Monday, June 6, 2011

Joy of the Generations

Has it really been a month since my last blog post? Yeah, I've kept a journal for at least 20 years and there are gaps in that too. I decided long ago to give myself permission. Otherwise, it becomes like so many other things in life; we focus on not measuring up and simply step back and let the opportunity to participate pass us by. I'm here! And there. And everywhere.

Here's some pictures of the way I'm spending my time between running 2 businesses. If you want to actually read words and thoughts, for now I'm over at my LifePoint blog.
Collin is 3 months old

Addison will be 2 in July

Ava is 6 weeks old
Nonna and Pappa are happy and thankful!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Smell Heaven....

I'm fresh from the land of hope. I'm convinced that God sends babies to remind us of that heaven is very near. They come with the scent of heaven and soften our reality. The world is full of chaos but small gifts bring great joy. A few scenes from the last week....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Murder & Mayhem

I've heard the expression, "sly as a fox." I've also heard the analogy, "like a fox in the henhouse." chickens later, these are no longer just concepts.

Yep, we've lost 7 chickens in as many weeks. We thought the perp was a neighboring dog. Our clue is that while Builderman was hunting down one of the chickens that had been stolen, (with a great ruckus, I might add) he came on this little dog near the scene with chicken feathers on her nose. Hmmm. Pretty damaging evidence.

I was really hoping it wasn't Lemon (the little dog's name), especially since the attacks have picked up and we have to stop this mayhem.

Yesterday, Jim was outside when the murderer closed in on another victim. He was fast and got away but I think I can safely say, his days are numbered. Jim got a glimpse of him as he fled was a fox.

Of course there's a million life-lessons in this but I'll let you take it from here. I'll just say that the enemy is not always what we think it is and he's sneakier than you'd like to think.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." but that's not the last word in that story. And it won't be in any story as far as I'm concerned. There's good news ahead!

P.S. For those of you who don't know about the adventures of raising chickens, you can see my
post of what happened when they were chicks or you can read Francine River's new book, Her Mother's Hope. It's riveting. Okay - WAY more riveting than anything I've written. To date. That could change. : )

It's a Beautiful Day and I'm Thankful I Can See It

The Power of Words...

This video has gone viral with over 4 million views and you'll see why...

I have things to write and an committed to sharing some thoughts with you... so I'll be back soon!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pearline's Carrot Cake Supreme

How could you possibly go wrong with a recipe from a sweet lady and champion baker from a small Southern town named Pearline? The only way you could go wrong is to not taste this carrot cake.There are no short-cuts in this recipe, but the blissful orbit you'll go into when you eat this will be worth the time and effort. This cake can make an ordinary day into a special occasion, but this weekend I made it for Jim's birthday. Oh happy day!

Pearline’s Carrot Cake Supreme

2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda|
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated carrot
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (3 1/2oz) can flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting (Below)

  • Grease three 9-inch cakepans, line with parchment paper. Lightly grease & flour the parchment paper & set aside.
  • Stir together first four ingredients (flour, soda, salt & cinnamon)
  • Beat eggs and next four ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrots and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pans & smooth evenly.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center come out clean.
  • Cool on wire racks.
  • Spread Cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill cake several hours before slicing. Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese
¾ cup softened butter
1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
* For deluxe frosting, stir in ½ finely chopped pecans along with vanilla.

Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and pecans.

Now, after preparing Pioneer Woman's favorite Man Sandwiches for lunch with onion strings and this cake for dessert, I only need to walk 132 miles to burn all the calories.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Like a Lamb - Out Like a Lion!

I figured I'd better show up here before you wrote me off as a blog quitter.
March has been more than a whirlwind so thought I'd journal a recap....

1. Our first grandson was born Feb. 28 and I have been back and forth a lot, cooking, snuggling and thoroughly enjoying the fact that he's less than an hour away. I'm beyond delighted: 2. My mom got to come up with Uncommon Blonde when he was only 1 week old to take the Newborn photographs. They stayed with me and it was a very special weekend!

3. A close family member (who doesn't like to be "uncovered" on blogs and Facebook) was hospitalized with a dangerous, life-threatening situation. Emergency surgery resulted in answered prayer and she is recovering.

4. I spent most of last week in Atlanta on business and was challenged, stretched, inspired.

5. While driving home, I narrowly missed several crazy spring storm cells. Even drove through the mess left by baseball size hail that was piled up like snowbanks along the side of the road. Surreal. I passed through it all safely.

6. Returned home to find another family member battling a scary health issue and went into gear to help there.

7. This weekend brings a regional retreat. Sound relaxing? Well, maybe if I was just attending but minor detail - I'm in charge.

8. I think I can take a breath next week while I pack and start the waiting game for a call to go south when Uncommon Blonde goes into labor with her second daughter.

Busy is in my DNA so I'm not complaining. God is good. I am grateful. Just not blogging much but thinking of you and looking forward to visiting you soon. Thanks for coming by.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Wonder~Filled Day

He's here!

Our first grandson arrived safely Monday after 18 hours of labor.
I was exhausted.
Isn't he amazing?
7 lbs 15 oz of sheer joy.

I'm headed to the kitchen to prepare some casseroles to take over. It's only an hour from here and I'm thrilled. That may seem far to you but that's only 60 minutes.
My heart sings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lady in Waiting

I would think since this is our second grandbaby I would be all relaxed as we move into the last days before we get to meet him. Not so much.

I wonder if I'm on pins and needles even more since our Rosebud arrived 10 days early. The official due date is Feb 24th. He looks like he's ready for me to hold him, don't ya think?

