Monday, October 31, 2011

:: right now ::

following SouleMama's inspiration . . . 
:: right now, I am . . .
:: relishing in the peace and quiet of everyone sent on their way
:: looking forward to baking pumpkin bread and making pumpkin rice krispie treats
:: relaxed from a pleasant Sunday spent with my kids and husband
:: happy for a shift in my mood
:: enjoying planning new projects for yarn and fabric

:: anticipating creating just because I can
:: wondering what scuba diving in December will be like
:: loving my children, who are really grown ups, everyday
:: feeling blessed in my relationship with my husband. Struggles are tough, but getting through them together is SO worth it 

happy Halloween Monday to all of you!
for SouleMama's list click here

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Saturday Poetry: Names

there were names
always names.
Welty, O'Connor, Updike, and Sinclair.
words on pages,
of such enormous import.
Hemingway, Melville, Faulkner, and Hawthorne.
books to be
sheltered and revered.
Milton, Capote, Anderson, and Twain.
papers written by him.
read by him.
Our Town, twinship, diaries, and sermons.
where did the little girl fit in?
who were all these people 
why were they so important to him?
their stories so much more important than hers.

--mlp 2011

{this moment}

this moment

{this moment}: A Friday photo tradition with Soulemama. One moment from this week, one that you want to hang onto and not forget. No words. And if you're a blogger playing along, please leave your link!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

still in list mode this week --

:: a realization yesterday. It is so easy to fall back into bad patterns of coping. I am thankful to have guidance on this journey of recovery.

:: a chance meeting last night. Following a "business" meeting at church I ran into an acquaintance who is struggling. I had the opportunity to share some of my struggles in a way that brought comfort. What a blessing!

:: a return to better health, both physically and emotionally.

:: a pleasantly productive day yesterday. I've been struggling with productivity lately. Yesterday I accomplished most of what I set out to do and was able to be kind to myself in the process.

:: this quote: If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things. It is we, of course, to whom things look “little” or “big.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 

and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Spiritually Unequal Marriage

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 25, 2011

Outside my window . . . the sun is just coming up. It is clear and 42 degrees F. We may get up to 80 degrees today -- probably one of our last days to be that warm this year.

I am thinking . . . that antibiotics can be good, but I don't think I body appreciates them. I am always so tired when I take them. Thankfully my final dose was last night.

I am thankful . . . for an understanding husband!

From the learning rooms . . . we just finished fall break, so I expect the work will begin to pile up again.

In the kitchen . . . last night was bacon and cheese quiche. Ds and gf made red velvet cupcakes!

I am wearing . . . black yoga pants and a run for Mercy t-shirt.

I am creating . . . another Christmas present scarf and looking through patterns and yarn for the next project.

I am going . . . . to yoga and The Fresh Market, and then I hope to come home and get some stuff done around here.

I am wondering . . . if I'll ever catch up in my Bible study!

I am reading . . . 
One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery #7) by Julia Spencer-Fleming

I am hoping . . . to break this cycle of fatigue and depression I have been dealing with lately. I'm not sure what's going on, but I hope most of it is related to infections and antibiotics!

I am looking forward to . . . talking with my therapist tomorrow about the depression and fatigue.

I am hearing . . . quiet, interspersed with dogs and electronics.

Around the house . . . the bonus room is beginning to improve as dh gets closer to completing the work on the condo.

I am pondering . . . .
 how I've let clutter and disorder become the norm around here for several months (at least). When I first married I was fairly neurotic about cleaning and picking up (and I had no children!). Over the years my neurosis has eased, but perhaps the pendulum has swung too far! Then again I'm not the only adult who lives in the house -- 3 others live here (and create mess) with me.

One of my favorite things . . . 
is a neat and orderly house. I don't want "House Beautiful", but I would like a place for everything and everything in its place.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . 
some writing, studying Daniel, talking with my therapist, striking some order (?), and whatever else pops up. Oh yeah, and seeing Wicked with dd on Sunday : )

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

my pretty autumn table

Monday, October 24, 2011

Made by You Monday -- Recycled Cotton Shawl

in Marine and Sunshine
(instructions can be found at
ABC Knitting Patterns
although this is a crochet pattern)

head over to Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou to see more.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I've Never Done

I'm 49 years old.
And I've never:
1 -- Smoked weed.
2 -- Eaten haggis.
3 -- Dove off a cliff.
4 -- Swam in the Pacific.
5 -- Ridden in a helicopter.
6 -- Climbed Mt. Everest.
7 -- Been to Argentina.
8 -- Starred in a movie.
9 -- Been buried in sand.
10 -- Seen a play on Broadway.
11 -- Been to Los Angeles.
12 -- Played football, professionally or otherwise.
13 -- Completed a knitting project.
14 -- Owned a snake.
15 -- Been hang gliding.
16 -- Gotten a tattoo.
17 -- Fired a gun.
18 -- Spoken Yiddish.
19 -- Danced naked in the moonlight.
20 -- Been to an opera.

