Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Girl Has Got To Do, What A Girl Has Got To Do

What is it in a woman that makes her have the need to move furniture around? Rearrange it, oh, maybe once a year. I must confess I am just one of those "kinds"of women. There probably is a physiological term or syndrome for this. If so I have it big time.
I was just sitting there this morning after my quite- time and sipping my third cuppa-o-jo and it came to me....yes, the urge to change the arrangement of my living room. Maybe it was the caffeine talking but I just; couldn’t deny the impulse to get up and start the procedure.
Mind you there are a series of steps that are involved in tackling the job by oneself. There is propping up (which takes considerable amount of strength) to move the huge Oriental rug, then the need to balance out the lighting system. I like to make sure that the view out the windows is at its most effective position. When its summer I want to make sure I can enjoy my window boxes inside as well. Then I must think about my husband and his chair and make sure he will be happy; After all he resides here too. I like to have a nice flow in and through and around too.
Half way into the foolishness; I find myself talking out loud; "Self, what the heck were you thinking. You not only will need to clean and wipe down all the new spaces but you probably will need a chiropractor besides”. Then after a couple of miss-tries and working up a sweat I sit back and take it all in and hope I like it and if I don't then I say to myself, “give it a couple of days" Then I walk away from it with my fingers crossed, convincing myself this is the best way ever.; But if Larry doesn't like I will put it all back...with his help of-course...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Gringos and a Dog

I was too exhausted to be excited when the voice over the intercom informed us that we would soon be landing in Lisbon. My head was still stuck in packing mode and fare wells and the mixture of all sorts of, "what if's", to even care. The fact that there was “no turning back” was now a reality as I stepped into the unknown trying not to act lost.
My first concern was to see if and how our beloved cocker spaniel had survived the trip, when much to my surprise, I heard her above all the noises of the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal and long line at the custom booths. I could hear her barking with the anxiety level that signaled stress! We followed her frantic sounds toward the direction of the luggage conveyer belt where she (in a now up side kennel) circled around almost teetering off. Needless to say she was drawing a crowd. Later I came to understand why; besides the noise factor echoing throughout terminal from our pooch; pure bred dogs were a novelty and domestic animals were not exactly the norm in the Portuguese culture, unless they were a working canine. Hunting, herding, and guarding were common but it was a rarity to see dogs come through as luggage. Divine providence though,

after of all the ruckus caused by our pooch, it helped in expediting the cranky canine's release as well as our own. So they waved our entire luggage through manual inspection enabling us to make our way towards the exit doors and fresh air without any delay.
So there we stood, like the proverbial foreigners that we were, trying to see if anyone looked like a missionary and designated driver. We had not met him so we were clueless as to what he looked like and hoped he would figure out who we were.
And he did, and with no problem at all, why you might ask, as much as I pride myself in couture we definitely stood out amongst the European people, three gringos dressed in pastel colors and a dog. And, note to self,the weather in the month of April is anything but warm. We were freezing!
…thus began the first day of the next twenty-four years of our lives in the country of Portugal...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rustic Peach Cake,

1 cup a.p. flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Mix until light:
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
8 T unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs
2 T sour cream (or whole milk)
1 t vanilla extract

Then add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix on low until just combined. Pour into greased and floured cake pan.

For peaches:
peel, pit and slice 2 medium peaches and toss with 1/4 c sugar and 1/2 t cinnamon then arrange in a circular pattern around the edge and in the middle of cake.
(*Tip: scattering some chopped, dried apricots or peaches over the batter before arranging the fresh peaches on top will soak up the excess peach juice and eliminate a soggy cake top, but this is kind of fancy and is optional.)

