Monday, March 27, 2017

READS FOR THE PAST YEAR...

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted about my reads.  I had a lot going on last year!  Here's a few books I've read that you might be interested in - the last two were my favorites of this bunch:



A Year by the Sea:  Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson

Memoir of a woman who persevered through separation from her husband and recreated her life.  I think I would enjoy a year by the sea - just not out of this kind of life change!


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

A mystery that gave me the creeps!  Maybe this is why I don't read many mysteries!  Missing people, mysterious creatures, and the young woman who tries to stop history from repeating itself.



The Awakened Introvert by Arnie Kozak

Kind of interesting although I did not read the entire book - helps you understand yourself better if you consider yourself an introvert.


The Butterfly Hours by Patty Dann

This little book is by a teacher of memoir writing.  As she helped her students and shares writing prompts, she begins to weave her own story of her husband's illness and death.  I picked this up to see if I might learn something new about writing, and I'm not sure I did but I enjoyed the memories she shared.


Head Case by Cole Cohen

This book reads as if you were in the mind of Cole Cohen, a women with a learning disability like no one else - a hole in her brain the size of a lemon.  She navigates life extremely well, and certainly helps me be more understanding with those not like myself.  This wasn't my favorite read.

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander

This one's an award winner and I can understand why.  I loved it.  After the sudden death of her husband, Elizabeth tells their love story.  It's one of the first books I've ever read that helps me understand what this kind of loss might really feel like.  A unique read that I couldn't put down! Had a couple of recipes in it, too!  Loved the spaghetti!


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Fictional story of a teenager, who's allergic to the world.  She has SCID - maybe you remember the movie way back when about the boy in the bubble?  Thoroughly enjoyed it, and the surprise ending!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

RECIPE FOR ONION LOVERS...

A book I read recently had a couple of recipes in it.  This is from  The Light of the World, by Elizabeth Alexander.  I really enjoyed the book and this sounded so different I knew I had to try it.

The Hubs and I hadn't eaten pasta in ages, and we loved this!  Put sautéed onions on anything and we like it.  I call it Elizabeth's spaghetti, since she did not have a special name for it.  But if you like sautéed onions, you will enjoy this.

Elizabeth's Spaghetti

3 T. Olive oil
2-3 oz. Pancetta, diced
4 Onions, any kind or a mixture of different varieties, sliced thin
salt and pepper
3 T. fresh Parsley, diced
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 # Spaghetti - I think I used a 12 oz. pkg and it was fine
2 T. salt for spaghetti water

In a large skillet, cook diced pancetta in olive oil on low-medium. As it starts to brown, add in sliced onions.  Turn several times in skillet so that all the onions will get coated with oil.  Salt and pepper, then cover and cook on low for 40 minutes.  While onions are cooking, fill a large pot with water and salt and bring to a boil.  Cook spaghetti al dente, then drain.  Add onions in with the spaghetti, along with the parsley and Parmesan.  Stir thoroughly to coat the noodles.

Serves 6-8 We loved this!  We had roasted asparagus and salad with it.  The Hubs would have liked some garlic toast with it, but maybe next time.  :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FROM THE BATTLEFIELD...

I would like to share a link with you today...whatever might be going on in your life, my friend Tom can speak to you.  He is doing an incredible job sharing his faith through his nasopharyngeal cancer treatment.  It's inoperable, but they are doing a treatment carefully, trying to not to damage eyes, ears, nose, esophagus, brain, etc.

Tom is the husband of my childhood friend, Stephanie.  We both live in the same town we grew up in, but rarely bump into each other.  One thing I love about all this is knowing how she grew up and seeing her (and his) strong faith now.  We had a God ordained meeting at the grocery store the other day, and although she had a smile pasted on her face while shopping with her mother who has dementia, I quickly realized how she was hurting.  With an engaged daughter, moving her mother into their home for her care recently, and a mention of MD Anderson hospital, this family needs your prayers!

If you are a believer, THIS will lift you up!


Saturday, March 11, 2017

NEVER SAY NEVER...

 Even though I've grown to love this guy, I didn't think I'd ever be a dog-sitter!  Sometimes my daughter takes business trips and it coincides with my husband's business trips and guess who is the only one around?  Me.



Monday, March 6, 2017

HEART FULL OF APPRECIATION...



Being a part of the church is the most wonderful blessing!  God knew what He was doing when he encouraged us to not give up the habit of meeting together and to spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24,25)!  This past week found me struggling physically with back pain (too much yard work) but grateful for Christians with passion to help others in various ways.  It was kind of crazy that all these activities were in one week but I'm glad I got to participate!  You never know what you will learn or what God will do with these opportunities.

Sunday was a Ministry Fair at our congregation and although our Women's Ministry has many good women involved in different ways, we thought about needs we might have and ways we could still use women to make our program have even more vitality.  I had no idea what to expect.  It was amazing as 73 names were written down to help in  various ways we thought might be helpful:  to help launch a service aspect which has been in the back of my mind for a while, to have greeters at events, be a neighborhood watcher for new families that move in, etc.  I'm just so, so thankful for the ministers and staff at our church who set aside some Bible class time for the most possible participation.  They organized it well.

Wednesday found me at a seminar for Inclusion of children with Special Needs at our congregation.  The presenter, Barb Newman, from Michigan, was excellent and really touched my heart as she spoke about the church as a body and what a blessing it can be for everyone who embraces the disabled.  The helpers get to use their special gift that in turn blesses them, the child, and the child's family.  I began to think about how this could enhance our women's ministry.  At the table, I sat between two of our ministers and several times Barb asked us to take a minute to discuss certain aspects of her presentation.  I enjoyed hearing the wheels turning inside our preacher's head.  I'm so very thankful for our ministers and the educators who put this together!

The last Wednesday night class of the winter quarter was equally wonderful.  My friend Rhonda has an amazing gift to share the Bible with people she meets.  I have learned so much from her!  It's crazy the amount of energy she has.  I think it's God-given!  We had a class for women she wanted to call Friend to Friend (getting away from the Evangelism word) and over and over she stressed to us,  "Everyone is in two camps:  either you are in need of a Savior or you are saved and need encouragement." Most of the nights she brought a friend, Delisa, with her and they demonstrated how they studied together.  Another thing she stressed each week was to see everyone you come in contact with  - your checker at the store, your hairdresser, the manager of your favorite store - as people you might potentially study with.  Her catch phrase is, "I love to study the Bible with people, would you like to study the Bible with me?"  And she camps out at her local coffee shop and pancake house to do these studies.  She is an inspiration and I am thankful for her.  Some people may have this gift naturally, and some of us have to work on it.  But she has made it more do-able somehow by showing us step-by-step how this works for her.

Late Wednesday night found me having a meeting with young women in their 20's who have volunteered to host our June RefresHER (ladies program).  I was tickled at the response and their willingness to take on a big event like this to bless the ladies of our congregation.

Thursday morning Bible study was our last big luncheon of the year.  Usually I enjoy seeing all the decorations of the different tables and take pictures, but this year I forgot my camera and realized my zeal for decorating is waning as it just represents clutter to me.  (What?  I know, weird!)  Also, our leader had emphasized taking the funds we might usually use to make pretty tables and bring items to donate to a charity as our "decorations."  Our table was full of shampoo and deodorant that will go to Breaking Chains ministry in Honduras. My heart is thankful and was touched to see tables of items that will help people!

I am full of appreciation and praying for continued good works from our ministers, our volunteers, Barb, Rhonda, Delisa, Bible study leaders, and also our elders who oversee in such a good way!









Monday, February 27, 2017

BIKING CORONADO ISLAND...



Got to tag along with The Hubs on a business trip to San Diego last week!  We stayed on Coronado Island this time - I'd been here before so I skipped the Hotel Del and just got to know the town.  It really feels like an adventure when you are biking or riding the bus solo! They are very bicycle friendly and I biked under the bridge, alongside the golf course and million dollar homes, past marinas, military men training, and on the Bayshore Bikeway to the Silver Strand State Beach.   I had a few hours to myself each day and it was nice to have no real itinerary!





















Monday, February 20, 2017

A SUBJECT CLOSE TO MY HEART...






Son #1 has been busy this past year!  A documentary (his first) he's been working on is getting ready to be revealed this weekend.  When he showed us the trailer recently, it really excited me because last winter I was part of a women's Wednesday night class called "Getting Creative with God," where we learned about and explored different forms of creativity and how it relates to our personal walk with God. We got away from the normal lecture type class and did a lot of fun hands-on activities! 

This project is similar in exploring our creativity and our relationship with The Creator,  and I'm thrilled the singer/songwriter asked him to go with her on this journey!   Check out the trailer:  https://youtu.be/aNGf1GlfsXg