Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to be a good friend

First, let me state that the title does not in any way make the assumption that I am an authority on this topic. It only means that it is uppermost in my mind and my heart these days because I so deeply treasure my friendships. I want to be a better friend.

I began to make a list of ways to take care of these relationships and this is what I came up with.

1. Pray for her/him. This a selfless act that will make a difference. Prayers never go unheard.

2. Be honest in the relationship. You must be yourself so that the reactions by your friend are based on truth. If your friend asks for an opinion, respond in truth, not necessarily the easiest.

3. Make time for each other. Stop multitasking and really be present in the conversation.

4. Have adventures together. Be willing to try new things and grow as an individual. This brings fresh air to any relationship.

5. Enjoy simple, everyday things together. Treasure daily activities.

6. Understand that friendships are living and need care. Keep them fed with quality time and effort. Study them to stay in tune to needs and changes.

7. Family, spouses, work associates, school and church aquaintances are all relationships just waiting to be deepened with prayer, caring and time.

Do you have any more ideas that are missing? I am commiting to working on these friendships myself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Chicken Ideas...

In this day and age, any ideas to save time and money are great. I like to buy frozen chicken, usually boneless, skinless breasts in 3-4 pound bags. This is a great per pound value. First, let the chicken thaw in the warned --- those bags leak.
1. Barbecue: Bake covered at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Shred. Cover in bbq sauce of choice. Return to baking dish. For immediate use, allow to warm in oven for 15-20 minutes. Save leftovers by spreading on foil covered baking sheet, freezing and placing in freezer bag.
2. Southwestern: While the chicken is thawing, sprinkle with one packet of fajita seasoning. Shake in bag to coat. Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and chop.
3. All purpose: Place thawed chicken on baking sheet and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool and chop.
I like to spread the shredded/chopped chicken on a baking sheet to freeze initially and then transfer to a freezer bag for use as needed. You can take out just what you need for a sandwich, quesadilla, or salad whenever you need it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Loaded Question #1

Everyone once in a while I see a chotchky with a saying that gives me pause. This happened recently in Target. The little ceramic plaque said:

What would you do if you thought you couldn't fail?

This has inspired much conversation. When you consider unlimited possiblities in different areas of your life, it will give you pause as well.

Who: only you can answer this for yourself; no one else will try.

What: only you can know the what; lose weight, train for a marathon, change careers, strengthen relationships, quit smoking...How will you recognize success?

When: how about now? Over the next year? The five year plan?

How: set baby steps, think positively, get support, learn a new skill...

Why: why not?

If you don't try, you may never know. Likely, you have as great a chance at success.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hydrangeas are my favorite flower

My favorite flower in the world is hydrangeas. They come in so many great colors and if handled well, will last all year. We had lots of them in the recent wedding. To keep the bloom year round just keep the fresh cut stems in water until the bloom is dry. The blooms purchased from the florist didn't make it, maybe because of refrigeration. Just the homegrown variety lasted.

This is what happens when they are hung upside down. The color might be brighter but the bloom is yucky.

Hope you have a blessed day.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Feed your soul!

A recent conversation with a dear friend led us both to really think about what feeds our soul. I suppose that for some it is Bible Study, or family visits, or words of encouragement, or good ole chocolate, or a favorite activity. For me, it is a complicated combination of all of the above. I firmly believe that you must make time for this "feeding" for yourself. No one else will do it for you.

Since it has been raining here for a few days and I am avoiding cleaning up my garden anyway, I have taken advantage of this time to play, i. e. "feed my soul." Here is a photo of what came out of it. It is composed of 340 hand cut pieces of paper in a collage featuring a quilt pattern called "Churn Dash." After some thought, it seems to me that we all have a unique turmoil in our lives of some sort (as in caught up in a churn dash) and when it comes right down to it we must "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will given to you as well." Matt. 6:33

I hope to bless my newlywed daughter with this piece, maybe to remind them to seek our Father first.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This is the new haven of creativity

We really should come up with a name for this magical place. I have taken over my daughter's old bedroom and transformed it into my own craft/sewing/magical room. I am trying not to feel too guilty over how much joy this brings me. She took with her every stick of furniture and all her memorabilia, leaving only scrippets on the floor and holes in the walls. So, here are a few photos. Keep in mind that I have tried every craft medium known to man and then some.
I love to use old tins, jars, and boxes to hold all the little paraphenalia that goes with crafting. I used half of an old table to create a sewing table. I cut out a hole and added support for the machine so that it is a smooth platform.
The other side of the room is complete with more storage and a wide open work table. (It certainly is not that clear at this moment!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

And so it begins...

I am so very excited to begin this adventure into blogging. I am the happy homemaker that gets confused with "Martha" in my family. My greatest blessing has been being a stay at home mom. I often said that my sweet husband works hard for me to stay home but I wasn't at home that much. Like most women, life gets busy. After a few years at this, I really can appreciate a comfortable home.

I hope to include photos of projects around the house, a well received recipe occasionally, a really great deal, tips from my home CEO desk (Hey, I run this place!), and maybe a special ah hah moment or two. I will not commit to daily postings...this is supposed to be fun, after all.

Alas, my nest is mostly empty now. That means I have more time to grow as a woman first. You know that moms are the last on their own lists. This time in my life will be an adventure in itself. Welcome to the ride!