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Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Mom-Mom

I remember one day, probably when I was around seven or eight, sitting at my grandparents house eating lunch with the whole family. It was probably one of those summer work days when we had decided to go up and help them with chores.


I remember sitting on the stoop that goes into their family room. Maybe because I was younger I just wasn't listening to the conversation, because I don't remember anything they said that day. Thinking back now, it almost seems like everyone else was muted, excepted my vivid memory of what I saw. Looking across from me on the wall were pictures of all my greatest grandparents....all hung in black and white portraits. There was a side for my Pop-Pops' family and a side for my Mom-Moms'. In the middle was a picture of two people I thought I didn't know.




The first portrait was hued like it was covered in dust. The man inside had a long face. No, not sad; just long. He seemed very stable and steady. His colorless eyes looked as if they held all the kindness of the world in them, and yet, it was a kind of strength, too. His hair was neatly cut and combed. He was dressed in a fine suit, even though the photo covered him from the chest up. He was the very idea of what one might use to precisely describe the ideal gentleman. He was handsome.

The second portrait was shaded almost with a pink tone, as if the person inside had been radiant and the photograph was able to capture the gleam. The woman inside had an oval face, a subtle smile with easily seen dimples on either side of her cheeks. That smile shone with something akin to the Mona Lisa, as if she knew something that you didn't. Her skin looked like porcelain, almost like if one were able to place their hand inside the portrait to touch her they would feel silk. Her dark hair was simply, yet elegantly displaying a short bob that settled on top of her shoulders. Like the man, the photo cut off and contained only a small portion of her upper body , but just enough to show that she was wearing a white, clean cut suit; something typical of the 1940's. She looked like the perfect example of what and who a lady should be. She was beautiful.

Somehow in my mind that day, I knew that they were my grandparents. At the same time, however, I couldn't seem to make the connection.

A few years ago, when I was sitting in the exact same spot as when I was seven. It hit me.

I can't tell you in words how hard it was for me to even begin to compare the slouched figures on the chair and couch opposite me to the glamourous youth in the portrait. In one instant, though, I saw it. Unveiled underneath the wrinkled, gray and drooping skin of old age were the same smiles and the same eyes that I remember seeing when I was eight. They were still so beautiful. It's incredible, but honestly, they are still so stunning.

Most people would tend to look at my grandparents, and many older people, as if they weren't even humans at all. Somehow, younger people are almost scared of older people; something that I cannot understand. Often, elderly aren't even acknowledged, as if they are invisible. Understandably, they are often decrepid, disfigured, gray skinned, wrinkled, hunched over beings who often have clouded eyes, bad hearing and occasionally (if not always) slurr their words - or so we have labled them. Since they are "presented" in this way, they are often completely ignored. I think that those things are unappealing to the human eye, are honestly, so incredibly beautiful. It speaks so much more than a drop dead gorgeous girl that you see in the store, or a herculian looking guy in the gym.

Why do I think that is beautiful? I think it's beautiful because they have lived. They have lived a whole life chock-full of lovely memories as well as dreadful memories, and they are still OK. Does that make sense? They have fullfilled a life. They came into this world as babies, grew into a young man and woman, were lovers, husband and wife, uncle and aunt, father and mother, grandfather and grandmother, great-grandfather and great-grandmother. They have been haggard by years, but that's what I love the most about them. Those wrinkles just prove how much they have lived. How can that not be beautiful? How can life not be beautiful. Life may not contain perfectly perfect memories, but it still contains memories - isn't that enough?


.....

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
Mark Twain
...



I love watching my grandmother. I love imagining how she would have been were she in her twenties. If I let my mind wonder enough, I can see exactly who she was when she was twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, and I know with all my heart that she was beautiful; because she was the same person then as she is now. She amazes me. She's ninety years old. She lived through the Great Depression, World War II.....she lived through life. She's my heroine. She's my Mom-Mom.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gone.....

I've never wanted to write about death...but recently, I've felt I should. It's a painful subject, and therefore not embraced by many. Have you ever experienced the death of anyone? Not anyone special or close...just anyone? A fireman from a collapsing building in the newspaper article last week perhaps? A soldier finding in Iraq? A little girl who drowned in the pool near your house? An elderly women down the street of old age? Yes. Everyone has experienced death in one way or another. It's hard, even if you didn't know the person, to think that there is no more life in that body anymore. Their heart isn't beating anymore. Their heart isn't feeling anymore. Their just.....gone.


