Saturday, February 28, 2009

Indiscriminate Recollections from Today

(Note: "random" is an overused term, in my estimation, so I looked up synonyms. Along with indiscriminate, the word promiscuous was listed. That gave me a chuckle.)

Today has been such a nice day. Not so much weatherwise, but pleasantly occupied. I got to spend the morning in Mobile with Mr. H, which is always nice. We went several places, the last of which was Lowe's. It started to rain as we had picked up the last of the things on his list. And then it was raining so hard it was hard to hear. Since we weren't in any hurry to check out yet, he reminded me of an article I had mentioned to him yesterday. The writer (a baker) had lined the upper and lower racks of his oven with ceramic floor tiles (scroll to the bottom of this linked page) to duplicate and expand the effect of a pizza stone. What a cool idea! So we headed to the flooring section. We wasted just enough time deciding that we probably had enough leftover from our shower walls for the rain to stop. And we did: they are washed and installed!

I've been experimenting with sourdough the past week and had 2 loaves turn out well last night. The next baking will include a bit more salt and a little less time in the oven. (As well as see the effect of the tiles.) After I put aside the amount of starter I'll need for next time, I still had a bit left. I knew I had read somewhere about making biscuits and pancakes with leftover, so we had sourdough biscuits for breakfast this morning. And we had enough left for pizza dough after nine biscuits filled up my skillet.

After the trip to Mobile, we each made little individual pizzas with exactly the toppings that each of us wanted.

L had pepperoni topped with cheese topped with more pepperoni.

M used pesto rather than regular sauce and topped it with mushrooms and cheese.

Mr. H and I had pepperoni and sauteed onions, mushrooms, red peppers and olives. This picture of mine was taken while it was still in the oven on top of the floor-tile stone.

I think the bright spot of my day had to be when Mr. H brought in the mail and there was a letter for me! It was a note from a good friend saying she loved me. I'm still smiling, Davina!

We even cleaned the range hood and it wasn't a chore because we did it together. Well... I did help some, but left in the middle to go take M to a party.

And L saved a fish from a certain flushing by offering to buy it from a friend. So now Lily lives on her dresser. I just hope she's still alive in the morning! (note to self: buy fish food on the way back from picking up M tonight.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

One night this week, M and I watched "The Lake House" with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. I bought it last year for Valentine's Day. Sandra Bullock's character makes a comment at one point that she thinks she's falling in love with this man that she's never met. She has only the letters that they have exchanged.

I have watched documentaries about the Civil War that had letters written at that time as part of the script. The way those words sounded when read was so powerful. I compare that with most of the written communication that takes place today, and it makes me sad. There is no passion (or emotion of any kind!) in the messages "how R U" or "Wut U doin" that appear in messages to my daughter. No one would ever fall in love as a result of messages like that.

When Mr. H and I were in college, we didn't see each other much during the summers. That was before cellphones and even before long distance calling plans. Long distance calls were reserved for after 11 p.m. and weekends. And if the call went longer than 20 minutes or so, it took a paycheck to pay Mom & Dad back for the bill. As a result, we wrote a lot of letters. I still have them, too: tied into 2 stacks in the box our wedding invitations came in. One stack is in my handwriting; the other, in his. There are a few cards in the stack, but they are blank ones, filled with our own words.

My original intent with this post was to pick something out of a few of those letters as examples of what it means to REALLY write a letter, but after going through them, it's hard to share those feelings with the world. So, I've changed tactics. I want you to do something. I want you to write a letter to someone: not send them an e-mail. Get some paper. Go to your printer and pull out a blank sheet, if you have to. Pens work just as well on that paper as printer ink. If you have an old box of stationary stuck in a drawer or up on a shelf, that's even better. Now, think of someone who needs to get a letter. If you have parents or grandparents living, consider yourself lucky and write to them. Especially grandparents. They are probably the ones who don't get e-mail, either. They would love something other than junk mail and bills in the mail box. Now get started: Dear Friend, I was thinking about you today.... Tell them what you've been doing, how the weather is, what you saw on the way to work or school. Tell them something funny that happened, something that made you mad, some old story about them that you remember. Talk to them just like they were sitting in front of you listening. If you miss them, tell them so. If you love them, tell them that, too. You'll be glad you did.

