Thursday, July 31, 2008

slacker - dfn. debby's posting

I know - I haven't written anything lately, but I'm fearful I wrote too long last week.  I wanted to keep the posts brief, but there was a lot on my mind!

Have had an adventurous week -- saw Mamma Mia, went to a garden, made a lemon pie, a peach cobbler, went to a pool party, and had people over.  Had dinner with my brother David in Bethesda, lunch with new friends Ann Marie and Mary Kay at Tio Pepe's Spanish Restaurant in downtown Baltimore, and enjoyed a tea party.  And I went to the Carroll County 4-H fair to see pigs, goats, cows, sheep, and chickens.  Then I rented 10 movies from the library and have already watched 5 since 7/26.  Seriously people, I've got a lot going on!

So, here are some pics to enjoy of the above mentioned activities:

My brother, David, holding up one of our crabs at the Bethesda Crab House.

A fountain at the Ladew Topiary Gardens.

From the Fountain of Venus - the focal point of the garden -- that's a house way in the back.

Ok, if you look closely you can see the pears growing on the manipulated tree.  
How cool is that?!

These are pigs.  Big pigs, winning pigs.  
And at times -- pooping pigs.  Right in front of me!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tea cups, t-shirts and thoughts

Let's face it -- I live in the country.  The roads I drive to and from work are 2 lanes -- the entire way.  That's 30 minutes each way on windy, hilly roads lined with trees.  (see previous posts).  It is just beautiful.  And my cottage -- the 650 sqft of fun that is getting set up more each day.  As things come together, I'll show you more and more of it.  And at some point I'll even post pictures of the leaves changing -- then you'll be jealous!!!

In my kitchen the cabinets have a molding of about 1.75 inches.  I had this great idea to display my tea cups upon the top of the cabinets.  You know how much I love tea cups!!!  So, I measured the space out and headed to Home Depot.  Using the only true means of construction communication -- a post it note -- I had my personal assistant Charles cut my 16' board down to the appropriate sizes.  Once home I got them in their correct places and was quite impressed.  Off Ebay, great idea Donna!!!, I acquired 20 teacup stands  and have placed them all in their spots.  Check it out!!! 

Left side!

Right side!!

Being single can have its perks -- it's easier for people to add 1 extra to the table than 2+.  So, I've gotten a number of invites to dinner while being here this first month.  Not that I mind -- has Debby ever turned down a dinner invite?!?! Only when double booked.  And sometimes not even then.  One family here at CPC graciously opens their home each Thursday to single women -- divorced, widowed or never married, we come together for good food, laughter and just plain interaction.  That interaction is a major need -- it's too easy to just sit at home and do nothing when single.

Last Thursday I wasn't working and wasn't sure about going to dinner.  But, I felt God was prompting me to head on out.  And I'm glad he did.  It was fun and enjoyable as always.  But, I got to meet some MTW missionaries to Australia who are awesome!  Steve & Berenice Rarig have been there for at least 16 years.  Steve helped to start a reformed seminary there, and they are now assisting in planting a church in Perth.  One of the goals for the church is to be in the midst of culture --- so they are meeting in a cafe in the middle of the art district.  To further the process Berenice is finishing up her PhD in Creative Arts.  Her work enables her to engage with people where they are.  So, an artist can converse with her and she can give an informed, authorized perspective on art.  And in the midst of it, she can point them to the Gospel.  

Berenice's main focus is to show what truth lies behind all art, and how we can see the heart of the artist in the midst of their work.  For instance, those paintings that have the one lonely strip of paint in the center of the canvas... Is it only a random swatch of paint?  Or is it a soul that feels so isolated, removed, and without any hope of rescue depicted?  What can we see about an artist regarding their spiritual state, or lack thereof, when really pondering their work?  And in turn, we learn where a heart is and that they too need to be reached with the saving work of Christ.

As Christians, we get miffed at material that is offensive.  I can understand that.  And we'd rather look (not always, but go with me) at the classic depictions of Biblical accounts.  But, those Biblical paintings were often done simply to pay the bills.  Like DaVinci -- did he believe in the power of the Last Supper? Did he truly believe in the death and resurrection of Christ that would enable one to partake in the spiritual implications of communion?  Here lies my questions: if art is truly showing what is in your heart - then which artist should we be more engaged with?  The one who shows what their spiritual status is or the artist who painted to be paid?  And in turn, which pieces truly show us the redeeming grace of Christ?  