How about you?

Thankful Thursday

today I find myself in list mode. so here are 5 things I'm thankful for:

1 :: a scorchingly honest post by an acquaintance who is going through hell -- Caring Bridge.

2 :: my ds telling me how adorable the the little boy across the street looked in his Pooh bear sweat shirt -- complete with ears on the hood!

3 :: more and more opportunities to write; to see myself as a writer; to acknowledge that I may have some talent.

4 :: a reminder of who I really am. I found out that one of my abusers has been put on a series of medications to deal with depression and anxiety. he has been having trouble working. my initial (although fleeting) response was glee. what goes around, comes around. almost immediately I found myself just wishing he would get some help. admit what he's done. ask forgiveness, so that his life could be better. all people need forgiveness, but responsibility and admission are part of the equation.

5 :: yarn and crochet patterns. I am finally learning to read crochet patterns after years of scarves and baby blankets. it's much more fun when I can do different designs and stitches. although I may be developing an addiction! LOL!

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 

and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Spiritually Unequal Marriage

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 18, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is partly cloudy and cool this morning. There is a change on the way though. Rain, cooler temperatures, and strong winds from the north moving in later this afternoon and evening. I'm rather looking forward to cooler weather.

I am thinking . . . that watching my kids struggle in relationships may be harder than working through my own.

I am thankful . . . for antibiotics. I developed an ear infection in both ears on Friday. Thankfully I was able to get into to see the doctor and get some antibiotics. I am on the mend.

From the learning rooms . . . the first quarter of senior is in the books. Ds is happy with all but one grade.

In the kitchen . . . pork roast, tater tots and broccoli salad last night. I'm thinking a new recipe for Brunswick stew and some fresh whole wheat bread for dinner tonight.

I am wearing . . . nightgown, flannel robe and my new winter house shoes.

I am creating . . . I'm actually almost finished with the shawl I told you about last week.

I am going . . . nowhere if I can help it. I'm planning on keeping my outings to a minimum until I finish these antibiotics.

I am wondering . . . how soon I'm going to get a break from viruses and colds. I'm in a bad cycle! LOL!

I am reading . . . Manner of Death by Stephen White.

I am hoping . . . to feel more like doing some housework today. If I'm going to be staying in I'd like to get some cleaning up done.

I am looking forward to . . . dh finishing the condo he's been renovating. I'm ready for him to be home in the evenings.

I am hearing . . . the hum of the computer and the occasional bird through the open door. One particularly raucous blue jay!

Around the house . . . things are still chaotic! I'm beginning to think that it's a permanent condition.

I am pondering . . . . my role as a parent in relationship to my ds and gf. They had an argument last night. I talked with him about it, but he asked me not to talk to her about it, so I find myself playing "neutral" with her about something that makes me mad!

One of my favorite things . . . is the turning leaves. My across the street neighbor has a huge sugar maple in his front yard. I love watching it go from green to bright orange, red, and yellow. Truly God's handiwork -- although I always liked the idea of Jack Frost!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . taking it easy until this ear infection clears up.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

 the almost finished shawl
(the picture doesn't do the 
colors justice)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Made by You Monday -- Floral Arranging

last week my mother and I went out to lunch and shopping.
it's an annual event for us.
I was looking for yarn.
she was looking for autumn decor.
I picked up some floral supplies.
I'm terrible at arranging!
she's quite good at it.
I found this vase as I was walking around
my neighborhood back in the summer.
it has a chip in the back, so the owners had
set it out with the trash.
I nabbed it!
I think it adds a nice bit of color to my front porch.
and you can't even see the chip.

head over to Skip to My Lou for Made by You Mondays

Sunday, October 16, 2011

30 Questions . . . about Me!

Made More Beautiful put this questionnaire up on her blog, and I thought it might be fun to answer the questions and see if my readers wanted to participate. So copy -- paste -- answer and then come back and add your link to the comments!

