A couple weeks ago I got a craving for some homemade chocolate chip cookies. So we went to the store in search of butter and found something that at least looked like it, though we couldn't read the label. So we enjoyed one of my first batches of cookies since moving here. We are still not really sure what it was that we bought instead of butter because we know it was something that might have a similar purpose, but definitely not the same thing. The best I can describe it as is a bar of shortening or crisco. However, the cookies still turned out decently well, and the fact that we were really craving cookies made them all the more enjoyable.
Not being able to read all the labels of food in the grocery store definitely adds a different angle to my cooking adventures. Some foods can be very obvious, like fresh vegetables. But other foods, like foods you might find in a can, are a lot of guess work for us. If the picture on the can looks like it might be what I am looking for than I just go for it. Some times we are brave enough to ask the cashier what something is just to be sure we are getting the right thing. Otherwise, we just have to try it and see what happens.
When I was younger I used to ask my mom what something was when she came home from the grocery store and she would say something like, "Read the label." or more sarcastically, "Can you read?" Well, I think, Mom, I can truthfully say now, "No, I can't read the label!"
Today I am trying Vegetarian Curry(Just to clarify, I am not vegetarian by choice, but rather because it is cheaper.) for the first time. First, I have never made curry before in my life, so this is a new adventure all together. Furthermore, Yes, once again, labels are written in Hebrew that I can't read. So I found something that looked like curry paste and which maybe would have helped the mixture thicken, but I wasn't certain it was actually curry paste, so I decided to just try making it with the curry powder alone. Next, I was in search of coconut milk. One of the labels did read in English "coconut cream" and I had seen one recipe call for that, so I though that might be a safe bet. The other cans said "Coconut liquid" which made me a little hesitant, so I went with the cream, hopefully the right option. It did not thicken super well, but on top of rice it turned out perfect. However, It does have quite a kick to it! Whoops! I tend to over spice foods!
Anyone else like Curry? Have a good recipe you care to share? I would love any curry cooking tips, since this is a new endeavor of mine and something I hope to try again.
I love that God brought Tyler and I together. I love, too, that we were really good friends before we ever dated. I love that God gave us (and more particularly me) the grace to be friends and stay friends even through the years of my having a lot of feelings for Tyler and not at all knowing if he had feelings for me. I can assure you, that is not an easy task, being friends when your heart wants so much more.
You may wonder that if I liked him so much why I didn't just do something about it instead of wondering for almost two years whether or not he liked me, but never having clarity.
Well, mostly I was scarred to death to broach the subject, knowing that our relationship would be changed forever if I did. I could either find out that he didn't like me and I would then have to decide if I could still be his friend, knowing it would never go beyond that. Or I could find out he liked me, but neither of us be in the place of being truly ready for a relationship. In the end, I am glad I found out that he liked me when I did because it was when his own heart was ready and he could truly say he did like me. If it had been any sooner he may have not been ready and I would still be left in confusion.
I had one year left of school and he had two. So we dated and got engaged during my last year and got married right after I graduated.
But more about what I love about us, sometimes we are almost exact opposites. We have a lot of core values that are the same and I think that is often what ties us together. But personality and interest-wise, we are often the opposite.
I love writing and reading fiction. I am also an introvert and spend far too much time alone. Tyler on the other hand is a language guy. He loves learning languages and he is such an extrovert, dragging me into a social scene even when I don't always believe that I will enjoy it.
Sometimes we think we belong with the person we are most like. But the truth is opposites are what strengthen us and strengthen our character. I love that Tyler pushes me to do things that are hard for me, pushing me to go beyond my comfort zone.
I could have been very happy living a 'normal' life in America, out in the country or in a small town. But instead Tyler's dreams and passions of learning ancient languages have taken us to Israel, once again, far outside of my comfort zone. And all because of that, I too am able to pursue my passion as a writer and hopefully, author someday. All because I was forced outside of my comfort zone, yet able to have the time to explore more of what I love, writing.
I don't know if this passion and love for writing will get me anywhere in life career-wise, but I know at least that I am trying. These may be the only years of my life that I will be able to pursue this goal to this extent, so why not take the opportunity while I have it. I hope that in the end it will get me a book or two published, but even if not, I hope it will not be in vain. I hope that if nothing else, the stories and books I write will bring encouragement and pleasure to my own soul as I write them.
*I wanted to use a picture of Tyler and I from our wedding day, but the image was apparently too amazing for Weebly to handle without paying for the upgrade. ;)
I posted a couple weeks go about the coming of fall or maybe the lack there of in Israel. But here I am sharing once more and linking up over at Victory Lynn's Blog fall party. Go over and check out her blog along with others.
It is mid-October now and I have already seen several friends on social media inform me through photos that it has already snowed at least once if not more in places such as Minnesota or Colorado. I have seen people already bundled up in warm coats and I have seen pictures of the color changing leaves. So I am fully aware that fall is here in some parts of the world.
However, the temperatures are still in the 80s Fahrenheit during the day time here in Jerusalem. But it is only this month that it has finally started to rain a little bit on occasion and one night there was even a thunderstorm. I think the rain is what informs us here of the changing of seasons. The temperatures are still high and the leaves are still mostly green, but when it starts to rain more you know that the rainy season is on its way. It may not be fall or winter, but it is a change of seasons at least.
Despite the lack of fallishness in the atmosphere, I think I am looking forward to the changing of seasons. I am looking forward to sipping on more hot tea and an occasional cup of hot chocolate. I already drink hot coffee each morning, but there is something a bit more cozy about drinking it in the fall or winter. I might buy some spices and make some real chai, which is refreshing and fun for the cooler season.
Obviously numerous books are going to be read. And from what I hear it will be raining a lot in the next few months, so what is better than cozying up with a cup of tea, a book, and the gentle music of rain in the background.
I suppose the magic of fall here in Israel is the music of rain rather than the colorful leaves. And instead of a leaf pile to jump in, there will be water puddles to splash through.
And instead of a forecast of continual snow from Minnesota, there might be a forecast of unceasing rain.
I wrote this poem in 2015 and shared it on my other old blog for National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day and I wanted to share it again on my new blog this year.
I know this little poem doesn't even begin to tell of the suffering and heart ache that women go through from a miscarriage, but this is my own little way of remembering those women, many of whom are friends, and praying God's comfort and peace for them as they are probably remembering today, too.
I have not experienced a miscarriage yet myself, but now being married, I do know what it feels like to have false hope. There have been more than one occasion that I thought, maybe even just for one day, that I was actually pregnant only to discover that I was not. To think, even for a little while, that I may actually be carrying life in my womb only to have that dream crushed and hope destroyed is heart rending. So how much more heart ache for the woman who knows she is caring life and looking forward to the day she will hold that child in her arms at last, when suddenly that little one is taken away. This little poem, though poorly written and not nearly expressing everything it should, is written for those friends.
Tiny little toes, tiny little fingers,
Tiny little ears, Tiny little mouth.
Little child, little baby,
I’ll never watch you grow any more.
You’ll never see the light of day.
Never see the moon at night.
Never hear the lullabies I wanted to sing you,
Never fall asleep in my arms,
Never cue, never laugh, never smile,
Not on this earth anyway.
You went to the father’s home too soon,
Or so it feels that way.
There were stories I was going to tell you,
Memories we were going to make.
There were adventures we were going to have
And lessons I was going to teach you.
You were supposed to grow into an adult some day
Or so I thought it was supposed to be that way.
But God has different plans,
Different dreams for your little life.
He formed you and made you,
But only for the womb to live and abide for a time.
But you died and God took you home
And I cried because I could not understand.
I had waited and I had longed
For the day we would meet face to face.
But God has different plans than mans.
Why did God give you life for such a short time?
Why did he make you, only to take you home?
That is something I may not ever understand.
I love you little one,
And some day I will hold you again,
But this time in my arms and not just in the womb,
But waiting sometimes feels so long.
As you know (probably), I do a ton of reading.
Sometimes I read light and easy books, that are cute sweet stories, but that I will probably not remember much of in a couple months. But sometimes I read books that tend to stick with me all through life.
There are books that I have read maybe only once and maybe even years and years ago when I was young, but the story some how sticks with me and makes an impression on my heart. I may not remember the name of the book or the name of the author, but something about the story just sticks. Those are some of my favorite books.
I love a book that can touch me emotionally and cause me to think or feel deeply.
Two books I have recently read that I think have done this is a new novel called Beloved by a young author Kaitlyn Krispense and a classic called The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.
Beloved is written by young new author and you can visit her blog here. I didn't read the book thinking the writing style was absolutely amazing. There were times when I thought it was well said and times when I thought it was a little choppy or awkwardly said. There were times when I thought that I would have written it a little differently, too (but I am not the author of that book, so I don't really have any say). But the truth is, the author did have the ability to make me think and feel deeply and I think that is what makes the book stick in my memory. I don't know if I underlined anything in this book or came away with any grand quote, but I did come away from the book having a greater desire to love and reach out to hurting children who have no family. I came away from the book longing to be able to adopt or foster care or both, some day myself. I would definitely consider reading more from this author.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte I just finished reading, as well. This story was really sad at points. Anne wrote it as a kind of warning for young women to be cautious in the kind of man she marries. I don't think she was ever married herself, but she did have some very hard and difficult experiences which influenced much of the book. The book was beautifully and creatively written. After getting into the book, I had a hard time putting it down. I still like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte better, but I really enjoyed reading a book from another Bronte sister. I have still not gotten the courage to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and don't know if I ever will, but I would read more by Anne or Charlotte.
What are some books that have stuck in your memory recently? Any book suggestions, especially if I can get it free on kindle? Classic or new fiction?
This week is a little more busy then most of my weeks in Israel have been so far.
We have friends from our church back in Minnesota who are here visiting on a tour. We got to join up with this tour group yesterday and see some sites with them that we hadn't visited yet.
But more than the sites we visited are the friends that we have been able to visit with. It is so sweet and special to have friends from the u.s.a visit us in our home in Israel. It is going to be sad to see them leave again at the end of this week. It reminds me just how much I miss my family and friends back home.
Tyler and I caved in to our Settlers of Catan addiction and bought the game at a shop near by. It will give us something to do with each other on our quiet evenings by ourselves or open the door to making new friends.
My computer charger broke last week, so I haven't been able to do as much writing lately. But thankfully I can use Tyler's computer when he is not needing it for school.
I made some Vegetarian Chili this week which turned out quite delicious if I do say so myself. I am definitely not a vegetarian myself, but because meat is rather expensive here, Tyler and I have been eating a lot less meat then usual. It has been fun to learn new things in cooking and learn to cook without some things.
I also made Shakshuka, a popular Israeli dish, last week which turned out really delicious, as well, and definitely something we will be making again.