Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Working on a new look. Not sure I really like it but I've had so many technical difficulties this evening that I'm keeping it! The phrase "A New You" started appearing in my life about a month ago and keeps coming up in different ways. Of course it is almost a new year so maybe all of you keep seeing this phrase-now again here! Anyway, here goes to a new me-or at least an improved me as I continue to trade my ashes.
I'm looking forward to 2010 with new goals to work towards!
In His great grip I remain,
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
At the beach with friends and still in PJ's late into the afternoon. Wonderful. We have been talking about goals and here is what we've come up with.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here's a shot of us starting the marathon. We were in quite a crowd... in the wrong corral even but that didn't stop us! We were the only ones walking in this crowd so we stood out a bit but oh well. I was so excited! I took pictures the whole route but I won't bore you with all of those, just a few.
One of the cheerleaders fairly early on in the race.
First drink break. I had no idea that this would happen. Cups were everywhere! You took your sips then just threw your cup down. The volunteers used rakes and snow shovels to keep the mess cleared out of the middle of the road.
One of the many murals throughout the city. Beautiful!
More dancing, singing cheerleaders!
The longest mile. Ugh! Mile 11 to 12 seemed to take years! B reminded me that at this point it was like re-entering the subdivision we live in when we walked to prepare for the marathon. It helped to think of it this way.
Crossing the Finish Line! Yes, capital letters for Finish Line! The announcer said, "We've been waiting for you girls!" as he called out our names. Everyone was cheering and clapping. Ok, so they weren't cheering for the two of us, still it felt like we were the stars in a parade! The official time clock says 3:36 but we didn't start with the first corral at 7:00 so this wasn't our time. Our official time was 3:20 so we walked about a 15 minute mile. Pretty good I thought especially with picture taking and texting friends along the way.
Thanks for all of the encouragement along the way my peeps!
Friday, November 20, 2009
After we refreshed for a bit we walked to the South Street area and had the best Philly Cheese Steaks EVER at a local place called Jim's. Neat atmosphere and fabulous food. Erin even ate every bite which is a big deal for the little eater that she is. After that we walked to the convention center and registered for our marathon. Extremely exciting to get my packet and shirt. My marathon bib has my name and AGE-completely unnecessary to put the age. I'll store that information away before the next marathon in February. Maybe I'll be 35 for that one :)
Tonight we will take a train about an hour away to Freight House Restaurant. A friend at home is one of the owners and his son is meeting us there for a visit. Should be very yummy and fun.
Anyway-we are thankful to be here!
Erin and Sondie
Prompt: attachment of some sort
She looked like someone
Who bought candles
From a grocery store.
Sensibility was attached
To her as surely
As her own right arm.
Prompt: slow poem
A sliver of time wedged between
Darkness and light,
When the stillness of night
Greets the noise of day
This is my still spot, my quiet slice
Of life without expectations
Of grandeur or even
Mediocrity where I am
The dreaminess of night slowly recedes
As reality of day tickles my mind awake.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Not only am I excited about doing my first ever half marathon but...I am traveling with family and friends to Philadelphia to do it! Very pumped about a trip to a city I've never traveled to. Oh how I love to travel!
It gets even better. Paul David Tripp, author of several books including one I just started, A Shelter in the Time of Storm, is going to be preaching at Tenth Presbyterian Church Sunday night. Now this is a woohoo moment of life. I am giddy.
Although I rest in the palm
Of my Father’s hand
Still I cling to the hem
Of the One who
Hung for me.
Prompt: Clouds ______
Clouds of Reprieve
I never realized what a blessing
clouds could be
Not dark and dismal
But a reprieve
For the parched soil
of my soul
in the desert heat.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Prompt for today: lines
Etchings of Time
Times of laughter
Times of tears
Left many little footprints
Over the years.
Times of searching
Times of finding
No chance that the clock
Would be rewinding.
Times of life
Times of death
Full of God’s peace
With her final breath.
An ever present smile
Created a masterpiece
That only the etchings
Of time could release.
