Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Turkey Day, Y'all!

Holidays always fascinate me.

Know why? They bring out the comical dysfunction in every family.
Don't pretend it doesn't happen in your family.
If dysfunction were rare sedatives wouldn't exist.

Know that uncle you have that's always been a little...strange? 
$5 says he'll be talking to the non-existent person next to him by the time coffee is being served. Bonus points if he serves said person a plate of food and then gets offended when they don't eat!

And then there's the aunt who always bring her loser boyfriends to family functions. You congratulate her, commenting about how "nice" he seems.
You know you've seen him somewhere, but you can't quite place him.
She's oblivious to the creepy vibe he gives off. It's not her fault, bless her heart. It's not until your family is watching TV later in the day that you remember where you know him from. A sense of deja vu washes over you as you watch the episode of "Cops" that he is featured on.

Let's not forget grandpa though. The man could fall asleep at the drop of a hat and can rarely make it through a family get-together without taking a nap in the recliner first. But somehow he is alert enough during dinner to explain, in detail, his sex life with your grandma. Bet you wish you could un-hear that, right?

And this year's lagniappe is that it was an Election year. Strap yourself in tight! Steer clear of this topic at all costs unless you want a massive case of heartburn and a headache so bad that you swear there's a Metallica concert going on in your head. If you're smart you'll sit at the kiddie table with a bottle of wine, some Advil and a camera and watch the show.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Let the games begin!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Heaven

A bag of the glory that is Holiday Heaven.
Holiday Heaven lasts for 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and for 2 weeks after Christmas. Anything can happen!

For me, it's usually a time of weight gain and pure bliss.
All because of a bag of Ghirardelli's Holiday Chocolate Assortment.

Maybe if I only eat a few chocolates this year I can skip the weight gain?

Pffft! We both know that won't happen!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Most people have some guilty habit in their life.

Some smoke, some drink, some gamble and some do all 3.

I'm asthmatic, so I can't smoke.
I'm allergic (thanks asthma!) to most wines, so I can't drink.
And Lord knows I can't afford to gamble, so I don't.

I do, however, love Coke Zero and gummy candy.
So I dug in my coin jar, pulled out $3.50 and drove to Walgreens.
I paid in quarters while everyone watched and snickered.

Laugh if you must.
I have absolutely no shame about it.
But I do have a Coke Zero and gummy candy.

Apparently sanity comes in a 20 oz. bottle.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Fall has started in CajunCountry! Wonder why God only created 4 seasons?

I've been the curious sort my whole life.
I wonder about everything around me and am amazed by it all.

I think my teachers feared having me in their class because they just knew I wasn't interested in hearing the simple answer to something.
It always delayed any sort of recess or break we could have in class because the teacher spent the next 5-10 minutes trying to get me to just accept what they were saying just because they were saying it. 

I got a lot of evil stares from classmates. And if our limited vocabulary skills had been more developed I am sure those stares would have instead been strings of well-crafted four letter insults.

But I am not deterred. Although no one has been able to satisfactorily answer the questions I have, I've made a list of questions that I want to be buried with just in case God allows a Question and Answer period when I see Him.

Just joking about the list being buried with me. Maybe.

Without further ado, here are my questions in no particular order.
Unless they need to be in a certain order.
Oh, someone please stop my need to put things in order!

  1. If men were created to be distinctly different from women, then what's up with men having nipples, God? I know there is the whole "men used to breastfeed" theory but I don't totally buy it.
  2. Why do we have tears when we cry? What purpose do they serve? I understand that they express emotion but so does my red, scrunched up face and lamaze-style breathing when I stub my toe and am in pain, without the need for liquid to come pouring out of a part of my body. Not that I want liquid to come pouring out of a hole in my body.
  3. Why do we have just 2 hands? Why wouldn't 6 or 8 hands have been better? Seems like extra hands would fill a real need for the human race.
  4. It seems that when women get older, we tend to lose estrogen and start to become a little more manly, what with the facial hair and all. Why don't men become more feminine as they age? Seems unfair. Except for the whole menopause thing. Thank you, Lord, that I don't have to live my whole life worrying about PMS every month! Oh yeah, and my husband thanks you, too! He still has battle scars, poor man.
  5. I have tried to imagine just how long eternity is and my brain almost breaks as it approaches completing this thought. Actually, it really hurts God. Maybe that was your way of telling me not to do that again?
  6. Do you like to dance? It's a weird question, I know. But I want to know.
  7. What's your favorite color? You created all of them, after all. You must have a favorite.
  8. Why is only 11% of the population left-handed? I thought for sure it would be closer to 50%. Does being left-handed make us your favorite children? Cuz if it does, I could certainly live with that. Or die with that. Whatever.
  9. Are there cookies here in Heaven? Better yet, is there food at all? This is Heaven after all and surely you don't gain weight here, no matter how much you eat. Right?
  10. Romney or Obama?  
I hope God will sit and have coffee with me and talk to me when I get there.

