Monday, September 28, 2009

Ready to Be Home

We are still in Oklahoma but traveling home today.  I am soooo missing my babies.  It is hard for me to call them because they have the sweetest voices over the phone and it makes me homesick.  I am so thankful for my mom and Hubby's parents for spending this time with them and taking care of them while we were gone.  It is a comforting feeling to have loving grandparents caring for my kids in my abscence.  The schedule I left was pretty hairy and they handled it like champs!

 Thanks so much Mom and R & C! 
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

In The Heartland

I'm in Oklahoma City right now with Hubby.  He is in a wedding and I'm just along for the free food.  ;)  No really, it was a great chance for us to spend some much needed alone time together and to see some friends from long ago.   Plus, I like to see him in a tux.   

One of the things I knew I must do while I was here was visit the memorial from the OKC bombing of the federal building.

I remember exactly where I was that day in April 1995.  I was working in real estate and was in my car driving to an appointment that morning.  The news came on almost immediately over my car radio and I just remember listening and trying to take in what was really happening.  As the news unfolded that day, I, like the rest of the country watched in shock and horror.   I also remember thinking that this was an attack on us from foreign soil.  I never imagined it would be an American citizen gone terrorist.

It's beautiful, heartbreaking and ultimately a symbol of the hope and faith that this country has.  I am so impressed with that the memorial is there not only to honor the innocent victims but to also celebrate healing for those who survived and were left behind to mourn.  I was truly moved by the community that came together of all faiths and from all over to help with the recovery effort.   Love Thy Neighbor was truly at work in the aftermath of such a tragic event.

I was most moved by this tree.   See my update below.

The elm tree that is over 100 years old and was the only tree on the property to survive the blast.   You can still see some charred bark.  It is the symbol of survival for this town.  A symbol of beauty and growth coming from the ashes that surrounded it.

My time there was spent alone today.  I don't think I would have wanted it any other way.  It was a perfect time for me to reflect and pray.  I wonder just how I could honor this place.  I don't think I could do anything but to love my neighbor and be proud of this country I call home.  A country that is one of survival, freedom and ulitmately hope. 

Addition to this post:  It's been a few hours since I posted this.  Originally, I said that the tree was something I was most moved by and it was a very moving moment in the sense of the hope that it gave me.  I imagine that is why it is the symbol of this memorial. 

However, I was moved to an overwhelming grief by a couple things and honestly, just could not process them into a post.  The faces of those that lost their lives and the video of people looking for loved ones right after the blast was almost more than I could take.  But the most emotionally charged moment was, of course, seeing the loss of the babies.  The little chairs and the ones where two like names, siblings, sat side by side.  That was hard to take.  I wondered about the parents.  I prayed for the parents. 

And that is when I looked to the tree, the reflection pool and ultimately the heavens to where my God must be holding them now.  There is no sense.  No understanding.  Again, only hope.  Hope in a God that makes all things good somehow.    What else can we do? 
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to Read My Blog and How to Leave Comments

I get a lot of questions from people I know in real life about how to actually read my blog and how to leave comments.    First off,  if you are receiving this post via email, you will need to click the TITLE of this post OR the TITLE of my Blog - Dandelion Dayz to read more...

So, now you are here! Welcome to the blog.  Some of you are very familiar with all of this, so you may just want to skip this post.  Others - here is what you have finally been waiting for.

Reading an entire blog post. 
If you receive my daily posts by email, you used to receive it in its entirety.   I have changed this so that you only receive a small portion.   This is because I want you to visit my blog.  I am a blogger. There. I said it.   It makes me happy when you actually come to my site and yes, I do get paid a teensy weensy bit of cents each time you visit my actual blog from the BlogHer ads that appear on the left side of my blog.  I get to keep those ads there because of your visits.  So, thank you.

So, to review above:  If you receive my post via email and you want to read the entire post, you will need to click on the title of said post or of my blog.  This will take you to my actual blog site and you will be able to read that whole post and so much more!

Once you get to my blog you can search for other posts by category or day on the right side of my blog. 

