Itchy legs and mid week meals

I wanted to first begin to share the little things in our very own garden that made me smile yesterday.

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Our first red raspberry, not only did I smile, I yelled out with excitement.  “should I eat it now, should I let it get more juicy and red?”  

 The week has been pretty good.  Abbie has been going to Vacation Bible School with her cousin and a friend and having a blast.  Aunt Jenn has offered to take her each day and bring her home so this has been a blessing in our week.  Austin got his very first job on Monday and this news is outstanding!  Dylan decided to join me in my morning work outs on Monday’s and Friday’s. My back garden is giving us little gifts to eat and be amazed with.   I find that if I focus on the good things in my days that the little bad things seem very trivial.  Like Rich accidentally flinging chlorine on my dress and bleaching it out in spots, or the ants that began to invade the countertop, or how I wore my skirt inside out for hours without realizing it, or when there appeared to be another hole in the pool to be fixed, or the abundance of animal hair that seems to multiply even when I vacuum each day, not being able to find the hair brush and itchy legs, little irritating things like that, things that put a glitch in the day, making the day seem not so smooth but really truly when I focus on the bigger, better things it eases the impact of those little irritants.  They still exist but I don’t let them take control of my day and the direction the day is going.  I do have that choice.  Just so you know, it’s not easy and I do have weak, dark days when I DO let the little irritants take over those days are rough but this week, I have been able to focus mostly on the good.

The morning glories that are more of a weed in the way they take over things, but still I find them so very pretty and I love how it’s growing over a tiny tree planted by the birds.

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The heart I spot when I’m admiring my very first red raspberry.

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The “red zeppelin” onions I get to use in the nights meal.  Yes I bought them for their name!

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The fresh zucchini we grew also for our nights meal.

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The sunflowers that are growing at rapid speeds, I can’t wait for the flower to appear and again I will not just smile but I will make a big deal of it, I can’t help it.  It’s like this miracle before my very eyes.

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And as I promised the meal verdict for last night’s meal from last summers magazine “Everyday Food” Last night was grilled steak and veggies.  All done on the B.Q. so no big mess to deal with.  Much more of a summer plan than the last two nights with the broiler on.  It called for skirt steak.  Sort of tough and chewy but I heard if it’s marinaded for a good long while it helps with the toughness.  Martha’s recipe didn’t call for a good long marinade.  So.  It was tough.  I was like “chew your meat really, really good kids”  Didn’t want a choking incident.  Again sort of learning what we may do different from how the recipes read.  I have a very difficult time following a recipe without doing something “my way” like the grilled veggies, they called for 3/4 fresh lemon juice and a dried thyme marinade. That’s it!  Seemed like an aweful lot of lemon to me but I realize the idea is to be making healthy meals.  I added some olive oil anyway.  I normally use Kosher salt, pepper, fresh garlic and olive oil for all my veggie grilling and broiling.  Pretty good but next time either marinade the steak longer or like Motorcyle man suggested, “a good flank steak would work better”  The picture looked more like flank than skirt anyway.

So here is the whole lay out of last nights meal before preperation

photo (1)All chopped and lots of compost collected.

photo (2)Although the meat recipe didn’t call for a good marinade, the veggies did.  20 minutes at least in a ziplock bag with the lemon juice thyme (added olive oil) marinade

photo (4)Veggies first on the Q, then the meat and it all cooked very quick.

photo (5)Last night’s meal!

photo (6)I was excited that the onions and zucchini could be from our very own garden.

We also had a knife presentation from our neighbor.  She graduated high school in 2012 and has been attending Cerritos College, this is her first job selling knives and no hard pressure, just good solid presentaton. Belive me, we  WANTED all those sharp knives but our bank account just will not allow.  We are still using our nice set of German knives from way back when, a Christmas gift from my parents.  But these Cutco knives.  Wow.  really good stuff.

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Those are our “best” knives up there.  Didn’t hold a candle to her Cutco knives and their mad abilites to cut nice and easy.

photo (9)We cut all sorts of stuff, rope, leather, pennies, bread and veggies.

Someone is studying and gearing up for their first day of work.  He also had to go buy non skid shoes and some black dickies.  He is supposed to be out doing that now.

photo (8)Probably not going to be his ideal job, considering he still is not eating meat but he isn’t complaining, he is so happy he landed this job.  It’s ironically the very first application he filled out and turned in.

Finding joy in a decaying tooth

faith

 

quiet time

This weekend I went away, up to the mountains to hang out with other like-minded women.  It’s called a women’s retreat. It was my very first ever.  There were lots of awesome messages this weekend but the big, big stand out message was called REJOICE!  To rejoice in  every single circumstance.

