Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

get your banana slicer HERE!

Ever since I posted about and shared photos of my banana slicer, I’ve gotten comments and emails asking where they can be purchased. Long story short? Discontinued. BUT, they are available on ebay from time to time. Like TODAY. And the seller sent me an email telling me she actually has FOUR MORE available.

Click HERE to see the ebay listing and contact info for the seller!!

I personally snapped the wires on mine trying to slice a very firm strawberry and just recently got another one myself. I purchased my replacement at a kitchen outlet in Valdosta, Georgia. Ya KNOW I bought TWO.

After I broke mine, I shopped around the internet looking for another and when I couldn’t find one, I sent an email to Farberware asking them if it was discontinued. The first reply was a generic email containing a list of Farberware retailers.

Not helpful.

I tried again. The second reply contained a link to an entirely different product, which works okay on very firm bananas, but it really doesn’t go all the way through very well.

I emailed again. (I am a pest.)

The answer? Discontinued.

So . . . I saved a search on ebay, got an email from ebay when one was listed, emailed the seller to inquire, went to Georgia over the holidays, stopped at the kitchen outlet store (coincidentally – where I found my FIRST one), and purchased TWO, so that when I’m foolish enough to try and slice something other than bananas with it, I’ll have a backup. Check ebay!!!! They still appear from time to time. Since I no longer need one, I promise I’ll never bid against you!

UPDATE: I’ve gotten SO many inquiries on banana slicers, I did a little digging and found these alternatives:


wire slicer

banana slicer

January 22, 2010 Posted by | wise buys | , , | 3 Comments

now that’s romantic.

I read, therefore I quote.

I’ve always admired Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams. She had moxy. She was spunky. And smart. So it was no surprise when I snapped up her biography when I saw it in a bargain stack for just a few dollars. I wasn’t sure if the period language would befuddle and frustrate me, but surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad. I actually laughed when I read the quoted passage below.

Let me set it up. Abigail and John have been “courting” for a few years and, at the time of the quoted letter, they were separated because John was quarantined after being inoculated for small pox. The book quotes one of John’s “love letters.”

“She can bear with it the more easily because he assures her ‘my affection for a certain Lady (you know who, my Dear) quickens my affection for every Body else that does not deserve my hatred.'”

“Every Body else that does not deserve my hatred.”

How sweet.

And he goes on:

“My soul and body have both been thrown into disorder by your absence,and a month or two more would make me the most insufferable cynic in the world. I see nothing but Faults, Follies, Frailties and Defects in anybody lately. People have lost all their good properties.”

Again with the sweetness. Here’s my paraphrase:

“Babe, since we’ve been apart I’ve become an irritable jerk and EVERY person I encounter has somehow been transformed into an idiot. Can’t wait to see you again!!

But he continues:

“But you, who have always softened and warmed my heart shall restore my Benevolence as well as my Health and Tranquility of mind. You shall polish and refine my Sentiments of Life and Manners, banish all the unsocial and ill-natured Particles in my composition and restore me to the happy Temper that can nourish a quick Discernment with a perfect Candour.”

okay. Now THAT’s a love letter.

“. . . therefore I quote” Thursday: If you have a quote to share from something you’ve read recently, feel free to comment and/or include a link to your own “quote” post.

January 7, 2010 Posted by | books, laugh!, therefore I quote | 4 Comments

that white thing you stand on.

I’m back to consistent strength training after 6 weeks of fitting in a little here and a little there while I was on a short lived, intense work schedule. I’d been doing push ups, crunches, supermans and planks, BUT. I neglected the legs and triceps. Monday, I did 15 lunges each leg and almost didn’t come back up. Then, when I took a step immediately after, both my quads completely cramped up!! Ouch. That has NEVER happened before. I know, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I did. A LOT. I could barely move on Tuesday. Walking up the bleachers at FavoriteSon’s basketball game was torture. I made this little wimpering sound after every step.

Pitiful, I know.

Today I worked arms, especially triceps. Tomorrow? I won’t be able to lift a pencil without wimpering.

I also got Wii Fit Plus for Christmas and, after going through initial “testing” I was informed I had the body of a 64 year old!!!! I SOOOOO did that test again. The second time? I have the body of a 40 year old. I also weighed a different amount the second time. And the balance requirement/recommendation is TOTALLY wrong. According to that white thing I stand on, my balance was off, I’m supposed to lean forward more. Seriously. No. Some of us GIRLS should definitely be leaning a little farther back for proper weight distribution, if you know what I mean.

After the testing, I hadn’t gotten near the game again due to the Wii hogs who live in this house with me. My “me” was actually SLEEPING. All the “me” characters for the family are jumping up and down, excited. And my little me?


Finally, tonight, with FirstHusband out of the house, FavoriteSon involved in homework and PinkGirl in the shower, I tried it out. After being chastised for missing 6 days of workouts by a cartoon character with Alvin the chipmunk’s voice, I spent a good half hour trying different activities/exercises.

My opinion after just a half hour or so? Wii Fit Plus is fun and challenging. Balance, Yoga, Strength Training and Aerobics. Since I spent an hour doing strength training with my personal trainer less than two hours before, I was a little shaky. I knew this, but just in case I was confused or deluding myself, my little cartoon character trainer flat out told me. How helpful.

If I do well and “unlock” stuff, will there be a black marker available so I can draw a mustache on her face?

One thing I DIDN’T do well? When I was supposed to sit perfectly still, cross legged on the white thing and stare at a candle to . . . I don’t know . . . be calm? Is it biofeedback? Just to relax? anyway. I was doing GREAT. Not moving AT all. Just breathing.

Then the cat stuck her nose under my hand and pushed me to get my attention. I lost.

I also got Jillian Michaels 2010 wii game. Haven’t broken the shrink wrap on that one yet, so no opinion on that. Anyone else try it?

January 7, 2010 Posted by | exercise, laugh!, poor me some whine, pros and cons, youtube | 9 Comments

Menu Planning Monday 01.04.09

I have high hopes. Menu Planning. mmm hmmm. It’s easy to write a menu plan. What’s difficult is to write a menu plan EVERY WEEK. Here goes:

Monday – White Chicken Chili, Salad

Tuesday – Grilled Pork Chops, Cous Cous, Steamed Broccoli w/Cheese

Wednesday – Wet Enchilladas, Corn, Campbells Select Harvest Southwestern Style Soup

Thursday – Spaghetti Florentine, Salad, Garlic Bread

Friday – Cream Cheese Chicken (Burrito Style), Chips & Queso

Saturday – Pork Tenderloin Diane, Italian Green Beans, Wild Rice

Sunday – Paella

AND? I’ve also made bake ahead egg patties this week! So breakfast for the entire week is already cooked, cut, in the fridge and waiting to be nuked! It’s gonna be BUSY and I’m trying to be READY.

Want to score some free menu planning? Have a menu plan you want to share? Check out Menu Planning Monday hosted by Laura at Organizing Junkie.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | intentional living, recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

pork tenderloin diane

This recipe is surprisingly fast and easy for how seemingly sophisticated it is. It’s one of those recipes that fool people into thinking I can actually cook.

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 8 crosswise pieces
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons butter (we use smart balance)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon minced parsley or chives

Pound each tenderloin slice, with meat mallet to 1-inch thickness
(get a kid to do this – they LOVE it)
Sprinkle with lemon pepper
Heat butter in skillet
Cook tenderloin medalions 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fork-tender
Remove medallions to serving patter, keep warm
Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard to pan juices in skillet
Cook until heated through
(I love deglazing a pan, it’s like cleaning and cooking at the same time!)
Pour sauce over medallions and sprinkle with parsley

(Favorite Recipe from the National Pork Producers Council)

January 3, 2010 Posted by | recipes | , , | 1 Comment

2010 Word of the Year

For the last few years, I’ve been selecting a “Word of the Year” – kind of a theme of the year instead of compiling a typical list of resolutions. Last year, my word was “Action.” I took lots of Action, the biggest act being my “long time coming” decision to rid myself of two decades worth of intrusive fibroid tumors by having a hysterectomy.


Lots of other actions, much chronicled in my 2009 posts.

This year?

My word is “PARTNERING.”

I Want to Partner with God.
I want to proactively jump up and down, excitedly saying “SEND ME! SEND ME!”

Since August 7th, 2009, when I started actively praying the prayer of Jabez, God has allowed me to be his hands and feet in ways I NEVER could have imagined this time last year. I’m still regularly praying the Prayer of Jabez, but I’ve been learning even more about what it means when I pray for blessings of wisdom and discernment, for God to bless me with empathy, compassion and kindness. I’m learning that when I pray for God to “Expand my territory” and allow me to have greater influence in His name, it means that He will do it in ways that are “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20).

FirstHusband and I are reading “You Were Born for This” by Bruce Wilkinson. This year, I’m adopting the principles outlined in this book.

Here are some excerpts:

. . . the term personal miracle to describe what happens when you help another person by intentionally relying on God’s power to meed that individual’s need . . .

. . . good works by your own effort are good and necessary but many times are not enough . . .

. . . among the good works you and I were born to do lies a wide range of accomplishments that are extremely important to God that we have been commissioned to do for Christ – and that we absolutely cannot do without His supernatural power working through us . . .

. . . It’s a joint but unequal venture between weak humans and an extraordinary God to pursue His agenda in His way in His time by His power for His glory . . .

. . . When you and I ask to be sent by God, we are taking His urgent, heartfelt command and turning it into our urgent, heartfelt request . . .

. . . even when we’re sure we have little to offer, God matches us with situations and people uniquely and for a purpose . . .

. . . the greater risk is not misreading His nudge, but getting sidetracked by rationalizations, excuses, uncertainty, doubt or neglect.”

After what happened last year with my van, I’m convinced that He can do ANYTHING. I had a chance to partner with Him and the blessings were overwhelming. I have no idea what He will do next, but I want to be His hands and feet (and mouth, cause you KNOW I like to talk!). The miracles may not be “van sized” but if God can use me, I want to be there. Bruce Wilkinson says I’ll be “fighting fear before long” and I believe him. In spite of that, my prayer is this: “Send me Lord, whatever that means and however it happens. I trust You.”

I Want to Partner with My Husband
To strengthen our marriage. It’s strong, don’t get me wrong – we are each other’s best friend, advocate, accountability, soul mate, all those words. But we could be even stronger together. We want to strengthen our spiritual connection. That’s one of the reasons we are reading together. Praying more together. Even after 19 years of marriage, we are actively working on learning more about each other.

I Want to Partner with My Kids
I want to be distinctively, obviously on their side. I want to increase my support even more. I want to provide them with the tools and DAILY encouragement to succeed – and not success as the “world” defines it. I want to be a good steward of these precious gifts God has given me. FavoriteSon is a FRESHMAN in high school! WHEN did that happen? We need to teach that boy how to cook without a microwave. Among other things. The list is getting long. Let the learning begin! I kinda feel sorry for them both. ;)

I Want to Partner With My Church
I want to continue serve God with my voice – singing and speaking. So far, that means I will continue serving on the 9:30 praise team and saying yes to speaking opportunities – like one on January 17th, when I’ll be speaking at an afternoon Retreat on the topic “Daily Prayer Disciplines.” I’m fervently praying for God to give me the words He wants me to share. I have no agenda at the moment, just ideas. I want God’s message – not mine. My words would be like an anvil. His words will meet needs. Needs I don’t know about and may never will. I’m praying for blessings of wisdom and discernment and obedience.

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

2009 Pragmatic Recap

Jo-Lynne at Musings of a Housewife is hosting a 2009 Blog Recap Carnival and, having fallen off the blog wagon over the last month, I figured it would be a fairly painless way to ease back into my blog. I even remembered my WordPress password!

For each month of 2009, I’ve posted the title (and link) and quoted the first few lines of the FIRST post of that month:

January 2009
it’s not like I’m having a baby.

“So why am I NESTING? I’ve had this massive surge of momentum and have been clearing out and re-organizing for weeks. I’ve even been . . . decorating.”

(This post contained LOTS of photos. And now I’m doing it AGAIN. I’ve already made one trip to the Salvation Army, with AT LEAST one more in the next few days. Maybe two, it depends on how much stuff I can pack in the bed of the truck. I’ve already been entering charitable donations in It’s Deductible, the FREE online valuing tool! Hopefully, FirstHusband will also take a trip to the dump in the next next few days.)

February 2009
fast food food, fast.

“Sometimes, I need to feed FavoriteSon fast. Considering what the boy can pack away and how much it can cost, I need to stock some quick, easy, cheap meals.”

(Still – ALWAYS – looking for fast, easy, cheap meals. This post highlights meatball and turkey sandwiches and our family favorite – Cream Cheese Chicken.)

March 2009
walking outside the lines.

“Twice now, I’ve walked the track during FavoriteSon’s track practice. Since they actually USE the track during track practice, I’ve been walking outside the outside lane (lane #8).”

(I did this the entire track season last year! Track season is coming up again, so I’m glad I’ve been reminded of this post. Last year, I found a Track Calculator showing the distance around for each lane of the track. Since I walk OUTSIDE the 8th lane, the distance around is more than if I were to walk in lane 1.)

