Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Oy Vey, Watch That Mouth ~

I learned something yesterday. 

Let me back up a bit and give you some history. I have three bosses. (Technically four, however, one might choose only to ground me vs. get rid of me, and we'd have five if one of my coworkers got her way.) But that little aside is beside the point. 

So my three bosses have all fired me at least once. One of them got up to seven or eight times (I lost count) but then he decided that since I just kept coming back post firings he needed to up the ante. He began publicly booing me. When I forget to do "the only job that I really need to do/worry about is keeping paper in the printer" I get a hearty boo. (You'd think, since that's my only "have to" chore I'd never forget, but I kind of like getting fired and being me an adrenaline junkie.)

Yesterday said boss comes in complaining because he has a hole in his pants. (No, that was my first thought, too, but it was on the side of his pants.) He said he felt like a (insert now forgotten Yiddish word here). I said, "Bummer, Dr. (insert forgotten but parroted Yiddish word here.)"

His eyes got wide and he stared at me. "You can't call me that!"

I smiled. "You just called yourself that, why?"

"That's a bad Yiddish word. You can call me (rattled off 6 or 7 Yiddish words that sounded suspiciously like THE word but I've forgotten them, too.) but (TABOO YIDDISH WORD) is reserved for bad situations or used by very elderly Jewish ladies who's frontal cortex has lost it's inhibition filter."

Ha. Ha. Good thing my memory is like a colander or I might be tempted to slip it into everyday conversation. Next to a good public booing, or firing, my favorite just might be shocking my bosses into speechlessness or leaving them laughing. 

So, my advice, get out there and act like a (insert forgotten but TABOO Yiddish word here) and see where that gets you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Weekend Adventure

Dairy barn. Beautiful girls patiently waiting for milking.
We spent a bit of time in Wisconsin over the weekend. First time for me, ever. I may have crossed over the border on my way elsewhere, but this was my first time hanging out in this lovely state. Here are a few highlights. 

This little guy really liked me...enough to eat me. Ha. Ha.
We created a prayer garden out of a blah section of the Bible camp. We walked past a cow who was in labor. (You don't probably want details. Let's just say the calf wasn't appearing yet but other stuff was.) & discovered that lazy Wisconsin rivers can contain some impressive rapids and have electric fencing strung across them.

Some moving water in the lazy river.

The lazy part of the river.

Beautiful buildings....

Nice discovery on returning home....blueberries almost ready.

Raspberries, too.

Popcorn loving chickens.

A wee bit of the Secret Prayer Garden.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Random Thought Bubbles

 After the first trip to the farm where we cut, washed, and sang the praises of the most amazing bounty we arrived to the parking lot where we'd met up to carpool. 

Ironically, it was a local grocery store. Even more ironically, check out the sign. 

Yeah. Right.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Law Lessons ~ Moving On

I’m sad I'm done with my Citizen’s Police Academy classes. Not only was it informative and fun, but it has so, so given me a deep respect for these men and women who keep our community safe. If you are a law enforcement officer and happen to stumble upon this post, thank you. I think that when we (the clueless citizens of the world) feel safe and can sleep well at night we kind of take for granted that someone is making that possible.

Since Memorial Day is coming, and since it’s fresh on my mind… here is my shout out to all military and service professionals and volunteers who clean up our lives, keep us safe, and provide a life that we Americans expect and demand. Thank you for the price you have been willing to pay. And forgive us for being ignorant and ridiculous and selfish. Because we are all of those things. I hope that I will be a lot less all of the above after sitting through this class.

Thank you for working while we sleep (literally) and while we are away from our homes and while we are on the roads. Thank you for being gutsy enough to take the crap that is dished out, and strong enough not to retaliate with the power you’ve been entrusted with. Thank you for silently watching wherever you go. Thank you for suffering in that silence when you observe and experience the seamy ugliness of the depraved and broken human soul. Thank you for being willing to do this day after day, not knowing what you will encounter.

