Sunday, 24 March 2013

Poetry - Creativity of a Different Sort

Creativity is not always inspired by Pinterest (<gasp> heaven forbid!!!). :) Sometimes, creativity comes in the form of poetry. Here are some poem's I've written in the past:


Driving down the dark avenue, I look in their windows...
I see them, gathered together ,
Families ...
Eating, playing games, talking, laughing
And I think, that is not my home.

Driving up to my house, I look in the window...
I see my husband, waiting for me,
My family,
Eating, playing games, talking, laughing
And yet I think, this is not my home.

One day, walking down the streets of gold, I will look into mansions,
I will see them, gathered together,
And Jesus, will turn to me and take me in his arms
And I will be home.

Here are 3 poems written a few years ago while teaching. It was silent reading time and this was the first time I'd been able to write any sort of poem for a number of years. These are very amateurish but that is fine. :) The third expresses my frustration in the long-lasting writer's block I'd been experiencing.

Poem #1










Poem # 2

Hearing pages turn

Hearing humming from a small child

Seeing joy in new discoveries

Seeing frustration in lack of understanding

Speaking words ... touching hearts

Desperately reaching out

Trying ... succeeding


Poem # 3

I hear the silence and I despair

Where are the words that once came so freely?

Where is the peace that poured out of desperation?

Is there no need? Have I found a new source?

Where is the relief? The tears? The laughter?

When will I speak again?

Hmmm, I should find my poetry journal and post some other oldies here. The last poem in this post is my newest one I've written.

Hope for Tomorrow

Sorrow, pain
feels like

Cowering at bottom
try to reach up
break through dark
grasp at freedom

Know it's there
knowledge lacks hands to grasp
cowering at the bottom

Light breaks through
blinding light
beautiful light
hands reach, take hold
pull to freedom
Hope lives, rescue comes

I wait for that rescue.

All poems in this post are written by me, Jennifer Renee McLarty, and are owned by me, Jennifer Renee McLarty. Do NOT copy these poems without my permission.

Freedom - The Illusion

Another old post from an old blog:

In this day and age, we value freedom. Probably people of all times have value freedom. But what is freedom? Do we really have freedom in this life? Is any choice we make really a free choice?  Look at childhood. Do we get to choose what to wear, who to play with, what our toys will be? No! Mom and Dad choose buy our clothes, will sometimes not allow certain friendships and usually end up buying the toys as well. It is only once those things belong to us that we have some small choice in which objects to use at a given moment. But then, those choices aren’t free but are controlled by the circumstances. We can’t even always choose when to use certain things: we would never wear our PJs during the day and our Sunday best to bed. We are not allowedto play with our toys during mealtimes or when at school.  Then it comes to even the choosing of the school we attend. Usually, even if we choose not to go to school we have to (or else there are consequences). See, what we see as a free choice is really a “I’ll choose this because I don’t like the possible consequences of not choosing it” type of choice – not free at all!
Or say, we are done grade school and want to go to college. Is that our choice? To a certain extent, yes (although the way things are going in our world now are making it difficult to earn a living without some sort of postsecondary training – whether technical college or university). But then, we still have to meet the college entrance requirements. And we are only able to go to a university that works with our living needs.
Now let’s look at daily living. I want to get some groceries. Do I have a choice of where to go? Well, close by I have 3 stores I could choose from. At one, my bank account would be seriously hurt from the outrageous  prices, at another the produce’s freshness is questionable and the other is somewhat of a happy medium. So my choice is now controlled by the amount of money I have and the quality of food I need. Hmm, still not an entirely free choice. But we’re made to think it is, aren’t we? J It’s all an illusion.
What if I want to go downtown? Can I go any which way I want? To some extent as some routes will take considerably longer than others. However, my choices are still controlled by laws. I may only drive on the right side of the road, I must obey all traffic signs/lights, I can’t drive any speed I want and I have to stay in my own lane. That doesn’t sound like it’s giving me much choice!!
Or what about that wonderfully gorgeous outfit hanging in the store window that I might want. Can I just take it? NO! That would be stealing! So again, my choices are being controlled. What about the neighbour down the street that we might not like too much. Can we pull a Mafia job and “dispose of him”? Absolutely not! That would be murder! See? The law of the land also controls our choices! Where in life is any choice really, honestly, and truly free? I would have to say no where!
Even in the choice of faith. Can we choose to believe in God? Not in our own power we can’t! Only if the Spirit of God is moving in us and changing our hearts toward God can we believe. Freedom of choice is an illusion this world wants us to believe we have. Really, it’s nice to live in the illusion for some things. I like to think I’m free to choose what to wear and what to eat and what to play with. However, in the spiritual realm, I’m thankful I don’t have freedom of choice. What a wonderful, powerful, gracious God we serve that He would choose me to believe in Him, to be His child! J
What are your thoughts?

