Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Less

Remember my lofty goal to get rid of 1000 items by the end of 2015? And how I did that in the first quarter of the year? I honestly can't say I miss any of those items. Not one. And I've kept going, too. Without a count, just a guesstimate, with Rob's help, we hit 2000. I probably hit 100 just over the weekend. 

I used to buy screaming deals and put them in a special drawer for future gifts opportunities. That was a great idea especially when my kids were younger, but now that I give fewer casual gifts I've decided it was time to share and let people use those things instead of them languishing another year in my closet. 

I have had a chance to offer my kids different items that I just don't need or want anymore and most of the time they've jumped at it. A few times it's been something they really needed/wanted but didn't have in the budget. That's definitely more satisfying than storing, moving and looking at an item that just doesn't call to me. 

As I'm prepping for a big season of get togethers and visits, I've noticed a few other things about having less stuff. It is easier to organize if there's less of it. I have empty or semi empty drawers for things so that items can be put away properly. Sigh of satisfaction.

I think we'll keep going. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles - sick day

Grown-ups hardly ever get snow days but let's hear it for the fun and exciting sick day. UGH!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Whew Holly Jolly

This Christmas is bearing down on me like nobodies business. Two new grandkids this year. So many opportunities to have fun and adventure with them. So little time to blog. And Michelle and I have been working on edits and other fun book things. There's just not enough time to do all the things I wanna do. 

So I'm being blog lazy. 

But I won't leave you completely without laughs or etc. 

Like this pictorial gem of some truly tasteless and definitely ugly Christmas sweaters. 

http://www.boredpanda.com/ugliest-christmas-sweaters/  I have a particular fondness for the nursing mother sweater. No worries, you won't have to dig too deep to find it. 

And this. This is just too cute. 

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Um What Is That Shiny Thing Over There?

Well, this is awkward. You see I have so many, many things I should be accomplishing. But I find myself clicking on links to things that interest me instead. 

Here's a hilarious article. You can join me in not doing the things you are supposed to be doing. You're welcome. 


And lest you think I'm a total slacker I washed and folded all this laundry for my poor daughter who's washer croaked. And I also typed, until carpal tunnel and shortness of breath kicked in, with a 35 lb beagle draped over my chest and arms. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Bored?

Bored Panda has the best activity...kinda like a grown up coloring book. But it involves a special little buddy doing the meatloaf pose. 

http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-doodles-on-lovely-cat-photo/  #9 is the best! 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ AUGH!!!!!!!

this is where to bang head
Meh news. 
We have a couple of apartments. 
Bad news. One of the washers bit the dust.  

Good news! Cyber Monday offered a great replacement with great reviews and a very doable price. 

Meh news. I couldn't use PayPal Credit wherein I could get 6 months free interest. 

Good news! I could get Swagbucks for shopping online. 

Good news! There was also a coupon. 
Bad news. The coupon would end up costing me $45.00 because it dropped the price low enough that it didn't qualify for free shipping. 

Good news! I killed the coupon. FREE SHIPPING. 

Good news! If I signed up for the credit card I could get 6 months free from interest! 

Good news! The order completed and I could get on with my life. 

Meh news. I forgot to print the temporary credit card information. But no worries. I only got it to save on interest and to be able to spread it out. 

Bad news! A call on Tuesday. Something was wrong with the order. 

Good news! They were able to fix the order. But what was the credit card number again? 

BAD NEWS! I didn't know. I didn't print or save the STUPID DOCUMENT.

Good news! The credit department might be able to help me. 
Good news! Conference call. 

BAD NEWS! My computer decided to go into upload mode right before I returned the call. 

Good news! A document was sent. I just had to make sure I had up to date Java and Adobe. I didn't. 

Meh news. I was given numbers and the assurance I could call back once I opened the document with my information. I was also given instructions about how to open said hyper-secure pdf. 

Bad news! I half listened. 
Meh news. I used three different computers downloading Java and Adobe's latest to try to open this pdf. It provided my name, the date, my credit limit. The numbers I needed were XXXXXXX'd out. 

Good news! Prepared with the phone call ID numbers I pulled up the document and email on both Rob's and my computers and called. I was put on hold so the very helpful credit department clerk could resend the email with the pdf. She came and went as she was having sloggy computer problems as well. One last time she put me on hold I tried something I hadn't tried before and I opened it. Ten minutes later she reappeared and I told her and thanked her profusely! 

Good news!!!! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord! I had my numbers. 

Trust me at this point 6 months to pay and/or no interest was just about ridiculous and why bother. With our rental income I could write a check right now but I already opened the account. And I had an order sitting out there waiting for those magic numbers. 

Easy as stealing candy from a baby. Right? Smooth sailing!

Meh news: I called the order number telling them that I had my elusive credit account number. 

