Monday, November 28, 2011

Productive holiday weekend !!

A productive holiday weekend--but also very frustrating!! I've spent hours attempting to upload images!! I start the upload process and go back to my other project of the hour. Sometimes several hours just to upload one picture; sometimes (after all that time) it isn't a usable image (examples below). I also mentioned this problem in my Thanksgiving Day blog.

On Friday, I assembled a four-shelf free-standing storage (from Sam's Club). I placed the shelves in such a way that I could have two bins on the floor under the bottom shelf. Then I arranged shelf two and three so I could position drawers between them. Now I have a place for my Vita Mix, and Osterizer, and lots of other "storage."
(FYI: I already had the plastic containers [bins] and drawers. Not an additional expense.)

Remember my recent lament: "Yipes, where do I put them now that they are out of the box?? More clutter!!" On Saturday, I assembled a three-shelf free-standing stand (from my overabundance of stuff, advertised "for sale" but never sold). I purchased it while living in Shelby and disassembled it before it went into the PODS storage. Before the day was out, I had unpacked my cook books and put them on the shelves. Not that I intend to keep, and use, all those beans, blender, food processor, pressure cooker, salad, vegan, and vegetarian cook books but I need a place to put them while I advertise them for sale (or for give away). So-o-o, over the last several days I have emptied five boxes!! (FYI: My kitchen is quite small, and storage is limited, so I desperately needed the extra storage units.) ~~ I'm now quite pleased with the appearance of the kitchen and would no longer be embarrassed if a guest stepped into my apartment.

Second picture shows the table (originally from the T@B teardrop trailer) in front of the newly assembled storage shelves. I'll need to move the table to get to the items on the shelves BUT this is preferable to things in cardboard boxes!!

Yucky pictures (below). Time to phone Windstream and complain?!?!


My extremely old cookbooks (including Grandmother Showalter's) are still in the box above the kitchen cupboards. I'm not ready to make decisions about them.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dusting... rusting....

I dusted off rusty skills when I set a table for Thanksgiving dinner. Conservatively, it has been approaching ten years since I had guests, and decorated a table!! Upwards to one hundred JAARS family and friends enjoyed a potluck meal (with turkey & dressing), and fellowship. Initially, I signed up to "set up" or "clean up" and thought I'd find an empty seat at someones table. To my delight, friends from the RV Park said they would join me. Wow!! ~~ I didn't go to a lot of expense; I used my mismatched Corelle dinner plates (acquired over the years from Thrift Shops). Lord knows how long I've had an unopened package of paper napkins, and the plastic cups!! I searched my apartment for "Fall" decorations. Other than Trader Joe's awesome fresh cranberry sauce, and croissant rolls, my only expense was a delicious-smelling pumpkin-spice candle. ~~ It was such an enjoyable experience!! Praise the Lord!!


Postscript, Sat. Nov. 26th, 2011, 1:30 PM: I've been trying (for two days) to upload the pictures from Thanksgiving dinner. Sometimes it takes over six hours to upload one picture--and then it isn't a usable image (example to our left)!! I've tried everything (everything!!) imaginable and have isolated the problem to my Internet provider (Windstream). I pay about $70. per month for phone and Internet. I rarely make or receive a phone call so all that money for limited benefits!! FYI: It isn't overloaded daytime traffic via Windstream; the same horrible extended period of time when I try to upload at midnight!! (I know it is Windstream because I went to Panera [with free WiFi] and could upload a picture in about three minutes.)

Postscript, Sunday, Nov. 27th, 2011, 12 noon: It took four hours to upload the four Thanksgiving pictures. Two hours for the first pic.... ~~ I had a great Thanksgiving!! I hope you had an enjoyable day, too!! ~~ (FYI: No, I did not shop on "Black Friday.")

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanks to Calvary

I'm just a sinner saved by grace. The beautiful gospel song written by Bill & Gloria Gaither eloquently expresses where I came from. Thanks to Calvary I'm not the person I used to be. ~~ Two favorites sung tonight on a Gaither TV program (on Public Broadcasting). ~~~~ 'Tis the season; I'm giving thanks!! ~~~~ The Old Violin (poem The Touch of the Master's Hand written by Myra Brooks Welch) has long been one of my favorites and I encourage you to click the links to read and listen....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving !!

