Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This is only a test

Well, I passed my test. I think. They have to send all of the tests from the class downstate to be graded and then send us the results in 4 to 6 weeks. (Grrrrrrr!! I hate to wait!) But I am pretty sure that I passed. The actual test was 80 questions and you could miss up to 20 and still pass. I really don't think that I missed 20, although there were 4 question that I wasn't super sure about. Anyway, I am really glad to have that over with. Now I just have to sit and wait patiently for 4 weeks to get my results. I think that is the REAL test. ;)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Back to School ~ for Mom!!

I really don't know why I haven't mentioned this sooner. I guess the days have just been getting away from me lately. But I do have some kinda sorta fun news! I am going back to college. Well, for two days totaling 16 hours anyway. I have to get my "Food Service and Sanitation" license so that I can continue to be the cool school lunch lady. I started last Saturday and go back again tomorrow so that we can finish the class and take the test. Wish me luck, because it is an incredible amount of information to memorize in literally one week. Most of it is common sense, but there are alot of government (as in FDA and my state public health department) terms and regulations to cram into my little cranium. I'm glad that it will be over tomorrow.

I also feel very blessed that the school is paying for me to take this course while I get to keep the license. It is always nice to be able to add another skill to my tool belt (as if wife and mother doesn't create enough skills!). I'm that crazy planner lady who always say "Expect the best but plan for the worst!". It give me comfort to know that I will have another marketable skill, "just in case". Yes, I am crazy, I know.

My husband was teasing me last Saturday, telling me that I was going to be the old lady in the class. It turned out to be just the opposite! With the exception of one other obviously young girl, I turned out to be one of the youngest. Lots of lunch ladies and day care workers there, and some folks who worked for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Of course, I had to come home and tell my husband this. Needless to say, he was unimpressed. :)

Yep, going back to college was kinda weird but it brought back lots of fun memories. Too bad it didn't seem to bring back my actual working MEMORY! So now I really have to go study so that I don't have to tell my children's school that I flunked my exam. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the Garden

I really do have a love/hate relationship with Fall. I love the cool, crisp air and the changing colors. I HATE the fact that it is officially time for me to start wrapping up my garden for the winter. I have not had much of a chance to care for it since school started and I faced a MAJOR flood at the end of August, but I will still have a fairly good harvest to help get me through the winter.

My dreams of having a complete 3 season garden have been dashed. But that is the life of the gardener. You learn to handle these things in stride, thanking God for all of the good things that you were given and reminding yourself that the bad things really could have been much worse. My gardening season started in the spring with a horrible late frost that wiped out my strawberries and set back a good deal of my other seedlings. The Everbearing strawberries came back with a VERY modest crop in June and NOTHING in September. I really wasn't surprised. (As an aside, my hydrangeas did not bloom this year either. Late frosts are a nasty way to start a garden season.) My peas were set back a bit by the frost, but they bounced back eventually and gave me a nice harvest until my sworn enemy Powdery Mildew arrived in the summer and killed them. Ol' Powdery came back to visit my peas again this fall when we had a LONG string of hot and humid summer like days. :( My carrots were fantastic all 3 seasons. My freezer runneth over with bright orange coins of carrot goodness. My green peppers were tasty and plentiful. My Jalapenos were HOT but oh so fresh and tasty. It was a great year for my tomatoes until the flood of late August left them to sit in water that made most of the fruit just burst on the vine. This was the fist year that that ever happened to me. It was a learning experience. My beautiful tomatoes, once so plump and red, were just hanging from the plant like deflated balloons. Neat. The spinach and lettuce were GREAT! The broccoli was FANTASTIC. It grew all summer long but kept going to seed by the end of summer. I had to pull the spring plants and put in the fall to keep the harvest growing. This was the very first year that I have done cauliflower. I manged to successfully grow three heads of this finicky plant. It was truly the best cauliflower that I have ever eaten. I think that I have refined my technique enough to have more luck next year. My onions just grew and grew. Plenty to freeze and enjoy. And my cucumbers were incredible! I enjoyed mint all season long, and my fresh cilantro was the perfect finishing touch for my all organic salsa.

