Friday, September 29, 2006

Priscilla's Challenge

1. I can play the guitar moderately well.
2. I can play the piano rather poorly.
3. I learned how to ski when I was a child. I don't remember a time that I did not know how to ski.
4. My father worked at Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort and we got free season's passes.
5. I can ski on intermediate slopes, but I prefer beginner's slopes because I'm a chicken.
6. I have been a nurse for 17 years.
7. I worked most of my years on the night shift at a hospital.
8. My first job was as a "feeder" in a nursing home. It was the best job ever because everyone was glad to see me and I had very little real responsibility.
9. I took Spanish each year in school from grades 7-11 and a year in college.
10. I didn't dare speak Spanish to Spanish-speakers until after I had lived in Bolivia, South America in my late 20's.
11. I was a missionary in Bolivia for 2 years and discovered why I had studied Spanish all those years.
12. While I was in South America I visited Machu Picchu, Peru and Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina.
13. While I was in Bolivia, I taught a class about germs to a group who had never heard of them before. It was an amazing and wonderful experience!
14. I am a rather accomplished crocheter.
15. I cannot sew or knit.
16. I especially like foreign movies and documentaries.
17. I used to read a lot, but I don't as much anymore.
18. In Jr. High and High School I used to read while walking down the hallways between classes.
19. I read War and Peace just to be able to say that I read it.
20. I found it surprisingly interesting and boring at the same time.
21. I like a variety of musical styles.
22. I don't like classical or country music (especially the twangy kind).
23. I love Alison Krauss and she can sing as twangily as she wants.
24. I was married on Dec. 31, 2003 at age 36.
25. I had only ever had 3 boyfriends before I was married and each dating relationship lasted about one month.
26. I had a "crush" on a different boy each year through grade school.
27. My name in Spanish is Teresa.
28. My friends in Bolivia called me "Techi" which is a nickname for Teresa (it is pronounced just like it is spelled with a ch as in church.)
29. I didn't like it when people called me "Trrray-cy" with a Spanish accent.
30. The most unusual nickname I have ever had was "John".
31. I attended church camp the summers of grades 6-8 at Camp Magruder on the Oregon Coast.
32. I was a camp counselor at Camp Magruder for 1-2 weeks each summer for 4 years after college.
33. I used to lead silly camp songs like "The Little Green Frog song" and "All the Little Fishies".
34. My favorite age group for camp counseling was grades 5-6.
35. I never wanted to be the camp nurse because I was afraid that an emergency would come up.
36. I'm a caffeine addict - if I don't have my two shots of espresso a day I get a headache.
37. I go to Starbucks before work each day.
38. I especially like the pumpkin spice latte, toffee nut latte or iced caramel macchiato.
39. I usually get a grande sugarfree hazelnut non-fat latte.
40. Before I go to Starbucks, I go to McDonald's to get a sausage mcmuffin with egg.
41. I like dark chocolate.
42. I don't think that white chocolate should be considered chocolate.
43. I like rich, creamy desserts.
44. I'm not a big fan of pies, cakes or cheesecake.
45. I don't like carbonated beverages very much.
46. I especially don't like brown carbonated beverages. (that includes root beer)
47. I like adventurous eating as long as I'm in the mood.
48. I tend to order habitually in my favorite restaurants.
49. I don't like it when the food that I order does not taste the way I expect it to.
50. I can still sit cross-legged.
51. I learned how to ride my bike when I was 8. My dad took off my training wheels and I fell. So I had him replace one training wheel and rode like that for a day before going solo again.

Check out Priscilla's list here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I had a good weekend and now it is almost time for a new one! :o) Denis worked last weekend, so I was on my own for most of the time.

I went contra dancing on Saturday night. Contra dancing is a bit like square dancing in that it is a called dance. But instead of being in a square with 8 people, you are in 2 long lines down the hall with you partner facing you. The moves are the familiar ones like circle left or right, do si do, etc. The dance is a set pattern that repeats over and over. You dance with your partner and one other couple. When the set pattern is over, you have moved one spot down the line and the couple you were dancing with has moved one spot the other direction. It is a lot of fun and good exercise. in Portland, I was able to go each week if I wanted to, but here it is only offered once a month.

