what I learned this spring

Today I am joining [and linking up] with Emily P. Freeman (I love how she uses the P in her name) sharing what I have learned this spring.


Homemade Gyros with homemade Tzatziki sauce is easier to make than I imagined and taste just as amazing as restaurants. And, the Tzatziki sauce tastes even better the next day after it has had time to marinate. Two reasons I shied away from making Gyros. Lamb and Tzatziki sauce. Then, I had this idea to make a greek-style meatloaf using lamb and ground chuck sliced thin for the Gyros. Brilliant. Using a hot house or English cucumber, or removing the seeds from a cucumber before grating is necessary for the right texture, consistency, and taste for the Tzatziki sauce. A paper towel works just fine for wringing out the excess water from the cucumber.


Having studied the book of James many times over the years, while studying it again recently, I realized there is always... always... something else God wants me to learn. I almost came to the study of the book of James with the She Reads Truth community, grudgingly, because somewhere in my disheveled, dimwitted, ignorant thoughts were, "I have already done this before." Boy, was I wrong!


A new front porch beneath a flourishing oak tree built loving by my husbands hands means so much more to me than having a porch built professionally. Not that I'd know what it feels like to have a porch built professionally because it was my husbands hands with the help of our sons that built our front porch. And, it is beautiful. And, inviting. And, well-built. So well built in fact, when we recently had tornadic storm activity in the area, I called Jeff and [jokingly, of course] told him a tornado went through. The house is gone but the porch is still there.


Although my sons are beyond the homeschooling age, I still have the opportunity to make an educational impact in my grandchildren's lives by reading aloud to them. When John and Jarrod were homeschooled I read aloud all of their required reading from 7th-12th grade. I regularly commiserate with myself the loss I experienced when I no longer homeschooled, or more importantly had the opportunity to read aloud. But, this summer all my grandchildren will be here for a visit and then three of my grandchildren will only be a couple hours away. I decided reading aloud was going to be our regular ventures when they come for visits. Jeff put up three book ledges at the entrance to the hallway, specifically for children's books.


I really can memorize scripture. If someone told me that at my age I would be memorizing scripture I would have laughed out loud. I have a terrible memory for all things, especially words. But, this spring I memorized Chapter 1 in the book of James. I kept the 'how' of memorizing scripture simple. I wrote out the chapter on index cards and attached them to a ring for easy of flipping the cards. Then, I began to read and recite, read and recite, read and recite...


 Salads in a Jar truly do last a week. I finally got my act together and tried Salads in a Jar. I would prepare the salads on Sunday evening for the entire week. The last salad of the week was almost as fresh as the first jar. I did learn that preparing simpler salads would keep me on track easier than the more elaborate.





what I learned | winter edition

This afternoon I am linking up with Emily P. Freeman for What I Learned  - the winter edition.



1. I read Isaac's Storm in January, which by the way was a really good book, and learned that because of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, which is the storm the book centers around, meteorologists were able to forensically deduce that it is storm surge, and not wind as they'd previously assumed, that is the deadliest and costliest side of a hurricane. I think I remember from 30 years ago when I studied tropical meteorology that question was considered of high importance and was on my tropical meteorology final exam. Unbelievable how far the field of meteorology has come.



2. After receiving an unsolicited compliment, I learned wearing makeup smooths my face, evens out and tones my skin, and removes redness. At a minimum I now wear make up to church on Sundays. At this time, though, I have no plans to change my morning work day routine and will not be adding 'putting on makeup' to my day. It was very nice to receive the compliment, though:)


3. Duolingo is a sweet little site for learning [and re-learning], or learning what I should have learned in my college Spanish classes. They'll remind you via email. If you haven't visited in a couple days, they'll tell you they miss you. They give good praise reports. They, like it's an actual person, really, cheer you on. They want you to learn. I am a repetitive learner so I review, review, review, already previously-viewed lessons.


51+fIKU-U2L 51GesqDmCBL 513KDYGPssL

4. David Balducci books are quickly becoming favorites. I'm just about done with The Innocent. I almost stopped reading it because the first couple of chapters just weren't my forte but, man, it turned the corner, just like that. So good! The Last Mile and Zero Day - awesome!

//Life Hacks//

5. Roasted red pepper sauce is amazing! It gives pasta a fresh kick, pop of flavor that blows tired, ole spaghetti sauce out - of - the - water!


6. Giving. A steady flow of giving, makes the heart beat, race, for more. More acts of service, more acts of kindness, more gift giving and making handmade gifts. When I began this nourishing a heart of giving project this year I had no idea the impact it would make on my spirit, my heart, my mind, the upwelling, the overwhelming joy I've experienced each time I have given away my time, my money, my service, my gifts. I am humbled to be apart of God doing something in me and through me. Giving. It's a beautiful thing.

what I learned in August 2016


Bartles and James Pina Colada wine coolers are a refreshing, light-on-the-alcohol beverage I can enjoy for an after dinner refreshment. For a season (a couple of years) my taste buds were wanky and anything alcohol (and chocolate!) had a bitter taste. I never did figure out why. But, more recently, over the last couple of months I have been able to eat most anything chocolate (except M&Ms), and B&J Pina Colada wine coolers (a favorite from many moons ago) tasted great!

Packing a variety of books into my purse or messenger bag to read during various down times is a wise choice. I carry a Vera Bradley messenger bag to work, along with a purse and at any given time I'll have, at a minimum, two books, most often three or four, to read during those quiet moments at work, waiting in the car, - or at a stop light. Because I've found that while I may want to read one book now, I might want to read or begin reading another book later. Thus, a variety of genres works best. Usually, a non-literary fiction, a Christian non-fiction, and even a literary fiction (or what I'd call literary).


Walking in place is torture on the buttocks, thighs, and calves versus not walking in place which, for me, is torture on my hips. I am trying to be faithful about walking everyday this month, missing one mile only a couple of days. To accomplish this, I've begun adding walking in place to increase my distance. Thankfully, it doesn't hurt my hips as much as strictly walking, but, man, it's torture (in a good way) on the buttocks, thighs, and calves.

Organizing my books by color makes me smile every time I walk by my bookshelf. The blue books and the white books are in the front and most visible (because our bedroom is blue and white and that is where our bookshelf happens to be currently.

I missed attending Bible study outside my home. I joined a ladies Bible study Tuesday evenings at my church recently and I didn't realize how much I missed being part of a Bible study away from home - and with women. We are studying I & II Peter and I am getting some serious study time in and loving it! I still have a few more sessions of the Beth Moore and I plan on ordering her new study coming in September, too.

What have you learned this past month?