Saturday, November 21, 2009


When I got up this morning, this is what I saw at the bottom of the stairs.

Guy flip flops. Gal flip flops. And the accompanying inference that the guy and gal accompanying the guy and gal flip flops were under my roof. Hurray!

Further signs that the College Dude had landed.

And yet another rather unarguable sign that Nate is finally home. (Snowy decided that the newcomer to the house needed a sleeping companion so he hung out with the College Dude.)

Since Nathan and Meagan didn't get in till 2:30 (Steve told me that news; I wasn't awake for their homecoming) they're both still in bed at 10 am. I went down to the living room at about 8 am to wake Nathan up and tell him to come upstairs to Steve's and my bed since it would be quieter for him.

I tucked him in, left the room and affixed this note to the wall outside the bedroom.

Life is good.


The question was asked in the comments section concerning Nathan's major. I don't know the exact name of the major but it has something to do with psychology, guidance counseling, etc.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nary An "Oo" To Be Seen

As if moving and packing and changing our entire lives is not stressful enough, I am also experiencing Majorly Frustrating Computer Issues. Meaning that my computer --an ancient, elderly, overly used laptop--is behaving in a worrisome manner and could very well pass away at any moment.

May I just say right here that this is not a good time to be having Majorly Frustrating Computer Issues? I realize that no time is a good time for MFCI, but right in the middle of a move is even less of not such a good time.

Sigh. If I should suddenly disappear from the Blogosphere and you don't hear from me for the next three years, please send out a search party. Also, be aware that that will mean that the aforementioned ancient, elderly, overly used laptop breathed its last. And died. Right in Nathan's bedroom. Right in my lap. Right in the middle of our stressful move. Right in the middle of my needing a computer to keep my Smithellaneous Family updated, uplifted and up . . . well, I can't think of another "up word." Just fill in the blank with whatever "up word" comes to mind.

Speaking of computers, I spent an hour and half on the phone (and on my computer) with Nathan last night helping him edit his big paper. I must say (forgive me for burstin', braggin' and boastin') that he really is a fine fella and a fine writer.

Just thought I would show you all the trophies I've given him over the years for being such a wonderful son. (Oh wait. Those are sports/academic trophies from school. My bad.)

My contribution to the project was to help him through some grammar/punctuation/word flow issues and also to ask him leading questions about specific ways he expressed certain things to see if he could find a better way to write them.

We argued over word choices and then we laughed abut those arguments; we discussed theological points and we covered socioeconoomic and socioemotional issues as they related to the subject at hand, which was corporal punishment. We delved deeper into that topic than I have ever delved before and by 10:30 pm, after an hour and a half of deep delving, my brain had pretty well used up all of its deep delving powers for the day.

But it was nice just to spend that much time talking with my favorite son--teaching him and learning from him, in equal measure.

Hard to believe that tomorrow morning at this time, Nathan will be sleeping under this very roof! Woo-hoo! Yahoo! Wahoo! (Why is it that so many happy words end with "oo"? Hmmm.)

Have you noticed that the phrase, Majorly Frustrating Computer Issues has nary an "oo" to be seen?

Hmmm. Again.


A few photos of The Fine Son, Nathan and The Fine Son's Fine and Fab Girlfriend, Meagan.

I'm not sure if I've ever posted this picture before but it's Meagan, Nathan, Sarah, and three other travelin' siblings. We met the other two families at a restaurant for dinner one night, about a year after Sarah's transplant. Between all three families, we had a sum total of about thirty years, living on the road. Full time. With our families. Believe me, we had a LOT to talk about.

I just think it's fun to see Nathan and Meagan in their earlier days, before they were "romantically involved."

I love this series of photos. Nathan was waiting for Meagan to get done taping the wall so he could get over there and start painting.

First he utilized The Stare.

Then it was The Snapping of the Fingers.

And finally, The Whistling. (Of the Jeopardy theme song.)

I just love how she ignores him through it all. Way to go, Meagan!

