The Last Day 2014

It was not my intention when I sat down to spend some quiet time with God this morning to take a year-end inventory however, if I have learned anything in the years I have walked with the Lord it is that it is not really about me and what I want but what He has for me.

My pastor has made the comment to take the lesson and leave the luggage. In order to do this we need time to reflect. I believe that God is constantly talking to us. There are always lessons, miracles, wisdom to be gleaned from life experiences however we need to take the time to examine life as it occurs not simply let it pass by. I have tried to be more consistent with this in 2014. I still have much opportunity to improve but so what?!

So as sat this morning quietly reading and sipping my coffee I asked myself what have been the most important lessons learned this year? How have I grown? Where do I need to focus as January rounds the corner because where my focus is will get my attention.

Lessons learned(in no particular order):

Trust God. He has a plan. That plan is better than mine. He will provide the plan when I am ready.

This may seem like a no brainer but all too often I still go about my life doing what I want and hoping it is what God wants too. You can read a past post here is you would like to see how I learned this lesson. The part about the plan is revelatory(for me). I know that things always happen in His perfect time yet this morning He whispered that the plan is revealed when I am ready. Hmm…a partnership, co-laborer in His kingdom?!

Write things down. I remember better when it has been written. Things that happen during the day are important. People and interactions matter, so make notes.

Keep a journal. This is a place to record your thoughts and elaborate on feelings. One of my favorite quotes is “thoughts are disentangled as they pass through our fingerstips”~ Dawson Trotman.

I have taken to writing the names of each patient I interact with during the day. It helps me to remember who they are but more importantly I use it as a prayer reminder lifting each one up throughout the day.

Only this moment is guaranteed, the next is not. Live life with purpose. Be intentional in everything. Set goals. Take risks. Give Glory to God. Say things that are important. Be sure to give time to what is important to me—this should be people(note to self). Love everyone. Always. But especially when you don’t feel like it.

Enough said.

Happy New Year Everyone! Praying that 2015 brings you love, joy and peace.

~ Paige

 

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I ate brussels sprouts (and lived)

I have read that you either love or hate brussels sprouts. I have never been a fan of the miniature cabbage heads. The last time I “tried” them was 2 Thanksgivings ago when my sister brought some to join the feast. I took a “no thank you serving”, that is what we call it on our house when you really don’t like or want to try something new. Anyway, I ate a couple but just didn’t like them.

Last week when I picked up my first load of veggies from the CSA brussels sprouts were among the bins, the sign read “take two stalks”. Now you don’t have to take anything you do not want but I am paying for it so if figure what the heck, my husband likes them so I can fix for him. So I came home with my 2 stalks.

First I needed to research how to keep these little cabbage heads. A quick google search revealed that removing from the stalk and placing in a bowl in the fridge is all that is needed to keep the sprouts fresh for a couple of weeks.

When you get ready to use them you peel off the outer skins and cut the stalks off and you are good to go.

Next I needed to find a recipe that might change my mind. I scoured Pinterest. I finally found a recipe that sounded fantastic. It called for roasted brussels sprouts and parsnips(also part of the weekly distribution) and a lemon tahini sauce. I had everything I needed to make this right in the kitchen so I decided to give it a whirl.

Trimming the sprouts was fairly time consuming but once in the oven to roast you have time to prepare the tahini sauce. The recipe says that you “drizzle” the sauce over the veggies. My sauce was too thick to drizzle so I just dipped into it but I could have mixed it into the veggies.

So what was my reaction? These were quite tasty even without the sauce. I will make them again for sure. If you are looking for a new way to prepare the sprouts or like me have them on the do not eat list I suggest giving this recipe a try.

“Brussels sprouts are the nerdy girl in high school that got hot.” – Jared Fried

Share Your World- 2014

 

Share your world

 

Joining in the fun hosted by Cee’s photography who I truly hope gets better quickly!

This weeks questions are:

What is your favorite toppings on pizza?

I prefer my pizza white, no sauce. My favorite toppings would likely be listed as spinach and mushrooms although there are several other toppings that would go on the short list. Thin crust, double cut. Ooh yah I can smell it now.

I want to learn more about …

So many things really but for the purposes of this post I will say photography. Perhaps in the near future I will have a chance to take a course.

What are three places you’ve enjoyed visiting?

Tough question really as there are so many things that tantalize my senses when it comes to visiting new places. Probably the most beautiful place I have seen so far is Sedona AZ. We had no idea how glorious the drive would be as we headed south from the Grand Canyon.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Disney World earlier this year. I hadn’t been since I was a little girl, about a year or two after MK opened. Not one single thing I didn’t enjoy.

The English pub in Boston and one the first cruise we ever took. Both have left lasting memories in my mind of great music with the entire pub singing along. Can’t beat that!

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first?I am not a big cupcake fan but if I do eat one I just bite in, frosting and cake together.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

The help I was able to offer to a new patient who was in so much pain on Monday; by Friday she was like a new woman. I felt like I witnessed a miracle.

A week without homework—class is done!

Community Supported Agriculture

 

Photo credit Provider Farm

 

Earlier this year I submitted my name to the wait list of an local CSA. I was excited when last month I received an email informing me that I had the option to buy into the winter and upcoming summer shares.

So what exactly is community supported agriculture?

A CSA is a partnership between the farmer and the shareholder. The purchase of a share is an investment in the upcoming farming season.

What’s in a share?

