Friday, March 29, 2002

Good Friday

Wow! What do you say to commemorate the greatest event in the history of mankind? (I know... the Resurrection was really the greatest, but there would've been no Resurrection without there being a Crucifixion first.)

Our pastor's wife said something last Sunday that has really stuck with me. She said something that really bothers her in the story of the Crucifixion is not so much that Jesus died... after all, that's what He came to do, for our salvation... but how awfully rude the people were to him about it. Jeering and spitting on him and beating him and all that... That was not necessary! I've been told that dying on a cross is one of the most painful, excruciating deaths there is. Wasn't that enough? Why did the people have to be so mean to Him on top of that?

As I thought about this, I decided that probably the shadow of the Cross was weighing so heavily on Him at this point in time, that maybe the rudeness was just a minor nuisance... but I also find it comforting to know that He understands when people annoy us and are out-right rude to us. He has been there!

"Oh My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Southern Gospel Music

I enjoy a variety of music, including some Southern Gospel. This past Sunday one of the special songs at church was When He Was On the Cross, I Was On His Mind. It was an absolutely beautiful arrangement done by a ladies trio. So all week that song has been going through my head. This morning I decided to look for the lyrics, so I could actually sing it and not just hum most of it! In looking for those lyrics I came across a really cool site that lists the lyrics to quite a few popular Southern Gospel songs, plus accompaniment midis! It's Dave's Southern Gospel Midi Tracks.

And here are the lyrics I was looking for!

WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS, I WAS ON HIS MIND

I’m not on an ego trip, I’m nothing on my own
I make mistakes and sometimes slip
Just common flesh and bone
But I’ll prove some day just why I say
I’m of a special kind
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

A look of love was on His face
The thorns were in His head
The blood was on that scarlet robe
And stained it crimson red
Though His eyes were on the crowd that day
He looked ahead in time
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

He knew me, yet He loved me
He whose glory makes the Heaven’s shine
So unworthy, of such mercy
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind
For when He was on the cross
I was on His mind

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Letter Writing

I used to love to write letters. No, I don't mean dash off an e-mail. I mean actually sit down with a pen and a sheet of stationery, an envelope and a stamp! With the advent of cheap long-distance and e-mail, I've gotten out of the habit. I looked forward to getting replies to my letters, usually at least 2 weeks later. The thing I love about email is how instantaneous it is. You hit "Send", the person gets the letter almost immediately (if they're at the computer) and can reply within a matter of minutes. That is fun! Still, there's something about receiving a hand-penned letter in the mail that I miss. As expensive as greeting cards are getting, I think it would be a good idea to take the time to actually write a letter (on nice stationery perhaps) instead. I haven't yet started doing that, but I might. Wouldn't you rather receive a nice chatty letter than a pre-printed greeting card with just a name signed to it? I would!

Here's a good article on The Art of Letter Writing that got me to thinking about this.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Visitin'

This is something I've been wondering about...

Does anyone do much entertaining any more? During the 16 years I've been married, we've done relatively little entertaining... nor have we been invited to others' homes very often. Is that a geographical thing or is it a generational thing? I've always heard about "southern hospitality" but since it's been many years since I've actually lived in the South I wonder if folks down there entertain their friends more than people around here do.

But then again everyone everywhere always seems to be so very, very busy... with work and school and church and recreational activities, that lots of people don't seem to even be in their own homes much any more, much less visiting friends. And when we *are* home we have computers (the internet), dozens of cable channels, videos, etc. to where we don't "need" to visit, or play games, or interact with other people at all to be "entertained." So I wonder... is "visiting" something else that is "gone with the wind?"

Take me back to Mayberry! I'd love to sit out on the porch and rock with Aunt Bea, while Andy plays his guitar, and Barney suggests goin' down to the fillin' station to get a bottle of pop! Doesn't that sound SO relaxing??

Well, anyway, what got me thinking about all of this was the this article: Hospitality vs. Entertaining

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Spring Has Sprung!!! ...Where???

