Monday, May 18, 2015

Submission: ??????

What does it mean to submit? Not the dictionary definition, but how living people do it.

We went for premarital counselling when we were about to get married, I think thats a standard practice. A necessary one as well. I think everybody should go for a follow up session or two after a year or two of marriage. I don't think this because I assume everybody will have great big issues. I think this because of my/our own experience thus far in our marriage. After a year or so, you know your spouse, and sort of how he/she thinks. You have your life together figured out for now. To go later on again, you would have an experience of your own to relate to when you discuss things.

In premarital counselling, the minister couple tells you the basics on marriage that most people already know, but this way they get a better handle on it before it happens. The soon-to-be-married couple sits there nodding their heads, thinking what great ideas these older people have, and maybe even writing them down. Neither one really can quite imagine not wanting to do something their spouse would ask them to do. They don't have experience with handling the daily living habits of their partner. Neither one knows what funny thing the other does that one day will irk them so long, so bad till the top finally blows off the pot. They don't know.

Then off they go to get married. During the wedding service, listening to the preacher does happen, but not really. At least it didn't for me, I never did ask Noah if he did. What I'm saying is that the things the pastor is saying doesn't get heard by the bridal couple as much as by the young marrieds in the congregation. Then after a while, real life happens. Supper wasn't started on time, and after you did get it going, you found out you didn't have but two tiny potatoes for the pot of soup, then the milk in the soup curdled because it boiled, and the biscuits didn't turn out. Your new husband comes home with the announcement that his sister is passing through and is coming over for supper and will be there in 10 minutes. What would you do? The text book answer is you smile sweetly and say " O how wonderful!" before you lock yourself in the bathroom to cry.  Or is that the textbook answer?

How about when the two of you are working in the kitchen together, and of course your idea is going to be the best, because how many times has he baked cookies anyway?! Or which route to take to your destination, the one thats five minutes faster, or the one that takes the nice smooth highway? What is submission, and what is just giving in?  What is the difference?  How do you transition from the giving in to the submission?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


This week's post will just be a quickie, because I don't really have the time to sit here and type for a long time.

We are working away at our house, getting it ready to live in. Its almost there. The bathroom needs one more coat of paint, one sheet of sheetrock needs to go on the ceiling, and the floors need to be shampooed. Thats all that must happen. The stuff that doesn't need to happen so much is the wainscotting shined, and other to make it pretty things.

I was pushing my panic button on Sunday, wondering how everything was going to happen; especially because it was a day I couldn't do anything about it. Days that I could do something about it I tried, but inevitably that was when my baby needed extra Mommy time or something, and nothing happened anyway. I wondered if we would move even if October was the deadline. Then Tuesday happened. It was a day that a crew of 6 people donated a whole afternoon to helping me. Things happened. The list in my head that felt as long as Santa's Christmas list almost got completed. It was wonderful. Kathryn cried, went for naps, was held and entertained, and still things happened. Then in the evening the electrical stuff got taken care of so that we aren't working around wires dangling from the ceiling, and the gas got hooked up again so that not all of our hot water has to be heated on the stove in my 1.5 qt pot. I have a sister-in-law here for the rest of the week as well to assist as needed in packing and all the other projects. How am I ever going to repay these people? I have no idea,but I am so thankful for them.

No recipe in this post because all of my cookbooks are packed. I'll try to post one in the beginning of next week.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

When We All Work Together

We had a wonderful evening yesterday. The whole church came over and helped us work on our house and yard. The bedrooms were completely scrubbed down, the bathroom rug got pulled out and a new floor put down, and best of all, the walls surrounding the basement stairs (which are in the middle of the house between the kitchen and living room) got cut down. That was really exciting! The walls there are 42 inches high now, and at the end of the stairs we are going to put a bar. When the last of the closet at the end of the stairs came out, they found a pile, like a PILE, of dead mice. twenty or so of them in a clump. That was so gross!! We were told that there had never been a mouse in the house, ever. Well, let me tell you, if thats what you think no mice looks like, you have another think coming! In the yard, my flower beds got dug up, and all the rocks taken out. I don't like rocks. The girls worked there for most of the evening, and they were sure they had dug up at least 100 lbs of small rocks. :) The front yard got raked, and looks much better. That wasn't a small project either, 'cause there were LOTS of leaves there. Last but not least, all the windows got washed from the outside. That was nice, and made a huge difference. Now I just need to do the easy part of washing them from the inside. Thank you, everybody.

