You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2011.

So on Friday, I had the urge to bake bread.  Herb rolls, in particular.  I had a recipe I’d scribbled down from a magazine a few years ago, and I’d never tried it yet.  It was called “Overnight Soft Herb Rolls.”

There are a few things you would assume from such a title, and I will say, the only thing that turned out true is the Herb roll part.  Wait, that doesn’t sound nice.  They were soft on the inside, with a delightfully just crunchy enough crust.  But overnight?  I must have written the recipe wrong.  There was nothing about overnight, and oddly, I only wrote down the second rising (I assume it was the second).  Perhaps the first rising was supposed to be overnight in the refrigerator?

I also wonder how it would turn out with fresh herbs instead of dried?  You’d have to adjust the amounts, but I bet it would be great.

Regardless, the recipe turned out spectacularly.  Add some butter, and you can’t beat it.  Incidentally, I gave at least half the recipe away, and two of the guys I gave a roll had nothing but praise.  Is there anything better than men enjoying your baking/cooking?

Soft Herb Rolls (my version), makes 12

1 pkg active dry yeast (1 1/4 tsp)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp chives
1 tbsp rosemary
2 tbsp melted butter, cooled
1 egg
1 c. milk
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 c. flour

1. Soften yeast in 1/4 c. water.  Stir in sugar, salt, herbs, butter, egg and milk.  Add 3 1/4 c. flour; stir to moisten.
2. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.  Add flour as necessary. Place in greased bowl with damp towel on top; let rise till double, 1-1 1/2 hours.
3. Shape into 12 balls, place on greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper instead of greasing). Cover with damp towel (might stick a little…) and let rise till double, 30-45 minutes.
4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden. (Mine were perfect at 25 minutes, so maybe check a little before.)


As I struggle through yet another Greek assignment (i.e. wrestle through parsings, calls and the like), I again am wishing that I had even just one other person in my class who cared to share that struggle with me.  It seems that my classmates who are on the same level as I am, with regard to language knowledge, tend to prefer to turn to Accordance (or some other similar software), citing that for their answer instead of the actual reason.  I don’t care to argue with the brilliance of modern technology, but I do wish that they would prefer to know why it is the right answer instead of simply that it is the right answer.  I only have paper tools (and the occasional look at to check the parsing in desperate times, although the KJV uses a different manuscript) in order to find answers.  I have to search and look and struggle on the difficult passages.  And if I do find an assistance, I still check the why.

I am not saying this makes me a better scholar.  I recognize that most of the others in my class merely want a working knowledge of Greek, whereas I am considering going on in PhD studies for this language.  My goals are different.  But it sure would be nice to have someone to work through problems with instead of having to have a go at it by myself.

So then I come to Hebrew.  And at this point, I get frustrated if the tutors try to explain something in technical terms that I haven’t learned yet.  I don’t mind hearing the reason “it’s a weak verb,” but I don’t want the full explanation at this point. I haven’t learned it yet; I don’t have the resources to find it on my own; my professor has yet to deem the knowledge indispensable.  Is this me being lazy?  I hope not.  It is not as if I do not wish to have all the answers.  It is that I have been told that at this point, I can’t have them all.  And so, in my pragmatism, I do not let the tutors overwhelm me with too much information.  (Some are better than others at knowing the difference between helpful explanations and too much.)

And I am beginning to truly enjoy Hebrew.  There is a hope in my heart that I will come to love it as much as Greek.  But even if I do, I fear it, too, will be a lonely road as my tutors all graduate and move on and I am left behind.  Hopefully there will be others in my classes who will share my desire to truly understand a language instead of just be able to use it.

Tonight I made my first real pie not at my mother’s house.  I’ve made many tiny, baby pies, but I just recently purchased my first ever pie plate.  And tonight I made pumpkin pie for tomorrow.  The weird part was that it’s not for my family.  I decided this weekend to not go home for Thanksgiving because I am too tired from the trip to San Francisco, and I have so much homework to do.  But I am going to have Thanksgiving with my Hebrew professor and her family (and a few fellow students), so at least I will be with a family and children, and that will feel better.

