Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Singing with the Lutherans

by Garrison Keillor

I have made fun of Lutherans for years - who wouldn't, if you lived in Minnesota?

But I have also sung with Lutherans and that is one of the main joys of life, along with hot baths and fresh sweet corn.

We make fun of Lutherans for their blandness, their excessive calm, their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed and also for their secret fondness for macaroni and cheese. But nobody sings like they do.

If you ask an audience in New York City, a relatively Lutheranless place, to sing along on the chorus of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," they will look daggers at you as if you had asked them to strip to their under-wear. But if you do this among Lutherans they'll smile and row that boat ashore and up on the beach! And down the road!

Lutherans are bred from childhood to sing in four-part harmony. It's a talent that comes from sitting on the lap of someone singing alto or tenor or bass and hearing the harmonic intervals by putting your little head against that person's rib cage. It's natural for Lutherans to sing in harmony. We're too modest to be soloists, too worldly to sing in unison. When you're singing in the key of C and you slide into the A7th and D7th chords, all two hundred of you, it's an emotionally fulfilling moment.

I once sang the bass line of Children of the Heavenly Father in a room with about three thousand Lutherans in it; and when we finished, we all had tears in our eyes, partly from the promise that God will not forsake us, partly from the proximity of all those lovely voices. By our joining in harmony, we somehow promise that we will not forsake each other.

I do believe this: These Lutherans are the sort of people you could call up when you're in deep distress. If you're dying, they'll comfort you. If you're lonely, they'll talk to you. And if you're hungry, they'll give you tuna salad!

The following list was compiled by a 20th century Lutheran who, observing other Lutherans, wrote down exactly what he saw or heard:

1. Lutherans believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to pray out loud.

2. Lutherans like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a hymn with more than four stanzas.

3. Lutherans believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even if they don't notify them that they are there.

4. Lutherans usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is their way of suffering for their sins.

5. Lutherans believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially during their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

6. Lutherans feel that applauding for their children's choirs would make the kids too proud and conceited.

7. Lutherans think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle while passing the peace.

8. Lutherans drink coffee as if it were the Third Sacrament.

9. Some Lutherans still believe that an ELCS bride and an LCMS groom make for a mixed marriage. (For those of you who are not Lutherans, ELCS is Evangelical Lutheran Church Synod and LCMS is Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, two different divisions of the same Protestant religion. And when and where I grew up in Minnesota , intermarriage between the two was about as popular as Lutherans and Catholics marrying.)

10. Lutherans feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

11. Lutherans are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at church.

12. Lutherans think that Garrison Keillor stories are totally factual.

13. Lutherans still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the season and think that peas in a tuna noodle casserole add too much color.

14. Lutherans believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never take themselves too seriously.

And finally, you know you're a Lutheran when:

*It's 100 degrees, with 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service;

*You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as you can;

*Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee;

*The communion cabinet is open to all, but the coffee cabinet is locked up tight;

*When you watch a 'Star Wars' movie and they say,"May the Force be with you," you respond, 'and also with you';

*And lastly, it takes 15 minutes to say, "Good-bye".

**** I am so deeply proud of my Lutheran heritage and just had to share this with those of you that would understand. I have never laughed so hard! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Monday, January 28, 2008

my red shoes

I have been wanting a pair of red shoes for quite some time now. I know, a post on red shoes? Linda, come on! Well, it's my blog and I will post whatever I want! So, I'm liking that jeans and red shoes look. Does anyone out there share my fancy... or is it just me? But now that I think of it, my red shoe obsession actually started from this photo shoot of my kids taken by Amy (her new web site is up and running here!) as a surprise Christmas gift to me in 2006. I love this photo... but I couldn't help but notice Nicole's red shoes and Miranda's pearl necklace! They add such pop and whimsy to an already fun, playful image.

So the other day I set out to find a pair of red shoes to wear with jeans. My first stop... Goodwill. And low and behold, there they were! Not only were they the perfect style, but they fit me perfect AND they were sooo comfortable AND a quality shoe to boot! Don't you just hate me!

