Thursday, July 24, 2014

{Pretty Happy Funny Real} - Beach Edition!

I'm on vacation, hence the utter lack of updates (no, I haven't been on vacation since the last post. Not that I'd have minded that. Not at all.).

That being said, and because I have to use the blogger app which I don't like, this will be short. 

These pictures are from the coast of Maine, where it has been absolutely glorious for the past week!  


The view from our porch. One of my favorite, favorite places in the world!  Add a book, a glass of Kahlua and cream (...milk...), and I'm in heaven. 


The perch of power, from where she analyzed the best tourist lunch bits to snitch, and snitch she did. "Mine. Mine. Mine!"


He cast his last lure in a beautiful and effortless arc off the guessed it...into the tree that cannot be climbed or reached.  Que horror! Cue much good-natured and effervescent bemoaning of that mistake! That explains the fourth line from the bottom...


And way out there is Europe. Crazy! 

Just a few more for good measure!

A real lighthouse!


Check back with Like Mother, Like Daughter for more contentment!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Field Trip for Grown-Ups {p,h,f,r}

The Like Mother, Like Daughter linkup for some good old contentment has brought me back from the bloggingless grave.  Resurrection!  Redemption!  Yes, I've been grading a lot of tests on The Tale of Two Cities.  How did you guess?

We went to the zoo.  It was really cool.  We saw a ton.  And I only got four pictures, but, since you've actually clicked the link, I'll share my little bit of joy and zooish contentment with you!  De rien.


What would it be like to be that awkward looking and yet that inherently graceful?  Giraffes are so pretty.  I think I do okay in the pretty department about 80% of the time - relatively speaking to the situation at hand, of course - but graceful.....that comes and goes.  Maybe 50%.  Lately, I've had to keep my toes permanently painted something opaque because I seem to have stubbed both big toes to the extent that they look rather diseased.  They aren't, for the record.  But when one smacks one's toenail into hard objects multiple times, the nail tends to get a little crunched looking.  I know, you really wanted to hear about my toenails...thanks for listening.  I appreciate it, I do.  And, I will further expound at length upon the virtues of a slightly sparkly coral nailpolish from, I believe, Forever XXI.  Check it out; it'll save me the expounding, and make you a happier person!

Photo Source


There actually isn't anything particularly happy about this picture, but there isn't anything unhappy with it either, so I figured it qualified by process of elimination.  If there is no unhappiness, there must be happiness.  Anyway, I thought it was a neat picture, and I think turtles are rather fascinating.  I'm not into turtle stuffed animals or statues or anything; I just like watching them swim around and walk.  They're so goofy!


This reminded me of three old men sitting outside a barbershop or similar place, drinking coffee and killing time.  These turtles looked so happy and so utterly uninterested in doing anything except sitting was the classic old man line personified, or animal-fied, to be correct in the idea, if not the spelling.


Look closely.  They are real.  Very.  And the other kind that looks the same but has a wider mouth (I can never remember which is the crocodile and which is the alligator.  Sigh.  Shame upon my science education!) was only one cage away.  Looking at things like this make me remember just where I stand on the food chain, why I approve the invention of guns and other means to kill large things at a distance, and the fleetingness of my life.  All in all, however, these two behaved very well and didn't eat or otherwise mangle anything while we watched.  Thank you Lord!

Back to work.  Dr. Manette, Sydney Carton, and all other sundry peoples of the French Republic await.  Au revoir!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wife-hood, Fatherhood, Opinions, and a Coupon!

This is beautiful.  For anyone who hasn't already read it, please do.

Granted, I totally copied this link from Like Mother, Like Daughter, but I felt it was worth passing along.  One can never have too much wisdom, right?  Of course right!

What else is new?  Not much.

Oh, one more thing.  I love listening to Rush Limbaugh.  Been listening since I was a teen and he's still my go-to political guide, especially with all this wackiness happening now.  Don't tell, but I really want to get a Rush Babes t-shirt - this one, actually:

Photo Credit

I think he's really funny, and very, very smart politically.  And, I also think he makes excellent iced tea!

