Summertime Foods

It is summertime here and boy it is hot! We’ve had hotter weather the last week or so than I remember having the past couple of years. Maybe I just didn’t notice??

hot, humid


June 25 1
Taken in the shaded carport around 3:30 PM, June 25.


June 25 2
Taken in the sun around 3:40 PM, June 25.

So along with summer heat comes the desire to come up with other options than cooking in the kitchen and heating up house. Around here, the old cabin-style houses (called dog trot houses) had breezeways between the kitchen and the sleeping quarters. I totally get it.

Corn is one of my favorite summertime foods! I personally like white corn better than yellow but I’ll eat any of them. We grew up eating tomato sandwiches and chocolate milk with our corn-on-the-cob meals. That’s still one of my favorite summer meals!

fall 2012


Something else we use to eat in the summer was a cold strawberry soup. You chill milk and add a little sugar. Just before serving, tear bread into little chunks and add to milk. Add chopped fresh strawberries. Some folks like bananas too but me … not so much. We’d often having fried/baked chicken or something like that to eat with it.


Another fun thing to do is make an all-grilled supper. These pictures are from a few years back but are good inspiration for me.

steak supper 5 b

Dice potatoes and toss with seasonings and make a foil pack. Takes about 10-15 min. on a hot grill.

steak supper 1 b

steak supper 3 b

steak supper 2 b

Olive oil, seasonings and veggies! Yum!

steak supper 16 b

Add your favorite marinated and grilled meat and you’ll have a complete meal.

This past weekend I made tin-foil meals on the grill. Butter tin foil or use a pie pan (or 2). Add a leaf or 2 of cabbage. Slice potatoes, carrots, onions and place over cabbage. Season with salt and pepper. Top with raw, seasoned hamburger, or marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, add some sausage for good flavor. Seal with foil and grill on medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Add a little shredded cheese when you remove the foil.

I also get tired of water but am trying to stay away from soda and other sweetened drinks. One alternative that I like is buying club soda or sparkling water and add fruit concentrate. Pineapple is one of my favorites!

Summer Foods-2

Summer Foods-5

Summer Foods-10

It’s a carbonated drink but with a (bit of a) healthier twist


If I do drink actual soda, my favorite is this brand:


What are your favorite light meals, or keep-the-kitchen-cool meals?

How Do You Represent?

I just stumbled across an interaction online that left me quite stunned and as speechless as the affable Miss Bates in Emma and I, like her, cannot stop speaking of it.

You hear of people who have been turned off of a company when a representative of a company thinks they’re bigger than they should be and makes disparaging remarks to someone “beneath” them. Or when people are turned off at Jesus Christ because of abuse by those in spiritual authority.

Well, this situation was not spiritual, per se, but considering the topic she was responding to, it may as well have been. She used her position in the company to be as demeaning as possible to this person on his “little” blog as she called it not once, but twice. I have to tell you, any respect I had for this company totally walked out the door. Is it fair to the company? I don’t know. Maybe not. Had someone in a lesser position with the company made the same remarks, I would not have had the same response. She made sure he knew where she belonged before she cut him down.

She could have used her position for the good with a gentle challenge if she wanted to, but she didn’t.

Will I change my mind about said company in the future? Possibly. I know others who work there who are respectful and humble.

When it comes to spiritual representation, we must pursue a heart of humility. Not weak and passive, but a respect for others and staying away self-placement on a pedestal. I like this view: “Don’t put me on a pedestal. I’m afraid of heights!”

It takes more strength to say nothing than to spout off and say the wrong thing. It takes strength to have soft answer rather than an arrogant one. Actually, an arrogant one might be truthful, if your heart is arrogant. Arrogance and humility are on opposites sides of the spectrum. Or globe. Or however we measure such things. 🙂

Believe me, this is a reminder directed to myself! It’s my face in the mirror each time I go looking.

Proverbs has strong words to consider:

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. Proverbs 18:12

Transporting Peonies

If you are one of those blessed enough to have excess peonies blooming in your back yard right now, be thankful. 🙂 Let me share this little tip with you for when you have a chance to bless others with them.

I have a peony plant, well actually 2 of them now. The success of the first one to bloom has been nearly zero. I did get this beautiful solitary bloom last spring about half way through my chemo treatments. I counted it a gift!

My one, lonely bloom I got last year.

This year the plant, once more, produced buds but they didn’t bloom. I had even transplanted it to different spot. I had treated it with a fungicide that was supposed to help the problem. Still no blooms. Even the 2nd plant purchased that was supposed to be specifically for zone 9 didn’t do anything. I’ll give that one a few years to get established before I give up on that one.

Loaded Plant

I was in Utah recently visiting family. At my uncle and aunt’s house, a beautiful bouquet of pale pink peonies greeted us from their spot on the dining room table when we first arrived.



She made the “mistake” of saying they had so many they didn’t hardly no what to do with them, or something similar and I offered to take a few of her hands. 🙂 Last year I had ordered some blooms online for my mom. They had come nearly disappointingly (at first) as closed buds, no moisture, stems sealed with wax, in a box. After I clipped the waxed ends of and put them in water, they did quite well!


The three buds shown here are great for transporting.


So when I offered to take some off of my aunt’s hands, I decided to try the same thing. I forgot to take pictures of the process, partly because it was late-thirty til we clipped the buds just before going to bed, and we had to leave at 3:45 the next morning for the airport. I chose mostly closed buds but some were partially opened. I clipped them as along stemmed as possible, dipped the stems in wax from candles that had been burning. I put them into a rubbermaid-type container, similar to a cupcake pan. I laid them in there and put a few clothes inside to protect it in case it got banged around (checked luggage). When I got home the next evening, they had fared the trip home pretty well. I wonder what TSA thought when they opened my suitcase. I know they did because the card they put inside checked luggage was there.

Peonies-4 b

I had some fun with them when they were all opened up, a few days after getting home.

Peonies-3 b


The only downside that I can think of is that they don’t stay good long enough. Sigh. The are like a lot of other flowers in that regard.

Peonies-2 sqaured


I am so grateful for those who share their beautiful blooms with me! 🙂

Teardrops of Life

It’s hard to know how to title this one. Nearly a month ago life just took another painful twist. We should be no stranger to painful twists by now but this was a twist none of us saw coming. Bekah, a sweet 18-year-old girl from my church, suddenly passed away from heart failure. It’s hard to explain just how much this gripped me! Pain for her family! Pain for her youth group! Pain for me! Our church is small and each person counts, no matter how young or old! Each person would be missed, no matter how/when they left.

Before I knew for sure what had happened to Bekah, that Tuesday night, I drove to the nearby pond to capture the sunset that was blazing away. One night beauty and the same night knee-buckling pain. Did Bekah see the other side of this sunset? If it is this beautiful here, what does the beauty of Heaven look like?

Sunset May 2016

A month ago to the day before that we laid to rest Bekah’s aunt. I just blogged about that. There have been other painful losses in the past few years.

The day of Bekah’s funeral, her dad suffered a stroke. He is in rehab. Please keep this dear family in your prayers as you think of them!