Archive for November, 2010

Good thing it’s my night to shower…

I have fleas.

I can feel them jumping all over me.

Right this very instant, there’s one just under my right shoulder blade, another crawling around my left thigh, a third wreaking havoc at the nape of my neck, a fourth on my spinal cord, and a fifth behind my left ear.

I think.

Ope, there’s another one on my right calf.

I can feel him.

I think.

I played with the cutest little black and white short haired puppy off and on for about two hours today. 

He had fleas.

I think.

I love puppies.  Especially short haired ones. 

I want one. 


I think.

I hate the heebie jeebies.

Or whatever you want to call them.

I think

I’m going to go take a shower.

Maybe I don’t really have fleas.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I don’t. 


Except for the one I can feel at this very moment on the tip of my right shoulder blade.

But he’s not real.

Nor is the one crawling across my right temple.

Definitely not.

A figment of my imagination.

For sure.

I think.


Virginia Historical Society

The morning after the morning after Thanksgiving was cold.  Let me say it this way: there was frost (yup, Richmond 60 degree fall weather has spoiled me).  Pop, Tim, N and A (Tim’s siblings), me, and Biscuit (the dog-in-law) all agreed: it was not a good morning for a walk in the park.  But it was also not a good morning to hunker down in our recently-turned-upside-down house, either. 

What to do, what to do, whattodo.

We settled on a perfect solution: the Virginia Historical Society Museum.

  Not a one of us had ever been there.

We all like history.

They allow dogs.

((Just kidding.  But Biscuit was outvoted.))

It’s within a 15 minute by car radius of our humble abode.

It’s free.

((Totally not kidding.))

Now, in light of certain particulars mentioned above (read: it’s free), my expectations were set below sea level.  But I was deeply (haha, get it?) wrong.  The Virginia Historical Society has done an excellent job of preserving and documenting various aspects and time periods of local, state, and national history. 

My favorite room housed dozens of historical oddities (from hair wreaths to German children’s books).  

And then there were the Civil War murals on the walls.  Think 1912.  Think color and motion and shadow.  Think gorgeous!  Anna and I were floored (literally).

Another popular exhibit amongst our group showcased Virginia in all her glory (hmmm, wonder why that was a hit with the ((native-born)) brothers?). 

Pop had fun showing us how to operate a trolley car and recollecting his nickel-a-piece rides from the naval base to church when he was a young whipper snapper courting Tim’s grandmother. 

Plus, there’s a huge library of historical books and documents that we didn’t even get a chance to peek into! 

Oh, yes, we’ll definitely be back.  And if you’re ever in the area, we’ll probably haul you along with us.  After all, you can’t beat free!

Here’s the information, in case you locals want to check it out on your own!  Address: 428 North Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220   Tel: 804.358.4901  Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10–5/Sunday 1–5 (galleries/shop only)


Morning Made

Dear Readers,

I woke up, made breakfast, walked, froze, ate breakfast, sent Tim packing, mourned his loss, and consoled myself by checking e-mail.  And there they were: an inbox full of comments on my little ol’ blog.  It totally made my morning.  I just wanted to say thanks to you all for reading and/or commenting.  It really does make my world a happier place!!



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Our Family Now Makes Three

It’s official!  As of yesterday, Tim’s grandfather is the current resident of our uppermost room.  More details to follow, but I will say this right here and right now: 

I like cooking for three.


Turkey Treats

After what must I do to be saved?, the single most important question you will ask yourself this week is as follows: what will I ever do with all this leftover turkey?

I came home from the store today with an average of (2) turkeys whose sum total weight might equal approximately half a ton (or maybe more like 50 lbs).  From the ever helpful bagger:  “My, you’re feeding a crowd this year, aren’t you?”  She seemed so pleased; I didn’t have the heart to tell her that no, actually, I wasn’t feeding anyone Thanksgiving dinner this year and furthermore I don’t even know how to cook a turkey and furtherMOST even if I did, there is absolutely no reason on earth why Tim and I should require a twenty-some pound bird between the two of us. 

Actually, ma’am, in all honesty, it was just too cheap to resist.  (I didn’t tell her that, either.  But that’s the plain truth.)

I can picture every dinner from now through next August:

“Hi, honey, I’m home.  What’s for dinner?”
“YUM!!  I love turkey.”

“Hi, honey, I’m home.  What’s for dinner?”
“Mmmm, turkey, sounds good.”

“Hi, honey, I’m home.  What’s for dinner?”

“Hi, honey, I’m home.  What’s for dinner?”

“Hi, honey, um, I have to, um, work through dinner tonight.  But I’ll be home for dessert!!”

At least I can be sure we’ll sleep well (hmmm…could Turkey Tea be the next Chammomile?).

Seriously, though, I actually love leftover turkey.  It’s so versatile.  I use it in any recipe that calls for chicken plus a few more.  Here are four favorites:

Pumpkin Chili
1 onion
1 bell pepper (any color)
3 garlic cloves
3 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin OR cooked mashed or diced sweet potatoes
2 1/2 cups cubed, cooked turkey
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
Sautee first three ingredients in olive oil, stir in all the rest, cover, simmer for 4-5 hours (can also cook in crockpot).

Turkey and Gravy on Toast
Drown diced, cooked turkey in leftover gravy, spread over toast.  Serve for lunch or dinner.

