Monday, January 30, 2012

Changing to normal

Here I sit still in my scrubs in the quiet of my little old house. Jay just left, having stopped by to join me for pizza. Mac is at work. And the Mr.? He is on his last afternoon shift! Praise the Lord! As I was sitting here yesterday evening I realized, I like that guy and I miss him. Oh I love being alone in my quiet little old house, don't misunderstand me. And I even don't mind sleeping alone. Still, I like that guy.

He'll be working next weekend but on Sunday he'll be on day shift and getting home late in the evening, Monday official day shift begins.

So this evening will be my last night of solitude. I have three books I'm reading and I think I'll put on my jammies, turn off the television (that won't happen when the Mr. is here) and enjoy myself.

Tomorrow evening, the TV will be on and everything will be back to noisy normalcy.

And that, will be a welcome change.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

Proverbs 29:17

Saturday, January 28, 2012

1. Headache slightly better but a nice sinus pressure is settling in, ahh, Michigan.
2. Going to my parents' later.
3. How did we accumulate approximately 900 loads of laundry since Monday?
4. Pruning my houseplants today.
5. I used the last of my coffee this morning...can you guess what my priority errand is?
6. Good news, the Mr. is going back to day shift the Monday after the Superbowl!
7. Got an LL Bean & an Ulta catalog in the mail. I lurv LL Bean & Ulta.
8. Church tomorrow! (yes, you read correctly!)
9. I've gotten 2 loads of donations for the patients clothing closet this week. Thank you and keep 'em coming!
10. Home, hot coffee, hound dog and gently falling snow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Waiting to feel a bit better to go to work this morning. I'm not sick but I had a headache yesterday that progressed to a migraine this morning and I've got a case of the pukes now. That actually gives a little relief so I'm waiting for the Motrin to kick in (if it stays down) and trying to be still in the meantime. Of course, I should probably be still and quiet and not on the computer but my brain is awake and thinks it should be at work.
This has seemed like a very long week. We are finishing performance evaluations which means staying late and coming in early to catch all shifts so I think my internal clock is wondering what in the world is going on. I'm off this weekend and ready for it to come. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow and spending some time with my mom in the afternoon. I had big plans for cooking and baking but at the moment, that is not very appealing.
I think I will indeed get off this computer and close my eyes for a few minutes. The sooner I get this day going, the sooner it'll be done and the weekend can start.
Love & grace~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rainy Day Monday

It's a rainy morning here, snow melting away to mud and a gray sky to top it off. My mom should be discharged later today. I have a theory that you really start feeling better once you're back in your own home so I'm expecting she'll be on the fast track to recovery now. She's been doing well day by day and sleeping in her own bed will be just the ticket.

I have the usual day off chores on my list and then I'll head over to help settle her in. My guess is there will be a nap on the schedule. Since I'm actually leaving my house today, I am happy to accept the lack of snow and freezing temperatures! And I imagine it'll make it a bit easier for my mom to navigate her walker. On my own list of errands is TJ Maxx. I buy my coffee beans there and there is usually a little something I didn't even know I needed in the housewares department too!

And that, my friends, is the update from my neighborhood!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Large & small happiness

1. My mom's knee replacement was a great success, PT starts today!
2. I have to work today, really wishing I could be with my mom at the hospital.
3. Snow! Love the way it looks, thankful I'm not dealing with a true blizzard on a work day.
4. I keep forgetting to make an appointment for new glasses.
5. The Mr. has put in his papers to bump to day shift, thank goodness!
6. I have come to the conclusion that much of the mess of our hearts, minds, homes and families would be fixed if we fixed our minds on whatsoever things are pure, holy and of good report.
7. Dreamed of my gramma and grampa last night. That happens pretty regularly and it is just exactly like a wonderful visit. I always awaken with a happy heart.
8. Also dreamed of the Scarf Sisters! We were having a party outside in a beautiful yard with lights strung in the trees.
9. Full moon? Hormones? Lots of sweet dreams!
10. Everything is beautiful, in its own way!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday musings

