My Blackness

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On tomorrow, I will be celebrating the heavenly birthday of my grandmother, Beatrice, affectionately known to her family as Mudear. There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t think of her “figures of speech, quotes, words of wisdom, or just a matter of fact response to any kind of drama that is going on. I got my first lesson on community from living in her tiny apartment in the projects. Her place was filled with smells of fried chicken, grease popping and cabinets that displayed it, hair pressing, and the love that she had for her family.

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I wrote the following poem ” My Blackness”, this past week, after dropping my car off for an oil change, and then waiting for my son to pick me up. I read the poem to my son, and he was surprised that I was able to write it so fast. His response, “Hmmm, I’m surprised that you didn’t need to have the perfect writing conditions present”. My response: “Yes, I know. Totally a God thing.” Me standing there on the sidewalk typing a poem into the Notes app on my phone? I then explained to him that I had read a blog post by a black blogger on the Black Lives Matter topic, particulary Juneteenth, and was immediately inspired to write poetry that helped to express my feelings about everything. Feelings about why we judge, what we judge, and what we think when we just don’t understand.

Well, here goes. Mudear, this is dedicated to you:

My Blackness

Is it the sassy in my voice?

Is the hips I’m given by choice?

Is it the knots that’s in my hair?

That makes the crowds shake heads and stare?

Is it my eyes that’s filled with grief?

Above the teeth that’s clenched by thief?

Is it the music that makes me sway?

That helps me heal from day to day.

Is it the movies that recall drama

Of taken lives and baby mommas?

It’s part of blackness.

Oh, can’t you see?

My Godly image, “identity”.

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Episode 63: Do What I Tell You

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Episode 63: Do What I Tell You
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How many of us often think, “If only they would just do what I tell them!” How many of us become angry and frustrated when others try to control us, but we never do anything about it? Listen to some helpful tips on today’s podcast episode, “Do What I Tell You”.

Episode 63 Podcast Outline

  • What is control?
  • What is intentional control?
  • What is unintentional control?
  • How did King Nebuchadnezzar deal with his pride and control issues?
  • What are the two things lying at the root of control?
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Thoughts for the week: What will we do differently to make sure that we are not trying to control others? What are we going to do differently to make sure that we are not the victim of the spirit of control?

Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole

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With everything going on, it becomes very important to keep a routine, practice wellness/self-care, and continue to let our creativity juices flow. I have been continuing to make my weekly concoctions. For the last month now, Culver’s has been a Friday treat for me. It eliminates me having to cook, and I can immediately begin to enjoy my weekend.

On yesterday, I was talking to my mom, and I decided to look out the window. There were chipmunks chirping, and a bluejay flying mid-air. Before I got a chance to tell my mother about the blue-jay, I noticed a nice-sized animal in the yard. It appeared to get along with the squirrel that was standing there. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I ended up sending my mother and son a picture. Then, I sent one to my neighbor next. After tossing ideas back and forth, and googling their responses, I was able to come to the conclusion that what was in my front yard was a ground hog. Of all things! I told my neighbor, “There’s never a dull moment as far as what we will see on this property”. She agreed.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Well, here’s the recipe. I hope that you will enjoy it. Have a blessed rest of your Father’s Day!

Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup of black lentils
  • 2 cans of Hunts’s garlic and herb pasta sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of cumin, onion powder, curry, turmeric, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder
  • 2 cups of Mexican cheese
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil

Directions:

  • Boil your lentils in about 5 to 6 cups of water for about 50 minutes.
  • While the lentils are boiling, boil your rice and quinoa for about 20 minutes.
  • Stir-fry the diced tomatoes and eggplant.
  • Dump all of the above into a wok and stir-fry for about twenty minutes, making sure to add the oil and seasonings.
  • Grab a casserole pan and dump all of the above ingredients into the pan along with the cheese.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the cans of pasta sauce on top, garnishing with parsley.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Spaghetti Casserole

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Last week I decided that I wanted to have a big breakfast at some point during the Memorial Day weekend since I had a three-day holiday from work. I made Belgian waffles, grits with cheese, eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and breakfast sausage. I was grateful to God that everything turned out good. I had been wanting to use the Belgian waffle snap-in plates for two months. Unfortunately, I allowed fear to get in the way of me jumping in and giving it a try. I used Amber Honey for the waffle topping, and it was soooo good.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Normally, when there’s a holiday involved, I usually start cooking early. However, this past Monday, Memorial Day, I didn’t start cooking my dish until around 4:15 p.m. or so. I wanted to have an easy Monday and not have to rush to do anything. My son and I were eating by 5:30 p.m., which was nice. The spaghetti casserole that I decided to make was a literal concoction that I came up with on the Friday before the holiday. I hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather this weekend. Bless you all!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of swiss chard
  • 1 (8 oz.) pack of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pack of Mexican shredded cheese
  • 2 cans of Hunt’s pasta sauce (1 four cheese can & 1 garlic and herb can)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of avocado oil
  • 5 tablespoons of each: garlic powder, curry, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, parsley, ginger.

Directions

  • Boil about four cups of water in avocado oil, then add the spaghetti.
  • While the pasta is preparing, Saute the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and peppers in the avocado oil. Add all the seasonings to the mixture.
  • Once the above is ready, drain the spaghetti and dump it into a big bowl.
  • Dump the vegetables on top and mix it as best you can. You don’t have to worry about it being perfect. It’s kind of like a “messy casserole mix”.
  • Grab a 9 x 13 Casserole dish and cover the bottom with cheese.
  • Dump the contents of the bowl into the casserole pan.
  • Pour the two cans of pasta sauce on top.
  • Place in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top before eating. Man, that was so good mixed with the Mexican cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Episode 62: It’s Not That Bad!

katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, emotional health, psychology, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, not fair, comparison, judgment, shame, empathy, scorn, confusion, feelings, emotions, processing emotions

Episode 62: It’s Not That Bad!
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Have you ever been in a conversation with someone, sharing your pain, pouring out your heart and soul, only told to be told, “It’s not that bad!” Tune in to today’s podcast episode to find out if it is “that bad”.

Podcast Outline

katina horton, blogger, lifestyle, emotional health, psychology, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, not fair, comparison, judgment, shame, empathy, scorn, confusion, feelings, emotions, processing emotions
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  • What is Comparative Suffering?
  • What is empathy?
  • Why Comparing Pain is Bad?
  • How can we do better when talking about our pain?

Background Scripture: John 21

Question for the week: What will you do the next time that you are tempted to rank your pain with someone else’s?

Challenge

Simple Vegan Tacos

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One of my favorite things to do as of lately is to whip up something quick and tasty. This past weekend, I ended up making some super, simple vegan tacos for Mother’s Day. I also made two different cakes, oatmeal raisin pecan cookies, two loaves of carrot bread, and two loaves of banana chocolate chip bread. Thankfully, it wasn’t all on the same day.

I baked the cookies on Friday night. The bread was baked on Saturday night. Lastly, I made the two cakes on Sunday morning. I didn’t anticipate spending four hours in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. However, with baking two cakes, I’m not quite sure how much time I thought they would take either. Trust me, I am laughing with you. The first cake was one where I got the recipe from Delicious Miss Brown’s Show. This cake was a Caramel Apple Cake. On her show, she used a bundt cake pan. However, when I went to Walmart to buy the pan, they were all out. I ended up purchasing two 9″ round cake pans and making a two-layer caramel apple cake.

The second cake is one that I literally adlibbed on, and used a recipe off of Pinterest to make the cream cheese, substituting the powdered or confectioner’s sugar for organic cane sugar and a little bit of brown sugar. I also used vegan butter instead of regular butter. I ended up filling this one with fresh strawberries. This one was for my son. He said that the taste reminded him of cheesecake. I have included pictures of both cakes below.

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Photo by Katina Horton

My mother was very excited for her Mother’s Day gifts. It made my heart happy to see her after two months, as well as to treat her with the sweets and food that I knew were right up her alley.

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Photo by Katina Horton

After finishing both cakes on Sunday morning, I made the Simple Vegan Tacos and then made a breakfast wrap for myself and my son. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Now, on to the Simple Vegan Taco Recipe. Maybe it’s something that you might even think about trying to make for yourself tonight. Enjoy! Blessings to you all!