Thank you for being the grown up, the adult, the voice of reason and actually caring about the outcome in so many “reality television show” type dramas. Thank you for stopping speeders and red light runners. Thank you for stopping drivers who weave around in traffic whether they are under the influence of texting or talking, alcohol or drugs, or even just stupidity. Thank you for attempting to teach and redirect those who don’t know how to parent or be in a relationship with someone else. Thank you for showing up and being men and women of honor and integrity. Thank you for taking a hit and standing back up again willing yourself to heal so you can reenter the game.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Peanut Chocolate Chippers

Peanut Chocolate Chipper Cookies

36 ish Cookies

3 TBSP ground flax
3/4 Cup of apple sauce OR 1/2 a banana and 1/4 Cup of non-dairy milk. (the browner the banana the sweeter and more bananay it will taste. The one I used was yellow with a few small brown spots and was still firm. A mild banana taste was there, a riper one might be too bananay unless you love bananas.)
3 TBSP peanut butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2/3 Cup garbanzo bean flour
1 and 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup chocolate chips 
1 cup peanuts

Mix the flax and banana/milk or applesauce together in a bowl and let sit a few minutes so it gels a bit.

Add the peanut butter and sugar. Cream or mix well. Add the soda, cream of tartar and salt, mix. Add garbanzo bean flour, stir. Add vanilla and stir. Mix in flour and stir until blended. Add chocolate chips and peanuts.

Chill dough for 20 minutes. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease a pan. Roll dough into 1 inch or so balls. (If too sticky dip hands in sugar)  Flatten balls slightly. You can sprinkle them with sugar if you aren't going to frost them. Bake at 350 for approx 12 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then slide onto a cooling rack.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Sigh. Nuff Said...

Oh, perfect day at the farm. 

Sunny, glorious. And we got out of there at a decent time so I had evening left in my day. Rob joined us again. I'm thinking he's hooked. Especially since every time I turned around he was tasting something, or volunteering to be the one who tasted it. 

He and I got to take a little hike to the high tunnel to search for the farmer. She took the high road while we were on the low road and arrived right after we left.  (There are technically three roads that lead to the high tunnel, each challenging in it's own special way. ) But we didn't miss out by missing her, Rob got to eat a pea pod fresh off the vine and I was able to show him the blooming tomatoes we had planted just a few weeks ago. It was a gorgeous afternoon for a walk.

& and Aunt HarHarHar went out earlier and they got the pick done and the pack started and the farmer served lunch. Radish sandwiches. Bread. Thin sliced radishes and butter or Earth Balance. Apparently they are delicious. I'll no doubt rave when we try this at home. 

The side was kale, chopped carrots, a garlic clove minced a bit of oil and a healthy splash of rice vinegar sauteed into deliciousness. This was recreated at home for dinner. 
Look at the haul. A garlic scape (the curly growth from, wait for it, garlic.) Cauliflower, broccoli, plus lettuces, kales, chard, radishes. So, so tasty.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ 1,000 Words?

Whenever you're ready, I'll just wait right here.

Did somebody say "Treat!"


Need food. NEOW!

May I help you?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Mocha Peanut Butter Quinoa No Bakes

Mocha Peanut Butter Quinoa No Bakes

1 cup unprepared quinoa
2 cups brewed coffee
1/2 Cup plus 1 TBSP of agave or maple syrup,
1/4 Nut Butter
1 tsp salt 
2 TBSP chocolate chips
3/4 Cup Oatmeal
optional: 1/2 Cup other goodies you'd like (nuts, dried fruit, more chocolate chips)

Rinse quinoa if it has not been. Put coffee and quinoa into a saucepan and bring to boil, decrease heat then simmer covered til all the coffee is absorbed. (The same directions as on the package except you are using coffee instead of water.) 

In another saucepan mix together nut butter, syrup and salt and chocolate chips. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Add oatmeal, quinoa and other additions as desired. Stir thoroughly then drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, parchment paper etc. 24-30 cookies.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles Oooh the Twists and Turns of Farm Life...and the OXO winner.

