Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Food and Drink”

Italy or Surgery

Photo courtesy @iStockphoto

Back in May, I had a dream come true when I won a scholarship to a writer’s retreat. In Italy. They gave one prize and I was to leave this Wednesday. For 12 days I would see Paris, consume decadent food and wine, and live, laugh, write and love in Liguria, Italy. I had reserved a gorgeous room on the edge of a cliff in an Italian Villa. Heaven.

But, and there’s always a huge but isn’t there? If you remember back to this post,I had some interesting medical problems the day before I left for Mexico. While I was on the mission trip, I received an email from my doctor explaining my benign condition and told to make an appointment to talk about the options. I filed that email and put it in the “someday I’ll call them maybe” category.

Suffice it to say that although the condition is benign, it’s had it’s way with me. I’ve had a couple weeks where I felt kind of okay and the rest have been a battle to function. I wondered how I would trip around Europe; eating, praying and loving, when I couldn’t get out of bed. So I made the dreaded call and subsequently even showed up for the appointment.

Italy is now a thing of the past and incredibly, a chance trip in the future. And now I have surgery in December, one week before Christmas, which really, is what every woman wants. Am I right ladies? Sorry guys, I can’t prepare a turkey or even a honey baked ham. Decorations? Don’t think so. But opening presents? Sure, I wouldn’t want to get rusty on my love language.

What astounds me though is that God equips me for all things. This includes and is not limited to the ability to find joy in serving in difficult circumstances and in times where I’m not doing what I had planned. I always thought being joyful was up to me, and it’s a choice to be sure, but it is God who fuels me to experience joy.

Instead of the Italian coast, we venture as a family to a nearby pacific beach. The same beach house where we took our son Mason to the hospital when his appendix was going awry. We know the way to the two nearest hospitals and more importantly we know the only way to joy.

I’m trusting and choosing to find joy in all things. Italy will be there when I’m healthy again, so I’ll do my part to make sure I am!

What about you? How do you find joy when your dreams are put on hold?


Crying in My Cruffins

Photo courtesy @Istockphoto

I emotionally “hung in there” until he walked thru the door with two chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. If you know me at all, you know I’m crazy for everything pumpkin. This blog should be called Pumpkin Lover’s Anonymous. But then it wouldn’t be anonymous I guess. Anyway. . .

Yesterday was Keegan’s last day at work; as he left for his sophomore year of college today. His boss brought in food to celebrate a great summer and to wish him well at school. So he stole TWO cookies, just for me. What 19-year-old does that? Keegan, that’s who. I ate my cruffins (cross between a cookie and a muffin) and choked back a flood of tears.

It’s moments like these that literally bring me to my knees. All the thoughtful consideration, the respect and love symbolized in two little nuggets of pumpkiny goodness. I’m so thankful and grateful to God for all that Keegan is. And being honest, I really don’t want anything to change.

I’m reminded though, of the words of the great British theologian John Henry Newman.

“To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.”

I believe that Newman means “to have lived well” when he writes of being perfect in this sentence. As a recovering perfectionist, any chance to legally be perfect is one I’ll always attempt.

So in the spirit of a new school year, new dreams and the possibility of the ever elusive perfection, I’ll throw my arms around change.  Which brings us to our final quote from an unknown author.

“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”

 I wish you cruffins, butterflies and every blessing as you all begin again.

No Fall, Just Pumpkin


Pumpkin is one of my favorite times of year. 

When you live in AZ, there is no fall. 

Our seasons are:

  • Hot 
  • Hotter-Than-You- Know-Where 
  • Pumpkin 
  •  Sweater Day

 Then Hot starts again.

So when the Pumpkin Lattes come out at Starbucks, it's a symbol to me. A sign that Hot will be gone at night for awhile.

Here are some of my favorite pumpkin things to cheer you:

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen (XXL)

Pumpkin Pie from Village Inn (not a slice, the whole pie)

Pumpkin Smash Smoothie from Jamba Juice (which I cannot have anymore because they use soymilk)

Pumpkin Pie Spice in an Iced Chai Tea Latte

Pumpkin Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory

and I could go on and on. 

Basically I've never met a pumpkin that I didn't love.

Stay tuned, on Sweater Day, it's all things eggnog!

Gonna be a Chai Wallah

When I grow up that is. Or maybe I'll just retire, go to India and die happy trying new Chai every day, or better yet, every hour. (Special thanks to Seth Godin for bringing my new career to my attention today.)

Click on Chai Pilgrimage for a truly amazing blog and to view the beauty of chai which you never knew existed. Read the post on Chai Wallah's. It will change you.


Menu Planning Monday

Menu_plan_monday Well last week went so well planning my one meal, that I’m going to take a big leap of faith and actually plan three meals.  This will be difficult, because our oldest son begins his All-Star baseball tournament this week, and his games are 45 minutes away, and they begin at 5:00.  Better plan for a lot of sandwiches!

Monday: BBQ Chicken/Hashbrown casserole.  This recipe is on the back of the Simply Potatoes Hashbrowns, which I always get on sale for $2.00. It’s easy and delicious.

Tuesday: Definitely sandwich time at the Ballpark. My kids seem to have an aversion to sandwiches, but they enjoy it when I buy "Shreds" in the produce aisle and put it with their meat, on some kind of special bread, like a french roll or whole grain roll.

Wednesday: Pasta night  We like to have Angel Hair with a very light red sauce, fresh corn on the cob and a green salad.  Great for hot summer nights.

I did discover, that when I planned my menu last week, it left me a lot more time to write and play with my boys.  So, I am hoping planning more than one meal this week will free up even more time.

Go over to to see over 200 more meal plans and recipes.

Feels like it Should

Just had the most awesome time at Lifework 2.0 in Tennessee.   I learned so much that I thought my head would explode, in like a really good way.  It wasn’t the overwhelming "I don’t understand any of this" explosion.  For once, for me, it was "I really get this and it’s blowing my mind" explosion.  On top of all that, I met really great people.  Traveling with my friend Marina at RocktheDesert was a total blast.  I know how hard we laughed burned enough calories for several workouts that we somehow never got to.

And then there was the food portion of the trip.  This was my fourth trip to Nashville, but somehow I missed the good food, until now.  Franklin Tennessee has the best food I have ever had in my life.  We went to Saffire for lunch during the conference. I ordered a huge plate of chicken fried chicken with loads of gravy, and subbed the mac and cheese for the best sweet potato fries I have ever had.  It was literally almost spiritual.

Pat Green’s Lyrics to Feels Just Like it Should sums up the trip for me:

"And it feels just like it should
It must be some kind of miracle
Like I got sun on my face and rain that ain’t never going to fall
It feels so good
Man it’s almost spiritual"

Being heppered up – good for the brain!

Started with boot camp at 5:30 am – my liver wasn’t smiling.

9:00am  Got all "heppered up" on caffeine.  Couldn’t write because I was shaking and hyper.  But it does look like I invented a new word.

Noon: "Heppering" wore off so I wrote an article on "Living out your dreams" and submitted it.

3:00 pm Stepped out of my car, my ankle went sideways and broke my favorite sparkly flip flop. 

6:00: Sat down in my desk chair and the wheel came off one of the legs.

8:00: Just received this article from my sister (Kelly B.)  Here is an excerpt :

"Drinking coffee has already been shown to be linked with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but may have benefits for other neurological disorders as well. According to Dr. Jonathan Geiger of the University of North Dakota, "Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug to stabilize the blood brain barrier." The blood brain barrier exists to protect the brain from contaminants in the bloodstream." 

I just thought of this though, wouldn’t one of the contaminants in the bloodstream actually BE the caffeine?  I’ll just go with "Like cures Like" and….. 

Coffee is good for the brain.

Could be the best news I’ve had all day.  : )

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