Monday, August 31, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Tell Me I'm Incorrect, That I Totally Didn't Hear This.....

This isn't a just a pretty picture.

I feel disgusted and horrified about something I heard in my office today.

This is going to be shared as delicately as I can while still getting the point across.

It seems that not only is my region extremely wealthy in STD's but that there is a new implication I hadn't even considered. A co-worker shared some information she'd received from a colleague. Throat and head cancer are rampant in twenty-something females secondary to the Human Papilloma Virus also know as HPV.

Seriously. And that folks have wanted to bring a seminar to schools to warn high school students of this new quirk or perk of revolving partners. And they were turned down.

But letting kids know that they can abstain is evil?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Yes. Thank You.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Serials and Scenarios - Blessitt's The Cross

I thought I'd share this with you. I don't know exactly why this kind of mission inspires me so much. Maybe it's because I feel we are each given an exact blueprint of what we are to build out of our lives. Whether it's a skyscraper, a ski lodge, a cabin, a boat, it all starts with THE Architect.

When I look at my pile of wood and the blisters on my hands, I feel overwhelmed at the real possibility of failure, the fear of ending up with something that is far from the original plan.

But a person who sets out to do something, and perseveres through it, through the blisters, the pain, the odd looks, to the end, gives me goosebumps.

Here is a taste of this crazy story.

On June 13, 2008, Arthur Blessitt walked his 38,102nd mile in Zanzibar, off of the coast of Tanzania, completing a journey that began in 1969. Arthur started walking with a twelve-foot cross on December 25, 1969, and has successfully carried a large wooden cross into every nation and major island group of the world.

In his new book, The Cross, readers can follow Arthur’s journey from his initial call from God to carry a cross from Hollywood, where he was known as “the minister of Sunset Strip,” across America, and then the world.

Q & A with Arthur Blessitt, author of The Cross

Q: Having carried the cross over 38,000 miles, you are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under “World’s Longest Walk.” In the early days of your ministry, did you ever think you would achieve this kind of recognition?

A: You know, I never did. Though I’d begun preaching at the age of 15, I hadn’t ever been particularly drawn to the cross as a symbol. My first cross walk was down the Sunset Strip and back to His Place, the coffee shop where I preached the gospel to hippies and drug addicts in the late sixties. The cross attracted a crowd, and they followed it back to our little shop. One night in 1969, I heard the voice of the Lord clearly calling me to carry the cross across America, so I did. Once that was finished, I was told to visit Northern Ireland, so I did. Before long, I was off to every sovereign nation…then to every major island group. My journey was never about setting a record. It was about obeying the call to bring the cross to everyone, everywhere.

Q: The cross is an almost universally recognizable icon, but the messages associated with it vary widely from place to place. What does the cross say to you?

A: So many people feel that the cross is against them. They look at the cross and the think the cross is against my sexual orientation or I had an abortion or I drink beer or I smoke cigarettes, so God hates me. I don’t believe that the cross stands for any of those things. The cross is a sign from God that says, “I love you. I care. I came down and got involved in this mess of life. I became flesh and sacrificed myself on this cross to show you this love.”

As I journey around the world, I find the cross to be a symbol of God’s love that can be understood in spite of language and cultural barriers. But in many places—particularly in Muslim countries—the cross has historically been a sign of offense. It has not been a friendly symbol. These people often share the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I try to counteract these negative attitudes when I walk with the cross. Instead of talking about Christianity, I try to focus on Christ and the love and grace of God. I have had the wonderful privilege of reinterpreting the cross—to walk into Muslim countries and not only to survive, but to be welcomed.

Q: In the summer of 1980, you walked through the war zone of West Beirut, where you were invited to meet with Palestinian Liberation Organization Leader Yasser Arafat. What did you say to him? How did he respond?

