Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Domestic Bliss and a Short Walk

Hello again! The package man brought my slightly loved copy of Laurel's Kitchen today (the whole thing, not the short-cut copy) and I found the parts I longed to read again! Would you like to have a little taste of this cookbook poetry?
Here's an excerpt.
"One morning, out for a walk, I stopped at Laurel's house to see if she'd join me. She was packing Ed's lunch - his dinner rather . . .
No lunch pail was in sight, just a big wicker basket with a lid - quite a large one really, for just sandwiches and fruit. Then I saw the sandwiches: think slices of dark rye around an egg salad sparked with sweet red peppers and parsley, so thick she had to cut the bread in half before assembling the finished product. But the sandwiches were the least of the story. A fragrant barley soup with translucent pieces of zucchini, celery, and mushrooms went into a wide-mouthed thermos carefully preheated with boiling water, and a tiny packet of grated cheese went in alongside to be sprinkled on top of the soup. She rinsed and dried lettuce and cherry tomatoes and put them into a plastic container with a tiny bottle of herb dressing, then got out a cantaloupe and cut it in half in perfect zigzags, scooped out seeds, and packed one of the halves with cottage cheese and a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds."

Ready for lunch now? If you have been lovingly preparing whole foods for your family, searching out recipes that stay true to fresh, clean ingredients, and baking bread and other grainy "staff of life" type offerings, well . . . just know that you are doing something very important, very noble.
The descriptions of Laurel's apartment and later her house, her tiny kitchen and then her bigger work space are so romantically domestic. This book was written 35 years ago. Women were happily dressed in long skirts, heads sporting plain, straight pony tails, and trying to keep things "real" in the kitchen. I like that. It was before the Food Network and HGTV. It was a simpler time and those of us who were child brides (smile!) tried so hard to do good work as budding homemakers . I'm not sure if I'll actually use the recipes. I think I really wanted to revisit the commentary. So good.
After skimming and savoring my new book, I headed out for a walk.

I didn't get far because as I passed the park, I spied my neighbor playing with her granddog. I had to zoom in and take some photos of Marley as he chased the tennis ball down the grassy hill. Because I ate too much lettuce for dinner, my stomach started churning. Thus the end of my walk. I hopped in my neighbor's car and she drove me home. So fun. So comfortable. Neighbors. Dogs. Parks. Fall colors. Back home in my chair by the window. Crickets chirping. Yes, it's fall. Good things prevail.

Thank you for stopping in for some lunch, a walk, and a dog smile.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Hello! How are you? I hope you are are well, content, expectant, and feeling quite propelled by LOVE today. Vroooooom! Off you go! Off I go to school very soon. Would you like to see a few of my birthday gifts?

Oh, I am quite bejeweled with lovely birthday offerings. I am a bit bowled over by all the sweetness. Bill and I had a fun getaway and some delicious meals and I got to see all our kids and grandchildren, so I feel blessed, blessed, blessed. My birthday month has been super warm. I guess I got excited for fall just a tad too early. Eighty degrees and higher is the expectation for the entire week. Is it wrong to wish cooler temperatures for October? Well, I do.

I have parent/teacher conferences on Thursday evening. I'll be a bit loopy after that - such a long day. I must fix my brain on school and all the "to do's" associated with it instead of yarn, tea, cozy denim sofa, bird feeders still drawing tiny friends, sewing (I can't wait to try some projects held in the book above), winding walks on neighborhood streets, bumping into Bill because he's here (joy!) and all the other things of home. I guess I'll just wear my new ruby slippers to school and click three times and say, "There's no place like home" and then get back to teacher stuff.
My heart can be home even if I'm not.

Have you been doing the moon dance? Our glowing little round rock is fixing itself in the night time sky and hanging around for a bit in the morning, too. Mmmmmmmm. I like.
Joy to you and a buoyant day of life.
Thank you for the visit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Band-aids and Wet Wipes

Hi Everyone! Thank you for all your sweet comments on my last post. All week was SPIRIT week and it added to the hallway/classroom craziness. Whew.

