Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I cleaned out the "lunch closet" this weekend- a holdover from the days when I kept it stocked with things for the kids to choose from when making lunches which they are way too cool to do these days. I had an abundance of peanuts and remembered my friends at Showmethecurry.com making some masala peanuts last week. When I checked their recipe though, it had a lot of raw onions in it as well as the elusive curry leaves, and didn't really seem like something you could just have at your desk for when you needed a little snack (if you didn't want to alienate your co-workers). So I looked around tonight and found a ton of variations, and I cobbled together my own recipe out of many. They are very tasty and spicy enough that a small handful is more than satisfying. So, here's what I did:
Heated 2 T of a garlic and ginger infused oil that I had on hand, then added the following:
2T black mustard seed- stirred in and heated until they started popping (and making a huge mess!)
Add in 2 T ground coriander
2T brown sugar
1T ground cumin
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t asafatida
1/2 t turmeric
Stirred all of that to a paste, then added 6 C dry roasted peanuts which I stirred constantly until peanuts were well coated and spices had had a chance to roast into the nuts.

Mighty tasty! And the house smells so so so good!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Go out for Bubble Tea- Check

So, we checked off the first thing on our list for Spring Break. Tonight was Bubble Tea night. If you haven't had Bubble Tea, this is a pretty good description of it:
Bubble tea is far from the plain-looking tea you are familiar with. It comes in a wild variety of flavours and colours. Challenge your palate with peach, lichee, mango or passionfruit! There is also the more traditional green or black tea flavours. It can be served either hot or cold. My personal favorite is chocolate milk black tea, iced.
But the fun part of bubble tea isn’t the colours or the flavours, it’s the ‘bubbles’.
Big, black, balls of chewy tapioca are what make bubble tea such an interesting experience. These pearls are about the size of small marbles and they sink to the bottom of your cup. This tea is usually served with a gigantic straw just the right size for slurping up these gummy treats.
I have to say that while the Bubble Tea was a hit with Kendra, I don't see me ever wanting it again! Something about the whole texture thing with the tapioca! And I love tapioca pudding. Not so much on the big black things in the bottom of the cup! But, I'm glad we gave it a try!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blue Lent

Today's word was Jackie's- Balance

Earth Hour

Kendra and I weren't at home during the 8:30 to 9:30 Earth Hour time, so we observed it from 9:30 to 10:30. It was storming so hard that we wondered if we would end up having an extended "earth hour". I lit so many candles that the house looked like a shrine. The dogs weren't quite sure what to make of it. I did take a call from my mother on the web cam because we have a standing date to do that each night. All in all, it was a whole lot more fun than reading Little House in the Big Woods!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

So, we're going to observe Earth Hour tonight. I'm not going to get any big ideas about what will happen during that hour. I am reminded of the time when the girls were small and I borrowed a kerosene lamp so that we could read Little House books by lamp light while we ate some pudding made out of a Laura Ingalls cookbook. I could barely see to read to them, the pudding was not so great, and the hour went on for a very long time! I'll let you know how we spend our time tomorrow night.

8 Things-The Spring Break Version

8 Things we want to do over spring break
As compiled over dinner at Our Best last night
1. Go get a bubble tea! None of us have had one and there's a new shop by the pie kitchen.
2. Do a photo shoot night. We did this last year and it was not only very fun, but we got great pictures out of it too!
3. Spend the night with Nana. (Kendra and Shameka) (If only Herbie and Willow could go with them)
4. Do art with Shameka
5. Get lunch from Ollies Trolley
6. First visit to Dairy Dell of the year
7. Play games!
8. Clean out the attic. Well, to be honest, only one of us picked this one. But we WILL do it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stumbling into the Steadfast

I went to the visitation tonight for a woman who (along with her twin sister!) once was my Sunday School teacher, was the mother of one of my high school friends, and was one of those saints who signed on to be a youth counselor. I never ever get too old to still be a child of that church. I enjoyed reconnecting with friends I haven't seen in many years and with friends who walked through Dad's illness and death with us. Same friends who have sat through long surgeries with us and have shown up at the hospital in the middle of the night when there's a crisis. I mostly see these folks now at funeral related events.
While thinking of these fine- salt of the earth, big wide open hearted folks, I thought of this journal entry from last year.

