The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fall Challenge

I missed Colette's Spring Challenge, so I'm totally in for this.

I'm too tired and don't have any time to go into anything more.

If you want to know about it, click on the button.

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

First...what did you do during Irene? (Because if I don't post all my stuff in today's post, I'm going to be behind.) We ate. Before, during and after. A lot of junk. It's back to vegan today, though.

Jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon. I got this recipe off some blog (which one?) and it couldn't be easier. 3 ingredients, stuff, wrap, bake at 450 until the bacon is done. So good.

Ryan has been in charge of taking the "First Day of School" pictures since I went back to work. Some years, he does a better job at it than others. This wasn't one of those years. Ahem. One of the prices I pay for being a working mom, I guess.

Lastly, cranberry/orange muffins. I started feeling guilty I've always made my kids pack their own lunches. I've vowed to do that myself this year. One day down...179 more to go, lol. Packing lunches is not something I enjoy. Because...what are you supposed to put in them? A boring sandwich every day? Blah. It occurred to me today...muffins. Who doesn't like muffins? And there are so many possibilities.

I'm trying to take back the 9 o'clock hour. That means I'm "off the clock" at 9 pm to read. This getting up at 4:30 am kills me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Last Minute Back to School Sewing

Just wrapping up the loose ends around starts tomorrow.

I love 20 minute projects. They make me feel all productive. Completed two of them today.

1. I have a picky child when it comes to clothes. (Maybe they are all picky when they are 14?) She's in the camp of "If it isn't skin tight, it's too big." I do not reside in that same camp.

I have no idea if her school asks athletes to dress up on the day of their competitions (The high schools of my past and present require it.), but the only dresses she has are "strappy" and therefore not appropriate for school.


I saw this shirt at Kohl's.

I cut off about 8" from the bottom, split the front, removed the button placket and took 4-5" off the sleeves. Added a little hook thingie to the top (It's actually bigger than I would have liked, but it's what I had on hand.) and Voila! She seems o.k. with it.

(I just noticed that thread worries. I'll clip it before she leaves the house. :-) )


I waited too long to buy one of those pouch thingies for her binder. All that is left in the stores are those cheap plastic ones that probably don't last through the first month. I told her to pick out some fabric and I'd make her one. (Evidently she is carrying two binders and will need a second pouch, but one will have to do for the first week.) I don't have any grommets (Is that what they are called?) that are large enough, so I just made button holes. Grommets would have been better, but whatever. (Not trying to go to the store.)
Most of you probably don't know this fabric. In my stash, I have a few coveted pieces (mostly Heather Ross/Munki) I've never been able to cut into. Leave it to my girlie to pick a piece of my Heather Ross. The fact I cut it for such a silly thing is proof I like her.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cabbage Rolls

Because I have 5 heads of cabbage in my fridge (My neighbor keeps bringing it over.) and needed to find something to do with some of it.

So I started thinking of things one can do with cabbage.

Until today, I'd never eaten cabbage rolls. I've seen them and have had the opportunity, they just never looked like something I wanted to eat.

I used the first recipe that showed up on Google. This one. I'm not up on Eastern European foods, so I don't know what they are supposed to taste like. These taste like a porcupine meatball encapsulated in cabbage...obviously delicious. Good thing I made a ton of them...enough for tonight's dinner and continuous snacking, a pan for the neighbors and another pan to put in the freezer for some other time.

I was doing a little research on them (Because what else would someone do during a hurricane?) and discovered Northwest Europeans eat them with sweet fillings like lingon berry jam. The idea of cabbage and jam doesn't sound all that great, does it? I also discovered there is a group called "Kåldolmens vänner" which means "friends of the cabbage roll". Not sure what that is all about, buy hey...if they rock your world that much, who am I to judge?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Before I get serious...who knew how fun it would be to bring the chickens into the house and try to get them to pose for portraits? Hahaha...if you haven't started wondering about me, surely this is the red flag you needed, right?

Now, I'm going to be serious.

A year and a week ago, I went back to church (After a long break due to issues too complicated for this space, basically because I wasn't interested in paying the price.) This church. I wasn't going for any other reason than for my girl to be in a youth she'd have activities that are supervised or whatever. I was just going to wait out my time there while that happened.

I had quit believing in God. Maybe. It's convenient to not believe in God when you are running from Him. Or easier?

God let me just be there the first week. It was nice. She wasn't quite feeling it, but I thought it was nice. I told her to give it a second try...because, well, I had already decided she was going to be a part of that youth group. (Sometimes I wonder about me.)

Week #2 (a year ago today)...God totally mowed me over with His presence. Ran me over like a train. I didn't feel rebuked or judged or anything negative (even though that is what I deserved), all I felt was God completely surrounding me and not letting me go.

And that was the beginning of this love affair that has taken over my life, my family, my house.

It's crazy.

I never would have called it.

I can't imagine anything else.

My life is changed. In so many ways.

