Sunday, October 3, 2010

If Pioneers Had Cadillacs They Would Have Driven Them

It's interesting to me the behaviors a person chooses. I grew up in a home where we had money, more than enough, but not crazy, a lot like Mad Men. My mother (and her mother before her) was a very good cook. I learned to menu plan, grocery shop, cook, and clean before I was in high school. One strong memory is knowing when to buy radishes, if the price was too high we would just wait a week.

Cooking, menu planning yes, but baking, not so much. I didn't like sweets when I was younger (my, how things change) so I had little desire to learn to make cakes, cookies and other yum-0 things. I do remember making a cake and cupcakes in a white/silver motif that was from a Seventeen magazine article (circa 1968 or 69), but that was the rare attempt.

With my own family I did a lot of baking. Cookies were baked for after school snacks, quick breads were prepared to share with family/friends, and bread was baked weekly to ease the budget. But baking was not a passion so ...

Well. I've revisited the whole baking thing. I REALLY like Kim's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have to choose not to make them weekly 'cause I will eat too many. And now I have found the Classic White Bread recipe courtesy of

Pizza has been a staple here in the Young household. We probably ate it at least 2 times a week--lunch and then for dinner and I don't mean leftovers. We were using Digiorno -- kind of expensive here, though, almost $10 for a frozen pizza. Yikes.

Well. Compliments of Wolfgang Puck I have found the pizza crust that works for me. Yummy, yummy, yummy. And it's easy.

All of this would not be accomplished if it were not for the new KitchenAid stand mixer.

The drudgery is gone. This baby whips up ANYTHING in no time at all. We have cinnamon bread for breakfast, focaccia bread (Williams Sonoma) for lunch or dinner and then cookies or pumpkin/ginger bread for dessert.

Yes, yes it's hard to stay on the diet, but we have incorporated things like bike riding in the evening and small portions are the key to success.

The only down side -- no more eating out; our bodies don't like the food with the artificial additives. (I would like the break, but I just have a glass of wine while I'm cooking and call it good.)

Once, when I was extolling the pioneer virtues of enduring hardship, my father said to me, "If the pioneers had Cadillacs, they would have driven them."

Why suffer needlessly. Enjoy the good life. The right tool for the right job.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Lately I've been thinking about cities. The recognizable architecture, say the Brooklyn Bridge, from the ground or the air you see the bridge and you KNOW it's the Brooklyn Bridge. Interestingly there are those historians who say that if this bridge was not built Brooklyn would have been New York City instead of just one of the five boroughs.

Oahu has one city, Honolulu. Most of the almost 1.3 million population of all the Hawaiian Islands is located in Honolulu. For reference Denver County is 600,000; Los Angeles County 9.8 million. I don't spend much time there, but the second city, Kapolei is close, walking distance to my front door. All the fast food you could dream about (is that more accurately referred to as a nightmare?). Suburbs spread everywhere I guess.

For the first time in recorded history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. Sort of a watershed moment really. For example, do we really need to teach our children animal sounds? Will they ever hear a cow moo? We don't eat cow or pig or sheep, rather beef, pork and lamb. In fact we eat food we could never grow. Do grapes grow in Honolulu? It cost me $8 for a bunch of green grapes this week so I certainly hope I was paying for transport as well as product. I know I can pick a mango or a papaya from a tree in any block, in any direction just here in our sub-division, right, sub-division not farmers market or roadside stand.

Cities are what I remember when I travel. Berlin is not like Munich. LA and San Francisco are VERY different. Chicago is the quintessential American city to me. Various ethic groups, mid-western in sensibility, rolling green lawns in front of large homes, political corruption of a local and national scope. New York is much more international. Los Angeles is so the West Coast--what have you done for me lately. Houston colloquial and quasi-southern.

Chicago. Now that's American. People help even before you ask for help say with directions. When downtown looking for coffee shop or a copy center, just look lost and someone will offer a suggestion (now it may not be the BEST suggestion but the sentiment is certainly worthy of recognition).

Good food. Again, not New York but Rick Bayless Mexican (in the middle of the USA) is to die for. Korean -- yum. And, of course, that beef. Only those from Iowa claim it's better there.

Fashion. Michigan Avenue, the miracle mile has some mighty fine shops and the ladies can really get it together. When you have winters like Chicago does you get to have GREAT winter attire. The "L" makes walking in those shoes possible, too.

