Sunday, October 28, 2012
by John R. Leax
from his book Grace is Where I Live
This place that claims my midlife
labor is not an Eden I have made.
It is a place of trial.
My hope resides in yielding
to what calls me still to stay.
No charming serpent curls
about my arm and whispers
in my ear. But I am tempted
nonetheless. Like Homer
I take the stories of my people,
I give them shape, and hand
them down. What I pass on
is truth made new--half-truth
spun through kind invention.
The world I make is finer
than the world I know. How else
contain the bitterness, the pain,
the grief? I have not lied.
I say my words; I seek
the wholeness of the world.
Like Homer I am blind.
I see what is not here.
I see this place by word
and grace a new creation.
That word is what I've found.
That grace is where I live.
Blitz-skimming through Google Reader, I found a review of a different book by Leax and recognized his name as the poet of "What I Have Found" which I read a few years ago. My e-mail account is a virtual file cabinet of things I have tucked away or shared, so it was easy enough to find. I had sent this one to a cousin.
Read it carefully! What do you think it means? Is it talking about authors and story-tellers only? Or can it be for mothers-who-create-beauty-and-order-in-chaos as well?
Leave a comment!
P.S. I am a poet, too. Here is the index of some of my poems, which are linked on a few of my blogs. Feel free to leave a comment on them, too!
Friday, October 19, 2012
My 11 year old daughter and I decided to make a special breakfast for my husband recently since has was going out of town for a few days visiting family and friends.
Our menu: pigs in blankets, cinnamon balls, omelet, waffles (from a box), and fresh fruit salad. I bought most of the ingredients at Aldi.
For the pigs in blankets, we took a bag of 40 cocktail sausages and three cans of jumbo flaky biscuits. We split each uncooked biscuit into two layers (that's why we used the flaky ones), and wrapped a piece around each cocktail sausage, pinching one edge to seal. These baked on cookie sheets in the oven at 375 until brown and not doughy. (Not just for breakfast! I think pigs in blankets are even more commonly used as party appetizers. You can also throw cocktail sausages in a crock pot with Hawaiian sauce!)
left over after I used up the bag of sausage. Rather than bake them plain, I decided to make cinnamon balls. I've never tried it, and didn't have or even need a recipe. I simply melted a half stick of butter in the microwave in a glass pie pan. Then I added a tablespoon of ground cinnamon and a quarter cup of brown sugar and mixed it in. Then I divided each biscuit into four pieces and rolled them into balls. I coated them with the mixture in the pie pan, then baked at 375 until cooked through. Then I tossed them around in the pan to coat with the excess sauce. Yum! I should make these with a whole container of biscuits next time, because they went fast! I think these may be similar to monkey bread, but I'm not sure.
|Daddy's plate had two pigs in one blanket|
What do you do for special breakfasts?
P.S. I shop frequently at Aldi. You can read more posts about Aldi products here: Groceries from Aldi.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Yesterday I felt melancholy because....
My feminine hormones were playing their monthly mischief
I hadn't slept well
there is a whole bunch of stuff
our family has faced
and is facing
and will continue to face
that just overwhelms me
the economy is tanking
and the world is going to hell in a hand basket
or so it seems if you read the news too much
I spent hours doing laundry
and cleaning the kitchen
and tidying up the dining room
and I just know someone is going to come along
and mess it up again and again and again
(they already have, by now)
my kids need more help with their home school assignments
than I would prefer to give them -
and we have to turn it all in at co-op classes on Monday
my hands and feet hurt from arthritis
and my back hurt from life-in-general
not everyone in my house was even attempting
to be kind with their words and actions
(that would include me, of course)
(there's more, I'm sure, but lets not dig)
What did I do about it?
I cut myself a lot of slack
lowered my expectations
locked my door and told the kids
they were better off staying away from me
for a little while, at least
took a nap
thought about a song we sang on Sunday
wiped away my tears
played my turns on "Words with Friends"
hugged and thanked the teenage son
who told me several times
that I was "a good mom, really"
tried to think nice thoughts about God
(with whom I am sometimes angry)
took another nap
prayed a few little prayers
the "Lord, have mercy!" kind
went on the web
and read a poem
and watched a video
that my smart daughters mentioned on Facebook
read a blog post The Exact Right Word for Sadness
by Addie Zierman
who always puts it into words my heart gets
wiped away my tears again
(thanks for that, Addie)
made dinner for my family
avoided watching the presidential debates
(I hate politics)
called a close friend
who faces many of the same challenges that I do
who prays for me more often than I pray for anyone
and who helped me think even more nice thoughts about God
(with whom she, too, is sometimes angry)
went to bed
with grace in my head
and didn't wake up until morning
I am feeling much better now
thank you very much
"Love Came Down"
by Brian Johnson
If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear Your voice
I’ll hold on to what is true though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come and the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith
I will believe
I remind myself of all that You’ve done
And the life I have because Your Son
Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours I am forever Yours
Mountain high or valley low
I sing out remind my soul
That I am Yours I am forever Yours
(There is more, so listen here: Love Came Down)
Note: The photos in this post were all edited with Picasa. I used the "heat map" feature for the first one, "HDRish" for the second, and a combo of "holga-ish" and "cross process" with the last one. And of course I used a little creative cropping for all of them. The P52 Photo Project theme for the week is "Sad" and my first photo is my submission for that.
|P52 Photo Project|
Friday, October 12, 2012
Are you ready for autumn? I'm not quite there yet, since it's still so warm here in Orlando, but I'm working on it. My husband is going to retrieve our autumn decoration bin from storage this weekend, but in the meantime, I'm making do with what I have available already, as well as some new items. You can see what I've done for autumn in years past here: Easy Autumn Decorating on a Dime.