Simple Vegan Tacos

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Photo by Katina Horton

Total Prepping and Cooking Time

25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 packs of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican Vegan Crumble
  • Unsalted Diced Tomatoes – 2 cans
  • 1 pack of La Preferida taco seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, turmeric, curry
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 bag of Pepperjack Daiya cheese
  • 1 18-pack of taco shells
  • Optional: add salad mixture into the tacos

Directions

  • Place the oil in a skillet or pan.
  • Add the vegan crumble and diced tomatoes to the skillet.
  • When the mixture is almost done, dump in the seasonings and cheese.
  • Heat up the tacos on a cookie sheet in the oven.
  • Add the mixture to inside of the hard-shelled tacos.
  • Optional: add a salad mixture to shells as well.
  • Treat yourself to a cold glass of lemonade. (That’s what my mom and I did! 🙂 )

Rotini & Spinach for Dinner

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Hello! I hope that each and every one of you are finding some type of rhythm (structure) in the midst of our new normal. There are several important things that we can do during this time, and I am reminding myself of these as well: 1) give ourselves grace, 2) give others grace, 3) practice wellness and self-care, and 4) allow ourselves to feel the emotions that are stirring, and 5) grieve.

About two weeks ago, I was desperate for something to cook for dinner after realizing that I had eaten all the food that was supposed to last for an entire week. I came up with something quick, fast, and in a hurry as they say before going to bed. The nice thing about this rotini meal is that it turned out to have just enough of each ingredient without being overwhelming, and at the same time, being able to taste each one individually. Hope you enjoy it!

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photo by Katina Horton

Total Prepping and Cooking Time

45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 bag of cut leaf spinach
  • 1 box of rigatoni
  • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cans of Garlic and Herb pasta sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of each: turmeric, cumin, curry, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

Directions

  • Place 1/3 cup of olive oil into 4 cups of water and boil for about 15 minutes.
  • Dump the rotini and quinoa into the pot, and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  • While the rotini is cooking, dump all the rest of the ingredients into a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet along with the rest of the olive oil.
  • When the rotini and quinoa is done, drain it in a mesh colander and dump it into the skillet with the rest of the mixture.
  • Using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

Breathe

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There is an art involving in breathing. To breathe is to let go, release the stress, and give your mind time to reflect on what your mind, body, and soul tells you. This poem does just that. It helps you to stop and focus on what breathing does for you along with helping you gain a better perspective.

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Breathe.

When anxiety threatens you.

Breathe.

When the news envelopes you.

Breathe.

When you’re not sure of the outcome.

Breathe.

With the Gift of His Only Son.

Breathe.

Episode 61: Out of Control in a Crisis

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Episode 61: Out of Control in a Crisis
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Have you ever been out of control? What does the words “out of control” mean to you? What about now? Do you feel out of control in this crisis? If so, what are you doing to combat it? Listen to the latest episode of Healing Our Brokenness podcast to see what it means to be out of control, and what you can do to alleviate some of it. God bless!

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Out of Control in a Crisis Podcast Outline

  • The Importance of Routines
  • Denial
  • Overindulgence in Social Media
  • False Comfort/Constants During a Crisis
  • Hope for a Constant for Security
  • What we can and cannot control

Season of Uncertainty

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We are definitely living in uncertain times. During these times, it is important to keep ourselves anchored in God and his promises. It is also crucial to establish a creative outlet for ourselves, and our kids if they are still at home. Practicing self-care will help our souls and our ability to be resilient when everything around us is on shaky ground. This poem”Season of Uncertainty”, deals with our life as it is right now worldwide. I am currently reminded of God’s goodness as I type this because there are several birds singing their tunes right outside my kitchen window. To God be the glory! Blessings my friends!

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Season of Uncertainty

The sun and birds.

The walks and talks.

Slowdown and family time.

There’s a growing whine.

When at home we dine.

In the midst of uncertainty.

It’s the unexpected.

When you feel neglected.

And a need to be hugged and seen.

When our faith is tested,

and the fear has rested,

in our hearts and in our souls.

It’s a time to trust.

Trust that God is good.

When the picture’s not whole, looks bleak.

When we search for others,

There’s no need to look further,

When his kingdom we will seek.

Last poem: Triggered