Monday, April 27, 2009

take off your shoes

Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush is on fire with God;
but only he who sees takes off his shoes;
the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.
Elizabeth Barret Browning

I take my camera on my walk each day, but I just can't capture the way the sun reflects on the leaves and the grass. It's like diamonds.
There are some other things I wish I could capture.
The feel of the breeze at the perfect temperature.
And the scents. Today there was sweet jasmine, fresh mowed grass and woodsy piles of leaves and pine needles.
And the sound of the birds who greet each day so exuberantly.
It really is a bit of heaven right here on my street.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday pie

Thirty years for Ajay!
He wasn't here to celebrate, but we didn't let that stop us.
Nobody could have a better friend or a better son.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

with the blink of an eye

When Jean-Do Bauby set out in a chauffeured car to take his son to a play one night in Dec 1995, he could not have known that his trip would end at Berck-sur-Mer, a rehabilitation hospital. The turn his life took that night was one that no one would ever anticipate. Who has even heard of “locked-in-syndrome”?

But fortunately for us, he produced a memoir of his experiences. There's probably no way to really understand what this new life was like, but it's fascinating and inspiring to read about.

Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor of the French fashion magazine Elle and was only 43 yrs old when he suffered the stroke that left him completely paralyzed. Well, not completely, he had the use of one eye. It was by blinking his eye that he was able to communicate and that is how he dictated his book.

He called the book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, representing his physical body trapped in a diving bell and his mind, free to wander about, as a butterfly.

The story is heartbreaking, but it’s told with optimism and humor and ends up being uplifting rather than depressing.

The book was made into a very beautiful movie that does an amazing job of showing the world from Jean-Do's limited point of view. Unfortunately some of the movie is fictionalized, which is too bad because the true story is powerful enough and needs no embellishment.

Read the book. See the movie. It will open your eyes to see the world in a new way.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Banana bread... with chocolate.

This is another recipe from my mother-in-law with a couple changes.

Cream together:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened margarine
1/4 cup sour cream (or buttermilk)
2 eggs
2 mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together in a separate bowl, then add to creamed mixture:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Then fold in:
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, chopped into small pieces

Bake in a 5x9 inch pan at 325 for about an hour.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Life

Spring is a perfect metaphor for the message of Easter. The new growth everywhere reminds me of the new life promised to us through our Savior Jesus Christ.

Because of His atoning sacrifice and death, we are raised, after our death, to eternal life through the power of the resurrection.

His sacrifice allows us to look forward to eternal life, and it also allows us to begin a new and better life every single day. As we repent, we leave the mistakes of the past behind and become a new better person. It's Jesus Christ who gives us the chance to change and the strength to do it. Because of Him, each new day can be a fresh new start.

In any difficult time, but especially with the death of of a loved one, the promise of eternal life is the best comfort. But even in our daily troubles and shortcomings, the mercy offered by Jesus Christ brings hope and peace.

Easter is a one day celebration, but its message is a blessing every single day. Not just for the big challenges but for every little one as well.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

Thursday, April 9, 2009

five dozen

seconds in a minute
minutes in an hour
years for Spade

Sixty used to seem old, but not on you.
Happy Birthday, Spade.
And many more.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Italian Potato Soup

I tried to re-create a soup we had at an Italian Restaurant. It turned out easy and tasty!

These are the ingredients:
1 package Italian sausage (1 to 1 1/2 lb)
1 onion
1 3 lb bag red potatoes
soup base, or bullion cubes, or broth (I use Better Than Bullion chicken or vegetable flavor)
1 pint half and half ( or milk)
2 oz arugula
oyster crackers

Here's how to do it.
Break the sausage into small pieces and cook.
Chop the onion and add to the sausage toward the end of the cooking.
Wash and slice the potatoes and add to pan after onions are translucent. Add enough water to barely cover (about 4-5 cups) and some soup base (about 2 Tbs) and cook until the potatoes are done. ( about 10 mins or so).
Add the half and half.
Add about 2 oz of arugula. (that's about half of a bag)
Serve with oyster crackers.
This makes about 8 servings.