Monday, September 30, 2013


Acting Balanced

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! 
Here are the Questions:
1. It's Customer Service week - do you think customer service is getting better or worse now than it was five years ago?
I would have to say worse.  It seems like personnel are working under more pressure and I think it shows.

2. October 1st is also World Vegetarian Day - have you ever spent time as a Vegetarian?  Do you have regular meatless meals?
I love chicken and seafood too much to be a vegetarian.  I have no desire to forego meat.

3. What reality show would you like to be a part of?
I don't watch them, so I have no idea what is on.

4. Are you planning to watch the Baseball post-season?  Who will win the World Series?
I don't know who is playing, but if I am with a fan I will watch.

And now one for you--
5. This week I am going on vacation to see the fall colors on the East Coast.  Here in Phoenix, there are no changing colors.  Where was the most outstanding fall color display that you have seen?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Rest

As we rush around madly trying to squeeze as much as we can into every waking hour, the latest news that lack of sleep can cause depression, weight gain and even premature death comes as grim reading - especially for men, who are particularly at risk from these effects. 

Brain scans have shown that people who meditate are able physically to expand parts of their brains, growing bigger, fatter frontal lobes - the part that controls concentration, attention, focus and where we do much of our analysis of problems. 

Praying has similar benefits. U.S. research has shown that people who regularly attend religious services live longer than those who do not. Although some of this benefit must lie in the social connection, scans show the brain responds in a similar way to prayer as it does to meditation. 

Rest is not a matter of doing absolutely nothing. Rest is repair.
Philippians 4:7  His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. (TLB)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Washed By Blood

The autobiography is the story of an Out-of-Control Rock Star. An Inescapable Addiction to Drugs. A Miraculous Redemption through Jesus Christ.
You think you've heard this story before but you haven't. Washed by Blood is a look at the dramatic saving power of Jesus Christ unlike any other—one that shows how God looks out for all of us, even those who seem farthest away from his grace.
Brian "Head" Welch was a rock star who thought he had it all. He was the lead guitarist in Korn, one of the biggest and most controversial rock bands on the planet. He lived in a mansion, had millions of dollars in the bank, and legions of fans all over the globe.
He was living the good life, and it should have been perfect. But it was all a lie.
What no one knew was that backstage and away from the crowds, Head was fighting a debilitating addiction to methamphetamine, and that nothing—not even the birth of his daughter—could make him quit for good. He had given up. He was empty inside. He spent his days contemplating suicide convinced that each high would be his last.
And that was when he found God.
Washed by Blood tells the remarkable story of how God's unconditional love freed Head from his addictions and saved him from death. Here Head describes the joys and struggles of his journey to faith, detailing how Jesus has helped him cope with his pain and find the path that's right for both him and his daughter. An account of triumphs, hardships, and the healing power of Jesus, Washed by Blood is an inspirational demonstration that God is always there to save even the most troubled souls.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week

Fall is a beautiful time of year as nature throws one last fling before winter. These are some of its offerings:
Lily of the Nile
growing marigold
Moon in western sky
Sun in eastern sky same day same time

Mums and chili peppers

Yellow bells


Each week, Hilary listi four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!

This week’s statements:
1) I am so __excited__ for my __vacation to start next week___
2) __Believe__ me, I _am a very lucky girl_____
3) I am ___good____ at keeping secrets.
4) I _wish___ that __October 27th__ was here already.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall and Hunting

Getting ready to go hunting

Pack horse string
Fall brought hunting season, one of Daddy’s busiest times, as he outfitted and acted as guide to hunting trips into Yellowstone and its surrounding forests. He would round up horses, those that were to pack supplies were carefully loaded, the supplies balanced, then covered and tied with diamond hitches. The riding horses were checked for shoes, and ridden enough to work the friskiness out of them. Then off the string would go.  On good trips, he would bring back an elk, but always stories of the antics of the dudes.  If there was an elk and since the weather was already cold, he would store it outside, hanging it high in a cleft between a huge rock back of our house by the upper pond.  Mom would can some of the meat to make sure we would have enough supply to last until the next hunting season. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's one thing that's still the same about you as when you were young?
My love of reading

2. What's more important-history or science? Why?
That is a hard one.  History should teach us lessons on how to live, but it seems that is a lost cause.  So I would have to say science because it gives up new ways to deal with life.

