A Reckoning

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BOOYA! Nailed it!

The Jagged Word

By Paul Koch

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I love the movie Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. I’ve watched that movie countless times. I can recite most of the scenes and I am still moved by the powerful friendship displayed between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday which runs through the heart of the movie. Now in the movie after the famous shootout at the OK Corral, Wyatt and his brothers are ambushed by a notorious gang of outlaws. The confrontation leaves his younger brother dead and his older brother without the use of one arm. This sparks Wyatt’s drive to bring justice to the land. In one particularly awesome scene, after Wyatt shoots his way through a trap saving his crew, one of them says to Doc Holiday, “If they were my brothers I’d want revenge too.” Doc Holiday responds, “Make no mistake; it’s not revenge he’s after, it’s a reckoning.”

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I’m NOT a maid! That’s for dang sure…

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This week is Finals week and move out for the students here on Concordia’s campus.  Graduation is Sat afternoon. It started out slow this week with no one, absolutely no one wanting to check out on Monday, but today is… ummm… (oh my, I just literally had to check my phone to see that it was really Thurs and not Wed, as I second guessed myself there for a brief second!) THURSDAY! Ha – HA! But right now the boys in my hall are vacuuming their rooms and strange sounds are coming from that poor machine.  Please teach your boys (and girls, but mostly boys) how to vacuum. 

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I have no room to talk because my dad must have been sick of us breaking vacuums and so I really only remember ever having a giant Shopvac to vacuum our entire house growing up.  When I got married almost twenty years ago, I had no idea that you couldn’t just suck up EVERYTHING with a standard vacuum.  I was just so thrilled to not have to break my back reaching and pulling EVERY single pull of that hose and wrenching my back every Saturday. It was a job on the rotation with my two brothers, but it was rough.  Well, I learned real fast that all vacuums are not equal when I broke two of them in the first year of wedded bliss!  My hubby was less than thrilled with me. After he cleared the hose several times of socks, tissues, and other such large objects, I was taught at 21 how to properly use an upright vac.  Well, these days I feel for these students, but… most of them have never had to clean anything growing up, not all, but just a few have. ( Thank you to those parents!)  Different generation.  So, since our apt is centrally located in the quad we have the Graduate Assistant who is checking out this four building quad down here all week with all the cleaning supplies and student check out files for around 160 students putting up camp here. She is Jeanette and literally calls me Mom and my hubby Dad.  She has become part of our framily. (friend+family) We choose her to be ours and vice-verse. But, as for these students, I am not a maid for them. ( oh, the screaching just stopped for a moment – sweet silence. AND it’s screaming for mercy again…)

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(Oh that poor vacuum sounds like it’s screaming to stay alive right now!  Can you hear it?)  I ask for your prayers for these students as they finish their last finals, type their last papers, perform their last music juries and travel many miles home to their families.  Now, I also ask for your prayers for some of them because some of their homes are not happy safe places to be at over the summer. Some families struggle for a plethora of reasons, reasons too many to list, and we all know some of those. I ask you to pray for those students who will travel the globe on music tours, missionary trips and Study Abroad programs, who may or may not even make it home this Summer. I ask you to pray for those students who go home to a house where there is no longer one or more of their parents because of some tragic event or even to death. I hope that you’ll join me tonight in a word of prayer for these adults as they figure out that they are adults. I ask for you to pray for them to have Peace. ~Peace be with you.

I’m a travel Agent

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The past three days have been spent in my house planning this year’s Big Vacation/Wedding Summer Tour 2014.  Scott and I started out on Monday by buying a US map. You see our son, Caleb is getting married in New London, MN on Monday July 7.  We as always, have hardly any moolah to just spend on flying in and out for a wedding.  Scott works two jobs here at the University and so he hardly gets a day off.  Most professors are off when the students aren’t in classes, but because his primary job is over seeing the “Land beyond Babylon” as he calls it; the Residential halls and all that it entails, (4 full-time staff & 30 part-time, oh, and 1,000 students), they never are all gone any time of the year, and so he can’t take off during the normal holiday or seasonal breaks for long or sometimes at all.  But, summer is when his awesome boss tells him to get out of Dodge! So we do.  Last year the two younger kids went up to Tahoe for a few weeks and Caleb worked at camp in NY, while the two of us took a vacation drive for three weeks up the Pacific coast, Hwy 1/101 until we headed inland to Portland and back down through the mountains picking up the kids on our way home. This year we need to make it up to the wedding and we have purchased a National Park Pass.  We made it to 3 parks last year and were absolutely blown away by how awesome they are.  Our Government does this one and only thing RIGHT!!!!  This year we have already been to Joshua Tree and Yosemite.  So we are now going on the most epic National Park Tour we could concoct in the three weeks he’s able to be out of the office. So, we grabbed a highlighter and went to town on our map and on Mapquest seeing how many hours we could make it between parks making Glacier National Park the Northern and most important of them all to see. (Scott is dying to see this park!)