What do all those words at the bottom mean? Email This, Twit This, Digg, Stumble It... 

If you want to email my post to someone else just click on Email this.  If you want to share it on Facebook then you just click Share on Facebook.  If you want to share it on Twitter then click on Twit This., Digg, Kirtsy and Stumble It are all bookmarking or sharing sites.  If you are on those sites then you know what they are and if you are not, then don't worry about it. 

Okay, now on to leaving comments.
Bloggers love comments.  Since we have established that I am a blogger, that would then mean that I also LOVE comments.  Especially, from people that I know in real life.  I know that I do actually see some of you on a weekly basis and I hear from you and others on Facebook but it means a lot to me when you visit my blog and actually read what I write.  I honestly want to know your thoughts!

And if you have been lurking, I really want to know you.  Please let me know you are there.  ;)

I would love to explain this to you but I don't think I could do it any better than Blogger can.

Click HERE to learn how to leave a comment.

Remember you can always just leave me a comment as anonymous and sign your name so I know who you are.

I just want to talk to you!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Courage, Cavities and Kidneys

In the past week, I have been to 7 doctor appointments.  That is over $120 in co-pays, $20 in parking, $20 in prescriptions, $300 at the optometrist and $600 in dental work,  not to mention money spent for gas, going out to lunch, entertaining my children while tests are being run and rewards for being so brave.    I need a part-time job just to support that!

Thank goodness we have good health insurance.   I am also thankful for doctors that are attentive, passionate and informed.  It means a lot to me that they spend time answering questions and taking time with my kids to make sure they feel comfortable.

No, this is not a post on the healthcare initiative, although I have my opinions on the matter, you most likely will not hear them here.   But let's just say that I like having control over my healthcare dollars.  I'm just sayin'.

This post is about watching my little ones be brave.   It's hard enough to be an adult and have to get blood drawn or shots.  And the dentist - don't even get me started.  I once had dental experience that took me over a month to recover from.  It was awful awful awful.  I choose them carefully now.  Very carefully.

Kids just have no idea what to expect.  We try to reassure them everything will be fine and that pain will be minimal.  The truth is that the pain stinks!  I try so hard to be honest with my kids about what to expect without scaring them, though.     

I remember the first time I didn't tell my daughter at age 5 she was going to get immunizations.  The nurse came in with the shots and my baby girl looked at me with big shocked eyes welling up with tears before the needle even touched her skin.   She seemed genuinely hurt that I did not warn her.   But had I told her before the appointment, I doubt we would have even gotten in the door. 

Last week, she had to have a shot that would basically inject a radioactive fluid straight to her kidneys.  The procedure is to get this shot in the morning and then wait six hours for the fluid to do it's thing.  Then you come back and have an x-ray that shows just the kidneys.    So, she knew she had to have the shot.

The nurse came in to give my B the shot but forgot to pull it out of the package before hand.   What B saw was a tube about the width of a candlestick.  And she thought that was the size of her shot.   Nobody bothered to explain to her differently and it was not until after the procedure while we were at lunch that I even knew she perceived this. 

Anyway, let me tell you, one would have thought they were about to cut the girl's arm off with the hollering and carrying on that my soon to be 9 year old daughter projected prior to giving her this shot.  I almost had to hold her down so they could give her the shot which ended up being the smallest shot I have ever seen in my life.  The packaging was about 6 times bigger than the actual shot.    

Fail for the nurse/tech - I think she should have prepared us better.   That was not the last procedure of the day that we were not adequately prepared for - in the children unit of UNC Hospitals.  And yes, I shared my concerns with the head nurse.  It's a big hospital, y'all and they should know better. 

All in all, I was very happy with UNC, especially the doctor - you can't let a few bad apples spoil the whole bushel.    We finished up with her test and it has been recommended she have some surgery.  Right now we are weeding through some information and working on getting a second opinion.

