Encasement of Patience

Our New Staircase RailingIt has been a while since I posted something about carpentry, let alone a post at all. Life has been a little crazy lately. We have been working to prepare the house for children, and one of the things that I wanted to fix was the railing for the staircase. I just did not think that it was sturdy enough, and I wanted to make it safe for the children.

We have finally gotten through all the interview process with DePelchin and have been licensed as Foster to Adopt parents. We are so excited and cannot wait to see what is going to happen next. Patience is a definite key to the process; both for the interview and building the banister.

We started learning about DePelchin about two years ago and have been in the process of getting ready for children since then. Don’t worry if you are in the process yourself, because I do not believe it usually takes that long. After the first orientation, we found that some things were going to have to happen before we could go any further. So we took the first year to just prepare, and then we went to another orientation. This is when the real process started. Training, interviews, and continuing to prepare the house have been our main focuses since then. See where patience came into play?

A major area of our concern was the staircase. I knew I wanted to make it sturdy and safe, and I had a plan to do that. I framed a 2×4 stud rail and lag screwed it into the existing frame of the house. This rail was not going to go anywhere after that. Once it was connected, I faced it with a poplar material. It is a straighter and prettier material than pine, and I figured that it would be easier to box out with. The time was in the sanding. I have to admit, if you want it to look nice, you have to take the time to sand it. Mine took about 4 full Saturdays including the paint and wainscot.

A Friend of mine and co-worker (Carpenter) said that this is always the case when it comes to trim. He could do it much faster, but for better results, he said that you have to take your time. Check out the picture above, and hopefully it will inspire you to try to do something as well.

So Remember, when building something “Patience is a Virtue, and it will also bring about a smooth finish.”

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Have you ever eaten a cloud?

Anitas Chicken and DumplingsAlmost everyone dreams of heaven and what it will be like. The old stereotype is that of an angel sitting on a cloud with his harp in hand and just singing to everyone’s heart’s content. Some think that it will be a taco bar with cigars and drinking or a glutton’s paradise. Others might think that it’s a hot night with supermodels, but makes you wonder if it would be heaven for “the supermodels.” In all reality though, heaven will be a wonderful place filled with joy and happiness, with no sickness, death, or trials and tribulations. To me it is a place that people will want to go because of the euphoria of just being there and being in the presence of a God and others who have gone before us.

So you might ask “Why all the talk of heaven?” Well I guess it comes back to the stereotype of the angel sitting on the clouds. I took some of Anita’s Chicken and Dumplings to work so that a coworker and friend of mine could try it and let me know what she thought about it. She said that it was like eating clouds. I thought that was a perfect analogy of what the dumplings were like. Done right, they have a perfect consistency for the soup. Clouds and heaven just seemed to fit with this recipe. There was a certain euphoria of a heavenly soup that tasted like you were eating clouds and at the same time was soothing to the soul.

It is easy to make. My sister-in-law helped prepare it. She has down-syndrome, and I enjoy getting the time to cook with her. She is so enthusiastic about the task at hand, and we had a wonderful time cooking together. Heaven will be like this, spending time with the ones that we love [maybe not cooking chicken or it might not be heaven for the chicken].
There will be peace and love.

My impression is that this is a great soup to make. A couple of things I might do different though would be to cut back the chicken and add some more of the spices.  There was too much chicken, and the soup could have used just a little more flavor. Over all it was a wonderful soup. Things like some extra poultry seasoning, rosemary, thyme or something to give it a little more of a kick in flavor would go a long way. Even trying to add some spinach for the last few seconds of it cooking might be interesting as well. Add some extra carrots and celery too, because it gives it a chunkier feel. Most of all, I would definitely say don’t stray from the instructions on the dumplings, because that was the part that truly made this recipe heavenly.

So remember, “Heaven is not a cloudy day, it is the euphoria of thyme well spent.”