Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Home’

Drinking Healthy Thanks To My NutriBullet

IMG_5592IMG_5593Sometimes you just need to have one of these – not only good for you but tastes GREAT TOO!

 

Made in my Nutribullet – here is what I put in it:

1/2 stalk celery

1/2 carrot

4 spinach leaves

4 organic kale leaves

handful of organic berry mix from Costco

6 or 8 salted almonds

one teaspoon honey

 

I also love to freeze bananas (after they are peeled) and add a half a banana to some greens, strawberries or pineapple – fresh is the best!  I usually add almonds or walnuts to any combination above.

The rule is:

Fill up half the glass with greens and then add whatever else on top – sweeten with honey or leave alone depending on how sweet the fruit.  Fill up to the line with water – and THERE IT IS.  In a liquified form to drink!

 

I had a very frustrating morning and ended up with a headache – and I must admit that this helps and no pills!!

 

I love my Nutribullet – it does make it easy to consume those green veggies that are so good for us!

 

Anyone have some yummy recipes of your own?  Please share!

 

God Bless

 

A Little Yankee

My favorite scents of the fall -

Yankee candles in Fall Festival, Pumpkin pie, Autumn leaves and Caramel apple cider.  You can see some of my other favorite products on pinterest here.

What is your favorite thing about fall?

Here’s a little jar of yankee that sits on my desk – reminding me of all the delicious scents of this season.

If you put your nose close enough to your computer screen – you can smell it too :)

God Bless

25 Years Ago Today

25 years ago today we were blessed with a baby girl, 7lbs 10oz – and we called her Ashlee Renee.

We have been so blessed by this little bundle of energy – and although 25 years ago we were living in a completely different place and were much younger things have not really changed that much.  We are still the same people we always were – except that this little baby changed our lives – forever.

We thought we were prepared for a baby.  No one is prepared – even with the planning and waiting (we waited 6 years), the financial security (or lack of it) and the books on babies and parenthood.  A baby simply changes your life.

We dressed her up – put pretty bows on her once bald head and tried to make every moment count.

But along with the joy of having a little doll to dress up – what most people don’t plan for is sickness, long nights and days with no sleep, a fussy eater, a baby who won’t sleep anywhere except her own bed and trips to the ER for croup.  At 10 months old Ashlee had complications from the flu with a high fever reaching 105 and had to be in the hospital.  These were the tough times of having a baby.

Still she has been a light and joy in our lives. Stealing away any sense of privacy and sanity – babies are the best things in life.

Here’s to you Ashlee – you’re not a baby anymore – but I still remember you as one. One of my favorite memories of you as a little girl was when you were a flower girl at age 3.

Now you are a grown woman with a wonderful husband and home of your own. And you still continue to bless us.

You are loved and always in our prayers.

Home

1992

The other day I got a “blast from the past” as my daughter and son-in-law on a recent road trip to California sent pictures back to me from a life of ours 20 years ago when we lived in Fortuna. Greg was the pastor of a small church for 3 1/2 years, our daughter was 14 months old when we moved there – and our son was born there 3 years later. Consequently, we have many good memories of our time in that place. I think everyone would agree with me – the best times of your life are when your children are small – and it is no different for us, however the humble beginnings and places we’ve lived while raising them.

After visiting that town that Ashlee hardly remembers because she was only 4 years old when we moved away – she called me that night and said, “Mom – how did you live there?  There’s nothing there!”  So true – and yet – we were happy.  We did not have cell phones, computers or any way of social networking.  I went to the park with Ashlee and worked on crafts during the day.  A stress break for me back then was baking.  Life was incredibly simple as we lived in the parsonage right next to the church – so we hardly ever needed the car except to go to the store and on occasion to the mall in a nearby larger town.  Fortuna was small – with one or two grocery stores – but they did have a Papa Murphy’s pizza which was called “Murphy’s” back then.  And you should see the one story hospital where Shawn was born!  The town and circumstances did not dictate to us if we would be content and full of joy in our “job” – we simply were.  Home is and always has been where our heart is.  How fortunate for us in our many moves throughout our ministry life – that we have always rested and relied on that fact.  It doesn’t matter that our children are now grown-up and live away from our home – we established our family home many years ago with them – and they still remember and forever keep it in their hearts.

This song from the recent winner of American Idol, Phillip Phillips – says it all.  I wanted to share it with you today.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Ten Years

I’ve been reflecting this past month on the events of 10 years ago. It is the anniversary of purchasing our home in the Seattle area.

Time has a way of sneaking up on you, and for me – this journey happened slowly at times and at other times very quickly.

Ten years ago our daughter was 14 and a freshman in high school. Our son was 10 and in the 4th grade. That seems like a lifetime ago when they were that age – and at the time, it seemed as if time moved very slowly.

But in between the swim meets, choir concerts, endless baseball and basketball tournaments we knew these were the best years and we tried to enjoy them and hang on to every minute, knowing that once these days are gone – they are gone.

When 10 years comes and goes it is a funny thing – we say to ourselves and others around us, “What happened??” And we are truly surprised when things don’t stay the same or when we do something and our bodies don’t feel the same as they used to in the “good old days”. I truly do wonder where we got as much energy as we had to be running all the times with kids and their events and I know I couldn’t do it today without paying for it!

As I reflect on yet another Mother’s Day – I realize this is the first one where we are true empty-nester’s – our daughter has been married for the past 2 1/2 years and our son is going to school in Southern California – so it is my first Mother’s Day without him in the area.

But I also think to myself, “Wow – what great well-balanced grown up kids we have! We must have done something right – or maybe they turned out in spite of us – either way I’m thankful and grateful for all of God’s MANY blessings poured out to us in this last decade and the ones before that.

I am looking forward to a great future in this next decade and the ones to follow as God wills it for each of our lives and can’t wait to reflect back on those memories. But mostly I’m learning to live in the moment and enjoy the journey along the way.

Where we’re you 10 years ago?

God Bless

Buttermilk – Who Knew?

 

Biscuits or dumplings. ONE part vegetable oil ...

Biscuits or dumplings. ONE part vegetable oil TWO parts buttermilk FOUR parts self-rising flour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I LOVE buttermilk.  Yes I do – I’m one of those weird (I like to think of it as cultured – some would say “special”) people who love to drink it straight.  Others mock and turn up their nose at me – even faking a disgusting face, as if to say, “how could you drink that – it’s revolting! ” But I just ignore them.  I know who I am.

 

But most would agree that when it is mixed in food recipes – something magic happens!  For example, my husband has found and perfected a buttermilk pancake recipe that melts in our mouths.  Without buttermilk the pancakes taste ordinary.  Others have found that buttermilk mixed with soup makes a delicious chicken bake – other use it as a batter for frying chicken – and I know some use it when making bread.  Some make biscuits and dumplings.  I also love it as one of the ingredients for ranch dressing.  That one ingredient makes the salad have just the right zip.

 

So – what is the buttermilk of our lives?  Jesus told us that as believers we are the “salt of the earth” – without salt, things are pretty much useless.  We bring flavor to the dull and flavorless, light to the darkness etc. – you get the idea.  Would buttermilk then become the ingredient that is like “truth” – pretty hard for most to take straight up – but when mixed with the other qualities of humility, peace, mercy and graciousness – it becomes not only better – but actually palatable.

 

How do you like your “truth”?  – straight up, right from the source?

 

Or do you find that “truth” is a blessing when it comes from someone loving, who is kind, gentle and full of humility?

 

One thing is for sure – no matter how it comes – how it is packaged, we all need truth in our lives.    We need the correct blending of Christ-like qualities operating in our lives at all times.  Like a finely tuned recipe for our palette – we need to have an ability to receive everything from God Himself, to enjoy the bountiful feast for our souls, with all things blending beautifully together.  Nothing sticking out, nothing out-of-place, nothing used as a weapon against us to beat us up – or drag us down.  Nothing making us feel defeated or unworthy – just harmony and peace for our souls.

 

I like my buttermilk straight up – but brutal truth?  Not so much.  But I have an appreciation for the kind of Savior that I serve.  He is gracious, gentle and kind.  He is the perfect gentleman.  He silently corrects my bad thoughts and behavior.  He does this in secret.  He never humiliates, never makes me feel like the ultimate loser.  He works with me and my unique personality – He knows how to positively motivate me – because He knows me best.

 

Ever try to correct someone you didn’t know very well?  Ever have someone try to motivate you based on their own fear or private agenda?

 

To all those our there that can relate to this – I say this:

 

Try a little buttermilk straight up – then have some of my husband’s buttermilk pancakes and you will see the light – I guarantee it.

