Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Favorites, Again!

The "Call Her Happy" blog author sent me an email inviting me to join into the 5 favorites that she is hosting.  When the favorites started moving to different hosts, I lost the 5 favorite interest.  It is hard to come up with 5 favorites every week.  Lots of things I am indifferent about or so-so about, and not "5 favorite" about.  But, I have decided to give it a whirl again this week.

5 Favorite Fall Foods.

In my house the oven is banned during the hot season which lasts from April to October around here.  So once a good space of fall weather hits I bake up a storm.  Hence, many of the favorite fall foods are oven dishes.

1. Apple Crisp.
I peel and slice up the apples.  Taste for sweetness.  If they are sour, add sugar.  If they are pretty sweet, sprinkle a little sugar.  Dash with some cinnamon and a little bit of salt.  Then melt some butter into some oatmeal.  Add a little sugar and dash in some cinnamon and salt.  If I want to be fancy, splash in some vanilla.  Before I put the oatmeal on top, I run the microwave about 4 or 5 minutes with the apples.  Then top with the oatmeal mix and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven.  (Can you tell I make it up as I go along?)


2. Meat Loaf 
I usually make "mini meatloaves."  They are one serving sized. I use a Weight Watchers recipe and modify it. 

3. Lasagna
I make up my own recipe for this as well. But, it is pretty basic, no secret ingredients.


4. Soups (not baked, but cool weather food)
I do this. Or this.  Or this.

5. Italian Baked Chicken
Bake chicken in Italian salad dressing for about an hour.  Whatever chicken you like--whole, skinless breasts, wings,  your choice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Casting the First Stone

Let the one without sin cast the first stone.....

I was praying about criticism.  As a child, as a parent, as a spouse, as a teacher, I have criticized and I have been criticized.  Criticism is different than telling someone what you would like them to do.  It really is. Criticism is like throwing stones at people.  It hurts and it doesn't cause them to love or desire to please.  It may engender fear or hatred.  In fact it seems to me that criticism is like sending out little jabs of hate.

A better strategy, it seems to me is to either be a broken record in requesting the thing that you want done, or doing it yourself, or lowering your standard and letting it go.  If you are sending out a lot of criticism I would ask you to ask yourself--what do you want to accomplish by the criticism? Fear, hatred, submission to your will?  And why do you feel the need to criticize someone else?  Would you throw heavy stones at someone else?  Are you, yourself perfect, without sin?

And so, I am trying to lay down the sin of criticism and become the person I am called to be.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Conference

The St. Louis Catholic Renewal Conference for Fall 2014 was a little over a week ago.  So, if you didn't go, you missed it.  And I mean, you really missed it.  A chap for England gave The School for Charisms.  I was a little skeptical of how much could be covered in one weekend on the charisms.  I can say that I was truly surprised and amazed.
I received lessons on prophesy and praying for release of the Spirit and healing prayer.  I had, of course, previously learned about these and practiced them.  As should every good Christian.  But, my knowledge and practice was added to by this school.

The music was great.  The company was fantastic.  I continue to rejoice in Christ's love and mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, I worship You.  I give You thanks and praise.  I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness.  Help me to find peace in Your presence with me, now and forever. Amen

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where Are They Going?

I wonder where the worms are going?  And why aren't the robins eating them?  Worm migration or worm suicide.  My husband throws them back in the grass.

Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer Fulwiler hosts this meme/ carnival.  There are lots of others to read.  Go around and see.

1. Last weekend was the Fall Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference.  It was Friday evening, all day and night Saturday and most of Sunday.  The presenter was good.  But, he was too long winded.  Every presentation started late and then went longer than it was supposed to.  Even when there is good stuff, the getting off-topic and not respecting time gets old.  I am trying to remember that there were really good things I got out of the conference and not how tired I was at the seemingly endless chatter that didn't matter. Hubs and I made the executive decision to leave an hour early rather than stay until the announced closing time and having that extended by an hour or so.  Perhaps when I get my thoughts together I will blog about the good stuff I got from the conference at some future point.  Now I just want to rest.

2. Monday when the rest of the world, or at least my Hubs and the postman, were off of work, I had school.  My district doesn't take the fall holidays, Columbus and Veterans Days.  After the conference all weekend, it was hard to go back to work.  I had to get groceries and call my mom.  When I talked to her Sunday she told me that she was set to go to the doctor to do the final carpal tunnel check up on Tuesday.  The problem is, the appointment is Thursday.  That would be a long wait in the office....

Mom is 93.  She still drives.  She lives in an apartment, shops and cooks for herself.  She walks across the street to church on most Sundays if the weather is fine.  She is remarkable.  But, she is getting more forgetful.  She is less able to think things through and figure them out.  She repeats herself.  A lot. The doctor says it is not Alzheimers yet.  Not yet.  But, my brother moved up to the Chicago area this week.  Now I have no family in the town 2 and a half hours north where my mom is.  It would make so much sense for her to move closer to my sister or me.  But, Mom doesn't want to, not yet, not ever if she has her say.  We shall see.  I get a little desperate sometimes and with my brother gone, I suspect that it is only getting worse.


Mom had figured out by the time I called that the appointment was on Thursday.  So, there is that.  I called Mom on Thursday night.  She made it to the doctor fine.  She said that she saw him for five minutes.  I am glad I didn't drive up there for that.

