Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Life in the Bipolar Lanes: The Seeds of Guilt

Guilt. It is a powerful emotion isn't it? At least in most people. I am often amazed by the lack of guilt some people seem to feel. You know the ones...people sitting stoically in a courtroom as a verdict is read that proclaims them guilty of murder, child abuse, or some other heinous act. And yet, there they sit, seemingly without any remorse. It boggles the mind. 

I myself have the opposite problem. I can bring up memories over 45 years old and feel the guilt as if it was only yesterday. That is a lifetime of guilt, and it is a heavy burden to bear. A lot of time and therapy went into vanquishing some of this guilt. Some I have simply learned to keep at bay...most of the time. 

My first experience with guilt occurred at the tender age of 3 years old. Yes, I have memories of my life at this early age. Remember, memories are kept because they hold significance for us. The significance of these early memories are for the most part because they focus on my grandfather, Frank. Frank was actually my step-grandfather, but I do not believe I even knew that at the time. To me he was simply Grandpa Frank, a wonderfully kind man who loved and doted on me and gave me Dentyne gum when I came to visit. And the visits were often. See, Grandma & Grandpa Frank lived in a trailer next door to us, so I saw them at least once a day, and usually much more often.

My memories of Grandpa Frank are memories I have clung tightly to over the years. His smiling face, things he gave me, the time he took his teeth out for me! He was the perfect Grandpa. Unfortunately I only had 3 years with Grandpa Frank. During that time my Grandma was a shadowy background figure in my memories. Grandpa Frank took center stage. Grandpa Frank's death would change all of that.

It was fall, and my mother told me that Grandma wanted to talk to me. Grandma took me outside to the front yard. She asked if I had noticed that Grandpa Frank had been gone for a few days. She then proceeded to tell me that Grandpa Frank was never coming back. He had died. The remainder of the conversation was to be seared into my 3 year old brain for the rest of my life. Me, "Why did Grandpa have to die?" Grandma, "I don't know, probably because you were so mean to him."


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: The Smells of Home

What makes a house feel like a home? For me it is the aroma. I have heard of people comment on how they love the smell of Pine Sol or bleach, denoting a freshly cleaned home. Other people enjoy the fragrance of fresh cut flowers or floral candles or room fresheners. My favorite aroma for a home are the fall smells. Apples baking in pies, nutmeg and cinnamon simmering in a pot of cider on the stove, a pumpkin pie and banana bread cooling on the counter, wood burning in the fireplace. When I experience these aromas I am transported...suddenly the house feels cozy, inviting, homey. 

During the fall the baker in me comes out to play. It cools off enough to use the oven again, and the spices of fall beckon. One thing I do enjoy about showing my home in the fall is the ability to add to that homey feeling for the potential buyer by putting out breads and having a big pot of spiced cider on the stove top. It is so welcoming. 

Here is a recipe to get you started on that fall baking, a yummy apple crisp from Betty Crocker! Bon appetit! ~Marla

French Apple Dessert

Streusel Topping
cup Original Bisquick® mix
cup chopped nuts
cup packed brown sugar
tablespoons firm butter or margarine
cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (4 to 6 medium)
cup granulated sugar
cup Original Bisquick® mix
cup milk
tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4
teaspoons ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ice cream or whipped cream, if desired

  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. In small bowl, mix 1 cup Bisquick mix, the nuts and brown sugar. Cut in 3 tablespoons firm butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly; set aside.
  • 2Spread apples in baking dish. In medium bowl, stir remaining filling ingredients until blended. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with topping.
  • 3Bake about 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean; cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Serve warm if desired with ice cream.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I know this is shocking...but occasionally I throw little pity parties for myself. Woe is me, life is not following my perfectly choreographed plans. Really! I have this all figured out God! Can't you see how perfect my plans are? Why must I suffer so? And then God lets me in on a little life is amazing! My problems are nothing compared to so many around me! My plans do not enrich my life one little bit!

So, what to do when you are focusing way too much on your on life? When you  forget how very blessed you are. My anxiety level was slowly climbing up and up. What could I do to take my mind off myself and start focusing more on others, and Him? Pray. Simple enough. Devote that time and energy towards something positive.

Prayer is a wonderful communion with God for someone of faith. A chance to turn your eyes upward instead of inward. A chance to reach out to someone hurting or afraid. A chance to make a difference in the lives of others. You can touch the life of someone you may never meet, and they may never know of you...but you can reach out in prayer.

Prayer doesn't have to be eloquent, or even grammatically correct. God hears your prayers with His heart, not His ears. He feels your prayers...and they bless Him. Wow! He covets our prayers...what an amazing concept!

Let my prayer be counted as incense before You, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! ~Psalm 141:2 ESV

In Him ~Marla