Wednesday, April 11, 2012

We've Moved

Friffle Thoughts are now being hosted at - same Friffles, different address. Join us there!

I'll leave this site up for a little bit to make sure the word gets out and then *poof*

Thanks for visiting - I've had a great start here and look forward to more years of blogging about random fuzz in my brain!

Thursday, April 5, 2012 here....

So, I'm working on many changes to Friffle Thoughts (including a new location) and haven't been blogging as a result. I'm almost ready to launch the new and improved version, but until I do I'm not adding any more content. Stay tuned for further instructions on getting your daily, weekly, occasional friffles!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

the perennial annual conversation or the annual perennial conversation?

Every year, every flowering season, I walk into Lowes or Home Depot and debate whether to buy a few annuals for our flowering mix. After all, they're so much less expensive, provide instant gratification in the bloom department, and I don't feel guilty when they die at the end of the season.

Every year, every flowering season, I walk out of Lowes or Home Depot with a small cart of perennials and my mind buzzing like irritating bees over our bushes "Should I have bought some? Am I better off this way? What if these all die?" Over and over and over again.

My love affair with perennials cannot be traced back to a specific flower-type affinity or sentimental underpinning. It's purely practical. Every year I buy a clump of perennials to add to my growing flower garden. Every year I expect that half, if not more, will die and not return thanks to my lack of flower-power-insight. Still, this leaves me with the other half in my garden returning annually without much effort on my part. I figure, if I continue this trajectory, I will eventually achieve a full garden into which I only need to put minimal effort. If I planted only annuals, I would be redundantly repeating this process ad infinitum.

This year was different. While Hubby was sprucing the yard for Little E's party he suggested I buy some annuals for the planter-box-sorta-thingy that we have next to our mailbox. Since we have attempted to plant a perennial there each of the five years that we've lived in our house, and have essentially killed five perennials by planting them there, this seemed like a reasonable suggestion and a kind favor to perennials everywhere.

I bought marigolds and petunias. Instant color. Instant green-thumb-looking-success (except that every gardener knows these are annuals and therefore wanna-be-gardener flowers), instant gratification, and a spared perennial.

Of course, this tripped off my aversion to annuals. I bought a few gerbera daisies and a pansy to decorate the inside of the house for Little E's party. Yesterday, we went back for vegetable seeds (more on that initiative later) and came out with more petunias and a ranuncula for my annual collection and, of course, several perennials.

I love the color, and the price is reasonable. I'm still not convinced enough to fill my garden with these one-season bloomers since I really don't want to be planting the same thing over and over again (or even something different in the same spot), but I love that I can put some color punch at the front and back of the house with minimal effort.

My typical closing line for gardening is "time will tell", but this time the only thing that time will tell is that it's the end of the season. So I can just say, enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

pinterest pizazz

So last week was a week of celebrating Little E. And, celebrate we did. It was loud, it was hot (our house is not used to that many people and the weather was 80-degrees outside!), it was loaded with food, color, friends, family, and a classic cupcake-smashing picture. Everything I could have asked for.

I certainly didn't want to overshadow the week with a little humble bragging on my own role. Now that the week is over, I'm humble bragging my way through today. Last week I managed to cook two new meals and create a fantastic birthday-party decoration last week thanks to the pass-it-on-Pinterest craze. I'm not one to typically follow-through in these situations so claiming not one but three successes is a big deal in and of itself!

Since the recipes and how-to have already been explained at other sites, I'm only going to give you a quick recap and then send you on your merry way to either hook up at the big-P or check out the other blogs for the nitty-gritty details.

First up: Roasted Peppers, Chicken Sausage, and Potatoes
Somewhere in the middle of the week I chopped up some red peppers, potatoes and chicken sausage, tossed them in a bowl with some easy seasonings, threw them on a baking pan, cooked them in the oven, and actually fed my little family a home-cooked meal. It was so good and so easy it will most definitely be used again!

