It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Titles Are Important But Occasionally Difficult

If I thought my lap top was becoming only a blog tool, I certainly do not think so any more.

It was very nice of Rebecca to have loaned me her lap top yesterday until we get together for gathering tonight. But I sure as heck hope that my lt comes back with all my stuff on it, soon.

But most likely it won't be returned until November fourth, a coincidence?, I think not. That would be two weeks after Dirt sent it in, which is what we were told to expect, or at least what Dirt told me he was told. And it would so serve me right as I am certain I was beginning to become way too involved in the political season. I am also on a strict news diet, just enough to keep me informed.

Some messages are not to hard to figure out. I'm not saying that a person ought not to care, I would never say that I still believe whole heartedly that you must be engaged in the life around you. But one must respond to what they are called to, and I know I was not called to politics, either directly or indirectly. To be an aware citizen, most certainly, but you dear reader were not exposed to even a fraction of what was swirling in my head, and that would definitely go well beyond being aware. Any who, lest I get carried away I will now stop talking. Besides my ballot is nearly all filled out and ready to mail.

I miss my lt, as I said above, I hope I get it back with my stuff on it.

But even if it is erased and all I get back is what I started with in April, oh well, I have lost many a yellow note pad in the middle of what I thought was a stellar thought about God, or a phenomenal organizational breakthrough and out there somewhere float many many note pads with vital ideas about my garden.

So it will not be the first time I have lost writings and ideas and heck even pictures, but I will say it is hard to live without the new "yellow pad" in my life. Yeah, I have written, ink and paper written, a few things, but it just doesn't seem the same.

And I must say that I have noticed that my handwriting has improved since I last wrote a lot by hand. Odd isn't it? I would have thought it would be the other way around. So much for, the more you do it the better you get.

Oh, by the way some of the mistakes in my last post have been corrected, so in case you were wondering if I was slipping into relativism I have corrected the glaring mistakes I saw.

Sunday's Lutefest was terrific, made all that much more terrific with the addition of some new faces at our celebration of the true European discoverer of North America.

There is a lot going on and little time to tell you all of it. Terry gave me another book by Tozer, we're wrapping up Foster's Celebration of Discipline (or are we), my tulip and hyacinth bulbs arrived, Terry and I switched to a later work out time and really getting to it, which reminds me of my abandoned Sheet Diet, the girls are getting ready for a gaming show on Saturday, Ivan and Holly's first public outing, Dirt's birthday on Saturday, our good friend's anniversary to celebrate, tricks for treats to get ready for, more apples to squish into various luscious concoctions, more beds to bury under mulchiness and plants to fuss over, a sewing room to clean out, an office to organize, notes for a book to find, not to mention all that has already happened in the last few days and tons of pictures, is your head spinning? because mine sure is.

The Tozer book alone is quite sufficient. I am struggling reading it. I don't make it very far before I have to drop it and just let my mind and heart sit. Thanks Terry!

Meditating on Jude. Reading Philippians.

I can't post all that I have read and thought but I would love to leave you with one quote from

The Pursuit of Man, by Tozer:

"Without doubt we have suffered the loss of many spiritual treasures because we have let slip the simple truth that the miracle of the perpetuation of life is in God. God did not create life and toss it from Him like some petulant artist disappointed with his work. All life is in Him and out of Him, flowing from Him and returning to Him again, a moving indivisible sea of which He is the Fountainhead. That eternal life which was with the Father is now the possession of believing men, and that life is not God's gift only, but His very self."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Belated Post

It was quite possibly the Lutefiskiest time we have had so far. Last year the groaning board groaned a little harder than it did this year. For some reason we just couldn't get to all the geletiny things that Bet and I did last year. And I believe that I had more pickley things and of course the korv was missing this time.
Mike said that the food was more normal. Which I must reply to by saying that there was plenty of normal food last year he must have just been to frightened of all the other things to see it. Or, as the years go by this stuff gets more and more normal

We are sorry that some of our friends could not make it for a little giggly jiggly fish and yummy things.

But we are very glad that some friends took us up on our bloggy invitation and a chance to get in touch with their heritage!

The Vick family looks forward to this time of year, a time to highlight our Scandinavian heritage. How ever it turns out.
No cider was pressed and no canoes were converted to Viking boats, but in good Viking pillage and plunder manner many of the celebrants went out and shot up a lot of ammo and killed a few plastic bottles.
No on with the rest of the season!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update -

Now it is the next morning, I've come into town early, had to use Rebecca's computer to make an Azure Standard order. Just a little something I forgot to do when she had her lap top at my house for Thursday night dinner with her and Mike along with the promise to deactivate comment moderation. But now both are done and before I dash off to pick up Lutefisk and Korv here is a little update.

I just talked to Dirt who has arranged for the healing of my lap top. I fried the Mother Board. I killed my brain's mom! Man that just sounds wrong. But anyway Costco is sending a box and we are to put my lap top in said box, send it back to them, then in fourteen days I get my lap top back. Yes, fourteen days. That is why this post is written in blue... ink?

I'll whine, I'll cry, I'll.. I'll.... I'll buck up. I'll have a terrific weekend with family and friends, all wonderful friends. I'll get applesauce canned and gardens prepared for winter, living room floor installed, trim boards painted and put up, maybe even a bathroom remodeled, certainly ten or so books read. Who knows what all I can do, but I won't be writing, blogs or books or notes or organization plans or Christmas lists or....

Oh who the heck am I kidding, unless Dirt wants his ears to bleed from all the words and ideas I would have to dump on him each day I will go back to good old pen and yellow note pad, or sticky notes or backs of envelopes, or.... And then I will spend days putting it all on my newly restored laptop. So as long as I have pen and paper I can't really get all that much done.