Lastly, a smile-producing picture of two smile-producing young 'uns who I'll be seeing in just sixteen hours! Woo-hoo! Yahoo! Not to mention, wahoo!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I've had several people ask what kind of beans should be used in the Apple Bean Bake printed below.

It's just a can of beans.

I don't know what kind of "beans;" they're just beans--brown beans that are already cooked and put in a can. (I realize that my helpfulness is amazing.) I usually get the Bush's brand, but really, any brand of "brown beans already cooked in a can" will do.

You might also see them sold as "pork and beans" but I always take the pork out before using them in the recipe.

Okay, now I'm off to edit an eight-page paper that Nathan emailed me; he wrote it for psychology class on the pros's and cons of corporal punishment. I'm sure I'll learn a lot!

An Incurable Case of Culinary Curiosity (Beans and Butter Knots)

I know, I know. I promised that I would post a recipe today. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to renege on that promise.

I am NOT posting a recipe. I lied yesterday. I blatantly misled you, just so that you would come back and see what the recipe was. I wanted you to be driven back to the site by curiosity. By an incurable case of culinary curiosity! I am so bad! Bad mama!

Repeat. I am not posting even one recipe today.

I am posting two recipes!

Yes, indeedy. Today you get two recipes for the price of one! Never let it be said that you don't get your money's worth here at Smithellanous.

Shall we proceed?

The first recipe is the Apple Bean Bake. I have been making this for at least ten years and we absolutely love it. In fact, it's one of Nathan's favorite recipes.

Before I post it, though, I have to tell you a story about it. Sarah saw the recipe card sitting on the counter yesterday and she picked it up and stared at with great curiosity. (You can tell how well loved a recipe is by how many stains are on the card.)

She finally looked at me quizzically and said, "Was this card written on a real typewriter? Where you had to slide the card in and hit the return handle and hear the 'ding' and everything?"

Let me just tell you that at that very moment, I felt rather old. Rather ancient. Rather dinosauric. I felt like I was part of a museum exhibit.

"Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Over here we have a recipe card from the late 20th century that was actually typed. On a typewriter!"

And everyone would ooh and ahh about the fossilized technology and move on to the next exhibit.

I am from the typewriter era. Sigh.

Okay, on to the recipe. (Originally typed on a real typewriter. By an ancient typist. Me.)

Apple Bean Bake

48 oz. can of beans (Cooked, brown beans in a can--either called "baked beans" or "pork and beans. I remove the pork before using in the recipe.
4 T. butter or margarine
2 large cooking apples cubed (3 C)
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C white sugar
1/c C ketchup
1 t. each of cinnamon, molasses and salt (If you don't happen to have any molasses on hand, I think the recipe would still be fine.)

1. In large skillet, melt butter, add apples and cook until tender.
2. Add brown and white sugar, stir until sugar is melted.
3. Stir in ketchup, cinnamon, molasses and salt.
4. Add beans. Mix well.
5. Pour into 2 quart casserole and bake for about one hour at 400 degrees. Serves 6-8

(Can easily be halved or doubled; if halving, be sure to decrease cooking time a little.)

Here are a few photos to illustrate the process, featuring my lovely cooking assistant, Sarah, and her lovely cooking assistant, Snowy.

And now for the second recipe which I stole from Facebook, where it had been posted by my friend, Leeanne.

Butter Knots

This is a very complicated recipe, which will require 4-5 hours of your time. It has multiple steps which are enormously complex and require much mental trauma.

So! Are you ready?

1. Open a can of Pillsbury bread sticks
2. Knot them and bake as directed
3. Meanwhile, saute garlic in a stick of butter
4. When knots are done, brush ALL the butter on the knots
5. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese

Whew! How exhausting can one recipe be? You are now all given permission to go and take a nap. That will give the butter in the recipe more of a chance to become permanently adhered to your hips.

One additional note about this recipe: I used the minced garlic that comes in the jar. It's a little bit easier. Also, I just used a half stick of butter because I already have too much "stuff" adhering to my hips. However, I'm sure the knots would be extra delectable with a whole stick.

And now? Now you get to see a picture of the two recipes as part of a meal. Is this exciting, or what? Chicken on the grill, baked beans, and rolls. What could be better?

