Sunday, February 23, 2003

Things that hurt...

1. Boiling water poured over your hand when you're trying to drain vegetables.
2. Boiling water poured over your hand when you're trying to drain pasta.
3. Pulling a baking sheet of cookies out of the oven with the mitt on upside down.
4. Picking up a casserole dish you forgot had been in the oven for an hour. Without an oven mitt.
5. Picking up a cookie sheet that just came out of the oven. Without an oven mitt.
6. Touching a cooking rack in a 450 degree oven.
7. Sewing through the top of your finger.
8. Sewing through the side of your finger.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Warm and cold

For all the complaining I do about Monroe, I am grateful that we haven't had to shovel snow or scrape our windshields at all this winter. I do still prefer a consistently cold winter, but I think about my parents stuck under 32 inches of snow and I'm glad I don't have to fight that with a baby. And I was grateful that Tuesday was warm enough that I could let Bailey run around on the porch and play in the fresh air.

But don't take that to mean I like living here! I'm not giving in yet.

My friend Lori loaned me her old antique Singer sewing machine. It is portable and comes in a carrying case. There is an "old" scent in the case; whatever the case is made of (some wood or pressboard product maybe) smells just like the inside of my viola case. It's sort of a mixture of old wood, varnish or paint, and rosin dust. It is really hard to explain, but it is a smell I love.

Rehearsal went much better tonight. I still have major issues with the Gershwin, and there's another cheesy piece we're doing that's almost a copy of the main march from Ben Hur.

Speaking of Ben Hur, did you know the guy who wrote the book, Lew Wallace, was a general at the Battle of Shiloh? I wish I had a scanner and server space so I could scan and post some photos of our trip to the Shiloh Battlefield a few years ago. Seeing the "National Cemetery" at the entrance to the battlefield was bad enough, but when we got around to the end and saw the mass grave where 300+ Confederate soldiers are buried, I cried.
Sleeves, who needs 'em?

I've been working on Bailey's second dress today and I have it finished except for the sleeves.

Everyone I know who sews complains about zippers. I'd rather sew 100 zippers than mess with one sleeve any day.
Fun 'n games

We played "Chariot Race" in my little kids' Latin class today. I drew a big Circus Maximus with X's to mark the spaces. I asked questions and whoever got it right moved up a space. When the Greens got to the end, I made them translate a silly sentence in order to win the game - "He will move three bears." My youngest student, also my most astute, jumped up and translated it on the spot. They really seem to enjoy playing games and don't think it's so much work when there are teams involved.

The MSO has a concert this weekend and I am woefully unprepared. I picked the music up Monday and sight-read the whole rehearsal. I haven't looked at the music since and we have rehearsal tonight. The program isn't that hard except for Gershwin's An American in Paris, which I wish would just go UA permanently. I played the whole piece in the wrong key (that might be hyperbole, then again, it might not) and no one noticed. It sounded like everyone else was in the wrong key, too. On top of that, I kept waiting for the melody to start, and then the song was over. The score literally looks like someone threw notes on the page and them randomly added accidentals. That piece is a music theory nightmare.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

You rip what you sew

I tried sewing a dress for Bailey over the weekend. It was my first attempt at something on my own. I did have to break down and ask two questions, but mostly I did it all by myself.

It looks very cute. I'm going to start trying another one today - this time with sleeves. I'm feeling adventerous.

I never would have thought a sink full of water and suds would keep Bailey entertained for over an hour.
Popsicle toes

It's one of those gray, cloudy days where it feels like winter and spring at the same time - it's too warm to need heat, but if I open the door and windows, it gets too chilly and my toes turn to popsicles.

One of my favorite kind of days.

Monday, February 17, 2003

#483 in the Trinity

We had our Second Sunday service two Sundays ago at Auburn Avenue. The church gathers in the basement after the evening service. We bring our meals and after we eat, we have a time of singing by requests. I had been asked to play the piano that evening - my first time ever at Auburn - so that we could learn the Lorica and a simple Genevan Tune. Let me tell you, request time is brutal for any musician unless they've had years to expand their repertoire. There are 730 hymns in the blue Trinity, and any one may be chosen. If you have a musician at your church that plays for requests, thank them.