Anyway, they are a Duck Head brand shoe. So I google and find out this type of Duck Head shoe sells for over $50.00 and I paid a mere $5.00! Sure makes a girl happy I tell ya! And I'm not even a shoe girl. I'm more of a 'shoes for a smokin deal' shoe girl. Ya, that's me... all about the thrill of the hunt... but in this case, not much of a hunt... but oh what a thrill!
Umm, what's up with 4 posts in 4 days!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

like mother, like daughter

My daughter Miranda had her first Pampered Chef party yesterday. Can I just say that I got a little misty-eyed by the whole event? Well I did. You see, when Miranda was just a little thing I started having a Pampered Chef party every year for several years. And now my daughter is having them... and she is using the same consultant I have always used... and well... hey, forget the nostalgia, it makes me feel old!
Anyway, Brenda is so dear to our family... that she even did the Pampered Chef Bridal Shower that we had for Shawn & Nicole in 2004.
Check out Brenda's site here, for those of you locally that might want to order products or host a party. Hey, Miranda's party doesn't close for a few days, so you could mention her party and add your order on to her party sales. OMG, do I have no scruples?!
So, on to the menu... so yummy! We learned to make these chicken pot stickers... and the 'cactus jelly' dipping sauce... wow! But take a look at the dessert below. My friend Amy grabbed my camera and took this delicious pic! I didn't know that my camera could take such gorgeous pics. Course it helps that she is a professional photographer and knows what she is doing, unlike me. Check out her brand new web site here. Congrats Amy, on your new adventure!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

the home front

So what's new on the home front?
Well, as you know, we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first Grandbaby in April! Sooo excited! Nicole and Shawn will be the best, most fun parents. I mean, seriously, they are two of the funniest people I know!
And have I told you lately how much I love my job! Love every single person I work with! Yup, having waaay too much fun. The other day Joyce, Doris and I went to Hobby Lobby over the noon hour and found such fun stuff. I love helping others spend their money! I love taking my friends to Hobby Lobby for the first time. Hobby Lobby is like the 'IKEA for crafters'. It's sooo huge!
And this weekend could be the first weekend in several weeks that Randy doesn't have to fix a vehicle. I am so serious... he has been underneath a car or a van most every weekend since we got back from Wisconsin in Oct.! Sad but true.
Let me tell you about one such weekend. He had spent several hours on Sat. fixing our son Shawn's car, then the next day Randy left after doing three services at our church to drive to Yuma for an evening concert. Well, his van breaks down in Gila Bend. He tweaks it enough to get him back to Phoenix (had to cancel the concert) but on his way home our younger son Tyler calls and tells him that his old clunker had broke down... AND immediately following that conversation Shawn calls and says that whatever they did on his car the day before did not fix it. So Randy spends all day Monday trying to fix em all... only to have his van break down AGAIN the following weekend, which was last weekend while I was at the Scrapbook Retreat! Ya, pretty sad... But he had finally had it and takes it to Salem Boys and they do the job.
But we have been sooo blessed that he can fix our vehicles over the years. That alone has saved us thousands of dollars! But enough is enough. Can we just give the guy a rest! Sure do love him to pieces!

**** Oh but wait... Tyler tells me that he thinks his van is leaking transmission fluid. Ummm, not a good sign... poor Randy.

Friday, January 25, 2008

German Smokers

Are these not the cutest! I found these in a bag at Saver's for $1.99 in the toy section. I was not even sure what they were, as I could barely read the label at the bottom of these wooden fiqurines. The words were all in German so that was enough for me to buy them, go home, google the company and find out that these are highly collectible Minature Ulbricht German Smokers. I love them even more now!
Check out this site that came up while searching for more info. I am thinking that these may be worth even more ($26.95 each) than the ones listed on this site, as these could be retired.
Sure glad they were put in the toy department, otherwise they would have been gone in a heartbeat!
Hey, if anyone out there knows how I can find out more about these specific smokers, please let me know. Maybe my friend Beth has some connections! Thanks!

Monday, January 21, 2008

scrapping @ Memory Lodge

The weekend in Flagstaff could not have been any better! I have never been in such a scrapping zone! Quite frankly, I was a 'scrappin machine'! How could I not! There was so much creativity and inspiration going on in that one room. And, it helped that I came well prepared to do my Disney album.
This was the view I captured looking out the window while scrapping early Sat. morning. And yes, the mountains were that pink as the sun arose.
Sixteen of us scrapped in this huge room (below) in the back of the lodge of my dreams... while listening to oldies music, stopping only for yummy home cooked meals, to refill our coffee mugs and sleep.

This is the view of Memory Lodge as we were leaving Sunday afternoon. I remember feeling so happy as we left, knowing I had accomplished what I had set out to do. And having loved every moment!

Homemade pecan cinnamon rolls for breakfast! Need I say more...

We scrapped from early morning till 10, maybe 11 o'clock each night. The first morning I was up by 5:30 to scrap pages and savor that first cup of coffee. The room was so warm and cozy and peaceful. The atmosphere being so conducive to creating, how could you not be productive!
Do you see Miranda & Barb hanging some of our lay-outs for the group photo shoot? Our Creative Memory consultant Barb, that puts on these awesome retreats every year, then scraps the pic for her Memory Lodge guestbook album.
And speaking of Barb, be sure to check out her web site here.
Thanks Barb (and your dear Mom) for making the retreat sooo special! I can hardly wait for the October Retreat!