Well, except brownies for dessert. With pecans on top. And ice cream. Yum.

And that concludes Becky's Cooking Class for the Day. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as the Smith family has.


Melissa asked about the photo editing site that makes the "cool" pictures like I posted yesterday. Two of them are: or And prepare to become instantly addicted when you go there!


Anonymous asked (concerning the rug conundrum I wrote about yesterday):

Tell us more about the couch and the colors that are in it and maybe we can help with the rug decision. Do you want the rug to be the focal point of the room? Do you want it to coordinate or contrast? Will there be art on the walls? What about the lighting-both natural and artificial? Does Steve work best in a calm environment or does it need to be lively? Just a few things to think about. Have you looked at Home Depot yet?

I just have to say that we should have had her along on our shopping expeditions. What great questions and things to consider! We're making a sort of final decision today and will certainly be asking those questions.


Tomorrow afternoon, Steve's parents will arrive. And tomorrow evening (or more like Saturday morning about 1 or 2 am) Nathan and Meagan will get here.

Saturday, we will all take off for Manteo in an Official Smith Convoy.

Good times!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Planet Rug

Steve and I spent 2.5 bajillion hours yesterday looking at rugs for his church office. (And yes, the couch we looked at from Craigslist worked out great and we have it in the back of our van, ready for transport to the church this weekend.)

So the couch was easy. The rug? Not so much.

Rugs are complicated. They have moods. Colors. Patterns. Shapes. Ambiances. Implications.

Do we want a rug that is creative yet traditional? Wacky yet dignified? Ministerial yet artsy?

And don't even get me started on the choice of colors. Or designs. Or price! (Of course, the more bargainy, the better.)

We can't choose a paint color for his office until we've chosen the rug. And we really want the office to be move-in-able in ten days when we make our Big Move To Manteo. But it can't be painted (and therefore move-in-able) until we get the rug decision made. And we just can't make the rug decision.


Fortunately, Steve and I get a pretty big kick out of making these sorts of decisions. We have loud and animated conversations in the middle of stores and we fling our arms around and make various and sundry Opinionated Rug Proclamations.

We took Sarah with us to one store yesterday and she watched with alarmed eyes as her parents turned into creatures from another another planet, creatures from The Planet Rug.

Her mild mannered mother turned into an expositing rug expert and her sanguine mannered father became even more sanguine in his sanguine mannered manner. She was no doubt hoping that no one would guess that we belonged to her.

Poor child. She's being raised by Wild Rug Choosing Ministerial Maniacs. Better than being raised by wolves, I guess.

Or not.


And just because blogs are supposed to have pictures, here are some pictures. In no particular order, about no particular subject.

Miscellany is good, right? Or should I say, Smithellany?

I should I shall. And I just did.

Okay. Pictures please . . .

Here is a magnet that was stuck on the stove of one of the cottages in Manteo. I laughed out loud when I saw it.

And here I am. Oh yay.

(By the way, I have actually never known how to spell "yay." Does anyone know the correct spelling? Is it yay? yeah? yea? Spelling yay correctly is very important to me, just in case I should ever want to say, "oh yay" again. And I probably will. Knowing me.

And just so you know, there is a recipe coming tomorrow! Oh, (um) yay!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rabbit Trailed

It's so funny that a couple of you mentioned that Manteo seemed to be deserted in the pictures I posted. I had never even thought about how those pictures looked. I do want to go ahead and assure you that there actually are real people who live there. The combination of it being the "off season" in addition to the big storms throughout last week made the population a bit more sparse.

Also, in several of the shots, I tried my best to point the camera in a direction where there weren't a lot of people since some folks might not like having their picture taken by a strange, camera-wielding woman.

Here are a few more pictures from the weekend.

For some reason, I just loved the way this laundry looked when framed by the porch. You so seldom see clothes on a line anymore; I thought that I should commemorate the occasion!

I posted this photo on Sarah's site but wanted to put it here, too. All the teens who went to the youth convention on Friday and Saturday got up in the service on Sunday morning to talk a little bit about their experience. Steve and I were so proud of Sarah for being so poised and articulate in her remarks.

