Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Watchers

A few years back I asked my grandmother what her earliest memory was.
She thought for a moment and told me that the most vivid memory she has from early childhood was watching her mother make bread. 
She said that she could distinctly remember the flour dust dancing in the sun rays as her mother would shake the flour from her apron.  She could remember her mother’s hands and how they would just be full of bread dough as she would clap them together in the open back door of their home sending tiny little dough balls falling to the ground.
My grandmother’s most vivid memory as a child was watching. 
Watching another woman’s work. 
Watching her care for and love her family. 
Standing there as a young impressionable little girl and just taking it all in.
This is my memory too. 
Watching, learning, mimicking, developing a belief system and an understanding of the most important things in life. 
 I too stood watching in the doorway as my grandmother knelt by her bedside and laid her family before her creator. I watched her living life to it’s absolute fullest. 
I watched her relish in the good and set her eyes on the positive. 
 I watched her hope in the difficult times and mourn with the broken hearted. 
 I watched her taking time for friends and strangers.
I watched her strike up conversations with waiters, cashiers, grocery baggers, people sitting beside her on a park bench, tour guides and anyone else who would give her a few minutes of their time so that she could share her faith with them.
 I watched her care for her husband with such grace.  I watched her love her daughters and son in laws and delight in her grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
I watched her generosity.
I watched as she embraced hard work and enjoyed the fruits of a beautiful home and yard. 
I watched as she found such joy in being together with family, always laughing, dancing and joking around.
 I watched as she spoke words of hope and encouragement into the lives of so many, including mine. 
 I watched as she would light up a room with her smile and make a place better just because she was there.
I also watched as her memory began to fade and the light behind her eyes grew dim. 
I watched as her body just would not do what she wanted it to do. 
 I watched as she began to get lost more often in her confusion and as her longing for heaven grew stronger.
I watched as my mother became her caregiver and made sure my grandmother’s needs were met.
 I watched as the roles were permanently reversed as my grandmother became as dependent as a little child. 
 I watched as a hope for an eternity without pain, confusion, aggravation, depression and sickness was what we clung to. 
 I watched as a life well lived began to be celebrated even in the final days only because of that blessed hope we have that grandma will be whole and perfect and in the arms of Jesus because she had put her faith and trust in him.
As I am watching now, waiting to hear the story of her death, assured in the fact that she will be escorted into heaven by the angels, I am acutely aware that I am not only a watcher,
but I am being watched. 
The best tribute I can make to my grandma is also the greatest legacy that I can leave for my children and grandchildren. 
My desire is to point people to Christ in the way I live my life. 
I want my watchers to know that Jesus forgives, heals, restores and inhabits those who trust in him.  It is only he that gives perfect peace and joy through the trials of this life. 
 At the end of this journey however long or short it may be for each of us is the hope of an eternity in heaven as a reward for a life surrendered to him here on earth.
As the generations grow and my watchers become the watched,
this is my hope for them; that they may know Jesus and leave a legacy of a life lived for him.
I love you grandma!  Thank you so much for living the life that I watched.  You have helped to make me into the woman I am today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Voices in my Head...........

