Here is a little poem for this gray, cloudy day:
In my quiet home
windows open, soft rain sounds
Here is a little poem for this gray, cloudy day:
In my quiet home
windows open, soft rain sounds
Posted by briarhopper on June 8, 2015
Once upon a time, a crafty-type person (ahem…me) had a hankerin’ (Yes. Hankerin’. You know, if you are the type person who always pronounces the “g” at the end of your words, you are also the type person who would never use the term “hanker” in any of its forms, so don’t criticise my word choices. Got it? Good.) To continue…had a hankerin’ to crochet a baby blanket. Soft. Pastel. Possibly in mint and lilac colors. Doesn’t it sound lovely?
The problem was, no one I knew was having a baby–not sisters (too old. Sorry, Sis), nieces (too young), cousins, friends. Not anyone I knew. So, every time I went into a store that carried yarn, I would sigh over the array of fluffy, cloud-like baby yarns. (Baby yarns, obviously, are not for crocheting babies, but are extra fine, extra soft yarns, usually in pastel colors, used to make items for babies. You would know this stuff if you got out more.)
Finally, I learned that a friend of my sister was going to have a baby. I was slightly acquainted with this friend, so I told my sister I would crochet a baby blanket for her to give to her friend. I made some color suggestions that would work for a boy or girl, and anticipated a run to the yarn shop.
Well. (When a Southern woman says, “Well” and then stops talking, it means we are “well” and truly flabbergasted.) For her first-born child, for the sweet, soft blanket which would wrap its tiny, newborn fragility, my sister’s friend chose the colors–navy blue and gold.
Why, you might ask, did this young mother pick NB&G? Or, if you were me, you might ask, “What?! Is she nuts?! She’s only a few weeks pregnant–her brain can’t be that far gone yet! Doesn’t she realize those are the worst colors EVER for a baby blanket?”
Seems these colors are the school colors of the young mother’s husband’s alma mater. Seems she had some cockamamie idea that in years to come Dad and child would watch the football team from Dad’s alma mater on TV while the cherished blanket from child’s babyhood provided an appropriate school spirit back drop. (Insert eye roll here. Also, a derisive snort would not go amiss.)
Yes, I bought the NB&G yarn and started crocheting. It was awful. The blanket grew slowly in length, but grew mightily in ugliness. In jest, I started calling it the World’s Ugliest Baby Blanket, thinking that making fun of it would minimize the disgust. When I could, in my thoughts, separate the blanket from the fact that I was crocheting it for a baby, it wasn’t so bad. The colors weren’t ugly per se, but then I would think, “This is for a baby” and the ugliness would wash over me.
Needless to say, the WUBB grew very slowly–so slowly in fact that the poor baby it was being made for was never afflicted with it. Yes, I failed to complete the WUBB before the baby was born, before he started teething, before he learned to walk. Not receiving the WUBB was probably the best gift the child ever received. (Hey, I do what I can.)
I ended up giving the WUBB to one of my nieces. (Yes, a niece I love.) I’ll tell you about it sometime, but I’m warning you–there will probably be pictures.
Posted by briarhopper on June 6, 2015
I know that’s a provocative statement, but I think I can back it up.
Contrary to what some may believe, the Southern idiom “Bless your heart” isn’t always a grave insult of your intelligence. It can be. Oh, yes, it certainly can be. However, “Bless your heart” is a subtle saying, with many gradations of meaning within it. Sometimes, it can be a straight forward blessing, as when someone is going through a tough time, one might say, “Bless your heart! Let me give you a hug. And here’s a casserole.” As a jibe, it can mean something as lighthearted as, “Oh, honey! Your naïveté is so cute!” all the way up to “Oh, my! You’re just a walking contradiction to the process of natural selection, aren’t you?”
What does this have to do with Jesus being from the South? Because Jesus blessed someone’s heart! Yes, He did. In the Gospel of John, chapter one, verses 43 through 51, we read of Nathanael’s first encounter with Jesus. Philip urges Nathanael to come meet the man whom Moses and the prophets wrote about, namely Jesus of Nazareth. Whereupon, Nathanael laid down some snark, “Yeah, right. As if anything good can come from Nazareth.” Jesus knew Nate said that. So, when Nathanael was introduced, Jesus was ready for him.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (John 1:47-49 NASB)
Ok, here it comes. Are you ready?
Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” (John 1:50 NASB)
All right! I know the actual words, “Bless your heart” don’t appear in this (or any) translation of the Holy Bible. But there are other things we believe that are not explicitly spelled out in the Bible. Hello! The word Trinity? Not in the Bible.
Read verse 50 again. Can’t you see the amusement in Jesus’ eyes? The corner of his mouth drawn up in a slight smile? The small shake of his head? Here, I’ll paraphrase it for you: “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? Bless your heart! You will see greater things than these!”
Of course, Jesus’ “Bless your heart” for Nathanael was the gentle amusement of a loving parent for the child that is too immature to understand. Then in verse 51, Jesus gets serious. And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51 NASB). Was Jesus alluding to the passage in Genesis 28 about Jacob’s ladder with this or his own ascension into Heaven? I don’t know, but please note that in the original Greek, the “you” in this passage is plural, which can easily be translated as “you all.” What can I say? I told you Jesus was from the South.