Bad news: There was a delivery issue since we had a store locally that arranged its own delivery. She'd call the store and have them complete my order over the phone. More bad news: The go-to-guy was not at that department currently. He'd call me back. 

Good news: He called. He had the washing machine available. He could do it all over the phone.  

Bad news: He had NONE of my info. And he was as slow as molasses in the winter. I even offered to go back online with the order. No. No. He'd do it. He said. 
Good news: Finally time for the magic credit card numbers. 

BAD NEWS!: He showed that the ID number needed to be three numbers two letters. I have only three numbers. Good news: He'd head up to the cashiers and call me back. 

BAD NEWS! He called me back. I have to go in and show them my temporary card document because this can't be done OVER THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good news. I did print the document. 
Bad news: I wonder if I can get the hours of my life back. Oh yeah. I don't have the proper validation forms for that! 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Peek

My quirks are not limited to home or out. They are pretty much equal opportunity quirks. 
However, I have to draw the line for two of them. You see, my hair is at the awkward stage where if I can get it controlled I really like it but it takes help to get control. One of those helps is headbands. I've picked up cheap ones over the years that I wouldn't wear in public for various assorted reasons, like embarrassment. 

Monday as soon as I got home from work I donned my Delta Dawn headband. Remember Delta Dawn? My aunts maybe liked the song. Or I heard it often when I hung out with them during my formative years. The words are something along the lines of "Delta Dawn what's that flower you have on, could it be a faded rose from days gone by? And did I hear you say he'd be coming for you today? To take you to his mansion in the sky?" So, see why I can't wear it in public? You do not want me wandering around muttering those lyrics. Ha. Ha. 

And my other shame clothing item? Bears Love People (They Taste Like Chicken). I bought the t-shirt in Montana. It was mostly cute to me, and humorous, cause I'm kind of twisted. And the big clincher was that it was half price. Yeah. I'm that kind of tourist. So I put it on a day after I bought it and found out a man had been killed in Yellowstone that morning. Uh. Tasteless. (Bad pun.)

There you have my semi-selfie shout outs and fashion fails. Carry on. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Too Many, Too Much...

I'm counting my blessings. If you need help identifying yours here's a few suggestions.

The little people in your life.

The older, wiser people you respect.

Fur babies who look to you for all their care and need-meeting.  And respond by licking your hand, staring at you while you sleep, leaping with joy at the door, or ignoring you.

Health. Or life. Or even just that next breath.

Family, or friends who have become your family.

Warmth. Whether its a roof over your head, a used parka, or in a smile.

Money in any form to meet your expenses.

The Thanksgiving meal whether it's turkey or not, whether it's in your home or someone else's, even if it's in a hospital spent with someone who cares, or alone knowing that God loves you.

The point is to remember how very much we have. And ultimately to remember that God is an intimate God Who loves us and wants a relationship with us. 

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with too many blessings to count. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Splainin to Do...

This is why I get very little blogging done. And cleaning. And pretty much anything else. A) it's very hard to resist. B) It's small and persistent enough to stake it's claim upon my person. C) did I mention it's cute? D) and if it is otherwise occupied, it has a sister. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday Funday

So Monday was the best. I got to spend time with all my G-Babes. Now, this time was spent at a store which may or may not have been fun for the moms. But I had a great time. And then I went home without them so didn't have to worry about sugar rushes and over tiredness. 

Thinking about becoming a G-ma? I highly recommend it.

The weekend included me using up and emptying my pantry and freezer of four items that made me do a happy dance.

What is wrong with me that I get excited about using up items so they can be recycled and OUT of my house or consumed and out of my freezer? Yeah. I'm twisted.

Note to self: Do not EVER buy spice blends when you already have the individual spices in your pantry. That's just LAZY, so KNOCK it off.

Sorry you had to hear that. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thursday Thoughts

Four things I re-learned these last few weeks. 

1) Life can turn on a dime. Make plans, think all is going according to those plans and that's all good and well. But we are not as in control as we think we are. Not at all. 

2) Sometimes I stink way less than I think I'm going to at something. Maybe taking a chance here and there is an okay thing to do. 

3) For everything there is a season. A season to laugh and a season to cry. A season to rejoice and a season to grieve. A season to build and a season to take apart. A season to dance and a season to rest. A season to plant and a season to harvest. I've loosely translated these words from a very wise man's writings,  and his conclusion is one I'd have to agree with, living selfishly, clutching greedily is not really living at all. What is living is to be honorable, loving and fearing God and to do things with His glory in mind. Because, the very good things that come out of that harvest are gifted back to us in ways far beyond what we can imagine as greed mongers. 

