Monday, July 24, 2017

Chicken and Vegetables

Made an easy chicken, veggie, and rice dish tonight that turned out to be so delicious! In pan, saute onion and minced garlic in olive. Microwave jasmine rice in covered dish. Add large cubes of chicken with salt and pepper to pan and cook until almost done. Add balsamic vinaigrette, cover, and simmer until done. Add butter to cooked rice and microwave one more minute to melt and stir it in. Remove chicken to rice dish and save pan sauce in a heat proof dish. Add stir fry veggies to pan with more balsamic vinaigrette and stir fry, then cover to steam until done. Serve chicken and veggies over rice with sauce (on side, if desired). Yum. And since almost everyone here is sick, it's also healthy and easy on the stomach.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Lemon Curd



I love lemon.  I have known about lemon curd for over fifteen years.  I discovered it making Simply Lemon cheesecake. I've used it on fresh gingerbread.  But that's it.  I failed to discover the infinite possibilities before me.  

Until I bought this English Provender Co. Lemon Curd at my super favorite discount grocery for $1. (Actually. I think I bought four.)  I'm not even sure that they make it anymore.  I'm not sure.  But what changed my life, and will, I believe continue to change it for the better, is what they wrote on the lid:
"Delicious spread on warm toast, pancakes,& muffins. Spoon onto sponge cake or fill pastry shells & top with fruit and cream."

That, my friends, is life-changing.  How did I never think of this??  Lemon on toast ?  Yes!  Lemon on blueberry muffins?  YES!  Lemon on ricotta pancakes??? YES!!!

I had simple toast with my lemon curd today.  It was simply yummy.  I just had to share.

And while you're enjoying lemon curd with me, don't forget to squeeze in Sonic's Lemon Ice Cream Slush and Chik-Fil-A's frosted lemonade.  So good.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lost

Sometimes I am surprised again by loss.  That what once was is almost inexplicably forever gone.  I see their faces, smell their skin, feel the warmth of their smiles.  I see myself again as a child, exploring a town and people that are altered and gone.  That that girl is me, and yet part of the past, sometimes it pulls at me.  Sometimes it tries to draw me home to that place, to try to hold on to the pieces that remain, and sometimes it just breaks me against the knowing that there are some things you can never come home to again.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Toddlers

Lily is 16 months old now.  I love this age.  I have tried to soak in and enjoy every moment with her, but it still flies by.

But back to toddlers.  Aren't they the best?  I like a lot of ages and stages.  All of them, really.  Crawling might not be a favorite for me; it's messy and kind of dirty and hard, but otherwise... Back to toddlers.

Lily loves stop signs.  She sees them and puts out her hand and says, "top!"  She's been doing this for a few months.  She gets great joy from it.  It so happened that one of the first times that she did it, a truck came up and stopped right on cue.  So she probably thinks that she can do magic.  Or that stop signs are magic.  Or both.

Lily loves trains.  Today on her walk with daddy, she was a train.  She chugged and explored and tooted.

Lily loves her one special dolly.  She doesn't sleep without it,

Lily's smile can only be described as impish.  She knows she is going to be a tease and play games with you.  We all love to play her games.

I love everything about toddlers.  I was trying to think of things that I don't like, but I'm really coming up short.

 I use Honest diapers.  Not only are they good for the environment and healthier for my baby, but they are so cute.  I mean, like so cute that I actually am kind of obsessed with them.  They have seasonal designs.  They sent her birthday diapers to wear on her birthday.  New spring diapers are coming in the mail, friends.  Diapers with bees and butterflies and tulips and rainbows and little sheep.

 And we sing songs at changing time.  She's kind of crazy about "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  We actually sing that all day long.  But at diaper changes, we also sing "Eensy, Weensy Spider," "The Wheels on the Bus," "My God Is So Big," "God Made Me, " and another homemade favorite, "Mommy has Eyes" (maybe I'll make a video of that one sometime.)  

What I'm saying is, I even love toddler diaper changes.


