"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world , and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hard lessons

My youngest learned a hard lesson the other day.

She was getting her backpack ready for school when,  all of a sudden,  she started sobbing. I mean heart - wrenching,  horrible sobs.  I was stunned. I couldn't imagine what was causing near hysteria.

When she placed this in my hands,  I understood. 

What you see before you is the souvenir that my husband and I brought home for her from India.  It's a frog within a frog carved out of soapstone for our little amphibian lover.  She adores it... enough to bring it to school for show & tell. 

But then. She forgot about it.  Left it in the front pocket of her backpack... unprotected and subject to the rough treatment that an eight - year old girl's backpack goes through daily.

She's devastated. I feel terrible for her.

But I'm hoping this experience will help her remember in the future to be careful with things that are important and fragile.  That carelessness can be just as destructive as purposeful damage. 

It's a lesson we could all stand to remember. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beef Stew

My favorite Christmas gift this year (other than the acting lessons my husband bought me) is the Instant Pot my brother and his wife gave me.  I haven't spent a ton of time experimenting with it yet,  but what I have made in it has (mostly) turned out really well. 

I decided to make beef stew this week,  so I went to Pinterest (where else?) to find an Instant Pot recipe to try.  I decided on this one:

                          Instant Pot Beef Stew

I'm not going to lie.  It wasn't quick to make... there was quite a bit of chopping and the searing of the stew meat took a fair amount of time... but the results?

Incredible.  So,  so flavorful and the meat was very tender.

You must try this recipe.

You can thank me later.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Super Bowl Fail

I was invited to a Super Bowl party at the home of some dear friends.  They are lovely people and generous hosts who provided chili, snacks and drinks.

I wanted to bring something to add to the pot, so I did what I always do when I'm looking for a fun new recipe to try.

I went to Pinterest, of course.

I checked my "party food" board, but didn't find much.  I decided that I would like to do a  cheese ball with crackers, so I looked at some different recipes.  I narrowed it down to two before heading to the store.  I decided on this delicious looking Pineapple Cheese Ball.  I gathered the ingredients and headed home.

Pineapple Cheese Ball

I started making the cheese ball, referring a couple of times to the recipe for measurements before deciding that I had the gist of it and could do the rest myself.

That's where things started to go wrong.

You see, the minute I stopped referring to the recipe was the minute I began conflating the two recipes.  I remembered that the recipe called for 1/2 c.  mayo, so I added what I had (not quite what called for...but no biggie, right?).

It immediately looked...soupy.  Huh.  "OH! I know...it's because I neglected to add the shredded sharp cheddar it called for!"  So I added that, too...but it STILL didn't look right.

So back to the recipe I went, only to discover that the mayo and cheddar were from the other, rejected recipe.  Ugh. That's what I get for getting cocky and abandoning the recipe.

I added a little more cream cheese to make it a little thicker and made my family taste it and reassure me it was ok (because I didn't like it at all).  I slapped on the pecans, shaped it into a terrible approximation of a football and brought it to the party.  People seemed to think it was ok, but I was still deflated (that was a bad Patriot's joke, in case you missed it).

Luckily, I made this no-fail favorite dessert and brought it, too.  Everyone LOVED it and I felt a little better. You should make it.  It's incredible.

Coconut Crunch Delight Recipe
Coconut Delight

Monday, January 22, 2018

Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary

I love tiny houses.

I avidly watch any HGTV show dealing with the topic (when I have access, which is usually at my Mom's house as we don't have cable) and I adore watching videos about them.


I figured this would be a great documentary to watch during my run on the treadmill.  Light and fun...a nice change from 13th (which was AMAZING...but intense).


I don't know what to think about this one. It is nothing like I expected.

First of all, the people featured (a couple, a man and a woman) were just oozing angst. From the loss of an estranged father to a daughter's struggle with her identity and feelings towards a distant dad to the suicide of a woman's heroin-addicted partner, these people were processing some serious emotions. It was intense.

I wanted to dream about a day when I could be unencumbered by all of life's baggage and travel the world with my hubby and a tiny home on wheels. blissfully happy. I wanted to ooh and aah over the adorable interiors.

Instead, I got a realistic documentary about how going tiny doesn't solve all of life's problems. Apparently resolving a human being's traumas and issues isn't as simple as selling everything you own and building a miniature house.

I can't decide whether I'm mad or impressed that this little documentary had the chutzpah to tell me that.   

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Oprah for President 2020?

