Thursday, May 7, 2020

This is Inconvenient

How’s that for an intro to my first blog post in four and half years?  Things are inconvenient right now, and frustratingly so.  As it would happen, yesterday’s First 5 devotion by Kayla Ferris was spot on.  Here are a few bullet points from inconvenient life this week:

  • My electricity is out again, AND I’m the only house on my street without power.
  • I just replaced the groceries that went bad in the first outage, and the new ones are now ruining.
  • (Bonus Bullet Point) I ALSO BOUGHT ICE CREAM!
  • The small trees partially blocking my driveway are still in my way.
  • My lawn mowers haven’t shown up for three weeks.

"So let me esplain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up."  Middle TN had a derecho  Sunday night.  I was lucky in that my power was out for 12 hours only.  That was enough time for several new items to go bad (or iffy) in my fridge.  The electricity went off and on several times on Monday, but then it was steady through Wednesday morning.  Mind you about 50,000 are still without power, but I thought I was out of the woods. 

My alarm system alerted me to a power outage while I was at work yesterday morning.  I got busy and forgot to check back to see if/when the power was restored.  Had I remembered to check my app; I wouldn’t have gone to the store.  I repurchased cheese, meat, a gallon of milk, and a dozen eggs, just to name a few items.  All those items are now warming in my fridge.  I can’t bring myself to dwell on the mint chocolate chip ice cream. 

I went to work today wearing a ball cap and straightened my hair in my office.  I should have waited to put on make up as well.  (Pro Tip: Wait until you have proper lighting for makeup.  Applying concealer by flashlight is not a smart move.)

Then there are the small trees in my driveway…

The guy who was supposed to cut them down never showed up.  That means I am creating a groove in the yard off the side of the driveway each time I go around the trees.  I will tackle cutting them myself.  I should have done that in the first place.

The yard is another story.  I don’t have a lawn mower, and mowing is part of my contract.  My yard looks like all those people waiting for the hair salons to open up.

(Bonus, Bonus Bullet Point) My Fitbit didn’t record ANY steps I took during my futile Kroger run yesterday.  Not only did I walk around for 30 minutes gathering items to throw away, but I didn’t get any “steps credit” to boot.  It seems that if your hand is pushing a cart it doesn’t count - literally.  I’m sure I would have logged 2,500 more steps, or maybe even 50,000 more.  Once I realized it wasn’t counting my steps, I attempted to push the mini-cart with one hand while swinging my Fitbit arm.  I looked rather flamboyant.

Today I will go back to the store to buy some things to put in a cooler to tide me over during my Laura Ingalls period.  This time I will get a handbasket so I won’t look so conspicuous swinging my free arm. 

All in all, each of these issues are first world problems.  That doesn’t mean I’m happy about how some things are playing out right now.  God and I have had many conversations about life recently.  Life is NOT what I thought it would be.  I do NOT like melted ice cream, nor several more serious issues going on at this time.  But I choose to trust God.  I didn’t say I’m trusting Him to make things better, but I hope He will.  I am trusting Him.  I am trying to look at these things as invitations to participate in God's plan.It isn’t always easy, so Mark 9:24 is a recurring prayer.

“…I do believe but help me overcome my unbelief!”

God LOVES me.  He took care of my greatest need when He sent Jesus to save my soul. 

So I’m well… even when I have to gut out my faith.

I hope anyone reading this is well.  Please know you are always welcome to leave a happy note, funny anecdote, or prayer request.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cornbread, Chili, and Cheese

I made a  spicy chili yesterday just in time to eat today.  It always seems to taste better a day later, once the ingredients have had time to marry and get to know one another. The recipe is below.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or 3 tsp ground garlic)
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c beef broth
  • 2tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Serve topped with:
Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onions, cilantro, roasted peppers, or hot sauce
Optionally serve with:
fresh cornbread, baked russet potatoes, saltine crackers or corn chips

Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour onions into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.
Return skillet to medium-high eat, add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Drain most of fat from beef, leaving about 2 Tbsp in with beef (this is optional, I think it ads flavor but you can drain it all if you'd prefer). Pour browned beef into slow cooker.
Add dry ingredients to a small jar, tighten the lid, and shake well to mix. Pour dry mixture on top of meat, onions, and garlic, and stir.

Add diced tomatoes with chilies, tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup water or beef broth, and kidney beans. Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat overnight. In the morning, turn temperature to warm. Eat for lunch or dinner. Chili is always better if it has a chance to rest before eating.


Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how it turns out for you, or share a recipe with me. Give my page a "like" creative confetti (website) on Facebook, and subscribe on the right. Feel free to pin and share via the widget to the left, or leave me a comment. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mama-ism Update

It has been a while since I posted a Mama-ism. I don't know why. She comes up with gems all the time!

Today we were having devotion and prayer time together over the phone. Wait, I must pause to explain admit that any of my friends who have heard me pray know that I often end with 'bye' instead of amen. My conversations with God are personal and conversational. It isn't uncommon for me to offer the blessing at meal time and thank God for things throughout the day but forget the food. I then add a hasty, "Oh, and thank you for our meal!. Bye!"

Now back to today. Mom prayed after I did. She finished with up, and I was about to speak when I heard her call out with urgency, "Oh wait! Wait Jesus!" before adding a couple of items she had forgotten.

As if Jesus had turned to rush off at the sound of 'amen.'

Now I know where I got it.

Isn't she the most adorable mama ever?

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Prayer, Planning, and Poo

This has been a gorgeous day. It has been worship filled day. It has been filled with laughter.

And today was a poopie day.

