Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Better Than ...

Proverbs 25:24 
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, 
than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

Solomon once again returns to the misery of a challenging wife.
As Solomon looked through his wives.
 did he see rebellion?
hard headedness?
lack of submission?
All part of the brawling woman.

A corner of the roof with peace 
seemed better than his beautiful spacious palace with the brawling woman.

My sinful pride often keeps me from seeing my "brawling" nature.
I must submit to my given role and yield leadership to my hubby.
I must show respect at all times and all situations.
I must build him up before others.
I must give my opinions properly and leave the decisions to him.
I want him to long to be in my home rather than looking for peace and freedom elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


We are awaiting some bad storms - 
rain, hail, wind ...
A good day to stay put and to get stuff done.

I did my weekly cleaning today ...
and then went to the shed ...
tidied it up, cleaned out heaps of stink bugs, 
and sprayed mint everywhere in hopes of repelling future stink bugs.

I also went through a heap of magazines -
clipping ideas I liked and pictures for making notecards and tossing the rest away.

The only think left on the "spring cleaning" list is to clean the freezer - 
I am postponing that until it is a little bit more empty ...

Hope you had a profitable day as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Graduation Celebration

The local college graduates this Friday.
Two of our church attenders will be among the crowd.

We celebrated with our 4 college "kids" on Saturday.
We went on visitation together
and then hit a local restaurant for lunch.

 Sunday night was a Crunch & Munch in their honor.
While browsing a Family Fun magazine on Saturday night - 
we saw this cute idea and had to do it.
Perfect for an allergy friendly treat!

 The Pastoral Grad will be in black with a red tassel.

Our One Year Bible Grad will be in Yellow with a Yellow tassel.

We made 9 of each.
Lots of Fun!

This Weeks Menu:
Monday:  Leftovers
Tuesday:  Hot Chicken Salad Bake
Wednesday:  Stuffed Peppers
Thursday:  Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Friday:  Greek Dinner
Saturday:  Greek Salad

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Help and Company

It is the end of my day.
Typically, I blog in the morning,
but there was much to do today-
much that has cried for a week or so.

My lawn and garden were crying the most loudly!

I am thankful for help in the work.
Hubby helped me weed ... and there was a lot to do.
I enjoyed the help, company, and conversation.
What a relief to see a tidy garden again.

I mowed later in the day.
Aah - fresh cut grass.
I also trimmed an unruly bush.

I longed to get some more seeds in the grounds.
I added winter squash, pumpkin, zucchini and cucumber.
I am thankful for 2 pint sized children who came to keep me company.
The 2 children visit their mommy next door,
and we were mutually glad to make each others acquaintance.
Not only did they provide pleasant chatter,
but they were a help too.
They carefully watched me work
and when they noticed me needing a tool ...
they were quick to find it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Patience and Soft Words

Proverbs 25:15 
By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, 
and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

The picture presented by the world is a marriage filled with screaming matches - 
a constant struggle for my way, my right, my comfort ... .
The world suggests to women that submission is "becoming a doormat."
It is easy to adopt that thinking into a Christian marriage.

It is not logical to think that you will always agree with your spouse.
The biblical way to disagree is not with screaming matches,
with arguments,
with punishment,
with manipulation.

Are you in a difficult situation?
Are you in a hard marriage?
Is there a point where you do not agree with your husband?

Solomon explains the path to be taken ...
patience and soft words.

Teaching contrary to my flesh, and yours, I'm sure.
I want my way NOW!
I want relief NOW!
I want to be understood!

Patience and Soft Words

There is no guarantee on the timing.
It may be days, weeks or even years.

You (the wife) are not the leader and decision maker in the home.

You don't agree with your leader - the prince in your kingdom?
Practice Patience and Soft Words

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Relinquish Control

"Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise."

Following hubby's surgery,
I was lent the book Kept for the Master's Use by Frances Havergal.
The days immediately following surgery were very busy and I am just now getting to it.
It is a small book (60 pages) and I am enjoying the thoughts immensely.
Of the above phrase from her well-known hymn, "Take my life and Let it Be," she writes:

But ever if we have gone so far as to say, "Take my moments," have we gone the step farther, 
and really let Him take them -- really entrusted them to Him?  
It is no good saying "take" when we do not let go.  
How can another keep that which we are keeping hold of?   
So let us, with full trust in His power, first commit these slippery moments 
to Him -- put them right into His hand ... .

