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Monday, September 11, 2017

As Promised

I mentioned hubby's daily work snack last week.
It is a different black bean brownie recipe.
I make at least one 8 x 8 pan a week cut into 9 pieces.
Two pieces go to work each day to be devoured mid morning.
They are a good source of proteint (beans and eggs)
and use honey as a sweetener (a win in our book).
For me they are are a win because they mix up in the VITAMIX
and quickly dump in the pan.

Here's the recipe from our friend Dr. Axe (He specializes in fixing "gut" issues.)

Black Bean Brownies

1 can 15 ounce black beans, drained
½ cup cacao powder
4 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
¾ cup raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ cup gluten-free flour (you can use regular all purpose as well)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup water

DIRECTIONS:
Blend all ingredients together.
(I add the ingredients from bottom to top for ease of blending)
Grease 8 x 8 pan.
Bake for 40 min. at 350 degrees.


Today, we are feeling minor effects of Tropical Storm Irma.
A lot of rain and occasional wind gusts.
I have seen a few broken branches so far ...
Weather in the 60's today,
so I made a warm pot of chili and some corn bread muffins for dinner ...
 will also be good in hubby's lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Little Disconnect

"I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God ..."♪♫♫♪

Last Saturday,
we hosted a church Labor Day Weekend Picnic.
Since we had had hotdogs at the last two picnics,
I decided that we should do bone in grilled chicken.
I baked the chicken for over an hour ahead of time
and then we marinated overnight.
Just before dinner, we threw them on the grill.

The picnic went fine.
No rain (better than the last 2 picnics),
cool temps,
a good turnout.

BUT!
The next day I was mortified when we reheated some leftover chicken for lunch
and it was undercooked.
I had served "raw" chicken to my guests.
AND ...
nobody had said anything!
How easy it would have been to throw back on the grill!
No wonder I had so much leftover chicken!

So here is the disconnect.
Think to your physical family.
If there was spinach stuck in your teeth, they would be the first to tell you.
If there was something coming out of your nose, you can count on family to let you know.
If you are tickled while eating salad and something flies out of your mouth,
You can be sure that your family will call you "salad shooter" for years.
(not that that ever happened to me)

So why was my church family inhibited from saying anything?
They have been in my home many times.
They know me well.
Yes, the hostess would have been embarassed,
but not as embarassed as finding out the next day that everyone went home hungry
or possibly sickened.

Hubby reminded me that this happens when dealing with spiritual issues as well.
We claim to be family, BUT ...
My brothers are not afraid of offending me when food in my teeth might embarass the family.
Hubby is not afraid of offending me when I need to know that I have something in my nose.
So why don't we deal with sin in the family when it will bring shame to our Lord.

Just a thought to ponder.
Has someone brought something to your attention that you need to fix?
Listen graciously and make a change.
Is there someone that you need to exhort?
Let's fix the disconnect.
A family should act like a family.


Monday, September 4, 2017

A Little Celebration

It is Labor Day.
Are you celebrating the ability to work?
Work was never meant to be a curse.
Work is one of God's means of providing for us.
Today we are thankful for jobs that God has provided to meet our needs.
I have been a book shelver, a nanny, a cashier, a phone operator, a teacher ...
Hubby has worked fast food, at a hardware store, as a nuclear mechanic,
as a farm hand, as a stocker, as a tractor mechanic ...
God has always met our needs.

Today hubby has the day off.
While we enjoyed celebrating our anniversary last month with family,
we are enjoying celebrating again today.
We enjoyed some extra rest this morning,
enjoyed a four mile walk/run,
exercised for another hour at home,
grilled lunch outside,
studied our Bibles for over an hour in our sweet little front yard,
are looking forward to French Dip Sandwiches and Watermelon for supper,
Breyers almond milk peanut butter ice cream for a treat,
and a four mile walk to finish with a bang.

Just the perfect day together celebrating 15 years and looking forward to another 15+ as the Lord allows.

Last week for our baked good breakfast on Friday and Saturday,
I made some Morning Glory muffins.
I made them with a little fear and trepidation ...
they are one of my favorites,
but the last time I made them,
hubby was not impressed.