 

 

 

God Bless

 

Cupid Knew

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Image via Wikipedia

I posted this song last year and thought since it’s Valentine’s Day, I would post it again for those that didn’t get to hear it.

I wrote this song for my boyfriend, Greg Holman 31 Valentine’s Days ago.  We were engaged the following month and were married in September of that same year.

It’s pretty sappy, but I was only 19 at the time – so you need to cut me a little slack :)

It was the best I could do on short notice – I wanted a special unique gift for a pretty special and unique guy – so hear it is again.  Gotta love the quality of the old cassette tapes :)

Enjoy – and have a very Happy Valentine’s Day with those you love.

God Bless

Never Assume

English muffin on a salad plate with table knife.

Image via Wikipedia

It all started with a simple english muffin.  A misunderstanding and an example for my blog today.  But first – I have to go back a few years…

I remember taking classes on the subject “never assume” when I worked for a cable company years ago.  The simple concept stuck with me – and I try to be clear in my intentions and words to people.  But I am not always successful.

In my own business, I have a written contract stating the obvious, things like payment, make-up lessons and what is expected and have students and parents sign it.  I learned the hard way that when it is business – you must never assume that everyone can read your mind and know what your intentions are.   Before using a contract – it was very difficult to collect the monthly fee from those who would start and not finish out a 3 month period – which I now require in my contract.  I would “assume” they would understand and just somehow know my heart.  Yeah right.

In the cable company, where I was office manager – it was important to train our staff to speak clearly and never assume that you had covered an issue – or that others could read their minds – when things like payment and appointment times were in question. Many times we were caught in the “I thought you knew that, sir” – and the  “you never said that” game.

At home and with our families – this concept again came into play MANY times – especially with young children.  Greg and I thought we had told them something – and they were quick to say, “you never said that” – on many issues regarding school, friends coming over and just about everything else you can name.

It puts me in mind of the Brady Bunch show of the late 60’s and early 70’s – where the eldest son Greg wants to go out and his dad asked him to rake leaves or some chore before he left.  Greg didn’t do the chore but went out – got caught and then proceeded to tell his father that he was not very clear about the exact time that he had to do the chore and insisted that he was SURE his dad had meant before bed – and it was still before bed and he had planned all along to do it when he got home.  It baffled and confused his dad so much (all teenagers are good at letting us thing that WE are the crazy ones) that he decided to make a deal with Greg and have him live by EXACT words.  He warned Greg that living by this method is difficult to live up to – but they made the bargain and it ended up costing Greg in the end of the program as he had to miss something important with his own exact words to do a chore for his dad.

I have tried to use exact words with my own children – but every once in a while – we too would do the same dance that Greg on the Brady Bunch did with his own dad.

I have found that it’s not just limited to children either.  Yesterday morning I was making a big breakfast, hash browns, ham, eggs, the works and got the english muffins out of the freezer.  Greg was standing over by the toaster making coffee.  I placed the muffins on the counter right beside him and said, “do you want english muffins with breakfast?”  He mumbled something that sounded like “Sure – Okay” – what I really meant was: “please take the muffins out of the package and place them in the toaster and PUSH DOWN”  Greg did not read my mind – or catch my drift and just walked away to another room.  A few minutes later when I was dishing up the breakfast on plates – I looked around for the toasted and buttered muffins – and to my surprise – they were STILL in the package where I placed them!

We had a good laugh over that one – and I should know by now that I can never assume that people (Greg) understands even the hints that I drop – when it seems more than reasonable to me.

When was the last time you assumed someone understood what you meant?  Were you baffled by their response or lack of one?

God Bless

Priceless “In The Moment” Moments

The city of Burbank, CA looking east from Univ...

Image via Wikipedia

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the last time I was single and living at home.  I went right from my parent’s home at 20 years of age to another way of life – without ever have lived on my own.

And although it worked out for me – I also see great benefits to living on your own before being married.

Both of my children have had opportunities to live on their own after finishing high school.  And although this can be hard, financially – I believe the lessons learned while living on your own are very valuable.  Some things just can’t be taught while living at home.

With our daughter – she was so determined that she would make it – and it took two jobs for her to do so – she’s been very proud of herself that she was completely self sufficient by the time she was 20 years old.  She learned a lot of about room-mates and finances that she’s never forgotten – and when it came time for her to get married – she was already very disciplined with money and her work ethic.  She’s one of the hardest working young women I know.

