Saturday, September 27, 2008

fall purple 2008


This fall, there has been so much buzz about purple. It's in shoes, clothes, makeup.

Even I.... a solomnly sworn devout black/brown/gray wearer... have to admit, it's a great fashion trend.


Last week, I went to Target and tried on every single pair of dark purple shoes they had in stock, only to find nothing fit my deformed feet. I am determined to get some though... and hopefully before the end of the fall season.


I also really like this , this, this, this, and these!


I have always loved dark purple makeup, so this is very exciting to me!

Friday, September 26, 2008

yaw

On my word*of*the*day calendar today, the word is "yaw".

I like to play this game... where I guess what the word is before I read the definition.

So, today I read the word. I thought to myself. "Can I guess this word's meaning?" and I was like "yaw".

Then I thought I would call my friend and say "Why don't yaw come over tonight?"

Then I was thinking... I think donkeys usually say it... "eee.. yaw".

wrong. as if.

*1 of a ship : to turn suddenly from a straight course : swerve, veer
*2: to alternate

The gigantic wave caused our boat to yaw sharply to port, but thanks to some clever steering by Dad we were able to get safely back on course.

I will SO never use that word again.

Garlic

It isn't something I boast about. Mostly because I have forgotten more than I ever learned in the first place. But, internet, I will admit it. I'm a master gardener.

It isn't what you think. I'm no master. I don't say "echinacea purpurea" instead of "purple coneflower" or "nicotiana" instead of "flowering tobacco". If you call me to see if you have aphids, I would resort to a book or the internet. I really should go back to school.

I admit it. I don't even have a garden in my yard. yet. We moved into our house 2 years ago, and we've been concentrating all of our energies... as little as they are... on willing our grass to grow.

In the next couple of weeks, however, I will move to the next phase. We are tilling.

Normally, I would till a new garden in the spring. That's when I have the fever. But, this year, it will be fall. Because I love garlic.

It's hard to believe that there was a time I had never used fresh garlic. Now, on most given days, my hands and breath will smell like garlic.

There are not many veggies that need to be planted in the fall. But, since it's a bulb, garlic likes to chill. And it's easy. Poke a few cloves in the ground this fall, and next spring, when you are all tilling your gardens, I will be roasting garlic and slicing and dicing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Seasons Change

 

This morning as I was driving after taking the kids to school

I noticed

Look closely or you may miss it

It begins at the top, ever so slightly, beginning to fade

At first glance, things appear stable

But I am watchful.

I know that soon the metamorphosis will occur

There will come a time when it will seem

to have been overnight to the incognizant

But, I will know that it began much sooner

slowly, little by little, branch by branch

And they will fall to the ground and scatter.

I admit

these first signs cause me to be a bit apprehensive

I've been here before

I know what is looming,

I am not yet prepared.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window... are remnants of activities from the weekend. Toys strewn across the lawn, chairs perched near the fireside, sticks with marshmallow residue.

I am thinking... how blessed I am to have friends and family and love.

I am thankful for... my brothers and sisters both in Christ and by blood.

From the kitchen... pancake mix ready to be thrown onto the griddle at the proper time, raspberry syrup, and a basketful of fresh picked apples awaiting their destiny.

I am wearing... pajamas and slippers.

I am reading... Psalm 123 and Luke 5

I am hoping.... for God's loving arms and healing touch for Josh and Mel at the loss of their dear brother.

I am creating... nothing more really than a long list of chores for after school kids.

I am hearing... the rooster from the neighbor's yard, and the traffic from the road as travellers begin with another Monday.

Around the house... are signs of a weekend of a full home, much prayer, many tears, and much love. Housework will have to wait as God has other plans for our days lately.

One of my favorite things... sharing the deep intense love of Christ with hurting friends in an intimate way.

A few plans for the rest of the week... one day at a time, and looking for opportunity to bless our friends who have suffered such a great loss.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

the Rain

 

I really like Mercy Me. Today, the song "Bring the Rain" has been playing quite a bit on the radio station, and it really says a lot of what I've been praying for a lot of people that I really love right as they experience a season of not only rain, but thunderstorms.

Bring me joy, Bring me peace

Bring a chance to be free

Bring me anything that brings you glory

And I know there'll be days

when this life brings me pain

But if that's what it takes to praise you

Jesus Bring the rain!

I am Yours regardless of

the dark clouds that may loom above

Because You are much greater than my pain

You who made a way for me

By suffering your destiny

So, tell me, what's a little rain?

God is NOT Slow...as some understand slowness...

Luke 1:20 "But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born.  For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time."

Zechariah doubted God.  This man was a Priest who had spent his entire life studying the Scriptures.  He was surely a very devout and godly man.  He had to have known all of the miracles God had done in the past for the people of God.  He had to have extensive knowledge on Abraham and Sara... and the child given to them at such an old age.