I had not been shopping and the recipe just suited what I had on hand.

This time, hubby raved ...
not only are we to keep the recipe,
but it might also become a lunch box snack
(it takes a lot to overthrow the favored black bean brownie).
 ** I was going to create a link to the latest black bean brownie recipe,
but I guess I haven't posted it yet ... maybe next Monday. **

While there are many recipes out there,
this is the one that I am using right now.

Paleo Morning Glory Muffins

2 large eggs
8 T. pure maple syrup
¼ c. coconut oil
½ c. shredded carrots
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. almond flour
¼ c. coconut flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
⅓ c. raisins
⅓ c. coconut
¾ c. chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, carrots, pineapple, coconut and vanilla in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
Toss the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and walnuts in a medium bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined. Do not overmix.
Scoop batter into 12 cupcake wells and place into preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing. 


Monday, August 21, 2017

Thankful Thursday: the Monday Edition

Well, as life goes,
my schedule has been anything but scheduled.
My "Thankful Thursday" post is late,
but ...
better late than never.

Thursday was our 15th anniversary.
It is not hard to think of what to post in honor of this day.
How thankful I am for 15 years of marriage.
How thankful I am to be loved so unconditionally.
How thankful I am for a God who grounds us when life's turmoil would seek to overthrow.
How thankful I am for a union that truly is most often unified.
How thankful I am for the transformation of mind that has happened to both of us to make us more like God and better able to serve and love one another.

I am thankful for the strong man by my side ...
the one who challenges me ...
the one who encourages me to do right ...
the one who props me up or lets me rest when strength is failing...

On Thursday,
we began our day with an interval run.
How we enjoy the time together.
Time to work on health together.
Time to talk (when I am able).
Time to challenge and encourage.

15 years and prayfully many more

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Everyone Needs It ...

God continues to show me that everyone ... EVERYONE ...
needs fellowship.
There are those who may claim to be loners,
but even they need the touch of others.

For many years, I have feared to "just stop in"
to see people in the church.
I felt intrusive.
I wondered if it was only meeting a need that I had for company.
But with each additional visit,
the chatting increased,
the visits lengthened,
people grow more comfortable.
Sometimes they remind me that they value it.
Sometimes they make sure that I am making a return visit.
Other times they remind me that the church is failing in this area ...
"you are the only one who stops by."
I am shown that I need to give fellowship.

The need is great.
It becomes harder in a fast-paced world.
My days are filled with other ministries and home responsibilities.
It is hard to skip the text and arrive in person.
But I need it, and so do the people in my life.

Is there someone that you can minister to today?
Is there a visit that you can make this week?
Later this month?

You may meet someone's needs.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Challenge Until May

I have been given another wedding challenge.
The last one was corn meal muffins for a reception,
the next one is for May ...
a gluten-free apple, cherry, or apple-cherry pie.

The bride and groom are not gluten free,
but they have a brother-in-law who is.

My first attempt will be this Sunday for a fellowship dinner.
An apple-cherry pie.

Hubby is excited 
and the groom-to-be thought it would be good if I tried
every month for the fellowship dinners at church.

Have you ever made a cherry-apple pie?

What did you think?
Success? Failure? Just stick with the "old faithfuls"?

Update:
The pie was a success.
Hubby loved it.
We both thought it was the best gluten free crust that I had ever tried.
The bride really liked the mix of the two pies
(her favorite is cherry and his is apple)
In honor of the wedding,
it has now been named the "Chapel" (ch-apple) pie!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Cloud Cover


Do Hoops and YoYo make you smile?
They are Hallmark characters and they definitely cheer me.
They were a regular part of electronic correspondence between hubby and me
while he was out at sea.

Typically, this solar-powered girl is looking for every bit of sunshine she can.
But this month, I am thankful that August has been a little more mild than usual.
I am thankful for the overcast days.
I am thankful for the days of rain.

The grass is still green.
The cherry tomatoes are plentiful without too much extra work.
While we wait on our new a/c unit to arrive and be installed,
it spares the old one from overworking
and spares me from more sopping towels that are catching the drain pan overflow 💧

What are you thankful for today?

