Monday, January 21, 2013

Where does the time go?

I cannot believe how long it has been since I blogged here. I had basically given up blogging since my new-found addiction to Facebook, which broadcasts publicly for everyone  to see my inner most thoughts which as of late have centered around snot (we have bronchitis in our house), Church, (awesome, if we can stay well enough to go or watching when we can't go on live streaming at if you wanna check us out!), pets (mentally delayed boy cat and his neurotic sister),and family life, which centers much around our life as a tug boat family.

It is because of this crazy tugboat life that I created a newer blog last summer, called Tugboat Life, Tugboat Wife. I wrote several posts about how our life works, and had attracted a small group of readers when it suddenly fell to the wayside, one of many things I started with good intentions but quickly grow tired of.

Sooooo.......... when you have time, check it out and let me know what you think. I will earnestly work harder at blogging, and I have missed you all!

Blessings to you all!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Well, it's been a while....

....BUT......this was worth waiting for! 

I started to follow up that last statement with a comment saying ("In my humble opinion, anyway) but I realized have absurd that would be based on the premise behind this post! Bear with will be laughing at me too in a minute!

After I put my girl child on the bus in the mornings, I like to watch Joyce Meyer.  I love her teaching/preaching style, and her humor is totally in mine with my idea of what's funny. (I like irony....which is also about to tie in with this post if you stay with me)

This morning, Joyce was teaching on HUMILITY and PRIDE. (Insert laugh track here) This is why I thought it was funny when I almost said "In my humble opinion"...which makes no sense since this is my blog and in some way, publishing my own thoughts and thinking they are valuable enough for others to read is somewhat an IRONIC thing. (See? Told you it would tie together eventually)

Notes to self: Focus, stop rambling, drink less caffeine......

So as Joyce was speaking, she made a Facebook post worthy statement: " "Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself, its not thinking of yourself at all!" That alone blew me away. She went on to interview a pastor from Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge La. My niece has attended this church in the past but doesn't any longer. The pastor was Pastor Dino Rizzo. As the interview progressed, Pastor Rizzo said something so profound to me that I had to rewind my TV (LOVE my digital DVR service) and watch it about 10 times, pausing and restarting so I could write it down correctly. In talking of humility, humbleness and pride, this is what he said .

"Jesus could have washed others' feet just by saying it. He could have just stood there and said "Ok, feet be clean" and BOOM, there would have been like a big scrubbing. But He reached down, stooped down, cleaned it, scrubbed it, He touched it. Many people are not going to be reached until we touch them at the point of their need."

I was familiar with the story, but had never thought of how He didn't have to physically wash their feet, He could have had the feet cleaned just by uttering a word. But it was the act of humility, of placing Himself in the role and position of servant, that shows us how we should be treating others. This is true humility!  I grew up knowing this part, of how Jesus humbled himself to a servant's role, but I learned recently in our Tuesday morning Bible class that the job of foot washing was for the lowliest, youngest, least experienced servant of the house. That put new light on it for me! Not only did Jesus humble Himself to a servant position, but to the LOWLIEST of the servants! 

So how often do we humble ourselves for others?
How long as it been since we truly set our selfish nature aside?

Sort of a kick in the pants for a Monday morning....but a well-needed kick.

(The scripture reference for this is John 13)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Good Food!

My wonderful sister got me a subscription to Good Housekeeping last Christmas. I LOVE IT! I enjoy opening my mailbox to get each new issue, it's like she sends me a gift every month! I have never had a magazine gift subscription before, and I sure do like this one!

