Monday, November 23, 2009

When we are down or when we are low. . . .

Some days when you put on your big girl panties, don't you feel that even they won't help because the elastic is all worn out, you've had to pin them so they'll stay up, and then they still wiggle down when they shouldn't????? Don't you feel that all the chocolate has been swiped from the secret hiding place you so desperately established? Don't you feel that the gray of the rain and the cold of the day won't ever go away?

I know I've been there, done that, an still have my moments. However. . . . . . . . . . .

I have a portion of God's Word that I've clung to for years
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
And, no, just thinking about the peace of God, or praying for His peace, or seeking and coveting His grace doesn't make it come instantly. God is there in the grey of the day, the dark of the night, the hurt of the moment as well as the song of the bird or the leap of joy or the moment of peace and the moment of rest. I know. I've been there. I've had many moments and many long nights when I've felt there was no peace, no joy, no worthiness in me, no sense of being, no sense of achievement. But God has been there, too; and He has held my hand and protected me with His Shield of Faith.

Friday, November 20, 2009


At this time of the year, there is so much food for festivities in the grocery stores and it seems to be sprouting from cracks in the walls, floors, ceiling. It's everywhere! It's everywhere! With Thanksgiving a week away and Christmas right around the corner, whatever your heart (or gastric system) should ever desire is probably within the four walls of the grocery store down the street.

Today I went to the store to get my Thanksgiving turkey and other things so good, and it struck me at the absolute abundance of every imaginable taste treat. The good and simple food of sweet potatoes and collards. The Little Debbie Christmas cakes. The richness of nuts, candied fruit, marshmallows, brown sugar, white sugar, exotic meats, and exotic fruits and veggies. The beauty of flowering plants you see only at this time of the year. The specialty coffees and creams. You name it, you can probably find it.

And are we thankful? Oh we might say a "Thanksgiving Blessing" as we gather together and form a circle by holding hands prior to partaking of our blessed Thanksgiving feast replete with turkey, ham, duck, turducken, venison, etc. Specialty vegetable dishes and desserts. Bowls of down-home collards, taters, rice, gravy, biscuits. But are we really thankful?

Do we pause and really say "Thank you, dear Lord and Father of all, for this Your provision to us so abundantly laid before us. Thank you for those who have grown and harvested this food and those who have brought it to market for us. Thank you for those who have prepared it to be eaten. Thank you for the strength to labor so we can earn our livelihood to pay for it and for the strength to prepare it to be eaten."

So I am thankful for abundance. And I pray that I will continue to appreciate with a thankful heart what the Lord has so abundantly provided for me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let's talk a bit about Thanksgiving meals...

One item I prepare that my kids really enjoy (my grown family and their grown or nearly grown children) is “stuffing.” Now I make my own but I don’t go the real old fashioned route of baking biscuits, toasting loaf bread, and baking cornbread to use. I buy Pepperidge Farm sage seasoned and also Pepperidge Farm corn bread stuffing. I also use a couple of boxes of Stove Top Turkey stuffing. I mix these up in a large bowl.

I chop onion and celery and then sauté them in a couple sticks of butter (real butter) in a sauce pan. Once they begin to look a little bit done, I measure in some uncooked grits (yep! I said grits) and water. I cook this until the grits are done. Then I pour this over the bread stuffing. I then use chicken broth (or turkey broth from cooking the heart and neck of the turkey) to thoroughly moisten the bread stuffing (the stuffing packages give a guideline for this).

I stuff the turkey with as much as it can hold, skewer the opening, and bake until the turkey is done taking into consideration that it takes longer to cook a stuffed bird than one that is not stuffed. The remaining stuffing is placed in a greased baking dish suitable to place on your table and baked for about 30-45 minutes at 350F.

Quantities of the ingredients depend on how many you are going to serve. For our large family I might use one of each type of the Pepperidge Farm stuffing in the larger bags. Two boxes of the Stove Top stuffing. A couple or three stalks of celery and a large white or Valdia onion. I think it would take at least 2 sticks of butter but perhaps 3. I would cook probably ½ cup grits with 2 cups water in the sauteed onion and celery. Don’t forget that you need a bit of black pepper. It will have enough of salt and other seasonings in the other ingredients.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The "eyes" have it . . .

For various reasons and ailments, people use eye drops. Some to simply get the red out when they have indulged in life a bit too much. However, professionals usually encourage you to NOT use drops created to "get out the red." I don't know their rationale or what ingredient/s are involved that made this a poor choice when considering treating your eye conditions. I do, however, choose to listen to the eye professionals to whom I have entrusted my wonderful gift of "sight."

All that being said, I have narrow-angle glaucoma. That is I have narrow angles in my eyes that could at some time pose a problem and therefore result in blindness. In order to avoid this terrible calamity (and believe me, I realize it would be terrible), two doctors of ophthalmology have recommended a certain laser eye procedure – PI (a form of in-office eye surgery) – to avoid the possibility of narrow-angle closure which would be abrupt and very painful. The procedure has been done, successfully, in my left eye and, unsuccessfully, in the right eye. The right eye will be repeated soon. In the meantime, another situation has arisen that is being treated with warm compresses to the eye, eye-scrubs, and Systane Ultra lubricant eye drops. This is a four-times a day procedure that assists in keeping at bay the gritty feeling in the eyes.

So now the eyes have it. But all is not lost. I needed a new bottle of Systane Ultra drops and so I "dropped" in at the local CVS Pharmacy and picked up a bottle. I had a $1 off coupon from the "sample" the doctor gave me. But what a joyful surprise to discover that the drops are on sale this week! Instead of $10.99 for a tiny bottle they are $7.99. Pricey. Now I thought I'd drop back by CVS before the sale goes off and grab another bottle. But prior to that I went online and found a $2 coupon at the Systane website. You simply register and are able to print twice in 60 days. That will help pay for this pricey water that I'm dropping drop by drop into my eyes.

So I encourage any of you Systane users to investigate the website, get your coupon, get to the sale before it runs out Nov. 7th and save a little green.