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Archive for November, 2014

Nov 27 2014

Hail to the Chef

Posted by Mugs @ 7:18 pm in Family

Zeke, at the age of ten, cooked the Manry Clan Thanksgiving meal.

On Monday, he wrote his menu and gathered his recipes. On Tuesday, he went to the store and got his ingredients. On Wednesday, he made the peanut butter fudge and the apple pie. This morning, after running a mile fun run, he cooked the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, yams with marshmallows, and gravy. He also prepared the cranberry sauce and the snicker apple salad.

Dale, Abby, and I occasionally assisted as sous chef and clean up crew.

Zeke endured to the end, although at one point while stirring the gravy, he was forced to take a knee.

What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Chef Zeke

Nov 27 2014

Turkeys Trot

Posted by Mugs @ 7:01 pm in Family,Running

We were all up bright and early this Thanksgiving morn for Zeke to do the mile fun run and for Dale and Josiah to race the 5k Turkey Trot. Dale, who for years had gotten toasted by Josiah in the Turkey Trot, wanted to avenge his losses. He knew he had a good shot this year since Josiah has spent the last two years running only the length of the quidditch field.

Zeke stuck to the mile race this time since he needed energy to finish cooking the Thanksgiving meal.

Dale savored his victory of one and a half minutes faster than Josiah with a piece of peanut butter fudge.

Nov 25 2014


Posted by Mugs @ 7:46 pm in Family,Nature

I smiled at Tina’s comment that she could not decide which flower she liked the best. Throughout the garden season, different flowers win my favor and I have spent my years in Virginia crazy about roses, but I do have a favorite flower. It is the lily.

I admire it most because it grows and blooms and spreads with little help from me. If I want more, I chop it up and spread it around. Sometimes, I move it from here to there in an attempt to achieve color harmony in a bed. (This rarely works, because I often forget which color was where.) The lily I transplanted thinking it was apricot will bloom quite happily in a clashing pink, and I’m forced to admire its panache.

Over the last two years, I added Asiatic and Oriental lilies to follow the daylily bloom. This year, the lily scent was overpowering.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6: 28-29.

Nov 21 2014

Calling All Gamers

Posted by Mugs @ 12:28 pm in Family

Midnight Releases crop up periodically in the “Please Mom! Can’t I go?” category of Manry family events. The final Harry Potter book, a much anticipated movie, and the never ending stream of video game releases bring my children begging to not miss out. I am often adding to my “Lame Mom” status, but occasionally I surprise. “Cool Mom” status will never be in my reach, but I don’t pursue “Embarrassing Parent” as wholeheartedly as Dale.

Once Josiah was old enough, he drove himself. Abby can also fill the midnight release driver roll. Once, I even recruited the Robyn for the task. Unfortunately for me, Josiah is in college, Abby lives in the mountains where the midnight releases happen at 7:30pm, and the Robyn has a broken leg.

Therefore, last night at 11:45pm I found myself at a lonely strip mall with Gabe and Zeke and Gabe’s friend, Nathan. Smash Bros Wii U and the latest Pokemon had brought the local gamers out of their basements and into the dark.

A line of 50 people wound down the strip mall. The early arrivers held pokemon posters and smash bros championship cardboard belts. They were mostly males of all races in their twenties and thirties. There were a few women. One gamer mom with her two year old asleep on her shoulder, one gamer chick with pink hair, and a bored girlfriend.

Zeke was by far the youngest gamer in line, and he occupied himself with  StreetPass. (Abby would like to voice her objection to Zeke being allowed to go to a midnight release on a school night when he is only ten years old. The leniency by which Zeke is being raised brings the ire of all his older siblings.)

Two line jumpers showed up and were yelled at. Two Asian teens who rarely looked up, shuffled forward when needed while they battled away on their 3ds systems. A beanie teen in a military jacket sprinted out with his game and rolled into the open lift gate of a minivan. It would have been a fantastic exit except he hadn’t calculated how painfully slow lift gates close.

A car alarm went off, and it took the gamer in line quite awhile to notice. I believe the gamer king (some guy in a hoodie) was holding court. Various people in line, out of line, and finished with the line periodically came up to chat with him.

At 5 minutes after midnight, a middle school kid and his mom got in the back of the line. Gabe, Zeke, and Nathan were in the door at 0006 and back to the van at 0010. I, unlike the other lame mom, knew to wait in the van and try not to be noticed.

Nov 19 2014

Look Back

Posted by Mugs @ 1:39 pm in Family,Nature

I’ve fallen into my time of low energy/dreary outlook/constant coughing in my usually lethargic way. I envy the life of a bear who forgets about everything and hibernates for the winter. The simplest tasks take three times longer, because I do them at a slug’s pace. (I brought in a pot of dahlias to see if I could get one more bud to open – I could not. When I lifted the pot to relocate it there was a slug underneath. “Ew.”)

It was 20 degrees this morning and my garden looked sad (first photo), so I decided to find the pictures when the garden looked happy.

Each year of my life, I enjoy the beauty while it lasts, but when the “Oh woe is me arrives,” I’m quick to forget what was and – Lord willing – what will be again.

The last photo is of Queen Anne’s lace which – unlike me – grows quite happily in the ditch. (One of my dad’s ‘pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ expressions “Well, it’s better than digging a ditch” has been playing through my head lately.) When I was growing up, my pastor, Harold Andrews, showed me Queen Anne’s lace as testimony of the Creator’s handiwork – all white with one small purple flower at the center. Such intricate detail doesn’t happen by chance.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28