Thursday, October 25, 2012

Matchy matchy green squared

Can you name the movie that this title was taken from? 

It is a favorite movie and a favorite saying at our house ... that shows up anytime we are talking about my favorite color ... GREEN.

Since Christy is home for a visit, we have had some great lunches together. She is a great, healthy and very green cook. 

What did you have for lunch today? 

ps. In case you would like to reproduce this lunch, it is romaine lettuce, kale, cucumber, sprouts, avocado, goat cheese and navy beans ... all from Trader Joe's.

Monday, October 22, 2012

For those mornings you do not feel like getting out of bed (and for the mornings you do)

My favorite morning spot
From the moment my eyes open each morning, I am what my family calls "chipper." Thoughts, ideas and full blown plans come to me with the first morning sun light.

This is usually okay, as Dave is a morning person and an extrovert. When the introvert/non-morning girls visit, I try to be quiet in the morning. I try.

This is the normal me. But lately I have been rather lethargic when I wake up ... not quite ready to face the day.

So, I have added something new to my morning routine ~ before I even get out of bed.

I adapted this from Jen Hatmaker's book, 7. (Jen pauses seven time throughout her day for reflection, Scripture and prayer.)

I am beginning with the first pause ~ The Awakening Hour and I am using Psalm 118:24.  "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." 

Here is how it works for me:

This is the day 
          *I begin by talking with Jesus about my feelings. This day ... I was feeling lazy and not very charming.

          *Then I bring before the Lord what this day holds for me. Today that was church, an afternoon relaxing with Dave, our girls traveling and some specific needs for family and friends.

That the Lord has made

         *Ah, the Lord ... what a relief that this day includes all of Him. I reflect on different aspects of Jesus. He is my joy, my healer, the lifter of my head (and so much more.)

I will rejoice and be glad in it

          *I reflect this day on the gifts God has brought into my life. The girls safe arrival in Missouri, a surprise for a blogging friend, Dave asking me just the right question, the joy of Christy being home, Anne coming next week, the beauty of fall around me (and so much more.) 

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. 

What are you like when you first wake up?  

Linking  to Jen and the Soli Sisters

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn recipes ... from my kitchen (and Ina's)

my fall sign from Homegoods
I promised you some recipes from my perfect day from last week, so here goes ...

recipe from my friend Merrily Lowry
Pumpkin Muffins

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg  

Mix together. You can add raisins, nuts, cranberries and/or chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin tin. Bake for 20  minutes at 375 degrees.

Autumn Chowder - a recipe I have had for years, but I forgot who gave it to me.
Autumn Chowder

6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon or 2 cubes
3 cups milk
1 small package frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
3 tablespoons flour (I leave the flour out for my gluten free girl.)

Fry bacon. Add onions. Brown until bacon is crisp. Stir in water, potatoes, carrots and bouillon. Simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 - 20 minutes. Stir in milk, corn and pepper. Heat til simmering. Mix cheese and flour and add to soup, stirring until melted.

I always double this recipe.

(A shout out to our dear friends, the Palms, who shared this meal with us many October nights.)  

Apple Crostada
You can find Ina Garten's Apple Crostada recipe here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A perfect autumnal day

Last Wednesday was as close to perfect as a day can get, in my book. What makes a day perfect for me, besides that it is already my favorite season?

cupcake holders from England
1. Christy is home from England for a visit.

Autumn Chowder
Apple Crostada

2. I spent an afternoon alone in my sunny kitchen making pumpkin muffins, autumn chowder and two apple crostadas. (one for us and one for a thank you gift) 

Dave, Christy and Jenny 

Daniel, Jenny and Christy
3. We spent hours around the table, enjoying this delicious food, but even more ... enjoying each other.

our girls
This weekend, the adorable girls are off on a road trip ... time to catch up, after Christy has been in England for one year. Perfection.

Come back on Thursday and I will share these simple fall recipes with you.

Wishing I could share this autumn meal with the Soli Sisters.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The British are coming again ... to PBS ... Call the Midwife

Sunday night, Dave was out of town, and I was spending the evening with my girl, just visiting from England. 

With our cups of Tetley tea, we settled in to watch a new series that Christy had already been watching in Bicester.

Call the Midwife  is based on a series of books by Jennifer Worth, who was a midwife in the slums of London's east end, during the 1950's. 

I love true stories.

I love stories with women of different ages living together.  (four darling young midwives and four darling old nuns)

I love England.

I love babies.

I loved Call the Midwife. You can see the first show online and then enjoy the rest on Sunday nights. It is a short series ... so you will want to get right to it.

