Pistol Packin' Presbytera

Presbytera, in the Greek culture, is the wife of the Father, or parish priest.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Friend Stephen

My friend Stephen B used to live very near San Antonio. He is very much a Spurs fan. Whenever the Spurs have made it into the finals, I have also faithfully cheered for the Spurs. They are my friend's team so I wanted to support Stephen's team. This year I had a serious dilemma. The Spurs made it into the NBA Finals but SO DID THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS! I have waited and waited for them to make it to the Finals yet I am a faithful friend and did not want to be at odds against Stephen. We had a talk on the phone and decided that if he would cheer for his friend's team, the Cavaliers; I would cheer for the San Antonio Spurs. Stephen faithfully cheered for the Cavs despite his brother Kendall's disbelief that he was cheering for the wrong team. Stephen cheered for the Cavs in the first game. They lost. Stephen was not discouraged and cheered for the Cavs in the second game. They lost. At this point, I am encouraging Stephen to find other people in TX to cheer for the Cleveland Cavaliers because it is not looking so good for them. I really didn't want Stephen to be disappointed in his adopted team. He continued to cheer for them in the 3rd game. The Cavs lost. It was now down to the last game; if the Cavs lose again they are out and the Spurs become champs (again). Stephen cheers for the Cavs throughout the 4th game. The Cavs lose.

In Cleveland OH, I am probably the only person cheering for the San Antonio Spurs but I manage to cheer for them and they win the NBA Finals. Now I ask you, who had the greater influence in the Finals? Stephen? or Me? This is the gift that Stephen sent me to congratulate me and my team the San Antonio Spurs. Thanks Stephen for the gift but just knowing that my friend's team won was really all I needed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman...

and sometimes it's even harder to be a Cleveland Sports fan. To those who live in Cleveland, there is no need for an explanation. For those who don't live here or don't follow Cleveland sports, no explanation is possible to describe the disappointment that fans suffer here regularly.

The last time a Cleveland sports team won a final in a professional sport was 1964....that was a long time ago. No Stanley Cups, no NBA Finals, no Super Bowl rings, no World Series. We keep coming up short although the fans are very faithful -- even to the point of bringing the Browns back to Cleveland after they snuck out in the middle of the night for Baltimore.
This is the first year that our NBA Cavaliers have made it to the Finals.

After the first game, the headline was

Spurs Control LeBron

After the second game, the headline was

Texas Toast

After last night's game, the headline was

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Music Truck

When my eldest was a toddler, we lived in the city and I was very strict as to his sugar intake. Cookies, candy and ice cream were limited items on the menu. When the summer of 1981 came, the ice cream trucks were out in full force. I did not want Theo to constantly beg me for ice cream every day that he heard the music -- a 2 year old can be pretty sharp that way. So I lied. I told him that the truck was driven by a very nice man who drove around the neighborhood bringing delight to everyone through music. All summer I would say "Oh listen, Theo, isn't that the music truck?" He would run to the front door in delight at the first sound of the music truck. I was relieved that I didn't have a battle but that my son was able to just enjoy the music.

The next summer we were in rural Wisconsin at a dual parish and there was no such thing as an ice cream truck. When Theo was 5, we moved back to Cleveland but ended up on a deadend street -- a street no enterprising ice cream truck driver would bother with! Eventually we ended up in our Parma suburb which outlawed ice cream trucks. You know the scenario, the government knows what's best for us so they legislate protection. Several years ago, the law was changed and ice cream trucks were once again allowed to pander their products to the next generation of children.

Here is a grandfather's delight:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Frenchy Bread

Most people would call this Amish Friendship Bread but my 2 1/2 yr old grandson calls it Frenchy Bread so now our whole family calls it Frenchy Bread. My friend Scott gave me the starter for the bread which is stirred and feed over a 10 day period. You can see that it bubbles as it ferments. It really likes the milk, sugar and flour that I feed it. After 10 days, you divide it into 3 one cup portions to give away and then bake the rest. I have been keeping one of the portions for myself so I can make it again in 10 days.

The recipe calls for adding instant vanilla pudding which I have done for some of the breads. I have also added pistachio pudding which resulted in the slightly green loaf on the left. In addition, I have added chopped apples to a bread and also raisins to another loaf. This past time I used butterscotch pudding and boy was that yummy. I found the original recipe too sweet and too oily so I have reduced the amount of both of those ingredients. For the next batch, I am using chocolate pudding and adding chocolate chips....just in case I need a chocolate hit!

Anyone want some starter???

Friday, June 08, 2007

Help Needed!

As part of the Birthday octave, we travelled to the far side of Cleveland. If you are familiar with the geography of my fair city, it is split in two by the Cuyahoga River. Those who live on the West Side, rarely travel East and those who live on the East side of the Cuyahoga River consider the West Side a foreign country. Our church is working hard to bring down that barrier since we have members from all over the Cleveland area.

As a Chaplain to the Cleveland Police Department, my husband does have occasion to spend time on the East Side and found a wonderful breakfast place (Gus's Restaurant) on E. 185th St. The food was delicious, the establishment clean and we got seats right by huge windows which look out onto the street. While we were eating, we watched the world go by!

While we were in this strange land (East side) he took me on a tour of some of the drug houses in the area. You are familiar with this mantra -- my husband sure knows how to show a girl a good time! We happened across this sign and once I controlled my laughing, we got a picture. I think Our Lady could use some help herself -- as could the Cleveland Cavs!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Birthday Octave

It seems that we can never actually get a birthday celebration in for just one day around here. This past Friday was my lover boy's 57th birthday celebration. On his actual birthday we did not have time for cake etc but he had the best gift. Here he is pictured with 5 of our grandchildren (the 6th is still in utero). Looking at these blessings and knowing that life carries on with the next generation and so on makes for a wonderful birthday.

The next day we had our church garage sale and one of the members was creative with an item which was donated for the sale. She used the letters WWJB on the plaque and we all got a chuckle out of it. Especially the pastor : ) What Would Jesus Buy. We were able to raise a good sum which we will use for missions. Our church supports several missions like the Lutheran Heritage Foundation, this missionary family in Togo and a local congregation who could not pay their pastor's hospitalization.

What's a birthday without a cake? Just another day. After the garage sale, several families from our church gathered for a cookout and we also got a birthday cake. Of course, following the theme of the day, it was decorated with WWJE. What Would Jesus Eat. We still have some days left in the octave and who knows how else we'll celebrate.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Our Youth Choir

The Youth Choir at our church includes children from the age of 4 through youth in their teen years. If you look at the center of the picture you'll see my 4 yr old grandson, Theodore, in the red shirt. He can not read yet but he's very interested in making certain he is on the correct page in the hymnal : ) He is asking advice from his friend who is a year older, the son of one of our members. Yesterday was the last time they sang until the fall and the choir sounded terrific!

We are blessed at Christ Lutheran Church to have the raw ingredients for a fantastic musical aspect to our worship services. You get a glimpse of the wonderful pipe organ in the background. Because of the grand architecture of our church, the sound bounces from the balcony and fills the sanctuary. The youth who are directly in front of me are using handbells loaned from a neighboring church. This local Lutheran Church has gone the way of more contemporary services and has so few members I don't know if they could even garner enough people to play these bells. The bells were a memorial to their once thriving congregation so they won't give them away. They simply store them in our church balcony for us to use.

You can not see all the members of the choir but we had 17 singing yesterday. They sang Kyrie, God Father in Heaven Above which is based on a Latin sequence hymn from the 12th century. The younger children who can not read yet memorized the Greek phrases used in the hymn, eleison and Kyrie. While learning the melody and words, the children also learned about the Trinitarian aspect of this hymn and the connection it has to the liturgy we sing every week. No one has told these children that this is fuddy-duddy music; they love it and sing the hymns I teach them heartily. Pictured in the forefront is the son of a member and her husband . Also pictured is the daughter of another member. Since the parents attend our church because of the true faith conveyed through the traditional liturgy, I know they are pleased that their children are learning these hymns which will stay with them the rest of their life.

Our youth choir and the adult choir are often heard on our podcast along with our organist Jim Mercer. I'm not certain if this song will make the "cut" when it is available on the podcast but give a listen sometime and hear them! You can click on the CLC RADIO link on the right of this post to listen.