My Most Common Topic: Randomness

Hi.¬† ūüôā¬† How is everyone?¬† I’m good.¬† I’m kicked back in the living room listening to The Hubs yell at the Texas Rangers game on TV.¬† Apparently Sam Dyson is the source of much suffering for Rangers fans.¬† (The Hubs¬†takes his Texas sports seriously.)

I just thought I’d log in and ramble about a few random things.

Last night I was reading my Bible study, which¬†included Psalm 37.¬† This is very relevant¬†to my life right now.¬† If you’ve read many of my previous posts, you may know that I am a disgruntled employee.¬† Most of my disgruntledness (is that a word?) stems from the wrongful firing of The Hubs by my boss.¬† I have been making a true effort recently to let it all go and not hold any ill will toward my boss or any of the other involved cast of characters.¬† I have been mostly succeeding at this.¬† I have been able to just smile and shake my head and move on from things that would normally have me up in arms.¬† It is VERY freeing.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
¬†¬†¬†¬†do not fret‚ÄĒit leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

This may sound like I am wishing bad things on these people.  I am not.  I swear.  Basically, the message is that I should not let their deeds bother me.  I need to worry about my own life and not let bitterness toward anyone eat me up.  I kinda felt that having that as part of my daily devotional was God telling me to keep it up.  I will continue to try!  I hope that you are able to do the same if you have poisonous people in your life.

A few posts ago, I mentioned having an MRI.¬† Well, the results of that came in, and they weren’t what I had hoped.¬† But, that’s okay.¬† I was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago, and I have been much healthier during that time than I deserve or could have ever asked for.¬† The disappointing part is that my neurologist (who I love, love, love) wants¬†me to start taking medication again.¬† Boo!¬† Hiss!¬† I stopped taking all medications several years ago, and I have not missed any of it for a second.¬† The thought of getting back into all of that has been dragging on me.¬† I am yet to call him back and make the necessary arrangements.¬† Why do label side effects have to be so awful???

I love watching #LivePD.  I just wanted to throw that in there.

I also love Carpool Karaoke.

Two more days and that wonderful, awesome, three-word phrase that office workers around the globe rejoice in will be here!

THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Can I get a woot woot?¬† Do you have any fabulous plans?¬† I am going to go see my grandma and aunt.¬† I cherish every visit that I get with my grandma.¬† We live close enough to each other that I get to see her fairly regularly, but far enough apart that I can’t just pop in whenever I want to check on her or take her out to lunch or invite her over for dinner.¬† I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of my time off, but I would bet good money that I won’t be spending too much time being a responsible adult and doing chores!¬† ūüėČ

May you and yours have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Much love to you all.

Song of the Day

When you are doing a 100 Day Song Challenge, it is downright difficult to pick a song of the day.¬† I’m just saying….¬† I think everyone needs to tap their toes to something.¬† Why not tap them to Square Dance Rap by Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Recipe of the Day

Beer Cheese Soup via http://www.foodnetwork.com.¬† (I have used this for the recipe of the day before, but I’m posting it again to add an important note.)¬† I made this for the second time last night.¬† The first time, I used a Coors Light.¬† Last night, I used some funky IPA that The Hubs had in the fridge.¬† Let me just say that beer choice matters…..

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle pale ale, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mustard powder, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the Cheddar, gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning.  Enjoy with a 30-pack of your favorite cheap beer.

Book of the Day

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Every book I have read by Hannah has been an absolute tear-jerker, and this one is promising to be no different.  I have a thing for books set during WWII for some reason.  I have no idea why.  They are so heart-wrenching.  I cannot imagine how people managed to survive the things they did.  I cannot imagine having to rely of food rations or having people take over my home and confiscate all of my belongings.  I cannot wrap my head around a whole group of people being denied the basics of life.  I would like to think that I would have the courage to lay my life on the line to stand for what is right, but I have not had that tested yet.  I am about 1/3 of the way through this book, and I am enraptured by it.