So, if you want to support some good conservative business and you like iced tea, check out Two if by Tea.  I recommend the peach and the regular.  Use coupon code DEALIO2014 from now until July 31, '14, for $4.00 off your order.  I won't be using it in that time, so I figure I'll pass it along.  Thanks Rush!

Oh, and if you have younger kids, the Rush Revere books are supposed to be quite good and have won a couple of children's books awards.  My siblings liked them a lot.  After all, they have a talking horse.  What more do you need?  Amazon has 'em, I think.

Since Fathers' Day is coming up tomorrow, here's a link to a couple articles about how to say "thanks" to the dads, and how better to appreciate their efforts for the family.  I think they're good follow-ups to the first article about being a wife.
   - Five Ways to Thank Dad
   - Dads: The Heroes of Homeschooling

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

{p,h,f,r} Pinch of this, Dash of that

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Like Mother, Like Daughter for some contentment!  (Like the alliteration there?  Thought so!)


 Our honeymoon and wedding albums came in the mail and I was reminiscing, so I thought I'd share.  Isn't it pretty?  I'd love to go back someday, now that we've seen most of the island and done the exploring, just to relax, sip margaritas on the beach, and read a book.  Heavenly.

Did you know that butterflies get drunk from rotting fruit?  Well, they do.  These guys were quite relaxed and happy, and didn't bat a wing when I stuck my camera right up in their buggy little faces.  They were pretty happy...

But not as happy as this spunky little thing!  Not exactly up to American food cleanliness standards but awfully cute all the same.  Something tells me he was pretty "happy" too; this was only one of many drinks that afternoon for the DLF.

This video is great!  I would absolutely LOVE to get a costume like this for halloween, or just to stand on the street corner and scare people.  My husband wanted to get it and sneak up on his boss in the office.  He thought his knowledgeable-but-not-emotive boss might like to open his office door to find a dinosaur roaring at him.  Might be funny...just a little!

I wanted to get a costume like this and hide down a mall bathroom hallway - those creepy ones with the twists and turns - and scare people.  But since that would probably lead to my arrest and subsequent 15 minutes of fame on Fox News' weird story section, we'll bag it.


Real pirates!  We got boarded and everything; barely escaped with our lives.  Fooled you, I know.  And you thought this was just another honeymoon picture of a tour boat because Kate wants to be at the beach right now.  Pshaw!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

This and That, a Recipe, and a Race

It's been a rather rough week, hence the lack of blogging...any prayers you feel like sending would be appreciated :)  We're still chugging through fertility help with the NaPro doctor, and hopefully will be making some progress, but it's definitely an emotional and uphill climb.  But, as I remind myself, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, and really...despite the fact that my way seems awfully sensible to me, His way always turns out better.  

But I digress...

On a funnier note, do you know who wrote the Bill of Rights?  Do you know what the First Amendment is?  I hope you do, or at least have a good enough idea to realize that Senator Schumer is a little off.  For your reading pleasure: Sen. Schumer Credits Jefferson with Bill of Rights.

Also, this Banana Muffin Recipe is amazing!  Made it yesterday, and we polished off five (don't laugh!) within 20 minutes of them coming out of the oven.  Delicious, even without the nuts that I wanted but didn't have in the cupboard.

So, the Belmont will be running in a couple hours, and California Chrome might be the next triple crown winner.  He has the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby under his belt...time will tell if he'll get the all three.  What do you think?  Does he have a chance or will the extra quarter mile distance do him in and end his bid where so many others have ended?  If I had any idea how to do a poll on here, I would!  Secretariat ran it in 2:24 second, which is still the record.  I doubt it'll get broken today; people don't train for stamina like they did back then.

Secretariat at the Belmont - so easy...
Photo Credit

Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Minute Friday - We know nothing!

