Wednesday, August 31, 2011


*I wonder why it took me until I was like thirty years old to discover that cherries are so wonderfully yummy?

*I wonder why I make such stupid mistakes?  And then when I make the mistake it's like I get frozen in mind warp & I have no reaction.  Which looks like a bad reaction of indifference.  Then I wonder why I beat myself up about it for hours afterward.

*I wonder why workdays go so slowly while time at home goes so quickly my head spins?

*I wonder why I do things like buy an immersion blender?  Hello, I don't NEED to be able to make milkshakes at the drop of a hat!

*Sometimes I put on my pants & wonder how they could have gotten so snug...might have something to do with that doggone blender...& then I wonder if I will ever dry my clothes in the dryer again?

*Sometimes I wonder why I write 53 blog posts a day in the secret confines of my mind but I barely manage to get two or three a week actually posted?

*Sometimes I wonder why do we text so much?  Sometimes I miss the sound of familiar voices.

*Sometimes I wonder why something simple like watching "Pride & Prejudice" (again!) can make for such a enjoyable evening?  Try it; it works, I promise!

*Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who has marinated chicken in a ziplock bag & then spilled the raw chicken yuckiness of said bag all over her kitchen?  And then I wonder if my kitchen drawers (where the marinade very unkindly decided to seep in) will ever be safe?

*Sometimes I wonder at the good grace that my kitchen knives aren't all that sharp.  I'd be missing some fingertips if they were!

*Sometimes I wonder why I have SO MUCH?  It would have been easy for the Lord to put me in a place where I wouldn't have a lot of things.  And yet, here I am. 

You know, some days I just you?

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Nightstand Has Been Hijacked AGAIN & Other News...

I know that once upon a time, now long, long ago I promised you all that I would read a book entitled, "The Maker's Diet."  I have not forgotten that promise.  I am indeed reading that book.  The problem is, it is so full of stuff.  Complicated stuff.  Stuff I haven't thought about before & frankly, some stuff that is a little over my head technically.  I've gotten slightly overwhelmed a time or two & taken some time away from reading to mull things over & discuss them with Mike.  It is definitely a good book, a good resource & someday - hopefully soon - I'll tell you all about it.

Until then, my nightstand has been hijacked again, this time by the book, "The Daughter's Walk" by Jane Kirkpatrick.  I'm not sure how I found this book at the library.  It seems to me that I read about it on The Pioneer Woman's website under the homeschooling tab some time in the far distant past.  I try to keep a list on my phone of books that are recommended to me & this one was on the list, our library had it & so I checked it out.  Then I spilled an entire glass of water on it & kind of wrinkled the pages up something awful *sigh*

Anyway, this is a fascinating story.  It is based on a true story about a mother & her oldest daughter taking a walk all the way from the west coast to New York City.  They were supposed to wear 'reform dresses' which were scandalously shorter than the accepted fashion - they were just above ankle length *gasp*  The purpose of the walk was to prove that women had the same strength, stamina, courage & common sense that men had & that they should be recognized as full citizens.  It was the very beginning of the sufferage movement.  They were also supposed to promote the dresses as the newest mode of fashion with the shorter length making it easier to walk & ride bicycles.  The mother insists on participating in the walk even though her husband doesn't want her to; the daughter participates in the walk completely against her will because her mother makes her.  The sponsors had pledged to pay them $10,000 if they completed the walk by the deadline & the family needed the money to save their farm from foreclosure.  They embark on their journery & experience every kind of excitement & difficulty imaginable. 

The book follows the daughter, Clara all through the walk until basically the end of her life.  The walk caused so much strife in the family that Clara & her mother were forbidden to speak of it & there was a long estrangement.  Because of this discord, many of the details of the remarkable walk & the rest of Clara's life are very vague.  I'm sure the auther completed many hours of research & still had to 'fill the holes' as best as she could.  The end result is still a compelling read.  I truly love to read a story of someone else's life.  The Lord sends His children down a myriad of paths; they are all interesting.  If you get a chance, I think you would enjoy reading this story.

In Other News...

Largely because of all this reading I've been doing regarding diet & nutrition, I started scoping out some different places to see if I could purchase grass fed beef.  I'd read that it was a much more natural way to grow cattle, that it was healthier for us to consume & that it even tasted better.  Much to my delight, a family in our church that runs a CSA has grass fed beef for sale right now!  They don't always have it but this summer they do.  I went out to the Farmer's Market & got us some.  Then I picked up some organic crushed tomatoes & the zucchini that my sister's garden grew & I fixed us some Zucchini Hash, a family favorite!  It is just the beef, tomatoes, & zucchini cooked up together in a big skillet with some oregano, basil, garlic, onion - whatever you like!  I top it with cheese & YUM!  And you know what?  I'm not really a beef person, but grass fed beef DOES taste better.  