Note from Glenda ~ there are some rather graphic 1950's, slums, home delivery birthing scenes. Possibly not for the faint of heart or nervous first time

Monday, October 8, 2012

20 little things I love about fall (cheaters edition)

Melissa, at The Inspired Room, invited bloggers to join her in sharing "20 little things I love about fall." 

I love many things about fall, so I am cheating and writing 26 things ... one for each letter of the alphabet.

Acorns We have a silver bowl with 50 acorns that comes out every fall. It is a favorite toy of all kids that visit our home.

Butternut squash My favorite dinner is meatloaf, baked potato and squash.

Candy corn One candy corn and one cashew makes a perfect bite.

Dave and I are heading to New Orleans to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. We got married Thanksgiving weekend, so we usually celebrate early.

Evening pumpkin pie party Sixth annual one at the girls home.

Fires Our fireplace is fake ... but we still love it.

Garland of leaves and lights over our bookcase.

Halloween The one thing I love about this holiday is the darling children in costume.

Insights from Scripture Thank you, God, for creating seasons. (Genesis 1:14)

Jackets and mittens and scarves, but not the winter coat, yet.

Keeping our home organized I love a deep fall clean before all the holidays begin.

Long walks in our neighborhood On our walk this weekend, we watched the filming of "Chicago Fire."

Montana Potatoes and other favorite fall foods.

Nesting I love pulling out the fall box and decorating.

Orange Our vintage Chicago apartment looks beautiful in fall colors.

Pumpkin pie, muffins, bread, soup ... you get the idea. 

Quilts It is time to pull them out again.

Reading ... a few fall favorites.

Soup Autumn Chowder is our family tradition.

Tea We are "the beverage family" and we love our tea in all seasons.

Unique fall napkins I found the perfect owl beverage napkins at HomeGoods.

Vase full of bittersweet When we lived in Minneapolis, we could pick our own. Now I pay too much, but it is worth it.

Warm cider Have you ever tasted Trader Joe's cider?

Xxtra cozy home I enjoy a cozy home in all seasons, but especially in the fall.

Yum ... coffee on a cold morning.

Zzz I always sleep better in cooler weather.

What are some of your favorite fall things? 

Happy Fall to Jen and the Soli sisters.                     

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I did not blog this morning ... but I might have saved my life

This morning,  about the time I am usually adding a new post to my blog, I was instead heading off to have a colonoscopy.

Huffington Post calls it ... "the funny test we love to hate." There is some really great humor (Dave Barry's account is hilarious) and there is a lot of fear that keeps people from having this important test done. 

This was my second one (oh the joys of turning 60) and I will tell you the truth . . . 

It simply is not a big deal.

The worst part for me is drinking the thickish liquid, but I plugged my nose and drank it really fast. 

I read a good book, while I spent some extra time in the loo. 

And the actual procedure ... you are comfortably asleep.

So ... please if you have been putting it off ... just go and get it done.

No screening means no early detection.

ps. I got a good report back.

Monday, October 1, 2012

What my parents taught me about being poor

I was poor once ... for four years. (grade one through four, for me) Not poor by third world standards, but definitely poor by American standards.

me in first grade

My parents put their home (my dad built) on the market, packed up our family of six and moved to Canada to go to school. But the house did not sell ... so things were slim pickins.

How poor were we?

          *we put our car on blocks and walked

           *in "those days" we wore dresses to 
             school and my sisters and I each
             had two dresses

          *We ate the same food all the time

            (Breakfast was hot cereal and cornflakes
            on Sunday. Lunch was goulash style 
            casseroles. Dinner was toast, peanut
            butter and canned fruit.)

          *Once a week my mom baked a cake in a
            9x13 pan ~ my dad used a ruler and 
            marked off tiny slivers (on Christmas Day our
                  treat was potato chips and pickles) 

          *We rented a small three room home.
            (Dad and mom had a room, my sisters and I had a triple
                  bunk in another small room, and my brother slept on the
                  couch in the combined living room/kitchen. The bathrooms
                  were outside and shared with other families.)
          *On Christmas Day, we got a free tree
            when the lot closed and dad made 
            really cool ornaments with glitter and
            construction paper

We were poor. Of course, we had clean water, safe
and warm housing, but we were poor

So, what did I learn from my parents about being poor?

Nothing ... absolutely nothing. Why? Because, we kids did not know that we were poor. We simply did not know. 

Our home was full of ~

simple routines
outdoor play
library books
Bible stories
and fun 

You know, when you do not know that you are poor, you think your dad made your Christmas decorations out of construction paper and glitter, because he was creative and clever. (which, by the way, he was) 

My parents were intentional about fully embracing
a simple and fun lifestyle ... I am so glad they did!

ps. When we grew up, we learned that dad and mom had popcorn and licorice every weekend, after we went to bed. :)
 Linking tonight to Jen and the Soli sisters.    

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