Monday, October 29, 2012

Flip that C. S. Lewis Room!

To everything there is a season, and a time to every home decor idea under heaven.

Do the changing seasons stir up your inner designer and make you want to paint, rearrange and freshen up your home?  Yes?  Good, me too.  Not to mention that my inner kindergarten teacher is compelled to bring out accents (currently lots of pumpkins and Autumn leaves) with every holiday or shift in the weather.  Seriously, if I didn't have to work for a living and had an endless supply of interior paint, I could stay busy until Jesus comes.

Shortly after we moved to this new old house, we painted the living room and nicknamed it the C.S. Lewis Room.  It was my space, quiet and small and ideal for reading or just thinking.  Over the last few years, it's become sort of a catch-all room as we inherited a piano and moved around furniture trying to make it all work.  Long story short, it no longer works.  Mac has a friend moving into their own apartment for the first time so I have decided this is an excellent time to start over in the C.S. Lewis Room.  We're going to give some old furniture away and empty out the accumulation of stuff to rethink the room.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the quickly approaching holidays will inspire the Mr. to work with me so that the house looks nice and fresh by Thanksgiving.  I know, high hopes.

I've got my eye out for the perfect new furniture.  I'd love a small sectional with a chaise.  Wouldn't that be perfect for reading and thinking?  It's also time to update the paint because the soothing golden orange is feeling dark and dreary to me now.  I'm considering sea glass blues and greens.  

The style is too modern, but how yummy is this?  YUMMY that's how yummy it is!  Since we live in a small post war bungalow with two bedrooms, I've also considered a daybed instead of a traditional sofa since it would be an excellent reading spot but also provide a place for an overnight guest in a pinch...

And how about copying all of our family and vacation photos in black & white?

I'm starting to wonder if this is a realistic project for the next few weeks.  Maybe after the holidays would be more doable and less stressful.  What do you guys think? 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

26th Anniversary

There are two times every year dedicated to vacationing; in the summertime with Daboyz and in late October for our anniversary. Alas, the 2012 vacation schedule has come to a close.
We returned late Saturday from our trip to Traverse City, Michigan.  I'd say it was our best anniversary trip ever but we tend to say that every year ;)
The Mr. reserved our room at the Cherry Tree Inn & Resort with a balcony overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan.  We spent an afternoon roaming around downtown, another day exploring the two penninsulas, Old Mission and Leelanau and plenty of time sitting in corner coffee shops and chatting or just staring at the amazing Lake Michigan shoreline.  We wrapped up Friday evening listening to jazz at a small restaurant downtown. 
When we arrived home on Saturday evening we built a fire in the backyard until it got too chilly and then relaxed in our sweet little house, sorry that vacation is over but as always, happy to be home.
God is good, everywhere and all the time.

From our balcony; fire pit in the lower right.

The Mr. at...

At the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Leelanau Penninsula-Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan shoreline

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Twenty six years married on the twenty fifth of this month and thirty years going steady on the 19th of November.  If there is any advice I'd share with couples, it would be simply, just stay. 
I've been tempted to end our marriage with divorce and I've acted foolishly by allowing distance where there should be none.  Nothing dramatic has come between us in twenty years but still, we sometimes need reminders to stay.  Stay interested and emotionally close, stay physically affectionate and sweet. 
I mentioned on Saturday that the Mr. had some sweet surprises for me on Friday evening; flowers & a card, dinner and over night to a hotel.  There's a local hotel we started "running away" to when Dean was caring for his dad, close enough to easily respond in case of an emergency but still feels like a get-away.  As we were having dinner, I told my husband that I must be changing because I was never a flowers and romantic evening kind of girl.  I've always preferred a quiet evening at home in my pajamas.  Then he said something profound,
"I want to learn how to love you better every day."
There are different kinds of staying.  Staying for the kids, the financial security.  Staying because divorce is against one's faith or because it's just plain old familiar where you are and starting over is too much work.  Staying out of habit or fear or because it's the right thing to do.
Then there is intentional staying.  Staying because you believe there is something in marriage that represents the love of God for His bride and it's the description of His love for us.  Staying the way God stays means sometimes resting quietly together and sometimes running after the one who wanders.  It means wrapping yourself around the one you love to protect him from the arrows of the enemy.  It means covering their faults with your strength.  Staying means being humble enough to be weak and even to be carried in the arms of the one who loves you at your worst.
It means learning every day, how to love better.  And then doing it.
Today, look at your spouse and make a decision.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
Psalm 42:7

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My exciting life ;)

1. Spent last weekend up north with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf.
2. Lots of long days, early morning meetings and evening tiredness this week.
3. My sweet wonderful Mr. surprised me last night by having flowers and a beautiful card waiting when I got home, taking me out to dinner and then an unexpected night at a local hotel.
4. The best part about number 3?  He had no idea it was Sweetest Day, he's just that awesome :)
5. Speaking of awesomeness, we're leaving on Tuesday evening for four days in Traverse City.
6. I love Autumn, gonna spend the weekend putting out my Fall decorations.
7. Tomorrow my sister is hosting a celebration for her grand baby Mason's dedication, yay for babies!
8. I may make lasagna this weekend.  Or I may not.
9. I may make cookies this weekend.  Or I may not.
10. As you can see, I lead a very exciting life!
Cherry Tree Inn Resort, Traverse City

Monday, October 08, 2012

Early morning lessons

All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.

