Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

365 little days. This year, I am unemployed at Christmastime and New Years. Last year, we were basking in the faithfulness of God and the thought was, who will clean up the mess. This year, there is no less of God's faithfulness, although the rug of expectation has been pulled out. God is no less God, when the arguments change from, who will do the dishes, to who has blessed us, today. We are very blessed. Blessed in employment and in unemployment. Blessed in the city and blessed in the field...etc.
The birth of deciding to bless the name of Jesus, when He accomplishes the unexpected, through difficulty is painful. We are choosing to bless His name, in the arguments about priority and in the selfishness that is uncovered in these times. God's mercy is everlasting. God is faithful to complete His work in the crevaces of unbelief that we have left molding in our spiritual "fridge".
Divergent priorities are wrestled through, in ways, we could not imagine, when we were in prosperity. Private praise, becomes public praise, when God comes through in a food card at the supermarket. Praise God, that we live in a country where poverty is not the last word over your soul. God is the God of the land of milk and honey. Pride keeps the head hung low, because we are on "foodstamps". Trusting God is able to hold the head high and praise God that we are in a land of plenty, where the most of us lay up for the least of us. That is not communism. That is brotherly-lovingness.
En and I went to the store and filled a cart with necessities. We couldn't imagine that we could afford all of it. We looked at eachother with unbelief. Count it up, Mom, he said to me. I said we are supposed to use the card and there is enough on the card, I think. It was 191 dollars of food and veggies. Collards and apples and oranges and sprouts and even my specialty coffee creamer and chips were in the cart. All of it was paid for by the food card. We praised God, out loud in the store. No, I didn't do my praise dance, in the store, but I did say Thank you, Jesus. It was all on the card. God is good, in want and in plenty. This is want and plenty at the same time.
It is a shame that my pride hits and shame crushes my joy, sometimes. God is greater than my heart. He is faithful in all things.
My heart is overwhelmed and my joy is full in my weakness. I can't talk about it. I can only write. Please forgive my silence.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Homesickness breeds the best dreams.

I dreamt of Grandma Ruth, after watching this video yesterday. She was driving a very beautiful and fast sports car and then she and I spent a long time working on a building and cleaning project and the trip home was an adventure. I woke up missing her and you guys and in a frazzle. Giggles and Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Service, was so delightful!

God inhabits the praises of His people! He promises that where 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He is there. We gathered. We sensed that this season is about more than the packages and bows. We have little of the sundries, that accompany the day, but much of the love that Christmas is about.
I am thankful for the dear husband and children that I am blessed with. I am thankful for the neighbors and friends that have prayed for us in this season. I am thankful for the Church families that have adopted us into their beloved. I am thankful for Christmas, where it is not out of season to tell others that you love them.
As I hold my children close to me this Christmas, I am remembering the loved ones who I miss and who cannot be held. I love you and wish you the blessings of Christmas, Today and all year long!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today, I am remembering the grieving 90's for me--

Thank God for gospel music and praising God. Christmas 96, when this came out kept my eyes upon my Savior, who was above the griefs of life. God is Good!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the First Day of Christmas...

I got the most beautiful concert that my son has participated in. He finally got that clarinet to play more than squeeks and squalls. He's not a virtuoso yet, but Mr. Partridge is whipping those middleschoolers into band members. I love it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aunt Gwen and Uncle Johnny came over on Saturday!

Bearing gifts and food and news of the other half of the family, it was delightful to see family. We hadn't seen them since last Thanksgiving. They live in Ga. now and stopped at our house halfway between their house and Johnny and Lez, on the way to NY. We have an underground Walker railroad all the way up the coast now. Every 4 hours you can stop at a brother's house on the way to NY. Well we got the call at 9 on Saturday that they would be there at noon. I am glad that Ben wasn't home. He gets so excited that we wouldn't have been able to do anything else. We were about our cleaning the house ritual, with some diversions for entertainment purposes.
I thought I had time. I cleaned the bathroom and started vacuuming and then I found, our church cantada online. I got completely distracted. Enoch and I set out to try to videotape the cantada from the online source(something we hadn't done before). We have time, we thought. As soon as we got the tape completed and finished our praise dance for being so resourceful, Aunt Gwen drove up. AHHHHHHHHH! Oh no! We are not ready for her! Daddy loves to lay out the red carpet for Aunt Gwen, she is a dignitary at our house. Uh oh! We failed on that account. Nevertheless, it was a comfort to see her and to hear the great news of the ever growing Walker family. She brought us a new variation of Grandma Rosie's Thanksgiving Turkey recipe and a sample, which I promptly got drunk on. It was spectacular! I loved it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Frost on the ground this morning gave us a taste of Christmas Spirit.

