What 61 years of marriage looks like!

July 30, 2010

This is my oldest sister and her husband.

I got this look when I  suggested I get a picture of them kissing!

After he warmed to the idea that was no peck … that was an honest-to-goodness smooch!

We should all be so blessed to have such a long and happy marriage.


A tasty win!

July 28, 2010

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)

Ingredients:

4 cups raw nuts
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
cooking spray

Instructions:
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.


Be careful what you wish for!

July 27, 2010

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.


Chocolate Zucchini Bread … a delicious use for all those zucchinis!

July 26, 2010

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.


Death of a Witness

July 23, 2010

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.


A fitting remembrance

July 21, 2010

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.


You can ruin today by worrying about tomorrow …

July 20, 2010

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.

Hello all,

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,

Elise

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.”

Mary Stevenson