Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goodbye

Steven has noticed that whenever we get together with my family, the conversation always eventually turns to my Grandma Kennedy. No matter how many times we tell the stories, they are always funny or sad or thought-provoking.

Somehow, most of my memories are connected with scents. Mom's lilacs, bread baking, a certain kind of shampoo which to me always means summer camp. Then there are the books. The ancient and musty and simply wonderful smell of books. My grandmas house was filled with books. She had shelves filled with them, piles everywhere they could fit and always had one or two within arms reach of her favorite chair. She had started school to become a surgeon but had to stop when she ran out of money. She became an elementary school teacher and loved it. Looking through old photos, we found that her students would often send pictures and cards to her, even many years after they graduated. Her love of teaching and reading were evident as she patiently taught her grandkids to read.

Not long ago, Uncle John gave Steve and I a set of commentaries that had belonged to her and I found this tucked in with them. I'm sure she didn't make it, as frivolities like this just don't seem like her at all, but someone probably gave it to her or Aunt Sarah as a gift and I'm sure she treasured it.

She's been gone for years now and sometimes I still forget. Something will happen that I know she'd love and I'll make a mental note to tell her before I remember that I can't.

Her family was from Prussia and they spoke German and English. She was so excited when I told her I was taking German in high school. I think the only thing I could say coherently was "hello, my name is Sarah" but she was still so proud. I can still remember her singing: "O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Bl├Ątter!"

She was a woman to be admired. A person who exuded grace, even in the midst of prejudice, injustice and loss.

Now all that's left are the pictures on the walls,
Memories and stories that are told.
The more often told the bigger they get
Create a legacy lest we forget.
--Plankeye "Goodbye"


Mary Katharine Gudschinsky Kennedy 1909-1999



Grandma would want me to tell you: God bless you richly, richly, richly.
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Photo fiddling done with Picnik.

Friday, February 27, 2009

And the awards go to...(finally!)

Way back in the Year of Our Lord Nineteen Hundred Tickety Two, I was graced with several awards. Dolt that I am, I didn't read any instructions that accompanied them. I was so excited at the prospect of WINNING SOMETHING! that anything else just flew by the wayside. Does this invalidate them? Eh, I don't care. You'll have to pry em outta my cold, dead hands!

I'm neglecting the rules a little, I hope you don't mind. I can't really see giving someone a repeat of an award they already have...


Mozi Esme
gave me this one. These folks really do make me smile. Come and get it: Chrysalis Dreams, Retired and Crazy, (who's also very sneaky) and Ryan.








Here's one from Janet for: Darla and Missy. Click, guys. Darla posts often. Book reviews, pictures, stories. She's Brilliante. Missy's on a mission trip to Mexico and shares tales of her many adventures. Brilliante, I say!





Sherrie gave me this one since I'm a "a real person." Guess what, you're real too you guys! Tillybud (short but sweet, always makes you think, WomaninaWindow who you probably already know. Her posts are always awe-inspiring. Karla, a newbie blogger. Check her out!





Carol gave me this one for you Kreativ folks: Ron, Mother Earth Mender, Granny on the Web, and Jennifer.



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Enjoy, folks! Don't forget to pass them on. Now I'm off to clean my house. My in-laws are coming for a visit in April and I've got to prepare! Pray for me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

World, Meet Sarah


No need for a secret identity. She'll kill ya six times before you hit the ground.

Thanks Suldog for this lovely pick-me-up.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Like a Rock

Steve's head is hard. As in, hard as granite. Or maybe marble. Or diamond or titanium. Or maybe rhenium diboride. I have seen this man step out of the shower, slip on some water, smash his head into the doorjamb with enough force to shake the walls and get up complaining, my thumb hurts. (And complaining about my laughter as well, but to a lesser degree.)

We do this weird lion and antelope thing. I've already said that I know we're weird, but I feel the need to reiterate it before I go on. We're weird!

So last night I was preparing for sleep by reading in bed. I heard a noise and looked around. Nothing. Then I heard the LION growl. I looked around again just in time to see him flying through the air colliding his massive, titanium head into my face. He felt bad. He was just trying to pounce on my back and give me great sloppy lion-kisses before bed. He immediately got up and fetched me some aspirin. Came back and said, Oh crap, you've got a black eye! I got up and looked in the mirror only to see this:

This is how I always look, bonehead! Lion kisses + lack of sleep = dark undereye circles. Anyway, I slept good. I drifted off to dreamland thinking about the symptoms of a concussion. Good sleep is one of those, right? Nothing like head trauma to give you a good night's rest.
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On an unrelated note, my hyperlinks aren't showing up! It should just be a matter of changing the html code to a different color, but try as I might, I can't get it to work. Anyone want to help me? Puh puh puh please?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Once Upon a Time...

I was a hugger. Let's face it: if you go to church, you're probably hugged. A lot. You can avoid the hugs if you want, lurking near the back of the building, hiding in the bathroom, but if you're in any position of authority, you may as well give in to the hugs.

I am not a touchy-feely person. People have germs and I prefer to avoid germs. However, it is more important to me to convey love to a person by giving them a hug than to make myself comfortable by just waving to them from across the room.

This is why the good Lord invented hand sanitizer.

Anyway, once a long, long time ago I was making the hugging rounds at church when I was stopped. A man refused to touch me stating that "men do not hug women." It turned into a long explanation of how there are right and wrong ways to hug women.

I'm scarred for life.

Basically, if your breasts touch a man who isn't your husband, it's BAD. This I did not know. I must admit, sometimes my breasts do things that I'm not aware of.

Therefore, I don't hug men. Unless they hug me first. The only one who doesn't have a choice is Mr. Jim. If he comes around, he's getting a hug, like it or not. Mutant boobies or not.

