Friday, February 28, 2014

Choose

Every morning I get to choose.

Is today going to be a positive experience or a negative one.

I can't control what will or won't happen. How other people will treat me or respond to me. I can't control the news or the weather or the sunrise or the sunset.

What I can do is choose how I react. I can choose to remember what blessings I have. I can choose to share what I have. I can choose to love others and myself. I can choose to focus on God and not my current worries or concerns.

I don't get it right ever day. At least part of most days, I don't choose well, but I keep coming back again and choosing all over.

Today I choose to see the positive: a good night's sleep -- tea and juice and biscuits for breakfast -- a good chat with my son -- mindfulness -- plans for the day that honor others and me.

I choose to be beautiful!


linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Chifferobe

Describe the most vivid dream you can remember.



I am standing in my bedroom in the house I grew up in. My great-grandmother's chifferobe is on the wall in front of me. It is covered in heavy layers of dust and dirt and mud and excrement. It is disgusting to look at and even worse to touch.

I am compelled to go to it. To try and clean it off. I begin to brush away the detritus and see that there are mouse droppings, cobwebs, and dead bugs mixed in with the dirt and grime. But I must open the chifferobe. 

I open the door and see more dust and cobwebs. Old rotting clothing hangs from wire hangers, but I sense something. I push the rotting clothes away and see sunlight. I smell fresh, clean air. There is beauty and freedom beyond the disgust, but I will have to work through all the dirt and excrement to get to it. 

I am afraid, but I crave the beauty I sense beyond the horror.

And so I begin to clean.

linking up with Writer's Workshop, Imperfect Prose, and Just Write








Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 25, 2014

Outside my window . . . the sun is shining in a pale blue sky. Wispy clouds are gliding across. We're at 38* right now heading up to 50*!

I am thinking . . . about getting back into a routine. Things have been floundering a bit for the past week or so. I need that routine to settle my spirit.

I am thankful . . . for good conversations with my family, even when the topics are difficult.

In the kitchen . . . last night was an experiment that went well. Black eye pea and chicken soup. I'm still working out the exact proportions I used.

I am wearing . . . the usual.

I am creating . . . still finishing up the edging on a burp cloth and working on a new baby afghan design.

I am going . . . finish up the ironing today. Then I'm going to pick a sewing project to work on just for me :)

I am wondering . . . about Paul's thorn in the flesh.

I am reading . . . finished up The Hangman's Daughter. It ended better than it began. I may try the next on in the series after all. I started Anatomy of a Disappearance: A Novel by Hisham Matar. It's quite intriguing and is making me interested in Egyptian history.

I am looking forward to . . . things settling down around here a bit. It's been quite hectic and I'm hoping for some "mellow" to appear soon.

I am hearing . . . quiet! Ds just left for school. The dogs are settled for their morning nap and dd is still in bed.

Around the house . . . I need a day of just being at home with no one else around to putter and clean.

I am praying . . . prayers of gratitude for a friend's good CAT scan results, and prayers of healing for a young lady struggling with emotional issues.

One of my favorite things . . . is springtime. I know I'm jumping the gun here, but we've had a few really nice days that have given me hope of an early spring.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . nothing out of the ordinary planned right now, so I'm just hoping for routine.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
a new stash of yarn!




Monday, February 24, 2014

Quick and Yummy Chili

Recently we had friends over for chili and cornbread. I don't consider myself a chili aficionado, but I do know what I like where chili is concerned. Basic, hearty, and not too spicy. That being said I had a request for my chili recipe, so here it is. The cornbread recipe can be found here.



2 lbs. ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
2 15-oz. cans kidney or pinto beans, undrained

Brown ground chuck and onion in Dutch oven; drain accumulated grease. Add remaining ingredients. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes; longer if you want a thicker chili, stirring periodically. Serve with Fritos, sour cream and cheese (and cornbread!).

Serves 8

That's it. Simple, easy, quick. No packages to buy and wonder about. 

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday



Saturday, February 22, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Small Things

A touch, a kiss, a nod, a hug. Small things that can change everything.

What happens when those small things disappear? It's a gradual realization. When was the last time you held hands? How did all those tender moments get lost in the day to day grind?

And sometimes it takes effort to retrieve them. A plan. And faith and trust. Reaching out recognizing you could face rejection. But not trying . . . that's even worse. 

So I make a small move. I rub his back while we talk in the kitchen. I stand on the step and wrap my arms around him. 