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday!  Today's word is...*drum roll*..."nothing."

Well, the very first thing that came to my head with this was the recent video put out by Bill O'Reilly that has me utterly convinced that my generation knows absolutely nothing.

They don't know history.  They don't know geography (the Civil War was between the South and the...Northeast?  What about the northwest?).  And, they don't know how to dress.

I'm okay with a bikini that gives decent coverage.  String bikinis are for home pools and honeymoons.  But I don't have a problem with a cute halter and skirt bikini or something similar.  However, there is a girl on this video that I shall link to that is wearing a thong bikini!  Don't care how good you  And the fact that you could not answer any of the questions that Watters asked doesn't make the bikini look better.

Okay, rant over; I'd just never seen anyone in real life - if FoxNews is real life - wearing one before.  In case you're nervous to watch, it's only a couple quick glimpses; besides, I'm assuming it's only women reading this, and let's be honest ladies: she doesn't have anything we haven't seen before!

Seriously, though.  These are simple questions being asked.  Do people really not know this, or where they just playing dumb to get attention?  What do you think?  Is it some new kind of flirting that I'm unaware of at the decrepit age of 25?

Question for all of you well-educated and well-informed people out in the web: did you get all of these questions right, or did you miss any?  If so, which ones?

Please answer!  I'm so curious!  And I won't laugh too hard if you missed any...hahaha.

Check it out; it's pretty funny.  My poor, poor generation, what has befallen you?!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

{p,h,f,r} Small joys!

Linking up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for a little more down home contentment!


This is only the second dandelion I've seen.  Maybe Texas just doesn't have as many, but dandelions always heralded summer to me.  We used to have tons, and even though I know they are weeds, I really like them.  They're so joyful!


This makes me so happy because look at all that sand!  I have been going to this beach since I was two, and my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have been going there before me.  For the last few years, the sand decided to depart, so it was rocky as all get out.  Really, underneath that sand are rocks.  Lots of rocks.  While it was nice, it wasn't running at 100%, and I think the toddler-toting crowd felt the lack of sand worse than the rest of us.  

So, despite all the hippy libs that said we killed the beach (they blamed it on a storm wall kind of thing that is keeping a house from falling into the ocean people!), as all the wise old ladies have said for years, it's cyclical.  Sand comes, sand goes.  It always comes back.  And right they were, as this picture is less than a week old.  Is it vacation yet?!!  


Not really appropriate, but I ran across this silly picture earlier today and it just struck my funny bone!  God bless the animals for their trusting nature, because oh baby do we abuse it!  Can I have a dog now?


The dishwasher isn't working, so all those nicely loaded dishes....are dirty.  I'm about to attempt to make dinner without washing anything so that I can do it all while dinner cooks.  One fell swoop sort of thing.  I like to bring in my groceries in the least number of trips, wash my dishes once a day, and otherwise attempt time-saving activities that do not actually save time.  Real me, whatdayaknow!

Time to return to my unspoiled days and go wash dishes by hand.  First world problems - yep!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Responsibility of Marriage

Do you ever think about what marriage means?  I do.  We were discussing this in the Women of Grace group I've been going to the past couple months and I thought it would be interesting to throw out there to the blogosphere.  Oh, and if you're looking for a Catholic women's study group program for church or just some friends, check out WoG.  It's really good!

One of the ladies mentioned that her future son-in-law had attended a wedding in which the priest gave a wonderful sermon about what marriage really was.  The part that stuck out to her son-in-law was when the priest told the man getting married that it was his duty to return his wife to God at the end of her life, pure and chaste, just like she was when God gave her to him.

Isn't that beautiful?!  Not only is it a reminder that spouses are supposed to bring each other to heaven, but also a reminder about the beauty of purity within married love!  I thought it was lovely.  Simply lovely.  Shall I find a reason to say "love" one more time?  No?  Okay.

