Thursday, November 27, 2014

We are Blessed

I am thankful for the workout I had early this morning.
I am thankful for my husband who keeps me on track in this area.
I am thankful for his faithfulness, discipline, and love.

I am thankful for the food that I will enjoy today.
I am thankful for the friends who are much like family that I will share the day with.

I am thankful for my family  - truly a blessing.
I am thankful for their prayers and encouragement even from afar.
I am thankful for the absence of major tension and antagonism.

I am thankful for the infirmities and weaknesses that remind me 
that I am not in control - I need God!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cooking Day

Plenty to do today.
We share Thanksgiving with much of our church family.
Much of our membership is far from immediate family and we enjoy the day together.

The squash is done,
NY sweet corn is out of the freezer (thanks mom and dad),
the apple pie is in the oven.

Still to do ...
pumpkin pie,
prep turkey,
prep dressing,

Tonight - a special Praise, Song, and Psalm Service!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pumpkin Search

The Christmas decorations are already up in our area ...
which means ...
the pumpkins are being disposed of.

I don't know how many Shelby, NC natives read this,
but ...
if you have a decorative pumpkin and you don't use if for pie or bread or smoothies ...
drop me a note - I'll take it off your hands.

I have found a few that I will be collecting after Thanksgiving.

The next plan is to freeze baked sweet potatoes to add to hubby's workout smoothie.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Keepin' It Simple

Trying to keep the cooking easy this week.
Have to keep the fridge cleaned out for the big cook days Wednesday and Friday.

I did entertain on Sunday.
I guess it was hardly entertaining - 
we had the college students over - 
we count them as family more than guests.

In fact, while I accompanied some of the students preparing for a church special,
some of the others did the dishes.
Easy, huh?

I resurrect this recipe - it is always a hit, so easy, prep ahead ...
I like to throw the cranberry jello in for the holidays or leave it straight raspberry in the summer.

Raspberry Jello Salad

2 - 3 oz pkg jello (I like to use 1 raspberry and 1 cranberry)
1 1/2 c boiling water
1 c applesauce
1 pkg frozen raspberries

Dissolve jello in boiling water.
Add applesauce and frozen raspberries.
Cool/Pour into mold or bowl.

For 3 pkg of jello - add addition 1 c boiling water and 1 c apple sauce.

This weeks menu:
Sunday:  Grilled Chicken using McCormicks Sundried Tomato Basil marinade
Monday: Lemon-Garlic Tilapia
Tuesday: Broiled Porkchop
Wednesday: Chicken Sausage-Mushroom Cauliflower Risotto
Thursday: Guess?
Friday: Leftovers or Orange-Chipotle Chicken
Saturday: Sloppy Joes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

All Things

I typically try to open my Sunday School class by asking the students what they are thankful for:
Typical answers include ...
Warm Clothes.

Then I ask what they should be thankful for that is hard:

How about being thankful for what I don't have?
A little harder still.
A large bank account.
A new car,

Or perhaps not so hard?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just a Little Warmup

Fall has left us - at least for a little while.
The chill is here this week.
Oh - what can we do to warm up.
Here are 3 of my favorite hot drinks.

Chai Tea Latte - made with naturally decaffeinated Rooibos tea
Teeccino - caffeine free coffee substitute
and when I bravely take on 35 mg of caffeine
Maxwell House Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla Caramel Latte

This Week's Menu:

Sunday: Chili Dinner at Church
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Nacho Pie
Wednesday: Lemon-Garlic Chicken
Thursday: Salmon Cakes
Friday: Chicken Sausage Risotto
Saturday: Orange - Chipotle Chicken

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Doctor

I have been slow in establishing a doctor here in NC.
I really did not expect to be here as long as we have been.
 I don't really like visiting the doctor.
It is hard to find a good doctor.

I was going to go to the doctor in the spring,
but hubby's surgery came up and the appointments were put off.

On Tuesday,
I headed to my doctor's appointment.
A new doctor in town - as of September.

I am thankful for God's provision and timing.
The doctor was great.
She agreed that I did not need a flu shot :)
She said that the worse thing that could happen is that I get the flu and suffer for 2-3 days!
She ignored a cholesterol test knowing that while I was still
hoping to conceive I wouldn't take cholesterol lowering drugs anyway.
She omitted a test after stereotyping hubby and I as monogamous.
She did the one test that I needed at the "establishing care" appointment 
so that I did not have to come back.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

False View

Ephesians 5:22 
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, 
as unto the Lord.

We live near a small Bible college
and in turn we live around young love.
We see the "twitterpated" young women
and the "deer in the headlights" young men.

As I speak to some of the young women,
I realize that there is a lot of confusion about marriage,
about roles,
about expectations.

So often the conversations address how the young man will meet the young woman's needs.
I was created to submit, to serve, to meet his needs.
In turn, his love will meet my needs, but I must recognize my responsibilities.

