Boiled Peanut Hummus: A New Twist on a Southern Tradition

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

I was well into my twenties before I acquired a taste for the fine Southern delicacy of boiled peanuts, but now I love ‘em! As soon as I saw this recipe for Boiled Peanut Hummus, I knew I’d have to try it. It’s every bit as good as you’d think, then some. It’s not unhealthy if boiled peanutseaten in moderation, and it’s a great “make and take” party food. I serve mine with pita chips or bagel chips.

Boiled Peanut Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups shelled boiled peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted this because boiled peanuts are already pretty salty.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in food processor. Pulse a few times and then process until hummus is smooth. To thin the hummus to the consistency of your liking, add water, a tablespoon at a time. Best after twenty four hours in the fridge; this allows the flavors to “marry.”

No Longer Scared of Splinters

By: Leah Prescott

LeahA wonderful thing happened this afternoon.

My daughter got a splinter.

I know, you’re thinking, “How is that a good thing?”

That’s a valid question.

Today, I took the three kids to the park with a few friends to enjoy the beautiful weather. After the cloudy and rainy days we’ve been having, it was a huge treat to just soak up the warm afternoon. We were enjoying it so much that I let the kids ditch their shoes and run around barefoot. After about thirty minutes of running around like crazy, my eight-year-old walked up to me. “I’ve got a splinter,” she announced. “Ok,” I said, taking a deep breath. “It’ll be ok; let me take a look.”

My girls have always been sensitive, very shy and very connected to each other. When one got upset, the other would respond with even more tears, and the hysteria would escalate. For a while I suspected sensory issues because of the way they responded to situations. It was difficult to even go out at times because they were so afraid of strangers. It was exhausting and I spent so much time worrying about them. They were over-sensitive to strangers, injuries, sounds, and new environments. When they were toddlers, I was genuinely worried we wouldn’t get past this. Heaven help us if there was a real emergency. Hair tangles, chipped nail polish, or finding socks that don’t have the wrong kind of seams have been about all the drama this twin mama could take.

Fast forward to today. When one of them got a splinter, I was gearing up for major drama. You see, splinters are something that had been a HUGE ordeal in the Prescott home in the past. My little curly-headed darlings used to be terrified of splinters. Many tears have been shed over tiny specks so small they are practically invisible to the naked eye. So today, anticipating a big commotion, I was ready to scoop up all three and take off. But an amazing thing happened: Nothing!

She put on her shoes and went back to the slides. Her sister glanced over with disinterest and went about her play. Later we went home and took the splinter out with tweezers, applied some Neosporin and stuck on a Frozen bandaid. JUST LIKE THAT. And it was over, with no hysterical tears from either of the girls. I was gobsmacked.

And then I realized: only a rookie mom would be shocked to see her children grow and mature. Why am I surprised that these challenges that have seemed insurmountable are now becoming merely a thing of the past? Even though I’ve been told that the days are long but the years are short, I somehow fail to believe it. And even though we successfully moved on from potty-training snafus, breastfeeding obstacles, and those Braxton Hicks Contractions that I thought would never end, somehow I still live as if today’s problems will never go away.

My goal in this post is to encourage all of us today. Whether you are dealing with your children, or health issues, or difficult situations at your job, none of it is permanent. We can all look with hope to the future. All the craziness of my life right now… from my toddler’s best efforts to drive me crazy to the challenges of teaching fractions to my second graders…..all of that will later become something to reminisce about. So instead of collapsing into a fetal position on my kitchen floor, drinking my coffee through a twisty straw, I’ll remind myself that “this too shall pass.”

And that now I don’t have to be scared of splinters.

The Fillers

By: Lara Clark

Wednesday was my birthday. Cue the balloon. It was not a significant age, nor of much significance to report. I mean, all birthdays should really fall on the weekend because hump Growing olderday does not exactly scream par-tay. But with the passing of another 365 days, I did spent the day thinking about what my 29th year held and what my NEW 29th** year would have in store. The truth is, the older I get, the less convinced I am that I am ever going to have it all figured out. I still don’t understand much about insurance premiums, IRA’s (Roth or not), or coupon clipping…those things that I thought grown-ups understood.

With a little age under my belt (and under my eyes) I do understand a little more about unconditional love, heartbreaking loss, pure joy and fleeting time. This birthday, I wondered if maybe those grown-up things are what I should worry about and continue to muddle through the other stuff.

I recently watched the movie Boyhood and – this is not a spoiler, so I will tell you – the mother in the film says something to the effect of, “Life is just a series of milestones.” I don’t know why, but this quote just made me sad. Milestones are really pretty few and far between. I mean, obviously they are important… they are “milestones.” But what about the fillers, the in-between, the birthdays that fall on Wednesdays? I think I might need to hold a little tighter to those. I should free up the space in my mind that currently holds all those insecurities about whether I am where this grown-up should be in life. I am exactly where I need to be today or at least until I learn more and change a little here and there. I am “in between” milestones. Nice texts from my husband or tickle wars with kids on my couch are okay fillers too. Cue the balloons for those.

** I know Chaunte is right and I should tell my age proudly, but for now I will just admit proudly that I am aging.

Angel Wings Over Lake Murray

By: Shannon Shull

I have the privilege of driving across the Lake Murray Dam almost every day during the week. I’ve written a blog about this before, describing the peace and joy the beautiful views crossing that dam bring me. But a recent journey crossing that incredible dam literally took my breath away with its glorious view.

Angel Wings Over Lake Murray

The pictures will speak for themselves. They are untouched – no editing at all. It was another extremely long day of teaching, one that started at the usual 5 a.m. After an after-school faculty meeting, I was finally headed home. My eyes caught a glimpse of a gorgeous sunset to my right. Its beauty called out to me, but I had to keep my eyes on the road. I carried out my usual habit of rolling down the window, holding up my phone and just clicking away as I kept my eyes on the road. I had no idea of the immense beauty that was before me. In person, I did not get the opportunity to take in the heavenly view, but I was blessed with having captured it on my phone. I made it across the dam, got hung up in traffic, and while stopped, took the moment to look over my pictures…WOW. Words could not describe what I saw. My heart, mind and soul instantly saw, felt, and thought of angel wings watching over me.

Angel Wings Over Lake Murray

See what you will. No matter what you see in the pictures, I know you will see something breathtaking. I will forever treasure these pictures because for me it represents a beauty that is indescribable on many levels, a reminder of the beauty of the world, a reminder of how blessed I am to see this beauty and appreciate it… a reminder of my angels watching over me.

How Old Am I? I Forgot.

By: Chaunte McClure

Chaunte McClureMy husband often hears: Have you seen my [insert color here] shirt? Honey, have you seen my keys? Where are my glasses?

Based on those questions, you can easily conclude that I lose track of things at home and because my husband is here with me, I guess I kind of expect him to have answers. But there’s one thing both of us lose track of and though it’s not tangible, it’s something that we need from time to time for important documents or just because someone asks. What is it? Our age.

Ladies, how many of you lose track of your age?! That’s where I am in life and apparently I’m in good company.

Last Sunday I posed this question to my Facebook friends and it resulted in a 53-comment thread with several women and a few men admitting to forgetting their age.

For the first 21 years of my life, remembering my age was a no-brainer. Now I have to really think about it when someone asks, or I just give a number and most likely it’s not the right number.

I wonder why that happens? Why do we lose track of our age? I think my forgetfulness started after I turned 22. I could easily remember the milestone years like 25, 30, and 35 maybe, but the years in between seem to have gotten lost in my memory bank.

Today I revisited a Facebook post from December and I noticed that I told someone that I’m 37. Wrong! I’ve been thinking that I will be 38 in March when in fact, I will be 39. Thanks to my high school classmate for getting me back on track. I’m not sure how long it will last, but since 40 is another milestone, I’m sure to be good to go next year.

I have to admit, I am the blogger who told you to tell your age proudly. I guess I need to add an addendum to that – tell your age proudly and accurately.

If any of you have scientific reasons why we forget our age, please share.

Transition

By: Sherree Thompson

SherreeWith the onset of New Year comes renewed goals and resolutions.

Our goals for our financial future, for our children’s education and of course, personal growth, cannot be met without change. For these goals to resonate, I must return to the world of employment. As you know from my last post, my son just had his fifth birthday. His birthday also marks the anniversary of me being home and out of the workforce.

I know far too well that I am not alone in the world of stay-at-home-moms. This community has been really good to me. The support I have found in them has been amazing. I also know many of them who have returned to work for a number of reasons. And that is how I am finding comfort. Knowing I am not alone when “returning to the real world” (as some have said to me) somehow brings solitude in such a nerve-wracking decision. What I didn’t know or expect is how I actually feel about being at this particular step in life. I am a freaked-out, scared, nervous wreck. I mean five years is a long time (or “A bunch” as Daisy says) to not have worked. I’m not saying that balancing the house, family, and the rest of the crazy isn’t work, because we all know it is. But to be accountable to someone that is giving me the vehicle to reach these life goals is scary. Having to be ON-TIME in itself is almost impossible for me right now. And then to function at someone else’s level of expectation and be accountable for maintaining (or surpassing) that level is major. I struggle with meeting my own expectations. Yes, I realize I said accountable twice. I felt the situation warranted the overuse of the word.

I always knew that I would go back to work. There were days I’d beg to go back. I just never expected that when the time actually came that I would feel this amount of heartbreak having to leave the children. There is worry that goes hand-in-hand with entrusting someone else to fill my shoes on a daily basis. I’ll take comfort in my mom-community. Knowing they are there giving me their trusted contacts, ways to navigate being a working mom, and just cheering me on. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone during this milestone transition and trust that God’s plan is in place.

Let’s Do This!

Traveling From the Sofa

By: Lydia Scott

3679951568_38ce6c346e_b

I don’t know about you guys, but I often dream of picking up all my junk and all my people and moving to a quaint little cottage on the side of a hill in Scotland. Heck, I’ve never even been over the big pond, so who knows – I might hate Scotland. My responsibilities keep me from visiting any time soon, so like a lot of us, I settle for day dreams and Google tours. I will also gladly settle for Asheville, NC, which I have visited and 100% ADORE. Have you been? Gah! It’s heaven, and all the angels eat at the Admiral after having beignets at Mayfels. But I digress…

And y’all…guess what I stumbled upon recently? A new website that’s the equivalent of going to Asheville, NC and asking where the locals go so you can get the real flavor of the town. It’s called Findery. Findery is like Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Blogger, Google Earth and a history buff had a baby. It’s really new, so there’s still tons of room to grow, but what a fantastic wealth of non-polished, down-to-earth information there is! I’ve already started perusing my favorite places and checking out their Daily Challenges.

Check it out and look me up while you’re there! www.findery.com