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    May 2015
    M T W T F S S
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Jesus Is From The SOUTH!

I know that’s a provocative statement, but I think I can back it up.

Contrary to what some may believe, the Southern idiom “Bless your heart” isn’t always a grave insult of your intelligence. It can be. Oh, yes, it certainly can be. However, “Bless your heart” is a subtle saying, with many gradations of meaning within it. Sometimes, it can be a straight forward blessing, as when someone is going through a tough time, one might say, “Bless your heart! Let me give you a hug. And here’s a casserole.” As a jibe, it can mean something as lighthearted as, “Oh, honey! Your naïveté is so cute!” all the way up to “Oh, my! You’re just a walking contradiction to the process of natural selection, aren’t you?” 

What does this have to do with Jesus being from the South? Because Jesus blessed someone’s heart! Yes, He did. In the Gospel of John, chapter one, verses 43 through 51, we read of Nathanael’s first encounter with Jesus. Philip urges Nathanael to come meet the man whom Moses and the prophets wrote about, namely Jesus of Nazareth. Whereupon, Nathanael laid down some snark, “Yeah, right. As if anything good can come from Nazareth.” Jesus knew Nate said that. So, when Nathanael was introduced, Jesus was ready for him.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭47-49‬ NASB)

Ok, here it comes. Are you ready?

Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭50‬ NASB)

All right! I know the actual words, “Bless your heart” don’t appear in this (or any) translation of the Holy Bible. But there are other things we believe that are not explicitly spelled out in the Bible. Hello! The word Trinity? Not in the Bible.

Read verse 50 again. Can’t you see the amusement in Jesus’ eyes? The corner of his mouth drawn up in a slight smile? The small shake of his head? Here, I’ll paraphrase it for you: “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? Bless your heart! You will see greater things than these!”

Of course, Jesus’ “Bless your heart” for Nathanael was the gentle amusement of a loving parent for the child that is too immature to understand. Then in verse 51, Jesus gets serious. And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭51‬ NASB). Was Jesus alluding to the passage in Genesis 28 about Jacob’s ladder with this or his own ascension into Heaven? I don’t know, but please note that in the original Greek, the “you” in this passage is plural, which can easily be translated as “you all.” What can I say? I told you Jesus was from the South.

This is certainly a lighthearted take on this Scripture passage. But I truly can see Jesus’ gentle amusement at Nathanael’s wide-eyed wonder for such a small display of Jesus’ power. Also, I hope no one is offended at my paraphrasing. This definitely isn’t an authoritative teaching on this Scripture. I mean, bless your heart, if you think this is authoritative teaching, you. . . 

Well. You know.

If your “Bless your heart” comes with a look like this, don’t expect a casserole

File under: Chickens Are SO Weird!

Keeping chickens in town is generally an easy, fun, little hobby. The chickens are interesting to watch. The eggs are the yummiest. But sometimes, events take a strange turn.

Hens are known for having an “egg song” they sing to let you know they have laid an egg. Our Buff Orpington hen, Tillie, loudly sings her song in her strangely low-pitched, gravelly voice before she lays her eggs. She’s all, “Bok! Bok! It’s about to happen! Bok! Bok! I’m really gonna do it! Bok! Bok! I swear, I’m gonna lay this egg right here, right now!”

Enter our accidental rooster named Marilla (Yeah, I know. But we didn’t know he was a rooster when we got him.) Anyway, Marilla hears Tillie bokking her head off, and apparently thinks there is a threat he needs to let me know about. He’s all, “Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! Something’s going on out here! Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR! What am I gonna do?! What am I gonna do?! I know, I’ll let that big featherless chicken take care of it. Er Uh Er Uh ERRRRRRRRRR!

So, I take care of it.

I bet our neighbors hate us.

Our accidental rooster, Marilla, in a calm moment

Our accidental rooster, Marilla, in a calm moment

7 Quick Takes Friday

Weight loss tips

1. Don’t buy a bag of Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips.

2. If you buy a bag of Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips, don’t open them.

3. If you open them, don’t get up out of your bed at 11:30, watch Perry Mason reruns, and start eating them.

4. If you get up out of your bed, watch Perry Mason reruns, and start eating them, don’t eat all of them.

5. If you eat all of them, let it go, because. . .

6. Today is a new day, and. . .

7. There are no more Zapp’s Mesquite BBQ kettle cooked chips left in the house anyway.


Laundry Day Truisms Countdown

4. If I do 40 million loads of laundry on Monday, there should not be 40 million more loads of laundry to do on Friday.

3. I may be exaggerating.

2. But not much.

And the number one Laundry Day Truism is:


Photo from publicphoto.org

Word Nerd: Poetry Month

Word Nerd: Poetry Month.

A poem written by the Creator

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins.


Yes, God is still good.
Reblogging this post from a survivor of recent theater massacre.

Originally posted on A MINIATURE CLAY POT:

July 22 – a note of explanation

I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience.  But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.

I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog  followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for.  People who know me  know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…

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Because that is life (and a recipe)

I was recently reminded of an incident that illustrates how frustratingly funny (both strange and ha ha) life can be sometimes. Here’s how it went down:

A few years ago, my husband and I finally gave up the fight and bought cell phones, a major expense for us. Shortly afterward, I was sitting at the table with my daughter and a slew of her friends for lunch. I looked around the table and saw. . .a forest of tall glasses–full of water, one at each child’s place. Looked at my cell phone lying on the table. Looked at the full water glasses. Looked at my cell phone. Plucked my cell phone up from the danger of the imminent flood–and promptly dropped it into my soup.


