Thursday, October 30, 2003

Barbie, Pagan Witch

Christian moms who think Barbie is a benign influence and perhaps even a cute toy, please take note: there is a new Barbie in town, and she is a bona fide witch.

Yup, it's true. This fall, Mattel is offering a new Barbie, Secret Spells Barbie, along with two companions, Christie and Kayla. Barbie comes with two glamorous caped outfits, a spellbook with secret compartment, a dragonfly, mixing pot, stand, spoon, three bottles and two packets of magic powder (sugar-based mixes). The other two dolls also come with two glittery outfits, spell book, edible potions and potion cups.

Sample a few of the hundreds of comments about Secret Spells Barbie at, a consumer product review website:

"Hello, people. It is a toy. No need to get your pants in a bunch, Wiccans, Pagans and Christians alike. I am a witch. I am not a Barbie fan at all...never have been. But it is still a toy. By the way, way to go Mattel."

"Secret Spells Barbie is a great way to celebrate the holidays; I just wish she looked more like Morticia Addams than Samantha (of American Girls dolls)."

"I'm a Wiccan and I have a sense of humor. You can darn well bet that I and a number of my coveners are going to have these in our homes soon. And no, not for my kid (I don't have any!) It'll be for ME!"

"Oh my stars! Now the Mattel people are infringing upon my family's ancient belief sytem. How can they get away with this? ....I intend to track down and purchase a few samples of these Barbies, to add to my world-wide collection of the art-form depiction of the Feminine Goddess aspect in today's society."

How can anyone be surprised?

I can't say it better than one quote from "Great job, Mattel, adding more evil and confusion to little girls' worlds."

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Foodie Vocab Word of the Week

Microcheesery - a small-scale maker of a regional artisan cheese; similar to microbrewery, except for cheese instead of beer.

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Turkey Black Bean Chili Fit for Foodies

Tried out an interesting new chili recipe last night that uses pumpkin as an ingredient. It was superb and quick to make, fit for serious foodies as well as the just-give-me-my football, beer and bowl o' chilli crowd.

Main chili makings are 2 cups of cooked turkey, 2 15-oz cans of black beans (I recommend Bush's), 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 chopped yellow onion, minced garlic to taste (lots in our home!) 1 can of Mexican stewed tomatoes chopped, and the surprise ingredient of 1 16-oz can of pure pumpkin. For spices, I used 2 tspns of cumin (absolutely essential, but use to taste), 1 tspn of chili pepper, 1 tspn of white pepper and several generous sprinkles of garlic salt. I omitted the 1/2 cup of cream sherry specified by the recipe, but it would have enhanced this delicious dish. Saute the onion and garlic in veggie oil; stir in the broth, beans, turkey, pumpkin and Mexican tomatoes, in that order. Let simmer for 5 minutes, and then add all spices. Sherry should be added early if you want the alcohol to burn off, and later if you want a full-bodied sherry flavor. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes; occasionally stir.

This hearty fare has a complexity rarely found in chili. The turkey, pumpkin, black beans and cumin simmered together were a surprising match made in culinary heaven. I served it with dollops of sour cream and freshly baked corn bread.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Husband and and wife of 25 years, Narinder Badwal and Lilla Singh, were jubilant recently when their Santa Clara 7-11 store sold one of two winning California Lotto tickets last Wednesday, each worth $49 milion. After 16 years of owning their franchise store, they were thrilled that they had finally hit their big jackpot with the commission of $250,000. They celebrated by giving out free Slurpees to their customers.

To everyones' surprise, by Thursday, no one had stepped forward to claim their share of the sixth largest jackpot in Lotto history. As he always does later on Thursdays and Sundays, Mr. Badwal took out the 12 tickets he bought for themselves and checked them against the winning numbers. He was shocked to discover that he had sold the winning ticket to himself.

The couple had chosen to receive the proceeds in 26 annual payments of about $2 million. Some of the money will go toward their three childrens' college educations, and to the Sankara Eye Foundation, a charity that provides eye surgeries in India. Mrs. Singh has admitted to having always wanted a diamond ring from her husband.

They said, though, that being millionaires wouldn't change their early retirement, no elaborate homes, no fancy cars. They plan to keep running their 7-11 store in Santa Clara. "We will be doing our regular activities so we can stay healthy and live longer," said Singh. "We want to stay the way we were."

