Friday, November 26, 2010

Why do vacations go so fast?

It has been a marvelous week off. I have been busier that I expected, and have not had as much time to delve into deep reading subjects as I had hoped, but the activities I have been working on have been just as fun.

Saturday I spent 6 hours mucking out a friend's garage with her and of course when I arrived home late afternoon on Saturday I was pooped. Naptime. And there went the first day of vacation.

Monday and Tuesday I was busy running around doing errands. Things pile up when you work 11 hours a day and everywhere is closed by the time you are let out of work. And it is too much to try and get it all done on the few hours you have on Saturday mornings before stores, banks, and Post Offices close. I completed visits with my insurance agent, had a tire fixed, grocery shopped, pored through bills, met with my banker to change some statuses, and finished a host of other tasks that had been left for better days.

Wednesday afternoon I went over to a friend's house and helped her put together a couple of a massive eggplant parmigiana casseroles. She had never made the dish before and was unaware of how long it takes to fry the eggplant. With two casseroles and four eggplants to prepare, it really did take all hands on deck to get the dish done before marauding family members trooped in fro their weary travels. It was really fun to help her and her pleasure in having something good-smelling and tasty to pull out of the oven just at arrival of her children and grandchildren was gratifying to see!

Yesterday's visit with a friend for Thanksgiving was terrific. Her home is beautiful to start with, as she herself is, inside and out. We talked and heated up our banquet, and then we ate together at her table. Afterwards we rested in the big comfy recliners and watched tv and yakked. We had pie a while later, and that was good too.

And now it is Friday and I wonder, where did the week go? My week of reading is almost over before I cracked the first book. Over the last three months I've bought six books I've been looking forward to getting into. The first set was Radical by David Platt and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Next I bought Pilgrim's Progress, John MacArthur's Because the Time is Near, and Warfield's Counterfeit Miracles. That last one is an oldie but a goodie. This month I got two CS Lewis books: Miracles, and The Great Divorce.

I'm looking forward to reading them, though I probably should get them into some semblance of order. Maybe read Crazy Love and Radical together, then Counterfeit Miracles and Miracles, then Pilgrim's Progress and the Great Divorce. Hmmm. It's all nice to ponder, the anticipation almost as fun as the actual reading.

As I was getting out of the car from returning from the Post Office (to get my last 2 books and also an inkjet- amazing how fast those inkjet cartridges diminish) I noticed that a winter rose was blooming. How beautiful!

And that almost concludes my week. Saturday I have my own mucking out to do: I have to empty a room and put the stuff in the garage because the landlord needs the space. And Sunday of course, is worship and then rest. Monday, Monday, you're not so far away!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for...rural beauty

In driving to my friend's house yesterday I pass through this area:

I'm so thankful for farmers, animals, and beauty

How blessed I am to live here. Thankful for it all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving holiday

Happy Thanksgiving!I plan to go over shortly to a friend's house and help her make eggplant parmigiana for the first time. She plans on making two baking dishes of it to feed 16. Mamma Mia! It is an ambitious endeavor and a risky one as well...I advised her to bake a ham, but she wants to try the eggplant so I'll go over and help her out.

Tomorrow I plan to go to a friend's (an different one) and we will eat turkey, mashed potatoes, whole berry cranberry sauce, butternut squash casserole, and pecan pie. Ginger ale and OJ for drinks. Her husband is going out of town and her family isn't really nearby, so otherwise she would be alone. We will have a great time, and her screened-in large porch is perfect for lounging and watching the birds, cows, horses, and buffalo after we eat, even if it rains, as it might. It has been in the 70s lately and lovely sun, so either way, it will be a relaxing day whether it rains or not. Here are some leaves that are changing, they do not get vibrant but here they are anyway:
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No pat-downs for me

I flew for the last time in 2006. As the advent of the TSA and Homeland Security began to entrench, and sink its tentacles into the American public’s civil liberties, I became very skeptical of the entire airport check-in process. I already was irritated at the plethora of paperwork needed to pass inspection, and also the lengthy delays at security zones. However, I forgave those in the interest of security, because in the long run, they are reasonable precautions. But when the shoe bomber did his thing and we were required to take off our shoes, things got way more ridiculous. After that, the requirement to put all liquids in 3oz bottles and place them in clear baggies came along, I snorted in disbelief. Still, I flew.

Then I got patted down.

Heading up to Maine for a vacation in 2006, I was randomly selected to be patted down by a TSA agent at the Atlanta airport. It wasn’t the intrusive pat-downs we see today, but it was a pat-down. A female guard snapped on white gloves, which is scary enough, and she took out the wand and passed it up and down my body. I hated that. Then she touched me on the back and the arms and legs. I HATED that. I was compliant. I was upset but kept my cool. I did remark to them that I felt it was an intrusion into my privacy and a violation of my civil liberties. The TSA agents vaulted into action. They threatened to take me aside and complete a more extensive inspection…they threatened to make me miss my plane…they threatened all sorts of things, all the while surrounding me. Another bunch of agents came out of nowhere and closed in. More threats on their side. I looked numbly at the circle around me and wondered where the land of John Adams went. I said no thank you and turned to walk into the passenger area. They did not follow.

At that moment I decided that the convenience of air travel was not worth personal violation at the hands of the government, and I never flew again. And I never will.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fall: the local tree, the local rooster

Fall in Georgia is not as vibrant as it is in Maine, where I had been living for a long time. The leaves do not get as bright, though they are pretty. The upside is that fall lasts a lot longer than just the few weeks it does in Maine. I can enjoy the change of the season in all its glory: the cooling temperatures, the clearing skies with bright starlight, and the leaves changing. Here is a tree whose leaves have fully changed but is aided in brightness by a setting bright sun:

The local rooster. I love hearing rooster's dawn cackle. He lives next door, but "next door" is far because each property owner on the street owns a lot of land. I always try to spot him as I come to the stop sign, but when he is out on the lawn he is always so far away for a good photo. I think he is pretty, that's why I want to see him closer up. He has deep hues and is a kind of a majestic walker of his domain.

Today is a bright, pretty day. I plan to head to the library for a new slew of books, the grocery store, and then home. I want to write a lot today, and finish the details of a Christmas program I am part of. A friend gave me some jalapeno peppers from her garden and I play to use them in a veggie chili. Then tonight, read. I don't know how I keep up with my hectic life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Men and women

Men are competitive. Women are relational. We always have heard that. We read books like 'Men are from mars, women are from Venus'. We look at our husbands (or our wives) and shake our heads.

Well, I got to laughing so hard Friday night when I watched the cooking show "Chopped." On that show, 4 contestants compete in three rounds of cooking (appetizer, entree, dessert) and successively a contestant gets chopped until one is left who wins $10,000. Last week there were two chefs from Philadelphia. In the introduction phase of the show, the female chef from Philly said "I know him. I've known him for about 6 years. He works half a block from my restaurant." The male chef said, "Between us two chefs from Philly, I want to be known as the best. I want to win. I'll beat her."

See? Relational, and competitive. LOL!