Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gifts 148-168

I'm continuing to count 1000 gifts this year.

3 Gifts that were "Plan B's"

148.  my art students being 2 weeks ahead of deadline today, enabling us to be of greater help to the director by taking on a second set decorating project
149.   my husband working from home yesterday
150.  having a leisurely talk over breakfast at Panera with my friend because Bible study was not meeting this week, only to run into two MORE friends there from Bible study!

A Gift at Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

151.  clean dishes from a dishwasher
152.  farm fresh cheese from Amish county
153.  leftover shrimp gumbo with jumbo shrimp that was on sale. Made a jumbo pot of Jumbo Gumbo!

3 Gifts White

154.   toilet paper (just sayin')
155.   clouds in a blue sky
156.   a pearl necklace from my dad, given years ago

3 Gifts that Changed Today

157.  my mind
158.  the time
159.  the temperature inside and out

A Gift of Tin, Glass, Wood

160.  a can of peaches
161.  tinted windshield
162.  end tables

3 Gifts Before 11 am

163,  my husband took the boy to school (which is quite out of the way but he told Joel "you're with it"--and I could stay in my jammies longer
164.  scripture that spoke directly to me
165.  a warm blanket over me

A Gift Worn Out, New, Made Do

166.  my husband
167.  his anti-reflux medicine that helps a lot
168.  jeans that are a bit too long but get the job done

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm Nuts about the Wednesday Hodgepodge


1. When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean.

Unfortunately, it's been much too long since I had the pleasure of facing an ocean. I think it was summer of 2011, at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  In ONE word, I felt soothed.

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?
    a.  my neighbor's dogs yapping on and on and on
    b.  anything when I'm trying to sleep
    c.  whining

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?

I try everything on unless I'm in a big hurry.  I'd rather know "on the spot" if something fits or doesn't. I'd rather stand in line once, rather than twice, and deal with one transaction instead of two. Besides, it seems to take me too long to get back to the store to make returns.  I have a shirt now that needs to go back to Land's End at Sears, and it came three weeks ago. See what I mean?

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?

Besides  pecans, pistachios are my favorite! I prefer to eat them right out of the shell, but I also love pistachio pudding and pistachio ice cream. I can make a decent lunch out of 22 pistachios, a banana, and  an ice cream cone      a spinach salad.

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone? Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary?

This evening, as a matter of fact. My daughter, who teaches first grade, informed me that next week is Dr. Seuss week (since his birthday is March 2) and she wanted to borrow some of our Seuss books. Immediately I felt my claws flare.  I am normally not possessive about books, but the Dr. Seuss books and other children's books we have kept, are precious.  I asked Sarah if she could please check copies out of the library. She asked me if I knew that they can't be found right now because it's Dr. Seuss week coming up.  I asked her if she'd be the only one handling them. She said no, but only a few other teachers were reading Dr. Seuss. 
Well, I compromised and said she could take the ones that weren't specifically inscribed to our kids as gifts from family members, and she had to put our name in the rest. I put my Left Foot, Right Foot down about getting all of them back by the end of next week.  She was not to read them on a train or on a bus...

The only part of the compromise I was happy about was that I got to see her. She was very pleased with the compromise, as it was accompanied by a big bowl of shrimp gumbo and some garlic bread for dinner.

6. Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?

I can't remember writing to an elected official.  I have never felt it would be personally read by that official, and I certainly have no interest in receiving a form letter.
My dad, however, wrote to Ronald Reagan, and got a response. That doesn't surprise me one bit, in hindsight. His letter is a framed and treasured piece of American history that's a family keepsake.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile? 

Reading my daughter-in-law's lavish, exuberant, superduper, over-the-top accolades of "her hubby, the most handsome and thoughtful man in the whole world" and how she is just so thankful for him and that he is giving her a dream trip for their one-year anniversary . She absolutely loves Disney World, and he surprised her at Christmas with tickets to Orlando. She has already been posting "can't wait" type messages since December 26th!

