Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's all about greed.

Dr. John posted a great essay about the financial situation on his blog today. It's not just the famous and powerful who went down the greedy path.

[I'm still looking for a picture of a greedy path to post with his blog entry. What would one look like?]

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fiscal Disaster?

You thought that you knew how bad the economy is, right? Well read this and weep. I sure hope that there are some economic advisers out there who have some new ways of thinking and looking at problems. I can only ask, rhetorically, who OK'd this mess in the first place? Who/which universities taught business and economic classes what didn't question so much spending in comparison to earnings? I know that many stupid lay people, such as my husband and myself, who have always tried to live within our means, couldn't understand the mindset of spend like there is no tomorrow. Let's not just blame the president; the congress votes on the budget. Looks like it is possible that the tables will be turned in the future, hmmmmm.

Friday, February 20, 2009

99 things

99 things….

Here are the rules: Bold the things you’ve done and post on your blog!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
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
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
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 in Korea!
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 (my son was the sick one, not me.)
47. Had your 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
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (home movie)
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 almost, but it was canceled by bad weather.
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (NO Thanks!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
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 only a finger.
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper many times, I live in a small town, after all.
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House well, I drove past it.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (since I’ve caught, cleaned and cooked fish, I guess I have done this.)
88.Had chickenpox (hasn’t everybody?)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous the governor, does that count? NOT the present Republican Governor, no thanks.
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (but I saw it.)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I volunteered to be interviewed by Dr. John.

I am so glad you are willing to give up the time to provide all of us with more information about you.

1. You have commented on the cold and the snow several times in recent blogs. How does this winter compare to other winters in your area?

This winter we've had a lot of snow, totally, but most of it was in December. Since then, we've had only refreshing dustings, to keep up appearances. We were wondering if we'd run out of places to put the snow. The snow in front of the house is all tracked up by the deer and red squirrels, but the back area is virgin snow, waiting for a few snow angels to do their good work.

This year's accumulation is above average, but that is better than the way below average snow cover we had in early 2007, when the frost went so far into the ground that our well pipe broke and the septic mound froze. We were without sewer and water for 3 1/2 months. I was feeling sorry for myself until I met people in the laundry mat who live full time without running water or flush toilets.

We can tell that this year's cold stretch is longer and deeper than usual because we're going through our wood supply at a record clip. We've been using about a wheelbarrow load of split wood each day. But when the sun is bright, we can let the fire go out during the day because the house is designed for passive solar heat collection in winter. Wood heat is cozy but the debris that gets on the floor is messy. We're glad when the wood heat season is over. By the way, if it is above 20 degrees at night, we don't need to have a fire in the wood stove overnight. Good insulation really does reduce the need for heating.

2. I note from your year end report that you " baked a lot of bread". What kind of bread do you bake? Do you have a favorite recipe? I usually make 2 loaves of sour dough and two loaves of cracked wheat bread every week. My husband likes to eat starchy food, and bread is his favorite. And I have to say, my homemade bread is much better than store bread.

I mix the dough in the bread maker, let it rise, shape it, put it into greased bread pans, let it rise, and bake it about 33 minutes at 350 F.

1 3/4 C water; about 1/4 - 3/8 C cracked wheat (Homestead Mills brand); 2 tsp salt; 2 Tbsp Sugar; 1 Tbsp dry milk; 4 Cups Bread Flour. I usually use Dakota Maid. about 2 tsp good quality yeast. When you are mixing it in the bread maker, you need to adjust the amount of flour/water to get the right feel, which should be like the consistency of good bubble gum, not too stiff, not too sticky.

3. Tell us a bit about your involvement with missionaries in Nigeria. I know the parents and brother of Mary Beth, an ELCA missionary in Jos, Nigeria, (click on Nigeria) who went there as a teacher and married a Nigerian man, a pastor, I think. They have two children by birth, and a daughter whom they hope to adopt. Mary Beth's parents moved to my general community after she was an adult, so I only met her when she has been back visiting. Sometimes she is in the states to speak at conferences regarding AIDS. She and her husband founded the Mashiah Foundation, see right side bar. They have taught women sewing and quilting skills so they can be self-supporting. Most of these women have AIDS and are rejected by society, but with the help of AIDS drugs, often provided through programs of the US government, they regain dignity and usefulness in society. The Foundation also has a clinic and a school. These are amazing accomplishments for the short time they have been working in Jos. There are many items for sale, with the income supporting this ministry. I purchased a liturgical stole from the Women of Hope. There is a video out, but I've misplaced the title. A very large quilted piece from the Women of Hope (Mashiah Foundation) was displayed at the Women's convention (see right side bar) last summer in LaCrosse, Wis. Mary Beth's inspirational blog is worth reading. Find it here.

Interestingly, the local Baptist church has taken on the Mashiah Foundation as one of their missions because Mary Beth's parents attend there and because they have spoken there. One can make a tax deductible donation through the First Baptist Church.

4. What is it like to have no one left living at home? I like the freedom this gives me to come and go without considering anybody's needs but my own. Even when I leave town, I don't have to make sure that there is enough food in the refrigerator because my spouse can take care of himself. Of course, I'm introverted, so alone time is treasured like gold.

5. Your daughter is about to be Ordained . As one who has been active in the church what advice do you have for her and other Pastors just starting out? Love the Lord, Love the people. Keep track of what you do with your time, for your own benefit and in case someone on the council starts questioning you. Know your strengths, use them. Know your weaknesses. Either get some help strengthening the weak area or delegate what you won't/can't do. Don't just procrastinate what you have trouble doing. Remember to empower the members of the church by NOT DOING EVERYTHING yourself. It is more time consuming in the short run to get others involved, but it is much better in the long run for the church and for the parishioners.

Remember to offer to interview anybody who leaves a comment asking to be interviewed. If you want to volunteer to be interviewed, just know that I won't get back to you until at least Feb. 19.

Thanks, Dr. John

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Bishop was Here!

My daughter was ordained this past Sunday. This took place in the same place, within a few feet, of where she was baptized and confirmed, within the congregation that nurtured her all these years. We rejoiced with her, her friends, her church family, the choir, which took a special interest in her, and the bell choir, of which she had been a member for 4 years in high school. Several people laid their hands on her, including the Bishop, the guest preacher who was her internship supervisor in an eastern state, a pastor from town who also had been her bus driver in high school, as well as her sixth grade Sunday School teacher, who is now a rostered member of the synod, and a pastor from “down the road” who used to be my mother’s pastor in another state. Truly, we have brothers and sisters in Christ in our church family. Three people from her new parish traveled a long way to be here for the ordination. Her closet friends from college all traveled to be here. Several friends from 25 years ago made the long trip to be present.

Friends and family took part in various ways in the service, singing, reading, carrying in the gifts, etc. I was asked to present the stole because I had made it. The actual design was kept a secret from my daughter until the presentation. The music and scriptures all emphasized the call and responsibility of my daughter’s call.

The evening before the service, we had the out of town guests, as well as a few local people who would be leaders in the service, over for supper. I thought of that as a service to the guests, but it turned out that I was very blessed by this gathering. I now know what a caring Bishop she will have as her pastor. I have met three caring people from the parish. The Bishop and preacher got to meet our pastor and our pianist before walking into the church.

And besides all of that, we had our adult children and the two grandchildren home for a few days.

Thanks be to God!