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Monday, October 27, 2003

The Wildlfire of Hell

Hell must be like the inferno of a raging Californa wildfire.....terrifying, infinitely destructive, tragic. Please pray for our friends who have been evacuated from their home just beyond Crestline.

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Grab That Bag of Chips, Too!

An ABC reporter covering the Southern California wildfires this morning asked one middle-aged couple evacuated from their home, "How much notice did you have to evacuate your home?"

"About a half hour, I guess." the woman replied.

"What did you decide to take with you?"

"The bean dip," she said in all seriousness.

Startled, the reporter paused and then asked, "Why bean dip?"

She laughed, "I didn't want to waste it."

Not often you can stun a reporter into stammering, awkward silence, but she did.

She added, "Then I took my Bible."

You just can't make this stuff up.

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Saturday, October 25, 2003

Cigars and Tequila Shots

The room was jammed with women at a Women's Cigar Dinner recently held in Denver by Morton's of Chicago, the high-end steak restaurant. In fact, the event was such a great success for the restaurant that on November 11, another Denver upscale eatery will host a Women's Tequila Dinner and Tasting.

Here is my we really need to engage in unhealthy behavior to feel empowered?

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Friday, October 24, 2003

Bumper Sticker of the Month

Seen on a big rig truck based in Champlaign, Illinois:

"Start your week right....Attend the church of your choice."

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Mario Batali, Food Hall-of-Famer

It was evening, and Nigella Lawson, former journalist and now of "Nigella Bites" cookbook and TV show fame, wore a half-buttoned man's shirt as she drizzled syrup on a stack of at least ten pancakes. She gazed at the pancakes as if surveying a great work of art. She carefully cut a huge bite, tossed back her hair, and closed her eyes as she revelled in its glory. She was taking a second monster bite as program credits rolled over her TV image.

Martha Stewart, one-time stockbroker, samples every edible made on her show lately. Bobby Flay can't resist taking hearty televised noshes of his spicy southwest dishes. Rachael Ray tastes all of her 30-minute meals at program end, athough actor/chef Emeril feeds his clamoring audience more than himself. Possible anorexic Sandra Lee of the new "Semi Homemade" cooking show cheerily munches her ultra-quick-and-yummy snacks, desserts and odd cocktails (a beer margarita? why?). Paula Deen, the TV queen of indulgent southern cooking, luxuriates in sensuous bites of her down-home concoctions.

These are attractive people with TV-acceptable bodies and perfect TV-friendly wardrobes and grooming, yet they are constantly pictured eating fatty and sugary foods, and lots of it. I suppose they all could have superior genes and faster metalbolisms than us, but that seems unlikely. The logical guess is that they don't actually eat like that very often....that (gasp) maybe some don't even enjoy eating complex, heavy gastronomical pleasures. In other words, it is an act. It is sitcom and drama, not reality TV. They don't live like that, or they wouldn't look like that.

Which brings me to why I like Mario Batali, currently of "Molto Mario." He lives and breathes authentic Italian food, and you know it. His knowledge of all culinary things Italian is amazing, and his passion for it is unsurpassed. And he looks a man who often consumes (and is consumed by) his own cooking. He is stocky and overweight with a round, perpetually smiling face, and his impossibly orange-red hair is pulled back into a ponytail. His clothes are blandly neutral except for his tired red high-top tennis shoes. You just know that he wears those same clothes at home. Like a person driven by a single passion, his appearance is an afterthought.

In past decades, all the great chefs were a bit zaftig and not overly polished or broadcast beautiful. Think James Beard and Julia Child. Mario may be the only TV chef today in a class with these food extraordinary chef, passionate and knowledgeable about his culinary subject, utterly comfortable as mere background to his creations, and obviously delighted with consuming his own fare.

Mark me down as Mario fan. His love of cooking and food is not just an ratings-driven act. He is the real deal.

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Thursday, October 23, 2003

Christmas, the WalMart Way

Nothing says Christmas like a giant, plastic 8-foot inflatable, blue-sweatered polar bear that lights up for a "glowing nighttime display."

WalMart lists it as a best-seller in today's online spam, so you better hurry or the supply will be gone. For a mere $37.82 plus shipping and sales tax, it can be yours in 1 to 2 business days.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

On Throwing out the Baby with Some Pesky Bathwater

All we think we know about headline news stories is filtered through the minds, hearts and profitability goals of reporters, editors and publishers. That is, unless we were eyewitnesses and know the involved parties, but that is rare.

