Passover

15 Apr

I meant to post this yesterday but what with finishing sewing my skirt (!), getting my VW Bug out of storage (!!) and dealing with some serious migraine, it just slipped my mind! We are obviously taking a break from our marriage series to learn about Passover aka Pesach today. Last night was the first night and my OH and I were honored to be able to attend my sister and brother in laws’ Seder. Enjoy this little bit of ‘Jewish history’ lesson.

 

                         “The Lord’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day

                  of that month the Lord’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins ; for seven days you must eat bread made

                without yeast. On the first day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. For seven days present an

               offering made to the Lord  by fire. And on the seventh day hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.”

                                                                          Leviticus 23:5 -8

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Passover is also called Pesach – it announces that spring has begun on the Jewish calendar.

Pesach means ‘to spring, jump or pass over’ something. Hence the English name – Passover. This name is a biblical reference to when Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt (found in Exodus chapter 7 to ch 14:29)  Here is an excerpt from a great book – God’s Appointed Times  by Barney Kasdan

Because of the increasing hardening of Pharoah’s heart, God had to send ten plagues 

to persuade the blinded leader to let Israel go. As devastating as the first nine plagues were,

it wasn’t until the tenth and final plague that Pharoah acquiesed to the God of Israel.

In this judgement, God said he would send the Angel of Death over the land of Egypt to take the

firstborn boy of every household.

With every judgement of God there is also a way of escape. Any household that put the blood

of the sacrificial lamb on its doorpost was given a special promise “…when I see the blood,

I will pass over you.  No destructive plague will touch you.” (Exodus 12:13)”

Passover is a holy day commemorating the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Yet it holds a greater prophetic picture of God’s plan of redemption for the world!

Traditional observance:

~perhaps the most elaborate feast

~remove any leavened products from home (reminder of how quickly they had to flee Egypt) – leaven (yeast) symbolizes sin. We must clear away any sin from our dwellings and hearts

~Every spring ‘spring cleaning’ takes place to prepare

~then prep for the seder meal Seder means ‘order’ of the service – given in Ex. 12

~ eat three things in memory of – lamb, matzah and bitter herbs

~added later were green veggies, boiled egg, kharoset (apple/nut mix) and 4 cups wine

~All are arranged on a ceremonial seder plate and wine is sipped from a decorative kiddush cup (wine goblet)

~later on a 5th cup was added called the Cup of Elijah. It is filled with “the hope that the prophet Elijah will come, drink from the cup and announce that the Messiah has come.(Malachi 4:5)

~ Like most feasts, the food is full of symbolic meaning. It shows that theology is also eaten, not only taught.

~The structure of the service was put into the Haggadah, a small book that retells the story and importance of Passover.

~The seder is a ceremonial dinner focused on reading the Haggadah

~ Most often, it is celebrated the first two nights of Passover (it lasts eight days)

~not to eat any leavened bread (any with yeast) for the full eight days

New Testament Observance:

~traditions were set before the first century.

~”the last supper”  when Jesus and his disciples had the final meal. They were celebrating the last Passover. We can see the traditions in the accounting in Matthew 26 and Luke 22.

~representations:

lamb – redemption, blood of the sacrifice

baytzah (boiled egg) – burnt offerings of Temple period

 Maror (bitter herbs/horseradish) – bitterness of slavery

Kharoset (apple/nut mix) – sweetness of our redemption

karpas (parsley/green veggie) – life

hand and foot washing – need for cleaning before approaching a holy God

cups of wine – Cup of Sanctification = set apart, sanctify. Cup of Praise = must praise Him who has done great things. Cup of Redemption = the spiritual redemption found in Jesus’ sacrifice. Cup of Acceptance = truth of God accepting His people.

Here are two Passover songs from Youtube you might enjoy:

http://youtu.be/mSfrxV_Kcig

http://youtu.be/FX3MHs7rEFA

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!

Inexpensive anniversary ideas

13 Apr

Surprise! You get an extra post today! (doesn’t this just make today extra exciting??!?!?)

Our first year anniversary is today!  Over the past few weeks,  I have been trying to figure out something as a gift for him and something fun to do (assuming he doesn’t plan something! haha).

