Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Everything's a Blurr!

Have you ever heard of CYT? That is an acronym for Christian Youth Theater. As it turns out, our son Jonathan has been involved with that organization for a couple of years and currently has a role in the performance of "The Legend of Pocohantas". Opening night is November 27, the day after Thanksgiving and there will be at least seven performances. Please click on the link to obtain tickets to one of the performances. The venue is Mt. Hood Community College. They have a lovely theater with excellent accustics. The shows should be a lot of fun. It is especially appropriate right around Thanksgiving. We hope to see you there!

Ok, now that the commercial is over, let me tell you how things are for us. This group, in order to keep costs to a minimum, requires parents to have an active role in each of the productions that their kids are involved in. We have previously been involved in the Green Room and make-up. This time out has been a most stretching experience for us. Somehow, we ended up on the tech committee. I don't even understand the language let alone the equipment. Normally, tech sets up and mans the lighting, sound, and special effects. When I look at one of those sound boards with its 500 to a thousand or more buttons, switches and dials, I get nauseous. This time was no exception. I am so out of my comfort zone that I can't adequately describe it to you. It might not have been that bad, but somehow in all of the confusion, it turned out that only one person on our crew had ever had even limited experience with this stuff. This is a definate recipe for disaster. Fortunately for the kids and the show, they re-assigned the sound board to someone who had at least some limited knowledge. Try to imagine how thankful I am for that! My next anxiety attack came when they asked us to rig the kids with wireless mics. Oh my Goodness! What a fiasco! Somehow we have survived the last two nights but I wouldn't want suggest that it was anything close to smooth.

Fast forward two days.

Here it is Thanksgiving day and among the things that I am most thankful for is that the last three days is over! I am thankful that we all got canned from working the sound board as I mentioned previously. Ok. That may be a little tongue in cheek. I am sorry that I am not nor will probably ever be functional with modern sound equipment. Whatever. Let's move on to the present and the future.

Today instead of resting up for what could turn out to be another scarey day tomorrow, I started to approach some of the smaller projects that Debbie has lined up for me for our own show at Monticello next week. I rewired a cool wall clock

and also a chandelier.

I don't know how we're going to get all of this stuff done. We move in on Monday. There are still mountains of projects to attend to. (Wow, I think I'm loosing my grip. I have hung at least two prepositons out at the end of a sentence in this post alone.)

Let me get to dinner today. I started sometime around 11:00am and we ate sometime around 3:00 or so. There was a lovely turkey, mashed potatoes (thanks Jon), and gravy, asparagus with hollandaise, baked yams,

and a delightful cherry pie with a whipped cream chaser created by my lovely bride.

And now my friends, I've got to get some rest!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What is the Weirdest Thing You Ever Ate?

The other night I was at a social function related to my wife's job as a teacher's aide. They played a little game where we were supposed to answer a number of questions about ourselves. At the time I was afraid that I would have to address the whole room with my answers so I held back a little. As it turned out I only had to share with those at my table. Oh well.

Anyway, I have eaten a few items that are not likely to be on just everybody's list. I've had moose tongue, deer testicles, and snails. I've eaten rabbits and squirrels, even a camprobber jaybird once and maybe even the odd bug that made it down my throat before I gagged.

What's weirder than that you ask? Well, let me tell you about what I think is actually the weirdest thing that I ever ate on purpose.

Sometime back in the early 1980's I spent a little time in Europe. Sometime during that period I met a couple of kids from Sweden and they invited me to come visit their home. They happened to live in Lulea, Sweden which is very near the top of the Baltic Sea. I hopped a train from Paris to Lulea. It was a long trip but after a couple of days I arrived and enjoyed a few memorable days with my new friends. They chose to offer me the opportunity to experience a traditional Swedish dish. It is called Surströmming in Swedish but in English it would be called Sour Herring. You may read about it at Wikipedia or here ,a rather entertaining web page which I discovered as I was preparing this piece. I borrowed the picture from that last web page.

