Sunday, December 30, 2007

Race to the dryer

Jim and I usually go to the laundrymat on a weeknight. We have decided that is a good idea.

Today, around 4 pm, we traveled to our favorite place to do laundry - Bubbleland. We like it because you put cash on a debit card then to use in the machines - this means no carrying $25 dollars in change - a big plus in my non-pocketed pants world. We usually bring a couple books and the gameboy to pass the time, none of this was needed today.

It started off by pulling into the parking lot and only one space was available. We got a laundry cart from someone who was leaving. We put our 4 laundry bags (we haven't done laundry in about 3 weeks and we were doing our rugs and comforters as well) in it. We have to do a balancing act to even get in, but then we look for empty washers and they don't seem to exist. Lots of clothes that seem to be washed but no empty washers. We then go on a hunt; one of us finds one, and waves the other to bring one bag over. I ended up loading one of the 8 load washers with two bags worth of clothes! Then I notice that Jim has found several unused washers in another isle. They are much smaller, he has had to spread 1 bag amoung three washers. Then while he is finishing up that find - I hunt for others - which I found another isle down. We still had two comforters to find washers for when I realized that the 8 load washer had only 5 minutes to go; so I assumed I could just put the comforters in there. At about 4 minutes to go, I noticed a crowd forming at our big washer - others had also noticed that it was about to end - it looked like a fight might ensue - so I went over to stand guard, around this same time Jim noticed this to and noticed that was there, and he was thankful. In the remaining, three minutes we got ourselves situated so we could dump our clean clothes into the basket and place our comforters into the washer. Now, the issue was getting to a dryer...I mean, lots of people were vying for washers when we got there, so it was going to be a race for dryers too at this point.

We worked as a team unloading the big washer of all those clothes and like a relay team member, Jim passed me the cart as if it was the baton and said, GO! I raced over to the huge dryers which I had been watching to see if maybe I wouldn't have to split this load between many regular dryers. Sure enough, they were empty - until I got there. Some woman "saved" the dryers by putting one piece of laundry in each of the 50 lb dryers. Several men came over to me and said I should pull them out and put my batch in; I was mad but I couldn't do that - so I was stuck putting my huge load into several dryers. The rest of the laundry was much easier- but I still never had one chance to open my book or the gameboy.

Adventures in not having a washer and dryer at home.....see what most of you are missing!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Five

Every Friday, a blog I read (REVGALBLOGPALS) asks people the Friday five... and I am excited to start this tradition on my blog.

Share five memorable moments of 2007

1. Deciding I wanted to marry Jim - while our wedding day was obviously memorable, I think making the decision that I wanted to marry him which happened in January was more life changing.

2. Going to Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams in January was an experience that helped launch my 30th year in the way of justice and peace.

3. Enjoying accompanying one of my students to the hospital, helped me understand my pastoral presence in October.

4. Hiring an assistant director in June - and allowing myself to have supper at home more often.

5. Whenever I make Jim laugh, he makes me laugh all the time - sort of his mission in life (he can give more info if he wants) but when I make him laugh - it makes my day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NPR & Megabus

Krista wants everyone to check out this Megabus story on NPR

She loves Megabus & NPR....

Click Here

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joslyn Jiggle

My first post on Youtube that I filmed on my new Kodak digital camera

Photo Time!

Originally uploaded by zeroclash
Krista and Me at my parents house

Merry Christmas

Go ahead and click on that "zeroclash" link there to see more christmas images

Christmas letter

FAQs of Jim and Krista
Christmas 2007

Who are you? Jim is still a computer geek, and Krista is still seeking world peace including an end to classism and racism.

What is different about you this year than any other year? Oh, let us count the ways…
We now file taxes together – we got hitched, married, tied the knot in April. Krista is still amazed about how wonderful being in love is – you know her always analyzing why that might be. Jim enjoys the comfort of being in love and taking care of still fiercely independent Krista.
Jim started working for Chase Bank’s computer technology customer service through a long term temporary work agency (oxymoron, we realize) in May, he is still there and it looks like Chase likes his work enough to hire him full time in January. If not, he will be placed in another computer customer service job then.
After Jim moved into Krista’s apartment, we moved together to a new apartment in October. We now live seriously 30 seconds from Krista’s office and our church in East Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. We both like being more involved in the neighborhood and knowing more of our neighbors. Even if some the neighbors never stop saying to Jim – “Oh, you must be Krista’s husband”.

Go anywhere interesting this year? We spent a several day honeymoon in Krista’s favorite city, Chicago. We went on several weekend trips to Michigan, Ohio and around Illinois. Krista did a lot of traveling for work: Denver, Atlanta, Indiana, Louisville, St. Louis, and probably places she has forgotten. Krista also traveled with Christian Peacemaker Teams to Palestine in January.