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Last week, for the first time ever, I met a surrogate mom. She was seven months pregnant with twins, and was carrying twins for a married couple who had had several miscarriages and were approaching midlife. I had a few questions for this woman.  What might be a question or two YOU'D want her to answer?

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Key, A Kiss, and a Dreadful Call: Part 2

I drove away, a bit disappointed that I couldn't have stayed for a spontaneous, pre-Valentine lunch with my honey and son.  But glad for that not-so-bad-after-all  loopdeeloop on the Baltimore beltway to retrieve his house key.

The sun was shining, my new "do"  felt great, I was looking forward to making progress on set decoration with my class, and then enjoy the evening with Paul at small group.

But first, I had to stop at home.

I began mentally listing what I had to do before heading to school.

 -put the dogs out
-bring the dogs in
-give Reilly a big bowl of water
-give Brownie a measured 1/2 cup to slake her insatiable thirst. I always hoped it wouldn't come out the other end before I could take her out again.
-tether Brownie with her leash to the kitchen table leg.. (She would howl if I crated her, but couldn't be trusted on carpet.)
- put a clean blanket down for padding if necessary
-thaw something for dinner
-change into painting clothes
- grab my teaching stuff 

Once more, upon entering the house, I wondered how long my old dog, Brownie, would hang on.  At 14, she was growing increasingly weak in the joints--particularly her hindquarters. It took her several seconds to get into a sitting position. I imagined it was painful and wished she could tell me.   She often shivered and her teeth chattered.  I read that that can be not just the obvious sign of being cold, but that kidneys aren't working, and/or a dog is in pain. When she'd lie down on the purple blanket, I would cover her back with the surplus. A few times when she was shivering uncontrollably,  I lay right down beside her on the cold kitchen floor, pull her close to my body, and snuggle her till the trembling stopped. 

I pulled all the chairs out so she would not get tangled. I blockaded the entrance to the family room so she could not reach the carpet if she tried.  The obstacle course in the kitchen was stressful to me; I always felt apologetic to the family or friends (if I dared let anyone in).  I was  always tense, always worn out,  and yet could think of no alternative for her care. Who would take an old dog and do what I do for her?

But I couldn't just put her to sleep, could I,  if she was still eating, drinking, enjoying the leaf piles in the back yard, responding to my touch, rising up from a nap when I'd come into the house?   How would I know when it was "time"? I knew from experience that dogs give a sign. I trusted God that I would know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'd get my clue from Brownie herself, and thereby have peace in my heart that she was telling me to let her die.

But today was not that day.  She looked okay. Tired, in pain, but still seeking food, water, and my attention. (The rest of the family didn't like her. She was truly my dog , and knew I would pet her and talk to her and give her food, water, and blankets for comfort.  I was the only one she followed around.)

Her declining health required all my energy.  My priority had become to keep ahead of her accidents--or clean up behind them. Her kidneys were failing. She ate heartily, and tried every which way to drink every drop of water she could find.  We had to make sure the bathroom door was always closed.

Maybe the question was, how much longer could I  bear the burden of caring for her?   No sooner would that question enter my mind, I would feel guilty. 

This question burned within me every time I entered the house, but moreso when I left.  I dreaded
the homecomings. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Key, A Kiss, and a Dreadful Call: Part 1

Wednesday, February 13th,  2013 is a day I'll never forget.   There was nothing at all routine about it. 

Our daughter had borrowed the van the night before to haul some things to her new place.  She would be painting and moving in over the next several days. President's Weekend.  She borrowed my van keys which also has my house key.  She left her car keys on the table for me,  but failed to realize that particular set had no house key. I didn't realize it either,  until I returned from dropping Joel off at school.

The spare key outside had also gone missing.

