Thursday, April 30, 2009

Language lessons

You know, I am all about learning and have always enjoyed learning new things, one of my favorites being new languages. However, the people who teach us can be somewhat challenged. Yesterday's Polish word on my Blog was "candle" and that's a great word and can be used in so many practical ways, but the example given was "The candle flickered ominously". Now, how many of you have EVER felt the need to say that? As many candles as I have been around (even caught my hair on fire from one at church, so that candle REALLY was flickering ominously), yet I never thought of or said that phrase, but maybe my daughter-in-law did because she pointed it out to me! See, that one great opportunity and I never used that sentence, nor did Brande, who said something like "holy smoke, your hair is on fire", without pointing a finger to the offending candle (isn't she sweet?).

Or how about "the hat of my aunt" as a practical phrase? That one has been a text book winner for ages. Now, maybe, if your aunt had a hat like this, it would be worth talking about...

One of the best ways to learn a language is the way I learned to speak Spanish as a young girl...find a good looking Argentine boyfriend (then later on, marry the best man, Mario, who was raised in Venezuela!) I heard him speaking with gusto (Spanish for "I might set YOUR hair on fire") to his brother while he was on the phone with me and learned how to say "I will break your head if you don't leave me alone now" in Spanish. Haven't ever had to use it, but I'm ready should the occasion arise. Normally, I would write down things I wanted to say in English and Miguel would translate them into Spanish so we finally could have a whole conversation with no aunt's hats in it.

You do need to be careful when learning a new language and not be overly confident. I had a sweet friend, Mena who was from Portugal and wanted to work in the Spanish speaking, credit card processing part of our bank. She asked me to help her with her Spanish, so in the little time that we had, we worked diligently (it helped that Portuguese is pretty close to Spanish). She got the job and called me not too long afterward, half laughing and half crying. One of the guys left on his lunch hour for an appointment, maybe the doctor or dentist, but got back late and felt awkward. Mena said to him, in what she thought was good Spanish "Me parece que estas embarazado" which she thought meant "It looks as if you are embarassed" but translates into "It looks as if you are pregnant". Use caution, friends, languages are a challenge.

The other day I gave the webdings a hard time (which they so richly deserved...and, by the way, Michael figured out what I wrote by copying, pasting into word and changing it to A REAL FONT...isn't he so clever and cute?) Now I have a new "holy smoke...what on earth" and maybe someone out there in blogland has an answer. Many times, recently, I have been working on my tomorrow's post the day before and then sometimes polishing it up the next morning. However, a few times I have had it all done and ready to post automatically or so I thought. The other day I chose it to post on the next day's date and put in 3 a.m. just so it would be all ready, and there might even be a little comment awaiting me. I got to the computer at a little after nine and confidently checked in...but NO POST. I changed it to 2 a.m. and hit publish and voila (that's French for it's about rootin tootin time). Does anyone out there know what time zone Blogger is using??? It has to be another planet, like Neptune time or maybe even some new galaxy!!

Guess I need to tell a story on myself as well. About ten years ago I was blessed with being able to go to Poland with my late husband. Mario was only able to stay for two weeks and I stayed on for four more. My Polish was learned out of desparation (no teacher, no school, just me asking poor Mario how and why. His primary language was Spanish and he never went to a Polish school either, just spoke it at home) as his parents didn't speak English (you can do this in Chicago, live there a bazillion years and never learn English).

We stayed with some family and some friends. The friends liked going everywhere, like to mountain tops by cable cars and then climbing all the way back down!!! While on one of these jaunts we needed to use the restroom. A lady kept knocking on my stall and I thought I was saying "excuse me" so she'd know someone was in there, but Danya was in the stall next to me cracking up laughing....turns out I was saying an informal "come in please"!!!

Even though my posts usually have a lot of humor and funny things in them, just to let you know, I DO worry about the world and the swine flu and wars and tensions, BUT I also pray a lot and go to church a lot and belong to prayer groups (like today). As I have said before this little blog of mine is supposed to be a little oasis where we will be counting as many blessings as we can find and laughing and healing so we can heal the rest of the world, one person at a time.

Here is today's joke:

