Friday, February 27, 2015

my love<3

When I can’t deal with the stress of the busy corporate world I just escape to a place that’s familiar to me. Filled with quiet and love. A place where I know God is. Because here I can feel and hear Him.

The freezing wind biting at my nose. The cold, wet snow fogging my camera lens. And me soaking in the most beautiful of sceneries, with numb fingers and toes. Totally happy…because I’m here;


Alone in the world that make complete sense, where life is only about instinct. Not rules.


"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
-  Barbara Winkler


“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” -
Martin Luther



“The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” – Psalm 24:1


“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.”
 -Charles A. Lindbergh


”Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.” -George Washington Carver


I’m only two months into the year…2015 looked so promising at the beginning. And so far hasn’t let my expectations for it, down.

Just since the start of the year, God has been opening doors…resulting in me having to make some huge life decisions…I mean crazy big ones! But even though it’s been a tough emotional roller coaster, for me, the last few weeks, I’m happy to say I’m through the bulk of it and now strictly onto finalizing each one of them.  What I planned for myself the beginning of the year isn’t all holding together…like maybe jumping ahead a few years…I have to be okay with it. God’s plans are better anyway=) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 Being flexible and resting in the knowledge that God knows what He’s doing. I can’t wait to share more details about these things but I need to wait until everything is completely set in stone.

Happy Friday!!!


Source:  99 outdoor quotes

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

no longer a teenager

My younger brother isn’t a teenager anymore, since Sunday…this is sorta hard for me to grasp.
Like seriously yesterday we were…
playing cowboys and Indians together
arguing as we hauled maple sap back from the woods together
gleaning corn for the cows together
cleaning his room together, more like I was cleaning and he was watching and talking 
hunting white-tail deer together
swimming in flat rock river together
running all those roads around our old place together
And now that all over and he’s grown living in Tennessee six hours away. We text weekly and call some. I miss him but know this is the way life is indented to go.
And this weekend I went to visit him in TN with Christina…enjoy the few photos I remembered to take=) I had all these glamorous ideas of actually writing this post up during our drive home on Sunday. But I regretfully didn’t get to it and so it’s here a day later than I planned but oh well=/

IMG_8718IMG_8726IMG_8733IMG_8735IMG_8748IMG_8751IMG_8754IMG_8756IMG_8776IMG_8779IMG_8782The only picture of me…I know I know…without a schedule and a structured life, I can’t even remember to take a photo!IMG_8803Home at last!!! To lots and lots of snow and sub-below zero weather…just wonderful…IMG_8806

So here’s a quick recap of our trip…


Christina came home from work saying her car was acting up.

I test drove it and moved the rattling pens in the console. Moral of the tale the car was fine…really fine!

Started on our six hour drive at 7:00 a.m.

Stopped to buy a sleeping mask for my tired “shot gun” rider. (so yeah it was a quiet and a very boring drive)

Met Samuel in Loblesville, TN. (Think a perfect redneck haven and you will have just begun to imagine what it’s like) TN had just suffered an ice storm and we all know what ice does to southern drivers, so Samuel led us in a less hilly way to his home.

Crashed at Sam’s house. (It’s so small and adorable)

Dinner at the Stoll’s house. We couldn’t drive up the hill due to the ice and snow so we walked up their mountain…I developed a head ache, which made my night miserable. Plus they served pasta and I had cuts in my mouth from a accident driving horses a few nights before. I’ll just stop there. (we were suppose to actually stay with these people for the duration of our stay but it was canceled due to their pipes freezing, poor people were without water for days. Which equaled no showers for them either)

Saturday -

Woke up at 4 and my siblings didn’t start stirring until 10:00 a.m.….I was starving!!!!

All the restaurants around opened late due to the weather….so no breakfast just shrimp alfredo

It was dumping buckets of rain all day long. And that on top of the ice made the road conditions worse.

Shopping…the only thing left to do. Christina and I got some wonderful deals at Goody’s.

Ate frozen pizza and cake at Sam’s house while watching his favorite you-tube singing clips=)

Then back Stoll’s house to watch “The Good Lie” btw: a very very good movie! The ice was still bad so we again parked and trudged to the very top of that pathetic hill.

About ten, after running to a friends house to shower the parents came in saying we were flooded in. GREAT! All the rain and temperature rise had creation yet another problem. Did I mention how much I love Indiana?!?!?

This bad new called for something chocolaty…freshly baked black bean brownies soaked in chocolate syrup did just the trick to cheer us all up.

Slept on their couches, and watched movies all night long. Needless to say we became very good friends with ALL the Stolls,

Sunday – Samuel’s 20th Birthday!!!!!!

Again, I woke up before everyone else.

