Thursday, January 29, 2009

An Angel Food Cake for an Angel

I do not deny that I love my husband dearly. He is my angel and yesterday was his birthday. I baked him an Angel Food Cake from scratch. It's his grandmother's recipe and this isn't the first year I've done this. The first time I baked him this cake, I was deeply disappointed because it just didn't get very big, like the commercial angel food cakes or the mixes. Yet each year DH requests this cake from scratch. He says it tastes better. Well it doesn't taste chemically and I omit the almond extract (I don't like almond extract almonds, just not the extract).

Here's a picture of the cake. It made the house smell wonderful and it's gone. We ate it already.

Recent Knitting – Test Knitting and Knitting in a Meeting

I just finished test knitting a pattern for one of my knitting friends. I was happy to test knit because I got to learn two new techniques. Learning new techniques and stretching my knitting skills is important to me. I learned that I can do lace and will probably knit a lace shawl this year. I have some wonderful deep green lace weight yarn from a swap I was in last year. I also learned to do thumb gussets so I'll be knitting mittens for my great nephews and nieces in Minnesota.

Well here are the pictures of the Missouri Autumn Mitts and you can get the pattern from Celia Ann Knits.

I finished these mitts on Monday during the Presbytery Council Retreat. I usually knit in meetings where I have to sit for more than an hour of so. I hate just sitting and knitting helps me concentrate. Since I go to meetings prepared – I’m one of those who reads everything before I go to a meeting – I can sit, knit and listen and if I think I can add to the meeting, I will speak up.

What was so fun was I was the only knitter in the group of nearly 30 folks until one other Council member came an hour or so late to meeting and sat down next to me and pulled out her knitting. Knitting is viral!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It Just Goes To Show You It's Always Something

Gilda Radner’s character Roseanne Roseannadanna coined the phrase ‘well it just goes to show you it’s always something.’ So far this month it seems like it has always been something. But that isn’t necessarily bad. The ‘somethings’ of life can teach us more about ourselves and what we need in order to continue to grow and develop into better people.

Usually January is party month. I celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary and my 45th birthday so far this month. My DH’s birthday is coming up later this week.
Unlike past years, somethings have popped up that have attempted to ‘spoil’ the festivities. Problems at work, difficult relationship with friends and or family, being dissed by people you thought were your friend, breaking long loved objects, having minor accidents and problems happen to loved ones.

Yet even with the ‘spoilers’ the moments of learning and reflection have in and of themselves been a gift. I am pleased to say that they have not ruined any of the true celebration that has happened this month and I grateful for the learning the somethings have provided for me.

The 19th Wedding Anniversary was wonderful, it began with breakfast at Winstead's, a trip to the Kemper, US Toy, and lunch at Gates BBQ.

My 45th birthday was shared with the nation. My birthday falls on Inauguration Day every four years. This year was spent glued to the TV after a very early (we were in the restaurant, this time IHOP) before 6 am, breakfast! It was a momentous day. Although I someday would like to attend an Inauguration, or at least I thought I did when I was younger, I was very glad to be toasty and warm in front of my TV on the 20th. I could cry tears of joy, and share the day with my DH. Of course something came up that caused me to take a detour over to the church – this time one of the sanctuary furnaces, but it didn’t ruin the day.

Although the family celebrations were quiet this year, I did have a great day with my friends Charlotte and Donna as we ate lunch later in the week at my favorite KC restaurant, Eden Alley. I was even able to catch our day – Donna has a January Bday too!

I am grateful for the somethings, especially for the hurtful something that happened at my Saturday knitting group. The experience of standing there in a very loud and crowded coffee shop taught me what I need. I have learned that in order to nurture my knitting, I need a quieter environment and I need space to sit and put my pattern and cup of coffee and in the past several times at knit group, I haven’t had the space I’ve needed and Saturday there was no space for another knitter at the table. I need more than just pulling up a chair to an overcrowded corner of table and fighting for elbow space. I need a place where people appreciate me and are going to invite me to sit and help me find a place to sit. I have done well in coping with chaos throughout my life, but chaos and noise is one of those somethings that do not nurture me as a person. I am good at coping with chaos and dealing with the somethings that emerge from chaos, but I don’t need that in my life. My big learning was that I need to find a new knitting group that meets in a quieter setting that is less chaotic, loud and crowded…and one that will be more welcoming.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 a New Year - with loose ends.

I haven't posted on my blog since the last day in October of last year. November and December of 2008 were tough months and I am really looking forward to 2009 as being a better year. Oh I have tons of stuff to be grateful for and I am. I also have a to do list a mile long on things I would like to change. I tend to over schedule myself and that got me into trouble the past two months.

I still don't have my assignment done, even asking for an extension, from my September continuing education class on Reformed Theological Issues of Middle and Older Adults. I have to write six hours of lesson plans on theological issues and it's just too much. The other two classes I have taken in this "under development" certification program only required four hours of lesson plans. A 'bug' that I will have to work out with the instructor, since I am the coordinator of the said "under development" certification program. It also would not look good if I didn't complete the assignment so I sit with that looming over my head.

I did manage to finish my DH's sweater, which I started in January of 2008, on the last day of 2008. I think it came out pretty nice. I liked the pattern, but if I were to do it again, I'd make the sleeves shorter and a size smaller. DH wanted a BIG sweater and he got one.

In terms of New Year's Resolutions. I rarely make them. I have made two related to my professional and spiritual life this year. 1) In honor of the Jubilee of John Calvin's Birthday, I have committed myself to read the Institutes of the Christian Religion every day (except the Lord's Day - which is Sunday) this year. I haven't read the Institutes since Seminary and thought this would be a good exercise in this special Jubilee year. 2) I was alarmed to learn when I went to Interim Pastor Training the last week of October, that the average clergy person only prays 6 minutes a day and lay members of the congregation pray even less per day. As people of faith, we should be all about prayer and prayer should under-gird all we do, so I have resolved to pray more every day in 2009. [Note to self: Check out and follow - up on the rumor that you have heard about Rick Warren saying that prayer isn't that important for church growth].

On a personal and health nature, I have made a resolution to be more mindful about the carbohydrates I eat. My body doesn't deal as well with carbs as it could and I want to watch that this year so as not to develop a chronic illness. I began doing this just before Thanksgiving and didn't gain any weight during the holiday and actually lost a couple pounds.

I was happy to get back to my knitting group last week and this week. We had a full complement of people today nineteen or twenty in the coffee shop at BORDERS. Of course BORDERS is dangerous to my budget. I greatly enjoyed my Iced Latte and Raspberry Thumbprint Scone (highly recommended - very tender and not too sweet) and of course books. I bought three today. So much for my book diet.

In terms of my knitting, I'm working on my stash this year. No buying yarn for a while. I have too much yarn. I'm knitting kitchen towels with this lovely cotton yarn that I received in a yarn swap last year when I went wild on swaps. I know have wonderful yarns to knit and look forward to lots of knitting in 2009.