And yet, he didn't believe God. 

But, this verse says "my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time".

I can so. relate.

I wonder often how many times I have known that I have heard from God on a particular subject, and then when it doesn't happen quite that way, I doubt.

How many times have I read the Word to learn about how God may deal with circumstances of the righteous only to see it go a different way.  I find myself doubting God's Word.

And yet, it is the last part of this verse that I find hope.

"My words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time"

I know there are dreams and visions and truths in the Word that I have at one time or another KNOWN to be true... and when time has passed, I have allowed doubt to creep into my life and begin to question so much about who I am in God...and about who God is.

But, I find comfort and peace knowing that God's words will certainly be fulfilled.... at the proper time.

And not a minute sooner.

 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stuff

 

Granger Community Church is doing a series on Fear.  This past week, the sermon was about Fear of the Economy.

Pretty timely considering the days we face... the price of gas, food, it seems everything is rising.

It's a great sermon.  You should check it out.

Monday

 

Today is Monday...but my mind is not on Monday... it is on Tuesday.  Tuesday Night to be exact.

Tuesday Night at 9pm to be exacter.

Last week, Dr. Phil announced his new weight loss contest.  And on Tuesday night at 9pm, Dunder Mifflin staff will participate in their own weight loss program in the Season 5 pilot.

My predictions for Season 5 (some are long shots no doubt, some more obvious)...

  1. Kevin will try to hook up with a baffled Holly.
  2. Dwight and Angela will reunite
  3. Pam and Jim will relax the relationship a bit... I think Jim has cold feet and Pam will be ticked at his non-proposal.
  4. I wonder if Toby is REALLY moving to Costa Rico.... I'm guessing he's bluffing.
  5. I wonder if Phyllis will be bribed by Angela and Dwight to keep quiet.

Can't wait for Season 5!

I impress myself

 

So, I decided to check out Windows Live Writer.  I did it!  I actually successfully set my blog up to be able to update from Windows Live Writer.  Okay... so you are all probably all versed in that and all that jazz... but I'm not... and usually this type of thing requires my enlisting the help of a younger member of my family.... which is anyone but my husband... to help me out.  But, I did it this time.... all by myself.  Impressed? You ought to be.  If not, don't worry.  I impress myself.

So, now I can do things like this with ease. And things like this.

  • And bullets and such
  • And lots of other things.

I can do block quotes like this. Even if I don't know what block quotes are... and will probably never use them, I can do them!

I can justify my print, and print in any color, shape or size that I want.  It really is a lot of fun to do.

This nifty program allows me to insert links to my friends blogs or other random things that I do.  Or other things I like.

I can insert tables... you know, because tables are pretty handy sometimes.

Colors I like Colors I don't like
Blue fuschia

I know...that's a pretty small table.  But, you get the point.

I can insert maps to places I want to go... (this would be Italy)

Map image

I can insert any kind of TAG I want.

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There are a lot of things I can do that I won't use, and some I will.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with myself and my sweet skills.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Test

I am a numbskull when it comes to figuring out new technology.  It takes me so much longer than most people.  So, I'm trying to figure out how to use Windows Live Writer.  This is a test of my figuring it out.

 

I have a whole lot more interesting bloggish topics to read on the rest of the site... don't stop here... please.

Google

Thank God for the Internet

This morning I was in the office at the front desk just minding my own business when two gentlemen came in. They were not customers... but looking for information on a retratos pa pasaporte. They did not speak English.

I stood for a while dumbfounded, trying to understand with hand motions and pointing in every direction I could to figure out what in the world they were trying to ask me.

I suddenly had a fantastic idea. I handed the older gentleman a piece of paper and a pen as the younger one chuckled at my craziness. He wrote down the words "retratos pa pasaporte". So, I jumped on the internet and looked up those words on the first spanish english dictionary I could find. It was passport picture. Whew.

So, I looked up courthouse and recorders office - which had no direct translation of course... and attempted to tell him he had to go there.

Then, I called the recorder's office...thinking that someone there surely would speak spanish and be able to explain to them what they can do. None. She looked all over at the auditors office, the assessors office, the clerks office... not one spanish speaking person. All the while these sweet men waited while I called the city to solve their problem.

Finally, the recorder said she can call a translator to see if they can get someone there, and I resorted to writing down the address of the courthouse, pointed to the end of town and said it was a "brick" building on the left hand side of the street...not the police station but the next one.

I know he didn't understand a word I said....but I patted his back, smiled brilliantly and wished them luck as they laughed all the way down the street.

