Friday, May 30, 2008

100th Post, and I'm Still Here!

It won't make the best seller's list, though it could be touted as a sleep aide. Such as it is, here's my list of 100 Things About Me That You Never Knew You Wanted To Know.

1) Though I do value human lives over those of animals, I get more excited about seeing and holding a puppy than a baby. I figured I should lay that awful truth about myself right out there.

2) What About Bob? is my all time favorite movie.

3) I had both legs run over by a car as a child, and never even went to the doctor. I suffered no damage other than the initial pain.

4) I like and enjoy pretty much all foods.

5) I am married to my third husband. He's a keeper!

6) I have been divorced once. We married too young and he couldn't keep the commitment.

7) I have been widowed once. My late husband was nearly 29 when he drowned while scuba diving.

8) When I was 22, my biological dad was shot and killed by his girlfriend. She went to prison.

9) I had a stepdad from the time I was 11 until he died a few years ago. He was the greatest dad ever!

10) I have one brother 2 1/2 years older than me, and two older stepbrothers (to whom I'm not close). My great disappointment in life is that I don't have a sister.

11) The only foreign country I've visited is Mexico.

12) The farthest I've ever travelled was to Hawaii. My parents took me there for 2 weeks when I graduated from high school.

13) I am fascinated by birds in the wild. I like to feed them, watch them, photograph them, and take them in when they're orphaned or injured.

14) I wet the bed until I was 11.

15) I am extremely hot natured.

16) I can't sing a lick.

17) I can't dance, either.

18) My husband and I were married less than 3 weeks after we began dating.

19) We pretty much knew we wanted to get married by the end of the first date.

20) We recently had our 18th wedding anniversary, and our love continues to deepen.

21) I dread trips and vacations horribly (a sort of home separation anxiety), and yet I always have a blast when we go.

22) I love British films of all types, romances, dramas, or comedy.

23) I am not a people pleaser. Except to my mother, I don't generally have a problem saying "no" to people.

24) Until recently, for six years, I co-owned and co-ran an online christian homeschooling website (message board forums and curriculum sales) and yet I have very limited computer knowledge. Fortunately for me, my partner was (is) a computer whiz.

25) My husband is 15 years older than me, though all who meet him are genuinely shocked at learning his age-he looks much younger!

26) I homeschooled my youngest child from 3rd grade through high school.

27) I'm very gullible. When I was about 11 or 12, my older brother rushed into the house, excitedly claiming a spaceship had crashed into the river just outside of town. I was ready to hop on my bike's banana seat and peddle out there to see history in the making!

28) I was terrified of the dark as a child and much of my adult life. I slept with the covers over my head until I was married. Thank God, I have been delivered from that spirit of fear (2nd Timothy 1:7).

29) As a child, I frequently dreamed I could fly. I had that recurring dream for several years. I do still occasionally dream it.

30) When I was about 11, I began pulling out my eyelashes. I did it for a couple of years until embarrassment at how I looked motivated me to quit doing it. As an adult, I've since learned it's a disorder called Trichotillomania.

31) My bio father was an alcoholic. Ours was a very dysfunctional home, though as a child, I wasn't aware that everyone didn't live like we did. It no doubt had alot to do with the Trichotillomania. My mom divorced him when I was eleven.

32) Hello, my name is Renna. I am a sugaraholic.

33) I drink mostly water, occasionally indulging in soft drinks or iced-tea, but mostly water with ice. I thoroughly enjoy a glass of ice-water.

34) I LOVE salads. The more stuff in them, the better, but if lettuce is all I have on hand, I'll take that, too.

35) I love pastels and white. My sunroom is a pale blue, trimmed in white. My kitchen is a pale yellow, trimmed in white. My living and dining areas are a very pale sage (too pale, really, it looks almost white), trimmed in white. I find these colors soothing.

36) If I wore glasses, they would be very thick. Thank God for contacts.

37) I am naturally greyer than my mother or my older brother. Thank God for Clairol!

38) I am short, at 5'3".

39) I was painfully shy throughout my childhood. When I was three years old, my Sunday School teacher asked my mom if I had been born mute. She'd had me in her class for a year and I'd never uttered a sound.

40) I am still very shy, but not nearly to the degree as I was when I was young. I find that the more I learn who I am in Christ, the more confidence I gain.