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Michelangelo
2. What has been your favorite age so far? tough question! I'd have to go with now for self actualization, but late twenties were great for strength and endurance!
3. Where did you meet your husband? doing a play in college -- The Music Man
4. How many children do you have? 2
5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? frequently before I was mom, less in later years
6. What’s the first thing you notice about your preferred sex? eyes -- the window to the soul
7. What really turns you off? self importance
8. What do you order at Starbucks? nonfat Chai latte or Pumpkin Spice Steamer or Mocha Peppermint latte (decaf)
9. What is your biggest mistake? not having sought out more help in parenting
10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? a singer or a teacher
11. Say something totally random about yourself. I hunch when I type.
12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Sometimes we still pop in a kiddie movie like How to Train Your Dragon or Despicable Me.
13. Did you have braces? yes as an adult
14. Favorite Social Network? Facebook -- although it does annoy me lately!
15. What is the most romantic thing someone of the preferred sex has done for you? my husband brings me flowers for random reasons
16. When do you know when it’s love? when I realized I wanted to be with him even when he annoyed me!
17. Do you speak any other languages? random bits of German and Spanish
18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? NO!
19. What magazines do you read? Whole Living and Entertainment Weekly
20. What is playing on your iPod right now? Sheryl Crow
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? yes
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? yes
23. Do you watch MTV? No -- I have what is jokingly referred to as "amish" cable. We only have about 12 channels.
24. What’s something that really annoys you? dishonesty
25. Which television show you were sad to say goodbye to? Firefly
26. Can you dance? it depends on who you ask!
27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Bad Ischl, Austria
28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? no, but I've ridden with my son and my husband on separate occasions
29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? the obvious answer is Jesus, but I would love to talk with Leonardo da Vinci.
30. If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be? that compassion would become the norm

Your turn!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted." -- Aldous Huxley

I know I do! Some of it is human nature. We get into a routine and expect it to continue, so we forget to be in awe of all that we have; all that we are given.

A few weeks ago I noticed a comment popping on Facebook -- What if you only had tomorrow what you were thankful for today? Some days that would be a very disturbing thought.

I've talked about it before, and if I repeat myself, it is only because I NEED to hear it again. Practice intentional gratitude. Really make a point to stop and realize how much we have -- all the blessings we are given everyday.

Thankful Thursday is a good reminder once a week, but I'm going to ramp it up and try to be intentional at least once a day! Will you join me?

"O Lord, that lends me life, lend a heart replete with thankfulness." -- William Shakespeare

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 
and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Spiritually Unequal Marriage

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fear and Telling

He told me that telling them would make all the difference. My husband and therapist both believed everything I had told them. Why would my parents be any different? 

The day of the meeting I was a wreck. Frantic; nauseated; hands shaking; crying. I knew it was irrational to be this afraid. I’m a grown woman, for God’s sake. Inside I was still the little girl who had been repeatedly told, “they won’t believe you” and “they’ll throw you away like a piece of trash”.

The appointment time finally came. We met at the psychologist’s office. He talked with my parents and then he talked with me. He assured me it would be alright. They would believe me, love me, support me.

I sat in the corner of the sofa, my husband at my side. The psychologist sat across from me. They sat across the room. I told them I needed to tell them some things. I told them about the attack in college. I told them about my cousin and some of what she’d done. I thought I was finished. I looked to my psychologist. He was urging me to share more. I told them about the study.

They murmured placating words -- “How terrible” and “Oh dear”. No emotional response. No rushing to my side to embrace me. The psychologist explained that I would need them; that this was a long road toward recovery and they could be instrumental in my healing. My parents rose from their seats and smiled jovially. They gave me obligatory hugs. They were heading out of town for much needed break. They would call when they got back.

I didn’t get what I needed, but the scariest part was starting. It did get easier. Just not in the way I thought it would.

linking up to RemembeRED and imperfect prose on thursdays

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 11, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is partly cloudy and 62 degrees. We may get a little rain today, which would be nice.

I am thinking . . . about my plans for the day. I'm having lunch and doing a bit of shopping with my mother. She wants autumn decor and I need to pick up some more yarn for a project I'm working on.

I am thankful . . . for new blogging "friends". If you get a chance check out Inner Pickle. I really enjoy  her posts.

From the learning rooms . . . ds got a good grade on his paper and project for English! Woo-hoo!

