Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why This Isn't a Cooking Blog, Pet Scans and Wall Art

I love to cook.  Finding a delicious-looking picture and tackling a new recipe are exhilarating.  And, since I gave up meat, it makes the cooking even more challenging.  Can I create something that even my carnivorous family will enjoy?  It's been chilly and raining, so my mind always turns to soup.  I love using every vegetable I can find, throw in a little whole-grain pasta, and make a skillet of corn bread. One of my friends calls it "mystery soup," and my husband says it's really more like stew, and there certainly isn't a recipe!  Hence, Reason #1 that I don't have a cooking blog.  Sometimes, I can't be bothered with a recipe.  Besides, I'm from Louisiana and most recipes just need a little more spicing up.

Pinterest has become my latest obsession (now that I'm caught up on all the past episodes of Breaking Bad...sorry, it's like a bad accident you can't stop looking at!). I've repinned some awesome recipes and tried a few immediately.  This Snickerdoodle cake was a break from chocolate for me.  Don't get me wrong, chocolate is still the preferred dessert in our home, but this was so pretty and light (hah!) with a touch of spice.  Took a while to make.... quite a few steps.

Which leads me to Reason #2 I don't have a cooking blog.  I'm a WIPER! My mother was a wiper.  I have to clean as I go, which includes washing the bowls, mixing cups, beaters, and wiping the counter top, the floor and anything else that flour sifted all over. Now, my sister-in-law Johnette is the best cook I know.  Amazing, since she couldn't cook doodly-squat when she married my brother.  But, the two mothers in her life were amazing cooks, and she paid attention..... except for the wiping and cleaning part.  She can DESTROY a kitchen while concocting the always amazing ten-course meals she loads on her trestle table. But, that's what makes the two of us an unbeatable team. I come behind her washing and wiping (annoying the stew out of her, I'm sure) and voila!  It's magic. But, I just can't see cooking, wiping and taking pictures of what I'm doing all at that same time. That's why Martha Stewart has a staff.

And, Reason #3. I cook on impulse. This is why I love my iphone, Netflix streaming, Kindle, and anything that provides immediate answers and gratification. I acknowledge the flaw in my personality.  So, when I see something that looks great, I quickly peruse the ingredients, and if I think I have everything I need, I begin.  However, 80% of the time, I am missing an ingredient or don't have quite enough of what I need, so I stop and dash to the grocery store (or sometimes I can beg my husband to go for me). It's never as simple as borrowing an egg or a cup of sugar, believe me.

So, while I may share a recipe with you every now and then, I won't be dedicating this space to cooking. I'm keeping that for fun.

No easy transition here, so I'll just say that I saw the oncologist, dermatologist, had blood work, and had my routine pet scan (is there such a thing?) last Friday and got results on Monday.  All was clear.  God continues to bless me in amazing ways, keeps the melanoma away, and allows me to enjoy this life abundantly.

I so admire my artistic friend Janice Wood in Birmingham, Alabama.  She customizes and paints these adorable crossword puzzle wall art (about four feet square). They are unique to each family, capturing special names, places, events, etc.  I am thankful that there are talented people with the patience to create wonderful pieces like this. She pours a lot of love into these.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:1)

Are you an impulse cooker?
Are you a wiper when you cook?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Lot Can Happen in Six Months

Half-a-year!  That’s how long it’s been since I blogged.  Not that I haven’t thought about blogging every single day, especially when I am continuously asked, “have you posted anything to your blog lately?”  No!

And, getting started again is paralyzing. It’s like unpacking boxes. It just gets overwhelming.  Oh, there’s plenty to blog about because there's been a lot going on since February. With every change in my life, I'm reminded of the meaning of my blog. I'm so thankful He knows the Plan!  

A brief recap:

-                Clear scans at M.D. Anderson in February.  Melanoma still held in abatement.

-                Round Top Antiques Fair in March

Visited handsome son in Beaver Creek, CO, in early April

My husband changed jobs in April

We moved back to Muncie, Indiana, on May 1

  My second precious grandson was born on May 5
After three weeks in a baby coma, finally arrived in Indiana to tackle boxes.

Then, a trip to London in early June

 Grandson number 1 turned two in June.

Checked out what was new at Atlanta AmericasMart in July and enjoyed girl-time.

Trip to Argentina in August

Finally, tomorrow I'm beginning a new medical relationship at IU Medical Center in Indianapolis.

So, I’ll cover these events just like the boxes -- one at a time.  I’ll throw in new daily stuff along the way, too.  

Welcome back!  Glad to see you, again.

Psalms 18:30
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Room With A View

Snow days in Dallas -- well, sort of.  Ice and temperatures well below freezing have paralyzed most of the metro this week.  I haven't left the house in two days -- have barely gotten off the sofa.  I've loved it!

I made a giant pot of vegetable soup yesterday, and we have just hunkered down.  My sweet Hudson has kept the fire blazing while we both worked from home.  This has been my view today.

I will continue my de-clutter confessions, humble myself and tell you that today I disposed of 5,860 e-mails.  I didn't do it lightly or hastily -- it took me hours and hours.  (I have a formidable crick in my neck and severe tension in my shoulders.  But, it's done.)  Many of the messages need to be moved to folders so that they are preserved, but most were just TRASH and that's where they went.

So, I resolve that I will (try) to dispose of my e-mails daily so this doesn't happen again. There are days and days when I check mail from my iphone (while driving, of course) and never make it to my desk top, so this will take some discipline. I'll need some help!

1 Corinthians 14:40
Let all things be done decently and in order.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Still Here

Thank you, friends and family, for inquiring as to my well-being, no doubt motivated by my bogging absence since Thanksgiving.  See this?

A couple of weeks ago, I forced myself to de-clutter my handbag.  This is what I found in the bottom (in addition to a wadded-up $1,300 check given to me in early December by a client).  This sort of sums up what my November and December were like.  I decorated twelve Christmas trees, made a number of wreaths, completed a kitchen renovation project, installed two additional granite jobs, and finished four client projects which included draperies, bedding, a headboard, upholstery...... Whew!  All before I left town on December 22 to spend twelve wonderful days in South Carolina with the Blue-eyed Bride clan. Along the way (since we drove, taking our time), we stopped for visits with friends and family in Louisiana and Alabama.  I hardly checked e-mail or even phone calls during that period.  I was in total decompression mode, and it was wonderful.

But, I DID come back to Dallas and reality and had to go through some de-clutter -- in my handbag, in my office, in my Suburban, sorting through twelve days of mail -- and get ready for two renovations projects starting in late January. I didn't go to market in Atlanta in January because of these projects, but I did check out the Dallas market to see what trends I could spot. The Dallas market doesn't hold a candle to AmericasMart in Atlanta, but there are some top-notch showrooms.  Both Global Views and Arteriors are Dallas-based, so they have a nice presence in the Dallas market.

So, what are the trends?  Bright colors and animals (heads, noses, antlers, all-things-animal).  I was eager to see if Pantone's color for 2011 - Honeysuckle (the wild, bright pink variety) - would show up.  It did.

And, plenty of peacocks!

All in all, there wasn't a lot to wow me, but I saw upbeat, happy, color.  Still a lot of shabby-urban-neutral-distressed-gray.  But there are bursts of color everywhere.... and that makes me HAPPY!

I'm working on some major color in two new little-people rooms.  My grand niece Lily and grandson Hudson will be moving into big-girl/boy rooms soon, as their siblings arrive.  New babies arriving in March and May, respectively.  Lily has chosen a pink and purple theme; Hudson deferred to Blue-eyed Bride.

Two of the fabrics for Lily's happy room:

And, Hudson's:

Stay tuned for the finished rooms.

What else am I doing this year?  Catching up with friends, planning some trips, reading the Bible through, seeing lots of movies (ones I didn't have time to see in December and early January), working with some new clients and some existing ones, loving my women's Bible study on Tuesday mornings and our amazing Sunday School class at First Baptist Dallas, trying to stay warm in this cold Dallas weather by burning lots of firewood (love reading my Bible by a roaring fire in the mornings), and being thankful for a new year to see God's plan unfold in our lives.  I'm very thankful to have you along for the adventure.

I go back to M. D. Anderson on February 21 for another round of scans.  And, by the way, I still have unpacked boxes.  But, I'm making progress.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."  Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Are you listening?