Thursday, October 22, 2009

Better than $5 a serving

Today I made chicken, vegetables, and noodles with sauce for supper.  

Chicken - $1.50
Noodles- 50 cents
carrots and zucchini - 75 cents
Seasonings - 10 cent
Onions from our Grandparents' garden - free
Herbs from our garden - free

Meal for about eight (only four of us here now, so we had lots leftover) - not quite $3, if my estimations were right.  Nice.  :-) 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rainy Days - Perfect Cooking Weather!

(image from the BBC production of Little Dorrit)

It's been rainy here today - I love it!  While I was driving Whit to school, we listened to Andrew Peterson's Clear to Venus album and kept hearing rain mentioned in songs.  I thought that was cool. :-)

Today I have done the following:

-Smashed my finger in the suburban door.  Ahaha, that was painful.   But what could I do but laugh?  I only smashed it because ... well, not quite sure how it happened. It had something to do with the umbrella...

- Made chocolate cheesecake, with raspberries and whipped cream as topping, for my brother Whit's birthday.  Hurray!  He's 16, and quite a fine young man.  I am a blessed sister in each of my brothers. :-)

- Baked chicken from the freezer, since the oven was hot... I guess we'll have chicken again...  Hey, in pita bread! Mmmm...

- Ground some wheat...

- ...And mixed up some dough for pitas, which is rising at the moment

- Washed dishes 

- Listening to musicals and Frank Sinatra

- Spent too much time on Facebook...

- And now am finally sitting down to do some editing/writing.  With mint tea and a sprinkle-decked donut.  Aren't I so disciplined?  (no answer needed, thank you)


Little Elba, how’s the rain in South America?
Does it fall upon the rooftops of the sick?
Do they thank the Lord for coming up with such a great idea
and dream about a place beyond all this? 

~from Andrew Peterson's song, Land of the Free~

Friday, October 16, 2009

Would you like to read my NaNoWriMo novel? Old and/or New?

Life has been busy lately!  Just yesterday I was blessed to be able to show a mother from my church how to make bread.  She has a daughter with so many food allergies it's a challenge every day coming up with anything for her to eat.  Most bread has either some form of corn, soy, or a grain which she can't eat, so the brave mother is learning to make bread which she can eat.  We had lots of fun all morning, and she went home with a couple of kinds of bread for her family to try.  I'm so glad I do not have a full-time constricting job to keep me from doing random ministries like that!   Food allergies are more scary than I used to think, too.  After talking with the mother of a daughter with a frightening amount of them, I can now be more sympathetic when I meet people (and their families) who have them.      


Now for the news.  Are you ready?  I would like to give more people a chance to read last year's NaNoWriMo novel, Brecken's Quest (or The Un-monstering) Unfortunately I am still slightly paranoid that some stranger might find my few brilliant paragraphs, and steal them, which would be tragic if I ever re-wrote it enough to try to publish it.  But if I know you in real life, or have shown yourself to me to be a genuine person, then I will share my story with you.  

So, if you want to read, or re-read, a wild adventure of a brother and sister searching for the lost King, encountering monsters of all shapes and sizes, friends winged and friends many-toothed, secret passages and magic gifts, loads of corniness and wonderful moments,  and a young, rediculous, happy, encouraging bard named Melod - then please let me know!  My email is rael.henson[at], only insert @ where it goes... there, do you think that will confuse the Dread Monsters of Spam?  I'll risk it for the sake of my readers. ;-)  Or if I already have your email, just comment! 

Or if, perhaps, you don't care to re-read my old tale, but would like to follow my new one as I write it (beginning in 16 days!), let me know that, too!  It's energizing to write for a live audience, and (if you don't want to steal my marvelous *cough* tale) I would love to have you aboard.  

This year, it is going to be a wild ride. (I'm also much busier - it will be challenging to write/edit four hours for work while I have about 1600 words of a novel to pound out afterward every day!  Should be interesting.  Can I do it?)  This tale will involve some old characters (Melod will be back, of course), outlaws, a lost and unlikely treasure, a cook whose ingredients are never right, a servant girl who sees more than people suspect, a young man who's eyes are being open but must pretend to still be blind, and an enslaved nation of people desperately in need of hope and light and truth.  Surprises await reader and writer both!  Would you like to join me?    

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Meeting Andrew Peterson

A few years ago, my older brother Sam and I were driving for five hours across Texan and New Mexican desert to visit old friends.  Sam is a computer engineer, a wise and quiet man of thought, so he brought excellent listening material for the trip - talks from the Truth Project, John Piper speaking on God's glory, and a CD by some guy named Andrew Peterson who he thought I would like. 

Far Country - Listen! 

I did.  Oh, how I did!  Those moments of listening to Peterson's stories and poetry filled me with new longing for Home.  I was lifted above everyday life to get a glimpse of the bigger picture, wider and freer than even the vast plains and endless desert sky.  More homelike than the welcome of candles and music and laughter at our little trip's end.
I hope you like it, too.

(By the way, if you know me apart from online, I don't have this, this, or this album yet.  Oh, and my birthday's coming up... *cough, cough*)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Little Pretties

 I thought I'd pop in at my blog for a few minutes.  Greetings from my desk on a beautiful Saturday afternoon!  Doesn't this cup of garden flora look delicious?  It smells like a whole field of wildflowers and honey.  Mmm....

And don't candles make you feel studious and excited?  I love how they brighten up any little corner.  They're almost like cats on the hearth, a dog at your feet, or the perfect background music.  Why in the world does a little fire enchant us so? 

Here's Little Dorrit the Desk, and the lower edge of a hat quilt that was handmade by my great grandmother.  

Alright, as you can see, my desk is so pretty and cozy that I must get back to work at it. Goodbye for now! 

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Am I too comfortable?

Disturb us, Lord, when 
We are too well pleased with ourselves, 
When our dreams have come true 
Because we have dreamed too little, 
When we arrive safely 
Because we sailed too close to the shore. 

Disturb us, Lord, when 
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, 
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth, 
We have allowed our vision 
Of the new Heaven to dim. 

Disturb us, Lord,
to dare more boldly, 
To venture on wider seas 

Where storms will show your mastery; 

Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. 

We ask You to push back 
The horizon of our hopes; 
And to push us into the future 
in strength, courage, hope, and love. 

This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ. 
Sir Francis Drake, 1577 
*"The Hostage" was painted by Edmund Blair Leighton.