And for those of you wondering how my procrasting little self was doing with my International Craft Swap project, here's the low down.  We just started it on Tuesday.  When I asked for input on what I should make, everyone voted for the same thing - the chalkboard candleholder.  Mike & I had a Lowe's gift card (that I actually purchased with Discover card cash back bonus!) that we used to buy the drill bits.  Mike ended up getting a set rather than just the one we needed because the whole set of 10 was only $10 more.  He got new tools to play with so he is happy *grin*  So far we have cut the board to size, drilled the candle holder holes, sanded, primed, & applied one coat of chalkboard paint.  I'm hoping to apply another coat of paint tomorrow & have that bad boy ready to be shipped out on Monday!

Making progress!
And that's what's going on around here.  This weekend is going to be a blur of cleaning, project finishing, cooking, & celebrating my momma's birthday.  Lots of activity but I'm ready for it! 
What's on your weekend agenda?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Dream Garden

I've joked a lot this year about our 'yard tomatoes'.  They can't be called garden tomatoes because they didn't grow in a garden.  They just happened to spring up in various places all over our yard (which makes for a strange sight, trust me).  Personally I don't think they just happened to spring up all by themselves or whatever.  I think those five tomato plants are the direct result of a conversation I had with the Lord early this summer.  You see, the past several summers I have had a major case of Garden Envy.  I would love to have a garden.  I would love to grown tomatoes (obviously!), green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, corn, onions, garlic, vast amounts of basil, green peppers, potatoes, blackberries & even have a small apple orchard.  I know, I know...I have no ambition *grin*

Anyway, there are several roadblocks to my gardening plans.  Number one, Mike isn't really into it.  He's just not much of an outdoorsy guy & he doesn't really enjoy yard work.  I don't think he would need to be too involved once all the ground work was done but...Number two, we have some stinky stupid soil.  It's full of broken bricks, glass, terra cotta pipe & good old rocks.  And it's sandy.  It would take some elbow grease to get a garden plot ready & prepped to grow well.  Number three, I can't hardly get my chores done as it is. 

So, I had a heart to heart with the Lord a while back.  I said, You know I want a garden.  You also know that it's just not going to happen at this time.  I'm going to try (please help!) to maintain a good attitude about it - especially when I see other gardens or read about them on my friend's blogs.  Amen. 

Fast forward to now & I have five thriving tomato plants that I think the Lord gave us.  We have so many tomatoes that we almost can't eat them all.  But we're working on it *grin*  And the Lord has been super gracious to help me with my Garden Envy.  I even took a bunch of pics of the garden that my sister & her husband planted - I didn't even pout as I pointed & shot.  It's a fabulous garden - the stuff of my dreams!

Look at those lush green leaves! 

They have a whole row of blackberries & this is the first year that they really produced well.
They shared with us; I can't wait to use them!

See that sweet baby zucchini?

Since they live out in the country surrounded by farm fields they have a little deer problem.
Under that bucket is a radio set to a rock music station. 
It scares the deer away!

Alas, it doesn't scare the coons!  They ate all of their corn this year. 
Maybe someday Mike & I will have a garden like this...or maybe the Lord will just give us some more 'accidental' plants!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There are some things in our day to day, week to week lives that just become part of our routines.  Simple things like grocery shopping, showing up for work, or even scheduling get togethers with friends or dentist appointments.  And while I am going about these regular, normal things there are little extras in my life that I know are gifts from my faithful, loving God.  There are too many of these extras to mention in one blog post but I wanted to write about just one of those blessings - Teressa. 

I first came to know Teressa when she was my Children's Church teacher.  She told us countless Bible stories & always had the best games planned for us.  It was exactly what  a Children's Church class should have been.

As I grew up & promoted out of Teressa's class I didn't have as much contact with her.  But she was a constant presence in our church, faithful as faithful can be.  And though over time her health faded, her smile never did.  My sister started helping her with her house cleaning & I found out some fascinating things about Teressa.  She was a skilled propagator of violets.  Beth said they decorated her house with beauty.  And Teressa rode a stationary bike for several miles every day, no matter what.  And she was in her 80's!

Sometime in the past 10 years or so our church set up a prayer chain.  When they drew up the diagram they put my name with a straight line leading to Teressa's name.  And this is when Teressa became the biggest blessing to me.  Taking my calls, listening with care, making concerned comments about people she most of the time didn't even know.  She taught me about faithfulness, she taught me about prayer, & she became such a sweet friend.  She even asked me to be the second call after her daughter on her Life Alert system.  I was so honored (as goofy as that sounds). 

