Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Hubs and I have arrived in Colorado!  As we drove from Tacoma, Washington to Colorado Springs, it was almost a surprise to see the leaves changing colors; we didn't have that in Hawaii!  It's a lovely reminder that Fall has arrived in all it's glory. 

A number of years ago, when I was a newlywed and first met my Mother-in-Love, she made these delicious Pumpkin cookies and told me that they were my Hubs' favorite cookie.  Of course, I was immediately interested in obtaining the recipe, because isn't it said that "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? 
Ingredients
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup pecans, chopped (or walnuts)

Instructions
Heat oven to 350° F.  You will need a greased cookie sheet OR parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Cream shortening & sugar together.  Add pumpkin, egg & vanilla; beat well.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Add to the creamed mixture & blend well.  Stir in nuts & raisins.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.

Want to try a little variety?  Instead of the raisins, stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips!  Mmmm....I'm so glad that Fall has arrived!

High altitude? Cookies generally do well at high altitudes, however if you find you are having trouble, try the hints found here.





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Transitioning Back to Mainland America

A year ago, Hubs and I were preparing to leave Idaho and move to Honolulu, Hawaii.  We sold, gave away, and donated many of our possessions, and sold our house.  The remaining household goods went into storage, and we mailed 16 boxes to ourselves, c/o General Delivery.  We were embarking on a new Journey, and we didn't know how long it would last. The answer is eleven months.

Again, we have sold many of the things that we obtained when we got here... the motorcycle, living room furniture and TV, mattress and frame, bedroom furniture, dining room table and chairs....As I write this, Hubs and I are sitting on the only 2 chairs we still own: our beach chairs!  We are eating our few remaining meals on paper plates with plastic forks and spoons.  It's like camping indoors!



















God has blessed us abundantly while we have been here in Hawaii, but we realized a few months ago that being this far from our children and grandchildren was just too emotionally hard on all of us.  After we had flown to Colorado and Texas in May to visit everyone, it seemed like all Hubs and I talked about was wanting to live closer to them all.  At least within driving distance!

We began heartfelt, earnest prayers and asked God to lead, guide and direct us in making a decision if we should leave Hawaii, and where we should go.  Hubs even requested three times for a transfer to stay with the company that he works for, but they said he was needed here in Honolulu.  We petitioned close, trusted friends and family to help pray with us...Our Prayer Warrior Team! Love them all!

We felt God was releasing us from staying here, and when things at Hubs' work took some odd twists, we knew it was not worth staying any longer than we had to.  Again, we prayed, and started "crunching the numbers" to see how much it would cost us if we got our of our apartment lease early. After making our decision, I called the property manager and told her our plans...She had NO PROBLEM with us ending our lease a month early without paying a penalty!

So, here it is...just 1 week left on Oahu, and we will be flying back to Mainland America on October 1st!  There is an old hymn that says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one", so here is our list:

1. We've loved our Hawaiian Adventure! (We have great tans, too!) We don't regret being here.
2. Hubs has gained so much experience with his job here, and it will help him go far with the next company that hires him.
3. We are financially better off, drive a newer car, and have less debt, praise God!
4. We were able to sell everything we needed to, and for fair prices!
5. After we shipped our car last week, a kind friend offered us her van to drive, even though she was selling it. This saved us from having to rent a car for our last 15 days on the island!
6. The person who bought the van, not only allowed us to keep using it, but even volunteered to drive us to the airport on the day we fly out! Saves us the taxi fare!
7. A military wife will be cleaning our apartment (as part of our lease contract), which is saving us $350 over hiring a professional cleaning company.
8. We've checked many things off our "Hawaii Bucket List"!
9. We are staying at the beautiful Hale Koa (military resort) Hotel for our final 3 nights in Hawaii! It will be like an early anniversary vacation!
10. We learned today that the apartment has been rented and we should have all of our security deposit returned to us! Cha-Ching!  That will pay for our plane tickets and car shipping!
11. The folks that bought our motorcycle, also bought our bed, and allowed us to keep it until our last night in the apartment! My back is SO thankful for that!!
12. While Hubs is still employed, he has a great discount with FedEx, and we have been able to ship everything that we wanted to keep, at a much reduced cost! (Cheaper that the post office!)

There is an even dozen on that list, but Our Father has been blessing us in unexpected, smaller ways as well: free boxes and paper for sending our things off; half-off discounts on our Ocean Voyaging tour (here's where we went); an available room on short notice at the Hale Koa; and a company on the mainland has requested that Hubs send them his resume!  Whoo hoo!

One of the biggest blessings of all is something that I have not posted about publicly: In December, I went to our new primary care manager for a first-time visit. She discovered through a routine blood test that I have Type 2 Diabetes (it had gone undetected for at least 3 years prior, even though I was getting yearly blood tests). With a lot of determination, prayers, and dedication, I now have my blood glucose "within normal parameters", as well as my blood pressure down to normal for the first time in years!  Plus, I've been able to lose 40 pounds!  Needless to say, even if nothing else had came out of this Hawaiian Adventure, it was worth it to gain back my health!  I give God the praise for getting me the help I needed AND because we used the military clinics and hospital, we have had ZERO out-of-pocket expenses for all these months of appointments, classes, tests and medications.  (Thank you, Hubs for your 26 years of dedicated military service that allows us these benefits, even now that you are retired from the Air Force.)

It might be a while before I'm able to publish more posts, but I'll soon be back, giving you updates on where God has led us and how He has blessed us in finding new employment, a home, etc.  I'm anxious to get my hands into some DIY projects, and hopefully furniture transformations, as well.
This is a very exciting time, and I know to some of you it seems like we are nomads, moving from place to place so often.  Here is our life's scripture verse:
"I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."  Jeremiah 29:11 (Msg)