For starters. Jillian. You da girl. Send your snail mail addy to me at kelly(dot)klepfer(at)gmail(dot)com.

And now, the rest of the story....(is that a copyright violation?) If so I apologize. 

Tuesday couldn’t have provided more perfect weather for a visit to the country. We drove with the windows down and our hair (ours and about a bazillion interwoven-into-the-upholstery-black, short-dog-hairs) blowing about. We arrived to find the pick almost done so we set to work washing and packing.

Rob went along with us. It was his first visit to the farm, and let’s just say he has a stronger appreciation for organic farmers after spending a few hours pack-pack-packing produce. We’ve picked up another member on the Tuesday pack and #1 Farmer has come up with a color coding system to get the boxes organized. 39 of them is a challenge. 39 boxes require 39 liners, and 39 bags and 39 piles PER ITEM. Creativity and organization are king,

We snagged several ounces of arugula. Last year it was not something my tastebuds cared for at the beginning of the season. By the end of the season the smell of the peppery little fronds started my mouth watering. Yum. We each got a turnip, and a deliciously sweet and perfect broccoli. More lettuces, kale and chard. The challenges of the week were spinach and carrots.

The spinach has bolted. I like to picture spinach running as if being chased, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with knuckles and flowers growing on the spinach. Once it’s entered this phase it’s done growing tender and delicious leaves. So, the farmer just harvested the whole shebang. Normally we cut above the knuckles (lettuce is the same way but without knuckles, you leave the plant and it will continue to grow, you just trim it…super green, doncha think…like reusing and reducing?) anyhoo, we cut above the knuckles and have leaves ready to go. When the whole plant is harvested you (and by you I mean me/us but don’t want you to feel left out) pluck the leaves off. Trust me, it’s a little quicker to slice and dice an unbolted spinach plant. Just saying. So no more spinach until the fall growing season.

And the carrots. Grasshopper Farmer waxed eloquent about the monster carrots vs the princess carrots. She made two piles. Perfect princess carrots were, well, perfect. And everybody got at least one of those little beauties. Unfortunately, the bigger pile of monster carrots was three times that size and well….when I say monster, I don’t mean super-sized…I mean as in “AUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not Snow White's 7 little friends. No, these 7 Monsters  are Creepy, Creaky, Twisty, Octi, Floppy, Angry and Crusty
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the heck is THAT!?!?!?” #1 Farmer thinks the wet/dry condition of early spring may have caused some interesting things to happen underground. Some of the carrots look like they grew inside out, with a twist. The farmers decided that though an “UGLIEST CARROT” contest could be fun, the phone calls from parents who had to contend with the monster nightmares of the little ones might suck the fun right out of it for everyone. So bags of beasts went to volunteers instead. I’ve got to tell you, I was struggling with keeping my emotions in check while washing some of them. They was some serious ugggglaaay carrits, bettin they’d even skar some bunnies away, ya know? The teen boys who do a whole lot of dirty work every afternoon at the farm were pretty psyched though. A whole bag of deformed carrots. That’s the way to get kids to eat their veggies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Law Lessons Unleashed...

Thursday evening, the last hands-on CPA (Citizen’s Police Academy) class, found us pulling up in front of a local Jr High school.
I was on high alert.

Our mission was to think like a law enforcement officer…to take what we’d learned and try it on for size in two different scenarios.
First, I must say the school parking lot was a bit scary. A cruiser, an officer in full gear, and dozens of concert goers who filed by as they worked their way to the other side of the school. Unbeknownst to them, they could’ve been in danger. But, we were on the scene instilling peace and a sense of calm.

Our tasks for the night. As teams we would take on an unknown number of assailants who had broken into the school and were possibly hiding in the darkened multi-room school wing. Our goal, to make it out alive, and apprehend the criminals. The second assignment, equally challenging, enter an unknown situation where there had been a report of an intense fight. Goal. Assess the scene and secure it (Make sure all weapons are out of the reach of out of control suspects.) Determine if an assault occurred, if it was between domestic partners and to apprehend the primary aggressor. Cake. Right? Ha. Ha. Not so much little Grasshopper.