My goodness it's cold! 4F in the Mitten this morning! I am waking up thankful for a long list including my warm house, warm clothing and warm car in the garage. My mom is having knee replacement in a few hours and shortly I will be heading to the hospital. I'm so glad this day is here! I know there will be some hard moments of recovery, actually, no I don't! I have asked God to make her recovery quick and easy so why in the world should I claim it will be hard? Silly. I'm happy that the pain and difficulty is behind her and that she'll be able to regain the ability to be physically active.
As for me, I am having a cup of coffee and some quality time with a heating pad and a handful of Excederin. Oy, the joys of being a girl! Migraine and cramps (my apologies to any gentlemen who have happened upon this moment of sharing!) I took Motrin to work yesterday and left it on my desk so Jesus, please give super Motrin powers to this Excederin! Did you know that antihistamines are one of the best things to take for menstrual cramps? Yup! 2 Motrin (or Excederin) with 25 mg Benadryl or any other medication with an antihistamine will work much better than just the pain reliever. At night, I up it to 50 mg Benadryl so I can sleep. One of my nurse friends said I was crazy until she tried it, now she's a believer and realizes that I am a genius. I am one of those lucky ladies who has terrible cramps and I would have to call in sick if I couldn't find something to manage the pain. I won't even mention the rest of the details of my womanly experience other than I also get a migraine that makes me want to hide in a dark corner and cry. It sometimes requires 800 mg Motrin with 50 mg Benadryl but on my worst days, that does help. And yes, I've talked to the doctor and it's just the way God made me. Gynecological update complete.
I know you will be praying for my mom today but please please, take more than a few moments and pray for people who are mentally ill, homeless and under-resourced in this terrible cold. I've turned up my thermostat and turned on the fireplace but there are so very many people who spent the night outside, in vacant houses or without power. It doesn't matter if they arrived in these circumstances due to drug abuse or alcoholism; Jesus loves them and died for exactly "that kind" of person. Hospitals will be flooded with people looking for a warm bed and hot meal, malls and restaurants will have some unseemly folks wandering in looking for shelter and yes, some of those people will have the potential to be dangerous. Pray for them today. And could I be a little pushy? Last night, Jay and I talked about committing ourselves to doing something like finding a charity or donation opportunity to make an impact in a tangible way. Will you do the same? Shoes, warm clothing and the like for our hospital are a tremendous blessing and lately we're running out of coats faster than we can replace them. We had 2 pairs of gloves and 3 hats in the clothing closet yesterday. Can you buy one pair of gloves and get them to a church, a hospital or even the hobo on the on ramp to the freeway on your way to work? Do one something and do it today...please.
Time for another cup of coffee and a bowl of granola. And I promised my mom to come to the hospital and draw eyebrows on her with a sharpie so I've got a busy day ahead of me!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guess what?