He pats me on the arm as he leaves the bed early in the morning. He kisses my cheek while I'm sleeping even though he doesn't understand it.

Small things. Those reminders of why we are together.


linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, February 20, 2014

With Thanks to William the Conqueror

Presumably we have William the Conqueror to thank for vacations. At least according to Wikipedia.

Whoever started the trend had no idea what they were creating. 

The concept is terrific. Get away from the office, the farm, the housework, whatever, and just do things differently. See new things, eat new things, rest and relax in a new environment. The problems come when those you travel with have different ideas of what a vacation really is. 

The first time my husband and I went to Mexico, he had every day scheduled to the nines. Events, locations, experiences reigned supreme. The problem was I am not an energetic traveler. Maybe it's being an introvert, but I need recovery time after the actual travel has taken place. The day we fly anywhere, I'm just as happy to call that the activity for the day, and spend the rest of the day/night doing as little as possible. By a pool if that can be arranged.

Over the years we've had to learn to adjust. He's had to accept that I'll run out of steam long before he will, and I've had to ramp up my energy level to keep going even when I'm tired. We balance pretty well these days, but I still nap a lot more than he understands. 

For a long time I thought it was just me, but a couple of years ago my husband took our son on a 2 week vacation to go climbing, hiking, and sightseeing. When they came back I heard both sides. My husband couldn't get over how tired and sleepy our son was, or how much he ate. My son couldn't get over how early my husband gets up in the morning and how early he falls asleep at night, and how little he seems to eat!

Regardless of how the vacation ultimately plays out, right about now I'd give something near and dear to me if I could be somewhere warm with a beach and a fruity beverage to sip on. 

February may be the shortest month in days, but it's the longest in cold temperatures!

linking up with Writer's Workshop


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Filling the Hole

"When you were a child who did you go to for comfort?"

Is this supposed to be an easy question? Is there a trick in here somewhere?

I am supposed to say, "My mother and/or father" right? That's the "right" answer. But what if it doesn't ring true? What if I can't remember that happening?

I don't think she meant it to be a difficult question? I wasn't really supposed to have sit and think about it. But I did. 

She followed it up with, "Have you ever felt fully accepted -- for who you are?" Another question where the expected answer is clearly, "Yes". It's self-indulgent to say "No". Needy. Attention seeking. 

The truth is this all my life I have been hunting for someone, anyone, to accept me warts and all. It could be that those people are already in my life and I just can't comprehend that they are okay with me. It might be that I'm just so afraid to trust, that I constantly hold back.

So another box has been opened. Another set of tears flowing as I realize that, while things are much better, there is still a hole waiting to be filled. God is there along with one or two flesh people, but there is still a lot of empty space in that hole. Space that needs -- longs -- to be filled with love, admiration, and acceptance. 

Like so many other things along this path of healing, I am going to have to fill that hole myself.


linkup with Just Write and Imperfect Prose





Wick?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 18, 2014

Outside my window . . . it's sunny and cool this morning, but they say we'll hit the mid-60s this afternoon. Whoo-hoo!

I am thinking . . . about a survivor story I heard over the weekend. So much pain and disbelief. This one may be going to trial, so I am praying for a good outcome to aid in healing.

I am thankful . . . for a good night's sleep. I've been having some difficulty in that area so it's a real blessing to sleep well.

In the kitchen . . . Sunday night was Chicken in the Jug, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, steamed broccoli, and rolls. Last night was 4 Bean Enchiladas. I'm still up in the are for tonight, but if the weather is as nice as predicted we might do a big salad with leftover chicken on it.

I am wearing . . . Guess? You're right! Flannel robe and slippers.

I am creating . . . burp cloths and a baby afghan.

I am going . . . to therapy today. Change in plans has moved it to Tuesdays for a bit. This could confuse my whole week!

I am wondering . . . How I missed teaching kindness to my kids. I know I didn't miss it completely, but within our immediate family I sometimes see a lack of compassion and mercy.

I am reading . . . The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. About 45% done, but it's become one of those books I want to finish just so I'll know the conclusion. Not really enjoying it much.

I am looking forward to . . . not much right now, and that is never a good thing.

I am hearing . . . the washer and the dryer, and dogs clicking around the hardwood floors. Gotta trim their nails.

Around the house . . . dh asked me about how I mop the den floor. I guess it is looking a little "doggie printed". Time to pull out the special cleaner and a rag and get down on my hands and knees. Ugh!

