Solving a Mystery and Making Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

It’s not about winning or losing, but love and respect. Max Lucado

Our little friend Twiggy is visiting us this week.  We thought Lou would enjoy having some company since he lost his pal Keats a few weeks ago. And truth be told, we needed the company as well.  Twiggy’s a tiny dog – she weighs abut 15 pounds and stands about a foot high.  She’s a mixture of Italian Greyhound and Rat Terrier, and so sweet! She loves running around in our fenced-in yard.  And when I say “fenced-in” I mean a 6-foot fence that extends into the ground.  So after she’d been here a day or two, my next door neighbor came over to report that Twiggy had been leaving “presents” in her yard. Which completely puzzled me, because we have a fenced-in yard. And just to reiterate, when I say “fenced-in” I mean a 6-foot fence. We talked for a bit and she added that the neighbor who lives behind us, across the alley, had chased her out of his yard several times. Now Twiggy can jump pretty high – she easily jumps up 3 feet onto the table by the window – so I thought she may have been getting out by jumping up on something by the fence (like the summer lawn furniture which is now stacked for the winter).  But I couldn’t understand how she could get back in if she was escaping. And frankly I was pretty sure there was another small black and white dog running around, because our neighborhood is full of dogs.  And neither neighbor had been able to catch her, although it was weird that it seemed like the only time there were “presents” was when Twiglet visits us. 

Well, yesterday I left Twiggs in the house and Lou and I went outside.  I was trying to see if there was somewhere she could get out. Jim decided to let her out because she was raising such a ruckus. She came shooting out the back door and jumped the fence.  THE SIX FOOT FENCE. Sailed over it like a bird. I was so shocked I almost didn’t believe what I had seen – but luckily the other neighbor and Jim both saw it.  Apparently the little fart’s been just jumping in and out at will, and apparently she doesn’t like to use her own backyard as a potty. Honestly, I can’t remember being that surprised – at least not for a very long time!! Unfortunately, she’ll jump over at any provocation, so now I’ve got to put her on a lead when she’s outside. And it has to be set up just right so she can’t jump the fence – I sure don’t want her hanging there if she tries it (not to fear – she’s got a harness so we don’t hook up to her collar).  But I need to keep her safe. There are lots of fast cars in our neighborhood.

Okay, it’s finally COLD out. We’ve had an absolutely amazing fall here in Minnesota, but like they say, “don’t like the weather in Minnesota?  No problem, just wait 5 minutes”. Today I went out for lunch at about noon – it was practically balmy at almost 50 degrees and sunny!  No wind to speak of, just a beautiful day.  I needed to have the window in the car open.  Five hours later I left work, and it was so windy and cold that I couldn’t even stand outside for a few minutes to talk to a friend! We even had to put a coat on the Twiglet since she’s practically naked.

And to add insult to injury, it’s dark out very early now (since daylight savings time switched over). I know it’s terrible, but I’m counting down the days until 12/21 – the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of the year. I love that day – the very next day the days start to get longer.  If you aren’t from Minnesota you may not understand the impact this has on being able to get through the coldest and snowiest part of the year. We’re being told this winter is going to be similar to last winter – when we broke records for snowfall amounts. After the Winter Solstice, as early as a month later, you can see a real difference in the light. My mom and step dad started wintering in Florida about 10 years ago.  At first I couldn’t understand why – but now, I completely see the point! I really think I’d love to live in Alaska in the summertime, when it’s light out for almost 24 hours. But Minnesota is a truly beautiful place to live, even in the dead of winter.

So tonight it’s going to be a chilling 23 degrees for the low temp. A perfect soup night! And one of my favorite soups is  Greek Lemon Chicken soup. You may recall that I made this for my Girl’s Games and Giving group in September.  It was a big hit, and I decided to make another batch.  This soup has a lovely lemon flavor.  I believe I found this recipe on All Recipes but I’m not sure. I do know that the original recipe called for double the amount of lemon juice, but I like the lemon flavor to be a bit more subtle.  Experiment – you may enjoy a more intense lemon flavor. I love to make BIG batches of soup when I do make it, because it’s great freezer food – I can take a frozen container for lunch and it acts like an ice pack in my lunch bag – but by the time lunch rolls around it’s thawed quite a bit, and I just have to nuke it for a minute or two.  This soup freezes nicely as long as you freeze it without any additions like rice or noodles.

