Saturday, September 29, 2007

Proof Positive

Here I am at the end of my two day hike.

I had a wonderful time.

Here are a few things I want to remember.

1) Boots would have been better. The soil was very rocky and tree roots were exposed, making it easy to trip over them.

2) Take an long-acting antihistamine BEFORE you leave. I remembered the Ibruprofen :)

3) Study the map more, especially ahead of time.

It's not that I didnt know where I was going, although that may be true. We did not get lost. I dont quite grasp abstractly the topographical differences. In the end, it was perfectly clear that I was going up, up, and up. And only then on the way out did I go down, down, down. Even then going down takes a lot of muscle control. Going up takes good lung capacity. Can you say aerobic?

4) Eat a snack and drink water on the trail whether you think you are hungry/thirsty or not.

5) DH's walking stick was indispensible, as was the rainjacket he gave me as a parting gift.

Ok, who's going with me next time?

Manners on Monday Update:

Link to Trail Etiquette on Emily Post Institute Website :)

Friday, September 28, 2007





In just a few short hours, I will set out on this trail and walk five miles to reach a cabin/lodge in the woods. Read more about the Len Foot Hike-Inn at this link.

I expect to see vistas like this one and take lots of pictures.

The weather is beautiful here.

See ya later!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Personal Commitment

40 Days for Life, an anti-abortion campaign starts today and I'm committed to supporting it in my area through 1) prayer and fasting and 2) community support (crisis pregnancy center in my county).

Check out their website.

Here are links to groups I support.

Hope Center, Woodstock GA
Whispering Hope, Cumming GA
Cherokee Co Chpt, GA Right to Life

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Customer Service




For the record Intuit technical support receives a *ten* for excellent customer service. After five hours of polite, patient, and persistent help, the technician successfully solved the problem and guided me through the steps to correct the corruptions.

I mention this as an update to my whine about my weekend computer woes and to bolster our collective opinions about customer *no-service* (Clark Howard's favorite term).

Remember Donna's personal service from her plumber? Scroll down in this entry.

Furthermore, in my reading (and blogging) of Lynne Truss's Talk to the Hand, I am reminded of the rarity of this type of dedicated customer service. Hence I desire to draw attention to a shining example.

And it didnt cost anything (extra).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Computer Woes and Apples

Averting a crisis is a lack luster job and that's what I've spent most of my weekend doing....

Starting with last Thursday when I cleaned off my 9.5 yds of desk space to this morning call's to technical support, I have been setting up a new desktop computer system. And no, I didnt want a new computer. But the ten-year old one is freezing often enough that I would be blind not to recognize that a crash is imminent.

At any rate, this kept me from the local apple festival, because I needed to stay at home in order to finish the laundry AND run back and forth to the computer to click *next* during the long installation and transfer process. It did afford me way too much time to read blogs (and comment) and start three new books. I have particularly enjoyed Sherry of Semicolon's focus on apples this month.

Thankfully there is still time to pick apples, enjoy the weather, and get Quickbooks up and running before the buzzer goes off.

What did you accomplish this weekend?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Walking River Green

Kudos to me!!

I'm just back from four mile morning walk through a new subdivision not too far from my own neighborhood.

See the map I found. Neat, huh?

I finished in 65 minutes or 16 minutes per mile.

I'm happy with that pace.

This jaunt is part of my effort to keep my exercising routine fresh.

There are miles more of streets for me to cover, so I think I will be returning to this area.

Recently I wrote about finding the end of the sidewalk and I did in this new development as well. Hopefully, I wont bring home a blister like I did last time.

Neither knees nor hips bother me during/after walking. It's my feet I have to baby by rotating shoes, using orthotics, and stretching ligaments. That last one is fun (Not!) and is accomplished by rolling one's foot back and forth over cold *Coke* cans.

Now for Saturday chores.

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Fashion this Friday is all about
color and accessorizing!

The weather is changing and the temperatures are dropping. So, just like last week I am highlighting a piece of clothing I rediscovered while unpacking my Fall and Winter clothes. This hand-me-down wool scarf is so large that it covers the entire image.

