Friday, August 31, 2012

The Smirk

I hadn’t seen him in months, and it had been so restful.
We lived in the same neighborhood, so of course I worried about running into him or just seeing his car drive by on the road.
I was running errands with my kids – distracted by them, focused on the task at hand. Walking down the aisle of the drug story contemplating buying candy just for the hell of it.
I rounded the corner and there he stood.
All the clich├ęs are true. I froze in the spot. Time stood still. I couldn’t utter a sound. His daughter was with him. My children were with me.
In my head were a million and one things I wanted to say. You liar. You bastard. You ruined my life, my family. I hate you. Why can’t you just disappear off the face of the earth? Why were you even born?
Instead I stood there like a fool, and what I remember is the smirk on his face. He was enjoying my discomfort. He realized he still had power over me.
I don’t know if it was that or the children, but something released. I pleasantly addressed his daughter as the children began to chat. I nodded an acknowledgement to him, and hurried my children along with the mom exhortation of “we have so much to do”.
I paid for the items in my cart. I walked my kids to the car, stowing bags and children in their assigned locations. The whole time wondering how I was calmly going about these routine activities. Angered by a God who lets men like him walk free. Smirking at me.
I wanted to shout to everyone I saw, “Don’t go in there. Watch out for yourselves and your children. There’s a rapist in there.” But that would have been inappropriate, and I’d have been viewed as the crazy one, giving him even more fodder for that smirk.
So I went on my way. I finished my errands. I helped the kids with homework, and cooked dinner, and cleaned the kitchen, and gave baths, and read stories, and tucked little bodies into beds with prayers and kisses. And I tried not to think about that smirk – not to denigrate myself for letting him/it get to me.
I crawled into bed, mentioning the encounter to my husband – downplaying it as I always did. I was over reacting. No big deal, really.
I found a new drugstore. I didn’t go back to that one for a long time, and even still over 10 years later that smirk is the first thing I think of when I walk by that store.

linking up at Write on Edge


Change is good, at least that's what "they" say.
When my kids were little, I had one who rolled with the punches, embraced rearranged furniture. The other not so much. He'd come unglued at the mere suggestion of a change.
Myself, I like superficial changes. I love rearranging furniture (plus it's the only way I'm ever going to willingly deep clean!).
Deeper change is really hard for me, and I feel as if I've been in deeper change mode for a long time.
Real change is exhausting, time consuming, and freeing.
Recently I've done some changing with regard to family connections. Change without a road map is especially difficult, but I've had some really good guides along this road.
The big thing I keep telling myself is, "Change is not a destination, it's a process".

linking up at 5 Minute Friday

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thankful Thursday #33

I've written several posts lately about some tough family issues. I've been dealing with the lasting effects of childhood sexual abuse for years, and often I feel that I should be able to put it in the past. What I forget is that the abuse is in the past, but the effects linger long after the final episode is finished.
This week I've found myself on a roller coaster ride of mood swings. I've been happily aware of the wonderful life I have on one day, and deep in depressive despair over the state of extended family relationships on the next.
Yesterday while finishing up my Bible study I ran across this quote from Thomas a Kempis:

Endeavor to be always patient of the faults and imperfections 
of others for you have many faults and imperfections 
of your own that require forbearance. 
If you are not able to make yourself what 
you wish, how can you expect to mold 
another in conformity to your will?
And I wonder how patient I am will the faults and imperfections of others. 
The other day I saw this quote:
Don't judge me because my sin
is different that yours.
It made me stop and think about how frustrated I can become with other people. 
I'm struggling right now to accept some things I'm not going to be able to change, and apparently God's not planning on changing them either. So how do I go about my daily life remembering to be loving toward those whose faults and imperfections I have trouble understanding simply because they are different than mine?

For me it all comes back to love. Verses like Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the Lord your God with all your heart 

and with all your soul and with all your strength.

and Mark 12:29-31:

"The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.”

and James 2:8:
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your 
neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.

So today I find myself feeling gratitude for a heavenly Father who gives me constant reminders that His overwhelming desire is that we all love one another. 
And by doing that, I am doing right.

linking up with Grace Alone

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I wrote about it here.
I got a letter from each of them. Separately.

hers started out well enough. Apologies . . . with a "but" attached.
explanations. defense. blame?
I am hurt and angered . . . again.
I am tired. I am lost.
I did not expect to react so strongly. I got, in many ways, just what I predicted.
words . . . but where are the actions and emotions?

his was wonderfully written.
it's what he does.
even so, it felt more real. heartfelt?
there was a literature reference to be sure, but it applied.
he apologized.
no "buts".
no explanations, no defense, no blame.
I cried.
I want to believe.
words . . . but there have been words before.

