Monday, November 25, 2013

Suprise Saturday!

Don't tell anyone but we had a day off today! Our pastor gave us the day after a stressful week and busy busy weekend at the parish. He's pretty awesome! Anyway, it has been a magical day of pajamas and dog walks and snacks and daytime TV.
First off and best of all, after my early walk with Callie (6:45! I think I am supposed to be discouraging her from waking me up but it's a pretty awesome way to start the day. She shakes her collar and breathes heavy and stomps her feet just like she does when we're coming home from work. She seems so happy to see me, and who would want to discourage that? Plus, she is 9.5 years old... the internet says that's 51 in human years and although I am only 45 I do not like having to wait to use the bathroom when I get up in the morning... so I can sympathize, ya know?) I went back to bed!! There is something special about morning, back-to-bed sleep. SO deep and rich, dreamy and lovely.
Up at 11, we sat down for breakfast and watched some daytime television. Wow, daytime tv is so bad it's hard to look away.  After catching today's episode of Wendy Williams (I can't help myself)  "the Chew"- it's a pretty terrible show, but they featured this recipe and... color me intrigued! 

Later I watched Katie Couric's show (what's it called? I forget) and they had tips for shopping smart that seemed pretty solid. Behold:
Just to redeem myself on the lazy scale (but hey, isn't that what days off are all about? Especially GIFT days off. We have been calling it a "surprise Saturday.") I'll share the mahstahpiece I created for dinner. I have no pics because we gobbled it all down pretty quick, but here's what we had:
I cut the squash into strips, kinda like steak fries, and tossed them in oil, balsamic vinegar, a couple of shakes of cinnamon sugar and nutmeg. I roasted them at 500 d. for ten minutes, tossed them, and roasted ten more minutes. Sprinkled them with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds. OH my they were good. 
I mixed ground beef with an egg, lots of parm. cheese and some onion powder. I melted butter and added Worcestershire sauce, and cooked the mini loaves (which are really just giant hamburger patties, let's be honest here) till they were cooked through. After they were cooked, I took them out and added cream cheese and some shredded cheddar to the drippings and voila: sauce. 
It was all experimental but ultimately delicious! 
Now I'm back in my happy place and ready to relax for the rest of this surprise Saturday on  Monday. Hope your day was restful too!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

That Book Has Been Flagged.

I guess my reading burnout from grad school has faded, and now I'm back to reading for pleasure and no credit. I'm back to my grade school days habit of having a different book going in many locations. Here's what I'm reading now:

Forming Intentional Disciples, by Sherry Weddell.
I've been reading this book for ever. Seriously, if I've done a "what I'm reading" post before, this book was probably on it. But it's a great read, full of fascinating Catholic facts and best practices of parishes doing it right.
This book is in my car, for whenever I get somewhere early and have time to wait.

Rebuilt, by Tom Corcoran.
Everyone who works in parishes is reading this right now! I haven't made much progress, and like the Disciples book better so far, but it's interesting. They basically looked at an evangelical mega-church and tried to apply their evangelizing practices to a Catholic parish, and BAM, started to grow. I'm not convinced that this is the way to survive, and to tell you the truth, I "attended" a webinar with this author this week and he seemed to be implying that there were some cracks in the plan. I dunno, I should read more before commenting probably. This one's in my office.

The Learners, by Chip Kidd.
This is the companion book to The Cheese Monkeys, which sucked me in and held me to the (weird) end. This one, I can tell, is going to be good too, but I've been distracted and will have to get back to it soon.  This is a bathroom book.

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
I just finished this one, which is written by an animal behaviorist, and fascinatingly talks about how primates and canines can communicate better with each other. Not a dog training book, really more of an animal science book but with great stories and a philosophy of dog-rearing that I really like. She talks about, for instance, the difference between dominance and aggression, and says that if you are dominant, you don't need to resort to aggression.
Riiiiight??? Fascinating stuff.

Love Has No Age Limit, also by Patricia McConnell, who also wrote the leash book.
This is the book I wished for when we brought Callie home! I'm still reading the "how to prepare/bring home" chapters just to see if we did it all right. I'll let you know. This one's in the bathroom too, but I carried it around in my pocketbook today in hopes I'd have a free minute to read it. I didn't.

Bird By Bird- Ann Lamott.
This one's in my Hospice bag, and I read it after prayers and during my Pandora John Rutter channel is playing, if the patient is in a coma and doesn't seem to need me to interact with him/her. Oooooh I like this book, even though I'll never write a novel. She is encouraging and insightful and just damaged enough to relate to.

Messy Spirituality- Mike Yaconelli
Finally getting around to reading this classic, and it's not disappointing. Picked it up randomly when someone donated it at work, and it turns out that this week was the 10th anniversary of Mike's death. Mike was the quintessential cheerleader of Youth Ministers/Ministry, and an inspiring guy all 'round. This one's in the bathroom at work, natch.

I think that's it- by the end of it all, I'll know how to train a Catholic dog to design a book jacket.