Archive | April, 2011

Look To This Day

30 Apr

I presided over a beautiful memorial service this morning.

The gentlemen who passed live a long and wonderful life.  It was wonderful to meet his family, to hear stories and see photographs from his life.  In a strange way, it is moments like the one I was apart of this morning that prove to me just how present God is in my life.

I read an ancient Sanskrit poem during the service that was so powerful I wanted to share it on here.

Look To This Day
Look to this day
for it is life
the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory
of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day….


Zack’s Classic Veggie Wrap

30 Apr

I would like to share a story.

It involves this.

And college.

And this girl.  I miss her.

(This photo was taken during our last week of college!)

When Sarah and I were at Ursinus College we used to have a routine.  We would go to class, work or the library all day.  Then we would meet a little before 5 and walk to Zack’s Restaurant, one of the dining halls.  Then we would each get a veggie wrap.  Then we would bring it back to one of our rooms and watch the 5:00 Gilmore Girls rerun while we ate dinner.  Then we would digest, go to the gym, shower and study for the rest of the night.

It has been four years since we graduated and we still think about those veggie wraps.  We talk about them on gchat all the time.  There was something amazing about them!  The gigantic portions?  The different tastes?  The ability to customize it however you wanted?  Who knows …

I do know this.  Tonight, I recreated one.

And it was amazing.  And I would like to share the recipe.

Zack’s Classic Veggie Wrap
1 Large Round Tortilla Wrap
Hummus (or chickpeas & the fixin’s to make your own)
Lettuce, thinly sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Cucumbers, sliced
Red Onions, diced
Banana Peppers
Cheese (pick your favorite!)

Let’s start with our hummus, shall we?

I hate spending money on hummus when a can of chickpeas is so inexpensive – so I rinsed and drained a can of chick peas and ground it with two cloves of garlic, a few pinches of sea salt and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Spread a nice layer of hummus on the center of the wrap (I think I skimped a little this time – give yourself some more!).

And layer the lettuce first.  Don’t skimp on the lettuce, either – this is what gives the wrap so much volume.

Then add your tomatoes and your cucumbers …

And your red onions, pickles and banana peppers.  If you haven’t tried banana peppers and don’t like other peppers, don’t worry – they don’t really taste like red or green peppers – or even hot peppers.  I’m not sure I can describe the taste very well.  But the juices of the peppers and the pickles are the reason you don’t need any dressing on this wrap – they keep it from drying out.

Anyway, you can find them in a jar near the pickles at the grocery store!

The cheese goes on last.  Zack’s always had sliced, I only had shredded.  I think sliced works better, but this got the job done.

Then wrap, cut and devour on your deck on a beautiful spring evening with your husband.


Home Grown French Fries (Hopefully)

29 Apr

Today we planted potatoes!

And remember that when I say ‘we’ I really mean that Bruce is doing most of the work and I am tasked with blogging about it.

We are putting three types of potatoes in the ground this year – reds, norways and superiors.  “Two thicked-skins and one not-so-thick,” according to Bruce.

This is the growing pile of rocks that Bruce pulled (and is still pulling) out of the ground!  If he doesn’t use them for a walkway, I will use them to make a labyrinth.  We’re still deciding.

So this is how we planted today.  Bruce stood, walked, tilled, shoveled, raked and planted …

And I sat with my camera and threw the potatoes across the garden at him.

Everything is labeled so we know what is growing where!

Come on, potatoes!  I want home grown french fries with my burgers this summer!

This Is The Stuff Fairytales Are Made Of

29 Apr

I was completely captivated.

from the BBC

What a moment.

My friend Katie did an awesome blog recap of fun facts about the wedding so check out her post.  I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, only that it was a magically historic moment and I am so glad I was able to have a little piece of it from my media room in southeast Massachusetts.

I’m a little – um – tired this morning. 🙂 But it’s a beautiful day, it’s my day off (from the office at least) and we’re getting ready to plant potatoes!

I was outside this morning and decided to snap some photos of our deck-in-progress.  We don’t have a ton of decorating money saved right now, but we really wanted some simple furniture so we could enjoy meals outside during these warm spring and summer months!  A church member gave us an extra table he had and we picked up these two inexpensive chairs from Home Depot for about $8 each.  Nothing fancy, but it’ll do!

We definitely need some chairs or a swing of some sorts on this side of the deck!

The view – what a day!

The garden beckons – have a great day!

Impromptu Date Night

29 Apr

As I started to piece together my office, I kept thinking about how nice it would look if I painted at least two of the walls a deep, warm color – I kept coming back to blue (think Maxwell House coffee can).  I thought it would make the room cozier and more relaxing – just as a pastor’s office should be, right?  I mentioned the idea to someone, who mentioned it to someone and I was given the ‘okay’!

So last night Bruce and I were at Home Depot picking up paint samples for our master & guest bedrooms (more on that tomorrow) and I decided to pick up a couple of samples for my office. 

A couple.

Perhaps I went overboard?

Two of my favorites – Southern Evening and Royal Breeze.  Thoughts?  It’s not going on all four walls and will be contrasted with white.

When I got home this afternoon Bruce asked me if I wanted to ride up to Foxborough with him … 

… to Bass Pro Shops!

I love meandering this store with Bruce.  It’s just one of ‘our’ things.  This is our first trip to this store – it’s a good one!

I love Bass Pro because it’s an aquarium / museum / outdoor store / market all in one.

The Bass Pro in Foxborough is actually in the same big complex as the Gillette Stadium – where the Patriots play.  There are a ton of shops and restaurants there – we decided on Olive Garden for dinner.