I feel that the whole problem is that I did not name my lap top. Already that thought crossed my brain yesterday and then Bee's comment confirmed it. So I will be naming it when it comes back to me, perhaps something to honor my deceased Mother (board, not Bethel Barker).

Something to ponder while I am gone out dear reader.

Genesis 34. Read it slow, read it carefully. Then come back and read the opening lines a few times over.

May the Holy Spirit guide us and lead us today and tomorrow, in every step, in every way. May all of us always have on our hearts the amazing grace of God and the sacrifice of our Messiah. May the incredible joy that comes to us from Our Father, strengthen us to put self aside for others.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Without a Computer!

Well I can't seem to get my computer to turn on. BooHoo. I will change my settings and let you comment freely, so far in my brief blog life I have yet to run into a comment I haven't "published" so what the heck go for it, that way if I can't get to computer for a few days your welcomed comments won't be hanging out in my e-mail.

We went to the Ballard district today to absorb some Scandahoovian culture after the Specialty Bottle and Atomic Boys. Sorry, no pictures, I didn't think I would have access to a computer today and we took the camera but forgot to grab the batteries. A sorta crummy week goes worse. But we're laughing and having fun anyway.

Specialty Bottle is down in the industrial area and is a distributor of smaller special bottles and jars although they do have a gallon and a half gallon jar and the same in juice jugs. But for the most part they have twelve ounce and less various little bottles and jars in cute little shapes. So when we go into the jam, garlic sauce or healing hand lotion business we'll be steady customers. but until then we'll partake of their offerings infrequently. Next door we found Commercial Plastics and oh boy when Dirt's ship comes in my pantry is gonna be too cool. (Hip not cold). They custom make plastic (duh) bins and display stuff.

But over the water and on up the hill to Atomic Boys for some retro candy for Tricks for Treats next Friday. Every once in a while when the kids (and dad and moms) get tired of the grab bag offerings of trick or treating, we do a in home thing we call Tricks for Treats. The families get together and everyone has a few selected special candy offerings and the kids have to go around the room and do silly little puppy tricks in order to get a treat from the adults. So of course some of us love your basic politically incorrect candy, like candy cigarettes. Nothing ghoulish or naughty just cancer causing. Atomic boys also has toys you haven't seen in a while like Tiddly Winks, rubber horseshoes, Gumby and Pokey and too many in my brain to remember. I wasn't there for games, so out the door, in the car, back over to the center of Seattle and on up to Ballard.

Because my computer is fried and I didn't have time to look up specific store's (they were on my now fried computer) address and directions on Rebecca's I just got directions to the general area of Ballard. When we arrived at the intersection that Google maps felt was good enough for Ballard the only sign of life was a nice enough fellow waiting for the light to change so he could cross the street, well I held him up for directions to a Scandinavian shop and he gave us directions to two, in opposite directions. But we had already come so far for a once a year opportunity that we certainly were not dissuaded by opposite directions and so we hit both stores and even more.

But I'll be running into South Tacoma after all because lutefisk in the Ballard district is two bucks a pound more and korv is twice the price of Parkland Meats. So it is good that my computer is fried and I only have time on this one to post this update, because I'll be running into town early tomorrow before gathering and my moments are precious tomorrow.

The Scripture on my mind last night and today is from Ezekiel 36:22-32. Its long and there is much more to it than just what is here. I won't comment too much, but know that this for me is my prayer right now for so many in my life including myself, and the present day Church. I believe that we muddle "being in, not of, the world " in order to reach out with looking so much like the world in order to "speak to them" that they are hardly impressed by the transformation that "Christ in us" is to wrought. I welcome God, nay I beg God, to rend my stony heart from me and give me a new and soft one, that I may shine like one of many thousands and millions of stars in the universe as the word of life is held out in a beautiful beckoning for the Glory of God.

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

" 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!

Have a delightful evening and a terrific prayerful weekend, I am sure I won't be back with the blogging until late next week sometime, if then.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Think on These Things, Philippian 4:8

I'm going out to weed and plant some daff bulbs. I will be meditating on John 4:48. And how it relates to life and a post from way back when.

I will put political goings on out of my mind for the rest of the afternoon.

See you either in the morning or very late tonight dear reader, as we, Dirt and I, are long over due at our Tuesday night dinner at our good friends'.

So off to weed and plant for two full hours and then clean up to go visit with another part of His Body.

Oh and this quote from CH Spurgeon, May 20, 1860

Oh my brethren in Christ! when
our biographies shall come to be written at last, God grant that they may not be
all sayings, but that they may be a history of our sayings and doings! And may
the good Spirit so dwell in us, that at the last it may be seen that our doings
did not clash with our sayings!

Here's Some Mud In Your Eye, Flung By Your Own

Go here now or read what I have to say first.

At least your electorate oughta be smarter than this.

A normal person would be embarrassed that his constituency wasn't any brighter.

The poor old, full of fear, woman at the McCain town hall meeting who was worried about the rumors that the other guy is an Arab, is at least correctable, McCain can gently calm her fears and let her know that he doesn't believe his opponent is an Arab.

But what to you do with muddle headed constituencies that have the issues bass ackwards.

Do you tell them, "No, no the guy you want to vote for clearly doesn't believe the things you do. Change your opinion to meet his,"?

Or do you tell them, "Sorry, in all honesty, if you really feel that way then you better vote for the other guy no matter his color or his party,"?

Who would have thunk it, off of Howard Stern no less?!!

