Thursday, March 15, 2018

Riley the Prizefighter

Riley might look like he just won a boxing match, but the vet thinks it is a bad tooth. This is the second time in three months that the left side of his face has become swollen. The last time was right before Christmas, and he got better with a round of antibiotics. Since it happened again, he has to be put under so the vet can probe his molars on that side.

Surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday. Hoping he's going to be alright.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sisters Trip Flashback

Flashback to 2005 when Carolyn and I went on a sisters weekend to Amish Country. We were so much younger then (13 years to be exact).

We did some antiquing in little antique shops.

And some thinking in gardens.

And we frolicked in flowers with giant baskets in the distance.

We sat on the beds and ate popcorn from the hotel...

because there was nothing else to do.

I think it's time to go on another trip with my sister! 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

If You Only Knew

Jamie Ivey is one of my favorite podcasters. She is the host of The Happy Hour. I've been listening to her for a couple of years. Topics include marriage, faith, parenting, grief, joy, justice, and much more.

Jamie is married to Aaron Ivey, a worship pastor at Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. She has four children - three of them adopted.

Her book, If You Only Knew, was a birthday gift from Peter and Kendall (Kendall is a Happy Hour fan too!) I read it cover to cover on my four-hour flight to Phoenix last week.

We all have secrets from our past that we keep hidden because "what would people think if they found out?" Jamie shares her own story and the reasons she had to get it out in the open. Fear of being found out caused her to hide the beauty of what God did in her life.

Jamie's story is the story of many people who are on a path chasing things they think will bring them happiness but don't. It's the story of how God chased her down and turned her life around. She still struggles like we all do, but she has found freedom in being vulnerable about who she is.

I don't usually re-read books, but this is one that I will be reading again. Loved it!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili

Sheri from my Life Group has hosted several "ladies only" nights at her house. She is a great hostess and a wonderful cook. I want the recipe for everything she makes.

This week, she hosted a potato party. She borrowed about ten Mr. Potato Heads from friends and decorated her table with them. Then she baked up a big batch of potatoes for us and had lots of toppings to put on them.

One of the toppings was a sweet potato chili that was just amazing! I begged her for the recipe, and she brought it to Life Group tonight. Thank you, Sheri! I told Katherine about it, and she wanted me to post it here so that she could make it too. This makes a big batch (serves 10). Great for a crowd, but I think it would be easy to cut in half. Best of all - it is Slow Cooker friendly.

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili

2 lb. ground beef
1 red onion, chopped
1 t. garlic, minced
1 can tomato sauce (29.5 oz.)
2 cups petite diced tomatoes with juice
3 cups beef stock
1 cup carrots, sliced
5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. thyme
2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. pepper
1 T. chili powder
dash oregano
dash red pepper flakes

Brown ground beef. Drain off fat and place in large slow cooker.
Add other ingredients and let simmer on low 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Scottsdale with the Girls

It was time for a girls' getaway, and this year the destination was Scottsdale, Arizona. The four of us flew into Phoenix last Friday and got settled in just in time to crash for the night. We had an appointment Saturday morning to do a Segway tour of downtown Scottsdale.

On the tour, we learned all about Herb Drinkwater, a four-term mayor of Scottsdale who transformed the city from a sleepy little town to a resort destination. He died in 1998 at the age of 61. A statue of him and his dog, Sadie, was completed in 2003. As we were standing around reading the plaque about him, a group of people came up from behind us and told us they were his relatives. His brother, sister, and niece were among the group.

On Sunday morning we ventured out to climb Pinnacle Peak. We walked up 3/4 of a mile and felt we had seen all we wanted to see. The plants normally bloom in April, so we missed the colorful time of year.

There were many varieties of cacti. I wish I could identify them all.

Here are just a couple of them.

In the afternoon, we went to nearby Maryvale Baseball Park (home of the Milwaukee Brewers Spring Training) to see an Indians game.

The Indians lineup for the game.

We had dessert from Sprinkles bakery twice - only because the Cupcake ATM was not working the first night, and I had to get a video of it for Katherine!

The highlight of our trip was doing anti-aging facial masks while watching The Bachelor. Bet you can't guess who's who!

Until next time!

Friday, March 2, 2018

What I Read in February

I only got through four books in February! My goal was eight...but it was a short month.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
Rating: 4
A look into the hillbilly culture of Rust Belt Ohio and Kentucky's Appalachian area. The author manages to graduate from Yale Law School despite the many struggles he faced as a child. He brings to light the problems that perpetuate themselves in a community that sees no way out.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Rating: 4
Twin boys are orphaned at birth and raised by two Indian doctors in Ethiopia. This is a complex story of love, betrayal, reconciliation, and growing into adulthood.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Rating: 5
A classic murder mystery. Doesn't get much better than this.

Beartown by Fredrick Backman
Rating: 3
What happens in a town that puts hockey above all else. I didn't like this book for a few of reasons. One- the scenes jumped around way too much, Two- it was kind of boring, and Three- some of it did not seem realistic to me.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Painter's Pyramids

Last year, Becky gave me a few sets of Painter's Pyramids for my birthday. Today was the first time I was able to try them out.

 I began painting the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers today. The pyramids sit under the item you are painting so you can paint all sides without touching the door.

Then as the doors are drying, the pyramids keep the undersides from sticking to the tarp. The photo was taken after one coat of primer.