Saturday, February 21, 2009

I am a culinary goddess

I am on my way soon to PJ's annual Mardi Gras gathering, and since he forgot to get a King Cake (and let's face it, they are fun only while you're looking for the baby, but then become a responsibility... and they're not so much cake as they are breakfast quickbread. I dunno, I just never caught the king cake fever I guess) I decided to make rainbow cupcakes.
Inspired by this rainbow cake, I whipped up these cupcakes and can't wait to get there and bite into one!
Here's a peek into the creative process:

6 colors, using white cake mix and regular liquid food colors.

I just spooned in the colors one at a time, on top of each other.

Mmmm, can't you just smell the cakey goodness?

Cooling on my porch. Any unsuspecting snacker would think they're just red. But NO.

And the final results. PS, the frosting is Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting. Oh yeah.

Sorry the last pictures are a little fuzzy, I was trembling with excitement.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How about this: he's not mine to keep

I have been following Amy Welborn's heartbreaking life story since the unexpected death of her husband a week or two ago... he died on a treadmill at the gym, a complete and total shock... it's been the equivalent of slowing down on a highway to peer at an accident scene, for me, who is so gripped by the fear of losing my own husband. I've been reading her blog posts about her experience of grief and aching along with her. Today, I read this post and it has set me back, has made me think in a new way:
Go Figure

Sunday, February 15, 2009

death be not such a big deal

I don't know if I've mentioned this but I think about death a lot. Lately I've been wondering if there's something unhealthy about how often it crosses my mind. Such as, when Scott and I are driving two cars home from work, and I lose sight of him in my rear-view, and think "I should stay within sight of his car, in case something happens to him..." or when I go in to wake him up in the morning and check to make sure he's breathing first.
This week my pastor's brother died suddenly. They were the best of friends, and my pastor had just come from an extended vacation with his brother- only a few days later he died unexpectedly, it was really a shock. Throughout the wake and funeral, we often remarked how blessed they were to have had that vacation time together, and how if you have to die, doing so suddenly with no suffering and no warning is maybe something we should all hope for- along with the mourning, I think there was a palpable feeling of gratitude for the way it all happened.
And I can surely see the logic in that. So as I sat in the pew, watching my beloved pastor mourn but celebrate, I wondered just what my position on death is, after all.
I think I'm not really afraid of dying. I truly believe that whatever comes next will be even better than what we experience in life, and hell is not a pervasive worry of mine (as much as some would say it should be!) I know somehow that I'll see my loved ones again, only burden-free, and blissful. What's to fear? And I do feel this same hope for my loved ones- that they'll be in Heaven with Jesus and all that... so why then am I so worried on the death of those close to me?
Is it the "dropping of the shoe" of it all? Is it my need to control things that makes me hyper-vigilant of the lives of my friends and family? I guess I need to do some reckoning between my beliefs. Maybe if I can remember how much I'm cool with death on the whole, it'll make my days worry-free.
You know what I think would really help? Some ice cream.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mom, too?

The other day Scott and I went to visit my friend in the hospital- her son was in a bed all hooked up with tubes and wires and was sedated. At one point, she and I were standing at the crib-side, looking down at him, when the chaplain came in to pay a visit. She shook my friend's hand and asked "are you Mom?" and then turned to me and said "are you Mom, too?"
These are the things that went through my head in that second:
1) How nice of her to be this open and welcoming to the possibility that I might be Mom, too.
2) Why does she think I could be Mom, too? Do I LOOK LIKE A LESBIAN? Or, do I look sad enough to be Mom? Or was I gazing lovingly at my friend when she came in?
3) DON'T say NO like you're offended! Don't be defensive! Be cool!
4) What's the protocol here, do I tell her that I'm a minister too?
5) I'm not just Mom, too, I'm in NO WAY Mom.
Seriously, ALL these things went through my head in a split second. Funny how the brain works.
I said "oh! No, I'm a friend." She shook my hand and proceeded with the ministering. She did a lovely job- asked my friend what she could do to help, and she asked for prayers, which the min. promptly set to. The prayer was nice- She had asked my friend if she had a "particular tradition" and my friend said she's a Protestant- so there was no sign of the cross or anything. It was interesting to see another minister at work.
When she left, my friend bent over fully and laughed so hard that the woman asked me if I was Mom, too. We have so many great stories like this one in our history. We spent the next half hour replaying them and laughing. It was a great break in the worry.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY 02/04/09...
Outside My Window... a new layer of snow makes everything look new again.
I am thinking... about whether or not to go in to work tomorrow- I've been out two days with a rotten...something and still don't feel much better.
I am thankful for... Scott. I just read about Amy Welborn's husband, who died unexpectedly and tragically on a treadmill at the gym. Now what are we supposed to do with that??
From the kitchen... not much, I'm not very hungry... I had a half of an english muffin for breakfast, some soup for lunch, and some egg salad for dinner. Nothing tastes very good.
I am wearing... pajamas. Am I always wearing pajamas when I write these things?
I am creating... columns for the bulletin. For the past 3 bulletins, the pastor has been out of town, and no one else (seriously, NO ONE ELSE on the staff would write one. So I'm doing my quarter page column, plus his full-page column. I'm glad he'll be back next week!
I am going... to stay home another day, probably. It feels like I have a tennis ball in my throat.
I am reading... a LOT for my Christology class. Do theological authors not have to submit their text for editing? Some of this stuff is one complete paragraph, no breaks. And it's heady stuff. Interesting, but sheesh.
I am hoping... that Scott comes home soon so we can watch LOST together
I am hearing... the neighbors coming in with their dog. He's a little one, but not a yappy little one- and I like to hear his happy footsteps on our ceiling when his owners come home!
Around the house... Scott's stuff is clean and neat and my stuff is all over the place. I can't wait till spring and the energy it brings.
One of my favorite things... is Pip. The other is Zarley. They are our cats. Last night when I was asleep on the couch I woke to Pip, who was sitting on the coffee table and looking at me, purring her little heart out. I said "hi" and she stepped forward, kissed my forehead, and sat back down. Sweet.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: this Sunday is our first pot-luck dinner at the parish, in a long time. I am the bold piece who has been swearing to everyone that it's a good idea and that people will come. I hope they do.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Pip likes to dig under blankets and sleep in a cozy cocoon, it's very cute- but I'm always afraid Scott will plop down on her while she's under there, so I made this little sign to put on her to tell him she's there. It says "don't sit on me."

...which makes the 40's the new 30's I guess

American Idol, especially tonight's episode, is proof-positive that the 30's are so much better than the 20's.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Get it? Cupdate?
I went back to the surgeon today to have some little problems addressed. Apparently my body doesn't like the idea of dissolving dissolvable stitches, and instead pushes them out through my skin. It's not a painful thing, but it is a bit disconcerting.
I have been thinking about how much I've healed in the past two months, how far I've come. Like they say about childbirth, the pain is a distant, hazy memory- I remember that it hurt, but can't really locate that experience in my mind. I do remember being miserable and discouraged, but those feelings seem long-ago and far-away too. My friend told me that one day I'd realize that I hadn't noticed my incisions all day, and that day has practically come now. I can lay on my belly at night and jog up the stairs at work without any kind of agony.
So, would I recommend this surgery to someone else? Yeah, I think I would. I don't think I'm one of those surgery cheerleaders who brag about how great they feel. Yet. But I think that day might come. One thing's for sure, I notice EVERYONE'S chest now. I find myself thinking "hey that girl could use a breast reduction (or two)."