Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Forum: Keeping Time

So this is not a serious forum, but just one of interest to the writer.

How do you keep time?

Within the past 6 months, I heard that the watch is becoming obsolete
because of the prevalence of cell phones and digital devices.

I wear a watch.
I am lost without it.

Hubby ...
he carries a phone,
it is his time piece.

How about you?

Thursday, May 29, 2014


After some unsuccessful changes to my diet and exercise regiment,
I am back to some tried and true plans.

In order to see change,
I must have some resistance.
I must use weight (body weight or hand weights).
I must challenge my body.

I am back to the Couch to 5K running plan.
I like the disciplined approach
and the systematic training.
I am upping the handweights at home - 
striving to use 10 # and 15# more than my 5# and 8#.

I do not always like the "growing pains."
But with the pains comes progress.

It is hard to be thankful for resistance and trying.
I mentioned Tuesday that May had been a month of resistance.
I am not sure if I properly used all of my muscles,
or what results I will see on the other side,
but I am thankful for the opportunity to change.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let Go!

Proverbs 27:1 
Boast not thyself of to morrow; 
for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Sounds a lot like the book of James - 
my life is a vapor ... a nothingness ... 

There are "planners" in this world and I am one of them.
I do not particularly care for surprises.
I like to know what is coming ...
and I like to prepare.

Planning is not a bad trait.
It is good to be prepared,
to plan for the future,
to use my resources wisely ...

... but in context - always in context!

My days are in God's hands.
He can direct them as He sees fit.

I like to fight against change ...
to hold onto MY plans,
but sometimes change is part of  God's plan and it is best.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Faith and Hope

Psalm 130:5-6
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, 
and in his word do I hope.
 My soul waiteth for the Lord 
more than they that watch for the morning: 
I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

There are some months when faith is tried more than others.
I believe that I can see that in the month of May.

It is easy to have faith when things are smooth sailing ...
but faith is only tested and grown through the trials.

Waiting ...
Hoping ...
Trusting ...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick and Easy

I have a new go-to breakfast ...
or lunch for that matter.
I have enjoyed making Overnight Oatmeal this past week.
Now I am not a hot oatmeal fan ...
I do not like the texture ...
and without brown sugar ...
well ... it is just not a favorite.
But I do like to eat healthy
and oats are often suggested in healthy menu plans.

Even hubby liked overnight oatmeal - 
of course, the fruit add ons really help!

Overnight Oatmeal

1/3 c oats
1/3 c greek yogurt
1/3 c milk
1 tsp chia seeds (opt.)
1 tsp honey or other sweestener (opt)

Mix all ingredients in a pint jar or some type of covered container.
Leave 8 hours (overnight) or up to 3 days.
Enjoy as is or top with 1/2 c fruit.
I enjoyed 1 Tbsp PB, 1 banana, and 1/8 c dried cranberries yesterday.
The first ones I made had 1/4 c fresh strawberries and 1/4 c frozen blueberries.
I made some with 1/4 c blackberries and 1/4 c blueberries (both fresh).
The ideas are endless
and the ease in the morning is priceless.

Menu Plan:
Sunday: Grilled Hamburgers
Monday:  BBQ Pork Picnic with Church Family
Tuesday:  Chicken Alfredo
Wednesday:   Pork Chops with tomato and feta
Thursday: Marinara Meatballs
Friday: Pasta with Garlic
Saturday:  Lemon Pepper Tilapia


 Romans 12:15 
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Rejoicing with those who celebrate at home today.
Rejoicing in our freedoms.
Weeping with those who are far from loved ones today.
Weeping with those who grieve the sacrifice of a loved one.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just Look Around

How thankful I am for spring!

New life ...

bright colors ...

a pleasant greeting ...

  roses, May Night Salvia, and day lilies ready to pop ...

I am also thankful to have plans for the exterior of the trailer this summer ...
a new metal roof,
slate blue paint with crisp white trim,
repaired deck flooring stained with a wood stain.

And I am thankful for my new piano ...
it arrived last Friday ...
may have some extra practice time today,
because my afternoon lessons were cancelled.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Start the Fire or Douse It

Proverbs 26:20-21
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: 
so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; 
so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Do strife and turmoil seem to follow you?
Are you looking for peace?

Perhaps the answer is not in a change of your circumstances,
but in a change of your mouth.

The wise writer of Proverbs reminds us of the danger of our tongue - the fires that it can start.