Geography. Lake Michigan in the late Spring and Summer. Need I say more. It's beautiful. Beautiful. However, I've been there in late Fall, Thanksgiving and the wind and cold is, well it can best described by Jack. When I took him along with me for my evening walk (the sun was not yet set) after just 10 minutes he sat in the middle of road and would NOT proceed. Until I turned around to head home he would not take another step. It's cold. Really, really cold and I'm talking about the time of the year before it gets REALLY cold.

Cities have distinct personality and unique pleasures, much like people.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thinking About Nothing

Once a friend (John B.) said, "When your husband tells you he is thinking about nothing, he is really thinking about nothing."

At the time I found that hard to believe, but since John didn't really have an agenda when he made this comment (by that I mean he nothing to gain) I thought it was worthy of consideration. So I did a little investigation.

I told several female friends about this comment. The response from ALL of them was something like, "Really? How can you think about nothing?"

Today I came close. I won 500 games of Spider Solitaire.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Important Things

Throughout life you learn things. Some of those things are valuable and some are indispensable. This week I've been reflecting on WHO taught me the important things.

Mrs. Good (really that was her name)
This lady taught a neighborhood "Good News Club" in Chatsworth, CA. I was ten years old and that's when I heard the good news about Jesus and began eternal life.

Mamaw (my maternal grandmother)
This woman was probably the most influential woman in my life. She taught me to sew and while during her lifetime I never met her exacting standards (and I still cannot cut very well) I've sew a lot of pretty good stuff.

Jan H.
This lady helped me grow up in the Lord and just in general. She can drive me crazy at times but she among all of my friends always believes the best and hopes and prays for that best, too.

Ma Lady -- My mom
I called my mother Ma Lady because she told me never to call her Ma. So of course that was what I was going to call her and to keep from getting in trouble I added "lady." I have a very strong sense of self and self worth and while there are a gazillion unresolved issues in our relationship I guess when all is said and done that's a pretty good gift from a mother.

Wendy H./L.
This is a high school friend. We had some fun, wild times including driving to Ventura County line EVERY day one summer until my dad got the gas credit card bill. :-) Wendy was a pretty, smart and very, very fun friend. She taught me to pee outside.

Dr. Bill Bright, Dr. John MacArthur and Dr. Charles Swindoll
All three of these "preachers" taught me how to love God and love my neighbors. I will be eternally grateful.

Living a good life where mylight shines and God is glorified is my goal. These folks and many more have influenced me to the good. Living for what really matters never really gets complicated on its own. Love God. Love others.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This evening I baked "The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie." The recipe courtesy of Kim. Now she says she got the recipe from an online friend but my rule is: if I don't know your friend, it's your recipe.

It's a good thing they turned out. I've been having a problem baking. Cookies turn out more like scones so I threatened to swear off baking if these did not turn out well. No problem. They are DELICIOUS. The magic is the sea salt.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

2C minus 2Tbs cake flour
1 2/3C all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp coarse salt (or sea salt)
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ¼ C light brown sugar
1C plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 Large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ c bittersweet chocolate (or any kind of chocolate chips that you like)*

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and coarse salt into bowl and set aside.
Using mixer, cream butter and sugars until very light (5 min).
Add eggs (1 at a time), mixing well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop chocolate pieces in and then press plastic wrap against dough.
Refrigerate 24-36 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. (A couple of hours works.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll into balls and sprinkle lightly with coarse/sea salt.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown (for my oven 12-13 minutes).

I used my silpat. This is a kitchen tool I cannot live without. Never a burned cookie, biscuit, or even veggies ever again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Be Careful What You Say

Due to Kim A.s influence I've decided to published my list of things to do. Hers was 101 in 2010 but I'm modifying and taking a look at what to do for the final third of my life.

The first third (0-25/30 years old) is the beginning. Learning how to live, how to be a family girl, get an education – academic and the work related learning progression so you can be a functioning citizen as in get-a-job. Many find a life partner. I did married him at 23 years old. Too young, but so far it's working out okay. Many start a family. I did, all three were born before I was thirty. Too young and if I had to do it over again I would do it the same way just 3 years later.

The second third (+/- 30-60 years old) is the living of life. We built our family. Training and teaching the three to be productive, contributing members of society. We had a lot of fun along the way. Careers were built, a future and a hope. We lived like it really mattered. Sharing Christ in so many different ways. Bringing meals to sick families. Taking care of children (sometimes adult children) so parents could have break. Listening to hurting people, sometimes helping, sometimes just listening. Building baseball parks, teaching VBS, helping pregnant women, cleaning others houses and cars, moving young families into their new home, hosting dinner parties, knowing and loving our neighbors, sewing dance costumes, baking cookies, serving classroom teachers. Essentially living life in the 20th century with the end purpose of knowing that living and being while honoring God would/could/might result in His glory.

