Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review - The Angels' Share by James Markert


The Angels' Share is written by James Markert and is published by Thomas Nelson.

Well, I did not exactly know what to expect upon reading this book, in spite of what the back cover said. My first thought was, "This is a book about whiskey." My first thought was partially correct. Whiskey does play a part in the story and, for those of you who do not drink alcohol - myself included - it can be a stumbling block.

As I got further into the book, I realized that the protagonist (William) and his family were not your normal Christian family. Barley (the father), in particular, was pretty bad. So ... of course I then thought that the booze that was taking such a large part of the storyline would get the bad rap that I thought it deserved.

It did not, per se. However, all of the drinking aside, I have to tell you that the story is a compelling one that grabs the reader from the get go. There is that mystery of who Asher Keating really was and that mystery is a thread that starts at the beginning and winds throughout to the end, where it is pretty much tied up. And that Asher Keating thing got me confused - and worried - because I did not want to read another The Shack type of story.

It does sort of read like The Shack. Bummer. However, The Angels' Share is not an allegorical type of book. Does Markert make Asher Keating into Jesus Christ? You'll have to read it for yourself to know that answer. For me, I was not totally in love with that whole part of it.

When Jesus Christ returns, He's not going to come as another baby human who grows up - and a very flawed and imperfect one at that. If you will recall, Christ has always been perfect and Holy. Though His first coming was in the form of a human baby who grew up and died on a cross, and resurrected on the third day, He will return as the King that He is.

I hope that people will not read The Angels' Share and become confused about who Jesus really is. I hope they will not come away with the thought that salvation is not dependent upon their repentance and trust in the only One perfect enough to become a sacrifice for the sins of others. If all one wants is a fun and interesting read, the book is great. If folks are looking for a truthful look at redemption, they will want to look to the Bible.

*I received a copy of The Angels' Share in exchange for my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.*

Monday, April 10, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - April 10

Before I post my not so healthy menu plan, I want to direct you to the updated dirty dozen foods as well as the clean ones. Let's face it. People are becoming more and more sick and wanting answers. I think we deserve to know what's in our food, don't you? Please join me in supporting the groups who are demanding that the food companies in the United States be required to label genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), as well as perhaps all of the chemicals that have been blasting our food for decades.

Monday

Meat Loaf
Baked Potatoes
Fried Gluten-free Biscuits

Tuesday

Rice
Salads

Wednesday

Pasta
Cottage Cheese

Thursday

Beef & Gravy over Noodles
Green Beans

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers
Potato Salad

Easter Sunday

Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Gluten-free Green Bean Casserole
Deviled Eggs
Sliced Pineapple
Cherry Pie
Custard Pie




Monday, April 03, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - April 3



Happy Monday!

Monday

BLTs
Scalloped Potatoes

Tuesday

Slow-cooker Pork Chops
Rice Pilaf
Peas

Wednesday

Grilled Steaks
Baked Potatoes
Organic Corn

Thursday

Taco Salads
Ice-cream

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Burgers & Beef Hot Dogs
Tossed Salads

Sunday

On Your Own

Monday, March 13, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - March 13


It is difficult these days to make a menu plan that is affordable yet doesn't contain unhealthy ingredients. I have found that shopping at discount stores like Aldi (which carries some organic products at a reasonable price) helps, but the choices are still limited.

It is with great interest - and trepidation - that I have been reading the book Modified, by Caitlin Shetterly. This book rips the GMO industry wide open. To be honest, I am really frightened for our children and future grandchildren. Our country has allowed our food supply to be completely altered into some sort of Frankenstein experiment that, quite "frankly", is killing us.

What originally drew me to this book is that Shetterly suffered much the same symptoms of physical distress as I have in the past several years. For me, it is only getting worse in spite of medication. Shetterly's own journey toward finding answers came in the form of an allergist who decided that her problem was a reaction to genetically modified (GMO) corn. Once she weeded out corn completely, and put herself, her husband, and son on an organic, non-GMO diet, her health returned. In fact, her husband and son were healthier too.

If you are squeamish and hate to hear anything that can be construed as a threat to your health and well being, don't read this book or others like it. Of course, you would be burying your head in the sand and accomplishing nothing. If you are afraid of the giant GMO companies and others who are pro-GMO, again, bury your head in the sand and pray that you don't get sick. However, if you want to know more and then take action, a simple search on the internet can help you link up with groups who are trying their hardest to fight this stuff and restore health to the American people.

Okay, so what is my plan for the week?

Monday

Enchiladas (home-made filling and sauce)
Re-fried Beans
Salads
Fruit Bowl

Tuesday

Roast Beef & Root Vegetables
Steamed Asparagus
Cupcakes

Wednesday

Leftover BBQ Beef Ribs Wrapped in Flatbreads
Cauliflower
Baked Potatoes

Thursday

Grilled Chicken Thighs
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Veggie Burgers
Salads

Sunday

On Your Own


Monday, February 27, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - February 27



So far, my family HAS noticed the WFPB (whole foods plant based) meals I have tried to slip in from time to time. I am trying to cut animal products from our menus as much as I can, but to no avail - yet. I truly feel that the animal proteins are very hard on the body and can cause disease.

Since eliminating much of it from my own diet, I can say that I am feeling better every day. Last year at this time, I was rapidly losing weight and feeling dizzy most of the time. I went to the doctor to be diagnosed with a bad virus. Well, I just kept getting worse and the doctor decided it was not a virus. I underwent some tests and had no tumors but LOTS of acid reflux. I balked at taking medication but decided to go with it because, after having my belly pressed with the ultrasound, I found that the burning and nausea was unbearable. Before that, I had experienced no burning but did have some pain under my left arm that I thought, at the time, was either stress or even mild heart attacks.

So.....it is a year later and I am still on medication. The burning is there at times, but the dizzy spells are pretty much gone. I do have a "lump" in my belly that the doctor says is the duoendum (the part of the stomach going to the small intestines) filling with bubbly gas. I believe that to be so, because at those times it feels hard, I burp a lot and feel the burning. And it is always an hour or two after eating. Once four or five hours have passed, I feel great.

So, how did I get to this point even though I felt I was eating healthy? After all, I was thin, followed all of the diets that now claim we need lots of fat in our diets (which I now believe to be false), and even did some exercise? I think it was the fat I was consuming in the form of "healthy fats". I ate lots of avocados, coconut oil, and even fat from animal products, all deemed to be necessary by the latest "experts". I had even considered, before I got sick, putting our family on a Paleo diet. They would have loved it, but I don't think their bodies would have.

By this time next year, I hope to be off of the GERD medication and controlling my condition via a WFPB diet. If the rest of the family won't come with me now, they might in the future when they see how far I've come (from a sickly 85 pounds to a healthy and glowing 100 pounds - I'm only 5 feet and small boned).

My plan for the week includes plant based dishes, but my husband insists I put meat on the table as well.

Monday

Pot Roast with Vegetables
*Vegetable Stew over Spaghetti Squash
Homemade Biscuits
Cake & Ice-cream

Tuesday

Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Beets, Carrots, & Onion

Wednesday

Left-over Ham
Scalloped Potatoes
Baked Beans

Thursday

BBQ Ribs
Steamed Potatoes
Salads

Friday

Pizza & Pop 
(I make my pizza without cheese and it's good)

Saturday

Hamburgers
Bean Burgers
Baked Potatoes
Applesauce

Sunday

On Your Own


To make Veggie Stew, I put a quart of pureed pumpkin or squash, a little crushed dehydrated kale, chopped onion, and some black eyed peas in a slow cooker with whatever vegetables I have on hand. This week it is snap peas, green beans, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper (and garlic if you don't have acid reflux). You could add additional herbs and seasonings to your preference. Cook on low until the vegetables are tender. Only add water or vegetable broth if it is too thick and you're worried about scorching. This is wonderful as a thick "sauce" over cooked spaghetti squash.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Review: God Bless our Baby by Hannah C. Hall


God Bless our Baby is written by Hannah C. Hall and illustrated by Steve Whitlow. It is published by Tommy Nelson.

God Bless our Baby is a beautiful board book with a super soft cover. The premise of the "storyline" is that different animal families have new babies. The first one, a squirrel family, is expecting a baby. The child squirrel feels the mother squirrel's belly, lovingly awaiting the birth of a new brother or sister.

The story is set to rhyme and is wonderfully done. All of gives God credit for bringing another baby into the world, as well as reminds the readers to ask God to bless the new babies in their homes.

Throughout the book, the families are diverse. I love how the bear family claims that they do not look the same but they all share love. For those children who have a diverse family (such as in the cases of some adopted children), that can be a very pertinent point.

The illustrations in the book are gorgeous and sure to keep a very young child turning the pages.

I love God Bless our Baby. It carries with it a strong message of love and family that we, as Christians, never want to lose.

*I received a copy of God Bless our Family in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.*

Monday, February 20, 2017

Menu Plan Monday - February 20



These last few days have been so beautiful out (we still have lots of snow but it shown in the sun!) that I am more motivated to do things around the house. Don't ask me why, but when the weather warms up to spring-like temperatures, I receive a burst of energy.

This morning it was donut making. I had made some many years ago, but had forgotten about them. Then, last night, my husband watched a YouTube video of a woman frying donuts in an electric skillet on top of a wood burning stove. I didn't have any of my original recipes, so I googled some. I decided to try this one from Ree Drummond.

I have to tell you, they look and smell amazing. I can't have them, as they are not gluten-free. They are in no way healthy for you. Just fun. The recipe made fifteen and a handful of donut holes. I had a tad bit of dough left over but didn't think it was enough worth rolling again and again, thus becoming tough. If you decide to try them, keep in mind that you really need to start them the night before and let them raise in the refrigerator overnight.

Here's my menu plan for the week:

Monday

Spaghetti with Parmesan Chicken Tenders
Cottage Cheese
Tossed Salads

Tuesday

Stir-fried Steak
Basmati/Wild Rice 
Peas

Wednesday

Taco Salads
Applesauce

Thursday

Oven-baked Chicken Thighs
Roasted Root Vegetables
Mashed Potatoes

Friday

Pizza & Pop

Saturday

Veggie Burgers
Tossed Salads
Oven Fries

Sunday

On Your Own