In other life, I have been dreaming,

About my garden. The neighbor man gave us fencing to put up around it so I won't get critters in there. I keep thinking of all the potatoes, corn, fresh peas, green beans, and all the other things you plant in gardens.

And about baking stuff. I have been trying to not make unhealthy food, and so baking has become a thing of the past for now. At least baking for us. I like to bake during my I'm-not-sure-what-to-do-right-now moments of my life. You know, when the dishes are done, the laundry is done except for the last load in the dryer that I can't see, the floors are tidy, and you don't feel like sewing. So I dream about delectable things coming out of my oven. Maybe I should take orders. :)

The recipe for this post is 5 Minute Healthy Peach Frozen Yogurt.  Its really nice on a warm afternoon, or to finish a big meal.

5 Minute Healthy Peach Frozen Yogurt

4 cups frozen peaches
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process 5 minutes, or until creamy. Serve immediately, or store in an air-tight container in the freezer up to 1 month.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fresh Bread, Anyone?

I want my spring and summer weather back!  Yesterday morning we had snow, an icy rain, and sleet. The sun sort of comes through the clouds every once in a while just enough to melt everything in time for the next blast.

We had company over the weekend. Three of my sisters came for a visit, so we took them on a tour of the countryside. We ended it at Grindstone Lake where we played in the water. It was actually comfortable where it was shallow. Laura found a live mussel or something, so we all inspected it. She poked at it, and it looked so gross. I really can't believe that people eat those things, but then I suppose shrimp with their legs on yet don't look all that attractive either. And I like shrimp.

We have a June wedding to go to in Canada. Kathryn has an all white dress to wear. Its got a kind of belt, and three off-set flowers on the  waist. We want to get some colour in there by painting just the edges of the flower. Has anybody done this before and found a method that worked well? Would I use paint, or a chalk like thing so it would fade into the flower?

Lately I have been making 100% Whole Wheat Bread instead of white bread when I bake. I looked around for a little while till I found a recipe that I thought would be what I needed it to be. Its called Honey Whole Wheat Bread. Most ww bread recipes called for added gluten, or lecithin granules, but I didn't want to use that. The trick to making bread that is not crumbly, or dry is to work the dough, and work the dough, and work the dough. Then when you bake it, set your oven at a lower temperature, and don't leave it in there forever either. I often baked everything at 350*, and had dry bread, but not anymore!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3 1/2 cups warm water                                                  1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey                                                                1 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast                                                            10 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground
   Mix water, honey, yeast, oil, and salt in KitchenAid mixer. Add flour, one cup at a time. Wait until flour is fully incorporated before adding the next cup.  I often only need to use 9 cups of flour. Work dough until the sides of the bowl come clean. Don't add the last bit of flour too fast, let the dough work itself for a while to get gluten active. Mix dough for a few minutes after adding the last flour. Turn out onto a greased surface and form the dough into a nice smooth ball ( this is purely for cosmetic purposes), then place in bowl to rise. When doubled, form into 3 large, or 4 small loaves. Let rise. Bake at 325* for 25-30 min.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Everyday Life

My baby girl is 6 months old today. She is sitting, and babbling and doing all of her 6 month-old things that she didn't know how to do, didn't know she could do, 6 short months ago. I asked Noah last night if I could bake a half-birthday cake for her. He looked at me with his " I think you're weird, but I'll love you anyway" kind of expression, and then we brainstormed about what kind of cake I should make. He wants a Chocolate Applesauce Cake, but thats a huge, huge recipe. that makes two Bundt cakes. (And I don't really like it but we won't tell him.) I think I'll do a lemony-ish thing.

Kathryn and I went out and raked some of the yard yesterday. I inspected one of the bushes at the edge of the lawn, and sure enough, the leaf buds were opening! There are eensy weensy leaves out there, green as could be. The bleeding hearts are coming up, one seems to be needing some doctoring, but the other is almost 3 inches high, and doing just dandy. The chives are almost ready to be used too. I did start some seeds earlier, and have been trying a little harder than I did last year to get them to live. The result of that is that I gotta transplant the things, and come up with somewhere to put them other than the middle of my livingroom floor so they get sunshine. :)

Noah has been on a making iced coffee spree lately. When he got home from work yesterday, he was tired, so while Kathryn napped, we both had a quick 10 minute refresher snooze as well. Then late in the evening, he made a thing of iced coffee, and later couldn't figure out why he couldn't sleep. But his coffee stuff is super good. I think it tastes just as good as Tim Horton's, maybe even a smidge better. About that, we really need a Tim Horton's in Hayward! Anybody looking for a new business venture?