Early morning lessons, albeit not sought, this morning at my house.  I will admit that over the last several months, I feel that I am forever posting this or that malady...head hurts, ulcer, blah blah blah.  I'm tired of my own organ recital, as we say in health care!  I'm not used to this state of semi-unwellness.  Certainly there's nothing alarming happening in my body, it's just that I seem to be a bit on the fragile side more than usual.  I've no doubt that I am dealing with stress in physical ways because I've not yet mastered the spiritual aspect.  Life is a classroom with graduation happening in heaven, I suppose.  Which brings me to the early morning lessons of today. 

I had what I thought was a hormonal headache at the end of last week which proceeded to stomach upset on Saturday which evolved into a stunning case of stomach flu by late Saturday night.  Yesterday was spent on the couch cat napping to make up for the sleep lost over night (when not dealing with yet more gastric issues, 'nuff said.)  Today at 3 a.m., I gave up on miraculous recovery and called in to work.  How I hate that.  And this is an especially not good time for stomach flu.

I am interviewing nurses on Tuesday and Thursday.  I am downtown at a meeting from 8-noon on Wednesday, back at work for a few hours and then leaving at 2 for an appointment at 3.  Did I mention that I have a girlfriend's retreat aka Sister's Reunion happening this week?  Yeah.  That isn't working out the way I had hoped either.  I had hoped for vacation days on Thursday and Friday to start the long weekend.  But there have been management changes at work and I am taking a long weekend for my anniversary at the end of the month.  Ultimately, I needed to choose which vacation days I was willing to give up, and understandably so.  So I will be heading Up North on Friday after work and shortening my girlfriend time by two days.  I had considered trying to sneak away at noonish on Friday to hit the road but with the day off last Friday and today, both unplanned, that is out of the question.  I'll be doing well not to work late on Friday. 

This morning my biggest source of stress is that I dread facing my boss with yet another sick day, especially with the abbreviated days already scheduled this week.  I won't pretend that I was seeking the Holy Spirit this morning, nope, I was just stressing.  The Lord had to sort of derail my obsessive frustration and sort me out.  Firstly, Margie is unable to leave town with the girls on Thursday either, so we'll travel together on Friday evening.  Shew!  I'm not glad we're missing a few days of the party but I'm more glad that neither of us will be doing the four hour evening drive alone.  If God had asked me to delay and travel with her, I would've done it in a heartbeat.  So, I guess he did, and I will.  And she, me.  Does that make sense?  Secondly, I have just now realized that the favor of my boss is a matter of the favor of God.  Yes, she's likely frustrated with me.  I'm frustrated with me.  But God can smooth that out between us, especially if I am willing to get up out of the pitiful me pit and take accountability for making it right.  Can I go in to work early a few days and stay late a few others?  Yes, I can.  And will.  And just that plan makes me feel lighter of heart. 

So I'll road trip with my girl Margie on Friday night and hopefully, we'll get our baseline inappropriate conversations and humor out of the way before we are amongst the more civilised sisters...LOL.  I'll work some longer days as a good faith gesture and will get the undone work done in that way.   I've not had some kind of miraculous deliverance from stress, just sort of started to see the details of it and perhaps, start the work of dismantling framework.

Surrender seems like the giving up of things we want.  This morning, I started to surrender the stuff that I don't want.

Not bad for an early morning lesson on a sick day.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Q & A

1. What happens the day after the hormone headache?
2. Cramps!!
3. What new recipe am I trying this week?
4. Crockpot curry beef stew.
5. What was the exciting news we got yesterday?
6. Mac starts the nursing program in January!
7. What kind of birthday cake does he want on Monday?
8. None, he wants banana pudding.
9. Have I bought new jeans yet?
10. No.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Friday musings...

OY yoy yoy! as my gramma would say.  What a headache I've got!  It's a hormonal thing, get it every month.  Anybody else out there experience this?  OY yoy yoy!  I am working from home thanks to a very generous boss. 
Despite this, it's a favorite time of year for me.  Mac's birthday a few days ago, sister's reunion next week and our twenty sixth anniversary on October 25.  I love the changing colors and the crisp cool air and the fires in the evenings.  I love the cinnamon spice Scentsy!
Mac has a friend visiting from out of town and they are going to Halloweekends at Cedar Point.  Friday is usually date night for us but that will depend upon my aching skull bones. 
The Mr. and I are on week two of a new meal plan.  We are both pooped at the end of the day resulting in more take-out and restaurant meals than we'd like.  So we are taking the week, dividing it and each taking and equal number of days to plan, prep and clean up dinner.  Last week was a rousing success, although every night was some version of crock pot cooking :)   I made lazy chicken pot pie which I invented just this week...

Boneless/skinless chicken breast
Frozen mixed veggies
Chicken Broth
Spices (I used celery salt, Zehnder's seasoning, pepper and a pinch of sage)
Pillsbury croissants (in a can)

Throw chicken breast, veggies, broth and seasonings into...a crock pot!
At the end of the day, scoop out veggies and chicken and put them in a oven proof pan (I used a cast iron dutch oven.)
Ladle some of the broth over the chicken mixture, thicken with cornstarch.
Bake at 300 for about 20 minutes (you could probably skip this step)

Unroll croissants and separate, place over top of chicken mixture to form crust. 
Increase oven to 350, bake for an additional 15-20 minutes checking after 15.

All done!

I've made chicken pot pie completely from scratch which is just a bit time consuming at the end of the work day.  This was easy peasy and the croissants made a fabulous crust.  The men folk were thoroughly impressed!  Served with a green salad.  Also, a great end of the week meal because I threw a few spoonfuls of left overs (like mashed potatoes and green beans) into the mix as well.
Time to get back to work and maybe have a cup of hot tea.  Have a blessed Friday!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012