I know that life must end at some point, because life began at one point. I just don't like accepting that it has to end. It's inevitable; I can't control it....that's why I don't like it.

I am so incredibly blessed to say that I have never lost someone whom I was unconditionally close with. Both of my grandparents are still alive, and my family has been blessed to not suffer with accidents, nor sickness, nor deterioration. I know it's coming though...and the thought kills me. I am extremely close with my grandparents and I cannot imagine those lives not being apart of mine. I've known them since I was born....and it's like they're a peice of me. So why must they end?

"Benjamin, we're meant to lose people we love. How else would we know how important they are to us?"
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mrs. Maple


Even if you didn't know them, those people who were lost in the fire, those people who gave themselves for their country, those people who, it seems for no reason, were just taken away; those people whose time it was to leave...even if you didn't know them, they 'were', weren't they? They were important to us. They were important to us because they were in our lives. Even though they were just fragments they were fragments who were apart of us. Don't you hold heartache when you've heard that someone has died, regardless of the fact that you know them or not?

"Beth: If God wants me with Him, there is none who will stop Him. I don't mind. I was never like the rest of you...making plans about the great things I'd do. I never saw myself as anything much. Not a great writer like you.
Jo: Beth, I'm not a great writer.
Beth: ...But you will be. Oh, Jo...I've missed you so.... Why does everyone want to go away? I love being home... But I don't like being left behind. Now I am the one going ahead. I am not afraid. I can be brave like you."
Little Women
Beth & Jo

Death is such a bewildering idea sometimes, because we don't understand it. We don't understand it because we were created to live forever. We were created to live forever with Christ, and as soon as Sin entered our hearts, we lost our forever. But God holds a promise to take care of us, whether we are victims or culprits of the matter. He'll be there in our trials. He'll be there forever.

I can't advise on death...or really say much about it for that matter, since it doesn't hit me at home base as much as others. But I do know that it is painful for me to even think about the many people who die every day, and what their loved ones must be feeling. All I know is that God is there when you seek Him, and He'll answer when you call. And if He uses death to bring you or others to Himself, then that's His plan; and his plan is never Gone....

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Complicated....

"Sometimes the questions are complicated....and the answers are simple."


There are often days when I have the most complicated questions. How did I get to this point in life....this EXACT place in life? How on earth? All the moments leading up until a single moment can change in the blink of an eye. Sometimes when I think of my life, I think of a maze, or just an endless map of roads. Paths going left, right, backwards, turning on end, curving, going in circles.... My life is an endless endeavor to reach goals and aspirations. But while trying to get to these goals, I often find myself getting tired and taking a break off to the side of the road. Or losing my way, or finding one way blocked and having to find a detour. Sometimes, the entire road is missing and I can't go on a road in that direction at all. There are so many questions in my life that I have for God. In my head, I know that God is my answer to every single question....even if He doesn't answer my question as I expect Him to. I feel like He does nothing most times (which is definitely not what He does). Often, my body sees Him as a guide or last resort. In truth, He is my only guide, and my only resort. It's so easy to doubt what you're already unsure about. I have a relationship with God...not a religion. At times, however, it can feel like a one-sided relationship....which is no relationship at all. God answers me with clear "yes's", and "no's"....but what confuses me the most (and distresses me even more) is when He says "Wait"...and especially when He says nothing at all. I honestly believe that I learn best, though, when He is silent... I understand Him so much better.

Here's something that I've learned though. When things seem like they are the most complicated that they've ever been..... there is always a simple answer behind the problem. Or sometimes, no answer at all. Sometimes we tend to feed off of self-pity because, in a way, it comforts us. However, that self-pity can drive us into depression, and self-deprivation. I truly believe that God gives us only what we can handle...never more. When we feel like we've been over-burdened and we become weak to the point of hurting ourselves, I believe that a Lion is prowling around waiting for us to break down. Or it's ourselves, not trusting Gods judgement and running off course.

