Outside my window... the rain from yesterday has cleared but the cold has stayed. I keep hearing this is going to be one of our worst winters in terms of snow and cold. I am not into cold weather. I hope it's not true.
I am thinking... about our pastor's challenge to fast from complaining for 7 days. I did good until last night when I got home and my husband's car was blocking my way in the drive. I came in the house complaining and by the time I was done Curt informed me I owed "The Ugly Jar" $3. (We put in a dollar every time we complain.)
I am thankful for... the month of November-- a whole month to focus on thankfulness! (And not complaining.)
I am wearing... black track pants and a blue polar fleece New Balance sweatshirt, fuzzy blue socks. The height of style.
I am remembering... how great our weekend was. The Nester's yard sale on Saturday morning. (Didn't buy any cute decorating stuff but I did find a very cute apron with my initial monogrammed on it and some clothes for my 7yo boy.) A "Sweet Treat" cake decorating class for my girls followed by lunch that afternoon. A party at our church on Saturday night after the service. Writing at Barnes and Noble on Sunday followed by a movie with a friend.
I am going... to be working on plotting my next novel this week while my first one is with the editor. Also getting ready for Hearts at Home this coming weekend!
I am reading... After You by Julie Buxbaum, Stein On Writing by Sol Stein and Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser
I am hoping... to watch Castle tonight... if I can stay up that late. With the time change, 10 is really 11 and that is WAY past my bedtime! If not I can catch it on Hulu on Tuesday.
On my mind... my new novel. How can I say what I want to say through the characters' lives? How can I add layers so the story is not too linear and straightforward? I was writing with a friend who writes nonfiction yesterday and she kept shaking her head at me. She decided that fiction writing is too much work. She is probably right. But I have a compulsion to do it anyway.
From the learning rooms... time to reserve books at the library on Thanksgiving-- the traditions, the history, the attitude of gratefulness. These will make up our nightly read alouds.
Noticing that... I complain more when I am in the car than anywhere else. This morning my son reminded me that I am lucky to have a vehicle at all. Who teaches him this stuff? :) He also reminded me I owed the ugly jar a dollar.
Pondering these words... Happiness is a symptom of circumstances but joy is a product of perspective. God is still good, so I will be grateful. (Quote from my pastor's sermon this weekend.)
From the kitchen... baked potato soup for dinner tonight. Per several requests, the recipe is at the bottom of this post. We top ours with bacon bits or crumbled real bacon and shredded cheese.
Around the house... catching up from a weekend of being gone a lot. It was worth it.
One of my favorite things... books. Be sure and check out She Reads this week. We are announcing our new picks for winter!
Baked Potato Soup
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 lg onion chopped
1 can chicken broth plus 1 can of water
3 large potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Peel and cube potatoes. Cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside potatoes.
Melt butter in Dutch oven over low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Stir in onion, cook for 2 minutes or until tender (should be translucent). Add chicken broth and water. Stir. Add cooked potatoes, salt and pepper. Stir in milk and cook until heated through and thickened.
(I double this recipe for our family. I use a whole bag of potatoes and it makes plenty but we need plenty because this is a soup my whole family goes back for seconds on!)