This is my oldest sister and her husband.
Recently I won a prize at C. Beth Blog because she was celebrating her second “blog-iversary”. After I won, Beth and I discussed what my edible prize should be. She makes some fantastic seasoned nuts, so that is the prize I chose.
And last week my prize arrived — her wonderful Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts!
This is only a small portion of the nuts Beth actually sent because the package was here when I arrived home hot and hungry from a hot, humid round of golf, so I immediately sat down and enjoyed some (alot!) of these with a glass of ice tea. Delicious. Thank you, Beth!
Here is Beth’s recipe for these nuts (which she adapted from someone else’s recipe so that they can be made in the crock pot). Beth also makes three other variations of seasoned nuts which you can view here.
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts (in the crock pot)
4 cups raw nuts
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Spray CrockPot with cooking spray. Put nuts, honey, and cayenne pepper in CrockPot, and stir to coat nuts well. Turn CrockPot on high, and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 10 minutes. (Set a timer!) Nuts are done when they are almost crunchy enough–but they will cook further after removing them from the CrockPot, so don’t overcook. Before removing from CrockPot, add sugar and kosher salt, and toss so that all the spices stick to the nuts. Immediately put nuts on wax paper to cool.
It’s so sweet to win! And sometimes just slightly fattening.
When he was a young police officer, one day Hubby was escorting several prisoners to the holding cell where they would wait to go to court.
Another officer, Joe, who had become a friend of Hubby’s and who had a great sense of humor, was coming along behind Hubby also escorting several prisoners to the cell.
When they got to the cell, Hubby directed his handcuffed prisoners into the cell (the handcuffs would be removed through the bars, after the door was locked). Then Joe put all but one of his prisoners in the cell.
At the door, Joe turned to his final prisoner, removed his handcuffs, and said, “There you go!” and gestured toward Hubby.
Hubby wondered what was going on.
The prisoner walked over to Hubby and shook his hand. Then he walked into the cell, pulling the door closed behind him.
Hubby looked at Joe questioningly. Joe said, “As we were following you down the hall, he said, ‘See that big cop ahead of us? I wish I didn’t have these cuffs on because then I would kick his a__!’ So I just wanted to give him his opportunity.” The cops and prisoners alike laughed.
A moment of levity in a usually not-very-funny place … priceless.
We love this chocolate zucchini bread. I hope you like it too.
(Why I can’t get the pictures to download is one of those mysteries of life. So just take my word for it — it’s moist and delicious.)
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
In large mixing bowl, cream together: 1/2 C butter (1 stick) and 2 C. sugar
Add: 1/3 C. oil and 2 eggs
In separate bowl, sift together: 3 C. flour, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1 t. salt, 1 t. soda, 4 T cocoa
Add dry mixture to the mixture in the large bowl alternately with 2 C. peeled, grated zucchini and 1/2 C. sour milk, ending with a portion of the dry ingredients. Add 1 t. vanilla.
Divide batter between two greased/floured loaf pans.
Make a mixture of of 1/2 C. mini chocolate chips and 1/2 C. chopped pecans. Sprinkle half on top of each loaf before baking.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle of each loaf comes out clean.
If loaves are wrapped securely in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, they will keep for a long time (like from now to Christmas!) in the freezer.
About four years ago I ran into a woman I knew but didn’t see very often. Her husband had been the chaplain at the jail for a few years. They were such a neat couple, and great witnesses to their faith. (He told the story many times about his conversion to Christianity beginning in a jail cell in California when he was a troubled young man, and he happened to find a Christian tract on the floor.)
Anyway, when I saw this wonderful woman in the grocery store, it was impossible to miss the fact that instead of her trademark long brown hair, she was bald. She had always been a beautiful woman and she was still beautiful with her huge, expressive blue eyes all the more emphasized by her baldness.
She told me she had had cancer for five years and had just finished a round of chemo that appeared to be successful.
But as we stood there, she told me in words and through those huge, sincere eyes that she knew the chance the cancer would return, but whatever tomorrow brought, she wasn’t afraid because she knew when the end came she would be in Heaven with Christ. We parted ways with a hug and my thanks for such inspiring words.
Fast forward to a few days ago. I heard that she is now at death’s door. She has battled cancer for almost 10 years, but the end is finally near. But, you know, this wonderful witness for Christ will never be totally gone because her witness to her faith will linger in the hearts and minds of many with whom she has had contact.
