Monday, May 18, 2015

More Than Meets the Eye


The more we read,
the less television we watched.
The less we watched television,
the fewer commercials we saw.
The fewer commercials we saw,
the less we wanted.
And the cycle of contentment
continued over and over again.
~Cherie Lowe, Slaying the Debt Dragon

You be the judge.

"This month's premieres have all seven base impulses covered."

Impulses?

This column in January 2015's Reader's Digest grabbed my attention. Forgive the blurred iPhotos and that I've only now gotten around to blogging about them.

Envy and Pride


Sloth and Wrath


Gluttony


Greed and Lust


You KNOW I was dying to see all that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"I Don't Want Your Sympathy"


To be a Christian without prayer
is no more possible
than to be alive
without breathing.
~Martin Luther

"You wanna know what the hardest thing is about this most recent stroke and the heart attack?" Over our Bob Evans' breakfast table, Bishop deliberated with the words, his loving wife of more than a half-century at his side. My husband leaned in to hear, to really listen to his ailing mentor. 

The highwayman has three bishops, all of whose surnames begin with S. He has his west coast bishop, his heartland bishop was sitting across the table from him, and his east coast bishop.

Looking deeply into my husband's eyes, Bishop did not say, "The hardest thing is that I can't remember some words, like when I order oatmeal. I can manage raisins, and I can remember brown sugar but... nuts, that's it," he couldn't tell the server. "I also want nuts."

No, he didn't say
that his memory's bad.


And he didn't say, "The hardest thing is that it takes me forever to walk anywhere," nor "I can't type on my computer," nor "I definitely can't drive."

No, he didn't mention any of that.


"The hardest thing about it,"
he did say,
"is that
my prayer life
is not what it used to be."


"I don't mention this because I want your sympathy," he smiled. "I need your prayers."

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Our Mothers



Who fed us from her gentle breast
And hushed us in her arms to rest,
And on our cheeks sweet kisses prest?
Our mothers.


When sleep forsook our open eyes,
Who was it sung sweet lullabies
And rocked us that we should not cry?
Our mothers.


Who sat and watched our infant heads
When sleeping in our cradle beds,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
Our mothers.


When pain and sickness made us cry,
Who gazed upon our heavy eyes
And wept for fear that we should die?
Our mothers.


Who ran to help us when we fell
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the part to make it well?
Our mothers.


Who taught our infant lips to pray,
To love God's holy Word and day,
And walk in wisdom's pleasant way?
Our mothers.


And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee
Who wast so very kind to me--
My mother.


Oh no, the thought we cannot bear;
And if God please our lives to spare
We hope we shall reward their care,
Our mothers.


When they are feeble, old and gray,
Our healthy arms shall be their stay,
And we will soothe their pains away,
Our mothers.


And when we see her hang her head,
'Twill be our turn to watch her bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed--
Our mothers.

Adapted from
"My Mother"
By Jane Taylor

To all the mothers,
a very
Happy Mother's Day to you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recently in My Home-on-Wheels


If you want to live
an above-average life,
don't compare,
don't compete,
and don't complain.
~Claudette Walker

Why, I asked my friend Mickey one day, do we so often compare ourselves with others? I'll never forget her simple reply. "Because we just do."

I live in an RV. A caravan. A travel trailer. The Li'l Dutchgirl. There are no chooks out[back] in my yard; there is no yard. As the weeks come and as the weeks go, so does the Li'l Dutchgirl. She goes where she's towed.

2011

I nest there with the Highwayman. We don't have to check out at noon. I can wear rollers in my hair to breakfast... or anything else I don't want to wear.

2013
After the vandalism repairs were complete 

I want to live an above average life, so I don't want to be a comparer or a competitor or a complainer. Contentedly, peruse the recent accomplishments in my home.

1. The Highwayman ordered and replaced two items that had been stolen when the RV was vandalized sometime in 2012. What bears they were to locate: a magnetic paper towel holder

2008

and a wall-mounted tissue box holder. Either Camping World no longer sells these or they were out of stock in every branch we had looked.

2008
All office supplies on the corner shelf
above the wall-mounted tissue box holder
were stolen as well.

2. I mended
-- one golf towel.
-- two rugs and washed them instead of pitching them. They are nice, thick rugs whose colors match the interior of the Li'l Dutchgirl well (chocolate, sage, beige and eggplant). The care label said to hand wash, but I breathed a prayer over them and stuck them into the washing machine. They came out dreamy clean and air-dried over a drying rack we've had for at least three decades (that wasn't stolen from the Li'l Dutchgirl). 

3. The Highwayman attended a men's conference one weekend, so like a mama bird, I spiffed, fluffed and feathered our nest while he was gone.

4. I didn't get to see all of the Hot Springs, Arkansas, Central Station Marketplace and Flea Market but I gleaned

-- a huge, ecru, crocheted window treatment. 