I shared them with trusted friends, some who know them, some who don't.

several pointed out what I had initially missed. 
they skirt specificity.
they leave unanswered key questions I posed.

I am tired. 
the anger has drained away.
I question whether or not I want to continue this struggle.

when do I say enough?

Wordless Wednesday -- Farmer's Market Goodies

for more images go to Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . August 28, 2012

Outside my window . . . fluffy white clouds against a robin's egg blue sky. The cherry tree is dropping leaves in earnest now. Warm today, but autumn is definitely on the way.

I am thinking . . . keeping expectations in line helps in dealing with disappointments. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.

I am thankful . . . for good friends, loving kids, and great husband.

In the kitchen . . . we are playing "let's clean out the refrigerator and freezer". It just seemed like a good time to put meals together out of what I have on hand, so each days is an adventure!

I am wearing . . . this gown from Vermont Country Store. I love cotton gowns more than anything in the world!

I am creating . . . afghans, afghans, and more afghans!

I am going . . . to have a day at home. Yoga here, Bible study, laundry, change the sheets, crochet. A nice stay at home day.

I am wondering . . . how God wants me to handle an extended family situation. I am listening and waiting.

I am reading . . . The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen. It may be too gritty for my taste right now.

I am looking forward to . . . a quiet day around the house.

I am hearing . . . the quiet hum of electronics and traffic, punctuated by the occasional bird.

Around the house . . . bit by bit I'm clearing things away and making a simpler place to be.

I am pondering . . . the parent/child relationship. My relationship with parents, and my relationship with my children.

One of my favorite things . . . is feeling that I have done what needs to be done, so I can sit down and read or watch tv or crochet.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . things are calmer than last week. Nothing much planned. Back to Precepts on Thursday and then the Labor Day weekend.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
flowers from the Franklin Farmer's Market

Monday, August 27, 2012

August Joy Dare #2

"Enter the password: 'Thank you!" . . . Thank Him. Worship Him!
--Psalm 100:4

August 20th -- 3 gifts serving
1. housework
2. sharing in struggles
3. preparing my son to move

August 21st -- a gift straight, curve, turn
1. crisply made bed
2. a drive with my daughter
3. chicken on the grill

August 22nd -- 3 gifts in light
1. light found in scripture
2. light found in talking
3. light found in listening

August 23rd -- 3 gifts old
1. 27 years of marriage
2. antique hankies reminding me of love
3. time spent alone with my husband

August 24th -- 3 gifts moving
1. recovering from moving my son to college
2. arranging a freshly painted table and chairs
3. driving with my husband

August 25th -- 3 gifts fragile
1. emotions
2. chronic pain
3. wild flowers from the market

August 26th -- a gift cut, sewn, buttoned
1. fresh vegetables for a salad
2. comfort in stitches for an afghan
3. a denim jacket for the morning chill

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Family History

Last night over dinner, Alan and I started charting my family's history. I have some good (read: disturbing) family history.
As with many Southern families, we talk about our crazy relatives and laugh about the insanity, but last night made me start wondering. Maybe those stories aren't so funny and entertaining when I look at the part they played in my abuse. Maybe it's not so funny to have incest and murder as ancient history when it trickles down into the recent past.
I grew up on these stories. I can't remember a time when I didn't know that great-great aunt Ruth was a possible murderer and an adulteress. That Queenie wasn't her dog, but the nickname for her daughter's legal name, Queen Victoria.
I've always known the story of my great-grandfather standing on his porch at 8 years old crying out to the Dallas neighborhood, "My mama is dead", after finding her shot to death by her husband who them, presumably, turned the gun on himself. Because they weren't really married? Because she was his brother's daughter -- his own neice -- that he'd run off with and had 2 children with.
How that same boy went to live with his aunt, Ruth, and was forced to sleep in the bed with her much older husband, while she went off for assignations with the gardener. 
The stories go on and on.
Entertaining, titillating tales from the early 1900's, until I realize that this is my history. These are the people who are a part of my own DNA. Their progeny are the ones who abused me.

Friday, August 24, 2012


For years I lived in two worlds. In one world, I was myself, most of the time. I thought what I wanted to think. I did what I wanted to do. I breathed in the ease of being myself.