My Domestic Violence scenario ended with me making a false arrest. The man was a complete jerk, controlling his wife, intimidating her, throwing out sickly sweet excuses, while she cowered in the corner. They were married. One of three criteria met, found out through questioning the suspects. My partner and I each took a party and questioned them. Then we switched. We were told to keep an eye on our partner and try to minimize eye contact between the parties (this is really important cuz controllers is going to control...and they use whatever means they have, and it's really difficult to pull off, too). This is where my partner and I started to slide south. The woman had a bruise on the side of her face. The story was that she slipped and fell hitting her face on the floor. When I got her turned so she faced me, not him, she told me she was afraid…that she’d never be able to get away from him. He acted super concerned and just wanted to take care of his sweet, clumsy wife. Based on the evidence we arrested him. And then the actors, who were cops, asked us why we made the decision to arrest.

Because he was a controlling, abusive, jerk I told the detective who had played the controlling, abusive jerk. (I may actually have said he was a jackass). It was a J-word. Wrong. She never once told either of us that he’d hit her. She told the same story about falling. Lie? Yes. Jerk? Yes. Danger? Yes. But, we had nothing to go on. Frustrating? Yes. Based on a real scenario? Yes. The comic relief scenario was the couple who were loudly celebrating their anniversary by playing quarters. She had dropped one and fell off the chair retrieving it. When the officers arrived she was a mess. But there was no abuse going on, just a “good” time. I’m guessing til the morning anyway.

Then we were taken to the hallway where, two by two we entered a dark bank of offices. While waiting we heard a lot of screaming from classmates who were trying out their investigative knowledge. A lot of screaming. We were the third group in. When we entered we had to choose left or right. As we did so, way back in the dark, dark hallway a man screamed. “Come on! Come and get me!” He threw a knife at us and disappeared into the darkest room I’ve ever seen. While we decided whether to move forward to capture him, or back to look for other bad guys another man jumped us from behind and stabbed us. Apparently we did some screaming, or so the officer who was our tour guide hooted, several times.

Since we’d barely gotten through the door, the overseeing police officer, after laughing hysterically for several moments, resurrected us so we could apprehend ourselves a crazy bad guy. Yeah. Thanks, Officer Ron. So we stealthily checked each room. High and low. In and under. Finally. No one else jumped out at us, and faced the last room. The darkest room had to be the place the crazy guy hid. We opened cupboards, looked under the table, crept around the outside parameter. Finally, we faced the midnight black double door closet. One door yawned open spilling the inky darkness that nibbled up all the light from our feeble flashlights. I looked carefully over my shoulder and gripped my rubber gun a bit tighter. A clang rang out from the silence followed immediately by a couple of blood curdling screams and snickers. Glad someone was having fun. I took charge and motioned my partner right and I went left and tried to jerk the door open. Locked. She screamed, “Come out with your hands up!” More clanging and the closet spilled the knife throwing monster. “Get down! Down on the floor!” Thankfully, he complied. I shrieked “Is that a knife hanging out of his pants?!?” The helpful Officer Ron, AKA Officer Giggle, said, "Secure the suspect, search him for weapons!"

Poor & started patting him down. After removing the obvious large knife in his jeans she found a switchblade. Finally, when the suspect groaned. “I’m not a bongo.” she stopped. Success…except for the unfortunate knifing early in the incident…and the screaming like little least I didn’t wet my pants. I can hold my head up.

So, citizen’s of my city and the surrounding ones. Be very grateful that I am not one of the city’s finest, and be grateful for the ones you have.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Kitchen Sink Burger

Serendipitous burger of yumminess

I'm going to dub this burger the Kitchen Sink Burger...because I think you could put just about anything but the kitchen sink into it and end with a tasty result.

I had some sauteed vegetables on hand. And a soup. The soup was a fail. Okay. That's strong. It wasn't a fail, it just wasn't the best. A little sour but kind of lacking in taste. It contained potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemon, chard, white beans, garlic, cauliflower and vegetable broth. And it was actually a recipe I followed that was so-so. And I added several bits of leftovers to it to increase the flavor...and it just wasn't happening. I've frozen soups like that in the past for future use, hoping to revive them with more flavor down the road. But this time I had a brain storm. I was starving and I wondered if it couldn't be a building block for a burger.

1 cup of creamed soup. Take whatever chunky soup (or sauce) you want to use up, dump it in the food processor or Vitamix and liquefy it. I ended up with several cups which I froze for future use. Think along the lines of the flavor family in your soup because with that flavor base you will pick your bean..
1 can cooked beans (drained) (1 2/3 cups of cooked beans if you make and freeze your own. I used white with this recipe. (If your soup/sauce is salsa style, use black, Middle-eastern based soup, use lentils...etc.)
1 cup leftover or sauteed veggies. (I used onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach)
1/2 cup oatmeal (or grain of choice either cooked or soaked if you aren't using oatmeal)
1/2 cup nuts of choice
1/2 cup gluten flour
(If your soup was flavorless you could add a bit more spice now. Like a teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, fresh ground pepper, cumin)

The soup is already in your food processor. Add all the other ingredients except the gluten flour. Whir. Not too much, but so it's a nice even texture. Add the flour and knead for a few minutes. 

Form into patties. 6-8 regular burgers, 10 mini burgers.

Grease a pan and fry each side until crusty. Serve with lettuce, mustard, sauteed veggies, onions, lettuce, tomato, sauce, BBQ sauce.

If you need an easy and delish bun recipe, here's one.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Mysterious Farm Fun

Late breaking farm report. 

Ha. Ha. Just call me Les Nessman. If you don’t get that, WKRP in Cincinnati. If that doesn’t do anything for you, then just move on, there’s nothing for you to see in this paragraph, folks.

The farm was abounding in a plethora of produce once again. (Yes. Blew through two vocab words there.) This time there was no picking for us. We jumped into the washing/packing mode immediately. We were a bit short-staffed. The CSA has grown considerably since last year. Tuesdays of 2011 involved 12 or 13 whole shares and 12 or 13 half shares depending on the day. We had three/four packers/pickers working most Tuesdays.

2012 brings 12 whole shares and 27 half shares. Uh, yeah. Let me break down what a share is. A community supported or sustained agriculture share (CSA) is a fixed price and a fixed number of weeks. A purchaser buys a full share which costs our subscribers $550 for the season or a half share which is $300. (I may be slightly off, but those are the numbers I’m using. So deal. Ha. Ha.) This fee is paid upon entering into the relationship and guarantees the farmer a seasonal income and gives her some upfront money to buy seeds, pay staff, buy wood chips, fencing, all that stuff that goes into running a farm.) In exchange the purchaser gets a box (or a box+ during produce busting weeks). The half share is exactly half of a full share. So if a full share gets a pound of asparagus, the half share gets ½.  Our share is a volunteer share which means we work our little fingers to the bone for our goodie box. (If you want this kind of arrangement in your neck of the woods google CSA in your town and ask if they do volunteer shares, so worth it especially if you love getting dirty etc.)  Another benefit to our arrangement is that sometimes we have extras that we can take like mildly bruised, misshapen or superabundant goodies.) The full shares work out to about 25 bucks a week. This prepurchases pounds of produce. Example last Tuesday = a pound of asparagus. ½ pound of spinach, lettuce (each), a handful of radishes and green garlic. A Napa cabbage that weighed about three pounds, kale and chard and some rosemary and sage. And all of this is as fresh and local as it gets and ORGANIC. Yeah. Definitely worth the price. Especially when it works out to about $4.00 a pound. And this was a light week.

