Category Archives: Things I love

Fun stuff on Friday

It’s Friday.  I’ve accomplished almost nothing today but I’m alright with that.
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It’s been quite a week here.  This week my biggest post was actually Muskoka Bean Salad, an old recipe from last summer.  I would guess that people are getting ready for BBQs on the weekend!
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If you’re looking for some youtube entertainment can I suggest checking out The Maccabeats.  They are a Jewish A Cappella group that I discovered while reading Mayim Bialik’s blog.  They are very good and some of their stuff is really catchy.  I quite enjoy listening to them.  Here’s one of my favorite videos:


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I realized this week that I’m a writer.  Now whenever people ask me what I do I say “I’m a mother, I minister, and I write”.  I guess you could say I’m rather busy and I like it that way.
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My local coffee place recently informed me that they could make iced soy chai lattes for me this summer so I wouldn’t be deprived of my favorite drink over the summer.  Can I just say ‘dangerous’?  They are so delicious!
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Donald Driver is going to be on my fantasy football team.  Why you say? After all he’s a 5th receiver, right?  It’s a simple reason.  He won Dancing with the Stars and I need a mascot.  Also all the cardio he’s done while training for the show makes him a potential threat.  It might be risky but I am a gutsy girl who needs to win this year!
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I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  To my American friends – Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  To the rest of you, have a fantastic normal weekend.  After all, holiday or no holiday a weekend is the best part of the week!!!
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Ten reasons I’m looking forward to the summer

I’m looking forward to the summer.  The sun, sand and swings are waiting.  I’m also anxious for strawberries.  Here are 10 things I’m looking forward to most:

  1. Warm summer nights.  There are few things nicer than sitting on the deck while a warm summer breeze blows at days end.
  2. Peaches.  The sweet, tangy fruit that drips down your chin while you eat it is one of my favorites.  I cannot get enough of them.  There are also strawberries and raspberries and well you get the point.
  3. BBQ.  I know we’re plant based now but there are so many things that belong on my BBQ.  From tempeh burgers to grilled mushrooms the possibilities are endless and waiting to be explored.
  4. Picnics in the park.  I just can’t wait until we can hit the park with our backpack filled with snacks and lunch so we can play all day.
  5. Watching the sunset on the deck overlooking the lake.  We don’t live right on the lake but there are plenty of restaurants that have beautiful decks with delicious food and a great view.  It’s one of my favorite date night activities with my husband.
  6. I love relaxed church!  As congregations get smaller and shorts start to appear in the pews I find people are more relaxed and people seem happier.
  7. Afternoons spent reading on the back deck.  My summer reading tends to be light and fluffy but it’s oh so enjoyable.  A glass of iced tea and a good book make for the perfect summer afternoon.
  8. I love to hike and explore the countryside.  We often hike while on vacation and love to go on long walks by the lake when we’re home.  I can’t wait to get back on the trails.  Perhaps I should begin training…
  9. Leisurely visits with friends.  As many of my friends are ministers and others are in school or have children in school I find that the best time for getting together is the summer when things quiet down.  With BBQs and get togethers happening weekly there’s no excuse to not see one another.
  10. Sandals.  I love when the weather is warm enough that I don’t needs to wear socks it means summer really has arrived.

Things I love.

  1. My farmer’s market.  The asparagus is here and sweet cherry tomatoes are available.  Local, delicious food is a favorite in our house. 
  2. Homemade cookies.  MMM. 
  3. Sleep.  I don’t get enough of it and every moment is sheer bliss.
  4. Warm blankets.  It feels like fall here.  I’m not joking.  I’m freezing here. Heavy warm blankets are keeping me cozy. 
  5. Reading books on quiet afternoons alone or with a partner.  We love books here and find they pair well with warm blankets. 

What do you love?

Celebrity Lullaby

Just in case you’re having a little trouble sleeping…

My son adores this clip. A friend of mine posted it on facebook and it happened to be on a random Sesame Street we taped this week. When we stumbled upon it while watching the show X.’s eyes lit up and he was in hysterics on the floor. I have to admit it is pretty funny.

Sweet dreams!

Grateful for the ordinary.

I am sitting at the kitchen table contemplating the sour taste remaining in my mouth after having eaten an overripe strawberry.  The light is fading but still plentiful.  I see a dead patch on the grass and wonder if there are grubs to deal with.  My husband and son sit together in the other room surrounded by matchbox cars and potato head pieces.  It’s the end of an ordinary day and I am grateful.  I am grateful for the ordinary.

There is beauty in the ordinary.  A sense of blessing surrounds me.  I am able to sit and know that God is near.  I am grateful for this feeling.  It is a feeling I am lucky to have.  In many ways I feel as though I am standing in the eye of a hurricane as I watch those around me deal with crashing winds and rains.

I have been in the rain.  I have felt the winds blow.  I know the time may be coming where I will face them again.  This sense of calm may be a temporary thing but I embrace it.  I cherish it.  I am grateful for it.

If my posting is irregular or my thoughts seem light it’s because I’m taking in these moments.  If I’m not here I’m out running in the park or baking cookies with my boy.  If I’m not here I’m in prayer and reflecting in the wee hours of the morning.  If I’m not here I’m embracing that which is ordinary, that which is blessed.