I am praying . . . for a new baby girl born yesterday to friends of mine. This past Sunday was Baby Dedication Day at church. New life as we head into springtime. 

One of my favorite things . . . making people smile. 

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . maybe a mani/pedi since I'm starting to look like a yeti. Yoga and housework. Tea with my mother at the end of the week, and LBB is coming on Friday this week to craft, talk, organize, and yoga. Not sure what the weekend will be bring, but maybe a trip to the aquarium in Chattanooga.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
chocolate raspberry cake from The Fresh Market


Monday, February 17, 2014

Chicken in the Jug

Yesterday while at my nephew's birthday party, I mentioned that I was having people over for dinner last night. My sister-in-law's sister (no actual relation to me I guess) asked what I was serving. I casually said, "Chicken in the Jug, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, and rolls." She stopped me and said, "Chicken in the Jug?" A fairly normal reaction to the name, but I'm so used to it I forget it's not commonplace for most people.



I really can't believe I've never posted this recipe here before (and I apologize to sister of SIL because I really thought I had!). 

Here's how the original recipe looked years ago when my mother got it from some little old lady at the country church my father pastored.

1/4 lb. butter, melted
the juice of one lemon
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce 
chicken

Put skinned, cleaned chicken in a deep oven-proof jug. Place foil over top, then place cover on jug. Cook for 2 hours in a 300 degree oven.

A little vague in some areas, and most of my friends don't have jugs to cook in, so here's my version.


1 stick butter, melted
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 lbs. chicken pieces, preferably skinned and boned

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together butter, juice, and sauce. Pour over chicken and cover casserole tightly with aluminum foil. If you have a casserole with a lid, follow the original instructions and use the foil and lid. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the cut of chicken used. Do not over bake as the acid in the juice and sauce may cause the chicken to dry out.

That's it. This recipe can be done in a slow cooker, but watch your time if you use the high setting. It can dry out in there as well. The sauce tastes great on pork as well.

I usually serve this with rice or grits, but last night I tried roasted sweet potatoes. Leftovers are great thinly sliced and served on a salad.

Happy eating!


linking up with Made by You Monday






Saturday, February 15, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

garrison confections


Friday, February 14, 2014

Garden

garden -- noun -- an area of ground where plants (such as flowers or vegetables) are grown

garden -- verb -- to work in a garden : to take care of the plants in a garden

I grew up in and around gardens. My grandparents, great grandmother, and great-great aunt and uncle always had gardens full of vegetables. Even a small cornfield in my grandparents backyard. I learned about cherry tomatoes when my Auntie sent me out to pick them. I thought they were cherries and began to gobble them straight off the vine. Clearly they were not cherries, but they were something wonderful!

I'm not a gardener now. I tried my hand at it early on, but the general consensus is I could kill a silk plant. So I envy other people's gardens, and feel a little less than because that isn't my gift.

But years ago I learned the word kindergarten which in German literally means "children's garden" or a garden of children. What a beautiful idea.

I have gardened for years in the cultivating of my family and home. I plant seeds, I hope, of love and compassion. Of mercy and forgiveness. Of peace and gratitude.

I don't know how well I've done. There have been plenty of thorns and weeds thrown in the mix. There have been droughts and floods, and locusts at times. But I keep gardening knowing that while I may never really see the fruits, someone will be blessed by them some day.

Please read here to see how you can help the Maubane Community Center start its garden.

linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday . . . Again

I used to participate in this meme every week, but I slowly got out of the habit. Recently I've been thinking about it again. Maybe it's because it's just a good idea to set aside a specific time to focus on gratitude. Whatever the reason, here's mine for today.

I'm grateful for quiet time. Over and over again I am shown (thank you, Lord) how important quiet is for me. I spent a huge percentage of my young adult and early married years staying as busy as I possibly could. I thought I had to be busy to be a good Christian. It also was a form of escape. If I stayed busy enough I wouldn't have to face the demons lurking around in my head.

What I've since learned is that quiet is my friend. It allows me to focus and regroup. To organize what's really important and release all the detritus that not only does me no good, but actually harms me if it's left to hang around and stagnate.

Quiet time can take many forms. Sometimes it's time to do a simple devotional. I've been using Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals for the past 2 or 3 years and I really enjoy it.

