Archive for November, 2008

When I was in college, one of our sorority sisters announced one morning at breakfast that her mother had always told her, “One is not considered a grown up until she learns to drink coffee.”  Well, I made it through college and a good part of my early adult life without drinking or liking coffee.  That is until I discovered french vanilla and hazlenut and all the other wonderful flavors that make coffee a great warm drink, and I learned to LOVE coffee! Until.

I learned my brain gets addicted to caffeine.  Surely you all remember from an earlier post that I cannot drink coffee now. 

And now I’m faced with the question, “Am I really still a grown up?”  Crazy, I know.  But now I’ve realized that one is not really considered a grown up until she’s actually made a Thanksgiving dinner!

I’ve never had to do that before because we’ve always gone to relatives’ homes and taken a dish here or there. So I’ve never baked a turkey or made dressing!

But today… I’m officially a grown up in my own right.  I’m 39 years old and have reached that milestone!! Today I made dressing – it’s my mother-in-love’s recipe… very simple but very yummy and it reminds me of my grandmom’s dressing she used to make.

The twist here is I have 2 dogs that stay in the house with us and just a little while ago, I took them on their afternoon walk and Sadie had trapsed through a muddy ditch.  (I promise I’m getting back to the dressing) So when we got back to the house, I let Lily in and marched Sadie to the outside hose to wash off her paws.  It took all of 1.5 minutes!

I got back in the house and noticed “someone had been eating my porridge”!  Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I fried some bacon to sprinkle on top of green beans for tomorrow as well and it was cooling off next to the dressing.  When I realized a tongue had made its way into my dressing, I turned around and saw Lily just sitting there with her ears tucked back.  Poor thing. I couldn’t get mad at her, she just wanted a sample too.

But I thought I’d share the finished dish with you – complete with a tongue impression!


Notice the crumbs off to the side.

I thought I was officially a grown up, but now I have to explain to my family how my dog ate the dressing! No extra credit for me!! 

But Happy Thanksgiving to ya’ll.  From my dressing to yours!


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Don’t you just love it when the trendsetters and stylists of our times deem some piece of clothing or shoe or scarf or purse or jewelry the “it” thing?! It’s as if they themselves invented the style and by any stretch of the imagination, persuaded the rest of the worldly culture to “buy in” to it. 

I’m talking about the Audrey Hepburn style (which I completely adore) or the plaid jackets circa 1985 that have recently graced the covers of magazines.  Oh there are others…the platform shoe, the go-go boot, etc, etc…. what goes around, comes around, people, in terms of style and design and that includes undergarments.

I was introduced to the Spanx product line a couple of years ago.  And let me tell you, it is a miracle worker for smoothing out the bumps and lumps under dresses, pants, skirts, tops, just about anything you wear…. And ya’ll, I am a marketer and PR person by nature and practice, and I do love the name SPANX…but… it is afterall, a more modern name for “GIRDLE”.  That’s just the way it is.  We’re wearing them, ladies, like it or not!

So SPANX is to girdle as bra is to brassiere.  And I’ve had to explain to SB that what we wear on our legs nowadays are tights and leggings – NOT “leotards” – as he keeps repeating.  But this is also the man who once told me he worked in a cuticle (but meant cubicle). And he tells everyone we “courted” for four years before we married.  I wish he’d quit saying that because I think some people think I’m being sued!  Oh I am joking.

I love that about him.

And I love SPANX…er…the new girdle…it’s okay to be old-fashioned, just with a modern twist.

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For quite some time I have been agonizing because I lost my Bible sometime in the Spring. I don’t know what day it happened because I had been using a smaller Bible for referencing some things and study. I don’t know why I was using that one at that time other than the fact that it is red and has a neat little magnetic closure and it fits in my purse or in the side of my 4Runner door for quick grabs!