Wonder if he knows I like a lot of cream in my coffee?

What would you ask God if you had the chance?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dirt Road Lesson: The Many Faces of Grief

Grief is a weird thing.

It strikes whenever it pleases, it doesn't let you know how long it will stay and it certainly never looks the same every time, in every person.

CajunGuy and I have been walking through some grief-inducing circumstances lately and I've come to the conclusion that grief has settled in for at least a little while. I just didn't know it at first.

While I don't exactly get a formal notice before it arrives in my life, I know what other people act like when it's here:

Customer Service people start looking at me funny, as if I have 3 heads when I ask them a question. 

What's that about?! I thought I was being nice when I asked her where she left her brain this morning. Just trying to save her from going the rest of the day without it.

My husband starts looking for fangs each time I open my mouth.
All I did was point out the fact that the trash hasn't gone out in almost a week. You'd think he would be happy I reminded him. Again.

Other drivers on the road have a look of panic and terror on their faces when I'm around.

I was just educating that person about the driving laws here in America. You'd think they would appreciate the knowledge!

After a while I start to realize that the crazy stares and looks of panic in other people are my notification that grief has arrived.

Ah yes, the faces of grief in my life are other peoples' faces.
Sorry, folks. I don't think you stood a chance, did you?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day.....??

Not sure what day of the challenge it is.
This past week has been a blur.

CajunGuy and I are contemplating a (semi-big) step forward and my stress level has been through the roof. (I promise to share details once everything is final!)

And for me stress is a HUGE asthma trigger. So the past 7 days I have found it hard to get my thoughts straight, let alone exercise. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to hopefully get myself out from under this dark asthma cloud that's been hanging around.

Growing up I was always terrified of not being able to breathe. I also feared dying by suffocation. So can I tell you how fan-flippin'-tastic it was that I was diagnosed with asthma earlier this year? 

Like having your hand dipped in a bucket of warm water while you sleep.
Yeah, sure you can take a shower and change your clothes but that pee stain on your mattress will always be there. 

A little reminder that your next bucket of warm water could be right around the corner.

Yes, dear readers, there is a chance I could be a wee bit...paranoid tired.
Yeah, tired. That's it...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 9

How is it that just 2 people can turn a once-clean, small, 1100 sq. ft. home into a pig sty in just 3 days?!?

We have no children, no pets and next to no activity in the house during the day but I ALWAYS feel like I am cleaning. Dishes. Laundry. Dusting.

Does it multiply while I sleep??

Felt kinda run down with a headache that would. not. go. away.
Took it easy and just kept active by doing the housework today.

Feeling so disappointed. After a great week last week I was hoping it would carry over into this week, but it didn't.

Anyone else get like that sometimes?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 8

So I have dropped the ball since Day 4.
I haven't been inactive, I just didn't dedicate 20-30 minutes of straight exercise for the past 4 days.

I feel like a bum.
But a well-rested bum!

Tomorrow is a new day, I suppose.
And hopefully the weather will feel fantastic.

I have to remember it's only one day at a time.
Thank goodness!

PS -- Anyone willing to kick my rear into gear? But just a gentle kick, please. :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 4

Just a quick check-in: I did it!

My muscles stopped hurting and I was able to get in 15 minutes of walking.
Not the 25 minutes I was going for but something is better than nothing, right?

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm hoping to get my exercise in early so I have the rest of the day to do any-flippin'-thing I want!

I love Fridays!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 3

The challenge today would be to get off the couch!

I really overdid it these past 2 days and now I'm paying for it.
I ache in places I didn't even know had muscles.

I am hesitant to take a day of rest because I know it could throw me off track.
I also know that if I don't I could very well end up on the couch for a week instead of just a day.

So here I am, sitting on the couch resting. Thanks to the energy I had on Day 1 the house is clean and the laundry is done. 

