Saturday, February 27, 2010

better late than never

happy valentine's day, dad!

Friday, February 26, 2010

i heart tunes

whew. friday again. downloaded the latest by matt maher this morning. so beautiful, and soft, and perfect for today.

i remember when i used to save all my money to go to kmart and buy the newest barry manilow album. and then, much later, cruising to ernie november with my friends jon and sue to dig (for hours, sometimes) thru the used cds, hoping for an obscure rem or indigo girls release.

now adays, i just press 'buy' and wha-la, instant gratification. happy friday and hoping some instant happiness to you today!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

trudging thru

well, it was -1 degree this morning. it's been beautifully sunny all week, and yet in my heart i am just so over this! i keep hearing the birds singing beautifully, too. dang it, they are not going to stop pushing for spring, either. i am amazed at how they can sound so happy.

so, i have my jammies on, and just opened the package that came in the mail. sheepskin boots, which i only purchased now, instead of last october, because of the marvelous sale that i got on them. however, i really really really wish it were flip flop season. really.

i have some harvest bread in the bread machine. carbohydrate overload is soon to come.

and i have been thinking about worship. how easily i forget the reason i exist. how much God wants us to recognize those reasons. on monday, i had a horrible, terrible, very bad day. my dear friend jill posted in the comments section of this blog, romans 8:28. it must have been a breath from God, because that night, i sat surfing the computer, and came across this wonderful resource. i have listened to mike bickle a little bit in the past. he's from IHOP in kansas city, and he is not for the faint-hearted. but man, does he know the Lord. turns out, his main sermon on the website is on - guess what - romans 8:28. it was just what i needed!

through this week, i find myself going back to the site. what is amazing is that mike offers up almost his whole lifetime of teaching (probably not, but it seems like it) you can listen online, or download the mp3s and take your dog for a walk :)

my recommendation is to start where i did....the teachings on Song of Songs. i enjoyed this teaching MUCH more than i expected i would, and much to my amazement, the Lord drew me in. there is so much teaching on this site, you might be able to go back for a year or two! today, as i sit in the sunbeam and WAIT, i will be listening and praying along.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

my downfall was cereal

after 22 days of eating pretty well, and cutting waaaaay down on sugar, i fell down in a big way. on yeah, a box of cereal. not a whole box, but almost...yesterday was not a good day.

i bought it without really looking at the label, because it's called SMART START.

figured that might mean it's good for you. but really, it's more like eating cookies. lots and lots of cookies.

won't be doing that again.

Monday, February 22, 2010

a guy in his basement

sometimes, you tube is fun... no one famous here, but i think he sounds pretty good!

God in a box

if you google 'god in a box' - you'll get about as many references as i feel like i've heard in my relatively short Christian walk. lots of them.

so, forgive me if i wasn't too excited when i went to church this weekend with 2 girlfriends i had invited, and my regular pastor wasn't there. after settling in to the disappointment, i was even LESS excited to see the guest guy bring out a box and start talking about. God. in. a. box. at that point, i started thinking about lunch...! of course, i was worried what my guests - both DEEP people spiritually - would think about the 'sermon lite.'

funny thing was, the joke was on me. what i didn't know, but God apparently did, is that i REALLY needed to hear the message.

ya see, i've been riding the life roller coaster a bunch lately. mostly, concerning my job. i have not been super happy for awhile...feels like a long time, but realistically it's been maybe 6 months. i keep finding reasons for it. i'm getting to the 'burn out' age. the economy sucks and it causes clients to suck. i've done it all before, and i'm bored. i hate big meetings. i am just so DISAPPOINTED so much of the time.

i keep fantasizing about options. i keep coming up with solutions. last week, for the first time in 17 years, i actually made a resume! i was sick of it, and going to FIX this, darn it!

ahem. yeah. my good friends, that kind of reaction has a name. it's called 'putting God in a box.' limiting Him to a set of criteria that WE make, that WE plan for, that WE manipulate until it feels good. not realizing that God has a better view than us. He sees a LONG ways off, and He knows. He actually knows the real reason for the disappointment i am feeling in my professional life now. He knows the timeline, and the ending. He understands more than i do about what i want.

