Monday, February 26, 2007

Amazing Grace

Last evening I departed from my normal Sunday evening stay-at-home activities and headed to the movie, Amazing Grace. Not only was it well done but it also is worth supporting. I highly recommend it.

While there are lots of ways in which this movie can be discussed (see Carmen's blog entry), I would like to focus on the hymn. My strongest memory of this favored song is singing a few verses of it solo in church when I was about twelve. I was very nervous.

What is your earliest memory of hearing or singing Newton's Amazing Grace?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Favorite Hymn

How sweet and awesome is this place
[originally How sweet and aweful is the place]
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

’Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

Words by Isaac Watts, 1707
Old Irish hymn melody
St Columbia C. M.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fashion Friday

In anticipation of Spring and the need for a boost as Winter drags on, I purchased this colorful jacket about four weeks ago...for only $10!! Yesterday was warmer than usual (70) and sunny, so I thought I could get away with wearing this Spring Jacket in February. Paired with brown pinwale corduroy pants and and off-white turtleneck, I was dressed for work or play :)

Look around in your closet and join me in posting future Fashion Friday entries. The idea is to highlight something in your wardrobe, not necessarily new, but something to which you have given a new twist.

I am thinking of clothing and fashion in the context of *creativity* as Mrs. Schaeffer mentions in her chapter entitled *Clothing* in The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

Think of the flowers, the lilies of the field, which do not do any work to gain anything, the they are more beautifully clothed than King Solomon when he was at the height of glory. Therefore, if God can so beautifully clothe the flowers of the field, which only last a short time and then are cut down, how much more shall He clothe you, oh you of little faith.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What Color Red Am I?

You Are Red Orange

You are a very genuine person, although it takes a while for you to show the true you.
A bit introverted, you desire respect and affection from those close to you.
You are quite empathetic, and you have a true concern for the well being of others.
Many people have warm, heartfelt memories of you - even if you don't remember them well.

Funny little quiz....

I actually do prefer an orangey red over a cherry red.

Monday, February 19, 2007

15 Bean Soup

Stage One:
Make stock with ham bone. Refrigerate overnight. Remove and discard solidified layer of fat. Use stock immediately or freeze. I always have some sort homemade stock in my freezer, usually in a large 6-8 qt Rubbermaid container. See my 10/8/04 entry for instructions for making stock.

Stage Two:
In a 3 qt container cover beans (1 lb 4oz dry) with fresh, cold water and soak overnight (at least 8 hrs). Dump mixture into collander discarding *old* water. In a large stock pot, cook beans in ham stock (approx 5-6 qts). I bring mine to a rolling boil, then turn down to low simmer for 3 hrs or until soft. Refrigerate. Use or freeze.

Stage Three:
In a large (8qt) stock pot, sauté chopped onions, minced garlic, diced celery, and sliced carrots in 2 T safflower oil until onions are translucent. Add cooked beans. Add 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice. Add 1 qt V-8 juice. Add juice from one lemon. Add 1 tsp chili powder. Stir occasionally while simmering mixture over medium flame. Do not boil.

Makes 8 qts.

Have you ever made soup *from scratch*?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Iditawalk Update

For the record I have been keeping up with my *walking for exercise* commitment thanks to the Iditawalk program, Donna's streak, and DH's companionship. It's interesting to note that while I am not walking, I am on track with completing the required number of minutes during the six-week program.

And for anyone who's keeping track, I confess that I did eat FOUR pieces of Domino's pizza last night while watching a movie, which I do NOT recommend.

PizzaHut's website is easier for calculating the caloric damage than Dominio's.

Leave your confession in the comments and receive absolution.


Friday, February 16, 2007


Day Break

Black Coffee 2-8oz cups


200 calories
20 oz water by noon


300 calories
20 oz water by 3p


20 oz water by 6p


700 calories

This is the meal I usually mess up. 700 gets eaten very quickly :(

Most days I have 1500 calories at this evening meal. So, this is a public reminder to myself.

Dana, do the math. You already know that every bite counts, even 50 calories. You already know that subtracting 600 calories per day from the daily intake with result in an approximate half-pound/per week loss.

What's your fall-back diet plan?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Hair style is the final tip-off whether or not a woman really knows herself. Hubert Givenchy, designer, 1927 -

Blogger friend, Carol, over at Magistramater, asked about my hair and I thought it might be a fun topic for conversation.

The answer to the question of how much time it takes for me to get smooth hair each day is *not much* Truth be known, I have STICK STRAIGHT hair. Once my uncle asked if I ironed it! The last time my hair was truly fashionable without any effort was 1965, when long and stringy was the style.

At any rate, I *do* my hair EVERY DAY because it looks soooooo badly, if I dont, that it dampens my mood. I once read that if one had to choose between a new dress and a fresh hairstyle that paying attention to one's hair would create a better payoff. I cant find the source of that quote, but for me it rings true.

Here's an entry where I bragged on my hairdresser. I never leave the shop without having made my next appointment.