Thank goodness! :-)

The challenge resumes tomorrow. 
Hopefully my muscle pain doesn't follow suit.

Don't Be Alarmed

Dear readers:

Please do not be alarmed if you find me face down in bed this morning, snoring like a lumberjack.

It is just a reaction to the horrible thing that happened to my body yesterday.

You know, exercise.

Just make sure I'm not inhaling the sheets, m'kay?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 2


After feeling so fantastic yesterday I'm a little disappointed that I feel so cruddy today. I don't know if it was the slightly more humid weather or my body's rebellion against what I did to it yesterday, but I couldn't exercise as much today.

I planned on going for at least 25 minutes but at the 15-minute mark my legs were screaming!
So I decided to just listen to my body and call it a day.
I still feel really good but maybe I should work up to 25 minutes a day instead of pushing myself?

I need a hot shower.
And a cookie.
Yes, a cookie.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Peak 313 Challenge: Day 1
I started the Peak 313 challenge today with good results!

I was nervous because I have (sadly) never really exercised since I was diagnosed with asthma. It was worrisome to do it alone just in case something happened.

And something did happen: I got tired quickly, I breathed heavy throughout the whole thing and got chased by the same dog 3 times. 

But something else happened too. I made it through! 
It was only a 30 minute walk around the block but I felt incredible when I got home. I now know I can do it.

I am so energized and perked up. I am even in the mood to make this incredible Sweet and Sour Chicken for dinner and have also done 2 loads of laundry since I got home from my walk.

Can someone just kick me for not starting to exercise months ago?!?

Oh, and I got an accountability partner too!
She blogs over at A Walk To Serenity.
And, after reading her About Me section I may have just found someone who understands what it's like to move from the city to the country.

Who says God doesn't have an incredible sense of humor?

Peak 313 Challenge I was diagnosed with asthma 7 months ago.
Some days it seems like just a few days ago and other days it seems like years ago since I got my diagnosis.

I suffered for 6 weeks before anyone figured out what was wrong.
I was sure I was going to die.
And had it not been for my GP who never tired of seeing me in his office (at one point I had seen him 3 times in a week!) I probably would have.

And do you know what I have done with myself since then?
Not much, I'm ashamed to say.
My doctors have repeatedly told me that staying active, taking my medicine and avoiding my triggers would go a long way to helping me avoid complications.

All of that to say this: My name is Liz and I have a problem. I am a slacker.

But there's hope for me yet! I found an online community of people that I think will really help me to stay on track. The website is and I don't know how I ended up there but I'm glad I did. It's a 5 week program and I'm hoping to see some measurable character changes.

My goal isn't so much weight loss (although that's important) so much as it's about just staying active. I think taking the pressure of weight loss off the table will go a long way in helping ol' slacker me stay on track. I'm not sure about following the site's activity list to a tee because of my current limitations, but I'm sure in a couple of weeks I'll be up to speed!

I don't have an accountability partner (yet!) but am starting the program tomorrow and will report here on the blog each week. 

Fingers crossed!

PS -- Could someone out there call me around 9am to see if I have met my activity goal for the day? Anyone? Anyone? ;-)

Friday, September 7, 2012


Know when hunting season officially opens this year? October 1st.

Know when my first wedding anniversary is? October 1st.

I am convinced God has a sense of humor. 
And a hunting license.

Dirt Road Lesson: Just Stand Up

Picture it: Cancun, Mexico about 12 years ago.
My Mom, brother and I had just landed in Cancun's airport, ready for our vacation.

The following exchange between my Mom and brother still tickles me:
Bro: "Look at all the foreigners!"
Mom: "Yes, son. And you're one of them!"

It was true. I guess we all forget that we can be foreigners at some point in our lives.

That's the truth for me right now. When I moved to CajunCountry, I became the foreigner.

I don't talk like anyone here.
I don't know this place like others do.
My friends and family aren't here and this is almost a foreign land, despite the fact that I am still in my home country. 

And this feeling reminds me of something so memorable about our vacation: the jet ski ride.

You see, this little outing in Cancun consisted of riding a rented jet ski to the middle of Cancun Bay to go snorkeling. My Mom and I had no interest in snorkeling, but my brother did. So we went.

After some training about how to use the jet ski and instruction about life vests, we suited up for the ride. Mom and I got paired up together and my brother rode with another man to the bay.

The whole way out there, the jet ski Mom and I were riding kept taking on water. The guides would pump it out and we'd just take on more.

