fishing and cupcakes

On a whim (and two aligning days off), Scott and I decided to check out our neighborhood lake to see what kind of fishing it had. Standing Bear Lake was a discovery a few months back that we have enjoyed walking the trails several times as well as an ill-fated, rainy picnic. Scott gathered together his fishing gear then we drove to Walmart to get a fishing license. I requested “just one more stop” for me – I had some books waiting for me at the library.

We pulled up to the lake, with lots of fishermen already casting lines into the wet unknown. I set up my chairs and my “geeky, nerdy books” (as Scott referred to them), while Scott tried to find a good place to sink his lure. After seeing how shallow the waters were, Scott walked over and asked another fishermen (up on the dock) what kind of stuff he caught here. “Bass, crappie, and….” he pulled a trout out of the water as he and Scott stood and talked. But the man asked Scott if we had been around by the dam yet. We weren’t sure what he was referring to, but we packed up our stuff (since some rowers were beginning to take over our shallow coast) and we drove around looking for another entrance.

Wow. When we found another entrance we realized we had only been seeing a small portion of the lake! We had no idea a whole 3/4ths of the lake was still to be discovered!!

So we searched for an opening and settled in again. By this time, it was midday and the worst time for fishing. Plus we were completely unprepared (thinking we were going to do some shallow fishing, not realizing we needed more bait and more equipment.)

After awhile – and no fish – Scott was ready to call it quits. But we left with a big anticipation of the next time we would fish there at sunrise – Scott dreaming of fish, me dreaming of sunrise picture possibilities!

IMG_0135

IMG_0136

IMG_0137

IMG_0139

IMG_0146

IMG_0149

IMG_0153

IMG_0155

IMG_0161

IMG_0165

IMG_0172

There might have been someone fishing next to us.
And he might have had his shirt off.

IMG_0173

IMG_0175

On our way home we stopped at a new cupcake bakery. The decorations were adorable, inside and outside the store. Lots of fun details. They just opened this year and I wish them a great deal of success.

Our order ($10+) deterred us from too many return visits and as always, nothing stacks up to McLain’s Bakery in KC in my book!!

Cute place, though.

IMG_0176

IMG_0177

IMG_0178

IMG_0180

IMG_0181

IMG_0182

IMG_0183

IMG_0184

IMG_0185

IMG_0186

IMG_0187

IMG_0188

IMG_0189

“Welllll…at least there weren’t any bugs…”

June 1. (keep that in mind, JUNE 1st). I had the day off and it was lining up that Scott would have the majority of the day off as well. So while he was finishing up work this morning, I sent him a text…

Screenshot_2013-06-01-11-05-51 (1)

Okay! Picnic time FINALLY! Of course, this was before I had stepped outside.

Windy…
Raining…
And temperatures in the 50’s.

Did I mention it was JUNE?!

2013-06-01 14.44.37

I didn’t care. We went to the store to get what we needed. Came home and made the sandwiches…wrapping them in wax paper because for some reason, picnics must include sandwiches wrapped in wax paper (and no…we didn’t eat ALL the sandwiches, but they were cuter in a large quantity.)

20130601_125933

I put Scott’s name on one bag and my G on the other. Then I wrote descriptive words using the letters S-C-O-T-T and Scott wrote words starting with a G on my bag. We packed our picnic blanket (first giving it a good shake out for the season), put everything in a cute little “picnic basket” ala Paper Source bag and set off for the park/lake. We were so excited to find this lake last month, so near our house.

20130601_130601

We drove up to the lake, as rain splattered our windshield. We were both shivering in our respective jackets and weren’t quite sure what our next move would be.

Problem solved.

We threw the picnic blanket over the steering wheel and dashboard and set up shop, safe and secure in our car with a view of the lake through the trees.

20130601_131728

20130601_132107

(Also. Picnic sandwiches need to be with white bread. I don’t know why; I don’t make up these rules. It is just the way it was meant to be.)

20130601_132224

20130601_132311

20130601_132509

Good’nuf.

Our washi tape-wrapped wax paper sandwiches, cheese sticks, baggies of chips and chocolate chip cookies were perfect (alas, no juice boxes though.) We ate. Talked. Listened to the radio. Packed up and drove back home.

20130601_131407

20130601_131438

A very uneventful First Picnic of 2013.

I’m already looking forward to the next one.
Perhaps it needs to be the Second First Picnic of 2013.

What Happened to Spring?!

Omaha had snow forever this year. It snowed in May, for goodness sake. We were all anxious for warmer, Spring weather. Turns out, we had 3 days (aka: 5 minutes) of it before we moved right into Hellish Summer. Yesterday it was 100 degrees here in Omaha. one.hun.dred. There was high sun beating down on you while the Nebraska wind kept gettin’ all up in your face, reminding you what hot air feels like (as if any one of us could forget as we gasped for air from our weak, winterized lungs.)

So I am glad I took some time this past weekend (you know…on one of our 3 Spring days…) to take a few pictures of area trees that were in bloom. The fragrance was heavenly. The colors were amazing! As I walked under a few of the trees, my ears were filled with LOUD buzzing from the bees, busy at work and very uninterested in me. I wonder if they knew they only 3 days of Spring to hunt and gather?!

20130512_190922

20130512_191044

20130512_191057

20130512_191354

20130512_191409

20130512_191417

This morning, as I ran some errands, I noticed the ground was filled with blowing blooms. I felt like royalty – or a bride – as I walked around in my grubby shorts and t-shirt. The Flower Girl of Spring is definitely leaving her mark today. Talk about melancholy: the ground is covered in white and pink and red blooms as the trees shed their Spring attire for the more tranquil green of Summer.

As I fell asleep last night, I fervently prayed (begged, pleaded, ohpleaseGodohpleaseGodohpleeeease) that this 100 degree day is a fluke and not a sign of a long Summer to come. My perimenopausal nights are bad enough without the added heat of the outside.

Here’s to days by the pool!! (which is currently being freshly painted a beautiful blue) I am SOOOO ready! I plan on being the beached, old whale that doesn’t give a flip about what she looks like in a straining swimsuit. I’m just there for the cool water, warm rays and who knows – maybe I’ll break down and load ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ on my iPod…

Resurrection Rolls with Hannah

This Easter was certainly different. With all the surgeries and doctor’s appointments lately, Scott and I needed to stick close to home. This meant that for the first time in 48 years, I didn’t have an Easter basket. For the first time in 25 years, I was not with my children. I was not around any family.

Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed Scott to be home the entire day. His work schedule rotation just happened to allow him to come home the night before and not work again until the next morning. Absolutely perfect timing.

So Hannah and I planned a cooking time together on the phone. We made Resurrection Rolls. I read about them on a blog somewhere and we gave it a try.

The concept was to dip marshmellows in melted butter then roll them in cinnamon and sugar. We then wrapped the croissants tightly around the marshmellows, sealing all the edges.

As we worked through the above procedure, we talked about the service Scott and I attended that morning (different blog post). We talked about things going on in each of our lives and plans for the immediate few days ahead (yet another blog post!) We gave suggestions back and forth about what was working and what was not.

Then we put our wrapped marshmellows in the oven and hung up the phone while they cooked. As the oven buzzer went off, we called each other back. We laughed over the results and ate the yummy rolls.

20130331-172138.jpg

20130331-172243.jpg

20130331-172735.jpg

20130331-172842.jpg

20130331-173109.jpg

20130331-173027.jpg

20130331-172519.jpg

The marshmellows (representing Christ) and the butter and cinnamon sugar (representing the ointments placed on Christ’s body) ‘disappear’ when they’re cooked leaving any empty roll that is filled with delicious sweet cinnamon.

20130331-172604.jpg

Mostly though…Christ’s body kind of oozed all over the cookie sheet. A slightly disconcerting feeling. (The edges need to be VERY tightly squeezed together before cooking. Oops!)

Marshmellow body resurrected or not, the rolls were VERY, VERY yummy!

And the conversation on the phone…the shared experience of trying this new tradition out over the phone…hearing my daughter’s laugh and voice…

truly a sacred experience.

Thank you, Hannah, for sharing such a silly new experience with me! It felt a little, like I was at home.

20130331-173945.jpg
(view from Hannah’s side)

“STOP THE DAMN TAPE!”

One of my favorite stories recently came from my dear friend, Monica, an elementary school PE teacher. Monica is a veteran teacher and has taught the past number of years at a Title 1 school in a low-income neighborhood. Monica is admirably passionate about introducing her students to healthy habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.

As with any good teacher, she has classroom rules. Rules that need to be followed in order to ensure the safety of all of her students.

One such rule: Shoes must remain on at all times.

As her gym-full of students danced happily to a rocking CD one afternoon (all the while exercising their cute little bodies), one little boy kept taking his shoes off – bucking her hard-fast rule. Without interruption to the whole class, Monica simply stated, “Billy…you’re going to have to take your shoes and go sit down on the bleachers until you get them back on. You know the rules!”

…as the class cheerfully danced on.

This didn’t sit well with Billy who thoroughly enjoys dancing. Seeing Monica’s stern direction, he picked up his shoes and rushed to the bleachers to get them back on while his classmates kept right on with their dance routine.

Visibly upset, Billy hurriedly struggled to get his shoes on, all the while yelling from the sidelines, “Stop the damn tape! STOP THE DAMN TAPE!!!!!”

I know, I know… This is not becoming language from a first-grader who clearly learned his choice adjectives from someone older than himself. But what I loved was the authenticity of his phrase.

How often have I been spinning in deadlines and bill payments and health scares and family issues when all the while I wanted to simply yell at the top of my lungs, “STOP THE DAMN TAPE!!!”

As Black Friday looms and gift-buying pressures mount. As church obligations and work parties and sick kids pile up all around you. As the weather gets chilly and our propensity for being bit by the flu bug increases, I would encourage you to pause in the midst of the craziness and repeat after me: “STOP THE DAMN TAPE!”

Then, peacefully regain your composure and take the next step toward enjoying a time of year that is to be celebrated – danced through, if you will – and not pressed into a commercialized mold of ‘should-haves’ and ‘have-tos’.

2012 Holiday Season.
You can do it.
You can manage it.
You can successfully dance.

Turn off the tape, the tv, the pressures.
Get off the spinning-out-of-control merry-go-round ride.
Let your inner first-grader soar.

Stop the crazy.
Stop the busy-ness.
Stop the over-achieving.

Stop, the damn tape.

the first stirring of the holiday spirit

We visited a nursery near our house today that was incredibly beautiful. Mulhall’s Nursery. Photos can’t quite capture the vignettes of holiday ideas. Everything was super-sized and breath-takig. Just walking through the rooms put me in the mood to decorate for Christmas.

The fact that it was 20+ degrees outside might have something to do with the Christmas thoughts as well!

20121111-135910.jpg

20121111-140026.jpg

20121111-140050.jpg

20121111-140117.jpg

20121111-140140.jpg

20121111-140208.jpg

20121111-140233.jpg

20121111-140312.jpg

20121111-140335.jpg

20121111-140401.jpg

20121111-140439.jpg

20121111-140502.jpg

20121111-140531.jpg

20121111-140557.jpg

20121111-140623.jpg

The Loyce bought us a beautiful housewarming gift. A Norfolk Island pine.

20121111-140752.jpg

20121111-140825.jpg

20121111-140844.jpg

Tis almost the season for cheer.
Tis always the season for family!