Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Oreo Truffles

I got this recipe from my mother's boyfriend tonight. Although I haven't made them (yet), they sure look easy to make. Here's how:

1 package oreo cookies
1 package cream cheese
1 package chocolate flavored almond bark/candy coating (he used 2 large Hershey bars & 3/4 of a bar of parafin but that made enough to dip these and peanut butter balls)

Set out your cream cheese to soften (one to two hours). Place the entire package of oreos in the food processor and grind them up (about the consistency of sand). Add the softened cream cheese and mix. Refridgerate until hard. Melt your almond bark. Roll oreo mixture into balls and dip in coating. Let cool. Store in fridge.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Catching Up

You just have to love New York City! Even when everything is whizzing by at break-neck speed, there is still so much to experience here; especially those unexpected moments when you find something ordinary and yet, not so ordinary: like these Santas on the subway.

Anyways, I've been experiencing my own busy-ness lately, hopefully I can give a general what's going on with me summary and bring you up to speed with what is going on, both personally and things I am thinking. I realize I haven't posted anything of significance in a long time, mostly tip-bits of happenings. Most of that has been out of a unique fear that more church folks would stumble upon my blog during my interview process and thereby getting me into more trouble. ;) However, upon further conversations with the new church, they said, "Sure, you've written some very odd things; just do us a favor and don't link your personal blog to the new church website." Laughing to myself thinking, "You can be sure of that!", I'll continue having my thoughts and odd interpretations of those thoughts on here (with just less juvenile humor).

Anyways, let me bring you up to 'snuff, so to speak. For starters, almost everyone I know now knows that I have been called as the new pastor at church in New Jersey. I preached my candidating sermon last Sunday morning and was voted in unanimously as their new pastor. I will begin my duties next month on January 15th. Last Sunday, I told the church where I am now serving and this week I have composed a letter to the church's members and friends informing them of my new job. Also, since I am leaving, I have been transitioning my duties to the Interim Pastor (and church secretary on occasion). Mostly this means I have been telling them what I do, transferring files to the Interim Pastor's computer, teaching them how to update the website, and preparing a manuel of operations to leave behind. I've been getting home late just about every night last week and this week. I've been busy for sure.

But that doesn't mean I haven't taken some time to play. On Tuesday, I went to see an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre production at CityCenter. The Alvin Ailey folks are a modern dance ballet company founded in the 1970s. They put on incredible dance shows that affect a person very different from traditional ballet. Powerful, yet graceful- fun, yet intense. I'd recommend seeing them; they travel often and if you're reading this in a major metropolitan city other than New York City, chances are good they'll be coming to your town soon.

In other news, New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority, the folks who run the subways and buses are negotiating for a better contract. There was a huge threat that they would strike last night at midnight; I woke up expecting to either take a cab into work or work from home today. Fortunately, there is no strike just yet- but negotiations are no where near completion. The thought of a mass transit strike has gripped the city in fear- it'll practically shut down the city. Everyday 7 million people take mass transit in and throughout the city. That's 7 MILLION people. Can you imagine what'll happen if the buses and trains stop running...and during the Christmas season no less. Everyone here realizes the scare and we're just waiting and waiting..

The weather here has been a bit nippy (to say the least). These are thermal underwear days for sure. However, it's been raining a warm rain all night- from the look of things, the snow has all melted away (from the snow storm last week). It's supposed to be a fairly nice weekend coming up- hopefully if there is no transit strike, I'll get my Christmas shopping completed. I have quite a bit left to do.

I am going home to Oklahoma December 26th through January 4th. It'll be a longer Christmas vacation than I've had in quite sometime. I am looking forward to spending time with my family. When I return, I'll have to hit the ground running. As I'll be moving to New Jersey the week of January 9th, I'll need to finish packing and organizing my stuff as well as prepare a sermon for January 15th, my first Sunday at my new parish.

Okay, this is basically what I've been up to this week. I'll write more later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I sure to love a great quote when I see it

Here is a quote that accompanied a friend's email to me just now:

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's
character, give him power.
– Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Guess What?

I got the church job in Cresskill! Woo-hoo! It was a unanimous vote and all of today's and my yesterday's activities went great. I am excited AND tired AND elated AND sleepy AND thrilled beyond words AND spent. What a great mix of feelings and emotions.

I think I'll take a nap now. ;)

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Latte Factor

By Linda Stern
Wed Dec 7,12:31 PM ET

If you've read it once, you've read it a dozen times: Cut out those daily lattes if you want to save enough for retirement.

The so-called "latte factor" is so widely used in this context that it's now in dictionaries, defined as "seemingly insignificant daily purchases that add up to a significant amount of money over time."

That is certainly true. But it's a little preachy, too, isn't it? Aren't you grown up enough to figure out how much you can and should spend on your morning cuppa?

You probably already know it's smart to brew your own and bank the savings. But sometimes (here comes the heresy) that caramel macchiato, enjoyed with friends, is worth more than $5 in the bank, isn't it?

What would really help are some big money savings: Tips for trimming your expenses in ways that you might not know about and that would save you far more than the price of a cup of coffee.

Go here to read a list of cost-saving opportunities.