Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Past Week At My House

If you happened to live on the East Coast this past week, then you know it's time to relocate. First an earthquake, followed 4 days later by Hurricane Irene. Definitely a week for the history books. I have no "Big" earthquake, or hurricane stories to share...ho hum. Praise the Lord!

On Tuesday, prior to the earthquake, we took the boat out for only the third time this season, and the second trip doesn't count (dead battery). It was a beautiful summer day. We ran the boat from Mattawoman Creek to the Potomac River and across to Virginia and back. Bill stopped to fish, but alas, the fish were not biting.

On the way home the earthquake hit. Since we were already towing a boat, it didn't feel like anything to me. Bill thought he might be getting a flat tire on the trailer, and a couple of minutes later we started getting texts about the quake. At home some things fell in the hutch, medicine cabinet, and off a shelf, but thankfully, there was no other damage.

On Saturday, Hurricane Irene decided to blast the east coast, just in case the earthquake wasn't enough.

This is not a great pic, but it was raining too hard to roll down the window. You can see my Bradford Pear Trees being whipped around. I thought for sure I was going to lose them, but both are still standing...

Other trees were not so lucky. Our neighborhood lost another two Bradford Pear trees.

Irene was a tropical storm by the time she made it here. There are alot of power outages, downed trees, and tons of leaves everywhere. Some homes have damage to them. The first day of school was cancelled, to the delight and/or dismay of students.

Here is the bottom of my swimming pool. No raft/reading time for me today.

Only one county in Southern Maryland was calling for hurricane conditions on Saturday. That was St. Mary's county. Which just so happens to be where my RV is being stored. So I'm thinking...hurricane + travel trailer destruction = insurance payoff. Seriously, the RV doesn't even like us, we have to drag it unwillingly everywhere we go, and it loves to ruin Bill's vacations. So it seemed like a perfect solution. Except...

The self-preserving, possessed, travel trailer took off for Indiana on Thursday. I'm so glad it's safe and sound and out of harm's way (sarcasm). By the way, it made it there with no problems. Let's see what happens when we go to pick it up.

I made spaghetti pie this week to hide the fact that we were having spaghetti and meatballs for the one thousandth time this summer. It was layered noodles, sauce, meatballs, ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. I made two layers, then baked till bubbly. I don't think it fooled Billy, but he said it was really good. Sort of like a spaghetti lasagne.

We have a kitten living in our backyard under the shed. She's been here for about 6 weeks. She looks to be about 3 months old. She will come down in the evening and sit near us. She is also now letting Billy pet her sometimes.

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This Past Week At My House....

It wasn't a terribly busy time at my house this past week. I can't exercise because of my partially torn tendons in my left foot. I don't officially have any classes until September. So summer is winding down with a few lazy days left.

However, I did have Cassidy over one day to swim with her mommy. She was so cute!

She was quite proud of her pink bathing suit!

Last update on my garden, unless the sweet potatoes decide to produce anything larger than a finger-sized potato (I peeked). Their vines have overtaken the deck, and I don't think anything will become of them. The green bean plants are all dead, and the cucumbers are gasping for air. But as long as they have life, they might as well flabbergast me:

Here are two cucumbers I picked last week. I wish I had something beside them to show their true size. They were as big as small melons.

They had large seeds, and a very white interior. But they did smell like a cucumber. I declined to taste them.

These were two cucumbers I ate last week. They tasted normal, although they were less than pretty. I picked one that looked like a set of barbells, and one grew into a perfect ring. No pics of those, so I may be pulling your leg...

This past week I made what may be an unhealthy chicken dish, but it sure was good. For some reason, high fat and calories are comforting.

First, take some skinless, boneless, chicken breasts. Lightly salt and pepper them.

Then make a paste from Hellman's Light Mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese, and spread it over the chicken breasts.

Then lightly sprinkle Italian seasoned breadcrumbs over the chicken and lightly press down.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until done.

This chicken was juicy and delicious! My husband said it was the best chicken he'd had in a while, which actually, wasn't saying much since I've hardly cooked. But I must say, although the recipe doesn't sound all that appetizing, it really was a keeper!

Well I must say this has shaped up to be one of the worst summers of my life. There have been things happening even up and beyond the obvious (death of mom) that have made it so stressful, and seemingly never ending.

However, last night I could smell autumn in the air, and you know that truly, all seasons pass. Both real seasons, and the seasons in your life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven

And then you know, this too shall pass, it's purpose served, and life moves on, taking you with it... :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hobble While I Do The Next Thing....

Last week went pretty well. I got up, did chores, did some cooking, and got 85% back into my weekly routine. God is always faithful to help you when you seek Him.

Back in March, I started having pain in my left foot. I've received several injections for the pain, which always did the trick for a month or so. Right before my mother went into the hospital, I was stretching my calf muscle and felt something "pop" in my left heel. The pain was so bad it made me break out in a sweat. From that moment on, my left foot would frequently leave me in agony if I walked too far, and I limped my way around North Carolina.

Since returning home, I've noticed that it felt like the arch of my left foot was touching the ground when I would stand up. Well, apparently it was. I have been walking around with a group of partially torn ligaments in my arch for about 5 weeks.

Now I get to drag my foot around for 2 or 3 weeks in this boot. No small feat, pun intended.....

While in North Carolina, I stayed with my sister Kelley. Her son made several towel sculptures for the bathroom. Very creative Garrett!!!

An elephant....

And a Bulldog!

Last night I made steak for dinner. These were really juicy and flavorful. First drizzle some olive oil in a pan, and add about two tablespoons of butter.

While that is getting hot, rub into your steaks (I had Delmonico), Lemon Pepper Seasoning and Sea Salt. Rub in it really good, and don't be stingy...

When your pan is really hot and the butter is bubbly...

Throw those steaks in the hot pain and sear them on both sides. Then turn the heat down and cook them to your desired doneness (just stopped mooing for me :) )


We were blessed with a beautiful rainbow this evening, and it didn't even rain!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do The Next Thing

A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

I love this poem and often quote the refrain "Do The Next Thing," but now, more than ever, I really need those words to have meaning.

My mother passed away on July 22, 2011, and I can't seem to "Do The Next Thing." The grief I feel is buried so far down inside of me, that I am paralyzed at the moment. I don't cook, I don't clean, I don't exercise, and most importantly, I can't cry.

Our relationship in my adult years was often tumultuous. But I did love and most importantly accept her for who she mom. I tried to honor her as the Bible teaches. Her last week on earth was spent in the hospital, in a coma. During that time, I hugged, kissed, and talked to her in a way that she would never have allowed during her life. Never a demonstrative woman, I was free to express my love to her.

Locked up inside of me is a well of grief.

Dear Lord, please help me to "Do The Next Thing" while You shower Your love and mercy on me. Comfort my hurting heart, and help me to carry on and serve You.

I love you Mom, and miss you more than I ever thought possible.

Janice Lee Bulmer
July 23, 1938 - July 22, 2011