3. Lima, kidney, string, garbanzo, black or pinto-your favorite bean?
Lima beans are referred to as cardboard beans around here.  I love black beans especially in Baja style recipes.

4. What's something people come to your town to do?
Watch the Arizona Cardinals play football, or the Diamonbacks play baseball.

5. When was the last time you were in a meeting? Sum it up for us in five words or less. 
I was in a meeting last week.  It was packed with ideas.

6. What special event would you like a VIP pass to attend?
PBR bull riding

7. What's one piece of advice you'd give a writer?
Work at it everyday and don't give up.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I love that fall temperatures have finally graced the Valley of the Sun.  I was able to work outside with my container plantings.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monkey Wards Catalog

Fall  meant the start of school and the end of play. Mom would spend afternoons going through the latest Monkey Wards studying the styles and then giving hand-me-downs new life.  Olive Fell, an artist friend who lived a secluded life on a hilltop up the river sometimes gave us boxes of once stylish dresses from her days of living in the East.  These would be refashioned into dresses that looked like they came right from the catalog.  Mom would also turn flour sacks into dresses on an old treadle Singer sewing machine that Daddy had rescued from the neighbor’s scrap pile.  We each got a new pair of shoes, sometimes from town, sometimes from Monkey Wards catalog.  The catalog not only served as a store, but also a window into the fashion world.  Although, everything we wore was hand made, it was current with the latest trend. We were always the best dressed kids at school.

After the catalog’s days as a fashion guide, it was relegated to the outhouse where is continued to be useful.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Quiz about Me

Acting Balanced

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like: 

Here are the Questions:
1. Next Saturday is "Ask a Stupid Question Day"... in preparation for it, please share a stupid question you've been asked or would like an answer to...
Did it hurt when you broke your arm?

2. Do you believe that workplace dressing has become too casual?
It depends on the job.  If the supervisors allow it then that must be the image that they want their company to present.

3. What technology is on your wishlist?  Is there a technology that hasn't been invented yet that you want to see happen?
I have all the techie stuff that I want, certainly more than I need.

4. September is Honey Month - are you a fan of honey?  how do you use it?
I love honey in tea and use it in baking all the time.

Now a question for you
5. What is the first day of fall like where you are?
Me--It is beautiful 68 degrees and it won't even get to 100 today.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Right Road

When everything is coming at you, you're in the wrong lane.

Psalm 25:4 Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk. (TLB)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lotus Buds

Lotus Buds by Amy Carmichael, a Protestant Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur, is a touching look at some of the children that were rescued. This story was written around 1905.

It is full of delightful descriptions of the little girls she took into her care. She and her workers showered love on the little girls. As the chapters unfold, we realizes there was something sinister behind the need for the rescue of these little ones, many just infants when Miss Carmichael takes them in, saving them from becoming temple prostitutes.

This book is free in Kindle format from Amazon.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week
Sunrise crowning palms

Dinner with son and family

To celebrate grandson's 23rd birthday

Little grand cooks lunch

Brilliant Harvest moon Thursday night

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Paupers? No--Kings

Fall in Wyoming is a riot of colors, a last dance of vibrancy before the snows of winter lay a quiet blanket over the mountains.  Growing up we loved the fall because it was a time of harvest.  Fresh vegetables would grace our table and we would savor the taste of squash and pumpkin.

At summers end, it was time to put up the bounty from the garden in her pressure cooker, maybe 100 quarts of beans which became a family project to clean, carefully pinching off each end, a few done up whole for company–straight as soldiers marching around the jar, 30 pints of peas, 20 quarts of beets, 30 quarts of corn, many quarts of tomatoes–then lots of potatoes, onions turnips and carrots, covered in sand in the cellar.  On the years that we had visited Grandma in Utah, then there would be applesauce, peaches, pears, and apricots all grown in her orchard, picked, and canned for the coming year’s desserts.

Mom canned enough produce to last us till the next harvest.  Even on the coldest winter days we would have vegetables and fruit.  We may have been poor in finances, but we kids never thought about it because we ate like kings.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When did you last sing happy birthday to someone? When were you last sung to? Does that embarrass you or do you enjoy being the center of attention on your special day?
I don't like being the center of attention at all.  A couple of years ago my family took me out to eat on my birthday and sang "Happy Birthday".  Last week my sweetie called me and sang to me.

2.  Name a famous or 'infamous' person (living or deceased) who shares your birth day and month. Is that someone you'd like to meet in person if it were possible?

NBC Orchestra conductor who brought classical music to radio. Would love to meet the musical maestro

Female driver who was 2005's Indy Racing rookie of the year.  I share her need for speed

3. Someone hands you a box tied up in a lovely bow...what are you hoping to find inside?

4. What can you guarantee about yourself?
I won't be late

5. Talking art and beautiful cities here...'The Last Supper' in the Santa Maria della Grazie Abbey in Milan Italy or 'The Mona Lisa' in The Louvre, Paris...which would you most like to see up close and in person?  Why?
I've seen the Mona Lisa, so I would love to see the Last Supper and who could refuse a trip to Italy?

6. Your favorite dessert?
Peach cobbler

7. This coming weekend marks the official start of autumn (in the Northern hemisphere)...what is something you do to get ready for fall? What is one thing you're looking forward to on your fall calendar? Spring or fall-which do you prefer?
I love fall because it signals an end to the hot weather.  When the temperatures finally become moderate, I like to do a bit of gardening in my containers.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Just got back from my oldest grandson's birthday dinner he is a fine young man.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apple Dumplings

 Now that fall is almost here, apples are abundant.  This is one of my favorite recipes--

Old Fashioned Apple Dumplings

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Ready In: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: 6

"These are the apple dumplings my grandmother used to make: warm, flaky, sweet, and drizzled with a sauce that bakes right with them. These are not difficult to make, just a little time-consuming. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream."


1 recipe pastry for double-crust pie
6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups water
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch pan.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a large rectangle, about 24 by 16 inches. Cut into 6 square pieces. Place an apple on each pastry square with the cored opening facing upward. Cut butter into 8 pieces. Place 1 piece of butter in the opening of each apple; reserve remaining butter for sauce. Divide brown sugar between apples, poking some inside each cored opening and the rest around the base of each apple. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the apples.
3. With slightly wet fingertips, bring one corner of pastry square up to the top of the apple, then bring the opposite corner to the top and press together. Bring up the two remaining corners, and seal. Slightly pinch the dough at the sides to completely seal in the apple. Repeat with the remaining apples. Place in prepared baking dish.
4. In a saucepan, combine water, white sugar, vanilla extract and reserved butter. Place over medium heat, and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved. Carefully pour over dumplings.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Place each apple dumpling in a dessert bowl, and spoon some sauce over the top.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! 
1. September 15th was Chicken Lover's day - what is your favorite way to prepare chicken?
I love roasted chicken or grilled chicken breasts.

2. It is 99 days until Christmas... what are you planning to ask Santa for?
My sweet man to be home

3. How long should company stay?
Just long enough to enjoy the visit but not long enough to have to do their laundry

4. What do you consider to be a long trip?

And here is one for you
5.  What is your favorite fall activity?
Mine--watching high school football or baking apple or pumpkin desserts. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Comfort Food

Comfort foods are simple in their ingredients, in their preparation, and in their presentations. Comfort foods primarily feed our hearts and souls, rather than our bodies. Common foods such as mac and cheese, a spoonful of real mashed potatoes, a dish of chocolate bread pudding or a bowl of soup with a thick slice of bread are comfort foods. These beckon us to sit down and to feast, to eat until we are satisfied.

God has comfort food for us. God invites us to His banquet "For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:9 

"Comfort, whether human or divine, is pure and simple comfort." Hannah Whitall Smith in The God of All Comfort