Here's a bad hair day picture:

So... my secret for smooth hair...........hairspray. Yup. Tacky, I know.

Do you use it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Donna at Quiet Life asked about kefir.

Here's a little blurb about its nutritional value copied from

Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products...
...but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.

It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.

Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.

Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders.

It's refreshing to the tastebuds and soothes the lining of my stomach when it's irritated. It's not too sweet like these new-fangled coffee drinks. I tried a Bolton Farms, Vanilla Chai (soy), and I think it's too sweet and too carb-laden.

I never have cultivated a taste for buttermilk, which is also very nutritious. Loads of Southern folks like it plain and with cornbread broken up in it.

What's your favorite *wierd* drink?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Food for Fit Women

After skimming such an article in a fitness magazine, I thought this would be a fun meme to encourage us to keep our diets more healthfully.

Are these fifteen items on your weekly grocery list, in your refrigerator now, or consumed regularly?

Romaine Lettuce – Yes, I usually have a salad for lunch, but when I serve one for dinner, I like to use *Spring Mix* or Baby Spinach.
Sweet Potatoes – Yes, but not often enough. I once knew a lady who ate one for breakfast several times per week. I keep thinking about trying this.
Berries – There are some strawberries in the ‘fridge now and there were blueberries in my salad yesterday.
Kiwifruit – Again, I love fruit in salads or I particularly like kiwi and pear together with cottage cheese (a summertime lunch)

Chicken – Yes, in all forms: boneless skinless to whole hens.
Pork Tenderloin – Just bought one yesterday for our Valentine’s Day Dinner. I will be serving it with brussel sprouts and corn on the cob.
Ground Beef -95 % lean – Here I usually buy 80/20. And I’m not sure why fish isnt on this list because I like to buy that every other week.

Yogurt – Yes, but I prefer kefir. It’s higher in protein content.
Milk – Skim only and I drink it sparingly.
Cottage Cheese – a regular lunch item, combined with fresh fruit.
OJ – I cant stomach the acid. I prefer V-8 juice.
Eggs – Love them!! Hard-boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, omelettes. No school-aged child left my home without eating one. It’s brain food!

Whole Grain Breads – Yes, eaten sparingly.
Oatmeal – Not the instant kind. I love this on Saturday mornings with brown sugar and raisins.
Olive Oil –extra virgin – Yes, but I also use Safflower oil.

Let me know how you score.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Mundane Monday

In an effort to spice up this Monday, I am posting a picture of myself for Janet and Melissa.

Now this is what I am doing right now....or supposed to be doing!

Except that it is winter and I am wearing a brown boucle skirt with cream-colored turtleneck, cream colored tights and brown shawl-like sweater.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will try and post a picture of me in my walking clothes later on.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


It is the flame of my life to worship thee,
the crown and glory of my soul to adore thee,
heavenly pleasure to approach thee.
GIVE me power by thy Spirit to help me worship now,
that I may forget the world,
be brought into the fullness of life,
be refreshed, comforted, blessed.
GIVE me knowledge of thy goodness
that I might not be over-awed by thy greatness;
GIVE me Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God,
that I might not be terrified,
but be drawn near with filial love,
with holy boldness;
HE is my mediator, brother, interpreter,
branch, daysman, Lamb;
him I glorify,
in him I am set on high.
CROWNS to give I have none,
but what thou hast given I return,
content to feel that everything is mine when it is thine,
and the more fully mine when I have yielded it to thee.
LET me live wholly to my Saviour,
free from distractions,
from carking care,
from hindrances to the pursuit of the narrow way.
I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus ----
give me a new sense of it,
continue to pardon me by it,
may I come every day to the fountain,
and every day be washed anew,
that I may worship thee always is spirit and truth.

Valley of Vision: a colletion of Puritan prayers and devotions

PS Had to look up the word *carking*. It means distressful, worrisome.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fashion Friday
Here's a picture of one of my winter outfits. I love these inexpensive, long scarves and have been wearing them almost daily - indoors and out.

This apple green sweater is paired with a short denim skirt, navy tights, and brown flats.

Instead of a heavy coat, which is not needed here in the South, I've been enjoying a furry vest.

So, is there a *highlight* in your winter wardrobe?

No? Then re-read Mrs. Schaeffer's chapter on clothing and be inspired.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Idita-walk 2007

Walking has been a good form of regular exercise for me. In fact, I have enjoyed it. But it is easy to fall out of the habit, which is what has happened to me since the holidays and the wedding. And so, in an effort to re-commit myself to healthier living, I have signed up for a little walking challenge. It starts Saturday!

Several online blogger-friends (most notably Donna and Cindy) have already committed to *streaking* but I was afraid to sign up for that because I wasnt sure about the dress for the occasion. TeeHee.

Flexibility and variety are keys which help keep me going. It's sleeting here this morning, so I reckon I better pull out a walking video in order to warm up for Saturday's start.

How did you fit exercise into your schedule today?