Thursday, October 29, 2015


I made oatmeal in the pressure cooker this morning for Rod. (Gosh, that is absolutely captivating!! Please, tell us more!! What happened next!!)
Honestly, I think it takes twice as long to make it in the pressure cooker as it does on the stove top. But it makes less of a mess so I am a fan.

We like steel cut oats so it's gonna take a while no matter what. But this morning I remembered to put in the 1 3/4 cups water which I forgot to remember yesterday, which ended badly. Rod ate stale toast for breakfast yesterday before he headed out to put in a day's hard work.(Are any of you even still awake?)

But, while he was gone it was "Yay! Hair cut/color day is here! Yay"
 I always like getting my hair done, especially because it is my friend, Jen, who does it.
 And I haven't spent much friend time with her for a long while.
She has been working on starting up a side business,Vintage23 ,and apparently has been quite busy! With important things!

So what, I have to pay her for her time? No big deal. She is worth it. I am not quite sure what that says about our friendship,though.
But never mind! It was hair day!

FYI, friends. Clear, concise communication is vital when speaking with your stylist. I went in with very precise instructions: "I want you to make me look 10 years younger and 10-50 lbs lighter. And I want to look like a rockstar.And I need for you to erase all my cares and worries for the day. Ready? Go."

After I delivered my carefully worded instructions I confidently settled  back in the chair, convinced Jen would work her black magic and do exactly as I wanted.

Everything was fine until I noticed another stylist gently rubbing her clients arms and hands as she leisurely rinsed her hair in the bowl.
Wait, what new, luxurious service is this?
As I turned to look questioningly at Jen,"what is this amazing new service, because, sister, I could soohooo use an arm and hand massage, she spun my chair so fast my hair whipped into my eyes and I couldn't see the expensive, moisturizing lotions the other stylist was massaging into the tired muscles of her client. And then Jen deftly changed the subject before I could demand for my own hand massage.
"Wow, Such cute boots you are wearing!"

"Yes, I know, right?" And just like a bird that sees something sparkly, the attention was now focused on these.
Totally understandable. Because these boots? I can't even.

But I didn't forget, Jen. I didn't forget. I will get my hand massage. Oh, yes I will.

Jen ended cutting off all my hair, enough so that Rod didn't recognize me while I was making his oatmeal this morning.

So, obviously, I must look like a rock star.
Well, an aging rock star.
One who has maybe lived a hard life with weird parties and illegal drugs and creepy, stalkerish groupies and self-assured, morning after mug shots from police stations all over the world.

So I look like Keith Richards.
Or maybe his mother.

But I feel like Gwen Stephanie, so that is good enough for me.

And, I don't want to boast, but I may look identical (I.DENT.I.CAL) to a certain Spice Girl ....

Except maybe a couple 2-3 of her. She is so tiny! Like barely human! But, I have to say, I'm feeling pretty darn Posh-spicy, and livin the rock-n-roll life style as I pressure cook David Beckham's Rod's oatmeal, sweep my Pergo floors, sip on my frothy cappuccino.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No Apologies.

It has surprised me, during this dark season, of my seemingly endless capacity for pain.

 Max asked me last week if we could play kitchen, or if I wanted to watch him play MineCraft.

Without pausing for breath he then told me his mom and dad are getting a divorce. He searched my eyes as he then told me that it sometimes meant that kids don't get to see their daddies because because they live with their mommies.

My heart broke onto the floor.

Carefully, gently, fiercely I assured him that he would always get to see his mommy and daddy, and also his Nana and Papa and all his cousins and aunts and uncles. We would make sure, MAKE SURE that he and Lilli would always get to be with their family.

Then we played kitchen and read a book before I packed him up with his red and blue back pack and drove him to school. Lilli and I went inside the cafeteria where all the kids could have breakfast together. I didn't dissolve into tears when I chatted with his teacher this time. Win! I waited with him until school started.

Then I carried innocent laughy squishy stubborn Lilli back to the truck and snapped her into her carseat. Safe and sound. I wish it were that easy.

At least I made it to the highway headed home before I released the torrent of tears I'd had dammed behind my eyes.
Damn these tears. Damn this pain. Damn divorce.

It feels like I have been crying a lifetime and will it continue for a lifetime.
So, clearly I will never be the dainty person that will hold her pain privately, quietly so as not to make any normal situation, you know, like grocery shopping or chatting on the phone into a super awkward scene.
I'm super fun to be around. You should call me! You should invite me to your party!

 I'm not the decorous person who gives a discreet sniffle now and again. Nothing that a Kleenex or two can't take care of.
I will make a great undignified mess of myself as I keen and howl at the scorched earth of it all. (and then blog about it!)

I want this fixed!
My family is dying and I want it to stop!

There is no single glistening tear that escapes only under great duress.

I heave huge hiccupping sobs, and we all know about my Bobbi Brown mascara disaster, snot running down into my wide open mouth, and sounds from "The Walking Dead" coming from way deep down inside.
This is what is looks and sounds like when my heart is breaking. Loud and ugly.

Can't help it. Won't apologize for it.

I just wish I could be a dignified griever. It's so much more acceptable. Especially by me.