This is certainly a lighthearted take on this Scripture passage. But I truly can see Jesus’ gentle amusement at Nathanael’s wide-eyed wonder for such a small display of Jesus’ power. Also, I hope no one is offended at my paraphrasing. This definitely isn’t an authoritative teaching on this Scripture. I mean, bless your heart, if you think this is authoritative teaching, you. . .
Well. You know.
Posted by briarhopper on May 28, 2015
Keeping chickens in town is generally an easy, fun, little hobby. The chickens are interesting to watch. The eggs are the yummiest. But sometimes, events take a strange turn.
Hens are known for having an “egg song” they sing to let you know they have laid an egg. Our Buff Orpington hen, Tillie, loudly sings her song in her strangely low-pitched, gravelly voice before she lays her eggs. She’s all, “Bok! Bok! It’s about to happen! Bok! Bok! I’m really gonna do it! Bok! Bok! I swear, I’m gonna lay this egg right here, right now!”
Enter our accidental rooster named Marilla (Yeah, I know. But we didn’t know he was a rooster when we got him.) Anyway, Marilla hears Tillie bokking her head off, and apparently thinks there is a threat he needs to let me know about. He’s all, “Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! Something’s going on out here! Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! What am I gonna do?! What am I gonna do?! I know, I’ll let that big featherless chicken take care of it. Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR!
So, I take care of it.
I bet our neighbors hate us.
Posted by briarhopper on May 21, 2015
Weight loss tips
1. Don’t buy a bag of Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips.
2. If you buy a bag of Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips, don’t open them.
3. If you open them, don’t get up out of your bed at 11:30, watch Perry Mason reruns, and start eating them.
4. If you get up out of your bed, watch Perry Mason reruns, and start eating them, don’t eat all of them.
5. If you eat all of them, let it go, because. . .
6. Today is a new day, and. . .
7. There are no more Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips left in the house anyway.
Posted by briarhopper on October 18, 2013
4. If I do 40 million loads of laundry on Monday, there should not be 40 million more loads of laundry to do on Friday.
3. I may be exaggerating.
2. But not much.
And the number one Laundry Day Truism is:
Photo from publicphoto.org
Posted by briarhopper on April 26, 2013
A poem written by the Creator
Posted by briarhopper on April 25, 2013
Posted by briarhopper on April 16, 2013
Yes, God is still good.
Reblogging this post from a survivor of recent theater massacre.
Originally posted on A MINIATURE CLAY POT:
July 22 – a note of explanation
I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience. But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.
I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for. People who know me know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…
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Posted by briarhopper on July 22, 2012
I was recently reminded of an incident that illustrates how frustratingly funny (both strange and ha ha) life can be sometimes. Here’s how it went down:
A few years ago, my husband and I finally gave up the fight and bought cell phones, a major expense for us. Shortly afterward, I was sitting at the table with my daughter and a slew of her friends for lunch. I looked around the table and saw. . .a forest of tall glasses–full of water, one at each child’s place. Looked at my cell phone lying on the table. Looked at the full water glasses. Looked at my cell phone. Plucked my cell phone up from the danger of the imminent flood–and promptly dropped it into my soup.
The soup was good though. Here is the recipe:
Buy a chicken to roast. Roast it (what else?) Have a nice dinner with your family, but freeze 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken for the soup.
Next, cook up the chicken bones for broth. You can do it! It’s easy! Just break up the bones and cover with 12 to 16 cups of water. Throw in some raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion, whatever you have.) Add a tablespoon of vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, two or three bay leaves, some peppercorns, and salt. Bring to boil, then simmer for HOURS. Try for at least four hours. Scoop out the goop, then strain out the little stuff. Put the broth in the fridge until cool to make it easy to skim off the fat. After it is cooled, freeze in 2 cup portions. Pat yourself on the back for being all frugal and Suzy Homemaker-y.
Now (and stay with me) buy a 32 ounce container of your favorite yogurt. Eat it, make smoothies or cakes or whatever, but save the container. Put it in your freezer. When you have vegetables leftover at supper that are not enough to keep for another meal, put it in the yogurt container with the juice. When the container is full, make some soup!
Add the frozen, leftover veggies to 6 cups of the wonderful homemade broth you concocted. Add the leftover chicken. Bring to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of barley. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is cooked. Season to taste. Serve with hot cornbread–of course, bake the cornbread in a skillet!
Note: Keep your cell phone far, far away from the soup.
PS: Ok, I know many of you reading this blog (if there are many of you reading this blog. Ok, some of you reading this blog. OK!) If one were actually to read this blog, one might wonder (satisfied?) why is this soup called Southwest Stew? There are no spices or ingredients that are usually found in dishes called Southwest Something. Here’s the story. I promise you, it’s short. We’re almost done here.
Once upon a time, I was an office manager for a homeless shelter. Once a week, our cook would gather whatever leftover veggies and meat were available in the walk-in refrigerator and make soup. This yummy dish was known as Walk-in Stew. You get it, right? Walk-in fridge/walk-in stew? Ok, then. This name sounded less than appetizing to me because it reminded me of feet, so I decided to change the name. (Yes! I changed the name of the soup by fiat. Office managers rule!) The kitchen was in the south west corner of the building, so, voila! Southwest Stew! Enjoy!
Posted by briarhopper on July 19, 2012