Archive for March, 2015

Friday Favorites Returns.

Friday, March 27th, 2015

friday, favorites


I don’t know about you, but I’ve missed Friday Favorites.

Today seems like the perfect day to bring it back–it’s rainy and cold after several days of warm sun. I need something to cheer me up.

No matter how hard I try, my 12-year-old self keeps returning (especially in warm weather).

A photo posted by Julie Davis (@onneutralgrnd) on

Yesterday, I soaked up the sun by playing a game of Ultimate Frisbee with people [MUCH] younger than me. I didn’t know I had it in me, but I actually caught a few passes and made a few scores.

Today, I’m getting ready to take photos of a friend of mine’s art exhibit at the Grand Bohemian Hotel. If you’re in town, stop by and see the lovely Rebecca Hawkinson and her work from 5:30-7pm. I’m really excited (and slightly nervous) to support her in this way.

IMG_2052 - Version 2

It’s a busy weekend: tomorrow my only daughter turns 11. ELEVEN! How does that happen? We’re having a roller  skating party to celebrate her TWEEN-ness. I WILL NOT be skating. I learned the hard way a few months ago, that NO, it’s not like riding a bike. Even though you could do it when you were 13, does NOT mean you can do it in your late 30s. So sorry, Tailbone.

Abby just 3 years ago

Abby just 3 years ago


Abby NOW!

I repeat: How does this happen?!

Okay, so on to my favorites from the week (after quite a rabbit  trail):

What I’m Reading: Well, actually, nothing right now, except our family is listening to the audio version of The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. It’s a kid-friendly murder mystery that won the Newberry Medal in 1979.  It’s supposed to be fantastic. Conspiracy theories are emerging in the Davis household… But mainly, I haven’t been reading a novel because I’ve been sucked into the Netflix vortex of old TV shows. Keeping up the Duane and Julie pattern of NEVER watching TV when the show is actually on TV, we’re now watching Gilmore Girls. I love it. It’s my happy place. And now, Rory is with Jess, and I couldn’t be happier. (What is wrong with me?)

On a more serious note, I’ve enjoyed several articles this week on some pretty serious issues, including this one about the beloved Kara Tippets by Ann VosKamp. Kara has indeed taught us how to die well.

My friend, Mindy Belz, also wrote a beautiful reflection about Kara’s life a few days before she died. Please read it, if you haven’t already.

Other articles I’ve been chewing on: Understanding your Story: An Interview with Dan Allender by All Sons Magazine

Here’s an excerpt: “Our story is meant to reveal the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. It is our suffering and struggle with sin and injustice that reveals what Jesus endured for our salvation. It is the rescue of God—the surprising, life-giving wonder and awe of his goodness—that proclaims the glory of the resurrection. And it is our use of the gifts that he has given us to reveal his glory that shouts the blessing of his ascension. If we refuse to suffer—and grieve the depths or our suffering—then we lose power to reveal his death andresurrection. If we don’t name and bless the remarkable gifts he has given us, we cannot celebrate the stories he has written in us to reveal his story. ” Holy Moly. Thank you, Dan.

And finally, When Balance Becomes a Weapon (Women, You Can Have it All!)

This is an identity crisis: we are trying to give everything and be everything and have everything. All the while, grace whispers from the wings to cancel the show, because “everything” has a name and it is not ours.”

Yes, this “everything” ‘s Name is Jesus. Let me boast in that “everything” and not my feeble attempts to be everything. Fighting to tune my ear to the whisper of his grace in my heart. I am so thankful that He is NOT like us.    

A photo posted by Julie Davis (@onneutralgrnd) on

Happy Friday.

a thing of small beauty.

Monday, March 2nd, 2015



My dad cooks scrambled eggs in bacon grease.

As a kid, I never knew what was in that ceramic mug inside the door of the refrigerator, and I didn’t want to. It looked like Crisco, but it wasn’t pearly white like Crisco. It was tan–a soft, unappealing brown–with tiny flecks of burnt bacon paralyzed throughout the lard. I stayed very far away.

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My dad cooks his eggs low and slow.

Just after the grease melts, the scrambled mix of whites and yolks–no milk–hits the pan with a mild sizzle. Then, my dad waits. He paces just until the eggs start to solidify. He pushes the eggs back and forth, gracefully, with the spatula, until they are creamy, but still underdone. That’s when he adds the cheese–a healthy pile of cheddar or pepper jack. With a couple more turns of the spatula, the eggs are a deep yellow, fluffy, and ready to eat.

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Now I have my own stash of bacon grease in the refrigerator.

I keep it in an aluminum can. I cook my eggs in it, just like my dad.

My 8-year-old has recently taken to making scrambled eggs. Yesterday, he asked me when to put the “corn stuff” in the pan. I was confused since we had gone over the process of making scrambled eggs with him–my dad’s way–and it didn’t involve any corn.(That’s when I realized that the aluminum can that holds the bacon grease is an old Libby’s sweet corn can.)

I took the (corn) can out of the fridge, and we peered down the metal circle together. Sadly, we could see to the bottom; it was nearly empty, with only a few thin smudges left.

I made a passing remark to Stephen: “Oh well, we’ll just cook them in butter.”

“No way”, he said. “We have to cook them in bacon grease.”

(That’s my boy.)

I took out a spoon and scraped the sides of the can, in between ridges, all the way to the flat bottom. I dropped a small mound of grease onto the cold pan. Without celebration, his pavlovian response kicked in and Stephen got to work.

Grease. Eggs. Whisk. Pour. Scramble. Low and Slow.

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My dad ALWAYS cooks breakfast when we visit.

It’s his first question when we stumble downstairs, sleepy, still in pajamas: “Can I make you some eggs and bacon?”

YES. The answer is always YES.

The amazing thing is that my dad doesn’t know how perfect his eggs are and would dismiss the compliment immediately. But, they are famous at my house.

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It’s a thing of small beauty that I cook my eggs exactly like my dad, and now my 8-year-old insists on scrambling eggs the same way–in bacon grease. Even my husband cooks them this way.

Some times we hand things down through our families unaware. And on that morning, when I watched Stephen push eggs across the hot pan, I realized my dad passed down something very ordinary, but strangely beautiful.

He passed down eggs, which is a small thing in itself, but huge because it brings our family together. Those eggs have given us  opportunities to begin our days together, to teach together, to learn together, to cook together, and to be around the table together.

And when my husband makes his world-famous pancakes to go with the scrambled eggs, it’s no small thing, indeed.