FAITH-FILLED LIVING | SWEET TREASURES | SIMPLE PLEASURES

Dec 31, 2008

2009 Wishes!

Wishing YOU...
a buffet of blessing,
a daisy chain of delights,
a hoopla of happiness,
a flea market of frolic,
a wellspring of warm wishes,
flowerpots of friendship,
and Abundance Divine in 2009!

Love, KJ

Dec 30, 2008

Official Winner of the Giveaway - Revised


A couple of days ago, my 400TH POST GIVEAWAY was officially concluded. I gathered all of the entries into a red bucket and had my dear hubby draw a winner—the old fashioned way.

Revised: The first name that was drawn did not leave a link for me to reach her and she did not respond to my first post. So, the official winner is listed below. Congratulations!

Andi, please contact me by email for shopping instructions. (My email can be accessed through my profile.)

Dec 28, 2008

Comfort Food

Perhaps I embody the winter "comfort food" stereotype, but I am not ashamed. We wait a long time for chilly weather here in Southern California. When it comes, we capitalize on it!

I steer towards resources such as Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Matthew Mead for reliable collections of soul warming recipes. When browsing Matthew Mead's site this evening, I clicked immediately on his collection of pot pie recipes. His lineup includes: Lobster Pie, Shepherd's Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Steak Pie, and Spaghetti Pie. I will be trying the Spaghetti Pie (shown above) in the next couple of days.

A portion of Matthew's site is free. The rest can be accessed by purchasing a 6-month or 1-year membership. The site dispenses a bounty of inspiration that is easily reproduced in one's own life.

Photo: Spaghetti Pie - Matthew Mead

Dec 26, 2008

Last Day to Win the "Sur la Table"!

When all is said and done; when the beautiful wrappings and ribbons have created crumbled mountains of happiness; as anticipation is winding down and souls are settling into a relaxed calm in front of the fireplace, it is then that we can begin to sort and assimilate our blessings. It is then that we truly comprehend all that God has bestowed upon us.

I do hope that each of you are enjoying a pleasant and peaceful aftermath to the Christmas celebration. Please be sure to sign up for and/or tell a friend about my 400th Post Giveaway which ends at Midnight PST tonight. A $25.00 Sur la Table shopping spree is being given away! Scroll down or click HERE.

Dec 23, 2008

Tea for Tuesday



Have you entered my 400TH POST GIVEAWAY?
If not, simply scroll down 2 posts.

"Remember the tea kettle:

It is always up to its neck in hot water;

yet it still sings."


—Early American Folk Wisdom


Today's Bouquets

There are undeniable blessings at both ends of the giving spectrum. Happily, some of the most rewarding moments aren't scribbled on paper or penciled on a calendar.

Last Friday, I attended the first Women's Conference at Rock of the Nations in Norwalk, California. The congregation is made up mostly of Eastern Indians: however, the church recently made a move to become multi-cultural. With the exception of myself (a caucasian mutt) and a lovely Nigerian lady, those in attendance were all Indian. What an experience it was to worship and fellowship with women who are so hungry for the things of God!

Also on Friday, I joined another lady, Teresa, in decorating a Christmas tree for the Nigerian family who recently lost their 22 month old son. As you can imagine, this has been a rough Christmas for them. Teresa and I both felt the family needed some continuity and a sense of celebration for the 3 surviving children. There was plenty of laughter. And, Teresa and I even got to sing a soprano duet of O Holy Night.

I recently purchased a beautifully framed 2008 Christmas silhouette from Kari and Kijsa of
Ask Kari and Kijsa. Having the artwork in my home is a gift to myself, but these 2 sisters are not any degree of average. Accompanying my package was a sweet poem that lit up my heart. It said:

Merry, merry Christmas to you and yours,
You know your blog we truly adore;
We love your poems, your riddles, your rhymes,
So we wish you the best in 2009!

Thank-you, you gifted diet coke sipping sweeties!

Dec 18, 2008

400th Post Giveaway!

