Monday, November 28, 2011

Music Monday - First Advent!

Many of my favorite hymns are from Advent. There's the beautiful "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People"; Yesterday at CJ's church the service ended with "Prepare The Royal Highway", which is so wonderfully majestic; "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" always captures the hope in which Israel (and we) wait; "On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry" is my favorite of all of them.

"All praise, eternal Son, to Thee
Whose Advent sets Thy people free
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Spirit evermore."

-"On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry", verse 5.

Enjoy this clip from the Lessons and Carols service at my church two years ago. The kids still love singing "The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came" as much now as then. "Most highly favored LA-dy, GLORIA!"

Sing it, kids! It makes me smile - even after the successful root canal today. Thanks for all the prayers!

"The angel Gabriel from heaven came
With wings as drifted snow, with eyes as flame:
All hail to thee, O lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady." Gloria!"

-"The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came", verse 1.

Reflections on Thanksgiving Weekend

-FYI. If you're ever in the Chicago area for Thanksgiving, don't worry if you need to do last minute grocery shopping the day of. There's plenty of places open. If you're looking for pie, however, make sure you want it. You'll spend four times the amount of time searching for it as getting everything else. Who's up for another pie-quest next year? Me. Oh yes, it IS good pie. Not Jessica-pie, but cherry and pumpkin pies from Whole Foods will do in a pinch. :)

-Reruns of old movies never get old. Unless it's an endless loop of The Phantom Menace.

-Football on Thanksgiving is a must. Green Bay-Detroit ended up being a good game this year...until the second half, when the Packers put up an old-fashioned whuppin' on the luckless Lions.

-Broccoli-cheese-rice casserole. Good stuff. Not too fond of all the chopping onions and celery, but next year I WILL have the vegetable slicer with me. Turkey breast? Even better. Moist...yummm. Dinner rolls with butter are wonderful. And fantastic California wine to top it off. There's still some left for New Year's!

- Go here. It's totally worth the atmosphere. Downtown lit up is, as ever, a great walking experience, too. Friday was a great day for strolling, too. Not too cold, but just brisk enough to get into the mood...

-CJ had been here before. I had not. It was perfect for a late afternoon/early evening meal. He had shepherd's pie, I had fish and chips. We left just as an extended family party was seating themselves in several tables around us. I lost count of how many kids there were. I got a mental picture of an E family gathering in about five years. Those kids will be better behaved, of course. :)

-Saturday was cold and rainy, rainy, rainy. Perfect for a day in writing, broken up by lunch at R, I almost got their macaroni and cheese. It looked scrumptious. Whether you want Italian, Asian or good American noodles, you can find it here. This was following by a quick trip to the bookstore where I made a tiny dent in Christmas shopping.

-Sunday: late service, where CJ read the first two lessons. Isaiah and Corinthians. Ah, Advent! Probably my favorite season of the church year - the hymns give it the edge.
Then we picked up lunch at Culver's (link not needed), watched some more football, then I headed off with the other half of America to go home. I-55, you are NOT my friend. But we've put up with one another for over a year now, so a little longer should be tolerable. Please try to be nice this year during winter. I won't mention last December.

-Hope all of you had an enjoyable and blessed weekend!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Music Tuesday

The past two Mondays have not been good. Yesterday wasn't bad. I just forgot it was Monday. Thursday being Thanksgiving, and all. God willing He lets me enter heaven, I'm going to learn to play this piece well.
This girl plays like a dream. I believe she's fourteen or so now.

Enjoy, and have a blessed Thanksgiving!  -BR

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How To Pick A Movie To Watch When You're Sick (It's Not As Easy As It Seems)

Well, I'm dashed. Last week, it was an almost-but-not-quite root canal.  After three prescriptions and more metal objects being stuck into my mouth than anyone should go through in 90 minutes (and if you know my oral history, that is saying something) I went home after the dentist appointment with the thought, Well, next week will be better.


1:00 AM, Yesterday, Monday morning. Bathroom, light on. Pepto bottle out. No further details offered - or hopefully, needed.

Yesterday afternoon - lying on the couch. Finished reading Oliver Twist. Thought: Need to watch one of the many movies I have! This is when something amazing happened, although at this point it needs to stop being amazing to me. I checked my phone to see if anyone had called (in between reading Dickens, were lots of naps) and there was a text message from my boyfriend. He asked how I was doing and...if I was watching any movies. Great minds...
Anyway, he suggested several, all of which sounded promising. After the text conversation, I lay on the couch thinking about all the options. I'm going to go a little James Joyce here, so bear with me.

Sense and Sensibility? Ah, good. Light, funny. Nothing too loud, since I'll probably fall asleep during it. (No jokes from Bud or Dad inserted here, please. I had a fever.) Hmmm...maybe not. There's that scene where Marianne is really sick, don't really need to watch THAT now. Plus, I've kind of overdosed on English lit/history, what with Oliver still fresh in the brain. Now there's a kid who had lots of problems..

LOTR?(Lord of the Rings trilogy, FYI) Hmmmm. Good, long films. No worries about a constant background on the menu screen if I fall asleep. But...I just finished The Silmarillion last week. (Tolkien's epic backstory of LOTR) Not really in the mood for Middle Earth right now.

2006 World Series? (I have the set of all five games, plus games 5 and 7 from the NLCS that year) Hmmm. Better. No lit or English history there. But if I put in a game, I'll want to actually watch it. Even though I'll probably fall asleep. But really, I'll just be wishing it was the 2011 WS. David Freese can't hit that home run too many times.

Seriously, you really do think too much. It's a MOVIE. How hard can it be?

Okay. Focus. You've got lots of them, surely there's one of them that fits your mood right now. (I was also really weak yesterday, and it took a lot of motivation to get off the couch. I was moving slower than my grandparents. God bless them.)

Pride and Prejudice - thinking length here, never mind the English theme. Eh, not really feeling it. Chariots of Fire? Not today. The Lion King? Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea? Shadowlands? The Queen? Crap. More sickness/death. Can't do that. Gack, a lot of the movies in here have that stuff in them. I'd watch The Sound of Music, but, I just watched it! Ditto with Back To The Future. Star Wars? Luke whines too much.

Notting Hill? Too vapid. Sleepless in Seattle? Same thing. Clue?'s a comedy. With lots of dead bodies. Not the greatest thing to watch when you're feeling like death warmed over.

Now I was in the spare bedroom looking at them. And saw a DVD with a blank cover, smack in the middle of the shelf. I forgot I had that. It's been a long time. Yeah. What is it about being sick that makes you want to see those you love?

So the DVD of my sister's wedding played. There was comedy (part of the sermon) and sadness (there were people there who are no longer with us), but it was good. And yes, I slept though most of it. Peacefully, with a smile on my face.

I'm feeling much better today, but not totally over this. I hope all of you are well.


P.S. By the way, Sissy, do you have any idea how beautiful you were that day? You really were radiant. That's not to say you aren't now. You know what I mean. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bonfire Night

It's one of the names for this day in Great Britain. In 1605, Guy (Guido) Fawkes was captured in London as part of a conspiracy to blow up Parliament. (He, along with twelve others, had managed to put barrels of gunpowder in the basement of the building undetected.) He was later tried, convicted and executed as a traitor. Ever since, it has been the custom in the U.K. to burn Fawkes in effigy (hence the bonfires) and set off ridiculous amounts of fireworks to celebrate Parliament not being blown up. Some probably wish the conspirators had succeeded.

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
We see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


My week just got a thousand times better. As Rachel Lynde said, "You're never safe from being surprised til' you're dead."