Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Country Farming and Garden Spots

Replacing the gravel drive way, with a smooth paved circular drive that continued to the rear of our mobile home and back again to the front gate was worth the investment.

Now I could walk without fear of turning my ankle and could also get my daily exercise without leaving our property. 

That is curious puppy Luke coming to see me take the photo.  Buck and Smoke are watching near the steps and hoping for a doggie treat.

Meandering by our two lemon trees, I breathed in the sweet perfumed air of their blossoms. Bees were busy gathering pollen and assuring me of a good harvest.

Off to the front of our mobile was a small grass area, and beyond it towards the fence lay our garden spot.

Zucchini seeds had been planted in a tray several weeks earlier and recently were transplanted along with some 6 packs of tomato plants into the ready garden spot.

A circular area where flowers once were, held Swiss chard seeds that are now gently peeking through their mulch.

Our three dogs have been extremely interested in all of this roto-tilling, digging and planting and my husband knew what was uppermost on their minds.

1. Nice soft spot to lie down and relax.
2. Great place to dig.
3. This area needs to be marked by us.

However my husband was prepared. So as our dogs watched suspiciously while he dug some holes for posts and then strung poultry wire around the two garden areas, they knew they were defeated.

In life we often need to put up a fence and let the enemy of our souls know that he is off limits and can advance NO further.

1. “Don’t even think about it, you devil” - - is what I tell him when I see his approach to find a nice spot to occupy and rest.

2. Our enemy would like to DIG up our past and hold it up for us to gaze at again. NO I will not even glance at what he insists that I view.

3. AND I have already been marked by God, when He applied the blood of Jesus to all my sins.

How about you? How does your garden grow?

This post has been entered in “Changing the World One Word at a Time”  The word for this entry is FARM. Please visit and check out the other great posts at:  http://peterpollock.com/2011/05/farm-blog-carnival/

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let the Fire Fall

One summer my friend and I took our young children and spent a week at Yosemite National park.

Our husbands had brought us up on a Friday and helped us pitch a tent and unpack our supplies. Staying the night and leaving the next afternoon the men folks left us one of the two cars so we were not completely stranded in the wilderness.

The camp grounds hosted a lovely open air Sunday church service where we sang songs we all knew and a gentleman spoke about all the wonderful works of nature that tell us there is a God.

Our cooking was done on an open fireplace, so each afternoon we took the car and had the boys help us find wood for our fuel.

I shall always remember one exciting event. We had to wait what seemed a very long time while the sky continued to get dark and night finally arrived in its fullness. At the top of a very high mountain, men were building a huge fire and at just the right moment they were going to push the fire over the edge of the mountain and allow it to fall.  We had been promised that it was quite a show!!

What a sight as the big push was ready and the people shouted; “Let the Fire Fall.”

Again and again the people yelled; Let the Fire Fall.”

Over the edge of the cliff the fire came in bright flashes of light. The glow was magnificent as the sparks seem to flow everywhere triggering more embers as they fell.

I remember many times in my life as a Christian, when I shouted to God, “Let the Fire Fall.” Let it fall on me.

By His Holy Spirit, God will send His fire to those who seek His Glory. When the Holy Spirit comes with Fire, he burns out all the dross, and empowers us for His service.

The fire that God sends is not for show, like the fire we saw on the mountain, and His fire does not soon extinguish. The Fire of the Holy Spirit continues to reside in our heart and remains there with the gentle embers burning constantly.

The Bible tells us that “After the Holy Ghost is come upon you that you shall have POWER to ‘BE’ witnesses.”

There is more that we can do for God that we are often not brave enough to believe that it is possible. His Holy Spirit with Fire makes it possible!  Only believe!!

Can you shout with me? “Lord Send the Fire, and let it fall on me!”

This post was shared at "the Wellspring:"  Go there for more encouraging words!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Being newly engaged to Robert, my intended was anxious for me to meet his Uncle Andrew, Aunt Virginia and their four children. He took me out to their ranch in the country for this informal occasion.

When Robert found it necessary to leave home in his teen years, he had spent several years at their ranch, helping with the farm and with the animals for his keep.

Virginia was an excellent hostess and she served us her favorite Carrot Cake, and I must declare here that it was the most delicious cake I had ever had the pleasure to devour!!

Of course I asked her for the recipe and she willingly shared it with me. It must be a vintage recipe, for I have never found another recipe to compare it to.

Here I share it with you. It is a keeper for certain !!

Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 12 hours
1 1/3 cups sugar 2 large carrots grated
1 1/3 cups water 1 tsp cinnamon
1 T butter 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)

After 12 hours mix together and add to the above.
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix well. Bake in a tube pan, or in 2 oiled loaf pans at 275 degrees for 2 hours.

Cool and enjoy. We choose not to frost, but if desired you may frost your cake with . . .

1 lb. confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsps. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans

carrot cake... Pictures, Images and Photos
Photo courtesy of tawin at PhotoBucket

This post has been entered in Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/

Do visit her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Shower Caps for Food Bowls

Old Fashioned Bowl Covers Make Sense

Prior to Tupperware, Rubber Maid, Cling Wrap and Zip Lock containers,  my mother used an old fashioned item to protect our left over food.  They came as a set of see through covers with an elastic band to hold them on the bowl.  Various sizes made it simple to use for just about any left over foodstuff.  Since they were washable they could be used over and over again.

When I did a google search of these unusual items, I was surprised to find that they are still for sale and that many who watched their mothers use them and vowed that they would never do so, are happily bringing  back the vogue.

