Monday, February 19, 2018

I have a Father

I just came in from playing with the Aussies, breaking out a 'Chuckit!' I bought years ago but never opened because Jackson isn't really into "fetch." (Gatsby is, though, and Jackson likes to chase him and bark.) I needed a distraction, and being with happy dogs on this crisp, sunshiny day did the trick. We also walked down to check for eggs, and picked up #3 for the day. Yesterday we got four (woohoo!); at this rate February will exceed January's pathetic count of 18 even though the girls just started laying again four days ago. All good antidotes for what ails me....

My heart was broken in stages this morning. It started with the unpleasant teenager. I know I shouldn't take his adolescent attitudes and acts/inactions) personally, but they feel like poison darts to my soul. So I turned my attention to things that needed doing, including making that batch of biscotti.

Then I decided to look through a couple bags that had been deposited by my chair last night. Rick and Brian brought back some stuff from my dad's that his wife had set aside for me nearly a year ago, just before she vacated the premises (with all that was going on, we didn't think it was safe for her to stay). She had told me what some of it was (we stay in frequent contact) – a quilt my grandma made, and a 'hobnail' bedspread my grandma had owned – but the rest was a mystery. After pulling out some miscellaneous items that I didn't recognize from one bag, I turned my attention to another that contained old books. I pulled out the first one; it was my grandfather's German Bible. Oh my. My precious, godly grandpa. The next book I pulled out was his German hymnal. I can remember hearing him sing hymns in German very late in his long (103 years!) life; he had a lovely voice. I also remember his love for me....

After looking through all the old books, including one that had belonged to my great-grandpa, a German immigrant from Russia who homesteaded the family farm in Kansas, I turned back to the first bag. There were two towels wrapped around boxy shapes, which turned out to be stacks of framed photos, along with one small oil painting. Some of them – my high school senior photo, our wedding photo, and the painting by me – were gifts to my dad over the years; most of the rest were childhood photos of me, pictured with and without my dad. I felt like my heart had been cut out and handed to me; my dad no longer wanted even these photos of his little girl around.

That's when I took myself outside with the dogs, and was given a song to comfort my heart:

I feel much better now. The song has done its work, the teenager is acting more human/humane, and I'm getting ready to go outside and ride my pony. Even though he is exhibiting intermittent lameness, Rick said it was okay if we took it easy. Sigh; the hits don't stop, but that doesn't mean I have to.

40 Acts

The devotional is here (what a cool kid!). To complete the Green and Yellow Acts, I'm going to share my biscotti recipe with you (some of you already have it) and share some of the biscotti with friends and co-workers tomorrow.

Traditional Biscotti
1 c. whole roasted almonds, chopped coarsely (I used sliced almonds)
2 c. flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour, and subbed in 1/4 c. cocoa powder)
3/4 c. sugar (I only use unbleached, organic sugar)
1 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract

Stir together dry ingredients. Beat eggs and extracts, then add dry mixture. Form into a log 3" wide (waxed paper facilitates this greatly) and bake 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, cut into 1/2" slices and lay them flat on the pan and bake 10 more minutes on each side. Store in an airtight container, and serve with your favorite hot drink!

That's it for today from . . .


Mama Pea said...

Some days are harder than others, no doubt about that. But you are a strong lady with a strong faith and are handling the day so well it seems from here.

I don't know what your father's situation is, but I'm assuming he's a very unhappy person. I had a friend whose mother turned very unhappy with everything in the world and was simply nasty to her daughter. Finally my friend realized she could do nothing to change her mother and decided all she could do was love her because she was her mother . . . and let it go at that.

I know for a fact your biscotti is yummy and there will be people very happy to receive some tomorrow!

MiniKat said...

Oh, my friend, I wish I could give you a real hug. A virtual one will have to do unless my dearest FuzzyHusband miraculously finds a job in Oregon.

Fat Dormouse said...

Thank you for sharing the recipe - I might try them sometime, although today I'm making healthy meusli slices.

Not being a parent I can't imagine the difficulties of raising a teenager but I wish you all the patience, resiliance, strength and inner peace that I'm sure you need.
Being a daughter and losing a father - in whatever way - is also difficult. My prayers and love go out to you. May you take comfort from family memories and may God, our Heavenly Father, hold you in the palm of his hand. Here's a song for you:

Jean said...


Florida Farm Girl said...

Hugs, dear girl. Brian is growing up and one day it'll all be worth it. As for your Dad, weep and pray and then try to forgive.

Debbie said...

Sending a hug...the items returned to you are to be treasured. I don't believe that your Dad didn't want the photos or things that you had made more so with age/aging and all that comes with it, folks don't remember. To you, it feels like 'How could you forget?', but it happens.

Hold close that recent selfie with your son. That loving moment is perspective and will see you through the tough days.

thanks for sharing the biscotti recipe.

Stay warm.....and think spring!!

Theresa said...

Oh Michelle,
Hold the good memories, let go of the bad ones. Lots of hugs and love for you friend.

Susan said...

It's so hard. My father recognizes me, but not as his daughter. I am just a woman that stops in on weekends. It's tough to take. Sending you a big, big hug and love.