Monday, August 31, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate

mellow herbie

Edit- We have spent some time this week making end of life decisions for our sweet little Herbie. He has good days and bad days, and has had some bad days this week as a 17 year old fellow might. All of us have grappled with defining what his advance directive might be, and I remembered hearing a wonderful vet interviewed on NPR some months ago who gave this criteria- when your dog no longer enjoys eating, when he no longer enjoys seeing you come into a room, and when he no longer cares for a favorite toy or treat- any combination of these. I recently read The Art of Racing in the Rain which was a great book, but made me cry really hard. It has helped me try to look at life through Herbie’s eyes, especially now as he ages. So, we have a family consensus on what to watch for, and in the mean time we love the heck out of this stinky little fellow.

Add- Got to got to got to do some scrapbooking soon. Why do I keep buying paper and stickers as though I still do it on a regular basis? Why could I not wait for my office/creative space to be lovely so that I could enjoy working in here? And nothing to show for it! Must intentionally add it to my list of things to do this week.

Appreciate- Went to a deacons meeting tonight- it was to be a planning meeting and a time to assess how we are doing as deacons and what needs to be adjusted/amended. It’s our habit to begin with a time of checking in personally with each other. We never got past that. Not one thing was planned or assessed, but the true work of a deacon- of extending grace and comfort to someone at sacred moments of great joy and/or great pain- that got done, and done well. Thanks be to God for this circle of wise and tender and broken women (we do have a couple of men, but they weren’t there) who seek to love and support our church family.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Want Him!

Is it part of the emptying nest thing that I start wanting little kids again? I look at this little boy more often than I'd care to admit and wish he were sitting at my kitchen table. He's also in this one-

8 Things


8 Good Things from this day

1. Mid-day call from my son at college. He is my sunshine.

2. Late night call from my daughter at college. She is my anchor.

3. My dear friends Gwen and Barb invited my younger daughter over for dinner and took her to a high school football game. I stayed home. Alone. And loved it.

4. Outing to JoAnn Fabrics which has become my new favorite place. I love that they have a whole wall of fat quarters of every color of fabric. Got some fun and funky colored yarn so that I could ………..

5. make a pile of granny squares. Yay!

6. Made a batch of the cinnamon sugar mentioned on my links yesterday- surprise toast for K in the morning!

5. Got the good news that I don’t have to have K at a tournament tomorrow until 11! Yay!

6. Nice visit with friends when they brought K back home

7. Averted a migraine with magic meds. Thanks magic meds!

8. Got to have a nice long uninterrupted phone chat with Bev catching up on everything.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


Pretty fun recipe and even printable labels for Cowgirl Cookies

I am seriously going to make up a batch of this

I want one of these by a body of water for naps and reading and writing and listening to music- just a little afternoon getaway place..

My friend Donna and her grandson on their maiden letterboxing outing….

Aren’t these fun?

Swooning over this happy house….

Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait to give these a try- I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breaking my word


I know I said I was finished with this topic, or finished dragging everyone through it with me, but this was too good to pass up.  My boss read the paper before me today and suggested I wait to read the editorial page until my lunch break which she knows I take in my office with the door closed.  So, hankie alert and full speed ahead, I share this with you-

August 25, 2009

Letting go is hard but brings understanding

By Pam Platt

Everyone thinks you're being silly, that you really need to move on and get over these things. It's not as if your daughter is going to school all the way across the country, they say, and it's not as if you didn't do this last year when she moved out for the first time.

But after the summer you spent together, which seems a luxury now that it's over, you're a little caught by the surprise of how much the second time got to you, too. You helped her to pack up and move out for her sophomore year in college, and there it was again:

The clutch around your heart, the squeeze around your throat, the tightness around your eyes, the hug you gave that lasted a beat, or two, too long before you closed her dorm-room door behind you.

She will be 20 years old very soon. What part of letting go don't you understand?

The future is not a distant landmark anymore. It's wiping its feet on the welcome mat before it saunters in.

So a week or so before you are to give her up again, you have an intense conversation, about life, about choices, about concerns.

She stops you cold with four words: “Mom, you raised me.”

The four words are meant to reassure. They do and they don't.

She is, in your eyes, a glorious, exquisite young woman. You could not be prouder.

But you are not quite as confident of your parenting skills as she seems to be.

And you also remember some of what you did when you were her age.

And you hear and feel, in those four words, a past tense that won't let go.

“Raised,” she said.

That future that's wiping its feet on the welcome mat?

That's not just her future. It's your future, too.

Suddenly, all your fuss makes more sense, and here's what part of letting go you're starting to understand.

If you are thinking about her next steps, you don't have to think about yours — but you still have to take them.

If you are facing her questions, you are not facing yours — and they don't go away.

Who are you when you are not being her mother?

Does the person you were, all those years ago, before she came into the world, even exist anymore?

The answer to the first is: You're not sure.

The answer to the second is: You don't think so.

Neither answer is bad or wrong, and you know that because of the four words your daughter said to you, the ones that stopped you cold.

You consider another version of them, one that's true about the life you have lived for almost 20 years and the one that lies ahead:

“Daughter, you raised me, too.”

When they put her in your arms, for you to take her home from the hospital, you had no idea what you were doing. You just knew that you had to be there for this little person, and if that meant making it up as you went along, then that's what you did. You tried, sometimes you failed, you tried again. You juggled and you bobbled and sometimes you dropped the ball, and sometimes you fielded line drives. You wish you had kept one of those milestones books for yourself over the years, like the red one the pediatrician gave you for your daughter's transitions. You wish you had marked down when it was, and why, you learned humility, and trust, and faith, along the way.

You realize, as you ease back into your emptier house, that being a mother has taught you how to let go of being a mother and how to take the first steps toward your next self:

You will make it up as you go along. You will fail sometimes. You will try again. Tomorrow will dawn. Armed with the humility, trust and faith you earned, like stripes on your sleeves, you will try something else, and something else, and something else, until it works.

And the daughter you raised?

She has juggled her schedule, she says, so the two of you can spend an afternoon together in the coming weeks.

And you smile.

Pam Platt's column appears Tuesdays in the Community Forum. Call her at (502) 582-4578; e-mail her at

Pam Platt is an editorial writer and columnist for The Courier-Journal. Call her at (502) 582-4578; e-mail her at

Monday, August 24, 2009

Music Monday

Many thanks to Dan for putting together this interesting montage of Jeff Street folks making music. . Lots of memories! And that's my good looking son at 2:44.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Technorati Tags:

bottle tree

Edit- It is August and only this weekend did it hit me. I’ve been less than satisfied with my yard this summer, and mostly thought it was just because I haven’t given it the time it deserved. This weekend I realized that there is nothing out there that gives me great delight. It has been my tradition to always have a yard full of whimsy- croquet mallots and sticks as stakes for plants, my old bottle tree, old suitcases and cowboy boots with plants growing out of them, pieces of junk off piles all over Louisville “growing” everywhere. Sure, I do still have a bust of a man with the inscription, “He got the whole refrigeration thing going” but it’s grown worn and is fairly hidden. From the street, this looks like the house of some pretty traditional folks (who don’t spend nearly enough time on their yard.)

My friend Terri Farless once told about a house that she passed every day that had a wreath on the door that said, “Love grows here” and that she thought it was pretty cheesy….until one day it hit her that that wreath was that family’s manifesto for all the world to see. I want something that says to all who pass, “some pretty fun folks must live in that house”, something that stakes our claim to be less than traditional. So, I”m on the lookout. Suggestions?

006_auAdd- The days are starting to get a little shorter and there has been a hint of fall in the air this weekend. From fall to summer hardly a night passes without a candle being lit in this house. I don’t know if it means anything to my family or if they even notice, but for me it has this whole complex meaning- it adds a certain cheer and sense of home on a dark night, it says that we are under roof and hunkering down for the night. And so last night, pulled along by the earlier darkness and a premature coolness in the air, I lit the first candle of fall.

