Friday, January 29, 2010

Food Thoughts

I made some gluten-free blueberry muffins yesterday that were tasty. My husband said they were "De-licious." From him, this is exceptionally high praise as he doesn't care for many baked goods anyway.

A couple weeks ago I experimented with a quinoa risotto. Everything I read says that quinoa is very healthy and great on a gf diet. But, the couple times I've made it, we've both thought it was just okay. The "risotto" though, was very good, with mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. Mmm.

Around Christmas time I made some fudge and Jeremy and I both brought it to work to share. My co-workers raved about it (I didn't think it was as tasty as my grandma's awesome fudge! But, it was pretty good). Anyway, I participated in my workplaces Secret Pal exchange throughout this year and tonight was the big "Reveal". I whipped up some fudge last night to give to my secret pal. She squealed tonight when she opened the box and said she wouldn't be sharing any of it. :)

One of these days I'll actually get onto a good schedule with cooking.

The local farmer's market (year round!) has organic free-range eggs $2/dozen, which makes me happy.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jesus is here with us now.

The start to this year has been challenging. I alluded to this in my previous post.
In the past week and a half I've been especially reminded of the fragility of life. The earthquakes in Haiti are a major example. But, a little closer to home for me have been the call that a beloved neighbor suddenly passed away; that a patron at my library works at a school where a 3rd-grader collapsed and died in gym last week; that a police officer and his k9 companion from my community were hit and killed last week and from the window of my gym I watched the police car parade driving to his funeral; that the secretary of the English department at my private university was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and for many reasons is letting the cancer take its course; that the manager of the bookstore where Jeremy and I met just found out her cancer has returned.
After hearing about my former boss--someone Jeremy and I both love very much--I cried last night. It's just so much to take in. I can't even fathom what the families of these people are going through. I know that God is in control and that is my comfort. He is my peace. Jeremy said to me last night, "Jesus is with Chris (our boss) right now. Jesus is here with us right now. And He's going to keep being with us."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Never Catching Up

So, Christmas and New Year have passed, but I still feel like I'm playing catch-up. And if you were to pick a winner in the battle between me and house, don't pick me.
Last week started my new schedule--28 hours. I've been working 20 hours at the library and my boss approached me back in November asking me if I'd be interested in picking up 8 more hours a week at the start of the year and spend those 8 hours working in the children's department. I definitely didn't turn the offer down!
However, and I feel pretty ridiculous even saying this, those 8 extra hours have been my undoing! It's absurd because many other people have so much more going on and they hold it together. Right now, I'm not. I have not lost hope. I will get there, but motivation is really low because I can't seem to see much progress anywhere in the house. The clutter around me is slowly driving me crazy. I'm thankful for our apartment. It's a decent size and it's full of light, but I've completely run out of places to put things and I can't figure out what to get rid of. So, each day I try to do something--a load of laundry, ironing, cleaning the bathroom, going thru mail--and by the time I cycle back around each task needs done again.
Work and meals on the table (and packed lunches) are my top priority, I suppose (except, of course, my husband who takes precedence over those). And there has been fairly healthy 3-meals a day happening around here. So today, I'll focus on that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Goals for 2010

The beginning of 2010 came and went and here it is already a week in. I've been meaning to post some goals (resolutions, if you will) that I've set for myself this year. But, we were out of town until Jan. 3 and then came into a new work week just trying to stay afloat.

Better late than not at all, without further ado, here are my goals.

Financially: Jeremy and I begin and maintain a budget.
Intellectually: Read 1 classic book a month, plus additional books I find along the way.
Physically: A minimum of 3, 30-minute sessions at the gym.
Spiritually: More consistent, digging-deeper devotions.
Healthfully: Meal plan regularly and incorporate more beans, greens, and a wider variety of veggies into our diet.

What are some goals you've set for yourself?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reading Round-up: the Final 2009 Edition

At the 4 month and the 8 month marks of 2009, I took inventory of the books I'd completed. I've been slow in putting up my final reading round-up. But, finally (I know you've been waiting with baited breath, right?), here it is, 20 more books, which brings my 2009 totals to 79! Looking at the list I feel like I forgot a few books, but since I apparently didn't record them, they must not have been that riveting in the first place.

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
Prairie School by Lois Lenski
Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Texas Tomboy by Lois Lenski
Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (audio)
Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer
The Tenth Muse by Judith Jones
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson
Matchless by Gregory Maguire
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (audio)
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Some of my favorites were The Tenth Muse (by Julia Child's editor), The Help, The Hunger Games, and Persuasion.

Hope you enjoy! How was your 2009 reading?

New Year

A beautiful, thoughtful prayer taken from The Valley of Vision.

O Lord,

Length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in thy presence,
in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides,
sustains, sanctifies, aids every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on they Spirit
to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every wok,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire
to show forth thy praise;
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters
of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
thy comforts to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize.
May thy fear be my awe,
thy triumphs my joy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Slow dancing with my husband to a cheesy song, while allowing the clutter and cooling supper to fade into the background for a few minutes.
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