But as I was searching, I was seeing a lot about ‘paper’ symbolism for the 1st anniversary. Well, it got my curiosity going so I did some reading, this is what I found -

Back in Germanic Europe  - about 600 years ago – gold and silver were linked with the 25 and 50 years married. But in 1875, the 1st year and other anniversaries were linked with symbols. I found two descriptions of why paper, and I really like them both!

“Paper symbolizes the strength from the interlaced individual threads in each sheet”

“Paper is seen to represent the delicate nature of a young marriage but can also denote the acquisition of knowledge.” (from Ehow.com)

I love the idea of being stronger because of the connection you both have – and that you learn as you go along through the years. Very true.

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and this is a lineup of ideas that I love :

  • Framed message board - http://www.lifesweetlifeblog.com/2012/01/free-printable-i-love-you-because.html
  • go back to where you first met/first date
  • write love letters to each other
  • watch your wedding video (i think i’d have to ply him with coffee and dessert to get him to happily do this one! ha!)
  • If you can, spend the day together! Put away the cell phone, ipod and whatever else distracts you from each other. Celebrate your life together! Step away from the day to day.
  • plan a picnic with paper cups and plates (esp if you’ve saved some from your wedding, use them!)
  • If you want to plan a party for family/friends (which I was thinking of but don’t think it’ll happen this year) – incorporate the paper theme with an origami challenge or a paper chain making race. (!)
  • Do a Wedding Dress sketch through http://www.mydreamlines.com/ - this company makes a sketch of your wedding dress and tuxedo after you send them some photos. (how great is this!!! i love it)
  • Make a photo book ( i made one months ago through Costco.com and absolutely love it)
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  • Print out vows and a favorite wedding photo to hang on the wall (i love this one too! Might be more for me than him though..)
  • Personalized playing cards (shutterfly is an option)
  • head to Barnes n Noble and pick up a fill-in-the-blanks What I Love About You book. Super cute and reasonably priced

As for some of my thoughts on ‘advice’  - Be full of patience, prayer and gentleness. I’ve realized more and more that even though we are married, his world is still very separate from mine and I don’t/can’t fully understand the pressure put on him ‘out there’  (work, college, etc..) so expecting him to be able to fully be present right away in the evenings is not very gracious. This past year I have decided that the biggest struggle is learning how we each respond to circumstances and how to handle it together. We both have learned how our parents handle things, and react in accordance with that. But, as we each are different than our parents…. this learning will take years, I suspect. If you or your hubby is going through school – figure out how to balance it. This is something we will have to re-learn, as he has recently started classes up again. Balance the time needed to get homework done and time spent together. Always remember you married your best friend.

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Well, plans have changed a lot over the past few days so we might not be able to celebrate our Anniversary until next weekend, but i do hope you have enjoyed today’s post – and come back tomorrow for more on the marriage advice collaboration!

 

Marriage Advice Collaboration – part 3

11 Apr

Today was a gorgeous spring day here  in Central Oregon. I was able to get out in the sunshine for a while and take the dog to the dog park! Which means she was a smiling-panting-ball-of-pent-up-energy when we got there. She loves being able to run free and smell all the smells and ‘meet’ all the other dogs and people there. Of course, when we got back, we both took long naps! ha. Just had too much excitement I guess. 

The advice today comes from my dear friend Viktorija in North Carolina. We met years ago through a pen-pal exchange set up by a magazine we both received (does anyone remember the Brio mag from Focus on the Family?) and through the years we have grown to be close, even visiting each other on opposite coasts! Viktorija is a photographer, piano teacher, babysitter, etc… go getter! She has been helping put her husband through college for several years.  She looks at life as an adventure and I’ve always been slightly jealous of that fact! ( now you know, i guess Viktorija…) Enjoy her pieces of advice, I certainly did. 

“This piece of advice is thrown around a  lot, but it’s seriously a good one: don’t go to bed angry (duh, i know). As difficult as it sometimes is, make up before the lights go out. Don’t start a brand new day with yesterdays’ fight clouding the air. I’ve done it and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Remember to put each other first. Not in a selfish way, but in a hey-we’re-married-and-should-discuss-things-with-each-other-first. If you air your problems to your mom or sister all the time, and he’s constantly dishing to a friend, it’s easy to come to the table with a self righteous, see-I’m-definitely-right sort of attitude. Rely on each other. Turn to your other half when you need a shoulder to cry on. Talk to each other.

