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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jack Fruit BBQ

1. I'm not exactly sure what jack fruit is. Some kind of fruit that grows in Asia...that's all I know.

2. I bought 2 cans of it a month ago after I read some crazy article about how great it is if you don't eat meat, but have a history of eating meat and want to recreate some familiar dish that would normally contain meat, without meat; chicken specifically. The fun part of buying it involves a trip to the International market. If you have never been to one, know (at least in my area) there is no rhyme or reason to the arrangement of products and you sort of need to plan for the extra time you are going to spend wandering around the gazillion aisles wondering where the jack fruit is. Be forewarned: There are numerous languages (and alphabets) represented there; none of them English.

3. I discovered there are tons of recipes using jack fruit for a "chicken like" meal. However, even though I had those two cans, I couldn't open them. Because I had high expectations and I did not want to be disappointed. If you've ever eaten fake meat, you probably understand. Because, I mean, really...the whole thing sounded too perfect to be true. Fake meat without (foul tasting) processed...wait...I don't even know what they make fake meat out of. The idea I could just substitute some of this wonder fruit and skip all of that? And my kids wouldn't know the difference? That's a lot to expect.

4. I finally did it. If you google "jack fruit pulled pork" you will get a ton of recipes. Mine is an adaptation of one that had a Carolina style BBQ sauce. As it turned out, there was no disappointment. One of my kids ate it without question. The other already knew and was hesitant. She ate it, but said she didn't like it. But, she ate I'll be making it again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Beauty in the moment...

A week ago, my yard looked dead and gray.

A week ago, I felt dead and gray. I didn't know it though. One does not have time to acknowledge things like that when one has intentionally made life busy and loud. Did I mention busy?

I did not see it coming, even though it had been coming for awhile. Because I either chose not to see it or I didn't want to believe it was there. Busy and loud will delay much. For awhile.

Until God speaks.

And halts one in one's tracks. Whether or not one was planning on being halted. Even if the halt is painful.

And turns death back into life again.

Jesus said, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

30 Years

30 years? When did I get old?

30ish years ago, my mom bought me this clarinet. She paid $75. for it. Not new. It was owned previously by some girl named Shelly Leffler. It probably wasn't new to her. At any rate, it's bizarre I remember all of that. Because, like I said, it was 30 years ago. I was going into the 4th grade. Didn't I have other important facts to be stashing in the back of my head at that time?

It's not like I ever got good at it. I took lessons once a week at the school. From a woman who is currently serving a sentence for murder...but I suppose it is beside the point that she killed her husband or boyfriend or whoever he was sometime after my clarinet playing days. Still, it adds to the know I don't actually have any stories about my life that don't have some crazy event associated with them. But, yeah...beside the point. The point is, I was never good at it.

My guess is none of us were very good.

My mom joined the Army when I was almost 14 and that was that. The clarinet went in its case and I never did anything with it again.

Fast forward 30 years...(I can't get over this 30 year aspect) hobby. For today, anyway. I printed off a bunch of 3rd grade level sheet music and remembered how to play it. Which, is crazy. Because, did I mention 3rd grade was 30 freakin' years ago?

It needs new corks. And to be cleaned. And probably new pads. Do I even want to know how much that is going to cost? Truthfully, it's probably cheaper to buy a new one, but I'm sentimentally attached to this one.

My kids were all icked out I put a reed with 30 year old (maybe only 27 year old) spit on it in my mouth. Which makes me wonder...will all of their life stories come with crazy associations?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Breakfast Bars

One of my kid doesn't like breakfast all of the time. The other one likes breakfast some of the time. Neither of them like oatmeal unless it's the kind with flourescent dinosaur eggs in it; the kind I'm pretty much opposed to (most of the time).

They do, however, like cookies, cake and anything that resembles a dessert-like dish.

We occasionally have a banana problem (I bought more than we wanted to eat and now they are brown.) I used to make banana bread. But they all swear they hate it now. Hmm...I don't like it, myself.

The obvious solution to all of this was some recipe I found for "Breakfast Cookies". I'm pretty much too lazy to make individual cookies, so mine are bars.

They ate it.

The recipe could not be easier.

Combine 3 ripe/mashed bananas with a cup of applesauce. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, a handful of Craisin, a handful of nuts and however much cinnamon you feel like putting in. Spread in a 9x11 pan. (I sprayed mine with a little oil.) Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.