In my other world, I was my parents’ child. I said what they wanted to hear. I behaved how they wanted me to behave. I did what they said. I worried a lot.

The world where I breathed easily was mostly in my head. I thought all kinds of thoughts, but the other world bled over into it too often to ignore. I couldn’t get settled.

Over time it just became so difficult to live that interior life that I began to let it slip away. I was their child, his wife, their mother, the good Christian, the stay at home mom, the baker, the seamstress . . . and on and on.

I broke.

He asked me, “How did you used to feel?” And I answered, “Afraid.”

“Not all the time?”

“Yes. All the time.” But that wasn’t quite true. Sometimes, alone in my head, I wasn’t afraid.

I’ve spent nearly 12 years trying to learn to breathe in the ease of being myself all the time, not just in my head. It’s been a long road. Recently I passed a milestone of sorts.

I sent a letter to them. I told them the unvarnished truth of what they’d done and how badly it had hurt at the time, and how much it still hurts. I never dreamed I’d say those things to them. I was terrified the sun would fall from the sky. I’d stop existing. The world would cease to spin on its axis.

None of that happened. The world is still here. I am still breathing.

Nothing changed, except I wrote the truth. My two worlds collided and neither one ceased to exist.

They still live in their world, but I’m breathing easier in mine.

What happens when you brace for a collision and it’s almost imperceptible?

I’ve asked myself over and over for the past week, why did I wait so long?

The answer is actually quite simple – I had to get to the place where I wouldn’t be surprised by their non-reaction. I had to understand whatever I did was for myself, and I was worth facing the fear of collision.

linking up at Red Writing Hood

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


join -- to come together so as to be connected

I am not a joiner. I have trust issues. I worry too much and can be paranoid. 
I want to be connected like the definition says, but it's the joining that stymies me.
I don't enjoy the process of getting to know people. I worry that I'm misinterpreting or being misinterpreted.
I want there to be a way to connect without having to go through the joining phase.
But that doesn't work. 
Even in my relationship with God, I had to go through joining. I had to open myself up to Him to be able to connect. It had nothing to do with Him. It was all about me.
I really want to connect, so I'm going to work on joining. 
Will you join with me?

joining at 5 minute friday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Complicated Life

Lots of people know my dad. My mom, too, but mostly my dad. 
I was abused as a child. Not by my parents, but it's created some incredible tension in our relationship.
Yesterday I had lunch in a local diner, and as I was leaving I ran into a minister from our church. He was having lunch with someone who's recently moved to our city to work in adoption ministry.
I was making casual conversation and mentioned that my brother was adopted. One thing led to another and my dad's name was mentioned. The newbie knew my dad. The minister, who knows my story, got that "a-ha" deer in the headlight look, and I started to panic. The minister knows my dad.
We were having one of those conversations with our eyes, while the newbie rattled on about how great my dad was and memories he had of him. I said something inane like, "Yeah, I get that a lot" and excused myself.
By the time I got to my car I was shaking, and I couldn't even figure out why. Then it dawned on me. I have a lot of respect for this minister. My husband and I work closely with him at our church. If he knows my dad will that alter his opinion of me? Will he choose to see me in the same light my dad does? Will he think less of me because of things I have shared about my difficult family relationship? Will he choose "their side" over mine now that he's put 2 and 2 together?
So I called him and posed this situation to him. He assured me that it doesn't change his opinion of me. I believe him . . . mostly.
Family complications.

linking up at Writer's Workshop

Thankful Thursday #32

Today we take our ds to college. I am excited for all of us. He is embarking on the next step in his life journey and we get to continue to be part of his growth and development.
It's a little cheesy, but I wanted to do something to honor him.

S is for his smile which makes me happy.
A is for his amusing personality.
M is for his musical ability. 
U is for his unique perspective on things.
E is for his empathetic heart.
L is for the laughter he brings to my life.

Today I am thankful for the past 19 years I've had living with Sam everyday. I know it will be a challenge letting him head out on his own, but I am proud of the man he is becoming and know that this is just a new path in our lives.

I love you, Sam.

Thank you, God, for the gift of my son.
linking up with Grace Alone

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . August 21, 2012

Outside my window . . . clear blue skies and temperature of 62 degrees. Winds from the north. It's a glorious morning -- so unusual for us in August!

I am thinking . . . that I just can't fix everything. The good part of this realization is that I'm not supposed to be able to fix everything. Struggles are how we learn, and if someone else solves all of your problems then you are learning. 