We haven't heard her do anything like that in public in a long time and we were both amazed at how far she's come. (And yes, we're allowed to brag a little bit; parents get a "Right to Brag Certificate" on the day their babies are born.)

Here is an inspiring view of my "Packing Of The Smith Food Pantry" on Friday. Just think. Only two more weeks of doing that sort of thing and then we will LIVE in Manteo. We will be Manteo-ers. Can't wait!

This Sunday is going to be extra special because an installation ceremony will be held for Steve as the new pastor. There will be Scripture read, the board will pray with him and he'll be presented with a specially made satin stole with his name, the date he was voted in and the name of the church embroidered on it.

What will make it extra special is that Steve's parents will be there, as well and Nathan and Meagan. Nathan will be playing drums with the worship team so Steve and I are excited about getting to make music with our son again. Meagan will be doing her interpretive signing in the service which is always such a privilege and joy to get to witness.

Okay. Where was I? Oh yes. I was showing pictures of LAST weekend and then I got rabbit trailed into talking about NEXT weekend. (For your information, rabbit trailed is not a word. I just made it up. But I sort of like it.)

Steve with one of our new members; they're wearing hats stolen from the guy's two (darling) daughters.

Sarah snapped a couple pictures of me after church

This is the expression I get on my face when I think about chocolate.

Here's Steve teaching Sarah how to do a bit of breaking and entry. (Nothing like having a law abiding pastor for a dad.) Actually we forgot our key and had permission from the owner to "break in." Unfortunately, the breaking in didn't work exactly like we hoped, so we had to go to Plan B. (If I told you what Plan B was, I'd have to kill you.)

Our charming canine.

The End.

Your Blogs

I'll post again later today but for now I've compiled a list of all the blogs sites that were left in the comments area after my invitation for everyone to "leave a blog blurb." If I happened to leave your blog off this list, PLEASE e-mail me at and remind me.

Whenever you want to access this post again, it can be easily located by scrolling down the right column until you get to subject headings of previous posts. Just look for "Your Blogs." You may also be able to go to the search box in the top left corner of the blog and type in "Your Blogs" there to find it.

Have fun getting to know some of the other great bloggers who stop by Smithellaneous! And if you're a blogger, I highly recommend the BlogFrog site that's listed below. Be sure to check it out!


Angie said...
My blog is just a little glimpse into my life as a happy wife to my sweet husband and a busy mom to my three beautiful little girls, but, I must warn you, I'm terrible at updating. But, feel free to come check me out...and visit many of the blogs I frequent (that are listed under "Friendly places" on my page)


Lesley said...
My blog is mostly about my daughter who has some type of diagnosis that they can't figure out yet. It seems like Rett Syndrome. Anyway, I also have 2 grown boys, about which I mostly lament, because I miss them so much:)There is a lot of joy in my blog. I like to post pictures of my 3 great kids!


Redeemed1 said...
My little corner of the blog world is mostly about life as a sinner saved by grace, a wife, a mother of a sometimes-surly but mostly awesome teen, and "mom" to three adopted beagles. Stop by and say hi!


Lolli said...
What a fun idea! I might have to shamelessly copy the idea sometimes, too!My blog is Better in Bulk.
I am a mom of 5 kids. I write about family and photography, and do giveaways....and lots of things in between!

Kristis said...
My blog is about my son. Actually, there are two blogs about him! He is a great kid fighting a rare childhood cancer. Here are the sites:


Maura said...
Fun idea!My blog is pretty new. It is about our experiences as a foster family. And mostly about the day to day happening with our wonderful foster son who we are so so close to adopting (sometime next months we hope) Stay tuned!


Grammie Mommy said...
I write about my life as a new grammie to two littles..and what I learned growing up in tie dye and flower power decals. I also love photography and my job as a work from home mom/grammie. There is never a dull moment. Oh..and I have a year old cockapoo named Newman. He's the only child living in our home now. :)


lldenton said...
My blog began solely as a way to keep a few friends and almost all of my family who live at least 4 hours away updated on the happenings of my family. My son is the first little one to "grow up" outside of our small town and this was my way of letting them be involved. I didn't even know what a big world I was getting myself into! You're welcome to stop by!


