Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday's Truth: Happy Birthday

(Image courtesy of free birthday clip art on Google Images)

Today is my birthday. I am another year closer to 50. Because it is my birthday I should be able to take the day off and celebrate, right? Well, not exactly...at least not today. There are activities, several doctor appointments, voice lessons, swim team practice, etc...scheduled from morning to night. If I'm lucky I might be home by 7:30 or 8:00 pm. Maybe I'll take a day off later this week to reflect upon what this birthday truly means to me (while getting a pedicure in a massage chair). But right now...sorry...there's no time.

Gotta go and be a mom!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Musings: August 30, 2010

Dear Food Network Shows and Top Chef,

The past year or so I've noticed many episodes dealing with Arctic Char. I enjoy fish so I have been intrigued with this particular species that was unknown to me. When I saw it on the menu recently I decided I had to order it. Well, it was good but I must admit I was underwhelmed. Arctic Char is nothing more than salmon! I swear! I did a Wikipedia search afterward and found that Arctic Char is a cross between salmon and trout. No, I disagree...it was salmon, pure and simple...same flavor and texture.  Good thing I like salmon but still, I was expecting something so different and more exciting. Oh well.

A disappointed 5th


Speaking of food I have discovered that although I enjoy sushi...a very little goes a long way. And I definitely make use of he wasabi and pickled ginger. However, I cannot make a whole meal of sushi. After a few bites I am done. Any more tends to make me ill. Please remind me of that the next time I go to a Japenese restaurant with the gals.


Dear Middle School English Teacher

You are so cute and perky that what little boy wouldn't fall head over heels in love with you. Now don't go breaking my Munchie's heart.

Mama 5th


Dear Panthers,

Apparently you played a terrific game Saturday night. The boys went and stayed until the very end. Bethany stayed up watching the game until the very end. Me? Well, considering it was day 2 of my 3 day 12 hour shift marathon, I was warmly snuggled in my bed sawing zzzzzzzz's. Now why couldn't you all have shown up last week when I was physically at the stadium to cheer you on? Regardless, keep up the good work and I will be there at the season opener!

A fanatic 5th


Dear Dreams,

Thanks for a mostly peaceful week. However, driving off that rickety bridge into the Smoky Hill River wasn't fun. At least I wasn't the one driving. My poor mother was. My biggest worry? That Andy (my new android cell phone) got wet. Oh, and everyone that was in the car got out okay.

A river soaked 5th


Dear Holy Spirit,

I have been heavily relying on you and your gifts these past few weeks, especially that of Fortitude. Thank you for being so generous. I open my heart and invite you to hang out with me for the long haul. Maybe Wisdom and Knowledge will be forthcoming?

Humbly your servant, 5th


That's this week's edition of Monday Musings. With both kids now in school you would think I would have the luxury of time...unfortunately my week is already packed full. I think we all are going to have to get used to these new changes. Regardless, make it a wonderful week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flash Friday 55: 1st Day of School

“Hey Munch, time to get up!”
Mumble, mumble, yawn.
“Remember? It’s your 1st day of school!”
“Hey Mom, do you have to go into work?”
“Yes sweetie, I do. It’s all planned out: Daddy will take you to school and Brandon’s mom will pick you up. I bet there’ll even be treats involved!”
“Oh, Okay!”


That Munchie-Boy! Treats always make things better! Anyway, I am participating in Flash Friday 55, a meme hosted by our very own Mr. Know it All (aka G-Man). The purpose to to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words, no more, no less. Care to join the fun? Just link up in G-Man's comment section

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Blue Iris

Image courtesy of Terry Wild Stock from Google Images

Blue Irises, tall and proud, stand guard at the gate.
They gently tempt the young child.
She cocks her head and listens with her heart.
She hears them whisper, “Come near my dear…
Let our beauty entrance you…
Let our fragrance intoxicate you.”
At the tender age of 6 she could not be 
expected to resist this siren call.
She approaches the picket fence and slowly reaches out her hand
To pull the precious flower close to her…
The reverie was short lived.
The sound of the screen door hitting it's frame 
reverberated through the air
as the blue haired lady with the humped back 
shot off her front porch.
With broom in hand, she shouts threats and obscenities 
that no child should be privy to.
Confused as to what her crime was, 
The child had no choice but to run.
And so she fled, teardrops scorching her soul. 
The blue irises hung their heads in shame.

