Friday, October 31, 2008

The End of a Good Week

Even though I know Saturday is technically the end of the week, I always consider the day before to be so, probably for the same reasons most everyone else does. Looking back over this week, I have to admit that it's been a pretty good one. Here's why:
  • Monday night Bible study we discussed our homework and one of the things we were to do was to write an acronym for Pout. The author had given us her own example as Pour Ol' Unloved Thing. Honestly, I couldn't for the life of me think of a worthy submission (not because I don't pout; I was just drawing a blank) but my daughter, the Princess came up with a whopper! I wish I'd written it down. All I remember is that it ended with Tantrum. Anyone who knows our Princess knows that NOBODY is as well acquainted with a pout or a tantrum as is she! She admitted it! I think she has grown out of it now, though. We can hope so, anyway. (Love ya, Princess!)
  • Tuesday I spent two hours at Panera reading my Bible, sewing on some needlework I'm doing, and oh, yeah, drinking coffee and eating yummy things, while the Bear practiced running up and down a basketball court and shooting hoops or something. (Poor, poor, pitiful me.)
  • Wednesday I got to see all of the children who attended the church's Harvest Party in their humorous costumes. Some of these were accompanied by weird explanations ("I'm a married angel." Huh?) but for the most part they were highly entertaining.
  • Thursday there was more basketball practice for the Bear, but because the Princess works right down the street from where he practices, and because her hubby was working late and her car-pooling buddy had other places to be, the Princess let me pick her up from work. We spent those hours chatting, eating, shopping, and laughing. It was wonderful to realize that we've moved into that comfortable mother-married daughter relationship that I have with all my girls now.
  • Friday, today, even without Polly and Tigger along to entertain me, there were all kinds of wonderful things to behold at taekwondo. The daytime classes consist of preschoolers, adults, and a few homeschoolers like the Bear and Polly. The classes aren't just mixed in ages but in cultures, too. It is fun to watch this class of men and women, children and adults, and people of Oriental or African or European descent all working together in a polite manner: a foretaste of Heaven, to be sure.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's the Great Pumpkin (Recipe) Charlie Brown!

I love pumpkin! Nine years ago a friend gave me a wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Dump Cake that she cut from a magazine. She was even nice enough to make a sample cake for us. Wasn't that sweet?

Then a few years ago I lost the recipe and I was heartbroken. But like anything these days, I was able to immediately find a similar version online. I tried this and if it isn't the same exact recipe there isn't enough difference to quibble about.

I took this to a family reunion a couple of weeks ago and it was very well received. I hope you enjoy it.

Pumpkin Dump Cake

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin - if you grow pumpkins like I did in TN use 1.75 c. pumpkin puree
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 c. white sugar
1.5 T pumpkin pie spice (or you can substitute cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves)
1/2 t. salt
1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
1/2 c. butter (melted)
1 c. chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices. Stir in the milk. Add eggs one at a time. Beat after each addition. Pour pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle the yellow cake mix over the pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle the pecans over that. Drizzle the melted butter over all. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool before serving.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the top.

*I recommend serving this with freshly whipped heavy cream. I always recommend freshly whipped heavy cream on almost anything! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag and I'm "It"

(Be patient with me here. I've only been doing this blog for one week now so I had to ask someone, (Karen), "What's a tag?" You should also know - not intuitively, of course, so that's why I'm telling you - that when it comes to blogging Karen and I are like "Pinky and The Brain." It is pretty obvious which one I am.

Donna tagged me earlier this week. That makes me "It." I can hear you, my friends and family, saying, "uh-oh" right now. Well, if I can do it, you certainly can.

The rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger (who tagged you) know when your post is up.

And here are my 6 random things about myself as per #3 above:

A. I had blue eyes until about the age of 12 when they turned green.

B. I'm left-handed. Sort of. By that I mean that I write left-handed but DO NOT give me left-handed scissors as I cannot use them. It has been interesting through the years learning new things and seeing which side of the brain engages. Sometimes neither does.

