Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PBS special report from Elkhart, IN

The following in a link to a news story done on PBS about the faith community and how the hard hits in Elkhart county are interacting. It is an interesting story even if you don't know as many people in Elkhart/Goshen area.

Click here.


Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

- George Burns, comedian and television personality

I am not feeling this one today - with one sister friend having a birthday today. Happy Birthday Melissa! Its still really funny.

Internet is back

Life is good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lots of things....

We went to see B-Sides of the Bible on Friday night which Krista loved and I sort it, My opinion of it that it needed more humor and an easy way to have done that was to have God sitting in on all the stories ad-libbing or commenting in a way he did in one story.

Saturday we cruised around hitting up some second hand stores looking for a headboard for our bed, we actually found a new place call Free Store Chicago, it's a wandering "caravan" where people can drop stuff off and just pick up anything they want.

Sunday morning we picked up the key to our new place and we started cleaning one side, Krista is starting to "nest" and actually wants to paint our upcoming place and it's driving her nuts. We went to Spring Tea event at our church which I've never been to because it's around our anniversary or we were moving during this time frame. The speaker at the event had a lot of computer references...which kept me awake. ;) Sunday night was more cleaning and since Sunday morning the DSL has been out at our place and it's been hard on the both of us so we sat down and watched Slumdog Millionaire which was really good but I don't think it should have been the big Oscar winning movie it was hyped to be. not having the internet at home sucks

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We have been busy…having really good experiences and food lately. Partially thanks to Entertainment Book (you know a fundraiser with tons of 2 for 1 coupons) that Joan gave us (Thanks Joan!) and also thanks to our membership to Chicago Public Radio that also follows the same concept. I doubt it would be worth our money to buy an entertainment book – but it has been fun using it.

Our great weekend started by going roller skating in Lombard, a suburb of Chicago. Click here for their website. (We have one more coupon if someone wants to go.) I wanted to go skating for my birthday and we are three months after the fact and we finally made time to go. Jim wiped out; I didn’t. However, he went a lot faster and is much better than I was. It was really good exercise which got negated by our stop to the 7-11 for a Slurpee.

Monday we used our Chicago Public Radio card to try Manny’s – a older than heck Jewish deli in downtown. We walked in and right away Jim said, “And why haven’t we been here before?” The funny thing is that I felt bad that I hadn’t been there before. Its one of those places that anyone who considers themselves a Chicago person should go there. Jim had a corned beef sandwich with a potato pancake. Quote of the hour, “I have no idea what corned beef is, but it is good!” I had a hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes in the middle – I watched them carve the beef.

Tuesday we celebrated our anniversary at the Garfield Park Conservatory (Jim’s idea), and then went to Museum of the Science and Industry (I really wanted to go to the Smart House.), found a new coffeehouse, hit a thrift store, and then ate at Joy Yee’s (Chicago Public Radio card) to reclaim it from our horrible first date.

I am in love with my husband, no doubt. Marrying him 2 years ago may be the best thing I ever did. However, I am also always surprised with how much we are alike in our differences. He really likes being a tourist in his own city, I am glad that we found each other. We continue to like spending time with each other and using our GPS to find new stuff.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could...

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dr Phil and ME

So, I am sick and got sucked into Dr. Phil. However, it isn't that bad - it reminds me of some advice that we gave Betsy and Russ - take those stupid quizzes in magazines to start good conversation.

Dr. Phil is basically counseling a couple that doesn't know each other at all. They gave them a quiz about simple things and they got very little correct answers - these were - Where is your spouse from? Who is their best friend? - sorts of questions.

This couple have been married 8 months, and knew each other a little under 8 months. And Dr Phil's recommendation is to get to know each other.

While I don't think Jim and I have the perfect marriage (who does?), I can say that we really know each other. Wow, Phil just asked if they even like each other. We love each other, but we also like each other - we are friends. That goes along way...

This is making me very happy that my husband is my husband! Thanks sick day Dr. Phil!

Cream of Spinach Soup

Here is what I made on Monday, it was really good. I was doubtful, so I did stir a tablespoon of butter to the whole pot - but I would recommend it. It has roughly 150 calories a cup - with the butter. Recipe by

1 white onion
1 pack fresh spinach
1 medium sized potato (white or red, no skin)
1 chicken breast (boneless, no skin)
4 cups of chicken broth
2 cups 2% milk
2 tbsp corn starch
salt to taste (optional)

Combine the onion, spinach, potato, chicken breast, chicken bullion cube, water and boil until chicken and potato are fully cooked.
Place all ingredients in blender and turn blender on for one minute or until most ingredients are blended.
Return ingredients to stove and add milk and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and add corn starch (dissolve corn starch with 1/4 cup of water).
Bring heat to med-low and stir until desired thickness. If you want thicker consistency add double corn starch mix.
Serve and enjoy.

Yesterday's plane ride

On top of having a very productive day in the Denver office today, I experienced several strange occurances.
1. Arriving at the airport at 5:11, I printed out my boarding pass headed down the expert traveler security lane at Midway (highly recommend it) and got to my gate at about 5:30. I sat down in a recliner with an outlet and checked email while waiting for my flight (free WiFi at Midway). I soon noticed that my flight was to be shared with lots of high schoolers, many with band instruments. They were loud, and I was feeling very grumpy that they were to be on my flight. I asked one chipper girl if they were indeed a band. “Yes.” Where are you going – Denver or San Diego (the destination of the plane we were lined up to get on)? “Denver, then transferring..” “Oh, where is the final destination?” “DISNEY WORLD” another girl chimed in. “No, not Disney world, oh, I can’t remember the name,” spoke the girl that it seemed to really bother her that she didn’t know her geography. “Anaheim?” I said. “Yes, oh, Yes!” We are marching there for several days. True to high school form, they all were asleep on the flight, it was great.
2. Upon arrival in Denver, Glenn picked me up and headed for “breakfast” which by this point could have almost been lunch for me. We stopped at a new place, walked in and I waited for the hostess to finish with a customer when I realized I knew the hostess! Her aunt and uncle go to our church, and she was once a college student in Chicago and she attended our church during that time. CRAZY, Small World!
3. At “lunch”, Glenn and I’s lunching mate asked if Glenn really didn’t know of any other place other than Racines – his favorite spot to eat. I spoke up saying, “I have been looking forward to Racine’s Salmon Spinach Salad for a week, without ever thinking to ask if we were actually going there – I knew that we would.” The Spinach salad has tomatoes, wild berries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and salmon. (It is also supposed to have curried pecans and feta cheese, but I go without these, you can also order it without the salmon.)
4. Back at the airport, I find a crocs store and have some green chile – a Colorado and New Mexico speciality that I learned to love while living in Colorado. Yummy. Yummy in my tummy. My flight ended up being delayed so I watched Meerkat Manor (again, free wifi in Denver airport). I am almost done with the 2nd season. I get so wrapped up in it…its addicting.
5. We have only 20 people on a big plane, I have the whole first row to myself – a true luxury!


Now, I am home and my ears never popped - its 14 hours after I landed and my ears are full of pressure - making it hard to talk and hear. It has been an interesting day - mostly in bed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Advice I should listen to...

A fragment of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson is telling:

"Finish each day
And be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and
Absurdities have crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can."


"Its hard to beat a person who never gives up."
Babe Ruth

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some quotes from my time in Louisville

Kelly Brown Douglas quotes:
Blues is a felt music.
Blues is without shame, they appreciate the incarnate God.
I was really impressed how she used the method that she teaches. Taking experience to critique culture and to determine God is. She showed this method to a T! She was speaking about her new research on the link of the Blues and God. I even just bought some Blues from Itunes due to how she talked about it.

Other quotes from last week:
“oh, the cool cucumbers…”
“you guys are such love bugs”
“long term gig of service”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Comfort Food

Yesterday, I felt accomplishment. I made Sloppy Joes, oven fries and green beans. Sounds pretty normal right? I realized yesterday that I worry more about making the normal stuff for supper than trying a new unique recipe. It just isn’t me. Then, I remembered a conversation I had with a co-worker last week about how we cook. I had mentioned to her that I rarely attempt Italian with Jim since I doubt I will ever come close to his Italian mom’s cooking. I wonder if I worry and fret more about the regular stuff because comfort food is supposed to be comforting and if it doesn’t measure up then it won’t fit the bill. Its why, though I can make tomato soup, I want campbell’s when I am sick. Its why, though I make a mean mac and cheese, Jim wants Velveeta boxed stuff. Comfort food is to be the normal not different, not exciting, just warm and comforting.

So, that all to say, when I do the normal and it turns out normal – I am more excited than when I normally cook. Jim often looks longingly at the manwich can at the grocery store and I just won’t let it in the cart no matter what. I found this recipe and it went well – I like it better than the not-so-sloppy joes that Betsy and I made from her cool cookbook for kids.

16 oz. 96% ground beef (I used ground sirloin, it was on sale)
1 cup diet coke
10 tbsp heinz one carb reduced sugar ketchup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain beef and add back to skillet. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 30 minutes uncovered so sauce can thicken. This is about 4 servings. This is a recipe.
The bun was a bit different, they were Arnold’s sandwich thins. I highly recommend them.

Tonight, I made a more Krista recipe, I served with coucous.

Pork with Pineapple Stew
12 oz. boneless pork loin
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 can (8 oz.) sliced pineapple in juice
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1. Trim all visible fat from meat. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with flour to coat.
2. Generously coat deep, medium skillet with cooking spray. Set over medium-high heat. Brown meat, turning it to color on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to plate.
3. Heat oil in pan. Saute onion, green pepper, garlic and chili pepper until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Return meat to pan. Add 1 cup water, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Drain liquid from pineapple into pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
4. Stack pineapple slices and cut into 8 sections. Add fruit, tomato and cucumber to stew. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. This stew keeps 2 to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
Makes 4 servings. This is also