Wednesday, March 28, 2012

turkey sausage

Tyler asked me ages ago to e-mail him our 'recipe' for turkey sausage.
Which isn't so much 'turkey sausage'
as turkey sausage-flavored ground turkey.
I think, anyways.
I'm not sure what qualifies something as a 'sausage'.

Aren't ya'll so sad you don't share my brain?!

I'm glad you don't share my brain!
It's pretty obvious there isn't enough to go around...
I finally fulfilled his request.
And since I never want to waste typing up one of my fabulous recipes 
for just one person,
I figured I may as well  torture present you with yet another of my recipes.
in the loosest sense of the word.
I do know this.

Without further ado,
Ground Turkey Sausage(ish)

to ground turkey, while it's cooking, (after you've put a splash of EVOO in the pan)
generously - onion powder and season-all*
pretty generously - ground fennel, garlic powder or garlic salt (or mix of both...)
some - ground sage
I'd guess that if it doesn't taste sausage-y, more onion powder, fennel and sage is needed. 
But of course, that's just a guess.....
How would I really know without tasting?
Or at least smelling??

To make as patties: 
add an egg per lb of ground turkey, 
a smidge of olive oil, 
and about 1/4 c ground flax,
all those spices above
 then shape and cook. 
Can also be baked in the oven to free up stove space.

*for all purpose seasoning, 
2 parts garlic powder, 
1 part onion powder, 
1 part salt, 
1 part paprika, 
1/3ish part parsley - not packed and crushed a bit
and about 1/4 part black pepper

(I use a Good Seasons spice jar as my 'part')
(Paprika is cheapest at Aldi.)

Stay tuned.
Another poor soul friend asked for a recipe, too.
I'll be sure and share that with everyone also.
That one is a little more like a real recipe, though, with measurements and stuff.


I've heard myself saying things to the kids
and had the very distinct impression
that what I was saying to them,
God was saying to me.

The first time I recall the phenomenon,
it was a few months after I'd gone to see Dr Baker 
and was actually starting to get better.
I was walking with the girls in the cemetery
and, as is our custom, we checked the trash for treasure.
Lily thought she saw a burn can way off in the distance
and kept asking to go to it.
I, already knowing where all of the burn cans reside,
knew there was no burn can over on the west side, and told her so.
She was absolutely convinced I was just being mean
and continued begging.
I was getting so frustrated with the child.
From my vantage point, I could clearly see what she was pointing at,
and it was not a trash can!
She kept telling me she was sure it was, she could see it...
In desperation, I said to her,
"If there was a can over there, I would love for you to dig in it,
but there is no can!
Do you really think I would withhold any good thing from you?"

I had become convinced that God was holding out on me.
I 'knew' that I needed to be healed and whole, NOW
and God, who could make me that way with a snap of his finger,
didn't bother to.
He just left me in my misery.

As I spoke truth to my child, He spoke truth to me.
"I would never withhold good from you."
More recently,
Josiah had been asking to play the new game Daddy'd bought at a yard sale.
Tyler kept telling him, "We'll see."
Come bedtime, we still hadn't managed to fit in playing the game,
so when Daddy said, "Go to bed",
the crying commenced.
I called Josiah to me.
Josiah cries loud open mouth wails to let us know he is especially distraught.
(drives me nuts and makes my eyeballs roll back in my head, to be honest)
I calmly had him look right at me
and told him I was going to ask him a question and he needed to listen to me,
think about it, and answer.
He stopped his caterwauling.
"Do you know that Mom and Dad love to be able to give you what you want
when its good for you, and within our power to do so?
That we don't like to have to say 'no' to you?
That we enjoy blessing our children?" 

"Yes," he sniffed.

"Then how do you suppose it makes us feel when you carry on like this,
when we have to tell you 'no' because it's for your own good?
Dad didn't say we'd never play the game,
he just said we couldn't play it today."
"Do you realize that we probably feel worse that you do
because we had to say 'no'?
We like to bless you with what you want."

And I could clearly see how I had acted like such a baby,
thinking God didn't even care if I got better.
I never thought that it may have made Him a little sad to say,
"Sweetie, it's not really best for you to be better yet...."


I've been getting frustrated that my foot still hurts.
I was so hopeful when I first saw Maggie....
And I still have some issues with my SI joint.
And I'm still so stinking fat.
And my hormones, while much better, still aren't completely balanced
And two measly hours in the garden hurt me for days.
And I'm pre-diabetic. And my thyroid is screwed up, too....
And I just want to be fine.
Last night, before we ever even sat down to eat, 
I spilled Lexi's water.
I cleaned up the mess and got back to finishing up dinner.
Her cup was still empty when she came to the table.
She complained about it.
I told her that I'd accidentally spilled it and we'd get her more water.
I stuck the jug under the faucet and began filling it.
She started banging her glass on the table,
"Nobody is getting me any water." 
"Actually, Lex'," I said, "that's a lie. ('cuz I am so gentle like that)
I am getting you water right now.
I was already filling up the jug.
Just because it doesn't look like anybody is getting you water,
doesn't mean that's the truth.
Sometimes things are happening and we can't even see them."

And God said, "Touche'".

Monday, March 26, 2012

the end of an era

Today was Tony's last day at MarketPlace.
It's been a great first job for him
and he's leaving on excellent terms.
There was a time that I wondered if he'd stay there forever;
but times change
and he's decided to go to Cheddar's.
They're a much busier restaurant 
so we're thinking he'll be able to earn quite a bit more money.
Which means he can save more money.
And when a young man is looking to get married before too long,
well, saving more money is a very good thing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

tropical green smoothie

We've come quite a long way from our first green smoothies.

Long before we moved here,
I'd read about 'green smoothies' and how good they were for you.
At the time, the only way we ate spinach was in spinach dip.
Which you could make with frozen spinach,
so that was the kind we had.

The magazine articles didn't bother to mention
 that the greens added to smoothies
ought to be fresh.

Things change
and fresh spinach is actually a staple at our house now.
And kale.
and various other green things, too.

We eat smoothies for lunch fairly often these days,
but we don't even call them 'green smoothies';
They are simply 'smoothies',
and green is the only color smoothie the younger kids know.
How green varies....

We had smoothies when the grandbabies were here Wednesday,
(they loved it!)
and I saved a tiny bit for Lana to try.
The smoothie was a hit with her, too.
(The frozen spinach smoothies of her youth had pretty much ruined 'green smoothies' for her) 
As you might guess,
I don't make them exactly the same every time.
But they are consistently good.
(except the time I tried to add turnip greens; we are not fans!)

Here's what I do: 

I use the Vitamix, but any blender that can handle frozen stuff should work.

Into the blender container goes:
a cup (ish) of ice
2 -3 kale leaves (I discard the thickest part of the stem)
a huge handful of baby spinach
(at this point, the blender looks full)
if we have bananas that aren't too ripe, I'll squish in 1 or 2
a cup or so milk - I leave the jug out in case I need more
1/2 - 1 c. coconut milk
1/2 box coconut water (If I don't have any, I add another 1/2 ish cup of milk)
ground flax - anywhere from 1/4 - 3/4 c
If it won't be nap / bed time soon, I add a few TBS chia seeds
If we have yogurt - I add some. But we don't usually have yogurt.
1/4 ish c. coconut oil, too. Almost forgot...

I put the blender on the base and give it a whir,
adding milk if it's too thick.
Then I have room to add the rest....

 1/4 - 3/4 c. coconut
a cup or so frozen strawberries
about a cup of frozen mixed fruit
If we need protein, I'll add a scoop and a half of protein powder too.
A scoop of frozen orange juice concentrate is a scrumptious addition,
and totally takes things up a notch,
but I rarely add it, since we don't need the extra sugars.....

Then I give it another whir.
Sometimes I have to add a touch more milk.
We like our smoothies pretty thick, so I don't add any more than I have to
to keep the smoothie 'moving' in the blender.

Some of us like to add another TBS or so coconut once smoothies are served up.
If there are any leftovers, we put 'em in the freezer.
Frozen smoothies are even yummier than fresh,
but I never think to make them ahead...

If you are used to a super sweet smoothie,
you may want to try more fruit and fewer greens,
until you've developed a taste for  a greener version.
Whatever you do, though, don't use frozen spinach!

Friday, March 23, 2012

7 not terribly quick takes - updates

Sometimes, people post things that leave me,
months later, wanting an update.
So - you glittered your shoes.
What do they look like now that you've worn them?
that sort of thing....

So, here we go with 'updates'

Yes, I'm going to finish my quilt.
No, I don't know when.
It's been (obviously!) super slow going for me.
There are so many factors that come into play,
time, of course, being one.
Remembering is a biggie also.
I'll get to the end of the day and toss the in-progress quilt off my pillow
and think, 'shoot. I didn't work on my quilt today!'
Lighting is also a big issue.
As is, where are my sewing glasses??
(known to most as reading glasses)

I finished the words in the inner border.
They aren't perfect by any stretch of the imagination,
but I think I'm okay with it.


I hand-quilted in red thread, all of the blue pinwheels,
and finally started in the red pinwheel blocks.
I was paralyzed with indecision for a few weeks:
I had trouble finding exactly the right color in the thread I wanted (#8 perle cotton).
I finally found the correct color, after much searching, in 6-strand embroidery floss.
Which is prone to tangling and knotting.
You see my dilemma!
I settled on the lesser thread,
knowing that the wrong color would annoy me
pretty much forever
and the thread would only annoy me while stitching.

Still the very best way to wash your face!
If all teens washed their faces regularly using this method,
and dabbed lavender oil on their zits,
I have no doubt 'teen acne' would be a thing of the past.

 The stool is holding up fabulously!
And the fabric is, most definitely, waterproof.
The only thing I don't like about it
- and it's not a big deal at all -
I used spray glue to affix the batting to the waterproofed fabric
and there are a few spots where I was a bit happy with my trigger finger.
Those areas are a darker color and therefore show through a bit.
Next time, I'd skip the glue.

we're just not going to talk about.
Every day, I curse the Run for God program.
Not really.
But if I were a cursing woman, I would.

We are still wheatless.
I forget his triglyceride numbers, but Tyler's brought his LDL down
forty points so far 
and his fasting blood sugar was 99.
I'm not sure that medication would've brought those results!
Maggie told me last week that I, too, am pre-diabetic.
(my glucose levels were higher than Tyler's!)
Which just ticks me off.
I don't have any family predisposition to diabetes,
so it's a result of my 'healthy' diet.
Tyler wants to add bread back in - 'a half piece a day'.
I told him I don't think that's possible,
since we've clearly identified the appetite stimulating effects of wheat.
I'll make it for him, though, I guess.

I still love my broom.
I'm actually pretty fond of my ridiculously huge dustpan, too.

Anything you've been wondering about
that you need an update on?
ask away.

as always, for more quick-takes, see Jen

Thursday, March 22, 2012

water, water everywhere.

Or is there?
We are about to float off.
Our toilet pretty much hasn't flushed all week because of the deluge.
Some people may have even complained about the rain today,

while so many others don't even have the luxury
of water.
Especially clean water.
It doesn't get a whole lot worse than not having drinkable water.
Go to Meg's gorgeous blog and see how you can help
bring water to 930,000 people.

letting go

There's no easy way to say it, so I'll just get it over with.
We gave Bernie back to the neighbors today.

You may have noticed that we don't exactly have 
the thriving small-scale farm we'd planned to have by now.

Poor Bernie has been in a field 
all alone
for quite some time.
Eventually, we'll have our entire property properly fenced
so our guard dog will be able to freely roam all almost 10 acres.
That day is still a long ways off, though.

It needed to happen.
I've actually been suggesting it for several months now.
But that doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

 Letting go is just hard sometimes.
Even when you know it's for the best.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

life with little girls

I opened the door to the indoor outhouse (it's been raining again. a lot. sigh)
and found two little girls sitting on the potty.
Lily explained that she was already going
and Lex had to go, too....
I told them to hurry,
'cause I needed to go also,
 and there was no way we could all share!
I closed the door
Just normal life with little girls.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

my lazy day

I got up just a tad too late to join in on yard-saling this morning
so I stayed home and had a leisurely cup of coffee.
I did some laundry.
I roasted about a pound and a half of peanuts
and got breakfast ready so the boys could eat before TKD.
After being home all of 10 minutes, Tyler and T took the girls with them
when they ran the boys to their class
and then picked up the mower from the repair shop.
I stayed home (again :-)
and made peanut butter with the roasted nuts,
a huge batch of laundry soap,
(and did more laundry)
fixed lunch
(soup, using last night's leftovers),
and cleaned the kitchen.
I may have done more laundry (again) 
and folded the three loads that had accumulated on the couch.
When everyone was home, and we'd eaten,
I did the dishes (again)
and moved some more laundry around.
Somewhere around there,
I discovered that Kacy was going to a show at UFAS (a homework assignment)
all by her lonesome, so I told Ton' to tell her I was willing to go with her.
(if she wanted me to)
She did, so I had to shower.
(which also means cleaning the tub, since I clean it every time I use it)
The floor was nasty,
so I washed it, too.
(This bathroom gets gross so fast!)
My blasted foot was bugging me,
so I elevated it and read awhile (7 - borrowed from Sandy. good book).
Cleaned the kitchen again.
Somehow I'd missed washing the soup pot,
plus - these people make a lot of messes.
I put on my face,
then wrote out instructions for Tyler for cooking asparagus.
I did one last load of laundry
before curling my hair.
(didn't burn myself, even :-)
Kacy took me to Golden Corral for dinner before the show
(The little stinker paid!)
We had 45 minutes, which should have been plenty of time,
but we both did more talking than eating, 
so we has to leave before we came anywhere close to getting her money's worth.
(I am so grateful to be getting a daughter-in-law who is so easy to be with!)
The show, a UAFS production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights' Dream,
started off a bit weird and iffy,
but ended up being hilarious, though still weird.
Kacy hung around and visited for just a little while after we got back
then we all settled in our spots on the couch 
and watched the second to the last episode of White Collar.
(You know how I said it was on Hulu? It's not anymore! What will we do??)
Then Tony came home. And TJ left :-(
And we caught up with Ton', who fussed that it'd been ages since I posted,
so I sat down to write.
All about my lazy day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Amazing Eva

I picked her to be my friend when our now 13 year old sons
weren't yet toddlers.
It's true. 
I chose her because of Pete.

Peter was an adorable baby, not really chubby at all,
but he had a face like a perfect baby doll - with a beautiful smile and mischievous eyes.
Even as babies, Brandon and Pete played well together.
I always marveled, watching the two of them, that the 'experts' could say
that children so young weren't capable of really playing together,
because those boys definitely did.
I fell in love with Pete
(and I'm not real big on others' babies; I love my own and I love my friends'
but I'm not just gaga over kids.) 
and knew I'd love his mama, too.

I'd never actually picked a friend before;
I just sort of 'became' friends through circumstance,
so I wasn't really sure how this worked...
Eva kind of blew off my first feeble attempts at friendship,
but one day, when she was crazy busy helping her mom who had been in a car accident
she needed a sitter, and I volunteered.
She was a little nervous, I think, to leave her kiddos with an almost stranger.
(We have fond memories of that day. And a great story on Andrew ;-)

She wanted to return the favor, so a few months later,
she kept our kids, while Tyler and I went on a date.
We've been friends ever since.

I can't even express how much I love my friend.
Next to Tyler and my children, she is the dearest person in the world to me.
She knows me. 
Really knows me, 
and loves me anyways.

She got pregnant with her fifth while we were in the throes of infertility,
and was extremely gentle when she shared her good news.
I told her she was silly to worry so about me.
(but I loved her even more for it)

It never got old watching her become a mom again.
Pregnancies were so hard on her, but she rarely complained.
And oh, how she loved on her babies!
I so enjoyed sitting on her couch and witnessing her gentle love.

She tells me when I've offended her, so I can make it right.
I love and appreciate that so much about her!

Eva is a good mother and an excellent wife.
She has a great sense of humor.
She encourages me in godliness
and tells me hard truths.
She is beautiful - inside and out.
She serves her family (and others!) tirelessly.
(Well, she does get tired, but she keeps giving anyways)
She's a great cook ~ some of my favorite recipes come from her.
If she tells you she'll pray for you, she will.
She hears God, and obeys.
She is who I picture when people talk about a 'quiet woman'
(I'm sure she'd roll her eyes at that one - but it's true.)
She's helped me welcome babies,
and helped me send them off.
Eva inspires me.
She's my hero.
And she is already amazing!
This post was written to honor my precious friend
and to help Holley celebrate her new book You're Already Amazing.
It in no way denigrates my other amazing friends,  whom I am also grateful for.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

unplugged - literally

All week long,
I've been writing posts in my head.
I can't remember any of them now, of course,
but I'm sure they were inspiring.
I've been without a computer since a few hours after I last posted.
(I'll tell ya what pictures I (quickly) settled on soon...)
My vacuum cleaner ate my cord.
Ripped it right out of the little power box thing!
I have rolled over that cord a zillion times,
but apparently never before with my new super-suction vacuum.
If you are in the market for a new vacuum, I highly recommend it.
But keep it away from your cords.
Unless you're in the mood to unplug.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

photos for the LEM

I've been wanting to get some photos printed for the LEM
so when I got an e-mail from Mpix the other day,
telling me of half price 8x10 prints 
it was just the push I needed to sit my butt down at the computer
and finally decide what to print.

I already knew I wanted this senior picture of Tony

and this one of Lily & Josiah

I wanted this one of the girls
but I've decided against printing it now,
because I think I want it bigger - so I'll wait for another sale 

I also knew I wanted this one that I took of Lana
way back when we called Aiden 'Algie' 
because we didn't know if he was a he or a she.

Sadly, this was also back when I knew even less than the pitiful amount I now know
about photography, and the resolution is lousy, so I can't get a big print of it. pooh!
I'm going to print a little one anyways, because I love it so,
but I still need to come up with one to print.
Maybe I'll steal one from FB of the fam. 

I wanted this one of Lexi,
but again, poor resolution; they would only print a wallet of it.
A wallet!
(It's pretty cool that Mpix won't let you order a picture that won't print well, I suppose)

I may dig a little harder for that one, though;
I couldn't find it on my computer, so I downloaded it from my blog
then uploaded it to Mpix - so that may have affected the resolution some?
(It looks clearer here than the next picture does....)
I remembered that this was taken when we were in between computers, 
so maybe it's on my external hard drive??

I found a good one of T and Lex'
- although I'd like to take another at some point -

but I didn't have any good pictures of Jeremiah and Brandon
with any red in them, 
so I took each of them out and snapped a few shots.
I narrowed down Jeremiah's to a few favorites pretty quickly
(I think I'll print the last one, unless ya'll convince me otherwise)

but Brandon's...
Gosh - I like so many, I can't decide.
Help a girl out and vote for your favorite??

See my problem?! Hurry and decide for me; the sale ends tonight.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

viewing pleasure

I admit it.
We're a little crazy for White Collar.
(why am I not surprised to find this is a USA network show?! All the good ones are on USA)

Most nights, after we get the little ones in bed,
Brandon will take his place on the left end of the couch,
I'll sit on the right end and prop my feet on a bucket of Lincoln Logs
and Tyler will kick back in the falling-apart recliner.
Tony is usually gone :-( 

We have a 'one episode a day' rule,
but we had to break it last week when there was a surprise ending;
there was no way we could go to bed wondering if Peter was the bad guy
when we'd been thinking all along he was good.
I'm sure you understand.

Fortunately, when we finish our 30 episodes on Netflix,
Season 3 will be waiting for us on Hulu

Sunday, March 4, 2012

nothin' but the kitchen sink

we happened upon the grand opening 
of a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
We only had a few minutes to spare, 
but figured we ought to run in and take a look.
They mostly had junk.
we found a new
guaranteed-not-to-chip-crack-or-burn top mount cast iron sink or $150.
We did a quick search online to see what they go for in the store.
We I asked the guy of they could come down a bit,
since a savings of $86 didn't seem all that great,
compared to the $65 price they had on stainless steel sinks
that sell at Lowe's for $168.00
He promptly told us he sells them cast iron sinks for that price
because he can. 
Said he might consider coming down on something 
that had been in the store a few weeks,
but the cast iron sinks are never there that long.
We were debating...
I mean, on the one hand it was a good price, but not spectacular.
On the other, we will need a kitchen sink.
So it could be prudent to go ahead and get it.
Then the guy told us that (duh!) we didn't have to pay sales tax
since it was a charity store.
So we bought it.
Zoomed: KOHLER White 4-Hole Double-Basin Cast Iron Topmount Kitchen Sink
photo from Lowe'
We may not have the house plans figured out yet,
but by golly,
we've got the kitchen sink!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

my first Maggie day

I sat up on the table
and swung my legs carefully over the side,
afraid I might be a touch woozy if I moved too fast.
'How do you feel?" She asked.
"I mean, you're going to be real sore all over,
but you should feel better."
I'd just spent an hour an a half on her massage / chiropractic table
and she'd moved some stuff around.
Big time.

I kinda shook everything out.
Not bad.
I lifted my legs and looked down at my feet as I wiggled them around.
"Oh my gosh!" 
I looked at her sideways.
"What?" she asked.
"My ankles. My ankles look skinny. There's no swelling!
How did you do that? Did you pull it out?"
I need to learn this trick, I thought.
I figured she'd massaged in such a way that the fluid was released from
wherever the heck it was around/in my tendons 
and it had sorta dispersed itself in my body.
Makes sense - sorta...
"I didn't do it," she said.
"What do you mean, 'you didn't do it?" I asked.
She'd clearly done something!
I hadn't seen those ankles in a long time.
In fact, those might have been my sister's ankles,
they looked nice.
She sat down on the table next to me.
"I'm not an overly religious person and I certainly don't want to push my beliefs 
on anyone, but, every morning as soon as I get up, I pray.
I thank God, and I ask Him to use me today to help people.
Sometimes I can explain it. Sometimes, I can't."

Tears almost fell,
but I quickly sucked it up; I don't think Maggie'd be big on tears.

Then she said, "I want to get you on a bioidentical cream.
Don't worry - it's all natural."
"I'm actually on a bioidentical cream," I said, 
"but I'd certainly be fine with getting it through you."
Then I went on to tell her that while I felt so much better,
I feel as if I've 'plateaued' but I'm not quite right.
That if this was as good as it got, I could be okay with that,
but I still felt 'off'.
She assured me her formula would be a bit different
then turned to look right at me,
crinkled up her face a little bit and said, "Let's get you back."
 I wanted to hug her,
but I kinda don't think Maggie's big on that, either.

we're getting there...

For quite some time now,
Tyler has been reading to us through chapters of the Bible after dinner.
(Well - right now as we prepare for Easter, he's kinda jumping around)
We move pretty slowly,
and the kids don't always listen well, 
but still - it's very good for them.
Well, for all of us.
I'll derail the works
(on accident!)
by my comments and / or questions
but still we've had some good discussions
and we are all learning.

I was working in the kitchen this evening,
and Lexi came in tearfully to ask,
"What does the Bible say about....?"
she thought one of her siblings was being ugly to her,
and she was pretty sure that wasn't good.
I think her plan was to take the answer back to the offender.
I'm glad she's learning to ask,
"What does the Bible say about this?"