Saturday, November 20, 2010

St Patrick's Day Legend

It is believed that Patrick was born in Kilpatrick Scotland.  His parents were Romans who were in charge of the British colonies.  When Patrick was in his early teens, he was captured during a raid and taken to Ireland as a slave.  Here he learned to tend and herd sheep.  At this time the Druids and pagans occupied Ireland.  Patrick learned the practices and language of his captors.  Because of the hardships he faced, Patrick turned to God. 
When Patrick was twenty, God came to him in a dream and advised him to go to the coast.  Patrick escaped and sailors took him back to Britain where he was reunited with his parents.  But Ireland beckoned to the young man through his dreams and he returned to Emerald Isle in March 433.  He traveled across the country converting people to Christianity. 
Patrick was a humble and gentle man who was devoted to God and the importance of his mission.  He used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity.  It has been associated with St Patrick's Day and Ireland for centuries.
Legend has it that Patrick stood on a hill overlooking the sea, staff in hand and banished all the serpents from the Isle forever.  This probably symbolizes the end of pagan practices--since there have never been snakes in Ireland.  Saint Patrick died on March 17, 461 at Sale, where he built his first church.

The Lion and the Mouse

Once, when a Lion was asleep, a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who now placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.
"Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse, "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it.  Who knows but I may be able to do you a turn one of these days?"   The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go.
Some time later hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on.  Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts.
"Was I not right?" said the little Mouse?

This is a favorite story from my childhood and a thought provoking one about how we treat those we think will not be of benefit to us....

Buddhist Parable

A farmer wakes up to find his horse has run off.
The neighbors come by and say, "Too bad, such awful luck."
The farmer says, "Maybe."
The next day, the horse returns with a few other horses.  The neighbors congratulate the farmer on the reversal of his fortune.
"Maybe," the farmer says.
When his son tries to ride one of the new horses, he breaks his leg, and the neighbors offer condolences.
"Maybe," the farmer says.
And the next day, when army officials come to draft the son--and don't take him because of his broken leg--everyone is happy.
"Maybe," the farmer says.

I have heard stories like this before.  They are beautiful in their simplicity and surrender to the universe.  I wonder if I could be attached to something so detached.  I don't know.
Excerpt from the book 'have a little faith' by Mitch Albom

What Should I Fear?

I used to live in perpetual fear of losing things I had, or never having the things I hoped to acquire. 
What if I lose my hair?
What if I never get a big house?
What if I become overweight, out of shape, or unattractive?
What if I lose my job?
What if I am disabled and cannot play ball with my child?
What if I get old and frail and have nothing to offer those around me?
But life teaches those who listen, and now I know:
If I loose my hair, I will be the best bald guy I can be, and I will be grateful that my head can stimulate ideas, if not follicles.
A house does not make a person happy.  The unhappy heart will not find contentment in a bigger house.  The heart that is merry, however, will make any home a happy one.
If I spend more time developing my emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions, rather than focusing solely on my physical self, I will be more beautiful with each passing day.
If I cannot work for wages, I will work for the Lord--and his benefits package is unmatched.
If I am physically unable to teach my child to throw a curve ball, I will have more time to teach him how to handle the curves thrown by life, and this shall make him serve better. 
And if aging robs my strength, mental alertness and physical stamina, I will offer those around me the strength of my convictions, the depth of my love and the spiritual stamina of a soul that has been carefully shaped by the hard edges of a long life.
No matter what losses or broken dreams may lie in my destiny, I will meet each challenge with dignity and resolve.  For God has given me many gifts, and for each one that I may lose, I will find ten more that I never would have cultivated were the course of my life to always run smoothly.
And so, when I can no longer dance, than I will sing joyfully; when I haven't the strength to sing, I will whistle with contentment; when my breath is shallow and weak, I will listen intently and shout love with my heart; and when the bright light approaches, I will pray silently until I cannot pray.  Then it will be time for me to go to the Lord.  And what then should I fear?
David L Weatherford

Cranberry Salad

Mix :
6 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups sugar
1 pound fresh cranberries, grind in blender (they grind best if slightly frozen)

Let set overnight in the refrigerator.


2 cups whipped cream (can substitute Cool Whip)
3 red apples, diced with peel on
6 bananas, quartered and sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Makes a huge salad and is great with the Thanksgiving turkey!  This is my favorite thing on turkey day!  Enjoy!

