Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nighttime Invader

Yesterday was a long day on our feet at the very first Parelli Performance Summit ( We came home & went to bed early. We're babysitting kitty because our neighbor is out of town. Kitty fussed & cried to go out just before we were headed to bed & I couldn't find him in time to let him in before I hit the pillow. I laid there with sore tired feet, but with a feeling of satisfaction. I'd spent hours Thursday night making a HUGE batch of vegan meatballs from the Mitcheff Sisters cookbook. Friday morning, Olin swept & I mopped, which had been needing to be done & we both took out a bag of trash so that all the trash in the house was emptied. Thursday at lunch I had printed the bulletin & Friday morning Olin folded them for me so we could drop them off on our way back from the Summit. So with this feeling of satisfaction of being ready for Sabbath & being able to truly rest, I fell asleep.

Sometime in the middle of the night, probably only hours or less from the time I fell asleep, I heard the house creek. I woke up & thought, "I bet the cat is jumping up against the door trying to get us to let him in." I was so exhausted & my feet still hurt, so I said to myself, "If I hear him crying, then I'll know it's him & I'll get up to let him in." This was a direct putting off of the impression I got from the Holy Spirit, which was telling me to get up NOW. Sometime later in the middle of the night I heard something alive in my bed that was definitely NOT Olin. It was the cat purring & giving himself a bath. I confirmed this when I reached over & rested my hand on him. I thought to myself, "Did Olin get up & let him in? I never heard him do it." I didn't want to wake Olin up just to ask him, so I rolled over & went back to sleep.

Somewhere around 6 in the morning, I woke up. I got up & went out of the bedroom & the cat jumped out of bed to follow me. When I looked at the front door, my heart almost stopped. The door was open a crack & had apparently been that way ever since the cat let himself in during the night. I confirmed with Olin that he had not gotten up during the night to let the cat in. Ooops! Why don't I listen? I wasn't impressed to get up to let the cat in, I was impressed to get up so that I could close the front door of the house AFTER the cat let HIMSELF in! "What a cat" I think to myself as I shake my head & write this blog. I feel like heaven has been merciful to me in that no raccoon or skunk or deer or anything else let itself in after kitty, at least I haven't seen anything YET!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Living Room

This post is just the quirky thoughts of a girl who's up way past her bedtime watching Make it or Break it & swooning over actor, Johnny Pacar, who portrays an incredibly romantic boyfriend...

I wish I lived in the living room. My favorite part of this whole house is the living room/kitchen/dining room. The logical reason for this is that it is heated by the gas log & our back bedroom is colder. The real reason, however, (even though I am a logical person) is that it's part of my personality. I don't want to miss out on anything. I like to be out in the open area where everything happens not locked up in the back bedroom where I might miss out on something. The living room is where the TV is; it's where my laptop hangs out. It's where the kitchen is - the food. Windows to the outside. It's open, not cold & closed off. That's the key. I wish I had one of those beds in the living room where the bed folds down from the wall. I wish my bathtub & my closet & my office were all just in little wings off the living room. How weird am I?

The only thing I don't want in the living room is my stuff. I think I would like a small house with a big yard & a big shed for all my stuff. The guest house can be bigger than the regular house. I want to get one of those little Jalopy Cabins & put it on our land for the guest house, but Olin doesn't like that idea. I'm ready to keep the costs down & be practical, if someone would just buy our house at our cost so we could downsize our house & upsize our land. Living on 1/8th of an acre is not what we moved to the country for. I'm extremely thankful for what I have, but I'm ready to dream again & I'm ready to give up what I have for something simpler. God, are you listening to my heart's desire? I don't say this very often, but, I'm ready :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Summer rolls

Tonight we had some summer rolls for dinner. I like the idea of eating veggies instead of lots of starchy food for dinner. I don't need all those extra calories. All they do is make me grumble when I get on the scale. This evening all I put in them was shredded iceberg lettuce, shredded purple cabbage, shredded organic carrots & some seasoned tofu. The first few had some shredded zucchini & yellow squash as well. I ate them with Olin's yummy sauce (crushed dried chili peppers in hot oil with a squirt of lemon juice, some bragg's liquid aminos mixed with water, some cornstarch mixed with water, some garlic & some sugar). I'm proud to say I stuffed myself with veggies tonight! When I ran out of rice wraps I just used lettuce & kept going till all the sauce was gone. Then Olin made tabouli, so I had to have a few bites of that too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Life is speeding by

I spent the first part of this week stressing out. I was supposed to have company Sunday night but got a call Saturday night postponing the gathering to Thursday night & moving the location from my house to hers. We were supposed to have company Monday night, but their little boy got sick & they postponed for next Monday night. We were supposed to have company Tuesday night, but they canceled & Olin wants to have them over for next Tuesday night. Wednesday night was inspection night at Pathfinders.