Our beautiful neighborhood is aglow with Christmas lights. We have a few across our front porch. The chill of winter being missing makes Christmas seem a funny holiday to celebrate with 60degree temperatures. This morning, we woke up, really cold. In the house the thermometer said 67 degrees. That is freezing down here. Our house never gets below 70, even with the heat off. We turned on the heat, to warm the house for the wake up crew. It wa 28 degrees outside and we can tell that Christmas is bringing a little chill to our town, to make an appearance for the memories of the children.
Ethan is going on a class trip and very excited to go see the mummy exhibit at the Discovery Place. He is very hard to contain when he is excited. The glasses broke again, right when he is going on a trip. We had to tape him so that the mummy won't be a blurr in his memory. He complained all the way to the bus. I love his outspokeness. I love his spirit. I am excited at the challenge that he is as a person. Ezra is on his heels constantly. Like Annie Get Your Gun, "Anything you can do, etc." They are destined to provoke eachother sorely. It is fun to watch. The teenagers are always trying to control eachother's PR. Facebook, Youtube, Don't be to obvious, seems to be their motto. How can you not be too obvious? They are always buffing eachother's light, to keep them from being too obvious. Obviously, what? happy? Sad? excited? They seem to want to remain unemotional and unnoticeable. I don't like that semisullen, unemotional persona of the teenage people. When they are at home, they have personality and then on the way out the door they elbow eachother to get the smile off their faces for school. Such is life.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Almost One Week into 50

50 looks alot better, a week into it, than it did the day of. My sisters' box of treats were delightful. I meant to take a picture of the cake, but I gobbled it up, so as not to have to share it with the "natives". I did share with a select few. We had two cakes. I ate almost all of the chocolate cake and maybe a third of the birthday cake. Today, I have indigestion, of course.
When the box of sister treats came, they were packed with 3 bags of dry ice and solid as a rock. The veggies came in 2 pound bags and the chicken came in 5 pound bags and the pot roast came in a box. We haven't touched that yet.
We still have one 5 pound bag of chicken and a bag of veggies and the pot roast(that is for Sunday's dinner) I usually don't like cooked carrots, but these were so fresh that even after we cooked them, they kept their raw taste. Oh Wow! I am burping between sentences. The older you get, you can't feast, like you used to. (burp again) I don't think I will ever eat like that again. A whole week of whatever you want and have it in the fridge. If I don't eat for the whole year, maybe I'll get back to my Thanksgiving Day weight by 51. LOL

The Broccoli with Cheese and the chicken made a delicious spaghetti mix on one of the nights this week and the other days we ate potatoes and rice with the chicken. I think there were about 10 or 12 breasts per bag. It was like the loaves and fish for us. I told you, that we still have another bag! I will never be 50 again and I am glad I lived to talk about my delightful eat fest. I am feeling a little better and now for thinking about Christmas. ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Now I am 50!click on the link for my reminiscince

Since my firstborn was six, I have been compiling and "poetry-ing" and keeping and losing more memories than I can count. Attempting to do for them what Milne was able to do for Christopher Robin. He set the memories to verse for him. Each season of age 6, with each of my six children passed with my Milne and my poetry. Now I am 50 and hopefully the next years will help me compile the remains of my attempts into something.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once upon a time, when I was 5 years old...

My mommy and daddy bought me the album of Hans Christian Anderson's stories. I devoured every one of the stories. I remember standing next to the ironing board looking at the book and watching the record go around and around and my imagination seemed to travel into places that I had never seen. Hans and I became great friends and companions through those albums. My absolute favorite was "The Little Matchgirl". She died in the cold, in the arms of her dearly departed grandmother, who had come from heaven to take her out of the cold cruel world. What a beautiful story and how, my 5 year old mind could imagine the cold and the freezing limbs of this poor orphan and her loving grandmother warming her, in carrying her to heaven. I had that kind of loving grandmother and I always looked at her with longing eyes like that. Our gaze into eachother's eyes always said, I will come and get you, if ever you are dying in the cold, alone. Neither of us were alone or destitute, still love was the theme of our relationship. When you love someone so much, you long for more of them. More time, more understanding, there is never enough grand-time for a doting grandmother on her grand daughter, I suppose.
Today is my Grandma's birthday. She would have been in her 90's, maybe 93 or 95. I loved her so much and she gave me so much of herself. Beautiful and glamorous, she was. Always full of some lesson or another, that was pragmatic and useful.
Such a beautiful and loving woman in my life and I will always love her.
This is a youthful picture of my Grandma Monica

Audiovox recordings of Hans Christian Anderson, at this link

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adventures in Cooking with Jayne

Oh, sometimes you have a delightful idea, that turns into an unimaginable disaster, or almost.

