Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pam's Norwegian Lefse

I grew up making lefse. I had a Norwegian father and a German Mother. My German mother was always on a quest to find the perfect lefse recipe so every year she kept trying a different one which led to a lot of failures. But she kept going till she got it right for my Dad. She used to rice the potatoes which is a big tiring messy job. She and I made lefse for years together. Since she passed away,  I have been making mine the same way and trying to perfect it. Some people think the thinner the better but I like mine a little moister and thats the way my family likes it so this is my own recipe. 


10 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup of salted butter 
1 cup cream (more or less)
2 tbsp sugar
2 teas salt 

5 cups of flour + more to roll out.... used the next day! 

I start my lefse by cooking ten pounds of potatoes in the crockpot the morning before I plan to make lefse.  That evening I mash the potatoes with my stand mixer in two batches using the above ingredients. Then I dump the batches together and chill the mashed potatoes in the refrigerator overnight. 

On lefse day,  plug in your grill and turn it to high to heat. Lay out towels to cool the lefse on after  cooking them. Then I measure 6 cups of chilled potatoes into the mixer bowl and add 2.5 cups of flour and mix together, just until mixed. Then using a 1/4 measuring cup I make balls of dough. To roll out I flour my rolling pin( I do this after almost every one I bake), and sprinkle the ball I'm going to bake with little flour on top and bottom. Roll it out the thickness of a tortilla. Don't use any more flour than you have to as it makes it dry and tough. 

Bake until brown and flip over to bake the other side. cool on a towel for a few min and then fold it up and move it to another set of towels you are cooling them in. This recipe makes about 30 rounds. after cooled place in a baggie and  refridgerate or freeze. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Pam's Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 Large chicken breasts
1 ldg can of diced tomatoes
1 can whole kernel corn (2 if you really like thicker soup)
3 cans of black beans or one large and one small
3 cloves of garlic
1 large bunch of chopped cilantro
I large onion
2 Tbsp chicken soup flavoring ( I like the Better Than Boullion brand)
1 can of green chilis
48 oz chicken broth
2 cans of fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 large can of mild red enchilada sauce
1 Teas of pepper
1 teas salt

I cook it in the crockpot on high about seven hours and then shred the chicken with a fork and put it back in the soup. Then I add, five or six american cheese slices before serving and a couple TBSP of butter.

I garnish mine with tortilla strips ( I buy them in a bag but you can make them with tortillas sliced and browned in a lil olive oil). Also for other garnishes you can add:
  •  Sour Cream
  •  Diced Avocado
  •  Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
  •  Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
If you like it spicier, use rotel instead of diced tomatoes, and a hotter enchilada sauce, or even use some red pepper.  

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Grandma Ethel's Homemade Tomato Soup

28 oz can of peeled whole plum tomatoes
1/2 teas baking soda
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 teas salt ( this is to your liking too)
coarse black pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter

Open the can of tomatoes and puree leaving large chunks or no chunks of tomato whatever your liking is. Pour the tomatoes into the saucepan and add the baking powder stirring to mix. This looks a little frothy, and helps the milk from not curdling from the acid in the tomatoes. Turn on med heat and add the milk, cream, salt and pepper. (remember that pepper sinks to the bottom so don't just keep adding). Heat TO boiling but don't boil. Remove from stove and add butter to top of the soup while hot. Serve with crackers or better yet a grilled cheese sandwich.

* When Kathy and I were teenagers and we'd go shopping with Mom in Minot we would stop at Speedway, a restaurant on the way home and Mom and I would have tomato soup and Kathy would have macaroni salad. Kathy likes tomato too these days.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pam's Sour Cream Raisin Pie

What’s your favorite pie? Pie came to America with the first English settlers. What kind of pie you grew up with depended largely on what are of the United States and where your ancestors came from. In the South pecan pies were popular with the many nut trees in the area.  Pennsylvania Dutch made molasses “shoofly” pies. Settlers in Florida, utilizing the plentiful local citrus, turned native limes into key lime pie. The Midwest, famous for its dairy farms, favored custard and cream pies. Massachusetts invented the beloved Boston Cream Pie, a hybrid pie-cake. This colorful variety of pies reflects the diverse tapestry of early American culture. If one wanted to, one could tell the story of our nation through pie. (

My favorite pie has always been Sour Cream Raisin. Mom and I would buy a Sour Cream Raisin Pie at the bakery in Stanley and we would enjoy it for a week! Over the years my favorite thing to have at Schatz’s truck stop in Minot is Sour Cream Raisin pie. I have only made it a few times because guess who eats it all? Me. No one in my family thinks its as good as I do. I have messed around with the recipe and made notes until I think I have it like I like it, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope you like it. I’d love it if you have a favorite to say what it is and share the recipe! 

