Friday, January 20, 2012

Psalm 107

Have you ever noticed the pattern in Psalm 107? There are four different sections in the interior of the psalm: those who are lost in the wilderness, those who sit in darkness, fools in need of healing, and those who are overwhelmed by the wind and waves.

Each section starts with their angst and their need. Then we hear "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distresses." We hear what God did for them. Then again we have repetition: "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" Each section then has one verse of conclusion.

I don't know why I think that's so nifty. I probably read the psalm a couple of dozen times before I recognized the pattern. But now there's something about it that thrills my heart.  (I guess you can laugh at my oddities now. Oh well, I still think it's really cool. And I thought maybe somebody out there somewhere might also be tickled to see the pattern.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


In past years, reading history to the kids, I remember my shock at the reaction of people when toilets were invented. "What? You'd do THAT in your house? Oh, it would stink. Clean people wouldn't give up their outhouses."

It's a whoppin' 1 degree this morning.

I am thankful today for indoor plumbing that flushes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Stove ... and other stuff

I should have realized sooner. But I finally got the message when it took four hours to roast a 3# chicken. We spent two days shopping for a stove, both in stores and online. It was delivered when I was at work one day.

The first thing I noticed was that it sits against the wall. The old stove had a flat back, which meant it had to sit in front of the gas pipe and the electrical outlet. But this one is somewhat concave on the back, so that the plug and the gas pipe fit where the indentation is. There's no longer a 6" gap behind my stove. This means the stove door is nearly flush with the cabinet-fronts. It also means bottles of olive oil and spatulas are not diving to the floor behind the stove.

Second thing I noticed: light. I crab at people to turn the lights on "low" on the stove vent. The [not inexpensive] LED light bulbs last much longer if they're on "low" instead of "high." Once we got the new, white stove, I thought people were running the lights on "high." They weren't. Y'know, you learn things about lightwaves in your physics classes, but it still astounds you to see the difference in brightness when you have a white stove versus a black stove.

Third thing I noticed. The knobs for the burners are in different places. I suppose y'all should be placing bets on how long it will take me to burn down the house. I get so frustrated with a pot taking forever to come to a boil ... and it turns out I've got fire on an uncovered burner while the pot is sitting in an unheated spot. Yikes! I've gotta work on that!

Fourth thing I noticed (and maybe even better than the first thing I noticed) -- it cooks so nicely. The first batch of bread seemed exquisite. I attributed that to chance. But the second batch of bread rose beautifully, with a lovely crust, no cracking, no toughness. Hmmm. Maybe there was more wrong with the old stove than I had realized.

On the day the stove was installed, we found water in the basement. It's happened twice. Both times were with a hot load of laundry. No leaking when the shower is used. No leaking when the kitchen sink is used. No leaking when the laundry is set to "warm." Now, how can the water heater know to leak onto the basement floor only when the washer is turned on to a hot load? With some detective work, we are suspecting that there's a problem with a valve. I'll have to do some more sleuthing, including turning on the washer and sitting there with my eyes constantly on the water heater for 20 minutes or so. Not the most exciting spy-work. But we're on our way to solving the mystery.

Picnic lunch last week at work. Seriously. Outdoors. Picnic blanket. Sack lunch. Magazine. Granted, I was wearing my coat, but I had no mittens or hat, and wasn't in the least bit chilled on my face. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. The snow came the next day.

We found a buyer for the car. We'll be making the transaction on Saturday. I hope it serves him well. And I hope the van gives us a few more good years.

Car stuff. Large appliance stuff. Doing a little shopping for a suit for a massive-chested young man. Hoo boy. No wonder I haven't had time to blog. Now we're on to more suit-shopping and figuring the taxes and a couple of editing projects. And I really ought to teach Andrew to drive stickshift. (How do we make it all slllllooooooww dooowwwwn?)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Second String

What a fun movie! Thank you to whoever recommended Second String. It's got all the feel-good aspects of a typical sports movie that shows a win for the underdogs, as well as making you smile at creative, thinking-out-of-the-box problem-solving. The story may be a bit predictable, but it makes you laugh and cheer, and that's a good thing.