She still jumps up walls, trying to get things. Like the thermostat; she finally noticed it. And my brother said one day she hit the switch in his room and cut off the light. But at least she's too big to climb the shower curtain.
Today's gospel passage deals with the appearance of Jesus to the apostles while along the road to Emmaus. They were excitedly discussing the events of Jesus' crucifixion and his body later being gone from the tomb, according to the women who went there and saw the place empty and an angel telling them what had occurred. A stranger joined them and they were surprised to find he seemed to know nothing of these events. It was Jesus, however; they did not realize who it was.
This always puzzles me. The Bible says "their eyes were prevented from recognizing him". Did he look so very different from the way he always had before? Perhaps he was dressed in a different manner, with a hood obscuring his face - that might do it. Or is it simply as the gospel says, that God just prevented them from being able to recognize him. Mary Magdalene also had this experience, when she was first to see him after he rose but thought he must be the gardener. But the way the scene is depicted in art often indicates a mystery in Jesus' attire which could explain her confusion.
Anyway, the real point here is, God will find a way to make himself known to us, if we have our ears and hearts open.
Where I live, April is supposed to be when spring begins to show itself. And it does; there are spring-flowering bulbs, shrubs and beautiful trees which bloom. But the warmer temperatures are what everybody is longing for, and this year we are still waiting. Today, it was very lovely and relatively warm, but that's just one day. I've heard the weatherman say more than once lately that the temperatures have been twenty degrees colder than they're supposed to be! So I'm saving my high hopes for May.
My brother's seedlings are still in the kitchen, struggling for the sunlight, but it feels too cold and is too cloudy to set up the greenhouse outdoors. It just doesn't feel right.
we've actually had flurries a couple of times lately!
I've been taking it easy for a few days, since I had a painful foot on Tuesday and actually had to go to the ER. It improved the next day but I've been keeping it propped up a lot to prevent a recurrence. This morning, Dolly surprised me by coming into my room - she poked around in the closet and then went behind my day bed, walking along the baseboard heater, behind my nightstand, around and out. She then sped out of the room, presumably excited at doing something she hasn't done in years. Boring stuff I suppose, but this was a Big Deal - she hasn't been coming into my bedroom since Sweetie came here, which I feel very badly about. But, our Dolly had a birthday this week - 17! - and maybe she's changing things up. I hope it continues!
The last couple of knitting projects I began ended up in nothing, but I tried another one yesterday. I have a large ball of wool, bulky weight, and decided to use it up for a bag. It's called the Aspen Bag, and I like it. My yarn is sort of a purply berry color and I'm supposed to use size 15 needles. I knitted eight rows but found the result to be looser than the photo. If I continued on that way, the bag wouldn't be suitable for anything heavier than holding pieces of paper. The directions don't mention any gauge and I always seem to knit the proper gauge except when using the large needles like 13 and 15 - I have a harder time keeping my tension with those sizes. So, I ripped it out and will try it with size 11s. If it looks right, I'll take a picture. It's not a felted bag, nor is it lined, so it's got to be snugly made or it'll stretch and sag.
In a recent podcast of Speaking with Joy, Joy Clarkson said something that I thought was delightful: "Snow is kind of the reward for how cold it is." At least, I'm sure I would find it delightful in December, January, February - maybe even March! But April - no.
"It is the typical expression of divine power to make something from nothing. God has made the world where no world was, and God makes life out of death. Such is the God with whom we have to do. We do not come to God for a little help, a little support to our own good intentions. We come to him for resurrection. God will not be asked for a little, he will be asked for all. We reckon ourselves dead, says St. Paul, that we may ask God for a resurrection, not of ourselves, but of Christ in us."
It was violently windy much of today, with an inch or two of rain. I was defuzzing a sweater in the spare room when my brother called out to me - Did you see that? No, I didn't see anything. The top section of a tree in the back yard had come down.
That's a big piece. And do you see how the branches are curved downward on that tree? That's from the October snow we had in 2011. I think it not only bent the branches, but weakened many trees in ways that are only evident on stormy days like this one.
It happened that this was the cat food packet I grabbed on Easter, so we all had lamb for Easter dinner.
"Easter challenges us to believe in a way that Christmas doesn't. It almost dares us to accept and acknowledge a love and a goodness that is greater than anything we could possibly imagine."
