goodness, grateful, haPPY, Uncategorized

ridiculously amazing list

Early this morning a friend invited me to join her on a challenge.  In a Sunday class, the assignment was to write down 20 things GOOD about yourself.  She asked me if I wanted to take up the challenge.

It took me several minutes to agree.  Honestly, it was still early and I couldn’t figure out a polite way to say no.

So, we did a virtual “Pinky swear” (no spit) and got out pen & paper.  pinky swear

I started with a bang and then fizzled out around number 8.

Seriously?

I quite quickly started to see part of the “issue” of me feeling a bit down lately.

There is something very unhealthy about not thinking of yourself as a good egg.

While my mother raised my sisters and me not to be boastful…….there is something to be said for appreciating the gifts that I have.  I sure knew that I needed a boost, so back to the drawing board.  Number 9…….  Really?  This can’t be that hard.

Immediately  I figured out that because this was a difficult challenge, maybe it was something I needed to do.

Here we go, buckle down. Number 9…….  Really?  This can’t be that hard.

I am a nice person.  

Oh, there’s one right there.

I took a break and asked Google.  Who knew there was help?  I found one website mighty helpful.

http://www.purposefairy.com/66208/how-to-begin-rebuilding-your-life-and-make-it-ridiculously-amazing/

That search lead me down a fluffy rabbit hole.  100 Good things about Me!  Oh, good gravy, there is NO way I can come up with 100 things good about me!

Wait, maybe I can fill out the list?

There is something rather delicious about nurturing the GOOD in oneself.  Now, I don’t mean to announce your or my list on social media.  I think of this blog as my journal.  So if you read some of my list, keep your lips sealed.  I will never know you peaked.

With each thing I wrote, it sort of became easier.

The 20 things GOOD about me has morphed into a list of 100 things.  No, I have not made it to 100 yet.  However, I am going to keep trying.

If I don’t think there are 100 good things about me…..I am no social genius….I am guessing that others won’t see the good in me either.

So far, I have made it to 47. I am going to keep at it. It may take me a day or two or more. I sort of feel like I need to do this.  I am not sure how easy the rest of the list will come, I just have a feeling it will be good for my spirit and the people around me.

Let’s face it, being around “Debbie downers” is not a picnic.

WE need to do this.  It sort of feels lovely to read all the GOOD there is about yourself.  Sort of makes one blush just a bit.

In this together friends.

Are you brave enough to take up the challenge?  Will you pinky swear that you will give it a try? Please stop by and leave a morsel of goodness.  I would love to hear a couple of things on YOUR list.

Chat soon.

  1.  I am a good wife.  I love Mr. Right and I chose wisely. 20160715_103449-1
  2. I am a good grandma.
  3. I am loyal.
  4. I am calm in a crisis.
  5. I am a kind person.
  6. I am a good mother in law.
  7. I am a good problem solver.
  8. I am an avid reader.
  9. I am nice.
  10. I am good at word search puzzles.
  11. I am kind to animals.
  12. I am good at arranging flowers.purple flowers
  13. I am empathetic.
  14. I am a good cook and baker.
  15. I am patriotic.
  16. I am never bored.
  17. I am good at growing vegetables.
  18. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs.
  19. I am a good swimmer.
  20. I am good at remembering people with cards and gifts.
  21. I am good at cutting, coloring and highlighting my own hair.
  22. I am good at counted cross stitch sewing and quilting.
  23. I have faith.
  24. I have good manners and table etiquette.
  25. I am good at finishing projects.
  26. I can keep secrets.
  27. I LOVE my children (and their spouses) unconditionally.
  28. I am good at trying new things.
  29. I am trustworthy.
  30. I appreciate talent in others.
  31. I am good at shooting a gun(and hitting the target).
  32. I am good at geometry.
  33. I have strong opinions and values.
  34. I am good at setting a pretty table.
  35. I am good at wrapping gifts.
  36. I am a good researcher.
  37. I am good at ironing.
  38. I am good at decorating and keeping house.
  39. I am very giving.
  40. I am good at training dogs.
  41. I am good at painting. (walls and trim and ceilings and objects….not pictures on canvas)
  42. I am a good listener.  I tend to forget a few things, but I am a good listener.
  43. I have a good eye for composition.
  44. I will stand up for my beliefs.
  45. I write well.
  46. I have a good eye for color.
  47. I have good handwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

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book review, books, haPPY, library, Uncategorized

what are you reading?

20170327_084223-1_resized7 or 8  years ago, I had somehow managed to work up the courage, thought I could do it, jumped in before I really thought it through, started a book club on-line.

The premise was pretty simple.  I would choose, sift through (everyone offered up suggestions, many genres) a book, once a month.  I would via e-mail, announce the new title to the 25 -30 folks that I arm-twisted to join me.