Sunday evening I rode my bike up to visit a couple from my church. This was good exercise too, obviously. I was sweating profusely while we visited.

Monday, Denis was off work, so we had some time together. We had company over in the evening. I made won ton soup and Denis made his famous salmon again. This was part of our project of having people from church over. After dinner, Debbie and I visited while Denis and Brent played guitar. Their son got a rare treat to watch TV!

Starting this past Tuesday, I am working extra hours to help cover the vacation of one of my coworkers. I will be working four days a week for a month. I normally work half time - two full days and one half day each week. It is amazing how quickly I have adjusted to my reduced hours, and I know that I'm going to be tired by the end of the month. Even though I know it is still not full time! What a wimp I am...

Denis did a project this week that he has been meaning to do for a while. He touched up the finish on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They are natural birch wood cabinets with just a clear finish. Did you know that water is the enemy of most building materials? This is what I have learned from Denis. Unfortunately, we both have drippy arms when we deal with sinks. (It's a height issue). So now they are good as new again.

The weather has turned cooler now as summer is drawing to a close. The leaves on our baby dogwood are showing some reddish color and our adolescent maple tree has its little helicopters ready to fly. The flowers are finishing up their blooming time and some of them have already turned kind of ugly looking. We bought some new irises - two siberians and a couple of pacific coast varieties are on their way. We are also expecting tulip and daffodil bulbs to arrive soon for planting. Next year we really hope to put in a veggie garden in the open space adjacent to our garage. Denis' compost project has been a huge success. We have one bin with some beautiful stuff awaiting the next planting need.

Well, I think that about brings you up to date with our life.

New Music

The new CDs that I ordered arrived in the mail last night. I have them all in my CD player now.

Downhere - Wide-eyed and Mysified
David Crowder Band - A Collision
Jars of Clay - Redemption Songs
Amy Grant - Rock of Ages, Hymns and Faith
Sara Groves - Add to the Beauty

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mystery of Mercy

I am the woman at the well, I am the harlot
I am the scattered seed that fell along the path
I am the son that ran away
And I am the bitter son that stayed.

My God, my God, why hast Thou accepted me?
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty King.
My God, my God why hast thou accepted me
It's a mystery of mercy and the song, the song I sing.

I am the angry man who came to stone the lover
I am the woman there ashamed before the crowd
I am the leper that gave thanks
But I am the nine that never came

You made the seed that made the tree
that made the cross that saved me
You gave me hope when there was none
you gave me only your Son

(Lyrics by Caedmon's Call. How amazing is God's love to us fickle mankind!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Silly Cats!

Meet Phoebe and Monica. They share our house with us and keep us entertained most days. Read about some of their escapades in a previous post.

Monica has decided that fresh water is the best and you get it right out of the tap! When she follows me into the bathroom and jumps into the tub, the message is clear. "I will have a drink now, thank you." Since she has some early kidney disease and is supposed to drink extra water, I indulge her.

Phoebe is the social butterfly. She always wants to be around the action. If company comes, Phoebe is sure to stay around to see what will happen. She often follows me around the house to whatever room I am in. Here she is "helping" me with the laundry. (her job is to decorate it with lovely soft fur).

There is great competition for the coveted spot on my desktop when I am there. Denis' desk does not have so much lovely room, and he does not appreciate cats sitting atop his computer keyboard. So my desk is the happening place. Most days there is a restless shifting and jockeying for position. But every once in a while, both manage to squeeze into the alloted cat space.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A Very Nice Weekend

Every other weekend, Denis is off and we get the luxury of spending two and 1/2 days together. Friday evening, we just relaxed after doing our respective chores and errands. Saturday, Denis accomplished some outdoor yard work tasks - mowing, watering etc. In the afternoon, we were invited to a picnic with some friends from church. They live out in "The Applegate" which is in the hills outside of the Rogue Valley where we live. We packed up some bread, cheese, hard-boiled eggs and sandwich meat, then stopped at the store to buy some fruit salad. When we arrived at our friends' house, we discovered that this was a big event with lots of families from our church invited. We had a really nice time visiting with various people. It was great. In the evening, there was a "barn dance" with the adults and kids all participating. Lots of fun!