 

The night I got home I noticed a hole in the side of a tooth, a brown decayed hole!!  And this hole, it has to have been there for a while. How could I have missed this? I brush my teeth every morning and every night.  I suppose I just quickly go through the motions without really paying attention, obviously this is what I do.

tooth

The bad tooth.  I know maybe too much infomation, a little gross but my reality

In this tiny, tiny example in my life right now.  I’m to rejoice in my decaying tooth.  Really?  You want to know another message from this weekend?  I’m also not supposed to worry about it.  Our awesome speaker for the weekend even gave me tips and scripture to back this up solidly.  First of all my example seems so small in the big scheme of things but however small, it matters to me.  Joyce Webser, this awesome speaker I talk about, well she has had breast cancer and survived, she is also diabetic and that’s not all, she has even more health issues however I would have never guessed it as she spoke to us.  All I could see was JOY.  She told us not to let our circumstances define us, she clearly has taken her own advice to heart.

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 Litte reminders around the house of how not to worry

Bringing this back to my rotten tooth.   I’m glad I had some pepper specks in my teeth that I did actually notice while brushing, those pepper specks directed me to this bad tooth. I’m glad there is NO pain…yet.  I find joy in that.

 

The first step she gave us was to TRUST in God. I can trust in God.

 

Second, make preparation.  I can prepare.  I already called the dentist to make an appointment.

 

Third,  I  can practice prevention.  Welp, I already brush my teeth twice a day, I can continue that.  I can also make sure to set appointments for standard maintenance cleaning, rather than make excuses why I don’t want to spend the money and little things like not loving the “pain” of even going to the dentist.

 

Fourth, I can use my resources.  I can do that too.  I have a dentist, a good one.  She even lets us make payments without interest because we don’t have dental insurance. That’s pretty awesome.

 

I can do this.  I can find the joy in a rotten tooth.  And I do know this is a very small example but it’s a start.

 

sunset

 Sunset Saturday night.  Thanks to Abbie and Science camp.  I know those round balls in the trees are mistletoe & not so good for trees 

friends

friends on retreat

cabins

cabins from retreatface heartI even found a face for  niece Liv and a heart for my niece Elly.  

 

little bits that add up to big bits

The little things that add up and matter, really matter.  Our weekend and not even all of it, just the bits I happened to take pictures of.  Let me share some of them with you.  I wasn’t in the mood to decorate, I was being sort of like a scrooge, feeling sort of down in the dumps about things.  After this weekend I feel very silly that I was even feeling sorry for myself.  Money is always a little tight this time of year not just for us but so many of us, property taxes due, the ones we have to pay twice of year for so many years now, one would think we may have a plan, but we never do.  Life just sort of happens and anyone who really knows us, knows we live for today, which isn’t the most wise way to live but Rich and I both are spenders, we are both generous and we seem to encourage each other in the spending.  We find any reason whatsoever to celebrate and I mean any reason, so this often leaves us without a lot of extra money.  These are the choices we make, I’m sure our parents wonder why some of their smart spending and saving has not rubbed off on us?

But this is what I do know……..

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Rich last week was approached by an older woman, she needed help.  She asked if he could measure a door opening so she can order a door, and change out some dead bolts.  She asked him in very broken English and it was hard for him to fully understand what exactly she needed but he agreed.  This weekend he and our first born went to the ladies home and  did as she asked.  She paid Rich with a box of almond cookies, a bag of crushed red chili, apple juice “for the babies” coupons for hometown buffet and a 20.00 check which Rich was very reluctant to take but decided to go ahead because he turned around and gave the money to Austin for his help.  When things like this happen, when he gives his time and also teaches our son a lesson in life all at once, this is just one on a list of things that make me so proud of him.  Rich has taught me so much by just being himself.  He was born good.

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Then there are times when all the neighborhood kids  gather to make tiny little films and dress our youngest into a little boy and we crack up when she walks in and we don’t even know it’s our own girl.  And these kids the ones in our neighborhood, they have made some really cute little films through the years.  They all mesh so well and again we are so blessed.

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Then there are times when my brother, my sister-n-law with their two youngest daughters stop by for an overnight stay as Nan plays ball down our way and the little redhead sneaks into our room before bed to try and sleep with Rich and Max because another cool thing on the Rich list  (he attracts all children and animals like a big gigantic magnet!) Opps, Daddy caught her and carried her back to their bed!

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Or at the end of the weekend when most of our decorations are up and remembering the fun we had two years ago when Me, Aus, Dyl and Abbie sat around the dinning table  listening to Christmas music and made about 100 snow paper flakes and just couldn’t’ stop, we kept going and going and going and that memory is a very good one.

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And we loosely hung our colored lights around the front window, nothing too fancy but enough to make us smile.

hearts

The little white lights I wrapped around our photo heart in our living room.

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And this morning as I sat with my coffee and got tickled when I saw the snowflake shadow on our orange wall and I knew if I didn’t take a picture that moment it would soon be gone.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,   for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;   great is your faithfulness.

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Then there are the little tiny notes I find around the house from time to time.  like this one here.  I mean really how could life be any better than things like this? Little things that add up that make our life full.  It’s all around us, even in tight times, even in rough times.  I begin to sound like a broken record but it’s these things that help me to stay positive and I need to find them, it’s part of how I choose to live.