Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Lug Is Really a Lug

In case you were wondering, this is a lug....a lug of pears

Lug = lot of fruit!

What was I thinking when I ordered a lug EACH of pears and peaches!    The Husband called me Nuts on more than one occasion as we stared at that lug.  When the fruit flies started to invade, I rolled up my sleeves and started peeling pears.  After several freezer bags of sliced pears, I started baking.

Pear Bread!  Like banana bread and oh so good!  These two loaves are wrapped in clear plastic and then aluminum foil and are safely tucked in the freezer.

Ginger Pear Muffins.  Oh my gosh were these good (did you catch the past tense in that sentence...were good).  This isn't my picture because we ate the muffins too fast for me to snap a photo.  This is download from the web site where I got the recipe.Ginger Pear Muffins.  These are definitely worth making again and I'm sure some of the frozen slices of pears will make their way into a muffin this winter.

And last but not least...pear pies!  Have you ever made a homemade pie?  Let me show you how!  Start with Betty Crocker.  Well, her recipe for a standard 9-inch two crust pie.

Mix the flour and salt together.  Using a pastry blender (that is the gadget hanging on my flour container above), cut in the shortening so the whole mixture is lumpy.  Then add the water a tablespoon at a time.  I use my hands at this point.  The secret is to touch the dough as little as possible (or so I'm told)!  Add water until the dough holds together.

  Then divide the dough into two balls.  One ball will be rolled flat for the bottom crust of the pie.  The other ball will be rolled for the top crust.  Roll the dough out at least two inches wider in diameter than your pan pie.  Using a knife, cut the excess dough in a circle around the pan.  Fold the "circle" in half and then in half again.

Gently lift the quartered dough into the pie plate and unfold.

If you look close, you'll see the rip in my dough.  Oh well!  A little water on the fingers and a tap, tap, tap on the rip brings it together.  The overlapping "extra" dough should be trimmed/cut off with a knife so it is about one inch over the edge.  Now the fun really starts.  You get to peel a whole lot of pears.  Just when you think you must have enough pears peeled and you slice them up then you realize you've only just covered the bottom of the pie plate.  Peel and slice....peel and slice until that plate is full!

On top of the pears sprinkle a cinnamon/sugar mixture.  I use a sloted spoon to let the sugary mixture sift through the spoon as I wave it over the pears.  Butter.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Butter is next.  If the recipe calls for a tablespoon of butter, use three.  You'll be happy you did.  "Dot" the butter on top of the sugared pears so it looks like this:

The second ball of dough should now be rolled out.  Roll it, too, about two inches bigger than the pie plate.  Fold it into the quarter-fold, gently lay it on the buttered/sugared/loved on pears and unfold it...gently.  Tuck the top dough down under the first layer of dough.  I use a knuckle-pinch to seal the edges.  Here is a picture of the finished product.

I did not prick any holes in the top because I froze the pies.  Each was wrapped in clear, plastic wrap (several layers) and then wrapped in a cocoon of aluminum foil.  They are situated in the freezer beside the pear bread and the slices of pears (and the mounds of frozen peach slices).  During the winter, I'll grab one of those pear pies, poke holes in the top before baking to allow the steam to escape, and bake it!

The best part of finishing up those pies....the lug was empty!  I worked my way through that whole lug of fruit and the fruit flies didn't win!  Amazing!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Free Peace

God is first in my life and my utmost purpose in this life is to praise and worship Him, which I gladly do.  Not out of duty at all....but out of a natural reaction for all He is to me.  For the most part, it is easy to worship Him.  Take a look around...we have such a beautiful world to live in, most of us have homes, most of us have ones that love us, we have food and water.  We are well taken cared of.  Some would say we have it all.  On top of the worldly things He has forgiven my sins, washed me up, put my feet on solid rock and promises to never leave me nor forsake me.  And He has been true to His word!  Thus, the natural reaction on my part is to love, worship and praise Him!

And then there comes a day like today where my heart feels ripped out of my chest.  Another dear friend, given the word cancer in her life.  Today is surgery and unknowns for her.  Yesterday on the phone I could hear in her voice the steadfastness of God.  She had no fear the day before having surgery to remove a kidney that is carrying a huge mass on it.  I called her to pray with her and to encourage her and yet, she was the one exuding God!!  Amazing.  In fact, she was out mowing her lawn.  Would YOU be out mowing your lawn the day before surgery for a cancerous kidney? 

How can she do that?  Some of you already know the answer.  For you that don't, I'm glad you are here.  There is One that gives us Peace that surpasses and surprises our understanding.  Suzi, my friend, has that Peace.  He is living in her heart.  He is a Friend, a Mighty Thunder, a Victorious Warrior, the Lover of her Soul and He is that to me.  He is God.  He is Jesus.  He is the Holy Spirit.

If you don't have peace in your life right now, take a wild step and talk to Him.  Ask Him to show Himself to you.  Ask Him to reveal Himself to you but be prepared because He will.  He loves for us to know Him more and more.  It may not be conventional as He is so much bigger than conventional.  I'd be really curious to hear what He has to say to you if you'd be willing to post back to me.  My email is under the profile link. Go for it!

I drove Kidlet Three to school this morning.  I got my hug today, too!  He is two for two on giving me hugs now!  Driving back home guess which CD I had on...I'm not really a Newsboys junkie but the music is feeding my soul these days.  Would you believe I opened the sun roof and I sang at the top of my lungs, in between the sobs as I prayed for Suzi, this song called In The Hands of God by the Newsboys.  They get credit for this awesome song. 

Suzi, this is for you because you know His hands and He is carrying you!!!  And I'm cheering you on baby!!!  All day you are in my prayers and I'm thanking God for you, for the way He leaks out of you and for the many lives you are going to touch for God in this journey.  You have many days and years left to worship and praise God with all of us!!!

In The Hands of God
We have raised our hopes and our cities high
We have followed fragile dreams
But only One could take the measure of our goals
And we've stumbled over the trials of life
And we've wrestled the unseen
But only One can calm the storm inside our souls.

In the hands of God we will fall
Rest for the restless, and the weary
Hope for the sinner
In the hands of God we stand tall
Hands that are mighty to deliver
Giving us freedom

When our strength gave way to the weight of guilt
'Til we strained for every breath
Only One could lift our shame and make us well
And when all is finished and we face
The fearsome power of death
Only One has overcome the gates of hell

You're amazing
You're amazing, You are
And we praise You, Lord
For what Your hands have done.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seriously, this is what it (life) is all about

A co-worker sent me a YouTube clip that left me speechless and sobbing.  I've watched it a couple of times and with the same reaction. 

My blog site is about being Amazed at God.  And I am definitely amazed by Him.  There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not stopped by something or someone that I know God put in my life....just for me.  Tonight picking raspberries I stopped and looked at those drooping branches that produced the biggest, plumpest berries.  What a God to have created raspberries because He knew we would enjoy them and the birds needed them!  He didn't have to do that! 




and He would've done it just for me. 

My heart aches and swells for my Father, His Son Jesus and My Friend the Holy Spirit.  Words cannot describe the love that I have for Him.

Watch this YouTube clip.  If you have any questions about the scenes in it, I'd love to explain what each of the clips is about.  They represent true events that have occurred.

Oh God, You amaze ME!  Thank you (doesn't seem sufficient...)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Confession time.  I am a One-Purse-Woman.  None of this "a purse for this outfit" or a "work purse" and "fun purse".  I have one purse.  Well, I do have a summer purse and then switch to a winter purse.  Tan for the summer and black for the winter.  Usually the purses come from Target, WalMart or Shopko.  Tucked away in the back of my closet is this dinky purse for elegant social events aka weddings.  A lipstick, keys and glucose tablets for Kidlet Three fit in the dinky purse.  You know, the barest of essentials.  Back to the One-Purse confession.

Kidlet One and I traveled to New York City.  Before we left, work colleagues were encouraging me to find the best deals on Coach purses while on the trip.  There was a problem.  Coach purses aren't sold where I shop so I had to do some homework on that topic.  Noting the prices on these purses and noting the fact my sensible Target purses hold up just fine, there was just no way that a Coach was needed in my One-Purse-Life.

And in NYC, on almost every populated street, someone would walk up to me and whisper "Coach, you want Coach"?  Maybe my ratty-tatty backpack was so ugly they thought I should replace it with a Coach?   Seriously, when walking into Macy's and seeing the REAL Coach purses with the multiple digits in the price, we all know that the whispered deals on the streets were not the real deal but the knock-off-pretend versions.  I was not interested.

Until, Chinatown.

