Archives for October 2011

A Brief Interruption Of Your Regular Programming

You know, if I were ever in any sort of situation where I had to prove that I have a strong tendency to get totally wrapped up in the most mundane, pointless details, I really do believe that I could enter yesterday’s post into evidence.

Your honor, I wrote about straws. Drinking draws. I’d like to submit this post as Exhibit 1-a.

(Is evidence submitted as “exhibits”?)

(I don’t really have any experience with legal lingo. I’m pretty much just basing my word choice on some old Matlock episodes.)

So yes. In yesterday’s post I established that I enjoy a straw. THE WORLD CAN CONTINUE WITH THE TURNING.

Other exciting things that have happened lately:

1) I bought some organic soup in a box.

2) I watched four episodes in a row of House Hunters International.

3) I couldn’t find my favorite note-taking pen in church Sunday, so I had to use a fine-tip red pen instead. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to concentrate under those circumstances.

4) I cooked some turkey bacon for breakfast.

5) I exchanged a pair of cargo pants for another pair of cargo pants.

Really, I don’t know why someone hasn’t composed an original musical number to capture all that magic in song form.

There actually was a little bit of real-live excitement today when I spent a significant chunk of the afternoon making sure that I had all my shots and prescriptions and general medical whathaveyous for Ecuador (side note: for the last couple of weeks we’ve been pronouncing Ecuador as “AY-qua-thdor” in our house – sort of like how Giada De Laurentiis always says Italian words with a thick Italian accent (“mozzaRELLLLLLA”) – and now I’m worried that I’m going to get to Ecuador (“AY-qua-thdor”) and accidentally say English words with a really bad Spanish accent and basically disgrace OUR WHOLE ENTIRE COUNTRY.)

(But I’m trying not to be overly dramatic about it.)

(You probably picked up on that.)

Anyway, this afternoon I got a shot and some prescriptions, and I’m mighty relieved to have that stuff out of the way. I’m gonna take the next couple of days off from the blog so that I can concentrate on plowing through the rest of my to-do list. Among other things, I need to wrap up some work stuff, finish an article, make one more (panicked) trip to Target, etc. But I’ll be back at the end of the week (-ish), and hopefully I’ll be organized (-ish) and sane (-ish).

In the meantime, I hope that all of you continue to enjoy your straws. And should exchanging one pair of cargo pants for another pair of cargo pants be the order of the day for you, I hope that your new cargo pants meet all of your cargo pants-related needs. And then some.

Hallelujah.

See y’all in a couple of days!

Una Semana

You know how you can have a vague awareness of a certain date or trip or event for a really long time, but then there’s one day in particular where the reality of that upcoming thing sort of settles in and you start to think that you’re not at all prepared and SWEET FANCY MOSES TIME’S-A-WASTIN’?

That’s pretty much what happened to me this past Saturday. One minute I was all normal and happy-go-lucky and look! the sky is especially blue today! – and the next minute I was scribbling a to-do list on the back of an envelope and trying to run six errands during the hour and a half when the eight year-old was at a birthday party.

The good news is that my small, private panic attack totally paid off, because I managed to get a whole bunch done over the course of two days: the freezer is stocked (I made everything on my list except for mac and cheese), my laundry is done, my suitcase is open on the guest room bed and waiting to be packed, and after about five nights in a row of being in the bed by 9 and asleep by 9:30 (oh, wisdom tooth extraction, you are the gift that keeps on giving), I am more rested than I’ve been since 2002.

Seriously. I woke up Sunday morning about 6:30, kicked off the covers, and thought, Well. I believe my work here is done.

And get a load of this, bloggy people: you know I mentioned (a week or two ago) that I was was cutting back on caffeine and wasn’t really drinking any caffeine after lunch time? Well, last week the dentist told me to avoid carbonated beverages for a few days because sometimes carbonation can cause a dry socket (I’m not really sure what that is, but I’m definitely sure that I don’t want one), so I was all IXNAY ON THE IETDAE OKECAY, but then I got a little confused about what “a few days” meant, so then I got paranoid about not following doctor’s orders, and the bottom line is that I haven’t had a Diet Coke in a week.

I. have not had. a Diet Coke. in a week.

And yet here I am. LIVING TO TELL THE TALE.

