Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And It Drops...AGAIN

the temperature. In typical Minnesota fashion, our January thaw....that being the week or so of temperatures that were only sub-freezing vs sub-zero...is officially over. We're back to single digits with sub-zero wind chill. ISH!

So, the temps take a nose dive and what does one do? Well, Sunday, we made Monster Cookies (and watched the Vikes with friends give away their Superbowl spot). Monday it was blueberry muffins and tacos. Today, corned beef and cabbage. Tomorrow...reuben soup with rye croutons.
Thursday? Who knows.

I'm just not sure my jeans are in a position to handle more Minnesota temperature drops.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wacky Hair Day

Today at my girls' elementary school, it is wacky hair day...held in conjunction with Vikings spirit day (given the playoff game on Sunday). They are not only allowed to show spirit, they're encouraged to do so.

My middle daughter did her hair at a friend's house this morning, as they wanted to match. I have no idea how she looks (and I might just be a little scared if I did so I'm going with an "ignorance is bliss" mantra). My youngest allowed me to do her hair. Given this daughter and her propensity for being just slightly over the top...ahem.. I think we found the right balance, yes?:

Note...must have her wash hair before she goes to bed tonight if I don't want purple and gold pillowcases...ahem.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Missing Peace

Take 2. I say that because my first draft my husband suggested I sit on for a few days. Not for accuracy. But just to give me time to think about it. He was right. His suggestion was echoed at church on Sunday with the reading from Philippians 1:27 "Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Take 1, I'm ashamed to admit, did not. So, this is a rework.

Have you ever tried to put together a jig-saw puzzle when there is one piece missing? Let's say that piece wasn't missing...that you have one piece left in your hand but you are told that it will only fit the puzzle if you turn it over. So, you scratch your head because the back side of the puzzle does not fit the picture but you assume that YOU are the one who has erred. And you twist and turn the piece positive that it will fit. Most people, long before now would have said, no, this doesn't make sense and turned the piece over and found VOILA!!!!
It's taken several weeks for me to accept the truth, but I have finally turned that piece over found the missing piece. The picture is now complete. And it makes sense.

I have found my Missing Peace. And it's a little bittersweet as I received a Christmas card wishing me "deep peace", and for that to happen, which I think it has, I had to accept an ugly truth...one that I have fought against. I don't do peace well unless I can fit pieces together. Luckily He seemed to understand this need in me to resolve things. He has a plan. Trust Him. This goes back to Wednesday's post, Proverbs 16:9
"In his heart a mans plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps". We have our wants. We have our "needs". But He determines what is in our best interest. When I think about what I need from people in my life I think my needs are fairly simple. I think, first and foremost, I need to treat and be treated according to the golden rule. "Do unto others AS YOU WOULD HAVE them do unto you." I want honesty, I give honesty. I want fairness, I give fairness. I want strength of character, I try to be strong in my own character. I want loyalty, so I am unswervingly loyal in return. I don't do well with hypocrisy or cowardice. Have I set the bar too high? Maybe. Or maybe I am no longer willing to settle for less than I give...less than I deserve. Am I perfect? NO! Far from it. I know where I have inadequacies and I struggle with them daily...even hourly. But as I am not perfect, neither do I expect perfection from others.

Whatever the reason...whether I'm right or wrong (which I will readily concede, I could be), I am at peace. Finally.

So, what is The Missing Peace?...I ran across this poem about 10 years ago and it has always resonated, lately more so than ever:

I used to get quite anxious when my life just didn't fit,
the pattern I imagined when I planned it bit by bit.
I used to search the world to find the missing "piece" to me;
then God revealed His Love and Life by dying on a tree.
Now when twists and turns - life's puzzles - test me without cease,
I open up my heart and then I find....The Missing Peace.

Monday, January 18, 2010

SKOL Vikings!!!

Wow, yesterday was crazy! A good crazy. I went to early service at church by myself (more later on that) and came home to my husband and kids cleaning the house! CRAZY! How often does that happen?

We had the ILs and friends come over to watch the Vikings TROUNCE the 'Boys. I'd like to say I saw something of the first half, but I didn't. Between making the Bloody Mary's (ours require a "side salad"), putting out the shrimp salsa, making a chicken version of crack and put out some steamed tortillas and blue corn chips with which to partake in the crack, a veggie tray, a cheese tray...thinking that would be enough, I didn't get a chance to see anything after the kickoff. By time everyone arrived, along with the above we had BBQ weenies, deviled eggs, pickle wraps, guacamole and massive quantities of Buffalo Wild wings. The last half, though...I saw it all. It was AWESOME!