The reported facts of the Terri Schiavo situation, coupled with the touching video of Terri recorded recently by her parents, are so horrifying and obviously evil that I found it easier to assume that the reporting was biased and incorrect, overhyped in relation to its importance, a la OJ and Kobe. I was wrong.

Here are the basic facts, as reported by MSNBC:
- Mrs. Schiavo survived a heart attack in 1990, but it left her substantially brain damaged.
- Mrs. Schiavo has since lived in a medical facility. She breathes on her own; she receives sustenance through a feeding tube.
- Mr. Schiavo is involved in a romantic relationship with another woman, and they have a child together.
- Mr. Schiavo declines to divorce his wife.
- If Mrs. Schiavo dies, Mr. Schiavo will inherit $750,000 that remains in a medical care trust account for Mrs. Schiavo.
- Mrs. Schiavo never signed a living will, which allows people to disconnect machines or feeding tubes should that person become comatose.
- Mr. Schiavo states that Mrs. Schiavo lives in a "persistent vegetative state."
- Two weeks ago, Mrs. Schiavo's parents made a video of her sitting with support, eyes sparkling, making sounds apparently in response to her mother.
- Many doctors have stated that with persistence, Mrs. Schiavo may be able to perform some basic care-taking tasks for herself. One of those tasks would be limited self-feeding, so that a feeding tube would be unnecessary.
- For five years, Mr. Schiavo has fought to have her feeding tube removed to cause her to die.
- Mrs. Schavio's feeding tube was removed on Oct 15, 2003, in response to a court order sought by her husband.
- Mrs. Schiavo was deprived of water and food for six days.
- Yesterday, per Florida legislation signed by the governor, Mrs. Schiavo's feeding tube was reconnected.
- Mr. Schiavo's attorney stated today that "Terri Schiavo was literally abducted from her deathbed." They vow to continue this fight. As I write this, headlines state that Mr. Schiavo has forbidden her parents to visit her.

Of course, this struggle to cause Mrs. Schiavo to legally die by starvation is sickening and frighteningly evil. As I said here on Sept 5, this is to be expected in a society that does not respect each and every person's inalienable right to life.

What gives me pause here is how quick I was to blame the media and ignore the annoying hype surrounding this situation. In its drive for sensationalism to pump up sales and TV ratings, the media has cried a proverbial "wolf" thousands of times too often.

By tuning out all news and media hype, we may be throwing out our beloved baby to get rid of some pesky dirty bathwater.

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Monday, October 20, 2003

Divine Examination

Story in today's news that Dana Clark Hughes, a homeless man in Indiana, found an envelope containing $1,500 on a sidewalk Thursday. He turned the money in at a county gov't office building across the street. Hughes said he believed that God was testing him...that this was a "type of divine examination."


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Searching for Norman Rockwell

One of our neighbors thinks we live in Norman Rockwell's America. God bless them...wouldn't that be nice? We opened our front door a few mornings ago to find a scroll and sandwich bag full of dime candy rubber-banded to the door knob. The scroll had two sheets of paper, a cute cartoon ghost and a poem that read:

The Phantom Ghost has come around
To leave these goodies you have found.

And, since the Ghost has gotten you
Please read closely what you must do.

First, post the Ghost where it can be seen,
On your door or window until Halloween.

Then no other Ghost will visit again
Be sure to participate, it will make you grin.

Next, please do your part,
You have only one day,
So everyone has a chance to play.

Make two treats, two Ghosts and two notes,
Now that's the gist,
And take them to families
That may have been missed.

Deliver after dark
When there's barely a light,
Ring the doorbell and RUN!
Then stay out of sight!!!

And last but not least, have fun,
And try not to be seen,
And share the fun of Halloween!!!

Our first reaction was that this was another pseudo I'm-your-neighbor promotion by an ambitious realtor. Then headline-induced paranoia set in.....remember the children who received tainted or dangerous halloween candy....remember the teenager who put razor blades in public park sand boxes....remember the girl in San Diego who delivered Girl Scout cookies with her mother and ended up dead....remember the cranky, harrassed old man who shot and killed a 14 year old over a pumpkin prank...remember....remember...remember.

Remember when we lived for ten years on a busy corner, and how strangers would knock on our door at night for assistance? Remember the scary lessons we learned from that, and how the Fullerton police instructed us to just take the info through a closed door, and place a call to the Auto Club for the stranded motorist? Remember how the police told us to never answer our front door after dark if we are not expecting visitors?

