That Spot

I grew up in a little Baptist church on the West side of town. It was old and parts of it were dilapidated. However, new parts were added years before my time. I grew up in this church from the day I was born. I even took my own daughter to this church from the very first Sunday after she was born. My parents made sure we went every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesdays. It's where I attended many youth lock-ins, choir practices, Sunday school, Mission Friends and Acteens. Where I giggled with my friends during service and played under the pews when I was bored (later resulting in spankings when I got home).

A few years back (ok it was like 20 years ago but don't do the math). the building was sold and the church moved to a new built location where I still attend service every week with my parents by my side.

The old church building is now a furniture store. Its still looks the same from the road. I have been shopping for a new recliner and the furniture store that took over is one that we have bought furniture from in the past. As we walk in the doors, I could smell right past the leather and suede of the new fabrics to that certain smell in the air of my old church. The dense smell brought back a lot of memories.

We walked around and went to an area of furniture that was in what used to be the fellowship hall. I could vision in my mind my mom and other ladies in the church standing in there preparing for many covered dish dinners or baby and wedding showers. We left that area, not sure I even took notice any of the new furniture. We walked down the hallway to what used to be the sanctuary. As I stood in the back of the store, or was it the front of the store? I look down toward where the alter once stood.

It was that spot...Right there.

That spot where I publicly accepted Jesus as my savior  and looking up to where I was then baptized.
Where my family and I sang with the choir. yes I actually used to sing in the "youth" choir.
That spot where I performed many Christmas and Easter plays.
Where we had a baby dedication for my daughter.
That spot where my daughter performed in dances and musicals.
That spot where the Lord Supper (communion) was served. I remember how all the kids would sneak up there after service and finish off all the juice from those tiny teaspoon size cups. 
That spot where my Daddy gave me away and me and Nick got married.

and it was THIS spot that ........

I bought my first recliner!!! Yes, after searching many locations for the right one...There it was,

Oh yea, its pretty nice with a seat  heater and massager. Just what I need when my muscle spasm start up in my back. I ordered it in a different color. Besides, I didn't want the one off the floor that everyone else has already tried out. It should be here is a couple weeks.

This was another goal accomplished in 2016.

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Here I go again with another  "Mug" recipe. Obviously the tooth I had pulled a week ago was not my sweet tooth.

I'm gonna make this short and sweet (no pun intended).

I was looking for a single serve recipe. Something that included ingredients that I could find in my pantry. Something simple and sort of healthy. Well, I found this recipe for Peanut butter cake that included just a couple tablespoons of this and a tablespoon of that. This recipe does not include any flour so I thought it would be healthy and figured I'd give it a try. I'm such a sucker.

I was a little skeptical about it but I gave it a shot anyway. With 13 grams of Protein, this would be a perfect snack for, say... a body builder, maybe. This cake is not for the one on a diet. I learned this AFTER I ate it all. This tiny cup of cake has a whopping 308 calories! Oh but how did it taste? It was rather delicious with the texture of a muffin. It was not too sweet but had just enough sweetness to satisfy my craving. I ended up adding some whip topping but it was just as good without it. 

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

In a large Mug or Bowl
Mix the following ingredients until smooth (It will have a caramel texture and color).
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1 pinch of Baking Soda
Microwave for One Minute- Allow to cool for a minute.

Original Recipe

Valentine Crochet

Valentines Day is near. This is one of my favorite days.

After Valentines Day, I start getting ready for spring. I begin my tanning sessions and begin my Easter shopping along with spring cleaning and decorating.

With love in the air, It put me in the mood to crochet some valentiney things. I created these coffee mug cozies. The were all experimental patterns that turned out quite well if I must say so myself.
The white one is my favorite. I somehow come up with a stitch of my own and added a free hand embroidered heart to the side. This created a nice thick, tight weaved piece of fiber art. 

I put them in my shop in hopes to make a little extra cash (health insurance is not cheap now days). They are perfect to decorate your mug or give as a gift. If they do not sell, I may just do that myself. I can stuff some goodies in a mug, wrap it in love and share it.