BUT...because I'm hurting out loud does not mean I am not believing. I am. I have hope in the future, faith for believing and grace for today.
God is close.
I am still hurting.
 I've found he doesn't just magically make the pain disappear, but he is close beside me during it. I can scream and he answers me patiently. I can cry and he catches my tears in a bottle (yes it must be big bottle.)
 I break apart and he puts me back together, like the bionic woman, better, stronger than before. Or at least, more empathetic and caring for those hurting around me. I can't look up from under this burden and he lifts my head to look into his face.

What a blessed relief. What a balm for my ripped-into-shreds heart.

While I am still aching, I can look into his face, see his deeds, remember each instance of his faithfulness, and I can breathe.
This is what I do. Over and over and over.
I look at him.
 I remember.
 I believe.
 I hope.
I wait.
(and yes, I cry.
I re-apply my Bobbi Brown mascara.
And repeat.)

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gadget Girl

I think collecting gadgets may be my spiritual gifting. Yes, gadget collecting is a real sickness habit addiction blessing.
I don't often get the gadgets first, but, by golly, I'll get them.
My son told me once that he likes to get techie gifts for me because he thinks they may make me feel young.
Anything that helps, I say.

Yesterday, UPS delivered my new Kindle Paperwhite.
(Thank you, Darrell.) (Yes, first name basis with my UPS guy. Don't judge.)

I have had a Kindle for years, but the flickering light on the case was causing me no end of aggravation. So, when Rod gave in to all my complaining and whininess  suggested I order a new Kindle, I pushed the "send" button. That's how easy-peasy it is when your item is already in the cart.
And look at it! Just look at it!

The case was ordered at the same time, and yes, that is a Van Gogh cleverly and beautifully made into a Kindle case. The pretty case makes me happy, as does the Kindle itself.

FYI, the picture was taken with my iphone, another gadget I am currently fond of.

Speaking of my love of gadgets, my newest kitchen appliance is the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. 
I have been using it almost non-stop lately. It does not disappoint.
I've made risotto,(Yum!) pork roast(meh) marinara sauce (Yum!) and mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, (Super-yum!) split pea soup (Yum!) Beef curry (Yum!)and apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal.(awesome sauce and NO MESS!)
This pressure cooker, not only pressure cooks, but has a slow-cooker function, a rice cooker function and a sauteeing function, so I can use it for all kinds of things. It also says it makes yogurt (whaaat??) but I haven't even looked at making that.
Next week I want to try making Pho. Can't wait to try that!

I am definitely in my happy place when I am either reading the lovely new Kindle or cooking with the new kitchen gadget and let's just say, I've really needed my happy places lately. 

Tonight I'm using the Instant Pot to cook an old piece of meat I found in a bag in the freezer this morning. Is it freezer burned?
Yes, it is.
 Is it beef? Perhaps.

 But I honestly can't tell anymore.

It might be goat for all I know. (I ain't afraid of no goat.)

I don't expect miracles from the pressure cooker, but hopefully it will render the hunk of meat into something at least edible, if not gourmet, fork-tender and delicious.

With all my gadget shopping, I need to save $$ by using the food I already have in the house, don't ya know.

If you remember, say a quick prayer for Rod and his "dinner" tonight.
Ta ta!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hangry Baby Bird

As I was putting a clean bowl from the dishwasher away in the cupboard today, the tears started again, making my Bobbi Brown mascara make thick, black, expensive tracks down my face.
The ugly cry.
(And I don't mean to obsess, but that mascara is not cheap, girl friend.)

So I called the dogs and headed into the sun-dappled woods to give God a talking-to.
WHY was He letting my family fall into pieces?
WHY doesn't He just fix this now?
WHY do my precious, loved, adored, beloved beyond anything babies ever have to suffer like this?

My knees are weak from the thought and I can't even pretend to stop my tears.

The other morning and before I even have a coherent thought, I wake myself up hearing  my prayers to God, "PleaseGodPleaseGodPleaseGodDontLetThisHappenPleaseGod...." I told Rod I felt like a helpless, completely vulnerable baby bird in a nest with my mouth wide open in need and continuously asking to be fed.
That is me all right. 
But I have a God who cares for me.
 Protects me.
 Feeds me.
 (And pushes me out of the nest i.e. "comfort zone" when it's time. But that is a whole other blog post.)
This visual made me think of a verse that kind of talks about that. "How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me." Luke 13:34
It was comforting for me to think of God taking care of us that way, the way a mother bird cares for your babies in the nest.
This old hymn has been on repeat in my heart lately.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
  All other ground is sinking sand.
So very true. Although I am beyond sad, devastated, crushed and all the other synonyms that you can come up with, my hope is NOT built or dependant on Josiah and Ashley working out their differences and Max and Lilli living with their Mom and Dad who love them and each other.

If that were the case, then my total well-being would be tossed back and forth on a daily basis based on whether my kids were happy or sad.
Although there is some truth in there; that I am sad if they are sad, and happy if they are happy.
But I know (know know KNOW) that the God who loves each of us is in control of this whole situation.
 And yours as well. If you think for a moment that you are in charge, you've got some learnin' to do. No joke.
God is large and in charge and THAT is what I base my hope and future on. He is a happy-making God who walks with me, carries me when needed, and has a plan that is for my benefit, not against me. I can't always see the big picture, but I know who is painting it, and He is GOOD. ALL THE TIME.
Even now, while we're hurting.

My plan today is to be still and know He is God, pray like crazy and watch and see what He is going to do.
 Because it'll be good.