Thursday, May 31, 2007

burning up

Its unpleasantly hot, for me. The kids are happily outside making mud pies but I can't go out with them because I will probably faint. And I'm trying to think of something for supper that will involve as of the stove as possible. I guess I will reheat Matt's BBQ chicken from last night, and put it in tortillas....

Never mind, it seems that Matt has eaten the chicken out from under my nose. Maybe the children don't really feel like food tonight. Or maybe they could just eat cookies. Wow its hot, even the keyboard is hot. This is going to be a long wretched summer.

Watermellon! That's it! They will have watermellon for supper, and I will eat butter, straight out of the package. And I don't want to hear any lecturing from any of you people who have it together. I'm only accepting comments from the totally disfunctional.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I was listening to NPR this morning, for a few frenzied minutes, and heard a story about the Mosque in NJ from whence came some of the terrorists who were planning to do irrevicobale harm to Fort Dix. I haven't followed the story much, other than the initial splash, but this morning someone or other was interviewing the Immam of this mosque and asking him about attendance and mood and so forth, and how things have been since these guys were scooped up. The Cleric/Immam (what are they called here in the US?) said that attendance had steeply fallen off, people are just too afraid to show up for fear they are being watched.

Politics (and religion) aside, my pastoral beating heart went out to this poor man. As I listened to him talk (we hope, he said, that once the summer is over, people will come back) I saw all these last 5 years of Sundays in a long stream, run together, me standing either in the choir loft, or in the narthex, or even sometimes sitting in my place on the altar, counting and counting, over and over, the people in the church.

This is not pure obsession.

In the first place, Matt likes an independant count from the ushers because sometimes whoever is scheduled doesn't remember the nursery, or the choir, or themselves. So I do my own count so Matt can verify after.

And second, I can't count just once myself because I really can't count. If I count five times, I will come up with a different number every time. Sad, but true. I'm terrible with numbers. Even when I use the little clicker thing, I get different numbers each time. So usually Matt takes my five numbers and compares it with the usher count and draws his own conclusions-because at least I count everybody, even if its more than once.

But really, at it's base point, I count because I really want the church to be full. I want the pews filled up. I want people to come, to church. The more people the better. And if, because of some awful catastrophe, 2/3 of the congregation stayed home because they were afraid, I would personally (even though I know its not about me personally) be devestated. Matt likes to pretend that he wouldn't be concerned if everyone didn't show up, he's just in it to glorify God. And I believe him, I really really really do believe him.

This fire in my belly for a full church has given me the stamina to sit through 2 years of meetings (and one year of providing minutes) preparing for the upcoming Franklin Graham Festival next week. Thinking over it the last few days I feel satisfied that I have done absolutely everything I can do to be fully involved in this process/event and have pulled as many people along with me as I can. As a result of it, I'm starting a new 'discipleship' class to teach individuals to walk beside and care for, spiritually, new Christians. The only way the church fills up is if people find Jesus and then stick to him, rather than finding him and then wandering off into the wilderness.

Which is why, after today, I feel like my obsessive counting is not such a bad thing. Our parish readings for this morning included Luke's account of the Found Sheep and the Found Coin.

What man, if having 99 sheep, finding that one sheep has wandered off, does not leave the 99 and go find the one, and when finding it, carries it home on his sholders, rejoicing? What man? Not Jesus. Not me. If someone is missing, I have to get all obsessive and start calling and checking up.

But the Found Sheep follows on the heels of the Cost of Discipleship. Those 100 sheep, in the pen, who belong to Jesus, those sheep are totally committed. They have left everything, forsaken everything, for the sake of the Gospel, the cross. They have counted the cost. And that's why there are really only 100, with thousands walking by outside, not coming in, not even being curious.

Which is why I head into this coming week, this enormous Event, on the one hand Fully Expecting the whole world to show up and want to believe in Jesus, and many of them afterwards to come to Good Shepherd, AND Also, am expecting that only a few people will come and having once heard, decide that the cost is too great, and go away.