                      Pam’s Sour Cream Raisin Pie


      1 1/2 cups dairy sour cream
              1/2 cup whipping cream
      1 cup sugar
              pinch of salt
              Couple shakes of nutmeg
      3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      3 egg yolks
      1 1/3 cup raisins (plumped)

              4 egg whites (notice:you need one more egg white than you           need egg yolks)
      1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
      1/2 cup sugar
      1 teas vanilla
      1 baked 9-inch pie shell
              1.5 tbsp cinnamon and sugar mixture

1.    Separate three eggs in bowls. Yokes in one, whites in one, add one more white to the bowl of whites making it four egg whites. Let them sit to become room temp. Next, pour boiling water to cover the 1 1/3 cups of raisins in a bowl and let that sit while preparing the filling mix.

        2.   For the pie filling, in a heavy medium saucepan stir together the sour cream, the heavy cream, 1cup sugar, flour, the 3 egg YOLKS, and the drained raisins. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. 

3.   For meringue, place the egg whites in the mixer and beat till looks foamy. Then add the cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed about 4 minutes more or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks (tips stand straight). Add vanilla(clear if you have it so meringue stays nice and white). Mix just enough to mix in.

4.   Pour warm filling into baked pie shell. Spread meringue over filling. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until the meringue is lightly browned. Remove and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill 3 to 6 hours before serving; cover for longer storage.

nutrition facts
(Old-Fashioned Sour Cream/Raisin Pie)
Servings Per Recipe 8, chol. (mg) 101, sat. fat (g) 9, vit. C (mg) 1, carb. (g) 87, Fat, total (g) 21, calcium (mg) 81, cal. (kcal) 545, pro. (g) 7, vit. A (IU) 486, iron (mg) 2, fiber (g) 1, sodium (mg) 125

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rock, Paper, Scissors

                 It’s the first day of school. For many, it brings up a whole cauldron of feelings all mixed together, bubbling away, with scary, sad thoughts permeating our wellbeing. I’m not talking about just the nervous kids either, but many parents as well. 

                 I remember standing in the dining room window, tears streaming down my face,  watching Brendon walk to school with the Erickson kids like it was yesterday, back in Berthold, some 35 years ago now. I felt like I missed my last chance at something I couldn't get back, but couldn't put my finger on what. I told myself he’s ready and on to new great things, playing with friends etc… but without me (sniff). Ok stop Pam, that’s selfish! So I moved on to guilt. Guilt that I shouldn't have gotten mad at him as many times as I did. I should snuggled him more, and whatever else I could beat myself up about…To say I was overwrought was an understatement. It’s scary to think you aren't the only one now, that’s now going to be molding your child. You hope and pray other kids will be nice and include them. You're slapped in the face with the realization that they need you a little less with every passing year. For someone who sunk my whole identity into parenting, it was really rough. 

I’m thinking today of my teacher daughter, Shelbey, driving her 2 month old, and her 2 year old, to day care - hoping the caretakers are trustworthy and responsible in spite of all the scary stories we hear these days. She knows nobody could love these kids like she does, and longs  to stay home with them. To top it off, childcare is costing her 1700. a month. The thought of staying home with them is cut short when reality kicks in, because she knows she has to work to take care of them. She loves teaching music, so that helps her push past her sadness and  look forward to the day the boys can go to school with her.  She must put on a brave happy face, keep Briar fired up about playing with friends, say goodbye with a smile on her face, kiss Asher goodbye and forge on to school, breast pump in hand.

              For all the parents taking their first day of school pictures, this day puts last year, one more year further in the rear view mirror, and looking at their growth is bittersweet. In black and white we can see how fast they grow and change, and how fast the years are flying by! Looking forward to new teachers and new experiences but theres still a little fear of the unknown, mixed with the knowledge that life is now officially on fast forward for one more year. 

