Outdoor movie night

Last Sunday night, we piled into the van and such and went to the outdoor theater in Mobridge. It often doesn’t matter what is showing, but the atmosphere is what counts. The movie was Tammy. We heard it was not so good, but we wanted to see for ourselves. Well we understood the people who did not like it are not in favor of cussing. I would guess that the implied extra-martial sex was not for them either. We tend to look past some of that perhaps more than we should. I thought it had some super funny parts.
For me funny was grandma in the Mr. Magoo glasses. I have them too. Funny was grandma’s attitude and the ice cream man story part. For me the not funny was the car crashing parts or the hurt deer on the ground, though it was funny when the deer got up. Ok I won’t reveal anymore.

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The picture of the scree is not so good. I used the iPad to take these pics. If you are wondering why people are in chairs, this is what we do. The sad thing is that those sitting outside had to wrap in blankets, and it is the end of July. Where is the summer around here? Well, hope you enjoyed the little movie review. I think it will be an early night as I need to get up and get a few things done around here tomorrow.

Funeral food

I have probably mentioned in an earlier post that there is a funeral in our church tomorrow. It will be my first. The retired Pastor and I are doing it together. I am quite appreciative of that. I did the bulletin and will read the scripture and the obituary and such, but she is doing the message and official things. I may be taking notes, or at the least listening to a tape when it is over to see how it is done. At this time, I am headed to the prayer/family service this evening. I leave you today with one verse. Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I believe that I will open the service tomorrow with that as a greeting. Tonight, I am thinking that the Psalms will be handy. Now the picture part of the post below.

When churches in our area host a funeral, members usually pitch in and bring a salad or desert for the lunch afterwards. Now being a Pastor, I could probably ditch out, but we are also members, so I will share my contributions.
It started this morning with a cake. Now, I am sorry, but I make box cakes. But I have not been keeping up with how those have been changing. Here is what the pan looked like after I mixed up one, and it was a name brand box, not some store version.

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So since I thought that such a small cake would look chintzy, I decided to make a second box and add it in.

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Now you see above how it looked when it came out of the oven. What I won’t show is what it looked like after it cooled and collapsed. The picture below is what a good layer of frosting will do. White cake with milk chocolate frosting is my favorite.

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I also made a pistachio pudding salad. James might be jealous that he has to go to the coaches clinic for this week and miss my great food. On the other hand, who knows, he might just enjoy the break.

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Perspectives and the right focus

I gave the following message this morning in St. Paul’s UCC in Eureka. I originally titled it Communication and the Art of Saying No! James agreed that the title was pretty much a miss. He understood the scripture part of saying no, but was waiting for the part when we say no. I sort of had that early in the week, but waited too long to type the sermon and apparently lost the point. The whole thing ended up being about perspectives and photos and such. I like the new title much better. At any rate, it is what it is and hope you enjoy. I will say you might miss some of the interpretation without the voices. There were parts that I used sarcasm and such. Maybe I will go through and put some hints into (..). Scriptures used were Genesis 29:15-28, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 and Romans 8:26-30. Title on my copy was “Saying NO!”

I apologize that I didn’t’ take the time to play with visual images as I wanted to today, but it just didn’t work out this week. First off, I was forgetful about grabbing my projector to see if it would even work with the lighting, and secondly, it is probably best, since I don’t have Paulina along as she would have had to be my assistant on a trial run. At any rate, I do intend to get to the point where we can have some visual images just for fun in church a few times. For today’s purposes, I guess you will just have to keep using your imaginations, which from the expressions I see at this angel, it seems those work fairly well around here.

Here is what I would have done with a projector and some images. I wanted to show pictures of the church from different angles. In your mind now, go outside and imagine what it looks like coming straight up the large steps. What about going off to the street side and checking the angle from that new sidewalk. Some of us don’t like that angle too well right now. What about the other side of the church and seeing the angle of using the back entrance that brings us to this door here off to the left, which is a bit of a different look again.

I got to thinking about these angles of entering the church earlier this week as I thought about the perspective of today’s scriptures. I first learned about artistic perspective in a high school art class. We started with some simple drawings and a tool that I fell in love with I think the first time I touched it, and the tool was a T-square. I looked how it made your drawing move from something flat and boring to a three-dimensional picture just because you square up the front focal plane and then run all the other lines back to the horizon. It was all about putting the picture into perspective.

I don’t draw anymore. I think it is because I have gotten too lazy. I tell myself it is because I am not really that good, and I would rather do something easier, yet, it is laziness. Now, I would rather pick up a camera and play with the lens and backgrounds and angels and where you stand to get a shot rather than sit down to draw it out. Paulina does this far better than me. She has more patience than I do. She often plays with taking pictures of a some simple object or just a single flower moving around it to change the background for different framings or angle the tilt up or down, or …on and on. As I said, I must be getting lazy, I just want to take the shot and have it done, but I am seeing that even a picture of something can change dramatically just depending on the angle, the perspective.

