Saturday, January 09, 2010

Today - updated

I ache all over right now but we have made huge progress. Part one of my Christmas present is a day of helping me organize. The south side of the garage now is lined with shelves holding boxes in a semblance of order. The recycling bin is full of papers tossed out today (going back for decades). The garbage can is almost full. A third bin is about half full of shredded paper, old financial records no longer needed, ancient canceled checks, etc.

My BFF just cleaned up part of my bathroom, has vacuumed and mopped, scrubbed stuff off the kitchen floor on his knees (you can't get help like that anymore).

We also made a Costco run so I could buy something I could never handle by myself: an eight-foot workbench. We will assemble it another day but we got it from Costco to my garage where it will sit. This is primal stuff. I am nobody's idea of a handyman but my father and his father before him were. I have always wanted a work bench for mostly non-existent projects. Still, it's part of a sense of getting the garage in order and now I will have one place for my tools.

The compote is simmering and after my shower I shall make the sou boereg triangles. Dinner is soon to happen!

Oh, and a case of wine arrived this week.

I intend to have a good year.


The menu

Two bottles of sparkling wine for all the rest, two Añejo and Diet Pepsis for me
Crab cakes with an orange zest vinaigrette
Sou boereg (triangles of buttered phyllo dough filled with Muenster cheese, egg, and flat-leaf parsley)

Alsatian Gewürztraminer
Pepper crusted ham
Compote of apples, pears, orange-infused cranberries, wild blueberries, brandy, butter, and Grand Marnier
Baked garnet yams with butter
Honey and balsamic glazed beets
broccolini with toasted almond slivers

Hearts of romaine with blue cheese and oil and vinegar

Reine de Saba cake and coffee

--the BB

Thursday, January 07, 2010

No news

Dinner with BFF yesterday. Dinner with another friend this evening. Grocery shopping tomorrow evening. Cooking dinner for friends Saturday.

Consequently no profound insights, wild rants, or extended blather.

What is this mad social whirl?

PS: The cookies are almost all gone from the tree. Yum.

--the BB

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Heart thread - 01/05/2010 - updated 2x

I ask your prayers for Steve who is suddenly unemployed.
[My fiancée] and I are going through the typical emotional swings right now, but we're both strong and we're going to survive. I have a few leads on jobs hoping that an interview will pop up before the end of the week.
It is a shock, always. So we pray for him and all who are looking for work, and they are legion. This includes our friends David and JimB and Ralph.

I also ask your prayers for someone special going through a rough patch.

A Prayer for Those with Whom We Are Bound in Prayer:
O Crucified Firstborn, you have surrounded us with sisters and brothers who share with us their joys, their wounds, and their deep concerns. In your merciful compassion grant that we, who do not pray for ourselves as we ought, may faithfully hold these in our heart with love as we stand before you; may your Spirit bear us together to the Father's throne where we may obtain such grace and healing as we need and be strengthened to praise and serve you all the days of our life; for the sake of your passionate love. Amen.

--the BB

Polling Afghans

Juan Cole notes interesting and somewhat surprising responses among the Afghan people in the Asia Society poll of June 2009.
A quarter of Afghans now think there are too few jobs outside the home for women up from 2% three years ago! Some 67 percent think women should be allowed to work. (This employment for women outside her own house had been forbidden by the Taliban, even though the country is awash in widows).

Afghans, aside from a small Taliban fringe, strongly support education for women and equal rights for them under the law. Some 87% support equal opportunity for education for both sexes, and 83% favor women continuing to have the right to vote.


A majority of Afghans (52%) now use cell phones--a big increase over previous years.

Read it all here.

--the BB

Happy Twelfth Night

W. Heath Robinson:
Shakespeare's Comedy of Twelfth Night or What You Will
(snaffled from here)

I want to give kudos to the California Shakespeare Festival back when it was the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival. They did a production of Twelfth Night in John Hinkle Park many years ago that knocked out socks off. Clever, jazzy, imaginative, delightful, memorable. It set the bar very high.

May y'all have a wonderful 12th day of Christmas as you prepare to celebrate the Theophany of our Savior.

--the BB


01/05/10 DoD:
Air Force Casualty Identified
Senior Airman Bradley R. Smith, 24, of Troy, Ill., died Jan. 3 near Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations. He was assigned to the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Riley, Kan.


May light perpetual shine upon them.


01/04/10 DOD:
Army Identifies Casualty
Spc. Brushaun X. Anderson, 20, of Columbus, Ga., died Jan. 1 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when he was attacked by an unknown assailant. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Hugs for everybody!

The tree is lit, carols are playing, and a huge pan of curry is simmering on the stove.

I did not finish my garage project but I did accomplish half of it. I got the yard watered. Tried to do that New Year's morning and the water was frozen in the hose, but this afternoon after church it was just fine. I see lots of buds on the trees, some on the roses. One load of laundry yesterday (freshly ironed linens for church) and one load today. Have spent very nice time with friends over the weekend.

The year begins well. So far, at least.

A huge cyberhug to all.

I love the collect for the Second Sunday after Christmas:
O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB