Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Grandmother's House We Go

It's time to go over the river (the North Canadian) and through the woods to Grandmother's house in western Oklahoma for Thanksgiving!

Too bad we will not have snow like the song says...I never equate snow with Thanksgiving, but with Christmas! I know in some areas of America they have already had snow by now...We will be pulling a horse trailer with a horse this time! Alison's horse has never been around other horses and we want to have a little fun with him this time...Only a few of the Kellys will be getting together this year. It's the "off year" for the in-laws to have a turn with their other side. Yet we are thankful for the loved ones we will get to see. I guess you could say we will have a "merry LITTLE Thanksgiving"! I'm glad small-town America is still alive and well. It's good to go back to the farm for some QUIETNESS, as Ben used to say ("I want some quietness!") We will miss having him here- but some friends in California have invited him home with them to share their Thanksgiving, so we're thankful for the good people God is putting in his pathway.

I have a few Thanksgiving memories to share today- Poor little Alison came down with MONO not too long after we moved here to OKC. I had to stay home with her from our Kelly thanksgiving two years in a row. She would get better in the spring and summer, and come October she would get down again. We would wonder if it would be that way every year! Thankfully she is way past that now. That first year Michael and Rene Smith were still here in OK and they called to say they would bring over "a plate" for us from their Thanksgiving spread. Actually they brought a little FEAST for the two of us, plate after plate! I was so grateful for their concern I had to go into our back bathroom and bawl- I didn't want Alison to hear me cry.

We moved down here from Ringwood, OK on Thanksgiving Week, 2000. Julia was just born in September. We used Dad's cattle trailer to move our furniture, and of course it rained...the trailer was not spotlessly clean and little specks of cattle manure floated around to land on our stuff, where it dried on...I remember dusting the dresser in our bedroom and finding little specks of "what's this?!"

"Thou art good to the earth, giving water, enriching her greatly with rain from brimming streams divine. Thou providest the grain by preparing her duly, watering her furrows well, soaking her ridges, softening her with showers, and blessing all her growth. Thou art crowning the year with thy goodness; rich stores drop where thou passest...the very pastures of the downs overflow- the hills wear girdles of joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks, the valleys are covered with corn, shouting and singing for joy." -from Psalm 65, Moffatt's version.

I praise God for the people He sent by his loving Providence to help establish our United States of America. The friendly natives, all the story of our history, the Founding Fathers who tirelessly worked to form a proper government...God bless and work in America again. Many people are praying for You, America! We Love You!

Is Mr. Froggie stuffed, or is he expressing his thanks?! Don't overdue the feasting, y'all! Enjoy and rejoice but don't forget the moderation! I remember one year, a cousin (I won't say which) ate 4 or 5 pieces of pie and was sick most of the afternoon...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tapestry of Life

"Life is a song we must sing with our days, A poem with meaning more than words can say;A painting with colors no rainbow can tell, A lyric that rhymes either heaven or hell.The pain and the longing, the joy and the moments of life,Are the rhythm and rhyme, The free verse of the poem of life." -Michael Card

 The patter of rain on the roof,

The glint of the sun on a rose;

Of life, these are the warp and the woof,
The weaving that everyone knows.
Now grief with its consequent tear,
Now joy with its luminous smile;
The days are the threads of the year-
Is what I am weaving worthwhile?

What pattern have I on my loom?
Shall my bit of tapestry please?
Am I working with gray threads of gloom?
Is there faith in the figures I seize?

When my fingers are lifeless and cold,
And the threads I no longer can weave,
Shall there be there for men to behold
One sign of the things I believe?

God sends me the gray days and the rare,
The threads from His bountiful skein,
And many, as sunshine, are fair.
And some are as dark as the rain.

And I think as I toil to express
My life through the days slipping by,
Shall my tapestry prove a success?
What sort of a weaver am I?

Am I making the most of the red
And the bright strands of luminous gold?
Or blotting them out with the thread
By which all men's failure is told?

Am I picturing life as despair,
As a thing men shudder to see,
Or weaving a bit that is fair
That shall stand as the record of me?

"The Weaver" by Edgar Guest

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Funtime

A fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the fall!
This is my daughter Julia.
We were invited to our pastor's home
for Sunday was delicious!
They have a little backyard where the children
love to play.
I love it that my two littlest children
are still unsophisticated and enjoy simple pleasures.
Too bad they have to grow up...

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Turkey Trap

Here is another "Meditation From the High Country" by a favorite author, Don Ian Smith. My husband and I found his books not long after we got married, and Galen enjoyed them so much he found out how to contact Mr. Smith. He was able to talk to him on the telephone; I believe Mr. Smith passed away not too long afterwards. This is from his book, The Open Gate.

Long ago I heard a turkey story. I don't know if it is true, but if it isn't it ought to be. It concerns a man who lived in the hills where there were wild turkeys. Each year the man went into the hills to catch his Thanksgiving turkey. He had a very unique trap- it was simply a very large, heavy wooden box. One end of the box was propped up with a stick. A string attached to the stick was stretched out to some nearby bushes where the man could hide and wait for a turkey. Long lines of corn were laid out reaching from the woods to the box, and more corn was placed under the box for additional bait. When a turkey followed the line of corn to the box and stopped to eat the corn underneath , the man simply jerked the string, the stick fell, the box captured the turkey.

A few days before Thanksgiving he prepared his trap and waited. Soon a fine gobbler followed a trail of corn into the trap. The man was just ready to pull the string when another turkey entered the trap, and then another! More turkeys were coming, and he could not decide when to pull the string.

Just when there were ten turkeys in the trap, they suddenly flew. The man quickly pulled the string, but all he caught was the first big gobbler. It was a fine bird, very adequate for his dinner. But his Thanksgiving was ruined. He was unable to give thanks for the turkey he had because he was thinking of the loss of the nine.

Quite often we hear people complain about what they could have IF...if they had just sold out sooner, if they had invested when they were younger, if they had gone into another line of work. This pessimistic way of looking at things is a tendency we can avoid if we simply remember to be thankful for what we do have and enjoy the turkey that did not get away.

A most important gift of the Christian faith is the gift of gratitude. Giving thanks and rejoicing is fundamental to true worship. Rejoicing and giving thanks, like laughter, helps keep us healthy. A religion of commitment and obligation, without gratitude and rejoicing, is a slave driver with a whip from which one will escape if he can. We all do vastly more out of gratitude than we do out of obligation. When we are really grateful for something that has been done for us, we have a strong natural desire to give something ourselves.

Why is there so much grumbling instead of thanksgiving? Often those who have much, complain most. Those who are most thankful are those who have never had more than one turkey in the trap. The world does not owe us a living, so every day we should rejoice and give thanks for anything and everything we have. The practice of thanksgiving can protect us from becoming bitter and despondent over what we have lost, or never attained.

Giving is so much fun that it would be nice to have a great deal to give away. We don't generally have a chance to give away as much as we receive, so it is important to learn how to receive with gratitude. Lack of gratitude is a mark of colossal conceit because it indicates that we think no one else has contributed to what we have or what we have accomplished. We come into life helpless; we go from life helpless. For a few years in between we may be able to carry our own weight, but never will we balance the scales even if we help other people. Always we will be deeply in debt, and the only way we can settle the account is through our gratitude.

When we prosper we can give to others with thanksgiving; when we have misfortune we can accept our difficulties with thanksgiving because we know that giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. As we understand that all things are in God's hands, we can get life in the right perspective. I am glad that we have a custom of a national day for thanksgiving. It can be a day of real rejoicing and giving serious thought to the fine art of receiving and the importance of gratitude in all areas of life. Practice the art of saying, "Thank you, I really do appreciate what you have done for me." The secret of the good life is just as simple as the lesson of the turkey trap. It is learning to rejoice over what we have rather than complaining about the turkeys that flew away.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Just Not Thanksgiving Without...!

