Friday, June 21, 2013

Recipes and Daily Planners

I love organization!!!  That is not to say I am organized, but I like the idea of organization.  For instance, at work, the little plastic blood tubes need to be lined up neatly in the little box where they belong.  Please do not just randomly toss them in there.  Yes, the one box is currently a conglomeration of tossed plastic tubes, but I didn't do it and I didn't take the time to correct the problem today.  But it bothered me pretty much. every. time. I. opened. the. drawer. to get out another tube.

Nothing makes me happier than to have a daily planner.  I had been without one for months on end; I just decided it wasn't necessary nor could I really find one I liked.  Finally, this week, I sat down and printed off a few different kinds and decided to try them out to see what I liked best.  And yes, I think I have found a winner.  Does this make me organized?  No, it most certainly does NOT, but I get a thrill of being able to take the pen and "cha-ching" another item off the list.  And no, I don't like computer planners because I can't use a pen on them and they are not so user-friendly as a good old piece of paper and a pen.  Maybe that is "so last year", but I don't care a bit.  So now I have this planner on which I have created a daily to-do list.  Now, I think I can accomplish more in a day than I actually do.  This is either because I am not as motivated as I think I am, other things come up, to-do projects take longer than expected, or I just miserably slept in and got nothing done in the morning before work.  (That was the case the morning after the last post.  Waking up at 7:44 and needing to leave the house no later than 8:05 doesn't leave much room for to-do lists)

But I still like my lists, though I need to remind myself not to pack them so tightly because I can also become discouraged when I don't get all the to-do's done.  But tonight, I simply didn't care what was on my to-do list.  Yes, I was supposed to walk (because this morning when I really AM supposed to walk, it was dumping buckets of rain--yep, pretty much literally too), but I didn't care.  I have just sat here on my couch all by my lonesome and deedled away the hours doing nothing that was on my to-do list.  Oh wait, I did iron some quilt blocks which was sort of on the to-do list, but not fully.

I worked on summer recipes.  What is that, you may ask?  Well, here's the deal:  I love cookbooks of pretty much every shape and size.  I could say that I haven't met a cookbook I didn't like, but that wouldn't be true because there are a few I don't like, but they are few and far between.  So I cook a lot of new food and not the same food too many times in a row (actually pretty much never in a row unless it's leftovers).  While I am looking through these cookbooks I find all these good recipes that take things like fresh tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, etc. etc.  Well, in the winter, I pretty much deem all these things too expensive to buy (except maybe lettuce and the occasional tomatoes), so I think how I will make them come summer.  You get where this is going right?

Summer comes and....you got it.  I can't remember where the recipes were and suddenly I am overloaded with zucchini and cucumbers and green beans and corn and etc.  What happens?  Some of it goes to waste because I can't think how to use it and the rest?  We eat the same kind of thing over and over and over.  D loves his zucchini sandwiches and in the summer we probably eat them several times a week, but that still doesn't take care of the boatload of zucchini.  I have discovered I can freeze zucchini bread just like my mom did at home and then three years later I can pitch said zucchini bread because we simply don't eat it, so that is a waste.  Hence:  SUMMER RECIPES.  I am currently going through my Reiman Publications and pulling out the recipes that take all these good fresh summer veggies and put them into yummy looking foods.  Now hopefully, this summer it will not be: what am I going to do with all this zucchini, but which recipe should I make tonight.  A girl can dream, right?  This is what I hope will happen anyway.

With recipes like Grilled Corn on the Cob, Herbed Tomatoes and Green Beans, Eggplant Parmigiana (esp. since I didn't even plant eggplant this year), Zucchini Mozzarella Medley and Pear Pandowdy, how can you go wrong?  So I currently have about 44 recipes and am continuing to plow through my magazines in search of recipes that I would actually make.  Now, I will grant that some of the ones I am putting in my little summer menus cookbook might be a bit of a stretch, but I like to try new things because one never knows what good things one can discover.

And...if the 26 plants of cauliflower and the 25 heads of cabbage actually amount to that much I am going to need a lot more recipes than what I currently have or maybe even own.

Well, the D man got home earlier than expected and a campfire is calling my name--just what my plan was for the evening.  Next time, I will maybe think about communicating my wishes a little earlier so that I don't have to throw a fit when he makes his own plans.  I don't really think I threw a fit, but I was a little upset--I have to be honest.  On the other hand, I wasn't too disappointed to just sit at home and be lazy all by myself either.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On writing

The big question here is: can I write?  I like to write, but that means nothing to nobody.  Anybody that can string two words together can write, but not everybody will write something that is thought-provoking, stirring, inspiration, laugh-out-loud funny, or motivational or any combination of the above.

I just read a good book called "Sparkly Green Earrings" by Melanie Shankle.  It was a free ebook, which is all the rage in my life right now.  (Yes, me, who said that Kindle was so lame and I just want to hold a book in my hands, thank you very much.  But hey, I still like books because their batteries never run low; but Kindle books can always be read in the dark, so there are pros and cons to both side)  Now, where were we?  Anyway, this Melanie Shankle, she can write.  She writes about the first 8 years being a mom and while I can't relate to the stories, I find them very humorous.

That brings me to the next topic: reading to earn books.  Tyndale has a summer reading program where if you read books off of their summer 2013 list and write a few reviews on them, you earn points.  You earn 5 points, you get a free book.  Not bad, huh?  The one problem is our local library doesn't carry a lot of these books, but hey amazon has a few of them for free at times!!!  I love books and am always happy to get a free one.  Partly because of this, I learned about a new author as well: Chris Fabry.  While I am not through the book yet, I have really enjoyed it.

That could bring me to the next topic: how strict should you be on your reading material?  Should you only read CLP, Rod and Staff and Pathway publishers?  Is it okay to branch out and see what is out there?  There was a topic on this the other evening at our church and since I know that there are some people from church that read this blog, I will be careful what I say.  I will say this though: there were some good points made.  I sometimes wonder though, on evenings like this--do people actually live that out in a day-to-day life or is there reading material more stringent all of a sudden when there is a topic with open discussion.  Now, I am not accusing anyone that made comments that night--I am asking this as an open-ended question for where ever the subject of reading material is raised.  I know for myself, if I had been asked about reading material that night, I probably would have advocated the good, inspirational books I read, but soft-pedaled the fiction kind.

So what books have you read in the last while?  What books are you reading now?  Truthfully, I am not always proud of my reading material; I am trying to be careful--just because I can get it for free doesn't mean I should.  But I like to think I am pretty open on reading options and I am trying to become a fan of more biography, deep-thinking, educational reading material.

Now, I've sort of lost my way here on the writing issue that I started with, but that's okay.  I think for me, I just need to write.  Whatever comes to mind and hopefully, with time, I will become better and better at it.

But that is it for now: maybe next time I can talk about the joys of camping, cutting quilts, having a daily planner, family time or any other subject that comes up.  In the mean time, I will stay up at least until 1:00 in the morning and help to usher in a new little life into the world.  That could be a whole other blog post in and of itself.


These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart

Set in Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains during the time of the Frontier Nursing Service and the end of World War II comes a story tha...