4) God makes no sense to me. If I ruled the universe I would do things so differently. But, there is great comfort in that. I would be a terrible ruler of the universe. I thank the Lord for no's, detours, bumps in the road, opportunities that take me where I had no intention of going. Delays that keep me from my course. I thank Him for giving Himself opportunities to prove to us over and over again that He is God and we are not. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Word...

As in there are so many whirling through my mind that I'm not sure I should just reach in and grab a few. Sense would not be made. Some of them might be inappropriate for family reading. (Who am I kidding, probably most of them would be.) 

It's my dad's birthday today. That's a family appropriate thought. Even though his nickname amongst us for awhile was Elder Bleep. 

You know how you can just take for granted solid people? My dad has always been there for me. The older I get the more I appreciate my parents and the love and foundation they have poured into me. 

Few too many times said, few too many passed opportunities to show it, but thank you and I love you, Dad. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Creeps

Went to the zoo last week. In one of the displays where I was slightly unnerved by the caged snakes, I nearly put my hand on this. The kids thought it was real funny. Glad someone was amused. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Halloween and Hallowon't

Gert played along with the whole costume idea. Gladys was having none of it. Bucking Beagle. And not on your bucking life, Lady. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Public Service Announcement - They Mean It....

I don't have pictures of my big mistake and subsequent public service announcement. But I do have pictures of my dogs. The pictures have nothing to do with my very serious topic of the day, however they are cute and these shots were snapped right before the safety/common sense breach. 

What might that serious topic be? Well, you know when you watch TV cooking shows they mention that you should wear plastic gloves when chopping hot peppers?? Well that's for reals. You see. I had no idea what peppers Rob planted and since neither of us like to have out tonsils burned out didn't think he'd plant anything hotter than jalapeño. And while I was dicing up all the tomatoes that were still viable I thought I'd go ahead and harvest the tiny peppers and chop those up as well. 

Turns out the peppers were habanero. I should've remembered the important information that the size of the pepper would be a clue as well. Anyhow. I chopped those bad boys up and tossed them in a ziplock and washed my hands. That's when I first noticed the heat. My hands warmed up real nicely and tingled. Then Rob said, those are habanero not jalapeño. Since we had a Bible study at Toad Boy's house and Toad Boy loves hot I decided to take them over. And I washed my hands about three more times. In the car I touched the outside corner of my eye. Yeah. Raccoon watering followed. I entered the house, handed him the bag with the warning that they are HOT and washed my hands two more times. While eating popcorn an hour later I noticed a tingle and burn. The stupid oil was still on my hands clearly. 

This is why they recommend that you use gloves when slicing or dicing hot peppers. And they know of what they speak. That is all. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ When Morning Comes...

My dogs, and who am I kidding...me, have been suffering from the struggle of becoming conscious when rolling out into the dark, cold mornings. They lay curled into a perfect puzzle of warm doggieness and I do things like snooze my alarm, then set the 2nd alarm instead of shutting off the 1st. And taking 5 solid seconds to try to figure out what the very clear text message means. Fortunately, God created coffee. And gave dogs a keen sense of smell. And gave us all bladders. If not I get the whole hibernation thing. Great idea.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Just So...So...You Know..

Spent last evening with the bigger grandkids while the boy went to Boy Scouts with his mama. In between reading and policing the sometimes arguing girls and keeping them out of grandpa's way while he installed a new kitchen sink, I saw a few childish art and learning projects. The third-grader is learning cursive. The four-year-old drew the family and has mastered the letters in her name plus 4, 8, and 5, so all of her scribbles include a mishmash of those conquered letters and numbers. There is nothing cuter than kid drawings and the oops of learning. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Squirrel Patrol and a DUH! Bonus

We have a few squirrels that torment Gladys and Gertrude. You know THOSE kind of squirrels. The once who know that there is a chain that lets a dog only so far, and that there is a big french door that looks out into the squirrel playground for while-the-grownups-are-at-work kinda torment. Yes, those kind of squirrels.  Its no wonder my girls are on the squirrel warpath 90% of the time. 
And this morning, bright and early I discovered something. Now this thing might have to do with the fact that I'm not fully awake most mornings when I get dressed. Should any decision before coffee count? I'm pretty sure there is a legal defense that uses lack of coffee. Right? Or I might just need to blame it on the squirrels.  Anyhoo, that said. I just now, in my 53 year of living realized that I don't have to actually follow manufacturer suggested guidelines. 

See this shirt. I love it. But a) too clingy and scoop necked to wear comfortably alone. b) long sleeved t-shirt material layered with something else equals flaming hot discomfort 48 weeks out of the year for me. Solution. Don't throw or donate the stupid top, cut the darn sleeves off and make it a layering tank. So happy. I'd take a smiling selfie but I haven't had my coffee yet.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Life Lesson #5

It's been gifted to us. We have some ownership over it. And we have a huge responsibility to not waste it. 