It was 9:20 a.m.   My hair appointment was at 10:00.  Hungry,  I drove to the grocery store and bought a banana and a smoothie.  Then I decided to fill Sarah's gas tank. It would be a happy surprise for her, a treat I like to do for my kids a few times a year.

My hour in the hairdresser's chair is what I call my Happy Hour.  I was doubly happy that I'd made my appointment for a Wednesday--the day I see the most people in a week except for Sunday. Need I translate?

I called Paul and informed him of my house key dilemma and that I'd need to hurry down to his office  to get his key and then hurry back home to gather up stuff to teach my art class. I needed to be at school by 1:30.  He was not impatient at all on the phone, as he could have been, considering that losing keys is a theme for me.

Believe it or not, I'd never seen where my husband works in the past couple months since they moved.  I needed an address.  My cell phone was almost dead, so I asked him for quick directions and could he please be waiting for me at 11:55?  I would be looking my midday best for him and for meeting  some of his co-workers for the first time. How cool was the timing of that?

As it turned out, he was waiting outside on the circle for me so I didn't have to pay for parking. 

He looked tired and dazed.  More preoccupied than usual, and not really focusing.  I never expect him to notice my hair; it's just not something he does, but I was hoping he'd look happier to see me. 
Instead, when I rolled down my window,  he leaned in and gave me a kiss. Sweet but quick, as other people were standing around on the circle, heading to lunch.

"What's wrong?" I asked him. "Not feeling good?"

"Not at all. I'm really tired."

He handed me his house key.  I thanked him.

Then I said, "Well, you look good. I mean, you don't look well, but you look good to me!" 

He smirked. Not a big grin, but his usual smirk mixed with his twinkling green eyes that tell me he secretly likes when I flirt with him, He tries to act like it's cheesy. Maybe it is, but I'll keep dishing up the cheese to bolster his ego. And because it's the truth; he looked good to me.   Not well, but good.

After 26 years of marriage and  a lot of bumpy roads and wondering if our marriage will make it sometimes, I was still--I realized in that moment--in love with him and glad to be married to him and that he was the father of my children.  Life was good.  Sometimes it takes an inconvenience like driving an hour round-trip in the middle of a cold, dreary day, to fetch a key from a reliable someone  who should have stayed home to rest instead of make good on a deadline, to realize how good you've got it.

"You need to come home?" I asked.  "Make it a long weekend starting now?" 

He shook his head. Drat the man has a hard work ethic!  Again, part of what makes him a big turn-on to me. 

He invited me to lunch with him and Ben (our oldest son works in the same office), but I sadly had to decline. Drat that little thing called a job I had to scoot off to!  Sometimes I wish I didn't have a work ethic, either!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hodgepodge with Six-Word Answers

A bunch of bloggers (numbering more than 50, some of us aged under 50, some above, and probably some right at age 50), have grown rather fond of Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge. It's  a friendly little Q&A. She provides the Q's and we respond with our own A's.  Isn't it grand to give yourself and everyone else A's? Eight A's at that! Maybe it's just the teacher in me.

Last week I answered the questions with seven words each. Since then, I have decided to give up "stuff" (clutter) for Lent .  Given my tendency to stuff people's ears (or eyes) with  my words, I shall hereby apply my  "cutting back" to words also. This week I will answer in just SIX words each. Ready?

1. When were you last 'on a mountaintop'? You may answer in the literal or figurative sense.

Last Wednesday;  "ruled out heart attack."

2. Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household? What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own?

No. Pay all bills/ debts monthly.

3. Cherries-yay or nay? Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Cherries Garcia...pick one.

Yay .Bing cherries rule. Pie, please!

4. Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?

Politics, no. Religion/faith? Depends, situationally.

5. When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger? Where were you headed on your last road trip?

With hubby, passenger. To Cincinnati,  Ohio.

6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?

In descending order, brown, blue, purple.

7. Who's your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?

My daddy. He's much like Jesus.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Name 6 things you're thankful for.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Counting 1000 Gifts, #127-147

Let a grateful heart say so. Inspired again by Ann Voskamp , here I go again.