A: When I met Arafat face to face, I saw someone whose eyes were alive and sparkling. There we were, two radicals seeking to make men free. One had a cross and the other a gun. As we sat down, I said, “Sir, it’s 2:00 AM. You have had a long day and a long struggle. I’m not here as a politician or a diplomat or a reporter. I’m just a simple man with a cross. And I would like to read you some of the words of Jesus.” I started with the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. “Blessed are the merciful…blessed are the peacemakers.” I read and shared many more Scriptures. Then I took Mr. Arafat’s hand and prayed.

When I finished praying, he spoke softly. “There is no doubt the Bible is more powerful than the gun or the sword. The Romans tried to kill Christians. They beat, imprisoned, and murdered them. But slowly the believers, the Christians, took Rome, and Rome became Christian. They took it by heart. They did with the cross what no army had done.” Arafat did not respond to my offer of salvation or my plea for him to lay down his weapons, but I left with the impression that I had just been with one of the most gentle and kind men I had ever met.

Q: What question do you hear the most as you travel the world?

A: You know, a lot of people are fascinated by the adventure stories. But I’m not a walking story. What moves me is my relationships with people, my encounters with individuals. And the question I hear most from those individuals around the world is: Tell me what you know about God. Why did I walk through war zones? I wasn’t in search of adventure. I was drawn to the people in those places who needed to know about God.

Q: What is one of the most important lessons you have learned through your journey with the cross?

A: One of the most important things I have learned in my journeys around the world with the cross is that I should focus not on if, but rather on how. How do I get the visa I need? How do I get into a country that is difficult to enter? How do I get across that river or up that mountain? Those of us who want to go where Jesus sends us should remove from our vocabulary the small but potentially destructive word if.

I have carried the cross in 315 countries and island groups. In most of these nations I have had great experiences, although 52 of these countries were at war. I have seen beautiful places and wonderful people, but I have also seen horrors and tragedies. I faced a firing squad in Nicaragua; I was almost stoned and beaten in Morocco; I was attacked by police in Spain; a Los Angeles police officer tried to choke me in Hollywood; a man in Birdseye, Indiana, tried to burn the cross; a man in Nigeria broke the cross. I learned this simple lesson long ago: We need to follow God’s call regardless of whether people love us or hate us. God’s call is not conditional. It doesn’t depend on favorable conditions, warm weather, or good moods.

Q: What is the most beautiful thing you’ve seen as you’ve walked around the world with the cross?

A: People! One of the privileges of carrying a cross around the world is meeting all kinds of beautiful people. And just as Jesus related to all people, I have tried to do that myself as I carry his cross. In our world today, it seems few of us desire or are able to relate to various kinds of people. I’ve had encounters with world-famous people like Pope John Paul II, Jimmy Carter, and Yasser Arafat. I’ve also shared meals with the poorest of the poor, the homeless. I’ve slept in remote villages where mine was the first white face any of the people had seen. And always, I have been awed by the beauty and joy of the children. In God’s view (and in mine), all of these people are equally valued and equally loved.

Q: Having carried the cross through Communist, Islamic, and Hindu nations, what can you tell us about the power of the cross in those nations?

A: Christians in the West sometimes talk about nations that are “closed” to the gospel. Though it is true that some governments and people groups are resistant to the good news of Jesus, at least as they perceive it, I think we need to be careful: Focusing on the concept of “closed nations” can send a negative message. Christians often ask me, “When you were in such-and-such nation, didn’t you feel darkness and the power of Satan?” Or, “When you met such-and-such terrorists, didn’t you feel the evil?” My reply is, “No, I felt the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.” The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. I will not concede any place or any person to the Devil.

Q: What keeps people from doing big things for God?

A: Many people have dreams and visions of doing mighty things for God and making an impact on the world. That was my prayer also. And then Jesus said to lay it all down, and let your vision be no bigger than the next person you meet. Following that vision has carried me around the world. The most important thing God will ever tell you to do is the next thing. It’s as simple as that. To follow Him is to live a life of obedience, and not to complain. Many times projects fail to move forward because people don’t take one step at a time. They don’t break things down into small, simple steps. As a result they are soon overcome by the insurmountable challenges that face them, and they give up.

