Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tennessee or Bust

Yup.... the bike is packed up, the cats are being cared for and I'm breathing a sigh of relief.

Our vakay has officially begun. We will take out early Friday morning, heading to Tennessee to meet a long lost relative. That is pretty exciting in itself, but the icing on the cake is that I get to meet up with a couple of my TDIPT sisters in Pigeon Forge on Wednesday! I think I'm more excited than anything to finally get to hug and laugh and get to know Starla of Briar Rabbit Primitives and Jan of One Brown Dog Primitives in person!
And I think it's a pretty safe bet that you will be seeing plenty of pictures too so you can share in our excitement.

Happy Trails ♥

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

With heartfelt thankfulness, I wish to give great honor and respect to every soldier that has fought the fight for my freedom.

Thank you ♥

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
Billy Graham

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pull out the Purple Velour Sweatpants

Well... if you ask some of the girls in the office, I'm sure they would agree that I done flipped my lid and have gone over to the dark side. The crazy cat-lady dark side, that is

I went to PetSmart at lunch to get some kittycat stuff and wound up buying them a potted plant to eat. HAHAHA... I know what you are thinking: there's one born every minute right?

But these are the first cats I've ever had that never ever ever will go outside - and I'm kinda wondering here if they would like some fresh greens? I know my system would freeze up and shut down toute de suite if I didnt get my greens!

So, with their health in mind, I bought a container and brought it into the office to keep it from wilting in the hot car. When the girls in the office saw what I was carrying in, they just kinda rolled their eyes and cocked their head slightly to the right.

They didnt even waste their breath.... they know I'm a lost cause where Nip and Tuck are concerned.

Now comes the tricky part.... do I serve it straight out of the planter or dice it up and arrange it on a chilled bone china plate? Presentation is so important, you know!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What a Wonderful Weekend!

My husband has spent the last year organizing a Kansas City Chapter Bikers For Christ conference. With the help of a few close friends, every single aspect of this conference was scrutinized, chewed on and most importantly prayed over - and it was very evident because the weekend couldn't have been more blessed!

Originally slated as a weekend long event, on Friday afternoon it started raining - and not just a lovely spring shower but a Monsoon that brought 2" of rain per hour to the Kansas City area. We had folks riding in from all over the state and worried about them until we knew they were safe and sound.

Special speakers included Bill Bonham, an ex-Outlaw motorcycle club enforcer who was pulled out of that lifestyle by God to do more important work for Him! What a testimony he had to share too! Bill has been involved in prison ministries since his conversion and traveled several times 3rd world countries on missions trips.

Our Pastor, Tim Juhnke also brought a message that God laid on his heart about drifting away from what we should be focused on - and I think he was speaking directly to me, because it just what I needed to hear!

Lastly, our dear friends Frank and Marie Drown - retired missionaries from Ecuador shared some of their experiences of working with the Headhunter Auca Indians and more to the point, how God used him to build a hydro-electric plant to supply power to send the Gospel out to the remote parts of the country.

My dear hubs always tries to get Frank and Marie to take a little spin on the back of his bike, but he hasn't succeeded yet. Darrell is convinced that all it would take is one short ride around the block to light the fire and spark a love for motorcycles. Frank and Marie just smile and nod - and we all know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their heels are dug in on this ever happening. :)

Saturday night, we took a long ride around the city - giving our guests a tour of our fine town. We ended up at one of the BBQ restaurants (since KC is known for it's barbecue) and what do you know, we had a birthday celebration! Ole Will is a character ... and we always have such fun with him so in honor of his birthday, he got a big ole plate of sliced onions. (There's a funny story that goes along with that, but that's for another day!)

Happy Birthday Will ♥

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

By Golly ....

I think I will make the deadline after all ...

It was kinda dicey there for awhile, but I'm becoming a pro at playing "Beat the Clock" and folks, this one just came in under the wire!

Love just spills out of sweet Kiki's heart ♥ This little girl and her family of mice will be available on the Merc come May 14th!

“Be a first rate version of yourself,
not a second rate version of someone else”

~Judy Garland

Monday, May 11, 2009

Carrot Cake Anyone?

ok - this is NOT my carrot cake... but it should have been!

One of my friends was celebrating his 49th birthday and I offered to bake his cake. He wanted a carrot cake, and his wife volunteered a recipe that she had used when they first started dating, explaining that it was his favorite.

So I baked the carrot cake from scratch - and since I'm always playing "Beat the Clock", I didn't want to shred the carrots myself. Time is money ya know, so i bought a bag of carrots already shredded at the grocery store.

The recipe called for pineapple, golden raisins, carrots and walnuts. I baked it the cake pan I normally use - and after it had cooled, I put it in the frig overnight. The next morning I pulled it out, iced it with cream cheese frosting, sprinkled walnuts on top, just like the photo above and put it back in the refrigerator till we were ready to celebrate.

Wishes were wished, candles were blown and I cut into the cake and started serving it up. Now, I didn't have my reading glasses on and with contacts alone, I can see distance but not up close detail. Everyone got their piece and were busily enjoying it when my hubs piped up... " why are these carrots Green?"


I whipped out my readers to inspect the cake and sure enough, there were pieces of carrot that were orange and there were plenty of green ones and even some that were 1/2 orange 1/2 green! Normally when I make a carrot cake, I use baby food - so this was definitely a first for me.

What is even more comical is that when I was preparing the batter on Friday evening, I ran out of vanilla and went next door to my new neighbors house. I introduced myself to her husband (whom I've never met but waved hello to for a month now). I told his wife about my delimna with the ingredients for the cake, minus the vanilla and asked if she might have 4 tsp. I could borrow? She said she had been sick with food poisoning from some roast beef she ate - but was doing better and of course I was welcome to her vanilla.

My original intent was to thank her for the vanilla by offering a couple of pieces of cake. But after I saw the green carrots, there was just NO WAY I was going to take some of this cake to say thanks to a girl who had just gotten over 1 bout of ptomaine!!!

I think I need to come up with another plan, lol!!

By the way, I googled about the carrots because it was the craziest thing - what I found out was that Organic carrots don't have a lot of the chemicals and/or additives that normal carrots have in order to keep their colour a bright vibrant orange. Because of this, baking soda can interact with the carrot and turn them green, especially if you add them to the wet ingredients.

hmmm... sounds good - I'm sticking with that one!

now, would anyone care for some carrot / zuccini cake ??

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Under the Bleachers...

oh yeah.... I think we all remember those book titles that made us giggle so hard!!

"Under the bleachers" by Seymore Butts ... or
"The Art of Shoplifting" by Phil Mypockets

I was relaxing for just a bit this afternoon after lunch, playing backgammon online - when I heard one of the cats sneeze in my computer room. Looking around, I saw no one - I searched under the desk, under the futon and behind the bookcase. No furry creatures, but I could have sworn I heard someone in my room.

And then my eye caught a movement -
and look who hiding inside my great aunts handstitched quilt.
I lifted the covers to expose him and you know what he did?
He dug deeper under the covers!
That Tuck is such a character.
I hate to break the news to him but thats not a pup tent!!
On an up note, I think I found someone to go camping with :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We Made It!

We hung in there all week and finally made it to the weekend - yeeeehaw!!

We're in for a gorgeous day and I can't think of a better way to spend it than eating out with friends and a day trip on the motorcycle!

However you choose to spend yours, I hope it's the best day of the week for you, too!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Words of Wisdom

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;

They just make the most of everything!


1. Try everything twice.

On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph: Tried everything twice...loved it both times!

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
( Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches)

3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle.' An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name is Alzheimers!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with her.

6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, and hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, or a trip to the next county or a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. I love you, my special friend.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thirty Minutes in the Antique Mall

Normally I don't post pics of my finds when I stop off at the antique mall in my area, but last night I was so excited about what I discovered.

I love old cheese boxes (since I can't afford firkins haha) and found one that is not necessarily a cheese box, but very cool just the same! And best of all, the girls seem to like it!
As I was wandering through the store in overdrive (rememeber - I only had 30 minutes until the doors closed), I spied an awesome old double handled basket that will look wonderfully perfect in my kitchen... full of something flowering maybe? Probably have to wait for this weekend though, to pull out my ladder and get up there - the area is full of coffee grinders and old scales right now. This is a large basket too - it measures almost 20" long ... and for $12, I couldn't say no!

The last leg of my journey had me on the bottom shelves and I came up with an awesome rusty rabbit candle holder and a sweet little hammer - kiki already latched onto them ... I just wish she'd be as possessive about wearing clothes!

Not too shabby for a 30 minute drive-thru, dont you think?

Monday, May 4, 2009

God's Love Shines

This story is a bit long, but it's been so heavy on my heart and I just wanted to share it with you.

A couple of weeks ago, hubs was heading home from work and the last leg of his commute, he realized he had a tire going flat. He pulled over to change it and called to let me know he would be just a bit late but that he had everything under control.

Once he made it home, he related to me how some young kid had seen him jacking up his truck and stopped to help change the tire. He said the kid was probably in his early 20's and had his girlfriend in the truck with him. Hubs thanked him for stopping and said that he would be alright, but said the young fella was adamant about helping because the very same thing had happened to him not 2 weeks earlier and he just wanted to "pay it forward". So with his help and many thanks, the job got done and both men were on their way.

Last Thursday, on his way home from work, Darrell passed a van that was pulled off the side of the road with ... you guessed it... a flat tire! His thoughts immediately went to his past experience and he pulled over to see if he could help. He walked to the drivers window of the van and saw a lone woman talking on her cell phone. Come to find out, she was talking to a towing company about coming out to help because she didn't have a spare tire. Darrell said that he would be happy to help her out and get her tire repaired and on her way home. In the course of their conversation while he was jacking up her car, he found out that she and her husband had moved into our neighborhood just a few months prior, and 1 month after the move, her husband passed away from cancer. As hubs talked to her further, she shared that she had to have a masectomy last year and this month was to have her other breast removed as well. She said that without God's strength, there was no way she would have been able to get through it all.

Darrell was so moved by everything this dear woman had been through and he knew in his heart that God's timing was perfect and he was exactly where he needed to be at that very moment.

As he tried to lift up the van, the jack broke - so he came home and borrowed the neighbors heavy duty jack. Once he was able to break the locked lugnuts free and get the tire off, he told his new friend that he would run the tire up and see about getting a plug put in. This woman with the gentle sweet countenence held out a $5.00 bill, some $1.00 bills and a bag of change, saying that was all the money she had but to please take it for the repair. He was not about to take a bag of change and the last dollars to her name, but said he would be back just as soon as possible. When he turned it into the tire store for a repair, he was told that it was too far gone for a plug, so my dear husband bought her a new tire and took it back and mounted it on her van. I suspect that she may have been a bit surprised by his act of kindness ... I however, am not. I am married to a very good man with a burning drive to share God's love.

When he came home and told me about it, it literally touched me to the core. I realized that this woman is a neighbor of ours, just 4 houses up the street. I remember seeing them move in - and I also remember seeing their house surrounded by many many vehicles about the time that she lost her husband. At the time, I thought it was a house warming. I didnt realize it was a homecoming for her husband.

When something happens in your life that leaves you wondering how and why, just believe that God's timing is indeed, perfect. Darrell was exactly where God wanted him to be at the very instant He wanted him there - and I know God has crossed our paths for a reason. I am going to introduce myself to this dear sister in Christ.... she is such a testimony to His Faithfulness and I am reminded of the blessing God put in my life the day I met my husband.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Biker's With A Mission

What a great weekend we've had here in Kansas City. According to the local weather forecaster, we were in for rain from last Friday morning till Monday afternoon - but obviously God had other plans!

Saturday, we rode to central Missouri for a gathering of bikers partaking in some awesome BBQ and it was such a beautiful day and a gorgeous ride. Normally riding on the interstates is not my cup of tea, but it was the first day trip of the year and we were all happy to fight with the semi's traveling up I-70 heading to our destinations.

So this morning, we went to early church service and afterwards, headed over to the Kansas City's City Union Mission to participate in their BWAM (Biker's With A Mission Run For The Homeless) 100 mile run. What a great day, full of good friends and plenty of sunshine!

The Mission depends completely on the gifts of God's people--individuals, churches, groups, foundations and businesses who care about the poor and homeless. I've volunteered at the City Union Mission in the past, taking meals over and spending time with the folks living there. One year, we performed a cantata for the residents during the Christmas season. CUM is a wonderful organization that has been around since 1924, providing warm beds, nutritious food and a place of safety for thousands of poverty stricken and homeless men, women and children.

This was my first year participating and hubs second, but it may get put on our calendar each year - because it really helps out so many. I'm not sure how many bikes actually signed up for the ride - you could register in a 3 hour window, and we got there about 2 hours into it, so many of the bikers has come and registered and already left for the ride.

From the benefit ride in 2008, enough money was raised to:

serve 329,669 meals

140,956 beds provided

454 decisions for Christ

8,866 patients seen in Medical Services

4,580 people requested shelter through Hotline for the Homeless

351 kids attended Camp CUMCITO (and that alone will get me to be a part of it annually!)

Our hope is that much more money is raised in 2009 - because we get by with the help of our friends ♥

Friday, May 1, 2009

whew.... I thought we lost 'em!

Today is my 1/2 day Woohoo Friday, as it is known in the office. Every other week our generous company lets each employee take Friday afternoon off - and we are thankfully blessed for their generosity!
As I pulled up to the house this afternoon, what should greet me but Lilac blooms on my Lilac trees! I'm so happy about this - we haven't gotten any good blooming action since the spring we moved into this house 4 years ago - and with the 3 bay windows open in the living room, it was just like God sent His very special potpourri for us to enjoy.
Each year, the spring frost manages to kill our blooms and I was sure the coldspell we got about 3 weeks would have kilt my flowers - all I can say is "thank you Lord" for the surprise!
I will relish in the aroma ♥