Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Post: A Mom's Midnight Musings

Once you see something, you can never unsee it, so be very careful with your mind and those in your care.

Always keep a book, some paper and a pen in your purse, backpack or car. You never know when you will be stuck waiting somewhere and if you can put that time to good use you won't be so aggravated.

Love has a lot to do with perspective. Does love mean gifts, candy, flowers? Actually, I did receive flowers once... 27 years ago... It was a miniature rose bush which my husband planted outside and then promptly ran over with a tractor, because he forgot it was there.  But my husband does get up every day at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for work to support our family. He checks my car's tires and adds oil, to make sure I'm safe. He even let my mom move in with us (his suggestion).  And as Phil from Duck Dynasty said (and I paraphrase), You know your woman loves you when she cooks the squirrels you bring home. I have cooked squirrel, deer, frog, turtle, and groundhog (twice!). There is a whole lot of love in this house!


If you want to read a book that will make you think, and touch your deepest emotions (and cause you to mail copies to your friends), read anything by Michael O'Brien. Check out his website here.

Mary's favorite Michael O'brien oeuvre

Some of you may know my oldest daughter, Mary Boctor, or my youngest, Virginia Ertel, or both. They do not have the same parents. It isn't because of death, divorce, or remarriage. Its just that no siblings have the same parent (except for twins... maybe)  My DNA stayed the same, but everything else changed in that ten year span between their births. I used to wonder how kids from the same family could be so different, and now I know - different parents!

Meet Virginia. You already know what Mary looks like.

Everyone needs a go to meal - something they can whip up in a minimum amount of time using items commonly found in their pantry. It is for those days when a doctor's visit ends up involving a side trip to the hospital for x-rays, or you pop in to see a friend and lose track of time, or college kids show up unexpectedly (and famished). Here is my go to meal: 

1 1/2 - 1 3/4 C instant rice (cooked, leftovers are even better)
1 jar salsa
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained)

Mix all the above ingredients. Put in a baking dish and cover with your favorite grated cheese. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Serve with soft flour tortilla shells or corn chips with additional salsa and sour cream on the side.

Every kitchen needs a rocking chair. It is good for the soul and whatever else ails you.

Similar to the old fashioned rocker that has been in the kitchen for years.

Never, ever, ever pour cool liquid into a hot glass dish. It is amazing into how many pieces one dish can shatter, and how far those missiles can shoot. Not to mention that certain floor coverings will melt! Don't ask me how I know.


My mom, Andrea Ertel, writes from southeastern Indiana. Her educational background is in special education, but she gets her street cred from successfully rearing seven amazing children (okay, I'm a little biased...). She has influenced me more than any other woman, both by her words and her actions. Love you, Mom!


  1. GREAT post : ) There is a lot of wisdom in it!

  2. Thanks, Seza! I'll make sure Mom sees your comment!

  3. Hi, Mrs Ertel! Plenty of wisdom here, for sure!:) And can I just say that I love that you included a picture of "Kristin Lavransdatter"? I'm reading that right now and it's very addictive!

  4. My husband, Charles Rohrbacher knows Michael O'Brien! They worked together at Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon. Michael started the Mount Angel Artist's Institute, which evolved into the Mount Angel Icon Institute, where Charles taught for 12 years. Small world!

    Mary, I am enjoying your blog - I found it via Dwija on Facebook! Come by and visit me at Home In Douglas!

  5. A small world, indeed! I will definitely stop by!

  6. Wow, I love this. I must have missed it when you posted it. I just happened upon it now.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful article. I got a lot of great information from it. Where could I read up more on this?

    Peter J. |


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