Update: as of 11 am ...
the old a/c unit is ripped out.
If hubby can fix the floor (water damage) tonight,
the new unit will be installed tomorrow!
And today is cool, breezy and comfortable ... so we shouldn't suffer too much tonight.
God's timing is perfect - we will be up and running and comfortable for our guest.
We are also thankful that they are installing a heat pump
that is supposed to cut our heating and cooling bills substantially!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Old Switcheroo

This summer I have spent a lot of time outdoors.
The house got painted including trim.
The porches were resealed.
Last week, I repainted the white parts of the decks.
I also worked in the gardens last week to tidy them up.

This week, I was back in the house.
Not only did the rain drive me in,
but we needed to fix up a room for my MIL's upcoming visit.
We had moved the guest room to the smaller of our two extra bedrooms,
because most of our guests are one nighters and that was sufficient.
Since our guest will be with us about 2 1/2 weeks,
we switched the guest room back to the big room.
Because that room gets the bright morning sun,
we added some room darkening curtains.
I finally replaced the sheets which were left from my college days 😀.
We emptied part of the closet (and once again realized that we have a lot of stuff).
We emptied a chest of drawers.

The room is ready for Saturday and so are we!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Change in the Garden

Often when we throw outdoor parties,
folks will ask me what flowers are in my garden.
I know most of them, but often in the middle of entertaining, the names escape.
So this weekend,
I made some sweet little labels for my plants (which are fading in the summer heat).



I took used canning lids,
sprayed with leftover spray paint,
used sharpie for the names,
used old paint for the flowers,
then used some wire left from making our many wall hangings for the stakes.

I still have a few to finish,
but I was pleased with the result 
and using odds and ends was even better.

Enjoy your trip into my garden.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Quick and Easy

Every once in a while you have to hit the "reset" button.
That button where you remind yourself and refocus on goals.
I guess the middle of the year is a good time ...
that and results of recent blood work :)

We are back to focusing on getting more veggies.

We tried an excellent recipe for a grilled veggie sandwich on Friday night.
It was simply grilled zucchini, peppers, and onions brushed with oil and balsamic vinegar
and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
The bread was toasted and spread with a cheese spread.
It was a big hit.

Tonight's quick and easy recipe was:

Spicy Mexican Pork Chops with Pepper and Corn Saute

The pork chops were sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
Then they were sauteed for 2 minutes per side in 2 TBSP of olive oil.
Next dump a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies on top and simmer for 20 minutes.
DONE!

The brown rice takes the longest, but it is still easy.
Just follow instructions on bag.

For the Pepper and Corn Saute,
Sautee chopped red onion and two bell peppers
(red, green, or orange look good with the corn).
Then add a bag of frozen corn and heat through.
DONE!

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Truth and Righteousness

Revelation 19:1-2a

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments:


This is our church Bible verse for the week
and part of the Sunday School lesson that I will teach on Sunday morning.
It is also a great reason to be thankful.

It is easy to get down as we look at wickedness around us.
I am thankful that I serve a God that rules with truth and righteousness.
We may not see rewards or punishments in our timing,
but His timing is perfect and can be trusted.
Alleluia ... Praise the Lord!


I am also thankful for the ability that God has given for the body to heal itself.
Hubby was struggling last week with some respiratory "stuff."
With rest, smart eating, and prayer,
he is feeling much better.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Into the Garden

With the house and shed repainted,
I move on to straightening the gardens.

The Lord has sent a break in humidity
and some cooler mornings,
so I am headed to the yard beyond the weekly lawn mowing adventures.

I need to trim around the trees (yes, this involves scissors).
I need to do some weed spraying around gardens and walkways.
And the weeds in the vegetable garden ... well, they are BAD!
On a positive note, the volunteer tomatoes are doing VERY well.
There is minor weeding in the flower gardens and some dead heading as well.

I am focusing on the outside right now,
because soon we will be preparing the inside for a MIL visit.
We are looking forward to an extended visit,
but will have to make the guest room more comfy than our typical 1-2 night stays.
It will be the first visit in our home in over 10 years probably.

