Showing posts from June, 2024

Garden Update 6/26/24

We've had a really good onion year. We've got some softball-size Spanish Sweet yellow onions. This is a red onion that I picked for dinner. I'm not sure I planted enough to store through Dec. but we have plenty to pick and eat now. We will let most of them continue growing and then dry out. That is mesclun in the basket below that I picked to go with lettuce for salads. I tried a different method of planting mesclun mix this year. This is a sweet mix that I planted in three rows. I've planted spicy mix before, but it isn't as good. This way helps me harvest them easier. I harvested the first row in this picture below before harvesting the second. They should regrow.  This is a red okra called "Candle Fire" that I planted as part of a grow-along with the University of Illinois Extension Good Growing podcast. They sent me these seeds. The pods are supposed to be smooth and red which is different than the other six we planted. This is my hot pepper bed. It ha

Every Bret Lott Book Ranked and Described

I've been a Bret Lott fan since college. That means I've been reading his books for 20 years. With the release of his new book, I thought it would be the time to make an annotated list of his books. There are four that I haven't read. I plan to fix that this year, and I will update this post when I do.  Lott writes in lots of different categories. I'm going to list them according to categories and then rank them and give notes. One of my favorite things about Lott's writing is that he takes chances and doesn't just repeat the same things over and over. You can see that when you put the books into categories. I am listing them by how I rank them.  Novels A Song I Knew by Heart . This is my favorite of his novels. It doesn't do it justice to describe it as a modern retelling of the story Ruth. It is a lovely, slow story of brokenness, redemption, and healing where the places that the two women live become a part of the story.  Dead Low Tide . This is actually

16 Years!

 We celebrated our 16th anniversary last week with a date to get coffee and tea and flowers for the front porch.

6/17/24 Odds and Ends

 Here's a collection of things I've been thinking and doing. It is hard to trust sports podcasts that start with gambling ads. I don't understand why they accept those advertisers. I'm making sauerkraut which means that the active work is done, and then I wait. It takes about 3 weeks to ferment to our liking. I use glass weights and a one-way valve on top to keep them clean while they ferment. I like sauerkraut with more texture and sourness. I had some commercial sauerkraut for the first time in years. It is much softer and has less of the great bite that homemade has. You don't have to use the equipment that I use to get good, cheap sauerkraut. It's a neat miracle that cabbage, salt, and time make a great food--I realize that it takes bacteria in the air that collects on the cabbage somewhere along the way to make the sauerkraut. I finished All the King's Men , and am starting an abridged version of War and Peace . I actually read War and Peace  years ago

I Miss Magazines

 I'm reading Grant Wahl's posthumously published collection of his magazine writing, and I am reminiscing about how much I used to enjoy reading magazines.  I grew up reading all sorts of magazines and newspapers. We subscribed to some, I read others at the library, and we were given old issues of magazines too. I remember enjoying Time , Newsweek , US News & World Report , Sports Illustrated , Taste of Home , World , and Popular Mechanics . There was a monthly magazine that we got at church that I enjoyed.  In college, I would take some evenings and grab a stack of magazines and journals in the college library and read for an hour or two at a time. I remember reading the TIME cover article about Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code book and movie and the society that features in the story. I was in the airport at the end of my senior of college on my way back to school When we got married, we had subscriptions to Wired , ESPN the Magazine , Food Network , and Kiplin

Grant Wahl's New Collection and a Memory

I was so sad 2 years ago at the death of Grant Wahl during the World Cup. He was one of my favorite sports writers. I'm excited to read this new collection of his sports writing.  Days before his death, I commented on his newsletter how much I appreciated his writing and wanted him to keep writing magazine-style sports writing. He responded back that he planned on doing it for the rest of his life.

The Most Efficient and Useful Thing You Can Study In Seminary

The most useful thing that I learned in college and seminary is Greek and Hebrew. I think about it often because I use it so much. There are theological reasons that I love biblical languages, but this is about the practical reason. I took 8 semesters of Greek and 4 of Hebrew. I had many other amazing classes. No other class, subject, or skill shortens my workload every week like languages, though. I preach 90+ times per year in a church that had 70 today. Knowing Greek and Hebrew helps me get to the heart and meaning of a passage quickly. It cuts out time needed to read commentaries because they often just tell me what I already read in the text. I read one language professor who said that knowing the languages cuts out 10 hours of study per week. Imagine getting 10 extra hours a week for the rest of your career. There is nothing else you can learn that will save you 500 hours a year.   I can use commentaries instead to answer questions that I have. I use them to check that my interpr