Tag Archives: raspberries

Extravagant Simplicity

Extravagant simplicity.

That’s the only way I can describe this evening, a time of simple pleasures sprinkled with extravagance.

It started because I blew off cooking supper, and Stephen was hungry.

No, I must go back further. It started when Jerry got some amazing finds at the discount food place we frequent. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t stock everything, just what comes to them inexpensively. But oh the extravagance of this shopping trip! He came home with what might be my single most favorite thing in the world.

Perfectly ripened, red with a pink hue . . . raspberries!

I feel in love with raspberries when I was nine months pregnant with Sam. I’d prayed and asked the Lord forgod answers moms prayers a little time alone with hubby before the baby arrived. He gave us an all expense paid vacation to a 5 start resort in Arizona. (I’m NOT making this up!) I’d tell you the whole crazy story about a Denver blizzard and our plane being the ONLY one that got to Arizona that day, but that’s not the purpose of this blog. Besides  you can read it in God Answers Mom’s Prayers, published by the wonderful people at Harvest House.

But back to today’s story. Stephen was hungry. I was away from home chatting with the very cute Trehey girls. Stephen decided to grill burgers on our brand new, used only once, extravagant anniversary present from our dear neighbor who just decided this year that we needed a big, huge gift.

There’s nothing like the scent of meat on a grill, and that is what wafted out to meet me as I arrived home. I made my burger, choosing to eat it on a bun, which I don’t do when I’ve had a lot of calories already in a day. Then I pulled out the treats Jerry brought home and made myself a spinach, raspberry and walnut salad.

hamburger and raspberries


For desert I filled a little bowl with raspberries and topped it off with a few squares of 70% cocoa chocolate.

raspberries and chocolate

Because the treat was so succulent, I decided it couldn’t be eaten from an ordinary bowl, so I slipped to the china cabinet for my Grandmother Linville’s china, which I presume was purchased through my Grandpa Linville’s jewelry store many years ago. I wish I knew the year this picture was taken, but am very grateful for my friend Susan O’Neal who shared it with me.

Linville jewelry store.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, my very fabulous new son-in-law arrived with a rosè all the way from Italy, which he purchased on Mt. Vesuvius and now chose to share with us! (The Label was super cool saying, “Lacrima Christi DeL vesuvio . . . Portici – Italia.” I was impressed anyway.) It tasted more extravagant just knowing it was hand-carried by someone we loved all the way across the Atlantic.


Sometimes it’s the little things.

What I love about tonight’s extravagance is it was simple, unplanned, and came through the gifts of loved ones, presents piled atop presents. (And (with the exception of the bun) it was basically low calorie and healthy, but NOT short on flavor.)

Life has enough tough spots, don’t you think? That’s why it’s important to pause and savor the little things–like a burger with grill lines across the top or the unexpected glory of raspberries.

The journey to better health doesn’t have to be dull.

It can be simply extravagant.

(BTW, I’ve made some decisions about sage flavored water. I don’t love it just to sip on, but it is very nice paired with popcorn or Italian food!)


Embrace the little things and live a simply extravagant life


Weight Loss Journey Day 2

Bought raspberries yesterday (thanks to a great deal at the discount food place where I go) to add to my meal replacement shake. What a treat! I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did yesterday. I’ve decided to try to cut 500-800 calories a day instead of being legalistic about the 1200 calories suggested to the BETA group. I want to honor what they are asking of me, but I also want to approach this in a way that is sustainable for me. Just that 300 calorie freedom makes me feel more in control. I’m probably used to more than 2,000 a day, so I think cutting to 1200 a day is a little drastic. Maybe as I adjust I can be at 1200 calories more consistently. I want this to be long term change for me, not a fad diet, so I’m trying to make incremental lifestyle change that connects to our family system.

I’m using some of the recipes offered, but not following the meal plan exactly. Cooking for 3 teenage boys is already a trick in my schedule and for our resources, so I’m going to be healthy and wise, cut portions, but not live someone else’s plan. I hope I’m not being rebellious. I don’t mean to be. I just want to fit this change into the design of our family so I can maintain it. And of course there’s the issue of my not being a vegetable lover and many of their recipes pushing past my tolerance level on that.

The bridge we crossed during our snowy night walk

The bridge we crossed during our snowy night walk

Today was REALLY good. I had energy and didn’t miss my coffee. We went out to eat to celebrate Samuel’s return from the hospital. I found I could be satisfied eating half the portion offered me. Jerry and I shared a plate, saving $$ and calories! And salad tasted a little better than normal. I’ve spent my life not wanting to waste tummy space on something I dislike as much as salad. But maybe knowing a small salad has only 15 calories made it more attractive—or the fact that eating less of the other stuff left room for it. At any rate, it is an incremental change, this effort to add in this healthy choice and back away from more of the heavier food.

At 10 p.m. it was BEAUTIFUL outside. The first snow off the season danced in the lamplights, and I begged Jerry to take a walk with me. He’s a good guy and couldn’t resist the begging in my eyes. We walked the nature trail holding hands, laughing at my child-like effort to catch snowflakes on my tongue, acting like we were teenagers instead of hitting the other side of middle age. Crossing the little snow-covered bridge by our house was almost fairy-tale like.

Fabulous. I couldn’t believe I had the energy!