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All posts for the month May, 2015

Being Content With What I Have

Published May 31, 2015 by lynn k scott

My life has not been a smooth journey.  I believe it’s true, as you get older, you start reflecting on your life.  You look back and see decisions you have made, where those decisions have taken you and what you have done, up to this moment in time.

Tomorrow is June 1st.  I tend to reflect more in June than any other month.  I have vowed to myself, to work with being content with what I have and not what I want.  It’s not always an easy goal to attain.

As I type from my kitchen table, I look up and see my onion/potato bin.  (I’ll have to add the picture later; my daughter has hijacked my phone – again.)  the onion/potato bin was given to me by a friend about a year or so ago.  She was originally trying to sell it, as she repurposes furniture, but gave it to me instead.

I fell in love with it as soon I saw it for sale.  Sadly, $80 wasn’t in the budget, but I admired it through her pictures. Something about it reminded me of my childhood.  I honestly am not sure why, as we didn’t have one growing up, but it still captured a warm feeling every time I look upon it.

The bin sits in the corner of the dining room.  The top holding the onions and the bottom holding the potatoes.  The wire mesh on the front of the bin, gives a sneak peak as to the contents.  I suppose the bin resonates “simplicity”.  It’s a piece of wood, a couple latches and knobs and keeps the onions and potatoes off the ground and separated from one another.

Why am I carrying on about a onion/potato bin?  Not quite sure, really.  With being content with what I have, that simple bin tells me I have friends who care.  I take food from the bin to prepare for my family.  It’s not high-tech, it’s not fancy, but it’s enough.

I work hard to apply this concept to other areas of my life.  It’s difficult.  I stumble often in this pursuit.  My house is smaller than I like, but it’s mine.  My kitchen could be bigger, but it has what I need to feed us.  The bedrooms could be larger and there could be more of them, but we have a comfortable place to sleep.  For this, I appreciate my home.

I hope the trials that I will soon be facing, will allow me to continue to be content with what I have.  I am grateful for what I have and will take life as it comes and with what it brings.

Precocious Miss M

Published May 26, 2015 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, the lil miss accompanied me to my job.  She was so excited to come into work with me.  She was able to hang out in the office next to me, played on my phone, listened to music, was thrilled to stamp envelopes for me and then watched TV in the drivers’ room.

She was adorable and cordial to everyone I introduced her too. Everyone told me how cute she was and what a personality she had.  They engaged her in a variety of conversations.

Last night, the lil miss, was telling me how much fun she had at my office.  I let her know everyone enjoyed meeting her as well. She responded with, “Well, how could they not like me?  Make sure you just tell them I said thank you.”  I bit my lip and thought, she’s her mother’s daughter.  I was like that at her age too.

This morning on the way in, I thought to myself….Bette Midler is known as the ‘Divine Miss M’.  Since my daughter’s name begins with an “M”, I have dubbed her the ‘Precocious Miss M’.  I never know what my little, dark-haired beauty, will utter that will render me speechless.

June is lurking

Published May 26, 2015 by lynn k scott

June will be arriving in a week.  It’s the one month I wish would be eradicated from the calendar.  I have to make sure to celebrate a birthday and have the lil one do something special for Father’s Day.  In the midst of that, I hope not to be too morbid with my blogging.  I can’t say for sure how much of an online presence I will have in June.  I will definitely have a post on the 13th and 25th, but not sure to what extent.

If you’ve been following the blog or if you’ve read the About section, then you will have an understanding about June.  Here is my breakdown of June:

  • 6/1 – Birthday (not mine)
  • 6/13 – My sister Kathi’s 3rd angel-versary of losing her battle with breast cancer at age 37
  • 6/16 – Regretting marry my ex (who still is a plague-like the locust in Egypt-in my life)
  • 6/16 – Angel-versary of my son’s namesake – killed on my 3rd wedding anniversary
  • 6/21 – Father’s Day
  • 6/25 – My mother’s 2nd angel-versay of her passing suddenly (less than 24 hours’ notice)

While I miss my mother, I’m able to accept her death much easier than losing my younger sister.  This past year, I have made achievements.  I started this blog, allowed a few people from my old Facebook page back into my life (where I previously excluded everyone), I returned to the Blue Star Moms (just last month), I became co-captain for my own Relay for Life Team and I’ve returned to church (found a very small one that I can go to).

I still haven’t managed to throw away a jar of Oil of Olay face lotion or cleanser my sister sent me over three years ago.  One stays in the corner of the shower, the other in a drawer in my dresser.  My sister’s phone number is still in my contact list.  I have kept all her emails.  I haven’t progressed enough to address these issues.  Perhaps in time; perhaps not.

I will say, losing a sister and mother in the course of two years really gives you a perspective on what’s important in life.  It also showed me who fragile and precious life is and how quickly it can be taken from you.  Always remember to cherish those who mean the most to you.  More importantly, let them know how important they are to you.  The gift of life is priceless.  Sadly, the cost can’t be measured until it’s gone.

Veteran’s Cemetery

Published May 25, 2015 by lynn k scott

This afternoon, my daughter and I visited the local Veteran’s cemetery.   I started a tradition three years ago,  where we go and place a penny on the tombstones and thank the service member for his/her service.

It was nice to see quite a few people at the cemetery today.   It was sad that hardly anyone was leaving coins this year.   There were quite a few last year.

My daughter is in charge of selecting the graves.   I read the name,  rank,  branch and any war listed.   She then will thank them.

This year we found two from the Gulf War and Iraq.  I do ok with Korea, WW I and WW II.  The newer wars always stop me in my tracks.

This year,  there was a soldier who was born in 1988.  He was just a few years older than my son (who is currently serving).  I always need to pause at these graves. On the other hand,  we did “meet” a Chief,  Colonel and a Lt. Colonel. 

We did have one elderly man stand a few feet away and watch us.   I looked back and he was nodding his head, ever so slightly, in approval.

I continued to observe this man,  as he searched the headstones with a purpose.   When he found the one he was looking for,  he got down on one knee, placed his hand on the tombstone, and bowed his head.   Then I saw him last down next to the grave.   I am not sure who was buried there,  but he obviously meant a lot to that man.

We finished up our visit, reaching 75 graves,  instead of our usual 50.  Another year to reflect on the cost of freedom.

image

Free Sage

Published May 24, 2015 by lynn k scott

I have a coworker who has a good-size garden.  Every so often he will bring in extra herbs and vegetables to work.  I truly appreciate this as my green thumb has brown edges, just like a drying herb would have.

A few people took some of the sage, however, there was basically a box left over.  I took home what no one wanted.  I was excited.  I planned on using some of the sage when I baked some bread.  The rest I was going to dehydrate.

Yesterday morning, I set up the dehydrator and began the task of separating the leaves from their stems  After that was accomplished, I laid the leaves in a circular pattern on the trays.

Dehydrating sage  About four hours later, the sage was dehydrated.  I placed them in a plastic bag, whole, until I’m ready to use them.  Turns out, I had enough to do another batch this morning.  My counters are filling up.  The crockpot is on one side and the dehydrator is on another side

.done dehydrating

Considering I picked up my dehydrator for $5.00, two years ago, at a garage sale, I couldn’t be happier.

It’s in the bag

Published May 24, 2015 by lynn k scott

Drop that can!  Oh, the convenience of it all.  Pick up a can of beans to use as a side dish or to use in preparing other dishes. I have come to tell you, there is another way. Did you know that all sorts of beans are sold dry and in bags? Amazing, right?

I never paid attention to bagged beans growing up.  My mother was less than a good cook.  It’s not being mean.  When the dog refused to eat her cooking, it was a validation that it wasn’t just us kids that didn’t like the food.  Just about everything she made came out of a can or was already processed.

Many moons later, as I made a commitment to myself to cook healthier, to avoid food allergens and chemical processing, I use dried beans exclusively in my cooking.  Granted, dried beans do require a few extra steps, but they are very tiny steps that yield much better results than anything that plops out of a can.

Last night, I put some navy beans in some water and soaked them overnight.  This morning, I dumped them into a colander and then added them to my crockpot.  This is my preferred method of cooking beans.  The crockpot is your friend.  If you don’t currently have one, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND picking one up.

When you utilize dried beans, you have the option of using recipes that suit your needs.  You get the opportunity of teaching your children to cook.  Crockpot cooking is still cooking.  After I added the beans to the crockpot, I diced up a small onion and added that too.

My daughter came into the kitchen and I let her help mix the sauce to pour over the beans.  I opened a jar of ketchup that I had previously canned.  Added the ketchup to some water, added some brown sugar, some molasses, a little apple cider vinegar, a bit of salt and pepper and let her whisk those ingredients together.

She poured the blended mixture over the beans and stirred to combine.  Then I had her place the lid on, set the crockpot to 6 hours and turn it “on”. This afternoon, we will have baked beans.  I will probably can several jars for use this summer.

My daughter really enjoys helping in the kitchen.  Making recipes like this teaches her about food, allows her to ask questions about the ingredients and she sees how raw ingredients come together to make a new dish.

The next time you are about to pick up a can of kidney, pinto, black or baked beans (just to name a few), think about making your own.  I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.

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