As if watching one child go through shots and discomfort would be bad enough for a mama in one week,  I had to do it again with my 5 year old son.   While brushing his teeth last week, I noticed a cavity.   Not a big deal for someone who is not TERRIFIED to even sit in the dentist's chair.   I mean, the kid has never sat in the chair.  The dentist has to examine his mouth while Bubby is standing and even then, he will not allow the dentist to clean his teeth.    So, when I saw the cavity, I knew we were in for quite an ordeal.

I promised a trip to the toystore after if he would just give the dentist a chance.   So, he did.  I'm down with bribing my kids - whatever works!  Our hygenist and dentist were awesome with him.   They showed him all the instruments and named them silly names that he could understand - Blew air in his face, water in his mouth, suctioned the water out, gave him cool glasses to wear and gave him a ride in the chair.

The dentist found two cavities. Ugh.   X-rays were needed.   My son was a champ.  He let them do the x-rays.  
Next came numbing the gums for the shots.  He did awesome.  Then the shots which Bubby did not even realize they were giving him.  He felt a pinch and cried a little but sat still as the dentist numbed both sides of his mouth.   I had prepared Bubby for the weird  feeling and we laughed as he tried to talk and kiss me with his now numb lips.

The dentist had to leave and take care of another patient before he finished Bubby.  When he finally came back, it was during the process of cleaning out the cavity,  that my little guy started to express some discomfort.   Okay, now this is where I just felt his pain so much.  Who out there has had the numbness wear off while in the dentist chair?  Holy pain.

But the doc could not give him any more anesthetic per his size so he tried to work quickly.    By the time he finished filling and filing the second cavity, my sweet son was crying so hard and reaching out to me.    They wanted to do even more filing so that the tooth was super smooth on the side.   But my 5 year old son, who has never sat in that chair before, had now been there for 1 and 1/2 hours and he was just done.

And so was I.   I declared he had had enough and that we would just have to catch it next time.    My heart was breaking and I just could not watch another minute of him trying to control himself while he was obviously uncomfortable.

I talked with the dentist afterward to find out that the numbness wears off faster for some patients and apparently, that was the case with my son.   Or maybe it was that the dentist had a packed office and was trying to work on too many patients at once.  Just maybe.

So, yeah - I'm kinda done with this for a couple weeks.  I guess I need to prepare myself for B's upcoming surgery.  I doubt a second opinion will tell us that we won't still need some kind of procedure done.

By the way, she has reflux of the kidney and they have found some scarring on one of the kidneys from infections.  The surgery would help to keep her from getting more infections.   If any of you have had experience with this in your own child, I'd love to hear from you.  Prayers would be awesome, too.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
--Nelson Mandela

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Total Randomness

I just don't seem to be able to put more than a few sentences together lately to form a worthy post.  So, here are some completely random thoughts in my head.

Bye Bye Summer
Is it just me or is completely unbelieveable that today begins the last full week of September already?  Where did the summer go?  Where did the year go?

Social Media Loves Me, Loves Me Not
I have a love/hate relationship with social media.   I would hate to ever give it up but sometimes it seems to consume me.  It's then that I decide I need a break.    Then I miss the connection, feel refreshed and get back to it.  There is a lot of social media to keep us busy. a lot a lot a lot

What does it take to get a home-cooked meal around here?
I love to cook and have been doing a lot more home-cooking lately.  I just find my kitchen to be in a constant state of some messiness.  It never seems completely clean.  My family seems to enjoy the good food, though so I guess that is worth it.  I know we all feel a lot better.  I'm getting a lot less complaints for tummy aches.

Track Out is Upon us!
We track out of school for 3 weeks beginning next week.  I have to say that I am looking forward to not having to catch the busy by 7:30 and not packing lunches every day.  Now I just have to find something to keep them entertained for 3 weeks! 

Extracurricular Activities Begin!
We started up soccer for both kids this past weekend and they both love it.  Especially my daughter who I was not even going to register.  I really think her years of dance make her so much more aware of her feet and what to do with them when handling a soccer ball.   My son?  Not so much.  But I think he will figure it out.  We also started him in Tae Kwon Do this weekend and can I just tell you how much he LOVES that.  LOVES it.   The boy has a powerful kick! 