My backstage Blogger area states that I have 400 posts; however, the archive section on my sidebar totals to only 390. It's possible that Blogger does not account for any posts that may have been deleted. Nevertheless, I wish to perpetuate glad tidings by having a Pre-Christmas 400th Post Giveaway!


The winner will get to select anything up to $25.00 at the Sur la Table website. I will take care of the shipping and tax.

RULES:
  • Leave a comment on this post.
  • You will receive 5 additional entries for each person you refer to this Giveaway. They must mention your name in their post.
  • The deadline for entry is December 26th at Midnight PST. The winner will be chosen and posted on the 27th.

Dec 16, 2008

Mashed Potato Christmas Tree

I'm nesting my new abode and it's chilly and rainy. I can see the surrounding mountain ranges from my hilltop. Recent snow is veiled behind billowy clouds. I'm decorating for Christmas, lining shelves, and organizing cupboards. My family laughs at how meticulous I am with shelves and closets. And, I let them laugh. For me, peace of mind is achieved just as much by what I cannot see.

I find myself craving creature comforts — hot chocolate, mashed potatoes, and crockpot meals. I am very close to having my kitchen ready to make some magic!

This evening, I will be catching up on all of my blog visits. Moving derailed my routine, but I'm getting my wheels back on track. Look for me!

GOOD NEWS!

This is my 400th post! I will be posting a special Pre-Christmas Giveaway tomorrow! So, be sure to stop by!

Dec 10, 2008

"Whet" Wednesday

I've been seeing the usual seasonal fruitcakes emerging. I enjoy seeing fruitcake used in traditional Christmas illustrations. Nonetheless, if I can be candid for a moment, I appreciate the eye appeal of fruitcake far more than it's flavor. I don't despise it. I just don't crave it or derive pleasure from eating it. It doesn't "whet" my appetite.

The word "whet" seemed like a flavorful way to launch this post...

Pronunciation: \ˈhwet, ˈwet\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s):whet·ted; whet·ting
Etymology: Middle English whetten, from Old English hwettan; akin to Old High German wezzen to whet, waz sharp
Date: before 12th century
1 : to sharpen by rubbing on or with something (as a stone)
2 : to make keen or more acute : excite , stimulate — whet·ter noun

So, what is "whetting" my appetite today? With festive baking permeating our thoughts and kitchens, I find myself—as usual—focusing on authenticity. Pure vanilla extract came to mind. I grew up with imitation vanilla in our pantry and frankly didn't care. Then I discovered pure, premium vanilla extract. For me, it's akin to the difference between French Press coffee and percolated and/or drip preparations.
The people at Nielsen-Massey Vanilla's share this history of vanilla on their website.
Vanilla, the (really) early years... It is the ancient Totonaco Indians of Mexico who were the first keepers of the secrets of vanilla. When they were defeated by the Aztecs, they were demanded to relinquish their exotic fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine, vanilla pods. When, in turn, the Aztecs were defeated by the conquering Spaniard, Hernando Cortez, he returned to Spain with the precious plunder - vanilla beans - which were combined with cacao to make an unusual and pleasing drink. For eighty years, this special beverage was only enjoyed by the nobility and the very rich. Then, in 1602, Hugh Morgan, apothecary to Queen Elizabeth I, suggested that vanilla could be used as a flavoring all by itself, and the versatility of the exotic bean was finally uncovered.

The distinctive difference in Nielsen-Massey Vanilla's is that they take weeks to cold press their products as opposed to the 3-day mass produced vanilla that we are accustomed to. They understand that quality supersedes greed. Their product line includes extracts in these tantalizing bursts of flavor: Pure Coffee, Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Chocolate, Orange Blossom, and Rose Water. For quick trips to the exotic, try Mexican Pure Vanilla, Tahitian Pure Vanilla, or Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla. If you are not already tempted, how about adding Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar to select beverages?

These products are not available directly from this company's website; however, Trader Joes, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, and The Baker's Catalogue all carry a variety of their products.