and He is not going to stay in the box, and do what i want Him to do to get me outta this mess :)

the guest speaker (a youth director with AG churches in SD, actually a pretty dynamic speaker) used the story of john the baptist to relate things biblically. you know how john was all gung ho to announce that the messiah was on the way? i mean, the guy did not doubt that Jesus was the messiah! he baptised him and saw a dove land on him, for goodness sake!!

um, until he had been in prison for awhile, that is....things looked a little different from that perspective. so different in fact that he started to wonder....he even sent some people to ask Jesus directly - Matthew 11:2 - 'are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?'

whoa! that was john the baptist, folks! asking JESUS if He had it right, or if there was some mistake? just because Jesus is not doing what we think, in the manner that makes sense to us, in the timing that we want, we DO TEND to start to think 'huh. maybe i can hurry this up, Lord, you seem to need some help here.'

the message struck a chord with me, i knew God was telling me to let Him out of the box. which for today, i will do, by trusting Him and seeing Him in each day and each thing that comes up, even if it looks like something else :) After all, i am nearsighted, and He is not!

have a good monday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

found him.

yay! i found my praying man at my first stop - i thought i had remembered seeing him awhile back. although the artwork is not in super condition (the pic is rubbed off in a couple small spots) and it was a BIT over budget ($10, i would have rather paid $5 :)) - the size is perfect for the space.

the most interesting part of the find was that the lady at the goodwill checkout seemed happy with my purchase. she told me that it was a painting at her home growing up. i think perhaps that is the appeal of this piece for me. she asked if i knew who did it (i did not, but the story of the artwork is here)...and we talked about how familiar, how comforting it is to see this particular art hanging on a wall.

i am drawn to the sentiment. the fact that so many homes once displayed this piece is a reminder to me of a time when the Lord was remembered more willingly, when a portion of our lives were dedicated to Him more easily than it seems to be now. i am thankful for the gift that God has given me by this lovely reminder.

oh ps. as a bonus, i also found the coolest globe EVER. it is one of those that has a 'topographical' relief on it, do you remember those? the bottom is marked with 'property of storm lake community school.'

i hope they know i have it :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Veggie Saturday

wow. what a beautiful day... going out in the bright sunshine here in a bit. i did wake up this morning with the urge to be in the kitchen. it's so funny how that is my saturday 'thing' during the winter, as much as the rush to the garden is my thing in the summer.

today, i decided to use some stuff i had on hand. that is so fulfilling! i made two recipes, one of which i'll share. i'll talk about the other one (carrot soup) later, if anybody wants to know.

so, on to my black bean burgers. i was trying to duplicate these by morningstar farms. they are kind of good, but at $3.99 for 4 tiny burgers, for BEANS, that is just crazy.

i found a recipe on the internet, and added some corn and chopped onion. they were really messy to mix up, but quite easy to form into patties!

i was surprised that they held their shape so easily. i think the whole wheat flour and cornmeal helps. i am planning on freezing the remaining ones, which i can then defrost and fry (no differently than the store bought ones). i stuck them in the fridge for a couple of hours first, though.

here's what they turned out to be. they were pretty yummy! to be honest, they would have been even better if i had put a tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan, to kind of make the 'crust' firmer. they were pretty soft....

anyway, i feel good to have mastered these on the first try... though i will surely add some chopped green/red pepper next time, if i have it on hand. these cost practically nothing, with homemade salsa and rani's corn. if i were REALLY being frugal, i would have cooked the beans instead of using canned. try em if you like :)

Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers with Cornmeal

  • 2 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Place beans in food processor; process until fairly smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, salsa, cumin and garlic salt. Process until well combined.

Spoon mixture into 6 balls on a large plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before cooking.

Heat barbecue grill or ridged grill pan over medium heat. Coat grill or pan lightly with oil. Form each ball into a 4-inch patty about 1/2-inch thick. Place the patties on the grill or in pan and cook until browned and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Serve your black bean cornmeal patties on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.

Friday, February 19, 2010

shopping shopping

i keep meaning to show you guys my lastest 'finds' on the homefront. i was very happy to see this cute little strawberry tablecloth at the thrift store. i think strawberries make every kitchen look better!

finding it inspired me to kind of redo the little kitchen nook/table. to be honest, it's normally piled with stuff not related to eating. there is something depressing about a single person eating alone at the kitchen table. i usually just eat in front of the tv. which of course is NOT depressing :) ha.

anyway, i also got that little yellow breadbox at target. the yellow color was just too good to pass up. now, i would like JUST the right artwork. i was kind of thinking that the vintage pic of the man praying would be the right thing. i will let you know if i find it! happy friday! yay!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

good idea

one of my facebook friends works for a big ad agency. well, pretty big. they do work for the navy and the post office, among others.

i was looking at his page today and found this. sometimes, it's kind of hard to believe that working in an ad agency was my own private definition of hell. because that actually looks pretty comfortable. and fun.

and yes carey, that is brucie.

surprised kitty

spice it up

one of the things i am realizing in my new, healthier way of eating, is that spices are a good thing. i am not a huge fan of chicken. it's fine, but man, very bland. i have been eating more fish than anything, but still, kinda bland unless you do something to it.

for years, i have been hearing about this place. so today, i placed my first order. $30 of various spices will be coming my way. i bought mostly 'blends' like garden blend, seasoned sea salt, etc. i hope there is something good in there to inspire my inner bobby (flay, that is).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a tale of two bobbys

sorry, i have a dual post today. i kind of hate doing that to you, but i have 2 things on my mind. bobby/bobbi things.

first off, i need bobby flay. i'm pretty sure he could help me with my dilemma about how to make a rocking fish taco. i tried the other night, and it turned out ok. but not wonderful. i used the frozen tilapia fillets i had in the freezer. just thawed them and fried in a pan, with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and lime juice. like i said. ok. bobby would probably bring some chipotles to the table, and spices. lots of spices. just in case he doesn't read my blog, i would appreciate one of you sharing a really yummy recipe!

okay. now for bobbi. yesterday, i had some great bobbi time. reminds me why snowshoeing is the kind of thing i would enjoy. there is something very compelling about the solitude of nature. i'm pretty sure God made it that way.

nature in winter is even more special, more peaceful. i went snowshoeing around Covell lake right in the middle of town, with cars driving by and houses all along one side. and felt like no one was there but me. and some birds. and some minor rustling i saw in the trees, maybe a bunny or some other little creature.

i liked it. even though i was walking on WATER, as lou pointed out (not a huge fan of water). next up, more girl time with lou whilst enjoying nature. no better girl time to be found. either way, i think i may have discovered the perfect excuse to get out of going to the gym :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

one small step for man

the snowshoes came yesterday. i was a little worried when i told kristie, and she said 'do you want to go TONITE?'

yikes. i decided to take a quick trip around the yard, just so i knew what it felt like. it was a little challenging, but fun to walk along the top of the fenceline in my back yard, there is that much snow. i was doing fine until i hooked the snowshoe on the top of my wheelbarrow. yeah. crazy. i fell over and had one heck of a time getting up.

so last night we headed to yankton trail park, and the soccer fields. it was a nice flat place to start, although i quickly discovered i will need more than jeans and 99cent mittens if i am to be outdoorsy. i was freezing.

unfortunately, we only got about 15 minutes into the game, when one of the end swirly thingeys fell off my pole, and got stuck in the snow. it would not have been a big factor, had i not seen it a couple steps away, and forgotten that i had large planks on my feet. in my attempt to grab it by turning around, i got befuddled and fell again. doh! very snowy and very cold!!!

sigh. so, we had to turn back until i get some proper clothing. in the meantime, i think kristie looks smashing.

i am glad this is something we both enjoy. more adventures to come.