Now let’s take that same thought and move it to a story, or perhaps a scripture. Those of you who attend Bible study will likely be able to relate a bit to what I am about to mention. Last week after church Pastor Di and I had a conversation about Jacob, and lo and behold we found that we have different opinions about him. I mention Bible study because it seems we have had this happen with most of the stories we are studying. I will be honest with you; for a time this difference of opinion concerned me. In fact up until last Sunday it was starting to nag at my self-confidence. It seemed to me that perhaps (unlike the Paul Simon song: Kodachrome, where he says, though my lack of education hasn’t hurt me none.) my lack of education is hurting. And then last Sunday, Pastor Dianne and I had this great conversation on Jacob, and it was all clear to me. Yes part of it is the education and time reading and such, but that will come with time. The real difference we have is that we point the angle of the lens in a bit of a different direction when we shot the picture. It isn’t the right or wrong of it, it is just the perspective is different.

I need to get off the lazy of the single perspective and turn the camera more. I need to look at the stories in the way that Paulina makes her camera look at the flowers: from the top and all of the sides and the bottom, and even sometimes from the inside out. I want to look at Jacob with the lens and the eyes that I used when I first met him. This story that we read today about how Jacob this poor young man who was traveling all alone to a land he didn’t know to people he had never met before was one of the first Bible stories that I read as a young probably pre-teenage girl. I was reading it more as a story rather than a Bible story, and I was starry-eyed young girl.

Actually let’s face it, I was a nerd when it came to reading and stories and such. I was a sponge and a nerd, or maybe I should say nerd and sponge, whichever. I saw Jacob as this (dripping with sweetness) poor, lonely, young man in search of a wife, and he falls in love with this beautiful young Rachel, and he works for her father for seven years so he can marry her, and then on his wedding night, he is duped and given the older sister. Oh the poor guy, what a horrible thing to happen to this young man. (Harsh and realistic voice) Or NOT.

How about I take my little girl, starry-eyed nerd lenses off and get a good look at this guy, Jacob. First he stole from his twin brother with the help of his mother. Next he is sent by the father that he misled to find a wife from the house of his mother’s brother. He certainly knew the customs of his time concerning marriage. Somewhere along the line there should have been a conversation about older/younger daughter. And how is it that Jacob, who could swindle his twin brother out of his birthright, this same Jacob can’t figure out what Laban has in mind? And it is not as if they are running out of time to hold the wedding. There is a span of seven years here. And really, who wakes up the morning after the wedding to find out that they married the wrong sister. This is worse than a bad soap opera.

I guess I have to agree with Pastor Dianne that Jacob is NOT “poor” Jacob. He is someone not to be trusted, and perhaps Laban was the one best able to see through him, though, really a simple up front conversation about customs could have taken a whole lot of drama out of this story. Laban could have changed most of what seemed so tragic to me as a young girl by simply saying “No Jacob, you cannot marry Rachel unless Leah is already married.” Sometimes, we just need to have a simple conversation to put things into perspective.

On the other hand, we might be tempted to think it served Jacob right for what he did to his older twin brother Esau. Finally the big swindler got what was coming to him. He got his and Esau didn’t even have to lift a finger. Reminds me of what my Great Aunt Mandy always said in teaching us that revenge was not something we had to try to gain. She always said that what goes around comes around, and you don’t have to do anything to help it along.

But this scripture lesson for us isn’t about getting even. God doesn’t want us to look at this to learn the importance of someone getting what they have coming to them. God wants us to realize that even in the worst of situations, even in the smallest of things; God is there to guide us, to give us the correct perspective, and to show us the way we are to go. God looks out for us. God takes care of those who love him. It is what Paul writes to the Romans in chapter 8: “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God.”

Jesus in the parables that we read for today keeps repeating the theme of how something small something that seems so trivial, ends up becoming something of great importance or great worth. Jesus speaks of the little tiny mustard seed and how it becomes a large plant that even the birds can sit in. Then he mentions yeast. If you have ever baked bread, you know just how small yeast is, but it is able to make bread rise, and feed many.

What we can learn from all of these passages is that God is able to make good come from the worst situations and the smallest of things. If God is able to grow a large plant from a little tiny seed, or turn a swindling conniving youngster like Jacob into a Patriarch of an entire nation, what more can be done for us and with us? We just need to check our angle to make sure we have the correct perspective and that we are focused on Jesus. Amen!

