I Can't Believe We All Lived Through It

Last night was the official holiday concert.  It was pretty well done.  I have an attitude about fine arts and homeschoolers.  We (as a group) tend to let each other by with less than the best.  And clap for it.  There is no excuse to hold a lower standard than the world around us.  If we can't do it with excellence, we need to leave it alone.

I digress.

I have been more than forthcoming about the girls crushes. It is really none of my business. I tell you, so I don't meddle too much in their lives.  Must be just a homeschool mom temptation.

What I haven't told you about, is that there is a boy who has a crush on one of them.  He is quiet.  We've known the family since we moved back here. Neither of the girls seem to be aware.  They can't see past...well,


Clearly, I can't say anything.  That is why I have the blog.

It sucked to be a teen.  I forgot while I was wishing I could go back to not being responsible for paying the bills.


Parenting teens is not as fun as they make it seem in the books and movies.

Because I really Can't Say...I am linking with...


Holiday Rush

You know, God will laugh at you.  To your face.  That is what makes him a great friend, except that when he follows up with the practical joke, it always hits the mark.  Perfectly.

See, for a couple of years, Mickey and I have been commenting, privately, that the term "holiday rush"  or the statement, "Then it's the holidays and when will we fit another thing in?"  are overused and probably excuses to NOT do stuff.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Over the weekend, we sat around.  We continued work on the storied "back room".  Bagged up a few clothing items for the consignment and charity donations. Loaded a set of encyclopedias in the car to take to the used book store to the free bin. Watched a number of dvds that we had seen before.  I tried to think about this week, but I just couldn't focus. We had choir practice a couple of times and performed on Sunday.

The Monday co-op was off today for their holiday break.  Bless 'em.

Today.  It rained.  I was walking by the TV last night, and heard the weatherman say it would be 3-5 inches before this moved off.

Since coming back from the break, I haven't acknowledged God much at the blog.  We are on good terms, just haven't been spending hours and hours together. I was frustrated.  I was tired of telling Him the same things.  I figure, faith extends to trusting Him to hear me the first time and the 100th time.  And sooner or later, I am just nagging.  I felt guilty.  But I also felt foolish.  As I mentioned in a post some time ago, I felt a little responsible for my situation.  Sort of like I was on my own.  A couple of weeks ago, on Sunday, someone said, "Sometimes, God is silent for awhile."  It was just for me.

Since then, I started trying a little harder to focus on Him.  Ironically.  If He is silent, and that's okay.  How am I suddenly interested in getting His attention?  Well, initially, I didn't have much luck, anyway.

Until this morning.

I got up and made the coffee and sat down with the Word.

And He spoke.

To be honest, I didn't care much for what He had to say.

If it had been a person, it would have been confrontational.

But when the person giving the feedback wrote the book and sees everything, there is not much to argue.

To be honest.  It may have been said in that, "This-Is-The-Last-Time-I'm-Gonna-Say-This" tone I have begun to recognize so well, because I use it so often.

The message was loud and clear and unmistakably for me.

I hope it gets me through this week.

Back to the holiday rush.  My advice: don't smart off.  God will hear you and give you a week like I'm fixin'tuh have.


Thoughts in a Quiet Moment...

I really wanted to link up Wordful Wednesday or Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop last week, but it was not to be.  The holiday was super low key.  The food was really good.  We had leftovers.  When we share the holiday, the leftovers don't last as long.

We went to the holiday extravaganza.  They should call it Fantasy of Gingerbread Houses.  The house contest was the best part.  They used to have soaring massive trees.  This year there were but a fistful of trees that would be too large for a regular apartment.  The kids performed and I didn't forget the camera for once.  The pictures are mediocre because I was unwilling to stand in the aisle and block the other parents from seeing their children.  Not everyone felt the same way.

Now, I am going to save this post, log off the internet on this machine and in about thirty minutes or so, the other computer will have booted up and I will load the photos.

Dude just figured he'd be bored.  He brought a Sudoku book.

Yeah, I am wearing orange.  Because I am a rebel.

Going to check-in.   Boys on one side.  Girls on the other.  Just like the pilgrims.

If you have a keen eye, you might catch a glimpse of the boy who is causing all the trouble around here(unbeknownst to himself).  Nah, I don't have the other parents' permission to put their kids pics up.  I'll just upload them to my real FB account.  Somehow, that's different.

Pretty, wow, huh?

The local architecture firm that my husband DOESN'T work for.

Extarordinarily-Small-Town High School.

Not sure what is up with this face.

All in all it was an okay day.