Shawn, who will be 20 in October – has moved to California to pursue a music education and hopefully a career with his music training.  He lives with room-mates in Burbank and has struggled to maintain his rent with only a part-time job.  We are grateful he got a job, when so few are available.  And we’re also thankful that his loan money will cover his tuition AND his housing this fall.  But it’s still tough to make the rent and pay for things like food – until then.

Experiences like this are so valuable.  And he will look back on these times as “the good old days” before real bills, a wife and children to support.  All of this – priceless in the big scheme of things to come.

As I chatted on the phone with him last night – I reminded him that this too shall pass – and his present circumstance is what great songs and writings are made of  :)  Maybe not while he’s struggling – but sometime after as he looks back…

Living “in the moment” – trying to be present – even during hard times of struggle. Being available in the mind.  On purpose and on task.  Learning to get by on very little – to be engaged and still positive about life.  This is what living “in the moment” is all about.

Are you alway “in the moment”?  Does your mind wander to “better times” either in the past – or somewhere in the future?  Can you be content and very present?  Now – today?  Especially when things are not ideal?  And you may be struggling?  Can you find the priceless of the here and now?  Knowing this moment will pass you by – and be no more?

Did you live on your own before you were married?  What did you do without during those years?  What’s your story?

 

God Bless

Forgiveness without strings

Cover of "Forgiveness"

Cover of Forgiveness

Our pastor spoke on the subject of “Forgiveness” last Sunday.  It was also Mother’s Day.  It was an interesting choice – but he was right on the mark.

Mom’s are notorious for “stuffing” things – in order to better serve the family.  Putting their own wants and needs aside.  But more than that – because we are seen as the “role-model” for our home – we are not usually allowed to be as authentic as we need to be.  We always have “little eyes and ears” watching our every move – seeing our reaction to things that happen and in general making it difficult to be who we really are.

When my children were younger – there were some interesting events that took place inside the church body.  My husband and I were on staff in a few churches – where there was something done or said that left us reeling  from the remarks or actions – and yet – we chose to let it go – and to forgive.  My children don’t even know about those things – even today now that they are all grown up.

In recent years I have had other things happen – and yet – trying to model for my children – I have had to suck it up - not grieve a loss or injustice done – so that I could show that I am a person who chooses to forgive – at any cost.

This is good – and it is bad.  I’m not sure it’s totally healthy.  I’m not sure I have really forgiven – without strings.  I still feel as though some owe me.  Those that have chosen to hurt me and say bad things against me and my character.  But at the time – taking the higher road meant - forgiving.  But there were strings.

After the message on Sunday I learned something.  It is not enough to say we forgive others for what they may have done to us – but we also have to forgive ourselves for the things that we have done.  And often times that forgiveness is withheld longer for ourselves because we don’t think we need it.  We feel justified – almost self-righteous because others have ‘done me wrong’.  So we hang on – not thinking anything about it – but we have not really forgiven.

And when we have done something we know that God has forgiven – and maybe even the people in our lives (at least some) but to forgive ourselves is HUGE.  I have spoken on this subject before in the last couple of years and I know that many struggle with this subject.  It almost seems self-indulgent to say it.  And if you’re like me – you think, ‘well it doesn’t erase anything – just because I say it’.  And because it feels wrong somehow – we withhold it.  Especially from ourselves.

If you are one that lives in a place called “guilt-land” then you know what I’m talking about.  All the things that come to mind that you ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’ done differently if you could go back in time.  The people who would still be in your life today – except for that one thing you said or did.  The children or parents you alienated because of that incident or letter you wrote in anger.  Yeah – that one.  If only.  You’ve asked for forgiveness – even from that person and yet – you still hang on to it.  It is what I call – “Forgiveness with strings“.

I want to get to that place in my life where I can truly let go of past hurts and issues from others – be free in my mind from things that I know I’ve done wrong and can really say – I forgive - without strings.  I no longer hold others and myself – prisoner to things I can never fix – to  wait for the magical day when others approach me and say, ‘it’s okay – all is forgiven’ – because I now know that day will most likely never come.  I can no longer secretly hope they get what’s coming to them – hoping they are miserable in their ‘unforgiveness’ – I must let it go.

The only things that matter are these:

1. Know that God has forgiven me

2. Know that I have forgiven others

3. Know that I have forgiven myself.

Anything else is gravy, people.  That’s what forgiveness is like – without strings.

Yeah I’m not there yet – working on it.

God Bless

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