Other times of quiet are spent doing intensive Bible study. I attend a weekly Precept Bible Class. The lessons require several hours of work each week, and are usually incredibly fulfilling. Spending that much time and effort in God's word is always a good thing.

I've attended several workshops on quiet through Dovehouse Ministries and found them to be hugely beneficial. Taking an entire weekend to be silent and spend time in the Word and meditation is a true gift.

All of these require a certain amount of planning and effort on my part which is good. It's good to be focused and intentional about quiet time, but it can also just become something else to put on the list and possibly feel guilty for not completing. Recently I ran across this image 


I realized it offered opportunities to easily incorporate quiet into my daily routine. I have one copy hanging in my laundry room and one on the refrigerator in my kitchen. I make it a point to read the list completely at least once a day.

So for today I am thankful for quiet time. The lessons I have learned from practicing quiet and the gift of quiet itself.

Blessings.


linking up with Thankful Thursday


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Drawing Pictures on Walls

Yesterday I went through an experience I've had before. I did a genogram -- much like a family tree but with additional information regarding relationships beyond bloodlines.



Genograms are used in treating medical and psychological complaints, but also as a form of learning more about our personal development. I've talked about genograms before especially as they have impacted my healing. In the past I've had strong responses to helping create them. The first time I did one I developed a pounding migraine that forced me into a dark room with a cold compress on my head as I willed myself not to throw up.

Thankfully yesterday's went more smoothly. 

I didn't know until I got to the office that we'd be doing a genogram. When the counselor informed me of it I was hit with a wave of anxiety. She asked if I'd done one before and I assured her that I had. As she was preparing her workspace I mentioned that under the circumstances I would take some medication to ease my anxiety. She offered to postpone the process, but I really wanted to get it done. So we proceeded with the proviso that I could call it quits at any time.

As she drew the outline and filled in my information I concentrated on breathing deeply and fully, not hunching my shoulders, and answering her questions honestly. I didn't backtrack too much and I don't think I over explained (a common problem). As we progressed she expressed dismay over certain things that came to light. Most of them were things I'm used to eliciting sympathy.

Some of her queries surprised me and caught me a bit off guard. In the past genograms have been "just the facts" experiences, but she kept asking me to describe certain people on the chart. How did I feel about them. I found myself answering as honestly as I could, but still feeling obligated to minimize certain things.  "She wasn't all bad." Or "I'm sure there are lots of good things I just can't remember".

When we had completed the layout, we continued to talk for a bit. The counselor then expressed gratitude for my willingness to share and she went on to say that she felt I was a very strong woman to have survived all of the trauma. I believed her, but there was still that little niggle in the back of head. Not a full out voice, but just a hint that I was undeserving of her comments. She told me she really liked me and would like to give me a hug if I was okay with that. I assured that would be fine as long as she warned me in advance.

Her comments and the hug brought tears to my eyes. Any expression of kindness, especially from someone who has just sat through hearing some or all of my story, tends to have this effect one me.

It took me a few hours and a couple of mugs of herbal tea to get my bearings again, but I think this has the potential to be a good thing. Perhaps a very good thing.

linking up with Just Write and Imperfect Prose






The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 11, 2014

Outside my window . . . blue skies and wispy clouds. 17* but feels like 5*. Brrrrr!

I am thinking . . . about the slight shift I am sensing in my mind set. It is allowing me to do for others because I enjoy the doing, not out of a sense of guilt or obligation.

I am thankful . . . for constant growth and the ability to learn and appreciate new skills.

In the kitchen . . . there has been a flurry of cooking lately. Last night was Mexican Shepherd's Pie. Sunday was Ham and Cheese Quiche, and Saturday we had Layered Chicken Nachos. I made my own tortilla chips out of corn tortillas I had stored in the freezer, and they were so easy and quite delicious!

I am wearing . . . the usual -- flannel robe, cotton gown, and flannel slippers. Maybe I should just remove this entry as it never seems to change.

I am creating . . . multiple projects (again!). Two burp cloths and scarf that I'm trying some new design techniques on.



I am going . . . to be on my own today as my bestie just needed a day at home. I completely get it. I did the same thing last Thursday and it was quite lovely.

I am wondering . . . why it can be so difficult to stay focused on the here and now. It is so easy to shift to future issues and concerns. Now is what I have and I want to live it!

I am reading . . . The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I'm not as far along as I expected to be by now, but that's because A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny became available at the library, so I read it. SO GOOD! Perhaps the best yet in the Inspector Gamache series.

I am looking forward to . . . this weekend. Valentine's Day on Friday, Fun Girls' Day on Saturday, and dinner guests on Sunday. 

I am hearing . . . Yaya snoring and the wind chime ringing.

Around the house . . . vacuuming is at the top of my list as is ironing. Two of my least favorite chores. I shall try the Zen approach and make "cleaning a meditation".

I am praying . . . for our congregation as we work through some new ideas. 

One of my favorite things . . . is having a list and marking things off as they are accomplished. I've come to realize that this is for my benefit, and not to prove my value to anyone else.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a meeting this afternoon, therapy in the morning, Bible study on Thursday, Valentine's on Friday, Fun Girls' Day on Saturday, and worship and dinner guests on Sunday.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
a burst of spring color for these dark, cold February days


Monday, February 10, 2014

Coca-Cola Chicken Tenders

A couple of weeks ago we had some people over for chili. It was potluck and one person brought colas. We don't drink much cola around here, so I had some leftover Coke. I also had a cookbook a friend had shared with me, which I have now shared with someone else. Before re-sharing it though, I flipped through and pinned the recipes that looked interesting. This was one of them -- Coca-Cola Chicken Wings. The one problem being, I don't like wings. So I did a variation (shocked, aren't you?!?)

(before sauce)

1 cup brown sugar
12-oz. Coca-Cola®
onion powder
garlic salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into tenders OR presliced chicken tenders

Mix first 5 ingredients in a 9"x13" casserole that has been sprayed or greased. Stir to dissolve sugar. Place tenders in sauce flipping to coat. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to caramelize the sauce. Remove from oven. Transfer sauce to a sauce pan reserving 1/4 cup in a measuring cup. Add 1 T. cornstarch. Stir well and add to remaining sauce. Stir over medium heat until sauce has thickened. Pour over tenders and serve.

Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday



Saturday, February 8, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Compassionate Witnesses

They are the people who listen and react with love. 

They are the ones who cry when I share pieces of my story.

They are the ones who bolster me up when I think I've hit bottom.

They are the ones who send unexpected notes and even gifts just to let me know they believe in my value as a person.

They are the ones who tell me over and over again I am worthy.

They are the ones who stay even once they know all the horror.

They are the ones who understand I didn't "let" the bad guys do it. That it isn't a reflection of my character that terrible things were done to me.

They are the ones who continue to listen and don't ask, "How long is this going to take?"

They are the ones God has put in my path to be His hands and feet and ears and eyes, and sometimes even His mouth, whispering words of love and encouragement to me.

They are my compassionate witnesses.

linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday -- A Repost


Stained Glass Epiphanies
originally posted 2/6/13


I grew up in the center of the Bible belt -- Nashville, Tennessee. I am the daughter of a conservative, evangelical minister who was a literature professor as well. In his spare time, he loved doing community theater.  A strange amalgamation.

I married a man raised in the Methodist church. His mother had been raised Catholic. We are an odd compilation. 

The first time it happened was in a church in a Key West, FL. My husband and I walked into an episcopal church just as tourists. I sat down in a pew and began to look around at the stained glass windows depicting different scenes from Bible stories with which I was all too familiar. And I began to cry.

It may have been the first crack in the armor I'd been using all my life. Armor established in early childhood to protect myself from the horrors of abuse, but also from the dissonance of my home life. A conservative minister, who gave me Stephen King and The Catcher in the Rye to read. Who took me to see The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and Equus by the time I was 14, and quoted Mark Twain more than the Bible. 

I looked at those stained glass windows, and for the first time instead of seeing gaudy, papist opulence, I saw devotion and love between God and man. I saw a God who was in love in with me, instead of a God who held a rule book in one hand and ledger of misdeeds in the other. My husband sat beside me, and understood what I couldn't articulate. 

I've spent a lot of time since then looking, seeking, and reading. Trying to decode what were merely religious traditions from what God actually wants from me and for me. I still have more questions than answers, but it doesn't scare me the way it once did. 

Stained glass epiphanies.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Surviving in Numbers

Earlier this week I posted this as my Facebook status --


Number of abusers: 6 / Years since abuse stopped: 22 / Years since I first told anyone: 13 / Years married to a wonderful supportive man: 28+ / Children: 2 / Blog posts read: over 80,000 / Friends who support me daily: innumerable 

It was the result of having looked at this Surviving in Numbers post via Tumblr.


