Tuesday, November 28, 2006


It's been quite a while since I gave any movie reports. Here I will give a brief synopsis/recommendation about the recent movies that we have watched lately. (The stars denote my rating out of 5 possible stars)

"Promises" - **** Documentary featuring interviews with Palestinian and Israeli children ages 11-13. This movie was interesting on several levels: 1. helped me understand the Palestine/Israel situation much better (I'm pitiful with current events) 2. gave the viewpoints of both sides of the conflict through the eyes of children. 3. interesting study of how children form their own ideologies and how those can change over time with age, experience, maturity. I recommend this one.

"Walk the Line" - *** The story of Johnny Cash focusing primarily on his struggle with drugs and romance with June Carter. June's portrayal does show her faith in God and attempt to keep moral standards in her life (though imperfect).

"Jarhead" - ** Troubling war movie about Operation Desert Storm focusing on the boredom and futility that many of the troops felt. Not recommended.

"Bubble" - **** Quirky movie set in small town USA with novice actors who were cast locally. It was an interesting experiment. Not necessarily the kind of movie that would appeal to most people, but I liked it.

"Nine Lives" - **** This was a very interesting movie. Nine vignettes featuring a female lead character who is in a crisis moment of her life. All of the scenes were about 15 minutes that were shot in one continuous take. The stories connect slightly with a couple of the characters showing up in another scene. However, there is NOT a big secret plot there with hidden meaning, so don't worry trying to find it.

"13 Conversations About One Thing" - **** This is one that I had seen before, but Denis had not. Very thought-provoking. This one does have an over-arching story that emerges through the various plot lines. All the scenes contain conversation about the source/meaning/possibility of happiness.

Please let me know if you decide to watch any of them. I would love to read your take as well. Also, please research for any potentially offensive material as my standards are likely different from yours.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Matthew Ward

Remember him? He was the male third of the sibling Christian band Second Chapter of Acts. I love his voice - it's so powerful and distinctive. I was listening to his solo CD titled "Even Now" yesterday. It is kind of old school Christian - traditional style with rather dramatic music. Most of my friends would probably not tolerate the musical style. But I tend to like just about any musical style if the lyrics move me. And this album is full of weighty, moving, meaningful lyrics. This song gave me chills as I listened to it yesterday:

My God is faithful
My God is truthful
My God is boundless in all He is
My God is wisdom
My God is righteous
My God is vision for all who seek

So I will worship You
In the beauty of holiness
And I will worship You
For the things you've done in me
And when my life's complete
I'll place my crown at Your feet
And I will worship You on bended knee

My God is power
My God is glory
My God is ruler over all that is
My God is timeless
My God is justice
My God is mercy to the oppressed

His name is Love
his voice is thunder
his heart is tender
His hand is strong

So I will worship You
In the beauty of holiness
And I will worship You
For the things you've done in me
And when my life's complete
I'll place my crown at Your feet
And I will worship You on bended knee

Friday, November 24, 2006

House Tour

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, the turkey is in the oven and I can smell it cooking. It smells absolutely delicious and it's driving me crazy. We are going to eat in about two hours. I have always disliked smelling the turkey cooking all day on holidays because it makes me so hungry. When I was in high school, I figured out that if I kept my bedroom door shut all day, the smell wouldn't waft in there and I could go retreat and hide all day.

Anyway, we were supposed to have friends come down from Portland for the holiday, but at the last minute, they were not able to come. So it will be cozy with just Denis, my mom and I. On the upside, we will have plenty of leftovers!! :o)

Menu for today:
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry compote (Emeril Lagasse's recipe. I made it last year and it's great!)

That's it, really. We don't generally mess around with peripheral vegetables since they will prevent us from being able to eat more of the main feature items.

I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family as well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Christmas Music

I balk at listening to Christmas music already, but we recently received some new CDs that we ordered. So we are listening to one of them now. This is an artist who we discovered from watching an episode of Austin City Limits on PBS. He is Sufjan Stevens, singer-songwriter, folk/experimental. He has a sweet sounding voice, an offbeat sense of humor and a lot of talent. You can hear some samples as www.asthmatickitty.com

Monday, November 20, 2006


Not to be outdone, Phoebe and Monica have started their own blog.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Temporary Diabetes

On Monday of this week, I came down with temporary diabetes. Two of my coworkers and I are wearing insulin pumps for two weeks to learn more about how they work. We are to pretend that we have diabetes, test our blood glucose levels at least four times each day, count all the carbohydrates that we eat and treat them with "insulin". It is actually saline that we are using, so don't worry about me accidentally overdosing myself with insulin.

The three of us who are wearing the pumps do not really have diabetes. We have each been working in the Diabetes Education department for about a year and working towards our certification. We should all be ready to take the certification test about August of next year. Learning to manage patients wearing an insulin pump is a vital part of our jobs and it is the next step in our training. It's very exciting but also a bit intimidating.

BTW, in case you are curious, an insulin pump is a device about the size of a pager. It contains a cartridge that is filled with very quick-acting insulin. The insulin is delivered very slowly all the time to mimic what the pancreas is supposed to do. Then, when you eat or have a high blood glucose reading, the pump calculates (based on the settings that are programmed in) and gives the amount of insulin that is needed as a larger dose. All the insulin is given through a tube that is inserted just under the skin (usually on your abdomen). The tube must be changed every 3 days to avoid getting an infection at the site.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Poplar Tree

Isn't that a beautiful tree? So calm and serene, with the fluttering leaves and the filtered light... This is our neighbor's large poplar tree which extends its branches over our back yard. It is a large, mature tree and it had several offspring - 7 small poplar saplings - that were on our property when we moved here. We had them taken out so that we wouldn't wind up in a poplar forest.

Well, here is the result of having a big poplar tree in our neighbor's yard. That tree drops leaves and twigs into our backyard year round! It is the bane of Denis' existence. This photo was taken one day after he had raked the yard. The fall is of course, the worst part of the year for the leaves. Well, at least we don't have any lack of composting material. :o)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We live on a flag lot - quite a bit off the street. Last year we had no trick-or-treaters for Halloween. So, I did not bother to buy any candy this year. About 4 PM, Denis and I had a little discussion about the evening plans.

"We have no candy?"
"no, no one came last year."
"What if someone does come?"
"Well, we just won't turn on our light."
"Then what will we do for the evening in the dark? You know, I was a boy scout and our motto was 'Be prepared'."

I went to the store and got some candy. Have you tried that new-ish candy bar called Take 5? It has caramel, peanuts, pretzels, peanut butter and chocolate! Really good.

We had no trick-or-treaters this year, so we will enjoy the candy ourselves... :o)
Incidentally, when Denis was a child in Iowa, they went from door to door on Oct 30 - called Beggar's Day. On Halloween they just stayed home and ate their candy! Strange.