You Don’t Have to Change Your Mind

This is different, but at least it will be unpopular.

You don’t have to change your mind.

Instead of shifting your attention from one thing to another like a raccoon with a hatful of shiny objects:


That’s right. I said it.

Instead of committing your life to something because the cool kids ‘like’ its page on Flackbook; why not sit quietly sometimes and think about important ideas? Have a conversation about something besides carnal pleasures.  [Don’t get mad because I used the word ‘carnal‘ properly.  The word means “related to the needs of the physical, temporal; rather than the spiritual”.]

You know what I mean…

“I need a latte.”  The hell heck you do.  Have a cup of strong, black Folger’s.

“Your HAIR! What are you using on it?”  Shampoo.

“Have you seen the new [shirtless hairless effeminate male pin-up] movie?”  Why?  So we can argue about whether, evil or soft-smooth-hands-that-have-never-done-a-day’s-work are more attractive?

“I LOVE [fried chicken sandwiches].  They are AMAZING!”  They are poison.  Whether the founder attends church or not.

“Should I get [another] tattoo?”  No, start chain smoking.  Dumbass.

Put down the game controller.

And the freaking phone.

Your mind is starving to death.  If you think [chocolate milk with a shot of coffee] is amazing, your life is too darn small.  If you are amazed by that, it’s because so few really great things have crossed your consciousness.  Amazing isn’t a synonym for pleasant.

You don’t need to be obsessed with something.

All the time.

It’s okay to be interested in a variety of things.

You don’t have to be “passionate about something” or “have a passion for” it.

You can just do your thing.

Read good books.  Eat what’s served.  Go interesting places.  Have hobbies.  Try new things.  Like them or don’t.

Do your best in high school.

If your parents are letting you pick your path, find some post-secondary training of some kind.

Get a job.  Don’t be idle.  There is honor in work.  Whether it is the paycheck kind or the building the family blessing kind.

You can do any kind of work.  You don’t have to get famous for it.

It’s only bacon.  Bring it home.

I think you should work just a little bit more than you play.  Believe me or don’t, but if you haven’t worn yourself out with work, you will not enjoy the play as much as you would if you did.

Just live.

The passion of Christ, refers to his journey to the cross to be poured out as an offering for us.  His commitment to do what His Father desired.

Are you ready for that definition of passion?

Good.  Because Jesus, too, did a regular job, hung out with his family, attended worship regularly, and obeyed the law of the land.  He’d never heard of [chocolate milk with a shot of coffee] or [fried chicken sandwiches].

The passion will find you.  Though it will not know where to look, if you are always running from one silly, trivial, shiny thing to another.








Back Then Book Review Day

It took the girls longer than I thought it would to get a solid grasp of chronological terms.  Now, however, they have a very specific list of terms that refer to their perception of time past.  When I was a child?  Back Then.

Today, I am employing the sociopathological lawlessness I’m known for and abusing the term.

Today, ‘back then’ means when they were little(10) and we did a lot more read aloud than is strictly called for for educating big kids.

We checked out a Newbery Award winning book from the church library.

A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck was a fun read-aloud for 10 year-olds.


I laughed until tears streamed down my face and I had to blow my nose.

In the middle of the Great Depression, a young girl is sent from Chicago to live with her grandmother in a rural community.

Having come from small town people and having personally benefited from the influence of grandparents who lived through the Great Depression, I was reduced to uncontrollable laughter more than once.

Peck turns an elegant country phrase.  Sees through the eyes of a man his father’s age.  Or his mother’s.

One taste and we were hooked.  We ran through all the titles except one in the church library and moved on to the Public Library.  In the research for this post, I found a number of titles the public library had never heard of.  I’m excited to research those online and at the used bookstore.

Our favorites include:

A Long Way From Chicago

The Teacher’s Funeral: a Comedy In Three Parts

Fair Weather


A Season of Gifts

We tried an audio book, but agreed that I’m funnier.

It turns out that Peck is not limited to this gentle hilarity, but writes ghost stories and novels dealing with modern life issues young people face. Which we’ll be checking out this afternoon at the library and the used book store.

I urge you to include the titles we’ve enjoyed in your family read-aloud time, or even just your personal recreational reading.  It’s a refreshing break from the heaviness and the self-consciousness of a lot of contemporary adult fiction.

In researching this post, I ran across a Goodreads account I had pretty much ignored for…awhile.  If you aren’t familiar with Good Reads it’s like a giant online baseball card collection only with books.  I have updated a couple of things and would love to connect with you there if anyone’s interested.

While I was thinking of that, I remembered this blog has a Facebook fan page and I nearly gave myself a cardiac event trying to create the widget.  I will try again when I am not administering cultural lockdown on 15 year-olds (YES, IT STILL HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS THEM.)  I beg invite you to “like” the page, if you aren’t going to let facebo*ks widget keep you from liking old ladies’ lame-a** blogs if you want to.

