Friday, June 15, 2018

Five Minute Friday: Restore

Psalm 51:12-13 is one of my favorite scripture passages:
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
After years of losing and leaving so much, I'm finally in a position to begin restoration.  Restoration; making things new, making the ugly beautiful, finding friendship in the midst of loneliness.

Like the restoration of a property, restoration of a life is difficult and messy, but the results make it all worth it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The All-In-One Catch Up Post

Hey y'all,

I know it's been a hot minute since I've posted anything.  I took a little staycation the last week of May and this week has been my digging out from under all the e-mails waiting for me when I returned.  It's weird.  When I came back from Christmas vacation, I had less than 10 emails in my box.  This time, I had nearly 80!  So, writing moments have been scarce as hen's teeth.

For the first time ever, I'm going to do an all-in-one post just to catch up.  This post will contain Mrs. Joyce's hodgepodge questions, plus a Daybook that will include a Five Minute Friday, an entry into my A-Z Challenge, and a couple of completed items in my 101 in 1001 list.  So, y'all grab a favorite beverage, sit back, and enjoy the chaos!  Thanks for reading!  BTW--if you only want to partake of certain parts, I won't be offended.

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
Describe your 30's in one sentence. If you're not yet 30 tell us one thing you hope to accomplish once you hit that particular decade.

You asked.

Is it harder for you to exercise or eat healthy?

At present, it's harder for me to exercise.  Though my health continues to improve, my stamina has waned somewhat.  I'm going to have to build it back in order to enjoy my favorite types of workouts.  The only benefit to going without a car for so long was walks to and from work. Now that I'm mobile, I'm ready to venture out and start running and riding again and enjoy the various parks in my area.

June 7th is National VCR Day. Huh? Anyway this reminded me of something I saw on Facebook listing household items we no longer have and the VCR was on it. I couldn't put my hands on that list, but found another list here of 21 items we all had ten years ago, but which are now obsolete-bookshelves (WHAT!!???), drip coffee makers, alarm clocks, file cabinets, desktop computers, printers, printed phone books, answering machines, fax machines, paper shredders, a Rolodex, CD racks, CD burners, china cabinets, home phones, entertainment consoles, DVD players, calculators, takeout menus, incandescent light bulbs, and cable TV Your thoughts? How many on the list do you still have? Still use?

Hold up!  Somebody was smoking something when they came up with this list. He or she has obviously never worked in an office, plus they've not been to Wal-Mart or IKEA lately.  Besides, I've recently purchased many of these items (at Wal-Mart and IKEA incidentally), plus many of these items are at my workplace.

What's something you see disappearing in the next ten years?

I hope to see cancer and all its heinousness disappear in the next ten years.

How did you celebrate your birthday this past year? Is that typical?

My 46th birthday came and went during my staycation and was pretty quiet.  Yes, this is typical, but I wish it weren't.

Insert your own random thought here.

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today: Sunday, June 10, 2018 

Outside my window   Spring quickly gave way to summer, the pollen is covering everyone's car, and the sound of neighborhood kids on summer vacation creeps through my open windows.

I am thinking...   Five Minute Friday word of the week "Fly."

I've had home on my mind recently.  No, it's not as bad as the aftermath of the tornado.  I was a weepy basket case then.  Now, as much as I want to visit home, even when I can afford it, I'm afraid.

The couple of times I've traveled by plane, someone else did all the planning, purchased the plane tickets, reserved the hotel, rented the car, and did all the driving.  Plus, I traveled with a group.  My only travel success has been renting hotel rooms.

I know God gave me the grace to drive from Alabama to Colorado, but I honestly don't think I could do that again without definite direction from the Almighty.  Plus, that's six days total of driving.  No thank you.

Flying home and having a pleasant visit will require too much help on both ends that I don't think I'll have access to.

Sweet home Alabama ain't looking so sweet right now.


I am thankful...
  • ...that my long months of immobility are over.  In case y'all didn't know, God has blessed me with a vehicle.
  • ...for the restful staycation I enjoyed.
  • ...that this week THIS happened...

Yes, people, I have finally made it to "One-derland."
I have not been this weight since seventh or eighth grade.
Mark 12:11 - This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.

From the Workshop... I'm still updating the blog.  So, what do y'all think so far?
From Auntie's Test Kitchen

Experiments From Auntie's Test Kitchen
Intro  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

L is for Link's Patented Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

The smoothie.  We've all heard the benefits of smoothies (given that what you put in them is healthy).  Many years ago, I tried to make smoothies on my own and hopelessly failed.  They always ended up either being too watery no matter how fresh the fruit or how little ice I used in them, or just tasting like river water from the Coosa (don't eat the fish from there; you may end up glowing in the dark).  The blender finally burned out and I never bought another one.  The best smoothie I ever had was one someone made two years ago at the Canyon Climb 5-miler in Anniston...until now.

Sometimes food inspiration comes from the weirdest places.  A coworker introduced me to the YouTube show Good Mythical Morning.  As I said before, Rhett and Link, the hosts of the show, are crazier than Rick and Bubba (which takes a lot of doing).

So, what does this have to do with smoothies?

Hold your taters, I'm getting to that part. 

In the duo's first Mythical Monthly newsletter, Link, who readily confesses (and we see on the screen frequently) that he can't cook (which makes me feel much better about my food posts), included a smoothie recipe.  At first, I stared at it with skepticism.  After all, these guys are comedians.  I had to make sure it wasn't a fake, funny, or "this might gag or kill you" smoothie like these:

Fortunately for me, this recipe was real and it is as follows:

©2017 Mythical Entertainment

  • Almond Milk - just guess how much to pour, then adjust for next time.
  • Vanilla Protein Powder - one scoop (or two for huger muscles).
  • A handful of frozen blueberries.
  • A big ole scoop of peanut butter (or almond butter).
  • A handful of spinach (spinnage) - also use some to clean off the peanut butter spoon.
Optional ingredients: Half a handful of walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, or an avocado laying around.

Notes: I drink 3 small glasses worth, ‘cause I don’t like wasting what sticks to the sides of a big glass. Rinse everything out right when you’re done, and don’t worry about soap.

I love the fact that was a good old Southern-style recipe; it wasn't exact and gave room for taste and preference.  Remember how the Pot Roast (or as I call it, the "Potless Pot Roast") directions were so specific, yet I didn't have most of the what was required and it came out great anyway?  The smoothie directions give so much room for error that I really couldn't mess it up.  It turned out great.  I may try some variations with different frozen fruit, or with chocolate protein powder later, but for now, I'm enjoying this as a breakfast option as is.

Thanks, Link. 

I am reading...
  • Knowing God Intimately by Joyce Meyer.
  • Rhett and Link's Book of Mythicality by Rhett McLaughlin and Charles "Link" Neal.
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley.

Books I’ve finished since my last Daybook
  • Living on Purpose by Barry Ham, PhD.  Please see the review here.
  • How Do You Kill 11 Million People by Andy Andrews

I am learning...
  • I'm adjusting to where all the buttons and compartments are in my car.
  • I'm learning that I'm going to have to create some more fun in my life or I'm going to end up a nutcase.
  • I'm learning that there are some people in this world who are absolutely offended by kindness and manners.  I pity them, but also wish I had the guts to ask them the age old question, "Who lit the fuse on your tampon?" 
Favorite quote(s) of the week

"Symmetry's for suckers!" - Rhett McLaughlin.  This may become my new painting motto.

"I have prepared something edible that wasn't coffee or cereal." - Charles "Link" Neal  This may become my cooking motto.

"I don't read books to be smarter than you; I read them to be smarter than me." - Auntie's Musings

I am looking forward to... 
  • New blog challenges that start in July.  More to come on that.
  • The local farmers market that opens this coming weekend.

And Now For Something Totally Different:

One of my 101 in 1001 items was to try sushi for the first time.  Why?  I'm making strides to have a more sophisticated palette than your average hood rat.  Plus my inability to cook well makes my meal choices dull (thus, my A-Z challenge from above).  Plus, I'm tired of being scared of everything.  Sorry, but the raw fish aspect gave me much pause.  Well, I found out that the raw fish component is not what makes sushi what it is; it's the rice and how it is prepared.  The raw fish is called sashimi and is optional.  So, I dodged a bullet on that one.

My next concern was where to get it.  I asked one of my co-workers and she suggested I go to my local supermarket that has a sushi bar.  I know, some of you sophisticates are turning up your already turned up noses at me for not going to a "legitimate" sushi restaurant.  However, you are not me.  If I don't know how to order something from a particular establishment, and searching it on the internet doesn't help, I either don't ever eat there, or I go with someone who does know how to order.  Did I mention how few friends I have here?  Ain't nobody got time for waiting on that!  So, off to King Soopers I go!

The nice lady making the sushi was very helpful.  I explained that I'd never had it before.  She asked if I liked things spicy or not (I like a little spice).  She recommended the spicy California roll made with rice, avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab covered in a spicy sauce, and comes with some pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi (I left that alone).  So, I purchased some, took it home, and got out my chopsticks.  It was quite enjoyable. Though I'm still not yet comfortable with the idea of ordering this at a restaurant, I plan to at least buy this from the grocery store again.  I may get more adventurous with this later, but for now, I'm satisfied with conquering the fear of it.

Whew!  See y'all next time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I Love to Read the Story: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What would you say is your biggest day to day challenge?

Loneliness.  They say that the first year a new place is the toughest.  Though my worst bout with homesickness was right after the F-3 tornado tore through Jacksonville, the sting of not having community outside of work has been disheartening. 

Not to turn this into a rant, but information about surviving your first year in a new place (unless you're a teacher or student) is sorely lacking.  I found one rather insulting article about surviving your first year in Denver.  The author, a Canadian transplant (which should be a clue), offers suggestions like leaving behind your favorite sports team, your significant other, and basically anything that reminds you of home.  She seemed to assume that everyone who moves to the Denver area hates their hometown and would gladly deny its culture.  Sorry, but one commitment I made when I moved out here was that Denver was not going to de-Southern me (#RollTide).  I don't think the author's assumptions are fair or accurate.

I'll just have to figure that one out myself...

May 16th is National Biographers Day. What's a biography you really enjoyed reading? Is this a genre you read regularly?

I've enjoyed several over the past few years:
  • American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson.  I plan to reread this one soon.
  • In My Father's House:  The Years Before the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  The story of her growing up years and the family's determination to protect the Jewish people during the Holocaust is fascinating.
  • My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass.
  • Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.
I enjoy reading biographies.  I also enjoy when an author add a bit of his biography to an otherwise non-biographical work.  For example, I read a lot of books on personal development.  I get much more out of them when the author give examples from his own life of how the principles of the book worked for him.  I'm very suspicious of an author who maintains a distant relationship with his readers.

How important is keeping a clean house? Do you need to de-clutter your life?

As much as I would love to keep an immaculate home like my mom, I realize that it's not the be all and end all.  I try to keep things picked up and put away.  However, there's just days when I don't have time, or feel well enough to deep clean my apartment.  Plus, I'm still working on getting my place company ready.  

You're the 8th dwarf. What's your name?


What's surprised you the most about your life or life in general?

When we had this question last year, this was my answer:

I started to say that how well things are going was surprising, but that would be a lie.  It should be this good, and better.  I've prayed.  My friends have prayed.  God continually reminds me of His Word and asks me to trust Him.  His plan is good.  I'm the one who's been screwing it up.

Any of you who've read my blog for any significant length of time knows that God has brought me through many hard times (some self-inflicted) and helped me overcome so much crap that should have killed me, or at least made me stark raving crazy (again, some self-inflicted).

God's word says in Romans 8:28 that He works all things together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.  I've been calling that one in.  It's my time.  It's time for me to do Him more good than harm.  It's time for me to work and have something to show for it.  It's time for me to fulfill God's purpose in my life, rather than just sit and dream about it.

And I still mean it.

Insert your own random thought here.

Well, I said last week that I might have a surprise for you.  Here it is:

I present the Auntiemobile v. 2.0!
I am finally mobile again!