Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration


I admire people who can eat with chopsticks…I can, but by the time I’m half done my meal, everyone else is eating thirds! I can play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” smoothly, but I can’t get a chicken ball to my mouth. It’s very sad!

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“Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning hand springs or eating with chopsticks. It looks easy until you try it.”- Helen Rowland

To see more Admirable photos, click here.

Wilderness Wednesday: Pink Tulips


“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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“I believe in pink…I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

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“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” – Marianne Williamson

V.I.P. Room


If 42 is ” Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”, what question is answered by 43? I guess, starting today, I have a year to find out. But before I said “Ciao” to 42, I took on one more adventure…

The whole time I felt like this:

“…You see, there’s the high-fliers, like Annabel and Mark Darcy, and there’s the gorgeous girls, like Rebecca there and there’s the rest of us…I mean, look at the state of us. You and me stumbled into the V.l.P. room by mistake and it’s only a matter of moments before they show us the door.” – Bridget Jones 2: Edge of Reason

Monday & Tuesday were no exception. But I learned a few things while hanging out here…

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…as a singer with a group of phenomenal musicians as the worship team for a regional gathering of pastors, missionaries and “V.I.Ps”!

[Bonus: it meant getting some of the band together again…]

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Graham & Sam

I learned:

  • High-heeled boots look great, but don’t feel great after 12 hours.
  • It’s important to make sure your pants are done up before rehearsal, not after.
  • Wear anti-perspirant! Lots of it!
  • No matter how early it is in the morning, “paint the barn door”. Your self-esteem will thank you.
  • Eating blueberry pie while wearing a white jacket is either incredibly courageous or incredibly stupid.
  • Recognizing and respecting the gifts of others, creating space to let them shine, really does create a better sound and stronger team.
  • Mics get moist.
  • I still have no clue what to do with my hands.
  • Focusing on how awkward you think you look, will probably make you look even more awkward than you feel.
  • Don’t get dressed in the dark. You might end up wearing the pants that slide down (and take your underwear down too).
  • Don’t tell people you’re wearing the wrong pants…
  • Blame the bass player.
  • Beating the morning people to rehearsal and showing up with your own Tim Horton’s is an awesome way to start the day.
  • A “team” can be strong when everyone focuses on one purpose, even though the team just met.
  • Balancing fluid intake, bodily functions, and time, is precarious business.

* * *

How I came to be there was completely a God-thing. It meant early mornings, long hours, and new songs. It meant working with new people, and blending as a team. We sang different styles of music,  with drums and guitars, keys and wind instruments. Sometimes I sang melody and sometimes harmony (sometimes both in the same song) but no one asked me to stop!

It was so much fun…I felt like a rock star.

I also felt humbled. As I sang and worshipped, I saw others worshipping freely in the style and expression of their hearts and experiences, not because of something I was doing, but by the Spirit. I was humbled that someone as ordinary as me, someone who clearly doesn’t belong in the V.I.P. room, was allowed to hang out anyway…right in the middle…

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(…in my oversized gray shirt and baggy jeans. Note to self: skinny clothes)

* * *

Happy Weekend…I have some chocolate cake to devour in my oversized pjs to prepare for the next mid-life crisis! It could happen at any moment!

 

Wilderness Wednesday: Happy Meal


On Monday, I made a reference to my two faithful readers, and EvilSquirrel commented that “sometimes my cats will read over my shoulder… so don’t underestimate your readership! It’s at least double what you claim it is!😉”. So today, as a shout-out to my friends and his fabulous felines, I’m sharing a photo of our Rockstar!

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Sorry boys…while most Happy Meals come in a box…this one is not on the menu!

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

Deliver Us From Evil…


Around 5:30 last night, Hubby wandered into the kitchen and asked me, “what are you doing?”

I continued stirring onions in the frying pan but eyed him suspiciously. “I’m cooking”.

“What are you cooking?”

“I’m cooking käsespätzle”

“Bless you!” he replied. And then he started praying, “Deliver us from evil…”

* * *

As the two people who read this blog know, I am not a great cook. I’m not even a fair cook. My family survives on what I feed them…they come from strong Irish stock. And every now and then I try something new.

This weekend, I tried 3 new recipes in 2 days. I blame my Bible study group. We meet every other Sunday evening and each family takes a turn providing dinner. One mother of 4 boys made a yummy Egyptian dish (that I can’t pronounce but starts with an “M”), and then suggested that we each bring an ethnic dish from our backgrounds on our nights (btw, she’s Scottish & Irish)…

* * *

My background is Scottish, Irish and German, but…several generations ago. I searched and chose 4 recipes: German chocolate cake, käsespätzle, Irish wheat bread, and Colcannon. I went grocery shopping and bought everything I needed …for 3 of those recipes. Oops.