On a much lighter turn .... one of the women I've gotten to know up here in Maryland had a bit of a situation the other day.  And I'm going to share.  She received a phone call at 4:30AM that a friend needed an ER visit.  Gathering up her things, and children, she rushed to the ER, helped out her friend.  While visiting Walgreens later for meds, she noticed a rack of T-shirts.  "I need something new to wear this afternoon.  4:30AM clothes aren't comfy anymore."  So, she picked up some t-shirts.  She put one on, got back to the house and picked up the sick-one for another Dr's visit.  It wasn't until she was having to fill out the form for her now drugged up friend that she noticed what was on the t-shirt...

Her husband is not going to be pleased!!!

Off for another adventure this weekend.  The Ladew Topiary Garden.  Oolala.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

For the G's - One Alabaster Jar

I've been reading some Job lately, and I'm starting to see what morons his friends were.  He's lamenting his situation, trying to figure out what went wrong, and all his friends can give him are solutions on how to fix the problem.  How his actions just aren't good enough, his thoughts aren't correct, and really, his God just isn't big enough to care or listen or handle his frustration.

My dear sweet friends, the G's, have lost their baby.  This little one would have been born in January.  There had been some complications, but they wanted to have the baby God wanted them to have - problems and all.  And now this child we never knew is back in the hand of God.

I've been here in Maryland now for 4 weeks -- this is the first time I've cried.  My heart is broken, my soul is crushed, and my spirit yearns to be revived.  I love this family and their children are just as precious to me as if they were my own.  And now, I'll never know one of them.

Yet, my tears can't begin to match those I anticipate to fall on the cheeks of my friends.  The single solace I can provide is this:

Psalm 56:8
You keep track of all of my sorrows
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Our God is big enough - to take the blows, to hold the heart, and to catch every tear - cherishing and valuing the fullness of each drop.

So, cry, my dear, precious friends.  And know there is a beautiful jar being held by our great God.  One alabaster jar. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Test results - negative

It didn't work -- the test was a bust --- grrrr --- take three!!!

Thanks for all your help with the tests -- they aren't doing what I need them to do.

Not giving up, will find a way, must do so to keep my job.  Just kidding -- i can lose my job other ways.  

But, will figure this thing out.

Getting all techno

When I was in the 2nd grade or so, my dad made the first computer on which I ever really spent any time.  That Apple IIe clone had its fair share of "Type Attack" and "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"  And if you were cool, that catchy tune just jingled in your noggin'.

Sadly, with such training in the genes I have a knack for figuring out computer-y things.  Don't get me started on how much I actually know about running a sound board, or figuring out how to run Excel -- which all the ladies at OPC may still call me about!  Or, if there is some quirk in any electrical system, I can generally figure it out.  Some call it crazy, I call it clueging -- I can't phonetically figure out how my dad would have spelled that word -- as Thomas Jefferson once said, "It's a free country, I can spell things however I'd like."  Haha!  Take that spelling teachers.  Digression!  Basically, you give me a problem and I'll find some means of fixing it.  My Uncle Wyatt has demonstrated this fine skill as has my brother Steve -- the other two aren't quite adept at it, but my sister-in-law Donna has it down!

At my new job, we are trying to create new website methods -- mainly blogs.  And guess who is figuring things out!?!?  Yeah!  Me!  Now that I think of it, someone might have already got it down here in the office, but what fun would that be?  The current pursuit is to figure out how to post documents, potentially post forms, etc for our ministries.

Here's my test of the document post -- c'mon, be a guinea pig.  They're so cute and fuzzy.

I think I've figured it out.  And I'm using this site to determine how it actually works.  You can read the test doc -- it might make you laugh, chuckle, ok just smile.  Thanks for your help.

Now to figure out how to unsubscribe from a rouge blog.  

Techno Out!

Monday, July 14, 2008

where I travel

Alright, I'll put up some pictures of the places that I travel, live, exist -- just give me a moment.  I don't always remember to bring my camera with me.  And when I do bring it, I forget I have it.  Oops!!

On my way to work this AM I realized I could take very daring shots of the roads I travel.  I go up and down hills, alot.  And most days, I don't come upon anyone for about 20 minutes.  I love driving these roads.  The endless lining of trees creates a feeling of wonderment -- could this be the turn which brings me to my next road?  Not generally, but I can hope!  Or, could there be a little store that I might want to visit?  Ok, so while on the way to work, this doesn't happen.  While traveling from the farmer's market - where I can purchase locally raised organic meat! - it happened.

