Archive for March, 2013

Great visit with Stephen and Sarah!

Today we had an AWESOME (totally amazing, power of God, wonderful) church service, and after lunch, Stephen and Scott squared off in a ping pong match.  I guess I shouldn’t say who won, but it was close, there was a lot of spinning and slamming going on, and they both had enough fun to work up a sweat.  They played with the garage door open and a few of the shots rolled far enough that I called them “mailbox shots!”

Scott then took them to the bus station in Springfield for their ride to the training center in Kansas City, where they and other Chinese hours church leaders will be taught and equipped for two months.

We had a lot of great adventures in their three days here.

They were able to meet with quite a few of our local Mission China partners – in Springfield, in Nixa, and at Scott’s work.  When Stephen saw Larry’s guns, he shared that he has had a dream since childhood to shoot a gun.  It is illegal for citizens to have guns in China.  That dream set Scott’s wheels turning, and he borrowed one of Larry’s guns and some ammo, wit the intent of finding somewhere Stephen could shoot.

Friday afternoon, we were blessed with several tickets to “Joseph” at Sight and Sound, and we were all deeply touched by that production.  Of course, being Sight and Sound, everything is top-notch, and it was an outstanding performance.  Stephen and Sarah were amazed that there’s a CHRISTIAN theater that does the same CHRISTIAN show daily for six months at a time.  That evening, we played pool, and Stephen, Andrew, and I narrowly defeated Sarah and Scott.

Saturday, our life group went for a hike at Lost Valley, a place that’s always beautiful and a big hit with everyone.  As we drove in rain almost the whole way there, we visited the Elk center first (very interesting), and when we came out, the rain had stopped.  We began our hike, the rain resumed, and we trudged on.  As you know, Roberts never turn back.  We found big dry overhang to eat our lunch under, and then the rain really did finally stop.  We explored tunnels, waterfalls, and the rest of them went into the cave at the end of the trail.  I, having been in the cave once before and having not handled the claustrophobic environs very well, always stay out with the gear.

Leaving Lost Valley, we took them to see the Reunion Rendezvous and then to the home ogf our friend, J.R., who had graciously agreed to let Stephen do some shooting.  He had four or five different pistols, rifles, and semi-automatic weapons, and Stephen was an incredible shot!  I wish you could have seen the smile on his face.  He was truly thrilled to have that opportunity.  In fact, I think he was still grinning several hours later!

We went out to eat at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  It was, of course, American Chinese food, but they seemed to enjoy it.

So, all in all, we were blessed and they were blessed and Jesus was lifted up, and a good time was had by all.

Cat’s back – drat!

he was gone for three or four days, but now he’s back to showing up every couple days.  This morning, I almost tripped over his noisy self as I tired to get across the porch and down to the mailbox.  He likes to walk right against my ankles and between my legs at every step, a truly maddening habit, if you ask me.

He disappears for two or three days, and I think, “I’m so glad he moved on,” but then he’s back, meowing loudly.  He’s not looking especially skinny, so I’m sure he’s getting fed somewhere.  I still have not bought any cat food, and we are absolutely not feeding him anything.  Actually, I’m guessing that he’s really a brilliant cat.  He probably goes from house to house, surveys the various dinner options, and then picks his favorites.

I bet he has us all fooled into thinking he’s a poor starving stray, while all along he’s laughing at our whole neighborhood’s gullibility!

When not to pick your nose

After supper Saturday night, I made up a batch of Andrew’s and my favorite salsa for our life group the following night.  At group, we always try to have something sweet, something salty, and something to drink (water, soda, and/or Kool-Aid), and while I have scads of recipes for dessert stuff, I never can seem to come up with anything creative when I end up responsible to bring salty.

I used to do cheese dip and chips, and that is good, but it takes an awful lot of Velveeta to make a decent-looking sized crockpot of it.  Then, of course, since we serve off the table, you have that nasty cord hanging down for little kids to trip on.

