Showing posts from October, 2012

This Spiritual Journey...part 2

Yes things changed.  They began to change that very evening.

When my husband came in that night he decided to open the mail that had been stacked by his seat for weeks.  I heard him gasp and utter a curse.  I got up from the bed and asked him what was wrong.  He handed me a letter which read, "Greetings from the U.S. Army..." or something to that nature.  He'd just been called up to serve in the Gulf War and his day to report was in three days...

As it happened, he didn't serve any time in the war.  His time was spent in a military camp in Missouri and I struggled alone with a number of issues at home that I won't go into. When he returned we both realized how broken our marriage had become and I left two days later. And before that week was out I was hit by a drunk driver on my way to work one morning. I went through my own sort of hell for the next two or three years.  I 'lost' the little non-denominational church during that time.  Second…

Weekly Meal Plan

I sat down to plan meals this afternoon and had no problems whatsoever...That blustery wind outdoors, the gray skies, the chilly air all proved inspirational.  I don't know that this will last but it sure was nice to not struggle to come up with warm weather foods that I'm so bored bored bored with making for a change.

I have a November inspiration list that is two pages long already.  Can we say PROJECTS?  They abound  for the month ahead.  I've already begun working on that list, but nothing major to show for it.  My incentive fell away after John asked me to go into town and get a frozen pizza for dinner.  I didn't mind postponing my planned meal since he's put in no special requests for several weeks now.  Besides there were a couple of loss leader sales I wanted to take advantage of this week.  I put 20 pounds of flour in the freezer and another 6 cans of diced tomatoes on the pantry shelf.

Veggie Soup, Toasted Pimento and Cheese Sandwiches, Apple Dumplings

This Spiritual Journey...

Back in June, I shared that we had decided we needed a sabbatical from our synagogue.  At that time, as I wrote of what that sabbatical had meant to me personally, I was asked to share my spiritual journey.  I've thought about that request often.  I suppose because I am a writer by nature, and analytical, I like to begin at the beginning of things.  So this is the beginning.

I grew up in a Primitive Baptist church which met twice a month, first Sunday mornings and third Sunday afternoons.  We met only twice a month because the preachers serve multiple churches in the association much as the old circuit riding preachers did.

I have always been curious about things, all my life, and though I was in this church from age 6 weeks to 32 years I didn't 'fit'. 

I joined the church (aka was baptized) at age 9.  I joined because my grandfather asked me to do so, telling me that he was dying (and he did two years later). I wasn't questioned too hard about my decision.  The …

My Frugal Weeks

The most reasonably priced meal at the fair is at the VFW's booth.  We always go for their hamburgers knowing we're supporting a good cause as well as getting a hot meal...

In My Kitchen:
I had a couple of apples that were bruised or too soft to be eaten out of hand.  I cut them up and served them as caramel apples with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as dessert for one of our meals.

One chicken, four meals.  That was my goal and here's what I did.  I cut up the chicken into parts. 
Meal one: Barbecued chicken (two legs, two wings, one pulley bone).  Meal Two:  Chicken Kiev (using the two breast halves which I boned and skinned myself).  Meal three: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole (two thighs). I didn't have enough for a fourth meal, but  I got 2 quarts of broth from simmering the thighs, back, neck and bones.

Made a pot of chili.  I set aside enough to make a second meal for us before making chili mac for dinner.

I've found a quick and easy cake recipe that stirs up in …

Weekly Meal Plan

We've just a few days of this vacation/off period left and then it's back to work for John.  I caught myself slipping into the work week routine one evening this week when John was working in the music room.  I dashed about the house and got a few chores done so we could have a free day the next day.  I'm ready for a bit of routine again, I reckon.  All these 'free' days begin to wear a bit after a while and routines look pretty good.  That's probably why I've been slowly working on deep cleaning the kitchen, one small area at a time.  Oh the woes of a desperate housewife, sneaking in a few extra licks at her housekeeping!

One thing we've not missed much of: home cooked meals.  I've been cooking and/or preparing three meals a day most every day.  It's a good thing I really enjoy cooking and don't mind clearing up, either.  However inspiration is wanted/needed.  I've turned to cookbooks, former menus and Pinterest many and many a time ov…

Weekly Meal Plan

Last week was such a great week. I was pleased with what was accomplished at home and because I didn't tie myself down so hard that I couldn't enjoy the week.  John's extra time off was plenty of fun.  We've a few more days to enjoy, work, and relax and then it's back to routine for a bit.

This morning just flew by with routine housework.  I've been planning meals and checking out recipes, making out my grocery list, checking my budget (yikes!), looking over the pantry/freezer listing, etc. this afternoon.  That's a good half day of work right there.

Beef and Noodle Toss, Whole Green Beans, Crusty Bread, Pears with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
This is a simple recipe really but a 'different' sort of pasta dish.  Lasagna noodles are used for the pasta, topped with a slow simmered beef, grape tomato and mushroom sauce with a rich stock.  Very earthy and suitable for Autumn meals I think.  I plan to buy a nice wedge of blue cheese for the dessert tray.  If …

Another Glorious Autumn Day...

It was another glorious autumn day.  Just beautiful with sunshine, blooms, cool breezes, blue skies...October is definitely putting on her best for us on a daily basis right now.  John suggested we 'Go somewhere,' and so we did.  We chose our destination at the last minute, packed up and headed out.  Through rolling farmland with far sweeping views...

 Past those hay fields with great huge bales of hay that makes my heart feel lighter and gladden, though I've no clue why.

We spied a bit  of autumn color here and there.

 And lots of lovely little ponds, most of them natural, bordered with blooms.

And gorgeous old houses...This one could use a bit of tender care, but I suspect if I could find out a thing about it that it predates 1850...

Coffee Chat - Fair Day

John has developed a new philosophy and his new philosophy is "What are we saving for, if we keep bypassing every single pleasure?  What about today?"  I do understand what he's saying.  We can save for tomorrow and we are and we will continue to do so, but every now and then we need to stop and think about what we're missing TODAY.

It is Fair season.  The Georgia National Fair is a big deal and it's within 30 miles of home.  It started last Thursday night and winds up this Sunday night.  There's a limited window of opportunity for us to go and this year, John meant we were going to go.  It did seem that every single thing came together to make the day about perfect.  First there was that 'littlest girl' as she's called who asked specially if we'd spend the day with her at the fair.  Flattered beyond words, we said yes.  After all, how many 20 year olds think it's fun to spend a day with mom and dad?  Then there was the weather which fina…

Weekly Menu Plan

The Autumn breezes are blowing and the leaves have that tissue paper sound they get this time of year.  I've been listening to it all day long, winding it's way down from the North and bringing a slightly cooler air to us.  Mind you, it's plenty warm in the sun yet.  I've aired pillows today and dried the load of sheets I did early this morning.  I took down the summer curtains in my bedroom and hung a pair that better matches my quilt.  I've contemplated the possibilities for the guest room's autumn/winter look and piddled about the house looking at the work I might be doing if only I felt like settling in to do something that takes more than twenty minutes tops.  But not even planning holds my interest for long.  I'm up to do a quick task, sitting down once more to think about the quilt's next portions, dreaming of the next quilt I'll make, then up again to do another chore or to plunder amongst the craft items to see if something inspires me.


My Frugal Week

When I found this a couple of years ago at the Peaches to Beaches Yard Sale, I never dreamed it would be a money saver...But it is.  For one thing, I can only fit a small roll of aluminum foil (usually the store brand) in the thing.  And so I use less foil than ever.  I tend to cram the usual size of paper towel in the paper towel section but the cutting edge allows us to 'choose a size' of our own liking even if the roll doesn't offer that option!  I've saved the cost of this paper dispenser at least twice over in two years.

In My Kitchen:

Used this recipe for Banana Peanut Butter muffins to use the last banana from our previous pay period.  I made them on Sunday and the cooking time really is as short as it says.  I was certain it was a typo.  Be sure to check them for doneness at the given time range if you attempt this recipe. After cooling I bagged these up in groups of 3 and put in the freezer for easy breakfast bread or snacks.

Made a pizza for Sunday din…

Budget Stretcher: Leftover Makeover

I love Arroz con Pollo, Spanish Chicken and Rice.  It's a tasty one dish sort of meal for autumn and winter.  It has browned chicken pieces, onion, garlic, pimento, yellow rice, and at the last minute green peas are added.  It's so tasty!  Unfortunately, despite dividing the recipe in half I had leftovers of the rice portion and the rice acted weird (some not getting done, some getting overcooked) so I was reluctant to put the leftovers to the test of reheating as a side dish for another meal.

And then I got creative...What if I made soup?  I liked the idea very well and decided it was worth a try.

I had in my fridge the leftover rice from the dinner, a bit of leftover white rice, some green peas, a chicken breast half.  From the pantry I pulled a can of whole kernel corn, some diced tomatoes and from the freezer some chicken broth.  For seasoning: garlic, cumin and liquid smoke.

I chopped the chicken breast and dumped into a soup pot.  Added in my leftover rice, half a can o…