2012 in review

Take a peak at my blog year in review.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Conversations with Froglegs and Superman

Today is the last day of 2012. I would love to share something poignant. Awe-inspiring. Even memorable. I apologize in advance. You see, I am being regaled by gross sounds that obstruct my thinking process.

Froglegs is the only grandchild awake, so far. And we have been conversing.

(Yeah, that is a bit of an overstatement.)

“I had the best dream ever, last night,” said my gangly-legged Froglegs.

“Really? What was it about?” I asked with excitement. Hoping it would be blog-worthy.

“I don’t remember. But it was the best dream ever.”

Uh huh…and then when I laughed, he erupted with an assortment of increasingly disgusting imitations of boy-noises punctuated with a personalized version of a  Mario and Luigi soundtrack.

I pressed him, trying to pry the dream out of him.

More grunts and grossness. He is, after all, going to be seven.

Further attempts at picking through the recesses of his memory were met with even greater success at grossing out Nana.

So…I walked over to the front door and stared.

“A snowflake,” I noted.

Superman made an indiscernible reply.

“Ohhh, another snowflake!” now stated with a bit more enthusiasm and inflection.

At this point, Superman became almost eloquent. “If you keep counting, pretty soon you’ll say it’s snowing.”

(I married him for his brains and stellar communication skills.)

And now, it’s snowing. And those of you who know me well, know how happy this makes me!

I have not disappeared from the face of the earth…yet

For those who follow my blog, you will notice that I have been MIA for the last few weeks.

It is not writer’s block.

Nor is it due to a lack of live writing material taking place before my very eyes.

It really isn’t even because of the chaos of the holidays (although there was a LOT of chaos).

No. The reason is actually quite mundane.

My laptop screen fried.

Again.

For the second time in one year. (And no, it is not under warranty.)

I managed to cobble together a system that worked…sort of. By hooking up the laptop to a traditional (old)  monitor, I was able to use the laptop.

Yea, yea, yea.

But…there is always a “but”, isn’t there?

The contraption was set up in my so-called sewing/craft room (that in itself is a topic for another day). The room also serves as sleeping quarters for a napping toddler.

Hmmmm…access was an issue.

(And at this point, I will digress momentarily.)

Yesterday, we took down the Christmas tree and packed away the decorations inside the house. This freed up a wee bit of space in our not-so-spacious living room.

As a person who strives for perfection, this defect also applies to the positioning of furniture. Somehow I keep thinking I will find the perfect configuration for all the necessary pieces…if I just keep trying.

So, Superman helped me. With a smile, I might add. (Those of you who know him have never seen him without one, so it won’t carry the same effect as those who don’t. So don’t tell them, ok?)

Given all the things that go on in my house (gymnastics, battles for the highest spot in the room, trapeze flying, fort building, building block olympics, camping, dance competitions, along with an assortment of other activities that should probably not be enumerated), a good flow and jumping capabilities from sofa to love seat to whatever is essential.

I should probably add that I have long since given up on the “no more monkeys jumping” rule…enforcement became a full-time job. I know, I failed.

Sooooooo, we shifted our furniture around. And lo, and behold, there was just the perfect spot to move a desk that could house my laptop contraption in the living room!

Joy, joy, joy!!!

So, I am back. I bet you were all just holding your breath!

Still working these things through. How about you?

momtoldmetowriteabook

This beautiful moth visited my garden one afternoon and I couldn’t help taking its picture. Not because it would be featured in a science journal, in a museum or on anyone’s wall as art (except my own wall)  but, as you can see from the photograph, because the moth is missing the lower portion of a wing. I thought a lot about that moth as I watched it moving among my plants and flowers. Surely the moth was aware that it had been somewhat crippled by the damaged wing, but it still fluttered about easily. It did not hide in the shadows afraid of being seen, but opened its wings to the sun to refuel with solar energy. It flew gracefully from plant to plant and did all the things that it was designed to do. It didn’t seem to freak out at the realization that it was not whole…

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Today would be a great day if…

Remember this? Just give it a listen…

Do you have an ear worm now?

Well…that is how this day has been. It just has gone on and on and on…

Even now, it’s still dragging on. This will be one of those nights when I will ask if it’s late enough for me to go to bed. (And there will be a unanimous “Yes” from my family…)

Some days are like that…

Kids that just won’t cooperate…

A calendar that is just too full of “stuff”…

And a whole lot of “holiday cheer”… that really isn’t so cheery…

It is one of those days that a career change comes to mind…RETIREMENT in a seniors only community! Or living off the grid in an RV…

But then I think about it…do I really want to understand shuffleboard? Am I ready for my husband to wear white leather walking shoes? Do I want blue hair? (Actually, my son-in-law has a blue mohawk, so maybe blue hair isn’t so bad???)