I am thankful . . . a good weekend. I haven't had a weekend that felt so positive and relaxed in a very long time. It was truly a blessing.

In the kitchen . . . last night we tried Chicken Caprese. It was quite tasty. Tonight we are going out to celebrate with ds as he gets ready to leave for college.

I am wearing . . . cotton pj pants (with pink elephants!), a big white t-shirt, and my sage bamboo shawl.

I am creating . . . afghans, afghans, and more afghans!

I am going . . . to do yoga. Then a little housework, followed by a trip to the mall with dd.

I am wondering . . . how hard it's going to be dropping ds off at college on Thursday. I have great faith in him, but am surprised by his uneasiness.

I am reading . . . Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Quite interesting!

I am looking forward to . . . getting through this transition week and back into the school routine.

I am hearing . . . birds and cicadas.

Around the house . . . I'm catching up on odds and ends of stuff, but I still have a lot of order to workout.

I am pondering . . . why the tv show "The Mentalist" is so intriguing for me, but I just can't get into "Perception" the same way.

One of my favorite things . . . is laying by the pool. Those days are almost behind me for this summer. It's nice to look forward to next summer though.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . taking dh to college, the usual routine stuff, and getting acclimated to a house without ds.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
dh sanded and repainted this set
that belonged to my mother
when she was a little girl.
Our kids played with it all through
their childhood, too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Joy Dare #1

"Enter the password: 'Thank you!" . . . Thank Him. Worship Him!
--Psalm 100:4

August 13th -- 3 gifts green
1. grass watered by a late summer storm
2. the polka dot plant on my desk
3. sticky note reminders

August 14th -- a gift in a ring, curve, sphere
1. a new ring to remind me of good things
2. the arch of my arm as I swim laps
3. the beauty of blueberries

August 15th -- 3 gifts ugly-beautiful
1. recognizing and reconciling difficult things
2. improving from a virus
3. exhaustion from hard emotional activities

August 16th -- 3 gifts of family
1. getting to "choose" your family
2. laughter
3. understanding

August 17th -- 3 gifts in the morning
1. productivity
2. peace
3. kindness

August 18th -- a gift red, read, written
1. the hummingbird feeder

August 19th -- 3 gifts in church
1. thoughts from Thomas Merton
2. old hymns
3. refreshment of my soul

More Monday Menus

It's Monday again, so that means Made by You Mondays. In honor of my bestie, LBB, and the fact that I've had NO time to be crafty lately, here are some more menu/recipe ideas for everyone.

Day #1 -- Chicken Caprese
Lettuce Wedges

Day #2 -- Grilled Tilapia
Fettucine Alfredo (side-dish version)
Baby Peas

Day #3 -- Black Beans & Rice
Tossed Salad

Day #4 -- Hamburgers
Baked Beans
(yes, this was on here last week,
but we never had them,
so they're back!)
It's a short week (menu wise) because we're taking our son to college on Thursday.

Black Beans & Rice

3/4 cup onion, chopped, and sauteed in 3 T. butter or olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can whole kernal corn, drained
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 t. salt
3/4 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 t. oregano
3/4 t. coarse ground black pepper
3 cups cooked rice

Saute onions in oil. Add remaining ingredients, except rice, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in rice. Heat through. Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 4-6 as a main dish.

From last week:
Rice Jardin

3/4 cup or one medium onion, chopped
1 lb. zucchini, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup canned whole kernel corn, drained OR fresh OR frozen
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes (I like the ones with basil, garlic and oregano) OR fresh tomatoes, diced
3 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and zucchini in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients (except for rice), cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and rice together. Serve as a side dish for 6 or a main dish for 4.

Happy Eating!

linking up at Skip to My Lou

Saturday, August 18, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

linking up with SouleMama


I'm stretching in new and different ways this week.
Yesterday I sent a letter that's been a long time coming.
It's taken me nearly 12 years to realize I have the right to be treated with respect and dignity.
Now that I've done it -- stretched myself to the breaking point -- I feel lighter, more capable, clearer.
I'm wondering what other stretching I may need to do to allow me to live a free life -- free from worry and fear.
But for right now I'm enjoying the feeling of release this stretch is providing. Like the way I savor the sensations at the end of a good yoga class. Everything feels right and relaxed.
Stretch. It's good for you.

