Monday, July 27, 2015

On my nightstand

Cold Tangerines

by Shauna Niequist
I love Shauna’s writing… it’s approachable and vulnerable and invites you to join her in finding joy in our everyday stuff.  This is the second book of hers I’ve read.  Perfect for summer!

A Year of Living Prayerfully
by Jared Brock
I can’t remember how I stumbled on this book or why it interested me.  Jared wanted to grow up in his prayer life so he embarked on a pretty bizarre journey all over the world to research how people pray and what prayer really is.  I almost put it aside several times but I’m so glad I didn’t.  I learned a lot!

father's daughter
My Father’s Daughter
by Hannah Pool
Hannah was adopted from Eritrea as a baby by a British couple and in this book she tells of meeting her birth family many years later.  It’s pretty raw and emotional as she processes all the things she thinks and feels as a young woman who has struggled with her identity – as most adopted children do at some point. Again, I learned a lot!

Mrs. Pollifax mysteries
by Dorothy Gilman
This is three books in one and was a perfect summer ‘take me away’ read.  Mrs. Pollifax is a widow with grown children who gets bored with her quiet life and decides to pursue an old desire to become a CIA agent.  What begins as a seemingly easy assignment turns into danger, espionage, kidnapping and murder.  These are great fun to read!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Links you’ll like

I’m Grateful That Lady Forced a Bible on Me
The other day, I arrived at the bus stop where four Asian ladies were indiscriminately passing out New Testament Bibles.  When one of the ladies offered me a Bible, I tried to decline.

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride
This one’s for me.  And it stung to read it.  But, as the author says, Pride will kill you.

Internet Outrage, Public Shaming and Modern-Day Pharisees
Many contemporary people feed off of feeling 1) right and 2) wronged. "Outrage Porn" resembles actual pornography in that it aims for a cheap, temporary thrill at the expense of another human being, but without any personal accountability or commitment to that human being.

download (1)
Senior Discounts
Who is brave enough – shameless enough – to ask for these?  I was actually surprised to see how many there are and how some of them start at the young age of 50.

How to Clean a Toilet
You thought you already knew, didn’t you?

Like That Garden
This app is so great for anyone who loves flowers… simply snap a photo of any plant and it identifies the flower as well as providing helpful info.  Also available for iPhones.

Here's just for summertime fun... I love so many things about this.  The song.  The cool set with checkerboard ramps!  The awesome dance moves of the french horn guy.  The sideburn/back flip combo.  Turtlenecks and nehru collars.  The drummer showing off his skillz near the end.  Everything about it is just so groovy!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Checking in

Hello.  Remember me?

I have a silly, direction-less blog that I occasionally abandon completely because a) I have nothing of any meaning or worth to say or b) I get too busy/distracted/otherwise involved.

What have I been doing in the almost month since I last posted? 
Good question.  Let’s see…

Suffering through a hotter than average summer here in Oregon.  You’d think that after 16 summers in the desert of Palm Springs I would laugh at 99° temperatures.  But you would be very wrong.  I truly have no idea how I survived those years because I am a heat wimp.  It’s cloudy and cool this morning and I (along with my fellow native Oregonians) feel alive again. 

Begrudgingly settling for technology connections instead of face to face time with my granddaughters.  Facetime is no substitute for real life but it has been my touchpoint this last month.  Yesterday while I was talking with Lisa on the computer I heard my tablet ‘ring’.  At the same time, Lisa realized that Hadley had found their iPad and was calling me on Skype.  Yes, my not-quite-two-year-old Mensa prodigy has seen her mommy do it many times and can now find the Skype icon, choose a contact and make a video call.  Do you think this is the 21st century equivalent to my kids being able to insert a video cassette in the VCR?  We laughed and laughed.  I feel sure Hadley felt her mommy was hogging Facetime and wanted her own connection to her Nammy.