Never have I seen a child so excited over the beauty of nature than today with Erin. We were driving about an hour up the road to go shopping and she was amazed by the colorful leaves. The whole hour was spent looking at leaves and talking about colors...God's colors, God's creations. She even joked that we couldn't finish a conversation because we both kept getting sidetracked by the beauty around us. She had some very poetic phrases that I may steal.
For example-She thought all of the colors were "splotches of love"...she was amazed that God would love us so much to give us such brilliant colors.
She also pointed out the "Fall Fireworks" and thought these were more awe inducing than the fireworks that she oohs and aahs over on the Fourth of July.
Then there was the "collage of colors". She was intrigued with a green barn surrounded by multicolored leaves...a brick house behind the trees...bright clumps of leaves peeking between the pines...all of these were collages of colors.
She,being a music lover, made up a song and sang it to me...the colors dancing her head, speaking of God's love, God's creativity living within her. It really was an awesome song.
Me, being a poetry lover, made up poetry lines...ummm, with her phrases. Is it wrong to steal ideas from your children?
We had a lovely day together, lots of plans made for future fun. The more time I spend with her the more I see what a funny, smart, and artistic little girl she is. I pray I can nurture that creativity God has given her and that her heart will always rejoice in Him.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday slipped right on by without our Thankful Tuesday posting so we decided to put it with Thankful Thursday. As Erin and I were talking about things we are thankful we both agreed on the same thing for this week...our mother-daughter breakfast this morning.
I am so thankful that I get to have time with my mom. Breakfast is a delightful way to start a school day. It is time to talk and enjoy one another.
Two of my favorite things...time with Erin and food. It gives us a special time to talk instead of just the usual morning rush to get to school and work. It is easier to get moving in the morning when are looking forward to spending time together.
We hope you are thinking of things to be thankful for as well!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Prompt: Should ______
Should I fall?
I cling tightly to the branch, my grip weakening by the day.
Once a strong, silent green
now a vibrant, crisp orange
With each wisp of the breeze my resolve weakens.
To hang on means
to live even if only
Yet a voice in the wind keeps whispering that there is more.
To let go, to die to myself
would mean life
My remains would nourish generations to come.
A life not wasted
but invested in others
A brilliant freedom pulsed within me as I soared through the air.
Isn’t this what leaves were created for?
Friday, November 6, 2009
She knew an eternity would not be long enough to remove the layers of guilt
That were suffocating her.
Thankfully, one drop of His blood would.
Covered by His blood,
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The moon was beautiful this week, even in the morning. My picture just doesn't do it justice. I snapped this shot while driving to work, my arm stuck up through the sunroof without any aim, just hoping to capture it with a random shot.
That would have been an interesting traffic stop..."No sir I haven't had a morning toddy. I had to dig through my purse, stick my camera out of the sunroof to get a picture of the moon, then preview it to make sure I at least had the moon in the picture, so sir-ya' wanna see how it looks?"
I thought about the moon just wanting to get a glimpse of the day before tucking himself in to bed. I imagined that he wanted to see the beautiful fall colors...to see how his counterpart Sun was doing with her role as "the daylight provider"...I imagined he sighed a contented sigh before ducking beneath the earth and thinking about what a wonderful, beautiful world it is...saying a prayer of thanks that he gets to be such an important part of it all.
I am thankful for laughter! Someone told me today that I look for things to laugh about and he was right. There are so many things around us that can bring a good chuckle. I do have an odd sense of humor and tend to see things a little differently than most...just like my mom who ALWAYS had a smile on her face.
It is my goal to find something to laugh about every day...not empty laughter just so that I can check it off my list. Real belly and heart laughs. If I get to the end of the day and haven't laughed about a single thing I realize I am on a slippery slope.
Laughter....God's natural medicine....it keeps my heart glad and my mind sane (maybe!)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I have been doing the poetry challenge at this site. Today was day 3 and the prompt was to write 2 poems-one negative, one positive OR to combine the 2 into one poem. This is what I scribbled down while sitting outside a coffee shop in the few minutes I had before picking up E from school. Not the best poetry but how I felt at the time!
