Saturday, May 14, 2011

Good Tweezers

After a drenching rain on Wednesday, the dandelions were coming out by their roots! They weren't just breaking off like normal. I spent a few hours on Thursday getting my feet and knees muddy while I rescued strawberries and raspberries from their dandelion-invaders.

But raspberries have thorns. So do thistles. During the night, I kept awaking to notice a pain in one toe. Sure enough, when daylight came I could see the tiny sliver under my skin.

We used to have a cheap pair of tweezers. They couldn't pull ANYthing out. A couple of years ago, Gary finally popped a wad o' money on a pair of high-quality tweezers. And you know what? They actually work! Nasty little sliver eliminated quick as a wink. Hooray!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Passion of the Christ

I've heard some of my friends say that they don't want to see the movie. I understand the sentiment; when the movie first came out, I thought the same thing. It definitely makes an impression on you, that's for sure! And as one of my friends explained, you can't go back and "unsee" something, so she's holding off.

This year I heard a description of the movie that resonated with me. Someone told us it was the cinematic version of Handel's Messiah. Yes! That's it. Exactly! Like the Messiah, the movie IS the gospel for sinners, but in a different art form. And it is rich and full and deep.

One of the things I want to do someday is to figure out all the psalms that Jesus prays in the movie. For example, before He is to be scourged, what Jesus prays is not just an extemporaneous prayer for help, but it is from a psalm.

Last time I watched the show, I noticed not only the words of some psalms, but also the context. (That's why I want to look them all up, so as to bask in more of the contexts.) When Jesus takes up His cross on the Via Dolorosa, He prays, "I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant ...." Do you know what comes right before that in Psalm 116? "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Hey, that fits too! And do you know what comes right after those words placed into Jesus' mouth in the movie? "I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving." Hey! We often think of that psalm in the context of the liturgy, but THE sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of thanksgiving, was about to be butchered that Friday long ago.

How many more sweet things like that are tucked away in the film? This movie is a masterful work of presenting the gospel, always with more beauties of God's love to be found woven into the piece. Every time I see it, I look forward to discovering more of those treasures.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Garden Report

What with persistent rain and cold, I haven't really been able to get outside to work much. Today I took a couple of hours to hit the garden.

Dug up and fluffed one raised bed.
Planted lettuce, spinach, beets, cilantro, and basil in it.
Discovered spinach coming up that somehow lived through the winter or seeded itself.
Same for some cilantro.
Dug a lot of dandelions out of the garden, particularly where they were amongst the precious baby cilantro plants.
Rotten rabbits and/or blasted deer have been nibbling on my perennial onions.

The small cherry tree has a few blooms. Lilacs and the big cherry tree, though, still have a long way to go before they flower. Apple trees are just beginning to grow; I'll need to prune soon. Grape vines still look dead, but should start to show signs of life soon.

Gary has cut asparagus several times. We've eaten two small batches.
Maggie cut some tulips and brought them inside for the cheery sight and the lovely perfume.

Next job will be to rake the maple leaves and other fall/winter yuckies out of the strawberry patch. After that will be some shoveling or tilling in the other beds, in hopes that someday it will be warm enough to plant tomatoes. After that, a good job weeding around the berry canes.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Hospital's Cooking Contest

I developed a delicious recipe for a chicken-and-rice dish that is good for you (as differentiated from the yummy but not-so-healthy chicken-and-rice made with cream of mushroom soup). I have been waiting for a recipe contest to come along so that I might stand a chance at winning a prize with this all-mine recipe. So I was excited to see a postcard arrive in the mail, mentioning a recipe contest.

Bummers! Turns out the prize is the privilege of being on a local cooking show, and having the host "healthy-up" your recipe. No money? Sorry, but a trip to Madison to have a mainstream-nutrition guy try to make my healthy recipe healthier (by using margarine instead of butter?? using lite soy sauce instead of real??) ain't gonna happen.

Nevertheless, I thought the sample recipe on the flyer looked like it was worth a try: Thai Chili Chicken. But once I started making it (and then tasting it) I wondered. This recipe had 1 pound of chicken and 1 quart of chopped veggies to stir-fry ... and a half-cup of sugar. A half cup for only one pound of chicken and one quart of vegetables? And this is supposed to be for "health-conscious foodies"? Excuse me. I admit I am far too fond of my sugar. But even we thought this was too sweet, and that's after I downgraded the amount of sugar by making the recipe with 50% more chicken and about three times the amount of vegetables.

If this is what passes for health-conscious cooking, no wonder the doctors don't take me seriously when I say we have a good diet. Our diet makes "healthy diets" look like junk food.

Okay. Rant over. I promise. (For a little while.)

The Best Mother's Day Gift

Attendance was high at church yesterday. There were a lot of visitors (or members who attend only occasionally) sitting next to Mom or Grandma. It made me suspect that quite a few women responded to "What would you like for Mother's Day?" with "Please don't buy me anything; just come to church with me!" I wonder if that's normal at other congregations or if it's particularly important to the women in our congregation. What is more gladsome to a Christian mother's heart than that her children cling to Jesus in faith and desire to soak up more of His word?

Lutheran Satire's you-tube
about thanking Lutheran mothers

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Today's Laugh

A genie offers the man whatever he might wish for. Anything at all! Whatever he wants!

The man says that, if he could have anything his heart desired, he would love to ride his Harley all the way to Hawaii.

"Hawaii?" asks the genie. "That's a pretty selfish wish. It would be a very long bridge; the supports would have to all the way to the ocean floor. Storms would endanger the bridge. Fulfilling your wish would be virtually impossible."

The man recognized the wisdom of the genie's complaint. So he decided to make a different wish. "Genie, I changed my mind. Instead, I want to be able to understand my wife. I want to understand what she's saying. I want to understand her feelings. I want to rightly interpret her facial expressions and tone of voice."

The genie thought for a few moments. Then he responded, "So did you want one lane or two?"

Joke picked up during last Thursday's Bible class.