Sale over

The rummage sale is history, and I am not much richer, but I have eliminated a bit of junk from my life and perhaps one or two people will now have a plant that reminds them of this day. I did sell all of the plants that I put out. Well, actually, I gave a few away, but at least, like Fraiser, they have left the building. I also sold several garden items, though I have a basket with some onions in it drying in the window. I am thinking that I either take them to church on Sunday for dispersal, or I dehydrate them for later. Considering the fact that we will have a funeral in church on Tuesday, it is probably best that I just do something with them for now and do the garden give away in church later. Below are a few pictures of how the day went.

This picture isn't real clear, but all of Paulina's jeans have a new home. The shoes didn't go even though some had never been worn

This picture isn’t real clear, but all of Paulina’s jeans have a new home. The shoes didn’t go even though some had never been worn

Closer shot of the shoes. I packed up my athletic shoes and those blue ones from give away.

Closer shot of the shoes. I packed up my athletic shoes and those blue ones from give away.

The misc. items. We still own the washer and dryer, but the dart board is gone, yippee. Oops, I think that was a gift from an aunt.

The misc. items. We still own the washer and dryer, but the dart board is gone, yippee. Oops, I think that was a gift from an aunt.

All these plants are with new owners and a life-time guarantee for a replacement if it dies.

All these plants are with new owners and a life-time guarantee for a replacement if it dies.

The orange shirt on the left was the first item to go. Paulina's items were on the left, and that is the only side that sold.

The orange shirt on the left was the first item to go. Paulina’s items were on the left, and that is the only side that sold. The items on the box to the left were free. Happily, several of those books were taken away as was that cap. I packed up some of the books that were left to donate, and some found their way to the garbage can.

Garden goodies, the green zucchini didn't stick around long enough to get in the picture. I barely got the lettuce cleaned and through the spinner before people came.

Garden goodies, the green zucchini didn’t stick around long enough to get in the picture. I barely got the lettuce cleaned and through the spinner before people came.

The computer stand from my mom's house went back to her place, but this mirrored table is gone. Hurrah!!

The computer stand from my mom’s house went back to her place, but this mirrored table is gone. Hurrah!!

The gourds that Paulina is turning into bird houses. She needs to finish them and can sell them later.

The gourds that Paulina is turning into bird houses. She needs to finish them and can sell them later.

Mostly put away after it is over. I had lots to clean out before the sale, and some items were not allowed back into the building. Now to clean out the area where the junk is stashed. I think I feel a project for next week.

Mostly put away after it is over. I had lots to clean out before the sale, and some items were not allowed back into the building. Now to clean out the area where the junk is stashed. I think I feel a project for next week.

I ended up freezing the dill I had picked for the sale. It will be great to have it for soups and such. I believe that there will be beets and dill and onions and maybe even some beans by Farmer’s Market on Friday, if I get time to go there, who knows. Enough for now, I am still trying to recover from the 6 a.m. morning to get this thing ready. At least I wasn’t up as late as my sister trying to get ready. I bet she sleeps all day tomorrow.

Preparations

This Saturday is the big City Wide rummage sale in Herreid. I have put myself into it, and as always, I am wondering why I think that I should. I have a few things already to go such as the box of plants that I have been showing on a past post. I will also put a few items of produce out there such as onions and dill and maybe a zucchini or two.

Paulina cleaned out her closet of clothes that she doesn’t wear anymore. In fact I am thinking a couple of those shirts have never been on her body. Sort of like her mother in that department. I guess that is why I wrote rule four on those new rules that I posted on the fridge a couple of weeks ago. #4. “If you buy it, use it.” So the pictures below are the clothes that she and I have picked to put on the sale. I may have a few others here or there, but really I didn’t want this to be clothes.

Clothes for sale!!

Clothes for sale!!

I also have some misc. items including a few old Avon bottles, which I would like to unload even if someone walks away with a treasure. Around here those used to be collectors’ items, but I am not collecting, and all they do is collect dust around here and I am hoping to rid my place of some of that. There is also a “free” box of books and such. They are really old romance books so I am hoping someone grabs them. I may be giving them to the garbage if they don’t find a home.

I will do a bit more digging tomorrow, but not sure how much. I received a call from one of the funeral homes in Eureka. I will be meeting with the director and a family tomorrow to make arrangements for one of our former parishioners. It will be my first funeral. On Monday, I stopped to visit him and he kept saying that he was calling his wife and she wouldn’t answer. I believe she has been gone for a time. I could only think of my mother and how she kept dreaming of walking in a beautiful garden holding the hand of her mother. Within a week she was. So, except for the pictures, that is all for now.

Smidgen of the misc. items.

Smidgen of the misc. items.

