Blogging in My Head

My last post here was in February.  But I’ve posted lots of blogs since then…in my head.  They’ve been really good, captivating, thought-provoking. Some of them are controversial.  Some are funny.  In my head!   

Trouble is, it seems these “best” blog posts occur when I’m:

–  at work  – doing laundry  – in the middle of the night  – driving  – etc.

By the time I’m logged on here, the “anointing” I felt for a particular message seems to have vanished.  I decided I’m not going to let that stop me tonight, though, so, for your perusal is a cross-section of random Serious Whimsey from my head:

* I’m writing a cookbook.

* I changed my hair color (see photo in About Me, which page is also about to be updated since I am now an official Empty Nester. )

* I just spent over a week being very sick – lost seven pounds in three days.  At one point, I was so weak it took all my strength to send a text to my son, asking for Ginger Ale.  No lie.

* God is teaching me to take my thoughts captive.  (Occured to me just now that maybe I need to apply this to my blogging as well.)

* Just finished reading an incredible set of books – the Refiner’s Fire series by Lynn Austin – historical novels set in the Civil War era.  I am considering doing a review on them.  I just can’t stop thinking about them…such has been their impact on me.

* I want a vegetable garden this year.

* My iris’ are up.  My lillies are up.  My bleeding heart is bushing out.  Even my peonies are sprouting.     

* I am seriously considering starting another (separate) blog for mothers of boys.

* Our nation needs to turn back to God.  It is critically evident that we were not brought into existence to operate successfully apart from Christ.   

*  Am I ready for Jesus’ return?

I told you it was random.   

 

Fresh Bread

 

That’s it!  I keep hearing so much lately about homemade bread…I’m breaking out my stainless steel bread bowl…the one that’s all pock marked with dents from marbles being whirled around in it back in the ’80s. 

 

Is there a better fragrance in a home in the fall? 

 

 

I love the feel of working with the dough…kneading by hand…

 

 

 …gently coaxing wonderful ingredients in, like honey, wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ…

 

 

…and making a simple meal of it while it’s warm and fresh.  A  little butter…generous swirls of Apple Butter… 

 

  Thank You, Lord.