New Church
Our church is starting a satellite campus in my town.  The past two weekends have been our test runs and I just can't believe how cool it all is!  There are some very talented and dedicated people at my church.  It's an honor to serve with them.  We are going to miss the actual launch weekend because Hubby is in a wedding and we will be out of town (sans kids).   I'm sad to miss that but so excited about it's future here in my community. 

Today's treasure

It's one of my favorites and helps me keep things in perspective when life is constantly moving and shifting. 

Change is Constant

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Week That The Entire Month Ended Up In

That is exactly how this week feels.  Well, it's exactly how it is actually.

When I looked at my calendar at the beginning of the month, I had my doctor and hair appointments scattered out through the weeks.    It was perfect - an appointment here and there among my regular routine. 

Last week I went to get my hair cut and when I arrived was told that my stylist just called to say she had the Swine flu.  So, they rebooked me to this week.

My yearly doctor appointment (you know the one we dread) was also scheduled last week.   I ended up being in a meeting that just happened to run over that doctor appointment causing me then to reschedule it until this week.

An unexpected trip to the doctor for my daughter this week and another planned appointment  means that I have been on the go go all week.   I seriously get a bit cranky when I am on the go go like that.  

Last but not least the biggest of all appointments was also rescheduled into this week.  That's where I am today - a big hospital getting some tests run on my daughter.   My B has been having these recurring UTI's and has stage 2 Kidney Reflux.  Today they are doing some tests to see if she has any kidney damage.  They are optimistic that she doesn't but the day is going to be long as we go through the process of prepping for the test(x-ray of sorts), waiting, the actual test and then the doctor appointment to review everything.   

So...that's where I'll be - holding the hand of a little girl that is a little unsure about it.   Turns out it's my most important appointment of all this week. 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brotherly Love

This morning at breakfast, out of the clear blue sky,  my son told his big sis how pretty she looked.  Yes, it was a big "Awwww" moment for sure.  And I do believe she held her head just a little bit higher heading to school today.   

Yes, they fight like normal brothers and sisters do, but when it comes right down to it - he just adores her.   Oh, it goes both ways.  She has always tried to boss him around take care of him.  She used to call him, her "little potato" when he was a baby.  I'm not sure why she came up with that name, but I just loved that she made up her own nickname for him. 

It reminds me so much of my younger brothers.  I have two and to this day, they compliment me when I look nice and encourage me even though I still try to boss them around  give them my advice.  I know that they genuinely love me, though.   I love that about them.

For More Wordless Wednesday hop on over to 5 Minutes For Mom .

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Monday, September 14, 2009


Oh Monday Monday.

I don't have much to say - just some observations from the MTV VMA's last night.
Kayne West did a terrible thing to Taylor Swift when he interrupted her acceptance speech.  Even if he thought Beyonce should have won, I think this was totally uncalled for and completely rude.  

In a beautiful turn of events, Beyonce did a classy thing by giving Taylor back her moment.  I like that Beyonce.  She seems to be a smart woman and ding dang that girl can dance. 

 I just don't get Lady Gaga.

I think the Twilight cast is adorable and can't wait for the New Moon Movie.

I love seeing Eminem and Pink sober.  Kudos to them for working to stay sober in an industry that I am sure is plagued with addiction. 

I have to say, that I am glad they disqualified Serena for getting all huffy in the U.S. Open.  I'm pretty tired of diva musicians and sports figures that make millions of dollars and throw hissy fits when they don't get their way.

Awesome win for Kim Clijsters!  Way to go to this mom of two coming back from 2 1/2 years in retirement and 18 months after having a baby!!!  Wow.    

Anyway, in my real world, I have a sick child at home today and getting ready to run her to the doctor. Monday Monday.