I know the rains may come.  I feel the pressure of the wind pushing against me and I wonder where the storm will take us.  For now though I sit.  I sit in the stillness and embrace these gifts.  I thank God for these moments.

Spring.

I {heart} Kale

I’m seriously in love with Kale right now.  We use it in everything from salads to smoothies and it brings a smooth flavor to whatever we’re cooking.  Last week we had quite a few small bunches left the night before we were headed to the farmers market and I decided to make some Kale chips to use them up.  Kale chips are delicious.

If you’re looking for a kid/adult friendly way to include more greens in your diet, Kale chips may be the answer for you.  They take an already tasty veggie and crunch it up.  You get crunch, nutrition and some fun at dinner.  It’s a win/win in my book.

My recipe is simple and somewhat vague.  I’ve included step by step pictures so that you can see it’s an inexact but ridiculously easy process and one I highly recommend attempting!

Kale Chips:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 small bunches or 2 large ones.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425. 

Clean the kale very well taking care to remove the tough woody stems from the leaves.  Break the leaves down into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl.  If the leaves are too wet at this point dry them a little before placing them in the bowl.   

This is how my leaves looked at this point.  Once your leaves are prepared, mix the olive oil and soy sauce together and then drizzle over the leaves.  Lightly toss with your hands to ensure the mixture is evenly distributed.  Place the leaves on your pan.  It should look like this:

I know the pan looks too full but trust me, it’s not.  The leaves shrink and everything will be fine.   Place your pan in the oven for 12-13 minutes.  After the alloted time remove pan from the oven.

Evenly distribute the leaves on the pan and place back in the oven for an additional 12-13 minutes.  When you remove the Kale chips from the oven a second time, check to ensure that they are cooked and crunchy.  If not, cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Transfer the chips into a bowl and lightly sprinkle onion powder and garlic powder over them.  I use a very small amount of onion powder and a slightly larger amount {though still small} of garlic powder.  The important thing to remember is to start small and taste as you go.  You do not want too much of either.  Gently toss the chips and serve!

Extra Information:

I don’t oil my pan as I have an old, beat up pan that I use for things like this.  The kale really doesn’t stick and if a few pieces do I can usually scrub them off with little to no effort.  If you are using a nice pan I would lightly spray it to ensure ease of cleaning.

You may find you have too much kale depending on the size of your bunches.  If I have a bit too much for the bowl or pan I’m using, before I drizzle the oil on I rescue a couple of handfuls and refrigerate them until I need them.  They keep very well and are quite handy once cleaned and prepped.

Hearth & Soul Hop

Scene: Becky sits, head hanging sheepishly as her fingers hit the keyboard.

So I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been…
I’ve been reading a lot.
I’ve been lost in it actually.
It’s not great English literature.
It’s not about Jesus.
I’ve been reading The Hunger Games.

Embarrassing and true.

It’s okay.  You can laugh.

I was obsessed.  This has happened to me before with other series.  Characters like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson draw me in to their alternate realities and I can’t stop.  I didn’t think it would happen with Katniss.  I didn’t think that a dystopian novel written for young adults would draw me in.  It did.  I was hooked.  I just couldn’t stop.

Now I’m not sure what to read.  I know I should get back to Jesus and the Church but I feel drawn back into the world of young adult literature.  Should I reread Harry Potter?  Does Percy Jackson deserve another visit?  I’m not sure where I will go but I can guarantee it won’t be Twilight.  Vampires that sparkle just seem stupid to me.

Energy.

As I mentioned yesterday, it feels like summer here.  That means it’s time to bust out the summer driving music.  For me the winter is filled with deep thoughts and resonating tones.  In the summer though I like lighter thoughts and my thoughts tend to wander.

I love summer driving music.  Songs that are light and fluffy with a nice beat and good energy will fill my iPod by the end of this week.  Beatles tunes, 80’s Madonna hits, Katy Perry and the Spice Girls will be mixed in with other light, sunny hits.  There isn’t much depth or soul searching but there’s loads of energy and it’s happy music.


 

When I think about the craziness that the Beatles experienced, or NKOTB, the Spice Girls and now Justin Bieber I wonder what it would have been like to be with Jesus while he was preaching.  In a time with no cars and no quick mode of transportation it is suspected that he had close to 15 000 people around him while he spoke.  This number is incredible.  Think of the energy.  Think of the passion.  Imagine what it would have been like to be part of that crowd.

Jesus commanded the attention of people with a message of love and acceptance.
He commanded the attention of people with his presence and passion for people. It would have been an incredible site.

I know the energy from my summer driving songs doesn’t come from a place of depth or great connection with God but going to a concert and listening to the screaming fans connecting with those singers is probably the closest thing I’ll witness to the response people had to Jesus.

Wouldn’t it be great if we walked into church and felt that passion?
Wouldn’t it be great if we let Jesus in and allowed him to work in us?

Imagine what we could do if we just let the Holy Spirit in and allowed it to do it’s work…

Summer Chives

Look at this…

Don’t they look like summer chives?
They aren’t.  They are March 21 chives.
It’s not even summer yet and these chives are full, lush, and delicious
There’s just sitting on my back patio waiting to be eaten.

This is a very unusual year.

It’s the first day of spring.
Outside it’s 25 degrees and feels like a cool summer day.
I’m in heaven.
I have summer chives.
Life is good.