Monthly Archives: February 2010

focaccia fo sho

I baked focaccia bread at 6:30 this morning, and it smells delicious.  It also looks really good (I tried a bite and it’s pretty awesome!).  The total bonus is that it’s super easy.  Thanks to Jean in the kitchen for the tip :).

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Focaccia-Bread/Detail.aspx

I got to donate blood again yesterday for the first time in a looong time.  I should really check when the last time was (I think it was Nov/Dec 2008).  Going to England made me a little nervous that I wouldn’t be allowed to donate, but it turns out as long as you don’t live in the UK for more than 5 years (not sure if the consecutive part is necessary) or get injected by bovine insulin or similar cattle-products, you’re good to go!

I had Little Caesar’s pizza for the first time in my life yesterday.  Might be the last time, too, except for the leftovers I ate for brunch.  The dough (or was it the sauce) has a peculiar taste.  It was pretty greasy, too :).

What encouragement the Psalms provide.  It’s kind of easy for me to gloss over them if I’m not careful.  I’ve never been very good at reading quotes or poetry (I think it’s the form…what consequence could a line that short have in the long run?).  My discipler and K pointed out two psalm verses that happened to speak volumes more than I picked up when I “read” them as part of my quiet time recently.  Psalm 40:5 and Psalm 86:4.  You should read them.

You know what would be awesome?  If I could perform Turkish music (and how awesome would it be if I could put Psalms to the lyrics!).  I downloaded a free mix from Amazon of Turkish artists, and it might be really terrible by any Turk’s opinion, but it’s so catchy.  Kind of slumdog millionaire style.  I need to get more, I think.

Gala tonight.  I should cheer up a bit and figure out how to do my hair.  If only I had a creative eye for hair styling.  Ha.  Pony tail, more than likely.

off to do laundry and stuff.

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half awake

I’ve been awake awake since 7 this morning, but I have found multiple opportunities to doze, and it’s killer…working on my Perspectives homework really reminded me of exhaustion in college that prevented me from absorbing material.  As thrilled as I am to learn this stuff (and I truly am), it was a struggle to digest the words passing under my eyes today.  Not good because not only did it take me much longer to go over the material, I’m not satisfied with the result.

It’s kind of an interesting experience to reflect on though…it’s not unlike my awareness of sin, or perhaps more accurate, my attention to God’s voice.  I get into a pattern of complacent and falsely assumed self-righteousness, essentially “nodding off”.  I’m not really happy with just “sleeping” through it soundly, so I have the “head-bobbing” and “yawning” attempts to “wake” myself up, as if to admit that I am actually a sinner.  Through a series of events, teachings, and quiet times in the past few months, God has been pointing out areas for tremendous growth (and with that areas of habitual sin), basically jolting me awake and pouring the strong coffee to keep me awake.  Are you tracking with the analogy still?  Even within this period there have been ups and downs in wakefulness.

In short, I am a certifiable wretch covered by the undeserved grace of my perfect savior, whose compassions (or mercies, however you look at it) are new every morning.  My attempts to pretend I am anything else are dishonest.

And so now to Zumba where I will hopefully liven up a bit to kick start the rest of this week. 🙂

free-day friday

Good afternoon, Friday,

It’s been nice to spend time with you today as a special end-of-the-week type of day.  I appreciated getting to sleep in a little bit, especially after falling asleep with the lights on until 4 a.m. and waking up with a crick in my neck (whew).  It was a pleasure to linger over a french press of coffee with my Bible and some toenail polish.  I especially delighted in the trip to Ames where the dress my eye has been on for a while was a shocking 50% before my rewards dollars, making it $9.99.

The coffee at Cafe Diem was cold (kind of the norm, regrettably), but it came through with some sweet knitting time and atmosphere.   I am hopeful that my cell phone battery came in the mail today, but I won’t know until I check my mail on Sunday.  I don’t hold it against the mail service, though.  Just the unfortunate series of blizzards in the Northeast that probably affected the shipping.

As for now, I’m anticipating some sweet baking time or something like that.  What do you think I should make?  Whatever it is, it can’t have eggs, unless I go out in the snow again.  I might go ahead and make a pie.  Until the next time I get to enjoy you (March?) as an entirely free Friday, hope you are enjoyable for someone else.

Sincerely yours,

Patty

p.s. I am really looking forward to busting out the iron and working on that dress.  It’s nice to have time and the right materials for ironing!  You’re the best, Friday! 🙂

it’s pancake day, yo.