Rustin-The BlogFrog said...
Becky is the best!

My blog is more of a social network for blogs. Check it out!

Becky's note: I can personally recommend this blog; it's been very helpful to me as a blogger.

Tube Girl said...
My blog is about my life dealing with multiple digestive problems and feeding tubes. But it is also about my life in general, being engaged and getting married soon, my cats and about trying to live life to its fullest no matter what.You are welcome to check it out!

Lee said..
I love your idea about sharing our blogs and the shameless publicity behind it! My blog started as a way to promote Marshes Light, a new community in historic Manteo, NC. it's evolved more into a photo journal of Outer Banks happenings, things to do, sharing bits of info. I hope you like it.


Sue G. said...
I don't have a blog. That's why I write ridiculously long comments on the blogs of other people!

(Becky's note: Actually Sue DOES have a blog; it's not updated real frequently but when she updates, it's well worth it!)

Lisa said...
My blog is well, a mish-mash of stuff. Basically it's a place to share what I've been thinking about or praying about, what I'm grateful for, what makes me think, or makes me laugh. I talk fairly often about mental health issues because of a multi-year struggle with depression that ended in a remarkable moment of healing.


Carrie B said...
My blog started because as the kids are leaving the nest I find myself with time on my hands! So it's mostly about the day to day life I lead as a stay at home Mom with technically one more bird at home while trying to keep tabs on the ones who have already flown and trying to figure out what's next.

Lyndsay said...
I write on my blog about my day to day life as a wife, part-time employee, and mother to my sweet 4 year old daughter. I had ankle fusion surgery last week, so lately that's what I've been writing/whining about!Thanks Becky!


Marysienka said...
What a good idea!My blog in 4 words: patient goes to medschool! I write about my journey to become a doctor, with the eyes of a patient that I also am, since I've been dealing with a chronic disease since I was 10. I like to share my thoughts on different passions as well; music, food, photography, family & friends... or just day to day life! If you do stop by, I'd love to hear from you! Just a small hello will make my day :)


Naomi said...
I may be one of your only followers who don't have a blog. Not for lack of trying, just lack of time. With 3 boys, 2 homeschooled, 1 disabled, leading the Ladies Bible Study & Ladies Book Club, heading up fundraisers for cancer research, sports activities, daily household responsibilities, etc... I just don't want to commit myself to something that I can't dedicate my entire heart to. However, I am an active blog follower. I mainly check on many children who are in the fight against cancer. Once in awhile I stumble across a blog that truly captures my heart and I fall in love with the family and develop this deep bond with them. Three of the ones I highly recommend are below. I hope you enjoy them also.


girl on wheels said...
My blog has a little bit of everything and anything. It deals with life as a girl on wheels and just regular life.


Chasity said . . .
I blog about a God who loves me; a wonderful, patient, loving husband; 4 precious children; family I can count on. What more can I ask for?


Kathie said . . .
My blog is about whatever God is doing in our lives. Right now we are about to bring home a 9 year old boy from Guatemala who we have been trying to adopt for 2 1/2 years. But it's also about recognizing God's goodness and mercy in our lives. We've had some valleys ourselves, including the loss of a baby boy and then 8 weeks later the loss of my mom to cancer.

Some of my posts might make readers cry, others might make them laugh, but I hope all will make them understand that when they are walking a 23rd Psalm kind of journey, it never ends in the valley of the shadow of death, but with goodness and mercy shall follow.


Angie said . . .
This is the family of a coach I babysat for in high school. His wife is currently undergoing treatment for a recurring brain tumor. This is a precious family....Doug and Karen have been married for 20 years and have 2 children, Kyler is 14 and Jenna is 9. They would appreciate any and all prayers...and maybe even some sound advice on what to choose for this treatment. Thank you Smithellaneous family!


