Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thunderstorm and Hollandaise Sauce

We had an actual real thunderstorm this weekend! It was fantastic--rain, wind, thunder, lightening--the real deal! I think I heard it had been 150-some days since we had any rain. I know that most people who live in places that have real weather would despise me for complaining about this, but it really does get a bit boring to have sunny moderate weather all year long. I mean, it's great, but I miss the seasons! Sure, gloomy cold gray February in Indiana sucks, but spring is so much better after you've had a real winter! And, I seriously miss a good thunderstorm. So, Friday night was very exciting!

One of the best parts of rain in L.A. is the day after. It is actually clear. When John and I were driving Saturday, we both sort of exclaimed that L.A. really is quite an amazing-looking city; it's just covered in smog 90% of the time! Ew! It kind of made me think, actually, about the big storm we had, which I find exciting and powerful but does come with its inconveniences (everything floods in this city if too many people spit at the same time!) and even fear for some. Yet, it's exactly what the city needed, and it just stripped away so much of the garbage and impurities clouding the whole city. It made me think of storms in our lives and that sometimes the cleansing God knows we really need is not pleasant and almost never "convenient" but is so necessary to bring out the beauty of what He really has for our lives. Of course, the metaphor breaks down a bit when John points out that filth is all now in the city drinking water! Still, a good thought.

Hollandaise sauce. Why don't I believe books when they say things are hard to make well? John's favorite food (or at least one of his faves) is Eggs Benedict. I had never had it until I decided to try it at IHOP when we were engaged. So, first of all, one has to question my wisdom at supposing that IHOP would be the place to try anytyhing for the first time, but really the problem was that I had gotten food poisening the day before. It hadn't hit yet, though, so I didn't know. While it wasn't the eggs benedict that caused the disgusting and horrible display that followed later that day, it was the last thing that went in before it all started and, therefore, the first thing to come back up. That's another story of which I will spare the details, but the point is that I haven't been eager to try eggs benedict again. However, I know how much John loves them. So, I decided this past week that it is finally time to try them again, and I will make them for brunch Saturday morning. These plans always sound so good in my head! Do other people have filters that actually catch some of the ridiculous thoughts before they get acted on? I see packaged mixes for hollandaise sauce and read books that say it is hard to make the sauce well, and I think, "Well, that would be a wussy way out to make it from a package! The only things in life that are worth doing are hard! (And really, how hard can a sauce with a few ingredients be to make?)" Jump ahead to me asking John to keep the effort in mind while he's scraping up lumpy, weird-looking sauce. It actually tasted ok; maybe we should have just eaten it in the dark! Oh, and I ruined the egg-poaching pan we had! Do normal people have thoughts like, "Oh, they sell packages of this sauce for a reason. I am more concerned with this all coming together for a pleasant eating experience than with proving I can conquer all things."? Just wondering.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Southern Cali Real Estate

So, John and I finally found a house in our price range in Southern California! We are very proud of our find!

Funny God

Anyone who thinks God does not have a sense of humor must not have seen "Birds of Paradise" flowers. I think God's creation is amazing and gorgeous and wonderful, but seriously, these are so bizarre-looking!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Back Home Again in Indiana

Ok, so I guess that only stirs memories of the song if you actually were from Indiana! If you just can't contain your curiosity, you can read about the song at

Anyway, the 2nd verse is this:
Fancy paints on mem'ry's canvas
Scenes that we hold dear
We recall them in days after
Clearly they appear
And often times I see
A scene that's dear to me

I am here in Indiana for a few short days and was in Iowa for a couple to visit my grandparents. I spent Wednesday with my mom's dad and his wife Vera on their farm, and I spent yesterday with dad's parents in the Mennonite/Amish hub of Kalona, Iowa.

I've just been really struck lately by how unbelievably blessed I am! I have generations of family that I have known who have faithfully served their Lord with their lives. I've been feeling especially nostalgic lately and seeing scenes as memories that are so dear to me. Being on my grandpa's farm which is quite close to where I grew up and where I spent many childhood days brought back floods of wonderful memories--seeing animals born, getting to bottle-feed baby lambs, riding the 3-wheeler, learning to drive, playing croquet and badmitton in the yard, swimming in the pool, "helping" grandpa fix things in the machine shed, corn day--the list goes on and on. My dad's parents don't live in the same place they did when I was a child, but the memories are still there as well. My family isn't perfect, but I had a happy childhood, and I still have an amazing heritage. I'm realizing how rare that is!

I have been really longing to connect with my heritage lately. Los Angeles is a place with very few roots. I am happy there, but I want to remember the groundedness that is connected to where I come from. Maybe I'll make some jam or finally finish the first quilt I started or have a hymn sing or who knows what else. These things don't embody the depth of love and faith that I grew up with and long to keep with me, but they remind me. And that is precious to me. Remembering nurtures gratitude in my heart. Gives me perspective and courage in the midst of a momentary culture. Fills me with a desire to pass on the hope that community and family can exist in a loving and beautiful (even when not perfect) way. Nourishes my soul.