Monday, February 28, 2011

Mare Fever

When we left for church yesterday morning there was an extra horse in our pasture.  Daisy may have invited him, but I don't think so.  She didn't seem interested in him at all. 

Daisy, on the left, is a mare.  The horse on the right is a stud.  The man in the middle is a stud wrangler.  And all dressed up for the job.

But this old horse had apparently been wrangled before and he was having none of it.

So Daryl had a change of clothes, got Shiloh's advice, and tried again.

I'm sorry to say that before the rodeo could begin, the horse stopped playing this game and just ran home.   Daryl could have roped him, though.  I've seen him do it before.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Most Beautiful Music

I keep a short list of songs that are beautiful to me.  It isn't really a list of my favorite songs, just the ones that are so beautiful that they move me.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu is one of those.  It is part of a requiem - a musical composition for a funeral.  I first heard the song sung by Sarah Brightman many years ago .  And while I prefer her version, she is a little distracting to watch on video so I chose Charlotte Church.  As in the original version, a young boy sings the harmony.  Just beautiful.


Pie Jesu (English)

Merciful Jesus, Merciful Jesus, Merciful Jesus, Merciful Jesus
You who take away the sins of the world
Grant them peace
Grant them everlasting peace
[ Lyrics from: http:/arah_brightman/pie_jesu_english.html ]
Lamb of God, lamb of God, lamb of God, lamb of God
You who take away the sins of the world
Grant them peace
Grant them everlasting peace
Everlasting, peace everlasting

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February Rain

 A storm was brewing Thursday evening.  The sky was mostly cloudy, but blue peeked out occasionally.  The wind was blowing and the clouds were moving quickly.  When Daryl got home from work we sat outside and just enjoyed being there.  Mosquitoes (in February?) and the chilly air sent us inside after a bit.

The rain came during the night.  We heard the storm, but when we got up to see if there were any weather warnings the satellite was out (so the TV didn't get reception) and we just crawled back in bed.  Ignorance was bliss!

Friday was sunny again so I got out to capture the rain on some pansies.  Don't they look refreshed?  I hope you have a beautiful, sunny weekend!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Not Good

This is not good.

I am being very vulnerable here to tell you that my Wii thinks I have the physical condition of a 63 year old.  It has been a long time since Wii has seen me and this may be her way of slapping me around a little bit, but the weight gain she notices is all me.

Strangely enough, that pudgy LittleMe looks surprisingly accurate!  Hips too big and a double chin.

I put this here on my blog as a way to motivate myself to get in shape.  One great thing about a Wii is that when I lose weight, so does my avatar.  Something about that makes me want to get that girl in shape!

I thinks she looks pretty good in black glasses, though.  Wonder if I would?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

The view from 36,000 feet

Last week after I got on an airplane, one of the stewardesses asked another passenger if he would please trade seats with a woman in the back of the plane who was terrified to fly and wanted to move toward the middle of the plane.  He gladly swapped and the woman came to sit on the same row as me, two seats down.

Those of us sitting nearby had heard the conversation and knew that the lady was crying and was near a panic attack.  I was not close enough to talk to her, but the man next to me was.

He gave her a minute or two to get settled and then began talking to her.

"So, you are afraid to fly?"
"Is this your first flight?"
"No.  I feel this way every time."
"Where are you from"

In his friendly and compassionate way, he continued to engage her in small talk.  The man had been working a Sudoku puzzle before she came to sit beside him.  As the plane started to take off he was running out of conversation so he asked, "Do you ever work Sudoku puzzles?"  No answer.  The plane was getting louder and faster and he asked, "Do you do crossword puzzles?"  No answer.

Then he said, "I'm trying to keep your mind off of what the airplane is doing."

"I know you are and thank you so much.  I don't do crosswords."  And she started talking again.  She had tears in her eyes and cried again when we landed, but she made it without completely falling apart.

I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers.  His perseverance in helping her brought tears to my eyes for some reason and the thought ran through my mind that he might be an angel, put there to comfort a fellow passenger.   In conversation I had with him, I found out that he is a mechanic with the FAA and is also a pilot.    I don't know if he felt like he was put there "for such a time as this" like Esther was, but I felt it.

And I was thankful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fun with Fish 2

Remember the cat who jumped out of the fish pool?

She has called in a consultant.

Life Unexpected

Last week, I boarded an airplane in Montgomery to go visit Mom and Dad.  We all had plans to be together at their house, eat at one of our favorite restaurants, and celebrate the fact that Mom has completed six treatments of chemotherapy.   Not the fact that she took chemotherapy but that she is finished.

