Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things I Should be Doing Instead

I had this revelation recently about discipline: it's a choice, not a feeling.

Attitude follows actions, and  sometimes I wish it weren't so. For example, I have not in the past 4 years that I have been waking up at the butt-crack of dawn so that I can get my day started before my kids are allowed to be awake ever felt like getting out of bed.


Not once.

But I choose to do it because I like myself (and my kids) a whole lot more when I do.

Choosing discipline has compelled me to be a much better mother and teacher these past two weeks. Until today.  Today I waited for the feeling of "let's do school" to take over and as history has already taught me many times before, it never came.  I did do what I had to-had to with Morgan and Brennan, which has an air of discipline-ness to it, but who are we kidding - it's not been a gold star day for getting school done, or much else.  Unless you count distracting my friend Sher from getting her work done by talking on the phone.  Maybe my motto is "be disciplined unless you can convince someone else to be undisciplined with you."

Excellent work, Smithers.

I suppose that would mean that right now, I am fully aware that I am being undisciplined and taking a break and blogging when I should be getting something done.

But hold the phone...

Resting and taking breaks, are part of a well-disciplined life, n'est pas?

Maybe if I just called this a Thursday afternoon a Sabbath, I could sound well educated and deserving of the respite I have provided for myself today.


Here are some of the things I am choosing not to do right now as I grow discipline in the area of random Sabbath taking.  Spin is everything, right?

I am not folding laundry.   I'm not even letting it out of the laundry room to grow right now.

I am not cleaning the school room tables.  I started cleaning out my school cupboards so that all the new and old curriculum would be in it's proper place and at least if I wasn't going to do school today, I could at least make the days that follow much more organized and well thought out.  Well begun is not half done in this case.

I am not writing my talk/sermon/speech for the Women's event at our church that I am "guest-speaking" at next Thursday.  Are you a guest if you always attend?  Discuss.

I didn't make a well-balanced meal for lunch.  We had banana cake.  On purpose.  True - I did reduce the sugar by 1/2 and subbed some whole wheat flour - but still. Cake. For. Lunch.  Proving once again that I will always try to make up for what I lack with good food.  I'm buying your love, one baked good at a time.

Speaking of baking, I haven't finished baking for the Worship retreat my friend and I are responsible for either.  Good thing for Friday.

I didn't go for a walk this morning. And I had cake for lunch.  I might have to add clothes shopping to my list of things to do on Friday.

I haven't printed out the music I need for tonight's practice.  Been thinking about the set since Tuesday and my heart is in the right place - my printer just isn't well connected to my heart.  That's next.  Right after I hit publish.

I haven't listed the boxes of rubber stamps I have purged from my crafting cupboard for about 3 months now.  I may need someone to be disciplined on my behalf for that one.  I know.  I need to be disciplined enough to find someone more skilled in administration.  I'm sure that's what needs to happen.  Or they may never leave my house.

On that note I haven't taken the boxes of books that I purged from our home library to the Book Man either.  Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi.  You're my only hope.

And finally,  I'm not getting something ready for dinner. At least the fridge is full of leftovers.

What didn't you do today?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The One Where We End Summer By Eating from a Garbage Can

For all the things we didn't do this summer.  We did finish well.

True story:  every time I type "finish well" I think "Finnish Well" and I wish I knew how to speak with a Finnish accent, because I'm pretty sure that would be fun.

The best way to finish (not Finnish) well is by eating from a garbage can, naturally.

Which no doubt begs the questions: How does one eat out of a garbage can unnaturally?

I digress.


The one and only memory my kids have from this summer, aside from the fact that Tyson had surgery - is that my parents put in a lovely pool this year, just to make sure none of us strayed too far from home. So, as often as we could - we went up there to swim and to just hang out in paradise.

Dad thought it would be fitting to have a big season finale before the kids were all back in school.  So they prepared our favourite big gathering feast: "The Garbage Can Meal".  It's something that Josh's extended family apparently used to do when he was growing up.  I don't really know all the details, because, well - although we married young we didn't grow up together, and given Josh's propensity for forgetfulness, I think it was actually his Dad that told my Dad about it years ago...and now we're playing the Mennonite game and does it really matter where it all started?

We like to eat from garbage cans.  At least, this particular one that is saved only for cooking.  You want to know how to do this yourself, don't you?

Take a never-been-used metal garbage can.  Wash it, Water-test it, and solder any leaky spots.  I have no pictures of this step because this was done years ago.  But when you're done, it looks like this:

 Soak a load of potatoes, carrots and a few onions for....I don't know, a while. My Dad wished he had cut the potatoes in half again - probably could have shaved 20 minutes off the final cooking time.

Peel a bunch of corn...I'm guessing it's 4 dozen cobs here.  We like to attempt to make enough for double the amount of people present at any gathering.

Place husks in the bottom of said garbage can

Chop up a bunch of farmer sausage.  Farmer Sausage is Bacon's Mennonite cousin.   That sounds weird...but delicious.

Get yourself a heat source - my Dad has this fancy burner, and it gives a nice constant clean heat.  I think way back in the olden days when Josh's family would do this, they would make a platform of stacked firewood and place the garbage can on that?  If you are using a fire, cover the bottom of the can with dishsoap (on the outside) so it will clean up and not be permanently charred afterwards.  Handy tips and tricks from this gal.  It's why you come here, right?

Cover the husks inside the can with water.  Chuck all your food inside.  Cover it and cook until done.For the amount we had, I think it took 1 1/2 - 2 hours. And could have easily fed 30 or more gluttonous adults.

It was fantastic.  It always is.

And my great big family.  I love you.  Anywhere with you is my happy place, especially if there's farmer sausage.

Here's to a happy fall!