Back to school blues, part 2 and Betty’s wilted garden salad


Kelly here-

We have almost 2 full weeks under of the school year under our belt now.  Both kids are making new friends, inviting and being invited to play dates, embracing their new routines.  We’ve started a walking group with our neighbors, attended curriculum night, had the first “hot lunch” and checked out school library books.  Unfortunately, they also brought home the first colds of the school season and passed it onto their parents.  Our son’s cold migrated into his ears and lungs, which brought us to immediate care instead of the end of the season swim at local pool.

This holiday weekend, in the midst of caring for sick kids, the upright frost-free freezer decided to stop cooling.  I discovered this as I was pulling out some baked goods to bring to my father-in-law.  Thankfully, I was able to salvage most of what was in the freezer, got lots of strength training hauling heavy bags of food upstairs from the basement and Grandpa’s freezer was restocked with treats.  Now, what to do with the overflowing refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen and malfunctioning freezer in the basement as my husband heads out-of-town again?

The freezer debacle felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back.   I had to turn this hot mess my life was turning into over to God.  God provided a solution in the most unlikely of places… the locker room!

Carol, one of my lovely water aerobic students, was listening to my tale of woe after class.  She mentioned having a similar problem caused by an ice build up at bottom of her “frost-free” freezer.  Carol’s son fixed it by thawing the ice dam that covered the coils.  Upon arrival home, I could see a similar ice buildup.  Within an hour, I managed to chip/melt the ice away and expose the coils. The temperature dropped 30 degrees in the next hour and is now back in the safe range, thank God!

I marvel at how the Lord uses these times of adversity to pull us closer into Him.  I have 4 friends who were recently diagnosed and/or are being treated with cancer.  It is awe-inspiring that each of these Christian women continue to praise God and share their blessings, even while receiving  treatment and experiencing excruciating side effects.  When the most recent friend, who is a charismatic preschool director and educator, was diagnosed, there was an outpouring of shock, sadness and support.  Her response: just pray and focus on the following bible passage: “Trust in the Lord with all your Heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight”- Proverb 3:5-6.


My favorite mug from one of my BFF’s


Betty’s Wilted Salad

Bon apppetit

Bon apppetit!

This was a fantastic, colorful salad from page 8 in our cookbook that I made for our friend’s dinner.  It would be a great salad to use fresh garden greens, scallions and radishes instead of the traditionally featured tomatoes.  I was especially pleased that “Betty Crocker Jr”, who helped with chopping, was willing to try a bite of a radish.  She was not pleased with the spicy after taste!

I found fully cooked bacon that I heated briefly and used drippings mixed with red wine vinegar, a bit of sugar, pepper and lemon juice, as the recipe directed.  We paired this with roasted apple/butternut squash and marinated pork loin. Many thanks to Betty and Rhonda Z, who submitted the recipe.  Rhonda directed our last Vacation Bible school at Redeemer with charisma and enthusiasm that was contagious to all kids/family/staff.  She also does an amazing job as a substitute pianist/organist.  Thanks for this delicious and nutritious recipe!!


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