Money Savers – Stretching Plants

I love plants! Flowering plants; green plants; even succulents. They help to purify the air and are aesthetically pleasing. One of my favorites is the African violet. Yes. I know they can be difficult to grow, but they’re so beautiful. I also have a weakness for amaryllis, as you might have guessed from my blog post pics!

Today, though, I would like to talk about stretching plants. By that, I mean plants that grow long “feelers” that can be trimmed, rooted, and planted. Two of my favorites are purple heart and golden pothos. Both of these plants will grow the long runners that can be trimmed off (I use a sharp scissors for this!) I then put the trimmed pieces in a glass of water in a sunny window and wait.

It only takes a week or so and then you will see tiny little roots protruding from the trimmed pieces. These pieces you may then plant in fresh soil and water with rooting water (no need to waste water!) And there you go – bonus plants!

Too Many Meetings!

Time for a nap!!!

Today was a very long day. I started meeting #1 at 1:15 p.m. at the high school for child #3. It went well and she was happy to see me during her school day. It was a good time.

Meeting #2 started at 3:30 p.m. and was with child #3’s therapist over a Zoom-type link. It was the last meeting for a while, since she is starting therapy with a new therapist who does EMDR. This will help to heal her trauma and take the next step in her recovery.

Meeting #3 was at 6:00 p.m. with the new therapist here at our home. I filled out some paperwork, and then left child #3 and the therapist to get acquainted. It went well and said child agreed to see her new therapist once a week. Yay! It’s a win!!!

Now, I’m just exhausted. Time for bed! How was your day?

Cake Ideas

Yummmmm!

Yesterday, child #3 and I made a special birthday cake for a. Ew friend of hers. We took a chocolate cake recipe (Grandpa’s Favorite Chocolate Fudge Cake would be awesome!) and made it into two 9″ rounds.

We then added about 3/4 of a cup of tart cherry jam as filling between the layers. Our frosting was cream cheese. You may use an 8 oz. cream cheese and a stick of butter. Add 1/2 a tablespoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of milk, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting. (I would start with 2 cups and go from there.)

We spread it on the cake and decorated it with the frosting that we colored pink. Take a look!

Our beautiful cake!

Wisely Choose Your Words

Make your words beautiful.

This evening I was chatting with child #3 about many different topics, and we came upon things we won’t do. I told her that, while I have a degree in English, I refuse to teach. Why? Because children can be very cruel. I know my limitations and I won’t do it. Not to mention, that I believe kids deserve good teachers who want to be there. I do not. I enjoyed homeschooling my kids, and even got two of them all the way through, but that’s it.

I think it all stems back to being bullied as a child by many of the kids at my school. I went to parochial school from 1st to 7th grade, where kids picked on me because I wasn’t as skinny as they were (a.k.a. the pig valentines on St. Valentine’s day) or being laughed at for a very unfortunately worded sentence by a teacher reading on a worksheet. (She was trying to shorten the time it took to correct them, so she was only reading the first part which included the correct tense of the word, so instead of “Rita burst into tears.” we got “Rita burst.”) Yeah, they all laughed and it was horrible. I was a chubby child. I didn’t know I had celiac disease back then, and no one really even knew what that was anyway.

Also the fact that my family had very little money. My dad and mom both helped around the school, though my dad was the more active as a helper for the maintenance man. He also taught children who couldn’t speak English and wanted to integrate into the school. He spoke Spanish very well, and was an asset to the school. The other children saw this help and knew that we must not have money since my dad was always around helping. It was another difference that made me stand out for ridicule. This was a pretty affluent school, and being poor was not o.k.

Then there was the time when I overheard a girl who I thought was a friend telling the others that they shouldn’t play with me because I wasn’t white enough! I was so hurt. I was six and I felt like a failure, even though I couldn’t do anything to change my skin, and honestly, I wouldn’t want to now, even if I could. Back then, I just wanted to be like them. My dad told me that someday they would all be envious of my sun-kissed-looking skin, and that did happen, but the damage by their words had already been done. I was different and that wasn’t a good thing.

Child #3 agreed with me, that people’s words can be so very hurtful. She said that we should be careful what we say. I agree. We don’t know if that one nasty word is what will push someone over the edge. On the other hand, we don’t know if one kind word will be the word that offers hope and keeps someone from a horrible mistake. Wisely choose your words and remember that kindness is never a mistake.

Mama’s Fried Chicken

Mama’s Fried Chicken

Don’t you miss it? That wonderful crispy, flavorful, mouth-watering chicken? It irritates me no end to go into any deli that sells fried chicken and smell the wonderful smells of it and know that I will be violently ill if I eat it. Frustrating. Having celiac disease is no joke. It is so not worth cheating. If it were, I would be eating a Boston cream doughnut right now. As it is, I know I can’t do that to my body because, even if I managed not to have major bowel issues, I would still be making my body sick.

What to do? Why, come up with my own recipe, of course! It’s very simple and so very tasty! You will need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breast (approx. four pounds,) pounded until 3/4 of an inch thick

3 eggs, beaten and set aside for dipping before dipping in the dry mixture

Dry Mixture

1 1/2 cups millet flour

1 1/2 cups potato starch

1 tsp. granulated onion

2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

Canola oil for frying

Preheat a deep frying pan with about 3/4 inch of canola oil in it. When hot (You may test by dropping a bit of dry mixture in to see if it sizzles!) dip a chicken breast in the egg, and then the dry mixture, coating on both sides. Place coated chicken into hot oil and cook, turning occasionally until internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Take out, draining excess oil. Then set on a paper towel covered plate to lose as much of the frying oil as possible. (No one likes greasy chicken!!!) Repeat until you have cooked all of the chicken.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Some suggestions are:

Ranch

Creamy Ceasar

BBQ

Honey

Honey Mustard

YUUUUMMMMMMY!!!!

What Are You Doing for Lent?

Sacrifice for Lent.

As Christians we “celebrate” (or more accurately endure) Lent. Lent is the forty days before Easter (minus Sundays) when we fast, pray, and deny ourselves some earthly pleasure. This is why a common question in my faith is “What are you giving up for Lent?” In fact, child #3 was asked this very question last Sunday by the priest. She didn’t know what to say. She is not sure about God these days, which, of course, breaks my heart. She has the mind of a six-year-old, thanks to dad-inflicted trauma and can’t wrap her mind around how there can be a God if all of what happened to our family happened. It did, but I still believe, and not just believe, but work for and toward God. He is my friend, confidante, confessor, and judge. She cannot see it. I’m still praying on that one!

But I digress…we were discussing Lent. Child #3 is not participating in the giving up something that brings pleasure for Lent. She refuses and I’m not going to pick this battle. Usually, we each give up something that would be a sacrifice to live without. One year I gave up TV. My soul must have been immaculate, because that was extremely painful!!! The usual suspects range from chocolate and sugar to video games and TV, etc.

We have also tried doing something extra instead of giving anything up. We’ve done the Corporal (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, bury the dead) and Spiritual (instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear patiently those who wrong us, forgive offenses, comfort the afflicted, pray for the living and the dead) works of mercy. I’ve done Bible reading and just opening up the Bible and reading until I find some words that are so encouraging and speak to me so clearly that I write them down in a special journal for this exact purpose.

Whatever you choose to do or to deny yourself, Godspeed to all and have a beautiful and holy Lenten season and look forward to the joy of Easter!