Wisdom of Children

A little girl went up to her mother one day while holding her stomach saying, "Mommy, my stomach hurts." Her mother replied, "That's because it's empty, you have to put something into it!"
Later that day they went to a nice family dinner at grandma's house. Everyone was at the table enjoying their meal when grandma began to feel bad. Holding her head she said, "I have such a terrible headache!"
The little girl looked up at her giving her the sweetest smile that any little child could give. Then she said, "That's because it's empty, you have to put something into it!"

~~~~Thank you Lord for all of our languages, may we use them for peace, love and unity.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Before and After pictures

All alone and waiting to be planted, my beautiful red azalea that is a gift from my step daughter Kelly, for Mother's day (a tad early, but wonderful, like Kelly):

Finally in the ground between the Blessed Mother and the Gingko Biloba tree (rats, you can't see the tree here) that my thoughtful son gave me last year (for Mother's day and that I have fussed over, fearful it might die because it is so special) that is now surrounded by the pink flowers.

A "Before" picture of only a few pink flowers:

An "After" picture of the pink flowers "doing their thing" (now the Gingko Biloba tree is in the middle but it's leaves are just getting started so you can hardly see it!):

This is a kind of "Before" picture of the flax barely blooming (Before):

Things are really looking good in our backyard...I am especially happy that those green fern-like things DID turn out to be flowers. You may be able to see my personal gardener in the back there, planting the red azalea...his rates are pretty reasonable, a nice morning song sung or some home-made sour cream pound cake!
When I planted the flax (grown from seeds) last year, all I got were these ferny looking things, but this year they finally bloomed and what a sight! Hopefully they are doing honor to Jesus' mother as her favorite color (After)...

Okay, Michael says I need to have one joke on other days as well (as if my own goofiness isn't enough!), so here it is:

The Hamster and the Frog

A mangy looking guy walks into a very classy restaurant and orders a steak. The waitress says: "I'm sorry, but I don't think you can pay for your meal." The guy admits, "You're right. I don't have any money, but if I show you something you haven't seen before, will you give me my supper?"

The christian waitress, both curious and compassionate, says, "Only if what you show me isn't risque." "Deal!" says the guy and reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster. He puts the hamster on the ground and it runs across the room, directly to a piano. The hamster then proceeds to climb up the piano, and starts playing Gershwin songs.

The waitress says, "You're right. I've never seen anything like that before. That hamster is truly good on the piano." The guy sits back and enjoys a fine steak supper with all the trimmings. Shortly thereafter, he asks the waitress, "Can I have a piece of that fine blueberry pie I see on the dessert cart over there?" "Only if you got another miracle up your sleeve", says the waitress. The guy reaches into his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the table, and the frog starts to sing up a storm!

A stranger from a nearby table runs over to the guy and offers him $300 for the frog. The guy says "It's a deal." He takes the three hundred and gives the stranger the frog. The stranger runs out of the restaurant with dollar signs in his eyes and a big smile on his face.

The waitress says to the guy "Are you some kind of nut? You sold a singing frog for $300? It must have been worth millions!"

"No", says the guy. "The hamster is also a ventriloquist."
~~~Thank you Lord for the blessing of your wonderful world with blue flax, pink flowers and red azaleas.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Naughty four letter word!

Okay, before we have any rib tickling jokes, I have to admonish an otherwise wonderful person by the name of Eileen. She left a comment yesterday and used a VERY naughty four letter word...I was aghast, not only that, but horrified and stunned. She used the word...are you ready for this....yup, the word "iron", as in ironing. In her sweet innocence she believed that eco me who hangs out her clothes to dry, would then have to iron them. Now, one great rationale (I can think of TONS) for not ironing is that it fits in with my "save the planet" ideology, so let's not waste electricity. Another thing is that Eileen said in her post yesterday that she liked old chipped things and one would hope that she could only make room in her heart for wrinkled things as well! I, for one, have long thought that wrinkled clothes add character (one can even hear people, who are probably a tad jealous, walking by and saying "Look at that character with the wrinkled clothes".) In fact, if your clothes are too wrinkled there are several options:

1. Walk with your hands holding your clothes down and make them look ironed.

2. Walk with a severe limp and people will think you can't physically manage to iron.

3. Skip, sing Disney songs and people will never notice your clothes.

4. Walk with panache and act like this is the new IN look.

5. Walk with your husband/friend and make sure they are MORE wrinkled.

Just be creative here...the possiblities are endless. Incredibly (before my lobotomy) when I was first married, I ironed EVERYTHING...sheets, washcloths towels, even underwear, for pete's sake! Of course I was also eighteen, stationed in Alaska, alone all day with no television or radio and a (great) husband who was in the Army and away for 10+ hour days.

If you MUST iron, I have found two delightful ironing boards....the first is so high only the world's tallest man (notice I didn't use woman?) can use it.

This next one was tossed up there (where it obviously belonged to begin with) by an ecologically minded person (or by Gabey who threw his stuffed animal in a tree, but maybe not as he's kinda little to do an ironing board). Or, with a long extension cord, you can both enjoy the outdoors as well as add a lot of excitement to ironing!

Now, for the jokes....

So Far, So Good
So far today, God, I've done all right. I haven't gossiped, haven't lost my temper, haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent. I'm really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God, I'm going to get out of bed and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help.

Matter of Perspective
Three preachers sat discussing the best positions for prayer while a telephone repairman worked nearby. "Kneeling is definitely best," claimed one.
"No," another contended. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You're both wrong," the third insisted. "The most effective prayer position is lying prostrate, face down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas, " he interrupted, "the best prayin' I ever did was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."

More than Asked For
Johnny, a very bright 5 year old, told his daddy he'd like to have a baby brother and, along with his request, offered to do whatever he could to help. His dad, a very bright 35 year old, paused for a moment and then replied, " I'll tell you what, Johnny, if you pray every day for two months for a baby brother, I guarantee that God will give you one!"
Johnny responded eagerly to his dad's challenge and went to his bedroom early that night to start praying for a baby brother.
He prayed every night for a whole month, but after that time, he began to get skeptical. He checked around the neighborhood and found out that what he thought was going to happen, had never occurred in the history of the neighborhood. You just don't pray for two months and then, whammo- a new baby brother. So, Johnny quit praying. After another month, Johnny's mother went to the hospital. When she came back home, Johnny's parents called him into the bedroom. He cautiously walked into the room, not expecting to find anything, and there was a little bundle lying right next to his mother. His dad pulled back the blanket and there was -- not one baby brother, but two!! His mother had twins!
Johnny's dad looked down at him and said, "Now aren't you glad you prayed?"
Johnny hesitated a little and then looked up at his dad and said, "Yes, but aren't you glad I quit when I did?"

Thank you.
In Jesus name. Amen

~~~Thank you Lord, for the blessings of being able to laugh at ourselves and with others.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The best week of our lives

The start of another week which is great because we always have the opportunity to make THIS the best week of our lives (God is so awesome in that way as well)!!

I've always loved the Chinese saying which says "Fall down seven times, get up eight" (my apologies to any Chinese if I've paraphrased that poorly!)

Padre Pio also once said that "Success in the eyes of God is sincere effort." Of course the sincere is very, very important.

What this all boils down to is that we can always re-start, re-do and become better. Are you wondering if I've messed up because I'm being so philosophical? Other that looking at all I could have done and didn't on Friday, some good things did get accomplished, so, nope, I'm just waxing philosophical here...

On a lighter note, I found this picture of Mr. and Mrs. Gas Pump. It is so easy to believe why there are no people from outer space (aka aliens) living among us because they came looking for intelligent life and never found it!

The very nice, but probably sad lady that sent me an e-mail about how to get pictures from the web, is probably shaking her head now at what she created!! I am having a ball grabbing pictures (all legal, of course), but I think my computer is getting ready to go on overload, so I need to go into sample pictures and delete two or three hundred (only kidding, but there's a lot now)! I also need to take the time to upload my own pictures.

Let me muse just a second or two more...has anyone ever figured out what the webdings are for, as a font choice? Is this just another confirmation of why there are no aliens living among us?

Here are some do you like them?

Can you translate the above line? I firmly believe in doing big and many little things to make the world a better place, but are webdings really doing their part?? Have I given you enough food for thought?

Well the wash is waiting to be hung (no dryer useage here unless totally desparate, maybe once a year) and the pictures are waiting to be taken and Michael is so looking forward to being sung to...

~~~Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the blessings of new beginnings every day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Today is a special day even though we are not going to get to celebrate it as specially as we have in the past. Michael and I are now married for four years! The first two anniversaries we celebrated by going away for a surprise mini vacation. The first year was spent at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, GA and it was so wonderful. The next year we went to Middleton, North Carolina and stayed in a sort of cabin on a beautiful wooded lot with lots of trails and some historic sites as well. Wistfully, for reasons beyond our control we have not been able to go anywhere these past two years, but "hope springs eternal" for the future...

I found this picture of these six hearts and decided that the two big ones could represent Michael and I and the little ones each represent a year together...

How perfect was this find of mine? We are doing all kinds of "farming" lately and here is a heart of cranberries! We even put out the fish emulsion yesterday and my hands still have that faint smell of fish...maybe rubber gloves next time?

I already gave Michael a little anniversary gift and he gave me tons of laughs by trying to say the tongue twisters in a book full of them!! Let me know if you (or anyone you challenge) can manage to say "ape cakes, grape cakes" fast three times...he even said eight crepes at one point!

~~~Thank you, dear Lord for all of the many anniversaries of all kinds that You bless us with.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chills and Thrills

Well, having visited Eileen's Blog this morning, I am inspired to try all sorts of Fridays..... favorite, friendly, fabulous, fun, frantic etc.

Today will be a mix of fun and frantic as the plan is to do some heavy duty shopping at BJs (the warehouse that is like Sam's but not)this morning (Michael has the next three days off). In fact he is absolutely thrilled with the idea of the shopping, but he is great at "masking" his excitement by having gone back to bed and sleeping. He must not know that I know how thrilled he really is! This will be followed by non stop elation at mulching the plants in the back or front yard...those frowns don't fool me! I'm saving the best for last...if he's REALLY good, we will spread the composted cow manure too!! Well, it's time to go into the bedroom and sing "Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory" which is what I did to my kids when it was time to get up and get ready for school, but they were never truly appreciative, like Michael will be. Bet you are ALL wishing you were Michael (which would work out even as I bet he is wishing he were you, too!)
I will be back today with reports of more chills and thrills...
~~~Lord, this blessing of making work crazy and fun is so precious, thank you!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Off to Pray

Thought it might be a good idea to give you some information on flax seed. Here is a picture of light flax seed (there are also dark ones) and cookies with them in it. Remember, you can always alter a recipe to fit your likes, although I do recommend trying it as is the first time.

Now a word or two of caution on the altering part: I have a wonderful recipe for home-made brownies and a friend of mine just loved the brownies and asked for my recipe (ALL recipes should be shared as far as I am concerned). Patti proceeded to substitute the sugar for a licorice based sugar product (doesn't that sound yummy...licorice and chocolate?), the eggs for egg substitute, the butter for a low fat margarine etc. etc. After all this, she said she couldn't understand WHY they didn't turn out right for her!! : -))

The Health Benefits of Flaxseed
by Dr. Tina Marcantel

Flaxseed provides numerous health benefits when it is a regular part of a person's diet. Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor in Gilbert, Arizona, who also serves the East Valley cities of Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, and Apache Junction, as well as the greater Phoenix area.

One food that I highly recommend to all my patients is flaxseed. The health benefits of this little seed make it sound like nature’s wonder drug: it can help protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes; it can reduce cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory benefits; it’s even been shown to reduce hot flashes in postmenopausal women!
Flaxseed is helpful in managing women’s health issues because it contains high levels of lignans, which are phytochemicals that are converted in the body into hormone-like agents that block the estrogen pathways and limit estrogen in fat cells.
Limiting estrogen is important because it can help prevent estrogen dominance, a condition that can lead to numerous health problems including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), insomnia, irregular bleeding, uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast disease, and breast cancer. In fact, many physicians treat women with breast cancer by adding flaxseed to their diets. It should be noted that only the seeds (not just the oil) provide the proper estrogen-blocking effect.
Flax is a mega-source for an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid. Omega-3 is a great support for cardiovascular function, skin health, and joint health. It's also an excellent source of fiber (1 tablespoon ground = 2 grams of fiber), which can improve regularity and help prevent colon cancer, as well as helping to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
You can put flaxseed in muffins, breads, cookies, cereals, cottage cheese, sprinkle it on salads, and add it to soups. Make sure the seeds are ground and kept in a closed container in the refrigerator. An amount of approximately 25 grams per day of ground flax will provide a medicinal effect. This equals 4 tablespoons per day.
You can find flaxseed in both the ground (milled) form and in whole seed form in almost any grocery store, usually in the health food section. I like to buy it in whole seed form and grind it myself in a small coffee grinder; it tastes better when it is fresh-ground and you'll retain more of the nutritional value. However, the milled form may be more convenient for you. Either way, it's important to understand that you should use the ground form because it is a soluble form of fiber that is much more effective in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides and excess estrogen. The seed form can also be irritating to those with bowel problems.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Flax should not be eaten within one hour of taking medicines or vitamins because of its absorbing properties. It can actually absorb and eliminate the medicines from your body, making them ineffective.
For much more information on the health benefits of this food for both women and men, I suggest reading the comprehensive article on The World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Last night I had to make deviled (well I put some "angel powder" on them for good measure!!) eggs and blueberry crumb cake for a farewell lunch for one of the members of my Thursday prayer group and it occurred to me that it's more home-made recipes after posting yesterday's! Added flax seed to the cake...I always try to sneak in good things in my deserts.

~~~Thank you Lord for plentiful information on the good things in your earth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A recipe for you and me

Years ago, my late husband, Mario did one of many wonderful things, he complemented me as I was learning to cook, on almost everything I ever tried to make. It was WONDERFUL incentive and surely gave me my love of baking and cooking. When I married at the tender age of eighteen, I knew NOTHING (my sweet mother, who really didn't like cooking that much, but was a good cook none the less, told me that she would not teach me to cook because my poor father had to go through her learning to cook and it wasn't fair to do that to him twice!).

Mario was in the Army and a week after we married, I was in Alaska with him. I remembered that my mom used dried green peppers in her hamburger, so I went to the Commissary and could only find dried red peppers. Thinking they were the red variety of green peppers, I liberally sprinkled them over my made up hamburger concoction for my new husband. One bite and I ran to the faucet for water. Mario, on the other hand, said "Yum" and even ate seconds, despite my warnings. The next morning he got up (or tried to) at a right angle...he bit the hot peppers and the peppers bit back!! Never did that one again!

For the first few years I bought cake mixes, pancake mixes and hamburger helpers etc. until one day I decided to cook and bake healthier and more creatively. Consequently, I came across this terrific recipe for banana (or any fruit) pancakes:


1-2 lg Egg(s)

2-3 Ripe bananas (or a cup of whatever fruit you like)

1 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp Baking powder (I use Rumford because it has no aluminum in it)

1/2 C Oil (I use sunflower oil since it is so good for you)

3/4 C s Oatmeal, ground (I put regular oatmeal in a blender) or whole oatmeal (great for the heart)

1/2 C s Sour cream (buttermilk works great too)

2-3 Cs Milk (I use 1%)

1 TBs Milled Flaxseed (this is something new I've tried and it is so healthy and tastes great in everything, almost)

2 1/2-3 1/2(?) Cs Flour (I use unbleached) have to decide how thick you want your pancakes, so try the first one and see. If you are using blueberries, it is important to make it extra thinck or they will burst and stick to your pan.

Grease your pan or skillet with sunflower oil on a medium heat, pour 1/2 cup batter onto hot pan, wait until you see some bubbles in the pancake and flip and cook on other side. Butter (I use real butter) and serve (I also use real maple syrup...the health benefits make up for the extra expense as it is so good for you and so are the blueberry, blackberry, boysenberry and strawberry syrups by Smuckers).

Once cooled, any wrapped up leftovers refrigerate (or freeze) nicely and you have breakfast the next day or so!

Since I love cooking as well as baking, I am willing to be experimental, especially if a loved one expresses interest in something specific, so when Michael told me that he loved butterscotch, I thought, hey, let me try some all natural butterscotch pudding. Instead of using the web, I decided my mom's really old cookbook would be the way to go. Well, I don't know who thought up this rather demented recipe, maybe someone who didn't really like her husband, but I followed the directions and whoo, baby, it was not only lumpy, but the taste was kind of, sort of, well basically just awful. My step daughter Kelly came home and she normally loves my deserts and some of this goop was still in the fridge (I was hoping getting really cold would transform it into something edible). Kelly loves most things, but she walked into the dining room with a look of disgust and said "What IS this"? Having tasted it myself and trying not to snicker, I asked "What's the matter, don't you like butterscotch pudding?"

There is a happy ending to this tale of woe...I didn't give up, used some logic, altered the recipe and Voila...a very yummy and EASY all natural, smooth, edible butterscotch pudding:


1 1/3 Cs Brown sugar

4 TBs Real butter (not only healthier, it does make a taste difference)

5 Cs (1%) Milk

1/2 C Cornstarch (again, I use Rumford because it is not a modified cornstarch)

2 Tsp Vanilla (all natural)

Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a medium sized pan, add milk and stir thoroughly, then turn heat on to medium. Cook till it comes to a gentle boil, but stir often so that it does not stick to the bottom. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla. Pour into seving dishes and eat warm or cold. This recipe can be cut in half, but we really like this pudding so this gives about 8 servings.

Please remember, the MOST important ingredient in any recipe is love!

~~~Lord, I thank you for the blessings of all the natural ingredients You give us to make our food.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Har hars and Hee hees

Ring a Bell?
Father John is walking down the street one day when he notices Nathan, a very small boy, trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street. However, Nathan is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach. After watching the boy's efforts for some time, Father John moves closer to Nathan's position. He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child's shoulder leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.
Crouching down to Nathan's level, Father John smiles benevolently and asks, 'And now what, my little man?' To which Nathan replies with a beaming grin, 'Now we run!'

A recently ordained priest, Father Henry, was to hold his first ever graveside burial service at a pauper's cemetery for an destitute man with no family or friends.
Father Henry, not knowing where the cemetery was, made several wrong turns and got lost.
He eventually arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, the spade was next to the open hole, and the workmen were sitting under a tree eating lunch.
Father Henry, being a reliable young priest went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Feeling guilty because of his lateness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in considerable style.
As the good Father returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say to the other, ' Do you know, fancy that, I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty five years and I ain't never seen anything like that.'

Today's Hymn
Reverend Clive Morgan was completing his homily in St John's Church about the dangers of alcohol and the need for moderation and temperance.
He announced at the end of the sermon in a loud, clear voice, 'If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river.' With even greater emphasis he added, 'And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river.' Finally, he intoned in an extremely serious manner, 'And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river.'

The Reverend Morgan then sat down. Jerry, St John's leading chorister stood up and announced with a smile, 'For our closing hymn this Sunday, let us sing together hymn number 109: 'Shall We Gather at the River.'
Hopefully this won't scare you too much, but more will be added to this post after I go down and make some home-made banana pancakes!!
With a full tummy, I am back. By the way, this recipe is very easy to change to peach, blueberry etc. pancakes and I have done those as well. It's just that bananas are SO healthy for us and by the time they look pitiful and ready to throw in the freezer, they are perfect for the pancakes.
I didn't realize that these three jokes would fill up the blog so much, so I won't add much more, just to let you know that tomorrow I will share some of my funny (that depends on the receiver and the maker) recipe surprises. Also can share the easy home-made pancake recipe, if you like.
Also, one little snicker... while Michael was busy in the shower singing to himself and generally having a great time, I walked in and hid on the other side of the towel rung (which he hung for giants like himself, way up there) and waited patiently. He finished and attempted to pull the towel off the rung and I held on to the other part of the towel, so he pulled harder...after the third time he opened up the shower door to see what was causing the towel to be so stuck and he burst out laughing!
~~Lord, the blessings you give us are tremendous, thank you for laughter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hooray the week starts with a crazy "Tag"

Okay, well , this is a tad delayed because I got tagged a few days ago by Diana (being the kind that doesn't give up easily, once again I am going to try to see if you can click on her name and get to her blogspot...I think I can, I know I can, chug chug said the little red engine...)

So here goes:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Getting to go off with Michael on our Anniversary this month, just for a little dinner.

2. Seeing the grandbabies in May (which is Ria's birthday, her husband's and even Jonathan's)

3. Watching the garden and the flowers growing from seeds we planted (but I think checking every hour or two is NOT working for me)

4. Playing some outdoor games, like badminton or hose Michael down when he's not looking (my very favorite)

5. Seeing new pictures of my grandbabies (hint, hint, Brande) in Arizona (maybe you can see some pictures of these adorable little ones if the click thing works!)

6. Picking lots of blueberrries (Mimi allows us free picking and she has a bazillion) and making blueberry pies and muffins

7. Going to Fernbank museum and hopefully, the zoo (I keep a strong hold on Michael so they don't keep him as he does "go ape" there)

8. Hopefully getting to Whitewater too

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
1. I went to church twice...also went to see another session of "The Lamb's Supper" with Dr. Scott Hahn (super insightful and interesting)
2. The second time I ended up in the "wrong" place, thinking they were only offering this prayer session in Spanish (which is fine because I speak it), then discovered that it was still going on in English in the small chapel, so I got some of both!
3. Tried to surprise Michael by planting the last gardenia bush (always try NOT to do any extra work on the Lord's day) only to discover that there was a HUGE, mammoth boulder or maybe just a really big rock in my way, so the surprise was on me and Michael got the rock out today before going to work
4. Made home-made tapioca and strawberry deserts
5. Made a ham and pasta salad
6. Kept up with all the dishes getting dirty (I suspect that the dishes spit food on each other when I'm not looking or HOW could there be so many so often?)
7. Called all three of my children and they sounded wonderful as always
8. Tried to watch a movie on Television, "The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler"
8 Things I wish I could Do:
1. Comfort and cuddle and feed all the hurting people in this world
2. Comfort and cuddle and feed all the hurting animals in this world (they would probably let me smooch them as well)
3. Play with lions and tigers and baby elephants (this will have to wait for Heaven or I will end up in Heaven a little ahead of schedule)
4. Teach those who hate or harm that love is the ONLY answer
5. Fly, but not an airplane, just me flying around merrily and that way I could meet all the wonderful people here in blog land
6. See my children and grandbabies every single day and have all of them joyfully going to church with me too (this one makes me sigh)
7. Protect all my loved ones
8. Retain the ability to make people laugh and laugh hard and praise God for it
8 TV Shows I Watch:
Hold on to your socks here because the answer is ZERO, although I really tried to watch that made for television movie but they kept on interrupting it with weather forecasts, like we cared about an imminent tornado...gosh those weather people need to get REAL! Seriously, they came in during the last twenty minutes and had the thing going across the bottom but a weather person who kept repeating the same thing over and over about strong winds over Kennesaw and there was Irena Sendler left with those bad guys hitting her with a club on her legs and we don't know what happened because this weather lady was on a roll and talked for 30 straight minutes, mostly about Kennesaw!
Okay, now it is time to get ready to go to the Alleluia choir to sing at a funeral.
~~Thank you so much Lord for the blessings of 8 things in our lives.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Lamb loves us

It's Divine Mercy Sunday...what a blessing to have a merciful Saviour!!!


Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, you'll see it's true,

You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that's why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

'Go into the world and tell them it's true

That I love them all - Just like I love U.'

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don't they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He'd like them to know,

But it all starts with U.

He is the Good Shepherd and we are His cute little sheep.

At church today, I will be blessed to do the second reading and I'd like to share a little of it with you. It is from the first letter of John, chapter 5:1-6

"Beloved: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith."

I honestly NEVER watch television (amazing, huh?) but with some instructions (there are THREE remotes to this TV!) I hope to watch this movie tonight as it should be very uplifting:

"The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler"
Sunday April 19th
9:00 pm ET/PT

About the Show

As a Polish Catholic social worker in the early 1940s, Irena Sendler created and led a conspiracy of women who moved in and out of Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto disguised as nurses employed by Warsaw's Health Department. Though they worked under the guise of merely attempting to prevent and contain the spread of Typhus and Spotted Fever, Sendler and her brave cohorts emerged each time with the children of consenting Jewish parents. The children were sometimes sedated and hidden inside boxes, suitcases and coffins as a means of rescuing them from their imminent deportation to death camps. They were given new identities and placed with Polish families and in convents. Sendler kept a hidden record of their birth names and where they were placed with the hope that they would some day be reunited with their own families. In 1943, the Nazis discovered Sendler's daring and dangerous ruse and arrested her. She was tortured by Gestapo agents and suffered broken feet. On the day of her scheduled execution she was rescued by "Zegota," the underground network with which she worked to save the Jewish children.

As a result of Sendler's efforts, approximately 2,500 children were smuggled to safety. Not a single child she rescued was ever betrayed or discovered by the Nazis.

The movie is based on the authorized biography of the heroine, Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story, by Anna Mieszkowska, published in 2005.

We make it so hard on ourselves all the time and yet the answer is so easy....we can all be saints if we just use love as the answer for all the problems in the world.

~~~Thank you God for giving us the blessings of answers by trying to be loving always to all people.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Oasis

Well, Savoring Saturday just sounds so appropriate, doesn't it? So many of us look forward to the week-end. We all need a little Oasis where we can refresh ourselves and our souls. God, in His
infinite wisdom, gave us Sunday to make sure we rested in Him and got refreshed.

Since I so enjoy "Blog traveling", I get to see so many Blogs and so many approaches to this form of journaling and communicating. It's wonderful that there are so many passionate people who want to help change our world and make it better, to make us aware of political problems and possible solutions.
But we also need an oasis or two and my prayer is that this little Blog of mine can provide an oasis for the world weary, some laughter and craziness mixed with lots of God's Presence and Love. Far from ignoring the strife in the world, I pray most hardily for peaceful and firm resolutions, while being pro active as in sending the red envelopes for the pro life stance (I had to make my own envelopes and you haven't lived until you've tried to make an envelope out of construction paper...whoever does the mail at the White House is probably still on the floor laughing!), to the White House...I still need to send the tea bags there, such a shame we aren't supposed to send used ones so that they are not wasted.

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

What monstrous absurdities and paradoxes have resisted whole batteries of serious arguments, and then crumbled swiftly into dust before the ringing death-knell of a laugh! ~Agnes Repplier

So many tangles in life are ultimately hopeless that we have no appropriate sword other than laughter. ~Gordon W. Allport

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on. ~Bob Newhart

~~~Thank you Lord, for the blessing of all the oases in our lives.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Precious plants, tremendous trees and a gorgeous garden

(This is the second of a two for one post day!)
This is just a really neat picture of the blooms on our red delicious apple tree. I took this a week or so ago and it was a dark and cloudy day (now that sounds like a good start for a novel!)TThese little tiny broccoli plants are now in the garden, planted a couple of days ago by Michael himself, who loves broccoli (guess he believed his mom when she said they were little trees and he was a big dinosaur).

Marvelous Michael got so much fence up yesterday when I came back from prayer group, that my mouth just hung open (hoping someone would stick a brownie in it) in amazement. I had actually teased him by giving him "undoable in the time allotted" chores and then he did them because HE didn't KNOW they were undoable in the time allotted. This is the back view of the fence where there will be hand-made gate (Tinka is peeking through).

This is the front with a hand-made gate.

Now for sleepy men and excuses:

More sleepy men...they're everywhere, they're everywhere!

Michael and I are supposed to go out to finish up some planting and mulching etc., but he is saying (as usual) that he has to wake up first. Let me explain that he can say this after being up for two hours, but it really means:

1. Maybe if I say this enough times or wait long enough, Marcy will forget all about it (this is a pretty lame one).

2. Maybe some random act of God will occur (something on the "parting of the Red Sea" line) and it will be done without me (can't you hear God chuckling over this one?).

3. Maybe some random act of God will occur and it will start snowing (Now I think He is tsk tsk tsking at Michael).

4. Maybe if we wait until the mail comes, we will have won a gardener if only we watch a sales presentation lasting 52 hours or more (much as he hates sales pressure, this one he might go to).

5. Maybe the neighbors will knock on our front door and beg to do the work for him (or maybe, more likely, Michael will go door to door begging them!).
Are you awake yet, Michael? It's not happening (imagine me singing this in a singsong voice like in Snow White).
Michael himself just added a couple of choice ones:

6. Maybe our dog Tinka will dig the holes to plant the trees (this IS a possibility, except for keeping her it in the desired location).

7. Maybe my wife will just do it for me (this hallucination has me convulsing with laughter!!!)

I received this in an e-mail. Personally, I have never been too concerned about the intelligence level of my right foot, but , for those of you who want to be smart all over, here you go:


"This is hysterical. You have to try this. It is absolutely true. I guess there are some things that the brain cannot handle. HOW SMART IS YOUR RIGHT FOOT? You have to try this please, it takes 2 seconds. I could not believe this! It is from an orthopaedic surgeon............ This will confuse your mind and you will keep trying over and over again to see if you can outsmart your foot, but, you can't. It is pre-programmed in your brain!