I am participating in Ms. Jenny's Rainbow Summer School, where we study the colors of the rainbow. This week's essay deals with a childhood memory regarding the color blue, our color of the week. 

Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits: August 24, 2010

I may be incognito for much of this week. You see, this is a week filled with doctor appointments, choir rehearsals, voice lessons, parent meetings, other meetings, open houses, plus another work weekend approaches. Additionally, school officially begins for Bethany tomorrow and for the Munch on Friday. So gearing up for all of this has been quite time consuming.  The result? No blog post for today.

However, I have discovered a blog I would love for you all to visit and take a look around. The blog is called Caffeinated Dreaming and is written by a young gal who could most likely be called a "Renaissance Woman". She is a friend of Bethany's, has a beautiful singing voice, is also in the choir, demonstrates a unique sense of fashion (not at all cookie cutter...think trend setter as opposed to trend follower). What I have found most intriguing about this young gal has been the poetry I've found on her blog. Amazing. Please visit and tell her I sent you. Oh, I will forewarn you...she has music on her blog...if you are not into all that please adjust your volume control accordingly.  

That's it for today. Maybe, just maybe, I will try to squeeze in a haiku for tomorrow but there are no guarantees. Take care and Happy Tuesday dear friends.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Musings: August 23, 2010

Dear Carolina Panthers,

There are only 3 games that I am able to attend this year due to my work schedule. Could you try just a little harder?  Please, for my sanity's sake?

A fanatic 5th

PS:  These may be the last games I'll be able to attend as Mr. Sister is considering selling our PSL's  (boo hoo)


Dear Matt Moore,

You are NOT all that. I remain quite unimpressed. 

A disappointed 5th


Dear Jake Delhomme,

I miss you!

Your #1 Fan 


Dear Mr. Sister,

Thank you for the wonderful early birthday gift of my new Android. However, your gift has had some unintended consequences, for you see, I have fallen in love. I couldn't help myself.  I keep "Andy" near me at all times. He is always at my beck and call. He provides me with quick and easy access to my emails, Facebook and my blog. Andy is also is so very generous with his apps, constantly piquing my interest and entertaining me.  I am so sorry you had to find out this way. 

Your "two timing" 5th


Dear Sprint,

Thank you for taking such good care of Andy when he fell ill and refused to send texts. Your prompt action to  replace my beloved was greatly appreciated. I'm sure I'll love Andy Jr. just as much, if not more, than Andy the 1st.

A grateful 5th


Dear Dreams,

Not only one apartment but two to clean this time? I know I've had plenty of practice this summer but seriously, I am one that believes sleep should be for rest. Can you give me a break?

A dream weary 5th


Today starts the week that things should be getting back to normal. Bethany starts her choir with a 4 hour retreat this afternoon and then her school begins on Wednesday. Munch begins middle school this Friday. Wow. The 1st time in 5 years that I won't be homeschooling at least one child! Unbelievable. Oh, I won't be living the life of luxury, however, as there is much that I will be doing and working on. Still, it's bittersweet, but the time to cut the apron strings is now. 


I best conclude my musings for the day. I have a meeting to attend to shortly and other things requiring my attention. Make it a happy Monday dear friends. God bless!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Souper Sunday: August 22, 2010

From the Kitchen of 5th Sister: 

Summer Squash Soup

1 large summer squash, cubed
Several baby carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, quartered
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 cayenne pepper
Freshly chopped rosemary and sage, about 1-2 tablespoons each.
Fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste
A few dashes of Polly's Signature Spice Blend
Chicken broth
Half and Half

Sauté squash, carrots, onion, cayenne pepper and garlic in olive olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Season the veggies with herbs and spices and continue cooking until veggies start to brown and become tender, then remove from heat. (if you do not own a powerful blender, you will want to add chicken broth and simmer until veggies are soft)

Place veggies in a blender (or you could use a blending wand in a stockpot). Add about a cup of chicken broth (if you didn't already add during the cooking process) and a cup of half and half. Process and puree until smooth. Add liquids until desired texture is achieved.

Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar and chives (optional) for garnish. 

I experimented in the kitchen the other night when I had no idea what to serve for dinner. I decided to go to my garden stash and use what I had on hand. This soup received good reviews from the entire family. Enjoy. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday Centus: What I Did Over My Summer Vacation

Jenny Matlock

Normally, every Saturday, Ms. Jenny gives us a prompt in which to write a story around. This week she has mixed things up a little. Instead of a prompt she gave us a title and our assignment is to write a story, factual or fictional, based on the theme of the title: What I did Over My Summer Vacation. I could have written about our camping experience in which our tent decided to spring a leak during a torrential downpour. Or possibly about the hiking trip to the base of a waterfall. I could have also expounded upon the ups and downs of our mountain biking excursion along the Virginia Creeper Trail. I could very well have written about our recent week at Carolina Beach. However, I had already blogged about all of the above. So today I am going to do a fictional piece. Some of it is metaphorical about some things going on in my life, but most is totally made up. I hope you enjoy.


“Can we talk?”

Her heart jumps to her throat. She has a feeling she knows what this is about. It doesn’t make it any easier.

“Sure,” she texts back, as beads of sweat form on the base of her neck. “Where shall we meet?”

It’s been a difficult summer at best:  The death of her mother, though expected, threw her for a loop. Her memories, long suppressed, flooded back in torrential waves knocking her neat little life off balance. He was breaking up with her.

Imagine her surprise when she arrived and found him kneeling before her, ring in hand. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flash Friday 55: The Deluge

Gentle breezes become wild and untamed

Lightning flash dances, pirouetting, 

clogging across billowing, rain laden clouds

The rhythmatic, rolling thunder crescendos ever closer

A deluge approaches

The cadence of raindrops’ accelerating tempo

morphs into sharp, staccato beats upon her psyche

Fearing sleep...

fearing her dreams...

she remains on guard

As the internal storm rages on. 


I am participating in Flash Friday 55. This weekly meme is brought to you by G-Man, over at Mr. Know it All. The object is to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words. Come join us and link your 55 in Mr. Know it All's comment section. See you there!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Green

I am going to be upfront and admit that I am cheating this week. I am re-posting a story I did for one of Ms. Jenny's Saturday Census prompts that contained this week's color assignment. This has been a terribly busy week for me and I have had no time to plan or prepare a unique assignment.  So with my apologies I present:


It was late. The abrupt thundershower had left glistening, moonlit puddles along my running path. It was eerily silent and the only sounds I heard were the thump, thump, thump of my Adidas upon the wet country road.

Deep in my thoughts of him, I rounded the bend and reversed my path to head home. When I turned around I was startled to meet a green-eyed gaze. It was him. The man of my dreams. The man whose face, whose touch, whose kiss I would never, couldn’t ever, forget.

“How did you find me?” I asked, still in shock. Reaching out to grasp my now trembling hands he drew me close. He smelled of musk and prairie grass.  My tears began to fall, mingling with the drops tumbling from the rain soaked cottonwood branches above.

“Why did you leave?” he inquired back. Why, indeed. I have asked myself this same question many, many times. His passion, so intense, so pure, and so raw, scared me. It was difficult for me to believe I deserved such happiness, such pleasure… And so, as usual, I ran.

I looked up into his emerald eyes; eyes upon a face that was smiling with tenderness and love. My trepidation gave in to desire. The tempest began anew. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday's Truth: A Fantasy Crushed

Munchie Boy is nearly 12. He is a very sweet and innocent child who believes, with all his heart, in Santa Claus. He has a fondness for the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy as well.

