Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rice is Nice

I will never be as cool as any (or certainly all) of my daughters, but I do now have a cool rice cooker as at least some of them do.  

I resisted getting another one job appliance to take up space in the already crowded kitchen.  I have seen the light.  What triggered the change was the problem of rice on Sunday, especially brown rice.  If I cooked it, say with pot roast, while at church,  there was a likelihood of mushy rice.  But it takes so long to cook, that we didn’t want to start if after church.  So, I decided to get a delay start rice cooker.  Now the rice is nice.

And it is not a one job appliance.  We haven’t had it long, so we haven’t done much with the steamer, but it does a great job on broccoli.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

All I Have Seen

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Did Ralph live some kind of sheltered life??! I don't remember his biography, but looking around the world I know, well, much of what I have seen challenges my trust. Sometimes I really do understand the people who say that all the sorrow, pain and suffering convince them there is no god. Yet, I believe.
I believe in God, that He is a loving Father of our Spirits who knows what we are going through and where we are going to, who has a plan, who can see the end from the beginning and that the end will be right and good. I believe that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. They know all our sorrow and all our pain. Somehow if we will have faith and follow them, all things (ALL things??!) will work for our good.
Why do I believe?
There are those who think that religion is just a crutch for weak people. I admit that even if that were so, I would choose religion. Faith gives us comfort and hope in a sometimes difficult and frightening world. If this earthly life were all there is, I don't think I could bear it. Better to believe than to live with hopelessness.
What if I am wrong? I would rather live in belief and hope then die and have it all be over, than live in despair and doubt. Especially if after rejecting God, I would die and find out that I had blown my opportunties and blocked my own progress and potentioal by rejecting God and His word.
But I am confident that I am not wrong.
It is not just because I need a crutch that I believe. Although I have seen no angels nor visions, the Spirit has many times quietly manifested itself to my spirit – in affirmation of truth, in comfort, in love, and in guidance. I have not cultivated the gifts of the Spirit as I should, but even weak as I am in faith and practice, I have felt the presence of the Lord. I believe because God has witnessed to my spirit that He is and that He loves us, that He loves ME. He has witnessed to me of truths as I have listened or read. He has on occasion given me warm spiritual hugs. He has sent me 'dark clouds' as I contemplated wrong decisions and warm waves of confidence when I accepted the course correction. I believe in God and because of what I have felt, I trust His promise.
I testify that God is real and that He loves us all. Everything will be right – eventually. The question is will we be found with Him or will we have separated ourselves?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am not by nature an Event Planner

Andrew comes home from his mission soon.

Full of love and good feelings and a desire to see all his family and friends.  Some of those people have no desire to see each other.  I get to try to work things out.

I have tentative plans. 

It would help if I knew exactly when he is coming home.  Everyone who can/wants to is invited to the airport to welcome him back to Sacramento.  If he comes home early enough in the day, we will have a picnic.  Probably invite anyone and everyone to come - potluck if they can, but not required.  If I don't think a picnic will work, I will take close relatives to an all-you-can-eatery. They will go to "pubic places/events".  We will have a couple of family dinners so Andrew can be with family who don't want to be together.  We will have an Open House so anyone and everyone can visit.  I am still debating with myself whether to have the Open House at my house or at the church.

Blessings, blessings, blessings! on the wonderful people whose kindness and hard work has made it possible for me to even think about having people at my house!

Benjamin became an Eagle Scout in December.  We both wanted to wait for Andrew to come home before having his Court of Honor.  Besides, spring weather is nicer than winter weather and it is so appealing and appropriate to have the Court of Honor in the outdoor amphitheater (or whatever) that Benjamin renovated for his Eagle project.  

Try finding a date that works for all his special people!  Can't happen. After much consideration and finally with some desperation, I picked a date and MOST of the people that he particularly wants were good with it, so I booked the amphitheater, mailed a request to Representative Matsui for a flag to be flown over the US Capitol the day of his Court of  Honor, and sent out the first wave of invitations via Facebook. Positive responses started coming in immediately. Well, just found out that a 2nd VIP person cannot make it after all.  (actually 3rd, but one cannot come any Saturday so almost doesn't count for these purposes)  Do I try for another date or realize that we just cannot get everyone?

We decided to have the Court of Honor on a Saturday afternoon rather than (any) evening because 1) the Nature Center will be open and restrooms available - else I would have to pay for staff to be there off hours so we could have restrooms and 2) (I want to say B like my "strange and delightful" daughter, but should probably not trespass) people could enjoy the park with their families after the Court of Honor.  A Saturday afternoon in mid-May should be lovely.  A Saturday afternoon in mid-June - next option - might be getting a bit warm for sitting in the sun for an hour or so.  And who's to say that all our VIPs could make that?  I am thinking about changing the date to accommodate, but I am not sure I am up to it.

Watch!  It will be the one rainy, miserable day in May.  For which I do have a back-up plan, the Relief Society room at our church building.  And June will be gorgeous.