41) I had my tonsils removed when I was 3. The hospital must have offered a two'fers deal, as my older brother and I both went in at the same time and shared a room. My brother's surgery was first, and when they rolled him back into our hospital room, I thought he was dead. His skin was grey and his eyelashes were crusty. In my 3 year old mind, I deducted that having your tonsils removed meant you went in to die, and I was next. I really did think I was going to die. I was accepting of the fact, just like Siggy in What About Bob? .

Siggy to Bog:"You are going to die. I am going to die. We are all going to die."

Of course, after the operation was over, and I was vomiting for hours from the anesthesia, I probably wanted to die!

42) I have always been an avid reader, but have found myself lacking in the needed concentration for it in the past year or so.

43) Though I don't consider myself very good at it (yet), I love to knit.

44) I am a night person. I get creative and energetic late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.

45) I never developed lower wisdom teeth. Does that make me a half-wit? (that's a rhetorical question!).

46) I nearly drowned when I was about 5. My brother, who'd noticed I was no longer sitting at the water's edge, saw the tip of my waist length hair floating on top of the pond water. He dove in and saved me. He couldn't have been more than 7 himself. I nearly drowned him, trying to push myself up on his head to get out of the water. He saved my life.

47) I remember, clearly, the day President Kennedy was shot. My 2nd grade teacher answered a soft knock on our classroom door. Another second grade teacher whispered something to her, then they both began to sob.

48) I also clearly remember the day President Reagan was shot. I was home watching the live coverage on tv.

49) I'm n0t a good finisher. I begin far more projects than I ever complete.

50) Going along with #49, I'm a procrastinator, or I should say I used to be a procrastinator. I'm working at overcoming that shortcoming. I need to call things that aren't as though they are.

51) My right foot is a good half-size larger than my left foot.

52) I love trees. Not as much as birds, but I really do like them. My mom says when I was little, if she couldn't find me, she'd start looking in the tops of the tall trees in the park across the street from our house. That's where I'd usually be. I no longer climb them, but I still enjoy them.

53) I am a homebody.

54) I snore. According to Hubby, I sometimes do it rather loudly.

55) I am not very self-disciplined.

56) I am an 'okay', but not great cook. I get rave reviews on my baking.

57) I am terrified of heights. We like to vacation in the Rocky Mountains, but I generally squeal, whine, and actually cry as we're traveling the roads to get in and out of them. I'm fine as long as my feet are on the ground, though.

58) I don't have a good memory for people's names. I remember many of my classmates and teachers from as far back as elementary school, but I remember very few of their names. In fact, I often forget someone's names within minutes after meeting them. It can be very embarrassing! I work on name association words to help me remember names I know are really important to remember.

59) I find it extremely difficult to sleep in strange places. I love to travel and stay in hotels, but no matter how comfortable the bed is, I generally lay there for at least an hour or more before I can fall asleep. It's the same way if we're staying in someone's home. By the second or third night, it gets easier.

60) I must sleep with a fan at night, year 'round. If the weather is warm, I aim it toward me. If it's winter and cold, I aim it away from me. I need the humming noise it makes to sleep. I even carry one with me when we travel.

61) Though I have a few non-cotton items I wear (mostly dress clothes), I dress almost exclusively in cotton. Being very hot natured, I find it most comfortable.

62) I can't stand to sleep 'in the middle' between two people. Granted, these days, situations aren't likely to arise requiring it. When my kids were young, during the years I was a widow, they'd often crawl into bed with me. I was constantly having to trade places with one or the other of them, due to a feeling of being trapped.

63) I can't sleep with my feet under the covers. If it's really cold, I'll keep them under there long enough to warm up, then I have to pull them out from under the covers. This is part of the reason I can't stand sleeping with someone on each side. I can't get my feet out!

64) I have broken my toes on several occasions. I finally quit going barefoot in the house, and no more broken toes.

65) I let my dog kiss (lick) me on the mouth. I can hear some of you gagging.

66) I hate going to funerals. I realize they're no picnic for anyone, but I get very stressed at them. It's not the fact that there's a dead person in a casket. It's more about the awkwardness I feel. I never know what to do, where to sit, or what to say.

67) I don't enjoy weddings for pretty much the same reasons. I don't do well in social situations where there are large groups present. I feel much more comfortable in smaller groups.