Choco-Macadamia Treats

2 cups flour, plus 3 T
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 7 oz jar macadamia nuts, chopped
8 oz milk chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9X13" pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  On low, beat flour mixture until just combined.  Fold in 1 cup of the nuts.  Reserve 1/2 cup dough.  With floured fingers, press remaining dough evenly over the bottom of prepared pan.  Spread melted chocolate over dough.  With hands, mix remaining nuts and the 3 T flour into reserved 1/2 cup dough; crumble nut mixture evenly over chocolate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden.  Let cool before cutting.  Divine!

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Wash and boil 5 pounds of potatoes.  Cool; peel; shred.  Grease a 9X13".

Put in large bowl:
1/2 cube margarine
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup onion (optional)
1 pint sour cream
1/2-1 pound (I always go heavy) cheese, shredded

Combine ingredients in bowl; add shredded potatoes; mix well; put in greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I like to top with additional shredded cheese prior to baking and let it get brown and crusty on  top. 

Shared with me years ago by Terri Hughes

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 T black pepper
4-6 sweet peppers
1 green pepper (and/or jalepeno for a kick!)
1 chopped onion (opt)
Cook all above ingredients until peppers are tender.
Add: 2-3 cans Fire-roasted tomatoes (puree with the cilantro)
1 cup cilantro
1 can corn and/or beans

Add:  1 shredded rotisserie chicken

Serve with avocados, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime wedges. 

Really yummy on a cold night!  Great for a large crowd!  (double it)

One At A Time

A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.

As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.

Our friend was puzzled. He approached the man and said, “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.”

I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up to shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”

“I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”

The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”

Jack Canfield and Mark V Hansen

Make a difference for someone this month and see how it cheers you!


2 lg boxes raspberry jello
1 lg box instant vanilla pudding
2 boxes frozen raspberries
1 small can mandarin oranges
3-4 bananas
1 medium cool whip
1 angel food cake 
Mix 1 pkg jello according to pkg directions.  Add 1 box frozen raspberries and let thicken.  Cut cake into 1” squares and push into jello.  Let set.  Mix pudding according to pkg directions.  Spread on jello.  Let set.  Arrange mandarin oranges around bowl edge.  Mix jello and 2nd box raspberries as above.  Spread over pudding.  Let set.  Slice bananas over jello.  Top with cool whip.  Very pretty! 

*Can make with sugar free/fat free products - Great for diabetics!

An Afternoon In The Park

There was once a little boy who wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of root beer and he started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a Twinkie. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Once again she smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.

She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.

Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

She replied, “I ate Twinkies in the park with God.” But before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

Julie A Manhan

Chicken Supreme

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 slices bacon
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
Celery salt, garlic salt to taste (try Mrs. Dash for a different taste)
Place chicken breasts in a 9X13” pan.  Cut bacon strips in half and place on top of each breast.  Mix the soup, sour cream and spices and pour over the chicken.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  Serve over rice.  Wonderful!

NOTE: I usually double or even triple the sauce as it is SO good over the rice. 
The bacon will be cooked but soft—I don’t care for it and remove it before eating, but it gives a fabulous flavor to the dish.

New Year’s Resolutions For Success

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), philosopher, poet and public speaker, wrote this a long time ago, but his thoughts are still timely for today, especially when we think about making New Year’s resolutions:

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children.

To earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others.

To give one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.

To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived…

This is to have succeeded.

Wishing you every success in 2009!

Strawberry Cake

1 Yellow Cake Mix—mix and bake in long baking dish according to package directions (11X17” pan works best, but can be done in a 9X13”)

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 small cool whip 
1 cup powdered sugar
Spread this over cooled cake.

1 pkg. strawberry gel or 1 strawberry Deserta cooked according to pkg. directions.
Add one pkg. fresh strawberries, sliced. 
Mix together and spread over the cream cheese layer.

For Valentines Day, make cake in two heart shaped pans.  Very pretty!

You're Still You!

Five days after the accident on Memorial Day weekend 1995, I became fully conscious and able to make sense. Dr. Scott Henson and Dr. John Jane, chief of neurosurgery at University of Virginia Hospital, explained my situation. They told me in detail about the extent of my injury and said that after the pneumonia cleared from my lungs they would operate to reconnect my skull to the top of my spine. They didn’t know if the operation would be successful, or even if I could survive it. They had a plan, but it was extremely risky and they needed my consent. Dana had insisted (over the objections of some of my family) that the doctors discuss everything with me and that nothing be done without my permission.