C. I'm a member of two lineage societies, the "Daughters of the American Revolution," and the "Society of Mayflower Descendants."

D. I have never had a driving ticket but not because I've never deserved one.

E. I completed my first year of college during my senior year of high school.

F. Pastor Dad and I met on my first day of college and married less than a year later. We would've married sooner but I had to graduate from high school first. After 30 years of marriage I think it is safe to say that this "experiment" has worked.

As per #4 above I am tagging the following people, although due to my newness in the blogging community I am only tagging 3:




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank You for the Thank You

This cool image is of a thank you note that I recently received. I like it so much that I'm thinking of having it made into a lapel button or something. Well, probably not, as it is a bit too large to be wearing as a piece of jewelry. But maybe the next time I go to a function that requires one of those sticky name tags with the words "Hello! My name is (fill in the large white blank)" I'll just say, "No thanks! I brought my own!"

Notice that it is carefully crafted as to be framed with my favorite color, a rather touching feature, I must say. But the best thing of all is that it came autographed. No, not by Mary Engelbreit but by TIGGER herself!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My "Change of Life" and no, it isn't what you think

The Bear and Pepper: All Smiles!
Last night after church one of the Sunday school classes had an activity and invited us along. We usually attend their activities although some people tend to equate this class with a young married couples class. If you have married children in the class it is a sure sign you are no longer a young married couple yourself, if you see what I mean. But one look around assured me that we fit in. The Bear's friends attend these events with their parents also. Those parents can't be too young married either if they have kids the Bear's age and older.

The fellowship last night took place at a Subway restaurant. As we stood in line waiting to order, Karen asked me if the Bear could eat a footlong since he'd made it quite clear that that was what he was ordering. I thought she was joking! Can the Bear eat a footlong? Yes, and probably my 6 inch as an appetizer if I'd let him!

Then it dawned on me that she hasn't lived with us in over 9 years. The Bear and his eating habits have changed a lot in that period of time. She has seen him eat recently, obviously, but anyone who doesn't live with him doesn't get the full "Bear" experience. As a matter of fact, a lot has changed around our house in recent years that my daughters might not believe.

It used to be a girls' world at our house. No talk of feminine equality here. No sirree! We had the men of the house outnumbered 2-to-1! Now that the girls are all married I am the lone female except for Pepper, the dog, and she doesn't count because she tends to side with the men against me anyway. Therefore, I am in unfamiliar territory. I had a taste of it two years ago when the Princess attended an out-of-town college, but she was home often enough for me not to feel the full effects.

I have not been out-numbered like this since, oh, EVER. I am an only child, so I was used to this female-to-male ratio even before I married and began procreating. I thought it the most natural thing in the world! Pastor Dad and I started out with equal numbers (one man married to one woman for one lifetime as it is supposed to be) but within a few years we(?) had worked hard (who went through labor?) to change that ratio in my favor at 2-to-1.

This explains the knowing looks I've seen pass between my dad and my husband. I just thought all males' faces came with that persecuted look. (Note to Prince Charming: I've seen the same look on your face, but don't give up! He who laughs last laughs best . . . or so I've heard.)

So in the time that I've seen the house change from being predominantly female to that of being predominantly male, what have I learned? Ah! Here is part of my unscientific list:

1. Men will watch ANY sporting event even if their own favorite teams are not part of the current game. Think: Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays and 2008 World Series. Last time I checked, neither of these teams was from anywhere around here or on anyone's Favorite Teams List!
2. Whereas "15 Minute Pick-up" used to mean young ladies racing around the house putting things away before the buzzer sounded now it means one middle-aged lady doing the same while one young man stealthily disappears. (I still do the buzzer as per my brief stint with "Flylady," bless her heart!)
3. Whereas I have always had a houseful of my own children and their friends under foot (I like having my offspring where I can keep an eye on them) several exuberant, squeaky-pitched calls of "Hi Mrs. Pitman!" when I enter the room have now been traded for deeper-throated yells of "Yo, Mom!" and "Hey Mrs. P!" Actually, there are still a few squeaky-pitched voices in the crowd as Bear and Friends are in their early teen years, but that should probably be another number entirely. And yes, some of the Friends call me "Mom."
4. One son can eat as much as three daughters.
5. One 12-to-13-year-old boy can grow fast enough in one spring and summer that his winter jeans will become shorts without anyone taking a pair of scissors to them! My paternal grandma told me this was possible but I just didn't believe her until this year.
6. 2 boxes of Fruit Roll-ups and 2 cartons of Capri-Suns can disappear in one afternoon with little or no help from the neighborhood kids!!!!!
7. Wrappers and cartons of same will remain on floors and tables until the next-scheduled "15 Minute Pick-up."
8. When grocery shopping, only buy enough food to last one day because whatever is bought will only last one day anyway.
9. Airgun pellets being sucked up in the vaccuum make the same annoying noise as Barbie shoes taking the same trip.
10. Tears and hurt feelings have been exchanged for, well, nothing. I didn't say all the changes were bad.
11. Endless giggles and chatter have been exchanged for . . . mostly silence. Again, not all bad, but not all good either. I fear this can only get worse as time goes by, though.
12. Waves and smiles of acknowledgement have been traded for eyebrow raises, almost inperceptible nods, and slight pinky-finger waves as I enter the venue where the Bear is either participating in basketball or taekwondo.

So y'all pray for me as I make the transition into an all-male world! I know a few of you out there who can probably sympathize.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Someone's Gonna Need A Bigger House

I just love driving to taekwondo on Friday mornings so that The Bear (my son) and Polly (my granddaughter) can take lessons because Tigger (another one of my granddaughters - everyone clear on the relationships and "borrowed names" now?) goes along for the ride.

[Friday mornings are the real reason why I need a blog. I just can't remember all the funny stuff to tell Pastor Dad (yep! that's you, honey!) Karen and Prince Charming, Lou and Sgt. Dan (when he makes Lt. we'll all call him Lt. Dan in our best Forrest Gump voices) or the Princess and The Chili King (those from this area will be able to figure out the significance). The Bear always hears the conversations that transpire but still manages to keep a straight face. I don't know how he does it!]

But I obviously digress.

This morning we were motoring along as usual when the topic of silly songs came up. The girls began singing such blockbuster hits as Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road (I think I've Mem and Pop to thank for that one!) and The Cheeseburger Song from Veggie Tales when Polly stopped singing long enough to ask me to identify my favorite animal. (What brought that to mind? I have no clue!)

After much thought (too much, actually) I said, "cat." Simple. Direct. Plus we have none at the moment to drive me nuts as opposed to answering "dog" which is something we do have that drives me bonkers on an almost hourly basis.

Tigger immediately piped up, "My favorite animal is a manatee and once I get big enough to have a pet of my own I'm going to get one."

Okaaay. I explained that a manatee is way too large to be a pet because it would take a HUGE aquarium for one. Even you don't have an aquarium big enough, Sgt. Dan!

Not too discouraged, Tigger countered with this, "Well, I'll just need to make sure I get a baby manatee then."

And I'm guessing she'll name it Barbara.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Weather Prognostications

Here On A High Hill today we are expecting mostly sunny skies with just a slight chance of precipitation or fogginess due to "head in the clouds" experiences. No, I'm not talking about outside. I'm talking about my own disposition.

As you know, our family has weathered some pretty severe storms the last, oh, say five or six months. That's a long time to be going through the rain. Ranks right up there with the flood of Noah. But rainbows have been sighted and the sun has broken through once more. Hopefully we're done with all the heavy atmospheric pressures that no barometer on earth could measure!

And what brought on this change of forecast? Well, it was a ray of sunshine found in an ultrasound. Yes, that's right. An ultrasound.