Because Munch is about to enter middle school next week, I felt it was time to lay down the truth regarding Santa Claus. I did not want him to suffer any teasing or bullying by other kids, who can often times be quite cruel. So after dinner last night I decided to broach the subject. Bethany, knowing my plan and not wanting to witness what was, more than likely, going to be painful and sad, left the room. Munch, sensing something big was about to happen, ordered his father from the room as well.

Me: So, what are your thoughts regarding Santa Claus?
Munchie Boy (MB): What do you mean?
Me: I mean, do you still believe in him?
MB: Well, I don't think he got my letter last year.
Me: There is a good reason for that, for you see Santa
MB: (interrupting) It's just that I saw the letter I wrote when I was searching for my Dave and Buster's coupon.
Me: Oh. Well then...what do you think about that?
MB: I think that you forgot to mail my letter.

Mr. Sister, sensing we were running around in circles, decided to return to the room and give his 2 cents. I will let him tell you all what he said (either in the commentary below, or on his own blog). Let's just say there was some laughter but there were also tears. I wanted to be gentle in giving Munch the truth...Mr. Sister thought it best to quickly get to the point. I don't know. I think either way would have probably induced the same amount of tears.

Back to the conversation.

Me: So you remember the story of St. Nicholas? And you already know he is the saint on whom the legend of Santa Claus is based.
MB: (sniff) Yeah.
Me: Anyway, we are called by God to emulate, to be like the saints. St. Nicholas was very caring, compassionate and giving. So by example, in honor of our Lord's birth, we, too, become giving.
MB: (wiping tears) Okay.
Me: This is also why we participate in the Angel Tree program at church...so we can be Santa to the less fortunate.
MB: Oh.
Me: And just because you now know the truth doesn't mean "Santa" won't leave you any presents at Christmastime.
MB: (smiling weakly) Good.

But all was not lost dear friends for this story does have a happy ending. After our conversation, Mr. Sister took all of us to the Sprint store and, being like Santa, purchased new cell phones for me and the little Sisters!  (Can we say "unlimited texting and social networking"?) But that's a post for another day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Musings: August 16, 2010

Dear Bishop J.,

It is with great distress that I must report to you that some of your seminarians are secret ninja warriors in disguise. It's true! I witnessed it myself! What's worse is that they are indoctrinating our youth by luring them into playing ancient ninja warrior games. Shocking...truly shocking!


Have you ever done something, or rather, forgot to do something that mortified you later that day? Well let me tell you a story. Yesterday, when my alarm went off at 4:45 AM, I got up and put my hair in a top knot, without brushing it, prior to showering. I took my shower, applied my makeup, got dressed, packed up my breakfast and lunch, fed the dog, tended the garden, blogged a bit, caught up on emails and then left for work. It wasn't until after lunch when I realized I had forgotten to do my hair! Oh well. There wasn't much I could do about it. I had to leave it be as I had no brush in my backpack or locker. Just call me eccentric in my old age. 


You know it's muggy when every single time you go outside your glasses fog up. I'm ready for cooler, less humid, weather to prevail. 


My cleaning dreams continue. The other night it was sinks and stoves. And there were so many that required deep cleaning. I will be quite relieved when I finish cleaning my "dream home" and finally get some rest when I go to bed. 


That's it for this week's installment of "Monday Musings".  Make it a great week, everybody!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sacred Sunday: August 15, 2010

A Holy High

My family and I just had the most amazing week. It all began last Saturday when 2 seminarians showed up at our door. We had agreed to host these young men as they embarked upon the last week of their summer long journey teaching Totus Tuus *, a Catholic summer youth camp focused on the pillars of our faith.  We provided them with a place to stay and what they gave us in return was so much more.

These devout young men gave witness to us of the beauty of our faith; they gave us a glimpse of the role of the Holy Spirit in one’s spiritual life; they demonstrated the strength, commitment, sacrifice and joy that come from a life devoted to serving others as Christ did.  As we were reminded often this past week, you can NEVER “out-give” God!