What is living life, Alex? 

Yes. My number #5 is that life is given to be lived. Embraced. Wrestled into submission. Owned. Whatever that looks like for each individual person, or not, life is a GIFT. 

Working in health care has introduced me to a whole lot of different people personalities and commonalities.  My 90 something patients that come in to see the doctor are more likely than not fully confident in their state of being. They actively pursue their interests and vehemently refuse to compromise. I think those who reach way up there on the age chart are those who are stubborn enough to stand firm on what they believe and feisty enough to tell it like it is, in their "humble opinion" at least.  Not that all 90+ have lived their lives giving, loving and being a blessing...nope...my friend's 90+ year old mom is a piece of work who just keeps on a ticking. But. I'm guessing my friend's mom will more than likely be stubborn and argumentative until the day she breathes her last. But it might be that stubborn spirit that is the key. So many compromise, lay down, give up and concede. Whether the war of life overcomes them, or treading water in someone else's expectations, they give up, give in. 

The past fews years have become transitional for Rob and I. The kids are out of the house, we are alone for the first time since early marriage and are discovering exactly what being alone means. Then we became Beagle parents, then overnight grandparents to three. I've found myself growing more and more stubborn and outspoken. I'm no longer trying to be nice and just get along, when that means compromising on something that is important to me.  I've struggled through music lessons that still haven't made me a comfortable musician but dang it, I'm stinking trying. I'm less inclined to play the game of growing a readership even though I have some platforms to do so. I'm still cooking and creating but sharing less because that's just a part of me and either I've done what I set out to do for me and mine or others do it better. 

There are so many parts of me.  I want to be authentic and real. And I think it's okay for me to admit that I have very few answers. And spouting off religious or popular platitudes isn't what I want to offer to the world. I want to tell the truth, maybe truth you don't agree with, but that's okay. I want to grow and embrace the relationships I have with my kids and their kids. I want to not play church but be part of the church, the one that changes lives. I don't want to give all my energy to crap. That way I have the energy required for someone else's need. More that half my life is over. I want to live it well and I want to wring all the life and love and joy out of it. When I'm dead, I want there to be a clearly empty shell of a life lived to the fullest. And I want the lingering fragrance of my life to be that of sunshine and rain and hope and love. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Life Lesson #4

#4 One of the biggies I've figured out, or caught or at-this-second understand is that I cannot live anyone else's life.

This is empowering and terrifying. I can't will, manipulate, shape, or pray anyone I love into being someone I wish they'd become. (Note...I said I can't, doesn't mean I haven't exhausted myself trying, ya know?)

My husband answers for himself, bears his own consequences (which are often shared with me and filed under number 9 in the marriage vows).

Our son and his wife are financially light years ahead of us when we were their age and kinda, for the most part, now. He didn't get that from our example.

Our oldest kids are spiritually discerning and mature, again far beyond who we were and what we grasped at their age. Again, not caught from our pristine example.

One kid went to college and now teaches and is so good at what he does. Another tried a class or two and works with her hands bringing joy and caffeine through the art of coffee roasting. The other just became a mommy and has embraced breast feeding and child nurturing way beyond what I ever expected.

Two of three of our kids have tattoos, one of them even has a sleeve. One of our children had to go through a lot of hell on earth to learn some basic truths. Two of the three children we've had the blessing of raising into adulthood have given homes (or are preparing to) to kids in need of a safe and secure place to grow. The other is a stepmom who loves her little guy bunches. These kids of mine give their hearts away over and over to people. 

Each of our kids is a curious and delightful blend of genetics, nature and nurture. And I don't know that I could be any prouder or feel more blessed that they are in my life. And had I been able to shape them into people who I thought they should be the world would have lost out. My kids are who they are because they aren't an extension of me. They weren't mine to sculpt, shape maybe, but not sculpt. These human gifts were only for me to take care of for awhile, never meant for my use or keeps. The blessing of their presence in my life on any level is beyond payment enough. 

And, at 53 I have come to the realization that loving HURTS. And there is no absolute security in any earthly relationship. That those we invest in, try to train, pour into, love and love and love, have choices and sometimes those choices might break our hearts.
But there is hope even then. (I have proof, powerful proof in my life and these have become Ebenezer stones where I can look back and say "God was with me then, and I know He's with me still.) The responsibility I have is to speak truth, love as and beyond I am able, to set boundaries if needed, forgive and hope. Even in the hardest of cases, there is always the hope I have in Jesus. Since He's proven Himself to me I am able to rest in the knowledge that I am not the king (or queen) of anyone's universe, and I'm good with that.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Life Lesson #3

# 3 I try to focus on the the Whatevers.

I'm prone to be a Pollyanna. Really I am. And I've decided to embrace that. Because when I plunge into the black swirls of melancholy that lie in wait, I am miserable. Cynicism, hopelessness, greed, jealousy, bitterness...I've been there and those attitudes are tight blister-gnawing shoes to wear for even a few minutes.