This is my house just a few minutes ago. See that bright stuff? That's sunshine! We hadn't even seen that for weeks and weeks, seems like... but with clear skies come cold temperatures. It's below freezing with several inches of snow blowing all over the ground, and icicles dangling off the buildings. I thought spring started yesterday???

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Easter Nest Treats

12 oz. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. Spanish peanuts
5 oz. chow mein noodles
egg-shaped candy (jelly beans, M&Ms, malted milk eggs, etc.)

Melt butterscotch chips, add peanut butter and blend. Add peanuts and chow mein noodles and blend well. Form into nests on waxed paper and cookie sheet. Tuck several egg-shaped candies in the middle of the nests. Cool in refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Anne of Green Gables

Another of my favorite book series growing up was Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. A film trilogy has been made based on the characters of the books. The first movie was fairly close to the book, the second one not-so-close, and the third one only had the same characters, not the same story-line at all. It's kind of like the Little House on the Prairie TV series as compared to the books. Enjoyable, but disappointing if you're expecting the same story as the books.

Of all the Anne books, (there are 8) it's a toss up between the first one, Anne of Green Gables, and the last one, Rilla of Ingleside, as to which is my favorite. I think I lean a little bit toward favoring Rilla the most. It's a beautiful coming-of-age story about Anne's youngest daughter set during World War I.

Here are some good links to all-things-Anne!

Sullivan Entertainment (the movies)

Project Gutenberg (e-text of several of the books)

Virtual Green Gables (on the official PEI website)

The books at Amazon.com

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Juvenile Series Books

As I mentioned below in my post about Cherry Ames, I was an avid reader as a child. Some of my favorites were the popular mystery series such as Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins. I didn't learn until I became an adult that all of these books (and many more) were published by the "Stratemeyer Syndicate," a company started by a man named Edward Stratemeyer. The company had several authors for each series. They would provide an outline for each book, and then the "ghost writers" would write the actual stories. For example, Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym for several writers who wrote for the Nancy Drew series. Although I would've argued with you about it at the time, these books were not considered good literature by the school teachers of the day, and now I can understand why. They are wholesome, fun stories, and yes, I will encourage my children to read them... but they really are just literary "fluff!" That's okay, though. We all need a little "fluff" in our lives, huh?

There were other similar series that I enjoyed that were not a part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, but some of them were probably produced in much the same way. These included Trixie Belden, Alfred Hitchcock and Three Investigators, The Boxcar Children, and others of a similar genre.

I've been exploring around the internet, taking a trip down memory lane. Here are some of the neat places I've found:

Stratemeyer Syndicate
The Series Bookcase
Jinkies! It's a Trixie Belden Web Site!
Three Investigators Headquarters

Many of these books are now out-of-print, but you can often find them at public libraries. Here are a few that I did find still in print at Amazon.com:

Nancy Drew #1: The Secret of the Old Clock (facsimile of a first edition)
Hardy Boys #1: The Tower Treasure
Bobbsey Twins #1: Of Lakeport (revised edition)
Three Investigators #1: The Secret of Terror Castle (reissue edition)
The Boxcar Children, Books 1-4 (boxed reprint editions)

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Cherry Ames

I recently picked up an old Cherry Ames book at a thrift store or a library sale or somewhere. (I'm a major book hound!) My sisters and I read all the Cherry Ames books growing up. I just loved them! Cherry made nursing seem SO glamourous! I was convinced I wanted to be a nurse till the summer after high school when I worked as a nurse's aide in a nursing home for 3 months. I figured out *real* quick that I was *not* cut out for nursing. However, one of my sisters did go on to become a nurse, and a good one at that, so I guess dear little Cherry did have an influence on one of us anyway! I'm re-reading Cherry Ames, Cruise Nurse just to see what the story is like from an adult point-of-view... and oh, my, just too good to be true! Exciting, glamourous, adventurous! But, hey, they wouldn't have a story if they weren't, would they? Watch for more books from my childhood... I was (and am) an avid reader!

