Sunday, November 1, 2015

All Saints Day

A year ago today was my dad's memorial service.  The readings, the hymns, and the day for that celebration were all details that I carefully orchestrated.  What better day for a memorial service than All Saints Day?  As today, November 1, 2015, comes to an end, I have now passed the year mark of life without my dad.  Every anniversary date that  comes along from now on will no longer be "the first."  I was blessed to have had the opportunity to sing a Choral Evensong for All Saints Day with my church choir this evening.  What a meaningful way to mark the passage of this last year.

I miss my dad, but I know that he is among the great cloud of witnesses, ever present and ever watchful.

Today's photo prompt: Who Am I

I am very much my father's daughter.  The humble life that he led is my inspiration.

Five Fabulous Finds - October 2015

Back when I was being faithful to my blog, I did a regular post each month called Five Fabulous Finds.  In most cases it was a silly list of things that I had come cross during that month that were either new to me and that I found interesting, fascinating, edifying, or just plain fun.  As part of my ongoing effort to get back in the swing of things here, I am reinstituting that monthly post today.  It WILL appear on the last day of each month.  There.  I made it public.  Now I must be accountable.


1. Pumpkin Spice Oreos

It is no secret that I love cookies, almost any kind of cookie, but I am kind of a cookie snob and prefer homemade.  That said, what kid of my generation didn't grow up with Oreos?  I do like the traditional Oreas, probably more for the memories that they conjure up than their actual taste, but I do like them.  In my adult years, when I guess Oreo was trying to spread their wings and try some new things, they came up with Uh-Oh Oreos.  These were vanilla cookies with chocolate cream in the middle.  In my opinion, they rocked!  I preferred them to regular Oreos and would actually buy them to pack in my lunches during the school week when baking cookies from scratch just was;t going to happen.  Then they disappeared from the grocery store shelves.  Sadness ensued.  Lately Oreo has spent a lot of time messing with these iconic cookies.  Here is a link to the list to all of the Oreo flavors ever made made, both in the U.S. and abroad.

Though apparently they were first released in 2014, I just stumbled upon the Pumpkin Spice Oreos this year while at Target.  They were neatly stacked on the impulse buy end cap right at the cash registers.  The marketing ploy worked and we bought them.  I do like pumpkin spice flavored stuff, but I am not an addict.  I am not one who waits all year long for Starbucks to again start serving pumpkin spice lattes.  I like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but when its gone for the season I'm OK with that.  The Pumpkin Spice Oreos just sounded good at the time and worth the risk of trying them.

When we made it to register to pay, the cashier asked if we had ever had the cookies before.  We responded "no" and asked the same of her.  She said that she had not tried them but wanted to.  So, we opened the package right there and we shared the Pumpkin Spice Oreos with all the checkers within a few lanes of us.  The consensus was that they are pretty good.  Like pumpkin pie, they are nice while they are here and I'll wait until next year to buy them again.  Now my waiting has turned to the Chocolate Covered Ritz Crackers that are only available during the Christmas season.

2.  Moonshine: The Hee-haw Musical
Early in October, on a Thursday night, we joined some friends to see MOONSHINE: That Hee-haw Musical.  "MOONSHINE: That Hee Haw Musical distills the spirit of an iconic television series and bottles it into an original musical comedy!"  The Dallas production was the first for this new show and surely it will not be its last!  The production and the cast were top notch.  The book is hillarious and the music was superb.  We loved it so much that on our way home that evening we bought tickets to see it again on the following Sunday night for its closing performance.  If you hear of this show running in your area, it is well worth the ticket.  We hope that it makes it to Broadway. And when they do, there is definitely a New York trip in our future to see it again.

3. Wearing God by Lauren Winner
LaurenWinner is a historian, author and lecturer. She is Assistant Professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School.  I have read several of her books in the past, my favorite being Mudhouse Sabbath.  I had the opportunity to hear her speak at our church about her new book, Wearing God.  I have not yet had the chance to read this newest book, which explores the many Biblical metaphors for God, but am looking forward to reading it at the end of the semester.  I'm sure I will have more to say about this book once I have read it completely.

4. Pixels, Plates, and LOLs!
At first it may appear a little narcissistic to include Pixels, Plates, and LOLs! in this list since is it a blog that I co-author.  Though I'd like to think that it contains some useful information and cause for a few laughs, that is not why it is included in this list.  I am including Pixels, Plates, and LOLs! for what it represents.  Tracey and I write about our shared love of food and photography and our friendship that has grown around these two things.  The thing is, on the surface our lives are very different and we have never met or even talked to one another on the phone.  Yet beyond the external, we have a lot in common and have found a way through our shared blog to both share and continue to build our friendship.  The fact that we have been able to join together on this venture is due to the positive power of the Internet.  Here is a link to our first post, which explains how we got started.

5. Puppy Bumpers
I hope you read the story of our newest family member in my last post.  We are blessed to have her, but definitely were not planning on another dog at this point.  We have just finished some major landscaping at our house a few weeks ago.  Part of that involved tearing out some old chain link fence and replacing it with wrought iron fencing.  The wrought iron is much prettier and does perfectly fine at keeping Harley and Adidas safe.  It's bars that are four inches apart do not, however,  keep a five pound puppy inside. It didnt seem fair for Piper to have to be on a leash all the time, so we started exploring ways to keep her safely inside the fence.  Our first thought was to line the fence with some kind of mesh, but that kind of defeated the purpose of all of the beautiful landscaping that we had just had done.  Then I discovered Puppy Bumpers on  Puppy Bumpers are threaded on the dog's collar and look like the neck rests that they sell in the airport to make sleeping on an airplane halfway comfortable.  Basically, the make the puppy too wide to fit through the fence.  I ordered one just to try.  It was $20, not a huge investment if it didn't work.

We received our Puppy Bumper the next day.  I first went outside with it without a puppy to see if I could push it through the fence.  Nope!  So I threaded it on Piper's collar, attached the whole contraption on her and off she went into the yard with the big dogs.  She barely seemed to notice that she was wearing anything extra.  She didn't seem the least bit interested in trying to slip through the fence.  I'm not complaining, mind you!  We're not sure how big Piper will grow to be.  She may get big enough to not need her bumper, but if not, she is safe with it on.  And, the bumpers do come bogger as well as in a waterproof and glow in the dark model.  We have this girl covered!

Thank you for reading!