Sunday after church, we didn't have anything planned so we decided to try to find someone to do something spontaneous with. A couple of calls to families we have been meaning to invite over resulted in future planned gatherings. Our third call was to our next door neighbors who jumped at the invitation. We had been intending to get together ever since we moved in here (2 years ago!), so it was wonderful to finally get to visit with them properly.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


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Thursday, September 07, 2006

A - Z Bread

Here is a recipe for my friends who like to bake. I got it from a fellow missionary while I was in Bolivia. I recently made it with zucchini and apples, gave some to friends at church and received rave reviews.

A - Z Bread:

In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside:
3 cups flour (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl beat together:
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar (I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 splenda for baking)

Add and mix to combine:
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups A-Z*

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix well. Add 1 cup chopped nuts if desired. Pour into greased and floured loaf pans (makes 2). Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

A - Z: apples, grated; applesauce; apricots, chopped; bananas, mashed; carrots, grated; cherries, pitted and chopped; coconut, fresh ground; dates, pitted and finely chopped; eggplant, ground up; figs, finely chopped; grapes, seedless; honey; lemons, 1/2 C juice; marmalade (omit 1 C sugar); mincemeat; oranges, chopped; peaches, fresh or canned; peppermint, 1/2 C; pears, chopped; pineapple, crushed and drained; prunes, chopped 1C; pumpkin, canned; raisins; raspberries; rhubarb, finely chopped; strawberries, fresh or frozen well drained; sweet potatoes, grated coarsely; tapioca, cooked; tomatoes, omit 1 1/2 C sugar; yams, cooked and mashed; yogurt; zucchini, ground or grated and well drained.

I bought bananas and dates this week to try out that combo. Doesn't it sound great?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye Andre

I just finished watching Andre Agassi's final match at the US Open with my mom. He is 36 years old and has played at the US Open for 21 consecutive years. That means he started at just 15! He has had an amazing career. I remember having a crush on him when he was first playing, with his wild hair and rebellious clothing. It's funny to notice that this year, he wore traditional white tennis garb. Even playing with a badly injured back, he managed to last through two matches before losing his third. You could tell that he was gingerly protecting his back as much as possible, coming up with creative ways to reach the ball as easily as possible. Yet he still zinged that ball with power and precision landing a lot of "winners".

I like tennis. My favorite sports are the ones that I learned to love from my mother: gymnastics, figure skating and tennis. I have been told that makes me "such a chick". (guilty as charged). My favorite mainstream sport is basketball. This is probably partly because in Portland, Oregon we had the marvelous Trailblazers to rally behind. I like the fast action of basketball. The other mainstream sports, football, soccer, hockey, etc. just seem to take a long time to get to a point won. It's hard for me to stay interested.

I have also noticed that I am more impressed with individual sports than team ones. I can't imagine where athletes can come up with the drive and determination to pull out a win all on their own. All my top favorites are like that. The gymnast has to fight to not cave under the pressure of only having one chance to get it right. The figure skater has to come up with the artistry and athleticism to go on even after a fall. And the top of the heap in my opinion is the tennis player who plays point after point of a long grueling match with no coach to turn to for advice. They have to come up with their own strategy, grit and determination to win each point. I don't think I have what it takes. But I'm happy to admire those who do.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Monkey off my back

I had some errands this week that I was not looking forward to and now they are done. Yay! Through my work, I am on a committee to help plan and coordinate the American Diabetes Association's fundraiser walk for this area. I had a list of people who I was supposed to call and two businesses that I was to visit to request donations. I'm not much of a sales person, and I was not looking forward to calling complete strangers on behalf of a charity. You know, to be one of those people who interrupt your day to ask you for something? Not really my idea of fun. Anyway, I knew that once I started, it wouldn't really be that big of a deal, it was just the thought of it that paralyzed me into inaction. So I finally rallied my strength and made the calls this week. It is so nice to be done with that.

The walk is September 30th and I will be walking in it. I'm looking forward to helping with the actual walk - the set up and event itself. It will be fun. If you want to donate to my ADA fund, you can click here.