Negative Coffee, Positive Day
Off work early today
An unexpected surprise.
Sunny and seventy
Great to be outside.
Tried a new coffee shop
The java was terrible.
Negative yes, but so many positives
Made it more than bearable.
Sunday's prompt was focusing on something new...this was my attempt.
Grey corners at the edge of a blue sky
fold back like a blanket
inviting me to rest.
A new creature arises with the dawn.
Monday's challenge was to write from a different point of view such as the doctor becoming the patient. I chose to have a triangle become a circle.
Triangle vs Circle
It is who I am.
A rigid, demanding life.
It is who I have become.
Life is better as a circle.
For the month of November I am focusing on being thankful-pretty original huh?! I also want to include one of my favorite people in the whole wide world in this thankful journey...my daughter Erin. Soooo, please welcome my Thankful Tuesday guest contributor (and first time blogger) my sweetie Petey-ENW!
For my thankful Tuesday I would like to say that I am thankful for my Grandma's ham. She makes it so juicy and flavorful! I love Gram's house especially when it is full of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Because we don't live near them it is fun to have time with my favorite people. We make memories by laughing and having a good time. They make family time fun!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I had forgotten how much fun hockey games are...I haven't been to a Hurricanes game in at least 4 if not 5 years. A friend shared tickets with us for today's game which was a great treat. I almost didn't go, just tired from being busy, but I'm so glad I didn't give in. I love watching live hockey.
Our seats were in the VIP section so we had all the food and drinks we wanted at no charge. Wow, I felt like royalty. E and her friend got to meet Stormy the mascot, but I didn't have my camera on me. Very,very fun even though the Canes lost.
A super family fun day!
Thanks K for the tickets!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
In Thomasville Ga right now! This is where we walked this morning. What a beautiful morning and a beautiful place to walk. Cherokee Lake is at the Thomasville Rose Garden. We are staying about 2.5 miles from here so we walked 6 laps then back to C's house. Our marathon is right around the corner (November!) so it was nice to be able to get a long walk in.
We are now heading to lunch at Jonah's to spend time with C's pastor.
What a blessing to be here and to spend time with friends.
The conference starts tomorrow so if you get a chance we would appreciate prayers that God will be glorified, that women's lives and relationships will be changed!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
So I finally made it to the inner sanctum...C's studio. Oh sure the condo is very cute and homey and I really liked it, but the studio is FULL of fun things. I felt like a kid in a candy store. There were several mounds of brightly colored glitter on a tray that caught my eye. Before my brain could stop my hand, I had my fingers coated with magenta sparkles. How could I not touch it? Glitter was the coolest thing on earth when I was a kid. Still is even though I am a grown up. I am powerless when glitter is around.
Next I had my hands wrapped around Sharpie Poster Paint Pens (which I have been wanting). C took one look into my gleaming eyes and said, "You want to draw with it don't you?" I made a few swirls with several colors. Beautiful colors that just glide right on the paper. Yep, I want 'em.
Then she explained how you put stuff on other stuff...decolletage, decoupage...whatever-I want to learn how to do it. She had lots of neat things she has been putting on other neat things. What an eclectic collection of stuff I could create with!
She has lots more stuff, but that was all I had time for. I managed to drag myself out of there, but not before begging to go back to play. I'll let you know how my return to the candy story goes.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here's my five word challenge using: pulverize cauldron sovereign forfeit shoal
Here I am. A small fish in a shoal of writers. B says, “C’mon you’ve still got time to write something.”
Hmmm. I have a writer’s block. I think. I write. I think. I write. I think about writing. I think about thinking. I write about thinking. You get the picture. A brainstorming session gone bad. My brain is wracked, my fingers callused, and still I have nothing. With each streak of lightening of brainstorming thought my brain becomes more fried…a pulverized mass writhing on the ground.