You may never walk around the world carrying a cross. But I know God does have something He would like you to do. And the only way you are going to fulfill this calling is by starting our simple and following His call, step by step by step.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles - Dis-and Datbulated

Discombobulated may be one of my all time favorite words.

I'm not making this one up, EER. However, I may add to it and
change the entire feel of the word. But it is my blog and I can pretty much do what I want to. You reading it is an entirely different matter, though.

I digress.

Discombobulated is nicely displayed by 22 in this photo.

Parts of speech. Noun...should you like unique names. Verb. "I be going to discombobulate you if you say that again!" Adverb. "Tom Swifty ran discombobulatedly around the Ren Faire and finally tripped over a tortoise with a lovely velvet carrier attached to his shell." Adjective. "She looked discombobulatey and quite wretched r
ight before she tossed her cotton candy all over the midway."

The root word, comb, is surrounded by chaos. Dis obviously implies uncombed or unkempt, and bulated feels like washing machine-like agitation. And that's pretty much all you need to know. Eh?

And a final sentence.
Many, many discombobulating situations took place on our road trip.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Martha, Martha, Martha.

Oddly,I've just returned from up north. Oddly? Because it was an odd trip. I'm beginning to think that the common denominator is moi or mine...

This family we've bonded with seems to be as strange as ours. For starters, we love many of the same obscure and slightly inappropriately funny movies. Clifford (with Martin Short) and the Three Amigos to name a couple. Not exactly PC films.

Secondly, the adult females have a bizarre "out Martha" competition. The one who can make the most folks weep at any meal wins. Not necessarily weeping from the beauty and presentation. More like quantity, and now it seems, fiber.

Thirdly, there is often a health issue that crops up. For example, I vomited for twelve hours during their first New Year's visit. And again, during their second. My friend claims that this is some sort of sick Martha thing wherein I don't have to eat because of "queasiness" for a full 24 hours, thereby winning that round. But, then, she turned around and had female troubles requiring a complete hysterectomy a week after we left their place once. Hmmm. How many Martha points did she grab while entertaining with a hemoglobin level of 9? Yeah.

So this time, their oldest had an appendectomy the day before we arrived. His sisters and 22 look on with concern during his big outing to the park. My friend claimed that "Martha" missed her house this time what with the surgery and all.

I'm still crying.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~Photos Worth a Handful of Pocket Lint

Please enjoy the pictures (and sarcasm) while I connect you with your party.

1) Minnesota Water Lily

2) Iowa Bejeweled Lily

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Walk Slowly, No Sudden Moves and Do Not Pass Out....

EER privately shared that she is frightened of me now.

I simply post a few shots of beans and share a stupid rhyme and I get sideways looks and folks moving very s-l-o-w-l-y around me. "Not making any sudden's all okay, really, peace and all that."

But I know EER will love this. She shared it with me.

Apparently the entire face of CPR has changed. No more Recessa-Annie lips. Nope. Don't have to breathe into people's mouths and either cringe at the thought of whom might have passed out at your feet or hope for the hunk (or babe) down the hall to have a little incident so you could "save his (or her) life (and play a little tonsil hockey).

The new face of CPR is the BeeGees. Remember them? Yep. Apparently chest compressions are to be done to a rapid beat like Stayin Alive.

What EER added to the whole thing was the additional song with the perfect beat.

Another One Bites the Dust.

Yeah. Just a suggestion y'all. Don't pass out at my feet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ When the Good News Gets Even Better

Book Description:

How is it possible to make the Good News of the Gospel better? How can truth be enhanced? Can Jesus Christ be improved upon? In his new Bible study, author Neb Hayden emphatically answers, “Impossible! The Gospel gets even better only when it’s more clearly understood. The Good News gets even better only when we read the Gospels as they were communicated and in the way they were meant to be seen.”

That’s why in his new study, When the Good News Gets Even Better (David C Cook, June 2009), Hayden gives students of the New Testament the opportunity to walk through the Gospel narratives in Hebrew sandals. This unique Bible study allows readers to see these letters just as their original audience did and provides vital insights into the Jewish culture, customs, and perspectives, giving a fresh and thoroughly relevant context to the life of Christ.

