Odds and Ends. And then more Odds.

One of my favorite blogging friends said this week that, while she doesn't believe in karma, it would explain some of the ridiculous things that happen to her.

I don't believe in karma either, but I certainly see a lot of ying-yang in my life.

For example: Remember Monday, when I was only a spring garden cake away from Martha Stewart-like productivity?

That was the ying.

Yesterday was the yang.

I had next to nothing on my precious To-Do List yesterday. (Side note, but I find it impossible to use the word precious anymore without hearing Gollum in my head. "My precioussss!" And indeed, my To-Do List fits that definition of the word in every way. I'm lost without my list. A little too lost, frankly.)

Anyway. Where was I? Oh yes. In the middle of nothing.

The only thing I really wanted to accomplish yesterday was the writing of a post for this blog.

Yet because yesterday was the yang to Monday's ying, I couldn't get five minutes alone to save my ever exasperated life. The baby napped for the grand total of one hour. I spent that hour fixing lunch for Connor and Natalie. And the rest of the day was a blur of baby entertainment. Teyla has reached the age where her curiosity far out-paces her physical ability to satisfy said curiosity. She has the attention span of a young Elizabeth Taylor. She is quickly bored with her old toys, yet her new toys aren't complex enough to hold her concentration for long. Worse of all, we won't give her any real food, which frustrates her to no end.

Thus, when Teyla finally fell asleep for the night around 10:00 PM, I was too wiped out to do anything but sit on the couch and eat oatmeal M&M cookies in peace.

For what it's worth, here's what I wanted to say yesterday.

1. Both Megan at Fried Okra and Jen at A Latte Talk had reader-participation posts about berries this week. (The links will take you to their berry wonderful posts. Snort.)

I totally wanted to play, because I love summer berries more than a grizzly bear fresh out of hibernation. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my favorite treatment for summer berries is to bake them in a pie or pour them over some shortcake, and neither of those applications is all that creative. Yummy -- yes. Original -- no.

Instead, I'm going to send you over to my favorite food blogger -- Susan at Food Blogga. She posted a recipe yesterday designed to make use of the strawberries currently in season. Her unexpected twist -- pair the strawberries with mango to make a savory salsa for pork tenderloin. Amazing! The picture alone made me drool. This is definitely one I'm going to try. I urge you to do the same. Susan's recipes are always outstanding.

2. Both Leighton at My Best Invest and Missy at It's Almost Naptime tagged me for the Six Word Memoir meme. (Missy also tagged me with the All About Your Man meme, but I'm holding that one over Corey's head for a rainy day.)

The rules of the Six Word Memoir meme are as follows:
- Write your own six-word memoir.
- Link to the person who tagged you and to the original post.
- Tag 5 more people.

I've been thinking about this one for a while, and of course, I came up with all kinds of sarcastic offerings, such as "Never Fit Back Into Pre-Baby Clothes" or "She Died While Saying, 'Dude, Seriously!'"

But I'm going to settle on something a little weightier. "She Believed God And Loved Well." If my friends and family can say that about me, I will consider my life well spent.

And I'm going to tag ... well, no one. Because I hate tagging people with a meme that they've already done, and since Teyla will be waking up from her nap any minute now, I don't have time to research who's done what. So if you want to play, consider yourself tagged. If not, we'll move along guilt-free.

3. One of my new blogging friends, Steph at Adventures in Babywearing, tagged me with book meme. (There's also a lingering sensation in the back of my brain that someone else tagged me for this meme, but I can't figure out who it was for the life of me. So if that was you, my apologies.)

The directions are: Pick up the nearest book. Open to page 123. Find the fifth sentence. Post the next three sentences below.

The book that's next to me right now is the book I've been devouring for the last two weeks -- "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" by Joanna Weaver. It's a fairly new book, first published in 2000, but it has the feel of a classic already. (In fact, it's just been re-released in gift edition. The cover pictured to the right is the new design.) I think that's because it resonates with every woman, no matter her circumstances, temperament or personality. We all struggle to balance our driven-by-achievement Martha with our longing-to-worship Mary. Joanna does a beautiful job of exploring the nuances of these sweet sisters and -- more importantly -- teaching us to incorporate their best qualities into our own lives.

I'll post my three sentences in a minute, but first, let me share with you one story from the book that's made a deep impression. It's a little long, but I think it's worth the kilobytes.
Teri Myers, my pastor's wife from when my family lived in Grants Pass, Oregon ... tells the story of having company over for dinner one night. She'd worked hard all day on a beautiful meal -- four courses and a fancy dessert. It was going to be wonderful. But somewhere around the middle of the afternoon, Teri realized she was hungry.

