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


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ooh La La!! Saturday 9

Saturday 9: Ooh La La (2013)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. I guess I've yet to hear any of Britney Spears' songs. 

1) "Ooh la la" is defined as an interjection said when you think someone or something is "surprising, unusual or attractive." Looking back over this week, did you come across anything that deserves an "ooh la la?"

I think I can say "ooh la la" often when I see the beautiful sunsets and the wonderful rain we've been enjoying!!

Ooh la la!!

2) In this song, Britney Spears sings that she's eager to accompany you, even if you're not a millionaire. But let's say you suddenly become really rich. What's the first leisure trip you would take with your new funds? 
I would take my husband on a river cruise. Who would you bring along? I would invite all our family to come! Reserve the whole boat!

3) Britney is eager to dance with you, even if you don't wear designer clothes. Let's say you need to add a blouse (or shirt) to your wardrobe. Where's your go-to for clothes shopping? Chico’s. The clothes fit my body and my taste, and I feel comfortable shopping in there.

4) The video begins with Britney at the movies with her two young sons. Will you be seeing any family members this weekend? Maybe, I won’t know until then.

5) This is a theme from the movie Smurfs 2. A Smurf is a little blue creature who lives in a mushroom-shaped house in the forest. Assuming that your home is not shaped like a mushroom and isn't in the forest, how would you describe your abode? (Mansion, ranch house, farm house, high-rise, igloo ...) Simple two story with big back yard and nice view of lake and wooded area behind.

All the ooh la la sunsets and sunrises.

6) Britney admits to smoking and biting her nails. What bad habit do you wish you could break? Biting my lips and picking at my cuticles.

7) In 2013, when this song was popular, Pope Benedict resigned. Thinking over your working life, have you been more nervous on your first day of a job, or the last one? I usually did fine with first days, focusing on concentrating but the last day of my last job, I was a little nervous about going into retirement.

8) Also in 2013, golfer Phil Mickelson won the British Open. When did you most recently golf? Umm, 2006, our son Jason took me golfing. I suspect he may have been bribed by DH, but we had a good time.

Almost forgot about Top Golf!

9) Random question -- On what part of your body was the last itch you scratched? My ankle ... the mosquitoes like me. And now, just thinking about it makes me want to scratch.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wednesday Medley and Parchment? Who Knew?

The last Wednesday in June! It is hard to believe and hopefully, July and August won't be too hot or race by too quickly. Join the other Meddlers for the Wednesday Medley. I'm looking forward to seeing all the things that can be done with parchment paper. 

1. Who knew there was a day to celebrate parchment paper?! I certainly did not. Do you ever use parchment when you bake or cook? All the time. Tell us about your favorite way to use it, please.

Baking cookies, rolls, and even meatloaf. Every time I bake cookies, I think of my mom and wish she had known about parchment paper for baking. Her cookie sheets were quite awful looking from build-up. 

2. When Terri thinks of parchment paper, she usually thinks about special writing or artist papers. She loves using specialty papers for creating cards or other art projects. Tell us about a creative way you have used parchment paper other than to bake with!

I can’t think of anything creative I’ve used parchment paper for. I’m not that crafty and when I make cards, it is usually with Hallmark software and I print on card stock. Maybe I need to investigate and use nicer paper for my cards. However, I must insert here that when I think of parchment paper, I think of 2 Timothy 4:13 with the Apostle Paul asking Timothy to bring his cloak, and the scrolls, especially the parchments.

2. Terri used to be in the cake business and has piped many borders and roses and leaves and letters, etc., etc. You can make a pastry bag from parchment paper! Have you ever tried decorating a cake with a pastry bag and specialty tips? No. Do you have a picture to share? Don't be shy, now!

3. Tell us about something you baked or cooked in the past week or so that turned out great, parchment or no parchment. Will you share the recipe? 

I baked that delicious pecan pie bundt cake! This cake is excellent, very moist and the pecan pie topping is good … everybody really likes that, even the kids. The recipe is below. 