A Thought

Thought I'd transfer some posts from an old blog over to this one.  Here's one I called "A Thought":

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed. ~ G. K. Chesterton 

I love the above quote. It is so true even for today's literature - at least good literature that could be classified as epic. Take for example, Harry Potter. Many people (especially Christians) have issues with Harry Potter because the evil in it is so great. (Aside: yes, of course the evil in it is great! Why? Because the evil in OUR story is so great. Watch Epic by John Eldredge to see what I'm talking about here). Anyways, things like Harry Potter aren't there to introduce evil to children/teens. They're there to show that evil can be defeated. It shows, as our story shows, that good triumphs over evil. The villain will always be put down. You see this in any other epic literature - for example, Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. And of course many more. But I like that thought - not introducing evil to children (children already know that evil exists) but showing children that evil can (and will) be defeated. Sure the battle will be long, and hard, and horrible - but it will end with good triumphing over evil. Why? Because that's our story and that's how our story will end - good (Jesus) triumphing over evil (Satan) once and for all.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ginger Beef .... MMMM Good!

So, this is something I've been wanting to try for awhile. I love going out for Chinese food but with Annalise's peanut allergy it's harder to feel comfortable going out for ethnic foods so I thought now is a good time to try making my own from scratch. I followed the recipe from this website. Didn't have all the ingredients - no green onions, no garlic cloves (so added garlic powder), no rice vinegar (so substituted balsamic vinegar on the advice of another website that gives good ideas for substitutions), and I added yellow peppers. Darran said it tasted better than any restaurant ginger beef he has had. :) I did find it way to spicy though. The recipe called for 3 tsp of chili flakes. I think next time I'll start with 1/2 tsp and go from there. :) So, here's photos of my process and end result. :)

This is the beef in the corn starch, water and egg mixture ready for the wok.

Missed a picture of cooking the meet but this is stir-frying the veggies (carrots, yellow peppers, ginger and garlic ... 1/4 cup of ginger! Wowzers!)

Added the sauce: soy sauce, balsamic (or rice) vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and chili flakes.

Added the beef back in. Stir it all up to coat it all in the sauce, turn the heat off so that the sauce can thicken and mmmmmm! smells so good! :)

And here's the finished product on a bed of rice. And, yes, I even used chopsticks to eat it (well most of it until my hand cramped due to not being used to eating with chopsticks ... then I switched to a fork). :)  This was SO delicious and tasted just like some of the better ginger beef I've had in restaurants (although way spicier ... too spicy -  hence me wanting to make changes next time). I highly recommend this recipe! :)

I'm rather enjoying being more adventurous in the kitchen and I think Darran is also enjoying it! :) It was too spicy for Annalise but hopefully she'll try it next time.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Today I decided to try my hand at bagels. This is not a recipe found on Pinterest ... but it still qualifies for this blog because it's creative. :) Me and creativity don't get together in the kitchen often but I've been wanting to do more creative cooking and baking lately. The last new thing I attempted was homemade whole wheat pita bread which turned out wonderfully! I decided to flip through my "Breads" cook book from Company's Coming ( to see if there was something I'd like to try and came across the recipe for bagels. It looked simple enough so I decided to try them ... with the help of my 2-year-old of course. :)

So the recipe called for active dry yeast instead of instant yeast and I'm more used to using instant yeast. I was successful with the active dry yeast but I think next time I make these I'll try with instant yeast to see if it makes any difference.

The recipe called for the dough (once it had risen, been punched down and separated into equal portions) to be rolled out into 10 inch long ropes. Then the ends had to be joined together to form a circle. After the first couple bagels were complete, I found that 10 inches was quite long and would result in rather thin bagels (and it did). So the rest I tried to do with shorter ropes and found more satisfying results.  I don't have pictures of all the steps leading up to the poaching (never knew bagels had to be poached until today), unfortunately. Annalise had great fun rolling out her own bagels and her two got to go on her own special tray in the oven. By they way, hers turned way better than mine - funny how that happens.

So here's pictures starting at the poaching of the bagels:

Poaching the bagels - I had doubts about this process and was pleasantly surprised that it all worked out. :)

Poached bagels are ready for the oven - sesame seeds sprinkled on top. This is close to the end of the whole batch. Annalise freaked out at the idea of seeds on the bagels so we left one plain for her.

Bagels baking in the oven. :)

These are the ones Annalise made - turned out way nicer than mine. :) One with seeds (heaven forbid!) and one without. :) She was so excited to eat them that when we told her they had cooled down enough and it was supper time, she ran with it to the table, prayed and started eating before Darran and I could get there! They were so delicious and fluffy. I know bagels at the store tend to be quite heavy so I'm not sure if this is just a different kind of bagel (apparently it's the New York style bagels that are quite heavy) or if I did something wrong, but we were quite pleased with them! :) 

We topped them with our own flavoured cream cheese - Maple Cream Cheese and Garlic Cream Cheese. To make Maple Cream Cheese, you buy plain cream cheese, use about half the small container and add about 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Blend well. For the Garlic Cream Cheese, you use half the small container of plan cream cheese and add about a 1/4 tsp of garlic powder (though next time I will try Epicure's Herb & Garlic seasoning) and blend well.

My next creative kitchen adventure will be making Naan bread and I promise to blog about that one too! :)