Sunday Sounds

Boo:  It's amazing that you love me.  That you love me forever. 
Me:  Yup.  I love you.  Forever.
Boo:  How did you know that?  Where did you learn to do that?  Did God love you first and teach you?
Me:  The Holy Spirit gave it to me.  All good things come from above.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."  - James 1:17


Fuzzy Segue

I reached across the dinner table to remove a white fuzz from Boo's hair.

Boo: Ow mommy, what are you doing?
Me:  You had something on your hair.
Boo:  What is it?
Me: I think it's a goose feather from my jacket or something.
Boo:  I always like to see the Tooth Fairy.
Me:  \\figurative head scratch// What brought that up?
Boo:  I thought the white thing might be the Tooth Fairy's hair or something.


I Am

Boo did a little booklet in school for Bible class.  He had to look in the Bible for the various images Jesus gives us of Himself, which he had to illustrate:

Flash light and candle:

Bread and toaster:

Gate with people in Heaven above:

Jesus raising someone from the dead:

Shepherd telling the sheep, "Eat what you can," something I always tell him:

Grapes on the vine:

We raise our son to believe in the God who created the Universe, the author of Love, one who cares about every little thing in our hearts. It brings me great joy to see him learn this every day, at home, church and school.


Watercress Again

I was at a Korean grocery store last week and was so taken by the beautiful watercress, that I bought four bunches.  At an American grocery, that would have been 1/4 of my food budget, but I got these amazing, fresh and at 99 cents a bunch!

I had a post about Watercress just this past summer, but let me show you two slight variations.  Follow my previous post about soaking in salt water, rinsing, cutting and blanching the watercress.

Drain, then squeeze the excess water out with your hands:

Here is a more Korean way of making them, basically by eliminating the Oyster Sauce from the previous recipe I posted.  For two bunches of watercress,  I used about 1/2 t. of sugar, 5 Tblsp of soy sauce, and 1 minced clove of garlic.  Mix.

Add chopped scallions.  Then put the watercress in and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.  This is called "minari moochim," (미나리 무침) or seasoned watercress.

Some people serve the watercress raw, like a salad, adding vinegar to the mixture above, to create a dressing.  That is terrific too, especially in the summer - fragrant and crunchy!  Just make sure to soak it in salt water and rinse thoroughly to remove as much pesticides as possible.

The second way is to serve it is warm mixed with just Oyster sauce and garlic.

Last night, I served it warm with Oyster sauce (top left) and cold Korean style (top right) with cabbage kimchi (bottom left,) dried laver (bottom center,) and radish kimchi (bottom right.)  Below are pictures of the dried laver seasoned with olive oil and salt, the oyster sauce and the two kinds of kimchi.

You can find all those things at the corner Korean grocery store.  (jk) Or the chains H-Mart and Assi. Bon appetit!



The sun.

The ocean.





The planets.


Ponder these things and their beauty, enormity and power.

I would rather honor the One who is the source of, or made these than those things themselves. If I am making up the notion, I'd still rather live in a transcendent way that hopes for, longs for, believes in the Power that created, instead of the creation.



I sat outside on the deck this morning.  In my sleepwear and green slippers.  I wore a fleece hoody and down vest, wrapped a ragged blanket around myself.  I sat outside in the 44 degree weather, looking out at my world, coffee mug and novel in hand.

She emptied several cupboards and left them open to air, and once she washed half the kitchen ceiling and a door.  Sylvie believed in stern solvents, and most of all in air.  It was for the sake of air that she opened doors and windows, though it was probably through forgetfulness that she left them open.  It was for the sake of air that on one early splendid day she wrestled my grandmother's plum-colored davenport into the front yard, where it remained until it weathered pink.*
- Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

I grew up in a place where caring for the house involved 2 maids for our household of 8.  The "cleaning" part of housekeeping (caring for the home) was separated out and done invisibly.  Even today, I am slightly shocked that my house gets dirty.

When we moved to the U.S., my mother had to do what those 2 maids did.  And she was not happy about it.  I learned to separate out the jewel-like yolk of housekeeping that is caring for the souls within, and saw only the , goopey, nutritionless slime of the egg white called housecleaning.  My mother traded the confines of Korean society that gave her all the freedom she ever wanted, for the freedom of American society, that constricted her to vacuums and back-breaking trips to the grocery store, where she had to drive herself, load up herself, put away by herself.  To the tangle of unmade beds and laundry; the tangled pile of rope that was the English language - that held her down like a slave. The irony was wholly lost on her as she banged that vacuum around, inevitably while we were watching our favorite TV show.  In English.  While we sat on our asses.

I still get a tightness inside me when I think about housecleaning.  My mother's unhappiness  weighted down my natural tendency toward obsessiveness.  So I became obsessively neat but not necessarily clean.  A mis-squeezed toothpaste tube would send me into the technicolor fogginess of insanity, but I cleaned the toilet only when the shock of dirt forced me to it.  I color-coded my closet but was merely annoyed that the windows got dirty and turned away, assuming they would clean themselves. I would pick up the largest dust bunnies by hand, slightly fascinated that they created themselves while I wasn't looking.  Once I started cleaning, though, I would clean with compulsion and irritation for hours, until I gave up half-way, exhausted, defeated by the whorling, exponential nature of dirt.

Aunt Sylvie, who returns from a vagrant life to care for her 2 nieces, lives the world not defined by walls but by the openings.  She doesn't live by the solidity of life but the airy flow of life, as if she herself should fly.  Her sister, the girls' mother, did just that - flying off a cliff in a borrowed car.  I wonder if it is her love and admiration for this sister that brings her back to the walls of her childhood home.

Housekeeping freed me from the leaden weight I thought I had to carry around called housecleaning: Sylvie's independence, her love of air, her obliviousness to the dry, cracked leaves in the foyer.  Confetti of the cosmos called autumn leaves sit in the corner of my dark foyer.  So what?  So, I sat on the deck today, the icy air crowning my head, being what and where I wanted to be

Twenty-five years later, I'm reading the book again.   Twenty-five years later, I live my life with the fullness and freedom of House Keeping, not merely cleaning, because of this book.

I am sure I looked ridiculous on the deck this morning, (I am not immune from the definitions set by society,) but inside me, I have air.  So what? Here's what.  Sylvie and Housekeeping taught me to have air, to breathe, to be able to say "so what."

* Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson @1980 Picador, NY