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April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

Today we remember the event recounted in John 13:1-15, where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

Imagine what went through their minds – the man they’d chosen to follow took off his outer garments, wrapped a towel around his waist, knelt down, and proceeded to wash their feet. The obvious conclusion is that Jesus was demonstrating humility by showing the heart of a servant. But Jesus really didn’t need to wash everyone’s feet to demonstrate humility and service, did he?

Nevertheless, when Peter vehemently objected, Jesus overruled him, saying "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Could there have been another message Jesus was trying to impart?
Let’s look at the story from a slightly different angle. To receive help or service from others exposes our vulnerability, our inability to navigate through life without the assistance of others. When we refuse to allow others to serve us, when we do not acknowledge our dependence on each other, we are showing a form of pride. We also deny others the opportunity to render service.

The life of a Christian is, quite rightly, a life of service. But it is important to allow others the opportunity to serve, too.

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April 16, 2014

The OTHER "Footprints" poem

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen.
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
"Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord, they are too large for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."

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April 15, 2014

Go Durham Bulls!

 Just a few shots from opening day 2014....
Our manager, Charlie Montoyo, comes out to high-five the team.

The colors are presented.

A fly-over to start the game!

Getting ready for the first pitch.

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April 14, 2014


Tomorrow I will be undergoing major surgery. Although I've tried to schedule some posts in advance, I truly don't know how long it will take for me to be ready to resume regular blogging. I've been told to be relatively inactive for several weeks and will be out of work for 8 weeks altogether.

At least I've picked a nice time of year for an extended "vacation".

In the meanwhile, I plan to remember a piece of excellent advice while in the hospital: DON'T make your nurse angry. Here's a little story to illustrate the wisdom of that advice:

A big shot business man had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his employees. None of the hospital staff wanted to have anything to do with him. The head nurse was the only one who could stand up to him. She came into his room and announced, "I have to take your temperature". After complaining for several minutes, he finally settled down, crossed his arms, and opened his mouth.

"No, I'm sorry", the nurse stated, "but for this reading, I cannot use an oral thermometer." This started another round of complaining, but eventually he rolled over and bared his read end.

After feeling the nurse insert the thermometer, he heard her announce, "I have to get something. Now you stay just like that until I get back.."

She leaves the door to his room open on her way out. He curses under his breath as he hears people walking past his door laughing. After almost half an hour, the man's doctor comes into the room.

"What's going on here?" asked the doctor.

Angrily, the man answered, "What's the matter, Doc? Haven't you ever seen someone having their temperature taken?"

After a pause, the doctor confesses, "Well, yes, but never with a carnation."

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April 10, 2014

The Mousetrap

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain, he wondered? He was devastated to discover that it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse shouted out the warning: "There's a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, then said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There's a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There's a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Gee, I'm sorry, Mr. Mouse, but it's no skin off my nose."

So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night, a sound was heard throughout the housel It sounded like a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she failed to see that it was a venomous snake whose tail had been caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital for treatment, and after returning, she developed a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But despite the chicken soup, the woman's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But the farmer's wife did not get better. She died.

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse lookd upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you're tempted to think it doesn't concern you, remember - when one of us is threatened, we all are at risk.

The moral of the story:

Each of us is a vital thread in another person's tapestry, 
and our lives are woven together for a reason. 
We must keep an eye out for one another 
and offer encouragement and help in all things.

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April 9, 2014

Wonderful pork roast!

I had a boneless pork roast in the freezer and decided it was time to enjoy it. And my hubby - bless his heart - suggested basting it with a cherry glaze.

I poked around on the 'net and found several different recipes, but decided I'd like to keep it simple. So we got some cherry preserves and mixed in a bit of ground cinnamon & some red wine vinegar... just enough to give the preserves a good consistency for basting. We smoked the pork in the cooker and, towards the end, basted it with the cherry mixture.

I don't mean to brag... after all, it was hubby's idea... but DANG was that good!

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April 7, 2014

"Conscious uncoupling"????? Really??????

You've heard the expression, "Call a spade a spade". And I believe it was William Shakespeare who said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

I bet if you think about it for a bit, you can think of instances where written or spoken words have been "tweaked" to give something a different shade of meaning. After all, "collateral damage" sounds far better that "dead civilians". The word "stripper" is surely a bit less appealing than "exotic dancer". And the phrases "rest room" or "powder room" conjure up a more pleasing image than "bathroom".

One more example:

When Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin separated after 10 years or so of marriage, they announced that they were going to "consciously uncouple and co-parent".

Come on, people. They're getting a divorce.

"Conscious uncoupling" is defended by husband-and-wife duo Drs. Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami, who claim that ""Our biology and psychology aren't set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades... The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone," This is interesting to me when I consider that my husband and I are about to celebrate our 42nd anniversary. We seem to be following in the footsteps of his grandparents, who were married 63 years before the first of them "unconsciously uncoupled" by dying.

Just in case you're unable to figure out how to "consciously uncouple", a 5 week course is offered by psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas. She explains the purpose of the course by saying that she "will help you step into your highest vision of yourself and of your life, and then into a new, different kind of love--one that is built to last". She apparently doesn't perceive any irony in describing "consciously uncoupling" as a new and different kind of love which is built to last.

If you want to read more about this, check out this article.

As for me, I prefer the idea of "consciously coupling".

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April 4, 2014

Nom nom nom!

If you like asparagus as much as I do, you love this time of year. And while steamed asparagus with a tad of butter, some lemon pepper, and some freshly ground salt is my favorite way to prepare asparagus, I'm always willing to try something new... including this recipe I found at Asparagus Recipes.

2 pounds asparagus, thick ends removed, cut into 2-inch pieces 2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove, rinse under cold water, and drain.

Combine asparagus, avocados, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, parsley, cilantro, mint, vinegars, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour over asparagus mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately or chill for 2 hours.

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