Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday with Food: A Week of Ham...and a Break

Welcome to Friday with Food!

First I want to say that I am going to take a few weeks off from posting. There are things that need my attention. I plan to be back by Monday, March 24. You can sign up for email notification, and you will get an email as soon as I post a new entry.

Last weekend, I baked an 11.5 lb half ham. I served it with buttermilk biscuits (made with a mixture of whole wheat and brown rice flour), and some roasted red potatoes. We ate that ham in one form or another most of the week. Katherine was thrilled. Ham is one of the things she does like.

The second day we had ham and swiss cheese on the remaining biscuits, The next day we had ham and eggs. I don't know how many "snacks" Katherine made of grabbing a piece of ham from the fridge. Finally, I took the bone, with a little bit of the meat and put it aside for beans. I took what was left in my meat grinder and ground it up. I put some in the scrambled eggs Ed and I had for breakfast yesterday, and I put the rest in the freezer for future ham salad.

This morning I made the flax bread I had been promising Ed all week. I took about a half cup of almond butter and mixed it up with a little molasses and mashed banana. I spread it on the flax bread and that was our breakfast.

Then I put the ham bone in a crock pot with some pinto beans, pepper and rosemary. That, and some cornbread, will be our supper tonight.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

See ya later!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Repurposed Thursday: "The Best Laid Plans"

Actually the orignal line was "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men", and it comes from a poem written by Robert Burns in 1785. You can read the whole thing here.

Anyway, the point is that often things don't turn out like we plan, and today was one of those days for me.

It started out great. I have three repurposing projects that I wanted to at least get started so I could share them with you tonight, but alas, it was not to be!

Ed was off today, and as he often does on his day off, he cooked breakfast. He made whole wheat pancakes and bacon on the electric griddle. Now, our kitchen is very small, and we only have electrical outlets on one wall. The kitchen counters are along the opposite wall, which means if we want to plug something in on the counter, we have to run extension cords across the floor. I'm sure you can see where that could cause problems.

After we ate, Ed cleaned up most of the mess, but forgot to unplug the griddle. He went outside to work on the fence where Meeko keeps getting out. About ten minutes later, I was in the bathroom when the phone rang. In my haste to get to the phone, which meant a trip through the kitchen, I didn't even look at the floor. I got my foot hung in the extension cord.... and I'm not sure what exactly happened. I didn't fall, but I did do some fancy footwork. The grill wasn't so lucky. It was on the kitchen floor in a bazillion peices.

I did manage to get to the phone. It was Ed. He was up on the hill behind the house, and needed me to come out for a minute. Yes, I'll admit it, I was a little annoyed. Once I did what he needed, I returned to the task of cleaning up the mess.

As I started picking up the broken plastic, I almost slipped in what I soon figured out was a combination of coffee and bacon grease. Yuck! My coffee cup had been thrown to the floor too, but it was tougher than the griddle.

Of course, I am loathe to throw anything away that I might be able to use. I put the broken plasic in the trash, but took the griddle part out to the lab to be stored until I can figure out what to do with it. I'm thinking it might make a nice chalk board.

While I was cleaning up the rest of the mess in the kitchen, my ribs really started to hurt, as if I had something too tight around them. To make a long boring story short, the pain got bad enough that I took a naproxin and went to bed. Its a little better this evening, but I'm still feeling pretty "stove up" as the old folks used to say.

I must have seriously wrenched something when I tripped.

Needless to say, there was no repurposing today.

Hopefully, I'll be better tomorrow.

See ya then!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday with the Word: Don't Be Angry

Welcome to Wednesday with the Word!

My daughter Katherine is what they call a "special needs" kid. Only they can't seem to figure out what her needs are. She has been officially diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety Disorder, as well as meeting the criteria for Educational Autism. All that, along with some plain old stubbornness, makes school work a challenge. She is often behind, and gets extremely overwhelmed trying to get caught back up.

Today was one of those days where she had a major assignment due, but didn't complete it. I had noticed something about these types of assignments, and emailed the teacher this morning with my observation. I was not making excuses for Katherine, but rather looking for some information/insight into a possible solution.

The response I recieved was not what I had hoped. The gist of it was that Katherine's problem is poor time management, and that I need to set down a specific time and place for her to get her homework done, so she doesn't get so overwhelmed.

I was absolutely livid! For one thing, I know all about Katherine's time management issues, because I had dealt with it, every day, for the last 13+ years,  and we do have a set time and place for homework. And as I told this teacher "Having a set time and place for homework dosen't make her get it done any more than taking that proverbial horse to water makes him drink it.:"

People seem to think that Christians shouldn't get angry. I don't know where they get that, because it is not scriptural. The Bible has a lot to say about anger. It is mentioned 268 times. The word "angry" is mentioned 113 times.

