On My Mind….

“Your love for God is only as great as your love for the person you love the least” –Dorothy Day

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Be Radiant

Radiant Magazine is a Catholic publication for the “fun, fashionable, and devout woman.” I happened up it because a friend (over at In Honor Of Design) happens to be the graphic editor/designer.
This article is beautiful and I felt like I had to share. It is not only for those single women looking for Mr. Right, but also for those of us who are married. It was that subtle reminder that even though I found my One And Only, modesty goes beyond impression. It seeks to glorify God in the person that you are. It doesn’t stop at physical beauty but rather encompasses the whole person. What a wonderful reminder of what modesty is, what it is intended for, and who it ought to glorify. I invite you to read the article and the many others that grace the pages of Radiant Magazine.

p.s. it is written by a man who so eloquently makes a very strong point. Take a look…

Banana Bread Nostalgia

I remember as a kid the comforting routine of my day. Wake up to an all too familiar jingle that WJJY radio station played every morning around 7:15am….

“Good morning good morning good morning
it’s time to rise and shine
Good morning good morning good morning
I hope you’re feeling fine
it’s time to get up and get out of bed
it’s time to get up you sleepy head
the day is coming just for you
and all your dreams….
are coming true…”

Anybody else remember that one? This is what I heard every morning as I made my way downstairs. And as I entered the kitchen I’d be greeted by my all-too-perky-morning-loving mom flipping pancakes or making eggs or some other form of yummy hot breakfast. You see, hot breakfasts happened almost everyday. I know I know…..I was lucky. Aside from the fact that my mother loved us oh so much to get up before everyone, cook up a wonderful breakfast, and clean up after everyone left (we didn’t get a dishwasher until….mid to late 90s), it was a matter of economy. My giant sized brothers (I had 3 of them) would each eat a box of cereal, a few pieces of toast, and a half gallon of milk if my mother didn’t offer something else. It was necessity. On occasion…..okay, maybe once a week or so, there would be cinnamon rolls or banana bread waiting on the table just begging to be…..INHALED. She is a saint, my mother. Truly truly the best.
There is just something extraordinary about my mother’s banana bread. She swears she does nothing special and it is a basic recipe – which it is…..probably Betty Crocker or something. Perhaps it is the pan. Or maybe it’s the kitchen. Who knows. When my great-grammy died there was some conflict over a certain roasting pan she used for her famous “soft chicken”. Everyone thought if HER pan was used for HER recipe then it would magically be like SHE made it. Not so. The pan does add to the nostalgia of soft chicken served on a cold winter night with the sweet cackle of Gram’s laughter coming from the kitchen. But really?….it wasn’t the pan. No. It isn’t the recipe or the pan or the kitchen or even the cook. What makes food…..homemade food so wonderfully delicious and irresistible is the love. The love with which it is made. The love for whom it is prepared. And the love with which it is served. Sounds cheesy. But it is all about the love. Ask anyone who grew up on homemade food.
Back to the banana bread. It is a tried and true simple recipe and when it is used with the sweetest of intentions and made for those you love, it tastes as if it were dropped from heaven. Seriously….just try it….with any recipe. OR you can try it with this one:

1.5c butter
3c sugar
3 eggs
7 ripe bananas (black, squishy, and almost juicy)
1/2c milk (soured with 2tsp vinegar)
1T baking soda
1tsp salt
6c flour (mix 5….add 6th)

whip the butter, sugar, and eggs together. add the bananas and soured milk. add baking soda and salt.
mix in 5c flour until moist then add 6th cup.
pour into 3 large greased bread pans and bake at 325 for 1-1.5 hours. they are done when toothpick test comes out clean.

ENJOY.

Sweet November

I cannot even express my giddiness over the fact that today is November 1st. What is the reason for such giddiness, you ask? Well, let me tell you. September and October were insanely busy months for us. September being chucked full of harvesting our own garden, canning, getting things cut, raked, and cleaned up for the upcoming winter months, canning, lots of overtime for my husband, canning, adjusting to 3 school days a week for Hayden, canning, etc. etc. etc. I think you get the idea. All I looked at in September was tomatoes in my kitchen, tomatoes in my garage, tomatoes in my garden waiting to be picked, canning jars in my cupboards, lids all over my counters, filled jars waiting for a place to be stored for the winter, and utter chaos in my kitchen.

October was not much better…..actually it was much worse because not only was I STILL canning and cleaning up the garden, my husband was working extra hours at work and on his “days off” he was working 12-15 hour overnight shifts driving beet wagons and tractors for the farmer next door. There was literally about 8 days when I did not see him more than 30 minutes a day. Poor guy worked his butt off, slept very little, ate like a horse, and still managed to keep some level of sanity. I love him. Have I ever posted that?….I.LOVE.HIM.

So now that September and October are behind us, what I have to look forward to in November is utter sweetness: bitter frigid cold…..and probably snow. Yes. I admit it. I am overjoyed that the freezing winter months are finally here. I know, I know……..I’ve walked off the deep end. Truth is, I’m excited for the cold because it means no more major projects outside. It means that I get to see my husband more hours of the day. It means that he can relax a little bit and maybe take up a hobby and de-stress. It means that the only things that will steal my husband’s attention away from the warm inviting inside are the animals, moving snow, or splitting wood. I love the winter for that simple reason.

I say bring on the subzero temps. I long for snow days and closed highways. The snow can’t come soon enough. I’m ready. Our jackets are out, everyone has boots and thermal-wear. We are ready.