First, let's stroll around the Bailey Plantation. This is my home for 10 days while I watch over the estate and the youngest resident.

Here's a glimpse of the peaceful beauty that surrounds me.

The view from the expansive, back deck.

Part of the front drive.

The youngest resident, Belle. She isn't very good at hiding from the squirrels.

The charming potting shed.

The day began at church. It was a lovely time of worship and learning. We studied John 12: 20-26, and learned that dying to self means letting go of ego. We can leave a lasting legacy in God, if we die to self.

Then it was on to a meeting with the women's ministry leadership to plan for a year of activities. I am the new publicity coordinator, so this was my first time to meet with the group. We ate boxed lunches before getting down to business. 

My friend Janet arrived a little after the others, and she brought her four month old. When I finished eating I took the baby. This allowed me some baby time and allowed Janet to eat. We all learned how vocal B. was, as he sat in my lap. As Janet says, "He's quite chatty."

Sweet B. just awake from a nap, and sporting a pretty decent comb-over.

The meeting was in full swing as I continued to hold B. in my lap and take notes. Out of nowhere we heard what sounded like a congested elephant sneezing its trunk off. It was loud, and everyone stopped and stared for a moment.

We all knew what had happened, but I actually felt it. The force that came out of that child caused him to bounce on my lap like the lid on a boiling pan of water. I could feel his diaper flapping against my leg.

I looked at Janet and said, "He just had a blow out." Janet just nodded calmly and replied, "He's really good at that." 

I turned from the conference table so Janet could take B. for a change, but Janet wasn't reaching for her baby. She was reaching for the wipes. She started snickering and said, "Oh Tauna! It's on you. It's on you! I'm so sorry." I looked down to see the grey poupon on my pants. (I'm so glad I wore jeans to church today!) 

And that's when I lost it. 

I started laughing. Janet started laughing. I held the baby out in front of me as Janet cleaned off my jeans. After a valiant effort at cleaning me up, Janet took B. and laid him on the floor to change his diaper. That's when I looked down and saw the "spicy mustard" on the carpet between my feet. B. had been dripping the whole time. I snorkled and whispered, "It's on the carpet." That put Janet over the edge. 

I slid out of my seat onto my hands and knees beside Janet. As she cleaned the baby. I cleaned the carpet, and we laughed hysterically. We now had our heads below the table level and were fighting for every breath as we laughed. We were crying, sniffling, and gasping, all while the grownups continued the meeting above us. Janet whispered, "I feel like a 12 year old who is laughing under the table." I could only nod, as I wiped my eyes. (Did I mention this was my first meeting with this group?)

It took a few moments to regain my composure and take my seat again. I picked up my pen to write something on my calendar and noticed I had wiped a yellowish smear across the page. I turned my hand over to see more poo. I ducked my head toward Janet and said, "It's on my hand, too." Suddenly a hand was thrust from below the table holding a baby wipe high in the air, and the giggles started again. 

I'm not sure about the impression I made on the ladies and one gentleman, but I know I left an imprint. They may be calling for a backup in the publicity department. Oh well. At least they know I don't frazzle easily.

I hope your Sunday has been as peaceful, joyful, and worshipful as mine.


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Monday, June 15, 2015

Satan's Desires vs. God's Desires

The enemy is a liar. He is a liar, a cheat, a thief, and arrogant.

He’s a punk, but he doesn’t get to win.

Here are a few example of what he wants for you versus what God wants for you. 

Romans 8:1 - Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

2 Samuel 22:32 - For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?

Romans 8:38,39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angel nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 4:6,7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Isaiah 40:29 - He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Chihuly at the Clinton Presidential Library

My bucket list includes seeing a full Dale Chihuly installation one day. I have a bit of an artistic crush on him. That said, I wasn't about to miss the exhibit at the Clinton Library.

What a lovely experience for my eyes. Oh the colors, placement, and movement of the glass. Each creation was elegant and delicate, yet powerful and sturdy. It was delicious to my eyes and spirit.

 A closeup of the chandelier.

Even his signature is cool.

 Spot this bowl in the display above.

The exhibit also included paintings by Chihuly, but the few pictures I took didn't turn out well.

Tell me. What artists move you?

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Flowers From Old Books (Revamped Lamps)

 I found an old, tattered book, and it begged me to give it new life. I took it to my office, and it almost shouted out to a couple of lamps. The lamps were a snooze fest. They were boring and unrelated to one another. I decided to cut out flower shapes from the book pages. An Ellison die cut machine made quick work of my project.

(Not the actual book I used, but this could have been its twin.)

My short, plump lamp.

I used six die-cut pages per flower, and punched a tiny hole in the 
center of each shape.

Scrunch the first page around a brad. Be careful not to tear the hole, 
or the brad will fall out.

Continue to crumple pages onto the brad. I wadded the last two pages in my hand before adding them. This was to get a good shape without pulverizing the bud already formed on the brad.

The finished project. Cute, huh?

The last step was to use one of my favorite tools ever - a glue gun!
I have four glue guns, but I keep thinking I need another.

My tall, waif lamp.

I liked it much better after the lace and trim was removed.
It's even cuter with the flowers. I brushed a bit of pale pink onto the pages for this lamp.


I think these flowers could find a happy home in so many places. They would be super cute on a package or gift bag, or how about a bunch of them on stems for a bouquet? 

How would an old book spark your creativity? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thanks for stopping by. If you like what you've seen then give my page a "like" creative confetti (website) on Facebook, and subscribe on the right. Feel free to pin and share via the widget to the left. I'd also love to hear from you, so leave a comment or send me an email. 
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