But for the few or many who do come, and do stick, and do want to lay it all down and take up the cross, for them, I will be hanging over the rail of the choir loft counting, and counting, and counting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Four Men in Some Boats

It was my intention to post on Sunday evening and Monday, about a number of things. But having traveled all the way to Cooperstown, NY, and checked into a hotel, we discovered that they were chincy about Internet access and we decided that we would be paying 10 dollars only once so Matt could get on. So I curled up in a very nice bed and went to sleep, so as to be able to get up at 4 am in order for Matt and Darrell (his canoe partner) to be in the water by 6:30am.

I did, in fact, manage to get up at 4am and we packed up the car and sat around in the lounge of the hotel waiting for the hotel person to put coffee and tea out and looked at the nice view. We waited and watched the sun rise.

Don and Darrell Dean are twin brothers and for many years they have raced each other in the Clinton General Canoe Regatta. For Darrell, this was his 20th year in the race, earning him the 1400 mile distinction. Last year Darrell cajoled (70 miles is not that far, it'll be fun) Matt into racing with him against Don and Don's son, Jake (these are all members of Church of the Good Shepherd). So we have four people in boats: Don and Jake against Matt and Darrell. And they're all wearing lime green so we can pick them out of all the other boaters. It should be noted that three other teams chose to wear this same color and they were all grouped together, so every time Matt looked round and saw green, he assumed Don and Jake were on his tail and pushed harder. But usually it was some other people in lime green, although once or twice it was Don and Jake, who, in fact, managed to pull up right along side and lear at Matt and Darrell, causing them to panic and row like maniacs.

And as, with any important event, the women provided back up support. Darrell's wife Carolyn and his two daughters, Kaitlin and Gabrielle, Me, Don's wife Linda and their daughter Jenna and her friend Morgan. It was actually a lot of people to pack up and race from Pit to Pit in order to chuck food and water into the river and hope the canoer's picked it up.

I took copious pictures of the men in the boats, but didn't take many of us pitting. The river was beautiful and it had rained the night before so the water was higher and moved a long much more helpfully than last year, shaving a full half hour off everyone's time. So, for those who are interested (and I know there are a few out there-Matt's mother, various church people etc), here are the laborious pictures I took, cut in half and then half again (I took almost a hundred).

Oh, and Matt and Darrell came in 45 minutes ahead of Jake and Don, but it should be noted that Don's canoe was twice as heavy as Darrell's and that Don had done something appalling to his elbow and was in considerable pain for the 70 miles.

Into the Water

At the Starting Line

The First Pit, Everyone still happy and thinking Rowing a Canoe is no Problem

Don and Jake Foregoing the First Pit

The First Time having to get out of the water and carry the canoe past a large dam. Really couldn't get a good shot of them through the trees and I was too far away.

The Copper Fox: Early into the Race pulled another guy out of the water who was stuck under a tree and starting to drown. Everyone cheered The Copper Fox all day at every stop. Many people tipped during the day. Darrell tipped Matt at one point and we're wondering if his severe rib pain this morning is due to possibly having hit a rock or having been whacked by the boat.

Back in the boat after the second land carry, avoiding this

Don and Jake Carrying their Very Heavy Boat

Linda lowering Tuna fish Sandwiches over a Very Tall Bridge to Don and Jake, Her aim was so good, she it Jake in the face with the bag and it landed in his lap. Tuna fish was the food of choice for everyone but Matt who ate Power bars and Drank some Sports Drink of a Vile Color.

Matt and Darrell Backwards through the Finish Line so Darrell Could Go Through First

Don and Jake Arrive, Don tips over the Side for a MUCH Needed Soak. Matt pretends to be All That and Help Jake with the Boat. First time he realizes How Much Heavier their boat is and regrets the offer of help.

Exhausted. "I don't understand the appeal of this activity" I said to Darrell, "What's the Best Part of the Race?"
"Getting out of the boat at the end" said Darrell.

And This Must Have Helped.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Being pregnant, I dreamt a number of really terrible things last night. I dreamt first that my cat died, that she had some kind of surgery and didn't make it out. Which was really disturbing because I love my cat very much. She's enormously fat, with pastel spots and she doesn't have her claws and so she gets beat on by the other cats. So that was really upsetting.