“The Gospels are the foundation of our faith because our faith is built on a Person,” explains Hayden. “He was a Jew, living in a Jewish world, and communicating with Jewish people. This study offers readers the chance to walk the dusty roads with Him, to be there as a participant rather than simply as an observer.”

Using a three-month format, When the Good News Gets Even Better combines all four Gospels into one comprehensive and chronological narrative, allowing readers to focus on the overall themes and truths as they occurred. Among many other subjects, Hayden examines the births and childhoods of Jesus and John the Baptist, Jesus’ public ministry, the training of the twelve disciples, and Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. Features also include days sectioned into key points of Jesus’ ministry, suggestions for when to skim or thoroughly read a selection, and interactive questions for individual study and group discussion.

“The Gospels are just the beginning of God’s continuing pursuit of intimacy with mankind,” says Hayden. “These biographies of Jesus are our stories too. Every move Jesus made and every word He spoke has direct implications for our lives in the twenty-first century. I pray that readers will be permanently transformed as they become first-hand witnesses to the Gospels’ miraculous events and times explored in this guide.”

Author Bio

Neb Hayden is director of International Student Development at The King’s College in New York City. A former quarterback for “Bear Bryant” at Alabama, Neb has been involved his adult life with the fellowship in Washington, D.C., which works behind the scenes to nurture and encourage the leadership in over 180 nations. The group also works behind the scenes of the National Prayer Breakfast. Neb speaks and teaches extensively at seminars, conferences, and retreats. He and his wife, Susan, live in New York City and are the parents of three grown sons and two daughters-in-law.

When the Good News Gets Even Better: Rediscovering the Gospels Through First-Century Jewish Eyes by Neb Hayden

David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN: 978-1-434767-00-4/240 pages/softcover/$16.99

My Thoughts:

I've just spent a few hours perusing this Bible Study guide and am impressed with the depth and the overall quality of material. I'm not able to review it at this time and did not complete the study. But my overview and initial thoughts are that When the Good News Gets Even Better is not overtly preachy, or bogged down with Christianese or theological weightiness. Hayden presents information in a system that is user friendly. Connecting the four gospels and using the knowledge Hayden has gleaned from his study of the Jewish culture of the day he adds a layer of rich information to the time Christ physically inhabited the earth. Great idea for a small group study or a one on one discipleship where the Word is the focus. Also would be a great resource for anyone teaching on the life of Christ.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles - Riddle Unlocked

Here you go....the answer to the riddle.

Beans. Beans. The magical (or musical) fruit. The more you eat. The more you toot. The more you toot. The better you feel. So eat your beans at all your meals.

Brought to you by the Fiber Council. : )

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles - Friday Free for Some

So, inspired by this...(Nicole's blog is one I plan to check out frequently. I like free stuff, don't you?) I clicked a few places and found this opportunity for a free book.

If you've not read Eric Wilson and you like great writing, intense scenes and 3-D characters, you might want to give him a shot. See how he handled the Dregs Q & A.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ This is NOT as Good as it Gets.

One of the biggest pet peeves I have is the well-meaning comments that people make like "Enjoy it now, life just gets harder." or my personal favorite of all, "This is the best time of your life."


I understand that nostalgia overtakes common sense at times. That regret sometimes colors our memories. Understandable. But really, not at all helpful when the hearee is in the midst of a stormy season.

For those of you who are struggling through the worst of the worst, this IS NOT as good as it gets.

Little kids at home clawing at you out of their neediness...this too shall pass. And every stinking hard, painful, agonizing tough thing in each age and season does have a corresponding something that you will take away. Maybe you won't remember smiling as you rock the fussy baby, but I guarantee you were/are being shaped into a better person while you do the best you are capable of at the time. Teenager drama making you want to find a really big rock to hide under? Curl up, suck your thumb and when you are able, make that decision you need to make and believe that you are motivated by your love for a child who is at the moment not so easy to cherish. Financial woes that seem like horrible nightmares until you actually realize you are awake and you can't shake the hard, so awful, but really, honestly, not life-threatening. I can't speak to those who actually face death or the prospect because I haven't. But I do know that it's not over til it's over and life and living are still tangible and verbs. And life and living are in the hands of a loving God. Marriage trouble? I've suffered (and inflicted suffering) through an awful marriage. Gut wrenching sorrow, hopelessness and bitter tears. But, those tears can be wiped dry, hope can grow in some really rotten soil. Hold on. And one choice at a time, do what you need to do to survive. Prayer works. I promise. Even more so, He promises. And His answer is always a better, more involved and more than I ever could imagine fix to a problem.

A year ago I was inside out and upside down with guilt and grief, sorrow and a lack of hope. And the next to the worst thing happened. And so far we've survived. My goal as a parent wasn't met. And that doesn't make me a lousy parent. It just makes MY goal unmet and maybe it wasn't my goal to set. You read a little about our financial mess yesterday. This albatross began a decade ago and we are finally, hopefully able to see through the dust of what's left after financial ruin. You know what's left? We are. Our spirits are left intact. Our faith is stronger. Our hope, though anemic at times, is waving in the breeze reminding us of each new day's blessings. Our family is here. All of us. And better because of a few struggles. And my family...twenty-three years ago there was little hope. Nineteen years ago we were walking the plank of divorce and I could smell the stench of the circling sharks. Even a a dozen years ago it looked like it was as fragile as a single strand of silky fine spider web. But, apparently God had other ideas and He used the ugliness to shape us into the husband and wife and people He desired us to be.

If we aren't required to stretch and grow, if we aren't changed a little bit by the meals served up by life, then maybe we aren't really living it. Life is hard. It smells like garbage that someone forgot to drag to the curb ten days ago on a humid 93 degree day sometimes. But it's constant and the sun will rise and it will set, whether it's behind a cloud or against a brilliant blue sky. The moon will wax and wane and the ocean tide will respond. We will be hurt. We will hurt. We will cry, weep, gnash our teeth. And on some days we will laugh. The human condition requires cleansing tears and our souls require laughter. Hang in there. This IS NOT as good as it gets. Tomorrow has a new sun, a new and different sunrise and sunset paintings and best of all, God's mercy is new every morning. If nothing else can get you through the hardest day, it's His mercy. Right there. Take it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~In Praise of the Old Green Van and God's Faithful, Patient Teaching Skills.

I just have to say Wow! And Whew!

See. Several years ago we entered into a rough, rough season financially. Rental property can be a wonderful, lucrative, nest-egging kind of investment. It can also be a nightmare. We chose the nightmare route. And interestingly enough, the nightmare that goes with bad investments doesn't just touch the investment. It kind of sucker punches you right in the breadbasket of life.

Without all the horrifying and gory details I'll sum it up thusly. We were broke. Real bad. Foreclosures, unsecured debt, horrific debt repayment plans, zero credit cards, living on a budget that wasn't actually living, more like existing. In the hey day of this period, our beloved van, Chip, developed yet one more leak, and another rattle, his death rattle. Friends, kind friends, offered us, Bruce, the green, high-mile but more dependable van, for a small monthly payment and we accepted their kind offer.

Bruce took us all sorts of places, even after we paid him off. Even after he ate two transmissions, and praise the Lord, one was still under warranty. Within the past two years we had begun to really see some light at the end of the tunnel but also feared that our credit was still trashed for years to come, and we hoped that Bruce could still keep on, keeping on. Then last year Rob's source of income nearly dried up. We didn't have any other ideas. Our payments were still due. God intervened with the kindness of family members who helped us out, and then He sent Rob the perfect scenario job. Yes!!! This required a car that could travel long distances every day and do that inexpensively. Enter Little Blue who ate up over 300 highway miles a week and did it with a great attitude. But, could he do it again? And what about, Bruce? Is that his transmission slipping again? And that new chugging and clunking sound. What does that mean?

