Saturday, October 27, 2007

Careers: I Guess I Chose Wisely!

You Should Be a Teacher

You are patient, optimistic, and good at explaining things.
You work well with all types of people, and you are a good role model.
Success and positive outcomes are extremely important to you.
You are both a good leader and instructor. People look up to and depend on you.

You do best when you:

- Can see the results of your work
- Are able to teach someone a new skill

You would also be a good nurse or non fiction writer.

Warm and Cuddly

Originally uploaded by dswgr6
I finished my ruana this week. It's a design by Sandi Rosner, published by Ann Norling. I knit it from Noro Iro, colorway 43 on size 10.5 needles. It was easy and quick, and now it's warm and cuddly for the more seasonable weather we're having. I'm still working on a pair of socks, the Bluebell Rib, that are almost done.

I'm also still slogging through the Swan Lake stole. I am lost in clue 4 and abandoned it temporarily to do some easy knitting for a change. I'm not sure what my next project is going to be - perhaps the Green River tunic from Valley Yarns. I have a bunch of the Noro left so I'll probably do some mittens or fingerless mitt from it, and I have lots of sock yarn to transform. So many choices!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Friday Five

From RevGalBlog

1.How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
We carved pumpkins, dressed up and went trick or treating. I loved Halloween as a child! My favorite Halloweens were when I lived in Bridgewater, NJ back in the mid 1960's when it was a just a tiny township. We lived on in brand new neighborhood on a street that was about a mile long. The whole neighborhood seemed to participate in trick-or-treating. We visited nearly every house and filled pillowcases with treats! One Halloween when I was older, maybe 14 or so, I was in charge of my younger siblings. My older college age cousin was visiting and we took my siblings out trick or treating. We decided that since we were too old to get candy, we would play some tricks. Our dastardly deed??? We put the flags up on all the mailboxes at the foot of every driveway! We were petrified that we'd get arrested for playing with "government property."

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?

My children are adults on their own now, so our Halloween celebrations are limited to treating any children that come to our door. I love having them come. Unfortunately over the past few years, fewer and fewer children come. Part of it is the changing demographic of my neighborhood, but more of it, I think, comes from the fact that fewer parents deem it safe for kids to trick or treat. That saddens me. Kids who do come to our door are lucky. My husband buys full size candy bars, usually Hershey bars, or Snickers. None of the snack size bars, thank you very much!
2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?

I don't really have a preference. I like either, but don't go searching for them. The question however sparked a sudden desire for a SUGAR DADDY!! I haven't even seen them in stores in years. This was always one of my favorite treats.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Not any more. I do have some pumpkins on my steps however. We carve pumpkins in school for the annual Pumpkinfest in a neighboring community. This is a huge event, drawing 80,000 folks to our region, as the town tries reclaim its Guiness World record. Considering that the event takes place in a town of about 20,000, they've done well. This year they had about 25,000 pumpkins. So what if Boston beat them. We have them beat on per capita basis!

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.

Not really. I used to when my kids were little. I just don't have time anymore.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?

I have a love/hate relationship with costumes. I enjoy dressing up, but I can never think of anything to wear, so I hate trying to come up with an idea. If someone came up with the idea, and then supplied me with the costume, I'd have a much better time! I'm still me though, whether I look like myself or not!

Bonus: Share your favorite recipe for an autumn food, particularly apple or pumpkin ones

My favorite fall treat is an apple crisp. No special recipe - just good apples, sprinkled with brown sugar, cinnamon, maybe some ginger and lemon juice, a dash of allspice. Then a topping of about equal parts of brown sugar and butter creamed together, with about a 1/2 cup of flour and maybe some oats and chopped walnuts. Oh and more cinnamon. Cover apples with topping and bake until done at 350░ - maybe 40 minutes or so.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Wish I Could Paint

Deep inside is the hunger to be able to paint and to make music. I've certainly experimented with art, mostly with unsatisfactory results. I longed for piano lessons and finally had the opportunity to start during high school. I loved those lessons, even the handcramping finger drills! College intervened and then job and marriage and family. For a year or two I tried taking lessons again when my sons were little, but as so often happens, we set aside our individual desires for the priorities of other roles we also desire to fulfill. So now I mostly satisfy that hunger for music making by listening to others make music. But I wish I could paint, especially in the fall with the breath-taking beauty of brilliant foliage against deep blue skies, punctuated by the chocolate-silver of the emptying branches.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Reading Description

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stopped in your tracks

Monday afternoon started normally. I left school about 4 pm, met my husband and we headed up to The Wellness Center, a health and fitness center connected to our local hospital. I went to water aerobics while husband went to work out on the treadmill since recent cataract surgery prevents him from being in the pool. I left class about 10 minutes early because I had an early evening meeting and wanted to have supper between exercising my body and exercising my brain. As I headed out to our meeting place, one of the fitness trainers greeted me with the news that my husband was headed to the emergency room. Apparently while he was exercising he felt faint and queasy. When they checked his blood pressure it was through the roof and he complained of weight on his shoulders. I ran to the emergency room and found him undergoing preliminary tests, all hooked up to electrodes, IV's and oxygen. He was feeling fine, but was very anxious and his blood pressure was 187/132. We feared the worst - that he had had a 2nd heart attack. (He had a heart attack in 2000, and has a stent.) Blood work was inconclusive, and after 5 hours in the ER he was admitted to the ICU for observation and more tests. I got home about midnight, wrote sub plans for Tuesday, and called the sub coordinator hot line. Tuesday I was up in ICU at 6:30 am and he was feeling fine. His blood pressure was lower, but still not where it should be. After many more tests, it was determined that he did NOT have a 2nd heart attack and by 4 pm Tuesday he was released. We still don't know exactly what caused his extremely high blood pressure. Wed. he was back at work, and we were back at the Wellness Center exercising. He has an appt with his cardiologist in two weeks, so perhaps we'll learn more.

