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Personality

I’ve been practicing for the Easter drama most evenings. It’s been fun but also trying. We have seen the best and worst in each other as we log the hours. I’ve made a few observations along the way as well.

One thing I should mention is that our play is put on by church members. As many church bodies are we are a community within a community. A micro culture if you will. We see each other a lot as it is. Three services a week and a private school four days a week keep us in close contact. Many members are related and/or live very near to each other as well. And we live in a small city that has no strangers. Everybody knows everybody here. Add to that four two hour practices a week and I think you can safely say we are ” all up in each other’s business “.

First, I do believe we are blessed with the best. I know it’s corny and canned but I do actually believe it. We have some crazy talented people at our church. We also have a lot of regulars that just kinda want to be done already (me).

To begin with, we have struggled through practices to say the least. Some songs were new and some went unlearned and we just weren’t jiving. But I am pleased to say that through these moments I have a better appreciation for my fellow church members. We have made it to the end. We have stuck it out. We have had disagreements and frustrations and still treated one another civilly. We have joked and laughed and rolled our eyes in unison…. repeatedly. We are a team.

I have discovered a few personalities that stuck out as well-

The everyday Joe: These cast members are logging the hours, trying to not mess up and goofing around behind the curtain on off scenes. I would say about 75% of our cast are Joes.

The hot head: They are belligerent when something isn’t right with their scene and get hot pretty quick. They also like to point out what other people are doing wrong. (they are not directors)

The “Over it” : They are just fed up. They missed their nap. They are hangry and want to go home. Probably about 15% on this one….

The exhausted sideline coach: They are tired of prodding others to participate. They also want to go home but cannot. We need them.

The want-to-be sideline coach: They just showed up. They will jump in and they are there for you. They will change absolutely everything at the last second but they will get you lined out wether you need it or not.

The cautiously optimistic: Those still are hoping for the best and inviting everyone in town hoping the peer pressure will bring out the best in everyone (me).

There is one lurking non member that always seems to crop up as well. The one that waits for disaster to strike. The understudy. The one that just might put exlax in your coffee if it would better their chances.

Well, that about sums up my experience in this years Easter drama. When they said drama, they weren’t kidding! It would really help if someone had specified which side of the curtain the drama would be on though…

To my fellow cast members:

You are awesome! I love you all and if you read this understand the spirit in which it was written and take it with a grain of salt😉

Break a leg!

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Dancing In The Kitchen

My girls and I were preparing for the annual dessert auction today. As we moved around the kitchen it was like we were synchronized in some sort of baking routine. It’s funny because yesterday my husband was trying to cook and was so frustrated because there was a chair in his cooking space. He hollered and he yelled. He may have thrown a few things. I pointed out that maybe he was having a bit of an attitude and that most certainly didn’t make matters any better. My son, the mechanic, tends to stay out of the kitchen unless he’s very very determined to make something of his own creation such as his famous (at least in our house) pleasant pheasant dish. Otherwise you can count on him to be about as helpful as a pimple on prom night in the kitchen.

As my two girls and I walked past one another dumping cups of sugar and stirring in handfuls of salt and baking soda it made me think of that saying “kitchens are made for dancing”. Although we weren’t actually dancing it seemed as if we were. I was in complete home maker happiness at that moment. We scooped and stirred and mixed and waltzed around one another reaching here and leaning there and moving aside so the other could get to the cupboard or stove. It was all so timely and without a mishap I thought perhaps maybe I was dreaming a little. Then I realized It was just a bit of déjà vu. This what happens when my mom, my sister and I are in the kitchen together. It’s a perfect seamless dance as we maneuver raw ingredients into a delicious meal. That made me a bit homesick I’m afraid.

Home to me really isn’t a place anymore. It’s more the people that belong to the deepest part of my life. I miss the nearness of my loved ones. I miss seeing their faces on a regular basis. I miss my best friend who no longer lives 15 minutes away. But I have to be thankful for each and every blessing that I do have. And what I have is a beautiful family and a church full of wonderful people that I call friends that I can call on anytime I am in need. Looking forward I also have many wonderful people that I’m sure will become dear friends to me in the future.

I chose to live where I do because that is where God planted me. I have no regrets and I’m in love with what God is doing in my life. But the truth is I hunger sometimes for the nearness of my family. And though they are not far away it is still a sacrifice.

But as always when I face these moments I think about my simple phrase that always carries me through another day and that is “today I choose joy”. I will enjoy this snap shot and treasure it always as a beautiful moment in time. A time when my girls and the girl I was danced together in perfect harmony.

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Where Have All The Housewives Gone

We just had our yearly chat with the gal who does our taxes. I have been contemplating working a few hours in the summer. Something very part time. I asked if upping our income a bit was going to help or hurt us in the long run. Funny thing is if I make over $10,000 annual ( which I probably won’t) we up our tax bracket and lose some of the return we are now getting. Essentially, it’s a wash.

My kids are teens now and looking for work of their own. I love this age and yet I yearn to just be out of the house. They don’t need me as much now anyway. I love home but I’m not thrilled with staying there all day, ya get me? And yet, I hear my mother’s voice saying how she wished she had not gone to work when my baby brother entered his teens. He had a very troubled adolescence and she still feels a bit guilty.