Generally, I work hard to avoid signing up for salty, but sometimes it just can’t be helped, and at those times, I usually go with the ever-popular Eight Layer Dip, which is awesome but must be made the day ahead for best flavor, or, if I know there are going to be a lot of adults (especially women), Cool Veggie Pizza, which must be made the day of.  But now that I have this salsa recipe that most everyone likes, I have a third option, and that is nice.

So, as I was saying, I made the salsa Saturday night, and it involves slicing up one jalapeno (anyone know how to make a tilde over that n?) pepper, which I did, as I always do.  My hands got plenty clean as I was washing the dishes afterwards, but a couple hours later, when I was getting ready for bed, I confess that a fingertip did head toward the nose, and a minute or so later, one side of my nose was ON FIRE!  Doggone it!  Those membranes must really be tender. What could one do to relieve the intensely blazing heat?  Absolutely nothing.

I mentally kicked myself for my stupidity, washed my hands again carefully for good measure, and proceeded to remove my makeup.  I have a highly technical way of doing this.  I splash warm water on my face and use my hands to rub the makeup off.  Then I rinse with another splash of warm water, and that’s it.  But that night, my cheekbones and  – Oh no! Not my eyes. . . yes – my EYES were suddenly and likewise powerfully hot.  AARRGH!  I was in pain and worried.  What exactly would pepper juice do to one’s eyes?  Is this what it feels like to bad guys who get pepper spray shot in their eyes?   YEOW!!!

Not only was this getting increasingly uncomfortable (and I didn’t know if or when it would ever stop burning); it was kind of embarrassing.  Of course, Andrew was in his room, and Scott was probably already asleep – and he never reads this blog – so if I didn’t tell him, he’d be none the wiser, but as I stood there looking at my bare face in the mirror, horror of horrors, all the skin of my cheeks gradually turned hot pink!

I decided to stay in the bathroom for a while to wait for the sunburned look of fade – and to give enough time to ensure that Scott was sound asleep with the light out.

It did not fade and it kept burning. Lovely.

I got tired of waiting, so I went on to bed.  The light was off, and my face, especially the left side of my nose, was hot, but I was able to fall asleep.  Thankfully, Sunday morning, I no longer looked like a clown and nothing was burning.

Moral of the story:  Jalapenos are much better in your stomach than on your face!

Cat scan?

Just when I’m sure that nothing can surprise me, I hear of some new wild thing.

A week ago, a VERY affectionate cat showed up on our porch.  It (he?) meows a lot, loves to rub against people’s legs, likes to sit on windowsills and look in at us, and is forever trying to get into the house.

For the first five days, I ignored the cat, hoping that it would go away.  My life is full, I don’t want a pet, I don’t want the expense or responsibility of a pet, and I happen to be allergic to cats.  Andrew, of course, passionately loved the cat and wanted to keep it.  To its credit, the cat is very handsome and, as mentioned, very nice, but I did not want a cat.

The cat did not go away.

Its meowing grew louder, more frequent, and more insistent.  I figured it was hungry, but I also knew that if we fed it once, it would NEVER go away.  I held off till the sixth day, but then I caved.  We fed it some tuna, which it scarfed down in no time.

We didn’t have any cat food here, and with four inches of snow on the ground, I was not about to go to town the day after a grocery run just for cat food, so I went online to try to figure out what one should feed a stray cat when one has no cat food.  I read website after website, getting all kinds of ideas of alternative cat foods – BTW, not milk and not tuna! – but something else also turned up over and over again in relation to stray cats.

Before you take a stray cat into your house – which I will NOT be doing – you are supposed to take it to the vet to get it checked out for whatever diseases and problems are common to cats, and while there, the vet should SCAN THE CAT to see if it contains a microchip!!!  Evidently some cat owners have microchips put into their cats with their contact information, etc., so that, should the feline go astray, the finder can take it to a vet for to be scanned and learn how to return it to its owner.

Now, isn’t that totally amazing?!?  And doesn’t it give new meaning to a cat scan?!?