Anger is a normal human reaction. There is nothing wrong with being angry. God gets angry (Numbers 11:10). Jesus got angry and drove the crooked money changers out of the temple courts (Matt 21:12). It is not a sin to get angry, it is a sin to stay angry and to let the anger lead you into doing something you shouldn't. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes:

"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry," Phil 4:6 (NIV)

James has something to say about anger too:

" My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry," James 1:19 (NIV)

So we shouldn't be hot heads who fly off the handle, at the drop of a hat.  However, when we do get angry, we need to take a deep breath before we explode all over the source of our ire (or whoever is close). I admit that I have short fuse, at least with certain things. It has taken a great deal of effort to train myself to tell God first, when I am angry. Please understand that I will probably remain "in training" the rest of my life.

Sometimes, I am so mad all I can get out vocally is "Lord?", but he knows what I'm feeling and what I'm thinking, Sometimes just the act of reaching for Him can calm me down enough to respond appropriately, or not respond at all. Not responding is hard, especially when my mind is reeling with a hundred nasty things to say. He has also restrained my hand when I felt like throwing something. If He didn't, we wouldn't have any coffee cups.

I did wait a few hours before I responded,to Katherine's teacher and I talked to the Lord a lot in that time. I didn't want to be rude or hateful, but I did want her to know that I didn't appreciate her insinuations. I don't know that she would agree that I have mastered my anger, but the Lord knows, I did give it a good try.

How has the Lord helped you handle anger?

See ya tomorrow!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Makin' Do Tuesday: Good Ol' Duct Tape

Welcome to Makin' Do Tuesday!

We love duct tape around here. I see rolls of it all over the house, until I need one! Thats one reason why I took a coffee can, slapped on a duct tape label that says "tape" and keep it in my office. The can also holds masking tap and scotch tape too.

We have rolls in our backpacks and in both vehicles, and have used it for many emergency fixes as well as not so emergency fixes. When we winterize our windows with plastic sheeting, we attach it with a staple gun, but reinforce with duct tape, sealing the edges.

We used to have our dogs tied out on cables, and Libby was notorious for pulling a snap right off the cable, even heavy duty ones, made for big dogs. It was pretty impressive for a 65 lb dog, but a royal pain for us. Ed finally decided to the hardware store, buy 25 feet of covered cable, a snap and a turnbuckle, and make one that she couldn't pull out. It worked, but the end of the cable stuck out, and began to get frayed. Have you ever had a metal splinter in your hand? Ouch! The ends got wrapped in duct tape, and no more splinters. If you like animals, espeically crazy ones, you can read about our bunch here.

My son James went to school with a kid who did all kinds of creative things with duct tape. He made roses, and wallets, and even went as far to create a duct tape tux for prom. I don't remember if they let him wear it. Anyway, we've never got creative with our duct tape, although I did use the colored stuff once for Vacation Bible School. Mostly we use ours for repairs, and this has to be one of my favorites.

Ed has two pairs of leather work gloves. He bought the second pair as a backup. Well, he put a couple of good holes in the first set, so he switched to the second set, although he hung on to the first.  A while later, he did the same thing to the second set, and was in the middle of something where he couldn't stop (or at least, didn't want to),  and suddenly the mental light bulb came on. He got a roll of duct tape, and had me tape up the holes in his gloves. Since it worked so well, he had me tape up the old pair too. I was going to take pictures of both pairs, but he must have put one back in his truck. Anyway, this is the second pair. The first one is taped on the thumb and forefinger.

As you can see, these get quite a work out, but probably not as much as the duct tape!

See ya tomorrow!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Catch-Up Monday: Back to the Deep Freeze

Welcome to Catch-Up Monday!

Once again, we are in deep snow, and frigid temperatures. Ok, well, not really deep snow. We might have five inches, but our early morning temperatures were in the negative single digits, and yes that is temperature, not wind chill. Wind chill was about -25.

Because the storm came in Saturday evening and was predicted to continue through this morning, all our chruch services for yesterday were cancelled. The only up side to that was that it gave Ed and I a day to spend on some stuff here without feeling the pressure of a schedule. We don't have that too often. We were able to go through mountains of papers and determine what attention, if any, they needed.

I spent most of the day today keeping up with the fire in the wood stove, and taking care of a lot of the administrative type things that sprang from yesterday's paper sorting. Since some of it requred phone calls to government related agencies, you can understand why I didn't get it all done. I did however, put a pretty good dent in it. I may have even managed to save us some money, and that is always good!

I have a few interesting things planned for the rest of the week, so I hope you check back in with me tomorrow.

See ya then!