Friday, August 22

Prayer Request

I would love your prayers right now, wonderful interweb friends. A good friend of mine, my best friend in the whole wide world since sixth grade when we played the oboe together in band what? I wasn't in band. Ok, ok, yes I was. I am a true, double-reed playing nerd at heart. Don't tell anyone.

I digress. My bestest friend ever was diagnosed with cervical cancer this week. It's really early, and I think the outlook is good, but still. When you hear 'you have' and 'cancer' in the same sentence, it's not exactly a perk-up-my-week kind of moment, you know? Please pray for her. She's been one of the most positive influences in my life, and she's a little down right now. Ha. As you can imagine. Pray that she would have peace and calmness, and wisdom for some decisions that she and her husband are in the process of making, and that she would just feel God's loving arms wrapped around her, which I know they are.

I'm off to visit her this afternoon, so I'll be back and try to have a fun post up tomorrow. I keep forgetting that I still haven't introduced y'all to Maggie, my new, sweet, slightly scared (of other people, not me) pound puppy.

Tuesday, August 19

An Open Letter

Dear Food:

I don't understand why we have to be like this right now. We've always been on the best of terms! I love you more than I love myself. When someone asks me if I'm hungry, I always reply with a smirk, 'Oh, we must not have met before.' I am always hungry. My husband constantly tells me, 'Baby, you've never met a carb that you didn't like.' And it's true. Except maybe for um well, there's that one thing uh, oh, how about that dish nope, uhh, I love carbs. Oh! Rye bread. Sorry, I don't like rye bread. Whew, glad I got that off my chest. Rye bread, I'm sorry to break it to you like this.

But I digress. Food, we've always had a lovely relationship. I mean, there was that one time in high school, when I flirted with maybe being anorexic or bulimic, because I knew a lot of (in retrospect, really messed up) girls who were doing it. Then I realized that I'd just be hungry, and I was already tiny to begin with, and I didn't want icky teeth and stringy hair, but mostly I didn't want to have to break up with you. Because I love you.

Even my husband has come to terms with the other love in my life. (Sometimes, I tell him that he's my other love, but he knows that I'm probably kidding, unless I'm making coffee cake or pancakes or homemade bread, in which case, like I said, he's come to terms with that.) And don't get me started on butter. The three secrets to French cooking? Butter, butter, and a little more butter. And I don't even eat French food, although I can make a mean crepe.

I have a love affair with fresh vegetables, as you can see evidence of in this recipe. And this one. Don't even get me started on bell peppers, or we'll be here all day. I have gardens that I sometimes view as shrines to you, food. Herbs. Tomatoes. Pumpkins. Oh, pumpkins. This recipe changed my life for the better, and I've never looked back, even though you actually have to peel and grate a pumpkin.

I have a thing for peaches. Especially fresh ones from Fredericksburg. I love books about food. I sit down and read The Joy of Cooking, even though a bunch of the recipes are crap, like it's a novel. Last week, I made 12 coffee cakes. I'm not kidding. I mean, I gave several of them away (just ask Sarah), and some are in my freezer, but did I mention that I made 12 coffee cakes???

And now, I can't have you, dearest Food. I have picked up a light version of John's despicable stomach bug. Eating half a banana, the thing I find most tolerable at the moment, sends me to bed with queasiness for three hours. Those five bites of lasagna I had yesterday evening? I'm still regretting that, and it's 8:30 the next morning.

What have I done to you? Please, just tell me, and I'll apologize and make it up to you. I promise I'll never say whatever it was I said ever again!! Since Friday night, here's what I've eaten (and please bear in mind that it's now Tuesday!): 4 small slices of an amazing pizza from Two Rows; four Rolos; a hot dog; two bananas; five large, ill-advised bites of lasagna.

That's it! This is killing me!! Why can't we all just get along? I'm ready to kiss and make up, Food. I yearn for chicken pot pie, I long for a fresh fruit and yogurt smoothie, I pine for a big steaming bowl of brown rice, I weep for spice cake, my heart breaks for purple hulled peas, and I mourn the fact that I can't eat the pancakes I'm about to make for the rest of my family.

Why, God, why??? How do I fix this? I'm just hungry, and I want to eat without cursing the Food I love 10 minutes later. I'm very happy with my size, I feel no need to change it, and already my stellar boot cut jeans that may have been a tad on the ... uh ... fitted side aren't so fitted anymore. If this continues, I'll have to buy a belt!!!!

So, in closing, my darling Food, please get back to me soon. I miss you like a caged bird misses flight, like a sightless man misses colors, like a broken pen misses the poetry it once wrote. Please, please, let's make up and be friends once more.

Yours always and forever,
and with more love than you can imagine,

~Brea Stewart

Friday, August 15


Holy shark repellent, Batman!! Life is crazy, but great! We've been really busy with the new dog, starting school again, baking, and keeping up with the everyday housework. I keep waiting for things to slow down, but truth be told, I'm happy being busy. It keeps my mind off other things, and makes me feel great being accomplished. Or something like that. :)

Sorry I haven't posted more. Other than work stuff and email, I haven't been on the interweb very much in the last month. I've been lurking around my friends' blogs, but haven't done much blogging myself, obviously.

And now, we're off to Houston!! The kids and I are going to drop John off at a friend's house (we only have one vehicle, and he's going to borrow a car so he can do wild and crazy things like go to work ...) and head to my mom's, stopping on the way to visit my youngest brother at work. I'm going to the Astros game this evening with my two best girlfriends from high school, Sarah and Margret. It'll be our last time to go out together for quite a while, because Sarah is a fool moving to Ohio. Who leaves Texas to go to Ohio? Seriously!! But I really an going to miss her like you don't even know.

Then I've got an awesome XanGo event on Saturday ... So I'll be able to write my whole weekend (except for the drinks after the game, of course!) as a tax deduction!! Woohoo!! My brother and some friends are going to crash here on Saturday night, because they're going tubing in New Braunfels and driving here after. They were really hoping to camp, but since basically all of Texas is under a burn ban, they can't have a fire, and what's the point of camping if you can't have a campfire??

So. What do you have planned over the next few days? I want to hear about it, even if it's not the most exciting weekend you've ever had. :) I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful weekend!!!!

Thursday, August 7

millions of peaches, peaches for me

I love my husband.

But I love him even more when he isn't sick.

Seriously! It's like having an extra 3 kids!!

But he's doing much better. He walked in the door yesterday evening with a big grin on his face. Immediately suspicious (believe me, I didn't marry a big-ole'-grin kind of guy), I asked him what was going on. He said, 'Oh, nothing. It's jut nice to feel human again.' He did not have a good few days!!

And last weekend, I bought over half a bushel of peaches from the guy at the Farmers' Market ... for only $10!!! That's right, a ginormous cardboard box of fresh Fredericksburg peaches, for just $10. I rule. :) But this is why it pays to know the people who grow your food. I had mentioned to Peachy John (not to be confused with Husband John) a few weeks ago that I love canning food, and having good quality stuff to eat when the fresh food goes out of season. So when I went up there on Friday, he said, 'Hey, I might have something for you! Are you still putting up food?' I told him that I was, and he said, 'Well, I brought a whole box of slightly bruised fruit, and I can't sell it, but I thought you might like it. I'll give it to you for $10.'

I died. Then I came back, shrieking, 'I'll take it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' And when I got home and started looking through the box, I knew Peachy John had been more than fair. Much of the fruit was really great, maybe a slight bruise or imperfection. A few of them ... not so much. I had to throw several to the chickens. They were ok with that. But since peaches turn so quickly, I had to work my butt off this weekend to get everything done. I made about 8 smaller peach cobblers, canned 5 pints of sliced peaches, made 5 pints of peach butter, and made a peach pie. This is after we all (except Sick Husband John) gorged ourselves on fresh peaches out of the box.

I know, I know. It's a hard life, but somebody's gotta do it!!

This goes to reaffirm how good God has been to my family. This might now have been such a big deal to another family, because 99% of the people I know don't can food. They would have turned down this offer. (Then again, I can't sew to save my life, so while being offered a few bolts of pretty cloth might be wonderful to someone else, it wouldn't help moi.) But God always provides; it's just not always in when ways I was expecting or hoping. But the unlooked for blessing can be the best ones, in my opinion!!

And in other news, we've had three recent additions to our family in the last month, so I'll post some pictures tomorrow. It's just hard to get a good snapshot, when they're constantly chasing each other, or running after sticks you throw, or getting distracted by butterflies.

On that note, I have got to gets me a nap!! I haven't been sleeping well lately, and it's not helping my over all, general sweet and pleasant disposition.