Finding Joy: Rainy Dark Day with Meal Planning and Gourds

God has blessed this land with a steady rain today.

Thank God!

The gourds on my dining room table add a cheery thought to my day as I watch the rain dribble down my windows. A Postal truck whizzes down the road as I gaze into my coffee mug ponderously.

The gourds make me happy and remind me of Fall and family. Wow! What a wonderful thing it will be to have two families in just a matter of months!

What a joyous day it will be!

My studies are progressing well. A’s and B’s mostly, thankfully. I believe it might be a good thing if I picked up a little part-time job somewhere. At the same time, I am concerned that, similar to two semesters ago I will wind up being overworked with bad grades. I feel like I HAVE to keep going and pursuing counseling.

This Sunday, the priest had a really provocative homily that really stirred me. The homily was about living each day doing your daily duty and loving others.

This made me think a lot about humility and how hard it is sometimes to be humble. It is quite a blessing to be alive and be working towards your goals, pursuits and dreams. At the same time, I find myself asking, is there something else I could be doing that would lead me closer to God.

In the stillness of this rainy day, as thunder trembles and groans across the sky, I ponder this.

Wind Beneath my Feet and Geography Blues

The sun shines brightly down glimmering across my auburn hair as I straighten my toes on the wooden balcony.

Today,

I had a no good case of the geography blues today.

But why I’m able to licate the Ural Mountains on a map now. And I can tells you all about the natural resources of Europe.

So after studying since 8:05 am to 3:15 pm I was ready to “cash in my chips” so to say for this ole’ geography test.

And hey I actually didn’t do too bad.

My map section was a sight for sore eyes but I’m feeling really confident about the other part of the quiz. Which honestly I felt like was the harder section.

Golly, now that I think about it, I had a lot of paragraphs per question. Eek. I hope my professor doesn’t mind.

I did my makeup

And

I took off my French pedicure off.

Though French pedicures are not at all French in origin. Jeff Pink an American in Hollywood made them popular in the 1970’s.

Here’s a recipe I made over my lunch too.

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Hope you having a smashing good Friday!

Cheers.

Ice cream and Suits

As my fiance held the door for me I felt the chill of the ice cream store. So pleasant compared to the ghastly humid weather outside.

For a second there I thought I needed to tap my toes together again.

(Dorothy pun intended… 😂)

The ice cream shop had rows of different ice cream lined up in rows, their metal circular rims shining and inside bursting with decadent flavors.

The metal circular rims kinda remind me of chicken coops. #farmgirl

I was floored. I mean I’ve never been to an ice cream shop as loaded as this one! Golly me.

I must’ve walked that row back and forth back and forth 10 times.

I first sampled the Sleep Deprived Parent. Which was solid! Espresso and chocolate malty flavors. I decided against it though because I wanted to get some shut eye that night.

After musing over so many flavors I decided that is go with blueberry cheesecake. DIVINE let me tell you! The cheesecake bites were so large and the blueberry was sweet, tart, and tasty.

During, this time my fiance and I talked about our wedding planning and the suits that need ordered.

We messed around with our design on our knot wedding website, too.

Strongly recommend for all the future brides out there.

I just received a free gift from them of two Mr. and Mrs. tall insulated coffee mugs. So cute!

Watching the Gales of MN: Coffee, Lemon Bars, and Chipmunks

I rotate my coffee mug as I look for a place that isn’t covered with lipstick to drink from. I’m sitting in my new place watching in amazement the huge trees and reefs outside billowing with every gale.

I was happy to find that people are starting to wear channels, hurrah, flannel season has begun!

My new woodland friends are grey squirrels and 🐿️ (chipmunks). Sooo cute!! I’m also trying to learn the bird calls.

I did, by mere coincidence, find out what a chipmunk call is….. Wait would it be call… I think there’s probably a better term for that, 😂

What a wonder God has given me to enjoy!

Last night, I made a gluten-free low-fodmap chicken parmesan.

Here’s the recipe:

Low-fodmap Chicken Parmesan

I was able to find FODY NO ONION NO GARLIC premium tomato basil pasta sauce at my grocery store.

Delicioso, basil and tomatoes. It’s so yummy!

So, a note on the recipe

I had a little doozy with not cooking the chicken long enough. After plating it and embarrassing, enough, my fiance trying to cut into the completely raw meat, my face turned six shades darker red, I’m sure.

We decided to just finish it off on the oven.

We also used COTIJA cheese which is part skim milk natural cheese.

After making dinner I wanted to surprise my fiance with a dessert that I knew was one of his favorites. Though I am chagined to say I’ve actually hadn’t made it for him until last night.

Lemon bars. And not your average lemon bar but made with a bit of buckwheat flour. Which I think gave it a nice nutty finish.

Here’s the recipe: https://www.rachelpaulsfood.com/best-low-fodmap-lemon-square-lemon-bar-recipe-gluten-free/

I added more lemon juice as I didn’t have lemon zest. I definitely think the lemon zest would have given it a more robust flavor. I also don’t generally buy cane sugar so I used brown sugar.

They were good!

Also, yesterday, I happened across one of my new favorite MN local brand of coffee. Caribou.

Last time I bought a bag my fiance and u tried the Smore’s blend. It was good coffee but we felt that the coffee taste kinda got swallowed up by the smore‘s flavor.

This time I picked the Caribou coffee French Roast. Key words “smoky” and “sophisticated”.

Life is Short. Stay awake for it.

Haha, I love there branding. Ie. Drink more coffee stay awake for life. I think thatt’s funny. It is delicious coffee.

I’m still finishing up my canister of Folher’s Black Silk, which ya know is pretty good and simple coffee flavor, I like it.

Moving Stress

I’m exhausted.

This move is really weighing on me. It’s not that I’m scared to start over with friends with setting up a community, it’s just I’m anxiety about getting everything together properly and making sure everything’s well.

I have everything pretty organized and set up concerning turning off utilities, researching voting for MN, I’ve packed a lot of boxes. But there’s still so much more!! And it’s making me anxious.

I sat on our porch tonight with a drink and looked out across the yard to the creek and past the mailbox.

What a beautiful place this is and will stay in my memory as such a wonderful beginning to my venturing out on my own.

It’s an intense joy I’ve had while living here. Walking the trail in the mornings, sharing a beer with my neighbors, and watching movies with my fiancé curled up in the couch we bought together from IKEA.

Wow, and I have been blessed with the kindest neighbors.

I hope you, my friends, are having incredible joyful nights tonight!