I am also looking forward to starting a new book today.
My nephew just self-published a book he wrote for his Senior year of high school.
It is available in hard copy and ebook formats.
Would you like to support him?
Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What Will You Transform Today?


What are you desiring to transform in your life?

For me,
it may be health,
it may be my home,
it may be a circumstance,
it may be an added discipline.

It only takes ONE decision.

Will I snack before dinner?
Will it be sweet tea or water?
Willl I stay on top of the cleaning, the weeding, the laundry?
Will I be part of the solution, or part of the problem?
Will I stick to a disciplined schedule or blow it off?

Maybe you are not seeking to "transform" your life,
but now that one decision today could affect you life in a great way.

While this does apply to the adults reading this blog,
I especially challenge my younger readers (yes, you nieces and nephews).
Make wise decisions today!
Spend time in God's Word.
Make wise use of your time.
Be helpful.
Look for ways to minister to the needs of others.
Keep learning all you can today so that the open doors before you are many.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G Recipe

I have been trying to bring beans back into the recipe picture again.
Since trying to clean up our eating with less packaged foods,
hubby has really started to not mind that meat doesn't always appear at a meal.

Last week, we had a yummy quinoa salad (I leave out onions and add some feta and pepperoni)
 that suited us for 3 days of lunches.
We had a split pea lettuce wraps that fed us for 2 days and had good Asian flavor.

Tonight, we did enjoy meat, but stretched it with beans.
Why not try this simple burrito soon?

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burrito

1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
optional - cooked rice (I left this out)
6 TBSP sour cream
6 oz shredded cheese
6 TBSP salsa
6 wraps

I browned the meat and then put it and the beans in my mixer to "squish" the beans.
If you wanted to further S-T-R-E-T-C-H the meal, you could add cooked rice here too.
Then I returned the combo to the browning pan and warmed with the spices.

Prepare each burrito with 1/6 of filling, 1 TBSP of sour cream,
1/4 c of shredded cheese, and 1 TBSP of salsa.

These were a pleasant summer meal with minimal heat to the house
and they were not overly hot because they were not baked.
I also liked that they were not super SLOPPY.

I am looking for "cool" meals since we are trying not to use our a/c much until it is replaced.
The drip pan gave way last week and our a/c man is back logged right now.
Using the a/c involves a lot of towels in and around the coils :)
The Lord has given a break in the oppressive heat and some days of overcast.
Actually made it through today with no a/c!


Monday, July 24, 2017

A Recipe That Bears Repeating

Back in 2011 - July to be exact,
I posted a great Watermelon Cooler recipe.

It is on the menu for a treat tonight.
We are definitely in the "dog days" of summer,
but today, neither of us could lounge around in the shade like that summer dog,
so we will enjoy a treat tonight.

Watermelon Coolers

2 1/4 c frozen watermelon cubes
1/4-1/2 c water
2 T honey
2-3 T lime/lemon juice

Blend in blender and serve immediately.
Makes 2 juice glass size portions!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coupons

On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for coupons.
Coupons that allow us special treats.
Coupons that allow us to try new things.

So this morning I am thankful for a coupon to one of our favorite restaurants.
BOGO on a meal at CHIPOTLE!
Two cell numbers mean two coupons!

Chipotle

Not only that,
but I am thankful that they gave me a link to share with you.

Check it out:

Have you been to Chipotle?

If not ... let me prepare you.

You only have about 5 choices to make ...

Choice one: Type of meal
Burrito
crunchy taco
rice bowl
salad

Second Choice: Rice
Brown Rice 
White Rice

Third Choice: Protein
steak
chicken
chorizo
pork
veggies
tofu (that's not a choice to me)

Fourth: Salsa
Mild salsa
medium salsa
hot salsa
corn salsa

Fifth: MORE
sour cream
guac
lettuce
cheese


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Just Painting in the Rain!

OK, so that is not typically the plan,
but I did get caught in a rain storm as I worked today.

I repainted the house in June,
and this week, I am working on repainting the trim
and wiping down the gutters as I go.


It has been hot, very hot,
but I thought I was clear of rain.

Guess I have another 1/4 of the house to finish tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Today, I wish my hubby a Happy 38th!
He is such a treasure to me!


See the birthday cards mingled among the sympathy cards.
Both a reminder that life is precious and that we have no guarantee of life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Piano Arrangement ...

... that you cannot hear.

Back in April,
I worked to paint the last main area at our church.
The fellowship hall was in need of a fixing up.

The painting was done,
and the junk had to be cleaned out.
One such item was an old player piano ...
it didn't work and it was not able to be tuned.

As it was taken apart,
one of my piano students had an idea.
An idea to make an arrangement from the piano strings.



The notes sit atop the strings
and the curls are where the strings wrapped around the pegs.

It was delivered for my birthday.
I thought it went well with my decor.
It is the "piano arrangement" that you cannot hear.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Pizza

In the heat of the summer,
I have to revamp the eating schedule.
Hubby comes home hot and has much less of an appetite.
He wants something lighter.

So I have been searching.

We tried a new pizza recipe on Saturday,
and it was a hit.
Not only did we both like it,
but it is meatless so it is a money saver.
Wins all around!

I began with my flatbread recipe for the crust,
but you can use whatever you like best.
I made 7 flatbread rounds and the topping amounts worked perfectly.

Santa Fe Summer BBQ Pizza

Ingredients:

1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn kernels (I used canned)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I omitted because it is not one of hubby's favorite herbs)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Spread BBQ sauce evenly on top of crust, then add black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
Let cool five minutes then slice.
Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top before serving. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

His Way is Perfect

Tuesday Transformation:
a change in perspective,
because God's way is perfect.

When hubby suggested the "staycation" in the month of July,
my heart sank.
Hot, miserable hot ...
no long walks, sitting inside ...
miserable.


But God knew what we needed.
He provided our cool, shady front yard and morning breezes.
It was not an unbearble heat,
so we did get to walk and run together at least twice.
He knew we needed a refreshing,
because He knows all.

He knew that at the end of the break we would face hard news.
He knew that that news would be easier to deal with when we were rested.
In His perfect timing, He has provided in clear ways and met needs.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Glen

This "Thankful Thursday,"  I am thankful for the lot that we rent.
We are spending much of our STAYCATION in the front yard under the trees.


The trees provide a shade that keeps the area far cooler than the rest of the area
and a pleasant breeze often flows right through.


We have moved our deck furniture into our "secluded glen"
and we do our Bible reading,
write and study,
share meals,
and enjoy the sunset.
 

We love our home,
but we are also blessed with a pleasant lot ...
a place to enjoy God's creation.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Writing with Hubby

Yes, it has been 3 months since the last post.
3 months where I just needed to step back.
An extra hour of sleep each morning.
A change in workout plans.
Increased stress at hubby's work and other responsibilities that sapped of energy and creativity.

And so,  I had to step away from writing for a bit.

But this week ...
we are on STAYCATION.

We began yesterday,
though it was far from a normal vacation.
We had the church family over for a picnic.
It ended as our picnics typically do ...
a mad dash to "clean up" outside before the storm hit.

BUT ... we made it about 4 hours ...
and the incoming storm brought a pleasant breeze MOST of the time :)

Then last evening, we finished a quick turnover of the prophet's chamber
for some guests coming in on Thursday.

The rest of the week is slow mornings,
long Bible studies,
time to talk, think, and pray together,
and, because it is vacation, one meal free of cooking.
We will even sneak in some home projects (shed repair)
and some work to repair a trellis for an upcoming wedding.

You know that I have long sought to develop a home that we hate to leave,
a home that invites us to enjoy it ...
it is our favorite hotel and our favorite getaway.
The bed is comfy, no forgotten essentials,
no demands on time,
no fear of being "glutened."

I return to the blog on Woman's Work Wednesday.
During my hiatus from writing,
I have been thinking much about "heart."
When hubby preaches,
he always draws out principles,
not just rules and laws (though they have their place),
but heart.  
Why did God give the law?
What is the heart behind it?
Am I seeking to fulfill the heart of the law and not just the letter of the law?

