General

It’s You!

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What have you learned lately?

What are you interested in learning?

What opportunities do you have to learn?

Remember, it’s not just formal education that counts! Family life is full of opportunities to gain skills and new knowledge, and in fact it is necessary to continue to learn in order to meet the challenges of daily family life.

Besides that, when we are curious about life and open to learning, we are more engaged with others and more interesting ourselves!

We can read.  We can ask questions. We can experiment. We can grow things. We can create a new schedule a new meal plan or a new way clean a room. We can create order in one little corner. We can read about the lives of people we admire and what choices they had to make and how they dealt with challenges. We can create a flower arrangement or decorate a cake. We can write an article or paint a picture.

What creative pursuit calls to you? I hope you can find ways to cultivate your creativity! And remember, to look for the win/wins for you and your family!

I wish you a great week ahead!

Tara’s Quiche!

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Oh my goodness, we had a treat this week! 

It has an almond crust, which you could certainly play around with and see what texture suits you. I think this would be good made with a gluten-free blend, with whole wheat or a combination of whole wheat and white flours.

The crust is seasoned with fresh garlic and fresh herbs (or dried if you don’t have fresh on hand), and moistened with olive oil and a little water. I used a small skillet and a small casserole dish (because I wanted my friend to try it!) and so I made two small and thin pies instead of putting the whole recipe in one dish, as you can see Tara did in the picture of her pie below. Both were moist and tasty, so make them either way.

Roasting the sweet peppers makes a big difference in their flavor, and it is easy to do. Simply, seed them and cut them in half; put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle them with a little olive oil, turn them skin-side-up, then put them in a 400° oven and roast until the skins are crispy and brown. Then remove the peelings (which is the most labor intensive part of this dish), and slice or dice them. (Tara diced hers but reserved a few strips for the top which was a beautiful touch!)

So for the details.

I started the peppers roasting and buttered the skillet and casserole dish I was using. Then, made the crust which is:
2 cups un-blanched almond meal (I had and used blanched and it was good too)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning or 2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped herbs (I used fresh basil and oregano)
1/2 teaspoon Real salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (I love using a peppercorn blend!)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon water

Combine your almond meal (or flour substitute) with seasonings. Pour in the olive oil and water and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Press the dough into your greased skillet or pan until it is even on the bottom and up the sides a ways. Bake the crust at 400° for 18-20 minutes, until it is golden and firm.

Followed by the filling:
2 huge red peppers, roasted and skinned and sliced or diced
2 medium zucchini grated
6 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Tara’s note: “I grated the Parmesan with the same grater I used for the zucchini. Quite large for Parmesan, but I like it better for quiche so you get little pockets of cheese.” I had pre-grated cheese and it worked well too.)
Mix.

When the crust is baked, pour in the egg mixture and bake (still in your 400° oven) for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.

The flavor is so rich and delightful! I hope you have some fun with this and that your family will enjoy the fruit of your labors.

Happy harvest!

Jacque

We will have more tasty ideas from T. when she returns in the fall. Inshallah!
Until then, we’ll miss you!

 

 

 

 

 

Alice Carol

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Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the funeral of a great lady.

 

She was loved by many because she loved many. Funerals, which seem to show us the things that really matter when all is said and done, are so instructive to me, and Carol’s was no exception.

I took notes so that I could write all of the inspiration I received in my journal, and so that I could share it with you.

But first, an experience I had on Sunday.

I’ve been praying for opportunities to talk to women who are ahead of me in their parenting and grand parenting.  I want to learn what they know, to hear what they have discovered and how I can apply myself to learning how to create the experiences I want for our growing family.

I had such an opportunity when Julie and her husband knocked on our door Sunday afternoon! I hadn’t met her before, but after a few short minutes of visiting, while our husbands were busy in a conversation of their own, I asked her how she feels about being a grandma and how she does it. She told me about how she has grown and how her outlook has evolved; how she has come to find ways to keep her grandchildren close by inviting them to work with her or to spend time with her one on one.

The magnificent take-away for me was when she wisely said, “You just find ways to share you with them.”

That sentence has given me a week’s worth of thinking. How can I best share myself, my life, my interests with my grand children, while also finding joy in who they are, in their interests and talents?

Then on top of that food for thought, I got to attend the funeral of my dear friend, where I got to see exactly how she “shared herself” with her children and grand children! It served as a great illustration!

Her daughter spoke and gave many of her memories, along with memories from her siblings:

“She spent all of her time serving us. Mother was talented. The best time was walking in the door from school and smelling her bread baking. She had a green thumb. She loved her raspberry patches. She loved her flower gardens. She loved having a vase of fresh daffodils on the table. She always had music playing, and if there wasn’t music playing then she would whistle! If you had to get up and go somewhere you didn’t want to go, she’d serve you apple crisp and ice cream for breakfast! There was always a mystery drink in the fridge..what ever was left over mixed together, nothing was wasted. She was a hard worker. We always lived in a clean home. She made lists. She was organized. She made cookbooks for everybody. Genealogy books were done for children and grand children. She sewed my brothers up when they hurt themselves, numbing the spot with ice first. She chewed us out when we did something stupid and hurt ourselves. She loved humming birds and preying mantis and we would have to go look at them with her. The dog she loved the most was the dog of whichever child’s house she was visiting. When we drove we sang songs. When traveling her motto was, “never pass up a bathroom opportunity.” She showed an out pouring of love when her children or grand children made mistakes. I will miss her long hugs. She had a quiet confidence and was a good example to others. She listened without judgement and gently encouraged us.”

These are some of the memories spoken by a grand daughter who was representing all of the grand children:

“She always put Altoids in tissues in her pocket. She was always rubbing your back or hands or feet.  She told me all kinds of stories out of her imagination. She wanted to know how my life was going.  I will always remember her homemade bread! She loved me. She made me a ninja mask. She always had a hug and supportive words. I took her on a ride on the four wheeler and her hair was all puffed up and we laughed like crazy! I helped her fill her humming bird feeders. I liked watching her sew. She was an example of love and service. When I think of her, I think of service. Family always came first. She made us special boxes when we turned 12. She was patient with me when she taught me how to cook. We loved her hugs and kisses. Warmth, smiling and waffles.  It all comes down to a feeling of comfort when being around her.”

“After the prognosis last week, that she had only a few weeks or possibly months to live, the family left the doctor’s office and walked into the hallway. Mom said she had accomplished everything she wanted to do and had no regrets. The next morning, she said, “it’s time to get going,” and she died that afternoon. She was gentle and frail in so many ways but so strong in many others. She loved the rain and hated the snow. She is, and will continue to be brilliant as a teacher and as a testifier.”

Can you see how her personality, her likes and dislikes, her talents and interests became the treasure she gave her children? She shared herself and that was the perfect gift. She didn’t seem to spend her time trying to be someone else, or putting herself in competition with others. She gave who she was, and that is inspiring and liberating to me.

Thank you Carol for your love and friendship. And mostly for your walk as an outstanding wife, mother, grand mother and friend. I will miss you so much!

Love and hope on.

Jacque

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say, “Stop!”

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When you recognize a negative thought running around in your mind, say stop! Don’t let it finish itself, stop it now! If it starts up again, stop it again and again, until you get so good at it that it can’t even really form into a sentence before you’ve shown it the door.

Feeling heavy in your body or spirit? Get the negativity out.

Feeling out of control or overwhelmed? Think back to the last internal conversation you had and turn it around.

It is your life. It is your mind. It is your choice.

One red flag to consider: When you feel yourself trying to control someone else, it is most likely a reaction to feeling out of control yourself. Take a break and have an honest chat with yourself. What is right in your life? What resources do you have? What positives can you draw upon? What expectations can you adjust or let go?

An hour at a time; a day at a time; that’s all we need to do.

Sending you much love,

Jacque

Get Help When Needed!

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Today, I had some help with my housekeeping and it was a dream! It’s a trade I have going and I am loving it.

It brings to mind a friend of mine who, on occasion, will say that with her own hard work and the help of her grown children, she’s gotten on top of her yard again, (you know who you are!) and it messes with my mind because I don’t know how often I would be able to say such a thing! Maybe in the spring before the weeds are giving me a run for my money, or maybe in the fall right after everything is put to bed!

But it seems that the feeling of “being on top of things” has got to be heady stuff! And today with a little help, I’m feeling so encouraged.

Made me wonder about you women with little people at home. Could you use a hand up? How would it feel to be just a little closer to the calm that comes with the deep clean, that you would like? What would that help look like? What skills do you have that might facilitate some kind of trade?

One thing that occurred to me today is the idea of a simple arrangement of- you help me and I’ll help you- maybe you and a friend attack some job at her house this week for an hour and next week hit something else at your’s!

Or maybe it’s, you watch my kids for an hour while I get a few things done, and I’ll return the favor!

When my daughter was a young teenager, we had a cute lady in the neighborhood who hired her, and a few of her friends, to come to her home to help her clean.  She chose the younger girls because she wanted to train them to do things the way she wanted them done, and I’m sure it helped that they weren’t expensive help either! I felt that it was great training for the girls and a big lift for the woman who was the mother of several very young children. It was impressive and instructive to me to see what proactive looks like!

Look for the win-wins that may be lurking right around the corner!

Godspeed you to your greatest good!

Love,

Jacque