We all had 4 weeks to get the book from the library, purchase or borrow, read the book and then write a few sentences about our thoughts on the book/author.  I would compile everyone’s thoughts and share them all at once.  For about a week, we would have a “discussion” via email.  Then on to the next book.

Near the end, a very slim, scraggly group of us hung on. The book club lasted about 3 years.

My thought was, folks wanted to read and share thoughts. Many of us did not want to get dressed up, go to book club, bring a snack or mingle at the dreaded potluck, make polite conversation, politely decline yet another glass of white wine, make small talk about some ridiculous hot new movie or hear someone talk poorly about their spouse.

I wanted to talk about books.  That is all.  Just get to the meat of the matter and jump in with a glorious swish to the next new book.

Gosh, everyone had excuses.  More excuses than a 4th grade teacher collects on why homework isn’t done.  My all time favorite excuse of course….” I was too busy”  Which I started to understand as, “I didn’t want to do it and saying I was too busy sounded better”.

News Flash!  Saying I am too busy is just a twisted way of saying,

“I am a poor manager of my time.”

I got plum tuckered out, trying to be a cheerleader and chant….

“oh, this book will enrich your life”

“you’ll love the adventure”

“this book is worth your time”

“I learned so much, you will, too”

book 2Why can children/teens tell us about an entire television show they watched, but are less eager to share about a book they have just finished?

When Mr. Right interviews folks for a new job, one of the questions he asks is, “what book are you reading?”  He is always looking for a new book to read, so I am guessing he just wants to ask something he is interested in hearing about and of course, “what book you are reading” tells a whole lot about a person.

If the average American family who typically spends $125.00 per month on television/cable were to all of a sudden, stop all television for one year……well, you don’t need a book on math to know, that’s a whole lot of moolah to spend on books.

The last mileJust last night, I finished David Baldacci’s book, The Last Mile.  To say, he is an extremely good writer, is to understate his ability.  Like a dog with a new chew toy, he captures your imagination in the first chapter and doesn’t let go. Moments, during the day, while I was folding laundry or rebounding, I found myself wondering what Amos or Melvin were doing.  Yes, the characters are so real, it’s baffling.

I am in the thick of reading, Thomas Keller’s, Bouchon.  The sheer act of turning those overly large pages, somehow, makes me want to take more time and become a better bouchonbaker.  I want to serve Mr. Right, the perfect cookie.  I want to make less and yet at the same time, put more heart and soul into the few loaves of bread I do bake a month.  That man, heard his calling and followed.  Inspirational.

Of course with Spring upon us, I am toying with gardening books, methods, ideas.  Trying to find a book that will inspire me and somehow help me become a more satisfied gardener.

As I do five days a week, I read for one hour this morning.  Learning, researching, trying to educate myself. Today’s topic was Rosemary and how it helps our brains repair and function better.  I also learned more about keeping fluoride as far away from our beings as possible and I did 15 minutes of more essential oil reading.

While I am not persuaded to read a book because the back book jacket says a famous actor enjoyed the book, I am curious to read what my friends and family are reading.  While there are only a couple of genres I make little to no time for, my interest is quite often piqued just enough, that I will most likely give a variety of books a chance.book

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead.  Just think of all the glorious pages we will read?

In this together, friends.

Love to hear what you are reading.

Chat soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

food review, haPPY, health, recipe, Uncategorized

W4D?

The age old question:  What’s for Dinner?

Kids ask, girlfriends ask, spouses casually slip in the question…..This question crosses the lips of all families across our land.

I have an answer for you!  Friday night dinner idea is taken care of.  done.  you’re welcome.

The Lenten season is fast approaching. Lots of folks will be trying to do away with some meat and dairy products. Maybe you just need a fresh new to you idea for dinner tonight?  Maybe you want to know what the heck your vegetarian friends eat for supper?  Maybe one of your resolutions was to eat with a healthier twist?

Giving up familiar items or trying new things can be tricky and frustrating.  Change is hard for everyone.

Adding something new to the dinner line up has to be slipped in carefully for some family members.

What’s For Dinner?  Secret insider information…. when I am plum out of ideas, I send a message to girlfriends…. W4D????  That means I am looking for dinner ideas, please help!

I thought I would share a dinner solution….we enjoyed last night.

falafel-2Vegetarian, quick, delish and you can build your own.  You can cut open a piece of naan, you can build your Falafel sandwich folded between the naan, you can even cut it up and make your own little stacks of goodness.

Tasty, great texture, filling, packed with flavor and pretty darn easy to make.  You can make the mixture early in the day, cover and refrigerate.  When dinner time comes around, you just use a cookie scoop (or spoon) and flatten them onto a pan or put into a black iron skillet.