I was particularly excited about this month's isses, because the front cover hails "ALL NEW! SLOW COOKER SUPPERS 8 recipes=16 different meals" Now, if you know anything about me, it is that I love to cook and I adore my slow cooker. In fact, I have two slowcookers, one is round and one is oval, both are 6 quarts. I love throwing food in the pot, turning it on, and walking to the other side of the kitchen to throw stuff into the breadmaker, setting it's timer, and leaving my house only to return a few hours later with dinner DONE and the house smelling wonderful! (It is also important to note that since we live in the deep south, both of these appliances can be put on my screened in back porch and used there to further reduce the heat in the kitchen)

I dove into the magazine, and found the promised article. What genius! How awesome is this! The basic principle is you make a big batch of stuff in the slowcooker, then when it's done you scoop some out and save it for another night. Then they give you the recipe to use the scooped out leftover portion to make a different meal! How cool is that???? My family is not big on leftovers, so this was a real plus for me!

I've made one of  the recipes once, and another one twice. Both are keepers. The first time, I made them both basically exactly as the recipe reads. I decided to share the one I made twice with you today, because it is gray and cloudy here, and it just seemed appropriate. I will list the recipe as it is in the magazine, then note the changes I made.
Chicken Soup
1 Tbsp, Vegetable oil
1 jumbo sweet onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lbs. fennel (2 large)--I left this out, as we are not fan of fennel
1 lb. carrots
12 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes (2 large)--I used russett
8 oz. celery stalks (4 large)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 lbs. bone in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 1/2 lbs. bone in chicken breasts, skin removed
1 qt. lower sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. Packed fresh dill leaves--I left this out, not big dill fans here either

1. In 12 inch skillet, heat oil on medium low. Add onion and 1/8 teas salt. Cook 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occassionally.
2. While onion cooks, trim and cut fennel into 1/4 inch slices. Cut carrots in quarters lengthwise, then into 3 inch long pieces. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch half moons. Thinly slice celery.
3. In 6 qt. slow cooker bowl, evenly spread the vegetables and toss in the bay leaf. Arrange chicken pieces on top, pressing down into the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/2 teas each salt adn pepper. Spread the hot onion over the chicken. Add broth, cover, and cook on low 6 hours.
4. Stir in dill. Transfer one-third of the vegetables, 1 chicken breast and one chicken thigh to a container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Divide remaining vegetables among serving bowls. Remove meat from remaining chicken and divide among serving bowls. Stir 1/4 teas salt into broth. Ladle over the chicken vegetable mixture and serve.

Chicken Pot Pie
Preheat oven to 425. Transfer 1/2 cup potatoes from the reserved mixture to a large bowl. With potato masher, mash until crushed. Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream and mash until well combined. Remove the meat from the reserved chicken, shred into large chunks, and add to the potato mixture. Add reserved vegetables, 1 cup frozen peas (thawed), 1/2 teas freshly grated lemon peel, 1/4 teas salt and 1/4 teas pepper. Mix well. Spread mixture into a 91/2 inch deep-dish pie plate. Center 1 refrigerated pie crust on top. Fold dough overhang to make edge flush with rim of pie plate and gently press against pie plate. Cut 5 slits on top. Bake 25 minutes, then cover rim with foil. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

For the pot pie, I didn't think it looked soupy enough so I stirred in one can of cream of chicken soup and used peas and carrots instead of just peas (we are carrot people). I also left out the lemon peel, because that just seemed strange to me.

Both recipes were delicious!!!! I made them with the above directions the first time, then altered it a bit the second time. Here's how:
For the soup, I cooked at as directed. When the soup was done, I strained off the juice and used it to cook a 16 oz package of peas and carrots and a half bag of egg noodles. (next time I will throw the peas and carrots in about half way through cooking time if I am home) We liked the addition of the veggies and noodles to the soup. When I made the pot pie the second time, I again used a can of cream of chicken soup, and I made my crust with biscuit mix. My family liked the pie crust version better, and mentioned that crescent rolls would be THE BOMB! We also found that both recipes needed a bit more salt for our tastes, especially with the addition of more veggies and noodles.

Although the recipe is meant for two weeknight dinners, I made mine for Sunday lunch and used the second recipe for Sunday evening dinner. We are at church from 7:45am until after 1:00 every Sunday, so having something ready in the crockpot and bread machine makes Sunday lunch a breeze!