One of the many 2-page lay-outs that I did over the weekend. Oh, and by the way, I scrapped 120 Disney pics on 26 pages. That's 54 sides on 12X12 size pages. I have to scrap the Animal Kingdom day and I will be done with my Disney Album... trips from our first Disney trip with our kids in 1987 to our recent trip to Disney World.

What a creative bunch of gals!
And what made it extra special... making memories this weekend with my daughter Miranda and my daughter-in-law Nicole. Doesn't get much better than that, now does it!

And we won't be talking about the Packers. I mean, what can I say? I'm sad... very, very sad.

Friday, January 18, 2008

GO Green Bay Packers!

So, Miranda and I are going to our very first Scrapbooking Retreat in Flagstaff this weekend. My daughter-in-law Nicole and her Mom Beckie are going too. The low last night in Flagstaff was 7 degrees! Oh my gosh, I'm gonna freeze! But I can't wait! I'll be sure to take pics... oh, and warm clothes too!
My plan is to work on my Disneyland photo album... scrapping every single pic from every single time we went to Disneyland over the years and of course our recent trip to Disney World. I prefer doing topical albums rather than going chronological. Don't know how far I will get, but I'll be croppin pics and crankin out pages like crazy!
But you can be sure I will be back in the Valley for the BIG GAME on Sunday. The PACKERS vs. the GIANTS! And I will be putting on this baby... a gift from friends Don & Carol, for my 50th birthday last year. My very own Packer jersey!
You see, if they win, they'll be playing in the SUPER BOWL here in PHOENIX on Feb. 3rd!! YEAH! GO PACKERS!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

50's citrus juicer

Clearly one of my very favorite finds in December was this juicer. And let me tell you, we juice a lot here in Arizona. We have a navel orange tree and a fruit cocktail tree that produces lemons and grapefruit and at one time produced valencia oranges. But unfortunately that branch broke off several years ago. I have just now started harvesting my citrus, so I am all 'juiced' about this baby!
I am still using the same electric juicer that I got from my dear friend Loren as a wedding gift 28 years ago. And I love it and plan on using it forever, for those times when I am juicing buckets of lemons for lemonade.
But I was so thrilled to find this 1950's, HEAVY-duty juicer at Savers for $2.99! Oh ya, I was shocked! These are highly sought-after and sell on Ebay for a hefty price. They last a lifetime because they are made of cast iron. I have it sitting on my counter ready to juice a lemon or an orange on a moments notice. So handy and vintage retro... and matches my vintage cast iron coffee grinder that I use every morning!
Well, a few days before Christmas, Tyler & I went to Jamba Juice to buy some gift cards and saw that they were selling a similar reproduction juicer by Metrokane for $59.00!. You guys, it was so cheaply made... plastic and chrome and so flimsy and light-weight. I couldn't believe it!
They just don't make em like they use to, do they? How sad.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 4 @ Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was such a pleasant surprise. We loved that it was so lush and tropical. And of course we had been waiting all week for Mt. Everest! And it was SOOO well worth the wait!
Other favorites, the Dinosaur ride, the Kilimanjaro Safari and the Lion King Musical.

But first things first, guess what we picked up on our way to Animal Kingdom? You got it! A dozen Fresh*Hot*Krispy Kreme Donuts! Oh sweet Krispy, I've missed you so much.

Yes, Mt. Everest proved to be our most favorite attraction in all of Disney World! I was scared to death! But hey, I found out I love roller coasters! And, faster the better! Who knew!

After 4- 16 hour days in 4 Parks filled with nonstop fun, fantasy and adventure, we were ready to come home... exhausted but so grateful for all the memories and the 500+ pics that I will begin scrapping this weekend at my very first Scrapbook Retreat in Flagstaff, AZ!

Oooh, in case I forget- GO PACKERS!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Day 3 @ MGM/ Hollywood

Oh ya, lots of fun, scary rides- smokin, hot stunt shows- crazy, rockin roller coasters and LOTS and LOTS of fire! What a blast!
But I don't think I will ever like the free-falling on Tower of Terror... ever.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Show- unbelievable!

Extreme Stunt Show- waaaay cool! Yes, that would be a stuntman that you see on fire!

FANTASMIC!!!- I burst into tears at the conclusion of the show!

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith- 0-60 in 2.2 seconds, immediately into a loop! Seriously awesome!