The Cherry Ames Page

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Spring Cleaning

As of today, we are still having snow... so unfortunately, no, it's not spring yet. However, I am trying to get in gear to get some major decluttering and organizing done. Expect more posts about this as I work through it...

Here's a great site for decluttering and getting your home under control... still working on it here!

Fly Lady

Here are some a few more helpful websites I've found with ideas for decluttering. What it boils down to is that we just have too much stuff! Way too much stuff! Why is it so easy to accumulate and so hard to get rid of? Maybe that's why we think we have to work as hard as our grandmothers did at maintaining our homes. We have all these modern conveniences, but about 40 times as much "stuff"! And maintaining "stuff" is work!

Calico Pages
Get-O-Life
Clutter Bug

Oregon Trail

On our way home yesterday we visited the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. It was a very cool museum that the whole family thoroughly enjoyed. As we went up to the reception area to pay the lady asked, "Do you homeschool your little ones?" When I said, "Yes," she said, "Well, you're home free, then. Go right on in!" I thought that was so nice! I don't believe we've ever received any "perks" before for being homeschoolers! The museum consisted of hallways of life-size dioramas of life along the Trail. We didn't have time to study everything as thoroughly as we would've liked, so we will plan to return.

Website for the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

The lady in the gift shop gave us a Educational Resource Guide. It lists all sorts of activities that you can do to build a unit study about the Oregon Trail. It included a section of recipes. Here is one that intrigued me:

Trail Lemonade To make this proper you want real vinegar, one with the "mother" in it. If you don't already have it, ask around; it is like sharing and passing a sourdough starter. The lemon essence was often added to improve the flavor of brackish water found on the trail. This "lemonade" is refreshing. Some emigrants claimed that when ginger was added to cold water, a body could drink as much as one wanted without feeling bloated or get an achy stomach. Start with 1 cup real vinegar. Add cup of sugar (try raw sugar for a more authentic taste), 2 oz. Lemon essence, 2-3 cups water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Taste. Adjust sweetness to your liking.

Okay, so does anybody have "real vinegar" with a "mother" in it? I never heard of that, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the "mother" must be some sort of fungus growing in it that keeps the vinegar fermented? Sounds absolutely nasty! Wonder what regular apple cider vinegar that you can buy at the grocery store would taste like. And what is "lemon essence"? Is that different than lemon juice?

Honestly, I'd be willing to give some of these old pioneer recipes a try if I knew where to get the ingredients! I'm not sure that we would actually like them, but it would be a good learning experience, huh?

Time

We were out-of-town the last 3 days. We live on the edge of the time zone, so often when we travel we have to change our watches. My husband was complaining, "That's one thing I hate about going down here. Every time we do, we lose an hour!" That sounded so funny! I laughed at him, "But, honey, we get the hour back when we go home... it's not like we lose it permanently!" That reminded me of a fasicinating little fact I learned awhile back... on the internet, of course!

Prior to 1582, every year divisible by 4 was a leap year. Since a year contains only 365.242199 days (slightly less than 365.25 days), an error of ten days accumulated over the centuries. To compensate for this error, Pope Gregory XIII (after whom the Gregorian Calendar is named) decreed that the ten days between October 5, 1582 and October 14, 1582 would be eliminated from the calendar. This made October 1582 the shortest month, with only 21 days. After 1582, years divisible by 100 are not leap years unless they are also divisible by 400.

Is that not weird? What about the people who were born during those 10 days? Did they not get a birthday? It makes researching genealogy during that era very interesting to say the least!

Perpetual Calendar

Saturday, March 9, 2002

Migraines

Boy, I had a doozy of a migraine yesterday. Didn't accomplish a blessed thing from about 11a.m. on... just tried to lay perfectly still in a dark room. My "wonder drug" Imitrex didn't even help this one! I'm feeling better this morning, just the usual "hang-over" I have the day after a severe head-ache. I was trying to do some research on migraines on the 'net this morning, but didn't have a whole lot of luck. Oh, there's plenty of sites out there on the subject, just most of them want to sell you some product that supposed to help. I don't want another another drug, or herb, or anything. I want to figure out what causes them and try to change whatever it is to stop having them. Seems like I get them way too often!

