Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
A device that allows continual linear or rotary motion in only one direction while preventing motion in the opposite direction.
Sometimes I can clearly see areas of my life desperately in need of a good old ratchet!
Just this morning, C & I were driving to the city to pick up Tman from his after Christmas celebration with his father. The radio was on WMBI (of course) and I was listening to the hosts as they discussed their hopes and desires for 2011. One of them mentioned that she wished that "she would not wear her heart on her sleeve" and waste so much time dwelling on her own hurt feelings. Her sentiments really resonated with me...how much time I waste focused on self or worrying if I have disappointed others.
With the wheels spinning, literally & figuratively, I made my way around the loop, killing time until we picked up Tman. This is where the ratchet part comes in.
Where and how had I been stretched spiritually in 2010? Where did I need to be pruned, "ratcheted", watered and encouraged in the coming year?
Pruning needs to be done on the impatient branches in my life. Unfortunately, these branches most brush up on those that I fiercely love. My husband is an excellent example to me of gentleness & patience and it is a blessing to have him set the bar so high.
Ratchet my tongue, God! 2010 marked the year that I sought to eliminate gossip from my mouth. Oh, the verses I have memorized! Psalm 141:3 is my favorite when I am overwhelmed with the urge to say something that is not edifying...or listen to something not meant for my ears. The standard to which I have tried to adhere is: "If I am not part of the solution or the problem, then I don't need to say it or hear it". (Thanks, Chip Ingram). This area of my life has improved, but some tightening up is needed. James 1:26
I have been reading "Who You Are When No One's Looking" by Bill Hybels. Such a great read. The chapter on Discipline is excellent and this is a character trait that I long to have. He describes discipline as "delayed gratification". I have more to say on this but am really exhausted. We have had incessant house, car & pet issues as well as a very "busy" 2 year old. One of the few things that I am disciplined about is adhering to my quiet time so I will close in order to curl up with peppermint tea and my Bible.
What are your hopes for 2011?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Always one for a challenge, I bought a pretty candle with a mild apple cider fragrance. Although I sometimes forgot, when I saw the candle I would ask God to help me with patience, a virtue I am sorely lacking.
Colossians 3: 12-14 says:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
This is a verse that I have memorized and am acutely aware that patience is the virtue that most resists being "bound" in my like. My family could offer a laundry list of examples here...
My little apple cider candle has become a sweet little reminder, my virtue candle. When he burns out, I will purchase another. Realizing that there are always fresh ways to be challenged and convicted to grow and be pruned.
E & I had a weekend sans enfants and it was fabulous. We chose to stay home because I have been very sick with a chronic cough. It was so relaxing to sleep in, eat out, order Giordanos and eat it in front of the TV together-no kids!! Although we don't have cable, we watched Life is Beautiful. It is blustery outside and I am planning a week of soups & comfort meals. The house is sparkly clean and smells like peppermint (thank you, Scentsy). And yes, my candle is burning.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Here is the recipe, basically a double version of Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread from allrecipes with a bit more spices:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 egg yolks
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 tsp. cloves
2-3 tsp. ginger
Cream butter & sugar. Add yolks & mix. Add molasses & mix. Sift together all dry ingredients and add slowly to creamed mixture. Mix until dough is formed and holds together well. Separate into two disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in fridge and chill for about an hour, until firm but not rock hard.
Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness (we like them THIN!). Bake on parchment lined sheets at 350 for about 8 minutes. They will seem soft but crisp up after 5-8 minutes out of the oven.
Enjoy! We plan to decorate with royal icing tomorrow.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The tree is rather sparse on the bottom in hopes that C will not create a repeat of last year's
debacle. On Christmas Eve, while we were busy prepping dinner, the entire tree was toppled by a curious little boy. Smashed ornaments, broken lights...good times...
The huge white iron chandelier was a new addition this year and I decorated it with ropes of faux gumdrops. Kitschy & cute!
Later, I will post photos of the kitchen. I draped my vintage copper cookie cutters across a garland of cinnamon sticks. Something fun to look at while I do the dishes.
Happy decorating, everyone!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My favorite salads always have sweet & savory components as well as a few different textures. I really enjoy a creamy cheese, crisp greens, crunchy nutmeats. We created this salad tonight because I had apples, goat cheese & pecans on hand. Costco had a huge container of spring mix for $3.99 so we have been enjoying greens with every meal this week.
Dressing (I never measure; this is a guess-sorry precise friends!)
3 Tbs. good quality balsamic (I used Pomegranate from Olive Tap-my favorite)
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. toasted walnut oil
1 tsp. Dijon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Few grinds of pepper
Whisk all together & adjust to suit your tastes. This is a sweet, rich dressing. A little goes a long way.
For the salad:
Toss dry greens with dressing, using your clean hands. (You'll be able to tell when the greens are perfectly coated. Thinly slice apples and lay on bed of greens. Toss on your cheese. I used Chevre with fine herbes. Feta or Gorgonzola would be great, too. Something salty. Toast nuts lightly, cool and throw on salad. Voila. Tastes great, looks pretty. Your husband will feel blessed by your handiwork.
*Sesame oil & rice wine vinegar make wonderful dressings for salads. Add some thinly sliced almond & cilantro to your salad-yum.