Being stopped in your tracks, putting everything on hold even for 23 hours opens your eyes to what is important. And it's not meetings, or jobs, or meals.

The Friday Five

Quoting from RevGalPalBlog:

"Does everyone remember the old Sunday School song?
The B-I-B-L-E,
Oh, that's the book for me.
I take my stand on the Word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E.

I have been working on an expansive language version of the Psalms and the Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office/Breviary. (For you non-liturgical gals and pals, that's a set of prayers for morning, noon, evening, etc., mostly consisting of Psalms and other biblical texts).So I have been thinking a lot about the Bible recently, and how we encounter it as God's Word--or don't--in our lives, prayer, and ministry. (Great minds think somewhat alike this week, as yesterday's Ask The Matriarch post dealt with ways to help as many people in a community as possible engage with a scriptural text in preparation for Sunday worship).So, in that spirit, I offer my first Friday Five. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's experience and reflection on these B-I-B-L-E questions:"

1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?
I started going to Sunday school as an infant because my mom and aunt taught the nursery and kindergarden classes, so I know I heard Bible stories from the start. Three stories that I remember from early childhood are of the loaves and fishes feeding the multitudes, the sick man being lowered through the roof of the house, and of course the entry into in Jerusalem. I think these stick because we either acted them out or made models of them. (I also remember building Succoth booths in Sunday school in the fall). A couple of Psalms too --- Psalm 51:verses 10-12, and Psalm 100, are stuck indelibly in early memory.

I do remember the pride and great joy I felt as a second grader, receiving my very own Bible.

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes).
My favorite translation is the NRSV for its clarity, and for the wonderful footnotes and context info my 2 NRSV translations provide. (The New Oxford Annotated Bible, and the New Interpreters Study Bible). My original RSV Bible is the one by my bedside however, for comfort and familiarity.
3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage?

I can't claim a favorite book of the Bible, though there are books I gravitate to. I am drawn to Mark's gospel, I think, because it's so spare and unadorned. I've always loved verses 16-18 from I Thessalonians, Ch 5: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all cirmcumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. The Psalms are also well-read, and well-prayed.
4. Which book of the Bible do you consider, in Luther's famous words about James, to be "an epistle of straw?" Which verse(s) make you want to scream?

I can't say there's one book that fits this description. Some of Paul's comments in general make me crazy, but once I consider context, I'm less bothered.

5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral?

Although the traditional language never bothered me, I am for inclusive language, in biblical translation, hymns, and service. Although avoiding the use of gender pronouns sometimes makes passages awkward, I find this awkwardness to be what we teachers call a "teachable moment." God is not male or female, and when I struggle to find gender-neutral words, it reminds me that I can't define God in human image -- that I'm made in God's image, not the other way around. With that being said, it is hard to sing some of the traditional hymns "by heart" and I like how my church handles this. We use the New Century Hymnal most often, but still also use the Pilgrim Hymnal. We place a note in our bulletin that says something to the effect that we recognize that although sometimes our language fails to be inclusive, the meaning is meant to include all.
Bonus: Back to the Psalms--which one best speaks the prayer of your heart?

This can change. The ones that I return to most often are Psalm 121, Psalm 63, Psalm 100, verses 10-12 of Psalm 51, and Psalm 139.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We had a wonderful holiday weekend! Imagine spending a glorious fall afternoon in an Andirondack chair overlooking this -

Knitting Friend and her husband accompanied us to Ogunquit, Maine. Saturday afternoon we decided to sit on the lawn of our hotel (the Anchorage) and relax. Knitting Friend and I knit and the 4 of us talked and relaxed. I finished the first half of a pair of socks - Bluebell Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. It fits perfectly.
Knitting Friend's husband casually looked at his watch and FOUR HOURS had passed! I can't remember the last time I sat for four hours straight and enjoyed myself. (Airplane flights to Los Angeles and England don't count. Operative word here is enjoyed).

Our school district had Friday off, but we had teachers' workshops on Monday, so our 3 day weekend got an early start and an early finish. Friday we spent shopping in Kittery at the outlets, and Friday night we spontaneously bought tickets to The Full Monty at the Ogunquit Playhouse. The play was hysterical! I don't think I've laughed so much in ages.

We meandered home slowly on Sunday, first heading up to Kennebunkport and doing some shopping there, and then finding a great craft fair at Wells Elementary School. Knitting Friend and I bought some beautiful seaglass and sterling earrings from a vendor, Heather Alexander.

I was sorry I missed World Communion Sunday at church, ( a very special service was planned) but I truly felt touched by the Spirit this weekend. The ocean always brings me close to God. Add to that true relaxation with my husband and good friends.

A wonderful weekend - and I guess the recharging of physical and spiritual batteries helped me cope with a very scary Monday and Tuesday. A post for later . . . .