Friday’s Fave Five July 28

Karrie and I trying to fix this kite so it’ll fly

ONE: Women’s 3rd Annual Beach Trip. 16 ladies from my church carpooled to Ocean Beach in San Francisco. We had a short photography lesson. I based it on this article: 10 iPhone Photography Tips To Quickly Improve Your Photos. I only talked about 9 tips as I know NOTHING about filters.

Then we had a scavenger hunt which included highlights of the lesson, typical beach items and activities one might do at the beach. The following link is the PDF of our OCEAN PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT CHECKLIST.

We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores. We also played in the water, took walks, sat in our chairs chatting, and (tried to) fly a kite (that just didn’t want to be flown). And of course we laughed, a lot.

Walking from the car to the beach has always been tough for me. (My family used to come to this beach each Thanksgiving. We’d bring our meal, firewood, playthings, and warm clothing in order to stay for the day.) The walk is long and because the sand is deep it is tough to slough through it. BUT. But this year it wasn’t so tough. In fact I willingly took 3 trips from the car to our spot.

Rusty is one of the few men who braves our Lunch Bunch. He is a foodie and has great restaurant suggestions.

TWO: Indian Restaurant for PEP Folks. On the 4th Sunday of each month, the seniors of our church (called PEP 55+) go out to lunch together. This past Sunday we went to Aappakadai Indian Restaurant. On Sundays they have a lunch buffet. Even though I don’t eat spicy food (because of a complaining gall bladder), I found plenty of delicious food. It was fun to try new food with a group of long-time friends.

THREE: Encouragement Team Meeting. This is the 2nd time that folks from PEP 55+ gathered to send a card to all the seniors of our church. We prayed for the recipients and we wrote everyone an encouragement on their card. It took the 9 of us a little more than 2 hours to write 97 cards. I am so excited for the cards to be received. It is like we were part of an encouragement flash mob.

There were zinnias in multiple colours: pink, magenta, yellow, white, red, striped, and orange. … My fave is the pink.

FOUR: Mezger Family Zinnia Patch. You can get helpful information from FaceBook. That is where I found out about this couple acre flower farm. The zinnias are free with the caveat that you also cut enough flowers for someone else, preferably a senior citizen.

All you have to do is show up since there are scissors/flower clippers, vases and water. We signed the guest book and perused the 9 or so rows of hardy, colourful zinnias chosen because they ARE hardy and colourful.

Go to this link to read about why Mark Mezger created this beautiful free space. And if you are in the Sacramento area, take your own spontaneous field trip. Oh, sunscreen would probably be a good idea, to bring along.

It was easier to poke in the end of the poles that were made with skewers as opposed to twigs.

FIVE: TP’d with Miniature Tipis. Elizabeth (my daughter) made these tipis in 2009 for an art show. Some mini tipis were made with toilet paper. And some were made with paper towels. Yes, she used a sewing machine to stitch them together.

Years ago she tipi TP’ed a couple of friends’ homes. The other afternoon we used the rest (97 of them) to tipi TP my sister’s yard. Elizabeth is in a decluttering mode and NEEDED to get rid of the plastic, green tub totally filled with these art items.

This is Chip, my 3.5 pound, 12 inch long, apricot, miniature toy poodle modeling next to a tipi.

Here is Elizabeth’s explanation: I’ve been storing these for that eventual art show or for some other special event, when I decided after 8 years of living in the garage it’s time to use them. When the inhabitants saw their custom art installation, (I’m told), it made them smile. Mission accomplished!

Your Turn . . . I am linking this to Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five. Write your own post of blessings and link up. Or share a blessing or other comment down below.

What I Wrote This Week . . .

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Strawberry Chia Seed Jam – No Cook!

Since there are so few strawberries in this recipe, next time I will try using a masher.

Strawberries are in season and my taste buds are quite happy! I like strawberries in salad, smoothies, cereal, yogurt, and as a snack. Although I like it, I don’t eat much jam because the sugar content is too high. “Jam recipes mostly comprise equal weights of fruit and sugar.”

But a couple of years ago I found this recipe for Berry Chia Seed Jam.  This recipe has only 1 Tablespoon of sweetener per cup of berries. I finally made it this morning. Since it was a no cook recipe, it made up in minutes.