Dirt and I wish to put this disclaimer here: we would never in a million years listen to Howard Stern's radio program thereby hearing this, this You Tube clip was on Sarge's site today and he encouraged his readers to post it, and I agreee that it needs to be heard.

Now I know that none of you dear readers are so careless as to vote for a fellow just because of his race or his political party because over riding guilt dished from the politically correct guardians, but just in case you know of someone who seems to not be thinking clearly this year, here you go, proof that there are those out there who are being duped. You may want to reach out to them and make sure that they know what they are voting for and why. But if they still want to vote for the guy who goes against some of their essentially held beliefs then please dear reader don't criticize them or tell them they are a fool.

Like I told Sarge, puppets for the Grand Puppet.

Oh crumb I gotta go plant some daff bulbs and I have never loaded a You Tube thingy so just go here now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why Is It...

that nothing but rehash happens on the news over the weekend but then on Monday we have to recap all that went on over the weekend that we didn't know about? I'm confused.

Now I would like to breifly address the rehash that I was going to address last evening.

Oh, if you are just here for my POW it is the next post down.

I think it is hilarious that it is called mud when it is thrown, but truth or an "issue" when it is thrown the other way. And it is expected that people are going to believe there is a difference! And they do!

Look, why is it that you can basically call someone a fool and out of touch for their econmic plan but someone can't call you foolish and out of touch for who you have picked to help you launch your polital career?

Look, why does the media or my fellow citizen with a microphone in his face get to tell me what my issue is? My issue is who is a puppet and for whom?

I have looked into it and I have come to the conclusion that Obama doesn't mind using people because he allows people to use him. And I will continue to call for people to look into it. Look into who has propped him up. Ask why he thinks it is okay to launch his political career in a certain man's living room. I, personally, think it is very important as to who is backing you. It is what the whole out in the open party system is all about.

But even with what we are being told are real issues, candidate's approach to economics or defense plans, people approach it in several different ways. One is being willing only to listen and not self investigate, another is to engage in and think out the implications, this of course requires that "issues" be talked about by both sides. From there springs different political decision making approaches: the "conversation" can be taken by the citizens as a prompting to do our own research; or we can listen and make our decision on what we hear in ads or speeches; or we can plug our ears and say that it is all just to hard to figure out and both sides lie about things anyway and so toss a coin or vote for who ever is sexiest (ala Barbra Walters and the View).

We all get to decide for ourselves what type of citizen we are going to be. And because of free speech, I and others can try to influence you not only for the side we pick but for the way we pick them.

As far as the heat in the kitchen....

Oh, and you can dish anything you want to about my pick and why, just be ready for my comeback or my silence, because maybe I think your words will hang themselves.

On civility? Come on folks, it is a fight. It's a contest for the biggest job in America, and you want it to be all kissy kissy? If some guy can't slug it out with a fellow American then how can I expect him to slug it out with countries that would love to see our demise?

But remember after all is said and done and even during the slugfest, America is what it is we are fighting for. It may not be the most important thing in my life (it isn't even in the top 5) but it is what "this" is all about. And heck it only last for a couple of months out of forty-eight.

Yes, I am a fighter and I am a Christian, and so far I don't see that they are mutually exclusive. But even on that, you are welcome to express yourself, feel free to call me a crappy Christian because I am involved in the political discussion and I'm scrappy. But for me, that will be a yap for another day, I have plants to winterize today and a lute-fest to prepare for.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh, What The Heck

Hey I had a railing post about political mish mash and people's mamby pamby reactions to some well placed punches and return punches. But as I was searching for a nice way to say some of the things I wanted to get across I noticed I had an out. Jeff from A Word In Edge Wise posted the call for the POW challenge. I would love for you to easily see the pictures that he gives for our challenge without you having to bounce around between here and there, but you'll have to because I do not have the time to figure out how to get the pics here. Besides you'll get to read other stories if you go over there, it won't take long will it?. (ooh didn't mean to sound snarky, it's just that I am sitting out on my back porch concrete steps at midnight because my puppy is too full of something to come into bed yet, and patient Dirt wasn't so stinking patient with her or I . I will try to have the pic thing figure out next time. I'm not real bright, but I can lift heavy objects you know.) Oh doggy theres a coyote in the pasture. gotta go get dirt.

Please go see the pics, it will explain why I am writing fiction about things I know nothing about. I love how this just goes against creative writing class 101 rules. Who likes to break rules (unimportant non-life and/or soul threatening rules) more than me? I have also posted this story over at my other blog reserved for my big fat writing projects but nothing else is there besides the first POW challenge. But soon there will be stuff for my non-fiction writing (okay Stephie, "book") as the Friday gathering is pressing Dirt and I to get on with it. They have gotten demanding. And my second chapter of For Elise is coming together. Anyway enough staling, here you go:

Tea Time

"My stomach is growling," I said to no one in particular.

"Oh Ted," whined Marsha, "Can you ever stop thinking of food?"

"Look, you Americans have a ridiculous habit of putting all your food into a couple of meals. You eat enough to feed an army in one sitting."

"That's mean."

"No, that's incredibly unhealthy. Coffee does not make a meal. It's gross how you live on it all day and then pack away a family sized platter of pasta," I rambled as I packed my cameras into my fanny pack as I was thinking, "Thank goodness that whole fanny pack thing still lives on for old bald guys."

"You just had lunch!" Thane squealed from his swivel chair by the recorder.

I shook my head thinking, "He really shouldn't try to talk with the headphones on, why can he hear our conversation but he can't hear how stupid his voice sounds."

