Saturday, November 01, 2008

Daddy and Baby

Hey, You Young Drivers

The drive from home to Fort Wayne to see the grandbaby was a bit long yesterday. I managed to hit plenty of construction zones and detours. I did not, however, hit the little red sedan that I thought I would.

The driver of the red car realized she was missing her exit off the freeway. Of four lanes heading south, she was in the next-to-left lane and needed to cross two lanes immediately for her exit. So she slowed way down and nearly stopped and proceeded to turn toward the exit. As she began to pull out directly in front of me, with no way for me to avoid her, she noticed my car and stayed in her lane. I still wonder whether she got out of the situation without being smashed by one of the cars coming up behind her.

Why is it so hard for some people to just go with the mistake? So you missed your lane? Keep driving and take the next exit and turn around and come back! Later in the day (twice even!) I ended up in a lane that suddenly turned into a right-turn-only lane when I didn't want to turn right. If there'd been less traffic, I could've moved over. But Chicago drivers aren't prone to letting people into their lane. So I turned right. Inconvenient, yes. But better than stopping and plugging up the traffic and causing accidents. And better than heading into a lane where there's fast-moving traffic.

So, ya got that, Andrew and all you other young drivers? If you can't safely move to where you're supposed turn, keep going and adjust your lane later and turn later or exit later. Stopping on the highway is not okay!

Power Shower

When we moved to Sharon, we were very aware that there was no water pressure. It was terrible to take a shower. It took forever to fill the dishpan in the sink. When we mentioned it to the trustees, they told us that we didn't know what we were talking about -- this is just the way it is with a well.

But the parsonage we'd lived in before had a well. My grandparents' homes had wells. The house we live in now has a well. Eventually it was discovered that the pressure tank for the water was bad, and that's why we had no water pressure. When that was repaired, things improved tremendously.

But today, taking a shower at Katie & Nathan's apartment, oh, yowsa!, this is AWESOME water pressure. Come to think of it, I love the water pressure when I shower at my folks' house. And hotels... We love to spend way too much time in the shower at a hotel. That water beats down on your neck with some force, and it's like a massage. Way better than the shower at home (even though the one at home is just fine).

So this is what the trustees were talking about, way back when, when they told us that "this is just how it is when you're not on city water." If we'd just been whining at the time, they would've been right. A well cannot have the oomph that city water has.

Friday, October 31, 2008

More Baby Pictures

Whoa, such bright eyes!

And she loves to have her hands by her face! When she gets reliable with finding that thumb, it's going to be in her mouth a lot.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

First Picture

Baby News

Alia Grace was delivered safely this evening. Katie developed toxemia recently and was induced today. Nathan reports that the midwives said they've never seen an induced labor go so well. The new mama is improving.

For Mothers

O almighty, everlasting God and Father,
Creator of all things,
who by Your grace,
through Your Son, our Lord,
who has redeemed us from sin,
makes the anguish of our human birth a holy and salutary cross,
we pray You,
O gracious Father, Lord, and God,
that You would preserve and guard the work of Your own hand.
Forsake not them who cry to You in sore travail,
but deliver them out of all their pains,
to their joy
and to the glory of Your goodness;
through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet Potatoes

Although some of us love 'em, some of us think that sweet potatoes more than once a month is really a bit much. We've gotten sweet potatoes a few times with our CSA, so I was looking for something to do besides just baking them. What I tried tonight was a hit! It's a little sweet to be considered a veggie dish instead of dessert, but healthier and less sugary than a lot of side dishes. It's easy to throw together, and a 13x9 was almost enough for the five of us piggies.

Grease a 9x9" pan.

In a large bowl, toss together:
5 cups diced sweet potatoes
2 cups diced apples
1/4 cup brown sugar

Stir together:
2 Tbsp maple syrup (or pancake syrup)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add 1/2 cup apple cider
(or apple juice or orange juice)

Pour cider mix over potatoes and apples.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped walnuts over the top.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until cooked through, removing foil the last 15 minutes.


How bad are things? If things are as bad as they are, shouldn't we just go ahead and let them disintegrate totally? If we're in a synod with problems, shouldn't we get out and let the synod fall to pieces? If we're in a country with warped politics and bureaucracies, shouldn't we just go ahead and vote for what's right, even if we know that will, in effect, throw support to the "greater of two evils"? Shouldn't we go ahead and let things fall apart so that we can get the pain over with and begin the healing and reconstruction process?

I don't think so.
I used to think so, but not any more.

We knew from the time Maggie was a baby that she'd need a second heart surgery. People wondered about the state of synod. She got the surgery she needed --covered by insurance-- because synod and its health plan was/is still going.

Some people said Gary should not have stayed so long at his last parish. But I think of certain people in the congregation who were brought back into the fold of the Church through his ministry there. The delay (even if it hurt our family) was for the salvation of some dear saints.

God delayed in the destruction of Ninevah and Assyria. There are Ninevites with whom we will be spending eternity, singing praises to the Lamb of God, because God sent Jonah and delayed in taking down that evil empire.

There are many people for whom I have a lot of respect that are ready to see the end of America as we know it. They see the evil here with the same disgust that some of our enemies see it. They want to see the downfall of both the Republicans and the Democrats. And I can certainly see why! And yet... I see the blessings that have come to many people because of the delay of the implosion: physical blessings, spiritual blessings, blessings within relationships, and material blessings.

Like my friend Jenny said, bad government is better than anarchy. I guess it just shows how blessed we have been --how little trouble we have seen-- that her statement doesn't easily & obviously resonate as truth.

How often in the Bible did God tarry with His chastisements and punishments! And it was always for the sake of extending the time of grace.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Another item I should have a picture of, and don't.

The deck is done. The boards have all been turned over, sanded, sealed, and reattached. It's been a huge job, but it's done for the winter. Granted, there's still no fence around the edge, so Gary still has some work to do next spring. We also have to deal with some topsoil and landscaping where the pool used to be. But for the next four or five months, all work on the deck has come to a halt. Gary finished re-attaching the final boards Sunday afternoon, with flurries blowing in his face. But the deck is now safe to walk on. (No more worries about a Bugs Bunny type of incident, where you unwittingly step on the end of an unattached board, and have it flip up and bop ya in the nose.) No more humongo splinters in the deck.

What will we do with all Gary's spare time, time that he has been spending on the deck? Might we talk to each other? Might we do things together as a family? What an enticing concept!! I am SO looking forward to seeing him again!


Hooray, hooray! The vent over the stove was installed today. I took a picture, but I'm already way behind on blogging about Stuff, and I honestly don't have the energy to upload pictures. It is LOVELY to have a light over the stove-top again after 8 months without -- well, except for the problem of seeing all the grease-mess on the top of the stove. (No, no, no! I did NOT say that! Seeing the grease-mess is GOOD because it means I can also see what's in the frying pan. Right?)

The main point, however, of the vent was to draw the wet air and steam out of the house. I had enough mildew at the last house. In this house, I want the vents in top-notch operating condition! So today I'm making gumbo, and forgot for the first half-hour that I could use the vent. When I turned it on, oh!, it was a beautiful sight to behold those curls of steam being drawn up into the vent and booted outta the house!


Handwriting practice for Maggie recently has been the learn-by-heart Bible verse of the week, once or twice each in printing and then in cursive. Printing came out fine today. But "righteousness" came out "righteousmess." (You gotta admit that the cursive m's and n's can be tricky when you're learning them.)

Oh, there are SO many cracks we could make about "righteousmess." Yikes, the mess left over after making a few pies would be "one righteous mess." Or maybe when we go to confession and are absolved, then we are left with the consequences of sin, but since it's been forgiven it's a "righteous mess"?

She better get the cursive-M right tomorrow, or I'm going to have to keep heckling her.