In the kitchen . . . there has been some baking (see yesterday's post). Still no pumpkin bread though : (

I am wearing . . . yoga clothes -- black leggings and an Old Navy t-shirt

I am creating . . . a new shawl from a very vague pattern. Many thanks to Emily at Bliss Yarns for helping me to decipher it.

I am going . . . take some swim lessons to improve my technique (which currently is not unlike that of a walrus!). I took a single class on Friday evening and did better than I had expected, so dh is signing me up for 4 more!

I am wondering . . . about comparisons. I know I shouldn't make comparisons between others and myself, but I seem to constantly fall back into the same old rut.

I am reading . . . Manner of Death by Stephen White.

I am hoping . . . to get more housework done this week than I did last week. That shouldn't be difficult as I did next to nothing last week! LOL!

I am looking forward to . . . another fun play date with my bff, Linda! We are getting together tomorrow for more talking and crocheting. How fun is that!?!

I am hearing . . . peace and quiet. One of my favorite ways to start the day.

Around the house . . . piles of extra supplies seem to be reproducing! Dh is renovating a condo and we have all the light fixtures and some of the plumbing supplies sitting around in various rooms!

I am pondering . . . . the long lasting effects of child abuse. I have progressed considerably over the years, but I am still amazed (and frankly, stunned) by how much the past still invades the present.

One of my favorite things . . . children's books. I have a collection of books I remember from my childhood as well as newer books I have collected over the years. (Maybe I'll do a post on children's lit one day!)

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . the usual I suppose. An appointment on Wednesday morning and then fun with Linda. A marriage ministry meeting Wednesday evening. Bible study on Thursday morning. More swimming and date night on Friday. The current plan is to go swimming and then go out for a salad and cheesecake!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

I am using Lion Brand recycled cotton yarn for mine 
in Marine and Sunshine

Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple Cake -- Made by You Mondays

I've been on a bit of a baking spree. Apple Cake on Thursday, Banana Bread on Saturday, and I'm thinking Pumpkin Bread today.

I had some apples that needed to be used, so I pulled out this apple cake recipe. I used to make it a lot, but I hadn't made it in a long time. It was just as yummy as I had remembered! Makes a nice dessert or breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee.

Apple Cake
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup canola oil
3 large egg whites
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats or oat bran
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg or allspice
3 cups shredded unpeeled apples
powdered sugar

Spray a 9x13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Combine first 4 ingredients in mixer bowl and beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, except apples and powdered sugar; stir until just moistened. Stir in apples. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool thoroughly and then dust with powdered sugar. Serves 16.
the next morning!

for more go to Skip to My Lou

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feel Good Friday, FINALLY!

I had a great day last Saturday! I felt terrific and was uber productive. It was a happy day.

Sunday I woke up feeling as if I hadn't slept well and my eyes were burning. Well, it is ragweed season here. I powered through. All through worship and class, dh kept asking if I was okay. I said I was, just felt a little shaky.

When we got home, I made lunch and sat down to watch our team play Sunday afternoon football. I was cold and achy, but that's what afghans and dogs are for, right?

It was all downhill from there!

It was the virus from HELL!

Pain -- oh the body aches!

Indigestion -- who gets indigestion with a virus?

Burning eyes -- all the usual comforts were out: tv, reading, crocheting

And the FATIGUE -- think the first trimester of pregnancy.

So how does this all fit into Feel Good Friday?

Yesterday I woke up without the headache and backache. I took a shower. I made the bed. I went to the grocery store. I COOKED dinner.

Oh you better believe it's a Feel Good Friday!

catch up with more "Feel Good Friday" at lia sophia tomgirl

Fairy Ring

the trees are tall and pale gray. they form a perfect enclosure with all the branches high in the sky to provide coverage without inducing claustrophobia. 

the ground is covered in patchy grass and moss. small roots crawl just under the surface. it is surprisingly level and smooth.

the sun slants through the trees from the west. day is not dying, but it is full grown. the air is quiet and sweet, with a pleasant breeze that begins to help the girl relax. 

she can breathe, relax. she is safe here. no one else comes to these trees. they are hers alone. she is enclosed and protected, and yet free to leave at a moment's notice. she can see danger coming from any direction.

she is far away enough from the chaos and potential danger, but close enough to hear if her mother (or father) calls for her. but they won't. this is her time of peace and quiet and safety. her port in a storm.

if she waits quietly, the fairies will come to her.

for more settings go to Write on Edge

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday --

Thankful Thursday has rolled around again. Last night found us all in a slightly grumpy mood. I've had a virus of some sort since Sunday. Claire has picked it up now. Sam gave blood yesterday, so he came home from school tired and worn out. Alan is essentially working 2 jobs as he tries to get some rental property ready for tenants to move into come November. So really what is there to be thankful for?