Have a good one everyone!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Linked Up

I just can't resist a baby holding a dandelion!  Dandy at Adventures of Babywearing

Welcome Interruptions.  Interrupted and Protected at Lysa Terkeurst

The coming of Fall.  Deep Thoughts at Musings of Housewife

How do you take care of your bras?   Caring for Your Bras at Chic Critique

Love the color of these cabinets!  So Close I Can Taste It  at The Queen B

Happy Saturday everyone - I hope it  is a great weekend! 

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Hope Observed

In the last couple months I've observed some people in my life and how they are dealing with a little thing called Hope.  

One of my favorite authors, Erwin McManus, says this about hope in his book, Soul Cravings.
Our ability to endure, to persevere, to overcome is fueled by this one seemingly
  innocuous ingredient called hope.

When there is no future, there is no hope.
Where there is no hope, there is no reason to live.   There is only despair.
Our souls are not designed for despair.  It's not where we are intended to
live.   If we live there for too long, we will find ourselves
soul-sick. ...

We seem to live in a world that is determined to take it (hope) from us.

Amen to all of that.  But for right now, I'm relating quite a bit to the last line.  We seem to live in a world that is determined to take it from us.  The land of milk and honey, the land of opportunity and the one that says to pull yourself up by your bootstraps - that one, sometimes, just seems to wear my hope thin.

Then, I'm reminded of the people...

  • The 70 year old neighbor who is fighting cancer so he can enjoy just one more laugh with a friend - he clings to hope, he prays for hope and he imagines his future.  His attitude is all about hope and his treatments are working, by the way.

  • The middle aged man - a good man - whose despair overcomes the hope in his heart and no longer sees his future here on earth.  A sad day for many to lose someone so dear, they grasp for a ray of hope just to get through the darkness of losing him.

  • The middle aged woman, a recovering alcoholic:  Hope is the key that sets her free from the disease that has kept her trapped in fear for so long.

  • The young man who lives his life just going through the motions. He sees each day not as a new beginning but another to just survive.  But in spite of his troubles - he keeps on going.  He says he does not believe in God, yet he talks to me about him.  What he calls survival  looks a lot like hope to me. 

  • The man whose business is at it's worst since he began, presses on -  trying not to live in the space between what his goals were and where he actually is, but rather continues to live for today and have hope for his tomorrow.

All of them fighting their own fears and clinging to hope, living for today and looking forward to their future.  

I'll leave you with a line from one of my favorite movies...
Hope can be a dangerous thing.   Fear can keep you prisoner, Hope can set
you free.
Red, Shawshank Redemption

And of course my favorite verse, Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future. 
Living in Hope,
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sweet Boy - A Thousand Words Thursday

Taken just this past weekend, this photo says a lot about my son.  Sweet as he can be, shy, cheeks red from running around and playing, smiling, beautiful.     The perfect picture worth a thousand words. 
For more A Thousand Words Thursday check out Cheaper Than Therapy

Cheaper Than Therapy

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome to My New Blog!

It looks a lot different, eh? 

Not so bright.  That's the look I was going for - simple simple. 

Thanks Jo-Lynne for putting up with me and for another great design! 

We are both struggling with the background color. 

We've tried the purple and then the yellow/orange.  Right now I have the palest of yellow there because I am not finding anything I love. 

I'd love any ideas! 

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Learning From Another Mom Who's Been There

