Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
In anticipation of publishing my book, I'm also making a small change in my blog. For the sake of privacy, I've changed the blog name of my son to "Munchkin." It was either that, or publish my book under a pen name. Maybe I'll do both, but in any case, you'll now be reading "cute Munchkin stories." It's the same little boy and he still loves those tools. :) I'd ask that those of you who know his previous blog name please don't use the old name in your comments.
When I began this blog, I never dreamed that anybody except a few friends and family members would read it. Now, I get almost 500 hits every month, and growing. The average self-published book sells 150 copies, mostly to the author and friends of the author. Maybe that will be my luck, too, but this morning I learned that a friend of mine sold 60,000 copies of his most recent book! I have no idea how he did it, but believe me I intend to ask! I'd be thrilled with 10% of those sales numbers! Anyway, I have no idea how popular (or obscure) my book will be and what numbers of readers it will attract to my personal blog, so I decided to do what I should have done from the beginning and give my son a layer of anonymity.
It's been a royal pain to have to go back and edit about 300 posts since Blogger doesn't have a "search and replace" function (does it?). I also had to delete comments that mentioned Munchkin's name and I'm very sorry about that since I had to get rid of some really good ones by some of my best blogging buddies! As time consuming as it was to go back and read everything, it was really wonderful to reread all the comments. I'm so grateful to all of you who leave me comments as it makes blogging so much more fun. So please keep reading, and keep those comments coming! I appreciate them all!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
1. Started my own blog - obviously!
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity - one year in college I gave more than I made. Obviously, it was my parents who were paying for my expenses.
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - worst night of my life! The next day wasn't much better.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - back in 1977 when it was still open!
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort - Can't remember, so I'll say no
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run - yeah, right!
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language - sort of. I tried to teach myself both Russian and Chinese, but I didn't get very far with either. Spanish I learned in school.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - in the Caribbean!
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie - I was in a friend's college project. We spent so much time waiting around that it was one of the more boring experiences I've had.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - not that I didn't try, I just was never eligible
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter - see #4
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt - lots of them!
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book - stay tuned!
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - Jimmy Carter, Madeleine L'Engle
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - I think that's where it was!
97. Been involved in a law suit - Sort of. The crook who built my house tried to solve his legal troubles by letting his lawyer put a lien on my house 6 months after I bought it from him (!) and I had to get rid of it.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant - at a fair :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Between making the dough, baking the gingerbread men and frosting the cookies, it turned into a two-day project -- perfect for a snowed-in week. Many thanks to green bean for her recipe and inspirational picture. I'll post one of our other recipes later.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Munchkin: Why is Baby Jesus out of his manger?
Me: Is he learning how to walk?
Munchkin: No, he wants to see how to take it (the manger) apart. He's looking for a drill.
Friday, December 12, 2008
To which Munchkin responded, "You mean a compound miter saw.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Choose neices' Christmas presents
Bake Christmas cookies with Munchkin
Prepare final project for work
Keep Munchkin from getting in bathroom contractor's way
Shake printer cartridge until it prints final project
Borrow painting supplies for bathroom
Purchase primer, supplies & pick up paint chips for bathroom
Return incorrect fixture for bathroom
Arrange childcare before deadline at work
Keep Munchkin from getting in contractor's way
Do research on one Christmas present
Run household errands
Download picture sketches for my book
Keep Munchkin from getting in contractor's way
Paint primer in bathroom
Turn in final project at work
Work with illustrator to approve sketches
Choose paint color for bathroom
Purchase paint for bathroom
Get plumbing thingy for bathroom
Keep Munchkin from talking the ears off of contractor
Phone consultation with doctor
Keep Munchkin from getting into wet paint
Review insurance options before deadline
Be here for marble installation guys
Keep Munchkin from getting in marble guys' way
Attend work Christmas party
Be here for floor installation guys
Keep Munchkin from getting in floor guys' way
Work on homemade Christmas presents
Mail neices' Christmas presents
Get Christmas tree
Decorate for Christmas
Paint molding for bathroom window
It sure seems like I've forgotten something...
Friday, December 5, 2008
This evening I made my family's favorite "Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta" (recipe to follow). Scott normally claims the leftovers for his lunch the next day. This evening, I planned to save the extras for my sister, who will be babysitting Munchkin tomorrow night and might want something for dinner. Even with that, there would have been plenty except for the fact that our growing boy really likes this meal.
