Saturday, 3 January 2015

Mood and Food

I "got out of bed on the wrong side this morning", as a result of which I was in a foul mood.  There was no particular reason for this (apart from my mercurial temperament).

So bad was my "humour"  that I decided not to pray.  "There" I said to God "that'll learn you". 

She smiled and said "Oh thank God  (wait a minute, I am God!) -  that's one less boring human to deal with".

My mood had not improved by 11:00, so I did the right thing.  I walked my dog (the ever-gracious-Penne); took a refreshing shower; and  ate a good lunch -  baked wild salmon, bean sprouts and sliced tomato.

After these activities I had no good reason to stay in a lousy mood.

Good Food is a blessing.  It feeds the body, and it refreshes the soul.

(1) I get excellent bread from my local Publix supermarket. It is made by Eureka Bread Company from Fullerton CA.

It is SO GOOD  ( see http://www.eurekabakingcompany.com/ )

I am especially fond of the "Grainiac Organic Bread" (no artificial colours, flavours,  or preservatives. No high fructose corn syrup. zero trans-fat).

(It's too bad that it has to be imported from California - causing a bad carbon footprint).

(2) The "somewhat ethical" chain store called "Target" is a great source for (frozen) wild Alaskan Salmon, at a decent price. (If you've eaten wild salmon you will understand that farmed salmon is an entirely inferior product).  Target also has just about the best rib-eye, sirloin and T-Bone steaks you could hope to eat.  I am told that Target keeps a close eye on the farms from which it "sources" beef.

(3)  My utterly favourite chain "Trader Joes" (is it a store or is it a cult?)  is such a great place that I have to restrict my visits to once a week, lest I should drift into impulse purchases).

Trader Joes has been selling the best ever cheddar cheese from Vermont.   This  cheese, made from raw (not pasteurised) milk has been  aged for six years. But * "eee by gum"  it is good.

It has a rich and deep flavour.  It has a great texture unlike the mass produced Vermont cheddars.

It's pricey ($9.99 per pound) but I'd rather have a sliver of this raw milk and aged cheese from Vermont than a chunk of mass-produced  and glutinous factory cheeses.

* Re "eee by gum" (northern English colloquialism)  see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAJBIr1ZO4A


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Something I had forgotten.

I drove up to the Veterans Administration Hospital  in  Tampa, FL today to visit with Bob H. 

It is a sixty four mile drive, and it took me seventy five minutes.

Bob is the former St. Boniface Church (Sarasota, FL)  employee who had an industrial accident at the end of November 2014.    I was pressed into service to visit him in the Trauma Unit of Blake Hospital in Bradenton, FL.  There were days when his sisters, his partner Frank, and I wondered if Bob would live.

He showed some signs of progress in mid December, and was transferred to the V.A .Hospital (he is a U.S. Navy veteran) for more intensive rehab.

Oh my!  He is making great progress, thanks to the V.A. He can walk for short distances, and his mind is beautifully focused. (He even responded appropriately to my corny humour).  We had a GREAT visit!.

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The Tampa Hospital is on a huge and sprawling campus.  When I arrived there I wandered lonely as a cloud as I looked for the Polytrauma Building.

Of course I got it wrong, and I wound up in a rehab clinic. There I encountered a young USAF man from  Tennessee.  His daily regime of rehab having been done,  he offered to walk me through the campus so that I could find the place I needed to be.

I suspect that he was a wee bit bored, therefore he was happy to be my escort.  What a cool guy. He insisted on telling me his name  (Shane West), and I hope that I will long remember his gracious hospitality.  It was military honour at its best.

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All well and good -  until my drive home.  On that journey I encountered "something I had forgotten": viz  a traffic accident on an interstate highway/motorway.   

There was such an accident   on I-75 south today.  It took me one hour and forty minutes to travel nine miles. 

So my journey home took three hours instead of one hour and fifteen minutes.

I had not eaten lunch, and I needed to pee.

Once at home I had a good pee, then I walked Penne (who had also been crossing her legs!).

That being done I had a bit of toast before taking Penne on a longer "pee and poop" walk.

After which I thanked my lucky stars that I had prepared dinner in advance -  a mess of "Hoppin' John"  all ready to be heated.  SO GOOD!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A joyful song for the New Year


It's been good to receive so many lovely cards and letters for Christmas-tide.  I return your greetings with a song for the New Year.

It's the fabulous "One more step along the road I go", by Sidney Carter.  The song has been on my mind all day.  We used to sing this at St. James's, Cambridge, MA at this time of year.  It's too bad that in many places it has been designated as a song for children.  It's for all of us!

The video is from the B.B.C. and features two schools, the Edinburgh Academy in Scotland -  doing Carter's song proud, and the Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthun, Wales  - with a great rendition of "Sing Hosanna"

The music comes in at about 2:36  (the intro itself is fascinating)


 
 
 
 
 
 
One more step along the world I go,
one more step along the world I go;
from the old things to the new
keep me traveling along with you:
Refrain:
And it's from the old I travel to the new;
keep me traveling along with you.


