I’ve Been Challenged

I’ve Been Challenged

It’s been hard to really sit down and get my reading hat on during the quarantine. I’ve heard others have had the same challenge. Is it because we are finding other things to do? Or are we just distracted and can’t concentrate? I think that it’s been a variety of things for so many people. For myself I find myself easily distracted by thinking about the pandemic, where do we go from here, the uncertainty of the future and a whole host of other things. I find my mind wandering when I’ve been trying to read and realize I’m not really sure what I’ve read. Plus, lately it seems like it’s really hard to come across a good book that absolutely holds my attention! I usually am one that will finish a book even if I don’t like it. I feel guilty starting and not finishing. But, I’ve found myself lately starting and then adding the book to my “nope” collection on my Kindle.

All that being said I have found and been reading and listening to some good books during the quarantine. So here is my list!


What have you been reading lately?

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

I’m actually “stealing” a phrase that my husband has used so many times when talking about keeping our focus where it needs to be. We so often get caught up in the dailies of life that we take our eye off the main thing-God, Jesus, the cross, etc. So with his permission I’m just gonna take this down my road.

Covid-19. What an invasion into our everyday life.  Life has drastically changed in the last several months.  There have been no getting together with family or friends. No hugs, no physical contact. We’ve been thrown into a life of “social distancing”, eating at home, schools closed, work places closed and people either working from home or not working at all, no haircuts, manicures, pedicures. We’ve had to set aside so many things!  Folks  are trying to keep as normal of a lifestyle as possible, but also trying to adjust to a totally different lifestyle.

Our lives have all been turned upside down, inside out.  We don’t even know what day it is half the time.  Every day is like groundhog day!

Now, states are slowly starting to open back up.  Restaurants have opened up, with restrictions. Retail stores are slowly opening up.  But, kids are still out of school and folks are still working from home.  It’s a slow process with adding things one by one.

So, where am I going with this.  Well last night we went to a restaurant for the first time in 3 months. Tonight we sat eating our take away pizza from a local restaurant.  We actually went to Target yesterday, the first time since February.  Yes, we have masks on and we are still staying 6′ away from others, not lingering in the store. When I think of how good it felt to go to the restaurant last night and how excited I am about my upcoming hair appointment I began to think how this has really made me so appreciative of the “little” things.  We actually have survived without the extra things that we think we can’t do without.

I find myself turning more and more to my daily devotions, even adding extra ones as I crave for those words of hope and not despair, trust and not worry, patience and not impatience. I find myself soaking in the fresh air when I’m out for my walk in the morning my face not covered by a mask. I find myself so loving even more our video chats with our family, even if it’s a 5 minute one. I find myself not getting frustrated by the cold air conditioning of the restaurant, but appreciative of just being able to sit at a table other than our own. I find myself learning to actually enjoy planning meals and feeling somewhat creative with trying out new recipes and bringing back some old family favorites that we haven’t eaten in a long time.  I find myself absolutely savoring that first bite of our favorite local ice cream in a waffle cone as we sat eating in the quiet of our car.  I find myself really absorbing the wonder and beauty of God’s creation that in the midst of this horrific disease that ravages our world there are still beautiful sunsets on the beach where we can walk with our toes in the sand and the sound of the waves.


I am reminded to Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.



As I sit here writing this Florida is preparing to slowly open things back up after our government mandated shutdown since April 3. It’s been a long month at times, but at other times it really hasn’t been all that much different than what our days are normally like. Since Jon retired we generally spend 24/7 together. We do most of our shopping together, exist in the same house together but most of the day we are doing our own thing separately. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Basically we do everything together and have for most of our married life! So those things haven’t changed at all and it hasn’t been a big adjustment for us in that respect.

What has been a big adjustment is not being able to just decide on a whim to pack a bag and go overnight somewhere. Or to take a day trip up to Disney. Or to stop on our way home from the store for lunch or to go out to dinner. Or to not go shopping together, but to have only one of us going into the store, list in hand. Or to not be able to see our family in person. Those are the things that have certainly been a challenge for us!

So I’m wondering as I sit here what will it be like as things open up. Will everyone flock to the stores because more than “essential” services are open? Will the restaurants be packed with people waiting to get a seat outside or inside where the capacity is limited to 25% of their normal clientele. Will the beaches be packed? How about the parks? Will people come out in droves or will they continue to self isolate, keeping carefully away from others, wearing a mask, still staying home and ordering take out or delivery?

We’ve talked about this at length and thankfully we are both on the same page. Yes, we will venture out a little more. In fact we actually took a walk on the beach last night.

We will continue to be careful about being around others and will avoid gathering, whether it’s one or two or three or four. We will continue to social distance ourselves 6’ from others. We will continue to wear a mask when we are in the store or out and about, other than our walks in the morning. We will continue to eat at home or at least order take out or delivery. We will take it slow, a day at a time, a week at a time until we feel it’s absolutely safe to move into the next phase on our own time.

Why? Because we care about ourselves but most importantly we care about you and everyone out there. We want to stay healthy so that those we might be around stay healthy. We want to help to continue to flatten the curve. And most important we want to be able to visit our family and not worry that we are going to unknowingly infect them!

I’m wondering….

What will others be doing?

What will you be doing?

Stay safe and stay healthy!

All Things Are New

All Things Are New

It’s a whole new day in a whole new world.  I think we’ve accepted and adapted quite well, although my “first thing I want to do” list is growing day by day.  But, it is what it is and we are accepting life as it is now, not as it was in the past.  I can’t even begin to say it better than what Jon has put it in his week by week podcast from Waterside Community.

We are expecting nothing, accepting everything!

stay safe, stay healthy and stay home!



Well we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing, staying safer at home and trying to stay as busy and creative as possible! We aren’t going anywhere soon so what a great time to brew our next batch of beer! This is one our master brewers not tried before- an Irish Blonde Ale. Oh how appropriate! Our master bottler is somewhat blonde (highlights my friend), is Irish and loves a good ale.

This beautiful straw-colored ale is said to give your palate a taste of buttered toast and warm cereal with a splash of fruit. This so conjures up thoughts of possibly a breakfast ale? After all it’s 5:00 somewhere!

This one will take some patience because it’ll be about 6 weeks before we can actually taste it! And because it’s a 6 week process and we are in the midst of a very difficult time we thought the name “Esperanza Caribeña” would be appropriate~ Caribbean Hope~ there is hope in all of this and we will get through this together. In the end, hopefully in 6 weeks, we will be able to share our Esperanza Caribeña!

Until then- stay healthy, stay safe and stay home!

Update: 4/23- into the secondary fermentation today.  Two more weeks, then bottling day!

428A3564-F553-48EE-AF0B-267F30408D81Update 5-8: Bottling day today! This was an experience waiting to happen since we’ve not bottled in our new home.  But, the process went absolutely perfect.  But, first things first.  On first blush the new brew has a beautiful blonde color to it, still a little murky. On our tasting it certainly does have a very mild taste of warm buttered toast with a hint of fruity cereal.  Hmmm- I’m thinking this could be a great breakfast item instead of a Bloody Mary?  It was not a bit bitter or bitey, very smooth and aromatic on the palate.  We both agreed that after the 2 weeks of bottle fermentation it should be absolutely perfectly matched with our beer, butter and brats on Memorial Day.  And it came in at a perfect 5.78ABV.  A nice slow sipping beer for a hot Florida afternoon!