Monday, December 31, 2007

Favorite reads: 2007

Best horse book: Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand. I shouldn't even classify Seabiscuit under this category because some of you will skim right down to the next award and miss it. This book isn't just about a horse. It's also about a trainer, a jockey, an owner, and, I believe, the author, too. (You see, Laura Hillenbrand had CFS- Chronic fatigue syndrome- when she wrote this thoroughly researched and heartfelt tale.) In summary? Courage and determination.

Book read with the best memory attached: Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. I spent hours sitting on the patio of a rented townhouse in sunny southern California this March engrossed in Pip's travails. With Dickens entertaining, who needs the beach?

Best re-read: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee. I read this sometime in high school, but didn't remember much. To say that I loved this book when I read it this year would be an understatement. Characters, plot, setting, writing style=Perfection.

Favorite book(s) read in ARC (advanced reader's copy) form: 1) Miss Spitfire, Sarah Miller. Miss Miller takes you along for the ride as Annie Sullivan fights to give Helen something we all need, not just to survive, but to truly live: Words. Tough love and its resulting rewards, at its best. Some sort of award sticker is going to shine on this book cover, I just know it.

2) Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale. A retold fairy tale (of an obscure Grimm Tale, Maid Maleen.) Shannon writes in a style many describe as lyrical prose; which keeps maturing. Book of a Thousand Days is my favorite Hale book thus far: comfortable, beautiful, and fun. This may get a shiny sticker, too.

Best mystery: Cat Among the Pigeons, Agatha Christie. My first Agatha Christie book, if you can believe it. Did I find the best one to read first? It sure was fun. The plot isn't terribly complicated, but that didn't make it any easier for me to figure out "who dunnit."

Best THICK book: The Brothers Karamzov, Fyodor Dostoevsky. Translated by Pevear and Volohonsky. This was my first Russian novel. Tell me this: How does anyone write an 800 pg page-turner? Did I start with the best book in this genre, too?

Book that I read for the 1st time this year that I wish I'd read as a kid: The Diddakoi, Rumer Godden. A girl, a horse, a bunch of school kids - a story showcasing our fallen nature, along with the beauty of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Best book handed to me by a friend: Snow in the River, Carol Ryrie Brink. Brink wrote the Newbery award-winning book, Caddie Woodlawn. This adult book is what many say is her most autobiographical novel. She grew up in the town in which I currently reside, so it was lots of fun reading about about the life and times of its beginnings, along with hers.

Best book handed to me by my daughter (that wasn't an ARC): Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff. Writing in a lyrical blank verse and giving the narrator a voice that is honest and plain-speaking, the author paints a picture that you'd stand in front of and look at for a long time if it was hanging on a wall.

Best historical fiction: Penhally, Caroline Gordan. We follow the estate of Penhally through generations before and after the Civil War. I was surprised with the ending, even though, when I looked back on the story, it was inevitable. Sign of a good book, yes?

Two new (to me) authors that I'll make a point to read more of in the new year: Anthony Trollope (I read The Warden, Barchester Towers- image below,) and Graham Greene, (I read The End of the Affair, The Power and the Glory- image below.)

Here are a few more highlights of my fun year of reading. It was a blast! May your new year be filled with lots of wonderful books. Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Look what I found

in my packet of developed photos from Wal-Mart.
The pictures of this little guy ended up in my envelope by mistake. I just had to share them with you. Isn't he cute?!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world.

In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are.

But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us.


Monday, December 24, 2007

A Toast

I just finished reading a heap of Christmas greetings that came in the mail today.

As I read each card, gratitude bubbled up, like a bright glass of champagne, sparkling my Christmas joy.

Dear friends from our years in South Dakota, Iowa, Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho, and dear family members of whom we've had the privilege of knowing all of our lives, You've each played an important role in making us who we are today. You are all part of our story. You've touched us and we've grown. Thank you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gifts and celebration

We had four days of out of town travel (not all of us going each day, but two times at least,) for various treatments this week. Whew! That's a record, I think. Erin's week-old cold is gone, one of the many benefits from her colonic treatments.

