Saturday, November 28, 2015

Beauty and destruction

The weather in Oklahoma is something of a phenomenon.  We had 60+ degrees this week, and woke up to ice coating absolutely everything today.  I realize that ice causes things like downed power lines, and limbs from old trees to be separated from their trunks. And all of that makes me sad.  But the beauty of it is mesmerizing.  And when my kids wanted to go outside and play in it, I didn't feel like I could deny them the fun.  I loathe the fact that my house has no real trees on the property.  Today would be the only day I'm glad I didn't after I saw car windows broken, streets blocked, and curb appeal changed by downed branches.  But I still couldn't get past the beauty.

I know, not the best parenting move allowing them on the trampoline.....

The beauty....

I hope your warm and cozy tonight.  I hope your favorite old tree withstood the weight of the ice.  I hope you took a moment to just stare at the beauty and you thanked God for the amazingness.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Homemade Pie Crusts - I dare you

Thanksgiving = pies.  And all pies are not created equal.  I'll admit I was scared of the homemade pie crust.  It's daunting.  But once I got it - there is no going back.  And I want you to know you can do it too!!!  So for those who have procrastinated and are supposed to take pie to Thanksgiving tomorrow, I dare you to try it yourself!  You'll be glad you did.  Because homemade everything is always better.

The easiest and most foolproof pie crust is right here, by my imaginary BFF Ree, The Pioneer Woman.  Here are some tips that will help make your pie crust making much smoother.

  • Use ice cold water.  I mean put ice in the water so it is as cold as it can be.
  • The less you work the dough, the lighter and fluffier it is.  If you roll it out over and over, you will have one very hard pie crust
  • The best pumpkin pie recipe is on the back of the pumpkin can.  No lie.
  • If you're rolling out your crust on some sort of mat, place your pie plate upside down on top of your dough, slide your hand underneath the mat, and quickly flip over.
  • The prettiest pie crusts are the most imperfect looking ones.
On a personal note - my pecan pie recipe is one my Great Grandmother O'Hara used.  Nothing is more nostalgic than this right here - the recipe written in her handwriting, with a note from my mom on the bottom.   Knowing this has been made for 4 generations makes it even more special and that right there makes my pecan pie taste even better.  If you don't have anything like this, feel free to adopt mine!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Move over Martha. (And I'm not talking Stewart this time)

I just finished a couple of marathon weeks.  And they weren't the kind of marathons where you strap on your favorite Hoka running shoes and hit the pavement for miles and miles.  It was the life/work marathon.  I'm sure you're familiar with it. Where we have commitments 6 out of the 7 days and evenings.  Where children and adults alike are shuttled to school, work, their activities, and home again to lay their weary heads on their pillows only to get up and do it again.  Its a pace that requires organization and stamina.  And it's a pace that, if kept for long periods of time, can bring depletion and exhaustion.

I scored 2 hours to myself today, in the quiet of my own home.  This is a rarity.  Especially after the last couple of weeks I've had.  I found myself scurrying around the house that had been quite neglected.  Trying to do the things that had been left to the bottom of the priority list.  And then I saw the sun coming though the window on one of the chairs in the living room.  And I just had to sit.  I reached for my Bible, which has also been pushed to the bottom of that priority list and I read this.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!" " Martha, Martha", the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about may things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her".  Luke 10:38-42

You can probably make the parallel for yourself right here.  I am Martha in so many ways.  I get so stuck on the doing.  It becomes my mission and focus. I don't make the choice that is better.  I forget that the one thing I need to fuel me on these marathon weeks, slips to the bottom of the priority list.

The holidays are coming.  I'm going to be doing a lot of preparations that come along with them.  Because I'm Martha like that. But I'm also going to do something else.  I'm going to post the verses above on my bathroom mirror to keep in the forefront of my mind that I need to choose what is better and won't be taken away from me before I dive in and get lost in the busyness.   I challenge you to do the same.  Who's with me?