Toddlers are so exuberant about their world.  What would it be like if we smiled as often as they did?  Found joy in the little things?  Loved our favorite animal as much as Lily loves owls?  Got excited about every train we see?  And books.  Well, I actually may still get that excited about books. :)





Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Love is the answer

There are days when you know that God loves you, but you feel like he hates you, or at the very least has appointed you his comic relief.  You know it's not true, and all the good reasons why,you know you should be thankful for 101 things,but you just can't feel it. I had one of those days recently.  It was brought on by two and a half days of not holding down anything that I ate or drank and all the ensuing repercussions of all the things that didn't get done.  It reminded me that when a friend has one of those days, I need to choose to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  I am so thankful for the friends in my life that did just that. There are times to remind people of truth, but a lot of times they just need someone to touch their heart and give them a hug.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Something's Happening

This has been the worst summer.  No really.  It has.  I went from a good, but difficult and time consuming Whole 30 to two months of trying to figure out how to help Brian out of the worst health crash ever (or at least one of them).  And the summer slipped away.  I had some good times in there with the kids, but it just wasn't great.  And Brian couldn't do anything with us.  And the pool never got warm.  And my back pain went exponential.  And Brian is still crashed.  It's been stressful and discouraging for me.  And I try not to think about me because it's so much worse for him.

So I've been trying to be thankful.  To remember that even though it seems like everyone else is gliding through life without decade long trials, they've all had their own trials.  And there's a bunch of trials that don't have to last a decade to be awful.  But I just wasn't feeling a lot of love, you know?  I was kind of more like, yes, I know that my salvation ought to be enough love to last without anything additional, but I'm just not really feeling very cared for.  And yes, I know that's very selfish.  I'm an American  - that's huge.  And have healthy (mostly) children.  That's huge.  But when your husband is suffering every day.  Loads of pain and misery.  Well, it's hard to feel like you're blessed.  Even when you count your blessings.  Does that even make sense??

Now I don't know what's going on today, but God seems intent on making me feel special.  First it was a happy mail day.  My dress for my sister's wedding arrived, and even though that wasn't a gift, it is a happy thing. (And it's a great dress that my sister got a huge discount on, probably making it the most inexpensive bridesmaid dress in history.  And it came in time to remind me to work out my arms, but I digress...)  Then my sister in law sent me a fabulous "Keep Calm and Let Alicia Handle It" shirt, which I totally love.  THEN, I opened the sweetest note from a friend telling me that she'd been led to take a little side job with the whole intent of giving ME what she earned from it.  And she did just that.  To use for whatever I want she said.  Another quiet weekend away?  A juicer?  The possibilities are endless, and Brian laughs because I always save money for the perfect option and can never make up my mind.  But really, can you believe that??  God wanted her to do this FOR ME.  Why on earth?  And she really did it too.  That's amazing.

Now I'm already trying to process all of this tonight.  Couldn't even really write about it yet.  And don't you know, another friend messages me on Facebook and wants me to come pick up the contents of his freezer.  Including organic blueberries.  And so many other things.  He said he was prompted by God the last couple of days to give it to us.  Now I'm not out of grocery money or anything, in fact, I spent the better part of the day trying to get all the right groceries for Brian, who's going on an organic produce cleanse for this three day weekend, and all the rest of us.  But I'm also not one to turn down free food.  Especially not when God is apparently intent on my having it.  What is up with that?  

I'm thankful for the gifts, but more than any of them, it is the Giver that now has me intrigued.  He's been talking to people about me.  Is that crazy or what?  What is He doing?  I've asked that question a lot, but usually with more than a little frustration.  This time, I'm totally intrigued.  Even hopeful.  He's up to something, and I'm beginning to wonder if I might not see more of this goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I've come to expect nothing or more bad news.  But this is shaking up my expectations.

Then, even as I chatted with my friend, Ann Voskamp posted the C.S. Lewis quote, " There are far better things ahead, than any we leave behind," along with this commentary:
Lord, the changes just about kill us.
Kids growing up & away. We lose our people, lose places & times we have loved. The headlines scream big things & straight up -- things up ahead can look mighty bleak. 
Honest? Sometimes we just want to find the rewind button -- find our way back to where we've been so we can live better, love realer, feel safer.
And You whisper, "Look ahead with joy... everything’s going to work out. I promise it's all working out for good...Look to Me" Isa:65:17, Ps20:6, Ro.8:28, Matt10:38MSG
And You are up ahead!
"There are far better things ahead -- than any we leave behind."
The best is never behind us; You save the *best* for up ahead --
and the end will be the *best*... and it will only be the *beginning*.

So we look with have hope ahead -- to the One who has our heart...
In the name of the only One who ever loved us to death & back to the realest & forever life. Amen.

I don't know what's happening, Lord, but I got your love letters today, and I'm listening.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I still miss you

How can it have been  nearly 28 years since I smelled your tobacco and peppermint skin?  You were supposed to be here. You wanted to dance at my wedding; you told me so yourself.  You would have been the best great grand-pap ever because you were the best Pappy a girl could ever have.  I still miss you.  So much. So very much.  You were my favorite.