"I'd been so busy cooking and cleaning," she says, "I had completely missed lunch." But it was only four o'clock and the guests weren't due until six. "I always kept a hidden stash of Snickers bars," she says with a grin. So she grabbed a couple of candy bars and sat down to rest, enjoying her clean living room and beautifully set table.

"It did the trick! My stomach wasn't growling anymore. I was able to take my shower, do my hair, and get dressed with plenty of time to spare."

It wasn't until Teri sat down to dinner that she discovered the problem. "There I was with all that wonderful dinner I'd worked all day to prepare, but my appetite was gone!" The midafternoon snack had taken the edge off her hunger. She ended up picking at her plate as she watched everyone else dig in, enjoying their meal.

"The Lord spoke to me at that moment," Teri says. "He showed me that we often fill our lives with spiritual Snickers bars -- things like friends, books and shopping. They may be good things, completely innocent things -- but not when they take the edge off our hunger for God."
OUCH! But it's a good ouch.

And now, for the three sentences. Hopefully, they'll whet your appetite for even more of this practical, powerful book.
Well, that definitely inspired me.

"Dear Jesus," I prayed the next afternoon as I sat down at the piano, "you know I'm not very good at this piano stuff. Would you do for me what you did for Andre?"

I waited, but nothing happened.
4. I don't think I've pointed this out directly, but one of my favorite new features that debuted with my new design is the "Check it Out" section on the top of the right column. It's my chance to share articles or blog posts that have really grabbed me. They are the stories that I would be most likely to tell a friend if we went to coffee. "I read this really interesting/funny/well-written story online the other day...." So -- check it out!

5. I'm also Twittering. There's a widget on the left-hand column with updates. I resisted joining this movement for a while, but when Queen B joined in, I knew I would have to follow suit.

I'm even thinking about getting my nose pierced.

Not really. But I think the Queen is cool.

6. Finally -- Ahhh! Blessed relief! -- I've read a lot of posts the past few weeks about people preparing for summer travel, and I have to say, I'm somewhat fascinated by the number of bloggers who mentioned they haven't flown in years. YEARS! That shocks me. I was aware that our family flies more than most, but I figured that was part and parcel of having family flung across the U.S. And of course, Corey is a serious business traveler. He is in the elite 5% of Americans who fly more than 10 times each year.

But people who haven't flown in years? Sometimes, since before 9-11? That's amazing to me.

So share your experience: How often do you take to the skies, on average? And why do you think the number is as small or as large as it is?


  1. I hate those days when my yin goes straight up my yang.

  2. The last time I flew was in 1994. We were transferring back from California, and I had 2 little ones. They kept us on the ground for an hour while they fixed an engine. I've had no desire (nor the money) to fly since. My husband has flown on business, however.

    You used 8 words, you know. Isn't that cheating?

  3. That Martha Stewart cake - Oh My Goodness. I would so love to make that, just to accomplish something that tremendous, but then I would never, ever want to eat it. It would have to be sprayed with some kind of shellac and ensconced in a display case for all to see and admire.


  4. Well, if you your theory holds, my many days of scratching hardly anything off my to-do list should be soon be followed by a Martha Stewartish day. Right?

    We fly about twice a year. It has gotten to be less and less since we've had kiddos.

    As a side note, I just read today where US Air is going to start charging for soda, juice, and the like. Fun, huh?

  5. this last week was the first time i had flown since 1999. and i won't mind waiting that long to fly again. it makes me so nervous. i was praying the whole time.

  6. We fly probably once a year. Sadly, this summer we're driving--eighteen long, very long hours to Arkansas.

    Hey, I loved your random post. And that recipe looks yummy!

  7. We sometimes go a year or two without flying but then we fly a lot. And we fly far--across the continents.
    I have begun to hate flying--it's such a hassle and I hate being treated like cattle. What does Corey think of the modern "customer service" aspects of air travel?

  8. Thanks for being a good sport and doing the meme. I like all of the answers you came up with!

    As for flying, in the days before kids, Wife and I flew about twice a year. I flew another two or three times on top of that for business.

    In the four years we've been parents, we've flown twice with the kids and twice without.

  9. OK, you are really not going to believe this, but this spring was the first time I had flown in my life, and I was 37! Reason... absolute, total and complete fear. I finally decided I was sick of missing out on so many opportunities, and that God did not give me a spirit of fear, and faced it. Praise God, I did it without the drugs I assumed I would need, and even enjoyed it.

