Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

Elves cleaned my house yesterday. That is, elves named Mum and Grammy. I knew they were coming because Dad had called and asked me to make a list, but they did even more than I asked. I love a clean house, but I haven’t kept my house very clean since March – I started having some serious smell sensitivity around the same week as my positive pregnancy test, then I started having to sleep as soon as I got home from work, and then I became unable to even clean up after myself (okay, the last one is an exaggeration, but not too far from the truth). My house looks great! I’m so relieved it’s not even funny.

I love you guys! Thank you SOOO much!

— 2 —

Here’s a 31-week belly and my new ‘do. I got tired of always leaning on my hair and getting it caught in things. After 4 years of no professional haircuts and only a few self-trims of the length, I was ready. It was awesome to have my hair washed, cut, and styled by a professional. I’m sure it will never look as good as it did when I came out of the salon, but then again, it will feel nicer without all the “product” in it anyway.

31 weeks and I think I've finally figured out how to take a picture of myself.

31 weeks and I think I’ve finally figured out how to take a picture of myself.

— 3 —

I saw these awesome early color photographs of Paris earlier this week. I didn’t even realize that they had a form of color photo processing that long ago. They are fascinating and dreamlike.

— 4 —

They announced an April 27 date for the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. I don’t “know” John XXIII that well since he was before my time, but John Paul II became Pope when I was only about a month old. With his long reign, he was “my” pope, and sometimes, even though I read Catholic news all the time, when people say “the pope,” I still think of him. I’m thinking a canonization party would be fun. I’ve been looking up (gluten-free) Polish recipes (pierogi here, kolacky here). Do you think six months is long enough to plan a party that will probably include ten or fewer people ;), where two of them are tiny babes?

— 5 —

I have also been looking up recipes to assemble, keep in the freezer, and put in the crock pot. I think this would really be helpful for after my babies are born. Do you have any favorites? Maybe even things that I can make in just a few minutes rather than making freezer meals, because we have a small freezer and I have a feeling I’m going to want to fill it up with milk for when I go back to work.

— 6 —

Yes, I’m having twins and going back to work. It’s not my first choice, but families have to do what they have to do to make ends meet. Any tips for entrusting your tiny infant to a non-family caregiver or for the time you get to spend together would be greatly appreciated.

— 7 —

I made Six Sisters’ Crockpot Orange Chicken for dinner on Wednesday (and we had leftovers for dinner last night). Oh my yumminess. I know it’s not “real food” but soooo tasty. It tasted like something you get at a Chinese restaurant. I served it over brown rice because that’s my default. Brett liked it so much he got a piece of bread to mop up the sauce on his plate. I will definitely make this one again.

Have a wonderful weekend and God bless you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

I’m so tired. The biggest thing that got me to get out of bed this morning is the fact that I have to turn a timesheet at work today.

— 2 —

I’m hoping to have a restful weekend. I have shopping, laundry, and studying to do, but I’m hoping I can take some time to just relax.

— 3 —

The best meal I made this week: taco potatoes. I got the recipe out of a flyer from my grocery store. It was so quick and easy that I memorized it right then: Brown hamburger, drain. Add taco seasoning (I make my own), a 6-ounce can of tomato sauce, a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (like Ro-Tel), and a cup of frozen corn kernels. Heat through and serve over baked potatoes. Brett didn’t eat his over potatoes, and he said it was just as good. I needed to add that starch because I made the taco seasoning a little too spicy for me.

— 4 —

We’re starting an adult faith formation course that promises to be pretty tough. It’s Fr. John Hardon, SJ’s Basic Catechist Course . It’s an individual correspondence course, but we’re going through it alongside our Dominican Fraternity Chapter and some other guests. We are going to have monthly meetings to discuss what we’ve learned with our Friar and get some of his words of wisdom.

— 5 —

I should start making memes with pictures of my pets. As a matter of fact…

April says "Go Away!"

— 6 —

It looks like I’ll be getting new tires for my car soon, whether I want to or not. I’ve known I needed new tires for over a year (!) but I put it off because they are so expensive! Then last week, there was a storm while I was at work and I almost couldn’t get home because the road I live on was so icy and my tires so bad. Evidently my parents have some information about less expensive tires for me, but when I tried to call back yesterday, no one answered.

— 7 —

Wow. I made it to seven. Too bad I have nothing more to say!

God bless you and give you a good weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

The temperature was over 60F here on Monday. This morning it is 9F and the forecasted high is 17F. What happened to our nice weather?

— 2 —

Along with that nasty cold came snow and ice. I was only about a mile away from my house when I got stopped by a slide-out accident (which didn’t involve me) and then I thought I might not be able to get going again. Thank you to the fire fighters who helped me figure out how to get going again!

— 3 —

Also related to this terrible handling on ice: my car needs new tires badly! I’m going to see if I can get them this weekend. I don’t want this to happen again.

