Gratitude Journal

While I try to write in my journal every day, the truth remains that I don’t even write in it every week.  Today I was especially grateful for a plastic canister full of sugar that didn’t break when it crashed onto the floor.  The lid didn’t even come off!  Tiny blessings are sometimes the most profound ones.  I also mentioned that my beautiful daughter helped me make delicious sweet tea.  (I must admit the crashing sugar was entirely my fault.)

2. I have wanted irises the same color of purple that my grandmother (Ma) had since my parents dug up and got rid of Ma’s iris bed when I was a third grader.  I haven’t been able to find them anywhere.  The iris tubers that I’ve found are either too dark or too light or too many colors.   On to the good news.  Remember I was headed to a Cousins Reunion?  My cousin Patti happened to know where some descendants of Ma’s irises were still stubbornly clinging to life.  I am delighted to report that a few of those lovely purple connections to my past are now happily planted in the corner of my yard.  THANK YOU, PATTI!

3.  I am grateful that I got to spend time with my sister Bonnie while she was gracing the state of Oklahoma with her inimitable presence.  For that I must thank my brother Don who loaned her a vehicle.  For that I must thank my friend Rodney for loaning Don a vehicle so Don could loan his to Bonnie.  Way to go Rodney!  Reminds me of the poem, For the Want of a Horseshoe Nail.

4. For the want of a nail the shoe was lost.

for the want of a shoe, the horse was lost.

for the want of a horse, the rider was lost

for the want of a rider, the message was lost.

For the want of he message the battle was lost

for the want of the battle the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

I’m grateful for poems no one author can claim.  This poem is one example of that.  Sundry variations spring from every culture and people.



This, too, shall pass.

I confess I was too fragile to post this in September when I wrote it.  I am stronger today–no guarantee for tomorrow.



So, maybe what you’re going through will pass too quickly and maybe it won’t pass quickly enough.  I know when I’m stuck in an uncomfortable place in my life, it feels like it will never pass.  I know those feelings are more intense for middle school kids.  They think every awful thing will be awful forever.

I heard a preacher on the radio this week admit to taking scripture out of context.  He said, “It came to pass. . .  It didn’t come to stay, it came to go.”  Just remember, it doesn’t matter how wonderful it is, or how awful it is.  It will pass.  Enjoy the good, endure the bad.  Pray for your friends.  Pray twice as hard for your enemies.  They need it.

Today was my Aunt Mary’s funeral.  She had written a note to one of her grandkids not long ago.  She said something like, “Embrace life.  It is amazing when you’ve reached the end of a long and wonderful life how very quick it was.

She was one of those people who always tried to be tactful and kind and gracious.  When that proved to be impossible, she was at least honest if not as gentle as she’d have preferred.

Let us all aim for that.


Cousins Reunion

I am looking forward to a reunion with my cousins.  I will be taking Mom with me.  At least one of my siblings will be there.  Two or three of my children will be there.  Lots of laughter!  I come from a very witty family.  We frequently put each others’ feet in their mouths for them.

Mom has been at my house for two weeks.  I’m still hearing, “What possessed you to get your hair cut like that!”

Of course, there are benefits.  If I ask her what she wants for lunch, I know the answer will be, “Whatever.”  Which means grilled or baked chicken, green beans and potatoes.

I think I’ll bake bread to take to the reunion.  Everyone loves it.  I got the recipe from Buddy Probst who used to own/run the Old Weigh Station Café and Sitka Social Club in Sitka, Kansas.  When I got the recipe it called for 25 pounds of flour.  I’ve had to play with the math to get a reasonable amount of bread.  It is the best and easiest bread I’ve ever made.  (No kneading!  No kidding!)

Buddy Bread

2 pks dry yeast

2 1/2 cups of warm water (100-115 degrees Fahrenheit)

1/2 c oil

3/4 c sugar.  I usually add more like 1 1/4 cups.

2 eggs

2 1/2 teaspoon salt

8 – 8 1/2 cups flour.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  Place in covered bowl in the fridge until thoroughly chilled.  Overnight or for a day or two (or a week) is fine.  When ready to use the bread dough, punch it down and use as much as needed.  Store the rest in the fridge for another day.

Place shaped dough in greased pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled.

Bake 325-375 until golden brown.

This makes great rolls, cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns (use less sugar), and loaves of bread.   They freeze well after baking.  I haven’t tried freezing the bread dough.

God Bless and good baking.


a work in progress

Aren’t we all works in progress?

This week I am blessed to have my mother with me.  She has said several times, “Well, this isn’t the Thanksgiving we had planned, is it?”

I have to remind her that it is July 4th, Independence day, our country’s birthday.  A few minutes later her mind has returned to November–or sped forward to November.  No one knows which.  But, I am glad she’s here.  I cannot glean from the wisdom of her years.  Alzheimer’s has taken that from us.   Although she does have definite opinions which she does not temper through a filter.  “What possessed you to get your hair cut like that?”

Again, patiently I hope, I explain that my middle school students raised quite a bit of money for the chance to cut my hair.  They raised $253.00 and got to shave my head.  Do I look funny?  I don’t much care if I do.  No matter how the wind blows, my hair stays out of my face.  I can wash my hair, face, neck, and ears with only a drop of shampoo.  I am only mildly concerned that the ‘cowlick’ on my crown will stand proudly when all the rest of my hair decides to lie flat against my scalp.

“This isn’t the Thanksgiving we had planned, is it?”

Well, no.  But for today I am thankful that I still have my mother with me.  I’m grateful that I can fetch and carry for her–her foot is broken.  She believes that the boot/splint causes her foot to hurt.  “No, mama.  The boot helps it heal.  You broke your foot.”

“Well, how did I do that?  I sure didn’t expect to spend Thanksgiving in a cast.”

I’m sure you didn’t, mama, but we are all thankful that it was your foot and not your head.”

“Well, I guess that’s right.”