For the full recipe:

Next: Crockpot Chicken Soup
I hesitate to do crockpot dishes because we don't do leftovers very well in this house and there are always leftovers with crockpot dishes. Thankfully, my parents were here on Friday to help prep for the big party so I could justify the experiment. It was thick, creamy, delicious goodness and there was none left over in the end (thanks Dad for finishing it off!) - most importantly, it actually tasted like chicken noodle soup so I know that I did it right (yes, that's a big deal for me).

For pictures and the full recipe:

Finally, and my favorite: A balloon wreath - without having to blow up the balloons!

This one was too easy and too much fun to miss! We will be using the wreath for all future birthday party celebrations - not just Little E. And the concept could feasibly be extended to other options: using a small straw wreath and some balloons to create centerpieces, for example.

My pictures are below. I used balloons from the Dollar Tree and a 16" straw wreath (still packaged). I had to buy multiple packets of the balloons, but I liked the variety of colors and shapes when it was all done. I think the example at the original website is a bit more simple but it still looks awesome so you know the possibilities are endless!

For the full how-to guide: 

Okay, humble bragging over. I'll post some party pics and ideas later this week. We had a lot of fun, and I loved having an excuse to try out my crafty side!

Monday, March 19, 2012

monday meditation: 3/18/2012

Scripture: Psalm 28

It's good to read the entire Psalm for context, but did verse 3 jump out at you the way it did at me? "Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts." The first half sets up for some pretty grizzled and horrendous characters; the last part flashes a mirror at me. Me? Wicked and evil? Because I subscribe occasionally to some sweet Southern gentility and play nice with those around me while sometimes, maybe, wishing they would "get what they deserve!"

Yup. That smacked me. It seems more often those who decide against pursuing a spiritual journey do so mainly because they believe a few things: they either end up nonexistent when they die or in heaven; heaven is for decent people who are not as bad as (insert evil dictator name here) so that gives them an obvious "in"; and, hell is a swear word.

I believe we've started to set our bars too high (not that I'd ever think I'd say that about a dictator!) - David doesn't suggest that the wicked and evil ones are those who are brutal, inhumane, barbaric, murderous, and self-interested. He suggests that something as simple as saying something that is dishonest coming from your lips or wishing something harmful on another person is: Wicked. And, Evil.

Wow. Now, I realize the Psalms are meant to be read as poetry and that many of the devices used to make a point are not meant to be taken literally, but as an overall society and in my own mind, we often picture ourselves as bastions of virtue and well-doing because we only compare ourselves to people more smutty than we are - on the outside. The Bible is pretty clear that we look at outward appearances, but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Guess I better be more vigilant about my inside cleaning. And, a bit more honest about who I should be striving to model my life after: Perfect, holy, good, love.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shameless Sunday Snapshots: 3/17/2012

We're participating once again in Life in These Times' Shameless Sunday Snapshots. What better way to show off the fun celebration of Little E's first birthday!

Let's explain the birthday bruises: To celebrate her first two days of being 1 she gave herself one bruise per day. So, on Friday she conked her head on the coffee table and gave herself the beautiful shiner above her left eye. On Saturday, before her party, she somehow fell in her crib and gave herself the gash below her right eye. Still smiling, though :)

That would be her frilly butt in the top right corner.

The obligatory cupcake smashing photo. 
The Life of the Party.

My Pinterest creation - a balloon wreath (without having to blow them up!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

how you arrived

Disclaimer: mention of blood and other body fluids in this post. Not for the squeamish.

Your due date was March 8, 2011 (the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day). I stopped work a week before that so I could "prepare"....and, in the possible chance that you wanted to come early. Which you didn't. You were hunkered down and ready to stay put. Daddy and I were so eager to meet you. Daddy kept promising to buy you a pony if only you would come. We had attended birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, decorated the nursery, been showered three times (with a lot of stuff we could only imagine what it might be for), and we were ready to meet you.