I've had the opportunity to watch my sister in law raise her kids.   She had her first child just a couple years after I got married and then had twins when her oldest was three.   I know those years were a blur to her but as a newly-married woman without kids, I often stood in awe of how she managed it all.   I mentally took note of a lot and was able to use so much of what I learned from her with my own kids.  For instance, schedules:  it was completely necessary that her kids be on schedules for everyone's well-being.  I put that into practice with my own kids and it was such a benefit for our family.  When mine turned 2, she passed along advice and books which helped me through that age and so on through the baby and toddler stages.  
Her and my brother in law live 3 hours away but we visited often when their kids were little.  It was great to get a taste of  little kids and then come back to our peaceful world of newlywed bliss sans children.   After we had our own, we tried to keep the visits frequent, but now as all of our kids get older we don't get to spend as much time together.    Activities and sports seem to rule our schedules now.  
This past weekend we packed up the family van and headed to Charlotte to visit them.  It's always a fun weekend and the kids have so much fun hanging out.  Their oldest is now 13 and our youngest is 5.    My kids pretty much worship their older cousins and it's just fine because they are really great kids.
I don't get the chance to see my sis in law in action much anymore and I've gotten into my own special grove as a mom.  But just like always, when we are together, I learn something from her about being a better mom. 
This weekend, I learned:
  • To take a very real interest in my kids activities.   To love what they love. 
  • To sit down and play more board games with my kids or play catch outside with them - engage in more play with them. 
  • To keep more lists (always a struggle for me)
  • To try and stay ahead of the laundry.  Which reminds me that I have a load in the washer...
  • To not always say what is on my mind to my husband when he is bugging me. 
  • To not get too upset when someone knocks your mailbox down, breaks a window to your garage and knocks over your birdbath in the middle of the night.  Yes, this happened while we were there - most likely teenagers.  I never heard the glass break in the middle of the night but she did and she remained so calm.  I hope that I would react in a similar way but I'm not sure that my fear wouldn't get the best of me and cause me to freak out.  
I try not to fall into that comparison trap but it is difficult when you see another great mom running her household so efficiently.   I do think it's good to learn from other moms by taking a bit here and there that you can incorporate into your own family, though.   Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.   I love having women like my sister in law that I can look to for advice and guidance.   I know some women even look at me that way which amazes me...really, it does.     But really that is the way it's intended to be, the moms who have been there helping the newbies learn the ropes.
So, how about you?  Who have you learned from about being a mom and wife?  
For More lessons learned this week, head on over to Musings of a Housewife.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Finally Friday - Labor Day Weekend

 Ah....Labor Day weekend.  I'm excited to have nothing to do this weekend.  Well, we are spending it with the cousins but that will be fun and relaxing.    As a matter of fact, I will be taking a little break from my computer this weekend as well.   My neck is killing me from sitting at the computer.  I think I need a new chair.  
I'm very excited to tell you that my blog will be going through a little transformation soon.  I feel like it is growing up a bit.  I don't know that I ever intended blogging to become as much as a hobby as it has.   But it is what it is and I love it even if there are 10,000 better bloggers out there than me! 
Any big plans for the weekend?    Well, have a great one - you deserve it!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Magnificent House

I was talking with a friend yesterday about a mutual friend's new house.    I haven't seen it, yet, but hear it's magnificent.   I think it has an elevator in it.  (okay, so how cool is that?)

Earlier in the week, I visited with another friend at her home.  Her husband is a builder and her house is amazing, too. 

Today, I am headed to yet another friend's beautiful house and we will all be hanging out by her pool and hot tub celebrating some birthdays among us.

When I say that these homes are beautiful, amazing and magnificent - I mean they are homes that are well beyond the half million dollar mark.    Not to put a price on what is lovely in a home, I'm just telling you that because it has something to do with my point.  

Because I might.  Just maybe.  Have a little bit of house envy.

Okay, you can say it...

You should be thankful for what you have.  I amReally and truly, I am.

You should be happy for your friends.  I amSincerely, I am. 

You should not want for more than you have.  Yeah.   Most of the time, I don't.   Sometimes, though.... 

So, back to the conversation with my friend yesterday.    We were talking about how fun it would be to decorate a new house.  Buy new furniture. You know, get new stuff.   Yes, of course that would be fun.  It's not happening right now but, yes, it would be fun!   She was expressing some boredom in her life - she thought that maybe this would help distract her.  

I shared my thoughts with her that there is always a bigger and more beautiful house.  There is always new furniture, new cars, new stuff - but that none of that will fully satisfy us for long.   New boredom and emptiness will creep back in our hearts if we are looking toward those things to fill us up.   Oh, look at me giving all the advice and then having house envy.   Hello, kettle, just call me the pot.

In the front of my bible, I have a quote written out by Oswald Chambers. 