That said, the pie looks terrific.  The crust turned out amazingly (thank you, Mother, for teaching me the ways of a good pie crust) and the filling cooked up perfectly.  I can’t wait for tomorrow: pumpkin pie is by far my favourite pie.

I am lonely lately. I don’t know if it’s just the shorter days (as in, it is dark by 5pm), which then affects my bit of SADD, or if it’s just this time of life where for the first time ever, I’m not constantly around people.  Even last year I was rarely alone in my apartment.  But this year, it is normal.  And it is not a bad thing, but it makes me wish for things I do not have.

I am sad I won’t be home for Thanksgiving, with my family and my brother’s family.  I miss my nieces tons.  And Christmas is so far away still.

Regardless, I hope you all have a delightful Thanksgiving tomorrow, and don’t forget to eat a piece of pumpkin pie.

A quick note before what I really want to talk about: the problem with working at being more friendly and open is that people think it means you want them around…  Now, while that is sometimes true, often I am merely interested in getting my homework done, and as two thirds of my classes are language classes, I frequently need a lot of space. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come to the cafe and been pushed out of my own space by people taking over, so that I, who was there first, who picked the exact table I wanted, had to move.  I just want to work in peace.

Onto the real topic, now that I’ve displayed my selfishness for the world to see.  I’m not sure that I ever articulate my decision making process very well, either in real life or in my online life.  But my decisions are completely dependent on what I perceive the will of God to be for my life…  So, if I sense He is pushing me in one direction or the other, that is how I make my decisions.  Sometimes we argue about it, sometimes I try to make other decisions, but always, always He is persistent and always I end up following His design, instead of my own.

Most recently, I have felt as though God is telling me to switch into the MDiv TS program.  I have been waffling; I have been pushing it off.  But I’m finally giving in.  The problem is that I have no clear sense that I will actually finish this degree (whereas with the MABS I knew I would finish).  So why would God ask me to switch into a program I may or may not finish?  I have no idea.  But okay. If that’s what He wants, then I’ll do it.

In an unrelated note, World Next Door is hiring a Communications Coordinator.  I am sorely tempted to apply, as it looks like it’s right up my alley and would be work I would love to do.  But I can’t see myself picking up and moving right now.  I don’t know!  The likelihood is that I wouldn’t get the job anyway, so perhaps there is no harm in applying?  Or perhaps I should not bother?  But what if I did apply and did get offered the job?  Could I make that decision wisely at this point in my life?  What of my education?  And so on.

[Update: I decided to not apply nor to tempt myself to apply. I know that God has me here, so there’s no point in daydreaming about moving until He says to do so.]

ETS was delightful. Ready for the run-down?

Tuesday night, seven Hebrew students and one Hebrew professor got into two rental vans.  There were two drivers for each van, on two driving teams (so that two people could sleep while one would keep the driver awake).  I was one of the drivers for my van and on the way there, my professor was my driving partner.  We had the second shift and started driving around 1am, with a dire lack of sleep (although we tried).

Around 2am, we hit the border patrol at California.  I had only been to Cali once before but remembered what this was about.  I also remembered that my professor’s husband had sent a bag of oranges with her.  I looked over, and with only the thought process 2am could afford, said, “Don’t say anything about the oranges.”  When the fellow stopped us, I rolled down the window and he looked right at her and asked, “Do you have any fruit or plants?”  There was a good 10 second period of silence, in which I looked back and forth (trying to decide if I was really going to lie about this, as I normally do not lie) and my professor looked guilty and awkwardly ate a bugle chip.  Then I said, “I have raisins in my trail mix; does that count?”  And he waved us on. As soon as the window was up, my professor asks, “Isn’t this America?!?” with all the indignation you can imagine.  Which set the boys in the back off; we all laughed a fit to kill.  But she also felt guilty and wanted to go back and give up the oranges, which I was adamantly against.  So we went on, and it has become quite the joke for us now.  (We filled in the other van at the next stop and they appreciated it, also.)

