Reformed Grits

Pinnacle of Tacky!
September 22, 2008, 8:47 am
Filed under: Travel

Ok so you guys know that I'm weird about mixing American symbols in my religious beliefs, as you may remember.  (Will we ever recover?  Can I just re-iterate that I love my country and we do sing patriotic songs at home and school and I'm grateful for our military and boy do I appreciate my right to bear arms!  There's no place like the US and I say the pledge and I'm grateful for the freedoms we have.  Not only that but I love our church and the music and the people and everybody and when Sam shared his testimony about his work as a Ranger I was in tears and thought it was wonderful and appropriate… (breathing now….) Ok, so anyway…) 

I thought of you all as soon as I saw this in Memphis.  I was driving around looking for a 24 hour pharmacy to get pain meds for my son and that monstrosity was lit up like the 4th of July (pun intended) and I was immediately drawn to it… like a horrific car crash.  I wanted to go back and get a picture of it, but at the time someone had taken all our stuff to their hotel after I just dropped it all and ran to the hospital, and my camera was with it.  Drat.  So this picture by fearlessvk on flickr will have to do.  (Don't know this person; just giving props.) 

Anyhow.  I just… I… I… have no words.  It's just so tacky.  Tacky, tacky, tacky.  No wonder non-believers think Christians are idiots.  They think that "we" think this is "preaching the gospel" or worse yet, God forbid,  art. 

$250,000, my friends.  Wow.  Just had to share. 


Walkin’ in Memphis
September 15, 2008, 6:30 am
Filed under: Soccer IS life!, Travel

This weekend my oldest and I will be in the land of BBQ and Elvis.  We are so excited to be staying with a kind reader of this here bloggy whose parents we go to church with!  I'm so grateful to her for her family's hospitality and generosity! 
We will be busy with a minimum 4 soccer games but in between, I'd love to have y'all's input on good things to see or do or eat there! 
Anybody ever gone?

Good to be…
June 10, 2008, 7:21 pm
Filed under: I plead ignorance, Travel

It's good to be home, and it's also good to get away.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Crescent City… but can I say, I'm SO sheltered!  I'm not used to seeing homeless people, people asleep lying on sidewalks, people talking to themselves, broken-down strippers–I mean, dancers falling asleep on their feet in the daytime, porn posters in windows of buildings, women pulling out their "bosoms" just for the asking and to get a cheap strand of beads, and open-containers in every hand on the street.  I spent the first 24 hours or so getting used to NOT staring and finding our way around the streetcar system as well as learning the streets to avoid. 

We went with no real agenda other than eating well and relaxing.  We did both.  I don't feel at home in the bar-life.  I wasn't wired that way and although Mr. Grits was interested in hanging out and enjoying the nightlife– well, I'm just not wired that way.  I feel VERY old now.  Even in college, before I got married, I didn't do the party stuff.  I was more of a stay home and watch a movie kinda girl.  I'm not sure why my beloved found that appealing but I'm glad he did. 

We ate at The Central Grocery Saturday upon arrival, wolfing down a whole muffaletta (which we learned the hard way is pronounced "moof a LOTTA."  My teacher's phonetic sensibilities were screaming at that.  Kind of like Brett Favre.  Why is his name pronounced "Farve" and not "FAV-re."  But I digress…)  This was a food-highlight for us and we were disappointed that it was closed both Sunday and Monday so we didn't get to enjoy it again.  That night, while nursing a headache, we ate at Deanie's which we might have enjoyed more if we hadn't pigged out at lunch.  I just wasn't ready for a huge dinner but I got one anyhow.  It was fried and heavy and, well, to be honest, I just would have been happy with something lighter. 

Sunday, we slept in and ate breakfast at the hotel.  After venturing out, we had a "picky lunch" at the renown Cafe Du Monde which is like the dirtiest place ever.  We each swallowed 3 beignets whole and sufficiently covered ourselves in powdered sugar.  It's crazy how much they put on there!  I'm not a coffee drinker, but I asked for a frozen cafe au lait and they were out.  Bummer.  

