Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh my goodness gracious!

First off, our house has been back on the market for a whole week. When we re listed it, our realtor warned us that the housing market it even slower than it was a year ago and that we shouldn't count on having as many showings as we did in the past. We completely understood. Well, this weekend we had 3 showings! Our realtor just called me and said one of the prospective buyers, a single mom with a 3year old daughter, would like to bring her father though our house on Friday to see what he thinks!!! The single mom's realtor told our realtor that she is confident that they want to make an offer. I know it is all preliminary and that the negotiating part can be a pain, but I would REALLY appreciate any prayers on this situation. Our prayer is that our house will have the right buyer. A buyer that is a christian, a family or person who will be a benefit to our court and that our house will be a blessing to them just as it has been to us.
All in all I am excited! Our house and court really would be so perfect for a single mom and her daughter......
Thanks in advance for the prayers!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Coffee, yum!

I am a hopelessly devoted coffee freak. I make no apologize. I love it. Every cup has a different flavor. All beans are not created equal and hence I do discriminate in my choosing of coffee. I will not,unless under duress, buy coffee at a gas station. There has to be no hope of finding another coffee supplier before I will, hesitantly, lay down my 59cents for a cup of the acidic brown water they tell me is coffee. I am a coffee snob.
But there really is a reason for the snobbery. Coffee beans are like grapes that are grown for wine in that the coffee beans take on the nuances of the area they are grown in. The sun, air,water, and soil play a huge roll in how the coffee not only grows, but tastes. I recently read in a magazine that coffee beans grown in Hawaii are "light, delicate, and floral with well balance acidity." The beans in Kenya are "lush with big, bold, fruitiness and complex qualities that mimic a hearty wine." I personally adore Brazilian coffee's. My favorite Brazilian Ipanema by Starbucks, is grown in a volcanic soil. The volcanic soil of Brazil gives the coffees a nutty taste with a light sweetness, and low acidity.

There is also the issue of shade grown and fair trade coffees. Shade grown is actually the traditional method of growing coffee. With coffee production at an all time high, trees have been cut down in order to plant more coffee plants. According to next to tobacco, coffee is the MOST chemical sprayed product consumed by humans. When coffee is shade grown chemicals are not used on the coffee because it is usually being grown organically. The trees that are used to shade the coffee house migratory birds that, among other things, eat bugs that threaten the coffee. Another bonus of shade grown coffee is that the coffee beans mature at a slower rate, which increases the natural sugars of bean and enhances its flavor. Yummy.

Now fair trade coffee is another great way to feel good while drinking your cup o' joe. If you come across the fair trade symbol on your coffee that means that often times is not only organic, but the farmers are paid a livable wage. A "livable wage" is not always the case with non-fair trade coffee. Often coffee farms are akin to sweatshops. The farmer is paid a price for their coffee that is less than the price of production. This makes it hard for the farmers to sustain their farms and their families. When you buy fair trade you are helping to ensure that farmer is getting paid and treated fairly. In exchange for the $1.26 minimum per pound the farmers are paid, Fair trade coffee farmers are also asked to grow their coffee in an earth friendly manor. Fair trade coffee promotes economic independence for the farmer and his family/workers and it helps them to want to farm in a more earth friendly way.
Now if all of this talk about coffee has made you a little parched I have found the yummiest iced coffee recipe.

Thai Iced Coffee
1c ground coffee
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (an Indian spice. it has a cinnamonish taste to it)
8Tbsp low fat sweetened condensed milk

1.Brew 8 c. of water with coffee grounds and cardamom to make double strength coffee. Transfer to large pitcher, and chill. ( I left the coffee grounds out during my transfer and it wasn't easy, but it was worth it.)
2.Pour 1c coffee into tall glasses filled w/ice. stir 1Tbsp sweetened condensed milk into each glass, and serve.

Last but not least here are some brewing tips from Wild Oats Market places own magazine. I found these quit helpful and I hope you will too. Happy Brewing!
Best Brew Tips:
Choose whole beans and grind at home for the freshest taste. (It really doesn't take long to do this and you will notice a difference in the taste of your coffee!)

