I’m behind the times! I asked on Twitter and Facebook this week if wearing a watch is going out of style. I still wear a watch—and not for fashion’s sake. Apparently, I’m the last one to know that I’m supposed to carry my cell phone around to know what time it is.
When I’ve asked the teenagers in my religion class several times for someone with the correct time, no one could say. (They aren’t supposed to bring out their cell phones.) This tells me the next generation never even adopted the habit.
I consider my grandparent’s lives and the changes in technology they’ve lived through, and I wonder if they always felt they were straddling two different eras. I’m not necessarily nostalgic for the one that’s going away, just wondering if I will be left on the other side.
That’s highly likely.
I called Paul at the end of the workday to remind him of our daughter’s school concert that night. He said, “My phone just beeped at me to tell me that.”
What about you? What switch-overs have you made as we move into an even newer digital age? What have you clung to?Read More
I have a friend who does all her Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Her organization impresses me, and I’ve tried to meet that goal, too. But my self-induced deadline caused me to shop for gifts based on a check-list mentality instead of taking extra time to ponder and consider what I was giving and to whom. This year, I’m adjusting my thinking toward giving from a grateful heart to those I love and not allowing the retail hustle to pressure me.
My husband is my example of a good gift giver. He knows my wants or needs before I know them. He listens in conversations to where I’m headed in the coming months and gives gifts that boost those unspoken goals that I’m still forming. His gifts nurture my potential. He sets a high standard for gift giving, but one that inspires me to similarly give to others.
Who gives good gifts in your life? How do they do it? What are some of the best gifts you have received?Read More
Having Halloween on a Friday seems a wholly appropriate time for the holiday. Many school night trick-or-treating expeditions in the past have rang up too much sugar and excitement for my children to settle into bed without me resenting their fun. But, this year, I can relax and let them enjoy, since it will be one of their last times to trick or treat. Even though I regularly see teens at our door, I’m still going to set some limits. What about you?
I left a friend’s home renewed by our conversation, the sunshine, the crisp temperature and the stunning leaves in her neighborhood. She lives near my daughter’s school with streets partitioned into blocks, homes closer to the curb, and sidewalks lined with 50-year-old maples and oaks. I said, “I’m going to stop and take a picture at every beautiful tree or leaf that I see.”
I stopped at the first tree, a brilliant orange fire. But it was in someone’s yard, behind a fence, and I didn’t want to seem nosy. I stopped at the second tree, a muted red with green tucked underneath, waiting for its turn. I got out to take a picture, but I didn’t move into the best position because I would be standing in the middle of the street and cars were coming. I stopped at the third tree with the full flame of red, dropping its leaves beneath it. I was at the stop sign, so I just opened my passenger side window to get the shot.
Most of the beautiful pictures stayed in my mind and never made it into my camera. I felt conspicuous and hesitated to take the pictures in public.
Close to home, I turned down a quiet road with few houses. Along that lane where I often walk in the morning, I felt the freedom to capture what I saw. I parked at an angle and waded into the knee-high grass, in a skirt of all things, and enjoyed the colors through my camera.
Behind me, the gravel stirred across the street. I expected to turn and find some beautiful wildlife beside me. No, an older woman walked toward her mailbox and didn’t take her eyes off me until I moved back toward my car. I dumbly repeated my line, “I was just on my way home and I was going to stop at every pretty tree or leaf and take a picture.”
Her expression, which was more than curious, made me feel like I’d been caught, and she said, “And where do you live?”
My neighbor and I took a walk just before dinner this week, and we compared what we’ve been feeding our families. I coveted her dinners-for-two menu of salmon and rice and wondered if we would ever be able to eat adult food again.
I had been to the grocery store and once again stocked our pantry with cold cereal, snacks, and fun foods to take for school lunch. “I probably spend 90% of my food budget on filler foods and maybe just 10% for the real food,” I said.
That’s not really true, but those fillers do seem to take up more space, not only in the pantry but also in our diet—and ultimately fill up other places.
In this month’s issue of Real Simple different families share how they balance the dinner hour in their home. For me, the question is not so much balancing schedules but balancing expectations, nutritional needs and taste preference in our family.
I took a chance on the Wheat Berry Salad with Bacon, hoping to find the balance between fiber, flavor and fun. The recipe was easy, made good use of the wheat in my pantry and wasn’t sneered at by the commentators in my house. I made it my own by replacing the flat-leaf parsley with fresh thyme from my garden and adding a chopped fresh pear.
Everyone ate it, but it tasted the best when I lunched on the leftovers on the screen porch by myself. With the sun shining on me for one of the last of our warm summer days, I imagined that this would be the way I would eat if I just cooked for myself. Fruits, vegetables, grains, a little meat for flavor. I would be satisfied.
Somehow, though, the meal just didn’t seem complete without sneaking that Little Debbie Fudge Round from the stash of lunch desserts.
How do you balance the varying nutritional needs and taste preferences of your family?Read More
When the sun is up, but I haven’t put on these,
am I justified in thinking that the day hasn’t really started?