Our daughter invited us over last night to see Baby's picture. He or she was waving and saying, "Hi Gram! See you in late May or early June!" Okay, not really - I didn't see any hands or a mouth - but it was the first real ray of sunshine I've seen in awhile and it definitely made future forecasts a lot better!

While I'm on the theme of Biblical-related weather events (bear with me as I'm not great at transitioning and I didn't want to type a second post again today so I'm lumping this altogether into one big 'un) I thought I'd share an analogy that came to mind.

Forget Noah and move on to Job and Jonah.

When experiencing trials I've noticed that many Christians compare themselves to Job. (The weather-related event in that story was the great wind that killed his children. It's a stretch, but it's the best I can do.) I, myself, was beginning to wonder why God was allowing us to go through such tornados as we've experienced. Were we really such great faith-warriors that He would allow Satan to test us like this?

Um. Probably not.

It now looks like our tale more closely resembles that of Jonah. Job's trials were brought about because of obedience but Jonah's were because of disobedience.

I always feel sorry for other victims. In Jonah's case it was the sailors who were bailing for all they were worth and tossing out anything that would weigh the ship down. (That pretty much describes life here recently.) In the meantime, Jonah lay fast asleep in the hold of the ship thinking nobody else would find out what he'd done. Yeah, right! But lest you think I'm getting too big for my own britches I need to interject a personal comment of "been there, done that, lived to regret it!"

You know the story. Jonah's sin is discovered, he goes overboard, the fish swallows him, he repents, the big fish vomits him upon the beach, and Jonah then does as God had commanded him to do in the first place.

All I'm saying is that things were smelling a little fishy around here. If the air smells of rotten fish there might be a Jonah somewhere nearby.

And as for future weather reports? I'm keeping a sharp eye out for gourds and vehement east winds! I'd like the Jonah comparison to end now. I'm also checking my own self for any remaining seaweed that might be clinging to my garments.

Welcome, Baby! Your Gram is thankful for the ray of sunshine you've brought into the forecast!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Okay, I can hear the groans of my readers (all 2 of you). Why in the world did she start a blog? Well, it finally dawned on me that I LIVE ON THE COMPUTER! And it also dawned on me that this is about the only way I can communicate with those I love on a somewhat consistent basis. Until now, that has been accomplished via email or phone calls - and I don't intend to get rid of those means of communication - but frankly, I'm getting a bit overwhelmed. I talk (or write) too much. I admit it.

So here goes. . .

I'll probably be playing with this format for quite some time as this is all new to me. After all, the background I chose "for now" is pink and I am DEFINITELY a lavendar person. Why else did my junior high buddies nickname me Purple Passion?

And the name? "On a High Hill" sounded so much nicer than "Over the Hill." Yes, it is true that I am teetering on the brink of middle-age-dom seeing as how I just celebrated(?) the twentieth anniversary of my twenty-ninth birthday, but I don't want that to be the emphasis of my life. Instead, I would like to draw attention to the fact that not only do I physically live on a decent-sized hill, but as a Christian I live as a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden (cf. Matthew 5:14).

As a pastor's wife, sometimes it feels like I live in the cliched glass house or fish bowl, but for the most part I think this helps to keep me honest. (I know the Lord is watching but so are the neighbors!)

For those of you who already blog, rest assured that I will not rat out your identities. I have no intention of making statements that are so obvious that everyone knows we are connected, even by blood. So therefore, your pseudonyms are safe and will not be transferred to this site. If you want to make introductions, feel free to do so. Otherwise, you will remain anonymous.

Hope you enjoy visiting my new home here as much as I enjoy visiting yours!

Today's Funny

Conversation last week with my second granddaughter (who recently had a birthday):

Tigger: Gram, I'm this many now (holding up 4 fingers).

Me: Wow, Tigger, you are getting so big!

Tigger: Yes, but next year I will be this many (holding up all 5 fingers of one hand). Mom says then I'll be a handful!

Me: But doesn't your mom already say that about you?

Tigger: Yes, but I don't understand why because I won't be a handful for almost another whole year yet!

What can I say? I think we better batten down the hatches!