Bake @ 350 for about 35-40 min. I used a 9-in cake pan, but you could use a spring-form or any kind of cake pan for this.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Once upon a time, there was this Princess dog named Sofie Marie. Like most princesses she had everything her Royal Highnie would ever desire.  A mistress that loved her very much.  Both sets of Grand- mistresses that did too.  All her canine cousins of her kingdom regarded her as the fairest in the land. Her dear, little sister, Princess Victoria Josephine, loved her most of all..
She was always groomed with the latest of "foo-foo" style.  Had many of the o' couture, canine fashions. The most wonderful yard and forest to explore and rocks to climb.  Oh, and squeaky toys and tiny tennis balls .  Her bed was of the finest fleece and animal- printed coordinating duvet where she would slumber all day and early in the cold winter nights. In the summer she enjoyed long boat rides on a beautiful mountain lake...she loved pointing her noise to the wind and barking out greetings to Mr. and Mrs. Loon or at the other dogs that came from the city to spend the summer in her kingdom. One would think that she didn't need anything at all.  For hunger and thirst were never present in her life she had more then enough of all the comfort and love from one and all. 
   Ah, but there was one thing that she most wanted and it was forbidden territory and highly frowned upon for such a fair princess to even THINK about such a place. This place was called, "Le'Gar-Bage".  Oh, but the temptation at times was so great yes, even this princess who lacked nothing, would find herself drawn to it's tempting aromas.  She didn't care if she would dirty herself with the grease and grim and stinky things. She didn't care if she would drive  her Mistress to despair, no, all she cared about was to be able to dig and hunt and tear and spread anything and everything all over the floor.  To her it was so much fun and and so delicious she did not stop to think of what would or could happen.  This was so unbecoming for Princess and a very hard lesson her majesty to learn and obey.
One chilly, autumn, night the Mistress and her husband decided to get in the white chariot with wheels and journey to
her most favorite grand people of all. Victoria Josephine came too but Sofie Marie knew she was the favorite and decided to spend most of her time one of their laps.
Sofie Marie and Victoria Josephine, raced into the house.  They did their usual greetings throughout the house setting up a ruckus as usual too.   
 Princess Sofie claimed her favorite spot which was on Grand-masters lap.  The mistress and her little sister spent their time with Grand-mistress.
Unbeknown-st to everyone else Sofie decided to sneak into the kitchen to where the beloved Le'Gar-bage was kept.
Her highly bred princess nose began to search for something delectable to eat.  And she found it!
She ate and ate tore and tore until her royal belly was as round as could be.
Now the Mistress took one look at her and knew that that royal belly was a bit too round and the foo foo beard a bit too greasy and followed the trail to the mess. After a scolding and a quick washing of her mouth they went home and settled down for the night.
Well everyone but the the Princess Sofie Marie, for her stomach began to rumble and rumble and gurgle and gurgle...and she felt sick all over. Day after day for four days later her royal highnie was not well.
It was then decided that she must go to the hospital and the Doctor Vet. hooked her up to an I.V. because after he took her X-ray they saw that that royal round belly was stopped up with a CORN COB....this was corking up the Princess royal intestines.  Doctor Vet. scolded the princess too and and after two days and nights and the threat of surgery...Sofie Marie the Princess dog was finally feeling her self again.
Now every one in the kingdom hopes that Sofie Marie will have learned her lesson that Le' Gar-bage' is not the place to find food...
and she and her little sister lived happily ever after. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gimpy, Our Fine Feathered Friend...

Poor Gimpy...he flew into my sliding glass door and popped his eye. He was probably stunned for a while but managed to shake it off and fly away.

We didn't see where he went but a few days later we notice this comical, feather-ruffled up the side of his face and flying like he had one to many, guy again. He came in too close and missed the bird feeder and for a second the Min Pin captured him in his paws. We screamed and the canine let him go.

Gimpy is using his wings well enough but

his landing skills are just a shade off. He can land on the tree limbs okay but on the wrong side of them and hangs upside down dangling there for a few moments until he gets his bearings. We watch with our breaths held and sort of encouraging him on… you can do it, Gimpy!!!!
He is fearless despite the fact that he is handicapped, he doesn't give up even when the regular/normal purple finches push him around. We get quite a few finches in our yard, golden ones, and house finches and this beautiful, purple variety. As soon as they all come to eat we finally see him bringing up the end of the flock dear ole one-eyed Gimpy flying as straight as S's and M’s. He fly's up and down and back and forth and hangs there till he knows he is at the right feeder and eats as good as the others. It is awfully amusing and we look forward each day for his arrival because then we know he hasn't falling in the hands of a larger the neighbors big black cat.
So, Gimpy, we are sorry about your accident and do take some of the blame for having such a clean window…but you put a smile on our face and keep us entertained for a while and now days that can be a rare thing. So, hang in there, pardon the pun, since we like to see your tenacity.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

.. trip to the Denist..

So, my daughter and I had hit some considerable traffic on our way to the dentist yesterday. When out of nowhere a spider decides to descend almost touching my nose

Well I yelled just like the kid in the movie, ”Home Alone”. And my brave daughter tries to save me by grabbing Charlotte in a receipt she held (to prevent herself from touching the itsy bitsy spider) unsuccessfully, I might add. I started blowing and blowing and all that did was cause her to swing back and forth and even closer to my face.
So I am screaming “should I pull over, should I pull over… My daughter is saying Mom calm down…
Well, the spider disappears somewhere between my legs and all I could do is swishing my legs back and forth and when I could stomp I would.
End of story we made it to the Dentist in plenty of time and I don’t know what happened to Charlotte.