Why don't we whet our appetites a bit in preparation for our national holiday coming up?! I want to share some pictures to get your anticipation level rising!

It's just not Thanksgiving without...( my Carver side says) ...

Mother's cornbread-based dressing. This is still my favorite - we always baked it separately from the turkey...of course! Otherwise it would be called stuffing. This is one recipe I HAD to carry into my marriage.
Always my mother served it with...Giblet Gravy.

This is the only gravy we ever made to go with our turkey dinner. It's delicious with the dressing.

Mother's sweet potato casserole was another Thanksgiving must-have. We never had the marshmallow topping and that is still my favorite way to enjoy this dish. My husband's mother always tops her sweet potatoes with the little marshmallows, and I can enjoy it this way, too!

This Thanksgiving Must-Have is called Ambrosia Fruit Salad. My mother never did the sour cream/sugar sauce; it was always whipped cream- either the real thing or Cool Whip. Our version always had chopped pecans. If we used fresh oranges, my mother would always remove the thin membrane of the orange slices. Sometimes she would use canned mandarin orange pieces. I want to say that she also peeled the grapes! Not too many years ago we were celebrating the holiday with her and I was preparing this fruit salad- she wanted me to peel the grapes! (or was it the oranges?) Whichever it was, I did not follow that step!

Our Carver family dinner was never complete without Chocolate Pie! It's still a family tradition to say at dessert time, "Bring out the chocolate pie!" I miss you, Daddy...

Now for the Kelly Traditions! Galen's dad loves coconut creme pie, and Mom Kelly always fixes one for him at Thanksgiving. I love this pie, too.

All have come to expect me to bring at least one cherry pie if we are celebrating with the Kellys. This is Galen's favorite- also my son Ben loves this...actually almost everyone wants this kind of pie. I can hardly get by with making only one. Yes! It has to be homemade- no storebought frozen pies will do for this farm-raised bunch! I try to make a beautiful crust for this one.

This next beautiful pie is...Apricot! Grandma Classen always made an apricot cobbler that my husband remembers fondly. I have the pan she made it in every time. We do not always have this now that she is gone but it is one of the family favorites. You may have noticed that fruit pies are the favorite in the Kelly Klan.

Love that blackberry pie from Gwen and Phillip's wild berry patch!

Now here is the pecan pie...I luuuuuve this- IF it is not too sweet. I do not use as much sugar or syrup as most recipes call for...Who does not like pecan pie?

Finally, the pumpkin pie- or punkin pie... I really enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream. BUT it must not be too spicy...I like it really mild. Sweet potato pie is a good substitute for a pumpkin pie, also...if you do not do the sweet potato casserole. Sometimes Mom Kelly will do a type of cheesecake that has a pumpkin (or sweet potato)  layer and that is very good, too.

Mom introduced me to this 7-Layer Salad...I had never seen it before. I must have this at Thanksgiving to be happy! (For your information, did you know the type of dish holding the salad in this picture is called a "trifle"? That's an interesting name to learn about. A trifle dish is used to display the different beautiful layers, usually a dessert. Mom generally uses a large rectangular glass pan for this salad- it makes for much easier serving.)

I'm beginning to look forward to Thanksgiving! Since we all bring things for the big dinner, the whole load does not fall on one person. We have not decided yet which place we will be going to yet- Louisiana or Western Oklahoma. Oh mother always fixed her turkey like no other one I have ever seen. She made a roux-type baste out of flour and butter that browned up really crisp on the turkey. I love it! Now that she is 84 years old, we don't have it that way often if we are at her place. She likes to get a deep-fried turkey from a local restaurant. It's a great way to fix the bird, also, if you have never tried it...

