Saturday, August 11, 2007


My apologies to those readers who have a blogger or netvibe subscription. I relabeled a bunch of posts tonight, so your reader will be full of repeat posts. (There is one new one in there, at the end of the long list of oldies.)

Pastoral Visits

The pastor does not make social calls. He makes pastoral visits.

When a person is sick or dying, he may not feel up to having visitors. That's to be expected. But nobody tells the medical doctor, "I don't feel up to visitors today. You can't come by." The sickness and the desire to avoid visitors is precisely the evidence that you need the doctor's care. AND the pastor's care!

Apparently hospice workers and nurses and home health aides do not understand this. If this is some unimportant factoid they heard in class and promptly forgot, the family is going to have to take action to make sure the helpers know. You know those signs that go up in houses when oxygen is in use? A warning with instruction? Maybe we need big signs like that in the home when a loved one is sick and dying: "Anybody who answers the phone always says YES when the pastor suggests coming over. No matter how the patient is feeling today."

Friday, August 10, 2007


For VBS, we're sharing suppers at church. Tonight Pastor is bringing chili, but they needed bread and salad. Because making bread makes me happy, I volunteered to bring that. My first batch of bread this morning was herb bread that I made into breadsticks. It's just my standard whole-wheat recipe, but I added about
1 Tbsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp onion powder
1.5 Tbsp thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Because it was shaped into breadsticks, it needed only about 15 minutes to bake instead of 35. It smelled marlevous.

Next batch was a standard French bread, white flour. [Sigh. I didn't figure I should make all the bread be as healthy as I usually make for us.]

The next set was my Twist Bread. This is something served at one of the swanky restaurants in Lake Geneva. I came up with a way to replicate it. It doesn't taste particularly fantastic (like the herb bread). It's just extra pretty with the yumminess-level of regular homemade bread.

First I make the dark bread. The color comes from using about 80% whole wheat and just a little white flour. I also use coffee instead of the water, brown sugar or molasses instead of the usual sugar, and throw in a tablespoon of cocoa just for extra depth of brownness. While that begins to rise, I make a plain old batch of white bread dough.

When they're ready to shape, cut the dough into smaller chunks, each color into as many finished loaves as you'll want. Press each dough ball into a flattish rectangle, then put one brown rectangle on top of one white rectangle. Press them hard and flat together so that the brown dough won't separate from the white dough while rising. Pick up the rectangle, and flip over one end once or twice, so that the rectangle is twisted. Lay the rectangle down again and press hard to flatten. Then shape the dough for a loaf in the regular way, sealing and pinching as you roll. When cut, you get a very pretty marbling of brown and white.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Philip's Escapades

My son is now gallavanting around Japan. (Yes, Mom, he made it there safely!) Gary asked Philip to post daily to his blog because we can't contact him via phone. Click here for his website and updates.

Praying Hymns

We are currently attending VBS. Mornings are for the kids to study Jesus' prayers during Holy Week and to work on their catechism memory-work. Evenings are for everybody to attend what Pastor is calling a "retreat on prayer." Paul had an interesting comment on what his mother got him into. Andrew didn't particularly want to go along the first night, but was quite happy to return the second night.

One of the points Pastor made was that we don't "read" the psalms or "say" the psalms, we PRAY them. He mentioned that people have a sense that they shouldn't come into church or leave to go potty or whatever during the prayers. When everyone has their heads bowed and their hands folded and Pastor is praying, even pagans know to be respectful of that and be still. But he said people are perfectly willing to come and go (or whisper to the neighbor) during the psalms. But we are praying the psalms and should have that same sense of respect for those prayers as we do when Pastor is praying the collect or the general prayer.

This reminded me of some friends who were expressing some dissatisfaction with back-to-back hymns during communion distribution. They said they like some quiet time during communion so that they can pray and meditate. But that's what the hymns ARE! They are prayers. They guide our meditation. If we learn to think of the hymns as our prayers, then they are not an "interruption" to our prayers during communion, but add to our prayer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Last Saturday Maggie and I headed to a get-together of homeschoolers. It was a long drive, but a good day. My friend Cheryl, who hosted, has posted photos on her blog, as well as a synposis of the day. Mom can see pics of some of my friends, and my kids will find that the picture of me is pretty good (as photos of me go, anyway). Many thanks to those who planned the day and prepared the food and activities!


People do not like poop on the beach.
Nevertheless, people like to go to the beach and feed bits of bread crust to the ducks and sea gulls.

When you put food into the front end of the bird, what do you expect to come out of the back end of the bird? This is not rocket science.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fitted Sheets

I've been trying to figure out how to salvage fitted sheets when the cloth isn't at all worn out, but the elastic has gone. It crossed my mind that maybe I could sew elastic crosswise around the bottom of the corners. But then I wondered if it would be easier just to sew a 12-18" strip of fabric to all the edges, so that there would be something to tuck under the mattress. I suppose I could just buy a new set of sheets, but it seems a shame to waste this one set when the cloth is still in such good shape, and pretty, and comfortable.


Seeing as how several people have asked in the last few days about Rosie, I guess I should make a general announcement. She is alive. She didn't die from being run over by the car, and her recuperation continued. She is now running around like a crazy Cowabunga Kitty, attacking everything, racing full speed through the house, being utterly stupid and falling off things and smashing into things. Her favorite stunt of the last few days is to take flying "superman" leaps off beds onto the floor several yards away. Sometimes she seems to sit funny, as though her hip is not healed altogether correctly. But she can run and she can jump and she can leap after bugs.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Unjust Steward

Today's Gospel began with
He also said to His disciples, "There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. Luke 16

I think this begins back at the start of chapter 15. The tax collectors and sinners were hanging on Jesus' every word. The Pharisees and scribes were crabbing about Jesus' indiscriminate grace. So Jesus told them a parable (the lost sheep). Then another parable (the lost coin). Then another parable (the lost sons). And then another parable (the unjust steward), this one to His disciples who would be His stewards/apostles.

In the story of the unjust steward, we start with a certain rich man. The parable of the prodigal son starts the same way. The story of the prodigal son was about a son who was wasting the father's goods. The story of the unjust steward was about a steward who was wasting the rich man's goods. Both wasteful dudes ended up in the good graces of the rich guy. The parable of the prodigal son ends with a party to celebrate the son being welcomed back into his home. The parable of the unjust steward ends (verse 9) with Jesus' comment about being received into an everlasting home.

What does this mean? Beats me! But it's not a coincidence that these two stories have so much in common.