Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wednesday Medley - Sweetness

Joining Terri for this week's




We continue with February’s heart-shaped and red theme by observing National Strawberry Day on February 27. These juicy, sweet berries can brighten up any dish and are delicious all on their own.

1.  Given all that information on this 🍓National Strawberry Day🍓, do you have a favorite recipe for strawberries?  Would you share it with us?
I wish I did have a favorite recipe, but I don't.  I don't cook a lot of deserts and rarely if ever cook with strawberries.  We much prefer them fresh.

However, if you want a good strawberry pie, Strawns Eat Shop is the place to go.  Strawns opened in 1944 and now has three locations. Southern Living Magazine featured their famous ice box pies in 1994, 2003 and 2009.
2.  Some people think the smaller, northern varieties are sweeter than the larger berries that grow in the south and in California.  What are your thoughts on that?
All I know about are the large southern variety and find them very hard to beat.
3.  There is a Strawberry Festival right here in Plant City, Florida (next town over from Lakeland) and it is a huge event that lasts 11 days with headliner acts each day.  Have you ever been to a Strawberry Festival?
I have not ever been to the Strawberry Festival in my state but have heard good things about it.  It is April 12-14 in Ponchatoula, near Hammond, LA.
4.  Strawberries are grown in every US state.  Have you ever grown them in your garden?
We tried once many years ago but were either not successful or it was too much work.  I tend to lean to the latter.
5.  Strawberry is the only fruit that has seeds on the outside, and technically it is not a berry but rather a fruit, and would you be surprised to learn that strawberries belong to the rose family?  Do you have any strawberry trivia to share with us?
The Strawberry was designated the Louisiana official state fruit in 1980?
Strawberries are on the menu of the official state meal of North Louisiana? Who knew we had an official state meal?  Interesting!
6.  Tell us something random about your week!!

Yesterday I had three of my long-time friends over for lunch.  We have known each other since 1969, when members of the same church in another town, before each of us moved to Shreveport and Ruston at different times through the years.  It was so good to be with these dear ladies and friends.

In 2009 we had several friends over from our old town who had moved to this area.  Unfortunately two precious friends in this group are no longer with us, but this picture brings back memories of times with our long-time friends.  This was the last time the four of us gals were together although I have seen them each individually.

On Thursday, our only grandson will have a birthday.  He is such a dear and we could not be more proud of this strong, healthy, intelligent, personable, lovable young man.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Sharing Four Somethings

As a way of wrapping up the month of February, I am participating with a couple other bloggers, Laurie at Meditations in Motion and Heather at Living the Full Life, for today's post.

Share Four Somethings

February 2019 Relived

Something Loved

The first week of February found us in Northern Indiana facing weather conditions we Louisiana natives had never dreamed of before.  The renowned Polar Vortex of 2019 hit us with its full force for that part of the country, breaking records for negative temperatures.  The actual high one day was a -23 with a wind chill of -51.

I loved seeing the lake affect snow swirl and pile up on every outdoor surface.  I also loved having our three grandchildren there with us because their colleges and high school were closed.  When that happens, you know the weather is bad.

And then it was gone and the skies celebrated, and I loved every minute of that too.

Something Said

I recently visited with several friends who have lost their spouse.  We talked about how much they still miss their mate so much, but feel that every day brings healing.  But, one said a very sad thing that I can't stop thinking about.

They said that the loss is hardest on their grown children because of feelings of guilt on their part.  The death of their parent has brought back unresolved feelings and issues they had not dealt with until now.

Although they know without a doubt of their parent's great love and forgiveness, they can't forgive themselves for grief they caused.

I've thought about how so very sad that is.  How unfortunate that these adult children now live with self condemnation and feelings of self-imposed guilt.  These feelings are keeping them from moving on with the healing and acceptance of their parent's death, and love and forgiveness freely given.

How important is it to resolve issues like these while our loved ones are still with us?  We never know when it could be too late.

But, self-imposed guilt is a load only that person can unload.  Jesus tells us that we are to cast all our cares, burdens, pain and guilt on Him and He will give us rest.

Don't wait until it is too late.

Something Learned

A dear friend sent me a video of a song her son wrote and it is beautiful.  I knew Harrie was very gifted and had co-written some songs years ago and is even a Dove winner.  But, this one is different.

