Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Sick

and I think I've been hallucinating, so I apologize in advance for the potential lack of lucidity in this post. Or in any post. Well, at least the ones I've written. I take no responsibility for what those other folks write.

It all started with a sore throat and now I have no idea what's going on.

Sunday morning on the way to church I saw a truck make a u-turn on the expressway and come barreling towards us going in the wrong direction. Thank God I wasn't driving or we might have been killed. Yeah, the truck didn't exist. I'm not taking any medications or anything, so I'm not sure what's going on in my brain. I taught Sunday School, which seemed to go just fine, I sat through the service without any weirdness, we visited a church member in the hospital*, nothing out of the ordinary.

That afternoon, Steve told me to get some rest while he went to the evening service. I very rarely miss church, so I must be dying or something. Lying in bed, the ceiling started to move like one of those little sliding tile puzzles I used to play with as a kid. I started getting nauseous, so I went to watch some tv to keep myself from falling asleep. (Nightmares, dontchaknow.) Schindler's List. Just the thing to keep bad thoughts at bay. That and Ghost Hunters. Currently available for free on Hulu.

Now my sickyness has settled into a sore/scratchy throat absurd amount of mucus fest. At least I got one day off work!
* Please keep a man named Bill in your prayers. He's got Alzheimer's in a pretty advanced stage and doesn't really realize that anything is wrong with him. His wife, Rheta has been strong for him for the last few years but it's really wearing on her now. They've been married for over fifty years and lately he hasn't been recognizing her. Kind of puts my meager problems in perspective.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Look What I Found!

Penzeys! Spices! Fresh ones!

Snooping through their catalog, I happened upon this recipe:

Apple Pancakes
1⁄4 c butter, divided
4 eggs
1⁄4 tsp vanilla
3⁄4 c all-purpose flour
3⁄4 c milk
1⁄2 tsp salt
2 medium baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tbsp cinnamon sugar, divided

Preheat oven to 400°. Divide butter evenly between two 9-inch pie plates and put them in the oven to melt the butter. Rotate the pie plates until the butter coats the bottom and the sides. To make dividing the ingredients between the two plates easier, we used a 4-Cup measuring cup as our mixing bowl.
Beat eggs, vanilla, flour, milk, and salt on medium speed for 1 minute. Toss the sliced apples with 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar. Arrange 1⁄2 of the apple slices in each pan so they cover the bottom in pretty much a single layer. Pour 1⁄2 the egg mixture over the apple slices in each pan. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the
batter in each pan. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve right away, while still puffy, with warm syrup.

These were more French toast-like than pancake-y. Very tasty, though. The only thing I would do differently is grease and flour the pie pans instead of using just butter. These suckers were hard to get to get loose!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, the humanity

Steve and I had a fight this weekend. Okay, not a fight, maybe a tiff. Or maybe just a disagreement.

Okay, so we really can't fight. Things don't really bug me, so I have a hard time getting mad enough to raise my voice, let alone yell at my dearly beloved. And usually, when I try to be mad, I end up making myself laugh, imagining how my "mad face" must look.

So back the the fight. Basically, he thinks I'm a slob and he's right. Ahem. I am very creative in a multitude of ways. I'm doing an Aunt Sarah project, I cook, I scrapbook, I teach Sunday School. I have things strewn all over the house, food flying through the air, books lying all around.

Steven, on the other hand, is very neat and orderly. Things are put back where they belong. He's usually pretty good about cleaning up after me, but occasionally gets frustrated. Like when he picks up the same hair scrunchie eight different times in the same day.

So we discussed. And we resolved.

Let it be known that during the disagreement dated March 21st, 2009 at 2:30-ish in the afternoon, Steven did solemnly swear that he would be the keeper of the kitchen cleaning supplies and would henceforth scrub, wash, and otherwise toil in whatever means are necessary to keep his loving wife from having to do dishes upon her return home from work. Herein fail not under penalty of much nagging.

Oh, and I'll attempt to clean up after myself from time to time. Maybe.

