I had most of my Easter egg hunts in this yard. Some were at my Aunt Helen's.  Some at John & Patsy Bengel's house in Denison. I also seem to remember one at my Uncle Jimmy's in West University Place, and one at my Great Aunt Fanny's in Duncan, Oklahoma.  They were always after church, and always fun.  No Easter egg hunts any more.  They are for children.  


My FB friends reminded me that Christ died on the cross for my sins.  As if I didn't know that already.  A nice lady from the Northwest Believers'Church in Katy gave me a Chinese food carton of  Robin's Eggs in front of Brookshire Bros. yesterday, along with some Scripture cards and helping me into my car.  My prayers today include that Church and its members.  Opening a door and offering a hand up into my seat may seem like a tiny tiny thing to do, but on days like yesterday, it truly is like having the hand of God lift me into the car.  Same for the nice young man at Sprouts who reached things down from the top shelf for me, and the lady who shifted boxes for me so I could get Cuties for my handyman.  Additionally, there was a really nice woman who realized my head was below counter level at the meat counter and pointed me out to the guy behind the counter, who came out to bring me my stuffed clams (and boy were they good!  wished I had gotten 2 more at $1)  


On the other hand, there were those who looked at me on my motorized shopping cart with disgust  or made sounds of being inconvenienced when I needed room to turn it or back it up it.  I pray for them as well, that they may never know the need for someone to help them do things they used to do for themselves, need never see those looks of disgust turned on them.  That if they do experience such things, they have the strength to be patient and tolerant with unkind people, and to endure the pain inside their bodies.  That they know that God will bring kind people into their lives to make up for the unkind ones.


I know I talk about my illness a lot.  It is not because I have no strength or that I want pity.  I do appreciate kindness.  I appreciate all the seemingly tiny things others do without my asking, and the smiles.  I talk about my lupus because so many people have no idea what it even is, what it can do to a person or their life.  I want them to think about it -- and I KNOW I am one of the lucky ones.  There are many, many more lupus patients who have much worse symptoms, get much worse care than I have gotten, and sadly, whose illness is discounted and they are treated as lazy, or slackers.  I also know there are those who have "lighter"cases, get better medical care, don't have their first flare until later in life.  I do not envy those.  I know that they too are fighting for recognition for all of us, for better medicine, better care, more understanding.  


On this Easter,  I give thanks for all the kind people, pray for the others to understand, and pray that all my fellow patients meet more of the former than the latter.  I give thanks for the life and teachings of Jesus, and all those who have heard and practice them.  I also give thanks for his death and rising, because it symbolizes to me His Father's great love for us.  Happy Easter!  with or without eggs. :)
 
 
I just signed up to be a Friends of Pfister.  Those are bloggers who blog about Pfister.  I might win a ticket to Austin's biggest social media event, or win a faucet.  For sure I will be one of the first to know about new products, new promotions, and new design tips.
Friends of Pfister
You may be wondering about why I chose to do this.  I've been dealing with re-working my bathroom to make it friendlier to my disability.  One of the things I thought long and hard about was the faucet I wanted to put in there, for my sink and my shower.  First I needed handles that I could manipulate easily.  The old lavatory faucet had handles that I had to twist with individual fingers, the ones that sort of look like short crystal drums.  Some days my hands are too weak to turn these, and some days they have the strength but man does it hurt!    The shower was worse it the 4-prong "steering wheel" type knobs, and I have reached a point at which I simply could not turn those at all.  Did I mention that I was on an extremely low budget?   It had to be single hole, because the shallow cabinet I bought at IKEA had a single hole sink that went with it.  I got these at clearance prices, and one of the bonuses of the sink was that the faucet was on the side nearest the toilet, which made it handy for me.  

One of the things I really appreciate about Pfister is how many of their faucets are ADA compliant.  Alas!  None of the faucets I fell in love with were in my price range, including the Pfisters.  I found a faucet I could live with for just about $50.   I wanted a brushed nickel finish to stay in tune with the finish on the cabinetry pulls and the grab bars. Ideally, the sink faucet would have had a pulldown, as I have had occasions on which this feature would have been extremely useful.  Nobody makes those in  bathroom sink faucets, only the kitchen faucets.  I found one of those that I loved, but it was $190, the Price Pfister T529-YPK Ashfield Lever Handle Pull Out Faucet.  Maybe I can replace my "make-do" faucet with this down the road.


In the shower, I wanted a handheld shower with a slide bar, and a long cord.  This is so I may place the slide bar on a different wall than the shower outlet and controls are on.  This will enable me to sit against the opposite wall from the controls and place the shower at a convenient spot.  My husband will be able to slide the bar to move the showerhead up to take a standing shower.  I'm still considering the options here. (hoping to catch a special sale).  I'll keep you posted.

However, since my bathroom would be out of commission for the duration, I also had to replace the faucet in the other bathroom.  This was a bit easier. I was able to get a Pfister FWL2230C Faucet Lavatory 2 Handle Chrome for $35.


 
 
I was listening to John Stewart last night, when he discussed the NRA position on silencers.  This is my reaction.


Please let everyone have silencers on their guns! I would hate to be disturbed by the sound of gunfire while I'm shopping at the mall.  Gunfire would interrupt my peaceful traverse as I examine store windows and take my lunch in the Food Court!  After all, I might feel that I need to seek shelter somewhere or even duck.


Above all, everyone should be able to have a silencer when they enter a church.  Gunfire might interrupt the service.


How wonderful it would have been at Newton if there had been a silencer on that gun!  Teachers could have gone on with their lessons, never realizing they needed to protect their students.  


How nice it would be if drive-by shooters had silencers.  Nobody would have to interrupt watching TV in the front room to run to the back of their house. Nor would anyone have had to make a pesky 911 call


How wonderful it would have been if Charles Whitman had had a silencer that day at the tower.  My friend and Sociology TA might not have had to interrupt his stroll to dive behind a planter!  Students would not have stayed inside buildings in safety.


Yes, by all means allow anyone who wants one to have a silencer.  Gabby Giffords and the crowd listening to her could simply have thought people were fainting in record numbers.


Nobody in that theater audience would have needed to hide in the cramped area between the seats!  


What a wonderful world it will be when nobody, including the police, is alerted to a mass shooting by the pesky sound of gunfire.


[For those who are sarcasm challenged, this entire story was sarcasm.]
 
 
The nice lady at Food Should Taste Good told me she had a package of the Chocolate flavor for me to try. I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. This enormous box arrived containing not only the Chocolate, but Olive, Multigrain, Lime, and Sea Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips Kettle Cooked.  These were all sent free of charge for me to review.


The first package we opened was the Sea Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips.  I have had Sweet Potato Chips before, and I liked them.  I was a bit leery of the Salt and Vinegar flavor because I am not, in general a fan of either very salty or of sour flavors.  I was not reassured by the aroma when I opened the bag.  All I smelled was the vinegar.


I have to report honestly that neither myself nor my husband cared much for these as just a snacking chip. He thinks the vinegar and sweet potato is just not a good combination to him.  Anyone fond of Sea Salt and Vinegar flavored food would probably have a totally different reaction.  We did think they might go well with something like a sweetish chicken salad on them, or perhaps a chopped ham spread or salad.  


I have a Sweet Potato- Chile Soup recipe that we love, and I think they might provide a nice crunchy accent topping if crumbled over the top of that.  What I do think I would just love would be Sea Salt and Cinnamon Sugar! :)  Another flavor I think might be good to me would be based on a recipe I found online, and that my sister-in-law made for our combined birthday dinner [our birthdays are 12 days apart, so we have one birthday dinner for both of us].  IT was Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole.  The seasonings in the recipe are salt, rosemary, cinnamon, chili powder.  My sister-in-law cannot handle hot, so she omitted the chili powder.  I think the combination with the chili powder on sweet potato chips would be awesome!


Then we opened the Lime chips.  Unqualified hit! I think it tastes like a horizontal margarita, without the risk of becoming horizontal yourself!  My husband took one bite and said "I LIKE these!"  On their own, I consider them a tasty snacking chip.  At the same time, I want to try them with guacamole, con queso, and crumbled over a taco salad.


I'm saving the Chocolate for later.  One Warning, I will be trying them with cream cheese, nutella & peanut butter on them, as well as alone.


The Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato I will pass on to my step-nephew.  He's of that age where he will surely know another teenage boy who will enjoy if he doesn't want them himself!   I am certain someone in his crowd will just love them!
 
 
We finally got it together and made guacamole today.  So I finally got to test the FREE Food Should Taste Good chips (the company gave me coupons) on that.  I had Blue Corn, Hemp, and Jalapeno.


Blue Corn:  I felt the taste of them was lost in the guacamole. At least my recipe.  They were ok with the guacamole from Taco Cabana, though. This surprised me, as I expected the combination to be terrific.  They certainly weren't unacceptable.  I thought it was a waste of their delicious flavor.  Maybe I'll try them with Nachos next?


Hemp:  In this pairing, I thought the Hemp overwhelmed the guacamole.I do not detract from the chip taste, which I enjoy.  Just did not feel this was a good pairing.  I think perhaps I''ll try it with stronger flavored cheeses.


Jalapeno:  This chip was JUST right with guacamole!  It enhanced the guacamole and the guacamole settled into it's curves like like a baby in its mother's arms (or father's).  Eager to try with chile con queso.  


I have also been told a bag of the chocolate is in the mail for me to try. free, for me to review. I can't wait!  


I intend to try every flavor they make, if it's available anywhere in Houston.I'll keep you posted as I try them, and make recommendations on pairings that I find particularly appealing.
 
 
"If your character is impugned, defending yourself in poisoned waters is pointless.  In friendly ones, it is unnecessary.":  Anne Nelson 18 March 2013

"If you are told something unbelievable about someone you know well, your choice is to believe it, or not believe it.  Friends will not believe it, even if it is true."   Anne Nelson 18 March 2013
"The best revenge is to behave as if a person who has wronged you is dead and forgotten.  If someone then mentions the person, act surprised and say 'Oh she/he is still alive? I thought he/she died awhile back.' Anne Nelson 18 March 2013
" Habitual liars forget their lies.  Others remember those lies.  People vary in how many they will forgive before they  classify everything you say as a probable lie."   Anne Nelson 18 March 2013
"Could I buy that from you?"  "You may use it." "Could I use it?"  "Oh, I freecycled it."  "Well, lookee here what's in this box -- that thing you freecycled!"  Anne Nelson 18 March 2013
 
 
So excited to open my mailbox last week and find that I had received three coupons for a FREE bag of the Food Should Taste Good  (FSTG) Chips. I received these for agreeing to blog a review about them.


 I ran right over to my local HEB on Bunker Hill, which I knew carried them.  Unfortunately, they only carry three flavors:  Blue Corn, Sweet Potato, and Multigrain.  I decided I wanted to try the Blue Corn right  NOW!  I will have to go a bit farther afield to Whole Foods on Woodway in hopes of finding the Chocolate and Hatch Pepper I want to try.


I should start by confessing that I am not, routinely, a chip snacker.  The primary reasons for this are fats, salt content and a desire for a high-fiber diet.  There are, however, two times I just HAVE to have corn chips:  with guacamole and with chili con queso.  Neither of these on celery sticks or carrot sticks is truly satisfactory.


Part of the reason I was eager to try these chips was their nutritional content.  I can have about 10 chips for 140 calories (60 from 7 g fat - 0.5 g saturated fat-- NO transfat). That's about 3 more chips for the same calories, and HALF the saturated fat of my usual brand 80 mg of sodium. which is about 35 mg LESS than the chips we usually buy.  That difference alone is very appealing.  I also like the 3 g of dietary fiber, compared to 1 g in our usual brand. There is 1 g of sugars in these chips, whereas the other brand has none. FSTG has twice as much iron, but lacks the 2g of calcium.  I can live with that because I get plenty of calcium.


So what's in the Blue Corn FSTG chips? Organic Blue Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil and/or Canola Oil, Oat Fiber, Brown Rice Flour, Flax Seeds, Evaporated Cane Juice, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa,
Soy Flour, Sea Salt.


I decided that for purposes of the review, I should taste the first few with nothing on them.  The first flavor I taste is the salt, teasing and tantalizing.  The lingering aftertaste is the sesame seeds.  In between, is a kaleidoscope of flavors, dominated by the corn, with bright accents of flax, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and a light sweetness, The earthy undertones of Oats, Brown Rice, and soy swirl through subtly. providing a background without ever overcoming the other flavors.


On a whim, I dipped one chip into my natural, chunky peanut butter.  I was surprised by just how tasty the combination was. I dipped one into the VERY hot red salsa we get when we buy pollo asada, and found that the flavor of the chip held up quite well under the fire.  Even better was the one dipped into the green salsa we get from the same place. 

I am envisioning crunching a few over a salad with black beans, grated cheese and my own habañero vinaigrette, and just a touch of sour cream.  I'm also dreaming of guacamole and Chili con Queso.  

For that, I shall have to wait until my PSH (poor suffering husband) takes me to Whole Foods for the chocolate and Hatch Chili flavors. 

I am disappointed to report that it seems to be impossible at this point to find the Chocolate and Hatch Pepper chips.  On way back from our birthday celebration dinner at my brother's, we stopped at the Whole Foods near him (W Alabama @ Kirby).  The stocker working the aisle reported that they stopped carrying the Chocolate flavor, and he had never heard of the Hatch Pepper. 

Rather than hold up this promised review while I tried looking at the Whole Foods on Woodway, I elected to get the Hemp and the Jalapeno flavors  The other two flavorsI will keep looking and asking for until I hound some grocery manager into ordering them.


The Hemp chips, all on their own, have a slightly nutty, slightly kale-like flavor.  I think they would go well with either guacamole or chili con queso, but I think they would be excellent with black bean dip, or any of the sour cream/cream cheese vegetable dips/spreads on the market.  I also think they would pair well with brie and other soft cheeses. 


The Jalapeno chips start with the taste of corn, then the pepper slides in and caresses your tongue.  For those who like only mild heat, these are great chips for you, moderated by guacamole or a cool sour cream dip.  For those of you who love hot hot, eat 'em on their own, since the pepper keeps sliding in and building up until your mouth is delightfully toasty!  For those of you who prefer something between mild and hot hot, you can dip every other one into the guacamole.  To my mind, these are perfect for chili con queso. Not surprisingly, I am now doubly disappointed not to have found the Hatch Chili Pepper flavor!