4. The last Wednesday in June!! How can that be? Wah! Has your June flown by or have you been able to enjoy each day and make it slow down for you? 

I have enjoyed the rain and the cool temperatures very much. The days are pleasant and fairly quiet, so it has been a good month. It’s difficult to remember what we’ve done because it has been so low-key. And my eyes are a bit wonky from reading so much.

6. Tell us something about your week so far, if you will. 

I’m trying to get some things accomplished around here, but feel I’m spinning my wheels on some of my to-do list. 
Success: The Geek Squad came on Tuesday morning to clean up and diagnose our computers. Good news on all counts and he helped me with the printer and downloading photo problems! Big score with the Geek!!! 
Fail: On Monday, I had a contractor come out to look over and tell me what needs to be done with our deck … repair or replace. He told me, gave me an estimate, explained it to DH, and then DH nixed that one. As Barney Fife always said, he “nipped that one in the bud” right away.

I’m not giving up, though. We have dinner tonight with friends, and breakfast with the guys Wednesday morning. Other than that, meh! (Although I never discount the ordinary days. I'm quite content. Beautiful sunsets most evenings, listening to the pouring rain and rolling thunder, and seeing some awesome lightning displays are all quite satisfying.)

And watching from afar my nephew's baby girl growing up!

Pecan Pie Bundt Cake

Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Pecan Pie Bundt Cake takes the flavors of the classic pie and packs them into a simple, delicious cake.
For the cake:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup light or dark corn syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 & 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
pinch of salt

To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
Sprinkle the pecans in the bottom of the pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Stir together the corn syrup and buttermilk. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of the buttermilk mixture. Mix just until combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
To make the glaze:
Place the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes until it has thickened slightly.
Drizzle the glaze over the warm cake. https://bakeorbreak.com/2016/10/pecan-pie-bundt-cake/

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Saturday9: Venus in Blue Jeans

Saturday 9: Venus in Blue Jeans (1962)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

I love, love this song!

1) Like the dream girl described in this song, Sam is wearing jeans as she composes this Saturday 9. Is there a lot of denim in your wardrobe? Let’s see now. Maybe 10-15 different pair of jeans, cropped, cut-offs, regular jeans, skinny jeans (and different sizes). 

2) Jimmy Clanton likens this girl to the Venus de Milo, the ancient Greek sculpture made of marble and now on display at the Louvre. Is there any marble in your home? Would a set of marbles count?

3) He refers to his girl as "Mona Lisa with a pony tail." The Mona Lisa is also at the Louvre. What's the last museum you visited? 

I do believe it was maybe Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

The garden in back of Philbrook Art Museum.

When we were in Paris, I wanted so badly to visit the Louvre, but DH overstayed at whatever place he had chosen that day and by the time we made it to the Louvre, it was almost closing time and we had to race through. 😢

4) This girl is so awesome, she's the 8th Wonder of the World! Without looking it up, could you name the other 7? 

I thought the Taj Mahal, but I checked myself and I was wrong, (although it is on the NEW list). We did visit the Temple of Artemis when we were in Turkey and the Coliseum when we visited Rome. The others I just don’t remember. 

I took the top photo and the lower is a postcard.

My comment about this ugly little statue is that Artemis could win the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize in the wet t-shirt contest. When the Apostle Paul was in Ephesus, a riot was started over declining sales of the silver shrines made by Demetrius the silversmith, due to Paul preaching the good news to the people. (If the people weren't loyal to Artemis, Demetrius and the others in the union would lose big money.)
Walking along the road in Ephesus

The coliseum

5) Jimmy Clanton spent his entire professional life behind a microphone. After he quit selling records, he began spinning them as a DJ. Do you consider the sound of your voice one of your better qualities? No, it always disappoints me when I hear my voice. 

6) At age 80, Mr. Clanton still performs. He averaged an appearance/month in 2018. Some of his fans were surprised that he has let his pompadour go completely white. Do you color your hair? Highlights, lowlights nowadays. 