Try this out,and see how you like it!
I tried to put a link to the recipe on the magazine's website, but I couldn't find it listed. This is from Hearst Magazine's Good Housekeeping October 2011 issue, and the article was entitled "Superfast Slowcooker Suppers." I did not find an author listed.  I do not take any credit for the original recipe, it was all from those great folks over at Good Housekeeping!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Honestly, I didn't know anyone was looking for me over here on the blog :) It's nice when I get an email saying something along the lines of "Hey, is everything ok? I have missed your blog updates!" Most days when I was blogging regularly, I wondered if anyone even read what I posted. Apparently, at least one of you does, and I appreciate it! ;)

So, since I have not posted for several months, I could do a standard old "update" post telling you of my adventures with my new role as mom-of-a-highschooler, the excitement/trials/crushes on boys of my daughter's high school marching band time, my general enthusiasm of high school football games (LOVE THE VIOLENCE!), news at church including a women's conference that I am SUPER excited about, and general life stuff. However, I'm choosing to go against the grain here and not post about such things at his time. (There is always tomorrow, and those things give me fodder to post on in a day or two, as I strive to get back into the swing of blogging on a more regular basis)

Today, I chose to post about friendship.

I have been blessed in my life to have very good friends. Some friends come for a season, then move on. Some friends never become more than casual friends to socialize with. Some friends come in family roles, like sisters. (I am extremely blessed in this way, having the world's greatest sister!) Other friends come by proxy, such as the wives of my husband's friends. But then there are the other kind of friends....

Once such friend is my best friend. She lives about 5 minutes away. We met when we worked together in a little cafe nearly 11 years ago. Through the years, she has been there through the ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the hilarious. :)  One such hilarious time involved us visiting a mattress store, where she proceeded to bounce on the bed to see how firm it was and managed to launch herself off the end of the mattress with her skirt up over her head. The good? Lots of long lunches at Cracker Barrel....therapy for me! Laughing together over things only we, with our warped senses of humor, find weird names in obituary listings. Shopping at discount places to find killer deals--including one joint where I was lying in the floor to see if the earrings I chose would get caught in my hair. And eating.....lots of eating......The bad? Tough times in my marriage, the death of my grandmother, my surgery last year, my husband's battle with depression, financial lean get the drift. She is a true friend, one who loves me like I am and prays for me through it all!

The other friend is a long time friend...going on almost 30 years now. We met in church, waaaaaaay back in the day. We too shared and survived things like death of friends and family, school drama, church drama, high school crushes, marriage, divorce, birth of our kids, job issues, military life, the loss of beloved pets, periods of questioning what we truly believe in, and parenting.  There is one weird thing about this friendship though, sort of a sixth sense when ti comes to each other. It's a connection that tells us when the other is going through something, and even if it has been months or years since we last talked, one email or phone call has the connection re-established and it is as if no time at all has passed. It was this dear friend who emailed about my lonely little blog. Hope you are happy now! ;)

I am so thankful for friends, both new and old. They make life so much better! There is a saying....."Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Through Facebook, I have connected with many friends from high school and military life. It's a great thing!

So to all my friends.....I leave you with this thought from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.--NLT

I am so thankful for each of you!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Of course not!

There was nothing on tv last night. I don't understand it. We have cable tv with over 900 channels, but still can't find anything worthwhile to watch. Last night, after Army Wives went off, I found myself scrolling through the guide trying to find something worth watching. This is very unusual for me, because since we got DVRs I record everything I want to watch and then watch it at my convenience, usually late at night. I do this a lot, especially when my hubby is gone. The greatest thing is I can pause it to go get more tea or to go to the bathroom (think maybe the two aforementioned pause-worthy items may be related?????) but the thing I like most is that I can fast forward through all the annoying commercials! I despise commercials, especially those who use ad blasting technology to make their commercials much louder than your normal tv shows. Thought it was just you? Didn't know it was a fact that they do that? Yup. Read more here.

Anyway, last night I found a show on Oprah's network, OWN. It is called Finding Sarah, and it is about the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson. and her journey. Basically, this chick is a nut ball. She is battling so many issues, and the six part series is supposed to help her though these. Last night, Dr. Phil came riding in on his sanctimonious white horse to try to save the poor damsel in distress, and Suze Orman came to offer financial support but made it clear that she was not there to find a friend in the Duchess.

I watched with the sort of morbid curiosity that piques when you pass a train don't want to watch but can't force your finger to press the button on the remote. The Dr. Phil part annoyed me, but made me sad. Sarah is so lost. She is so sad, and he quickly diagnosed her as "emotionally bankrupt".
The voyage into her troubled red head continued with Suze Orman. Then I heard the saddest thing I think I have ever heard.

Suze Orman asked Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, formerly married to a prince, mother of two beautiful young women, author of over 30 books, spokesperson for Weight Watchers......a simple question. She asked "Do you like yourself?"

Sarah immediately replied "Of course not!" She had the look on her face that implied that she had just been asked if she ate shredded sheet metal for breakfast.

I was so sad. There are many days when I am not happy with my actions, but I do love myself. I am a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I am a Princess myself, of a Royal Priesthood! How could I not like myself? I watched as the painful interview went on, and heard her ask "How does one find self worth?" I screamed at my TV-much to the shock of my daughter who was sitting beside me- "YOU NEED TO FIND YOU SOME JESUS!" Of course, neither Dr. Phil or Suze whats-her-face offered anything spiritual, just a lot of mumbo jumbo, but really, that is what it all boils down to. We have to know who we are in Christ, and when we know that we will not only like ourselves but many days LOVE ourselves as we see ourselves for who we truly are! Redeemed. Precious in His sight. Worth the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  A daughter of God. Joint heirs with the only Son of God.

I am beautiful. I am loved. I am worthy of the love of my own Prince....the Prince of Peace. And this allows me to like myself.

I hope one day Sarah can find this for herself.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Gotta Blog Something

Wow...I can't believe my last post was the one about 70 things about myself. I had written it so long ago that I had to go back and read it again to see what I had written! Then I laughed at some of it :)

So...what to write about today? Life is busy, but none of it seems monumental enough to blog about. I wonder of there is a limit to cyber space, and if my mindless rambling is taking up valuable space out there someplace.

Only two weeks left of school. I can't believe my baby is finishing middle school in just a few days. There will be a "Recognition Ceremony" at the end of this year, and I am hoping I can keep it together and not have a nervous breakdown in front of the entire school assembly.  I can't possibly be the mother of a high school kid, can I? On a high note, we have been to the new high school several times, and we really do like it. Band looks EXTREMELY promising! The instructor looks like he is passionate and energetic about the music, which I like. He has been communicating a lot with me via email about upcoming band camps and workshops, and we have signed Marissa up for two things so far. One is a Clarinet Workshop at the college here, with 4 private lessons, one master class, two rehearsals and a recital. The other is a week long, afternoon camp at the high school with the aforementioned awesome band leader. He is big into getting scholarships or the I am totally on board with him so far!

We are going to meet my sister and her family in Atlanta in July, and we are looking forward to that! We have tickets to a Braves game, and we may tour the World of Coca Cola with them. (We have done it a couple times already, but it would be fun to do it again with the family) I am counting down the days until we leave.

Also, we will be spending a lot of days on Tybee Island again this year. We have a week long trip planned for July also, with some of our best friends. It will be so nice to relax and spend some time with them! We are so blessed that my mom and step dad live on Tybee, so we can run down and hang out  with them.

We got the pool set up again, and Marissa has been it a few times but it is still a little cool for me to get in. I know it won't be long though, before the days are so hot that it will be hard to keep us OUT of the pool!