That afternoon, we milked our VisiTour pass by riding all the street cars just to give our poor legs a break.  We had walked some serious mileage.  It was fun to see the beautiful houses in the Garden District on St. Charles.  I was praying, "Dear Lord, could you let us get a church that has a house like this for a parsonage?  It'd be ever so cool!  Amen." 
Along the way, we passed Zea's which has to be the favorite place we ate the whole time.  It was fabulous and they made REAL mojitos– none of that fake stuff.  I'd really like one right now, please.  We determined it would be in our interest to plant some fresh mint in a pot upon our return home for this very reason.  Yum.  My beloved had Thai Ribs and grits which were YUM-O, and I had rotisserie beef, since I'm a major red meat eater, with grits and sweet potatoes.  Then I died and went to heaven.  (Hat tip to Karl and Mara for this restaurant recommendation!!!) 
We rode the stretcher streetcar back which stopped right in front of our hotel (woohoo!  Nice to not have to walk after THAT meal!)  Later, I really wanted some dessert and we searched everywhere, and would you believe no one serves ice cream there?  I couldn't find any, anyhow.  So we wound up topping it off with a jamoca shake from Arby's.  No, I'm not kidding.

Sunday, breakfast at the hotel again.  We packed up and then took off in search of more food.  For real, all we did was eat.  I gained like 5 pounds.  I think I only got a frap at Starbucks though.  While walking around, around 2 or so, we stopped at Gordon Biersch's (I think this is a chain) and were just going to enjoy the brewery but decided to get a salad.  Then more drinks.  Then we split a pizza.  And an order of asparagus.   We spent like 2 hours there I think but they weren't crowded in the middle of the day so we didn't mind holding the table.  And my honey is a good tipper, so it's all good. 

At that point, we decided, what the heck, and thought we'd scope out where our bus to the airport would stop.  Frankly, we were less than thrilled with the neighborhood and the bus-mates we'd be sharing, so we sprang for a taxi instead.  Our great driver showed us all the post-Katrina stuff and told us all about his experiences during that time.  He was great. 

We totally enjoyed ourselves.  We were lazy.  We laughed.  We put no pressure on ourselves to see and do everything.  It was really great.  I miss him already.  On the way home, I said, "Let's not go home!  Let's run away and go to the Caribbean and live on the beach."  He looked at me like I was crazy. 
Nah, he's right.  We were ready to go home and see our kids. 

March 25, 2007, 11:00 pm
Filed under: All things Scottish, Faith, Life, Religion, Travel, What's she up to now?

Do you just LOVE the story of Gideon?  I do!  It has always been one of my favorites!  In fact, if Mr. Grits did not have such an affinity for "normal" names one of our 3 boys would definitely have been named Gideon which means "God’s mighty warrior."  Pretty tough name for a man who was hiding in a wine press for fear someone would see him doing his threshing. And for a man who had the audacity to ask God for a sign.  Twice.  After actually speaking to Him directly by way of a christophany.

OK, so back to the story… my favorite part of the story is how he was trying to raise up this great army to go against the Midianites who were oppressing the sons of Israel, who by the way, were in the midst of doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord at this time.   Long story short he takes all the men and thinks, OK we can do this. 

Then God says, "Errr… wrong, too many.  Send the scared ones home."  Exit stage left, 22,000 people.  10,000 remain.  Can’t you just see Gideon… jaw-dropped going, "What the…?" 

So then God once again says, "Errrr… wrong again.  Too many.  Go down to the river and we gonna send some more boys home."  All the men who lapped water up like a dog were sent home.  300 remained and that was the "remnant" God used to smack down the Midianites.  Well, actually they killed themselves and scattered in confusion but you get what I’m saying.  The 300 actually went on to more incredible victories, if you want to read all about Gideon in Judges 6-8.  Good stuff.

OK, so I brought up that hugely long story to say…

I think I feel a wee bit like him, on a very minuscule scale… And certainly not in a self-congratulating way, like, "Hey look at Kim!  She’s like GIDEON."  (I wish!) but more like I feel like I’m walking a bit in his shoes. 

It’s the Scotland thing again… not only am I NOT gifted with administrative or leadership abilities, God is requiring these things of me.  I really have started to let go and just see where the Lord leads in what we are to share, etc but now He is "whittling down our army!"  We had about 22 and are now down to about 15, and only 4 of these are female!  A few months ago I would have gone psycho and flipped out saying that there was NO WAY this team was gonna work and why do I have to do all this work, but I really feel OK with all this.  I feel like I would have been saying, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?"   (6:13)  but now I’m trying to focus not on what MY response is to God’s request but what HIS words were to Gideon.  "Have I not sent you?…..Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man."

My new mantra is "This is not my team.  These are not my people.  God will call and equip His team to reach His people."  There’s good peace there. 

"And the land was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon…"  Judg. 8:29