Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Zesty Blue

I put a new recipe up on my Lofty Cook site.  I can't tell if I love the recipe because it's warm blueberry muffins that just came out of the oven or if I really do like it.  It isn't very sweet, which I should have expected seeing as there is no vanilla extract and only a half cup of sugar in it.  Either way, here are some yummy looking photos of them.  I love taking photos of food.



Oh My Stars

I've recently come across a few new bands that I really like.  And that's saying something for me.  Normally, I stick to my Hanson and Mmmmbop my way through life.  Or I end up getting all huffy when James tries to introduce me to new bands he thinks I'll like.  I end up closing my ears to it.  For one reason or another, I find myself unable to take my husband's musical advice.  Instead, I've created a new technique to finding music on my own.  Well, it's not even really on my own because all the music is already on our Ipod.  It's more on my own from our musical library which can get pretty overwhelming.  I digress.  Back to my technique.  So, I turn the dial on my radio in the car without looking and force myself to listen to at least one song on whichever artist the Ipod lands on.  I give myself one song, though I usually know within 30 seconds if I'm going to like an artist or not.  I'm just weird and close-minded like that.  These two new artists, however, have brightened my day and given me something to look forward to on my rides to and from work.  I'm not even going to announce what bands they are in fear that someone will say, "Ugh, that band?  I listened to them like five years ago.  They're old news."  I'd rather you not rain on my parade.  I am perfectly content indulging myself in this new found happiness alone.  It may even be considered bliss.

On my Monday off, I did some relaxing with James and our little pup, Oliver.  Much to his and my disapproval, Oliver joined us in our pool.  Here are some rather cute and possibly disturbing moments of what my husband thinks is "fun with Daddy".


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Episode: Ballads

I've been intending to post so much more but I am back to my original MacBook.  Here is what I see every time I open my computer:


So, as you can see it is very difficult to concentrate and get inspired.  Instead I will just post all of the pictures I had wanted to accompany the posts.  






www.theloftycook.blogspot.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

The end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

As you all know, there were rumors going around that the world was coming to an end on May 21st, 2011 at something like 6pm.  For reasons unbeknownst to most Christians, the media and, therefore, most Americans focused the spotlight on this false prediction by a man most of us have never even heard of.  Normally, I wouldn't even acknowledge this hoax but I believe there is something to learn from this experience and the only place to go is the source.  The facts are these:

Jesus said in Matthew 24:42-44 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore, you also be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

Really all of 2 Timothy 3 is a wonderful chapter to read on the end times, but I will narrow it to 2 Timothy 3: 13-15 "But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and be assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ."

And lastly, 2 Peter 3: 3-4 "knowing this first:  that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."

There are more references, but I believe these are some ones that truly apply to what we've seen over the weekend.  The wonderful thing is that we can rest in the fact that 1) If we know the Word of God then we will be prepared for what is to come, we are to keep a watchful eye and always be ready for Him to take us home and know to ignore the false prophecies and 2) Thank the Lord that He is gracious enough to give us more years, weeks, days, hours, minutes to bring our loved ones to knowing Him.

The day WILL come when we all go home.  If you believe that Christ is the Messiah and Son of God who came to wash away our sins and save us from hell, there should be joy in knowing He's coming soon (John 3:16).  Praise God for His promises!  This world is sucky, let's face it...it's crumbling around us.  We should always be about the Master's work with soberness and diligence (1 Thessalonians 5) because we don't know exactly when He is coming home.

My pastor made a good analogy to explain this.  He said that he was in daycare for a little while as a young boy.  He hated it.  He never wanted to be there and was always anxious for his parents to pick him up.  Every day, after nap time, the kids would sit in a circle and sing songs while waiting for parents to come.  My pastor knew that during song time, the parents started to come.  Sometimes his dad would come right away and sometimes his dad would come after a few songs.  My pastor, as a young boy, would sit in that circle with great eagerness and anticipation that his father was coming to get him.  He didn't know exactly when but he knew that the time had come and he was ready to go home.

Let's continue to press toward the promise God has given us that He will come to take us home and on that day He will wipe every tear from our eyes, with no more death, sorrow, or pain. (Revelation 21:4)

I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Where to Begin.

So much is going on in my life right now.  There are a million things I'm trying to do at the same time, all of which are at different levels of maturity in their growth; some are sproutlings (did I make that word up?), some seeds, others full grown and ready to bloom.

I've taken quite a few photos over the last week but now they seem slightly irrelevant.  Boo.  I'm also getting ready to give my borrowed laptop back to my gracious brother so I will be without a computer for a little while.  That may not be a bad thing.  Either way, here are some of the things that have happened this past week:

I love this picture because every single time I cook, Oliver is right at my feet waiting for something to fall.  Most of the time his pestering is rewarded because I'm such a messy cook. 

