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When Does Age Come Before Beauty?

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“At what age do you consider someone old?” This question was posed one time at the dinner table. The answers varied greatly, from the 7 year old saying 20, to the middle children saying 50-60, to my answer of 70-75. What would you say?

My mom has this soapbox about how old men are often ignored, but always have some story, and often they are war tales. You know, everyone loves Si. He’s an old man who always has a “‘Nam” story ready to be told. Why is that we listen to Si’s crazy stories, regardless of their validity, but we don’t ever listen to the tales that the men in our community have to tell?

I have this recent thing about old people, I supposed you could call it a soapbox. I’m not sure why I have been paying so much attention to the gray-haired folks around me lately, but something I have noticed is that they typically get treated like they are 5. It’s sad. They have lived a much longer life than those who are treating them so. Yes, they may have Dementia, a broken hip or poor vision. We think of them as living in a nursing home, putting together puzzles and eating jello or sitting in an old church wearing big hats and perfume that is overwhelming and singing hymns. Some are, but have you ever seen a group of elderly woman sitting in Schlotzky’s playing Bridge and talking about burping and farting? I have. Have you ever listened to the old men in McDonald’s eating breakfast, talking about their farms and gossiping about their wives? I have. Have you ever ran into an 80 something year old in the restroom joking about the stupid paper towel dispenser? I have. These people have personality. They are not helpless babes. They have lived a life! And more of a worthwhile life than we have.

Is it possible we could treat them as we treat those who are 50 years younger? In fact, could we go beyond that and treat them better? After all, they are you. They were once your age. Treat them the way you want people to treat them when you are putting puzzles together in the nursing home while eating jello. Maybe we can change the way the world sees “old people.”

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Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Random Thoughts

 

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Pumpkin Bars

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Pumpkin bars. The perfect fall treat. Moist, spiced cake with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. This is my Mom’s recipe and an absolute favorite of ours.

Mom’s Perfect Pumpkin Bars

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon (or more πŸ˜‰ ) pumpkin pie spice

1 cup oil

2 cups canned pumpkin

4 eggs

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased 12Γ—9 or 13Γ—9 pan or cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 oz. softened cream cheese

3/4 softened stick of butter

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon milk

For frosting, cream the cheese, butter and sugar. Add milk and vanilla and beat well. Spread frosting on cooled bars.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Country Kitchen

 

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Rivver Storm

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It’s been almost 3 months since I posted about Rivver. I’ll just post a bunch of pictures, but she has been so much fun! She is OBSESSED with being brushed! Absolutely loves it! She follows me everywhere. She nickers when I come and whinnies when I go. She chews on my clothes (okay, so that’s not a good thing). She licks my hand, and she would suck on my fingers if I let her, but her teeth hurt! She seriously is like a little puppy. Such a different horse than I have ever met before. I love her something crazy! We have a special bond I have never had with a horse. Now, of course, there are things to work on, but I have no doubt we will be friends forever. (These photos were taken with my phone and are probably gonna be blurry.)

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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Horse Training, On Our Little Farm

 

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Corn Casserole

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This recipe is absolutely one of my favorites! It’s the kind of thing I get cravings for. And when I want it, I want it NOW! It’s something my aunt-who’s-really-my-second-cousin (we all have those, admit it. πŸ˜› ) makes when we go up for a visit to Nebraska. It’s just Aunt Rhonda’s thing. I can’t tell you how many times I begged her to make it. I was thrilled when we managed to get the recipe. It’s so good that everybody should have it!

Aunt Rhonda’s Corn Casserole

1 can whole kernel corn (not drained)
1 can cream corn
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup Velveeta (health food nuts, don’t ruin it by using “healthy” cheese!)
1 cup uncooked macaroni (don’t use a different type of noodle, it doesn’t always cook right.)
1 tsp. onion flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for one hour, stirring once after baking 30 minutes.

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Country Kitchen

 

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Dear Friend…

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Dear Friend,

I hope you realize I am referring to you. πŸ™‚ I won’t post your name, for privacy’s sake, but I think you know who you are. Another comment from you came through my email today. Everytime I see “__________ commented on your post.” I get all giddy. See, I am terribly good at putting myself down. I have a very guilty conscience. It’s rare I ever actually feel good at something.

I remember one of the first times I rode a horse. I was probably about 6. My AWANA teacher learned how much I loved horses and invited me over to her house to ride her horses Pal and Carlos. I had ridden maybe 1 or 2 times before, but never by myself. I was ecstatic. I got to ride both horses, Pal first, then Carlos. When I rode Pal she told me I was a natural. I have never forgotten that. Other people told me that in the future as well, but the first time, by a person I loved and respected, had the most impact on me. (On a short little side note, when I rode Carlos I got in a little trouble. I decided I wanted to go faster! So, I gave Carlos a little kick. Just a little one so nobody would notice. He started to trot. It wasn’t long before the husband was over taking the reins in hand and talking about how naughty Carlos had been. I never mentioned I kicked him.)

That may seem a little off subject, but horseback riding and writing are the only things I have really ever felt good at. Although, I am fairly confident in both, I have MANY days that I don’t feel good at all. It usually happens when I see someone better than me riding, or after reading an excellent author’s writing. Looking back on my own, I feel horrible. I think sometimes that we are also afraid to admit we’re good. We’re afraid that other’s will see us as prideful. Of course, if we aren’t careful, it becomes pride very quickly.