I put the following ingredients in a blender

  • 2 cups washed, hulled and sliced RIPE strawberries
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons filtered water
  • 2 Tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I blended it a few times until I slightly mashed the berries. Then I put everything into a pint jar. After 20 minutes or so in the fridge, I will taste to see how the texture is by trying it on a pumpkin pancake.

Next time I make this I will try using Xyla. This is even a more diabetic friendly choice for me.

Your Turn . . . How do you like to use strawberries? . . . Have you made a no cook jam before? If yes, what is your favourite recipe?

Related Posts . . . 

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Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes

After you’ve tried all the pumpkin recipes, do this gratitude pumpkin next. The link is below.

I really like pancakes. But they are not a healthy choice for me because the typical pancake has lots of carbohydrates.

One day a friend and I cooked up several recipes from her Paleo Cookbooks.

I went on a pancake making spree and came up with THE recipe for me. The below recipe is my adaptation of the recipes we made.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple.
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda.
  • 2 Tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax
  • ½ cup chopped nuts – walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or coconut oil – AND you’ll need more to grease the pan

I add the almond meal and flax so that the meal “stays” with me longer. Otherwise I get hungry too soon. Sometimes I add a little extra depending on how thick I want my pancakes.

Directions

  1. Whisk the eggs, canned pumpkin, vanilla and pure maple syrup together.
  2. Sift the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda, almond meal and flax into the wet ingredients. Stir in the nuts.
  3. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter (or coconut oil) into a large skillet over medium heat. Then pour this melted butter into the batter and stir.
  4. Grease the skillet and spoon the batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size.
  5. When a few bubbles appear, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.
  6. Serve with butter and cinnamon or sliced bananas.

Yield – – – Approximately 8 small pancakes or 2 servings.

NOTE: When I make extra, I flash freeze these and then wrap each one individually. When I want one, I take it out at night and put it in the fridge and then reheat it in the microwave or oven in the morning.

By the way – these pancakes also keep just fine in the fridge and they taste better the second day.

Your Turn . . . Do you have a favorite low carb pancake? If yes, please share the recipe.

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Uncovering History with an Address Book: The D’s

There are 4 names with addresses and 1 name that doesn’t belong in the D’s at all, no matter how you look at it. I only prayed for Tish Cook as I don’t have an address or area code.

4 letters and 5 prayers. That is what came of this week’s investigation of the letter D from my hard backed alphabet book.
The main thing I’ve learned is God sends me the people I need for the current stage I am in.

  • In CO I needed folks who were godly and experienced in homeschooling. This D family was in love with learning and shared their lives with us. Peggy was the math teacher for our group. She loved math and was able to teach in a way so that each child (and adult) could understand the concepts. There was music, art, gardening, creativity, science, Bible, friendship and good food. These activities and their life-style impacted our lives as a family and me as a person.
  • In CA (during the 2000’s) I needed a schoolmate to help me navigate seminary. It was male dominated and it was so helpful to have a female classmate (who also became a friend and room-mate). We prayed, learned, cooked/ate, and cried together. We discussed a lot of topics from Rachel Ray to Revelation.
  • And currently in CA, I am in touch with two church families.that I have known for a long time. They showcase godly and persevering examples of how to handle family life from aging parents to young grandchildren. They have shown a watching world how to handle (well) personal challenges and challenges that impact the family.

I am glad to be able to say to them, “Thank You” for being part of my life and for making my life better as a result.

Interesting Note: I looked through my electronic address book and there are 31 entries.

Last Wednesday’s post was about seeing what I could see in the C’s.  Next week I will share what I uncover in the E’s. To find the landing page with all the posts, go here. It is after the jump at the bottom of the page.

Your Turn . . . Look though your D entries. How have these folks impacted you? . . . When was the last time you thanked someone for their role in your life?

Related Posts . . . 

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Friday’s Fave Five July 21

Share your Fave Five from last week to help you change the channel to gratitude & peace.

I am trying to walk twice each day. During one of the times, I listen to something. This week I listened to  Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.

Below is one great idea to hold onto.

“And whenever I’d complain or was upset about something in my own life, my mother had the same advice: “Darling, just change the channel. You are in control of the clicker. Don’t replay the bad, scary movie.” ~  Arianna Huffington.

I am linking this gratitude post to Living to Tell the Story where Susanne hosts Friday’s Fave Five. I am taking firm control of my clicker by recounting five faves from this past week. Three of my days were a study in contrasts.