At the end of dinner when Scott eyed the remaining pasta, I told him of my plans. He tried begging with his most pathetic face, but it didn't work, so he asked Munchkin what was the best way to get someone to do something. Munchkin put on his cutest expression and sweetly said, "Please?" Scott tried it, but couldn't get the cute little expression quite right.
Then Munchkin suggested Daddy try crying. Scott asked how, so Munchkin gave a perfect one-second demonstration before he broke into a big grin. We all laughed so hard that Munchkin almost choked.
Scott tried the "cry," but he's not nearly as good as Munchkin, who suggested, "Keep crying!" Poor Daddy just didn't quite have the technique. At the end, Munchkin took my side and insisted that Daddy couldn't have the pasta because it belonged to his aunt (who didn't call back to confirm tomorrow night, so the fate of the pasta is still undecided...).
Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
(I'm sure the original recipe had quantities, but I lost them long ago. Put in amounts of ingredients to suit your own needs & taste.)
Pasta (I use tube pasta but macaroni or rotini is fine)
Ground beef or pork
1 can tomato soup (sorry, locavore friends, I've tried substitutions and nothing tastes as good!)
Cheddar cheese, grated
Cook pasta in boiling water about 10 minutes. While pasta is cooking, fry ground meat in a frying pan until brown. Remove to another bowl. In same pan, fry bacon until done. Drain on paper towels. Drain pasta. In same frying pan, combine tomato soup, pasta, ground meat and bacon and heat through. Sprinkle with grated cheese and cover until cheese is melted.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I am still planning to print the book sometime this spring or early summer, and in anticiptation of that, I am working on a website for the book. As soon as I have mug shots of the main characters, I hope to get the site up and running. Stay tuned...
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
There were a lot of funny moments. My favorite was when Alex rode his bicycle around the playground while Munchkin chased after him on foot (Munchkin was faster). As Munchkin gained on Alex, Munchkin yelled, "Here comes the police!" Then he gave Alex a "ticket" for going too fast.
Scott's favorite moment also occured as Munchkin chased Alex, trying to grab onto Alex's bicycle. Alex said something to his dad as he rode by and the dad translated for us. He said, "Alex just told me in Chinese, 'He wants me to stop, but I want to keep going!'"
But the best was probably when Alex got his bike stuck in the mud in a grassy area and his dad had to help him get out. As soon as Alex had his bike back on the pavement, Munchkin said, "Let's get stuck in the garden again!"
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
The other evening we found ourselves out later than we'd planned and we had to stop somewhere for a bite to eat before one 3-year-old totally broke down. Anyone with kids knows what I'm talking about. :) Anyway, we ate dinner at a chain restaurant which I'll allow to remain nameless since the waitresses were nice.
The food wasn't so great, though. Scott's and my entrees were totally overpriced for how boring they tasted. We've gotten used to eating fresh, local food at home, and this was anything but. For Munchkin, I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich since that was about the only thing on the kids' menu I thought he'd eat. He loves grilled cheese at home.
Fried from too much excitement and too late a dinner, Munchkin was a real squirrel in the restaurant. Up and down, dump out the pepper, crawl on the floor, stand on the seat, etc. They didn't have soy milk and he still won't drink water, so I had to let him have some lemonade. I'm sure it consisted soley of flavored corn syrup, on an empty stomach, and he got even more wired with the extra sugar. We tried to coax him into eating his sandwich, but he just took a few nibbles.
Scott was baffled as to why Munchkin didn't gobble up his sandwich until I noticed that it was made with American cheese. When I mentioned this out loud, Munchkin took his barely eaten sandwich and threw it over his shoulder into the next booth and onto some poor guy's lap. The guy returned the sandwich and we left.
