Thursday, April 30, 2009

how'd ya discover that you ask

If you have someone put a golf ball in their hand and then they roll it on your back as a type of massage. Yeah. That's nice.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

a simple prayer

Dear Lord,
Please keep your arm around my shoulders
and your hand over my mouth.

haiku for a friend

You probably remember learning how to write haiku poems in grade school. The first line has five syllables, the second has seven, the last line again has five. Laura always writes "bad haiku" on Fridays. Hers always give me a chuckle and I will occasionally contribute.
This morning I awoke thinking about a friend of mine and immediately (why, I don't know?) there was a haiku spilling out of my thoughts. So, here 'tis.

You know who you are.
Beautiful doesn't come close
To describe your looks.
Peach is your best friend.
Your new haircut is smashing.
I'm happy for you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

concept: spring cleaning

This is sad and embarrassing to admit, but I am getting so tired of my living room and the furniture in it and the color of the walls in my dining room and the way my butler's pantry is wasted space. I want one of those houses from the pages of a magazine where there is only "staged" clutter such as a pair of flip flops near an ottoman or a glass of wine and a half eaten cracker on a table near the couch. My reality is that there are shoes everywhere (admittedly I'm the worst about it), the dining room table is covered with papers, and while there may be half eaten crackers, they are usually near an upside down sippy cup.
I know it's ridiculous to even worry about it. On one hand, I love things that stay the same. Like when I visit my grandparents' home, things rarely change there. The furniture stays in the same arrangement, the pictures hang in their respective places. The guest rooms are painted the same color as always. The sheets on one of the beds, the ones that have always gone with the bed in there, are so dreamy. If you ask me what the softest thing in the world is, I'd take you to their house and let you feel those sheets. It is comforting to be greeted by things that are consistent.
On the other hand, in my own home, I spend so much time within these four walls, looking at the same amount of clutter that seems to accumulate in no time flat, vacuuming the same floors, moving the same furniture around to clean under. Dusting (occasionally) the same surfaces. It's all so UNexciting and I want lotsa change.
I understand that I sound like a spoiled brat and I'll get over it all..., but to do so, I really have to be honest, and see it all written down like this. I guess that's why the concept of "spring cleaning" was invented - to give sad, tired, hausfraus like me a fresh look at her nest.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a little slice of heaven for my sweet middle child

Well, just in case the sun shone a little bit brighter for you today I know why. Number three, my precious girl, who is as tender as baby lettuce, whose shoulders wilt at the drop of a hat, and who used to meet each sunrise with a smile as big as all outdoors but sadly notsomuch anymore (jaded by life as the middle child) began horseback riding lessons this afternoon.
The lesson began this evening at six. It takes about 40 minutes to get out to the stable. She kept counting down the minutes until it was time to leave. She was so adorable in her black t-shirt, jeans, and black cowboy hat (that's "cowgirl hat" for any of you who might be steeped in political correctness). I took a picture of her with my cell phone while I was driving and haven't looked yet to see if it turned out well or not.
She had a BLAST. Her instructor, a friend of mine, did a fabulous job of teaching her each thing, from horse safety to being comfortable atop the horse.
The greatest thing for me though, was the whole way home. On the phone with my mom, who basically lived at the stables when she was this age, she left no detail out, from the hoof cleaning to the final dismount. She held out her hands as if she were still holding the reins and told mom all about how she made the horse go left and then right. She wiggled around in the front seat of the car as she described how she got in and out of the saddle. Just in case mom could see through the phone lines, I suppose. Adorable!
I am so thrilled that we have the opportunity to allow this animal-lovin' girl, whose favorite animal is horse to learn to ride. What scares me is not that she is going to fall head over heels into all-things-equestrian, but that I am going to have to become like Black Bart and hold up a few Wells Fargo wagons to be able to pay for it all!

for moms over forty

Two words:
Always. Infinity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

caution: clean floors ahead

Thanks for recommending a Miele to me, Rachel. This thing is phenomenal on our wood floors. I'm just hoping it will spur on a whole 'lotta cleaning this Spring (and beyond).
ps- Ten year warranties rock!

From their site: Miele is a German manufacturer of high quality domestic appliances and machines for commercial applications. The company was founded more than 108 years ago in 1899 by Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann and has always been a family-owned, family-run company.Miele aims to manufacture the highest-quality domestic appliances and commercial equipment in the world and to be seen by markets worldwide as providing an absolutely top-class household product.In the words of our founding fathers, Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann, "Success is only possible in the long term if one is totally and utterly convinced of the quality of one's products." Therefore, continuous innovation is the foundation of our business success.The customer, for whom we provide first-class products and services, is at the center of attention. Thanks to this company philosophy which focuses on the dynamic development of quality and technology, the Miele brand is now identified with unsurpassed product quality.

dispelling myths

Tofu! Scary, right? Nah, 'tis nothing to be afraid of. Trust me. I ate it for lunch and am having leftovers for dinner.

I cubed and sauteed an onion, two zucchini, threw in some garlic, some salt, and a good healthy dose of basil. Then while that was getting started, I cubed the tofu (firm) and tossed it in there after the veggies started to get soft and produced some liquid. I let it continue cooking until most of the liquid was cooked off.

The kids were very curious about how it would taste and once the first one was brave enough to try, they all "fell" and ended up loving it. I was sort of hoping they'd hate it and I wouldn't have to share.

Anyhoo. Tofu. Bean curd. The brunt of many jokes. Takes on the taste of whatever flavor you put it with. I prefer serving it with Mediterranean flavors. mmmm... darned tasty.

think you're so smart, huh?

