Thursday, September 26, 2013

October Pin-It/Do-It Challenge

The summer heat has died down and cooler days abound.  Fall has arrived!  This time of year draws me back to more indoor activities and so I was thrilled to hear about Trish's Pin-It Do-It Challenge once again!  The idea is to pin some ideas from Pinterest for October crafts, activities, etc. and then choose some to actually DO!

When we moved to Beloit a year ago last July I had scaled down on many things, including household decorations.  All I need for Fall is my scarecrow wreath, fall floor rug and my Autumn flag I fly!  Not interested in building anymore decorations.

That doesn't mean I can't pin and do!!  Here is my plan:

     Trip to Apple Depot with my youngest granddaughter Elaine. (Pinned it - 31 Days of Fall Fun)
     Glow light lanterns - Just too cool not to try!
     Zentangle Mittens - an art project to go along with the reading of The Mitten by Jan Brett
     Fill an Operation Christmas Child Box with Elaine. (31 Days of  Fall Fun)

     Then ... I have planned for myself to do several more items from the 31 Days of Fall Fun

          Make mulled apple cider (sugar-free)
          Sit by fire pit with friends
          Start a new book
          Decorate a simple inexpensive pillar candle with cinnamon sticks and raffia.  Maybe 2.

This totals 8 pins and I guess that makes me an obsessive pinner??

     The Levels:
Timid Pinner: 1-3 Pins
Pinterested: 4-7 Pins
Pin Obsessed: 8+ Pins

Please join in if you would like and check out Pinterest - find some things you'd like to try!
You can sign up here on Trish's blog.
Happy Harvest!
Happy Autumn!
Happy Pinning!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crossing The Red Sea

Sunday School again - - - new class this fall - and some new students of course.  I teach Pre K and Kindergarten and these new ones are 3 and 4 year olds.  Soooooo interesting.

Today's story - God led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land.  We have already learned how God had a plan for baby Moses to be rescued from a floating basket in a river.  Now we learn that God protects all of his people - even us!

First on the lesson plan:  Build an obstacle course that the kids can follow each other through as they "travel through the dessert".

Today we learn that as the people fled out of Egypt - the bad people followed right behind and tried to catch up with them.  All of a sudden Moses and the people arrived at the Red Sea where they panicked and got angry - wondering why God led them that far and then left them to die at the Red Sea.  Of course God had a plan - he created a loud wind to blow (swooooosh - whiiiiiii - swoooosh - ssssssssssss - and other "wind noises" inserted here.)  The sea opened up and a path of dry ground  was there for the Israelites to hurry through.  Once the Israelites made it through the Red Sea the winds blew again and the water came down and covered the army of Egyptians.  Then Moses and his people rested and then praised God with celebration and singing.  So at the end of OUR obstacle course were musical instruments to bang on and sing with!  Praising God!

Step two on the lesson plan:  Sit down at table and hear story and work on fun sheet.    Had several questions to ask them:  Who takes care of you?   The usual:  Mom, Dad, Grandma.   How does God take care of you?   Interesting:

     "he gives me food"  "when i fall down he keeps me from getting hurt"   "he helps me when I fall
     down"  and then . . . "one time i was uh i was uh one time i did i was one time i was riding     my
     bike my scooter and it wrecked and uh well uh one time I fell and even when I fell one time and
     he he he one time i fell off my bike and he he I didn't get hurt."

Whew!  Step three of lesson plan:  Picture it . . . and yes this was in the teacher's manual.  Take
a shallow dish and  put some water in it.   Give each child a straw.  Let them take turns  blowing through the straw on top of the water to create ripples and waves and parting the water!!

"No you can't drink the water"

Pretty soon all four kids were blowing on their straws at  the same time - water was blowing everywhere . .. .. "Is this okay if we do this?"   I replied, "Sure if you don't mind  getting wet!!"

Finally  - I mean soon - class time was over   - and  I sent them on their way  - -- -

So I ask you . .  How does God take care of you?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Meet you on the front porch!

Perfect weather for sittin' on the front porch again!  What I mean is time to join in one of Everyday Ruralty's Chats on the Front Porch . . .

Patrice asks us:

  1. What's  the one thing you feel is the biggest waste of  your time during an average week?
  2. When was the last time you baked a pie?
  3. What do you want to spend time doing that you aren't right now? 
  4. What do you do with old clothes?
  5. If we were having lunch on the porch today, what would you bring for the potluck styled lunch?
And here we go . . . 

1.  What's the one thing you feel is the biggest waste of your time during an average week?

     Well I had to think for two days about this and honestly I could not find anything that I do
     that is a waste of time to me - I know for sure that some of my friends would be able to 
     identify several obsessive quirks I have as a waste of time but for me - not so.  So I considered
     all areas of my life  and hmmm well I finally came up with one huge waste of time for me every 
     day of every week - - - Calling the IT department at work when my department has a problem.  
     And that is all I will say about that.    

2.  When was the last time you baked a pie?  

     We will have to travel back in time for the answer to this!!!  Back to the 1980's.  When first
     a wife and mom I felt it was just part of my duties - to learn to bake a pie.  My mother
     makes phenomenal pies and would have gladly taught me - but I doubt if I ever wanted to
     learn.  I remember that I used this new pie crust recipe that was the hit of the decade and it
     used vegetable oil instead of shortening.  I made a few fruit pies with canned fruit.  Decided
     I didn't like pie that much.  I got through the high school days of having to provide pies for
     school events by making brownies instead or purchasing the frozen store bought ones.
     Now my big secret is to have mom bake me one or hire my best friend!  Delicious!