Anywho, thought I'd share my thoughts. It's quite true in my life that I have such complicated questions and tend to be dramatic about my situations (wallowing in my self-pity), but when I find the answer, it's so simple. What is your question like? You're in my prayers.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We'll all grow up one day...

"Why can't things just stay as they are?"
Little Women
Jo March

Do you ever wonder why life has to change so much? Why you can't stay in one magical moment even for one second more? I have. Why does time have to pass so quickly? It really does go by in a blink, doesn't it? There are so many things I want to do, want to enjoy, want to be apart of, and they all slip away like thin silk between my fingers. I would love, with all my heart, for life to not change as frequently as it does. One small move and you find yourself tumbling down a hill in a snowball effect.

"I wanna remember us....just as we are now."
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Daisy

It takes great talent to truly rememeber moments that are worth remembering. Does that make sense? How do you define moments worth remembering? To me....everyday is worth remembering, because every day is different. No matter how many times the sun rises over a wheat field and sheds its light, weather it's a rainy day, a sunny day, a cloudy day or even a rainy day again......no two days look the same. Never have been, and never will be. Can you imagine how much fun God has on his easel, painting every day with a million and one different hues and tones. That's why I love photography so much....you could capture every day, if you wanted, and look back on it in it's beauty. You can rememeber the exact moment that the lense closed, whether the wind was blowing or not; whether the sun was blistering or not; and whether you felt good or bad. Isn't it funny looking back at old photos and seeing who you were at that stage in life? Even if it was only a year before....you've changed so much. Maybe not so much outside...but inside, you've bloomed into something new. Even though you will always be "you", it's hard to think that you've changed at all. We all grow up sooner or later. Sometimes it's so bittersweet though. Thinking about my life even 5 years from now...I am clueless. Five years ago, when I leaf through old photos, I'm amazed even then at how much I've changed. Magnificent, life...isn't it? Do you know what you want in life, though?


"For what it's worth: it's never too late, or in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit...stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not....then I hope you have the strength to start all over again. "

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Benjamin

"I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.... The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want."
Mark Twain


I guess you're really the only person who knows what they want. There are struggles on deciding what 'exactly' you want...but deep down, the true answer should be ringing with loud distinction. God knows where His path will lead you, so don't fret about it, dear, He knows where you're going....even if you have no idea.


"We'll all grow up someday, Meg. We might as well know what we want."
Little Women
Amy

I have a basic idea of what I want...but who knows? Five years from now, I could be completely different. But that happens...change happens. Even though I would rather have things stay the same because familiarity makes me comfortable, I understand that change is neccesary for growth. Life is so much bigger than me... I don't know what God has in store for me... Only that it is known to Him, and that it is good in His eyes...even if it might not be accepted in mine. I do know now, though, that I want Him when I grow up. What do you want?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sunshine.

So I haven't written in here for forever being busy with summer. But what the hey, I'm writing now.

Speaking off the top of my head( since I haven't written in my journal in awhile) I wanted to share a quote with you that I found the other day.

~~~~~~~

"Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it."

~~~~~


This has really spoken to me, because I agree with it wholeheartedly. I'll tell you now that I can be a very emotional person, and I can be very moody and depressed, but I'm not naturally like that. Honestly, anyone can have a bad day and be dramatic, but it all depends on how you look at a situation. I try not to pride myself on being optomistic, because I am only able to have that outlook on life from Christ. Were it not for Him, I'd be a wreck and the most deplorable being alive. But I truly love looking about things in the brightest of lights. Too many people are hopeless, and I don't want to be another. I think it makes me feel like an added weight to an unworthy cause.

I know that in my life, the thing that perks me up the most when I'm down, is laughter. Nothing is so refreshing as a jolly jest and lively burst of laughter. Hence the quote. I hope that whereever you are in your day, whether you've found your sunshine, are still searching, or don't even believe in sunshine, I pray that you'll find a small peice of light to see you through to the end.

At the end of the day when I'm lonely and think about everything that went wrong or everything I want and don't have.....I stop.

I stop and think.

I'm alive. I'm healthy. I don't starve as I lay in bed. I have a bed. I have a house that holds that bed. I have a family that lives inside that house with me. I'm not an orphan. I'm loved, and even though I might not be shown that at every second of the day, I still know, deep down, that I'm cared for and appreciated.

It's the little things in life that make us who we are. Enjoy them, because one day you might look back and realize that they were the big things.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I'm thinking of you and praying for you. Be encouraged and don't be afraid to find your sunshine, even if it's hidden in the darkest of places.

Monday, March 22, 2010

sprigs of Spring...


...:.:.:.:.:.:.:...

So today I was sitting on the front porch and was absolutely overwhelmed when a warm breeze engulfed me. Don't you love spring? I mean, what could be better than plants bursting with green life, colors coming out of nowhere and warm air breathing it's sultry air on winters churlish cold chill? I'm utterly awed because God has made the perfect four seasons. Out of all the seasons, Spring is definitely my favorite because it's a new birth of the world. Everything is so new and fresh and unspoiled.















...

' The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world...'

...
Robert Browning



....

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. "

Anne Bradstreet

....



....:.:.:.:.:.:...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

wednesday night: the incredibles and ice cream

So, what is on the plate for this past Wednesday night? Is it possibly another episode of comic heros? Is it possibly an episode of Staw Waws? Hmmm...it's the INCREDIBLES!!

This past Wednesday night I came in and was greeted by Chawlie asking, "Hey Sarah? You know what Violet says about Jack-Jack?"
"What?!" I ask enthusiastically.
" 'He's not even toilet trained!' " Chawlie replies...leave it to a boy to remember THAT quote! I love this kid to death! Apparently they had been watching The Incredibles before I got there, so Chawlie was hyped about that night...I'm almost possitive that he had the whole night planned! Minus maybe the exact words I was to say. So here we were finishing dinner when he exclaims, "Ready to be Violet?!" Let the night begin.....

I have to tell you that the excitement in playing characters is so bright in a child's eyes, that you can't but be excited in the least....somehow I always end up being excited in the "most". If I'm ever tired when arriving, they recharge my battery ASAP.

So after a night of stepping into our "world", Chawlie, Ellie, and I stepped out, surprisingly a little tuckered out. Never fear though, a warm bath was there to greet us in this world. I also added ice cream cones to the ended journey. No, no, not sweets, I promise! Every time I wash their hair, I turn the bubbles into "piles" much like a vanilla swirl and pop in on top of my fist, making a somewhat lovely ice cream cone. So, I'm not good at adding the vanilla flavor, but we imagine that it is one. Lucky for me, they are some of the greatest pretenders that I don't even have to let them 'imagine' it is a cone; to them, it already is a perfect and creamy delight.

To my shame, I am terrible at aiming the 'cones' in their mouths, and they always get misplaced on their chests! Not once have they been able to test taste my ice cream....I suppose it's good not to have bubbles being made from a hiccup or sneeze though, right? Well...they enjoy it none the less.

Over&Out.

...

"In every REAL man, a child is hidden who wants to PLAY"
Friedrich Nietzsche

...



Saturday, March 6, 2010

wednesday night: comics III

Alas, the age of Mara Jade and Kit Fisto didn't last another second (literally). Sad to say but there is no continuum of "Staw Waws" because there were no costumes that matched the characters! I was crushed with utter disappointment. Here I thought Chawlie and I were going to be a dynamic duo with black capes, green lightsabers, and the force to be our only guides, and there are no costumes to "spiff us up". However, it was decided that the Thing was in charge tonight, and I was to be Storm. There was a slight protest on Chawlie's side about being a girl, but he let it slide once he realized that I was truly a "good hero".

I am sad to say, though, that Ellie and I were maidens in distress on more than one occasion...Chawlie didn't seem to mind in the least bit though. I guess once he pulls on his costume, he is deadly in character.

So this Wednesday night was dawned as "Thing & Storm" night; endless running through the headquarters of evil masterminds made bath-time special indeed. We turned in the night with more than several bumblebee tunes and tumble's on the bed, quick sip of water, and lights out. I'm so blessed to have these kids...they are too sweet and TOO cute.

Haven't been able to upload photos recently for some reason, but hopefully I can show you the "Spotted Pup" and my hero "Johnny Storm". I'm serious about the hero part, too. Rippling muscles and a man who can turn into fire? That would make any girl swoon.

Over&Out.


...