And when she arrives at Heaven’s door, I picture Christ opening the door Himself, smiling when He sees His faithful servant Marilyn, and then taking her hand in welcome and saying, “Well done, O good and faithful servant.” Then I picture Him leading her by the hand into Eternity.
Well done, my friend. I look forward to seeing you again in Eternity.
Phyllis was a long-standing member of our golf league who died a few months ago.
A group of her friends got together and looked for a way to appropriately honor and remember Phyllis. They hit on the idea of having a tree planted at the golf course in her honor.
This tree was planted at the beginning of the golf season in memory of Phyllis. It is to the left of the fairway near the first hole’s tee. (A plaque has since been placed at its base with her name on it.)
Whenever I approach the first tee and notice “Phyllis’ tree”, I can see her smiling face and can picture her teeing off from that very spot.
What a wonderful way to honor a golfer. I know Phyllis would be so pleased.
An update from Elise, the wonderful inspiring mommy of Cooper who will be three in a few days and who is fighting so hard for his life because of a brain tumor. May this help us all to put our own worries and concerns in perspective.
I just wanted to send a quick update on Cooper. He is doing ok this week and slowly recovering from last week’s shunt. We are anxiously awaiting his scan and LP this week not only for the results but with angst that we have to put him through more tests and pain and recovery from more anesthesia. I had a moment today that was very humbling when my baby caught me shedding tears. I had read news about some new research on ependymomas that looked promising but was likely several years out before it would be something useful in humans. It brought tears to my eyes as I prayed that my little man could just keep fighting and holding on. Cooper caught me crying and quickly whipped me into shape when he yelled to me “Mommy, you stop crying, you not cry Mom!” Now it’s time for Mommy to toughen up as my brave little boy continues to show me the way. A mom from our time in Boston recently sent a message on the Ependymoma website I frequent that this was her new motto – I cannot change the past but I can ruin the present by worrying about the future. How true is that and something I must learn to consider every day as we take on each new step in this journey.
I found this poem in a card that I gave my Mother before she passed away. I have always loved this poem and believe it to be true.
Love to all,
Footsteps In the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”
She said: “Our friend Marv offered me produce from his garden — tomatoes, peppers and zucchini. I didn’t really want any zucchini, but was really glad to get the tomatoes and peppers.”
I said: “That’s great, but I wish you’d taken the zucchini too, because then you could have given it to me. I have a great chocolate zucchini bread recipe.”
She said: “I did. Come to my house!”
Be careful what you wish for.
I know you won’t be surprised when I tell you I’ll be posting about my favorite chocolate zucchini bread later in the week.
I believe … that everything God causes or allows to happen is directed toward one goal — for every person possible to be with Him in Heaven when we die.
I believe … that when bad things happen to His people, it is because He wants others to observe how those of faith are sustained and even grow during hard times. And it is His desire that when those others see the difference, it will fan the embers of faith in their own hearts.
I believe … God loves every person on this earth and that He weeps equally when a tortured soul commits a heinous act and when a Christian acts in an un-Christian way. But that He uses each of those acts in any way possible, to lead people to Him and the home he has prepared for them in Heaven.
I believe … I am a poor miserable sinner, saved by grace alone. I am an imperfect person who sins daily and is constantly in need of His forgiveness. But because I have put my faith in Him and know that Jesus died in my place for my sins, I also know that when I ask for forgiveness for my sins, He forgives me.
I believe … that when I die I will live for eternity in Heaven with Him.
I believe … that believing is the most important part of who I am.
First, let me just say this. If you are one of my wonderful male readers, I want you to know that I know this isn’t about you. I just don’t think men who are “middle age crazy” would be comfortable enough with who they are to spend any of their time reading a blog with a title about humor and faith. My thought is that if you turn into a sleaze bag, you probably then have to work at being that 24/7!
My friend, C, at Stickhorse Cowgirls is a long-time divorce attorney. She also happens to be a recent divorcee because her husband of over 30 years suddenly experienced this middle-age craziness and left her for a young woman who already had two children by men she was never married to, and they have since had a baby between them (how mind-boggling is that — he’s now 60 years old with a new baby!).
So, when I read C’s post here about Mel Gibson and the fact that his girlfriend recorded some of his rants, and is now being criticized for it, I knew for a fact that she definitely knows what she is talking about.
I wanted to share this excellent post because if there is anyone (woman OR man) reading this who is in an abusive relationship (and as C says, it isn’t just about hitting) or knows someone who is, I hope that C’s post will give you some insights and practical advice.
To me, this is what is the best about the blogging world — sharing of valuable insights and advice like this. Thank you, C.