It was a challenging year. The odds were kinda stacked against gardeners in my area. Some of us won, and some of us lost. I won. It was not my best victory, but I loved every minute of it. (Well, not every minute. Have I mentioned how much I hate powdery mildew??) Now I have to pull the last of my harvest before the first frost and clean the garden so that it can sit and rest all winter long.

Any other gardeners out there? How was your season(s)?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New Colors for Fall

I changed my template in an attempt to create a more Autumn-like feel. Maybe some day I will be able to understand why I can grow an entire garden from seed but can't seem to figure out how to use a different template than the one that blogger provides! Or maybe I'll just stick with the gardening.

Peace and Love

For the record, I quite dislike the culture (and fashions!) of the 60's. Despite this fact, I am often called a "Flower Child" by folks who know me personally. Maybe it is my garden. Or maybe it is the fact that I always say "Peace and Love, man" when it comes to matters where folks tend to disagree the most. Especially religion, which is always a hot button topic! As a matter of fact, I always think of that old reliable saying that you should never discuss religion or politics in polite conversation. But I digress......

I have been feeling a bit sad as of late. It seems like some Christians (not all, of course. No hasty generalizations here...) have in many ways lost the basic ability to just get along with those who are supposed to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. I guess the main questions that I have about all of this are: If we, as Christians, fight against each other how on earth does this make us look to other people who may not be Christians or who may be struggling in their walk with the Lord? If we can't get along with each other, how does that make us look to the rest of the world? Are we REALLY living what Christ has taught us in the Bible that we share? What is more important: spreading what YOU believe is the word of the Lord or showing love and compassion to those whose personal beliefs may be different from your own?

I could go on. And on and on and on. But I think that you get the picture. Where is the peace and love? Where is the mercy and forgiveness? I would be interested to hear any readers (all two of you) thoughts on this. What is the greater sin: allowing someone to continue to live in what you may perceive as an error of thought or to treat a fellow human (or Christian) in a manner that could be considered unkind but justify it by saying that you are trying to "save" them? These are thoughts that just keep swimming around in my head.

Anyway, peace and love everyone! Have a nice weekend, too! :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What a Day!

Well, our Roasary Garden has been blessed now and I have a rather exciting story to tell. I will try to keep it brief as I have very little time to blog and also because my head is still spinning. During his homily, the Bishop spoke of the Crucifix that he was wearing. It was given to him personally by (are you ready for this?) Pope John Paul II when the Bishop met him in Krakau, Poland in 2003. The Bishop mentioned that this crucifx would probably be considered a class III relic when Pope John Paul II becomes canonized. I had the honor and privilege of meeting the Bishop after he had finished the blessing of our Rosary Garden and I was actually allowed to hold the Crucifix. It was incredible. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of what holding a small piece of history in your hand is like. I cannot describe what is was like to touch something that was probably in the hands of a man who's gentle spirit and wisdom made me want to be a Catholic. My head is still spinning right now, so perhaps I will try to blog about it more when I have better clarity of thought. I am just too humbled and blown away right now to even think.

Friday, October 05, 2007

An Emergency Question

As some of my readers many know, I have been working on the Walking Rosary and the Rosary Garden at our parish. Our hard work is almost (but not quite) over and we are preparing to have a wonderful Mass on Tuesday to dedicate and bless our new garden. Here is where my question comes in: the Mass is to be presided over by the Bishop. My oldest daughter, who is a member of the Rosary Club, has been chosen to do the first reading and play a major part in the blessing ceremony. Since my family has been heavily involved in this project, I am going to assume (to be safe) that I may possibly meet the Bishop. This thought strikes fear into my heart because I have no idea how to conduct myself. If memory serves me, I believe one should address a Bishop as "Your Excellency" in a formal social situation. Does anyone else know if this is correct? Does anyone have any other tips for me so that I do not look like a socially inept buffoon? I am really worried about this and I will take any tips that anyone can offer. Thanks so much for your help! :)