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So, yesterday and today I have been on every website and link I can fathom at the SEVEN National Parks that we have on route to tent at.  I am so delirious about what I have planned for this trip! I online booked and called to reserve all the campsites in and out of the parks, a couple of hotel nights before and after a straight eight day stretch of camping outdoors in the tents with grizzleys and bugs and dirt, a guided bus tour, 3 hiking tours, a 1/2 day rafting, along with mountain biking for the boys and horseback riding for the girls. Dude!  I’m beat, but so incredibly high on excitement!  So, you better be ready to watch it all on FB this summer, because boy I gotta tell ya, it’ll be really hard to top this one!!! So we will make it to 1.Zion NP ( National Park), Utah  2.Grand Teton NP, Wyoming  3. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming  4. Glacier NP, Montana,   5. Theodore Roosevelt NP, North Dakota ( then the WEDDING in MN )  6. Mt Rushmore NP, South Dakota and 7. Arches NP, Utah. We will drive through 11 states and around 5,000 miles in 24 days.

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YEAH! ~ Peace be with you (and me).

ALLELUIA!

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The last few years I have been so over the season of Lent and here’s why… About four years ago we had an interim pastor and during Lent that year it was said in a Bible study that every Sunday was it’s own celebration of Easter. Yes, yes it is!  So, I raised my hand and asked, “if this is the case then why do we omit “Alleluia” on Sundays in Lent?” Well, the answer I got was, “tradition!” My next question was, “Why can’t we just omit it during the Wed night services?” Well, I am that person who gets angry and wants to just do the opposite. So, here I still am this year DONE with the season of Lent. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Lord Jesus Christ!! I love Him so much and what He has done, and daily still does for me that I am angered by the suffocation of His gifts during these arbitrary 40 days. Yep, arbitrary. I said it. Well, when and how do we even think that we are coming close by not saying this one word, huh? I do love the Lenten hymns, they do reflect His Passion and yet, I feel as if the Devil himself has his dirty little fingers in the Sunday morning charade. But, tonight is the night before the whole Christian Church on earth looks forward to tomorrow morning and shouts from the roof tops, has incredible music, choirs, instrumentalists, processions and flowers.  Let’s do it! He is Risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!!! Rant over… (sigh)

So, today I am blogging again!  I am so happy to have a moment to type a few words here.  Half of our crew is up in Northern NV at Nan’s house.  Caleb and Erika took Autumn up north for the weekend.  They’ll be back on Monday to eat the leftovers. This morning started with a run and a few minutes in the weight room with my hubby. Then we went to the Farmer’s Market in Old Towne Orange.  It’s one of our fav hang outs. We bought  blackberry and boysenberry bushes to plant here on campus soon and some artisan bread, fruit and veggies for the week and a couple Lamb shanks for Easter.

 

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Scott & Josh went to see”Noah” and I got to making my new granola bars and the traditional lamb pound cake. My grandmother used to make this lamb pound cake each Easter and I have been passed the cast iron mold and so I make it each year. Love you Grama!

 

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All my girls are gone and so I had to go by myself to get a pedicure, so I got a manicure too, which I never do, because frankly with the amount of dish washing I do they never last more than a day anyway. Happy Easter everyone! Alleluia! ~Peace be with you.

 

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OMGosh is it Wednesday already???

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Crap!  I can’t believe it’s been a week again already. Ok, so I’ve anticipated having written many blogs this week about so many different topics, but man this stuff takes time, and time I ain’t got! I’m in a whirl wind, remember? So , I guess it’s a past recipe tonight.  I do take lots of pics of my food on my phone and so I have plenty of material you know, but… (sigh).