I am a firm believer in controlling my days and time -
in not being tossed about by every whim and "emergency" that comes my way.
But there must be the reminder that the day, the moments are not mine --
there are people to minister to ...
there are needful "distractions" ...
I must commit all to Christ!
He will show me what is needful and what is frivolous.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What Season is It?

We have been having a bit of season confusion here in NC.
We have had upper 80's and then back to highs in the 50's.
Our nights have been COLD with the need to have heat in the mornings again.
It makes meal planning a little interesting -
should we grill?
should we have a warm chili/soup?
Looks like 70's this week and high 40's over night this week - WooHoo!

We enjoyed a sausage chili this week and a baked tilapia.
The meal plan called for broccoli salad this week.
I think that this is my favorite way to eat broccoli!
Unfortunately, I think that my sunflower seeds were a bit on the rancid side,
but the salad was still good and will be GREAT next time.

Broccoli Salad

1 lb broccoli florets (I actually used frozen)
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1 c shredded cheddar
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
3 oz real bacon pieces

Chop broccoli into small pieces.
Combine broccoli, onion, cheese, and sunflower seeds.
Whisk together mayo, sugar, and vinegar; toss with broccoli mixture.
Garnish with bacon.

This Week's Menu Plan:
Monday:  Red Beans and Rice
Tuesday: Pork Chops
Wednesday:  Balsamic Chicken
Thursday:  Ribs
Friday:  Beef and Vegetables Stuffed Peppers
Saturday:  Greek Salad with Quinoa

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Clean Set of Pipes

After our eventful weekend,
I cannot help but be thankful for clean pipes again.
I am thankful for clear drains. 
I am thankful to have learned something more about the care of this home (and any future homes).
I am thankful for service providers who do the unsavory job of pumping septic tanks.
I am thankful that our lot owner did the right thing concerning reimbursement.
I am thankful for nice weather when digging was necessary.
I am thankful for friends and family to lend their knowledge and muscles to the task.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just Right

Proverbs 25:11 
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold 
in pictures of silver.
The right word ... at the right time ...
a treasure to be prized.
It is easy to run off at the mouth.
It is easy to speak before thinking.
It is easy to wound with the tongue.
It is easy to speak callously.
Of great value is the right word.
A specific prayer to add to my list.
Psalm 19:14 
Let the words of my mouth, 
and the meditation of my heart, 
be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, 
my strength, and my redeemer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coffee Stain

A few weeks ago, hubby constructed a pallet bench for my back porch.
I was so glad to have a place to take off my muddy garden boots before coming in.
I was also glad that he had taken my challenge to use only scrap wood.

He then challenged me as I looked at the various colors of woods on one bench 
(the legs were light, the bench was weathered) - 
Could I use only items I had on hand to stain the bench?

A quick search led me to a coffee stain.
Though not the prettiest result, it did even out the woods
and I imagine that on nice woods, it would be absolutely beautiful.

ingredients - coffee, vinegar, and steel wool
Before on Top - After on Bottom

I can't argue with free!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Murphy Comes to Visit: A Recipe for "Fun"

You know Murphy, right?
Murphy of "Murphy's Law?"
If something can go wrong it will (and on a Sunday)!

We have had a different week.
Hubby is home recuperating - which is different for both of us.
He is not used to being out of work for so long.
I am not used to having anyone at home during the day.

We also threw in some company this week - 
a visit from my eldest brother and his 2 children.
We happened to be along the path of a college tour.

They stopped in Tuesday night for an overnight ...
and Wednesday morning ...
I burned the biscuits and bacon.

They returned late Saturday night ...
and Sunday morning ...
our pipes backed up ...
the septic tank was full and would hold no more.

So Sunday, we spent the day at church,
slept in the church's prophet's chamber,
and they headed out this morning.

Not exactly a calm visit.
But ...
What a blessing to have help mopping water!
...To have help and advice from another homeowner!
... To have understanding guests who just "rolled" with it.

