Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 29, 2014

Outside my window . . . 65* and a pure blue sky filled with sunshine.

I am thinking . . . about a request I got last night and how to handle it.

I am thankful . . . for another good day with my bestie. Everything seems brighter after time spent with her.

In the kitchen . . . Six Layer Dish is providing leftover lunches for dh this week!

I am wearing . . . my white cotton gown.

I am creating . . . a life. Sometimes I forget that creating is more than just producing craft items or food. I am reminded this morning that even if I don't have a project to show off or talk about, it doesn't mean I'm not being creative.

I am going . . . to the pool! The weather here has been just fabulous this month, so I'm soaking in as much pool time as possible.

I am wondering . . . about out upcoming trip to Bonaire, and hoping that I don't have trouble with my ears.

I am reading . . . Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It's very interesting so far. Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie adaptation.

I am looking forward to . . . changes that are upcoming for our family.

I am hearing . . . peace and quiet, punctuated with occasional bird calls and wind chimes.

Around the house . . . I regained some control over the clutter yesterday! Yay me :)

I am praying . . . for Dr. Kent Brantly who is working with the ebola crisis in Liberia and tested positive for the disease himself.

One of my favorite things . . . is this kind of weather. Lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s. Perfect summer time weather if you ask me.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a bit calmer than some weeks. I just want to keep focus and get some things caught up around the house. Lunch with another dear friend on Thursday, and then friends over for lunch and birthday celebrations on Sunday.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
dh is heading to Malaysia this fall --
you may read more here

Monday, July 28, 2014

Six Layer Dish

This has not been the summer of cooking.

My peeps are all going in different directions at different times, so it's been really difficult to get organized, let alone inspired.

Last night I fell back on an old standby. I usually serve this in the fall and winter, but I was working from what I had on hand (because really who wants to grocery shop when it's this hot?)

This is another one of those recipes that I like and rely on because I almost always have the ingredients on hand, and it came from one of my favorite cookbooks, More with Less.
Of course my copy's a bit older and worn
Shockingly, I did make a few changes in the recipe. So here's my version
after everyone dove in of course!

Layer in the order given in a 2 quart greased (sprayed) casserole, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper:

2 medium potatoes, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced, or diced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice (not instant)
1 pound ground chuck, raw, crumbled
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes with liquid

Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours at 325*.  Check to see that beef is cooked through, and top with grated cheddar/jack cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4-6 hungry folks. You can complete your meal with a nice tossed salad or green vegetable of your choice.

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Counseling in Malaysia

Just wanted to share this exciting news with all of my readers. My husband is going to Malaysia to help others learn about marriage and family therapy. We are very excited for him to have this opportunity.
(Alan and Claire on a previous mission trip)

I would like to ask all of you to pray for us as he prepares for the trip and especially while he is traveling and out of the country. Please pray for me as I will be here at home. Pray that I will feel peace and comfort knowing he is doing good works.

If you would like to make a donation to the trip just follow the link -- Alan Goes to Malaysia

Thank you for your continued support and reading of my blog. You are all part of my extended family and I am grateful for our connection.

Friday, July 25, 2014


All those years ago I said I'd finish this. 

I'm not sure I realized what I was agreeing to do. 

It's been nearly 14 years since I was diagnosed with chronic PTSD, the result of childhood sexual abuse. I swore when they diagnosed me, I'd stay the course until I had dug through it all. Until it was finished and I was "better".

There may have been a flaw in my word choice. 

I don't think this will be finished until I'm dead and gone home to heaven, because these things that happened to me also helped to fashion me into the person I am. If I finish investigating my life, my experiences, my hopes, my dreams -- well then I'm done, I'm finished. And the only way I see that happening is through death. 

I'm still okay with finishing this process, but I'm not feeling the need to hurry it along. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

many thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker for creating and hosting this wonderful meme, and welcome to Kate Motaung for taking over the helm

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Pains

I have growing pains.

Not the bone and muscle type, but rather the brain and emotions kind. I'm working on a new aspect of learning to trust myself and step out in that trust, and sometimes it hurts.

The hubs and I are going scuba diving in Bonaire next month. Exciting, yes. But I've gained weight since the last time we dove, and the last trip didn't go as planned. I wound up with a damaged eardrum after the first dive and that was it for me for the whole trip. So I've got a bit of anxiety going into this next trip.

This morning I was shopping online for dive skins. I wear a shortie dive suit, but have had some trouble with rashes and such on previous dives, so I've decided to get some kind of rash guard to wear under my shortie. Now here's the thing. Most divers in ads and catalogs are super-fit, model-skinny, sweet young things. None of those adjectives fit me. I'm middle aged, overweight, mildly fit. I tend to look like a penguin in my dive gear (or sometimes a manatee, depending on my mood). Shopping for a bathing suit is not fun for most women. Now ratchet it up by a factor of 10 and you've got some idea of what shopping for dive wear is like.

I like to dive. My husband LOVES to dive. It's something I learned to do to spend time with him. So I don't want the process of looking for equipment to dull the excitement. I don't want to let the fact that I'm not thin keep me from doing something that's fun for us, together. 

So I Googled plus sized dive skins this morning. And I found out that I am not alone. I found a whole thread of discussions on where to look and what to order. I found frank, honest discussions by people, like me, who don't fit the traditional mold for divers, talking about how to accommodate bigger bodies and short legs. 

Don't misunderstand, I'd love to lose some of this extra weight. And I'm working on it, but I'm tired of letting it dampen my enjoyment of activities that I love.

If you're in the ocean next month and a penguin (or manatee) swims by with blue stripes, don't panic. It's just me embracing myself and working on those growing pains.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Collage #1

linking up with Wordless Wednesday [courtesy of Alan Pennington (aka "dh") at Mama Kat's request]

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . July 22, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is sunny and clear, 76*. We are off to a beautiful start!

I am thinking . . . scattered thoughts! Still having trouble getting my mind to settle down.

I am thankful . . . for the health and safety of my family. I seem to hear/read so much about accidents and illnesses! I am constantly reminded to be grateful for the calm of no crises in my own home.

In the kitchen . . . I have a new dishwasher! But it's not installed because poor, dear hubby is going to have to run a new supply line as the current one is in the way for proper installation :(

I am wearing . . . one of my cotton gowns.

I am creating . . . odds and ends. I'm having a hard time focusing on any one thing for too long, so I've just been doing bits and pieces. Yesterday I fixed 2 bracelets and pinned up the hem on a new dress I bought for out trip next month.

I am going . . . to meet with the lectio divina coordinator for a final interview this afternoon. It's been an interesting experience.

I am wondering . . . about joining a spiritual directions group this fall through Dovehouse Ministries. It is a group that meets once a month to pray for each other. 

I am reading . . . Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. It's very interesting so far. Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie adaptation.

I am looking forward to . . . lunch with a dear, dear friend on Thursday!

I am hearing . . . Yaya snoring away during her morning nap.

Around the house . . . I've got to vacuum today! The dog woofies are planning a coup d'├ętat!

I am praying . . . for my dd. She has been hired for a full-time position and is getting her own apartment with a friend in late August. I am so happy for her as she moves into a new aspect of her life!

One of my favorite things . . . is organization. My bestie and I reorganized my pantry yesterday. I love being able to look in and find just what I need without having to move everything around.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a couple of meetings today, a LONG allergist appointment tomorrow followed by another meeting. On Thursday I meet my friend for lunch! And the weekend is looking pretty free and clear.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
a made-up pumpkin/sour cream crumb cake
for Green Street last week