On the ride back from snorkeling, the jet ski suddenly took on an incredible amount of water and veered off course, right into the bank of the Bay. 

We crashed. Hard. 
Mom and I were both knocked off the jet ski and into the water.
My Rosie the Riveter, we-can-handle-anything-Mom burst into hysterics.
She was flailing her arms and screaming for help.

I knew I would have to stay calm for both of us, y'know, just in case.
So I let myself sink a little to figure out what I was working with. 
"Mom! Just stand up!," I screamed.

By the grace of God, we had crashed in a shallow part of the Bay.
I'm talking 4 1/2 feet of water.
We just didn't know it.

The water was so murky that when we were knocked into it, all we knew to do was panic. It never occurred to us to find out if we even could stand up before we panicked.

So it is with me here in CajunCountry. For almost a year now I have been screaming for help and flailing my arms around, searching for any sign of rescue from this new way of life.

Turns out, I didn't need to be rescued. 

I just needed to figure out that I could stand up.

Thanks for a great laugh and a great memory, Mom!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: Anticipation

I knew the fraggin' storm was coming when I woke up this morning.
This isn't my first rodeo but it was different for some reason.
It was nothing I could put my finger on and it lingered just below the surface of consciousness. 

I brushed off the weird feeling and rolled out of bed, drank some coffee and took a shower. It wasn't until halfway through my shower when CajunGuy came into the bathroom to tell me that he wanted to buy a generator that I started to get concerned. 

Growing up we may have evacuated for a hurricane twice, including Katrina.
Given the choice, my Mom would ride out the Apocalypse. Seriously.
For me, hurricanes aren't a time to panic. You just prepare and let God handle the rest. 

Yet a wave of panic rolled in my brain when CajunGuy wanted to buy a generator. Suddenly I was new to this hurricane crap and all sensibility drained from my head. I fought him a little (OK, a lot) about the generator and even he asked me why I was digging my heels in.

And let me tell you: this was no everyday purchase. Sure, I love to save a buck but that just isn't possible when, during a hurricane, demand goes up and supply goes down. You pay what they ask and just deal with it. (I hate that part!)

So off to Lowe's we went to buy a generator. As soon as we got to the checkout I started calculating all the other things we could have bought with the money I was about to spend. I was a mess on the inside but couldn't figure out why.

After the most gut-wrenching debit card swipe of my life, I drove to the bank to get cash in case we had to evacuate. As I wrote out the check in the bank lobby it was as if that feeling I'd had all day jumped out from around a corner in my brain. 

Buying that generator meant that now I was riding out a storm, away from the protection that I have known my whole life. I was making the decision to stay or go. I was in charge of making sure my family was taken care of. I had to provide.

I was moved up the responsibility line. And it terrified me.

Until I realized that I was handling it well. Because of our diligence in saving money, CajunGuy and I were in a position that we could provide for each other. We were able to get what we need to keep us going and still be OK in the long run. 

I think that newly discovered confidence was worth the price of the generator -- and all of the anxiety.

Note: for those of you who are new to the hurricane experience, I suggest looking at this handy guide if for nothing else but a few laughs. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: Preparations

                                    We Hurricaners know how to do it right!                                    (Photo courtesy of

 Last night I had the honor (NOT!) of going to the grocery store to buy supplies. I am usually ahead of the game during Hurricane season, but this year I was way off. We had 10 bottles of water and 6 cans of vegetables left in our house. I was desperate. And so was the rest of the small town I live in.

There were more people in that store last night than there are in a month's time. And I bought more canned food than should be allowed by law. I am now the proud owner of approximately 12 cans of beans (bleh!), 12 cans of peas, 15 cans of corn, 5 cans of pineapples (which half of may or may not have already been eaten), 10 cans of tuna, 8 cans of corn and 4 boxes of off-brand mac and cheese, which can only be described as disgusting.

I doubt seriously that the storm will do more than send a few inches of rain my way and knock the power out for a couple of hours. If I'm right, Hallejuah! If I'm wrong, I'll be eating that mac and cheese until things get back to normal. 

If any family or friends are reading this and need a place to evacuate, please come here. I could use some help eating all the canned goods I bought! ;-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Memory Lane

As children my brother and I had some of the coolest toys ever created. We nearly broke our ankles on Moonshoes, almost snapped Stretch Armstrong in half and had many fights about whether or not Barbie should be decapitated. And thinking of all the fun things we had to play with makes me realize two things:
1. We were very fortunate children!
2. This generation will never know what it's like to have your sibling cheat you out of winning a board game. They will also never know the satisfaction of having your Mom punish your brother for doing so. Sorry, bro!

