Category Archives: Uncategorized

Teacup Tuesday: The Tea Man

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Confession: this picture was taken on Saturday, but I had a cup of the same tea this morning.  I don’t want the blog world to believe that I whip up fluffy pancakes and sausage on an ordinary Tuesday morning.  That’s not happenin’ here.  Nope.

Anyway, this is carrot cake loose leaf tea in one of my favorite mugs.  The tea is delicious.  It’s from the Oswego Tea Company.  It’s nicely spicy and a little sweet even without a sweetener.  There are pieces of dried carrots and spices mixed with black tea.  It tastes and smells like autumn.  Love it!

The mug was a gift from my mom and dad.  I believe it was for my birthday when I was first married and living far away.  On the other side it says, “In all the ways that really count, I can always count on you.”  I love it.  I’ve been using it almost everyday lately.  I love the picture, and the message, and the fact that my mom picked it out for me.

Finally, I must share my dear tea man with you.  Isn’t he the cutest thing?  He is a diffuser for loose leaf tea, and I love how content he looks relaxing in the hot water.  I can’t help but laugh!  Officially called “Mister Tea,” my tea man was my Mother’s Day gift this year.  I first encountered him in this video, and I fell in love!  (He is shown in the first couple of minutes of the video.)  You can also buy your own little fellow on Amazon.

Please tell me in the comments what kind of tea you are enjoying.

When Rest is Required

Dear Readers,

I’ve been thinking.

When people have surgery, they are expected to rest.  When they come down with the flu or bronchitis or a simple, common cold, rest is prescribed.  Sprained ankle?  Rest it.  Mothers tell their children–even the grown ones–to get some rest when they have any ailment or injury.  Everyone knows that rest promotes healing.  It’s a given.

But do we remember that emotional fatigue and pain also require rest for healing?  Too often, we assume that we can continue our usual, zippy speed as long as our bodies are keeping pace.  Although I can’t speak for everyone, I’m pretty good at identifying bodily fatigue.  I recognize the slow, dragging feeling, the muscle aches, the heavy eyes, and sore feet.  I feel them, identify them, and slow down.  I’ve learned that ignoring those signs means paying the price in headaches, sore throats, fevers, and colds.  Not worth the price.

I’m not as good at remembering the toll of emotional busyness.  I think of “emotional busyness” as periods of time when I’m experiencing a wild ride of high and low emotions, a time when I need to invest myself emotionally in events and people that seem to overlap and collide all at once.  That is exactly how life has looked lately.  Crushingly sad news followed by happy news.  A fun trip followed by a sad good-bye.  Scary news before a fun weekend.  And on and on.

You know what though?  I am thankful that I care enough about people to have developed some powerful emotional ties–bonds that require some big emotional investment.  That is something to celebrate.  I want to love and be loved.

Nonetheless, rest is required!

We took a serious Sabbath on Sunday.  Without apology, we announced our absence at an evening event–an outing that the whole family usually enjoys, and instead, we did some restful things.  We attended the morning worship service, changed into comfy clothes, and did nothing of importance!  The kids jumped in thousands of yellow leaves that blanket our yard.  We watched a movie.  Cory didn’t even turn on football until after the kids went to bed.  I did some tidying around the house and snuggled with the baby.  Easy, restful day.

The bad news is still real, but with it has come a lot of love–love from all directions.  The world is still a weird place, and the future is big and open and kind of scary sometimes.  BUT…I know…

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.  Psalm 62:5

Meet Clover

Are you prepared for some puppy cuteness?  Yes, we got a puppy.  Most of my blog readers are “real life” friends and family, so you already know about our newest addition, but my blog wouldn’t be complete without a proper introduction to Clover.

