Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Five - HGTV Edition

Will smama writes: As some of you may know I am in the midst of my first home purchase. It is a new-build and so some of the fun was picking out upgrades and major decor items to my taste rather than walking into a previously owned home that needed to be upgraded room by room (pink and teal tiles in the bathroom, anyone?). As much as decorating is not my thing, I did try to embrace the moment because just how many times do you get to have a do-over on kitchen cabinets/floors/countertops?

And so, my questions to you this fine Friday involve your home past, present or future...

1) If you could, what room in the place you are currently living would you redo first?
I would redesign our master bedroom and bathroom, if I may count them as one room - you walk through one door to get to both - and they both really need it!

2) What is the most hideous feature/color/decor item you have ever seen in a home?
The kitchen of my second home had dirty pine green carpet, maroon linoleum countertops and yellow walls - by far the worst combination I had ever seen!

3) What feature do you most covet? Do you have it? If not, is it within reach?
A full bath and walk-in closet in our master bedroom. I actually sketched out the idea several years ago. We have a bonus room, across from our bedroom, and we could claim it to expand the master and create a real master bath with the removal of just one wall. I would move the laundry upstairs too, so that the Captain could have the whole basement as his workbench.

Alas, we do not have it, and it will not be within reach for a very long time...
college costs come first.

4) Your kitchen - love it or hate it? Why?
I don't love it because it is a small galley-style kitchen. But I don't hate it, because we have done alot to make the best possible use of the space.

5) Here is $10,000 and you HAVE to spend it on the place you are living now. What do you do?

See number 3!
Since the Captain is very handy in matters of remodeling, we could probably make a pretty good dent in the plan with $10 K.

BONUS: Why do you think there was such a surplus of ugly bathroom tile colors showcased in all homes built from the 1950's right through the early 80's?
I wonder if psychotropic drugs had anything to do with it!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A RevGals' Cabin Fever Friday Five

Singing Owl has been having a time of it...her daughter's car wouldn't start, so she had to drive her to work. Which got her to thinking...
Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?

1. We like to put a fire in the fireplace in the evenings.

2. I cook more comfort food in the crock-pot in the winter. And on my day off each week, I usually make homemade soup and serve it with crusty french bread.

3. It helps me when I have a trip to which I can look forward. We booked a quick trip to Florida to watch our sons march at Disney World. And of course, we've got the RevGals BE 2.0 coming in April.

4. I keep the candles in the windows until Spring - there's just something about driving home down our unlit street and seeing the light glowing in each window!

5. And yes, I snuggle up with the Captain!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Five - Take Me, Baby, or Leave Me

Songbird writes...Although written by a young man, the song Take Me, Baby, or Leave Me from "Rent" became an anthem for women of a certain age ready to be taken on their own terms. Maureen and Joanne love each other, but they are *very* different.

Whether it's new friends or new loves or new employers, what are five things people should know about you?

1. I love coffee. I don't usually "love" inanimate objects, but there is something about the taste of coffee, hot and black, that makes my day. It's not the caffeine either...I just enjoy the taste of a great cup of coffee. My favorite beans come from the Leelanau Coffee guys in Northern MI.

2. I was born to worship. Leading worship is what I love most about being a pastor. And it doesn't matter whether we are using a full liturgy or a more praise-oriented service. I enjoy leading it all. I especially cherish presiding over the sacraments of baptism and holy communion.

3. I am at home on or near the water. Inland lake or river, or ocean. I relax, sleep better, and as a rule thrive when I am on the water. In retirement, I want to live aboard our 33' cruiser and cruise the Intercoastal, but my husband says he won't live where he can't have a tool shed. Rats!

4. I enjoy cooking as an expression of creativity. I like to try new recipes, rather than repeat the "old faithfuls". This week I tried my hand at Beef Bolognese sauce for calzones and lasagna. The fam says its a "keeper". And it will be, 'til I find a recipe that intrigues me even more!