This morning it dawned on me that Band-aids are a small gesture of love. So many kids ask for Band-aids. I buy fancy ones: tattoos, Snoopy, Scooby Doo, Batman, and Princesses. I go through so many boxes, but I've decided I'll keep buying them happily. Eighth graders like Band-aids and I'd like to think that a fancy little bandage is a way of caring for and paying attention to BIGGER hurts. I distinctly remember wailing for one when I was in elementary school. Our family was packing up for a weekend trip and my mother was overwhelmed with household tasks, loading the car, and fussy children. I wanted that Band-aid for a sore finger that wasn't bleeding. We probably didn't have any but I didn't understand. I was so sad. I haven't always kept a ready supply of Band-aids here at home either. At school, it's a must. They NEED them. I'll keep buying.

I'll also keep buying wet wipes. Kids love these, too. Do you love them? They are such a snazzy solution for stickiness. Cold, refreshing, sturdy. A must for the classroom.

This has been an exhausting week. We have a work day today and then -
MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! Yippee! I'm going to be 52 on Saturday! Isn't that a great age?

I love my birthday! I brought the struggling reading and writing class cupcakes and chips. They were so cute. One peppy boy said, "No one can bite their cupcake until Mrs. M. bites hers." That tiny little pink cupcake tasted so good in the company of those thankful teenagers.
Family will fill the house tomorrow evening. Party bags for the grands shall be filled in the morning. I will go outside and take a big sniff of my September. Mmmmmmmmmm.

I hope your weekend holds some singing and dancing. LOVE.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wacky Tacky Day

This weekend, my Lark Rise to Candleford series 3 came in the mail. Oh delight! Oh bliss! I love these people. Queenie is my favorite because she is so real and dear. She welcomes heavy hearts. People bare their souls to her and it never fails to encourage me. Minnie (below) is full of life and hopefulness. She's silly and isn't afraid to ask ridiculous questions. Jeff asked me if I like the people from Lark Rise better or the people from Candleford. Definitely, I love the Lark Risers best. Finally, I had to stop watching, for I had tried Jeff's patience enough. He doesn't like the theme song playing quite so often. They talk slow and I like that. I feel like everything around here is rush, rush, rush. We are always hurrying and when we aren't hurrying, we're planning. I'd like long tea-seasoned chats with the Lark Rise ladies, sewing on something, laughing and sharing. A girl can dream.

While I was watching, I was knitting. Do you like my little tomato bag? Guess what's in it!

Waxy pumpkins!

Guess what else came? Yes, Laurel's Kitchen! But, I was disappointed because it's a compact version, not the original. I had to hunt and order again. This one is lovely, too, but I want the first one. To all of you who like veggie dishes, this is the sweetest, homiest, down-to-earth cookbook ever. There is a new one, but the old one makes you want to pack everyone you love a sack lunch that will knock their socks off!

Today was Wacky Tacky Day at school. It's SPIRIT week. I bet you remember this from last year if you've been my friend since then. I am a better sport about it this year. I'm trying to be a team player. I was almost late this morning because I had to run a green polka dot ribbon through the casing of my square dancing petticoat. (No, I don't square dance, it's my Pom Pom under thing!) and a student pointed to my pink apron and said, "What that called? An apron?" Funny. Someone also told me my glasses (I wear these often!) are nice and tacky, too.
Below is my friend and co-teacher for third period, Melissa. She's fun.

Some of the kids really went to Tacky Town!

And guess what? Bill is HOME! He's tired from all that plane riding, but he's so happy to be home and he is already asleep in our flannel clad bed! I'm so thankful! A storm is brewing outside now but last night the moon woke me up three times. It was so bright, I had to get up on my knees and stare at it. I can hear the wind and the thunder. Ten more days of my beloved September. Thank you so much for stopping in. I love the thought of you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another Corner of the World

Thank you for your dear prayers for Kelli. At my school prayer group, we prayed for her, too. She has lots of love and concern coming her way. I remember what life was like when our kids were little. I felt a little jumbled and even though I tried so hard not to lose things, I'm sure I did. I received a call last night from a man who found Kelli's cell phone in his mother in law's back yard. In her rush to preschool, Kelli left her phone on the roof of her car and it flew off. Poor girl. She'll get it back today even though she's already fixed the phone problem. One time my dad was getting ready to go back to the capital for a week of lawmaking and he drove off with a basket of clean clothes and shoes on the top of his car. I think he drove QUITE a ways before he realized it and all was lost. When we had very little money, I went to a pizza parlor to buy a pizza for the kids and left it on top of the car and it flew off on my way home. I cried. Mom's get frazzled.

