-an + -en= Aidan’s galore!

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And for some reason- we always seem to be eating!

-En is enjoying a dish of ice cream and -An is finishing off  his blueberry pancakes- YUMMY!

Yesterday, we made soft multigrain pretzels- Aidan helped me shape them and then he very graciously helped in the eating of them!


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They looked and smelled wonderful…


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And they tasted even better!  I got the recipes from a suggestion of another friend’s blog.  Jill mentioned them and we decided to make them -here’s the link to the recipe– it says it makes 12 but we only got 9.  And they disappeared to quickly it seems like we only got 5.

This morning we had blueberry pancakes-

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made with the berries Luke and Willow picked last July.

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“What’s this?  Oh, a bloooberry!”

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He ate his two pancakes- and part of Gramma and Gramps pancakes as well!

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We’ve been kept busy with lots of fun things to do!

Lots of fun!

Lots and lots of fun!

Gotta go- much fun on the horizon!

Aidan overnight!

For the next  5  nights!

Luke and Willow are in Jamaica and we have the PRIZE!

I haven’t taken any pictures yet, but we’ve gone on walks and played and played and had quite a few conversations-  I LOVE talking to little boys!

I’ll post pictures later!

Living a double life

I sometimes feel like I am not whole.

Splintered would describe me more often than not.

I am somewhere between most places and attitudes.

What is that pithy Christian saying?  Something about, ” Forgive me, God’s not finished with me yet.”?

Well, then, forgive me, because I’m nowhere close to being done, yet.

Right now, I’m somewhere between the  Eastern coast and the cornfields of Ohio.

Skipping between the beach and the ‘burbs.

Lost between Meredith’s house and my own.

And wherever I am, I’m thinking I should be at work in the other place.

Do you ever feel like this?

Home again- there really is NO place like home

I really love Meredith’s house in Chincoteague. 

When we drive up it feels like home.  While there, I feel at home.

But, all I have to do is see my house here in Ohio and I know it isn’t the same.

Here is where we raised our children.  Here is where we built our lives.

Here is where I plan my messes and mess up my plans.

Even in the dark on a daylight savings Sunday- here is where I am welcomed by everything and everyone I see.

Yesterday morning, Frank was checking the tires before we left- so I had my door opened as we sat in the driveway in Chincoteague.  Suddenly, there was a loud THUMP!!!!!!, and a hawk and a small grackle that was clutched in the hawk’s talons went careening off of the window of my open door and rolled into the ivy bed next to the house.  The hawk, slowly rolled to its feet, left the slowly dying bird on the ground and flew groggily to a tree next door and sat in the top branches making distressed and complaining noises. 

Frank jumped up from the ground on the other side of the Jeep, and said, ” What was that?”  I showed him the bird on the ground and pointed out the hawk, and he shook his head, and said, “That’s a bad omen, isn’t it?”

Then he went back to checking the tires and I sat there digesting his comment.

A bad omen?  But we are believers in Jesus Christ- we don’t think of omens or portents – do we? 

And, in that moment I prayed, “Lord, thank you for your assurances of love and care for your children.  Thank you for raising us above the need to look for signs and …. ”  But I didn’t get any further than that, because I realized that there is a part of me that does consider these pagan warnings to have some merit.

The Holy Spirit reminded me of the incident of the horseshoe.


You see,  I had made a rule that no picture or decoration could come down from this house in Chincoteague until we had one to put up in its place.  Our real estate agent had said that the house was “key ready” and could be rented just the way it was.  I disagreed on many levels- it was dirty- it had been neglected- the “artwork” was atrocious up in the bedrooms… but I understood what she meant.

It was rentable in this condition, and if we started taking it apart before we had replacements, then it would be lacking. So, no pictures came down without a replacement-  EXCEPT-  in the master bedroom- there was a horseshoe hung over the outside door, a symbol of luck, placed with the opening up, so that the luck wouldn’t run out.  I pointed this out to Meredith in January and she decided THAT was coming down.   And so she took it down.

Hey, it’s her house!  She doesn’t have to follow MY rules.

But the taking down of that symbol bothered me, subconsciously.

And when we went down this time, I took a coin- a military coin that Meredith gave me that had Ephesians 6 printed on it and depicted the armor of God on it.

I had it in my pocket,  and I took it up to the third floor and placed it on the dresser, felt a small frisson of relief and forgot about it.

Until Frank picked it up and asked why I had brought it and what I was going to do with it there.  I got immediately defensive.  And started giving reasons-

-It’s Meredith’s house and Meredith’s coin.

-I had plans and don’t worry about why!

-I don’t know- I just did- OK?


Sitting in the car, with the word “omen” lingering in my mind, I realized that on some level, I had been considering these pagan warnings.  And so, I prayed,”… thank you for opening my eyes to the truth.  I want to believe only in You and in your power and control over the events of life that affect me. “

I was released from a notion that I hadn’t realized that I was following.  I don’t throw salt over my shoulder or knock on wood or even believe consciously in luck- but somewhere I had given it credence.  Until that moment in the car, I was unaware  of the power it had over me- to the hindrance of prayer. 

We drove off- I hadn’t thought this through enough to share it with Frank, yet.  In fact, I woke up early this morning, at HOME,  in my OWN bed, and I came face to face with the realization that there are still some really dark areas within myself that haven’t been rooted out into the light of Christ.  Not only areas of secret sin, and unresigned  pride- but places from my childhood belief system,  dark closets I haven’t visited- where some bogeymen still live.

Yesterday’s prayer became this mornings as well-

“Thank you for revealing my secret thoughts- for purging my pagan soul- for claiming me as your own.  And for setting me free from omens that could dog my trail.  I believe, Lord, help Thou, my unbelief.

Because I’m only at home, Lord, with you.”


Sesame Pork with snow peas on Soba noodles- a recipe

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I Love Asian-style foods.

They are aromatic and delicious and allow me to incorporate veggies that Frank would otherwise not eat.  And it is definitely not girly food!

Last night I made this for dinner and it was so good.  And good for me, since soba noodles are made from buckwheat which is good for diabetics because of it’s glycemic levels.

Meredith brought back the soba noodles when she came down in January.  ( She also brought a great assortment of dark chocolates- but that is ALL gone!)

window treatments 006 The instructions are all in Japanese.  But I let the noodles  “dance” in boiling water for  7 minutes and then served them with the pork and veggies and the sauce from the marinade.  ( Does anyone know what I’m supposed to do with the little pink pill and small foil packet inside the cellophane wrapping?  I wasn’t sure, so I put it aside until I can identify the contents.)

window treatments 007 Anyway, they cook up a slightly grey and tan color and make a very nice base for the sesame pork and snowpeas.


boneless pork about 1 lb.- I used 4 small boneless chops

1- 12 oz. pkg of fresh snow peas

4-6 scallions- chopped on the diagonal , white and green

12 oz. fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 carrot or red pepper (for color)- sliced into slivers

2-3 TBS of sesame oil

a generous splash of olive or rice oil

sesame seeds



1/4 cup sesame oil

1/4 cup golden sherry

1/8 cup olive or rice oil

1/4 cup soy or teriyaki sauce

1 minced clove of garlic

1 tsp. minced fresh ginger



Cut pork into thin pieces, cutting against the grain. 

In a shallow baking dish, mix together the marinade and stir the pork into it, coating all the meat.   Cover and put into fridge and let the flavors marry for at least 2-3 hours (or overnight, if you like a  stronger flavor).

Slice and dice up your vegetables- you may want to cut the ends off of the snow peas, but it isn’t really necessary.

Heat splash of olive/rice oil until you can see a slight shimmer and notice it just starting to smoke, then add the sesame oil and sear the pork quickly on both sides.  Only work with a handful of meat at a time, so that the oil doesn’t cool down or the meat will become tough.  When seared through- the color will no longer be pink- transfer meat into a warm serving dish. 

Now, add another splash of sesame oil and the scallions and carrot or red pepper.  Stir until translucent ( the onions) , add the mushrooms and pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables and keep stirring.

Add the snow peas, cook until they turn a very bright shade of green (about 4 minutes) and then add the cooked meat and stir everything back together.