Stumbling into the Steadfast 1/19/08
On Sunday Cindy invited folks to share their baptism stories as sort of an interactive part of the sermon. All of the stories were of people's own recollections of their baptisms. In other words, Baptist baptisms. Non infant baptisms. I've had one of each, but didn't choose to share either story. I thought about my adult baptism at Deer Park and the lunch that Joy Lee Foley had afterwards for my parents and all of my friends. But on this particular day, it's that first baptism that touches my heart as I think of it. I, of course, have no memory of it myself but have plenty of pictures of it and a tiny pink New Testament signed by the pastor who baptized me to prove that it happened. My parents look very confident and happy in the pictures. I look very clueless. But it mattered. The people of my little church took very seriously the vows they made to me that day, as did my parents. For the second baptism, I had a decision to make and an aisle to walk and a life to surrender. For the first one, I just had to show up. The members of that little church made promises to me that day- and 50 years later I can say that they have kept every one. I have been loved and prayed for and clucked over all my life by the people of Clifton Heights Methodist and later Fern Creek United Methodist. I have been a sweet little girl, an unattractive and maladjusted 10 year old, an attention seeking teen, and a totally absent and inattentive adult to them, but they have remained steadfast in their commitment to me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

So, I'm loving these letters from Gypsyville-
And I've been falling behind in pug postings, so here's a little Hank love. And I don't mean Hank Green.
This year we got Shawn a GPS for Christmas and he LOVES it. I've only made one trip of any distance with it, and to be honest, when we've been on a really long straight stretch, that bossy woman scares the heck out of me when she commands me to turn in 1500 feet! I forget about her and then there she is! So, I loved the Country Doctor's Wife's GPS story.
Over 30 years ago my friend Lois Sumner showed me a box in which she had kept every wedding invitation she had received since she was newly married. It was so interesting to see how styles had changed in invitations over the years, so I started a collection of my own. I set it out every year in June. I look to see who is still married. Shoot, at my age, I'm starting to look to see who is still alive! At a glance I can see where invitations went from ivory to bright colors and then the color tapering off and lots more ivory and white. While I get a kick out of the Precious Moments invitations and the Khalil Gibran quotes, it's really the more creative ones that I treasure! Oh, that I were on this couple's list!!!!
I'm way out of the era of lots of baby shower invitations but supposing I knew someone who was having one, I'd suggest these decorations. As opposed to these.............
This brought back good memories. I used to make a list with the kids of things we wanted to do over spring or summer break and then we would pull out ideas. Hey, next week is spring break! Maybe we'll do it again!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


So, a few posts worth reading about "stuff" and "enough".
Fighting that old, "I might need it someday" mentality
Intersection of frugality and simplicity
Breaking the frugal rules

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Purple Lent

Today's word was Mollie's word- Adventure!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Plenty to Love!

"I must learn to love the fool in me--the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool." -- Theodore I. Rubin, MD

Eight things I do to try to get to sleep......
  • Visualize myself taking a nap on a screened sleeping porch with a tin roof in the rain.
  • Try to remember details of Camp Loucon, the camp I went to during my teen years, from the entrance all the way through the camp
  • Think of a hymn that starts with each letter of the alphabet
  • When the girls were small, all three of us would lay on our backs in their bed in the dark looking at the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and pretend we were on a boat floating, each of us describing what we saw or heard. Sometimes I revisit that still.
  • Imagine that I am in a horse -pulled sleigh bundled up warmly and being pulled through a beautiful moonlit open countryside.
  • Imagine that my feet are weightless and floating free, then my legs, and on up to my head, then imagine that they are weighted to the bed, again going from the legs and working its way up.
  • Imagine what I would do to each room of my house if money were no object. This one is only used as a back-up, as it sometimes is more stimulating than restfull.
  • Listen in the darkness for each person (and dog) in the house, "hearing" them sighing and sleeping, then picturing how they look as they sleep, then saying a tiny prayer over each.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wedding Dress

Fifteen years ago today, Shawn and I were married. I couldn't resist pulling my wedding dress from the back of the closet. It is a simple suit dress that has yellowed a bit and somehow managed to get a tad bit smaller while hanging in the closet! But I can still zip it all the way up and just putting it on brought back a lot of great memories. My best friend Sandy sewed seed pearls into the lace on the front of the dress. Sandy made wedding veils at the time, and sewn into some hidden place of each veil was her "signature" tiny blue seed pearl. The girls and I had fun feeling around the hem of my jacket until we found the tiny pearl- my "something blue".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

I really want to do some kind of a photo series.....something cool......like this one or this one.

I don't know for sure what a professional might do with my family in the way of a video, but it could never be as gorgeous as this! And wouldn't it just be too too fun to have such a video?

If you're planning a wedding, or need invitations to anything, or just make things, or just like pretty things.....this is a great site for you!

Not that these bags would even hold my wallet, but how cute are they?!

I'm a sucker for kids crafts and for paint chips, so of course I loved these.

This, only messier and with pottery is my dream dream dream. I've always wanted to open one of these clubs.