I know that being uninformed of the current events around us can make us seem self-absorbed or simple-minded to our peers. But when the focus on current events causes fearfulness or hopelessness doesn't it become self-absorbtion? Or single focused. Some who spend hours gleaning the bad news of the fallenness of humanity use it to accost others with dark and pessimistic facts, or use their knowledge to argue and debate.

I know there are horrific things that happen all around us. I know that goodness has limits and seemingly evil does not. Three of my grand babies are mine through foster care. I have friends who've lost someone too early and have seen mean-spirited people live long and hurt those around them. Darkness had its way with my family and my life for far too many years. I'm not sheltered. I hear, I see, I know that evil exists. But knowing doesn't mean dwelling, sleeping, drinking and steeping in heart shuddering news.

My whatever isn't denial. It's scriptural and hopeful. 

Philippians 4:8Living Bible (TLB)

And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

These things to think on are characteristics of God. And God loves people, and He gives hope, and He gives life.

So, if I choose to not watch three hours of news but choose silly animal videos or pictures of babies, or just things that make me laugh, maybe that makes me simple. But I like simple so much more than depressed.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Life Lessons #2

#2 Focus on and glorify what I am for rather than what I am against.

This seems like a strange one in the lessons of life I've picked up in 53 years of living it. And it's kind of a recent one. 

I've always had trouble with big mouth Bible thumper "Christians" (the quotation marks are because I don't believe most of them are). I think now it's because the tactics they use when thumping that embossed leather cover of their well used Bibles are not telling the truth about God. 

The word glorify is so religious speak but it comes down to telling the truth about something. 

Like taking an accurate news video rather than tweaking and enhancing and adding some creative filters, sound effects or narrowing the focus to change the picture. We all know about airbrushing and have likely seen the videos of how much airbrushing changes the looks of a normal person into an unattainable cartoonish ideal. Or one recent photo spread that showed the whole picture in photos that seemed to share one thing but in reality did not. The sleeping beauty style photo showed the full picture including her selfie arm holding her phone reflected in the mirror. Or the couple standing on the beach that was really just a billboard behind them. Bible thumpers or grace riders (those who look at grace as sweet ocean waves there just to keep covering those fun sins so they don't have to feel bad about their choices) do the same thing with God as those folks who do the creative cropping. They don't tell the whole story and by doing so they mislead and dare I say it? Lie. 

I can not live my life hyper focused on either the free grace or the righteous judge part of God without considering that there are both of those in Him. And that there are hundreds and thousands and millions more things about Him that no one understands. 

I want to live my life glorifying God by being able to say I don't know when I don't. I am not going to hate someone for having different opinions. Because I'm responsible for my actions, my relationship with God and my obeying and being true to what I have been given the insight and wisdom to believe in. I'm going to focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. Not only am I told to do so, but it's where I am able to see the reality around me for what it really is. In the light of the Son I can see other people as humans struggling along and learning as they go and dearly in need of a Savior. I am for Christ. I am for life. I am for hope, peace, love, forgiveness, joy, kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience, faithfulness. Life is too short to spend pointing out failings and weaknesses and errors just so I don't have to own up to my own.


1) reveal or make clearer the glory of (God) by one's actions: "God can be glorified through a life of scholarship"
2) describe or represent as admirable, especially unjustifiably or undeservedly: "a football video glorifying violence"
synonyms: ennoble · exalt · elevate · dignify · enhance · augment ·

Powered by Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ 5.3 #1

5.3 things I've learned about life in 53 years.

#1 There aren't many shortcuts. Of all the interests I've pursued I can honestly say its those tiny baby steps that get us down the road, up the hill, or around the bend. Sure, some people seem to be more naturally talented in areas. But even natural talent needs the fine grit sandpaper to finish the work. And that's tedious. Oh so tedious. To become good at something requires pain and repetition, trial and error, failing and try, try againing.

Value comes in the practice, the trading of time, blood, sweat and tears. If something comes too easily, it can become a burden or resentment or even a curse. Think of money inherited or won. Or genius artists who descend into darkness. 

I'm not trying to overthink or overgeneralize. But, bottom line, everything that has cost me time, sacrifice and trouble is often the thing that becomes very rewarding once I get over the hump. Take into account the different way our brains work this is going to look so different for each person. When I took training on Bible study I remember slaving away at taking the verses apart and looking for the obvious meaning and the historical context, different cultures and language nuances. I had to write everything out just to help my mind absorb. One of the instructors kind of shook her head and said "you are doing way too much work" and I just shrugged because it was work I needed to put in. While I was struggling, God was writing a lot of that scripture on my heart. I began to understand things I have never even considered, and began to be able to find connections and aha moments left and right. Even now, after not teaching heavy inductive studies for years, I have a grasp of the Bible I wouldn't have any other way. And I wouldn't trade that season for anything. 

