Positive conversations with old and new friends. I'd love for you to join me on my back porch.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chick-Fil-A Back in the News

Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in…”

This week in Birmingham, Alabama Chick-Fil-A displayed the biblical principals it believes in. As bad weather hit Birmingham this week, Mark Meadows sent his employees home. A few hours later many of them trickled back to work. The roads were so bad that they couldn't make it home. Their restaurant is about one and a half miles from the interstate where many cars were at a stand still. Mark and his employees fixed chicken sandwiches and distributed them to as many stranded motorists as they could. Later they opened the restaurant up for anybody who needed shelter from the storm, and the next morning they fixed chicken biscuits for people. They did all of this without asking for any money.

I'm so proud of Mark and the other Chick-Fil-A employees who gave food and shelter to those stranded in the winter storm.

Way to go y'all!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Next up, Kale

I've heard of people growing kale and eating kale burgers as an alternative to fat-filled hamburgers.

I haven't tried kale burgers yet, but I've tossed kale into my salads. The flavor is not too strong, and Tim and Scott didn't complain when I added it to the salads. However when I added it to a smoothie, they weren't interested. The flavor didn't detract from the fruit in the smoothie, but my blender didn't get it smooth enough. There were a few crunchy places, but a better blender might solve that problem.

Kale is super rich in vitamin K, so if you're on blood thinners you want to avoid it.

Kale is also a good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. There are only thirty-three calories per cup. It also contains large amounts of vitamins A and C. It's a good source of antioxidants with many anti-cancer health benefits.

Kale is also high in fiber and helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cooked kale is supposed to be better than raw according to some studies, but so far I've not tried it cooked. Most of the research I've read suggests cutting kale into half inch segments and steaming is best way to eat for the most nutrient impact.

What about you? Have you tried kale? How do you like it?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chia Seeds

On my quest to live and eat healthier, I decided to try chia seeds. In case you're wondering why here are a few reasons.

Some studies are beginning to show chia seeds slow down digestion and in the presence of liquid form a gelatinous coat which can stop our blood sugar from spiking. This is a great benefit diabetics and everybody.

Chia seeds also have calcium. At this point in my life extra calcium is good for my bones. The bag recommends one tablespoon of chia seeds a day. I sprinkle them on my cereal or yogurt every morning which is extra calcium.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber which will help lower cholesterol.

I've noticed that I stay full longer after eating chia seeds in the morning. Another thing I discovered is that you don't want to eat chia seeds in public because they are tiny black balls that can stick between your teeth. I always brush right after eating them.

Some research says chia seeds contain tryptophan. So besides keeping you full longer, the tryptophan may help regulate your appetite and improve your mood.

Chia seeds also contain protein. They are high in antioxidants and during flu and cold season, I want all the antioxicants I can get.

So far I'm enjoying my chia seeds. I'm sure I won't enjoy every new healthy thing I try this year, but chia seeds are a keeper.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Seed Bombing

Fifty-four degrees and sunny today. As I ran errands I longed for spring. Warm weather and flowers are some of my favorite things.

Have you ever heard of seed bombing? I discovered it's a movement where people make seed balls and then bomb unsightly areas. A seed ball is a combination of water, clay, and a variety of seeds. Don't limit yourself to your own backyard. What about unsightly curbs, forgotten industrial yards or an abandoned house?

Find your target and drop your bomb.

Here are some areas of my yard that I can't wait to bomb.

Let's not limit ourselves to the directions on seed packages. Don't let the nursery do all the work for you. Pick an area and surprise yourself.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Live Each Day to the Fullest

Some of you know that I had a close call with cancer. I'm blessed to announce that my biopsy came back benign. One of the things I did during the waiting period was think about how to live healthier.

I was challenged to eat vegetarian for twenty-one days. I'm in the middle of that now and have discovered I don't miss meat that much. Scott has been home for Christmas break, and as I've cooked I've put meat in meals for Tim and Scott. So far I haven't felt deprived.

I've eaten a lot of salads the past twelve days. I discovered adding avocado to my salad makes it more filling.