Attitude Adjustment

Don Ian Smith writes: "I well remember the afternoon when my son and I had been riding the range checking on the cattle. We were nearing home in the lovely time of day when the setting sun casts long shadows and puts a halo on the hills. About a mile from the ranch we had stopped our horses for a rest and we were just sitting, looking at the scene before us. Our line fence across the valley stood out sharply like a giant pencil line on a great piece of green paper, greener than the grass outside where the cattle had been grazing all summer. My son said: "Look, Dad! The grass sure is a lot greener on our side of the fence."

"It is tragic that many people have subscribed to the old lie that says it is greener on the other side. Most of us have known times when we have been tired and discouraged...but when I start to give serious thought to jumping my fence, I am brought up short by the simple fact that on MY side, though there are many problems, I also know something about the answers. If I jump the fence to go to what looks like greener pastures I will be trading a set of problems I know something about for a whole set of problems I know almost nothing about. I realize THIS is my side of the fence, and for me the grass is greener HERE. Whenever we seek to solve our problems by jumping the fence, we deceive ourselves, for the problems have a way of jumping with us. What looked like better pastures will turn out to be an illusion caused by the fact that we could not see clearly from our side that this other side has just as many burrs and weeds...greener pastures can turn out to be crabgrass."

"Pessimism is a denial of faith. It is a way of saying we don't really believe the promises of God or appreciate His gifts. The mark of a christian should be optimism. "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
This optimism knows that in the world there is tribulation, but also knows the One who has overcome the world. Face your set of problems and walk to a place where you can get a better point of view, and see that INDEED the grass is greener on your side of the fence." from his book By The River Of No Return

"We can all remember instances in our lives when God caused even the hardest trials to work together for our good. I remember when a trial was brought upon me by another person. I was filled with bitter rebellion and could not see any reason to be thankful in it. But that very trial provided the richest blessing and the greatest triumphs of my life. In the end, I was filled with thanksgiving for the things that had caused me such bitter rebellion before. If only I had had faith enough to give thanks at first, how much sorrow I would have been spared." -Hannah Whitall Smith

Friday, November 13, 2009

Go Home For Thanksgiving

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves. -Thomas Wolfe

Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank Thee for this place in which we dwell; for the love that unites us; for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope with which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Give us courage, gaiety, and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not be, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another. Amen. -Robert Louis Stevenson

If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there be beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
author unknown

So long as there are homes to which men turn at close of day; so long as there are homes where children are, where women stay--If love and loyalty and faith be found across those sills--A stricken nation can recover from its gravest ills.

So long as there are homes where fires burn and there is bread; so long as there are homes where lamps are lit and prayers are said; although people falter through the dark--and nations grope-- With God Himself back of these little homes--we have sure hope.    -Grace Noll Crowell

"Early on Thanksgiving morning before my family awakened, I began to form a list entitled Reasons For Gratitude. Then, halfway down the page I pensively wondered- Lord, do I give You any reasons to be thankful for me?" -Ruth Harms Calkin

I read, "In everything give thanks."
I said, "Lord, I'm in deep trouble-
You know I can't thank You for this."
He said, "My word is a command
And not a suggestion...dear child."
I read, "Your sins are forgiven you."
I said, "Thank You for forgiving me-
I repeat the same sin so often."
He said, "I can deliver, as well as forgive."
I read, "Trust in the Lord at all times."
I said, "You know how earnestly I try."
He said, "My word says Trust."
Lord, it seems to me You always have the last word.
-Ruth Harms Calkin

There is beauty in homely things which many people have never seen...sunlight through a jar of jelly; a rainbow in soapsuds in dishwater; an egg yolk in a blue bowl; white ruffled curtains sifting moonlight; the color of cranberry glass; a little cottage with blue shutters; crimson roses in an old stone crock; the smell of newly baked bread; candlelight on old brass; the soft brown of a dog's eyes. -Peter Marshall

happy thanksgiving to you Pictures, Images and Photos