So here's another downside: when you get used to the taste of local, good, real food, the stuff they serve at the chains loses its appeal so much that even your preschooler will recognize "junk" masquerading as food!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 c cooked (or canned) pumpkin puree
1 c chocolate chips
2 ½ cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup cooked (or canned) pumpkin puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples
Substitute for 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Separate pumpkin seeds from the goop and boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Let seeds dry a little on a towel. In a bowl, toss seeds with 1-2 Tbsp butter or olive oil, seasoned salt and a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce. Toast on a cookie sheet at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Chewy seeds are done when they turn light golden brown. For crunchy seeds, remove from oven as they start to turn dark brown.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
After digging for several minutes, Munchkin explained that he was making a house for a mouse and then he would hook up the electrical wires so the mouse could have electricity!
He lost interest in that project, though, when he discovered a bunch of gopher holes. Talking the whole time, Munchkin tried to dig out a gopher and was insistant that he would see one no matter how hard I tried to convince him that they were deep in the ground hiding. Finally, frustrated that I wouldn't give in, he asked, "But how do they get attention?!!"
Monday, November 17, 2008
If you haven't taken a guess, yet, for the latest mystery (11/15 post), please do try to figure it out and leave a comment. I'll post the answer later this week.
I'm also at the Blogging Bookworm this week and I've posted another butterfly picture over there that's even neater. Flap on over and check it out!
(Update: Check out the November APLS Carnival on buying local that is now up at the Green Phone Booth!)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
On the way home, Munchkin asked where grandma and grandpa got the radio. I tried to explain that cheap plastic toys sometimes come in cereal boxes. Munchkin considered my answer and then he said, "They shouldn't do that." I asked why not and he said, "Because they're ug-noxious."
That was a new word and so I asked who called the radio "ug-noxious." Munchkin answered, "Grandma and grandpa."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I used to be a Walmart shopper. I loved walking down the aisles looking at all the cheap consumer goods for sale. During the Christmas season, I especially loved the aisle that had packaged gift sets such as his & her matching cocoa mugs or a ceramic John Deere tractor filled with cookies. I’d go there just to look, and sometimes I’d buy.
Then, one fall, our local paper did a series of expose type articles on Walmart. One article was about how Walmart treated their employees (what overtime?). One was how they treated their US suppliers (sell it cheaper or go out of business). And one was how they treated their overseas manufacturers (sell it cheaper or we’ll buy from another country). The comment that stuck, and the one that really got to me, was a quote from a lady who worked for a clothing company in Honduras. Every year, Walmart required the company to cut costs further. They could reduce their profit or cut the quality, but the cost had to go down. The Honduran lady said, and I have to paraphrase, "I just can’t believe that people in America really care if they save 50 cents on a pair of shorts."
Maybe it's because I've visited Honduras, but that one comment made me realize that there is a hidden cost to our cheap consumer goods and it is a cost I don’t like. I have no desire to gyp Hondurans out of the 50 cents they need to make a profit so they can buy tortillas for their kids, so I quit shopping at Walmart.
I occasionally purchase similar merchandise, but I buy it from a locally owned store, or at least one that has a reputation of treating people better. I figure that if they treat their employees well, they probably treat their suppliers better, too. It costs more, so I buy less stuff. I’ve done a complete 180 from searching for the cheapest price to searching for a quality product, fairly paid for. I’m buying much less from the lady in Honduras (or China or ??), but hopefully I’m paying for what I buy. If we all did that, we would need to manufacture a lot less stuff, we could cut out the junk, and we could bring back the quality. I think the world would still go around.
That began my journey. Through reading books I soon also learned about the state of our food production in this country and was similarly horrified to find out what system I was supporting. It was around the same time as a bunch of e. coli scares, I had a baby who was starting to eat solid foods, and I was concerned about what I was feeding my family. When I learned about the abuse of animals, the land, and the farmers and immigrants who do most of the work, I started looking for other options.
My search took me to local farms, the farmers’ market, and even to a friend who offered me a share in their pig! I learned about locavores and their "eat local" challenges from fellow bloggers. I started out unconvinced, but soon I was hooked and just had to try it.
I’m not a purist when it comes to eating local foods – I still shop at the grocery store every week – but I’m now buying about half our food from the people who grew it. I love that. The food is better. It’s so much better that I notice when for some reason I eat the old stuff. I don’t care what anybody says about how it’s cheaper to eat whole foods – it’s been waaaay more expensive. I’m still making compromises because of price, but when I buy locally, I know where the money is going. I’m supporting farmers who are trying to care for their people, land and animals instead of trying to milk every penny out of them and leave the problems to the next generation.
