Thursday, April 30

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday.

My company works for a company in Kentucky and every year, at this time of the year, they send to our office three boxes of Kentucky Bourbon and glasses: one for each of my coworkers (I don't get one since I don't work with them). It seems funny to me that they send out bourbon but each his own.

I joked with my coworker that she should keep hers at the office because when I go on vacation IN TWO WEEKS, she might need a drink or two while I'm gone. One never knows!

Wednesday, April 29

Thank you Jesus Moment

Thank you Jesus for dinner and game night with friends! And for a parking spot near my apartment when I arrive home late at night!

Monday, April 27


I leave for vacation May 14...two and a half weeks!

I was commenting last week that I don't feel tired or "ready" for a vacation...I could wait a couple months if I didn't want to see my kids in Germany before school got out.

I've changed my mind.

Preparing for vacation is exhausting and after the next two weeks, I'll be ready.

I remember as a kid/teen my dad always complaining that right before vacations, things would get busier at his desk.

Yep! He's right!

Saturday, April 25

Thank you Jesus Moment

Thank you Jesus for unexpected phone calls.

I received a call at work yesterday from a colleague at another company. Over the past year, this guy and I have developed a friendship over the phone. It has been a few months since we've had a work-related reason to chat and yesterday he called me up, "just to say hi!"

I like those conversations. We had a nice little chat.
It made the rest of my work day easy to enjoy.

Friday, April 24

Hello Old Friend

Yesterday an old friend returned to my life.

Somehow between here and there, I lost her.
And even though I missed her, I somehow justified not spending $7-15 bucks for a second copy...maybe its because I kept hoping she'd show up.
Anyhow, I found her online for $3 and bought her...she arrived yesterday.
Oh, the sweet sounds of an old friend. Why did I wait so long to reunite?

Wednesday, April 22

Time is Tickin' Away

The clock is winding down....

...less than three weeks until my 30th birthday...eek!
...less than three weeks until my class needs to be finished...sigh!
...exactly three weeks until I leave for Germany/Holland...hurray!
Busy times...busy times.

Monday, April 20


This weekend I watched two movies on TV, both of which broke my heart. The first was "Little House on the Praire", a new three-part feature closely related to the books, and the second was "The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler."

It was mankind's actions that lead me to tears in both movies. With "Little House," the white man drove the Indians from their land. Laura aked her parents where the Indians would go to which they replied, "out west." Her response was essentially, "if the white man keeps going west, where will the Indians go then?" Our government's fear and actions lead to a great disservice to the various Indian nations, changing their culture by forcing them onto reservations, and not supporting them as we should have. Our past actions have consequently led to the troubles that Indians are still having today. Sure, we throw thousands of dollars into college scholarships if you can prove to be a Native American, and I'm sure there are many other ways we help, but is it good enough. Honestly, I haven't done enough research to call a spade a spade here but our country's history breaks my heart. With "Irena Sendler," the movie is about a Polish woman who saves over 2500 Jewish children from the Gestapo, during WWII. A beautiful story about sacrifice and heroism but the death of so many people made me cry.

We, as a human race, are capable of great evil and destruction. How that must grieve God, the Creator and Author of each person! And even though my life is so different than the "white man" or the "gestapo," I can't help but think that I may be more like them than I'd like. May God help me to be courageous in the face of evil and convicted enough to help when and however possible!

Sunday, April 19

Orange Marmalade

Yesterday I tried my hand at orange marmalade. Orange marmalade was always one of those scary jams as a kid...pieces of peel floating in the jar...will it be sour?...who in their right mind would want to eat orange peels? But then, one day I tried it and I liked it! Now, I wouldn't consider it my favorite but I can and do enjoy it occasionally, especially when I'm in the mood for crumpets (aka English muffin) and find myself muttering in an "English" accent.