Did you know there are restaurants in Europe and the only thing on the menu are Falafel???

While the Falafel patties cook, you have plenty of time to set the table, and chop some cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. 20170209_172248-1_resized

I do not own a Tandori oven, I buy Naan Bread (Trader Joe’s has some for $3.69).  Sprinkle with a bit of water, heat in a 400* oven for 3 or 4 minutes, brush with garlic butter.  If you can’t find Naan Bread you can always use pita bread.

Serve with plenty of Tzatziki sauce and a big ol bowl of hummus.

Falafel Patties  http://www.myhdiet.com/Fall-In-Love-With-Food-Again/

1 onion, quartered, 3 garlic cloves, 2 cans of chickpeas, drained (or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas),  2 Tablespoons tahini, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon olive oil , 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 to 3 Tablespoons flour, pinch cayenne

Recipe notes:   When did the world started calling Garbanzo beans , Chickpeas?  I sometimes leave out the coriander (because I am too lazy to reach to the top shelf), I always use way more parsley than they suggest, I never use cayenne and I use a gluten-free flour blend.  For just the two of us, I make a half a batch. Sometimes I bake, other times, when I want it fast, I use a little oil and get that outer crust pretty crispy, yum. 

Process the onion and garlic in a food processor until well chopped.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed and fairly well-chopped.  Scoop and pat into patties on a baking sheet, then bake at 400* for 35 minutes (flip over after 20 minutes) or saute in a skillet for about five minutes per side. 

Say grace and dig in.  Use lots of napkins, these beauties can get sloppy and messy and oh so good.  🙂

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

food review, haPPY, happy marriage, healing, health, recipe, recipe comfort food, Uncategorized

pulled pork sammies

It was a three, paper napkin kind of lunch.

Messy, sloppy and drippy good.  You know what I am talking about.  You take that first bite, a little sauce drips into your hand and then drips down near your wrist, as you are reaching for a napkin, you try and catch it all of a sudden it drips a bit down your forearm.  Then you lick your finger and try and clean up all while trying to take that next bite.  haha20160730_132131_resized

Boy Howdy, the flavor was dancing (with jazz hands) and the texture was spot on.

You all know how I love to make something on Friday to have ready for weekend lunches?  Well, this hit the spot and then some.  Easy to put together and actually tastes a touch better the next day.

One of the pickles about eating the way we do, we can’t just drive through a place and grab something to eat.  However, being honest here, we enjoy a quick made lunch full of flavor and goodness like the next family.

So once home from morning grocery shopping, we unloaded and then sat for a minute or two with a really great lunch. It went together lickity split and it was sumptuous and filling at the same time.

I won’t go into all the reasons why we don’t eat meat in our home.  If you want to have an intelligent chat, I would love to do that sometime.  One reason; I have to keep my system ph balanced and meat products rise the acid levels and we all know that elevated acid levels cause sickness, inflammation and arthritis to name a few.  Actually, it’s been about 25 years since we have eaten pork in our home.

Oh, I get it that not everyone thinks this is the way to eat.  Actually, I wanted to write this down to save it for me.  A gentle reminder what goodness I create now and then.

Needless to say we no longer put air quotes around the word pulled “pork” sammies.  No one in our family asks, “is this really pork”?

Okay, Dana over at Minimalist Baker, rocked our lunch on Saturday.

http://minimalistbaker.com/?s=pulled+pork+sandwiches

She is a gem to share her creations and boy howdy did she deliver!  Who would have guess that cooked lentils, some smashed and shredded carrots and onions and spices and BBQ sauce would deliver an amazing, mouth-watering, messy creation?

I make our own BBQ sauce, but you certainly can use store-bought.  Also, I just looked at her pictures and realized, she used purple cabbage and I used green.  So, apparently, you can make substitutions and it still ends up as a glorious lunch.

I used toasted buns (I must say the texture of the crunch was the perfect addition, don’t skip this delightful layer of crunch.)  I sliced the cabbage nice and thin and made a quick slaw.  Then I sliced Walla Walla sweet onions for an added punch of flavor. 20160730_131822-1_resized

The flavor was deep and rich.  The texture was great.  It was “stringy” like you would expect in a pulled pork sammy.  We were both clean plate club members.

Update:  We had the same lunch two days in a row.  Such flavor, we both cleaned our plates once again.  The really good news?  We have enough in the freezer to have one more fast food, spur of the moment lunch.  Yum-tastic.

Next time you invite a non meat-eater over for a casual lunch or BBQ, might I suggest you offer up something this spectacular?  Or just maybe, remember you and your family are worthy of a beautifully made meal that is both beautiful and nutritious.20160730_131937_resized

Quick, say Grace and pass the napkins!