If you think you know what these are, you are probably wrong. I know you want to call them chopsticks, but according to number 4, they are "porkchopsticks".
Now you know.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Just ordered a very special ring to mark a very special occasion for a very special young lady in my life. The folks at this company are a real pleasure to speak with and do business with.

so far so good

Ok, despite the fact that my diet has been, let's say, "vegetable-laden" I am managing fairly well. I did treat myself to orange-marmalade topped salmon for lunch the other day and it turned out pretty tasty. Though all the marmalade slipped off in the microwave it still gave the fish a hint of orange. I made some pretty "kickin" gingered carrot soup as well as a smoooooth black bean and barley soup. Finally, the salads have rocked as I top them with Craisins, mozzarella cheese, an occasional handful of cashews, and Asian dressing.

I have found two tricks to keep me from running into the kitchen and desperately getting into the meatloaf leftovers: creativity and planning. Thinking about which spices would work well with which veggies and having meals ready BEFORE I get hungry is going to be the key if I have any success at all on this thing. Garlic, as you may have guessed, is the universal trump card, but I am also enjoying my beloved basil, ginger, cumin, and tarragon.

Also, a refreshing surprise, is that I haven't gotten that "oh-my-gosh-if-I-don't-eat-this-second-I'm-gonna-eat-one-of-the-children" feelings. My nearly 35 years of dieting has already taught me that eliminating refined sugar from my diet will keep me from having those low blood sugar moments. What I didn't expect, from years of studying, but not necessarily always following, low carb, was that the massive amounts of vegetables aren't wreaking havoc with my blood sugar.

Getting used to my diet being comprised of vegetables and limited meats has been a challenge in other ways, too, gastrically speaking. This has taught me another handy dandy little trick, inspired from naughty little Peter Rabbit.

Do you remember what happened after he sneaked into Farmer McGregor's garden and ate all the lettuces, French beans, and radishes? "And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley." Parsley! Yes! OHHHH yes! Let's just say it has saved me from some rawther embarrassing situations. Not only that, it is the perfect accoutrement to black bean and barley soup!

I'm not sure if I can tell any difference yet. I'm trying to be patient, after all, it's only Day 4. I am still getting the occasional hive. I still feel 'bloaty', but that may be hormonal. I did notice the skin on my face looked nicer than normal this morning. So, off I go then. Today's menu: sauteed collard greens with olive oil and garlic, yellow squash, and toasted Ezekiel bread drizzled with olive oil and rosemary.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

pirates, putt-putt, prawns, pudge: a pictoral walk through our vacation

Pirate's House, Savannah, GA

Number 5 playing Putt Putt
boiled shrimp w/ Old Bay seasoning

Lettin' it all hang out, the whole famdamily - Hilton Head Island, SC

day one

On the way to the beach, I was reading a magazine article that asked: How much time do you spend thinking about your weight & your health?

eek. The question took me aback. The reality of how much mental energy versus physical energy I put into worrying about my weight is shocking. Embarassing even.

For several months now, I have needed to get back into the routine I had going this past summer. I long for that exercise groove I was in: Exercising and eating right.

So, today is Day 1 of my latest attempt to climb on the wagon to health and wellness. I keep waiting for it to become a way of life. Yet, for some freaky reason, it continues to seem like punishment.

I have battled hives for several years now, and have pinned down the three things I think trigger the allergic reaction: sugar, preservatives, caffeine. As expensive as it may be, I am going to make an attempt to eat fresh fruits & veggies and limit my meat consumption to fish and occasional poultry. I have never liked pork (causes me to retain fluid) so that won't be any skin off my nose. Beef only tempts me in two forms: hamburger or filet mignon.

A couple of years ago I tried this way of eating and lost 7 lbs in a week! "Why didn't you continue?" you ask. I'm not sure I know the answer. What's more, I'm not sure I can "turn off" what causes me to sabotage myself.

even a glimmer

Happy Easter!
Sometimes I am overwhelmed at the gift that Christ is. Hard to imagine, especially on those days when I am not feeling my best, when my self-esteem is in the toilet, but when I try to even get an inkling of how much I am loved by my Creator, it is unimaginable.
Our church's bulletin contained these enriching thoughts today, which I agree are worth contemplating:
The highest aim in life: to know God and to do His will
The most enriching good habit: complimenting others
The most destructive bad habit: worry
The greatest joy: giving
The most satisfying work: helping others
The ugliest personality trait: selfishness
The most endangered species: dedicated leaders
The greatest natural resource: our youth
The ugliest look: a frown
The greatest "shot in the arm": encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome: fear
The most effective sleeping pill: peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease: excuses
The surest way to limit God: unbelief
The most powerful force in life: love
The most dangerous piranha: a gossiper
The greatest life-giver: Our Creator
The world's most incredible computer: the brain
The worst thing to be without: hope
The deadliest weapon: the tongue
The two most power-filled words: "I can"
The greatest asset: faith
The most worthless emotion: self-pity
The most beautiful attire: a smile
The most prized possession: self-esteem
The most powerful channel of communication: prayer
The most contagious spirit: salvation
The greatest attribute of Jesus: obedience
The greatest: God!
I wish you and your family a very Happy Easter season in which you get a glimmer of God's amazing love for you.


Friday, April 3, 2009

a simple thought

We are taking the kids to the beach. For a week! I cannot wait. The main thing I am looking forward to is seeing King relaxed. He has needed this. I just hope he can truly leave work behind for most of the time we are there.

Soooo, all one of you who rides herd on me for not posting more frequently, I will leave you with this meaty thought to chew on:

No fair complaining about having to bear a cross that you strapped yourself to.

It's one thing if you are having to endure a God given cross. But (and I am also addressing myself here) to whine and complain about how hard it is to juggle all the kids activities, moving to a new house, etc etc etc, all of which are optional activities, nah. No fair.