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.

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Say Goodbye to Chippy

Chippy

It’s a sad day at Nana’s house today. Chippy the Chipmunk had a face to face encounter with Día and Joe Bear underneath the bird feeder. Joe Bear was trapped up on the deck and just about ready to lunge down about 15 feet to join his canine friend in her excitement when I stepped outside and opened the gate.

By the time Joe had barreled down the stairs, the little chipmunk was cornered under the downspout. Chippy never had a chance. Día and Joe Bear had him boxed in completely.

While Día was the ultimate in the hunting category this time, she happily delivered up her prize to the much larger and demanding Joe Bear. You would think HE caught the poor little guy, Chippy wasn’t even as big as that hulking bear-dog’s paw.

Joe pranced around the yard as if he was showing his adoring fans what he had accomplished. And then he plopped down to toy with his fatally flawed friend.

Ummm, no, I don’t think so. I started to back Joe into a submissive stance. He reluctantly dropped his prey. But I could tell he was just waiting me out. Ha! As if!

My daughter, who has a mixed hate-love relationship with animals anyway, cannot stand the animal-side of our dogs. You know, they smell like dogs. Act like dogs. Annoy like dogs.

And they protect us from varmints like…Chippy and little birds…And the coyotes, raccoons, foxes and all the other assorted critters that like to wander in for a sneak of food…They are, after all, animals and have animal natures and instincts.

My daughter brought me a container to dispose of the remains, but oh that Joe was not going to let his fun go without a struggle. Oh no. Not for a minute. I bribed him with dog jerky…not much help. Finally I had to lock him up in the house, with the door fully latched. (He knows how to open it.)

Little Chippy sailed away over the creek bank. And Joe knows it. He tried his hardest to leap the fence. But when you are huge like he is, and old, you have about as much chance of leaping over the fence as I do. After all, Joe and I are about the same age…

But, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that dog will find a way to jump the fence tonight and sniff out Chippy’s final resting place. He is one relentless and stubborn dog. He reminds me of someone…

Are you distracted by your food?

My husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary last week. A few days after the actual date, we went out for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I know…cheesy. But seriously, they have an awesome dinner menu and I really wanted some great cheesecake, since finding good pies is a bit of a challenge without Tippins around anymore.

My husband, sweet man that he is, dropped me off at the door and went to park the car. For those of you reading this blog from or familiar with the St. Louis area, you will understand that parking at The Galleria can be troublesome, and that evening was no exception.

I was seated immediately (awesome) and began looking over the menu. Ahem, it was more like a paperback novel, to be honest. I chose something from the Skinnylicious menu before my husband came in…so I was all set to order when the server appeared to take our order. She rattled off the specials, and I instantly changed my mind and decided on the Pecan-crusted Catfish with mashed potatoes and succotash.

My husband, notorious for NOT being quick about things like ordering at a drive through window, or any restaurant for that matter, was still trying to figure out how the menu worked. He asked questions about the soups offered on the specials of the day. Not just what kinds, but the quantity served. Cup? Bowl? Pot? Not really, he didn’t mention the pot.

He asked his go to #1 choice–do they serve Lasagna. Nope. I could have told him that–I had already checked for him. He then asked for his go to #2 choice–the Chinese Chicken Salad. SCORE!!! I could have, and probably should have, ordered for him. Time is money, especially in the restaurant business.

We talked for a little while as we awaited our dinner. As we are in the middle of a kitchen re-vamp, there was no shortage of topics needing our attention. It was pleasant and we just enjoyed our time. Then the food arrived.

My catfish was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Delicious. Absolutely delicious. My husband’s salad was ENORMOUS. It looked like a huge bowl with the salad wearing a top hat of crispy rice noodles. Sort of like this:

double the height of the noodles on top and it will be just about right

I was eating my dinner, thoroughly enjoying each bite. Finally, I asked my husband how his salad compared to the many other Chinese Chicken Salads he has eaten over the years. Even after all the years we’ve been married, his answer surprised me.

“Well, I don’t really know. I’m so distracted by these THINGS on top of it.”

Ok, seriously, he’s DISTRACTED by the contents of his salad so he can’t tell if he likes it more than, equal to, or less than the thousands of others he’s had? Wow. Just wow. I guess in HIS mind, the noodles added nothing of value to the salad, so just for the sake of presentation, they were not worth it.

If you look at the salad in the same way you might look at the Gospel, it makes tremendous sense. The simplicity of the Gospel is its beauty–it needs nothing else to make it more attractive or valuable. The truth of Jesus coming to die on the cross as full payment for the sins of all who would take His gift of salvation is beautiful. Complete. It stands alone without the need for anything we could even hope to add to it.

So, quirky as my husband may be, he gave me plenty of food for thought…(I couldn’t resist.) 🙂

Ephesians 2:4-10

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

4-10 But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ—it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved—and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens. Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us. We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do.