Okay back to my original story. So washing, packing and sorting for 39 boxes. Oy. Let’s just say it took awhile. Oh. We get a trail mix snack that is lovingly put together by one of the Farmers, I am going to call her Grasshopper because she learns well from #1 Farmer (another cultural/media  reference…) And sun tea. :  ). We expect this. Trust me. And she delivers.

While we were packing away the #1 Farmer came in from the field and dropped into a chair. She picked the entire five hours that we little mice prepped. She ate her snack.

And then we entered the Twilight Zone. Strange things began to happen.

#1 Farmer suddenly noticed little grubs on her hand. We see bugs. Every week. Some are good bugs like the Lady Bugs who are escorted back out into the big outdoors. Others are quickly dispatched. Most items are immersed in water, spun dried, handled several times and packed. So these mystery bugs? None of us had seen them, knew from whence they came or what their mission was. Like they just materialized from the air. Mystery #1. Then as we began closing up the boxes and loading them into their proper place, #1 Farmer lifted one and water poured out of it. Not dripped, poured. Everything stopped. We stared at it. I think each of us kind of wondered if the water might turn into blood or pea soup or grubs or something equally disturbing. Being a practical woman, the farmer opened the box, took out the contents and looked at the bags. Nothing. Mystery #2.

Driving home we scanned the horizon for unfamiliar landmarks and reoccurring visuals of black cats. (media reference...Matrix – again, if you don’t get it, just move forward.)

On Wednesday Mystery #2 was solved when & picked up a peeing carton. The Napa cabbage...the little buggars held their water well. Actually, not so well. But with comic timing and slightly awkward results.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Serials and Scenarios~I Cleaned My Purse...and You Should, Too.

Won't you join me?

Look at my purse. For starters, it's too small for what I need to carry around. (I always have a book with me since I'm a reviewer with too many books to read and too little time. That way I can read while I wait.) 

And not only is it too was full of this type of junk. 

Okay. I may have broken an unspoken rule when cleaning out my purse. I stinkin changed purses. BUT, in my defense, I have deleted some stress and feel more organized with a purse I can actually zip without risking putting an eye out. The new one has lots of inner (and big enough outer pockets)...and it is green. Not just in color, it was a garage sale find. The tiny purse is out of here, too. It's in the going-to-a-new-home box. I feel better. 

Now. Here's how you can feel better, too.

National Clean Out Your Purse Day is May 15th    Read the details on How to Clean Your Purse Below then  Go here and comment . I CLEANED OUT MY PURSE  and for kicks post the weirdest thing you found within. (Mine. Two peppermints that had become one with their wrappers and might have been headed toward becoming synthetic diamonds and three paperclips.) You can be entered for a drawing to win a Vera Bradley tote with an assortment of Kathi's books.

And like Kathis author page here to receive Kathis free download 30 Ways to Save 30 Minutes in the Next 30 Days to kick start your way to a more organized you!