I want to bless my husband.
He needs the help and encouragement.
Recently, I have made small love notes (3x5) cards and placed them on a tree in our bedroom.
He loves to look for them,
I love to make them,
It is a reminder of the things I love about him.

How will you bless your husband today?
How will you bless your boyfriend?
Practice with your dad or brothers if you are still young.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


In the midst of the bustle of life,
pause to appreciate ...

your freedom,
those who have given a part of their life for that freedom,
those who have paid the ultimate price,
those who are on foreign soil even today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marinade in No Time

I am a huge fan of marinades - 
steak, chicken, pork.
Flavorful, juicy meat.
The problem is when I drag my feet getting dinner ready - 
no time to marinade.

Sunday, I tried a new recipe.
Tasted like a marinade, but was just a basting sauce.
Really good!

Balsamic Oregano Grilled Pork Chops

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 -6 oz bone in pork chops
1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

Mix basting sauce (oil through garlic).
Brush over pork chops.
Grill pork chops.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

This Week's Menu:

Sunday - Balsamic-Oregano Grilled Pork Chops
Monday - Dinner at Friends
Tuesday - Beef and Pork Roll-ups
Wednesday - Turkey-Bacon Meatballs
Thursday - Corned Beef
Friday - Lemon Garlic Chicken Breasts
Saturday - Italian Meatballs with Romesco Sauce

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Today I am thankful for safety.
Safety on the roof.
Safety moving sheets of metal.
Safety cutting metal.
Safety climbing up and down ladders.
Safety hammering.

I am thankful for where I was not. (I am not sure how to say that correctly)
On the first night of roof work, we heard a noise while up on the roof.
We thought that something had slid off the other side while we worked.
When we walked inside for the night,
we discovered the source of the noise.
One of the light covers in the "nook" had dropped.
There was glass everywhere.
I am thankful that we were not near it when it fell.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Little, but Wise (Part IV of IV)

Proverbs 30:28 
The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

The ant is diligent and prepares for the future.
The coney knows where to seek stability and protection.
The locust values unity and teamwork.

Finally, we get one more picture ... the spider.
The spider practices persistence and patience.

I am amazed at how quickly a spider builds a web.
I am amazed at the places they choose to build.
I am amazed that they build and rebuild and rebuild.

The spider takes hold with her hands.
The spider has persistence.
It knows what is necessary for survival.
It must catch its food.
It takes hold - builds a web - catches its meals.
It rebuilds when it is knocked down.

A homemaker has a difficult job.
Some days it seems like the work will never get done.
Some days it seems like the work is done over and over each day.
Some days the tasks seem daunting.
Some days it seems like there are innumerable obstacles.

Don't look at the "palace" around you or the size of the task,
set your hands to the work and get it done.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Icing on the Cake

The last step in the 2014 summer update was the roof.
September slipped away with extra responsibilities at church.
October was catchup from September.
So here we are finishing our 2014 project bucket list.
Trailer As Purchased July 2013

Very worn shingled roof

We started the project on Thursday night.
Got tar paper and furring strips up on the back.
Friday - metal up on back ... tar paper and furring strips on front
Saturday - Big rain, wind, biting cold - forced day off
Sunday - Day of Rest - plenty of sun to dry out roof
Monday - Beautiful day - metal on front, ridge cap on top

We went back and forth ...
Trailer Novermber 2014
Burnished Slate Metal Roof
 The price was comparable.
What swayed us to metal?
No need to remove the shingles already there.
The roof will probably outlast the trailer.

We still have the small shed in the back to reroof - that should be a small Saturday afternoon job.

I don't think I shared this outside decoration with you.
I ordered a plastic lawn sign from Vistaprint.
I Nailed it to a small pallet and trimmed it with leftover rope from the deck project.
It welcomes folks to our little abode.

What a way to top off the summer of exterior improvements!

2015 Project Bucket List
New flooring in guest bathroom - 
- currently has dated linoleum, put down laminate that matches the rest of the trailer.
back deck - strip paint, stain and paint similar to front
Back screen door - paint

Monday, November 3, 2014

Simple Lunch Plans

The project is nearly done.
I needed some easy, prep ahead lunch ideas.
This one definitely fit the bill.
And...hubby requested that it appear in his lunch box ... SOON!

Easy Chicken Salad

1 plain deli rotisserie chicken
1/4 c mayo
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 c chopped cashews (or almonds)

Chop chickin into bite-size pieces.
Combine chicken, mayo, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Stir in basil and cashews.

This Week's Menu:
Sunday: Grilled Asian Pork Ribs
Monday: Out - Date Night/Finish Big Housing Project
Tuesday: Bacon-Apple Turkey Meatloaf
Wednesday: Baked Chicken
Thursday:  Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Friday:  Turkey-Bacon Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
Saturday:  Salami and Almond-Crusted Salmon