I'm excited that Sur La Table is one of the partners featured at my ONLINE SHOPPING PORTAL! Simply click >>
HERE << style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(153, 102, 51);">Sur La Table. You will be enjoying these wonderful products and I will be elated that you linked through my website!

Dec 5, 2008

Shop Smart

Hey, before you shop 'til you drop, don't forget my shopping portal! All of your favorite stores can be accessed through the convenience of my site and my family will benefit from everything you purchase! See my SHOP WITH KJ website for more information and links. Or click on the SANTA in my top right sidebar. Be sure to bookmark the link! :-D

Also, CRATE & BARREL has an online outlet. The photos in this post represent the bargains being featured right now on their website. Click HERE.

UPDATE: The move is complete! Yes! Now, I take on the task of unpacking and nesting. This home is so full of light. It's so cheerful! I will be visiting y'all in the next few days.

Dec 3, 2008

I HAVE MOVED!

HELLO DEAR FRIENDS!

I am not AWOL. I have actually made a huge move from one home to another. Today is our last official day at the old address. We are scrambling to get the garage cleared out and a kitchen (that has suffered the ravages of moving) cleaned. I have phoned Mary Poppins several times and she is NOT returning my calls. So, it looks as if I will be getting up close and personal with a nasty looking kitchen...on my own. As you can imagine, I would rather be nesting my new, sweet little abode.

I am currently borrowing internet from the surrounding homes. Tonight I will be changing servers and setting up my new email account. So, don't worry if an email is returned. I can't wait to get back to my blog visits and comments!

Thanks for your patience! And, don't forget to check out the "What's on Page 56?" challenge just one post down.

Nov 30, 2008

What's on page 56?



Rules:

  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
My Submission

"We beheld it with awe and wonder, and thought we heard no words from above, we said in our hearts 'Glory to God in the highest.'"
-Rufus M. Jones
as quoted in Morrrow's "The Joys of Christmas"

Nov 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night."
-Irving Berlin

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
-H.U. Westermayer

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?"
-George Canning

"If you count all your assets, you always show a profit."
-Robert Quillen

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
-W.T. Purkiser

"Thanksgiving is nothing if not a glad and reverent lifting of the heart to God in honor and praise for His goodness."
-Robert Casper Lintner

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?"
-William A. Ward

Nov 24, 2008

More Gratitude

As we approach another Thanksgiving, much of my gratitude is centered on still being able to enjoy the company of my parents. Barry, my hubby, has already lost his parents as have many of my friends. And, I know quite a few people who are having to watch their parents fade into the grips of Alzheimer's Disease.

Karen of Artful Journey lost her mother to Alzheimer's on May 22, 2006. In July of 2008, Karen poignantly blogged about the summer before her mom passed away. Her mother spent hours crouched beneath the hot Sacramento sun, creating "little portraits of nature" in the garden. Using nature's castoffs, her mother would artfully organize objects while ignoring her own physical needs and infringing on the living spaces of her family. Karen's epiphany came when she was able to appreciate the beauty of what her mother felt compelled to create.

Read Karen's poignant post HERE.
Watch a movie compilation of the artwork HERE.

Urgent Prayer Request


Please pray for my Nigerian friends, Godwill, his wife Tina, and their children. (We attend La Palma Christian Center together.) On Sunday morning, their 18-month-old son stopped breathing and the paramedics were unable to resuscitate him. The family's last 2 children were born after a series of miscarriages, so you can imagine how even more devastating this is. Your prayers will be such an encouragement to them!

Best Blessings, KJ

Nov 21, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

Every year it seems, the Christmas season encroaches a little bit more on Thanksgiving. It would be wonderful if the reasons were strictly spiritual, but we all recognize the momentum to be primarily commercial. Advertisers are so focused on Black Friday that Thanksgiving has become more of a lavish meal to fuel the energy of Friday's early risers.

Well, not so in my home. Surrounded by a world that seems to be misplacing values and, in some cases, bent on destroying the foundations of our Faith, Thanksgiving becomes more meaningful with each passing year.

I find myself taking less for granted and appreciating the grace and goodness that has been bestowed upon me by our Heavenly Father. I'm making time to absorb and observe my surroundings and those I love. I find myself embracing now and rushing less, knowing that a spent day will never exist for me again.

I confess that I intentionally oversleep on Friday and steer clear of malls. If I shop at all, I go to small boutiques and quaint independent stores with small town charm.

As it happens, I will be packing and moving over Thanksgiving weekend into a home that I fervently prayed for over a year and a half ago. I recall going into that prospective neighborhood one morning around 3:00 just to drive and pray. Although that door closed and we moved instead to our present address, that prayer was answered 4 weeks ago when the owner called and invited us to move in. But God... Another example of how delay is not always denial.

Nov 19, 2008

Today's Bouquets

McCall's Magazine - December 1916

"Some people say that motivation does not always last. Well, neither does bathing — that's why we recommend it daily." -Zig Ziglar

Much ado about To-Do!
  • Tuesday evening, I was privileged to play the part of the wild and kooky auctioneer for Lakewood Aglow's Prison Ministry Auction. I began doing this years ago and somehow (this is a shocker), my theatrical side slipped in. The audience donates gifts that they essentially buy back as I use zany personalities to keep them laughing and writing checks. We were pretty medicated with laughter and raised almost $1000.00! Hallelujah!
  • I am packing for a move, building a business, creating a business blog, and taking over the leadership of a ministry at church. Please bear with me during this balancing act. Gladly, we will be in our new abode at the end of this month: just in time for Christmas decorating!

Nov 16, 2008

Designer Original


Thanks to Beverly of Tea Time and Roses for inspiring me to post this!

D E S I G N E R

O R I G I N A L

Fashioning you, molding you,
designing you, refining you, and perfecting you.
Since the moment before the foundation of the earth,
when He first thought of you!
He gave you your own personality,
your own abilities,
your own set of spiritual gifts,
and your own identity in Christ Jesus
so that you and you alone might
praise the way you praise,
give what you give,
minister like you minister,
and love like you love!

from the "Thou Art Loosed" devotional

Click HERE to see the Spiritual Sunday posts of others.

Nov 15, 2008

Fires!

This photo was taken in my backyard, looking east toward Yorba Linda, CA. This was shortly before the Anaheim Hills fire broke out.

In the past decade, California has been torched with wildfires in the fall. Our dry, hot weather, even this far into November, creates perfect fire conditions. Each season, the fires worsen and arson is on the rise. It is sickening to think that there are arsonists sitting in front of their televisions right now, exhilarated by the power of destruction. In their demented thinking, these fire conditions represent supreme recreation.

Here is another view from my backyard as flames began to rage in Anaheim Hills.

I am not far from the fires. I live in La Habra, right next to Fullerton and Brea. In Orange County, there are fires in Yorba Linda, Brea, Corona, and Anaheim Hills. It is only 3:00 PM and the sun is blocked by billows of smoke and ash. One would think that we are at war. Thick clouds of smoke are spilling over the 241 and 91 freeways. People are abandoning their cars.

This was taken in my front yard a couple of hours ago. The sun is overshadowed by smoke.

There are other fires up north in Montecito and Sylmar. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. PLEASE PRAY!

Nov 11, 2008

Tea for Tuesday


Autumn, for a brief spell, has stopped playing hooky in Southern California. Early this morning, I relished the tactile sensation of cold pavement beneath my bare feet. Don't laugh. The temperatures may be steadily dropping where you are, but not in California. We are teetering between cool nights and warm, dry days. In fact, our weather report is promising even more heat for this weekend. Ugh!

Today is a perfect tea sipping day and I have selected a delectable treat. I was inspired by the Pear Custard Gingerbread Cake featured on Matthew Mead's website. There are 4 cakes in all, each made in a Chicago Metallic Maryann Cake Pan. Much of Matthew's site requires a subscription (inexpensive), which I highly recommend: however, there is plenty of free inspiration. His cakes begin with a basic boxed cake mix which makes baking a breeze.

Nov 6, 2008

The First Blogger and Almighty God

[This post was written earlier this week; however, it really has been the pool of my reflection throughout this week. I hope it resonates with you as well.]

Moses plugging into the God of the cyber-verse.

I've been wrapped up in Election matters this week. I even volunteered to assist a local Republican Headquarters. For me, this race was totally about resumé and the experience needed to lead a country in tumultuous times. I sincerely don't believe that we can afford on-the-job training right now. And, I am concerned that there will be a price to pay.

However, I thank my dear friend Beverly of Teatime and Roses. We had a deep heart to heart via telephone. We have both agreed to pray for God's wisdom over this historical election and our new President-Elect Obama. The significance of seeing an African-American take a leading role in our country is not lost on me. I celebrate a country that has made equality possible through the blood and sacrifices of multitudes of men and women.

God is still on the throne and whether we see it or not, He is in control and working things together for good. He is bigger than the kings of this world and he is larger than our fears. We are vowing to pray during these next 4 years like we have never prayed before.

This is a wake up call for conservatives and those to whom we have entrusted with power. The Republican Party needs to clean house and get back to the core values that drive our platform. And, the Body of Christ must resolve to be a brighter beacon in an ever darkening world.

For more Spiritual Sunday posts, click HERE.

HUGS, KJ

Nov 2, 2008

Your Spare Moments

"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oct 31, 2008

53 Days 'Til Christmas

Here's Kajumi with her black cat, wishing you an EXTRAordinary day! We are on the last day of October and Christmas is just 53 days away! Yikes!

Christmas Shopping Online!

I found a website called FreeShipping.org. It is a virtual goldmine for retrieving shipping deals on most of your favorite stores. As you prepare to Christmas shop online, this site is a must! However, after locating your shipping deals, if you would link to your merchants through my shopping portal, I will be eternally grateful! You will be saving $$$ and my family will receive a percentage back on ALL of your shopping!!!

Click HERE for FreeShipping.org
Click HERE to go to my website

Oct 30, 2008

Spiriitual Sundays - Chuck Colson

Re-Ordered Priorities - Turning Back to God
By Chuck Colson, October 31, 2008

It sounds like the storyline of an old Frank Capra film—You Can’t Take It With You, or maybe Meet John Doe.


The story is one of economic collapse, followed by a reassessment of values. People gather in their churches for prayer and pastoral guidance. As the economy worsens and soup lines form, people begin finding ways to help needier neighbors—and telling their children to earn some money if they want the latest toy.

But the story springs, not from an old movie, but from a modern neighborhood, and it is told in, of all places, the Washington Post. Staff writer Donna St. George spoke with local citizens who say the economic meltdown has led them to re-order their priorities.

Among them is Kerri Wright Platais of Garrett Park, Maryland. Platais, the mother of two children, says that she has been listening to conversations in the neighborhood, at church, and near the grassy fields where her children play the games of autumn.

As she told the Post, as the economy melts down, she’s hearing people ask themselves “about life’s larger priorities—about what is important and why.”

“We have to go back to the things that are really important,” Platais explained—“people and relationships, and … love, and your faith, and your neighbors.

”Platais told St. George that her neighbors are recalling the hardships endured by their parents and grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression and World War II and learned the meaning of sacrifice. Her own generation has never been called on to make these kinds of sacrifices but, Platais notes, the economic downturn “is a reality call to get back to the basics.

”I’m old enough to remember it—the sacrifices my family experienced in the Depression and World War II. I can’t ever remember anyone complaining. We were too busy helping neighbors who were worse off than we were.

St. George also found that, at local churches and synagogues, clergy are now retooling their messages to address the spiritual needs brought on by the economic downturn—and retooling their kitchens to keep up with the suddenly long lines at church food banks.

Well, hallelujah! I have prayed for years that God would do something to get our attention, to shake the Church, so that we would repent of buying into the consumerist culture and ignoring our call to be salt and light in the world. And if it meant an economic slowdown, well, painful though it is for all of us—myself included—we can thank God He may use it for that purpose.

This little story in the Post is a parable of the times, a sign of what is redeeming about hard times. The bad economy is driving people to back to the Church, back to thinking about more important things than the color of their new car.

And as God is tearing down these false idols, we are seeing healthy signs of renewed spiritual yearnings. You and I ought to take advantage of this with our neighbors, who may be willing for the first time to talk about the faith that sustains us. Be sure to find sensitive ways to be a blessing to them—both physically and spiritually.

And while you’re at it—perhaps after you finish planting your own vegetables—rent one or two of those old Frank Capra movies, films that taught Americans how to trust God and love their neighbor even in the toughest of times.

Click HERE to see the Spiritual Sunday posts of others.

Oct 29, 2008

We Never Know...

Leigh Chan Kay, my church's roving photo journalist, snapped this picture during a gathering at the Platt's 2007 4th of July party. The 2 ladies at the end of the table are Linda Platt (left) and Antoinette Puglia (right) alias Maude or Mama Puglia. Here they are, side by side, not knowing that very soon they would be making their journey to heaven. What a homecoming that must have been and what remarkable ladies!

Oct 27, 2008

At Home with Kajumi

It began with Facebook. Karen, my pastor's wife, recently invited me to join and I did so reluctantly. To my delight, I began to enjoy the hookups with church and biological family, as well as friends past and present.

LET THE GAMES BEGIN! There is no shortage of applications on Facebook! I immediately received requests for SuperPokes, little cyberspace gifts, pillow fights, interactive farms, various causes, and games. I even designed, RetroBliss, a gift application. Balance became a key objective.

Kajumi's Master Suite

Well, I was minding my own business when young and playful Autumn R. invited me to participate in Pet Society. Since Nano Pets had arrived on the scene after I was an adult, I seized the opportunity to create a surreal little creature that would take it's life from me (or take the life out of me.) I named my pet Kajumi, short for Karen June Miller. She arrived with just enough in her closet and trunk to sustain her for a few of days. The rest was up to me. To ward off flies, I established a feeding, bathing, and exercise schedule; and I began to decorate her ever expanding nest. I was in control.

Kujumi Smiling for the Camera

I invited Lela to play. Lela and I are both 50 years old. I reserved a house in the neighborhood and her new pet, Pinkie, slipped into our Pet Society life with grace and loveliness. I continued to calmly accumulate coins, belongings, and points. I was winning trophies and easily passing the status of my neighbors. I was ahead by a substantial margin. I was in control.


Then, I logged in to perform daily maintenance and Pinkie, who had just been several hundred points behind me, was now well in the lead. I was amused that Pinkie was beginning to dress like Kajumi. After a moment of silence, I prompted Kajumi to quickly begin skipping rope, visiting friends, jumping hurdles, and sending gifts, all in an effort to regain her standing. I WAS IN CONTROL.

Pinkie (left) & Kajumi (right)

My next visit to Kajumi showed me once again that Pinkie was not the passive little pet that I had assumed her to be. My plans to blog were waylaid, and suddenly I was compelled to make even larger strides to create distance between Pinkie and Kajumi. I began to borrow sugar and share food: two strategies that I devised to stay on top. I was checking Pet Society more often and monitoring the activity of other pets. Yes, I had become competitive! I WAS NOT IN CONTROL!


Then reality slapped me on the side of my head. I had watched my sons compete intensely with all of their electronic gadgetry, telling myself that I could truly play a game just for the fun of it. It wasn't important if I won or not. It was just a game after all. And, here I was at 50 years old, frolicking with virtual pets and chalking up points as if my life depended upon it. Uh, excuse me while I check up on Pinkie...

Oct 26, 2008

Today's Bouquets

Good Housekeeping - September 1925

The theme of this post is change. I found my name on the sign-up sheet and I frankly don't recall putting it there.
  • Due to financial pressures, my daughter and her fiance are postponing their wedding until March of 2009. It was originally slated for January. Thankfully, this will involve minimal adjustments, a breather, and more time to meet goals.
  • A home that we had desired—before moving to our present location—has become available. The owner contacted us first. We met at St. Arbucks yesterday to discuss the logistics. We will be moving in around December 3rd. One fabulous feature is new wood flooring throughout the home. Good-bye allergies!
NOTE: The above vintage magazine cover reminds me of how fleeting moments can be. My daughter is now 21 and it truly feels like these years have been a vapor. I can still feel her breath against my neck and chest as we napped together, her tiny body lying lengthwise across my torso.

Spiritual Sundays - Humbling Ourselves

My childhood understanding of consequences carried with it a negative connotation. I thought consequences were always the natural results of wrong choices. Years later, I realized that consequences were good or bad, and sometimes even a bittersweet mixture. For instance, I once needed to address an inappropriate situation within a ministry. The consequences entailed my family leaving for a much healthier church environment; but it was 2 years before a specific friend would speak to me again.

The behavioral model in our home is "Choose a behavior, choose a consequence." As I explain to my children, this is a truth that will shape the coarse of their lives and even the destiny of a nation. Ronald Reagan illuminated 2 Chronicles 7:14 in one of his eloquent speeches. It was indelible to me. I also find it interesting that the number 7, the Biblical number for completion, is included in the scripture's address 3 times: once by itself and then doubled.

With our economy and political future teetering in the balance, I believe we can once again use this passage to very possibly alter what the media is prophesying over us. If we will just humble ourselves...

2 Chronicles 7:14 (New King James Version) 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (Amplified Bible) 14 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (The Message) 12-14 God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, "I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I'll be there ready for you: I'll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.

Click HERE to see the Spiritual Sunday posts of others.

Oct 24, 2008

"Donut Sound Good" Friday

With 2 funerals behind me, some excitement over my online business gaining momentum, and a ridiculous To-Do list , I'm ready to get back to blogging. I have missed my daily blog rituals and visits, and I have much to share. Thanks to all of YOU for your patience!

My sons and I have begun to reward ourselves with donuts on Fridays. Hence, the name of this post. It still feels like Arabia here. I'm strongly considering the purchase of a camel. It's dry, hot and windy. Fall is playing hooky!

Miss Shabby of Shabby in the City provided the above recipe today. If you have a moment, stop by and wish her well. She is enduring poison oak on her face due to a bonfire! I never even knew that was possible. She is one itchy twitchy gal right now.

Oct 20, 2008

Eggnog Cheesecake - Victoria Magazine


My milkman husband, Barry, delivers Alta Dena Dairy products. Their eggnog is touted as one of the best. I'm not a Nog-aholic like my husband, but I do enjoy an occasional glass. I often add it to my coffee or treat myself to eggnog flavored treats.

Now, Hungry Girl from the website by the same name, gave a less than radiant review of this eggnog (December 2006) which focused mainly on it's lofty calorie content. She called it a "nasty nog" and recommended No-Nonsense Nog or Vitasoy with Holly Nog. At this point, it's appropriate for me to borrow one of Hungry Girl's Eeeek's!

C'mon, eggnog is in the dairy case once a year. If we enjoy the real deal, why should we have to imbibe a counterfeit in the name of calorie phobic party poopers? In moderation, most anything can be enjoyed.
I feel the same way about sugar. I don't want chemically engineered impostors. I would rather do without.

Click on the photo or the photo's caption to obtain the recipe for the Eggnog Cheesecake.

NOTE:
Gabriella Delworth visited my blog today. She is a bit of a celebrity in Toronto, Canada. Click HERE to see her appearance on Breakfast Television. She is demonstrating creative ideas for "green" gift wrapping. Also, you may access her blog HERE for free tutorials.