Sunday, March 23, 2008

Celebrate Easter EVERY Sunday!

The writer Anne Lamott says that her two favorite prayers are "Help me, help me, help me!" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Today is a day for "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Thank you, Father!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

HOPPY Saturday!

I cried.

Hope your Easter will be wonderful as my sweet Nanny and my feisty Grandma and all other little old ladies who read their Bibles every day and love everyone, even would-be robbers...

"If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins..."

Friday, March 21, 2008

All Things That Are Good Friday

May God bless your Good Friday with wonderful surprises and simple joys...

Here's some personal Good Friday good news:

*No flat tire today! (Unlike yesterday, my day did NOT start with a screw in my tire, waiting for Triple A to send O'Bar Towing Company, and the Shell station on Treadaway.)

*When I walked into yoga class today (on time, properly attired, AND with my own mat), the instructor cried out, "It's an Easter miracle!" (Haven't been to yoga in ages, as you can guess...)

*It's GORGEOUS outside. May Bee and I are about to go for a walk/run.

*Tonight is Jason's birthday, and the Bushes have invited me for dinner! FREE FOOD, PEOPLE! To a single gal on a budget, saving for a home and a trip to Germany, this is a Big Deal.

*I ran into Tabby's dad at HEB yesterday, and he offered me an English movie from their vast video library. FREE VIDEO, PEOPLE! To a single gal on a budget, know.

*I tried a new recipe today, and everybody loved it. It's below, in case you also have a can of pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving in your cabinet.

UPDATE: The walk was spectacular; today may have been the prettiest day of 2008 so far! Molly came along and was the Boss of the Walk, picking which way we'd go anytime we hit an intersection. The temperature was perfect, May Bee did a (fairly) good job at heeling, the breeze kept us cool, we saw a duck and a turtle on the nearby pond, and we were chased by either The World's Dumbest Chihuahua or The World's Bravest Chihuahua. Every time he'd lunge at us or get too close, May Bee would turn around like Clint Eastwood and give it the ol' skunk eye. May Bee never even barked once, so comical was the Street Fight Challenge.

(Oh, we were chased by the duck, too, but we were actually afraid of it and ran.)

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

2 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. Splenda for Baking (or 2 C. sugar)
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 C. Egg Beaters (or 2 eggs)
1 C. pumpkin
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 C. chopped apple

Streusel topping:
1/4 C. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cold butter

Stir dry ingredients together; set aside. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin and oil; add dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened. Stir in apples. Use the empty dry ingredients bowl to make the streusel topping. Fill prepared muffin tins 2/3 full and sprinkle with streusel. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.

Makes twelve "regulation-size" muffins and one pan of twelve mini-muffins.

Serve with coffee (morning) or decaf coffee (evening) or decaf coffee with a shot of Bailey's (winter evening)!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here's a quote from Irish author Frank McCourt: "Pen and paper: That's what I loved. You make little marks on paper, and if you make enough of them, you have a story, and isn't that pure magic?"

Embrace your inner IRISH(WO)MAN today!

P.S. (Kirsten and I wore matching "Got Green?" t-shirts and "Happy St. Patrick's Day" buttons today on our quest to the Archer City bookstores. Dan joked, "Did people know you two were together?" when he got a load of our matching outfits...but laugh all you want, Scoffers of the World, because our cute holiday-themed shirts may have been the reason we scored two free chocolate cupcakes, complete with green sprinkles and plastic shamrock decorations, from the folks at the local diner!) ERIN GO BRAGH!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"I've Been Tagged...and Now YOU Have Been Tagged, Too!"

Okay, my dearest childhood friend Melanie has issued a challenge. And it's a book challenge so you know I'm gonna' jump on this one!

The Rules:

~Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
~Open the book to p. 123 and find the 5th sentence.
~Post the next 4 sentences.
~ Tag 5 people

Argh! Just inches away from my laptop were Prayer's Apprentice, Day-By-Day with Billy Graham, Mocha with Max by Max Lucado, Holes, Le Cordon Bleu's Soups , Relationship Rescue, Life's Little Instruction Book, and Our Lady of Weight Loss...but the CLOSEST book to the computer, much to my chagrin, was The Murder of Bindy McKenzie, a book I brought home to read to be sure it was middle school appropriate.

Sentences 6-9 on p. 123 are:

"Bindy," she said. "When are you going to learn to drive?"
Beside me, Uncle Jake burped.
When he burps, he twists his mouth to the side and blows the burp out slowly, like cigarette smoke.

(Still no idea if this book is appropriate for our campus, but at least I've cracked open the cover!)

OK, now that you've read this, it is YOUR turn! :) Let's see what you come up with ..... leave a comment so I know you are accepting the tag challenge and I'll come read yours!! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, he's rollin' over. Have no doubt.

For my brother, who only recently discovered the wonder of the Electric Light Orchestra... their version of "Roll Over, Beethoven."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Too PROUD to be wordless!

Last night, Bethany was chosen to be a delegate at her caucus!

(I have no idea what that means. Newscasters keep trying to explain the "Texas Two-Step" process in which South Texas votes for Hillary don't count as much as votes for Obama from urban centers like Houston and Dallas--something to do with how those precincts voted in the last Democratic primary--but this is WAY over my head. Apparently, my brain was built for Whitman and Coleridge and Zusak...NOT politics or taxes or mortgage interest or deductibles. Ick.)

So, anyway, on the nine-week anniversary of becoming a vegetarian, Bethany also became a delegate for Obama. Falisha, the other vegetarian in the family, just attended an exciting rally for Obama in Dallas (she thoughtfully invited me, and if we lived closer, I would have gone!) , and her friends surprised her with a BARACK-ON! t-shirt she now sports proudly.

Another reason I'm so proud? They're proud of me for sticking to my guns and voting for Huckabee.

Bustin' my buttons,

P.S. I'm also too MAD to be wordless. Did you know that Abilene moved the Social Security office to the edge of town? Oh, and that gas is now over $3.00 a gallon so it costs a pretty penny to get there?

And, here's the kicker, the Social Security office hours are from 9:00 to 4:00!!!! Did you know this? The man who hit the locked front doors ahead of me came all the way from Albany, poor guy. I was a little mad, but he was furious!! (Seriously, though! An important government office closes at 4:00? I'm at work for more than an hour before they open...and still at work when they close?) Are they staffed by French dukes? Do they get two-hour lunch breaks? Are there harlots and free massages in the staff lounge? Grrr...

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, TEXAS!

Raise your glass at 3:00 (Central Time, of course, as God intended) to toast the health and wealth of the only state in the nation which used to be its own country...the mighty Republic of Texas! Included in that toast will be reverent honor to the memory of those brave delegates who gathered at Washington-on-the-Brazos and risked their own lives to declare their liberty.

For more information on today's celebration in San Antonio, go here. And to read the names of the brave men we honor today, be sure to look here.

Happy Birthday, Texas! We don't have words for how much we love you. And for my parents, who just bought ANOTHER Honda Goldwing, this is for you:

Imagine how much more riding you could do down here where the weather is beautiful and the roads go on forever...