I continued to load my pack and pockets. We really needed to get this right this time. I'm sick of spending time in this rust bucket van with these two Philistines. This assignment is just one more reason I resent having come to the States. Oh, what a guy won't do for his kids.

Marsha was getting her boots on, what a doll; spiky heels, hot body, fantastic face, and incredible hair she flips around. One more proof that culture has nothing to do with how you look. Civilized? This woman is a mess. She can speak well but can't say a thing. Her taste for fashion is impeccable but her taste in men and friends, now that is sad. What a mess.

And Thane? What another giant mess. He thinks that getting ahead in the department has more to do with the cool clothes he can wear instead of the work he turns in. Like someone is impressed with his Helmut Lang when he can't even get the dang equipment to work right so we don't look like boobs. Who pays two-forty for jeans anyway? Who is stupid enough to do that? Must be nice having momma pay all your real bills.

"Okay, I'm out of here, are you ready Marsha? We need to get this done so I can have a decent tea time today. We have one hour."

"If you two would listen to me then we will be fine," Thane quipped.

"You know Thane, how about you just make sure you have the stupid knobs pointing in the right direction so I can hear you," Marsha fought back, always making sure that proper blame be continually reinforced.

"Come on Marsha, he'll be okay, he wants this as much as we do."

"I'm not so sure," she barked as she leapt from the box van.

She headed off in the direction of the jewelry store as I dawdled behind, disconnecting ourselves. Watching her through the window work the slick salesman I wonder again why her personal life is such a bloody mess. I shake my head in a sick sense of amusement as I push the door open. I get the I'll help you in a moment nod from the salesman. Give me a break what self respecting salesman would ditch an obvious sale to help the likes of me.

"Oh, go help that nice man. I'll just look at these for a while, don't mind me." Marsha was good, so nonchalant, so easy. But tea time awaits, lets hit it.

The salesman crossed the showroom floor over to me. And I gave him my best pitch for taking a look at my hot rocks. I got him comfortable and willing to look at the stuff before I pull them out making sure to be very guarded against the door and the shopper, Marsha.

He takes the bait. He verbally acknowledges that he understands they are hot, he goes behind to the till and pulls out my asking price. Thane is catching all of this and encouraging Marsha to be ready to move. The trade takes place, the camera records the transaction, Marsha's gun is in his face. And back up is through the front door. It all goes so smooth like it is supposed to go all the time, our skill is back.

Cuffs and statements and the backroom begins to be emptied out of evidence. A good afternoon is done and just in time for tea before I black out.

"Marsha, you want to join me for a respectable meal?"

"Sure," as she grabs her bag and I dump my fanny packs and old man gear into the back of the car parked behind the rust bucket that I hope we won't see for a while.

Busy Days - So Busy I Almost Forgot I Had This to Post

God is good.

Daily the economic doom and gloom continues to try to break down spirits here at Vicktory Farm and Gardens, but the head of this household is not shaken so neither are those who trail behind his lead.

We are always secure because our security rests in Christ.

But we most certainly do not sit on our couch and wait for God to hand feed us, open our heads to teach us, entertain us on our bums.

We continue in our determination to listen to the Holy Spirit's leading in everything, everything. Sometimes we hear correctly and sometimes we need to start again and listen better, way better. It helps when we step out of the way.

Yesterday Dirt slaughtered another lamb, I'll spare you pictures dear reader, just in case it is a sensitive day for you.

Nah, you got it right I was too busy with my things yesterday to catch any of it, in all honesty dear reader, I wouldn't wish to spare you a good slice of reality.

Mike Erickson wasn't called because it was just lamb for our freezer not for any customers. After Dirt slaughtered it he hung it in one of our spare refrigerators for twenty four hours.

Unlike beef that needs to hang and age, lamb just needs to hang to chill. It is way easier to cut when it is chilled, firm up in other words. One good reason, among a few, as to why Fall it a good time to harvest meat.

So today is cut and wrap day for Dirt and Anna:

Last time we cut and wrapped the wind was blowing so hard it blew leaves into the garage. This time the saw comes into the house. What could be better, slightly warmer, no wind and the football game on the TV?

Dirt, or shall we call him by his proper name while he is handling food product, Phil, is cutting up the coveted lamb chops.

Ah and the ribs we have come to really appreciate. Done just right, they are delectable little items. And not worthy to be banished to the Irish Stew pot.

See you tomorrow when I tell you all about my preparing my flowers for over winter for next year and hopefully saving a bundle and still having a pretty yard.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birth Announcement!

Make sure you note the change for Leif Erickson day! (look to the left, look to the left)

Elisabeth has a blog of her own
She is my gentle girl with a fairly soft spirit, she may cry over the suffering of something but can off another just as easy. (She is by no means perfect, unless you get and can up hold the whole passive aggressive thing.) Elisabeth (ee-leese-a-bet), my one try at an unconventional name. Lets just call her Bet.

So, if you will allow me, I'm going to brag about her for a minute or two and I sure hope that no one feels ill will toward me or my intentions for bragging about one of my girls. If the other ones would bring me gifts of chocolate or other delights, I will brag about them. (Coffee doesn't count that just keeps your mother out of the local papers and off the AP wire.)

When Bet was little she liked to have funerals. She had a black dress-up dress that she would put on when she needed to hold a funeral. The key however was that it needed to be raining. So if some animal happened to pass away here at the farm on a sunny day it would get buried but the funeral would have to wait until it rained. Fortunately, because we live in the PNW, nothing had to wait long for its proper send off.

