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Today at work, the need to take a risk

While not particularly well written, these are the stories about folks I have had the pleasure to know and serve, these are also the stories about what I have learned. 


In my job, I work with life and I work with death. It is not always pretty, but it is always important. Some of my tenants had been homeless before coming to my building, some were quite prosperous before an economic fall. Some were disabled through no fault of their own and others have worked hard at low paying jobs. But they all are treated fairly by myself and those that work in my building.

I am not a nurse, I am an administrator. Currently I manage low income senior housing. My building is independent housing, with no services provided. Previously I was the Administrator of an Assisted Living Facility. The difference? In independent housing I have many more terminal tenants, than I had in the Assisted Living Facility. Yes you read that right, I have more terminal disease in my current building.

I am not a saint, but I am a hard worker. I have no office staff, I am all I have. I do have excellent support for maintenance and janitorial (thank you gentlemen!). I must follow and adhere to all federal housing mandates, conduct all business per federal standards and do it all, in a timely fashion. And I have to care, because I do not know any other way. And let it be known, I love my job.

I have a nine hour day on most days, plus the hour and half commute. I sometimes have to be reminded to leave, because I have an open door policy and some days that door simply stays open. I also help with some of the tenant activities and often donate funds to keep the program fresh and fun. I often serve as a Social Worker, Mental Health Counselor or Goof-ball for comic relief. But it is important to repeat this, I am no saint.

And now that I have yammered on for four (yep 4) paragraphs, what is the point? The point is about taking a risk. You see, from time to time this been very difficult for me. Maybe I was not interesting enough, or expressive enough, or too brash or even ________________ (you can fill in the blank with your personal favorite). Funny how we get these ideas, isn't it?

  • Do you need to tell someone something? Please go and tell them. Yes, there is a risk, do it anyway. 
  • Do you need to apologize or explain an action on your part that possibly was not understood? Go and start talking. Yes, there is a risk, do it anyway. 
  • Do you need to nudge yourself to do what is needed to be done? Start nudging. And yes there is a risk, but nudge yourself anyway. 

Today I learned that one of my favorite people in my building will be passing away. She is 95 and only stopped driving about 4 months ago. As she explained it, she kept driving because her license was still valid. In some ways you cannot argue with that logic. She was never in a wreck, was never ticketed, and never put anyone in harms way. For 95 years, She took the risk to be all she could be.

So if I stumble on my words, in person or in written form, it was still worth the risk. If my brain works faster than my mouth can keep up, yes it too was worth the risk. If I make a choice and quickly change my mind, yes, it was worth the risk And even if I choose not to trail behind, instead going my own way, it is worth the risk.

You see, taking a risk did not come easily or early in my life, but I am learning how to be comfortable, when taking one. Often I will blurt out my thoughts or concerns, rather than speak them. Often I said how much I cared, thinking later, that possibly I should have waited. In the past I have wondered about how, what I had already said, was received. Even thinking later that I lacked polish in how I presented my thoughts and feelings.

But maybe, I was already taking the risk, and did not realize it in myself.

How about you?


As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!
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Make a Mini Sewing Kit, for your camp box or travel trailer

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...

We wanted to make sure our little vintage trailer  motorhome is fully stocked. I got the idea to make a mini sewing kit and use a spring hinge eye glass case to hold the supplies.


Inside you will find:


Pre-threaded sewing needles, along with 2 buttons and small safety pins. These were left-overs from hotel stays, and given to me by a co-worker that travels often. But it would be easy to make your own little pouches with notched lightweight cardboard and the same supplies from your big sewing kit. 


Small pair of scissors, a seam ripper, needle threader and a plastic thimble.


Assorted fasteners, large safety pins and a small key ring. The key ring could be used as a temporary zipper pull, if the tab on a zipper broke. 

The kit is small, stays closed with the spring hinge and may help keep your camp-out fun, or at least everyone will be fully clothed and warm.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
homemade monday's @ frugal by choice
fabulous frugal thursdays @ a life in balance
weekend re-treat @ mommy on demand
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Let's stop food waste.....creative ideas 1

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Food waste is the single most effective way to loose money. I say loose money because if you spent hard earned money on food, and then wasted the food, you effectively lost the money. Now speaking for myself.....

When I loose money, say a 5 or 10 dollar bill that I might have lost misplaced, I get quite upset. Why? Because it really is not misplaced, it is gone and I know it was wasteful. But when.........


We go to the produce market on Sunday's and stock up for the week, with all that lovely and healthy produce, as the days in the week roll by and for what ever reason produce begins to go bad instead of being eaten, I don't always see it as wasteful.



Which is silly because the half of a cucumber that softened quickly and immediately molded, is waste. The radish cluster that got lost in the vegetable drawer until it declined into a green puddle with red bumps, is waste. The lemon that sat so pretty in the fruit bowl until it became a hard leather shell, is waste. The salad greens that started out as good intentions, becoming limp, yellow and slippery, also waste.


I also think this is so much easier to have this  happen when it is a small family or just us. In past years with the kids home, there was no waste. It was a busy cycle of , get the food home, so it could be eaten! Therefore with our family of two, I need to work smarter, not harder wasteful. One way to tackle the waste problem is with creativity. And that I can do.

Here are some examples from this past week.....

We had oranges in the fruit bowl, they had been there just long enough that we had lost interest in peeling the leathery skins at lunch time. The solution was fresh and delicious.

Ambrosia

4 or more oranges, reserve one orange - do not peel
peel the remaining oranges, remove as much white membrane as possible.
slice thinly
layer in a pretty bowl with coconut
juice the reserved orange, pour juice over fruit and coconut
let rest in the refrigerator


We tend to keep a lot of condiments in the refrigerator. There would possible be more, if we had a bigger refrigerator! For some reason I don't think you can have too many, or maybe I just like them. Either way, I will buy something to try and sometimes it can get lost, in that secret vault area known as the back of the shelf. Which was the case with a jar of roasted mild peppers with lime juice. They were beginning to turn.....

 Scalloped potatoes with roasted peppers

Scalloped Potatoes are a wonderful way to use up a flavorful condiment or ingredient and prevent waste! Plus they are really easy and more of a process than a recipe....I still make scalloped potatoes the way my mom did. 

8 medium potatoes - peeled if desired
1 onion sliced and ringed out (did not use for this dish)
4 T flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 c diced or shredded cheese
1 large can evaporated milk
anything else you wish to add

Butter a large baking dish
Layer half the sliced potatoes, onion if using, flour and the extra ingredient, season with salt and pepper
repeat layers
add the cheese to the top
pour the milk over, cover and bake for 1 hour, uncover and bake 15-30 minutes more or until bubbly and the potatoes are cook. 

Enjoy, these reheat well, so you can make the day before for a quick meal later.

Small families also have cookie troubles. Cookies can get stale before they are gone. Especially a purchased cookie. We purchased some ginger cookies at the holidays, only because we loved the copper tin they came in. Fast forward to late February and we still have cookies. Ginger snaps being crisp keep a long time. But we were a bit tired of them. Plus......

I had one of those hard shelled lemons to deal with. Combining the two, I made ginger lemon cream cookie sandwiches.....


Weekends are a relaxed time to see what is in the refrigerator and make sure you use what you have, in ways that you can, to stop food waste. We often make a dish we refer to as "Eggs and". Today we are making Eggs and with the leftover scalloped potatoes. Eggs and are also great for dinner. 

Warning! Even when cooked Eggs and are not pretty, but they are always tasty!


You may recall that we were given a sack of onions, and to prevent waste, some were diced for the freezer and the rest were made into Caramelized Onions in the crock pot. 



And when we were given heads of garlic, we used a very easy peeling method for  peeled  garlic and put it in the freezer for easy to use, already peeled garlic. 

When I over bought celery at holiday time, I turned it into a delicious and Creamy Celery Potato Chowder



Although in the past I have done a fair job in preventing food waste, my goal is to do a much better job in the future. This will also give me the opportunity to sharpen my creative skills. One never knows how much better they can be, until they try!

Thank you, I think I will!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared with:
weekend re-treat @ mommy on demand
fabulously frugal thursday @ life in balance
10

Poached Fish in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

We have been enjoying more fish in this house. Now that does not seem like a unique statement in any way except that for most of my years, I have not been a fan of fish. Give me some tarter sauce with my order of Fish and Chips and I though fish was good, delicious even. But I don't think that really counts, there is so much more to enjoying fish than the occasional order of Fish and Chips.

Now my husband enjoys fish, a lot. He could eat it several times a week and does when he makes up a batch of tuna salad for sandwiches. Because of his enjoyment of fish, I am on the look out for more fish recipes and creative ways to serve it. I came across this dish on Alaska from scratch, and adapted it to our kitchen pantry.

Poached Fish in Thai Coconut Curry Sauce
Poached Fish in Tahi Coconut Curry Sauce

Poached Fish in Thai Coconut Sauce
adapted from Alaska from scratch.
serves 2 or 3

2 T olive oil - divided
12 oz fresh spinach
1 small onion, diced
1 large clove garlic minced
1 T red curry paste (we started timid, with 2 teaspoons, but will use more next time)
1 1/2 - 2 c chicken broth - use the full 2 c if you would like of a broth, instead of sauce
1 14 oz can coconut milk - we used lite
1 t sugar
4 fish fillets - we used 1 pound of pollack fillets
1/4 c cilantro, plus more for serving
1/2 half of a lime juiced, cut second half into wedges for serving
salt and pepper to taste

Hot cooked rice OR our favorite rice

Using 1 T oil saute spinach until wilted, remove from skillet and set aside.


Add remaining oil and saute the onion and garlic, do not brown, Add curry paste, broth, coconut milk and sugar, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer to reduce by about half. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, slip into the coconut milk broth, Spoon sauce over fish, cover and poach until done. Take care to not over cook the fish.

Divide the reserved spinach on serving plates or shallow bowls, place fillets over spinach. Quickly stir cilantro and the lime juice into the coconut sauce. Stir well, divide between the plates.


Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges. Offer rice on the side. And for dessert?

Ambrosia, simple fresh and delicious!

Our Favorite Rice:
Add 2 chopped carrots when cooking 1 cup of rice (white or brown) per package directions. When rice is cooked, immediately stir in 1 c frozen peas and 1 can well-drained corn.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

this post shared with:
homeacre hop 62 @ on the home front
full plate thursday @ miz helen's
food on friday @ carol's chatter
foodie friday @ rattlebridge farm
weekend potluck @ the country cook
see ya in the gumbo @ ms enplace
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Easy Drop Sourdough English Muffins

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Easy Drop Sourdough English Muffins, whole grain goodness.
Easy Drop Sourdough English Muffins

Drop dough onto griddle to bake.

I have in the past confessed to being a lazy biscuit baker. There is the rolling out of the dough and the cutting, then re-rolling and more cutting. Or you can just pat the dough out, cut into squares and bake. See how easy it can be, to be a lazy baker?

And now, here is an easy drop English muffin recipe. Yep, they are not perfectly round, but I don't think that affects the taste one little bit. Delicious doesn't always come in a perfect shape.....

You can start this process before you head off to work and finish up in the evening, or before you head off to bed, and finish in the morning. I started the batter in the morning, before heading off to work.

Easy Drop Sourdough English Muffins, split and toasted.
These are delicious!


Easy Drop English Muffins
adapted from: Home Joys
makes about 8

Cooks Wisdom:  Fork splitting while still warm, then cool completely and package. In addition upon the second batch of muffins I have employed a different method for the 30 minute standing period. See added photos below. 

1/2 c sourdough starter
2 c flour - we used white whole wheat
1 c milk
1 T sugar

Stir together starter, milk, sugar and flour.


Cover and let rest until your are ready to make muffins, about 8 hours.
When ready add:

1 T honey
1 t salt
1 t baking soda



Beat well. let rest 30 minutes.

Letting rest in the bowl and then spooning out to bake on the griddle allows the needed gases to escape, resulting in delicious but short muffin. On the second batch the rest period is upon the cold griddle with the muffins already spooned out to rise in place.

See updated instructions at bottom of post  

Cornmeal - as needed for griddle surface and tops of muffins.

Preheat a large skillet or griddle to 250-275. Sprinkle with cornmeal.

Resist the temptation to spread the dough into a larger circle, you want these to bake up thick so that they split or cut apart easily.

Drop dough into 8 equal mounds. Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal over each mound of dough. Cook about 5-7 minutes, turn gently, cook other side.


Let cool. If you have a pan large enough, use it like a lid to create a mini oven.


Let cool. When ready to serve, fork split and toast. Serve with jam if desired. Or do what Gina from Home Joys does, scramble up some eggs and make homemade breakfast sandwiches.


And now it is time to replenish the starter, in a new bowl.


Sometimes the morning gets away from me.......

Updated technique for rising period:




Sprinkle cold griddle with cornmeal. You will want to be very generous with the cornmeal so that the dough does not stick and cook to the griddle (use more than I did in this photo).

Spoon out dough into 8 (or more/smaller) mounds.

While not perfectly round, you won't care in the end!

Sprinkle tops with a bit more cornmeal.

Cover with toweling, let rise 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, remove toweling and set griddle temperature to 250 degrees. Bake approximately 10 minutes on the first side. 

You may need to gently separate the muffins before turning over.

You may want to sprinkle a bit more cornmeal over tops of muffins before turning. 

Turn gently, bake additional 7-10 minutes or until done, muffins will spring back when gently pressed in the center.

This is 10 minutes before turning, and you can see why I suggest more cornmeal on the griddle for the rising period.

Done, using 10 minutes after turning over. 

Nice, and the smell is heavenly. 

When cool enough to handle, brush off excessive cornmeal and fork split. 

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will enjoy and use for yourself and your family. 

You can also sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email, thank you for subscribing!



this post shared with:
see ya in the gumbo @ Ms en place
homemade mondays @ frugal by choice
natural living monday @ homemade for elle
wfmw @ we are that family

#homemadeBread.
6
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