I buy locally grown food as much as I can. On some other things, I try to buy fair trade or the equivalent. I’ve got a long ways to go, but I figure that if everyone did what I’m doing we would strengthen our communities, save our land, and we’d have a lot more social justice.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Scott: Were you feeling stressed earlier today?
Me: That didn't take long!
And then we both cracked up.
Behind the scene: When Scott saw an open package of chocolate mint cookies in the snack cupboard, he remembered that they are my comfort food, so he asked if I was stressed. When he asked, I remembered that Scott snoops around on shopping days to find out what goodies I might have brought home. I bought the cookies this morning.
Sorry, locavore friends, I guess I fall off the wagon when I meet a chocolate mint. :)
Friday, November 7, 2008
When we got to the window, the clerk patted the counter and said Munchkin could sit up there. I placed him on the counter with the reminder not to touch anything. Postal stuff was within reach everywhere. Munchkin was a model child and he looked at everything. Sometimes his nose was an inch away, but he was quiet and he didn't touch a thing.
Walking away, I commended Munchkin on his behavior. Munchkin responded, "Mommy, did you see how many kinds of tape they had?"
Monday, November 3, 2008
There was a workman setting up the Christmas display where Santa will sit. The guy was oblivious to the 3-year-old who followed his every move as he walked around wearing a toolbelt and using a drill. We only had an hour, and it took me over half that time to drag Munchkin away to someplace where he would get some exercise. The big guy in the red suit has never interested Munchkin very much, but the workman was irrestistable.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
My pumpkin (not pictured) should be transformed into toasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin puree later this week. From there it will become pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin to freeze until next year.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
"Once upon a time there was a little boy who liked to watch construction work out the window. Mommy? Why did he like construction?"
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
In the meantime, there may be weeks when I don't post much. If you start to wonder where I am, the answer is that I'm probably working on my book. :) I have also deleted the chapters I posted previously because I am doing more editing and I don't want an old version out on the web. If you missed it, I'm sorry, but the real book will be much better so the wait will be worth it!
Anyway, I am very excited about finding Kim Sponaugle, who will be drawing the illustrations. Here is the picture that sold me on her style...And the elephant she's drew for me is even cuter. :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The good news is that I am very close to selecting an artist and so I plan to self-publish the book sometime in 2009. I'm very excited about that prospect! I'm sure I've got tons of work to do before the book becomes a reality, but it's fun.
If you read any of the posts, I thank you. I think maybe this just isn't a good venue for a chapter book. I could be depressed that no one likes my story, but I can't determine that anyone has even been reading! Some experiments work better than others.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I began with toasted sourdough rustic bread. For dinner, I brushed it with olive oil and grilled it, but simply toasting the bread in the toaster worked really well for a quick lunch! Onto the toasted/grilled bread I spread a thin layer of goat cheese. Then, I topped it with slices of tomato, chopped fresh basil, and a few shakes of balsamic vinegar. I was thrilled with the results as the taste was as close as I could have hoped for to the bruschetta I ate at the farmers’ market. I wonder if I bought the goat cheese from the same lady...
Rustic bread - baked at a local grocery store
Herb & garlic goat cheese - fresh from the farm
Tomatoes, basil, green beans and wormy apple - farmers’ market
Corn - picked that day and sold at a farm stand
Butter - Tillamook
Oil, vinegar, salt & pepper - grocery store
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
This week Munchkin and I went on a wonderful tour of a goat farm. Munchkin enjoyed climbing on the hay bales, climbing the fence, watching the tractor, and, oh yes, the goats! The lady from the farm was wonderful with kids, both children and goats!
So where do the 20 bucks come in? I bought some goat cheese from the farm and, since we were out in the country, I stopped at a farm stand I love but rarely get to visit.
For 20 bucks, I came home with:
18 farm fresh eggs
2 large tomatoes
3 huge green bell peppers
5 Yukon Gold potatoes
5 apples (wish I'd written down the variety since Scott loved them!)
1 package of herbed goat cheese
1/2 package of blueberry goat cheese
Unfortunately they used the last package of the blueberry cheese as the sample for the children, so they offered the leftovers to us since Munchkin loved it so much (what can I say, he's cute!) As the lady wrapped it up, someone else asked for a taste. Munchkin let out a wail when she took a large piece, but in his defense, he was pretty tired after running around the farm for two hours.