Then a "For Sale" sign went up at church. A small vehicle, less miles, decent price. We could maybe sell Bruce for a grand, but could we willingly sell a van that we knew wasn't feeling so hot and had a history of some serious surgical procedures? Little Blue would be a better car to keep, though. What to do? What to do? When investigating further, another family member suggested something so terrifying I nearly choked. The Cash for Clunkers deal. A new car. A car payment. Qualifying for a loan. Two of the four sounded great. But no way would be qualify. No way.

But we did. Rob put down the money he'd saved for the cheap used car he'd hoped to find. I offered up Bruce, the van, as the clunker and the bank actually approved our credit application. Wow.

So thanks, God. Really. Thanks wonderful family members and friends who encouraged us to keep plugging away and to trust in Your generosity even when the numbers didn't add up. And thanks, Bruce, for your sacrifice. May you rest in peace.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Word Smithing Fun

Thinking Cup!

Word of the day...

Courtesy of EER who is obviously enjoying said words and definitions. And beings that I'm always looking for easy ways to fill the Dregs that may alos bring a teensy weensy smile to readers, here goes.

calmorap n. ancient Egyptian custom that was the precursor to today's luxury spas, calmorap began in the hey-dey of Cleopatra's reign.

The ancient Egyptian slaves would feed choice female crocidiles an array of gourmet human-grade foodstuffs, mostly herbs, flowers and a now extinct rat-type rodent called the exrattus which was considered to be the tastiest of all rodents. Once the crocidile ate it's fill it was carefully led (many, many slave girls lost arms and legs during this process) to a holding pen. Inside the pen was a mud pit stuffed full of grape leaves and lavender. As the crocodile slept (and processed the heavy meal) nature would take it's course. The same pits would be used for weeks. As the products fused and fermented more and more lavendar and grape leaves would be stirred in until it became too hot to touch due to the fermenation process. Finally, the valuable ooze was removed and stored in clay pots for another three months.

Once this painstaking process was completed, the contents were mixed with fermented fruit and more lavendar and then slathered over the entire bodies of the royals. Large palm leaves were then wrapped around the luxurious mud mask and the royal was carted into the sun. Once temporarily mummified in the resulting cement-like body covering sleep was sweet and filled with magnificent dreams. Many suggest that the ideas of the pyramids and many of the gods and goddesses surfaced during this process. Finally, the covering was chipped away and after a refreshing dip in the Nile, the skin was said to be as soft as a baby's left buttock cheek.

Information about this procedure was found on ancient tablets.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Super Cinema Saturday ~Julie and Julia (Book Review, too)

The Movie Review:

I've been eagerly awaiting Julie and Julia. Not that I'm a huge follower of Julia. I remember her from my childhood...the quirky voice, the occasional glimpse of her on our small screen television. My mom didn't own "The Book" (the 1961 version of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1) or if she did, I never was allowed to touch it. Julie Powell's book Julie and Julia enticed me. I'm a blogger so Julie Powell's blogging adventure intrigued me. I was disappointed in the lack of Julia in Powell's memoir. And a little overwhelmed by some of the things that took up space that Julia could've filled.

The movie. Ah. On one hand I can say that I loved it. Feel good? Check. Two women, different generations, situations and struggles taking life by the throat and just doing it. Check. Definitely feel good. I loved the supportive and loving men in the lives of Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep, in an enchanting performance, oozes goodwill and charm, embracing life as a generous and lifesized Julia Child. Several scenes were laugh outloud funny, others poignant, and I would have been content with the story of Julia Child. Period. The film even included a Dan Akroyd as Julia Child laugh moment and remake scenes of The French Chef ala Meryl.