Reed Richards: "I'm trying to figure out why we each ended up with a different symptom....."
Johnny Storm: Oh, well that's easy: I'm hot. You're...well...a little limp. Sue's easy to see through. And Ben's always been hard."
...

Friday, February 26, 2010

wednesday night: comics II

Ah, once more were the forces of Johnny and Susan Storm able to deface the evil of the world. After we had destroyed all the villains (again), Chawlie goes, "Oh! I forgot. I could have just pushed this button and killed them all." I'm still in character of course,

"What do you mean Johnny?" I asked in a deep voice. Chawlie makes a face.

"What?" I asked reguarly. He spreds his hands out, trying to explain.

"You don't do that! Susan doesn't talk in a deep voice, so you can't either! And don't talk in a different voice, just be yourself." I nodded my head. I'm being instructed by a 4 year-old....but then again, he knows all about the world of comics; so I just nodded my head.

"Anyway, look here, see? I could have just pressed this button." he goes.
"What does it do?" I asked (in my regular voice, of course)
"It finds all the bad guys in the 'wowrld' and kills 'em all!"
"Oh....what about the good guys?"
"Good guys? Eh, their okay! Just the bad guys."
"Oh good. Are you going to press it then?"
"I already did! Their all gone."
"Then how are you and I going to help save people?"
"We don't have to anymore, because all the bad people are gone." (He is one smart cookie.)
"Well then..does that mean we can't play anymore?" He paused a moment, not really thinking of the consequences of pushing the button.
"Oh..." he freezes. "Well...we can just play Staw Waws. Who do you want to be?"

So here ends our marvel comics, and thus begins are adventures among the stars. We only had but a few minutes, considering that the bath tub was already full and it was close to bed time. We ended with Mara Jade (me) and Kit Fisto (Chawlie) on a mysterious battle ship, headed for the Death Star. Stay tuned for next week......



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

wednesday night: comics

Wow! So tonight was incredible. I spent a whole 2 hours saving the world from bad guys, with the help of Chawlie...urm, whoops, Johnny Storm. Around the house we flew, changing characters, changing locations, and changing bad guys into mush! I was quite disappointed, however, when I found out that Cat woman was a "bad girl" and I couldn't be a "bad girl" as Chawlie instructed me. I must say, though, we made an incredible duo, even though we changed several times. Running around the house, we used everything possible for protection: chairs, couches, pillows, exercise mats, and sometimes even Ellie acted as our protector. We dodged bullets, iron objects, terrifying metal arms, deathly thrown playing cards, and lightning bolts. At one point, Storm even got injured pretty badly (Dr. Oc found her arm in a vulnerable situation, but we won't get into the nasty details. I'll let Chawlie inform you of her medical conditions). By the end of the night, we were dog tired, and ready for a hot bath, and the "Happily Ever After" story of Sleeping Beauty. Surprisingly picked out by Chawlie.

These were our combos:

Hulk & Rouge
Johnny Storm & Susan Storm
Logan/Wolverine & Elektra
Thing & Storm
Iron Man & Ice Man (yes, I was a man, but an awesome one at that)
Cyclops & Night Crawler (an even better man!)

I can't remember which teams destroyed which bad guys, but here's the list of evils whom we vanquished in the end:

Magneto
The Watcher
Dr. Octopus
The Joker (amazing, right?)
Docter Doom

As soon as mom was out of the house and the pizza was demolished, Chawlie goes, "Hey Sarah? Can you help me get into my costume? We gotta go destory Magneto." Well....I guess we destroyed him.

"A lot of comic actors derive their main force from childish behavior. Most great comics are doing such silly things that you'd say, "That's what a child would do."
-Gene Wilder


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Amore.




St. Valentines Day
...
'Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's Day...."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet
...

Ah, the celebrated day that brings in money for Hall
mark..sometimes known as "Singles Awareness Day"...or somtimes, "Hopeless Romantics Day". Either way, what's the big deal about this day? This holiday comes and goes getting much attention, or none at all. It's supposed to be the "day of celebrated love"; but how do you know how to celebrate love if you don't even know what it is?

Several years ago, I was apart of a Christian fans
ite called 'The Dancing Lawn'. Anything could be posted there, or anything brought up. When Val
entines Day rolled around, I asked everyone what they thought love was; what their perfect definition of love was. Here's some of them:

1. "Love is the unfathomable essence of God"
2. "Love is caring for and praying for those who persecute you"
3. "Love is the passion that keeps us going"
4. "Love is what makes you smile when you're tired"
5. "Love is when you look at someone and can't help the urge to hug them and tell them you love them"
6. "Love is when you are willing to die for someone
7. "Love is when you want to spend all your time with the person you love"
8. "Love is what's in the room with you at Chris
tmas when you stop and listen" (as quoted from a six year old)
9. "Love is the feeling that makes you laugh and cry; when you feel you could soar, when you feel nothing bad"
10. "Love is what makes life worth living for"
11. "Love is when you feel like you're one per
son when you with someone else..even if you're
apart"
12. "Love is all the wonderful things wrapped up in one..the "amen" to a prayer...the ribbon on a present...the seal on the letter...keeping everything together and connecting it"
13. "Love is what keeps married couple from killing eachother"
14. "Love is thinking of others before yourself"
15. "Love is wishing the best for your beloved, no matter what the cost to yourself"
16. "Love is when you look at your parents"



What is your thought of love? Many people today have a shallow idea of love, often mistaking it as lust. I think it's because our cultures have lost touch with the Creator of love. We have no way to obverse love, so we have a hard time projecting it. The media has made love into lust. Sin has made love into lust. Valentines Day is not a day of love anymore...it is now a day of lust. Derived from several Christian 'Valentine' martyrs in Rome who died because of their undying passion for Christ, that means "love" has come quite far, and evolved into something 'not lovely'.

I laugh now because Marmie loves decorating for every special occasion and holiday(maybe it's because of her home-ec major) and has every single decoration you can think of. For Valentines Day we have red and white hearts than stick to the windows, a red and white hearted table cloth, red and white candle sticks, normally a dinner of spaghetti(keeping the theme of red in there), and, fortunately, no baby cherubs. Not once has cupid been invited to dine with us, thank goodness. Pops normally brings home stunning roses(that's right, you guessed it, red AND white ones), and that's our extent.

How can this holiday be worthy of celebrating though? Just something to think about....

If you've ever seen Captain Corelli's Mandolin, then this quote might be something you associate with 'Amore'.

...

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together than it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love it. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love...which an of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards eachother underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

...


Sunday, January 31, 2010

my "julia" project.

There are hardly words to describe my state of...well, being.

Last night mom and I decided to make "Julie Child's Bouff Bourginon" - little did we know of the delicate procedure. After buying all the ingredients, concocting numerous brews, assembly it all through over 30 "specific" steps, and achieving ultimate perfection....we reached our goal of "bouff bourginon" and gorged ourselves. The amount of fat in every bite, is something I would rather not think about. I'm surprised that I didn't have a heart attack after the first bite, and even more surprised that I haven't keeled over by now.

All the same, I don't think I've ever tasted anything better. After being in the kitchen from 3pm to 7:30pm, we were expecting it to be worth it, and it was.

I absolutely love to cook...but after several hours of strait preparation...things do to seem to fall a little out of perspective. Don't believe me? Just try making this and you'll understand. I have, however, learned something worth learning (I think).

Ever since I saw Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina", I've been in love with France. The beauty of it and it's architecture, the art, the music, the culture, and of course, the food. However, I always thought it was almost a "waste" to go to a lovely restaurant and spend heaps of money on a half a cup, if not less, of well put together food. After a few bites, you're done! What's the point?! It's in your stomach and moving to you know where, and the money is out of your pocket. It seemed wasteful, in my opinion. Especially knowing that hours had been spent to make this arrangement prime.

Last year, mom got me a book called "The French Don't Diet Book"; it's all about their food, why their healthy...and pretty much "dissing" the American life of eating. (Don't worry, it's written by an American, nothing said about 'yanks') I'm sad to say, but truthfully, America loves and wants "quantity" over "quality"- just look on the back of a Cheetos bag and you'd see what I mean. French, on the other hand have been raised with "quality" over "quantity". Wouldn't you love if you could get up in the morning, ride your bike into town and buy a loaf of bread, fresh from the ovens still crispy and warm, and a piece of fruit ripe off a tree? Well, I would, anyhow.

