I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Call Me Crazy...

Sometimes things are just crazy! For instance, right now the weather in the United States is crazy. While some of my fellow Ponderers are wilting under record-breaking high temperatures, I’m contemplating turning on my heat. Yesterday a few of my friends in Minnesota felt like it was 134 degrees due to a record high dewpoint temperature, but where I live, our high was only 69 degrees! Yes, I am thankful the nationwide heat wave is not hitting us (I really hate being hot!) but it was July before we hit eighty degrees, and we’ve only had one day in the nineties. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is suffering in triple digits. This weather is crazy!

As I said, I hate being hot, so I am relieved our weather has been much cooler than usual, but in my area we’ve traded heat for storms. It seems like we have a summer storm at least once a week. If you have arthritis or you’ve ever broken a bone, then you know how the barometric ups and downs that bring these storms can wreak havoc on your health. Because of my car accident injuries, I can predict thunder storms more accurately than weather.com! It sounds crazy, but my doctor confirms the phenomena. She pointed out how often we say we are “feeling under the weather” when we aren’t feeling well.

When I am “under the weather,” it is hard to do any of the things I normally do. I find it difficult to clean house, cook for my family, grocery shop, or do laundry.  And I especially struggle to sit at my computer and write. It can be so frustrating. My husband and sons often pick up the slack of the household chores, but writing is something they cannot do for me.

This is the part where we are all wishing I had a great list of ways to combat being too under the weather to write, but I am sorry to say I do not. I mean, we can suck it up and write through our pain. We can give our characters similar ailments and then write how bad we feel into their fictional lives.  We can load up on cold medicine or pain relievers, but I’m not sure people will want to read anything we write under the influence. Sometimes we have to admit we just can’t do it.

So, we have to find ways to deal with other things so we can get to writing. When we are not feeling 100%, we need to delegate as much of the other stuff as possible. And if I can’t delegate a household chore, then maybe it just doesn’t get done until I feel better. That’s okay. No one is going to die if the dishes stay in the sink an extra day. As far as cooking, if my family refuses to have cereal for dinner (again) I turn to my arsenal of super easy dinner recipes that turn a minimal amount of work into a fabulous meal. Breakfast for dinner is always the easiest.  My teenage sons are near professionals at scrambling eggs and cooking bacon in the microwave. I also have some favorite almost homemade options. I love the breaded chicken tenders from Costco that bake in the oven in about 30 minutes, and I serve them with a stovetop rice/stuffing/pasta option and veggies. 

What I’m trying to say here is that sometimes our housework needs to take a back seat to our writing. It is okay, I promise.  I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes delegating tasks (or leaving a chore undone) is the only way to move our WIP forward. I think we all, even those of us not dealing with health issues, need to resist allowing our writing to turn into something we do if we have leftover time at the end of the day. Your writing is important, and you need to make it a priority. To get you started, I’m going to give you my secret weapon recipe to get dinner cooking itself so you can grab an hour or two to write. It’s CRAZY easy and crazy good!

Creamy Italian Chicken 
(Serves 4…Can easily be doubled for company!)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix (There are NINE Good Seasons flavors from which to choose! I always double this recipe, and I like to mix and match)
1/4 cup water
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
4 ounce can sliced mushroom, drained (optional)

Hot cooked rice or pasta

Place the chicken breast halves in the crock pot. Combine the Italian dressing mix and water until smooth; pour over top of chicken. Cover; cook on low for 3 hours.

Combine the cream cheese and soup until smooth and blended. Stir in mushroom pieces, if desired. Pour soup mixture over chicken. Cook another hour, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve over hot cooked rice or pasta. I like to serve this with a bright green vegetable like broccoli or frozen peas.

per serving: 374 calories, 23g fat, 7g carbohydrates, 33g protein.

Your turn: What is your favorite tool for carving out writing time?

~Heidi Larson Geis


  1. I appreciate your honesty, Heidi--and then you top it off with a yummy recipe?! What's not to love, girlfriend?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Can't wait to try the chicken! And carving out writing time is an apt description. Lately, I've had trouble doing that. Your post reminds me that I've made a commitment to writing and to keep it, I have to sit myself behind the computer and DO IT. Thanks Heidi.

    First post had a typo. lol

  4. Heidi, can't wait to try your recipe. It sounds delicious! I love the way you continue to persevere with writing, rather than giving up. You're busy with church, ministry, homeschooling and a variety of other activities in a very full life. You could easily say it's enough. But your dream is seeing your stories in print. Your life encourages me when things are tough to keep going. Hugs!

    (Glad you explained, Pat. When someone deletes, I always wonder what in the world they wrote?)

  5. Heidi, what a great post. And that recipe DOES look good. :) I appreciate your exhortation to keep writing as a daily priority, or as more of a priority than it is now, in my case. I needed to hear this today. I appreciate your encouragement to be okay with letting housework slide. :) So hard for the task-oriented lady. :)

    P.S. Could you send some of those 69 degree days out Colorado way?

  6. Heidi, I'm with Roxanne--I admire your dedication. You've had an incredible journey, and God isn't finished with you yet. The chicken recipe looks great!

  7. I am truly going to have to try that recipe.

    Thanks, Heidi, your open heart is always refreshing.

  8. I appreciate rdg. blog & then your good recipe literally made me hungry. It's past breakfast time where I am in a gorgeous house in Ireland on top floor but they don't want me walking all the stairs too often so a great person is bringing me granola & yummy coffee soon. Miss you! Delores