Monday, February 15, 2010

today i decided

to make reservations and spend a week at a really lovely place in the woods. in minnesota. by the water. with a friend. for a week. when it's warm. which is not soon enough.

the only trouble i can imagine so far, is that i will miss my kitty. darn, to be so attached.

otherwise, it is lovely. i will bring my turquoise camera. and a book. and some comfy shoes. and the coffee pot. and the waffle maker. and a nice quilt for the evenings.

here is what my house will look like. i kind of love how simple it is. i love the little kitchen. i actually love that everything looks little.

and here is the living area. there are 2 bedrooms, and a little screened porch facing the water. lots of water. and wood for a bonfire, they tell me.

and we will spend our days exploring and antiquing and eating at quaint little diners when we are not cooking at 'home.'

oh, how fun it will be. i kind of wish i was going today.

good story

wow. ran across this story, and it stopped me in my tracks. i am wondering if this will ever happen to me, if i will ever be this unafraid. go read it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

back to baking

okay, guys. i'm almost done with my 14-day 'no sugar' challenge.

last weekend, i was miserable. this weekend, doing much, much better.

now, for the good part. i am not considering myself on a diet. i am considering it a changed lifestyle. one of the things that made me really miserable in the beginning was the feeling that i could no longer bake. i love to bake. i am not a huge COOK. when i was younger, my mom did absolutely 100% of the family cooking. she allowed me the job of baking. i pretty much got to bake whatever, whenever. thus, the obsession began.

so, this morning, i woke up resolved to figure out how to get this favorite pastime back into my life, in a good way. i looked in my fridge, and saw a half-full jar of organic applesauce. okay. that's a start. a quick google search found a recipe for applesauce waffles (waffles are a fave for me. i love making them). the one thing i was looking for was a recipe with no added fat. my 'normal' waffle recipe uses canola oil. but since applesauce is a substitute for oil in some recipes, i was in luck.

a few modifications later, i was set to go. i substituted whole wheat flour for some of the regular flour, and added cinnamon because i thought that sounded good. things looked pretty good at this point.

wow, did these smell delish while they were cooking. i am pretty sure the smell alone will attract your family members to the kitchen when you are making these.

they looked good, too. i would like to show you a pic of a lovely plate with all sorts of toppings, but i actually ate mine, standing at the kitchen sink, straight from the waffle iron. no topping at all. call me crazy, i just love waffles. i don't really need anything on them.

then came the fun part! i decided to try the recipe portion of fat secret. it was really fun to enter the recipe ingredients, and very easy to plug it into the site. here is what came out:

this will go into my online cookbook, and i can easily add it into my daily calories, whenever i eat these waffles. since i have 5 leftovers, it will be a quick breakfast to pop one of these into the toaster. yum.

i think the neatest part for me was seeing the nutritional chart that the program makes for you. this recipe is actually more healthy than my oatmeal standard - less fat; more protein. i don't know, i just think the whole thing is so fun!!! i am sure i will be adding more recipes to my cookbook as time goes on. and i am one step closer to being healthier, without being restrictive. that's the thing i'm aiming for!!

happy valentine's day :)


there is a fun website called polyvore, which allows you to put together a wardrobe. i'm not much of a fashionista, but it was fun. it's like playing paper dolls online.

this one is called 'minnesota vacation.'


Saturday, February 13, 2010

movie review

so, lou and i went to see 'leap year' last night. it's very odd for either one of us not to be in our jammies on a friday night. we may have to get out more often.

as we both expected, the movie was extremely predictable. i kept saying 'i wrote that part' when the plot twisted in such obvious ways. the thing is, i don't think the writers of this movie were TRYING for non-predictable. what they did try for, and achieve, is women with smiles plastered on their faces thru the entire movie.

i loved it.

there is nothing better than discovering a cute boy, i am happy to say. this one did not disappoint. he is quirky looking, and i probably wouldn't like him if he were not irish and did not have a beard. not the point. he was good. and amy adams is even more likeable than in 'julie and julia.' she has a great wardrobe in the movie.