We had a wonderful day yesterday in Frankenmuth. We didn't go up and down main street or to Bronners, just hit a few stops we all wanted to visit (Like the Cheese Haus and the Fudge Haus!) We didn't want to get home late and exhausted but to have just a day trip and home early enough to enjoy the evening. We enjoyed the traditional family chicken dinner together and guess what? Guess! Ok, never mind! I downloaded a coupon for 1/2 off of a family chicken dinner with the purchase of one full price (limit one to party of eight.) Well the sweet waiter guy gave us half off of two of our meals which made for quite a savings!
After the fudge and cheese we walked around the shops on the river for just a bit and then headed home, stopping at the Birch Run Outlet Mall. Jay and the Mr. got new Fossil watch faces and guess what? Guess! Ok, never mind! They have a Coleman outlet there! This is significant because Mac wears Coleman watches because they are the only ones that fit around his massive wrist. Unfortunately, Target no longer carries Coleman watches. So we were very happy to find a watch for him.
On an unrelated note, I am watching Night Must Fall on TMC as I write this. One of my favorite things about old movies is that the outdoor scenes. The imperfect grass and dusty roads and big old trees. I consider the outdoors entirely too manicured in the present time. I like lawns with patches of crabgrass and dandelions shooting up here and there. I like big old leaning trees which are almost always mown over when new houses are built. I like patches of flowers or hosta growing up where they don't belong because seeds blew around and took root. I even like dusty walkways and roads. I know, it's weird but there you have it. Surely, you are not surprised. :)
What other mishmash shall I tell you about before I get on with my day? I want a chronological Bible, which is something I'm not sure I was aware of before but now I must have one. A few people online have mentioned theirs and now, I neeeeed one!
As for the Methodist, to whom we refer as the Mitford Methodists (we being my mom and myself), we were unable to attend last Sunday as I was working but guess what? Guess! Ok, never mind! I....I....I missed going to church! Can you imagine? Well, you probably can but for me, this is quite extraordinary. I work this Sunday as well but I will be there the following week and I'm filled with a sweet happiness as I look forward to returning to Good Shepherd.
If you are still hanging around reading, bless your heart. I'm going to have another cup of coffee and listen to the rain fall as I start my morning. If you're wondering what to blog about, I recommend rambling aimlessly. Look how well it works for me.

Monday, January 16, 2012


First let me say, I am grateful for the work of Martin Luther King Jr. My generation grew up under the shadow of racism that was an iron fist for the generations before. My children are living in a different world. In so many ways, it is not a better world. But in this thing, this ugly and evil thing...they live in a better world. For this, I thank God.
The Mr. and Jay have the day off for MLK and I have the day off as my regular day off. So Mac took the day off and we made an impulsive decision last night to head to Frankenmuth for the day! We're picking Jay up at his house shortly so I'm on the run but I knew you'd want to know!
Whatever your plans today, I challenge you to stop and give time to God and ask him to reveal in your heart any wicked way and to give you the courage to say, "create in me a clean heart, oh God." It was such wisdom that changed this nation a half century ago and if we too are brave enough to continue to seek clean hearts; we can make a better life for the generations yet to come.

Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Sunday, January 15, 2012

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

Proverbs 31:21

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Stuff I love about Winter

1. Everybody's house looks pretty covered with snow.

2. It seems entirely reasonable to eat meatloaf and mashed potatoes to keep one's strength up.

3. When there's a blizzard, it's ok to be an introvert.

4. Being inside a warm house and looking out into the cold is an everyday example of God's goodness.

5. Hot tea in the evening is extra wonderful.

6. There's a deeper kind of quiet.

7. If you are very still, you can feel the earth turning back toward Spring.

8. It's harder for someone to sneak up on you and jack you with a sock full of pennies because the snow crunches when you walk.

9. You can cover bad hair with a fabulous hat.

10. Fire in the fireplace.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Longing for Mitford or at least a blizzard

Finally, it seems, winter may be arriving in the Mitten. Snow storm warnings in the western half promise a half foot of snow. On this side, we have dreary gray rain and still above normal temperatures, currently at 38F. I'm confident we'll see blizzard warnings before all is said and done. You know, I love a good blizzard!
Of course, I should explain that said blizzard must happen during a stretch of a day or two when I'm off of work. Preferably, the menfolk should be home as well so I don't worry about them out driving in it. I am an excellent snow driver, second Mac with the Mr. and Jay being something of a menace to be frank.
Winter (snowy or not) begs for a good book and I'm rereading one of my favorite series of all time, the Father Tim Mitford series. If you've not read them, you must must must! I stumbled across them at the library a few years ago in my endless search for small town, silly characters and innocent stories. The Father Tim books occupy the same place of honor in my mind as the Little House books. They make me laugh out loud and here and there, even cry a little. They are full of the goodness of God and the ideals that make life every wonderful thing it was meant to be. Father Tim is presently making a pork roast with his mother's recipe of orange rind and brandy and a pot of Navy beans. What could be better?
So I long for a blizzard with my books and a pot of soup on the stove. Jay gave me his old Kindle when he got his new one for Christmas so I even have the ability to simply order a book without leaving the house!
Today, however, I am going to have to venture out into the less than ideal world and spend my day with people who don't know God. I'll just have to take the sweetness of my quiet times with Father Tim as the fuel to get through the ugliness of life outside of Mitford. I've been fighting a cold of some sort but feeling marginally better today than yesterday so thanks be to God! That's what Father Tim would say :)
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My good shepherd