Our flesh longs to have all of the news,
to be the one who knew first,
to be "in the know."
That knowledge can in turn burn us and others.

Do you have information?
Perhaps it is best to hold it.
Practice discretion.
Put out fires rather than starting them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Still Writing

I was recently asked to help with another gospel tract.
This tract was very specific in its audience.
The tract was written to be shared upon the death of a loved one.

Our pastor is working at a funeral home and has the opportunity to share freely
with family and friends there.

The finished product encourages the reader to grieve over sin
as they grieve over the death of a loved one.

A Godly Sorrow That Worketh Repentance

I have an editing project to work on throughout the summer - 
a Bible study book based on Malachi!
Hope to share it with you by the end of the summer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Welcome Back to Routine - Kind Of ,,,

Hubby is back to work,
so we are back to routine again.
Regular house cleaning,
garden care,
routine wake/sleep cycle.

The "kind of"?
I have a pinched nerve in my neck,
it is slowing down my return to normalcy.
So far it usually loosens up by noon,
so I just step it into overdrive then!

Last week's surprise recipe was a pasta dish.
The ingredients sounded good,
but the finish product looked bland.
It was anything but ...
it had good flavor and was very easy to prepare.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 Tbls oil
14 oz smoked sausage (sliced)
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz can chicken broth
10 oz can mild diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 c cream
8 oz pasta
1/4 c grated Parmesan

Heat oil in skillet.
Saute sausage and onion for 4-5 min.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Next, add broth, tomatoes and cream.
Bring to boil, then stir in pasta.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until pasta is al dente - about 10 min.
Top with Parmesan cheese.

This week's menu:
Monday: Pizza stuffed Potatoes
Tuesday: French Style Chicken
Wednesday: Company Tilapia
Thursday: Lemon Chicken Soup
Friday: Lentil Salad
Saturday: Tortilla Soup

Thursday, May 15, 2014


This morning we were reminded to be thankful for electricity.
We woke during the night to powerful thunderstorms.
About 15 minutes after we woke up,
our electricity was knocked out.
It was supposed to be turned on by now,
but I am writing from the library after doing some errand running.

I am also thankful for a little shopping trip yesterday.
The yearly birthday flower trip.
The flower pots are full
and one flower bed was brightened.
There is nothing like plant life to lift the spirits.

I am also thankful for the rain today - 
all those plants need the rain to survive.

And of course,
I am thankful for 39 years of life.
Last year in the 30's.

Why did I ever think that 40 was old?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Keep Walking

Proverbs 26:17 
He that passeth by, 
and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, 
is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

Once again, I am convicted be the proverbs.
I am a nosy person.  I like to know things.
I am reminded that there are things that I do not need to know about.
I need to just pass by sometimes,
I need to stop the line of questions at other times,
I need to change the subject sometimes,
I need to remind someone that I am not part of the solution or problem and need not know the details.

It seems to be a common problem for women.
Maybe not all women, but many that I know.

But I am reminded that that nosiness can lead to my harm,
just like grabbing a dog by the ears.

Take Heed!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Catch Up

We spent 12 hours yesterday working at church.
We have been meeting in a back room to save on energy costs,
but the room needed some updating.

The room was painted last week
and carpet laid yesterday.

OOHH!  It looks so nice!

Today, I am catching up on my cleaning at home.
I love the feel of clean and the orderliness after a day of cleaning.

This afternoon,
hubby and I are going to pick up a digital piano.
We are replacing the large upright in the back room with a digital.
It will save space and allow more versatility in other rooms as well.
And ... it doesn't need to be tuned.

By early next week,
I will have a new digital piano as well ...
really looking forward to it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

After the Workout

We are back in the swing of things.
Waking up early.
Working out hard.
Going to bed at a decent hour.
How quickly we broke some of our healthy habits.

I have been reading some health books
which have recommended boosting my weight training
to boost my metabolism.
Along with the increased weights came a recommendation for protein shakes.

I am not much for powdered drinks,
so we started experimented with something more natural.
It all started with a recipe on hubby's dark chocolate almond milk
and progressed from there.
I figure that it has about 15 grams of protein and 300 calories!

Protein After Workout Recovery Shake

1 cup milk (I use unsweetened coconut almond, hubby uses dark chocolate almond)
1 package gelatin
1 frozen banana
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp cocoa (I omit this)

Blend in blender until banana is smooth.