Christina agreed to walk down and see if we were still flooded in.The water had all gone back down and the roads were clear. Also the hill was melted enough to drive up (so glad we didn’t have to walk that again!!!)

Ate a late but wonderful brunch – they made Belgian waffle with blue berry topping…so good!!!!!!

Everyone hurried back to their places of running water to clean up, then meet at the bowling alley in Dickson.

Samuel opened all his gifts from home that we brought with us=) while Christina and I hurried with our showers and makeup.

Samuel won the only game Christina and I had time to play with them. They continued to bowl long after we left.

Homeward bound by 4;30 p.m. (difficult leaving that sad face, of Samuel, behind us…but thankfully his friends were staying with him the rest of the day… help him celebrate his day=)

Home by 11:30 (They last hour I slept…but it was more like a series of a million nightmares. Seriously all the stuff I had to do this week kept playing through my mind)

12:30 p.m I sat in a daze on my bed thinking…inwardly vowing to never leave for a weekend again. even though I know I will…and I’ll regret it then too. Mainly because of ALL the work before I leave and after I get back is so stressful.

All and all it was a wonderful trip. Getting to see the wonderful smile of Samuel and celebrate his day, actually, with him was oh so worth it. All of it.

It was such a memorable weekend=)



BTW: here’s a few pictures from the making of my first cake, frosting and all=) sadly I only took some on my phone…it was late at night, so I’m giving myself a break. Samuel loved it!!!


Friday, February 20, 2015

SUNDAY: stuffed peppers for dinner…

So last Sunday I made stuffed peppers out of this Italian guy’s cook book. He plays racquetball with my dad and when he finished this huge book, he told my dad - who promptly bought a copy. (check out a picture of it herevery last photo of the week) I’ve been waiting to make something out of this book for a lonnnng time and finally just broke down and did it. As a true Italian all the recipes are full of garlic and wine…and a lot of red pepper, haha. I love the way he writes out his recipes, so easy to follow and understand=)

IMG_8691I also made these garlic biscuits to go with my peppers. But I made mine with ww flour…and they were still good. My dad I think liked these better than the “hot” stuffed peppers=)IMG_8692IMG_8695 I substituted the veal in this recipe for just totally sausage and my family loved them=)  They were so lovely=) If I do say so myself. All the stores around me have hard parmesan cheese on recall, for some reason, so I got the “freshly” shredded parmesan to put in these, I know it wasn’t quite the same - but hey what do you do?!?!?IMG_8699For dessert I made these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. They were a bit on the heavy side due to the honey I added instead of sugar…but they were good=) and I could have eased up a bit on the carob chips, I added way too many!IMG_8706

Every Sunday I’m trying to make something completely new and foreign to my families taste buds. Gives me a chance to experiment and my mom gets a break from the kitchen…I still need to post about my enchiladas, they were a huge success!

Happy Friday!!!!!

and I hope you’re weekend is as fun as mine is going to be…I leave this morning for Tennessee to celebrate my brother’s 20th birthday=)


Monday, February 16, 2015


“Why does life keep teaching me lessons I have no desire to learn?”  ~Ashleigh Brilliant

I hate making mistakes and this past Saturday’s pumpkin pie, disaster, was no different. When I make an error I feel like the world is coming to an end. Literally it will ruin my entire day…it’s a feeling of embarrassment and humiliation, all mixed together ending in me blaming myself for every problem I’ve ever faced. (I hope that makes sense, it the only way I can put it into words). But anyway this makes me shut down and normally will make the remainder of my day a real drag. Even my boss knows not to tell me of a work related error early in the day or my day will be ruined. (proven fact) I’m not making excuses for myself…I know it has to probably do largely with my age, but I’m trying to rise above this “feeling” and brush off my blunders and not let it effect my day. I only have one life and I don’t want to waste even a few moments in this self pitying attitude.

“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”   ― John Gardner

  I made the crust for this pie perfect and the filling was so thick and golden, everything looked just right. But I’m a “non-taster” cook and this simple fact completely ruined the outcome of this baking venture. I normally just follow my head knowledge and eye how much of seasonings, etc., I believe should go into my dish. A good example of this is when I make mash potatoes; I will mash and season them without ever tasting them and their perfect, salted to perfection=) haha…most of the time. This is a result of all my dieting and not being able to eat what I was cooking, pathetic but true (which of course isn’t a big issue now, since I’m kinda pulling away from dieting).

