Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Never a dull conversation

Girlchild: Hey Bob, we get to go to Uncle Mike's house tonight and eat crawdads?

Bob: I don't think I like crawdads.

The Mom: You like crab, you might like them.

Bob: Mom, did you know that Shaggy and Scooby suck the juices out of the crawdad tails.

Me: That's how people from the South do it.

Bob: When I grow up, I want to be a people from the South.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible, written by Barbara Kingsolver, has been my favorite book so far this year.  It is the story of a Southern missionary, Nathan Price, who moves his wife and 4 daughters from Georgia to the Belgian Congo in the 1959 to convert the savages to Christianity.  Nathan is not as successful with his mission as he would like to be, and the girls find themselves in the Congo trying to survive for the foreseeable future.  The story is told in part by each of the 5 Price girls.  I thought that it might be a bit confusing jumping around but I soon settled into the book and found that each girl in their own turn had a commanding voice and their own take on what was happening around them. 

I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible so much it might just make my short list of favorites that get read again and again.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If you feed a man a monster

If you are traveling along the loneliest highway in America and you find yourself in Middlegate.  You might as well stop in to say hi.


And if you stop in to say hi, you might as well order up a bloody mary or a monster burger because they are both tasty and delicious.
(and while we are on the subject of tasty AND delicious....the chicken fried steak is also amazing, just sayin')


And after you've tried your hand at eating said monster burger, you probably will need to wash your face.  On your way to the bathroom you might as well walk slowly and see if you can find anyone you know's John Hancock on one of the dollar bills on the ceiling.



And if you find yourself in Middlegate, you might as well travel a hop skip and a jump to see what Gabbs is all about.  Don't worry, if you lose your high security motel room key, it's postage guaranteed.  But do watch out for cows in the road.  You can thank me later.



If you find yourself in Gabbs on St Patty's day weekend, you might as well go to the fireman's ball.  There really isn't anything else to do that town anyway.  And if you go to the fireman's ball, you might just find yourself staring at an old man in a leprechaun outfit....right down to the sparkly, green shoes.



And if you find yourself at the fireman's ball in Gabbs on St. Patty's day, be prepared to not eat dinner till midnight.  They were not joking about that.  Not at all.

Working the System

Bob: Mom, is your back still hurting?

Me: Yes.

Bob: You should tell your boss that you need to go home early and rest.
And on the way home you can pick me up.  But you should come get me before naptime.
Okay?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Best Lazy Decision I Have Ever Made

And that's how you know it's spring!

Daffodils are the easiest flower I've ever planted. 
They are forgiving to my negligent ways.
They bloom every spring like clock work.
I love them. 
The strangers who come to the front door remark on how beautiful they are.
I can't wait to have some cuttings to put on the dining room table.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First one standing in line

Summer is coming.....never mind that it's snowing outside as I type this. 

Looking forward to
tan lines
snow cones
cotton candy
tent camping
back porch sitting
a tall glass of sun tea
running through the sprinklers
growing the garden
thunder storms
watermelons
slip-n-slides
fishing trips
BBQ ribs

Can't. Hardly. Wait.

The Proof is in the Broomstick

This last week, my facebook friends have been posting picture after picture of a broom standing up in the middle of a room by itself.  So I had to try it myself.


My witch tricks


According to the interwebs, you can do this little trick anywhere / anytime, not just during the equinox. 
And that has me wondering.  If anyone can balance a broom anytime they want, how is that 9 times out of 10 when I lean the broom against the counter, so I can stoop down with the dust pan, it falls and hits me in the head?


To India

Remember how I found money a few months ago while running in the 2012 Tinkerbell half marathon.  I finally decided what to do with it.

I sent it here: http://sometimessweet.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-really-matters.html

I found Kristin's blog around the end of last year and fell in love with her story.  I admire her courage and her heart, to reach out to people worlds away and see in the face of a stranger a precious soul that matters in this world. She started this journey by going to India to work for Operation Smile.  What was supposed to be a couple months of work and a return to the US has turned into so much more.

Half Broke Horses

After years of scrimping and saving every penny she can, Lily Casey Smith decides she's going to do something for herself.  She signs up for flight lessons.  Her flight instructor, like my father's flight instructor, was named Gus.

And Gus knew a thing or two about feeling a gaggle of children.  His specialties were beans and the tastiest salad dressing you ever will try.  I promise.

Gus's Beans
1 lb hamburger
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
4 cans pinto beans
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder

Brown hamburger and drain fat, add to crock pot. 
Saute onion, add to crock pot.
drain beans, add to crock pot.
add remaining ingredients.
Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Gus's Salad Dressing
1 purple onion, chopped
2 cups sugar
3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp poppy seed
1 tsp dry mustard

Add all ingredients to blender or food processor, blend one minute.  Transfer to serving container.
After you've tried out Gus's specialties, you should check out Half-Broke Horses.
Half-Broke Horses is a family history written by Jeannette Walls. Walls started out trying to write the story of her mother, Rose Mary, but found she could not tell the story quite right unless she started with her mother's beginnings, Lily Casey Smith. Lily's story is one of poverty, hard times, and fierce determination. Her life's motto was this: when God closes a door he always opens a window. You just have to look for it.

As a young girl, Lily helped her father break horses on their Texas ranch. At 15 she struck out on her own with nothing but a few belongings and her horse. She rode 500 miles to a teaching job in Arizona. After several short stints as a teacher in rural towns, Lily finds that she will have to take on odd jobs to keep food on the table.  These included poker player, bootlegger, and horse racer. Lily gets married, has two children, and finds herself managing a considerably sized cattle ranch in Arizona.

While this book was written after The Glass Castle, I wish that I would have read it first. I found myself wondering how and why Rose Mary, with a teaching degree from college, chose the vagrant lifestyle she did. I think I would have had more sympathy for her in Jeannette's story if I had known more about her upbringing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Veronika Decides to Die


For a time in my life I stood looking at the wind, I forgot to sow, I did not live joyfully, I did not even drink the wine offered me.  But one day, I judged myself ready, and I went back to work. 

~Paulo Coelho - Veronika Decides to Die



In this Coelho novel, Veronika, a young woman decides to commit suicide by overdosing on pills.  She has it all planned out down to the minute.    But then, she wakes up in the hospital ward of a mental hospital.  She learns that the pills have severely weakened her heart muscle and she has at most 5 days to live.  The novel chronicles those 5 days and how life looks so much different to Veronika now that she is sentenced to die instead of choosing it.

I Thought You'd Never Ask

cowboy_bob_2 by zeke_woolsey
cowboy_bob_2, a photo by zeke_woolsey on Flickr.


Mom, would you like a NOT-sticky kiss?

Monday, March 12, 2012

slowly but surely

I have 150+ miles under my size 11 narrow asics shoes since January the 1. 
It feels good.
I'm starting to feel like I actually have a good base. 
Looking at the calendar and counting the weeks has got me thinking that I won't be so worried about being horribly under-prepared for the Rock n River half marathon.

Time will tell I suppose.

Dare I set a goal to run my fastest half yet?

I found a new Barenaked ladies song on my ipod's random playlist.  It has a nice running rhythm.  Actually, I have found quite a few lately, there are so many fun barenaked ladies songs that don't get any air time on the radio.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Been a while....

A happy afternoon
The cute little sock and sweater were made by a sweet lady named Mary.
I am working on a shawl for the prayer group at church.
It's so warm and soft that I'm afraid I will want to keep it for myself when I'm finished.

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