Something to Smile About: Surviving the Chaos!

It’s been quite a summer! My husband was called to serve a new church, we sold our house, went to the Gulf Coast to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, then we found out our house wasn’t actually sold after all. Now think we’ve sold the house again (hoping this time goes better), we bought a new house, then “camped” in the new house while we painted some rooms and ripped up carpet, then moved the furniture, then went to the East Coast to celebrate my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary and got stuck in the middle of Tropical Storm Hermine. As I type we have been home for two days and the house is still a mess of carpet tack strips and moving boxes.

We're excited to have a bigger back yard once we move! | A Chat Over Coffee

But we’re trying to get back to normal, or perhaps find the new normal, and that includes my getting back to all of you! Thank you for hanging in there with me during my month of chaos. I’ve shared a little bit on Facebook and Twitter, but it’s been all I can do to keep up with the Healthy Living Link Party here. I’ve missed our chats!

So besides our new home and our new normal, here’s what I’m smiling about today.

Split Pea Soup with Ham

During the move I obviously had to pare down my pantry and use up things from the freezer. You know I can’t toss out a perfectly good ham bone, so I used one up making split pea soup. My regular recipe was buried somewhere in the moving boxes, so I looked up this one, tweaked it a bit, and it worked very well. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture but we ate our soup up too quickly because it was too good.

Beans & Rice

How many meals of beans & rice have we eaten these past few weeks? So many! I took beans & rice to cook at the beach. We’ve had beans & rice as quick lunches and suppers during the move, renovations, and unpacking. Just today I made a wonderful pot of black and pinto beans! Here’s how I did it.

Beans and rice make a quick, easy, healthy meal. | A Chat Over Coffee

Beans and rice make a quick, easy, healthy meal. | A Chat Over Coffee

Super-Easy Beans & Rice

from A Chat Over Coffee
serves 4

What you’ll need:

  • about 5 cups cooked beans (I used 2 cans of black beans and 1 cup of cooked pinto beans I had in the freezer.)
  • 1 cup broth (I used pork broth from the freezer.)
  • 3 generous tablespoons of Bean-Zing (click here for the recipe)
  • cooked rice

What to do:

Put the beans, broth, and Bean-Zing in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the broth reduces and the beans are the consistency you want. Serve over cooked rice.

Home Improvements

We’ve painted several rooms in the new house and pulled up some very old carpet (refinishing hardwood floors is now on our to-do list) but I also decided to frost the glass in our garage windows for privacy and security. I used Valspar frosted glass paint and was pleased with the results. You can get Valspar at Lowe’s, ordering through Ebates and picking up in store to save time and get a little cash back.

frosted-glass-paint-can-add-privacy-to-your-garage-by-a-chat-over-coffee

I Survived Tropical Storm Hermine!

We’d been planning for months to celebrate my in-laws’ 50th anniversary in the Outer Banks, but the timing ended up being pretty crazy with not only the move but also the arrival of Tropical Storm Hermine. We had a couple of nice days at the beach followed by a few days of wild weather, wind, and waves. I had been at the beach during a tropical storm before, and Hermine was nothing compared to that or to when Ike blew through the Midwest (read about Ike here). The power blinked a few times and the wifi was sketchy, which made it hard for my daughter to do her online school work, but otherwise we were okay.

This sunset photo was taken a couple of days after Tropical Storm Hermine blew out to sea off of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The waves were still pretty high! | A Chat Over Coffee

This sunset photo was taken a couple of days after Tropical Storm Hermine blew out to sea off of the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The waves were still pretty high! | A Chat Over Coffee

Our summer has been very crazy and full, but we’re thankful for all of the opportunities it brought us. What did you do this summer?

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9 responses to “Something to Smile About: Surviving the Chaos!

  1. Congratulations to your parents and your inlaws on celebrating their 50th anniversaries. That is so special and you are very blessed.

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  4. Summer seems so far away already. It is basically Fall here…leaves are all changing colors and everything growing is winding down.

    We did a lot of gardening, canning, household projects, some little trips, lots of family get-togethers, our usual jobs (though I work only 2 days a week in the summer when school is out). My twin sister and I had our joint birthday party as usual.

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