Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Water Color Sunset

As I was putting together a second family-tradition-Jello-mold -- because I left out a key ingredient in the first -- I caught sight of this sunset. It's a little blurry, but then so am I after a day of cooking and preparations.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

A Special Request

To my loyal readers, I humbly request your prayers and good thoughts for a blog buddy of mine. She has struggled for years to hang onto a pregnancy. Today, she is in the hospital because of pre-term labor. Her little bundle of female joy is a tender 23.5 weeks along. Megan and Steve are a loving, deserving young couple and will make wonderful parents. As Thanksgiving inspires us to ponder what we are grateful for, please add Megan and Steve to your prayers so that they can enjoy next Thanksgiving with a beloved little girl.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Way to go, Mr. Mayor!

For the one or two of you who sometimes read my ramblings, you may recall that last February I was involved with a fender bender in Washington Circle. I had no witnesses to attest to the fact that I was sitting still when a Metrobus clipped me, so I was found at fault. (The bus driver had a most energized witness.) The officer who issued my citation did not mark the amount of the penalty on the ticket, so I dutifully mailed in a minimum payment of $15.00. Shortly thereafter, I received a warning threatening all kinds of bad stuff if I didn't pay the full amount --$55 --within a few days. Not wishing horrible things to befall me or my car, I sent in a check in that amount, hoping everything would now be hunky-dory. Two months ago I received a letter from the D.C. Treasurer's office saying that they had discovered that the DMV owed me $15.00. WOW!! The check arrived today! If Adrian Fenty continues to reinvigorate and reinvent our government into an efficient, viable entity, I hereby promise to campaign for him when he runs for re-election. He has restored my faith in the D.C. Government!

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Pay it Forward" -- an early example

Dear Sir: Your situation grieves me and I send you herewith a banknote for ten louis d'or. I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you shall return to your country, you cannot fail of getting into some business that will in time enable you to pay all your debts. In that case, when you meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending the sum to him, enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation when he shall be able and shall meet with such another opportunity. I hope it may thus go through many hands before it meets with a knave that will stop its progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money. I am not rich enough to afford much in good works, and so am obliged to be cunning and make the most of a little. With best wishes for your future prosperity, I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant. B. Franklin [1784]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

16 November 2007

This date fell on a Friday last year. The day before I had driven down to Mom and Dad's to spend some time with them. Dad was bed-ridden by then and no longer wore the eyeglasses that had been a permanent fixture on this face. He was staring out their bedroom windows. What he saw, I'm not sure. I commented on the high winds that day and said it would be a heckuva day to go sailing. He responded by nodding his head. He loved white-knuckle sailing. The next day I picked-up Patty from the airport and drove us down to Solomons for what would be our last day with Dad. The sun shimmered off the colorful leaves and we talked about everything but what we were facing. Coming from the Midwest, the leaves had already blown off the trees where Patty lived, but they were still brilliantly colored and attached here. That day in Mom and Dad's cottage in Solomons seems so short now. Pete and Janet were already there with Mom when Patty and I arrived. Mom was nervously fluttering around. That evening, Janet was the first to notice that Dad was close to the end of his struggle. Mom and Pete joined her, then Patty and I went in, holding our breath. When Dad was alive, I would never have dreamed of lying on their bed with him. As he gasped his last breaths, I crawled across the bed to hold his hand and once more stroke his crewcut head. We all voiced our love for him and our permission to let go. Tears were freely flowing and tissues were held to noses like dams. Mom gently closed Dad's eyes and Pete listened for a heartbeat. All the dams burst at that point and we let out all the fear and sorrow we had held in for weeks. As I held one of his big hands I thought about all the times they had comforted and constructed strong family bonds. At 6:15 this evening, I'll think about that day last year. The tears eventually will stop, but it's only been 365 days . . .

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday Morning Blues

You know you're over the hill when you . . . . . . have to change your hair color on your driver's permit; . . . start looking for foods with high fiber content; . . . notice weird hairs growing out of your chin; . . . keep the thermostat set at 80 year-round; . . . no longer care about being called Ma'am; . . . appreciate and seek-out "senior discounts"; . . . shudder at the sight of the first snowflake; . . . select shoes for their comfort rather than style; . . . are offered a seat on Metro by a middle-aged woman; . . . cherish your thermal underwear over Victoria's scanties. Note: I am not yet over the hill, but some of these ring true already! ;o/

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Simple Gifts

There is so much nature to enjoy this time of year. In addition to the glorious leaf coloring I like to watch the changes in light and cloud formation during sunsets. I took these over a period of a few minutes last evening.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Elephant Stew

When one works for a nonprofit that is known for feeding survivors of a variety of disasters, one's humor becomes slightly warped due to the massive quantities of supplies required to shelter and feed hundreds, sometimes millions of people. The following recipe is evidence of this. It came from a friend/coworker who had just returned from several weeks working on famine relief in Mali. She lost lots of weight because their rations were fish, water and more fish. During one of those long evenings after an even longer work day, someone came up with this recipe. (No elephants were harmed!) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The following will provide enough food for a mass-care facility when long-term feedings will be needed. The main problem will, of course, be the availability of the ingredients and the cooking time. 1 elephant, med. to large 300 Lbs. potatoes 200 gallons water 150 Lbs. carrots 50 Lbs. onions 35 stalks celery, leaves included 5 Lbs. parsley 10 Lbs. flour to thicken 1 rabbit* salt, pepper and other seasons to taste In large pots, bring water to boil. Use this time to start cutting up elephant into two inch cubes. Divide equally and add to pots. Boil for 2-3 days, until tender then add the vegetables, flour and seasonings. Cook for 3-4 hours more until vegetables are crisp/tender. Serve while hot. *Note: If this looks like it will not serve all the people in your shelter, you may add the rabbit. Be particularly careful however, because some people object quite strongly to finding a hare in their stew!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh! What a Beautiful Morning!

The sun may be struggling to break through thick clouds, but there is sunshine in my heart this morning. A majority of Americans proved their hearts are in the right place during yesterday's election. The jubilant celebrations of fellow Washingtonians at 14th and U Streets triggered tears and laughter at the same time. The tragedy that literally ignited that neighborhood 40 years ago was equal in magnitude to the thrill of electing of our first African-American President. I also watched the throngs in Chicago's Grant Park. During the summer of 1968, it was a place we were drawn to then from which we had to escape when the tear gas and batons came out. What a difference . . . May God continue to bless America and her new leadership. We are a special People and yesterday's election proved that we are capable of re-embracing our best values and qualities.