What a perfectly satisfying weekend I've had!
Yesterday was tailor-made, I did not step one foot outside of this house! I cleaned, laundered and moved in very slow motion. I made waffles for breakfast. I made Mrs. Grass soup for dinner. Jay and his girl came over Saturday evening to watch football play offs with the Mr. and Mac. I, being a nonfootball lover, snuggled up in bed with my Kindle and a book by one of my favorite authors (Jan Karon.) The next thing I knew, Jay was poking his head in the door asking if I was asleep. Surely not, since I don't sleep. And yet, yes indeed! I fell asleep long before 10:00 p.m. and awakened Sunday morning rested and joyful at 6:30 a.m.
I enjoyed a leisurely cup or two of coffee before heading out into the unseasonably mild weather for my first visit to Good Shepherd Methodist Church. My mom came along as she and I are in search of Father Tim (one would need to read the Mitford series to understand, and one certainly should read the Mitford series. ) Father Tim is Episcopalian but nonetheless, it makes sense to us.
Are you waiting anxiously for my review of the Methodists?
It was an absolutely lovely experience. I'd be planning on returning next week if I weren't working. The people had such a sweet spirit from the little ones to the elderly. Without pomp or gimmicks we sang hymns to the accompaniment of a single piano played beautifully. The words to God of Wonders sung by their choir were crisp and clear, each one ringing with the awe of his glory. The sermon was encouraging, Let there be light...the first words of God. And something that a larger church just can't do? Answered prayers shared by the congregation one by one and then requests brought before the church for prayer; offered on the spot. On the back of the bulletin, a list of those needing prayer as well as those in the military and shut in.
I sincerely hope that no one interprets this sharing of my spiritual journey as an attempt to persuade anyone to turn away from one church or toward another. This blog has always been a transparent view into my life and heart and this is another chapter. I've been hesitant to take this step knowing that there are those in the charismatic movement who will be disapproving and possibly pass judgement on my heart. I've spent a good part of the day wondering if it is appropriate to share my experiences.
As always when considering how much of my life to share, I have examined my motives. More than once I've deleted posts that were self-serving or attention-seeking. My motive now is to be unashamed. Leaving church this morning, I had a sense of rightness that I have not felt in church in a long long time. It was not that I had found a right church or that I have been in wrong ones. It was that I have realized that God has created me to be more of some things and less of others than I have been. If there is a value for you in this realization, it is that you were not stamped from a mold any more than I was. If you suspect there is something quite wonderful beneath the surface of you, find and nurture it.
This afternoon I spent a brief time in prayer, again double-checking myself. Can I really be someone who doesn't attend a charismatic church? God, is that...ok? God, what denomination am I? Am I Lutheran? Pentecostal? Methodist?
Do you want to guess the answer?

I am, it seems, simply a sheep.

Give unto the Lord the glory due his name. Worship the Lord in the beauty of his holiness.