Kidlet One decided she wanted  needed a designer purse.  She bought such a cute Dolce & Gabbana purse for $15 that I became slightly interested in shopping.  Shop after shop had D&G purses but no Coach.  The Whispering Coach People were on the streets in Chinatown, too.  We didn't give in and headed back to our hotel.  First thing the next morning, Kidlet One wakes me up saying "I want to go back to Chinatown".   Back we went buying perfume, scarves and other D&G purses.  Yup, my trusty black winter purse is a Dolce & Gabbana that I absolutely love and it cost me....$20. 

One of the Whispering Street Vendors was really nice and told us to have a nice day and he looked us in the eye as he said it.  Something inside of, can't say it was the God Nudge, prompted me to give in and I said we were interested in Coach.  Well, off he went and we almost had to run to keep up with him.  Way to the back of his store to a wall that didn't have door until he pressed a button and secret door swung open into a room lined with Coach, Gucci and Chanel purses.  Kidlet One sucked in her breath and exclaimed "OHHHHH MOM!!!!"  I knew that was what she had come for so into the secret room we went.  Three Coach purses later we left the secret room with our purchases in black garbage bags.  Our total bill came to $90 ($30 a purse).

The purse I bought ended up being too small so I swapped with Kidlet One recently.  This fake-oh Coach has been my One-Purse for the summer.  Isn't it cute!

Until the handles broke.  All four of them have pulled apart.  My Dad, being Trusty Handy Man, put pop rivets in my Coach purse to hold the handles on.  Note the silver studs in the picture. 

Even the pop rivets haven't held.  I've had to succumb to using major clips from my desk to hold my purse handles together (SuperGlue, hot glue, all glues I've tried won't hold the plastic together).  Haven't I really "classed up" my Summer-One-Purse? 

I don't think I'm that Purse-nickity.  However, the amount of time and energy I've put into maintaining this Coach-Wannabe is reaching the Not-Worth-It point. 

I may be the only person wanting winter to arrive so I can retire the Summer-One-Purse with the Winter-One-Purse that doesn't need paperclip handles!

Do you have a fun purse story?  Share it with me!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't you want a hug?

Kidlet Three has been back to school for about a week now.  Yesterday I volunteered to drive him to school.  I did lay out for him, a "condition" in payback for the ride to school.  The condition was that we had to sing all the way to school at the top of our lungs.  We love The Newsboys new CD.  He agreed to the condition so off we went laughing and singing as loud as we could.  That is one ride to school I will never forget!  I pulled into the school parking lot, brought the van to a stop and started to say "have an awesome day kiddo" when Kidlet turned to me and said "Don't you want a hug?"  How can a lump magically appear in a throat?  I croaked out "of course I want a hug" and he reached across the front seat and squeezed me in a hug.  Then in a flash he was grabbing his backpack and out the door he went without looking back.
Don't you want a hug?  What a powerful question!  All day long I repeated that question to myself.  That isn't a phrase we use at home although we do hug frequently and without reservation.  It was one of the God Moments.  Pure...simple...powerful.  It made an impact on me.  I believe God spoke to Kidlet and he responded.  A God nudge that was delivered and experienced.
All the way to work and throughout the day I found myself repeating "don't you want a hug?"  I even had the opportunity to say that to my co-worker who was having a 'day'.  I felt the God Nudge!  So I said to her, "Don't you want a hug?" and I hugged her.  It was one of those pay-it-forward moments. 
God Nudges.  If you get one, pay attention.  And listen.  He may say to you, "don't you want a hug!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A New Language

Blogging is like learning a second language. Sometime in the future I'll write about my Spanish classes and how I cried when I realized I had to conjugate verbs.  Blogging has a vocabulary and life all to itself.  Knowing that I eventually learned how to conjugate a Spanish word, I decided I was up to the challenge of learning blogging.  Rolling up my sleeves, I started my attack!
  • I Googled.  This has become my third best friend behind God, The Husband and my girlfriends.
  • Stumbled on  She gives tips on her blog about how to blog.
  • Went to the public library.  There must be other people interested in blogging as two of the books I wanted were checked out.  Found this one:  The IT Girl's Guide to Blogging with Moxie by Joelle Reeder & Katherine Scoleri.
So I've updated my template and made a few other tweaks to the blog site.  This learning a new "language" is fun and a challenge.  I have to say, I'm amazed at the blogging world! 

We're never too old to learn...look for something in your day that you can learn about!