We went to our new place the other day to mark out the garden plot. That didn't happen. All those trees need to get out before I'll be able to see where the yard actually gets sunshine enough for a garden. There are 25 trees that need to go. After those trees get taken down, I'll be able to have a yard that grass can grow in, that is easy to mow, that looks pretty, and all the wonderful things that come with no trees! I'm not a very good Wisconsinite, are I?

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Noah and I had a date night last night. We had a lovely supper of meatballs, rice and green beans, after which our evening commenced. On the agenda was a movie and popcorn; the 'Sound of Music'. Then the pager went off.
Kathryn was napping, so I diddled and diddled. It was just a CO2 alarm gone off, which usually takes 5 minutes to take care of. This one took a LONG time. I think he was back at 7:30 or so. To pass the time, I looked at Pinterest till that got old, and eventually decided to make a small batch of cinnamon rolls. And so I did. They turned out beautifully. Anyway, Noah came home, with sparkling grape juice as a peace offering. :) We ended up sipping out of wine glasses and nibbling on girl scout cookies while watching Julie Andrews dance. It was fun. And then there were delectable cinnamon rolls to top the evening off. It was a grand success.

There  is a quote that sums up what I've been thinking about lately. "You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."- Abraham Lincoln.  I'm a procrastinator. A very good procrastinator. Something that I finally did today that should have happened in the fall is to spritz Oxiclean on a stain on one of our kitchen chairs. When Amy and I made applesauce, we put the box of apples on a chair, but never noticed the bottom was wet until we were done. That was about 6 months ago. Is anybody else that bad?

I'm also realizing that Kathryn is gonna learn to do the same things I'm doing. She follows by example. How in the world would I be able to punish her when I'm daily teaching her bad habits?  I need to teach her that when something falls on the floor, pick it up. Instead of just looking at the leaves on the ground, get a rake and take care of them. Fold all the laundry right away instead of leaving the last load in the dryer for hours to wrinkle. But of course, there are so many other things to interrupt me instead. Things that aren't as monotonous as daily household chores.

When we found out we were expecting a baby last winter, teaching all these things was not what I included in the 'when you have a baby' mind-set. I was thinking changing diapers, reading stories, lots of cuddles, those types of things. I still get to do all those things, just the list added a few things I didn't know.  I didn't realize then that washing dishes can be a life lesson.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring has Sprung!

Purple tulips on a white tablecloth, puddles outside, warm weather. Spring is in the air, and I'm really enjoying it. Kathryn likes to go for stroller rides in the great outdoors, and fusses every time we need to go back into the house. I have a feeling that it won't be a punishment for her to play outside this summer! 

We had a lovely visit with my family over the weekend. Noah, Dad, and Kenny built me a gorgeous huge bookshelf. We got the thing stained and into the house yet Saturday night. Now the only problem is I don't have any length of uninterrupted wall big enough to put it on. I put all of my 30 or so books on it, and Noah's books, but the poor thing is only half full :) It now holds photo albums, picture frames, CDs, DVDs, and our vase of sand we poured at our wedding. I kinda like it not filled up. Makes it feel nicely uncluttered. We took Mom and Dad to see the house we are getting. All kinds of ideas came forth on how to make it a much more spacious-feeling home. The basement stairs are parked smack-dab in the middle of the house with the kitchen on one side, and the living room on the other. One brainstorm was to leave the stairs there, but cut the wall down to the height of the counter, and at the end put a breakfast nook or something like that. Thats my favorite yet. The papers are getting signed for this deal on Monday morning.

I tried to bake Paska yesterday. Its a traditional sweet bread with an orange and a lemon served with a special icing at Easter time. I was on the phone as I was making it, and forgot to add the eggs or the sugar. Sweet breads usually have eggs in them, but since this one no longer happened to be sweet, it turned out ok. Now you just kinda need the icing, but thats ok, since without sugar or eggs in the bread it was practically calorie free. Doesn't that make sense? It does to me.