I answered somewhat vaguely, “Okay, whatever you have to do.” Ever since childhood I’d been used to solving my problems. Whatever scrape I would get myself into, I was always sure of a way out. So at first I thought this was just another temporary problem. I needed surgery, but I’d be up and around before long. It was only after the doctors left that I began to absorb what they had told me: This is a paralyzing injury.

Dana came into the room. We made eye contact. I mouthed my first lucid words to her: “Maybe we should let me go.” She said, “I am only going to say this once: I will support whatever you want to do, because this is your life and your decision. But I want you to know that I’ll be with you for the long haul, no matter what.” Then she added the words that saved my life: “You’re still you. And I love you.”

If she had looked away or paused or even hesitated slightly, or if I had felt there was a sense of her being noble, or fulfilling some obligation to me, I don’t know if I could have pulled through. Because it had dawned on me that I had ruined my life and everybody else’s. But what Dana said made living seem possible, because I felt the depth of her love and commitment. I was even able to make a little joke. I mouthed, “This is way beyond the marriage vows—in sickness and in health.” And she said, “I know.” I knew then that she was going to be with me forever.

Christopher Reeve

“The only love worthy of a name is unconditional.”

John Powell

Those Canny Canines!

If dogs were teachers, here’s what we’d learn:
When a loved one comes home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
Take naps.  Stretch before rising.  Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout – run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.  Stop when you’ve had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you’re not.
If what you want lies buried, keep digging until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Come to think of it – dogs are great teachers!


2 1/2 pkgs (20 squares) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
 1 pkg (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
 Melt 8 chocolate squares. 

Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy; stir in melted chocolate.  Refrigerate until firm. 

Shape into 36 balls.  Place on wax paper covered tray. 

Melt the remaining chocolate.  Use fork to dip truffles; return to tray.   Decorate with chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc., then refrigerate 1 hour.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Super yummy!!!!  I did these for Valentine’s Day.

Can You Change Your Luck?

The dictionary defines “luck” as “the force, considered the result of chance, that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life.”  But is luck really just the “result of chance,” or can we, perchance, take some steps to ensure good luck by doing the following?

Pay attention to your surroundings; you won’t spot good luck unless you look for it.

Strike up conversations with strangers.  You might meet the love of your life, or make an important business contact.

After you meet someone interesting, follow up with a note or phone call.

Stay relaxed, even in a pressure situation; it will help you be more aware.

Vary your routine.  Walk on the other side of the street, or try a new lunch spot.

Be aggressive about making changes you want.  Still thinking about moving across the country?  Just go, already!

Follow your hunches and gut feelings; many seemingly random occurrences are actually the result of good subconscious decisions.

Treat nagging doubts as alarm bells.  They’re often right, even if you can’t pinpoint the reason.

Expect good fortune.  If you think something’s going to happen, you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does.

Believe in lucky charms.  A four-leaf clover doesn’t have special powers, but the confidence it gives you is very powerful.

Smile.  People will smile back, and suddenly you’re off to a good start.

Outlast bad luck.  Often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good results.

Braided Garlic Bread (My Favorite Bread Ever!)

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 T or 1 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 egg
4-5 cups flour (I do 5 cups every time and it is perfect!)

Scald milk; remove from heat and add sugar and butter. Mix yeast with warm water (stir in a tsp or so of sugar—this activates the yeast). Let yeast grow while milk/butter mixture cools. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast and cooled milk mixture, along with the egg. Mix with bread dough hook until dough pulls away from the sides. Divide dough in half, then make three “ropes” from each half. Dip each rope into a mixture of equal parts olive oil and butter; sprinkle in garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Braid into a loaf tucking ends under. Sprinkle with additional parmesan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Also makes great bread sticks or pizza crust.

What Can We Learn From Baseball?

Here’s a great story about baseball – and perspective:

A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat. “I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed.

“Strike one!” he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. “Strike two!” he cried.

The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!” Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. “Strike Three!”

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

Either way – he’s right. Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing?

The "Mother" of Father's Day

Sonora Smart was born in 1882 in Arkansas. Her parents were William Smart, a Civil War veteran, and his wife, Ellen. The family eventually moved west and settled in Washington.

When Sonora was 16, her mother died giving birth to her sixth child. Of that event it was written,

…the day had its nativity in a lonely farm dwelling. There Sorrow ministered amid the moaning of the March winds. A father sat with bowed head in his aloneness. About him clung his weeping children. The winds outside threw great scarves of powdered snow against the window panes, when suddenly one of the children tore himself from the group and rushed out into the storm calling for his mother. Yet even his childish voice could not penetrate the great silence that held this mother.