Considering this past week, I had many, many, MANY things to be thankful for. The beautiful thing is, the more you practice giving thanks in the midst of difficulty, the easier it gets to see the gifts, and the more joy you find in the looking.

3 Hard Eucharisteos:

127.  getting a call from my son that my husband might have had a heart attack or stroke at work,
and I needed to get to the emergency room
128.  putting my dog to sleep without a family member present
129.  watching our daughter move out

3 Gifts Behind a Door:

130.  my husband, alive, in the emergency room
131.  the vet who comforted me like a father
132.  my dad, who showed up on my porch when I least expected, bearing Valentine cards and     chocolates for Sarah and me

3 Ways You Feel the Love of God

133.  in people being there, in person, in a crisis
134.  knowing I'm being prayed for
135.  in words expressed verbally and in writing

A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something

136.  peace from doing the right thing for our dog
137.  finding that the diagnosis was neither heart nor brain-related, and treatable
138.  making the bed, thankful I have still have my husband to share it with

3 Gifts in Shadows

139.  sleep
140.  bright signs and paint on the highway at night
141.  an encouraging text message on my phone at midnight, from my husband

3 Gifts Found Giving/Serving

142.  my parents keeping Joel overnight when his dad was in the hospital
143.  my daughter fixing a birthday cake for Joel's Valentine birthday party at school after visiting her dad in the ER and before going to bed
144.  my friend Ashley who made Joel a lunch and delivered it, along with his backpack, strumstick and cake to school  while I had a meltdown alone at home, deciding what to do with my dog

3 Gifts on Paper

145.   Valentine cards from my husband and father
146.   a check made out to Joel, from his grandparents, as a birthday present  (just what he wanted!)
147.   prescriptions instead of a death certificate

Friday, February 15, 2013

A 911 Valentine and a Last Walk and a Moving On

I have tried several times to start this,  but it's too long, too emotional, and I just don't know what to say to put it all in a box and wrap a bow around it for a blog post.  

 I realized I can't, and I will post each "event" separately, next time I can process. Right now I'm too tired and scattered.

Many of my Facebook friends and family have been 'in the know" because of my updates, but here, in a nutshell, is what has happened.

My husband was taken by ambulance from work to the hospital on Wednesday. He thought he might have had a heart attack, but all tests have ruled that out.  He is alive and well, and home, and that's the brief version.  He came home today.

But yesterday I had to say final goodbyes to Brownie.  It was heart-wrenching, and I never would have chosen to do that on Valentine's Day, but after much prayer, counsel, and crying, I took her to the vet.  We are all at peace about the decision, and now she is at peace, too.

And coming up? Our daughter moves out this weekend. 

A Triple Whammy of a week, but so many answered prayers and countless graces have been part of all the sadness.  I feel buoyed, relieved, immensely grateful, and can tell you with complete peace, it is well with my soul.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GratiTuesday, Counting 1000 Gifts, #106-126


A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven

106. a lap quilt made by Lyuda in a Russian orphanage, c. 2006
107. our sleigh bed
108. dishcloths crocheted by my SIL

3 Gifts Found Outside

109. fog that creates cool effects on a wind row
110. empty trashcans after twice-weekly curbside service
111. enough gas in the tank to get to the station

A Gift at 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM

112. my husband, taking a sick day, doing the dishes and de-mildewing the dishwasher voluntarily
113. a new issue of Reader's Digest in the mail
114. the desire and energy to make the four beds whose sheets I stripped and washed at 10 a.m.