Did I say I'm excited? Oh yes I am! Here's the beautiful mommy....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have You Seen My Stars & Stripes?

This week, someone stole the American flag we proudly fly at our gate. Apparently, the thief made it to the class on patriotism but missed the one on integrity. The timing is interesting, as I’ve been writing on the “character quotient”, a critical element of leadership that sadly, seems to be in short supply in just about every echelon of society.

I've been reflecting this week on the importance of personal leadership as a foundational element in the fabric of our culture. Someone is watching each and every one of us - so essentially- we're all leading someone. You don't have to have title or rank to make a difference.

As I thought of the sad person who took our flag, I was reminded of Fulghum's book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". I guess someone in my neighborhood needs to go back to kindergarten.

True greatness comes when you’re trusted. ~ Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Let the River Flow

I feel like a log in the middle of a river of bloggers that got stuck between 2 rocks. There's a great current rushing by me - I feel the flow and need to get back in it!

I like blogging for lots of reasons, the first being the meaningful connection with YOU! I also like having a written record of life. It's easy to forget important moments when they get carried away in the flow of days, which become months and turn into years.

Plus, the Lewis family is getting ready to grow... 2 babies are coming in the next 3 months and I must record the joy of it all.

Random thoughts tossed into the current:
  • A recent fascination with Twitter has taken some of the time I allow myself for "social media." One of the things I've enjoyed about it is the challenge to communicate a thought in about 130 characters. Brevity reigns on Twitter, and Lord knows I needed a lesson in brevity.

  • I love being busy but there are days I would like to feel like I've finished my work. It is NEVER complete... I just stop when I run out of day. I'm betting you know the feeling.

  • I have to even confess this, seeing as I live in Florida and many of you don't, but I am OVER winter. Cold, wet days with little sunshine are not my friend anymore.

  • My glasses broke in my hand this morning. My bifocal contact lenses are not great for computer work and are absolutely terrible for reading. I'm thinking clear vision has just become a priority and my afternoon is going to have to make room for a trip to the optometrist.
Thanks for coming by in the flow of your day. You are important to me.

He who postpones the hour of living
is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out
before he crosses.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Verbal Sunshine

A compliment is verbal sunshine.~ Robert Orben

Someone picked a great month for National Compliment Day. Many are winter-weary and need some extra sunshine today.
We all know an insincere compliment is not helpful and probably use that as an excuse not to compliment people more.

Mark Twain said, "I can live for two months on a good compliment."

So, I have a challenge for you that has two parts. 1) Give a sincere compliment to your spouse today. Maybe relating to something about them that you tend to take for granted. 2) Pay a compliment to someone who's been pushing your buttons lately. This simple exercise can go a along way in mending fences. They may be suspicious but that's not your problem.

If you need a little help jogging your mind to think of something nice to say, here's some thoughts:
...have a great way with words.
...are a terrific leader.
...make working on a project a joy.
...are very creative.
...are a good provider.
...are fun to be with.
...have a great reputation.
...are clever.
...are a good driver.
...can do anything you set your mind to.
...are capable of accomplishing whatever you believe.
...are a good listener.
...are very cheerful.
...are loyal.

Make it a mission today to give kind words freely, especially to those who least expect it. I've been doing this today and being a sunshine dispenser is fun!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have a Dream

Seems to me that a lot of people had today off as my phone and email have been rather quiet for a Monday. I blogged about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous I Have a Dream" speech earlier when I could still formulate words so here's your chance to read a coherent blog post.

At the moment, I'm looking at my varied and lengthy list of things to do, none of which I feel like doing. So I went into "fritter away time" mode and laughed at how we do winter in the south. I'm thinking, "I'm completely over winter - the sky is gray, the grass is brown the air is cold" and then I remember I live in Florida. But I'm still over it.

And then I watched this video at Shelly's blog and it really made me laugh about winter in the south and this lady's thoughts on Martin Luther King day... only watch if you have time to laugh.

Hopefully, I'll be back sooner than later with all kinds of interesting things to say. Thanks for stopping by to say "Hi!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls and Coffee

That thought is intended to bring you comfort on a Monday morning! This is a feel-good post, intended to make you imagine you have on your favorite slippers.

I do believe our household has a new Christmas morning tradition. Sister Schubert -move on over because I now can make the world's best cinnamon rolls. I can thank Uncommon Blonde for doing the test run of Pioneer Woman's recipe because she figured out what to do and what not to do in this messy undertaking she posted as Kitchen Follies. (I stole her photo from that post.) She told me that afternoon that the rolls would have to sprout $100 bills while baking to make them worth the trouble. The next day's report was that the rolls had sprouted. And I can tell you, these are the best cinnamon rolls I've ever had in my life. We had fun making them together and more fun eating them. Our son had to report for work at the fire station on Christmas morning and it made me really happy to start their morning off with these rolls too.

Now to top it all off, I won a give-away over at Shelly's for a free pound of coffee from "I Have a Bean." She tells the fascinating story of this company in this post. A company on a mission to help people by selling great coffee - I'm sold! They impressed me by sending my coffee Fed Ex, arriving just in time to go with my cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

Ahhhh - the memory is fresh and the coffee is on. What was something new you did for the holidays?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Everything that Money Can't Buy

It's been a rainy New Year's weekend and I spent part of it packing away all the holiday decorations and cleaning up. Now that I'm finished, the sun is out, the air is crisp and I'm anticipating the fresh new year will usher in lots of exciting things.

It struck me this weekend as I looked over the past year and thought about my goals, I already have everything that money can't buy. And for that I'm thankful.

May your year bring gentle winds...

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain