Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"Step away from the oven...

...nice and slow, and nobody'll get hurt."

I had to trade in my apron for a strait jacket and go quietly with the nice men in the white coats. Pleasant fellows, cordial and all politeness. A bit strong-armed with the buckles, but still they'd make a lively addition to any coffee circle.

Why is it so hard to bake bread? Why is it a science? Either it won't rise very high, or it takes all day to rise at all. My loaves are more often than not heavy enough to press leaves. Or they don't bake in the middle. Or they taste too "yeasty." It's starting to get to me, really.

I read somewhere that, rather than try 10 recipes once, you should keep trying one recipe over and over again until you get it right and keep a journal tracking your progress. Good grief. Whoever wrote that has never seen me in action. Journals and pencils all over the place.

So I'm a bread idiot. Like, somewhere out in the world there's a village called "Bread" and they've come knocking at my door looking for their idiot. Every village has one, and I'm theirs. But that's alright... no really, I'm okay with it. Sincerely.

Someday I'll finally get this bread thing figured out. I've got to keep at it, I'm no quitter. (Okay, except when it comes to cross stitch projects, afghans, cleaning out the closets, organizing the pantry, pulling weeds, snipping off my split ends, dieting, and cleaning out the car. But those things don't count. We're talking about bread here!)

Why, you ask, don't I just give up and buy some Wonder? Cardboard in a bag, nasty stuff. Sticks to your teeth and virtually circles its wagons in your stomach. Only good for feeding the ducks at the park. Or let it get stale and use each slice as a disposable trivet! When that hot skillet hits the bread it'll make the whole house smell like you've been baking!

Still, somebody else does all the mixing, rising, baking, slicing and bagging. It probably would be easier. I'm sure I'd save a bundle on Prozac. Why keep trying to impress my family with my bread-baking prowess? When will I just stop this madness?

When shiny pink pigs fly past my window.

Monday, September 26, 2005

There's nothing quite like...

...the smell of coffee and toast in the morning.

...the sound of your kids laughing and giggling together.

...being greeted at the door by your dog, who undoubtedly did nothing all day except sit and stare at the door waiting for you to appear.

...finally turning onto your own street after a long road trip.

...finding money in the laundry, in a jacket, in the couch.

...Jonah outside, pressing his face up against the screen door so that his eyebrows are pushed up into his forehead, his nose looks like a pig's snout and his teeth are bared, yelling "Momma! Momma!"

...new car smell.

...getting a card or letter in the mail.

...the smell of a brand new Longaberger basket, fresh out of its wrapper.

...cheering with Ashley when she does "the perfect, I mean the sweetest cartwheel EV-ver!"

...hot cocoa in front of a Christmas tree with your kids and family around you, 1940's Christmas music playing in the background, snow falling outside.

...the smell of a roast in the oven on a gloomy day.

...the blessed sound of silence when the babies quit crying. *sigh*

...finding a rose from your honey in your car.

...spending an hour on the phone with your bestest bestest girlfriend talking about absolutely nothing, laughing so hard you spit coffee out your nose, and feeling like you could take on the world when you hang up!

...spending an entire Saturday on the couch watching movies, complete with popcorn, blankets and hot cocoa.

...THUNDERSTORMS! The bigger and louder the better!

...the perfect hair day, when it also happens to be a perfect make-up and clothes day.

...realizing you have so much to be thankful for and deciding it doesn't really matter that your windshield is cracked, your crows feet look more like eagle claws, and you're carrying way too much junk in your trunk.

Thank you God for all You've given me when I least deserved it, when it delighted me most, and in spite of the fact that I appreciated it very little.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Howcome I'm always the poop checker?"

My favorite line from the movie "Ice Age" - so short, and yet it says so much.

There's a poop checker in every house, isn't there. There are two in our house, myself and my husband. He's a pretty helpful guy, is Dan. If you toss a diaper in his direction, he'll dutifully ask to be pointed in the direction of the baby with the full britches. (I just love that man o' mine.)

He's a super guy. If there are dishes to be done, he does them. If his shoes stick to the kitchen floor, he'll mop it. If he can't see through the sliding glass door, he'll wash it. Truly, I don't deserve him.

But let's face it, there are some things that only a mother can do.

We are the keepers of the Cheerios, the washers of bottles (or boobies), the finders of blankies. We pick hair off binkies, gum out of hair, and toys out of toilets.

We cut the crusts off the PB&J, put a dot of ketchup on every single tater tot, and make sure the peas aren't touching the mashed potatoes (the horror!).

We always have juice in the fridge, crackers in the purse, and tissue in the pocket.

We make sure the lovey is washed and dry by bedtime. We know exactly how toasty you like your toast. And somehow our macaroni and cheese is perfect every time.

My point? I guess I don't have one. I didn't think that far ahead. (My coffee pot is empty and the brain matter is a little sluggish this afternoon.) I'm just hoping that, as I journal the ups and downs of my mundane little life, you might find yourself saying, "Yes! That happened to me last week!" or "I totally understand what this woman is saying!"

You might find that you aren't a crazy whacked-out mess after all. Won't that be nice?
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