Friday, October 17, 2008

Bare Necessities of Life

I was listening to a Retail expert speaking about the economic crisis and the tremendous impact on retail stores. I am horribly saddened by the impact that the slow down of our economy as it affects many in the retail industry (owners, employees, investors, etc). but I am also encouraged by a change of direction by us as Americans.

As I was listening to this expert, he said that the huge crunch to the industry has been caused by people just buying the necessities. People are trying to make each dollar count, and are making careful considerations before spending anything. The days of the buy now, pay later (sometimes with big interest) may be over.

On one hand I am glad that we've come to this realization. I am just sad for the many casualties left behind - and those inevitable ones which have yet to feel the swift kick of reality. Our lives are changing; it us up to us to choose whether we will make it change for the better or worse.

Money will not bring happiness, but it does help offer security. Faith without works will not pay the electrical bill, and positive thinking without effort won't buy groceries. What am I getting at? We must make a consious decision to take the life that is now upon us and make it work for us. It may be hard, but the rewards will be great; perhaps far greater than if these days had never occured in our lives.

Consider what are the necessities in your life. Spend time with those that you love. There are some estimates that go as high as 40% of a decline of the time that Americans spend with their children compared to 30 years ago.

I pray that we as a society come out of this a stronger more grounded group of people. I pray our children learn as a result that they cannot buy their soul; and they are more than what they own. My hope is that our bare necessities, priorities and goals will mesh creating within us a more contented, fulfilled individuals immersed with gratitude for what we have, rather unrest for what we seeminly want.

Enjoy the bare necessities in your life...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My #2 is #5

I did it again. I blinked!! How in the world did my little boy turn five years old? I wonder if there is anything better in the world than holding the complete admiration of your son in your hands. I do not know if I am prepared to face the pain when he sees my apron strings as an anchor; yet I know the day will be inevitable, and important for him - yet devastating for me...

Dylan Scott Kramer came into our world a bit early. A boy after my own heart; super punctual albeit a bit too early. He literally has a smile that could melt your heart, and big bright brown eyes. His kisses are sloppy and his hugs are tight.

I completely eat up Dylan's adoration for me. He picks me dandelions and tells me they are for me because I am beautiful. He walks up to me at least 5 times a day and says, "I love you too, Mom..." and kisses whatever body part is closest to him (sometimes my arm, sometimes my leg, and a few times even my tush! LOL). He even told his teacher that his Mommy is "So very very booteeful."

Tell me this will never end....


5 years old, oh how my world has changed with you in my life, my sweet Dylan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Sometimes the greatest joy I get out of life is rewriting the simple memories of my childhood with my children as the new cast members. From picking out the perfect pumpkin, creating the jack-o-lantern's personality, pulling out the slimy gooey guts, and basking in the soft yellow glow from a candle burning bright inside their masterpiece; carving pumpkins is a memory I simply adore.

We spent Sunday afternoon with my husband Scott's family for the annual pumpkin carving tradition. The grandchildren draw on the faces and my father-in-law does all the cutting. My 21 year old nephew even hands over his pumpkin for his Pap to do the careful cutting. My Father-in-law takes his own artistic liberties when he feels the cutting will be made easier with alterations.

Per our family's tradition; after the pumpkins are all decorated, we wait for 24 hours and then roast the pumpkin seeds. The aroma hit us nearly immediately, and it seemed like forever until the seeds were ready to eat. We were greatly awarded for our patience when we indulge in deliciously warm roasted pumpkin seeds.

Want to taste them for yourselves?

Betsy's Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Rinse the pumpkin seeds well and drain

Place clean pumpkin seeds on a non-terry towel and allow to airdry for 24 hours

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Place the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and drizzle about 1 TBS of olive oil (depending on how many seeds you have)

Add liberal amounts of season salt and garlic powder

Stir the seeds to even distribute oil and seasonings

On a foil-lined cookie sheet, spray non-stick baking spray

Pour seeds on the cookie sheet

Bake for 1 hour, stir after each 15 minutes