My life has changed so much since that time, but I still get nostalgic when I see stuff like this:
Tyco R/C Car - Sorry, don't have a link for this one!
(Hey bro: remember chasing me around the living room with that car?!?)

I miss those days. My brother and I spent hours and hours playing with those toys.
And my Mom spent hours and hours enjoying the time when she didn't have to entertain us.

Hey Mom: I finally understand. It was money well spent, wasn't it? ;-)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Man of My Dreams

Dear CajunGuy,

You're the man of my dreams.
I have prayed to meet someone as kind, honest and smart as you.
And, as usual, God exceeded my expectations.
Not only are you everything I prayed for, you're wrapped up in a pretty handsome package!

You have become my best friend, the person I want to share good news with.
You have become my rock, the person I depend on when life gets hard.

I love that you share my love of sushi and Sonic Happy Hour.
I love that you dance with me in the kitchen for no reason at all.
I love that you and I laugh at the same silly things.
I love that you can make me smile even when I don't feel like it.
I love that you asked me to marry you.
I love that you married me 10 months ago.
I love that I get to spend my life with you.

Most of all, I love you.

I hope your day is as great as you have made my life since we met.

All my love,

PS - Join me for a Route 44 Coke Zero later? ;-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wisdom from Mom

My Mom is one of the smartest and strongest people I know.
How do I know? Well, she raised me. And believe me when I tell you, that was no easy task.

In the twenty-something years since I was born, I have learned a thing or two from my Mom.
In no particular order, here are some of the things she has (very patiently) taught me:
  • It is not OK to drive late at night in a strange neighborhood with your best friends when you are only 16. You get your license taken away for that. And not by the state either, folks.
  • When she says we are leaving for a certain time, she means it. You will get left behind. Trust me.
  • She is always right when it comes to seeing a person for who they really are. How I wish I had learned to recognize that one waaaaay earlier in life!
  • How to drive. Ask her about the mailbox incident. She never tires of that story. ;-)
  • Bladder Control. "I asked you if you needed to go before we left the house. You'll just have to hold it until we get there."
  •  Finances. "What do I look like? A bank? If you want it, you'll have to earn it."
  • An infinite number of ways to cook hot dogs when you're on a budget. Weenie stew, weenie casserole, weenie and chili mac, boiled weenies, cold weenies...
  •  Play-time with your younger brother is best spent away from the stairs. Apparently pushing your sibling down the stairs in a laundry basket is a bad decision. Can't blame a nerd for testing the laws of physics!
  • Always wear clean underwear in case you end up in an ambulance or hospital. Just a thought here: if I were in a bad enough situation (a car accident, let's say) to warrant an ambulance or hospital visit, I think they kind of expect that my underwear will *not* be clean at that point.
  • The power of prayer. "You better pray this stain comes out."
  •  Gratefulness. "You'll thank me some day."
Mom, you were right. I am grateful for all the wisdom. My future children will be calling you quite often to tell you how "mean" I am. I guess you suspected as much though, right? ;-)

I am Nerd...see me read!

My love of reading (and learning!) has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember. Most kids I know get tucked in at night only to sneak out of bed to play with their toys.

Not me. I sneaked out of bed to turn on my light so I could read.

My Mom says I learned to read when I was young and even had enough nerdiness to ask my Pre-K teacher for homework! (I can hear all you non-nerds groaning now!)

Back then I couldn't understand why I was so "different" from all the other kids. They wanted to run and play. I wanted to read and learn. 

Funny story: My 2nd grade classroom had a separate book area complete with bean bag chairs and all the books my little heart could want. In short, it was my paradise. There were only two times during the day you could go there: during reading time after lunch or if you weren't feeling well and needed a quiet place to rest for a little while. I was pretty antsy one particular day and lunch was still an hour away so I did what any self-respecting nerd would do to get closer to a book: I faked illness. Worked like a charm! I walked to the back of the room, plopped in a bean bag chair and plotted my reading. What I didn't bank on, however, is that the teacher could see me reading said books. She quickly picked up on my fake illness and ordered me back to my desk. (I'm guessing she wasn't a nerd!)