And for some odd reason, I fantasize about owning one of these.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Will Not Die an Unlived LIfe

Another poem shared with me by Karen Thomas Smith. I'm so grateful for the way facebook has kept me linked with Karen's life in Morroco, and our lives linked with hers.
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
Dawna Markova

Monday, March 16, 2009


My sister has done a million trillion kind and generous things for me in my lifetime, but not one thing comes even close to the gift of making me an aunt.
All day long I have been playing a sort of movie backwards in my mind- the thought of Sara behind the wheel of a yellow bug, Sara who used to give me the best back rubs, Sara who scooted over and made a place at the table for my girls when they came suddenly into our family, Sara who spilled all of her easter eggs every time she leaned over to pick up another in Nana's yard, Sara who hopped into her pink Barbie car and sent it bucking in reverse, Sara who on the second time I saw her had on a little tiny hat with a shamrock on it, Sara who quite literally took my breath away the first time I met her nestled in her mother's arms just minutes after her birth.
When Sara was born, a short 16 years ago today, we already knew she was going to be a girl, that her name would be Sara. We knew that she would be bright and pretty because, well, her parents were bright and pretty, and she would be ours, so of course she would be bright and pretty. What we didn't know was what joy she would bring us all, that she would so unswervingly follow in the way of our Lord, how big and tender and broken her heart would be for the world, that she would have an artist's spirit, that she would be as beautiful on the outside as the inside.
When Sara and Brandon were little, I had these hopes of being the "cool" aunt. I read a quote the other day that I think better summarizes how it all ended up though- “The building has all the requisites of a great aunt. She is neither very pretty nor elegant, but she has enduring qualities of character.”~Richard Oulahan
Truth is, I'm pretty sure they never ever thought I was cool and probably picture me more in the line of a crazy old woman who keeps 17 cats. It was THEY who became cool! I had that all pictured wrong. It is I who look up to THEM!!!
And so, I celebrate Sara at 16 today, and can't wait to celebrate her at 18 and at 21 as she just grows more wonderful each day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Red Week- Lent

The word for this week is Bart Irwin's word- Persistence- and the artwork was done by Cindy Weber and Bart.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

8 Songs I listen to with the volume up when I'm home alone..

Love Shack- The B52's

Order My Steps- GMWA Women of Worship

Hey Ya!- OutKast

Thou, Oh Lord- Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Don't you Hear Jerusalem Moan- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

White Freight Liner- Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, and Allison Kraus

Ringa Ringa- AR Rahman

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)- Beyonce'

Friday, March 13, 2009

And another thing......

I've decided that the youtube that I posted a couple of posts down, the one about the pink balloons....... It is an illustration of the parable of the mother who lovingly plans a special outing for her family and saves her money and anticipates it with great joy and gets all things ready and tucks in the camera, only to discover as they embark that everyone in the family is surly and some didn't want to come and some had better things to do and some don't want to wear what they are wearing and some think some are driving too fast and .........well, no one wants a picture taken on this outing and the mother tries to tuck that into her heart and to instead watch for unexpected fun and times to laugh.


Sometimes, under the guise of a "meeting" with the Nurturing Ministry Team, I know as I'm driving there that I am about to slip into the comfortable circle of the tenderest of friends.
Sure, we do the work of the church, and a lot of it, and good work. But what fuels us to do that is the gift of dear friendship that just happened somewhere along the line as we were going over agendas and planning dream sessions and encouraging the gifts of its members. It is truly my favorite thing about church these days.
Oh, that I could/would look as forward to all the other meetings in my life! Don't tell the girls! They might stop being so sympathetic about poor mom going off to such a long meeting after working all day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

So, this week I'm all about CUTE.
And what could be cuter in the world than these?!!

And if Meera's little face doesn't make your day, what on earth would?

And this goes beyond cute into the work of art category!

And this story fits into the beautiful category too.

And this is the sweetest of the sweetest. I can't even stop thinking about them!!

And just for fun........

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


All of my most recent youtubes disappeared yesterday!!! The old ones are still around. Verrrry strange. So, here's another to fill their shoes. Hope it "takes".

Monday, March 9, 2009

We are continuing to use a word a week on our bulletin covers, the words each of us chose for 2009. The original work will be part of our Book of Words. This weeks word was Ellie Borders' word- Animal- and the artwork was done by Dan Trabue.

Lent- Orange Week

Cindy preached on the lectionary passage Genesis 17:1-16 about Abraham and Sara and the change of their names. Her sermon was "Naming our Change". We closed with one of my favorite songs.
I told Jesus it would be all right if he changed my name.
I told Jesus it would be all right if he changed my name.
Jesus told me that the world would be against me if he changed my name.
Jesus told me that the world would be against me if he changed my name.
But I told Jesus it would be all right if he changed my name.
Jesus told me I would have to work for justice if he changed my name.
Jesus told me I would have to work for justice if he changed my name.
But I told Jesus it would be all right if he changed my name.
I told Jesus it would be all right if he changed my name.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Glue+Scissors+Cloth+Old Miniblind=Roman Shade!

