Archive for the 'Blathering' Category

Thank you Sara! (And welcome back!)

My sister gave me this hammock for my birthday, several months ago. I keep forgetting to get some rope at the hardware store, so I hadn’t tried it out until we were camping.
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You’ll note that I still haven’t gotten any rope, I used the tow strap out of the truck. Well, one of them. Ken found another use for the other one.
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Not sure I approve. Help!!
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Sara’s been in Uganda for the past couple of months, and I think she is either on her way or has arrived back in the US as this posts. So welcome back, Sara! I’m so proud of you and the work you’ve been doing. And thanks for the hammock, I love it!

Most of March, a retrospective

I’ve been unmotivated to write anything here for a while (since our anniversary, judging by the last post) for some reason. So here’s one of those catch-up-on-nearly-a-month posts.

NM can be cool looking. These pictures were from the drive back from Durango.
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Meanwhile, back at home the apricot tree was in full bloom. In February. Surprisingly I don’t think it actually froze hard enough to completely kill it, and some bees did eventually show up to do some pollinating, so maybe we’ll actually have an apricot or two this year.
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And then it snowed. Really hard! None of it stuck to the ground, but it sure was coming down hard for an hour or so.
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Klaus is still cute, and still peeing on the floor every day. But not every night! Baby steps.
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More excitement in the life of Lisa

Aside from the thrills of storage area organization, our main excitement in the past few weeks has been the acquisition of a Costco membership. Oh my!

We’ve resisted for a couple of years because:
1. I don’t like shopping and I don’t need to spend any more of my life than absolutely necessary shopping. So if I can buy all my groceries at one place once a week, why would I mess with a good thing?
2. Remember how our house has no pantry? This will not play well with Costco. Also, until we bought the garage freezer last year, our freezer space was very limited.

So, what has changed (besides the freezer)? Well, we both were due for new glasses, and our experiences two years ago at two different Walmarts were both terrible. And Costco now accepts our vision insurance. It seemed worth it. And it was. No hassle, two trips, once to order, once to pick them up. Perfect. Also, my glasses are pretty.

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The only thing I think we’ll be buying at Costco on a regular basis is the frozen sweet corn. The $55 a year is probably worth it just to have access to that stuff. I love it so much! Oh, and the roast chicken. Costco is directly on my way home from work, and with one of those puppies I can whip up a full meal with baked potatoes, corn, salad, and chicken within 10 minutes of getting home. As I am evidently programmed to be starving at 4:00 sharp, this is a huge plus. Plus we can get like 5 more meals out of one of those things if we make broth.

We really need to do something more exciting around here, at some point people are going to tire of hearing about my closets and what I ate for dinner last night. Not to worry, rumor has it Taos is finally getting some snow, so we’re headed up there an hour and a half before the crack of dawn tomorrow to see what we can find.

The Sabbath

My Aunt asked some questions on Facebook about why Christians worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) instead of the last day of the week (Saturday) like the Jews were instructed in the old testament. I thought of some things in response, but this got too long for Facebook, so thought I’d post it here.

There are various reasons I have heard: We celebrate Christ’s resurrection, which happened on a Sunday. We are freed from the law and are under grace through Christ (Rom 6:14-15). “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” Mark 2:27 – because obviously God the all powerful was not tired and in need of rest after creating. Early Christians met together on Sundays (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2).

I also think the differences and arguments amongst Christians about nitpicky, legalistic things like which day we worship, whether we have wine or grape juice for communion, whether we baptize infants or not, whether we sing with a piano, guitar, drums, or only a cappella, whether we sing hymns or only psalms, whether we allow children to take communion, how often we worship together in a week, and on and on and on are a huge distraction from the gospel.

Romans 14 is a bit long, but it all seemed applicable. This is from the ESV, I took the verse numbers out to avoid distraction, and highlighted a few setences.

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

I’m not saying those things I listed above are totally inconsequential and unimportant and shouldn’t be thought about. We SHOULD study the Bible to understand what we should do in every aspect of our lives and worship. I just see Christ spending a lot more time talking to, healing, eating with, showing love to, and suffering for sinners than He spent duking out the details of the law with Pharisees. And when He was, here’s what He said.

Mattew 22:34-40 (ESV):

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So maybe we should spend more time worrying about how we show love to to our great God and to our neighbors (whether they be just like us, or obnoxious, or stinky, or overly nosy, or non-christian, or Mormon, or Muslim, or gay, or…) and less time being so introspective.