A wild turkey: Not at one of my eight bird feeders but in a nearby tree. I love the view from my leisure chair, out the patio doors. Most of the leaves are off the trees so I see squirrels moving from tree to tree; cardinals perched on limbs. Then, to my surprise, I see the big bird sitting in a nearby tree. So, a bit early, but my opportunity to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

(For a better bird's eye view of my "back yard," left click the picture to enlarge it.)

The bare facts !!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Follow my travels this time two (2) years ago ?!

Click on--and read--the first link. Then use your computer's back arrow to return to this blog. Click on--and read--the second link. Then use your computer's back arrow to return to this blog. Move through the following list. ~~ Enjoy!!

Second Outing, Six Days, 895 miles ~~~ Published November 20, 2009 (actually November 13th - November 19th, 2009)

White Knuckle Ride ~~~ Published November 20, 2009

Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta, Georgia ~~~ Published November 20, 2009

Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway ~~~ Published November 20, 2009

Greetings from Asheville, NC ~~~ November 18, 2009

Christmas at the Biltmore Estate ~~~ Published November 20, 2009

Evaluating the trip ~~~ November 21, 2009

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mixed Bean Vegetarian Chili

I feel like I am finally on the highway to health (renewed health)!! I spent the entire morning (until this very minute: 1:11) in the kitchen preparing my delicious Vegetarian Chili. The weather has turned cooler ('tis the season) so I fondly thought of my recipe for (repeat) Vegetarian Chili. I put the variety of beans to soak on Friday. (Tip: Soak your beans for a day, or two, and change the water frequently. Result: No gas!!) Yesterday I shopped for the extra ingredients: Red, and green, bell peppers, onions, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, and canned chopped green chilies, etc. This morning I started cooking the beans in (good) filtered water while I cut up the peppers, onions & garlic. ~~ It has been, conservatively, twenty months since I last prepared this (one of my favorite recipes) so I put a lot of love into the preparation. Two things differed this time: I did not unpack, and use, my Cuisinart food processor and I did not unpack, and use, my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. (Where would I put them after I unpacked them??) Confession: The finished product (although very good) lacks the unique flavor when the ingredients are pressure cooked. In my humble opinion, the taste is exquisite when prepared according to the original recipe. Try it?!?!

Mixed Bean Vegetarian Chili ~~ Servings: 8-10

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced, or more to taste, optional. (None this time but on previous occasions I've only used one-half jalapeno pepper.)
1 can (4 oz.) chopped mild green chilies. (I've used a 7 oz. can and was OK.)
4 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
3 cans (15 oz. each) pinto, kidney, and/or black beans, rinsed and drained. (I always use dry beans, not canned.)
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
4 teaspoon salt (I don't use salt. I think it has enough flavor w/o salt.)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili power (I only use one teaspoon.)
2 cups water (As mentioned above, I used filtered water, not tap water.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Cut bell peppers into roughly one-half inch squares. Heat oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat and saute onions until softened. Add bell peppers, jalapeno, green chilies, garlic, chopped parsley and beans. Coarsely chop tomatoes and add to mixture with salt, cumin, oregano, chili powder and water. Seal cooker, bring up to high pressure, reduce heat to stabilize pressure and cook for 15 minutes. (I found that 12 minutes was fine.) Remove cooker from heat and release pressure. Add chopped cilantro, taste and adjust seasonings.

Variation: Meaty Three Bean Chili
Brown 1 pound ground beef or turkey and add to cooked beans.

Note: These recipes make large batches of chili. Do not exceed your pressure cooker's capacity, reduce the recipes if necessary.

Lorraine comment: I usually use 1 cup each, dry, soaked overnight, pinto, kidney and black beans (nice variety of color). I see in my notes that (on one occasion) I used one cup Pinto, one-half cup Kidney, one-half cup Black, one-half cup Great Northern, and one-half cup Soy beans.) ~~ I've been making this recipe for almost a decade (since December 17, 2001). Suggestion: Please take the time to prepare dry beans rather than canned; the flavor is better and you've saved money!! ~~ I doubled the recipe, using a very large kettle. I'm sharing with some of my friends in the RV Park who frequently invite me to dine with them. ~~ I'll freeze most in small containers for a later day.

It's a gloomy day outside but very pleasant inside with beautiful Christian music and delicious smell throughout the apartment. Lots of Cardinals feeding on sunflower seeds just outside the living room--for my viewing pleasure.

Postscript, 3:33 PM, Sunday 11/13/11: I failed to say that I enjoyed every single minute in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy One Year Anniversary !!