Regarding the picture (stolen from Wikipedia, by the way) it's a spat! Get it?!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Love on a Plate

Since I am B-ing my own B, I found this lovely recipe for Hamburger Buns. I was a little worried about the texture, since (in my own humble opinion) one of the wonderful things about homemade bread is the chewy yumminess, and commercial hamburger buns are generally softer and less flavorful (presumably to showcase the meat and fixins). These did not disappoint. The flavor was good and the smell while they were baking was hard to resist. They were a little crumbly, though, when weighted down with all the extras, so I think next time I'll substitute some bread flour for some of the all-purpose flour. All in all a good recipe.
2 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
2 (.25 ounce) packages instant yeast (I used bread machine yeast)
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, margarine, warm water, sugar and yeast. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Mix in the salt, and gradually stir in the flour until you have a soft dough. Divide into 12-14 pieces, and form into balls. Place on baking sheets so they are 2 to 3 inches apart. Let rise for 20 minutes. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly, then split them in half horizontally to fill with your favorite burgers.

If you're really hungry, try these with some homemade French fries.
(Caution: this is my "recipe" so there really isn't a recipe. Just fling things around the kitchen and hopefully some of it will land on your plate.)
2 or 3 potatoes
vegetable oil (or some other oil with a high smoke point, like peanut)

Retrieve potatoes and skin them with very dangerous knife.

Prepare a bowl with lukewarm water and salt. I would say a handful of salt but some of you have giant Sasquatch hands and some have little pixie hands so use one of mine. I'll guess about three tablespoons. Mix it around so you don't have any salt-lumps. Cut potatoes (counting fingers before and after cutting for safety) into desired fry-shaped sticks and put into salt water for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a nice big pot. I like a Dutch oven, but you can use whatever your heart desires, best beloved. As long as it's metal. And heat proof. And big enough to hold all the potatoes. You may not have a nifty heat monitoring device like mine, but that's okay. We can't all be spoiled. See the red dot? See it?

When it's time for cooking, drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly to avoid unnecessary oil turbulence. Yes, that is an AC Delco towel, and I'm not sorry.

Fry, fry til your heart's content. Or until golden brown and delicious. Um, that's the potatoes, not your heart. Remove the fries with a spider or a fork or whatever's handy and then devour in mass quantities.

This is love, best beloved.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reasons I Love My Husband (#798)

I mentioned that I'd like some ice cream. He came home with this. Kroger had a sale, Steven responded, Sarah lives in a chocolate-infused, almond-cheesecake-strawberry laced slightly chubby but blissfully happy daze.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Okay, back to The Shack. The character playing the Holy Spirit in this book makes a point of mentioning fractals and how much she loves them. If you're like me and have to use Wikipedia to figure out what the heck a fractal is, here's the definition: "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole." Like, I don't know, a snowflake? Have you ever looked closely at one? I doubt a human could come up with something so complex and yet billions of snowflakes fall daily and no one sees most of them except the One who created them.

What incredible structure and design for something so simple.

Or leaves. Or mushrooms. Are they made the way they are to please us or to please God? Or our own bodies. We're fractals, folks! Take a close look at your skin. Or our eyes. Did you ever stop and think about how amazing it is that we can see? If I ask him nicely, maybe my dad will share how awesome our eyes are. (He's got glaucoma and is enamored with the pictures that the eye specialist took of his eyes.) We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I've been watching the BBC's Planet Earth and my brain is full of fractals. Now that I know what they are, I'm seeing them everywhere.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
--Luke 12:27

Picture stolen from wikipedia. It's an eye scan, can you believe it?

Friday, March 13, 2009

To Be Read

PaperBackSwap.com - Our online book club offers free books when you swap, trade, or exchange your used books with other book club members for free.I'm pretty active over at paperbackswap.com. I've blogged about it before, but it bears repeating. Post a book, get a book. Free. That's all there is and there ain't no more. Burma Shave.

For your viewing pleasure, here's my list of books to be read. I will not go to the library until these are completed. I will not! No matter how much Larry Brown is calling me from amongst the shelves. Or how appealing the library scent is. Or how the librarians have probably forgotten what I look like. I WON'T GO!

Have you read any of these? Maybe someone has a suggestion of what should be first...

...or any that should be added. (I'm so weak!)

Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Amistad by Alexs D. Pate
The Bachman Books by Stephen King
The Best of Mystery: 63 Short Stories Chosen by the Master of Suspense by Alfred Hitchcock
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Duchess of Windsor by Michael Bloch
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught
A Faint Cold Fear by Robert Daley
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
From Generation to Generation: Devotional Thoughts Drawn from the Past by Peter Kennedy
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana by Haven Kimmel
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Green Ripper by John D. Macdonald
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Just Desserts: Martha Stewart the Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer
Lady by Thomas Tryon
Lasher by Anne Rice
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn
Memoirs of an Unfit Mother by Anne Robinson
Moby Dick or the White Whale by Herman Melville
Off Keck Road by Mona Simpson
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
The Rainmaker by John Grisham
Real Women Don't Pump Gas by Joyce Jillson
River Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
Saved by the Light by Paul Perry, Raymond A. Moody and Dannion Brinkley
Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Shadow of Cain by Vincent Bugliosi
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Something's Alive on the Titanic by Robert Serling
The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Soup and Me Robert Newton Peck
Taltos by Anne Rice
Tell No One by Harlan Coben
The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton
'Tis: A Memoir by Frank McCourt
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
The Visitation by Frank Peretti
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Who Put the Butter in Butterfly? And Other Fearless Investigations into Our Illogical Language by David Feldman

(Okay, now I realize the Larry Brown comment sounds a little strange. Larry Brown was an author from Oxford, Mississippi [just a hop, skip and jump from here]. His books just suck me in and I can't stop reading them til the end. I always want more. And it's always nice when somebody writes about a place you've been. I always feel a little bit famous. Ooh, Silence of the Lambs! The first lady was kidnapped from Winchester Street in Memphis. I've been there!!! That's almost as cool as being tight with the Timberlakes.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Every morning

when I wake up, I've got a song in my head.

No, really.

The mood of my entire day depends on this song. I will walk to its beat, I am grumpy or chipper depending on its tone. This has been the case for as long as I can remember. I have no idea whether this is normal or not so why don't you tell me what your daily soundtrack is so I don't feel weird.

Lately, Amy Winehouse is in my head. How the frick did she get there? See! See that frick?! That's Amy Frickin' Winehouse! Of course, since Amy Winehouse is in my head, I guess it's a miracle that I'm even conscious.

Note to Ms. Winehouse: please don't hurt me. I think you have a really lovely voice.
This next section I'd like to call "An open apology to the aliens who abducted me and who I inflicted great destruction upon while having a panic attack aboard the mothership. Autobiographical."

Really though? I tend to steal quotes, song lyrics, and pictures from all over the place and I rarely give credit where credit is due. That little quote above? That's from So I Married an Axe Murderer which never fails to crack me up each and every time I see it.

I am resolved to cite my quotes from here on out. Feel free to call me on it if you notice me plagiarizing.
Also, I am resolved to eat better, to blog more often, and to exercise each and every day. This includes weekends, folks. Please help keep me accountable.
On a sad note, Peter Furler is leaving The Newsboys. Please, please, keep your sorrow and outrage under control. On a completely mystifying note, Michael Tait (of former dC Talk fame) is replacing him. Michael frickin Tate?! They just got Jody back and now this!

Please excuse the frick. Out, Amy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Exeptional Driving Skills

(with apologies to Smashmouth)

Yesterday there was disgusting traffic clogging up my evening commute. Folks are crashing into each other, other folks are straining their necks hanging out their car windows to gawk, it's just a really crappy scene, you dig?

Usually, driving is just an unwelcome annoyance standing between me and my lovely, quiet, no crazy people allowed evening. Yesterday, however, was every Nascar driving wannabe's dream. The radio in my head was cheering me on as I wove through the lanes: "Hey now, you're an allstar, go and drive down the road. Hey now you're a rockstar, oops you just killed a toad (all that glitters is gold, only shooting stars break the mo-o-old.)" Leaving bodies in my wake, horns blowing, fingers waving, babies crying and old folks cursing. I'm going home, son! Outta my way!

P.S. Check out this video my sister sent me. How cool is this?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Perfect Job!

After a particularly wretched day at work, I've finally found it!

(Cue trumpet fanfare)

I'm gonna be a hype man! Or, to be politically correct, a hype person. What? You don't know what a hype man is? He's the dude that hangs out behind a rapper and repeats some of the words to keep the crowd "hyped up." Sometimes he adds his own little pearls of wisdom, too, something like "Throw your hands up in the air and wave em around like you just don't care." Yeah, I can do that.

Anybody looking for somebody to stand behind you and agree with everything you say? I'm your girl. Yeeeah.