We are back in the trailer.
The tank was pumped this morning.
The trailer has been cleaned - 
extra bedding, mud and grass through the house, dirty showers and tub,
emptied cupboards to expose pipes, red clay covered clothes from crawling under the trailer.
Another blessing ...
the lot owners are reimbursing us for the cost of the work :)

Definitely a recipe for "fun."

So if you see any unfavorable reviews for the Bickish B&B ...
please be understanding ...
Murphy does not come to visit that often.

Weekly Menu Plan:
Monday: Mongolian Beef
Tuesday: White BBQ Chicken
Wednesday: Tilapia
Thursday: Firecracker Turkey Chili
Friday: Red Beans and Rice
Saturday: Greek Salad with Quinoa

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Modern Medicine

I can't help but to be thankful for medical advances this week.
For the most part, I seek natural helps for life's ailments,
but there are some things that an herb just can not heal. :)

I am thankful for the care that hubby received last week at the outpatient pavillion.
Being in a small town, we were a little uncertain, but we received AWESOME care all around.
I am thankful for the knowledge that each care giver had.
I am thankful for the research that has been devoted to making life better.
I am thankful for the advances that have changed this surgery even over the past 15 years.

I am thankful for God's healing.
Man may possess tools and knowledge - but they are given to him by God.
The best surgeon's work is not guaranteed - God gives the body the ability to heal properly.
I am thankful for the body's amazing ability to repair itself.
I am thankful for hubby's improvement this week.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Proverbs 24:27,33-34
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.
 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, 
a little folding of the hands to sleep:
 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; 
and thy want as an armed man.

When the pilgrims arrived in the New World,
they put this verse into practice physically.
While living in one large, communal building,
they worked to get the crops in.
They knew that the fields around them would help to sustain them - feed them.
There would be time for the physical home later.

Do I heed this verse spiritually?
Do I feed my soul so that I have something to draw on when the difficulties come.

I never skip a meal (or very rarely).
I try not to skip a workout.
Am I that committed to my devotions and quiet times in the priorities?
Is it crowded out by the day?

You and I need the Lord.
We need His strength, His comfort, His guidance, His leading.
We can choose to avail ourselves of His wisdom,
or we can crowd it out.

It comes back to diligence.
I cannot be lazy.
My laziness can and will breed physical poverty,
but it can also yield spiritual poverty.

I want a spiritual bank account that is full and that is available for withdrawals!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


There was a little apprehension as I hurriedly transplanted my gardens last summer.
Truly, it was not the best time to move plants.

The heat of summer along with the peak of blooming - not so great.


But, I breathe a sigh of relief as more and more green shows through the leaf mulch.
Many of the plants survived.

We are also enjoying these beauties in the sick room.

Next year they will greet us from an outside garden.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Extra Nutrition

Well, the eating schedule was a little thrown off this week.
With hubby's recovery, I was looking for lighter meals while the body "woke up" from anesthesia.
What a blessing that last week's meal plan included both chicken and rice soup and tomato soup.

I also looked around for ways to get protein and gelatin into the diet.
Both items would help to promote healing and repair of muscles and nerves and the gelatin would reduce inflammation and start repairing the skin.

I made plenty of Jell-O (yeah, this is full of sugar, but I am working on replacing it with natural gelatin).
I threw plain gelatin into our protein smoothies.
I found this easy recipe for what some considered a "mousse" like dessert.
It was a nice change and took away the tartness of the Greek Yogurt.

Jell-O/Greek Yogurt Mousse

1 cup prepared gelatin/jello
1 cup unflavored Greek Yogurt

Throw ingredients in blender.
Blend until thoroughly mixed.
Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

This week's menu plan:
Monday:  Hash Browns and Eggs
Tuesday: Baked Tomato Parsley Salmon
Wednesday: Pizza Casserole (a carryover from last week)
Thursday: Pork and Ginger Noodle Bowl
Friday:  Cheesy Tomato Bake
Saturday:  Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sufficient Grace

It is always there,
but there are some days and weeks where it shines even brighter ...
God's sufficient grace.

