Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nothing Turns Out Like You Think It's Going To

There's a meme going around the Interwebs that shows a stick figure on a bicycle, moving from left to right and from down to up in a smooth arc.

Right below that there is another stick figure on a bike, but the path from left to right is not a smooth down-to-up transition. There are enormous valleys, huge dips, crevasses and although the upward motion continues, it is visibly a slower and more difficult route.

The first one is labeled My Plan for My Life and the other is labeled, God's Plan.

And old Yiddish Proverb says, Man Proposes, God Disposes.

Is it really God that shakes our snowglobe and causes the downpour? Or is it the choices we make in life that take us in certain directions where there is bound to be bitter storms and dangerous paths? And how can we remain calm in the face of such furious winds that threaten to, if not destroy us physically, mortally wound us spiritually and emotionally?

I do not believe that God's plan for us is to be miserable. There's a reason it's called The Plan of Happiness, and it was crafted by a loving parent to help us return to Him.

However, when dark storms are raging, it is difficult to see the dawn.

I fully admit that there have been times when I have been literally and metaphorically brought to my knees by some painful twist or turn along what I had thought would be a less-jarring bike ride through life. Life is messy. It's not sanitized for your protection---it's messy for a reason--to cause you to grow in ways you never thought possible.

Sometimes it's the actions or decisions of others that have a negative impact on you or on a great many people. Through no fault of your own, the storm arrives gift wrapped on your doorstep. Other times it is your own actions or decisions that bring calamity calling. Either way, you cannot refuse delivery. As I've told my children when they complain, Life is not Fair.

I am grateful for my faith in a loving Father in Heaven, who knows me and knows what storms rage around me. While I am not always thankful for the storms, it does help me appreciate the bright sunshine at dawn all the more.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing, Righting.....

In the history of my blog, I have never gone so long without a post. You're welcome.

In my defense, I have been otherwise occupied. I wrote a novel. Over three hundred pages and found a literary agent that liked it enough to request the entire manuscript. And while I've yet to hear back from her, except for a gentle note about almost being 'there', wherever 'there' is, I hold out hope. Even if she does not take me on as an author, it has been a wonderful experience to send my first novel out into the ether and have the first Literary Agent give it a thumbs up. I am aware that this is a rare occurrence.

While I have been working on the sequel, it has not gone as smoothly or as quickly as the first book. I don't feel as driven as I felt when I was writing the first novel. Ah well. Nothing to do about it.

As for Righting, I make attempts at righting myself. Bringing myself back to center, the path, holding to the iron rod, keeping the faith, a stiff upper lip and putting on my big girl panties each day to face what is tossed at me. Trust me--there have been mountains of things thrown down at me. Most days it's a wonder I'm still standing. Some days I don't.

The urge to hide, to flee and never return has come upon me on occasion. However, I do not flee. I stay. Perhaps that will be counted as brave enough when my time comes for judgement. I did not run away. I stayed. Is that enough?

I do not know.

Most of the time I instinctively know what to do about things. And by 'things' I mean dealing with my children, housework, driving, grocery shopping and work. But there are other things that I'm at a loss to deal with. The mental illness and proclivity for self-harm and suicide of my child. No, she's still alive, though she has tried three times to vacate her mortal body. There are other issues this child has, which are even more difficult for me to write about than cutting and suicide attempts. I'll let your imagination run with that one.

So, I am weary. I am tired. I am worn. And this causes me even more distress because it means I'm not enduring my trials well, with a bright smile on my face and a song in my heart while making homemade loaves of bread and feeding the poor.

Mostly I want to sleep, which I recognize as a bad sign.

I also recognized something the other day as I made a mushroom and onion omelet for my mentally ill child, with a lovely fruit salad cup. I placed her omelet on one of my pretty plates and put her fruit salad into a nice pretty matching cup on the plate.

I placed my omelet on a paper plate.

Seeing this, and not for the first time, I realized how poorly I treat myself. Sure, a paper plate isn't striking myself with a scourge or stabbing myself with a fork, but it is indicative of what I think of myself. I don't deserve the pretty plate with the matching cup. For whatever reason, this is how I've treated myself for years.

So is it any wonder that I am not valued by others, if I cannot value myself?

Saturday, January 04, 2014

My First eBook on Amazon!

My first eBook is now for sale or for borrowing on Amazon Just click on that link it will take you to the site.

It's called, 'It's Like This, What REALLY Happens After You Say I Do'

Especially if you have children.

And I do. And so do most of you, so I hope that you can relate to each vignette, and if you can't then I hope it makes you laugh. Because life is too darn short to spend all your time crying. I know, because I learned that the hard way. You go through an enormous amount of tissues and your nose gets all red and really, who needs that?

So please, go to my book site, buy it and have a laugh at my expense. Do it for the children. Or the puppies. Or to fight global warming and take your mind off the colossal failure of the Obamacare website. Any and all reasons are valid.

And if you like what you read, please leave a review on on the site. If you don't like what you read, then tell me why and I'll come over and sing Soft Kitty to you.

Thanks!!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Healthy Whole Wheat Sandwich Wraps

Last night I got the cooking bug and decided to make some Whole Wheat Sandwich Wraps. They are pretty expensive and I made 8 of them for pennies. Literally. Pennies. I got the recipe off of Allrecipes.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Wraps


Ingredients:

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour. (I used one cup Wheat Flour, one Cup White)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water. (I used a whole cup of warm water)

Then I added some garlic powder, rosemary and a bit of onion powder to add some flavor to what reviewers on the site had said were some pretty bland Wraps. Oh, and a dollop of honey. I think you can take healthy too far sometimes. My taste buds agree.

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking powder. Pour in water; stir to combine. Mix in additional water in 1 tablespoon increments, until a soft pliable dough is formed. As I said above, I added a full cup of warm water. I might even add more next time. You know, because I'm just that much of a rebel.

2. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface.I allowed my KitchenAid to do the work for me, because I'm lazy like that. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for about 20 minutes.



3. Flour each ball well, place between two pieces of wax paper and roll out to desired size and thickness. Do NOT roll out using wax paper. BAD idea. Just roll them out on your counter. Trust me. Wax paper = disaster.



4. Heat an ungreased skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Peel away wax paper and grill rounds until brown flecks appear underneath. Turn and cook other side. Serve warm or cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. I used a non-stick spray on my pan instead. Worked like a charm!

After reading the reviews, I put each one into a zip lock bag as they were still warm. This sort of steamed them and kept them very pliable. Then I took some spinach, some left over chicken breasts from dinner, diced them up with some green onions, chopped pecans, salt and pepper and a bit of mayo and put it all on top.



Then I rolled it up! Easy as pie---only much less fat and calories. Plus? You burn of quite a few calories as these babies are not easy to roll out as thin as you'd want them. I applied a bit of non-stick-non-caloric cooking spray to my skillet just to keep them from sticking. I gave one to hubby for quality control and he LOVED it.



Also, the reason I went with one cup of whole wheat flour and one cup of white, is because my family is not quite on board with my ALL HEALTHY EATING PLAN and aren't used to whole wheat as a rule. Plus, some of the reviews of this recipe said that total wheat made it much more difficult to make. And since I'm all about the easy squeezy making of things, it's what I did. Don't feel as though you need to follow my additions or alterations to the recipe. But I would if I were you!