I did read one site that was by a doctor whose theory was that all head-aches (migraines included) were caused by caffeine-withdrawal. In other words, if you were used to having caffeine and then went too long without it you would get a head-ache. That can't have been the cause of yesterday's head-ache, because I did have my coffee yesterday! Interesting theory, though.

Caffeine and Headaches
Understanding Migraines

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Spring Time!

Isn't it spring yet?? With the white stuff still piling up outside, I wanted to brighten things up a bit with some spring-time flowers. I know it's still at least a month before my tulips will bloom, but just wanted to have a little encouragement that, yes, spring *will* come again! Here's some links for free downloadable springtime wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Birds and Blooms
Springtime in the Ozarks

For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the
earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in
our land. --Song of Solomon 2:11


Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Table Graces

I've been working on putting together a cookbook for my family. My relatives are sending in their recipes, but I've been trying to come up with some appropriate quotes for the little blank spaces that will invariably occur at the bottoms of pages, or between recipes. After searching the net for appropriate food-related quotes without much luck, I came across 2 or 3 traditional table graces in a magazine. That's the very thing I needed! So now, I'm surfing the net (with much better results) for short little table prayers. Here is where I found some:

http://www.homiliesbyemail.com/Special/Thanksgiving/graces.html

http://www.gbgm-umc.org/AldersgateUMCMI/graces.html

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3680/gbm001.htm

For food and drink and happy days
Accept our gratitude and praise.
In serving others, Lord may we,
Express our deepest thanks to thee. Amen.

Eleanor of Aquataine

I was at the library last night and picked up a dusty ol' book on "Eleanor of Aquitaine". With my interest in genealogy, I recognized that she is (supposedly) one of my ancestors. At least I've traced my family line back through several branches to her. I don't know how well documented all that is, but since she lived nearly 1000 years ago I think it's entirely possibly that just about anybody of European ancestry could trace at least one branch of their family tree back to "royalty." But anyway, since I have made that connection, I thought it would be interesting to read about her. She was married to 2 different kings, King Louis VII of France (whom she married at age 15 and later divorced), and then King Henry II of England. I want to research some more about her this morning on the internet.

Looks like that "dusty ol' book" is still in print! Must be a good one to have stayed around this long. Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings

Who was she? http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/heroine2.html

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Journaling

I think recording our day-to-day lives is very important... for our children and others who come after us, and also for our future-selves, to look back at where we've come from. I'll add some links to articles about journaling as I find them... hopefully this will inspire me to get started again, writing down all the things I want my children to know.

Legacy Journals.
The Tradition of Journaling.
So You Think Your Life Is Boring?
Creating Journals for You
Inspired to Journal

"This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord." Psalm 102:18

Monday, March 4, 2002

Homemaking

One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is how to simplify my life to allow more time for the "important" things. Think of all the time it takes to maintain all this "stuff" we think we have to have. One of my goals for this spring is to do some major decluttering and getting rid of stuff we don't actually need or use. But, oh, my... where to start? It's still pretty much winter where I live, so I've been surfing the net for ideas on cleaning and organizing. I'll be posting some links to some good sites I've found on the subject. Hopefully, that will have me all psyched up to really hit the cleaning hard once spring finally does arrive!
She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all." Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Welcome!

Hello!

Welcome to my "blog" site. I tried this once about a year ago, but wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go with it. After all, I have a regular website... but finally I've decided that I would like to have a quick and easy place to go to quickly jot down some of my ideas and thoughts as I'm surfing the web. I'm always coming across an interesting website or article, so I'll bookmark it... and then later I'll forget about it... or come across it so much later that I'll forget why I bookmarked it to start with. So I thought this way I could comment on places I find... and share some of what I think about along the way. Maybe you'll find something you enjoy here, too.
But, to start with, I gotta this place decorated! That's the first thing I always do when I move into a new house. I can't feel at home until I have my curtains up and my pictures on the walls! So I'm off to find some pretty graphics!

Watch for more "content" soon!