Wednesday, July 21, 2010

romanian (non) holiday

Hello, m'dears! Just a wee note to let you know I'm off to Budapest & Romania for our youth mission trip for 10 days and won't be blogging here while I'm away. There might be a few updates here if you're interested in hearing about our trip. See ya when I get back!

:) Whit

Sunday, July 18, 2010

divine distractions

-Reading curled up on the couch with a blanket while my housemate got up, went to the kitchen, made a bagel, ate it, and came back without me noticing any of it because I was so enthralled with my book. Page 583 out of 1300+ and I still just love it. Go Wilbur.

-The fun of preaching.

-Going to Janet's evening Lectio Divina service and feeling that those 20 minutes spent in absolute silence contemplating scripture spoke to me more than the last couple of weeks put together. Amazing.

-Irish hospitality.

-Long, thoughtful conversations over lots of food with records playing in the background.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Well, dear friends, it was high time I snuck away for a couple of days to Castlerock and so I did just that. Sermon marinating, liturgy for Sunday finished, t's crossed and i's dotted, I took that cosy Hogwarts express (donning my comfy beach dress with coffee in tow) to Castlerock to stay at the wonderful Auterson's holiday home. The mission was simple: r&r in the form of delicious homemade food, a marathon of the old BBC Pride & Prejudice dvds, lazy walks on the beach and reading that infamous Wilbur Smith tome. Mission accomplished (as you can see)!

After unloading my obscene amount of stuff in the house (remember just how massive that Wilbur Smith book is), I walked up to the one shop to get the necessary dairy products (milk, cheese, butter) and then to Ruth's Bakery for wheaten bread hot from the oven and, finally, to the butcher. He looked barely open, but I shyly entered and asked if he might have some sirloin steak, chicken and farm fresh eggs and he got them for me. He asked if I was there on holiday and I confirmed this and informed him that I was planning to clearly eat my way through two days. I said I was glad he was open and he smartly remarked, "Well, with pretty girls like you coming in, we'll always be open!" I actually giggled, despite myself, giddy with the promise of a good steak and fluffy compliments.

Don't think I left you behind, chums, on my Castlerock Adventure Part II. I've taken plenty of pictures to share. Enjoy your wee trip to Castlerock with me. :)

coffee on the casterock express

blondies made from (oh yes) Barefoot Contessa mix. divine. they tasted remarkably like the giant cookie cakes my Mom used to make me for my birthday as a kid. curious. ;)
chicken-wrapped asparagus with thyme-scented rice and lemon-garlic butter. shazaam. those are some delicious hyphenates.
that glorious steak with homemade fries and roasted fresh corn.
a perfect cup of tea worthy of Mr. Darcy.

it was windy.


Monday, July 12, 2010

deliciously decadent

Lest you think, dear blog reader, that all I eat these days is zucchini from the produce stand and Pom juice, let me set the record straight: This was dinner tonight. Yum.

With this... (also yum)
And I'm off for a couple of days to sermonate and soak up some Sabbath time before our Romania mission trip, and I'm gonna be making these:

It's a good week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

some kind of wonderful

-Discovering that my Tesco now stocks Pom juice! I love the Mom got me hooked on it. I love the sweet-tangy taste and also the effort that must have gone into making it. If oj makers are little league players, pomegranate juice makers are major league baseball stars.

-A fresh-from-the-produce-stand speckled zucchini/courgette sliced thinly and roasted with red onions, garlic and parmesan.

-Walking down the street and having a perfect, magical little ladybug land on my shoulder.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

wanna pray, cupcake?

-Making decadent nutella cupcakes for dinner at Dorothy's tonight. They even have a nice little bit of nutella in the middle...yum!

-Meeting June Pat for coffee and watching the way her face lights up when she talks about something she's excited about, like carving her own wooden bowl at a workshop in Scotland.

-Falling asleep as I pray. My friend Padraig tells the story of his mother's Catholic prayer group where she inevitably falls asleep each week, calling it "a holy sleep" [try your best to hear this in a southern Irish accent] because she was praying at the time. There's no shame or embarrassment..."holy sleep" is a good thing. I think I had a holy sleep last night.

Monday, July 05, 2010

from Texas to Africa to Ikea

Apologies, dear friends, for not blogging daily. Sometimes these things get away from me. :)

-Part of the delay was due to my attempts to retrieve pictures I took while Skyping with my nieces, but it seems they have miraculously vanished. Had I found them, you would see lively snapshots of my parents and nieces smiling at me from Texas, Natalie "giving me a hug" by squinching up her eyes and shrugging her shoulders and Gianna smiling as contentedly as if she has not a care in the world. They were staying with my parents (Nonnie and Papa) for Camp PapaNonnie 2010 for a week and we skyped every single night. I was just wonderful to connect and before the video was even started hear Natalie say, "Weeeeeza! Hello Weeeeeza??" You can see great pictures of all they got up to at Camp on my sister's blog.

-Reading Wilbur Smith with avid interest. I adore his way with words and the excitement and intricacy of his stories, which is really the only reason a person would pick up a 3-books-in-1-volume book with over 1200 pages and find it enjoyable. I'm on page 288. This book is a treat for my imagination and my biceps.

-Going to the always productive Linenhall Library to work on a sermon and discovering two wonderful things: 1, a little old man in a green tweed coat (in summer), with a white fluff of hair dozing peacefully in a chair near me. I always see a little hobbit/leprechaun looking elderly man dozing in a chair...a different one each time. And 2, discovering that the heavily-etched old desk I was using said "Becca and Kate 1935." Now it's possible these two friends just put 1935, but in a place as historic as the Linenhall Library, it's also possible they sat at this same desk 75 years ago.

-Walking through one of my favorite little walkways and leaving the hectic clatter of shopping and construction to enter a serene space filled with classical music.

-Wearing my collar to a pub for lunch with lovely church folks and finding great amusement in the offering of water only, the polite and impolite stares and the people who just smiled at me because of it. It was a fun little social experiment. I kept it on because I decided it was no bad thing for people to see a 28-year-old female minister, as it probably has never happened in that pub before.

-A fun trip to Ikea with the housemates complete with silly shenanigans, a yummy lunch of meatballs and fries and seeing other good friends there.