While we’re at it….  you can dig “the accident” on Twit*er. For free, mind you.

I digress.

There are still a couple of weeks of summer left.  That calls for some lazy afternoons.  That calls for a great book.  These are that.

I you’re embarrassed to check them out, say it’s for your niece.



Good Morning. Ish.

Good Morning.  I guess no matter where you are on earth… Monday morning is a beginning.  I suppose there may be a tribal people living on the top of a mountain in South America who begin their week on Thursday, but more than likely, they are not reading this.

Already digressing and it’s not even 8.

Technically, this is the second to the last week of the school year. Tennessee school year runs from July 1 to July 30.  We didn’t do it.  We failed.  And all three of us get to experience the consequences.  We are taking Algebra again.  Maybe Science.  Next year is going to be a Son of a Gun.  I am not apologizing to them.  They are supers.  We should have been done in March.  As it is.  They will be completing two Maths next year and possibly two Sciences.  HA.  With a 4.0.

I have been listening to Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother on cd from the library.  Far from being awful to me,  I find her to be a mom with an inspirational life.  Mistakes? Obviously.  Wrong for expecting kids to achieve what they are able to?  No.  Humble?  Now, yes.  Telling anyone else what to do? No.

It’s a shame her 13 year-old wore her down.  Even the girls were in the back seat yelling, “She’s 13. Don’t listen to her!”  They should know.

I fully expect these same children to be writing fan letters to that little girl by Columbus Day.

As I alluded to in yesterday’s post.  Complacency or something worse has blinded me to the gradual wearing away of standards in school, behavior, appearance, speech, dress, home keeping, fiinancial management and spiritual life.  Little by little, I have said,”Why does it have to be done, “one way or the other”?” Until nothing is being done any way.  And I’ve tried to make everyone but myself responsible.

So with my head still pounding, I will call the doctor, then the director of the independent study program.

I can pay bills.  Yay. I don’t anticipate that this will get old anytime soon.  We have gotten through all the birthdays and celebrations and are now 9see above0 going on a very strict budget for the purpose of financial recovery. We are also going to  change banks.  After six years of struggle.  I have spared you the banking drama.  It has now become cost effective to move. And it’s consistent with our new financial attitude…

The local homeschool fest is this week.  I guess I am going. Meh.  I need a few things. I have to squeeze it in Friday, before…

I am hoping to drive over to Nashville this weekend to meet with friends.  I guess.  I am so homesick and it won’t be enough.  I know what will happen.  We will be so hungry and thirsty for fellowship when we leave.  We’ll dream about moving [again] for weeks afterward.

Good Monday Morning to you.  Where ever you are.  Enjoy you fresh new week.  What are you going to do with it?



Fifty Shades of… Cake?

Um, yeah.  I won’t be reading those books.  Let’s just say, that I’d bet dollars to donuts that none of the characters in the steamy little series is the least little bit like me or like I want to be.


There’s this cake recipe that the midwestern church ladies make.  They don’t say the name in mixed comp’ny.   When they do say it, they blush and giggle.

It’s called…Better-Than-Sex-Cake.

There are actually two cakes I’ve been offered under this name.  One has Cool Whip and crushed pineapple.  The other is chocolate.

I’ve had sex and I’ve had cake.  I can only conclude that the poor old gal who named this cake hadn’t.  Or what she’d been offered had been a product of the least possible competence and effort.

Cake!  I’m talking about cake.

So the reason I bring this up is I’ve been thinking lately that since the vittles around here have improved mightily in the last 2 months, there are a few foods that I consider BetterThanBetterThanSexCake.  I probably should add a disclaimer than I don’t typically choose cake if cookies or cinnamon rolls are available.  And I don’t compare desserts with…

Never. Mind.


1) Hamburgers. Grilled at home over charcoal. You know I’m right.

2) Bacon. We still have several pounds.  This isn’t number one, because there is just a freaking limit.

3) Fried rice.  When I am making ordering it, I think, “Ah. Whatever.  I guess rice.”  When I taste it, I am all like,”Dang, that is just good!!!”

4) Peach Pie. From. Scratch.

5) Tea. Unsweet, Iced, Withlemononasunnydayridingaroundwiththewindowsdownandnochildreninthecar.

6) Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. Believe the hype.

7) My Spaghetti Sauce.  Over angel hair pasta.

8) Real Homemade Mashed Potatoes.

9) Oatmeal Cookies.  Great-grandma’s recipe.

10) Taco Salad.  My recipe at home.

I am still pro-cake and pro-sex.  I am, however, anti-allowing-virgins-to-name-desserts.

photo: food network

What sounds good tonight?