Julie Powell's life, on the other hand, lacked a bit. Amy Adams, as Julie Powell, weeping on the floor was very amusing. But there was a disconnect somewhere... in the script, the interpretation, or the tainting in my own mind by having read her memoir. Julie Powell, on the big screen, came across as whiny, weak and fragile. The book Julie Powell (I've not read the blog, so I can't compare there) is a don't-like-it-then-you-know-where-to-shove-it woman with frequent outbursts that seemed to be rages rather than insecurities. The movie Julie Powell discusses her "_ itchiness" with a friend. But she doesn't pull off _itch, this character is not a mean girl. And that's probably really the issue. Powell is honest in her memoir, sometimes horrifyingly honest, but it causes a grudging admiration. And she's funny, witty, sarcastic and descriptive which makes her readable and likable on another level. The film didn't pull that out of the character and so we are left with kind of a "who cares" or "that's nice" secondary scenario in which a girl becomes a woman while following Julia's recipe for a full life. Kind of.

On the family friendliness of this film -- it earned it's PG13 with a few mild makeout scenes, a language list that included at least one each of all the major curse words without overly drowning the audience in expletives. One scene included a descriptive term referencing a male body part or rooster, if you will.

I can recommend it as an entertaining film full of delightful scenery and outdoor markets, laden tables, well-acted characters, charming interactions, and overall deliciousness with a tiny bit of aftertaste of something not so fabulous. Plan to leave the theater with the desire for food or an adventure or a great combination of the two.

The Book Review:

In anticipation of the movie by the same name and by a serendipitous sale while on a trip to a local bookseller I ended up with a copy of this entertaining memoir. I had not heard of The Project before seeing the film trailer. And once I saw the film trailer I was completely in love with the idea and the intersecting stories of the two women on separate but intertwined journeys. Buying the book seemed like the absolute best idea. Before I continue, though, I need to toss out some caution flags. Caution number one...based on the subject matter and charming cover you'd never guess this book would be full sexuality. It is. I'm guessing if you tossed a few seasons of Sex in the City into a crock-pot, added several chapters of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and folded in a few trade chick-lits, a tablespoon of assorted spices, and a few cups of wine you'd end up with a dish of Julie and Julia en croute.

In example, regarding Caution One, two friends actively engaged or toying with adultery, a friend with erotic dreams and lack of filter, a heroine who seems at the edge of her very sanity several times, raw, naked, food, mastering and manipulating and enjoying said food, a move, a despised job not to mention a syndrome and a biological clock clanging on the cusp of a thirtieth birthday, well, all lend themselves to frequent F-bombs and much sexual conversation and shared thoughts.

Caution Number Two. I expected more Julia. Julia isn't absent but a bit anemic and in a ratio of about 10% Julia, 90% Julie. Julie's life is definitely one that kept me turning pages, sometimes with apprehension, but turning nonetheless. But if you are seeking half and half or heavy on the Julia you might be disappointed.

Julie is clever and writes some terrific sentences. Some of her descriptions are deliciously hysterical. One little tidbit about her poor, sweet husband as a butter mule brought tears to my eyes. Also, Julie gets a little or a lot political and is definitely not a fan of religion and/or God depending on the rants I encountered. Anger, though amusing much of the time, still comes across as anger and added a bitter aftertaste. I loved Eric and the fact that though there were times I wondered if their marriage would survive the slinging, the cursing, the thoughts, in the light of day Julie always managed to find the good and the right in her marriage and attempted to speak positively about her husband, painting him as an unconventional hero.

Sarcasm lovers. Those who like underdog stories wherein beaten down and depressed person picks self up by boot straps and through some quirky, self-imposed lifestyle choice ends up changing need to look further into Julie and Julia. The unfolding story is a painful process to watch. But there is something grandly delicious about the final multicourse meal on the cosmic table of a hard won success. Though a thick fuzzy blanket of dust lies beneath the dining room table covering and spiderwebs bind the candle sconces to the wall and each other, though the sink gurgles in protest and the pans cover all available space in the kitchen, the meal ends up being very much like life. Delicious and decadent mixed with sparse and stringy, washed down with joy and tears, and shared with people just as stinking messy.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Defining Moments

EER challenged me to look up the following words:



Well...after checking a few on-line dictionaries and finding nothing even close to these two words...which I'm assuming are European in origin...I'm forced to make up definitions.

