Monday, April 15, 2013



a lot has changed in my life since the last post

i feel like i should catch up somewhere and really the two biggest things to talk about are my new job and the vacation we just went on!

i know these both will take a lot of time so i better post on here more but life is seriously an adventure!

i think that we take too many things for granted. from our

as we went on vacation we had the privilege to go with some really awesome people!

my roommate from college, Tom, and his wife, Val

this picture was taken in the garden of Gethsemane

wow. i simply cannot say how awesome our vacation was and for more information i am going to have to come back another day and post more about it but understanding life and the true meaning of it comes down to reflection 

i had time to reflect on my life from susie and i, what am i doing here, who surrounds me, where i get my fuel

i simply cannot elaborate how blessed i am to have the family i have and the friends that have been an such an input in my life

on this 12 day cruise i learned a lot about how important it is to take time to reflect and thank God for each and everything He has given us. i learned so much from spending 2 weeks with Tom & Val that i think is worth hearing. 

im sure you have heard the saying or seen the pictures LIVE. LAUGH. LEARN 

well we sure did a lot of those three while traveling around the world together 

ill leave you with this passage today

As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart.
                                           Proverbs 27:19

 today if you live life to the fullest your heart will feel the same. 

i am in that boat of life right now from getting my dream job and taking this vacation.

 i feel completely refreshed

Sunday, October 28, 2012

..sunday afternoon..

" better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere"

-psalm 84:10

today has been a fantastic sunday other than susie had to work.

I decided I would spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking and baking while listening to praise music and sermons.

cooking and baking relieves my stress and makes me forget about everything around me that was previously on my mind.

I was able to warm the kitchen up on this cold day with the oven working non stop and also my singing. I felt like I couldn't get my day or my heart right but what's I got cooking, I felt a hundred times better.

I started out with an Indian dish that I hope Susie will love when she gets home (we don't cook a lot of Indian)

There are a lot of spices that are used in Indian food that most people already know that it's potent but also very delicious.

The spices I've used today are a things from cardamom, turmeric, cumin, curry, cinnamon, salt, pepper, which are mostly things I never use in other dishes. It is interesting what goes into a dish like this.

Butter chicken

4-6 boneless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces

1 onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp oil

Stir fry chicken, onion and garlic in frying pan on medium heat until the chicken has some color and the onion is translucent. Then pour entire contents of pan into crock pot. Then add:

15 green cardamom pods

2 tsp curry powder

1 tbsp curry paste (like Patak’s mild curry paste)

1 tsp cayenne powder (optional) It’s really hot if you add this

2 tsp tandoori masala

1 tsp garam masala

1 can coconut milk

1 cup plain yogurt

1 5.5 fl oz can of tomato paste

Salt to taste

Mix gently and cook on high heat 4-6 hours or low heat 6-8 hours (crockpot)


Next I made apple crisp.

The cool air is here and the apples are fresh and delicious and what better to combine them with brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon.


Apple Crisp

6 - large apples (2 - 1/2 lbs)

peeled, cored & sliced thinly

1/4 - cup water

juice from 1 lemon

2 - cups rolled oats

2 - cups all purpose flour

2 - cups packed brown sugar

2 - Tablespoons cinnamon

1 1/4 cups melted butter (2 1/2 sticks)

1 - large iron skillet

Preheat ove to 350 degrees. combine the apples, water, and lemon juice add to a large Iron Skillet. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread the topping in an even layer over the apples and bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and brown. You may have to cook a bit longer just watch closely.



Wait there is more.

I wasn't playing.

I was singing and praising Gods name while baking!

Peanut butter balls or some call them buckeyes but I'm not from Ohio so I just dipped the chocolate all the way around the peanut butter balls

Peanut Butter Balls

2 cups creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Coating

9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon shortening

My day felt a lot brighter after all the work I put in the kitchen and listening to music.

I felt so away from my problems or worries.

I love spending time in God's presence.

I feel empty when I don't have Him close.

Simply today was a day I could sing His praises while baking and cooking up some food for those around me to enjoy.

(Friends come on over now)


Monday, April 2, 2012

..spring time..


it has been a wonderful spring other than my terrible allergies. i do not remember a year that was this bad taking allergy pills everyday but i am managing. i also do not remember a year where spring has come so soon. i was grilling out by february with shorts and t shirt some days.

march has been a wonderful month. i have enjoyed everyday going out into my backyard and doing something new. i had a huge list of projects to finish but they are starting to disappear quick before the hot weather comes. i hope that i can get more pictures up soon but some exciting things that i have been able to accomplish are building and finishing a privacy fence around my yard. building a rock wall. using my new rototiller to create new flower gardens and widen the yard for fresh grass. i planted pennington smart seed with fertilizer to try to get no weeds and a super lush yard. put in a hammock in the corner of my yard after long days of work. mulched the flower beds. these are just some of the projects i have done and more to come like a new patio and tilling my front slope for a tiered garden. i am also working on my garage to create more of a classy curb appeal.

somethings i am working on tonight include making cuttings. i love plants and think that landscaping and more plants can really make your house beautiful. i have a lot of perennials and herbs that i want to have more of so i am taking cuttings of stems to double and maybe triple some of my plants so i can have more and hopefully sell some at findlay market.

                  .chocolate mint. 

my friends love chocolate mint tea and constantly want me to make more so i had to do some cuttings this year so i can have enough for everyone

i have been busting my butt to get some projects in the backyard done and this was one of the surprises this year! susie got me a hammock for our 2nd anniversary. marriage just keeps getting better   

.love just coming home to a relaxing.quiet.peaceful.soothing.backyard.

..spring time..  

..special people..

it started october 2008 when i moved from dorm life to my own house. i bought a house i needed to do cosmetic work to and continue to spruce it up over time. my goal was to live in a neighborhood in price hill and be a light in the community. there are so many times we go to church across town or work on the other side of town or even shop on the other side of town and never talk to our neighbors.

i have been blessed with two special people in my neighborhood.

my next door neighbor has been a very special person in my life. barb is one of the most caring,loving,joyous people i know. she will go out her way to help you in anyway. she retired about 10 years ago and has lived in that house for about 8 years and takes great care of her cute little house with two dogs she loves to death. barb is originally from the country so she loves flowers and gardens and absolutely loves to be outside. this is something we have in common. i am always working in my yard which makes her want to come outside and work in her yard.

(barb would kill me if she knew i snapped these pics, she is very stubborn and i was trying to get her to let me mow her grass but she insisted to do it)

i see barb as such a special person because she always puts a smile on my face. she is like a grandmother to me and for sure my dog, scout. scout is spoiled by her, treats everyday and barb will watch her whenever we are in need. scout loves to go to grandma barbs to stay when we go away because she loves to wrestle with barb's dogs.

barb continues to be one of those special people that i love to talk to day in and day out. i try to help her each and everyway i can.

 i just love being her neighbor.

another special person in my life is another neighbor who has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years. her name is miss hazel. i never met miss hazel until about 6-8 months after living in my house and asking barb about who lives in that cute house down the street. it is a beautiful 2 story house with a red tin roof and a cute little porch on the front. it was spring time and i finally saw this sweet old lady sitting on her front porch just enjoying the weather. i asked barb about her and she told me some but everytime i go over there i learn more and more.

                                           .miss hazel.

i just love talking to miss hazel and helping her with anything she has to do around her house. she is 82 years old and lives by herself. her husband passed away 10 years ago and one of her sons tries to take care of her as much as he can. i have one word for her other than sweet... stubborn! she wants to constantly be doing things for herself but her age and poor eye sight limits her. everytime i am over there she gets discouraged she cannot do more but i tell her because she does so much she looks young for her age. i absolutely love her stories and the insight she gives me. im sure she gets lonely sometimes but when i go over there a smile appears on her face like the sun on a beautiful spring day. miss hazel is very special to me because she is so sweet and kind.

today i had the opportunity to go trim her hedges. it took me a little longer than usual because she was telling me a lot of stories. it was awesome to hear all of the exciting life stories today from her husband being in the war to her son running for sheriff and even her jobs at the hospital.

these two special people in my life continue to make my days on woodlawn ave because i get a joy visiting such good neighbors.

when you can reach out to your neighbors who knows you may have some special people like i do hiding in their cute little house full of stories

..special people..

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

..Susie's birthday..

so i decided to be creative and try something new

i saw an idea of creating a "book lamp"

i went to a thrift store and searched for a lamp and some books.

my idea was to get some books that the author or title would line up with our names. i found two books right away with susanna and grace but could not find either of my names. the search was on, i almost got to the point where i was simply going to change my idea then i found the books.

i then headed home to play around with the ideas.

i got the drill out and a 1" bit to see if this plan would work.

after a few different ways of thinking how to put these books on the lamp i had to splice the cord and add them all on at once.

this was a fun project and am excited to see what others think.


i was really excited about the bulb because i love the vintage Edison bulb.

now all I want to do is a cool wire shade complete it. time..

first we started out on a journey to get a pork butt.

Chris and i headed on our bikes to Findlay market where we would stop by a local meat counter and purchase a 6 lb butt, bread, and spices.

it was a beautiful saturday with the sun shining and the cool fresh air

when we returned home the fun was about to start..

i rubbed a paprika,sugar,brown sugar,garlic, and other spices on it from Findlay Market

one was called OTR rub and the other I mixed with was butt rub

i set up two different piles of coal and started the coal to let it warm up and placed a dutch oven with apple juice in it under where the butt was going to be on the grill.

while the butt cooks the apple juice will continue to keep the butt moist by evaporating into the meat

i then placed it on the grill and closed the lid for and regulated the smoke and t emperature for the next 8 hours

in the mean time i cut zucchini and baked potatoes

i loaded the potatoes up with garlic,butter,cheese, and pepper then baked them for about 45 min

I got a loaf of french bread ready to bake when everything was finishing up

.i believe it was a success. time..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

so for a long time now i have not written in this blog. my many thoughts have been many other places but on this page. but i must do it again. i miss it and want to look back at this page and see the things i do and the places i go.

this is going to be an exciting year and lots of many things happening so...




.. i will remember to post.. i will remember to post..

today has been exciting.
started the day off with a bike ride to Findlay Market
my journey began with the excitement of
one getting a new bike
two the day has been beautiful
three i wanted to smoke some pork today
and four i wanted to enjoy a day off

my weeks tend to be long but entertaining

Findlay market today was a great adventure. our mission was to get a pork shoulder and smoke that bad boy all day. along with the pork we grilled zucchini, loaded baked potatoes and some delicious garlic bread.

the day ended with a nice cup of coffee and some banana pudding along with a great childhood favorite

it is always interesting to see a movie now that you haven't seen in 10+ years..lots of things. i forgot about

tomorrow will be exciting because we are going to Susie's favorite restaurant for brunch