I was stressing about Monday night's company because they eat mostly raw & I wanted to cater to that but didn't have a lot of quick easy raw recipes other than salad. I thought I might do some vegetable summer rolls in rice paper wrappers with a couple different sauces to dip them in. Then, since they're not 100% raw, I was going to make some grilled avocado sandwiches, which are like grilled cheese, but with a much healthier fat & way yummier in my opinion. Also, I thought I might try some vegetable sushi rolls. I had all the veggies chopped & the ingredients purchased but when they canceled I breathed a sigh of relief because I really needed the time to get ready for Wednesday Pathfinders. I was supposed to have a worship thought & talk about fire safety & have all Olin's patches transferred from his green sash to his black one & be ready to have the girls unit lead out in opening ceremonies without ever having completed this task in the past.

Tuesday night's company was supposed to be the pathfinder leader & it was going to be a staff meeting, so when he canceled I started freaking out & getting upset because I was counting on clarifying with him all of his expectations for the following night. I learned in college from Derek Morris that clear expectations leads to stability. This is now one of my mottoes. When people don't give me clear expectations I get upset with them. I cannot meet your expectations if you don't spell them out for me. I do not like guessing, estimating, winging it, etc. I am a bookkeeper, a bean counter, an accountant. It's important for me to have clear guidelines so that I can stick to them & everything goes smoother.

Anyway, long story short, my worrying was in vain as is often the case. I was able to work all the way until 5 p.m. & still get to Pathfinders 45 minutes early at 5:15 p.m. I had to change in the small bathroom stall which was super annoying, especially when my big toenail split down the middle right when I was trying to get my black stockings on. I had to throw my jeans on & run to my purse to get my nail clippers & fix it before finishing getting dressed so as not to ruin my only pair of black stockings. We then were able to practice opening ceremonies 3 complete times before the inspector arrived. I feel SO much more confident about it now. It went so smoothly. Then I didn't screw up too bad in drilling & marching. I don't know that my timing was perfect, but I somehow ended up as the last one standing in a drill down. I think it was a fluke. Anyway, they were kind to me I guess. Then the talk about fire safety went fine & I didn't get any complaints about my worship thought at the end. Then the good news came. On a scale from FAIR/GOOD/EXCELLENT/OUTSTANDING - we got a point range that fell in the category OUTSTANDING! Oh, & I got all but 3 of Olin's patches sewn on in time for the meeting & I got my lonely candle making patch sewn on my sash too.

I didn't have everything ready for my Thursday evening get together but it went well anyway. I tried out a sorbet recipe I'd been wanting to try & WOW, was it yummy. We dissolved 6 TB of raw honey in 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I juiced several cuties), then put that in the blender with 2 TB lime juice, 1 cup raspberries & several frozen bananas. It was like drinking jam. I don't think it needed that much honey. I may try agave next time.

I had a very busy week at work. I was helping make adjusting journal entries to make the 2009 financial statements as accurate as possible as far as the Australia & UK payables were concerned.

In the Bible & Patriarchs & Prophets, I'm in 1 Samuel. I had forgotten that Eli fell over & broke his neck & died when he heard that not only had his sons died in battle but that the ark of the covenant had been taken by the Philistines. I remember being intrigued the last time I read that story because when their god Dagon fell over twice, the 2nd time breaking off his hands & his head, it reminded me of the part of Revelation where it talks about how those with the seal of God will be sealed in their forehead, but those who have the mark of the beast will have it in their forehead and/or their hands. Which means some may wholeheartedly (forehead/frontal lobe is where judgement/discernment/decision making takes place) follow the beast & his image, but others may know that it's wrong, but do it anyway, which is what I see the mark in the hand representing - works, actions, deeds, etc. What do you think? Is the story of what happens to Dagon at all related to this subject in revelation or am I connecting dots that don't belong?

So, for the first time in a while, I plan to attend church. Three weeks ago I was on for potluck, 2 weeks ago, nobody was on, so I filled in. Then last week, the person who was on was home sick, so I helped fill in again. Plus, last week I had superintendents remarks & I was greeter. This week I don't have ANY of those responsibilities so I plan to enjoy sitting in church with Olin for once & helping him count the loose offering like I usually do. This always reminds me to put mine in. I've had a tithe envelope I haven't had a chance to put in for 3 weeks now since I keep ending up in the kitchen. I am thankful that there is a speaker in there & at least I can hear the sermon & everything. I do miss some of the praise & prayer items though, since there is no roving microphone. Well, I have a crock pot casserole I need to throw together really quickly for tomorrow's potluck. I do miss having a 4 day workweek. It is harder to get everything done in time now that I work on Fridays. One of these days I'll have it down to a science...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Welcome, Comfort & Control

I discovered a show called The Chopping Block on Sunday & Olin & I have been watching it since then. We finished it last night. It's only 8 episodes, but a great concept. Master Chef Marco Pierre White, who has trained individuals such as Gordon Ramsay, of Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, etc, is training potential restauranteurs. Eight couples team up, starting out 4 against 4 in two separate restaurants across the street from each other in NYC. They pick the name, the decor, plan menus etc. In various challenges, each team either wins or loses & at the end of each episode, a couple from the losing team is "sacked" by Marco.