When in Cornwall, I was surprised to hear of the day before Lent (“fat Tuesday” or “mardi gras” in the US) to be called pancake day.  This may be more attributed to my inattention to current events than to its existence or being known in the States, but I thought it was an interesting concept and kind of told myself that I would do something about it the next time pancake day came around.  It happens also to be my half birthday (or my birt…which is literally half of birthday), so perhaps I will celebrate both with a hearty and filling round of pancakes when I get home.  Perhaps I should go all out and make the British version, complete with lemon and sugar.  Might be fun.

God has been teaching me that prayer is quite powerful.  Not to say I have prayer “figured out” so I can send magic-like requests which are answered promptly as I ask them to be…that’s not the case at all, but I find that in an attitude of prayer my thoughts and reactions are filtered in such a way that I’m looking for God’s hand in a situation.  This also not to say I’m attributing all circumstances to him, though He is in control of the Universe, evil happens apart from Him and can be reigned in for his glory (this stupefies me…it’s not sugar-coating disaster, as I’ve thought of it occasionally, it’s transforming evil or bringing forth light through darkness…I don’t get it at all).

I was prompted to pray through a passage of scripture last night, and though I do that in portions often as I reflect on a verse or a small chunk, it was really cool to take a Psalm of David and pray it with specifics added and elaborations for the circumstances.  It goes beyond the normal quiet time reading, which is sadly a regimented thing.  As much as I love the discipline which has grown into fondness and is easy to carry out, it’s so natural to slip into box-checking Christendom.  Praying through scripture shakes it up.  I like it.  This morning it was Psalm 33.  Look at verses 20-22 (21 makes me think of K without fail) especially.

I get to grocery shop tonight.  You might know what this means to me.  If not, I wrote about it.

Back to work.  It’s a quiet week, despite Lent kicking off tomorrow…inevitably the calm before the storm (what storm?  I take comfort from Mark 4:39-41…Jesus has dominion over the storms in this life).  Peace and pancakes!

hot water

It’s a luxury, no doubt.  It’s symbolic of our wealth (especially that it’s so easily available for showering/laundry/dishes).

I’m running into the problem of hot water for tea not being hot enough lately.  The tea doesn’t steep enough.  This puzzles me because it seems to be hot enough when I taste it.  But the color and strength don’t lie.

I hope you get Nerds for Valentine’s day.  All the cool kids in elementary school gave nerds.  To give you an idea of how cool I was, I gave dum-dums.  Recall that “nerds” in real-life are smart…and dum-dums, well.  They’re just dumb. 🙂

grocery shopping

I love to grocery shop, no doubt.  I have for a while, and it might have been my grandma who put the bee in my bonnet to enjoy it (especially trips with her during my UI years for special treats).  I was thinking about it the other day as I had finished explaining to someone the magic and inexpressible joy of potential upon entering a grocery store, and I realized that grocery shopping is experiencing God’s provision.

Think of it:  you walk into the store with money.  This money has been entrusted to you (whether you “earned” it at work, using God-given abilities in a job He provided, or were gifted, in remembrance or honor of His gift-giving), but it isn’t really your own.  Here in America and over in England, the only places on this earth that I have shopped for food, choice and quality are abundant.  When I watched End of the Spear a couple weeks ago, it included a short documentary of the tribesman’s first trip to America and a voice-over explanation of “hunting” here (it was funny, perhaps you can see it) which caused me to reflect on how wealthy we are in terms of food (among other things).  We can also glean lessons about stewardship…looking at the nutrition and enjoyment factors of food that we select, sale prices, and smart shopping.

These thoughts aren’t developed, but how can we look at grocery shopping as a chore at all?  It’s simple, it’s eliminating (at least for us, the passive consumers) the toil of the land from our basic nutritional needs.  I suppose you could argue the toil of the land is transferred to other aspects of our lives that enable us to purchase food…but work with me here :).

What news of Kent?  We’ve got another winter snowstorm today, which means travel is a no-go (and I have to miss Zumba again, which has become a total joy!).  Fortunately I have a pretty safe amount of work to occupy myself at camp rather than going to the church office tomorrow, but it’s as tiresome as it is beautiful.  My ability to concentrate is impeded at the present, too.    Not anything in particular.

I’m going to fight the distraction and work in solitude.  Peace!