Hurriedly, the father gathered him back to his protection. For more than two decades, William Smart, alone, kept paternal vigilance over his motherless children.

Sonora Smart held her father in great esteem. At age 27, while hearing a church sermon about the newly celebrated Mother’s Day, Sonora felt strongly that fathers needed recognition as well. Inspired by her father’s love and sacrifice, she urged the Spokane Ministerial Alliance to pass a resolution, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated June 19, 1910. Today in the U.S., Canada and many other countries, on the third Sunday in June we honor fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, uncles, and other men for the important role they play in our lives.

Chicken Won Ton Salad

Lettuce—spring mix is my favorite
Shredded chicken
Almonds, sliced
Fried won ton skin
Green onions
Mandarin oranges

1 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tsp each salt and pepper

Warm to dissolve.  Chill before serving.

In a pinch you can substitute crushed tortilla chips.  Not as good, but fast!

Dad Will Come

I remember one evening years ago, while attending a Sunday School party, I looked at the clock, and it was past the time I was told to be home. Just then a knock came on the door. I was horrified — my dad had come after me. I felt humiliated in front of my friends. I thought I wanted to die. I was not pleasant with my dad; disobedience never makes one pleasant.

A few years later, my friends and I were driving home from a dance across the Indian reservation, ten miles from any shelter. It was 40 degrees below zero, and the wind chill continued to lower the temperature. A few miles farther into the blizzard, we discovered that there was no heat in the car. Then the car froze up and would not run. We came to a slow stop. We watched the snow swirling in front of us only until the windows quickly froze over. We were quiet and sober as we contemplated our fate — our lives were in danger. The silence was broken as a friend in the backseat asked, “How long do you think it will be before your dad will get here?”

Why do you think they thought my dad would come? One time I had thought I wanted to die because he had come after me. This time we lived because my dad came through the blizzard to save my life and the lives of my friends. This time I was pleasant with my dad — pleasant and very grateful.

Ardeth G Kapp

Chicken Poppy Seed Salad

Spinach leaves
Romaine leaves
Grilled chicken, sliced (grill with lots of lemon pepper seasoning)
Red onion, sliced thinly
Crispy bacon, crumbled
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Toasted almonds (or you can sugar the almonds. Put sliced almonds in a pan with lots of granulated sugar (about equal amounts). Cook on medium heat until sugar melts, coating the almonds as they brown.)

The best part... The Dressing:
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tb Maui or Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups canola oil
3 Tb poppy seeds

Mix the first 5 ingredients in a blender, then slowly add the oil, blending until thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Toss all ingredients together with generous amount of dressing before serving.

*This makes a lot of dressing! If you need a really big salad for a party then start with a large bunch of spinach, large head of romaine, 4 chicken breasts, 1 lb bacon, etc. I rarely make a salad that big so that is why there are no "amounts". So have fun with it - you're going to love it!

Did You Stand For Me?

I was sitting the other day in a crowded airport, waiting for a boarding call on my flight to Arizona. As I sat there , I noticed an old man sitting across from me facing the large picture window that gave passengers a view of the runway. The history of a life of hardship traced the old mans eyes as they stared into the twilight of his years, and as I watched, I saw tears rolling from those ancient steel gray eyes, leaving a trail of sadness that tore at my heart. I got up and walked to him and asked if I could join him. Without even looking up to identify me, he nodded, and I sat down, feeling awkward but intensely drawn to him in compassion for his quiet tears. "I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but notice you sitting here alone. Are you ok?" I asked. There was a deafening silence suddenly between us, for what seemed a long time, and finally he spoke in a voice that was worn and weary with age."Did you stand when she walked by?" he asked. I was confused by his question, and a bit taken off guard by the tone of his voice that sounded almost accusatory. "I don't understand sir, , I answered."Did you stand when she walked by?" he asked again, staring straight into my eyes. "Who?" I asked him. But he turned away from me, staring again at the tarmac just outside our window. I waited for an answer, but there was not going to be any. Our conversation was over it seemed, and I got up to leave, hearing the call to board that by this time, was welcome as an excuse to get out of an awkward situation. I started walking away, but was troubled and torn by his question. I boarded my plane after clearing the gate, found my seat , and settled into it, looking back at the terminal I had just left. He was there as I had left him, sitting alone facing the tarmac. I watched for several minutes, and in that time I noticed a number of people stop to visit with him, presumably to ask if he was ok, and then walk away, some of them shaking there heads, others just gone from view at a brisk pace. And still he sat, fixated on a plane that was resting about 300 yards away, surrounded by military personnel. As I watched, a small procession of 6 men carried a flag draped coffin away from the plane to a waiting hearse, where they stood after the rear door of the black car had been closed and they offer a salute as the car slowly drove away. I looked back toward the window of the terminal, and instantly my tears nearly blinded me when I saw the old man I had been talking to also offering a salute, but from his wheel chair now parked next to the window. Since our craft had used a rolling stair gantry for passenger access, I got up, and made my way to the door of the plane, and got off. I walked deliberately, heading for the terminal, making my way through the crowds to the old man at the window. I walked up beside him, faced the plane as yet another coffin draped with Old Glory was placed in a waiting hearse, and I slowly raised my hand in salute, allowing my hand to drop only when the hearse rolled out of view around a security fence. I turned slowly to the old man who by now was looking solidly into my soul with eyes of countless memories. "I know her name now sir, and I stood when she walked by." He was visibly moved, and he said to me in quavering voice ,"Thank you sir . . . for what you did. My greatest wish these days is to stand again for her, but I can't." I gave my legs in '43 and my oldest son in '67 to that Lady, so she could keep walking. It hurts when no one cares that she walks by. I missed my flight that day, but my heart and soul found wings to the heavens on the words of an 90 year old man who dared to share a heart full of memories with me and dared to remind me why Old Glory stills waves as the beacon of Hope in a lost world.

Robert VanDerslice

My Favorite Rolls

4 cups warm water
2 T yeast
1 1/3 cup dry instant milk
2 cubes butter
1 cup sugar        
1 cup potato flakes
4 eggs
1 T salt
10 cups flour

Soften yeast in warm water; add remaining ingredients and let rise 1 hour.   Knead.  Divide into six parts; roll out into a circle.  Spread with butter.  Cut into 12 triangles and roll up starting at the “fat” end.  Let rise 1 hour.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Can sprinkle grated orange rind and sugar over butter before rolling for orange rolls.  Delicious!  Enjoy!

Recipe from my good friend LeAnn Boman

Time Is Short

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back.

From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word “refrigeration” mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched Jeopardy! on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, “How about going to lunch in half an hour?” She would gasp and stammer, “I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, it looks like rain.” And my personal favorite” “It’s Monday.” She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect:

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Stevie toilet trained.

We’ll entertain when we replace the living room carpet.

We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer.

One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I’m going to”, “I plan on” and “Someday, when things are settled a bit.

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind to ideas.

Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of roller blades and skip the elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in ten years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I may as well apply it directly to my hips with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.

The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now….go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list.

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry to round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask “How are you?” Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?

Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow” and in your haste not seen his sorrow?

Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….thrown away….life is not a race. Take it slower.

Hear the music before the song is over.

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind to ideas.

Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of roller blades and skip the elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in ten years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I may as well apply it directly to my hips with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.

The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now….go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list.

If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry to round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly?

When you ask “How are you?” Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?

Ever told your child, “We’ll do it tomorrow” and in your haste not seen his sorrow?

Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast. Time is short. The music won’t last. When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….thrown away….life is not a race. Take it slower.

Hear the music before the song is over.

Don't Break the Elastic

In April, of last year, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 74th birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was “exciting.” Regarding body changes, she said there were many occurring every her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou said this:

I’ve learned no matter what happens, or how bad is seems today, life goes on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they are gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as “making a life”.

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pain, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Please send this to five phenomenal women today. If you do, something good will happen: you will boost another woman’s self esteem. If you don’t...the elastic will break and your underpants will fall down around your ankles! ;-)

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb large macaroni noodles
1 1/2 cubes of butter
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
3 heaping T of flour
Pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups whole milk
2 pkgs. shredded Italian
mix cheese
3 slices bread (for bread crumbs on the top)
Shredded cheddar cheese (also for the top)

Prepare needles ahead of time.  Undercook the noodles a bit as they will continue to cook during baking.  Rinse noodles with cold water and set aside in a covered container.  Put one cube of butter into large pot and melt; add onion and garlic and sauté until it is translucent.  Mix together flour, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper together and add to the butter mixture.  Whisk it in and let it cook for about 2 minutes.  While stirring, add the milk slowly.  The mixture should get thick.  After it’s thick, mix in the packaged cheese.  If it gets too thick, add more milk.  Add pasta, pour in casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
*Can also be done in a dutch oven.