 

Bring on the Future

Hello, people.¬† I hope you have all been doing fabulously in the time I’ve been neglecting my blog.¬† ūüôā¬† Life has been non-stop busy busy.¬† It’s sad when you have to plot out rest weeks ahead of time.¬† I think, “I can take a day off this weekend….”¬† No.¬† Wait.¬† I have this going on.¬† Okay.¬† “I can take a day off the following weekend.”¬† No…..I have to go here.¬† Sigh….¬† No wonder life passes so quickly.¬† And no wonder my housekeeping has been seriously slacking lately….

On top of being busy, there has been a lingering air of uncertainty.¬† Mine and The Hubs’ future is up in the air….not our relationship….but with where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing.¬† I am all kinds of open to change.¬† The Hubs has had several opportunities open up in front of him, and whatever happens will dictate the next portion of our lives.¬† I, on the other hand, am not having the response I’ve hoped for in my job hunt.¬† I have 15 years experience in my field.¬† You’d think I wouldn’t have that much trouble finding a job in that field.¬† But, I have faith if I have nothing else.¬† I certainly don’t know God’s plan, but I’m open to finding out whatever it is!¬† The promise of life changing up some¬†finally is rather exciting.

As always, I’ve been reading.¬† And eating.¬† Ha! ¬†I’ve mentioned before my love of¬†savoring well-written lines and paragraphs.¬† Here are a couple of unexpected physical descriptions that made me smile:

“Baffa was potbellied, with a sagging chest, thick jowls, a drooping forehead, and a downward-bending mustache, so that when he sat, he seemed like a layer of frowns stacked in a chair.” – Mitch Albom, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

“Next to me, a lady nearing her seventh decade kept between us a white purse big enough for a mugger to hide in. She wore a black wig. Her devil-may-care red lipstick had come unhitched and slipped a notch; her layers of nail polish were chipped like paint on an old dory; and her hands lay in two piles on the bar, the slack skin taken up by plumpness. As for the Jungle Gardenia perfume, it was only a question of time before tsetse flies hit.”¬†– William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Best wishes to you all.¬† May you find the ability to not take other people’s bitterness personally.¬† (This is something I face at my job every day.¬† It is so freeing when you can just let things roll off your back.)

Song of the Day

Like a Stone by Audioslave.¬†¬†In memory of the late Chris Cornell.¬† Suicide sucks.¬† It makes me so sad that people get to a place where they don’t think there is any other option except to end things.

Book of the Day

Image result for illuminaeImage result for gemina

Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.¬† I used to despise sci-fi, but I have started to enjoy some of it in recent years.¬† These are the first two (and so far only, though there is an already-titled third book in the works) books of The Illuminae Files series.¬† The books are set 500 years in the future.¬† There are space ships, artificial intelligence, inter-galactic battles, and uber talented teenagers who outsmart the adults and save the day.¬† I honestly don’t think I would have liked them as much if I hadn’t listened to them in audiobook format.¬† They¬†are performed by a full cast and¬†are done very well.¬† I gave them three and four stars respectively on Goodreads.

Recipe of the Day

Oven-Baked Leek & Bacon Risotto via http://www.bbcgoodfood.com.¬† Back when my community had Bountiful Baskets (let’s take a moment to mourn……..), I got a basket with leeks, and I found this recipe as a way to use them.¬† It was my first experience with risotto, and I fell absolutely in love.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 250g risotto rice

  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese
  • zest 1 lemon¬†

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C. Tip the oil into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add bacon and fry for 2 mins. Add the leeks and cook until soft, but not coloured, for about 4-5 mins. Tip in rice and cook for 1 min more. Pour over stock. Cover and place in the oven for 20 mins, stirring halfway.
  2. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more. Remove and stir in cheese. Add zest and season.