Then, we got a Wii bowling tournament going. Holy Buckets was that ever fun! I think there was more talking SMACK during bowling than during the game. Cabelas Big Game Hunter came out and THEN the kids got into the act. People left, people came back...the house was like a revolving door of good friends!

I think it was close to 11 when everyone eventually left. But that was fine. It was the perfect ending of a perfect day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Proverbs Wednesday

My youngest came home from Awana's with her bible all tabbed and I was jealous! It's all color tabbed with red being the Pentateuch...5 books. (of course, those are the first 5 books). Orange is history...the history of God's chosen people. Yellow is poetry and wisdom. I have recently delved into this section and have found it UNBELIEVABLY comforting. Green are prophets. Purple are the gospels. Blue are letters.

This past Sunday, while reading one of the suggested verses, I was again taken aback, as if it was speaking directly to me in Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a mans plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps"

I'm finding the Lord is beating me upon the head with a path He has chosen, and I am resisting. Like my youngest when she throws a tantrum (but much less physical), I am finding my life would be SO much easier if I would just obey(thank Andrea, for helping me see the light).

If only I could subscribe a bit more fully to the Star Trek adage..."resistance is futile", my life would be filled with much less angst.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hoar Frost

I hate Minnesota in January. Seriously. It's usually way too cold to do anything outside. You end up feeling like the winter is going to go on forevah! But...the one saving grace is that we occasionally get a January thaw. OH...NOT thaw like, say a nice sirloin...where all ice crystals are gone and it's warm to the touch. NO...not that. Thaw as in your car starts (in the garage) on the first try. Thaw as in, you can walk out to the mailbox without gloves and not lose a finger. Thaw as in you CAN shove the children outside (appropriately dressed of course) and not be arrested for child endangerment. That kind of thaw.

This morning, we got our January thaw. Or what I have come to recognize as a January thaw. That being the first hoar frost of the season. It looks cold because it IS still cold.
Still, if every now and then Mother Nature chose to throw us a bone...or at least a breathtaking picture, maybe we could handle winter with a little more pleasant attitude. Maybe.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies...A Window to the Soul?

After having set on my bedside table for well over a year, yesterday I picked up Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love". I'm not sure why I resisted it for so long because I am finding it very entertaining.
I especially like how she starts chapter 6 with..."Because God never slams a door in your face without opening a box of Girl Scout cookies (or however the old adage goes)" as a way of kicking off her 3-I adventure. EVER familiar with the adage, I spent last night ruminating about Girl Scout Cookies (and it's not even "the season" yet) and how like a window they are to people. Or maybe just me.

If you were to put every variety of GSC in front of me, I would choose only one variety: Trefoils. They are my cookie of choice because of their simplicity. Butter, sugar, flour (maybe a touch of vanilla or almond flavoring). Nothing fancy, nothing overt. Just a cookie that I can depend on to give me peace...either late in the evening with a cup of Good Earth tea, or in the afternoon, grabbing something quick to hold me over and satisfy a need without giving me a huge sugar rush.

Please, those of you who need your Tag-a-longs, or Samoas, or Do-si-dos...this is NOT an indictment on you. It just that I do not NEED nor want all that "extra" stuff in my GSC. Maybe it's because I do so much baking
(see Snickers cookies) and I prefer softer cookies, sometimes with all that extra stuff , the cookie gets lost. Or maybe I get lost in the cookie. Hmmmm.....

I will, when ordering GSC, throw in a box of Thin Mints and occasionally the Lemon Creams. The mints because they ARE what GSC's are all about. The icon. How can one not buy an icon? But the reality is that they will not get eaten at the same pace (or even close) as the Trefoils. And the Lemon Creams...because sometimes, I need the zing they offer. A little change of pace. Not over the top. Something to say I am not so unbending that I won't accept an alternative.

