Friday, November 02, 2012

Status Report - November 2012

November has arrived, chilly and right on time. Does it seem like this year is flying by? I intended to write a status update post yesterday, but never got to it, so here it is today. my kitchen. It’s a little chilly in here, so I’ve got my sweater on. It’s been chilly enough for our gas fireplace to kick on the past few mornings. I have a feeling it may be a cold winter this year. 

Sipping....homemade ‘pumpkin juice.’ We really liked the pumpkin juice we found at Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last year, and I’ve attempted to come up with something similar here. The last time I tried to discover a recipe, we didn’t like it very much, but that may be because we didn’t stumble across the secret that we did this time, which is that it is much better served cold than hot. After looking around on the internet for some ideas, the recipe I came up with this time is much more to the liking of my boys and myself. Even my daughter claims to like it, though she didn’t finish her small cup of it last night. Here’s how I made it if anyone wants to give it a try:

1 gallon apple cider
1 can pumpkin
1 large spoonful honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice (if it’s ‘allspice,’ why do you have to use other spices with it? Just something my inquiring mind wants to know)
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Add all together and simmer on the stove for a while. Cool and store in refrigerator. Best served cold. 

Funny (to me) story...The apple cider was not in the refrigerated section of the store when I bought it, so when I brought it home, I put it on the counter until I finally got around to trying the pumpkin juice experiment, which was two weeks later. I was wondering if maybe it should have been refrigerated after all because it seemed to have expanded the plastic jug it was in a little on the bottom and it was a little tangy and it frothed pretty quickly as I simmered it. I did a little wondering about how bad it might be if the teetotaling Southern Baptist deacon’s wife made her kids tipsy with fermented apple cider, but it turned out ok. :-) 

Waiting....for the sun to come up just a little bit more so I can go out and take a walk. Walking outside is a little depressing when it’s chilly AND dismal gray out, so I’m hoping for chilly and a little sunnier. I need some exercise, though. I haven’t done very well this week with exercising (meaning, I haven't exercised at all, urg) and need to get back to it. 

Glad....that the time change is this Sunday. It will be nice to have daylight in the morning when I walk kids to the bus again, at least for a little while. Don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, too!!

Thinking...that this year is flying by. I think the busyness of band practices and football practices this fall contributed to how fast time seems to go by. Just last summer when we were thinking that the busiest time of the year would wind down in October once marching band season was over, that seemed such a long way away. And here we are, no more band practices for my oldest boy, and only one more week of football for my middle boy. Already. Band ended on a high note (smile!) as their band finished fourth in their class for the state. Just qualifying for state finals was so cool. And football is ending on a high note for our middle boy, too, as his team won their playoff game last week and is 'superbowl' bound this weekend. It's going to feel strange when all the whirlwind slows down after this week, but it's going to be nice to have a more relaxed family time in the evenings, too. Looking forward to getting back to reading together again. We still so enjoy reading books out loud together, and that's been on hold for MONTHS now. I'll be glad to get that back. how often people gripe about laundry on Facebook. Seriously, laundry isn’t exactly my favorite thing, either, but it has to be done. I, for one, am really glad to have a washing machine and dryer. After watching Revolution and wondering how they always seem to look so clean with no electricity for the past 15 years and always on the road looking for the kidnapped brother, and then thinking about what a chore laundry really would be without electricity, I've decided that, yeah, laundry can feel like a drudgery and a ‘vanity of vanity’ kind of chore since once you get it done there’s always more, but it has to be done, so might as well just do and stop griping about it. My two cents there. You could always be glad you don’t have the torture I do going through my head, singing, “Laundry, Laundry,” to the tune of “Monday, Monday” every time I go in there and start sorting the clothes. Or, then again, maybe now you will now that I’ve planted that little gem in your noggin. You are welcome.

Speaking...of Facebook, I’m thinking it may be time, once again, to take a bit of a hiatus. Facebook is good in a way, because I’ve reconnected with friends from times and places past who I had lost touch with or would have lost touch with, and I enjoy keeping up with them. However, for someone like me who is all too prone to hermit-like tendencies, it also has dangers in that it can lead to a false sense of connection, too. It’s really easy to get sucked into thinking that if you interact with blog and Facebook friends that you have ‘community’ and then ignore the real people right across the street. What I mean is, Facebook can feed hermit-like tendencies if I’m not careful. So, need to watch it and get out there and connect with my nearby neighbors more. Plus, when you’re tempted to check in too often, it eats away at things that are more important. For example, I meant to be getting serious about my writing this fall. I need to get past the ‘mean to’ and just DO IT. That may mean hiding my dumb ‘smart phone,’ which I think has actually made me dumber with the false urgency of having too much right there at my finger tips all demanding my dwindling attention span. I am convinced computers and smart phones are turning us into zombies.

Speaking....of zombies, what is the deal with all the death stuff on kids’ clothes? And all the talk about zombies everywhere, all the time, by almost everyone? My daughter has nightmares about zombies, thanks a lot everybody for talking about them all the time. Stop it already. Why is our culture increasingly obsessed with grossness and death?

Working....on memorizing several passages of scripture again, and I’ve come up with a way to be more disciplined about working on it throughout the day. Aside from the limited time block I’m planning to allow myself on the computer, whenever I’m tempted to hit the Facebook app on my phone, I’m going to reach for the memory work instead. This morning I began reviewing Philippians to refresh it once again. It’s amazing that after all those months I spent memorizing it and how well I once knew it, how rusty I’ve become since I haven’t reviewed it in a while. I don’t want to lose it completely, so I’m actively reviewing it. I’m also going back to work on something else I started but never finished a few years ago. When I was an Awana helper at our church in South Carolina, we were challenged as leaders to memorize several passages, and I have always intended to complete that challenge, for my own benefit even though we are no longer there in SC. Today I was reviewing Psalm 23, and I just love, love, love that Psalm. I think when a passage is familiar, sometimes we neglect to take time to really think about what it’s saying, and this morning was sweet indeed as I thought about how the God who is so awesome, as I wrote about in the October 23 post, is so very tender and personal and loving to His children that He is our shepherd who cares for us and leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. 

Reading....well, just finished reading, The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler. I highly recommend this book. And I’m also reading a fiction book I got at the library the other day, State of Fear by Michael Crichton. Due to my aforementioned smart phone induced ADD, I’ve had a little trouble sitting still long enough to really read, but I think that will be improving now as I put the safeguards in place to really limit those tendencies to be online all the time. Hoping to spend some time writing, too. Like I’ve said countless times before, I need to hurry up and keep writing the pirate story while my middle son who requested it is still a kid and can enjoy it.......

Looking....out the window, I see the sun is finally up, so I think I’ll go ahead and end this and post it and get moving today. 

Happy Friday, all.

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