April 2009

“Busy, Busy, Busy. The only thing I like better than eating Cream Cheese Chicken is MAKING it. Soooooo easy! Dump everything in a crockpot and come back later. That’s what I’m doing today.”

(By FAR, Cream Cheese Chicken is my favorite FAST recipe. Starting with FROZEN chicken! But this post also highlighted a new product called “Voila” which I use as a base and add more veggies and shrimp or chicken.)

May 2009
Good Thing the Hospital is Nice

“We thought Julie would be home after one night. The doctor actually wanted two and that was before she had a fever of 102 last night maybe tomorrow…”

(This post was written by FirstHusband – a little update after my surgery last year.)

June 2009
7 Quick Takes: 06.01.09

Kristen emailed me to make sure I was okay and I realized I hadn’t blogged in over a week!

Over a week! What have I been doing?”

(This was a catch-up post with a little of everything from my surgery recovery to what I was struggling/praying about to thoughts about what I was reading at the time to summer kid activities . . .)

July 2009
Pragmatic Summer Recipes

“Kristin over at We are THAT Family is is hosting a themed edition of Works for Me Wednesday this week! Here are some of my favorite summer recipes! Click on the links for the original post and the ingredients/recipe.”

(And AGAIN with the food posts! Multiple recipes for summer!)

August 2009
hi ho, hi ho.

“I’m still here – just working a LOT. And climbing a learning curve for the work projects. Trying to steal hours in the fragmented chaos to actually focus on the learning and the work. The kind of work that requires complete and total quiet, lots of gum and Diet Coke.”

(I’m tired just reading the August 2009 post. I had a LOT going on. And, although it took me a few months, my business website is new and improved – still missing some pages, but for the most part, it’s a MILLION times better than what it was. The client project I was working on did get finished and worked well enough that the client wants more in 2010, so that’s more answered prayer (I was praying for compensated work.) Still purging stuff from my house. Where does it all come from? And I HATE shopping! So WHERE does it come from?

September 2009
Then Sings My Soul Saturday: Desert Song

“This week’s new praise song for our 9:30 a.m. praise and worship service! I can’t stop thanking God for letting me sing it!!! So beautiful.”

(I still really love this song and I’m so blessed to be the one who gets to sing the lead. I LOVE the bridge!)

October 2009
blessings require change. part 2.

“In my post, “blessings require change.” on September 30th, I shared how God gave me an opportunity to give my minivan to a family who needed it.”

(A testimony to God’s AMAZING power. I’m still so thankful that I got to be a part of this miracle. More answered prayer came when I got share the story with my entire church as I delivered the message at all four services on Women’s Sunday in October. I had been praying for God to bless me with more opportunities to serve Him with my voice – singing and speaking. He answered my prayer when I was asked to deliver the message AND lead music that Sunday. God is so good.)

November 2009
expensive tedium exposed.

“I’ve been reading a little C. S. Lewis lately. Today I read the November 1st and 2nd entries from “A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works.” He’s a tough read. I may have mentioned before that I respond to his writing in a number of different ways.

Sometimes, I think he’s a pompous windbag who delights in using words the common man (that’d be me) has to look up in a very old dictionary because . . . ”

(Just some C.S. Lewis prompted thoughts. Reminding me what happens when I spend time alone – abiding.)

December 2009
what is it you do exactly?

“When someone asks me what I do, I know they’re talking about work. Outside my home. Other than being a mom. I usually answer, “I’m a trainer and consultant.”

Often, that’s the end of it. Sometimes, if they’re interested, they’ll wrinkle their eyebrows and ask something like:

What is it you do exactly?”

(Don’t be alarmed if you still don’t understand what I do, even after reading this post. Most likely you fell asleep in the middle of reading it.)

So that’s a little of my 2009. I’ve still got some work to finish up on the client upgrade which consumed much of my November and December, but I hope I can keep up with the blogging. It’s a great source of stress relief. I’ve got a few other projects coming up, both in computer consulting and faith based speaking, but I’ll talk about them later – well probably not the computing part – that can get significantly boring for most normal people.

Me? I know I’m not normal. One of my favorite Christmas gifts is the terabyte external hard drive FirstHusband got me. oooo. ahhhh. Time to start transferring the family movies from tape to digital storage. But I’m thinking I might want two terabyte drives. As a backup. hmmm.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments



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