But while I was sitting in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport during a layover I received a call that Dad was taking Mom to the hospital.  She had been sick all night with nausea and vomiting, and was in pain.

So, instead of a weekend with family at home, we spent a family weekend here:

Not at all what we wanted or expected.

The doctors ran tests, poked, and prodded, but were never able to decide what caused Mom to be so sick.  So she stayed there until they felt comfortable letting her go home.

And while I would never say that the OU Medical Center is our home away from home, we did spend four weeks there last year.  So we know the routine.  We know where to get coffee and how to make it ourselves, we know that the cheeseburgers in the cafeteria are really good, we know how to turn the chairs in Mom's room so that the most people can be comfortable, we know to bring our yarn.  We know that nurses are some of the most wonderful people on earth and that doctors can be, too.  We know that on an oncology floor of a hospital there is a lot of living going on.

Even though we weren't together in the place we had planned, our family was together.  Mom got better after a couple of days and Room 765 became an okay place to be.  Not what we expected, but okay.

We celebrated, too.  Not at Mom's house, but in her bed.   And that was probably even more fun.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun with Fish

Sarah has had a really pretty goldfish pond in her back yard.  It had blooming plants, was lined with bricks - I wish I had a picture.

They have sold their house, though, so the fish have to move.  Since their permanent home isn't ready, yet, they have had to move to temporary lodgings.  And what better place than a kiddie pool.  

If you look closely, in the upper left corner, you can see a few of these little guys swimming around.  And I know this is not a good picture, but the fish are really hard to photograph.  When they see anything coming they hide under all of the plants.

In their previous home, they used to swim to the surface when they saw someone coming because they were hoping for food.  Now they hide.  And do you want to know why?

Because this little pool has a slide.  And we have cats that live outside.  And last night we heard a splash and looked out to see a cat JUMPING OUT OF THE POOL!  

Hide, little fishy, hide.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Public Service Announcement

It is possible that everyone else on the planet knows about this.  But I didn't know about it until about a year ago.  There is an age-old problem of the roll of plastic wrap or foil falling out of the container while I am attempting to tear off a piece.  And it is very annoying.  Who knew that the ends of the boxes had tabs that could be pushed in to hold the roll in place?   Did you know this?  Am I the only ignorant homemaker?

 Don't answer that.

Now everyone can go into their kitchen and start securing their rolls.

You're welcome!

Friday, February 18, 2011

My yard

I have seen lawns around town that are a well-trimmed, beautiful brown right now.  I suppose that is because the owners of that lawn work hard to keep out all of the weeds, they rake their leaves, and they keep all of their moss and walnut limbs picked up.

I, on the other hand, have a picturesque lawn.  It looks like a purple meadow with moss dreamily draped over beautiful bark.  At least when I take a close up shot!

On some other day, I will share a bigger shot to show you what 5 acres of this looks like, but today I don't feel like working.  And trust me, 5 acres of this kind of picturesque-ness is a MESS to clean!  But, close-up it is actually quite pretty.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful.

I'm thankful that I can get on an airplane this morning and by this afternoon I will be with my parents.

Both of them.

And what a blessing that is.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I really just can't put into words the way I feel about this picture.

So I guess I will just share it with you and let you know that when Ben walked in the door last night at his house, Lily ran to him and said,

"Daddy, Bennett's home."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala

After eating Indian food with Jackie and Corey in Philadelphia last year, I decided to jump off the reservation and try cooking something totally different.

I did some research online and found out that Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most common things that newcomers to Indian food like to try.  It has the Indian taste without being overwhelming.

Many of the recipes I found use ingredients that I would rarely, if ever, use again.  Like this recipe from  I guess it is the garam masala that seems so obscure to me.  I found it in the ethnic food aisle of Publix, but didn't want to buy it for one recipe.

So, I found another option on  This one  is the recipe I went with.  I already had the coriander and curry, and left out the cardomom pods.  What are those, anyway?  And instead of making the rice with only water, I made the coconut rice from here.  Really yummy!

The red pepper had nothing to do with this recipe.  It was sitting on the counter because of something else I was making.

Believe it or not, this is true comfort food.  Think of it as very flavorful chicken & gravy served over rice.  You should try it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Bennett Day!!!

Ben, Abbie, Bennett, and Bennett's foster parents, Shelly & C.V.

Here's a whole lotta love on this Valentine's Day!

Why ask Why?

Lily turned 3 last month.  So we begin the year of "Why?"