Bill is winding up his visit to Cambodia, but I thought you'd like to see a few pictures. A lot of people have asked me what Bill does and why he flies all over the globe. Real quick, I'll tell you. He started this ministry so that he could go abroad and encourage Christian workers who love kids. He raises all the money here and travels to many countries to consult and train, love and serve. He goes to Africa, Asia, South America and New Zealand and Australia. Occasionally he travels to Europe, too. He does get a bit jet lagged and he isn't trying to build a big organization (we've worked with many fine BIG organizations and love them) but he is thrilled to serve in this simple way. I hope that explains his job a bit.
Some sweet Cambodian kids had a fun barbecue. Cool lanterns, huh?

Everywhere he goes, he rides on the back of a "moto" and all the kids who can, drive one. Some ride regular bikes. The roads are so crowded with bikes. When I was there, I was a little nervous about traveling around this way (even back and forth from the airport!) but I soon relaxed. I DID sing praise songs to myself the entire time though! Once I looked over at a moto beside me and saw a mother with a baby on her lap, calm as could be. I figured all would be okay.

Here is "How Great Thou Art" in Khmer. I bet you'll be singing this hymn all day now. "Then sings my soul! My Savior God to Thee . . . "

I love this sign. I am using this picture at school because this old lady needs a bit more quiet than the teenagers do! But, today I wish YOU some quiet, too. May you sit and ponder. Feel the love coming your way. Know that you are not in charge and feel the relief of it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Morning Chit Chat

Good morning! The dark of night is just now lifting and Bill flew from Bangkok to Phnom Penh while I've been sitting here drinking my coffee! I wanted to say a quick hello before I hustle off to school.

Because . . . I'd like to stay home today and look at this pretty magazine ten or twenty times. It's one of my favorites. It's thin but it never disappoints!

Lynn over at All Things Bright and Beautiful asked me, "Why are you knitting a tomato?" Good question, Lynn. It's a small round bag with a drawstring and I decided to make it look like a tomato. Should I put waxy pumpkins inside?
Oh! My acorn squash was delicious! Jeff and I ate it last night. Olive oil and garlic and baked! Thanks, Betty! Thanks to everyone else who gave squash suggestions, too! The possibilities are endless! YUM!

My brother David drew a portrait of me for my Facebook profile. Isn't he a nice artist? He's silly. He is a very successful plumber in my hometown with a fleet of trucks and staff. He's sharp as a tack, honest and true. He doesn't really use much technology. He writes things on his hands! Anyway, I love my hair in this picture!
Time to go. Yesterday was hard. Sometimes the support staff are less than supportive and eighth grade rebels need more gentle guidance, but overall, the kids were calm and nice all day. Woo hoo!
Would you say a prayer for my Kelli? She is pregnant, with three months to go. She has a skin condition that acts up when she gets too warm and chasing around two little girls all day adds to the overheating problem. Pray for healing. She's tired. I wish I could stay home and relieve some of the stress. But, there I go again. Time to iron my clothes and speed down the highway. I love it that you come by. I am so interested in you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Outside Glory

"Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag." Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I
dance." Arthur Rimbaud (French Poet)

Remember Sunflower Houses? Well, I like Hollyhock Days, too!

Sharon Lovejoy is a flowery writer and the watercolors in this book are VERY sweet. You can read Sharon's blog, too! It's full of nature and growth!

Hollyhocks are so simple, aren't they? Some people think the are unsophisticated. Isn't that a good thing?

Hello up there!

"There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon. " Matsuo Basho

I'm calling Jody over at Gumbo Lily, my moon sister. She writes about the moon. She lives on the prairie and she regularly looks up and feels very small. Isn't that poetic and WONDERFUL? I've said it before but I can understand why wolves howl at the moon. They must be saying, "YOU are beautiful, our own round rock that glows and changes, entertaining us over and over again!" Well, maybe THAT would be quite a long howl, but just the same, the moon IS lovely, isn't it? So, now I am going upstairs to look out my window, to check on the moon. I hope it will shine on me while I sleep. I graded my brains out today and I am ready to snooooooooooooooze.
Have a rollicking week, friend! I think you should have a scone and a little squirt of whipped cream. And you know those waxy (but tasty!) little pumpkin candies featured in the Halloween aisle at the grocery store? Yes, I think we need some of those. Do you need to find yourself a BIG basket of mums? I did buy a squash today. I don't know how to bake it and eat it, but I'm going to try. Night night.