Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pioneer Woman? She doesn’t live here.

Builderman has a new project. Instead of just continuing to mow the very large amount of grass on our property, he wants to bale it and sell the hay. Fine by me… whatever, honey.

Until he announced yesterday that the neighbors are coming to help tomorrow and he sure could use my help. My response was, “you’re kidding, right?” I would think we have enough stories of the crazy things that happen when he recruits me as a manual laborer.

Not to mention that Thursday I work full (over)time to make up for being out Friday. We are leaving early Friday and that should say it all. His pants have to be picked up from the seamstress (he just tried them on Sunday after having them since June and they needed altering), etc. etc. Experience tells me there are times to say “No” and I am certain this is one of those times. I have to laugh. What was he thinkin’?? I will definitely not be telling him about the Pioneer Woman.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Faith in Action

I have something I’d like for you to pray with me about. I'm glad I am still basking in the wonder of what God did on Sunday, so I have very recent reminders that He is Powerful and Awesome and cares about the details of our lives.

I’ll give you some of the story without going into too much detail, and then I’ll make my request. I’ve been having some issues with my hormones changing that have been causing problems. One issue was becoming of increasing concern.

Sunday, the presence of God was very strong in our service. The message was based on John 5, where the lame man was by the pool at Bethesda waiting for his healing. The first one in the pool after the angel stirred the waters was healed. The speaker reminded us that we don’t have to wait for angels, we have Jesus. In addition, we are not in some spiritual lottery where it’s a chance on who God wants to heal. He suggested we all join hands and jump in the pool together. I loved that. It’s a good thing Jesus said, “Come as a child.” That totally works for me.

I just knew that God taken care of my need in that service. I knew I wasn’t going to have to go to the doctor and that I would be restored before all the festivities coming up this weekend. And indeed, that very night, all symptoms disappeared. SING, SHOUT, DANCE! I am so thankful.

Now here’s the request. I am asking God to send Hurricane Gustav to uninhabited places. We are still, at this very moment, experiencing severe weather from Tropical Storm Fay. (I am using my cell phone for internet access as my regular high speed is out from the weather.) We do not need a visit from Gustav in Florida. Nobody else needs him either!! He is definitely not invited to our son’s wedding. God knows about the need for safety for all the people we love who are travelling from all over to South Florida for the festivities. Please pray. If one can put a thousand to flight, two can send the legions fleeing, and cause Gustav to be rendered harmless. Amen.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Endless Summer

An article in our local paper today features a Beach House give-away that a Birmingham, AL company is sponsoring. This promotion is called the “Idea House” and the home is located near Port St. Joe here in the Florida Panhandle. The design team referred to the house as having the personality of a “Manhattan socialite who inherited her great aunt’s beach cottage.” It has a fair market value of $941,000. Nice beach house.

I would so love to have a beach house to continue the tradition of family, love and laughter at “the shore” as my grandmother calls it. My dad was born in nearby Carrabelle, so this part of Florida holds many special memories and I want to create many more!

You can register once every day between now and Sept. 30th, and this is something I will do with glee and anticipation. If you win, be sure to reserve a week or 2 for me every year as small thanks for telling you about this marvelous give-away.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the Grill (Saturday Stirrings)

Despite all the rules about low-fat, I still really enjoy a good steak. When builderman cooks on the grill, it's my "night out". Out of the kitchen that is. Kind of. This marinade recipe was cooked up by a marine and makes the BEST steaks.

Rib-Eye Steaks with Mediterranean ‘Marine-ade’

Marinade: ½ cup dry red wine
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 rib-eye steaks
1 teaspoon garlic salt

In a large plastic resealable bag set inside a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the steaks to the bag. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag several times to distribute the marinade, place the bag back in the bowl, and marinate for 30 – 60 minutes. Remove the steaks from the bag and let the excess liquid drip off. Discard the marinade. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling. Just before grilling, season both sides of the steak with garlic salt.

Roasted Potatoes
The perfect accompaniment to steak.

Cut new potatoes in quarters
Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add sea salt and crushed rosemary.
Bake 50 min. at 350 degrees.

Note: I do prefer New York Strip steaks to Ribeye and wish I had them on hand for dinner tonight. Minor detail - tropical storm Fay is drenching us with rain so it's not really a good day to run to the grocery store. Grilling would be a problem as well. You can enjoy it for both of us!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Note to Self: Older is Happier

I had time to flip through a magazine yesterday when I was in the hair salon. This title grabbed me.

Note to Self: Older is Happier

"Though we as a society extol the years of early adulthood, research studies have demonstrated that younger adults are not as happy as adults in their older years. In later years, the horizon of time has shifted…"

I was called for my appointment before I finished copying the entire quote, but it went on to say that as we get older, we tend to live in the present more than at any time in our lives. When we're young, we often press to the future so hard that we miss things. When we're very old, we tend to live in the past. But right now, I'm in the middle, and I can savor the present. I suppose I haven't totally embraced the whole concept yet in that I take ridiculous pleasure in the fact that I "just" qualify as those in later years. Since my grandmother is 101, I fugure I "just" arrived at middle age at 50. I am encouraged with the thought that I have lots of happiness ahead.

If you want the quote verbatim, it's in September Songs: The Good News about Marriage in the Later Years by Maggie Scarf which will be released Sept. 4.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the Slow Lane

I have lived this week in slow motion. A whole new experience for me. The school buses are running… the stores are full of people realizing that hurricane season is just really getting cranked up…the discipline of fall schedules is kicking up in August (the new September). And I have wanted to sleep and read. I do have to work, and I’ve been going through the motions without my usual energy.

I could possibly attribute the lassitude to hormones. Mine are doing some wacky things for sure. It may have something to do with a very quiet house, with Cupcake’s bedroom empty for the first time in 18 years.

I pulled out a book this morning that Uncommon Blonde gave me in the week before her wedding. Quite timely, since we are just a week away from favorite son’s wedding. There are lots of snippets that are bursting with encouragement and wisdom. You should gift yourself with this book:
Put On Your Dancin’ Shoes
Proverbs and Promises for Women Who Want to Live Well

It says to savor the present moment. I will. Today I will do good to myself and to others. I get to go get my hair cut and highlighted this morning. That’s doing good to myself. I will trust the opportunity to do good to others will present itself and that I will have eyes to see. I know my energy will return. In the meantime, I’ll slow dance slowly.

Today's snippet from this book is on Success .

When asked to name his greatest accomplishment in life,
he replied: “My children still come home to see me. “
-Former President George H. W. Bush

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wogging - The New Rage in Fitness

I have a confession. I have been talking about my struggle with regular exercise and have mentioned I run. I have used the word "run" loosely and need to clarify. I actually am a dedicated wogger. When I read that term on Linda's site I thought "My stars, that's a perfect description of what I do!" Linda picked up the term from… well, you know how things go around in the blogosphere. Just so you know I’m not fooling myself. But, hey, it gets the job done.

I'll be wogging this weekend up and down stairs as we move Cupcake to Tallahassee to start college.

I listen to K-Love streaming radio alot when I'm working online and this week Sherry was attending a Boo-Hoo Breakfast after dropping her baby off at kindergarten. What a concept - but I'm not sure that we need any help with the tear mechanism. I cry when the National Anthem plays. I'd better not go to a Boo Hoo Breakfast.

Rebel with a Cause

There’s a rebel hiding in me. My mother could testify to this for sure. I’m sure my husband could also add a testimony or ten. I rebel selectively, and one thing I tend to rebel over is the medical system. This is a good and a bad thing. Let me explain.

The rebellion is seated in the fact that I think our culture deifies doctors. As in we tend to think they are all knowing, all powerful and hold our lives in their hands. Furthermore, doctors are trained to think linear. Western medicine primarily provides answers along the lines of drugs and surgery. I have a problem with this. Don’t get me wrong, I respect doctors and their education and there are times when I will run to them immediately (i.e. broken bones and such). I also think that in our lawsuit-happy culture, our medical system orders all kinds of tests that cost a gazillion dollars and are preventing the doctor from getting sued, rather than helping me toward better health.

I also think that each of is given wisdom from God as to what our body needs. Of course actually listening is the challenge. I also believe that many answers are found in methods that other cultures tuned into centuries ago, like chiropractic, homeopathy, nutrition and herbs. All that said, I resist conventional health paths. I’m either an intellectual or fruitcake, depending on your perspective.

Bear with me, I’m getting to the story.

When my sibling was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, I was told to immediately go have a very unpleasant screening procedure. Didn’t go. Moffat Cancer Center contacted me to participate in a study that was designed to motivate siblings of people with colon cancer. I participated in the study to get the $50 gift card but didn’t go. All along, I told family and medical folks I would go when everyone is supposed to go, when I turn 50.

Yesterday, I went. It wasn’t quite as bad as the procrastination had built it up to be. And it did cost a gazillion dollars, which I would have loved to spend on something pleasant. But I’m so glad it’s behind me now. My rebellion was temporarily tethered. I am super thankful that I got an absolutely clean bill of health and attribute that to God, not anything I’ve done. In parting, the doctor said, “I’ll see you back in 5 years.” And I’m, thinking, “You better make that 10.” Snicker.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am really enjoying the Olympics on television. I find the stories of the athletes truly inspiring. I am energized by their commitment. Someone sent me this Godtube clip this week that portrays an amazing story, set to a beautiful song.