But we are fine,

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Lilly Pulitzer" Crystal Dress at Lilly Pulitzer

"Lilly Pulitzer" Crystal Dress at Lilly Pulitzer


For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9

Sunday, June 5, 2011

...BE Patient...

So how does it happen? When you have every intention to be a success and all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted…but somehow the door to temptation is left open or stuck or whatever the reason and what you never wanted to happen, happens. And you say, I always thought this couldn’t happen to me or why ME????
So, what do you do…some 12 step check off list that some Shrink came up with? Do you run and hide and hope it just goes away. Maybe you play the blame game and come up with all kinds of excuses for it being someone else’s responsibility.
I do know what works for me…tell yourself not to PANIC. Ask for PRAYER from people you trust and that love.. Seek that PEACE that passes all understanding…and then be PATIENT… waiting on the Lord and claim His Promises.
He (if you are His child) has a purpose for you. And He promises never to leave you or forsake you!!!! I know I have been there this is quite accurate and undeniable true!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Time to Party!!

Party Pinwheels
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: MADDIES MOM
Photo By: JenInCalifornia
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Ready In: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: 15
"It's easy to make lots and lots of these cream-cheese-based rounds: Simply use extra-large tortillas and roll them up with the smooth and crunchy filling. "
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
2 green onions, minced
4 (12 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, ranch dressing mix, and green onions. Spread this mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle red pepper, celery, black olives, and cheese (if you'd like) over the cream cheese mixture. Roll up the tortillas, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil.
2. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Cut off ends of the rolls, and slice the chilled rolls into 1 inch slices.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time to practice what we preach...

Have you ever experienced a situation in which one person’s words or a group of people’s words brought God’s work to a sudden stop?
All too often the church becomes a breeding ground for grumbling and gossiping.  Church members have very specific ideas about how a church should be run:  contemporary music vs. traditional music, choir robes vs. street clothes, seeker-sensitive vs. discipleship of believers.  Before you know it, the journey to the Promised Land comes to a halt.
What are some ways that you can bring peace to a potentially volatile situation?
How can you use your words today to encourage the leadership of your church?
Consider writing a note or an e-mail of encouragement to someone in ministry who has blessed you.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Care to comment???

Dyslexia is an inherited condition. Researchers have determined that a gene on the short arm of chromosome #6 is responsible for dyslexia. That gene is dominant, making dyslexia highly heritable. It definitely runs in families.
Dyslexia results from a neurological difference; that is, a brain difference. People with dyslexia have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right-side of the brain, such as artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts; 3-D visualization ability; musical talent; creative problem solving skills; and intuitive people skills.
In addition to unique brain architecture, people with dyslexia have unusual "wiring". Neurons are found in unusual places in the brain, and are not as neatly ordered as in non-dyslexic brains.
In addition to unique brain architecture and unusual wiring, f/MRI studies have shown that people with dyslexia do not use the same part of their brain when reading as other people. Regular readers consistently use the same part of their brain when they read. People with dyslexia do not use that part of their brain, and there appears to be no consistent part used among dyslexic readers.
It is therefore assumed that people with dyslexia are not using the most efficient part of their brain when they read. A different part of their brain has taken over that function.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who let the dog out...

Lethargic…this is what the Veterinarian said to look for after our Min. Pin (small dog about 12 pounds), had just spent almost 48 hours running at both ends. And the Doc. was worried about LETHARGIC signs….just saying the word causes the effect, lethargic, lethargic, and lethargic. Hey wait, that sounds more like I feel!  After 24 hours(all night long too)of trying to get to the door on time and running out of dog towels and washing and drying more and picking up all Oriental rugs and blocking off all the entrance ways to the rugs I couldn’t move.  My little Green Machine worked over time and so did the canine’s digestive track.  The best description of what was going on for all you culinary people was ketchup out the back and mustard out the front, and the dog in the middle.
Telling myself, BLOT the rug! Don’t rub!  Although I am very happy after the subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics finally took an effect sometime late last night or should I say the beginning of day four, and although-it was absolutely crucial to do our most for the beloved pooch,  I am the one who is sluggish, tired, weary, lacking of luster, languid,(?) and just downright exhausted.
All medicines have been poked down and special bland diet prepared, this creature, I just have to say it, is dog tired…
P.S. We love you Torre Jo and would do it all over again because  just as the vet described you in your chart, you, are a very sweet girl and your weakened high –fives paw shake tells me you are going to be alright.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bar Codes....

690-692 ... then it is MADE IN  CHINA
00 - 09
...   USA   &  CANADA
30 - 37
...   FRANCE
40 - 44 ...   GERMANY
471  ...  Taiwan
50 ..   UK

USA & CANADIAN MADE by watching for "0" at the beginning of the number.
We need every boost we can get!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

To home-school ....or not...this is the question.

Two home-schooled Mis. Kids on furlough
The other day on one the news networks they reported how popular homeschooling has become in our nation. Two out of the three reasons highly rated home schooling. The least, of the ratings, was a social one.  Children that are home-schooled lack in social skills. It sounds too that the home-schooling era has become a culture in and of itself.
 ‘’More than one million American children are schooled by their parents. As their ranks grow, home schoolers are making headlines by winning national spelling bees and excelling at elite universities. The few studies conducted suggest that home-schooled children are academically successful and remarkably well socialized. Yet we still know little about this option to one of society's most essential institutions. Beyond a vague notion of children reading around the kitchen table, we don't know what home schooling looks like from the inside” Princeton University.
Very simply, homeschooling offers an opportunity to have some control over the curriculum taught, including the way it is delivered (how, when, why). Your children are safe from abuse, you know where your children are, whose caring for them and the motive in caring for them. You can create a culture of care, respect and nurture both academically, physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Families grow up all too quickly; this is an opportunity for Mom and Dad to reconstruct their lives around their children rather than around their employer, to focus on goals and interests. The family unit is an intricate, carefully orchestrated, designed God given construct which governments are clueless about, have no interest in and will never be able to nurture or understand.
It is hard work (like myself I was consumed to the point where the rest of my responsibilities as a housewife and Mom took its toll). And a big responsibility providing home education for your children, but that is also the secret and key to homeschooling, you are responsible for your children, and not any other person school or organization. If you don't think this is important find out what God has to say about children and education.
I was home-schooled part of my life out of necessity and not choice.  Deep in the jungles of Brazil schools were void, nada, zip.  When we did come back the USA…and although I was an above average student on the field…I got messed up was trying to fit in yet another culture. First public school system, then American vs. Brazilian then just being around lot of people that wore cloths and spoke English....I suppose all four cultures collided  and as I look back I was quite confused at times.
I am glad that I worked through a lot of those issues and and glad to have experienced growing up in a paradise beyond description... I am fluent in several languages and tend to be flexible to other cultures. Almost opposite of home schooling we did it to survive.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taking time to praise ...

Someone has said that there are 126 psychological experiences all recorded in the Book of Psalms.
It’s the only book, of the bible, that contains every experience of a human being. The Psalms run the psychological range/series/gamut.  Every thought, every impulse,and every emotion that sweeps over the heart is recorded in this book. That is why as we read the Psalms it will always speak to our soul and seems to find just the right chord that responds to our need.
It records deep devotion, and feelings,also the emotions that run high and then low to a point of dejection or a very dark place.
But,unlike the pros out there, it does tell us where we will and can, find the answers and whom/where/ to really take them to...
John Calvin: “They (the Psalms) are the anatomy of all parts of the soul.
Please read:
John 10:10 
John Calvin

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jessie Anna 2005

It’s hard to imagine that it has been 6 years since these high school senior class pictures were taken.  The photographer freaked us out when he photo-shopped my smile into your mouth!!!!  As you can see we choice the braces over my teeth in your mouth, because that is who you were at the time…now you are a senior in collage and on to graduate school.
Jessie Anna: 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Only Psalm...

Simple faith=confidence in God.
This Psalm talks about one of David’s greatest heartaches. A time in his life that was very dark.yet he is living above the storms, shocks, and stresses of life. This psalm has been a good one for me through some dark times too.
V.1 Only God can give salvation through faith.
V.2 He only is my rock and my defense I shall not be moved.
V.3 they the mischievous men, are running over him as a mob runs over a fence, but he says it’s all right if it is God’s will
V. 4 two faced-friends but still if God has permitted it so he would trust him even when they only consult to cast him down.
V.5 my soul waits only upon God; for my expectation is from him. David was truly in prayer because of the word expectation. Praying without ceasing for what truly is best.
V.6 He “only” is my rock
V.7 -8.Only God is my salvation, my glory my strength, my refuge.
V.9 Only God can be trusted because he is not fickle. As soon as we take our eyes off of only him and towards men then is when discouragement, disillusions and disappointments set in.
V.10 Men or material things are undependable….only God.
V.11 Only God has the power to do anything.  He has all the power and He can do anything he wants.
V.12 Only unto thee, O Lord, belongs mercy; for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just a Gentle Reminder...

