Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blind Paper

Did you ever wonder what braile scrap paper looks like?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Today poor Gary discovered the technical term for the weird swelling he keeps getting--angioedema. It is like hives, but under the skin instead of on top of it. It shows up on his feet where it is painful, and hands, and lips, and throat. It is caused by allergies, but we don't know what he is allergic to. Current possible culprits: aspirin, salicylates, pork, preservatives in certain things.

Maybe by the time David gets his long white coat, we'll have it figured out.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Rachel got home from her trip to Kansas safely last night. She came home spouting an entire new set of gun vocabulary and these photos to prove she knew what she was talking about. Her best line: Mom, I shot a revolver; it was so cool--it revolves!

In other news, the missing bubble gum has been found: seven partial pieces were found inside the basket of Christmas music, each one etched with mice teeth marks.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Theology Books

While enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, I discovered they have found a good use for all those theology books--to hold up the bowl of creamed onions.

Sandra emailed early this morning to say the plane did not crash and she had gotten back to Donnbronn safely. David left for Houston midafternoon, and we are still awaiting Rachel's return.

In the meantime, I've pulled out the Christmas music which I enjoy so much. My favorite is this album by GLAD. Those guys can really sing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Goodbye, Sandra

Somewhere near the end of her visit, we realized why Sandra really came to America--chocolate ice cream!

She treated us to a nice meal at Chili's before we took her to the airport today. She flew out of the new Terminal D at DFW airport which has only been open for business a short time. It is all new and modern, with lots of strange artwork inside. She flies back to Frankfurt and expects her dad to be there to pick her up and drive back to her "willage" (Sandra, you don't can say that!) in time for the annual Christmas market.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


We are thankful David made it home safely from Houston last night. A bunch of his friends were here to greet him, including cute little Claire.

We took our pot of Texas Sesquicentenial Chili to Arlington and ate that along with a pot of minestrone and some fresh bread from La Madeleine Bakery. One of the cousins was a fluent German speaker, so Sandra chatted with him. We took our usual shot of the kids, but we're noticing they are getting fewer and older--what's up with that??

Then today I made green bean casserole (where's Rachel when I need her?) and off we went to eat with our friends the Sages. Unfortunately, Gary did not join us as he woke up with a fever. I did bring him a plate to eat during the Cowboys' game. Thanks, Jessica, for the invitation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Every Thanksgiving our neighbor Jesse tries to bake more Thanksgiving pies than he baked the year before. This year he's got a bit of help from his siblings and Sandra who wants to learn how to make pies and take the recipe back to Germany. I'm thankful I get to eat some of these apple and pumpkin delights without having to do anything more than furnish a couple emptly pie pans.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Me, a Doctor?

I followed a link on someone's blog and took this online test. Funny, I always did want to be a doctor. But it wasn't in the cards for me, as they say. I always thought one of my boys would become a doctor, but it turned out to not be the one I suspected. The son who studied biology turned to economics as a graduate student, and the son who studied physics decided to become a doctor. As for me, my brains drained out when I had kids; what more can I say??
You Should Get a MD (Doctor of Medicine)

You're both compassionate and brilliant - a rare combination.
You were born to be a doctor.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I have recently been educating myself about rice. We eat rice regularly, but I did not grow up eating rice. In fact, I used to think I hated rice, but that was because I had only every eaten it in this nasty dish as a child. Yuck! I grew up in a meat-and-potatoes culture where rice was nearly unheard of. I was well an adult before I really tasted rice as it was meant to be eaten--without sugar!

Many times my rice turned out sticky and gummy. Then I tried a bag of basmati rice, and it turned out to be a lot easier to cook. It smells different than other rice, and even I can cook it almost to perfection every time. I recently tried another variety, jasmine, but it turned out too sticky again. That made me curious so I did some research and found this nice link to an explanation and photos of a number of different kinds of rice. Turns out the stickiness is more because of the type of rice than because of my cooking abilities.

I guess this blog entry is a bit late; last year was the International Year of Rice.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Daughter #2 Returns

We had quite a surprise today. Our first exchange student daughter, Sandra, showed up in Dallas for a nine day visit. She had made the arrangements with a friend of ours so she could surprise us. We are very excited to have her here. She came at a good time because she will be able to see David when he is home for Thanksgiving next week.

Sandra lived with us during the 99-00 school year when Rachel was a senior, David was a junior, and she was a sophomore. The second exchange student daughter we had live with us, Doro, was here during the 03-04 school year.

Sandra remembers her favorite store, Clothestyme, but I'm not sure they are still in business. Sandra will be with us until November 26, so that will give us some time to try to find it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Personal Watermelon

I thought watermelons were supposed to be bigger than cantelopes.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I got a call from a faithful blog reader (I have at least one) today, saying, "Yeah, I know that song--Jesu Azali Awa--that you wrote about in your blog. I listened to it on the way to work today." And I thought no one had even heard of it. Sure enough, a popular Christian singing group called Selah has it out on one of their CD's. Here are all the words. Turns out I also had the language wrong. The language the song is written in is called Lingala, spoken in Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly called the Belgian Congo.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Grand Adventure

Today was the conclusion of our church's two weeks of missions emphasis. We are fortunate to have a pastor who is both missionary kid and former missionary before he became a pastor. We often enjoy his stories of life in Romania. He mentioned how many people are afraid to answer God's call of "Whom shall I send?" because they are afraid of what they are getting themsleves into. "At one point, I was afraid to ride the train from Germany to Amsterdam. And indeed, the first time we did that, we got on the wrong train. But, we survived. Life is an adventure." He pointed out that we often do things without really knowing what we are getting into--like getting married and having kids, for starters.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Annual Day of Prayer

There were three or four hundred of us, I guess. Mostly dressed in the boutique's best, not much to look at. Lots of white hair, but a few babies too. Mostly married folks, but a few singles too. The pews were piled higher and deeper with advanced degrees. The best part was we sound great as a choir in the round. At one point, the song leader said, "We're going to sing a song in Mboke. It will be new to most of you." So we sang
Jesu azali awa,
Jesu azali awa,
Jesu azali awa na biso.
Aleluia ah aleluia na Jesu.

