The Care & Feeding of Zebras

An A to Z Look At The Ironies Of Life

Archive for the month “January, 2014”

Am I Normal ~ Are You Normal Too!

2014 Chapter One: Days 13 & 14

Yes, I do take this seriously! I wake with every intention of sharing day and thoughts here and daily I find my thoughts may just not be what should be shared publicly, Not that they are x-rated, adults only but I have been known to see life in a whole different way as so-called normal.

Speaking of normal, what is meant by that phrase? Normal!

Believing and knowing that we are all individuals and unique, how can any of us every truly achieve normal when no one I know in anyway, is the same as me. Now does that make them normal and me not so normal?

There is a saying, “If the world is normal and I am abnormal, then I would rather be abnormal!”

I know the normal I feel today is not the normal I felt 30 years ago. It is not the normal I will be feeling a year from now!

Are you feeling your normal?

2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 13: Genesis 37-39; Psalm 13; Matthew 13

                                                         Day 14: Genesis 40-42;  Psalm 14; Matthew 14


Mr. Barley ~ Welcome Back Old Friend

2014 Chapter One: Day 12

Growing up I loved when we had a pot of beef barley soup simmering on the stove! The house smelled of comfort and love.

I used to make it for my family several times a year when the kids were younger and for some reason after they were grown and out of the home I seemed to put barley on a back shelf and not paying too much attention. Well, I am now apologizing to Mr. Barley! Moving the barley box from the back of the shelf and into the rotation of our daily and/or weekly menus.

Barley is a heart healthy food and a healthier alternative to starchy potatoes and rice.  Barley is high in fiber and niacin, low in fat and sodium, easy and quick. Stick to the ribs delicious and just plan good.

According to  the consensus, my hubby, is happy to see the return of our old friend Mr. Barley. Will let you know how many ways I will find to merge this healthy grain into our diets.

2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 12 Genesis 34-36; Psalm 12; Matthew 12

Different Kind of Daze ~

2014 Chapter One: Days 9; 10; 11

Days of quit and peace! Good thing too, the flu hit here and could hardly hold my head up much less try to write. Thank you for being so patient with this humble would be writer.

On the mend and hopefully will not be so lacking on posting.

2014 Bible Reading Challenge:Day 9 Genesis 25-27; Psalm 9; Matthew 9

2014 Bible Reading Challenge:Day 10 Genesis 28-30; Psalm 10; Matthew 10

2014 Bible Reading Challenge:Day 11 Genesis 31-33; Psalm 11; Matthew 11 

We’re in HOT WATER Here ~ Pt. II

2014 Chapter One: Day 8

We have HOT WATER!

Our new best friend is Paul! He is a saint and a magician wrapped in a RotoRooter® van.

Problem One: FIXED!

Problem Two: Discovered a hole in a drainage sewer line. The fix is coming on Friday! Yea!

2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 8 Genesis 22-24; Psalm 8; Matthew 8

Ninja Love ~

2014 Chapter One: Day 7

I’m in love! I’m in love! I’m in love with a wonderful . . .



And yes, I maybe even be a corny as Kansas in August, what ever that means, Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Hammerstein! But it is a sure thing, this is true love.

It aided me with our Christmas ham, which I slow cooked and it was drop-your- fork delicious! Next I used it in the oven mode and roasted a lemon and garlic chicken! It was also a tender, juicy yummy delight! Weeknight meatloaf, slow cooked, flavorful, moist and perfect! Wanted to test it’s stove top cooking so here came the test! Stew! Browned the stew meat on the high stovetop setting along with the onion and seasonings. After the meat was browned turned dial to slow cook, added the carrots, potatoes, beef broth and a few bay leaves. Was in a hurry so turned it to high and cooked in four hours. Added the frozen peas the last hour and again, perfect. When it was done cooking it turned itself to warm and kept it perfect until we were ready to eat. No extra pots, pans just the Ninja Complete Cooking System!

Bone warming stew!

Bone warming stew!

Even the hubby sees it is the best buy for the money. I will keep my slow cookers as back up or to take to pot-luck carry-ins. But I am a Ninja cooker now and am never looking back. Looking at the next Ninja for my kitchen, the Ninja Complete Kitchen Food Processor!

If you are a Ninja lover, as I, and have recipes that you are willing to share, please let me know. I am looking for even more ways to use this wonder every day.



2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 7 Genesis 19-21; Psalm 7; Matthew 7

We’re in HOT WATER here … NOT

2014 Chapter One: Day 6

We Got SNOW!

We Got SNOW!

As life would have it, Saturday, Jan. 4, a arctic vortex descended upon us and caused a vicious snow storm and dropping temperatures. Actual temps of minus 20 was a norm with wind chills of minus 48. Not what I consider my ideal environment but doable for a short time, one, two, three days tops!

We had done our food shopping so we had what we needed to survive. No problem!


Cleaning up after stowing our grub, I noticed a growing chill in our hot water! What? Yup, life has struck again!

Hubby ventured into the darkness of our “Michigan-basement,” that’s a basement that is not completely dug out but not a crawl space. Yeah, a mess! Checking the hot water heater and finding it not lit, he was going to solve the mystery of the chilling hot water. NOT!

POP! BANG! Surprise! The electric igniter died! RIP! No hot water!

Saturday, Mother Natured began her magical winter display of snow and wind. She continued this awesome show through Sunday and into Monday. Now going on day three of no hot water and it may not be fixed until Wednesday!

Hey, got to love it! It’s life!  The laundry is just as clean with cold water! I learned Dawn works the same with cold water as with hot! TYJ!

I’ve considered this a minor adventure in pioneer living. Only I didn’t have to go to the creek for the water or pound the clothes on rocks! We are surviving and even with Mother Nature giving us her best (or worse) shot, we are still here and going to make it to spring.

2014 Bible Challenge Reading: Day 6 Genesis 16-18; Psalm 6; Matthew 6

2014 Winter Storm Watch ~

Panorama of our front yard

Panorama of our front yard


South Shore engines working tracks by our house.

South Shore engines working tracks by our house.

Snow still falling and winds blowing. Sub-zero temps on the way. Schools closed Monday! Nothing is moving in the neighborhood. Even the birds have taken cover for the storm.


2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 5 Genesis 13-15; Psalm 5; Matthew 5


Cookie Monster ~

2014 Chapter One: Day 4

Shopping day! And the adventure began with my usual instruction from my loving and doting husband to eat something before we left the house.

As an insulin dependent diabetic I promptly heated up some left over soup and consumed a good size bowl. It would give me the calories needed plus warm me inside out to face the winter winds beginning to blow.

Made it through Wal-Mart like a summer zephyr. But as we were nearing our quest at Aldi’s it hit me like a brick.


Yup, every diabetics fear, I was spiraling down and fast.  Hubby got scared. I didn’t want to pass out and cause a scene or worse have them call an ER alert.  Here we are in the middle of a food store and I need something sweet! Of course we are in the aisle with all the “Healthy Choice” food and nothing filled with sugar. “Don’t panic,” I tell my sweetie, “I’ll be fine as soon as I can get some sugar in me.”

A Cookie Can Save A Life

A Cookie Can Save A Life

Reached for the nearest package that wasn’t labeled “Healthy Choice” and discovered the most tasty cookies ever. Now I know I should always carry some hard candy on me just for this type of emergency and usually do. Of course, it has been a very long time since something like this has happened and no candy in sight. Not in my purse or pockets and not with my husband. Be assured, lesson learned, candy is now in purse and pockets. I survived and managed to help put away the groceries when we got home. Living with diabetes is a real adventure. It’s highs and lows! (sic***)


2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Day 4 Genesis 10-12; Psalm 4; Matthew 4



Hibernation Mode . . .

2014 Chapter One: Day 3

Yup! Day 3 and nothing to write! No big surprise since I am in hibernation mode, with temps barely creeping into the teens and wind chill factors below zero, I accept the fact that bears have the right idea. Find a comfy cave and sleep until the tulips are in bloom!

Knitting by my side and a stack of books near by, I am willing to wait for Spring’s return.

2014 Bible Reading Challenge: Jan. 3, Genesis 7-9; Psalm 3; Matthew 3

I’m Not That Kind Of . . .

2014 Chapter One: Day 2   Recipe for a cold winter’s night: Mom’s Stuff Pepper Soup

Day 2 is here! Reality hits! The parties are over and the real world is calling.

The Reality of Winter in Northern Indiana

The Reality of Winter in Northern Indiana


The Beauty of a Fresh Winter Snow

I am not the kind of person who makes resolutions. It’s not that I don’t have things that I need to change or work on. Like every other person I know, I could attempt to live healthier and give up some very bad habits. (Some would even say I need to stop blogging, as I don’t seem to keep it up that well and have very little of world interest in my life to forcibly share with unknown readers.) Not too worry, I tell them, my blog is ignored by more than read.

No, resolutions are like promises and I do not like to make promises I cannot or have no intention of keeping. Just who would I be kidding? So I just continue to struggle with my short comings and when pointed out to me, agree that I do need to work on them.  As they say, “The road to hell is paved with very good intentions”.

In my seven decades I have learned that somehow all these imperfections are what make me, me.!Oh, it’s not that I enjoy getting upset, angry or being told I’m a hard head.  Yet, I have to think that just maybe these  very faults are what has gotten me through some of the hard and dark times. So are they truly imperfections and faults or at the core a mode of survival imprinted in my DNA by my creator. He knew what I was going to need before I ever needed it. He knows what you need to make it through your long days of winter. When the dark comes and seems to want to swallow all the light from within you, I have learned we cannot give into any urge to allow that to happen. Be angry, be upset, and be very hard-headed in your determination to hold on to light and truth.

Just as sure as there is snow and blow zero weather during January in Northern Indiana, I will remain that hard head, upsetting and sometimes angry old gal. That is a resolution (promise) I can keep. With a smile and a wink!

2014 Bible Challenge Readings January 2: Genesis 4-6; Psalm 2; Matthew 2


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