              Some hind sight suggestions I have are: first of all, try not to over think it like I did. Always try to look at the positive, knowing that life is moving as God intended. Children were given to us to nuture and guide to adulthood. Stay positive and look to the positive.  Secondly, make a plan to help out at school where you can and be involved. Your kids will remember you being involved and supportive of their teacher. Teachers need more support these days than ever. The key word there is support…if you are there to fault find, save it. Being a teacher is no easy task. Be helpful. On the other hand stand up for your child when you have to (they remember that too). Third, be sure you document the year. Just a week or so ago, Brendon, my son who trudged off to school 35 years ago, and his wife had the best time looking through all the stuff I kept and documented… cute stories, pictures and clippings. It takes time but it’s totally worth it. Even if its just an accordion pleated box, save some things and jot down some funny stories. Fourth, get ready to hear some new things about your child, as they are molded into school life. Like the old saying take it in, wheat and chaff together, and take what can make your child better and blow the chaff away. 

              So lots of special prayers today for students, parents and teachers as they start a new year. Lets not forget the parents of special needs students too,  who have so much to deal with as their child starts school. Hugs to all today!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

“The noblest calling in the world is that of mother. True motherhood is the most beautiful of all arts, the greatest of all professions. She who can paint a masterpiece or who can write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind; but she who rears successfully a family of healthy, beautiful sons and daughters whose immortal souls will be exerting an influence throughout the ages long after painting shall have faded, and books and statues shall have been destroyed, deserves the highest honor that man can give.”
– David O. McKay

Mother’s Day. It brings so many thoughts of so many different times in my life. When Grandma Bruhn,(my Mom’s Mom) was alive yet my Mom would go to see her towards the end of the week, so she could spend Mothers Day with us. Grandma had seven children so she always had people around. Grandma didn't go out much and fun wasn't in her vocabulary that I remember, so Mom always brought something she'd probably buy herself anyway like groceries or something frugal.  Then on  the Sunday of Mothers Day, we would have a picnic or something with Mom and she would do most of the cooking ( something you don't think about till you are her age yourself). 

When my kids were small and we were still in North Dakota Mom would take them shopping to buy something for me. Brendon always picked out jewelry. When he was in third grade I watched him in the mall with his little friend. He was in Riddles, a fine jewelry store with his little friend in the same grade. Pretty soon he came out looking for me and I was sitting under the clock, visiting with a friend and keeping an eye on him, which he hadn’t realized. He excitedly ask me for a little bit of money to add to his, but what he wanted it for was top secret! I gave it to him and he ran off, and soon proudly came back with a package. He didn't give it to me, just smiled like a cat who swallowed a canary. I didn't ask what he had, because he looked like he’d love to tell me, with a little coaxing. On Mothers day, he proudly handed me a little spring loaded box, with a pair of black tiger eye posts. I still have them, and look at them often. They are special, but so is the vision of him in the jewelry store, that I cherish. Another of my favorite gifts from Brendon,  is this little guardian angel pin and note Brendon left me, and he was probably a freshman in high school or there about. He bought me a stereo once with his busboy job when he was a sophomore in high school too which I could hardly accept but meant the world to me,

Shelbey always wanted to go to Home of Economy and buy a piece of sparkling crystal under those special lights that could make a coke bottle look good! She always knew what she wanted, and Mom took her which was a special memory for them, to shop for me. My favorite gift from her was memory jar she made and had the other kids too put in memories. I’ll share one of them with you that she wrote. I just pulled a random one, and thought it was funny. 

When Sydney got a job as a teenager she bought me my first Brighton’s set of jewelry. She knew I loved it and only had a piece or two because as a parent you always have too many things the kids need to buy much for yourself and thats kind of something I gave up to stay home with the kids and do odd jobs over the years. I lived by the poem 100 Years From Now. It goes:

One Hundred Years From Now
One hundred years from now
It won't matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child. 

Therefore I took that literally and I drove and old car, and we didn't own any name brand clothes or any thing that cost much. Garage sales were my fun.  When I opened that first gift from Sydney I had such mixed feelings of accepting something that was 100+ dollars from a teenager. Since then I have gotten so many pieces from her, and now she calls Kerry and says, “Dad I'm getting the necklace from me, and the earrings from Easton so you can get the bracelet”, and he does! Cha ching…score for me! My favorite gift from her is a little book she made me. Sydney keeps her feelings close to her heart, so for her to finish something like this book, was really special. 

