Monday, April 30, 2012

Going Rogue.

Ah.  Monday.  He shows up precisely every seven days, yet I am never quite prepared for him.

The deep, earthy aroma of freshly brewed coffee is wafting through my kitchen as I savor every pleasurable drop of coffee heaven.  For just a few more minutes, I would like to forget about the miles-long to-do list awaiting me on the kitchen counter.  Would love to run and hide for a bit longer...

The weekend proved to be entirely rejuvenating.  Although we still work and primarily conduct our daily business and errands in the "big" town 20 minutes away (population 7000ish), we are only 2 minutes away from the "little" town (population not-quite-a-1000) that is now a part of my address.  We ventured to the "little" town just to explore and meet people.  We dined at the sweet little eatery on main street, picked up some locally made root beer and barbecue sauce at the darling market on the corner, and watched the girls play and make some new friends at the local park.  God has an uncanny way of putting me in places I never thought I would be.  And helping me to love it anyway.  And I am truly content.

I am adjusting to country life quite nicely and have even taken a liking to the stray cats who hang around the house and love to sleep in our garage.  Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I am not a cat person.  I am not even really an animal person, although I am looking forward to getting a dog in the near future.  We have a fat yellow cat.  A really fat cat.  It occurred to me the other day that this cat is probably more than just fat.  I haven't seen her in at least ten days, although I have searched high and low.  Perhaps something wonderful has happened... 

The white and gray cat sits on the deck off the kitchen and watches me work.  She slightly creeps me out.  The sweet little gray tom hunts June bugs on the kitchen deck in the evenings.  The white and black one seems to be a fraidy-cat.  The girlies seem to think we should name them.  I don't know if I am ready for that, but as long as they are good little mice-hunters, they will be welcome here.

Over the weekend, Hubby asked me if I wanted to mow a bit and try out the new riding lawn mower.  He gave me a quick lesson (which I found entirely intimidating) and off I went.  I only got stuck in the weeds three times.  I secretly enjoyed it.  But please, don't compare my side to Hubby's side.  

One more coffee.  Then off to peruse my list and make some good things happen this week.

Happy Monday! 

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Friday, April 27, 2012


I have been particularly moved and affected by the story of this 4-year-old boy named Grayson.  He is losing his battle with cancer.  

Words fail me.  

We were acquainted with this family when we were living in Oklahoma several years ago.   

Please, go to their blog.  
Read his story.  
And pray for these sweet people.

The Sensitive One.

Whew!  I escaped last Monday's debacle mostly unscathed.  My phone is in good working order.   My datebook got an "extreme makeover" and is now colored something I like to call "vintage brown" (Or poo stain.  Take your pick.).  My laptop is now fully reassembled and back in business, thanks to my incredibly talented hubby (so thankful I married a nerd!).  I admit, however, that I nearly had a heart attack when viewing my laptop spread out in itty bitty pieces on the kitchen table, meticulously undergoing the "decaffeinating" process by the aforementioned hubby.

Glad.  That's.  Over.  

Transitions are hard for people like me.  And people like her.  My sweet, 5-year-old Ladybug, the sensitive one.  She emotionally attaches to people.  And things.  And she is fiercely loveable.  When we moved she cried for days.  It has been nearly a month since we moved, but she tells me it still doesn't feel like home.  She doesn't like it here.  And she misses her old room.  (Kid, rip my heart out and stomp all over it, will ya?)  

And today our faithful minivan went to the great garage in the sky.  We sent our beloved van to the scrap yard and watched as the big tractor hauled it away.  There was much wailing.  And sobbing.  And oh, the tears.  

Ladybug, lamenting something like, "I have always loved that van.  There will never be another one.  I can't look at it like that!"  

Peanut was crying, too.  "I just know that I left my favorite Nintendo DS game in there.  Mom, pleeeeeeaaaaaase go check one more time!"  No, I will not be risking my life by rushing into the crusher for your video game.  Next!  

Little Lovey just wanted a sucker.  And I just wanted them all to stop the insanity.  (Earlier, I realized my fresh coffee was still steaming on the kitchen counter as I sped to town, late for an appointment.) 

Ladybug has informed me that we can only replace her with another black van.  Nothing else.  She doesn't yet know that the new one is blue.  Sincerely hoping that goes over well.  It seems so silly, but even at the age of 5, she just really cares.  About everything.  I love that kid.  Someday she is going to make a really great nurse.  Or a teacher.  Or a veterinarian.  She has so much love to give.  

In her bedtime prayers, she lays bare her heart.  No one and nothing is left out her petition. 

She.  Is.  Fervent. 

She prays all kinds of things like:

For all the people with wells to have enough water in their well.
For all of the old ladies who were born in 1962.
For people who are blind to find cheap glasses.
For cancer to not be contagious.
For the plain Cheerios to magically turn into Honey Nut Cheerios by breakfast time.
For mommy to send leftover lasagna to the hungry children in Bolivia.

Ladybug's evening prayer time is often my favorite 10 minutes of the day.  Yes.  Ten illuminating minutes of child-like faith and this mama choking back tears of pride and giggles of pure joy.

She is the sensitive one.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love & Coffee!

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought."

Matthew 5.5 

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Monday, April 16, 2012


What day is it again?  Oh that's right. 


Scourge of the week. 

It all started out so good.  Really good.  Things are finally starting to feel normal around here.  I'm about 75% unpacked and the rest has been cleverly stuffed into the "Forget-About-It Room."  Eventually this room will be presentable as a guest bedroom, but for now... I'd rather just forget about it.

Now I have the delightful task of picking out paint colors for each room, and the slightly less delightful task of removing wallpaper and actually painting.  But at least I can now locate my toothbrush, bake a pie, or do laundry to my little heart's content. 