A Gift Broken, Fixed, Thrifted

115. a fingernail
116. leftover
117. the purple leather purse I carry, bought from a consignment shop

3 Surprise Gifts – Unexpected Grace!

118.  finding the will to forgive someone who probably doesn't realize the effects of their sin on me
119.  losing a little weight without much effort
120.  two silicone Keurig inserts on Amazon for less than the price of one at a kitchen store

3 Times You Heard Laughter Today

121. my husband when I asked him, "How's your niblick?"  (learned from watching NCIS)
122. my youngest son, who was sitting beside his dad when I asked the above question
123. my daughter giggling about what happened today: one of the 2nd graders sneaked up behind her while she was seated; the 2nd grader squeezed her shoulders, leaned close to her face and asked, "Need a massage?"  (She replied, "No, thanks. I'm good.)

3 Gifts in Working

124. blessing my family
125. saving for a special trip
126. helping our school

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook, 2.9.13

This evening, I am linking up with one of my favorite memes, A Simple Woman's Daybook.


Outside my window...
earlier, the wind was whipping up in Pentecostal gusts.  Now there's just a gentle winter breeze a-blowin' .

I am thinking...about how to redecorate my daughter's room when she moves out in a few weeks.
While I love her personality in it, the color choices are a bit bright for me. (Three walls lime green, one deep purple, and all trimmed in turquoise.  I am leaning toward a pale, buttery yellow.)

I am thankful...for laid-back Saturdays like today. Productive but unhurried, including a midday movie (Taken 2) with hubby while folding laundry.

In the kitchen...a bouquet of flowers lifts my spirits.

I am outfit that would turn heads--away.

I am creating...
my first piece of graphic art for my first ever attempt at set decoration.  I'm excited but nervous. How will it turn out?

I am hem a pair of pants for my husband. First time in 26 years of marriage he has ever needed pants hemmed because they were too long.

I am wondering...if my old dog will take her last nap in the pile of leaves at the bottom of our yard. Twice today she wandered down there, despite the wind, and took naps. I told my husband I wondered if she was trying to die. He said no, she goes down there a lot because it's warm in those leaves.

Still I was afraid and sad, praying silently, "Okay, Lord, I grew up in the country. I know animals instinctively go away from home to die. Has she gone as far away as her legs and hips will take her today? Are you mercifully letting her breathe her last, very naturally, very peacefully, relieving me of all guilt for making a difficult decision?" Not wanting her be alone if such was the case, I laced up my tennis shoes to go be with her. But before I got outside, she arose and trotted back up to the house when I called.  

I am reading...a couple of different books I've picked up, put down, lost track of, picked back up.  Yes, I'm a slow reader and easily distracted. 

I am hoping...
that our family will be permanently settled into a new church by the end of April.  It's been a long search, and it's not over. We are feeling strongly about the one we've been attending for several weeks now, but still have lots of questions for the leaders when their pastor comes back from a sabbatical in April.

I am looking forward to...seeing my daughter's face when she comes home tonight and tells us about signing the lease on her first place.

I am learning...a couple of Bible study methods that are really taking me deeper into God's Word, a study the whole church is doing together.  I love this concept!

Around the house...are signs of progress in the purging of stuff.

I am pondering...whether to get involved with a homeless ministry.

A favorite quote for today...

Track the wines you try, follow your friends, and receive wine DEALS!

One of my favorite things...

is listening to my boy sing.  Pure sweetness.

A few plans for the rest of the week: 

-attending church
- taking my son to a hand specialist for his broken finger
-celebrating his birthday (February 14th)  on Valentine's Day with cupcakes at school and something at home
-getting an ingrown toenail pulled. Is that TMI? This stupid toenail is keeping me from enjoying life to the fullest, and so far whiskey hasn't dulled the pain. Maybe I'll switch to Percoset  Just kidding.
-After enduring the toe torture, I will reward myself with the joy of a haircut.
- I also plan on attending a ladies' Bible study and breakfast (two different church groups, cuz I'm a wanderer, yeh I'm a wanderer...")
- teaching an art class
-and trying to find time to reconnect with a couple of friends face-to-face.

Full steam ahead!

A peek into my day...

Photo: Finally found it! The dress I'm going to wear to my son's wedding! Ain't it PERTY??

