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Dollhouse Living

  A few times a year I get to remove myself from my ‘normal’ life and play house.  Or at least that’s what it feels like.  We pile in the car and drive 6 hours away to Laughlin Air Force Base and spend the week  in a converted-duplex-turned-hotel, otherwise known in the Air Force world as a  Temporary Living Facility, while John instructs student pilots on the finer points of flying.  We do this because we like to grab any chance at being with the papa, who is still in the Reserves, and I like to get away where someone else will make our beds, sweep, mop, and wash our towels.  (Well, I still have to sweep something like 15 times a day, but at least someone else does it for me one of those times.)

I find that the week here boosts my confidence in my house-wifery.  It is much easier to manage a dollhouse.   Each doll only has 4 sets of clothes and only one pair of shoes to lose.   No one is overwhelmed at keeping two shirts hung and underwear neat in a drawer.  There are no toys to keep off the floor.  We have exactly 6 plates (even though we need seven) and the bowls will hold about 1/4 cup of cereal, only.    That fact that all of the dishes match and the coffee cups have saucers makes me feel as if I will open the pantry to find canisters of beads and painted plaster food in crates.  Tea parties are a must here.  It is much easier to keep a kitchen clean when you must wash the same pot (with a miniature-sized Palmolive) to first cook the noodles, then make the sauce.   I love it.  I feel so uncharacteristically tidy.

We always visit the library the first day here to make sure we have good reading material, although the kids are always more excited to have a t.v. in each room rather than a good book.   I spend the week turning off the Disney channel (gag…every “drama” is like a mini-adult romance…it’s disgusting) but, in general, it is much easier to discipline when the rooms are close together.  I certainly hear and catch more infractions and things are dealt with immediately, rather than when I get a chance to go upstairs.

We visit the commissary once a day to buy the groceries for dinner.  When it is warm, we walk.  This makes me feel very European, as if we are walking down to the local market to buy a chicken with feet on, instead of cellophane wrapped boneless, skinless breasts.   I have to cook very simply, too.  I don’t bring spices along, other than salt, pepper, and olive oil.  In fact, today for lunch, I used up what we had in the kitchen, as the papa had taken the car to work early and the temperature was 30 degrees outside.   As I suspected, anything sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper can be good, even if it is only one giant onion, a handful of baby carrots and 2 Roma tomatoes.    Really, if poured over pasta, you can carry the rustic Italian market theme over very well.

John and I find ourselves wondering why we spend our days toiling to keep up a big house.  Why do we have all that stuff?  Should we sell our house, and buy a 1,000 sq foot farmhouse?  Would our children be tidier, better behaved, and happier?  It is easy to forget that books, musical instruments, art supplies, computers, Christmas decorations, yard equipment really do need a place if you are going to live the typical American life.  We forget that God has called my husband to fly, and a pilot’s job exists where the cities are, BUT, it still makes us pine for simpler living.  There must be a way to have the two meet somewhere.   Next week, when I am back home, mismanaging my laundry and using 5 different pots to make dinner, I am going to set aside a tea bag,  boil some water and have a tea party with my girls.

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I was supposed to be writing a novel this month…

nov09 079

slow and steady...

…but I got  a new camera instead.  Actually, that is not why I am not writing a novel.  I am not writing a novel this month because no one would get fed in my household, which would make for 7 very unhappy people, but I do find that my new camera makes me want to write again.  Framing a picture slows me down, giving me time to think and ponder, which is why I like writing so much.  So maybe during this busy season, I will just take pictures when I don’t have a chunk of time to write.  Enjoy…and  yes, this is sort of a self-portrait.

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Little by little…

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  That phrase is wrong for a number of reasons, but  for now I am simply going to apply it to my blog.  All of this (imagine the grand sweep of the hand) is so stale feeling, so old and outdated.    I no longer live on the border (new name anyone? anyone?  And no!  I will not be called Sugarmama [I now live in a city named after a sugar factory].)  My booklist is way outdated, dittos on the movies, blogroll needs culling/augmenting, etc., etc.  Even my categories no longer seem to match my life.

This reminds me of when I was younger.  Many writers were (and are) diary afficionados…I was not.  I would fall in love with a beautiful, empty, fabric covered journal, or even get my hands on the coveted diary with a tiny key, but a month later or two I would go back to the beginning and cringe.  My words were so stale and my entries were so dreadfully shallow.  Granted, I was a teenager, but still…gag.  I usually ripped the pages to tiny pieces – not because of some deep, dark confession I didn’t want revealed, but because I just couldn’t endure the thought of someone stumbling upon it and thinking that that was…well, all.  Thankfully, I don’t feel that way about my past entries, but my site is in need of some housekeeping.

I think I will begin my first change by posting a picture of my new backyard, since one of my last entries was about backyards.  You will see that part of moving to the city required that I sacrifice some of my ideals on how a backyard should look or be sized, but I have a real fondness for our little piece of green out back.  It is a wonderful place to drink coffee, and I even have a little garden hiding behind my garage.  It’s just right for me at this phase in my life. 

my new backyard

my new backyard

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I’m back…I think.

If there is anyone reading this who is looking for the Bordermama, welcome back.  Or perhaps I should say, let me (re)introduce myself.  When I left off with my, ahem, last post wayyyyy back in 2007, I did what I normally do when faced with a lot of change, anxiety, and uncertainty…nothing.  Modus procrastinatus.  Much was brewing then…adoption plans off, new baby on, job/city change, etc.  I was also feeling the need to, not reinvent, but adjust my blog.  I wasn’t liking my tone.  Too know-it-all, too smirky… I still haven’t exactly pinpointed what was bothering me, but change was needed and change was a-comin’.

I’d like to think that the biggest change is that I have given myself permission to do something I have been loathe to give myself in the past…permission to fail.  Yes, fail.  Fail in what, dear reader, I hear you ask.  At first, I merely thought it was permission to fail in keeping a timely blog…not letting too many days slip by, posting every single day like the other blogging moms who manage a post-a-day.  I had craftily thought that by not blogging, I might avoid failure.  You might know that disease I speak of…the If-you-don’t-do-it-perfectly, don’t-do-it-at-all disease?  The last two years have taught me that the only prescription for that affliction is failure.    There is great (and humbling) value in seeing that the whole world does not fall apart when you fail in something.  I have learned that when my plans either disintegrate, get pushed aside, are not good enough, or are just plain wrong, some surprising things happen.   I may have to start over, or listen to advice, or work alongside someone, or (horrors!) let someone else take over.  That’s okay.  Really it is.  And you might have guessed that I am speaking of bigger things than just blogging. 

So, while I say I’m back, I have given myself permission to miss a day, a week, or even a month or two, and not have an all-or-nothing mentality about it.  And you may see a few more un-edited typos.   Or some outrightly lame posts.  That’s okay…it’s my own perfectly (!) neurotic therapy.


Filed under Thoughts, Uncategorized, Words and Writing

A-Z meme


Karen tagged me for this meme…my first one! The perfect way to write my third entry for the month of May. My how time flies…

A. Available or Single

Available only to my husband of 13 years.

B- Best Friend.

John…he’s my best boy friend.  My best girl friend would be Jen…even though we live far away, we can pick up a conversation mid-sentence.  I love having to skip the formalities!

C- Cake or Pie.
Cake (GF, of course).

D- Drink of Choice.
Black coffee in the morning.  Room temp water otherwise.

E- Essential Item.
Hmmm, a pen?

F- Favorite Color.

G- Gummi Bears or Worms.

H- Hometown.
San Antonio, TX

I- Indulgence.

J – January or February.

K- Kids.
Four —10 year old girl, 7 year old boy, 5 year old girl, and 2 year old girl.

L- Life is incomplete without…

M- Marriage Date.
December 30, 1993

N- Number of Siblings?
Two…an older sister by 6 years, and older brother by 3 years.

O- Oranges or Apples?

P- Phobias/Fears.
I used to be a hypochondriac until I realized one day, “So what am I afraid of?…If I die, I’ll be with Jesus.”  The only other fear I have is of flying, ironic for a pilot’s wife.  I still fly though.  For the same reason as above.

Q- Favorite Quote.

Do I have to choose one?  My new favorite to chew and digest is this one, from Dan Allender’s Bold LoveLove is a sacrifice for the undeserving that opens the door to restoration of relationship with the Father, with others, and with ourselves.

R- Reasons to smile.
Sunshine, blue sky, birds singing, a soft bed, a warm shower, good music, my husband, my children, books, friends, beauty in all its forms.

S- Season(ing).
Spring (Cinnamon)

T- Tag Three.

Denise, Southern Girl , and (he’s going to kill me…) dpc+.

U- Unknown Fact About Me.
I can sing the French national anthem, the Marseilles (but I’m not sure I can spell it).

V- Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals.

W- Worst Habit.
Not putting things away after I get them out.

X- X-rays or Ultrasounds.
Ultrasounds first, please.

Y- Your Favorite Foods.
Homemade salsa and chips.  Fish tacos.  Chocolate.  Appetizers.

Z- Zodiac.
You’ve got to be kidding.

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In our weakness…

…His strength is made perfect. How I know this now. And I also know how painful it is to be weak and let His strength be perfect.

I was reminded of this as I was visiting Owlhaven’s site and ran across this plea to pray for Lucas, a fellow blogger’s little boy who was burned last night. Many of you know that our own son was burned about a year and a half ago. My heart goes out to this family and Lucas. It brings back the feeling of my heart breaking in two for my little boy. Please read his story and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for him.

Also, scroll down and look at the you-tube video the family made of their adoption story. Keep a kleenex ready! They brought their two new children home only a few months ago.

I was thinking about how right now the family’s souls feel as raw as their son’s flesh. I was also thinking how God showed Himself over and over through our ordeal, mostly through the prayers we felt that were coming literally from around the world. Now, as I told my son of little Lucas, his earnest face lit up when I asked him to pray for him. Can you imagine? He actually felt joy that he could pray for another little boy in need. What a blessing. I think of how many people come away from a painful tragedy bitter. I know our son’s injuries could have been worse, but I believe his belief in God’s goodness would still have been the same.

Now our son is healed and stronger in his faith than he was before he was burned. Please pray the same for Lucas.


Filed under Adoption, Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks, His Banner over Me, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Chocolate Floors

I think one of the best things about blogging is reading the search terms people use to find their way here.

My blog gets a lot of hits from people searching for kitchen makeovers. If you are one of those people, you can read about my story here and here.


Today, though, one searcher particularly tickled me. They searched under “kitchen makeover chocolate floor.” MMmmm, looking for a Hansel and Gretel house? How about a dark chocolate floor? Bittersweet? Or maybe you already have so much chocolate on your floor you need a makeover? I know, I know, it was probably something more mundane like, “I really want a kitchen makeover and I want my floor to be chocolate brown colored.” But it sure made me smile!


Filed under Homemaking&Cooking, Uncategorized, Words and Writing