Round the corner of the world I turn,
more and more about the world I learn;
all the new things that I see
you'll be looking at along with me: Refrain

As I travel through the bad and good,
keep me traveling the way I should;
where I see no way to go
you'll be telling me the way, I know: Refrain

Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough;
leap and sing in all I do,
keep me traveling along with you: Refrain

You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new,
keep me traveling along with you: Refrain

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Hoppin' John, (and when my mother fractured my leg).

I am getting ready to make "Hoppin' John" for  1st January 2015.

(I'll be using ham hocks).

Some readers (especially those outside the U.S.A.) may be asking "what is "Hoppin' John".  (Other readers will merely yawn!).

Here is an article from Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoppin'_John

But be warned, there are as many theories about the origin of Hoppin' John as there will be black eyed peas in my dish.

My guess is that it was no more than a mid-winter dish for poor people in the southern United States, with dried peas and smoked ham hock being more or less available.

There are scores and scores of on-line recipes for Hoppin' John.

Here is the one which I will (more or less) use:


http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/hoppin_john/

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My full name is John Michael Povey.  I am known to my family as John (or Uncle John). Others know me as Michael.  I like both names.

When I was six or seven I was walking with my Mum alongside the old Brooks  Laundry in the St, Werburgh's area of Bristol.

Mum tripped on an uneven pavement (sidewalk) and knocked me to the ground, as a result of which I suffered a leg fracture.

I do not remember any pain, or the ambulance ride to the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

I cannot remember if it was my left leg, or my right leg  (it was one of the two).

I do remember having  a huge and heavy "plaster of paris"  cast.  I also remember that our Milkman (Pete Bedford) used to call me "peg-leg", which annoyed me greatly.

Mum could not take me to the B.R.I. the day the cast was to be  removed, so my dear Nanny Povey took my by 'bus.  As we left the hospital, the cast having been removed, I limped a bit.

Nanny said  "now don't you limp or you'll do it for the rest of your life".

Was I the original hoppin' John?



WORDS

Fracquaintance  (n)   a person you see often enough that she/he is more than an acquaintance, but not  often enough to be called a friend.

Frintimate  (n)   (alternate sp. frientimate)  a person with whom you share your greatest joys, deepest sorrows, and darkest secrets.  (Never used for family members, counselors, pastors etc.)

Frolerate (v)  Passive behavior in the presence of a person you do not like who is a friend of one of your friends.


SOURCE   jmp Dec 2014

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Captain Jack: Two great vocations.

One of the good pleasures in retirement is that of making new friends.
 
This has been part of the joy of my retirement (to a new City).  High on the list of such new friends are Jack and Donna Chrisman.  I met them at St. Boniface Church in SRQ.  They have become very dear to me, and to my brother Martyn from Bristol U.K.,  who has met them on two visits to SRQ.
 
Jack, from Charlotte N.C. has enjoyed two wonderful careers.
 
He was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.  His service in the Navy led him to the rank of Captain.  He commanded three naval ships.
 
When posted to Athens, Greece  as the Naval Attaché  (I think) at the U.S. Embassy.
 
Whilst in Athens,  Jack, raised a Presbyterian, became an Anglican  because of the ministry of the Church of England congregation in that City.  That experience of Anglican life led Jack to a second career, as an Anglican Priest.
 
Under the tutelage of the Bishop of the C of E's Diocese in Europe Jack trained for Holy Orders at Westcott House, Cambridge, U.K., and was ordained at Ely Cathedral in the County of Cambridge.
 
He served in rural Cambridgeshire parishes, and then (get this) he was appointed to be the Assistant Chaplain at the U.K. Embassy in Oslo. (Must be the first time ever that a U.S. Citizen and retired U.S. Navy Captain served as a Chaplain at a U.K. Embassy!)
 
Whilst in Norway Jack also served C of  E congregations in Oslo and Bergen.
 
When Jack and Donna returned to the U.S.A.  he became the Rector of an Episcopal Church Parish in Newport, R.I. (and also for ten years the Chaplain to the Newport Fire Department). 
 
In due course they moved to Sarasota, FL and became involved in the life of St. Boniface Church.
 
Jack and I are "Priest Associates" at St. B's (where we met)  -  to my unmitigated blessing. This old gay bachelor Minister has been a frequent guest in their home - thanks be to God.
 
My beloved Jack (at age 81) decided that the time had come for him to make a final retirement from Church ministry.  Indefatigable as he is, he has decided that from now on his best place is in a pew alongside his love and dearest friend Donna.
 
With the gracious consent of our Rector, John C.N. Hall, Jack presided and preached at the 11:15 a.m. Eucharist today.  (I was privileged to be a lector and to minister a Chalice).
 
Jack preached a fabulous sermon (the best I have heard from his lips) on the powerful words from John's Gospel Chapter 1 "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us".
 
I thank God for Jack and Donna, my new friends in retirement.
 
 
Donna Chrisman
 
Jack Chrisman