In a small skillet sautee about 2 TBS of sesame seeds into 1 tsp of oil until lightly browned.  Sprinkle over the top of dish and serve over cooked soba noodles.

You may also heat up some soy sauce with a little sherry in it to pour over noodles- they tend to soak up sauce.

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You can add a salad if you like- I just added a diet gingerale and a hefty portion of snowpeas!  Yum! Yum! and again I say, YUM!

Eating at The Sailor’s Rest

Girlie lunch 010 The Sailor’s Rest- that is the name of Meredith’s home here on Chincoteague Island, VA.  It has to do with a historical movement associated with the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA)- started in the 1860’s, Sailor’s Rests were set up as places of respite for sailor’s on land-places where they could stay and spend their time ashore that didn’t include drinking and loose women.

When Meredith came back from Iraq, she was homeless in Hawaii for about a month- she didn’t have any close friends based there at that time- and there were no vacancies in any apartment buildings that she could afford.  Navy housing is reserved for families and enlisted and for a while she was living out of her Jeep.

So, when she chose this name for her home it was personal and meaningful- a place of respite.

Frank and I have been working for the past two weeks to clean, paint, stain and equip this house for the summer rental season.  Admittedly, Frank has done the lion’s share of the manual work- at best I have been an assistant and cleaning lady.  Except that I have also been doing laundry and planning and preparing meals and doing all those things that keep a household moving along smoothly.

I’ve been making some of his favorite meals- Chili with fresh baked bread, Chicken Paprikas, Italian Sausage with tomatoes,peppers, and onions baked on sliced potatoes, Hamburgers with homemade potato chips, Mushroom and pepperoni pizza, fried chicken with biscuits, Liver and onions, Beef stew- do you get the idea, here?  Heavy, meat laden meals interspersed with a couple of chef salad’s and soups?

Today I decided to make a lunch that I would enjoy.

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Bacon and spinach quiche with a spinach and strawberry salad topped with thin sliced red onions and honey roasted sesame sticks- YUM!

Right?  YUM?

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He said, ” What is this?  Did you make me a GIRLY lunch?”

He ate the quiche, then all the strawberries off of the top of his salad(not a spinach salad for Frank)Girlie lunch 006 because strawberries do NOT belong on a salad according to Frank. 

He wouldn’t eat another slice of quiche so I got out the left-over liver- which I had tried to throw away-Girlie lunch 007and heated it in the microwave.

He was happy with the oatmeal-raisin cookies I made for dessert.

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We are coming home on Sunday- I have couple more meals to prepare- there are still rooms that need to be painted. Tonight we are having Stir fry  vegetables with pork and soba noodles- and maybe ice cream for dessert from the Island Creamery.

I sure wish I could cook some fish or clams- but Frank won’t eat seafood.

Next time – I’m coming with less finicky eaters.


Girlie lunch 016 If you are in the area when I’m here- come for lunch- I would sure welcome some GIRLY lunch enthusiasts!

A short update-

I’m sorry- if you’ve een following the Psalms series- there has been a brief interruption.  Last Sunday we were traveling all day to get here to the eastern shore of Virginia.  And today, my typing is seriously handicapped by a small injury to my finger (see pictures below).

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Sorry about the blurry photos- my left hand is not as steady as my right!

Anyway, I cut my finger over a week and a half ago, and it just hasn’t healed.  OR- as the doctor informed me yesterday, it has been trying to heal, but I have been continuously re-injuring it.  So- I now have a splint and a giant finger sock and am not to use my right hand for anything for the next three days.

This puts a definite cramp in our house readying activities!   (Although she insisted in calling Frank into the room as she gave these instructions, and gave him a stern look when he tentatively inquired about my ability to wash dishes?- Hah!  I’m supposed to be treated ” like a queen”!)

So- the typing is about to stop because this is really hard and I keep getting bad typo’s.

But here are some pictures of our progress.

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From this…………………………………

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to this.

From this………………..

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to this.

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Which took a lot of this………

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I’ll post more later- my finger is throbbing.

I’m the Queen today, you know.  Too much typing will interfere with my status.