Store coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Do not store beans in the fridge or the freezer as they will absorb smells, which translates int o off-tasting coffee. (been there, done that, yes the freezer does.)

Use whole beans within 2weeks of purchase.

Choose a coffee maker that brews between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. ( or buy a french press and broil the water yourself. Talk about yummy coffee!)

Grind according to your type of coffee maker.

Use very cold, filtered water fro the purest coffee flavor. (believe it or not it does make a noticeable difference.)

Use about 2Tbsp or ground coffee for each 6 to 8 oz of water, adjusting for taste.

If you would like more coffee info I have listed some sites below:

* is a site dedicated to "ideas for environmentally sustainable living."

* is a site dedicated to coffee education. You can even look at coffee info by region.

*Global Exchange is a website that is "devoted to social, economical, and environmental justice around the world."

* "The worlds leading coffee buying guide"

Friday, July 13, 2007

Enviro propaganda

I am posting a clip of Robert F Kennedy Jr and Glenn Beck. I am posting because I am really irritated with RFK jr's Live Earth speech. If you watch the clip it will show what RFK said and what he called people who don't support his and the Live Earth supporters idea of environmentalism and climate change. It should also be noted that RFK jr is a environmental lawyer. I am also including the definition of fascist,fascism, and treason.

A fascist is someone who upholds fascism.

Fascism is a) A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b) A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Treason is a 1. Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
2. A betrayal of trust or confidence.

As you will see from the clip, at Live Earth RFK jr called people fascist who don't agree with his, and Al Gores, stance on climate change. He also went so far as to say they are guilty of treason! He is a lawyer! He understands the weight he words hold. He used these words to get the young crowd fired up. I sincerely hope the crowd understands the miss use of his words. Fascism and treason are some heavy words and they hold no meaning when it comes to environmentalism.

Also I should note RFK jr, in his speech at Live Earth, said to write Glenn Beck's advertisers and tell them they won't buy their products because they fund Glenn Beck show. I would normally agree with this kind of protest, except for the fact that one of Glenn Becks sponsors is Rennai tankless water heaters, which are EXTREMLY enviro friendly.Glenn Beck also owns a Rennai. Does RFK jr check his facts or is he hoping we don't check his? I am extremely insulted by his verbal carelessness.

Monday, July 09, 2007

3 Things of More

So, I am having a crappy day today. I have a sinus infection/summer cold, so does G, I had a mini argument with my mom, and a couple of other piddly crappy things happened. I was trying to think of something to get out of my grumpy funk when it dawned on me... I should think about things that I love rather than things that are annoying me currently. (And doesn't it seem that every thing is annoying when you are under the weather?)

So here it goes:

I love daddy's spending time with their children.

I love the smell of flowers after the rain.

I love senior citizens who still hold their spouses hand and look lovingly into each others eyes.

I love unrequested generosity.

I love little children giving each other hugs.

I love the pure joy my dogs seem to have every time I walk through the door.

I love the quiet.

I love the crickets chirping on a summer evening.

I love a good cup of coffee.

I love having a house in a safe neighborhood.

I love siblings helping each other with out being asked.

I love siblings falling asleep snuggling.

I love that all of these thing no matter how big, small, or "insignificant", are all blessings.

What do you love?

Friday, July 06, 2007

God,Fortune Cookies, and Bottle Tops

This is a fun and , hopefully, informative post. My mom believes and has always taught my sisters and I that God can speak threw anything and anyone. For example Moses and the fire bush, the talking donkey in the bible. For the past 4 or 5 years my mom has this thing with fortune cookies. She doesn't use the lottery numbers on the cookie paper and she has never believed the fortune cookies for more than a good laugh. Starting about 5 years ago she noticed the fortune cookies that she would receive seemed to be "speaking" to her. At the time my mom had been mulling over and actively speaking to God on matters of her personal and professional life. She had also started to feel frustrated about these matters. She and I had prayed about some of this and went out for Chinese one afternoon. We finish up and opened our fortune cookies and, I forget what the fortune was, but my mom started crying. She wasn't crying because the cookie told her she would meet the man of her dreams that day or find success, but it had encouraging words. Words that fit her situation to a T. This has continued to happen on and off for the past couple years to the point that we find it humorous. Where am I going with this? Well a friend of ours,Mimi, is moving and she knows how much my son G loves her son's Jeep. Her son does NOT like the Jeep. So she figured this would be a great time to give this to G. My son was so ecstatic!! He looked like he was going to explode with excitement. He ate breakfast,lunch, and dinner in HIS Jeep the whole next day. It was so evident that Mimi's gift meant the world to him. It really impacted him. I was sitting out back, watching G ride around in the Jeep, and sipping my favorite bottled tea, Honest Tea. They always have fun little quotes and sayings on the bottle top. So, I read my bottle top that day and I fell in love with what it said. It was a quote from Albert Price, "What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal." Wow. I just pondered that. Mimi's gift to G impacted him so positively. He will remember it and treasure it forever, at least in memory. The great people of the Bible and the world have been people that adhere to the quote from Albert Price.
Was it God "speaking" to me through the bottle cap? I think he was encouraging me and reminding me. We all should strive everyday to see God moving, speaking, or sending fortune cookies, you just never know how God is trying to get your attention. :)

Whoa Horsey!

Oh my gosh have I had a whirl wind 2 weeks! I am so glad it's coming to an end! Two weeks ago today we received a call from my other half's doctor letting us know they wanted to preform surgery on his vocal cords ASAP. From what we under stand, the size of the "nod" concerned them and they didn't want to leave it in there any longer. We were very excited! So they scheduled us for a 6:30 am surgery on June 25th. Sadly, Monday the 24th we received a call that my other half's grandfather had passed away. His grandpa was a really nice man. So the other half had surgery, as scheduled, then we traveled out of state Wed for the wake and Thursday for the funeral. It was so nice to see people we hadn't seen in ages, but it was frustrating for my other half because he was instructed not to utter a peep, or laugh, for 10days! Sadly he had to converse with family and friends via a white board and lip murmuring. I have to say I was very proud of him, he didn't utter a peep! We came home from the funeral on Thursday evening, stayed in town until Saturday then it was out of state again to visit the in laws! Whew!
It was a nice trip. The kids became proficient in lip reading and translating, we boated, looked for toads, hot tubed and all around lived it up while trying to keep the other half silent. I think being out of town helped him alot. Instead of staying home waiting for the days to roll bye until he could talk, we were out of town for a most of his silence and having continuous amounts of fun.

The other half went for his check up yesterday and clean bill of health!!!! The doctor was amazed that my other half had managed to stay silent for so long, except for a 4th of July party :) The doctor said the throat looked great and my other half can now start speech therapy and talking 5minutes an hour yesterday, and 10minutes and hour today. He was so ecstatic. The doctor also let us know that when he preformed the surgery he had to do more than he thought he would because of the size of the cyst. And he was concerned how the voice would be, but God is good and he sounds "great". It will be a while until we will see how his singing voice will be, but that too is up to God and the other half has amazed me with believing Gods will will be done either way. I know how important his voice is to him and that expression really touched me.

Because of all the things that went on the past two weeks we had to reschedule putting our house back on the market!!! I am so excited to do this again. I have no idea where God wants us. We are totally clueless to this, we are just praying like crazy. I am praying that God will have a strong Christian family buy our house. A family that will build up the neighborhood and be an asset to our neighbors and the neighborhood. We have such great neighbors that I am really saddened to have to move, but we have really out grown our house and it has served the purpose that it was given to us for. I also hate to close the book on the parts of my kids lives have unfolded in this house. I am so sentimental! But I know God has good things for us if we just pray, listen, and wait. (It's the waiting part that always gets me! Oh my gosh am I a proactive waiter. I really need to work on that! ;) ) I just know that if we keep praying God will bring the right family and the right time, people that will enjoy "our" house and create memories of their own too.

I know I haven't written in a while but I hope everyone had a great and reflective 4th of July!