Wouldn't it be nice to not have paranoid thoughts about friendly gestures by a neighbor?

What did we do? After too much analysis, we ate the candy as an act of nostalgic faith in a better world (and because it looked good) , and anonymously repeated this sweet seasonal deed for two neighbors. Like irritating chain letters, we felt too guilty to not pass it on, and besides, what would the neighbors think if we dropped the metaphoric ball? And then we posted the Ghost on our front door so we won't have to go through this trauma again.

New England artist Norman Rockwell lovingly painted mid- 20th century America as a place where innocence, integrity and warmth exist to transcend the inevitable imperfection of humanity to ensure happy endings. I wonder if such a place still might be worth the search just to know.

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Steve Bartman, Celebrity Cub Fan

Report from CNN this afternoon is that Steve Bartman, the Cubs fan who achieved notoriety and death threats after reaching for that pop foul in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, may not be in misery for long over his mistake. Revolution Studios, in Hollywood, has already received a pitch for a movie tentatively titled "Fan Interference" that recounts the story of a fan who messes up an easy out for his favorite baseball team and then has to deal with the ramifications. The movie is expected to star TV sitcom star Kevin James of the CBS show "King of Queens."

Of course. We should have known better than to feel sorry for Mr. Bartman. Next: appearances with Jay Leno and Dave Letterman.

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A Page-A-Day Pearl

A pearl from a page-a-day Max Lucado calendar here by my monitor:

"When you forgive someone, you are as close to God as you will ever be, because in that forgiveness you are demonstrating the very heart of God. If you want to understand God, if you want to draw closer to Him, then forgive someone today."

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Chicago Really Can Be a Tough Town

By reputation, Chicago can be a tough town. Guess the rumors were correct in this case. The following is taken from today's Chicago Tribune:

"Last seen, the fan who tried to catch the ball was wearing a jacket on his head and being led into the underbelly of Wrigley Field for his own protection.

He may forever be referred to as 'that fan' or any number of other names after he reached for a pop foul that Cubs left-fielder Moises Alou was about to catch for the second out in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, with the Cubs leading (the game) 3-0 and five outs away from the World Series.

But the ball struck the fan's hand and bounced free, opening the door to an eight-run Marlins rally and an eventual Cubs loss.

Within moments. the fans down the left-field line began booing and chanting, 'Get him out.' The object of their scorn still sat in his front-row seat, wearing headphones and a Cubs cap, as the Marlins began to pile up runs.

'It cost us the game, pal.' shouted one fan. Another fan tossed a beer cup toward the man's seat, but it fell short. Three security guards ejected one fan after throwing beer. 'I hope you're happy,' the man screamed. 'You cost us the (expletive) World Series.'

Another fan yelled, 'You could tell we're better than Boston or he'd be dead already.' "


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Roses and Wisdom

Early this morning, a neighbor across the street smiled, waved and commented," Nice roses. They're beautiful."

"Thank you," I replied while pruning back spent blossoms. " I'm not much of a gardner, but I've grown roses for years. "

"Well, they're beautiful. "

"Well, thanks, but they've had better years."

He laughed,"Haven't we all?"

Yes, indeed we have.

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Monday, October 13, 2003

Freshest Homemade Tomato Soup

Made a fragrant, lively tomato soup last night in only 30 minutes, and my family loved it. Combine 4 cups of chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 can of Italian style stewed tomatoes, 1 chopped yellow onion (sauteed in butter or oil), 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and garlic to taste in a pot and boil gently for 15 minutes. In a separate pan, combine 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour until smooth. Add to the soup for thickness and stir. Season to taste: I added a teaspoon of McCormick's lemon pepper (one of my secret ingredients) and a half teaspoon of salt. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes more.

Perfect for a light dinner or lunch when served with a green salad and toasted slices of your favorite bread.

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Sunday, October 12, 2003

Epiphany that Few Will Believe

Friends and family would never believe that I would say such a thing, but epiphanies do happen: It is great to be middle aged. Yup, those words came from me. I spoke to my mid-20s, newlywed daughter this evening, and memories of that time in life came flooding back to me.