One seminarian shared his faith with enthusiasm and zeal while the other was quietly contemplative.  I found it mesmerizing how our Lord calls each and every one of us into service using our own unique personalities and gifts.  

My daughter was able to volunteer with the camp held for the younger kids. She told me that this was one of the best weeks/experiences that she has ever had. That, even though the program she assisted with was aimed for a younger crowd, she was able to glean so much from these wonderful missionaries of the faith.

Because the camp started at about the same time as daily Mass, I decided to attend Mass each and every day.  In essence, counting last Sunday’s Mass…that was 6 in a row!  6 days of receiving the beautiful and precious gift of the body and blood, soul and divinity of our dear Lord Jesus! All I can tell you is that this was life altering for me and that I am truly on a “holy high”.  I pray this feeling lasts and that God’s will for me become discernible as well.  And I pray that others, too, at some point, are able to experience this incredible gift, this renewal, this sanctification of faith.

May God bless you and your families abundantly this day and always and may you forever be bathed in the light of Christ! Amen.

*Totus Tuus is Latin for Totally Yours

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flash Friday 55: The Blame Game

Her aging, yellowed skin matches the color of the newspaper clipping she holds in her trembling hands. Ancient wounds feel fresh and raw. Why does she torment herself so? Studying the old obituary she remembers the accusation: “It’s all your fault!” It wasn’t, but she can’t make herself believe otherwise.  Her internal war rages on.


Please feel free to ponder and leave your ideas in my comments section: Who is the accuser? Whose obituary is she studying? What are those "ancient wounds"? Is there a reason her skin is "yellow"?

I am participating in Flash Friday 55. This weekly meme is brought to you by G-Man, over at Mr. Know it All. The object is to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words. Come join us and link your 55 in Mr. Know it All's comment section. See you there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Pot Luck

Jenny Matlock

I have been attending Rainbow Summer School since the completion of Ms. Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday class last month. The color subject for this week is YELLOW (The "Y" in Roy G Biv). Since I am feeling quite joyous and silly this week, I decided to draft a daffy little ditty about "yellow" food. I hope you enjoy!


Pot Luck

Roast pork loin that is honey glazed
Golden chicken from fire’s blaze
Deli turkey, mounds of onions
Swiss cheese slices and sandwich buns
Curried vegetables stewed with rice
Banana cream pie, just one slice
Yellow squash, breaded and deep fried
Served with marinara on the side
Corn on the cob with a pinch of salt
Pasta salad gone bad (mayo’s fault!)
Now what goes great with barbecue?
Hush puppies made from corn meal do!
Ice cold beer and Southern sweet tea
Lemonade, sodas… Chablis for me
Chips with salsa and assorted dips
Will all these calories go to my hips?

Sensational Haiku Wednesday: Comfort

Join the fun!

He wrote the order
for comfort measures only.
Death was imminent.

Compassionate care;
Alleviating the pain.
we wait and we pray.

Divine Mercy prayed
with complete and utter faith
for a peaceful death.

"Eternal father,
In Whom mercy is endless,
look kindly on us!"

For more haiku hijinks
please visit Jenn over at You Know...That Blog?
Next weeks theme: FREESTYLE

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


In my cleaning frenzy the past few weeks
I created a teeny tiny oasis of my own…
a “sanctuary” if you will.

I have a desk and chair.
My laptop now has a permanent home
My beloved books are within reach.
The Himalayan Salt Lamp is putting out lots of positive ions
and, hopefully, that will help with my blogger's block of late. 

It may not appear to be much,
But to me, it’s a little piece of heaven.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Musings: August 9, 2010

Dear Dreams,

I do enough "cleaning" in real life. Can we stop with the theme already? However, the aliens trying to gun me down with sleeping powder guns was an interesting touch. 

A sleep deprived and weary 5th


Dear Seminarians,

I am hoping you are finding your week's stay at the Sister house an enjoyable and pleasant one. Thank you for the gift of your presence and prayers.  I feel God has blessed us immensely and it is a total joy having you with us.