Anyhow, for some reason, I got a hankering for making some (I'm really wanting to become more prolific in canning/preserves). So I found myself a recipe and gave it a go! From start to finish, the entire project took about three hours however after the main part is over, the rest is pretty easy and gave me time to get some other stuff done. Like most recipes, I usually follow the recipe the first time and then tweak it the next time. This is no exception.

First of all, the marmalade turned out yummy and is a beautiful presentation of color and rinds but here is what I'd change.
--It should be noted that I used naval oranges, not seville as the recipe requests...turned out good.
--When slicing the peels, the recipe calls for julienned slices. Do that but then turn the peels and cut them either in halves or thirds. Otherwise you have long orange peels when spreading the goodness on your toast, english muffin or bisquits.
--The recipe calls for 4 cups of peel...a bit much perhaps. I think 3 cups would be sufficient!
--In the final stage, when the pan is on the oven for the last time, the recipe does not tell you to "stir regularly." Do it! Do-it! Stir that marmalade regularly. I only stirred it occasionally and ended burning some orange peels...thankfully, the taste was not jeopardized, only the presentation.
--I used a candy themometer and took the pan off when I believed it to be at 220F. My marmalade, although yummy, is a bit thick...partly because of the huge amount of peel versus jelly but I'm also wondering if I left it on a bit too long. Maybe take it off around 215-220...but I'm no expert.

Now since the presentation of my marmalade has been compromised a bit, maybe I'll try my hand next at an Orange Marmalade Cake! Doesn't that sound jolly good?

Friday, April 17

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days when it feels like your body and mind are determined to go a few steps slower than normal...where its hard to put your thoughts together quickly....where you could stare in space the whole day?

That's me today.

On top of that, or maybe related to that, my mind is starting to become "puddle-like." After being in school for a chunk of time, I find that I get to a point where I type things other than what I am thinking, without realizing it. This means it becomes ultra important for me to proofread because I start to find so many mistakes, which is not normal for me. In fact, typing this small post has taken me longer than it should because I keep having to correct all my typos.

Hopefully I'll sleep deeply tonight and wake up with my mind and body ready to tackle homework. First I have to make it through the work day!

Oh, tomorrow I'm planning on making Orange Marmalade...thought that sounded fun! If it turns out, I'll post the recipe.

Tuesday, April 7

Things I'd Enjoy Learning

--Canning Foods. The closest thing I do in this area is to make apple butter a couple times a year. I received a wonderful (and easy) recipe from a friend for apple butter but it doesn't actually required a canning pot or other related utensils. I would love to be shown how to can fruits and veggies and to play around with various ingredients. Okay, I know I can always find a recipe online...I'm pretty good with following instructions but would love even more to be shown how (along with little secrets or bits-of-advise) from someone who is an "expert" canner.

--Art. I never took art in school...okay, I mean high school. The only art related class I took was choir. All my other classes were more serious in nature, not that I regret that by any means. But I have discovered over the years, whenever I've been shown artistic crafts, that I love them. Yes, I do tend to think too much instead of just "feeling" the art, whatever that might mean, but I do enjoy myself. I'd love to be taught basic painting, ceramics, pottery (same as ceramics??), calligraphy, weaving, cake decorating, mosaics, and almost anything else. The only thing I don't think I'd enjoy would be sewing or any form of needlepoint...but maybe I just need to give it a better chance.

--Gardening. I know gardening is not rocket science. Part of my lack of trying in this area because I live in an apartment with no personal yard to play with. However, I would love to grow my own veggies, fruits, and herbs. I'm sure there some good tricks of the trade though which is what I'd really like to learn one day.

--Kosher living. Bear with me here...this tends to be harder for fellow Christians to swallow, at least in my experience. No, I am not Jewish and no, I am not promoting legalism in regards to food. However, from what I have read about Judaism and living kosher, the main point is that by eatting and living kosher, one is more acutely aware of "ordinary" and the "sacred." Too often I throw food on my plate and into my body without much thought. Kosher living brings God into daily food choices and then consequently into daily living.