Welcome to Friday Favorites #10! As usual, I have a few stories and pictures to tuck in! And my favorite links for the week will be embedded right into the stories.
Today my daughter Naomi and I drove over to our former church to deliver books to be sold at the big used curriculum sale tomorrow. It was lunch time and we were quite hungry (yes, I know, poor planning) so when we stopped at the gas station, we picked up some hot dogs and soda to munch on before going to Aldi for groceries. She is a really terrific shopper. I rarely buy groceries without her because she has a good sense of what we have at home and what we need for meals. Besides that, she is just plain fun to be around!
After the curriculum sale tomorrow, we are going to a nearby pool for a small family reunion with Thad's aunt and uncle, two of his cousin's kids, another of his cousin's family, two of his sisters, two nieces, our own ten children, my son-in-law and my grandson. Did I say small reunion? Oops. That's 25 people right there! (See our last get together here:
More Weekend Gratitude, This Time in Pictures with a Recipe for Bread Pudding.)
Anyway, we're supposed to bring our own lunch and a snack to share, so Naomi and I were debating what kind of snacks to buy. I grabbed some tortilla chips and cookies, and she suggested Pringles potato chips in a can. I never buy Pringles, but occasionally she does with her spending money. I had a funny flashback to childhood when one of my own cousins, at a small family reunion, had a major hissy fit because one of her Pringles potato chips was broken. Mind you, normal potato chips that come in a bag are often broken by the time you even open the package. But we have this expectation of Pringles. They come in a can, sheltered in that perfect round tube. They are not supposed to be broken before we eat them! And my mind leaps to the metaphor of how when we shelter our children, we have expectations that they will be completely whole. (Let's not stretch the metaphor to "before we eat them.") And yet we are humans. Humans get all broken inside. Rules meant to shelter us can sometimes suffocate us or break us instead. Sigh. A friend wrote to me recently, "We home schooled and did all the "right" things and yet it is not the picture we had in mind for our children. I guess God has a path for us that we will not understand this side of heaven." Oh, I wish everyone would realize that home schooling is not the answer to life's problems. Neither is doing all the "right things." We are all broken, but some of us don't realize it yet because we're too busy to conforming to the rules that promise us perfection. I do long for heaven, when I can see how it all works out. The stories we will tell of grace and redemption! All of this also relates to a blog post I wrote on my main blog this morning, which you can read here: A Sacred Romance in the Deeper Places of Our Hearts. I do hope you'll take a peek at it. It's a good one. Anyway, just the nostalgia of remembering my cousin's temper tantrum compelled me to buy a can of Pringles. We'll see what happens tomorrow... If something is broken...
Since Father's Day is coming, I also wanted to buy ingredients for a special breakfast for my husband Thad. We'd been buying all of this picnic junk food, so I wanted it to be something healthy. He likes healthy. I spotted a jar of apple sauce on the shelf and remembered I had just read a recipe for Multi-Grain Pumpkin Muffins on one of my favorite blogs (by Sheri Graham). I already have a can of pumpkin in the cupboard, so I figure that will be just the thing for Sunday morning. Naomi is not fond of pumpkin (I like to make Pumpkin Streusel Muffins and Peach Pumpkin Muffins). She protested, getting her tongue twisted in the process, "Puffin mumpkins! I don't like those!" Puffin mumpkins! I like that garbled phrase. We shall have to always call them that, much like we call gingerbread "zinzerbread" because a little girl who visited us once called it that. Naomi also doesn't like Banana Cake, so whenever I make a batch, I always make some without bananas. We call it "No-Nana Cake." I assured her I will do the same this time, making some pumpkin muffins and some blueberry. And I'll make some sausage quiche. Sounds like a plan to me! And since we're talking healthy food, I should also say that I bought plenty of fruit (frozen berry mix, fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, etc.) for a fruit salad for our picnic, too. Honest, I did!
Also while we were at Aldi, we saw a display for a wasp trap. Apparently the wasp flies into it and can't get out. Sounds like the song "Hotel California" to me: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." They were only $3.99 and we have a bunch of wasp nests right outside our front door, so I bought one and hung it up just about a foot from three or four nests.
The wasps were buzzing right on one of the nests as I hammered in the hook. I think one was fanning the nest dry as they were building it with mushed up wood pulp. They have no idea of the new "digs" I have planned for them. Pre-fab plastic, no chewing or fanning required. Hey, why don't you move in right now? :-)
Another kind of wasp or insect (my son says a mud dauber) built its nest right on the leaf of the potted tree just below the other nests. What's funny is that it is an artificial tree.
And what's even funnier is that I found a grasshopper on a branch of the same tree, at least five feet off the ground. I wonder if he is disappointed to have climbed so far up and then realize that the tree is inedible. But he didn't seem to be in any hurry to go find some real food. He's still clinging to the tree! I guess he's still luckier than the grasshopper I stepped on this morning when I stepped out the door.
Well, we do like real food around here, and sometimes we grow a little of our own, though I am a black thumb when it comes to that. Thad had mentioned seeing an upside down planter for growing tomatoes without having to worry about weeds or grasshoppers, and they had them at Aldi for $4.99 so we bought one of those, too. I've been told fresh from the vine tomatoes are heavenly to taste. I don't eat fresh tomatoes, but I'll bet my husband will enjoy them. Come to think of it, though, if that grasshopper managed to climb the artificial tree, he might just find a way to get to my hanging tomatoes, too!
Well, I guess that's all the stories for right now in this post, but here is another link that has stories in it, too: The Impulsive Decorator's Room Redo #1: The Front Hallway
Oh, and lest I forget, since I am linking this to Ann Kroeker's Food on Friday blog meme, here is the link to her most recent post, too! Food on Fridays: Easy Chocolate Pudding. Got a blog post even remotely related to food? Link up and join the fun!