Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lots to Blog About

Wow! Life has been flying by, and I haven't been blogging much. There's so much to share!

First off, I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in my life last Thursday. It wasn't that complicated of an affair, as my lovely friends pitched in to bring dishes of yumminess over. All I made was a turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, and pumpkin bars for dessert. It was so great spending time with friends that I'm very thankful for. We're very blessed to be surrounded by some truly wonderful people in Edinburgh. And to top it off -- my friends can cook!  They each brought something so delicious over!

 Above is Josh and then Joe & Amanda. Amanda is doing a fabulous job of posting about all of her adventures in the UK at her blog The Riveras in Edinburgh. Keep your eye peeled for all of her snow pictures!

This is the lovely Alicia! When I get together with her, I'm not surprised when she tells me nonchalantly that she just biked 15 miles to the ocean and back. Wow.

On a side note - if you don't have a hand held blender, you are missing out an a fabulously convenient gadget. It was my lifesaver for hosting our Thanksgiving dinner. Is the cream cheese icing clumpy? Use the ole' hand held blender. Is the gravy disgustingly clumpy where you couldn't fain the existence of bits of turkey in it??? Hand held blender to the rescue!

This is the lovely Kidwells! Katy is who I went to Geneva with last week, and we pitifully do not have a picture together from our time in Switzerland. You should definitely check out their blogs: Sparrow Hopes and Domesticated Theology. And they even went one year of their life living "green," which you can read about at 52 Bright Green Weeks.

Next up, I helped host a "Hoo-Roo" for a very dear friend this past Friday evening.  This is a very sad yet happy thing for me. Peter, our guest of honor, is a very, very dear friend who I'm so sad is leaving Edinburgh. He's moving back to Sydney to start teaching at a seminary this month. He's been such a faithful, loving friend and has played such an integral role in our lives and has also been a constant source of encouragement and blessing. It makes me really teary that he's leaving, but I know we'll see him throughout the coming years -- whether it's in the States, Italy, or Australia.

This is Peter entering his surprise Hoo-Roo!

A little shocked at his surprise hoo-roo?

Did I mention why I'm "happy" for Peter to be returning to Australia?  His mama is in Australia, and I'm sure she'll be very glad to have him back home. I, on the other hand, would have been happy to have him wherever we live! (Totally selfish -- I know!)

Christine (the fabulous host!), Nigel, Becky, half of Josh, and Peter with his godson Dominic.

Speaking of Friday evening, that's when the snow began to fall. And it hasn't stopped! And it's Wednesday. The last report I heard is that we're under two feet of snow in Edinburgh. Isn't that ridiculous amounts of snow?!!? Yikes! It is so chilly here!

Here's a picture MBA took on Saturday:

 This was just a light dusting compared to what we have now! I ventured out with my camera today for a few more shots and will be back to share those with you shortly. 

But can I just say how nuts it is that we have two feet of snow, and it keeps falling. And falling. And falling. Now the officials are worried about flooding. But considering that it's - 3 and shouldn't be above freezing until Saturday -- and at that, only 1 degrees -- I'm not that worried about the flooding. 

(After my own flat flooded this past year and my grandmother's house floated away in the Great Flood, you would think I would be worried about flooding. Is there something wrong with me?!!?)

Anyway - back at the ranch. 

Or the tiny flat that my sister calls a tree house. 

I've also finished Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor:
I so wish I had the benefit of sitting under an amazing literary scholar and really gleaning all the insights that make this book what it is. It's a weird tale. The literary devices she uses are foreign from so many other books I've read. But, I appreciate the book. I'm glad I read it. I think I should read a minimum of five literary articles on the book and take a class on O'Connor. I've read her Spiritual Writings before and loved them. Yet, this novel was in its own ballpark. I'm still mulling over it ...

This is turning into the longest blog post ever!

Other things I'm thinking about:

1. The irony of people who allege to emulate the ethics of Jesus and are consumeristic-- especially consumeristic at Christmas time. What's that about? 

2. Making chili in this wintry blizzard we're having! Anyone have a recommended chili recipe out there? Are you still reading? I don't blame you if you're not!

3. The lovely German Christmas Market here in town and the super yummy blueberry coffee I got at the market. This was my first flavored coffee since living in Britain, and I so appreciated how super delicious it was!

4. How the movie Green Zone reminds me of No End In Sight (minus the conspiracy part). 

5. How the documentary on Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds me to be alert for present victims in need of assistance and compassion. Who are victims in our present society? May we truly see others in their struggle and seek to help them where they are. If you haven't seen this film, rent or buy it now. It's sooooo good. 

6. World AIDS Day.

7. Remembering Advent: when Jesus entered history.

"…[T]here must be no weakening or obscuring of the saving truth that the nature which God assumed in Christ is identical with our nature as we see it in the light of the Fall. If it were otherwise, how could Christ really be like us? … God’s Son not only assumed our nature but He entered the concrete form of our nature...". - Karl Barth (emphasis mine)


Amanda Rivera said...

You have been quite the hostess lately! Thanksgiving was amazing and the Hoo-Roo was great. You are a very gracious hostess! Here's a chili recipe I've used in the past that we've really liked: I usually tweek it a bit depending on what we've got on hand, but it is good. Hope you are enjoying the snow. It was so pretty today!

Cara said...

Here's a simply & yummy one for those cold days! We're just entering summer, so it's 80's and climbing here in Mada. ;)

CHILI Serves 6-8

2# ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped 2-3 Tbs chili powder
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz Bushes Best chili beans
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
4 oz can chopped green chilis
1 can tomato soup

Brown ground beef; Add and sauté onion, drain. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil; turn down heat. Cover and simmer 2 hours.

Jenn said...

You have been very busy! And, yes, I did keep reading (as I love to read about your adventures). Here is our favorite chili recipe, from my sister in law.

Vegetable Chili

1/2 c water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped green bell pepper
1/2 c chopped zucchini
1/2 c chopped yellow squash
1 c frozen corn
1/28oz can stewed tomatoes
1/16oz can red beans - drained
1/16oz can black beans - drained
1/5 oz can chopped green chiles
chili powder to taste
1/2 T soy sauce
dash cayenne pepper

Place onion, garlic, pepper, and water in pot. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Season with black pepper before serving.

GingerLand said...

I make this quite often, and my carnivore husband has never even noticed there's no meat in it. A little sneaky healthiness, and delicious... but not really a traditional chili, if you're looking for something more along those lines.

Anonymous said...

All of your parties looked like so much fun! We have started to get snow here but nothing like you have. Yet. My chili recipe looks about the same as Cara's, except I eliminate the last three ingredients. Its my grandmother's recipe. Very "beansy" as my 3 year old says. I also have a cauliflouer soup recipe that uses your hand blender if your interested. Just let me know!

Ashli said...

YUM! All of these recipes look delicious! Thanks for sharing. And Heather -- I'd love to have your cauliflower recipe! Especially since I can use my trusty ole' hand blender!!!

Anonymous said...

Her you go!
Cauliflower Soup
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Leeks
2 Large Potatoes
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Cup Carrots (I use more, I like them!)
32 ounces Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop leeks and saute in olive oil and butter. Cut up other vegetables into chunks and add to a large pot. Add chicken broth and cook until the potatoes are tender (med- high heat). Puree with immersion blender until smooth.

Enjoy! I love this recipe and I am not a cauliflower girl. It is amazing. It also works with broccoli.

Anonymous said...

J'ai appris des choses interessantes grace a vous, et vous m'avez aide a resoudre un probleme, merci.

- Daniel

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