The soup was good though. Here is the recipe:

Southwest Stew

Buy a chicken to roast. Roast it (what else?) Have a nice dinner with your family, but freeze 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken for the soup.

Next, cook up the chicken bones for broth. You can do it! It’s easy! Just break up the bones and cover with 12 to 16 cups of water. Throw in some raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion, whatever you have.) Add a tablespoon of vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, two or three bay leaves, some peppercorns, and salt. Bring to boil, then simmer for HOURS. Try for at least four hours. Scoop out the goop, then strain out the little stuff. Put the broth in the fridge until cool to make it easy to skim off the fat. After it is cooled, freeze in 2 cup portions. Pat yourself on the back for being all frugal and Suzy Homemaker-y.

Now (and stay with me) buy a 32 ounce container of your favorite yogurt. Eat it, make smoothies or cakes or whatever, but save the container. Put it in your freezer. When you have vegetables leftover at supper that are not enough to keep for another meal, put it in the yogurt container with the juice. When the container is full, make some soup!

Add the frozen, leftover veggies to 6 cups of the wonderful homemade broth you concocted. Add the leftover chicken. Bring to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of barley. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is cooked. Season to taste. Serve with hot cornbread–of course, bake the cornbread in a skillet!

Note:  Keep your cell phone far, far away from the soup.

PS: Ok, I know many of you reading this blog (if there are many of you reading this blog. Ok, some of you reading this blog. OK!) If one were actually to read this blog, one might wonder (satisfied?) why is this soup called Southwest Stew? There are no spices or ingredients that are usually found in dishes called Southwest Something. Here’s the story. I promise you, it’s short. We’re almost done here.

Once upon a time, I was an office manager for a homeless shelter. Once a week, our cook would gather whatever leftover veggies and meat were available in the walk-in refrigerator and make soup. This yummy dish was known as Walk-in Stew. You get it, right? Walk-in fridge/walk-in stew? Ok, then. This name sounded less than appetizing to me because it reminded me of feet, so I decided to change the name. (Yes! I changed the name of the soup by fiat. Office managers rule!) The kitchen was in the south west corner of the building, so, voila! Southwest Stew! Enjoy!

It’s Offensively Summer (and another recipe)

OK, all of you peace loving people, you may want to skip this post, ’cause it ain’t gonna be peaceful.

My daughter and I went for a bike ride this morning. Love the daughter. Like the biking. Really, really don’t like the weather. At 7 AM, the temperature was 76 degrees!  And muggy!

I’ve never been a fan of summer, even as a child when it meant getting out of school for three months. Now it is even worse. As a child I didn’t worry about sunburns, sunscreen (don’t even know if that product was available when I was a child) or West-Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes. I know this is weird, but putting on sunscreen feels oppressive to me (shudder.) But I burn easily, so I have no choice. (Note to self: research natural sun protection.)

If I could spend the entire summer at the lake, perhaps I would be more resigned. But I feel more caged up in the summer than the winter. We have fairly mild winters here in our little corner of the Ohio Valley, mostly with temperatures in the 20’s, so there are few days when it is too nasty to get outside. But in the summer, the combination of heat, humidity and early morning and evening mosquito invasions can make for very unpleasant days.

I will admit, there are a few things I like about summer, mostly to do with food; such as peaches, watermelon, sweet corn, tomatoes, lima beans, and (sigh) Concord. grape. pies.  Concord grape pies are worthy of an post all by their lonesome. Maybe later.

Well, I feel better having let my rant out. I know that in the Great Scheme of Things my dislike of summer is absurd. What can I do about the weather anyway? Thank goodness for lake time, AC, iced tea (sweet, of course) and our absurdities that can be exploited for blog posts.


Confidential to Vonilda: I DON’T want to hear about the weather in Alaska!  ;)

PS: Of course you must know that DH just lo-o-o-o-ves summer.

PPS: You must try this pie. If a Concord grape pie can make someone like me look forward to summer, you know the pie is worth the effort.


These are the changes I’ve made to the basic recipe: 1) Change 1 1/4 cup white sugar to 2/3 cup white sugar; 2) Change 1/4 cup all purpose flour to 1/2 cup all purpose flour; and 3) Change 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

(from June 2011)

Writer’s Block Consequences

Writing about a writer’s block unblocker (do I need a thesaurus maybe?) a few random thoughts came to mind. First the block-busting question was (and I’m paraphrasing) if you could exchange your writing ability for another writer’s, would you? Would you keep the change? For my answer, just read my previous post. Personally, I’ve moved on.

What occurred to me is “How much would it stink for some of the great writers to wake up with MY writing ability?” Can you imagine being Wodehouse, Austen. . .Homer! waking up one morning and having to write about eyebrows, knitting dishcloths, the oppressive properties of. . . .sunscreen! Poor authors. They are to be pitied. And laughed at.

“I admire the feudal spirit and all, Jeeves, in the face of, kind of funny that, in the face of, I mean, such provocation, and taking all things into cons., the eyebrows in question…

“Anne, you pierce my soul! Tell me not that knitted dish cloths are forever barred from…” 

“I sing of arms and its tan!

OK, I may need to stop writing after midnight. But I’m not making any promises.


(from February 2010)


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