Broken Glasses With a Side of Baked Chili Fries


Baked Chili Fries

Before I dive into some manifestation magic, just a reminder that if you only stopped by for the baked chili fries, be sure to hit the jump to recipe button above. Otherwise, stick around and I’ll fill you in on what Follow Us Home was up to during the month of June…

30 Days

Back at the end of May, one of my favorite ladies on Instagram posted about a challenge she was participating in. It focused on the power of manifestation (spoken in a dreamy-eyed whisper) which is definitely one of my all-time favorite subjects. The 30 Day Challenge felt like a tailor-made invitation, encouraging me to tap back into the Source and get serious about making some everyday magic happen. I had thirty days (apparently June is a powerful month for manifesting) to focus my energy, solidify what it is I want to see happen in my life…and then deliberately reach for it. Was I game? Oh, you bet I was.

Our Thing

It probably comes as no big surprise that both Jordan and Riley Mae decided to join me on the journey since manifesting is kind of “our thing” in this house. And I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before the ever-present list that adorns our fridge. (Yup. Here.) It’s most often the stubbornly persistent health-related issues that make it up onto that note; the ones that defy healing. Actually, when I sit here and think about it, it’s really only the biggest (or most desperate) of problems that make it onto our “magic” fridge.

I know it sounds strange, but there’s actually sound reason behind the “fridge list.” Through the years I made a little discovery: committing my dreams to paper is even stronger than simply verbalizing them. Somehow it’s an extra burst of energy (determination? commitment?) that allows them to physically realize in my life. I’m not sure why that is, but I figure it doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to know how the internet works in order to publish this post; it’ll do its stuff with or without my understanding. (I’ve decided my brain lacks the capacity to comprehend the world wide web. But HOW does this get from me to you? Seriously. How? )

Anyway, the challenge began with writing down a list of thirty desires that could be either physical, mental, or spiritual in nature. It was actually a little bit daunting to come up with the thirty after the initial obvious ones; we had to dig deep. We each had specific spiritual goals, followed by specific health goals, and we wrapped it up nice and neat with a specific material item (or two–I added new camera to the list as my most frivolous desire!).

Permission to Negate

Then, over the course of the next thirty days, we took one item off of the list and copied it out fifty-five times, envisioning it as if we already possessed it. As each item arrives in our world over the next couple of months, we’re to cross it off of the master list. The goal to all of this scribbling? By summer’s end most of that list should be realized.

I say most because even though I realize that I (we all) have this incredible power to create, I don’t always possess the (equally incredible) power to know what’s best for me. Especially if it stretches into a future I can’t see. So there’s now an unspoken caveat added to all of my prayers and wishes giving God my full “permission” to negate any requested desire should She find my foresight lacking. I don’t question Her judgment. It’s like the internet; I accept that there are just some things I’m not going to understand.

Not My Favorite Pair
Me: Working on this blog post. In my new specs.

I’ve also learned–from past experience–that it’s important to realize that when I ask for something, I need to be prepared for how it arrives. Case in point: I’ve been having some trouble with my eyes (likely far too much time spent on the computer). On June 11, I diligently wrote out improved vision fifty-five times. If I’d had my way, God would have visited me while I slept, touched my eyes, and healed them of the terrible nearsighted vision I’ve had since I was about ten years old.

But instead of that, on June 22…She broke my glasses. Like, broke-in-half broke.

The same glasses that I’ve had for years now because they’ve been my absolute most favorite pair. Ever. The same glasses that I said I was keeping (forever?) until they fell apart. My repeated “improved vision” scribbles immediately sprang to mind, and I suspected something otherworldly was hard at work. Which left me with no real choice other than visiting the eye doctor, getting an exam, and reluctantly selecting a new pair of eyewear.

And here I am, July 4, typing this up while wearing my new pair of glasses. I not only see better because my prescription has been updated (it’s been years, guys), but also because my exam revealed a slight problem. Some of the oil glands in my eyelids were clogged and unable to do their job properly, which was making my eyes dry and my vision blurry. (Sorry if that’s gross, but yes, probably too much computer strain.) I’ve been doing a daily eucalyptus steam along with some massaging, and guess what? My vision is slowly improving.

I’m Okay With That

So no, it wasn’t exactly the route I would have chosen, but I’m okay with that because I’m having far less of a struggle drafting up this post (must remember to blink. regularly.). Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not giving up on that miraculous cure quite yet…

Mama Pileated feeding her babies on an earlier occasion
Next Please

But I’m not the only one meeting with manifestation success over here; Riley Mae has already crossed two things off of her list, and we’re only four days into July as I type this.

In case you’re new to the family, Riley Mae is our resident birder. She discovered a love of birds a year or two ago, and now not only knows every species in our yard by sight (male, female, juvenile), but also by sound. It’s not uncommon to have her leap up with a did you hear that? as she grabs her camera and races madly for the door. Another lesser-known fact is that God likes to reward Riley Mae with new bird varieties whenever she overcomes something particularly challenging in her life. Sometimes even birds uncommon to our area. It’s a pretty interesting game around here to wonder what new critter God will send her next.

So of course, she had a bird related request: Get stellar pics of the pileated (woodpecker) babies. In fact, I think it was one of the very first of her thirty. And every day on our afternoon walk, we passed by their nesting tree with eyes peeled and camera at the ready. She didn’t have all summer to wait for this manifestation, though. It was nearing the time for those babes to fly the nest, and she started to doubt (just the tiniest bit) that it was even going to happen. I’m not sure how, though, because neither Jordan nor I had any doubts. We’ve both seen, far too many times, how God likes to talk to Riley Mae through the birds.

Papa Pileated making a ruckus
Birdly Ruckus

One afternoon we left the house and heard, in the distance, the repeated call of a pileated woodpecker. It was unusual in that it was unrelenting, and we made our way quickly to the tree. Actually, I’m not sure that Riley Mae didn’t run her way to the tree because we were pretty sure something was going down. I imagine all three of us had that list flashing through our minds and were simultaneously wondering what new trick God had up Her sleeve. (She didn’t let us down.)

Following the insistent cries, we found Papa Pileated calling from a tree nearby the nest. He was acting more than a little bit crazed, climbing up and down while making an obvious ruckus for some unknown birdly reason. I don’t think that any of us doubted that he had his reasons, but we weren’t at all sure what they were.

In the Nick of Time

We finally managed to tear our eyes away from his little display, and looking over towards the nesting tree we spied two baby pileateds watching him just as closely as we were. A pair of little heads, panting in the heat, peered out from the safety of their hole. They were intently focused on their dad, responding quietly with calls of their own. Our educated guess was that Papa was doing his best to encourage his wee ones to make that terrifying first leap, from so high up above the ground. We stood there, watching and waiting, for a long time. So long, in fact, that eventually we had to turn around and head back home; no walk (and no leaps) taken.

But what did we get? Stellar pics of the pileated babies (with the added bonus of an interesting show). While those babies weren’t quite brave enough to make the leap that day, one was gone from the hole the next day. And the other followed the day after. So: Desire granted, and just in the nick of time.

Two pileated babies (little boy on bottom and little girl on top) talking back to their calling papa
They were trying so hard to be brave. The little male even had his wing up, gathering courage to make that leap!
Riveting Story of the Week

The girls and I are pretty interested to see what the rest of the summer will bring. I can’t lie, though, I’m hoping there are no more broken glasses in my future, but I’m smart enough to know that’s probably asking for a little bit too much. As for the manifesting? If you want to try some of your own, don’t worry about waiting until next June; now is as good a time as any. Gather your pen and paper and start jotting those desires down. A magic fridge helps, but don’t worry, it’s not strictly necessary. Start manifesting, and the results may (will probably) surprise you.

Finally. Fries.

And now, I’ll wrap this up with some baked chili fries. And bear with me because I’ve said the phrase baked chili fries exactly once so far, which is well below what my SEO advice tells me I should have done. So now, I’m going to sprinkle it in here (baked chili fries) at the very end, and hope it does the trick. But seriously, these (baked chili fries) are absolutely the best! I hadn’t made them in awhile and after I baked up a batch…ugh. Couldn’t stop eating. So whip yourself up a serving (of baked chili fries, in case you were wondering) and enjoy!

Baked chili fries
Kind of wish I had some of these baked chili fries right now…
Baked Chili Fries
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: Baked Chili Fries
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 278 kcal
Author: Melinda
  • 4 large potatoes (sliced into sticks or wedges)
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (adjust based on spicy preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder (or less if you're like me and can't handle the spice!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°

  2. 1. Prepare the potatoes by slicing them into sticks or wedges.

  3. 2. In a small bowl, mix together the melted coconut oil, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, and ground cayenne pepper powder. Pour the oil mixture over the sliced potatoes. Stir well to coat evenly.

  4. 3. Spread the potatoes on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Flip every 20 minutes or so.

Baked chili fries
And just one more time–baked chili fries (It worked. SEO says I’m good 😉

And that’s all for this week. (Bet you’re over there thinking that my life is just always full of “wild and crazy” adventure, aren’t you?)

Have a joyful week, all. Love & Light ~ Melinda

For more vegan fare please hop on over to my Recipes page. (Also, these Baked Chili Fries can be found in my cookbook, Compassion Tastes Better!)

4 thoughts on “Broken Glasses With a Side of Baked Chili Fries

  1. Ah! The power of manifestation, manifesting? Not sure what’s appropriate here. Not sure it’s ever worked for me but, then again, I’ve never really tried it! As for the birds, that’s one of my favorite hobbies. In fact I saw my first Indigo Bunting here AND a totally new-to-me bird….a Common Yellowthroat! Great pics of the Pileated too!

    1. Lol, I’m sure either one will do! And I’m just wondering…was it a computer you were trying to draw your way? Any luck yet? Make sure to share when it appears in your life 🙂 As for the birds, I know more about them now than I ever thought I would, thanks to Riley Mae. And it’s pretty funny, she just saw her first Indigo Bunting this spring, and just earlier this month saw her first Common Yellowthroat. Her most recent capture is the Eastern Wood-Pewee, ever seen one of those? I swear, she catches something new almost every week! I hope your August has been going well and you’ve managed to get tons crossed off of that list of yours!

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