Go through the Narrow Door! An eight minute sermon clip below ---
well worth the short listening time to gain some huge clarification in direction.


Snow Wars and Flat Capes

Our Oldest doesn't enjoy snow play anymore, of course, at 18. Middle Son can still be tempted to come out for a little while. But it's My Youngest who will be found eagerly watching the snow fall and anticipating what kind it will be.
"Do you think it'll be too powdery to pack?"
"This looks like great snowball snow!"
"I don't think it's sticking - a bad sign."

When the boys were little, I was their favorite snow companion. My trips into the snow with my boys were about the wildlife, and how they might be getting along. Or about the snow itself - could we see individual snowflakes, and what shapes were they? What did it taste like? Feel like? Smell like? And on and on --- But as they each reached a certain age, they wanted me to be getting the hot chocolate ready while they went out with their Dad.
And I know why. Because SNOW means WAR.
A nice deep snowfall is just one more opportunity to fight and win a battle!

And so, while stirring the hot chocolate, I snapped these from the kitchen window. A snow battle in progress, and My Youngest cheerfully losing to his Battle Buddy/Enemy, his Dad!

Behind the snow wall, he's safe from that incoming snowball. Can you see it on the right edge of the photo?

Bolder now, having dodged quite a few, he's up and batting snow bombs away from his wall.

But nothing can save him from the Dog Who Destroys Snow Walls and the Dad Who Will Conquer (any son who is not taller than himself).

Side Note:
The boys actually like the fact that that their dad will always win. And there's something ponderable there --- they would be disappointed if he didn't exit a game of strength/agility/grit as a complete and total hero. And so they continually test themselves against him, striving for that golden day when they will finally be stronger, faster, better.
I see, in watching them, how often we position the leader of the family as the Victorious Person; The One who holds the standard (nearly) impossibly high. And I'm beginning to realize how sad it is when we grow old enough to recognize the inevitable frailty of age. When the heroes finally emerge, as they always really were, fallible and vulnerable humans, somewhat shabbily dressed in worn hoses and flat capes.

I'm finding that flat cape especially hard to deal with.


Snow Sketch

(A quick sketch by My Youngest)


She Hates It

We found this in Madison, while on our WSC Get Away. I wanted to buy it just for the priceless expression on this woman's face.
(click photo for a close-up)

Who can blame her after all! What is that guy doing? And why is he so pleased when, clearly, she is barely tolerating his attentions? Why does he just continue to shower her with floral favors and never notice that she is not enjoying his attentions? He's so focused on the project, he's forgotten the person!

Although he's so very happy with what he's done in decorating his Lady Love, I think when that final garland hits her hair, she's going to rip it off and march right out of that leafy bower! And he'll never know what hit him...


To the Rescue

After sweets overload this past holiday season, it was time to take drastic measures. And so we've been low-carb around here for the past week. But scrambled eggs certainly get tedious, everyeveryevery morning.
Holly's Egg Casserole to the rescue!
It makes me happy to think about getting up to to this:

So here's the recipe, straight from her email --- ENJOY

Ok - it is really simple.
(True Friend - she knows it has to be simple for me!)

2 cups grated cheese (I like sharp best)
4 Tb. Butter or Marg.
1 cup cream (I have used Half & Half too)
2 tsp. dried mustard
12 beaten eggs

Grease 9X 13. Spread cheese and dot with butter. Mix cream, mustard and a little pepper if you want. Pour half over cheese. Pour in eggs. Add remaining cream mixture. Bake at 325 for about 30 - 40 min. The top should be starting to brown.

Variations: Add 4oz can of diced chilies and black olives with Mexican cheese
or add your favorite cooked breakfast meat.


They're Talking

That cardinal is cautiously spying out the feeder.
"Is there finally some suet?"
"Did she buy the good stuff this time?"
"Maybe Fruity Nut flavor?"
"Or did she bring us the cheap stuff again?"
Yes, hungry cardinals are talking out there in the apple trees.

Red heads dominate, though, and they don't care what they eat.

Plump, fluffy chickadees - so dainty.
Even when eating something with such a nasty name: suet

Watch out for those jays, though - they can be mean.
AND they like the cheap food the best!
My kind of birds!


24 Hours Away

We went on a 24-hour get-away affectionately entitled:
The We Survived Christmas Get-Away!
Even one short day can be magical, if you pass it in the right place --- Richwood Plantation in Milton, KY. Absolutely beautiful setting plus a great breakfast! We had the place to ourselves, too, since it was midweek and so close to a holiday.

And in the right company! Here's My Wonderful Husband in front of the ohsocozy Summer Cottage - ours for one night.
Five minutes away, just across a (scary) bridge into Indiana is Madison --- full of quaint shops and amazing places to grab a snack or meal. You know we did both! The Christmas decorations were still up - each shop had a little something special at its entrance.

Most of the homes, also, still had on their Holiday Clothes, and I did not hesitate to take photos of those, either. My favorite, just on the outskirts of town:
I really like how they put the Holy Family out there in the forefront. Yes, sharing space with snowmen, but still clearly in the place of honor.