Should I make this as my mother-of-the-groom dress, or go for something off the rack? Hmm.  Until I decide, I'll be using my sewing machine to make curtains for the basement and pillows for the family room.


PS My daughter just walked in the door. Her face is radiant after having written the biggest check of her life thus far: her security deposit.  One of these days, smiley faces and writing big checks won't occur simultaneously.

GratiTuesday Delayed; Counting 1000 Gifts, #85-105

Coming in a bit late with this list this week, but I am continuing to take the Joy Dare at A Holy Experience, Ann Voskamp's blog.

A Song Heard, A Soft Word, Light Seen

85. "The Old Rugged Cross,"  sung congregationally at a recent funeral, transported me back to my daddy's lap when I was a little girl in a Baptist church
86. "Ahh, you're warm!"
87.  headlights which both guide and warn

3 Old Things Seen New

88. the word "Let" in "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."
89. Black-eyed Susan--never saw before that they have 14 petals 
90. my arthritic, old dog jumping up like a puppy when she sees me

A Gift on Paper, in a Person, in a Picture

91.  coupon for $10 off groceries
92.  hospitality  
93.  graphic artwork created by my youngest

3 Gifts Red

94. a big coffee mug
95. traffic light 
96. the last clean dishcloth in the drawer

3 Gifts on Paper

97.  Latin-to-English translation homework my boy likes to do
98.  40 Days in the Word Bible study
99.   Baltimore Sun's front page and sports section this week

3 Gifts Found in Writing

100. in an old file drawer, a never-sent adoption application because I found out June 26, 2001, that I was pregnant 
101. clarification of thoughts
102.  humor

3 Gifts Found When Bent Down
103. a basket of clean-smelling laundry
104. a good stretch  in the lower back
105. the look on my retriever's face when I reach for his tennis ball

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Seven Word Hodgepodge for Me Today, Folks

I'm joining  Joyce and other Hodgepodge Homies.
Priorities elsewhere limit my blogging time today.
Therefore, I will keep my Hodgepodge short.
Each answer will have only seven words. 
You can leave thanks with your comments!
I'll try to visit you as well.

1. Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 10th, and 2013 is the year of the snake. When did you last see a snake? Are you okay around snakes or do they give you the shivers?

Last summer hubby killed a rattlesnake. HOORAY!

2. The color red in Chinese culture usually means good luck. Do you believe in luck?
Random things going well? Yes. But sovereignly.

3. sledding-ice skating-building a snowman...if given a choice, which activity would you choose? Which of the three have you done most recently?
Snowman building because it's reasonably safe. Ditto.  

4. Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited as saying, "The years teach much which the days never knew." Where have you seen this quote played out in your own life? 
Days with young'uns go slowly. Years speed !

5. When was the last time you ate a cupcake?
Probably six weeks ago, following a hankering.  

6. What's something you can't say no to?
A back rub, foot rub, neck rub...   

7. Are you a doodler?
Most definitely. Doodling helps me relax, think. .  

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Brownie, sweetie, do you long for heaven?
January 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

We are the Champions!


Our team, the Baltimore Ravens, won Superbowl XLVII ,  baby! 

It's a magical feeling,   All day I've felt like I was tied to the tail of a kite. Minus the fear of falling if I let go.

This was not just any game.
This was OUR game.
OUR team.
OUR Superbowl.
It was Ray Lewis's last game of his 17-year career with the Ravens.
This game was a homecoming for Ed Reed and Jacoby Jones who both grew up in Louisiana.
This game had two brothers competing for one title, one trophy, one ring.  (Apparently their
dad was wearing a cap that was half Ravens and half 49ers.)
This game had all the hopes of Baltimore riding on it.

I would always remember Superbowl 47 as the year I was 47.
The 49ers could not go and mess that up.


Now for the recap from my angle. 