How to Clean Your Purse Instructions

Here’s my super-speedy way of cleaning out my bag. I simply take my purse and dump it out into a plastic grocery bag. I sort the dump into Put Away, Put Back, and (in this case) Throw Away.
Put Away
Anything I want to keep that doesn’t belong in my purse gets put away. This is also when I go through receipts I’ve carefully placed in my wallet (or, more likely, the ones I’ve quickly thrown into my purse…) and random notes or other pieces of paper. If you’re away from home while you’re sorting, just put these items into another bag to put away when you get home. And when you get home, put them away in the right spot.
Put Back
If it belongs in your purse, go ahead and put it back into your purse.
Throw Away
Anything that’s left over in your plastic grocery bag (food wrappers, cash receipts you don’t care about, and so on,) is now garbage that gets recycled or thrown away.
The beauty of the grocery-bag organizing system is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Just grab a grocery bag and start sorting while you’re waiting for your kids to get out of band practice or while you’re on the phone with your mom.
Clean it Up
Give your purse a good shake and get out any stray bits, crumbs etc. I’ve even used a hand held vacuum to really get the bag clean.
Label It and Put It Away
Assign a spot for everything that belongs in your purse, bag, or backpack. I use three zippered pouches. Everything goes into one of those three pouches or into your wallet (or in rare cases, onto your key chain). The fewer items you place in your purse, the easier it is to know what’s in there.
Wallet. I recommend you keep in your wallet only cash, receipts, checkbook, and credit, debit, and gift cards.
Pouch 1: Makeup bag
  • Lipstick and gloss
  • Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Sunscreen stick
  • Blush and brush
  • Eyeglass cleaner wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
Pouch 2: Emergency kit
  • Fashion tape
  • $20
  • Needle and thread
  • Nail glue
  • Advil
  • Couple of adhesive bandages
Pouch 3: Change
Other Things to Keep in Your Bag
  • Sunglasses case
  • Cell phone
  • Keys
Keep It Up
If I sort through the items in my purse once a week, it really is easy to stay on top of it. It takes only a couple of minutes to keep it up.

Back to Kelly: A few thoughts.

Below is a bit about Kathi and her Get Yourself Organized Project. I've not read the whole book. But what I've read is a freeing, helpful series of suggestions. She doesn't push people to conform to an unrealistic and doomed-to-fail scenario for organizing. She helps readers see what works best for them and encourages them to do what it takes to really make that work.

The Get Yourself Organized Project
Finally, an organizational book for women who have given up trying to be Martha Stewart but still desire some semblance of order in their lives.
Most organizational books are written by and for people who are naturally structured and orderly. For the woman who is more ADD than type A, the advice sounds terrific but seldom works. These women are looking for help that takes into account their free-spirited outlook while providing tips and tricks they can easily follow to live a more organized life.
Kathi Lipp, author of The Husband Project and other “project” books, is just the author to address this need. In her inimitable style, she offers
  • easy and effective ways women can restore peace to their everyday lives
  • simple and manageable long-term solutions for organizing any room in ones home (and keeping it that way)
  • a realistic way to de-stress a busy schedule
  • strategies for efficient shopping, meal preparation, cleaning, and more
Full of helpful tips and abundant good humor, The Get Yourself Organized Project is for those who want to spend their time living and enjoying life rather than organizing their sock drawer. 

Author Bio
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the of The Husband Project: 21 Days to Loving Your Man—on Purpose and with a Plan, The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love and Laughter, and The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You’ve Always Wanted and The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution. She is a frequent guest on Focus on the Family and dozens of other radio programs.
Church leaders and women’s ministry directors rely on Kathi to help women move from living out of obligation to enjoying godly passion. She speaks to thousands of women across the US and Canada every year.
Kathi and her husband, Roger, are the parents of four young adults and live in San Jose, California. Find out more about Kathi at
Purchase Links
Link To Kathi’s Reader’s Freebies
Reader's Freebies
Kathi’s author page on Facebook:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Scraps and Snippets ~ Vegan Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

2 Cups Brown Rice
2 cans (14 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid (or equivalent fresh tomatoes and a bit more veggie broth)
1 and 1/2 cups veggie broth or bouillon
Heat of your choice, red pepper flakes, small can of diced green chiles, 1 TBSP of hot pepper paste (I went with the last choice and I wanted a little more bite)
1 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 clove of minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder, 1 TBSP dehydrated onions or 1/4 of a small diced onion.

Toss all into a large pan and cook according to directions until rice absorbs all the liquid. (I used quick cooking rice from Trader Joe's so it took about 20 minutes. Great flavor.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Soul Saver...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Soul Saver
• Barbour Books (May 1, 2012)
Dineen Miller


Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family.

Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader, and a small group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth.

In addition to writing for Spiritually Unequal Marriage, Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and her devotional writing has been featured in Our Journey and Christian Women Online Magazine. She’s also a C.L.A.S.S. Communicator and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Family Life and Focus on the Family Radio.