I'm celebrating my one year anniversary with Wycliffe. Read my blog regarding arrival at the lovely RV Park in Orlando (11/12/10). ~~ Yesterday was a special day--at JAARS--as "we" celebrated end-of-year recognition of completed Bible translations, appreciation to many individuals who served for 20, 30, 40, or 50 years, and--specifically--a day of prayer. It was very inspirational and I felt my Heavenly Father used the occasion to affirm me that I'm using my time, and talents, appropriately.

If you have followed my blog, you know I have enjoyed a unique year. Furthermore, it's extremely unique to publish the anniversary blog on 11/11/11. ~~ More importantly (hear ye, hear ye!!), this is the First Annual Global Day of Worship. Join the celebration.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pandora's Box

Actually, Pandora's boxes!! They are a nightmare for me!! (In frustration, I'm pulling my hair!!) I spent three days unpacking and inventorying collector's plates (on a beautiful weekend when I should have been outdoors). I also advertised over eleven boxes of holistic health and nutrition books (free). People are contacting me with questions like "Do you have any vegetarian cook books?" ABSOLUTELY!! Three boxes of "healthy" cook books!! (Those are in addition to the "over eleven boxes....") So I unpacked two boxes and began to list them by name and author. Yipes, where do I put them now that they are out of the box?? More clutter!! ~~ Please pray for me!!

Postscript: Yes, I can put them back in the box with the spine(s) displayed!! I can set the boxes up like a bookcase!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Whatcha been doin' ?

I've shared with you--from time to time--that I am depressed by the clutter in my apartment. Furthermore, sporadically, I work on separating myself from cherished items and memorabilia. Friday, and Saturday, was spent shuffling boxes around so I could get to three large containers of Collector's Plates. First: "the shuffle"; second: inventory and isolation by series or theme. Third: check the web--and eBay--for current value; fourth: list the items "for sale" on a web link. Oh, so time-consuming!!!! I know there is limited interest in thirty-five year old Bicentennial and Rockwell plates. But (give me a gold star for effort) I have taken a giant step toward downsizing. Today, I must!! organize (and clean) the apartment so it is "presentable" for potential visitor-buyers. ~~ Bye; gotta go!!

Nightmare on Friendship Circle !!

Quite honestly, I want to return to that simple lifestyle in the tiny T@B trailer. I needed so few things: A couple of small utensils to heat a can of soup (I mainly enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables); a small wardrobe of "wash & wear" garments; one or two excellent books (ie: the Bible); my laptop computer (with a good WiFi connection), etc., etc. I'm so frustrated by the amount of memorabilia I've moved from California to Ohio, to Shelby, NC, to a PODS, and finally to Waxhaw, NC. Look closely at the description on many of the boxes: David, Stephen, Thom, Pearl Marie, Justin, (names of sons and grandchildren). Will they ever see the things I have lovingly packed for them? Do they even care??

The first few pictures show the unpacked, inventoried, isolated collector's plates (ready for a potential buyer). But I have many more projects waiting my attention in the numerous other boxes. See the dozens of boxes along one wall?! Then I turned and took a picture of the boxes of health and nutrition books (ready for a potential buyer). To the right of the health books, a picture of the corner--and we are full circle back to the collector's plates.

Believe it or not, I've made progress during the four-and-one-half months I've lived in the apartment on Friendship Circle. I've sold some things, given some, and donated many bags, and boxes, of items to Thrift Shops. I've purged my jewelry box for gifts for women at the crisis pregnancy center. I've divested myself of small items that are appropriate for shoe box gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Is it any wonder that I often write that I wish my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would call me home to Heaven??

Postscript, 2:30 PM, Sun. 11/06/11: It is a beautiful afternoon (64 degrees)!! I have the doors open. I ventured outside for a few brief moments to sweep the patio (leaves, sunflower seeds hulls, etc.). I've taken pictures of numerous things advertised for sale, uploaded them from the camera, and forwarded... to people who wrote expressing interest. I haven't begun the "house cleaning" process yet.

A few items listed for sale

In addition to the collector's plates, I've advertised other items for sale. The first three items (first four pictures) are considered antiques. Yes, over fifty years old!! (Ignore the time stamp [bottom of this blog]. Actually, 3:56 PM as I publish this.) Totally unrelated topic: Look at the variety of color in the many pictures. Same camera, same location. I find it interesting!!