68) I spend too much time on the computer.

69) I find it hard to be brief, as is evidenced by this list. I always feel a compulsion to provide all the details.

70) I can't play any musical instruments, but I can play my nose.

71) I did play the cornet in junior high and high school, but haven't picked on up in many years, so I doubt I could still play it.

72) I can waste spend hours online playing Bubbles.

73) I love coffee, unflavored or flavored, as long as it's strong.

74) I don't like to drive.

75) I am beginning (finally) to realize my worth in the kingdom of God, in doing God's work.

76) I am beginning (again, finally) to realize what my God given spiritual gifts are.

77) I love dogs. I think I may have already said that one. I'm running on empty here, people.

78) I hate spiders and snakes and anything crawly.

79) I love chocolate, anything chocolate.

80) I like fish hook style earrings. I don't like the kind with posts.

81) I don't like riding in the backseat. I don't get carsick (usually), but I have to be able to see ahead.

82) I LOVE the smell of fresh oranges. It's my favorite scent.

83) I LOVE the smell of freshly ground coffee. It's my second favorite scent.

84) I hate having my picture taken.

85) I stay up way too late at night....or does the rest of the world go to bed too early?

86) Though not particularly creative, I'm a good problem solver. I'm good at figuring out what to use when something doesn't a McGyver sort of way.

87) My computer skills are very limited.

89) I hate seeing elderly people wearing sandels. Women aren't as bad, at least not if they've had a pedicure, but an old man's feet is not something I like to see.

90) I use the word 'hate' too much; at least I have in this list, I see.

91) I love watching young children play, especially toddler age. They're so full of energy, and totally lacking in any sort of self-consciousness.

92) I LOVE to swim. I rarely get a chance. I do NOT love being seen in a swimsuit.

93) I prefer showers over baths.

94) I prefer being outside to being inside, except it's too hot and sticky where I live to do that for much of the year.

95) I can't stand watching shows or movies, or scenes anyway, of people being embarrassed. I feel too uncomfortable for them.

96) I abhor (does that sound better than hate?) phony people. I can usually spot them a mile away, too.

97) I love tromping around in old cemeteries, reading the gravestones, and fantasizing what their lives must have been like.

98) I love fruity and kitchen smelling candles. Perfumey ones give me a headache.

99) I am lazy.

100) I am already regretting that I shared too much on this list!


Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

~II Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Good Genes

Gramma Louise & Nikki 5-25-08
Though nearly sixty years separate them, they are two peas in a pod. On the left is the Italian mother of my late husband. She's typical of alot of Italians I've met and known. She's loud, she's boisterous, and she's physically expressive. She has a magnetic personality which draws everyone to her. She's sharp-minded, quick-witted, and very funny. Except for occasional flare-ups of a hot temper, she is usually laughing.
On the right is her granddaughter, my daughter, Nikki. She embodies everything I said about her grandmother. Living at opposite ends of the country, Nikki wasn't raised near her grandmother. She's not even gotten to see her all that many times in her life. Yet, when they do get together, it's as if they were never apart. There is that magical, genetic link which connects them. In knowing Louise, I have a good hunch of what my daughter will be like in her 80's, personality wise, as well as in looks.
I can almost picture Nikki's daddy standing next to them, smiling that same million dollar smile.
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But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
~Psalm 103:17-18 KJV

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'd like to thank each of you who responded so compassionately to me over the loss of my little dog, BooBoo. Your kind words and prayers mean a great deal to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Hubby and I are going to the cities (Dallas/Ft.Worth) for a couple of days, and I can hardly wait. We're going to see two very special people tomorrow. My daughter, Nikki, and her boyfriend, Jim will be in town for the day tomorrow. They're going to meet up with us at my mom and her husband's house, only my mom doesn't know it yet. I'd love to have a video camera of her when she sees Nikki, 'cause I know she's going to squeal.
Jim, Nikki, & John (my son)
I should be able to get some knitting done on the drive there and back, providing Leyna (who loves road trips) will stay off my lap long enough. To economize, we're driving my mom's Taurus (which happens to be at our house). It gets better gas mileage than our Windstar, but it's also much smaller, which means we can't crate Leyna for the drive. I have a feeling I'll be spending much of the trip with a dog in my lap. Oh, well. I can think of worse ways to travel. ;-)
Have a safe and happy holiday, all!
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Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
~Proverbs 30:5 NKJV

Friday, May 23, 2008

Goodbye, My Sweet BooBoo

BooBoo, July 1994-May 23, 2008

I will miss you, my dear little friend. Your absence has created an unimaginable void in our home and family, and in my heart. You were my self-appointed bodyguard for nearly fourteen years. You were a big dog in a small body. You'd have given your life for me if necessary. Until you lost your eyesight, no one was allowed within six feet of me without your approval, not even Daddy.