So I have been spending my mornings and afternoons with 
this little guy.
He is a joy and delights my soul every day!
His smile lights up my world
and we have so much fun together.
Many days by the time his mommy comes to get him,
he and I are in the kitchen while I am getting dinner ready.
The kitchen is kind of off to the side of the door that 
Jenna comes in, so Landon cannot see her approach.
He will be babbling or dancing or inspecting
something along the baseboards in the kitchen
and then all of the sudden he hears a voice and freezes.
He looks at me with wide eyes and an even wider grin
as if to ask me, "Hey, did you hear that?!"
For a minute or two the room is electric with 
the anticipation of a mommy's hug and the excitement 
of being together again.
Landon knows his mommy's voice.
He knows it without even seeing her.
His response to her voice is unlike his response 
to any other voice in his life.
Sometimes I can easily recognize the voices speaking to me and
I know exactly how to respond.
But not always.
For the past two weeks I have been 
praying about leading a women's Bible study in 
the church that we have been attending for the past 6 weeks.
From the minute I found out there was a need,
it has been in the back of my mind to step up
and lead. 
There are voices in my head too.
Here is what they are saying:
Can I do this?
It has been so, so long since
I have led a study.
I am quite comfortable now with nothing to prepare for,
nothing to study for,
nothing expected of me.
I'm comfortable, but I'm not growing the way I want to be.
Thursdays are my only night with nothing to do.
I need my nothing to do night.
What if no one comes?
What if someone comes?!
What if I trip over my words,
sound like an idiot,
sound like a know it all,
and worst of all,
what if I cry?!
I am not a pretty crier.
I hate crying in public and do everything I can to avoid it.
Once the chin quiver starts though,
I can't usually stop it 
and it just goes downhill from there.
What if God uses this study to help encourage others?
What if this is the thing I need in my life right now,
right here, at this very point in my life?
I'm not funny enough, knowlegable enough,
cute enough, witty enough, well connected enough,
smart enough, confident enough 
or well spoken enough to do this.
I'm unorganized.
Completely and totally unorganized.
I simply cannot get it together enough to 
look like I have it together enough to do this!
What if this grows me, stretches me,
causes me to walk by faith?
The study I want to do is called Let It Go by Karen Ehman.
The subject is dear to my heart.  It is about being a control freak.
I am a control freak.
God has brought this to my attention over and over again
during the past five years.  
The lessons I have learned about how very necessary it is to 
let go of control
when it comes to my own personal peace
is the number one word of encouragement
I give to other mother's when they share their struggles with me.
It is a subject that is still tender.
This is scary for me.
I can't just brush over this stuff.
It is going to come down to sharing personal stories
and that means being real and raw and vulnerable....
and again, the crying thing.

So all of this is going on in my head
all the while I am still taking steps to lead the study.
I have a meeting scheduled with the Pastor on Friday morning
so he can get to know me and we can talk about the study.
Since we are brand new to the church,
he needs to know where my heart is.
Yesterday I had lunch with my husband and
was telling him about this struggle of voices
in my head.
I asked him which one I should be listening to.
Both make sense.
Both can be convincing.
But one of them is a lie.
Almost always, when there are two voices in direct conflict
one of them is truth and one of them is a lie.
On the one hand, I get a free night every week.
No preparation, no one counting on me, no possible public failure,
no vulnerability.  
I could use that night to clean or do laundry
or prepare meals for the week
or catch up on blogging and editing.
Or I could face reality and use that night like I really would
and just sit and watch TV or surf the internet.
On the other hand, 
it has been a very long time since I have put myself out there
in a leadership roll.
I'm going to have to put time and effort into this.
I'm going to have to be open, honest, my imperfections are going to be 
out there in bright flashing neon lights for everyone to see.
I'm going to have to face my fear of public speaking.
I'm going to be vulnerable to criticism.
Someone might not like me.
I am going to have to give up control.
Sitting across the lunch table from me,
my sweet husband listened to all of my fears
and insecurities as I poured them out over the 
chips and salsa we were sharing.
"Who do I listen to?" I asked him.
He told me what I already knew.
"Listen to the voice that is pushing you toward growth. 
The one chasing you out of your comfort zone and
causing you to have faith." he said.

So, here we go.  
If God opens the door for me to lead this study 
on Thursday nights at a little coffee shop
in downtown Newport,
I'm going to listen to his voice and do it.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Things I have learned from weeding my garden........

So we rented this house in Portsmouth
with a really beautiful yard.
It is almost park like and there are 
gorgeous flowers everywhere.

I do not have a green thumb.

It is really a challenge for me
 to keep any kind of plant life alive.
But I am determined to do this.
I have to, it's in the lease.

I'm pretty motivated 
(and a little obsessed)
so, I think that I will be able to 
figure out how to keep this garden happy.

When we first moved in,
the flower beds had been freshly mulched.
There were no weeds and 
the mulch had not been pressed down by rain yet. 
Everything was fresh and new and perfect.

Now, having been here for more than a month,
it's not so perfect anymore.
The mulch has settled in and the weeds
are trying to take over.
I did a round of weeding at the two week mark,
but now they are back with a vengeance!

So the other day,
David and I went out to tackle the 
green, thorny terrorist.
Our home sits right on a main road,
and even though we don't use this entrance
for everyday comings and goings
we are still responsible for the upkeep.

So there I was out there in the front of the house
pulling weeds by the curbside
and along the fence beside the sidewalk.
On the main road.
The MAIN road. 
I hated every minute of it.  

There really is no flattering way to bend over and 
pull out a stubborn weed root.
I am not very fond of my backside.
I am even less fond of introducing myself to my new community
by displaying my backside bent over along the curb on the main road.
As I was pondering how much I would rather be doing this 
in private, in seclusion, 
incognito, in the dark of midnight
or in any other way than out in plain sight
 for the amusement of all 2.1 million drivers
that were on that road that day,
I thought of how much this applies to life.
Sometimes we just have to weed in public.
Sometimes the weeds in our lives are just out there for everyone to see.
Sometimes God's way in dealing with us is very, very public.
Sometimes there is just no other way.

There are so many imperfections that I would like to hide from the world.
Sometimes things are just not alright in my world,
and I would rather push them down deep and deal with them in secret
then to have my struggle made public and my shortcomings on display.

I don't want people seeing that my kids don't always embrace
what we have taught them
and often times do the exact opposite of what we pray for.
I don't want them seeing that my home is sometimes filled with
the thorny vines of bickering and strife.
I don't want them seeing the prickly leaves of my lack of faith in troubling times.
I don't want them seeing the weeds that have resulted from my bad decisions.
The monster weed at the root of all of this is pride.
I don't want people seeing these imperfections because I don't want to seem
like an emotionally unstable, out of control, needy, selfish, willful person who
can't seem to keep her house in order.
I'm too proud.

But another thing occurred to me as I was weeding my curbside garden out in plain daylight.
What if some of these people aren't snickering at my backside up in the air?
What if some of them are thinking, "hmmm, I really need to weed my garden!"?
What if people saw me working and thought, "Hey, I've got weeds too!"?
What if my work inspired them to think about their own garden
and what needed to be done there?
What if it isn't about me and how I appeared to others at all,
but more about my very public work inspiring others to recognize the work that
needed to be done in their own gardens?

Throughout the years there have been people in my life who have had very public struggles.
Their gardens were being weeded on the curbside on very busy streets.
I remember one woman sharing a little bit with us in a woman's bible study.
She was going through some trying times with her son
and it was breaking her family apart.
My children were very young at the time and while I could not relate
 to her struggles, but I was so very thankful
that she was brave enough to share them with us.
As a group we were able to come along side her and pray for her.

I learned the valuable lesson that sometimes we are put in
circumstances that seem impossible to overcome.
Sometimes our faith is shaken to the core.
Sometimes the imperfections in our lives are ugly and public and we can't hide them,
but God intends for us to bear one another's burdens and to share
our struggles and triumphs with others.
We shouldn't let the sin of pride keep us from being real with people.

I often think back on that moment when this woman
shared her not so flattering side with us
and I am so thankful for her example.
God used her struggle to encourage me so many years later
when my kids entered the world of teen rebellion. 
I didn't feel alone.
I knew that I wasn't the only mom who had been touched
by this kind of pain.
I knew that God would use me and my story to help other moms
if I would only be brave enough to share.

I saw a photo of this woman's son on facebook the other day.
He has a teenage son of his own now and is doing very well.
God drew him back to himself and worked in the life of that family.
If we hadn't been aware of the struggle,
we wouldn't have been able to rejoice in the victory!

It is my hope that as I share my "fresh fruit" with you,
the pretty flowers of my life, the colorful bouquets and the healthy shrubs,
that you know of the weeds that loom as well.
As long as we walk this earth they will always be there.
It is important that you know about them and their choking vines
and how much work it took to pull them out at the root.
You must know about them in order to truly appreciate the 
magnificence of the flowers that bloom.
For no flower is more beautiful than the one that is gained through
struggle and strife.
The one paid for with tears, pain, obedience, selflessness,
forgiveness, grace, mercy and ultimately
a thorn pricked brow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do Overs.....

I just love it when God brings me back to a place that I never thought I would be again.
It's like life's little do-overs.
There are so many levels of emotions that I feel when something like that happens.

Right now I am experiencing this on three levels.
First I'm feeling the "want to" to pick up this blog again.
As I have spoken of before,
there are seasons of life that just cant be put into words
as they are happening.
Some things are better left to rest until the come to their own conclusions
 before the story can be told.
The last four years of my life seemed to consist of one event after another
that just needed to sit within my heart until healing and understanding
could bring about the right words to share. 
To all you moms of teenagers out there, I know you feel me.
Let me just say that it gets better.  It really does.

My second do-over is that we are back in Rhode Island!
We lived here 7 years ago and this is the place where my blog began.
My first post were of our life here and how much we loved it.

Despite the fact that we fought tooth and nail to stay in Maryland,
coming back here after 7 years has been wonderful. 
There were so many things in Maryland that brought a level of comfort to me.
That level of comfort in a new duty station
 is not something we military families are used to. 
It was a blessing to live near my mom
and my Maryland family.
It was great to walk into the salon where my mom works and be among friends.
It was incredible to live in the neighborhood I grew up in.
I did meet lots of great new people too,
but most of those people I met after I had already been there for quite some time
 and my life there had already become routine. 
I had my bearings and I didn't feel like the "new girl" who desperately needed
to belong.
Those friendships were formed with a sense of ease,
not in a "please be my friend so I don't become a hermit" kind of way.
I was so blessed with a strong client base and met so many people in Maryland
that I hope to keep in touch with.

I have no idea why God moved us here when we were so comfortable.
Perhaps it was to stretch my world a little bit more.

The level of comfort I was experiencing isn't always good for a person like me.
 Most think that I am very outgoing,
but in reality it is hard for me to put myself out there.
It is scary to be the new person in groups that are already well established.
 It is scary to find out if and where you fit in.
 It is scary to be in new unfamiliar least it is for me.
 So, now I'm back to reaching out again.
 I'm brushing up on all those skills that I was able to let lay dormant
in Maryland.

It's a good thing!

Rhode Island has so many good qualities.
I had forgotten how very beautiful and vibrant this place is.
Whenever anyone asked me what my favorite duty station has been so far,
I always included Rhode Island in my top 3 because of it's beauty.
Last time we were here it was only for one year.
I broke my ankle 9 months into that year and which kept me home and healing
for our last few months here.
I was always so bummed that we did not get to explore everything we wanted to
because of that unexpected injury.

Now we are back for almost 4 years and I've got a list a mile long of all the places
I want to go and see and everything we want to explore. 
 Boston, Mystic, Martha's Vineyard,
Nantucket, Cape Cod,
points of interest in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine,
Providence, Jamestown, Block Island
 and Newport are all on the list.

Summers here are alive and filled with so many activities in the community. 
There is something different to do every day of the week. 
Just walking around in downtown Newport on a summer evening is so enjoyable for me.
The restaurants, the history, the people bustling about,
the harbor, the sailboats and yachts,
 the cliff walk, the beach, the ocean,
the clams, the boutiques,
the music from local bands,
the landscaping, the cobblestone....
I was made for this place!
As great as the summers are,
I'm a girl who loves Fall and the Autumn season here is just breathtaking!
New Englanders are incredibly friendly!  
Every single day when I am out in town
someone starts up a friendly conversation with me.
The locals are extremely helpful and genuine.
I'm just so excited and thankful for this do-over.

There is another do-over that I am also thankful for.
We are so, so blessed that our son Zachary and his precious little family
followed us here to Rhode Island.
They live in the sweet little town of Bristol about 5 miles from us.
They are thriving here!

 Zach has a great job and is able to support his family enough that Jenna
is able to follow her dreams and go to school full time
to work toward her career in the medical field.
Starting today, Landon will be with me for a few hours 4 days a week.
We are working on baby proofing the house and I've been
on Pinterest looking for fun activities to do with 1 year olds.
I am going to have so much fun with him!
I plan to make the most of this special little do-over that I have with him.
I loved being a stay at home mom and building into my children
as much as I could.  I enjoyed coming up with creative things we could do.
I loved reading them nap time stories and taking them to the park.
We were definitely on the go most days and we let no grass grow under our feet!

How blessed am I to be able to revisit some of the joy of pre-schoolers again?
I'm not as young and energetic as I was when I packed up three little kids
and ran all over town every day, but I am gonna do my best to keep up with this little guy!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Our Story..............

Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy.

The boy loved the girl and the girl loved him back.
They spent lots of time together and grew very close.
After dating for almost a year,
the girl and the boy found out that they
were going to have a baby.
The boy was scared and so was the girl.
Fear drove them apart and the girl and the boy
went in different directions.
The girl moved to Maryland
and the boy stayed in Florida and
tried to forget her.
By the time the leaves changed in the Fall of 1991,
the girl had a beautiful baby boy.
She named him Zachary and he was her world.
The girl worked very hard to make a life for
her baby boy.  She rocked him to sleep at night,
sung songs to him,
giggled and laughed with him
and marveled at how amazing he was,
 but she never forgot the boy she left in Florida.
He never forgot her either
and he was working very hard to change and grow
and prepare to win back the heart of the girl and be a father and a husband.
Through the miracle of God's perfect timing,
the boy and the girl were drawn back together.
The boy had joined the Navy and was stationed in Connecticutt.
He drove to see the girl and the baby boy every
weekend for many, many months.
By the end of the summer of 1992,
the boy and the girl were married
and they began a new life in Connecticutt.

The girl and the boy and their little boy were very happy.
The girl and the boy learned alot about eachother
and about how to be parents.
The girl and the boy didn't always do it perfectly,
but they loved eachother and their little boy very much.
They tried hard to make the right choices and
to do the best things for their little family.
They girl and the boy didn't have very much
and lived a life full of sacrifices,
but their home was filled with love.
The girl and the boy loved being parents and
their little boy was everything to them.
Soon the girl and the boy had another baby.
They named him Michael Isaac and he was very loved.
The two little boys were best friends and they
did everything together.
Soon God gave the girl and the boy another baby.  A little girl named Madison.
She was their first princess and their family grew to five.
The boy and the girl and could hardly believe
that God had brought such beauty out of very humble and uncertain beginnings.
From great struggle, God had brought amazing success.
The boy was promoted in the Navy many times over the years. 
The family of five lived all over America and were able
to do and see so many wonderful things
and meet so many great people.
The boy and the girl knew it was because they had trusted in God
and had longed to raise a family that loved Him.
They were very blessed.
Seven years after their last baby,
God sent another little girl.
They named her Brendell Faith
and she completed their family.


The family was now six.
Once again the boy and the girl were amazed by how far God had brought them
over the years.
They knew how uncommon it was for two people
coming from such opposite backgrounds
and starting a family as young as they did
to not only stay together through all of the hard things life throws
at couples and families on a daily basis,
but also to thrive.
To them it was supernatural
and was only because of the grace of God
that their little family existed
as an imperfect, challenging, heart warmingly beautiful unit.
God likes to take the weak things of this world,
the troublesome situations,
the under-dogs,
the ones society labels as unworthy
or challenged,
the ones with little or no means
to make it alone,
the ones who don't know real love,
the ones who are looking in all the wrong places to have their needs met,
the ones who are spiritually,emotionally and physically needy
and are starving for encouragement from others,
the ones who are written off by others,
the ones who are blinded by the lies
they have been told......
He chooses them and he
 comes up beside them,
invades their lives,
empowers them with his truth,
turns them around,
sends others to rally around them physically with tangible love
and spiritually with intercessory prayer,
and lifts them up
to bring glory to himself through them!
And now, because we know who holds our future,
who works ALL things out for good,
who despite our own weaknesses, failures, doubts and all out rebellious nature
 has invaded our life and has made something
far more beautiful than we could ever have imagined
and who promises to complete the good work he has begun in those who love him,
we rejoice in the addition of a grandson in the spring of 2013.

The boy and the girl will now get the joy of watching the story of
their little boy and his girl unfold on the pages of their own book.
The boy and the girl are excited because they know the author of the story.
He is amazing!
He is creative, keeps his readers in suspense,
loves cliff hangers and edge of your seat prose
and his writings are always, always emersed in love.
He allows his characters much freedom,
resulting in constant twists and turns in the story.
This may cause some of his audience to doubt and fear,
but the faithful know the redemptive powers of the author
and they understand that undesireable,
 often self inflicted circumstances are always overcome by
forgiveness, love, grace and mercy.
Fans of this author know that although we will watch the imperfect,
 stubborn characters stumble and all may look hopeless,
 this author never writes those who love him out of his story.
Because he knew the entire story before he even picked up the pen to write the first word,
we can trust him through the scary parts where things start to look
like they are falling apart for our characters.
The best, most amazing and unique part is that this story is ALIVE!
As readers of the story that is being written on our own hearts
and on the hearts of those we love,
we have the awesome power to influence both the characters and the author himself
through our fervent prayers.
We can pray that the characters use the freedom that the author gives them wisely.
We can pray that the author showers grace and mercy on our characters
and blesses them beyond their comprehension.
It really is quite incredible to think that we can play such vital roles
 in not only our own story
 but also in the stories of those we dearly love!
I dont want to give it away,
but in the end love and truth wins!
(and later there is gold involved....lots and lots of gold! 
I hear the streets are even paved with it!....oh and plus love, joy and peace
that we have never known on this earth! sounds like a great ending to me!)
Enjoy the read
and remember the story is not over until
the last chapter is written!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Finger pointers

So the other day someone posted an article on facebook
about the newest way teenagers are trying to destroy their bodies.
Something about hand sanitizer and getting drunk.
It was a sad article for sure, but the saddest part was the comments.
Immediately a group of mom commenters
 began condemning the parents of teens who resort to this kind of behavior.
They must not care about their kids. 
They are raising stupid kids.
They don't know their kids and aren't in touch with them.
Their kids are acting out some deep-seated hatred of their parents short comings.
What is wrong with americas teens today must be parents.
I wanted to comment, I really did!
I wanted to say that I know my kids, I love them and care about them.
They are not stupid.
They have been taught right from wrong.
They were brought up in a home where their father and mother
are not perfect, but they love eachother and have the best 
interest of the family at the center of everything they do.
I wanted to say that my teens still make crappy choices.
They still do wrong despite knowing right.
They sometimes still go with the crowd when the crowd is not
doing the best thing.
Their thinking is immature when compared to how they will think
5 years from now,
but that makes them a typical teen,
not a stupid, uncared for teen raised
by parents who have no rules or morals.
If this chapter in my life has taught me anything,
it is that no matter how well you raise your kids,
they are not little robots.
While some may tow the line and rise above things like
peer pressure, temptation, depression,
laziness, disrespect and risky behavior,
all of them will not.
Some will take the hard road
despite mom and dad putting up warning signs
and shoring up the guard rails on life's path.
Some teens reach adulthood battered and bruised
with their hair all in knots and their clothes torn,
but they get there.
I have no idea why some kids avoid risky behavior
and some kids run headlong into it.
I don't know why kids who are raised in much the same way
can turn out so differently.
But I do know that awesome parents can be left to watch
their kids struggle well into their twenties
and parents who by definition we might lable as "morrally lacking"
seem to have kids who sail through
the teen years picking up scholarships and accolades along the way.
The truth is, we raise individuals who
 think for themselves
learn for themselves
experience for themselves
ultimately decide their own life's direction.
Believe me, I have tried every jedi mind trick available
to get inside my teens heads and think for them.
I have yet to be successful.
So, I guess my point is that the vaste majority of parents of teens
are scared to death.
We need support from eachother.
The last thing we should be doing is
jumping on eachother and pointing fingers
trying to make sense of the choices some teens make.
Parents of hard to raise teens
are most certainly going through the most emotionally draining
time of their lives.
They are already pointing the finger at themselves
and anguishing over every single decision they've made over the past
10 years trying to figure out what went wrong.
Nothing tears a heart apart more than watching someone you love
walk away from truth and embrace life altering lies.
Piling on more guilt from parents who have not walked in
these tattered and threadbare shoes is in my opinion
sad and heartless.
I know the sleepless nights well.
I understand the tears that are constantly brimming up in the eyes
of worried moms.
I know the voice inside that condemns you for not seeing
any fruit from your labor yet.
I know the pain of comparison
and the feelings of doubt that you ever did anything right by your kids.
But I also know hope.
I know that God has promised to complete the work he has begun.
I know that he is strong when I am weak.
I know that he is the God of redemption and deliverance.
I know he is loving and forgiving.
I know that he has a plan and a purpose for each of us.
I know that he knows what he is doing
and that he hears every prayer I pray over my kids
and sees every tear that falls down my face.
I know that he loves my kids even more than I do
and that he brings gladness from mourning,
strength from fear
and beauty from ashes.
And I trust him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adventures with Ostich eggs

 So my husband went to Whole Foods.
By himself.
Now I am sure that when he saw this larger than life
porcelain like egg
that he had flash backs of the Amazing Race episode
where the teams had to devour an ostrich egg in order
to move on.
His adventurous side must have overtaken him and
he probably thought it would be cool
to try something that they
had to struggle through.
You know, just to see how we would fare.
Plus I am sure he felt rather experienced in the culinary field
when he rolled up to the cashier with this baby in tow!

I already know how we would fare on any food challenge
on any reality show
that would involve my husband
trying anything slimy, hairy, previously crawling,
crunchy or smelly.
One bite in
quickly followed by one projectile bite out
aaaaaand that's a wrap!

So that is why I was a bit surprised
when he pulled this out of the bag.
But, he does love to experiment with different
unusual food combinations
and he enjoys cooking
so I have to give him props for
standing right on the edge of
his imaginary exotic food line in the sand.

Getting this thing into the skillet
is apparently an art form.
And it requires power tools!


The egg is sitting securely on a blender lid
so as not to move while David
drills a pilot hole.
Yes, our dinner this evening
requires a pilot hole.

and there it is.
Pilot hole success.

Now it's time for the serious drill bit.
I honestly have no idea how these baby birds even hatch!
It took way longer than expected and much more force than expected
just to break through the hard shell and expose....
*drum roll please*
 the membrane.

Yes, we have an exposed membrane.
At this point, I felt a little knot in my stomach.
Something about the word "membrane"
associated with something I am about to eat
is just about as appealing as it sounds.
Now you have a knot in your stomach too,don't ya?

Going on the advice of a friend from work,
we decided to pour the contents of the ostrich egg into the blender.
I imagine the conversation went something like this...
David: (casually and feeling a bit exoctic)"Yup, picked up an ostrich egg for dinner tonight."
Friend: "Oh you know you gotta put that thing in a blender, right?
And you need a good drill bit and a pilot hole!!"
David: "Absolutely!"
He comes home and tells me about his new found knowlege
and having previously googled what to do with this thing
and finding no mention of power tools or blenders,
I did doubt his methods.
But who am I to question employees of the Office of Naval Intelligence?
For all I know this is super secret information
and I should feel honored to have been enlightened.

A blender is supposedly the best way to keep it mixed because it tends to separate.
And it did work,
so, if the word "membrane" didn't deter you
and you want to try an ostrich egg yourself
that is a little tip for your brave soul. 

Ok, see this photo here is quite deceiving.
It looks preety standard as far as egg innards goes.
But before we even got to the yellow yolky liquid,
we had to endure about 20 minutes of clear oozing slime.
Yes, I said slime.
David shook that thing until his arms were about to fall off
and still it took that long!
Needless to say that the knott in my stomach
was threatening my appetite big time!

Once we finally got to the yolk,
it oozed for another 10 minutes.
I know this because Madison and I
were able to watch exactly half of
Fashion Star which we had DVR'd.
Not impressed with anything from that episode
 by the way.
Except for the cute flowy dresses
from the asian guy.... and they weren't even bought!

So sometime while Nicole Ritchie was
telling that guy not to use floral in his dude shorts
we had finally filled the blender with ostich goo
and had seasoned it with salt and pepper
just to make us feel better.
We scooped out enough for one omlet at a time.

I tried to fool the knot in my stomach
by telling it that even ostrich goo
can benefit from bacon, cheese and ham.

See how much lighter the ostrich egg is
compared to chicken eggs.
It's very airy. 

We almost never have it,
but when we do it is nibbled on until it is almost gone before we even sit down to eat!
I know you understand.

So, I decided that I wanted mine scrambled after seeing
that Bren's omlet wasn't holding together very well.
David thought it tasted like sponge cake.
Madison thought it tasted like soggy bread.
I thought it tasted like ham, cheese and bacon
because I ate around most of the egg part!
If we hadn't added bacon strips, biscuits and grits on the side
it would have been pizza night!