Thursday, January 21, 2016

Popcorn is back!

I haven't made popcorn since I caught my hot pads on fire a few weeks ago [see previous post]. My plan was to get an air popper to replace my oil-over-a-hot-stove system. The Idaho Youth Ranch didn't have any when I stopped by (though I did get a brand new rice cooker there) and Sunday I was at Kohl's and stared at a $25 air popper for so long the sales people were beginning to wonder. I even came back to visit it after I ran the reset of my errands in other places at the mall.

However, I didn't buy it. I thought maybe a Christmas present I still need to return could be exchanged for one. Or maybe the Youth Ranch would come through. This little voice told me not to get it, whatever the reason.

Fast forward to last night, having dinner with a friend. She said, "I have something for you. I read your blog. Come to my car with me."

She pulled a grocery sack out of the passenger side of her car and I saw a stick poking out of the top, not sure what it might possibly be. She and her husband are cleaning out their house and this was on the very top shelf, used very few times since they acquired it.

Here it is!!!

A manual popcorn maker!!!  While I'm not sure what its proper name is, I AM sure that I love it and will use it often.

And won't burn down my kitchen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Beautiful Sunday mornings

Though I awoke with a scratch throat and cancelled my plans to go ski this morning, I greeted with a beautiful view out my front window. It's not the top of Bogus Basin, but it's still a beautiful way to start the day!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I didn't burn my house down!

I love popcorn; it's my favorite snack. I don't have a microwave so I make in on the stove with popcorn from the bulk bin and oil in a covered pot. I put the burner on HI and shake away until I have freshly popped corn. [I do realize that Jiffy Pop exists, but it has butter in it which I'm allergic to.]

Two nights ago I did this and sat on my couch happily snacking away when I noticed a burning smell. [here's where it gets bad] I ignored it, figuring I'd left the burner on or there was something in the oven; I'd be getting up soon anyways.

It got worse. I finished my popcorn. I went to the kitchen.

There was smoke rolling out of the drawer to the right of the stove. Yikes! The smoke poured out when I opened the drawer, but I couldn't figure out what the source was--this drawer just has utensils in it.

I opened the cabinet underneath the drawer. Bingo! The hot pads I'd used to hold the pot while I made the popcorn had gotten so hot they'd caught fire and were smoldering on their hook in the cabinet! 

After I took care of the immediate problems: dousing the hot pads in water to make sure they were dead out; opening the windows and turning down the heat; throwing said hot pads outside in the snow. My house smelled (and still smells) like a wildfire scar, but nothing is on fire anymore.

The morals of the story:  
  • What if I had left after I finished my popcorn and hadn't smelled the burning? Oh, my, am I grateful!
  • When you smell burning, Joy, go figure out what is burning. IMMEDIATELY!!!
  • When firefighters tell you that things smolder for days and we may not know it, I suddenly believe them!
  • I seriously need an air popper.

Friday, January 1, 2016

#365: The end.

This blog was born out of a weariness of my soul. It seemed, at the end of 2014, that all I heard come I'm gonna do but not so much action following it up. Suddenly, on the 2nd or 3rd of January, the words of Brene Brown went through my head: Perfectionists don't write books. How desperately I wanted to do things in my life rather than continue to just think about them. My hope and optimism and belief in myself seemed to have broken off of me like shards of ice fall away during a melt.
out of my mouth was negative and empty: complaints, whining, self-pity and lots of plans about what

I needed to get my joy back. I needed to create. More than anything, I needed to follow through on something that required real work. Counting Sheep was thus born.

Sometimes I felt like I was lying or pretending; there were many days I scrambled to come up with the tiniest little thing to feign gladness about while other days I struggled to find words to express the joy and amazement at my own life.

Some of the lessons I learned in addition to the 365 grace-filled days I found:
  • Positive things happen way more frequently than the voices in my head tell me. According to "them", it's always been ages since anything good went on. Not true, and I have proof!
  • When I think negative things are happening, I need to rework my perspective on what is going on.
  • Writing things down is powerful. I forces me to sit still, be in my body, decide on and explain my subject.
  • Being happy is a choice. I think it is mostly a choice of perception. I get to choose how I take in what happens.
  • Moods pass. I have a year of documented proof that that happens!
  • Success, no matter whether it is defined as happiness or in terms of careers or dollars or accomplishment, requires work. 
  • Vulnerability is survivable.
  • Vulnerability is strength.
  • Vulnerability is worth it.
Thank you to those of you who took the time to read even just one post. It has been amazing and humbling to me to run into people around town (or even in Texas or Ireland!) who will reference something I've written. Thank you for your love and support. I did this solely to help myself, but what a beautiful thing God has done if it helped anyone else.

The. End.