Now, I know who I am, and, with God's grace, how to accomplish my goals and priorities. Ron and I are long-settled into marital bliss, and have a good life together. Three of four children are raised and now adults, and the fourth is bright and easy-going. We are at peace with our parents. We have interests and passions, both shared and individual. (I still don't understand why he doesn't want me to learn golf. :) Life has its challenges and sorrows, but we know how to weather the storms. We have matured in and find joy in our faith. We are blessed and grateful.

It is exciting for my daughter and her husband to be on the brink of their new lives together...a shining blank slate just waiting for their signatures. But I, who has struggled for a decade with aging, would not trade places with them, even if given the chance. That is a soul-satisfying realization.

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Friday, October 10, 2003

Seduction by Fudge

My husband, Ron, had a "bachelor recipe" for a rich caramel chocolate fudge that he took to parties and used to capture the attention of women. He is a decent cook, but this was his show-off recipe. He served it to me on our first date. Friends continued to ask us to bring it to potlucks, and several said we could make our fortune selling this deeply delicious confection.

Eight years ago, we started our foray into the gourmet food business by making and selling Ron's richest caramel chocolate fudge. We had such fun at our first entrepreneurial venture, working together day and night through the holiday season at baking, boxing, wrapping and delivering. Supportive family and friends placed orders, and one loyal pal ordered forty pounds for Christmas gifts to his customers. In March, the Health Department came knocking, and we discovered all sorts of regulations that we unknowingly violated in our home business.

Our first small business is long gone now, and it has been years since we made that recipe. Ron's richest caramel chocolate fudge will be featured in my fudge cookbook-in-progress. But....we can't find the recipe anymore! Today, I made a caramel fudge brownie that seemed similar. It looks too brownie-ish and not fudgy enough, but I bet our Friday Evening group will devour it anyway.

At least I have a starting point to recreating the seductive fudge Ron served at our first meal together.

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A Christian American

Dr. James Dobson, a true Christian American, wrote in his August 2003 monthly bulletin, "My vision is for a society that protects religious liberties for people of all faiths. I believe in the concept of pluralism, which acknowledges the widely differing values and beliefs among our citizens. What's needed is a constitutional amendment protecting the rights of students and other citizens to voice their religious convictions and apply their faith to everyday issues."

"It would require an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect voluntary prayer and religious liberty generally. The wording should clearly articulate a principle of government neutrality toward religion and should explicitly restore student religious expression in public school....As I write, legislation calling for a religious-liberties amendment is being considered in Congress. Perhaps our leaders will soon give the American people an opportunity to vote on this issue."


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Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Democracy in Action

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson was right on target when he said that yesterday's resounding recall of California governor Gray Davis and replacement election of moderate Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger was a "non-partisan vote to protest the status-quo" perpetuated by career politicians. Translated, Californians are mad as hell and decided to not take it any more.

It's powerful and exciting when the people rise up and take back control. That is what democracy is all about, and the basic principle on which our great country was founded.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Los Angeles Times: New York Times or National Enquirer?

The US news media exists to report the news, not make and shape the news and hence, history. The editorial page is reserved as its only allotted and appropriately labelled exercise in subjectivity, and a medium's sole departure from its professional obligation and the public's expectation of objectivity.

The Los Angeles Times has been appallingly abusive in its misuse of the power of the press to control the outcome of today's California gubernatorial recall and replacement election. Front page headlines consistently referred to Mr. Schwarzenegger as "celebrity" or "actor" whereas Mr. Davis was referred to by name. Only three days prior to balloting, the Times published sensational allegations by four anonymous and two identified women charging sexual harrassment thirty years ago by Mr. Schwarzenegger. The Times published a rumor that a book proposal alleges that Arnold was once a Nazi-admirer.
Anyone at anytime can write a book proposal alleging anything....since the book has not been published, the author or publisher can't be sued for libel or defamation. The Times publishes books, and it well knows this.

The Los Angeles Times has not devoted front page or significant print space analyzing the candidates' differences on education challenges, methods planned to meet the state budget shortfall. both the needs of and burdens created by illegal aliens and undocumented workers, excessive taxation and red-tape for small businesses, and other subtantive, important issues.

In this election, the Los Angeles Times has acted more like the National Enquirer than the New York Times. The Times has lost a good measure of its credibility and community goodwill, and, I suspect, readers, too.

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How Dare They?