And then I dreamt that our bishop came after us armed, with a posse. Matt and I were at some kind of camp, presumably being sad about the cat, and the bishop showed up with a whole lot of people and weapons, ready to do battle.

Then I woke up and read that Bishop Cavalcanti has not been invited to the Lambeth Conference and felt that there was no point being an Anglican any more. I'm prepared to be almost anything else at this point.

So now I am going to go scrub the bathroom, because that's how bad it is.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nothing...yup, Nothing

I've been trying to think of something to blog about all day, and here it is 9:30, and I have nothing to say at all. I commend to you Stand Firm-for news and analysis, and some little fights cropping up here and there on various comment threads. Instead of writing anything, I'm going fuss around with a possible different template. Too tired to think about anything real. See you tomorrow. Good Night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

odds and ends

I have a quiet moment as the kids are out in the back, enjoying the sun. We went and had an interview with the school we are considering for them for next year. Its a Baptist school, which carries all kinds of interesting thoughts for me, having grown up in some such environment. But I was impressed with the PreK and Kindergarten and people seem generally friendly. Aedan will have to be tested for PreK this week. I go into this with the firm conviction that I have not given up on my dream of a classical education for my kids, either at home or in a school, but that it is merely on hold for the time being. The main thing is for them to all learn to read and for me to have this next baby in safety and relative sanity.

But in between cutting hair, bathing, long lectures about not getting clothes dirty (all time for above mentioned interview) have been glued to Stand Firm and the news about who will and who will not be attending Lambeth. I wonder what all this looks like from God's perspective. I mean, it has to seem ridiculous. Ridiculous, but, I think, nevertheless worth all the hassle and heartbreak and anxiety and fuss. Not so that we humans can decide who's in and who's out, who gets to come to the party and who doesn't. But rather, that given the opportunity to stand up and say 'I believe in God and in Jesus Christ and in Scripture' and I'm willing to stake everything on it, even an invitation to Lambeth, that the oppotunity can be siezed upon with vigor and resolve.

I must say, I feel more sorry for VG Robinson this afternoon than for Bishop Minns. Minns has work to do, purpose and focus and ministry and he's in the battle for the long haul. Robinson, however, I think from all I've seen, would really like this invitation as an affirmation of who he is and what he's about. And the news that there will be no invitation is probably a personal blow. I hope he will be able to bear up under his afflictions.

And now, I am going to take one of those nice headache pills prescribed by my doctor and think about what Matt would like for supper.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More Saturday Procrastinations

Ok, I should always do my homework before post. A brief glance at Wikapedia shows that Sarkozy is either married or not married, having been divorced at least one time. I can only count up three children in the article but I could have sworn there were a lot more children like people milling around the inauguration. So obviously he wouldn't have his wife/non-wife driving around with him if he is not married to her. And if should be noted that Chirac left the Elycee palace alone.

Which just goes to show you that the French couldn't run for President of America, with the candidtates falling all over themselves to show their value of family by having family in tow.

All this would lead me to believe that women in America gain a good deal more power, in matrimony, than French women. An American woman expects to be the equal of her husband and has to work hard and be reminded often to 'submit'. But really, I should not be thinking about this. I have got to write a sermon (talk about equality in marriage).

Saturday Procrastinations

I'm supposed to be writing a sermon and just to help myself concentrate I'm watching Wednesday's French Inauguration on C-SPAN. Some very interesting things to note. First, it appears as though Sarkozy has upwards of 5 children. Couldn't get an exact count so I'm going to have to google it. And, then, Sarkozy walked Chirac all the way to his car, something Mitterand did not allow Chirac to do-a real, showing to the door of your car moment, you're the guest now as it were. But the real interesting bit (for me) is the total absence of women in the whole procedings. Sarkozy's wife stood off to the side with her children during his inauguration and speech, he didn't mention her at all in his remarks, and now he is doing his formal bits (ride down the Champs Elysees, lighting of the eternal flame etc) alone.