7) In 1962, when this song was popular, Americans were reading about 5-year-old First Daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and her pony, Macaroni. Tell us about a pet you had when you were very young. There isn’t much to tell since I never really connected emotionally to any of the pets my dad brought home. That changed at age 22, and I have owned several beloved dogs since.


8) Decades later, Caroline Kennedy was the first woman to serve as US Ambassador to Japan. Have you ever been to Asia? Yes.

9) Random question: When talking among themselves, who do you think is more open and honest about sex -- men or women?  I have no idea.

Hmmm, seems my answers are pretty yawn worthy here today! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wednesday Medley with Garfield, et al

It is National Garfield the Cat Day today! 
1. If you have ever followed the Garfield comic strip, you know Garfield loves lasagne.  What is your favorite Italian food?  
Chicken Florentine, but really any grilled chicken and veggie pasta works for me.
Do you over-indulge when it comes to pasta? Probably.
2.  Tell us about your very first pet.  
I think the little dog in the photo below was maybe our first, but I really don't know. Daddy always tried getting a dog for us, but my sister and I just didn't click with that and both of us had a fear of dogs. I remember running to a stranger's house to call my mother because I saw a dog. So strange that I would actually go to a stranger's home to escape a dog. 
My sister and me with our first dog.
If you have never had a pet, can you tell us about an animal that touched your life in some way? 
Well, I have had several pets, but I'm still going to tell about an animal(s) that touched my life. When I was 22, my husband and I went into a pet shop at the mall and I fell in love with a tiny miniature dachshund pup I saw and held. We found a breeder and ordered little Max, brought him home, put him in a cardboard box with a clock ticking, and ended up with him sleeping on our bed. We enjoyed him so much, we bought a little female and those two dogs were so much fun and traveled with us on all our camping trips and vacations. They had two litters of pups together; I held Liesl and helped her as she delivered the first three. It was very touching as I watched her mother those pups and feed, clean and protect them. She never left them for the first three days and I had to finally pick her up and carry her outside so she could go potty. She was a good little mother. One of her babies, a black and tan we named Olga, had a birth defect in her esophagus. Three times a day I had to stand her on her hind legs to feed her a tablespoon of baby food so it would go down her throat. She didn't make it and it broke my heart when she passed. Max lived 12 years and Liesl made it to 17. 

Liesl with her first litter of pups

3.  Garfield sleeps his day away, only waking to eat or sweet talk his girlfriend Arleen.  How many hours sleep do you normally get each night? About 7 hours. How much sleep do you really need? Just about that.

Garfield lets the mice in the house have their way.  When was the last time you had to chase out a little varmint?  
A couple of weeks ago we had a snake in the house!! Every time I open the back door now, I am on the lookout for one. Aaaauuuugggghhhh!!!

5.  Garfield also loves his teddy bear Pooky. Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were young (or now!)? 
The only stuffed animal I ever had was one my Mom made for us.

If you didn't or don't, what about someone you know? All of our grandkids have stuffed animals they carried with them wherever they went. And I have a menagerie of stuffed animals at the house for them to play with and sleep with when they forget theirs. 

6.  Please tell us something about your week, so far!
Jason had to work on Father's Day, so last Friday we celebrated with him and his family. He grilled steaks and I took a cake and ice cream for dessert. We had a great time and they gave Jay an A-Salt weapon to kill flies with!!! Haha!! Fun to use! 
Kate and Grandpa have a mutual admiration society!

Showing off!

He ain't heavy, he's my brother?"
Monday evening we had several friends over for a good-bye potluck for a couple who will be moving next week. Saying good-bye to friends is happening way too often. But we had a blast!
Laughter is such good medicine, we have
to do it often and loud!!!

Second Wind was the name of our life group at church and these five couples remained close for the past few years after the life group ended. They have been a lifeline to us in times of trouble and we really all agree that we have all been there for each other. Trust me, it has been many rough times we've seen each other through.