No love of the natural heart is safe 
unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first.
I love that quote.  I love it because it is a constant reminder that nothing of this world will satisfy me like God will satisfy me.  That my heart must first be satisfied by him.  Everything else will fall into place if it is.

This morning, when I sat down to read my bible,  I was drawn to a page that I had bookmarked from earlier in the week.  And as if it was highlighted,  a verse just literally popped off the page.   Another little big reminder to me. 
For he himself is our peace.   Ephesians 2:14 NIV
Now that I can count on.  The economy doesn't have to be good.  My house doesn't have to be perfect  and I don't have to have something new to make myself feel better.   From a recovering shopaholic - that is hard to say, y'all. 
Focusing on what blessings I do have matters a great deal.   Like my own pretty magnificent house and the amazing family that lives in it.   The beautiful friendships I have and the opportunity to share an afternoon poolside with them.   (update:  we had so much fun!!!  What a special group of women.)

Now see, things are better already.  

What area do you struggle in with being content?  New car?  New house?  Recognition for being an amazing writer?  Wanting more accolades in your career?  Relationships?    I'd love to know, I'm not alone! Or maybe you don't struggle with being content - great, please share.   I'd really love to know more about that, too! 

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quinoa Avocado Salad

Quinoa Avocado Salad
Quinoa (pronouced KEEN-wah) is an a high protein grain (that's not really a grain but more a seed) that is native to South America.  It's been called it a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids.  That's good news to vegans.   I made this salad for lunch at home the other day and it filled me up for a long time.  Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, it is especially well-endowed with the the amino acid Lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair.  It is also a good source of magnesium, folate and iron.   You can read here for more information than you probably ever want to know about Quinoa.
 Quinoa Avocado Salad
  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium tomato - chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 scallions - chopped
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 ripe avocado - chopped
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley
You can add many things:   I add them all! 
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds
  • 1 stalk of celery - chopped
  • 1 sm or 1 medium chopped cucumber
Cook 1 cup of Quinoa according to package directions.   Let it cool.  Toss all ingrediants together once it has cooled. Chill.
I like to let it marinate a little bit before I serve it but you can eat it right away!  

Submitted to Real Food Wednesday

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Concentrating very hard. 
For more Wordless Wednesday go to 5 Minutes for Mom
And to see fun Thousand Word Thursday photos visit Cheaper Than Therapy
Cheaper Than Therapy

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why is My Hydrangea Not Blooming?

1.     Did I prune my hydrangea back fairly drastically in the fall or winter?

2.     Did my hydrangea leaf out early in the spring during a warm spell and then get caught in a late spring freeze?

 Last year, I planted a beautiful hydrangea.  It bloomed all summer and into the fall.    Then winter came and it looked like it died.  I was so excited this Spring to see the green sprouts coming  through the brown.

But here it is September and while my hydrangea is lush with green leaves, there is not a single bloom on it.

So, what is a girl to do?


I googled the question, Why Won't My Hydrangea Bloom?

And THIS link came up.  Everything I am about to tell you, I learned  at Hydrangeas Hygrangeas - a whole entire website dedicated to, well, hydrangeas. 

I love Google. 

The site asks two very important questions

1.     Did I prune my hydrangea back fairly drastically in the fall or winter?

1.  Did I cut my hydrangea back drastically in the fall or winter? - Yes, I did.

2.  Did it bloom out early Spring and then get caught in a late Spring freeze? - No, it did not.

The picture below,which is from their site, shows a hydrangea with new growth coming up from the ground only - this is a sure sign that you will not get blooms on your plant, according to the site.

This is EXACTLY what mine looked like this Spring!  So, it would prove to be true because mine has no blooms.  I think we've covered that already, though. 

Photo by Michael DirrThe site goes on to tell SO much more about hydrangeas, like which types are good for your gardening zone, how not to kill them and very importantly the right way to prune them.  Which is the exactly the advice I need so that my beautiful plant will bloom next year.

I've bookmarked this site for sure. 

That is what I Learned This Week.  Head on over to Musings of A Housewife to find out more lessons learned!   

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