When you think of promises, you don't want to think of what's broken, of brokenness. It's human nature to want a sure thing and for someone to back up the certainties, guaranteed, no questions asked. But it's just like God to think of the unthinkable, to show us that the impossible is possible, that there is one kind of brokenness that holds everything together and in which promises are kept.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Idea and I Have Already Started A Pair.

    The winter holiday probably has you and your friends dashing all over town to tie-up lots of little details. Take a much-needed breather and give those tired feet a rest with a homemade brown-sugar foot scrub and a pair of cozy Mary-Jane-style house slippers. The scrub will bring softness to overworked feet, and the house slippers will surround your toes in warming comfort.
Sugar Foot Scrub and Slippers
Gather your Friends
Your friends will probably welcome the chance to sneak away from the winter holiday bustle. Invite them to your house to reconnect over these simple holiday craft projects that can make thoughtful homemade gifts. The adorable Homemade House Slippers made from felted wool sweaters may require some light sewing, but if you’re all thumbs with a needle and thread, try your hand at the Brown Sugar Foot Scrub. Use this handy Shopping List for all your project supply needs.
Project 1: Homemade House Slippers
Give old wool sweaters new life in these toasty House Slippers.
  • Step 1: Get Materials: Look no further than your very own closet or a thrift store for a pure wool sweater, blanket, or coat to felt. Tightly-woven, 100% wool works best, so try to shy away from polyester blends. Buy some batting for insulation and a strip of hook and loop tape for the strap. If you love a few details, collect some extra buttons for accents.
  • Step 2: Felt the Wool: Put your 100% wool sweater, blanket, or coat in the washing machine and wash it with a little bit of soap on the longest, hottest wash cycle. Then dry on high heat for as long as possible, but don’t forget to clean your lint filter several times throughout this step. Feel free to have everyone do this step at home before they arrive.
  • Step 3: Cut Patterns: With your felted piece lying flat, trace the outer edges of each of your feet, twice for each foot, and cut out with scissors. These are the “soles” of your slippers, so leave a little bit of room on the outside edge to allow for seams. Cut two of these same-sized pieces from the batting. Then cut two “over-the-toe” pieces and two “strap” pieces.
    Homemade House Slippers
  • Step 4: So Sole-ful: Place one of the soles right side up on a flat surface. Top this piece with another sole lying right side down, and top this with a piece of batting. Using a needle and embroidery thread, whipstitch these three pieces together, or, if you feel like a tighter stitch, use a sewing machine. Leave space near the toe open, with enough room to turn the entire piece right side out. Once the right sides are facing out and the batting in is the middle, use a pen or pencil to shape the batting into place. You won’t have to close the top, since you will do that when you attach the top piece to the sole. Repeat for the other foot.
  • Step 5: Top It Off: Fold the right foot over-the-toe piece in half, right sides touching, so the piece looks like a candy cane. Pin together at the toe and heel, and sew the heel edges together with a gradual curved line. This will start the heel. Next, pin the hooked edge of the “candy cane” to the center of the right foot sole at the toe (the hook should be facing in toward the slipper). Flip the over-the-toe piece inside out, and pin the heel of this piece at the corners at the sole. This shapes the heel of the slipper.
    Tip: To add some decorative reinforcement to the heel of the slipper, cut off the ribbed cuffs of your sweater, trim to fit around the heel and stitch on.
    Using a tight whipstitch, sew together the touching edges of the top piece and the sole. Repeat this process for the left foot pieces.
    Attach the straps across the tops of the two slippers with hook and loop tape and garnish with a button or two. Enjoy and stay warm!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chritmastime Past.

 It's All About the STAR.

Homemade Christmas Fun 2010
What a fantastic five weeks I spent with Ma and Pa, this Christmas season. Wonderful in many ways, but mainly because I felt like that little girl that I was way back in the 50’s. Not long ago I found a letter that I had written to my Grandparents when I was twelve, telling them that I was putting up our tree, so it seems that even at that young age I was allowed to decorate.  I do remember that both my parents would be heavily involved in the production of our Christmas pageant. Ma was usually the costume designer and lead voice in the cantata.  Pa always had a new script to write and show to rehearse and produce.  The whole town would come and the birth of our Savior was portrayed each year to the thousands of natives from up and down the Amazon River and tribes that lived deeper in the jungle.
Obviously, I must have still “believed” in Santa Claus so the tree was very important to us to guide Rudolph to our home deep, deep, in the jungles of Brasil. And then what presents we all would receive.  Recycled wrapping paper (four years at least) and sometimes the gifts seemed a bit familiar as well…yet the thrill and JOY was beyond words and forever engraved in my memory