Saturday, November 22, 2014


If you unexpectedly had three free hours on a weekend morning, what would you do?

I suspect lots of us would fill them with things we haven't had time for--chores, errands, etc.

But what about filling them with the things we can't afford to not have time for--rest, renewal, and reminding ourselves that the world does not revolve around us nor depend on us.

That's what we're doing at church this weekend. We had a potluck dinner tonight (with more amazing food than we knew what to do with), which led right into a time of worship with communion. Tomorrow morning, the church building will be dark while the church (us) allows the Spirit to do her thing, recreating us, filling us up, and giving us the chance to let go of our illusion of control.

In the Jewish tradition, the Sabbath is a time for no work--which includes writing and drawing, because God the creator rested, so we too rest from creating.

It's a hard thing, to just BE rather than DOING all the time.
I don't know if I can completely let go for the morning, but I look forward to seeing what God will get up to when we leave space for that work, rather than filling it with what we "should" do.

I couldn't even get all the food in one photo. three  tables of mains, plus a table of desserts!

listening to jazz while waiting for mommy to bring dinner

Friday, November 21, 2014

cooking and baking

Tomorrow night we're having a potluck at church. It's going to be amazing.

Whenever there is a potluck, I almost always bring two things. Mostly because I'm a vegetarian, and I generally assume that there won't be much veggie-friendly at a potluck...and also because I like to show people that vegetarian food is delicious.

For this potluck, I'm bringing two soups. Because: winter. First will be my aunt's recipe, a vegan potato corn chowder. The other will be a crockpot version of the chili that Amy and I created in seminary (the original recipe includes the words "If Teri is coming over in 30 minutes, cook on high and stir constantly, as if over the flames of hell.").

I'm also bringing an apple crisp with a pomegranate sauce, because I have a TON of apples and 2 pomegranates just waiting for me to do something delicious with them.

I'm also in charge of bringing some delicious pie crust snacks like my grandma used to make at holidays--pie crust, butter, cinnamon, sugar. So good.

Plus I had to make myself dinner today (butternut squash and sage pasta, side of brussels sprouts. mmmm.)

All this cooking has me mentally connecting to my mom and grandma. I think about how I used to beg my mom to double the topping for fruit crisp. I roll out the pie crust dough using her marble rolling pin and marble pastry board. I follow my grandma's instructions to spread the butter with my fingers and be liberal with the cinnamon. I make things up when it comes to "pomegranate sauce" because frankly recipes are overrated.

I love to cook. I used to love to cook with my mom, and now I cook with her tools and appliances, hearing her voice in my mind as I neglect to measure anything. It's not the same, but it's better than not at all.

(and also, everything so far is DELICIOUS. yes, I always taste before I serve to others!)

last sheet, in progress!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

happy birthday, grandpa!

Today was my grandpa's 80th birthday. Or it would have been, except that he died three years ago.

I don't even understand how it's been three years already, but that's what grandma said, so it must be true.

My grandpa was pretty awesome. Not a saint, but still awesome. He worked with his hands all his life--building things, growing things. He was kind, though quiet. Not an intellectual by any means, but hard working and honest and friendly. I loved him, and still do.

Bonus: he helped make my mom and my aunt amazing too. Played ball with them, taught them to be self-sufficient, gave them skills that are still useful today. He taught us all that we girls could just as well drive a tractor, use tools, and throw a baseball as anyone else could. And even with only one eye, he could see more truth in people and the world than many can.

Happy birthday, grandpa.

in honor of Albert Martin Scott, a selection of photos from 3rd grade to age 70...

the beloved dog, and the beloved car

seminary graduation...obviously my grandparents are on the right, parents on the left. ;-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

daydreaming of warm

With snow breaking down doors in upstate New York, and all 50 states seeing the below-freezing mark at the same time, and the ridiculous chill we've got going on here, I confess that my writing-muscles are frozen. I don't have anything much to say today besides this:

I wish I lived in San Diego.