The CSA I have joined provides organically grown vegetables and herbs. The shareholder can purchase the size share that is most suitable for their family size. Weekly distribution will vary depending on crops in season.

So why join a CSA?

The cost and convenience of purchasing a share from a locally established organic farm makes sense to me. I get the freshest possible produce, grown locally. All of this decreases the cost of transportation reducing pollution. Plus the farm employees local people. It is WIN-WIN-WIN.

What did my first winter share contain?

On Friday I picked up my first winter share of produce. Unlike some programs I can actually pick and choose what I like. I went home with three full grocery bags, recyclable of course. My bags were filled with carrots, watermelon radishes, parsnips, onions, garlic, winter squash, brussel sprouts, cabbage, plus greens—kale, spinach, lettuce, leeks, and bok choy, all being grown in unheated green houses.

Photo credit Provider Farm

On Saturday we made fresh eggs with leeks and spinach for a late breakfast and corned beef with carrots and cabbage for dinner. Completely fabulous food with farm fresh produce in December. Plus it gives me an excuse to try out some new Pinterest recipes.

Below you will find the recipe of the week. I look forward to making this to accompany a farm fresh chicken.

Recipe of the Week:

Maple roasted carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. carrots
  • 1 tbs. oil
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Chop carrots into long matchsticks. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
Roast carrots for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and toss with butter and maple syrup.
Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes until carrots are browned but not burned.
Stir with spatula to coat with glaze and serve.

Credit:

Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Best Books 2014

Love Books

My Goodreads page tells me that I have exceeded my reading goal for 2014! Yay! It is kind of fun to glance back across the year to see where you have traveled in the pages of a book, or  perhaps it’s a new idea or knowledge you have learned as result of reading, or some simple pleasure has been experienced. Whatever it is, books are a way of transporting us out of our circumstances into another place and time.

As 2014 closes itself out I thought it would be fun to create a favorites review list at the end of the year so that maybe a reader of this blog might be intrigued to pick up something I have read.

I enjoyed a few books in the young adult genre this year. My #1 pick is an old favorite to many.

Anne of Green Gables  Anne of Green Gables absolutely delighted me this year. I chose an audio version and was completely enchanted with all of Anne’s antics. I remember reading it is a little girl but don’t think I was as smitten with it then. I encourage you to reengage with your youth by reading or listening to this book.

 

 

 

Unexpected enjoyment came from a free Kindle read. 600 Hours of Edward600 hours of Edward  was a wonderful fictional story about a guy with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s not a medical book at all so don’t be put off. It is a story about how he deals with the world. And his father. This book made me laugh and cry. It gave me something to think about. It showed me something about redemption.

 

 

Storied Life of A.J. Fifry    A story about a book seller this novel caught my eye. It was in my Audible wish list for months prior to actually making the purchase. Once I started to listen I was initially concerned I would not like the story however that soon passed. I adored my time with A.J. and the rest of the characters from Island books.

 

 

Life Lessons     This book is not going to be for everyone. It is authored by 2 physician’s who work with the dying, one being expert Elizabeth Kubler Ross. The chapters each cover a topic learned from those who are facing death. It is not a morbid book whatsoever quite the contrary, it is meant to show the living a perspective of what is important as seen through the eyes of the dying. I probably learned more from this book than any other this year.

 

 

Extreme Medicine     Fabulous. Interesting. Captivating. The life experiences of Dr. Fong fascinated me. It is a medical book but not so complex that the non-medical reader could    not enjoy the book for what it is, a fascinating illustration of the title’s proclamation, “extreme medicine”.

 

 

Five Days at Memorial    This is a book about 5 days at a hospital in New Orleans at the time of hurricane Katrina. The research behind this book is top notch. The story is one of the most thought provoking I have ever heard. As a nurse I was completely intrigued by the circumstances and decisions these professionals faced during a serious crisis. For the first time I truly appreciated just how deserted the people of New Orleans must have felt at a time of such catastrophic devastation. We completely failed as a nation. Our healthcare setting was completely unprepared to handle a crisis of this magnitude. I don’t know if we are better prepared today than we were then. I know this book impacted me personally and professionally like no other in a very long time(perhaps ever). Definitely worth reading or as I did, listening to.

 

Elephant Whisperer    Sometimes a book just reminds you why you love to read, travel into the lives of others becoming immersed in their world. This book was that reminder for me. Who would ever expect a story about a conservationist and a pack of elephants could enchant the way this did? I was moved by what the writer learned from his ventures with the elephants. I was drawn to the bush of South Africa with each chapter. I learned about a world I had no understanding or appreciation for prior to these pages. Another Audible listen, the narrator with his accent was wonderful, adding to the story drawing me in.

 

 

The Golem and the Jinni     Probably my favorite book this year. It is listed as fiction, fantasy, historical and is the debut novel for author Helene Wecker. This book was pure enjoyment for me. The narration was great. The storyline draws the listener into the setting of the early 20th century. The characters are extraordinarily well-developed. It’s a long story but I didn’t want to see it end. I hope the author has other inspiration to delight readers for years to come.

 Where are you Reading

My list is varied. Something for everyone I think. In 2015 I plan to join a few reading challenges on blogs I have recently discovered such as

What about you, did you read any of these novels? What books did you enjoy in 2014? Share a comment or write a blog post and link back. The love of books transports us to new places and experiences. Sharing them with others just expands that enjoyment.