Friday, January 11, 2008

vintage art piece

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Disney World post to bring you this.
Found this orange wooden thingy at Savers in December for two dollars and thought it would be perfect for my collection of wooden spools of thread. I have been wanting to photograph this funky piece of vintage art, so this morning I did just that. Yes, to me it's art. Full of color and texture and... panache. Sorry, but I have been wanting to use that word for a long time now, and well, this was as good a time as any!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Day 2 @ EPCOT

EPCOT was by far our most favorite of all!
You literally felt transported to each country. Everyone working in that country is from that country. We could have spent hours talking to the people and exploring the little villages.

Miranda loved the United Kingdom and got most of her mementoes from there. She is a master at picking up accents, so she was in her element in England. I love the way they talk.

I personally loved France... the pastry shop, the street shows, this amazing film that shows the beautiful French countryside. The overall feeling is just so romantic and quaint.
And of course the IllumiNations Fireworks Show at Epcot was the best EVER! Yup, funnel cakes and fireworks... could there be any better combination!

I am Norweigan on my Dad's side, so I couldn't resist this silly photo op with my daughter!

And I am German on my Mom's side, so here we have Randy & Tyler wearing their cute, little Alpine hats. Just a little side story, when Randy was a little boy, his Dad was stationed in France and England. So, his very favorite souvenier was his Alpine hat... that he proceeded to wear THROUGH high school! I am not kidding!

Ok, so which alabaster wine stopper do you suppose I picked out from Italy? Umm, no dah, the lone aqua one!
Hey, check back for Day 3 @ MGM/ Hollywood Studios!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Day 1 @ Magic Kingdom

What a wonderful, magical, dream-come-true vacation trip-of-a-lifetime!!
Disney World was that and SOOO much more! I hoped to capture some of the magic, the fantasy, the wonderment. But as you well know... you just had to be there!
First of all, Day 1 was THE coldest day, THE deepest freeze that Orlando has seen in many, many years! How cold you ask? Well, 3 shirts, a sweatshirt, jacket, scarf, gloves and hat COLD! But we literally moved non-stop from the moment the Magic Kingdom Park opened at 9 AM till midnight! Thank God the next three days were much warmer.

The biggest surprise at Magic Kingdom was... CINDERELLA'S CASTLE! Oh my gosh, it was simply breathtaking! We could not seem to take enough pictures, as we endeavored to somehow capture its beauty and grandeur.

Our other favorite... the Haunted Mansion. (waaay better than the one at Disneyland) Very dark and haunting. We went on it three times! Sooo much fun!
And of course, who doesn't love the Peter Pan ride! Love, LOVE that ride! And love that I got this pic of Miranda and Tyler taking off to Neverland!

Miranda has had her picture taken with most of the Disney characters over the years but was especially thrilled to get this one of her and Peter! (Wendy wasn't too keen on being excluded from the pic, but Miranda was just glad Tink was no where to be found)
Did you know how much I'm like Tink? Yup, everytime I take that Disney character test, I am most like TINK!

Just so you know, Cinderella's Castle changes colors all night long! THE MOST GORGEOUS COLORS EVER!!
Miranda was able to witness the lighting of the Castle that evening. What a thrill to see the changes as the sky darkened. And the Fireworks Closing Ceremony is so emotional! I had tears pouring down my face by the end of the show!

Miranda shot this image of the Castle just as it went from this gorgeous aqua to the prettiest of pink.

We had a total stranger take this family shot of us (love how it turned out!) and yes, we were freezing but we were so warm and fuzzy inside cuz, hey, we're in the Happiest Place on Earth!
But let me tell you what, we were sure happy to get back to our warm hotel room that night and fall fast asleep under piles of warm, fluffy covers.
Check back for Day 2 in Epcot!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

time to create in 2008

One of the things that I'm the most thrilled to have accomplished in 2007 was my craft/sewing room! Do you have any idea how much I love creating in that room?! Ok, so I haven't done a whole lot of creating... more like shooting pics and mending clothes and outfitting Mrs. McGillicutty. And can I just say, she has become quite the fashionista. Of course, if I had a figure like she has, I would too! I mean, we can't even share clothes! But that's another topic for another post...
So that leads me to another goal of mine... taking time to create... to do those things that I love to do ~ sewing, scrapping, designing, photography. I mean, it's not like I am needing inspiration to get me going. I have never been more inspired by all you bloggers that so willingly share your passions, your talents and inspire me to believe I can do anything you can do!

So enough is enough...
I have got to get started on all those projects I have swirling around in my head and make it happen! Now! In my favorite room, with my aqua phone, aqua Nano, Mrs. McGillicutty and me. I'm good to go!

You're not going to believe the story behind my vintage gingham apron collection!