It's rolled up; the hem fringe top
the curtain loops bottom. 

See the loops for the curtain rod? This will be divine on our master bedroom window. (We're going to stop at home in Manila on our way to Malaysia in July!) I can't wait to hang it.

-- six pairs of vintage guest towels, each pair embroidered with a different colored seahorse.


Believe it or not, I may incorporate them into Christmas stockings. I love island and beach themes.

-- an adorable vintage OHIO bank for the Baby who lives there with her hubby Rev. Six Six.

Isn't it neat?

-- a unique vintage postcard.

No more kissing 'cause you slobbers!

-- a mailbox that was made to look old in honor of Girl Scouts.



Of course, its biggest selling point
was the green.


I'm going to fill it with painted pine cones and hang it in my Inspiration Station.

-- I finally found a unique globe. The stand can be disassembled so I can get it to Manila.


The colors on it are spectacular, just what I'd been looking for. Apparently the Equator was about to fall off so it's taped. *wink* I just love that about it! If only the globe could tell me its story.

-- a ©1964, aqua-covered Joy of Cooking cookbook.


Mother's  version of this cookbook was copyrighted in 1953! The native St. Louis, Missourian authors were Irma S. Rombauer, her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker, and Marion's son Ethan Becker. Reading all the recipes, tips, quotes and stories has been fascinating. I was three years old when this edition I bought for $4 was printed. I'll be reading Joy of Cooking cover to cover, mile after mile on the road.

Look! It came with a free cherry-pitter,
a silver hairpin (for gray hair!).
Read "ABOUT CHERRIES."

5. While the Highwayman was at the men's conference, I also prepared at least a dozen thank you notes. I have composed  sentiments in this manner on three previous deputations so they're ready to hand to each host pastor before we leave their presence. It's saved us hundreds of dollars in postage on each deputation. 


Here's what I've written
inside every thank you card
on four deputations,
tweaking the city's and state's names.


Instead of mailing each card at 49 cents, I've saved us nearly $30 already this year. 


6. I take the complimentary newspapers home with us from our hotel stays. Among other helpful uses, these make perfect glass cleaning tools. I separate each sheet individually so I can reach in and grab one from the cabinet. Several layers of newspaper also protected the entry rug from muddy, wet shoes on recent rainy days. 

7. Since I don't drink coffee Monday through Saturday, it's a waste to make a full pot (we have the mini-size) when only one of us is drinking it. Now I only make a half-pot of coffee during the week. Q: Why do I only drink coffee on Sundays? A: Because I like non-dairy powdered poison creamer and agave syrup in it, and my spirit has taken dominion over my flesh.

8. For about two decades each member of our family has used one bath towel and one hand towel for only the sole owner's use for an entire week. We all still observe this method today. For my husband and me alone, there's no telling how many hundreds if not thousands of dollars this has saved over the years, including the wear and tear on the towels, and the wa$te of water, detergent and electricity.

9. My husband's old 100% cotton undershirts make ideal rags. Six cut-up T-shirts recently yielded 24 large rags.


10. We visited our fourth U.S. presidential library, former President William J. Clinton's. After I have a week's worth of presidential library posts, I will share them on Kelley Highway. We've also visited Harry S. Truman's in Kansas, and Ronald W. Reagan's and Richard M. Nixon's in California. 

11. After my second-opinion ENT gave me a little talkin'-t0 about vocal cord health and recommended Dr. Pierre Cloutier's book Optimal Physiology for Life: Evolution of Medicine ["A lack of medicine is not what makes us sick"], with zeal and a determination to clean up my act, I have read the book and appointed drastic changes to my lifestyle. I've neglected my previous sort of 80/20 lifestyle and on this deputation had gotten even more lazy, procrastinate and careless. While I don't believe there were cavemen prior to "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), the observance of a Paleolithic lifestyle and not eating past six o'clock has already benefitted me immensely.

12. I made certain that for every overnight trip we made away from the Li'l Dutchgirl, we had the appropriate supply of vitamins so as not interrupt our daily regimen. After reading Dr. Cloutier's book, we decided to increase our daily 250 mg magnesium supplement to 500 mg. We also take vitamins C (2000 mg) and D3 (5000 IU/10,000 IU on Mondays and Thursdays) and a multi-, CoQ-10 (100 mg), Alpha-Lipoic (100 mg), Fish Oil (1000 mg) and Folic (400 mcg). The Highwayman also takes Saw Palmetto (160 mg) for prostate health.

What are my goals?

PERSONAL STUDY
1. Continue preparing and praying for the ladies luncheon speaking engagement, August 29, in Oyster Bay, New York.
2. Prepare a "Charlotte's first stone" for it.


SIGHTSEEING
Visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans while we're in Louisiana for three weeks.

