Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WFMW- Brown Sugar


Everybody's grandma probably told them about this, but I was surprised when a friend wasn't aware...
To keep brown sugar soft (i.e. eliminate the useless bricks after you stock up on it during holiday baking season) keep it in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid (like Tupperware) and put a slice of bread in along with it. I don't know why it works, but it does. The bread doesn't mold, but the sugar stays soft, scoopable and packable.
Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more helpful hints from other busy folks....

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Memoriam

Our little hummingbird died this morning. When she woke up, she was perched on her little twig and eating well on her own. I moved her cage to a sunny window so she would be warm and when I went to check on her about an hour later, she had died.

Probably, whatever had delayed her here and kept her from flying south had made her sick in the first place. By trying to nurse her, I may have extended her life only to make her suffer longer. Possibly because I wasn’t able to offer her the right kind of protein, I hastened her death. We’ll never know, but what I do know is that I’m a better person for focusing on another creature’s troubles instead of my own. Therapy comes in all kinds of unexpected forms….

Saturday, October 25, 2008

SOOC Saturday - Hummer Update



SOOC stands for "Straight out of camera." No editing. Not only is this straight out of the camera with no editing, it's from my cell phone. Not bad for a techincally challenged individual such as myself. Note the man hands that I have, along with my really snazzy men's pj pants that are my Saturday uniform.

This is my little hummingbird. Yes, I know I said I'd call Wildlife Rescue. But yesterday he was doing SO well...loved to drink; bought him some nectar. The whole other plumbing (elimination) end of him was working too. Compared to this one's, Chuck left cow paddies. And I think he has a name now. I have been calling him Humpfrey. My kids are calling him Chuck II or Chuck Jr. You all know that I can't really have any kind of , well anything, thing around without naming him, right? His back is roughly the same color as Chuck I's. HOWEVER--I do believe that he is a she. So Chuck II could work....it could be short for Charlene, right? According to a google of "what do wild hummingbirds eat" I need to find a supply of small insects for him for protein. The whole moistened dry cat food thing didn't work. Wonder if I could just mix some protein powder in his nectar. I know...I can hear you all telling me to call Wildlife Rescue. Can't I just put an old banana in the bottom of his cage to get some fruit fly action? Hmmm.....

This morning when I got up, he was not doing well. Not well at all. He had both little eyes squeezed tightly shut and he was all puffy feathered (see photo). Ted and I were sure he was on his way out. We even talked about how not feeding him and just letting him go might be the most humane thing to do. But I just couldn't. I don't think animals have souls like human beings and I don't believe that All Dogs Go to Heaven, but that seemed like a sad and lonely thing to do. I cuddled him in my hands for about an hour, and then Amy took over. Rather than feeding him every 20 minutes (tho' yesterday, he was flitting around the cage and getting his own nectar when ever he pleased), we put the syringe over his little beak every minute or two. Instead of gulp gulp gulp with the tongue as long as his whole body, he would flick it out just a tiny bit and sip. Then all at once, he seemed to wake up, did the gulpy-gulpy thing and opened one eye. We had to run a few errands so we put some cotton-poly batting and an old sock in a box in the bottom of his cage so he could keep warm and by the time we got home, both eyes were opened. He's hopping around a little now and back to big time gulpy-gulpy. Now, I know that My ADHD Me thinks we have covert agents lurking around and suspect she may be right, so I am throwing myself and my family on your mercy by asking you not to turn us in to the feds for harboring a hummer. The WLR clinic is open only minimal hours during the winter months and I haven't been able to drive there while they are open. Yeah, that's it...I still can't drive....(read that last part out loud with a John Lovitz accent).

Check out Melody's SOOC Mr. Linky and leave some chit-chats for the nice folks over there.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins

Ok...since so many of you read this blog (I know there are literally ones of you!!!cough cough) here is my first official meme: Friday Fill-Ins.