I had decided, sometime earlier in the year that this Thanksgiving, I would try my hand at grilled turkey. I did so enjoy the flavor at other people's houses. I wanted some for Thanksgiving.

Sometime about April or May, I started sowing the seed to my husband that the decorative propane grills that don't work were "early ghetto" and needed to be replaced with the new futuristic(LOL) charcoal ones.

He suspected that I had something up my sleeve. So, I had to keep the entire process secret until the very day. Each time that I even hinted that we might think about grilling something or other, I met with fierce opposition and directives to think twice about such a thing. Had I thought twice, I never would have done it.

Thanksgiving was delightful, in spite of my episodes, we were invited to Elyse's friend's parents' house in the mountains. So, I didn't have to cook.

The Turkey was burning a hole in my mental freezer for the weeks following.
Yesterday, was the day that it occurred to me to grill that turkey. I want my husband to come home to a surprise Thanksgiving feast, I thought.

Out of the freezer came turkeypoo. I tossed him in the microwave and defrosted for about an hour or so, turning and tossing as directed by the microwave. Finally, it was soft enough to handle. I tossed it from the microwave, into the sink for the last part of the thaw. While working on the thaw in the sink, I took out the charcoal(pre fluided, of course). Please note that I have been spoiled these many years and nearly never have to start the grill myself. I have a doting husband who usually takes this task on for me.

Well, it was certainly shocking the amount of flames that comes out of one of those little bags of charcoal. My one, precious and very loved castiron pot was my dream to put on the open flames. A rinse or two and shaking the last of the ice out of the bird and into my precious pot.

No Grandma Rosie, I will not be massaging this bird with you, as usual. Every year she and I have wonderful conversations over the massage. I renigged on the yearly enjoyment. I'm flying this bird solo, I told her. She closed her eyes and said, C'est la vie.

For some reason, I had forgotten that turkey was that heavy when you put it in the pot. It was over ten pounds, very large and very heavy. That's okay the flames should cook it very well, I thought. A little oil and salt and pepper, on the skin was all that I thought to put. The flavor will come from the grilling process.

My grill was having technical difficulties at this point. I took the shelf off the grill and then it didn't fit back on properly. Maybe, it needs the weight of the turkey to hold it down. So, I brought my wonderful castiron bottomed turkey outside to meet Mr. Grillipoo. I did have on my Berkies to protect my feet and potholders to protect my hands. When I placed the turkey on the shelf it started to lean back and the weight of the turkey flew back into the grill and the flames engulfed the entire thing. I tried to close it to lower the flames, but it was too hot. By this time, Grandma Rosie(visiting from heaven) and Emily and Ethan who was home from school, because of a fall were laughing at me. It took about 40 minutes or so for the flames to die down enough to close the grill.

What do we do? Emily kept asking. We kept looking at it, thinking that it was sure to explode on us. The flames were sweeping out of the 6 inch space that was created by the shelf that wouldn't sit right. Kind of like a seesaw thing was happening because of the weight of the turkey. Elyse said later, that if I had added one of the bags of clothes to the soup, I could have blown up the house. (LOL) So much for the confidence of my children in cooking the turkey without incident.

I went upstairs to take a nap and asked Emily to keep watch, in case it exploded and we needed to call 911. The adventure was a little too much for this woman, nearing 50. As I sunk off to sleep, I heard, what sounded like an explosion to me. I ran down the stairs. Nothing looked different, but Em said she had heard it too. Em said that bird is in the coals, I just know it. When I put on my fire retardent berkies and went outside to check on the process. I saw a beautifully browned bird roasting and leaning in the coals and looking greatly cooked. It would be hours before it was ready, of course, but it turned out all beautifully browned and luscious to the taste. I am grateful for the lessons learned, but I am not sure I'll be grilling a turkey ever again.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Thoughts---Christmas is about the ultimate gift

The first gift that I am thinking about that is exemplified and symbolized in the season of Christmas is the ultimate gift of God.
It is the gift of Himself.
God put on flesh and came to us in a time when we could not find Him.

