My Most Common Topic: Randomness

Hi.  🙂  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;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

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

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

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.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
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!  😉

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.

 

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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.

Rising Above

Whisper whisper whisper whisper……..

This is a common sound in my office.  The whispering of gossip and spit-talking emanates from just about every office.  You can get sucked in by it all, which is dangerous business.  The person providing you with the low-down on what is being said about you is just as likely to turn and spill their guts about anything you’ve shared in confidence with them.  Or, you can rise above and ignore it all.  By doing so, you alienate yourself and appear to be stuck up or bitter.  It’s a lose-lose situation.  For years, I fed into the negativity.  Lately, I have chosen the latter option.  I now have only one true friend at work, and that is okay.  Every morning I pray to God for the strength to have a good day, to stay positive, and to not backslide into everyone’s messiness.  And every day I both succeed and fail to some degree.  But, I truly am putting forth the effort.  It is downright exhausting.  I come home every day feeling like I have gone through battle.  Every day I endure scathing looks and the whisper whisper whispering when I leave a room.  Though it may seem unlikely, choosing the role of office outcast is rewarding.  I feel less like a lowlife slug than I used to.  Not having to keep up with who said what to who is very freeing.  And, not giving a hoot whether or not you’re liked is also liberating.

I know I should get away from this place altogether.  I hear it all the time.  But, I do have a decade and a half invested in this place, and it pays the bills.  So, there you have it.  Who knew that bullying wasn’t just for playgrounds?

Three cheers to all my fellows who grind away in soul-sucking environments and manage to rise above!!

Peace and filing cabinet grease!

Song of the day:

Stolen Dance by Milky Chance.  I find this song all-consuming.  I can be having a conversation with someone and stop in mid-sentence to start tapping my toes when I hear it come on.

Recipe of the day:

Grandma B’s Buffalo Chip Cookies

(gross name.  delicious results.)

Cream together:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 lb. butter

Add:

  • 2 cups Post Toasties
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 tsps. vanilla
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 2 tsps. baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup nuts, pecans
  • 1 pkg. 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg. 6 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 4 cups flour

Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes.

Can be frozen.

Book of the day:

Image result for stars above meyer

Stars Above:  A Lunar Chronicles Collection by Marissa Meyer

Have you read any of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer?  There are four main books, all of which are futuristic retellings of classic fairy tales.  There is Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White).  I was truly surprised by how much I liked these books.  There are other volumes, too, including Stars Above, that tell the minor characters’ stories.  Give them a chance, if you’re looking for something new to read!