You have been a constant presence by my side, mourning when I left the house without you, because, after all, how could you be protecting me if you weren't with me? I know you thought that.

Old age had robbed much from you, but now you are released from the agonies brought on by it. Now I know you can see, you can hear, you can run and jump, and you can watch over me from above, because I choose to believe that all dogs go to Heaven.

Oh, how I miss you, my precious BooBoo.

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
~2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NKJV

A Little Knitting...

Lion Brand Microspun Sz 5 dpn's
I can't seem to get away from baby hats. They're fast, they're easy, they don't take alot of yarn, and they don't require much concentration. All pluses for me these days.
I'm also knitting some of these dishcloths this week. I'm using the same color scheme as her's, which I love. They look so neat and crisp. I'm stockpiling them for gifts. I'll take pictures as soon as the sun returns.
May you all have a happy, creative, and blessed weekend!
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For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
~Psalm 84:11 NKJV

Thursday, May 22, 2008

That Ree Sure Can Cook!

Pioneer Woman's Fruit Bars
Frequently when I see a recipe I want to try, I will inevitably lack at least one or more of the key ingredients. When I run across one that is so simple I'm lacking nothing to make it, I make it!
Ree, Pioneer Woman, P-Dub, whatever you want to call her, shares some great recipes. I've made a number of them in the last year, always with great results. When I saw these last week, I knew I had to make them, and I had all the ingredients on hand. Yea! I was lacking one ingredient, the apricot preserves, but I had rasberry preserves, so I figured fruit's fruit, right? Trust me, it was right. They were delicious. They are gone. I wish I had more.
Hubby and I ate a serving hot out of the oven with a dollop of vanilla bean ice-cream on top. The rest were eaten as snacks as well as for breakfast, answering Ree's question of whether they are dessert or breakfast. They are both!
Now go make some!
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I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
~Psalm 13:6

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday~Thunder Rolls!

Views outside my house this morning
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Friday, May 16, 2008

Reading & Knitting

Preemie Spiral Hat in Lion Brand Microspun Buttercup Size 5 dpn's click picture to enlarge

Most of my life, I've been an avid reader. Not being terribly self-disciplined, I've spent many nights reading through a book I simply couldn't put down long enough to slumber for eight hours. I don't read as much now as I did before I learned to knit. There doesn't seem to be enough idle hours available for both.

Aside from crafty or decorating type books, I've never been one to purchase books, other than at garage sales or thrift stores. Since I don't generally reread a book (the exception being the Bible and novels by Rosamund Pilcher!), there doesn't seem much point in paying the hefty purchase price.

I have been wanting to read The Memory Keeper's Daughter for some time. Until today when I read a review of it, I knew next to nothing at all about it. It's the cover and the title which seduced me. When I peruse the shelves in the library, it's generally the cover of a book that determines if I'll read it or not. I love when the picture itself seems to tell a story. When choosing fiction, I am drawn to soft drawings; whereas I am turned off by bold, colorful and modern looking pictures, as well as by actual photographs. Ninety-eight percent of the time, if the cover attracts me, I end up really liking the book. Covers rarely fail me.

Today is my blessed day! Bev, over at Scractchin' the Surface, held a book giveaway contest and among the announced winners in today's post was my name. YeeHaw!!! She gave away several books, and I won the one of my choice. I read several blogs (thank God for Google Reader!), and just as I am sure is the case with you, I have a few that are my absolute favorites. Bev is one of those. I always look forward to reading her new posts.

I've not done much knitting lately. When I have little time to knit, or when my concentration level is low (both are the case right now), I turn to baby hats. They're so simple and mindless, and I figure I can never knit too many. Aside from any need I may have for giving them as gifts, there are a multitude of charities out there which appreciate them.