So many Mother’s Days have flown by! One day you’re a young Mom and the next your a Grandma it seems! I say to all the young Moms, enjoy every day as a Mother, at the stage you are in. As a Grandma, enjoy every day and remember how blessed we are to be here and in the kids lives. Some people never get there. 

Thank you to my kids for sharing their lives with me on a daily basis. I know how blessed I am!  I am forever grateful for the life God blessed me with, then and now, because life is a  winding journey with many ups and downs and twists and turns! Enjoy them all! Happy Mothers Day!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas B -I-N-G-O

Two things I inherited from my Grandma Rose Bruhn. One was an old wooden bingo set, and the other, her trundle sewing machine. After some thought, I decided the sewing machine that faithfully sewed many, many quilts, really should be with the master quilter in our family, Patty Bruhn Hatvick. Horse trader by nature, when I gave it to her and she ask what she could give or do for me in return,  I ask her to make some Easter placemats out of one of Mom's old square dance dresses, and some of her favorite clothes. Mom always wore pastels, so Easter was a perfect fit, and a perfect trade, and they're beautiful! Thank you Patty!

My bingo set was all complete, except one number that was written in in pencil, and in Grandmas neat small handwriting. We used that set to start playing bingo with the kids on Christmas day, way back when. With that old set, and using dry beans or cereal( that somehow disappeared as we went) for markers, you would put all the wooden coins in a cardboard shaker box, and shake out one at a time. I have really fond memories of the Moore kids playing game after game of bingo, around the table in Minot for little toy prizes, like hot wheels or other little dollar store goodies. All to soon, the kids grew up and our bingo days with them ended. We moved here to Phoenix,  and after a few stints of Rock Band... we decided to dissolve the band, pack it up and go back to bingo.  I got the idea, why don't I spend 100.00 on gift cards that would help alleviate some of the pain of spending after Christmas when they could use them most, and a new tradition began.

Grandmas old bingo set with the cardboard shaker box, started getting pretty tattered and torn, so I was pretty ecstatic when I found a new set, complete with a metal roller cage at the Goodwill store, a few years back. I even bought some resin and a piece of wood and with a drill made little grooves in the resin for my called balls to sit in,  and had a nice functioning, "high tech" bingo caller board!

Time marches on however, and guess what? Last year Brendon found an app that does the calling for me,  so now we can put the phone in the center of the table and it calls and we play! Technology putting another human out of a job I guess, but I'm not chasing loose balls under the table every few rolls of the cage, so I'm good with it!

A lot of things have changed, but one thing that hasn't at our house is, gathering around the table to play bingo on Christmas Day. We still laugh and talk, shush each other, ask if B6 has been called for the third time, complain about sleepers, and get excited when we finally Bingo and get a turn to shuffle through the gift cards! It's fun to pick the one we need or want the most. For the grand finale we play for a 20.00 gift card.  This is maybe to...a gas station, a grocery store,  or somewhere everyone goes.  Moral to this story - it's not always the big things we do, but the small,  that make Christmas merry and bright.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hooked On Hallmark

Shelbey, Mom and I always participated in our annual day of after Christmas shopping when Shelbey was small. It was such a good way to unwind from the Christmas holiday, stock up on bulbs and lights for the next year, and haul home enough wrapping paper for the next three years ( we did that every year)!  In 1987 I  bought my first Hallmark ornament, the little chimney sweep. I always thought Hallmark ornaments were cute but wow, $9.00 or so, was a crazy price for me back then when I had so many gifts to buy. Half price after Christmas however, was just enough to tip the scales to buy it. That was the beginning…the next year instead of one I bought two etc. There were two shops in the same mall that sold Hallmark ornaments. I decided we'd be more effient in our hunt if I sent Shelbey in one shop  and I’d go to the other. I instructed her to just pick out the ones that you like,  and then when I get back we’ll decide on what to buy so we didn't buy doubles. I’d buy mine and hurry down to the other shop to find her usually empty handed or with one maybe, clutched in her fist shoved back against the wall, by more aggressive shoppers. 