My nerdiness has served me well though. CajunGuy and I both have chronic illnesses that require knowledge and skill to manage. Lucky for both of us, the second I even come thisclose to a diagnosis I rush home to learn all I can about what I'm facing. I could leave it to a doctor but I want to know what medications they're putting me on, why I'm on them and what they do. (Yes, Mom, I know I probably do have a problem. I can hear you laughing from here. I'll seek counseling for it just as soon as I research the condition I may have.)

Actually, this whole research thing applies to just about anything I want to know. I just can't help myself. It's almost a compulsion to look up stuff I don't know but want to learn. (Again Mom, I am aware I may probably have an issue. I've done research and narrowed it down to OCD or hypochondriasis. I'll let you know when I'm done researching though.) To put this whole nerd thing in perspective, I grasp just about every joke on "The Big Bang Theory". I'm not as socially inept as Sheldon though. I have more of a Leonard-ish type nerdiness going on.

CajunGuy lovingly calls me a nerd. How I relish that word! When he sees me reading articles from scholarly journals or teaching myself something new he just looks at me with a sense of pride...and confusion. Let me narrate his thought for you: "I married a really smart woman. But don't most women her age like to shop or something? Oh crap, she's coming this way. She wants to talk about what she learned. Look busy! Look busy! Why did I marry a nerd?!?"

To me, loving to read and learn is about as automatic as breathing. So when I get called a "nerd" it serves as a reminder that I am not like everyone else and I am not "normal". And I'm OK with that.

Besides, I've read up on being "normal". Those people don't like books. That scares me.

(Oh, and Mom? I don't have OCD or hypocondriasis. I'm just a Grade-A nerd! Just sayin'.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

He is I Am

As is sometimes the case with CajunGuy's job, he will get called to go back to work after he has gotten home for the day. {The joys of being on-call!}

I usually stay home but tonight when he was called I went with him. I'm glad I did!

As we drove toward his shop I spotted a car with a personalized plate. Most often I don't give them a second look because they're just ridiculous. {I know you've seen at least one plate that said "HOTSTUFF". Haha!}

This one was cool though. It said "HEISIAM". {He is I Am} "I Am" is my favorite of God's many names.

He isn't I Was. He wasn't something in the past that He no longer is.

He isn't I Will Be. He doesn't lack something now that He will later possess.

He is I Am. He has always been, is now and forever will be perfect, holy and just.

His name is so powerful. When He told Moses to go tell Pharoah to let His people go, Moses asked Him who he should say sent him.

God responds simply, "Tell him I Am sent you." Gives me chills every time I read that story. {How in awe Moses must've been to stand in God's presence!}

This is what I Am has taught me:

I Am with you in your darkest moments.
I'm the Light of the World and I do my best work in the dark.

I Am never going to leave you.
I bought you at a high price. Why would I do that just to forsake you?

I Am watching over you. Not a single hair on your head is unaccounted for.

I Am the One who created the Universe. I hold it in my hands and nothing happens that is out of my control.

I Am the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. I've seen it all. Nothing that happens is a surprise to Me.

I Am able to do things beyond your wildest expectations. Trust Me.

I Am.

Isn't it the greatest of all His names?!?

John 8:58
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving

For those of you unfamiliar with Cajun Country, things here don't exactly work like they do in other places. Street names are in French, directions are given by landmarks and words are not pronounced like they look.

In fact, I get into more debates about pronunciation than I do about anything else. Why it matters so much to me is beyond me, but I debate anyway because:
  1.  It's in my nature (Mom says I would have made a great attorney) and 
  2.  What else do I really have to do on a day-to-day basis? Aside from a daily load of laundry and a never-ending sink full of dishes.
 I am constantly fascinated (and a wee bit perplexed) by the way some words around here are pronounced.

 See if you can pronounce these words. I've given you a hint about their origin to help you.
  • Delcambre (a city) This was by far the biggest mind-bender for me. Pronunciation: Dell-come. Seriously.
  • Schlumberger (a company) Not exactly an offense to the English language but not exactly how I have heard it pronounced all my life either. Pronunciation: Sh-lumber-jay. Maybe I'm wrong (that even hurts to type, HA!) but I have always heard it pronounced Sh-lum-burger.
  • Retif (a company) Again, not offensive, but odd. Pronunciation: Reh-tiff.
  • Domingue (a company) I have actually had a spirited debate with CajunGuy about this one. And by spirited debate I mean an epic argument over what is "correct". We're still working out the kinks of our new marriage. What can I say? Pronunciation: Dough-main-guh. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who pronounces it Dough-mean-gay.)
  • Iowa (a city) Yes, it's also a state. But it is not pronounced the way you think. Pronunciation: Eye-oh-way.