3.  What do you want to spend time doing that you aren't right now?

     That is easy for me and that is READ more!  I have no good excuse for not reading as much
     as I would like.  I have plenty of time to watch TV and movies (which is my #1 fav) so if I
     would go somewhere quiet without the TV I could be reading.  My other problem is reading
     words on a page can just lull me to sleep instantly!  Maddening!!

4.  What do you do with old clothes?

     Oh dear I may get slammed on this one!  I do not have a very large wardrobe EVER - I wear
     the same small choices over and over and so when I am done with them they go straight to
     the trash can!!!  Sorry to those thrift store fans or to those of you who donate to charity!
     Both are great options but I just toss them!

5.  If we were having lunch on the porch today, what would you bring for the potluck styled lunch?
     Barilla Veggie Farfalle with Tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
   1 box Barilla® Veggie Farfalle
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
1 teaspoon thyme chopped
1 tablespoon chives chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese diced
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese shredded

Preparation 15 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking
1. BRING a large pot of water to a boil

2. COOK pasta 1 minute under cooking instructions and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil

3. PLACE on sheet tray to cool down

4. In a large skillet SAUTE garlic and thyme in 2 tablespoons olive oil until slightly yellow in color, place off to the side

5. In a small bowl, COMBINE remaining olive oil, cooked garlic and thyme, chives, cherry tomatoes, and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper

6. TOSS pasta with marinated tomatoes and mozzarella and top with cheese


Thanks again for joining me on the front porch and please comment with your replies or come back and leave a link to your blog with your replies!  Thanks Patrice - the chat was fun!  Now I think I will head to my front porch for another cup of coffee!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Opposites Attract

No - not what you think - not going to talk about couples - like my hubs and I who are opposites in many ways - but yeh I kinda like him and have kept him around for well a long long time :) . . .

But stealing the idea from my sister and fellow blogger Tami - - - see her most fun post called Happy Happy Happy where she makes a great list of things - not big life changing things that bring joy - but the small every day things that make you sigh and smile . . . She challenged us all to make our own list.

So - now - - - I'm going the opposite direction.   As I work through a book about managing our emotions - I ask - what makes you mad?  Not angry enough to throw things (which hopefully you don't anyway) and not even the things that get under your skin and causes your blood pressure to come up notch by notch - - - but just those tiny little life events that make you sigh and not smile.    I have a few of those things and am learning to react differently to all kinds of frustration . . .

Finding out a package I am excitedly waiting on didn't arrive.

Coffee pot turns off and coffee is luke warm.

Carrying a purse that is too heavy.

Newly mopped floor with little doggie tracks in it.

Stopping everything and running to the phone and it's a telemarketer calling.

Renting a bad movie.

A hot bubble bath when there isn't quite enough hot water left.

A bad book.

Stale chips.

When the vacation ends.

I'd love to hear the small things that cause you to take a deep breath and sigh . . . Leave a comment!

"My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration:  set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes - cry, rant and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual."  Phyllis Diller

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spa rage ...

The hospital where I work sent me to a meeting in a nearby city this last week.  It was a wonderful meeting and just the break I needed from everyday stress at work!  It was a great review and I got a lot of good information to take back to work with me . . .

Best part of the day away - when the meeting was over - I headed to my favorite spa for a pedicure and nail fill.  It had been 3 weeks since my last visit there and was I ever surprised with some big changes!  The usual little girl who owned the shop was gone and one of her workers had bought the place and made some very nice changes.  

The new owner has a unique story.  He (Randy) is a recently retired Marine Gunnery Sargeant.  He and his family have traveled the world and now settled in North Central Kansas.  Sargeant Randy spent 3 months in nail school and passed his boards.   Now he and his wife manage the shop and their oldest daughter is waiting to receive her license in the mail any day now.

Back to my relaxing day away - - - you know how it is when you find yourself with "time" to spend the way you choose?  It doesn't happen often, that you don't have something to get to next - some place to be or someone else is waiting on you to be back - - - but this afternoon - - - I actually felt like I just had the rest of the day to myself.  After finishing up a great pedicure with brightly painted orange toenails  . . . I moved on to my nail fill - - - That's when things got a little crazy . . .

Managing a new store with only yourself to do all of the work - and in a business where "walk-ins" are encouraged - - - scheduling can be tricky I would guess.  Mr. Sargeant Randy had a lady return at 3:30 and by now it was 3:45 and I was just beginning my nails - - - I noticed - the lady whose hands were soaking for her manicure- - - she was getting impatient - - - watching the clock - - - turning and looking at us - - - shaking her head - - - and then came the comments . . . "you told me 3:30 and now it's 3:45 . . . ".  I'm sure that his training with the Marine Corp gave him plenty of "leadership skills" and "anger management skills" . . . I mean how could this unhappy ole gal even compare to the stress he has been in from time to time??   Pretty soon - I had had enough - - - I didn't have his patience for rudemess - - -   I said, "If you want to go take care of her because she is having a hissy fit - you can - I am in no hurry"   "Oh, do you mind?", said Sargeant Randy.  Off he ran to keep the customer happy and before long she was relaxing and laughing and focusing on herself - cuz you know - it's all about her  . . .

The lesson in this?  Not sure if there even is one - but it made me want to try and live more and more with the feeling I had that afternoon of not needing to hurry through life - - - not worrying about being home or to the next meeting or to work, etc.       It's a peaceful feeling.

The nail salon appreciated the chance I gave them to keep all customers happy and coming back by giving me a free salon spa pedicure - that was sweet of them  . . .