linking up with Lisa-Jo

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Living Room Surgery

This is Dahlia (daylia). 
Santa brought her to my second Christmas. 
She has always been part of my life, so my earliest memory is about her. 
No I don't actually remember that Christmas morning, but I do remember an afternoon maybe a year and a half later. 
I carried Dahlia everywhere I went -- usually by her hair, creating a lovely cave woman style 'do for her. But I digress.
It must have been either late afternoon or it was raining, because in my memory the room is muted.
My mother sits on the big chair with her sewing supplies on the table next to her. I am standing at her knee, while Dahlia lies naked in her lap. My mother explains that Dahlia needs a little plumping up and we are going to do surgery on her to help her out. My mother is the doctor and I will be the nurse.
She assures me Dahlia is fine and will wake-up feeling much better.
My mother carefully pulls stitches from Dahlia's back and begins to insert cotton balls. When we have agreed that Dahlia looks much better, mother stitches her up with tiny stitches. She turns Dahlia over softly patting her on the belly, so I can see her face. Her eyes are closed and her mouth is still pursed in the sweet smile she has. All is well.
That's all I remember. I assume we dressed her back in her pink gingham romper, and she and I went on our merry way.
She still hangs out with me everyday. Sitting at the end of my bed. She had a make-over courtesy of professionals a few years back, and new hair and clothes.
She is all that was good in my childhood.

linking up to Writer's Workshop

Thankful Thursday #31

Good morning, all!

It's another Thankful Thursday, which means we've made it through another week. Yay!

I'm still in list mode, so here goes. I am thankful for:
:: my reboot of Bible study. I kind of fell of the wagon for a few days. It is amazing what a difference just a little time in the Word and prayer makes in my attitude!
:: my bff's from high school. LBB, CCD, and KFH for your help and kind comments over the past couple of days. I am counting on you to get me through the fallout!
:: my minister for a really uplifting lesson on Sunday, and thanks for omitting the full-size casket!
:: for the ability to express myself in words. I wrote a really difficult letter this week. I was able to express things in the letter I have never been able to express verbally. I pray that it will be received as it is intended.
:: cooler weather! We are having unseasonably pleasant weather for August around here. It was 55 degrees when my alarm went off this morning at 7am. The cooler temps make everything more palatable. 

So there's my list. How about yours?

linking up with Grace Alone

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rice Jardin

I love rice! There I said it.
I found this recipe years and years ago. I pull it out every summer as it's perfect for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. You can substitute any of the canned ingredients with fresh with no changes to the recipe. I'm sure you could use other veggies as, but I love these flavors so I use these. I usually substitute garlic for the coriander, but that's because I have an unnatural affinity for garlic

3/4 cup or one medium onion, chopped
1 lb. zucchini, thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup canned whole kernel corn, drained OR fresh OR frozen
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes (I like the ones with basil, garlic and oregano) OR fresh tomatoes, diced
3 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and zucchini in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients (except for rice), cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables and rice together. Serve as a side dish for 6 or a main dish for 4.

Easy, breezy, and yummy to boot!

Happy eating : )

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . August 14, 2012

Outside my window . . . it's cloudy and cooler. We've had a wet August so far.

I am thinking . . . how quickly time flies. This summer is nearly over. Ds leaves for college in 10 days. Dh and I will celebrate 27 years of marriage on the same day. 

I am thankful . . . for lifelong friends. Last Friday a friend called me up asking for help -- real help, not painting or cleaning, but "I'm in a bad place and need some help" help. It was such a blessing to be an encourager to her!

In the kitchen . . . Last night was grilled chicken and apple sausages and Rice Jardin (one of my absolute fave recipes!) Tonight I'll be trying a new recipe called Chicken Bruschetta

I am wearing . . . my white cotton gown from Vermont Country Store. It is piped in red gingham, and soooooo comfy.

I am creating . . . still working on those afghans for the twins. I'm thinking about starting on the 2nd one so I can alternate between them to break up the monotony.

I am going . . . shopping with dd this afternoon at Old Navy. I may just buy something for myself.

I am wondering . . . about illusions. Sometimes I feel that I am surrounded by them. Television, movies, books -- but people too. Pretending to be something they are not.

I am reading . . . Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman. A really good read, full of interesting, flawed characters.

I am looking forward to . . . the change of season. We're a long way from autumn here, but we've had some cooler temperatures that have made me think about long-sleeves, sweaters, and scarves.

I am hearing . . . just the quiet of the early morning house. It's really so lovely.

Around the house . . . I need to make curtains for both bathrooms. I have the fabric. I know the pattern. I just need to get them done.

I am pondering . . . the difference in the way dh and I approach things. We are reading through Hebrews together. I keep noticing reminders of the Trinity. He is fixated on the who, what, and when of the book.

One of my favorite things . . . is yarn. I told myself I had to work through my stash before I bought more, and I've done pretty well, but I did get some new cotton yarn last week. Oooh, luscious colors!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . yoga, Bible study, finishing a difficult letter I am writing, swimming, decluttering.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
I just got this t-shirt!
Sherlock, Dr. Who, Harry Potter
Love them all!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Menus

The other day my bestie, LBB, called to say she had an idea for my blog. She said I should post my menus for the week on Made by You Monday, because then she wouldn't have to make a menu list herself.
I make a menu list most weeks. It's the only way I know to make a grocery list. So for today I'm sharing this past week's menu list with links to a couple of the recipes.

Day 1 -- Roasted (or rotisserie) Chicken
Cooked Apples
Black Eye Peas

Day 2 -- Enchilasagna
(a Leanne Ely recipe posted at the bottom)
Tossed Salad

(I added the zucchini and used my leftover chicken)
Wheat bread with garlic and cheese

Rice Jardin

Day 5 -- Hamburgers
Baked Beans

Day 6 -- Taco Salad

Serves 8

2 10-oz cans mild enchilada sauce
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 lb. Ground round, cooked and drained
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. garlic powder
12 corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb. Low-fat cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan. Combine sauces and set aside. Brown and drain beef. Add seasonings, beans and sauces minus 3/4 cup of sauce mixture. Pour reserved sauce on bottom of pan. Add 1/3 of beef/bean mixture. Add 1/3 of tortillas; another 1/3 of beef/bean mixture and 1/2 cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before serving.

Let me know what you think and if you need any additional recipes.

Happy Eating!

linking up at Skip to My Lou

Friday, August 10, 2012


I want to connect.
I want to feel the "click" as camaraderie is found.
I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people get me 
-- want to continue getting me.

I struggle with connecting.
I struggle with trusting that "click" I hear is really camaraderie.
I struggle with the realization that these people may let me down.

I need to learn how to connect.
I need to be open to accepting a faint "click" as enough.
I need to accept that there is a time for certain connections
-- they don't all have to last forever.

I will work on connecting.
I will open myself up to more possibilities.
I will take the risk.


linking up with Lisa-Jo at 5 minute friday

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Morning Routine

I would love to tell you that I have a detailed, flawless morning routine. But I can't. 
I would love to tell you that my mornings run so much more smoothly because of this routine. But I can't.
I would also love to tell you that a morning routine will solve all of your problems. But it won't.
What I can tell you is that I have a general morning routine that works pretty well most of the time, and on the days it works the rest of my day tends to flow a little better.

So what does morning look like for me these days? I'll tell you.

5:30 am -- hubby gets up, usually quietly, after giving me a kiss, hug, or pat. This morning he knocked a picture off the wall. 
6:00 am -- deranged birds begin chirping outside my window, and all I can think of is the line from Hook -- "firefly from hell".
7:00 am -- my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze.
7:10 am -- my alarm goes off as static-y news from NPR. I realize that I must get out of bed even though my eyes feel like someone glued them with sandpaper.
7:25 am -- I sit up in bed and take my pill, throw off the covers, pull on the yoga pants from last night, go to the bathroom and head to the kitchen.
7:30 am -- wake up my computer, turn on the teapot, let the dogs out, feed dogs, set up tea, and check to see if dear daughter is up (she is)
7:45 am -- call hubby to check in. He apologizes for knocking picture down. He couldn't find the bedroom door. We chat about sleep deprivation and plans for the day.
7:55 am -- get tea and sit down at computer to check email, Facebook, blog stats, Google Reader, and the weather.
8:35 am -- tea is gone, emails checked, Facebook updated, blog stats, new blog posted, Google Reader read, weather looks okay for a swim.

Now it's on to breakfast and Bible study using Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. Once that's done and this blog is finished, I'll start on my list of things to do today which currently includes:
-- a swim at the YMCA
-- changing the sheets
-- laundry
-- menus and grocery list
-- grocery shopping
-- taking the car to get washed (if the rain stays away)
-- and making some phone calls

If I get half of that done, I'm gonna be one happy camper!

How's  your day shaping up?

linking up at Mama Kat