Thursday, July 29, 2010


Sunday night, when I passed the front door, I could tell that something strange was going on. As with any die-hard blogger, my camera was nearby, so out the door we went.

It was amazing. Everything was gleaming... the sky, the air, the grass, the house...

These pictures are SOOC.

Brilliant sky at sunset... (taken at 9:16:35 pm - facing west)

Again... (taken at 9:17:01 pm - facing west)

Turning around to see the rest of the sky revealed a completely different view. (taken at 9:18:12 pm - facing southeast)

The southeast sky was blue-black. It was eerie. I wondered if I would hear a trumpet call....

When I consider thy heavens, and the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him? Psalm 8:3,4

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Birthdays and mind set

There is an advantage in piling up birthdays. The first time I was aware of it was when I turned 40. I had a feeling of authority... I knew things. I had survived. And I could tell anyone who stood still long enough how to live his/her life.

I am, however, beginning to fear this confidence that apparently grows with the increasing number of birthdays. I notice that others, whose piles are somewhat higher than mine, have leaped forward to a breathtaking "I-am-what-I-am"!

Last week, I was distracted from my joyful reunion with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, by two whispering (older) women standing at the end of the bookshelf.

"Oh no one's around. I don't care."

What didn't she care about? That someone might see her trying on shorts, over her shorts, at the end of an aisle! Several pair!

UN-believable. (No photos... she might have cared if I had pulled out my camera.)

To confirm the truth of my observation, I show you this photo...

taken by my dearly beloved, on a busy street in big-city, Maryland. When asked for permission to take his picture, the man said, "Why not? Should I smile?"

I'm not sure if I admire the why not spirit that accompanies age... or if I'm scared witless that I'll get there someday.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hot off the grill

I promised my daughter-in-law that I would share this recipe. When we tried it, I couldn't believe that it would work. But it went exactly as the recipe described. And it was delicious!!!

But, here's the real shocker - Did you catch that "we" up there? I love my husband, but he never volunteers for cooking duty. The kitchen freezes any normal thought flow for him, so he avoids it like, ummmm... I don't know. Pick the worst thing you can think of. That's how he avoids the kitchen.

The grill is another matter. If I assemble the necessary ingredients, he will happily grill any meat and do a superb job. A few days ago, I assembled a raised dough, pushed it into something like the shape of a circle, and handed it to him with the instructions, "Put this right on the grill. Two minutes on each side." I tried to act confident, but I really couldn't believe that this raw dough wasn't going to droop down into the fire. (Yes, fire. He always cooks on HIGH!)

Within 4 minutes, he was back in the kitchen carrying perfectly browned rounds that were ready for the toppings. Once loaded, they were back on the grill for 2-3 minutes more - just enough time to melt the cheese.

Wonderful.... absolutely wonderful!

The recipe I used is from a 1998 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The age of the recipe is testimony to the confidence I had that it would work. Her recipe is for Grilled Flatbread - I used it as pizza crust.

(We ate so fast that I have no pictures of our creations, so I am sharing the photo from the back of the recipe card.)

Here is the recipe according to me -

Grilled Pizza
Crust -
1 tsp yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
Place water in medium bowl, sprinkle yeast on top and stir to dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.

To the bubbly yeast, add:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Stir to combine. Turn dough out on to well floured surface, and knead for 1-2 minutes. (I let my kitchen-aid do the combining and kneading.) Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes. (Experience speaking - this would be the perfect time to get toppings ready. Don't even imagine you will have any prep time once you send the dough to the grill.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces and roll into 1/8" thick rounds. (misshapen is ok - looks very artisan) Lightly brush both sides of each round with olive oil, and place rounds directly on the hot grill. Grill until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Put desired toppings on the grilled crusts. Return to the grill for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Enjoy! (We devoured almost 3 of these. I have one plain crust in the freezer for another day.)

One last tip - Don't put toppings right up to the edge, or overfill your crust. You may end up with pizza flavored briquettes.

Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Monday, July 19, 2010

Searching for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

We should all be thankful that there are people in this world who purchase new items - so that the rest of us can buy those same items at the gazillion thrift shops that have popped up everywhere.

My weakness? Books. Without fail, in every thrift shop, there are overloaded shelves of books that are stacked like pick-up sticks. One wrong tug and... well, I haven't suffered any serious injury yet, but it's been close.

Last week, on the road with my dearly beloved, we hit a few of these stores. And I came home with a stack of treasures.

At the top of that pile is a beautiful copy of Rebecca. The cover is really pretty, and for 25 cents I knew it had to be mine. I was so happy to own this classic, until...

...I got home and discovered it was written in German. On the bright side, I have always envied book artists who have foreign script to use for backgrounds in their art. Need fulfilled.

As a child, I loved to read. One of the books that lived at our house was about Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. I read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle again and again. But somewhere in the process of changing little children into teens into adults in their own homes, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle disappeared.

Last week she reappeared! Twice! In different states!

I can't wait to share her with my grand kids. After I refresh my memory, of course.

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear him. Ecclesiastes 3:14

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Words... all around us. Written, spoken, whispered, imagined. Separating the chatter from vital input? A life skill indeed.

There are a variety of steps necessary in honing this skill, this deciding what to hear and what to ignore. The first, very important step? Consider the source.

In my experience with weighing words, if my first, best source, says something twice, or more(!), I sit up and take notice. That happened last week.

First, it was Psalm 130:5 - I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. The verse just wouldn't let go.

Next, Lamentations 3:25 - The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It was perfect for a card I made for a friend. I didn't even notice the "wait" until I was proofing the card. And then, again, it wouldn't let go.

In church Sunday, the message started with Abram and Sarai, whose impatience got them into trouble... they wouldn't wait for God to complete His promise.

Wait... wait... What am I waiting for? I don't know. But the One who owns my heart and soul has filled the air with "wait"... "wait". So, with eyes wide open, I "wait".

What have you been hearing?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Large numbers of small blessings

I have been missing from this space. Not because the days are empty... not because there is nothing to report...

The truth is that the days here have been filled with a million little things... too small to report, too significant to forget. If I used one word to describe this summer, it would be "blessings", a myriad of blessings small enough to be taken for granted - shame on me if I do.

Here are just a few to show you what I mean -
I have a yard with grass to mow and the mower works.
My garden is planted and already filled with the promise of beans, tomatoes and zucchini.
Dinners have been interesting - even yummy!
Strawberries, in the freezer.

I harvested an armload of lavender for lemonade, lots of lemonade.
Our family gathered on July 4th - sweet fellowship with food, swimming, laughter - safely there, safely home again.
I picked my first zucchini from my garden.
I sleep at night.
Flowers are everywhere around the house - coming and going, then coming again.

We have just enough business.
We are not sick.

So tell me, what are the first 5 things on your list of blessings?

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:26