Monday, February 20, 2012

Ode to a Cookie

Here's a little ditty I wrote last year in honor of, guess what? Thin Mints.

O Thin Mint, Thin Mint,
Why can't I eat just two?
If only my hips would lie, 
I'd eat the whole box, 
And write an ode to you. 

Photo from Wikipedia

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All Prayed Up

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousnessfor they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

I've heard the expression "Are you all prayed up?" more than once since living here in the South. There's even a country song with the same title. What does it mean to be "all prayed up?"

Being all prayed up is sort of like having a well-stocked pantry. It reminds me of my mother who never let her pantry shelves go bare. She took advantage of supermarket sales and stocked up on groceries whenever she had the chance. Nothing went to waste. And in the summer she would can or freeze fruits and vegetables.  Growing up in post-war Europe she knew what hunger was like firsthand.

What does prayer have to do with a kitchen pantry, you might wonder? It's all about being stocked up. Stocking up on prayers, that is. Is your prayer life like those empty cupboards? Do you completely run out of supplies before replenishing your pantry? In other words, do you wait until you are starving before you make your shopping list? Sometimes our prayer lives can be like those empty shelves. We wait until there's a desperate need before we turn to God with our pleas. I'm guilty. "I'm in trouble, Lord. Please help me." We wait until we go to triage before we start praying.

Being prayed up satisfies the spiritual hunger in us. It fills us with hope and joy and peace and draws us closer to Jesus. But it means we have to pray continually, every chance we can. It may be a simple "Thank You, Lord," or a long conversation. (He's listening). It's keeping those lines of communication open and knowing that the Lord has our back, even if no one else does. And that spiritual hunger and thirst will be satisfied through the power of prayer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Favorite Romantic Movies

(A re-post from two years ago)

I collect old postcards. These are a few of my vintage Valentine postcards, some dating back to 1908.

Since Valentine's Day is about love I wanted to make a list of my favorite romantic movies. No light-hearted romances here - that would be another list.

Gone With the Wind
 Passionate love - (Rhett and Scarlett are too much alike. He loves her, but he can only take so much).

Love Story
Who can forget "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Dr. Zhivago
Two people, married to others, fall in love during the Russian revolution. This movie is three hours long and perfect for a long winter's night.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Fantasy love - Woman falls in love with the ghost of a sea captain. Those black and white movies from the 1940's were really good!

Out of Africa
Uncommitted love - Danish writer loves big game hunter in Africa. I actually bought the soundtrack and play it all the time.

The Notebook
Lifelong love with a touch of sadness. Have plenty of tissue at the end.

The Message in a Bottle
Woman falls in love with widower, still grieving the loss of his late wife.

Pride and Prejudice 
Prideful love - Two witty souls finally find true love. Who doesn't love Mr. Darcy?

Sense and Sensibility
Another Jane Austen favorite. Love wins in the end. My absolute favorite.

Wuthering Heights
Dangerous love - Woman falls for brooding Heathcliffe.

Jane Eyre
Hopeful love - homely girl finds love in the end. I never tire of this story.

Everlasting love - "The love inside, you take it with you."

May you still be truly, madly, insanely in love on this Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ordinary Days

I love three-day weekends, even if I don't "do" anything. I live a simple life, an ordinary life. I'm one of the lucky ones, because if you've ever received bad news, your life turns upside down and there is no such thing as an "ordinary day".  So I am thankful for all the ordinary days.

On Saturday I putter around the house. It rains most of the day, a repeat of January's weather. The weather is cool, but mild. I go about my housework, washing the sheets, taking out the trash. I empty the dishwasher. I make a second pot of coffee. Finally, I grab my umbrella and drive to the nearest Barnes and Noble, 25 miles away. For over an hour I browse to my heart's content, spending my gift card from Christmas, with enough left over to buy a White Chocolate Mocha.

A Quiet Evening
On Saturday evening my daughter, her husband and the two older children go to a hockey game. I baby-sit Mae-Mae (her nickname). Bath is soon asleep in my lap. When they return from the game, the older girls go home with me. One goes right to sleep. The younger one thinks that she is a grown-up ( she is going on five) and stays up until midnight. I give them my bed and the cat and I share the couch.


Sharing Popsicles
Sunday morning and the younger one is up early and already dressed. She hits the floor running. I am rubbing the sleep from my eyes. "Can I play with Play-do?" "After breakfast," I reply. Today the weather is gorgeous, bright and sunny. We go outside after lunch and the children (including my grandson, who came over) help me pick up broken branches in the yard. I rake up dead leaves while they play hop-scotch, kick the soccer ball, and climb trees in the backyard. They make friends with the two little boys who live across the street. The kids want popsicles, so my granddaughter asks me how many to get of the freezer, while she counts on her fingers. "Five?" "Yes, five", I tell her. While she goes inside for the popsicles the little boy across the street comes out with a handful to share with everyone. At five o'clock the kids go home. I am exhausted, but it's a good tired.

An Ordinary Day
It is Monday and I treat myself to a movie from my collection, "The Painted Veil." It is based on a book by W. Somerset Maugham and is about a doctor and his unfaithful wife. The story takes place in China, where the doctor is fighting a Cholera outbreak. It is a fascinating story. Later, I run errands, mail some cards, pay bills, balance my checkbook, put a pot roast in the oven, bake cupcakes, call my sister and a close friend; ordinary things on an ordinary day. I am blessed.
Blackberry Cobbler in a cute casserole dish