Took about 45 minutes total, but Shawn was a big help. He was able to visualize the whole thing a little better than I was. This is our back door which never gets used, at the bottom of a very crowded little staircase. The blind on that door had gotten caught in the door at some point leaving a big square where all of the slats were out and someone could easily see in. (If they came behind our gate to do so!) Saw this idea and figured I would give it a shot. Directions can be found here.

8 Things

I have been a huge fan of Rachelle for years, soaking in her wisdom and her great ideas. I am enjoying a nice chunk of online time tonight (this morning) and got caught up on her blog, and while there saw this great idea. And since I often have a hard time pulling something together on Friday, I'm going to shoot for my 8 Things to post on Fridays. And so, here goes:

8 Signs of God's Presence this week

1. Tiny, tiny, tiny little shoots from my Stella lillies breaking through the ground just today, so tiny that I had to look really hard to spot them.

2. Susan making the very labor intensive Mayan Cafe' lima bean recipe for the community on Monday night.

3. Shameka's passion- this week all focused on the Invisible Children.

4. This song, so beautiful that I want to raise my hands in the air - L'Incoronazione Di Poppea: Pur Ti Miro by Christina Pluhar, Nuria Rial & Philippe Jaroussky Monteverdi

5. Chiayim's dimple so deep that I fall into it every time he smiles, even when I don't want to!

6. A Spring day so warm that I was able to sit on the front porch and re-connect with all of my "porch friends".

7. In a whispered prayer said with Kendra as she heads out the door on a day when her heart was anxious.

8. In this quiet moment while I can hear kids and partner and dogs all snoring, the click of things rolling in the dryer, and I am reflecting on God's generosity.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Has to be true.....

I mean, would Mary Ann lie to us? I just wish I had a potato in the house to give it a try.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

great memory of big packages of some cheap
lemon sandwich cookies that we had a
lot of growing up. And it has shea butter in it and
makes your skin feel great.
Well, this is fun, but I truly don't think I would name
my daughter Gerlion which is what came up for me.
A fun little craft to do with little friends for Spring.
One look at little Sol, and if you know me at all, you will know she has stolen my heart. Hoping the best for her tomorrow.

Great Depression Cooking Ep:5 - Cooked Bread

I've fallen in love with Clara.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Photo Meme

Donna posted this meme that had these instructions: Find your fifth photo file folder, locate the fifth photo in the folder and post, and tag five other folks. So, I couldn't resist seeing what my fifth picture would be.

My precious little Herbie! Although Herbie hasn't been able to walk on our kitchen floor for years, he manages to crawl his way from the living room to this rug- I call it swimming to his island. It takes him a very long time and he does a lot of grunting but he never gives up, and he is so proud of himself once he gets there! From this vantage point he can see us having dinner and having mastered the "poor pitiful me" look can often score a scrap of something once we get up from the table. See how he can make a little tear well up in his eye! Who can resist him? Certainly not one of us!

Monday, March 2, 2009

My friend Karen Thomas Smith shared this poem with me yesterday.
The Patience of Ordinary Things
by Pat Schneider
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lent- the Yellow week

I got the idea from Britt-Arnhild to focus on a different color for each week of Lent. We've decided to do that at church as well, with folks bringing in things each week for the alter of a certain color that represent a place they have seen God's presence during the week. This week, as you can see, is yellow.
I'm going to take the lazy way out tonight and just copy here the meditation I did for church today.

I'm sure many of you have been here on a Wednesday night or at a meeting or some other gathering around here when Cindy has asked us to be still and aware of God's presence within and all around us. Almost always once she says those simple words, I breathe in, breathe out, and I totally sense the presence of God.......within and all around. But sometimes when she calls us into God's presence........I am thinking.........”did I remember to turn the crockpot on?”
Sometimes when I am riding the shuttle to work and making my to do list for the day with some Michael Franti playing on my iPod, someone waiting on the corner catches my eye and they are so earnest and so dear that it catches my breath and makes me want to cry.
Almost every time I trace the corridors of my labyrinth I find God waiting for me at the center. But not always. And sometimes at the end of a long day when I'm throwing yet another load into the laundry, turning a pants leg right side out, I am certain that I have been joined, that some hand touches me and tells me that this is noble work.
All of this to say that I see God's presence, whether I try to or not. And that trying doesn't always make it so.
C.S. Lewis said that there are steps we can take to avoid God's presence. He suggests, “Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you’d be safer to stick to the papers. You’ll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.” (Christian Reflections, pp. 168-169).”
I hope that in the week ahead you sense God's presence within and all around you, sometimes because you sought it out, and sometimes taking you by complete surprise.