Monday, October 25, 2010


I'm confused. You'd think at this point in my life I would have figured this out, but I haven't. What is the right way to respond to people that are doing something wrong? Yep, it's as simple as that. Do not judge, tell the truth in love, hate the sin not the sinner, take the log out of your own eye first. How do these all apply to one situation and how do you practically live it out? Does it matter what the particular situation is? The fact that I even think they are doing wrong is judging. On the other hand, I tend to just not say or do anything. If it really is wrong, is that really loving the person? If they don't think its wrong, saying something to them will probably just hurt them. If they already know its wrong, why do they need to be told? Maybe this only works if they don't know its wrong, but realize it when you tell them (how often does that actually happen?) How do you love someone and not "support" what they are doing? What about if it's someone you don't know very well? I think reactions tend to be extreme; either people are completely condemning and disassociate with that person or they completely ignore the issue in the name of tolerance. I think I need to be somewhere in the middle, but I'm not exactly sure what that looks like. I also tend to think that ignoring it with strangers or people you barely know is ok, but what if what they are doing is affecting a large number of people and why does that make it different? Btw, this is not about a particular situation just a number of situations over the last few years that I've felt at a loss as to how to respond or if I even should respond. What do you think?

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Love Pumpkins!

I had my 31st birthday recently and it was wonderful. Particularly special was the pumpkin. We usually go out of town for my birthday, but have been tight on money lately and decided to stay home and do fun things around here. We took a scenic highway drive near here that I have never been on and stopped to have a picnic (we also stopped numerous times for me to take pictures:-).

Then we carved a pumpkin when we got home, and later went to my mom's house for a family dinner. It was a wonderful day, so glad that Columbus/Native American Day fell on my birthday this year so that my husband had it off. So what was special about the pumpkin? The weekend before my birthday I told him some things I would like to do and one of them was to carve a pumpkin, just a fun October thing to do that we don't usually do. But that weekend we were really short on cash so I had decided not to even buy a pumpkin. When we went to church that night, one of the church members was giving away free pumpkins. I really felt like the pumpkin was a special birthday gift from God. And He also provided for us financially so that we are back on track. Thank you God!

And I actually do really like pumpkins, I may or may not have had a nickname in college related to my love of pumpkins...

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Peking Ravioli"

I love Chinese dumplings! I've helped make them in China for Chinese New Year and Chinese Valentine's Day(yes, there really is such a thing), but had never made them on my own until last month. It was a disaster. I put too much seasoning in them and cooked them too long. And they are not easy to make, so it was a big waste of time and food. This is without making the dough, I cheated and bought pre-made wonton wraps, not sure how many hours total they would take if I made the dough too. Now I know why we all helped out at Chinese New Year. Anyway, I decided to try again today. Mainly because I had wraps left that needed to be used up. Today went much better, not perfect, but better. I decided to make them as potstickers this time, fried on the bottom and steamed on top (last time I just boiled them).
So first I minced cabbage and carrots. It would have been awesome to have Chinese cabbage, but you just can't get that out here (Can you even get it in the States? I assume you can at an Asian market). Then I minced mushrooms (also not the Chinese kind) mainly because I needed to use them up. And finally, I minced the pork. Yes I minced the pork instead of buying ground pork, they usually do it by hand in China and I didn't have ground pork at home. Here is all three combined.
I added a few spices and seasonings and began to "fill" the wonton wrappers, fold, and pinch them along the top.
Then I cooked them. The first batch was in my wok which sticks pretty bad, you can imagine that potstickers in a pot that sticks is not a very good combo.
Pretty messy, the bottoms all stuck to the wok. They didn't taste too bad though, not as awesome as I was hoping, but not too bad. For the next batch, I used a nonstick skillet which worked much better.
Then I made dipping sauce with chopped up garlic cloves, soy sauce, a little sesame oil, black Chinese vinegar(which is awesome!), and a few crushed red pepper flakes. It was delicious, if I do say so myself!
Overall, not too bad and definitely better than last time. Don't think I'm going to be making dumplings all the time though, too much work! Maybe I'll just order them from the Chinese restaurant next time. :-)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Desolate Beauty

Fall in south central South Dakota is not the overwhelming assault of beautiful bright colors against your senses that you might find in other places. It’s a more subtle and barren beauty. The bold colors of fall are almost more surprising against the neutral and monochromatic background of the landscape surrounding them. The deep crimsons and bright golds lie hidden in pockets against the soft tans and greys.
The monochromatic scenery has a beauty and peace about it all on its own.
But when driving in a countryside filled with greys, tans, and creams, it’s awesome to drive around the bend to find brilliant fall colors mixed in.
My husband is always saying we live in a desolate wasteland in the middle of nowhere, but there is so much beauty in desolation!