I've been knitting all the baby hats with Lion Brand Microspun, since I had alot of it in my stash. I'm not crazy about how easily it splits, but knowing it's propensity to do that, I am a tad more careful as I knit with it. It's not a big problem, and I just love how soft it feels. I only want to use the softest yarns for sweet little baby heads.
The picture above is another Preemie Spiral Hat in Microspun Buttercup (I do wish LB would make this yarn in pastels). I can't seem to get enough of that pattern. It's easy, and yet the spiral ribbing keeps it from being boring. It's the perfect little project to pick up when I only have small blocks of time to knit.
If you've read the Memory Keeper's Daughter, I'd love to hear your comments-provided you can make them without spoiling the plot for me! :-)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
~2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Charming Day

One of the first places I discovered when our family went "online" ten years ago was the Homeschooler's Curriculum Swap. Since I was still homeschooling my (now grown) daughter at that time, the site intrigued me. At first I assumed by the title that it was merely a place to exchange used curriculum.

I quickly discovered the Swap was about so much more than curriculum. It has a message board forum made up of a warm and friendly group of homeschoolers with likeminded christian values. If you are looking for such a place, whether it be for moral support in your homeschooling venture, expertise and advice of seasoned homeschoolers in making curriculum decisions, or simply a place to make online christian friends with whom you can share and laugh and be yourself, please do stop by. I am sure you will be made to feel as welcome now as I was ten years ago.

Amy, from A Redeemed Sheep, suggested we experiment with having Swappie theme blogging days, where we all post about a particular theme, then sign the Mr. Linky on her blog. We're starting with a charm bracelet theme, which, as it turns out, not too many Swappies own or have ever owned. We'll probably consider a wider appealing subject next time.

If you own or have owned a charm bracelet, even if you're not a Swappie, please consider yourself invited to post and share about it on your blog; a picture, or simply your memories of it. We are not a closed club!

Despite my verbal approval to Amy of this idea, much to my embarrassment, I forgot it was supposed to be today. Worse, as I began to scrounge through jewelry boxes and drawers, my old charm bracelet seemed to be no more!

The first place I looked was in this lovely old chest my grandmother gave me the day of my (bio) dad's funeral. It had belonged to my grandpa, who I don't remember, as he died when I was two. I've always been told that had he lived, I'd have grown up with the name Candy. He dubbed me that, and everyone else followed suit. The name died with him. I can't say I'm sorry about that.

Let's see....there's my old cat eye glasses I wore in elementary school. Well, I was supposed to wear them, but rarely did. There's the little plastic mirror that was part of a set. It was a birthday present one year and I was terribly proud of it. There used to be a matching brush and comb with it.

The plastic box in the upper left corner of the chest has my last set of Jacks and ball in it. I was a Jack playing machine! I could spend hours playing alone or with a friend.

The dainty hankie with the crocheted edge belonged to my Nanny (Mom's mom). She always carried pretty hankerchiefs.

The tiny pink bow next to my Jacks was the one glued to my daughter's head the day we brought her home from the hospital. The nurses tipped me off that K-Y Jelly works great for gluing bows to baby's heads. I discovered that bow in my late husband's wallet when it was returned to me after his accidental death. Someday, I'll give it to my daughter. Though you can't see it in the picture, a small white new testament is in there that was given to her at her birth. I'll probably put the bow in it and present it to her on her wedding day.

My grandfather's old chest was a bust, so I moved on to the drawers of the old treadle Singer sewing machine which used to belong to my hankie carrying Nanny. My mom learned to sew on that machine, and what a seamstress she was until arthritis robbed her of that joy.

The drawer was full of vintage costume jewelry, but no charm bracelet.

Here's my old band medals. Nothing spectucular to see here, so let's move along, folks.

Aha! We're getting somewhere now. Still no charm bracelet, but I did find some of my old charms. Why they aren't with the bracelet is beyond me. The two tiny pics to the left are of my daughter and my son. The gold aspen leaf was one I picked up on a vacation with my folks to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, as a teenager. The Oklahoma one was a token of the state of my birth. I can't remember where I got those others. Well, I ididn't come up with a charm bracelet, but it was fun digging through old mementos today.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

~Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Socks Done!