 

~~~~

Memorial Day Birthday

 

      For most of my married life, my birthday has been lost in the shuffle of Memorial Day weekend.  Time and again it got overlooked because we were out of town or busy with other activities.  So my birthday has become basically a non-event.  Not that we didn’t acknowledge it, it’s just that it was never much of a celebration. 

 

         About this time last year, I was with my sister reminiscing about the simple two-layer cakes our mother used to make for us eight siblings on our birthdays.  “It has been so many years since I’ve had a ‘real’ birthday cake,” I told her.  I couldn’t even remember the last time.

 
     As we chatted, I got excited.  I got bold.  I decided I was done ignoring my birthday.  I determined that I wanted to have an old fashioned two-layer birthday cake once again. 

 

     My heart’s desire was to celebrate with my siblings but we live 4 1/2 hours apart and that didn’t work.  So, after my birthday, one sister emailed asking whether or not I got my cake wish.  I wrote back:

 

Dear Sis, 

 

      Yes, I got my two-layer cake.  I made it myself.  I used a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix.  Not quite as homemade as I’d originally envisioned, but both layers baked fine. 

 

       For the filling, I chose Smucker’s Seedless Raspberry Jam and Orange Marmalade.  I planned to put one flavor on each layer and then put the two together.  Then frost the whole cake with orange whipped cream, and beautifully display my masterpiece on Mom’s vintage cake stand.

 
      As I worked, trying to get the right flavor mixture for the whipped cream topping, I pinched a bit of the cake out of the center of one layer to taste with the frosting and fillings.  I did that three or four times while trying to get the orange flavor just perfect.

 
      I placed the bottom layer on the cake stand and applied the Raspberry Jam.  Then I picked up the top half on which I’d spread the marmalade, but it stuck to the waxed paper I’d set it on.  With fingers spread wide, I attempted to balance the whole layer with one hand while peeling the paper off with the other.  However, because it was weak in the center from my taste tests, it broke in two.  One half plopped on the counter.  The other was still in my hand, stuck to the waxed paper. 

 

         “Well, no problem,” I thought.  “I’ll just put the two pieces up there and cover it with whipped cream; the break won’t even show.”   I picked up one half and positioned it on top of the bottom layer. 

 

       Now, as you know, a nice two layer cake is mounded highest in the center.  And mine happened to be a nice cake.  So before I could get the second half off the wax paper and on the top, the first half started moving.  The jam and marmalade fillings made perfect conditions for an avalanche.  With great glee, that first half started down the slope and was picking up speed.  I ran to the cupboard for toothpicks. 

 
      I finally got them to stay put.  But even impaled with all that wood, those two pieces would not stay together.  There was definitely a Grand Canyon divide down the center.  Jam and marmalade oozed out the sides and down the cake, puddling around the edges of the cake stand. 

 

       I got out my specially-formulated Orange Whipped Cream and tried to camouflage the whole mess with the creamy topping.  Have you ever tried putting whipped cream on a porcupine?

 

       My original idea was for a nostalgic “like-Mom-made-when-we-were-kids” birthday cake – the kind with a simple buttercream frosting.  The whole problem occurred when I decided to embellish.  I have learned my lesson.  No more fancy, schmancy two-layer cakes for me. ”

 

       Love, Your Older Sis

 

      Well, here it is, a year later, and  Memorial Day Weekend to boot.  Wouldn’t you know, we’ll be traveling.  Again.  On my birthday.  Which is the 28th.

 

     I still want an old-fashioned two-layer birthday cake like mom used to make.  Still looks like I’m going to have to make it for myself, too.  Wish me luck.

 

~~~~

WFMW – Staying Healthy

 

 

        I’ve never before participated in the “Works for Me Wednesday” blog carnival, originated by Rocks in My Dryer and now hosted by http://www.wearethatfamily.com/

But, because of the current Swine Flu scare, I feel compelled to share what works for me to stay healthy.  And I mean it.  Even when I’m around sick people, I  generally don’t catch what they’ve got. 

 

These are all really “no brainer” points, but I’ve been amazed to learn how many people overlook them.  So, here they are:

1.)             Keep short accounts with God.  Refuse to harbor sin in your heart.  Repent.  Confess it.  Now. 

2.)             Keep short accounts with people.  Bitterness, jealousy, anger, hatred, unforgiveness, etc. all create stress on the physical body which weakens one’s immune system.      

3.)             Stay away from sugar.  Sugar weakens the immune system.  We don’t want wimpy immune systems right now, do we?

4.)             Stay away from sugar.  Yes, I did just repeat myself. 

5.)             Stay away from white flour.  (See above point # 3.)

6.)             Stay away from junk foods, including diet soda and prepackaged foods with lots of additives.  Eat home-cooked meals.

Don’t overeat.  It’s easier on your system to eat lighter meals more often. 

7.)             Eat greens – broccoli, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, collard greens – lots of them.  And plenty of fruit, whole grains, seeds and nuts…   You know, a healthy diet.    

8.)             Avoid negativity – whether it’s news, TV, people, activities, or your own thoughts.

9.)             Get plenty of sleep.

10)      Drink plenty of water.    

11.)        Stay in relationship with God the Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ.  Read the Bible.  Pray.  Worship.  Enjoy Him.    

Unless I’ve violated one or more of the above, this almost always works for me.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embrace the Stains

This is my favorite tablecloth.  It’s nothing fancy.  Not lace or linen, it’s just a cotton reproduction of one from the late ’40s or early ’50s.  It’s been laundered so many times it possesses that soft, used patina,  It looks vintage.

I cherish it because it reminds me of my aunt’s home which I loved to visit when I was a little girl.  At her house, we ate off Fiestaware dishes – the real ones!