Fast forward a few years, and now Sydney was joining our after Christmas shopping and I’d send the girls to the one store and I’d go to the other. THEN when I came back it was a different scene! Sydney has as many as she could hold, diving in and out of shoppers,  and trying to convince Shelbey to do the same. That’s the difference between my daughters in a nut shell still today. Both have qualities I love, but they are very different. We continued to buy half price ornaments for many years and I have quite a collection now. I never collected for value, or in series, or to make money,  or any of that, it was all for love of what I wanted on my tree personally. 

These days I buy only a couple usually before Christmas with a coupon and sometimes for gifts for the kids. Easton had a ball today looking at all the different ornaments from over the years and I had a ball sharing them with him. Let me share some pictures of my favorites. You know the ones on the front of the tree every year. Do you do that? Put your least favorite on the back?  Anyway, thats my Hallmark addiction. 
My first one, Chimney Sweep 1987

My Mom one...

Easton's favorite, he plays the drums 

Briars favorite, plays
Holiday Road.

Another favorite

Cute little tea drinkers

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Talk To The Hand

You two have been in a relationship seven years…when are you getting married?  When are you having children? The older you are the harder it is you know. I wish you wouldn't eat that!  

Have you been ask questions like that, by over zealous, extroverted strangers, or worse yet, well meaning friends or family? Sometimes, some comment like that can send your day down the toliet in a mighty swirl! The worst part of this whole scenario is for me, the admission that I have been the rude, inappropriate dummy that ask some of those hurtful questions I’m sure. I’ll be the first to admit my boundaries aren't always good, and I think at the time I thought I was being helpful.  I’m such an open book, that I’m sometimes surprised that others aren’t. I’m also a know it all by nature, and what the heck, I just embrace it at this point! To anyone reading this that I’ve offended let me take this opportunity to apologize if you were on the receiving end of one of my comments. 

A couple years ago,  our family traveled to Hawaii. Easton had just started walking. Sydney was a young Mom, and I don’t know if that lead a woman to think she needed her unsolicited opinion or what her reason was to interject herself in her business, but let me tell you a quick story.  We got to the airport at 430 am. There was a long winding line while waiting to check our bags. Easton was wide awake and had ridden over in the car seat if course,  and now he’s was in a stroller and wanting to get out.  Feeling sorry for him she let him out and let him run, and she followed him around, while the rest of us inched her bags closer to the scales. Finally all 9 of us were checked in, and ready to make our way to the elevators, and on  up to the gates. Sydney still had the stroller with a carseat strapped in it, her carry one and his carry on. That meant he HAD to get in the stroller and be pushed! Of course like  most toddlers, he put up a fight, and she tried to explain we are going up in the elevator to go up to the gates. About the time she’s buckling his little arched back in the straps, a grey haired lady  approached and said, “Can’t you let him walk?” We all slowly turned our heads in disbelief that this strange woman, was interjecting her unwanted opinion, into this private moment in a public place! Sydney remained friendly but firm, and said something like, “no I have to much to carry until we get to the gate”. The woman stood by the stroller and made no effort to get on her way. Finally, the rest of gathered around Syd, and walked toward the elevator. Sydney was fuming, feeling hurt and defensive!  She wanted to tell her to buzz off!

So what should we do when these things happen, as they do to all of us at some point I'm sure? I did a little research on it, and here are some things I found from Psych Central. First of all, put up an invisible shield. Don't let any bad energy penetrate you. Next politely advocate for yourself and leave,  or remain silent and leave. Silence, sometimes can say more that words can. Wayne Dyer,  has said, “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.”

On a lighter side, sometimes these strangers can go the other way and give you rave reviews and or a compliment, which affects our mood in reverse! “You sure don't look sixty”, or “l love your hair color”!  Wow, now a comment like that by a stranger is validating, and can immediately lift your spirits!  I give  you permission to let that penetrate your heart! 

So, I’m going to leave you with a twist on George Elliot’s quote about friendship. In this case be the friend to yourself. When someone pours out their thoughts about you, take the chaff and grain together, and with your gentle hands sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away!” If you aren't kind to yourself who will be? 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Great Walmart Caper

Do you ever decide your going to keep a journal and then you do it for awhile, and then fall off the wagon? Personally, I’m really good at falling of the wagon, on numerous endeavors too,  but that's a whole other blog ha. I started going through a bunch of my stuff in my room last week while Easton was at Bible school and found a journal that I'd kept while Mom was first sick with Alzheimers. She could still talk some,  but physically she would need help getting in and out of the car. During that time, Mom, Marcy and I,  had what was for me, the funniest trip to Walmart I ever had. 