For me, and this is my stinking blog...haha, whether it's music (still working on that by the way) cooking, art, raising children (or puppies...I say puppies because cats are not trained, they are trainers), sticking with relationships that are important, writing, wellness, wisdom, these paths have cost me. And I was naive in my tiny, stick figure goals in each of these areas, and as the steps unfolded in front of me the dream/goal/reward grew bigger. 

My dreams/skills/hopes/experiences are still morphing as I write this. 

.3 in action. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles - Life Lessons 5.3

I turned 53 yesterday. On some level that freaks me completely out. Not the wrinkles or gray hair part...but the part where I stop and say "Wha! Where did time go?" 

Because while I've been living this life one day after the other, time has been ticking right along.

I'm going to attempt to come up with 5.3 things I've learned about life...and let's just say the .3 is going to be first. 

Why .3? Kind of like an upgrade in computerville there are always bugs that need to be corrected, things to learn, software and hardware reboots, right? I'm so far from being done. And maybe one of the biggest things I've learned is the .3....I don't have anything really figured out. And the more I learn the more I realize that I hardly know a thing at all. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Fun Links

Remember when my friend Sandi hand raised raccoon kittens a couple of years ago? Oh they were cute. She kept them in her upstairs bathroom. When we visited they were pretty small and just discovering that the shower curtain made an awesome Tarzan-style vine swing. After they were released into the wild Sandi got to fully redecorate her bathroom. Got to? Had to is more like it. 

Gotta love there brave animal rescuers in the world. Check out the raccoon link below. One photo shows no knobs. I'm thinking there is a reason for that. 


And this, this is just because. Because it's Tuesday. 


Thursday, October 01, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Tipping Toes

You know I subscribe to the blog Becoming Minimalist.  Right now, it's kind of a what if for me. What if I did make some significant changes? Do I want to? Is the outcome greater than what I'm giving up? Am I willing to change the way I think? And am I willing to become a different person if I take Road B rather than stay on Road A? I love the idea of being a minimalist. After all, I've purged a couple thousand things in less than a year and I love the feeling of owning less, moving less, dusting less, laundering less. And I continue down that path. But I'm not going to kid myself and say I'm a minimalist. I own way too much creature comfort to make that claim. 

However, I read an article at Becoming Minimalist about Tipping Points. The author talked about the vastness of society. He has a huge readership yet his readership is a tiny single digit percentage of society. A mere spit in the wind of doctrines and teachings and thoughts. He cited Malcom Gladwell's The Tipping Point which summarized says small things do make a big difference. Joshua Becker (Becoming Minimalist) wonders if his focus needs to be on a smaller scale...his circle of influence...the people who know and interact with him. And when circles begin overlapping -- maybe the small things, the one person at a time making one or two decisions that change their lives and help others to see that they can too, maybe -- that becomes a world changer. 

I can't help but resonate with this thinking. Because that is kind of the bottom line. We are all shaped by thoughts and opinions and desires of others when we are young, and then we are tested in the school of the BIG POND of life and are forced to sort and grasp and purge those thoughts, feelings and opinions and use those and the tools we find in the pond to become who we choose to become. Because we do have a choice. Most of us. Even if we've been oppressed, victimized, hurt, abused, belittled, discarded, unloved...we have a choice to not let that conquer us or destroy us. We have a choice to get off the out-of-control-Ferris-Wheel-of-dysfunction even if it's going to hurt when we hit the concrete. 

When we get patched up, we become sharers of what we know to be true. We can give testimony, personal experience, hard-won wisdom gained, and we can share it with others on our way. Think of the people you know who have made huge life changes. The alcoholic who stops drinking and can spot someone else who is struggling and offers hope to that person. Or the person who experiences a miraculous healing. That story just bubbles out from a place of gratitude. Leaving behind a glimmering wave of hope for those who have possibly given up on their own miracle. The liar who has been forgiven who refuses to ever lie again becomes an expert on the benefit of trust and speaking truth. The woman who bitterly hated someone for years and finally forgave changes outwardly, her whole countenance softens and does that ever have an impact on her circles. Jesus said that one who is forgiven much, loves much. And He also blasted the religious teachers for loading people down with burdensome laws to follow to the letter. When we experience something (sometimes tiny) that changes us, we can't help but radiate that change. And those tiny personal choices do shape our world. One tiny step at a time. 

