Friday, July 31, 2015

The Ugly Truth

This weekend the world will cease to exist as we now know it.

I am traveling to an old high school chum's home for a Girls Weekend.

(and YES, I said GIRLS.)

During this trip we will be going to the lake.


Expect some sort of apocalypse. Expect weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And that's only from ME....imagine what the people who actually SEE me in said bathing attire will do.

It could get very, very ugly.  Very ugly indeed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cheese, Please

The barometer and I are not friends.

It seems as though whenever the barometric pressure hits a certain number, my body is programmed to become inflamed from head to toe.

For those of you unfamiliar with RA, that means the little Pac Man inside me multiplies by a factor of 10,000 and begins eating whatever is in sight.  Joints swell and ache, sleep is a distant memory, and I keep looking for a rock big enough to dive under and hibernate until it passes.

It isn't what I'd call a good time.

Today is the day I need to get packed and ready to travel to a friend's home for the weekend.  We've been planning a get-together with other friends for the past few months, and I'm excited to go. However, Pac Man and his cronies have decided to do everything in their power to keep me from the excursion.

I, however, have a plan.

I have pain meds to take, and I have the possibility of getting an anti-inflammatory shot today or tomorrow.  That should hold the monsters at bay until the barometer decides to cooperate once again, or until I need to be in search of the rock once more.

In the meantime, I would like to have a nice, sharp cheddar to go with my whine, if you please!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Season to Taste

Grandma used "receipts" when she cooked. Nowadays we call them recipes...directions for making certain foods.

Grandma's receipts often used the words "season to taste" instead of noting exact amounts of salt, pepper, or spices.  She even seasoned raw pork for sausage this way, tasting it to be sure. When I was first learning how to cook, those instructions frustrated me. How on earth was I supposed to taste something before it was cooked to be able to tell how it would taste after it was cooked? I needed specific rules to follow. Specific amounts to add. Specific directions that would work the same way every time I made the dish.

But as I learned to cook I began to realize why Grandma's recipes read the way they did.

My children have asked me to come up with a recipe book for them. They want all of their childhood and adult favorites included. I am beginning to realize this is going to be a LOT of work!

Exact measurements are not my forte. For instance, my baked bean recipe uses some brown sugar, some molasses, some ketchup, some liquid smoke, beans, fried bacon, a pan to cook it in, and an oven. If I can get away with it I add some onion. All of it gets cooked in the oven somewhere between 350 degrees and 400 degrees, depending on how much time I have and how I feel that day. I measure by sight and feel and taste. I have made this recipe so many times over the years that I know it inside out.

So when my daughter asks me how to make baked beans, she gets a little more than irritated. "How much is 'SOME'?" she asks. "How many slices of bacon? What size pan? How long do you cook it and at what temperature?"

You can see my dilemma.

So, from now until November I will be making most of the dishes that I don't have written down. I will note measurements as I make them, and they'll all probably end up tasting unlike anything I usually make. Cooking is more about learning for yourself rather than following someone else's directions to the letter.  I think the kids will figure that out once they have a chance to really cook for themselves.

And by then, they will learn why Grandma and I always season "to taste."

Friday, July 24, 2015

You've Got a Friend

So I have this friend.

Michael and I were in a worship band together at our former church. He plays guitar and a little piano, and he has a great voice. He's around ten years younger than I am, and he has a family that includes two teenagers. Michael has a great smile, and a great love for the Lord.

He also has terminal cancer.

It's hard to think of someone having cancer, and harder still when it's someone you know and love. Before everyone knew how far the cancer had spread, it was easy to be encouraging to my friend. But after the surgery, when they found that it had spread too far and wide, it was tough.

What do you say to someone in this situation? How can you express what you truly feel about them without mentioning their impending death?

I have told him how much he meant to me, and still does. I told him he is loved. I told him I pray for him and his family. I offered any help I could.

And although I know it's uncomfortable, I would like to tell him how much he will be missed.

Tough times for my friend. Very tough.

Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Ten Minutes

Ten minutes.

I have committed to writing for ten minutes.  No more, no less.

We'll see how it goes.

It used to be that I wrote something every day.  Well, almost every day.  I was diligent about writing. I wrote about most anything.

Nowadays I find it hard to write about anything at all.

And then I saw the challenge.

Ten minutes, it said.  Do it for ten minutes.  Write whatever comes to mind, no matter how inane it sounds, no matter if it has purpose, no matter if you want to or not. Make a commitment. Just START.

I recently helped out with a Financial Peace University class, and at the end of the class the leader gave me a book written by Jon Acuff.  She had an idea that I needed to do something, that I wanted to do something, but I was getting in the way of it all.

The book?

I wonder how she knew?

And so here I am, starting over again.  Desperately hoping that my inactivity, my reticence, my fear of not doing it right, my frozen fingers, will all disappear.

I want to start.

And with that, my ten minutes are up.