I went to the dollar store the other day, you know, those stores where everything is only a dollar. Well, not so much at this one. I found some greeting cards and candy. Then I grabbed some lovely items to decorate my mantle for Valentines Day that included a wood sculpture and some heart shaped garland. Upon arriving at the register I heard the cashier tell another customer that some of the Valentine items cost more and you will have to spend at least ten dollars to get them for one dollar. 

Uh??? No.

Now you know your poor when you start putting things back at the dollar store!!!! I told my husband to just put the garland and things back. I can make my own.

and that's exactly what I did.

My hand crocheted garland is a lot nicer than the plastic/paper ones at the dollar store and knowing I made it myself makes it more special to me. I found this cute heart pattern online and got to work.

I used my lighted crochet hook not to disturb my Husbands comfort of the dim lighted room while watching TV. (cool huh), It took me about an hour to create ten little hearts and string them together.

Using some steam from my iron, I flatten them out a bit and hung them on the mantel. I will now add some matching candles and other lovely items to make that sweet Valentine look I intended.

Now on to some valentine foodie ideas.

Snow Day

We had some snow today mixed with a lot of sleet and freezing rain. That's par here in North Carolina. Rarely do we see just snow. Also around here, when we see a few flakes the cameras come out and everyone has to announce "Its snowing" with pictures as proof. When we get the first sign there might be snow, all the schools and businesses close down. Crazy isn't it? I bet you Northerners think we are hilarious at this point.

I work with a small business that is run from fleet vehicles and we do not attempt to put them on the road when its bad. Its got to be pretty bad thought. We service everywhere from Lancaster SC to Boone and Asheville NC and everywhere in between.

Let me start with saying I do not get up even on a work day until 7:00 or 7:30. Pretty much depends when the sun comes through the window. Well, I get a text this morning at 5:00! It was one of our managers. "Don't bother coming in today, we will not be working therefore we are not opening the office. Sleep in". Um...Its 5:00 in the morning!!! Its snowing outside and the sleet is slapping the bedroom window. I hardly think I can "sleep in".  My husband is sound asleep. I managed to doze off a while longer until my fitbit vibrated to let me know its time to wake up. Im up!

This is really nice. Its so peaceful outside as the world around me has turned white. The snow is falling and the trees are doing all they can to hold the weight of the snow and ice covered limbs. It has done this all day long. I was able to enjoy my coffee and breakfast without rushing to work. It was too cold and the sleet was to hard to take a walk. Me and my husband actually walked laps inside the house. Yep, circles around the living room, through the den and back around. We did this for an hour. That equaled 3 miles for me. It was better than a treadmill and funnier too. My husband walks five miles every morning around the neighborhood, but not today.

I was able to catch up on some house work.[ husband inserts laugh here]. I crafted a little, crocheted some and wrote this post. I did attempt to go outside a while. Its not as fun since my daughter has moved out. She is lucky to get to work from her home today and will stay in until the roads let up which will probably not be until Sunday. Anyway, I layered some clothes and ventured into the yard. Man was it cold. 28 degrees cold with the sleet stinging my face as I tried to take a few photos.

Looks like the dogwood buds were fooled by the recent warmer temperatures.

Big bird, little squirrel. Squirrel wins.

This little fella let me walk right up to him for his photo shoot.

Later I enjoyed some fresh soup my husband made. It was an experiment. It got two thumbs up as it was full of flavor and loaded with healthy greens. 

We named it SOS soup. Because it consist of mostly Squash, Onion and Spinach. No relation to the SOS you put over toast or rice. [wink]. Other ingredients include, zucchini, vegetable broth and a pinch of garlic. This recipe is healthy, bursting in flavor and very low calories. One cup only has approximately 50 calories.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another great day and keeping our fingers crossed we don't loose power.
Maybe we can even do a real walk around the neighborhood.

That Dreaded Visit

That dreaded visit to the Dentist"

I'm writing this post in a series of two days. Hoping it may help me cope with my anxiety. I'm a big baby when it comes to dentistry. I am so afraid to go even though they have never hurt me besides that two foot long needle they use for numbing. Believe it or not I do have a big pain tolerance. I just don't know what it is about the Dentist. I'm embarrassed to admit, my teeth are not in really good shape due to this phobia, not to mention the lack of money and no dental insurance. Even as a child, we never went to the dentist unless we were in pain. But with four kids, I can see how my parents could have never afforded preventive care. However, with my own daughter, I kept her checkups up to date until she turned..., well, until she moved out on her own.

Day One: After several weeks of an agonizing tooth ache. I finally put on my big girl pants and called the dentist. I'll admit, I was hoping the nerve would just die. Well, it didn't and the tooth wins once again. I made an appointment for tomorrow to have it extracted. Yes yanked out because I refuse to get a root canal that I cant afford and besides, the tooth that hurts has already been filled like twice.
As soon as I put the phone down, my heart started racing and the anxiety started. About 30 minutes later the dentist assistant calls, "Lisa? we are going to call you in a prescription for a nerve pill to take one hour before you come". Bingo! Now not only will I be scared, I'll also be a noodle so I can't fight back. Speaking of fighting back, I have been known to get to the chair, then sneak out when the Dentist left the room. Really. So now, my husband takes me and makes sure all the doors and windows are barricaded. ha. I know, I sound ridiculous, huh. Well sorry, but I'm really that afraid of the dentist. I'd rather give birth.

Day Two: I've worked half the day and now I've taken a Valium and sitting patiently in the waiting room of the torture chamber (Id rather be working).  As I listen to drilling down the hallway, It sounds like a tire changing station. My heart is racing but i'm keeping my cool. I look tough but inside i'm wanting my mommy.
[Gulp!].  Here she comes....."Hi Lisa come on back".
I'm putting my phone away now and putting my life in the hands of a dentist...................................
Ok the phone is back out. I'm all numbed up and waiting. The sign on the wall says "turn off cell phones". Well, I'm a blogger therefore there has to be pictures involved. so hears a quick shot of the place setting before he digs in.........

It still baffles me that with all the new technology now days, the Dentist still use drills and pliers.
45 minutes later, I'm done. It wasn't so bad. The numbing needle didn't even hurt this time. I think the ole dentist is getting better at it.  Of course, he tried to talk me into having it crowned but I said no and stuck to my plan to have it taken out. After he extracted the tooth he examined it and found two cracks. It even fell apart as he was showing it to me. I think my choice was the right one now. Even he admitted it would have been too weak for a crown.
Its later now and the numbness is gone. I have not had to take any pain medicine besides Tylenol, no bleeding and no swelling. Glad its all over with and can continue as normal.

I Did it! [again]

Its been two years since I completed my Phlebotomy Technician training and received my certificate. Phlebotomy is something I have always wanted to do. (dont ask).

Even though I have not used my skills since I left class, I did have a pretty good stick record. I think I was pretty good at it. Its something once you learn, you never forget. It just takes confidence. I use this knowledge as a back up plan. If my current job ever ends, I will have some sort of education under my belt. However, I would not mind finding some volunteer work now to keep me sharp. (no pun intended).

In my spare time, on the 2nd week of January, I went online and took 8 hours of continuing education classes to renew my certificate. A lot of the answers to the questions on the test came right to me. I remember how nervous I was about passing the first time. In the online classes I refreshed on the things I already knew plus I learned some new things that we never went over in the original class. I find every bit of  studies on this subject interesting. I have no trouble staying intrigued.

The online hours were over and I paid my dues. That was not so hard. It didn't hurt a bit and It didn't include any blood shed this time. 

Three days later I got the letter in the mail.....could it be?

Yes it was.

It was my letter of completion along with my new certificate card. Once again, I'm feeling proud of myself. It's good for another two years. Here's to my first goal achievement for 2016.

Will I ever get to practice my skillz? Time will tell.

Ivy Tree

We have only one tree in the yard. Its beautiful to me but my husband thinks its ugly. A tree company told us once that eventually the ivy will take over and kill the tree. Well its been over ten years and the Ivy took over but the tree is still there.

This is all Ivy !!!
When the leaves fall off in the Winter, all that's left behind is the bright green Ivy as if were perfectly placed, transforming the tree into a safe haven for the birds to play. I call it the Ivy tree. 

Looks like its adding a new type of Ivy this year.
Here is more Winter Ivy.
When Spring arrives, it will burst into blooms and transition into a the biggest most beautiful Dog Wood tree in the neighborhood, beautified with white crucifixion flowers. This tree offers a large shade we can resort to on the hot days of Summer.

The birds will rest still in the tangled thickness of the vines. As I look up through the branches, I can actually see their little eyeballs staring back at me. They think I cannot see them. My favorite birds are the turtle doves. They often march out onto the outer branches in pairs and cuddle as they enjoy the warmth of the sun together.

This is full bloom in the Summer

The only Ivy you will see in this tree during the summer are the vines hanging to the ground as if they want to swallow the yard. We keep those cut back because personally, I think they would. Ha. 

I love this tree because it houses many different species of birds and many squirrels. They sing songs and play. I keep them fed and enjoy watching them from my patio or kitchen Window.

We may have to cut the tree back this summer as it will probably reach to the patio and over our grill. 

So, sorry Miss Ivy tree, the patio is mine!

French Toast in a Mug [fail]

I have gotten into this frenzy lately about meals you can make in a mug. Single serve dishes you can whip up in a matter of minutes in your microwave. While most turn out great, sometimes they don't work out like they are suppose to.

Everyone post their pretty pictures of recipes that workout and look delicious and easy. But what about those recipes that just don't turn out right? Well I'm fixing to show you one ( I have had worst). 

I decided to make French toast in a mug. I did everything the recipe called for.

I cut up cubes and placed in a buttered remken (same as a mug). 

I poured in the egg and milk mixture and let the bread soak a minute.

I added a few blueberries for sweetness and stuck it in the microwave for a minute and a half.

It come out of the microwave looking wonderful. But then when I dumped it onto my plate , All I really saw was an egg with bread cubes in top. [fail]

Where did I go wrong? Maybe I should have used more bread?  Either way, I added a little sugar free syrup and ate it anyway. It was actually pretty good. I will give this recipe another shot adding more bread next time. 

Super Power

We all have some sort of super power. Something that's abnormal or unexplained. I'm not talking about fantasy or magic. We all have that one special something only you can do that sets you apart from ordinary.

I think I saw every Wonder Woman episode on TV in the late 70's. She was my favorite female Hero. I also loved the Incredible Hulk and Batman. I seen every episode of them all.

I often joke about my "super powers" even though none are in strength or speed. [bummer].
  • I can stop a windup wristwatch. This is true. I used to put on a non-battery windup watch and sure enough, after a few hours it would stop telling time or even stop all together. 
  • If i'm ever stung by a bee. You'd never know it except by my cry. My skin will not turn red or swell.
  • Mosquitoes do not bite me. My skin (or blood) is a shield of those blood suckers. 
  • No matter where I go, expect the lights to flash or dim. Ok, I know that's just a coincidence, or is it? I told my Husband that when I die, I call dibs on the flashing light spook.
  • I can touch my tongue to the end of my nose and to the bottom of my chin. That is super isn't it? I bet your trying right now.
  • My eye color can change depending on the temperature or what I wear. I used to be dark brown eyed until the birth of my green eyed daughter and now they are greenish hazel like my Mom and sometimes yellowish brown. Not sure what happened there. I just think it's cool how they change.
  • I can make my eyes tear up like i'm crying. That's right. I can turn them on and turn them off. Didn't take long for my parents to realize that when I was young. So, it was not much to my advantage. Crying is real though.
But the real super power I have is that I'm a "Lucid Dreamer".

That's right. I know when I'm dreaming. I can become conscious inside my dreams. I can take control and either wake myself out of them or continue dreaming while exploring. Knowing i'm dreaming gives me the ability to go anywhere I want to go in my unconsciousness, unless something from the outside wakes me up.
I didn't even know what a Lucid Dream was until I was telling a friend of mine about this ability I have. Her eyes got big as she said in excitement, "you have lucid dreams?" Then she preceded to explain to me what's going on and how lucky I was to have this gift.
Cool huh? Its not all that unusual. Everyone has the ability to do this. Its something you learn in your mind set. Mine started when I was small. I always had bad dreams until one night I realized during a bad dream that "hey this is just a dream" then opened my eyes away from it. I was able to do that in almost every dream  that I didn't want to be in. After that, I was no longer afraid to dream, also meaning I didn't have to venture to my parents room and stare my daddy awake in the middle of the night so he'd cuddle me until I felt safe again.

There are a lot of books and even supplements that help people find they have Lucid Dreams but mine comes natural and that's something super to me.

So whats your special super power? I know you have one.

Oatmeal Fruit Cobbler

Its the middle of January and we finally have some colder temperatures. I'm not a fan of cold weather but the sooner it comes, the sooner it will go and spring will spring.

Since it's cold outside, I love to have a warm breakfast. Ok, I like any kind of breakfast anytime but that's beside the point. Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite quick breakfast.
I call it "Oatmeal Fruit Cobbler". 

Its so good, its like getting a hug from Jesus. Well sure, nothing could be that good but you get what I mean.

  • Its quick,
  • easy,
  • requires no mixing, 
  • Fills you up,
  • Its healthy,
  • and only contains 146 calories! 
Are you ready? Grab a small bowl or mug. Yea this a personal meal. All to yourself.
All you need is Quaker instant oatmeal (single packs) and about a 1/4 cup of juicy fruit or berries. The choice is yours. The best flavor of oatmeal to use is the non fruity kind such as brown sugar, maple, or in my case today, apple and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, throw in your fruit.

Pour the whole pack of oatmeal over top

Add 3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle the water all around, to moisten the top.

Yep that's all the water you need. Just ignore the directions on the pack. The fruit makes up the rest of the liquid. You'll see.

Microwave for a minute and a half.
Let it cool a couple minutes or the fruit will blister your tongue.

Top with whip cream, powder sugar, or ice cream. Again, the choice is yours.

The texture becomes moist and a little chewy like moms homemade fruit cobbler. 
If you want to take the time to bake it, it may even become crisp. 

Its filling therefore you will not want to snack all morning. You can go throughout the day knowing you just had a low calorie healthy breakfast that will make your heart smile as well.


Do You Vape?

There is a new fad among smokers out there now days. Vapor cigarettes. There are even vapor lounges and shops set up around town where these niccotine addicted people can get their fix.

Don't get me wrong. I do think its a better alternative to smoking. I do not smoke but It seems all my working life, ive had to breath it! Even today, I work around a few disrespetful men that have no problem blowing smoke in my face as they come into my office to ask me a question.

I will say the vapor cigarettes would be easier to put up with. But I hate both of them. I have family and friends that enjoy the vapor cigarettes and think its ok to puff around me. "Its not smoke, Its vapor" they say. Well, I still can smell it!! It still goes up my nose or into my lungs as I sit next to you. I don't care if its smells like roses or tangerines, Its still rude, stinks and just looks plain out ugly in your mouth.

Has it come to this? Some sugar coated way to light up? I walked through a cherry smellling vape smog the other day as someone had just released it from their lungs. It choked me. It sorta burned actually. The rest of the night, all I could think about was, "if I could feel that, I wonder what toxins or germy bacreria did I just inhale from this person?".

It may be a better alternative than actual smoking, but people still need to be repectful to those that do not smoke and wish to only breath in air.

Just a Simple Blogger

Im Just a simple blogger.

Not a very creative writer (though I wish I were).