The final third (+/- 60 – ? years old) is the reflective time of life. There are still retirement plans to contribute to, but leading the way is now that 2nd third group of people's responsibility. Advice and counsel is the primary function. This can go easy or hard. If you think you are still cool you're not. If you think the polite attentiveness in conversation from those younger is agreement/understanding/awe, it's not. They could learn it the easy way—ask, but they won't. The world is brand new to them and we learn from history that we do not learn from history.

Well, many years ago I heard a preacher end his sermon by saying something like, almost all people start with passion, enthusiam and energy. Most do not finish well. And then he charged us to finish well. Throughout my life these words have come back to mind and I have lived my life differently because I wanted to finish well.

To that end here's my list of what is left to do. (BTW I am NOT yet 60 yo.) I will periodically update my achievements, possibly add to the list but my intention is to make public what I think I should do with the purpose of not letting the time slip away.


1. Find, execute, enjoy the ultimate chocolate chip cookie

2. Learn embroidered smocking and make 3 matching dresses

3. Take watercolor painting class

4. Resume gardening; learn potted techniques for current region

5. Annually read 10 books on a variety of subjects (spiritual growth, fiction, current management strategies, biographies, etc.)

6. Learn wine (history, vintages, regions, taste)

7. Participate in a book club (possibly on line)

8. Maintain at least a cursory knowledge of internet technology advancements (for example Twitter)

9. Daily walk 2 miles


10. Catalog “best” recipes

11. Create silhouettes of grandchildren

12. Participate in local community service projects/ministries

13. Weekly post on blog about subjects of a “timeless” nature

14. Continue to downsize/eliminate possessions

15. Participate in a Bible study

16. Write a letter a week

17. Create “I've Been There” book with notes and impressions


18. Climb Diamondhead

19. Watch the big surf on the North Shore

20. Visit Bishop Museum

21. Swim in the ocean at night (again)

22, Swim one mile in one session (resting between laps is allowed)

23. Travel to San Antonio, TX

24. Travel to SD to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

25. Annually attend 2 live music performances (I'd like one to be Paul McCartney, but who knows)

26. Annual day of solitude for reflection, peace of mind, renewal with God

27. Annually spend a retreat weekend or day with close friends

28.Travel to South America (Peru, Argentina or Chile are the preferred locations)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So ...

Everybody's blogging again. Now that I use an RSS service I get the updates regularly and I like it. (Thanks Kim!)

Photos make it more interesting. But there will be none on this post.

I'm working on my list "The Final Third" -- things I want to accomplish in this final third of my life (a modification of Kim's 101 in 2010. Thanks again). I will be publishing this in the next few days mostly as a means to hold myself accountable--I desire to finish well. So, no flogging me or reminding, or "helping" me in ANY way. Thank you.

Also I like the idea of writing my reflections -- for me a better way of describing journaling. Anymore that's all anybody wants from me --reflections. I think that means I'm not in it any more, but I once was. As hard as it is to admit I think that's true. Also I'm ready to pass the baton.

To those 30-somethings in my life: It's your turn to make it better.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Okay. In general I'm not a fan of tattoos. Reason: They are PERMANENT.

Some things are cute/good/regrettable/fun for the moment and then ... the rest of your life.

So ... Mark and I have a day off from helping the Young family here in Oauha. So we enjoy a coffee almost at sunrise, along walk along the shore of Kailua with engaged conversation (okay, I admit this one requires the suspension of reality for those married more that 10 years, but really--it happened). We walk around the town, book store (purchase Heroes for the grandchildren), more coffee, chatting the locals and then, then I decided to shake it up a bit. I say to Mr. Conservative (the love of my life since 1963) " Let's get matching tattoos to celebrate 35 years of wedded bliss." I'm sooooooooo expecting a big, fat, NO. Instead, I get "Let's do it. How about ....." Well, I now am caught off guard (hello, 35 years of this guy STILL continues to hold out on me).

In the end we decide (after a beer and 2 glasses of pinot grigio for me) to get a small heart on our ring fingers.

Apparently there is an etiqitte to tattoos. The tattoo is supposed to face out to the world (think FTW --sorry) but I wanted this to be personal so the heart faces my eyes. "I love you."

