Friday, December 18, 2015

Day Book 2015.12.18

Outside my is unseasonably mild. We set a new record each day for latest first snowfall. We will not have a white Christmas.

I am thinking...about Christmas. I am not ready, and I am surprisingly calm.

I am thankful...that Boy17 will be on break from classes this week. I can save a little on gas for my minivan.

I am wearing...cotton nightshirt (I'm still in bed.)

I am creating...a planner. Actually, it's been created and uploaded to Lulu and I'm waiting for it to arrive. I'll share more about it when it's here.

I am going... to work then taking Boy11 to karate while I grocery shop.

I am wondering...when the next IS attack will come, and where.

I am reading...I just finished 
The Lady Who Sang HighIt's not my favorite entry in the Reed Ferguson Private Investigator series. But I do like the series. Overall it's one of my favorites.

I am listening 
Christmas with the Rat Pack

I am watching...
Broadchurch. I just finished season 1, it took me a long time to get through it.

I am hoping...this cold I've come down with yesterday afternoon doesn't stick around.

I am learning...humility and meekness.

Around the house...we need to gear up with a good cleaning for Christmas.

In the kitchen...tonight is tacos!

I am we have lost our freedom and our nation is in decline.

A quote ... A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

A favorite new 

I am planning...Christmas gifts and foods.

A photo...

A chocolate rum cake from last Christmas

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Hummus is one of our favorite snacks for Sunday afternoon football watching. And, unlike a lot of other snack foods, it is surprisingly nutritious.

I make my hummus in my food processor. I don't think I could make it without. How did they do it in the old days? Probably a mortar and pestle, grinding by hand. I'll take my thirty-year-old Kitchen Aid over that any day.

Some notes: you do not have to mince the garlic by hand. I throw the whole peeled cloves into the food processor by themselves and whirl for a few seconds. Nicely minced.

You really can't go wrong adjusting the ingredients to taste. Play with the amounts until you get the flavor you like.

I never measure my olive oil. It is the last thing I add, through the pour spout with the food processor on. I just drizzle slowly right out of the bottle until the hummus has a consistency and flavor I like. Sometimes that means stopping and testing, and adding more.

You can serve with traditional pita. I have not mastered pita, though it is on my list. I usually serve with with tortilla chips or veggies.

Is this Real Food? I try to use organic ingredients when I can. We are all at a different place in our journey. Today's batch of hummus was totally organic. I've linked to specific products (affiliate link) where I could. The garlic was organically grown on a friend's farm.

How much does this cost? Using prices I paid locally and online, one batch cost about $8.50.


Recipe By: Philothea @ Domestic Distractions
Serving Size: 8


45 ounces garbanzo beans, drained
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil, or more if needed


Mix In a food processor, mince garlic. Add lemon juice, salt and tahini and process until combined. Add garbanzo beans through the chute, about one can at a time. Drizzle in olive oil until dip is desired consistency.

Linking up with:

Menu Plan Monday
Full Plate Thursday

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Advent Update

I can't believe we are halfway through Advent. Tomorrow is Gaudete Sunday, one of only two days in the year when the Church puts aside her penitential purple for joyful rose.


In the conventional sense, you might say I am behind in my Christmas preparations. Tight budgets can do that, although this year's budget will be more generous than a year ago. I haven't bought a single gift, but this morning I made out my gift list and I have a plan for each person. Well, almost everyone.

I invited some people for Christmas Eve between the Vigil Mass and the late Mass. So instead of our traditional sit-down dinner of spaghetti and sauce and fish cakes, I have planned hors d'oeuvres. We have a small dining room, there is just not space to sit nine or ten people. I decided this year, instead of just not inviting people because our house is small, to get over it and invite them anyway.

Christmas Day we will spend at home, just us. Unless we get an invitation, but I don't see one forthcoming. We usually do this when we aren't traveling, and  it is very peaceful.

Boy17 is planning a get-together for his friends as well, in the week after Christmas. Again, tight space but he wants to host anyway.

With all of this hosting coming up, we will have a project on to declutter and clean. That can't be a bad thing.

Boy17 has been accepted to the faithful Catholic college of his choice, and has already been notified of a scholarship award. We are praying that the aid, scholarships and work study will all work out for him to attend without burying himself in student loan debt.

Boy11 advanced another degree in his karate junior black belt. Karate was the best decision we every made for him. This semester he is surprisingly loving his Shakespeare class at homeschool co-op. He is very excited to be playing Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream up next. Yes, they skip certain scenes. It's done workshop style; they all have scripts and read from / act them out. It's not rehearsed and it's not performed. I was pretty sure when I signed him up he would quit after the first quarter. It's been a pleasant surprise.

Hubbyman continues to be busy at work and at Church. He is putting on a breakfast for the parish tomorrow. His business seems to be status quo, which in this economy I count a blessing.

My Church job is an adventure every day. Who knew what goes on behind the scenes in a parish office? I am also gearing up for my seasonal job which will start in January. My eBay store is doing okay, I'm at least not losing money while I divest of lots of books we just don't need anymore. I wish sales were more brisk, but used books are not movers.

I picked up an old manuscript I worked on about six years ago. I have all new ideas for it, and I think I can work the characters and premise, which I happen to really like, into a decent romance along the theme of healing from the sexual wounds of our current culture of death.