Where I could see this every day if I wanted:

And where I could visit Mickey...

And generally not hibernate under the covers and the cats for a minimum of six months a year. I mean, I have the most comfortable bed, and the snuggliest cats, and the prettiest bedroom, but still. As much as I love this, I would rather it be 75 and sunny than -3 and gray.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

song in my head

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt from the RevGals is about your go-to-sing-in-the-shower song.

I confess that I rarely sing in the shower, except on Sundays when I use that time as a vocal warmup. But I do have a song in my head most of the time, and over the years I've learned to keep it there rather than humming constantly. (at least, I think I have...those who spend their days with me may think differently!)

There seems to be a rotating playlist for my brain. There are currently three songs that I have noticed in the rotation over the course of today. Well...really there are two constants and then one song that seems to swap out every now and then.

The two most common things my brain seems to sing are: the opening of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto:
(this recording is of Robert Marcellus...his interpretive choices are currently out of fashion, but his playing is smooth like buttery velvet or something...I love to listen to him!)

 and the hymn tune Judas Maccabeus ("Thine Is The Glory").

This reality pretty well sums up the entire trajectory of my life...memorizing clarinet repertoire (I'm pretty sure I could still play that concerto in my sleep) and working with hymns.

The third song at the moment is "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked.
I'm not 100% sure why that's running the loop, but it is. Could be because it came up on the Sunday morning drive playlist this week, could be because it's the ringtone of one of my favorite people who happened to call me today, or who knows what. Maybe it's that line "dreams the way we planned them, if we work in tandem..." which is, basically, my hope for the church (and I hope the Church doesn't decide to stay behind while the world flies away on a broom!).

Interestingly, my favorite hymn tune ever is St. Columba. I often sing it in the shower on Sunday mornings as a warm-up. But the rest of the brain sings and my mouth stays closed under the cascade of scalding water.

Aside: this past week I've been doing a lot of laundry, so this little ditty is also in my head pretty frequently, mostly in hope of hearing it very soon...

Monday, November 17, 2014

the cats blog

Last night I fell asleep on the couch, computer in lap, blogger open, ready to write for NaBloPoMo Day 17.

When I woke up around midnight, there was a cat on my feet and another on my lap.

Yes...on my lap, where the computer also was.

Apparently Ollie had some things to say, so she is the guest blogger for this post that I'm going to backdate to yesterday, because she wrote it last night while I was sleeping.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014


There have only been a few years of my life when I did not live with a cat (or two). In college I had roommates, not cats. In seminary I was cat-less for one year, had an illicit cat in the dorm for one year, and then lived off-campus the third year (with the cat). Said cat had to go live with my parents while I went to Egypt, so I technically didn't *live* with a cat that year--though there were tons of cats that lived in the school grounds, and they were perfectly happy to be petted and played with every evening.

So...I've been a cat-mom for a long time. Currently I have two cats (the maximum allowed by my condo association). One, Ollie, is the cat who lived with me in the dorm all those years ago. The other, Andrew, was adopted when I moved to Crystal Lake, because Ollie seemed lonely. These two cats have been with me in this same house for eight years now.

When I sit down on the couch, I am supposed to tuck my feet up to the right, so Andrew can come lay on them and purr the day away. Bonus: keeps my feet warm. Slight downside: if I need to move my legs, too bad.

When I turn on the kitchen sink, or when I put on shoes and coat and start looking like I'm going to leave the house, the cats come running because they know that they usually get treats at those times.

We have trained each other well. (except where counters/tables/food are concerned--both are in love with being on the counters and table and trying to steal food right off my plate.)

This morning, I turned on the water in the bathroom sink after I got out of the shower, because Ollie is always on the counter waiting for me to give her a drink.

Except she wasn't sitting there. I turned on the water out of habit...while she was still snuggled up in the bed.

Well-trained indeed.

kitten Ollie plays in the sink
she's been practicing her stealth food-stealing moves for years
the treat spot

laying on my feet