Brady had a treatment up north - we usually get 20 minutes of NMT each time, but this time I had scheduled him for 30 minutes. They forgot to charge us for the extra ten minutes ($50/10 minutes) and Brent realized this and started pulling out his billfold, but the receptionist said - Merry Christmas! Also, our colonic lady scheduled Brady on Monday (the day she is usually closed,) for an emergency treatment and booked us for two treatments on Friday, a day I know she was trying to keep open for her own Christmas preparations. The gifts we've received by these concerned healthcare people this week truly blessed us.

Meals have been given to us by friends (for Brent who has no allergies,) so that we could have some leftovers of our "diet" food as we travel and recuperate. A neighbor came up three or four days this week to help keep up our juicing. She washed veggies, juiced them, and cleaned out the juicer. Without her attention this week, juicing would have gone by the wayside. She also stayed one day and helped make a couple of crustless homemade pumpkin pies which were used as a snack during our travel times, too. Gifts outpoured. Blessings flowed.

So don't think we haven't been celebrating!
Our preparations may not appear traditional, but in the truest sense they reflect that first Christmas. We were tired and needy this week and we were given a "place to stay."

(The poem posted below is one that I gave Erin for Advent last year. She just posted it on her blog yesterday, but I liked it so much that I decided to post it on mine, too. )

Happy Christmas!


by Robert Siegel

She didn't notice at first the air had changed.
She didn't, because she had no expectation
except the moment and what she was doing, absorbed
in it without slightest reservation.

Things grew brighter, more distinct, themselves,
in a way beyond explaining. This was her home,
yet somehow things grew more homelike. Jars on the shelves
gleamed sharply: tomatoes, peaches, even the crumbs

on the table grew heavy with meaning and a sure repose
as if they were forever. When at last she saw
from the corner of her eye the gold fringe of his robe
she felt no fear, only a glad awe,

the Word already deep inside her as she replied
yes to that she'd chosen all her life.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday health update

I've not updated in awhile, so guess it's time to let y'all know how we're doing. It was a very rough Fall season for B and me. E started the season off pretty strong compared to where she'd been (not strong compared to you all though.)
  • My health took a downward spiral that I haven't written much about except letting you know about a flare that kept me from absorbing nutrients. Consequently, my healed thumbnail that I was so happy about, once again cracked (in the exact same spot,) my hair became brittle and dry, and I lost most of the three pounds I'd gained back this spring. Of course the malabsorption affected my mineral and energy levels a lot, so it hasn't been a pretty sight. The problem was something that just slowly became worse as we couldn't find an answer. My SCD counselor helped me get very close, recommending an enzyme to digest fats. But our new doctor, Dr. O, (90 miles north) gave me the fat enzyme that he sells (different from what I was taking by only one ingredient) and BINGO - just what I needed. My doctor says that enzyme capsule will be with me for awhile. Fine with me, it's working! I have hope now of, at least, regaining what I've lost.
  • Brady's had quite a time of it. His current status could be described as two strikes in the last inning of play- with two outs, no one on base, and a run needed to win. We'd take a single to start things out. He's had to get off all the medicine and supplements the first doc he saw this fall put him on, and he even had problems with the three supplements that Dr. O put him on. On top of the recurring chest pain/breathing problems, he had to deal with a very nasty metallic taste problem. He's had that problem before, but nothing as bad as this last time. Thankfully we've gotten rid of all the culprits - we tried getting him back on one supplement last week and the metallic taste came back instantly, so his body is still shouting "no." Saying he's sensitive would be an understatement. His body is accepting a couple of things to take at meal time to help with digestion. We're glad for that. He's still close to "crisis" mode each day. Not fun.
  • Miss E has been able to keep up with one of her subjects and her once a week/30 minute dance class. We're very thankful. It hasn't been easy. She started the year taking two subjects, but her health started deteriorating and lately she hasn't been able to keep up with one. However, it's a class that if she builds up her strength again, she could try to pick up where the class is at and still gain some good learning. The teacher has been kind to keep the door open. Erin is getting treated by Dr. O, too, so our once a week trips up to his office use up one whole afternoon and evening of her rest/study time. She hasn't been in a play this fall, but she was able to go to a dance last Friday and caroling on Sunday - so she's getting an opportunity to do a few things she couldn't do if she was in a play. Recently she's overdone a bit with school and Christmas fun, though, so she's on the verge of a cold. (Anytime we don't get the rest our bodies want (which is lots) colds start trying to settle in.)
We've learned some good things about vegetable juicing and we're finally starting to juice in a way that might benefit us. (Note: Most juice books or web-sites give juicing advice for healthy people, not sick.) We've also learned that we need to schedule visits for colonic treatments at intervals in-between our treatments from Dr. O. Good things to learn. God keeps providing for us and protecting us. We're grateful. We rest in the faith He has given us. And here we are, approaching another Christmas to celebrate the gift of that faith. Rejoice!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A night in the neighborhood

