Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Summer Specials

Here are a few of the recipes I have tried this summer. All of them were enjoyed by my husband and I have been told can be repeated.

Top row:  Sirloin Steak with Sauce Robert, Grilled Chicken and Pear Salad, and Hot Honey Salmon
Center row:  Salmon with Brown Butter Tomato Relish, Chicken with Sauce Soubise, and Coffee Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Bottom row:  Mediterranean Fish Cakes, Barbecued Steak Sandwich, and French Onion Chicken

 Tonight I will be repeating the coffee rubbed pork tenderloin, Yummy!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 

My 95 year old aunt is dying. It has been a rough two years for her since my uncle passed away. I have tried to make sure that my mother has been able to visit her sister-in-law often, but there have been more bad days than goods days lately for my 99 year old mother, so time between visits has gotten longer and longer. However, last Wednesday was a good day, and we were able to visit my aunt. With my mom in her wheelchair and my aunt laying in her bed the two were able to share what will probably be their last visit. 

Long ago my aunt shared the story of how my uncle told her she just had to love my mom because she was like a mother to him growing up. That seemed odd in a sense because my mom and uncle were not that far apart in age, but my mom was the one who was always there while my widowed grandmother worked as the sole supporter, raising her five children. So, to him my mom was like a mother. My aunt took his words to heart, because she has always loved my mom, and my mom has always loved her.  It was a struggle for my mom to stand and kiss my aunt good-bye but she did, and I heard them both whisper, "I love you!"

Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 

Heart and Soul in the Kitchen

I adore Jacques Pepin, and was thrilled when his new cookbook arrived in my mailbox last week.  Years ago it was so much fun to watch him and Julia Child in the kitchen.  Occasionally, I am lucky enough to catch a snippet of the two of them on PBS. Although I enjoy watching "Chopped" and other  such shows on the Food Network, there is nothing that compares to Julia and Jacque in the kitchen.

Jacques makes everything he does in the kitchen look so easy and his recipes are delicious. His next cookbook will come out in September: A Grandfather's Lessons: In the Kitchen with Shorey My copy is on order!

Bon Appetit!

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Playing cards has never been my thing. Growing up my brother and sister always would spend time playing cards at the kitchen table while I'd have my nose stuck in a book. Words have always been my game. Let me read, write, play scrabble or just talk, but playing cards?! Only if I must.  Apparently, my brother and sister got their card playing gene from our mother. She can play cards for hours! So every once and awhile, I will take pity on my 99 year old mother, who seems quiet and bored reading her book, and says, "Mom, do you want to play cards?" She never hesitates, and always I enjoy the time and the game.

Who knows how many more card games she has in her, so every now and then I will again ask, 

"Mom, do you want to play cards?"

August Birthdays Celebrate Christmas

It has certainly been awhile since I've posted anything. How is it that life becomes so busy, that we don't find time for the fun things in life? Blogging is a fun thing to me.

I have been knitting and cooking up a storm this summer, but you would not think so by the looks of my posts, or the lack there of! I cannot show you all the new recipes I have cooked, but I will tell you that I have made, on average,  two new recipes a week this summer.  Perhaps what I will do in a future post is copy the recipe photo, post those pictures and if there's a dish that looks tempting to you, you can message me and I will share the recipe. However, for this post let me share the August birthday, which for me was a Christmas celebration.

Steele and Stella celebrated their first birthday!

Their birthday present from me were Yankee Christmas stockings.

Although the stockings are "twins" they are not identical
just like the babies ; flip them over and you can see,
 which stocking belongs to which baby.

The stockings took weeks to knit which curtails all other knitting. Presently I do have a stole on my needles and hope to share pictures of that piece in the near future.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Knitting for Twins

I haven't posted in awhile, mainly because I haven't been very crafty of late. However, I do want to share what I knit for my niece's twin babies awhile ago. She had their pictures taken a few weeks back and shared a photo with me today, which I am sharing with you now!