Start with these simple ingredients.

Dice the onions and celery and grate the carrots.

You’ll need some white pepper (watch out, it’ll make you sneeze!)

Mix the veggies, pepper, chicken base, lemon juice and chicken stock together in a large heavy saucepan.  Cook until the veggies are tender – about 20 minutes or so.

While the veggies are cooking, you’ll need to gather eggs, flour, cooked chicken and butter. You can use rotisserie chicken if you like, or just cook some chicken breasts (I like to rub them with a little olive oil, add some salt and pepper, and bake for about 45 minutes at 350°).

Separate the yolks from the whites, and save the whites for something else (you can freeze them!)

Beat the egg yolks until they lighten to a lemon yellow.

Mix together the flour and butter, and gradually add it to the soup, whisking constantly. After it’s mixed in thoroughly, simmer the soup for another 10 minutes or so to thicken it. Take some of the hot soup and pour slowly into the egg mixture, whisking constantly – this will temper the eggs so they won’t scramble.  Pour the eggs back into the soup and heat through.

Dice the chicken and add to the soup – heat through.

This soup is wonderful “as-is”, but I like it even better with rice. I make the rice separately and I don’t add it to the soup – this is because I like to freeze it – and cooked rice seems mushy to me after it’s been frozen.

Add the soup to the rice, and you have some warm and filling yumminess!

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh or reconstituted lemon juice (fresh is always better!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 tablespoons chicken base (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3 cups diced cooked chicken
  • cooked white rice

Directions:

  1. Combine the onions, celery, carrots, lemon juice, white pepper and chicken stock in a large, heavy saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Mix the flour and butter together into a smooth paste.  Gradually whisk this mixture into the simmering soup.  Continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes.
  4. Beat the egg yolks until they turn a light lemon color, about 60 seconds. Very gradually add about 1 cup of the hot soup to the egg yolks, whisking vigorously and constantly.  This tempers the eggs so they don’t scramble from the heat. 
  5. Pour the egg/soup mixture back into the the saucepan and cook several more minutes until heated through, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the chicken and heat through.
  7. Serve alone or over cooked rice.
  8. This soup can be frozen.

 

Ole and Lena

Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.  Mort Walker

I am half Norwegian – from my mom’s side. So Ole and Lena have been a part of my life as long as I can remember – along with various Norwegian phrases like munge tak (many thanks). Mom always wanted me to go to Norwegian language camp in the summer time – boy do I wish I had done that, but I had no interest.  But, I have learned a lot of Ole and Lena jokes and the one I heard last week might just be the funniest one yet (at least in my world!).

Sven stopped by Ole and Lena’s house and went in the kitchen, where he found Lena ironing and looking sad. “Lena! Vhat’s da problem?  Vhye so sad?”  “Vell,” said Lena, ” ya see, Ole and me bin haffing some trubbles in our marriaje and so vee vent to da doktor yesterday for his advice.” “Vell, vat did the doktor tell youse?” Lena replied, “He said dat Ole should go home and tinker with his John Deere and dat should make tings better, so he’s out in da barn”.  “Vhat da heck!” “I’m gonna go talk to Ole and find out vhat’s going on!”.  Sven stomped out the door and went to the barn, where, sure enough, he found Ole tinkering with his John Deere (now seriously, I mean he was working on the engine).  Sven said to Ole, “So Ole, Lena tole me youse have bin haffing some troubles in your marriaje?” “Ya”, said Ole, “but ve vent to da doktor and he gave us some goot advise and everytinks gonna be fine now”.  “Vell, vhat did the doktor tell youse?” Ole replied, “He said, Ole, you need to go home and do somethin to a tractor” (attract her).

I know…I know.  I just can’t help myself. Laughter to me truly is wonderful medicine! 
If you’ve got a good joke, leave a comment and share it with all of us!


Oh Boy, We’re Finally BOTH Fifty!

What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it. C.S. Lewis

Or will be shortly.  Some of my very best friends and I celebrate our birthdays together three times a year –  in February (me), April (Nae) and September (Pooh).  In September we’ll celebrate Pooh’s birthday.  Now as you may have guessed, her name isn’t really Pooh, but it was one of her nicknames.  I’ve known Pooh since 1973.  Yes, that’s correct. I said 1973.  And birthdays have always been the bane of her existence.  I remember turning 18 and feeling like I had a tiger by the tail – but not Pooh – she felt old even then!  And of course now that’s she turning 50 It gives me some great fodder for teasing her. Lovingly of course (hah!).