Now about that Monday thing.  It really was off to a good start.  Laundry started, kids dressed and fed, and coffee already flowing through my veins.  The kids were pleasantly keeping themselves occupied so I decided to take a few minutes to accomplish a small task I never seem to find time to do:  Figure out how to set my watch.  Not my good watch, but my inexpensive digital watch that I use when I go out walking or take along on a campout.  It's been incorrect ever since the time changed and I can't for the life of me figure it out.  It's unnecessarily bedecked with way too many buttons.  So I sat down to my laptop to call in some reinforcements via Google.  The daRn tutorial instructed me to hold down three ridiculous buttons at the same time.  (see footnote)

And then it happened.

The cursed watch slipped from my grip, into my nearly full cup of coffee, which in my panic to get it out (way more concerned about tainting my coffee at that point), toppled the mug (nearly full, may I remind you) onto my laptop, spilling over onto my datebook (Yes, I still use one.  Don't judge me.) and soaking my new cell phone in the process.  *sigh*

So it's Monday morning and every important piece of my life is coffee-soaked, air-drying, and useless for the immediate future.  Thank you to my sweet hubby for trusting me to use his beloved computer in the meantime! 

He asked me if I learned my lesson.  What exactly should I take away from this unfortunate event?

No coffee by the computer?  Never.
Ditch the datebook for a smartphone?  Please, don't make me.
Kick that hideous watch into oblivion?  A thousand times yes.

I'm off to brew more coffee, shop the internet for new watch, and make my Monday marvelous.

Happy Monday!

(Note: The "R" in daRn is intentional, to avoid looking like I improperly spelled a curse word.)

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Sad.

Life doesn't stop.  It just keeps going, paying no mind to the hiccups that may arise along the way.  Since completing the move to our new home two weeks ago, we have unfortunately not had one single day to just be home. 

And unpack. 
And organize.   
And just be.

Regardless, it feels so good to be home.  Even if that means I am surrounded by boxes and a smidgen of chaos. 

The last couple of weeks have been chock full of happy-sad moments.  

We were met with the unexpected home-going of my beloved grandfather, or "Grandpie" as we liked to call him. 
Happy he's free and his mind clear.  
Sad that he's no longer here.  

I was also a part of a wedding! 
Happy for wedded bliss.  
Sad to see young people growing up so fast.  Makes me seem older than I feel.  

We celebrated Easter!
Happy for the life I have found in a Savior.  
Sad to not spend the holiday with all of my family as in years past. 

But I'm home.  The boxes aren't going anywhere.  They will be there tomorrow.  And probably next week.  And maybe the next. 

More happy things:

I just discovered that there is a medicine cabinet behind what I thought was merely a large, oval mirror in one of the bathrooms.  (Yay for more storage!)

I found a new ranch dressing made from yogurt that is natural, preservative-free and only 45 calories per serving!  And it tastes absolutely amazing.  This is very good news for my waistline.

I have a new cell phone.  And a new cell phone company.  I still have no idea how my phone works, but at least I am getting a signal out here in the country. 

I finally have a fully functioning kitchen again.  No.  More.  Subway. (I'll be updating my Recipes page soon.)

My heart (and my coffee cup!) are full.  It's going to be a good day.

I don't have a problem with caffeine.  I have a problem without caffeine! 

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Monday, April 2, 2012


This weather has been utterly unbelievable for an Iowa March and April.  Near 90s?  Unheard of!  I am pleased that Spring has decided to arrive early.  Winter turned out to be such a dud this year, that I am happy to see her go.  I cannot help but wonder, however, if we will end up with an April blizzard just for kicks. 

I am finally and officially moved into our charming turn-of-the-century farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.  It's so perfectly perfect out here!  Never mind the mountains of boxes just screaming to be unpacked and organized... there are birds singing to me from outside my kitchen window every morning!  (Personally, I think they share my joy in the aroma of a sunrise coffee.)  Now all I need are one of those cute little bistro tables to grace my deck just off the kitchen to enjoy the aforementioned coffee.  (Husband, I hope you are reading this.)

We bought a shovel.  And a wheelbarrow.  And mousetraps.  You know, all those necessary country sorts of things.  

I have one week of country living under my belt.  Discoveries made thus far:

1.  People who install cheap carpet over beautiful hardwood floors are certifiably insane.  (Same goes for those who paint over perfect, ornate woodwork.)  But working on these floors has been a surprisingly rewarding project!

2.  We have a badger feeling quite at home in one of the sheds.  Ewww.  And eek.  And everything in between.

3.  I.  Hate.  Old.  Wallpaper.  (And picking out paint colors is not as easy as I thought it would be...)

4.  We have one internet option out here.  And its expensive.  And the hole-in-the-wall company would only install it if we got a land line phone, too.  So guess what.  I've got a land line phone for the first time in years.

5.  Our few-and-far-between neighbors seem super nice.  Like down-homey Iowa nice.  This is good.

6.  I have a peach tree right next to the house!  Guess who will be making jam?

7.  There is a whole row of lilacs out by the chicken coop.

8.  I also have a rose bush.

9.  It rained enough to fill the wheel barrow the other night.  And oh, the mud.  I must have mopped the kitchen floor at least a thousand times.  

10.  "Walnuts" found lying in the grass are walnuts.  "Walnuts" buried in the sand box are not.  And that big pile of "fill dirt" out by barn?  Yeah, that was deceiving, too...

We have a list of house projects about a mile long for my sweet hubby and I to tackle eventually.  Priority #1 is to finish unpacking.  Thank God for coffee. 

My, how I have missed blogging.  And now that I once again have a fully functioning kitchen (with a working refrigerator!), I am eager to cook up a storm and post some new recipes.  

Happy Monday, Coffee Lovers!

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce." 

~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Over the Teacups," 1891

This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday.

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