Apple Pie of My Eye

I had a big disappointment the other day. 

It was only overcome now with the sweetest love.

This morning I was reminiscing how nice a day yesterday was. The weather was nearly ideal. Leslie and I went to the pool and floated around on the lazy river for a couple hours. The sun and breezes kissed our bodies as we floated and rocked with our feet in cooling waters, looking up at an azure sky with wisps of white fluffy clouds sailing around in it. It was wonderful.  

Then we came home and Leslie made dinner while I made a salad. I had salmon with a tangy pico de gallo marinade and sweet roasted vegetables that were delicious. Leslie made herself barbecue chicken.  

We decided to head out for the evening to the Frankfort Bluegrass Festival. There we sat on a bench and people-watched amid the crowd for a long while. Leslie got herself an ice cream cone at a nearby shop. It was cappuccino chocolate. The music was uplifting as it tickled our ears with the sounds of banjos, fiddles and vocal harmonies.

I had the thought to check my Facebook app on my phone to see if any friends were nearby. Lo and behold our friend Marty was up the street above the crowd on a balcony overlooking the square, and with an eagle’s view of the bandshell. We found him and joined him there for a long while, talking, and enjoying the perspective on the sights, sounds and feelings in the cool evening air.

Ed, Leslie and Marty

We got home and I finished eating the fresh apple-pear pie dessert that Leslie had made for me recently. It was so good. I mean SOOO good. If you’ve never had Leslie’s apple-pear pie, you have no idea what you’re missing. Imagine apple pie, but better, without the glop, and seasoned sparingly so you can taste the natural flavors of the apples, pears and hint of cinnamon. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet are nostalgic and wholesome American wonders, but Leslie’s apple-pear pie takes the wholesome goodness to a whole ‘nother level. I savored every last bite, humbly appreciating every one, before heading off to bliss.

Leslie’s Apple-Pear Pie

It was a good day … a very good day.

Then, this morning, as we reflected on the wonders and pleasures of the prior day, Leslie shared how she thought to make the pie. She sensed my recent disappointment and was filled with compassion and empathy. She felt that she had to do something to lift my Spirits. So she made the apple-pear pie for me as she knew how much I loved it.

I do. But even so, not nearly so much as that sweet girl who made it for me.

And now as I write this, she is in the kitchen making a new recipe pie that we recently dreamed up – peach-blueberry pie. So I’ve got that to look forward to too.

Oh, the wonders of being with that woman! Thank God for her. 

God is good. Heading to church now to give praise and thanks to Him for all the wonders he shares with me.

Taste and see that the Lord is good!”  -Psalm 34:8

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Fiesta Bowls

Looking for an easy, healthy and tasty summer meal idea?

Here is our newest culinary creation: Fiesta Bowls!

What’s a Fiesta Bowl, you ask?

Think Mexican Fiesta in a bowl.

Combine in a large bowl any combination of the ingredients below…make it how you like it!


Meat
: cooked ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, steak, shrimp

Rice: brown rice or white rice

Beans: black beans or pinto beans

Veggies: lettuce, cucumber, avocado, corn, peppers, green onions, red onions

Fruits: tomato, mango, pineapple

Toppings: salsa, sour cream, black olives, shredded cheese, tortilla chips or tortilla strips, pico de gallo, hot sauce, fresh chopped cilantro

Here are some tips for seasoning your meats: with your meat of choice add half a diced onion and sprinkle in half teaspoons of garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika or regular paprika.

This is a great meal for families. Prepare all the ingredients separately and allow everyone to prepare their own Fiesta Bowl with ingredients of their choosing. They will love you for it.

Let the Fiesta begin! Ole’!

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Spring Into Action

Spring is a great time to get moving. Exercise is vital to maintaining one’s health and wellness. As one of Leslie’s doctors says “motion is lotion” for joints. It’s also vital to good circulation and respiration, as well as keeping ones muscles tone and limber.

Here are our top 10 suggestions for working exercise into your life:

Walking – it’s recommended that you get 20 minutes of exercise every day. One of the best ways to do that is walking. We like to walk after eating a good dinner to help promote good digestion. Beside just walking around our own neighborhood, we also like to go walking at some lovely walking paths such as: Lake Katherine in Palos Heights; Messenger Woods in Homer Glen; The Portincula Center for Prayer in Frankfort; and Midlothian Meadows Forest Preserve in Midlothian.

Stairs- climbing stairs is a great way to get exercise into your life. Ed likes to go to the Swallow Cliff Forest Preserve in Palos, IL and climb the stairs there. He also likes to get 15 minutes of stair climbing in during his lunch hour at work, walking in the stairwells of his six story office building.  

Go shopping (no, not to buy things) – the malls are a great place to go walking no matter what the weather is like outside. Some malls allow people to walk around the mall before the stores open. The Orland Square mall is one example. Go to the mall just to walk around no matter the weather outside.

Tennis – we recently rediscovered playing tennis as a couple and as a family. Several of the local area high schools have tennis courts open to the public free of charge. Some even have lighting for playing after dark. Don’t overdo it at first, but get moving and tennis is a great way to have fun doing it.

Go hiking – hiking is a lot like walking…actually it’s exactly like walking…but more adventurous. Starved Rock State Park in Utica, IL is 90 miles southwest of Chicago, and is a great place to hike trails and explore. Hiking is a great way to get some fresh air and take in some beautiful natural scenery.

Gym membership – get a gym membership. There are lots of gyms to choose from. They can be expensive. But if you can afford it, and will use it, it can be money well spent. Gyms have a wide variety of exercise options to choose from: treadmills, ellipticals, stair masters, bicycles, row machines, swimming, wall climbing and weightlifting. Some also offer classes in aerobics, Zumba. Yoga, Pilates, and cycling.

Sports – enjoy your favorite sports and get some great exercise in the process. Here are some suggestions: basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, swimming, golf and racquetball, just to name a few.

Skating – rollerblading, rollerskating and ice skating are fun ways to get moving. Equipment ownership can be a little pricey, but you can often rent skates at a roller or ice rink for a reasonable fee. You can make an outing of it and have fun doing it with family or friends.

Bicycling – cycling is an enjoyable way to get around and you can get some good exercise doing it. You can cycle in your neighborhood or nearby trails. Bicycles can be expensive, but if you’ll use them, are a good investment.

Swimming – as spring turns into summer, stay cool swimming, and get some exercise in the process. 

Of course, whatever activities you choose, bring and drink lots of water to stay hydrated before, during and after your activities. And take precautions to wear appropriate clothing and equipment for your activities, and stay safe doing them.

Have a wonderful spring and summer!

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Water

Some adventurers have gone in vain searches for the legendary Fountain of Youth, as if it was some mystical source of restoring and preserving one’s youth.  Fools!  They’d be slapping their heads to learn that the magical supply of the fountain was as close as their own faucet or well….WATER!

There is no more vital contributor to your health and wellness than water.

We did some research and wanted to share some information with you that may encourage you in your intake of water.

The human body is 99% water as a fetus, 80% water as an infant, 65% water as an adult, and 50% water as an elderly person.  

Do you see a trend here?  As we age, we lose water content at the cell level.  This results in cell shrinkage, wrinkling and premature aging.

What can you do to stave off aging and wrinkles?  Drink generous supplies of water to ensure your body is as hydrated and full as can be.

The human body can survive 8 WEEKS without food.  Depending on the environmental temperature, a person can live only 10 to as little as 2 DAYS in extreme temperature without water.  

Life is water dependent.

Too often our society pushes alcohol, soda pop and other commercialized beverages on us. Alcohol has dehydrating effects on the human body.  It also is harmful to the liver and function of other organs including killing irreplaceable brain cells.  Soda has high levels of sugar or corn syrup that are not good for one’s health.  It can contribute to diabetes and unhealthy fat buildup and obesity. An occasional alcoholic drink or soda pop are not be terribly damaging.  But if you drink more alcohol or soda than water, you’re not doing your health good. 

It is recommend by many sources that an adult person drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This is about 2 liters of water. How many of us ever do?

The supply of water you drink is important.  Choose the cleanest supply of water you can.   We prefer purified bottled water.  Spring water may be even better for you as it has needed minerals and a healthier pH balance, but can have an earthy smell and taste which may be unpleasant. Water from a faucet or fountain is less preferable unless you can have confidence in the water source and pipes that deliver the water.  Some communities have water supplies that are contaminated with chemicals or lead.   A filtration system can help to improve such supplies, but drinking large quantities of it can also increase the intake of those chemicals and do long term harm to your health. Doing some research on the water you’ll be drinking will be time wisely spent.

Starting your day drinking a full glass of water is beneficial to your body breaking a long fast from it.  It helps flush out toxins, reinflate internal organs and supply skin with natural moisturizing effects.  

Drinking a glass of water before meals can give you a fuller feeling which can help you feel satiated by less food, thus helping in weight maintainance or loss.  

Drinking water before and during exercise can help muscles function, joints stay lubricated,  keep your body from overheating, flush out toxins during perspiration and aid necessary respiration function.

Drinking a glass of water before bed or during the night can also be beneficial.  It can give you a fuller feeling without making you feel like you need to eat to satisfy a hunger.  It helps your body heal overnight.   Though some people may not like drinking water before bed as they don’t like getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, the health benefits of doing so can far outweigh the inconvenience.

Chronic dehydration can adversely affect your organs and lead to kidney stones, cholesterol problems, constipation, gout, arthritis and liver, joint, and muscle damage.  It can also lead to premature hair loss or graying!

Water is 0 (ZERO) calories!  So drink as much as you reasonable can with no adverse effects!

And water is often free or very low cost compared to other beverages and fluids. Drinking water instead of other beverages can save you money!

Have a hard time drinking just plain water?  Flavor it up with a splash of lemon, lime or small amounts of fruit juices.  Cranberry juice, lemonade, or cucumber can give water a little flavor and keep it tasting fresh.

Drink water.

Be healthier.  Look younger.  Feel better. 

Make a habit of it for long-term life.

These are just some of the benefits of drinking lots of water.  A health regimen can have no greater friend than water.

Make a commitment today to replace your intake of other fluids with simple, pure, ample supplies of water.  

You’ll be glad for years to come that you did.

Water IS life. Live it up!

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To Your Health!

We are very health conscious. 

And we want you to be health conscious too. 

We care about you.

Health is precious.   

If you’ve got it, it’s easy to take it for granted.  

If you don’t, all the money in the world can’t buy it.

Choices you make every day determine whether you preserve it.

We want to help and encourage you in your health choices and preservation.

Health is a broad topic.  It is comprised of physical health, mental health and spiritual health.  All are vital to overall health. 

And we want to encourage you in all these facets of health. 

We will be focusing our efforts in the coming weeks and months on our own health, and sharing nuggets  of knowledge here on our blog.

Do you want to improve your own health and wellness too?

Why not follow our blog and receive our posts by email as we post them.

To your health!

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First Dateaversary 

Four years ago today we went out on our first date together to a Casting Crowns concert.  That makes today what we call our First Dateaversary.

Casting Crowns had been Ed’s favorite Christian rock band for several years.  Their songs lifted his spirits at some of the worst times of his life.  He got two tickets to the concert and saw an opportunity to ask Leslie out to a special event.  
Little did he know that Casting Crowns was also Leslie’s favorite Christian rock band.

While we were waiting to enter the concert we ran into a couple of friends from church who had better seats than our ticket seating.  

Our friends also had backstage passes, and a couple of extra backstage passes, and invited us to join them to meet the band after the show!

Here we are with lead singer Mark Hall (far right) and other band members (left).  

And here are a few comics that Ed made subsequently that captured the essence of the experience.


Some things you can plan a long time for. 

But even when things work out as well as you could hope for, sometimes God pulls some strings and works them out even better than you could have possibly hoped for.  

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Ed Day Dream of St. Patty’s Day

Four years ago today, St. Patrick’s Day, we met for a drink at Panera in Tinley Park to get to know one another.  The meeting only lasted an hour, but we both felt comfortably right at home with one another from the start.

Here is a comic later made to commemorate the meeting.

Today Ed made a fun video that celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.   It’s called Ed Day Dream of St. Patty’s Day.   Enjoy!

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