Friday, November 28, 2008
Last year I made a list of some cheap ideas for Christmas gifts. Rather than get out on Black Friday and spend too much money in all that crowd...try making some gifts.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This is a news report video of one puppy mill. This goes on in every state. Warning...it is hard to stomach and no children should watch this.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Having the energy to get my Thanksgiving cooking done. I started about lunch time and worked on it for about 4 hours. I had to make Broccoli Salad, my Tangy Cheeseballs, a tossed salad, and got the mis en place ready for my Turkey Frame Soup. It doesn't sound like much but it did take me all that time to cut everything up and then get it all cleaned back up. I got it done! And I'm so tired but it's done! I'm just so thankful that I didn't have one of my bad days today.
That our garage project is moving right along. We haven't given up on it.
The Bible. I may have thanked God for this earlier, I can't remember. But God was so good to make sure that we had His Word to read so we can get to know Him better. He worked through thousands of years and lots of history and through many men to get His Word to what we have now. Every word is God breathed and faithful and true. And, in our time and in America, we have many translations to choose from so that we can understand. It's not in olde English any more. And then there are the Study Bibles and/or Study Helps like Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, commentaries, etc. On top of all that, as a Christian I have the Holy Spirit instilled in me to help me to understand and learn and remember the Word. And the Holy Spirit makes the Word personal to us and our situations. So we have no excuse for not reading the greatest book in the world.
The new addition to our family that is due in January. My niece, Jenny, and her husband, Kyle, are expecting a little boy in January. So far, everything is looking good and we thank God for a healthy baby and a healthy mother.
Being able to get together with both our families for Thanksgiving tomorrow. We will meet with the Harris' and their big turkey dinner tomorrow and then my family for Turkey Frame soup on Friday. Then there will be all those leftovers. Believe me, our families cook so much that the tables groan with the weight. We are so blessed. So many won't have family together, or won't want their family together. So many won't have that much food, some may even be starving. Some may not have large homes and warmth and comfortable furniture in order to entertain. We are blessed beyond the best!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The delicious tuna casserole I made for lunch. Dad, Ronnie, Elaine and I ate lunch together and I threw together a tuna casserole that was wonderful! I'm also thankful for the supper my Mother is in my kitchen cooking right now. She brought a whole chicken, fresh collard greens from their garden, bread, cake, tomatoes and some beans. None of it cost a cent! It was given to her and it will be enough for Mom, Dad, Stan, Elaine, Ronnie and I for supper. God is good!
The pretty weather we had today. Yesterday it was gray, cold, windy and spitting rain. But today it was sunny, cold but not too cold.
For my study. I found a wonderful old walnut (real wood) desk that is the perfect size. I'm sitting in a comfortable office chair. I have everything I need at my fingertips and lots of filing cabinet space. I have shelves for my scrapbooking stuff. I'm blessed to have this whole room for my hobbies when so many people are trying to use a laptop on their knees or a closet or a corner in the basement, etc. It's a great blessing.
A couple of years ago I had a fasting sugar test and my sugar dropped too fast and too low and I passed out and went into some type of seizure and they had to take me by ambulance to the hospital. I got alright again as soon as they fed me. But while I was having that whatever it was...I knew I was dying and was going to be with Jesus. I had the best sense of peace and calm and happiness come over me. My Mom had a spell like that too and she said the same thing. What a blessing it is to know that you know that you are going to be with Jesus in Heaven for eternity.
The software that I use to edit photographs and build digital scrapbooking pages. I've found I really love doing it!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Pastor Greg Laurie is the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California. This book was written in 1999 and, at that time, his church was one of the 10 biggest churches in America then. Now they have 15,000 members so it is still considered one of the megachurches in America. Pastor Laurie lost his son, Christopher, this year in a car accident on his way to the church. He was only 33 years old and I'm sure that has been very hard on the Laurie family. I pray for the peace that passes all understanding for Pastor Laurie, his wife, Cathe, and their son Jonathon, Christopher's wife, Brittany, and their daughter, Stella.
Stan and I are looking for a church and I've discussed this in prior postings. I've been studying what a church should be and came across this book at the library. It was really good. Laurie started off with little things. He was born again in 1970 as a young man and within a few weeks was sharing his faith with others. His church started off as a Bible study and slowly built up. He says, "What God requires of us is faithfulness. And if we are 'faithful in the little things,' He will give us more to do in His perfect timing. Scripture reminds us to not despise 'the day of small things'." I'm not sure how I feel about megachurches but I liked Laurie's down-to-earth style in this book. I've seen local pastors mimicking Laurie's style even down to riding Harley Davidson motorcycles.
He talks about the beginning of the church with the Disciples and other Jesus followers. "Two centuries ago a group of believers, led by twelve men armed with little more than the message of the gospel, turned the world completely upside down. This was a relatively small group of believers who began meeting in an obscure upstairs room. They lacked almost every advantage we enjoy today. They didn't have mass media, computer and satellite technology, or stadium rallies. They didn't have the ability to publish their materials or the financial resources to build beautiful cathedrals.
"And yet the church these Christians founded together in the small room upstairs not only survived but flourished. While being attacked spiritually and physically, this small group of men and women spread the message of salvation abroad and performed countless miracles in Christ's name. From every possible perspective - spiritual, historical, political - they left the world a different place from the way they found it."
I've found myself asking why should we go to church? I know better, but it was good to hear it again. "Many people question the validity of the church as an institution. But the church is the only organization that Jesus himself established."
I've found myself in this group: "Or maybe you're among the many Christians in the so-called boomer and buster generations who have grown a bit cynical. You're not so much disappointed with God as you are disappointed with church."
The First Church
And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers. And fear came on every soul. And many wonders and miracles took place through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. And continuing with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they shared food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
These disciples walked in the Spirit (not in the flesh); they kept God's purpose in mind rather than the people's desires; and, acted in God's ways and not their own. Laurie breaks these three things down very well.
Laurie says that his goal is to promote the gospel, help his people grow in Christ and multiply God's work in the world. Unfortunately, numbers have become the measuring tool for some pastors NOT for how many souls are saved but how successful their churches are. And congregations are getting used to a "consumer" experience. Consumers consume which means "it's all about appetite..." Laurie says that some churches are looking at how to market to that appetite. They do market surveys, figure out the demographics, offer programs to attract or keep spiritual consumers. Full service churches. Laurie doesn't denigrate anyone and even sees some benefits to this such as drawing the unsaved into the church, motivating believers to be relevant to people's real needs and caring about others, finding new ways to communicate, being creative and diverse in approaches. But he also points out the dangers. It can take God out of top priority and puts people in top priority. If it becomes people oriented rather than God oriented, it is idolatrous (my words, not Laurie's). God must be first. "God can meet the needs of our generation with or without a lot of spiffy marketing techniques to help Him out. At best they're optional. But what the church can never do without is God's own blueprints."
He says that the first church was a Worshiping church, an Evangelizing church, a Learning church, a Loving church...W.E.L.L. He did a great job explaining this in more detail.
Laurie goes on with much more and I got a lot out of it. I thank God for this book and how it reminded me of what I'm looking for and why I'm looking.
Sheldon Siegel is a native of Chicago but lives in San Francisco. He has been an attorney in private practise for 20 years in corporate and securities law. This is his 6th novel.
This book has a hero named Mike Daley. Daley is an ex-priest attorney who is in practise with his ex-wife, Rosie Fernandez. They have a daughter named Grace. They are still very much in love and spend a lot of time together. The story starts with the rich, politician Prentice Marshall "Skipper" Gates. He is San Francisco's District Attorney and is running for Attorney General. He is married to Natalie and has an adult daughter named Ann who is also ambitious and scheming. Skipper is found asleep in a hotel room with a dead male prostitute handcuffed to the bed. He has not memory of how the prostitute died but he is arrested and being prosecuted by his own office. He calls Mike Daley because he trusts him and Rosie. They take on the case and it's on.
It's a little slow because you get more than halfway through before any clues start showing up. I got a little tired of adding more and more to the "unexplainable" but once it started falling into place it picked up. I really liked Mike Daley and Rosie and the rest of the family. But this book also shows the worst of humanity and I wouldn't recommend it to sensitive people or the young generation. It's just very adult subjects. But, otherwise, I liked the book and would read more of Siegel.
This was one of the books that I finished this weekend. It's the first of Elizabeth George's series of Inspector Lynley mysteries. I got to know Inspector Lynley and his sidekick, Barbara Havers, from the PBS Masterpiece Theatre Mystery series. It peaked my interest so I looked up the first of her books and read it this weekend. Lynley is much like the Masterpiece series except he is blonde and not the black hair of Nathaniel Parker. Otherwise, Parker makes a great Lynley. Havers is described as "stubby, sturdy" and Sharon Small is not dumpy. Small makes a good working-class assistant but she's physically not the Havers of the book.
At the beginning of the book, Havers is unable to work with anyone in CID (Criminal Investigation Division) and has been put on patrol duty in uniform. But they decide to try her with Inspector Lynley on this case. She believes Lynley to be a high class, rich boy snob who sleeps with any female he can get his hands on. She hates him for this. I don't know where she got the idea but she thinks she knows him and despises him so she is not happy when they put her with him. She calls him a "sodding little fop". But she is determined to make it work so she can be back in CID. She really misjudges him but slowly finds this out by the end of the book. Meanwhile we meet her in her home. Her parents are elderly and not all there, if you know what I mean. A brick shy of a load. They dream of traveling and pretend they have been to all the places in their scrapbook albums although they are merely travel brochure pictures. It seems to go back to the death of their son, Tony. He died of Leukemia and there is a veritable shrine in their living room. A life size picture of Tony and framed school reports and drawings he made.
George has a way of taking "The grass is green" and make it sound sinister or grubby or wonderful or disgusting, etc. I.e. she just has a way with words! So she makes poor Havers' life a living hell by describing her home, her parents, her chicken and rice meal, etc.
On the other hand, George makes Lynley's life, his home, his dinner, etc sound so sophisticated and wonderful. Havers watches from afar and is so jealous that she can't stand him. And it hurts her to think the higher-ups think it's safe for Lynley to be working with her...she's too ugly for him to be tempted to sleep with. This hurts her feelings and makes her all the more bitter. Thankfully, by the end of the book, things get much more resolved.
Lynley has been in love with Deborah and was her lover. But she is marrying his friend from college days. A friend that he was driving drunk with one night and there was an accident that caused his friend, Andrew St. James, to be crippled for life. Lynley has always felt guilty about the accident and now Deborah is marrying St. James. It's very hard for him to give up his dreams of Deborah to his best friend. Lynley is at the wedding when Havers has to fetch him to meet about the new case.
William Teys is found decapitated in his barn lying over his dead dog (throat cut). His youngest adult daughter is sitting over the body holding the ax and saying that she did it. Everyone in the village can't believe she would kill her father or her dog. But she is catatonic and can't speak.
Lynley and Havers find out that Teys had been married before and had an older daughter that disappeared. They find out that his wife is not dead but had just run away and never even bothered to get a divorce. This is a shock to her new family. Then they find Gillian, the older daughter, who is living under an assumed name and married with a husband who has no idea. She has a nervous breakdown too. What happened in this family? Who killed Teys? What was going on in this quiet corner of Yorkshire, in this small village, with the villagers and the spooky Keldale Abby?
It's a good read but I have to say, it shows the worst of humankind and I would not recommend it to a younger generation.
*Prevent access to countertops – some dogs and especially cats will jump up on to counters (cats) or pull thing off counters. This is so tempting to pets with the succulent smells of turkey and food. The hot stove and hot items on counters can cause severe burns. Hot burners can also cause tail and hair to catch on fire.
*Safely dispose of the turkey string and foil– the string that wraps or ties turkey's legs is often haphazardly placed aside and found and eaten by dogs and cats. The same danger exists with the plastic turkey wrapper. Ingestion of these indigestible items can require life-saving surgery. Place string, aluminum foil, and turkey wrappers in a secure covered trashcan.
*Take care with the fireplace – many times Thanksgiving is the first of the winterSuede Camel Coat
*Careful with table scraps and food – some dogs and cats deal well with table scraps and others get stick. Small breed dogs can be especially sensitive and develop a disease called pancreatitis. This is especially true with high fat meals. Don't feed your pet the skins to get rid of them. If you feed anything – offer small amounts of vegetables or meat. Many deserts contain chocolate, which pets don't need. Don't feed your pets chocolate.
*No Bones – bones can be dangerous to dogs. Don't feed your dog the bones. If you dispose of them in the trash – make sure the trash is secure from your pet.
*Special care with candles – this is a wonderful occasion to light some beautiful candles. Only do this with the candles are supervised. Never leave the room with a burning candle. PetsStain and Odor Remover
*Beware liquid potpourri – this is another item that is commonly used during the holidays to give the home a wonderful aroma. The liquid potpourri can be very caustic to the gums and throat of ingested. Spray or plug in air fresheners may be a safer alternative.
*In addition, prevent your pet's access to any new cut flowers.
*Wash all bedding and vacuum like crazy. Doing this will also help clean, minimize the hair and make your home smell better.
You can use a 5 gallon bucket, a large cooler, the super large plastic bags, etc. for brining. I don't have room in my refrigerator to hold that large of a container so I keep ice (in plastic bags) or frozen cold packs in the container. Check your ice regularly to make sure you are keeping the turkey cold enough.
Do a Google search for brining solutions. You can add all kinds of things to give you the taste you want such as citrus, spices, onions, garlic, etc. I used Martha Stewart's recipe last year.
Our safety going and coming on this trip. God took care of us and we didn't have any accidents or car trouble.
An adorable little boy we saw at the beach. He was probably 5-7 yrs old and bouncing around with a cardboard box on his back. He came over to talk to me (he saw Persephone and wanted to see her) and we got to ask what his box was all about. It seems his father had used cardboard boxes to make him a "Transformer" outfit and the little boy painted it. He plopped down and the box fell over his little body and he was "transformed" into an army tank. He was so cute and his idea was so cute. We got such a kick out of it. And he was on his was to the indoor pool so he could show other people how he could "transform". God bless that little cutie pie!
Persephone. She went with us on our trip and she is no trouble at all. She travels so well. The boys would travel well too but not little Miss MoneyPenny who is too curious and hyper to take any where. But Sephy went shopping with me and rode in the car and stayed in the camper very well. She did get sick and threw up but it was no problem. She's so little that it's easy to clean up. I gave her some Kaopectate and she was fine. She just cannot eat anything other than her normal dog food and home water. Anything the least bit new and it upsets her system.
Seafood. We ate at Lee's Inlet Kitchen in Murrell's Inlet, SC. We have gone to this restaurant over many years and it was good as usual. Despite the season being over, I was surprised what was still open and what was closed. For instance, the camper's grocery store and coffee shop were closed although the campground was opened and there were plenty of people there. Restaurants were open but souvenir shops were closed, etc. But we ate well and I love good seafood. We also had a great breakfast at the Woodhaven (another goldie oldie for breakfasts) and the IHOP.
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