Turkey Cobbler
2 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups broccoli florets
1 can cream of chicken soup (or 2 cups leftover green bean casserole)
1/2 cup broth (or gravy)
1/2 cup milk
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
Combine first four ingredients in a casserole dish, microwave on high 2-3 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients.  Top with scoops of regular stuffing, cornbread stuffing, or (1 1/4 cup baking mix + 1/2 cup milk +1 egg).  Bake 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Hearty Turkey Bake
     3 cups mashed potatoes (white, sweet, or mixed)
     1/2 cup cheddar cheese
     1/2 cup french fried onions
Mix and spoon into greased 1 1/2 qt casserole dish.  Use back of spoon to spread potatoes across bottom and up sides of dish to form a shell.

     1 1/2 cup cubed, cooked turkey or chicken
     1 10oz package frozen mixed vegetables (or whatever other vegetables you have on hand)
     1 can cream of mushroom soup (or leftover green bean casserole)
     1/4 cup milk
     1/2 tsp ground mustard
     1/4 tsp garlic powder
     1/4 tsp ground pepper
Mix, pour into potato shell.  Warm in microwave while oven preheats, then bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes.  Top with 1/2 cup each cheddar cheese and french fried onions, bake 10 minutes more.  Check to make sure the middle is hot before serving.

[All of a sudden, a year’s worth of turkey leftovers doesn’t sound half bad….] 


Christmas Cheer and a Chance to Vote

I have never been the type to send Christmas cards.  By this, I just mean that last December (the first December of my wedded bliss) I completely dropped the ball on buying stamps.  Therefore, it just didn’t happen.  Plus, I had just (almost) finished writing substantive thank you notes to everyone on the planet.  I’m pretty sure no one wanted to hear from me again that soon.  PLUS, we didn’t have our wedding photos in hand (and by in hand, I really mean on computer), and who sends a Christmas card without a photo, for crying out loud?!

So obviously, I am not the Christmas card type.

But this year, I’ve resolved that I will be.  (The fact that I bought 4 boxes of Christmas cards at $.25 a pop last January might have something to do with my newfound sense of duty.  As might the fact that Shutterfly is giving away 50 free Christmas cards to select bloggers who sign up here to sing their praises to the world.  I mean, how can that not melt a heart of stone?!?!)

Shutterfly is one of my favorite online photo companies ever. 

Make that “favorite online photo companies ever” with a capital E: evEr.

I trusted them with my sister’s wedding present.  I trusted them with Tim’s Dad’s 2010 birthday book.  I’ve had them print multiple 4×6 mug shots of my handsome husband.  And they have never yet failed me.  Plus, they give out great promotions and coupons (which may or may not have been why I chose to entrust them with the above forementioned valuables).  I really, truly, cross-my-heart, promise-no-lie would encourage you to set up an account with them.  They create some great stuff, ship it to you fast, and always, always deliver some smash hit gift options that everyone can be proud of.

In fact, I’ve only ever had one problem with Shutterfly: they offer waaaaaaaaaaay too many options.  DAAAAAAAAAAAAH.  I pretty much mentally shut down.  Take the Christmas cards: there are 805 different choices.  Somebody pass the smelling salts.

I was able to narrow it down to 4 by searching the “religious cards” (if I’m going to send out Christmas cards, then by golly they will have the gospel printed on them somewhere).

I was pretty impressed with myself.  I mean, please.  Of what other indecisive person do you know who can eliminate 99.5% of the competition in mere minutes?  But then I got stuck.  Of what other decision do you know when 0.5% still leaves four whole options?!

Here’s where all that leaves me:

Option 1:  I love the font and the message, but is brown really an acceptable color for a Christmas card?

Christ Wishes Religious Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Option 2: Red is a good color for us, don’t you think?  It matches my eyes.

Christ Is King Religious Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Option 3: love this one, but the text is a little hard to read.  Isn’t it?

Elegant Cross Religious Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Option 4: Here’s another one that’s very fun but not necessarily very festive…

Faith Hope Love Religious
Unique party invitations and greeting cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I’ve been staring at these four cards all afternoon, and just when I think I’m about to slash one off the list, my better judgement gets the best of me.  I’m telling you, folks, I’m about to go off the deep end here!  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!  PLEASE let me know which one you like the most (or the least) and THANKS a million billion if you do! 

(Oh, and invite me to the wedding.  You know.  The one that’s inevitable once you’ve introduced Shutterfly to your Christmas gift list.)

((And act surprised.  You know.  When you get one of the above in the mail in about three weeks and/or I give you personalized playing cards for Christmas.))


My week with the dying leaves

Ever since I started teaching, I’ve had one major fear: I won’t be able to travel with Tim when he leaves for an out-of-town work week.

Well, so far, my fear has been 50% founded and 50% unfounded.

Last month, Tim abandoned me for a whole week while he tootled off to Atlanta.

But this past week, when he marched on down to southern VA, he took me with him!

Now usually, Tim’s company gets him a nice hotel room conveniently located near the particular power station in question.  This, time, that convenient hotel room was actually about half an hour out–and to our delight, we discovered that so was a state park that rented whole cabins for less than the price of a room at the Fairfield Inn!

Not only were the cabins reasonably priced, but they were gorgeous.  Small, quaint, clean, cozy, woodsy…on top of a beautiful view of the lake right from the back porch!

We watched the sunrise every morning.

And every morning, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.  His mercies are new with each and every sunrise.


Mercy (especially God’s) is an amazing thing, and one that I experienced in generous measure this week.  I had so much time to myself there at that little cabin–no internet, no cell phone, no husband.  Just a Bible, a fading forest, and one great big God with all His persistent faithfulness.

Blessed are the merciful, Jesus says, for they shall obtain mercy.  And elsewhere, He teaches those who have obtained such blessed mercy to be likewise merciful.

That’s the real circle of life, don’t you think?

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