I’m So Knocking Knackered

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

Knackered.  What a fun-sounding word for such an unpleasant state.  And, what an appropriate Daily Prompt word for a Friday.  I am most definitely knackered today.  This has most definitely been a most knackering week.  (Is that a word?)

Thank God the weekend has finally arrived. ¬†Literally. ¬†I am LITERALLY thanking God. ¬†I have had an extremely busy work week. ¬†My husband, bless his heart, has been working on a job with his brother that has been a nonstop barrage of problems. ¬†It has come to a blessed end today. ¬†And, I’ve had a lot on my mind the past couple of weeks, and that has certainly left me feeling knackered.

The thinking too much and worrying is the most tiresome of everything. ¬†It is something I seldom do. ¬†It tells us in the Bible time after time not to worry, not to be anxious. ¬†And, usually, I don’t. ¬†I have found in life that just rolling with the tide is best. ¬†I don’t know why I’m suddenly going against God’s word here and wasting any time, effort, and sleep worrying about the future. ¬†Especially since I can’t really pinpoint what it is I’m anxious about. ¬†I just feel…..unsettled.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
And on and on and on……
I get to spend much of tomorrow with my family, which is always refreshing for a knackered mind and soul.  Hopefully, that time will put my my at ease, and I can let go of this silliness.
We are gathering for my sister’s grandson’s 1st birthday party. ¬†I cannot believe that he is one already! ¬†And, I still cannot believe that my sister is a grandmother! ¬†I often feel that I have trouble wrapping my head around such things because I never had children myself. ¬†I don’t guess things would seem so shocking if I had. ¬†Perhaps in my mind, I’d feel more like an adult than I do. ¬†My life has not changed much in the last 20 years, and I often feel like that has stymied my mental growth….or my progression in life. ¬†But, that’s one more thing I should not waste mental effort on. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I am just going to relish the time with everyone tomorrow and enjoy watching a one-year-old’s awe and wonder at being the center of attention and being lavished with silly gifts. ¬†He is so darn cute.
I hope you all have a refreshing weekend.  And, I hope you are all feeling less knackered by the end of this evening.

Song of the Day

Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz. ¬†“I’m happy. ¬†I’m feeling glad. ¬†I’ve got sunshine in a bag…..”

Book of the Day

Image result for the woman in cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. ¬†I was disappointed by this book. ¬†It was on so many must-read lists! ¬†I totally expected to be blown away by it. ¬†But, alas, I was not. ¬†It’s the story of Lo Blacklock, a journalist whose career has been pretty stagnant for a decade or so. ¬†She is finally given the assignment¬†of a lifetime¬†when she lands a trip on the maiden voyage of a luxury cruise ship destined for the Northern Lights. ¬†She almost immediately stumbles into a mystery after boarding, and her life is endangered when she reaches out for help. ¬†I was never really pulled in to the story line. ¬†The plot, though promising, was poorly executed. ¬†It wasn’t awful, but it certainly didn’t live up to all of they hype.

Recipe of the Day

I am going to do something a bit different here. ¬†Instead of posting a recipe that I have tried, I am going to ask a recipe question. ¬†I watch¬†a lot¬†of cooking shows on TV. ¬†I am quite obsessed with food. ¬†Often on these shows, I see chefs making flavored or infused butters. ¬†Have any of you tried this? ¬†What do you like to use them on? ¬†Do you have a favorite infused butter recipe? ¬†If so, please share your experiences with me! ¬†I would very much like to try to make my own…..

Hi.

Happy Sunday, everyone!¬† I know I haven’t written much lately.¬† Honestly, I haven’t had much to write about.¬† Regardless, I thought I should pop in and say hello.

It has been a pretty great weekend.¬† I went for a much needed hike on Saturday with an old friend.¬† And then The Hubs and I went bowling with that same friend and her husband on Saturday night.¬† I used to bowl in a weekly league but haven’t even touched a ball in more than five years.¬† I can’t say that I bowled well, but we had fun.¬† I was reminded while hanging at the bowling alley with swarms of teenagers that I do NOT understand much modern music.¬† In fact, I have trouble even identifying the musical elements in a lot of the songs played.¬† I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and I think I could make a track of equal quality.

(I was told the other day by a friend that I am judgy.¬† The above few sentences are another example of my judginess.¬† I know I am judgy.¬† I don’t try to be judgy.¬† In fact, I try hard not to be judgy.¬† It just comes so naturally.¬† I swear I don’t think extraordinarily highly of myself.¬† It’s just that a lot of things make my eye twitch.¬† It’s deifinitely a flaw that I try to work on with prayer….)

The Hubs and I also ate at both of our most favorite local restaurants this weekend, which always makes me happy.¬† The rest of our time was spent making my soon-to-be-one-year-old great nephew a Busy Board.¬† I really hope he gets hours and hours and hours of enjoyment out of it.¬† We’ve enjoyed making it.¬† (Gah!¬† I cannot believe he is one already!!¬† It can’t be!)

I am thisclose to finishing Cloud Atlas, which I have been reading all year.¬† I love David Mitchell.¬† He has such a way with words.¬† The latest passage of his that I have read and reread in appreciation (though I don’t completely agree with it—was spoken by a character on the verge of suicide–but still a very well-written and creative string of words):

People are obscenities. Would rather be music than be a mass of tubes squeezing semisolids around itself for a few decades before becoming so dribblesome it’ll no longer function. – David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Well, here’s to each of you having a wonderful, productive, and satisfying week!¬† Cheers and much love!

Song of the Day

Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists.  I just love the whole sound of this one.

Book of the Day

Image result for the wild truth carine

I finished The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless this week.¬† I listed Into the Wild in an earlier post, which was the story of Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp, who was found starved to death in the Alaskan Wilderness.¬† The Wild Truth was written by his sister, and is an explanation of¬†his childhood difficulties, which served as the motivation behind¬†Chris’s journey.¬† Man.¬† What a sad read.¬† Really, I rather disliked the book overall since it was less about Chris and more about Carine’s life, but I guess it would be difficult to tell that story any other way.¬† Regardless, if half of what she says is true, one can’t really blame Chris for abandoning his family and taking off.¬† I recommend reading both books, starting with Krakauer’s.

Recipe of the Day

Toffee Crack via http://www.thekurtzcorner.com.¬† Make and eat at your own risk.¬† You have been warned….

40 Saltine crackers (one sleeve about)
1 Cup salted butter (don’t substitute)
1 Cup brown sugar
1 12 ounce package of chocolate chips
5-6 Heath bars, crunched up for topping

Take your largest rimmed¬†baking tray and line it with foil. Line your crackers in rows making sure that they don’t overlap. The crackers should fill up the entire baking sheet.¬† Melt your butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan stirring in your brown sugar gradually. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Make sure you stir continuously or it will burn.¬† Once your caramel has simmered for a few minutes, pour it straight on the crackers. You want it to be pretty runny so don’t worry that it isn’t thick. Try to evenly pour the caramel over the crackers, don‚Äôt worry about covering everything, it will spread in the oven.¬† Place your baking sheet in the oven at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes. You want the caramel to spread out nicely over the crackers. It should be bubbling before you take it out of the oven.¬† After removing your tray from the oven, pour your chocolate chips over the crackers right away. The heat from the caramel will melt the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 5 minutes to melt.¬† While your chocolate chips are melting crush up your Heath bars into little pieces. I used a hammer and lightly hit each bar while they were still in the wrappers.¬† After 5 minutes, use a rubber spatula to spread out your chocolate chips evenly over the crackers.¬† Now sprinkle on your Heath pieces!¬† Place your tray in the freezer and allow between 2-4 hours to fully freeze. Once you remove your toffee it should be rock hard! Flip your toffee over and peel off the foil. It should come off in one whole piece. You might have a few left over pieces here or there but not to worry it’s easy to peel off!¬† Break your toffee up into pieces with your hand or cut it with a knife.¬† Eat right away! Whatever is left over just place in Tupperware and store in the freezer.¬†Enjoy!

Carefully consider once again whether or not you should start up a crack habit before consuming.¬† Everyone knows how addicting crack is…..

Unravel

via Daily Prompt: Unravel

The days get so twisted up;

Tiny strands of stress and work.

But at night there is always you

To unravel it in our bed.

But then sometimes I do it to us;

Not there for you like you need.

I let life get in the way,

And I unravel us instead.

Daily I make plans and goals.

They dance around in my thoughts.

Things I should be working toward,

But doubts unravel them in my head.

I’m the oldest I’ve ever been

And the youngest I’ll ever be.

I must seize life and see the world

Lest I unravel until I’m dead.

Song of the day

Blood in the Cut by K. Flay. ¬†Wow. ¬†This is a pretty disturbing song. ¬†I never realized how messed up just listening to it on AltNation in my car. ¬†Still has a catchy sound to it…… ¬†**EXPLICIT LYRICS**

Recipe of the Day

Hobo Packs. ¬†I make these every now and again for dinner. ¬†What I like about them is they’re so flexible. ¬†You can put just about anything in them from fish to beef to pork to just vegetables! ¬†I usually do beef but tried smoked sausage last night and was not disappointed.

  • 1-2 (or more!) lbs of meat depending on how many people you’re feeding
    • When using ground beef, I usually season the whole pound very well and work the seasonings in with my hands. ¬†Then, I break it up into 3 patties and make 3 hobo packs out of it. ¬†You can do more or less in each one. ¬†Whatever.
    • If using smoked sausage, just cut up into bite-sized pieces and distribute between packs.
    • If using chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces, season, and distribute.
    • Etc.
  • A variety of vegetables
    • Potatoes are always a nice choice. ¬†Very filling, and 1 decent-sized potato can fill up several packs.
    • Carrots are also a good one. ¬†You can peel and chop up 1-2 carrots to split between several packs.
    • Onions are easy.
    • Fresh or frozen green beans. ¬†Just a few go a long way!
    • If you’re going strictly all-vegetable, you may use some other fillers like asparagus, turnips, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, etc. ¬†The possibilities are endless.
  • A pat of butter for each pack.
  • Salt & pepper
  • A condensed soup of some sort (optional). ¬†My favorite to use is cheddar broccoli soup. ¬†Just add a scoop or two to each pack.
  • Foil. ¬†One large square per pack.

Lay out one large square of foil for each pack you plan on making.  Start with the meat.  Place one serving on the center of each foil square.  Start piling on the veggies.  Salt and pepper (and perhaps Cajun seasoning or whatever else you may like) each stack.  Top with a pat of butter and a spoonful or two of the soup, if using.

Carefully fold up each foil square into bundles, being careful to seal up every edge as best you can. ¬†(It will leak, if you don’t!) ¬†If you are grilling out, place each bundle on the grill and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. ¬†If you’re using an oven, place all of the bundles on a large cookie sheet. ¬†Cook them all together at 425 for about an hour, until the potatoes are fork-tender. ¬†Viola!

Book of the Day

Image result for one hundred names cecelia ahern

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern. ¬†It has been about 3 years since I’ve read this book, so I don’t feel I can give an accurate summary. ¬†I do remember that it is about a journalist who is in trouble. ¬†Her mentor dies before she can help very much. ¬†The journalist finds a sheet of paper with 100 names on it at her mentor’s bedside, and she throws herself into finding out the link between all of the people listed. ¬†It was a very good and touching read from what I remember. ¬†Must’ve been because I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Evening

It’s Monday evening.¬† Another day at The Unhappiest Place on Earth survived.¬† I’m sitting here with all of my windows open anxiously waiting on¬†this spring thunderstorm to make its appearance, enjoying the therapeutic peacefulness of God’s creations–the birds singing, insects chirping, squirrels chattering, the breeze making my wind chimes tinkle,–and thinking deep thoughts:

  • This morning I had an incident where some of my coffee went down the wrong pipe.¬† I choked on it, had a violent physical reaction,¬†and¬†the coffee¬†was forced up into the sinus cavity underneath my right cheek.¬† I swear it was.¬† Is that possible?¬† My sinuses have been aching ever since.¬† I keep envisioning Texas pecan coffee sloshing around inside my face.¬† How can I get it out?¬† Eventually, it’ll turn…..¬† Will the doctor believe me if I have to go¬†ask for¬†antibiotics and tell him I have coffee stuck in my skull?
  • Should we go with solar roofing tiles¬†for our house?¬† Is it a sound investment or a rip off?¬† I have read both marvelous and disappointing things about it.¬† Will Tesla’s new solar roofing tiles be better than previous products?¬† Would it be better to put solar panels over the deck we’re building?¬† Can I fix my foundation problems, rebuild two retaining walls, pour a new driveway, build a new deck, put on a new roof, install solar panels, and repaint our house for very little money?¬† Does anyone have a time machine I can borrow?
  • Do I want to make wonton soup for dinner again?
  • Could I talk all of the people that I love into moving onto the same piece of land and starting our own community?¬† Could we all get along?¬† Would the outside world think we were members of some crazy cult?¬† I wonder if there is a real pioneer living inside of me.¬† Maybe deep down inside I’m a badass who can kill a deer, process it, make delectable dishes from the meat, a cute dress from the pelt, and a snazzy little coat rack from the antlers all with tools I’ve made by hand.¬† But probably not.
  • Will I EVER finish reading Cloud Atlas?
  • Which of our many possible futures will become a reality for me and The Hubs?
  • Why do my eyebrows act like I feed them Miracle-Gro?
  • What can we do to celebrate our 20th anniversary this year?
  • Why am I wearing mismatched socks?

And on and on and on it goes.  I hope you are having a wonderful night.  I hear the thunder coming!  Going to go sit on my porch and breathe in the fresh air.

Song of the Day

Bother by Stone Sour.  Just because I heard it this morning for the first time in a while.

Recipe of the Day

Baked beans for a crowd.¬† This is a recipe I came up with a few years ago by smushing together the best parts of three other recipes.¬† Every time we have a get-together with my in-laws, I am asked to bring these.¬† The recipe fills a 9×13 cake pan.

6 15-oz cans pork and beans, drain juice from 4
1 pkg bacon
1 onion, diced
1-3 jalapenos, diced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 Tbsp spicy mustard
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 cups BBQ sauce
1 cup catsup
Salt & pepper, to taste

Cut bacon into small chunks and cook with onion and jalapeno. Mix that and everything else in a large tin pan or cake pan. Cook at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Book of the Day

Image result for twilight novel coverImage result for eclipse novel coverImage result for short second life of bree tannerImage result for new moon novel coverImage result for breaking dawn novel coverImage result for life after death stephenie meyer

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.¬† Yes yes.¬† I know that these book are often ridiculed, but they played an important role in my love affair with reading.¬† I read all of the time when I was a child.¬† My mom worked at a library, so it was quite natural.¬† Then, I took a long hiatus through most of my adolescence and early adulthood.¬† In my twenties, my mom got me hooked on the Harry Potter series, which rekindled the fire.¬† My reading may have halted there if it wasn’t for my friend, Lynn, and her overwhelming obsession with Twilight.¬† She talked about it so much that I just had to see what all of the fuss was about.¬† And, I have to admit, that I loved the first book.¬† I quickly followed that one up with the next three books in the series.¬† And then I heard about the unfinished Midnight Sun and read that one.¬† (I so wish Meyer had¬†completed it!)¬† And then The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.¬† I am very grateful that I read the books before watching the movies because I probably wouldn’t have bothered if it were the other way around.¬† The acting in those movies really is pitiful.¬† My love for this series has since waned.¬† That point was drilled home when I made the mistake of reading Life After Death, which is the original story “reimagined” with gender reversal.¬† It is terrible.¬† Terrible!¬† Anyway.¬† Mock me if you will, but the Twilight series is a part of history now, and I am happy that it catapulted me full-force back into the literary world.¬† No regrets!

 

Just Look Around, Won’t Ya?

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

Good morning, all! ¬†I have been absent a while. ¬†I just can’t seem to find a spare moment to blog, keep up with correspondence, clean my house properly, or much of anything else. ¬†Busy busy busy! ¬†I hope all is well in your world.

Fortune is today’s daily prompt topic. ¬†Such a subjective topic. ¬†Many would probably define fortune as wealth in the monetary sense. ¬†Others may define it as luck (i.e. he was fortunate enough to win that raffle drawing). ¬†Since I personally have never been wealthy nor lucky, I think of fortune more like blessings–more like understanding how much you do have and appreciating that. ¬†Even though life has been challenging of late, I know how fortunate I am.

I have a wonderful family who I love dearly.  I have a caring, kind spouse who loves me even though I seldom deserve such a partner.  I do not have to struggle daily to feed my family.  I have a roof over my head.  I have clothes to wear.  I do not live in an oppressed, third-world, nor a war-torn area.  I do not have to walk miles and miles each day to collect tainted water.  Each day, though often an emotional battle, is not a physical challenge of survival.  I am free to believe in God and can expect not to be persecuted for that belief.

And today I have been given yet another opportunity to wake up and face this day with health and hope and the opportunity of making the best of what the day presents.  I could not ask for more fortune in my life.

May you also recognize how fortunate you are.  Much love.

Song of the Day

November Rain by Guns N’ Roses. ¬†How fortunate I am to have lived long enough¬†to hear the songs I grew up listening to on the classic rock station…….

Book of the Day

Image result for the secret history donna

I am almost finished reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. ¬†This is the second book of hers that I have read, and I can say two things: ¬†she is an excellent story teller, and she must have done lots of drugs throughout her life……. ¬†This book and¬†The Goldfinch have a common theme of heavy drug use by the main characters. ¬†The narrator in The Secret History, Richard Papen, recounts his involvement in a murder during his years at Hampden College in Vermont, where he was a member of a group of mostly wealthy Ancient Greek majors with questionable morals that live in a world quite removed from the rest of the student body. ¬†I will likely end up giving it 4 or 5 stars on Goodreads. ¬†We shall see……

Recipe of the Day

Sun Dried Tomato, Spinach, and Cheese Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts via http://www.recipetineats.com.  This is one of those recipe videos that I saw on Facebook.  I will be trying it for dinner tonight.

Ingredients
  • 6oz/180g small chicken breasts (2 pieces), boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato (oil packed. Use enough to cover the chicken, cut into strips)
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese (or other melting cheese of choice)
  • leaves Handful of spinach
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Italian Dressing
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sugar, any
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp EACH Italian mixed herbs and red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Whisk together the Italian Dressing ingredients in a bowl. It will be thicker than salad dressing.
  3. Cut a pocket into each chicken breast, taking care not to cut all the way though.
  4. Coat the chicken (inside and out) with the Italian Dressing.
  5. Place chicken on work surface. Stuff with sun dried tomato, top with cheese then finish with spinach leaves. Just stuff in as much as you can.
  6. Seal with toothpicks (just stick them in on the diagonal – see photo in post).
  7. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add chicken and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, or until golden.
  8. Transfer to oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through. Rest for 3 minutes before serving, drizzled with the juices in the skillet.