To get to the point, the French spend so much time preparing their food, because they don't make a big deal about it. I'm sure you're thinking, "Hah, what a paradox." But it's true. Americans make such a big deal about diets and food and exercise, and yet, we're the nation with the most obese people! The French, even though they seem to make a big deal about their food and how it's prepared, just enjoy it and then let it go. So many people in America(and other places too) binge and over indulge in food orgies. I'm guilty of it. You come to the holidays, and that's what they seem to be about. It's crazy.

Even though I was tired by the time mom and I finished making dinner last night, I took the time to enjoy the meal s l o w l y, because I knew how much time and effort went into it; because of that, I enjoyed the meal so much more! I didn't scarf it down, I savored it. All the steps in cooking like Julia really do make a huge different even if I thought it was bizarre. The mushrooms have their own sweet, buttery flavor because we had to take the time to cook them separately. Same with the onions and carrots. Same with the beef and bacon...everything tasted better because we took the time to do it.

So I learned last night, that this is why the French take so long to make their food, and why they only eat smaller amounts.

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"Watch a French housewife as she makes her way slowly along the loaded stalls...searching for the peak ripeness and flavor...What you are seeing is a true artist at work, patiently assembling all the materials of her craft, just as the painter squeezes oil colors onto his palette ready to create a masterpiece."

Keith Floyd
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

the happy days of winter.

So I've heard that quite a few people are distraught and rather unhappy about the snow....their fretting isn't seeming to cease. Coming from my previous entry, it's actually quite encouraging to have snow on my birthday....even if it is little inconvenient. Everything is white, clean, and perfect...minus the Fahrenheit scale of course. It makes for a perfect excuse to cuddle up with a warm cup of tea (or hot chocolate if you must) and just relax. Take the day in as it comes. I find that on so many days, the hours go by like a freight train and I never give thought to the wonderful life that is around me. Whoosh, and those moments are gone, never to come again. Sometimes life gives you a moment where you CAN relax, sit back, and watch the beauty that God has created. I am guilty of "being" in life, but not "living" life. There's a huge difference, but I guess you might have to experience that for yourself. I pray that everyone is safe in this weather and that you are ENJOYING IT TO THE HILT.



"Advice is like snow- the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks, the more it soaks into the mind."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

wednesday night: candy

So yesterday I told you I was going to write about my adventures with Chawlie and Ellie, but I got back too late to write. Anywho; we had a laid back night. Watched Mario and Luigi, ate dinner, played hide-n-seek, had a bath, read several books and hopped in bed. Still, I had a lot of fun with them. When I got there, I was warned that if I heard any of the kids whispering, then it was probably because they wanted candy. (You know, all the candy leftover from Christmas can't be eaten at one time, so it must be eaten gradually) ;) I was instructed that there was to be no more candy if youthful mind were suddenly to have the urge for chocolate M&M's.

The whole night, not one request for candy, so I thought all was well. After the lights were turned out and I was placing Ellie in the crib, I heard the faintest whisper.

"What, Ellie?" I asked. (slightly confused too, because she never asks for anything before bed.)

There was a slight pause, cock of the head and then another whisper, "Candy?"

It was all I could do not to burst out laughing, so I refrained. I felt so bad having to tell those big baby browns that she couldn't have anymore, but I had to.

"No, sorry Ellie. No candy tonight...would you like some water?"

Again, a pause and cock of the head. A turned up smile covered her face, "Candy?" she whispered again.

This time I laughed, but said no again and offered her water. She couldn't seem to make up her mind, but then finally decided a 'yes' when she smiled again and whispered, "Water?"

The water was given, the covers were pulled over and tucked in, and the babysitter went on to study.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'chawlie and Ellie'...

Within the past few months I've been honored to have the job as "babysitter" for some of our friends at Church every Wednesday night while they do Navigators for the Cadets at VMI. I say honored because the two that I babysit are truly wonderful for me, hilarious, and amazing little kids! Charlie (or his version, 'Chawlie') is the youngest boy in the family, (4) and Eleanor (Ellie) is the youngest of the family and the only girl(2). Recently they have been heaps of fun and have created stories that I love telling, so I thought that I'd share my adventures with you all every Wednesday night. Enjoy!