We met in Mrs. Brownlee’s art class in junior high (7th grade).  Mrs. Brownlee’s voice was very shaky (I don’t know if Pooh remembers that – at first it drove me crazy) but I grew to love her.  She was a great teacher and we had a great time in her class! Pooh and I sat across from each other every day and cemented our friendship.

Pooh was friends with everyone – Brains, Smokers, Jocks – everyone. I was friends with the brains (now I think known as nerds or geeks).  And she was (and of course still is!) a brain – I think that’s what drew us together back then.  We both did well in school, but we also got away with a lot of stuff.  I was just thinking about it the other day.  I know my parents genuinely liked Pooh, and I think her parents liked me, but I don’t think any of them liked the two of us together.  We had a lot of good crazy ideas and there was never any hesitation to run with it. I can still remember my dad telling me that I wouldn’t keep the friends I had in high school.  For the most part, he was right. But not about Pooh. A little over three years after we graduated she was by my side at my dad’s funeral. And she’s been by my side whenever I needed her ever since. I have a feeling we’ll be raising heck in a nursing home some day.

Pooh was much braver than I was.  She’d take me to the jock’s beer parties and flit around talking to everyone, and I was just, well, terrified. Plus I never have really liked beer (although at one time I could drink an entire pitcher of the stuff in 7 seconds – it’s amazing what I’d do on a dare back then). I completely lacked social skills at that age. By the time we got to high school we had amassed a small group of friends – our own little clique. It was an odd little group – or maybe eclectic would be a better word. There were four girls (let’s call them Pooh, Bear, Sandi, and Renee) and two guys (let’s call them Jerome and Wayne) – and one of the guys went to a neighboring school (I know this is weird, but we used to skip school to go visit our friends at the other high schools in town).

So of course we decided that we would all share a locker.  It happened to be my locker, which was the most centrally located.  We actually kept all coats in another locker, and used my locker as a meeting place between classes.  We super glued shelves into the locker and decorated the inside for all the major holidays.  That was eventually our downfall because the shelves we glued in would sometimes keep the locker from closing securely. And there was an eagle-eyed english teacher who had an obvious dislike for our little band of misfits – she watched us constantly.

We came up with all sorts of goofy ideas.  One of the goofiest was stealing pencil sharpener lids.  Yep, you heard me correctly.  Remember those old fashioned pencil sharpeners that were screwed to the wall – and occasionally you had to take the lid off and empty it?  Remember the funny smell of lead and wood? And how the pencil shavings would end up absolutely everywhere? 

At our school the pencil sharpeners were located in each classroom in a closet. They were about chest high and you had to open two doors out to get to the sharpener.  The doors also afforded a bit of privacy if you had to pick your nose or scratch yourself while sharpening a pencil. And thus an idea was born.  I don’t know what it was back then, but the stupidest, most moronic things would send us all into fits of laughter that were literally uncontrollable. So one day at lunch we started talking about what kind of a prank we could play.  And we decided to see who could steal the most pencil sharpener lids.  The caveat was that you had to steal them from a class you weren’t in. 

This entailed going in and interrupting the teacher during a class and asking innocently if you could sharpen your pencil – you’d been at the library and the point broke off.  They never said no.  And I don’t think they ever put two and two together when they noticed the missing lids!  For us girls it was relatively easy.  After all, we carried those huge purses that were made by cutting the legs off of a pair of jeans and sewing the bottom closed. I’m not clear on how the guys did it. We had a score sheet with all our names and hash marks for the lids.  About a week into this little adventure we decided that we should up the ante. At that point we added several items to the list – fire extinguishers, chalk, lunch trays and forks. Again, amongst massive fits of hilarity.  Truthfully, I don’t think most of us were going to go for anything other than the lids and possibly a piece of chalk or two.

