I think being in the kitchen is more like being in a science lab for me… just experimenting, most times I’m just looking for ways to make things more convenient.
So, my latest ‘experiment’ was with lemons. For years now, I have sipped warm lemon water in the morn, after my regular room temperature water. Sometimes I add a little honey, and other times I put all kinds of ‘elements’ in it…turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pepper 😳…that’s what happens when you read too many health sites. 🤷🏽♀️ There are some real benefits to eating lemons but you have ro mind your teeth drom the acid.
Anyway, you know what? LEMONS are expensive, people. I can’t bring myself to pay 99 cents for one lemon. Nope, not gonna do it. So, I wait for the lemon sales; when I can get a whole bag for around $3.99. The only problem is I can’t eat them fast enough..they spoil.
I used to slice them all, put them on a plate to freeze, then pop them off the plate and put them in a zip bag. That works pretty good. It’s a challenge getting them off the plate though. Just grab a frozen slice, drop into my hot water, and BAM! No fuss.
Well the other day, After buying another bag of lemons I decided to try something a little different. Why? No real reason. 😊
Instead of slicing them all, I juiced them all. I ended up with about a cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Next, I poured it into a silicon small-cube tray, and froze.
When frozen, I popped them in a zip bag. Now, in the morning, I put a lemon cube or two, add my other ingredients and sippy-sip. Lots of cubes that lasts for days.
Frozen lemon cubes
Frozen Lemon cubes
I’m sure most folks wouldn’t waste time doing this..ha!… I’m not even sure it saves me any time in the morning…but thought I’d share anyway. 😎✌🏽🍋
I’m sitting here thinking about the past year. So many changes yet a lot has stayed mostly the same. I lost a lot of extended family, close and distant friends, and friends who were as close as family; I mean lots, more than a dozen. It seems I’ve said, “Sorry for your loss” at least monthly this year. Just odd, but it really caused me to think about my own life a lot. I felt more conscious of time. I remembered my dad, now in his 80s, always saying when in his 50s, “I have more years behind me than I do in front of me.” I was in my 20s then, now I’m in my 50s. I can sincerely say I have more years behind me than in front of me; the death of so many friends and acquaintances this year brings those words to the forefront more than ever.
So, what does that mean for my life decisions? In short, it means I want to focus on the things that are important to me. What are those things?
In no particular order:
Portraiture / Art – For most of this year, I contemplated returning to school to obtain a doctorate degree. It was just a matter of nailing down what I wanted to study and where. I reviewed/applied to a few schools and interviewed with one, in the Technology field. In the end, I decided to pit it on hold, if not nix it. Why? Because as a middle-aged woman I discovered I had a talent for art, specifically, drawing portraits. It has changed my focus more than I thought. I like my job a lot, it suit my skill set, and personality. … but I love drawing! At this point in life, I need to focus on what I love. None of the schools I reviewed sparked my heart; I was not wanting to do it even before I took the first course. Apparently, getting a doctorate was a goal, but not a heart’s desire; if that makes sense. Nope, I don’t plan to go to art school, I just plan to use my years left doing something that makes my heart happy and makes others smile! Simple. 🎨
Family/Friends – I have a small immediate family but a pretty large extended one. Thanks to social media I can keep in contact with many of them much easier than I probably would have otherwise. I also have many friends from all the schools and churches I’ve attended, and neighborhoods I’ve lived in. I’ve been thinking about the friends who are like family a lot… because I lost some this year. I have a very small group of friends who are like family to me. They know me more than anyone else really. It is important to me to work hard to maintain these friendships, keeping the air clear between us, sharing time together, and making memories.
God and His Son Jesus…and children and widows. – I would have said ‘religion’ but I’m lowly interested in religion actually. … but boy, what a bone of contention the name of Jesus has become in the past few years?! My belief has been a foundation for my life though – there is no shame in that for me. I will not disparage you for what you believe but I want to be a light, a reflection of Jesus, in a dark world.
The Bible says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” (James 1:27)
Health/Wellness: If you’ve followed this blog, you know that I strive to be as healthy as I can. This year was a challenge after losing a significant amount of weight, but I plan to keep working at it. I want to be strong in my mind, body and spirit in order to face life boldly.
This also includes keeping an orderly physical space. I don’t know about you but clutter around my house, also clutters my mind and thought processes. For some it doesn’t matter I know but I want to minimize where necessary keeping “junk” outnof my space.
You might want to call these four things New Year resolutions, but I don’t. I like ro call them Life Discoveries. One of the best things about being an adult is that you can make your own decisions about your life and you can live out the consequences; good or bad.
Hello 2019! Thank you Lord for breath, life, peace, salvation and hope!
I’m sitting here wondering if there is a real reason for broccoli cuts.?🤔
I mean, Broccoli florets make sense; they are pretty, flavorful, and healthy, but ‘cuts’ are basically the stems – cut up, right?
The picture looked all luscious and delicious but the bag of frozen cuts I bought did have one or two small florets…whatever, I really did expect what I got, not what was on the bag.
I added a bit more chicken broth and let the cuts get softer than how I usually eat my veggies but I had a plan. Then I got out my Ninja blender. I added the thoroughly cooked cuts, added a bit of half and half (all I had), added more broth, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric and hit the ON button.
It whirred around until, it was light green, smooth, a bit creamy and ohhhhh so tasty.
VOILA! Turned those worthless cuts into a delicious gourmet soup.