I ordered Soup, Salad & Breadsticks!

With Minestrone Soup.  Anybody have a good recipe?

Post-dinner we wandered through Off-Broadway Shoes and Christmas Tree Shops.  I was a very responsible shopper tonight!  All in all a fun impromptu date night.

Tomorrow is my day off – I do have some work to do for a memorial service that I am presiding over on Saturday, but I think I’ll do it on the couch in front of the Royal Wedding!  Sorry – but I’ve totally jumped on the bandwagon.  I’m not going to obsess, but I think it will be pretty cool to watch live.

Anybody else watching?

A Thursday Morning List

28 Apr

1. Such horrific news of devastation coming out of the south this morning.  I’ve been tracking my friends via facebook and twitter, but my heart hurts for those who have lost loved ones.  The UCC is taking donations through Disaster Relief / One Great Hour of Sharing here if you are interested in donating to relief efforts.  Everyone affected continues to be in my prayers.

2. We saw two new birds this morning on our feeder!

I was able to get decent pictures of this one – I think a Yellow Finch?  Brian Cooper – please advise.

3. The basket we received on Easter contained bite-sized Coffee Cakes and Brownies.  I could not stop eating the Coffee Cakes this morning! 

So good.

4. My macbook power cord is making cackling noises.  I posted an “is this normal?” facebook status and apparently it’s not.  According to my friend Betsy, this happened to a friend of hers and sparks ended up flying out of it.  Ummm – that’s not good.  However – the noise appears to have stopped.  So now I don’t know what to think.  Mac users – please advise.

5. I have almost re-found my desk after Hurricane Holy Week came through last week.  Perhaps there is some organizational hope for me after all?

Have a great day!

Bruce’s Garden: Planting Onions

28 Apr

Even though these posts are tagged “our garden” this is really Bruce’s baby. He is doing all of the hard manual labor and I get to drop a couple of onions in the ground, take pictures and pretend that I’m helping.

See what I mean?

We have such a great spot for a vegetable garden!  Very easy access to our rain barrel and the slider door into the basement.  If we have success with the garden this year, we may expand it next year …

Speaking of our rain barrel …

He’s proud, can you tell?  We didn’t want to spend the money on an actual rain barrel (I think they can run around $100 a piece) so he took a garbage can and hooked it up himself.  It is already full from the few days of rain we’ve gotten!

We decided to hook up a rain barrel for two reasons.  One – we wanted to be kind to the earth and not waste water.  Re-using rain water is awesome for watering a garden!  Two – we wanted to be good stewards of the utility costs at the parsonage and not make someone else pay for the water for our garden.  Our goal is to never have to use water from the well.

Seriously – how cool is that?

Burgers for dinner – I’ve been nursing a sinus headache of epic proportions today so I didn’t have the energy for anything else!

We went to Home Depot tonight to pick up some paint samples and looked at grills.  I think we’ve decided to go with gas over charcoal and nothing too fancy.

I cannot wait for real GRILLING!

We are settling in for a night of sports and sweatpants.  Goodnight!

What’s Normal, Anyway?

27 Apr

The weather is being weird today.

Kind of humid.  Tries to be sunny.  Not quite.  Possible rain drops.  Sun?  No.  Kind of humid.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s about 73 degrees, but there is a nice breeze.  I’ve got my office window open – it feels good to have some fresh air in here!

We let the coffee jar run empty AGAIN!  How does that happen?!  To Dunkin Donuts I went – AGAIN!  The nice part about that is when I order a bagel it comes still soft and warm.  Oh yummmm.

Bruce stopped by for sandwiches for lunch – I put chips in mine.  I’m not sure why other than the fact that I’m channeling my inner Bill Cosby.

Or perhaps I’m losing my mind.

Actually – that’s more likely.  I was finishing the bulletin today, marveling at the fact that we’re finally having a “normal” service – with nothing out of the ordinary (communion, Palm Sunday, Easter, etc.).  Then I looked at the calendar and realized this Sunday is May 1st.  Which means it’s the first Sunday of the month.  Which means it’s communion.

So much for my “normal” service.

Though what IS normal, anyway?

Judge My Effectiveness

27 Apr

Things I have done today:
1. Set my toaster oven on fire.
2. Temporarily misplaced my documents folder on my computer.
3. Found a snake in my garden.
4. Accidentally spilled peas all over the kitchen floor.
5. Thought there was a stray cat on my deck and realized it was a raccoon.

Things I have not done today:
1. Found my sanity.

Thank goodness for Wear a Dress Tuesday!

Also – thank goodness for my husband who sent me a text this afternoon and reminded me that I should come home soon after my office hours were over so I could enjoy the beautiful weather before a meeting I had tonight.  We were able to get out for a 3.7 mile walk!  It was nice to go together and get a chance to have a technology-free conversation.

After our walk, I made chicken fried rice for dinner.

To make this I used:

  • Leftover Rice
  • Red Onions
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Corn
  • Chicken
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar

I still haven’t perfected my method, but once I do I will share.  It is surprisingly easy!

Alright, I’m exhausted and have to meet a cemetery caretaker first thing in the morning.  Goodnight!


26 Apr

These blooms appeared literally overnight last week at the church!

Beautiful, right?

This morning has been a little bit hectic – all good things!

Breakfast (repeat of yesterday, although today I accidentally set the toaster oven on fire when I was heating up the cornbread).

Lunch!  I feel like I’m back in college – this was a staple back then.

It’s about 75 degrees and sunny out right now so I’m off to enjoy the day because I have a meeting tonight.  Catch ‘ya later!  Happy Wear a Dress Tuesday!  xoxo