will I get chopped?

I’m attempting to make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for my boss’s feast day tomorrow.   It was going pretty well — my yeast reacted well, my dough rose perfectly, it rolled out nicely…

But then I had to roll up the dough and cut it into little rolls.  How can something so simple-sounding be so hard?

I have a new appreciation for cinnamon rolls.  Look at the ones pictured at the recipe!  Seriously?  How’d she do that?!  Mine were pretty disastrous-looking:

I hope they taste better than they look.

Maybe once they rise tomorrow morning, they’ll magically look like cinnamon rolls?  Or else I’ll just rename them, “Pumpkin Cinnamon Blobs.”

I was feeling sorry for myself until I tuned into the Chopped marathon tonight (I love that show) and saw on the grand finale of the tournament that they needed to use waffle cones, Buddha’s hand, geoduck, and black radishes in their appetizer.  I’d never even heard of three of those four ingredients.

I think I’ll stick with my blobs.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Um, is it weird that the finale of the Chopped Championship made me tear up?!

zooming out in prayer

Granularity of Prayer (at Conversion Diary)

This might be one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.  Or maybe it’s just because it’s exactly what I need to hear.

One of my friends sent it to me this morning, saying that it was what she needed as she waits to hear about her husband’s recent job interview.  I emailed her back:

I suppose this means I shouldn’t be praying for a “tall handsome man who wears bowties and likes to watch Notre Dame football and Nascar and goes to daily Mass and can waltz and likes Guinness” … Hm…

Thanks, Jennifer.  Looks like the prayer goes back to, “God’s Will be done…”

Ha!

40 Days

Yesterday morning I went over to the abortion clinic to pray.  There was a sizable group there because we’re in the midst of 40 Days for Life.

I can’t really describe what it’s like to stand outside an abortion clinic and pray.  Even within a few yards of where the evil is taking place, it’s still hard to process what is going on inside.  To know that we’re standing out there on the street while babies are being killed inside is chilling, but at the same time, it’s so hard to comprehend.

The building is so innocuous-looking– “The Women’s Center” … isn’t that nice?  But it’s not exactly the nicest-looking building (or neighborhood), and I don’t think I’d go in those doors to get a prescription filled, much less an invasive procedure.

The sidewalk counselors are so genuinely warm and comforting when they reach out to the girls walking in — it makes the glares, rude comments, or criticism so sad.  You know these girls are hurting inside, and the fact that they are rejecting help is heartbreaking.  One woman yelled at us to take our judgments somewhere else, and they tried to tell her they weren’t judging and that they loved her and wanted to help.

That comment — Take your judgment elsewhere– consumed my thoughts for the rest of my time out there.  We weren’t a particularly hostile-looking group:

about a third of our group

nor were we saying anything that was judgmental.  The sidewalk counselors try to reach out to the girls in the sixty seconds it takes to walk from their car to the clinic, and if they are willing to listen, the counselors show them that there are agencies to help them with adoption or with the expenses of keeping the child.  We aren’t shouting judgments.  Most of us are praying, and the other women are reaching out to help.

We were standing out there trying to help the girls, knowing that they were caught in situations that seemed hopeless, knowing that they were hurt, knowing that they needed help.

Is our society so filled with relativism that helping someone is judgmental, because it means that we realize they need help?  What if we stood outside a prostitution house and tried to save the girls inside because we knew they deserved better?  I suppose that would mean we were judging the pimp.   What if we tried to help a wife who was being abused?  Would we be judgmental because we were saying the husband was wrong in beating his wife?

If I’m judging by saying that babies are being killed in abortion clinics and I want to help the girls who are having abortions, I’m sorry.  Well, not really.  I’m not sorry.  I’m not sorry that I think there is good and evil in the world and that abortion is evil.  Nor am I sorry that I want to help women, and I know that abortion isn’t helping anyone except the abortionist’s pocketbook.

Please join in the 40 Days for Life campaign, which is centered around helping these women — because women deserve better than abortion.

another challenge

I started another challenge shortly after the acqua challenge (which is going okay, although I’m not really keeping track of how much water I’m drinking… I should be writing it down or something, but I’m just trying to drink more), and I just finished my second week.

It’s called “two hundred sit-ups.”

(This may or may not be related to the comment my sister left on my blog the other day about how “food” is the biggest category on the blog as of yet.)

The program consists of taking an initial test to see how many consecutive sit-ups you can do, and then based on that, doing certain numbers of sit-ups in blocks (with 60 second rests in between) every other day, with a weekend of rest.  After the second week, you do another test where you see how many consecutive sit-ups you can do, and then proceed on to the third week, where you do a certain number of sit-ups based on how well you did with that test.

And so on, for six weeks.

At the end of six weeks, you will probably be able to do two hundred consecutive sit-ups.  If not, you repeat week 6.

I have to admit, I was a doubter.  I’m not going to be candid about how well I did with that initial test, but let’s just say 200 seemed a looonnng way away.

But now that I’ve finished my two weeks and took that second test, I’m really surprised – I more than doubled my number of consecutive sit-ups!

Two hundred sit-ups, here I come.

smelly things

I need my apartment to smell nice.  One of the worst things is coming back after being gone for several days and my apartment smells like a closed-up hotel room.  Or it smells like I did when I first moved in.

Disgusting and generic.

I like my apartment to smell homey.  So I like candles.  If you get the right ones, it’s instant homey-ness.

Or mossy-ness.  “They make my apartment smell moss-ay!”

Anyway… I have the best candle burning right now.  It’s called “Leaves.”

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it when I saw it last year.  Leaves?   Do I really want my apartment to smell like leaves?  I like the sound of leaves crunching under my feet.  But the smell?  The smell of leaves burning makes me happy. But I don’t think I want my apartment smelling like it.  And just leaves?  It seems like the candle would smell like mulch or something.

But it doesn’t.  Mmm…  It smells like fall.

And I need that, since it’s still 94 degrees here.  94 degrees and humid.

Where’s September!?!?

Sorry.  I had to get that out.

I was excited to get a coupon for a free Slatkin candle from Bath & Body Works the other day, because I knew the “Leaves” candle would be waiting for me.  Last year I bought a little one, still sort of unsure of my apartment smelling like leaves, and after I fell in love with it, I went back for more and they were all sold out.

Because the “Leaves” candle rocks.

Speaking of Bath & Body Works, I really like their hand soap.  I know that Bath & Body Works is sort of 1998 (remember Plumeria and Freesia?)  But I like them.  And I like their hand soaps a lot.  Especially the foaming ones.

They smell really nice.  If I’m going to wash my hands all the time, I want to enjoy the smell of Black Raspberry Vanilla while I do it.

But in my kitchen, I want something that smells a little less perfume-y and a little more clean and fresh.  I was using White Citrus for awhile, until I discovered Coconut Lime Verbena.

I wish this blog was scratch-n-sniff.