I've got a pretty tight schedule from here on out until Christmas. I worked up a new planner for myself which I just ordered from Lulu. If I like it, I might put up a generic one for public consumption. You'll be the first to know. I'm trying to live it and appreciate it and thank God for it every day. As my one friend always reminds me, "God is good all the time!"

Friday, August 14, 2015

7 Quick Takes 2015.08.14

  1. Tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but we don't have to go to Mass. Am I alone in being irritated by this? We need more Mass, not less! Tomorrow also starts the 54 Day Novena. Let us pray!
  2. I am trying to declutter and clean to make my house more welcoming and less of a mess. We have some opportunities for hospitality coming up in the next few weeks and I would like to be proud (in a good way) of our home.
  3. Boy17 got in to all the classes he wanted at the local U. Boy10's education plan is due to the school district - tomorrow - yikes! No, haven't started it yet. Boy17 was at camp all week, so Boy10 and I spent some time at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. Of course, we had to meet SharkGirl.
  4. Still working on those monthly financials for HubbyMan's business. Still.
  5. Had a staff lunch meeting today that was just the nicest, most wonderful meeting. Looking forward to doing that again.
  6. I spent a lot of time this week making improvements to the blog and to my ebay store. I'm trying to link them up and have consistent "branding." I sold three books last weekend, which is a lot for me. So something must be working right. I also jumped on Pinterest, but am still finding my way as a blogger there.
  7. Made a hair appointment for next week. Yes, this is big for me. I tend to let things go. I'm trying to be more scheduled with my haircuts instead of letting things get out of hand.
Linked up with 7 Quick Takes Friday

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Taco Seasoning

I've finally tweaked a recipe for homemade taco seasoning. Goodbye single serve envelopes with all your chemicals and landfill waste. The cornstarch gives it that nice thickening quality missing in many homemade recipes I've found. Substitute arrowroot powder if you'd prefer to avoid corn.

No, it's not sand art!
Taco Seasoning

Recipe By: Philothea
Serving Size: 4
Yield: 1 batch


1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Combine all ingredients. Sprinkle over one pound of browned ground beef. Add 1/2 cup water and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Couldn't be simpler. I made up a quintuple batch tonight after it received the "seal of approval" from Boy10. Can this be real food? Yes, everything can be sourced organic or "real." I'm not quite there yet, still working on my conventional spices and switching out to organic as they are used up. Baby steps! I've only linked the ingredient list to real products I've actually used.

Linking up with:

Friday, August 7, 2015

7 Quick Takes 2015.08.07

Seven quick things for today:

  1. I am trying to make a habit of saying the Liturgy of the Hours, at least the "major" hours of Morning, Evening and Night. I use the iBreviary app for my iPhone or iPad.
  2. I started brewing water kefir last week. I'm on my third batch. So far, so good, but I'm still getting used to it.
  3. Boy17 will be taking college courses exclusively for his senior year of high school. The plan is to take five course over the next two semesters. With the nine credits he already has, he should graduate high school with 24 credits next June.
  4. I am four months behind on bookkeeping for HubbyMan's business. He is three months behind getting me the information. It's all fun and games until tax time, when we pay the piper for the carefree dancing of the summer!
  5. I love my new(ish) boss. Have I said that already? Love him!
  6. I am gearing up my eBay Store for some serious offloading of excess books in this house. Mostly homeschool and children's books at this point. Everything is on sale 10% off for the next month or so, too.
  7. I need a vacation day, badly. There is not one in sight. I don't mean a vacation from just my day job (see number 5. above). I mean a day, just for me, with nothing to do and no one to take care of.

Linking up with 7QTF

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day Book 2015.07.18

Outside my is hot. This has been a very mild summer in the Great Lakes. No complaints from me, really. We deserve every minute of it after last winter. But today, it's hot. I'm good until it's about 80, then I melt. Today I melted.

I am thinking...about schedules and calendars and getting things done. I am spending too much time online and not enough doing things in the real world.

I am thankful...that the nasty virus that made everyone but me violently ill seems to have run it's course.

I am wearing...cotton top, broomstick skirt.

I am creating...a new daily planning sheet. A way to attack my day. I need it, I missed an appointment this morning because I forgot to look at my calendar.

I am going... Mass tomorrow and an anniversary party for our new pastor. He is a priest 25 years this week. Bless him, he is so humble and wonderful.

I am wondering...about where this nation is heading. Actually, I'm pretty certain we're a lost cause. I wonder how bad the carnage will be, what life will be like for my children and grandchildren.

I am reading...Greenmantle by John Buchan. The sequel to The Thirty-nine Steps. I downloaded all six Richard Hannay novels for Kindle.

I am listening to...It's in the Way that You Use It by Eric Clapton on

I am watching...George Gently, Series 6.

I am hoping...Boy17 has a safe trip home from Franciscan U tomorrow. Last time I saw him, he was Boy16! He is all grown up now and I am so proud of him.

I am learning...detachment. Still.

Around the is cluttered. Detachment. Still learning.

In the kitchen...hamburgers for dinner with a cucumber salad.

I am pondering...salvation. What is heaven like? Who is there? Will I get there?

A quote ... A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

A favorite iPhone 6.

I am start blogging more!

A photo...
Boy10 earned his junior black belt in karate!

Linked up with The Simple Woman's Daybook 
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