Monday, May 30, 2011

Cellular Technology and The Little House on the Prairie

Are you ready for this one?

This week I finally got a smartphone - but not in the traditional sense.  I did not purchase one through my own self-aware willpower.  One of my best friends said "Look, honey, you need to enter the 21st century.  Here - I'll SEND you a spare new Blackberry that I have."

(By the way, you know you have a "keeper" in the friend department when they are generous and painfully honest.) 

Are there any others out there like me?

I've had (maybe) five cell phones IN MY LIFE.  And that's counting "the brick" I had in the 1990's when cellular devices first appeared - the Zack-Morris-from-Saved-by-the-Bell phone that was the size of one of our modern-day cordless landline phones.    No wait, it was bigger than that. 

New gadgets and electronics don't wow me. Part of that is because I am a woman.  The other (larger) part is because, deep down, I am really just Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Farm girl, simple girl.  I'd probably do really well in a covered wagon heading to the Dakotas with provisions for a long winter. That is, until the coyotes show up and the lip gloss runs out. 

Now, before you write me off, I do (obviously) blog.  And I tweet.  So I'm not a total head case, kiddos.  It's just a matter of priorities.

I tend to like old things, too.  You know the old samurai warriors who get mercilessly gunned down by the "new guns" in The Last Samurai?  Yes, I cried streaming tears.  The old being replaced by the new.  I don't like it. 

Some things are better left unchanged.  Take the movie Gone with the Wind, for instance.  No one has remade this cinematic masterpiece into a hipper, terser, cleaner, smaller version.   A version that speaks to "today's generation," a version with more "apps."  Puh-leeze.

Take my old little flip-phone.  OK, maybe I'll concede on that one.   Typing a text message on its non-Qwerty keyboard took ten minutes. 

Now that I think about it, Laura Ingalls Wilder might have enjoyed the Blackberry. She could have de-friended Nellie Olsen on Facebook right from the comfort of her own phone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Salmon with Spring Salsa

It's official.  Salmon is mmmm-mmmm good.  Baked, poached, broiled, grilled, in sushi, you name it.  And it's got all those tasty omega-3 what-nots that makes it so darn good for you.  We eat it regularly.

We had it tonight - roasted in the oven with a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. 

I found a yummy recipe for "Spring Salsa" from Southern Living that I modified a bit by adding some canned black beans - and it was perfect alongside/on top of the salmon.  So fresh, so easy to make. . . and it would be divine with just tortilla chips.  Oooh, you could add a bit of diced avocado to it, as well. I am already dreaming of variations.

Toss a little arugula with some vinaigrette and blue cheese and added a dinner roll and - voila!  The perfect May meal.

Try this!  You won't be sorry.

Spring Salsa   (adapted from Southern Living, May 2011)
1-1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and chopped (cherry work well here)
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/2 - 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

So what's with all this Royal Wedding hype?

Cynics and smart alecks (and lots of manly types, too) were muttering this on Friday.

I'll admit that I only DVRd the wedding and watched it a day later (horrors!) and that, unlike many of my friends, I was far from interested back in 1981 when Charles and Diana married.

But something hit me this weekend, as I was tearing up watching the pomp and pageantry of the wedding of the (now) Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

I wondered. . . Why do billions of people respond the way they do to this event?   It may be because we love traditions, or because Kate and William seemed to happy and hopeful, or because we secretly harbor desires to "be British." 

I think it's something more.

As the Bishop of London delivered the sermon, he spoke of the marriage of a man and a woman being a reflection of the marriage of Christ and His church.   The husband and wife are to love and respect each other, and are to fulfill certain God-ordained roles within marriage - this is an earthly symbol of how our Savior loves us and gave Himself up for us and how we, the church, submit to and love Him.  It is also a picture of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

 Ephesians 5 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

What hit me was this:  If a wedding is a reflection of these relationships, then THIS particular wedding is pretty much the best dog-gone attempt we will ever see on Earth to mirror this "mystery" as the Bible calls it.  We humans cannot put on a showier show than this - the royal wedding is our best, most beautiful effort at illustrating the covenant relationship between God Almighty and His people. . . our best effort at demonstrating, at least symbolically, and with earthly trappings, the true "Royal Wedding" of Jesus and us, His bride.  Whew.

I had another "a-ha" moment.  We emotionally respond to the Royal Wedding because there is something in us (namely the Spirit Himself, because we are made in His image) that responds to TRUTH, BEAUTY, and GOODNESS.  It's the same reason why we are moved when we hear a symphony, or read a classic work of literature, or see a child's innocent smile.  Now, we may not be able to verbalize (or even actually recognize) why were are moved, but these things are true, beautiful, and good, and they stir our hearts. 

And you may be a pessimist or a postmodernist or just simply a sourpuss and believe that nothing is beautiful - but somewhere deep down, it stirs you. 

Christian weddings are the same.


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