Not My Father’s Potato Pancakes

Oh, how I miss my father’s potato pancakes! This man made many wonderful foods when we were growing up. If only I could turn back time.

A short list of my favorites were:

Potato pancakes, shortbread cookies, hash browns, peanut butter and cheese sandwiches.

I know you may be thinking, these foods are so simple, what’s the big deal? Well, food allergies. That’s the big deal.

However, I have substituted certain ingredients and it’s simply not the same, unfortunately. I have mastered his hash browns to the perfect crispy consistency throughout. This morning I attempted potato pancakes from leftovers. I can’t have eggs, nor regular flour. However I did have patience and I needed it! A quarter cup of rice flour, a hot oiled pan and a big prayer for patience.

Just as in 2 Chronicles 15:7, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”.

I have been trying to master my father’s potato pancakes for years but they never turned out. This morning was different. Despite the ingredients not being the same, I was patient. And it paid off. They weren’t perfect, and they were thinner than his, but in that very moment, the color is what captured the essence of my father. Perfectly golden brown. I know he looked over me and smiled. I could have cried. I did cry!

Just remember, never give up no matter what you are striving for! Remember God and practice patience because you will be rewarded.

Image by Robin Moreau

And they were delicious!

With love,

Robin

From Darkness to Peace

I love my husband. Last night he made me a soft dinner. Something I could easily chew after going to the dentist.

I was so scared to go. It was the first time ever I had to have a root canal. The dentist new I was nervous as I always am, even before a routine cleaning.

What I didn’t realize was how bad the tooth had been. The dentist asked me if I had any pain. I replied with a simple no. He scowled. “None? No pain? Any sensitivity?” I shook my head no. He had pondered my answer.

My tooth was infected so bad, the infection was already into my jaw bone. I will spare you the gory details of what he found lurking in the darkness within the left side of my face. After the procedure he put me on an aggressive antibiotic plan to clear up the infection. He warned me that I would be sore and asked if I wanted a prescription for pain medication. I said no. I could see from the look on his face that was not the answer he was expecting. I told him I’d be fine with Ibuprofen.

Honestly the only significant pain I have is a headache and I was pretty dizzy this morning. And I don’t like how these antibiotics are making me feel. Nauseated.

I have to remind myself though, as nervous and scared as I was, especially with the pandemic, I needed to turn to God and I did. I prayed for Him to keep me safe and calm my nerves. And He did as He was working through the dentist. With every little move, the dentist spoke to me, telling me what to expect, what I would feel, smell, hear and taste. He frequently asked how I was doing and if I had any pain, putting me at ease with every minute passing. That is the power of God and I can almost bet the dentist didn’t realize it.

Below is a tiny picture I drew. I drew the dark, scared feeling I get prior to going to the dentist. Now, my dentist by far, does NOT look like this, but my imagination can sure make things scarier than they really are.

Turn to God in moments when you are scared. You’d be surprised at what He can do for you.

With love,

Robin

Image by Robin Moreau

Turnover

Life is full of surprises. I thought I knew myself pretty well until this pandemic came along. Apparently I didn’t know myself at all.

What have I learned from this pandemic?

1. Art appreciation. Yes, I have been drawing, painting and coloring more and I sure have missed it! Art is my meditation. Since working from home, the stress have driven me to open my creative mind again. I haven’t picked up a pencil in at least seven years.

2. I am a working woman. I love the hustle of work. Or do I? I have enjoyed being home too much! When I need to go into the office, which requires commuting, it makes me seriously cranky. I am thankful I can work from home, but now my mind is wandering to hopefully get remote work. Someday anyway.

3. I am thankful! Being home has forced me to be thankful with many things. I am thankful I’m still working. I am thankful for my health, my family’s health. I am thankful!

4. Grateful. I am grateful for the food I can find. Store shelves are still pretty sparse and I have many food allergies. I am grateful for the food I can find to eat. But I do miss bulk items like fresh ground peanuts for peanut butter and organic mixed nuts. Bulk items are not available where I am since the pandemic. They have been pulled for safety reasons.

5. Prayer. I have prayed far more and believe I am closer to God since the pandemic. I pray for the health of others and many other things. What I pray for most is to find a way to find peace with myself because Monday morning as the work week begins, my stomach is in knots, and I cry. I cry a lot. Maybe I am not the crazy hustle of a working woman like I thought I was. There is not much I can do about it, so I continue to pray.

The pandemic has changed my life in subtle ways. More so than what I have shared. My wants and needs have shifted and it’s amazing how that has transformed me. I have a different outlook on reality and myself. I wonder how many people out there have realized the same thing?

With love,

Robin

Poof be Gone

I sat out on the back porch yesterday after work with a glass of wine. I didn’t have the greatest day; well, it started out great, then I received an email that pretty much made my head spin off. But I tell you, I was proud of myself because as angry as I was, I stopped in the very moment and prayed.

I prayed asking for my energy not to be wasted on this email from this person. Tears filled my eyes but they did not fall! After a moment of sitting there in silence and text venting to my husband, I was overwhelmed by peace again and the last couple of work hours were satisfying.

I need to let God handle these situations more often. I can easily get so worked up on things and waste valuable time and energy. If that isn’t the devil beaming in the background! I will not be a miserable, complaining person. I refuse to do it and I’ve been working truly hard to maintain positivity in such negative times right now.

Like blowing on dandelions, praying sends those problems to God and let Him handle it. The next time you are feeling down, blow those problems up to God. He will give you the peace you need.

With love,

Robin

And in the End

Boy oh boy I never would have thought I would be so envious to get back to a normal life without the social distancing.

I’ve painted all weekend, watched Sunday Services at my church, read my daily Bible study, did laundry, and grazed Instagram. I feel very insignificant right now. It makes me rethink everything.

What to do. It’s my daughter’s birthday today and we can’t even celebrate together. I bake a cake for her because her older brother, who’s birthday is tomorrow believe it or not, insisted on it.

This is how the conversation went:

“Mom, you are going to bake her a cake and I will eat it in her honor and then tomorrow you will bake the other cake for me and I will eat it too”.

All I could say was, “oh really?”

“Yep!” He replied.

So the cake is baked and I sit here pondering what else to do with myself. Just the dog and I and she is not amused and my attempts to relieve my boredom.

Image by Robin Moreau

And here we are.

1am

In a world of darkness, how does one sleep?

I woke up at 1am to find myself dizzying with thoughts. Usually I can muster through and force sleep back onto myself. But not today. I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed and put on a pot of coffee.

My work emails were flooded with Zoom questions, accounts payables and “how to deal” with staff and finances during this COVID-19 crisis. This virus has decided it’s going to stay awhile, uninvited, pulling off its shoes and plopping itself on many of the world’s living room sofas. Rude.

I meticulously read through every email, replying when necessary. My colleague is apparently up too as he quickly replied back with the notion of “you realize it is your day off”. I laugh.

I am obsessed with work right now, almost panicked with how I will take care of my staff over the next several months. No wonder I can’t sleep. But I get a weird comfort knowing we are all in this together. Thirty emails later, and mulling over a few accounts I finally shut down.

My eyes are heavy but my brain is bursting with thoughts. I flip the light on in my art studio and pull out another canvas. I swiftly swipe paint over it, not my best, especially since it’s three in the morning, but it shifts my mind.

I paint and pray.

What’s Your Mood?

I have found anything related to art seems to be my meditation. From funky ideas, to weird ones, to glam, one can see my moods.

I don’t paint anything in particular, and my media ranges from charcoal, acrylics, pen, pastels or pencils.

No matter the end result, I am at peace with myself and only God can understand my peace. Just Him and I.

Image by Robin Moreau

The Unroutine

Working from home is strange to me. I find without interruptions, I am working more efficiently, yet believe it or not, I miss the hustle.

I find I am more anxious. I pace constantly, I eat more, I am irritable. I stuff my face with avocado, tomatoes, and bananas. At least I am forced to eat healthy. But why the unsettled feeling of being home? Nothing has changed other than my environment. I run a large church, with many events, committee meetings, and so much more. I’m thankful I can work remotely. My husband is still working (he manages in the food industry) and he is cranky. Super cranky. Super cranky pants. He wants to be home, I want to be at work. And I hear about it.

We will get through this, but there is not a day that goes by I find myself a tad bit more scared than the day before. I fear for my family, our jobs, our health. It is out of our control and I pray. I don’t know what else to do.

In between working, I paint and I sketch. Trying new media only to occupy the anxiety of the news I seem so obsessed with. It’s like a bad drug addiction watching every move the virus makes, like it is my runner.

What to do. What to do.