Tuesday, June 27

Supposedly scary

A dentist is reputed to be the last doctor you want to visit, because he always finds something wrong with you. Who really wants a deceptively smiley guy revealing the rotting bed of a life-threatening cavity that will cost half a car loan to pay off? It's like finding yourself the foolish son in Proverbs meeting the adulterous woman in your own back yard, and you don't remember inviting her in--but there she is and something must be done about her or you or you'll both go down together in the rotten cavitated heap of a former tooth.

Well, my new dentist today was an excellent sort of man. Born and raised in a family of Marines, he runs a tight ship of friendly hygenists with great tooth-veneer jobs that brighten his office with their smile. It's an humble office, with tiny operating rooms. The Dr. himself is on par with an elderly war vet, as he dons night-vision looking goggles and a lazer beam to detect cavities. My teeth are by inheiritance immaculate, yet weak in the rear joints; for I left with the need to return for a refill of an old childhood cavity. Would that the sins of our youth were as gone as forgotten in the old past!

Monday, June 26


We talk about the word, like being a translucent friend or Christian, as being a good thing.

Have you seen the sun light up a thing recently, rendering it see-through? Consider yellow daisies on the roadside. Waves of green grain, their skinny heads spiky with a kind of antennae glowing in evening rays. Mesquite tree leaves in late morning sun, seen from beneath the low branches, as from a hammock. The water of the sea on a clear day, your toes yet visible as you walk in deeper.

Sunday, June 25

"Where There is No Vision, Evil Flourishes" Winston Churchill

The PCA General Assembly was this past week, and though I have not had a chance to talk to our pastor in length about the details, I understand that some good things were discussed. I am thankful that the PCA as a denomination strives to be accountable to God and God alone. With the latest media hubbub surrounding the Episcopal and PCUSA denominations it is a small comfort to know that our Presbyteries are still seeking to "Soli Deo Gloria" vice "Soli Homo Gloria." This is no small feat, and is certainly only by the Grace of God.

This morning in during Sunday School we had the opportunity to pray in small groups. One of the ladies in the small groups I was in was expressing how thankful to the Lord she was that the PCA, our local Presbytery, and our Church community had remained faithful to Scripture and did not bend to the trends of the world. I was struck by this supplication because it reminded me that we do need to pray for the Church. Not just as I do, that the Church fulfill her commission, but that the leaders in our Church communities remain true.

In our fallen condition it is so easy to fall away from True teaching and focus on the wrong things. When coherent vision is lost, opportunities are squandered and ground is lost. This fact has been proven time and time again in government, warfare, families, and even the Church. I am thankful that for the time being Electra and I are able to worship with a community that strives to teach Truth, and I pray that our Church leaders will remain true to their vision. For I have seen what a lack of vision and leadership can do to a Church and her flock...it is not pretty.

Friday, June 23

workaday weekend

O-Navs are not nice. The guys have been plugging away at these flight plan books that cause illimitably more pain than pleasure. And the pain will not end with the work week. Maybe we are spoiled most of the time, with a whole Saturday off, to run around hands-in-the-air and play, followed by Sunday with it's worshipful responsibilities; but then we take our recreation seriously. Work, worship, play, all equally important, all carefully accounted for and alloted time space, with little room for infringement of one upon the other each week. What's to account for such an attitude of seriosity?

Tuesday, June 20

Herbie has a dream

As he lies passed out in deep, still, sleep beneath my chair, Herbie begins high pitched whuffing. I watch the story unfold as his eyebrows quake, his nose twitches uncontrollably, and his body faintly trembles with the inner storm blowing through his mind. When the tumult of squeaky barks ceases, I see the head clouds clearing and he is free to sleep peacefully as under sunny skies.

drive by P&P

We watched it. The new and fast Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy is a sallow old bean, but he warms up in the end--as expected. Elizabeth is all twinkling eyes and smart laughter.

The more interesting character brought to attention in this movie is that of Mr. Bennet. He is spotted showing 3 moments of understanding and kindness never before portrayed. He comforts the shamed Mary at the Bingley ball; through their bedroom window we catch a glimpse of Mr and Mrs Bennet enagaged in genial bedtime talk about Jane's impending marriage; finally, when interviewing Elizabeth about Mr Darcy's bid for her hand, he giggles in a childlike, mirror image of his own daughter showing us his real delight in her happiness.

Sunday, June 18

Wednesday, June 14

sunset time

The air grows blue-dusky and the wind puffs and blows between the houses in their muddled array inside the gates of the stone walls surrounding the little neighbourhood. Being summer, and out of school, children spend long hours outdoors into the night. Herbie doesn't like the noise of children, big or small. The small ones squeak in high pitched voices and the big ones bellow at one another. Then there's the basketball pounding. Afternoon games are like sitting in the pit of a pistol range shooting match, as rated on the Herbometer.

We'll go for a walk anyway, around the block, with him pulling himself horse and me watching the sky over the base airfield a few miles away. There the other he who is steward of this house, is flying tonight.

Tuesday, June 13

No Place Like A Familiar Book...

I picked up Buchan's Greenmantle again today for the first time since High School...Long time ago... I have rambled through a number of Buchan's works over the years but in the back of my mind always longed for the adventure of Greenmantle again. So, I did what any book junky would do when longing for a good book. I stole it from my sister.