People knew about God, before Christ came, but people could not be in closest communion with Him, until Christ came to redeem the lost.

If we celebrate Christmas through all eternity, it could never show the beauty or the splendor of the magnitude of how great a distance the Lord of Glory came to become man and be born in the greatest humility.

He kept saying throughout His life on the earth that the sorriest people are the people who think that there is no need to be reconciled to God. Those who know the most about God without redemption in Christ cannot know communion with Christ. It is very clear throughout the Old Testament, that the "Children of Israel" were given private access (so to speak) to knowledge about God to point them to the need of a Savior. It was clearly impossible
that the blood of bulls and goats could atone
for sin and give access to the eternally perfect God. God wrapped the perfect present in the skin of humanity and gave us Himself. Halleluia, What a Savior.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby sister!

I remember the tech expert, in our house growing up was Jackie. Tech in our house was very important, because something was breaking everyday. Jackie was the one that taught us to use the channel changer for the tv when the knob broke. She was the one who rigged up the antennae from a hanger for us. She could change a tire at a very early age and I hear that she discovered the internet. Believe it or not we didn't have internet as it is now, we used grapevines. Jacqueline was the grapevine. She invented the silent treatment and other forms of sisterly coersion that were non-violent, as well as some of the violent ones.
What a fun and crazy childhood we had. I am happy that I got to spend so many of my early days with my Jackie. Have a great one, sister!

Title- The Studious One!

Title-  The Studious One!
artwork by Elyse

Of biscuits and syrup

Of biscuits and syrup
tasty treats

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday!
a day at the Raptor Center.

Widdle Emmie in outer space school

Emmie jumped on the bus and off it flew out into the atmosphere. There was a set of clouds with turbulence right above the house and it took a few minutes for my Emmie to buckle her seatbelt. They hit the bump hard and it knocked my Emmie out of her seat and she bumped her head. The video camera came on and the monitor looked through and stated, Ms. Emmie, where are you? You are not in your seat. Where are you? I am alright I fell because I hadn’t buckled correctly. Well jump up Emmie we have a long way to go and you have to be buckled there is entirely too much turbulence in the stratosphere for you to unbuckle now. As soon as we are through this weather system there will be straight sailing but right now you must buckle. Emmie scrambled into the seat with intensity and purpose now. She watched every cloud pass her window and her nose was pressed to the window trying to see the top of the house as it drifted slowly out of sight. Soon they were not only out of sight of the house, the sun came out brightly and just as quickly they were putting on the atmospherical breathing apparatus and the outerspherical lights. The ABA and the OL. These precautions were to make them appear to be satellites to the radar as they were out in the ionosphere. Emmie knew all about this now. She had gone to the orientation and had a good breakfast and it took them 20 minutes for her to get out past the atmospherical pull and to feel the zero gravity. It would be 15 minutes before the gravity simulators would take effect, a glitch in the system which was being worked on. Until then, they enjoyed the couple of minutes of floatation, while being connected to the seats by belt. The first thing they saw everyday was the strataflotsam. The items which had been dumped into the atmosphere by earlier generations. What would their generation do about this ecological waste area that remained floating above their heads? This was a question for the generations. For now it was the area that they had to guide through on the way to school.

Midnight at the OASIS

Midnight at the OASIS
Sunset in Huntersville

My little Emmie

ran to the bus on the first day of the last year of school. 2 buns on the side of her head. She kissed me and ran at dawn to the bus. She was starting the adventure of a lifetime. I would never see that little girl again, she was going to woman school!

My Father and I 1989

My Father and I 1989

to the tune of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme


Are you going to Mary Immaculate?

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Remember me to the one who lived there,

He once was a true love of mine,

Tell him to buy me an acre of land,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

Between the muddy Hudson in Jamaica Bay,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to sow in it seeds of pure cream,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And build Ice cream mountains and buildings of whipped cream,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine,

Tell him to reap them with sickles of M&M’s,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

And chew bubble gum and eat till we’re done,

Then, He’ll be a true love of mine.

Tell him to run it off down the motor parkway,

Apricots, Chocolate Cherries and Pie,

After your done 50 pushups

and jog down the West Side Highway,

Then he’ll be a true love of mine…

(Don’t wait for me today dad, The kids are sick again, My tummy’s bulging again, My heart is aching again, And now there’s no love there…)

He once was, a true love of mine….So, Girls, I do beg you don't miss your Daddy,Apricots, Chocolate cherries and Pie,You have one short chance to see him on this side, Go visit him and let your light shine.