But when I went to get my Bible – the one that has all the wonderful yellow highlights and underlined scriptures and notes in the margins from sermons or Bible studies – it was no where to be found. I looked everywhere – multiple times. I’ve asked people to look in their cars. I’ve prayed over it – lamenting about it. I’ve had other people praying about it.  SB kept telling me that I’d find it, but I feared it was gone forever. I feared I had left it in a hotel room during one of my training sessions where I was teaching.

Finally Big D (my father-in-love) declared I should have a Bible that had just “appeared” at their home and no one had ever claimed it.  Oh, it is a nice Bible. Thick, black, crisp pages – a clean slate, if you will.  But I longed for the pages of my Bible because I knew where every book was just by the feel of it. I yearned for some of my notes and to see the dried up daisy pressed between the pages of 2 Samuel. My junior high best friend had picked it for me from the “gardens” of Glorietta during our last youth summer trip before I moved away. I wanted the yellowed slip of paper that quoted 1 Thess. 5:11 that my 8th grade Sunday School teacher had prayed over that we would each have what the Lord wanted us know especially for our lives.

Week after week I was tormented about losing my Bible. How in the world does one lose a Bible?  Well, in my house, it’s pretty easy between all the hunting equipment and clothes (we could ALMOST run a Cabela’s outlet) and the room o’junk and clutter that belongs to me, sometimes things get sucked up in the oblivion we call home.  And I’ve had enough.

For several months, the Lord’s been moving in my heart and my mind that I’m being “called to order.” That has been involving almost every aspect of my life from quiet times, to workloads, to home organization, etc.  I used to be a lot more organized and orderly than I have exhibited in the past 2 years, but we won’t go there analyzing all the whys and why nots. 

Having order is quite biblical. From the beginning, God ordered the universe into motion and it was methodical and intentional. Through the pages of scripture, parable after parable and verse after verse, we see history and the perfect plan all ordered in perfect harmony. Jesus taught it and the scriptures played out just as he said.

So heading into 2009 and beyond, I spent my weekend tackling a huge organizational effort. I’ve decided to start cleaning out and getting rid of the junk and clutter in my home and in my life.  I cleaned out a mud room that had become like a landfill except without the stinky smells. I’ve made separate places for things to sell and things to donate. 

And as I was cleaning out, I bent down to pick up something that had fallen under my handy Container Store gift wrapping station and it was as if the heavens had opened up and all the voices of the angels in unison sang out, “HHHHHHAAAALLLL LE LUUUU JAHHHHHHHHH”!  There it was.  Somehow my precious Bible had gotten pushed or kicked under my gift wrapping station.  I picked it up and twirled through the laundry room and into the den. No one was home to see me, but I didn’t care. It was a moment of completion.

How appropriate to find it under the GIFT WRAPPING station (like a gift) AND after I made the decision to begin to bring order to my life.  God showed up and showed out in my life, and I just wanted you to know it too.  When we claim order in our life, we open ourselves to receive that which stands the tests of time.

I’m off to clean out some drawers – maybe I’ll find that $20 I know I didn’t lose!!!

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Simple Abundance

It’s 2:45 a.m. and I’m awake – so very awake.  This happens frequently when SB is out of town and let’s just say I’ll be glad when he gets home so I can go back to nights of peaceful, easy feelings.  You know the kind of feelings like resting your head on a cool pillow.  Drifting off to sleep and you twitch a little bit but then go immediately into a deeper sleep.  Or waking up at 12:30 a.m., looking at the clock, thinking it must be time to get up soon and realizing you have several more hours of sleep. 

I long for those times again. But that’s not why I’m writing.

So I’ve been thinking HARD this week (scary, I know).  But I thought I’d wrap up the week with a few things that have impacted me in the last seven days – things I’m most thankful for.  Because it’s always better to dwell well in the spirit of blessings.

