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Thankful Thursday, My Family

Today is the first of hopefully many Thankful Thursday submissions from me.  I am imagining that most days I will be able to find this day’s adventure of writing easier than others.  The writing part that is.  Probably not so much the finding the time part.  You know though, the other day I asked God to find me the time if he wanted me to write and the even weirder thing, he did.  Seriously, he has come through everyday with time for me to write.  It is just that sometimes, like yesterday, I don’t take that time.  I almost didn’t write tonight either.  I got distracted by the internet.  Yeah, I said the whole internet and not just one specific thing on the internet but rather Facebook is a gateway to the rest of the place and before you know it I’ve watched 2 videos, looked at countless pictures and Ads for diet stuff.  Laughed at some jokes and read some recipes.  Then I realize, oh my gosh!  I am wasting my writing time.  So here I am now, writing my thing at 11 pm.  Well guess what, that is all part of it I suppose.  At least I am writing now and at least I gave myself another new beginning today.

I guess this all leads up to my thankful list because I can think of at least 3 things I am thankful for right off the top of my head and once I get started I’m sure there will be more.

1.  My God, I am so thankful for him.  I am thankful for his forgiveness, his unconditional love, and his blessings that he pours out to me daily.

Sunset on beautiful Lake Manitou

Sunset on beautiful Lake Manitou

2.  My first blessing is my family.  I’m talking Daren, Brittany, my Mom, Chris, Lisa & Madison, and Cory.  I am thankful for the people who love my family too.  I am thankful that each person in my family is different but we all are accepting, forgiving and stubborn.

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3. My friends and I am so thankful to call them many.  I never knew how many friends I had until a month  ago when my dad died.  I was blown away at the generosity and love that so many shared.

4.  Technology.  I love my gadgets.  I love being able to stay connected everywhere.  (I know it is shallow but I believe we all have shallow parts and this is my confession.  lol)

5.  Coffee.  For those of you who know me, you are not surprised by the top 5 appearance of this jem.  I am a coffee snob and I prefer mine and my mothers to anyone’s.  There is always a cup waiting for you at my house.

New Beginnings

IMG_2783So I realized that I need to gain a new perspective.  I need to adopt a new attitude and I also need to start writing…again.  This whole writing thing is kindof like me becoming a runner thing to me.  I desperately want to be one, er…both.  So I guess I am just going to keep starting them over and over again and maybe one day it will actually stick.  You see, the way I see my issues with running, writing and nutrition is that I fall of the wagon all the time!  Every day I mess up, I make a mistake and most times when I mess up well then, I give up.  And then I give up for a long time.  Then I start telling myself that it is embarrassing to continually screw u day after day and then not to fix it.  So then I just stop trying all together.  What a miserable cycle.  I see that problem with several other things in my life too.  Come to think of it in most things in my life that I want to achieve but somehow haven’t.  It is almost as if I see my life passing before my eyes and I am stuck on the same old things over and over again.  I suppose this is where one might find the peace and enjoyment in life.  Continuing to strive to be better than you were the day, week or even month before.

(Gosh, truth be told this all kind of scares me.  I’m going to put this all out there and then I might have one person who holds me accountable.  I might just die of embarrassment before I even post this.  I wonder if I will even post this.  I wonder how long it will take me to post it.  Today is 10/15/2013)

OK, so here are some of the topics, situations, dreams, every day chores & activities that I will want to work on over the next 6 months.  (Did I just say 6 months?  How about 6 hours, 6 days, 6 weeks but not 6 months really?)  OK, 6 months with an opt out  at 6 weeks.  That will be for any and everyone’s sake.  So here goes…

1.   Faith, what about my faith?  It is about me putting God first. (Mondays)

2.  Nutrition, a new recipe, a new diet, what am I cooking this week,  (Wednesdays)

3. Running (Fridays)

4.  My dreams/My family.  (Saturdays)

5.  Thankful Thursdays

6.  The Printing Industry, Saver Gator Magazine, Small business Marketing, Social Media Marketing (Tuesdays)

Oh my gosh!  I’m now starting to get excited.  So let me get this all straight in my mind and in my calendar.

OK, it is in my calendar.  I will start tomorrow (on “The Plan”) but really I’m starting tonight.

So, I started to go down one path when I starting this entry.  I was talking about doing something over and over and over again and messing it up over and over again.  My marriage and my family, my job, my dreams, how I eat, how I worship, how I exercise.  Is this what it is all about?  Discipline?  Why are others so great at it and I am so terrible at it?  Well, most of the time, it is just quite simply for lack of trying.  IT IS!  So this is my way of trying to  make myself just quit being silly and do it.  And if I have to write about it once a week then at least I am talking about it once a week which in most cases is better than I was yesterday.