He put people on my life. A crazy mix of people who seemingly have nothing in common...except Jesus. And I love them. D (my princess friend), E (who is starting college tomorow), N (How do I describe N?), R ( partner in what some would like to make a crime), M (who thinks I should talk in the mic...ummm...that's why I have a blog?) many more and I love all of them. A year and a week ago? I didn't have time for real, live people. And now? Sigh...I probably need them. (Last year's self would be disgusted by that admission.)

Notes from today's sermon:

Ezekiel 18:3
Jeremiah 31

-"If you don't have what you want, you either didn't want it bad enough or you haggled over the price."-Pastor Jerry

- Through knowledge, the righteous escape

- Don't forget who I am. I am His. Pay attention to what I do, what I see, what I think and anything I let into my sphere of reality. I am His.

- I am not my sin.

Friday, August 19, 2011


If you start out with this recipe, but then change it all around (fresh tomatoes, triple the spice and add some curry powder, fennel and raisins), it's not bad.

If you know Indian (Indian-ish?) food, you know it's not all that pretty to look at a lot of the time.

If I had put it in a bowl instead of on a plate and if I would have had natural light (It was pushing 10pm when we ate.), I might have been able to make it look prettier.

Nonetheless...dinner. Spinach Coconut Curry with brown rice.

Just putting it out there:

-I crave sushi way more often than I crave chocolate. Actually, I crave sushi more than any other food. I like Indian food. Not as much as sushi, but it's up there.

-I don't eat breakfast. Because I get up too early for all of that.

-The idea of eating sushi for breakfast makes my throat constrict. But Indian food???? I will get out of bed even earlier if I know we have leftover Indian food in the fridge. We are talking 4:30-5 a.m. folks. It's one of the only things I can eat that early in the morning. Weird?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brocolli and Butternut Squash Salad

Ryan says it's a winner.

You all know, by now, how I measurements, just some of this and some of that. Try it. It works out.

Rinse and drain one can of black beans. You are going to mix the dressing with the beans and let it all marinate a bit while the squash and brocolli is cooking.

To the beans add some pressed garlic (I used a lot...we love garlic.), fresh rosemary, thyme and a little dried basil (because the deer ate my fresh). Add some olive oil. I don't know how much. Maybe like 1/4 cup. Just eyeball it. Add some sea salt. Let all of that sit.

Peel and cube a butternut squash (I used a large squash.). Steam it and some fresh brocolli (in separate pans) until both are tender.

Toss gently with the bean mixture and a couple of handfuls of toasted pumpkin seeds.

I served it warm.

Nehemiah- Simple Lessons

(Very save me from having to write a whole commentary. If you are interested in knowing all the circumstances, go read it. If you read it, start with Genesis, otherwise it isn't going to make as much sense as it could make.)

I hadn't read this book in a long time. When I've read it, I can assure you I didn't take much from it. Maybe I've never read it. I don't know. (This is the part of the story where I must confess I might have cheated in my required reading and perhaps just made up some stuff for my required writing at that Baptist University I attended. In hindsight, I doubt that went undetected.)

I hadn't planned to read Nehemiah this week. But, "hop-scotch Bible reading" led me smack in the middle and I was so consumed with needing to know what that was all about, I ended up going back and reading its entirety.

The part that sucked me in? The realization Nehemiah didn't just sit around after he prayed for Jerusalem. He put some action along with it. He went and helped rebuild the walls. He didn't do this without God, he sought guidance. But, the part that strikes me is he didn't lay around on his OT era couch waiting for those walls to rebuild themselves.

I'm an action kind of person. If I'm going to be involved with something, I just want to make a plan and get it done. Maybe a year ago (definitely a year ago), this is how I ran my whole life: See it. Think about it. Make a plan. Do it. Be done with it. (Note the absence of God.)

And then I decided I was going to follow Jesus. For real. Not just go through the motions of it-like I've done in the past. But, for real. The problem with following (always) is it is impossible to follow if one is going to refuse to obey.

Obedience has been a lifelong issue for me. Obedience is hard. Somewhere in there, I went to the other end of the spectrum (in the name of obedience and too much awareness my plans were MY PLANS) and just said "God will take care of it." while I laid on my post NT era couch and put forth no action. Hmmm...

After everything gets restored, what do they do next? They take out the law of Moses and read it. It seems the people may not have been all that up on what was in the law. But what happened? The people did what the law said. There was revival. The people promised to separate themselves from anything unclean and/or against God. Is this not easily applicable to what is required today?

I'm really loving that I read this book. Of course, the timing is perfect. (My "New Year" starts in August/September instead of January.) I've spent the last week listening to God speak to me so softly about what I'm supposed to do in this (seemingly) impossible place He as put me; a place I love and a place I know I'm supposed to be, but a difficult place nonetheless.

This is not just some nice story about some guy and his commitment to build up some walls. It's a story that provides a model for being a servant led by God. It's also a story (even though I didn't talk about it) about attacks from our enemies (Satan, the world, our old natures) and promises of truth, peace, righteousness, faith and salvation. should read it. It's just that good.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Son Spot-Part 2

Sand Sculpture Building
At the beginning of the week, we made repairs.