It stared like this; I drove us up to the garden center door of Walmart in Minot, North Dakota,  to run in and get a quick item. Marcy and I both went in to choose the item, and left Mom in the car. It was mid Sept, so not hot or cold out, and back then any crime was unheard of. Mom stayed in the backseat while we hurried and got what we needed and Marcy decided to go to the front of the store to use the bathroom, and I took what we bought to the car. After sitting in the car for a minute, chatting to Mom,  I spotted my pictures I was meant to copy on the dash. The picture machine was at the front of the store, right by the bathrooms. I said to Mom, we’ll just pull up to that door in the front row and Marcy can come out and sit with you when she's done in the bathroom and I’ll copy the pictures on the machine. So we pulled up to the first row, and I went in the store ( I could see Mom from the machine if I looked out). I started copying pictures and soon after Marcy came out of the bathroom. I ask her if she had the coupon we'd clipped for these prints and she said, “No it’s in the car”, and then offered to go get it and check on Mom at the same time. I kept printing away because now I had an impatient customer behind me and I had a lot of them to print. Seemed like Marcy was gone forever, I remember thinking more than once. All of a sudden from behind me I heard Marcy nearly yell my name! I turned around to see her standing in the doorway, on the Walmart door mat, with a frantic upset look on her face! She exclaimed in a loud voice, “ Either I’ve lost my mind or the car is gone”! She threw her arms out wide in exasperation! Laughing immediately, I walked away from my pictures on the machine (The person behind me nearly had smoke coming out her ears now) and to Marcy! Cackling like a hyena, I gave my puzzled, annoyed sister her a hug! Instantly, I knew I HAD FORGOTTEN TO TELL HER I MOVED THE CAR TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BUILDING! Between the cackling I spit out that I'd moved the car! She had been searching up and down rows of cars back by the garden center, with visions of carjackers, kidnappers, or Mom driving off and going who knows where! At first Marcy isn't joining in on this funny, funny episode! I was still laughing like a lunatic, and she was still acting like she been hit with a stun gun! No smile, no it's ok, nothing.

After explaining our what could be a comedy act in my mind,  to the not too receptive people around us, we left the store and the other patrons were pretty happy about that I'm sure! When we got to the car I had to tell Mom the hilarious story, and she kicked out in her broken way, “you shouldn't be laughing, you’re just lucky she has a strong heart”! 

To this day I don't think Marcy finds it as funny as I do but, this is one of my favorite stories, and I’m so glad I was on the journal writing wagon, at the time and wrote it down. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Life Without Rules = Mass Chaos

Do you believe the advice that many psychologists give to parents of unruly children when they say, “ children want and need rules and boundaries?”  They say it makes them feel safe and secure to know what is expected and what is going on in their world. I am about to step out on a limb and say, we adults want and need the same thing!  I think it’s a problem today, that we no longer know who’s role is what? Anything goes, and any behavior is supposed to not just  to be tolerated, but accepted and promoted!  Isn't it amazing that yet, instead of a better world, we are lost, frightened, and no longer believe in any higher authority? For me thats because, too many doctors have chosen to not care when we needed them the most, too many pastors have called our kids “little shits” and sexually done far worse than that, too many police have shot someone just because they had the power to do it, too many governing officials live large and corruptly while we pick up the tab, too many teachers have lost their professionalism and been cruel to our children, too many elderly have been slapped around in nursing homes!

I want the rules back! I want morales back! I want to feel safe and secure again. I want to have a doctor that you go to for years and when you wind up in the hospital they show up concerned, and try their best to get you well. I want to go to a church with a pastor that probably isn't having affairs with multiple women, like ours was here awhile back while talking lovingly about his wife on stage, and conducting marriage seminars advising others on marriage at the same time! I want to tell my kids to always mind the teachers,  and in return to expect the teacher to be fair and professional to them. I want men and women to have roles again, and know what they are and step up and deliver. We have gone so far with gender equality that some men are quick to say,  you work and I’ll stay home and many women are doing 90%. Don’t we need a right and wrong? Don't we need to know how to best live in an ordered society? How do we live in any order when there are no social rules, and only laws? In the quest to accept all, we have lost our way in many ways in my opinion.  It’s no wonder children and adults alike are hiding in phones and video games! We can’t handle real life anymore… it’s so scary, even we adults can’t deal with it! 