And if I’m being honest, there are days when I’m not really up to the task. I’m working on myself this year to improve that. After chronic pain had become intolerable and migraines ate up the hours in my days I stepped back and made few changes in order to better myself physically.

I’m sure this all sounds like I am justifying my choice to remain out of the work place ( at least for now). I guess it is but it’s so much more than that to me. It’s a calling. I’m made to nurture and to love. I don’t understand how being a housewife has gotten such a bad rap. No, we are no longer living in the 1950s but there is truly something satisfying about providing the best for your family.

On any given day I am a driver, a cook, a teacher and tutor, a cleaner (NOT maid), a mentor, a help meet, a friend and lover, an encourager, an organizer, a planner and appointment maker, an economizer and financial assistant, a dreamer and reader, a prayer warrior and a keeper of the home. It’s a big job.

I was purging paper work recently and found stacks of report cards and college applications. Among these were several letters of reference from various mentors and teachers. I read them and was amazed at their kind words. They were chock full of sincere praise and promise. How did I not realize I was a golden girl? I was one of the few that would “amount to something”. I was just now seeing what my teachers must have seen in me then. A bright future. A world changer. Someone destined for more.

Did I squander my life? In the world’s eyes, maybe. But as I sit here writing this my 10 year old is bringing me her school poster to inspect, my 16 year old is explaining his newest dilemma with his vintage motorcycle and I am nagging my 13 year old to feed the goats. I know this may sound like your definition of crazy but this is my little slice of heaven and I wouldn’t trade a second. I’m here for my family and that’s right where I want to be.

I may be in the minority on this one but that’s ok. I’m proud to be a mother and housewife. And, if you ever need a cup of coffee or a hot meal there’s a good chance you will find me in my kitchen and I will gladly bring you in and make you feel right at home.

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Passing

My grandparents have been in very poor health this year. There were several times we nearly lost them. This week we got news of grandpas passing. Only two days later grandma passed too. It was expected and it was sad but I think also it was a bit of relief as well. They had suffered much in the last few years. In one week I have lost my only two remaining grandparents.

We often note at a death how great and noble the person was. How they will be dearly missed. How things will be altered without them. This is absolutely true. I loved my grandpa. His silly ways and sharp wit. His ornery streak that he just may have passed on to a few of us. His musical ear and gift of language and love of the old country. I love it and will think of it with wistful admiration and longing.

My grandmother, for all her quirks, taught me to love the green and growing things. She was a master gardener. She was generous with gifts and hospitality. She loved to bake and tried to feed us every time we came over, even in her feeble years.

However, there is another side of death that I’d like to address. I’d like to speak for anyone who may have been hurt at their hands. Those who have endured insults and lies. Those who have been abused. We tend to overlook the bad and really, we should. I know that. But it is still right and good to liberate those that have been bound.

To those I love: you are free now. We can all move on to a more peaceful life together. We have an opportunity to start fresh as a family and love one another more dearly. In our grief may there be blessing. As we mourn May there be hope. In sorrow may love grow. My heart goes out to you all.

Again,I say be free and live well

Your loving daughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend,

Veronica❤️

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Crunch Wraps For The Win

I’m seriously into food. I love it. It makes me happy. A while back I went to a restaurant with a girlfriend and neither of us was fully satisfied with the offerings. As soon as the waiter left our table after taking our orders we both began rummaging in our bags. She came up with REAL butter and I with my secret stash of tea. We know what we want when it comes to eating and weren’t taking any chances.

That being said I also live a great on the go meal. This crunch wrap is what a busy moms dreams are made of. Portable. Self contained. Good now and still good later. AND….It freezes well! Heaven sent I tell ya!

But the true test is will they eat it? Um, if they like Taco Bell they will hands down like to see this guy in their lunch boxes.

So here is the skinny….

You’ll need:

Ground beef -2 lbs will get you roughly 6 wraps so expand or decrease according to your need

Tortillas- one for each wrap

Shredded cheese- about 1 tbsp for each wrap

Salsa or sauce of your choice ( optional)

Large frying pan

First cook and drain the beef then assemble like so…. Tortilla, meat, cheese, sauce

Then you will need to get a large pan on medium heat to fry these guys

If you have non stick you probably can get by with no oil added, otherwise just add a scant amount to prevent sticking

Now the folding….

Continue all the way around until you have something like this

Press your palm into wrap to keep the tortilla from unfolding and place it fold side down in pan

It is important to keep the folds down when placing it in the pan. As it cooks press down gently to help the cheese to melt and “glue” the wrap together.

Flip and cook until golden brown on both sides ( if you plan on eating these immediately I would cook them just a bit longer to thoroughly heat it through. My kids will be reheating these at school so I cook them just enough to hold together )

Here is the pressing- make sure you do this if your wraps have to be carted to school or work- it ensures your wrap is not going to unwrap itself

I got these ones a little toasty but after they cool I’ll toss them in baggies and into the freezer for a quick grab and go lunch!

Yum!

Hope you liked this!

What are your favorite quick meals?

