leg
bailey is the boss
bailey is my hero
bailey is a contemporary artist who paints
bailey is appointed director of mission support services
bailey is a world traveller who has visited the far corners of the earth
bailey is the boss among linebackers
bailey is a big pain
bailey is the boss among linebackers
bailey is a bit of a strange guitarist
bailey is growing like a weed
bailey is a shield volcano
bailey is no ranting polemicist
bailey is all smiles
bailey is our play fetch kitty
bailey is now almost three years old and talks and moves almost nonstop
bailey is a 1964 mechanical engineering graduate of the missouri school of mines and metallurgy
bailey is in need of a loving home in mississippi
bailey is the most monkey
bailey is also home to football great julius peppers
bailey is ready for austin peay's season opener
bailey is hilarious
bailey is on the faculty of the hayes school of music at appalachian state university in boone
bailey is reason's science correspondent and the editor of earth report 2000
bailey is a very busy guy
bailey is professor of american studies and regents lecturer at the university of new mexico

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Babies are made of Play-Doh

Yesterday while I was cleaning, Bailey was running around playing. She came into the spare bedroom (where all her old toys are) to play. After a few minutes, she got completely quiet. I couldn't imagine what she was doing, but I knew it wasn't good if I couldn't hear her.

I came into the room and looked for her. I couldn't find her. Then I heard a rattle and thought "Gracie (our cat) isn't in the cat carrier. I just saw her...no...don't tell me..." I ran over to the cat carrier (made for cats 10 pounds and under) and found Bailey completely inside with the door closed and latched. I tried to maneuver her around, but I couldn't get her straightened out. I called for Duane and he came running in. He had to smush her flat while I held her arms against her side so we could slide her out feet-first. She cried the whole time and flopped around like a fish. I couldn't tell if she didn't want to get out or if she was hurt.

We finally got her out, to my relief. I closed the door to the cat carrier. Bailey got up and made a bee-line for the carrier and pulled on the door. She wanted to get in again.

I guess babies are made of Play-Doh. She didn't seem any worse for the wear.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

BSF

My mom is accompanying a friend of hers to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) classes at their church. I don't know much about it but I've heard crazy things.

My mom is going with her friend because her friend is a fairly young Christian who wanted the opportunity to study in a disciplined setting. It is an interdenominational organization with no ties or accountability to any church group, parachurch (oops - I almost typed paramilitary) group, or denomination. They have very strict rules - for one, you can't talk about your home church, the leader has authority over you inside and, in some ways, outside of the class. You may not correct someone else's bad doctrine or discuss your "opinions" on any theological matter that might possibly offend someone.

I found a paper on the internet that talks about the peculiarities of BSF. While the author obviously makes some incorrect assumptions, it is pretty good information. I remember a friend of mine telling me that in one class a participant said "Paul and Moses were friends" and the leader nodded her head and they moved on. Everyone comes up with their own theology, and it can't be wrong. And you're not allowed to have the thought in your head that something might be wrong. Besides, if you don't answer all your questions to the leader's satisfaction, you can't participate. Sounds pretty close to Jehovah's Witnesses to me.

What I am wondering is - what do you think about study groups that are not under the umbrella of your church? Do you think your church would ever sponsor something like BSF?
We're here!

We moved today. We had everything out of the old house and in the new house by 1:00 this afternoon. That doesn't mean everything is done, but I never have to go back to the old place again! Yea!

I got the kitchen and bathroom completely unpacked and settled in. We got a new refrigerator (thanks, in-laws!) and Duane moved the old one out. It was so gross he didn't want to touch it. As he was moving it out, brown gelatinous goop was dripping onto the floor. He got so frustrated he just threw it down the steps outside. We now officially (until our landlord can come take it away) have a broken refrigerator in our back yard. Our foray into Louisiana culture is complete.

I got the computer set up (hey, you've got to have priorities, right?), excited because there is a jack nearly in the same room as the computer. (In the last house we only had one jack for the entire house.) The jack doesn't work. Neither does the one in the living room. So, we're back to the "one jack in the house" routine.

Other than that, everything is going smoothly. The house leans in two directions; if you are facing the house it leans fore and to starboard. Good old house with "character".

If anyone wants to come visit, give us a call! We'd love to have folks come share our sea legs with us.

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