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.

Nellie Gray’s March for Life- Pro-life Advocacy

This post is past the date of Nellie’s passing.

I received an inspirational email from the March for Life President. I find this a very important issue.

When Nellie Gray began the March for Life in 1974, she could never have imagined this gathering in our nation’s capital would become the largest annual human rights demonstration in the world.

On this 9th anniversary of Nellie’s passing, we remember her heroic legacy and stand firm in our promise to continue the great work she began.


When Roe v. Wade was wrongfully decided on January 22, 1973, Nellie gave up her successful career as a U.S. government attorney to fully commit to the fight for life. Within a few months, she organized the first ever March for life on January 22, 1974, uniting over 20,000 pro-life advocates in our nation’s capital. Nellie thought the March of January 22, 1974 would be the first and only March for Life.

But tragically, one march would not be enough. So Nellie vowed to come back year after year until the Supreme Court corrected its wrongful decision. Nellie spent the next 40 years dedicating every waking moment to the defense of human life and to inspiring generations to advocate for life.

Many believed the American people would come to accept abortion and the pro-life movement would eventually fade. However, nearly fifty years later, Nellie’s legacy persists and the March for Life continues to grow. Even now, we are expanding our reach into state capitals across the country!

DONATE

It’s impossible for us to know the great difference our little “yes” to defending life can make. On the anniversary of her passing, we thank Nellie for her “yes” that has led us here today.

This email I received today as it is the anniversary of Nellie Gray’s death, God rest her soul. When I attended the March for Life Mrs. Gray was still alive and speaking at the March for Life.

My fiancé and I are planning to attend the March for life again this upcoming year. This will be his first time, too. Which will make it such a fun journey!

Oh Crumb… Let’s Unpack

Jackson darts behind the big oak tree as I rest my coffee mug in my lap, cupping it with my cold hands.

Gripping the tree he shoots up it like an watermelon shoots up in a pool of water.

This is one of my first friends in my new state.

Jackson, the chipmunk 🐿

I cradle my steaming cup of coffee in my lap and watch the rain pummel down on the outskirts of the balcony dripping off like wax from a candle.

The air is hot in the morning here. One of my new friends here, a older farmer, told me that the heat this year had been excruciating for his crops. And it’s no wonder, when I woke up I about thought I was in Florida.

Good gravy!

I have been discovering so many new and wonderful things while here. And I think one of my favorite things so far is my balcony. Oh it’s wonderful to sit out there with my coffee in hand or even sit out there typing looking up every once in a while to see Flopsy nibbling on the dewy grass.

Flopsy’s another new friend of mine a chubby rabbit that like to much on the weeds and now fallen leaves outside.

As I was unpacking yesterday I came across a box of china plates my dear mother had given me. The plates are the most beautiful china, I’ve seen. Oh my!

My mother received this beautiful china plates after she married my father all those years back and had saved them through all these years. I am so honored and grateful that she gave them to me.

In my space I have set up a little office prototype while the “packing room” gets cleared out.

I have my printer. I luckily found my ink for today. Which is going to be so helpful for my grant writing. My two pens, one black, one blue, and several three ring binders, in my attempt to be somewhat more organized this semester. Fingers crossed on that one. Heehee.

The rooster wind chime I bought in PA made the long journey with us too. Haha, it’s blowing in some fresh Minnesota breeze.

There was a pretty big storm last night that blew over my table outside. Maybe a microburst or something. Though I’m not familiar with MN weather.

My fiancé said that where he’s staying he could here the lighting coming down during the early AM hours. Eek!

About the water though. Oh, goodness, I’ve never seen so many ponds… oh I mean lakes. Gotta get my ponds and lakes straight. 😋

Wow, the water is so emerald it’s spellbinding and beautiful. The waters so still, with only the ripple of bugs and hungry fish coming to the surface, every now and then.

It’s a little nervous-wracking walking around in a new town, honestly. I know it’s just nerves and really probably no one is looking at me. It’s just I’m “the new kid on the block”so to say, and it’s a bit embarrassing.

Let me tell you, it’s hotter than Haydee’s out there today.

I’ve been musing over what dessert I should make. I think there’s definitely a celebration to be had with each of us getting jobs (mines volunteer, but still) and a new place. I think all of these are definite celebratory events.

