It turned out OK

A few months ago, I bought some navy beans, partly for a change from the pintos I usually buy, and partly for an excuse to use the extra corn meal I had bought on my previous visit to one of those stores where you open a slide and fill a plastic bag.  When I got home, I put my various bulk purchases in the containers I have set apart for each grain, and there was just a little too much corn meal, so I left it in a plastic bag.

 But I also have way too many navy beans on hand, because that slide stayed open too long also.  I was buying the beans because last January at our family reunion at the condo, we cooked a family recipe of navy beans and ham.  Those beans are usually used for baked bean recipes that come out with so much molasses and brown sugar that they are more like a dessert than a main course.  But we like ours plain, and I like mine just as well seasoned with a few strips of bacon instead of ham.

 I soaked the beans last night and cooked them this morning.  At around noon, I began to mix the cornbread.  I don’t have a real oven, only a toaster oven, but I have found that cornbread bakes just as well in an iron skillet on a burner on my hot plate. I use an 8-inch skillet and half the regular recipe I have on a recipe card.   My counter space is quite limited, but if I keep my head straight, I can work with it all right.

 The beans had boiled over at one point, but that was a minor clean-up job.  Now the skillet was on the burner, the pot of beans was over on the table, and the small mixing bowl was ready.  Things were going smoothly until I began measuring the ½ cup of milk.  I decided to use part yogurt…and that involved getting the yogurt out of the refrigerator as well as the quart jar of milk.

 The refrigerator is just to the right of the crowded counter top.  I can’t remember why what happened happened, but that is why I am writing this.  I thought maybe that by retracing the steps I might refresh my memory.  I think I set the jar of milk on the edge of the measuring cup, but, whatever, there was an immediate milk-and-yogurt mixture fall on the counter and floor.  It seemed like much more than half cup spread out that way.

 To my credit (I am taking a bow) I felt no emotion of anger or frustration over the incident.  This positive trait I developed many years ago while raising a large family in which such things happen often.  But my brain must have been slightly addled because after carefully cleaning up the mess, I then forgot to put in the tablespoon of salad oil. That was not a serious error.  I quite often forget an ingredient, or forget to halve another one, and the result almost always turns out to be quite acceptable, as it did today.

The milk mixture completely soaked the recipe card, so I did something I had been intending to do for a long time.  I made a new card.  I made two cards, one with the half-recipe, just as I make it…also with my quick one-bowl- method instructions:

            Mix dry ingredients;   In same bowl, add egg, milk and oil

           Stir until just moistened

                          Bake in 8 inch iron skillet, medium low heat for 20 minutes

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Conversation with myself (and Einstein)

Background information:

I am reading Albert Einstein, The Man and His Theories, by Hilaire Cuny, 1963.  I know this is an old book and there have been changes in the interpretation of relativity during his lifetime and beyond.  I remembered vaguely that Einstein had something to do with relative time, and when I found an old book on Louise’s bookshelf I decided to read it.

Now to this morning’s early conversation (It talk to myself, out loud, with expression):

Me: Why can’t I keep time straight? (wondering when I had last washed my hair)

Einstein: Because it is relative, my dear.”

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Fellowship through the written word.

I am thinking about the fellowship I have with other believers in God–with my prayer partners on Mondays–or with my family, or others.  but today I am thinking especially of fellowship with people of faith of other generations.   With S. D. Gordon, of course, as I was reading his book today.  But also with David the shepherd and David the king.  I can know David’s heart at both phases of his personality through the written word.     And, to me, this is the greatest wonder of all.  I can know the hearts of the children of God who have put their words down on paper.  I can “listen” to them perhaps with more concentration than if I had been hearing them speak to their generation.     True, I would have heard their tone of voice and that might have made their intention more clear.  But I know myself as one who can be easily distracted.  So, with the written word I can have the message repeated as often as I like without interrupting the speaker.  Lately I have been “listening” to C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald.  Their writing calls for much rereading of lines….and looking up words in the dictionary…

 

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Truth and Deception

As I looked up at my ceiling one morning before I got out of bed, I noticed a black spot about 2 inches in diameter.  What could it be?  Was it mold?  Would it grow?       I put a cloth on the end of a broom and it rubbed off easily.  Oh, yes, now I remembered.  Little Eva had thrown an “outside” ball up to the ceiling, and it had left a mark.  I wiped it off easily with a cloth on the end of a broom handle.