Funny. I'm searching Yahoo jobs and nobody's looking for a hype girl. Ah well, back to the drawing board. Maybe I can be a dog food tester or an oyster floater. Or maybe the guy who cleans sludge off the Mackinac Bridge...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


For your listening enjoyment...

one of the lovliest songs I've ever heard. This cd was the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. Chasing Furies is no longer together, but the lead singer, Sarah MacIntosh has a Myspace profile in case you're interesting in hearing more.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mom's Enchiladas (tada!)

Ask and ye shall receive!

The original recipe came from a Michigan-Texan church lady named Debra Crane. My mom and another church lady named Connie (are you out there?) had a Texas cooking fest where Debra taught them the "real" way enchiladas should be.

From mom: "Last time I made it, I used 10 lbs of ground beef and two huge containers of enchilada sauce from Gordons, and just doubled or tripled everything. I knew when I made these, they would be passed around the church, and each of the kids' families would get one pan (at least) and we had to put one away for when I JUST DIDN'T FEEL LIKE COOKING! Now at least, when I make lasagna, if I didn't get the pans back, well, maybe they don't get any......."


2 lb gr. Beef
1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
1 large onion - chopped
1 lg. green pepper – chopped
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
3 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. chili powder
10 drops Tabasco sauce
2 tsp. salt
1 can Old El Paso enchilada sauce

Sauté above ingredients until browned and then drain off fat.

1 or 2 Cans refried beans
1½ cup fresh mushrooms slices (optional) or a can of sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. hot peppers (optional) – chopped

Roll meat mixture into:
flour tortillas – (approx. 15 large – however any size is fine) – have tortillas at room temperature, they will roll better.

Put a small amount of Old El Paso Sauce (about a half a can) on bottom of a lightly sprayed with Pam 13 x 9-inch baking dish. On work surface of cupboard, place 1 flour tortilla and put at least a couple of tablespoons of meat/bean mixture on tortilla. Fold over ends and roll up. Place in a baking dish.

Repeat until pan is full. Cover with rest of enchilada sauce. Top with both kinds of cheeses. Make sure to cover all of tortillas with sauce. Do not let any of the tortilla show.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and hot.


I usually make enough for dinner and several to freeze. Freezes well. Thaw completely before baking.

And a bonus recipe!


¾ cup ketchup
¼ tsp. garlic powder (more to taste)
3 tbsp. hot peppers (more to taste)
1 28 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 med onion, chopped (or to taste )
1 med green pepper, chopped
½ tsp salt

Combine above ingredients (except ketchup) in a blender and blend just a few seconds. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Add ketchup, simmer and stir occasionally until thick, 2-4 hours.
Store in a glass container
Recipe can be doubled.

Since my mom almost never has a picture taken alone, here's one of her and my dad...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Shack

Church was canceled due to snow (snow! in Memphis! in March!) and I've learned something today. Or maybe I just realized something that I've known all along.

I'm at home all alone reading The Shack. My dad recommended it to me. He who doesn't read fiction as a rule told me it was a must-read. I'm only about a hundred pages in and this man has explained the Trinity in a way that makes so much sense I'm a little overwhelmed. Okay, a lot. I've been teaching Sunday School for about eight years now and I've taught the doctrine of the Trinity several times. Or tried to teach it. Try explaining to a group of second and third graders that God is one Spirit but three persons and watch their little faces as their brains try to reconcile that fact. How can I really teach something that I don't fully understand myself? Honestly, I don't think our puny, imperfect human minds can comprehend the ways of God. Maybe someday God will allow us to understand.

I've been crying, no weeping, for the last half hour as I try to come to terms with what I've just read. Jesus, though completely God and therefore completely free and all-powerful, chose to live as a human on a moment-to-moment basis. At any second he could have given up this wretched earth and returned to heaven but he chose to stay. For you and for me.

Speaking on the nature of Jesus, William Paul Young writes:
When we three spoke ourselves into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. Even though we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood. It would be like this bird, whose nature it is to fly, choosing only to walk and remain grounded. He doesn't stop being the bird, but it does alter his experience of life significantly.

Although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such. While never losing the innate ability to fly, he chooses moment-by-moment to remain grounded. That is why his name is Immanuel, God with us...Jesus is fully human. Although he is also fully God, he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything.

I'm not finished with this yet, not by a long shot. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's ever puzzled over the nature of God. You may just learn something.