The Fruits of My Labor

Standard
    Peach butter and strawberry jam. Fruits that were sun kissed and picked by yours truly and made into these delectable treats. I’ve taken an interest in preparing my own foods and eating whole foods. I quickly found that this takes a lot of time and preparation. But you simply cannot beat the flavor. I truly enjoyed getting to slow things down a notch and take charge of what we are eating and choosing where it comes from. Growing up in the Deep South, we had a garden every year! Not just a patch but a HUGE one. Nothing like eating veggies still warm from the sun and sharing with neighbors. Interestingly, this is a lifestyle I promised to walk away from and not look back. Now that I am halfway to being 100 years old, I truly miss it and realize that on many levels, I never left it. To this day, I don’t eat soup from a can🤢 and I have always made my own broths.So this summer I stepped it up a notch on canning. The Jams and Butters turned out fantastic! But mercy me -the pickles were horrible!!! I will have to try that again next year!Another item that came out great was the chow chow! It’s like a pickled cabbage and most southerners eat it with beans and/or greens. You chop fresh cabbage and bell peppers straight from the garden and ladle it with vinegar (this is not the official recipe!) I made jars of chow chow! Since the Jams and Butters made such small amounts, I decided to double the recipe for the Chow Chow and it proved to make a nice bountiful batch! The only problem is… no one in my family likes it and my friends and co-workers have no idea what it is🤣😂🤣. So I’ve got jars of the stuff just sitting in the pantry! Suppose I should have inquired first. But I had a blast canning. Just me, some fruits and veggies and my audiobooks. Euphoria!

Advertisements

It’s A Spider Affair

Standard

On any given work day morning will have to go to my car for either my stainless steel travel mug or to put something in the car. On this particular morning, I cannot remember why I was headed to my car (I hear that this comes with age). As I bend down to get into the car something moving quick catches my eye. As I see it the second time I realize that it is a juicy spider!! Surmising that I walked in to the spiders web I do what any graceful woman would do; I flail my arms in wildness trying to get that spider off the front of my shirt. This spider proves to be resilient to frantic flails of the wild woman and this little sucker hangs on for the ride. Just as I am attempting to strip my shirt off, I briefly think … this spider may get caught in my hair and then … I will die! The scene worsens … something is now crawling on my neck. Sheer panic has set in, my ears are hot, my skin is prickly as I reach for my neck hoping this is not another spider. I put my hand under my hair and begin to swipe at the suspect and … all goes still. My heart begins leap for joy as a slow realization come to light. I have my headphones draped across my neck with the buds hanging down. No spider! Just Earphones!! Pure delight and pure laughter. It is wonderful when you can laugh at yourself. The more I realized that there was no spider, the more I was able to see my erratic behavior.

But this is a true reflection of my life. I am walking confidently, minding my own business. Things look right and feel right until someone, something shines the light of truth onto the situation or circumstance. Then I can see clearly. I can see what is the truth of the matter. Now , I get to operate in a whole new reality. I get to make choices out of the shed light instead of the darkness. Have you ever been in a situation only to find that you were wrong about something? It was not until the light was shone upon the situation that you were able to see things differently. My reaction to this shed light of earphones was laughter but, sometimes things are just not funny. It does not feel good to be wrong sometimes. But there is NO room for self-hate or negativity. There should only be room for remorse, gratitude, reflection and growth.

The Reading Room

Standard

Just a little lite reading ☺️ Actually I am super curious about our foods, how they have changed in the way they were grown and all the different eating ways and lifestyle and where I am in the mix. Currently I am reviewing Paleo and Nutritarian lifestyles. Out of all that I have read -which will I lean towards or will it be a blend? Atkins, Paleo, Whole 30, Vegan Nutritarian what are they all about? How are they different and how are they alike?

I am also reading on Productivity and stress. Since I am an Organizational Development Strategist this is very interesting to me. Sometimes I can loop that circle of keeping something on my To Do List just a little to long and then I get all spun up about. David Allen has a method he has introduced that will attempt to help keep you on the right track. Will it work? We shall see! Tonight,we drink tea and read 📚

Holy Brownies!

Standard

One of the hardest things, when mentoring a young person, is to find the right words at the right time. When I know what to say or how to speak to a situation in my mentee’s life, she either does not want  to talk about it or does not see it as an issue. However, when there is something amiss and I have nothing encouraging to say or words simply fail me, God never disappoints to show up and guide me and my mentee. As I have said many times before, mentoring is a two-way street. The giving will flow both ways. As you pour into someone’s life the richness will also return to you in unexpected ways.

My 11 year old mentee and I were together one evening to bake brownies for my husband and for my colleagues. On the ride from her house to mine, she kept talking about how upset she was that her guardian would not let her do her new chores her way. The guardian insisted that they were done her way and when she told her to them –no negotiations were allowed. Now I have learned not to speak too soon! You may prompt and ask questions but do not venture out too soon on the advice. Even when asked, just don’t do it. Keep the conversation going with open ended questions –why is this so upsetting to you? Why do you think this is so important to your guardian? Do you like the new chores/responsibility? If you were the guardian what would you do differently?

We get to my house and sit to have a snack before we start and she is still livid over having to do the chores how and when she is told. She doesn’t mind doing the chores but she wants to freestyle it. And then she takes a break talking and asks “what do you think Ms. G?”. I almost choke on my popcorn. Responses of these kind must carefully crafted as to not go against the provider and they must take in the child’s age and background. To just start in with your opinion is unwise! So my reply was “I think we should get to those brownies before it gets too late!”

We go into the kitchen and get everything we need to make two batches of brownies but my young lady is still chatting away about her circumstances. I decided to let her take her frustrations out on a generic box of brownie mix because I did not want her to mess up my good batches. My go-to stress reliever and thinking job is baking. I gave her box and said “here, go for it however you please”. I drank some hot tea and had a seat while she chatted, and chatted and chatted and finally ready to put her brownies in the oven. Whew!!

Now we are finally both calm enough to bake some real brownies. We chose our boxes and got started. I decided we should ‘freestyle’ and embellish them with some Caramel and Reese’s candies. And into the oven the brownies go!! And out comes the ‘anger brownies’. Upon seeing them lil’ Miss Mentee proclaims “those brownies look a hot mess”!! I ask, “why? What is wrong with them?” She said,  “I don’t know, I was not paying attention, I mean I know it takes eggs, and milk but I am not sure of the order or amount”.

And here it comes! I did not plan it, it just worked out this way. I said when you bake something, you must read the instructions and follow them at least the first time you make the recipe. She interrupts with “but you didn’t follow the instructions”.

No dear, I did not because I have made these brownies for years. I can make them with my eyes closed and I know how much and with what I can add to them without resulting in a mess. The same is with your chores. You must do them as instructed initially. Once you have done them and prove to your guardian that you are more than capable of doing them, you may be able to do things differently. But in the beginning it is imperative that you follow instructions or end up with a hot mess! Her simple response was “Oh, I see now. I guess she wins”.

Dearest, it is not about winning, I explained. It is about learning to do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason, with the right attitude and at the right time. Your freestyle will come after this.

I did not plan or orchestrate this event with this specific illustration in mind. I made the brownie and simply allowed the Holy Spirit to intercede. I learned that it is ok not to be always on guard with the answers but remain yielded and still so that I can hear that still small voice speaking instead of the three people who are always living and chatting in my own head (ha!).

“For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of Your Father speaking through you” Matthew 10:20

Why We Have Mass Shootings in the United States

Standard

Interesting read and perspective. This was written in 2015! How befitting

The Bible Philes

Columbine wasn’t the first. Charleston won’t be the last. It’s not a gun problem. It’s not a race problem. It’s not a healthcare problem. We have mass shootings in America because we have an imagination problem.

When tragic evil happens, we look for rational explanations that give us a sense of control through understanding. Teenagers go on a rampage in their high school because they had access to firearms. A young white man murders in a black church because he’s a racist. The perpetrators are outcasts, misfits, and castaways that fell through the cracks of a society that is largely insensitive to mental illness. Everyone misses the cues until it is too late. Unarmed witnesses watch helplessly as the murderers unload and reload and unload again.

We could outlaw firearms, but murders will continue.[1] We can criminalize bigotry, but it won’t stop people from hating. We can exonerate murderers…

View original post 949 more words

Lions and tigers and Giraffes?

Standard

I get orders for baby quilts frequently and I am usually free to just go for what ever creation or design I may come up with. This particular customer asked for a baby quilt that is full-sized and a giraffe print. For about one month, I’ve been researching giraffes and looking for fabrics. Giraffe fabrics are usually accompanied with monkeys or jungle animals. These animals have different habitats but they are plopped together in a rain forest setting. Anyway, the next thing to consider was colors. Primary colors were easy to find; then there are some pastel colors and finally plenty of animal prints which is kind of risky for a baby quilt.

I solicited the help of the grandmother to go shopping for fabric and to come up with some ideas. Right off the bat grandmother found three adorable fabrics she would like. This is great, but it is the mom who is the actual customer so we need to look and shop with her style and creativity in mind.  So we took pictures of all giraffe fabrics we could locate in the store and we sent them to Mom to see which one she would like. Mom quickly reply, all the first one, I love it. We took a picture of that particular fabric as a courtesy and never expecting her to choose it. Nonetheless she did choose it and yes it totally threw my entire creative game plan off track. These colors are not in my stash, so I purchased some nice Kona fabrics that were on sale. I always over the quilt size and color scheme before I go search. But on this occasion my mind was on baby quilt size instead full quilt size even though I used all of the fabric it is enough to make the quilt top.

Since the fabric is so light in. I thought I would do a patchwork border to brighten up the quilt but still keep the integrity the fabric. This is my first time trying patchwork. It is coming together beautifully but I do realize the need to be extra careful with the 1/4 inch seam and to be consistent with it.

I think I am going to like the way this one will turn out. I hope to finish the border this weekend and find a nice pale yellow flannel backing and perhaps a giraffe patch with the babies name on it. I rarely sign or label my quilts I’m not for sure how I feel about that. But I am told that I should do it so that no one else could claim my work.

Lighting is very important when you were taking these photos. You can barely see the green that is in the giraffes and how the green in the patchwork complements the work. At any rate I will press on to the finish line. I hope to post a finished top soon 👍🏾

He Still Speaks

Standard

Last week on the way home, this scripture came to mind ‘never the less, at thy word’. By the time I got home, that verse was just ringing in my heart. I walked in the house, spoke to my husband and grabbed my Bible. Found the scripture and proceed to read the entire chapter 5 of Luke. It was literally like quenching a thirst. If you have been a growing believer for as long as I have, you know the Spirit doesn’t just nudge you to read for fun or entertainment . I prayed and waited, prayed and waited but … nothing. Silence. Saturday came and went and still nothing on the verse. So I decided to let it go. If God wants me to see, hear, find, or help, he will let me know. All I have to do is meditate on Him and take him at His word.
Then came glorious Sunday. I teach Sunday school to wonderful 5th graders. In the past weeks, we have been learning about David. When Uzzah reach out his hand to steady the ark of the covenant, he died immediately because God’s plan and instructions were not followed. A few had difficulty understanding why God was so particular. And once again, nevertheless at thy word, came to heart. Although Simon did not fully understand, he chose to be obedient. After relaying Luke 5, I had them to think of times when a person of authority/ grown up asked you to do something they thought was unfair or that they did not agree with or understand? Oh yes! They all had stories to share on that one. But, the bottom line was obedience. Finally exhausting each scenario with obedience, one student proclaimed, ‘well I suppose God has it all covered! I thought, hmmm yes He really does. So this week I am waiting and praying for my need to be obedient as well as my growing students need to learn to be obedient. 

Thankful Thursdays #20

Standard

It’s actually Wednesday night. The day is well over and weary of a day of living as we lie down to rest our tired bodies and minds. He falls into an easy quiet slumber right away. I lay and try to make my way to the quiet space that will lull me into unawareness and slumber. There. I think I hear a different sound. Intrigued, I push past the sounds of the ceiling fan whirring lazily overhead. Even further past the cloths dryer and traffic a mile away. Oh. There it goes again. Half excited because I am almost positive of the double call. The sounds the symphony the insects are playing is the perfect accompaniment to this soloist! Sweetheart, listen! Do you hear that? Opening his eyes and tuning his ear to the unknown. He assures me that all is well because it just an owl 🦉 and I could go back to sleep now because owls sleep outside!😳

But dare I be deterred? Of course not! The hoot of the owl keeps beckoning me. The owl doesn’t screech or growl but simply hoots as only the Great-Horned Owl could! For just over half an hour I listen to the bird hoot into the night and then the hunter is silent or flew away. 

I am thankful for hoot of the owl (20)

The ears to hear the owl (21) &

The brain the recognize the hoot (22). 

He is beautiful !!!!!!!!