5 Minute Fridays



Last week, I answered the Gypsy Mama’s 5 Minute Friday prompt: When I look in the mirror, I see….


This week, Lisa-Jo, gives us another lovely, heart stirring prompt: I feel most loved when….


To participate, all you have to do is write down your answer to the prompt in 5 minutes. No major editing, revising, or unnecessary bleeding on to the finished piece(although, even as an English teacher, I never used red ink to “bleed” over students’ papers. I always used purple. Just saying for clarification). Then, link your post up on Lisa-Jo’s blog.


Easy, right? Or should it be write? Can you tell I’m feeling a bit punny this morning?


I feel most loved when….




I rub the tired morning out of my eyes, walk fifteen steps to rouse sleeping children for school. The new day opens with freshly ground coffee, muffled grunts of sleeping dogs, and the rushing around sounds of two sleepy children. Routine school day mornings with missing socks, school folders, and wet tennis shoes.


Alone, sitting at the computer writing, writing, writing. Always writing for others, for me, for you. Writing brings us together. Your comments strengthen me, encourage, challenge. I feel the love streaming through my virtual village. Prayers said, words of encouragement offered in 140 characters or less, kindness radiating outward from a computer screen.


Dark, quiet evenings curled up on the tan sofa. One Redneck Romeo and me. We talk, listen, laugh. Television provides a tool for conversations, or it goes quiet. Sometimes, we lie in the stillness and snore. Together…I feel most loved when we are together.





How would you answer the prompt: I feel most loved when…?




Five Minute Fridays: When I Look in the Mirror, I See….


I love the virtual village! When scouring the Twitterverse for new friends, I found The Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo. She tweets about the true nature of chocolate—no peanut butter allowed—but what is even better, she writes well. Truly, she does. I love that she appreciates writing as a craft.


Each Friday, she gives a prompt and allots us five minutes to write about it. No fussing over words, harsh revisions, or waffling back and forth of what to say. Join her over at The Gypsy Mama blog.




The mirror doesn’t always show the truth. When I gaze into the shiny flatness of the mirror, I only see my two dimensional self. I see the auburn hair that came from a L’Oreal box, the blue eyes that came from my mother’s good Irish genes, the round face, fuller than I would like figure. But that is only one dimension.


The mirror will never show….

How I love my shelves of books. How my hearts aches to sit in my reading chair, snuggled up with one of my English Springer Spaniels, reading T.S. Eliot’s poetry—or maybe, today is a better fit for H.D.’s poems about the sea. The mirror will never show how I sing crazy made up songs about cooking, rap the Canterbury Tales prologue in Middle English. The mirror will never show how I love well, live well.


But maybe, the mirror does show all this. In the presence of laugh lines, dark circles from late nights reading, from my neglect at standing in front of its flat surface.


The End.


Question: When I look in the mirror, I see….


For Those Days….

We have all had one of those days! At some point, we need to laugh, cry, think, or just simply stay in our pajamas all day, drinking coffee, and reading a novel…

ON this my last day of being 28, I would love to stay in my pajamas, snuggled up with my puppies, and read since the weather is gray, rainy, and perfect weather for laziness. But I can’t.

So, today, I’m giving your something funny…

Something to make you cry….

Something to make you think….

Question: What things are you thinking about, listening to, or writing? Share your blogs, thoughts, whatever you like….

All About YOU!

Today is about you! Yes, you sitting there with your coffee and Krispy Kreme Donut…oh, wait that’s me, but if you were here, I would so give you coffee and a donut…Just Saying 🙂 I want to get to know you today so I am going to ask the questions and shut up and listen.

Here we go….

1. What song best describes your life?

2. If you could only have 5 books in your library, what would they be?

3. What beverage at Starbucks best describes you?

4. Whose blog do you lurk but never comment on or what blogs do you comment the most on?


5. In a literary death match, who wins Chaucer or Shakespeare?

The Attack of the Zombie Canned Meat

Two days ago, I tweeted or whined or complained that I had more SPAM comments than comments from real people. Now, I really did have about 45 SPAM comments as compared to my 4 lovely, well-thought out, well-written comments from real people. Of course, I attached the link for my latest blog post to my tweet so maybe someone would at least read my blog and MAYBE comment(again, not subtle by any means). Alas, I still had more SPAM(what I would do if I ever had 45 real comments, I don’t know but wouldn’t mind finding out! Yeah, not subtle 🙂 ).

And then it happened…….

I slipped back into my canned meat mentality. Yes, the canned meat mentality…that state of mind when I distrust what people say…aka what’s on the label…and suspect they have ulterior motives, an agenda on the inside…aka the “surprise” fillers and by-products in the canned meat. That horrible place on the blogosphere’s shelf where I renew my cynicism about people I have never met, compare myself with others, and critique every detail about anything on the blog. Just like canned meat really isn’t that healthy, neither is having a canned meat mentality—always comparing my work to others certainly doesn’t build relationships or foster love.

Now this is the part of the blog post where I give you the 3 step process to overcome the canned meat mentality…….

Uh, not really. I don’t have a 3 step plan or perfectly alliterated points or even an acronym for SPAM that will enlighten you to overcome your canned meat mentality. For me, the canned meat mentality isn’t so easy to get over…it has zombie like qualities. For awhile, it is buried, appearing to be dead, and I go about my blogging life happy…BUT, then every so often it digs out of its grave and groans and moans all round the inside of my brain—probably munching happily on my peace of mind, sanity, and everything else up there! I can choose to ignore the zombie canned meat mentality and let it eat at my soul. Or, I can continue re-burying it, committing myself to destroying mentality.

So, I guess it is now time to go find that shovel…

When Only a Big Pot of Soup Will Do!

Photo by Mark Askins

I love fall! I love everything about this season which I may have mentioned previously. I chalk this unswerving devotion to the vibrant color changing leaves, the cooler temperatures, my birthday in November (how do you like the not so subtle hint?). But I especially adore the change in menus because I can make all my soup recipes! Nothing makes me happier than a big soup pot bubbling away on the stove(ok, fine, my puppies, books,coffee, pajama pants, and Snuggie more make me happier than soup, but really I love soup! I promise!).

Taco Soup with a Guacamole Salad
1 tbsp olive oil
2lbs ground beef or ground venison
4 garlic cloves or less if you don’t groove on the garlic
1 medium onion
1/3 tsp of red chili flakes
2 tbsp of chili powder
3 tbsp ground cumin
4 tbsp of tomato paste
4 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 8oz can of yellow corn, drained
1 8oz can of black beans, drained
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef stock or chicken stock
Salt/pepper to taste

Guacamole Salad
2 Hass avocados
2 Roma tomatoes
1/ 2 cup green bell pepper
Lemon juice
Cilantro to taste
Salt/ pepper to taste

Begin with a cast iron enamel pot…why? Because that’s what they use on Food Network, and I learned to cook from hours of watching Food Network’s programming. Don’t tell me you can’t learn from TV.

Get the pot screaming hot with the oil, then brown the meat. Turn the heat back to medium when the meat browns. Wait till you get some good color on the meat then break it up. While the meat browns, chop up the garlic and onions. After the meat browns, add the garlic and onions and cook till tender. Add the chili powder, cumin, and chili flakes and stir to combine. Now, add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and let these flavor cook into the meat mixture. Add the canned beans, corn, and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add the stock and let simmer for 20 minutes.

While the soup simmers, chop up the Roma tomatoes and peppers. Put them in a separate bowl. Finely chop the cilantro and add to the tomatoes and pepper mixture. Slice around the outside of the avocados and remove the pits. Dice the green fleshy insides and put into the tomato/pepper mixture. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on the guacamole salad and add salt/pepper to taste. Stir to combine and slightly mash up the mixture.

Serve the soup in beautiful bowls and top with guacamole salad. And of course, some sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, or whatever you put on tacos!

Saturday Evening Post

Hello, Saturday in September! I’m joining the lovely Elizabeth Esther as she hosts the Saturday Evening Post. You can read the best posts written in the month of August…So, grab some coffee and a bag of Mint Milanos, and enjoy!

I’m adding my post about Proposition 8, the mosque at Ground Zero, and the 19th Amendment. You can read it here.

Have a safe weekend!

Thank You For the Award!

First, I would like to thank Tina at her Tinatopia for this bloggy award…it’s my FIRST blog award!

Now, the rules are simple, effortless…confess 7 random things about yourself then pass the award along…simple? Yup, I can do that, AND—

Here are 7 Random things…

1. I love PURPLE PENS! In fact, I would prefer if all written work was done in purple.

2. I’m addicted to coffee! On this note, each morning I will tweet about needing coffee…if this doesn’t happen–something is amiss.

3. The most beautiful words in the English language are spa, books, puppies, and naps.

4. Speaking of puppies, I’m a puppy person, not really a baby person. I make ALL babies cry, and no, I don’t pinch the babies. They don’t like me…

5. I have food obsessions…right now, they are Mint Milano cookies, guacamole, curry, and cupcakes(the kind of cupcakes one eats…I do have a dog named Cupcake).

6.I don’t trust picky eaters.

7. I have come to realization that Chaucer trumps Shakespeare.

NOW, this is the moment when I pass the award along its merry blog way….

1.Meet Alise at Big Mama’s Blog…snarky, serious, and sensational(awesome alliteration there, folks).

2. Meet Knighton from the Baptist Wine Club.. she recommends wines that won’t kill my budget. My husband thanks her for her frugal finds.

3.Meet Michelle since she married a Mennonite, but even if you aren’t a Mennonite, you will love her.

4. Meet Veronica since she is one of my IRL blogging friends, former co-worker(she has great stories about me, but I have stories about her.She might tell but only for a price).

And so, members of the blogging world, I thank you for the award. Now, happy blogging!

Dear 2011 Me

One of my lovely bloggy buddies, Bethany, just re-visited her goals from 2009 that she wanted to finish in 2010. This sounded like a great idea so I’m going to write a letter, and we can next year see how well I did…

Dear Future 2011 ME,

Hi, umm…remember me, if not, please peruse all 2010 pictures. Yup, that’s what we looked like over the past 365 days. To begin, I’m hoping that you are enjoying the newer, slimmer, healthier you or me or whatever…Those 15lbs of extra you really aren’t needed…just saying. Besides, if you are going to be a TRUE Hipster Christian, then you must buy/wear skinny jeans which will require some of you to disappear.

Also, I’m sure you will be busy with your new PhD classes because you applied and got accepted—way to go on the awesome personal statement. Remember Google calendar is your friend.

Speaking of writing/scheduling, isn’t keeping up with Google Calendar amazing? WHY did you not do this sooner? Oh yeah, because you thought you could keep your entire to do list in your head. So, How did that work for ya? Like I thought, Google calendar rocks. ADMIT IT!

How much fun was your ONE YEAR blog anniversary? Did we give away cool stuff? I’m sure your posts were lovely and better each time…learning to write by writing…wasn’t this your ideal pedagogy?

If the 2010 hurricanes don’t wash the Outer Banks away, I hope you enjoyed the ocean, the pirate museum, and climbing Hatteras Lighthouse.

Don’t you feel more enlightened now that you have read all of Anna Karenina, for that matter finish all of 2010’s summer reading list…of course, good books help feed the soul.

So, I suppose we will see each other in 365 days.

Sarah Jessica

Question: Where would you like to be in 1 year?