“Life is uncertain.Eat dessert first!” – Ernestine Ulmer

I started with German chocolate cupcakes. (I would have baked black forest cupcakes with kirsch whipping cream, but knowing my track record for disaster, I didn’t want to tempt anything involving alcohol). They are divine! (and full of fat)

It went downhill from there…

Then I moved on to Irish wheat bread, which does not reqiure yeast so no time to prove. I got my upper body workout mixing the thick, gelatinous glop and tossed it in the oven. I marked it with a cross, just like the recipe said…

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Little Guy thought this cupcake looked too plain…so he added Smarties to his!

The bread was salty and the crust was bitter…just like a few Irishmen I know.

“Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” – William Butler Yeats

That was Saturday…and my family was still alive and well.

Sunday evening, I made käsespätzle…I mixed my dough carefully, measuring the 250g of flour with our scales (which to date had only weighed wooden toy cars). Then I measured that 250 g with 3 different measuring cups & got 3 different measurements… so maybe I wasn’t always the problem in my cooking disasters?

While the dough was rising for 20 minutes, I sauteed onion rings, and grated gruyere cheese. Yum! The recipe said to sieve the dough through a colander into a pot of boiling water, to form mini cylindrical shapes of “pasta”. Instead, my dough oozed slowly through the holes like viscous yellow snot. Once cooked, it rose to the surface of the water like white, dead & bloated mutant maggots. I choked back the bile forming in my throat and tasted one and I had a flashback to the paste I used to eat in Kindergarten. But I persevered, ditching the colander and using two spoons to drop little blobs of gummy dough into the water until I thought my back would break.

By this time, Hubby was back with pizza.

All was not lost…while it looked…unappetizing (and the onions were undercooked and crunchy – messed those up too apparently), my käsespätzle was delicious.

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And I will never make it again!

My family are still aive and well; they have been delivered from evil!

Gut montag!

 

That’s Entertainment…


“To me, music is entertainment – what else can it be? In fact, it’s the only language I know of that’s universal.” –  Ray Charles

Tuesday night was the dreaded highly anticipated Annual Spring Fling School Concert.  For $8, Hubby and I expect at least 2 hours melting in a dark, gym that smelled like sweat socks…from 1956, stuffed next to doting grandparents, rude parents and fidgety toddlers (who could potentially also smell like sweat socks from 1956),  waving hand-held recording devices of various sizes over their heads so as to block the view of anyone sitting behind row 1. The plastic orange chairs, made for postage-sized bums,  would become more uncomfortable as the evening progresses while our hastily eaten dinner starts a revolt in our lower intestines. The MCs always talk too fast and the sound system is so ancient (way older than 1956), that there is no way to know what they are saying. They could be swearing at us in Klingon, but we would never know! The perimeter of the gym is lined with more anxious parents vying for space with their tripods, while others just stand wherever they desire.

Yup highly dreaded anticipated night of listening to poorly-played music while staring at the back of someone’s rapidly balding head. But Hubby and I would share it together.

The first song of the night was “The Concert Etiquette Rap”…yes sadly, our children had to remind us how to behave courtesouly during a public gathering. The parents at Little Guy’s SK Chrismas program were so out of control, snapping photos and crowding the children, that the teachers threatened to end it if they didn’t sit down.

Little’s Guy’s group went first so we didn’t have the same sense of anticipation to keep us going when “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” turned into this…

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Photo courtesy of pbs.twimg.com (from the Game, Exploding Kittens

I am ashamed to admit, Hubby & I began to look for other ways to help endure pass the time more pleasantly.

We took turns beating slightly off time with the drummer. He was already way off beat so it just made it a greater challenge.

We lip-synched…badly.

I tried to snap photos of Hubby when he wasn’t looking, by also not looking at him. He was smirking. I almost got a good one of him, but he held up the program just as I was taking the picture – the flash went off and blinded me.

We critiqued the kids’ clothes.

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We practiced our poker face every time one of the little darlings went out of tune.

We admired the gymasium decor. Hubby leaned over and whispered, “I’m glad to see they support 40 year-old divorced women looking for love”!

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We considered faking narcolepsy, waving at random people, or sniffing the air suspiciously, but we didn’t want to disturb our fellow prison-mates family members.

By the end of the 4th song, we were getting silly. So, like all bad parents, we stumbled our way from gym between songs, grabbed Little Guy from the classroom, and hightailed it home for ice-cream. Before you judge us, I must add that Hubby wanted to leave after the first song, but I made him be a better bad parent by waiting an extra 10 minutes. He’s still grumbling about it…

The next concert is 8 months away…plenty of time to plan for the next one!
That’s entertainment!

 

Wilderness Wednesday: Little Lady


With a layer of white snow still gracing the ground and a bitter wind sweeping through the trees, last week I took a moment to commune with a little lady about the prospect of Spring being nearer than it was the week before. And as I talked, she turned and looked at me, and though she’s very small, I’m certain that she winked…

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“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn