Monday, January 30, 2017

I'll be back

Without going into a lot of detail this has been a crazy, crazy couple of weeks.  Lots of family stuff in the midst of packing up and getting ready for an extended road trip.  Nothing is wrong. I even had a few photos to share, but tomorrow we will be shutting down the internet and I have run out of time.  I hope to be able to connect and post from time to time and I will definitely be checking in and commenting when I can.  Meanwhile, I wish each of you every blessing and I will be in touch soon from our little home away from home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sensible Shoes

Last night was my turn to host my monthly book club which is always a lot of fun.  A little wine, some fruit and cheese, and a few bites of chocolate, what goes better with a good book discussion?

This month's selection, Sensible Shoes,  turned out to be a really wonderful choice.  Part novel, part bible study and part personal spiritual revelation, there is so much in this book that I know I will be keeping it on my shelf to read over and over.

The story is about four different women from four different walks and places in their lives who come together at a Spiritual Retreat center in order to learn ways to grow personally and spiritually. Each one has experience brokenness in their lives. Over the course of several weeks they begin learning some of the ancient spiritual practices such as walking a prayer labyrinth in order to release and receive and using Lectio Divina to go deeper into God's word.  I found it all very interesting.  It's written in such a way that the reader can choose to take the spiritual journey along with them if they wanted to.  In fact, I discovered there is an 80 page companion guide that can be downloaded Here for those who might want to use it as a bible study.   While anyone can read this book and enjoy it, I think it has been written for Christian women who are ready to challenge themselves to go deeper into spiritual practices.  Whether you choose to just enjoy it as a novel or use it as a study I don't think you will be disappointed.

Happy Reading!


Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Little Bit of Nesting

It has been a busy week, taking my mother to Kirkland one day to meet with the doctor who will do her shoulder surgery later in the year, taking a meal and visiting with my new granddaughter on another day, spending two days at the school, one day substituting and one day volunteering, as well hosting the whole family for a football playoff game yesterday.  In between, I have been doing a little "spring" cleaning and working on getting the house back to normal.  

My mother and my new granddaughter, Ava Marie

Our room has a tendency to be the catch all for everything we are not sure what to do with.  At the moment one corner is filled with the boxes of flooring that will be laid in the kitchen when the weather turns warmer, as well as numerous boxes of papers and photos that need to be sorted and bags of stuff that need to be sent to the thrift shop.  Even so, I managed to put together a corner near the gas fireplace for a little reading nook.

I had organized the bookcase earlier in the year.  This old recliner is a bit ragged having gone through several children, but it's still quite comfortable so I slid it over near the fireplace and set the little folding table next to it.  The material is some I purchased from the Bali Bazaar I help with every year, and the lamp came from my old office at school.  With the fire burning, it makes a  quiet cozy spot to curl up with a book.

 I also went down to the basement and dug out this old antique table that I put down there a few years ago.  It too has become quite battered and scratched but it has good bones and can be refinished some day when I have the time.

It had belonged to an old friend of my grandmother's and all it needed for now was a little TLC.

 See how the wood came to life with some beeswax and a bit of polishing.  It fits perfectly in this empty corner.  Now, just add a piece of pretty lace to cover the scratches and allow the the richness of the wood to come through and it looks quite lovely, rather like a regal, older lady dressed in her shawl. 

For now, I used this flower arrangement from the bedroom and hung some family photos.  I think it filled in this corner quite nicely and in time I will add some other family pictures.

I feel like I had a pretty productive week.  I hope you did too.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Skillet Chicken with Creamy Lime Cilantro Sauce

I don't really make official New Year resolutions but I have challenged myself to go beyond just looking at recipes this year and to actually start trying some of them out.  I don't know about you but I have found that I tend to make the same few things over and over because they are tried and true, and when the kids come over to visit they are sure to please.

Now that I have a little more time, I would like to branch out and expand my repertoire of menu ideas, at least a couple of times a month.  This Skillet Chicken recipe I found on Pinterest here , seemed like a good one to start with. 

I didn't have any fresh chicken breast so I defrosted some frozen ones from the freezer. 

First, I browned the chicken until golden on both sides, then I put it on a plate and covered it with foil.  

  To make the sauce I chopped up some onion and cilantro and squeezed the juice from a fresh lime.  All this was added to the skillet with chicken broth. (I am really a messy cook!)  I also added just a dash of red pepper flakes not the 1/2 tsp it called for as I don't like things too spicy hot.

After the broth reduced to about half, I added butter and cream.

Then I added the chicken back into the skillet and placed it in the oven to bake about 5-10 minutes.

While the chicken finished in the oven I cooked up some broccoli seasoned with a little butter and salt free seasonings.  When everything was ready I just dished it up and... Voila! Dinner!

 The lighting in the kitchen was a little off, but you get the idea.  The best part was the guys really liked it.  And with a few oven roasted potatoes or rice pilaf I think it would make a great company meal.  Not too bad for a first try.   This one is a keeper.  The only thing I would change would be to double the amount sauce.

I am feeling pretty proud of myself at the moment but I am guessing that tomorrow night dinner will probably end up being something like tater tot casserole.  Happy Cooking!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017


While Christmas celebrations for my Orthodox friends and family will continue until January 6, this Lutheran girl's Christmas is pretty much over.  So while I am keeping my nativity and my wise men on display until Epiphany, everything else is getting packed away.  Yesterday, the Christmas tree was the first to go.

It's always a little sad when the ornaments and lights come off the tree but everything has a season.

 The Inspector put the living room back together and even did a bit of rearranging.  I thought it looked nice but the back corner seemed a little bare.

 So I moved this plant from another corner in the room into that space, at least for the time being.

 The only trouble is that now this corner looks pretty bare, and the walls too.  I am going to have to spend some time figuring out what I want to do.  I have a little antique table in the basement that I might bring up.


That empty space on the walls might be a great place to add some family photos.  Especially, since we have just had a huge rearrangement in our family and in our hearts.


 Please meet our new baby granddaughter (our first!) born on New Years Eve.

She's a beautiful and perfect gift from God

2 1/2 hours old

Our oldest son and his new family

We are feeling very, very blessed.