So other than work, what do you all do? Krista’s gut response to the question – there is life outside of work? She just likes to do her work, but she is happily allowing Jim to show her ways of relaxation.
We both like to watch movies of all different types from The Simpson’s Movie to What Would Jesus Buy?.
Jim has taken on the task to host movie night at our church, Krista continues to serve on the board and occasionally preaches and generally does stuff around church.
Krista continues to love to bake bread and invent soups; Jim continues to like to eat what Krista invents.
Krista and Jim enjoy “renting a kid” aka babysitting or hanging out with Joslyn and Gabriel – two 2 year olds that we love watching grow even if they tell us “no” when we ask them questions like “Would you like me to help you?” or throw themselves down in Ikea and scream.

May this Christmas bring you the chaos, excitement, and wonder of the first – may the next year be a seeking of what God puts in front of you and us.

Seeking peace and love,
Krista and Jim

Monday, December 24, 2007

Baking and tradition

I just read a friend's post about what she is baking today and I thought I would add to the list of what is being invented at our house today.

Yesterday, I did 4 hours of cookie baking. Unlike many homes, Christmas cookies were never apart of my family memories of Christmas. I was telling this to Jim yesterday and he was a bit surprised because my family bakes a lot. My aunt and uncle do a lot of holiday baking, and maybe that's why it isn't a huge part of my immediate family's Christmas tradition. And yet, talking to my sister the other day, baking calms both of us and we really enjoy it.

So yesterday, I made chocolate muffins, chocolate mint fudge, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (thanks Betsy for introducing me to the notion), peanut butter chocolate bars, and oatmeal craisin cookies. The best part is that I only had 1 cookie the whole day! I made these because Jim gets cookies every place we go, and I realized that could be making better cookies at home - and I would enjoy doing it. Plus, we are having a huge get together this evening.

This morning, I baked apple spice beer bread and my made up garlic, herb and cheese bread. I have unleavened bread in the fridge, which I will bake later. I made bread for the gathering tonight and I have chicken noodle soup in the crockpot, tomato and bean ready to go, and pureed split pea with ham in the fridge.

It is no secret that my favorite meal is bread and soup. So, before and after the Christmas Eve service we are hosting a soup and bread supper. We are expecting probably 20 people - and I am looking forward to it.

Tomorrow, I just have to bring meat for a family brunch, and like my friend we are having lasagna for supper at Jim's parents house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I love Advent, and I have been reading and thinking about it - but unlike other years I haven't made a lot of that public per se. I usually send Advent emails and cards and such things. For some reason, I haven't done that this year. Partially, I think because I was on vacation last week - and I am not doing a huge family thing this Christmas - it feels different, defining Advent over again for myself. We are hugely behind on our advent calendar - maybe because I don't like the chocolate it has in it.

I think it is a personal quest this year, I am reading four advent devotional online each day - ones that make me think and question and don't give pat answers - I am enjoying it and being challenged by it. I read a piece today that sounds like something I would write - so I thought I would share it here. It comes from Theoblog

Holy mothers of God

By Kristin M. Swenson

Quick, what do these women have in common: hooker for a day, prostitute, foreigner, adulteress, unwed mother? Hint: They appear in the Bible together, and without them, we'd have no Christmas. If you guessed that they are the only women named in a list of Jesus' predecessors, kudos to you.

Genealogies in the Bible seldom make for good reading. Many's the pious person who, determined to read the Bible from start to finish, sails through stories of creation, disobedience and fratricide only to founder on the shoals of "begats." But those lists of names—Mehujael, Methushael, Lamech, Jabal—so odd to our ears, serve a purpose.

The Gospel of Matthew begins in good Jewish tradition with a genealogy. It is Jesus' family line from Abraham to Jesus' father, or, er, his adopted father Joseph, "the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born." Of the 40 generations listed, almost all are the names of men. This is a patriarchal culture, after all. But five women also appear, although (because?) each is of questionable repute.

The first, Tamar, is the daughter-in-law of Judah… twice over. Genesis tells us that the first two of Judah's sons that Tamar married were killed by God. Judah must have thought that there was something fatal about Tamar, so he withheld his third son from marrying her. This put her in a terrible predicament, since a woman in that ancient patriarchal world had no clout (or anything, for that matter) without connection to a man. So Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute, Judah slept with her and she got pregnant. Judah was angry (how dare his daughter-in-law sleep around), and then she revealed that he was the father. Judah repented and called her "more righteous than I" and Tamar had twins.

Matthew also mentions Rahab, a prostitute who hid Israelite spies, effectively protecting them from certain death. She declared their God to be the true God and kept her promise to keep them secret. When Jericho was destroyed, Joshua and company kept their promise to Rahab, sparing her and her family who "lived in Israel ever since." Matthew describes her as the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the third woman that Matthew includes.

Ruth hailed from an enemy people, the Moabites. Nevertheless, her story is one of tenderness and loyalty. After her first husband died, Ruth determined to stay with her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi. It is Ruth who made the famous declaration reiterated at countless weddings: "Where you go, I will go, where you lodge, I will lodge, your people will be my people, and your God my God." But she said it to another woman, Naomi.