1. Follow the um…instructions on the box (EDIT: When you make HUMMINGBIRD nectar)…leader…Yellow Brick Road!
2. My little red bag is something I always take with me on vacation.
3. To achieve your goals, you must pray and seek direction. (EDIT: And probably call Wildlife Rescue)
4. I love having comments on my blog EDIT: And I have a HUMMINGBIRD in my kitchen)is something I'd like you to know about me.
5. I have an amazing family. (EDIT: A HUMMINGBIRD in my kitchen)
6. HopeEDIT: Hummingbird POO floats.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having dinner with girlfriends,EDIT:and feeding a HUMMINGBIRD tomorrow my plans include getting a flu shot, EDIT: and feeding a HUMMINGBIRDand Sunday, I want to get a nap in between church and youth group! (EDIT: Feed the bird....)

Tag—you’re it. I know that my loyal readership of 2.1 people will fill this out and link back. I love links back!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

His Eye is on the Sparrow

...and the hummingbirds, too.


I got home from my RioLink (cell group) tonight to find that Ted had rescued a tiny little hummingbird while doing a side job. [Sidenote: DRATS if my camera isn't dead and I can't find the usb charger or cable!!!!] I think it's a juvenile. But so tiny, it's hard to tell. And I think he (she?--pretty green back so I'm going with he) should've quit these parts for warmer climes by now--it was about 30 degrees F this morning. I have been home for about 2 hours and have fed it homemade 'nectar' about every 15 minutes...I just covered his little cage.


His cage used to belong to Chuck. Chuck was a lesser goldenrod that was a baby we rescued about 3 years ago at a backyard Bible Club/VBS. We named him Chuck because I was wearing Chuck Taylors when I nearly stepped on him. He was so pitiful looking and didn't even have pin feathers. We tried, and I mean tried hard, to put him back in his nest, but we just couldn't. The trees in the park were brand new, with a trunk about 1" in diameter and about 15' tall...and the nest was in the tip top of one of those trees. Even standing on each other's shoulders, we couldn't reach the nest. The kids begged, I told them he would die and I finally relented. Tanner put him in a little sauce pan with lots of cotton batting next to a lava lamp overnight, so excited as only a 9-year-old can be. When he was alive the next morning, I softened up dry cat food in water and stuffed it in his little gullet. His craw swelled up so much the first time, I thought I killed him. He began to get so excited every time I came near his cage, he would flutter and flap and "CHEEP." I was his momma bird, for sure. He imprinted on me. His feathers came in. He never really knew he was a bird. He also thought he was just as big as we were, even though he was only about 2" high with wingspan of about 5". We taught him to fly. While I worked, he would ride my hand while I worked the computer mouse or sit on my shoulder and play with my earrings and kiss me. He loved iced tea (it was kind of like birdy cocaine--he would sneak some out of Ted's afterwork glass every chance he got). And artichoke leaves (his back was the same color as a fresh one). And baths in an old peanut butter lid. After his bath he would be so wet, as would my counter and everything within a 3' radius, he couldn't even fly. When I would put him in his cage (he didn't really like his cage, but had to stay there when we couldn't pay attention to him or left the house) he would scold me for a little bit and then preen and talk to the pretty birdie in the mirror. When I would come back into the empty house after running errands, he would say "CHEEP" just once to let me know he was there and ready to come out and keep me company. Early in January after we found him (in June), the ceiling fan was on...fast. We generally didn't have it on at all, and I don't know why it was on then. I snapped my fingers and told him "cage" and he flew up to the fan where he would perch when he didn't want to go to bed. Chuck was killed instantly. I was absolutely devastated. For days, everytime I came into the house alone, I would listen for the "CHEEP." I took to leaving music playing while I was gone so I wouldn't have to come home to a quiet house. Sometimes I still listen for him. And then, along came Claire....

All 0f my babies are no longer babies. I have an innate need to mother and nurture. And as much as my eye is on these tiny creatures of God, His is even ever more aware, ever more watchful. And he cares for me (and YOU!) infinitely more.


I don't think I'm ready to take on the care of another baby bird. Physically, it's too hard for me to even take proper care of my family yet. And from everything I've found on google, the little guy won't survive more than 72 hours on my homemade nectar. And even if he did, it's violating all kinds of federal and state wildlife ordinances to keep him. I'll call a wildlife rescue center tomorrow. But just for tonight, I have a new little charge to watch over. And marvel at the way that God has designed this tiny little thing, whose tongue is about the diameter of a piece of embroidery floss and whose feet are smaller than my shortest eyelashes. He is such a perfect little creature, such a beauty and joy. A love note to me from God. He never ceases to pursue me...



