My friend does these occasionally on her own blog using the same list each time. I always enjoy reading them.
Outside my window…rain, sleet, and turning to snow! Expecting about six inches of accumulation for our area tonight and tomorrow.
I am learning…that worry really does rob us of present joys.
I am thankful…for our wood stove, extra snuggles with the kiddos, for a life of unfathomable blessings.
In the kitchen…mini chocolate chip muffins from breakfast and our favorite chili in the crockpot for this cold snowy evening (recipe to come).
I am wondering…if the children’s school will release early today due to increasing inclement weather and declining road conditions.
I am listening…to Curious George.
I am remembering…several children and teenagers who are celebrating heavenly birthdays today.
I am going…to work from home today.
I am trying…to simplify my color-coded calendar. Too many colors means I’ve said yes to too many things. Slowly but surely I am successfully scaling back to focus on my most important priorities.
I am reading…”Black Milk: On the Conflicting Demands of Writing, Creativity, and Motherhood,” by Elif Shafak.
I am hoping…that our toddler will soon be fully potty-trained. So ready to move past this phase of parenting, but I’ll always remember how it felt when our first born died and I wanted nothing more than to change messy diapers and be the sleep-deprived parents we have since been so blessed to be.
I am looking forward to…snow, even in spring. We don’t get much snow around here and snow days are my favorites. I usually bake cinnamon rolls or doughnuts and share them with neighbors or those out plowing the streets and other community workers.
I am realizing…that our children are growing into little adults right before my very eyes. Be still, my heart.
Around the house…two dogs and two cats sleeping and children’s books scattered everywhere.
I am enjoying…our new CD by The High Kings, one of our favorite music groups from Ireland. I took our 9 and 6 year olds to see them in concert Saturday evening, St. Patrick’s Day. It was our children’s first concert and we got to meet the group. Amazing!
A kid quote…after gloomily watching a few minutes of a black and white Andy Griffith our free-spirited vibrant 6-year-old said, “Mommy, I like to see the colors of life. Gray things make me sad!” I laughed and told her she could change it to something she wanted. Immediately our 2 year old started asking to watch “Barney,” and she wasn’t talking about the big purple dinosaur. We love color. We love Barney Fife.
A few of my favorite things…dirt roads, mountains, and campfires.
A few plans for the rest of the week…much of what I had planned will depend on how much snow we get and how quickly it melts. I had planned to attend a funeral tomorrow, but if our children are out of school and the weather is bad I will regrettably not attend. I have much to do for our non-profit, some of which I can do from home, and I plan to do some writing, cooking, and baking and soak up whatever time I get with my husband and children. All of these pretty much sum up my life.
A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us just steamroll over to try to find those extraordinary moments. Brene Brown
My mom, with her sister/brother quartet, used to sing this poem in slow doleful harmony. A young girl on her lap, I would shiver at the very thought of Robert’s words as mom softly crooned in her low alto. I hum this to myself often, especially when death arrives yet again as it has so suddenly in our tight-knit community this week. It’s a sobering thought.
Just think! some night the stars will gleam
Upon a cold, grey stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
And lo! ’twill be your own.
That night is speeding on to greet
Your epitaphic rhyme.
Your life is but a little beat
Within the heart of Time.
A little gain, a little pain,
A laugh, lest you may moan;
A little blame, a little fame,
A star-gleam on a stone.
May the God of all comfort be with those who are facing this reality tonight.
Forgive the unoriginal title.
I made white pizza for supper. (Vegetarian recipe, but could add some crumbles of bacon. This recipe is really versatile.)
You should definitely try it! There are multiple steps, but it is still quite simple and oh-so-tasty!
I served it with leftover corn-poblano-potato soup, (vegan recipe) and fresh strawberries we bought from a friend in 4-H.
This blue dish was a gift to me as a young teenager. I know this makes me sound old-fashioned and, well, just old, but when we were young, we always had planning for marriage and family in our forefront. Many gifts I received were given with the idea that one day I would use them in a home of my own. This is one of them. I still treasure this gift, but more so, the friend who gave it to me. I think of her every time I use it.
Here’s what it looks like empty.
May your memories be warm, your dishes filled with goodness, and your friendships sweet.
By Regina Cyzick Harlow
Against my nerves
Rattling my soul
Leaving me in a constant state of angst
Unsettled, unnerved, gloomy
Perhaps a kite
Or harnessed power experiment
Might lift my spirit
I’m drinking coffee
In my favorite yellow chair
About the wind
Every time I attend funeral services for an Old Order Mennonite family member or friend, I wish those “outside” could experience their death rituals, rich with culture, community, and faith. The horse-drawn hearse and the four-part-harmony singing make me cry every time.
This week I attended the funeral for my great Aunt Mary. Later that evening, I wrote this poem about the graveside portion of the service.
Regina Cyzick Harlow
From Aunt Mary Beery’s funeral
Dirt onto the coffin
Filling the grave
Formed from dust
To dust returning
Discretely wiping tears
Faint florals blend
And moth balls
Wafting on the breeze
Inhaling the promise
Of Living Hope
For those unfamiliar with Old Order Mennonites, they are often confused with Amish because they drive horse and buggy, dress plainly, and live simple agrarian lives. My family and I were raised in the Old Order Mennonite faith, and while I had my reasons for leaving as a young adult, I hold many things and people dear from their community.
My friend, Ava, wrote an in-depth article about their death rituals here. She captures the essence of what happens at the time of death through the funeral in vivid beautiful detail.
These two make my world a much happier place. I need happy right now and thought maybe you could use some too.
Yo. That’s good stuff!
What? You’re taking pictures of this?!
Sheesh Mom, stop embarrassing me with all the photos.
Would y’all stop the shenanigans? I’m trying to sleep over here!
Oh shucks! Now she’s taking my picture too!