1. While sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.

I told you so! And there's nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you've not already done so. "
~~~Thank you, Lord for the blessings of being able to do yard work and enjoy it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Anything Goes

With a name like Thoroughly Thursday, one can post just about anything, so it comes in very might even be able to use it on a Saturday or Monday and really confuse people!

Is everyone totally confused yet? Yes, we are having Thursday's post this morning on Friday. I did say it could happen any day in the above short paragraph that I started on Wednesday evening! Yesterday was very busy and I need to go out and take some pictures so we can also have a Friendly Friday post.

First let me wrap up poor old Thursday. It is actually a very special day as Thursday mornings are one of my prayer group days, a day to meet with some wonderful ladies (we meet at Mimi's...the lady with the llamas and llama "beans") and pray for each other as well as the world in general. We also share close moments to Christ and I would like to share mine with you. Sometimes they are very small moments and sometimes they are huge. If we really check each day out, these moments are always there!I had to do a couple of rather long readings at church recently and it is always a concern of mine to bring meaning to what I read and attention away from this end, even my earrings are conservative. Well, these readings were all about the passion of Christ which especially chokes me up on Palm Sunday and Good Friday...thinking about this, it was even a close moment to Christ by being called by the person in charge of the lectors and him asking me to do these readings. Okay, back to the exceptional moment...most of the time I just pray that God's message was heard and received in a special way and that I did it justice to some degree.

On Palm Sunday, as Michael and I were leaving church and going outside, this complete stranger, a lovely black woman with a very slight accent, came up to me and said what a wonderful job I had done reading and then hugged me, so I hugged the "Jesus" in her back very joyously!! It both humbled me and delighted me. Unexpectedly again, someone commented on my doing a good job on Good Friday, so God used His people to let this little redhead know that she can do His will . What an awesome blessing and I don't feel worthy and that's a good thing!

Okay, now I've got to get Friendly Friday together.

~~Thank you Lord, for the blessings of close moments to You, please help me to always look for them.~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Long Awaited Fish Emulsion

You, too can have a garden like this. Personally I don't know how, but they have it and this is a real picture. Hmmm, maybe "they" also have gardeners and butlers?

Now, for today's tutorial on natural fertilizers:

Magnesium and sulfur are the two major components of Epsom Salt (drat, you were supposed to be able to click on this thing and be zapped over to the page about Epsom salt...good thing I'm not Scottie on Star Trek!). Crop researchers have determined that magnesium is:
A critical mineral for seed germination.
Vital to the production of chlorophyll, which plants use to transform sunlight into food.
An aid in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen, two of the most important fertilizer components.
Sulfur, the other major component of Epsom Salt, is also an important plant nutrient. Sulfur may:
Contribute to chlorophyll production.
Make the primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) found in most fertilizers more effective.
Although magnesium and sulfur occur naturally in soil, they can be depleted by various conditions, including heavy agricultural use over time. But unlike most commercial fertilizers, which build up in the soil over time, Epsom Salt is not persistent so you can't overuse it. Tests by the National Gardening Association confirm - roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, while the compound makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated with commercial fertilizer alone.
Just sprinkle it around the base of your roses/bushes and work it into the soil a little. It is also great for soaking sore feet or bodies, but I'm not too sure about migraines and soaking your head (poor Amy at A Redeemed Sheep is suffering right now from a terrible migraine and might be ready to try this!) SUPER bonus with Epsom salts = no odor!!


Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorus with lower levels of nitrogen, calcium, and very little potassium. Bone meal is used for fruit and flower production.

It is also great because they don't go on and on about it! This is powdery, so be careful not to just "dump" it unless you like bone meal up your nose (I speak from experience here!)
It also has an odor you would not want to wear to, let's say, go to church or the mall or get the idea!

Blood Meal (now this one REALLY looked hopeful for getting zapped over to the info page where I got this because it made a little hand when I first did it! Looks like the little hand is just waving bye bye to me now!!!)
  1. Keep your plant soil healthy with this nitrogen rich fertilizer Water and sunshine aren’t the only factors to a healthy, vibrant garden. You'll need good, mineral filled soil as well. Depending upon the crops you grow, soil that has been too often planted can start to lose its growing potential. Over time, the minerals and nutrients plants need to grow and stay healthy become depleted. Blood meal helps restore these lost nutrients and revitalizes fatigued gardening beds. Blood meal is an all natural powdered fertilizer that contains one of the highest, non-synthetic nitrogen counts (12-0-0) available. Made from powdered and dried livestock blood, Blood meal is an all natural, 100% organic fertilizer that is:
    Economically priced
  2. (Bet you're wondering how I got this little 2 to appear here...well, I'm wondering too!)Easy to use
    Safe to store anywhere
    Works in gardens, yards, lawns, and soil beds
    Available in large bags for industrial applications
    Perfect for revitalizing soils that have been heavily worked
    Scent serves as a deterrent to common garden pests such as rabbits and deer
    Also helps accelerate composting breakdown of carbon based composts such as leaves and straw

  3. Whoa, this three popped up out of nowhere, but I can deal with this. I just wanted to add that blood meal is supposed to also deter pets and deer and we haven't had a single deer in our fenced in neighborhood backyard, so it's working! Maybe I can make a four pop up...let's see...

  4. Yah Hoo, but now I need to say something...hmmm. Okay, do not use blood meal inside your home or it will deter husbands, children and neighbors...also, just because it says blood meal does NOT mean it is a meal!
    Saving the "star of the show" for last...Tah Dah!!! Here comes the fish emulsion. In Arizona and maybe even here (one time), I could find it at Wal Mart, but now the only place I can find it is at Home Depot. You will love does not disappoint...the "bouquet" is incredible, you will have many doggie friends as well as any other creatures drawn to all that smells disgusting. On the up side, your plants will be ever so happy and green and growing strong.


Sorry about this...numbers are popping up everywhere just because I hit that bullet thing for one section! Fish emulsion has been a staple (NOT for meals, just for gardening) in my family for many years. MY son became a convert after living with us for awhile and used it at his home, on a tree that was just like his neighbor's tree and they were side by side. MY son's tree grew much larger and leafier than the other untreated tree. Wish I had a picture here as it was impressive.

Now fish emulsion is a liquid and not a pretty sight when it glops out of the bottle, but I save old milk cartons and count to 10 or 12 while it oozes out, then fill it with water the rest of the way, cap it and shake it and it's ready to go. Do the environment/your family/friends (if you want to keep them) a favor and really wash up well after this one.

If you use all these wonderful products, you too can have produce like this:

(How adorable is this?)

~~Thank you , Lord for the blessings of all these fine, yet smelly things, that help us to care for Your Creation in a sensitive way.