Sunday, April 20, 2008

Friday 5 - a wee bit late

Friday I was consumed with a tween party, so I read but didn't play. Yesterday I completely forgot. Sunday morning it is!

This is certainly a strange way to start out a Friday Five but it made me think about what I might like to do if I knew it would only last for 24 hours. There are no reality boundaries to these imaginings. So here are the five things for you to consider...

1. If you could dramatically change your physical appearance for 24 hours, what would you do?

I'd be flat-chested. Like, an A-cup. And then I'd (also rather magically) be able to go for a really long run. And then I'd have the energy to go out dancing. I'd like to know what it feels like to do those physical things without big gazongas, and I'd like to know if folks really pay attention to them.

2. If you could live in another place for 24 hours, where would you go?

As it is only a day, I'd go to the Antarctic. Generally speaking it's too cold for me - but I can do anything for a day!

3. You get to do somebody else's job for a day...

Hmmmm....I'm not convinced I want anyone else's job. Maybe Archbishop Tutu. Obviously, he works, but he doesn't work as a priest, necessarily. So, he uses his priestly role to do other stuff. (No, not particularly articulate, but you get the idea!)

4. Spend the day with another person from anywhere in time and space...

Abraham Lincoln. He's the first person to come to mind. See #5.

5. A magical power is yours. Which one would you pick?

Time travel! I'd be a fly on the wall in all the places I've wanted to "see." And, as it is a magical power, I wouldn't have to do it all in 24 hours, I could stretch out those hours to fit it all in :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I love me some fried chicken

Which is good, cuz that's what we had for dinner tonight.

Easy-peasey!! And makes a great lunch the next day...

*cut chicken breasts into chunks
*soak in buttermilk until you remember to take them out and start dinner
*heat oil in skillet
*toss together whole wheat flour, thyme, salt & pepper (oooh, some cayenne would have been great!)
*take dripping pieces of chicken out of buttermilk, toss with flour and place in hot oil
*let fry until golden on one side (about 3 minutes) and then turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes
*keep warm in the oven while you make up the rest

We ate ours with fresh green beans and fresh crusty bread. I had a nice fruili, the kids drank milk.

Tomorrow, they'll have chicken-wrap sandwiches: spread ranch dressing on a tortilla, add shredded lettuce, sliced chicken and a little Parmesan (if you are feeling fancy). Roll. Slice in 2. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (I recommend stretch tite, always), then in foil. Make sure there's something else cold in the lunch box, add some goldfish crackers, maybe some beans or carrots and a piece of chocolate.

Almost makes me want to repeat 5th grade!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday 5

Mother Laura over at RevGalBlogPals writes:
We are right in the middle of a move--only twenty minutes away, but we're still a mix of busy, excited, nervous and surprisingly full of grief about what we're leaving, for me at least. So this week's Friday Five asks about your experience of the marvels and madness of moving...

1. How many times have you moved? When was the last time?
We moved twice when I was a child, but for most of my young life we lived in one lovely house in the Boston subarbs. Considering the tumultuous nature of my childhood, never having to physically move was a blessing.
Since I've been married, we've moved 8 times (in 13 years). Those are duty-station changes. We've also moved 3 times within those moves, creating a grand total of 11 moves, 2 overseas!

2. What do you love and hate about moving?

3. Do you do it yourself or hire movers?
The Navy moves us - thank God! There is such freedom in knowing that it's not up to you - either where to go or how to get it all there. It creates a different attitude towards "stuff." The one time I freaked out and had to have my scrapbooks in the car with me, I was paranoid the entire time that someone would steal the car or they'd get wet, or whatever. Other than the photographs, nothing is that important to me that I would worry about stuff more than peeps. (And I still don't have a solution for the photos. Although the new ones are all online, the old ones are the baby pics...)

4. Advice for surviving and thriving during a move?
Don't worry about it. Really. It's just stuff.

That said:

Do know what you have and don't leave things of value out-and-about.

Know what is allowed. (Years ago, movers would empty all rubbermaid-type containers, pack that stuff in cardboard, and then ship the empty containers. I would always have to ask that the movers NOT unpack the nicely-organized boxes.)

Keep an eye on your movers; when there are more than 2 movers in your home, particularly in one room, get a buddy to help you.

You can also always UN-do a box. I had to rescue Joe's Scotch from the last move.

I like to pre-position for a move: I put all knick-knacks in one room, all books in one room (except kids' books, those stay in their rooms), all wall-stuff in one room. As we move often, we don't keep the same things in the same room. It's nice to know that I won't open a box full of clothes and find my icons, ya know?

Finally, your movers may not be the brightest of guys (or girls). But they're taking care of your stuff. So, buy them lunch, give them your liquor if you are moving overseas, chat with them, introduce your friend who is helping you, and make sure they understand you. In the kitchen boxes of our most recent move were opened boxes of goldfish crackers and moldy cookies. The guys who did our kitchen DID NOT hear me when I showed them where to pack and where not to pack.