Of course, this would be totally unacceptable in the US. You can't leave your wife out of anything here, whether you like it or not. I presume that had Royal won she would have left her husband at home.

This absence of women is surprising to me now, having been in the US for almost 10 years (is it really that long?), but I don't think I would have noticed before. I remember being really genuinly surprised by the Clinton/Lewinsky scandle. I coudldn't understand why anyone would care. Just goes to show you how Americanised I've become.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Adult Content Calvanism

Matt told me he wanted to name the new baby Calvin, if its a boy.
'Really?' I said,'So you want me to never be in the presence of my family without them laughing at me behind my back?'
'Yes' he said.
Let it just be known that I'm a closeted Calvinist and unwilling to debate or argue or defend my position in anyway.
So, in honor of Matt's desire for our unborn child, here is an offering that has been making the rounds on various blogs.
And, lest any of you worry, I have by no means agreed to name the baby Calvin. But if any of you want to insure against that possible outcome, you can start praying fervently for a girl, NOW.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

No More Excuses

I’m exhausted today. Matt mentioned on Stand Firm that Good Shepherd has hosted Christian Life and Witness Classes for the upcoming Franklin Graham NYPENN Festival in June. We’ve been involved in the planning and praying for this event for the last two years. Actually, there’s been a group of pastor’s praying for God to do something in Binghamton for about 20 years, faithfully every Thursday at something like 6 am. Matt went for a while but I haven’t been able to cope with the children on my own that early, so he’s stopped for the time being. Three years ago someone from the group was at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism (I think that’s what it’s called) for a weekend of something, and someone from Franklin’s team said, ‘Aren’t you from Binghamton? We’ve been praying about Binghamton’ to which this person replied, ‘great, we’ve been praying about you.’ So now, three years later, we’re on the verge of this real live festival.

We’d been seriously focused on Evangelism as a church since we arrived—a necessity given the size of the congregation and the state of the budget. If you want to survive as a church, new people have to come in. And we’ve focused on conversion growth, rather than trying to get Episcopalians from other churches. We’ve had this growth—many new believers, as many as we’ve been able to cope with, really. And now we’re desperately trying to grow these new believers up in the appalling thought that we might have a new influx come June.

I’ve allowed myself to be stressed by this. I’ve been at all the planning meetings since the beginning and I’ve been struggling along in Bible Study and with individuals, trying to help them keep on the right path. And a lot of other things have taken back seat to this work—my house, for instance, my MA program, even atrium life has been co-opted by practicing some kind of weird dances for the Children’s part of the festival (can’t wait to have atrium time back! That’s one reason I’m feeling so off kilter). And then, of course, after all this preparation and work, I manage to be pregnant again which saps my energy back down to zero.

Through all of this, bad moods included, I realized this morning that I really want people to come to know Jesus. I want Good Shepherd to grow. I want the pews to fill up and the Sunday School to actually reach capacity and require some other space. I want more people trained to teach Bible Studies and do some of the work of discipleship. But at the baseline, I would like people to be Christian. Not just in name, but seriously, willing to put everything on the line for the sake of the Gospel, willing to count everything a loss for the gain of Christ.

But the result of this desire, today, is complete and total fatigue. I’m tired. I’m tired of shoving and pleading and cajoling and reminding people that they need to invite their friends to church and to the festival, pleading with them that the most important thing for their children should be a profound and transformative knowledge of Christ, not soccer practice AND, most of all, I’m tired of being given excuses: ‘well, I’m praying for someone but I know they won’t come’ or ‘I don’t have any friends’ or ‘I don’t know if I’ll be free that weekend, I’m probably going to be out of town.’

And then, a few minutes ago, I read Matthew’s parable of the talents, and I realized that we’ve been given a rare and beautiful gift, The Gospel. And I will feel absolutely sick if we, as a church, and as individuals, go and hide it in the ground, bury it up and move on to the next thing. So, even though I’m tired and worn thin, I think I will get back on the phone and keep hassling people—are you praying? Have you invited your friends? Did you sign up to be a counselor? Will you be in church this Sunday? Are you planning to bring your children to Sunday School? And if not, Why? Because time’s a wasting, there’s work to be done, and you need to buckle down and do the work of the Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

waiting, waiting, waiting

Well, Titusonenine is down. Drell is down. I can see by my hit counter that many of you are circling through blogs waiting for news. Matt is trying to set up an interview so don't hang out here. Go back to Stand Firm and enter the frey. Or, you can take up the question here. What do you think? Is it a Good Thing to jump now, or a Bad Thing?