A few weeks ago we said farewell to Teressa when she went home to heaven.  When the prayer line calls come in now I miss her most.  At her funeral her family had brought in a table full of violets.  They asked that we take one home to remember Teressa.  We grabbed this little beauty & have been trying to nurture her well.  Right now she has even more blooms than are pictured here.

When I look at this pretty little flower I remember Teressa & her life well lived for the Lord.  I also remember the Lord & how He brings so many beautiful extras into our lives to add some sparkle to our day to day, duty-filled routines.  And I'm so grateful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aloha! *sniff*

I'm sniffing because we are saying, "Aloha, goodbye" to our friend Cody.
It's not the first time.
She's lived in Hawaii for a long time now.
This last aloha was hard though because we thought the Lord was leading her to come home & go to school.
She'd have been captive here in Indiana for at least a couple of years.  And that would mean we could go get coffee together, watch stupid girl movies together, hang out.  Fun stuff.
At seemingly the last moment (doesn't God work like that? just reminding us that things happen in HIS timing, not ours) the Lord provided a job for Cody back on Kauai.  Her dream job, in fact.  She will be working to get the Bethany Hamilton (yeah, the Soul Surfer girl) Foundation off the ground.  Super exciting stuff!
Before she left Autumn & I met up with her for one last night of girlie fun.  We went to Applebee's to eat sinful desserts & watch the turtle races.  We know how to party.
Great conversations were had all the way around & I was reminded once again of how the Lord has blessed me with such beautiful friends.  And not just cheap glitzy beauty but the inside shining through to the outside kind of beauty.  And they both like Irish music like Celtic Thunder & Gaelic Storm.  Yeah, I have the best friends *grin*
Right before we called it a night Mike had to come to my rescue because I had lost my keys.  When he arrived at Autumn's house I asked if he would take a pic of us girls.  I forgot that Autumn is so twitchy that she can't sit still for a pic.  So the one shot turned into many hoping we could get her to behave. 

In this one Autumn was talking.

In this one she was just being ornery.

Come on, Autumn!  Focus!

Now we are all giggling!

I think Mike just scolded her.

This is her 'model' face.

We have officially given up.
 We miss you, Codes! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I'm trying to get caught up around here & I realized that I never gave you the low down nitty gritty on the Gaelic Storm concert! 
Here it is...

We arrived at the venue a good 45 minutes before the show started.  I had been advised that seating was limited & that no tables could be reserved.  Armed with that info we arrived early & were happy to see that we were only about 25 people deep in line.  We're good, so I thought.  Not so much.  When we got inside we wandered for just a moment because none of us had been there before.  It was also dark inside & our poor little eyes were super dazzled from the bright setting sun.  Long story short, the balcony was closed, there were quite a few reserved tables, & Autumn's socializing skills were put to the test as she made friends trying to find us seats.  She was successful & I was super grateful because while I can certainly stand for the length of a concert, my dear momma cannot.  Autumn, you're a peach!  And I love how you have never met a stranger.

I snapped a couple pics as we waited for the show to start.

My sissy-poo & me

Autumn & Momma

Gaelic Storm
All in all, it was a super fun show.  I would definitely recommend you get yourself a ticket if they are anywhere near you.  If you like Irish pub music, that is.  They were super fun, down to earth, & amazingly talented.  After the show was over they all came out & just mingled with the crowd, signing autographs & taking pictures.  They featured their new album, "Cabbage" which is full of fun songs & rousing instrumentals.  My personal favorite, 'Space Race' says:

They say there was a Space Race,
If there was I guess I missed it.

From the earth up to the moon & back...
Well, doesn't that take the biscuit!

The song then goes on to lament about how there are no Irish astronauts.  Maybe I'm goofy, but I think it's hilarious.

Here's to belly laughs & toe tapping rhythms!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Applesauce & Song

Recently I have been made very aware of how important it is to have some sort of activity that you can fall back on when you've had one of those days & you just need to relax.

You know, big time relax...when you get to pull your shoulders down from your ears & ease the frown between your eyebrows.  Ahh...doesn't that feel better?!

In this quest for relaxation I have discovered something about myself.  I really like to peel apples.  Peel 'em up, slice 'em up, rah, rah, rah!  And once they are peeled you can make yourself some fab.u.lous apple sauce.

You start with a bunch of Granny Smith's & you can even get a little loosey goosey with it & add some Golden Delicious or Gala or whatever makes you sing. 

And if you have a cute little cutting board & a corer/slicer you're doing just fine.  I actually prefer to have a sharp paring knife & a compost/garbage bin & I go to town.