Note to self: Didn't you always want to learn spanish?

food frenzy

Since many of my recent blog entries have been about food... I thought I'd post this and see if you will all post it too. I'm curious what you think.



Coke or Pepsi? That's a toss up... sometimes I like coke...and other times pepsi. I know, it's wishy wash.



Thick crust or thin for your Pizza? Thin crust pepperoni. That's really the best.



Rare or Well Done for you steak? Medium or Medium Well. I've really grown up in this area over the years. I used to be afraid of pink, now I embrace it!



Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Usually hamburgers. Hot dogs require a special mood... a hot dog mood

.
Ketchup or Mustard on your hot dog? Ketchup, Mustard, Relish, Cheese....bring it all. Except for chili. I am not a fan of chili-dogs.



Cake or Pie? Cake, of course. Nothing beats a good chocolate cake.



Brownies with a fine, glossy crust, or soft cake brownies? Soft cake brownies are not brownies, they are, in fact, a soft cake. Bring me mine with a fine glossy crust...unless I'm in the mood for a soft cake.



Nuts in the brownies? Definately Yes.



Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream? Usually vanilla because it can be topped with a multitude of lovliness.



Blue cheese or ranch dressing with your Buffalo wings? Are you trying to tick off the people in Buffalo? Blue Cheese is the only way to go! Don't knock it till you try it.



Soup or Salad?I really waiver on this one all the time.... because it depends on where we are at. Some soups are too good to pass up, even though I should choose roughage.



Butter on your Popcorn? Not usually. Just don't really like the microwave stuff anymore. I've been spoiled.



Pork or Beef barbecue? I have to choose pork here. Barbecue Beef is not nearly as good as pork.



Coffee or tea? I don't even understand this question. What is tea?



Oreos or Hydrox? Am I from a different country? What is hydrox? I may have to google that one.



Little Debbie or Hostess? Little Debbie usually wins this battle at the grocery store.



Bacon or Sausage? Sausage



Eggs Scrambled or Fried? Scrambled, if at all. I'm not a big egg person. It has something to do with my overactive imagination as a child. Long story.... but some things change the way you view food forever.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I love to cook

Have I mentioned that I love to cook?



The fall is especially my favorite time, and I love to try new recipes. I'm so lucky that I don't have a crazy picky family so they are usually pretty willing to try new things. We figured out this week that we don't like grilled eggplant.



I bought a bunch of cheap ground beef when it was on sale, so I've been making all kinds of ground beef recipes lately.



If you have a family that isn't super picky and willing to try something new, try out this recipe that's easy and pretty yummy.



Pasta Skillet

1 lb. ground beef

chopped onions

3 cups water

3 cups pasta (I used rigatoni because that's what I had)

1 jar spaghetti sauce

2 cups mozzerella cheese



Brown ground beef with onion. Drain

Add water. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium.

Stir in 3 cups pasta

Cover - simmer 15 minutes

Stir in sauce and 1 cup cheese

Sprinkle with extra cheese

Cover - cook 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.



Serve with warm bread!

pretty is what changes

I'm in the middle of a book by Jessica Queller entitled Pretty Is What Changes. It is a very thought provoking book.

The book is a memoir of Jessica's discovery after her mother's death from ovarian cancer that she has the breast cancer gene which puts her at a very high risk for developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer before the age of 40.

I am not to this point, but I know from reading about the book that she makes a drastic decision to have a double mastectomy. She describes in the book her love for children and her desire to have children someday. I don't know if this part is in the book, but I know from reading about her that, although she is single, she also decides to get pregnant by a sperm donor, then have her ovaries removed.

Radical choice for a young woman. I admire her. It's brave. It's unconventional. It's a young woman with a strong desire to live. The book details the overwhelming last few months with her mother. I love especially the way she describes her mother's beauty.

She begins the book by telling about her mother's idea of beauty when she was growing up.... that beauty is important, that being externally beautiful is something to be really valued. But, as her mother undergoes chemotherapy treatments and side-effects from both the drugs and the cancer, her idea of beauty changes and becomes truly beautiful.

October is breast cancer awareness month. This is the second book I've read on breast cancer. The first was equally as good, called Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker.

If you have ever had anyone in your life be affected by breast cancer or ovarian cancer, if you have daughters, or heck if you are a woman...you should read one of these books. You should know the signs of breast cancer and you should know your risks.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

time

Anytime I am asked what I need, I usually say time. When I actually think about it, I realize that there is just so much I want to do. As I get older, my answer is beginning to change to "energy", but that's for a whole different post.

The concept of time is so valuable when you think about it. There are certain things in life that tell without words what a person's character is like. Time is one of them. I am not talking about just how they spend their time. That does say a lot about a person. But, moreover, how they feel about time. I know...deep thoughts for the beginning of the week.... time feelings and all that.

