March 30, 2009

My Husband's Girlfriend

I've heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger ask ladies that call in to her radio talk show this excellent question.

"Are you your husband's girlfriend?"

I sincerely appreciate what she is saying, though at first it catches me off guard--I don't want to think about my husband having a girlfriend. And when I look at the silver streaks in my hair (the natural kind) it's hard to talk to that face in the mirror and say "girlfriend."

But it's true! My personal happiness is not my husband's responsibility, and I need to be reminded of that sometimes. I need to remember that it really is quite nice being his girlfriend and thinking along those lines again. Loving him, listening to him, acknowledging who he is and what is important to him. I should know by now what makes him smile; we've been married 31 years!

This man of mine likes me to bring up his favorite subjects: deer and elk hunting, football scores, pizza toppings. He likes walking in the front door and smelling dinner, or better yet, cookies baking! He may not comment on these things, but he absorbs the pleasure he receives from them. And he knows after all these years that I do these things for him - not necessarily for me.

It's been a bit rough adjusting to cooking just for two, and I haven't been as kind to him as I was when we had a house full. Nowadays I'm reminding myself that God answered a lot of my prayers when I married this man, and looking after just him is an honorable job description indeed!

When my youngest child turns twenty in two months and my children are all adults, they'll just have to deal with the fact their aging father has a girlfriend!



March 26, 2009

Word of the Day: Buttinski

It means: a person given to butting in; a troublesome meddler. Yes, it's in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary that I use for my proofreading and copyediting!

I wonder what my mother would have done if she'd heard me call my little sister a buttinski!

March 20, 2009

The 97¢ Profit

In the garden at sunrise, I shoved my buckets along the dirt path picking every green bean in sight. It was a mad race with time. They were growing like crazy, and would soon be too fat for my liking. And the sun! Not only did direct sunlight annoy me, it slowed me down; and I was on a mission. I was determined to bring in a good harvest and not waste my beans!

Dump the beans in the sink, wash the beans, pick out the best beans, chop the beans, pack the hot jars, pour salted water in the jars, seal the jars, lower them into the boiling pot, screw the lid on the pot, set the timer...

I labored all day long picking, cleaning, chopping, packing, removing, and wiping up the mess. The sun burned hot outside and my face burned in my kitchen. Peanut butter sandwiches for lunch with the kids, and I was back at it.

My satisfaction was real when I surveyed the 24 pints of beans lined up on the counter at the end of my day.

After a simple dinner (who had time to cook?), I made a quick run to the grocery store for milk. Hey, the green beans are on sale! Let's check this out!

All said and done, after a full day of hard labor, I had saved 97¢. My beans are better, I comforted myself... Help me to invest my life and my time wisely, my God.

March 16, 2009

FOR TODAY (March 16, 2009)...
Outside My Window...the fir trees are quietly waving at me, stretching their fingers in the warm sun after the drenching morning rains.
I am thinking...God is allowed to change my schedule!
I am thankful for...deepening friendships: Nina from Junction City, Musonda from Zambia, and Pam and Laurie from Eugene.
From the husband, no daughter to make dinner for tonight, so I think I'll make rice.
I am hair down on my shoulders.
I am creating...more excuses not to be working on the manuscript.
I am change that plan. A good swim work-out will do the trick!
I am reading...too many posts on Facebook.
I am husband and son make it home from Florida tomorrow.
I am hearing...the same songs over and over on Christian radio.
Around the's time to clean the carpet.
One of my favorite things...ten noisy, hungry 4-week-old chicks in my shed. I may have ten too many layers! Maybe I'll sell some when they mature.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I want to proofread 25 pages per day to make my deadline.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...One-week-old chick

March 11, 2009

College or NOT?

Which way to go? Back to college or work on my proofreading/copyediting business?

I received a call from the "Learn and Earn" office at LCC yesterday asking why I hadn't registered for spring term yet. She told me that I was eligible for up to $1400 in work hours to help me pay for school. So, I spent the last 24 hours re-evaluating, weighing, worrying, fussing, vacillating. And yes, praying.

It's very tempting...

After my husband built an all-nighter fire and closed down the stove, we made our way to bed. As I snuggled down and began to contemplate my choices, I just knew.

I didn't "hear the voice of God", I just knew.

My heart is in my home. This spring I am home. I have a garden to plant, chickens to raise, recipes to perfect and a business to build. I have a husband to love, children to encourage, friends to enjoy, and grandchildren to play with. I learned so much during fall term, then took a break winter term; now it's time to work on what I've learned. I will proofread manuscripts and make pies. I will call and email and write and build nesting boxes for my chickens. I will wash my grandson's face and study The Chicago Manual of Style.

It's so nice to be home!

March 10, 2009

How to Start Your Summer Garden

If you've never tried gardening and would like to give it a go, here is a simple step-by-step to getting started!

WEEK 1: Look on the back of your seed packet for planting season suggestions. Plan on allowing 4-6 weeks for the plants to grow indoors before placing them outside in your garden.An inexpensive planting mix can be bought at Walmart for around $3. I like to start my plants in my ice-cube trays to see how well they germinate. Stir water into the mix and fill the trays loosely. Use a toothpick or small stick to make a shallow hole to put 2-3 seeds in and cover with a thin layer of the mix. If you like, you can make little flags with toothpicks and sticky notes so that you don't forget which seeds are which! Wait several days to water again so that you don't drown the seeds. Don't let the soil become bone dry, but since the ice-cube trays are quite shallow you may need to water every other day.

WEEK 2-3: You should see little sprouts come up after the first week. If not, you may need to scrape away a bit of the top layer of soil.

WEEK 3-4: Ice cube trays aren't roomy enough for very long! When things are getting crowded you need to thin out the weaker or smaller sprouts from the healthier ones, then transplant them into bigger pots. My husband brought home some used pots from a landscape business, but before they arrived I planted my zucchini starts in plastic cups. I knew they would go crazy, but I didn't expect them to be little giants already! (He thought I may have started my garden too soon - we got some snow this weekend!)

WEEK 5-6: Hopefully you have begun thinking about your garden soil and are getting ready for planting! In my area, this won't be happening for another few weeks. We have heavy muddy clay to work with, so we're going to add a sandy soil mixture and till it into our garden. We also have rabbit and deer issues, along with hungry chickens that will be roaming around in another few months, so we're going to put in some new fencing. If the weather isn't conducive to planting when you'd planned, you may need to transplant the starts again; but let's hope not!