It's not as odd as it sounds...

Prayer happens everywhere, even in the tanning bed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What I've learned from The Pioneer Woman, Part Uno

This is the Pioneer Woman,
it's unfortunately not me...
So, I have an unbelievable sister-in-law. There are so many things I could say about her but I haven't the room... Well I do but she wouldn't want me to go on and on about her. I have wanted to be her since the day I met her in July of 1983. She was a week away from marrying MJF's brother and I was about 6 weeks away from marrying MJF. They were having something like 5,000 people at their wedding (I could be exaggerating but is sure seemed that way) and we were having 100. She was (and still is) itty bitty, cute, and bubbly. Me... well, let's just say none of those words describe me. She had everything going for her, I had, well, I just didn't know. What I did know was that I wished I was her.

Twenty-seven years later and many days I still wish I was her. For many of the same reasons I wish I was her but some days, for very different reasons.

Today, because of something she did, something really unbelievably special and totally surprising to me, I have decided that, at almost 50 years old, I was going to have to come to terms with who I am and I was going to have to learn to embrace it. Yes, I said embrace it. Not just be happy with it, not just be satisfied, but I needed to learn to EMBRACE all of me, in just the place God has put me.

What did she do? She sent me the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. Now I know what she was thinking by sending it to me. It was a splurge and she knew I wanted it. She knew I didn't need it but that it would be so much fun. And that's how I felt about it today when I opened it. Little did I know that reading about Ree, The Pioneer Woman, who she was before she hit the ranch, how she has become a ranch-lover, and how she has EMBRACED her life... it was like a brick hit me between the eyes. I really think it was the story of how she met the Marlboro Man and how to this day she still calls him the Marlboro Man and adores him, that really got to me.

This is my Gman. 

I don't have a Marlboro Man. What I do have is a Gman. A Gman is tons better than a Marlboro Man. I have not been enjoying my Gman the way I should. I have not been bragging about my Gman the way I should and reading her talk about her Marlboro Man really convicted me that I have been taking him for granted, a lot. Look at him... he's pretty darn awesome.

There are more things that I want to say about how reading The Pioneer Woman's cookbook impacted me. It will take several blog posts to do it. That's a good thing though because I promised to do a better job feeding my blog. Pioneer Woman reminded me of that as well.

This is me. Obviously I am not the Pioneer Woman.
It is not the best picture of me.
It's actually sort of silly..
I decided to EMBRACE silly.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Put it in your pipe and smoke it.

So, my blog is like my baby. Abandon it and it starves to death. I apparently am starving my blog. Forgive me for starving my blog. I will do a better job, really I will.

Pap-pap's pipes... that's me with him when I was 2.

I have a confession. I am letting my two oldest sons smoke... Yepper, actually, they have gotten into smoking cigars. It started as a desire my oldest had for his 20th birthday, he wanted to smoke a cigar with his dad and a few friends, out back, around the fire pit. It turned out that my 16 yr old, (at the time) just had to participate too. But I'd have none of it. So this year, when he became 17, I let up. And for a couple of weeks he smoked a cigar once a week. I wanted to say something; tell him that he should stop. The more I thought about it though, the more I figured it would end on it's own. And sure enough, it has. Whims, fads, all those things find themselves whisked away eventually.

But one evening, #2 son came to me and asked if they could smoke Pap-pap's pipes.  I think he thought I'd gasp and cry "No, don't touch those icons that I hold so dear!" Instead, I smiled and said "Only if there's Captain Black smoked in them." He was visibly shocked. "What are you so shocked about?" I asked "Pap-pap would be in shear delight knowing you all were smoking his pipes." And if I close my eyes and imagine I can almost see his tobacco-tainted smile at the thought of it all.

They honored my request and that week bought a pouch of Captain Black.  They all sat out back and packed their pipes - each pipe smoked lovingly by my grandfather years before my oldest was even born. I could see the pride they took as they packed those feeling like they had arrived. THEY were smoking THE pipes. And one by one the Zippo lighters flicked on and reddened the tobacco as they each drew deep to light their smokes.


And every now and again, as I walk by the display I lovingly created in honor of my grandfather, William Edward Harris, I can smell the Captain Black and it's all I can do to hold back my laughter.