Archive for November, 2009

Trying to stay in a mindset of thankfulness, but . . . dryer lint?

November 28, 2009

This morning I was thankful for dryer lint.  I try to stay in a mindset of thankfulness, but . . . dryer lint?

DRYER LINT: fuzzy, useless stuff that collects in the dryer screen; an annoyance that must be cleaned out and thrown away.  (from Jean’s book of definitions found only in her mind)

You see, I remember before dryer lint.  I can remember baby blankets being hung on clothes lines with red, chapped, freezing hands. The baby blankets froze into pastel colored boards – hard as Formica on a cabinet top.  I remember the winter wind jerking my hair and making my ears smart in the cold.  It felt as though the wind was driving the cold right through my coat.

Later, I looked out the window to see that the wind had snapped the baby blankets in two – just like snapping a graham cracker – with the frozen halves tossing about the yard like tumble weeds in a desert ghost town.  I had to run around the yard chasing after the pieces of blankets as the wind played “keep way” blowing them this way and that.  Somehow I managed to get the broken blanket halves and bring them inside before they were blown clean out of sight.

Lest you think I am 839 years old, lots of people had automatic washing machines when I was growing up, but my mother was a Thoroughly Modern Millie.  When I was a teenager  we had the only washer/dryer combo machine I have ever seen.  Daddy loved gadgets and inventions that saved time. He bought Mother a front loading machine that both washed and dried the clothes. I believe it was a Bendix, but it could have been a Maytag.  We put in dry, dirty clothes and took out dry, clean clothes.   And we had dryer lint.   We were affluent and didn’t know it.  See?  I’m not that old.

Back to dryer lint. Dryer lint in the screen means I don’t have to go outside in the searing summer heat and hang clothes while fighting off mosquitoes or yellow jackets and I don’t have to worry about bird poo on my favorite blouse.  The neighbor’s dog is not going to see my clothes dancing in the wind and think they are scary monsters he needs to attack, shredding my favorite quilt, and dragging my sheets through the mud.

Dryer lint  means getting to stay inside in the freezing cold. I can wash on a rainy day if I want and get my clothes dry.  It means I don’t have to starch and iron everything except my undies. Well, I guess that was a little TMI [too much information]. (blush)  Forgive me.

Since I left home to marry at age 17, I’ve washed clothes in a wringer washer with two rinse tubs. It took all morning to do the wash and hang it on the line.  Not to mention having to starch the outer clothes. Then taking them off the line, sprinkling them with water, rolling them up so they would mellow into the same dampness throughout  . . . eating lunch . . . and then ironing all afternoon.  There was lint, but it wasn’t in the dryer screen, it was on the clothes!

I’ve washed little boys jeans and dirty diapers in the bathtub when I had no washer at all, using my knuckles to scrub  out the dirt, wringing them out by hand . . . my knuckles bleeding . . . and then hanging them on the line to dry.  There was no dryer lint.

Dryer lint is not an annoyance. Dryer lint is a blessing.  We take so much for granted. Probably more than half of the women in the world have never seen dryer lint. And to those women who still have to hang their clothes on a line; for those who have to wash their clothes in the creek or the river and hang them on bushes to dry, my heart goes out to you.  May God bless you.

I have many, many blessings; and many, many things for which I am thankful.  Thank you, Lord, for dryer lint and all it represents.

“to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at evening;”   I Chronicles 23:30

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Does Jesus like Brownies?

November 22, 2009

Among the churchy crowd, I’m known as the brownie lady.  Folks really dig my brownies as the most delicious, scrumptious, chocolaty and yummy concoctions they have every put in their mouths (well, maybe not that good, but good). They long for my secret recipe.  Well, the truth is . . . the secret recipe is a box of restaurant style brownie mix.    Now, I will no longer be held in high esteem – as the truth about my baking skills has been exposed.

Today my goal was to help serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the homeless downtown.  I was going to contribute my killer-delicious brownies.  But I hadn’t had a chance to get the secret mix.  So Thursday night, I’m at walmart looking for brownie mix that might somehow resemble my honorable brownies.   Nope.  Not a chance.  But *name brand* had family size brownie mix on sale.  I bought five boxes.

Last night I discover I’m out of eggs. When I start to the store for eggs, I discover something under my windshield wiper.  A parking ticket  – a $150 fine!  Oh, NO!  I had parked in a handicap zone and did not have my plaque displayed.

Back home. With my mind on the $150 fine, I forgot to oil the bottom of the cake pans.  I set the timer, then forgot to turn the timer on.

Sometime later – I check the timer – it is not on.  I estimate it has been five minutes.  Obviously I’m not a good estimater.   Is there such a word as estimater?   I don’t know.  What I do know is that the brownies were cemented to the pans and I broke a plastic knife trying to loosen the edges.  I scratched the non-stick coating trying to dig out those brownie tiles.  I am wondering what a brown tile border would look like in the bathroom. Could you knock off a stray dog with one of these things?

I am praying that no one breaks a tooth on Saturday trying to eat one of these brownie tiles.

I tasted one of the brownies.  It had a slight fishy taste to it.  Oh my!  This is just awful!

Delicious, scrumptious, moist and heavenly these brownies were NOT!

The old me, the perfectionist, would  have thrown out the brownies, had a good cry, and probably would have been up all night cooking brownies from scratch from a recipe from a 1955 cookbook.  Did they have brownies back in 1955?  I dont’ know. But most folks didn’t use cake mixes.

Okay, closer to the truth would be that the old me would have thrown out the brownies, had a good cry, and given up.  Just decide that I could not go help the homeless because I was not perfect enough.

But, the new me, the free me, washed up the pans and the bowl and made some more brownies with the mixes I had bought – paying special attention to greasing the pans and making sure I turned on the timer.  And tried not to think about the$150 fine.

While they were cooking I was chating online with Skateboard Man (one of my favorite people) and suddenly the phone I had on top of the books on the top shelf of my desk fell.  The handset hit me in the head. The base knocked over a bowl of peanut hulls where I was happily depositing hulls as I noshed on roasted peanuts.  The phone base, the handset, and the bowl and all those hulls were all on the floor, littering my carpet!  And then the phone rang!

Dragon Slayer called to see how I was doing.  I said I was aggravated with myself, and told him about my brownies, the crash in the office with the phone and the peanuts, and the mess on the carpet, and the $150 fine!  And then . . . and then I started laughing.

As always, Dragon Slayer soothes the soul by saying I could talk to city hall and explain that I was qualified to park in the handicap, I just forgot to put my handicap plaque on my mirror.  And he thought my brownies were going to be just fine!  Because they were made with love!

After the call I thought about why I was making those brownies. And who those brownies were for – the homeless.  Jesus had said that when we give water to the thirsty, or feed the homeless, or clothe the naked, we are doing those things to Him.  I was making those brownies for HIM!  For Jesus!

So, would Jesus like my brownies? I decided to ask him about the brownies.  And you know what?  The quality of my brownies were not near as important to him as my desire to bless others, and the love and smiles I would take to those looking for something to eat.

I truly had a wonderful time downtown. I gave out the water bottles  and smiles at the end of the food line.  I only made 80 large brownies (120 had been my goal).    I think a miracle must have happened over night to those poor brown tiles.  People were going back for seconds!  I was told the brownies were delicious!

Later I helped hand out gloves and toiletries.  The folks were so grateful and gracious. And even more special, folks asked me to pray for them. I was able to encourage and pray for folks. I loved it!

I think Jesus does indeed like brownies that are make with love.

© Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Geneva Jean Moon and The Passionate Heart with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.