Sunday, December 20, 2009

A blanket of rest visits Maryland

A glorious noreaster has blown in about 23 inches of snow this weekend. What an incredible way to end a semester; thank you Jesus! Snow storms are such a wonderful reminder that though we think we are in control of our lives, something as little as frozen water molecules can turn us upside down. We all have to stop and look at the world. We are forced to rest. And what an awesome sight to see the world silent in a white SPARKLING blanket of snow. For a moment the world is so peaceful. It is one of my absolute favorite experiences; the sound of nothing but snow falling and the look of everything so beautifully crystallized. It is a time to rest and play with the people closest to you. Even the people you meet on adventures out into the storm, there is an exchange and care for eachother that does not usually occur on a regular basis.

I love the hot drinks, board games, puzzles, movies, and books that can be experienced without worrying about what needs to be done on a snow day. A bonding little surprise with the ones you love, and a vibrant reminder that God is in control and he will bring us rest.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Confessions from a granddaughter of a domestic goddess

In the spirit of my dear friend Becca. Who has a fabulous food blog, gourmet cooking on a dime, I have decided to share one of my family domestic goddess secrets. Well, it may not be a secret after all but still worth sharing.

Growing up if anyone of my siblings (there are seven of us!) stained a beloved piece of clothing it would be taken immediately to my grandma. She is one of those fabulous women who know how to pinch a penny, but believes in buying quality items and taking care of them. She is a guru of house care and can tell you anything from where to get a quality bra, who can re-sole your favorite boots, to how to get blood out of the sofa. The only domestic quality she lacks is the ability to cook, which my mom makes up for.

So yesterday when I spilled the yam maple-butter sauce all over my new cute (and potentially long-term) shirt dress, I knew where to go. I had simply washed it, but the oil stain remained. So I called grandma immediately. Whatever you must do, DO NOT DRY a stain, the dryer heat sets the stain and its a goner by then. This is what my grandmother told me, when you get the stain if you are not in the immediate vicinity of stain remover, spit on the stain. Spit has enzymes that can break down the stain. Once home a paste of baking soda and water can be applied to the stain and allowed to sit for 30 minutes. Also lemon juice can be applied to the stain. If these are unavailable dishsoap can cut through grease stains (which was eventually what got the butter out of my dress!) If none of these work, I call my grandmother again, she has more secrets or take it to the dry-cleaner (they are pretty amazing and were able to get chinese food grease out of my favorite trenchcoat!)

Happy stain removal!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Reflections on Fifth grade

When I was nine years old I entered the third grade at a new public elementary school. Before this year I had been going to a private christian school, and the transition was rough on me to say the least. I threw up the first three days of third grade because I was so nervous. In my first few weeks there it was apparent that I was behind all the other students in math and writing, struggling to keep up. Thankfully I had a most wonderful teacher, Mr. Turner, who was quite the pusher. He met with my parents and told them I was smart but needed to just work hard to catch up. My parents were incredible and tutored me every night, always pressing me to work "maximum" not "minimum" in my homework. Well, it worked.

Fast forward two years, I graduated fifth grade, class valedictorian. Silly little award I know. But I was presented with a gift from my principal, a framed poem, called 'Don't Quit'. I loved that poem and memorized it in the weeks to come. I still love it and had no idea how much it would correspond with my life journey. Not that I've had many hardships, just in how life can be difficult at times. I almost always reflect back on it. I thought I would share:

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.