Take photos – LOTS of them. Marriage is an adventure between you and your very best friend: document it. The good, the bad, and the fugly all deserve a place in the photo albums. Yes, I’m talking about the startling baby blue eye shadow I wore every single day eight years ago, convinced it looked amazing (it didn’t). Drew kindly waited until years later to tell me how bad it was. Or the Cheeto red, washable hair dye, applied so I’d be properly turned out for my friend’s graduation from marine boot camp (his platoon’s color was…you guessed it…red). A photo of me, my honey, and my obnoxiously red hair now sits next to my computer desk, reminding me of our early days together. There’s nothing better than looking back at memories you’ve made as a couple.

Stop and listen (or open up and talk, if you’re the introvert of the twosome). I’m good at talking. Drew’s good at listening. Sometimes I forget to listen and he doesn’t talk enough. So we pause, remind ourselves that a good relationship doesn’t work unless you do a little of both.

Give. Everybody’s heard the line ‘give and take’ when it comes to marriage. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to drop the ‘take’ and just think about giving. Two people who truly love each other are going to want to give ; to make the other person’s life happier and better . If that’s the case, you’ll never find yourself alone: giving and giving and giving and receiving nothing. By dropping the ‘take’ and just focusing on ‘give’ , you’ll be a truly selfless (and oh so happy!) person. 

Wake up with a kiss. Come home + kiss. And don’t forget a kiss before you go to sleep ;)

marriage advice collaboration- 3

bowling in matchy shirts!

 

 

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Marriage Advice – Collaboration – #2

8 Apr

Here we are again for installment 2! I am still so excited about this series! And since it’s later in the evening and I can feel a whopper of a migraine coming on, I’m going to jump right in to the words from my mom :

“I have found that when I am unhappy in my marriage, it is because my walk with Christ

is not where it should be. Getting back on track with God seems to ‘fix’ everything else.

I’ve learned to let the ‘little things’ go. Life is too short to dwell on them. Focus on the good and happy times.

When upset with my better half I’ve learned to pray for the situation -

not try to change him (that never works anyway).

marriage advice collaboration - #2

aren’t they just the cutest? love this wedding photo!

Mom (Darlene) and Dad have been married 281/2 years now – full of trials (blending two families and all!) and wonderful times. She is able to stay at home and spend all the time she wants with her many grandkids, talking to her chickens, sewing and trying new things. She is always upbeat and willing to give without expecting anything in return. Love you mom.

Marriage Advice Collaboration

3 Apr

Today starts a series that I have been excited for! I asked some of the women in my life to send me tidbits of what they have learned in the time they have been married. Whether it be 20 plus years or just a few – I was interested in learning what they have picked up – through the good times and bad – and to be able to learn from them and to pass it on to you! 

Mine and my OH’s first anniversary is coming up in 10 days (the day before Passover starts!) so I thought that it would be fitting to lead up to that with those who are much wiser than me. 

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Today’s post is from my sister in law Michaela, whom I love dearly and count as a sister. Her and my brother have two boys and a little girl on the way (I am SO excited!!!).  She is an accomplished photographer (any engagement/wedding photos i put up are hers!), talented decorator and her home is always welcoming and relaxing. 

“Isn’t time a funny thing sometimes? Like how after almost 12 years of marriage I can barely remember what it felt like to be single and on the other hand it still seems as though we are so young that we are just newlyweds! What I can say absolutely is that being married to Jerod is the BEST thing about my life here on earth! We’ve been overwhelmingly blessed by the Lord in our marriage and as I reflect on what has made it so great I realized it’s not any secret, just a lot of practical advice and examples we’ve had throughout our years from family, friends, authors and speakers. The foundation for us has been making our marriage (and anything important) the priority by being intentional (that has actually become our life goal). The older I get I realize more and more that everything, especially our relationships, flow out of my daily/hourly relationship with Jesus. the more I am growing in Him through daily studying the Bible and prayer the better my other precious relationships thrive! And along with the personal aspect of my faith is the community aspect of being involved in a local congregation where I am involved in some kind of small group where I am being mentored and held accountable by others, often older women/wives. Being humble and teachable, always realizing there is room for improvement in my marriage makes mentoring work! I try to always be reading Biblical books on marriage and attending/listening to marriage conferences (like with Family Life Today ministry hosts). Another way to show the priority of marriage is to schedule regular times for us to play, relax and have fun as a couple! But also remembering that as much as I hate the hard times, it’s then that we grow even closer and our love grows even sweeter! I remember as a newlywed being told “Oh it only gets better” and thinking “how could it?” Now I know it does… there is always more to look forward to when we are daily investing in our most important human relationship.”

