Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chicken and Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Good News!

Let's eat first!!!!!

I vowed that once I got past Labor Day, I'd eat more carefully because honestly, ice cream just tastes so darned good in the summer!!!!

So Tuesday night I was on my own. I grabbed an individually quick frozen chicken breast from the humongous "Sam's Club" bag, defrosted it in my new microwave because my old one (which was only four years old, for heaven's sake!!!!) DIED A SORRY DEATH last week....

And then I cut off anything questionable or nasty from the chicken breast....

And grilled it with garlic and herb seasoning....

I built a typical Ruthy-salad with half a bag of broccoli slaw, some halved grapes, a couple of handfuls of walnuts, a couple of ounces of cut-up extra sharp cheddar cheese (I used the Seriously Sharp variety from Cabot Cheese, oh my stars, I love that stuff!!!)

And then when the chicken was done, I took half of it (wisely saving some for today!!!) and layered it over the salad, topped with Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing and DONE.....

Dave was working and I kept my pledge of reconnecting with raw and healthy even though there was FUDGE calling my name....


And for our last day of summer before kids went back to school, we had this:

From the time Taylor was tiny, she was okay with praying mantises crawling on her!!!! #lovethiskid !

And then this is where we keep the babies now, at least until we can upgrade the kitchen!!!

How stinkin' cute is he???? Hey, Finn! How's it goin', Bud?????

And look at how happy my rhubarb patch is now that I've dug it up, separated them, and replanted, then mulched them??????  Did you ever see happier rhubarb?????

Let me just say, it was feeling sorely neglected. But not anymore!!! Happy dancing rhubarb!!!!

And then there was the matter of a sweet e-mail I received saying that my essay "Mary's Girl" is slated to be part of Chicken Soup for the Soul "The Power of Forgiveness", due out on December 16, 2014!

And do you think it was a coincidence that the e-mail came on the twentieth anniversary of my mother's death?

I think not! "Mary's Girl" is a beautiful essay that helps us cling to the goodness and joy surrounding us even during times of darkness and/or evil. Grabbing hold of faith, hope and love is clutch in matters of the heart, mind and body. Forgiving isn't just divine, it's plain good for us!

I'm thrilled to be part of this collection!. Oh, God is good.... and when our gentle words and lifesong lessons can be shared to help others, isn't that the best thing ever?????

Which means I might have to celebrate, right??????  :)

(I am clearly using this fun news as an EXCUSE to already break my eating healthy pledge. I am a weak, sniveling person who loves cake, cookies and fried apple pie....)

Mmm..... fried apple pies.

I think we need to make those soon!

Here's a picture my niece Josette shared on facebook. It's a picture of my mom (holding Josette) and dad about 35 years ago...

Honestly, while my mother would be very proud of my publishing success, she would be heartbroken to read "Mary's Girl". Mentally she erased those long years of darkness as she aged. An accomplished actress in her own right, she was able to play a whole new part in her later years. And that's okay.

I would have never written this soulful reminder if she was still with us, but if one person gets helped by reading "Mary's Girl".... or one person feels uplifted, knowing God's plans go far beyond that of mere mortals....

That's the best gift I could have ever given her!



  1. Wow, lots in here besides salad. :) And yes, there are so many stories to tell but sometimes it's not the time, or the year. But someday those "dark stories that end in light" will be told.
    Until then, we hold them gently within, whispering "soon, soon your time will come".

    So glad you got the chance to share a part of your story and that's a wonderful picture of your mom.

    1. Virginia, you are wise beyond your years, you sweet, young thing! :)

      Yes. Timing needs to be right, absolutely. And holding them gently within is a skill most mothers learn early on... I think of Jesus's mother, pondering things in her heart, knowing what scripture said lay in store for her son and still walking through life, caring for him and others. Such a great example!!!

      But maybe the fact that I keep BABIES IN THE CLOSET means I haven't come all that far after all, LOL!

      Oh, those sweet dimpled cheeks!!!! Nom, nom, nom, nom.......

  2. Wow, what a packed post full of good stuff.

    And I have always thought praying mantises were one of those little signs of God's grace too!

  3. Ruthy, I think this post is indicative of your personality. Busily running from one thing to the next, pausing to enjoy the good, but refusing to dwell on the not so good and keeping it all in Godly perspective.

    You know, even I'm happy about your rhubarb. Or maybe I'm just thinking about rhubarb pie. Perhaps you could send me one? Shoot, I'd be happy with a bag of rhubarb. Boy, I miss that stuff.

    That Finn is adorable. I'm not so worried that you keep him in a closet, however, you do need to keep him away from the Coke. Bad ju-ju for babies. ;)

    1. I think he was totally after the Coke, Mindy!!!! Such a cute baby, although he's teething now and his cute factor has diminished.

      He is not stoic. :)

      Aw, thank you so much. I love the way you put that, your words just made me feel super good. Bless you!

      The rhubarb just looks joyous. Like it can't believe someone came along from out of the blue, dug everything up, smoothed it out and replanted it in nice, life-giving soil.... and then bought red mulch to go on top. The rhubarb is ecstatic! As well it should be, my knees are still stained red.


  4. WOW. Congratulations, Ruthy and a beautiful pix of your folks. The salad looks good too!!!!

    1. Thank you, Tina! I love that picture, I stole it from my niece's facebook page.... That's her in Mom's arms. Nice shot of the two of them!

  5. Ruthy, it's definitely time for back to salads for me, thanks for the new spin. I've never cooked rubarb. Other than pie, how do you cook it?

    I'm so excited for you about your new story. I agree, some stories can't be told while they might hurt others. I often wonder if we all turned the light on our "dark stories" as Virginia calls them, if we wouldn't be more kind and understanding with each other. Everyone has an untold story. Going to put more kindness in my day today!

    1. Tracey, I love you! And good for you, that kindness comes back to us a hundred fold when we least expect it. Although I bet you're stinkin' kind every day. And I think you're right about the dark stories, if we turn them around to the character-building side, it's amazing what we see.

      A whole change of perspective.

      God is good, all the time. It's we mere mortals that mess up royally. That free will thing is TRICKY.

  6. that's at least the 2nd time I've seen a pic of kiddos in a closet! I'm wondering if that's not the norm!
    Im into the wraps now since Monday's post- gotta get more wraps - wassup with only putting 6 in a package?! there's no room for boo-boos which I had. now I'm out except for a half...sigh...I think this would be good in a wrap! my latest wrap creation is egg! scramble and egg and 1/4 cup egg whites(ok maybe 1/8 cup would've been better size wise) in 3 tbsp texas texas salsa along with 1 oz cooked chicken breast - I did the chicken first since egg cooks so fast - already had it cooked just had to re-heat it--anyways added the egg and some salt/pepper and cilantro (that really made it!) then wrapped up and put seam side down in a skillet with a tsp of olive oil - once that baby crisps a bit and seals I turn it over and do the other side then cut in half and chow down! think I'm addicted..didnt' have tomato at home or I'd have tried adding a bit of that.

    I've walked 3 days - Tues night, last night after work, and thsi morning - going down in the time - 45 min, 30 min, and 20 min LOL - but when I'm working I'm doing good just to skip the drive-thru but gotta be serious with this eating since my bloodwork gets repeated when I see the specialist in a little over a week.


    1. SUSANNA!!!!! I'm so proud of you! Yes, do it, try to be just that little bit more careful every day and then it gets to be a habit.... I'm happy dancing for you! Pretend you're seeing that specialist every week and hang in there. We're cheering for you!!!!'

  7. I'm thrilled for the detailed description of a salad to try and I can't wait to read your essay. Be sure to remind us when it comes out. Somehow, I think you won't forget! :)

    1. Cathy Shouse, LOL!!!! You know I won't forget, it's such a thrill to be in there! And you know why, it's not a big money-paying gig, who cares about that???? But I've sat and read those stories so often, and I've cried real tears of emotion when folks relay their feelings, their times, their struggles.... And I love the emotions they evoke in me. Now I get to return the favor.... Note to self, send reminders, LOL!!!! :)

  8. Ruthy -- I don't know who to be more excited for -- your happy dancing rhubarb, Finn getting to play in the kitchen cupboard or your startling Chicken Soup for the Soul announcement. I guess I can be ecstatic for all three. :-)

    First, Finn is proof that kids don't need a fortune in toys to be creatively happy.

    Second...I'm not ashamed to say this -- I have rhubarb envy. Sob.

    Third -- sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited about Mary's Girl. Just think, people are going to read it and be prompted to check out what else you've written. Won't they be surprised???????

    1. Kav, LOL!!!! I love you to pieces! The baby in the cupboards is hysterical and messy, because he's either got spices or pots and pans and tops and whatever he can get his hands on, out on the floor. So funny!!!!

      The rhubarb envy, I hear you! I was so guilt-ridden over letting the patch go, it was U-G-L-Y and overgrown and poor baby rhubarbs struggling to come to terms with their wretched existence.

      Their joy is palpable now, LOL!!!

      And I'll love it if folks go from "Mary's Girl" to my books, but honestly, if that sweet story keeps one person from an act of desperation... and I need never know of it.... that's such a wondrous thing. We are so very blessed to be surrounded by so much good, even when we're in the midst of angst. I love how faith grounds us to that reality! Go, God!!!

  9. Ruthy, I think you're a combo of your mom and your dad. :) I can't wait to read the story.

    LOVE the photos of Finn!! LOL I was wondering if maybe he was hiding there to, um…fill his diaper. ;)

    1. Missy, you're right! I have the look of both parents in different ways... my coloring from my dad, most of my features from my mom, but she always said I reminded her of her sister that passed away in a drowning accident at age 17.... She said my tough girl attitude was straight from Aunt Virginia. Maybe??? Who knows?

      But it's always fun to look at folks and see what/who they resemble. I love it! And Finn has just gotten to that age of "sneaking off" to poop.... Oh, babies are the strangest creatures! But so cute!