And if you don't know what we're talking about. It looks as though at least one Episcopal diocese, maybe more, is announcing its intention to leave the Episcopal church, taking cover under another province for the time being.


Vestry tonight so there's really no time to write. But do keep your eyes on Stand Firm and Ruth Gledhill, because big news is breaking today in the Anglican Communion. I'm not sure all it involves because Matt is so distracted he can't even speak to me.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cake out of a Box

Made myself a cake for Mother's Day. Used a cake mix, since there was one in the cupboard and added peaches from a can and half and half instead of water. And then cooked some frozen raspberries with Lyle's Golden Syrup for a sauce.

Had a large piece and then, out of desperation (because it is, in fact, Mother's Day) said to Matt,
'Should I just have another piece of cake or are you going to pay attention to me?'
Matt put down his computer, looked deeply into my eyes and said,
'Let me get you a piece of cake.'

Fell about laughing. Am now having cake AND attention.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A little something about my mother

When I was 13 or 14 (or maybe 15) I had a difficult moment in life. I was away at school (boarding school, about 8 hours drive south of our village) and I had weird dorm parents. They were constantly questioning my faith, my attitude (come on, I was 13 or 14 or maybe 15) and being borderline inappropriate (like coming down the hall unannounced, not cool if you're a man in a dorm full of young girls). I don't know who contacted my parents or how exactly it came about, life being a fog of unpleasantness at that point, but my mother showed up one day and took me off campus to the Mission Guest House down the road and provided some much needed tlc. I seem to remember reading, in a fabulous moment of self indulgence, some wretchedly written Grace Livingston Hill novel late into the night AND, most importantly, my mother cooking Easy Hamburger Gravy with Mushrooms and Noodles (see below). After weeks and weeks of disgusting dining hall fare, this rich emulsions of cream, hamburger, and mushrooms was balm on my wounded spirit.

I make this sauce periodically, when the moment seems good. I think of it as so special and important. Last time my mother was here, assisting, as it were, with the arrival of baby #3, I was madly thawing hamburger in a pan and boiling noodles, and my mother said, 'oh, Grandma's Easy Hamburger Gravy. It is best when you thaw the hamburger in the pan.' Turns out there are Landers (my mother is a Lander, oldest of 8 Lander children) all over the world busily thawing hamburger in pans, boiling noodles or cooking rice, throwing stuff in, seeking spiritual closeness to God and self through this important sauce.

So, as a tribute to my Mother, and her Mother, for when the moment seems right and all else is wrong, here is Easy Hamburger Gravy.

1 large chunk frozen hamburger, thawing in the pan
onion, if you feel like it, thrown in over the eventually browned hamburger
garlic, if you feel like it, the same way
mound of mushrooms, thrown in and wilting
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of flour when the juices are flowing, thrown in to bind
large measure of cream (depending on the wound of the soul)
And, if you're me, another large measure of Sherry
Let it all simmer away while the Noodles (or Rice) cook.

You could make a salad, or some kind of vegetable, or you could just put out large bowls and let the noodles and hamburger gravy take you into bliss and comfort.
Happy Mother's Day!

a little something

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, in case any of you hadn't noticed. I would like to wish my own Mother, sometimes commenter on this blog,
A Big Huge Happy Mother's Day!
These flowers are for you

I hope you have a lovely day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jesus Loves Me

So I took all three kids to the grocery store this afternoon, something I generally try to avoid at all costs. I pushed them around in the cart that has a car on the front-Emma and Aedan in the car, Baby in the seat up front. And I was visibly pregnant. Found that I avoided making eye contact with anyone. There were lots of women there, all with one child, at most two, and then a lot of other women in suits, thin women in suits, pushing the little tiny carts around with only three items in.