I wonder if any of this makes sense to you?  It does to me right now.

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Peach Fruit Roll Ups

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So this is my first attempt at home made fruit roll ups, my first attempt at using agave nectar as a sweetener and my first attempt at writing a blog from my iPad. Yikes!

We’ll let’s clear something up. This IPad is not new, it is a hand me down but I surely don’t mind a used IPad. I think I am really going to like it.

Ok back to the fruit roll ups. First off I am pretty sure that I put them in the oven too late in the day. I will be up half the night waiting for these to be done. Never the less, the concoction that I put in the oven tasted amazing so I’m excited to try them out.

I was inspired to make them by my man Jammin’ Jay and The Farmer’s Market. I am looking to add to my farm stand and these combine the local fruit Option with my need/love/therapy that is baking.

The problem with this experiment is that right now, I have no idea how much fruit I put into the mixture so I have no clue how to price them. I’m going to say that input in 1/2 qt of frozen Georgia Peaches. Oh my gosh these peaches were amazing when I froze them and they really kept their color. I halved the fresh peaches, pitted them and them took the skins off. I put them in a bowl and then I tossed them with the appropriate amount of fruit fresh and a little bit of sugar. I then put them in quart freezer bags and stuck them in the freezer.

So tonight when I decided to make fruit roll ups, I simply took a quart bag out and cut it in half.

Next I put the peaches in a sauce pan to defrost them. I turned it on low so I didn’t fry the peaches but gradually let them thaw. I mashed the peaches up as I stirred them. I added 2 T. Of Agave Nectar for a bit more sweetening. I cooked the mixture a bit more and then I stuck it in my food processor. I processed the mixture until it was completely smooth.

After it was sufficiently smooth, I poured the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper that I put over my Pampered Chef Bar Pan. I spread the mixture out evenly and then stuck it into my oven at 170 degrees. I read somewhere that it was better if you could get your oven to 150 degrees but 170 was the lowest mine could go so…

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Since I put them in the oven so late it was after 1:30 am before I could turn the oven off. I made Daren go downstairs and turn them off. I then promptly went to sleep.

When I got up this morning, I took the fruit out of the oven. I pulled the parchment paper off onto my large cutting board. I then tried cutting the strips with my pizza cutter. It cut the fruit fine but not the parchment paper. So I then just used my kitchen shears.

Daren was my first guinea pig. They peeled just fine and they were easy to eat. He really liked them. Brittany on the other hand, wouldn’t even try them. All she would say is…”I don’t like peaches.” Blah blah blah

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Currently I have blueberry and strawberry in the oven cooking. We cooked them up right after church and will take them out around 7 pm tonight. I will cut them tomorrow morning.

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My New Roof

I can hardly begin to describe how blessed I feel at this very moment.  I am sitting on my back deck under my new roof that my husband and brother Chris built for me. It is somewhat of a lean-to structure attached to the house.  The roof is shingled.  Our backyard faces due west and we only have 1 tree in our entire yard and it is not even remotely close to the deck.

Daren, Brittany and I have lived in this house for about 11 years now.  Many years of those I have had a deck on the back side of our house.  It’s a very nice deck but something has always been missing.  That would be shade!  We have tried many different things to provide shade.  Namely umbrellas but with those they tend to only last about a weekend or so.  The wind always catches them and breaks them.  So each year it is a minimum $60 investment for only about 1 week of use.  That was always depressing.  We thought about a pergola but never fully thought that it would truly solve our shade issue couple that with the expense and it just didn’t seem fiscally responsible.  It would have looked nice though.

This year however, we committed; or rather, Daren committed.  Daren got on board with the project and I got busy bothering my brother!  LOL  Bless his heart, he is so busy but I know that he will put me on his list and to stay at the top, I must be a little vocal.  I have so much more confidence in the ability of Daren & Chris together.  I have more confidence in them than they do in themselves.  I will tell you, I am not disappointed in myself in the least!  I knew that together they would have this project whipped out in a matter of days.  It was 1 1/2 days pure construction and approximately 1 more day in punch work.  They didn’t do the punch work in 1 single day but rather a little bit of time over a couple/few days. I even helped a little!

I am so thankful that those 2 men love me as much as they do.  With this new roof, I am loving my backyard more than ever!  So with that being said, I am going shopping for a few decorations for my new backyard space!