Today's post is a lot about autumn decorating, and a little bit about food and hospitality.
I wanted a few extras new fall pretties for my home but I don't have a lot in the budget right now. Fortunately, as I walked into Olde Time Pottery this morning, I stopped at a table outside and subscribed to the local newspaper for a low rate, and they gave me a free $10 OTP gift card as a bonus. So while I had been planning to just browse, I actually got to buy a few things!
|Other recent additions:|
The two pilgrims are from Dollar General ($1 each) and the
two small wood signs are from Olde Time Pottery ($1.50 each).
The silk flowers and flower pot were gifts.
|A closer look at the pilgrim maiden|
|The ceramic pumpkins, which hold tealight candles,|
were on clearance at Olde Time Pottery for $2.60 each.
On Halloween, we'll put them outside on our garden wall,
and light up the insides for jolly jack-o-lanterns!
|White rose petals on a drying rack.|
Two days ago, I happened to walk into the Goodwill thrift store and while my kids were trying on clothes, I sat down on this lovely chair nearby. It felt comfy, is in terrific condition with sturdy fabric, matches the burgundy and creamy yellow colors in my living room, and was only $40. Since we needed extra seating in our living room anyway, I bought it on the spot and hauled it home in my big old van. It seems like there is someone always in it doing homework or hanging out. I wish this picture did it justice. It's really pretty.
I guess that's about all my budget can handle right now, so I'll be glad to get my big bin of stuff out and around the house.
I've also got a handful of big fat acorns that I brought from Maryland. I haven't figured out how to display them on my bedside table yet, but I'll think of something.
|A happy memento of my trip...|
The Aldi store is stocking lots of yummy pumpkin flavored products this time of year. I decided to try out the pumpkin spice cookie mix, which is about $1.50 per bag. My 11 year old daughter made up two packages and baked them on pizza pans (one package per pan) for mega cookies. She cut them in to big wedges and served them warm with whipped topping. We'll definitely be buying more of these this season! They are like pumpkin pie that you can eat with your hand.
My dear friend and fellow blogger Tonya Travelstead invited me over for breakfast this morning. She made premium oatmeal cooked with apple chunks and drizzled with honey. She also served hot chocolate and apple wedges. Delicious, healthy, and so perfect for an autumn breakfast!
|Tonya loves hospitality and sets a gorgeous table.|
|Oatmeal made with steel cut oats |
- I love the hearty texture!
Tonya wrote this on her blog:
Healthy Eating: Steel Cut Oats
She says they are usually about $4 per container,
but they Aldi carries them seasonally for about $2.
I'll be looking for them!
Like food? I've got a whole bunch of recipes on my blogs. These are perfect for autumn and the holidays:
In case you missed them, I also have some posts on my main blog from my trip to Maryland last weekend with my oldest daughter and two grandsons. Real autumn colors on the trees! Take a peek...
I'm so glad I took this trip because not only did I get to see my family in Maryland, and help my daughter travel with her little guys, but I also had special time bonding with my grandsons. The two year old sweetie actually told me, "Grandma, I love you!" for the first time, and my daughter just texted to tell me that he had called me his "honey" -- probably during his bedtime prayers! Awww! He melts my heart!
I guess that's all for now! A happy autumn to you and yours! If you have written about autumn on your blog, leave your link in a comment so the rest of us can enjoy it!
This post will be linked to:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Yesterday, feeling cranky / tired / anti-social / generally ruthless, I decided I needed a feeling of accomplishment to perk up my day. I turned my angst into a clean closet.
I got rid of a lot of stuff: threw it away, shuffled it to other places in the the house, offered it to my kids. I pulled all of the big storage bins out so I could vacuum the carpet and wipe down the dusty baseboards. I hung up some of my "winter" clothes even though it is still pretty warm here in Orlando.
There is no way I am showing you "before" pictures. It was just that bad, trust me. But now, here, the "after" pics:
|A large tote bag, holding my favorite smaller totes,|
hangs from the closet rod.
|The two pairs of shoes I wear most often are on the floor.|
The others are in the space left from
a missing bottom dresser drawer.
|I have two dressers to hold undergarments,|
accessories, pajamas, vintage linens, and more.
I like to keep my nicnacs on top of one of them.
The closet shelf above holds framed pictures
not currently on display.
|I bought this tile in Israel over 30 years ago for my mom.|
She gave it back to me recently.
I display it on a small plate holder.
|A small blue stained glass box with wise words:|
"Wisdom that comes from heaven is pure,
considerate, full of mercy, and sincere."
James 3:17 - One of my favorite verses!
|Bins and boxes of this and that -- like sewing supplies and|
master copies of book manuscripts.
The large gift bag holds smaller gift bags and tissue paper,
which we always reuse.
|Bins of extra toiletries on the shelf.|
|Cleaning supplies up out of the reach of our grandchildren.|
|Sturdy hooks for towels and |
my current pair of pajamas
(I use each several times in a row.)
|Another find: an old cassette / CD player|
and some kids story tapes --
enough to keep a little girl
busy and out of the way while Mommy worked.
P.S. More posts and other web sites on home organization: