This week has felt unusually speedy because Mosely and I have been gone for two days of it – belated birthday adventuring. I’ll share more about that but this morning I am up early (for me) and typing and catching up on emails and feeling the weight of business ownership and the drag of fighting off a cold or whatnot all week because – I tell you what – ain’t nobody got time to stop for that.
Also, the state of the laundry in this house is atrocious. We’re down to using beach towels and I won’t even comment on the unacceptably low number of clean undergarments. But – thank the Lord (and that’s meant in legitimate seriousness) a used dryer has been purchased (or will be by the weekend hopefully) and will be installed and the digging out from under this mess can commence.
So, here we are. Hello Friday.
Three creatures are despicable to me. Terrifying actually. It’s probably a stereotypical list. I don’t care. I’m stereotypical. Whatever.
Spiders. Snakes. And mice.
When we first moved to this farmhouse in a field, our house revealed evidence of many creatures in the third category. They were taken care of mostly and it’s actually been years since I’ve seen a speedy disgusting mouse or any left behind evidence of such a creature. I’m sure, because of the age of this home and the millions of openings in our kitchen cabinets, that mice have been quietly minding their own business and I have happily ignored any signs and accepted the lie that they don’t live here. But I was blissfully free of any true knowledge of their existence.
Until Monday night this week.
I stood in the kitchen, talking to Mosley and Piper, innocently filling my glass with water at the fridge. And a terrible thing happened.
A mouse darted out from under the fridge and skittered across the kitchen floor.
I did what any reasonable person would do.
I screamed. Loudly and at great length. Then I leapt onto the safety of the kitchen table. (This was a perfectly normal response to the nightmare I was currently enduring.)
Generally speaking, in days past, if a shocking or potentially stressful situation is occurring, one of my beloved children tends to panic and when she panics she tends to overreact or to freeze or to aggressively yell at anyone near her to solve her problem for her. We’ve adopted a less than gentle response to such situations, a phrase we believe we acquired from my brother, the former marine. The wording itself takes on many variations but basically says, “If you panic, you die.” In other words, in a tense situation, a life or death situation even, the people who survive are the people who remain clam. Therefore, “panicked people die.” This is a phrase quite familiar in our home as it has been tossed around in both serious and less than serious scenarios for years.
Now, back to the kitchen, the offending mouse, and our kitchen table.
I am perched on the kitchen table, possibly still screaming. Piper has scrambled up beside me and the other kids have come running to see what shocking disaster has happened because of the intense commotion.
Mosely, my usual Captain of Panic herself, has remained steadfast in the kitchen throughout the development of this situation, still serving up the brownies she was originally dishing out before disgusting mouse made its appearance. And now, in the middle of the screaming from me and the sympathy screaming from Piper, Mosely shouts to us all, arms stretched wide for emphasis,
“People who lose their minds, die!”
I know I have highlighted my friend Allison’s jewelry before.
Because I love her bracelets and they’re so pretty and they stack beautifully with leather cuffs and they have WORDS on them and you get to pick the words and I love wearing reminder words because I need so many reminders.
These bracelets make fantastic gifts and their price point is fair and accessible and I also love her and I like supporting her small business (that grew from a project with her daughter into a bonafide company) and anyway, I’ll talk about them as often as I want to because I can.
Of course your word options are literally endless, but Allie has been adding a few more options and ideas lately.
Besides bracelets, which are still my favorite, she has cute bookmarks and keyring. (I really think the keyring are great!)
But, what I REALLY like right now that she’s just begun offering, are these gorgeous tassel cuffs.
They’re so pretty.
And they come in tassels of three different sizes. And one even has three tiny tassels. AND you can still stamp your words on them too.
I love them.
My only problem is trying to decide what words to stamp. And, which ones to give away and which ones to keep for myself.
I think these make ideal gifts because they are so versatile for any occasion. The non tassel bracelets are only $10 and the tassel bracelets are only $15. This makes them very affordable And did I mention how well they pair with leather cuffs and other jewelry? (I know I mentioned it. I know.) I especially like them with my jewelry from Death Before Dishonor. (Which is extra cool to me since both of these artisans are my friends and both of them are friends with one another.)
I think the tassels are a sweet and colorful addition. And with this weather we are having here, short sleeves and three quarters length (one of my favorites and London’s least favorites) shirts are back in the daily rotation so bracelets are back and visible. I am of the jewelry opinion that if one bracelet looks good, five looks even better, so stacking these up my wrist is my favorite.
When Mosely informed us of truth this week, she was serving up homemade Tuxedo Brownies.
They were delicious.
I did not take a picture and I cannot find a recipe online for them.
We found the recipe in a cookbook we checked out from the library.
Everything in this cookbook looks fantastic and we are cooking lots of these recipes while this book is at our house.
I’ve got my eye on some praline bars.
When we return this to our local library, probably late because – us, you too can check it out and bake delicious desserts.
I did not know Buddy Hoffman myself. I attended the church in Georgia where he pastored and I listened to him officiate several weddings that I have attended, but, as for first hand real life knowledge, I never actually knew him.
But I know loads and lots of people who did. And the ripple effect of this single man’s life have been felt in my own life for decades. Because of Buddy Hoffman’s influence, people I know and love dearly have been shaped and changed, grown and stretched, helped to make into the people they actually are today.
I think that’s exactly as it should be with all lives lived for Jesus. We may not know the person directly, but the person’s life has fed into so many others, because of Jesus, that we know the person indirectly because of the way they have influenced people we do actually know.
Buddy passed away recently and I came across this —
It’s hard to watch for me, and it’s not even wrapped up in personal knowledge of Buddy. And this isn’t an episode of a TV show. It’s – you know – the real thing. And without Jesus, without that hope in the face of the most deep pain imaginable, we’re just an echo. a shell, a bit written for a script, a fiction.
I ache for this family and the pain I absolutely understand of losing a rock, a family leader and a safe place, a pillar in your home.
And I praise Jesus for a life lived that ripples into a thousand different lives.
In a myriad of ways, all of our lives ripple and burst right into other people’s lives. That’s humanity. That’s the human condition. But – to what purpose? To what effect? What stories and memories will our people and our ripples be telling when our actual voice is silenced?
Despite the foul smells emanating from the piles of laundry all through our home, I seriously do love the signs of a full and busy household.
Even though the jetsam and flotsam that finds a refuge under the magnets on our fridge makes me cringe, I love that it exists.
The floors are dirty and sticky because kids I love spilled orange juice and I’m not saying I cherish dirty floors or anything that lofty, but I am saying I am keenly aware that the spilled orange juice will go away and with it, the noise and the laughter and the camaraderie that sits on my sofas and wrestles in my hall will actually go away. It will grow wings and fly.
And although I enjoy quiet mornings before feet hit the floor and still nights after feet have stopped walking back and forth, I like most the busy happy and sad of a regular day with my people.