In a roundabout way, my point is that we all still need encouragement sometimes. Just a simple, “You’re good at this.” would certainly suffice! And you my friend, are excellent at this. πŸ™‚ I’ll never understand how a random person could make you feel so confident. I don’t even know what you look like, or how old you are, or anything. (I hope you are who you say you are. I believe so, but on the Internet you never know, sadly.) I feel, however, like if I met you that you would be the kind of person who would share an embrace, and neither of us would feel uncomfortable or weird. You have a warm and welcoming personality. You say I am an encouragement to you and that you enjoy my writings, but, dear friend, I think perhaps that you have encouraged me more than I you. πŸ™‚ Your comments typically either bring a large smile to my face (which doesn’t happen often) or tears to my eyes. Haha, in fact, sometimes, when I haven’t written for a while, I think, “Oh! ______ must be missing my posts! She’s waiting for another one! I need to write again for her.” Now, of course, you’re not the only one I write for. I write to hopefully draw people to seek the love I have found in Christ. But you keep me going. I appreciate you.

“May the Lord bless you and protect you, may He smile on you and be gracious to you, may He show you His favor and give you His peace.” -Numbers 6:24-26

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Random Thoughts

 

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25 Minutes

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“Who is your audience? Remember who you’re writing to.” That was kind of the catchphrase of today. I was at an all day writing seminar put on by Mr. Andrew Pudewa from Institute for Excellence in Writing. 6 hours! I was in a room for 6 hours! Now, I am a very quiet person in real life, and sitting or staying in one place for long periods of time really doesn’t bother me, however, 6 hours was a long time.

Now, to be honest, I really didn’t know why Mom wanted me to go to this class. Hunter, my brother, I could understand. He is college bound. Me, on the other hand, not so much. I wasn’t sure how a 6 hour long workshop about how to write an essay for the SAT/ACT tests would benefit me. I was surprised, though, that I was able to ignore the SAT part and still get a lot out of it. It stretched my writing skills. We did a faux essay, 25 minutes, given subject and all. We wrote two of those. I will write out my first one for y’all to read. The given topic is in bold.

“Tyler Durden, protagonist of the movie Fight Club, postulated, ‘The things you own end up owning you.’ Jennifer Lopez, on the other hand, espouses the theory, ‘Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got/I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the Block.’ What is your view on whether your possessions and education define who you are? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.”

What do you take with you when you leave this world? Nothing. You take nothing. You leave this world as naked and possessionless as the day you entered it. So, why then do we even own possessions? Why do we work so hard to have things we won’t keep?

King Solomon struggles with these questions in Ecclesiastes. In chapter 1, verses 2 and 3 he says, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?”

Why then do we strive for things of vanity? Do they make us who we are? Do they give us status in this world, this sinful world?

Some people believe that the things they own define them. If they drive a pricey car, own jewels, have a few big screen TVs, they are seen differently by the world. If a kid in school has the newest gaming system, or the most name brand clothes, who flocks to him/her? It’s like it instantly makes them popular.

On the other hand, a few, a very few, people believe that it’s not necessary to own all of that “junk.” I believe that they are right in believing so. I believe that possessions are controlling, that they become idols in our lives. I also believe that the desires to have popularity and status can, and often do, become idols as well.

Education seems to also give status. If someone has a higher degree, or the most degrees, or what to the top university, they are immediately put on a pedestal. Funny thing, you don’t take your education with you when you did either.

So, what is important? What is worth striving for? Reaching the lost. Helping them to see beyond owning possessions or having the best education. Souls of people, now there is something you do take with you.

Now, there are some things I would change about this now, having gone through the class. This was our very first project, so I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think it turned out pretty well. And I am pleased with a word count of 318 in 25 minutes.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Just For Fun

 

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To Drive or Not to Drive

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To drive or not to drive? That was the question 3 years ago. Most 15 year old girls are super excited to get their permits so they can start their path to freedom. Not me. I had Mom to transport me around, and when she couldn’t, Grandma could. I felt 15 was too young to be on the road. Not to mention I was terrified. Terrified of learning, terrified of getting in a wreck. Just scared. So, I made the decision to not learn yet. I just knew that was not ready.

It drove me crazy that my Dad and my grandparents were always down my neck asking me if I wanted to go out and practice. I felt pushed. It also got on my nerves when other kids or adults were surprised I wasn’t driving yet. I felt that people were not understanding that I was not ready. Mom understood that I was waiting for a reason, that I knew what was best and I would tell them when I was ready.

I did get my permit eventually, just for a form of ID. I think I was 16. I actually took the test the same day that my 15 year old brother took it. I missed the allotted 5 questions, Hunter missed 4.

The very few times I did drive I was extremely tense and uncomfortable. My younger brother was learning a lot faster.

Recently, Mom brought up several times that she really was beginning to wish I could drive. I started to realize that maybe it was time. Funny thing, when I started driving this time I am a million more times comfortable driving. It wasn’t the practice, because I hadn’t had much. It was the fact that I waited until I was ready. I still have a lot to learn and I still make mistakes, but I am excited to get my license in a few months. So, yes, I was a weird kids who waited until I was ready to start learning at 17/18, but it worked out for the best. Oh, I might mention that I learned in a 15 passenger van…

I also have a great first car to get me there. πŸ™‚

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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Random Thoughts

 

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