Monday, September 27, 2010

If I Had Nine Lives

One of my favorite movies scenes comes from Little Women (1994)  The scene evolves as Jo March sits with her romantic interest, the professor, and his friends.  The men debate whether or not women should have the right to vote.  Jo enters the debate with a stinging logical retort.  The dialogue proceeds,

Mr. Mayer: You should have been a lawyer, Miss March.

Jo March: I should have been a great many things, Mr. Mayer.

 Every time my husband and I watch this movie, which is every December, we look at each other and say, "I should have been a great many things."  Unfortunately, I have more interests and dreams that I have life.

Here are the things that I should have been. This list is not prioritized in numerical order. Nor does it take into consideration God's calling on my life.  But my heart and spirit whisper that life is such a wonder.  I should've, could've and would've been any of the following. 

1. Cowgirl barrel racer
2. Veterinarian
3. Peace Corp Volunteer
4. World Traveler
5. Train Conductor
6. Dairy Queen Worker  (age 5)
7. Author/Speaker
8. Bohemian Freelance writer
9. Astronomer (not smart enough)

A few of these I have accomplished.  Others were unrealistic for my natural gifts and abilities.  A few were clearly not God's will for my life--life is short. But regardless, I still say that if I had nine lives I would have been a great many things.  What would you like to do in your life?

Travel Mercies,


Friday, September 24, 2010

Geek Envy and my Writer's Heart

I couldn't believe my eyes.  There sitting next to me at the small town rodeo was a girl, around 8 years old, working on an iPad.  What?  My first thought was, "No fair!  I don't have an iPad, why should she?" 

My love for electronic gadgets has been unfolding since the first electronic word processors were launched during the 1980s.   They were so popular that my husband had to stalk Montgomery Ward to eventually buy me the prized possession.  (He earned many man points that day.)  I still say it was one of my favorite gifts of all time.  That was a long time ago -- manual typewriters and Montgomery Ward.  Am I dating myself or what?  

Anyway, I have transitioned over the years from a manual typewriter, to an electric word processor, to a DOS computer, to a PC, to a small Dell laptop.  I have loved every transition and each one has made my writing life so much easier.  So when the iPad released, I thought it was going to be the next step in my geeky writing journey.  But as I researched it, I found it doesn't meet the needs of a writer at all.  It's a great electronic toy for Googling things, playing games, reading books, etc.  In my life it would be just a toy, not a useful writing tool.  And if I was honest, it would probably distract me from my writing.  Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, said about the iPad, "It's a solution looking for a problem to fix." 

So my iPad envy was so unjustified. (Is envy ever justified?)  I truly do not want an iPad at this point.  But it was just looking over at this tiny kid tapping away that made the electronic geek in me think I "needed"  an iPad.  Really?  Like I would be writing instead of watching the rodeo in St. George, Utah. 

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
Proverbs 14:30 

I do look forward to whatever the next writers' electronic tool will be, but for now it's not the iPad. Are you an electronics geek?   What helps you the most in your writing endeavors?

Writers write.  Keep writing,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Horse of a Different Color--Pink

This week I have rambled about helmet hair and roadway hassles, but the truth is these shouldn't even be considered minor inconveniences.  Not when there is still not a cure for cancer. October is national breast cancer awareness month. In the fight against breast cancer, this past weekend at the local rodeo in St. George, Utah they painted the wall of the arena pink and everyone was asked to wear pink--even the rough and tumble cowboys.  Cool thing was--they did. 



Here's a picture of the arena before the events started.  Can you see the pink railing?  All the pink shirts?  And what about the horse with a special pink coat?  The historic Dixie Sunbowl was filled to capacity with people all dressed in pink to bring awareness about  the need to find a cure for breast cancer.
I have several friends who are currently battling this horrific disease. It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone else being diagnosed.  But my heart is blessed when I see people who care enough to donate to research to  help find a cure and prevent breast cancer. 

This one is for you, Vern.

Think Pink--Donate!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Zigzag Through Zion

Surprise -- the road was impassable. My husband and I along with another couple rode motorcycles to Zion National Park this past weekend.  We were a pack of two -- two bikes and four riders.  (The two girls, me and my friend, are not "experienced" riders.) We paid our $24 per motorcycle to ride in Zion National Park, and began to wind our way up the incline only to discover the entire road through Zion was under construction--major construction.  The rode was unpaved.  It was only packed red dirt and hairpin turns.  This is extremely difficult and dangerous for motorcyclists.

Did I mention that the girls on the back of the bikes were inexperienced riders?  We clung to our Harley men for dear life until I finally shouted, "No more.  Let's turn around."   I think we made it about two miles before we chickened out.  We slowly poked our way back to the park gate and said we wanted our $24 back.  After a bit of an argument they refunded our money.  The ranger at the gate said, "I ride my motorcycle up and down it all the time.  I told him we were inexperienced.  His facial expression changed immediately and he said, "Well, in that case I WILL refund your money.  No problem." 

So I guess we will travel through Zion next year after the road construction is complete.  But here are a couple of photos to display the glory of God's handiwork.



Psalms 99:2
Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations.   (NIV)
 
 
Travel Mercies,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh Helmet Hair!

This past weekend I rode behind my man on his Harley Davidson.  Our friends, Harlan and Carol joined us as we toured southern Utah.  We saw  beautiful country and had some great meals.  This picture was taken at Oscar's just outside Zion National Park.