ONE. Information about crisis and then doing something that prevents it.

I attended an 8 hour Crisis Intervention Training. “The training will provide students with an understanding of the basic symptomology of mental illnesses, considerations and tactics for communicating with mentally ill subjects and will provide an awareness of the community resources available.”

My sister, brother-in-law (both work with Youth for Christ) and I were the only non-law enforcement personnel taking this class. It was an excellent resource. I plan on taking the three day course in August.

I put all the savory fixings on tortilla chips and apple slices. Both were tasty.

That night I met with G.I.G.G.L.E.S (Girls in God who enjoy Growing, Loving, Eating, and Sharing together). We had a nacho bar: savory and sweet (as in Apple Nachos). And then we watched the movie about Mother Teresa, The Letters. Getting together frequently with others (especially with those who have my back) is a way I stay sane. Otherwise I start to believe and act on the lies I tell myself.

TWO. Celebrating someone in death and then another someone in birth. 

One morning I attended a memorial service. Eric passed away too young. However, it was a true celebration of his life. Folks wore tie dye or Give Blood tee shirts (2 meaningful things in his life). Beach balls were tossed around the sanctuary. There were many stories of helping, silliness, and friendship. He loved well and was loved in return. And most importantly, there was a definite peace about Eric’s  final destination, Heaven.

I am celebrating with Frederick’s auntie, Christina.

Later that day, I attended a baby shower. This was a true celebration of life, too – for the baby that is coming, mama, papa, and big sister. There were introductions and conversations about this happy occasion. We played games and laughed and ate delicious mexican food and fresh fruit. And most importantly, we relished in knowing that soon Frederick would join us and be very, very loved.

THREE. Ice cream for breakfast, salad for lunch – all in the company of friends.

#NationalIceCreamDay – Ice cream and church do go together. … In full disclosure, ice cream was eaten in the making of this advertisement.

Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. We celebrated this at my church. Folks brought boxes of their fave ice cream bars. And yes, some of us did ENJOY ice cream for breakfast. Most had it as a morning snack. In any case, my church friends and I were cool. We had fun together. And we ate ice cream together on this once-a-year national day.

Then I went to lunch with one church friend. We both had a salad. Mine was topped with salmon. Not only was the meal nutritious, so was the company. Since I stopped over-seeing KidMin at church, I haven’t visited with Heather. We both ENJOYED our time together and made plans to meet once a quarter.

On one column, I will write in my appointments. I don’t know what the other two columns will hold. Ideas?

FOUR. Turning more dreams into reality via a planner.

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” Douglas H. Everett

Last week I attended a planner class. Bea and her friend, Katie, gave an Introduction to all Things Planner. I REALLY want to turn more of my (many, many, many) dreams into reality. And I learned that you can also use your planner as a place to document memories. Wow – I’d love to be able to do both in one place.

So the first thing I want to figure out is how to make it work best for me. I have three weeks left of summer. And I want to see if using my planner can help me accomplish more of my Summer Bucket List. And I hope to document (via photos) what I do.

FIVETime for dinner, TV, and a walk.

Julie and I finally made time to spend time together. She recently moved into my apartment complex. Julie made a casserole with quinoa, chicken, broccoli and cheese. YUMMMM. After we had our fill of food AND conversation, we watched 2 episode of a new (to us) series, Time After Time. It involves (time travel (naturally), HG Wells and Jack the Ripper. It is clean and suspenseful. I give it a one scream rating (that is how many times I gave a little, involuntary scream).

This STEP App is addicting. I am loving how motivating it is to compete against myself.

Julie and her two dogs walked me home. Once home I checked my STEPS app and realized I hadn’t made my step goal for the day. Since there was a cool breeze, my daughter willingly joined me and we made time for stepping out.

Well, that’s all the time I have for today. Leave your faves in the comment section below. Or write a post and link up to Friday’s Fave Five.

What I Wrote this Week . . . How Ice Cream is Like Church

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How Ice Cream is Like Church

#NationalIceCreamDay – Ice cream and church do go together. … In full disclosure, ice cream was eaten in the making of this advertisement.

