Thursday, January 30, 2014

a list in ode to this day

Reasons that this day is wonderful:

1.  I unexpectedly received the day off of work.  While on one hand I am out those wages, the other hand is that time with my guys and being at home is priceless.

2.  There is a loaf of homemade bread dough rising under a towel in the kitchen.  I tried using some oat flour (ground whole oats) and added flax seeds to the dough.  I hope it's not too heavy and bakes into a brick.  Any vessel to transport melty butter to the mouth should be just fine.

3.  I received this journal in the mail today.

It is the perfect place for this book lover to keep track of books read, favorite passages and quotes, personal thoughts, and all other things that a book may evoke and require.
Book Lust is a series of sorts by a librarian from Seattle, Nancy Pearl.  She gives recommendations for reading based on different themes or ideas.  Her reading repertoire is impressive.
4.  A version of these snickerdoodle blondies is cooling on my counter.

I altered the given recipe by adding a whole chopped Granny Smith Apple, using 1/2 c. butter with 1/2 c. of applesauce to cut out some fat, and only using 1 c. of brown sugar rather than 2.  I used an extra 1/3 c. of flour to compensate for any extra moisture the apple may have added.  I also sprinkled in some allspice and cinnamon to the batter.  It smells wonderful!
5.  We are all registered and hotel room is reserved for a Marriage Conference we will be attending next week.  It's been a really long time since we've been away for any sort of thing ALONE beyond grocery shopping.  I plan to drink it all in as fully as possible.
6.  I had the time today to get caught up on some record keeping tasks for our church.  Honestly I've been putting it off so it was always there, looming over my head.  But now, it's done!
And that, my friends, is why this day is so great!
After looking up the definition of the word "ode" as seen in my title I learned:
ODE {ohd}, noun
1.  a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.
2. (originally) a poem intended to be sung.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

so I read

Itching to get outside, to get working on my garden and all my outside plans.  Itching to get on my bike and ride when it's warm enough to not ache in my lungs.  Itching to spend sunny afternoons at the beach or hiking trails.

But it is winter.  So I read.

I've challenged myself to read more than I ever have in the past.  I've finished three books this month and am currently reading two more.

Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds by Lyanda Lynn Haupt


"Birds will give you a window, if you allow them.  They will show you secrets from another world - fresh vision that, though it is avian, can accompany you home and alter your life.  They will do this for you even if you don't know their names - though such knowing is a thoughtful gesture.  They will do this for you if you watch them."
Great Preaching on Christ compiled by Shelton Smith
II Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory."
"If you wish men to see more of Christ on you, from glory to glory, keep looking up into His glorious face and thus keep reflecting the glory you see there.  Spend much time alone with Jesus."  -R.A. Torry



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

the waitress, a chameleon

As a waitress there are a lot of things that I just have to turn a blind eye to.  There are things I see that I ignore, things I hear that I pretend not to, and rudeness that just has to be brushed off. 
There is a shell of indifference that must be worn on shift.  Some people like to joke around, others are very serious, and it is important to be able to know the difference.  To some people I am invisible, some view me as existing on a lesser level, and others tend to get too personal.  And it is all in a day's work in the service industry.  At the end of the day it comes down to being able to slough it all off, remember who you are, and walk off the shift with your head held high for a job well done. 
It's not easy, not easy to be a chameleon, judged by your performance or your personality or how often you smile.  But it happens.  Not everyone loves me.  It's just a sad fact.  One I was reminded of today with a stinging review.  I was judged harshly and unfairly.
So in response I say:
I gave you the best possible service I was capable of.  Your drinks were cold, your food was hot.  Your order came to your table quickly and accurate with your requests, even after you took that phone call while I was in the middle of taking your order.  We were busy, in case you hadn't noticed I was serving more than just your table.  Maybe you failed to see that as you were on your phone most of the time.  I checked in with you, refilled drinks, made sure you were doing well.  I did notice that you had a colorful personality, maybe my quieter personality was not enough.  I am a human being just like you.  I work so my growing sons have nutritious food to eat.  I go home at the end of the day with aches and pains from carrying plates of food, your food.  I am dependent on tips to put gas in my vehicle, I couldn't help but notice you didn't think I was deserving of a tip.  I am a quiet person and I do my very best to smile, be friendly, joke around with folks, and generally just be a personable individual.  I'm sorry it was not enough for you today.


"Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work.  The second is only a part of the first."  -Anna Quindlen

Monday, January 20, 2014

exhaust the little moment

Light is waning at 5 o'clock, each day longer than the last.  The sky is painted shades of light blue fading into a pale yellow at the horizon.

We've lived in our little house for six months now.  Today I hung some things on the walls.  Maybe I'm a bit particular (picky) but I was waiting, sort of studying the walls, getting a feel for where things would look best.

We went to the library today only to be reminded that they were closed for MLK.  And I had a book waiting for me on the holds shelf.  Just waiting, behind locked doors.  Unread.

My son, 14 years and 9 months old, had a sports physical today.  I need to find a new pediatrician that does NOT push the Gardasil vaccine.  I didn't answer the question on the questionnaire asking if there were guns in our home.  I guess in not answering, I answered.  Children are the responsibility of the FAMILY, not the family physician, not the school system, not the government.  Families need to know this.

I made a spaghetti sauce this morning and put it in my new little crockpot (thank you husband!).  It's been simmering slowly all afternoon.  We will spoon it over whole wheat pasta with some salad and buttery garlic bread on the side.  Yum!  I adore good food.

And my family.

I adore them too.

And this poem, I adore.

Exhaust the little moment,
Soon it dies.
And be is gash or gold
It will not come
Again in this identical
-Gwendolyn Brooks

Monday, January 13, 2014

the birds

At times during the day our little backyard is so full of birds that the ground teems with movement, the bald cherry tree is adorned with birds like a Christmas tree with ornaments.  Wings flit through the air and the feeders are full of hungry beaks.
I sit with a cup of coffee and let myself become blissfully distracted by their beautiful and sometimes comical movements.


Northern Flicker
My favorite picture, broken into parts for your enjoyment (scroll down to see what I saw and found funny):
The refined city finch:

The crazy mountain finch:

That face!