Now because I always wear my helmet, state law or not, my hair is a wreck.  There is no way around it--helmets create hair disasters.  As you can see, I wear a bandana or better known as a doo-rag.  It is NOT attractive.  Now my husband, he wears a ball cap to hide his helmet hair; oh wait, he doesn't have hair. :) 

My friend, Carol, cut her hair in a pixie and it's as cute as it can be.  She takes off the helmet,  runs her fingers through her hair--fluff--spike--darling. Sigh, I don't think my hair will spike up like hers. 

Ponytails, clips, etc. do not work because of the pressure point they put on your skull from the head squishing headgear.  Motorcycle Mamas, I need your help here.  Does anyone know how to avoid this small dilemma? I would appreciate your advice. 

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our "adventure" in Zion.

Travel Mercies,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Runza Recipe

As promised here is a tasty treat.  A runza recipe.   Let me know what you think!

Runza Recipe


2 pound ground beef
1 large onion , chopped
Salt
Pepper
1 Medium Cabbage, chopped
2 batches of bread dough

Saute onion in a bit of oil until just translucent. Add hamburger and saute until no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Drain away the grease, and return to the pan. Cover the mixture with the shredded cabbage and cook until the cabbage is done. Stir occasionally. This could take about 45 minutes or so.

Using an egg-dough recipe, roll small balls of dough thin to make a 5×5 square. Put about 1/2 cup of cabbage mixture in center of square and seal closed. Place seal side down on a parchment lined baking sheet (or a lightly greased sheet). Allow these to sit, covered lightly with a tea towel, for about 20 minutes – so the dough can rise for the second time.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 or until lightly golden brown.

Yummy!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Nebraska Revisited

Nebraska happens to be one of my favorite States.  The primary reason is because one of my daughter-in-loves is from Nebraska.  I adore her and and her family--especially her mama.  So, that happens to influence me a bit. I usually drive across the entire state of Nebraska at least once a year on my way to Minnesota to visit family. 

I travel I-80 which is like drving on a washboard, but other than that small annoyance, it's a great trip.  I have plotted out every Startbucks and Runza. (My husband charts the Dairy Queens.)  Wait!  Did I hear you ask, "What is Runza?"  Good question.

A runza is a midwest meat pie.  It is seasoned meat swaddled in a semi-sweet dough and then baked.  It comes with or without cheese and is served with a dip.  (Midwestern preference seems to be Dorothy Lynch.)  I prefer mine without dipping sauce.  Since runzas are standard midwest fare, of course, someone began a Runza franchise.  So that is where I obtain my fix for runzas.  I eat one at a restauarant and then order 1/2 dozen frozen ones to go.  They are prepackaged with baking instructions.

Watch tomorrow for how to make runza at home.  They are tasty too, but a bit more work. 
Travel Mercies,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review--Angry Conversations with God

This is one of my favorite Christian books of all time. Susan Isaacs' clever idea to bring God into couple counseling and allow us to "listen" was hilarious. 
I loved this book. It's witty. It's inspiring with the ache of truth about our doubts of God's love for us. After reading it, I listened to it on my ipod. Both versions were good. If you are looking for a fresh look at your relationship with God, then read Angry Conversations with God. It especially works if you are a "middle-class white girl."

The book reveals God's mercy in circumstances we don't understand.  It's a great read if you like humorous and honest memoirs.  Plus, the writing is terrific.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Brouhaha on Anne Rice's Statement

Now that the brouhaha of Anne Rice's statement that she wasn't going to being a Christian any longer has died down. I thought I would chime in with my two cents on the topic. Its sounds to me like she's not tired of Jesus, but of the people. Here's what she said,


“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

Isn't that the saddest thing? I understand a part of her frustration. I have worked in ministry for 20+ years and working with people can be difficult. There's a joke that says, "The church would be perfect, if it wasn't for the people." HOWEVER, being with people is also the greatest joy that can be found in this life.


I wish I could share with Ms. Rice the flip side of being with Christ followers. There is no one that makes me laugh as much as my girlfriends, especially my Tuesday night Bible study. We're a group of seven women who have been meeting for about five years. Do we always agree? No! Do we irritate each other occasionally? Yes! Do we always have the same theological opinion? No! Do love each other? Yes! Would we do anything to help one another? Absolutely!


I think of my other closest friends--the one in Atlanta, my pal in Phoenix, and my lifelines in Las Vegas--I could not do life without them. They are all Christians. Maybe Anne Rice never made those type of connections, because I believe if she had, she'd be praising Jesus for the abundant life of friendships in Christ. In other words, Christians.


In gratefulness for my Christian friends,

Susanne





Home Sweet Home

After being 30 days on the road I am glad to be home. We traveled through Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. Whew! That makes me tired even writing it down. We had a great trip, saw some beautiful country and visited with family along the way.


Now the summer is at a close and it's time to get back into the routine of life. As far as ministry goes, my writing is taking priority this fall. However, I am starting Bible Study Fellowship again this year. They have added a new study on the book of Isaiah. I anticpate that it will be a life changing study. Plus, my favorite girls in the whole world, my Tuesday night Bible study group are going to study Revelation with a study guide written by Beth Moore. Should be great!

In addition, the Las Vegas Bookies, the book club I belong to will be in full swing. Whew! It's beginning to feel like a lot, but life is short and I don't want to waste a minute of it. I have decided that I am not going to do "stuff" that I don't enjoy. (Not counting housework, laundry, etc. -- those are not negotiable.) But the stuff that seems to intrude into the things I love to do is going bye-bye.

So I love to be with family and friends and to write. This is my life for now.

What are your plans for this new season?