Both words were presented during an earlier post wherein I debated the joys of pleasing my bosses by my exemplary behavior vs the challenge and buzz of a good old-fashioned firing.

That said. I'm sure the word challenge is related to this post.


Pildappi n. 1)the lines formed on your face after falling asleep on your computer keyboard. 2)the form used to write-up above infraction of workplace rules.

Resheine v. 1) the activities performed to get back on your bosses' good side after receiving a pildappi warning.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Fruit, Nuts and Veggies

Dearest ones,

I'd like to share photos of my baby veggie bounty.

Eggplants are blossoming eggcellently. Peppers are popping and tomatoes are weighing down the vines.

EER, rest assured that there are no weird or hidden messages. (Well, mostly.) And I will look up the meaning of those words though I'm a little scared.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Random Shots


How's that for a random shot?


Rob had a burst of energy, and his burst required the removal of "STUFF" from the previous storage room. Twenty-two and I packed, hauled and sorted a pile of household accumulation into three piles and got rid off, or stored all of it.

Nice. Feels extremely nice.

We now have only ONE room that hasn't been gutted or remodeled yet.

During the gutting this outdated blue room became the beautiful gutted one also known as a future office.

: ) This makes me happy because...the only place to go from here is rebuilding. YAY!!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles - Reentry

Back in the swing of life as normal now. Suffering a bit from post-vacay ennui.

But office reentry has been bizarrely easy. I expected multiple phone messages as indicated by the red glow under the collapsed stack of paperwork. Nope. I had one. A moderate pain in the neck but only one and only moderate. The paperwork stack has already been wrangled, hog-tied and sorted. (Thank you for your LACK of contribution there, EER, I appreciate your restraint.)

And another surprise at the office. Today I received an “AWESOME!” and a “PERFECT!” (punctuation, caps and enthusiasm mine). See, I’ve been collecting firings (I believe I’m the owner of nine different firings) wherein an employer is offended by some smart, snappy comeback, lacks the wit to retaliate and threatens to withhold paycheck or have me escorted from the premises by security. (This in itself is funny. Really. Trust me.) But the awesome and the perfect came with the erasure of two firings each. Yeah. That’s kind of nice.

Conundrum of the day. Should I change my tactics and go with helpfulness and uberefficiency vs the quest for the most firings?

Wait. One would require helpfulness and efficiency. The other sarcasm and mocking.

Oh well, the kudos were nice while they lasted.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Timescape by Robert Liparulo

About the Book:

David, Xander, Dad, and Keal have discovered a terrible secret. Now, finding Mom is only a small part of their mission. And time is running out. Using the portals to build an empire, Taksidian wants the house for himself, and there's nothing he won't do to get the family out. The consequences of his meddling reach far beyond the family--to the future of the world itself. The Kings know their survival depends on stopping the bloodthirsty assassin. If only they can find his weakness in time.

Most startling of all is their ability to change the path of history. But will their tinkering in time reunite the family and save the future . . . or set mankind on an irreversible course of destruction?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Timescape, go HERE

Enter the contest to win this book package by clicking here!!!

You've met Robert before. He's a frequent visitor at the Dregs. Click here to see reviews and interviews and links galore.

My Review:

Liparulo's Dreamhouse Kings series seems to be intensifying rather than slowing to a conclusion. As the story grows, so does my interest. I find myself turning the pages quicker and becoming more and more concerned for a large group of people as the evil plans of the house and the man who wants it desperately become even more menacing.

There are very intense, scenes in this book including a visit to a village during a berserker raid. If you don't know what a berserker is, you will find out in the book, though you may not really want to know. Shudder. Sensitive children may not be able to handle the intensity and suspense. However, mature kids who don't struggle with nightmares should really dig into the story that has three young protagonists who were attempting to save their family and now look like they may be required to save the entire world.

Spiritual themes are light and more implied than spelled out so there is very little preaching.