She soon learned that she could hold better services if she chose wisely those she invited to attend. Often she couldn't trust any one's seriousness (no one else kept black clothes around for occasions such as this) so she was frequently seen by herself.

If it was a particularly good day for mourning and no one had popped off recently, she would just have a funeral remix. It was one such day that her father spotted her on the other side of the pond walking solemnly under her umbrella.

"Hey, olden days girl!" he called out. Of course had he looked close enough he would have realized that this was not a olden days scenario but a funeral remix opportunity.

Not a word was spoken from the far side of the pond but the umbrella slipped from her shoulder so as to block the view of the house and her father. He received the message loud and clear.

That adorable imaginative girl has most certainly turned out to be a terrific young woman. One among four that I'd be happy to hang out with for the rest of my days and watch old movies with especially John Wayne ones and some new movies like Open Range and throw rotten tomatoes at nonsense like Napoleon Dynamite and She's the Man, but like any other good mother, I am schizophrenic and watch the latter with other daughters. (I am on the search for a movie that will make EBet cry, so far I have been unsuccessful. Blossoms in the Dust didn't even do it nor did How Green is My Valley. Sensitive but not emotional?)

She quietly absorbs all that goes on around her and unlike her mother doesn't necessarily find the need to speak out about everything that comes across her plate and smells foul. But when she does it is usually priceless.

I think you may find her blog delightful. I hope that she soon gets into the swing of things and posts often.

I would love to continue to tell you how imaginative, talented, and faithful she is but I will let you discover all that yourself as you get to know her better from her blog,
Paddle In The Pond.

Change the Date

Leif Erickson Day
at the Vicks
has been moved to Sunday
October 19th
See you tomorrow when I may be
up to posting a real post.
Yes, I am a posting whimp.
So sue me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Living On The West Coast Rocks

Dirt's Lutefisk, It Was Love At First Bite

I loved that he said "You don't have to eat it if you don't like it, but you should definitely try it," with a smile on his face and a steely gaze bearing down on me.

I knew then that this was the man I needed to marry, he would make my children try foods that stared back at them with a daring glare from their plates. And my children would come to love some foods that other people assume that no one should eat. Oatmeal, beets, turnips, hash, herring, peas, just to name a few

The scene was the first Christmas Eve dinner that I had with Dirt. We had just met in November and he had invited me to his family's celebration of Christmas which happened to be at the mansion, complete with hidden hallways for the servants, that his grandmother was taking care of while the family was off in Puerto Rico for the Holidays. Dirt's Grandma Alma came from Sweden when she was sixteen, she came to be a cook and maid for a wealthy lumber family in Kapowsin, Washington. Shortly after she arrived here the family died and she was without support, without a job, without protection.

But wait, this wasn't supposed to be the serious post about Dirt's heritage but the humorous side of my introduction to the food that caused me to propose to Dirt but one that I try to avoid at all cost. Personally that is.

Here I was, late for Christmas Eve dinner because as a nursing student working at the hospital I worked Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I finally make it to a house that you cannot see from the street because it sits on at least an acre of land fronted by a lake, a lake that only the wealthy in Pierce County have ever seen, the wealthy and their servants. I walk up to the entrance that I was directed to, I wonder how I managed all of that without getting a blow by blow description of where I was to go while on a cell phone, just amazing, anyway I digress as usual. The entrance lead into the kitchen because it was, yep, you guessed it the servants entrance. So it all looked so normal after the driveway that was so not.

Okay, normal may be a stretch, the kitchen was quite large and it was funny to see a sitting area off of the kitchen, but even funnier to find out that it wasn't for the family but for the servants to hang out in, like a employee lunch room. Then I was ushered into the dinning room where I was told I had a plate of food waiting for me. This dining room was enormous, I swear upon my best brain cells that it was so huge that I can picture the entire downstairs of my present house fitting into that one room. But the grandeur of a dining room so large that a dining room table the likes of which I have only seen in the movies could fit in it and still have more than ample room to move around including a baby grand in the corner, isn't what I want to tell about. I want to tell you about the food on my plate, a plate that I came to look on, and one I now serve up, every Christmas Eve and on even more occasions.

There was a beautiful piece of golden brown chicken, fried to a delightful perfection, there was a lovely mound of mashed potatoes neatly welled and a glistening gravy pooled in that well, both complementing the chicken and sending me into an ecstasy of expectation. Next to the potatoes lay an interesting sausage I am told is Korv. Korv? Sometimes called potato sausage. Now that, I have heard of and I gotta say, for me anything that is made of meat and potatoes served next to yet some more potatoes, that has to be what is served in the waiting line on the way to heaven. But working around my plate almost coming full circle (the vegetable is on a bread and butter plate) I have come upon an unidentifiable mass. Gelatinous in a appearance with a thin, nearly translucent itself, sauce with flecks of green slipping down the sides of the unappetizing heap.

I must have had a look of utter horror on my face and Dirt must have followed my eyes around the plate and recognized where I had stopped in panic. Because that is when he caught my attention and my eyes lifted off the plate and to his face as he, with a smile, spoke sternly, firmly and the gaze was steely and unrelenting as he said, "You don't have to eat it all, if you don't like it, but you should definitely try it."

And it happened to be the first thing I stuck my fork in and the first thing that went into my mouth.

Oh my goodness, if ever a texture matched a look exactly, this was it! If ever a flavor could not even come close to making up for a frightening look and texture, this was it!