We got there around 7am or so on Wednesday.  I took two naps on Wednesday.  Thursday I actually went to some presentations and got to meet Dr. Block (from Wheaton) as he was our professor’s PhD adviser.  We all had dinner with him that night.

Friday afternoon we went sightseeing.  So much fun!  We walked all the way from where the hotels were to the Wharf.  So first we went to China town and had lunch.  Our professor had us go through and say our lows and our highs.  The lows probably felt the most vulnerable to all of us, but we did a pretty good job at being honest.  Then we went to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.  The view was phenomenal.  Finally we moseyed to the Wharf where we saw Alcatraz and the Sea Lions.  We ended up having dinner at a sourdough bread bakery, and went to Ghiradelli’s to admire the chocolate selections.  And then to home.

The drive home felt exponentially longer.  I drove the first two hours, slept (as you sleep in a car) for the next five hours, drove for two again and had to stop…  When my professor saw my eyes (crazy sleep deprived eyes?), she advised me to switch drivers again, which I did, and slept most the rest of the way.  I felt like I punked out, but as it turned out, the other van’s driver, who was on my same schedule, ended up pulling over about 30 minutes after we had stopped and switched out, also.  So I felt better about that.

I’m glad I went, even if I did spend the entire day yesterday doing nothing.

I think it’s possible that I can and should judge people on their movie recommendations.

I have had several folk tell me that I had to see at least one James Bond movie (as I never had), so this Saturday, with a group of friends, I watched Casino Royale.  First off, James Bond is a sleaze.  Second, the plot line sucks.  Third, what?  Fourth, and this quite possibly the worst part, I spent the first 30 minutes wondering why Daniel Craig seemed familiar… He is goofy looking with a monkey face.  And he reminded me of someone.  When I finally realized who, I almost didn’t finish watching the movie.  Yes, folks, Daniel Craig reminded me of my douche ex-boyfriend.  Funny how both were sleazy.  Or not funny.  Physical revulsion.  For real.

I have a few people in my life who I can trust to make movie recommendations.  And I think that  I need to stick to them from now on.  And I also think I should never watch a movie with that man in it again. Ugh.

First, I slept in today, about an hour, and it felt great.

Second, I have a Prairie friend visiting for the weekend, and that is great.

Third, I was completely wacky last night at the basketball game.  I think the stress from an emotional week combined with working on languages literally the entire week finally make me crack.  Of course, by completely wacky, I really just mean that I apparently was very chatty, had all sorts of random things to contribute, and forgot to introduce my friend to my other friends until she reminded me, etc.  (OOPS.)  But the guys kept giving me these looks, so I can only assume I actually wasn’t my normal self even though I couldn’t tell.  And one of them said he wanted to know what was going through my mind because what I was saying was funny.  (Well, I was unfortunately saying exactly what I was thinking.)  This morning, I am thinking back and thinking they might have had a point.

In addition, last night I learned that you can’t say “sport game.”  Quite innocently I stated that I’m trying to go to more sport games and two of the guys gave me such looks and immediately informed me that that is not proper lingo.  The one suggested/joked (threatened?) that they next time he tutors me for Hebrew, he is going to include a session on sports.

Fourth, I talked to my Hebrew prof and she was great and encouraging.  Honestly, God must have me taking Hebrew not just for academics, but to grow me and to introduce me to this prof.  She understands me, and she is so awesome.  Besides the encouragement (which was, again, exactly what I needed to hear), she told me (in my response to my lament that I’m an emotional mess) that that is God’s deal, not mine, and He’ll sort it out.  I needed to hear that, also, as it releases me from the pressure of feeling like I have to get myself on an even keel all by myself.

So there you have it. Four things for a Saturday morning.