Of ovens and cast iron part 1

We picked up one of those cast iron pans for making corn on the cob shaped cornbread from Ken’s grandparents’ old house last Thanksgiving. Since then it’s been sitting in the garage awaiting cleansing, since it was pretty grody. Here’s where I should have a “before” picture. But I don’t. Trust me, it was greasy, dusty, moldy, and disgusting.

Ken had the sandblasting equipment out on Saturday to work on the truck (that’s a whole nother post right there), so I took a turn with it to see if I could get the nasty layer off. It sort of worked, but was clearly going to take more effort than I was willing to put into it. So, I searched the internet and found that putting grody cast iron through an oven cleaning cycle was supposed to take care of that nasty stuff. So, in the oven it went. The oven wasn’t that dirty, but I figured we’d see what it did to the pan anyway.

It turned all that nastiness into rust! The rust was easily removed with a scrub-brush and some soaking in vinegar, then I re-seasoned it. Voila!

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Now comes the amazing part of the story though. I didn’t think the oven was dirty. But the light is an entirely different color, and so much brighter in there! I keep opening the oven to see it. It’s amazing! Just look at how clean that little old oven is! More about that little old oven in a few days…

Furlough?

Why is the government shut down? I don’t understand what it accomplishes for anyone. I have plenty of tea-partyish (or at least very conservative) friends, and none I’ve asked about it are happy that it’s shut down. So who is this pleasing? If you’re happy about it, maybe you could enlighten me, because there must be some reason for all this.

At least I hope there is something besides the general consensus among those I’ve polled, which is that entering Washington DC makes a person’s brain fall out.

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(His brain didn’t fall out.)

I will be taking 4 forced days of vacation on the 21st, then after that, it’s furlough for me! I wrote up a list of things I could accomplish around the house and filled up two pages of my planner, so I think I have enough work at home for a couple of months of furlough… The more I think about it, the nicer it sounds. Imagine having time to actually complete projects! However, many people don’t have a spouse with a job that can cover the bills during the shutdown. Those people aren’t going to be spending their nonexistent paychecks locally and there are enough of us that it’s going to affect the city (and the state, for that matter). So while I might enjoy my manual labor break from my desk job, for the common good it would really be best if our leaders would come up with some solution and keep us all working.

I guess we shall see what happens.

The final day

On the last day of our hike we got up and immediately had a headland to scramble over. It really was just up and over, it was very short. But… very steep on one side!

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Look! Starfish! I feel like I saw or read somewhere that they’re an invasive species… But I think they look cool anyhow.
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After a shortish beach hike we had another impassable headland to go over. While pausing at the bottom for a short rest and to check out some potential tide pools, some guys hiked past us out around the headland. They looked like they were hiking with a purpose, so we figured they were going to check out the further tide pools or something. I don’t remember this headland being overly strenuous, but the ladder on the north side was missing some rungs. I think this was our final ladder!
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I don’t have a good overview picture of this, but there was a huge landslide which had crossed the last beach, and it was an interesting scramble over it. We later found out from a ranger that it happened in the spring, and it had been an even more interesting scramble earlier in the year before there was an established path. We barely made it under this fallen log with our packs on.
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During our lunch break we saw a coast guard helicopter and boat come by, clearly interested in something around the last impassable headland. Ken posited that it was those hikers who went by us which was later confirmed. They’d tried to hike around the headland and when the tide came in and they got stuck they jumped in with their packs and swam. Somehow that decision worked out for them and they, along with their ranger escort, passed us on the way out. Anyway, that was the drama of the trip. Carry a map and tide table when you hike. There are signs proclaiming that everywhere, but apparently some people don’t read? Also, if I felt my life was threatened enough to jump into the ocean I think I’d leave my pack behind.

Anyway, shortly after lunch we came to the final hike up and out to the car. It was somewhat steep, but the trail was wide and well used with no ladders. After our experiences it seemed like a six lane highway.

The end.

I feel like I should write some summary words, but I’m not sure how to summarize such a wonderful experience. It was fantastic. I was so impressed with how well everybody did, so thankful for the great weather we had, and awestruck by the incredible beauty. I hope I have as much energy as my Dad in 29 years. He hiked all the tricky portions of the trail three times, once with his pack, and then twice to go back and get Mom’s pack.

Let’s end with a cute picture of my parents, since it’s thanks to them that I got exposed to the great outdoors, and backpacking in particular, at an impressionable age.

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