Psalm 29:2

Friday, January 06, 2012

10 sentences

1. Jay gave me his old Kindle. Not as good as a for-real book but great for when you want one and don't have one. :)
2. Major insomnia all week. I've taken everything over the counter and it's just not helping. Looking forward to catching up on sleep this weekend.
3. I ordered a set of vintage mid century counter top canisters on E Bay, arrived in a box that reeks of cigarette smoke and believe it or not; even the canisters stink. If I had payed more than $6, I'd be fussing. Gonna run 'em through the dishwasher but I fear they are headed for the garage to become nuts/nails/bolts containers. Blech.
4. We have saved money and are all set to buy new living room furniture; only we can't find any that suits our fancy.
5. I ordered new scrubs on line on December 26 and they still haven't arrived. Good grief!
6. What's with the Spring-like weather?
7. Daboyz got me a Keurig for my office for Christmas, it's groovy.
8. The Mr. got me a horizontal cross necklace for Christmas, I lurv it.
9. Did I mention naps are on my weekend agenda?
10. Have I also mentioned that I am writing this post at 11:17 p.m. on Friday night?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Perfect timing~

The holidays are official over at the Smith House. The Mr. finally took the tree down on Tuesday and scooted some furniture around in preparation of new family furniture. I went back to work on Monday, Mac on Tuesday afternoon, Jay on Tuesday and the Mr. tomorrow morning. Dean bid on a new job which he got but the shift is screwy. Friday and Saturday 5 p.m.-5a.m., Sunday and Monday 5p.m.-5a.m., off Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. Craziest schedule ever! He has high seniority so he will be able to bump almost immediately back to day shift but he'll be there for about a month before that happen. I'm expecting a long month! The good news is that he definitely does not have my sleeping problems, the guy falls asleep in seconds when his head hits the pillow. Nonetheless, we'll be praying for him to return to day shift in the Lord's perfect timing.
Mac did not get the early start to the nursing program he had hoped for. He was told to expect to start in Fall of 2012 or January of 2013 but had his fingers crossed to start this semester. Again, the Lord's perfect timing. In the meantime he would like to move from Kingswood to another Ford facility with more medical focus. Again, prayers are coveted for God to open doors. He is great at his job but wants to work in medicine (as opposed to psychiatry) for the experience and also, fingers crossed, maybe even somewhere closer to home.
I was hoping to be in school this semester too. However-insert frustration here-I am having a terrible time getting my transcripts from the school I graduated from when I got my nursing degree. First they said I had an outstanding $40 fee which was a mystery to me since I had graduated in 2004. Then they said they couldn't send my transcripts because I had moved since graduation. Huh? It seems like that is something that might happen once in a while. So I had to reactivate my student account, go online and update my status. Did so successfully and then when I logged out and back in, it had not updated. I called the school, they said it takes up to a week for that to show up. You can guess where I am at...square one. I'm going to have to take time off of work to go in and assert myself. I cannot take a student copy, official copies can only be transferred from one school to another. Now I'm looking at a Spring start. Since I'm delayed, I'm going to take advantage of the time to check into every program out there. Maybe God is steering me in a different direction, maybe he's just teaching me patience.
Last on the list, we went to order new family room furniture last night and walked away empty handed. After choosing the set we wanted and working out the price we only needed to choose the color. Salesman number one said just choose the swatch and we're all set. Salesman number two says they can't order any other color than the floor model at the sale price AND it will take four months to deliver. So we took a pass to think it out and continue looking for the price that works with our budget.
So the theme of the year so far is Delayed Gratification. I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit's influence because instead of frustration we can honestly say we are waiting for God's perfect timing and it's all good. Nothing is ever withheld but to make way for the greater blessing and anointing with the Lord. Our faith has matured enough that we don't even need to understand it by and by. We trust that all things are working together for our good and get on with our day. And goodness gracious, none of these examples are earth-shattering!
Time to pour a second cup of coffee and make an official start to the day. I'm training three new nurses today, an aspect of my job that I really enjoy. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012



You know those best friend bloggers you've never met? Well please klick on the link above to meet one of mine!

I am humbled and grateful that Ginger has shared a little piece of my heart through her blog. And let this serve as a reminder...
We still need shoes!
And coats and gloves and hats and scarves and clothes!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Right Side Out

Oh dear, I fear I am planning on breaking a rule. Yes, planning on it.