1.  The blessing of closed doors.  I’m waiting on a window to open now, which causes me to look Up.

2.  Discovering new music.

3.  Grand and Lori Belle and their words of encouragement.

4.  Finding out my book has touched another life.

5.  A Butterball turkey.

6. The wind.

7. Wet kisses and warm snuggles from Sadie and Lily.

8. Freedom.

9.  The Word of God and the Truth it brings.

10. My health.

11. A kind note.

12. The opportunity to lay low for awhile.

13. Sitting down at the piano and remembering what it’s like to play.

14. A Chai Tea Latte. (not sure if Chai tea is decaffeinated, so I have to drink these in moderation, but I’d recommend you RUN to your favorite coffee shop to try this).  It’s made my whole week.

So what are you most thankful for? It’s the simple things in life that matter most. So share if you wish. You might encourage someone else to focus on life through a telescope rather than a microscope.

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Psalm 126 (The Message)

A Pilgrim Song

 1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion’s exiles.
   We laughed, we sang,
      we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
   We were the talk of the nations—
      “God was wonderful to them!”
   God was wonderful to us;
      we are one happy people.

 4-6 And now, God, do it again—
      bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
   So those who planted their crops in despair
      will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
   So those who went off with heavy hearts
      will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

In some of my posts I have written about and eluded to a season of life and learning I find myself in right now. It’s often been a time of trial and error, and dare I say trying to pry open doors that have been shut and sealed!  I know, I’m hard-headed and have to learn lessons – sometimes over and over before I really GET IT!Is it just me? I don’t think so. 

This morning I threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. It consisted of a sheet, a small blanket and a few odds and ends of whites. I know better because my washer has become a little less tolerant in its old age.  It doesn’t take much for it to get off balance and start that knocking and jumping and I’m forced to go leaping over furniture in .08 milliseconds to get to the thing and rearrange the wet and heavy items.  I usually stand over the machine for a minute to make sure I repositioned everything just so and that I won’t have to dig the washer out of the wall across the laundry room.  It’s a relief when the thing quits spinning and I can actually put them in the dryer! Whew – a workout of all work outs once it’s all said and done.

More than anything I want my life to purposeful and intentional. So it surprises me when I find myself being tempted off-course and I actually jump head first into the washing machine of life – as if by some miracle – when the cycle stops, I will be noticeably cleaner and brighter.  But lately, I’ve loaded my life with situations and people who don’t belong in this cycle with me.  And I’ve been whirled and twirled and turned upside down – knocked around too.

And I’m ready for the ride to stop. I’m tired of being wrung out by my hair. I want to be able to twirl around in the grace of God and sling all the mud off myself instead of being in the world’s washer. I want to pick my feet up out of the mudholes I walk into sometimes and be rinsed off by the softness of the waterhose and gently put myself in the sun Son to dry.  And I’ve learned to be cautious about ever proclaiming that “I want to be normal” because I truly know that in this life there is no normal.

As someone once told me, “normal” is just a setting on the dryer.

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Mighty Mole

A couple of years ago my neighbor and good friend D (whose kids we adore) mentioned to me they were having problems with a mole or moles in their yard. I don’t remember much more of the conversation because it was approximately 5:54 in the morning on our walk, and I’m sure I was thinking about something else like a warm cup of coffee or my warm shower.  I’m sure she probably mentioned their plan of attack of how they were going to rid their yard of such nuisance…aka…turn their cats out on them.  But I’m not sure. I should have listened better.

I do remember her joking about sending them over our way because I was practically glowing with pride at how we’ve managed to stay “mole free” for over 8 years we’ve lived in the Five Acre Woods.  In fact, I’ve never even seen a snake – thanks to the execptional prowess of Casper, their glow-in-the-dark white cat!  We did find a snake skin under a wood pile in our backyard last summer.  I didn’t stick around long enough to find out if it was poisonous or just a “chicken snake”.  If you ask me, snakes CAN’T be chicken.  They’re too slimy and sneaky… and well… they’re just snakey….ewwwwww.

So anyway, a couple of months ago, you can imagine my horror when I was out playing with the furry angels and noticed a series of tunnels through my yard.  I began marching up and down the yard stomping what little grass I have back into ground.  I even stuck a stone in the apparent entry hole I found.  That will teach him!