5. I have more clothes than I need. In part, because I spent awhile (and a few dollars) trying to find my own personal style, and trying in vain to fit into one size. Oh well, if we ever live on the boat, I'll get rid of a lot of my clothes and the Captain can divest himself of a lot of tools :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Five - Pancake Edition

Sophia writes: Last week Sally gave us a beautiful, spiritually reflective Friday Five, so it's time for something light and fluffy (literally). It's inspired by the fact that as I write this my dear spouse TechnoGuy, with the assistance of daughter Ladybug, is making a batch of chocolate chip pancakes with two Christmas presents. One is the Knott's Berry Farm mix which came along with jam, boysenberry syrup, and biscuit mix from my aunt (we ended up with two sets, since my parents passed theirs on to avoid sweet and carb-y temptation). The other is the large size Black and Decker electric skillet he was thrilled that I got him online -- our trusty wedding present normal size one still works at going on 20 years, but the Teflon is getting worn, and he wanted more cooking space. So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and tell us all about your pancake preferences.

1. Scratch or mix? Buttermilk or plain?
I have never been a real pancake fan, but I will eat them when we make them at home. The Captain usually makes them at our house. He uses Bisquick, as a rule. SO...mix and buttermilk. I also eat them when my mom serves them at my parents' bed and breakfast. She makes them from scratch.

2. Pure and simple, or with additions cooked in?
I do like pumpkin pancakes and blueberry pancakes...mmmm!

3. For breakfast or for dinner?
We usually have pancakes for Sunday lunch after all of us are home from church. Not too often for breakfast or for dinner.

4. Preferred syrup or other topping? How about the best side dish?
We usually eat them plain and simple - topped with syrup and butter. I prefer some fresh fruit and a very light sprinkle of powdered sugar best of all. The syrup route is far too sweet for my tastes. Sausage links and chunky applesauce are the best side dishes at our house.

5. Favorite pancake restaurant?
Locally - IHOP. Favorite place overall is Art's Tavern in Glen Arbor, MI and its sibling location the Friendly Tavern in Empire.

Bonus: Any tasty recipes out there, for pancakes or other special breakfast dishes? Bring 'em on!

Pumpkin Pancakes are my favorite:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons cooking oil

In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice. And in another bowl, beat the egg, canned pumpkin, milk and oil. Add flour mixture to the milk mixture and stir just till blended, but still lumpy. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake onto a hot griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat till browned, turning to cook second side of pancakes. Makes about 10 pancakes.

Image courtesy of

Friday, January 2, 2009

Beginnings and Endings Friday Five

Sally writes: This Celtic Mandala represents life, noting how days and years turn from one to another. As we have stepped from 2008 into 2009 some of us look back with joy and others with sadness; probably most of us with a mixture of the two.

As we look back we may come to understand how God has worked in and through us in joy and sadness. how we have grown against what may seem impossible odds. As we look forward we may do so with expectation, and we may do so with fear and trembling. As we look back and forward in New Years liminality I offer you this simple yet I hope profound Friday Five in two parts:

First list five things that you remember/ treasure from 2008 (not in any specific order)
1. The birth of Cindy, our second grandchild
2. The Rev Gals BE 1.0 that joined me to this community of Christ in a deeper way
3. The trip that Game Boy and I got to take with Meemah to Colorado in June
4. The opportunity to witness our sons really come into their own in high school this year
5. The opportunity to see "our German daughter" Nora again in August 2008

Then list five things that you are looking forward to in 2009
1. The opportunity to see our grandchildren (and their parents :p ) two weeks from today
2. The opportunity to welcome Nora back for a two-month stay this summer as she completes a clinical rotation
3. Witnessing Music Man graduate from high school and get established in college (this one is bittersweet)
3. The opportunity to see a vision that God has given for our congregation and community come to fruition
4. Our congregation calling a colleague in ministry

As we read one another's blogs today Sally invites us to leave a word of encouragement and to pause to pray for each member of Revgals as we step into a New Year. And she offers this New Year Blessing from the Iona Community:

We stand to face the future:
God behind us in the past
Christ before us; the way ahead;
Christ beside us in this moment;
Christ beneath us in our weakness;
Christ above to shield us-
beneath the shadow of his wings we are safe;
Christ between us to bind us in the unity of his love;
Christ in us equipping us with his all sufficient grace.
Thus armed and guided, and protected we face the new year.
Now we arise and go forth on the journey before us,
knowing that, where Christ leads, life is a journey home.
Therefore we travel in faith, in hope, and in love,
in the name of the Father/ Mother, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
May the blessing of God
be upon us
all this year
and into eternity. Amen.