Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Best Year of My Life?

It has now been over 30 years since I graduated from high school.  I don't remember a lot about my classes - I was an above average student and I passed my classes, nothing noteworthy about that.  What I mean is, I wasn't striving to get the highest GPA nor did I have to worry about passing a certain class in order to graduate - I as pretty run of the mill.

I remember thinking that since it was my senior year, I needed to be more involved and make memories.  I became the president of two clubs:  FTA (Future Teachers of America) and FHA (Future Homemakers of America).  Oddly enough, I am now both a teacher (I homeschool) and I am a homemaker.

Becoming part of the SGA (Student Government Association) was always, more or less, a popularity contest but fortunately for me, my senior year it was an application process and I won!!  Well, in my homeroom anyway!  :)

It was a good year and I'm glad I did the things I did but I would't refer to it as the best year of my life.  Lots of living has gone on since then and several events would qualify, in my book, as the best times of my life.

The years that I became content with my life as a single adult, drawing close to God, only to see Him suddenly bring me "the one" He wanted me to spend my life with.

Years of waiting for children, followed by God showing His Faithfulness in a very specific way.  Yes those were hard years but also the good times as He showed me the good things He had in store for me.

The years of sickness, kidney disease, dialysis and transplant wouldn't typically be considered the best times of anyone's life, but they too are the years filled with the grace of God and His faithfulness as He showed me He could take care of all my needs.  I recently read this on Twitter:  The Peace of God transcends all understanding is most often revealed through suffering.  This I have found to be true.

Enjoy your Senior Year - it truly is a time of excitement, but just remember:  There are a lot more wonderful moments ahead of you waiting.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Post I'm Just Now Publishing

This is the post that I have been sitting on for awhile now.  About a year ago I jotted down a bunch of notes on how "things" (my life) didn't go the way I thought they would, and then I stuck it in my planner so I could think on it awhile before I actually wrote the blog post.  It's emotional for me because it shows a lot of ways that I have failed.  If you have a problem with me calling myself a failure, then I would say the post shows a lot of things I regret.  It's a deeply personal post, although when you finish reading it you might think I've being overly dramatic.  That's okay too!  Probably 100% of my posts could be rated "G" but I think I will give this one a "PG" just because it is so real.  So, here goes...

Things Didn't Go The Way I Thought They Would

kids
marriage
homeschool
homemaker

Kidney Disease interfered

kids.
There was not enough energy to do ll that I had planned to do during their growing up years.  Extra weight from dialysis also slowed me down.  Did they miss out?

marriage.
My hubby has been there through thick and thin - much support.  I hope he doesn't feel like he's a caretaker now.  The side-effects from all the meds affected me in many ways - including personal and private.  I don't feel very attractive, and what's worse, I don't much care.

homeschool.
All those plans!  Some days it was a real struggle to teach when I was on dialysis.  There were missed days (and catch ups!) due to appointments surgeries, hospital stays...  Energy, or lack of it, put many plans on the sidelines.

homemaker.
Such a poor job (on my part) when it comes to meals, cleaning etc.  It's often a half-ass job or sometimes it's not done at all.  I do want to do and be more.

Is kidney disease what my boys will remember about their childhood?

Was/Am I Enough?



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Family Favorite: Baked Penne Pasta

This recipe has been adapted over time but was originally found at The Protective Diet.  It was originally called "Baked Ziti" but we only make it with Penne!  Even though I would call this a very easy recipe, I still make it in stages:  cook pasta, press tofu, make the tofu "Ricotta" and mix together.



Baked Penne Pasta

1 block of extra firm tofu
1 lemon, juiced
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 t salt
pepper to taste
1/4 - 1/2 c nutritional yeast
1/2 lb of spinach
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 lb pasta of choice

Press your tofu and set aside.  Cook your pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

When your tofu is ready (I press mine anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour), use a fork and crumble it in a big bowl.   Add to the tofu:  lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.  Stir in the spinach and spaghetti sauce.  Mix all together with the pasta and pour into a large casserole dish.  Cover with foil and ad bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.








Monday, April 13, 2015

"Cheeze" Sauce

Since going plant-based, I have tried numerous cheeze sauces.  I've made it with several different bases:  flour, beans, and even with potatoes & carrots.

A couple of weeks ago I found a new favorite and have made it several times since.  It is called Macaroni Oaty Cheese Sauce from FatFree.com.  I've not made it as macaroni and Cheese but I am sure it is delicious that way.

I have used it mostly as cheese dip, served with baked tortilla chips, but I have also spread it on veggie burgers.  With the pimento bits in the recipe, it reminds me of pimento cheese - and I've eaten it on a sandwich as well.  I suspect if I had a more powerful food processor, the pimentos would have been blended better and completely incorporated into the cheese sauce.

It is an easy sauce to put together and besides the pimentos, I normally have all the ingredients on hand.  I think that is probably another reason why I love this recipe so much!


OATY CHEESE 

2 cups water 
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal 
1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
2 Tbsp cornstarch 
2 Tbsp lemon juice 
1/2 Tbsp onion powder 
1 1/2 tsp salt 
1 (4 oz) jar diced pimento 

Place all ingredients except macaroni in a blender and process several minutes until very smooth and well blended. Pour into a saucepan, cook and stir until thickened.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday


Quick, simple, easy and delicious:  rice, steamed frozen vegetables and a "gravy" I made with vegetable broth and a little cornstarch. I threw in some spices while it simmered. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weekly Preparations

Can I just jump right in after my long absence? Thank you!

Like many Americans, I use the first of the new year to motivate me to get completely on track (meaning I wasn't completely off) of eating 100% No oil,  WFPBD (whole foods plant-based diet). 

This time around things are little different. My scales bit the dust months ago and I have not decided if I will replace them. Every morning I do wish I could step on the scales and see how I am doing, but to be honest I know that I am doing well I'm supposed to do and that in time I will see progress. There's just something about seeing those numbers go down though, so we will see.

Today I  felt well enough (not much joint pain or energy loss) to spend some time in the kitchen while my boys were at basketball practice. 

I made baked tortilla chips because they are a favorite with my guys. They like to eat them every day so my hopes are to make them every couple of days, if they last that long. I have written about tortilla chips in the past and will be revisiting this subject in the next few days. After much tweaking, I have found the best method of making these chips crispy the way that my family likes. 

I also started a batch of dough in my breadmaker. I have been toying with the idea of making mini-pizzas and freezing the crust ahead of time so they would be ready on school days (we homeschool).  I divided up the dough and froze some of it and pre-baked the rest, which will also go in the freezer.

I also baked a batch of Happy Herbivore's Surprise Cake (I made them muffins) and started the rice maker for my lunch.  Since I was already freezing most of what I had made, I made extra rice and ended up freezing 6 cups and eating one. I did this by scooping the rice into a one cup measure, turning it out on a paper plate and freezing. When it is all completely frozen, I will pile all of them into a gallon sized baggie and store them for later use. Two minutes in the microwave will give you hot rice, ready to eat. 

Now, I am completely bushed, but I do feel good about my preparations for the week. My kitchen is a horrendous mess because I am not very good at "cleaning as you go".  Thankfully this week as well help me with the cleanup.


Friday, January 2, 2015

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