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre,
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness,
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing facade are all being rolled away -
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing -
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.
- T. S. Eliot, from East Coker
this was also from the daily Liturgical Reflections for Holy Saturday
It's Holy Thursday. I've subscribed to a daily email during Lent from three women called Liturgical Reflections, and the following was one of the meditations:
"After Jesus had died on the cross, his disciples hoped to keep his body with them as a sacred relic. They shut it in with stone. The came to embalm it. St. Magdalene was disconsolate that she could not find it. But Jesus had given his body to them at the Supper in the form in which he meant them tohave it, a form which did not involve its being stored on earth. He would continually give it them from heaven, where he lives. It is a heavenly being he bestows on us, it is in his heavenly body that he unites us. Lift up your hearts; by this sacrament, you are parts of Christ, and Christ is the heart of heaven."
I made another loaf of bread today, with a quarter teaspoon of yeast, again. I felt the previous one could have used a bit more water, or liquid, so I couldn't wait to try again.
Here's the recipe:
This is from a bread machine cookbook we withdrew from the library collection; it wasn't circulating. I grabbed it! So, I followed it, as far as ingredients went, exactly, except for the yeast amount, and also I melted the butter to add that more easily to the mix.
I used Steve's method as far as I've understood it, meaning that last night I mixed all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then stirred in the wet. I'd whisked up the two eggs, added them to the milk in a two-cup measure and then topped it off with some water to make a full two cups. This was more liquid than the last one.
I really have to say that I don't know what I'm doing, I just do it anyway. I *felt* that I wanted more liquid - the crumb on the previous loaf was dense. Of course, it had more whole wheat in it, which may be why. I don't know. Also, leaving the dough on the counter all night, for about fifteen hours total made me nervous - milk, and two eggs! When I checked it it smelled slightly like alcohol rather than yeast. This made me wonder if I'd left it too long, but Steve advises eight to eighteen hours, so I wasn't concerned.
It came out very well.
It's delicious! The crumb looks better, I think - more holes. It could use a little more salt - next time! And maybe next time I can cover it with a wet towel - I do not like using plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table minding my own business when I noticed how the light was affecting the scene out the back window. I can never resist this drama, although I've probably taken this picture many times before.
I am so psyched: I baked a loaf of bread, using only a quarter teaspoon of yeast. It came out just fine!
the cauliflower has sprouted!
Ever since I stumbled upon Artisan Bread with Steve, a youtube channel, I was wanting to try his method. Over the past few years, my researches have led me to the idea that a long rise using less yeast gives much more flavor - it's a more natural way of doing things. So, when I find a recipe which interests me, I make it, but with less yeast than called for.
after mixing and sitting out all night
But Steve uses only one quarter teaspoon, and that's hardly any. And his recipes look good, but I wanted to understand the method. He uses more water, which enables you to proceed with less yeast, and no kneading. Like the 5-minute artisan breads. So, after doing more research, I discovered that a flour to water ratio is normally 5:3. But with wetter, artisan-type doughs, the water amount is about three quarters of the flour weight. So that meant I'd have to weigh my flour after measuring to determine how much liquid to add. But I did it, and mixed it, and after 18 hours I shaped it for the second rise.
ready for the second proof
Another hour and a half or so, and it was ready for baking. So now I have three methods of baking bread, and depending on how much time I have and when I'm available, making bread can be done around my schedule. Excellent!
"O Lord, we are so easily deceived still into expecting from you a kingdom governed according to the laws of this world. Keep our eyes fixed on the triumph of life over death through the mystery of the cross, so that we may grow into a deeper understanding of the power of your law of love over the laws of human expectation, through Christ our Lord. Amen."
The neighbors hens wandered again the other day. I guess they know enough to only wander nearby.
At the library, we withdrew a few bread machine cookbooks, which I brought home. I like to try new recipes, and it's easy to adapt them for mixing by hand or with a mixer. And I'm especially eager to try a method that uses only a quarter teaspoon of yeast per loaf. It's on a youtube channel "Artisan Bread with Steve". I wish I knew a way to adapt his method for use with other recipes. For me, the less yeast used, the better.
Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.
- Albert Camus*
No, I have not been reading Camus! This passage was in a magazine.