Never be afraid
to trust an unknown future to a known God.
~ Corrie Ten Boom

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sacred Acres

On a Sunday in May 2008, an F-5 tornado struck the town of Parkersburg, Iowa, killing eight people and destroying 250 homes and businesses within 34 seconds. The next day, Parkersburg’s beloved football coach, Ed Thomas, made a stunning prediction: “God willing, we will play our first home game here on this field this season.” One hundred days later, the home team scored a victory on the field they dubbed “The Sacred Acre,” serving as a galvanizing point for the town to band together and rebuild. But just as Parkersburg was recovering, another devastating tragedy struck. While working with a group of football and volleyball players early one morning, one of Ed’s former students walked in and gunned him down point blank. Ed Thomas was 58. The murder of this hometown hero spread across national news headlines. Ed’s community and family reeled from shock. Yet the story doesn’t end here. What happened next proves that even a double tragedy is no match for faith, love … and the power of forgiveness.
Even if you had never heard of all the tragedy that was faced in this town, it will tug at your heart. It makes you feel some of what we all really feel going through bad times. Having so much faith and passing it on without people even realizing it gave Coach and his family the ability to be such strong leaders of the community. A great lesson is within these pages along with a story of a teacher and football coach who was content to live in a small town and lead young people into adulthood with good work ethics and the thought that you always remember where you came from. A must read for all ages.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week

Monsoon storms this week
Roses, Chocolates and a teddy bear from my sweet man
Never too old for a cute teddy bear


Each week, Hilary listi four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1) _
Saturday afternoons___ are the _hardest___ times to _have to run errands___
2) No matter how hard I try I still can’t __
lose these last 20 pounds___
3) When I was young I thought turning 30 meant _
the end was near___ but now I know it means_life has hardly begun__
4) I love to cook _
grilled fish and vegetables___ for dinner. When I am in a hurry my go to meal is _a snack bar.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

No Reason But Love

I think that there is no better gift than one that is given just for love--not because it is a birthday or anniversary--but just for the expression of love.  It is easy to give a gift because it is expected--a flower for Valentines Day or a get well balloon when you are ill. For me those that are true expressions of the heart are ones given on an ordinary day.  Suddenly that ordinary day becomes a special day, one that will be remembered always. I am so blessed to have someone who makes everyday special.

Do you show love and appreciation at unexpected times?  The joy it brings will overwhelm you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's the best thing about growing older?
The wisdom that I have obtained along the way.

2. When did you first feel like a grown up?
When I was 13.  I had to leave home and work as a nanny in order to go to high school

3. Chocolate cake with white icing or white cake with chocolate icing?
White cake with chocolate icing. If that's not available a good carrot cake with cream cheese icing would do.

4. What's the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
Changed a flat tire when I was stranded in a sketchy area.

5.  What's something you learned from your grandparents? 
To be frugal

6. Wednesday marks a sad day in the history of planet earth-9/11...what's something you do (or can do) to bring peace to your little corner of the world?
Pray for those around me, and show kindness to others

7.  Share a favorite quote, scripture, or song containing the word peace.  
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Time goes by so quickly and how quick we forget the lessons of the past.  Twelve years ago we were united in spirit.  I pray that we will return to that condition.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Moon

This past week was the start of the new moon.  The moon has always been linked to romance and poetry--everything from children's nursery rhymes to sonnets by famous poets. 

“With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies!”Sir Phillip Sidney (1554-1586)

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies !
How silently, and with how wan a face !
What, may it be that even in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long with love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel’st a lover’s case;
I read it in thy looks; thy languisht grace
To me that feel the like, thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there, ungratefulness?”

Sidney’s questions and concerns are directed towards the moon. He feels that love is very ambiguous and wants to know if the moon feels the same way.This poems is all about going through tests and trials of love.

One of sayings that I heard growing up was "New moon, new chance".  I am glad that there are chances to have a "do over", or chances for a new life, new love and that they don't depend on the moon.  Every day I see ways that I can live with a bit more love and a bit more gratitude.  I want to experience those "new chances", forging ahead with confidence.  I may have fears but it is important that they not control my heart and my actions, but only help make me wise.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

           Acting Balanced

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered!
1. September is Better Breakfast month - if time, money, calories etc. were no object, what would you have for breakfast? 
Biscuits, gravy, sausage, and crispy hash browns

2. How often do you do a major clean out?
It's an ongoing project for me.  I try and work through my house a couple of times a year.

3. What makes you feel appreciated?
Sweet words and hugs

4. If you had the choice, would you employ someone to help around your home/life?  Maid, Nanny, Cook, Butler or some other form of help?
A maid would be nice and then I could spend more time creating.

And now a question for you--
5. What do you do to welcome fall?  Decorate, take a trip, plant a winter garden?
Me--I put up a few fall decorations and then spruce up all my plant containers with new flowers that will bloom until Christmas.