I particularly love this show because I find Marco, although intimidating to the couples trying to impress him, rather courteous, calm, cool & collected compared with his protégé Gordon Ramsay, who gets bleeped out on TV a lot, along with kicking trash cans, throwing things, yelling, etc.

I also love the concept of training & guiding couples to see who is going to get the prize of 1/4 million dollars to start a restaurant of their own, which is one of my dreams. I know Olin & I could never be on a show like this because we a) have no formal chef training & b) are vegetarian/vegan. They have to know how to cook all the meats. Also, they all drink & serve wine, coffee, etc.

The thing that inspired this blog was on one of the "Great White" challenges, the team who won, received a renowned maître d’ for the following evening's dinner service. He taught them something very simple that to me was very inspiring. He said when your guests come in make them feel welcome & comfortable & show them that you are in control. What he meant was, don't let them see that you are out of control & chaotic. You have the situation under control, in other words. Remain calm, cool & collected even when mistakes happen.

I feel this principal is quite universal in its application. I was thinking how that could apply to any business, any church, any home, any gathering of people. Like when we have company at Thanksgiving or something. I wanted to make everyone feel welcome & comfortable, but I had an emotional meltdown over my failed attempt at a sweet potato casserole & locked myself in the back bedroom until I could get myself together. This would not be a good example of implementing these principals. I also think it would be useful in Pathfinders, which intimidates me since I did not exactly grow up involved in & feel I'm learning everything slower than the kids. If I focus on making the kids feel welcome & comfortable while maintaining control I think Pathfinders would go more smoothly for me & I would dread it less. In order to do that, more preparation is in order. Olin likes to wing it, but I feel totally lost when I get there if the plan is to wing it. Now I'm pondering...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010-01-23 Snowy Sabbath

Olin & I got a call from the Mundalls that they were going to have a church service at their house, planned & put on by the kids, & would we like to come? Before we went over, we went for a little walk.

After our walk we went over to the Mundalls. All the kids participated. Mattie did song service. Meghan & Olin both did Sabbath School. Liberty did prayer & praise. Mark did children's story. Meghan did the sermon. It was awesome! Afterward we ate lunch (haystacks etc). I got to visit some with Karla while Olin hung out with the kids, which was nice. It feels like it's been a really long time since she & I got to hang out.

Most of the afternoon was spent playing Probe with Bible words. We had sundown worship which just so happened to tie in perfectly with both Sabbath School AND church. God is awesome that way. Then we had some supper (pizza & more haystacks). We played a fun game of Junior Apples to Apples before heading home around 9:30 p.m. It was a good Sabbath...

2010-01-23 Strange 3ABN happenings

While watching 3ABN, a strange thing happened. It was the 25th Anniversary of 3ABN & they were having a special live program in Georgia. The main subject was the beginning of 3ABN Russia. Danny Shelton & John Carter were on the stage speaking about the beginning of 3ABN Russia & I found it odd that Danny & John were telling all these stories that were familiar to me because a few months ago I read the book The Cross & the Kremlin by Dwight Nelson. I did't remember John & Danny being in that story, but it may be that my memory is just unreliable in that. But I also found it odd that there was no mention of Dwight Nelson by Danny & John. Is there some kind of rift here or am I imagining things?

Another thing that was odd was that while Danny was making a clarification about the fact that he was speaking of both the President of Russia & about John Carter, but that John Carter was NOT the president of Russia, John made some offhanded comment about how he would make a better president than the current President of Russia. What? Did I hear it right? Olin & I looked at each other like, did you just hear what I heard? Then Olin says Danny looked at the camera & made a cutting motion at his throat to stop the feed, but when it didn't cut right away, Danny backpedaled & assured the Russians & their president that we do in fact love them etc. Then Danny started talking about something that had happened the night before, where the Governor had come to them & told them that all the Adventists had to get out of there & that they had to stop the meetings & that the building was being surrounded by armed policemen. Then, like that, the live feed went off the air & it cut to nature music for 15 minutes. When the program came back on, there was no mention of what had just happened. Does anyone know what on earth happened & what the rest of the story is?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tea at 5 a.m.

I'm in the mood for tea again. This is a strange phenomena because I didn't used to like tea. I thought it was just hot watery juice. Ever since I was sick several weeks ago, I've hardly wanted anything but hot things to drink. I even used up the last of of my Postum, sadly, although I've gotten several other suggestions as to what I could "replace" it with. Here is a picture of the ingredients I'm using to make tea this morning. Sliced fresh ginger root, a sliced Cutie (California Clementine), Dried Raspberries from the Vitamin Cottage, some flat cinnamon sticks, cloves & star anise.

