So its been a while since I’ve posted. Many weeks in fact. I know because each day of each of those weeks I have thought these thoughts:
“Write About This!; Just a short post today; It’s ok to blog when you are very unhappy , scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed, uncertain, discouraged; Today I Will start writing again; I’ve got time and something to say and a place to say it; This is worth sharing…”
Those thoughts were clearly not compelling enough to make follow-though happen. Does anyone else out there struggle with follow-through? I am full of ideas. In fact just this morning I came up with some doozies. Those ideas appear to be magnetic to this monster with stealthy powerful venom that quickly, quietly injects itself into said ideas and poof, they lie flattened by the poison of why that can’t and won’t happen again. Sheesh.
Generally I am a very positive thinker, someone who sees the glass pretty full. I’ve even been accused of ‘Pollyanna’ style reality. (the girl with the infectious optimism). I can authentically encourage others, find the good in situations, make lemonade out of lemons.
The shadow side to that strength is that darn monster that throws these hopeless wet tents on my optimistic thoughts. Shuts me down every time. So it’s been a while since I’ve posted due to the energy required to get out from under the wet tent.
Enough of that whiny rambling. But its true.
Here we are in Florida where the heat and humidity actually irritated me for the first time yesterday. I think our bodies are still waiting for the rhythm of the season of cool and winter and warm clothing. It is rare for me to wear closed toe shoes here except for when I put on tennis shoes to go for a walk. Many of you my dear friends in Colorado, have sent winter pictures of snow on your decks, kids on sleds, frosty trees, and the low temp on your dashboard thermometers. I don’t miss the freezing cold or driving on slippery roads. I do miss going for a snowshoe out the backyard in my new red boots (which Lyndsay insists are hers now to take to Michigan!), or sipping hot drinks under a warm blanket. A weather report issued a “snuggle alert” weeks ago and we got so excited. It was actually cool enough for a sweatshirt and long pants.
I am often asked, “Are you settling in? Are you settled yet?” I suppose it is a common question. I’ve probably asked other people the same thing. If it means – do I have a lay of the land, then yes, I am doing some settling. I have a sense of where I am going from my house to the beach in Delray, to the airport in Ft Lauderdale; to JR’s work in Boca; to Barnes and Noble in Boynton Beach and to some great fresh fruit/veggie markets. That’s a big deal as I was very concerned about getting lost. No problem so far.
If settling means feeling familiar, acclimated, at home, then no. But I am not sure anyone would this quickly. Initial newness has softened and the missing of familiar, acclimated, home in Colorado has risen to the surface. “What the heck are we doing here?; Where in the world are we?” are signs of missing our settledness back home. Saying no to your settled question is honest. Saying yes, means I am helping you feel better about us being in Florida. That said from my realistic, vulnerable self.
But wait…there’s ‘pollyannalaura’ who wants to tell you about what’s good. Storage shelves from Ikea are good. Time with our girls and their friends in December is good. Lauren making it to rural India is good. Lyndsay’s being my companion for 3 more weeks is good. Talking with the ladies who are also walking their dogs is good. I have been cooking all kinds of new recipes (very good) and have decided that may be my focus for a while – simply sharing some simple new things that I’ve discovered here on this journey.
January 1st, JR and I and decided “Adventure On” would be the theme. Rest, refreshment, recreation and regrouping helped us point in that direction once again. We will take a risk, be courageous. We will make an effort to experience people places, culture. We will undertake possibility, hit milestones, marvel at miracles, trust Jesus.
And we will discover new things, like sour pickles from the pickle man outside the Carnival Flea market where I bought a very large bag of fresh fruits and veggies for only $15.00. The pickles were a perfect side for some sloppy joes and sweet potato mash. Both new recipes to me which I will share as promised.
- 1 lb beef (my new favorite is the organic beef from Costco)
- 2. 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 Tlb cider vinegar
- 2 Tlb brown sugar
- 1 Tlb Worcestershire sauce
- 2 T yellow mustard
- 1 C ketchup
- 2 Tlb lemon juice
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 C water
Brown beef and onion. Drain off excess fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 30 min. Really….simmer it that long. It’s worth it.
Sweet Potato Mash
- 3 C mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 very large sweet potatoes or yams, cook in microwave for simplicity)
- 1/4 C light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tlb softened butter
- 1/2 milk
- 1/2 C chopped pecans
- 4 Tlb brown sugar
- 2 Tlb softened butter
Mix mashed potatoes with the next 7 ingredients. Put into greased baking dish. Mix topping ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle all over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 min – then can turn up oven to 425 (or even broil, but be careful) to toast the top for a couple of minutes.
(recipes adapted from Recipes on the Pond, Cooking with Covenant Women)