Clover joined our family about a month after the loss of Hannah.  We thought we would wait a bit before finding a new pet, but we missed Hannah’s presence in our home too much to be without a dog for much longer.  We had decided long before Hannah died that our next dog would be a rescue pup.  We browsed Petfinder.com, and this little black lab mix jumped out at us.  She was named “Jill,” but after several in depth rounds of family voting, we decided on “Clover.”  (I was later dismayed to find out that there is a popular cartoon character with a pet named Clover.  We had no idea.)  She was only about nine weeks old when we adopted her, one of nine puppies in an abandoned litter.  Can you imagine!

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cloverbailey

These photographs are of Clover with her pal, Bailey.  Bailey isn’t our dog, but  she has been quite the little (big!) mother to Clover.  They have a cute, funny relationship.

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And here is our girl at 4 months old.  She’s growing fast, and we soon won’t have a little puppy anymore!

Menu Tuesday?

Hi, readers.  I did not post menus over the last two weeks because we were staying with family for a few days during each of those weeks.  Meal planning was a little tricky, so I didn’t have actual menus prepared.  Here is how this week is stacking up:

Monday:  Chicken parmesan

Tuesday:  Pizza

Wednesday:  Steak salads

Thursday:  Chicken and broccoli stir-fry

Friday:  Salmon, “hot potato salad,” and spinach salad

Saturday:  Fajitas

Sunday:  Sauerkraut and Sausage Casserole

A note on Sunday’s dinner.  It’s not really my thing.  I don’t love kielbasa or sauerkraut, but my husband and my kids love both.  At least it looks pretty.  You can see it here.  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/make_ahead_casserole_recipes?slide=17#leaderboardad

Menu Monday

The day is almost over, but I made it back for Menu Monday!  As person who often struggles with follow-through, I consider this a major success.

Last week was vacation Bible school, so the food schedule didn’t go exactly as I had imagined.  A few meals got bumped up; therefore, Sunday’s steak is tomorrow’s dinner.  Here’s the plan:

Monday — Spaghetti and salad

Tuesday — Steak, roasted cabbage, and baked apples

Wednesday — Chicken and veggie pizza

Thursday — Meatball sandwiches and “Mary Salad” (tomatoes, cucumbers, and Italian dressing)

Friday — Spinach salads with chicken, strawberries, and almonds

Saturday — Someone is turning six!!  Birthday party food!

Sunday — leftovers

Our Dog: Worth Breaking the Rules

We are not rule breakers.  I guess you could say Cory and I are pretty straight laced.  We don’t sneak into movies, cheat on our taxes, or pretend our child is under five to get the free kid’s meal.

But we did get a puppy out of wedlock.  While I was living in a college-owned apartment.  Gasp!

That sweet pup became our beloved companion.  Hannah moved with us from our college town to Massachusetts, back to our home state, to Florida, and back to our college town.  She was gentle, quiet, and as low maintenance  as any dog could be.  Being a Labrador mix, she did have a pronounced puppy phase during which she barked at every squirrel and bicycle, and she once ate an entire loaf of bread but left the crusts.  She was a treasure.

This morning, Hannah died.  Her health had been declining, but I still feel sucker punched.  I was not ready.  I’m not ready to not see her first thing in the morning.  I’m not ready to not watch her streak up my parent’s back yard looking incredibly like a racing greyhound.  I’m not ready to miss her barks, her brown eyes, her shiny coat.  I want it to be yesterday again when I scratched behind her ear and told her to be good while we went to Grandma and Papa’s house for the day.

We are not rule breakers, but we took a risk and found a friend.

Miss you, Girl.

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Spring in a new-to-us House

We moved into our new house in November.  That evening, snow began to fall as our family carried in chairs and pillows and boxes and dishes and books and toys and all the things that make a home.  Winter seemed to begin on that day, even though the calendar wouldn’t be in agreement for several weeks.  We did not see much of our yard this winter.  Each time the snow began to melt and the grass peaked through, a fresh blanket would fall.  As spring approached, we wondered what might pop up in our yard.  Having never seen the property outside of fall and winter, we had little more than a guess based on sadly wintered leftovers from seasons gone by.  So…what did we find here?  What new life finally raised from hibernation?

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Spring carries a fun anticipation.  What will pop up next?