Why the blog?

I write as the Spirit moves me. I have prayed about what I'm supposed to do with my life a lot. A lot. Writing. Writing is what I believe God is leading me to do. Whether or not He wants me to write for anyone to read is His business. Much of my writing has been therapy for me so maybe I'm the only one who is supposed to read it. So, why the Blog? As a sounding board, a note pad, a place to keep my ideas and thoughts. A place to share and promote my books, and photography. Written prayers, a place to vent. Possibly, even a place for the unknown reader to learn about the love of Jesus.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hand made Paper from El Valle, Panama

While I was on a Mission trip in El Valle, Panama I helped to move some items for storage.  Among the boxes was a crate full of hand made paper.  Lisa Carter, the missionary who she and her husband had planted the church, told us that her husband, David, taught a man by the name of Lorenzo how to make the paper.  He was going to use the new trade to  earn a living for himself and his family.  There in El Valle is an open air market that tourists come to shop from local artisans.   David and Lisa purchased this batch of paper a while back but as yet had not had the time to do anything with it.   I thought it was too beautiful to sit in storage, therefore, I accepted the challenge of finding good homes for the paper.  Below are a few photos and how to order.  The monies collected from the sale of this paper will go toward purchasing Bibles for the children.    Contact me at freedspirit05@yahoo.com to order.   (UPDATE:  bundles of paper are now available on EBay -. Five posts are listed and more to come.)

Chose your bundle then contact freedspirit05@yahoo.com to order

Home made paper from El Valle

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

El Valle, A snapshot of God's people

I speak about 5 words of Spanish, however, I knew El Valle meant roughly 'valley'.  In turn, I knew there would be mountains in this place called Panama. I love mountains, hiking mountains, photographing mountains.  This post isn't about the mountains, it's about the people. God's people.  When it was announced that a group of adults was going to Panama, I jumped at the chance.  I've been wanting to go for years.  Until now, I had been unable financially, physically, etc. etc.  

Normally, I research everything to death.  Need to know every detail of every thing. When, where, what time, what's it like, what's the food situation, etc.  If there was a detail to be known, I had to know it.  Not this time.  This time, I put it all in God's hands.  I went with the flow, which was REALLY HARD!.  The one thing I did insist on doing, well two, was keep a journal and photograph everything.  After going over 34 pages of notes and 1600+ photographs after an 8 day and 7 night trip, I'm ready to share.  

I won't go day by day, I'll save that for something a little longer, like a novel, however, day one started with the song, "Panama" in my head.  If you know anything about 1980's music, you'll get it.  Only one word over and over and over again, "Panama".  I knew it was going to be a great week.  Travel was a breeze.  No security problems, no motion sickness, no food (allergen) issues, no luggage issues.  

I started taking pictures in the van on the way from the airport to El Valle.  

Panama City

We took a pit stop before turning onto the mountain road where I snapped a photo of this man.

At the "cheese place".

Hard at work at Iglesia de Cristo.

We got right to work as soon as we arrived sorting clothes, painting, hauling stone, laying culverts, visiting the people in their homes.

Cary 'working' hard
La India Dormida

Lisa and I piled river rock into the truck.

Precious children

Kuna woman

Varied nationalities during worship service.

David and Cary led 5 nights of praise and worship

Five nights of worship in English, Spanish, and Kuna with people from Panama- including the Kuna and Embara people, Spain, US, and Mexico. I've never felt so close to God as when I listened to the singing and heard the people speak in their language praises to OUR God.  
Exploring the mountain

God's beauty from above.

On top of the world, looking at El Valle.
A home in the mountain, kitchen.

Front door to a home.

Cooking area, with tamale in the pot.  It was delicious.

Embera tribe, Reubin and his family.  His son, Robin, was baptized.

It was very difficult to leave this beautiful place, these beautiful people who worship God with all of their heart and return to the land of plenty, luxury, abundance.  There are poor everywhere.  I've seen the poor and homeless in my association with Matthew's Hope.  These people are happy.  They work hard.  They walk and ride their bikes everywhere they go - rain or shine.  They walked to church in a downpour to find the church flooded, grabbed a bucket and a mop, cleaned for over an hour (side by side with the gringos), then pulled out the chairs to worship for two hours.  

Luke wrote in Luke 6:20, in speaking of Jesus:    Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God."

What is the church?  It is a 'who'.  