Yesterday I had one of those emotionally ridiculous days where my emotions were everywhere.  I skipped Hebrew (cried instead), then planned to go to Greek, take the quiz, leave and have a classmate turn in my assignment for me.  Well.  That is what ended up happening, but not quite as I planned.

My Greek prof and classmates tease me because I always finish my quizzes first.  But I never try to; it just happens.  And while this is somewhat frustrating (why get teased for being good at something?), it doesn’t actually bother me.  The prof teases me because he teases students he likes.  I suspect many of the men tease me because they feel insecure.  (Which plays on my insecurities, but that is another matter.)

Yesterday was unfortunately not the day for me to be teased…  When my professor handed out the quizzes, he skipped me, and as he walked to the front, he casually asked if he missed anyone.  I think that’s when I snapped.  I replied, “It’s okay. I don’t need to take the quiz; my grade is fine without it.  So suck on that.”  Yes, yes I did.  And you can read into that all the implications to the rest of the class…  But I got my quiz and for once, actually determined to be the first person done, even though I’d had a delayed start.  I don’t know that I’ve ever taken a quiz so quickly.  And finishing first,  I grabbed my bag, slapped my quiz on the front table, and strode to the door saying, “Suck. On. That.” And then I walked out.

Yikes.  I was pretty embarrassed at myself.  I sent my professor an apology email during class time, and got a gracious and thoughtful reply:  “I felt badly that my lame joking around touched such a raw nerve today in you.  My feeling aren’t hurt, don’t worry.  I — and I think I can speak for the whole class — want you to know we’re having hopeful and prayerful thoughts for you.  Again, you don’t need to worry about a thing — you are loved, respected, cared-for, and valued by us all (and especially me).  If you need to chat with someone, I know my door and many other doors around here are open for you.”

I also got texts from several classmates, one stopped by and another emailed to check on me.  I spent the rest of the day with friends, decompressing.  I suppose the nice part about having an emotional freakout is that it seems that I do have friends who care about me?

I have got to get myself evened out, though.  I’m supposed to be an adult.  Right?  I won’t even tell you the “silly” little thing this all stemmed from…  Okay, I will.  Someone made a comment in the morning about how I couldn’t say anything about marriage because I wasn’t married.  Who knew that would hit me so hard?

PS Really. One of these days I’ll get back to normal scheduling for my blog and talking about interesting things instead of my emotional roller coaster rides.

Mercy’s Reign

Light, You are light, Jesus One and Only
Good, You are good, so full of truth and grace
Bright, You are bright, no dark can dim Your glory
Kind, You are Kind, Your yoke means mercy’s reign

You make light shine in our dark
and in our hearts – O Beautiful!
You still pursue us through our loss
and bear our cross – O Merciful!

One, You are One, Three from the beginning
Friend, You are friend, to reveal Your heart of hearts
Bold, You are bold, You bear away our sinning
Love, You are Love, and this world is Your art

You make light shine in our dark
and in our hearts – O Beautiful!
You still pursue us through our loss
and bear our cross – O Merciful!

You hide Your face from the wise
yet show the child – O Wonderful!
You call me close and take my pride
and say “this died” – O Lord my God!

I just watched the movie No Reservations, and for whatever reason, it made me realize just how much I desire a partner in life.  And not just that, but children.  And here I sit at 29 years old, and in my logical mind, I know I am not old, but I feel as if I am being passed by.  Or I am allowing life to pass me by.  Or something.  I’m mean, honestly, I was pretty close to just bawling my eyes out.  And at a movie, no less!  (What is happening to me?)

And I know this is becoming a frequent theme on my blog, so for that I apologize, but apparently it is hitting me hard lately.

Now I’m watching Rumor Has It which will probably make me feel also sad that I’m alone.  The dude just told Jennifer Aniston (to her cry that she doesn’t fit in with anyone) that she fits with him.  But who do I fit with??

I’m pathetic.