I learned that after not writing anything for almost 20 years, he wrote this song for his beautiful wife as a Valentine gift.

Today I learned that Harrie McCollough is truly a very gifted song writer.

An Ordinary Man

Before you I was ordinary.
Before you I was simply just a man.
Before you I thought I would never find a way
To ever want to love again.

Since you, I have new direction.
Since you, I am more than just a man.
Since you, I know that I have truly
Found a road back to me.
Now I want to love again.

You are light to a place that had grown dreary.
You are water to a dry and thirsty land.
You are hope to a soul that had grown weary.
You're the extra to this ordinary man.

Even though we've loved and lost,
And know the price that losing cost,
I'm thankful that we took the chance
To give love's song another dance.

You are light to a place that had grown dreary.
You are water to a dry and thirsty land.
You are hope to a soul that had grown weary.
You're the extra to this ordinary man.
Harrie McCollough, 2019

Something Read

I didn't actually read this book but listened to it while on a road trip this week.

It is a captivating story of fiction based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals.  The history of what Georgia Tann did to so many poor children back in the 1930's is heart breaking.  As the director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, she, a lesbian kidnapped, abused and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country.

Lisa Wingate's riviting and heart breaking story of a family of children is also uplifting and inspiring.  She portrays through the lives of these delightful characters that although paths can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.  Home!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday 9: #9 Dream

Joining Samantha today for

I must admit to having never heard this song before answering this post.  If you would like to join in on the questions, click HERE.

No. 9 Dream

Saturday 9: No. 9 Dream (1974)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) John Lennon liked the number 9. It shows up in three of his songs (in addition to this song, he performed "Revolution #9" and "The One after 909" with the Beatles). He was born on the 9th of October, as was his son Sean. Coincidentally, "No. 9 Dream" hit #9 on the Billboard chart. Do you have a favorite number? 

Yes, two in fact, #7 & #13

2) The phrase repeated in the chorus, "Ah bowakawa pousse pousse" means nothing. It's gibberish that John sang until he could come up with "real" lyrics for this melody. Then he decided he liked the sound of it, so he kept it. Can you think of a word that's fun to say just because you like how it sounds?

The only one I can think of is "FLABBERGASTED".
That also describes my response to this question.

3) John referred to "No. 9 Dream" as an example of "craftsmanship writing." A snatch of the melody just came to him and he got it down on a tape recorder, wrote lyrics, arranged it and recorded it in short order because he needed another song to finish the LP, Walls and Bridges. What's the last thing that you did because you were supposed to or you had to, and not because you wanted to?

Take an inventory of my Mary Kay products.  It's neither a difficult not time consuming task but one I put off doing until the very last minute.

4) Yet once "No. 9 Dream" was recorded, it became one of John's favorite of his solo songs. He loved its ethereal feel. Tell us about something that turned out better than you thought it would.

I saw this painting several years ago and wanted to do it for my granddaughters.  I wasn't at all sure I could do it and be happy with it, but as it turned out, I thought it ended up pretty close to the original.  The girls were pleased so, so was I.

5) When he was working, John drank a lot of tea, as many as 30 cups in a day. Do you take your tea with cream, sugar, honey, or lemon?

I use honey but mostly use a liquid sweetener.  We discovered Skinny Syrups several years ago, and now keep a nice assortment of flavors.  Our favorite though is Salted Caramel.

6) During his reclusive years (1975 to 1980), John didn't have household help, preferring to take care of his young son and housework himself. He did, however, have a chauffeur on call around the clock. If you could afford to a staff of one, what single thing would you have him/her do?

I would have them do the floors and bathrooms.  I know that's not a single thing but these would have to go together.

7) When John was a boy, he requested water colors and colored pencils for his birthday and at Christmastime. Do you recall a special birthday or Christmas gift you received as a child?

I do and it was a paint set with numbered pictures.  I was so disappointed with I completed my final picture because there wouldn't be any more for a long time.

8) Beatles producer George Martin said John was "a completely impractical man." Would you describe yourself as impulsive, with flashes of practicality? Or are you practical, with flashes of impulsivity

Definitely practical with flashes of impulsivity.

9) Random question -- Congratulations! You just won the Saturday 9 Sweepstakes, and the prize is your choice of a boat or a motorcycle. Which one do you take?

We have already done the motorcycle and boat thing and don't care about repeating that time in my life.  I would take the one that would have the greatest resale value. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday Medley: Pet Day

If I had a pet, I'm sure I would be thrilled to observe this National Day to love your pet.  Since I don't I will be thrilled for those of you who do.
In the meantime, I am happy to join Terri, our Friend From Florida for today's Wednesday Medley.


On February 20th, pet lovers everywhere observe National Love Your Pet Day.  This holiday is a day set aside to give extra attention to and pamper your pets.  This is a good day to focus on the special relationship that you have with your pets.
Did you know that most households in the United States have at least one pet?  While there are more cats than dogs in the United States, more households have dogs than cats, but not by much. Pets are not limited to the canine and feline categories.  There are quite a few who prefer the companionship of birds, reptiles, fish or rats.  Whoever your pet companion is, we are sure you will enjoy spending a little extra time with them on National Love Your Pet Day and reap the benefits, as well such as stress relief and lower blood pressure.  
So on February 20 (and every day) show your appreciation to your pets!
Bring your pet a special treat, take an extra long walk or give them more attention on National Love Your Pet Day.  Whatever you decide to do, spoil and appreciate your pets! 
Use #NationalLoveYourPetDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Love Your Pet Day.
1.  Have you ever had a special pet in your life?  Will you tell us about it?
Growing up we always had special pets, mostly dogs.  We even had a baby skunk that our faithful dog found and brought home.  After getting married, Dick and I had two special Siamese cats, Neiko 1 & 2.
When our daughter was eight, my parents caved to her pleas for a puppy and gave her one for Christmas.  After Daughter grew up and left home she left Muffin with us.  She was our last pet and we aren't anticipating ever having another one.  We will just love on our grand and great grand dogs who are all adorable by the way, and loved greatly.
Meet Sophie, Skye and Samson
2.  Did you grow up with pets in your home?  What did it teach you?
My dad loved animals so we always had one dog that was very special to us.  I think perhaps the most memorable was BeeBo, our black Lab.  She was our Dad's constant companion and once brought a baby bird, that had fallen from its nest to him in her mouth.  The bird was hardly damp.  She was so gentle.  She is also the one who found and brought the baby skunk to us.
Because our dad loved and valued ALL life, so did we.  We learned so much from watching him that the lessons are innumerable and invaluable.
3.  Do you ever wonder what animals are thinking?
Image may contain: cat
Miss Ellie
Of course we do.  My sister has the smartest cat with a huge vocabulary and you just wish she could actually communicate with us.  I would also love to know what those three dogs really think about all the smooching they get.
4.  Sometimes a pet gets out and doesn't return for a few days. What do you think happens to them when they go on a walkabout?

I have no idea, but in our neighborhood, someone will be posting their picture on the HOA facebook page announcing that the dog is out and needs to be returned home.  There is not much legal free roaming for pets where I live.  And, I like it that way.
5.  With cats and dogs being the most popular pets, what is the most exotic pet you have personal experience with (didn't have to be yours)?
It was certainly not exotic, but I suppose the skunk we raised would be the most unusual.  Thankfully, Dad returned it to the woods before we had to fumigate the house and us with it.
6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far...
Dick and I went to the movie Tuesday afternoon since it was half-price for seniors and was a very rainy day.
Today after Bell Choir, I will go south to my middle sister's for the night where we will celebrate "Love Your Pet Day" with Miss Ellie.
Then I will go further south for my Sister-in-law's back surgery on Thursday.  That night I will go even further toward the coast, to New Iberia, Louisiana to spend the night with a dear friend whom I've not seen since the passing of her husband a year ago.

Jim and Charlene were our first couple friend after we got married in 1965.  They and Dick had gone to college together, so they already knew each other.  Our special friendship has been a blessing for all these years - almost 54 - is that possible!
It will be a busy week, but the kind I so enjoy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

We Did The Food Drop 2019

While we were up north, we were able to participate in the Annual Food Drop that our family's church does each year and they traditionally look forward to being part of it.

So early Saturday morning, January 27, we along with 1,998 other people including two of our grandchildren, met at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana to make sure food would be available for over 63,000 people in the Michiana (Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana) area.

Image may contain: text

After a joint informational meeting, everyone dispersed to their area of assignment.  Our job was to stay inside as much as possible since it was a very chilly 18 degree day.

So we, along with hundred's of others decorated boxes to be filled with food products outside.

Once the box was decorated, there was a line of young people who taped the boxes and then sent you outside to begin the process of loading them.

Once our boxes were loaded, they were then sealed and put into trucks that would later take them to distribution points all over the area.  These boxes were then given to some 63,000 people personally that afternoon.

In looking at a video of the event, I got a glimpse of someone familiar.  I had no idea this had been taken so was quiet surprised to see that I made the video.  How fun is that!

This is another shot from the video to give you an over view of the enormous process.  The filled boxes were loaded into the trucks on the right.

There were four eighteen wheeler trucks loaded with donated bulk cases that were moved by human chains to smaller trucks to be taken to food pantries.

Granddaughter Mary-Elizabeth and to-be Granddaughter, McKenna were the end of the chain, inside one of the trucks handing off these bulk items to Grandson, Jackson deeper inside.  This is the job they choose to do every year.

This is part of the 220 dozen doughnuts provided for the 2,000 people.  There were also numerous hot beverage and juice tables for all the hard working folks.

After it was all loaded the hard workers came inside to warm up in front of the fireplace and drink something warm.

We were thrilled to have been part of this wonderful timely event.  The following week saw record breaking low temperatures in Northern Indiana thanks to the Polar Vortex and Winter Storm Jayden.  So, thanks to the ministry of Granger Community Church and thousands of volunteers, many families had plenty to eat.

This is a link to a video about the event if you would like to see what really takes place.  You will even see a familiar face.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Be My Valentine Saturday 9

Thank you Samantha for hosting this Saturday 9 Valentine edition.

Click HERE to join in on answering this week's questions.

Saturday 9: Valentine (1993)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

I am not a huge Willie Nelson fan, but I do like this sweet song.

This song was specially chosen for the Saturday 9 closest to Valentine's Day.

1) This is a love song written by Willie Nelson for his young son. Have you sent any Valentines this year to someone you love who isn't a romantic partner? 

I did text message some Valentine gifs to special friends and family members.

2) Today that little boy, Lukas, is a singer/songwriter who wrote eight of the songs for the 2018 A Star Is Born soundtrack. Have you seen the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga big screen romance?

No I haven't and probably won't.

3) On Valentine's Day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone. Who did you most recently speak to on the phone? 

I had a most enjoyable long phone conversation with my son yesterday and I wished my youngest granddaughter a Happy Valentine's Day on Thursday evening.

4) Penicillin was also introduced on Valentine's Day (in 1929). When you get a shot, do you look away when the needle touches your skin?

Yes, I probably do even though I'm not fearful of needles or getting shots.  It's just not something that I particularly am interested in watching.

5) According to legend, a gift of red roses signifies love and romance. When did you last purchase flowers or plants? Did you buy them for yourself, or someone else?

I bought a small orchid plant for my youngest sister's birthday in January.

6) This week's artist, Willie Nelson, can trace his family tree back to the Revolutionary War. Captain John Nelson served with the Minutemen back in 1776. If you could go back in time to witness any great moment in American history, which would you choose?

I too can trace my family tree back to the Revolutionary War.

There have been so many great moments in the history of our great nation, but I think I would love to have been part of the ticker tape parade in New York City on January 12, 1946.  This was an amazing celebration of the victorious ending of World War II.

For our country to have won the wars on opposite sides of the world and against two formidable foes, being there to experience the celebration and to honor our soldiers must have been a
once in a life time experience.

7) Before he became a musical success, Willie was a door-to-door salesman, peddling first Bibles, then vacuum cleaners. INC magazine tells us that the traits of successful salespeople include resilience and good listening skills. Do you think you'd make a good sales person?

Not at all.  But, I am a good listener and am pretty resilient.  I tried working in retail sales for a short time and have had a couple home based businesses, but a sales person I am not.

8) In 1993, when this song came out, Saved by the Bell aired its series finale. Crazy Sam likes to tease her brother because he once admitted to her that he has seen all 86 episodes of this teen sitcom. Is there a show that you believe you've seen every episode?

With being able to record shows and watch them at your convenience, it is so much easier to see every episode of favorite TV shows; however I'm not sure I can say we have done that.

9) Random question -- We're having milkshakes! What's your favorite flavor?