if you have an urge in your heart for the kind of silly romanticism that really doesn't exist, leap year is a great movie to go see. be prepared to smile. a lot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

must haves.

so today is day 12 of the sugar buster. i admit, i have eaten sugar, very sparsely. but a packet of raw sugar a day on my oatmeal, and a little flavored yogurt is a far cry from my usual habit.

so far, so good. it is much easier now than it was last week. i still crave it, but i think less. maybe i'm just getting used to eating other things.

at any rate, there are a few things which have made my fairly radical dietary switch go more smoothly. take any one of these elements out of the mix, and i'm probably calling 'fail.'

this one has nothing to do with a diet. wow, i just plain love it. esp. for the dead-of-winter-comfort-food needs. 1/3 cup has 120 calories, and is nutty and textured. and filling. thank you bob!

another long-time fave. a tablespoon of these, on oatmeal or a salad, goes a long way when you are craving sugar.

i bought this accidentally. it has 160 big calories in it, and real sugar. it packs a coffee flavored punch! in moderation, i think this is a nice decadent dessert.

my mom told me about braeburn apples. my whole life, i've been a granny smith only apple eater. these are just as crispy, and maybe even slightly more flavorful than the gs...still kind of tart, like i like em. they saved me from eating sugar out of the bag!

so there you have it. 12 days is not a habit. but it is a start, and i am happy about that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

don't be a hater

THIS post is for all of you people who think Valentine's Day is silly.

not! at least, martha and i don't think so :)
sigh. i wish i had a million hours between today and sunday, to make every heart shaped thing on the planet. as it is, i plan to use my new cool cookie cutter, and make my dad some heart-shaped cookies.

here's to heart-shaped lovin'!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

sno day

i know, i know. everybody is blogging, tweeting, and talking about snow. i know. but really, every time i step out the door, i am just rereminded of how dang MUCH of it there is!!

it's crazy. it's everywhere. it's TALL. at least 24-30" thruout the whole yard. much taller in the 'piles' left from shoveling.

luckily, the snowshoes i ordered shipped yesterday. i told kristie i was going to put them on and make a circle around the house. otherwise, there is no way i could get to the back yard!!!!

i keep noticing the birds and bunnies. i actually think the snow helps them. there are some low-growing evergreen bushes next to my neighbors property. i look out my window, and sometimes i see birds burrowing into the branches, underneath the snow. i am imagining they have all built large snow tunnels, and are staying warm and having a good winter. at least that's how i picture it ;)

happy day. get out and take a look at the snow up close.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


ok. these are kind of cool. i think they are spendy ($25 for the set) but it's a great idea to make some funky caps to reuse jars with.

perhaps this would make my glass jar obsession make more sense. i NEVER throw them out!

ps. just read the comment section, apparently they don't fit any actual jars. small problem :)

Monday, February 08, 2010

12 fluffy sparrows

i fat squirrel
1 overweight cat looking out the window.

that's the 'count' this morning on the 40. SO EXCITED FOR FRIDAY, cause that's when we all get to count for reals!!!

note: the wrangler of this whole fiasco does NOT count :)


this is what i want for breakfast. in fact, most all of the weekend, all i thought about was sweets. now, i know that going sugarless for a couple weeks is SUPPOSED to lessen your dependency on sugar. i am seeming to find the reverse to be true. sugar is good! sugar is my favorite food! sugar is my reason for living!

yeah. with that kind of attitude, you can see how i am bound to succeed. i also started to list the benefits of being fat this weekend:

1) you stay warmer.
2) it's a nice cushion when you sit on a hard chair.
3) the cat has something to sit on when i pet her.
4) clothes come MUCH larger than i am!

you see where i'm going .... not sure that depriving myself is doing alot of good. except for making me a bit silly in the head.

week #2, you just might have a shot at winning this one.

Friday, February 05, 2010