Tara says . . .
I'm a 28 yr old dealing with an 8 yr battle with infertility - my husband is my rock (next to my Lord & Savior!). Love following your blog, it's so entertaining and full of reality & fun.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Weird Date

Well. Here I am.

Overdue for a post. Under due for a comforting Little Debbie cake.

for a nap. Under due for some (thrift) shopping therapy.

Overdue for filling some boxes with stuff. Under due for a day just to stare at the ceiling and be in My Happy Place.

Under. Over. Whatever. I'm here. That's what counts.

You're here. And I'm so glad!

If you weren't here, I'd be writing endless blog posts to myself and that would be so boring since I already know what I'm going to write about and therefore I already know what I'm going to read about. (yawn) So thanks for being here!

We got an email from the realtor who showed the house this morning but there was no comment made so we have no idea how that showing went. We're hoping to hear this week from the people who were interested last week.

Wednesday, our house in Manteo will undergo a major inspection so that any red flags can be uncovered before Moving Day. Hopefully that will turn out with well without too many alarming finds.

And speaking of Manteo, we were there part of the weekend without Sarah so we decided to go on an exciting date. Would you like to hear the details?

No? Yes? Well then, here we go!

First we went to the church to do a little work. (I told you this was going to be exciting.) Part of the work included putting the letters on the sign out in front of the church.

I felt for all the world like I was on a TV quiz show and was about to say, "Vanna, I would like to buy a vowel." (And by the way, I hadn't washed my hair or done much to my face, so I apologize in advance for any "scaryness" involved in this photo.)

I was working on one side of the sign and Steve was working on the other side. It was soooo romantic to peak around the sign occasionally and catch a glimpse of my consonant-placing date.

Here is our finished product. (Steve's sermon was based on the Scripture, "Blessed are the peacemakers.")

From there, it was off to Ace Hardware to purchase a few church supplies. We hadn't yet been to Manteo's hardware store so it was quite a big moment for us. (Steve is as much a connoisseur of hardware/home supply stores as I am of thrift stores. If you can, indeed even be a connoisseur of a thrift store. Sounds oxymoronic, somehow.)

Anyway. . .

We walked into the hardware store and I immediately fell in love with their little Ace Hardware baskets. I was pushing mine all around cooing, "Oh, how cute is this?"

Steve decided to take a picture of my "walking, pushing, cooing" self. Unfortunately, he was laughing so loudly at my antics that in the first picture he caught me in the middle of saying, "Shhhhhh!"

Here is the unattractive shape of my mouth when I am caught in the midst of a "shhhh" moment.

And here is my "unshhhhh" moment.

As I said, the little baskets were so darling, the way they sat on the carts. You could either pick up the basket and carry it on its own or leave it on the cart. But I was so in love with the cart, there was no way I would have left it behind and just carried the basket.

Just. Way. Too. Cute. (And my two male readers are now rolling their eyes.)

From that exciting moment, we drove back to the church to "install" a few of the things we bought. And then it was on to a romantic walk on the beach.

Under a gray, overcast sky. Bundled up in coats. Surrounded by flooding, and broken buildings, and erosion.

Not exactly the picture for the front of tourism brochure but still, it had its own beauty.

Next on the agenda was a drive down to the harbor front downtown area of Manteo where we ate at this wonderful restaurant.

Their tortilla chips were homemade and incredibly delicious. If you ever go to Manteo, go order their chips. If fact, even you're not even planning on going to Manteo, go anyway just so you can eat those chips. You will not be sorry.

We split an entree and got out for a very reasonable price which made our bargain lovin' hearts very happy.

And then? Then it was on to the local coffee shop so that I could get Internet access to post a pre-written blog entry.

I must say that this little spot is one of my favorite places in all of Manteo. We met the owner when we went in Saturday night and introduced ourselves. She was getting the place ready to host a trio of musicians who were coming in a little later to do a concert. What a lovely, quaint and creative part of our new town!

From there, it was back to our borrowed cottage where we spent about 45 minutes working on a chord chart for the Sunday morning rehearsal.

And that was it. The weird date. The fun date. The memorable date. The Steve and Becky Smith-style date.

DO try this at home.