Along the Path

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Simple Pleasures

Simple. Little things that brought a smile to face and pleasure to my day today:


Justin always brings a smile to my face!

So does Kyle

You won't see a photo of Gregory, because he was skiing with his dad, but, of course, thinking of him makes me smile :)

Who wouldn't smile at 50 degrees after the long cold spell we have had!!!

Love, love, love, the sound and sight of that snow melting off the roof and falling like silver sparkles from the gorgeous blue sky!

Is there ANYTHING better than ice fishing when it is 50 degrees and you don't even need a coat!!



And, of course, the Saturday Bundt cake. I was feeling soooo springy, because of the melting snow, slushy streets and balmy ice fishing, I made a springy Bundt. St. Louis Orange with Orange-Lemon Syrup.

The making of this cake offered up a beautiful morning as well. In juicing the oranges and lemons for the cake, we juiced extra oranges and Dave made a delightful breakfast of pancakes, sausage and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Is there anything more peaceful and pleasurable than visiting God's house in the country.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Test YOUR Wedding Coordinator Skills

I have been busy at work today.

I took a groom (the bride was busy in school) to look at different venues for their upcoming wedding reception. We have the location for their ceremony, but we need to find a location for their reception (July wedding).

We have it narrowed down to 3. I had never been in any of these 3 places before today. One of them I just LOVED!! Especially for this couple, when I walked in, it just felt so perfect for them. The groom's face lit up. I think he liked it too :). He is going to take the bride to these places tomorrow and see what she thinks and they will let me know their decision.

Let's test your skills and see if this may be the career for you:

Background:

Young couple. Would like something "different". He is in the Air Force and she is finishing her schooling to be a police officer. They are very traditional in their beliefs, dress, design style. They would like a large dance floor because dancing is important to them. Their colors are going to be maroon and gold (the colors of the Minnesota Gophers because that is where they met). They will have 200 guests, mostly from out of town, so hotels are important. The ceremony will be at Fort Snelling Chapel (military chapel).

Sidenote: (below are some photos of one of the previous weddings I have had at the chapel) The couple shown, Jessica and David, are an adorable couple. He is from England and has such a yummy accent. She is a major sweetheart. Her grandfather had recently passed away shortly before the wedding and was buried in Fort Snelling Cemetery (Veteran). Following the ceremony, we went over to his grave and Jessica took a flower that had been arranged in her bouquet to be removed easily, and took it out and placed it on her grandfather's grave. The photo of her kissing his marker is so touching, I had to include it.






Anyway, back to the wedding at hand:

We have the reception narrowed down to 3 places. They are all within $3,000 of each other.

1. Least expensive. Historic Ballroom, once was a theatre (back when Dave was a little boy). We can bring in our own catering to customize our menu and our own alcohol to cut costs (we will have licensed alcohol providers and bartenders). Located about 10 minutes from the ceremony location and a hotel that would offer shuttle service for the guests. I can arrange to have their name placed on the marquee outside. Lighting in this place would be amazing. Capacity is 320.



2. Second most expensive. Wine restaurant. 20 minutes from ceremony location. 2 large hotels directly across the street, but they do not have a shuttle service. Restaurant provides all catering and liquor. Tables would need to removed off of dance floor for dance. Capacity 200.



(Large ice sculpture they offer for appetizers)


3. Most expensive. 30 minutes away from ceremony location. Hotels approximately 10 minutes away. In a wooded area. Venue does own catering and alcohol. Large patio area for cocktail hour. Dance floor in another room. Dance area is sunken (requires stepping down into). Large fireplace for setting head table in front of. Large windows overloking grassy area and patio. Capacity 200.




What do YOU think? Which do you think would be perfect?

I'll tell you my choice and what they decide tomorrow after the bride takes a look.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cleaning Today!


I figure it's about time to get the remainder of the Christmas decorations put away.

See you tomorrow!

PRAISE THE LORD!

Rejoice!

I know so many, many, of you have been praying for Harper. I wanted to post an update for those of you that haven't had a chance to go over to Kelly's blog for the most recent (just click on the button in the sidebar).

Harper is doing soooo much better! Your prayers are strong at work.

Monday Harper was put on a regular ventilator.

Tuesday they brought her oxygen level way down, took her off the NO and..............she opened her eyes. For the first time!!

Yesterday..................they took her completely off of the respirator and Kelly was able to feed and her hold her.................for the first time!!

