Thursday, March 27, 2008

Death By Bryophyte

I am trying to write the chapter on moss for my second book. Note I said "trying." Ugh. What is so difficult about moss? I like moss. If I could plan my ideal garden, it would be a copse of shade trees with an undergrowth of ferns and mosses. Ahhh, bliss! So, why is it so hard to write about it?

I have written the introductory paragraph at least a dozen times. Wanna guess how many times I've erased it? I'll give you one guess.

Sigh. I give up. Here's my new moss chapter... in toto:

"This is moss:

The end."

So, what do you think? Think the publisher will go for it?

No. Me neither.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Hyenas Did Not Touch Him

The Maasai Creed

We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created man and wanted man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the earth. We have known this High God in the darkness, and now we know him in the light. God promised in the book of his word, the Bible, that he would save the world and all nations and tribes.

We believe that God made good his promise by sending his son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left his home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing that the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He was buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, he rose from that grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.

We believe that all our sins are forgiven through him. All who have faith in him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love, and share the bread together in love, to announce the good news to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen.

He is risen!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mushroom Steak 'n' Linguine

This dish was absolutely delicious! We have asked Primo to make this for us again. It has the consistency and boldness of a creamy stroganoff, but the spinach and rosemary give it a very light, summery, refreshing taste.

Primo found this recipe in Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious magazine. I have copied the original recipe in black type and Primo's substitutions/ alterations in purple.

Mushroom Steak 'n' Linguine

8oz uncooked linguine (16 oz. uncooked spaghetti)
1 lb boneless beef top round steak, cut into thin strips (1 lb. pork steak)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
3 t. olive oil, divided
1 c. chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 c. coarsely chopped fresh spinach
1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 c. spreadable chive and onion cream cheese (~6 oz. plain, block cream cheese, handful chopped, fresh chives and dash of onion powder)
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T. milk

1. Cook linguine (spaghetti) according to package directions. Meanwhile, sprinkle beef (pork) with salt and pepper. In large skillet, saute beef (pork) in 2 t. oil until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

2. In the same pan, saute red pepper and onion in remaining oil until tender. Add mushrooms; saute 1-2 minutes longer or until tender. Add spinach and rosemary; cook and stir until spinach is wilted (Primo immediately went to the next step so the spinach would be bright green). Stir in cream cheese, sour cream and milk; heat through (do not boil). (Add pork back into pan.) Drain linguine (spaghetti); top with sauce.

Serves 4. Total time: 30 minutes.
Primo doubled the recipe to serve six plus we had enough leftover for everyone to have some the next day.


Saturday, March 08, 2008


I smell something delicious cooking in the kitchen...

and I didn't have to cook it...

and Frodo is reorganizing our closet...

so it's not him cooking...

who could it be?


Yes, I have a child old enough to cook by herself. That's a little scary, but it's nice to have a little chef around the house. Oh! And she's not just cooking. She:

1. selected the recipe from a magazine herself (I didn't even know the new issue came in, she snatched and scoured it as soon as it arrived)
2. checked the fridge and freezer to see what we had on hand
3. asked Frodo if certain ingredients we already had could be substituted for some of the ingredients called for in the recipe (for example, the recipe calls for "spreadable chive and onion cream cheese" but we have cream cheese, chives and onions on hand, so she wanted to know if she could mix her own)
4. wrote up a shopping list for Frodo when she knew he was going to the grocery store
5. called him while he was out today when she realized he forgot a couple things when he went shopping yesterday, so he could pick stuff up on the way home *grin*

And now she's cooking.
And it looks and smells really good.

So, what's for dinner? Mushroom Steak 'n' Linguine

I'll share the recipe, and Primo's alterations and adjustments, later. Right now, it's time to eat!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Our Church

The congregation we attend was founded by Scotch-Irish immigrants on January 11, 1835 (our landlord's ancestors were founding members). The original Session meeting minutes are kept in the vault of a local bank. The congregation bought 23 acres on which to build a church building in 1842 for $400. The building, made with bricks that were fired on-site, was finished in 1846 at a total cost of $2809.75. Worship continues in that building today.

We usually approach the building from the side. We are told that some congregants were talking after church one Lord's Day a couple years ago and the topic turned to the need for a walkway leading from the parking area to the church porch. Before you could say, "Bob's you're uncle," and without a word, our landlord (who at the time was about 70?) had laid a new brick walk.

The pulpit,


and pew doors are the originals.

It is a really beautiful sanctuary. I grew up attending an historic church, and there is something special about participating in a tradition of worship that has gone on for generation upon generation.

There used to be a balcony (inside and outside), but not anymore. The plan is to replace it eventually, but since the church is an historical landmark, restorations are tricky to get approved... and expensive.

Upstairs are the Sunday School rooms for our older three. Terzo loves Sunday School.

And he has his sisters right next door.

After service, the kids scatter... after everyone who wants to takes a turn ringing the bell.

The girls and younger kids (when the little ones are running around in the yard) often sit or jump around the benches of the old Sunday School circle.

The boys go here.

What do they do here? Well, they don't call it "The Climbing Tree" for nothing.