I seek to practice being a "keeper at home."
It seems easy to keep the "letter" of the law.
It is easy to stay home.
It is easy to not work outside of the home.
...but what about the principle, the heart?

Am I a guard of my home?

Am I guarding health?
Am I planning healthful meals or surviving on meals out and convenience food?
Do I provide oppotunities for movement and strength-building?
Do I stress healthy habits and activities? 

Am I guarding entertainment?
Do I provide activites that encourage godly behavior and principles?
Do I default to mindless amusements?

Am I guarding minds?
What am I teaching and sharing in my home?
What do I value and emphasize?  the eternal?  the temporal?
Do I take the "bad guy" stance and take disapproval of others if it means protecting my family?
Are we all learning valuable things together?

Am I guarding temperments?
Do I create peace or drama?
Do I feed anger or diffuse it?

Am I guarding the time of my hubby?
Do I do all I can while at home, so he has more time?
Do I create time for each other?
Do I value the work he does each day and his responsibilities above my own?

It has been a challenge for me and I hope it will be for you today.
Don't seek victory in merely the letter of the law ...
seek to get to the heart of the matter.

Monday, April 3, 2017

A New Pie

Two weeks ago,
I received a Magnolia magazine in the mail.
I love the work of Chip and Joanna Gaines as they renovate houses.
I love their seeming emphasis on family and home.

In this free copy,
there was a new recipe.
One for PIE.
I had to try it.
With permission from the hubby (since it only had 1/2 c of sugar),
I attacked it.
It was a success - especially since it wasn't sticky sweet
and we did not have to feel bad enjoying it.

Pear-Cranberry Pie

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6 ripe, yet still firm pears, cored and sliced (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries

Mix all ingredients.
Place in double pie crust.
Bake 375* for 65-70 min.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

An Accountability Partner

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for my new accountability partner.

Last July,
I earned a free Fitbit Flex.
How excited I was to have the reminder to keep moving,
to have the accountability of a record of my successes and failures.

Then last week,
yes, the same day that I broke my mower handle,
fitbit died.

I contacted customer service.
They confirmed that fitbit was indeed dead while still under warranty.
I could get another Flex,
OR
I could have a discount on an upgrade.

Hubby gave me an upgrade.
Fitbit Alta HR arrived on Saturday.
I am excited because it not only tracks my steps,
but it is a watch,
and it gives a better judge of calories burned.
It is good to have my accountability partner again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Renewal

Doesn't Spring give you a sense of renewal and new beginnings?

I was eager to finish the work inside the trailer so that I could get outdoors again.

Last week, I did get outdoors, gassed up the mower and ...
after a couple of spins around the house,
the mower handle sheered off!
How discouraging!
Usually I mow the first week of March and now I was going to be REALLY late.

So I ordered a new handle.
It arrived today and I stole some of hubby's lunch hour so he could install it.
AAAHH!
It was good to smell the grass, clover, and green onions
and see the neatly trimmed yard.

Then, since I had the truck,
I hauled off dead branches,
trimmed unruly branches and disposed of them.

I also swept the porches and weeded the walkway a bit.

The next 2 days are supposed to be rain-outs,
so it is nice to have the outside work under control.
Time to hole up and work on the next of hubby's books.



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Society's Transformation

A member of our church lent me a book on Sunday.
She said it was an enjoyable, quick read.
I really haven't read a "pleasure" book in a long while.

She lent me "Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food."
The book was a history of Betty Crocker,
a character created by the Gold Medal Baking Company to sell products.
Boy, did it ever work.

While the history of this famous woman was fascinating,
I was more drawn to how things have changed.
Betty began as an older woman who encouraged women in their work in the home.
She encouraged women in homemaking calling it 
a "noble and challenging career ... an art requiring many different skills."
She encouraged women to make the home "a place of peace, joy and contentment."

