On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Monday, December 9, 2013

Doo, Doo, Doo, Lookin' Out My Back Door

Well, not really my back door, but my upstairs back windows.
Beautiful foggy morning Monday of last week.


 Took a walk around the neighborhood on Wednesday.

Blue skies and sunshine with temps reaching close to 80.
The weather forecast said we might get some sleet so I wanted to
take the opportunity to enjoy a last look at Fall here in Texas.

Might get some sleet?
Next day!

View from the same window. Ice on the screens.

Ice storm!

This is NOT fluffy snow - it is about three inches of solid ice. Very slick.

The yard men had come last Tuesday to trim all our shrubs so
everything is hacked down.
No, there aren't any giants doin' cartwheels ...
the only happy creatures I've seen dancin' on the lawn
have been the little cotton tail bunnies.
Asparagus fern sparkles with the ice

Cattails coated with ice behind the fence

Frozen berries

We have been holed up in the house since last Wednesday night.
I'm so thankful that we stocked up on groceries
and water that day.
I went to Wednesday night services.
We have heat and electricity in our house
and plenty of food.
We are fortunate.
The only stressful thing I have had to deal with is my dog, Trudy.

She is old and feeble and doesn't understand the world of freezing slip 'n slide.
She paces through the house and goes to the back door.
Once outside, she stands and shivers all over wanting back inside.
I stay with her to see that she does her business. So frustrating to
think that she might break her leg or hip when she slips and falls.
She then surprises me by meandering all over the back yard,
stopping to lick the ice, moves on, sniffs, then returns to the back door
without having done anything and yet expecting a treat.
I pick her up and carry her to a small area where there is no ice.
Then I carry her to the front yard so she can sniff where other dogs have been.
I walk to the mailbox so she can stop by the fire hydrant.
I'm concerned for her.
My DH is deeply concerned for me ... he thinks I'm just a little
over-the-top nutty fretting over the dog.
Inside the house is another story. A leak in our upstairs bathroom.
The day it was discovered, an emergency crew came out that afternoon
to jack hammer, and dig their way through to the sub-floor.
They worked until 11:30 p.m. that night and
set up a huge fan to dry it out over the weekend.
Except for the tub,
the whole bathroom has been ripped out.
Fifteen days later, we are waiting for repairs to be done.
This place is zipped up tight. Still.
Holidays, health issues, and other things try to disturb my peace,
but, as I look out my window, I am very aware there are people
around the world who are not so blessed to have the kind of stress we have.

So I made chocolate pie.

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
dash of salt
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 baked 9-inch pastry shell
meringue (optional - no meringue for me, please)
Combine first 4 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; set aside
Combine egg yolks and milk; stir into sugar mixture. add butter.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. remove from heat. stir in vanilla. spoon into pastry shell. (We prefer to top the pie with whipped cream)
If you like meringue:
Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pastry. Bake at 325 for 25 to 28 minutes - this extra baking step isn't necessary if you don't top the pie with meringue.
4 to 6 egg whites
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy
gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Add vanilla, beating well. 
Today ... I'm baking chocolate Coca-Cola Cake. The recipe can be found here.
I remember my Mom baking a cake very similar to this that she called Sheet Cake.
My tip on this cake? It took about 30 minutes to bake rather than 20-25, and do NOT add all 6 tablespoons of milk to the icing - it's too thin. I also added pecans.

This afternoon we ventured out and DH drove me to the grocery store. (Earlier in the day I tried to back the car out myself and all the tires were spinning like crazy. Needless to say, I didn't go anywhere.) But yay, the ice is finally melting and the roads are better. The grocery store was packed out and a lot of the items on my list will just have to wait until our next trip ... empty shelves. We take so much for granted here in the land of plenty with innumerable choices.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

More fun this Wednesday from our friend Joyce From This Side of the Pond with the:

Here are my answers to this week's Whistling While You Hodgepodge. You can answer the questions on your own blog then link with Joyce and the others to read everybody else's answers and make new friends.

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?

I think it's a good way to record a haircut that I'm pleased with. (I will spare you that.) I also think its fun to take them with the grand kids because if I wait for Grandpa to take pics, it probably won't happen. I do get tired of seeing people who constantly take selfies and post them online, always changing their FB pic. Here are my most recent selfies. First two were Kate's idea.

Second one Jack and I were being silly - he was watching himself in the phone licking his sock!!!! Ewww.
I would rather take pictures of others and probably take too many.

2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?

No. I wish I were. I love Christmas cards with the message of Jesus. Here is one of my favorites.

"We are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--
heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ ..."
Romans 8:16, 17

Not only do I not have cards to send, but my old faithful address book has disappeared and I am going to have to reconstruct it ... some other time. It makes me sad because I have always enjoyed the Christmas card tradition, even as a child I would address the envelopes for my Mom. And I love reading updates from my friends far away about their lives.

3. Do you trust easily?
I think so. Although I can be skeptical.

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

Pine scent which reminds me of getting a real Christmas tree and how the fresh smell of Christmas permeated throughout our little home when we were kids.

5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday?

I was involved in an equal exchange of unloading.

Was that by choice or necessity?

It was a complete surprise, but we both needed to talk. So I guess it was necessity.

6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )

I need You, Lord, I need you.

7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?

Although I honestly don't think it would have been my desire to travel with any of the famous world explorers because life would have been too rough, dangerous, too much walking, etc., I think travel with David Livingstone would have been the most interesting and rewarding of all - from both the physical and spiritual aspects. What an adventure to be with a missionary/doctor who had such a heart for the African people and also be the first European to see the Victoria Falls.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My random thought today has to do with the fact that DH and I have been caught up in the simple pleasure of watching British dramas together. (A box of tissue is always readily handy as tears come easily to both of us ... I do think he is much worse, though.) Our source of entertainment each evening has been wrapped up in the lives of the characters at Downton Abbey, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Forsyte Saga, Foyle's War, Call the Midwife, Charles Dickens' stories, and many others. When I awakened this morning, I told him, "you know you have been watching too many BBC productions when the people in your dreams are speaking with a British accent."