A three year old wants to know the answer to, "Why?"  In fact, that is their most used word!  And they want to know the 'why' of absolutely everything.

When we were with Lily recently, she asked the question so much that it became hilarious!

Why are you going upstairs?
Why do you want to sit with me?
Why are you putting wood on the fire?
Why are we going outside?
Why are we going to eat breakfast?

It's refreshing to me to think about why I do the things I do.  Much of the time, I am on auto-pilot.  When I am with her, I say out loud the 'why'.  And sometimes there is absolutely no reason to do something.  Or maybe a really good reason.  But I think about it.  And most of the time, Lily really doesn't know why.  She's learning.

I love 3 year olds!  And it really wasn't too difficult to get a picture of her asking, "Why?"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grand Velas

We got home last night and slept in our own bed, and except for the cat that was so happy to see us that she couldn't sleep, it felt good to be home!

This is my last vacation post, but I wanted to share some pictures of the hotel where we stayed in Puerto Vallarta.

This is our room.  It felt more like an apartment because I think it was about 1,000 sq. feet. 
The grounds and floors of the property had designs in them made by insetting little black round stones.  They look like perfect skipping stones.

An open-air lobby.
This is looking from front to back through the lobby.  The pool and ocean are through the opening on the far end.

Sailboats against the sunset on our last night there.

And because of this guy, and his quacamole that he made especially for us, at our table, two times.  And because of all the other yummy things we ate just because it was there...

This is us now.  Even my hair is fat.  

That's okay, though.  We are having a contest to see who can lose 5 pounds first.  The first weigh-in was this morning.   I'll let you know how it goes! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thankful Friday

This is our last full day of vacation.  As I sit here I am looking over the ocean watching the western view of what must be a beautiful sunrise on the other side of the hotel.  The sky has a layer of blue at the horizon and is topped by shades of pink.

And my main feeling is one of thankfulness.  I am thankful to God for the beauty and rest.  I'm thankful to Daryl for bringing me with him to such a beautiful location.

And I'm thankful for the opportunity we have had to be here.

So this sunset picture from yesterday

is thanks to Edward Jones.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daryl's Vacation

What's a vacation without books?

We don't know!

Ready, set....


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Three Sunsets

I am amazed at how different the sunset can look each night!

Monday, February 7, 2011

We're Off!

Daryl and I are on vacation!
Our traditional airplane shot
I think we have arrived in paradise...
The view from our balcony
Besides the resting I'll be doing this week, I plan to learn about this new camera I have so I should have more pictures to share.
I feel very blessed.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Small Things

A couple of years ago I painted a spot on the dining room wall with chalkboard paint and got Daryl to put a frame around it.  My idea was to keep inspirational, meaningful, or funny phrases on the wall - just because.  After I put it up, I realized that the grandkids would probably love to write on the "chalkboard", also, so I keep chalk in the ledge of the frame.  They pull up a chair and draw whatever they want to, whenever they want to.  Any words I might have written can be written again.

About a week ago, David asked me if it was okay for Jonathan to be drawing on the chalkboard, and I told him yes.  When I went in there the next day I saw that Jonathan had moved aside a stickery plant, pulled up a chair, and had "drawn" this:

It must be a grandmother thing, but it makes me so happy to think about the process that J went through to draw this.  He knew it was okay to move the furniture around, he felt fine about adding to what I had written, and he knew that he didn't have to ask.  Lily does it, too.  And it makes me smile.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Things I learned from a blanket

Sarah brought a piece of fabric to me that had a map of the world printed on it.  She wondered if I could make it into a little blanket.  So I did.  After a little encouragement from Jonathan.  I had the fabric for about a month and then we had this conversation:

Jonathan:  Minnie, when are you going to make my map blanket?

Me:  I don't know.  When do you want me to make it?

Jonathan:  I think tomorrow would be good.

So I made the blanket.
Here it is when it was just a piece of fabric.

Now, on to what I learned:

1.  No wonder there have been World Wars in Europe!
Just look at that picture - there are a lot of people trying to divide up a not so big piece of the world!  You can look back at the big blanket, I mean map, and see that Canada is much larger, but not divided up.  And not one World War there.

2.  "Why is Shiloh able to swim in the river in January?"

Take a close look at the lower middle part of this picture.  It says LABRADOR SEA.  Right beside Greenland and not too far from Iceland.  Shiloh is a Labrador Retriever.  The Labrador Sea must be cold.  Labrador Retrievers can swim in cold water.  AhhHaa!!