Where is my creativity fairy when I need her? Surely she can mix up something in that sparkly purple cauldron of hers…you know, a special fairy writing dust that will waft around my head. Maybe I can forfeit my sense of smell and inhale some of it…or how about my sense of taste. I can stick out my tongue to catch it like a snowflake that leaves a small cold spot when it melts. Or what if I swallow a just a tiny sprinkle? Will it work better? The dust becoming part of who I am that will give me the power to write beautiful things as long as I want.
Writing…it gives me a chance to be the creator. No one does anything without my say so. Plus I can make anyone do anything I so desire. I can be in control. But alas, this will not be the moment I can inflict my sovereignty over the masses of characters just waiting to be created.
Friday, October 2, 2009
This week’s Fat Friday isn’t a recipe about good food…it is about the nourishment that can only come from good times with old friends. The joy of reconnecting…nourishment for the spirit.
An impromptu gathering of friends, food, food, and more food, laughter and shared stories. A deeper knowledge of each other. Another glimpse of God, new aspects of His character revealed.
A midget in white go-go boots, hitchhiking to another state, giving a speech with underwear hanging out of a pant leg, BBQ waffle fries with bleu cheese crumbles, Starbucks ice cream, motherhood, jobs, marriage, brownies, graduation, predestination, mushrooms on pizza, smoking with Brad Pitt, continuing the party after the party stopped…God’s grace, mercy and redemptive power. There weren’t many topics we didn’t cover.
Memories shared, memories made as the threads of our lives were woven together once again.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
My daughter's school sponsored a concert by Sam Rotman as a fundraiser. Never have I heard music with such color...yes color. I felt like I was sitting in the center of a rainbow surrounded by beauty. The soft moist droplets of music soothed my soul and nourished my weary heart.
If you ever get a chance to hear him I encourage you to go. He shares his story which is as amazing as his music.
The only sad note was that my husband and daughter (who LOVES music) both had strep throat and had to miss it. Somehow the youtube video I showed my little one just wasn't the same as the real thing and I was sad for her. I did buy 2 of his CDs for us to listen to and had him autograph one to her so she was excited about that.
It was a blissful way to spend an evening....and the fellowship and dessert afterwards was so much fun!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My dad's best friend has been in the hospital and has been very,very sick...in ICU not sure he was going to make it sick. His daughter, a dear friend of our family, shared this with us. When she got to work her parking place had been taken. She had to go to the 2nd floor of the parking building and walk down the stairs. In the stairwell she saw a religious tract lying on the floor and picked it up. This is what it said:
Strength For Today
Give me strength for today, Lord
wherever I go.
Let no danger daunt me,
Whatever the foe.
Let no task o'ercome me,
No trial my heart fret.
I would walk with Thee, Lord
In the path Thou hast set.
Let no burden o'ercome me,
Give me strength to bear.
Then I shall have courage,
Whatever my care.
Let no grief o'erwhelm me,
Wherever I am.
Give me strength for today, Lord
Strength from Thy hand.
"The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
God never ceases to amaze me.
Blessings to you.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
As I met my friend early this morning to walk the buzzing hum of the leaf blower had already started. My friend asked, "Who is that already blowing leaves this morning?" My annoyed answer was, "The neighbors have their lawn men here early every Saturday morning. So much for an enjoyable quiet Saturday morning on the porch."
About an hour later when we returned the background buzz was still in action. My daughter and I decided to eat breakfast on the porch. I started to warn her that it wouldn't be a peaceful breakfast because the leaf blower was making so much noise, but before I could get it out of my mouth she said, "I want to eat on the porch because I love hearing the leaf blower. When I hear the leaf blower it reminds me that it is Saturday, my relaxing day."
Hmmm...out of the mouths of babes.
Here's my recipe for the week. One of the easiest recipes I've ever made. I found it doing a random search for an easy crock pot meal.
Crock Pot French Dip
4 lbs rump roast
1 can beef broth
1 can condensed French onion soup (10.5 oz)
1 bottle of beer (dark is better)
Trim excess fat from the rump roast and place in crock pot. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on low setting for 7 hours. I tore the meat apart and let it set in the broth another 30 minutes or so before serving.