CRCT testing is over, and EOCT testing is winding down. (Let me use this as my podium to say that I think the EOCT testing finishing up THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL is STOOOOOOOOOOPID!) Also, a Humanities project was assigned Friday, and is due next Friday. REALLY? This close to the end of school? Hmmmm.......

I think that is about all I can come up with for today. Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy your Monday off for Memorial Day! Don't forget to say prayers for our military, both for protection of those currently serving, as of thanksgiving for those who served and lost their lives defending our freedom.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Random Facts About Me....(70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

One of the blog authors I follow recently wrote a post called 100 Random Facts Abut Me. I was fascinated by the idea, and many of the things she listed were really funny! I decided to make a list, but I am not sure that I can come up with 100! I am an odd person to say the least, and I am sure there are literally HUNDREDS of ridiculously quirky, random things about me, but most would not interest anyone in the least. So I shall start a list.....and edit the title accordingly :)

1. I have not eaten red meat since 1989.

2. I have one sister, who is 15 1/2 years older than me. My mom says she had two "only" children

3. I love cats, but I am not a big fan of dogs. It isn't that I hate dogs, I just find them to be jumpy and licky and unpredictable.

4. I am an obsessive list maker.

5. My favorite color is pink.

6. I am a scrapbooker. This means I like to play with pictures and paper and adhesives and make a huge mess in the name of creativity and artistic expression.

7. I hate having my picture taken.

8. I love to cook, and even more than that I like to watch people EAT what I cook.

9. I screwed up my life at 18 by giving up college scholarships to get married to my high school sweetheart, who turned out to be a huge donkey.

10. In the aforementioned college plan, I was planning to be an English major.

11. I didn't know ANYTHING at 18.

12. I learned a whole lot very quickly at age 25, when the donkey marriage went south.

13. My favorite flavor of jelly beans is orange.

14. I do not like spicy food AT ALL.

15. I loved Coke Zero until I had major surgery last year, now I find it sickeningly sweet and I drink Diet Coke.

16.I love Triscuits or Cheeze-Its with the Diet Coke.

17. I wear a size 10. (In a shoe, that is...............)

18. I am a Christian. I am 100% sold out to Jesus.

19. I cannot get a tan. I use self tanner on my legs to prevent blinding poor unsuspecting people when I wear capri pants.

20. I am horribly afraid of wearing shorts in public because of my pale skin.

21. I DVR most all TV shows that I want to watch. Commercials annoy me.

22. I don't wear much jewelry, except my wedding ring and sometimes earrings. When my husband is at work, I wear his wedding ring because it makes me feel close to him. (Because his work is very dangerous, he cannot wear his ring for fear of losing a finger)

23. I am afraid of birds. They look pecky and suspicious to me, with their little beady eyes.....

24. I love to read.

25. I probably use the word GOOGLE about a zillion times a day. I constantly say things like "Google it" or "I wanted to know such and such, so I Googled it". I even Googled the word Google to find out what it meant. (Google is a number followed by 100 zeros. Now you know.)

26. If I eat something hot and gloppy, like oatmeal or grits, I cannot drink a hot beverage.

27. I think I have pretty feet.

28. I want to move back to Washington State. I miss it so much.

29. I started writing a novel about 5 years ago, but never finished it.

30. I let my boy cat sleep on my pillow. I scootch down in the bed so he has room.

31. After watching the documentary about McDonald's entitled "Supersize Me", I cannot eat there.

32. I have to sleep with my ceiling fan on or I feel like I am suffocating.

33. I recycle compulsively.

34. I shop with coupons and watch sale ads like a hawk.

35. I am afraid of heights.

36. I do not like to go to amusement parks. They do not amuse me because I cannot ride any of the rides due to my equilibrium issues and I end of walking around carrying stuff for everyone else in my party. 

37. I am currently obsessed with the show My Fair Wedding With David Tutera.

38. I laugh really loud, and usually at very inappropriate times.

39. When I laugh, I aspirate anything that happens to be in my mouth. I have found that Dr. Pepper really burns, and shooting a Tylenol caplet out of your nose is AGONIZING!