Appreciate- Tonight I am appreciating my little church. Our pastor talked to us today about being a peculiar people, which indeed we are. She started with the Flannery O’Connor quote, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd”, she told the story of the wife of a man who came to interview for a position with the church being overheard saying, “they kind of look funny” and that only at Jeff Street would we see that as a compliment. Probably not many churches in town worrying that they are might be leaning too close to normal, worrying that the neighborhood is getting too nice for them. Thanks be to God for our great and generous eccentricity.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

8 Things


8 Things that money could never buy in my week this week.

1.  Money could never buy the joy in my heart when I saw my sweet girl run across campus to greet me. 

2.  Can’t put a price tag on a circle of moms standing in Sheila’s driveway holding hands praying for our children as they venture into new territory, and for us as we do the same.

3.  Whatever my friend Suzanne paid for the book she sent me- A Feather from my Nest by Beth Moore- it was a bargain.  It has been a great source of comfort to me.

4.  There was something very tender and dear about Shawn and I having the chance to move C back to school with just the three of us.  We don’t often get the chance to be together as just the three of us.  All of our hope and love could just be focused on him for that day which was restorative to me.

5.  The great sisterhood of mothers- several of my friends (and my sister) are also sending kids off to college for the first time this year, others are anxious and hopeful for this new school year for our kids still at home.  All of us have linked arms and are marching on through together.

6.  Being able to name my fear that I am losing my identity,  as so much of it has been wrapped up in being a mom.  Now that’s named and out there, I can start to re-vision who I am. 

7.  Seeing Kendra find her own ways of coping with her anxiety about life without S and C.

8.  I’m still standing.  A year ago we dropped C off at college, I turned, and fell through a trap door into a tunnel that didn’t open back up until February.  I was so so fearful that the hole would suck me in again when I took S.  Halfway home from taking her in the midst of crying I realized that as sad as I was, I was still right here.  I didn’t come into it this time already carrying layers and layers of grief. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


Yet another great find at Kind Over Matter

Loving this tiny house

I’m tempted to just pull up my horrible no good very bad carpet in the living room and just do this.

Here’s a fun idea!

Love this!

Since this week included National Cupcake Day…..there are these and some truly sweet ones here.

And 50 Lessons from the Serendipity Factor folks

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dutch Baby


If you aren’t familiar with Dutch Babies, they are:

A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, is a sweet breakfast dish similar to Yorkshire pudding and derived from the German Apfelpfannkuchen. It is made with eggs, flour and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally sugar is also added. It is baked in a metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven. It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar or fruit toppings or syrup.

They have popped back into the meal rotation around here on Farmer’s Market days. Eight farm fresh eggs, some flour and sugar and vanilla and milk and lots of butter later, we welcome this baby to the table. The kids like it with syrup, and hubby and I like it with cherry clove preserves from the market. Tonight it was accompanied by sausage and watermelon from Misty Meadows Farm, cantelope from Sunshine Farms, a bowl of lots of different kinds of cherry tomatoes from Finger Pickin’ Farms, and fried potatoes from our community garden.

Here’s the recipe I use, but there are lots floating around. I can’t imagine making it in anything besides a big cast iron skillet.


  • 1 3/4 stick butter
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 6 T sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 8 whole large eggs
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 2 cups half and half (milk was all we had tonight)
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • Your choice of toppings

Preheat oven to 375.

Place 3/4 stick of butter into a 10 inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven for butter to melt.

Melt the remaining butter and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the flour, vanilla, sugar, salt, milk, eggs and remaining butter into the bowl and mix with hand mixer or in a food processor until mixed well and frothy. Carefully pour the batter into the preheated skillet.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the edges are puffed and brown. (I generally have to bump this to 40 minutes or so until the center has set.)

Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Top with syrup, lemon juice, marinated berries, jams, or just about anything else that strikes your fancy.