The dentist also told me to avoid using straws, and I actually think that’s been harder for me than steering clear of Diet Coke. Oh, I do enjoy a straw, and do you know what else? I find that a straw makes drinking ice water a much more enjoyable experience. Of course, I realize that the fact that I even have an opinion on this admittedly meaningless matter is a pretty good indicator that I’ve been overachieving in terms of thinking about issues of absolutely no consequence at all, but it’s good to know where you stand with the straw. Or if you stand for the straw.

(For the record, I am decidedly in favor of the straw, and I look forward to our tearful reunion just as soon as I know that all things socket-related are healthy and healed.)

(Amen.)

So that’s pretty much life around our house right now. Lots of list-making. Lots of cooking. Lots of sleeping, oh Lord be praised.

And lots of Ecuador-ing in, well, about a week.

Hasta luego, y’all.
________________________________________
Tomorrow (11/1/11) at 11AM central, the LifeWay folks are having a Facebook launch party to celebrate the release of Beth Moore’s new Bible study, James: Mercy Triumphs. There will be a live webcast, lots of giveaways, and, I’m willing to bet, a whole bunch of fun. Don’t miss it!

Yes, It’s That Time Already: Some Great New (And Not-So-New) Christmas Music

I really do start listening to Christmas music full-force on November 1st.

Why, you ask?

BECAUSE I ADORE IT, THAT’S WHY.

And since this week marked the debut of several great new Christmas albums, I thought I’d mention a few of them. I also thought I’d mention a few of my not-so-new favorites because I’m pushy like that.

Snow Globe – Matt Wertz – Valerie mentioned this one in the comments of Tuesday’s post, and I kicked myself for not remembering it. This is such a fun Christmas CD – with a version of “Tennessee Christmas” will no doubt make Amy Grant beam with pride.

Christmas – Michael Buble’ – This CD reminds me of when I was little and my parents would play Christmas records (real-live records – on a real-live record player) that featured Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eddie Fisher, etc. It’s a throwback to a different era, which means that it’s probably destined to be a new classic.

Ring The Bells – Travis Cottrell – We call this CD “RANG YAW BELL” in our house. I have no idea why. But for our little man it’s what Amy Grant’s very first Christmas CD was for me: the hands-down Christmas-time favorite. We love it so much.

Joy – An Irish Christmas – Keith & Kristyn Getty – We sing lots of the Gettys’ music in our church, so I was tickled to see that they have a new Christmas CD. I’m a fan of the Irish flava (and I’m sure the Gettys are all about the flava), and I love that every single song is focused on the birth of Christ. Great mix of old and new.

A Neighborly Christmas – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – This Christmas CD has a funky, bluesy, folksy feel, and that’s precisely why I adore it. It’s soulful and simple and good. It’s also a great CD to play in the background during a Christmas party, mainly because it has such a unique sound. Good stuff.

On The Incarnation – Daniel Renstrom – I’ve been saying this for two years now: this is the best Christmas CD you’ve never heard. I love it so much and really do listen to it year-round. It’s haunting and brilliant and wonderful.

Very Merry Christmas – Dave Barnes – This CD came out last year (sort of late in the season, if memory serves), and we WORE IT OUT in our house. It’s right up there with the James Taylor Christmas CD in my book, and that, THAT IS SOME HIGH PRAISE.

So there you have it. A few of my favorites.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Well, Y’all Are Just A Wonder

Seriously.

WHO KNEW that y’all were such a fount of frozen food info?

I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep your comments on that last post bookmarked for the rest of my earthly days. Yesterday afternoon I sat down and read through every single one of them, then figured out what my people would enjoy eating the most (and also what would be easiest for Mama), and I’ll have you know that within an hour or so, I’d figured out a menu plan for the week and made a grocery list for the marathon cooking session I plan to have this Saturday.

On top of that, I typed out (I LIKES TO TYPE, I DO) a plan for Mama, and I’m gonna put this on the refrigerator so that she has a nice little plan of what’s in store every day.

Y’all have no idea how much you’ve helped. The prospect of getting food stuff organized and ready to go was starting to make me feel twitchy and overwhelmed (especially since I have no skillz in the area of freezing stuff ahead of time), and being able to check that off of my list feel like a huge relief. Especially now that I know to put a towel on top of my freezer shelves so that meat in a Ziploc won’t freeze around them and HOW DO YOU PEOPLE KNOW SO MUCH STUFF?

My goodness. Y’all need a TV show.

So anyway. Thank you so much. I can’t get over how you took something that would’ve totally stressed me out and made it fun and informative and oh my goodness I LEARNED SOME THINGS.