And then in front of the milk and eggs section Aedan started singing 'Jesus loves me' really loud and kept singing, only stopping every now and then to whine or yell at his sister.

Felt more Christian, in a psychotic way, than ever before. It didn't fill me with a warm glow. Strangely, I felt a weighted cultural judgment, like I was violating every taboo-consuming too much, over populating the earth, heating up the environment, and raising wacko children.

So I came home and raked all the mowed grass up and made the children clean and clean and clean.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How Sweet

Very tired this evening. Merely wanted to observe that Emma has received her outfit/costume for her ballet/tap recital in June. Parents, of course, weren't given any opportunity to give their opinions before the ordering of these outfits. The result is very tight bright red velvet leotards with red tutus and arm bands and belts-or, to provide you with a mental graphic, a room full of three and four year old Moulin Rouge/Show Girl/Ladies of the night dancing vigorously to "Under the Sea".

Emma enjoys her weekly hour of dance very much and she has a lovely and beautiful young teacher and I'm happy for her to gain some coordination, confidence and grace. But I'm completely overwhelmed by these outfits. Pictures forth coming.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Matt announced at Morning Prayer that the Kennedy household was experiencing "Technical Difficulties" and everything would be helter skelter for the rest of the day as a result. That was really to put it mildly. After a full weekend of Rubbage/Chicken BBQ/Church/Christian Life and Witness Course hosting/writing/reviewing and other odd jobs, he woke up this morning to find our wireless hookup in the house on the blitz, three babies with colds and a lot of other annoying glitches to his morning routine. Not being able to get on the internet is like, well, really, its what we all imagine eternal separation from God to be like, isn't it?

I staggared out of bed hours later and sat in my regular stupor in front of my computer and clicked connect over and over before I remmebered (how Biblical is that) Matt shouting in my ear on his way out the door "The router is broken! I'm late! You won't be able to get online!" I really didn't know what to do with myself or how to wake up. I ended up making a vat cream of wheat and trying to read the Bible of all things. I read of Solomon's downfall, having so many women and all their gods and thought how stupid of him, not to pay attention to God. And then was embarrassed, of course. Imagine not being able to wake up without being online for at least an hour (usually more).

Overall in a bad mood having dreamt that I gave birth to twin boys. Tried to ellicit names from the children for the new baby. Boy names.
'Let's name him flower' said Emma.
'Let's name him Rowan' said Aedan
'Why don't I have beautiful middle names like Aeadn and Rowan?' asked Emma.
'You do have beautiful middle names'
'No I don't. What are my middle names?'
'Anne and Margaret for three of your great grandmothers.'
'Oh, well, let's name the baby Flower.'
'We're not naming the baby Flower and that's final. Go play.'

So now that I'm finally back online and the children are playing, I'm trying to catch up on French election gossip and Stand Firm (highly recommend Matt's article from today, or yesterday, or whenever it was) and dishes.

Interruption: A very nice person has come by to help me set up my scroll saw so I will have to get back to this later.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Get Up! Get Dressed!

We're off to church for the day. The ECW is doing a rummage sale and the men are doing a chicken BBQ.For my feelings about rummage, sift through the archives of this blog.

Of course, of course, I woke up with a splitting headache. I know my doctor said its probably hormonal/pregnancy related, but I have paid special attention this week and the days I had a headache where Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the three days I had to go to church. Tuesday and Thursday, when I was home quietly with the kids fending off their hysteria and screaming, I was headache free.

Many years ago, in boarding school, I used to get an awful headache every Sunday. It would begin when I woke up, last through the morning service, the awful 'formal family lunch' in the dining room, through siesta and all the way until the end of 'singsperation', the evening service, after which it would abruptly end. It did occur to me, Sunday after Sunday, that maybe God was using the headaches as a way of calling me to be an atheist. But there are so contradictions in that thought that I never carried through.