  10. HA!! I am from southern Oregon (live in North Dakota now...just moved here) and my husband worked in Grants Pass. ;-)

    I haven't flown since 2002. I hate flying. Hate. It. And after 9/11 I really hate it. It took a counselor, some very nice flight attendants, and the thought of seeing my grandma's face at her surprise party to get me through that flight in September of 02. I have no desire to fly again, but I have a feeling I will need to get over that...now that we live so far from family.

  11. I've only flown once in the last 6 years and that was to go on vacation last summer. Family lives within driving distance and we've always vacationed close to home. No longer!

    BTW, I love your "check this out" section in your sidebar. I've found some great stuff through it.

  12. I think the last time I flew was in 2002. My middle son (now) was 4 months old.

    Long story short:
    Bought tickets later than traveling companions.
    I was misinformed and flew on another airline.
    Packed stroller, most diapers and formula into bags that friends took for me on their flight so I could keep up with baby. Thunderstorms blow in.
    Their flight left.
    Mine didn't. Stranded in O'Hare for 12 hours, just me and my baby, no luggage, stroller, baby food or diapers.
    O'Hare doesn't sell baby food or diapers. But I did rent a luggage cart to put baby carrier on!

    I may never fly again after that!

  13. Thanks. I'm really not cool. And I've fallen off the Twittering wagon. I'll get back on.

    I fly as little as possible. I detest the flying.

  14. Wow, I'm surprised that so many people hate flying. We usually fly at least once a year. sometimes more.

    With kids, I'm always nervous about it. But it's always easier than I fear.

  15. Until last year when girl and I flew to Seattle on the about-to-expire frequent flyer miles of my husband, I hadn't flown in 10 years. My husband rarely travels on business. Family is 3 hours away by car. Airline tickets are big bucks.

    Love the Snickers analogy.

    Don't be picking on that sweet baby. In a week or two you'll be sending her to youth camp.

  16. Kel,
    I red that book about 4 years ago. It sounds like you're liking it. I'd love to chat with you about it WHEN I VISIT IN JUST A FEW WEEKS!!!! :o) call me!(how's that for a teaser?!)

  17. I've flown once since 9/11. To China, to adopt our daughter.

    Reason for not flying? 5 kids, no money.

    Says it all.

  18. I have averaged a couple flights per year over the last 5 years. I used to be giddy about flying. I have since learned that the novelty wears off REAL quick! Especially after so many exhausing lay-overs in places like Chicago and Atlanta.

    And connecting flights make for a LONG day. Like when we flew from D.C. to Seattle for our honeymoon. And coming back with that much jet lag was even more fun!

    Living on the East Coast even begins to lose it's charm because I am starting to resent the fact that I am forced to use all my vacation time to travel to visit family. The other option is to actually take a break from work to just relax (an impossible feat when flying anywhere) and forget about family. But I can't do that either. Not very "Mary-like" I'd say!

    It's so hard to be content...

  19. My head is spinning... what a post! Information overload!

    We fly as a family, maybe once or twice a year. It's gotten to be less as the kids have gotten older and we have to pay for their tickets! We travel more than that, but make good use of our minivan (17 long hours to Cali... ugh). I'm not sad about it, because road-tripping is fun and I'm not particularly fond of flying. But it's the easiest way to get to Hawaii, so count me in!

    Also, I LOVE that Mary/Martha book. I knew which story you'd share before I read the first word. I was thrilled to read the story again, such a great reminder!

  20. Not one to usually comment, but realized I was not the norm when it comes to flying after reading other's comments. I don't think I fly that often, but it is all relative. I was comparing myself to my dad and my brother who fly twice a week for work.

    I fly about once a month, but it seems like more lately. Usually it is for work, but often I coordinate a fun trip in conjunction with the work trip. Being single with no children is probably a contributing factor :)

    BTW - just booked my flight for a trip to the cities in August for work if you are around one night.

    Have a fabulous week.

  21. I'm like you, I had no idea most people flew so little. The airports always feel so busy...

    We fly quite a bit due to all our generous out-of-town family who fly us everywhere. We generally take to the skies 4 or 5 times a year with the kids. The novelty of flying has certainly worn off, but I love first entering an airport and getting the feeling that it is possible to go anywhere.

  22. I can't get past the first sentence of this post because it makes me feel so very special. :))

    Hope you are having a great Family Camp week. I'm totally a 'i'll do this to spite Luke' kind of wife, too.

    But then I know myself well enough to admit I'd probably sneak onlinie and not tell him..lol


    Love ya!


  23. really? only 5% of Americans fly more than 10 times a year? I guess because of the kind of business that my husband and father are in I figure everyone flies all the time. And I'm always surprised by the number of people that have never flown overseas. We just moved to California from New Zealand and in the ten years that I've been away from America, I've flown A LOT. I kinda miss it now.