I feel really good about this pair of socks, primarily because it is my first completed pair of adult socks.

They fit well until after I blocked them. Now they feel a bit loose. My sock blockers aren't the greatest. I saw a tutorial for making your own sock blockers out of a plastic placemat. Being eternally frugal, I figured that was just the ticket for me. I may be frugal, but I'm also impatient. I took a few shortcuts, as in I didn't really follow the steps at all. I just used the 'idea'. I grabbed a pencil, lay one of my completed socks on the placemat, then drew a line around it and cut. One ended up larger than the other. I guess that's okay, though, as one of my feet is a half size larger than the other.

Honestly, I'm not sure I even see the point of sock blockers other than that the socks photograph nicer when on blockers than just lying on a table; and taking a picture of your own feet at a flattering angle isn't a skill I seem to possess. The placemat was only seventy-nine cents at Big Lots, so I may buy another one and try again, just for the sake of pictures.

I also found another 'make your own sock blockers' tutorial using a plastic coated wire coat hanger. I was going to try it but I didn't have any plastic coated wire coat hangers in the house.

No... wire... hangers!

What's this? No gusset hole? That's right, folks, no gusset hole this time. Actually there was a small one on one side of one sock, and a barely persceptible one on the other side of it. This sock has no sign of holes. I guess I just need to practice, since I did everything the same way on both socks.

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I went to my weekly knit night tonight. We seriously need to come up with a name for our group (MICHELLE, hint hint). I started to tell my tornado story (#5 on my meme), when Michelle informed me she'd already heard it, yep, read it on my blog. Now I'm wondering how smart it was to have informed my group I have a blog. Seriously, my life is not exactly a wild ride. If my friends-with-skin read of the little excitement there is in my life, what's left for me to talk about in person? I do good to come up with a little somethin' to blog about on occasion. It's asking too much to come up with knit night conversation fodder as well. I've simply got to get out more.

(kudos to those who got the Joan Crawford reference)

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.

~Romans 12:10 NKJV

So Many Mouths to Feed

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Everywhere I look are hungry little mouths.
I've finished my Magic Stripe socks, but it's been overcast here the last few days. I can get decent indoor shots, but only in my sunroom when the sun is flooding in through the windows.
I used up all my blogging time adding a Picasa web album slideshow to my blog. It's in the sidebar near the bottom. I tried three sizes, and went with the smallest. The third size up was too large to suit me. It seemed to overpower the page. I preferred the second size up, but the pictures were off-centered and I didn't know how to fix that. What would take most of my friends a short amount of time to do, took me ....well...I'm not sayin', but it took me a long time. Computer related stuff does not come easy for me. Pretty much like knitting. ;-)
I'm in the cooking doldrums. It seems like I'm fixing the same old, same old these days. My meal planning needs a shot in the arm. We ordinarily cook burgers on the grill alot in warm weather (Hubby cooked some tonight), but I'd like to get us away from so much red meat. I need chicken and fish recipes, simple ones. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'd be most appreciative!
I've been looking around Ravelry quite a bit this week. I am just now sort of learning my way around there. I'm gradually adding to my notebook, and my queue. I see so many things I want to knit.
Wednesday's over and we're on the downhill side of this week. Be blessed, all!
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
~Colossions 4:5-6

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Feed Me!

Baby Brown Thrasher & it's mother or father-click to enlarge
There is an abundance of baby birds and nests in our yard and neighborhood. I l love this time of year when I can watch all the babies. They hop along after their Mommy or Daddy, mouths wide open, eager to be fed, again and again.
I watch their weary parents and if I could speak their language, I'd tell them, "I know how you feel, I've been there. Trust me, one day soon you'll blink an eye and they'll be grown, flying off to strange lands and faraway places. Then you can rest. Then, you'll look back fondly on those days when they followed you around, making their little (and big) demands, never giving you a moment to yourself, or for yourself".
My young daughter has informed me that it's looking likely she'll be returning to Europe to live. Her boyfriend is waiting on the 'official' word from his employer, the DOD; but the unnofficial word has been given, and it appears they'll be moving to northern England. She's only been back in the states for one year, following her three year stint in Germany. That is where she met her boyfriend, as she was there working on an AF base, also for the DOD. I do wish they'd go ahead and get married, but it doesn't appear it's going to happen anytime soon.
My daughter is very excited about this move. She liked Minneapolis okay, but she's tired of the extreme winters and snow; that, and she has an adventurous spirit. She's not flighty, or one who tends to take off on hairbrained whims. She carefully plans her moves, but she is willing to move...enjoys it.
Nikki wore me out as a child. She was most demanding, and extremely strong willed. There were times, I'll admit, when I just wanted her to be quiet for awhile. An empty nest looked almost appealing at times like that, but she was so endearing, so charming, and so funny, that I never felt that way for long.
I really do miss having her in my nest...our home, but like the Mamma Brown Thrasher I spied feeding her baby outside my bedroom window, I've taught Nikki to take care of herself. Now I have to sit back and watch her soar.

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The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

~Ps. 121:8

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Well, Hello there!

Click on my picture for a close-up
My son went on a Jeep Crawl near Nocona , Texas (think boots), a year or two ago. One of the guy's Jeep turned up a boulder, and this lettle fellow was sitting there. My son said he wasn't so little. Interesting looking, isn't he? Who knows what manner of creatures lurk just below the ground's surface? I think I might not want to know.
I appreciate the kind comments from yesterday's 6 things about me meme. I wrote that late at night...or early in the morning, depending on your perspective. After I crawled in bed, writer's remorse set know, like buyer's remorse. You thought you looked so good in that outfit when looking at yourself in the dressing room mirror. So good that you went ahead and wore the outfit out that night, meaning it was too late to return it after you later saw what you really looked like in it, in your bathroom full length mirror, the one that doesn't tell you just what you want to hear, like the one in the store's dressing room did.
Anyway, I began to regret sharing the things I had, feeling like I made myself sound too pathetic. I was half tempted to get out of bed, start the computer back up, and delete the post. I was so close. I got up the next morning, holding my breath that maybe no one had seen it yet and I could go ahead and delete it, but I had several nice, really nice comments. I decided I'd been silly to regret it. So, from me to you, thank you.
It's Saturday, it's spring, and this is the day which the Lord has made. Let's rejoice and be glad in it, people!
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Friday, May 2, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I've only been blogging since the first of the year. In the beginning, my 100th post seemed eons away, and now I'm nearly there. I've been working on a 100 things post to bore you about me list. It hasn't been easy trying to make my life sound interesting.

This week, Laurie, at For Heaven's Sake, tagged me with a mini-meme. Seems I have to come up with six things about myself that you might not know. I guess it's a good warm-up for my 100 things post, so I will good naturedly oblige.

  • 1) I have been painfully shy all my life. I'm less so now. Social situations are still very awkward for me, though. I never know what to say. I am getting better, though. It seems the deeper my relationship with God grows, and the more like Him I become, the more confidence I gain.
  • 2) I nearly drowned when I was 5 years old. My brother, not even 8 years old, saw my hair floating at the pond's surface, and swam over and saved me. My life would have ended that day if not for my brother.
  • 3) I grew up terrified of the dark. I slept with my head under the covers until I married at 19. I still don't like being home alone at night, but the terror is no longer there. God's angels are encamped around about me. They were then, too, I just didn't know it then.

  • 4)My vision is very, very bad. If I had to wear glasses, even with the modern advancements made with the featherlight lenses, mine would be thick as Coke bottle bottoms. I guess that may not mean much to some of you youngin's who've grown up drinking your soft drinks from a can, and not a glass bottle. Thank God for contact lenses!

  • 5) I survived a tornado when I was about 3 years old. It didn't hit our house, but it demolished everything around us. I remember my mom putting me under the mattress of our daybed. I'm sure I remember her putting a straw in my mouth that protruded out of the edge of the mattress so I could breathe. Mom insists that didn't happen (the straw). Maybe as I was struggling to breath under that mattress, I was thinking what a good idea a really long straw would be.

  • 6) I once had both legs run over by a car. It was my dad. He even stopped the car and got out when he heard me screaming, while the car was parked on my legs. There seems to be a negative theme going here. I don't think I sound very interesting, but I do sound like someone blessed to be alive.

  • I was also broadsided by a large gravel truck loaded with gravel (I know I already hit # 6, but I'm on a roll now, so bear with me!). I was 16 and the ink was barely dry on my new drivers license. My parents Ford LTD (also new) was not quite totalled, much to my parents dismay. I was unhurt.