The red jacket was a joke on me; he actually wore a very nice brown suit.
That's my mom's wedding dress, altered and fitted to yours truly *awwww*
Wouldn't it be amazing if more people knew that?  Knew that when they married, they were promising to love their spouse?  Not like them, but truly love them as Christ loves the church, as self-giving as possible, always seeking the good instead of the quick 'n easy.

What a different world we'd be in!  Bet there wouldn't be half as many divorces, and I also bet there wouldn't be as many "marriages made in haste!"  Not that I can talk - 15 months got us from "Hi" to "I do" but we covered just about every topic we could think of in those months, and I'd run out of marriage prep questions before we were engaged (I googled them as skype conversation topics haha! Worked great!).

If you could define the responsibility of marriage in a sentence or two, how would you do it?  What key point stands out to you?

Also, if your marriage was ever on rocky ground, what helped you either discern God's hand leading you out of it, or His hand helping you to fix it?  A friend of mine (not me, geesh, stop reading into everything!  women!) is in pretty bad straits with her marriage and at the rate it's going, I'll be surprised if it lasts the year.  Any words of wisdom or prayers for them would be most appreciated, as it makes my heart just ache to watch.

(Linking up with the Catholic Blogger Network for some good old Catholic fun!)
2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I hope everyone had a nice day off!  In honor of all those who served and are serving in the military, I am only going to write about the holiday aspects of Memorial Day, because I was appalled at how the government (coughobamacough) handled the memorial part.  So, rather than preach to the choir and bore you all with my political opinions, we're going to talk holiday.  You're welcome!

Oh, one note sort of on politics.  The Husband's work car still has Sirius radio and it is soooo nice!!!  We got to listen to all sorts of interesting news about the VA scandals, live coverage of the Memorial Day events at Arlington National, and lots of other good things.  If I were looking for a splurge, and I drove a lot, Sirius radio would be it.  Hands down.  It is so great!  (And no, no one paid me to promo this - it's pure radio fangirl.)

Isn't this beautiful?  I wish I'd had a panoramic lens to use because the sky Sunday evening was absolutely beautiful.  When you hear the words, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain," this is it.  The plains of the western USA produce stunning skies.  Stunning thunderstorms too, as I learned - it sounded like the thunder was right in the attic and I was rather concerned for my in-laws house lest it (and us) get fried.  Anyway, we survived.  But just look at that sky, and the pump jack too.  Americana.

We spent Sunday evening celebrating Memorial Day and my in-laws 30th anniversary by going redneck and barbequing on the back porch.  My dear sweet husband was marching around with the grilling tongs in one hand, a loose grey tank top, sports shorts, and cowboy boots.  He then topped the ensemble off by putting his earmuffs (mother in law attempting to shoot a rabbit that keeps procreating enthusiastically in their backyard and allowing her multiple offspring to eat what little green there is!  Poor rabbit, haha!)...what was I saying?  Oh yes, he had his earmuffs on but was wearing them above his ears since there was not much shooting actually happening.  Between the wifebeater shirt, the shorts and boots combo, and the 'muffs, he looked like someone Uncle Si might approve of very much.  Quite a sight!

And what's worse than the outfit...get ready for this...I've truly fallen into redneck territory here...I thought he looked darn good wearing said outfit.  Gotta love it.  

The other item of note from the weekend was that we saw Godzilla.  Don't laugh, I didn't pick it!  Considering that I walked in expecting it to be somewhere along the lines of painfully awful, it wasn't bad at all.  Quite politically correct, but actually halfway decent!  If anyone has teen or preteen boys and is looking for a good action flick, boys would love it.  Good monster fight scenes, and a happy ending.  Definitely PG13 violence and some language, although I don't remember too much potty mouthing.  In all fairness, however, I often don't notice it anymore because a member of my house has a bit of a mouth so I've gotten quite adept at doing the good ol' mental bleep :)  He more than makes up for it in good qualities.  So if language really bothers you, check a review or something before taking my word 100%.

Has anyone seen X-Men?  I really want to...contemplating the drive-in later this week, but we'll see.  

Well, somehow the afternoon has slipped by again and it's time to make dinner.  Already.  Toodles kids :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy memorial day weekend!

Have a fun long weekend!  We're at the in-laws (hence the lack of posting).  

My family doesn't really have any good Memorial Day traditions; do you? I'd love to hear about them!

Random pretty beach picture I took last year. Can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

This and that, and my outdoor nemisis

Today is an exciting day.  It's the first Wednesday in, oh gosh, at least a month (I think?) where I haven't had to rush to clean up breakfast, rush to shower, rush to get an hours' work done, rush to my Women of Grace meeting (church thing), and then rush home and work for as many hours as it takes to get five total for the day.  Not including making dinner or anything else; we might have had a few Panda Express runs, but that's just a rumor.  Ask not, and thee shall not be asked.

The reason for all the rushing was because something was happening on Friday or Monday of all those other weeks, so my five hours of Friday/Monday work got bumped to Wednesday.  I know, first world problems, right?  

So now, with nothing to hamper me from working both tomorrow and Friday, I have an afternoon free!  Yippeekyayay!  What I ought to be doing is reading My Antonia so I can start grading the papers for it, but unfortunately, classic or not, I'm not a fan.  Antonia drives me crazy.  She's a strong persevering figure, braving the olden days of the Out West wild, but really she and I just don't hit it off.  I kind of want to smack her one.  Gently, ya know?  Just a, "wake up girl and get your act together" kind of smack.  Anyway, that's what I ought to be doing.  

Instead, I decided to be super uber productive and mow the lawn now that we have grass for the mower.  It wouldn't start.  I braced myself and pulled that danged cord as hard as I could, many times, and had absolutely zero luck.  It made sort of a little whirring sound, but not the real sound that tells listeners it that the mower might be about to start.  

And, what does any self-respecting girl do when the boring chorsey plans fail?  Hit the dessert section of the cookbook while munching raisins and peanutbutter.  Healthy, right?  I know, I know...  I can fast for the Lord, but simply reining in my own cravings all by myself is a lot harder!  But at least it wasn't bread and honeybutter.  Back on topic, rather than make the chocolate cake that looked sooooooooooo good, I made tapioca pudding.  It's that minute tapioca so you don't have to let it soak for forever, and it actually came out quite tasty!

Now, while my weeds reach for the heavens in happy ignorance of the perils in store for them when the Husband arrives home and starts the mower for me, I am off to start dinner. It has to simmer for an hour and a half.  And, while it simmers, I shall work on organizing my sewing room/office/future guest room.  

Can't you just hear those dang weeds laughing?

P.S. Look what just came!!  My wedding pictures (half of them, anyway)!  There's something special about seeing the pictures for real, instead of the digital versions.  Can't beat good solid paper.  Dinner can wait - time to peruse prints (wink)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Never-fail Popovers: The easiest side-dish ever! (sort of)

Microwaving frozen veggies might be easier, but that's boring.  Even my husband, who announces to me, "I like peas," every. time. I. make. them. got a little tired of frozen veggies (isn't he cute?!).  So, when you're having something that, perhaps, already has a serving of veggies in it, or maybe you just aren't in a veggie mood, try these. 

These are especially good with honey butter, and served as a side to a warm and comforting soup.  Another plus to these ridiculously easy little muffin-cousins is that they don't have that much starch in them, relatively speaking anyway.  And, I'm sure that anyone even semi-creative could turn them paleo without a problem.  If I had any paleo flour I'd give it a try, but honestly...I'm a happy carb consumer.

If you come up with a paleo version, please post it in the comments - I'd love to hear how it worked!  It'd be great for those fat days where you want carbs soooo badly but know you ought to lay off for a while.

