Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fluffy Pancakes for Two

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in medium mixing bowl until well blended.
  2. Melt butter on stove top or in microwave until melted completely. Let set for a few minutes to cool.
  3. Lightly beat egg with a fork in a separate bowl, add milk and vanilla and stir.
  4. Add melted butter to egg and milk mixture and whisk briskly until well blended.
  5. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture and whisk 3 times clockwise, 3 times counterclockwise until well blended
  6. Mixture should run together but not be very liquid. Add additional milk or flour until the consistency is proper. Add love to taste. ;-)
  7. If using a skillet, place over medium heat and grease with small pat of butter. If using a nonstick pan, no butter is necessary, but if you're a butter lover, you may want to add some anyway.
  8. Pour out batter into coaster-sized circles once pan is heated. Mixture should begin to bubble after a moment.
  9. When bubbles on the top of the pancakes cease to immediately close when they pop, it's time to flip the pancakes. If, when you flip the pancakes, they are not already a nice golden brown, raise the heat. If they are too brown, lower it.
  10. The reverse side of the pancake will need about half as much time to cook as the first.
  11. Stack each batch of pancakes on one pile on a plate to conserve heat until they are all cooked.
  12. Serve with butter and maple syrup to taste.
  13. If you have a sweet tooth, lightly dust with confectioner's sugar before adding butter and syrup.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thoughts on God

Someone once asked me to sum up the reason I believe in God in one sentence. I know that's an impossible task. It's like asking someone to describe "war" in one sentence. There are so many emotions; so many thoughts that come flooding through my head when people ask me about such confusing and complex words. "War." I see blood. I see pools of blood. Rivers of blood and bleeding soldiers. I see a woman crying for her dead husband, whose body will never be found. I see the cries of joy from a people, liberated from their nightmares. I see the same people in anguish as they realize they have been plucked from one nightmare and put into another.

When I think of God I think of so many things. I think of Jesus. I think of Church. I think of Mass. I think of the majesty of the cathedrals and of the tiny brook that runs through the small patch of trees in my parents back yard. I think of my personal interactions with God. I think of the pain inflicted on others in the name of God. Mostly, though, I think of love.

Love, as a topic, in a lot of ways is like God. It's not tangible. Many believe in it, many don't. You can't measure it, you can't prove it exists or it doesn't exist. And largely speaking, it's something you have to just but blind faith in until you finally encounter it for yourself. Not only that, though, you might think you've found love, only to find you just convinced yourself that's what it was. It wasn't really real love though, right? I hope? Please?

People say you know you're in love when you are in its grip. But until that happens, you're in an endless game of guessing whether you're really in love or not. "If you have to ask, you're not in love," they say. You just know when it happens to you.

I believe in love. So why do I believe in God? Because I love, and I believe in love. God is love. I know God exists because God happened to me. Or maybe I believe in love because I believe in God? Does it really matter? Maybe it's both.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things that bring relief

  • A cold pillow
  • The smell of a freshly laundered shirt
  • A warm shower after a long day of walking
  • A back-rub from someone with strong hands
  • Photos of a loved one
  • Scratching an itchy spot
  • Holding a warm mug full of tea on a cold dark night
  • Reading in the sunshine
  • Floating on your back at the pool
  • Hugs
  • Sitting on the heating vent on a cold morning
  • A favorite bible verse or poem

The Story

The figure of the old woman sat hunched in front of the fire patiently as each of the children seated around her on the grass realized she was going to begin telling them a story soon. It was the same way each full moon. A handful of children from around the small farming village in northern Ireland would get permission from their parents to go see the old wise woman Elizabeth in her thatch roofed home up on the hill in the woods just on the outskirts of town. She would be there at dusk, in the field across the dirt path leading up to her old wooden gate, waiting. There was always a bonfire lit in the middle of the old stone circle when the children arrived. None of them had ever seen her build the fire, and she certainly had never added any wood to the fire. That wasn't the only oddity about Elizabeth. Strange and wonderful things happened to people around her, and although some of the villagers called her "witch" or "hag", most simply thought of her as wise old Elizabeth.

On the lunar calendar, there exists no concept of a blue moon. Whether it was just a coincidence or not that tonight's full moon was the second of the month, the children said to their children many years later, they will never know. All they could say for sure was that on that particular night, the story was unlike any of the other stories the old crone had ever told them. It was also the last time they ever saw her. The story, Beldam Elizabeth told them, was the most important Story they would ever hear from her. It was told to her by her own mother when she was just a girl, and this was the first time she had repeated it to anyone else. Normally, she said, the story was only to be shared by a mother to her daughter on the first full moon after she came of age, but since she was barren, this was the way it must happen. She had decided it must be this way. "The time has come for me to pass along The Story to a new generation of Story Keepers," she said, "And I don't take no stock in that mother-daughter nonsense."

She chuckled, "Boys is good as girls to keep the Story goin'. Besides, there's older rules for these types o' things."

The sky was clear that night. The stars blanketing the heavens sang a different song than usual, it seemed to the children; they were right. The stars sang along in harmony with old lady Elizabeth as she told the children her Story, which was her mother's story and her mother's mother's mother's story. They were twinkling in time to the cadence of her voice as the words spilled from her lips like the tongues of flame from the fire in front of her. For hundreds of years, the tradition was to pass the story from mother to daughter, but that wasn't really a rule. If there were any rules, the only one was that the story must be told; it must be kept alive. It wasn't until some of the children began to grow old and die that the remaining children began to understand why that was of such importance.

"I'd say to yeh, take heed to my Story, but yeh kin try to forget it, if yeh like. Won't work noways, anyhow. The Story will resonate whether yeh want it er not."

Monday, June 7, 2010


The mind that lay dormant—not dead—in the corpse of Lazarus Jacobi was not Lazarus Jacobi. His body lay pristine although the lettering had long since faded from the simple granite stone that marked the forgotten graveside. It could have been just like any other stone in the area, the product of bygone eras when glaciers had carved their way through the valleys, deepening their sides and leaving stones scattered about like crumbs. It could have been any stone, except that this stone was the wrong kind of granite. And, although it was so severely weathered as to remove any evidence of human tools, the thing had far too regular a look to it. No, the unfortunate truth was that although Jacobi's body lay dead, his mind had found a new body among us— unfortunate, because of the displaced mind that now lay imprisoned in his tomb. For Jacobi, however, there was no fortune to be considered, as this had always been his gambit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

そうかと言って、(sou ka to itte)


kokoro de yuki ga futteiru to,
anata ni aete yokatta.
sou ka to itte?
yama ga takai deshou?
haba no hiroi kawa wa
yukkuri to nagareru?
sou ka to itte,
kokoro de yuki ga futteiru to,
anata ni atte yokatta.

Although it is snowing in my heart,
I am glad I was able to meet you.
Did I say, "Oh, is that so?"
Are not the mountains high?
Do wide rivers
flow with patience?
Even if that's true,
Although it is snowing in my heart,
I am glad I met you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things that fluctuate

  • Sine Waves
  • The price of bonds
  • Water against the side of a boat
  • The reed of a woodwind
  • The temperature at dusk
  • The voice of one who bears bad news
  • A pubescent teenager's mood
  • The number friends one has
  • A fish's tail
  • One who must make a difficult decision
  • The heart of a gold digger whose lover is now penniless