  • Once when my kids were small, I was driving us back to Dallas where we lived at the time, in my little Ford Escort. It was a dark stretch of highway with frequent little side roads. Out of the blue, a pick-up came barreling onto the highway from one of those roads. I had no time to stop. I hollered for the Lord to help us and I hit my brakes. I knew we were going to plow into the side of him. At 55 mph, we wouldn't have stood much chance. Miraculously, we only clipped his back bumper (he kept going!). Our car spun completely around and landed in a sandy side ditch. No damage, except to my nerves! Nikki in her carseat, never even woke. I think her older brother may have peed his pants, though.

  • Last one, I promise. I know I'm stretching the rules. Hubby and Nikki (dd) and I were traveling back from Colorado one fall, driving on a two lane highway. I think we were in New Mexico at the time. About the same time, Hubby (who was driving) and I saw that a pickup pulling a trailer was coming toward us in our lane. That driver had failed to navigate how much time he had to pass the pickup pulling a trailer in the other lane.
  • My instinct, had I been driving (and thank God I wasn't), would have been to pull off to our right side of the road. Hubby grit his teeth and held his ground. Praise God, he did, for the man in our lane pulled to his left to avoid hitting us. We drove right down the middle of the two trucks and trailers. We then pulled off the road to get clean underwear out of our luggage.

If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day May Day, Recipe Box Swap!

swap blogpost

It's the first Thursday, so it must be Recipe Box Swap Day! The monthly Recipe Box Swap is Randi's brainchild, at i have to say... . At the bottom of her luscious looking lemon bar recipe today is Mr. Linky with the names and recipes of everyone participating in the swap this month. Keep checking back, as that list will continue to grow in the next few days. If you've not been to Randi's blog before, you're in for a treat. She's a sweetheart, and she's super talented and creative!

The first recipe is a cookie I've baked countless times over the years. I first started baking Snickerdoodles when I was a young teen. I can't remember who I copied the recipe from, but I think it was my dad's mom.

I still have the sheet of stationery on which I hand copied it. The pale blue sheet has yellowed with age, and is covered with stains. The pencil writing is barely legible in places. The writing is loopy and flowery, as if a young teen girl wrote it..which she (I)did. No doubt, I could find the same recipe or one quite similar throughout the internet or in other cookbooks, but I always pull out this one when we want Snickerdoodles. There's something comforting about things which are old and familiar.
I got the recipe for Aunt Jo's Cream Cheese bars from Aunt Jo, obviously. I may have to whip up a batch this week. Yum!
Aunt Jo's not really my aunt. She's my stepbrothers' aunt. I think she's everyone's aunt. If you met her, you'd want her to be your aunt. She's a zany, nutty character who's entire life has been a series of comical events, most of which were comical by accident rather than intent. She just does funny things.
Some of Aunt Jo's escapades have been near disastrous, such as the time she took a wrong turn at DFW airport and ended up driving around on a runway. Talk about some upset airport personnel! She just laughed. All who know her, know her as someone who is always laughing. Some day, I'll devote a post just to her, and tell some of my "Aunt Jo" stories. Every family gathering generally includes at least a dozen of them. Though we've heard them many times, and told them many times, we still always laugh until we cry. She's a card, I tell you. And now, for the recipes...
Mix together:
  • 1 cup soft shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
Sift together and stir in:
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chill dough
Roll into balls the size of small walnuts
Roll balls in a mixture of ...
  • 2 TBSP sugar & 2 tsp cinnamon
Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 400 degrees 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned
While baking, they puff up at first, then flatten out and crinkle
Cream Cheese Bars

By hand, mix together until crumbly:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1 yellow packaged cake mix

Press into a 9" x 13" baking pan

Mix together:

  • 1 16oz box powdered (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 8oz package softened cream cheese
  • 2 eggs

Spread over the top of the mixture in the baking pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Let cool completely before slicing

Hubby and I pulled our 5th wheel up to Minnesota last fall. On our way back down the map, we stopped over in this small town in Iowa to set up camp overnight in their city park. If I recall, it only cost us $10 to park there overnight, and that included water and electricity. I thought this old water tower was rather quaint looking. I think it made a nice picture with the bright red tower against the beautiful blue autumn sky.
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