Being on Time - Being on time says a lot. It just does. Being on time for work, on time to pick up your children, on time for meetings. Doing what you say you are going to do. I have noticed that people who value being on time also value returning phone calls and emails and following through with integrity. It seems so simple. But, in today's society, it isn't as simple apparently as I think. I have noticed that my opinion of a person is drastically down-graded when they are not on time. It causes me to reconsider the things I would entrust to them.

Valuing Others Time - I know many leaders who are incredible "time-valuers", if you would allow me to stretch the English language to make up that word. Five - Ten - Fifteen years down the road, I cannot wait to see what these young leaders become. But, the quickest way to show that you are arrogant and selfish is to waste my time. Tell me you will be there and don't show up, schedule a meeting for an hour and take three, put me on hold for 35 minutes, keep me in the waiting room for an hour after my scheduled appointment. I have such respect for those highway patrol who saw the traffic would potentially be backed up, but worked hard at preventing it.

In our office, in our family, in our lives, I work hard at showing respect for others time. I sometimes fail...but I want to grow and I know that growth will only come when others become more important than me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu Plan Manic Monday

I am crazy. I can't believe I'm doing it. But, I am.

My sister is a single mom of a 7th grade boy. She hates to cook. So, she doesn't.
I've tried helping her learn to like to cook. I've brought her over and given her recipes that are easy, and done various things with her to convince her that cooking is so. much. fun. I love it, and I just don't understand why she doesn't. Didn't we come from the same mom?

Anyway, so I decided to try something for her to help her out. It's tough enough raising kids with a spouse. Even tougher when you're by yourself. I really love her and decided to bless her a bit.

So, I made a menu plan and I'm making 10 meals for her freezer with instructions for her to thaw and cook them. She is buying the groceries, and I am doing the cooking. But, I need some suggestions. Do you have any great recipes that freeze well? Email them to me if you do, because I would love to try them out. I'm cooking on Wednesday and here is the menu plan so far:

Swiss Steak
Meat Loaf and Mashed Potatoes
Chicken Pockets
Beef Stew
Tacos (okay so I only freeze the meat)
Chicken Chili
Lasagna
Chili
Beef Enchiladas
Wild Rice Chicken

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Harvest

I love harvest. This is my favorite time of year. I love going to the Farmer's Market and buying produce from the local farmers. Last weekend, I went and purchased a ton of things to make my own spaghetti sauce. It was fun making it, but by the time it was done, it had taken me nearly 4 hours and cost about $10 for four jars of sauce. The last time I checked, it was cheaper at the store.

I also went to the church hill and picked some of the apples from the apple tree there. Not totally ripe, but I made my own applesauce. A cup of sugar, a dash of cinnamon... and free apples. Now that was a bargain.

My neighbor gave me some zucchini from her garden. I've never liked zucchini that much, but I grilled it and really. liked. it. Then, I made some zucchini bread and threw it in the freezer, pretending to be a pioneer woman who needs to store food for the winter. (It was my first try at zucchini bread, so I'm pretty sure I won't be serving it to anyone because it didn't look right).

I hope she reads my blog and gives me more...because I want to try this recipe:

Decadent Choco Zucchini Bread
Stir:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2-3 T cocoa
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. espresso powder (THIS SOLD ME ON THE RECIPE)
1 t. salt

Then add:
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 cup oil (minus 1 T if use sour cream)
2 T sour cream (optional)
2 sq. melted semi-sweet chocolate or 1/4 cup melted choc chips
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
6 oz dark semi sweet chocolate chips

Makes 2 bread loaves plus a small loaf.
Line bottom of pans with wax or parchment paper
Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Random thoughts and the ENDLESS SUMMER of 08

We had a great weekend. We had some good times with some good friends and just hung out. True to MY plans, we did very little.

However, we -Shawn and Abbie (I was napping actually) did build a fire pit in our backyard for our autumn pleasure! (When Autumn finally comes, that is…since technically, SUMMER ISN’T OVER YET). It was cool on Saturday night so we hung out by the fire for a while and roasted the three hot dogs that were in the refrigerator. We had no marshmallows and we were overly antsy to put something consumable in the fire pit.

In some ways, this summer has sped by,… and in others it has seemed like the ENDLESS summer of ’08. It just doesn’t feel like it is over yet.

Although I do have to say, we hung out with some friends this weekend and they reminded me that technically, SUMMER ISN’T OVER YET.

One friend went to Target on Saturday and bought some cheap swimming pools and spent the day blowing them up to celebrate that technically, SUMMER ISN’T OVER YET!

So, spend the week-weeks-month – whatever you want – celebrating summer because SUMMER ISN’T OVER YET!!!!