Would that evil in the world was as harmless and as easily explained.  That spot was powerless to spread in any direction.     One writer pointed out that the only weapon Satan has is the lie, and he makes full use of it.  If I do not believe or repeat the lie it is powerless.

S. D. Gordon in Quiet Thoughts on Prayer helped me comprehend a little better the power of persistent prayer in the war against Satan.     In the parable of the persistent widow the adversary represents Satan.  The reluctant judge’s attitude does not represent God’s attitude, but a complete contrast.     God always wants the very best spiritual food and atmosphere for you.  Satan is the persistent enemy.  Your persistence on God’s side of the spiritual battle has to outlast the devil’s desire to “sift you like wheat.”   Luke 22:31-32  (NIV) “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

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My Morning Nature Walk

It was just my regular morning walk, but I want to write the mental essay I am often composing in my mind as I walk.  I got my walking stick, put a note by the door to tell the family where I had gone, and took a little turn along the flowers to watch a friendly hummingbird who took no notice of me as he sipped from some sage flowers.  Before I got to the mailbox halfway down my steep hill, the usual squirrel crossed in front of me.  I didn’t see the rabbit that often dashes from one hiding place to another as I pass the neighbors’ yard.

I put a letter in the mailbox, raised the flag, and left my walking stick…which I use only for the steep driveway.  Soon a mockingbird flew across in front of me, then a brownish bird.  I always wonder if they are trying to distract me from the location of their nests.  But on the fence on the right side of the long driveway a dove sat quietly observing me.  This she did in spite of the fact that five dogs of various sizes were running along the fence barking at me. I greeted her and told her I appreciated her confidence.   A crow flew across above me, and even higher a few small birds were cavorting in the air.  I think they were goldfinch; I thought I was seeing flashes of yellow.  As I walked by the horse stalls across the road, I saw a friendly phoebe perched quietly on the fence.   I couldn’t identify the largish brown bird that was pecking some corn on the ground in one of the stalls.

As I cross the next street and approach the school property my interest changes from birds to plants and trees, and I wish I could tell you the names…I recognize the acacias and the eucalyptus, but there are flowering trees and bushes that are unfamiliar to me.  This special route I take only on Saturdays when school is not in session.  Maybe I will do some research and see if I can find some identifying names for my next nature post.

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Memory from 2009

“Welcome to the end of the day.”*
by Janice Kramar (Notes) on Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:07pm

(* Appropriately, that is the motto on the pen I was writing with, the one I brought home from the AmericInn in Marshalltown, Iowa.)
I sat in a chair just under the arch of the passageway outside my sliding glass door. I was slowly enjoying a simple vegetable salad while quietly contemplating the shadowed hills across the valley. (It is a very small valley.) There are several ranges of hills that come into bold relief as the sun lowers in the western sky. The temperature was perfect, with a gentle breeze caressing my face and arms.
Yes, there was noise, but faraway muffled background sounds,–a motorcycle revving its motor on Broadway, two blocks away–the variable low hum of the traffic on Interstate 15, visible on the facing hills about 2 miles away.
Silhouetted humming birds flitted here and there, finding their evening meal. The sun slipped behind the hills and I reluctantly left the scene to capture it in my “travel” journal.
I stepped out again and there is now an orangey rose glow above the darkened hills, delicately decorated with a few thin gray clouds. Above my head and slightly to the south, the crescent moon shines above a slender palm tree. The lights have come on in the valley below.
I cannot imagine any hour of watching a movie or television, or even reading Facebook that could bring more joy to my soul. I am presently planted in a beautiful place.

The same scene in the daytime, a few years ago.

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April 29, 2013 – another calendar page to turn tomorrow

I am writing to explain my absence from this page.  It didn’t work.  I still couldn’t remember what I had done from one day to the next.
It has been a good month, especially since I got over the second cough and cold this year which had me in bed on my birthday,  :-{

and low on energy for a week thereafter.
I then had some very good days, including a hike through the tree-lined paths and seeing many exotic birds at the Wild Animal Park with Rebecca last Saturday.       I do want to say thank you to the faithful person who seems to check my page almost every day.  I think this person has some kind of automatic checking system set up and it happens without effort on their part.    Anyway, like I say, the daily posting system didn’t work too well, and I will only be posting when I am motivated by what I think is a good reason.   Good night.

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