I had some for dinner tonight. It’s a cold, dark, long winter night and this concoction hit the spot. I think I might try this with fresh broccoli stalks next summer.
So, not only can you turn lemons to lemonade but you can also turn blah broccoli cuts into deliciousness.
For the most part, this is the season where folks are typically enjoying the joy of giving and getting gifts. It’s a happy time for sure, especially for little ones who’ve had their eye on a specific item all year.
I’m old(er)… and I like gifts too! More-so though, I like cleansing….or purging. In addition to gift-giving, the end of the year signifies a time to go through my house, life, stuff and purge things that take up physical space and mental space. I love doing this. People think of Springtime as the time to clean and purge, but I like to do it in December so when the New Year rolls in there is physical and mental space to either add … or not add new things. Sort of an ‘out with the old – in with the new’ process.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against acquiring a lot of unnecessary stuff, but me personally, too much stuff messes with my mind and thought processes.
Even as a child, I was this way. At Christmas time, Mom would hand me the Sears Gift Catalog (remember that?) and tell me to mark what I wanted. I was an only child then so I could have gone bananas picking out things… but I didn’t. I just never wanted many ‘things’, and most things I chose had a function, purpose or learning quality, i.e. a desk, Operation Game, a microscope, art supplies, small jewelry box… things I needed or wanted to learn about.
I’m still that way somewhat. I’m not one to have ‘stuff’ sitting around on tables, shelves, etc. if it doesn’t fit on the mantel, then it usually ends up in the donation box. Knickknacks, a.k.a. dust collectors, are just not my thing.
So, with some days off from work, I got busy.
The purging process is completely overwhelming for lots of folks but I take it in
chunks; garage, closets, storage box, spare clothes closet, shoe rack, etc. No way would I attempt this all in one day; and I don’t set a hard ‘finish’ date – the only real plan is to make time in 2 to 3 hour sessions and just DO it. Here is an example of the process:
1. Garage: The mess of it was starting to bother me. Cardboard boxes, old shoes, empty yard care and insecticide containers, just stuff. I started here so my hard work could be seen each time I left or returned home. I cut down all the card board boxes to take to the recycle bin; I saved one box though and designated it for things that could be donated. I sorted thorough all things that were just sitting in the garage over the year and tossed a lot of stuff. I swept out the garage and VOILA! Garage done. ✔️
2. Shoes: All that I said above holds true, except when it comes to shoes. I’m embarrassed to say how many pairs of shoes I own. I love them all! 😂…. But I do wear them out quickly it seems. I used to keep them around just because I liked them; it was like I had some kind of emotional attachment to them. Well, I’m over that now – if they are run-over, skinned up, have worn heels, or in my case after losing a bunch of weight they are simply too big (yes, feet lose fat too), I throw them out or donate them if in decent condition (I don’t donate stuff that I wouldn’t even want). Shoes done✔️
GreetingCardBox: For some reason, I keep most cards I receive, in a ox decorated with shoes no less, lol; I’ve got 20 years worth now. 😳. I decided to see what was in the box because it was overflowing and new cards were being stored on top of, in, and beside the box, rather than IN the box. Time to purge. I had the best time reviewing my life in greeting cards over the past two decades but some of them had to go. I started by determining who they were from. Cards from insurance agencies, or car dealers, etc. were tossed; probably should have been on New Years day. Cards from my closest, dearest friends were kept. Simple.
Then there were cards from people who used to be really close but our lives have drifted apart; I kept some of those. THEN, I ran across cards from friends who are now deceased! Boy, did I keep those. Just seeing their handwriting, and hearing their voice in my head as I read their card warmed my heart and made me smile. It also reminded me to cherish my family and friends…. And to keep on keeping cards.💕 Greeting Card Box done. ✔️
4. ArtSupplyarea: I’m a portrait artist so I have a stash of needed art supplies for my commissioned pieces. I don’t toss anything here but I must organize and take inventory regularly. This isn’t really a purge of things, but a purge of clutter; I stacked and grouped and rearranged. Art Room done.✔️
This is just an example of how I go about the purging process. Seriously, getting rid of clutter, unnecessary junk, etc. feels like it clears my souls. I wouldn’t
consider myself a minimalist but I do like keeping life simple. My Christmas mantel includes these two little plaques that pretty much sums up my thought processes about life. … Be Thankful and Keep it Simple.
It’s a joyous time of the year for the most part …but for some it will be a difficult time. Many people have lost loved ones this year.
I know of a wonderful family who recently lost their father/son/husband, late 50s, diagnosed with a rare cancer just a few weeks ago. I was reminded again how life is so fragile and is but a vapor. Psalm 144:4 tells us this… “Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.”
I am often at a loss for words during difficult times; in spite of deep feelings I have. I am thankful for an outlet in art to express myself and share my heart.
I saw this sweet, special moment in a photo of the gentleman who passed with his only grandson and wanted to do something with it for his wife. As I studied it, I felt I wanted to convey the time, place, mood, feeling, and memory of this photo rather than the exact replication of the faces. So, I attempted to do a pen and watercolor wash to capture all the things the photo revealed to me. When I presented it to his wife, she immediately recalled the week the family was together at the time this photo was taken. It’s just a quick sketch, not my typical style, but I think it fulfilled what I’d hoped to accomplish.
Say a prayer for those who are hurting this season… and go hug your people! ❤️