Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

As I am nearing my nineteenth year, my mind keeps wandering back into my "past". Remembering little things that happened in yesteryear and random happenings that really have no meaning to why they have followed me through my life.
Everyone has something that brings a memory back. An old song, a certain chair, a smell, a taste of something on your tongue. Each person's is different, but no less special.
I haven't lived as long as many, and I haven't experienced anything very "exciting" but little moments keep flashing back to me. I thought maybe it would be nice to write some of them down.

Come, take a stroll with me down Memory Lane:

Daddy and I at Long Beach, WA
1997
What may be my earliest memory is one that concerns my Daddy, Grandma, and Great-Grandma Betty. I don't know the reason for the occasion or how old I was, but I may have been around a year. The memory starts with me sitting on my Grandpa and Grandma Warnke's couch in the "sunk in living room". I was between the couches arm and my Daddy's side, looking at my toes, which did not reach the length of the couches seat.
Grandma and great-Grandma started to laugh uncontrollably and Grandma was even wiping tears from her face with one hand, while patting her chest with the other. I remember feeling concerned. I don't know if I asked what was happening or if Daddy just told me, but he leaned down and said,

"Grandma thought she was dead because she couldn't find her heart beat."

Knowing my Grandma's sense of humor, it was probably quite a funny joke that happened between Mother and Daughter. But, in my little child mind, I remember thinking,
"If she can't find her heartbeat, how is she still alive?"

Great-Grandma Betty, Grandma, Mommy, and baby Felicity
When I was probably around two years of age, I remember walking into my Grandma and Grandpa's living room. Auntie Clarissa held out her arms and said, "Felicity, come see me!". Uncle Clinton, sitting across the room from her, held his out and called me by my nickname saying,
"Flip-Flop, come see me!" I went to Uncle Clinton. While I climbed into his lap I remember Auntie Clarissa pretending to pout.
Uncle Clinton laughed and said, "You have to call her Flip-Flop for her to like you."
My thoughts were something like, "That's not why I came to you Clinton, I like Clarissa too!" and I felt quite concerned that she thought I didn't like her anymore.

On the way to Grandpa and Grandma's from church, I was sitting in my front facing car seat. Daddy turned up the radio and said, "Felicity, listen to this song!"
Mommy laughed at him and said I probably wouldn't know what it was about. Little she knew. *wink*
That was the first time I ever heard the country song
The Little Girl by John Michael Montgomery.

I'll never forget Mommy and Daddy laughing one day as they buckled me into my car seat because I sang along with the theme song of "KUPL". Daddy exclaimed, "She knows it!" and I thought, "Of course I do. Why shouldn't I?"

When I was around three years old, I remember climbing into the back bed of Daddy's pick-up, and sitting on my Uncle Jeremy's lap.
It was growing dark.
We came to a house and a lady stepped outside of a door with bright lights shining from inside. Someone came behind her holding a black puppy by the neck in each hand.
One was a boy.
One was a girl.
We could have one if we liked?
Daddy said, "Felicity, which one do you want?"
I chose the little girl with the white chest and feet. If my memory is correct, the boy puppy was completely black. We named the puppy "Paws" and she was my dearest friend! I loved her and was heartbroken when we lost her.
She had a batch of puppies before she ran away, and my favorite of the batch was "Pokey". I remember holding him, discussing with my two Aunts what we should name him. Mommy came out and said:
"How about Pokey? Like the book 'The Pokey Little Puppy'?".

Probably around the same age as the puppy incident, I was at Grandma's house playing in the sandbox on the side of the house. I came walking into the house and all the lights were off except the kitchen. It was cozy and quiet. Grandma stood by the stove making "Hamburger Pie". She smiled at me sweetly and said, "I called your Mom, Felicity. She said you can stay for supper."

One of my favorite memories, I probably was around four years old. Auntie Marissa and Casey found a "metal handle" in the ground beside Grandpa's shop. Oh! The stories we told! Casey, Auntie Marissa, Auntie Marita, and I dug and dug to reveal concrete. It was what we thought!
"A tunnel to China!"
Hmm.... how humbling it was when Daddy came around the corner only to ask,
"Why are you digging up the sewer?"


When I was five years of age, my baby brother was about to be born. Mommy went into the hospital and me and my sisters went to Grandma's. Why this incident happened I don't know, but I remember sitting in the corner of Grandma's family room playing with my new toy horse. The phone rang and Grandma and Auntie Clarissa both squealed and ran for the phone. They were fighting over it when Uncle Jeremy calming walked between them and took the phone away. Who was on the phone I don't know, or why they were so excited to answer it. Maybe they were waiting for the phone call from Mommy saying the baby had made it safely? I just remember laughing because their faces looked so funny when Uncle Jeremy silently took the phone away and softly said, "
Hello?"

Smells bring back that fluttering in my stomach to remind me of good times.
Lilacs, fresh air mingled with smoke from a fire pit, exhaust from a four wheeler or pick-up, stew simmering on a rainy day. Coffee in a cup and freshly cut grass.

Of course life isn't perfect and I remember sad times too.
I remember when baby Amara passed away. I cried all night and both Mommy and Daddy came to comfort me.
"She's in heaven now. You don't have to cry for her." 
I knew that.
I remember through my sobs telling them I wasn't crying for Amara. I was crying for her Mama who was going to miss her so much.

I can still see the exact moment Mommy told me that Grandma had cancer. We were driving home from spending the day there like we always did. I was sitting between Mommy and Daddy's seats as we pulled into our driveway and Mommy said, "Grandma is sick."
In my little child self I said, "Will I catch it? I kissed her goodbye."