But after I ate the beautiful chicken, the smooth and luxurious mashed potatoes and the exciting new discovery of korv, I actually found myself eating all of the lutefisk. How could I not, Dirt was still staring at me! It was a stare of challenge, it was a stare that I knew was entertaining my future. He was the man I could have be the father of my children. Here was a man who could rise to the bar set before him by my very own father, hit the mark of disciplining, keep his children in line, I had never seen the potential of this in any other of the bazillion men I had already met. This was it, the man who with one smiling look could get me to eat this horrid stuff. This stuff that I had heard about from Stan Boreson as a child but because I had no Scandinavian background was at best a myth. But here it was a reality, my present reality, it was horrid as horrid as the songs implied and I was eating it. No child was going to buffalo this man. I was hooked. He had to be mine.

Who knew that the steeling gaze and firm voice would turn into a mushy, "Oh honey, little girl of mine, what do you want?"

Now I have lutefisk eating daddy-bamboozling girls. Who knew that my plans would turn so upside down. Well, lutefisk season is upon me and now I embrace that crazy food, food? Not because I have necessarily come to look forward to the nasty texture or absent flavor or paint removing fragrance that my microwave will emit until February, but I embrace that food because it is what made me see Dirt so differently than any other young man. Because of that food I proposed to him even though I swore I would never ever get married. And even though he told me I could not propose and he was going to make me wait a month before it was spoken of again, I know it was that food that God used to get me here today. What better food for God to use to remove the scales of antagonism toward the beauty of marriage and the rightness of a man, than lutefisk. It all began with Lutefisk!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Annual Things We Never Seem To Do Annually

But some that we do do annually, that is what is on my mind today.

I was just telling a friend that October seems to be a time that the calendar fills up with lots of potential events to attend. This weekend was the date of the local Greek festival, a favorite with us girls, the Farm Fest in our county at several different locations, and a very cool historical happening.

We took advantage of the cool historical reenactment. No pictures though because not only can you not do flash pictures even the digital camera gave off too bright a light. Sure could have brought my old SLR film camera but then you still wouldn't have seen the pictures.

Last night in spite of some of the family getting over a fever and sinus crud and one person just coming down with a fever, the whole family ended up at the Candle Light Tour at Fort Nisqually in Point Defiance Park. In the dark and in the rain. We have gone as a family several times in the past, always meaning to go every year. But each year that we go we add on a new family or new son as the case may be. It is cool.

Fort Nisqually was the site of a Hudson Bay trading post. Here is a paragraph from their web site:

Travel back in time with us and experience life in Washington Territory during the fur trade era. A Hudson's Bay Company outpost built in 1833, Fort Nisqually was the first European settlement on Puget Sound. With a diverse work force of American, English, French Canadian, Hawaiian, Irish, Native American, and Scottish laborers, Fort Nisqually was a bustling center of trade that expanded into a large scale agricultural enterprise.

On the first weekend in October, in the hours of dark, they host a guided tour through the restored fort which for the two nights is filled with people from 1855. Some of them are camped just outside the gate of the fort, they can be seen cooking their dinner, telling stories, disciplining children, making plans for trapping expeditions or what they are going to be picking up in trade. But they are never caught talking to or acknowledging us, even if they trip over us on their way to and fro doing their duties of day to day living.

As we go on into the fort we come into a small house with men gathered around the table and the women are gathered in a side room spinning and looking over sewing. Just outside of this house there was a new addition of a tent covering an area where some people from 1855 were having fun dancing to a fiddle.

Then we go across the yard of the fort to the Black Smith's shop, where two men were working at a forge, shaping a piece of iron work. On into the warehouse to see more 1855ians the on to the store for more conversation between the shopkeeper and a traveler. On to the Factor's house where they are always entertaining someone important and having a beautiful dinner served from the cook house which is out the back side of the house.

We all had great fun and it fit just perfectly into Kai's recent studies he has been doing with Momma Stephanie see We Interupt This... It was the Bowerman's first trip to the Fort (no new sons yet.) We are sorry that some of our other family members and friends from Friday night gathering couldn't make it. Some people believe in staying home when they are sick! Or need to get up early!

Most likely we won't be getting around to any of those other things this weekend some of us just can't get our act together and some are sick. But we are looking forward to our annual (and this time I mean annual) Leif Erickson day.

When I do Leif Erickson day I reserve the right to pick any ol' weekend in October. Our friend who introduced us to and who has hosted many of our first Leif Erickson Days is up at the Harvest Fest this weekend selling her little sheep. She always tries to aim for the weekend of Columbus Day for their family's Leif Erickson Day because some of us of Scandinavian decent and those of us married to the Lutefisk eaters, like to celebrate the real first European explorer of America. Check it out it is true!

We also include a little Irish food to humor those of us who have heritage ties to the Irish monk who was the actual first European to lay eyes on America, but he didn't stick around so he just gets a dish or two.

When our friends first invited us, my husband cooked their Lutefisk for them. My husband is Swedish (more on his grandma and grandpa on a later post) and they are all Norwegian but they had to admit that inviting Dirt was a very good thing because he makes the absolute best Lutefisk they have ever tasted.

I do believe I have the most accurate description of this foreign food (I am the Scotch-Irish, German, Dutch, Dane in the group) as (cover your ears if your sensitive) boiled snot with white sauce. Oh wait you heard that I shoulda told you to cover your eyes! Uh oh my bad.

Anyway we are having a Leif Erickson party on the eighteenth of October (time TBA) but most likely all day! You are all welcome to come just RSVP please as I would hate to run out of Lutefisk. Or meatballs, real fish, fried chicken, potatoes, beets, cabbage dishes, gelatin's of all sorts, pickled herring, lefse, hard tack, rye bread, Swedish dinner rolls, butter, cream sauce, cookies, cakes, coffee just to name a few of the things.