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here is a link to the marriage resource she mentions: http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage#.Uz3Zf_ldWYg

Join us again next week for our next installment in this series! 

~Laura 

Birthday Celebrations

1 Apr

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I love birthdays.

It’s true – I’m like a kid when it comes to them and this one lived up to my hopes. I was spoiled completely and had such a fun time. Thank you to all who made me feel so special and loved.  

The night of my birthday my OH took me out to Greg’s Grill – our favorite place for a more up-scale date – and my parents were able to come along! And then, the waiter surprised me with a slice of delicious, decadent chocolate cake – full of gluten, dairy, eggs and sugar! Mmm,mmm! 

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If this isn’t an indication of my love for french fries . . . I don’t know what is! My mom made this for me and now it is happily magnet-ed to my fridge. =) My own box of fries that will never go bad. 

To finish the day off, we went to my parents’ house to play cribbage….

 

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Yes, that was the only game in three that we won, but that’s the only one that counts now, right? 

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The next evening, we had a family bowling birthday party for me =) My OH planned it and he did great – it was such a blast, and some of them even got on the bumper cars for a go round! 

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And now today, I am headed to my parents’ house to sew a skirt that my mom got all the materials for me I am excited as I don’t sew often but certainly enjoy it. Who knows, maybe a skirt tutorial will come out of today’s fun! 

~We will soon be starting a Marriage Advice series, leading up to my OH’s and mine first anniversary! Do join us as I’ve accumulated some great advice from several different wonderful women. 

Have a great First Day of April – and hopefully you didn’t wake up to snow this morning.

~Laura

Book Review – March 2014

28 Mar

What a month! Whew!  Trip to Portland to see friends, impromptu walks at the dog park and my birthday! Yes, I love birthdays – I get like a little kid counting down.  I had such a fun birthday, I just kept the Tylenol and Aspirin handy at all times (one of the hazards of migraines right there). While I could tell that I overdid it on my actual birthday I was able to lay low the next day for the family birthday party we had the next night! So much fun. And because some stores are awesome, I got birthday treasures : free spice mix from the spice shop in the old mill, coupon for Ace Hardware (I’m going to get the runner for my drawer for my dresser, I am so tired of it being broken! augh to broken drawers in all my dressers) and I also got a coupon for World Market that I bought a new shower curtain with! I have been wanting one since we got married but as it wasn’t really a priority…

But with that fabulous coupon and a sale at the store, I was able to get one that ties together the floor mat and our dark blue towels. (insert the happiest silliest grin!) Now I am thinking of getting a mirror in there, and working on a photo gallery (not sure where that’ll end up in the house yet though.)

Well, just in case you can’t tell by my intro (snicker snicker) This is the Book Review Post. I must admit that most of what I read this month was novels… fantastic don’t-want-to-put-them-down novels but not near as much variety as I intended! I will have to make sure I plan better for next month….heh. yeah. like that’ll happen. . .

  • Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan  – yes yes, another repeat on here! This book is one of my favorites – and even though I thought I hadn’t read it, I really had. Not sure how I didn’t recognize the first part! I absolutely adore the way she introduces you to the other ‘side’ of the Pride and Prejudice story. Darcy decides to banish Elizabeth from his mind and heart and so accepts an invitation to Norwyck Castle – and intrigue and marital design and danger fill the time spent there.  His relationships with his sister , Georgianna, grows as she puts behind her the devastation brought on by Wickham.
  • These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan – book 3 of the Darcy series. This book literally only took me a week to finish. I had such a hard time putting it down! After finding  Elizabeth in his Aunt’s parlor, he comes to realize he loves her and promptly proposes.Getting a thorough dressing down from her, he brews and stews in anger and pride.  Afterward,  Darcy undergoes an internal change – how he learns to give mercy and not see it as a weakness. His relationships with his sister , Georgianna and friends  help round out a fabulous cast to encourage him in his endeavor. The intrigue and a whole new set of characters that cross Darcy’s path are delightful, and through all three is his reliable butler, Fletcher, who I would LOVE to read a book of his background! Finishing the P&P story through Darcy’s eyes is fun and refreshing – the conversations between him and Elizabeth, Bingley and I believe even Mr. Bennet. This whole series is simply a delight to delve into.
  • The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, C.N.  – I randomly found this at the library, and while I won’t be following  the detox plan in it, I certainly learned a LOT about digestion and some new ways to look at what you eat. She found that food is the best beauty product – solve your breakouts, belly fat and coarse hair with what you eat. When your body has to work hard to digest what you’re putting in it, it can’t focus on the ‘non-essential’ tasks, like those mentioned above. Cutting out dairy, gluten, sugar, absolutely anything processed and meat if you’re so inclined, you can turn your health around, lose weight, sleep better and have more energy. There was some new-age sections in it, but I just skipped over it, to the food-focused areas. I actually had to return this to the library before I was done, but I did write some recipes down from the back of the book. Worth the read just for the health information.20140314_125012( You see the Women’s Running book there—- I have a confession to make, I was so engrossed in the novels, that I barely made it 15 pages in before it was due back to the library! Oops. Seems chock full of great information though)
  • Chateau of Echoes by Siri L. Mitchell - One of my favorites. I keep this one on my shelf here at the house (as opposed to the three shelves at my parents’ house  - thanks mom and dad!) so I can read it whenever I want.  After being widowed in a foreign country, Frederick Farmer bought a castle and turned it into a bed and breakfast – and her own hideout from the rest of the world.  When she stumbled on some diaries of a fifteen-century girl, she never dreamed how they would be the key to a second chance at life. When a well-known author comes to stay for the long term and she hires a graduate student studying the life of the author of the diaries of long–ago, she has no idea that she has just set the stage for romance and intrigue.  There is so much more I could tell you about this novel, but I don’t want to spoil the surprises! Let me just say that this book has a great combination of everything I love. A very unique story line with faith weaved in. this is a must read!
  • God’s Appointed Times by Barney Kasdan - I pulled this out to read up on Passover (Pesach) for a future post here on ‘good life’  (look for it in a few weeks!). this book covers all the biblical holy days for the Jews.  It is written to both Jews and Christians – aware that both can learn so much from these days.   He covers Shabbat, Passover, Fristfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, Hannukah, Purim and more.  Each chapter covers  “historical background, traditional Jewish observance, relevance to the New Testament, prophetic significance, and a practical guide for believers including recipes, songs and crafts.” (quote from the back of the book) From first starting to date my OH, I borrowed this book as a holy day came up so I could better understand the significance. It is very well written and easy to understand. I love all the information for each appointed time
  1. Frederick Wentworth, Captain – None But You by Susan Kaye - I found this one through the Darcy series by Pamela Aidan.  The author of this book is a friend of Aidans’. Score one for me actually reading the interview in the back of the book. I started it about a week ago but haven’t picked it up too much – not for lack of interest or being engulfed in the story though. This is a re-write of Persuasion – the story of Wentworth and Anne Elliot. As in the Darcy series, this is from the man’s side of the story. When Wentworth offered marriage to Anne Elliot eight years ago, all he had to offer her was his future. Being the daughter of a haughty baronet and goddaughter of Lady Russell, Anne is persuaded to end the engagement. Broken hearted and angry, Wentworth goes to sea to seek his fortune. But now it is the Elliot family that is in financial disarray and Wentworth who has made his fortune and fame in the navy. For eight years he has shielded his heart against Anne, but should he now open it up to her or pursue a young woman in the neighborhood?  If you don’t know this story, I won’t ruin it for you, but it is such a great story and I am excited to see the elements that are added by reading it from his side of things. More on this next month!
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Well, I do hope you’ve found something new to read! Happy reading friends and See you next week !