Another thing I was sad to discover was changing to vegetarian has not caused me to lose any weight. But that's okay. All the fruits and vegetables have got to be doing some good.

Scott had an unexpected surgery three days before my procedure. He was forced to lie down or recline in the La-Z-Boy. The unexpected blessing was we got to spend more time together as a family. We cared for him and just sat in the same room to be ready if he needed anything. He's healing and headed back to college tonight.

We never know what the future holds for us. I'm going to try to live each day to the fullest this year. I hope you do too!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


My word for 2014 is diligence.

I've been writing for a while now, and it'd be easy to give up. But I'm not. I'm going to continue writing and hope to honor God one day with my stories.

Merriam-Webster defines diligence as “preserving application” and the synonym is “attentive and persistent effort."

Dictionary.com defines diligence as "constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything."

I shared my story with you of refinishing the sideboard because more than once I considered giving up. I wasn't qualified to refinish a piece of furniture. But I asked around and investigated on the Internet before tackling the project.

I study the craft of writing and work on my stories most days. I'll continue diligently to improve my craft and hope one day to get published.

I hope you all have goals for 2014 that honor God. Don't give up the good fight to spread the good news of Jesus.

2 Peter 1:5-7 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Part 2

Now I have the sideboard in my family room, and we let Caleb leave. Bill looks at me and we know I'm in trouble. Brooke and Allie are with him, and Brooke knows there's a problem also. Allie's just happy to crawl around.

We begin moving furniture to accommodate this new addition. And when I say we, I mean Bill. He moved the couch, one of my big chairs and ottoman, and the Lazy-Boy recliner. At last I send him home and await the verdict from Tim.

When he arrives home late Saturday night, he decides the furniture is not quite right either. Now we're trading out chairs from the downstairs and our bedroom with chairs in the family room. At last we arrive with an arrangement we decide to live with for a while.

The only thing left is to add knobs. You may remember we broke the locks on two doors. We now need to drill holes for the knobs to go on other places of the door.

I make my second trip to the hardware store to pick out wooden knobs. I paint them, and Tim begins the process of drilling holes. The very first drill bit breaks. To make a long story short, we end up back at the hardware store to buy a new drill. The clerk told Tim if he could wait until Friday, the drill would be on sale. Tim bought it anyway.

After much struggling he got all the knobs on. Remember this is old furniture and not some lame plywood.

Without further ado..... my new/old distressed French sideboard.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year

Last summer I bought an old sideboard with the intentions of fixing it up to put in my family room. I knew it was big when I saw it at the shop, but it seemed to grow on the trip home. The task of restoring it grew too.

It had a veneer surface. The man I bought it from assured me it could be stripped off. That didn't work so well. Some sections did peel off, and others would not budge. Then there were areas that had already peeled away. Two doors were locked shut with no key in sight. We tried many different antique keys with no luck.

Solution? Break the locks. Now all doors and drawers can open and close.

Thus began the sanding and filling in holes.

We sanded so much and tried to wipe the waste way with little success. At last Tim opened the garage door, we pushed the sideboard out to the driveway, and he grabbed the leaf blower. Sand and dust flew everywhere. I have no idea what the neighbors thought, but it worked.

We did a little more patching, and then Tim had to leave. So I'm home alone with the sideboard. I allowed the last patches to dry a few hours and then started the first coat of paint. I was going for a French distressed look, and the lady where I bought the paint explained the entire process to me.

On goes the first coat of Old Ochre. I let it dry a few hours and painted on the second coat of Old Ochre.

The next morning I paint the first coat of Duck Egg. And disaster strikes. Places begin to bubble up. After it dries, I cut the bubbles out and begin the process over on these areas.

I'm determined to conquer this project. So after fixing the bubbles, I distress certain areas. Tim claimed the entire process distressed him. Ha!

I'm home alone once more and begin the process of waxing. When my oldest son, Bill, gets off work he comes over with his brother-in-law, Caleb, and they move the sideboard into my family room.

You might notice it overpowers my furniture with its massive size.

Check out my dog. He even looked worried.
I'll finish this story in my next post.


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