At the end of the week, the sculptor decided he would make a new one to replace an existing one damaged by time/weather/etc...

(I was off getting tattoo'd with henna and missed the first steps. So, the beginning is all hearsay.)

Step 1-Take of the crust of the old sculpture and use it to form the foundation for the new sculpture.

You are going to need some water.

Step 2: Dig a lot of sand for a long time.

Step 3: Spray it all with a constant mist of water while the diggers arrange and shape the mound to get it ready for sculpting.

Step 4: Sit back and watch.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Son Spot-Part 1

All truth:

1. I did not want to go. I was loud about it. I stalled us. I whined and complained and at the last minute made us waste some time at Wal-Mart to avoid having to be there. I really did not want to go.

2. I was not really all that open to getting anything from the experience. God had already done amazing things in my life this summer (at FUSE Camp which I never blogged about, because I'm still processing all of that) and I didn't think I needed anything else.

3. I'm a little immature and presumptuous?

4. I don't like the beach and that includes sand, water, heat, noise, chaos, etc... Yeah, I'm really not a beach person.

5. I spent about 30 hours of not wanting to be there. And then God changed me.

6. Incredible stuff happened. Unlike FUSE Camp, where God was speaking to me very loudly (figuratively) and plainly, He was very quiet with me in (loud and chaotic) Ocean City. At FUSE Camp I was given gifts I could identify and describe. At Son Spot, I was given much, but can't find words to be able to tell you anything about it. How awesome is it that I can't qualify what I was given and yet I know those gifts are no fewer or less valuable than what I was given at FUSE Camp? How ridiculous was I to think I had already been given what I needed at FUSE Camp and therefore didn't need anything more? Sometimes I wonder about me.

7. I'm home now. I'm thinking about what I'd be doing at this exact moment in time if I was still there. We'd be out on the boardwalk, talking to people, praying for people and watching God move. For all the complaining I did about having to go there, that is where I want to be now.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Fresh from the oven: Pumpkin Muffins

Fresh from my neighbor's garden (The deer have eaten my garden.):

Because we are getting ready to go on a mission trip and all those vegetables won't keep: I made an Italian vegetable soup.

(I did not make the parmesan/black olive bread. Our thrift shop gives out free bread when it's open. I used to not take it, thinking it was only for the poor, but then my friend who works there told me I should and it is for whoever can use it. bread.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yesterday's Random-ness

1. I just realized I didn't get dressed yesterday. I don't want to say it, but this is usually the big, red flag that tells me I need to go back to work where people force structure upon me.

2. I had pulled a semi-all-nighter on Monday night. Went to bed at dawn yesterday and got up a couple hours later. All in the name of cleaning; which I did do. But, I'm not done. I did clean out my spice cabinet. I found some crazy stuff in there.

3. While cleaning and organizing, I realized we should eat up the food we already have. I was trying to be like my Mormon friends and stockpile a ton of food. Which is all good...unless you never eat any of it. We need to eat some of it. So...I decreed "No more trips to the grocery store except for once a week to buy milk and fresh produce." There was a resounding sigh of discontent shadowed by the hope this will be yet another one of those times I decree something and then don't follow through. I'm following through.

One thing you should know in order to get a full understanding of the magnitude of this: I have an intimate relationship with Safeway and visit her daily. There's a lot I could describe of this relationship, but I don't want to lest y'all think I'm weird.

But, I digress...the day turned into a lazy day after that initial cleaning spark. I have no idea what I did to pass the afternoon, but I did cook dinner; lentils with carrots and tiny corn muffins. (There was a resounding cry of distress from the masses..."Lentils! Why are you always cooking lentils?") Truthfully, I don't even know when I last cooked lentils. But, tonight reminded me I should make them more often. My apologies to the masses comes with the statement "There's peanut butter in the Apocolypse Closet".

Have you any idea how hard it is to cook with a big, fat cat underfoot?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Green Beans

I don't think I ever ate green beans cooked this way until I was an adult. It is probable I wasn't even aware there was another way to cook them other than the "boil forever with ham/bacon and red potatoes" (which is delicious). That recipe was a staple of my childhood.

We like them like this.

Making them is non-scientific:

Take the ends off the beans and saute them in sesame oil. Toss with fresh pressed garlic (I use several cloves), sea salt and red pepper flakes. For these, I added a dash of soy sauce and a little sweet chili sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.

I was hoping there would be some left for lunch today. There wasn't.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I am not obsessed, but I will admit I probably make cupcakes more than most people. It seems like I'm taking them to almost every event where I'm supposed to bring something.

While I don't understand the current phenomenon of cupcake shops and the seemingly new idea of these individual cakes (The idea is not new need to to make a day of it running down to Georgetown Cupcakes to fork out more money for one than it costs to make a whole batch.), I do understand how quick and easy/peasy they are to make.

And I'll continue making them until someone tells me to bring something else.