In the middle of last month,
we realized that hubby needed to have surgery.
He saw a surgeon last Monday
and was in the OR on Thursday.

It all happened so fast.
There were obligations that should be met
and little time to rearrange schedules.
There were others with similar needs and struggles.

God's grace has been AMAZING (as it always is)!
Surgery started at 9:30 and we were headed for home 2 hours later.
The anesthesia was flushed out FAST and mental awareness restored.
The body began healing ...
and God gave grace to fulfill obligations.

It is always there ...
Why don't I rely on it more?

 II Corinthians 12:9 
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: 
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, 
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Forum: Already Gone

While hubby was going through school, 
the book Already Gone by Ken Ham was becoming popular.
The premise of the book is that children of believers are leaving the church in large numbers.
Mr. Ham suggested that it happened because they are not taught the basis of their faith - 
which to him is Creationism.

This past week, through the Internet,
I came across web pages of children who used to be like family to me.
We went to church together.
I spent time in their home almost daily and for holidays and birthdays.
I helped with their schooling.
I was blown away by where they are now.
What happened?
I also heard of a former Sunday School student following similar wrong paths.

We were also studying in I Samuel about Eli and his sons
and then further on about the evil sons of Samuel.
The Bible says that Eli honored his sons above God.
I have not seen an explanation for the failings of Samuel's sons.

I guess there are theories all around.
I think that many people see the rigors and demands of the ministry as the catalyst 
that sends children in Christian homes away.
Sometimes I believe parents follow Eli's course and honor their children above God.
 I also lean toward the idea that hypocrisy in "busy" ministry homes drives children away.
Mom and dad are one thing at home and another thing in church.
Image outside of the home is everything.

What do you think?
Why are children/young people turning away 
from the faith that they have been taught?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spared Back

With the warm temps and sun this week,
I took the opportunity to spray the weeds around the property.
Around the trailer,
along the sidewalk,
around the garden,
on the driveway.

For the past 4 years,
I have crawled around with a cleaning fluid spray bottle - 
tough on knees, back, and finger.

 I am thankful for my V-day present ... a 1 gallon garden sprayer.
That is all that I can say.

And my new recipe for weeds works GREAT!

1 gallon vinegar
1/2 c salt
1/4 c dish soap

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How Sweet It Is

Proverbs 24:13
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; 
and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste:

I think that it is fascinating to hear about the foods that people like to eat.
Beyond that, I like to hear how those foods relate to what the mother ate during pregnancy
or what the individual ate throughout childhood.
Is it pizza, Mexican food, Asian cuisine, sweets?

Tastes are cultivated.
It is proven that exposure to a type of music or a food
will often bring an appreciation for that item.

When we married,
hubby vowed that he hated classical music.
What a blow to this pianist with a love for Handel!
Guess what?
Within a year, it was one of his favorite genres of music
and he has favorite pieces that he knows by name.
And me,
I lived on chocolate, milk shakes, and rich casseroles.
With much effort,
 I now enjoy simple foods with fresh ingredients and have banned chocolate from my diet.

God wants us to feed on good things.
What do I think on? dwell on? fill my life with?
What type of music? entertainment? food? friends? activities? reading?
That which I feed on is what I will desire and crave.
Have you ever met a person who thrived on drama?
Chances are it is what they feed on.
How about a person who needs peace?
Chances are that they feed on peace.

So give yourself the healthy.
Feed on God's Word.
Feed on Prayer.
Feed on edifying conversation.
Feed on fruitful activities.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

80 +

I am so thankful for the warmer temps.
It is definitely helping this week with the next phase of Spring Cleaning.

I fell a little behind last week - 
the blinds are always a real chore to me - 
but since I had announced to you all that I was doing them,
I finished them last night.

I did not finish one closet,
so that is still on the plan for this week.

The challenge is over,
but I found some things missing from my normal spring cleaning routines.
So ...
 this week,
I am laundering the bedding - 
cleaning out the file cabinet,
cleaning out the shed,
finishing the last closet.

I am glad for the 80+ weather.
I finished the master bedroom bedding yesterday,
the guest rooms this morning,
and hopefully the throw blankets from the living room this afternoon.