If there was a theme in 2011 for me, it was the revelation that being an introvert is not wrong or dysfunctional. It is, in fact, precisely how I was created. Created intentionally.

As I stopped fighting my tendencies and started exploring and understanding myself, I found such a deep peace. Without realizing it, I had been under condemnation for a very long time, believing that the very fiber of who I was was displeasing to God. So much of what I have done and felt has been in an effort to extrovert my introverted spirit. I have been baffled at times as to why I found such simple joy in solitude and quiet and it was wrong. I have been utterly perplexed as I continued to submit myself to the Holy Spirit to change this heart of mine and he simply would not do it.

In 2011 I finally came to understand that I was trying to take off my soul garment and turn it inside out and then put it back on. Of course the Holy Spirit wouldn't oblige, why should I go about my life wearing my self inside out? A silly question indeed but that is what I've been doing for as long as I can remember.

Sometime about midway through 2011, I awoke on a Sunday morning and did not go to church and found there was not knot of guilt in my stomach. Either I had become a reprobate or I had taken a step closer to knowing myself as I am known. In my quiet house on Sunday mornings since, I have watched church services on television, read my Bible, put gospel music on or (more often) simply sat drinking in God.

There's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place; and I know that it's the spirit of the Lord.

In my family room with coffee in one hand and the other in the air I have wept before Jesus, tears of relief and release and the long-awaited truth that I am accepted just as I am (without one plea but that thy blood was shed for me.)

About that rule I'm about to break? Well, quite honestly, I do believe that rule may have come from the same source as my feelings of rejection. I am planning on visiting a Methodist church. Raised in the charismatic movement of the 1970s and always involved in pentecostal churches, I have wondered if a quieter and even liturgical service might suit my quiet heart. I really don't know that it will, but it is another chain broken that I feel permitted to seek God under a different steeple.

But that thou biddest me, come to thee, oh Lamb of God I come...I come.

Ragu & you, anyhoo!

For New Year's Eve dinner, Mac requested lasagna ("The problem with lasagna is, there is never enough." Mac Smith, American male.) Since I was off and it was a sort of holiday dinner, I figured I'd go the extra mile and make my sauce ala Pioneer Woman, recipe HERE.

I added an extra 28 ounce can of tomatoes and additional garlic, salt and basil as well because it didn't look like an adequate amount plus, I'm a lazy cook who does not pre-boil my pasta so I needed plenty of sauce to re-hydrate the lasagna.


I usually use Ragu traditional sauce. Yes, I know in the present day of no preservatives (which I completely agree with), more and more people are making their own basic tomato sauce. And no, I had never done so previous to this particular event. And yes, I also realize that canned tomatoes and tomato paste are one step away from truly homemade tomato sauce. And no, I don't care ;)


I used my brand spanking new food processor (thank you mom) and happily set about making my sauce mid-morning so it could simmer to deliciousness all afternoon. It did not take long at all to make the sauce, as promised by Food Network and all the homemakers in blogland. It did create more mess with extra cans and food processor parts now needing to be cleaned but still, not a big undertaking. Having completed the sauce and stirred it into the meat mixture and allowing it to simmer, I discovered the following.

1. It tasted fresher than the Ragu but surprisingly, not that much.

2. It took about ten minutes to mix it together in the food processor.

3. I added a half pound of meat more than PW.

4. There are only two differences in the ingredients between the homemade and Ragu.

A. Ragu contains soybean oil, homemade used only the oil remaining after draining the meat.

B. Ragu contains sugar, none added to homemade.

In the interest of keeping it real, I have to say that it's enjoyable and satisfying to make the sauce from scratch. However and ANYHOO, given the similarity in the ingredients and lack of preservatives in the Ragu; I hereby proclaim the use of sauce from a jar is not a felony.

The Mr. found no discernible difference in the two. Mac said he liked the fresher better and the herbs were more distinct.

So there.

God holds 2012, rejoice!

I was young and now I am old yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Psalm 37:25