On Tuesday, a few of the Ladies of Grace gathered to make jump ropes out of t-shirts to put in the Operation Christmas shoeboxes. The jump ropes are made from strips cut and stretched from t-shirts and then braided tightly together to make jump ropes. Very clever idea, as always, from our dear friend Marie.

We also made a few washcloth bunnies.

And afterwards, we went to lunch together at Friday's. I haven't been to Friday's in many years, but the deal today was cheeseburger and fries for $5! You can't beat that with a stick! It was very good, too.

And this little conversation between Jack and his mother:

Jack: Can I go to my friends house?
Me: Yes
⏱...10 mins later Jack comes home.
Jack: He wasn’t home.
Me: Well then where have you been for this long???
Jack: Juggling golf balls.
Me: Huh? Where did you get golf balls?
Jack: They were on the stack of bricks, you know, where the garden snake lives? He doesn’t come out though. There were 5 wasps but they didn’t sting me. I tried to juggle the golf balls but kept dropping them. Can I go to Kevin’s?
Me: I guess? 🥴 (Feels gray hair growing as I speak)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Snail Mail? Or Maybe Heaven's Postal Service!

You never know the far-reaching effects of something you do today that will affect tomorrow … or a tomorrow at sometime in the future!!!

The other day I decided it was time to get the kinetic sand out of the office closet and give to the kids because it hasn't been used here for a couple of years. The real motive here was that I could use the bins it was stored in. So setting about to that task, I ended up cleaning out the entire closet and, as always, found something sentimental to occupy the next couple of hours. This time it was a packet of the letters my Dad had written to his parents while he was going through boot camp and on to the Philippines and New Guinea in WWII! 

The letters held a few little tidbits of interesting information shedding some light into his feelings during that time, but, for the most part, they were about missing his family and friends, and asking for news of back home. When I was about halfway through, I began to thumb through more quickly and discovered a couple of love notes between my parents which were so faded I could not make out all that was said. Finally, realizing I needed to move on with my day, but, at the bottom of the stack, I found a letter I had written to my brother back in 1975. He was still in high school and I was a married lady living about 250 miles away. The letter to my brother was meant to encourage him at that point in his life.

After taking a picture of the letter, I sent it last week to my sister-in-law for them to read. This morning I received this message from my brother:

"Good morning Connie!  This is SO cool!  You had no idea this morning, but you were an answer to my prayer this morning (the last several mornings!  I really needed some encouragement, I’m in the middle of a dry spell, and this REALLY lifted my spirits!

I have no memory of this letter.  I have no reason to know why it was saved and you found it with Dad’s things, other than this;  you may have penned that letter on 10/30/75, but God, being the Master Postman that He is, knew that the intended delivery date was 6/13/19!!

How great is our God?  Eph 3:20-21, “to Him who IS able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that we ask or can imagine, according to the power that works in us!’

I needed a reminder that God is great, He has my back, even if I fall, He will lift me up!  Thank you Connie for being so faithful to Susan and me.  We love you.  Phil."
His response is important to me because not only did it bless my brother on this day 44 years later, but it blessed me as well! This made my day as I have also been feeling somewhat high and dry these days and you sometimes have the feeling that you need to be doing something or feeling some emotion, but, in your heart, you know the most important thing to do is remember to hold on, press on, it's by faith we live and not by sight. 

Sometimes the road may be rough and seem hard traveling, but, as followers of Christ, we have to keep our destination in mind. And as we travel, the little things we do can make a great difference to someone else as we pass along a smile, an encouraging word or the simplest act of kindness. What we sow, we also reap. And when you cast your bread on the waters, it does come back to you.

When the road is rough and steep,
Fix your eyes upon Jesus,
He alone has power to keep,
Fix your gaze upon Him;
Jesus is a  gracious Friend,
One on whom you can depend,
He is faithful to the end,
Fix your eyes upon Him.
~Norman J. Clayton