Thursday, September 30, 2010

5 Things I am proud of myself for doing today.

1)  I told my Daddy I loved him.

2)  I made plans to visit with my sister.

3)  I got to bond more with my you Katie!

4)  I worked out!

5)  I took the time to take a hot bubble bath and read my book.

How is love defined in us? Relationship Studies....

I found this on my friend Chip Green's FB profile page and I couldn't agree more:

"We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It's easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven't even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you'll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there's still one more tier to all this; there is always one person who you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it always happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of those lovable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. You will remember having conversations with this person that never actually happened. You will recall sexual trysts with this person that never technically occurred. This is because the individual who embodies your personal definition of love does not really exist. The person is real, and the feelings are real--but you create the context. And context is everything. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they're often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else."

-Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Hard to Re-learn Old Lessons...

Church was hard this morning.  Two things happened in the last week that I really let get to me and that I reacted to in a way that I am not proud of.  I always try to be as Christ like as I possibly can be every day and especially in the way that I react to things that impact me emotionally and situationally in my life.  No small feat let me tell you.  This week I failed big time.  I failed twice.

This morning our preacher, Randy, was talking about a passage in 1 Peter.  I turned to follow the passage he was referring to, 1 Peter 2:4-11, but God had other plans for me this morning.  He, instead, diverted my attention to 1 Peter 2:13-25:

"But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 
 22"He committed no sin,
      and no deceit was found in his mouth."
23When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

This is how I failed.  I retaliated.  I felt hurt, angry, insulted, and offended.  I felt an injustice had happened to me (in two separate instances in one week), that crimes had been committed against me, and I needed to defend myself, to protect myself, and the offenders needed to pay and learn from their mistakes.  God showed me this morning, although He has revealed this to me previously in my past, that this behavior is not what He wants from me.  He wants me to turn my cheek, to bear the burden of the offense, and to entrust myself to Him who judges justly.  It is not for me to measure what is right and what is wrong, it is Him, He has not called me to do that.  It is not for me to defend myself when a crime is done against me, as it is done to me it is done unto Him, and He is the one that will choose what action if any needs to be taken.  It is my job to forgive and to consistently and continually live in that forgiveness every moment, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Mama's Meatlof = Heaven

I realize I have been writing a lot about cooking lately.  I love it, it is my art, and I am very passionate about it.  This comes from a long line of great cooks in my family (forgive my inability for humility).  My grandmother was a Home Economics major and an incredible cook (Man I wish that would have been available for me and not entirely politically incorrect!).  She still verbally spouts off recipes from memory when I visit her that she would be excited for me to try.  My Mom is STELLAR in the kitchen, my Daddy has become very talented especially in the seafood variety, and my sister is an impeccable cook too, not to mention a fantastic restaurant reviewer (see  We are all way to committed to true ingredients and not cutting fat corners, this shows on our hips but also on our lips through the delectable smiles we have after tasting this food! 

I have been promising Ben for some time now that I would make him my Mom's meatloaf recipe.  He was probably getting tired of all that chicken pot pie I as making, not that he didn't like that too!  So last night I took about 2 hours and whipped  up the meatloaf.  I had almost forgotten how incredible it was to grow up with this food.  I share this with you today!  You are welcome to make it in your own homes but remember, it's my Mama who deserves the credit!

Mama's Meatloaf or Baby, We Could Talk All Night But That Ain't Getting Us Nowhere
 ~ Edited slightly by Libby...

1 lb. lean ground beef (small meatloaf) 1.5 for medium, 2 lb. for large one. If you have fatty meat, it will cook down too much & be too greasy as well.  The following ingredients are for the small meatloaf, adjust accordingly for medium & large. I usually make the large, split it in two cook both in two small ceramic or Pyrex bread pans & keep the second one for cold meatloaf sandwiches with mayo. . .mmmmm! Or you can freeze it for later.

If your meatloaf mix won't fit into your pan, but there isn't enough for a second one, make meatballs. Fry them or bake them on a cookie sheet until brown or freeze for later. Cover cooked meatballs with Campbell's mushroom soup. . . mmmmm!  Add mushrooms, preferably fresh (but sauteed first). This is a good party dish when you have to take a hot hors d'oeuvre. But I digress. . .more meatloaf ingredients.

PREHEAT oven to 350.

1 medium onion
2 C. crushed crackers Ritz is good, I use Club crackers (rectangular buttery ones) generic is fine. An alternative is Quaker oats but NOT instant ones or the meatloaf will be too mushy
1-2 eggs I use one but if it seems dry or isn't sticking together, add another. I never use more than two. Or you can add 1/4 cup of milk.

Mix in these ingredients:

garlic powder to taste
salt & pepper to taste
Tony Chachere's to taste
Optional: oregano, basil, or any herb you like, or not. Parmesan cheese, Velvetta cheese, but not regular cheese, unless you want to melt it on top. It sort of curdles in the meat loaf & makes an unpleasant texture.
Bake in a bread pan in a 350 degree oven. Small about 1 - 1.5 hr.  Cover top with two layers of foil.  Last 20 min takes the foil off.  Last 5-10 minutes add the sauce (see below).
If you make meatballs you can also sink them into this sauce for a hot hors d'oeuvre, instead of using the mushroom soup.
One cup ketchup, at least
At least 2 Tablespoons of regular yellow mustard; I use about a 1/4 cup. This is to taste but you want it to be tangy.
One cup brown sugar, to taste.
This sauce is really sweet as well as tangy. You should really make a double batch, pour half over the meatloaf in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking, then use the rest for dipping as you eat it or for the meatballs if you make them.  Serve with a salad & if you dare, or want to splurge, mashed potatoes or baked potatoes or MAC AND CHEESE!.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Mother's 9/11

When they fell
We rose up.
They fell on an island,
Now priceless
Once bought with beads.
In a war den,
Five sided,
And on a simple, empty field.

Though I hear their names,
There are too many to remember.
How can it be possible,
That I know not even one
Of so many who fell.

Yet I will never forget their faces,
Shining out from tacked-up photos,
Or the faces of the broken-hearted
Searching, hoping.
Will they ever heal?
And the faces of the children
Innocent, unknowing,
Or knowing too much.
The faces of those offering aid
Any sort of rescue.

These faces said to me:
Deep is the love we have for each other.
No one can kill that.

They fell.
But what happened then is
We rose up.

Carol MacDuffee Hanson
two years later
September 11, 2003

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

{one} what was your first pet and how did you come up with its name?
My first pet was names Alexander Marshall.  For some reason I was obsessed with that name.  I called him Alex and I now have a nephew by the same first name!
{two} do you like your ice crushed or cubed?
{three} do you believe in love at first sight?
No.  I believe in infatuation at first sight.  I think love grows and diminishes over time.  There are times you will love someone more than you ever have before and then as time passes it can lapse into complacency, later it may come back even stronger.
{four} do you have any nicknames?
Oh geez...Libby (obviously), Libber, Der Libenater, Libation, Libbigail, Lil boo, Lil bit, Elsie bub, Lizard...the list goes on...
{five} what movie do you never get tired of watching?
When Harry Met Sally
{six} how do you like your eggs cooked?
Over medium.  Whites hard yellows runny.
{seven} are you named after anyone in particular?
Yes!  It's a family tradition from Aunt to Niece as Elizabeth.  I have a great aunt Lizzy, an aunt Libby, and my niece is Elizabeth Claire.
{eight} what are three things that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Go abroad with Ben, buy a house, have a baby...all somedays....
{nine} what one thing always brightens your mood?
Genuine unabashed laughter
{ten} what five things will you always find in your purse?
Cell, wallet, hairbrush, make up bag, and HOPEFULLY hairties....

Holy Chicken Pot Pie Batman!

It's been nice getting settled in my new kitchen, to me!  I have had such a hankering for getting back to cooking it's not even funny, so last night when I left work I had a huge craving for chicken pot pie.  I didn't want to buy one of those frozen Marie Callender's thingys, although they are delish!  No, I wanted to create.  I have recently realized that cooking is my art form.  I use recipes a lot of the time but sometimes I just want to throw something together and be proud of the result.  So I thought to myself, "If I were a homemade chicken pot pie what would I be made of...?"  Thoughts of buttery crescent rolls, creamy gravy, fresh veggies, and lumps of chicken came to here is what I came up with on a whim at my little local Trader Joe's....

1 LARGE can of chicken in broth
1/2 bag of frozen veggie medley with carrots, peas, corn etc.
1-2 tubes of crescent roll dough
Butter, milk, and flour for a cream sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray the bottom of a ceramic, glass, pie tin with Pam.  Even though the crescent roll dough doesn't specify to grease the pan I think it's important to the pie doesn't stick.

Spread the crescent roll dough and make it one solid sheet.  Line the bottom of
your dish of choice with the dough leaving extra for the top of the pie.

Put canned chicken in pan without draining the broth.  Add garlic powder to taste and let heat up to medium heat.

Defrost the veggies in a collander with warm water.

Make a rue from the milk butter and flour...(Here is a great place to learn how although I don't use the oil in mine...).  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Layer chicken, veggies, chicken, veggies, chicken into the baking dish on top of the dough.  Pour cream sauce over top.  Add extra dough to create a top for the pie.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until top is flaky and golden!  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So I got this idea from my new found friend Leigh Kramer.  I'm going to try it out!  This is an older Wednesday edition but since I am going on a road trip tonight I found it all too appropriate.

{one} if you could go on a road trip anywhere with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and where would you go?
Ben.  Ok I know it's schmultzy and all that but I would rather be stuck in a car with Ben for 10-40 hours on the way to something exciting or relaxing than be almost anywhere.  The thought of creating new memories and experiences makes my heart start humming.  Love road trips and love him!

{two} if you were stranded on a desert island, which one person would you bring with you?
Tom Hanks.  He won that bitch.
{three} what's your earliest memory?
I don't even really know.  I slightly remember the look of our house in St. Louis, I would have been around 3.  I remember crushing pecans and killing slugs when we lived in Alabama soon after we left St. Louis...

{four} what's the best advice you've ever received?
Before you go to anyone else, go to God in prayer.  I can't say I'm good at practicing this all the time but it definitely has always worked to make me look at the situation from His perspective, if that's even possible!

{five} if you could have an endless supply of food, what would you get?
I don't want to choose!  I love food so much that I don't want to leave any categories out.  Plus, I can't go long without fried pickles but I don't think I'd want an endless supply.  If you eat too much of something, you won't want it anymore and that would be sad.

{six} would you rather be a famous musician or a famous actor?
Can I be an actor in musical theater?  Is that an option? 

{seven} if you could be a star athlete in any sport, which would you choose?
Figure skating.  It's incredibly athletic and combines dance and music!

{eight} if you were offered the job of u.s. president, would you take it?
No.  Freakin.  Way.

{nine} would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to breathe underwater?
Fly.  Although I'm not sure if I'm more terrified of being that high up or being that down low.

{ten} what music are you listening to today?
Pandora Michael Jackson playlist.  "C'mon girl!  You know I love ya!"