Yes, I'm a preacher's wife and I said "boobies."

Picture stolen from here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm Back!

Well, technically we got back early Sunday morning but with Sundays being crazy and Monday being a day for recovery from Sunday, I'm really back today.

What? You mean you didn't even notice I was gone?

Wait a sec while I pull the dagger out of my back.

Ok. Steve's brother Chris got married on Valentine's Day, which gave us a great excuse for a trip up north! Woot!

The most wonderful thing about going home (well, besides the time spent with family and eating all the food you've missed and catching up with everybody) is when your mom sends you home with homemade enchiladas. For free. I don't have the recipe. Or a picture, since as soon as I baked them they were devoured without a pause for blogging posterity. I'll see if she'll part with the recipe...

Anyway, this trip, and the resulting playtime with the nephews reminded me of Christmas, when there was even more playing.

Nick, Alex, Kaeden and I discovered a box. Not just any box. A Box of Wonders to Behold. I'm sure at one point it had contained some cherished item, but once that pesky thing was removed, the box reached it's true potential as a Box of Wonders.


So here's the part where I put them in the box.








And here's the part where they put me in the box. And wouldn't let me out. Come on, Sarah, get in, it'll be fun, we promise.


Then they attack. Giggling all the while, tickling through the handles so conveniently placed in the sides, jumping on the box and squishing their poor, defenseless, Aunt Sarah.





Cruelty, isn't it?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Call the Fire Department! Oh, and a recipe, too.

I read about an interesting bread recipe at No Fear Entertaining. A little research led me to the original recipe and a lot more. This stuff is so stinkin versatile! So far, with a little bit of "boule," which is what they call the basic dough, I've made sandwich bread, pizza, and some sinfully fabulous pecan sticky buns.

I've been in search of the perfect pizza crust for quite a while and I think this is it. It's chewy, flavorful and delicious.

So anyway, I mixed up a batch last night in anticipation of making a lovely homemade pizza for dinner tonight. The oven was preheating to a slightly terrifying temperature of 500 degrees, the toppings were out and ready, and the dough was properly stretched on the board when I noticed smoke rising from the oven. Through the foggy glass of the oven window I could see orange flames glowing malevolently.

I opened the oven to be greeted by hissing, sizzling, smoky, smelly fire. I had time to think, "Well, I hope it's not a grease fire" before my hand reached out and grabbed my cup of water and tossed it in.

Dad, before you ask, the fire extinguisher you gave me is lost. I plan to purchase a new one ASAP. How does one lose a fire extinguisher? I have no idea, and yet, I've done it.

Cue the smoke alarms. I had never noticed that we have both alarms and sprinklers in each and every room, including the bathrooms and closets. How lovely. Luckily, it is a balmy 68 degrees here in Tennessee and when I came home from work, I had immediately opened the patio door and all the windows. I raced through the house, ripping out the batteries and waving my wet dishtowel at the shrieking alarms and praying that the sprinklers wouldn't come on. Many children were at outside at play with their parents nearby. I can imagine their conversations:

Kid: Mommy, what's that noise?
Mom: That's just Old Lady Curtis trying to burn down her apartment again.
Kid: Why is she waving that dishtowel at the ceiling?
Mom: She's "special." Don't look over there.

Did you know that smoke alarms can continue to squeal even when their batteries are ripped violently out?

Crisis averted, I sat down on the kitchen floor to wait for the oven to cool so I could clean it or for Steven to get home. Whichever came first.

I needed an excuse to clean that oven anyway. I hadn't cleaned it since we moved in about three years ago. Hey, don't judge me!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Introvert Advantage

This book was recommended to me by a friend who's got an introverted daughter-in-law. I'm reading it and I'm amening (if that's even a word) each and every page. Who knew I'm not some sort of freak for preferring books over people?

Some of us need action to "re-charge our batteries". Being with people, hunting for parties, flitting around to different places and visiting all sorts of folks. Others of us need to re-charge after being with people. We go home, curl up on the couch with a good book (or a computer) and just relax. We're more inwardly focused. Not self-centered, but introspective.

I write this because I've been thought of as stuck up, sick, anti-social. I'm hoping that more people will come to the understanding that some of us (25% of the population, according to this author) are hard-wired differently. We don't hate people, we are just overwhelmed by them on occasion. I always wondered why my sisters could go around with a gaggle of friends and I could barely stand to hang around with one or two. I'm supposed to be the big sister, the confident one, right? In every place we've lived, I've had one, or at the most two good friends. I just can't take more than that. I can manage small talk for a minute or two and then I've got to escape.

Does this sound whiny? I hope not. I wish I would print little quotes from the book out and paste them all over myself so folks can understand. She's not rude, she's an introvert!

It's not me, guys, it's genes! Blame my parents!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TV & Tuchis

I've discovered The Sopranos. No, I'm not proud of myself. I have kind of an issue with delayed gratification so I have to wait until a show is off the air and get all the seasons at once so I can watch them in rapid succession. There is no waiting with bated breath around my house! I've been watching so intently (and also playing a new computer game, Westward 3, which is a story for another day) that the rest of my life is basically on hold. Which means I'm eating like a pig and not exercising.Which means my butt looks like the back end of my dad's old Cavalier. And there's almost no reading, which means I'm growing stupider by the second. See! Is stupider even a word? I have no idea!

Hopefully I'll be back with something worth reading when I'm done with the show. Or when I lose interest, whichever happens first. I'm only on Season Two, though, so it may be a while.

Car/butt picture stolen from wikimedia.

Oh, P.S. Mr. Jim is recuperating from a broken pelvis. He fell in his bathroom, spent a while in the hospital and then in a rehab center and is now at home with a live-in aide. Please keep him in prayer (and the aide, Brenda, who seems like a great person and so helpful) while he's on the mend.