Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Friday Fun

Yesterday was beautiful! The cousins wanted to go outside and pick up acorns and put them in a hole... All over the yard are little holes about as wide as a nickle and the acorns fit perfectly in them. Who knew how much fun it could be to find an acorn! Who KNOWS what's inside those holes!

Kicking the leaves became a fun thing to do... then we decided to rake up a few and let them play in them. Do you remember how much fun that is?

Making fun memories... and counting my blessings!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The White Lie...


Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this, especially all of the ladies who bake for church events:

Susie Jones was to bake a cake for the Church Ladies' Group in her town , but forgot to do it until the last minute. She remembered it the morning of the Bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, "Oh dear,there is not time to bake another cake!"

This cake was important to Susie because she did so want to fit
in at her new church, and in her new community of friends. So,
being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of The cake. She found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing. Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work, Susie woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive,
perfect cake had already been sold. Katie grabbed her cell phone and called her mom. Susie was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!

All night, Susie lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Susie promised herself she would try not to think
about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Susie was a single parent and not from the Founding families of their town , but having already RSVP'd , she couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South and to Susie 's horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert!

Susie felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake!
She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "what a
beautiful cake!"

Susie still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess
(who was a prominent church member) say, "Thank you, I baked it myself."

Susie smiled and thought to herself, "_God is good."_

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good Idea for Stopping Coughs

I got this email from a friend and thought it was a good idea. I know it works... It is a lot easier to do than trying to give some children cough medicine - AND much better for them. So, in this "cold" season, you might want to try this... (thanks Charles)

During a lecture on Essential Oils, they told us how the foot soles can absorb oils. Their example: Put garlic on your feet and within 20 minutes you can 'taste' it.

Some of us have used Vicks Vapo rub for years for everything from chapped lips to sore toes and many body parts in between. But I've never heard of this. And don't laugh, it works 100% of the time, although the scientists who discovered it aren't sure why. To stop night time coughing in a child (or adult as we found out personally), put Vicks Vapo rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime, then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about 5 minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. Works 100% of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly.

Just happened to tune in A.M. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do more harm than good, due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs so, I listened. It was a surprise finding and was found to be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime, in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep soundly.

My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100%! She said that it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her, coughing stopped in a few minutes and believe me, this was a deep, ( incredibly annoying!) every few seconds uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for hours every night that she used it.

If you have grandchildren, pass this on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed at how it works.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Into Flavor - Chewy Bars

I love Mondays and the Fall Into Flavor that is hosted by my friend Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee. She makes blogging fun and interesting. Go check out her blog here.

I love to eat and have moved around a good bit to different parts of South Georgia and also out west... I have gathered lots of good recipes. It seems that most of my favorites come from friends.

I have this history and habit of going to covered dish meals. It comes with the territory of being in the "ministry", and married to a Pastor.

I have some horror stories of when I was a young Pastor's wife and trying to please everyone and not hurt anyone's feelings. I would get a nice helping of EVERY dish on the table. Also sweet little ladies loved taking me under their well padded wings and showing me the ropes of the table and making sure I got "enough and plenty" of whatever they lovingly prepared and brought. My worst nightmare was when they brought rutabagas and beets. Without fail, whoever brought them asked if I had gotten some and made sure I got some and cleaned my plate ... even offering a second helping, IF I happened to finish them quickly.

Well, this particular recipe is just the opposite of rutabagas and beets. Let me tell you, it is delicious! It is habit forming. It is easy. The hard part is making sure you get one of the "edge" pieces. My family would fight over the edges. They are chewier and soooo good!

About 20 years ago I unashamedly begged, yes BEGGED for this recipe. I promised never to make them to take outside the house as long as we lived in the area. It was a "private" recipe... which most were at the covered dishes... they were guarded and horded and passed down only upon death.

So, if you live anywhere near there, you are forbidden to tell this recipe or cook this for a covered dish. If you do - you will be exposed and rebuked soundly! Otherwise, cook and enjoy without fear - except that you may not have enough.

Geraldine's Chewy Bars

1 box Brown Sugar (or 1 pound, since they come in 2 pound bags now)
2 cups self rising flour
(a staple in the south)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 stick of butter, melted (you knew it was coming!)
1 cup nuts, chopped (not really optional unless you don't like them)

I do not even use a mixer to make these since the butter is melted.
Mix butter and sugar, add eggs. Stir in flour until mixed, stir in nuts.

Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Cut you a corner out and enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ring My Bell....

This is Andy's normal position. From here he can see who comes in the front door, watch the squirrels in the yard (when the blinds are open), the dogs walking by with their owners dragging behind, and anything that goes on inside the house, AND also anything going on in the back yard. He has even learned to look in a mirror across the room and see what I'm doing in the kitchen. Yeah, he's a smart dog!

This is a picture of what motivates Andy... CAT food! Yeah, the dog LOVES cat food. He doesn't care that cats eat this stuff. It does not effect his "doghood"... he is very confident in his dogness.

I have learned to use this addiction to my advantage to train me... I mean him...
I first hung a bell by the door so that it hit about nose level for him, and got a handful of the bait, ummm cat food. I taught him to ring the bell ... and that when the bell rings, the door opens and he can go out and go potty - or chase the birds and squirrels from the yard. Whatever, he is a happy dog.

Here are the bells. I use white yarn to hang them with so they are not so obvious to visitors and they don't stand out as ugly... I have been known to use multicolored yarn that clashed. I also learned to make sure that I have a large enough bell, or enough bells so that I can HEAR them wherever I am in the house. (at one house we had bells on 3 different doors that all lead to the back yard and were in different parts of the house. He learned to come to the door closest to where I was to get my attention.)

The sequence is... the goes to the door and looks out, rings the bell, looks for me, rings the bell and waits... knowing that I'm coming to open the door and let him out.

If there are dogs walking by or squirrels in the yard, the bell will fly - he gets real insistent and demanding! Yes, I'm trained and he's spoiled! But, it works and I don't have to clean the carpet!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cartoon Fun... Republican or Democrat?

Okay, so I don't actually HAVE the cartoon... but you can see it at The Sticklers. It is hilarious! It brought about lots of interesting comments, you should go over there and participate...

Here is something that sort explains the difference between the 2 parties...

Father/Daughter Chat
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and an occasional chat with various professors, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.
Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, 'How is your friend Audrey doing?' She replied, 'Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes the next day because she's too hung over.'
Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.'
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, 'That's a crazy idea. That would not be fair! I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!'
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, 'Welcome to the Republican party.'
If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between a Republican and Democrat, I'm all ears.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works for Me - Wednesday

I have been reading Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee and Carol at I Throw Like a Girl. They both directed me to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer... she hosts "Works For Me Wednesday".

They got me to thinking if anything in my life "works" and if I'd like to share... I was talking to my daughter and she gave me some ideas... I laughed because she said, share something you organized.... hahahahahahaaaaaa that is a hoot! Organization is not my strong point.... I'm still laughing about that.

About that time my little puppy, Andy, rang the bell to go outside.

Yes, that's right. He rings the bell to tell us when he wants/needs to go potty (or chase the squirrels out of the yard).

I was in the middle of taking pictures when all 4 sets of my batteries went dead... yeah... at once. So, I'm now charging them all and later (8 hours from now) I might remember to take pictures and add them to the post.

When Andy was just a little thing (he's still not very big), it was hard to tell when he was going potty. His little legs were so short, and the grass was so long, that it was impossible to tell when he "squatted".

Our son and his wife had trained their boxer to ring the bell to go outside. We were very impressed. She told me how and so we trained Andy.

The first thing you need is a treat that your puppy LOVES. Andy's treat is cat food. He will do all sorts of things for cat food. For the first 18 months of his life I walked around with cat food in my pockets!

So, what you do, you hang a bell by the door that you take him out. Then you teach him to ring the bell... like you hit the bell and then give him a treat. Repeat a couple of times and then put his nose to the bell and ring it and give him a treat. Do that several times and then rest.
Later go through the process several times until he understands that "ring bell = treat"...

It doesn't take long because they LOVE treats!

Next, ring bell, open door and give treat... over and over...

Next, ring bell, open door and take him out and give treat ...

All you do is break down the steps and reward generously when he does it on his own... waiting to give him a treat at the end of the newly learned "trick"

It does not take long - it just takes consistency and responding when he rings the bell...

(after we moved I had to sort of remind him about the bell because it was in a new place. I had to retrain him to ring the bell. He KNEW what that meant, but didn't know where the bell was in the new house.)

Not long after he learned to do this, I was having a Parsonage Committee meeting. All the committee had come over to the house to examine and inspect (a normal occurrence in our lives). I had assured them that Andy was house broken and did not go in the house...

Andy kept ringing the bell.... they were all "leaving", but standing around talking. I was ignoring Andy and hoping that he just wanted to go out to play.

All these nice ladies who are responsible for the care and upkeep and condition of the parsonage were talking and talking... finally, Andy rang the bell LOUD... looked at me and squatted right there in the middle of the ladies! From that time on, I paid close attention to the bell ringing!

We have had very few "accidents" since he learned this trick. Most of them are our fault because we haven't been listening or pay attention. ... or he's been sick...

That's what works for me!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

God's Plans... Political

This was sent to me by a good friend.... In the troubling times of this election, where do we stand? How do we vote? I have always said, "never make a decision based on money". It is important to vote the heart of our Father. We must vote for LIFE, integrity, honesty, godliness, character. Anything other than that is an abomination to God and He cannot bless it!

It is time to take our stand. It is time to pray without ceasing. It is a time to be unwavering in our commitment.

Here is what she said...


That is found three times in Daniel, Chapters 4 and 5.

The Holy Word also says elsewhere that by God, kings reign and princes rule.

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. Proverbs 8:15 kjv

Also, the Holy Bible teaches that He sets one up and brings another one down. In other words, God IS in control, but he gives nations many times what they want and DESERVE.

[Think King Saul, and Hitler: thousands gathered, screaming in adoration to hear Hitler; women fainted and were carted off in waiting ambulances. Alistair Cooke reported seeing this first-hand; he was confounded at the seeming worship of Hitler. To the Germans’ horror, they later realized that they were given what they wanted.]

Oh God, Our Loving Father, please let this looming cup of electing an ungodly, unprincipled government pass from us. Father, forgive us as a nation and have mercy on us in your manifold grace and compassion. Please deliver us from mindless voters who only want what ‘will see about’ themselves.

Instead, Oh Lord, cause the American voters to obey You, and cast their votes for those who WILL NOT cast our babies in the burning fire of the abortionists’ tables. Override our greed, ignorance, selfishness and murder. Oh God have mercy on the babies, and us as well, Dear Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth.

We earnestly pray in Jesus’ MAGNIFICIENT, and Mighty Name! His Name is ABOVE the name of abortion, and we will see victory on Nov 4th for this nation to fulfill her call that you gave to Christopher Columbus [the Christ-bearer] and our Founding Fathers.

Thank you, Father. for Your grace and mercy upon us, for we have not if we ask not, but Lord, we ARE asking and desire to receive a government that resists and prohibits abortion. Thank You, Amen.

I fully agree with the nationally-known minister who last week said that no Christian should ever vote for any candidate who supports abortion.

Please send this on to those in Fla , Ohio , Mich , Minn , Colo , NC, and any other state that is teetering toward liberal, abortion-allowing candidates.

Thank you and praise God for victory in all 3 Branches of our Government to be God-fearing and God-obeying, with mindsets attuned to God’s Holy Word – the mind of Christ.

Blessings, ....."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall into Flavor

This has become one of my favorite pass times... EATING! I have gotten hooked on food lately. I love reading recipes and drooling... I do try to lean back so I don't get drool on my keyboard - especially when eating chocolate!

My friend, Linda, over at 2nd Cup of Coffee has this fun thing going on. You need to go over there and find out some of the favorite good food recipes from her readers.

They are guaranteed to be deeeeelicious - not diet... Bring on the butter, bring on the sugar, bring on the hips! (not necessarily hip hip hooray!)

I decided this time to share a casserole that is one of my favorites. It really is healthy... and delicious. I fix it lots during the fall - even when we aren't having company! It isn't even a Southern dish... I love the color, and crunch and sweet/tartness of the cranberries and the comfort warmth of the chicken flavored barley.

I have to admit that barley is new to me. Every time I buy it, I have to re-find it. I never can remember where it is in the store. I didn't grow up eating barley. I can never remember EVER eating it as a child. So, this was a stretch for me to try it... and I did what I normally do. The first time I cooked it, I was having dinner party... in the SOUTH! Thankfully, it DID turn out good and my guests ate it and enjoyed it and even got seconds!

So, here it is... I think I might make some for supper...

Autum Barley Bake

2 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup uncooked barley
2 cups chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1 (15 ounce) can Veg All, drained
3/4 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Bring 2 cups broth to boil with spices; add barley and cook about 15 minutes, or until tender and water is absorbed.

Saute celery and garlic in skillet with oil until tender. Stir in vegetables, barley, cranberries, nuts and 1/4 cup broth.

Pour into lightly greased 8' square pan (edit... that would be an 8 INCH pan, not 8 foot- sorry if this has caused confusion or anxiety at how to get an 8 foot pan into your oven - or house...)

Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes until thoroughly heated through.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gas prices

Okay, so I don't have a picture to show you... sorry, my camera was in the trunk when we drove by.

Last weekend I was thrilled with the price at $2.62

Today when we drove into town our WalMart had gas at $2.32! Then, if you get a gift card, you can take an extra 3 cents off that... making it $2.29!!!!! It is not even the cheapest place in our area. A couple of miles down the road it is even cheaper.

Yeah, I'm glad... Let's hear it for some GOOD news!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Stirrings

My friend, Carol, over at I Throw Like a Girl, does Saturday Stirrings. I love to read her blog and enjoy the recipes, etc.

Well, we are at our Weekend Parsonage. I have very limited access to anything - like recipes and the internet. I have mentioned many times that I bring my laptop here and I just hope and pray that someone close who has wireless internet, is connected... I can link up to it... It all depends. Most of the internet up here is dial-up, so it is EXTREMELY slow... then, you add wireless and the wind, sun, clouds, etc... and it can be very interesting and character building!

This being the third weekend of the month, I have two covered dish dinners... and, since I have a gas oven that I am clueless about, I am again LIMITED. So, I bring things that I can mix together easily and quickly and do not need to be cooked in any way.

This weekend, I'm serving up .... Green stuff... This actually happens to be one of my hugsum's favorite dishes. When the kids were all at home, we had this at least once a week. It is always a good fill in that is quick and easy.

So, without further ado... here is the famous;

Green Stuff

1 large can of crushed pineapple in it's own juice (not drained)
1 box of pistachio pudding mix
1 carton of Cool Whip (thawed)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In medium bowl thoroughly mix pudding with pineapple. Stir in Cool Whip until well mixed... add nuts... refrigerate.
Serve in pretty bowl.

Okay, so it's not earthshaking - but it is good!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Sweet little Kendall... She has such a big heart!

Yesterday after she got up from her nap I was holding her. She snuggled against me sucking her thumb. Then, she leaned back with her thumb still in her mouth. I decided to play with her and put my mouth next to her hand and pretended like I was trying to suck her thumb too.

She gave me a funny look and slowly pulled her thumb out, and put it down by her leg... looking at it all the time - concentrating and you could tell that she was really thinking hard.

Then, without taking her eyes off her thumb, she slowly raised it up to MY mouth and very sweetly stuck it in there for me to suck!

It blessed me so much that she would share her thumb with me... I never said a word, she just thought that I wanted it, and she wanted me to have it. Yeah, I cried...

See why I feel so blessed to be close to them and be a part of their lives? That is a cherished moment!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Help in Understanding HDTV

My brother sent me this for my birthday so that I will be prepared for the future. He is so thoughtful and understanding ...

I'm sure that you are completely clear on this now...

Wednesday Wonders...

These are some things that make me "wonder"...

All summer the flowers on this plant were all "normal" ... this one was a freak... like a Siamese gerber twin... The next flower on it was just the opposite - the flower grows UP... very weird..

This is a single begonia... yet it has pink AND red flowers...

... THIS begonia is white with RED flowers growing on it...
I'm simple... these things are too confusing to me. I suppose you'd call me a "purist"... but don't confuse me by mixing up my flowers!

I also wonder why my grand-dog runs only in circles ... clockwise... and he jumps sideways.

(Yes, he is full grown. He is smaller than my Yorkie... )

What are some of the oddities in your life?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A few catch-up Pictures

Last Saturday as we were heading to our weekend parsonage, I snapped this picture of the gas prices here... Yesterday, I didn't have my camera with me, but the prices were down to 2.62! I bet it's gone down even farther today.I get so excited about the "cheap" gas that I want to fill up. But then I think, oh, if it's gone down THIS much, how much lower will it be tomorrow???? So, then I only put a few dollars in so that I can put more in at a cheaper rate. You know how when you buy something and go to the store the next day and it is on sale? Well, its' the same principle - just wait and it will get cheaper and you won't feel cheated. Hugsum thinks I'm crazy and he just fills up everytime he needs to, no matter the cost.

Here are a few more pictures that I've taken in the last few days.

This is Andy. He is watching adoringly for Kendall to drop her cookie...

Noah so excited waiting to hold his little sister, Posey.
Kendall is about to place a sweet kiss on top of Posey's head.

I'm holding that precious little Posey... do you see the excitement and pleasure?

Our precious, Grace came to visit us last Friday... she is almost 7 months old now! Look at those beautiful big blue eyes!

Our other granddaughter is visiting her other grandparents and family for the week. I get to start keeping her again next week when they get back.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall into Flavor - Pineapple Casserole

Today I'm having fun with Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee and joining her in the recipe exchange. This is one of our Fall Family Favorites... Pineapple Casserole.

We get to go to lots of covered dish fellowship meals. I'm always looking for something different and delicious to "wow" the crowds... unfortunately, this is not usually the case.

In Georgia at almost every one of these blessed events there is at least one of these side dishes presented. It happens to be one of my favorite and I also fix it at home and when company comes, too.

When we moved last year to our new appointment in Southwest Oklahoma they were very interested in the different styles of cooking and asked me to bring something distinctly "southern".

Because of the way our schedule was, it meant that I took my dish to the 9:30 service and left it. We had another service in another town at 11:00 and after that, we returned for the dinner.

When we got back for dinner I was going down the line I was looking for my casserole. I had told several people and asked that they made sure it was out. Well, I didn't see it anywhere! I asked about it and they said they had served it... Sure enough, I had even picked up a plate of it myself! They didn't know what it was and thought it was a dessert and had put it out on dessert plates!!!!

When I acted confused, (like they were REALLY crazy), they asked what it was. I said, "Pineapple Casserole, we eat it as a side dish, not a dessert."

They then took a plate of the casserole and gave one to each person saying, "this is a vegetable, not a dessert!" I watched people take a taste and then asking each other, "WHAT is this?"
Then they'd say, "SHE said it was a VEGETABLE... I've never tasted any vegetable like this, it tastes like a dessert!"

We all had a good laugh as I tried to explain that it is a side dish...

Anyway, you can eat it any way you like, but in Georgia and at MY house, it is a side dish!


1 can large crushed pineapple in it's own juice, not drained
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix and put in greased small casserole dish.

Top with:
1 sleeve Ritz crackers (crushed)
1 stick butter melted.

Place topping on mixture and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friday Thought

In a conversation with someone something came out that I feel is straight from the heart of God.

This person felt that she was losing herself and her identity and was tired of giving and giving and not receiving. She was feeling less of a person and like life was unfair. A fear was that she would not be able to be all that she felt she was created to be.

This came pouring out ...

You will NEVER lose yourself when you give yourself. By giving yourself, you only strengthen WHO you are and become MORE.

Think on it for awhile and let it sink in.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wonderful Wednesday

Growing up, I was always very shy and reserved. I never spoke my true opinion. I wanted to make sure that I made everyone happy and that I was liked. I was very much a pleaser.

This went so far that it took me 25 years to finally tell hugsum that I do NOT like submarine sandwiches! This was a huge shock to him. That is one of his favorite meals. He absolutely LOVES a good submarine. Our first year of marriage we lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. We would drive a little over an hour to Ft. Lauderdale to a special sub place.

I endured and ate and held back gags... then one day I fessed up... I think he has been in mourning ever since. When I'm not around, or he is eating with someone else, he will go for the subs.

Having grown up as a Preachers Kid, and then being the Pastor's Wife... I just learned to not rock the boat, be nice, bite my tongue and go along... take what was given me...

Then, 9 years ago I announced that when I turn 60, I am going to say whatever I want and not hold back. Again, hugsum was shocked. He did not realize that I had been doing that. I told him that I would take it slow and begin to practice it and he had fair warning.

I'm not 60 yet. I have one more year... but, today, on my 59th birthday, I'm gearing up.... I plan to enjoy my age! I've worked hard to get here! I'm always going to be nice about it, but I do not have to say "yes" when I want to say "no". I do not have to eat submarine sandwiches just because that's what is offered me. I can suggest an alternative. I can step outside my box.

It has taken me 59 years to come into my "own". It has taken me stepping out of my comfort zone and owning my life... taking responsibility for my actions, my desires and dreams and stepping out to accomplish them.

I'm loving my life now. I am not intimidated or frustrated. I am very comfortable in my wrinkled, baggy skin. I like me. There truly are huge benefits to growing older - not OLD, just mature.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall Fixin's

Fall... some people LOVE fall - I enjoy the cool breezes and the change of weather - to a point! I do NOT like cold! Cold is, well... COLD! So, the coming of fall is a foreboding to me that COLD is also coming. I can enjoy the colorful leaves - while they stay on the trees. I do not enjoy raking them or dealing with them. Although, occasionally, I do enjoy walking in them and hearing them crunch.

Anyway, involved in all that, my friend Linda at @ 2nd Cup of Coffee is hosting "Fall into Flavor". She is so creative! I love her little buttons and fun ideas. So, we are to share some food that we love in the fall... like I don't LOVE food all year long! It started me to thinking (which may be dangerous). When the weather starts cooling off and we are inside more I really do cook much more.

One of my favorite things is Caramel Corn (correctly pronounced, "care a mel " - NOT "car mul" ). I first received this recipe when we lived in Albany, GA (pronounced "all benny") over 20 years ago. It quickly became a staple and quick snack in our home.

My cooking daughter , over here, loves to cook fun things, too. The other day when I was there playing with all her children, she cooked up a batch. The good thing is that it is done in the microwave and takes about 10 minutes to make (and can be inhaled in 3 if you are not real careful!) She actually blogged about it. I'm also going to share the recipe because we have different readers and friends.

So, here is a great, easy, fast, delicious snack for Fall!

Caramel Corn

in LARGE microwavable bowl put
3 quarts popped popcorn (I use air popped, but you can use microwave kind)

In smaller microwaveable covered dish (you can put plastic over it) put:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt

and cook on high for 4 minutes

Stir in:
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pour over popcorn. Stir in thoroughly
Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
Stir well after each minute.

Pour onto greased cookie sheets to cool... DIG IN!!!

I'm warning you... it is addictive! You may as well make two batches while you are at it so you will have some to share with the rest of your family.

NOTE: It is much better when the humidity is not high. If you make it during high humidity it is sticky - still good, but sticky. When the humidity is low (like in making divinity) it is much better!

(Yes, I did spell it "microwaveable" and "microwavable" - they both passed the spell check test, so I don't know which is right, so I used them both. I'm so confused - Linda, which is right????)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Stirrings - Banana Nut Muffins

Carol, over at I Throw Like A Girl, does a fun thing called "Saturday Stirrings" and you link to her blog and can get all sorts of fun, great ideas.

So, I decided to join her and share a wonderful recipe that one of my daughters makes all the time, and I made the other day. I wondered why she always got so excited to see very ripe bananas around. This will certainly explain it. I would say that these are the BEST muffins I have ever eaten! (of course, I haven't tried Carol's Pumpkin Muffins, YET)

Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3 mashed bananas

In separate bowl sift flour and set aside
In large bowl cream butter and sugars. Beat egg and add to sugar mixture and add in bananas.
Mix in flour JUST until combined (this is very important - do NOT over mix)
Immediately stir in milk and nuts.

Bake in preheated 350 oven until tops are brown and cracked (toothpick comes out clean). Sorry I don't have the minutes - the recipe is actually for bread and is like 30 minutes... I use the mini muffin tins and my oven is not as hot as others. So, you will just have to test it for yourself.

These are light and soooooo addictive! OH, OH, OH... I just realized that I have some ripe bananas... better get busy mixing them up! Wanna come over for some coffee and muffins?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

These days...

I must say that I'm having fun!
I forgot how young (and OLD) little children can make you feel.
The things they can teach you - their trust and excitement and joy and love....
The constant awareness of where and what they are doing.... quiet is not always good!

The blessings of children... The joy of watching them grow and learn ....

Today I'm praising God for my blessings, for His goodness to me and my family.

I'm also filled with sorrow. Some precious friends just lost their 19 year old son. He was on his way back to college yesterday and was 5 minutes away. He went to sleep and had a head on collision. He is gone. Instantly. Not there. He had everything. Now, none of that matters.

Life on this earth is temporary. I am more aware of that today. I want to celebrate today. I want to love unsparingly. I want to enjoy and be thankful for what I have and where I am. My life is good. It is not perfect - and it won't be this side of heaven. But, my attitude determines how I see it... I choose to see goodness, perfection, joy, peace, love...

Please pray with me for Eric's family and girlfriend. What a loss and emptiness his death leaves. I pray that the Father will fill them with His comfort as only He can.