So while I thought I was reading a history book,
I was encouraged as well as disheartened.
Encouraged to keep working hard in my home,
to "contribute to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household."
Disheartened in how American society has been transformed.
These ideals are deemed old-fashioned and sexist.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Forum: Things That Bring Joy

With Spring comes the joy of Spring cleaning.
Most of my "spring cleaning" was completed with all the fresh paint and other renovation items.

I do still need to work on windows :(
and some of the closets.

We have begun trying to look at things and hold on to things that we love and enjoy.

Hubby went through his closet the other day.
3 shirts gone, 2 ties ...
they fit wrong, they were shapeless, they didn't excite wifey.
Easy - Peasy!

I am going to try this in the coming weeks.
While there are some "necessary" items that don't bring joy,
I am sure that I can get rid of more than I have.

Do you try this when you "clean out?"
Has it worked for you?
Do you have a better plan?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dirt and Free Movement

Monday was the first day of Spring AND ...
Yesterday found me in the garden.
While the garden has been very discouraging for the past few years - 
too little time to keep it healthy,
too dry,
too hot,
too many bugs,
...
Digging in the dirt is so much fun - even as an adult.

I turned over half of the garden yesterday,
incorporated the winter's worth of compost into the earth,
and planted leftover seeds to see what might happen ...
peas, carrots, beats, lettuce, spinach, and kale ...

Now to wait and see.
I am so thankful for nature,
for the beautiful earth that God allows us to enjoy.

I am also thankful this week for a repaired drawer.

When we moved in to this trailer,
the utensil drawer in the kitchen did not slide freely.
Most of the time we only took it half way in and out.
I didn't realize what a stressor it was ...
UNTIL 
hubby fixed it up.
The rails were not secure or straight.


Now the drawer moves freely and this is one happy girl.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What mean these stones?

 Joshua 4:20-24
And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

And the reminders continue ...
it is important not to remember only,
but to leave a rememberance,
to cause others to know the Lord.

God is so good.

During our first years of marriage,
I worked faithfully on a "bag of rememberance."
It is full of those little miracles that God blessed us with.
I must get back to the practice - at least in written form.

I am not worth the least of His favor.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Living Room

Cheery Yellow at move-in
Changed to green with bulkier furniture






Change of furniture. 



The holdup on this post and these pictures was the rug and the throw pillows.
We were uncertain as to what colors would brighten and balance the grey and the brown.

Obviously, now we have decided.

The walls are now grey.
We actually painted twice and used the Valspar "Love it or we will replace it" guarantee.
Our first shade was grey, but in the evening, with house lights on ... it was more like baby blue -
not quite what we were going for!
So we picked another shade and were pleased with the results.

Again we have the sheer curtains that allow us lots of light
while still giving us privacy in the close quarters of a trailer park.
The full length curtains help the room not look quite as stark with hubby's minimalist tendencies.

But grey and brown with white trim are a bit drab ...
so why not add some teal, some plum, and some yellow?





We replaced the pressed board shelves on the wall with real wood stained to match the other furniture.


Check out the flowers in the corner - 
A delivery from the pastor and his wife (leftovers from a funeral) - 
I may be permanently spoiled.

We added an herb garden on the wall -
it smells good, cleans the air, and will add to the meals when it grows a little more.


Hubby also built a frame to hold greeting cards and notes.  (look to the left of the herbs)
It is a simple wood frame (leftover 2x2 from the back deck railing) strung with wire.
I love the improvement over the strand of yarn that I used to use.


While it may not suit everyone,
we are enjoying our new space.
Hopefully the next time that I need a change,
it will just be rugs and throw pillow covers :)


Hubby's "office" didn't change much.
He did get a potted succulent :)
and we are still enjoying my Valentine's balloons.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Menu Book

We are definitely "creatures of habits."
We like to know what is coming.
We have our mornings planned,
our workouts planned,
our evenings planned,
at least to the extent that you can in daily life.

We know that Monday night hubby preps sermons,
Tuesday night is date night,
Wednesday night is church,
Thursday night is Sunday School preparation,
Friday is church activity or fellowship in the home.

See?

For almost 2 years, I followed a one month food plan - over and over and over again.
It changed our life in a good way
(decreased allergies, increased energy, better sleep, less tummy troubles),
but there were quite a few recipes that were not so great.