Their children have children, begetting and begatting until we get to the great king David. The Achilles’ heel of David's monarchy was his adulterous union with Bathsheba, the fourth woman that Matthew mentions, calling her "the wife of Uriah" to emphasize the adultery. Bathsheba advocated successfully for her son, Solomon, to succeed David as king; Solomon became the great temple builder.

Four women, all with complicated, questionable sexual pasts who do heroic things. The fifth? The pregnant virgin Mary, of course, who stands in a long tradition of eye-brow-raising, wink-wink women without whose intelligence, independence and integrity there would be no God-graced baby, no savior of the world. Or so the Bible says.

Kristin Swenson teaches Hebrew Bible at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I've been googling myself for a few years now every once in a while but I never found myself anywhere, the problem being is my name is really common. Today that has changed I did a full name search for myself and Krista and me are the first link. Check it out below:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Post 251

Some ponderings:

1. Yesterday, my friends and I gathered for our annual spice making. We make cookies and make spice mixes and have a good time instead of shopping in a mall, which the traffic around the strip malls gave me a headache on Saturday!

2. Today, I decided I didn't want to drive to the pool. So I packed up my stuff and waked (1 mile round trip) - it cracked me up because I got wet up to the knees just walking there thanks to the snow - so I am walking to get wet, but already wet. Quite funny to someone weird like me.

3.Also today, as predicted the lost camera was found. We recieved our new camera in the mail on Thursday - after deciding that we needed to get a new one to replace the lost one.

4. Tonight, I really hope I like The Clash of the Choirs - I have been looking forward to it.

If you get a chance go see Juno - its an independent film that is getting some widespread attention - it is great! Laughing out loud in the theatre - always a good sign.

Friday, December 14, 2007


I don't think I need to type much for this cool picture

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

another one

If you say "Woo Woo Woo....Tommy" that means you want to dance like a maniac to Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer....if Jim could only translate for me that way!

Lessons from Gabriel

This week I am spending four days with my good friends Christina and Jim and their son Gabriel - I am learning a lot.

1. Advent is something to look forward to all day, something to smile and jump about! Gabriel asks all day long for candles? candles? As he points to the advent wreath. As soon as the candles are lit, he says book, as he gets excited about reading the Advent book as a family, then he and his tall daddy reach up to get his advent pocket (most likely a small sucker inside) and then he dances with abandon to a Christmas song, which usually about half way through he says "low" which means blow, as in blow out the candles - which he does with some help of one of his parents. Can we all dance with abandon over Advent?

2. Sesame Street is really what it is all about. Gabriel is allowed to watch one program on TV a day - and that is Sesame Street. I haven't watched it in years - but wow I learned about letters yesterday from Law and Order: Special Letters Unit complete with the Bong Bong noise and learned about how a door works with Grover on Amazing Makeovers: Home Edition today. Can we all find learning this fun?

3. Grilled Cheese is made enjoyment. Gabriel is a picky eater, and doesn't like to eat in general - except for maybe the healthier version of goldfish crackers. But hey, grilled cheese is good for us. How can we not like comfort food?

4. Clean Up is better if you sing. Whenever Gabriel wants to play a new game or a new toy (which is about every 5 minutes, he is 2 what can you expect)he starts singing his clean up song (Clean Up, clap clap, Clean Up...) and puts stuff away! If only I could take his advice! How can I not?

5. Friends make everything better. Every Wednesday morning, several kids and moms come over to Gabriel's house to have music and dance time. After several hard days, Gabriel smiled when his friend Ben came. Again, can we dance with abandon with friends?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Another soup

This is a funny soup that I just had to try yesterday - I made another soup today....but that one isn't funny.

2 bunches of watercress
2 cans of potatoes (never used canned potatoes before)
4 cans of chicken broth

Puree and cook.

I never follow recipes totally, but I did this one because it was so nuts. It was remotely good. Actually, it shocked me. Even Jim didn't think it was too bad.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another soup recipe

I made this last night - for those of you who eat meat it is amazing, but unlike another barley soup that I made - it would be hard for me to take the meat away....

* 4 cups of beef broth, and I keep adding water throughout the process

* 1 huge sweet potato, chopped

* 1 medium onion, cubed

* 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

* handful dried garlic powder

* 1 pound boneless beef cut into cubes

* 1 cup quick cooking barley

* cracked pepper to taste


1. In large pot add water and all the ingredients except the barley. Cook approximately 35 minutes at a minimum heat, or until meat is fully cooked and potatoes are soft.

2. Add the quick cooking barley and cook another 15 minutes. Serve hot. Add salt to taste.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Chicago Hotdog

Krista and me had a debate as to whether it was ok to put a cucumber on a Chicago style hotdog and here's the proof:

nyah nyah nyah

Monday, December 3, 2007

What would Jesus Buy ?

Jim and I went to a documentary called What would Jesus Buy? yesterday. It was interesting. It follows Rev Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. I agree completely with the message - that we don't need more stuff. However, he puts on a show similar to a TV evagelist that turns me off. I do want the lyrics to the choir songs though.