~Laura

Deep Fried Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce

24 Mar

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Here is a fun and easy new way to eat your veggies! This was a request of my OH’s so I pulled down our Lebanese cookbook – Classic Lebanese Cuisine by Chef Kamal AL-Faqih. A fabulous cookbook I must say. 

The Lebanese name for this dish is Arnabeet Mickli ma Taratoor. It is my new favorite way to eat cauliflower – which means I will be buying it more often than once a year! ha. I will admit that I got my OH to make the tahini sauce for us as he’s got the touch for it and I….well, something always goes wrong with it. All well. I think next time I will do two heads of cauliflower as one just wasn’t enough!

Ready? Here we go.   for the cauliflower you will need :

2 tsp salt

1 head cauliflower, about 2 1/2 lbs

3 cups canola oil (for frying)

to prepare – Place a large pot of water (about 8 cups) and the salt over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, remove all leaves from around the stem of the cauliflower. Cut the florets off the central stem into 2 to 3 in pieces. Try to keep consistent in size – not like I did. heh….

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Put in boiling water and cook uncovered, stirring a couple of times, for about 5 minutes. Drain. Evenly spread florets out on a flat tray and let cool for 30 minutes uncovered. They must be cool before frying or they will fall apart. 

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan ( I actually used a deep pan… you could try it in a shallower one but …that’s a lot of splatter to clean up after…. up to you I suppose) over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. ( I only heated it to about 220 degrees which made the frying go slower but i couldn’t wait any longer…) The oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Fry 4 to 5 florets at a time til golden brown and the edges are crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a paper-towel lined dish. 

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Make sure the oil stays at 375 degrees ( or if you’re like me, 220) to be able to fry the florets evenly.  Fry remaining cauliflower. (If you prefer, you can serve the cauliflower steamed.) 

For the Tahini Sauce :

1 lg clove garlic

1 tsp salt

1/2 c tahini (mix well before using)

1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 c water

1/4 c finely chopped flat leaf parsley

To prepare:

place all in high speed blender ( we used our Vitamix) and blend blend blend. If you don’t have one of those – here’s the other way :

in a small bowl, mash the garlic and salt to a pulp using a pestle. Add the rest of the ingredients but the parsley. Whisk until smooth and creamy, the consistency will be like pancake batter. Use a spoon to mix in the parsley. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Tahini sauce may thicken once refrigerated – thin with lemon juice or water. 

To Serve:

Place tahini sauce in a small bow in the center of a platter. Arrange the warm or room-temperature cauliflower around the tahini.

And ENJOY! 

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This is half a head of cauliflower =)

 

Chronic pain has made me weary

21 Mar

Can I just use this time as a little ‘therapy’ session? 

Thanks. 

I am really overly tired of feeling like this. It reminds me of why I become a bit of a hermit when it goes on like this – I don’t like having to tell everyone that no, I’m still not feeling well and yes I’m trying everything the doctor recommends. No one is judgemental or anything negative, I think that it just makes me realize just how bad i have been lately – for quite a while actually – when I have to say it out loud. Example : I haven’t felt ‘normal’ – energetic, motivated, well rested, pain free etc.. etc.. – since October of last year , except for about a week and a half. Sigh. I’m over it. I have had more days of sitting on this couch on the laptop or staring painfully at the ceiling than I ever wanted or dreamed I would.

Years ago, I used to get these and work and go to culinary school but honestly, if they were like these are now? I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I wouldn’t have done any of it actually. Another Sigh. Just another reminder that my health is getting worse instead of better. 

I want to be able to plant my garden this spring; I want to start running every day with my dog ; I want to take my nephews/nieces to the park; I want to get a part time job and help with bills; I want to have enough attention span to write every day. . . . So many things I dream of doing ‘when I’ve got my health back’ and one day I want to believe I will do them. Hopefully it won’t be because I’ve taken more pain pills or have just decided to ignore and push back the pain. 

My acupuncturist has suggested a new thing to try called ‘the Fast Metabolism Diet’ since it kick starts the Thyroid and the Adrenal Glands (i.e. what I need!) I have the book ordered and am looking for it to come in the mail next week, so I am thinking I’ll be able to start it that next Monday, I think that’s April 1st. (that makes my OCD happy, starting the beginning of the month!) and I am really hoping it helps! My OH said he’d do it with me, and that will definitely help out. 

