November 12, 2008

Upon Eating an Avocado

I am trying to eat healthier. But half of a century of good ol' comfort foods are hard to give up. I made myself eat an avocado sandwich today. Whoever said avocados taste good have obviously never eaten anything better. It doesn't help that I have never liked guacamole, but after hearing all the health benefits of the avocado, I bought one. Actually, I had bought one before, but I took the advice of the clerk at the grocery store and let it get too ripe before I ate it and it was nothing but mush. This time I picked a very firm one. It was still a bit slimy where I cut the outer peel off, but it was firm enough to cut into slices.

Maybe I shouldn't have put mayonnaise on the bread, or maybe I should have eaten a bite of something I really hated before I bit into this sandwich. After the first bite, I thought I might improve the taste by putting some tomato slices on it, but I think I just wasted the tomato. If you haven't tasted one, avocado really doesn't have much of a taste at all, kind of like boiled squash. I don't like boiled squash either.

Looking at the avocado made me wonder about the first person who tasted an avocado. I always think that when I try something new, like "what would have made someone try a kiwi?" Did they think under that hairy peel there would be something good? Unlike the avocado, the kiwi was a good pick. But I do wonder about the first person who ate an avocado. Did they pick it from the tree and try to bite through the shell-like peel? Were they starving, desperate, and delirious and anything would have tasted good? Was it a person with no taste buds? Was it someone so twisted they preferred it over the fruit of the cherry tree? Or after tasting the mushy pulp did they think it was so bad they thought they would mash it up and serve it with corn chips to see how many of their friends would actually eat it? Seriously, have you looked at the stuff growing in the back of your refrigerator, or the stuff your cat threw up on the rug? It looks just like guacamole. And then the ultimate question, why are people still eating this thing?

Until next time, may you have blessings and good food,
Marti

November 11, 2008

A Good Birthday

Even though Hubby was on a hunting trip, he still managed to arrange a birthday dinner party for me. Both girls drove up and spent the afternoon with me and then we all went out to dinner. The only sad part about the day was saying goodbye to them.

Until next time, may you have blessings and children's hugs,
Marti

November 10, 2008

We Said Goodby To Our Best Friend Today

(This is Roxie as a puppy with her mother, Mandy.)

I am so happy Roxie had a good day yesterday, because today was bad. We think she had a couple of strokes before Hubby could get her to the vet's office. The vet and his staff were so kind to Hubby, and the vet teared up with Hubby as they said their last goodbyes.

Until next time, may you have blessings and furry friends,
Marti

November 08, 2008

I'm Already Dreading the Holidays

Thursday, Hubby told me his parents were coming for Thanksgiving; he and his brother had discussed it with their parents when they went elk hunting last month. As I looked around my gutted dining room and the debris dump at the end of the kitchen, I thought about grabbing the nearest gallon of paint and throwing it at him. Then he said his parents said they thought they could manage the drive to Denton (where his brother lives). I breathed a sigh of relief and Hubby walked off, not knowing how close he had come to having his head splattered with paint.

Later that night, I called my in-laws to thank them for the birthday present I had gotten in the mail. After a bit of small talk I told Mother-in-law that Hubby told me they were coming to Brother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving and found out they were planning on coming to stay with us too. I told her our house wasn't fit for company, with the work being done in the living dining room, window boarded up, gaping hole in the wall to the kitchen, and all the stuff piled into the living room. Oh that's ok, she said, we don't mind. But we only have two chairs to sit in and no table right now, plus Brownie took one of the beds when she moved into her apartment so we don't even have enough beds. That's ok, she repeated.

My mother-in-law is a kind, loving woman but she does get her feelings hurt easily so I couldn't just say I didn't want them to come. It's not that I don't want to see them, it's just hard for me to want to be here, I certainly don't want to entertain right now. I'm not even going to try to cook a full meal that we all have to stand up to eat. So I called my mother who lives in the same town as my in-laws. Brownie had already told her the other grandparents were coming, and mom was wondering why we hadn't invited her, but bless her heart, she wasn't mad about it. Then I told her I had just learned of it myself and the reasons I didn't really want company right now. She was relieved because she couldn't find anyone to board her dog, but didn't have any advice how to get the in-laws to change their mind about coming.

When I confronted Hubby with inviting his parents here for Thanksgiving, he said he didn't really invite them, they just said they wanted to come, and besides he thought we could get the work finished by Thanksgiving. This was Friday before he left for a weekend of deer hunting. I don't know when he expects to get this done when he is too tired to do anything on weekdays after work and then goes off hunting for the weekend.