What a testimony of God's faithfulness in answering prayers.


A beautiful blessing!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wiener Wednesday


That time of the week again!

Today......Theodore's day.

Theodore is my "Dennis the Menace". He is always into something.........TROUBLE!!

Theodore is always curious, playful, looking for a snack, ready to rumble.

Theodore has NO respect for:
  1. shoes
  2. food within reach
  3. garbage peaking out of the top of the garbage can
  4. toilet paper
  5. newspaper
  6. socks
  7. (Did I mention shoes?)
  8. folded towels or folded clothes in general
  9. pillows on a couch in "his" spot
  10. items in coat pockets
  11. open purses
  12. mittens
  13. DOG TOYS or STUFFED ANIMALS OF ANY SORT!
The last one brings me to today's Wiener Wednesday.

If you notice, the photo that represents Wiener Wednesday, shows Theodore, with his pitiful puppy dog look after he knows he has done something naughty (on the list). That particular photo he had just eniulated his stuffed toy. Which is what he does with EVERY stuffed toy. He pulls them apart. Chews their heads off. Pulls out all of their stuffing. Then drags around their lifeless, unstuffed, shell of a body around the house with great pride and a smile on his naughty little face.


Well, today's near victim.

I had brought over a wire basket full of "stuff" from the other house. I had sat down to sift thru it and throw away probably most of it. I brought the basket down from the attic and sat it in the middle of the living room floor. I walked away for a second. Which is all it took.

Theodore came into the room and, of course, noticed something new. The basket. How he ever knew the stuffed toy was at the very bottom in a clump I will never know.

Discovery




Success!!


So Busted!



Where there is a will.....there is a way!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My "Tuesday"


What is a "Tuesday".

I was introduced to "Tuesday" by Bobbie.

One day, many years ago, on a day when it seemed like my candle was not only burning from both ends but also ready to blow apart in the middle .....I was on the phone with Bobbie and she said........."you know Marnie, you need to take a "Tuesday". A what? A Tuesday. "O.K., Bobbie, what is a Tuesday?"

When Bobbie was a single parent, working many jobs, blowing up her candles, she was introduced to the "Tuesday". On Tuesday, which happened to be the day of the week, at that time, that worked for her schedule, she would take some time for herself. Recharge her batteries. Maybe go to a movie, take a walk in the park, read a book, go to the beach, something that didn't involve work, kids, or taking care of anyone else. Spending some time with herself. Enjoying herself. Taking care of herself.

Later she found that the day....Tuesday....of the week, didn't always work out.....perhaps it had to be on a Thursday, or a Wednesday, perhaps a Monday, or any other day of the week. It didn't matter what day of the week it was, it was just important to make time, not even an entire day, but make some time........for a "Tuesday". Time to take care of you. Time to spend time with and enjoy YOU.

She was right. I soooo needed a "Tuesday". It was hard. How unusual and foreign to plan to spend time alone, even stranger........to have permission to do it! How odd it is in our society that we have to make excuses if we want to be alone. How we are looked at with a peculiar eye if we tell someone we do not wish to do something with them or as a group because we need some ME time. What is wrong with her? How unsocial!

More of us need to learn to enjoy and cherish our own company. Get to know who we are. What do I like to do. Who am I? Other than a mother, a wife, a business associate.
Who Am I? Learn to enjoy ourselves.......by ourselves.

We also need to learn not to make excuses for "such behavior". It is perfectly acceptable to go "hang out" with a group of friends in mindless entertainment such as watching a football game on a big screen in a crowded sports bar, or sitting in a room full of people watching the television hanging on the wall............with no interaction. Why is it unacceptable to go to a park alone, enjoying the outdoors, reading a book, enjoying a beverage. Why is it unacceptable to pack yourself a picnic lunch and go "exploring" down a state park trail; opening your mind and thoughts up to new experiences. Why is it so difficult to simply say "I want to spend the day alone, by myself", without someone being offended or taking it the "wrong" way.

Why is it so many people find it uncomfortable or don't like to be alone? If they don't like spending time with themselves..........what makes them think anyone else does either?

A "Tuesday" doesn't have to be the entire day. It can just be a couple of hours. Which, because of my hectic schedule, is typically what they are. But, even with the limited time, what good it does for my soul. A little "down" time is truly a wonderful thing! Sometimes it is amazing what I come up with!

This week my "Tuesday" was on Tuesday.