To make it even more challenging, we used the CRC Psalter Hymnal that evening because Duane was asked to start teaching some Genevan Tunes, and they are formatted and harmonized nicely in this other hymnal. I was familiar with a good number of the hymns, but not all of them. As soon as Duane took a request, a hand shot up and asked for "Christian, dost thou see them" (#464). I had never seen or heard that hymn, and had approximately 5 seconds to scan it, get the key in my head, time signature, tempo, etc., before we started to sing.

I played the introduction and when people started to sing, I panicked. The music had moved from C major to a minor key, and I thought I had played the introduction in the wrong key. I hesitated for two measures, then got back in the swing of things. It turned out to be a beautiful hymn, stately and mournful and then uplifting at the key change. It is fast becoming one of my favorites and is definitely at the top of the list for Warfare songs - above "Onward, Christian Soliders". It's currently in a tie with "Lead On, O King Eternal."

I am so glad to be part of a singing congregation.
Good-bye, Uncle Bill

The pastor who baptized me, William Mahlow (a.k.a. "Uncle Bill"), died Friday of heart failure. He was the founding pastor of my "hometown" church (the church I grew up in until my dad helped plant a daughter church). I remember him well, but did not have the pleasure of knowing him personally. After he retired from Annapolis, he went on to remain very active in missions organizations and did much for the kingdom of Christ in his twilight years.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Takin' a break

Okay, everybody, I'm going Garver on y'all for a while.

Too busy, not enough to say.

I'll still lurk, though, so watch out!
Mea culpa

Duane was watching Bailey yesterday afternoone while I had things to do at church. I had baked double-chocolate cookies for dessert and they were cooling on the counter.

Duane thought Bailey was being too quiet, so he went into the kitchen to see what she was doing. On the counter lined up in a row were four cookies, each with one big bite taken out of them. Bailey was standing in the kitchen with chocolate all over her face and hands.

That's almost as cute as the time we caught our Siamese cat on the kitchen table eating our Thanksgiving turkey.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Good to know when you meet the natives

I had dinner last night with a friend of mine at a local Mexican restaurant. Our waiter spoke virtually no English. Candace has a good working knowledge of Spanish and was able to talk to the waiter (whom she knew from frequenting the restaurant), order, and ask questions. If she made a mistake (only twice) he gently corrected her and told her the right word. I made a joke (which was lost on the waiter) that knowing Latin doesn't help me much in Mexican restaurants. Really, I would have no idea how to order "fajita nachos with no guacamole, pico de gallo on the side" in Latin.
I want this!

The past few weeks Bailey has been pointing to things and saying "I want that! I want that!" I think to prove that she's learned a new word - that. Tonight she started saying "I want this! I want this!" and pointing to that.

Poor girl. Just wait 'til she has to learn hic, haec, hoc and ille, illa, illud. Then she'll really be confused.
Hey, I can still see you!

Not quite invisible, but interesting.

What I find interesting is that there are pilots out there who would like to have transparent decks for landing.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Speaking of pot roast

We had some friends over for lunch yesterday and I was flattered that I was asked for the recipe for the sandwiches I made. They are so easy, I thought I'd share it with everyone.

1 3-4 pound roast (just about any cut will do)
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1 package dry Au Jus gravy mix
1 14-ounce can beef broth
1 can water

Place the roast in the bottom of a crock pot. Cut to fit if necessary. Sprinkle dressing mix and au jus mix on top of roast. Pour in beef broth and water. Cook on LOW 8-10 hours. (I tried it on high/low and low, low was much more tender)

If you have to eat it right away...
Shred beef, put on soft sub rolls. Pour gravy from crock pot into ramekins or small dishes; serve with sandwiches. Dip sandwiches in gravy.

If you can wait...
Put roast, whole, in refrigerator. Pour gravy into a container and refrigerate thoroughly. (This allows you to slice the beef instead of shred it.) When you are ready to serve, slice into thin slices. Discard fat from gravy.Pour gravy into large saucepan, add sliced beef, heat through. Serve gravy with sandwiches.

I made this on Friday and refrigerated it until Sunday. It solved the dilemma of either having to get up at 4:00 to put the roast on, or putting it in the night before and having it way over done.

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