I'm guessing this is one of those things you could hide all kinds of good stuff in.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Project #3

Spring projects #3 and #4 should probably be just one project. But, I work full-time and go to school full-time and have kids and a husband and a house...which means I get to divide it up however I want. Go ahead...roll your eyes. I'd do it if it were you talking. ;-)

Last year, I was going to make some outdoor furniture. Because all of ours is all junky. Actually, I can't even say that anymore. I put ours out on the road and somebody picked it up. So, now their outdoor furniture is junky.

I'm in a mood today. Have been all weekend, actually. Today is not the day to mess with me. Just sayin'.

Doesn't everyone build furniture in the dining room? Ryan had this great idea of using our old tile spacers to space out the decking.

The light on my porch is bad, but you get the idea. Project #4 is going to be the chairs. I'm using these plans.

Spring Project #1

Spring Project #2

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Remember this day?

The projects are finally finished.

Must meet size requirements, be collapsible and be able to support the smallest member in your group.


You may only use cardboard and white glue.

The bridge must not be any longer than 12", but must span 10". Your design should support the entire load (In this case, 44 combination locks...because sand would make a ridiculous mess.) without sustaining any damage.

You are limited to 500 toothpicks and white glue. You may not coat the entire bridge in glue. (There were many violators of the glue rule.)

I have no idea what I am doing tomorrow.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring Project #2-Pea Trellis

Seriously...the most productive weekend ever.

My peas are planted. Some of them anyway. I'd like to figure out how to grow more of them on my deck (since I bought a 1/2 lb of seeds), but it gets really hot up there early in the season. So maybe that won't work. We planted these.

And the obligatory chicken picture:

Spring Project #1-Complete

In my mind, I had this picture of the finished project. This looks nothing like I was imagining, because, I started looking around (There was so much junk in there. My room seems to be the catch-all for all the stuff we don't know what to do with when we clean other parts of the house. Read: We just move crap around when we clean.)and there were all these things I wanted to keep that didn't match my picture of some Mediterranean themed space. It's all's clean and decluttered and peaceful. But, yeah, it doesn't look like what I was planning on doing.

I need curtains.

The tour (Sorry about the lighting. It's an old house and natural light is lacking in spots.):

I'm not really into Precious Moments figurines (or pretty much any of those types of statues), but I once was. A really long time ago when we were first married. We would look at them when we were at the mall and sometimes Ryan would buy them for me. On our first roadtrip, he took me here on our way back from St. Louis to Oklahoma City. I guess I keep them around, because I'm sentimental. It's only been 19 years, but that world seems like a long, long time ago.

The quilt is from my Great Grandma Boone. She made it for her hopechest before getting married in 1930.

Normal people would have "His" and "Hers" or something boring like that monogramed on their shams or something. Not me. I've got a fox mask and fairy wings. This room decor was not intentional. I bought them to wear as costumes to the fairy festival, which is awesome, but then we stopped going. Because Jac always seems to have a lacrosse game or six that weekend. I hung them there, because I needed them to be somewhere and there were already two nails in the wall. And then decided I like them there.

This house was built in 1959 and I guess people didn't value closets during that time. Or bathrooms big enough to add any sort of storage device. My Grandpa Ed made this little cupboard for Alicia's play kitchen. But, she's too big for all of that now and it works perfectly to store away all that bathroom stuff that has no other place to be.

Jac's baptism gown (in very poor lighting). Every marriage has some secrets. I think mine only has one...the amount of money I spent on the lace for this gown. There is no way I am ever divulging that, because even 11 years later, the figure is astounding. It's French. The bottom piece looks like a single piece. It's not. It's a few rows of laces sewn together.

Of everything I have ever sewn, this is my hands down favorite. And I want to look at it all the time. It's one of those things I look at and marvel that I made it. Should I mention it took grand prize at the fair? Some other world I used to live in...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Project #1

One thing you should know about me is that I love spring. I mean, really love it. Spring motivates me to get stuff done. The other seasons? Not so much.

Spring is when I feel the sudden need to immediately do projects that never entered my mind until 5 minutes ago.

Another thing you should know about me is that I am incapable of cleaning anything unless I have a new bottle of cleaner. Which entails me having to go to the store where I open every option and smell them. Because the best part of cleaning is having a house that smells good. At least, that's what I tell myself.

At some point, though, a situation always arises where a bottle of cleaner (and the good smell it brings) isn't enough. That's where painting comes in. I love color and I love to change it. This usually occurs on a whim and pretty much without any warning.

I think I cleaned my room two years ago. I sort of recall taking a day off of work to do it. I'm pretty sure paint was involved.

But, I'm tired of yellow or gold or "Cowboy Canvas" or whatever that color is. And my room needs cleaned. Badly.


Stay Tuned.