So last night our parish (our neighbors who are members of the same church as us) had a caroling and Christmas party. Erin and Brent were able to bundle up in their long underwear, sweaters, scarves, caps, and mittens and join in on the fun. The snow we'd been missing for a week was returning in perfect Christmas-caroling form. Our neighborhood is made up of one hill after another and I heard later that the carolers made it up and down quite a few. There's one street that is on a hill that gets so steep that it dead-ends part way down. A couple of houses are tucked in the steep part close to the dead-end. Many of the neighbors don't even know they are there.

One of these homes is owned by an elderly couple. The wife is a quilter and the husband is a golfer (he's 85 and he golfed 85 rounds of golf this year.) They are also regular customers of my dh. Last night the carolers made it down to their dark, quiet side of the hill, rang the doorbell, and commenced singing some hearty Christmas carols. They sang two songs to this appreciative couple. After the singing, the couple said thanks and asked who they were. The singers hadn't rehearsed a unified answer and so the shouts jumbled into nothing. So my dh went up to the door and greeted them by name and told them his. They shouted his name back in exclamation and each gave him a big hug. The old gentleman had tears in his eyes as he thanked my husband and told him that in all the years that they had lived there, they had never had carolers stop. You can bet that won't happen again as long as our parish keeps caroling together.

And of course, there are those who have their homes all decked out in bright shining Christmas finery. Their outdoor lights make a grand display and their decorated tree in the living room shimmers cheerfully through the front window for all to admire; but when carolers stop, ring the doorbell, and start singing, the resident is spotted peeking through the window in the door without opening it. Soon it looks as if he and others are trying to sneak to a less conspicuous spot in the house; suggesting to the choir that this place knows not what they are celebrating.

My son and I drove down to join in on the after-caroling fun of goodies and fellowship. We were delighted to find the carolers next door to the "party house" still singing away. We were able to run over and sing their last song with them, 'O Come all Ye Faithful, Joyful and Triumphant!'

From John Milton

On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
'Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?'
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: 'God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.'

I often ask,(or shout,) "What good am I to you, Lord, in this sick and fatigued condition?"
I'm learning; and begging for the grace for contentedness in bearing His mild yoke and standing and waiting.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas time is here

We've lost our snow after having a white world for 15 days. In our eight years in this town, I don't think we've had as long of "white stint" so early in the season as this one. Now, after rain all day yesterday, it's green again. We're back to dreaming of a white Christmas.

For those who might not have had snow to help the Christmas spirit, may I commend the book, This Way to Christmas, by Ruth Sawyer. You're sure to be filled with the inspiration for joyous celebrating with this cozy book. It'd make a nice family read aloud. Next up for my Christmas reading is Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg.

