Saturday, January 24, 2015

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Nobody asked me, but...

...IKEA is a pretty cool store.  Sure, much of the stuff they sell may not look like high-quality furniture, and they certainly have cheap prices, all things considered, but they can sure give you some great ideas for decorating your house.  My daughter and I took a trip over to the Beltsville, MD, IKEA and spent a couple of hours walking through the showroom.  That alone is an experience.  I get the feeling that interior decorators have a blast coming up with ideas for the display areas throughout the showroom, where you can walk through "living rooms," "kitchens," "bedrooms," "bathrooms," and entire "apartments!"  Each display is decorated with all of the gadgets and iconic items with the weird Swedish names that can be found throughout the store.  We grabbed a couple of Lersta reading lamps, a Kvart, a few Ledares, a couple of Kopplas, and a Rusch.  It was a good trip.


...Grace Community Church is blessed to have Pastor Rich Yauger on staff.  He preached a wonderful message this evening focusing on Mark 3:1-6 (ESV):
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.And they watched Jesus to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Pastor Rich talked a bit about his history in the church he grew up in, which was a very strict environment, with prohibitions against going to the movies and even listening to rock music. While this may sound laughable, it is still the case in churches in many areas of the country.  According to Rich, this was a real challenge for him, and he was constantly tempted to break the rules and do the wrong thing.  That said, the big thing here is that too often we try so hard to do the right thing that we forget that the only way to eternal life is through Jesus, or, as Rich put it, "We focus on the behavior instead of the Savior."  Mine is a very shorthand account of Rich's message, so if you want to hear it in full, the message will be available in a few days at the Grace website.  Check it out!


...La Palapa Too is one of our favorite restaurants.  Located just off of Johns Hopkins Road at US 29 in North Laurel/Fulton, it has some of the best Mexican food in the area.  It's a spin off of La Palapa in Old Ellicott City, which my daughter and I have never visited (though I think we should).  We've been going to La Palapa Too for several years now, and I guess we have gotten a reputation for being regulars, as well as for ordering the same things off the menu every time we visit.  Melody always gets the chicken fajitas, and I get the "new" Burro Loco, which is a burrito containing fajita chicken and steak, as well as onions and green peppers.  I love it!  The wait staff, which we have gotten to know fairly well, laughs at us for always ordering the same thing, but that's what we like.

Tonight, we ordered our regular items, and when the food came, something seemed to be amiss.  Some of the side items were missing, as well as the sauce that usually covers the burrito.  I figured that maybe the chef in the kitchen tonight had taken a few liberties, and so I began to dig in.  That's when I found what I thought at first was a practical joke.  The burrito was filled with broccoli, and nothing else.  No meat, no peppers, no onions... just broccoli.  Now, I like broccoli, but not as the featured ingredient in a burrito.  I called over our server and she seemed as surprised as me.  Within minutes, I had my correct Burro Loco.  There was no explanation, though, and I didn't ask for one, though I had to wonder why anyone would want a broccoli burrito.  We've had so many good experiences here that there really is little reason to mention one bad experience other than as a funny story, and the fact that the restaurant fixed it so quickly was appreciated.  Check out La Palapa Too!


Picture by me, modified by Melody Freed

...The snow being forecast for Sunday night into Monday may turn out to be our biggest yet this Winter, from the sound of things.  The bigger question, of course, given the issues lately with school districts being criticized for either canceling or delaying, or neither, is whether there will be closures on Monday, and, if so, will the Federal Government follow suit.  That lately hasn't been the case.  I've had to use leave quite a bit over the past few weeks since my sister, who takes care of my daughter each morning and gets her off to school, has such a fear of driving in inclement weather, leaving me to take care of Melody.  My boss, who I met with on Friday after missing much of the week due to illness, and anticipating the possible bad weather, was quick to suggest that I take my work laptop home with me and work from home on Monday if the weather turns out bad, even if work is canceled.  Lucky me.  Looks like I'm working no matter what the weather does.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone!

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