This recipe is beyond easy, and makes about seven generous popovers. We usually go through six. Don't judge; they're mostly protien...ish. 

So here's what ya do. Get a mid-sized mixing bowl. Crack into said bowl two eggs. 

Dump in a cup of flour. 

You can estimate. Exact proportions don't seem to be necessary. 

Add into your bowl a cup of milk, and half a teaspoon of salt. 

Mix it all up, but don't go too crazy. A few lumps are okay. 

Pour into greased muffin tins and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees for 25 minutes (or 350 for 30, or 450 for 20...depends on how your oven cooks. Just watch them. If they're brown, they're done.)  I add water to the empty tins but I don't know if you have mom always does so I do too. 

When you first take them out, they're big and puffy and delightful!  They'll settle a bit in a few minutes. They'll also last for at least a few days in the fridge.  You're on your own for after that; mine don't last more than a day!

Happy eating! Yum yum! 

For the quick version:
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased muffin tins. Put in a cold oven, and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes til puffed and lightly browned. 

Serve warm with honey butter and enjoy! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

I could be blogging but...

The Husband and I are watching Doc Martin on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, and you like BBC older style Tv shows with lots of funny personality, do yourself a favor and watch. 

It's my new TV addiction. 

Have fun!

PS. Any other, more man-friendly, tv show ideas? 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Blessings and Coupons, or Daily Life

Joining in for some {phfr} fun at Like Mother, Like Daughter and double-whammying with the Catholic Blogger's Blitz!  


I posted this the other day, but I'm still looking at it and it's still making me happy.  Some of the recently discovered money (noted below!) will likely go to buying plants.  There is something so inherently uplifting about flowers and living greenery in and around one's home.  My grandmother is amazing with this; I am not, but figure it can't hurt to work on building new skills.

It's been said that carnations are funeral flowers, but I happen to love them.  They are simple and pretty, and epitomize what life ought to be - unencumbered by other's opinions, living out our vocation and life to the best of our ability. After all, we can't all be roses; some of us have to be carnations or the garden of life would be boring!  A bit deep for a single flower, but with all that embedded in it, how could it not be pretty?

Photo shamelessly snitched from one of my best friends, Anne, who takes far
better pictures than I do, and because my pictures were lost when my
laptop was stolen.  Thank you Anne!
We are going to Rome in the fall!!!!  I've been once, when I did a study abroad semester, and it was AMAZING!  The Husband has wanted to go for ages, and has never been, so off we're going!  

It's actually been quite challenging finding a time that fits work schedules, won't cause me to give birth in Italy should the Lord decide to so bless us in the near future, and is affordable.  For a while I didn't think it would work, but I prayed about it anyway asking for God to make it clear when we should go.  We were looking at dates last night, and they were all over $3k, which was just too much for one week. Then, all of a sudden, we pop in a date range and BOOM!  Flights plus hotel for $500 cheaper than the best deal we'd found yet.  And the timing is good for everything, including the Husband's work meetings.  Thank you God!


There is a kid that gets bitten by a dog in this, so that part isn't funny, but the cat is.  The kid is okay, by the way, and will probably be on the Today Show with his family, hence why I think this can qualify as funny.   

This is super-cat, and he means business!  Dogs that bite kids - ain't nobody got time for that!  (Haha, oh Americana)


Real women get deals.  Don't ask how I got that big of an order on pictures; suffice it to say that I did. That's the trouble with having a great wedding simply cannot whittle down those amazing pictures to 10.  Doesn't work.  So, instead, I made all the photobooks I wanted, and then waited until I had enough coupons to make the order semi-reasonable.  I love coupons, although I hate couponing. But this?  This made my morning!

Now, I am trying to think of what I could possibly do with three loaves of unrisen sourdough.  Something is very wrong with my bread, and everyone is stumped.  It works at my parent's house, just not here.  Any recipe ideas for unrisen dough?  And, thanks, but I don't need to eat three loaves worth of cinnamon buns.  But thanks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My blender does not like me

Just a few quick things for today, as dinner turned into a bit more of a production than I intended!

Here's the pretty carnation that the Knights of Columbus were giving out to the mothers after mass.  Mom gave me hers (she was down visiting - much needed and so great!), so I have it in my cute little Ikea pitcher.  The pitcher is not included in the picture because it looks so gloomy and I don't have time to edit it.  But you can enjoy the flower.  You're welcome!

Since I spent two weeks worth of grocery money last week, partially because I bought $21 of honey, I decided to try to stretch what I had in the cupboard through this week to make up for it.  Oh, the honey was an accident.  It said $8.95 and it was a BIG container, AND it was local!  Turns out it was $8.95......per pound.  Yeeahhh.  

So, what do I do when I am stretching food?  I go Mexican.  Mexican food is cheap and easy.  Enchiladas was on the menu with leftover pot roast meat, but unfortunately I had no enchilada sauce.  Lucky me, I found a recipe, and was just about to blend the sauce together into a delicious smoothness, when...

This was only a corner.  It expanded much further than you can see here, and looked disturbingly like I had projectile you-know-whated all over.  Lovely and appetizing.  Sorry...bathroom humor genes!  

Ouch.  Hard to see there, but that pink spot is a burn from the nasty blender.  Ignore the little hairs - I was cold since I had to take my sweater off since it too was covered in enchilada sauce.

Old Faithful to the rescue.  Love my little Hamilton Beach :)  Easy, quick, and clean!

Time to go microwave some peas for the veggie.  Judge away; at least the microwave is reliable and won't explode on me.

Feel free to share blender stories below and join the club of fun!  And happy belated mothers day to any moms reading!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Grateful (for life)

Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday!  (This might have taken more than five minutes because I got a phone call in the middle, but we'll just say it's five minutes and call it good, ok?)

I was talking with some women from church the other day, and one of them was telling us about a conference she'd been to where one of the speakers asked the audience to do a quick exercise for him.

"Write down ten things you're grateful for," he said.  "You have two minutes."  So, she told us, everyone started writing, and then when the two minutes were up, be began speaking.  He asked everyone who had five or more things on their list to raise their hands, then he said he only wanted to see the hands of people who had six or more things.  Then just those who met the full ten, then any who had more than ten.

Once that settled down, the speaker said that he figured most people were thankful for their families, children, jobs, etc, and there were lots of nodding heads.  However, he next asked who wrote that they were grateful for being alive.  For the air they were breathing.  For the ground they stood upon.  That idea launched the rest of his talk about being thankful for everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I got to thinking - what kinds of things am I grateful for that didn't seem like blessings at first?  Well, lots, actually.

I'm grateful that my horse, which I was sooooooo excited to have, turned into a monster that bit and kicked everyone, forcing me to sell him after a year (I think he had a personality disorder or something; I've worked with a ton of horses since and never had a problem.  Ah well.).  Turns out, we had to move just a few months after his sale, but the picture of me riding him that happened to be in our adoption portfolio was a leading reason why my brother's birthmother chose our family.  She had always lived in the city, but she wanted her son to get to experience a country life with mountains, animals, and horses.  So, if I hadn't had that beloved awful animal for those eleven months, I might not have a brother, and we might not have been able to move to Virginia.

This is about a year after selling Chance, but suffice it to say that the "horse bug" has 
yet to be squashed; it's just on hold at the moment!

I'm grateful that I got cancer right out of college.  It kept me home, and caused me to take a different job than my original offer, which launched me on a career path that ended up putting me in exactly the spot I needed to be in order to meet my husband.  It also taught me to trust God, to remember that He's in control no matter what, and it made me grow up.  Trudging through hospital halls and getting needles stuck in one's neck (with all the resulting bills), is a very maturing experience :)  Plus, when I had my last surgery a week after our wedding, it was bigger than anticipated and I got to come back to my parent's house with a drain hanging out of my neck.  Really classy.  But my wonderful Husband didn't even bat an eye when he visited for the weekend.  What a trooper, because I know deep down he was probably rather grossed out!  And now, I'm healthy exactly when I need to be for us to start a family.  Divine timing, eh?