Made my stuffed mushrooms again for my dad's birthday.  There were so many things filled with cream cheese eaten that day, I'm surprised we didn't all go home with stomach aches.  

I made Gina's famous carrot cake for my dad's birthday.  It was really yummy but James said it needed more icing.  The funny thing is that I did one less layer of cake than it called for but didn't cut the icing recipe.  Really, I ended up using all the batter for only two layers as well.  I hate when recipes do that.  They say one thing but it's almost never the reality.  Either way, three sticks of butter later and it was a pretty darn good cake.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mind Over Matter

I'm full of ideas.  Really I am.  I mean, I have 6 blogs.  That's a lot of blogs.  And I have ideas all the time.  Some ideas are good and some are bad but all of them have one thing in common.  They stay in my head.  I pretty much never do anything about them.  I'll write them down or discuss them with people in my life or research the possibilities but that is the extent of them.  This leaves me frustrated and annoyed with my life.

Didn't people say all of our lives, "follow your dreams"?  Well, what happens if you have several?  What are you suppose to do when you could see your life going a million different ways?  It just ends up being this big blob of dreams and hopes without focus.

Often I ponder what I could do with my life.  I know several other people do the same thing.  I've had many discussions with my family and friends about this.  I'm sure it's a struggle for a lot of people.  Everyone is searching for something.  Of course, we can rest in the fact that God has a plan for us and will direct us in what we should do and where we should go.  I'm sure it includes our careers.  He gave us each gifts, but sometimes I wonder if we need to make the choice whether to use those gifts for ministry or for career or for hobby or for all three?

And, really, I can't even pinpoint what my gift actually is.  What is that one thing I'm brilliant at?  I'd venture to say it's nothing.  I'm not brilliant at any one thing.  I'm just sort of okay at a few different things.  I sure am glad that my husband is really good at one thing- being a designer.  He will most likely always be a designer and I find comfort in that.  But, what about me?  What is the one thing I should be doing the rest of my life?  I want to do something.  I long to do one thing well.

This post is definitely left open ended.  No resolve or resolution.  Just a bunch of ideas.



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Not much isn't cutting it

Today I went to the beach with Lauren.  We packed up two chairs, an umbrella, a cooler, magazines, books, towels, and sunscreen and headed down the road.  We were there for four hours and it was amazing.  Unfortunately, we didn't pick a great spot on the beach because there was a dead fish lying in the sand and ants everywhere and the beach itself is pretty rocky but the view was just great.  It almost reminded me of that picture on PC's that you could use as your desktop, probably taken in Thailand or something:


In my head, that's how it looked.  But, now trying to find a picture, I guess it wasn't all that beautiful.  It was still very pretty and I'm very blessed to live so close to what people consider paradise.  

When I got home at around 4pm, I was starving and not really up for thinking about cooking.  However, I had a huge craving for pasta.  The sound of it just made my mouth water (and the fact that it was extremely easy to make).  I made cheese ravioli with meat sauce because sometimes James likes to order that when we go to Olive Garden.  I figured he would enjoy the meal then.  It was delicious and hit the spot.  The first bite was spectacular, even though I just dumped box pasta in water with meat and jarred sauce.  I had the meal with a big glass of milk.  I love drinking milk with spaghetti, it makes me feel like a kid again.  



As promised, I attempted to take cute photos (like Hello Nickel) of my Oliver.  This was the best picture I could get, and it's a pathetic one.  He's not very cooperative.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Yesterday, we spent the evening with James's mom.  James and his brother, Sean, made a great meal for her (filet mignon, potatoes, salad, and cake).  I volunteered to make a little appetizer of stuffed mushrooms. There are so yummy and have a cayenne pepper in them that gives them a little kick.  Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:  Stuffed Mushrooms





James was so blessed to have grown up right on the water also.  Yesterday brought a bit of a cold front so we spent some time outside.  It was so beautiful watching the sunset.  




We spent the rest of the night setting up Netflix on the AppleTV for my mother-in-law so that she could get hooked on Glee like we are.  We had a wonderful time with James's family and ended up heading back home at about 10:30pm.  Once home by 11:30pm (had to stop at the gas station to put air in our tires...later finding out that there was a large bolt of sorts in there and had to get the tire replaced), I started preparing for my mom's brunch.  Upon her request, I made orange scones.  I had to bake it last night because I had too many other things that needed to be in the oven in the morning.  They came out...well.  I still need to work on my presentation though. 


Also, I had the brilliantly terrible idea of painting a watercolor message for my mom.  I was up until 2am painting it...and she ended up not really liking it.  I didn't like it either and wasn't very happy with how it turned out.  Serves me right for leaving the project until the night before.  



I also made yogurt parfaits for my dad and I.  They were soooo yummy and I can't wait to eat it again tomorrow morning.


Lastly, James picked out a rose from our rose bush and it ended up making a nice little centerpiece for the dining table.  Too bad it was already beginning to wilt.  



Now, on to the house work!