Groucho Marx famously remarked," I wouldn't want to be in a club that would have me for a member." My variation is this: I have learned lessons from being involved in organizations, and one is that there are many clubs and committees that I do not want to and should not be a part of...I do not fit in well; they are frustrating exercises for me; I don't meet their criteria for a good member; I get saddened or bored by misplaced priorities. But it still hurts my ego when they don't want me either. (How dare they?) :)

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Monday, October 06, 2003


Sat next to a ninety-three year old man at church yesterday, just as I have most Sundays for the past year. He sits alone in the sixth pew, although once a visiting granddaughter and her boyfriend sat with him. He fits the word spry, with his energy and wiry build. He drives himself to church.

We greet each other the same way each week. I slide into the pew, stop about eighteen inches to his right, look at him and say," Good Morning. How are you today?" He smiles widely and replies, "Always room for improvement." We laugh at our shared wittiness. He is happy for the attention, and I again feel a fleeting remembrance of my beloved grandfather. He invariably nods off during the service. He is mentally sharp, but yesterday seemed confused. He couldn't find "How Great Thou Art" in the hymnal. I found it for him, but he was unable to follow the four stanzas of lyrics. He completed a weekly attendance card, but couldn't recall what to do with it. He dozed longer than normal.

It is fall now, and children are back in school. The weather has turned cooler, and leaves are changing colors. Football season is well underway again, and baseball fans ponder the excitement of another World Series. Life and seasons move on without our permission. I look forward to seeing my friend again next week at church.

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Saturday, October 04, 2003

October Flea Market Finds

October flea markets and estate sales are usually rich with bargain treasures, and today was no exception. With a Starbucks French Roast in one hand and Yahoo maps in the other, I got an early start to browsing for cookbooks and kitchen tools to add to my collection or sell on eBay. My finds were exceptional: ninety pieces of lovely antique William Rogers silver flatware for an astounding $10; a garlic press, professional meat thermometer, an attractive top-quality stainless steel carving set and an oversized Pyrex baking dish all for $6; and two sets of 1960s fondue forks in their original boxes for fifty cents each. I couldn't resist two fascinating old books at seventy-five cents each: "Bedside Book of Famous French Short Stories," published in 1945 with stories by Honore De Balzac, Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola, George Sand and Jean-Paul Sartre, and "Sex in Civilization," a 682-page volume published in 1929, featuring a thought-provoking diversity of viewpoints and essays on women, Christianity, sexuality, marriage and society.

It was great fun!

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Friday, October 03, 2003

Pumpkin Dessert Cake

The worst-kept secret of food writers and publishers is that the most delicious and pleasing recipes are found in local community, church and fundraiser cookbooks. This is especially true for cookies, cakes, pies, candies and assorted desserts.

Today, I made a pumpkin dessert cake from my church's cookbook, and it is simply sensational. The first layer consists of one can of pure pumpkin, one cup of evaporated milk, 3 eggs, one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice and one teaspoon of salt, all mixed together and poured into a 9 X 12 pan. The second layer is a white cake dry mix, sprinkled on top of the pumpkin mixture. I used the Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White Premium Cake Mix with Double Pudding. (Amazing title.) The third layer is a melted half cup of butter, poured over the top of it all. I added a touch of cinnamon to the butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. The baking aroma is very autumn, and the taste is sure to draw smiles.

Will serve it this evening with whipped cream to our hungry Friday Evening Group.

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Joyous or Haunting?

Strange how organ music is most often heard either in Halloween scenarios or deeply traditional churches. We joked that the organist at our former church was playing variations of Disney's Haunted Mansion theme each Sunday morning.

Shouldn't Christian music be joyous and uplifting to celebrate the Good News?

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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Frank Sinatra Redux

A unique, classy new show opens next week at Radio City Music Hall, featuring rare, vintage 1950s film clips of Frank Sinatra singing many of his best tunes. The film is taken from an ABC television program that ran for one season, and has been buried in family archives. The fifty year old film was resurrected using today's technological magic.

The show is entitled "Sinatra - His Voice, His World, His Way." I have little interest or even respect for his world or his way, but his voice and artistry were otherworldly in their smooth grace and impeccable rhythm. The film is accompanied by a forty-piece big band orchestra. Sadly, Radio City couldn't resist adding dancing Rockettes in tiny skirts to this otherwise sophisticated evening. Clips of the show can be viewed at the Radio City Music Hall website.

Oh, to be in Manhattan October 8 to 19 for a romantic fall evening of elegant dining and Sinatra music.

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