Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pork Corn

For Easter, our dear friends Jen & Michelle bought us this:

I'm sure it started as a joke. But... I brought it to work and made a bag. It smells like chemical, which is pretty gross. It tastes like bacon heaven.

There are two sad endings to this story. First, there are only 3 bags in the box. There are pregnant women in my office, and I'm compelled to share with them. They both love it as much as I do. (Now, don't judge me when I say this, but the salty bacon-y taste is so delicious, I actually ripped the bag all the way down the middle and licked the salt off the bag.)

Thanks, Jen, for documenting this:

Second, all 3 bags are now gone.

It only took the first bag to begin the conversation about, if microwave bacon pop is so delicious (even despite the fact that there is not even a hint of "real" bacon included in the ingredients; in fact, it proudly boasts "artificial bacon and butter flavors"), then how much more delicious would homemade popcorn made in real bacon fat be?

Well... this Mother's Day, I found out.  And let me just tell you that this:



If you have never tried this, oh my, you are in for a treat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I love the spring. Fresh air. New blooms. Birds happily singing their springtime songs. The smell of freshly mowed grass.

Walking in my front door, I was admiring my flower baskets. I happened to notice a few random sticks and tufts of grass and mini-tumbleweeds on my patio below one of the pillars. I looked up, and saw the beginnings of a bird's nest. I tugged on Jeffrey's shirt and pointed out the nest.

One of the things that I love most about being a mom is the joy and excitement in sharing in the new discoveries of my children. Jeffrey was so excited! He exclaimed, "Mommy! I've never seen a bird's nest before!"

Fast forward to this morning.

We kept the windows open a crack all night. It's such a blessing to wake up to that moist, spring air. I got Jeffrey all snuggled on the couch while I went to make breakfast. When I returned, he had an ear-to-ear grin, and lazily said to me, "There's a birdie singing!" Sure enough, the sounds of our resident birdies were filling our home with a happy morning tune.

Downstairs, I peeked out the front window to see how our little bird's nest was coming along. There she was, busily determined to finish her nest. I told Jeffrey to quietly come join me. We snuggled on the living room sofa, watching our friend deliver twigs and grass, and then dancing on top of her new additions until is was just right. And then off she flew again to collect another load.

I sent Jeffrey back upstairs to finish his breakfast. I continued to watch Mama Bird work.

As I watched, I realized that most of the items she was adding to her new home were hard and scratchy. I thought to myself, what do most mommies want for their babies? Soft places to sleep....

Side note: Yes, people. I realize this is a bird. I realize that it is wired to make an appropriate nest/bed for herself and her babies.

But the helper in me was intrigued by this process and I couldn't help but offer her some additional bedding material.

I grabbed a papertowel and began ripping it into long strips. Jeffrey heard and asked what I was doing. I admit, I kind of ignore him for the time being.

When Mama Bird was away, I tip-toed onto to the front porch and placed my little pile of papertowel strips just beneath her nest, and tippy-toed back inside.

No sooner than I had shut the front door and made my way to the window, Mama Bird was back, with a beak full of twigs and grass. She landed on the porch, observing this interesting pile of new material. She hopped around for a while taking it all in. Then, dropped what was in her beak, and replaced it with papertowel.

She came back twice, each time taking all that she could hold, until the strips were gone.

Her nest was by no means finished by this time, but there was a joy in my heart. Pretty cool to know that I helped Mama Bird build a home for her family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where you can put that lesson

It has been months. I miss writing. But, time is scarce and the mood to regurgitate the craziness of my mind's wanderings just doesn't strike when a keyboard is nearby.

And while there are so many hilarious moments  (and thoughts) to share, which I'm sure would elicit a few chuckles, if not a couple of belly laughs, I find it incredibly curious that the moment strikes when the topic isn't really something that I'm sure I want to get fully involved in. And by "involved," I do not mean "included." I mean absorbed by; engrossed. 

I believe that in order to live a virtuous life, it's important to be a perpetual student of life's lessons. I have found that for me, specifically, most lessons aren't learned by observation. In order for me to really "get it," I have to be an intimate participant. And sometimes (ok, often) I don't "get it" the first time. But, inevitably, eventually, I will have that illuminating moment when the switch flips and, "Ahhhhhh!!!!" Gotcha.

The spousal unit and I were reminiscing (over some delicious crab and a glass a Cabernet) about the last several years - all the loneliness and pain, and peeling away of our grip, and refining, and praying (and begging and pleading), and trust, and faith, and unknowing, and thrill, and gratefulness, and rejection, and cruelty, and lies, and mystery, and glory, and celebration. And ultimately our receiving an amazing (and impossible) gift of the desires of our hearts, which began with a dream, and then a hope, and then a move to Colorado. I'm reminded of those long nights when I would be jolted awake by God's voice telling me, "Be specific," and asking me poignant questions like, "Do you believe I am who I say I am?" I remember being so thoroughly in tune with God that when He whispered, I answered, "Yes, Lord."

Prior to the move, I worked in an industry (sadly, an industry...) where there was a lot of talk about authenticity and community, but very little in the way of authenticity and community. It affected us. Deeply. And not in a good way. I look back on those years and see clearly where we were blessed - with close friendships which will never be lost, replaced or forgotten, where we could be completely vulnerable and spiritually naked, and be completely embraced and encouraged. We were blessed with the knowledge and experience of God's presence and provision, and the promise that we are more precious than the birds of the air, and we need not worry about what we will eat or drink or how we will be clothed. I look back on those barren years with fondness. Life seemed desolate, but the soil of my spirit was rich. I'm so, so grateful for the lessons learned.

Lessons don't always reveal themselves at convenient times or in comfortable ways. I'll admit that there are times when I want to tell a lesson where it can shove itself.

But then the still small voice whispers shouts in my ear, and I'm reminded that people are watching and I need to be cognizant of my response. (That voice, by the way, is the spousal unit's.)

And then I'm suddenly reminded of the stupid crap that Christians say.

Sorry. That's a bunny trail I'll avoid for this post. (One of these days, I'm going to write a blog about that.)

I'm learning lessons. Lessons that the people we hold in high esteem are faulty, broken people and will ultimately reveal their humanness more often than their humanity. Lessons that conclusions, most often, are something that are jumped to and not arrived upon. Lessons that the miles in someone else's shoes always seem shorter than the miles in your own, until you take the time to review the map. Lessons that any hedge you build around yourself or others will be hurdled on either side. Lessons that they made erasers on the ends of pencils for a reason. Lessons that joy is to be lived, not pursued.

And lessons that the more I learn, the less "the noise" matters.