March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Cold April!

I'm so glad for this day and age of phone photos. Anybody else recall the days when we would buy a roll of 24 or 36 exposure film, carefully ration the shots we took, then send the roll off for developing?  Now it isn't unusual for me to take 36 photos in a day!  It's so much easier to get good pictures of our little ones when we can take a dozen photos of the same pose.

If not for my many phone photos I'd have thought I didn't accomplish much during April.  I hurt my back toward the beginning of the month and wasn't able to do outdoor work--and beyond that, our April was COLD.  But I did entertain the grandkids pretty often, provided my middle grandson reading lessons (he's only five but he's ready to read), and as usual, I did a lot of cooking.

The collage at left is from Easter Sunday when we bravely (or stupidly) drove through ice and slush to get to our son and daughter-in-law's home an hour away in order to share Easter supper with them.  Once there we had a lovely time with all the traditional dishes and then some; glazed ham, turkey, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, orange fluff salad, spring greens salad, a fresh fruit platter, hot rolls, carrot cake and frozen yogurt.

Our son has grown a beard, and I have protested.  I feel he is a handsome young man and that the beard hides his face.  However, this photo of him with his two-year-old daughter was almost enough to make me like the beard.  His love for his little girl is shining through here in a very Pa Ingalls-ish way.

We had a lovely visit with my mom at the nursing home on April 16.  Our oldest grandson was at a Western Heritage event with his dad, and our granddaughter was home with her mom, but I was glad to snap the photo above of mom with both her grandchildren and 3 of her great grands.  Mom's Alzheimer's diagnosis was 14 years ago, and she has lost most of her vision to macular degeneration, but she is still able to carry on a conversation and says often that she enjoys life.  This is a blessing beyond what I knew to hope for.  Very grateful to the Lord.  

Left--wild plum blossoms in a thicket across the road from our house.  

Right--our lilac bush bloomed after all!  I was sure the freezing nights early in the month had killed the buds, which were tiny and looked brown.  But the warmth and sunlight we enjoyed the last week of April brought this hopeful sign of spring to life.  

All in all this has been a busy, blessed month. I'll close with one of the recipes I tried this month (below).  

Chicken/pineapple stir fry with brown rice
Summary: Cut one chicken breast into bite-sized chunks, saute it with onion, garlic and red pepper in 2 Tablespoons canola oil.  Drain juice from a large can of pineapple, thicken juice with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, add a little orange juice. When meat is cooked through, add the juice mixture and cook until thickened, stir in stevia, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in about a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil if you have it on hand.  Cook some rice.  Yum!  

·      large can pineapple chunks and juice
·      ¼ cup orange juice
·      1 Tablespoon soy sauce
·      2 Tablespoons cornstarch
·      2 teaspoons powdered Stevia
·      1 large chicken breast
·      1 medium onion, chopped
·      1 chopped bell pepper
·      2 large cloves garlic, minced
·      drain a large can of pineapple chunks, reserving the juice. 
·      add water to reserved juice if necessary to make 1 cup pineapple juice
·      Mix ¼ cup orange juice (I just scooped some concentrate out of the can) and 1 Tablespoon soy sauce with pineapple juice
·      Stir 2 Tablespoons cornstarch into a small amount of the juice until smooth, stir together with the rest of the mixture.  Add 2 teaspoons powdered Stevia. 
·      In 2 Tablespoons of canola oil, saute one medium onion, chopped, one chopped red bell pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves and one large chicken breast cut into 3/4ths inch chunks and lightly salted.  Cook until chicken is done and onion is mostly transluscent. 
·      Stir pineapple and cornstarch mixture into meat mixture.  Add about a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil if you have it on hand.  Add salt—maybe about ½ teaspoon or so, and pepper to taste. 

Cook one cup of brown rice in 2 cups chicken broth in instant pot—4 minutes on high, natural release for 10 minutes. 


  1. Beautiful pictures to remind us how blessed we are. Thank you for sharing. 💜

    1. You are such an empathetic soul, Merry Lu. I do keep this blog as an exercise in counting my blessings. You know I've been prone to depression since Mom went to the nursing home, and that I tend to leave out things like our youngest grandson's trip to KU Med Center. I'm singing the Johnny Appleseed song with this blog--"Oh the Lord's been good to me, and so I thank the Lord...." Love you for your kindness, Miss Merry Lu.