“Ice cream brings people together.” ~ Doug Ducey

“Summer would not be summer without Ice-cream. Ice-cream is the favorite currency of love.” ~ Puck

“Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it’s more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it’s a very powerful combination.” ~ Jerry Greenfield

We had all kinds of ice cream: Fudgsicles, Firecrackers, Magnums, ice cream sandwiches, It’s It, cups of vanilla and swirl, and Outshine fruit bars to name a few.

#NationalIceCreamDay is on the calendar once a year. For 2017, July 16th is that day. Since that day is a Sunday, CNC celebrated National Ice Cream Day. Why?

  • It brings people together.
  • It is fun.
  • It is cool. (Pun intended.)
  • It really IS A currency of love. (I grew up in a home where food = love.)

I love that we encouraged people to bring a box of their favourite ice cream TO CHURCH. I like that we encouraged folks to take photos and post them on social media with the appropriate hash tag. And I believe that celebrating ice cream is like celebrating church.

  • Church brings people together.
  • Church is cool.
  • People have an emotional response to church. (Love is just one response.)
  • Church is more than a building or a body of people. It is a place full of God’s presence.

This daddy-daughter duo is cool as they celebrate this National Day.

Church and ice cream have other similarities. Going to church, like eating ice cream, can be a bad experience because . . .

  • The people or ingredients could be rotten.
  • The experience of either/both didn’t meet expectations.
  • There is a bad fit.
  • Someone is just not in the mood for the ice cream or church.

And to that last remark I say a resounding, “Hogwash!” I am always in the mood for ice cream (either Breyer’s Natural Vanilla Ice Cream or Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia). And I am always in the mood for church. Well to be more precise, I am always in the mood to savour God’s Presence.

When we are consistently not in the mood to go to church, let’s PRAY and talk with someone. When our church experience tastes rotten, doesn’t fit our expectations, or isn’t a good fit, let’s PRAY and talk with someone, someone wise. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Although church is filled with people who are imperfect (like me) and who do selfish things (like me), church can still be a positive, uplifting, loving time with God and the people there.

You can eat ice cream in the sanctuary, Rudat Hall, or even in the kitchen.

There are so many GREAT churches in my area. There are a lot of great churches in your area, too. Have you prayed about what to look for in a church? Read 5 Reasons I Love My Church.

And I am adding a 6th reason I love my church. We do silly, fun, connecting things like celebrating National Ice Cream Day.

Next year, come join us! Or better yet, celebrate church with us every Sunday. Join us because it is inclusive, cool, loving and a place FULL of God’s Presence.

Messy is a good look when it come to “ice cream” messy.

Your Turn . . . 

  • How did you celebrate National Ice Cream Day?
  • What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  • In your opinion, how are ice cream and church alike?
  • What are some favourite things about your church?
  • And if your name is Becky, come to CNC this Sunday.
  • Amanda, thanks for this “messy” photo.

Advice from Jerry Greenfield (co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s  Homemade Holdings, Inc..

“You should not be replacing more than one meal a day with ice cream. We do not consider a pint or a tub of ice cream to be a single serving.”

This is advice I may or may not take.

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Apple Nachos

I am a hypocrite. I did NOT chop my pecans at all. I just threw them on top of everything right out of the bag.

Sometimes I want to adapt a recipe so that my gluten intolerant daughter can eat what the rest of us are eating. Here is our version of APPLE Nachos.

Ingredients

  • 3 red apples (I used Gala)
  • 1 green apple (I used Granny Smith)

You can use any combination of apples or use all one type. I used red AND green for the colour. And I only used one Granny Smith because I am not a fan of tart.

  • 1/4 cup caramel topping (I used Smuckers Salted Caramel)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Directions

  • Wash, core and slice the apples. Arrange them on a platter. (I used two plates.)
  • Chop the pecans into coarse pieces. Set aside.
  • Pour chocolate chips and coconut oil in a mug. Put it in the microwave until melted (1-2 minutes). Spoon the mixture over the apples. Do so in lines.
  • Heat up the caramel sauce in the microwave (1-2 minutes). Pour in dribbles on top of the chocolate dribbles. NOTE: If you heat and pour from the glass jar it comes in, be very CAREFUL, the jar is HOT.
  • Sprinkle the pecans on top of the apples with the bi-coloured dribbles.
  • EAT. You might need a wet wipe for your face and fingers. Just saying.

Your Turn . . . What was the last apple dish you had? . . . Have you had dessert nachos before? 

Related post . . . Recipe Index for Fruitful Words

 

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