"CHUCK"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Fall (pt 2)

En route to the hospital, I called Ted. He was confused, thinking I was at the other pastor’s house when I fell. I was probably a little snippy (don’t do too well with pain and all) and told him it didn’t matter where I was when it happened, but where I needed him to MEET me at. I don’t think I told him then we had been toilet papering. I still haven’t told my mil. If she reads this blog, sorry Bonnie! Yep, I was stoopid! After I had fallen, I knew my head and nose hurt and my arm…oh yeah baby, my arm hurt. Lots of road rash, too. When I got out of the jeep at the hospital, I was also made aware that my foot and ankle were broken. Ever try to walk with a broken foot and ankle? Not what I’d recommend. Did I mention this was a Sunday evening? And one of only 2 ER’s on our side of town? The waiting room, with seating for about 15, had about 25 people in it. The sweet little receptionist (read this with dripping sarcasm) tossed a clipboard underneath the bulletproof glass at me and told me to fill out the top form before she could talk to me. Then she growled at my by now somewhat shaken 17-year old son to “move that car—NOW!” I was left standing at the window. With a broken foot and ankle. And a broken right wrist. And she wouldn’t even talk to me until I filled out her little form. Standing. At. The. Window. Are you freakin’ KIDDING me?!? A nice lady there with her son, who I apparently scared to death, helped me sit down and held my clipboard until Tyler could come back in and fill out my form for me. After about 30 minutes in the waiting room they took me back to triage me. Offered me Vicodin, which I throw up…I opted for a big dose of Ibuprofen. And sent me back out to the waiting room (in a wheelchair this time) with a bag of ice. By then, the absurdity of it struck both Tyler and I. I was (at the time) 46 years old, and sitting in a hospital waiting room with multiple injuries sustained while toilet papering. Whether it was from release of tension or just plain silliness, we both just cracked up. By then, the whole waiting room wanted in on our little joke. Needless to say, I had one of the more interesting stories of the evening. By the time Ted and Pastor Dan arrived, the waiting room was our little stage and we were the entertainment for the evening. The rest of the evening was typical….I guess. My road rash was not treated (Ted picked gravel out of my knees the next day). They never looked in my ears or nose (diagnosed at Primary dr a few days later…she also suspected a minor concussion), and totally missed the ankle. I was booted and splinted and told to call a specialist the next day (Monday 9-15).
(EDIT: If you are a driver on a toilet paper party, it is NOT wise to leave your vehicle behind at the scene, especially if the owner of the house you are tp'ing would recognize your vehicle. When Tyler and Ted went over around 1 a.m. after leaving the hospital to retreive Tyler's truck it had every scrap of tp that had been used on the yard stuffed in and around his truck. In the wheel wells. In the grill. In the bed. Windshield wipers and antenna. In every nook and cranny. Oops.)
I had surgery on my wrist on September 25. They put in a plate, several screws and pegs and some wires. The wires will more than likely need to be removed in another surgery later on down the road. I have some really gruesome photos, but in the interest of lady-like appeal, will not be sharing them here. My nose is healing very nicely, black eye is completely gone. Unless you were really looking for it, I don’t think you could see a difference. There’s still a bump on my eyebrow….I am still wearing a walking boot. I began physical therapy for my wrist last week. If I tell you that my dr (who my best friend and I have dubbed McYummy—why are ortho docs always so darn good looking?) wrote out another Rx for Percocet for me to take on therapy days, it will tell you how fond I am of therapy. I do, however, really think my therapist is the bomb….I had a different wrist surgery back in January, and he thinks that based on how well I healed up from last time, I will eventually be able to play my violin again on the worship team. I still can’t drive because of the boot, so am at the mercy of whoever offers to take me anywhere.

Throughout this whole thing, God has above all taught me humility. I was always the one who provided the meals. The one who drove people to appointments. The self-sufficient one. Let me tell you: Not. Self. Sufficient. If God had not placed the wonderful people in my live that He did, I don’t know what we would’ve done the last month. Now that I am getting better, and am starting to see light at the end of this, the thing I am struggling with the most is a feeling of betrayal. My body totally betrayed me. And I was a little bit (ok, honestly, a LOT) angry that this had happened. I’m better there tho’….God is using this in so many ways….growing my kids, as a witness of what a real church family is to their friends, stretching people in ministries that I usually handle, stretching me in patience and in allowing people to bless ME. I am struggling also with fear. I grew up timid and physically afraid to try things. I freely admit to being a klutz. But because I wanted my kids to be fearless, I have prayed through lots of things and done things I never thought I would: Jumped off a cliff into a lake, white-water rafted, ropes challenge courses and zip lines. Things that required me to really push through and pray that fear down. Now, I am timid again. Much, much, much more than I ever was. I hesitate walking down a sloped driveway or theater aisle. Leaning out the car door to shut it is a little scary. A flight of stairs makes me tremble. I pray that as I heal, as my body becomes more balanced once again, that this fear will lessen. But until then, I know that God will never let me go. And however, and whatever I go through, He will be there. So that’s the story. Inquiring minds have been asking. And now you know….

p.s. This song has kept me going.....even if you hate clicking on video links, humor me and click on this one:



Proverbs 3
21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pride Goes Before a Fall (pt 1)

So here’s what really happened, and here’s my take on the whole thing:

One fine Sunday evening in September, our church youth group was meeting at the home of our pastor and his lovely wife. Most of the kids were taking advantage of the beautiful Indian Summer evening that we were having by swimming in the new pool. Our regular youth pastor was out of town, so I was kind of/sort of in charge of the group for the evening. One of the junior girls had prepared a great lesson the Beatitudes and we were having a fabulous time. The pastor’s wife had begun a toilet papering job at the home of the out of town youth pastor a couple of nights before, but because of time constraints and a supply shortage had run out of time. Because he was due back in town that evening, we really wanted to make sure he had the welcome he deserved and wanted to make sure he was in no doubt about how much we missed him. The lead pastor and I agreed to drive a group of kids over to “finish up the job,” so to speak. My oldest son drove over in his truck as well.

As a teenager, I was pretty much one of the queens of pranks. One time, in the 11th grade, we picked up a friend’s VW bug and lifted up on to her porch so that her family was unable to open her front door the next morning. I ‘kidnapped’ numerous friends, and was ‘kidnapped’ myself out of bed in the wee hours to be taken to breakfast and celebrate the day in my pjs. My record for tp-ing was a 16-roller for one house. Of course, it wasn’t the same if you bought the toilet paper; you had to steal it from Pizza Hut. My kids have heard these stories all their life and really wanted me to go along with the group to show them how it was done. So of course, being the cool mom that I am, I agreed. DISCLAIMER: We did NOT steal the toilet paper. It was bought and paid for by said pastor’s wife. She didn't come...sent her husband instead, just in case the police got called.

Essentially, I was really just along as a getaway driver. For the record: I had made one beautiful festoon over the garage lights and was NOT running, jumping, acting silly or otherwise doing something totally stupid. (I own that it was partially stupid. I was toilet papering, after all). I stepped back to observe the kid’s work and admire my own handiwork, and

CRASH!


I fell off the driveway. In all fairness, it was really a tricky thing. And in all honesty, I am a huge klutz. It was still daylight, but the sun was beginning to set. The driveway dropped off into a short retaining wall and then again to a run-off apron and on into a curb. Most driveways around here are either bordered by grass or gravel. The concrete here went on, and I think that out of the corner of my eye, I didn’t notice the drop and just assumed the driveway went on at the same level. It didn’t. I fell and fell hard. All the way down, I could hear many thoughts running through my head: “This can’t be good…uh oh…this will leave a mark…NOOOOOoooooo!” SNAP! Tyler heard the snap and thought I’d broken my sunglasses. Not so. It was my wrist. Or my nose. Or my ankle. Or my foot. But probably my wrist....however, you should SEE my glasses...they have some really impressive scratches on them.

Funnily enough, with at least a dozen people there, no one actually saw me fall. My daughter was even video-taping, and didn’t catch it. She did, however catch an audio clip of me saying, “I’m a little nauseous…” My son looked up at the snap and came running over. Pastor Dan did too. I kept insisting, “Give me a minute, I’ll be ok…” Again, not so. Dan told me my arm “didn’t look good--not good at all” and I should go to the ER. I should note here that Dan often seems to be present when people hurt themselves and probably has a handle on this. And also that he looked a little green around the gills at the sight of my arm and face. My arm was shaped roughly like a cross between a banana and a very large piece of rick-rack. It was decided that Tyler should take me over to the ER….so off we went....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall into Flavor, Week 3





Head on over to 2nd cup for some great recipes and discerning political banter. I can't wait to try out the Carrot Cake recipe....yum yum yum....


And here's my entry (I know, another soup-type thing--can we see a theme here?)


White Chile (8-10 servings)

6 c. chicken broth1 lb.


Great Northern beans (Clean and soak overnight, or use canned)


1 sm chopped onion


1 clove minced garlic


7 oz. diced green chiles


2 tsp. cumin


2 tsp. oregano


1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp white pepper
Salt, to taste
4 c. chicken, dicedFlour tortillas

Combine all ingredients except tortillas. For canned beans, simmer approx 1 to 1 ½ hours. For dried, throw it all in a slow cooker and simmer all day. (best when cooked all day—flavors “meld”)

Put a flour tortilla in the bottom of a bowl and kind of cone-shape it so it follows the shape of the bowl. Fill with the white chile and then serve with desired garnishes. Easily adapted for a bigger crowd.


Use any of the following garnishes: shredded cheese (jack/cheddar), chopped green onions, chopped olives, chopped avocados, chopped tomatoes.
(I composed this in Word...don't know why it's doing the weird spacing stuff...)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Andy Warhol's Got Nuthin' On Me


So my 15 minutes of fame wasn’t nearly all that dangerous or exciting or even interesting, but I am never one to back down from a challenge, so here ya go, Lidna:

A long time ago in another life I worked for an airline. It was in the heady days shortly after deregulation and in all reality it was one of my childhood dreams to work for an airline. I really loved it, and the hubs started there about a year and a half after I did. We lived the life of Riley and traveled extensively and really had a ball until we had a Chapter 7 reorganization, and the “bonus” I had been paid as a supervisor turned into a “salary advance” that they pulled back out of my checks. I still enjoyed what I was doing and was well on my way up the ladder. I started out as a cross-utilized customer service rep, worked my way up to station trainer, supervisor and then an auditor. After 11 years of marriage (yes, I was married at age 4—how else could I have just celebrated my 28th anniversary in June?), we got pregnant on our first try. Apparently I was Fertile Myrtle, because Caleb followed Tyler exactly 24 months and one week later. After I had my boys, things totally refocused. I decided that being home with my baby boys and being the one who read Green Eggs and Ham to them until they had it memorized was way more important than dealing with disgruntled businessmen whose bags were delayed and drunken hookers who missed the last flight out to Las Vegas. So I quit after 10 years of working for them in 1993 and got pregnant again a week after I quit. And then got pregnant when Amy wasn’t quite a year old. And I have never regretted leaving. Ted still works there, although due to a merger, the airline has a different name. The company I started with was the surviving carrier and the holding corporation, but they took on the other carrier name for a more global appeal. I bet I could still push a plane back from the gate…and at one time I was a certified brake rider. I know that anyone who knows me now won’t believe it, because I was so obviously born without the backing up a vehicle gene, but when you push the plane, you are facing it, so it’s not technically backing up. I think I’m diverting from my original subject, but My ADHD Me will totally get on board (love the airline references, hee-hee) with me here and now maybe she won’t think I’m part of the vast conspiracy. So that’s the whole back story.

One drizzly and cold Saturday afternoon I was the Ground Security Coordinator on duty for our carrier. We got a phone call from our corporate dispatch telling us to expect a drop-in (unscheduled) flight because there was a suspected hijacking on board. This was WAY before 9-11…I think it was probably around 1985 or so. Because our carrier contracted out ground services for the plane that was flying over…oh, what the heck! America West (us) worked Midway Airlines (them) in certain cities where they didn’t have enough flights to make it worthwhile to staff a full crew. So we got picked to work the hijacking here, because Midway didn’t have a ground presence in ABQ. Some lady had apparently observed a man acting strangely on board the aircraft. She observed him “toying” what she thought was a weapon. She reported it to the crew, who felt it was a credible threat and wanted to land. I had to have my crew meet the plane and arranged for a bus to remote the 90 or so passengers to the room the FBI set up. Then, when the flight was cleared for departure, I had to re-route all the 90 or so passengers (minus the crazy lady) to their final destinations. And re-tag their bags. And be Midway’s spokesperson in ABQ. It ended up taking about 12 hours all in all. The passengers were pretty grumpy, but I would’ve been too. I asked if I could leave, and the FBI SAC told me that he couldn’t make me stay, but that if I left, they would bring me back in against my will. So being the quick study that I am, I stayed. I had a blurb on all the local news channels that was picked up by the CBS national news (it was a slow news day). My part was about 30 seconds. So that’s my claim to fame.
(p.s. The “weapon” was the man’s electric shaver that he decided to use in his seat rather than in the lav. The lady was a nutcase….)

The singing telegram thing will have to wait for another time….

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Into Flavor



Head on over to Linda's blog at 2nd Cup to check out all the yummy fall recipes for comfort food. I'm craving comfort right now. This recipe was originally from a Rachel Ray show, but a friend made it for our home church cell group and I was instantly hooked. Definitely not diet friendly, but incredibly yummy:

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Episode: Rachael Ray's Thanksgiving in 60
Soup:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped (save time and purchase celery already washed, trimmed and cut into sticks, this makes chopping fast work)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
6 cups chicken stock
1 (28-ounce) can cooked pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Relish:
1 crisp apple, such as McIntosh or Granny Smith, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook flour a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate it into the broth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add in cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.
While soup cooks, assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey and cinnamon.
Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of relish.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Do not take a purse or bag or sandals (Luke 10:4)

Mostly I am a sunglasses girl....not about the shoes, usually, certainly not about the handbag. I watch Clinton and Stacy enough to know everything shouldn't be "matchy-matchy." I tend to buy a bag...always on clearance, always neutral, usually pretty casual...and use that one bag until it is literally falling apart. My current purse (bag) is a little Gypsy-Rose-ish/hippie. If I had the energy to photo it and upload the picture, I would. It's a tan/brown "pleather-like" material with a long shoulder strap. One big zipper compartment, shaped kind of like a bucket. It has some really cute daisies embroidered on it in a line down one side. I've been using it way too long. My daughter says to me, everytime we are somewhere and I am fishing for something, "Mo-om (2 syllables)--just get a new one!" When I had my accident and my best friend was at the hospital trying to locate my debit card and insurance card so that she could get my Rx, she couldn't believe it was the same one I'd taken with me on our girl's getaway to Las Vegas last December. Way too long, like I said. Everything I put in it migrates to the bottom and I can't ever seem to find what I need. It was a little embarassing to have her, who knows my deepest darkest secrets and loves me anyway, have to dig in it and maybe run into a quarter with gum stuck to it or something.

Sometimes, I feel like it's kind of like my heart when I get far from God. Looks pretty cool and hip from the outside, but the inside is a disaster. It's chaos with dirty receipts, mints that have fallen out of their tin, and several non-working pens. All of the promises the God has made are half-forgotten and have sunken to the bottom of this dirty pit. God has been urging me to clean up my heart lately. This is the first time in nearly a month that I have used my right hand to type. He has made me be still, broken me, for my own good. I am working on cleaning out all the dark corners of my heart. Anyway, do you carry a purse or a bag? Do you need to dump it out and start over fresh? Replace all those old receipts with God's always fresh promises for your life? Those are the things you can really redeem...or rather, they will redeem you. Let's all start new this fall...go ahead and clean out the junk. Maybe even splurge on a new purse...?

[


What Your Handbag Says About You



You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.



You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.



You are a very creative person. Your life tends to be a whirlwind, but you always seem to pull it together.



You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.



You are a very unique and special person. There's no one else who is anything like you.