"It's a Wonderful Life" and "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" are plays running in our local theatres the next couple of weekends. It'd be fun to get to at least one of these. I've seen the movies for both, but not the play versions. (No, Miss E. isn't in either one - her age didn't match the ages needed in their audition calls.)

The old movie version of "Miracle on 34th Street" is on our kitchen counter ready for our family to watch soon, hopefully tomorrow; with a whole list of other Christmas movies and TV specials to follow (as requested by Miss E.) Erin and I just watched "White Christmas" for the first time ever, ("Snow, snow, snow...")

I won't be singing with our church choir this month, but hopefully I'll be able to attend their Christmas concert, with the small Christian college in town, next week. I'm hoping we'll find a "Messiah" sing-along to participate in. And our parish is hoping to go Christmas caroling in the neighborhood this Sunday evening.

Isn't it just the most wonderful time of the year?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Birthday Meme

C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, and Madeleine L'Engle were all born on this day. Magistramater is doing a meme that you might find fun to answer. Since I'm reading a Madeleine L'Engle book right now, I thought I'd share a few quotes from it.

from The Crosswicks Journals, Book 1, A Circle of Quiet

  • Cooking is the only part of housekeeping I manage with any grace; it's something like writing a book: you look in the refrigerator and see what's there, choose all the ingredients you need, and a few your husband thinks you don't need, and put them all together to concoct a dish. Vacuum cleaners are simply something more for me to trip over; and a kitchen floor, no matter how grubby, looks better before I wax it. The sight of a meal's worth of dirty dishes, pots, and pans makes me want to run in the other direction.
  • ...over and over again we hear "like" misused this way: I feel like I'm going to throw up; well, you know, Mother, like I really do need it because...; tell it like it is. Every time, "like" is misused, it is weakened as a simile.
    I'm not against changes in the language. I love new words...I've just discovered "widdershins": against the direction of the sun. In Crosswicks the bath water runs out clockwise; in Australia, widdershins. I love anything that is going to make language richer and stronger. But when words are used in way that is going to weaken the language, it has nothing to do with the beautiful way that they can wriggle and wiggle and develop and enrich our speech, but instead it is impoverishing, diminishing. If our language is watered down, then mankind becomes less human, and less free--
  • So my hope, each day as I grow older, is that this will never be simply chronological aging - which is a nuisance and frequently a bore...but that I will also grow into maturity, where the experience which can be acquired only through chronology will teach me how to be more aware, open, unafraid to be vulnerable, involved, committed, to accept disagreement without feeling threatened (repeat and underline this one) to understand that I cannot take myself seriously until I stop taking myself seriously - to be, in fact, a true adult.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Child's Thanksgiving Thanks

I’m thankful for the many things
That help us live as well as kings,
For all the food that makes us drool,
And another holiday from school.

By Karl Fuchs

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Clementine saves the day

No, that's not the title of the new Clementine book that will be coming out in April 2008.

I was having one of those "I feel too awful to even rest" afternoons. My idea of a good rest usually involves curling up on the couch with an afghan over me and escaping inside a good book. Today I found myself in bed, propped up a little with two big pillows, but without the ability to read any of the seven books I had piled beside me. I think there were too many words on the pages. I'd pick one up and read a couple of paragraphs, then set it down.

After several failed attempts at book reading, I tried closing my eyes; but I don't have the gift of napping, especially with a throbbing headache. Then, Erin came in and plopped on the bed with today's mail. (Today she just had two packages from USPS.) She opened them.

One was a galley (pages are loose with a big clip holding them together) of the newest Clementine book. Excitement! Both Erin and I are big fans. We'd been afraid (when the publisher told her they'd send it) that the galley might not have the illustrations yet. Hooray, they were all in there. The books are made complete with the pictures drawn by Marla Frazee.