Iglesia de Cristo

This is God's church, his people, a few of us in a small little valley, El Valle de Anton, Panama.  This is where a little piece of my heart is today.  Not in this building, but in the lives of God's people.  I felt guilty while lying in my nice air-conditioned bedroom on my soft bed remembering where some of these children would be sleeping.  But, I know, I will never take the gifts God has given me for granted ever again.  I will return, I will serve. I wrote this in my journal:  "There are poor everywhere, in every city, on every continent.  How they are viewed, how they view themselves are even the same.  Those who have Christ are at peace, those who don't despair.  Hopeful versus hopeless."  My prayer is that God will use me to bring hope to those who need Him.   35" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36.

I have nothing. I need nothing.  All I have is God's.  I need only Him to say at the end of my journey, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

** to support further Panama mission trips, please consider purchasing my books on Amazon..  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mission Impossible?

What does the phrase, "The Great Commission" mean to you?  If you are not a Christian you probably are drawing a blank.  If you are a believer, you might (should) know.  If you are in ministry, you know exactly what it means.

I grew up in the church but didn't hear that phrase until I was in my 30s.  I suppose it either wasn't a phrase used or I wasn't paying attention.  Now that I know what it means and it's significance, I'm doing my best to put it to use.  

My One Word Challenge for this year is USEFUL.   I believe the Great Commission and Useful go hand in hand.

What am I talking about?  Jesus Christ was crucified and buried in a tomb.  On the third day he came back to life and presented himself to his disciples.  "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  Mathew 28:16-20.

I have struggled with my purpose, my usefulness, my abilities as a Christian for years.  Often my prayers have been, "Use me, God. Don't care how or when, but use me."  Then, when opportunities arose, I became frustrated by the lack of finances, which prevented me from doing what I thought was God's will.  Several years ago, I was blessed with the ability to go on a local mission trip.  Of course, at first I didn't consider it an actual 'mission trip'.  I was wrong.   I wrote a book based on that trip,  "Mount Mission".

This upcoming November, I have the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Panama.   Will finances prevent me from going?  Life happens, AC's break, kids get sick, etc., etc.   If I don't raise the money, does it mean God doesn't want me to be the "hand and feet of Christ"?   (see: 1 Corinthians 12)  The hands of Christ is 'serving', the feet indicating 'going' into the world.  

I'm doing my part, praying, studying, praying, fundraising through my businesses (Origami Owl and my books).  I have also created a GoFundMe account for donations.  

Now, I'm asking you for support.   Please prayerfully consider supporting me through any of the routes above and by sharing this post with your friends and family.  Feel free to download and print the attached flier, go on Facebook and share my event page.  Every little bit helps.  Five dollars from 600 people, $10 from 300 people, $100 from 30 people.  You get the idea.  

One last thought, Luke 1:37 "For nothing will be impossible with God." (English Standard Version).  If it is God's will for me to go to Panama, it will happen.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

ShopFoward for Panama www.marathonmom.origamiowl.com


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fundraisers the Fun Way

I don't know about you, but I love to give stuff away.  I've given so much "stuff" away, I'd probably be rich if I had sold it all.  Alas, I don't really care about being rich.  Giving makes me happy.  Giving breathes life into my veins.  Giving is a gift that God has given me and I intend to use that gift to the fullest!!   

Every Friday, I post a code for a book or two on Smashwords that anyone can get for free.

I give away my time and talents (what little I posses) to my church, Matthew's Hope, and anywhere that will take me.

I'm not bragging, I'm imploring you to use me, take what I give and use it for good.  

Early this year, I joined Origami Owl.  Not to make a ton of money or become a business mogle in the direct sales industry.  I joined to meet people and to give back via fundraisers.  Several charities and friends in need have benefitted from these fundraisers and I would love to continue in this endeavor.

Do you have a charity that needs money?   Do you have a child in school?  Do you have a favorite cause you would like to raise money for?   

Are you tired of the boring fundraisers - candles, cookies, discount cards, calendars - stuff you really never need or use?    

Origami Owl is an amazing company, started by a 14-year-old girl who wanted to earn money to buy a car.   Their mission statement is:

"Our mission is to be a force for good; to love, inspire, and motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams and empower them to make a difference in the lives of others."

I like that.

How can I help you?


Feel free to download this poster from here, my Facebook site, or my Pinterest page.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014


"The End".  It's a bittersweet sentence.  The end of what? The end of whom? Maybe, it's just the beginning.  

As a writer, 'the end' takes a long time.  I look forward to finally being able to write it. The ending is difficult to write, at least for me.  As a reader, I often am sad when I reach the end of a good book.  I want the story to continue, what happens next? I suppose that's what sequels are for.

"The End" is a badge of accomplishment, a finish line, a statement that a goal has been achieved.  The End is synonymous with "Whoo Hoo!  I did it!"

As a runner, the finish line is just a stepping stone.  This race is over, when's the next one?  After writing ten, now eleven books, I must have the same mind set for writing.  It's not quite so easy to pick up and write a new novel as it is to put one foot in front of the other and run another 3, 6, 9, 26.2 miles.  Although, I must admit the older I get the running is becoming more difficult than the writing.

So, you're asking, have you just written "The End"?   

Why, yes, yes I have.  Thank you for asking as my thoughts wander and my fingers take me to another place because I'm thinking of something else to write and whether or not I want to run 25 miles in the 98% humidity tomorrow.  

Ready? Set? HERE IT IS!!!


My husband, bless him, says this is my best book yet.  He says that every time.  I believe he thinks he's not allowed to say otherwise because I feed him and he sleeps with me. What do you think?  

I have the paperback coming out soon on Amazon and also the ebook is available on Smashwords.com.   Check my website (www.colleenwait.com) on Fridays for Freebie Fridays through Smashwords.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fun? in Phoenix part 2

Continued from previous post:
Friday morning, I woke up at 5 am.  My roommates were still asleep so I crept into the bathroom and put on my work-out clothes and went down to the gym.  My key didn't work.  No surprise there, par for the course so far I suppose.  I called the front desk and they sent someone right away to let me in.  I ran for about 45 minutes before anyone else showed up. I enjoyed the solitude.  When I returned to the room, my roommates were up and dressed.  I was not in a huge hurry to get to the convention hall.  The women I had met up with the night before planned on being there at 6:30 to get good seats.  My roommates and I arrived at 7:30.  The large hallway was just beginning to fill up, but it wasn't overly crowded and we found our group near the front of the line.  Next to us was a woman with a service dog.  Not just any service dog - a great dane.  

Service dog at convention.

Because of what happened next, I may need him.  I stood with my group near the front and by the wall.
As the crowds got heavier, I moved closer to the wall where it was a little more open.  Several minutes later, I begin feeling agitated.  I'm looking around, shifting my weight from foot to foot, backing up, turning around. My heart is pounding and I start breathing heavy.  Basically, I'm in fight or flight mode and I'm starting to shake.  Mentally, I know I'm safe, not in any danger.  Physically, my body is rejecting all intellectual thought.  Suddenly my eyes begin to tear up and one of the ladies in our group turns around and looks me in the face, "All you okay?" she asks with a very concerned tone.  I shake my head no and tell her I'm going to the bathroom and I'll be out when the crowds go away. Fortunately, the bathroom is only about three yards away but I have to push through the crowd to get there.   Inside the converted men's room, I find and empty stall, lock myself in and start crying my eyes out.  I texted my husband, "I wanna come home!"  I did at that point.  I could have left with no regrets.  Being the wonderful man he is, he assured me I was fine and to take a breather and go back in when I was ready.  Which I did.  I was embarrassed.  This was the second time this had happened.  The first was at a race when I couldn't find my husband after crossing the finish line.  I sat on a curb and cried for 20 minutes (after running around in a panic thinking he had left me).  

About 10 minutes or so later, I left the sanctuary of the men's room and found my group.  Fortunately, they were near the front and I was able to relax - sort of.  

The main session was really good.  The shadow dance group performed and Bell (the founder) sang.  Several videos were shown.  One was about the trip to Europe and the new Swarovski crystal line of jewelry (yippies) and the Origami Owl story.  If your kids want a car for their birthday, have them watch this video.  If you've ever wanted to own your own business, watch it.  Also, we learned something that I thought was really exciting.  Origami Owl will begin offering health insurance through Agentra beginning August 1st to qualified designers (meeting minimum volumes).  Read more about it here.

Near 12:30 I was ready to climb the walls. Plus, I was starving.  12:30 Phoenix is 3:30 Orlando so way past my lunch time.   I excused myself and found some food and a free massage!!!  I so needed that massage.  It was free but I tipped the woman well.  I went to two breakout classes and then I broke out and went back to the hotel.  Around 5 pm just as we were all leaving for our group dinner, a sandstorm warning set off alarms on everyone's phones.  We didn't get caught in the storm, but could see it in the distance.  

Dinner went well, I had dairy-free options to eat.  It was a little stressful at first because I had to find a waiter, in the crowd, to ask about food.  I'm always stressed when eating out and this was no different, worse even.  One of the women, Christina, made the evening and really the whole week-end bearable and even a little fun. 

There was a photo booth in the restaurant and she was the first person to pull me in.  Normally, I don't like having my picture taken, however, with the hats and funny glasses and mustaches it was fun.  She, Christina, always answered my texts right away and checked in with me often throughout the week-end.  My roommates were great, too.  In fact, they decorated our hotel room door.  The pictures of me they pulled off the internet. 
I love this quote from Chrissy Weems:  The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our "behind the scenes" with everyone else's "highlight reel".   You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but if you took the time to water your own grass, your's would be just as green.

 My husband often says the same thing, referring mainly to Facebook.  People's lives aren't that perfect and we tend to compare our meager life to what is portrayed on FB as a perfect, happy life.  

All you need is within you, right now.  Search for it, find it, water it, and let your light shine.  If you are having a bad day, skip!

Overall, this was an experience that I needed as much as I did not want it.  I needed to get out of my comfort zone.  I can't say that I'm afraid of crowds.  Otherwise, I would not have gone at all.  For me it's a physical reaction that I, thus far, have little control over.  Praying definitely helped.  I know my limits.  I push myself out of the box a little at a time and next time, if there is a next time, I will do more, enjoy it more, engage more, socialize more.  

I returned home exhausted, yet excited at all the possibilities that lay before me.  I leave you with this:




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Phobias and fun? in Phoenix

If you read my last post, this is a followup to the "thing" looming over my head that I didn't want to do.  If you haven't, go back and read it and then make the recipe and relax while reading this post.

This is actually the journal I kept in the days leading up to and during the convention/conference spanning over a month's time.

The first thing that popped in my head when I heard about the Origami Owl convention was, "No thanks!"  I'm not comfortable in crowds, especially crows of women, hyped up on caffeine, all excited hootin' and a hollering .  I've had bad experiences in crowds (specifically in New Orleans and Manhattan).  When an outdoor vendor event became available during the time of the convention, I signed up.  I thought it would be great, no competition because everyone would be at convention and I'd be cozy in my little box.  Well, the post I put on our FB group site set off a firestorm.  Two of the people on my team jumped on and posted, 'you've got to go to convention!"  They gave me every reason in the book why I should go.  They were valid reasons, but I wasn't so sure.  Would I have to fly alone?  I don't like to fly.  Period.  Alone was out of the question.  How much would it cost?  Where would I stay? How would I get to the hotel?  Where and what could I eat?  Could I bring food?  "Don't worry about it," they said.  "We will get you the details later, just go sign up."  Right, me not worry - Hah!.  So, I prayed about it.  Gave it to God, took it back, gave it back to Him, found something else to stress over and took it back again.  

I signed up, then traveled to S. Korea with my husband and youngest daughter.  After six airplanes and two different hotels, I'm a little more relaxed.  I can do this, I thought.  Upon our return to the US I booked the shuttle to and from the airport then a few weeks later realized I had booked it for the wrong month!  Ugh!.  Called the shuttle and got it fixed, at least I hoped.

I didn't buy the team t-shirt.  My apologies, I thought it looked like something my mother wore bedazzled in the 1980s.  I'm sure the designer worked very hard on it, just not my taste.

I wanted to keep my food issues private, however with two pre-paid dinners, I had to let those in charge know.  I did check the hotel restaurant menu and figured out what to bring with me, so I was pretty sure I wouldn't starve - or get sick.

Someone posted a YouTube video about how to pack a carry-on that was helpful.  It worked quite well.  Clothes didn't wrinkle much and I had plenty of room for my purchases and freebies.  

A week away from conference and my nerves began to get to me.  I went to my first American Christian Fiction Writers meeting and was underwhelmed.  I was nervous to be in a group of "peers" and strangers who might tell me my writing stinks and I should go back to my day job.  At the meeting, there were nine of us.  Still, I was nervous.  I could just imagine how I would feel in a group of thousands.  

Fear paralyzes you and keeps you from doing things you want to do and things God wants you to do.  That is so true.  On Monday I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide.  I thought, "If my husband was going with me and my son wasn't waiting on test results, I'd feel a whole lot better."

Wednesday, the 23rd was my birthday.  I had a great time hanging out with my husband and our oldest daughter.  Lunch at downtown Disney, House of blues.  It was a great distraction.  While there, my friend who encouraged me to sign up called to check on me and give me encouragement.  It was much appreciated.  She then gave my info to the two women I'm to room with (whom I had only met once).  They, in turn, contacted me and encouraged me.  It soothed my nerves even more.  It was nice to know people are looking out for me. 

I tried to go to sleep early the night before my trip, but not even two melatonin could put me in sleepy land.  I got up at 5 am, stretched, exercised for a few minutes, showered, hung out with my husband until he had to leave for work.  Nicest thing - when we hugged goodbye, he didn't want to let go!  Usually, he stops hugging first.  My flight was scheduled to leave at 10:30, board at 9:50.  Of course, even though the airport is only 45 minutes away, I left at 6:30.  I made a smoothie, made sure I had everything, started praying, and got in the car.  Traffic was light, thank God.  I missed the blue lot where I was supposed to park and ended up in the garage by the terminal.  It cost more, but I wasn't going to circle the airport until I found it.  

My boarding pass was on my phone, but since I hadn't used the app before, I printed out a pass at the kiosk.  Went to the wrong airline kiosk the first time. Then, I almost forgot to empty my water bottle before going through security.  A guard said I could dump it in a nearby planter, so I did.  The passbook barcode worked!  Woo hop!  I was then shuttled down the security line to a man swiping hands.  I didn't know what that was all about, but wasn't about to argue.  Apparently, if your hands are clean, you get to be expedited, meaning you don't have to take off your shoes or empty your bags.  My necklace did set off the metal detector, though.  Not surprised since it did last trip.  Overall, I made it from car to gate in about 30 minutes.  Then, I sat and waited to board.  Facebook was all lit up from other Origami Owl designers posting about traveling and their excitement.  I wasn't excited, but I hoped to meet up with at least one person before arrival at the hotel.   

The flight from Orlando to Atlanta went smoothly. No bumps, no air sickness, no familiar t-shirts to identify comrades in convention.  On the walk to the next flight, I met up with a woman from Clemson, and then several more from all parts of the country when we reached the gate.  The young woman who ended up sitting next to me was a younger version of me.  She hadn't flow in over ten years.  She has motion sickness.  She was separated with a 2-year-old son.  I felt bad for her, I was in her shoes not long ago.  She got nervous at take-off.  I tried to keep her (and me) distracted by talking, but she threw up anyway.  Luckily, she hadn't eat all day.  On the descent, the ride became very bumpy, apparently due to hot air pockets, and we both got sick to our stomachs.  Neither of us threw up.  Whew!  Most of the passengers were green by the time we landed.  

I got off the plane and found the Super Shuttle with no problems.  The ride was only about 10-15 minutes to the hotel.  The star greeted me with a bottle of water and were friendly and helpful.  When I reached my room, the key didn't work.  Fortunately, hotel cleaning staff and a supervisor were on the floor and they quickly brought me two keys, which was good because my roommates were delayed.  I let them know I had an extra key so they wouldn't have to go to the registration desk.  I ate my packed lunch/dinner then met up with several ladies from my team who had arrived earlier in the day.  We went over to the convention center to check in and do a little shopping at the O2 store.  We got some great freebies and I bought an IPad cover and a t-shirt.  After standing in line for several hours both to get in to the very crowded store and for check-out, I quickly excused myself and went back to the hotel and tried to go to sleep.  My roommates finally arrived at 2:30 am.

The day had been long and exhausting and a bit overwhelming.  I hoped to be able to relax the next day and enjoy myself.  At this point, I was still a bit nervous and anxious and not at all having fun. The people I was with were familiar, but not "friends" or family.  I think had I been totally alone to wander as I pleased I would have felt better, but being thrust into a throng of strangers all hustling and bustling and trying to be "first" in everything was just a little....the word escapes me but angst comes to mind.  I can only take crowds in bits and pieces, small chunks at a time, then let me out - I need to escape.  

...more next time

Monday, July 21, 2014

Recipe for a fear-less day

I have a very full to-do list today  I'm not doing it.  Why?  Because there is this 'THING' looming over me that makes me very afraid.  Paniky even.  I know about fear.  I know about worry.  I know what the Bible says about both.  Did you know, "Be strong and courageous" is in the Bible 365 times?  That's one for every day.  I need it today and tomorrow, and all week in fact.  Here's another:  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7.  

That's all well and good, but right now fear is paralyzing me.  I want to crawl under a rock and cry.  You see, Thursday I'm getting on an airplane - by myself- and flying to Phoenix, AZ for a conference.  Thousands of happy, rah rah women packed in a giant room.  I won't be alone but I sure will feel alone.  I'm bringing my running shoes in case I need to bolt.  

It wouldn't be so bad if my husband were coming.  It wouldn't be so bad if I was not concerned about my son's test results.  It wouldn't be so bad if my daughter wasn't moving out next month. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have a birthday coming up.  One of those, "wow you're old" ones.

You may say, "So don't go."  

I have to.  

"Why?", you ask.  

Because it terrifies me, that's why.

If I sat here at my desk all day and didn't do the things that terrified me I would whither and die.  I wouldn't be useful to God, my husband, or my family.  I would never have traveled to S. Korea and climbed a mountain and a volcano.  I would never have run a marathon or three.  I would never have left a toxic marriage and found a man I love so much it hurts to be away from him for four days in Phoenix.  I could go on, but right now, I'm trying to talk myself out of the fear the looms ahead.

So, I bake.  I bake because it gives me something to do that doesn't take too much brain power. I bake because I need to take food with me when I travel because of my allergy.  I bake because I can do it while listening to music at full blast.  That relaxes me.  (Oh, don't worry, I already did my run today.  That was relaxing, too, even though it was 90 degrees and 100% humidity).  

Here is what I baked today:

Whole wheat and oat bread. The recipe is on another post.

Zucchini and blueberry muffins:

3 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup all natural applesauce
1 cup unprocessed, local honey
1 large zucchini, grated. (i put mine in the food processor)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, frozen(thawed) or fresh
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup Quaker oats, old fashioned, ground fine
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped raw almonds
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease mini loaf pans or large muffin tins. Mix in order of recipe, wet then dry.  Let sit for a few minutes.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Don't over bake or they will dry out.  Take out of tins quickly. The blueberries will stick if you wait too long.  

Refrigerate when cool.  These can be frozen, wrapped individually.

Zuchhini/blueberry muffins

Dairy-free and delicious

I ate this one. It was really good.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:25-27

Deuteronomy 31:The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.

God tells his people over and over again in the New Testament - be strong and courageous.  If they can. I can, too.

After posting this, a friend posted Philippians 4:6 on Facebook.  God knows what I needed to hear.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apple/Banana muffins

I've been baking almost all day today.  I started with my Energy Bites (see previous post) and this one is a variation of my banana bread.  If it's too sweet, cut the honey by a tablespoon.  It came out very moist and yummy!  

2 eggs
3/4 cups unprocessed, local honey
1 apple, chopped fine
2 bananas, mashed (they don't have to be super soft/overripe)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/4 cup Quaker old fashioned oats (put 1/2 to 3/4 in a food processor and coarse grind)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
1 cup chopped, raw almonds

Stir in wet ingredients, then oats, then the rest of dry.  I put mine in mini loaf pans, made 12. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes-30 minutes.  Slightly underdone is fine, they are very moist.  

Apple/Banana muffin.

Top with all-natural peanut butter for a perfect breakfast.


I concocted this recipe a few weeks ago because energy gels were making me gag and cough.  Two or more made me nauseous.  I am training for a marathon, again, so I needed on the go nutrition.  I started with one per run with a gel then gradually increased the homemade energy and eliminated the gels.  My last run, I ate two bites (twice the size of the ones pictured) and no gels!  I had plenty of energy and no upset stomach.  Woo Hoo!  

Here is the recipe:

1 cup local, unprocessed honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups Quaker, old fashioned oats.  Puree 1 cup
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped, dairy-free dark chocolate chips.  (I use Enjoy Life brand)

Add ingredients in order listed, stirring well after each.

Spoon a teaspoon-sized portion onto parchment sprayed with cooking Spray

Bake honey energy bites 5 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Cool well then freeze in air-tight container.

As an energy bar during exercise over one hour, eat two every 45-60 minutes.  Start with one to make sure it does not upset your stomach - especially if you are not used to eating real food during a work out.

There are only approximately 34 calories per bite.  To increase the calories, add finely chopped raw almonds (buy in bulk and puree in food chopper yourself), dried fruit, or add more chocolate chips.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Korean Adventure - Round 2, Jeju

(pictures at the end)
I have just wrapped up my second trip to South Korea.  I feel very blessed to have been able to accompany my husband on his business trips.  The Korean people are so kind and generous to have invited not only me, but our children as well.  Only the youngest, Rachel who is 14, was able to go with us.

Since this was my second trip, I was a little more prepared for the long travel time.  I packed mints and chapstick to help with the dry airplane air.  That didn't help the boredom, however.  I don't usually sit for more than a few minutes at a time before getting up and running (around).  The flights to Detroit, Detroit to Seoul Inchon were thankfully uneventful and we arrived at our hotel tired yet ready for adventure.

At 5 am the next morning, Mark, Rachel, and I hit the running trail two blocks from the hotel. It was the same trail we had run before so was a very familiar and energizing run (for me at least).  

After breakfast, Rachel and I set out to explore, this time with me as tour guide.  We took the subway to Gangnam, walked around the neighborhood a bit until I spotted a sign for COEX.  I remembered my son telling me it was a mall.  We followed the sign, followed the sign, then finally asked someone how far.  About an hour later, I spotted a little sign on a door that read COEX.  We went in and was underwhelmed.  It was a normal-looking underground shopping mall with an aquarium.  We didn't go to the aquarium because it was crowded with school children.  Following a short rest, we discovered a subway station - in the mall - and hopped a train back to the hotel.

When Mark returned that evening after work he asked if we'd like to go to Jeju Island in the morning.  Heck Yeah!!  I was thrilled.  I had hoped to be able to go to this volcanic island we had been told about on the last trip.

Early the following morning we hopped a plane from Gimp airport to Jeju.  That was an experience in itself.  Lots of young couples and little children running around.  Not a "non-Asian" in sight.  The flight was quick, only 50 minutes.  We arrived to clear blue skies and warm temps a little apprehensive about what to expect.  We were blessed to have been given a driver for the duration of our trip who we were told spoke English.  We hoped that was true.

The driver thankfully met us at the gate and immediately asked us, in pretty fair English, what our plans were.  We didn't really have any.  He drove us along the western border of the island along the shoreline.  It was beautiful.  Very much not what I had expected - not that I had great expectations.  Maybe I was expecting the Hawaii I had seen on TV.  The beaches were black volcanic rock with a little sand, not at all "touristy".  

After about an hour of driving he stopped in the middle of the road and turned off his car engine.  I thought he had car trouble until he smiled and pointed at the road.  We were moving backward - uphill!   The road was called Mysterious Road because of the optical illusion.  Google it, there are videos that are pretty cool.  

Next stop was a place called Tropical Hallimpark, a nice walking tour garden.  He then took us to a Korean BBQ for dinner. This was awkward because no one in the place spoke any English and even though the menu had English and we were able to point to order, the lady couldn't understand what we wanted and the driver, oh his name was Mr. Moon, had a difficult time translating.  We eventually ordered beef and rice and with it came the usual Korean fare which was pretty much untouched.

Finally, late in the day near sunset we arrived at the Y Hotel.  I was completely surprised at the modern architecture of the building set in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  It is located on the southern border near Seogwipo.  We had a suite with two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a balcony overlooking the ocean.  Can you say - I'm never going home?

Day two, I asked my husband where he wanted to go.  His answer, to my surprise was Hallasan.  My husband, the clean room engineer wanted to go hike a volcano.  Can you say - I'm in love?!  The driver picks us up on time and starts driving north.  We pass through a little area full of buses and says casually, "I pick you up here."  We don't comment because we weren't really sure what he said or meant and because he kept on driving for half an hour.  We get to the beginning of the Seongpanak Trail, Mr. Moon gives us instructions and a map and says, "see you at 4."  That's in 7 hours.  We knew it was a long hike.  I looked at my husband and he's all smiles (for now).  And we're off!!   We had hiked a mountain last trip so we sort of knew what to expect.  This trail was different.  For one, it was slippery.  It had rained the day before.  Two, the trail was rockier, smaller rocks, not quite as steep - at first.   We stopped and took pictures at every trail maker all the way up to 1900 feet!.  Four hours up and four hours down!  About 3/4 of the way up we started crossing paths with young adults from Hyundai Motor Co all dressed alike.  There must have been a thousand of them!  That made the trek as little less enjoyable because they were running up and down, and a few fell and got injured.  The peak was crowded with these guys, and a few females.  Interestingly - we were the only Americans.  We did see I think two "non-Asians" but I believe they were Eastern Europeans.  Didn't get a chance to talk to them.  

By the end of our hike, my husband was a mean mountain lion and I mean that in the most respectful and admirable way! He was so much out of his comfort zone as he hopped from rock to rock, boulder to boulder, up and down the mountain encouraging me and Rachel on. Rachel by the way was a real trooper!  

Mr. Moon was at the finish line (that what it felt like to me) waiting as promised to take us to our hotel where we collapsed from exhaustion.

Tired, but not wanting to waste a moment of our precious gift, we traveled to Choenjiyeon to see a 'famous' waterfall the next morning.  It was a cloudy day with a chance of rain but we wanted to see as much outdoor sites as possible.  There were a ton of museums to choose from, but nature is so much better!!  The waterfall was just that - a waterfall.  The most interesting thing to watch was the tourists.  A huge percentage of tourists in Jeju are Chinese and one of my favorite pastimes is people watching so we sat for half an hour just watching them take pictures of each other.

People watching over, we were hungry - but not for Korean BBQ.  We found a Wester-style restaurant but alas it was closed.  Mr. Moon took us to an alternative just down the street - Chinese buffet!  Mark wasn't too sure until he saw the pizza and spaghetti!  Really?  That was so funny.  

Next stop, Seongsanilchulbong.  "Seongsanilchulbong sunrise peak is a classic tuff cone that was formed around five thousand years ago by a hydrovolcanic eruption in a shallow water seabed."  It is located on the northeast corner of the island.  When I looked it up, it appeared to be a short walk, not a hike, to the rim.  I was wrong.  Mr. Moon showed us that we could do the half course, which only took 30 minutes since we were tired from the day before.  When we got to the base, I really wanted to go up.  My husband said go, he and Rachel would walk around the bottom.  So, I went.  Rather, I jogged up the bazillion steps to the top.  I was sweaty and exhausted.  My thighs were burning but it was worth it.  I only wished the sun were out and we could have done this at dawn.  Nevertheless, the view of the clouds rolling in was breathtaking.  I took a dozen or so pictures then jogged down another bazillion steps, calves aching all the way.    I think we all fell asleep in the car ride back to the hotel.

Last day in Jeju we only had a half day.  Our flight was late afternoon.  Geomunoreum Lava Tube was the only item on the agenda.  It was a dreary day and the information pamphlet said it was indoors so I figured that would be a good place to visit.  Well... it was indoors.  If you've ever been in a cave, and I have so I should have known, you will know that caves are cold and wet, especially when it's raining outside.  I almost turned around and aborted but my awesome husband said something like, oh it's only two miles, you can do two miles. (one way mind you).  I felt totally underdressed/improperly dressed.  I almost changed and put my sneakers on but instead was wearing my Bob's.  I felt a little better when I saw other tourists wearing dresses and heels.  I think it's a culture thing.   I can usually spot the tourist by the shoes.  Europeans wear Crocs, Birkenstocks, or hiking sandals.  Americans wear flip flops or running shoes.  

*** For everyone out there reading this - I am not judging or prejudging or prejudiced against anyone!!   I am merely having a running commentary on the people I observe, the culture I experience, and how out of place I felt.  I completely loved my time and the people I have met here.  Quite honestly, the US is such a melting pot, everyone looks American.

I digress.  After the hike, it was back in Mr. Moon's car.  He took us to another buffet - VIPs.  It was sort of a fusion steak/salad bar buffet thing.  Not too bad.  Once at the airport, it was people-watching time. I could do a whole blog on people at the airport.  Maybe I will later.

Our last day in Seoul we went to Lotte World.  I could do a blog on that, too.  Quite a different experience.  It's sort of a Korean version of Disney World.  

Enough said.  How about some photos?
View from the taxi, west side of Jeju.

Beach at Jeju Island.

Mark, Rachel, and myself with an island in the background, Jeju.


Statue in Hallimpark.

Beautiful waterfall with sculptures at Hallimpark.

Y resort.

Our starting point at Hallasan.

Going up Hallasan.

Rest stop at Hallasan. Locals in their North Face gear.

Rachel and Mark are TIRED at 1700.

Hallasan crater at 2000 meters.

Relief at the finish of our 8-hour trek.
View from our room at Y Resort.

Colleen Wait Edits

Colleen Wait Edits

About Me

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This YouTube channel was created to add video to my blog.  Read it here:  www.colleenwaitwrites.blogspot.com.  I write about my life, my books, my family, my cats and kids, and of course travel.