I loved everything about the Superbowl, starting with a family party hosted by our son Ben and his wife Dee. It's so much fun to "turnover" this responsibility for hosting once in a while!

 The Superbowl party began Saturday, actually, with the making of food, of course.
Our daughter Sarah took it upon herself to make 
bacon-wrapped jalepenos,
buffalo chicken dip,
pretzel cookies,
and chocolate covered strawberries.
I offered to help, but she said she had it under control.

That she did. 

All I did was add purple tissue paper. Go me. 

Then came Sunday morning,  11:40 a.m.

I thought my kids knew better, but...

Ben texted me during church

from his house

to ask if the wings

should be boiled in vinegar and beer.

I texted back, "yes, and water, too, equal parts barely covered.  20 minutes." 

God forgave me for texting in church; do you know He is a Ravens fan? Yes, look it up. What bird did he send to minister to Elijah?

Sunday night...

Ben and his dad babysat the wings in the broiler.  (By the way, Ben is wearing Torrey Smith. Sadly, early in the season, Smith's brother was killed. It was one of many hardships the Ravens faced together this year.)

Dee seasoned the wings perfectly with Old Bay, my favorite. Another batch got hot sauce, which I heard were good, too.
The whole, wonderful spread.   Siobhan (Dee's twin sister) loved the chocolate covered strawberries (plural).  I enjoyed the one I got (singular).

I love the chips-n-dip helmet.

And then everyone settled in for some pre-game viewing pleasure.

("All is calm, all is bright"...for now. )

The Ravens take a sweeping lead in the first half. It's comfortable, feeling like an easy win
on the way.  We relax. 

It even feels a little dull at this point,  but that's better than being behind, right?


Beyonce's halftime show (aka soft porn, if you ask me) is something I could have done without. I'm glad my hubby took a bit of a nap on the floor, head turned away from the TV, or at least pretending to "zone out". Good man.  Like the wings, Beyonce' was barely covered and sizzling hot.

Then, I guess her energy level zapped all the power out of the lights.  The stadium went dark in the stands. Weird. I would have.been.FREAKING.OUT. if I were there.

Seriously, New Orleans?

What was up with the power outage? 

Photo: From a fan. Some dark humor.

I asked nicely for family photos during halftime, and everyone obliged. Thankfully we had Siobhan to take the whole Zub clan's picture. 

(L to R back row:  me, Ben, Joel, Paul, Steve/ front row: Dee, Sarah, Ambrey (Steve's fiancee')

Just the guys.  I love this picture of my hubby. He is in his element.

Just the *young girls.

Apparently, Beyonce' channeled her energy into the 49ers at halftime, because after that,
we were given "a run for our money."

I guess little brother Jim Harbaugh couldn't bear the thought of playing second fiddle to his older brother, John, in this showdown. 

Okay, let's see if I can throw any more cliches into one blog post. Ugh!

The action brought us to our feet...

I made some "passing" comment about needing Flacculence, but it stunk.  (If you're not tracking, Joe Flacco is our quarterback.)


We loved SuperBouldin's catches. We bit our lips when Ngata sprained his knee in the 3rd quarter. Noooo!!    Can't you tackle with one working leg?  Thank God for teammates!


Confetti Angel
Joe Flacco. MVP QB.

Overheard Ben say, 'Babe, I think this is the most tension we've had in our marriage so far."   Awww...


Ray Lewis.  
Legendary linebacker.
It is said of him that he not only inspires his teammates, he inspires his opponents.
What a leader! 
For our family, the festivities had to end there.  Our girl teaches first grade (and she wished she had taken off the next day).  Our youngest son is in fifth grade.  He was hoping for a day off, too.
In fact, all Baltimoreans agree that February 4th should be a national holiday starting today.
Flying high here in Charm City.
Tomorrow is the Ravens' Welcome Home parade.
I won't be there. Not fond of crowds, overpriced parking, or wintry weather.
But I'll be there in spirit.
Cheering for our team.