3. Tuesday I planned to order a pizza and wings for dinner.  Hubs requested that I do something easy--frozen pizza and homemade chicken noodle soup instead.  That sounded good to me, so I stopped by the store for some ingredients. Whilst eating the soup, Hubs asked--is that Campbells or Progresso?  (Next time it will be, next time it will.....)

4. We have had endless days of rain starting last weekend and through Wednesday.  I was getting seasonly depressed.  I am trying to remember that the sad feeling I have is more relative to the weather than to anything that is actually happening in my life.

Then on Thursday we had a glorious sunny day.  I mowed the front yard.  I hope it was the last time of the year for that.  A girl can dream, right?



5. I have a few kids I am not checking out books to anymore until they find and return the books they checked out in August.  Sometimes they tell me that they just keep forgetting.  Then, poor children, I tell them this--In your young teenage years your memory is the best it will ever be.  That is why we teach children so much at this age.  If you can't remember a simple thing like a library book for several months, then by the time you are my age, you will be drooling in your pudding.



6. I haven't been on the radio, or quoted in book, or been on television, but I got up every morning and went to work.  Just to clarify.

7.  My brother closed on his house in Quincy on Tuesday and purchased a townhouse in Cary on Thursday.  I will miss him.  I will be up to see him.  I wonder what he is doing for Thanksgiving....lol

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thank You, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for sweet sleep and blessed rest.  Thanks for the rain.  Thank You for the worms that seem to be migrating away for the sodden earth.  Thanks for the green grass and the changing leaves.  Thanks for the changing season and the owl on the roof.  Thank You for the miracles every day.

Lord, thanks for the interior knowledge that You are with me, that You love me, that I am worthwhile.  Thanks that for some unknown reason I live in a place and time where I have plenty of food and medical care.  Thanks for these gifts and so many more.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Bird in the Tree....

Before winter sets in, let me share my summer birds.  We have had robins nest around our house every year.  They seem to be moving where they nest.

This year they nested right beside the bird feeder in the Japanese maple in front of our house.

It doesn't take robins long to lay a clutch and hatch them out.  This mama looked young to me and I wondered if she was one of the robins born in that tree.

She is quite handsome for a robin.

Unlike the babies who are naked and rather odd looking.

Mouth open constantly.

But, the reason that I had to share these pictures is that I caught a snap of the last baby robin as he was learning to fly on my lilies. 

It makes a pretty picture.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Responsibility

I remember being 4 and "watching" the babies, my little brothers while Mom drove Dad's lunch to him at school less than a quarter of a mile away.  At least I think she drove, maybe she walked.  I remember that she told me that I was responsible.  When she arrived back home a few minutes later she told me how proud she was of me.  I was her big girl.  I was responsible.  Today that would be child abuse, I suppose, but in the 1950s it wasn't so far away from normal.

It is obvious from my memory of that incident that I took on the characteristic of "The Responsible One" from that day forward.  I became the bossy big sister.  I was a "good girl."  While there is nothing wrong with that, in a way there was, there is.  The blessing of the label "responsible" is also a curse.  I have done things I didn't want to do and suffered for things that I was unable to accomplish because of the mirror I hold up to myself to be responsible.  And although I am loathe to admit it, I suppose I feel somewhere within myself that if I am not responsible, then I can not be loved.  My worthiness for love is dependent upon my responsibility.

People have used that against me.  I have been painted into boxes of responsibility and I have come to resent the assumption that I am responsible.  I am at a juncture where I am trying to find the truth in who I am.  I have concluded that I am not the care-free thinker who can throw all my concerns to the wind.  I don't want to be that person and I don't like that kind of person very much. (Mainly because I end up making up the slack for them, I think.)

But, what I am standing and trying to take it in is this--I am beloved of God irrespective of whether I am the responsible one, or just do my best.  Doing my best and forgetting the rest is okay.  I must allow others to take on the responsibilities that they have in their lives.  It is not kindness to take on the responsibilities of others.  They need to learn to fend for themselves.

I am learning, trying to learn how to be an authentic daughter of God.  How to walk in the world without fear and judgment and self-criticism, that is my goal.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Soulard, A Pictorial Journey

A couple of weeks ago, when it was still warm, Hubs and I went to the Soulard Markey area for lunch on a Saturday.

Soulard Market is the oldest market in the city of St. Louis.  It is an open-air market south of downtown and north of the brewery.  Originally it was a farmer's market and it is still that.

You can buy all types of produce at Soulard.

But, you can't smoke!
 
Not only can you buy different colors of eggs, but different kinds.  I never thought of buying turkey eggs.  I wonder how they would taste?
 
 

As you can see it is pumpkin and squash season. The neighborhood around Soulard has developed a bar and restaurant scene.  That was our objective for lunch.

You might not be able to smoke in Soulard Markey, but across the street, you can get all manner of delicious smoked meats at Bogarts Smoke House.

I like that it is open until 4ish on Monday through Thursday.  Not a slave to the clock, that Bogart.

The inside is the typical St. Louis style BBQ d├ęcor, by which I mean, men put up things they like.

The neighborhood around Soulard has some of the oldest houses in the city.  I thought this was an interesting flounder style house.

St. Louis is celebrating its 250 year anniversary this year.  These birthday cakes are supposed to be all over the place.  I have heard lots of people talking about them, but this one is the first one I saw.
 
So, I give you the Soulard area.