My school was infinitely intelligent when they decided to give me ten days of vacation in order to watch General Conference and to celebrate the fact that Ft. Lauderdale will be getting a temple. Granted, my school claims that the purpose of this holiday is to celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacle, but obviously they were mistaken. Saturday morning brought the bi-annual branch brunch before conference. (For those who might read this who have no idea what I am talking about, you may be directed to the following website for more information. www.mormon.org ) We all got together and Dave made waffles and hoped in vain that the batter wouldn't overflow the waffle makers. Audrey and I cooked bacon. I did so in the oven and she did so on an electric skillet. If you wish to hear an amusing story, you may ask her what happened when she attempted to make eggs using bacon grease without first removing most of the grease. I believe some of that grease is still lodged somewhere in my intestinal tract. I made buttermilk syrup, the recipe for which I will attach at the bottom of this blog. It was quite a hit, if I don't say so myself. :)
I settled down to watch the first session of
Conference in the Chapel. I had out my notebook, and had been writing down what questions I was looking to answer during this spiritual smorgasbord. As I was writing these thoughts down at the beginning of conference, an announcement was made that will change, forever, the face of south Florida. A temple will be built in Ft. Lauderdale. The chapel, literally, erupted into cheers. A rumor had been circulating for quite a while, but had never been substantiated. But now it was going to happen. A prophet of God had said so. We were going to get a temple!
For you, this may not mean anything special, but to me, this means the world. Temples have meant a lot to me since I first went to do baptisms for the dead in Toronto when I was 12 or 13. Temples continue to mean more to me the older I get and the more I visit them to make sacred covenants. I tell you, there's no feeling like walking into the walls of that sacred building and leaving the world behind. There is no deeper calm, no peace more sublime, no joy more full than within these sacred edifices.
After conference, I literally scared some of my friends with my enthusiastic jumping about. My first thoughts were that I needed to learn Spanish so that I could memorize the ordinances in Spanish. I think I'll order one of those CD programs and listen on the way to work. It's a good goal. I'll be sitting in the car. "No hable Espanol..." or something like that. People will glance inside my vehicle windows and wonder who let the mental patient out of the hospital, but it should help me learn some beginning Spanish at least.
The rest of Conference was just as glorious. I ate a wonderful Pre-Thanksgiving meal with our friends Crissy and Kevin Cook and their cute son Stellan. It was delicious. Amy also made a sweet and sour brisket and we invited over some friends. Then on Monday morning, to make up for my merry feasting, I got up and biked 10 miles and then ran 2.5 miles. I'm tired now. I'm just imagining what my body is going to feel like after I actually do my triathlon sprint in 2 weeks. 13 days actually. I'm not panicking. At all. My goal there is not to die. I feel confident that I will be able to reach this goal.
As Promised! The recipe for Buttermilk Syrup!
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Tsp Baking Soda
2 TBS Karo Syrup (corn syrup)
2 Sticks of Butter
2 Cups of Sugar (I didn't say it was healthy!)
2 Tsp of Vanilla
Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT Vanilla into a large pan (it doubles in size when it boils) Bring it to a boil. Boil 5 min. stirring constantly . Remove from heat and add Vanilla. Refrigerate any unused in a sealed container. Serves 15 or so.