A Grace seeking 5th


Dear Mermaid Manor,

You want my review? I warn you...I am brutally honest. On the positive side, you were a colorful, pet friendly establishment whose location was ideal (right on the beach, within walking distance from activities and restaurants, and close to the boardwalk) The minuses? Well, I didn't realize the house pet was a cockroach. Allowing smoking on the porch and ALL decks made it difficult for us to breathe as we entered and exited the house. And calling that cubby a "kitchenette" was a stretch of the imagination. But in all seriousness...we only used the place for sleeping and showering and we had a terrific time on the beach. So, yeah...thanks for putting us up. 

A sun soaked 5th


Dear Ghost Walk Tour,

Yikes! Catching "orbs" on camera at the haunted Price House in historic Wilmington? Gotta love it. (now whether I believe that they represent paranormal activity, I'll leave that up to debate.) 

A not so frightened 5th

See all the circles of light throughout this photo? Orbs.


Dear Carolina Beach,

No pets allowed? Seriously? Most dog owners are conscientious and clean up after their pets. Thank goodness Fort Fisher allowed dogs (although leashed). I was happy that Daisy got to enjoy the beach at least once during our trip.

A poop scooping 5th. 


Dear Bethany,

I am pleased you had a great time on your vacation to Seabrook Island. Sorry you got stung by the baby jellyfish though. Ouch. I must say, however, it is good to have you back home. You were missed. 

Mommy 5th


Dear Munchie Boy,

I am so sorry I broke your boogie board. The 5 foot wave caught me off guard and I flipped under water. Had I let go of the boogie board it might have had a chance. Maybe this is a sign that nearly 49 year olds need not behave like  teenagers at the beach? Nah. 

A remorseful Mama 5th


That is all I have time to muse about today. As you can see we all really had a good time on our vacations. Feel free to visit my facebook page for more photos. Thanks for dropping by! 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Centus: Retrospection

I am joining Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus. Each week we are given a prompt, a phrase in which to design a story or poem around. We are limited to 100 words, not counting the prompt. This week's prompt is “Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear”. You are allowed to use the prompt anywhere within your writing, but it must be used "whole", not split up.

Jenny Matlock


He sat in the passenger seat of life ruminating about his present circumstance. He thought this was what he wanted but now he wasn’t so sure. 

Memories, carefully buried long ago and thought to be forgotten, were now making themselves known; memories that may hold the answer to the puzzle of why he chose this particular path.

He had not wanted to ever remember. However, years of running from his past, drowning his sorrows, and drugging the pain no longer worked. He was out of tricks.

With new-found determination he opens the window to his past. “Objects in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear”. Ain’t that the truth.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flash Friday 55: A Letter Home

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

I’ve met someone new while on vacation.  We bumped into each other when a fly tried to land on my ice cream.  He’s protecting me from various flying insects. He’s a record holder in the long jump.  Beneath his rough exterior there‘s a true Prince Charming waiting to emerge.



Note: Bethany is enjoying a separate vacation from her family this week, spending it with a friend on Seabrook Island in South Carolina. I adored this photo she put on Facebook and thought it would make for a cute little 55. Hope you enjoyed it. 

I am participating in Flash Friday 55. This weekly meme is brought to you by G-Man, over at Mr. Know it All. The object is to write a story or prose in exactly 55 words. Come join us and link your 55 in Mr. Know it All's comment section. See you there!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rainbow Summer School: Orange

The color of the week is Orange...a very happy color, in my opinion. I used today's "color" to write a short poem about my very recent "blogcation" where I rested and recreated on the Carolina coast. For this week's assignment I decided to be contrary and use colors that are related to orange, rather than the word orange itself.

Apricot skies and deep green seas, 
gentle kisses from ocean's breeze.

Ochre flesh from sun's scorching rays,
peach sandy beaches, salty spray.

Amber sunsets beyond the sound,
Carolina coast...where I'm found.

Jenny Matlock


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