saturday afternoon

It’s another gray, gloomy Saturday, but at least we have a little taste of cooler fall temperatures. I’m happily at home, with a huge pot of Brunswick stew (recipe below) on the stove, a sweet dog nearby, and football on the big screen. We’re dog-sitting for my parents this weekend, so I’ve had a little sidekick:

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I haven’t made Brunswick stew in years, but Paul and Stephen both expressed an interest. (I really like cooking when folks appreciate it.) People can get a little crazy over Brunswick stew preferences, but here’s the tried and true recipe I use. I love that it makes a huge pot because leftovers are always a blessing.

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Brunswick Stew

1 whole fryer (about 3 pounds)

2 stalks celery – cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion – quartered

water

2 (10-oz) packages frozen lima beans

2 (10-oz) packages frozen kernel corn

1 cup chopped onion

2 (28-oz) cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

1 (8-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon salt

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or to taste

Combine chicken, celery, onion, and enough water to almost cover the chicken in a large stock pot; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove chicken, celery, and onion from broth, reserving broth in pot; discard celery and onion. Cool chicken; skin, bone, and coarsely chop meat. Add chicken, lima beans, and remaining ingredients to broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 4 1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring often. Add water if/as needed.
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The Auburn game is starting in a few minutes, so I’ll be flipping back and forth between that and the UGA/Bama game while knitting. Go Dawgs! 🙂

Oh, and another tidbit about the Brunswick stew: My dad says it’s good to eat when you’re sick because it looks the same coming up as it does going down. You’re welcome.

Happy Saturday y’all and War Eagle!

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hey there

As you already know if you follow me on instagram, I’m once again obsessed with knitting. That has cut into my reading time — and into my blogging. So here’s a brief attempt at catching up a little.

~ I mentioned that when my son was visiting recently, he interviewed me for his podcast. That episode is now up, so you can listen in to our late night conversation if you’re so inclined. We chatted about photography, blogging, knitting, football, and my need for speed. It’s a pretty mellow episode, so grab some caffeine first.

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~ I’m working on an easy drop stitch scarf with a skein of yarn I bought earlier this year in California. It’s turning out really cool, and it’s an easy pattern.

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~ September is coming to a dreary, wet close. It looks gray and cool outside, but it’s really muggy and warm. I’m pretending otherwise, however, and am putting myself in a fall frame of mind with flowers, a scented candle, and lots of coffee.

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~ I’m still working on the 1 Peter Memory Moleskine, but I’m not on schedule. I’m not giving up, though.

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So that’s a quick round-up of what’s going on around here.

Happy fall y’all,
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random thoughts

~ I don’t know what’s worse: walking out of a dressing room when nothing fits or walking out when everything fits.

~ We recently rented a condo on the Gulf coast, and it was crammed full of useless “decorative” items (a large frog with artificial greenery coming out of the top, odd fish-shaped vases, etc.). It was a small studio condo, which was all we needed, but it felt even smaller because of all the clutter. Less really is more, you know.

~ Fall is in the air. I’m so happy. But what’s with the pumpkin-spiced everything? We recently went to a Mexican restaurant, and at their hostess desk, a heavily fall-scented candle was burning. Um, pumpkin-spiced Mexican food does not smell good, y’all.

~ I went back on Whole30 for a whole five days. It made a difference, though, and I do feel better. It was a good detox from vacation.

~ Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Or don’t. So there will be more for me.

~ I’m back on a knitting binge. I’ve got so many projects in progress and in the queue, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve got my Auburn football scarf all ready to resume during tonight’s game, a spur-of-the-moment easy drop stitch scarf on my needles, a complicated shawl waiting patiently at the bottom of my awesome knitting tote, a wrap I’m itching to start, a class to take in a couple of weeks, and countless patterns pinned and saved in Ravelry.

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~ Today is a Saturday with nothing on the calendar except a football game tonight. I’ll be making a Costco run, cooking, and cleaning, with college football as my soundtrack. Yep, I love fall.

~ Late start this morning. Yay!

~ Hey, if you’re in a drive-thru line, would you please consider pulling up close to the car in front of you? When you leave a car length or more, you leave folks hanging out in the road. Thanks ever so much.

~ I’ve got a bad case of TrumpFatigue. Seriously. I don’t want to hear any more about him.

~ Speaking of politics, so glad Boehner is out and I wish he’d grab a few others as he heads off into the sunset.

Signing off now to get started on my Saturday. What’s on your agenda?

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monday

No miscellany today for the two of you who were wondering. 😉 But my laptop is back in action now that Paul’s son has moved in and generously shared his charger until my new one arrives.

The past couple of weeks have been a challenge for a variety of reasons, but I’ve decided that I will focus on being grateful Here’s a little bit of what I’m thankful for these days, in no particular order:

~ I’m still enormously thankful for my large American washer and dryer. Two years of slowly and painfully doing laundry in Europe left their mark.

~ I’m grateful for my 6-year-old MacBook Pro. It still works great (the charger, not so much), and being without it for a few days reminded me how much I appreciate it.

~ I’m thankful to come home from work to find my husband getting the grill ready. We worked on supper together and enjoyed eating it together. We ran an errand together after supper, too.  I really enjoy spending time with my husband. I’m grateful for him.

~ I’m thankful for central air-conditioning.

~ Thank you, Lord, for pursuing me. You never give up on me. Ever. And you keep reminding me how much I need You.

~ I’m thankful for a job I enjoy.

I hope your Monday has been a good one!

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what’s going on

Well, it’s official: I’m a Florida resident again. We moved last weekend, and we’re both still recovering from the total chaos and exhaustion. My office is closed today, so I’m enjoying a day at home to put things in order. I can’t tell you how glad I am about that! When the nest is a mess, I can’t rest. 🙂

Paul and I are so very thankful that the move part is over. God graciously provided excellent weather (sunny and cool), and Paul’s son and three of his friends went above and beyond in heavy lifting and cheerful dispositions. As I shared on instagram, I walked about 9 miles inside my house on Saturday. I’m covered in bruises, and my hands and nails will take a while to recover from cleaning two houses.

But we’re in, even if we’re still digging out.

I’m still working in Thomasville (in a couple of months, I’ll begin working two days here in Tallahassee), so I have the best of both worlds. I’m looking forward to getting to know Tallahassee better, and Paul and I already have a list of restaurants we want to try.

So this Good Friday finds me very grateful — grateful for God’s lavish provision for me. He’s surrounded me with His people and shows me His loving care daily in countless ways, large and small. For me to ever utter a complaint shows me just how desperately my heart needs a Savior, and He has provided!

ephesiansI’ll leave you with this passage on Ephesians 2:4-7 from Sinclair Ferguson’s Let Study Ephesians! – a book I’m slowly working through:

The gospel truly reveals the deepest heartbeat of God towards us. Jesus’ work did not — nor did it need to — persuade an angry Father to love his wayward children. The atonement is not a form of inner-trinitarian blackmail. No: the Father loved us and did not spare his own Son for our salvation (Rom. 8:32); the Son loved us and ‘did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped…’ (Phil 2:6); the Spirit loved us (Rom. 15:30) and is not ashamed to indwell and sanctify us.

Why should it be so important for Paul to emphasize this? Because we can misinterpret ‘the gospel’ message to mean that God loved us because Christ died for us, as if the sheer amount of suffering he experienced made the Father relent of his hatred towards us and now begin to love us and be kind to us.

Our spiritual forefathers used to speak about the way Christians ‘live below the level of their privileges’. This is a case in point. If only we would settle our hearts on what the apostle says here about the character of God! Think about these three statements – they merit a lifetime of meditation:

1. God is rich in mercy.

2. God has loved us with great love.

3. God has shown kindness to us which expresses the immeasurable (the word is the root of our word ‘hyperbole’) riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.

Grateful!
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monday night miscellany

Another collection of randomness:

~ I love me some Dennis Prager. And he’s spot on:

…when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the United Nations about the threat Iran poses to his country’s survival and about the metastasizing cancer of Islamist violence, he, unfortunately, stands alone.

Virtually everyone listening knows he is telling the truth. And most dislike him for it. Appeasers hate those who confront evil.

~ Sitting is deadly. I was far more active as a stay-at-home-mom/homeschooler. Now that I’m at a desk all day, I’m grateful that my workplace encourages me to move. I have an exercise ball/chair, and we’re involved in an 8-week step challenge that keeps me focused on moving.

~ Confessions of a Kindle Convert. If you know me at all, you know I love books. But I’ll be honest: I need to get rid of many of them. We’re in the thick of moving, and packing and hauling books is no fun at all. I actually uttered these words to Paul yesterday: “I need to get rid of some books.” **shudder**

~ Starve your idols to death.

~ 5 small Georgia towns with great shopping.

~ the audacity:

Forty years of provision, forty years of tangible, edible grace, and what do they have to say to God in response? This: “We loathe this worthless food.”

We loathe this worthless food!

The audacity! The. Audacity. At least when I think these things, I’m savvy enough to couch these emotions in more subtle disgruntlement. “I’m just tired,” “I’m weary,” “It just seems like the onslaught never stops.”

~ Don’t follow your heart:

The truth is, no one lies to us more than our own hearts. No one. If our hearts are compasses, they are Jack Sparrow compasses. They don’t tell us the truth, they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides, they are Gothels. They are not benevolent, they are pathologically selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do we will pervert and impoverish every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and every joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.

No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts.

~ Very helpful, practical info: What to do when your flight is cancelled. We had a cancelled flight last month when fog blanketed Phoenix. I knew our flight was cancelled as soon as we landed in dense fog and I checked my email. I immediately called our airline to get in line for re-booking instead of standing in that long, awful line. Aside from having to wait  a few hours for our luggage to be delivered, all was well.

Well, that gets me a little bit caught up on posting things that have been bookmark-worthy. As I mentioned, we’re in the middle of moving, and I’m just flat out tired and overwhelmed.

May you be less tired and sore than I this Monday evening!

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