ORGANIZATION AND CLEANING
1. Bag up the Highwayman's winters. I already took mine to storage.
2. Replace all the stolen Rubbermaid shoeboxes and organize my shoes in the Li'l Dutchgirl.
3. Wash the shower curtain.
4. Remove all caulk from the shower stall/tub surround and recaulk. (My honey offered to do this job. Said it was easy and wouldn't take him long. He gets the gold st⭐️r.)
5. Wash all floors in the Li'l Dutchgirl.
6. Wash all her windows.
7. Defrost the RV freezer and replace the seal.
8. Trim the shelves my husband installed in the RV bedroom cabinets. The edges feel splintery for some reason (merely lightweight plywood). Hot glued double-fold bias tape or book'oupage should do the trick.
9. Replace the beige twin fitted sheet we like to cover the RV sofa with.

LIFESTYLE
1. Drink a half-gallon of pure water every day.
2. Finish eating by 6 p.m. every day.
3. Enjoy a wide variety of vegetables and fruits (slowly absorbed carbs), nuts and good fats, and "slow-and-low" cooked meats every day.
3. Avoid all quickly absorbed carbs such as sweets, liquid or otherwise, anything made with flour, cereals, rice and potatoes; dairy except butter, and all processed food.
4. Limit the enjoyment of treats to one (1) day per week, from breakfast until 6 p.m.
5. Walk 30 minutes every day.
6. Buy a Crock Pot to replace the stolen one.
7. Buy a Felknor's popcorn popper.

BLOGGING
1. Prepare presidential library blog posts.
2. Update "Our Seventh Five Years" marriage anniversary post. Our Opal Anniversary (34 years) is May 30.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie (a recipe)


Make me a pot pie!
~You.

Guam 2009

At Mother's, April 2015

One month ago today Mother had Total Knee Replacement surgery (TKR). After she came home from the hospital, she requested a chicken pot pie. Today I thought I'd share my recipe. It's a fabulous use of leftovers like that holiday turkey, roasted chicken, beef or pork. My brother even requested I make him one once with squirrel. He loved it!

My pot pies truly are a meal in themselves, but a nice slaw or dinner salad, or fresh or canned fruit make great accompaniments. Here's the recipe, plus I thought I'd share these photos from the archives showing how I freeze them up for future dinners.

Kelley's Pot Pie
Makes one (1) 8- or 9-inch pie, or several mini-pies.

1. Prepare a pie crust. You will need either 1 top crust (save fat, calories and money and use only a top crust) or 2 crusts for the bottom and top crusts.

2. Preheat oven to 425℉. I use glass or ceramic pie pans. My ceramic pie pan is deep dish (shown in the first image above).

3. The pie needs at least 2 heaping cups cooked or leftover roast beef, chicken or pork, shredded or chopped.

4. In a colander, rinse a 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables under cold water to break up the pieces. (I use the corn, peas, and carrots variety.) Set the colander over the sink, stirring occasionally to separate. Drain well. 

5. In a large saucepan melt over medium heat:
1/3 cup butter

Add and cook 3 or 4 minutes:
1/3 cup chopped onion

Add:
1/3 cup flour

Stir until golden brown. This will be clumpy, but don't worry.

6. Add to the pan, using a wire whisk:
1 3/4 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable broth or stock
2/3 cup milk

Continue stirring over medium low-to-medium heat until it's a lovely, thickened and bubbly sauce. 

7. Stir into it:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Remove from heat.

8. Grate 1 large, washed potato over the sauce. (I don't peel it.) Now stir in the shredded leftover cooked meat or poultry and the thawed frozen mixed vegetables.

Taste it. Does it need more salt and pepper?

9. Place the mixture in the pie pan (or bottom crust). 

I used a leaf cookie cutter for this pie crust.

10. Cover with top crust. Cut slits for vents. (For a chicken or turkey pot pie, use a chicken or turkey cookie cutter; a cow cutter for beef; a pig cutter for pork, etc.).

Vents in between the leaves...

11. Place foil underneath to catch drips during baking in a preheated 425℉ oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.


Here's how I freeze mini-pot pies for future meals.

1. Line with plastic the pie pan you plan to bake the pot pie in. I use a bread bag.


2. Fill with cooled pie filling.


3. Cover the top of the filling with plastic wrap. Gently press out air bubbles.


4. Wrap loosely, keeping the filling in the dish, and freeze in the dish until frozen solid. 


5. When frozen, remove from freezer. Work patiently with the wrapped, frozen filling until the plastic comes away from the dish. 



I also pull away the top layer of plastic, too.


6. Twist closed, wrap tightly in plastic, then seal in an airtight container or ziptop bag. Put it back in the freezer. On the morning I'm going to serve this pie, I remove it from the freezer, pull away all the plastic, and place it in the pie pan. Thaw it in the ref all day, top it with crust and bake as directed.

When this came out of the oven,
I brushed it with parsley-butter.

Also: You could freeze an entire pie, unbaked or partially baked. To prepare, bake as directed, though additional baking time might be required.