At 38 weeks I could only wear daddy's t-shirts and had forgotten how to smile naturally, apparently. We were ready for you to come, but it would be three more weeks of growing before you decided to come. No telling how big I was then. Yikes!

On March 8, I went in for my weekly doctor appointment and was informed that my body hadn't even started preparing for your delivery. We would wait some more. Instead of going to a friend's house for a party, I laid on the couch in a mess of a pity-party and cried.

One week later, we went in for another appointment and a non-stress test. The doctor said it was time for you to arrive, but we were going to need to help a bit. So, we called your future grandparents, aunts and uncles, and eagerly checked in to the hospital. The doctor gave me some medicine to get me ready for the induction the next day which was supposed to get me ready for your grand entrance after that. Your daddy slept scrunched in the window seat/bed, and I eventually dozed off giddy and anxious about what the next day would hold.

About 3:00 AM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011, I woke up because I had to pee. And, I suspected I was having contractions. The first part was pretty standard for the last part of the pregnancy (you sure did like squishing my bladder!), but the last part was a whole new experience. I woke up your daddy and said I thought I was having a contraction. He got up to check the fancy machine next to me and then help me to the restroom. I stood. My water broke - Hollywood style. We were told initially that few women have the dramatic gut-busting, water-gushing experiences that Hollywood portrays to indicate a woman going into labor. Just so happens, I was one of them. Daddy called the nurses to let them know. Nurse came in. Something else seemed to be gushing. I got lightheaded. I remember daddy asking if I was okay, but all I could do was think that I had to power through - maybe it was a contraction and if I just focused it would pass and then I could answer. It was a long time. Then, someone, either daddy or the nurse, noticed I was bleeding. A lot.

Suddenly, the nurse was laying me back, a team of other nurses entered the room, and the doctor was being wakened to perform an emergency c-section. While everyone was calm on the outside, there was an underlying hint that something could be very wrong. Your poor daddy was left standing next to a puddle of blood as they quickly wheeled me out of the room and towards the operating table. The doctor later said he followed the blood trail from my room to the OR. I remember them trying to delicately lift your 6'0" tall, very pregnant mother from one bed to the operating table. I remember them trying to put an oxygen mask on my face that didn't fit. The nurse thought I was being belligerent about not wanting to wear it - the truth was, I couldn't breathe because the stupid thing was cutting off the air flow through my shnoz. Once that was figured out we were better. I remember them giving me a catheter, and my brain, apparently still thinking there was a chance this could be natural, thought "Oh, I didn't want a catheter, I wanted to be able to walk around a bit in labor." The doctor came in, said everything was going to be fine, he'd done many of these before, he'd check it out, and you would be here soon. Then I went under.

Your daddy changed your first poopy diaper. I didn't get to meet you until many hours later. This made me sad.

It would take many months for me to realize that I missed that we didn't get to have a cute family picture in the hospital with the three of us immediately post-birth - our new family. I missed that I didn't get to hold you right away and when I did you were connected to tubes and gadgets, and I was hooked up to stuff, too, and nurses were trying to shove you on my boob to breastfeed. I cried when I first saw you; I couldn't believe you were finally here. And you were beautiful!

We've had lots of fun since then. We've changed many poopy diapers - both daddy and I. We've marveled - absolutely marveled - at your progression from sitting to crawling to walking. We're always trying to find ways to make you laugh a little bit more - and you are constantly making us laugh. We love to take you outside on walks where you can call out to the cats of the neighborhood hoping one day, perhaps, you might have one of your own. Despite your rambunctious nature, you love to sit and read your books. You sleep with your tush in the air - just like daddy used to. You seem annoyed when people, strangers, don't pay attention to you in the stores - you literally stare them down. You give wonderfully sloppy kisses.

We are so blessed to have you in our family. We are so glad you finally arrived. We can't wait to see what the next year brings! Happy Birthday Little E!