— 4 —

Last night we had pork chops with apples and apricots, cooked in the slow cooker. Oh my goodness, it was tasty! Basically, I browned pork chops in a little coconut oil, put them in the bottom of the slow cooker, added a chopped granny smith apple, a cup of chopped dried apricots, a chopped onion, a little over a cup of chicken broth, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, and some cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and fresh ginger, then cooked on low for six hours. Heavenly. I found the recipe in a paleo cookbook, but since I’m not paleo, I served it with some brown rice (and a side of broccoli, which is fine for paleo). We have leftovers for tomorrow.

— 5 —

We won’t be eating leftovers today because it’s Friday and we have chosen to do penance on Fridays in memory of Christ’s death on the Cross by not eating meat. It can be difficult sometimes, but I feel like it’s the least we can do.

— 6 —

I so badly want to bring some sunshine into this post, but I can’t think of what to say.

— 7 —

I found out some kind of shocking family news yesterday on Facebook. I was so stunned to read my cousin’s status. Here’s a public service announcement: if you have very sad news, do not post about it on Facebook until you are sure that everyone knows about it.

God bless you today and always!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

What I’ve Been Eating

I’ve been on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet since January 4. When the doctor suggested that I do this, I wasn’t sure what I would ever eat, but I have found it fairly easy except for one evening when we were at a catered dinner. In the future, I will call ahead. The problem will be eating away from home. When I prepare the food, I know what is in it.

Breakfasts

Green smoothies – a combination of coconut milk or almond milk with banana and/or berries and spinach or kale and sometimes maple syrup or almond butter

Eggs, any style with fruit

Leftovers

Lunches

Usually leftovers

Salad

Rice cakes with almond butter and fruit

Dinners

I’ll just tell you what I’ve had the last few dinners:

Chicken soup with rice and veggies

Hamburgers with no bun or cheese, carrot salad, broccoli

Grilled chicken breast with frozen fiesta veggies

White bean chicken chili

Broiled fish with baked sweet potato and green beans

Tonight we’re going to have cinnamon chicken, mashed potatoes and salad. It smells delicious.

Last night we actually went out for tacos. We went out for dinner!

 

My coworker Sandy pointed out to me that I would be suffering if I didn’t know how to cook from scratch, but I think a gluten-free diet is possible cooking from mixes and prepared food… but it would cost a lot more. We are frugal and poor. I don’t want to do that.

I have never eaten gluten-free bread. I haven’t had a cookie since 2012. But I’m eating well and I feel healthy. That’s what it’s all about.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Better Late Than Never Edition

— 1 —

I have been thinking about blogging. But you see where thinking gets me. Another Friday with nothing between my Quick Takes from last week and this week’s edition.

— 2 —

This week I’ve been reading up on gluten-free recipes. I reserved a bunch of books from the library and I have slowly been going through them. One seemed really promising, but it’s from Australia, so quite a few of the recipes use products I don’t have available. The one I’ve liked the most so far is Paleo Comfort Foods which features “Paleo” recipes. That means no gluten, no dairy, no legumes, no grains, and no processed foods. It sounds restrictive, but this book has yummy looking recipes. I haven’t tried any yet. I will let you know how trying the recipes turns out.

— 3 —

We’ve got a three-day weekend coming up in a few short hours. Time to honor the contribution of Dr. Martin Luther King to our nation and all its inhabitants.

— 4 —

Are you watching Downton Abbey? I wouldn’t miss it! We watched the first two seasons each within a week because we borrowed them from the library. I love the time to relax and think about the episodes when I’m watching on TV and the anticipation of waiting all week for another one.

— 5 —

I’m trying not to let my nerves get the best of me in regards to fertility treatment. In my case, I would need treatment even if I were not trying to get pregnant. The things my doctor has to do to find out what’s wrong with me are somewhat scary, but the outcome is worth it, whether it is just my health or if I will be healthy and a mother.

— 6 —

Have you read the Daily Decalogue of John XXIII? You can read it here. I printed it out and tacked it to the wall of my cube. What words to live by. I especially like this “Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.”

— 7 —

Prayer requests? I’m going through a lot of anxiety now and I would like to offer it for your intentions. I will pray for all my readers, but if you have a special intention, please leave it in the comments section, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, e-mail it to me – pineconejg (at) gmail (dot) com.

God bless you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

What I Ate Friday

WhatIAteFriday

I’m linking up with my friend Thomas at Identified Catholic for an Advent Catholic identity project: meatless Fridays. I always have meatless Fridays, as an act of penance, but this is not a common practice in today’s Catholic world. Meatless Fridays used to be a part of our culture, and Friday is still a day of penance, year round. We are permitted in the United States to choose another penance for Friday, but let’s face it:  who really does?

So, many people are trying meatless Fridays at a time other than Lent for the first time. And, we’re sharing what we eat. Without further ado, here is my December 7 dinner: cheap and relatively nasty:

Not a healthy meal, and not very penitential either. Except later. Later I regretted it because my stomach was killing me and I was feeling wrung out and exhausted. I guess I should have gotten a side salad and some water or iced tea instead of the diet-busting shake.  Next time I’m dashing between Mass and meetings and I have to eat something quick and cheap, I’ll remember that.

I think I’m getting to the point where I truly need to make some healthy changes in my diet.