Now, put a stamp on it and send it. And chances are, in the next week or so, you'll get a nice letter in your mailbox.

Monday, February 23, 2009

He's My Son

You may be familiar with the Mark Shultz song "He's My Son."

Several years ago our church presented an Easter musical and included a reworded version of this song. It was sung by the character of Mary, Jesus' mother, during the crucifixion. Our worship leader got permission from the lady who rewrote the words to use them in our musical. I'm not sure who she is, but she did a wonderful job.

He's My Son

Down on His knees last night He prayed
Hoping this cup would pass away
But He knew the choice that He must make
He knew the price He’d have to pay

He was so tired; the tears stained His precious face
The soldiers burst in, and they took Him away
And I tried not to cry as the tears filled my eyes

Can You hear me? Am I getting through today?
Can You see him? Can’t You make this go away?
If You can hear me, let me take His place somehow.
See, He’s not just anyone, He’s my son.

When He was a child I watched Him sleep.
I dreamed of the Man that He would be.
I tried to be strong and see Him through,
But God, what I need right now is You.

I'm not really sure what all has happened here.
I’m trusting You now. I know there is nothing to fear.
But I’m tired and I’m scared; let me know that You’re there.

Can You hear me? Am I getting through today?
Can You see him? Can’t You make this go away?
If You can hear me, let me take His place somehow.
See, He’s not just anyone, He’s my son.

Can You hear me? Am I getting through today?
Can You see him? Can’t You make this go away?
If You can hear me, let me take His place somehow.
See, He’s not just anyone

Can You hear me?
Can You see him?
Please don’t leave Him
He’s ....Your Son

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keyboard Cleaning Attire

Black jeans are NOT the approved attire when blowing the dust out of one's keyboard!

They become covered in little white fuzzballs which can only be removed with a damp cloth. Then the aforementioned black jeans become damp and cold, leading to an unnatural attraction on the part of the jeans wearer for the heater under the desk.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Miss Patty Cake

I had to go by Wal-Mart this morning on an errand for school. While I was checking out, a lady with a little girl in the buggy got in line behind me. I'm always watching kids in buggies (I guess it's a 'mom' thing) and I noticed that this child was wearing what at first I thought was a Christmas outfit. She had on red and white striped stockings and a matching turtleneck and over that was a green jumper. When the child turned around, I realized that it wasn't a Christmas outfit at all. It had 3 big pockets: 1 heart and 2 hands.

I couldn't help myself: "Ohhh, a Miss Patty Cake dress! I've never seen one for little girls before. How cute!" The mom beamed!

Having 3 girls of my own, who have at one time or another possessed every Christian children's video ever published, I know Miss Patty Cake very well. Her dress has 1 heart and 2 hands on the pockets. She's rather like Barney the purple dinosaur with a Christian emphasis.

As much as I'm thankful for artists like Miss Patty Cake, I am so glad that my girls have grown to like music that is a little more mature. They still like Christian music, but now it's more Barlow Girl , NewSong or Third Day than Miss Patty Cake.

P.S. Third Day is one of MY favorites, too. I could listen to Mac Powell sing all day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

God's Back Yard

I love the viewpoint of a 2-year old.

Church is God's house.

Therefore, the playground out back is ...

...God's back yard.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Morning Sky

Our front porch faces the east. This morning, I was standing at the kitchen table and noticed that the usually white curtains on our front windows were tinted pink. I knew the sky behind them must be spectacular! I was right.