We both took a peek and then Erin did something she's never done with an advance reader copy before. She handed it to me and said, "Here, you read it." Wow! A couple of times I'd asked to read an ARC before she did, getting a "yeah, you wish" sort of look. This was special. *smile*

Clementine's Letter was "just what the doctor ordered." When I finished it, I realized I'd gotten the rest I'd been seeking, along with some giggles to boot! I haven't read the very first Clementine book (this is the third,) but I've decided to ask for it for Christmas. Guess when I'd save it for?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Update for B

In my previous post about B, I was too tired to go into what the doc thinks is causing the breathing problems and chest pain. Basically it is a ph problem in his body that causes stress on his kidneys. The ph problem probably stems from the unbalanced bad bacteria in the colon, so there you go...the endless cycle which, I believe, not only caused this whole illness, but continues to keep us from getting better.

The doc gave B a supplement to help support his kidneys, but after taking it a few days, Brady was having stomach problems. When we went back to the doctor on Thursday, he said that B's gut needs some more healing before he can take the supplement. Yeah, so what else is new? It was discouraging to have to get off the supplement, but the doctor says that the NMT treatments can help his gut to start to heal, too.

I've decided we need to try juicing again. We just can't handle raw vegetables, but I've read that when you juice them they are more tolerable then just plain raw. Juicing removes the fiber. The cooked vegetables that we've been eating the last several months just aren't giving us enough nutrients and healing. The first (and only) time we juiced some veggies, the three of us could absolutely not stand it - that was about a year ago. I'll try to find some different recipes that might work and we'll try again. Gotta boost that ph!

In the meantime, he is off the prescription medicine and his breathing has significantly improved and the chest pain has gone away. Unfortunately, his stomach isn't back to normal yet, so he's still suffering in a way that makes his days hard. Thanks for reading. Keep praying!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No, it's not Christmas

It's just another day in the life of Miss Erin...aka kidlit book reviewer.

Yesterday, our neighbor, Mrs. Y, knocked on our door. I answered it and she asked, "Is Erin there?" Erin hopped off her computer chair and came to the door. "Erin, it's Christmas! A key for the package box was in my mail. When I opened the box the first thing that came to my mind was, 'What in the world did my kids order off the Internet?' " But then she started going through the packages and with relief realized they were all for neighbor, Erin.

The contents consisted of:
  • One bookish t-shirt from an author, just because...
  • 3 books won last month from readergirlz, when Miss E participated in their month long live author chats
  • 1 "First Look" book from Harper Collins
  • Another "First Look" book from Harper Collins
  • 1 newly released book from an author who is serving on Miss E's Cybil's panel
  • 1 book written by an author/friend of grandparents in SD- Hey that one was for me, (on loan.)
About an hour later the doorbell rang again. FedEx with... guess what? This one a 2007 Cybil's nominated book sent from the publisher.

The rest us say we're getting use to it, but it's hard not to be a little envious at times. ; )

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stuck in Traffic

On an e-mail prayer update today, a friend, who has chronic fatigue, wrote: "What’s it like to have chronic fatigue? It is like your body is a car with the majority of the spark plug wires pulled out and given only a quart of gas to do a road trip with. It chugs along haltingly and stops when the meager supply of gas is used up, waiting for another quart to be put in." She went on to explain that she had felt she was going 15 miles/hour in a 70 mile/hour speed zone for a long time, but recently she has experienced an increase of energy to put her at about 30 mph. Hooray!

Our son, Brady, would describe himself "stuck in traffic on empty." Even though he was chronically fatigued before, in the last six months or so he has become increasingly disabled. When trying to "get out into traffic" he finds himself having chest pains and breathing problems. All that pollution, you know...(little did we know how close to the truth this was until yesterday.)

He's had times when those pains and breathing problems have reached emergency proportions. The first time was the weekend before our trip to SD and IA, in which we took him to the emergency room. Chest x-rays, EKG, and a test for a stomach ulcer all turned out clear. The doctor guessed it was a virus settled in the chest and said it should clear up in a few days. Well, it didn't and thankfully we were able to use our Rife machine and long distance SCIO treatments to help him through rough spots on our trip.