I didn't return to the meeting after lunch. Instead, Rachel and I went for a hike on the MK Trace. It really isn't that beautiful of a place, but in Dallas, we can't be too fussy.

And at the highest spot, there is a nice view of Joe Pool lake.

Rachel had no plans tonight, so we decided it was time for another cooking lesson. She made quiche, spilling only a little in the bottom of the oven. I'm not sure, but I think she might be calling me an oaf.

And she's been wanting to try making cheese biscuits since having them at Red Lobster.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Farewell, Stella

Today we had lunch at my favorite place, (Ton's) with Stella and her mom to say farewell to Stella who is taking a job at Methodist Children's Home in Waco, TX. We want to wish Stella the best as she starts a job as Youth Care Counselor. Our prayers will be with her in what will no doubt be a challenging job.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Computer

No, not for me, for grandma. My mom phoned last night and asked me to buy her a new computer. "Buy it" in the sense that I would order it, but with her credit card. So I did. In a couple days, she should be the proud new owner of a Dell Desktop with a flat panel monitor. Rachel's comment: "Yay, a new computer to play games on at Christmas."

In other news, Rachel got word from the testing agency that she has been granted accomodations for the test she will take on Dec 10. She will be allowed extra time and won't have to fill in a scantron answer sheet.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Wave

Have you ever been to a professional baseball game where the fans did the wave? You know, a rowdy bunch in the outfield bleachers gets bored with the game so they get all the folks in that section to stand up, wave their arms, and yell. Then just as they are finishing, the next section does the same thing, and so on. If the fans are willing, this process can go all the way around the stadium, and then start again. It is fun to watch this phenomenon, and fun to participate in too.

I started thinking about the wave in church today. No, I wasn't daydreaming about baseball. the song we were singing, He Reigns, got me to thinking how believers all around the globe raise their hands and voices in praise to our savior every Sunday morning.

  • As the sun rises in Fiji, the believers gather and praise God.
  • Then an hour later Solomon Islanders pick up the refrain.
  • Then Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Japan
  • Indonesia, Philippines, Korea
  • Malaysia and a few in Vietnam and China
  • Yes, praises from Thailand, Burma, and Mongolia.
  • India, Nepal, Tibet
  • Pakistan. The song is faint, but still audible from Afghanistan
  • Madagascar and Iran
  • It gets louder: Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Turkey and Russia
  • South Africa, Zaire, Romania, and Sweden
  • Cameroon, Italy, France, Germany
  • Ivory Coast, Mali (don't forget Timbuktu), Spain, Ireland
  • This time zone is sparse--Senegal, Canary Islands, and Iceland
  • Brazil joins in
  • Uruguay, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Quebec
  • Peru, Panama, Indianapolis and Toronto
  • Then it is my turn, joined by Mexico and Winnipeg
  • Next it goes to Grandma and Grandpa in Phoenix, Calgary
  • San Francisco and Vancouver
  • Gambier Islands and Juneau
  • Tahiti and Honolulu lift their hands and voices
  • Lord, do you hear them in and Samoa?
  • And look! The Fijians are starting over again, even though it is Monday.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"New" Chair

I got a small wooden rocking chair out of the free furniture co-op for David when he was furnishing his new condo, but he rejected it because it was too ugly. It was pretty ugly, pink and green with ivy painted across the top. But Rachel could see beyond the ugly, and claimed it for her own, insisting all it needed was some paint.

Last night at 9pm I decided to sew a cushion for this chair. 23 hours later I had finished it (no, not 23 continuous hours of work. I did sleep, go shopping, do three loads of laundry, make lunch and a few other things too). The fabric came from the free boutique and the stuffing for the cushion came from recycling some old throw pillows also from the boutique.

So now Rachel has a new chair, only for the price of a quart of paint.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Voting on Marriage

I went out to lunch to day at Olive Garden with a number of ladies from my office--eating and talking, and not having to cook--now's that's the life! I got a rather large item, just so I could bring a bunch home to feed to Gary tonight. Then I don't have to cook twice!

On the way home I stopped by the public library to vote. They've upgraded the voting machines to these handy-dandy touch screen things, easy to use with nice bright colors (although I expect the print was too small for some folks). Most of the propositions I couldn't make heads nor tails of, though I did do my homework and read an online ballot before voting.

I voted to define marriage in Texas as between one man and one woman. Like, duh! I don't consider that an act of social conservative protest. I just consider it a way to say that I don't like people redefining perfectly good words like marriage. If homosexual unions need some kind of legal protection (and I'm not saying they do), then they need to call them something other than marriage. As a linguist, I certainly know that the meanings of words do change over time, but the gradual, natural evoution of semantics does not happen because a minority group legislates it to be so.