But in all honesty, some days are just a huge reminder of the glorious future awaiting me in the presence of my King and Redeemer…far away from the trivial and irritating things that sneak into my day and try to steal my hope for the future and joy for THIS day.

I am hoping that I can correct my course now and try to end the day well…kind of the way I would like to see my life’s course at its end…ending well. Achieving that “well done, good and faithful servant”…

How do YOU handle those not-so-great days?

 

When cooking up a storm is not a good thing…

The house smells awesome…

Chicken baking in the oven…

Corn cooking in the crockpot…

Beef stewing meat being browned…

Onions and garlic sauteing…

Is your mouth watering? Are you wondering what the big occasion might be? Do you want directions to my house?

Actually, it is a very sad event that is responsible for all the wonderful smells…my refrigerator bit the dust.

We initially blamed the kiddos…all that scaling up the doors and leaving the doors open.

But…nope…it just stopped working. On a Monday morning. With a houseful of children and guests on the way and the annual Christmas caroling event at our house on Friday and the Christmas program on Sunday and getting ready for traveling North for Christmas and…

Timing, after all, IS everything. Right?

So I have cooked everything I could salvage. And it is safely stored in the freezer in the basement. But not everything made the cut and I had to throw out a LOT of food, and that just irritated the socks off my feet.

We went shopping for a new refrigerator last night…and now I must give you a lesson in compromise history that comes back to bite me big time. Again.

We moved into our house less than five years ago. It came with a fairly new WHITE refrigerator. With an ice maker and water IN THE DOOR…high tech for me.

We knew we had to buy all the other appliances at the time, and I really wanted to get BLACK. Including a NEW refrigerator. In BLACK.

Mr. Practical thought it was not reasonable to get rid of a perfectly good refrigerator just because the color was wrong. And I could not reconcile buying all new BLACK appliances.

An impasse.

I had to agree with Mr. Practical, being so practical and all, so we bought a WHITE dishwasher, stove and microwave. (If you are ever in that predicament–GET BLACK!!!)

My appliances have not been white since they entered the kitchen.

So last night we went to purchase my unexpected Christmas present. And the color dilemma reared its ugly head. Back and forth. Black or White?

In all fairness to Mr. Practical, he let me choose the model I wanted and any color I wanted.

Yeah…right. I currently have a kitchen full of WHITE appliances. I really wanted BLACK. Still. And I got a scratch and dent discount. And the identical model was available in both colors. And it was up to me. Again.

Gag me, please!!!

“I really want Black. But it will bug me if the others are white. And I just want to be able to be content to have a refrigerator that WORKS. But I really want BLACK.”

“Get what you want.”

Ummm, I don’t think all new appliances is budget friendly or wise…do you? Neither did he. And he actually made me try to determine a time-frame wherein I would not be perturbed by said mismatched appliances. He is all heart, that man of mine.

So…I got white. And I am a little bummed today, but trying very hard to just be thankful that I was able to get a new one. And I AM really thankful for it (it isn’t here yet, but I am still thankful), even if it isn’t what I really wanted.

And, of course, there are so many verses about contentment and having a thankful heart…and don’t forget about the “lust of the eyes” either…I know…I had to preach myself a sermon. And it was a really good sermon. I used lots of verses and anecdotal stories taken from real life situations to drill the point home.

I need to be a better listener of my sermons.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Twinkies

yummmmmmmmmm!

Free Range Cookies

I know what you’re thinking.

What’s up with all the pumpkin recipes?

Oh.  I thought you were going to ask about the plethora of twinkie action here of late.  Guilty conscience.  But I can explain.

~ The Twinkie Defense ~

Making iconic snack cakes is addictive.  There’s something about the pan itself that makes you want to fill it.  If you have leftover pumpkin and lots to do, why NOT procrastibake a pumpkin twinkie with cheesecake filling?

No twinkie pan?  Bake the batter in a cupcake pan.  You’ll end up with a dozen muffins.  But no twinkies.

I won’t judge you.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Twinkies

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:

1¼ cups gluten free flour

½ cup brown or raw sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon each ginger and nutmeg

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Combine…

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