Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dedicated Pie

This Peach-Blueberry Pie is dedicated to my oldest friend (oldest in that I've known her since junior high school, not oldest chronologically.) I found the recipe on the Taste of Home website, notably low-brow cooking, but who the heck cares? We're talking fresh fruit, sugar, and spices. What's to get uppity about? I opted out on the lattice top option because the sooner it's in the oven, the sooner it can cool and then I can be eating it.

Here's the gooey, fruity filing:

My friend is an extraordinarily gifted cook. She's not afraid to try stuff that makes me weak in the culinary knees. At holidays she makes delicious pies and an incredible fruitcake that redeems the much-maligned staple of great-aunts and corporate fruit baskets.

The only thing that would make this pie sweeter would be if I could share a slice with her this evening.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rain, Glorious Rain!

It's hard to take pictures of rain.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thought for the Day

"Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known... then went crazy as a loon."
~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Lisa Simpson

I suspect that poetry, rather than solitude, had something to do with it.

"For, though shy, he did not seem reserved; it had rather the appearance of feelings glad to burst their usual restraints; and having talked of poetry, the richness of the present age, and gone through a brief comparison of opinion as to the first-rate poets, trying to ascertain whether Marmion or The Lady of the Lake were to be preferred, and how ranked the Giaour and The Bride of Abydos; and moreover, how the Giaour was to be pronounced, he showed himself so intimately acquainted with all the tenderest songs of the one poet, and all the impassioned descriptions of hopeless agony of the other; he repeated, with such tremulous feeling, the various lines which imaged a broken heart, or a mind destroyed by wretchedness, and looked so entirely as if he meant to be understood, that she ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry, and to say, that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly."
~Jane Austen, Persuasion

Friday, July 15, 2011

Better Than Botox

I was stung by a wasp at the park this morning. It got me on the forehead, just to the left of the frown line between my eyes.

If only the wasp had tagged me right in the middle of that frown line, the swelling might have erased the wrinkle for a little while. Just my luck.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thought for the Day

Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation. ~James Thurber

Monday, July 4, 2011

My Own Little World

On weekends, my husband likes to relax on the couch in front of the TV. He and the kids watch a variety of programs on Netflix Instant Watch: wacky anime series, MythBusters, PBS documentaries. He usually logs a number of hours playing his latest favorite XBOX 360 game, too.

I like to spend weekend outdoors, if at all possible. Ideally, I also like to churn through a list of projects, or at least knock one or two off the list.

Is it any wonder that I spent the first ten years of my marriage mad at my husband for not wanting to do what I wanted to do on weekends? And also a bit ticked off that both my kids preferred to sit inside with him, rather than join me outside?

Fortunately, this is Year 11, and I've wised up. I used to mourn that I had virtually no time to read. When I was single I had several hours a day to read, in addition to most evenings free. Young children cured that in no time. While I could recite "Goodnight Moon" from memory, my adult reading dwindled to almost nil. And over time, I got grumpy about it.

I got grumpy about all kinds of things during this time. I used to get cheesed off if there were toys scattered on the floor in the family room... if I had to unload the dishwasher... if one of the kids spilled a drink... if I had to go to the store for milk. I was a ton of fun. Didn't anyone else in my family realize that there was so much important work to do? 24 hours in a day wasn't nearly enough time. But I was going to try to do it anyway. And get grumpy in the process.

"If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I thought that eventually my husband would notice I wasn't happy and decide to change, thus making me happy. Instead, our relationship was strained by my near-constant foul mood. Not that anyone outside our home would have known it. I can put on a show with the best of them, especially at church. But finally, I knew that I had to let it go or ruin my marriage and our family. It took more than a year to well and truly stop wanting what I wasn't going to get: other people making me happy by doing everything the way I wanted. Things have gradually changed for the better, especially my moods.

Don't misunderstand, I still get grumpy from time to time. But it's so much less frequent. My household and personal standards are a shadow of their former selves. I came to realize that my standards were a way of feeling superior to other people: my house was cleaner than theirs, my kids had better manners and vocabularies than theirs, my spices were alphabetized in the lazy susan. Can you say Nutso-Mama? Now, if there are groceries for the day's meals and a few changes of clean clothes per family member, things are A-OK. And instead of trying to complete my to-do list every weekend, I usually spend most of the time reading, cooking or baking something new, or noodling around on the computer. I still spend lots of time outside if the weather is nice, and most of it by myself. The kids come out to "check" on me periodically and ask for a snack. My husband is happy indoors, blowing up bad guys in a video game. A mood of contentment reigns.

Another exciting benefit of this adjustment: I'm halfway to my goal of reading 50 books this year for the Goodreads 2011 Reading Challenge! And I'm not reading "Goodnight Moon" 50 times.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ultimate Cookie

"I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life." — Hillary Clinton

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. " — C.S. Lewis

I Want a Refund

My son informs me this morning, "You're not the mom I wanted! I want a mom who doesn't hate children!" from the time-out corner.

Less than 30 seconds later he's coming over to me and saying, "I want to say I'm sorry."

If you don't like the emotional weather in our house, just wait a few seconds.