For fun I think we will be designing our canoes over into Viking ships for our not-quite-annual annual Christmas Viking invasion of the Irish settlement. So bring your ideas, I'll have some plywood and if you have some paint bring it too. We'll see if Dale will let us use his canoe too or his row boat but I think the canoes will look slightly more realistic.

But now I am going to bed because I think the girls have infected me. I'm very achy all over. But hey, it was inevitable. I hope in my pre-illness delirium I have not written too long of sentences and used too many commas or not enough out of fear of using too many.

Good night Gracie.

Friday, October 3, 2008

They Just Ate the Mud Sandwich

But it is us that will have indigestion down the road.

I keep hearing that this was a better bill than the one voted on on Monday. How does a 3 paged document get improved by becoming a 450 paged one? It is not from adding clarifying language.

Adding that many words rarely clarifies anything. All those words mean that there are things that are now law that would never have been able to pass on their own or in a smaller, less "critical" bill. Approximately 447 pages of attachments or as Dirt says chyme.

This is insane. In order to "save" our economy we may have just nailed up its coffin.

The DOW is up, the Dow is down, the Dow is up, now it is falling again as I write more paragraphs.

The Dow is much like the people; first we are shocked that homes are foreclosing and cry out that "something must be done." But then the what "must be done" appears to save the wrong doers. So we say "no way, don't you dare bail them out."

We are warned, "Hey things could get a rough, real rough," we are warned and warned and warned.

And we say "we don't care, we are willing to just deal with it!"

Until our 401Ks loose some money and our retirements begin to look a little different than planned. And the local banker warns the local business man that he may not get loans.

Then, just as the "law makers" are heaping, attachment upon attachment to this bill in order to get the votes it needs, we begin to call our representatives, "Oh, we were wrong, we don't want to tough it out, pass the bill, pass it today."

So they do and blame it on their constiuency. The same constiuency that many of them were prepared to ignore.

Hope you liked spending your 2,333.00 bucks per person including children today. Hope it saved your neighbor. Hope it saves the big business that employs your son. Hope it saves the little business that your uncle runs. Hope it helps the poor family down the street. Hope it saves the guy who bought the 1.9 million dollar home on 100% financing. Maybe it will even change the guy's life who begs on the freeway off ramp.

Just thinking....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Say it Ain't So Joe, Say It Ain't So!

You are engaging in double speak I think.

But maybe someone smarter than me, 'cuz I'm just a country woman raising sheep and teaching her girls at home, can straighten me out. I probably don't have a good grasp on how things work.

But I do have a grasp that God has my back and I need not worry. I do believe that God has placed me in this time and space for a reason. And if he can care intimately about me, count the hairs on my head, he can care about the nation I live in. He can desire that I care. Not to put my nation above Him but to be a good steward of the nation he has placed me in. He has given me an easy job, being a good steward of the nation I am in is easy, because that nation desires that I participate in its care, it is written in the constiution that I participate and care deeply about where it has come from, its fundamentals, and where it is going. So with that, with absence of fear and worry I come again to discuss an important topic, not as important a topic as the salvation of your soul or mine but more important than whether we eat Chinese or Italian tonight, that's for sure.

I have quotes in my post. They are only as accurate as I can get them from the speakers in my living room on about three play throughs. The are not official transcripts okayed by the people I quote. They are done with care but I don't think that makes them perfect.

I was impressed with the debate tonight, Sarah Palin is a galvanizer.

I have said many times that, this ol' democrat was totally ready to vote for John McCain. I said so, for among many reasons, because I saw him as a galvanizer, and so is his partner.

I find the opponent to be luller. I do not care to see our strong vital nation, that ought to rise up to show herself and other nations to be a strong, beautiful, free place on earth, to be lulled into complacency until our freedoms are gone.

But to Joe's double speak. Let's go tonight to the foreign policy portion.

Madame Moderator asks about Biden's history as an interventionist in Bosnia, Kosavo, initially in Iraq and in Pakastan and now in Darfur, putting boots on the ground. She asks,"Is this something the American public has the stomach for?"

"I think the American public has the stomach for success. My recommendations on Bosnia, I admit I was the first one who recomended it, they saved tens of thousands of lives and initially John McCain opposed it along with a lot of other people.

The end result was it worked. Look what we did in Bosnia, we took Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks, being told by everyone, I was told by everyone, that this would mean that they had been fighting and killing each other a thousand years it would never work, there a relatively stable government there now, as there is in Kosavo.

He then goes on to say that he didn't think that the war in Iraq was a good thing, that he warned that we would be there for a decade it would cost us tens of billions of dollars and indicated that McCain was glib about our ability to succeed. Then he leeps to:

"I don't have the stomach for genocide when it comes to Darfur." Because you had a stomach for the mass murders Sadam committed on his own people?

He claims, "We can lead NATO if we are willing to take a hard stand." What, like the hard stand Bush took about Iraq that enabled Bush to lead you and Obama?

"We should rally the world to act and we should demonstrate it by our own movement to provide the helicopters to get those twenty-onethousand forces of the African Union in there to stop this genocide." Own movement?

After Palin agrees with him and expains how she has called for divestment of moneys that could be tied up in Sudan and how she abhors the atrocities etc.

Madame Moderator "Is there a line that should be drawn about when we should go in?"