I didn't watch the Golden Globes.  I never really watch the awards shows...not because I'm not interested.  No, it's because we watch primarily Netflix. We don't have cable and while we do get a number of local channels I cannot seem to remember to watch Prime Time TV.

When I woke up yesterday I found this video of Oprah Winfrey's speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award.  I was blown away and inspired.  Enough that I posted it to my timeline.


I almost added the hashtag #Oprahforpresident2020 but stopped myself. In part because I know next to nothing about her politics and also because I figured NO WAY would she consider a run.

Then, an hour or so later, I received an email notification from CNN saying that she's "seriously considering" a run.


How about that?  I might be psychic.

Probably not.  But I sure wish I had posted the hashtag so I could say "You heard it here first."

It'll be interesting to see if she actually does make a run for President, won't it?

Saturday, January 6, 2018


A number of year ago I read (over the course of 6 months or so) a book that forever changed the way I view race relations in the United States.  It so clearly traces the path from slavery through the Jim Crow South to the Civil Rights era to now.  I understand in a new way the obstacles, both systematic and otherwise, that face people of color in this nation.

Then I read "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson and I became more and more convinced that things in this nation really need to change if people of color are to receive true justice. There is still so much institutional racism in this country, especially in the deep South.  The number of black men who are sentenced to life in prison or even death with feeble or non-existent evidence is reprehensible.

Today I began watching "13th" at the suggestion of my teenage daughter and this documentary feels like the nail in the coffin in my ignorance regarding the criminal justice system of the United States. 

There is undeniably so much good in our system. It was (and is) a beacon and example around the world with its tenets of innocence until guilt is proven, the right to a trial by jury and many, many more precepts designed to protect citizens.


It seems clear to me that the rights and protections that are in place to protect us are not extended equally to all citizens.  People of color are often denied these rights and protections at an alarming rate.

I know there are so many good and honest public servants in all sectors that give their blood, sweat and tears to protect and serve us. Unfortunately, a hopefully small but powerful segment of these civil servants are using their power in reprehensible ways.

I don't have answers.  Right now I am simply trying to listen and learn.  To open my eyes, mind and heart to the invisible privilege with which I was born.  To listen to the stories of those who have suffered and been marginalized.

If you are interested in truth and justice and equality, I would recommend reading or watching the resources I've mentioned above.  There is much, much more out there for us, but these are a good start.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bullet Journaling

My favorite thing to do, it seems, is to find new things to try and then abandon.

I've done this many times over the years.  Below please find a list (likely not exhaustive) of the hobbies I've decided to try, stocked up on all the supplies for and then subsequently got tired of and quit.

  • Jewelry making
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crocheting
  • Card making
  • Smash journaling
  • Counted Cross Stitching
I'm sure I've missed one or two here...but you get the idea.

Before you become convinced that I am a complete loss in this area, I will tell you that there are a few hobbies I am consistent in.  I love to scrapbook and still attend multiple scrapbooking retreats a year.  I keep a journal consistently and I love to do puzzles and adult coloring.

A couple of years ago I stumbled upon the concept of bullet journaling.  I was intrigued.

It's an idea that has been around for awhile and was, in its earliest manifestations, a fairly minimalist approach to planning your days, weeks and months. It's a flexible system that can be adapted to your own needs and preferences. I've included a link to a video here which will give you an idea of what the system looks like.

Some really creative people have taken the concept and run with it and now Bullet Journals (Bujos for short) are a whole thing. Washi tapi, stickers, colored pencils...you name it and they've done it. Do a quick Pinterest search about bullet journals and you'll see what I mean.

I tried to start last January but I had already ordered my Erin Condren planner, which was quite an investment...and who wants to keep 2 planners?  So it fizzled. 

I decided to try again this year, but alas...I had already purchased another planner.  What is wrong with me?

I didn't want to wait another year, so what I've decided to do is to us my bullet journal for habit tracking and lists.  This will give me a chance to play with the system and decided whether it will be something I love and want to continue as a more complete system next year.  This is what I have so far...

The Title Page: Nothing too fancy, but I like it!

This is the primary reason I did this...a habit tracker. I love this one.

Anything to help me keep a cleaner house.

An attempt to help me read the 100 or so unread books on
my shelves.  I am pretty sure I have a problem.  Ahem.

I already use Goodreads to track my reading but
I saw this layout and fell in love, so....

It's only day 4, but as of right now I am loving the Bullet Journal and have done a number of things I would otherwise have skipped altogether (flossing...I hate doing it) just so I could color in that little square.

Only time will tell if I can continue to use it daily.