Greenmantle interests me on a number of different levels. I am a big fan of Buchan's writing style and his dry, English humor. It is the kind of humor that I fancy I have; and if I do not have it yet, I hope to by the time I am a middle aged, pipe smoking chap. I enjoy the main characters: I have empathy for their plot, and have found that Buchan nails the emotions and tremblings on the button.

However, what has struck me on this time around is the relevance to current events. The book is set during the first world war with the plot being developed around the "matchbox" of the Middle East and the ensuing possibility of "Jehad", as Mr. Blenkiron would say. Mr. Buchan sets the tense tone of the book with the following: "Isam is a fighting creed, and the mullah still stands in the pulpit with the Koran in one hand and a drawn sword in another. Supposing there is some Ark of the Covenant which will madden even the remotest Moslem peasant with dreams of paradise? What then my friend? Then there will be hell let loose in those parts pretty soon...Hell, which may spread..." My, how History repeats itself and how correct Mr. Buchan was.

Monday, June 12

Curried Pumpkin Soup

The Orginal Gourmet Version:
2 med. onions, finely chopped
2 T. butter
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 T. ginger, peeled and minced
2 t. gound cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1/8 t. ground cardamon
1-1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. dried hot pepper flakes
2-15 oz. ( 3-1/2 c.)cans pumpkin (not pie filling)
7 c. water
1-1/2 c. chicken broth (12 fl. oz.)
1-14oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 c. olive oil
2 t. brown mustard seeds
8 fresh curry leaves
~Need 6-qt. heavy pot & a smaller, heavy pot.
~Cook onions in large pot over med. heat until soft, 3-5 min. Add garlic and ginger, cook 1 min. Add cumin, coriander, cardamon, cook 1 min. Stir in salt, red pepper, pumpkin, water, broth, coconut milk, simmer 30 min. uncovered.
~Puree soup in batches until smooth, return to pot. Keep warm over low heat.
~Heat oil in small, heavy skillet, mod-high heat, heat but not to smoking, and cook mustard seeds until they pop, 15 seconds! Add curry leaves, 5 seconds, and pour all into pumpkin soup.
~Stir; season with salt. May be thinned with water. May be made a day ahead and chilled.

The Today's Pantry Version:
1 large onion, diced
1 T. butter
5 med. garlic cloves, diced
3/4 t. gound ginger
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. coriander seeds
1/2 t. cardamon
1-1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1 t. ground red curry
2-15 oz. cans pumpkin
3 c. water
1-14 oz. can condensed milk
3 T. olive oil
1 t. brown mustard (prepared squeezable)
2 T. honey
~Large pot.
Saute onions and garlic in large pot with butter, 3 minutes. Pour all the liquid ingredients into pot. Add spices. Stir vigourously and with caution. Simmer covered over very low heat 0.75-1 hour. Let sit until husband arrives home. Serve warmed with spiced cornbread muffins or soft sourdough bread and white wine or green tea.

"What's for dinner?"

"Look on the ceiling--and taste a sample from the counter backsplash," I might as well add. The blender and I did not get on well this evening. I desired smoothly pureed pumpkin curry soup. Nice blender wanted to heave and regurgitate hot soup back out it's lid. So maybe it was too hot. Blenders are supposed to devour and reduce to fine pulp any object one aims to glide smoothly over the palate with titilating silkiness.

Once again, my newly mopped kitchen floor received its fair share of dinner's delightful ingredients tonight.

Home again, yes, once more

I enjoy frequent homecomings. It means you've been away, uprooted from your safe and sound routine and into someone else's environment, where ideas other than your own rule the roost and those others' opinions direct events. It's good to have a place to come back to, where you're known and loved by people whom you never knew before you moved away from your first homeland.

Wednesday, June 7

Top Ten Reasons You Know You Are Running In South Texas

10. The mosquitoes fly as fast as you run.

9. The official rules for a local 5k state that "mosquitoes picking you up, sucking you dry, and then depositing you beyond the finishing line will not result in an official time."

8. You have to wear an oxygen mask- even though you are not under water the relative humidity levels would lead you to believe you were.

7. Illegal immigrants think that you are chasing them.

6. You send your most recent 10k times to a race in a more hospitable climate and they place you in the geriatric division.

5. The wind constantly blows 40 mph-either in your face or at your back-one way you have to lean forward to move, the other way you suffocate.

4. County police stop to check on you.

3. The local division of Border Patrol agents ask you to keep an eye on sector 7 and give you a radio. (see reason #7)

2. The locals look at you like you are on idiot.

1. You just finished your last run in record time...because you were being chased by a Havelina.

Tuesday, June 6

A Breath of Fresh Air

I have finally reconciled my tendency toward nostalgia. I had mistaken it for misplaced feelings or at least thoughts that were not worth the time thinking. C. S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most propable explanation is that I was made for another world." How true. And how settling.

I also firmly would argue that the same sentiment can be expressed when it comes to home. Home is where we are created to be; it is where we grow, learn, love, and live. It is where we find rest and restoration, and it where the courage is mustered to venture out into worlds unknown.

Having had the opportunity to venture home again for the first time in a very long time it is no small comfort to know that I can indeed long for home. It is not only ok, but what we are created to do.