So one day I was working in the school office (yes, I was one THOSE kids – I had three free hours during the day and they had to do something productive with me), when the school secretary approached me with a very stern look on her face.  I immediately assumed I had been caught giving out free passes for my friends to get back into class.  But all she told me was that I was to report to the principal’s office immediately, take a seat, don’t touch anything, and wait for the principal to arrive.  Our principal bore a striking resemblance to Omar Sharif, but he wasn’t nearly as romantic.  To say I was scared would be the understatement of the century.  It was the first time I had ever been in the principal’s office. Several minutes later the door opened, and in came Pooh.  She took a seat and asked me what the he** was going on? Couldn’t tell her.  Then in came Bear, followed shortly by Renee, and finally Jerome – the one guy that went to our school.  We were completely at a loss until the secretary came in and, very dramatically, placed the list of things we were “collecting” on the principal’s desk. We found out later that the mean english teacher had gone to shut our locker for us, discovered the list taped to the inside of the door, and subsequently found the box of nine pencil sharpener lids we had collected so far.  They couldn’t figure out where the ninth one had come from – Pooh had gotten it the county library the week before.

 Things became very clear at that moment, and suddenly Renee erupted in the most horrendous screeching scary laughter I have ever heard.  It started as a kind of snort, and grew louder and louder in a sort of hiccuping manner. Then it would stop for a second, and start again.  It sounded something like Snort then a screechy sort of HEE HEE HAW HEEEEE HAW HICCUP, quiet for just a second and then again SNORT HEE HEE HAW HEEEE HAW HICCUP!  Over and over. Turned out this kid had a problem with nervous laughter when she was in trouble.  And I think this was probably the most trouble Renee’d ever been in.  Of course, once we got over the initial shock we first tried shushing her, but it was so funny that by the time the principal came into his office the five of us were laughing so hard we were crying.  And we couldn’t stop  – because everytime we’d get ourselves under control, Renee would start in again. It was awful and wonderful all at the same time. I have never, before or since, been so disrespectful to an authority figure, and I have to say, it was kind of fun.  I couldn’t have done it alone though. I really think the principal realized too late he’d made a fatal mistake in confronting us as a group.  He  kept getting louder and madder, and we responded by not being able to sit still in our chairs because we were laughing so hard.  Finally he got up and told us we were going to look in each and everyone’s locker, one at at time.  Oddly, this announcement had a very sobering effect on Pooh and Bear. I didn’t notice it at first, and I wasn’t worried about what they would find in our lockers.

So off our little group went.  They had waited until everyone was in class to take us on our little journey. As we went from locker to locker I began to notice Pooh and Bear whispering to each other and looking really scared.  Turns out the two of them had lifted a fire extinguisher and stashed it in Bear’s locker.  While we were waitng in the principal’s office, all of our lockers had been searched for any other contraband.  They found nine lids, 2 pieces of chalk, a fork and the fire extinguisher.  By the time we got back to the principal’s office we become considerably more solemn.  I think at that point we were starting to wonder how much trouble we were going to be in.  The principal explained to us that because there were no lids on the pencil sharpeners, the lead and shavings had fallen on the floor and gotten ground into the tile, effectively ruining it.  Apparently we had caused $1500 worth of damage, and we had to pay for it. Of course, that was a massive bunch of baloney.  What we were really paying for was laughing when we shouldn’t have.  I know what we did was wrong, but, it really could have been handled better by the authorities.  Turns out my parents were the only ones who paid!  I think they had two reactions.  Total shock I had gotten in trouble, and trying really hard not to laugh.

I have great parents! In fact, during senior year Pooh and Bear and I would sneak out of our respective houses a few times a week after everyone had gone to bed, and we’d hang out at the smelting factory where our friend B was a security guard.  I was pretty sure my parents had no idea.  I would go down to the lower level of our split level house, through the workroom to the door that connected the house and the garage. Then I’d hightail it out the back garage door and meet my peeps down the street a ways.  Like I said, I thought I was pretty good at it until one day my dad said, “Hey Kimbo, can you do me a favor?” and I said, “What is it?” “Would you make sure and lock the door when you leave later tonight? You’ve been leaving it open”.

Pooh and I went on to have many more adventures, and maybe someday I’ll share some more of fhem.  Suffice to say we were both given a great deal of freedom, and while we made some mistakes, none of them were huge and we’ve stuck by each other through thick and thin.  A few years ago I watched her fabulous oldest son become an eagle scout, and now he’s starting his second year of college.  I still see him with his little gap toothed grin running through the house in his diapers playing hide and seek. And now he’s all grown up.

So this is going to be a special birthday. Pooh will join the ranks of those of us who’ve lived half a century, and it’s so great to have a friend I’ve known for most of my life.  She knows me inside and out.  What great gift! I feel like it’s MY birthday!  Happy Birthday Pooh, and here’s to many many more.

WOW! WOWSER! Philadelphia Cream Cheese ROCKS!

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

Just had to share my good news.  I just won a prize in the Real Women of Philadelphia (RWoP) cooking contest and I’m over the moon. I entered the contest on a whim, after reading an article on their Website about recipe development. Basically the article gave some simple but great tips about how to use what you have on hand.  I had some fruit that was not going to be viable much longer, some buttermilk and sour cream that were getting closer to the “use by” dates, and of course, I had gone out and bought some Philadelphia Cooking Creme. 

I actually hadn’t heard of Cooking Creme until I stumbled onto the RWoP site. Let me tell you, it’s really good. I’ve always loved to use cream cheese, and their Cooking Creme has the same great cream cheese tang.  It also comes in lots of different flavors, plus original. I have a favorite old recipe from back in the early 1980s that my in-laws used to make for every event.  We called it pudding dessert.  It was basically a baked crust, then a layer of pudding mixed with cream cheese and I think maybe milk, then a layer of Cool Whip and some chopped nuts. Surprisingly simple and really good.  I may have to make that one again now that it’s popped into my brain! 

Anyway, the contest goes for about 8 weeks and there are several permutations, so you can submit in whatever category best fits your skills.  For instance, the current contest is for appetizers – here’s the link: http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/.  You may remember the fruit soup recipe I posted a couple weeks ago – that’s the recipe that won! They announce the winners in a fun way.  There are  four hosts. Each host, I think, is in charge of two weeks of the contest. The host (isn’t this weird, I used to think I was a feminist when I was younger, and now I have a hard time saying “host” in lieu of “hostess” because it just doesn’t sound right!  Sorry, off topic again, what a surprise!) for the side dish contest is a cute lady named Moni and she did a darling video.

Let me set this up for you.  I got home from work, and went to check my email.  I saw that I had about six “Friend” requests from gals at the RWoP site.  Which possibly should have tipped me off but didn’t.  I did wonder about it, but then I saw an email from the site indicating that the picture of my dish had been uploaded to the gallery, so I clicked on it. And yes, indeed, there was my picture, looking a little sad amongst all the really awesome pictures.  There were about 25 or 30 pictures on the page, and 787 pages. So then I thought I got all the friend requests because my picture was newer or something.  Then I went and got a cookie and some milk.  You know, I still think it’s important to have cookies and milk after school (work).

Then I noticed an email from RWoP announcing the side dish winner.  So I clicked on that link, and there was a little video, which I started up and watched while I ate my cookie.  There was Moni, in a SWEET Tiki bar. She told her audience she was going to announce the first Side Dish Contest Winner, but first she was going to tell everyone a little bit about this person.

She started by saying “she has a raging sweet tooth”. This made me laugh and think, “Amen sister, me too!”.  Then she said, “She loves vintage things – glassware, tablecloth, anything vintage”. And I started to get a weird feeling.  Then she said, “She LOVES Jimmy Buffet”.  And I got an even weirder feeling, which I had no time to process, because then she said, “Congratulations Kim Sundermeyer” at which point my cookie fell out of my mouth, I started jumping around and screaming, and the dogs got scared and left the room. I just won $500 for cooking!! I am so excited!  If I could do a cart wheel, I would!  I’ve so been wanting a better camera and this will help me to achieve that goal.  Although, I do understand that it’s really how you operate your camera that makes the difference!  Here’s a link to the video: http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/post/our-first-anything-goes-side-dish-winner-is.

Now, all you home cooks out there – get your tushies right over to the RWoP Website and enter the contest!  Seriously, it’s a lot of fun and you could win! 

 

Home Really Is Where Your Heart Is

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon a rock. Matthew 7:24

When I was very young, I dreamed of owning a big beautiful house.  A house with lots of rooms, an attic, a huge kitchen, a big front porch – you get the picture.  My first house was a townhouse.  It had 2 bedrooms, a medium sized kitchen, a dining area, a nice sized living room, and an unfinished basement.  I think it was around 1100 square feet. 

I grew up in a house that was just slightly larger, maybe 1500 square feet. I don’t know what I thought the draw was to owning a large house, but oh, how I dreamed! In the meantime, life happened.  I got divorced and suddenly had to pay the house payment with my piddly paycheck.  I was definitely house poor!  I could’ve moved, but I was stubborn and I had two dogs, and no money for a new house. I didn’t think I could find a rental that would allow dogs. I worked two jobs, had roommates, did whatever I needed to do to hang on to the rock around my neck…then I met Jim. 

My Jim. He lived in a tiny little house – about 500 square feet.  It was a typical bachelor pad on the inside – everything was brown and gray.  There were boiled bear bones in the crisper drawer and pheasant feathers everywhere.  The head and foot of the bed were covered in circles of different colored leather that he had cut out and glued on.  The bedroom curtains were kelly green and black, and the bedding was cast off floral. In his tiny living room resided a cedar closet, a desk built out of an old door, a piano (I kid you not), a filing cabinet, a table and chairs, and a couch. And he was in the process of decorating the arch in the middle of the room with tongue and groove cedar.  There was grasscloth wallpaper (under which I later discovered another 8 layers of wallpaper dating back to the early 1900s).  And plants everywhere. Hung up by hangers he had macramed himself.  A perfect old hippie bachelor pad. To say it needed a bit of sprucing up would be the understatement of the century.

But oh the yard. Not much wider than the house, but so deep – about the length of a football field.  And in the back, his wonderful, magical garden.  Sunflowers and green beans, potatoes and beets, carrots and onions, lettuce and peppers, and the tomatoes!  Row after row of tomato cages bursting with bright red fruit. And all around the house a nimbus of morning glories creeping up the sides and glowing with color.  In the front the sidewalk was lined with huge hostas, and he had brought back two birch trees from his family’s cabin up north – one for the front yard and one for the back yard.  And there was a majestic elm tree in the back yard, perfectly placed to shade both the bedroom and an outdoor table. The piece de resistance were the lilacs lining one side of the yard.  In full bloom and smelling like heaven.  I think seeing the wonder of Jim’s yard may be the first time I realized I was falling in love. And when I first began to see the charm and loveliness of a small home.

Over the years, there have been many changes in the house.  It’s still tiny, and it needs lots of work, but what I love most about is that it’s cozy. It’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  My step brother-in-law is from Turkmanistan and he was over one day – I got such a kick out of his comment – he said, in his thick Russian accent, “You liff in a mini house!” And then he chuckled wryly.  Jim has done all the work in the house.  He completedly gutted the living room (which is also the dining room) at one point, and made it a beautiful room.  He milled the wood for the windows and millwork from black ash, which is actually a very light wood. 

My friend Leslie came over a couple of weeks ago and what a gift she gave me – she painted my living room for me with the yellow I’ve always wanted.  It’s just beautiful. After Jim redid the living room  I learned to sew –  making my curtains out of red gingham fabric with red rick rack trim. Over the years we’ve furnished it with good quality hand me down furniture and sale items; and a couple of really cool garage/rummage sale finds (including a coffe table with a top that pulls up and out, so you can sit on the couch and eat at a regular table; and a gorgeous and expensive Queen Anne wing chair we got for $7.50).  My mom’s gorgeous half round china cabinet fits perfectly in the corner and houses all my glass “treasures”

I have kitchen gadgets and machines coming out my ears, and Jim built me a wonderful cabinet over the stairs to store everything.  He’s the master at figuring out how to use space effectively. And although I still sometimes dream of a larger house, it wouldn’t be much larger.  As the years have gone by I’ve come to love this little house we live in.  I would miss my house.  It’s very dear to me.  And what I find really neat is that it seems the trend is going towards smaller homes – sometimes to the point of silliness (70 square feet is just a tad too small).  But what I have learned is that my home is in my heart.  It’s the people who gather with me for good and bad, and the laughter and  closeness that makes my house my home. I can have celebrations and dinner parties and the smallness seems to bring people closer together.  And I feel so blessed to be among those who have a place they can call home.  A spot to come to each night and rest a weary head and limb. A place that makes me feel safe and happy.  I thank God every single day for the blessings he has poured out on me. 

What do you love about your home?  What would you change if you could?  Would you rather live in big house or a small house? I’d love to hear your thoughts.