But I’m still trying to get passed this old habit and taste while I cook, as a general rule again. But in this instance, even though something inside told me to taste this pie filling before I put it in the oven - I dismissed the thought and went ahead and filled the pie shell with the filling and popped it straight into the oven. It finished baking and I left it to cool while I drove over to feed my horses. On the way over, I don’t know why but, I began to think through everything I put into my pie. (btw; I never do this) And then horror of horrors, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t put the sweetener in this precious pie. This wasn’t just a bad dream, it was huge nasty realization that couldn’t be reversed. I drove in shock for a bit before calling my mom to tell her the horrid news She just laughed (which made me feel soooo much better) and gave me a small lecture on why she, as a rule of thumb “always taste before BAKE.” (Thanks mom) I slowly began to see the humor in this situation and decided that we’d just have to add honey to the top of each piece as it was dished up.

IMG_8534IMG_8568beautiful piece of pie, to say it was a bit bland would be an understatement=)IMG_8574IMG_8583Me with the pie…funny I never get pictures with my food and I choose to ask Isaac to get a few of me with this pathetic version of a pumpkin pie. but if you don’t tell anyone who’d guess it wasn’t a perfect piece of pumpkin pie?!?!?!IMG_8585IMG_8591I could only get a few bits of my piece down, but here’s the way we ate it, drenched in honey.IMG_8598my dad liked it, wow! I don’t know how he did…it was horrible. IMG_8606

The three things I learned from this pumpkin pie…

first. from now on I’m going to begin tasting what I make. Always.

and secondly I’m going to try harder to not let slip ups ruin my cooking experiences. I love to bake and cook and if I make a mistake, hey I’m human and I’m not perfect, so I’m going to make mistakes daily…so I’m going to start expecting them and not let them surprised me.

and lastly I will make a pumpkin pie again. period. someday, even though I inwardly vowed I wouldn’t again. (I’m actually too turned off to the taste of pumpkin pie, due to the this pie, to try it again for a bit)

So a note to self: Don’t let your mistakes get you down today, laugh it off. Expecting the slip ups, make them easier to deal with. And being humble enough to take the blame for your mistakes needs to be my number one priority. And please don’t let a 2 minute mistake ruin your next 24 hours.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. I Thess. 5:18



Thursday, February 12, 2015

casey crocker’s Chocolate Cake

It’s Valentine’s Day on Saturday…so for this month Casey made chocolate cake=) which also doubled for her birthday cake that she also celebrates at the beginning of this month. (check out her bday post over on her blog)

IMG_8451Our afternoon together was almost cancelled due to a threatening winter storm…which didn’t happen at all, I’m sure this added to the happiness of all those Super Bowl celebrators out there. But at Casey’s house – all of us, Carl included, are non celebrators. Like we’re the people that hope that both teams lose=)  I ended up just driving in a bit of rain to her house and whew was I ever glad, I look forward to our monthly visit and the prospect of maybe not being to do it or reschedule it was very disappointing.IMG_8432IMG_7827IMG_7838IMG_7840By far this was the most fantastic time we’ve had together. Have I said that before? oh well I’ll probably say it every time…hehe! As we continue this adventure together our friendship is growing more and more…which is a good thing…but for our Casey Crocker sessions I’m not so sure. We are so interested in catching up with each other she cooks faster and I forget to take pictures=) Like she added a cup of coffee to this recipe, but did I get a picture of it? no!IMG_7842IMG_7851IMG_7868IMG_7888IMG_7874IMG_7927IMG_7935IMG_7937IMG_7946IMG_7993IMG_8001IMG_8003IMG_8029Oh and we both were able to use our crafty sides (well mainly it was all Casey) and make a banner for the cake and a heart runner for the table. Talking about life while waiting on the other to finish with the, single, pair of scissors, haven’t we all done this…at least one time? it was so fun! IMG_7835IMG_8053IMG_8054IMG_8109IMG_8068IMG_8082The house smelled so wonderful!!!! Casey and I were just taking our time surrounded with card stock, tape and string while we waiting for them to cool, completely. Carl comes around the corner and was like “it’s cool, enough.” haha someone was pretty hungry for chocolate cake=)IMG_8095IMG_8119IMG_8143IMG_8145IMG_8154IMG_8176Perfect!!!! so lovely!!!IMG_8232IMG_8249-2IMG_8314IMG_8338IMG_8330IMG_8354IMG_8356IMG_8397IMG_8399IMG_8444Sooooo Carl (who was so impatient to taste this wonderful smelling cake) was given the honor of being the first to taste this fabulous creation of his wife. BTW he loved it!IMG_8461IMG_8488Annnnnddd since it’s Valentines Day WHY NOT make a mini couple shoot of it?!?!?IMG_8499My heart is melting!!! =)IMG_8511IMG_8514IMG_8471IMG_8520

I took a piece home because of my evening (doctor’s suggested) restriction of sweets. And I ate it for breakfast (no judgment please=) y’all know you would have too. And Casey it was excellent!

So hurry over to Casey’s blog and get the recipe…

Happy Thursday!!! and I hope your Valentine’s Day is wonderful and everything that you hoped it would be.