Someone asked me once if you can make money blogging. hmmm, I guess the good ones can.
I do it for free. Yep, its all a gift to everyone. ha.
I do not use advertising on my blog. I guess that's where you make money huh? But no, One thing I hate the most is when I visit some ones blog because the title interest me and I have to wait 3 minutes for the whole page to pull up (ok that might just be my cheap computer) then once I get interested in reading their post, a pop up ad will flash up. grrrr hate that! I wouldn't want anyone to suffer that when they visit my blog. You can just hop in and start reading. Nice huh?
However, I will share links for free for some. You will see them on either side of my page. No ad, just links. Sort of like free advertising, right?

I don't have a fancy set up with a purchased domain (how do you do that?).
I do not keep a blog journal, my gears do not work that way. I've tried it. When I write, its usually right off my mind. Want to hear about the dream I just had? Just kidding. There have been actual moments I've pulled out my phone and started writing about something going on at the moment. Yes, I've even wrote a whole blog post from my smart phone. I have scheduled a few post because I have more than one thing to share and want to add a little space between them, but again, not planned. My post are fresh off the mind.

Sometimes I will adjust my blog and try to fancy it up just a little bit, for example: I just redone my "recipes" in the recipe tab. Go check it out. I've learned about a site called Inlinkz that helped me build the html code thing to make it all look neat and spiffy. It was easy.

I have been asked to be a guest blogger before but I turned down the opportunity because frankly, I didn't know how that worked and didn't want to sound like a dumb dumb and ask how. Same with having a guest blogger to my blog. I have no problem sharing. It is what it is.

Why do you blog one asked? Well, I want to keep my mind and imagination going. I eventually want to be able to write some interesting things, and be creative. I do not have a lot of traffic to my blog but that's ok I do it mainly for myself. Just puts my mind away from other media and fast pace living we have today.

I want to share things I do with my family (which I've learned that my Mom is the only family that reads my blog).  I also find it relaxing to sit and tell a story or share a recipe or craft.
I hate to read but Im gradually learning to like a book here and there and will usually read one a year. (Stop laughing). I was a failure in English class all my years of school. I hated it. I hated to read but loved to write. Weird huh? I know, It doesn't make much since.

So with all that being said. Don't make fun of my grammar or writing skills.  Im just an ordinary general educated girl. A simple blogger that wants to share her stories and is very thankful for my readers, comments and most of all  "spell check".

New Year Twenty Sixteen

Happy New Year everyone.

I'm up early this morning having my breakfast and enjoying a cup of Joe before I begin preparing for my annual family New Years Dinner. 

On New Years Eve, Nick and I choose to avoid going out into the mob of booze infused people and loud noises. You can tell I'm getting old huh? We opt for a nice Sushi dinner and enjoyed bringing in the new year cuddled up on the couch.

Then we anxiously await that new years text from our daughter. It just gives us a little piece of mind that's she's okay out there living it up with her friends.

As I sit here, I can smell the aroma of the pork shoulders that have been slow cooking all night, thanks to my darling husband. He has already cooked ten pounds of collard greens.

He cooked those yesterday because we find that they taste better reheated the next day. He cooks them outside. If you have ever cooked collard greens, you'd know why.

I used to do them this way. But thank the Lord they come ready to cook now.

Now I need to start peeling ten pounds of taters, prepare the crock pot macaroni n cheese, cook the black eye peas and bake three fruit cobblers. 

Last year was a pretty good year. I lost 47 lbs. and only suffered one agonizing back pain that lasted a couple weeks and a small three day cold. Nick and I do good avoiding getting sick.

Here are my top ten goals for the new year.
  1.  Continue good health
  2.  Maintain my weight loss
  3.  Participate in a small marathon.
  4.  Clean closets out (again).
  5.  Blog more 
  6.  Stay off Facebook
  7.  Redo my Kitchen 
  8.  Worry less and pray more
  9.  Get to work on time
  10.  Renew my Phlebotomy certificate
  11.  And better myself all together.
Now I'm off to the kitchen to get this feast ready by noon. I will be missing my daughter this year as she will be traveling to the beach for a friends wedding party. This will be our first new years day without her here. I pray for her safe travels. I'll worry about her until she gets back home. Oh darn, I just messed up #8. Can I have do over?

What are some of your goals for the new year?