Last Friday night we hosted a going-away party for a friend of our son’s, a young man who was leaving for military basic training.  Of course, for the occasion, I hauled out my favorite – my retro, repro tablecloth.

The food – a combination of my and guests’ cooking – was plentiful, and delicious.  Little Smokies in barbeque sauce, Chex Mix, bean soup, Angus roast beef, turkey and cheeses, buns, Cheeseburger Casserole, Broccoli Salad, Molasses Crinkles & Chocolate Chip cookies.  And a Mint-Chocolate-Oreos-Ice Cream cake with whipped cream, which threw one into an instant and sublime sugar buzz.

It was a fun party.

My Hero is a great and enthusiastic cleaner-upper.  It took a few years of our early married life to convince him to leave the table in its expanded size until after the guests had left.  So, it wasn’t until the next day when I found my much-loved tablecloth on top of the washer in the laundry room.  I picked it up and held it out at arm’s length.  And stared.  There, in living color, were signs of joy, of lives well-lived.  Memory markers.  Visible reminders of precious moments.

I almost hugged it.  The entire story of the party was recorded in red, green, and brown stains.  Big ones.  Chunky ones.  The scrape-it-off kind.

Yes, I sprayed every spot I could find with Zout.  But if that failed, I was prepared to live with those stains forever – with no regrets.

These are “after” shots – every stain came out.  But I’d do it all over again even if they hadn’t.  After raising three sons, I’ve come to realize that each day is real life.  They’re not a rehearsal for “some day.”  Today is the day to use my best china, wear my favorite fragrance, wear stilettos in the kitchen…if I feel like it…

This is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Stains and all.  What kind of non-rehearsal, this-is-real-life things will you do today?

Oh, By Hed

 

  It’s 3:17 a.eb.  Everyone is sleebig.  Excebd be.  Oh, by hed.  I ab bizerable.  By sinuses hurd.  By chest feels tighd ad weak.  By body aches.  Even by scalb hurds.  I cad sleeb.  The hours are log.  By fever goes ub ad dowd.   

A peeg ad by Vigtoria's Segred PJs.

A peeg ad by Vigtoria's Segred PJs.

       

          Oh, by fredz, eat healthy!  Stay away frob sweeds.  Dode over-ead.  It taxes your ibude system and makes you suscebdible to stuvv like this.  Ugh!

 

          In the quiet of the house, I sit and read my Bible.  And I see this:  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”  Isaiah 42:3 

          Thank you so very much for your prayers.  Your friendship is a gift.  By His grace, I will get through this. 

 

          Bud ride dow, I’b nod a very pergy blogger.          

Raleigh Highlights

 

By necessity, our tour of Raleigh was condensed into a couple hours.  So we parked near City Market and walked the cobblestone streets, which  highlight its history.  What texture!    I felt a sense of wonder as I walked them. After all, North Carolina is one of the original 13 colonies.   How old are those streets?  What have those coblestones seen and heard?

 

     

 

  We had been encouraged to check out Big Ed’s for breakfast.             

 

And we were not disappointed.   The atmosphere, food and friendly service were pure southern delight. 

 

 

 

As he studied the menu, Hero asked what “fat back” was.  They responded by bringing him a sample.  

 

I have no photos of our meal; we were too busy devouring eggs, bacon, home fries, a dinner plate-sized flapjack, and the best biscuits with rich, dark molasses! 

 

Afterward, we walked off the calories with a quick tour of the Capitol, only a few blocks away.   

 

 

                                                    

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

And slipped in a few minutes to visit the History Museum across the street.  A statue on the steps directly outside greeted us, and honestly, the minute I saw it, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Can you hear me now?” 

 

 

So we slipped him Hero’s Blackberry for a closeup. 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes as Handsome Son # 1 had to return to the base.  But we’ll be back.  This little tour was merely an appetizer.  I can’t wait to return for more of all Raleigh offers.  Y’all who live there are blessed!