We have found this a very satisfying and filling breakfast alone,
or we add an egg or a piece of toast if the day looks busy.
We may try adding dried oats if we need or want a little something more as well.
You could also add avocado to the chocolate one for creaminess and healthy fats 
or add coconut oil to vanilla or chocolate shake. (of course this will increase your calories)

The meal plan for this week looks a little funny,
because hubby gives me a break in the kitchen for my b'day present.

Monday: El Alcapulco - Tacos de Carnitas (Pork Tacos)
Tuesday: Chipotle (Chicken Bowl)
Wednesday: Golden Corral
Thursday: Hot Dogs and Potato Salad
Friday: Chicken and Quinoa Chili

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Two Things

This week, I have 2 things to share.

I am thankful for a new trellis that hubby built for me.
We were given some free wood and we had over purchased rebar for another project - 
so the project was free.
Now my trumpet vine can have a place to grow and "show out."

I am also thankful for music and the gift of music.
When I got married,
my in-laws graciously sent us their old Yamaha Clavinova - 
the piano that they used at their church in the Arctic.
Now it is over 30 years old!
Just about the time that Murphy visited,
the Clavinova decided that it had served its purpose.
I lost an octave of notes, followed by another ...

We were praying for a new digital piano - 
but praying specifically for a free one ...
for this is not a category that we had budgeted for.

I was recently given a gift toward a $500 digital piano.
Hubby plans to take me shopping tomorrow to try some out.

God is so good - and it is a blessing when he allows His people to put feet to their prayers :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Strong in the Right Way

Proverbs 25:28 
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city 
that is broken down, and without walls.

This one is a tough one for me.
 - - to rule one's spirit - - 
control over emotions
control over anger
control over reactions

The analogy is of a city without walls - 
a city in disreapair
a city without protection
a city vulnerable
a city that is the shell of what it once was or what it could be

I do not want to be that "has been" city - 
that city that makes you cry to think of its former "glory days."

So to avoid it ...
with the Lord's help ...
I must rule my own spirit.
I am not to rule others.
I am not to blame others.
I am not to manipulate others.
I am to take care of myself and my actions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Time Away

Hubby is nearing the end of his recovery period.
He will return to work next week.
Since he is feeling great but just not able to lift everything required at work,
we decided to take an outing this week.

houses made with timbers and brick

the doctor's house - 8 children

the burial ground - headstones uniform and flat to signify God's view of all men as equal

Last week a Groupon popped up for the Old Salem Village -
it is an old 1800 Moravian Village about 2 hours north of us.
It is much like Sturbridge Village in the north,
or Williamsburg and Jamestown in VA.

We packed up our lunch and hit the road.
We enjoyed the pleasant little village,
the reenactments,
and the quiet tree lined streets.

We enjoyed the change of scenery and routine.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Clean It Up

If you have read this blog any length of time,
you know that I love junk food.
Sweets, chips, crackers, nachos, fast food ...

And so,
I often have to reign it in.

After 4 weeks of recovery for hubby - 
not so great eating choices - 
too many "celebrations,"
and limited exercising ...
it is time to clean house again.

It is great to have the support of my hubby.

We are simplifying and cutting back.

Oh, I still have my sweets - recently it has been 4 jelly beans for dessert :)

We enjoyed some wraps for lunch
and because we were out all day and nothing was thawed,
we had scrambled eggs with salsa and cheese for supper.
As a treat we had strawberries and grapes and fresh mint with a dollop of whipped cream!
I sure am becoming a fresh herb lover!

This week's menu plan:
Monday - Scrambled Eggs
Tuesday - Picnic - wraps again
Wednesday - Lemon Chicken Soup
Thursday - Moroccan Pork
Friday - Skillet Honey Pork Chops
Saturday - Stroganoff

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Forum: Lost Arts

I was the queen of lost arts when I married 11 years ago,
didn't cook - much
didn't sew
hadn't practiced gardening and preserving

Hubby and I were tickled this week by some lost arts.
The lack of domesticity in girls.
The lack of basic maintenance skill in young men.

If the Lord allows us to have children,
I don't want them to be part of the "lost art" club.
I want to give them valuable skills to make them useful and helpful.
Perhaps you can help us with the list ...

What do you see as "Lost Arts"?

If comments are given, they are given as an "As I see it" view.
I am sure that the "lost arts" vary per region and situation.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


You have seen my "garden" home if you visit the blog with any frequency.
I love green.
It is restful.
It is the color of life.

I am thankful for all of the colors that God created.
During the spring months,
it is green that stands out.

fresh grass
growing seedlings in the garden
fresh leaves on the trees