Part Two: Attention to the Craving

I have tried both, and I have decided that it is nicer to post the links...  I like looking at the other blog.  I like the restful color.

I know you don't have a lot of time to read several pages.  However, there may be strong last minute advice on the glory of the starches , revisionist history, last minute pilgrimage, and the flavor of true gratitude.

The rest of that blog is almost the same musing out loud about how to maintain a proper attitude in the face of circumstances that seem unfair (but I guess aren't.  Everybody has 'stuff'.)

I just finished reminding teenagers that we don't need dollars to be thankful, do our schoolwork, or take care of our home.  We don't need dollars to have a good time or be a good friend.  We don't need to have dollars to feel loved.

I am writing it down so I will remember, too.

What's for Dinner?

Tomorrow is Thankfulness Day.  Because, by the time I can sit down to the computer, I will be Thankful that the concert is over and that the Christmas season is underway.  Oh, I will rock the Gratitude.  Like the Pilgrims rocked Plymouth.

I digress, sort of.

This time last year, I was clattering away on an "anonymous" blog.  I thought at the time that I didn't care for what anonymity did for my attitude. Recently, I looked back at some of the Thanksgiving posts and they made me laugh.  I am re-posting.  Or whatever.

Overall, my idea was to share what I did for Thanksgiving for the person who didn't have a current tradition.  The recipes are probably practically useless because I don't really have them written down any place.  I just freestyle and we eat.  One year, I left the broccoli out of the broccoli casserole.

So without further ado:






...that special holiday when the pilgrims ate brie en croute.

One of my mini(many)-addictions is magazines.  Yet, November is just a 'no-go' on magazines, because every magazine publishes 'new' recipes for Thanksgiving.


Oh, and don't let's forget... The-Last-Turkey-Recipe-You-Will-Ever-Need.


Can I just say?...

You don't need a recipe for turkey(the directions are printed on the wrapper)!

Why, oh why, do we need new recipes for sides?  I know some people don't have a Thanksgiving tradition or at least not one they want to repeat.  But why would we blame the food?  There is a menu for this holiday.  We don't need new.  Thanksgiving isn't about new.  It is specifically about what has gone before.  We know that the pilgrims didn't have feta OR turkey gravy from a jar.

My connection to my far away family's tradition is that I duplicate the menu every year.  The aunts didn't do it on their own.  They haven't yet.  We also have new traditions.  We get together with friends who are like family.  I am no longer doing it alone.  My daughters have taken over the preparation of their favorite dishes.
I love Thanksgiving: the Holiday.  I invite you to share my family's traditions. Remember back when the Pilgrim's hung out with their unlikely new friends, the Indians and everyone had a clean plate?

As for Thanksgiving: the Practice-- I am not as accomplished at that.  But I know this...

You don't need a recipe for Thanksgiving.
You just get on down on them knees.
Fold them hands, like so.
Drop your chin to your chest.
Close your eyes.
Open your mouth and whisper,

Tomorrow: What exactly is the menu, and if you are so ordinary, why are you a food snob?  And...Homemade Noodles for regular folk.


Today's Burning Question

Yesterday, while I was getting ready for the day, I saw an old Martha Stewart magazine on the shelf.  One would not guess by looking at my home, but I went through a short-lived obsession with her, in about 2005, at the height of her over-exposure.  Back to the magazine on the shelf.  I grabbed it and thumbed through.  I thought, "Wait a minute.  Is she the most brilliant living American?"


Since WWII, advertising has sold us everything from automobiles to household appliances with ease, convenience and time-savings as the buzzword. "Less work for me?  It must be good. Let me pay you more than it would cost to do it myself."

But wait.  Where was out attention when Martha snuck up and built an empire off selling American women (mostly) "Doing It the Hard Way and Paying More For It"?

My grandma ran a tasteful home where people wanted to be.  She grew her vegetable and her beef.  It was considered turncoat to eat chicken.  She did her tasteful home decor herself.  She preserved food for the future.  She cooked and hosted and considered it an achievement to have more people than last year.  She passed along those skills to her daughter, my aunt. I sneaked them when no one was watching.

Martha's way is always harder and more expensive than Grandma's way. Grandma's way makes my people feel loved in a way that Martha's way couldn't.  Grandma's way is free.

Is homemaking (or keeping) a lost art?  Does a generation who may have come up without seeing Thanksgiving dinner made (or the sheets changed) need someone impart to them skills that used to be handed down in the family?

Or is she just selling back to us what used to belong to us by rights?

Who taught you to take care of your home?  Mom?  Aunt?  Grandmother?  Dad?

What is your cleverest homekeeping trick?