In September, we found a new doctor for him, as the chest pain and breathing problems were still a concern, not escalating quite as badly as in June, usually, but keeping Brady just plain DOWN. His artwork had become too much of an effort for him. Video games and movies became the vehicle to get through the day. In October, after receiving the results of many tests, we still didn't have many answers except his blood was thick and his adrenals were very depressed.

This weekend his chest pain and breathing problems reached emergency "red light status" again. The problem had been building for two weeks, seemingly after getting on new medicine and supplements from the doctor. We called the doctor on Saturday- not much help there, just a recommendation for further lab tests on Monday, with results getting to his office in a couple of days or so. "This kid can't breathe TONIGHT!" I wanted to scream.

We tried treatments on the Rife machine and aspirin for relief. Saturday night he barely slept - slipping in and out of consciousness between hallucinations. That he made it through the night at all was God's grace. Our SCIO gal was out of town and couldn't help us until Sunday night, at which time she hooked him up and ran him through the night. He slept a bit better.

Thankfully, the new doctor that we started up with in late September, had referred us to another doctor 90 miles north of us that we had visited once each of the last two weeks. He had an opening on Monday morning and Brady was able to have an exam and an NMT treatment. This doctor could tell us what was happening - Wow!

Now we know that Brady isn't having a hard time getting oxygen (what the other doctors assumed as their starting point,) he is having a hard time getting rid of carbon dioxide. Bingo! Could this be why his brain keeps getting more and more clouded? His body has been poisoning itself for six months. (And yeah, the doctor also thinks he knows why, but that's a different post.)

Today he is quite a bit better. He's still not breathing normally, but the chest pain has gone away. The SCIO gal gave him a full treatment after his NMT treatment in the morning, yesterday, and let the machine run on him all through last night again. Also, we have decided to get him off a prescription medicine he started taking two weeks ago for his adrenals to see if that helps. We have to slowly wean him off that even though it's only been two weeks of treatment.

What is a SCIO or Rife machine you ask? Or NMT (neuromodulation) treatments? They both have to do with a Quantum Physics approach to studying our bodies (versus a chemical approach.) No, I don't have the vocabulary right now to be able to describe it to you intelligently. But yes, I believe these treatments have been instruments used by God in granting our son life protection. Thanks be to God!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Autumn was a strange paradoxical time of year. It was the season when he was the happiest and yet it was the season when he was most vulnerable and most aware, and that was not always a happiness. The Dean's Watch, by Elizabeth Goudge

Thursday, November 01, 2007

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

'Alone' by Edgar Allan Poe

This opens the novel, Dragonwyck, by Anya Seton. Both the title of the book and the poem picque your interest, don't they?

I've been wanting to read, Katherine, by this author, but haven't gotten around to requesting a copy of it from one of our "Valnet" libraries. When I spotted this title by Seton on the bookshelf of an antique store this summer, I grabbed it. Besides, it was dirt cheap compared to their gorgeous, hardcover copy of The Black Stallion (which I was coveting a wee bit.)

Today I'm in the mood for a good classic gothic romance. Here's hoping Dragonwyck fits the bill.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Now that I think about it

I hadn't realize that having (ahem...) digestion problems, along with "being on my knees" for our restored health, may be benefiting our home in this way.

from The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge:

"...she is a distinct improvement upon that other duenna, ...Through the keyhole I have perceived her to be a woman of great saintliness of character and weakness of digestion, characteristics which, by concentrating a lady's mind upon her own soul and stomach, do not allow her to indulge in that feminine curiosity about the affairs of others which renders her presence so trying to the males whose domicile she shares."

But I do miss being more involved in the affairs of others! I don't like how this trial has been so all- consuming.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Yesterday's baking lesson

Remember how your mom taught you to break an egg into a small bowl first before pouring it into your mixer bowl -- just to make sure you don't get anything unwanted in your batter (i.e. egg shells, etc.?)

Well, that step is absolutely worthless if the said bowl, (being glass,) goes into the batter, along with the egg, while the KitchenAid is running.