After posting my status I got that old feeling again. The one where my body starts telling me I've done something really bad. My head begins to hurt. My shoulders round over my body. My stomach begins to grumble. My breathing becomes shallow.

I kept looking back at my impromptu list, and thinking I should revise it. I should have given it more thought before throwing it out into the universe. I should have explained certain things. 

And that's when I saw it. The "shoulds" had returned. 

I used to live my life based on a very long list of "shoulds". Most of them had something to do with what others might think about me or my family if I expressed my feelings. 

I saw those lists of numbers that other survivors had posted and it made me think about my experiences in a numerical way. The first number that popped into my head was the number of abusers. When I started this journey, I believed there was 1. One person who had made me do some things I wished I hadn't done. Years of talking and journaling have led me to understand that that one person abused me. I had no choice or control in any of it. All that work also made it possible to recognize other people and events as abusers and abuse. 

The next number that popped into my head was how many times it had happened. The problem with that number is that I have no idea. I think I "should" know, but I don't. There is a part of me that wants and needs to catalog each episode so that I can categorize and order them, because that will somehow help me understand them. Wishful thinking. Maybe even magical thinking

At that point I stopped thinking and just started typing. Realizing that the list could go on and on. 

Number of therapists I tried to get some help from: 8

Number of years since the abuse started: 48

Number of journals filled with writing: at least 10

Number of magazine articles written: 1

Number of groups I've spoken to about abuse: 4

Number of blog posts about the abuse: over 200

Number of degrees obtained: 3 (high school, college, masters level)

Number of years of mothering: 24

And that's the point at which I understood what the Tumblr post was really about. It's not about the abuse. It's about what I've done in spite of the abuse. For me, the abuse has provided a platform, but it's a platform that has led to so much more than dealing with abuse. 

I am a survivor, but more importantly I am a wife, mother, librarian, writer, reader, cook, artist, and child of God. The only things that really matter.


linking up with Just Write and Imperfect Prose



Snuggle Buddies

linking up with Wordless Wednesday & The Jenny Evolution

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . February 4, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is grey and cold, but we are above freezing. 

I am thinking . . . about how to be more productive with people in and out of the house all day long. My concentration has been taking a hit, as I do not multi-task well.

I am thankful . . . for opportunities to talk with my children. The fact that they so willingly share with me is a true blessing.

In the kitchen . . . over the weekend I tried 2 new recipes. You can see one here, and the other I'll post next week. Today I'll be making breakfast burritos for RITI.

I am wearing . . . my flannel gown and slippers with a throw over my legs as I type.

I am creating . . . crocheted burp cloths. I never would have thought of this, but saw a pattern and decided to give it a go.

I am going . . . to hem pants, crochet, and do yoga today. And make those burritos. And figure out what to feed my family for dinner. And try to catch up on Bible study. 
Hmmm . . . I might have a bit too much planned.

I am wondering . . . my sudden desire to talk more about the abuse I survived.

I am reading . . . The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch. I'm just getting started and I'm not sure where it's heading, but I like it so far.

I am looking forward to . . . seeing where 2014 leads me.

I am hearing . . . the clock ticking and the keys clicking. It's a lovely sound of quiet and solitude.

Around the house . . . I cleaned the laundry room last week with LBB's help. Then I bought a rug for it and added some sunflowers and a couple of good quotes printed out to read when I'm in there.

I am praying . . . friends who are pregnant, a family whose husband/dad was hurt in grainery accident, a young lady whose baby was stillborn. So many people in pain.

One of my favorite things . . . is completing a project. I've been having trouble staying focused lately, so I'd really like to finish up at least one project this week.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . fun/work with LBB today, RITI breakfast, therapy, Precept class, yoga, date night, and company on Saturday night.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
next project to complete







Monday, February 3, 2014

Cheater's Latin Soup

Yesterday I wanted soup. But I wanted it quickly, and I was feeling lazy. So here's what I did.

1 32-oz. carton Latin Style Black Bean Soup

1 32-oz. carton Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (I had the low sodium version on hand)

2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

garlic salt and coarse black pepper to taste

That's it. I heated it all up together. Toasted some corn tortillas in my iron skillet. Put out the Fritos and leftover cornbread, along with some shredded cheese and sour cream. Pretty darn tasty for a cold Sunday afternoon.


Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday