Thursday, July 24, 2014

one week from today...

..I will be sitting at my desk, back at work, gearing up for this coming school year.

And I gotta tell ya, I have mixed feelings...

First of all, before you throw rotten fruit and veggies at me, you have to know I feel so blessed and so fortunate to have my job. I enjoy it. I feel like I'm pretty good at it. I work with great people. I love the student's. It's a great job, with lots of perks, one of them being a LOT of time OFF. I get weeks off during holidays, and weeks off during the can't beat that! I know it, and I'm grateful for it

The truth's hard going back after all those lovely weeks off! But I am reminded every summer as I slack and laze about that I need structure in my life. So, back to work it is!

This year will be a bit different...I'll be working 40 hours per week as opposed to 35. I am really glad about this as the extra money will be nice. But it will take a little adjusting...figuring out quicker and easier meal ideas, getting chummy with my crock pot, narrow down grocery shopping to once a week rather than stopping every time I need something, little things like that.

Basically, I just need to get more organized. (My life story!)

So...the countdown begins. Over the next week we've got a mini getaway planned, when we get back I'll be getting ready for Ian to return (YES! Oh my gosh, do I ever miss that boy!!), I need to go jeans shopping for myself and I might even try and squeeze in a massage. I've had a gift certificate waiting for me to use it for too long.

One week...gonna make it a good one.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday in the Word

I have no idea who to give credit for this beautiful image.
I wish I did as I would love to purchase it...

Trust in the Lord. OK? Jeez. Just do it. It's easy. What's the hold up?

Huh! I wish it was that easy. I mean, I do trust God. And I know He always has my best interest at heart. I know He does.

What gets in the way of me trusting Him without any hesitation is knowing that God's ways are not my ways. He might take longer to answer a prayer than I think I can bare. Or He might say no...or wait, not yet.

Unfortunately, I'm not patient. And I want what I want when I want it. (What a brat, eh? Like Veruca Salt. Blech.) No. I'm not proud of this trait. I'm just being honest. Patience is not one of my virtues. I'm getting better. But it's something I have to work at.

And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone...  :)

But the truth should be simple because we can trust in the Lord. He is trustworthy...100%. He loves us and wants good things for us...just as we do for our own children. So when the answer is not now...or *gasp*'s a good reason.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I ditched the list.

I've written (many a time) about my love for lists. I have notepads and spiral notebooks and sticky notes galore. I love a list. I have pages and pages of them. And really, I need home, at work, in the car. My memory isn't what it once was so if I want to remember it? I need to write it down.

I mentioned at the beginning of my time off for summer break that I had written a list of things I wanted to get done before I went back to school. No. Scratch that. I didn't just want to get them done. I was demanding that I got them done.

Well this darn to-do list became the bane of my existence. Because of the list (albeit well intended, and much needed) I got stuck and ended up not doing a dang thing! Time was ticking by and I wasn't making any progress. I hadn't checked off one single thing as "done". And I gotta say, it was getting me down.

Finally, I decided to ditch the list. Yep. That's right. I ditched the list.

And would you believe that as soon as I ditched it I started getting stuff done? Yep. I sure did.

Did I get everything done? Nope. But I got the big ones done. And that makes me happy.

Not to mention...I still have a week and a half left. This summer break isn't over yet!

Monday, July 21, 2014

over the weekend...

We took Seth back to school and moved him into his cute little house on Saturday. We gave hugs and kisses and said our goodbyes and were about to hop in the car when it dawned on me we hadn't unpacked a pot or a pan. " are you going to cook any of this food we just bought you?" Cricket, cricket, cricket. Turns out he forgot that they were in storage...which he won't have access to for two weeks. Instead of hitting the road, we spent the next hour or so gathering a pot and a pan. Seeing as how he is the only one in his house for two weeks and seeing as how he doesn't have a car...this could have been bad!

Chris and I sulked a little on the drive home...missing Seth already and knowing that Ian wasn't at home either. But then we talked about all the good things the boys are doing, and how this is the way it's supposed to be, and I cried a little, and we argued about which radio station to listen to....ya know, the usual. Then we stopped for a big, fat messy burger. And we felt a little bit better. Extremely FULL. But better.

Yesterday it was just the two of us...we rested and watched movies. We puttered in the garden and harvested tomatoes, grapes, a(nother) giant zucchini and a cucumber. Chris made his killer salsa and we snacked on it with chips followed by a cluster of grapes to cool the heat of the jalapeno!

Overall, it was good. Bittersweet. But good. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday morning...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

it's that time again...

We're taking Seth back to college today. He's going to move into his rental and work full-time until school starts. He wants to save up some money. I'm so proud of him... But as always...I'm sad to see him go.

Ian's still gone with his friend n their summer adventure, he'll be home at the end of the month...I miss him like crazy. A month is a long time.

When we return tonight we will be "empty nester's" for a couple of weeks. Both of their rooms will be empty. This time Seth's room will not only be empty, but will also be torn apart as he took his bed and dresser with him.

As always, I'm so happy that my boys are growing and maturing and spreading their wings. But as always, I can't help but mourn my loss. So bittersweet, isn't it? It must be a mom thing, a parent thing, to be so happy for our kids and so proud of them...yet so sad, all at the same time...

{"My husband is awesome!!" <---- My husband wrote that. I stepped away from the computer for one minute and my husband decided he wanted to help me blog. I was hacked!}

But yes...he is awesome...thank goodness for his sense of humor and his ability to make me laugh. I think I'm gonna need it these next couple of weeks.

Friday, July 18, 2014

I made giardeneria the other day...

it sure is pretty...

I was having a hankering for cauliflower the other day. Specifically, pickled cauliflower. So I got it in my mind that I wanted to make a batch of homemade giardeneria.

I found a recipe, gathered the ingredients and went for it.

I chopped up cauliflower and peppers and carrots and celery and onions. I simmered vinegar and water and garlic and sugar and salt. I blanched the vegetables, some for longer than others. Then I stuffed it all in a big jar I got at my neighbor's yard sale and shoved it in the back of the fridge.

And then...I waited. I let it sit and marinate and pickle and soak up all that goodness for about 36 hours. Finally the time came to taste it. I was pretty stoked, really. Probably more than I should have been. But I do love giardeneria, I love most pickled things, really, so I was looking forward to seeing how it turned out.

I spooned up a small bowl and got to tasting...

And I gotta say...I was disappointed! Boo!

The carrots and cauliflower were "blanched" too long so they'd lost their crisp bite...especially the carrots. And sadly, those are one of my favorite ingredients!

On top of overcooked vegetables, the liquid was off. It was too sweet and too garlicky. And I only used three garlic cloves for the whole mixture. But they took over...and they weren't a good mix with the amount of sugar the recipe called for.

With each bite I hoped for a different outcome...but the fact was that I had missed the mark. In an effort to save all those vegetables, I sloshed in about another cup of white vinegar straight up, stirred it around and put it back in the fridge for another day. And it helped. The taste was better, for sure. But the overcooked veggies still remain.

Kind of a bummer, right?

Yeah...I think so, too.'s what I will do differently the next time...
  • Blanche the cauliflower for maybe a minute or two, not the 4 or 5 the recipe calls for.
  • Omit the garlic. Or maybe just simmer it in the vinegar but remove the cloves before adding the liquid to the jar.
  • LESS SUGAR. I realize it's necessary to cut some of the acidity, but I will scale way back next time. I want tart, vinegar-y pickles...not sweet-ish. Blech.
  • Definitely add pepperoncini peppers. I didn't have any and didn't want to go back to the store so I just left them out. I'm thinking they would have helped the pickly factor.
And just now, out of curiosity, since I was actually craving cauliflower I decided to look up it's nutritional value. Would you believe one cup of cauliflower contains 77% of your daily Vitamin C? Go figure! My body is still trying to tell me something...