Watching Munchkin milk a goat: priceless.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
I started by cutting open the first of the squash that I harvested from the mystery plant that grew all summer. Munchkin might have been laying on the floor, but he had enough energy to ask to see it! I scooped out all the seeds, let Munchkin giggle at the "squash boat" and then filled the cavity with butter, honey, salt and pepper. It went into the oven to bake while I decided what to do with the pork chops.
Not yet deciding what to do, I boned the pork chops. Munchkin asked me to bring them down to the floor so he could see them, of course. Then, I decided to stuff them, which is much easier if the pork chops are still on the bone! I was limited to local ingredients, so I sauteed garlic and a red & green bell pepper. I mixed the filling with a little homemade applesauce and filled the pork chops.
When the squash and the pork chops were done, I arranged them on a plate and realized that dinner looked bland, so I added slices of tomato on lettuce. I served the applesauce as a side. It was all delicious, but the real star of the show was the squash. I probably used way too much butter and honey, but that’s the way my husband likes it. I think even Munchkin would have eaten it had he felt better.
Mystery squash: Squash (backyard), honey (local), butter (Tillamook), salt & pepper
Pork chops: Pork (our pig), garlic (local), bell pepper (local), applesauce (local), salt & pepper
Salad: Tomato (local), lettuce (local)
Homemade applesauce: Apples (local from a friend and so sweet I didn’t even add sugar)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Well, the locavores are once again hosting an "Eat Local Challenge" for the month of October and I've decided to sign up! They've relaxed the rules considerably since they first began, which has made it possible for me to join in. I believe when they first started, the idea was to eat entirely local foods for the entire month. I could do it, I think, but I've got a very busy 3-year-old, a husband and a job, and I don't want to commit the time required. This year, everybody sets their own rules. Mine are:
1. Local means the food is grown in the state of Oregon.
2. My exceptions include: spices, oils, flour, rice, and baking ingredients like baking powder. When I signed up, I forgot to include sugar in my exceptions list, so I'll try to use local honey instead.
3. My goal is to prepare one entirely local (minus exceptions) dinner each week and use as many local ingredients as possible in the rest.
I cooked my first dinner for the new challenge last night. I'll share about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
David Wilkerson is probably best known for foundingTeen Challenge decades ago. He works out of the Times Square church in New York City, now, and he has a unique ministry as a modern-day prophet. Not everybody agrees with him, and he certainly doesn't have a red telephone line directly to God, but he has given some amazingly correct prophecies over the years. Eight years ago, he got his church to hold an around-the-clock prayer virgil because he prophesied that something really bad was going to happen to New York. They prayed 24-7 for a month before 9-11 occured, across the street from their church. So he's got some credibility.
I subscribe to his (free) newsletter which comes out every three weeks. Wilkerson predicted the mortgage mess a couple years ago, and just this past weekend I received this in the mail. This excerpt is from the cover letter, and there's plenty more in his "sermon" that is also part of the newsletter. If you want to subscribe or read more, you can get there from this link.
I found this letter fascinating, particularly considering the things my (not necessarily Christian) green blogging friends have been talking about. I think you'll find it interesting no matter what you believe. Here's the quote from the newsletter:
(Update: I just found on the World Challenge website that I can't post an exerpt from the letter on my blog. So you'll have to follow the link and read it for yourself. Sorry!)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Stay tuned for next week's final episode titled, "Mystery plant: It's what's for dinner!"
Monday, September 22, 2008
2. Collect items from around the house that you wish to sell.
3. Store the items in a place where you will trip over them in the middle of the night.
4. Wake up one Saturday morning tired of the pile of junk in your house.
5. At 9:30 am, throw out your perfect plans for next month's sale and decide to do the garage sale immediately.
6. Talk your husband (who thinks you're nuts, but is trying to cooperate) into pulling out a lot more stuff from the garage.
7. Make signs with (inadequate) materials you have on hand.
8. Haul the boxes of stuff out to the driveway.
9. Send husband and preschooler out on a mission to put up your signs.
10. Put up your sign and start putting pricing stickers on things as you pull them out of boxes.
11. Notice you have no customers, so drag the most attractive items out to the street.
12. Price more stuff.
13. Husband and preschooler return with the news that your signs are unreadable from the street.
14. Catch the preschooler in the act of removing price stickers and putting them on different items.
15. Fix the stickers and send husband and son into the house.
16. Entertain one customer who only wants to buy your display table, which is not for sale.
17. Put out more stuff.
18. Catch preschooler playing with more stickers.
19. Send husband and preschooler back into the house.
20. Observe that cars are slowing down, but not stopping.
21. Notice that you've been at this for two hours, have had only two customers and have yet to make your first sale.
22. Realize it's hopeless and start moving stuff back to the garage.
22. Save the remaining price sheets from the sticker-happy preschooler.
23. Send husband and preschooler back into the house.
24. Make your first sale ($5) as you're packing it in.
25. Let your husband tease you a little, since you've earned it.
26. Giggle as you watch preschooler price you and your husband (you: 70 cents, husband: 10 cents) and hold his own "garage sale" in your living room.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
We discussed how to use paddles for rowing and then he asked, "How to they make it go on dry ground?" Amazed at his language skills, I told him that the Indians had to pick up the canoe and carry it. Munchkin wasn’t satisfied with my answer, so he thought a minute before he said, "They could use a forklift! A forklift would do it!"
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Ten years later, my other grandmother took me to lunch at a little deli where I ordered salami on sourdough. The man behind the counter decided that I looked underweight and so he "helped" me by adding extra meat. He must have put on half a pound – I remember it being more than ½ inch thick – and he included cheeses and veggies. I’ve never been able to duplicate that sandwich, either, in part because I just can’t justify putting ½ pound of salami on a single sandwich, but also because the memory was part of the taste.
These two sandwiches have gone down in my personal history as the best I’ve ever had, and in the decades that have followed, I’ve never found another sandwich that belonged on such an exclusive list. Until today.
I had the rare treat of walking around alone at the farmers’ market this morning. At lunch I found a booth that was selling bruschetta. Maybe everyone else knows all about it, but I had only read the word on fancy menus. I watched as the sellers created one for another customer before ordering. Their version of bruschetta is an open-faced sandwich that begins with a thick slice of "rustic bread" brushed with something (I’m guessing olive oil and garlic) and then grilled. Goat cheese is spread on the warm bread and it is topped with thin slices of brandywine tomato and chopped fresh garlic. Finally, it is drizzled with some kind of balsamic sauce.
I savored every bite. A woman walked by and demanded to know where I had purchased such an incredible looking lunch. It was perfect – a grown-up sandwich for a grown-up taste – and it was so filling that I didn’t eat my farm-fresh organic apple until much later.
I’ll probably try to duplicate the recipe at home, or maybe I’ll splurge again sometime at the market and buy another, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to really match the taste. It’s been added to my list of perfect sandwiches.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Sometime later, still awake and listening to the rain on the roof of our tent, I took mental inventory of the food we had lost. The little plastic box of goodies that had been in the big plastic box was untouched. I thought that chocolate and crackers would have been sniffed out first. I turned my attention to the cooler. The cheese and lunch meat were chewed, apparently by a chipmunk. The milk was fine. Munchkin’s soymilk – wait, I didn’t see the carton of soymilk. I didn’t see the bread, bagels, butter or cream cheese, either. It would have served the beast right if he’d eaten the chocolate flavored laxative, but it was untouched.
In the morning I asked Scott if he’d picked up the missing items. Not only had he not seen them, but he hadn’t seen his carton of half and half, either. We searched the area for any sign of the missing items. No tracks, no trash, no specks of eaten food, nothing. What kind of an animal could have done this damage? It didn’t take us long to realize, and the locals confirmed it – it was Bigfoot. Naturally.
For those who follow such things, I want to draw attention to the new information that Bigfoot or someone in his family is apparently lactose intolerant. Notice, he took the soymilk and left the regular milk. Of course, he took the half and half, too, so maybe he enjoys an occasional cup of coffee.