I had an appointment in Stillwater and made plans afterwards to take a couple hours for my "Tuesday".

I drove down some random country roads and walked along some trails next to frozen fields and ice covered rivers. I was alone. I felt so far from the world, and it was happy.

I had brought my camera along and snapped some random shots.

Walk with me:







Take time for yourself. Take a "Tuesday"!

They Do

This year has been a year full of changes for Gregory.

Among other things, it is the first year that I have not either walked him to school or driven him to and from school. He has never taken the bus.

Until this year.

He gets on the bus less than 1/2 a block from our front door. When school first started, suffering from separation anxiety (me, not him), I would walk him down the 1/2 block to where he stands for the bus. "Mom, you don't have to walk down with me. You can save your energy and wait on the porch. I'm o.k.", (his nice way of telling me the other 3 friends that wait with him didn't have their parents standing there and he didn't want his either!)

I waited on the porch. I sat in the red rocking chair or swung gently on the white porch swing. Talking to him (1/2 block away) so he wouldn't feel alone. "Mom, you don't have to talk to me from the porch. I know you are there without hearing you, I'm o.k.".

The weather turned cold. I would bundle up in my coat, boots, hat and gloves and stand on the porch. Waiting for the bus to come around the corner and him to get on. "Mom, you don't have to stand outside. It's too cold. The bus comes right after I leave the house, I'm o.k.".

I have been sitting on the second step on the stair landing. Watching out the second story window.

I can see him leave the house, walk down the path, and wait for the bus right by the pole. I can see the bus come down the side street, turn, stop and pick him and the other 3 little kids up. I have been here every morning since the weather turned cold and I was told I didn't need to be outside and he was o.k. He doesn't even know about this secret place.

Or so I thought.

This morning I hugged and kissed him at the door and off he shuttled down the steps. I closed the door behind him and crept up to my secret place. There I sat in the still of the dark, quiet house. I could see him. Kicking up the snow around him. Adjusting his backpack. Then he turned. My direction. Picked up his little arm and waved. A smile across his little face. He knew I was there. He has known I was there all this time. He had known, and yet not acknowledged my presence until today.

We may think our children are not paying attention. We may think they do not not know we are there.

They do.

They feel it. They know it. They find comfort in it. Even if they do not acknowledge it. Even if you feel like they don't notice. Even if you feel like they don't care.

They do.

I will be back on my step tomorrow morning, and anywhere else I need to be for the rest of my life......watching, loving, protecting, and just being there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Meaning of S.H.I.T.

According to Kyle:

Kyle is always full of facts, figures and information.

Yesterday, he told me about S.H.I.T.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, before the invention of commercial fertilizer, everything had to be transported by ship. Therefore, large shipments of manure were common. It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, it not only became heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas.

As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the term "Ship High In Transit" on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term "S.H.I.T," which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did I. I always thought it was a golf term.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday Simple Pleasures


Sorry this isn't being posted until Sunday. I was too busy enjoying all my simple pleasures yesterday! :)

Simple. Little things that brought a smile to face and pleasure to my day today:

Perfect way to start the day.....baking one of my (and Justin's) favorites; my chocolate mayonnaise Bundt cake with homemade chocolate butter cream frosting with chocolate shavings.
(I am also a proud member of the Bundt Cake Club!)

Which brings me to another pleasure of the day: My Aunt Audrey and Step-Mother Bonnie sending me all the below links for Crock-Pot recipes (remember my Crock-Pot Club Membership)

CLICK ON ANY ONE OF THEM!

Crock Pot - Beef






Crock Pot - Pork






Cupcake tasting for an upcoming wedding (08/01/09): Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache frosting, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, red velvet with cream cheese or butter cream frosting; any combination of those and variety of fillings.

Groom-to-be who knows what he wants out of a cupcake.

The heavenly aroma and tantalizing sights of fresh oven baked breads and savory pastries of my favorite bakery.

Complimentary goodies from the owner of the bakery who is a vendor of mine. Fresh baked Parmesan Onion and Cobb with rye and flax breads and delectable chocolate cream cheese brownies.

The exit ramp to go to New Richmond after I forgot to get gas in Stillwater and my car's gas tank was sooooooo on empty and screaming at me by this point!

Gifts from Hawaii. For those of you that drink coffee. Stop on by.....I got some great stuff now!

Thanks Bill!

Getting Gregory a new hat to put his two pins in from his two pins!

Is there anything better than a small town house of God?

God is SO good!