Daily Prompt: Flee

via Daily Prompt: Flee

I often have the urge to flee.  I’m pretty sure this means that I am not living up to Adulting Standards.  I want to flee work.  I want to flee bills.  I want to flee chores.  I want to flee from my job, this town, this humdrum life.  Isn’t that awful?

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  1 Timothy 6:6-7

 In other words, shouldn’t I be content with my life?  Why do I have the desire to flee from all of the blessings that God has given me and this life that He has appointed me to?  Because I am weak and whiny.  That’s why.  I know how blessed I am.  And yet, there are time when I would gladly leave it all behind for the mere chance at another life.  I know it is crazy.  Changing the setting of my life would not solve anything.  In fact, it would most likely come with its own set of problems and stresses.  Hopefully, I will get the chance to travel more.  I think that would help.  Being trapped inside these four office walls day in and day out is what makes me the most anxious.  It is why I jump at any chance to go anywhere.  It hardly matters where.  I have friends who almost never leave the county, much less the state.  I cannot fathom how they keep from going completely insane.  Am I alone in this?  Do you fantasize about taking the ones you care about most and heading off into the Great Unknown without ever looking back?

On another note, I finally decorated for Christmas.  And, I did some Christmas shopping online yesterday afternoon.  Woot!  Watching the lights on my tree twinkle does put me in a more festive mind set.  I don’t know why I fight Christmas so hard each year.  I do actually enjoy some of it.  I enjoy driving around and looking at lights.  I enjoy Christmas music (to an extent.  There are limits…..).  I love time spent with family.  Watching children and the wonder on their faces makes me happy.  Giving appreciated gifts makes me feel good.  It isn’t all bad!  I guess I just need to be reminded each year.
I hope that you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.  I pray that you get to spend the holdiays with those you love.  I pray for contentment in your life and in mine.  Much love to all!
Peace and that’s it.  Just peace

Song of the day:

O Holy Night.  This is my second favorite Christmas song.  It gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.  This is Christina Grimmie’s version.  She was a promising young singer who was tragically murdered by a crazed fan outside of a concert in Florida this past summer.  I love her voice.  And, I love that she sings more than just the most well-known verse.

Book of the day:

Image result for humans of new york stories
Humans of New York:  Stories by Brandon Stanton.  I began following Humans of New York’s Facebook page at the recommendation of a friend.  Brandon Stanton is a photographer/journalist who takes photos of people in New York and publishes little biographies, quotes, stories, etc. of the subjects.  They range from one sentence to a couple of paragraphs.  They are sad, funny, touching, insightful, alarming, wonderful.  I was excited to see that he put out some of the collections in book form.  I recommend both this book and that you follow him on Facebook.  I read that he has a blog, too, though I haven’t yet sought it out.  It is a riveting peek into the varied lives of people from all walks of life.

Recipe of the day:

The Hubs’ Beef Enchiladas
Yum.  Seriously.
1-2 lbs. ground lean beef
onion
garlic
enchilada sauce
salt, pepper, garlic powder
small white corn tortillas
Wolf brand chili with no beans
freshly shredded cheddar cheese
None of these ingredients are measured out, because that’s how The Hubs makes this.  Just guess on how much you need by how many you want to make.  One pound of meat makes about a dozen very stuffed enchiladas.  Season and brown beef along with onion and garlic.  Don’t drain the grease.  Add enchilada sauce and let simmer for a while.  (The Hubs likes his quite saucy and uses two small cans for one pound of meat.)  Warm the chili on low heat.  It doesn’t have to be hot, just warm.  Set up a pan of water on high heat and start boiling.  Set a pizza screen on top of pan.  Once boiling, steam the tortillas, flipping them back and forth on each side on the pizza screen until you can stuff and roll them without them breaking.  (You can also achieve this by frying them in oil, but this is healthier.)  Stuff the tortillas with a line of saucy meat and onions and some shredded cheese, tightly roll, and line them up in a greased baking dish.  You can pack them in there pretty tightly.  Once you are out of meat, pour remaining sauce from the pan in to the pot with the warming chili.  Pour chili over rolled enchiladas.  Top with remaining shredded cheddar.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 or until everything is melted and bubbly.  You can also put these in a foil pan and freeze them for cooking at a later date.  We usually make two pans–one for now and one for later.  Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.
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Lord, Give Me Strength

Hello.  It is my lunch break, and I have been sitting here perusing Amtrak vacations.  Have you ever traveled by train?  I have not.  I want to go on an overnight train trip in a sleeper car.  It is one of many bucket list items.  I have been on many many road trips, but I think it would be fascinating to see the country from the rails rather than the highways!  Who knew that Amtrak had so many vacation packages to choose from?  I always thought of them as a means to get from one place to another with no entertainment in between–sort of like Greyhound.

I have also spent a good part of my day in my office praying for peace and the ability to let things roll of my back.  It has been somewhat successful.  I have only vented once, and I have so far choked zero people.  So, yay me!  I take my victories where I can get them.

Apparently the dreaded “s-word” is rolling in to our area as we speak.  That being SNOW.  Holy moley.  I live in the south.  We are not well equipped to handle snow.  Folks here simply do not know how to drive in icy weather.  And, we have very little in the way of winter weather wardrobes.  But, I am looking forward to it.  I love the hush that comes over the earth when blanketed by snow.  I love how the crystals twinkle in the tree branches.  Ah, peace!

Anywho.  I hope you all have a great day.  Stay safe & warm!

Peace and Amtrak train grease!

Song of the day:

Christmas Eve/Sarajevo (aka Carol of the Bells) by Trans Siberian Orchestra.  My absolute all-time favorite Christmas song.  If you have never seen them perform live, DO IT!  Put it on your bucket list right now.  There is no way to describe the feeling of the music pulsing through your body when standing before the stage.

Recipe of the day:

Beef Pot Pie (the made-from-scratch-it-takes-forever-but-it-is-worth-it version) via http://www.gooddinnermom.com

Ingredients
  • 1 (2 pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (baby bellas also called creminis or white button if unavailable), trimmed and quartered
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine, or ½ cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (9-inch) store-bought pie dough round or your own made-from-scratch pie crust
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350F degrees. Pat beef cubes dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until well browned all over, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer the beef to bowl or plate with the remaining uncooked beef.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1½ tablespoons oil to now-empty pot. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrots and cook until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in wine (or water) and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until the vegetables are well coated and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire, and bay leaf, stirring until combined. Scrape any bits that have stuck to bottom of pan to incorporate into liquids. Add beef and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is tender, about 1¼ hours.
  4. Remove filling from oven and taste the beef to make sure it’s tender to your liking. If it tastes chewy, add ¼ cup water, stir and return to oven for another 20-30 minutes. Once meat is tender, remove and then increase oven temperature to 400F degrees. If the meat mixture looks to need more “juice”, then remove mixture from pot to a plate and add ¼ to ½ cup water back to the Dutch oven and kind of tilt the pan to scrape off some of the crusty fond that’s accumulated in the pot. This should create a thick meaty sauce to add into the meat mixture and thin it out a bit, plus it only adds to the flavor of the beef.
  5. Discard the bay leaf and stir in the fresh thyme and add the peas. Taste the filling and add salt and pepper to taste at this time (up to 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper).
  6. Spray the bottom of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and add meat mixture to the dish.
  7. Brush the rim and interior lip of the pie plate with egg (this will prevent the shell from sticking to the dish and cracking or breaking). Top the filling with pie dough so dough overhangs edges of pie plate only slightly. Fold overhanging pie down inward so folded edge is flush with inner edge of pie plate. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pie using your fingers.
  8. Using a paring knife, cut a ½-inch hole in center of pie. Cut six ½-inch slits around the hole, halfway between center and edge of pie. Brush dough with remaining egg. Season the top of the dough with salt, pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon chopped thyme. Transfer pie to rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, 20-30 minutes.
  9. Transfer pie to cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve.

Book of the day:

Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

Image result for saving honeycutt

I just finished this book today.  Excellent read.  It is the sad and funny and overall very heart-warming story of Cee Cee Honneycutt, whose mother is mentally ill and whose father is largely absent.  If you’re an audiobookphile like I am, you may recognize the narrator’s (Jenna Lamia) voice from Moon Over ManifestThe Fame Game series, the Velva Jean series, The Help, the Shiver series, etc.  I’m a fan, if you can’t tell.  I gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads.

A post about nothing.

As usual, I have nothing earth-shattering to write about.  The Hubs and I finally went to the State Fair of Texas this past weekend.  How do we always manage to end up going during the OU/Texas game?  There were 5 million people there, roughly 1/3 of which were barely dressed college students.  It was fun, but I was very happy to be heading home.

I am preparing to have surgery to fix an issue I’ve been dealing with for several years now.  I’ve never had surgery and am both excited and anxious about it.  The surgery will be of the DaVinci variety, which means a robot will be sticking it’s little robot arms and fingers into my body instead of a surgeon.  That’s kind of freaky.

My fantasy football season is progressing beautifully.  I am somehow 5-0.  Woot woot!  There is only one other 5-0 team, and we play each other this coming weekend.  I guess our little staring contest will be forced to come to an end.  (**fingers crossed!**)

MuckFest MS is this frickin’ weekend.  I could not possibly be less prepared for a 5K mud run.  I may die face-down in a mud puddle.  I hope that I have entertained at least one reader before I die.  Do I have one reader?  Hello, hello, hello….is there anybody out there?….

Anyway.  I hope you are all well and trudging through your week as painlessly as possible.

Peace and fried Twinkie grease!

fried-twinkie

Song of the day:

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Book of the day:

Image result for after you me before you

After You by Jojo Moyes.  This is the sequel to Me Before You, which was on my list of painful literary deaths from my last post.  I am not finding this book quite as good as its predecessor, but I’m not giving up.  I’m only about half way through.  And, after that I have yet another Jojo Moyes book waiting for me on my Overdrive player.

Recipe of the day:

Buttery Coconut Bars via http://www.tasteofhome.com.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flaked coconut, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13×9-in. baking pan with parchment paper, letting ends extend up sides.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and salt; stir in 1 cup melted butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 325°.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the first seven filling ingredients until blended; stir in 3 cups coconut. Pour over crust; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake 25-30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Lifting with parchment paper, remove from pan. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

I also toasted a bit of fresh coconut in some coconut oil to sprinkle on top before I cooked them.  It was a nice touch.  These things are wonderful.  You will hurt yourself on them.