I love the fact that there is a tree line to our east and our west. It makes for beautiful views of dusk and dawn. My favorite times of day are when the sky is awake, but the earth is still asleep.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Music in the Family

Today is Solo & Ensemble Contest day is south Mississippi. M & L each played a solo and an ensemble (but not together). And they both made 1's in each!

Mr. H never went to solo & ensemble, which is surprising, since he is such a talented guy. I went every year from 7th through 12th grade. I have several medals, too. In fact, solo medals is all I ever had until I went to Callaway in the 11th grade. We made a 1 in sight reading one of the years I was there. I remember it because some of the guard girls had sight reading medals and couldn't play an instrument! I got a medal as drum major when I was in the 8th grade, but it was yellow just like the S&E medals.

I hope the girls keep using music in their adult lives. Mr. H and I are on a rotation to play the offertory once a month at church. He actually plays in our praise band every Sunday night. I love to watch him when he is in the groove. I think sometimes he surprises himself with how beautifully a song comes out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Gray Day

I was in the kitchen of the church a bit ago and looked out the window to the north. The clouds and the bare trees look so melancholy.

There is something about a day like this that appeals to me on some level. Maybe that's why gray is my favorite color.
Appropriately enough, the song that's playing on my Windows Media Player at this moment is called "A Hazy Shade of Winter."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is Mom's birthday. She would have been 71 years old. We used to kid her that she was as old as Abraham Lincoln! He would have been 200 today. She looks like she's having cake, so I thought this one would be appropriate for the occasion.

I posted some other older photos of her last summer, too. She was so photogenic.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back Online... least for the present.

This week my office computer, from which I am typing this, was unable to connect to the internet through the web browser. I could get and send e-mail and connect to the church server. Everyone else had browser access except me.

Mr. John Mac, our computer guru, came and put the touch on the machine yesterday. As of yesterday afternoon, still nothing. I turned it all off and went home.

Now this morning, behold: The Browser Worketh!!!

I hope it just needed the good night's sleep.

Friday, February 6, 2009

chip clip

He did it again!

I think my husband does this just to amuse me!! (sorry! I fixed the link)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A True Friend

You know someone is a true friend when they tear their last tissue in half and hand you one piece of it. Only a real buddy will make do with half a Kleenex so you don't have to do without.

Thanks, Davina.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Musical Post

I apologize in advance to any non-musicians who may read this.

Mr. H, myself and a friend of ours usually play the offertory on the 2nd Sunday of each month at our church. Last month we decided what we'd do this month (we NEVER plan that far ahead.) I went so far as to downloading the sheet music, so we'd have it. Well, it sat on my desktop (unprinted) until today.

Today we printed it out...

all 9 pages of it.

We laid it out on the kitchen table, from one end of the table to the other. After Mr. H noodled around on it a bit (a musical term I learned from a former band director), I put down the blue jeans I was hemming for M and picked up my flute to join him. We stood side by side at the beginning of the music (with me to the right to I wouldn't whop him upside the head with my flute) and started.

It was a bit rough (what an understatement!) at the beginning and we had to start several times before we got the rhythm going. Eventually, we got beyond the first 2 pages. I then noticed that we were having to side-step down the table as we were playing. I ran up against a stool and was pushing it aside with my hip as I was trying to play. I finally had to stop and push the stool around to the end of the table, because this song and that stool were not working to my advantage. I think we both had visions of a Victor Borge comedy skit playing in our heads.

After about the umpteenth time we stopped, we finally made it to the 9th and final page. We were in the home stretch. As we finished the final note, we busted out laughing and gave each other a high 5! We had reached the the same time! M, who was sitting at the table, trying to ignore the atrocious noise filling the kitchen, gave us the oddest look!

Now this is not always such a cause for celebration when we play together, but the song "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is a tough one. It's long and has tons of notes and there is no place to breathe and everyone knows the tune, so it's obvious when you mess up. It will get better as the week progresses. It certainly can't get any worse than what we just did!