I remember when I fell off a flat bed trailer and cut the back of my head. It comes in flashes for I went in and out of it.
I reached for the handle, it turned, and I fell hitting my head on the red rocks under Grandpa's trees. I tried to crawl and call for help, but I couldn't hear anything. I looked up to see Grandma grab Mommy's arm and her mouth moved. I couldn't hear the word.
I laid down on my face because I felt so tired. Oh so tired.
*Flash* Someone was holding me running to the house and I was being joggled around. People were running beside us.
*Flash* I was sitting on Grandma's blue counter crying, "I want to go home!"
*Flash* I was being set down in the front seat of a car.
I don't remember anything again until I was back home with Daddy. He was placing me in the bathtub. I remember the water turned a brilliant red.

The hardest time of my life was when I was 7-8 years old. Mommy was pregnant with Liberty and extremely sick. I don't like to think about that time. When I do the same feelings come back. The feelings of fear, tiredness, sadness, and worry. It was not a time in my life I wish I could relive.

My, as I write all these down, more and more memories keep flashing back! I thought I didn't have any memories to share like my Mom does about her berry picking days. Maybe they're not as exciting, but I do have some!

Guess I shall stop my stroll now, or it may continue right on into the sky!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Mmm.... I love my Biscuits and Sausage Gravy.
My Mom was very nice and bought me some sausage so I could make some for breakfast one morning. Yesterday I finally got around to it, and it was worth waiting for!
I thought I'd just share the recipe. I'm sure you've all have your own you like to use, but this is my favorite!
 
Baking Powder Biscuits:
A friend and I loved to make biscuits together and we always were trying new recipes. This is one we came across online. It's from 1933 and I have found no other recipe that I like as well as this one! We make them often in the morning or even for supper.
* We always make them dairy free with shortening and almond milk.

4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 1/2 cups almond milk or regular milk

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cut in shortening or butter. Add milk and stir until a soft dough is formed. Turn onto a floured surface and slightly knead.
Roll out and cut with biscuit cutter. Place on an un-greased sheet.
Bake at 400* for 12 minutes.

Sausage Gravy:
I have never tried making this dairy free with oil and almond milk, so I'm not sure how that would turn out.

1/2 pound sausage
6 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 2/3 cups milk

In a skillet over medium heat, grind and cook sausage until no longer pink; drain if needed. Stir in flour, butter, salt, and pepper; cook and stir until butter is melted. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and stir until gravy is thickened.

Serve over warm biscuits.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hello, today is Spring!


 
"Hello, today is Spring"
 
 For a little walk I went and what do you suppose?
I found a little flower; from the ground she arose
Her head was small but lovely and fit for a King
Her tiny peddles seemed to say, “Hello, today is Spring!”

Above I heard a birdie dancing with all her pride
Happily she flitted about until me she spied
Her little head turned and her voice began to sing
She twirled and cried aloud, “Hello, today is Spring!”

The sun awoke the world from her long winter nap
A breeze flitted through the trees causing her branches to clap
Chirping, scampering and twittering in my ears did ring
Dancing with jubilee the world sang, “Hello, today is Spring!”
 - Felicity Stenersen

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Counting My Blessings

"When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."
 
 

 Today I thought I'd write ten things I'm thankful for. We all sometimes need to be reminded that we do have many things wonderful in our lives! Counting them "one by one" is a good way to remember.
 
1. I am thankful for Jesus. For saving me from my sins. For being my ever constant guide. So many times I've felt so tired and alone, but He always reminds me that He is by me. Holding me up, and keeping me close.

2. I am thankful God blessed me with two caring and encouraging parents. Ones who understand and listen. Who show me everyday that they care. So many times I have gone to my Mom and complained about one thing or another. Grumbled about my complaints, worries, or fears, and she's calmed me down. Reminded me of things, and told me it'll be okay. God has a plan in all things!
My Daddy gives me the hugs I know I need, though sometimes I act as though I don't want them. I do! But for some reason I feel like I can't show that I need one..

3. I am thankful for sunshine! Though I don't feel like the rain makes me as depressed as it can make others, how I savor the sun! I'd prefer sun and cold, though. I love how the frost glitters in the morning on a cold day when the sky is blue and bright! I'd take a sunshiny day in February over a hot day in August any time!

4. I am so thankful for my cousins! Especially my younger ones. Oh, how they make my life a little bit brighter! Not having babies in the house, ours is sometimes quiet and dark. I look forward to the Saturdays we have my Auntie Clarissa's kids. I love to watch them play and act silly and have no cares about tomorrow. I love that they let me give them snuggles and make me laugh!
Every Sunday I look forward to seeing cousins Evelyn and Caleb. With their adorable smiles and sparkling blue eyes, how could life be dull?

5. I'm thankful for my home in the country! I'm not a town person, and though I know God would give me the strength if I did move to town, I'm so thankful that at this point in my life I don't have to!

6. I'm thankful for my siblings. Yes, we quarrel like any other brother or sister, but for the most part we get along! We can talk, laugh, wrestle, and poke fun at each other with a lot of love!

7. I am thankful for my two jobs.

8. I am thankful for my friends!

9. I am thankful God gave me the love for history. Now, wouldn't life be boring if I didn't enjoy learning about times in the past?

10. I am thankful for music! When your sad, afraid, lonely, happy, or upset, you can just pop in your favorite song!

How about you? What are you thankful for?