A son asked his father, Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?
The father who, despite having a heart condition, says "Yes."

They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying "Yes" to his son's request of going through the race together.

One day, the son asked his father, Dad, let's join the Ironman together. To which, his father said "Yes" too. For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island. Father and son went on to complete the race together.
View the race:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Stirrings

This weight watcher's recipe is a hit at my house - even with two guys who like hearty meals that don't smack of reduced fat. (They don't know it's a weight watcher's recipe!)
Of course, I was disappointed that the "pie" is a bit of a misnomer. (No crunchy, buttery pie crust here, but then it wouldn't be mexican either) But it's very tasty. I got it from someone else and it's from the Core plan, so I don't know the points.

Fiesta Tamale Pie in a Pan

1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 cups cold water, with 2 chicken bouillon cubes ( you could probably use stock instead)
1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
4 teaspoons canola oil
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (10 ounce) can Mexican-style tomatoes (Ro-tel brand works)
1 (16 ounce) can whole no-sugar-added kernel corn (with juice)
1 (16 ounce) can dark no-sugar-added kidney beans
1 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Combine cornmeal, water and chicken bouillon in a medium saucepan; whisk or stir constantly over medium heat until slightly thickened.
3. Spread in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
4. In a large skillet, brown beef, onion, green pepper, and canola oil.
5. Add chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper, and stir well.
6. Add tomato paste, Ro-Tel, corn, and kidney beans, and mix well.
7. Spread mixture evenly over the cornmeal mixture and top with 1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese (Can substitute soy cheese).
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

For more recipes, visit Carol's site for Saturday Stirrings. Better yet, link up one of your favorites.
Recipes that someone has made are far better than a test from a recipe book, in my opinion.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Too Hot to Handle

I have to admit, I’m not one to love exercise. Yes, it makes me feel better AFTER I do it. And yes, I usually discipline myself to do it because I have to. I have been trying to increase my exercise to an hour a day to facilitate my weight loss goals.

However, yesterday was bad. I didn’t eat breakfast because I kept thinking I was going to run early. Well, I didn’t get out the door until almost 10 AM, with 97% humidity and nearly 90 degree heat. To make matters worse, the demon dogs were out and to top it all off, there was a crew of prison inmates working on the road. I guess I got overheated or something, as I felt totally drained for hours. Really yucky, as a matter of fact.

I realized that something had to change, so this morning I was out the door by 7. The demon dogs were penned up and the prisoners were not working. It was only 87% humidity this morning with a cool 81 degrees. But I need a “Plan B’ for days when I can’t run. I want to buy a fun DVD that inspires me to exercise in the living room. Though I love group classes, the gym is simply too far for me to go and I won’t do it on a regular basis. Any DVD suggestions?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Queen of Denial

When it comes to weight watching, I am the Queen of Denial.
I have been watching my weight creep up on the scale this year and decided my scales were broken. I quit going to weight watcher’s to weigh in because in January I had to pay for being over my goal weight and didn’t want to spend money on something unpleasant. Better to stay at home and stay in denial. But when all my pants got really tight I got worried. Then I went to a doctor’s appointment and guess what? My scales aren’t broken and my clothes didn’t shrink in the dryer.

So, I am back on weight watchers and seeing as I could teach the classes, I’m trying to do it on my own. I found this cool online points counter. I also found a weight ticker but I’m not posting that for all to see. I have been seriously following the points program for 2 weeks today and I’ve lost a grand 1.5 pounds. Sigh. Doesn’t seem enough for all the effort, but that’s the way it works for me. At least I’m going in the right direction after 8 months of denial.

In the meantime, I went shopping for Spanx to wear under my dress for the wedding later this month. My shoes are open-toed, my legs are tan and it’s in South Florida, so I’ve been told that it’s acceptable to not wear stockings. However, I want to keep everything smooth and tucked in. ; ) Kohl’s had zero salespeople in the store to help me find what I was looking for, so I left. They had lots of other brands available but I was overwhelmed by the choices and didn’t feel like trying on. If you don’t’ know what Spanx are, congratulations. If you do, can you tell me if it’s important to stick with the brand name? Can anybody make a suggestion?

Footnote: Would you believe I went to summer camp in North Carolina when I was in Jr. High with Pam Tillis who recorded Queen Of Denial? Really. Mel flew her in – we were all pretty impressed. She had quite a voice, even at 13. I still remember the song she taught me that she had written.