Monday, April 26, 2010

Mouthwatering Monday - Summer Asparagus Salad

Rachel at A Southern Fairy Tale hosts Mouthwatering Monday. I read her blog a couple times a week and always on Mondays. I love the recipes that she shares and browsing through the link-ups. Several times I have intended to participate and time has gotten away from me. Well, this week I just have to share this recipe! It's such a tasty treat and so easy to make!

2 bunches of asparagus
1 small red onion
2 plum or Roma tomatoes or equivalent other tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cucumber (or 1 small one)
several fresh basil leaves
garlic vinaigrette (Aldi has it cheap!)

1. Rinse asparagus, tomatoes, cucumber and basil leaves.
2. Break off asparagus stems where they bend naturally.
3. Rinse asparagus well.
4. Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces.
5. Steam asparagus until it is tender-crisp. This is when it is bright green in the pan and the color has not dulled. It only takes about 3-5 minutes.
6. Drain asparagus and rinse in cold water, put in large bowl and set aside.
7. Finely chop red onions and add to the asparagus.
8. Chop tomatoes in half, then thirds, then thirds the other way. This leaves the chunks large enough to really enjoy in this salad. Add to the asparagus.
9. Peel and chop cucumber in either thin slices or small chunks. Add to the asparagus.
10. Chop mozzarella into chunks about the same size as the tomato chunks. Add to the asparagus.
11. Cut basil with kitchen shears or chop finely. Add to the asparagus.
12. Shake the vinaigrette and pour about 1/3 cup over salad.
13. Stir or toss well.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WFMW - Free MP3s and online radio

I fell in love with this commercial from the first time I saw it. The product itself would be nice and I'm sure I would use it, but I don't need it and the cost is prohibitive. But the commercial is catchy. The song is reminiscent of some of the 80s music I liked back in the day, the filmography is neat to me, and there are so many details in the scenery. I just like it, even if it is corny.

So I went searching for "Stole My Heart" and found it free for a limited time and exclusively available through Amazon, which was weird to me because I use iTunes. But then I remembered that I have downloaded songs through Amazon before - free songs. Yes, FREE. Back in December, Amazon had a free Christmas download every day. All but 2 of them were real Christmas songs. (The other two were, uhm, how should I say this, not very wholesome and one was about Lady Gaga being someone's Christmas gift. Not exactly what I had in mind, so please preview songs before downloading to be sure they are appropriate for anyone who might be listening.) The free songs and free albums are listed at the right on the page and there are more available if you click the link to view them all. There is even a daily free song. Who can resist?

Downloading the Amazon MP3 downloader is easy. When you select your music, Amazon takes care of the download and adding it to your iTunes library. Your new music will be in your library, not your Purchased folder, which is only for iTunes purchases. Now you can add those songs to any playlist you like.

I love music and I love when it's free! (Which is also why I listen to K-Love both streaming and in my car. It's free ministry for my family and me and also my time isn't wasted with commercials that I don't want to hear. It's listener supported, rather than commercially sponsored, so it isn't really free, but no one is forced to pay for it; it's funded by donations. I was so tickled when my oldest daughter squealed that she could listen to Positive, Encouraging K-Love on the computer! You can listen free online or locate a station near you here.)

Free music works for me! To see what works for Kristen and others, drop by We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Since the end of October 2008 I've been able to brush B's hair without too much trouble. She will even brush it now. Well, sometimes. She's 7. So, for five and a half years it was a daily battle. Sometimes twice a day. Her whole world would come to an end when it was time to brush her hair. She screamed in pain. Terrible pain. Just running fingers through her hair would cause red marks - like claws - down her neck to her back. This was a real, physiological response. No kidding. If you were to pinch just the ends of her hair in your fingers and ask if she felt it, she would say it hurt - and she wouldn't still be standing there just letting you pinch her hair!. It. hurt. a. lot. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being in that much pain every day?

But one evening in late October of 2008, she brought me her brush and asked me to brush her hair. I asked if she really meant it and she said yes. OK. So I did. I was very careful and tried to be gentle, as I always did. She held completely still and didn't pull away. She didn't scream. She didn't cry. But I did. By the time I was done, the tears were streaming down my face. After 5.5 years of daily pain, my little girl was not in physical pain from this. I praised God and quickly sent out a praise report on our church's prayer chain. God blessed us by relieving my little girl from this burden. Oh, she still has others - but this was one less. Yes, it was a big deal!

This is a girl who, when wearing any sort of hair accessory, will become easily agitated. So we don't put things in her hair unless she has to have her hair pulled back (like in gymnastics, when it's a low, low ponytail). She doesn't like it and it's a personal preference, one that I don't feel the need to push my desires onto her if it causes her that much discomfort. So imagine my amazement when she recently asked me to put her hair up in a "high pony."

After putting it up, I asked her to please take it out or come to me if it bothers her. Sometimes she just lets the physical discomfort fester until she can't take it any more. So we talked through it. She wore it for HOURS.

I was so proud of her. She has come a long way. It hasn't been easy living with sensory processing disorder, but she is learning to cope with it, as are the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do you know about the napkin?

I was reading Smockity Frock's blog where she commented on nonsensical songs and poetry. It got me thinking about something else I had read. I wasn't sure I wanted to share it here because I recently posted something I received in email and I think so many people also receive this stuff in their email that they don't care to read about it on a blog. However, I think it is very common for many people who read the Bible to skim over stuff they aren't familiar with (geneology or the details of the tabernacle are just examples.) If it doesn't apply to right her, right now then I'll just get to the parts that I understand and that do apply, right? Well, OK, maybe this doesn't apply to you. But I know that sometimes it applies to me. There are things (places, situations, experiences) in the Bible that I will skim over and either hope or intend to come back to or just leave behind and move on.

Like the buriel cloth that was left folded in the empty tomb after Jesus had risen. Had you noticed this little detail or were just thinking about the fact that the tomb is empty? It's a small detail, but a detail none the less. And God doesn't overlook the small stuff (not even in our lives!)

So, before I share with you what someone else shared with me about why Jesus folded the linen burial cloth after His resurrection, let me first put it in context:

John 20:3-9 (NIV)
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly folded, and was placed at the head of that stony coffin.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I don't know where they have put him!'

Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple out ran Peter and got there first. He stopped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!
Is it really significant? Yes!

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded napkin had to do with the Master and Servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating, and the servant would not dare touch that table, until the master was finished..

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table. For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, "I'm finished.."

But if the master got up from the table, and folded his napkin, and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because..........

The folded napkin meant, "I'm coming back!"

Friday, April 2, 2010