Will I ever become a minimalist? Will I ever become totally healthy? Will I make a positive difference in the lives of people around me? I don't know if the answers to those questions are important. To continue towards those goals, to strive to choose life, health, wellness, kindness, hope, love and joy, self-respect, forgiveness ....I'm pretty sure those things are right answers to any question. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Dog's Life

Yesterday we finally got a legitimate fall day. We had a few in August. Weird. Lovely. But super unusual.

 August in Iowa is almost always the pits. The Grant Woods rolling hills turn a crispy tan shade of monotone. The heat makes for seriously cranky folks. And I don't know about you but the heat is an energy sucker for me. Since we had two great weeks in August it stayed a little hotter than normal all the way to the end of September. Granted, I'm thrilled that the heat in September is nothing like July/August heat, but I really LOVE my autumn weather. I want cool, crisp and fragrant. 

So I think it's finally here. The girls must agree. While I was running around like a crazy woman doing cleaning and folding and spindling and mutilating they found a nice warm spot in front of the door. Sun dogs. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Pooped Pups...

Over the weekend we camped. 
The pups went along. 
And boy did they find it exhausting. 

For starters there were Gertrude and Gladys's nieces Lilly and Lola who were able to be off leash the whole time. And they flaunted that freedom. Next came the many children. Children hanging off trees, children screaming and running through deep weeds. Children playing hide and seek in the dark with lanterns. Even two babies who cried and squealed.
 Then there was food. All those children guaranteed spilled food. And some children were short enough that a hot dog bun was an easy thing to grab. And the grabbing of food guaranteed child antics. 

Fire crackled throughout the day and night and into the next morning. A stream with a miniature waterfall burbled just beyond the camp area. And coyotes howled, not too far on the horizon, starting when the huge harvest moon began to climb into the sky. Tents full of sleeping humans that occasionally needed to be unzipped for one reason or another,  a child who startled and cried. The coyotes even yipped frantically in the distance, very late in the night, when they found something they liked. Gertrude and Gladys needed to be on their game, able to growl menacingly with each new noise. And if one of their humans didn't get on top of it, bark outright.  And best of all. During the light hours Gertrude and Gladys were able to run free. The grasses and weeds were so tall each step required leaping and bounding. And there were so many smells to investigate. Plus their humans kept testing their listening and obeying skills.  
When Rob and I hauled our stuff inside to begin the washing and repacking of our camping gear, two very sleepy pups took advantage of the creature comforts of home. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Really?

Oh, Target. Is it not enough that you suck money out if my hand every time I even drive near? Now you mail me crisp mini catalogs full of items I never knew I needed. Because until just now I had not realized that my kitchen would look great with a few plaid items. And even more rotten...beginning at $3.99 each I could so easily justify this....

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Ooops......Guess What


Dog story. 

So Tuesday morning dawned with just snippets of dog food. Just enough for half a serving for each of the poor, poor Beagles. I added a dollop of peanut butter, but alas, they went without. 
I purchased a new bag of kibble and some bits (treats) on my way home from seeing my daughters and grand baby. Gert and Gladys were glad to see me. I cut the corner off the dog food bag and loaded their bowls with the normal amount. 

Apparently they still felt a bit hollow. Gertie decided to try to sneak a few more nibbles. Then Gladys noticed and tried to jump on the gravy train. Gert defended the bag. 
No worries. I gave them a little more and then put the bag behind a closed door. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Mysteries and Other Interesting Stuff

I have so little to report. You don't really want to hear about how awesome it is to hold a tiny baby who's little butt fits in your hand and little head fits sweetly into that perfect spot on your neck. And how great it is that he's unaware that he is going to scream in fear when he sees me going in for a snuggle when he hits that awkward mommy separation phase. Or how amusing the four year old can be when she's being naughty and adorable at the same time. Or how amazing it is to be able to have serious God conversations with three little ones who are so curious about the whole wide world. You also don't want to hear about the horrible, awful, really bad nail cutting experience at our house on Thursday night...oh, you DON'T want to know.

So instead. I'll share some links of things that caught my attention this week.

http://www.boredpanda.com/beach-cusps-sand-patterns-waves/  Cusps are the new Crop Circles.

I so need this one!!! http://www.purewow.com/tech/A-Simple-Trick-for-Remembering-All-of-Your-Passwords-Forever

Lil Video on breaking bad habits

Maymo the beagle 100 fruits and veggies

And Maymo goes trick or treating. Ha Ha

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Serials and Scenarios ~ So Delicious CocoWhip ~ Reviewed

 I am a converted coconut lover. Going vegan gave me a new reason to get over my coconut squeamishness because coconut is such a great vegan friendly product. It can replace butter or oil in many recipes and is great for your skin, too.  What's not to love. Toasted coconut. Uh yum. 

