Monday, November 02, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook Monday November 2, 2009

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!)
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momishome2 said...

Wow - you & Lysa TerKeurst must talk to each other :-). I'm being hammered with this "no complaining" thing from all sides! Maybe God's trying to get my attention . . . You must attend the same church as another friend of mine; I read about her "Ugly Jar" just yesterday, but wasn't sure what it was for.

School, writing, editing, & house cleaning are on my list of things to do today, too.
~ Bethany L.

Julie said...

That recipe sounds great! Can't wait to make it.

I'm with Bethany - God must be trying to get my attention, too. My pastor gave us the same challenge, but for 2 weeks instead of just one. Hadn't heard about the ugly jar, though. Good idea.

Thanks for sharing.

Julie =)

Arlene said...

I'd always heard "happiness is a symptom of circumstances but joy is a fruit of the Spirit". Your pastor put a different spin on it. Interesting.

I like the idea of the ugly jar. Except I could probably fund our next vacation after a week with it. Hmm, God is speaking loud and clear.

Have a blessed week.

Arlene Grimm said...

Enjoyed catching up with you Marybeth! Our computer has been in the hospital with a computers get swine flu???? I have realized how much I am dependent on my blogs. I really felt rather convicted about my whole attitude at not having access to the web. I am trying to do better at using my time wisely. I really look forward to your novel....I have always wanted to write but when I sit down and start I realize what a huge committment it is, all this to say YOU GO GIRL!!

Cape Breton Girl for God said...

Great blog post Mary Beth i enjoyed reading it as always:) God bless

Eagles Wings said...

Great post...
thanks for the potato soup recipe...I made it last night for oldest who always want something diffrent...said Mom you didn't tell me that it was that kind of potato soup I LOVE THAT!!
Happy house here...blessings to you!

momishome2 said...

P.S. - Could this recipe go in the crockpot? What modifications would it need? I love, love using my crockpot in the winter!
~Bethany L.

Marybeth said...

I wouldn't put this one in the crockpot but I know you can find baked potato soup recipes for crockpots if you do some sleuthing.

Marybeth said...

Here's one:

momishome2 said...

Thanks, Marybeth! I looked in my "Fix It & Forget It" crockpot cookbook & found some yummy-looking recipes as well. Don't know why I didn't think to look there before! I'm thinking this looks good for tonight. Rainy days make good soup days.
~ Bethany L.