The brand that I ate may not have been the same but the can was bulging to a similar degree as I recall. In fact, they told me to take the can down to the lake and open it under water so that the contents wouldn't squirt out and taint everything within three or four yards with the foul odor of the fish. Let me just tell you right now that most people I know would never even consider putting anything that smelled like this stuff in their mouth. They wouldn't have even remained in the same room! Normally, one would believe, with good cause, that anything looking and smelling like this stuff was certainly poisonous. I mean it came in a can that was bulging! Doesn't that just scream toxic? It totally smelled worse that any road killed dog that you ever had the misfortune of walking past. Let me tell you right now, without exageration, that I still tasted it in my mouth two days later. I don't know how it ever would have possibly become a tradional delicacy anywhere. Who was the first person to ever put it in their mouth? That is a question far beyond my limited ability to reason.

There you are. That is absolutely the weirdest thing I ever ate. How about you?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Go And Do The Right Thing!

Ok, I just finished watching the Scott Boxell memorial service online. You know something? I really didn't know that kid but I know his dad and I would recognize his mother and also his older brother. I am not really that close to any of them other than I work with his father. Now for those of you who don't know, Scott fatally injured himself two Thursdays ago. It is so hard to understand what kind of internal pain could bring one to that end especially when by all accounts, he was a believer in the Giver Of Life and had accepted the free offer of eternal life with the Creator through the sacrifice offered by Jesus the only truly innocent man who, in fact, also was God incarnate.

I know that there was some sort of physical ailment that had bewildered his physicians and had apparently affected his sleep patterns and he had apparently come to the end of his ability to bare the physical/emotional/mental pain. Those of us who weren't walking in his shoes can't really imagine what he was going through so there is no point in pretending or second guessing his situation.

Here is what I know and it is upon this which I wish to comment. There were approximately 700 people attending the memorial service. Let's admit that a certain number of them were there to support the family who remained. There still had to be a large number of people there just because of the effect Scott Boxell had on their life.

Always take the time to tell the people around you that you love them and that they make a difference in your life. Don't let an opportunity go by to make someone feel loved and appreciated.

Have you seen the bumper sticker that says something to the affect that you should practice random acts of kindness? WELL DO IT! It will probably make a difference in someone's life and will certainly make a difference in yours. It will never hurt in the long run to make someone else's life better.

Just think. How would you feel if you found out that just by offering a friendly word to a friend or stranger you kept them from mistakenly ending their life prematurely? Think about it and as Dr. Laura would say, "Go and Do The Right Thing!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here's a Riddle For You!

How can a pair of blood siblings who share the exact same mother and father, be the same number of years old and not be twins? Hmm. Think about that while you read this post.

Man! This has been a very busy period in our lives and there is no reason to believe there is relief coming any time soon! We have sooo many projects in various stages of completion. The goal is to have everything done for the Christmas Show at Monticello Antique Marketplace which starts December 4. Here is one that is finally just about completed.

The first couple of weeks here it was in our drive way. It is now in the dining room. That seems to be the system around here. First the driveway, next the dining room. We really need more room in this house. Fortunately, Debbie and I are on basically the same page and we have discovered that we can live amongst the projects. This cabinet was a total mess when we first brought it home. Over the course of time that I've spent with this one I've learned to hate it. Now that it is nearly complete, my feelings have tempered to a mild dislike.

It will be great when it is out of here and for sale at the store. Oh My Goodness! The stress is starting to set in with force! We bought another kind of cool cabinet at The Rebuilding Center. It required a certain amount of my kind of attention and tonight I made a critical mistake while attending to its needs. Aieee! I need to just take a deep breath and not expect more than my best from myself. That is soooo hard. After my little error, I decided to knock off for the night and come inside and make dinner.

Yesterday, Jonathan requested Chicken Cordon Bleu. No worries I thought. I can do that! You know what? I was right. I did it and it was great. Again, as oft is the case with me, it took a little longer than I anticipated but in the end, it worked out just fine. Here is what we had for dinner.


Ok, let's get back to the riddle. This situation actually happened in my own family growing up. I was the oldest of four siblings. My younger brother, Mark, was born a year and a half later. The next to arrive was Dave a little over a year later. My sister was born 11 months and about three weeks later. So what happens each year is that she and my brother Dave are the same age for one week. Interesting eh? Tomorrow is her birthday and once again,for a week, she and Dave will be the same age.

Happy Birthday, Sis!