What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Moments of Grace: Creating Joy out of Chaos

My morning did not start out looking like this picture above...or below...
"Breakfast with Teddy", a picture on a greeting card that I love...
by Jessie Wilcox Smith - 1909

What seemed to be a good idea quickly began to deteriorate as I attempted to pull the container of Quaker Oats out of the cupboard, only to have the lid fly off and dry oats scatter literally all over my kitchen.  So much for my good intentions...

No, I wasn't planning to have a bowl of oatmeal...actually I wanted to mix up a batch of blueberry muffins since I had some fresh ripe juicy berries just waiting to be enjoyed.  The recipe I had decided to use called for oatmeal in the batter.  (Recipe to follow). But now I had to clean up a big mess before I could even begin to bake the muffins. Not a good way to start the day...

However, I was determined to have those muffins, so I persevered and soon the delightful aroma of blueberry muffins permeated the kitchen.
Then I decided to make a little tea party out of the occasion.

 My hubby joined me, but only for the muffins. He wasn't too interested in the tea party part.

Since it was a dreary, rainy chilly morning we had decided we weren't going anywhere. And because the kitchen was already in a state of chaos from my earlier fiasco, I decided I may as well continue on making a mess by baking a batch of oatmeal cookies! After all, if the carton of oatmeal was in a state of destruction, we might as well finish it off and get rid of the offending container for good!

The only thing about all of this activity that I haven't told you was that while I was busily "creating" these delectable concoctions...which, if you do any baking you will understand how important it is to be able to concentrate on what you are doing and not have a lot of interruptions...well....here's the rest of the story...

Since my recent retirement hubby and I have been adjusting to our new routine together. He had already been retired for several years, and although he was anxious for me to come home, he had his own little schedule of daily activities, which did not include having me around to interfere.  However, he seems to have adjusted quite rapidly, and now requests my attention frequently...especially when I am busy trying to accomplish something in the kitchen or the opposite end of the house from where he is.

Baking cookies with my little boys many moons ago...
Today was no exception. As I was mixing up the batter for the cookies or trying to place the raw dough on the cookie sheets and time the baking of the ones in the oven, etc. (you know the routine)...he kept calling me from the living room (a long hike from the kitchen in this house) and asking for my assistance with a project he was doing on the computer.

It reminded me of the way it used to be when my kids were little and I was trying to bake...and they would be begging for my attention from all parts of the house...and soon they would come running into the kitchen to sample the cookies and lick the beaters...

But I digress...anyway, this morning I found myself getting agitated with his constant interruptions and a little bit frustrated and almost ugly...and then I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute...and give thanks to the Lord because my husband is here in this house with me, safe and healthy and wonderful.  Too many of my friends, loved ones and acquaintances not much older than I (and some younger) have already lost their husbands to cancer or heart attacks or other horrible events.  How ungracious of me to lose my patience with the one I love and cherish when I should be thanking the Lord he is here, alive and well.

So, after working through the numerous interruptions the cookies did finally get baked...and miracle of miracles, they actually were good enough to eat!

And now we are both back to doing what we like to do during the day...

Hubby is enjoying listening to some music on the computer

while I am sitting here on my computer telling you all about it.

(notice I am wearing my new flannel shirt) (click on link for that story)

Oops..I just looked at the clock and realized that we are going to be late getting the meatloaf into the oven if I don't stop writing and get back to the kitchen...so, guess who came in and actually helped me in the kitchen?   Yep, my sweet hubby.  And that is Joy, Joy, pure joy!

Oh, here's the recipe I promised you:

This is a combination of a couple of recipes in my Betty Crocker cookbook.  I tend to adjust recipes to suit my mood:

Blueberry Muffins:

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil- (I used 1/2 cup applesauce instead of the oil)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats (dry)
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms only of about 12 medium muffin cups. Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.(or applesauce in place of oil).
Stir in remaining ingredients all at once just until flour is moistened.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes
Immediately remove from pan.


Click HERE for the recipe for the Oatmeal Cookies


  1. I can almost smell them! Drives me so crazy when my Hubs starts talking to me from the other room though! But I too remind myself of the same thing at night with the snoring. Ha.

    1. Yes, we have to count our blessings even when our blessings can be aggravating! Ha Ha. So thankful that we can even laugh about this. So many wish they could have our problems. I truly do thank the Lord. And now you need to go bake some cookies too!

  2. What a very sweet story. Sorry for the attacking can of oatmeal. I dearly love blueberry muffins and I dearly love oatmeal raisen cookies. Sorry for drool on your page. I especially love the part where at the end your included John as your joy, joy in your day and then to have help with the meatloaf. You two are blessed to have each other to enjoy your retirement years.

    1. I wish you were a little closer...I would have brought you some today. But we shall see what happens before Saturday... Yes, I am blessed and very thankful. And the meatloaf was yummy too. Thank you for stopping by tonight!

  3. Oh you should have called and I would have been right over for that tea party, since your hubby wasn't interested!Maybe next time. Those cookies and muffins sure looks good, and I know that meatloaf was since you had expert help!


    1. I thought of you and wished you weren't so far away, as I know you would have enjoyed our little breakfast tea party. And yes, the meatloaf was perfect! Thank you for chiming in today. One of these days I will get to Georgia and then watch out! I may surprise you!

  4. Oh me!! You have made me laugh so hard!! I know what you mean about being called 'frequently.' AND how hubby ever found anything before I retired is beyond me. He is forever asking, "Where is it?" or "I don't see it." Interruptions, I thought that would stop the minute I retired and left the office. Wrong..God love them. We are happily enjoying retirement together with only minor differences to overcome. lol

    1. Oh yes...we go through this every day...but we have fun in the process. We are learning to give each other "space" throughout the day to pursue our own interests...as long as I am not too far out of reach. LOL!

  5. Hi Pam! You are singing my song sister! My husband lost his job three years ago. Now, he drives a bus for the local high school, but he's basically retired. Yikes! It was a real adjustment for me. I felt like my 'space' was gone, and he does also call my from the living room, which often makes me crazy.
    But, a deep breath later, I carry on. I love that idea of it feeling like the kids are calling to us when they were younger! Kind of puts it all in perspective.
    It's getting better all the time here, and it's because of my attitude changing. Thank you God for the grace!
    Enjoy your baked treats, they look great! Sorry how it all started though...

    1. Yes, it takes an extra dose of God's grace some days to help us stay patient and loving when we feel like our "space" has been "compromised". I think this is a common feeling among most retired couples. But I am, as are you, so VERY thankful that we even have this opportunity to be retired together. So many never get this chance.

  6. Hi Pam, I can relate so well to what you shared in many ways, even if I'm single. When my mom was living she demanded my attention, yet wanted me to do things (sorta). Talk about interruptions! It drove me crazy! Now that she's with the Lord, I'm basking in the freedom that I have to do what the Lord has for me to do. This year, I'm determined to work on the clutter around my house and within me with the the Lord's help.

    By the way, I may have drooled a bit with your description of the muffins and cookies.


    1. Oh Kim, I do understand about having a Mother or other older person around as we care for my 92 year old mother in law on the weekends, and she has dementia, which always makes for an interesting time. It is difficult to even get out of her sight for a minute. But, I know when the time comes, I will miss her as I know you miss your Mom, even though you do have a new freedom. The clutter will always be with us I am afraid. I wish I could send you some muffins and cookies...but at least I sent the recipes. Enjoy!


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