Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US Army Chaplain School

It's quite likely that someday we will have a US Army chaplain in our family. CNN did this piece recently which I thought you'd enjoy watching.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home from church

The service today at St. Peter's was full of zingers. First the congregational prayer zapped me:

I have struggled to walk faithfully with You and I have not made friends with the foolish, nor do I socialize with the deceitful.... You ask us to love one another and show each other honor. You tell us to be zealous, faithful and serving You in all things. But You know me, O God. You have heard my spiteful words, my judgment of others but not myself. You know how selfish and stingy I have been with money, time and talents. 

And then the second lesson was from Romans 12.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor... Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.... Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
More ouch.

And then the sermon, which you can hear for yourself if you want to here.

And finally the hymns. Like Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross and Rock of Ages.

I felt like the whole thing was meant to grab me by the scruff of the neck and give me a little shake, because I am not accomplishing these things. I'm so glad I went to church. I'm not glad every week. Sometimes I feel dragged down, not by the service but by my conflicts with a very few of my fellow church members. Today's sermon turned me back toward looking at what I am doing wrong, rather than what they might be doing wrong. I needed that.

In other news, over at Christ Community Evangelical Free Church, our friend Rinda (name altered slightly to protect the guilty) drove the church car on a ladies' outing. And bumped it. Just a tiny bit. Anyway, this week, she opened her bulletin and followed along with the printed hymn lyrics in the bulletin - and then came to this neatly printed addition:
Our pastor drives a beat-up car
Just an old tin-canner.
Worse today than yesterday
Thanks to Rinda Danner.
In closing, I'd like to ask you to pray for my cyberfriend Felisol. Last I heard (which was last night our time), she was waiting at her mother's bedside, as her mother completes her days in this life and moves into the next. She has faith that her mother is saved and will move right into the arms of the Savior, but goodbyes are still hard, and she needs strength for the vigil. May God bless Felisol and her whole family.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Potato Crop Failure

Underwhelming, isn't it? This is all the yield in potatoes from our 4 barrels. I'd love to know what I did wrong. There were lots of cutworms in the barrels, for one thing.

These potatoes we did get are delicious, and they will make (one batch of) nice potato salad. Still, I was really hoping for, like, 150 pounds of potatoes.

I want to try something similar next year, only with a cylinder of chicken wire instead of a barrel. I'm thinking with more air to the sides, it may do better. Am I wrong or right?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Houston County Fair Entries 2011

Here are two garments I entered in the fair. The black apron I'm proud of, and it won a blue ribbon. The eyelet blouse I entered because I said I would enter a blouse and I did not have time to make a better one. It's okay. It won a red ribbon, and probably did not even deserve that much.

The apron has a little story behind it. Last spring, when Lisa Fruitful were making costumes for The Sound of Music, I quickly made a black half apron with colored rickrack trim for one of the older von Trapp girls. It was very striking from a safe distance, not so great close up because I was in a huge rush by that point and it was, after all, just a costume. But the drama coach Tammy Manning just loved it. So I redid the idea, taking my time and finishing seams and putting the rickrack on for keeps this time, and now that the fair is over, I have given it to Tammy to keep. I took a picture to keep with the blue ribbon it won.

On Sunday, when Lil Miss A and I drove back to the fair to pick up our stuff, we passed a pile of free stuff on a curb. Caledonia has a lot of garage sales during fair days because of all the added traffic. I had not gotten to go to any of them and was sad. Yet here was a lovely pile of garage sale leftovers with a big FREE sign on them. Even better! Look what I got:

It's an old suitcase with real travel stickers on it, mostly from Europe, though I see Florida on there too. I'm very excited. Can't believe nobody bought this at whatever price they were willing to take for it rather than leave it in the free pile, it could not have been much.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am so going to win this.

The Houston County (MN) Fair is going on right now, and this afternoon is the Ugly Purse Contest. I'm pumped. I'm stoked. I've got THE purse. I'm going to take this thing.

That's right. This is my time to shine. And yes, that IS a baby alligator, stuffed, on an alligator skin handbag. He has ruby-red glass eyes and he is quite scary.


I'll let you know how it turns out, but I'm feeling pretty confident right about now.


Well, to my surprise, there are 2 purses uglier than mine in Houston County. I came in third. I did notice the judges seemed afraid to touch my purse; they picked up the others and checked inside, but two of the three gave mine a wide berth.

To answer Carol's question from the comments, it's pronounced the same as Houston, Texas.

First day of school 2011-2012

Kieffer, entering his senior year in high school. Lil Miss A, entering 6th grade.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cute haircut, obscured by cat

I wanted to take a picture of Lil Miss A's adorable new haircut (she got about 6 inches cut off), but she insisted on holding bad Beckham during the pictures, and he did not cooperate at ALL.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The weekend's work

I got some canning done this weekend, some stuff from our gardens, some from the farmer's market, and some (the corn) a gift from our neighbors.

The tally, if I remember right:

  • 5 quarts sweet corn
  • 2 quarts yams in syrup
  • 7 pints dill pickles
  • 4 pints green beans
  • 6 quarts Italian seasoned tomato sauce
I need to step up the pace here. I'm doing pretty well, but we need more.

I added 4 gallons of drinking water to our stores today, bringing us up around 60 gallons. These are gallon juice jugs. I save my own, and I have a couple of neighbors who put theirs in their recycling complete with the lids. (Everybody else throws the lids away separately, so I cannot use them.) I rinse them out well, add a couple of drops of liquid bleach, and fill them up with tap water; label them with the date, and stash them in the cellar. I'll be at my goal of 80 gallons at right about the time the oldest jugs are a year old, and I can start rotating them out.

In other news, we escaped Sunday evening to the same campground we camped at last month. It was a lovely day, not hot, not buggy. We took a supper with us and cooked it at over an open fire, and then Lil Miss A and I headed back home, while Barry and Kieffer backpacked into a pack-only campsite and spent the night. Really a lovely weekend. The kids start back to school on Thursday, so I'm glad we got to do one neat thing together before that happens.