All posts by “Norma

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Of Neighbors and Good Deeds

Have you ever … eaten a crepe cake?

The neighbor across the street from us, who loves to bake, brought two slices over the other day from a cake she had made. It was light and delicious.

The cake is made by making very thin crepes then layering them with “frosting” which was made with very little sugar. Later she brought the recipe over and I must say, it looks like it’s very easy to make. A search on the internet also shows many recipes.

We have very sweet neighbors.

Crepe Cake

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Mago Grill Review

We recently were looking for a place to eat in Arlington Heights, Illinois and came across the Mago Grill restaurant.

When we arrived they were still setting tables up outside, but we were seated immediately.

Our waiter came and poured water for us and took our drink and dinner selections.

The outdoor ambience was really nice while we were there but the sky was blue and the imminent rain shower that threatened drifted by.

This is not your “typical” Mexican restaurant as we soon found out. The menu is clear on what you get though.

My friend ordered the Arroz Con Pollo which is baked in a flaky pastry. It is much different than what I grew up with. Different but delicious.

Arroz Con Pollo In Pastry Puff

The dish I ordered, which was also quite delicious, was the Fillete Churrasco. I had asked for it to be cooked well done and most times it comes either burnt or overcooked. This time I was pleasantly surprised as it was well done and juicy.

Fillete Churrasco

Since I didn’t want the mashed potatoes, I asked if I could substitute them for the sweet plantains ~ I was accommodated with no extra charge.

We will definitely return to dine here again. Both service and food were great!

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God and Beauty

Deep Purple Hyacinth

Spring! I enjoy watching as the flowers come up from the ground. Such a beautiful dark purple hyacinth color ~ they look so majestic.

“In the beginning, God created … “

With all the turmoil in the world, I love how God puts me in the path of beauty that brings hope and gratitude to my heart.

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Brokenness and Hope

Sunset

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to look at our broken world and wonder if there’s any hope. But it starts with us ~ each one reaching one.

This quote resonated with me:

“When you’re overcome with the weight of the world’s brokenness, do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. For one, you can love, serve, and walk alongside to wholeness, freedom, and health. For one, you can raise a banner of respect, hope, and justice.” Wisdom by the Vineyard.

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Loving Shallowly

Mount Pilchuck, Washington

I recently received an email with an offer to order a new book written by Francis Chan. The book is called Until Unity.

One of the quotes mentioned by Chan in this email was:

We divide easily because we love shallowly.

Isn’t that the truth? If our love weren’t so shallow our division would be, could I say, non existent.

Yet as humans we wallow around looking at each other and pointing in judgment at all the things someone says or does.

Have we as Christians not spent enough time with Jesus to know how we should treat each other?

I pray that we are able to show God’s love to others ~

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Of Geese and Hope

As the geese wait for the ice to melt, so the world waits for the COVID virus to “melt” away. Yet ~ how much work is still be necessary.

Geese On Icy Lake

Grief ~ sometimes unrecognized ~ has set in to so many people’s hearts.Grief of time lost with loved ones, lack of human touch, physical and emotional death. Even spiritual death in some cases as questions of “where was/is God in all of this?” have arisen.I have seen people who I thought were level headed turn into angry and sometimes act, do I dare say it, nuts? Lack of reasoning sometimes looks like reasoning in our turbulent world.

I look forward to a time where we can empathize and sympathize in more tangible ways for, let’s face it, we have not walked in each other’s shoes. It is only as we “rub” shoulders with people that we can have any understanding of why they think/act as they do.

As society “opens up” this will hopefully be less difficult for us to do. Let’s choose to allow ourselves to become vulnerable ~ to see people and love them as Jesus did and perhaps, yes, perhaps there is hope for us.Let us be what has been called “balcony” people. Cheering and affirming each other on instead of “basement” people, drawing people downwards with criticism and judgments. I’m excited to see how people have changed in this pandemic and am ready to do my part in helping us all move forward in hope, compassion and love.

How about you?

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Of Neighbors and Bread

Asian Bread

While making dinner, a knock on the door. Unusual.

Opening the door I find my neighbor from across the street who had stopped to talk with me last week while I was shoveling snow. She left me for a little bit and came back with 1/2 a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread and explained “this is the way we make it.” This time she smiled ear to ear and handed me an aluminum foil covered gift. “A whole loaf of pumpkin bread for you ~ still warm” she said.

Asian Bread

We have some of the best neighbors …

Surely we are blessed!

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Tea For Two Dutch Garden Quilt

Tea for Two Dutch Garden II Quilt

A few years back, I received a free quilt pattern that came with its own fabric. I can’t remember why it was sent to me.

For some reason though, I did not like the fabric nor the design of the quilt so I laid it aside until I had absolutely nothing to do ~ which is never.

Last year though, my brother asked if I could make him a quilt and I said yes. I wondered if he would like the Tea For Two Dutch Garden pattern and fabric and he checked with his wife and said yes.

So ~ I started piecing the front of the quilt together. However, they have a queen bed and the measurements for the quilt are for a twin bed. I searched high and low for the fabric and, unfortunately, was not able to find the same fabric. I did find something similar and used it as the outside yellow dot border.

Tea For Two Dutch Garden II Quilt with Improvisation

(This is one reason why I feel that one should buy a fabric if they absolutely like it as they may not find it again.)

Around the time I finished the top, my brother asked if I would be able to add fabric to the quilt which was from a bed jacket that my sister-in-law had from her deceased mother. I told him it would be hard for me to add it to the front but that I could improvise and use it on the back of the quilt with different fabric. They loved that idea.

Back of Tea For Two Dutch Garden II Quilt (Improvised)

And so, this quilt is really two different designs. The top is the Tea For two Dutch Garden II with an added dotted yellow border by Monique Jacobs that featured the Boundless Dutch Garden II fabric, and the back is fabric that I used to improvise a different design. Although it doesn’t quite “match” I think it came out quite well.

I always wash the quilt fabric before I start piecing it together so that when the quilt is finished and I wash it, I get the vintage (crinkly) look.

Tea for Two Dutch Garden II Quilt

So, what do you think?

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Seasons and Life Cycles

Consider this comparison between the seasons and human life cycles:

Spring ~ birth through one’s 20’s

Summer ~ 30’s and 40’s

Autumn ~ 50’s, 60’s and 70’s

Winter ~ 80’s, 90’s and beyond

The problem with this thinking is that we can’t rely on living to a specific age.

The winter of our lives might be in our 20’s. Or even at birth.

When we consider that life is just a “mist” we are able to appreciate people in the present.

The flowers should be sent today. The “thank you” should be mailed or, better yet, call the person. I’m sure they’d love to hear your voice.

Time is shorter than we think. Live now as if it was your last day.