I served it on french sub rolls (split)that I slathered in butter and baked for about 10 minutes. Put beef on rolls, top with provolone cheese and put in oven long enough to melt the cheese. Put the sauce (juice from the crock pot) in small bowls for dipping-salsa bowls work well.
Very easy and quite tasty!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I recently received a very cool cookbook called The Book Lover's Cookbook. It has recipes from books as well as the passage in the book that mentions the food. It is full of great quotes too. I don't know about you guys but often when I am reading a book and food is mentioned, it makes me want to try it. Now I can...very fun! The one I tried this week was delicious and I plan to make it again, but think I'll use a better cut of meat (filet mignon would be super in this). It is from Elizabeth Berg's book Open House.
Here's the passage:
I open the refrigerator, pull out the steak. I'm making Stroganoff, David's favorite. God, that's good! he said, last time I made it. You can cook, honey; that you can do. I slice the meat thinly, look out the window at the tree branches swaying in the wind. It's supposed to storm tonight. A power outage, and David stays to take care of us, how could he leave?
(C'mon now, admit it...doesn't it make your mouth water, even if you don't like stroganoff?)
Here's her recipe:
1 and 1/4 pounds beef sirloin
2 Tbs butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 tsp basil ( I used fresh from my plant!)
3/4 c. milk
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 c. sour cream
1 12oz package spinach fettuccine, cooked and drizzled with melted butter
Cut the beef across the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices. Then cut the slices in 1 inch wide strips. Melt 1 Tbs butter in a large frying pan and brown the meat on high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping once to cook evenly.
Reduce heat to medium-high, add the onion, salt, and pepper and saute an additional 2 minutes.
Remove the meat and onions from the pan, set aside in a bowl, and cover to keep warm. Add the mushrooms and remaining 1 Tbs butter to the pan and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Return the meat and onion to the pan with the mushrooms. add the white wine, basil, and nutmeg. Stir and heat for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
Remove the meat, mushrooms, and onions from the pan and set aside in covered bowl. Stir the milk and flour into the drippings left in the pan, heating over low heat until the sauce is somewhat thickened, for 1-2 minutes. Return the meat, mushrooms, and onions to the pan. stir in the sour cream and warm the mixture over low heat for about a minute. Serve over buttered fettucine. Serves 4-6.
Hope you get a chance to read the book and make the stroganoff!!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Something is up in the insect world...they have decided to attack a certain invader. No mercy is their battle cry.
It all started last Thursday. I was sitting on a retaining wall and noticed my purse was full of fire ants. I realized ants lived on the other side of the retaining wall but not before a few of them had bitten me. It took a while to get them all out of my purse, but I did prevail...
Until Saturday. I was getting things out of my backseat when I felt a unique discomfort on my left foot...unique to an ant bite that is. I was standing on an ant hill and boy were they mad. I slapped and jumped until all of them were off and sustained only 2 or 3 bites. A close call.. I had taken a claritin for good measure, which I never do after an ant bite,but I hoped it would keep the terrible ant itch under control which is did for about 30 minutes...
Until I developed intense itching on my legs, my wrists, and upper body. Wow, I didn't think they had bitten above my ankles. Surely I was imagining the itch. My eyes started to feel puffy and my throat a little tight. Hmmm. I decided to take a look at my itchy spots and discovered I had hives all over...red, raised, itchy, ugly hives. I drank some liquid benadryl and existed in a state between itchy and sleepy until Sunday morning...I decided to call a doctor and get a steroid dose pack to put myself out of misery.
This has worked well, but I somehow keep running into their homes. As I was walking this morning with a couple of friends I managed to walk right into a giant cobweb. I was peeling the sticky web off my head and arms when my friend L dropped the exercise balls and commanded me to stand still. Apparently the owner of the web was crawling up my shoulder, headed toward my neck. She bravely saved my life as she swatted it off. I understand that it was a huge, furry thing close to tarantula size. Safe...