Biden: "The line that should be drawn is whether or not we, A, first of all have the capacity to do anything about, number one. Number two, there are certain new lines that have to be drawn internationally... when a country engages in genocide, when a country engages in harboring people who are killing our people terrorists and they will do nothing about it, that in fact at that point....that county in my veiw and in Barak's view forfiets their right to say, 'you have no right to intervene at all.' "

Right after all that and some more telling how right he was for resisting the Iraq war that was wrong from the outset Madame Moderator says that one of the biggest cliches about the vice presidency is that it is one heart beat away from the presidency how would they with their disagreements from their principles how would there administration be different from there principles administrations. (We all know that they can't possible answer this as Gwen has asked it, that would be suicide, no homicide for their ticket. but it was a fun question and certainly a way for the two candidates to talk about what ever they wanted to)

"God forbid that that would ever happen
it would be a national tragedy of historic perportions"

Here is the clincer:

"A foriegn policy that ends this war in Iraq.... A policy that in fact would engage our allies in making sure that we knew we're acting on the same page and not dictating. A policy that would reject the Bush doctrine of preemption and regime change and replace it with a doctrine of prevention and cooperation."

What happened to the line drawn and not having a stomach for genocide? Haven't we really always, with every president, used first the doctrine of prevention and cooperation? When you talk about not having a stomach for something don't you have to back that up with a firm stance? And what is a firm stance if it isn't a firm stance?

Some other things that bothered me? Aside from him misrepresenting something Obama said in, was adamant about in the first Presidential debate that I just don't have the stanima to go back over and find so I will leave it for another post, aside from that, well here are a few.

Gaffe-less they say. Oh please, come on shouldn't a history major, lawyer, senator of thirty-five years know that the Executive branch is outlined, defined by the second article not the first. The first defines the branch of government that Biden has served in for thirty-five years.

He was way more emotional during the whole evening. I sure hope that the fact that she hung in there was quick witted, the whole pointing backward thing, had good yet simple answers and where he got emotional and often red faced, certainly red nosed (at least on my new fancy TV) shows the nay sayers that she is very capable and should not be an issue .

I loved Govenor Palin's retort to Biden's telling of Barack's plan for the war in Iraq including a definate time line. She collected her composure and slowly answered, "Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq. And that is not what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure and that is not what our country needs to count on. We'll know when we are finished in Iraq when the Iraqi govenment can govern its people and the Iraqi security forces can secure its people and our commanders on the ground will tell us when those conditions are met." She then went on to commend Biden for his support of McCains Iraq policy until he became the VP pick with sweetness and smiles and sincerty she complements him the honor that she says he has shown our military. Then she changes her demeanor says, "Barak Obama though, another story there. Anyone I think who can cut off funding for the troops after promising not to, that's another story," with firmness in her jaw and eyes locked on the camera.

We need galvanizers.

But I have stayed up way to late. Tomorrow will be a very good day. God Bless and Good night (or morning)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Fun Farm Post You're Looking For Is Below This One

You know I've said in a post just prior to this that I'm no economist. And, I'm not a home owner. So there are somethings I don't understand, maybe you could explain them to me.

If the stock market is often volatile, up, down, up, down, up, down, then how come we put money that we depend on, ought not to gamble with, into it?

Dave Ramesy said the other day that "You only get hurt on a roller coaster if you jump off!" That's what I always thought, that while the stock market in the long haul may be profitable, it still is a gamble and painful when you loose. So what happens when it is time for you to get off but the roller coaster is careening to a plunge?

Just wondering.

And I thought that the whole sub prime thing was so that folk who can't afford a home could get into a home. You know 'cuz us renters make crappy citizens and if we would just get into a mortgage then we too would be a good citizen like the rest of yooz.

'Cept last night I watched a show that had two people caught in the current problem.

One couple are now stuck with a house they really can't afford, interesting it wasn't about building into a neighborhood that they were going to become "citizens" in. They bought, to remodel and sell, a 5600 sq ft house for 1.2 million, remodels took another .5 million, but when it was time to sell they set their price and dropped it and dropped it, and finally when they couldn't sell at 1.99 million they took it off the market.

The other guy bought a house on speculation, is that a spec house? Any way, he got it, a 1.3 million dollar house, on 100% financing - man that sure doesn't rhyme with all those home economics and business classes I took in the seventies - but any who, he defaulted. Then the bank had to try and sell this house and they could only get 900,000.00 for it. Let's see, cuz two entities were stupid and too driven for their common sense, the bank lost 400,000 in just one sub prime home (did I say home?) deal.

You know if this "bail everybody out" just was bailing the duped first time home owner (isn't that why they say they were doing it) who got talked into getting in over their heads because some political activists have to prove something, then maybe just maybe I could understand, I wouldn't be happy, but maybe I could see it.

But all this other stuff is poo, dung, splatter. Isn't it?

I believe that it would be possible to recover from this. I am not convinced we couldn't recover if we just let the scoundrels drown.

I'm not convinced that the stock market would take a dive, not one that would last anyway. I'm not convinced that this society wouldn't be better in the long run if we had to take our belts up a bit.

We need to learn to live within our means, our means not our dreams. Dreams are fine to live toward but not in.

Learn to take care of the people who need help in a non-oppressing, non-abusive for political reasons, manner.

Hey and if we had to do that, then maybe the Brits won't need to tell Congress to make us live on meat and milk rations.

Yes, it is true, now the global warming people have decided that we can only eat 4 portions of meat a week.

This is just crazy talk. All of this is just crazy. I just want normal hard work, to drop into bed dead dog tired, but fulfilled, and I want it for everyone that is up for it. (I'm willing to take care of the too handicapped, too young or too old folks without families)

"Let's go cut some wood, stack some hay, weed a garden,"

"bake from scratch, make soup, walk to the neighbors, use up our scraps..."

"Recover without bail out"