Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Five: Love the One You're With

Today's RevGalBlogPals Friday Five invitation:  Please name five things you like about where you are living now... and as your bonus - 1 thing you don't like.

The view from my deck
1.  The view from my deck.  It looks out over a river valley and up a modest mountain in the distance.  Along the side of the mountain, I can see the tiny cars on the turnpike and the tunnel they are approaching or exiting.  The Applachian trail runs lower along the mountain following the path of the river.  Sitting on my deck, I can enjoy sunsets, moon phases and fireworks. 

The diner and train
2.  The almost-world-famous 24-hour diner.  Just a three-block walk from my house, I have enjoyed some very fine conversations with some very special people over some pretty decent meals there.  I wish they didn't have a sign that says, "We may refuse service to anyone for any reason" and I wish their coffee was better.  They make great chocolate milk shakes, though!

3.  I can hear the train from my house.  I like a distant train whistle in my world on a semi-regular basis.

4.  I have wonderful next-door neighbors.  The last three places I've lived, I've been blessed with better-than-good neighbors.  That's something that you can't make happen.

5.  "Some" people look down on where I live.  It's a small town that is considered, by some in these parts, to be not the coolest town around.  It was once a very blue collar mining town.  It's the kind of place people fancy moving up from.  Strangely enough, that makes living here all the more appealing to me.

BONUS:  One thing I don't like:   The freakin' firehouse sirens!  C'mon guys, it's 2010.  Put technology to work and ditch the sound pollution.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Simple Wonder: The Ice Tray

The ice tray of my childhood
My last house was a parsonage, so it came with appliances we didn't choose.  The refrigerator/freezer was a massive side-by-side model in stainless steel with a door dispenser that could be instantly tapped for cold water and ice in your choice of crushed or cubes.  Getting a glass of ice water took mere seconds from first thought to first swallow.

No matter.  I don't drink ice water.  But I do drink iced tea.  Especially in the summer.  Lots and lots of iced tea.  Brewed, please.  No powder.  And never, ever will I submit again to Zimmerman's (so called) iced tea, no matter how many people try to convince me of its superiority.  It's made from (ugh!) powdered tea.  Read the label.

In my current house, the much-more-modest refrigerator/freezer was my own purchase.  It has no fancy door dispenser.  It doesn't even have an ice maker.  Yet, even in these most hot and humid days, I somehow manage to stay well-hydrated with real, honest-to-goodness brewed iced tea, cooled by ice I extract myself from my three very plain white plastic ice trays.  

What I like about ice trays:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Precious babies

My baby (Amy) and her baby (Daniel)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Word Wonders: Univocal vs. Equivocal

My niece Laura took this pic
I may have been the only person in the RevGalBlogPals "Friday Five" game this week who chose "univocal" instead of "equivocal" given that choice.  I've had some fun thinking about my process in making what was, for me, a very surprising choice.  The way it went:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Did You Know? The Bechdel Test

Thanks to Ode: The online community for intelligent optimists:

I just found out about the Bechdel Test for women in movies.

Transformer Movie Toys Shun the OthersFrom the web site:  The Bechdel Test, sometimes called the Mo Movie Measure or Bechdel Rule is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man. The test was popularized by Alison Bechdel's comic Dykes to Watch Out For, in a 1985 strip called The Rule.

Regarding some movies I've liked:  Despicable Me and Stranger than Fiction pass the test; Ratatouille and The Pursuit of Happyness do not!

Check out the Bechdel Test Movie List and see if your favorite movie passes the test!

Friday Five: Decisions, Decisions

Ducks in the Mail: At the Post Office

The RevGalBlogPal "Friday Five" topic du jour is "DISCERNMENT" and the assignment blessedly avoids angst or deep digging.  "Tell us which word in the pair appeals to you most, and after you've done all five, give us the reason why for one of them."

1) Cake or Pie:  CAKE
2) Train or Airplane:  TRAIN
3) Mac or PC:  MAC
4) Univocal or Equivocal:  UNIVOCAL
5) Peter or Paul:  PAUL

Reason for Mac over PC:  I don't like to struggle.  My MacBook doesn't freeze up. It's easy to figure out.  It does what I want to do instead of the other way around.  And -- with a really cute hot pink skin -- goes everywhere stylin'!

Most difficult choice:  Peter or Paul, and it was the most fun to think about!

Catch 22 choice:  Cake or Pie, because I'm gluten free.  However, either can be made GF, and I've always liked cake the best, and not just for the icing, either.

My go-to discernment method:  For the big decisions, I don't always know what saying "yes" to God looks like.  However, when I consider saying "no" to something, and it feels like saying "no" to God, then "yes" is the way to go.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's For Dinner

I enjoyed something easy, easy, easy and delicious for last night's dinner.

Searching the grocery aisles for dinner inspiration yesterday, I found something called "Recipe Inspirations" .  That's what McCormick calls its packet of premeasured spices enclosed with a recipe card.  The presentation is appealing and it I decided to plunk down $1.99 for the "Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Potatoes."  I normally would consider that too expensive for small amounts of spices that I could combine myself, except that I didn't have the rosemary.  When I added up the cost of the packet, the chicken and the potatoes, I spent slightly less that I was going to spend on a ready-made roasted chicken with no potatoes.  And I made it myself!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Best Friends

Marilyce and Chelsea
I don't call any one person my "bestest" because I am blessed with more than one amazing special friend.  When I refer to one of them, I call him/her my "best friend" not because I can't choose, but because it's a true description for several people in my life. They are the "through thick and thin" people in my life; they are the ones who have navigated the *stuff* in my life when it's been piled high and deep.

We took a vacation together.  
We went on retreat to plan and dream.  
We talked for hours, long distance, from coffee shops and bookstore.
We hiked for miles and miles.  
We drank wine and dreamed of Maine cottages.  
We held each other for dear life.  
We made worship together and we slayed dragons together.  
We kept our cool.

Today I had a long and wonderful conversation with one of you.  And it was delicious!

(Great pic, girls!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grandmother -- Me!

Daniel holding onto his momma
On May 31, I became a grandmother when Daniel was brought into the world.

I wonder if there is anything else I can say that will can anything more to that sentence or that picture.

Today, I think not.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Starting Again ... (again)

I'm not all that jazzed about this particular topic to get my blog up and running again. But it's better than any I've come up with, so here goes, courtesy of RevGalBlogPals:

1. Did you grow up with pets?
Yes. We had cats, a dog or two, chickens, some fish, a baby alligator (or was it a crocodile?) and a burro, but not all at the same time.
2. Do you have any pets now?
Yes. I have a 13 year old cat named Ruby.
3. What is the funniest or worst thing any of your pets have ever done?
I can't think of anything outstanding in either category.
4. Who is/was your favorite pet?
I have a special place in my heart for Charley, the black cat I had during my teenaged years. Ruby is also very special to me.
5. How did you train your different pets?
You don't train cats; they train you!
BONUS: Pictures of a pet or one you wish you could have.
This is a picture of Maya who rules the household of my extended family in Baton Rouge.  She looks a lot like Jack, our former cat who has relocated to Portland, and it also resembles Eddie, Jack's little brother.