Frugal Friday: Banana Chimichangas

Perfect way to end an evening!

I have an insatiable sweet tooth lately.
Some days it's a craving for something fried (yes, I knooooow), some days it's a craving for a piece of fruit and some days (like yesterday) it's a craving for both.

The cheapo in me started thinking of all the ways I could combine the two without spending a fortune. I thought of going to Sonic for some French Toast, but that was more trouble than it's worth. (In money and calories!)

So I stood in my kitchen with nothing more than a craving and a budget.
I dug around until I found flour tortillas and a banana. Oh, the glory!

The Banana Chimichanga was born!
And, because I like the kitchen but don't care to spend all day in there, this recipe is super simple! 

You will need:
  • 1 banana (I prefer the spotty ones!)  $0.13
  • 1 flour (or corn) tortilla  $0.20
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter (optional)  $0.08
  • 1/2 C. Canola/Vegetable Oil for frying  $0.31
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey for garnishing (optional, but highly recommended!) $0.11
  • Brown Sugar/Cinnamon mixture for garnishing (optional, but again, highly recommended!) $0.03
  • An awesome post-snack workout to reduce the number of pounds this snack can pack on.

  1. Using shallow pan, heat approximately 1/2 cup of oil to 325 degrees. (You may need more or less depending on your pan size.) 
  2. While oil is heating, spread peanut butter on tortilla in a thin layer. (If not using peanut butter, skip this step.) 
  3. Place a whole banana on tortilla and roll up until sealed. 
  4. Place rolled tortilla in hot oil, seam side down, and fry approximately 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.
  5. Drain your chimis on a paper towel and garnish with honey and brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Total cost: $0.86 (!!!)

While it's not the healthiest thing in the world, I console myself with the fact that it does contain 1/3 of my recommended daily fruit intake. 

And the fact that it costs me less than a buck to make? That just makes it even easier to eat one.  

Or two. ;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Confessions of a Couponaholic

I have a confession: I love coupons. I use them all. the. time. I have no shame when it comes to making our one income stretch as far as possible. In fact, it gives me a thrill. 
The folks behind me in lines don't really like it though. 

Well, except for one very curious lady.

Picture it: Target, about a month ago. I was just finishing my weekly pilgrimage and found an empty checkout lane (lest I hold up a long line). I had a stack of coupons in my hand and I was ready to do some damage to my total bill. Everything was going well and all of my coupons were scanning (!) and the cashier was coupon-friendly (!!). 

Then the dreaded "beep" happened. For those of you who don't coupon, the "beep" is something couponers dread. It means that the register is beeping to alert the cashier that the coupon doesn't meet some (usually ridiculous) criteria. It means a manager has to be called. It also means that a line of angry people behind you will start to form.  
C'est la vie, right?

And, of course, there was a line beginning to form behind me at this point. Of the 3 or 4 unhappy people behind me, I noticed one lady was curious. Very curious. I caught her watching me very closely a few times. I knew by the look on her face that she was intrigued by what I was doing (not that I'm special, but I did have about 30 coupons in my hand.) It was taking the manager a while to come to the register so I turned around to the line and apologized for holding things up.
I suppose it was this apology that broke the ice for the curious lady because she said something that made me chuckle. I even blushed a little.

"Are you one of those extreme couponers?," she asked. 
"I don't think so," I told her.  "I do what I can to make one income stretch as far as I can. But my family thinks I'm extreme, so maybe I am?" 

We had a good chuckle and she asked me where I get my coupons and how long I've been doing it. Of the people in that line, she was by far the most kind. The rest of the line probably wanted to chase me to the parking lot with pitchforks and torches.

Am I in denial about my use of coupons? CajunGuy would point to the amount of printer ink we go through in a month (which, by the way, I got for free). My parents would point to the fact that even when we go out to eat as a family I usually have a coupon.

OK, so maybe I have a problem. But it's not like they have a Couponers Anonymous group.

Besides, I know "my kind". The meetings would go something like this:
"My name is Liz. And I have a problem. By the way, I have a coupon to cover this meeting fee. Y'all take 'em?"

Ah, yes. Old habits die hard.