Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom - Staying Alive on the Road

The robins were dancing around slithering worms in the road as I went for a run this morning. It seemed as if I'd been transported back to Oregon as the drizzle touched my cheeks. The air, washed clean by the night's rain was sweet and clear, refreshing my lungs and energizing my spirit. My heart was full to bursting as I marveled at the beauty of our rugged desert terrain and the gift it is from God. Aahhhhh! What a way to start a day!
My words of wisdom for today have to do with safe driving. I don't know about you, but driving a small car on the freeway can be a daunting experience, especially when large semi-trucks blow by and seem to want to take you with them in their air stream. My tip is this, watch your rear view and keep an eye on those trucks as they come up behind you. Most truck drivers are very responsible and will make sure they pass you safely, but on occasion there are those who should have never been let behind the wheel of anything, much less a large truck. Because of the weather the last few months, I've had several instances where a truck would blow by me, but a gust of wind would swing their trailer end in my direction, yipes! Once or twice there have been drivers who couldn't seem to wait until they got by me before they moved back into the right hand lane. On our way back from Flagstaff a few weeks ago, a trucker had just gotten her cab past our tiny car when she pulled back into our lane. IF I hadn't been watching her, we would have been wiped off the road and I wouldn't be here to share this. I had to swing over to the shoulder, slam on the brakes, and no I didn't swear, but I did lay on the horn. Luckily no one was following her too closely so we were safe from that direction. We got back on the road and caught up with her, she was going 70 in a 65 MPH zone, took down the truck number and the company phone number and slowed down to 60 while Kent called the incident in. Later on down the road she was pulled off, staring at her cellphone and not looking too happy. We suspect this wasn't the first time for her as we got a phone call a few days later saying she'd been terminated and they were apologizing for the incident.
We are grateful for my having been conditioned to watch for the trucks, as we are still here, but I wonder how many other folks haven't been so lucky. So stay safe, watch your hinder ender as Thelma used to say, and be well.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Southwest Chipotle Chicken

 We all have those days when a craving hits, and you have to find a way to satisfy it. Yesterday afternoon was one of those where I was craving something with a barbecue flavor but with lots of veggies added. We'd picked up fresh bell peppers and baby Portobello mushrooms at Costco and they were calling my name. So I grabbed some of our Costco chicken and all the veggies and sauce fixings I could find and came up with a sort of east meets west type of chicken that my Nature Guy raved about!
This dish has a nice smoky barbecue flavor due to the Chipotle chilies but isn't too sweet. If you don't have the sweet chili sauce try apricot or peach jam, but I think it really adds to the flavor. You can find it in most Asian food sections of your grocery store. So because I love you, I will share!

1 1/2 lbs, boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, cubed
2 bell peppers, any color, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, sliced
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2- 4 chipotle chilies in adobo, diced
1/2 a fresh orange, peeled and diced
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 cup sweet chili dipping sauce, I used Mae Ploy
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. horseradish
1 t. salt or less depending on your taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add veggies and saute until veggies start to soften, sprinkling with salt to help the process. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook just until veggies are crisp tender, about 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice. Yield, 4 - 6 servings. Bon appetite!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sabbath Share - Desires dictate all other decisions....

Recently at the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Dallin H. Oakes said this, " Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions." It has become clear to me that my children do see the reason for choices I've made over the years, and why I've tried to correct mistakes when possible and not redo the things that I know lead to misery instead of happiness. I can also see that they have a testimony, whether they realize it or not. I was lamenting to my youngest the fact that going to Alaska always seems to be a priority to my children and that I wished for once that some of my children gave me more priority. I try to not to put them on a guilt trip or get into the tug of war game that divorced parents can get into with their adult children but I felt it was time to speak up and see what the results were. So she tells me that she and her siblings know I will always be around for them, but with their Dad, he may go soon. He recently had a stroke and is still doing things that go against his doctors advice regarding his health issues. I asked her how she knew I would always be around and she said that she was talking with her brother or sister about the situation and they brought up my patriarchal blessing and how it says that if I'm trying to do as I should I will live a long time as she put it. Those aren't the exact words in the blessing, but you get the gist. It took me by surprise to say the least!
My desire has always been to have an eternal family. It took me awhile to fully understand the importance of following certain doctrines and commandments set by God to achieve that goal. I've made my share of poor decisions over the years, partly due to feelings of unworthiness regarding Heavenly Father and the Saviors love, but through trial and error, a lot of error, I'm heading in a better direction because I love my children and grandchildren enough.
I'm grateful to know that families can be together forever. I know I've said that over and over again, but with our recent visit to Arizona, and the heart rending goodbyes we have to make after a visit with our grandson and mommy, it's so comforting to know that no matter what happens we will see each other again some day, and if we obey the commandments, there will come a time when we don't ever have to say goodbye again. Won't that be wonderful??? I know that some folks don't even try because they think they can never make it, but I'm here to tell you that if I can make it anyone can! If we are honestly doing our best, the Savior has made up the gap for us.  That's also very comforting as I know I will never be perfect in this life. I'm very lousy at setting goals, so I think I will type up and print off the quote from Elder Oakes to remind me every day to keep my eyes and heart set on the right desires.
What are your desires?