If Munchkin were a few years older, he probably would have been scared, but instead he adopted Bigfoot as his newest imaginary friend. He’s hoping Bigfoot will come to his next birthday party.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
A deer on Hurricane ridge
Ferry ride to Victoria
Monday, September 1, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
So what is Mr. Tired doing during his nap time right now? For the last 40 minutes he's been banging on a drum and singing like a wild Indian. I don't mean to be politically insensitive -- there was a real Indian on the ferry playing a drum and singing and Munchkin sounds just like him, only wild. Scott commented a few minutes ago that it's a good thing 's only part Indian.
I'll post more tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever I get our laundry done!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a little modern art from Munchkin.
Munchkin has discovered the "Paint" program on the computer, and now he begs me to let him play with it. His favorite thing to do with "Paint" is to direct a willing adult (me, naturally) to draw for him whatever he wants, but most of the time I make him do his own work. He is very particular and if he doesn't like the placement of something, he immediately asks for the eraser to get rid of it. Anyway, what do you think? College scholarship in modern art? What would it sell for in New York?
Munchkin's is certainly better than mine, but in my own defense, I had a wiggly preschooler squirming in my lap who directed my every move. You try that sometime!
Next mystery plant update will be after I get back from vacation and I think by then we should know for sure!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
As I was thinking about writing this "Gone Camping" post, I realized I hadn't posted, or even thought about, our local meal this week. I've been swamped. But tonight's dinner is a clean-out-the-fridge-before-we-go meal and it's going to qualify! No picture, haven't even made dinner, yet, but the menu this evening is:
BLT Sandwiches: bacon from our pig, backyard lettuce, farmers' market tomato, non-local bread
Corn on the cob: Fresh from a local farm, served with local butter, non-local salt & pepper
Carrot sticks: Farmers market
Next week is going to be the interesting one for local eating, and I'm not sure how that's going to turn out! So check for me back online by 8/25. Also, I'm planning a fun new series of blog posts for the fall which I will introduce on Sunday, 8/31. I'll keep you in suspense til then...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The story, for those who haven’t already heard, is a fictional account of a man whose young daughter is brutally murdered. Several years after the murder, the man gets a letter from God inviting him to spend a weekend in the shack where the murder occurred. The first quarter of the book is mostly flashback, and the rest is primarily dialogue as the man talks theology with a giggly and somewhat clumsy middle eastern man representing Jesus, a gardening Asian woman representing the Holy Spirit and God, who is portrayed as a black woman who goes by the name of "Papa" and can be found in the kitchen baking scones. I had many issues with the book, but I’ll highlight three of them...
Issue #1: I found the flashback of the murder chilling enough to give any parent nightmares. I could see it especially vividly because Young used a real place (Oregon’s Wallowa State Park campground) as the setting. Every detail was accurate as I remember it. I’d advise that if you have small children, or if you camp, or especially if you plan to visit the Wallowas someday, don’t read this book.
Issue #2: The way Young portrayed the trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) was weird. Some may find the various characters helpful in expanding their thinking about God, but it seemed to me that Young instead reduced God to a manageable size. It reminded me of a book title from back in the 60's: "Your God is Too Small." I was looking for the "awe" of God, and it wasn't there.
Issue #3: The theology in "The Shack" wasn't bad, but I felt like it was lacking. Young tackles many of the age-old questions (the nature of the trinity, the reason for pain and suffering, etc.) by having the characters representing God explain the answers in very neat, simple packages. These are questions that have been under discussion for thousands of years. Having "God" give the answers the author believes are correct seemed to me to be presumptuous. I also felt there was a lack of respect for the church, traditional understanding of theology, and the scriptures.
"The Shack" is obviously written from the author’s life story, which so far he has not shared, and since I’ve never experienced such a devastating loss I can’t really know if his approach is helpful to those who have. Obviously the book is meaningful to many people. I can see how some of Young's theology might be helpful to someone who has been hurt by the legalism that is all too prevalent in the Church. He also paints a clear picture of God's love for humanity. That's my best guess as to what it is that people like so much about the book. For me, I give "The Shack" 1 out of 5 stars. I recommend that church leaders read it so they know what it is, but I don’t recommend it to anyone else.
If you want to know more about God, don’t read "The Shack" and don’t watch the inevitable movie, instead read the Bible. Find a version that is in plain English (no King James-eth!). I suggest starting with the book of Luke in the New Testament – it's my favorite -- and follow it with the book of Acts. Now that's 5 star reading!