This particular recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, but recipes abound online, many of them tailored incrementally for larger or smaller babies.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music Monday

Song is Bella by Angus and Julie Stone.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Parental Math

baby-bird-on-the-hand I promise not to wallow or draw out this subject any more after today, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been searching for this excerpt from a book I read long ago and today found it- on Suzanne’s blog!  It was written by Bob Benson. It’s called Parental Math.

Wednesday night -

Mike slept downstairs in his room

where children belong

and we slept upstairs in ours

where moms and dads belong.

Thursday night -

We were 350 miles away and he was

in Ramada 325 and we were in 323

in connecting rooms. We left the door open

and talked and laughed together.

Friday night -

He was in the freshman dorm

and we were still in 323.

Sunday night --

We were home and he was

323 miles away in Chapman 309.

Now we had been through this before

and we thought we knew how to handle separation pretty well.

Somebody said you still have three at home.

three fine kids and there is still plenty of laughter

plenty of noise

plenty of sports games to go to

plenty of everything

except Mike.

In parental math

five minus one just doesn't equal plenty.

And I was thinking about god.

He sure has plenty of children

plenty of artists

plenty of singers

plenty of preachers and candlestick makers

plenty of everybody

except you.

And all of them together can never take your place.

There will always be an empty place in his heart

and a vacant chair at his table

when you're not home.

So if once in a while it seems God’s  crowding you a bit

try to forgive him.

It may be one of those nights

when he misses you so much

he can hardly stand it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

No Words



I don’t have it in me to write about this day, yet anyway.  Reading the posts of these two give a tiny bit of insight to what I’m feeling.  Check them out:

Life in Grace and My Bella Rosa

Thursday, August 13, 2009



My daughters have been each others anchors for their whole lives.  The first 7 years of their lives were spent in the care of relatives and then in a children’s home followed by a long stretch in foster care and ending with time living with their young mother during the months before her death.    The one constant they have had in this life has been each other.

Tomorrow (well, early this morning!)  Kendra  will go off to her first day of her senior year, and we will take Shameka off to college.   This is hard for  both of them, especially Kendra, so I launched a little plan to give her something to stay busy in these last days and then to help her feel connected with Shameka.  I suggested we find 7 gifts for Kendra to send with Shameka for her to open- one for each day of her first week away.  We have had such great fun and Kendra has picked the most thoughtful gifts.     Here’s the fun part-  I suggested to Shameka that it might be fun for her to leave 7 little gifts for Kendra, one for each day of the first week for her to open!  So, I’ve been sneaking with Kendra and sneaking with Shameka.   So tonight I’ve been wrapping 14 presents and can’t wait until tomorrow for them to discover that they each have a surprise for the other! 

We’re off to Lindsey Wilson College tomorrow.   If I’m not around for a bit, it’s because I am just too too sad.   Hold us in your hearts as we all make this latest transition.  And we will take Chiayim back on Tuesday, so sadness upon sadness for these upcoming days, but grace upon grace to sustain us I’m sure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wednesday Link Love

I’ve featured and mentioned sweet Steven a number of times so I had to show off these great pics from his wedding!

And speaking of weddings…..

Fun little read from Antique Mommy

And a GREAT quote here…..

I want this!  I want to be there tomorrow!

And while there are some charming qualities about this one, the bathroom will not do….

Loving these sweet curtains!

A cool calendar

This  has to make you smile!

And a couple of things to while away your time… and here


These are scenes from this Sunday's youth-led worship which they did such a great job at. If you watch about five times you will finally see a brief shot of the church "sending Shameka out"- a time of special prayer for a person wh is leaving, and you can just imagine the tears that were a-flowin!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Music Monday

My friend Jordan Trabue at Saturday night's Goatwalker

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Haiti: Medika Mamba

I stumbled upon a post on the Johnson McCormick blog tonight appealing to folks to support the folks who are using Medika Mamba to change the lives of babies in Haiti who are malnourished. I couldn't stop reading about it and wow! Everything about it just makes such good sense. If your heart can bear it, check out this sweet blog-

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What's In The Temple?