Friday, October 26, 2007

California fires

A year ago this week we were in Southern California visiting our doctor. I remember there being a fire clear over in Palm Springs and the smoke bothering us.

Now the whole area, in which we were staying and doctoring, is on fire. We tried to call my husband's cousin last night to see if how they are, but we couldn't get a hold of her. I want to call our doctor's office to see how everyone is doing. Are they even open?

Erin knows an author in Tustin (the city our doctor's office is) and this is what she had to say last night:

We're back now. Yes, we were evacuated at 8pm Monday night. Six fire trucks roared down our street with fog horns telling us to leave. We didn't argue. We ended up at the Anaheim Hilton, one of the only places that took pets. We almost had to leave again yesterday when the winds shifted blowing the fire back in our direction. But we were so lucky. So many people lost everything. Right now the fires are still burning but not as close. The hills behind my home are black. I feel so bad for the wildlife. Deer have been running down our street in broad daylight. Also we didn't have lookie loos jumping our fence to take pictures of the fires. Some neighbor's fences were torn down by this. Thank goodness for fire fighters, many who had worked straight for two days, some came in right off the Malibu fires. They are true heroes in my eyes.

Today on her live journal: There's a fire right over the hill, probably by Live Oak Canyon. The air is horrible and school has been out all week. I've lived in So. Ca for almost twenty years and I don't remember this ever happening!
The Santiago fires are back to only 30% contained. There's a $250,000 award for any info on who could have done this.

We're praying. Among our prayers for containment of the fire, protection of lives, homes,and offices, is a thanksgiving prayer that we're at home right now.

Edit: Just talked to my husband's cousin. They've been staying with her mom (dh's aunt,) because of health reasons. She lives pretty close to the coast. They did get a call to evacuate, but decided to stay and watch things since they aren't up against the hills. They don't have air conditioning and the temps are in the 80s. They can't open up the windows, though, because of the smoke, so they're warm. Otherwise, they're doing okay.

Friday, October 19, 2007

friday fragments

We took the bff to the airport yesterday. Boo hoo.

Then three of us went to the dentist, just a cleaning.

We were able to take Miss E to meet a blogger friend, a librarian. Now the three bloggers in the family have all met "in person" a friend they've gotten to know through this super cool medium. Fun!

We even shopped at Target. Woohoo!

A day away from the kitchen and the couch. Seemed like heaven.

Now I'm needing to rest after our day trip and then start gearing up for another day away. We go next Wednesday to get results from all of B's tests taken last month.

It takes me about a week to build up leftovers and foods enough to be out the house for a day. I don't have a whole week - uh oh.

We passed by a pasture of miniature horses with a Great Dane walking amongst them. Those poor little ponies, how humbling is that?

We also passed a sign that said, "Hawks may soar, but weasels never get sucked into a jet engine."

Have a contented weekend. ; )

Monday, October 15, 2007

Random quotes from my reading

That had been an ache that rose sometimes to pain, the natural sharp exhaustion consequent upon twenty-one continuous hours in the saddle, a fatigue that might have been cured by one or at the most two good nights' sleep. But this present fatigue engulfed the whole being. He imagined that every perception of sight and sound was colored by it as objects seen through water appear wavering and distorted. Penhally, Caroline Gordon

"Anndd wee mussttn'tt looose ourr sensses of hummorr," Mrs. Which said, "Thee onnlly wway ttoo ccope withh ssometthingg ddeadly sseriouss iss ttoo ttry ttoo trreatt itt a llittlle lligghtly."
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine D'Engle

book cover
They say that faint heart never won fair lady; and it is amazing to me how fair ladies are won, so faint are often men's hearts! Were it not for the kindness of their nature, that seeing the weakness of our courage they will occasionally descend from their impregnable fortresses, and themselves aid us in effecting their own defeat, too often would they escape unconquered if not unscathed, and free of body if not of heart. The Warden, Anthony Trollope