40. My (current and forever) husband literally saved my life when he married me. I was on a path of self-destruction.

41. I do not like tattoos, but my husband has 15 of them.

42. I am a peacemaker. I hate conflict and do anything I can to avoid it. Therefore I do not have much conversation about the tattoos on my husband.

43. I have never broken a bone.

44. I still have my tonsils and wisdom teeth, but the wisdom teeth are going to have to be extracted in the very near future, per my dentists' instructions.

45. I never had surgery, even so much as a tooth pulled, until last year when my OB/GYN said it was necessary to hang up the "No Womb At The Inn" sign. That was a horrible surgery and recovery. The results have been fantastic, but the surgery and recovery were NOT enjoyable at all!

46. The smell of patchouli oil makes me gag.

47. I am 5"10" and built like a linebacker, but I like to be girly too. I like to have my nails done and wear makeup because it makes me feel pretty and more self confident.

48. I am not political. I do not vote by the party, but by what the candidate stands for and supports.

49. I thank God everyday for the man He sent me. My husband is a Mighty Man of God and I am so grateful for the blessing He is to me! I have made many mistakes, but he has forgiven me and now we are moving forward, in a better place than we have EVER been!

50. I am horrifically afraid of snakes, lizards and frogs/toads. Bleck!

51. My favorite food is chocolate.

52. My favorite non-chocolate food is pizza.

53. I can bait a fish hook with a work, but not a cricket.

54. I abhor sushi.

55. I lived in Hawaii for 3 years.

56. The first time I flew in an airplane, I was 18 years old and I flew from South Georgia to Honolulu Hawaii, which I previously thought was in the Gulf of Mexico because that is always where they showed it on the map. A 15 hour flight is not a good first time experience. I carried my money in my shoe......

57. I am OCD about many things, like locking the doors, unplugging the iron or curing iron, turning off the oven, closing doors and drawers, and lining things up in order of size. I also used to alphabetize my CDs and spice containers, but I have overcome that. I still straighten crooked pictures in doctors' offices and other peoples' homes though.

58. I cannot open one of those biscuit cans that pops when you peel off the label. I make my husband do it because the unexpected "pop" terrifies me. Even the anticipation of the "pop" rattles me. I much prefer the "press spoon at seal" cans, that allow me to predict the "pop". I hate when they sneak up and cheat by popping on their own.

59. I have never used an illegal drug in my life. Not even pot. Ever. Seriously.

60. I have never found a beer I could stand the taste or smell of.

61. Having anything reflecting in the car windshield when I drive makes me a nervous wreck. I have to move it.

62. I was born at 12:34

63. I love to find sequences or patterns in numbers. It is part of OCD. I love that I was born at 12:34. I like when a series of numbers adds up to an even number.

64. I think Martha Stewart rocks! Yes I know she does not do all of those things she shows, but I think she rocks. I think if she had been a man she would have not only avoided prison, but been hailed as a financial genius.

65. I got food poisoning from sunny side up eggs, and I can't eat egg yolks to this day. I order my eggs "egg whites only, fried hard."

66. I have a bizarre sense of humor that very few people get.

67. I once told a man on a flight from New Orleans that I was a bounty hunter, just to see if I could say it with a straight face. I did. He was impressed.....until I burst out laughing. (see #66)

68. I volunteer at my daughters' school. In the media center. Away from the children. FAR away from the children. I am afraid they may revolt en mass, and I would be trampled to death in the stampede. I do not trust hormonal, moody middle schoolers.

69. I love it when my husband rubs my back. He used to brush my hair and paint my toenails too, but somehow the thrill of that must have worn off FOR HIM after 15 years.....

70. I have learned that trying to come up with 100 facts about ANYTHING is harder than it sounds!

Thanks to Heather at Wanting What You Have for the idea!