 

Last week, on a funny note I caught my son eating a spaghetti sandwich for lunch one day and I have to post my almost missed pic of it. He was just slamming this sucker in his face. So, here’s to my Joshua, who is 16, learning to drive and my culinary offspring…sometimes…

The Spaghetti Sandwhich.

 

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At least it’s toasted!

So, back to the recipe of the week!  It’s a cheese board.  Some of you may be thinking, “Why would she just serve cheese for dinner, how lame is that?” Well, I gotta tell ya, it’s not lame at all.  The amount of fat calories that you will consume, would shock most elephants, but seriously, this is a great night of food.  How many of you have really tried cheese outside of cheddar, swiss and the cream varieties to really know what I’m talking about?  I LOVE CHEESE! Have you baked a Camembert with Maple syrup, almonds, sherry and pears and spread it on a water cracker? Well, let me tell you, you SHOULD! It is freaking delish!  Have you tried Chevre? Do you know if you like it or not? You need to find out.  Manchego, Port salute, Havarti with dill, Goat milk Gouda, Double Gloucester with chive and green onion, Baked brie with carmelized onion baked in puff pastry are some of my family’s fav’s. And what better way than picking up one night’s dinner budget in Fromage? (French for cheese) Go, drive quickly, or the next time your at your neighborhood store that has all that kind of cheese fare, ( I uber love Trader Joe’s) pick up some that you have no clue what they are and dig right in.  Are you 5? Do you have a 5 year old?  They should try it too.  “You never know if it’s gonna be your new favorite,” is a famous saying in my house. Well, people it’s not just for kids you know.

 

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Besides, do you see all that fruit? Apples, pears, grapes and oranges! Yummy…

So, grab one or two that your house is familiar with, slice it into pieces or don’t; you don’t need fancy knives. My friend gave them to me for Christmas because she knows I love cheese. So, now I have them! Arrange some stuff on a plate or platter or just plunk it on a cutting board and set the fruit out washed, cut into small servings or not. 

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Serve it with wine, or sparkling cider or beer, but, try something different!  Buy some crackers you’ve never tried and some plain old saltines.   I usually suggest not labeling them when you’re just starting out because the name may scare you or your fam may see “Goat milk” and have some kind of mental block.  Just eat it and ask everyone in the house, which one they liked the best.  Then wrap up the rest for grilled cheese sandwiches later on in the week. Mmmmmmmm.  Grab some that are hard, soft, semi-soft.  It’s a weekend starter or a quick meal when you’ve run out of time. Cheese… it’s what’s for dinner. ~Peace be with you.

New Recipe!

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Ok, so it’s Wednesday and I’m going to share a recipe with you each week that is among the fav’s in house; new or old.

Tonight’s new dinner was a Grilled Veggie Melt.  The yummy sounds were pouring out of my family.  Here are the ingredients that I used. Feel free to add those veggies that those in your house are a fan of to the list.

1 lrg zucchini thinly slicedabout 1/4″ thick

1 sweet onion diced

6ish mushrooms chopped (about 1 1/2 C)

1 C chopped kale

1 lrg heirloom tomato sliced in four 1/2″ slices

3oz Chevre’ (goat milk soft cheese) or cream cheese

8 pieces of bread (onion rye -mmmm)

butter for grilling and sautéing

1 avocado sliced

1/4C white wine

1/2 tsp dried thyme

salt & pepper (S & P)

1/2 a lemon

I recommend prepping all the veggies before you start, it’s easier. Heat a med sized pan for sautéing the diced and chopped veggies. Add  2 tbsp butter and wait for it to foam. Add the onion and some S & P.  Cook over med heat for 6-7 min until clear looking. Begin heating a grill pan or griddle on medium heat. Add the kale,thyme and wine to the onion pan and cook until the wine is almost gone 2-3 min. When the grill pan is ready (4 min or so) start cooking the sliced zucchini for about 4 min each side in the grill pan.

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Add the mushrooms to the onion pot and cook for 7 min more. Remove from heat and squeeze the lemon over and stir.  Remove the zucchini and wipe the grill pan slightly keeping the heat at medium. Butter the bread on the outsides and place one buttered side down on the grill pan  and place some cheese now. Start layering the cooked veggies, adding the tomatoes and avocado and top with the other piece of bread. Grill both sides. OMGosh! Enjoy.

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Josh did add that it would have been the best ever if we had added pastrami. Ha!