But look what I did with it.

Kind of goofy

hanging there

on the door

but it surely

did brighten

these browns.

And I got lots of compliments.

Do you wear scarves?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Book Lists

BuriedTreasureBooks is one of my favorite websites and every morning I check in to see what Carmon is pondering. Recently she posted about reading lists and gave us several links.

With all the books choices and reading opportunities that exist, I agree with Samuel Johnson's quote about books (like friends) needing to be well-chosen. Early in my parenting was I convicted of my obligation to supply our children with worthy reading material as well as supplement their assigned (school) reading. See my xanga entry on Parker Hudson's books.

But the real thrust of this entry is to comply with a request from Carmon. It relates to my references to Carolyn Custis James's book, When Life and Beliefs Collide, mentioned here, here, and here.

Carmon asked that I share Mrs. James's Recommended Reading List found in the back of this book.

The Bible

This heads the list of the books we need to read says Mrs. James on page 237 where she challenges her audience to read and study the Bible PLUS read it to (your) children. While she recommends Marian Schoolland's Leading Little Ones to God (which I own), she also recommends The New Living Bible (Tyndale House) which I do NOT recommend or own. She mentions Dr. Tremper Longman's Reading the Bible with Heart and Mind for an overview. In this category, I own Eugenia Price's Beloved World and Karen Lee-Thorp's Story of Stories.

Mrs. James does recommend owning a set of commentaries. In our home library are Matthew Henry's and John Calvin's. For further resources she recommends Wayne Grudem's theological textbook, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. We refer to R J Rushdoony's.

"Knowing God is not a private matter," states Mrs. James on pg 242, where she begins her list of books to help us get to know God better. "Historically, Christians have always explored AND interacted with the Scriptures within the context of the church;" and so, she refers us to godly leaders from previous generations by recommending Augustine's Confessions; Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, and J I Packer's A Quest for Godliness. She has already highly recommended Packer's Knowing God.

Then a list of Books to Help us Know God Better.

Allender's The Cry of the Soul: How our emotions reveal our deepest Questions about God.

Bridges' Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts

Piper's The Pleasures of God

Sproul's The Holiness of God

Tada's A Step Further and When God Weeps: Why our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty

Carson's How Long, Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil

Books to Help Us Know God in Our Relationships

Allender's Intimate Allies

Tripp's, P D Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens
________ War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles

Tripp's, T Shepherding a Child's Heart

In conclusion, Mrs. James challenges us to become thoughtful readers (p.245) in the spirit of Acts 17:11 where Paul's listeners "received the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true." Some of the books she recommends contain views with which she personally takes issue. But overall, the strengths far outweigh the weaknesses.

That is how I feel about the book, When Life and Beliefs Collide.

Let me know if you've read it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sing Lustily and With Good Courage

For safe keeping, I'm posting the Sleeve Notes from my newest favorite CD, Sing Lustily and With Good Courage by Maddy Prior with The Carnival Band,

which I also crooned about on my xanga site.

Several years ago I ran across an article at the Academy of Poets' website about Emily Dickinson and Isaac Watts.

It mentioned that people walked out of church services when his hymns were played.

This was a surprise to me since I love these *old*, traditionally-styled hymns. I prefer them over the newer *praise/worship* music. But it got me thinking about how Watt's music and lyrics must have been *new* at one time.

Futhermore, if you read no further than this paragraph, do read or re-read Mrs. Schaeffer's chapter on Music in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking. There is a dear story about an opera singer who used her talent to sing with those less talented than she.

At any rate, here is the information about congregational singing long ago....or the lack thereof. Note the sentence *Gradually children and women were admitted....*

From John Wesley's instructions for singing, 1761:

I. Learn these tunes before you learn any others ...

II. Sing them exactly as they are printed here without altering or mending them at all ...

III. Sing All. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can ...

IV. Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength ...

V. Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony ...

VI. Sing in Time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it ... and take care not to sing too slow ...

VII. Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself or any other creature ...

Read more here at John Mark Ministries.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Here's my

coffee maker.

Not what

you expected?


In the contraption is 1 lb. of freshly ground coffee beans and 2 qts. cold water. The mixture sits overnight (10-12 hrs) and is drained through a filter.

Read more about this cold water brewing system at the Toddy website.

Since I was thirteen I've been drinking coffee and it's my favorite morning beverage. Black, please.

The results is about a quart of concentrated coffee, which I dilute with boiling water.

Join me for a cup?

We have lots to talk about.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Feast on Monday

When was the last time you visited a hospital?

My last visit to a hospital was in February '07 to see a friend's mother, who was enduring her final illness. She complained up being *hot.* So, standing at the foot of her bed, I carefully lifted the sheet, removed her booties and rubbed her feet. She smiled.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how ambitious are you?

I've been neutralized.....or zero :(

Make a sentence using the letters of a body part. (Example: (mouth) My other ukelele tings healthily.)

For ever enjoy Truth.

Main Course
If you were to start a club, what would the subject matter be, and what would you name it?

I keep thinking about hostessing an group called *HiddenArt* where we would covered the various chapters in Mrs. Schaeffer's book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking. The topics she addresses are wide and varied which I think would keep the group dynamics fresh. It might work better on a monthly schedule though.

What color is the carpet/flooring in your home?

Salmon/peach......but it's 20 years old and faded into beige in some places. If I had the chance to replace it, I would go with a similar color 'cause I still like it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fashion Find Friday

No purchase in the fashion world this week. Just the discovery of a forgotten sweater vest that will add *umph* to my fall wardrobe. I love the large buttons.

Yup. It's that time of year when the temperatures are dropping and I'm tired of wearing summer colors. The scarf is a Vera Bradley pattern, Medallion, and was a Mother's Day gift this past Spring from DD#1. I think it brightens this combination and will also go with burnt oranges/cinnamons....some of my favorite Autumn colors.

How are you updating your Fall Wardrobe?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Senior Photo

Posting this highschool picture of myself as requested by my friend, Donna at QuietLife. She's expanding her photographic skills by taking *Senior Photos* and challenged us to post our own.

Alas, I dont have one :(

I left high school a year early and headed off to college.

No velvet drapes and pearls on me......just this sporty one taken in the Fall of 1974 when I was a junior.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Random Facts

About me :) Hmmmmm...

Earlier this week, Donna at Quiet Life tagged me with the task of posting eight random facts about me. In my haste, I linked to two *About Me* posts in her comment box, but realized later that I ignored the adjective *random* which qualified the challenge. So, here I correct myself.

1) I have attended 36 Parents Nights at my children's schools over the past 20 years. Last night was the last one! Hip Hip Hooray!

2) I had a root canal on a lower incisor when I was ten years old. It hurt.

3) I lived at 111 Elm Street, Mtn Home AFB, ID when I was five.

4) I met Princess Grace and her family when I was fifteen.

5) It is easier for me to remember birthdays and addresses than the words to songs or the names of actors/actresses.

6) I try to use both sides of a piece of paper.

7) I am a *morning* person.

8) I prefer salty over sweet :)

Bonus Fact: I have two blogs.

If you stumble across this game, consider yourself tagged!

Leave me a link to your list of 8 random facts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Apple Salad

1 head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
(I love my salad spinner)
1-2 apples, washed, cored, diced (each apple yields 32 pieces)
(Use different colored ones (unpeeled) for pretty color)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup raisins
1 stalk celery, washed and sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 Tbs sunflower seeds, dry roasted

Toss with your favorite dressing. Serve in chilled bowls.

Vinagrette Recipe

1/2 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 Tbs prepared mustard (stone ground)
1 Tbs dried parsley
2 Tbs cold water

Whirl in the blender. Store in cruet in 'fridge.

Unsolicited suggestion:
Chill the bowl in which you plan to toss your salad. It makes a difference.

Sherry over at is soliciting apple recipes and that's what made me post this one. I've been enjoying this salad combination for years, although nowadays it is seen served more often with feta cheese.

Have you ever tried the Grilled Chicken dinner salad at Red Lobster?

It has apples in it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Molasses Cookies

1 1/2 Cups butter
2 Cups sugar
Cream those two in an electric mixer with wire whisk.

1/2 Cup molasses
2 eggs (one at the time)

Sift together the following six ingredients and then add to *wet* mixture:
4 Cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Stir until well blended. Chill the dough before rolling it into small balls.

Bake at 375 degrees on ungreased cookie sheets for 10-12 mins, depending on the size of the ball :)

Makes 7 dozen?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sermon Synopsis

Three sermons into the the second chapter of I Thessalonians, I continue to ponder these first century Christians and their response to Paul's testimony. I wonder if they were really that much different than I. It is clear to me that I accept the Word of God as authentic only by His Sovereign Grace as did they.

See I Thess 2:13

JCM concluded with an illustrative quote from Spurgeon which I will turn into my personal prayer.

Heavenly Father, bless me this week by teaching me through the power of your Holy Spirit to eat into the very soul of the Bible. Nourish me so deeply there that my language will be more Scriptural than last week; that my words be more flavored with the Lord's than ever before; and that my blood be Bible-colored so that the very essence of these Holy Writings will flow through and out of me into the lives of others.

And we were given John Piper's mnemonic device for boldly accepting/believing the Bible. Treat it a precious, pleasant, and practical by memorizing it, meditating upon it, making music with it, ministering with it, and minding it.

Hymn 267 from the Trinity Hymnal (O Word of God Incarnate) concluded our service. The words fit perfectly.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Contemplating Death


is a place...


there's no company,

where nobody

can follow.

Flannery O'Connor

Camille's Deathbed by Claude Monet
Oil on canvas

This painting is one of the subjects covered in Susan Vreeland's Life Studies, an interesting book which I have picked up and down several times over the past few years. The chapter is entitled "Winter of Abandon" and offers some interesting insight into Claude and Camille's relationship. Furthermore, I learned that Monet painted this canvas immediately upon her passing, shewing everyone out of the room.


Or *One Time Chance to catch the light in this situation?*

At any rate, I thought it an appropriate illustration to highlight some current thoughts I have had on *death*. The first is a quote from Polycarp, that great Christian martyr:

"The business of the Christian is in one sense nothing else than to be ever preparing for death."

Now have you ever thought of that? I mean what steps have you taken, either mental or physical, in preparation for your death?


I think too much.........


Recent deaths of high profile individuals:
9/1 = 1983 Larry McDonald, US Congressman

9/5/07 = D. James Kennedy
9/6/07 = Luciano Pavarotti
9/6/07 = Madeline L'Engle

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Theology on Thursdays

Interesting conversation with a Christian young lady over the summer prompted me to pick up again Carolyn Custis James's book, When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference. On my xanga site I have written a review of the book, but here I want to mention a couple of thoughts.

Lamenting that "in the Bible there are just not enough women to talk about", the aforementioned lady continued to say that it was difficult to find enough information about the women that are mentioned and to make those stories interesting and educational to middle-school aged girls.

Keeping up my end of the conversation, I mentioned several women along with their Biblical character traits, never really seeming to make any headway with my friend. I really was trying to be encouraging by offering the names of a variety of females mentioned in Scripture.

Even now I continue to feel like I was not a good witness because I think my comments frustrated rather than encouraged the Christian younger than I. Questions came to mind: What type of Titus 2 model was I? How could I have been more persuasive in my choice of words and tone of voice? Was I a good theologian?

In search of answers, not only did I review the Bible for examples of Godly women, I began to re-read When Life and Beliefs Collide. In there Mrs. James challenges her audience: "Our task is not simply to know God more deeply ourselves but to lead our daughters to pursue a deeper relationship with him too." Pg 14

I think I failed to lead.

Either way, the Bible IS full of examples of women: old and young, married and unmarried, Godly and ungodly. It speaks to and about women.

I pray my friend found them.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


For safekeeping I am posting this inspirational definition of professionalism taken from a commencement speech entitled "Heroism in War and Peace" delivered by Elbert Parr Tuttle in 1957, at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Learn about Judge Tuttle at the New Georgia Encyclopedia, or from the History of the Court of Appeals, or Life at the Bar, or Jack Bass's book, Unlikely Heroes.

The professional man is in essence one who provides service. But the service he
renders is something more than that of the laborer, even the skilled laborer. It
is a service that wells up from the entire complex of his personality. True,
some specialized and highly developed techniques may be included, but their mode
of expression is given its deepest meaning by the personality of the
practitioner. In a very real sense his professional service cannot be separate
from his personal being. He has no goods to sell, no land to till. His only
asset is himself. It turns out that there is no right price for service, for
what is a share of a man worth? If he does not contain the quality of integrity,
he is worthless. If he does, he is priceless. The value is either nothing or it
is infinite.So do not try to set a price on yourselves. Do not measure out your
professional services on an apothecaries’ scale and say, “Only this for so
much.” Do not debase yourselves by equating your souls to what they will bring
in the market. Do not be a miser, hoarding your talents and abilities and
knowledge, either among yourselves or in your dealings with your clients . .
.Rather be reckless and spendthrift, pouring out your talent to all to whom it
can be of service! Throw it away, waste it, and in the spending it will be
increased. Do not keep a watchful eye lest you slip, and give away a little bit
of what you might have sold. Do not censor your thoughts to gain a wide
audience. Like love, talent is only useful in its expenditure, and it is never
exhausted. Certain it is that man must eat; so set what price you must on your
service. But never confuse the performance, which is great, with the
compensation, be it money, power, or fame, which is trivial.. . . The job is
there, you will see it, and your strength is such, as you graduate . . . that
you need not consider what the task will cost you. It is not enough that you do
your duty. The richness of life lies in the performance which is above and
beyond the call of duty.

Now I can read and re-read these fine words and be encouraged that anyone can be a professional.

Everyone should be.

It's a virtue.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007



set out

to find


the sidewalk


Walking with purpose is what I had in mind when I left home. In my mind's eye I had charted the journey to maximize my safety, avoiding the busier, curvy road. About two miles from my subdivision is a newly constructed multi-use development packed with new homes and a shopping center. And although walking alone can be lonesome, I purposefully left behind the earphones and audio files. It would be important to hear and pay attention to my surroundings. I was investigating. Over the course of the next two hours, I covered about six miles of new territory, found the end of that particular sidewalk, and made it back home safely.

Only Shel Silverstein says it better -

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Shel Silverstein

Monday, September 03, 2007

Manners on Mondays

Funny story………

When our eldest was five, I signed her up for an Etiquette Class. It was being taught after school where she attended half-day Kindergarten. The teacher was a well-respected socialite in our community. The curriculum was cute and based on the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Not only do I not remember all the details but I also wont bore you with the ones I do.

The point is the way the lessons backfired.

I ended up with a five-year-old reminding everyone ELSE to mind their manners!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Broccoli Salad

2 bunches broccoli
washed and trimmed
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
1 can black olives, sliced
Salad Dressing

Steam broccoli only slightly about 4-5 mins in the microwave. I cover tightly the glass dish with saran and release it immediately after cooking, so that the flowerettes dont get smashed. I suppose it is possible to skip this step.

Evenly distribute the water chestnuts, tomatoes, and black olives on top of the lightly steamed broccoli. Pour salad dressing (Paul Newman's is my substitute when there's no homemade) over veggies. Refrigerate.


We eat broccoli several times a week. Mainly steamed. No cheese sauce or butter. A little freshly squeezed lemon is acceptable. But it's easier to count calories, if one learns to eat food without sauces/gravies/toppings.

At any rate, I also prepare the broccoli/raisin salad which is popular and more rarely one with swiss cheese/bacon/onion. Yum - but caloric!

What's your favorite broccoli recipe?