Until...a few hours later as I was unpacking groceries. I kept feeling a weird sensation in my sports bra. Nah, I thought, I'm just paranoid now. There is nothing in my sports bra. I kept telling myself this for about 15 minutes when I couldn't stand the suspense any longer. I looked. I did not scream. I did jump up and down and do the bug get out of my bra dance.
What is going on here? Sure I was a usurper the first few times, well maybe the last time too. Maybe I rescued a victim from Mrs. Big and Furry's Web which is why the last bug showed gratitude.
All I know is that now I'm jumping with every little tickle.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
I am at the time of year of my dad's journey home. I can't believe it has been almost a year. I know many of you out there have experienced the death of a parent and understand. I had no idea that there would be such a hole in my heart. I always thought that I'd be fine with it....after all I have been a hospice nurse and walked this path with others many times. I never planned on being my dad's hospice nurse though. While I wouldn't trade those last hours of my dad's life for any amount of money, they are the hours that haunt me. What could I have done differently? How could I have made him more comfortable?
There is just something inside you that feels lost with the death of a parent...Suddenly facing the world without one of your main guides...one of your first and most powerful influences. Your sense of direction... of stability... thrown off kilter. Your earthly shelter from life's storms...your favorite childhood tree now oddly fallen to the ground.
As we near Easter, I am reminded of the most special Easter of my life...last Easter when my dad made his final trip to my house. We got the CT results March 3rd and knew he didn't have long. He wanted to make one more journey, one more visit to see our new house before he died. God granted us such a gift by allowing him to feel so well that he almost didn't believe he even had cancer. He enjoyed food and visiting and talking...he sat on our back deck and told stories about his life I've never heard. Easter Sunday was a beautiful, peaceful day full of love, laughter, and memories.
A few mornings later he woke up and said that something had changed and he had to go home to die and that is what he did...surrounded by his girls...something he told us meant so much to him just a day or so before he died.
Dad told us "no snotting" when he was gone...live life to the fullest and enjoy all God's gifts, so this is what I will try to focus on.
I pray that you my friends can just bear with me as I walk through this season. I will need your love and your laughter. A few years ago I would have been too proud to ask for this, to allow this "weakness" to show, to allow myself to be vulnerable, to allow an opportunity for rejection...now I realize more than ever that life is short-a mere mist- and that some things just don't matter as much as they once did. What matters is our relationships with God, our families, and friends.
I am not an island (it has taken years for this lesson). I need each of you in my life. Thank you for the love you give me.
Gethsemane was not a tragedy, and neither are our Gethsemanes. This does not do away with the wounds of affliction in this life, but it is encouraging to see that behind human tragedy stands the benevolent and wise purpose of the Lord of human history. Life may be dark at times, tragedy may come, and at times the whole world may seem to be falling apart. The wheel may appear ready to crush us. But this is not the end. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love the him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28), even in Gethsemane.
from Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross-R. Kent Hughes
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This is what bearing our sins means to him-utter distress of soul as he confronts total abandonment and absolute wrath from his Father on the cross, a distress and an abandonment and a rejection we cannot begin to grasp.
As we watch Jesus pray in agony in Gethsemane, he has every right to turn his tearful eyes toward you and me and shout, "This is your cup. You're responsible for this. It's your sin! You drink it." This cup should rightfully be thrust into my hand and yours.
Instead Jesus takes it himself...so that from the cross he can look down at you and me, whisper our names and say, "I drain this cup for you-for you who have lived in defiance of me, who have hated me, who have opposed me. I drink it all...for you."
from Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross-C.J. Mahaney
Monday, March 16, 2009
"When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem."
When Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem, he set his face to die...Jesus' journey to Jerusalem is our journey, and if he set his face to go there and die, we must set our face to die with him.
When Jesus set his face to walk the Calvary road, he was not merely taking our place; he was setting our pattern. He is substitute and pacesetter. If we seek to secure our life through returning evil for evil or surrounding ourselves with luxury in the face of human need, we will lose our life. We can save our life only if we follow Christ on the Calvary road.
(from Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross-John Piper)
Is your face set?