I did work out today, that is another thing I am hoping to start doing every other day. I also want to do stretches on the opposite days. I have, on my left side, a ‘sensitive’ shoulder blade and hip that need a lot of stretching and TLC. Joy.

Chronic pain may have made me put so many dreams on hold, but I must say that I am thankful that it didn’t hold me back from meeting and marrying the man I’d been waiting for. Chronic pain has helped me grow in my faith and in compassion for others. Chronic pain has made my joy in seeing others going after their dreams twofold. 

Chronic pain has made me weary. But I will not give in or give up.  I will keep up the fight. Hour by hour. Day by day. 

So, good night dear friends, and remember to be thankful for the blessings you have been given. The Lord is walking each step with us throughout our entire lives. Image

Natural Oven Cleaner – part 2

17 Mar

Today is Deep Cleaning Day.

A few months ago I hung up a ‘weekly cleaning schedule’, hoping it would help me on the road to being a better housekeeper. I genuinely want to keep the house up for me and my OH, since I am not working right now, I definitely have the time! But things get in the way – be it a day out at my parents’ , a walk at the dog park or another migraine, something always seems to drain my limited energy reserves before I get to the cleaning part of the activities.

While I haven’t done as well with the cleaning schedule as I had hoped, it has gotten me to thinking about cleaning more often – which was part of  the goal! Along with the regular daily chores – laundry, dishes, sweep, etc… each day has ‘vacuum’ , ‘appliance’ , dusting’ and so on. So far, each week I have done one of these things. Last week it was vacuuming the couches and rug. This week (due to cleaning the oven end of last week) is appliance day.  I have cleaned the fridge (huzzah!), the coffee pot, wiped off the blenders and the espresso machine and cleaned the oven racks.

For the oven racks, last night  I did some research last night (on pinterest of course!) and found a delightful idea that claimed to be almost effortless.

All you do is put your oven racks in the tub and cover with hot water. Add 6-8 dryer sheets. Let soak overnight. The lady I was reading from – One Good Thing by Jillie - also added some dawn dish soap to the mix. Apparently the anti static agents in the sheets break up the food from the rack and the softening agents soften the food that’s been baked on. Then, you use the dryer sheets to scrub the remaining gunk off.  Now, she left it overnight plus some, but as my OH is the first one up in the morning, I knew I couldn’t do that. So, as soon as he’d left for work, I set these to soaking. I let them soak for about 5 and a half hours. Hoping that was enough time, I started scrubbing on them.

Image

soaking in the tub

At first, I was excited! They were coming clean! Huzzah! But then the elation wore off as I realized I had picked the one side of the rack that was the cleanest to start with…. While they are significantly cleaner than they started, it wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped. Granted, I didn’t leave them overnight and I didn’t have a scrub brush to really work at the gunk (I’ve really gotta get me one of those soon!) – but my overall rating of this Pinterest cleaning tip is a half-fail.

Half fail for me and half fail for it.

Image

finished product

After the racks were back in the oven, I started soaking the pans (meant to have them soaking first thing in the morning! oops). But as I am out of vinegar and baking soda ( add those to the list!) I poured some lysol and laid one of my reusable cleaning wipes ( for that post, click here ) in the water just for the heck of it. While those soaked, I took a mandatory break. Once I could pry myself back off the couch, I wiped out the —what’s it called? The under-the-burner-pans-top-of-the-oven…. Always gets so dirty there. You can always tell which burner you use most – for us it’s our one large burner. Yeah, three small burners and one large. What genius thought of that??? Pbbt.

Anyway, Scrubbed all the rest of the surface of the oven. Knobs. Burners. Front. Handle that gets greasy gunky. You get the idea.

Grabbed my car wax – yes, you read that right. I told you I’d use it for cleaning the oven! Just wax the top of your stove, rub it in and rub it off and it’s supposed to make future spills come right off! I’ve never done it before so we will see if it actually works. But the top does look a lot nicer now! =)

 I scrubbed the pans – will absolutely have to give them some serious TLC next time around as they are still pretty sad – and put the oven all back together.

All Clean!

All Clean!

This is the cleanest the oven has been in a looong time! I hope to keep it kept up from this point on.

Happy cleaning!

~Laura

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