This morning I thought maybe God was calling me to avoid Rummage at all costs, but there's nothing in scripture about avoiding adversity, so I will pack up my kids and my headache and take several more Tylenol and be on my way. And God help me if anyone tries to sell me Rummage. Or rather, God help them.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I've been searching around online to see if I could find video of the French presidential debate from yesterday and haven't had any luck. I managed to see the much publicized clip of Royale getting steamed up about handicapped children being integrated into regular schools. I think I'll keep searching because it was a great exchange. I wish Americans could have as much verbal fabulousness as French people are allowed to have. The commentary on Brit tonight was very good. I imagine the Corner on NRO will have it posted tomorrow. It is true that women, for whatever reason, have greater hurdles to jump in french politics than in America or even in the rest of Western Europe. I don't know why this is, other than that French women have to be gorgeous and thin, whereas in England they're allowed to be frumpy and in Spain they're allowed to be full bodied and glorious. This is a crass generalization, based on no stats or facts whatsoever.

Anyway, based on politics and not gender (I promise) I really hope Sarkozy wins because, beautiful though she is, Segoline Royale will just make a bad situation worse.

the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord

Indulge me. Several weeks ago someone very nice came by the house and cleaned. For this I was profoundly grateful. That evening I searched around for my morning tea pot. I have three teapots for daily use--morning and two for the rest of the day. I generally put the pot on a tray with accoutrements, so that Matt can bring me tea in the morning before my feet hit the ground.
This is a picture of my morning teapot and the one mug remaining.

That evening I found the pot but found that the handle had been broken and there was a large enough crack in it to mean that it would never properly hold tea again, let alone any other liquid. I am still grieving. I managed to carry this pot back and forth to boarding school ever term for three years, to Europe and back, and have had it through college, seminary and now five years of marriage.
Here is the sensible pot I bought for 12 dollars to replace it.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


As usual, I didn't intend to take a whole week off posting, but here I am now. I've been having horrid headaches for a couple of weeks and some fairly bad days since my last post. I ascribed it immediately to stress and implored God to do something, but my doctor told me this morning that probably its a hormonal issue, common in the second semester ('don't you read pregnancy books?' she asked, 'oh, I said, no, I haven't read one since the first baby. figured I knew everything by now) and gave me a nice fat prescription for a 'mild narcotic' to which I look forward very much. I hope Matt will run out and fill it for me this afternoon.

The headache, combined with two boys who have developed a new love or roaring like lions and bears at each other, and a dog who barks at anything that even looks at the house, and a curious child who wakes up and wants immediate feedback (did you know that I like pink and that's why you gave me the pink plate? did I eat a lot of breakfast? did you know that I like to go outside and that's why you told me to go in the backyard? etc) has meant that I haven't been able to think about anything in paticular.

However, I did invent a recepie for Chicken Pot Pie which I will vouchsafe here because it turned out to be divine.

1 pkg chicken pieces (breast, thigh, whateve you like) diced finely
2 or 3 carrots diced small
handfull shallots diced, minced, whatever
2 cloves garlic minced
half bag frozen peas
half bag fozen corn
1 cup stock (I used goose stock from our Christmas goose)
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon flour
2 spriggs/stalks fresh rosemary
3 or 4 spriggs/stalks fresh tyme
olive oil
philo dough

sweat the onions, garlic and carrots until translucent in olive oil.
brown the chicken in butter (seasoned with salt and pepper)
add the peas and corn to the onions and bring back up to heat (I didn't bother to thaw them first), and then add the chicken (I drained off the chicken juice). Add in the stock, cream, flour, tyme, rosemary and season again.
Let it mellow together, covered, on medium heat while the oven heats and you cut out rounds of philo equal to the top of ramekins or whatever you proposed to bake the pies in. I did individual portions because I didn't want the philo to overcook before the filling was done.
Uncover the chicken filling and bring it to boil/simmer just to make sure its thick enough--not to soupy. Fill the ramekins. Cove with philo (I did about 6 pieces of philo per pie) and I didn't bother to baste each layer (although I could have). I only basted the top of each one with milk/cream.
Bake fo 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Feed it to a man intending to watch his wasteline and defy him to resist your culinary powers.