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Gaining Wisdom In The Area Of Food Storage

Well, I had my wisdom tooth removed Monday afternoon. FINGERS CROSSED that it was the final item on the not-very-long-but-nonetheless-annoying list of Strange Ailments that have been hanging around lately. The wisdom tooth thing went surprisingly well, though, and as worried as I was about the whole being-put-to-sleep factor, I have to say that it was a delightful option. My mouth is still a little sore, and the stitches still have to, you know, dissolve (EWWWW), but other than that I’m trying to mind the doctor’s orders (no straws! no carbonated drinks!) and take my medicine and eat soft-ish foods. More than anything, I just feel relieved that it’s done and will have time to heal before I leave for Ecuador. That is a very good thing indeed.

And speaking of Ecuador.

(TRANSITIONS!)

(THEY ARE HELPFUL!)

Mama and Daddy are going to be here to stay with my fellas while I’m gone, mainly to help with getting the little man to and from school – and to be around in the afternoons when he and his friends on our street (OH MY WORD I love the kids on our street) wield light sabers and chase each other and scream loudly just because they can. I told Mama last night that my plan is to have some meals frozen for them so that she doesn’t have to worry about cooking and so that D doesn’t have to pick up something every night on his way home from work, and she seemed to be decidedly in favor of that idea.

But here’s what I realized when I hung up the phone.

I don’t typically, you know, freeze things.

It’s not that I’m opposed to it. It’s just that I don’t have a deep freeze, and I don’t really make a lot of stuff in big quantities, and, um, I don’t really know what freezes well.

The whole not-knowing-what-freezes-well dilemma is problematic, as you might imagine.

My plan is to go to the store in a couple of days and get some freezer bags (is that what you use?) and then make some stuff and then put the stuff in the freezer bags and then put the freezer bags in the freezer. Or maybe I need some sort of sassy plastic containers. You may be picking up on the fact that this is all a little new to me.

Anyway, early this morning I was trying to work out the Freezing The Food plans in my head, and it dawned on me that there are probably some of y’all who are experts in this area. I love to cook and am so happy to make the food ahead of time for my people, but I want to make sure that 1) I make stuff that will actually be good after it’s been frozen and 2) I freeze everything the right way.

Do any of y’all have suggestions? Keep in mind that my daddy and my husband do not necessarily think of soup as a meal, so I need to make sure that HEARTY is the order of the day. And I don’t necessarily need one-dish meals, either; Mama won’t mind heating up peas or rolls or anything like that. I’d just like to, as much as I can, take care of the biggest part of the meal for her.

I’m totally making my grocery list based on your comments, by the way. So if you feel like you’re being too thorough or giving me too much information, YOU’RE NOT.

Thanks in advance, bloggy people!

Los Linkos

Annie’s post on Queen Esther’s courage is so fun, and it struck me as something that could be such a great devotion to read to (or read with) kids.

– About a year ago the little man did sort of a paper maiche’ / watercolor portrait of Africa (obviously he did this at church, under the supervision of grown-ups who don’t twitch at the sight of crafts). I loved it so much, and my mama actually surprised me over the summer by having it framed. I hung it in our half bath and love it – and have thought about creating a little “wall of nations” around the painting that A. did.

The other day my friend Kate sent me a link to some art by a precious 6 year-old girl who has a heart for oprhans and is helping raise money to bring her baby sister home from Africa.

I was so touched that I’m adding Emma’s art to our little powder room collection. I thought some of y’all might want to do the same.

– I have a new post up over at Ree’s blog about movies that (in my opinion) should never, ever be re-made. BACK OFF, HOLLYWOOD.

– Per sweet reader ANDREA’s suggestion (ANDREA always types in all caps because her kids spilled water on her computer and now ALL CAPS is her only option – it cracks me up whenever I see a comment or email from her), Michael Buble’s new Christmas album is definitely worth our attention. I’m about to download it in just a little bit. I like to have all my Christmas albums lined up and ready to go by the day after Halloween, thank you very much.

– I cracked up this morning when I saw a poll question from Steinmart on Facebook:

I wished with everything in me that they had the option of clicking “MARTHA HAS!

It’s never too early for a jacket! For a three-quarter sleeve jacket! It’s just never too early!

– Finally, remember that from now until October 31st, you can get 10% off of your entire Nations Outfitters order if you use the coupon code BOO MAMA (two words) at check-out. FANCY.