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Breath

Do you every have an experience that just seems to breathe new life into you? We recently had a women’s conference at church. It was refreshing and strengthening and made me think about how I live my life for God. I brought home a few of my decor items and used them at home to remind myself of the lessons learned:

1) Go after your goals in God

2) Be an example that others can look up to

3) Holiness begins with a pure heart

There was so much more that rang true for me but these three were the ones that stood out the most. This conference was nearly cancelled and I am thankful that it wasn’t! God was talking to me and I was blessed to be a part of it!

What restores your soul?

I love a good rollicking church service and zen farmhouse decor apparently 😄

Farm, Home, Life, Organize

The Hidden Corners

A picture is worth a thousand words….

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Exhibit A: side view of glorious mess
Exhibit B: top view of glorious mess

This glorious mess was my craft closet. The place you go to for glue sticks and markers. Where the glitter, paper and paint hang out. Where the wild things are.

I was doing admirably well on my decluttering mission but I could not face the craft cupboard. You see, I have been a teacher for the last decade. That pile of junk represented years of well thought out activities and all the chaos that they bring. It represented children whose faces lit up when I told them it was time for art. It was their pride in creating something of their own that made me just so happy to be the one who got to share that moment with them.

It was also a festering cubby that had grown into an aggressive stash. It would attack anytime someone opened the door searching for a clipboard. It was time…

The empty space. Wow. That’s a pretty big cupboard!

I have come to the conclusion that these things just take time. I am still adjusting to not being a full time teacher. It hurts a bit not to be that anymore but it’s where I’m at. I gave myself permission to get rid of what I no longer needed and also to be who I am right now. This stuff that is so meaningless was tied into who I was, or who I had been. Now I have set it free and also myself.

I can honestly say I feel like the possibilities are endless. God use me for YOUR glory. Make me what you will.  ❤

Also some cool bananas I drew a while back. Because Bananas.

….🎹🎶🎵”Isn’t she lovely?”🎼🎵🎤…..

Um, sorry I was having a moment. Anyway, all the useful stuff found its way back home. No more leftover school stuff and half baked art projects. I may or may not have opened the door just to gaze at it 10x in a row…

I know it doesn’t seem like much but this cupboard really nagged me. More for what it represented to me than anything else. Sometimes the things we collect can really hold our minds in limbo. I have found decluttering to me is much like showering or praying.  The weight of worry lessens and you just feel better about life in general.

Unfinished business is always at the tail end! Thrift and gift time! I take out the trash then I can donate or gift any useful items in not going to use.

Aaahhhh…..did you hear that? It was the cupboard door closing with nary a bump!

Best of everything to you all!

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Elvis Has Left The Building

My cat Elvis is quite the character. He loves to snuggle and trip you while you walk. He often perches on the windowsill to watch me do dishes (on the outside). He has yet to realize that his recent poundage is not simply that luxurious fluff that he wears for a coat (he is half long hair). He will sometimes lose his footing on the narrow ledge while watching me do said dishes. *cue dramatic cat yowl, scrambling paws followed by a dull thump* No, he has never been seriously injured but thank you for your concern.

With all that I love him dearly. He is smart and comical. And a big sissy la-la who whines about everything. Seriously, he used to steal food from his mother well into adolescence even AFTER she caught him his own mouse. If he sees you through the window headed toward the door- ANY door- he will meet you there and dart as quick as he can through your feet to get inside and get another snack. Unfortunately, he can only stay in the pantry or the laundry room as I am allergic to cats….go figure. If I do not pet them or pick them up I am fine but the minute I start ruffling fur I am in trouble.

Elvis and I have learned to live with it though. I let him stay in the laundry room which has a large glass window panel. I “pet” him through the glass. Basically, I put my hand on one side of the glass and he rubs his head on the other side. Sort of like visiting hours if you know what I mean.

Anyhow, I love his crazy furry self and he loves me. That’s all that really matters. And since he has no social media I sure as shootin’ am going to do my best to get a video of the narrow window sill episode. That is something you do not want to miss!

Health, Life

Balance

 

 

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Enjoying time with this little life. Oh how I love my family!

I used to think that balance was the key to living harmoniously.  That by adept scheduling of must dos with periodic entertainment breaks was the key to keeping our busy lives running smoothly.  The only problem is that life never plays along with my carefully laid plans.  It is by nature feast or famine. We are overwhelmed with stimulus or we are bored. No one is around or we are swamped with people.

Can balance really help? The very word implies that we are teetering between success and failure.  If we choose option A over option B we tip the scales just a bit too far and have to scramble to regain stability.  Nah… just nah… I’m taking a different route this time.  New year, new life…whatever.  How about new vision?  New growth?  How about peace?

I want resiliency.  I want to know how to ride the waves of life and to come down with a soft landing.  I want to be held in the hollow of God’s hand and to know that He is with me through every tempest and every trial.  I don’t want to figure it all out.  I want to trust.  I want to be filled with hope and love.  I want to stand firm against any storm that I face knowing that I stand with God and not alone.

I’ve set a few goals this year and I hope you have too.

Whatever 2019 brings you don’t forget to look up!

Sincerely,

Veronica