I had visited the library - got the book club read "All Creatures Great and Small" even though they are meeting on Friday.  I stopped at 3 markets for food and was traveling home.  I knew the road I was going to take brought me past Carolyn Orchards that had to die for Ranier Cherries.  I sadly had forgotten that it also past by Hoffman's Ice Cream.  I whipped right into the parking lot upon seeing their sign.  As an ice cream maker, I get a little picky -- this was awesome!!!  Smooth, creamy, going to melt fast without any preservatives.  I had Peach.  Delish!!!  When you visit me, we'll have to make a trip!  Check them out here:

Here's another photo of roads much travelled these days.  Just think what they'll look like in the fall.  I can't wait.  

Will get photos of my cottage up once I get it situated. I'm a little bit prideful regardless of what Lauren Winner says in Mudhouse Sabbath.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DC - reasons to visit

On my first Sunday here I made plans to join my friends the C's in Washington, DC. Of course, I had to scoot out from church without talking to anyone. I figured I have 100's of Sundays left to talk with them. I ventured down 95 to the closest Metro I could find and hopped on for a ride to the Mall/Air & Space Museum. Now, one would think that taking the Train into DC on a Sunday wouldn't be so bad. And it shouldn't. But this Sunday had a particularly high number of events occurring.

1. The Folk Life Festival -- where they were celebrating life in Mongolia, Asian American influences on Texas, and NASA. Yes, the folklife that is experienced in Space is very impacting.

2. The Baltimore Orioles vs. DC Nationals -- the fans up here are die hard -- and a bit miffed that Tampa Bay is actually beating them (and now the Red Soxs, too). But, who would have ever thought that could happen!??! Oriole fans still traveled the little bit South to see their team.

3. LA Galaxy vs. DC United -- Beckham was coming. Why not go?!? My friend did.

4. Spain vs. Germany in the World Playoffs of Soccer -- at the Austrian Embassy -- they were hosting 850 people to watch this game on the big, big screens. I know this doesn't seem major, but there were Germans on my train ride into town. Some were normal soccer fans. But, there was this one girl -- she had on a tight-black wife beater, a red belt, and gold polyester legging pants. It was going to be 95 degrees out there. What was she thinking?!?! Oh, and a German flag to set off the whole outfit!

Even with the majorly crowded train ride, made it into town to see M, A & A at the Air & Space Museum.

We crossed the mall and went to the National Museum of Art. I don't know if you could imagine this, but I get into museums. I love them. I especially love free ones -- like the ones in DC. It was awesome to drag M around the museum and make her and the boys check out artwork. We saw Monet, Vermeer, Renoir, Cassett - like the one here. It was great. The bigger kid was so impressed that he recognized some of the art work and would be able to tell his teacher about it next year at school. See, it is educational!

There is little that does my heart more to soar with pride for America than to be in the Capitol. It is just spectacular. I love it. And to see it with great friends just tops it off.

Some of the people that I've met from Maryland have never traveled into DC by themself. I couldn't imagine it and hope that I do it more and more. And if you'd like to come to DC -- I'll meet you there. I know which Metro stop to use. But, I might need to check the overall status of things in the city before I agree to ride again!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fruit stands -- more than one variety

I have always loved going to fruit stands.  If there is one on the side of the road, it just pulls me towards it.  The smell of the fresh air, the beauty of the sweet treats, the desire to have that sugary natural syrup drip down my arm makes me purchase probably way more than I should.  But, I can't help it.

More enticing than a fruit stand is a you-pick farm.  For a city girl, it brings out the inner farmer from my soul and causes me to think about those days long ago when everyone picked their own fruits and veggies.  I might need to invest in a Little House on the Prairie!  The pull is so great that I'm going tomorrow to pick blueberries.  Nothing says 4th of July than a fresh blueberry crisp.  Seriously.

Yesterday, I went to a different kind of fruit stand.  I went to The Mall -- that's what it's called.  Don't pull one over on Maryland.  No, no -- it only has the best.  Your mall might think it's cool, but "The Mall" is up here.  Sorry to inform you of that limitation your current shopping center has.  I digress.  I went shopping at the mall and found a bright shining type of fruit stand.  There were things on the walls, in the middle of the stand and these odd people in orange or teal shirts.  And to shop at this stand, I needed an appointment.  

Not sure if you could guess it yet, but I got to purchase a MacBook yesterday for work!!  And I got them to throw in a free iPod.  That's right, I totally have refused to fall into the trap of paying for a miniature boombox and have acquired one for free!!!  Take that Madison Avenue. 

I do love fruits stands and fresh veggies.  Yesterday, my neighbor had harvested potatoes and onions from her garden and generously shared some new potatoes with me.  MmmmmmMmm.  Good!  Roasted them with some red onions and generous Italian seasonings.  Nothing tastes better than truly fresh delicacies.  And a brand new computer!  HeeHee!

Must tell you tomorrow about my fun trip to DC and hanging out with the Cardinali's!