Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tea, Death, Knitting, Weddings...

Yeah, I know. What???

It's just kind of the order in which I think things will go in today's entry.


So on a normal day, I usually drink about 4 cups of tea. Two are "real" and the others are decaf or herbal.

Today, I'm going with one extra "leaded" cup, but I'm using a tea that Hubby brought home from a recent trip to MT.  Apparently, Montana having more elk than people, he actually KNOWS the gal who has the shop that creates this tea. He also bought some coffee from her. 

Normally, I like my green tea "straight" - maybe iced, but usually just hot is fine. However, I'm craving sweets today, and this tea has hit the spot.

It's loose leaf, and I did a double brewing. So the first cup actually was full-caf, and the second was way less. 

This is truly a "dessert" kinda tea. I mean, it tastes like an Almond Joy bar, minus the chocolate. I'm enjoying it. I don't think I'd do this iced - too cloying. But hot is nice.

Especially since today is grey and damp; nothing iced today. Except my salad this noon.

Speaking of salad, NOTE TO SELF: When you go to dismember an avocado, don't use the cheap-o knife!! I went to the grocery store a while back and needed a sharper knife than the one I had. And I should've just spent the extra few bucks. 

I have a sliced thumb, but it's nothing serious. Annoying, yes. Stupid, yep. But really - I'll live. 

Good knives save lives!!


I subscribe to The Sun magazine. It's lovely, a compilation of essays, articles, poetry and photographs. Kind of an expanded Atlantic without the snootiness. 

Katy Butler was interviewed, and she's got a new book out: "Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death." It's not at all morbid. It's about "That Conversation" that everyone should have. In several versions, actually -- because it truly does matter where you are on the age spectrum, and illness spectrum.

My family is pretty much "shoot me now" -- we don't want a lot of intervention. I've seen death, and I remember the line in the Irene Dunn movie, "I Remember Mamma" where she tells Kristina, "I want you should look on death so you are not afraid."

Well, I'm not jazzed. Slightly scared, but hey - by this time in my life, I've lost a parent, 2 friends, more than several acquaintances, all the grandparents, the great-grandparents, my father-in-law, and a sibling. That doesn't count a rash of great-aunts and a few cousins. Believe me, wakes were social events when I was a kid. I was lucky enough to have great-grandparents till I was in my teens, as did our boys. 

That doesn't mean I'm happy with my own mortality. Frankly, many days, it scares the crap out of me. 

But we've all had "The Conversation." My own kids have even had their own versions of that talk with us. 

Butler's book and interview in the magazine center around our country's cultural aversion to death and she specifically talks about her father's death, then her mothers, which was vastly different, mostly due to what happened with her dad.

It's a romantic, Hollywood idea to have a "peaceful death at home." It's not like it is in the movies. It's scary, overwhelming and sometimes harsh. 

But it's worse if you don't have The Conversation with your family. My sister, a former ICU nurse, has seen that side of it. She's encouraged all of us to talk about it, because she's seen the way most families are confronted by death, and it's not good. 

Yes, I have my funeral planned. Don't have a plot yet, but it's likely I'll go with cremation anyway and have the kids scatter my ashes. They're boys - they're not gonna want to haul around an urn. And I'm claustrophobic - don't necessarily want to be stuck in a cranny on a wall... (work with me here...). Though the columbarium of our church is a nice alternative. Either way, none of us is much on "grave visiting" so it won't matter whether I'm in a church or scattered along the banks of Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park. Nobody's gonna leave flowers somewhere for me. 

Plant a tree. Have a party. I'll appreciate it more. 


I'm not sure if I posted a decent picture. Yarn bowls are all the rage. Many are truly works of art and they're just lovely, handy items. When my mom's friends moved, they had a bowl I coveted. It's this one. It's hand-thrown and glazed. My mom's friend said she used it for watermelon in the summer. 

All I could think of was "yarn bowl!!" Kid #2 had made me one, but it was quite small - it's still handy enough, but this one holds a bit more. Normally, it's tucked under this table, because the canary is still alive and kicking, if not necessarily tweeting much. 

He does tweet, but only under duress. Anyway, once he goes, this table will go away, too. This window is where our Christmas tree usually sits; we've had it on the dining room table forever because (a) there's no room; and (b) then we had puppies... 

Anyway, back to the bowl. I did put "footies" under the bottom rim, so as to not scratch anything. But otherwise, I'm enjoying using this in an unusual way. It's a thing I look at every day and it's fulfilling its purpose as a vessel. Just holding yarn, not food!

Speaking of Food...

I saw this on Facebook. It's a really cute idea. I'm a total cookie-baker and so is Kid #2. This is a diagram on folding a plate to make a container. 

I do have lovely "holiday box" thingies to put cookies in, but they're all red/green and candy striped. This is something nifty for a birthday or other occasion. 

If one was really creative, one could make them for centerpieces on the holiday table or as a shower theme. 

Come to think of it, this might make a good way to take home cake when we're at a birthday party, instead of trying to balance the slices on an open-faced plate, covered with foil or plastic wrap that only clings to itself.

May have to try that the next time we have a birthday. 

But it won't work for pie, I think. And it'll only hold 2 regular-sized cupcakes, and perhaps 4 - 6 small ones.

However - it looks like it'll hold about 6 decent-sized fudge brownies.

Ok. I need to stop now...


So in last Sunday's Chicago Trib was the story of a "Wedding That Won't Be." Sadly, this couple, Ann and Holly Cook-Graver, asked their pastor if they could be married, since we can now do that in Illinois. The wedding was set for June 28, 2014 at Faith United Methodist Church in Orland Park, IL... 

Everything was on track until late April, when the pastor emailed Ann. Nothing good can come of an email with the subject line: "It's about your wedding in June."

Apparently, they can't be married at Faith United Methodist Church. While they've been members of the congregation for quite some time, and while the pastor initially said yes, and the church's wedding planner walked them through the whole thing... it's all for naught.

Because the pastor had talked with "several key members" of the church's leadership and realized that the United Methodist clergy are prohibited from presiding at same-sex civil unions or marriages. 

In reality, while Illinois has passed Senate Bill 10, legalizing same-sex marriage, the fact is that many denominations still won't honor this. And I don't mind that part so much.

I appreciate the separation of church and state. 

I just think it's rotten that the pastor said he would, and then said he wouldn't. I don't think that the Methodists' Book of Discipline changed in that time. 

Think about the recent story in the news about a Methodist pastor who was told that he basically had to denounce his own son because the son is gay and wants to marry his partner. The father, I believe, said, "I can't do this to my kid" and he's left the church. So yes, religion is fine, but how "fine" is it when the intolerance starts to tear families apart?

Ann and Holly, the Episcopal Church welcomes you. I'll even bake the cake. 

Random Picture... 

This is a shot of Raisa and Tippi. Tippi's face had just been washed by Raisa. They're getting along fine, and we are just about at the end of Raisa's heat. Thank goodness!!

My intent is to "finish" Raisa  - at least get her to Advanced Obedience this summer. We have a lot to catch up on with "Intermediate" and we still have her spay to go yet. Eventually, we get her to CGC and TDI. 

How long will "puppy brain" last??? 

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