This poem found me yesterday and I’ve thought of it since, maybe because I have been standing with my ear to the wall of my heart, listening.

What's In The Temple? -- Tom Barrett

What's In The Temple?
In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.
If I say the word God, people run away.
They've been frightened--sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle."
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can't name.
They know he's out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.
I can't talk about God and make any sense,
And I can't not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.
I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.
We don't build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can't be contained.
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It's the spirit that lives on.
If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?
Go there now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


It's not too late- still shows tonight through Sunday. They did an amazing job. Kendra's friend Katelyn playes Lil' Inez so we had a special interest. If you're in Louisville and you just want to feel good, it's a must see!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Link Love


Check out the 31 experiment and this nice printable.

A few ideas with photos- here and here and here.

A little fun with words and drawings

I’ll take an apple and a cherry, please.

Could I go to one of these and just stay to myself?!

I know, Amy again.  But her piece on Blogging for Bliss led me to another site and then to a book and then to a number of sites where folks wrote with Blogging for Bliss as a topic.  I may write a piece myself on Blogging for Bliss, as I have enjoyed doing it so much.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Music Monday

Stumbled on this the other day and was reminded of this song from my childhood- sung then by two sisters-Patience and Prudence! I just checked, and it was recorded the year I was born, making me wonder why I remember it so well. And it's not because it was in The Jerk.

Edit, Add, Appreciate

Stacked Ratatouille for a Crowd

Edit-If I could change one thing about this weekend……… I wouldn’t.   It was a perfect balance of time with friends,  with my family, in my yard, in my room, in my head and heart.   We managed to make it through July having not once hit 90 degrees, a record for Louisville, and I am my best self when it’s this cool.

Add-  Well, I’d like to add two more just like it!   Oh, and I’m still so in love with my cheery pink office/craft room that I finally got out some papers and glue and did a page for Kendra’s scrapbook and boy did that feel good!  A couple of years ago I made a resolution to not buy any greeting card that year, making them all instead, and I did in fact last out the year.  A sad commentary is that now days if you aren’t on facebook, I probably don’t remember the right day for your birthday, and if you are on facebook, a post on your wall is about as good as it gets from me. I would like to add back in the habit of making some cards.  Maybe not all of them, but just some.

Appreciate-  We are in the middle  of the heydays of farmer’s markets.  Other than watermelon, I think every summer fruit or veggie is at its very best right now.  I made this stacked ratatouille last night for a party and fell in love with it.  It’s gorgeous in presentation,  easy as can be, and quite delicious.   I continue to hold the farmer’s who work so hard to bring these tasty veggies to my table in the highest of esteem. 

Saturday, August 1, 2009

8 Things



8 Things I loved to read during my childhood

1.  ANYTHING about Daniel Boone.  I think it was some kind of a latent Fess Parker/Ed Ames crush thing, but I loved that Daniel Boone!  My sister and I “played” Daniel Boone in the living room behind a chair all of the time.

2.  Baby Island is one of the first books I remember reading, and I still think of it.  Got it for the girls- and they weren’t too excited by it.  A couple of little girls get stuck on an island taking care of a bunch of babies after a shipwreck.  

3. Louisa May Alcott-  Anything of hers.  Ohhhhhh I loved her, and not just the books she wrote but anything about her.  My parents even took me to Massachusetts  to  see her home.

4.  Plain Girl-  I still have my copy of Plain Girl.  It was about an Amish girl and her brother who decided he didn’t want to live in the Amish way and her love for him.  I wanted an older brother badly after reading it.

5.  Bobbsey Twins- I am not sure if I actually liked the books so much or the acquisition of them.  I could buy them with my allowance money and I loved seeing them add up on my shelf, the whole collection.

6.  Donna Parker books-  I think an older cousin must have ushered me into this phase of growing up and liking things that hinted of romance.

7.  Grace Livingston Hill books-  My mother and Aunt Elaine had these on the shelf, and again with the romance theme! 

8.  All of those Roy Rogers Dale Evans books about tragedy- This is when I began my fascination with tragedy and crisis.

What about you?