I'll tell you . . .

:: I may be sick, but I haven't had to take any time off from work, since I'm a stay at home mom/wife.

:: Claire may be sick too, but she made it to all her classes yesterday and is doing well in them.

:: Sam may have been tired, but he donated blood which will help someone else in their time of need.

:: Alan may be tired from working 2 jobs, but he HAS in 2 jobs and in this economy that is nothing to thumb your nose at. Plus the family who will be renting the condo have a real need. What a blessing that we can help them out.

:: We may all be a little grumpy and down in the dumps, but we all love each other and everyone pitched in last night to get done what had to be done.

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 
and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Spiritually Unequal Marriage

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

simply ten good things

:: a day of visiting and crocheting with a life long friend

:: pork roast and root vegetables in the crock pot

:: fingerless gloves -- a new self taught skill

:: Earl Grey tea with orange infused raw sugar

:: a hug from my son who towers over me now

:: foot rubs from my husband while watching old tv shows

:: a line of clean jelly jars waiting for new inspiration

:: baskets of yarn waiting to become

:: sweatshirts & socks after months of tank tops & flip flops

:: writing, writing and more writing

"Oh, that feels so good. It brings the pleasure of right now into full clarity for me, planting me here in the now, and fueling me for the day to come.
Now it's your turn. Give it a go if you'd like - simply ten good things!"

Thank you SouleMama

Wordless Wednesday

for more photos visit Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 4, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is clear and cool this morning. It is definitely beginning to feel like autumn. We're in the typical October cycle -- cool mornings, warm/hot afternoons, and back to cool evenings. It's lovely!

I am thinking . . . that I need a vacation from life or better stress coping skills!

I am thankful . . . for so much! My house, my kids, my husband, my church family, new friends and old friends. My life is so richly blessed, and yet I have to tendency to forget that. Thank you, Lord, for my life!

From the learning rooms . . . ds is working on a collage telling the story of Frankenstein. He printed off Victorian anatomical drawings. I'm curious to see the finished product.

In the kitchen . . . I spent a good bit of Saturday morning deep cleaning my refrigerator/freezer in an attempt to track down a particularly vile odor. The culprit: black beans. Who would have thought! Ds had opened a can (unbeknownst to me) to make quesadillas. They had apparently fermented in the back of the fridge!

I am wearing . . . a black tank top, my flannel robe and my new gray and red winter house shoes. Toasty!

I am creating . . . fingerless gloves for dd. I'd never done these before, but I found a pattern online, and worked on them yesterday. Dd's hands get REALLY cold in the winter, so she is excited that I've learned to make them.

I am going . . . to run a few errands, maybe go to yoga class and then play all day with my bff!

I am wondering . . .  about my resistance to schedules. In theory they seem like such a positive approach to life, but the older I get the more I seem to resent them, even if they are self-imposed.

I am reading . . . Manner of Death by Stephen White.

I am hoping . . . for normalcy. I expect to be disappointed.

I am looking forward to . . . my play date with my bff, Linda, today. We haven't gotten to hang out in quite a while. We'll probably just sit around crocheting and talking. Two little old ladies! 

I am hearing . . . silence, punctured by the occasional dog barking.

Around the house . . . are lots of dust bunnies (or dinosaurs, depending on your perspective!). Time to vacuum : )

I am pondering . . . the book of Daniel chapter 2.

One of my favorite things . . . is baking, but I can't seem to get much mojo going in this direction. I think I'll bake some banana bread today, and we "need" more pumpkin bread, too.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . pretty much the usual. Meeting tomorrow morning, Precepts class on Thursday, housework on Friday, and then it's the weekend again!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

ds and gf dressed for House, MD day during Spirit week

Monday, October 3, 2011

Made by You Mondays -- Christmas Crocheting

Loops and Threads Country Loom in Hollyhock

Loops and Threads Country Loom in Lavender Blues

Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin & White

Loops and Threads Country Loom in Tapestry

for more go to Skip to My Lou