Trying to determine what God's will is.  How do you find direction from God?  Here’s what I KNOW:
  • He wants me to ask Him - He loves to help me – just like I love to help my children. 
    You don’t have because you don’t ask.  James 4:2  

  • Knowing Him is more important than knowing exactly what to do - He wants shared life with me.  He shows me more and more of what He’s like through these times of decision-making. 
    My determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. Phil 3:10 

  • He can help me avoid wrong choices - Bottom line? He is always in control.
    The Spirit did not allow them….. Acts 16:6-7 

  • Fear can never be the basis for a decision - I need to look deep down to see if fear is determining what I choose to do or not do.
    God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Tim 1:7 

  • Obedience leads to closeness to Him and great joy - Why do we think doing God’s will means difficulty and pain?  What father doesn’t give his child a blessing for obeying?
    Even more blessed are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice!  Luke 11:28
  • I can trust Him to lead me - He is completely worth trusting because He will never fail me!
    You have not forsaken those who seek You.  Psalm 9:10

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This sweet girl

Hadley 21 months
Almost-two is such a darling age.  Haddykins is cuddly, dramatic, funny and tender all at the same time.  Jeff captured her perfectly!

Soon it will be Gracie’s turn for her own collage.  And that’s a pretty good reason for a visit, don’t you think?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


strawberries haveacupwithme
These beauties are showing up all over here in Oregon… at roadside fruit-stands, in markets that carry local produce, in rural u-pick fields and (cue angelic singing) in our garden!  Ours are lumpy and funny-shaped but they are mmmmmm good. 

berries haveacupwithme
I don’t even bother to buy strawberries any other time of year, do you? – they are usually tasteless with hard, white centers.

Here are three tips for keeping your strawberries fresh:
  • wait to wash them until you’re ready to eat or use them – prevents mushy berries
  • keep the stems on until right before eating – they won’t spoil as quickly
  • get rid of any berries turning soft or moldly – the rest will quickly follow if snuggled up to these
My “Berries’ board on Pinterest is a source of a LOT of good recipe ideas…



Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Here’s one that doesn’t have a valid link any more but looks super-easy and delicious!

Angel Food Cake and Strawberry Kabobs with Chocolate Drizzle

And just so it’s not ALL sweet…
Strawberry Cucumber Salad @OhSweetBasil

I hope you get some local berries in your neck of the woods and if you do nothing more than eat them right out of the container, you'll have a taste of summer to be thankful for!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Links I Liked

Happy National Donut Day!  I hope you're heading into a great weekend!  Ours is supposed to be record-breaking HOT so I'm going to make a big pitcher of iced tea and will retreat to the basement, where it's always cool.  We still have lots of boxes and cupboards to go through down there in our effort to clean out the stuff so maybe we'll actually make some progress!  I really hope you're doing something more exciting than that.

5 Unexpected Things Happy People Have in Their Homes
You probably have most of this stuff already, so here's why you should love it. Just think, you could be happier by tonight!

Making An Inherited House Feel Like Home
Since we are living in the house I grew up in, this article could either be incredibly inspirational or terribly deflating.  I think we have our work cut out for us.

What Not to Ask Someone Suffering
People ask me all the time what to say and what to do for people who are grieving the death of someone they love. And I’m glad they ask. I’m glad they want to know what is really helpful and meaningful, and what is completely unhelpful and actually hurtful. And I wish I could tell you that I always know myself what to say. But sometimes words fail me.

Why You Should Spiralize All Your Hot Dogs This Summer
A great tip for summer bbq-ing… genius!

100 Years of Beauty: Aging
A team of makeup artists age an engaged couple from their late 20s to late 90s.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dear Grammy,

I’m so glad you and Papa spent so much time with me a week or so ago. 

It was FUN!

I’m not sure why Mama and Daddy were gone but you did a very good job of distracting me.

I have lots of teeth so I will definitely use the toothbrushes…


And a girl can always use a packpack and new books.


But can I talk to you about something?

Why didn’t anyone explain what Mama and Daddy were doing while we were reading books and coloring and doing puzzles?

I mean, you’ve all been saying stuff about a new baby but I thought we were talking about the pictures in my board books.

Daddy showed me a baby who everybody was looking at and holding their phones up in front of and saying things like ‘She is so tiny!’ and ‘I think she’ll have blond hair’ and ‘She looks like Hadley!’

Then everyone asked me if I liked my new sister.  Is that anything like a new packpack?

It was all just a little too much.

Thankfully Mama shared her french fries with me so that was good.

I was a little surprised when they came home the next day with that ‘sister’ in the baby car seat I’ve been playing in.


I actually can still fit in it myself, you know.


Daddy let me hold Grace.  She wiggles a lot and makes weird noises.


The thing is, Grammy, I feel kinda like I’ve been de-throned.


So come on back any time and I promise we can read together and sing songs and Papa can take pictures of me. 


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