**things that you should pack in your car: chargers, corded phone, screwdriver & hammer with claw, toilet tissue.

5. Are you in the middle of any inner moves, if not outer ones?
We are always in the middle of a move! No, not really, but sometimes it seems that way. Which can be good - you can live with anything for a short time, even a teal bathroom - and I like moving my furniture around to fit the next-new-place. But, it takes time and energy - not just to pack and unpack, but also to get accustomed to a new place, new faces, new routines...and thus, I often don't get other, internal-move stuff done.

The physical move has also taken away from my vocationally settling down. Did you know that the Episcopal church does not look favorably upon people who move around a lot?

Bonus: Share a piece of music/poetry/film/book that expresses something about what moving means to you.
mmmm....I'll have to come back to this one!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

THIS is my new favorite meal

Quinoa Salad - Mediterranean style *props to the Silver Palate Basics cookbook, as that was where this started.

1 cup boiling water
2 cups quinoa

boil quinoa 10 minutes, covered

stir in 1/2 cup raisins, cook 5 more minutes, uncovered, until liquid is evaporated

spread quinoa mixture on baking sheet to cool

when cool-to-touch, mix in large bowl with:
1 -2 blood oranges, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 scallions, sliced white - 1" green
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pistachios, unsalted, unroasted
1/4 cup new (fruity) olive oil
2 tsps fresh globe (spicy) basil, shredded
salt & pepper to taste

Serve as a side dish or a luncheon salad. Will keep, covered, several days in fridge.

Grilled meat is very popular here, this side would go well with grilled pork. I think both times we've had this we've eaten it mushroom-stuffed flank steak.

Friday, April 04, 2008

RegGalBlogPals' Friday Five

OMG - I can't believe I am actually playing this week.

Maybe I need another glass of wine before I start to type...

Well, for some reason I can no longer access rgbp, but I'll try to muddle along to the best of my abilities!

The story of the road to Emmaus is one of my favorites in scripture.

How has God revealed him/herself to you in a:

1. Book
Sigh. When was the last time I read a book?! Okay, this might sound weird, but I really, really loved His Dark Materials (the Golden Compass trilogy), and I kept reading pieces of social gospel into the books, especially the second two.

2. Movie
The Last Temptation of Christ was really the first time I watched a movie and felt that it was telling me something. But that was 20 years ago! Surely there have been movies, tv even, that speak God to me now? I don't know. I don't think I am that much of a "watcher." I like to watch to escape!
Actually, I love House, M.D. I think there is amazing insight in the dramatization of a crochety old diagnostician. The last episode we watched was the one where the sick man mirrors the personalities of the doctors helping him. The woman who killed the dog was mirrored as being scared and not knowing what to do. When House asks her what she heard, she says "nothing." Of course she's scared. But that's not going to get in the way of her ministry. At the very end of the episode Hugh Laurie's character tells Omar Epps' that he was the only one who "heard" his persona and did something about it. He's changed. Isn't that the nature of scripture and gospel? We see in these characters people we do/not want to be, we see ourselves, and we see who we can be and turn toward the light. (Yes, influenced by children's church this week which is all about the conversion of Paul!)

3. Song
Lord of All Hopefulness, p. 482 1982 Hymnal Especially verse 3, which I shouldn't even bother to sing, as it makes me cry great big Alice-in-Wonderland tears every time!

4. Another Person
I see Christ in a lot people, particularly people who help me see Christ. Joe, Beatrice, Wylie, Deacon Debi, Father Peter, Bud...

5. Creation
I can't live here and not see the incredible JOY of GOD in creation. Just watching the clouds gives me Joy.

bonus(es): On Easter Sunday I witnessed the power of music to take us place we never thought we could go (again). We belong to a small chapel community with a Presbyterian preacher. He's trying his best, but he is not a liturgical chaplain. As a result, our Easter service had no "Alleluia, He is Risen! The Lord is Risen indeed." Nor did we have any alleluias (they weren't missed, no one had to hide them during Lent!) or any of the other aural indicators of Easter. However, we sang "The Day of Resurrection" as our recessional. I turned to look at Beatrice and she had tears just streaming down her face. She came and sat on my lap (my almost-11-year-old) and cried and cried. Oh, how she misses her old church and the power of the organ and her little muscles lifting her voice in prayer. It touched me deeply, to see how much closer to God she is through music.

I would add that there are place in scripture where, over years and years, I have continually found the presence of God:
Hebrews 13 "Be not afraid to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
Micah 6 "and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

And the '79 BCP, particularly Eucharistic Rite II, prayer C
"Open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us. Deliver
us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace
only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for
renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one
body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the
world in his name.
Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the Bread."