I liked society better when people really sacrificed to become professionals, because they put so much into becoming those professionals that they came out with great purpose.  They set out in the world with a message something like, I care about you, and I want to serve my profession and mankind in a way that you see me as an authority in my chosen profession, and I'm someone who you can respect and rely on in that field. It seemed we could back then. I remember when I got into the social work program in Minot State years ago. There were about eleven of us in the program. I remember thinking that if I needed counseling (because I’d been though some by that time in my life), which of these people would I want to see, say I just dialed randomly from the phone book? ONE, one person who wasn't skipping class as much as possible, copying other peoples work, or just that seemed to be getting a piece of paper to earn a higher wage. That was the first time I remember being a little frightened, and understood why when looking for a mental health professional it's said to keep looking until you find one that you can click with if you fail to the first time.   You have probably heard the saying,  “children can never have too many positive role models in their lives”. I say adults need positive role models in their peers, and in their lives as well. It gives us a sense of hope, stability and direction. 

What kind of world is this when we are talking about bathrooms to use? Whether Christian principles our country was founded on, have to be compromised? Common sense just seems to be gone!  I don't know about you but I am overwhelmed. It could be my age I suppose, but mostly I am sad that all of our belief in society is so compromised. The political races are enough to make you lose all hope in humanity! 

So what are  the answers? What can we do? Personally, I tell my kids to follow the popular Bible study and, “put on the armor of God for you to live personally in your relationship with God. Stand on God’s word and be of that world first. Be people the world can depend on. Brendon, when you weigh the parcels for the plane tonight at work, do it well, so that that plane arrives safe and the pilot and all who depend on you, can know that you are the best aircraft loader you can be. Shelbey, be that professional teacher that doesn't have the two popular kids chose sides, while the unpopular are left unchosen day after day. When a kid in your class gets in trouble its because they chose to run through rule number one, two and three and now your parent is here and not because as the teacher you don't like them for some reason. Be the teacher they can believe in to be fair. Speaking of that, we were reminiscing one day about when Brendon was acting up in band in high school. The teacher said he was throwing keys and being disruptive, and he said she had it out for him. So I decided to go to band for a week. Every day I showed up and just sat in. He didn't want me there and the teacher didn't want me there either. That's all it took to resolve that.  I was trying to show the teacher if I have to show up and babysit him I will, and I was trying to show Brendon that I'll come and see for myself what's going on. Needless to say they had never a problem again after that week. Sad thing is you can't even do that these days because of the schools fear of school shooters! Sydney, run that business as honestly as you can, so the owner knows he can count on you to be fair honest with his company. Show those you manage that you will work as hard as they do. That your customers know you will give them the best haircut and customer service you can! And as a mother and grandmother I need to live up to being the best influence I can be in these little peoples lives. My Mother impacted my children immensely, and I want to do that too, in my own way. I think if we all did our very best to be people of integrity, and purposely be the brightest star in our own world we can restore peoples faith in humanity one at a time. 

I never want to write negative blogs, but the idea that living with no boundaries is the way to go -just doesn't fly with me. Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men-Douglas Bader

My Celebrity Dinner Party

If you had a celebrity dinner party for ten who would you invite?  Hmmm....first of all I wouldn't,  so this is total fantasy. So heres my list and I'd love to hear yours, and why.

1. Dr. Phil just because I admire straight shooters and maybe I'd learn something.

2. Kris Kardashian; I'd like to ask her some Mom questions.

3. Larry Fitzgerald; he seems like a really nice, genuine guy.

4. Celine Dion; I like her. She's kooky and real.

5. Oprah, I'd like to tell her how disappointed I am in her after loving her for years and believing she  didn't see color and now is all about color.

6. Garth Brooks, he's seen highs and seen depression too. I'd like to talk to him about that.

7. Samantha Brown, I'd like to talk travel with her and get some tips.

8. Ryan Gosling, he can't possibly be so quirky and cute can he?

9. Gerry Dee, he's funny.

10. Shawn Hannity, he has interesting ideas.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? Are you one of those people who says, I don’t think, I just live? Or, is it your style to live in your head make promises to yourself you will go on vacation “someday”?  I think I am somewhere in between. Living with anxiety, I can think of all kinds of adventures that are the typical bucket list items a lot of people have on their list, that I would have to be shot with a tranquilizer gun ( and a big one at that), to attempt. Things like snorkeling, when I don't like the water that much or the thought of trying to shimmy my excess poundage into one of those wet suits almost as badly, is something to fear. I'll watch the fish through glass and I'm ok with that.  Climb Machu Picchu? Nah, anything that involves climbing I left behind after about a year of life. A picture is worth 1000 steps in this case.  Skydiving…jumping out of the plane… I could do that one, but I'm really worried about breaking something on the land. I value my limbs, hip sockets, knees …and you know what a gazelle that I am!

I like to think I “live” a realistic bucket list, and kind of always did because my Dad didn't get to live long enough to experience that. So I carry on with a bucket list for my age, my ability, and what speaks to what I want to leave behind. Memories with my kids, and grandkids, time with Kerry even though we can drive each other nuts he’s my security blanket. I still have many things I want to do, such as:

A. Spend more time in the Bible, learning about what's ahead and what really matters and why we are here in the first place. 

B. Go to Disney world with all the kids and grandkids, when the little kids are a little older. 

C. Go on more cruises. I’m still game after the engine blew on the last one, knocked out all the electricity and I lay there in the dark thinking about that floating piece of wood in the titanic movie…hmm, how big was that closet door again? 

D. Work on and leave as much of an electronic footprint as I can for the coming generations. I wish someone would have jotted down some of what seemed silly info on my ancestors so I had a better feel of their personality. Like what did they like to do? Were they an old curmudgeon or a jolly ole soul? That kind of stuff. All jolly, like me, I’m sure ha. 

E. I really wanted to go to Norway and Italy, but now I'm scared with the unrest in the world. I’ll see if that dies down or gets worse before I decide on that one.  

F. Go to a Kentucky horse farm, and Churchill downs. 

G. Take the kids to the giant redwoods in California. Kerry and I saw them but now I want them to see them. 
H. Go to Raleigh, South Carolina and see the Andy Griffith Museum and on to Savanna Georgia to eat at Paula Deens resturant. While I'm at it maybe drop a few bucks at Myrtle Beach Casinos. 

I. Write lots more blogs, and make another book of them. That’s something I do for me. It’s like I can’t believe I wrote all of that!  

J. Finish my life story that, I’ve been working on for years for the kids. 

K. Can some jam, pickles and whatever I feel like. I feel nostalgic when I do. Taking out the jars and hearing the pop takes me back in time. 

L. Let important people know how much they have meant to me in my life, before one day they are gone. Like each of my kids with their individual strengths…let them know I know they are all individuals and nobody is ever compared to the other.  Also just being kind to everyday people.  

M. Go to the San Antonio Riverwalk. And maybe drive to Waco to Magnolia Farms. 

N. Work on better photography skills. That’s something else I just love to do. 

O.  Go back to Branson…several times maybe. I love Branson, it’s my kind of slow moving pace place. Lived there several summers and I love it in the fall. Too hot and humid in the summer, but I like all the older entertainers there, and the people are the nicest! 

P.  Rent a beach house for a week with the whole family. 

Q. Play the ukulele more. 

R. Get as healthy as possible for where I am, and take reasonably good care of myself. Im not ever never not eating something because life is to short but I could certainly do a better job.

S. Get that Cricut out and make something! 

T. Make and eat food I really enjoy both making, and eating.

U. Get my junk organized better, because I really enjoy beautiful, ordered, surroundings, even though organizing is a weakness and not a strength of mine. And I literally have to say out loud to myself when Im done with something…”put that back where it goes Pam, if you know what’s good for you”!

V. Keep horses in my heart always and be able to count on my “good horse sense”, that I personally think is my shiniest quality. 

W. fish, fiSH, AND FISH!!

X.I'll have to add as I think of more. 

That’s all I can think of without really taxing my brain. Maybe we should ask ourselves what gives life it's greatest meaning and do even more of it? Ask if there are places you want to visit and try to find the time, and money, to do it even for a weekend. Making and working on a bucket list is energizing, and could significantly improve your life. Will you finish them all? Will you fail if not? That’s not the point of it,  but life could be a whole lot more meaningful and thought out, it seems to me. It works like saving for retirement however…if you wait to make a bucket list till your too old, the time is short, so the earlier you start the better right? My motto has always been that, memories always trump material possessions!