The earthy yet sweet undertones that pop in food when coconut oil, or cream or milk is added has become one of my favorite flavors. Old fashioned style popcorn popped in coconut oil on the stove is amazing. 
However, coconut can get overpowering. I don't care for coconut milk based ice creams generally. The mouth feel is too ice milk-like sometimes and the coconut is a main player in the flavors. Not that I won't happily eat it, just that it doesn't quite meet premium ice cream mouth feel. I have made coconut whip  dozens of times. Trader Joe's has the best coconut cream that whips up beautifully. But that takes a little prep and planning and sometimes the coconut flavor overpowers the end result. 

But. When I saw this little container of CocoWhip looking oh so much like cool whip style topping, I just had to try it. 

A+. And A+ for being exactly the same almost a week later. This whipped goodness is coconutty but less so than the hand whipped version and less than coconut milk ice creams. The mouth feel is top notch and the whipped creaminess is exactly that. Look at the fluffy cloud on the spoon. Yum. So Delicious...nailed it! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scraps and Snippets - Vegan Mac and Cheese

I've tried the cauliflower as a creamy Alfredo sauce replacement. I also found the recipe using potatoes and carrots to pull off a canned nacho cheese substitute. Buzzfeed had a vegan mac and cheese sauce made out of potatoes and carrots that I just had to try.

You know when those potatoes in the pantry start getting not so delicious looking and they need to be used pronto? I had some of those. I also had grandkids coming over for dinner. Who better to try out a mac and cheese on than kids? If they don't like it, they is going to let you know, if you are picking up what I'm laying down. 

Watch the video for the recipe. The recipe is basically boiled potatoes, carrot and onion until soft, blended with cooking water, cashews and seasoning.

Here's where I veered. I followed the recipe to a T but decided to add more cheesy flavor. Because the cheese sauce has no cheese. So I added an additional 1/2 cup cooking water, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp salt. Next time I think I'll add 3/4 cup nutritional yeast. 

The two oldest kids gobbled it up. (I even used brown rice/quinoa pasta from Trader Joe's). The youngest didn't eat much more than two bites. However, the next day when I decided to eat the leftovers she was like a bird. "Feed me!" Mouth wide open. So I think it's a winner. 

Here's what I love. This was completely whole food based. It was easy.  They liked it. 

I think, in the scheme of things, I might like the cauliflower based sauces slightly better, sometimes you just have to use up potatoes before they go bad and so this one will stick around in my go to recipes. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Inside Out ~ Movie Review

Movie Review: Inside Out

I kind of have a secret. I don't even want to watch most of the animated movies that come out. I mean I know that's kind of un-American, but they just leave me cold. 

That said. Inside Out's trailer grabbed my attention and made me want to watch more. My daughter invited me to go with her and her three foster kids ages 8 thru 4.

The movie started out moving right along. It is narrated by Joy who is one of Riley's emotions. Joy is pretty much the chief emotional go-to girl and the cheerleader for the whole team. The team members consist of Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness. Riley's life is just great, and Joy has pretty much tinged every single memory. Even the core memories are all golden hued with Joy. 

When Riley turns 11 the action really begins. Her parents uproot her from Minnesota (aka Home) to San Francisco. Dad has started a new business venture and he's preoccupied. Mom just wants not to stress him out. Riley has a new room, a new neighborhood, a new climate, a new school, and a new family if you consider Dad's different focus. Sadness, the little internal emotion of gloom, begins to touch the golden Joy memories which blue up and dim the light of optimism. In a huge accident during a power struggle between Joy and Sadness, Riley's core memories get spilled, one is touched by Sadness and all end up sucked out into the vortex of long-term memories. Joy goes after them and Sadness is pulled out with her. While Joy and Sadness navigate the pathways of Riley's imagination and memories attempting to get back to the control room and make things right, the emotions of Disgust, Anger and Fear are left to guide Riley's thoughts. 

In the eventual happily-ever-after-even-though-things-have-changed, the movie ended on a hopeful note and one that really celebrated the need for honest communication, family and the okayness of just needing to cry and ask for help. I cried a couple times throughout the film, as did my daughter. Of course, our thoughts kind of connected with the sorrow her kiddos face while they navigate their challenges. But the truth of Joy's optimism being tempered by the reality that Sadness has a place was kind of poignant, too. 

Inside Out is funny, probably more-so for the adults as most of it would go right over kid heads, but entertaining for sure. Anger is hilarious. And the emotional control rooms of several other people are visited and the conversations are pretty laugh out loud. This movie clips along and our 4-year-old was engrossed. The 6-year-old got caught up in the story-line. Our 8-year-old asked to see it again. We had quite a discussion on the way home and I'm guessing it will help the kids identify some of their own emotional challenges. I think this is a great one for so many different reasons. I also didn't feel any cringeworthy moments or feel we had to reframe any of the information in the film.