There are lots of random things to be grateful for, including the air we breath, the life we live, the sky we see, and the breeze we feel.  And while we shouldn't ever forget those things, I think it's equally important to think about the things in life we hated, and try to find the blessings hidden in them.  If you look deep enough, you'll always find something.  I guarantee it!


Also tying in with Catholic Bloggers Blitz - check 'em out!

2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Thursday, May 8, 2014

{pretty, happy, funny, real} Rain, rain, please keep raining!

Linking up again with Like Mother Like Daughter for Thursday's fun.


See what these are?  No, not the weeds.  They're raindrops!  We actually had a whole day full of drizzles all the way to full rain (not Virginia rain, but pretty good for what I've seen here so far).  Very exciting.  My weeds will be thrilled, and maybe my grass will turn green!  We needed the water, so this was a good thing.  And, really, there's just something special about the sounds and smells of a spring rain.  They are so refreshing and absolving, in a way.  They are definitely one of my favorite smells.

I love my cookbook!

If only they maintained this look of perfection out of the oven...


What could be happier than cookies?!  I had some leftover egg whites from earlier in the week which I had the foresight to put in a jar and keep, so last night, we had a lovely dozen or so meringue kisses!  So good.  Technically, you're supposed to bake them at a very low heat and then leave them in the oven for something like five hours until they cool, but since I didn't even get started until 4:30, that wasn't going to happen.  I baked them at a high heat, took them out, baked my biscuits, and then put the cookies back in the turned-off oven to sit while we ate dinner.  Not quite what the recipe called for, and probably the cause of the deflation, but you know what?  They were great!  Crispy on the outside and like marshmallows on the inside.  I actually like them crispier, but the Husband said that if they were just a bit gooier they'd be perfect.  So, accident or not, I guess it was a good thing they came out like they did!  He ate half the batch...I demolished the other half.  There were two left over.  By breakfast they were not left over anymore; after all, it's just egg whites ;)


This, people, is a miracle.  Don't you see how organized all my salad ingredients are?  Quite a miracle, so much so that I thought it was rather entertaining, and filed it here under "funny."

The funny thing was, after I put together this absolutely restaurant-worthy barbecue salad (perfectly arranged salad, all pretty, with fried chicken tossed in bbq sauce on top), my husband sits down to dinner and looks at it quizzically.  Now, being that he is a born and bred Texan, I kind of assumed that nothing barbecue would be foreign.  Well, wrongo because he poked at the ensemble and said, "What's this? *pause* Am I supposed to eat the chicken with it?"

I thought he was joking, and told him that duh, it's a bbq salad, like at Chilis or any other restaurant in the country.  His head was shaking nooooooooo, and the look said that he considered this to be one of my "exotic" dishes.  I don't cook exotic; no one has ever, ever, accused me of that.  But to him, my cooking is downright exotic.  So, I told him to stop arguing, eat his veggies, and say thank you.  And then I showed him a thing or two by pulling up a google images page full of barbecue salads.  So there - HA!

Why I thought the man would have ventured into restaurant salad menus, however, I'm not sure.


This is my project.  It's been a project for a while.  At some point in the future, it will be a guestroom/sewing room/office.  Mainly a sewing room/office until we have a baby and need the back bedroom, at which point the guest bed will move out here.  Good thing I'm not pregnant yet, because this project is moving slower than molasses in Alaska.  But despite that, it's good to have ongoing projects.  Soothes the soul, in a strange way.

Speaking of the guest bed, my mom is coming to visit us tomorrow, and I still haven't made the bed.  I did, however, clean the bathroom and if we're being honest, that's what counts the most!


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