Tag Archive | marriage

Boxed Dinners ~ Activities for Foodie Couples

imageIf you haven’t heard about these blessings in a box, they are called Meal Delivery Services, and they are being shipped to most locations worldwide. I think they are an awesome idea for folks wanting to learn how to cook, learn new meals, save money and time, stuck in a ‘food rut’ (us), along with dieting or even just eating better!  We’ve batted this idea around for a bit… Having fresh ingredients arrive at our door to make meals for a few nights a week. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a savings or an expense. My husband really took a hold of this idea and ran with it. He compared many of the Dinner Box companies that deliver in our area. He decide Blue Apron was the best fit for us. They source the food as local as possible to me. I love supporting my community.

When he told me about the future box coming, he had sparkles in his eyes. He was genuinely excited to cook these meals! He then tells me the most mushy, lovey-dovey thing… “I can’t wait to spend time with you in the kitchen cooking these meals.” Awe! What a Sweety-Pie!!! I love you, honey.

Our first three meals arrived on a Friday. We picked Friday, so we would have more time to cook the meals over the weekend. The part I really like is that the amounts are per-determined, and there is no waste or leftovers. I feel like we waste too much food here. Another huge pro for going with this arrangement.

There are also beautifully done recipe cards with photos for most of the steps in the recipe. If there is something missing on the card, you can always go to their website to learn how to reproduce the technique they are asking you to do. There are many how-to videos, other recipes and comments from other Blue Apron clients.

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Lemon Caper Catfish, Chicken Paillard and Bucatini Pasta Bolognese, were our weeks choices. In plain English: Lemon catfish w/kale, Chicken & potatoes & Spaghetti w/meat sauce. There are generally 3 meat meals and 3 vegetarian meals, for a total of 6 meals to choose from for a week. Blue Apron only offers 3 meals a week, whereas other companies do offer 2 -7 meals a week. As I am a carnivore, the veggie meals are somewhat wasted on me. Yes, roasted cauliflower sounds yummy, but that is a side dish, not the centerpiece of the meal.

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The Chicken Paillard was to die for! I have never roasted a fennel before and I have been missing out! If you’ve never done it, buy one in the next grocery run. They are amazing roasted. We figured even if we didn’t like some part of the meal, it would introduce us to other types of food and how to cook it. A con was the size of the potato. It was smaller than my fist, and we had to split it. I get it. It’s called PORTION CONTROL 😉 Fatty-Fat-Fat!

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Sometimes we had to read the directions 10X to wrap our minds around something. The directions for the Bucatini Pasta Bolognese had us cooking veggies and sauce before we cooked the meat in the veggies. Huh? I’ve generally always cooked the meat first, then added other ingredients. This recipe also had us adding chopped brussels sprouts near the end of the process. In the end, it was a super yummy meal. I still like my spaghetti sauce better (I use pork shoulder), however I will now add carrot, celery and chopped brussels sprouts to mine!

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Here is the Lemon Caper Catfish. The catfish was great. It was on a bed of lentils and kale. I like many veggies, but you lost me at both lentils and kale. Blech! I can say that the lentils were not the same kind my Mom used for soup. These were called the ‘caviar of lentils’ and even resembled it. They were actually pretty good. Not the texture of dirt, like my Ma’s. The kale was kale. There was no helping it. In the end, I would just do this recipe with spinach and call it a day.

My hubby and I are very pleased with our choices, the turnout and the amount of fun we’ve been having in the kitchen. I’d really have to wait for more data, however the total amount of groceries and the Blue Apron box were even last week, thus it is a wash, budget wise. YEAH!! I would highly suggest trying one of these services out! Even if it’s just for a week here and there. I love that we don’t have to argue about ‘what’s for dinner?’ or spend time making a list or being pissed that we forgot something at the store!! I feel like this may take a lot of stress away from us, which makes it worth its weight in gold.
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I can’t wait for our next box and our next foodie adventure!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Happy Anniversary, My Love

imageI am lucky to be blessed with my husband. He is my rock, my salvation. He is strong when I need support and tender when I need love. He is the perfect man for me.

I always love seeing old people together. They are so cute! I think of all the time they have spent together and all the things they’ve experienced. I can’t help but smile.

Whenever I see an old couple, I ask my husband, “Will that be us in a few years?” He says we’ll never be that old. We will always be young at heart.

So, here’s to my husband of twelve years. I love you. Thank you for giving me the best years of my life and looking towards many, many more. I’ve always loved the movie The Wedding Singer – Robbie Hart sang this song to Julia at the end.

I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
Oh all I wanna do is grow old with you

I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you

I’ll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold

Need you
Feed you
Even let ya hold the remote control

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink
Oh, I could be the man who grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

How to Read Regular Playing Cards as Tarot in a Horseshoe Layout

Here is my long-awaited, most requested, most clicked on post continuation of How to Use Regular Playing Cards to Predict the Future.

I think the reason my original post was so successful was its ease of directions! (Maybe because this is a Plant-Geek blog, and not a blog about Tarot reading?) Tarot reading is not something you just pick-up in a day. It takes years of training and the ability to channel your inner self. I have seriously backed off on the definitions of the cards, making it a bit easier to read a fortune. However, because of this, you will be able to pick-up a deck of playing cards right now and find out what’s in store for your future!!

In my original post, I described a 4 card layout that is great for yes or no questions; “Am I pregnant?”, “Should I change jobs?” or “Is he going to ask me to marry him?”.

The layout below, called a Horseshoe layout, gives a bit more perspective on what the future may hold. This time you will not be pulling out any cards ahead of time to represent yourself or the person you are reading for. Be sure to have the Jokers removed and shuffle the deck. If you are reading for another, allow them to shuffle. While shuffling, think of the question you would like the cards to answer for you.

Cards can be dealt from the top or chosen randomly throughout the deck. Whichever you choose, lay the seven cards you picked in the order drawn like below:

horseshoe layout

Card 1:  The Past

The card will indicate how important the past has been on this issue. Sometimes, there is no straightforward subject for this card, however it may relate how you have been feeling in the past about the subject.

Card 2:  The Present

This can refer to thoughts, feelings or actual events influencing the present situation.

Card 3:  The Future

Secret influences that could alter the outcome of this question or surprise you with their impact. Maybe a person knows more than they have admitted to you. Perhaps a decision has been made without you.

Card 4:  Advice

To facilitate the outcome predicted in card seven, this advice should be heeded or not, depending on the wanted outcome.

Card 5:  Your Influences or Environment

Your immediate environment, including family, friends and home, which can influence you on this issue. Sometimes they can be helpful or hurtful.

Card 6:  Obstacles

These mental or physical barriers must be overcome in order to resolve the situation.

Card 7:  The Likely Outcome

The most likely solution to your question, based on what was suggested by the fourth & sixth card.

Remember, this is only one possible future, among many, that are possible in your life. What is being suggested in these readings is that if you were to follow (or to not follow) the advice, the future outcome will change.

Just like anything involving the unknown forces of nature, forces have their ways of messing with our heads. If the layout makes no sense for the question being asked, reshuffle and ask again.

Here are a couple of examples of how this layout can be interpreted.

Should I change careers?

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Should I change careers?

 

  1. Past -Hearts 10 = Peace.
  2. Present – Diamonds 2 = Work success.
  3. Future – Spades 10 = Loss, depression, broken goals.
  4. Advice – Diamonds A = New business or social affairs.
  5. Influence – Spades King = have brown to black hair and dark eyes. They are usually in some form of authority, gives good advice, witty, helpful, yet, not too family orientated.
  6. Obstacles – Spades 3 = Separation from a loved one, or possible fighting.
  7. Outcome – Clubs 2 = Copping with two problems, need to make decision.

Fortune = So far, you have had happiness and success at work, however it is not fulfilling. A dark-haired gentleman may be able to help you with a new career, but not without some problems at home or traveling. In the end you must choose if you enjoy your work success without fulfillment over domestic peace to reach goals.

Should I continue the friendship?

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Should I continue this friendship?

  1. Past – Clubs 7 = Growth through hard work.
  2. Present – Spades 5 = Lack of sensitivity, possibly a theft.
  3. Future – Spades 8 = Inability to think clearly.
  4. Advice – Hearts Queen – have light to medium brown hair and hazel eyes. They tend to be family orientated, happy, romantic, artistic and reliable
  5. Influence  – Spades 9 = Sorrow, misery, sad circumstances.
  6. Obstacles – Hearts 5 = Divorce, loss of a loved one.
  7. Outcome – Clubs 10 = Secure; yet feeling detached.

Fortune: You’ve known this friend for many years and have worked hard at the relationship. Perhaps you’ve felt like the friendship has been one-sided and you’re the one doing all the giving. This has bugged you for awhile. A wise woman (Mom, Aunt, boss) has told you this friend is not good for you, but you don’t want to believe it. In the end, if you choose to detach yourself from this friend, you will feel better about yourself and have less stress, but miss them terribly.

Interpretations of the cards:

Each card has a specific meaning and has to be interpreted with the reader’s mind just as much as the written meaning. Each suit represents four areas in life. Aces are low, and low cards symbolize a beginning, as opposed to a ten representing more of a conclusion. Face cards have the same meaning as before, representing people as opposed to events.

Face Cards:

There are four elements to work with; age, gender, hair/eye color and personality. Kings represent mature men, Queens represent mature women, and Jacks represent children of both genders. I go with the personality over the looks if someone splits the difference here. IE, I am a redhead with green eyes, however I am not family orientated. I choose myself to be a Queen of Spades for this reason.

♥ Heart personas have light to medium brown hair and hazel eyes. They tend to be family orientated, happy, romantic, artistic and reliable.

♦ Diamonds have fair hair and blue eyes. Their personalities are more business orientated, attractive, impetuous, and strong.

♠ Spades have brown to black hair and dark eyes. They are usually in some form of authority, gives good advice, witty, helpful, yet, not too family orientated.

♣ Clubs have white or dark hair, any color for eyes. Their personalities tend to be patient, strongly intellectual, creative, serious, secure, and moody.

The following lists the meanings to the rest of the cards:

Hearts meaning love and happiness:

A = New happiness and joy. Spiritual insight into new or present home.

2 = Love between a man and woman, new relationship.

3 = Marriage, good tidings, possible pregnancy.

4 = Boredom, lack of motivation.

5 = Divorce, loss of a loved one.

6 = New job or meeting an old friend.

7 = Difficulty in making a choice.

8 = Searching for a deeper meaning to things.

9 = Wishes will come true.

10 = Peace.

Diamonds symbolizing enterprise and distinction.

A = New business or social affairs.

2 = Work success.

3 = Someone offers help.

4 = Job well done.

5 = Stress, possible competition.

6 = Good news coming, success is near.

7 = Job pressure, inner strength.

8 = Business trip or messages coming soon.

9 = Maintaining control but shaky.

10 = Under pressure and experiencing life changes.

Spades represents struggle and animosity:

A = Successes are starting to begin.

2 = Stalemated in your decisions.

3 = Separation from a loved one, or possible fighting.

4 = Time to plan for the future.

5 = Lack of sensitivity, possibly a theft.

6 = Journey, moving on with future plans.

7 = Plans not working out as expected.

8 = Inability to think clearly.

9 = Sorrow, misery, sad circumstances.

10 = Loss, depression, broken goals.

Clubs denote money interests:

A = Beginning of prosperity.

2 = Copping with two problems, need to make decision.

3 = Well informed.

4 = Strong pursuit of materialistic endeavors.

5 = Review what’s happening in life.

6 = Promotions, fruits of labor enjoyed.

7 = Growth through hard work.

8 = Stability or possible schooling.

9 = Seeking goals, feeling of being incomplete.

10 = Secure; yet feeling detached.

Telling the future does have its rewards, yet it always should be respected as the gift it is. The future that’s foretold isn’t always the way things turn out. The cards will offer one story to the query’s life, but its up to the person to make it come to pass….. or not.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Men Don’t Get Hints

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I found this post in a Reddit forum:

I wonder if to women, who seem to live in a world of subtlety and nuance, we men just look like great big oblivious walking bricks. We are astoundingly literal creatures.

“Let’s go back to my place and check out the new wallpaper in my bedroom.”
“New wallpaper? Why the fuck would I be interested in that? Dumb girl.”

Ladies, take this to heart. When your guy is not picking up on your subtle hints, it’s not because he’s being deliberately obtuse, it’s because we’re just not built that way. If we miss hints that would lead us to poon-tang (which we’re interested in), then we’re sure as hell not going to pick up on hints regarding whatever random household chore we have apparently failed to do. Glue a post-it note to our forehead, write it across your breasts, but don’t simply hint at it and then get frustrated if we don’t catch it.

Yes, I have been with my man for 12 years, however that doesn’t mean that I understand what the hamster that runs the wheel in his brain does. After staring at the situation in the photo for three straight days, I decided to do a bit of research into why this situation wasn’t remedied with my husband’s first trip to the bathroom.

It comes down to men not getting the hints we lay out and not wanting to deal with the nagging that usually ensues after said hint is not picked up upon. Here are the two techniques that I have tried to implemented at our home and seem to be working:

Remember to say please and thank you—be sure to touch him when you do

No one enjoys being bossed around, especially by spouses, so there’s no point in throwing down orders like a spoiled diva. All it does is stirs up memories of their mothers nagging them to clean their rooms.

Therapists concur that we need to approach our husbands not like children, but with the calm, respectful manner we would friends. Be sure to ask, not tell. One day I said to my husband, “The fucking garbage?!” That sentence didn’t even get a reply. I tried again. “Could you please take out the garbage? It’s totally rank.” I could have left out the last part, I suppose, but I did get a response, although it wasn’t the one I wanted: “I’ll do it when this show is over.”

Later, when the garbage remained unchanged (and still smelly), I took the advice of Toni Coleman, LCSW, a relationship coach from McLean, Virginia. “Husbands will respond better if you place a persuasive hand on his arm or back. Men really respond to physical touch.”

So, I leaned in closely, but not close enough to block his view of the T.V., placed my hand gently on his shoulder and using my sweetest voice, I said, “Honey, could you please take out the garbage now that the show is over?” Not only did I accomplish getting his attention, he got up and took care of the smelly mess straight away. He seemed pleased (and a bit shocked) when I thanked him with a kiss afterward.

Granted, I don’t get a kiss, box of chocolates or diamond earrings when I clean the bathroom, however this technique takes very little of my resources and, more importantly, IT WORKS!!

Play the empathy card

Another handy tactic is getting your spouse to empathize with your situation. It is better to say that you can’t relax and scratch his back until the dinner dishes are washed than, “Why don’t you ever help with the dishes?” Not only do gentler words persuade your husband, they allow him to come to your rescue—something men take pleasure in doing.

One day I asked my husband to bring the crates that were filled with camping gear down to the basement for the winter. One day went by, then two… then on the third day, I nagged again. I was told, “Why don’t you put the crates down there yourself!”

I realized that my husband didn’t understand why I was asking (OK, nagging) him to do something I could do myself. I told him it’s difficult for me to lift the crates and carry them down the stairs. The next morning the crates were put away.

 

Ladies, I know it’s difficult to communicate with our men, but hopefully after utilizing these two techniques at your home, the garbage will never be full and smelly again!! =-) 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

How to Use Regular Playing Cards as Tarot Cards

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Way back in the day, I taught myself to read Tarot cards. Do I believe I’m psychic? Not really. Do I believe that things can be coincidental and relevant sometimes? Sure. Do I believe that some folks that seek the testimony of the tarot want guidance in the same way a life coach, parent, psychiatrist, friend or newspaper advisor would give? Yup.

One way of predicting the future is through cards. There are many different types of Tarot decks to choose from, yet the meanings of the individual cards are roughly the same. Each card distinctly paints a very clear picture to the reader. A standard playing card deck is actually related to Tarot deck with only a few differences and it is very easy to translate it into the Tarot meanings.

Learning to read cards isn’t that hard, just a lot of memorization. However, many psychics say they “feel” the meaning, they aren’t going on memory. So, while reading, if you feel that the card is saying something else to you, go with it!

Start with a standard deck, jokers removed. First you must find the card to represent the person you are reading for. There are four elements to work with; age, gender, hair/eye color and personality. Kings represent mature men, Queens represent mature women, and Jacks represent children of both genders.

♥ Heart personas have light to medium brown hair and hazel eyes. They tend to be family orientated, happy, romantic, artistic and reliable.

♦ Diamonds have fair hair and blue eyes. Their personalities are more business orientated, attractive, impetuous, and strong.

♠ Spades have brown to black hair and dark eyes. They are usually in some form of authority, gives good advice, witty, helpful, yet, not too family orientated.

♣ Clubs have white or dark hair, any color for eyes. Their personalities tend to be patient, strongly intellectual, creative, serious, secure, and moody.

Out of the four personalities offered, people usually fall into one of the categories. Once you’ve got the card that represents the person you’re reading for, pull it from the deck, and place it aside.

Shuffle the deck, and place in front of the person being read for. Have them divide the deck into three piles, then return them in any order back to one pile. Now the cards are ready to be read.

There are many ways to “lay-out” the cards to form a reading. For this example, I’ve chosen the easiest one**, which only chooses a snapshot of a persons life. This layout only requires four cards including the card picked out to represent the person. Place the person’s card down, then place one card to the left of it, and lastly two cards to the right.

  • The card directly to the right of the person’s card represents what the subject for the reading is, or generally what is going to happen to the person.
  • The card directly to the left of the person’s card foretells when or what events will lead to the future event.
  • The card farthest to the right answers the outcome of the event.

 I’ve just added another layout called the ‘Horseshoe’ Layout. This layout has 7 cards and gets a bit more detailed for folks that need more info!

So, for some examples: Q♠ will represent the person – Which is myself, a mature red haired, hazel-eyed woman, who’s eccentric & has no children. Why am I am not a Q♥ ? Because I am not family oriented and don’t fit the norm… Ha!

I will also show you the Tarot cards that relate to the playing cards. The Tarot card’s images are related to their meanings and tend to lend aid in the translation.
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4 ♠ Q♠ 7♥ 2♦ = Difficulty in making choices – It’s now time to think of the future – You’ll have work success!

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A♦ Q♠ 9♣ K♥ = Feeling incomplete – You’ll meet new people – Maybe a brown-eyed man!

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6♦ Q♠ 9♥ 3♥ = Wishing or wanting – Success is near – Marriage or Pregnancy!

Each card has a specific meaning and has to be interpreted with the reader’s mind just as much as the written meaning. Each suit represents four areas in life. Aces are low, and low cards symbolize a beginning, as opposed to a ten representing more of a conclusion. Face cards have the same meaning as before, representing people as opposed to events. The following lists the meanings to the rest of the cards.

Hearts meaning love and happiness:

A = New happiness and joy. Spiritual insight into new or present home.

2 = Love between a man and woman, new relationship.

3 = Marriage, good tidings, possible pregnancy.

4 = Boredom, lack of motivation.

5 = Divorce, loss of a loved one.

6 = New job or meeting an old friend.

7 = Difficulty in making a choice.

8 = Searching for a deeper meaning to things.

9 = Wishes will come true.

10 = Peace.

Diamonds symbolizing enterprise and distinction.

A = New business or social affairs.

2 = Work success.

3 = Someone offers help.

4 = Job well done.

5 = Stress, possible competition.

6 = Good news coming, success is near.

7 = Job pressure, inner strength.

8 = Business trip or messages coming soon.

9 = Maintaining control but shaky.

10 = Under pressure and experiencing life changes.

Spades represents struggle and animosity:

A = Successes are starting to begin.

2 = Stalemated in your decisions.

3 = Separation from a loved one, or possible fighting.

4 = Time to plan for the future.

5 = Lack of sensitivity, possibly a theft.

6 = Journey, moving on with future plans.

7 = Plans not working out as expected.

8 = Inability to think clearly.

9 = Sorrow, misery, sad circumstances.

10 = Loss, depression, broken goals.

Clubs denote money interests:

A = Beginning of prosperity.

2 = Copping with two problems, need to make decision.

3 = Well informed.

4 = Strong pursuit of materialistic endeavors.

5 = Review what’s happening in life.

6 = Promotions, fruits of labor enjoyed.

7 = Growth through hard work.

8 = Stability or possible schooling.

9 = Seeking goals, feeling of being incomplete.

10 = Secure; yet feeling detached.

Telling the future does have its rewards, yet it always should be respected as the gift it is. The future that’s foretold isn’t always the way things turn out. The cards will offer one story to the query’s life, but its up to the person to make it come to pass….. or not.