It’s Monday and I am SOOO MissElaineous!



I Won, I Won, I Won.

WOW is my face red.  I have lost the key to the trophy case, because it has been something like a year since I have won anything blog related.  So.  In the interest of credit where it is due…

Several weeks ago, I entered the I Heart Faces Photoshop Makeover Giveaway.  There were a number of sites to sign up on and I won at Tator Tots and Jell-o. The prize was that you send one photo of yourself to Amy and she would do a photoshop makeover of your mugshot and make you look moviestar.  I won.  I did. She did.

As a result, you may begin to see a whole new me popping up.  I am very thankful both to Amy and Jennifer.  They were just doing their thing, and had no idea what a difference this would make in the way I see myself.  Thanks, Ladies.

Additionally, I have also to thank Jennifer@Always in Wonder for giving me the Stylish Blogger Award.

I have been slow on saying thank you and getting this sleek button up in the sidebar.  Thanks, Jennifer, and my apologies for my slowness!!!  As you are stopping by AIW, don’t miss the Egg Yolk Facial.
This is one of those fun, friendly pass along awards that some pass along and some don’t.  Here is the way it works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. (I am not sure I have 15, but I will try to come up with a fistful.)
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Here are my 7 things, in no particular order.
1. I can’t have Lucky Charms Cereal in my house.  I will eat it all.  I won’t share with my children.  I won’t be nice.  I can’t imagine what might happen if I got ahold of a harder drug.  Just writing this makes me want to run to the grocery store.  The small box is currently on sale for $2.18.
2. I prefer reality TV and sitcoms to”drama”.  Reality TV is criticized because it usually isn’t a reality situation. In my reality, I have to rely on my own real life attitude, behavior, and character.  On reality TV, it is ALWAYS a test of the participants real life coping skills. How low will they go?
3. My children are adopted. It is no piece of cake, but I dig it.  I recommend it.
4. I think God does mini-miracles, because He wants to keep our undivided attention.  For example, I left a comment on Parenting By Dummies about my shopping friend being half a continent away, and a day or two later found out she is moving to a nearby city that has better shopping.  No biggie.  I just wish I had mentioned it sooner.

5. I don’t have a freebie list because that is wrong and Mark Wahlberg is not on it.
6. I love to read.
7. My family thinks I am a good cook.

If there were an eighth, I would have to say that I discovered blogging just a little more than a year ago, and have a great time getting to know people that way.  Here are my bloggers that I would give the award to.

Little Bit Quirky
Grown Up For Real
Super Mom Blues

These are my newest favorites, of course there is always In the Mommy Trenches, but she is having her SITS day today.  I don’t want there to be any confusion.

Thanks again ladies; I’m for the grocery store.

Durn It, Ree.

Nine years ago, I was in an email discussion with an online friend with whom I shared an fascination with the tough gals of the old west, who did the same job we did, without the benefit of indoor plumbing and electricity, to say nothing of telephone and television.  Which is how I found myself searching for photos of the Pioneer Woman Statue in Ponca City, OK.

The second or third result yielded a “blog” (whatever that was) of a gal who had moved from the big city to the “isolated” country somewhere.  I rolled my eyes, thought,”kwitcherbitchin'”, and moved on to locate the object of my search.  The “real” Pioneer Woman.

I didn’t tell anyone about it.  Didn’t read all that much of it and didn’t think of it again until last Saturday, when I got my birthday present.

Shut up.

I have always been the girl who bucked the trend.  If someone said, “You have to…”  I would say in my snotty little heart, “Do I?”  I still haven’t seen the movie, Titanic.

So I get way down in the middle of memorizing every word reading my shiny new cookbook, and she tells about the day a few years ago when she started her blog.  Oh.  That Pioneer Woman.

Shut up.

Ree Drummond got the life I wanted.  Ranch, cowboy, basset hound ( I don’t want hers; I want my own.). I am from Oklahoma and I knew I wanted the dream life when Ree was in L.A. spending too much on shoes. She also happens to have collected on my current dream.  Her little simple blog grew to the point that when she published her cookbook, her fans went out and made it a #1 bestseller.  And demanded more.

Worst of all, I couldn’t find a single thing to criticize about the book.  It’s great.  I am a cookbook snob. I spent the entire weekend trying to find something to dislike.  There was nothing*.  It’s like she wrote it for me. Thanks, Pioneer Woman.

*Nothing I wouldn’t ask of every cookbook ever published. Is there a law requiring that every cookbook ever published include a recipe for artichoke dip?  I mean it; I need to know.

Yeah, and no, I am not being paid for an endorsement.  Or a review. Duh.  There is just not really anyplace but the blog where you can say you love someone you want to hate (ya stalker) and someone somewhere will go, “I’m cool with that.”

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