Today I called my sister-in-law and found that she doesn't want them to come either. She is in the middle of remodeling her bedroom, scraping that popcorn junk off the ceiling, and making comforters and curtains, and she doesn't have enough beds either unless someone sleeps on the living room sofa bed. Her daughter and son-in-law are coming and bringing their two hyperactive Alaskan huskies. My sister-in-law said that when those two dogs get together with her German shorthair, they jump all over the furniture and everyone in the room. Fun.

So now I have to lower the boom on Hubby to uninvite his parents without hurting their feelings. We might be able to get this house presentable by Christmas, but not in three short weeks. Wish me luck.

Until next time, may you have blessings and help for the holidays,
Marti

P.S.
Thanks for the prayers and well wishes everyone. Hubby called his brother and parents and all agreed that Thanksgiving wasn't going to work out. Unfortunately, his parents' reason is because my mother-in-law isn't feeling well. I hope it's just a simple matter of just getting her blood pressure medication adjusted.

November 07, 2008

Just a Quick Update on Roxie

Because one cyst has opened and she won't leave it alone, we took her to the vet today, fully expecting to be told this was the end. But the vet said she wasn't showing signs of pain and we could expect her to have two more weeks of quality life. So we brought her home to spoil rotten for as long as we can. She even got to eat a little chocolate flavored dog treat on the way home. Still, it's hard to think that now we are waiting for the end.

Until next time, may you have blessings and chocolate,
Marti

My ordindary life, Gordon Setter

November 05, 2008

Hall Bathroom Update

I still like the tile around our bathtub, but deeply regret the blue countertop which was trendy when we put it in twelve years ago. I think the blue severely limits my color choices and I'm tired of blue, blue, blue with white walls. But I've got a plan to work in a little yellow with the blue to brighten it up a bit. I promised myself I would never put up wallpaper again; actually, I promised myself I would never remove wallpaper again. There just isn't enough wine for that.

Hubby replaced the floor tile, which had been a small blue and white hexagon.  The new tile is larger, not as busy, and easier to clean.  Then he removed the mirror so I could paint.




I put yellow paint on the wall above the counter and painted stripes on the full wall, so I have the look of wallpaper without the hassle.   I even found some pictures with the same colors.



The light fixture and towel bars were chrome with brass trim, also trendy when we first installed them, but not so much now. Plus, the thin brass plating was beginning to discolor and wear through.  Since chrome and nickel is a popular combination, I bought new nickel door pulls and painted the brass part of the light fixture and towel bars with nickel spray paint.



And done!




Last step: refinish the yellowing oak cabinets. Stay tuned for the "after" photo.

Until next time, may you have blessings and perseverance,
Marti

November 04, 2008

My Dog Can Tell Time

7:00 is dinner time and we'd better not forget it. But this time change has really messed her up. She starts getting excited about 5:45 and is absolutely frantic by 6:15. She starts with "the dance" which kind of like running in place, except she doesn't stay in one place and will eventually dance off the edge of the deck if we are outside at that time. (Don't worry, it's only a six inch drop.) And if we are inside and don't feed her when she thinks it is time, she will come over and "talk" to us with a series of "roh, roh, rohs, and the longer we wait, the more insistent she will talk and earnestly look at us. If we ignore her and continue typing on the computer or watching tv, she will come over and nudge our hand with her cold, wet nose, then go around to the other hand and do the same.

Finally we say the magic words: "It's 7:00," and she rushes to her bowl and waits for food. Her typical food is Beneful Healthy Weight dog food. She doesn't really like this dog food so we put half of a package of Moist and Meaty Burger with Cheddar Cheese on top of the other dog food. She LOVES that dog food and will eat it and then continue eating the healthy dog food. The Hubster likes to tease her by putting the healthy dog food in her bowl and then walking away. Roxie sniffs the food, sniffs her water bowl, and then walks over to the drawer where we keep the Moist and Meaty, and she stands there until he gives in and gets that dog food out. When she hears the crinkling of the package being opened, she starts dancing her way back to the food bowl.

Because of Roxie, 5:00 is now called 7:00 at our house. But Roxie didn't like 7:00 tonight because I bought chicken flavored Moist and Meaty and she didn't want to eat it. She likes it even less than the Beneful Healthy Weight dog food, and carefully ate the Beneful out from under it, or as much as she could eat without touching the chicken M&M. So after an an evening meeting, we stopped to get her Burger and Cheese M&M and then raked off the chicken stuff so she could have her dinner.

