Monday, July 18, 2005

Sunday Night

Amy Welborn notes how Pope Benedict XVI urges almost everyone to take a vacation:

"In the world in which we live, it is almost a necessity to be able to regain one's strength of body and spirit, especially for those who live in the city, where the conditions of life, often feverish, leave little room for silence, reflection and relaxed contact with nature. " (my emphasis)


As I may have mentioned before, when we lived in the city, every Thursday night for two years Mrs. Curley and I would go listen and dance to the big-band music of the Helms-Boyd Orchestra (Don Boyd played trombone with Harry James in the early forties, and later with Les Brown) at the Adam's Mark Hotel. While we are no 'Fred and Ginger', we really enjoyed these nights out together. Mrs. Curley happened to mention to the children the other night how much she had enjoyed these times.

Well, after a week of secret practice, (which is hard to do with trumpets, clarinets, and baritones) the kids set up their band on the patio last night and invited Mrs. Curley and I to listen and dance. [Oldest daughter and son have played in a homeschool band - clarinet and trumpet respectively - a few years ago. The others have no formal training.] All the children had a part to play as we danced to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", "Pennies from Heaven", and about eight other big band swing tunes. My 10 year-old son was keeping beat with the baritone and even managed to play a solo on "When the Saints go Marching In". Our 8 year old son played '2nd clarinet'. Our 6 year-old daughter played some percussion devices and sang. Our two youngest, 5 and 3 played a xlophone and some 'clapping hands' when not running around.

The 5 year-old was heard to ask the 3 year-old if she wanted to dance. She replied "If you can catch me!" and took off running.

It was a wonderful evening amd a loving gift from our children.


We hadn't eaten one of our own chickens in a while. So Saturday we slaughtered one of our remaining full-grown roosters and had him (with delicious corn from our neighbor) for supper last night. In the past we have cooked the chickens in beer or wine in the crock pot. This one we marinated in beer overnight, and cooked on one of those "beer butt chicken" contraptions - it is a rack which holds a beer can, you put the chicken over the beer can (1/2 full of beer), seal the 'neck area' and put the rack in the oven. You can add other things to the beer and season as desired. Even though I think 'we' overcooked it, the chicken was still tender and had a good flavor.

A point of note, it was nice to pluck the chicken in the warm weather. We were able to pluck him completely without resorting to a hot water submersion.

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

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