Seemed like a good idea at the time. Then a friend commented on FB that older fingers, arthritic ones that can't continue to wear the wedding ring this might be a good idea. Now if I had not posted a picture I would think this was good idea, BUT my fingers are not that old or arthritic so I'm too sure how to take this comment. My thought was when I need to be the church lady I will just put my wedding ring on and bam! conservative again.

All that really matters is that my biker babe (with a small heart tattoo on his left ring finger) is MY babe for then, for now, forever. Because really, what woman will want him now that I have his ring finger tattooed?

(sorry for this miss-spellings--I cannot get spell check to work and I don't remember how to spell correctly.)


May/June seem to be the months of celebration for marriage. It is true that in USA that births are at the peak in August/September (do the math), but it is unknown to me if May/June are the peak wedding months (and I'm unwilling to do the necessary research). So many of my friends are celebrating marriages of duration -- how can it be that I can easily list 20-25 peers with marriages of 25+ years. It is AMAZING.

My marriage began June 7, 1975, it was the 2nd weekend after college (I wish I could lead you to believe it was high school--every year counts!!!) graduation that Mark and I pledged our troth. (Look that one up).

Thirty-five years is a long time. I remember when I thought 25 YEARS was old. Lots has happened since that night to remember.

Three children, now a blessing to behold. All three have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (all I ever really wanted). A re-location to mid-America, a tad of an adjustment for this rocker chick, but one of the best decisions we made.

Lots of life ... lessons, ballet, wrestling, Pioneer Girls/Boys, cello, piano, basketball, softball, etc.

Domestication--although I knew how to cook I needed to learn what family life was all about. Canned ravioli, green beans and white bread resulted in the praise, "You are a good cooker." Not by my standards.

Camping. Good Lord, camping. The last tent camping experience was 4th of July in the Rocky Mountains--it snowed that day. Yes, snow. I announced I was done with this pleasure in this lifetime. (Although I have camped since then --NM with LOTS of Corona--I reluctantly say I hope I never see a tent again--only because that usually means I will).

The good life.

What matters now? Tan feet. A good Pinot Noir. Sunrise--yes, rise. A shared life with the one you love even if the Pacific Ocean and half the continental USA are currently between you.

God is good and He continues to bless me, abundantly, beyond what I can imagine or even believe.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


In 2 1/2 hours we depart the homestead for paradise. Korea has been a mixed blessing. I am not yet able to write a post that accurately describes my feelings, impressions and beliefs about this 2 month sojourn. I do not have words to express the deep emotions -- emotions of love, isolation, faith, service, hardship, and joy. But they will come.

On to the North Shore. Aloha.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I STILL Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

"I hungered for a spectacular life of extraordinary triumphs, and I don't think I understood anything really about obedience or humility in terms of this sort of life. The idea for me was to be exceptional, to be great."

"Generally when people spoke to me they had something to say to me and it was about my work. And that meant it was about my mind--this genderless and oversensuous mind. I didn't realize this immediately. I've never realized anything immediately in my life. But in truth, my life had changed. Personhood had come at last. The goal of my life had been obtained."

"I don't belong anywhere. I don't come from any particular milieu. No group embraced my family."

Quotes from the Anne Rice memoir, Called Out of Darkness, A Spiritual Confession.

It is worthy to note that oversensuous AND personhood are words not recognized by spell check.

I REALLY don't belong.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday

Yesterday I was walking the streets of Daegu and the first Koreans to speak to me said, "You were probably very beautiful when you were young."

It can only get better, right?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just another beginning ...

So it’s Monday morning January 11, 2010. In one week I will be in Taegu, South Korea to beginning a new adventure. Leah and Brian have increased their family to 4 in a very short time span and since one of them (Miss B) is still in ET they have asked me to join them in their adventure. Mark will stay in the States to take care of the house and finish his business with the organic farm in Oregon. We will share the same abode sometime later this year

This is a BIG change for me. The first 25 +/- years were spent in SoCal setting up my life, school (CSUN), marriage and the start of family. Then our move to Colorado in the late 70s began the phase of building on that foundation, educating our children, establishing careers, growing in our faith in Christ. Now after 30 years later another phase begins.

There is less to be sure about in the details of life and more about which to be comfortably secure. I will use this blog to capture my impressions, observations, and musings as well as a photograph or two.

Here’s to saying yes and deserving the adventure ahead.