I tell ya, the things we do for our furry children.

Until next time, may you have blessings and a furry head on your knee,
Marti

Empty Nest, What's That?

My eldest little darling called today to ask if she could move back home for a semester so she could save money on rent. Sigh. Of course she can move back home, but I was just beginning to enjoy my freedom.

Until next time, may you have blessings and extra room,
Marti

November 03, 2008

Yep, Just About Sums It Up



Until next time, may you have blessings and voter registration,
Marti

Bad News


Roxie's tumors are multiplying. Just the thought of the decision we have coming makes me cry. For those who have forgotten, Roxie is our Gordon Setter.

Until next time, may you have blessings and doggy kisses,
Marti

November 02, 2008

Stand Up, Sit Down, Clap, Clap, Clap!

We visited a new church this morning, a Southern Baptist Church. It's been a long time since we've attended a Baptist Church, so I don't know if this is normal or not. When we walked in, a youth group dressed in black was before the congregation. There was a song playing and the group was doing sign language to the words of the song, and they were doing aerobics with it. It was either a really long song or they had it on a loop so it would play over again until everyone was seated. When we first got there, the young people were fairly energetic, but they looked ready to drop long before the music ended, some of them were still jumping, but most just bending their knees so it looked like they were jumping. It reminded me of Jr. High calisthenics where we would jump and clap our hands over our hands for the first several jumping-jacks, but barely hopping and raising our hands for the 50th one.

Then the part I remembered about big Baptist churches. They all follow a similar routine. The song leader/choir director asks the congregation to stand to sing a song. Then sit while the choir sings a song by themselves. Then stand for the next song or two. Then sit while someone sings a solo. Then stand for a scripture reading and prayer. Then sit for the next song. And that reminds me of a game we played when we were at camp, something that involved stand up, sit down, clap, clap, clap!

I don't think this is the church for us, and not because of the aerobics or all the standing and sitting. The pastor seemed to be reading the sermon for the most part. We have been hungering for the Word too long to be fed by someone who is just going through the motions. He also seemed to give opposing opinions in his sermon. I remembered reading Debi's blog Life the Journey about a pastor-in-a-box who used internet sermons, so I looked up the key verse online and found that he got the gist of his sermon at sermoncentral.com, which explained why it seemed like he was reading an unfamiliar paper; in essence, he was. He quoted parts of it word for word. The topic was Saul and the Witch of Endor. Theologians have had differing opinions about the text for hundreds of years, and this preacher presented the answer in two simple sentences? I guess it's common to buy or use pre-written sermons these days, and he didn't use ALL of it, just parts of it. Still, I'm disappointed.

And he did the modern parable thing which was also one of the few times he showed any emotion during the sermon. He told a story of a young man who was a diver on the swim team and who just so happened to have a key to the pool. Late one night when he couldn't sleep he went to the pool; it was such a bright moonlit night that he didn't have to turn the lights on. He was going to do a back flip into the pool and when he raised his hands he saw his shadow on the wall, and it was the shadow of the cross. He went down to his knees and prayed for salvation and just then someone came into the pool area, turned the lights on and revealed that the pool was empty and his prayer had saved him from death. Sound familiar? It did to me; I think I got it a few hundred times in emails. Check it out on snopes.com. At least he didn't tell it as if he personally knew the young man.

Another thing, and I'm probably just being picky, is that no one talked to us until the song leader told the congregation to take a moment to "greet your neighbors", and then they just said hello, shook our hands and moved on to the next person. I don't want people to come shake my hand because they've been told to do it, I want people to welcome me because they want to. When we first got into the auditorium, there were only scattered seats and a church member with a name tag asked some people to move down the row and make room for us. Hubby motioned me to go in first and I sat next to a man who never looked at me until he shook my hand, and he never looked at me again. At the end of the service, they did that thing where they played a song and asked everyone to join hands, and I had to hold that man's hand. I guess I didn't have to, but I didn't want to be rude. Anyway, he didn't wait until the song ended to free his hand and turn his back on me, which is a bit hard to do when you are standing next to someone.

I miss our old church where people didn't have to be told to be friendly, and the pastor preached from his heart. I left this church feeling sad, lonely, and with deep, nagging, spiritual questions.

Until next time, may you have blessings and fellowship,
Marti