Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving day draws near I'm sharing, as best I can, what I am truly thankful for. I've had a gratitude journal for 17 months now and my list has grown to well over 1000. When it comes right down to it on many wintry mornings the seat heater in the car tops the list. But the following list, in pictures, comprises that which is nearest and dearest to my heart, that for which I am most grateful .

The guy I've been blessed
to share adventures with for 33+ years!
My two sweet daughters, 1994

Us four

Role models in life and love

Big brothers!

And their precious offspring!

Jack my big cuddly therapy cat

Aunts who took the time to share their
love of fiber arts with a child

And more cousins!
Old friends 

Staying connected 

Just getting better with time:)

New friends (& food)

& More new friends (& more food)

And the list goes on! People who have been blessings in my life. My exercise class, walking buddies, life group, etsy teams, hair cutter, dentist, orthodontist, the milk man, the trash collectors, grocery's endless!

What are you most grateful for? Dwell on that every day and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Linda <><

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Oatmeal Love

Do you have a favorite way to fix oatmeal? I've seen more than I can count, from the oatmeal box to the internet, but my favorite came to me in a different way. It is made with old fashioned oats and it's quick. It makes me wonder why folks ever use the individual packets with all of their unhealthy additions except in extreme situations on the road and such. 

I was buying oats in bulk at our local grocery store when an elderly man told me how he makes it.  He said he simply puts one half cup old fashioned oats with one cup milk or water and microwaves it 5 minutes. It works great and it's pretty much how I always make oatmeal now! Here are two twists on it we love. This makes two small servings or one large serving.

Chocolate Cherry Microwave Oatmeal

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon chia or ground flax seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa
1 tablespoon maca (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or to taste)
1 cup milk (your choice: soy, almond, cow's milk
         --I like almond)
1 cup frozen cherries (fresh in season)
chopped almonds

Oatmeal Ingredients 

Mix all ingredients except almonds in a large microwave bowl and microwave on high 5 minutes. Stir, divide in 2 bowls and top with nuts.

Apple Cinnamon Microwave Oatmeal

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon chia or ground flax seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to taste)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup milk (your choice: soy, almond, cow's milk
         --I like almond)
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
2/3 cup applesauce (or to taste)
toasted walnuts

Mix all ingredients except walnuts in a large microwave bowl and microwave on high 5 minutes. Stir, divide in 2 bowls and top with nuts.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Our mornings are early and quick so this is a great, healthy fast breakfast! Do you have any quick healthy breakfasts? I'm always looking for variety. We eat everything from frittatas to smoothies. On the road we'll often just eat fresh fruit and a hard boiled egg.

It's just one other gift from my mom. I never miss breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. Mom would actually cook a big breakfast for the whole family before leaving for a day of teaching high school. Thanks again, Mom, for instilling in me this healthy habit!

Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.
1 Corinthians 6:19

Linda <><

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Music Makes Pictures, a Love Story

"Music makes pictures and often tells stories

All of it magic and all of it true

And all of the pictures and all of the stories

All of the magic, the music is you"

                        ~John Denver

Music has always been dear to me. My husband says we should all have a sound track to our lives. My daughter is a professional pianist, quite talented I might humbly add. We've always surrounded ourselves with music, diverse melodies to carry us through all the times of our lives. I heard one of my favorites on my run the other day and it brought happy tears to my eyes. It reminded me of my parents love story. Mom passed away last year just three days before my folks sixty-sixth wedding anniversary. How they found each other is another story.

My father's childhood home -- Courthouse and Jail Rock in the distance

My dad grew up in a sod house along the Oregon Trail. In 1938 they lost the homestead to the dust bowl and auctioned off their belongings preparing to move to Oregon. Just days before my dad graduated from high school my grandfather was killed in a car accident while helping someone else auction off their things. My grandmother was hospitalized for some time. Dad wandered for a while and ended up in California building airplanes during WWII. 

Mom graduated from the University of Nebraska

Mom grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and became a teacher. She taught high school typing and shorthand in a small town. There she fell in love with a farm boy who went off to fight. He was killed in Italy at the end of the war. She had resigned herself to life as an old maid school teacher.

Eventually, she was transferred to Bridgeport, Nebraska which happened to be my Dad's hometown. When a young man wanted to date her best friend she said she would only go if he found someone to go with my mom. It just so happened that Dad was in town to visit my grandmother for Christmas, so he was enlisted.

They went on that blind date and married six months later. The rest is, well, you know...

Lettie and Lester June 1946

Last June when I was visiting Dad he was reminiscing with me about the opportunities he had passed up and all those 'what ifs' that never really help. I played God Bless the Broken Road for him. He had never heard the song before, but he had lived it and he completely understood it. 

Happily Ever After

My brothers and I, our spouses, children and grandchildren are all grateful for that broken road that brought my folks together.