Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Saturday of Simple Things

Hi friends,

They have testified before the church of your love and friendship. You will do well to forward them on their journey [and you will please do so] in a way worthy of God's [service]. 
  3 John 1: 6

Saturday went by in a flash. I was invited to a friend's for lunch today and had a plethora of errands to run before and after my lunch date.

Alas, I could not sleep last night. Though my eyes were tired I just could not sleep. I even woke up and warmed some milk to drink. That has helped before but not this time. It made my eyes more sleepy but I still could not sleep. I did a lot of praying for others over this time as God brought remembrance of each one and their needs forward. Maybe that was the real reason I could not sleep. Someone needed prayer support. Did you ever have a night like that?

Cartoon Sleepy Sheep

So I woke up much later than anticipated after only a few hours sleep.  I just had time to get a few things done around the house and then I had to get going. No time for shopping.  Off I went to meet my friend, her husband and her children who were just getting home as I was arriving at their door step.

My friend woke up early this morning and made a wonderful lunch of: a tomato based soup, chapati (Indian flat bread), braised green beans and broccoli, roasted organic chicken, brown rice, and salsa (with avocados and other veggies).  She also made chai tea to drink and a nice fruit platter for dessert. I can always count on my friend for a healthy and delicious meal. I felt so blessed to have such a delightful spread for lunch and very much enjoyed my fellowship with her family and one of their boarders.

I actually took my camera with me hoping to get a photo of the food but was so busy talking and eating that I forgot to take the photo, lol!

After a few hours there, I helped to clear the dishes and rinse them so that whoever is doing dishes later (her husband apparently), had a lighter load of work. Of course like all good hosts they didn't want me to clear away dishes but based on personal experience, I know what a chore clean up can be after one has had the fun of eating and sharing good conversation. It was also great to see the children. They are such dears. They kept asking me if I was going home every time I got up. I said no but do you want me to and they would shout "NO, we want you to stay and come more often!". They were so cute and the eldest boy who is 6 said it had been sooooooo long since we had visited last and when can I visit again. It is so nice to have such loving children to visit as well as my good friends.

After lunch and tidying, I had to rush as the business day was almost done. I needed to buy some contact lens. It is getting harder and harder to get contact lens by shopping around for a price here. I'm not sure what has happened but this lat year all opticians are telling me about the laws in place preventing them from selling contact lenses without certain paperwork. When I questioned as to whether this is new law or regulation they tell me it has been in place for 10 years! I didn't understand why then, I am only now (well actually the last 2 years or so) experiencing problems getting a prescription filled without a "fitting" and without a prescription written in the last 6 months.

My prescription is about 8 months old and I'm told I need to get a new one. One optician even told me that I need a higher prescription for my contact lenses based on my eyeglass prescription. I told her my eye doctor doesn't share her opinion and I don't want to go to a higher power which will then make it difficult to read.  I'm due for my annual eye exam in May and I don't want to make any big changes until I know the results of that examination.  What it seems to boil down to is more ways to make sure the consumer pays more money to get more examinations which they do not need. Once a year should be quite fine unless you have an eye problem that needs more frequent observation.

About 2-3 years ago the government stopped covering annual eye examinations as part of the insurance we all pay into.  We now all have to pay extra for that unless you have diabetes.  So this rigamarole around special contact lens fittings seems to correlate with when eye doctors and opticians started insisting that you (the patient) get more frequent eye exams. One required for eye glasses and one required for contact lenses.  Before all they did was use the eye glass prescription to also fill your contact lens prescription. So who are they kidding?  But I digress.

My mission was to get some disposable lenses because I have run out of them and my eyes are feeling the strain. I can't wear my glasses because my eye sight has gotten worse in the last year and a half.  That means since I got my last set of glasses prepared with special lenses and all the high cost of that, my eyes have weakened and so the glasses are distracting to look through and tire my eyes out.  I am waiting until my next annual check-up in Spring to see what has happened since last year and what I should do about the glasses.

The good news is that I was able to find a nice optician who understood my situation and who has dealt with me a few months back.  I bought some lens from him and was so grateful and joyful. I told him he was a "lifesaver".  He said he liked being a lifesaver *smile.  Needless to say I will deal with him again should I decide to get a new eye glass prescription in the Spring.

After my adventures in hunting for vision aids, I hopped on the bus back to my neighborhood.  I needed to buy some veggies and spices that I will be needing for this week's menu plan.  I got home and prepared the lamb dinner from my new plan.  It was quite good. I made up the recipe based on lunch a long-time friend made for me many years ago.  Since I had that lunch with her I've made the dish about 3 times (I don't eat lamb that much despite really enjoying the dish).

After eating I made a quick phone call to my mom who told me she had been trying unsuccessfully to reach me. Whenever she dials my number, which she has memorized correctly (she recited it to me), she gets a  message that the number is not in service. This is very frustrating for her and understandably so.  She reported that she is still under quarantine due to an outbreak of influenza in her care home.  This is about the 4th or 5th day of quarantine. This is difficult to deal with too.  So we prayed together after a short talk and then I had to go.

Smoked Black Bean Dip recipe can be found at

After that I responded to a friend who lives several hours away by plane ride. He is going through a low point.  Wanting to throw in the towel after just starting to get back on his feet. I don't think he realizes how he sabotages his own happiness and success. He goes through a familiar cycle of working hard, feeling upbeat then inexplicably (to me) feeling in a funk and defeated. He is also very bright and has loads of trouble getting along with anyone for very long.  His relationships tend to be quite dysfunctional and I choose not to be too heavily involved in that but want to be a supportive friend where I can and within my boundaries.

I thought he had reached a turning point after going through a particularly difficult time in the last year.  He was  starting to realize that he needs God and a spiritual life to overcome his challenges. We've chatted briefly over several times in the last month and he's been very upbeat. As recently as two nights ago he had wonderful news concerning his future.  Today he sends me a note saying he is burned out and wants to quit.  I'm afraid I've not much patience. It is okay to feel tired and maybe even feel like quitting but don't drop these "emotional bombs" on your friends and expect them to "fix your emotions". In the past I've done it for him and many, many others. I recognized that in myself and put a stop to much of it when I realized I was a "fixer" or an enabler.

Until he can overcome his self-limiting behavior he will not be able to meet his goals. I suggested some emergency scriptures and daily Bible reading and prayer. (He thanked me later so I think he will be okay).  Of course he needs others to support him in prayer too so I will add him to my prayer list. He needs to learn how to cope with adult things and how to deal with and overcoming the challenges that arise in his life.  We all need to learn those skills. Some seem to learn much better than others and some have more negative circumstances and backgrounds to overcome but overcome they must if they are going to move forward in life.  They also need God and loving supportive friends but they must first and foremost take responsibility and become accountable for their own actions.

Oh boy, I did not plan to go there at all but there you have it. Maybe this post will help someone else who is an enabler or someone who thrives on chaos and dysfunction and needs to get beyond it. I hope so.

Anyhow friends, I still have to prepare the smoked black bean dip and pita bread for tomorrow's church social so I best get at it.  We gather every week after the service and have a little fellowship. We all prepare light snacks (different teams take turns preparing food on any given week) 3 weeks out of the month.  Once a month we have a full meal together and everyone who can brings a contribution to the food and drink.  It is always nice to find a simple, portable recipe to take to such potlucks.  It is also nice to sit and chat over coffee and refreshments.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Update: Friends I only made half the black bean dip recipe and it was plenty so if you are only making for family you might want to halve the recipe. I also found it very hot without adding the jalapeno. I think I accidentally doubled the chipotles so be careful if firey hot isn't to your taste. Here is a link to the recipe.


  1. Your lunch with your friends sounds delicious. And so interesting. And you are a good friend too Penny. I love the look of the bean dip. Not sure if we get black beans in a regular supermarket in SA. If I do, would you share the recipe? Please? Hugs Jo

  2. I think of all the homilies past generations used to distill the essence of life into a sentence and then move on. You can't help those who don't help themselves comes to mind here. I hope your friends can sort out his issues.

  3. I often cannot sleep at night, sometimes I just get up and read or watch tv or use the pc. Happy New Year Joyful! That black bean dip looks good, I love beans. The black ones though are hard to find here in Sicily.

  4. Your smoked back bean dip looks so delicious.
    You are a good friend to help your friends in their time of need.
    Happy Sunday ...

  5. In the last several weeks I haven't slept as well at night as I used to. Such a great post, thank you so much for sharing. Here in Montreal we have had some frigid cold days and some mild days, and sometimes back to back, up and down.

  6. Hi Joyful, What a nice write-up about your Saturday. You put a lot of effort into your blog! I enjoyed reading about your visit to see friends and have lunch. I can just see those kids enjoying your visit and not wanting you to leave! : - ) The meal sounded wonderful. Then, about your contacts … Again, we have something in common … Well, I’m having that aging (I guess that’s what it is) issue with my eyes and another visit (soon) to the Eye Center is on my list of things-to-do. The last time I saw my eye Doctor I ended up with the best prescription eye glasses I’ve ever had, and yet, only a little over a year has gone by and I think I need an update. I have an appointment scheduled next week. Lastly, I think you are right on with your feelings about being supportive of the gentleman who has had difficulty with depression. Just my simple take on things, but it seems that this whole process of life is about learning how to mature and keep a positive outlook regardless of the blocks we encounter. He is lucky to have you as a friend! Thank you as always … I will be looking forward to your next post. John

  7. Hi Joyful! You certainly had a full day! The lunch at your friend's house sounded just delicious. I think it would have made an excellent dinner too. Sorry about your contacts woes. It is frustrating to try and understand all the new rules...especially when you find out they are old rules!
    Hope your Sunday social was fun :)


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