Once you get your crock full to the brim, add a little apple juice or water, put the lid on, & let it simmer away for hours.  Those bad boys will get all cooked down & scent your house with a heavenly aroma. 

If you don't like apple sauce, if apples give you hives, or you hate crock pots I have another relaxation exercise for you.  Grab some cd's (preferably some opera or broadway show tunes).  Get in your car.  Drive to a remote area.  Roll down the windows, crank up the opera/show tunes & sing along at the tip tip toppy of your lungs.  Really dig down deep & reach for those high notes.  Scream it out, if necessary.  Get your tunes on with the windows down on a sunny summer day & I dare you to not be totally relaxed.  You might even giggle.  I know I do *grin*

Saturday, August 13, 2011



My tomato plants are really coming along.

I've already eaten one of the big round ones.  I'll admit that it was a bit crunchy & so not quite ripe but the flavor was ex.cell.ent.  I about fainted from happiness!

Mike thinks I'm crazy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Migraine Eyes

I have a little excuse for why I have been MIA lately.

I really, really, really wish I could say that I have been outside doing tons of fun sunshiny summery things.

I have been doing a little of that.  After all, those volunteer tomato plants have to be tended.

But I have also been spending some time dealing with migraine headaches. 

'Migraine Eyes'
I started having migraines when I was about 12.  The first one I had scared me to death.  I always seem to have a lot of visual disturbance leading up to my headaches so that first time it struck I was convinced that I was going blind.  It was a bad day.

Those headaches of the past were always triggered by stress.  Most of the time it was emotional stress but they could even be triggered by physical stress - too much activity on too little sleep.  Since we have a strong family history of migraines no one was surprised when I started having them & my pediatrician advised aspirin & it really worked.  I could usually head it off at the pass if I took two aspirin as soon as the visual disturbances appeared.  After a couple of years I seemed to have developed the maturity to handle the stresses in my life & the headaches sort of disappeared except for maybe two during my college years.

Fast forward 12 years (ouch!  has it really been that long?) & I have had something like six migraines in the past six weeks.  I don't really know what is going on.  A couple of them seem to have been totally unprovoked while a couple of them definitely flared when I was overtired & a little upset.  I went for two whole painful weeks without eating cheese to see if it made a difference.  My grandpa became sensitive to cheese when he was in his early 30's so we thought maybe we shared a trigger.  Nope.  Thank God I can still eat cheese!  So I don't really think I have developed a food allergy.  I'm thinking it's probably the same old song & dance - I need to relax! get more sleep! trust the Lord for all the scary stuff!  Yes, yes, & yes, all easier said than done.  But I can be very grateful about a couple of things: these headaches are for the most part much less intense than the headaches of the past.  I have been able to work through most of them.  I don't really get nauseous.  Light doesn't bother me but loud sounds really do.  It's easier to escape from noise than it is to escape from the daylight.  My old lady stomach is too sensitive for regular aspirin so I have to take the coated stuff.  That means that the headache usually has time to go full blown, but all but one of these headaches has only lasted a couple of hours. 

A weird situation for sure & I have to admit that I'm a little sad that so much of my summer has been consumed by this headache deal.  But it's manageable & yeah, I intend to talk to my doctor about it sooner rather than later.  I just haven't done it yet.  This has just been another excellent way for the Lord to show me that there is always something to be thankful for in every painful situation.  He has protected me & given me the strength to get through the painful times. 

I'm totally open to home remedy kind of suggestions.  A facebook friend told me that when her mom feels a migraine coming on she sniffs Vick's VapoRub & it makes it go away.  Who knew?!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Today is my birthday.  Oh boy...another year.

And I thank God that it doesn't bother me.

I mean, why worry about aging now; I've had gray hair for years.

And I'm the youngest in my family so I can still be called the baby. 

Nah nah nah na na nah!

I'm so mature.

Anyway, the day has been a good one.  God has blessed with me with a husband, family, friends & co-workers who know how to make a girl feel special. 

Thank you all so much for the lovely happy birthday wishes!
 The smoothie that I concocted for my breakfast got me off on the right start.  I threw some frozen strawberries, blackberries, & blueberries in the blender with some kefir, apple juice & ground flax seed.  I gave myself a break & didn't measure anything.  Heehee...not such a great idea.  There was a lot too much solid in there for the liquid & I had to keep tweaking & adding & tweaking & I thought I was going to end up with a monster smoothie!  But it all turned out ok & I was only a couple of minutes late for workie-poo.

And then when I got to work the guys had brought in some fabulous cupcakes.
A sugar induced coma followed shortly after.
It was a good work day!

Thanks again everyone for making my birthday a special one!