Free stuff

Free stuff

Hanging lamp

Hanging lamp

Cats in the garden

Hollyhocks are finally getting some height and blooming.

Hollyhocks are finally getting some height and blooming.

Cosmos are growing well, without the planters in front of them, they can finally be seen.

Cosmos are growing well, without the planters in front of them, they can finally be seen.

Two nights ago, it looked like it might storm, so we drug everything in to a sheltered area. This is almost more work than it is worth, and it isn’t worth the time if the storm passes over like it did the other night. But… if the storm would hit and we did not take the breakables in to an area of shelter, well, I hate to think of trying to replace all of it. I know some would say why even do it if you are afraid of something happening? It is like anything that is worth doing or having, take care of what is yours whether it is a silly lawn ornament or a child in your care. Anything worth having is worth taking care of. Come to think of it, this could turn into a mini sermon. God said the same thing about us, and that is why Christ came to earth, but most of you know the rest of that story, so off to the garden issues, and you can write your own ending.

We have lots of little light up toys, so those all have to be taken in and corralled so to speak. I am starting to wonder if I should continue to do it without an accurate notation of where they belong. I nearly broke one tonight trying to put it on the wrong bottom. And speaking of the bottoms. I have lost some of them into the dirt, and now it is hard to stand them up anymore. I found that a number 2 pencil does work well for a post holder, so at least I have that idea. Here is what I am meaning.

The toys in a five gallon bucket.

The toys in a five gallon bucket.

Plants potted for sale at the rummage extravaganza this Saturday.

Plants potted for sale at the rummage extravaganza this Saturday.

So I sort of misrepresented that. The only ones up for sale are the little ones in the box. The others were drug under the breezeway for shelter from the storm. The green pot on the bottom right with the pink geranium is for my sister Melissa, and I keep forgetting to send it her way. I may have to drive to Wishek just to give it to her. Maybe on a drive through to Jamestown the weekend of the 9th and 10th if I can get that Sunday off. I am still waiting to hear about it.

There are a few other pictures of the flowers to share. This morning I caught the morning glories in bloom. You sort of have to be up early to see them.

Morning glories are climbing the posts.

Morning glories are climbing the posts.

Close up. Now where are the humming birds?

Close up. Now where are the humming birds?

I have a few things to share from the vegetable garden, too. I will start with Tigee. She keeps disappearing and at first we would panic, now we know she is in the garden waiting for the gopher to appear. I think that gopher is either stupid or oblivious to what a cat can do. Every now and then we see him sitting outside the garden fence nowhere near the escape hatch. There are like three different holes in or around the garden. Not even the spring or fall tilling has filled them in. I even tried putting the hose down one and turning it on, no luck. I guess one day we will see a cat having a great feast.

Tigee waiting for the gopher. See the hole in the weeds to the bottom right?

Tigee waiting for the gopher. See the hole in the weeds to the right just below the zucchini leaf?

Tigee in the onions watching the gopher hole.

Tigee in the onions watching the gopher hole.

Sophia on the prowl looking for anything that moves.

Sophia on the prowl looking for anything that moves.

Here is what the garden is producing at this time.

Zinnias may bloom after all.

Zinnias (on the middle left) may bloom after all. There are radishes (second crop) growing beside the “corn” stake. Good grief does this picture show the weeds. Time to get to work out there.

I don't know what to do about these carrots. I tried again tonight to get some of the weeds out

I don’t know what to do about these carrots. I tried again tonight to get some of the weeds out

A yellow zucchini is well on the way to being picked.

A yellow zucchini is well on the way to being picked.

I will leave you with two more pictures of Sophia and Tigee. Roger was not posing tonight. In fact, Sophia nearly spoiled her picture completely. She smells it when I pick up the camera. She is the hardest cat to photograph.

Sophia waking up.

Sophia waking up.

Oh one more. I stole this shot from Paulina. We have both been trying to get pictures of the yellow finches in the yard, and she finally got a few. This is just one. They aren’t real close, but sure have personality.

Tigee by the old pond.

Tigee by the old pond.

Yellow finch

Yellow finch

Trip away for a day

Today James and I went with Paulina on a trip for college. she had to set up a plan with her vocational tracker for the rest of her three years. Doing it now gets her in line for some financial assistance down the road and some help with planning and when it is time to take the praxis exit exam. After she was finished, we did a bit of shopping.

I happened to have on some shoes that were really hurting, so I suggested a shoe store in the area. We got in on a buy one get one half off sale. I bought new athletic shoes and some dress shoes. James got new athletic shoes and Paulina got some really cute shoes.

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The picture above shows my shoes.
The rest of the day was spent getting various household needs and food. We ate out and were home by 9:30. Rah, rah another day!

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