Last night some friends were over, and the cat was very persistent on the exterior living room windowsills while we were talking in the living room.  As they were leaving, one of my friends offered to take the cat with her and drop it “somewhere,” but we couldn’t find the cat.  Too bad, so sad.

So far today (2:00 PM), it has not appeared, so perhaps it has found a new home.  I fervently hope so.  Incidentally, leftover pot roast and potatoes were extremely popular, and hot dogs were much less popular.  The cat has good taste.

FOUR inches of snow so far!

Yes, there are four inches of snow on the ground here tonight (10:30 PM), and it’s still coming down steadily!  Ron Hearst tells us it could continue until about 7:00 AM tomorrow!  I am ecstatic!!!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  = )

Well, if we can’t have snow in the winter. . .

. . . we’ll take it on the second day of spring!  A couple hours ago, as predicted by Brandon Beck, it started snowing pretty heavily, and now it’s beginning to stick!

Getting techhier

We went shopping this morning.  We hit Wal-Mart, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Country Mart, but I managed to forget the cilantro I need to make salsa for group on Sunday, and it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, and I do NOT want to have to go anywhere till Andrew’s 6:30 worship practice and my 7:00 choir practice, so. . . as embarrassing as it is, I went BACK to Wal-Mart for the cilantro.

But the good thing is that the lines were so very long (2:30 PM and the day before forecast snow) that I decided to try the self check-out.  I never do self check-out because I am always afraid something will go wrong and I will have to call for help and feel like a fool.  This time, I did it all by myself and it worked perfectly!

However, now that we all pump our own gas and ring up our own purchases, the day may come when we’ll all stock the Wal-Mart shelves, as well!

Least expensive car repair in recent memory

After all the major ones we have endured lately, we were pretty concerned when the Honda started making a clanking sound in its front end.  It was intermittent, as such things usually are, but fairly noisy when it did occur.

We took the car to Advanced Automotive, and Scott drove it for Mike, the boss there, hoping that it would make its noise.   Thankfully, it did, and in a big way.  It turns out that the sway bar (a.k.a. “stabilizer bar”) is broken.  The good news is that the repair is expected to cost only about $40 total!

They have to order the part, so it couldn’t be repaired today, but at least we know the car is safe to drive, and it won’t cost any major appendages to get it fixed.  We are thankful and relieved.

A very full day

Up till 12:15 AM, unpacking stuff to be hauled to the Great Adventure Lodge (GAL)

6:30 – up, read, walk, pray

8:30 – used butter knife, scratch pad, and Goo Gone to remove stickers from an awful lot of bowls and cups purchased for the GAL

9:30 AM – 3:00 PM. . .

showered and dressed

got pot roast (actually tri-tip steak!) going in crock-pot

made Pioneer Woman salsa

finished two loads of laundry from yesterday

did three loads of laundry, folded and put them away

ate lunch

sorted incoming mail

reviewed clothing catalog for possible purchases

did a bunch of dishes and cleaned up kitchen

swept out smokehouse and stored cleaned pots

Between 3 PM and 6 PM. . .

got Andrew going on his academics

did the ironing

did Andrew’s history read-aloud

straightened first floor for life group leaders meeting

oversaw Andrew’s prep and cleaning for life group leaders meeting

Scott got home at 6:10.  The group was to start at 6:30, with possibly as many as 22 people present, (although it ended up being only 14), and in those 20 minutes we needed to eat supper, clean up supper, and I needed to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth.

The first leaders arrived at 6:12 PM.

It was a good meeting.

I spent 40 minutes typing up notes from the meeting.

I am very tired.  = )


Beaver’s back!

I walked in the rain this morning, and on my third pass back over the bridge, what do you know, but here came the beaver again, swimming downstream and under the bridge, just like before.  He (or she?) is a massive animal, clearly a force to be reckoned with, but he swims so effortlessly, steering with his tail and hind feet, swimming with his head up for a few seconds to breathe, and then diving smoothly back under, otter-style.

What a special sighting!

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