Speaking of celebratory. My dear grandma gave me an instant pot that I’ve just been using the heck out a’. It is incredible folks.

I’ve been eyeing this recipe I found on a new food blog: Imagelicious.com. I’m waiting on tip toe to make this fabulously yummy recipe.

Instant Pot S’mores Latte

Thanks Jenny for having such an awesome cooking blog!

Anyhow, it’s instant pot s’mores latte. Oh my goodness friends. Wow, this sounds so yummy! ☺️

Muses on a Friday and Surprise Latte flavorings

My fiancé reached his hand through the window to take my “surprise” latte from the barista. I have a custom with this barista of letting her surprise me with the flavor combination of her choice. I just love having a surprise drink! It’s fun. After seeing the muffins at the counter, we agreed to get a banana chocolate muffin, too.

It was delicious. Very moist and just enough chocolate to still taste the bold banana. YUMM!!

After working all day yesterday I’ve gotta say I’m still tired.

We took the scenic route to the coffee shop. As we turned a corner we were stopped short by a huge tree that had fallen down last night in the terrible storm we had.

After further looking we saw that the tree didn’t look like it has been a dead rotting trees, it’s trunk still looked green. I can’t imagine the wind force that must of ripped that out of the ground.

Oh my!

Thankfully, we are both safe and the large Larch tree in our front yard didn’t fall down.

This morning I’m musing over my joyful time in PA and my inspiring future as a wife to my wonderful fiancé.

This move will be the start of our journey together. And in just a matter of months will be living under the same house with the same name! Oh my, who would’ve thought.

Sometimes, when I wake, I look at my engagement ring on my left hand and smile.

What an amazing adventure we will have together, traveling nearly 1,000 miles, to a new state.

To start a whole new chapter of our life journey.

Our new life, blossoming and flowing together

like the rain gurgling down a waterfall

wild flowers growing along its banks.

Signed. Sealed. Move-in-Ready

Munching away at my bagel billowing with creamy PB Fit and my favorite strawberry jam I muse over how hard we’ve both worked to make this move possible. My fiance has certainly really put in buckets of time studying and really making this opportunity possible. And to think he’s been hammering away at his thesis all summer and it remains to be finished.

Ayiyi! I applaud his integrity and dedication, truly!

We signed on our first apartment together– “going to be married” apartment in Minnesota!!!! I will be staying in that apartment and my fiance in another place which has yet to be found.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

So, now, we’re much more relaxed from all the anxiety that’s been humming around us. OMGoodness!!!!

We have to tackle the basement, TODAY. Oh golly, we have been putting that off.

Not really looking forward to going down and working with all the spiders. They’re not very helpful workers 😉

1st Deposit; Summer Wardrobe Change

With all this moving and sweat tears and… ok, not blood but espresso. I’m going to be ready for a pedicure, LORDY-ME!

And maybe a wardrobe update too… No–definitely a wardrobe update. These Minnesota winters sound pretty bitter cold; or if you will, B.C.



Yes, definitely. I enjoy shopping online better than shopping in store. I think that is much easier than walking to a store. And most of the time I’m not a big skanner-shopper. It seems whenever I go to a store I come out with things I really didn’t need and I feel like I wasted a bunch of time on something I could’ve just done online. But I do so enjoy shopping with friends.

Speaking of which, recently I’ve had my eyes on some clothing from Mod Cloth.

Photo by Japheth Mast on Pexels.com

It is a sweater like this! This kitten is soo cute!!!

I bought the cutest pair of shorts with embroidered flowers around the pockets, that I bought last year and wear still.

Mod Cloth is having a summer sale too.

Check it out!

ModCloth: Back to School Styles for $15

We finally secured an apartment. Thank the Good Lord! Oh my!

Packing has been crazy today. I finally started on the basement and I’d say cleared out about 50%. The other half will be easier to load once the moving truck is here.

Through all this stress of locating a new rental—which are far and few between in MN– and packing, finding a new job and praying through it all, I have had a great epiphany, this struggle has seemed to ground me more and help me think good and hard about what really matters.

God seems to reveal to us during our hardest struggles his grace. I have found an abundance of grace in doing all this cleaning not only my closet but also cleaning my heart in preparation for a new life stage that God is guiding me through.

It’s a great consolation to me that God is present throughout this whole packing process. He will be present in our new apartment in November after we are happily married.