Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cookies and Cleaning (with pictures!)

Happy August to all of you.  And… happy birthday to my wonderful friend Geraldine!  Having you as a lifelong friend is one of God's richest blessings to me.
view of living room from the front door
Tomorrow afternoon our Bible Study group from church is coming over for a mini-retreat.  It was so delightful to be able to say, “Hey, why don’t we do it at our house?!”   We’ll spend time reviewing the things we’ve been learning over the past several months, and enjoy some snacks, too. 

So, today I cleaned our place.  It’s going to sound silly, but I loved being able to dust and mop and scrub. 
Dining room.  The windows let in a
wonderful breeze!

Since leaving the U.S., I’ve had others do that for me.  At times it was really nice to not worry about it, but I never quite got over the thought that I should be able to keep a place clean and tidy!  I’m sure before too long I’ll stop finding pleasure in daily sweeping and weekly cleaning, but for now, it’s a ‘new’ thing I’m glad to be doing again. 

There’s more to clean now, of course.  But, that’s a ‘new’ that is so, so great.  In our studio apartment, we tried really hard to be mindful of the other, and so whoever got up first had to kind of feel their way around to the little battery lantern we used instead of the overhead light. 
our bedroom, with the lovely wedding quilt
the Kerus Quilters from my home church made us

Now, when we get up, we can go into another room and turn on the light!  It’s also nice to read my Bible and have my quiet time sitting on one of the comfy couches instead of in the closet!
Living room... and those comfy couches!

Another ‘new’ thing I’m really loving is my oven.  The last time I had a working oven was June 2011.  I had forgotten how satisfying it is to mix up a batch of biscuits or banana bread or cookies (which I made today for the mini-retreat!). 
The kitchen... and my Oatmeal Banana cookies
(with chocolate chips and almonds)

I’m still getting the knack of the gas stove, but it is fun to experiment.  So far nothing has completely flopped, although the first tray of cookies was a bit crisp!  The next ones were pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Having a full-sized stove again is fantastic.  Carlos can make the mashed potatoes while I am making up the red beans with chorizo, without the threat of knocking each other’s pans off the stove! 
With the bigger stove, and more spacious kitchen, I’ll finally be able to learn how to make some of the yummy Dominican dishes I’ve grown to love.  And, it’s going to happen soon! 

Next week we’re having our Mata de Platano family and friends over.  I can’t wait to see our nieces and nephews enjoying playing in our grass yard!  My friend Margot is coming over early to show me how to make some of my favorite foods – and her awesome bread!

I am so looking forward to finally extending hospitality to those who have given so much to me.  Every time we go to Mata de Platano we get sent home with bananas, mangoes, avocado, and more.  Carlos’ mom always has beans and rice to eat, and Margot has her bread and juice. 
all ready for company!

When we were praying about a larger place, with additional costs, we decided it was a way to bless others.  We hope that our friends and family here, and our friends and family back in the U.S. and Canada, will come and visit.  Hopefully these pictures will tempt you!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

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