Married for 24 years to a guy who keeps her young, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two adult daughters, who surprise her daily with their own creativity.

She is the co-author of Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage and the author of The Soul Saver.


When Trusting God Is the Only Way Out

On an average day, God started her missions in her sculpting studio, revealing the face of the person she would meet at the grocery store, bank, or playground. The goal was always the same. Reach the lost, bring someone back to God, restore hope. But then came the tough missions—the ones that sent Lexie Baltimore into real battle. And she had a few battle scars to show for it.

Tormented that she can’t reach the one person she loves the most—staunch atheist and husband Hugh—Lexie finds her own hope waning when the battle comes to her doorstep in the shape of a pastor who represents everything she wants and everything her husband is not—a godly man.

Then false accusations and rumors spin her husband and family into a precarious position, and the only way out is to trust God. But how can she convince her husband when she’s struggling to trust God herself?

This time Lexie is the mission.


“Never before have I felt as if I were seeing someone’s life play out across a page until I read Soul Saver. Dineen Miller's prose had me sighing at the beauty of her word pictures. This is not a book to be missed – Life changing!”
— Robin Caroll, author of the Evil series and Injustice For All

“When you combine stellar writing, intriguing characters, and a fascinating plot the result is a story like Soul Saver. It’s the kind of novel I wish I had written.”
— James L. Rubart, bestselling author of ROOMS, Book of Days, and The Chair

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Soul Saver, go HERE.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm halfway through The Soul Saver. It is the first of Dineen Miller's work I've read. I must say I'll likely pick up any other offerings down the road, too. I can't do a full review because I don't know how it's going to end. But even though my reading time is pinched and hit and miss, this is a book I keep thinking about when I'm not reading it. 

The premise is intriguing with a strong supernatural bent that means the story could go all sorts of places. The writing is strong and visual. I feel for each of the characters, except one, I detest one of them. Shudder. 

If you like supernatural suspense, heavy duty relationship pieces, and emotion engaging reads check out the first chapter at the provided link above.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Law Lessons ~ Go Ahead Make My Day, Punk

I'm just going to put this out there. Suffer the consequences, take responsibility for my actions. 

Unload my soul.

Thursday, I killed a man.

It wasn't pretty. It was a slow, likely painful death. First shot right in the chest...but as I aimed and kept shooting the gun dropped on each following shot. After the chest shot he was still standing and he still had his gun pointed right at me. So I shot him through one of his wife-beater encased love handles then smack dab in the middle of his thigh. He must have been on meth because he kept staring unbelievingly at me, and aiming his blasted gun at my face. Like he was shocked I could actually do it. Finally, I hit him with a few gut shots. 

It was him or me. 
When it was all over my hands shook a bit as I handed in the Glock. I hurried back to safety so quickly I forgot some important paperwork. On the other hand, & was fist-bumped into the good ole boys club. She nailed every shot in a nice tight, controlled manner. Her guy didn't linger. Oh, no. Of course, she would've been in big trouble for the nice shooting had he really been flesh and blood since she stopped him in his tracks with one well-aimed squeeze of the trigger. Her trainer said she was the best shot of the night (well, at the time she was and there were only a few after her, had to throw in that disclaimer). She even went back for a few more rounds with the police assault rifle. Nailed it. AGAIN.

This coming week we get to put into play some of the sweet information we received during the past ten weeks of Citizen's Police Academy. We will get a call into a tense and unknown situation and will get to involve ourselves in a domestic disturbance reenactment. Information of great importance as stressed last week. Secure the location, assess the need for medical assistance and make that call, and separate domestic partners from each other. 

Other helpful information. Never become a close talker even if someone is whispering their little heart out. Close talkers can lose their gun and their life. Never let someone sit where they may have stashed something that could be used as a weapon. And always make sure your back is not exposed to someone who may have access to a baseball bat.

I'm sure I'll do just great. What could go wrong? Besides, I've got a sharp-shooter as a partner.