So,
I needed to make my own plan.

Breakfast:
Sunday: Oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas
Monday:  Eggs, meat, and avocados
Tuesday:  Granola
Wednesday:  Smoothie
Thursday:  extra Bible and prayer time
Friday and Saturday: Healthy Baked treat (muffins or crisp)

Weekday Lunch:
PB and honey sandwich
Tuna Sandwich
Leftovers (x 2 - hopefully)
Sloppy Joe or Pizza or Shepherd's Pie

I have almost reached my 30 dinner meals.
We have been trialing for 2-3 months with many being vetoed,
but we are finally narrowing it down to all favorites ...
no more dreading dinner, ever ... only good ones that we BOTH like.
And in the end, there will be less repetition than we had with our original plan.




Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Forum: What is "home"?

While renovating the trailer,
hubby said to me, "I really need to get you a real house!"
He knows that I love to decorate, I love to make things homey.

But (I said to him), I am perfectly content with our home.
I do want to make it as nice as I can, but I love it.

Our many apartments were "home."
A trailer can be a "home.".

Home is where I can relax.
Home is were I can try to meet the needs of others through hospitality.
Home is a place where I am accepted and encouraged to be better.

To me,
A home is peaceful ...
A home is bright ...
A home has a pleasant smell ...
A home has pleasant sounds.

How would you describe "home"?
What makes "home" special?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Running Water

Running Water ...

On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for the convenience of running water in our lives.
I don't have to run to a river,
pump a hand pump in the yard ...

Why choose this today?

Well,
one tub faucet is dripping and while a replacement cartridge is on the way,
it is a reminder that we are a blessed people.

Also,
while repairing the kitchen,
we were without the kitchen sink for about 3 days.
Just those three days of running to another room for water
made me appreciate that we have running water in each room.
What a blessing to clean up in the same room that you make your mess in!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Remember

"And thou shalt remember
that thou wast a bondman in Egypt:
and thou shalt observe and do these statutes."
Deuteronomy 16:12

I am reading through the book of Deuteronomy in my personal studies.
This phrase is repeated and repeated and repeated.
In their treatment of others, in their worship of God, in every aspect of life,
the Israelites were to remember.
Remember God's grace to them in bringing them out of bondage.

And the application to me ...
REMEMBER!

God was gracious to me as well.
He drew me as a child.
He saved me as a child.
He gave me many opportunities not afforded to everyone.

If I remember that,
I will be more longsuffering with others ...
I will be more appreciative of the things God has given ...
I will value His Word more each day ...
I will long to serve and love Him with all that I have.

JUST REMEMBER!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

And Now the Kitchen ...

I had fully expected to show pictures of the living room first,
but it is having a few minor holdups ...
SO
you get to see the kitchen first.

When we moved in,
we painted out the cabinets and refinished the blue laminate countertops.
BEFORE - upon purchase of trailer

 AFTER: Upon move-in 3 years ago.

Why not do it again?

No kits or packages this time.

I bought some cabinet paint.
Just one step.

The rustoleum countertops were pretty,
but after three years, they were wearing and chipping - not as pretty any more.


In research, we were finding that the coating is the key - not the paint.
And we found that we could make "faux" marble countertops
and seal them with something thicker and stronger!


So of course, we tried it.

We used white primer that we already had for the base.
Used the wall color and cabinet color for the veining.
Then about $100 of a epoxy resin coating that we got at Hobby Lobby.
Yes, that is a piece of change, but cheaper than a piece of laminate or entirely new countertops.

And now my kitchen is light and bright as well.
We probably could have finished the counters for $60 worth of epoxy resin,
but the counters were so warped that it took a little more for it to level and be presentable.
Another coat might make it more perfect, but ...

 



I am loving the new look and going through the cupboards again has been healthy for cleaning out.
While everything was in disarray, hubby also fixed my large silverware drawer and now it slides beautifully.
Lots of "WINS" this week!

What did I learn?
It sure is a lot easier to do the work before moving into the space!
3 days without a kitchen sink was not a lot of fun!