I could barely fit it all in.

It wasn't a very strong flavor, so I decided to add a MannaBear for some extra fruityness & a little sweetness...

Well, the result is warm & wet & mildly pleasant. What more could you want from tea after all?

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

This week I went full time at work. Today was sort of a snow day. We went in to work for part of the day, though. Since Monday night, we've gotten about 3 feet of snow.

Church is canceled tomorrow due to the quantity of snow, I'm assuming. Olin was going to be teaching Sabbath School on the fruit of the Spirit: Peace. I was looking forward to it.

Now I'm looking forward to a relaxing time at home with plenty of time to read the Bible & get caught up in Patriarchs & Prophets. I've been trying to stay in the same place in both the Bible & PP, but it's not practical, so I'm just going to continue on in PP since I'm having a hard time keeping up in the Bible. I am happy to have finished Deuteronomy this morning, though. Also, will probably spend a bit of time watching 3ABN, as we are right now. It might clear off tomorrow, so there's also a possibly good opportunity for snow shoeing. Whatever tomorrow brings, I pray it will bring us all closer to our beloved Creator.

Had chili & corn muffins for supper. Yummmm... I didn't exactly measure out the recipe, just threw in the "right" ingredients. It called for some sugar, so I poured in a little bit of maple syrup since I don't like to use refinded sugar, but apparently I put a tad bit too much of it. It was still really tasty, though & Olin & I each had two bowls & had 2 1/2 corn muffins each. The corn muffins were also a little interesting, but still good. I used ground up flax seeds instead of an egg, but didn't measure those either (got quite of a lot in there). That & the whole wheat pastry flour that I used instead of all purpose, made them look kind of brown & speckled instead of bright yellow, but the taste was yummy & they rose just fine too.

It's been a rough couple of weeks in that I've lost 3 people that I knew. One was a boy that I knew growing up. He was a boy that I actually loved & dated for a short time in junior high. He died at age 28. His funeral was last Friday. I wish I could have been there for the family. I don't feel comfortable discussing all the circumstances surrounding his death & what caused it as some information should be kept private for the sake of the grieving family. However, I will say I was encouraged to hear that his brother spoke with him the day before he died & says he had made his peace with God. He was a tender-hearted soul in a lot of ways. He loved animals. I realize as much as anyone that he wasn't perfect, but none of us are.

Actually I am going to discuss a sensitive topic in case there's anyone that might be sobered up by reading it. Drugs kill. They destroyed his kidneys & his heart & made him look like death itself. I've bailed him out of jail, I've watched him throw drugs out the window while following the cops to the jail. I would like to wring the neck of the person who led him into that lifestyle. His loss is tragic & disgusting. Sin is ugly & it makes me look forward to the day when we will live in a world anew that is free of it.

An elementary schoolteacher (Mrs. Inman) died in the last couple of weeks also. I did not have any classes from her, but I know she was a kind & beloved teacher.

Also, my high school chemistry & physics teacher (Mr. Hopkins) died this week from Parkinson's. His funeral was today. I wanted to watch it online but I was at work. Broadcasting funerals on the Internet is a new concept to me. I did not know people did that. It's an interesting concept. I loved chemistry, but I hated physics. I tried to drop physics, but Mr. Hopkins wouldn't let me. I am grieving especially for my classmate Heather Hopkins, who should not have to lose a parent at such a young age.

I am grieving for Mrs. Inman's family.

I am grieving for Matthew's family. The only pictures I have of him are before we even knew each other. We met once when we were kids, before I even remembered meeting him. When I did get to know him, he hated to have his picture taken. I looked through every single picture I could find & found nothing beyond the age of about 5.

I was in a good mood when I started this blog & now it's depressing me. I think I need to go to bed. Again, I hope tomorrow will bring peace, as given by Jesus himself, & comfort to the grieving, as comes from God's Holy Spirit (the Comforter). God bless you & good night.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Overdue update

So it's been over a month since I posted. Since then, I've started back working at Parelli again, part time, in the accounting department. I've worked there for 3 short weeks: the week before Christmas, the week before New Year & this week.

Today, Olin received his new Motorola Droid & has been playing with it since. We're doing the Conflict of the Ages Series Readathon & he's got the pdfs on his phone now so is chillin' in the recliner reading them.

I think it's neat that since I'm reading the Bible in 2010 & doing the Readathon, I just "happen" to be on the story of Balaam today in both places. I read the story this a.m. in the Bible & will be listening to the mp3 of the chapter in Patriarchs & Prophets this evening.

Well, it's always good to keep things short & sweet. I'm off to find some food. Happy Sabbath!