That doesn't answer the question, "Why does Shiloh cry when she gets one raindrop on her head?"  The answer to that must be on another map.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Sometimes there is a word that can be used in so many circumstances that the word becomes legendary and is passed down through the generations.

Surely your family has such a word.

Daryl's word is "sapper". defines 'sapper' as a soldier who digs trenches.  What?  That's not even close!

Sap' per
   - interjection
        an exclamatory word.  As in, "Daryl, the horses are out."  His response, "Sapper!"

   - noun
        As in, "Lily, you are really getting big!"  Her response, "I am a big ole' sapper.  Minnie is a big sapper, too."

   - adjective
        As in, "Jonathan, do you want a big yard or a small yard?"  His response, "A big yard so I can have a  big ole' sapper garden!"

Needless to say, Daryl is very proud.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter in Alabama

I have seen pictures this week of winter scenes in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.  It seemed only fair that I share the extremes we are going through here, as well.   I'm not sure we will be able to dig out.  

Icicles on the bird feeder

Thankful Thursday

Every year, on my birthday, my mom and dad call to tell me Happy Birthday.  Dad always tells me that he remembers the day I was born.  And I get to hear the story again.  It was on an October day in upstate New York and Dad was pulling his first alert....

I try to remember to do the same for our children and grandchildren.

Ben, I remember the day you were born.  It was a Sunday evening, Pappy and JoJo stayed at the hospital to see you even though he was supposed to preach at church that night.....

David, I remember the day you were born.  It was a Thursday.  At home I thought I was just feeling a little sick, but decided to go to the hospital anyway.  You were so small......

Jackie, I remember the day you were born.  It was a Friday.  I don't think I have ever been happier than the minute I was told we had a daughter....

Jonathan, I remember the day you were born.  We drove 22 hours to Colorado to meet you and when we got out of the van at the hospital Uncle Ben and Aunt Jackie had a snowball fight.....

Lily, I remember the day you were born.  We were so happy to finally meet you and just knew you were going to have the prettiest brown hair and brown eyes....

Daniel, I remember the day you were born.   When you were only a few minutes old, you laid under the light in the nursery and very peacefully looked around....

Bella, I remember the day you were born.  When you were only a few minutes old, you laid under the light in the nursery and started letting everyone know that you were here....

Next week our family will increase by one little boy.  One little wonderful, loved, prayed-for, crazy-haired boy.   Bennett's adoption into Ben and Abbie's family is next week in Texas and we couldn't be happier.

I also remember the day Bennett was born.  It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year.   And just like everyone else in the family, Bennett has his own story.

Bennett's story includes another family, Shelly and C.V.  And for this family I will always be thankful.  They have loved Bennett.  Their home has been his home.  He has had aunts, uncles, grandparents, and all the love that brings.  What else can a little boy need but a family who loves him?  Shelly and C.V. talk to Bennett every day now about his mommy, daddy, and big sister.  They are doing what would be so difficult for most of us - they are loving and letting go.   Mama Shelly is a part of Bennett's story.

And for that, I am thankful.
Eli 002.jpg

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Before our grandchildren were born we chose the names they would call us.  Daryl wanted to be called PawPaw, just like his granddad.  I wanted to be called Minnie.  Mine is a family name, too.  My mom's grandmother was called Minnie.  Jonathan calls me Minnie.  Lily calls me Minnie.

And Bella used to call me Minnie.  Until Daniel started calling me MiMi.  And now Bella calls me MiMi.  They are very sweetly calling me MiMi.  But.  That.  Is.  Not.  My.  Name.

What if Jonathan gives in to peer pressure?  What if he stops calling me Minnie?  Will Lily be next?

I really think it is some kind of twin thing.  I have heard that they can sometimes have their own language that they use only with each other.  Daniel and Bella may have some sort of name-changing pact.  PawPaw had better watch out.  He may soon be Pop.  Or Grandfather.

As cute and sweet as they are, though, I may give up my strong stance on this.  Maybe.

"Chickens make me happy!"

This is so funny to me because I didn't have to hurry to catch this picture.  He stayed like this for a long time! 

Put the corn just out of reach of the chickens!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Promise of Warmth

I love a woodpile!  For a lot of reasons, I guess.  I like how it fits together, I like the neatness of it, I like that someone took a mess of logs and gave them order, and I like the promise of warmth in the winter.  Corey likes a woodpile, too.  I'm not sure what his favorite part is, but I do know that he seems to enjoy the work of cutting and splitting the wood.  And for that I am grateful.

Both of these woodpiles are thanks to Corey.