Or maybe it just comes down to: I am not a sweet person. And if you choose to, you can change the emphasis on that statement and be fairly accurate. I'm a fair person. I'm an honest person. I'm a loyal person. But sweet? No, I don't think so. So, too much sweetness (of one variety or another) spurns a rebellion in me. It makes me something I'm not. But isn't that true for everyone? Too much sugar and even the most well behaved people (children) behave like heathens. By the same token, not enough sweetness can also turn people into something they're not. I think the key here is balance. I find my balance with Trefoils.

So, what does your choice in Girl Scout Cookie say about you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

So, y'all know that I've had a crappy 2009...butI'mnotgoingtotalkaboutthat...in my mono-blog (OK...my daughter showed me Taylor Swift's Monologue Song so I had to do it). But 2010 is already looking up. Let me tell you how it has started.

My sister was spending Christmas this year with her boyfriend in Washington state. He had sent us a BIG box of REALLY YUMMY gourmet chocolates/truffles. I still needed to send her gift to Washington, and oh, what a coincidence, her (and his) gift fit perfectly in the same peanut filled box he had sent. I was being OH SO clever, and green...reuse, recycle...all that stuff right? But I took it a notch higher. The box he had sent me was square, so when I resent it to him, I happened to write a few choice words on the inside flaps...OH, I don't remember EXACTLY what, totally innocent mind you, but apparently it was taken completely out of context. In his mind, I had thrown down the gauntlet.

I spoke to my sister a day or so before Christmas and learned she was headed to Vancouver Canada to visit his parents for Christmas Day and I casually asked her if she happened across them, could she send me some Smarties as I can't get them here.

So, fast forward a couple weeks, to today, when my sister calls me and asks if I have received "the box" yet. SO innocuous was the mailing *I* had sent that I had completely forgotten, and I responded, no, no other boxes than her Christmas box. Then, it hit me. UH OH. What had I done?

I had to go pick up my son from school and checked the front porch for the tell-tale brown square box and was relieved that no, no box had arrived. Then, on a whim, I walked to the front porch and to my chagrin, yes, nice Mr. Postman HAD left me a package from Washington state. I lifted the priority box only to hear a very distinct shifting of "items". From the weight of the box...very heavy items.

I took said box to the kitchen and retrieved a knife to open the box, thinking..."he surely did NOT send me rocks...NO ONE spends $10.35 to send a box of rocks halfway across the country". I held my breath and slowwwlllyyy opened the flap on the white box, only to collapse into a fit of laughter.
The box contained, what had to be close to 15 lbs of Smarties. Want to see what 15 lbs(or so...I haven't actually measured it) of Smarties looks like?

That bag sitting on top of that bowl that is FILLED (no crumpled up paper to make it look like the bowl is filled) weighted 4.6 lbs. Thus my guess of about 15 lbs of Smarties. This didn't just make me smile, it made me laugh out loud, something I haven't done a lot of lately butI'mnotgoingtotalkaboutthat.

So...gauntlet, thrown. Face, squarely hit.

All I can say is...Bring it!

PS Bruce...you DO know that this is lutefisk country right?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Once in a Blue Moon

So, along with last night being the end of what was, for me, a REALLY.SUCKY.YEAR, it was also a blue moon. For those not familiar with a blue moon, it's when there is the SECOND full moon in a calendar month. Funny enough, I DO remember the last blue moon on New Years Eve, and it was 19 years ago, Dec. 31, 1990 (as a math major, I've had a few issues with the math of this and have been saying it was 20 years ago. It wasn't.)

So, where was I the last time a blue moon fell on New Years Eve? Tahoe City, CA. My then boyfriend (now husband), myself and several co-workers had rented a condo in Tahoe City for the entire season and rang in 1991 there. There was a group of about 8 of us who went to dinner at a restaurant on Lake Tahoe. Ah, to be young and single...
Those were the days when I paid a fortune to have my hair spiral permed, only to find out 20 years later...My hair does that all on its own! When I thought nothing of paying $30 ever 3 weeks to have my acrylic nails filled. When black suede skirts were a necessity in any SINK's* wardrobe. And will you check out that mullet AND Fu Manchu 'stash my husband is sporting. Down girls...he's taken.

So fast forward 19 years. The nails and hair are gone (ok...my nails, his hair). I no longer own anything in my wardrobe that needs to be dry cleaned (it's just not worth it). All in all, we're the same people. Married 17 years. Have 4 children. And on any given Sunday, pretty happy with who we have become.

Luck like that comes around once in a blue moon.

*SINK...Single Income No Kids