Meet Emma and Logan.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In the Hand of God

Dana Gretzinger: A woman of great faith

February 15, 1974 - January 19, 2017

Dana went home to Jesus at 1:30 AM this morning.  She recorded this song with her siblings on December 28, 2016, the one year anniversary of her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. They recorded three other songs, which you can also find on YouTube: Anchor, Undivided Heart (Dana wrote Undivided Heart), and Hope Will Rise

In addition to her parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends, Dana leaves behind her loving husband, Jimmy, and three children: Jamie 15, Charlie 13, and Scout 10.

Dana was married to my husband's cousin, Jimmy.

Below are the final words Dana shared with her friends via her Care Page ten days ago:

It's January 9. Today was the first day back to school for our kids here in Grand Haven. I am feeling a bit of sadness today over the ending of the holidays, the dullness of January and February that hits pretty hard around here, and to top it off I haven't been feeling good for a few days now. I believe it was a bug i caught (that left me throwing up, etc) but you never know on this journey if it's chemo related or something else.
All that to say, I needed to hear from God today. He is so timely and I am so running late in my time. I often realize my need when it's already been lingering for awhile where He is always ready with a word of encouragement or challenge before I knew I needed it. That was today. I was just saying I was tired and discouraged and needed something for this next part of the journey. I've been dehydrated for real a bit lately and often realize that when you take a drink BECAUSE you are so thirsty, you are already late to the solution. We need to be drinking our Living Water before we are thirsty and not waiting until we are in need.
So this morning, I decided to listen in to one of the Passion Talks from their conference last week in Atlanta. Passion is geared at college students, but they bring in some of my favorite authors, pastors, and speakers so I love to listen to what God is leading them to say to that age group and what I can learn as I "eavesdrop in." I listened to Pastor Levi Lusko as God used him to talk to ME. He talked about needing to know where to go to get our second wind. I have another Scan on Thursday and I want to enter this scan FILLED UP and ready and not depleted and on empty. So where do I get my second wind? From time in God's presence, allowing His Spirit to invigorate me once again. I've experienced the "second wind" in my running when I used to be a runner. What an amazing feeling that is! Just when you think you can't go on, something kicks in and you are given the energy you need to keep going.
Are you in need on a second wind today? Feeling like you are out of your own energy? We were never meant to carry all of this on our own. The second wind is a gift from God and the reminder that I can do NOTHING on my own and was never being expected to or asked to do it all on my own. I'm praying once again that this kindness from the Lord would lead me to repentance for trying to manage all of this. I can't manage it. The weakness, the throwing up, the lack of energy, the amount of brain power that this disease is taking from me- I can't manage it. Thanks to the One who knew that about me and gave me the reminder this morning of letting Him give me my second wind. Then, I can face a scan Thursday, news about tumor growth/stability, and all that I need to 'handle" in the next few weeks. Only with Him.
Another gift from that talk this morning was the reminder that I am not chained to my circumstances (or chained to the chemo). My circumstance is chained to ME. That way of thinking about it gives me the ability to see that I bring God and the mindset that I want to have into my situation; not the other way around. Chemo and cancer don't define me- they are just along for the ride. I think that the last week has allowed for some false thinking in me about this and it was time to remember who is leading who. God is leading me, with circumstances straggling behind. Not God leading my circumstances with me straggling behind. I don't know if that distinction makes sense to you, but it was another perspective shift for me on who I am following. I am directly following God with nothing in between, not being led by sickness trying to see God around the sickness. Don't make that same mistake. Your view of God gets blocked by the situation. And when you try to see God around a situation you think is in charge, sometimes you lose sight and start to take the situation as bigger than it really is. Thanks Lord, for all of this today.
A quick update: we did find a potential match for the gene mutation therapy idea. Depending on what the scan shows Thursday, we will come up with a plan and I will have more info. I have done 6 rounds of this last chemo and it was harder on me than I was expecting! Please keep praying for wisdom to know what to do next, depending on what the scan shows.
Thanks family and friends! Your support continues to encourage me! I love reading each comment even though I can't comment back to each one.
Find your second wind today in Him!

Dance, Dana, Dance!


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