And after eleven forty days of stomping, I started investigating ways to rid one’s yard of moles. And people, let me tell you – there’s NO EASY WAY TO DO THIS! I have no desire to trap the little sucker because well, what in the sam hill would I do with it once I caught it? Send it back over to D’s house? I don’t think so.

Can’t poison the little thing because…hello? I have 2 wonderful, precious, adorable, fun, beautiful Labs who frolic in my yard and I don’t want them suctioning up anything that “may or may not be involved with a dangerous criminal.”  So we’ve just resigned ourselves to the “stomping of the mole divets” sometimes twice a day!  Mighty mole is mighty busy and I’m about sick of it!  Seriously, don’t they hibernate or something like that during the winter?

The only hope I have at this point came this morning when I was walking Sadie down the driveway. Once I got down toward the ditch I noticed the little digger had somehow made his way down by our ditch. Praise the Lord! I’m hopeful he’s munched up whatever it is they munch on in our yard and has decided to take his family and be like George and Weezie – “we’re moving on up” – and that he gets his little mighty mole self out of my yard.

Otherwise, if he sticks around that part of our property too long the owls are likely to swoop down on him and well…that’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing.  Bye bye Mighty Mole. Your days are numbered!

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I started this blog on Saturday but has taken me a few days to find the charger to my camera so I can post these pictures!!!  So pretend you read this Saturday!

OK. Let me just preface this blog with the fact that I’m not a natural cynic. I pretty much can find the bright side of life and find positive bits of encouragement in most discouraging situations.  But last night, I fell into a pit of self-pity.  And I had me a fit of hysteria. And tears. And panic.  But somehow got by with a little help from my friends: Ann, Arma, Kim, and Pinot Noir. In that order.

But it took some digging deep because I’ve been walking a thin line lately between hope and reality. In my previous entry When He Reigns, He Pours, I was feeling a lot more optimistic and stronger in my faith. Yesterday at exactly 4:32 p.m. I got an answer to my petition but it wasn’t necessarily the answer I had been praying for.  I mean, I had honestly been praying for the Lord’s will, not mine, but still hoping that things would go my way.  And in all honesty, I am having to defer to God, because well, I’ve been known to mess things up a little if left to my own decisions.

But I digress from the point of the matter.  While we were waiting for the yummy Vidalia Onion & Cheese Dip to warm in the oven, we heard this REALLY strange noise in the kitchen. It actually sounded like a gas burner doing its click, click, clicking, but since I don’t have a gas stove, I knew something was amiss. I walked into the kitchen and over to the oven and while I was standing there with my hands on my hips, thinking “WHAT is that noise?”, a splat of whatever hit my head.  I turned my head up and… SPLAT – right between the eyes. Water was coming through the vent in the ceiling.  Did I mention it was raining outside?

So I did what anyone whose husand is in remote Montana would do. I called him… and actually got him on the cell phone.  Here’s how the conversation went:

K:  Um, well, I think we have a leak in the roof. There’s water pouring out of the vent in the kitchen.

SB: Um, well, there’s not a form thing I can do about it right now. (It obviously wasn’t as high on the priority list as dragging a mule deer across the prairie land. Hmmm.)  If it comes busting through the whole ceiling, I can’t do a thing about it right now!

K:  Maybe you didn’t understand me.  THERE IS WATER POURING INTO THE KITCHEN.  ALL OVER THE FLOOR. AND IT’S RAINING.  Who do you want me to call?

SB:  I’m sure that means it’s leaking all the way through the attic. (I married a genius!)

K: I’m pretty sure that it had to come through the attic to get to the vent, SB.

SB:  Well, call Don and get them to come out next week.

Whew. I’m glad he cleared that up for me. Because you know, I don’t think this adds much to kitchen decor:


I really am beginning to feel like the Morton’s Salt girl. 


And this time I’m ready, you know, in case it comes busting through the whole ceiling.

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