It is easy to look through these clear plastic covers and distinguish what is hidden inside.

Sometimes forgetting to remove food out of the refrigerator in time, results in an unpleasant discovery.

When God looks at people, he does not judge them by their outward appearance, but he looks inside to see what might be hidden in their heart.

Many times God is pleased to find their inward appearance more beautiful than their outward features. The desires and motives are all known to the Lord whether right or wrong.

Other times God views rotten smelly ugly thoughts all hidden from the view of other people but they are inward care and worries. Perhaps plans for evil and not for good.

The heart can often harbor ill will, grudges, unforgiveness, shame and even regret that can fester and leave repulsive garbage on the soul.

Perhaps it is time to admit to God that there may be things have been covered long enough and it is time to allow Him to do some deep cleaning on the inside.

If this is the case, permit Him to come inside, because He can do a complete renovation.

1 Samuel 16:7 For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nose Itch – Kiss a Fool

You may have heard it said, “If your nose itches, kiss a fool!”

Well what do you do when the bottom of one of your feet itches?

Mine has been itching on the bottom of my foot under the arch and I have found some relief in the little foot massager that I purchased from Amazon.com.

My daughter was having some terrible pain in her feet and was seeing a foot doctor. Her doctor sent her to physical therapy and then he suggested a home foot massager for days she did not have therapy. It seemed to help relieve her foot pain, and I thought it might be good for me.

I placed my little machine near my computer so I can carefully move it and get a foot treatment while I type. How’s that for multi-tasking.

My foot doesn’t itch anymore, but now it is my nose that itches !!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Waving to the Train

I remember the daily Toot Toot from the trains that would travel up and down the rail road track that was only a block away from our rented home.

Busy with two younger children, my mother suggested that I run down to the corner, AND not cross the street, but wait for the freight train to chug on by. At five years old, I was not allowed to cross streets by myself and I knew it was important to obey that rule.

Mother reasoned that watching the train would provide me with some no cost entertainment and give her some freedom to catch up with her work in the kitchen.

She explained to me that if I would wave to the engineer as the train passed by, that he would wave back at me.

That sounded like a great game, so off I went, skipping all the way.

Frantically and anxiously I waited. Here came the train, and at just the right moment, I waved and hoped that the engineer would see this toe headed little girl with the Dutch boy hair cut and wave back.

He did see me, and sure enough that is what happened.  He smiled and waved back tossing his red handkerchief toward me in a swirling motion as his way to say, “Hi there youngster!”

I was so thrilled and happy! It was such a little thing, but little things continue to make me happy!

Times were different in the mid 1930’s and our neighborhood was safe and mother trusted me to walk alone to the corner when the train would pass by.

This became my diversion all the months we lived in that home, and I imagined that the engineer was glad to see me each day.  And he probably was!

I somehow knew that my engineer friend enjoyed our ritual as much as I did.

These days in my neighborhood, at my church, I endeavor to ask the young children about their school and what they are learning? Children need kind attention from adults.

I don’t wave a red hankie at my neighbors or church members, but words spoken can demonstrate and show our love and concern for others.

What are the ways you are finding to show others that you care?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moments of Grace for Women by Bonnie Jensen

By Bonnie Jensen, DaySpring writer
Excerpt from her devotional book Moments of Grace for Women.

It's good to believe that nothing is too big for God, but also to believe, wholeheartedly, that nothing is too small for His undivided attention.

I will be your God throughout your lifetime... I made you, and I will care for you. Isaiah 36:4 NLT

Think of God's grace as a hammock in the back yard at the end of the day--ready to wrap you in peace and comfort, quiet your heart, and renew your sense of God's complete care and control over everything that concerns you.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. II Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birthdays and Unusual Celebrations

Thinking back I remember my first Birthday party. It was on my tenth birthday my mother allowed me to invite a few friends from school for a party. Mother set it up in our back yard, with my small table, and we had a picnic while we played “pin the tail on the donkey,” and enjoyed cake and punch.”

My last party was when I hit the big 40. My children and my parents were there and we all celebrated this milestone in my life.

I have done some unusual things on several of my birthdays.

It just so happened that one year my birthday fell on my day to volunteer at the Rescue Mission Thrift Shop in old Down Town Oakland. My sister came down to wish me a Happy Birthday, and she exclaimed, “What a way to celebrate your birthday.”

Many years ago now, my dad had been in the Chico hospital with kidney failure. He did not live to return to his earthly home. It just so turned out that the most convenient day for his funeral happened to be on my birthday! Mother had too much on her mind, and I think it was much later that she realized this was NO way to celebrate my birthday!!

My husband is not one for cards and gifts, but he did send me the following e-mail on the day just prior to my Birthday, and I share it with you.


Almost eighty and still going, it doesn’t get much better than that. Eighty is a pretty big number and you have spent three fourths of it with me.

We were young and I think we chose well. I can't imagine ever being with someone else. I want to thank you for our life together all these years, you have been a good wife to me and I look forward to finishing our lives together however long it may be. I have, I do, and I will love you only.

I love you. Bobby Ray Moon

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthday Milestones

We check the milestones usually at each decade; some are more difficult to embrace than others.

At ten years old we believe we are big stuff! We have the world by its tail!

Twenty takes us out of the teen age years. Time for serious thought.

Thirty is usually a tough and thorny mile stone and often a depressing Birthday to celebrate! We are expected to act more matured now!!

At age forty we can be 39 for the next ten years!

Fifty is the time AARP invites us to become a “Senior Citizen,” and often there are discounts allowed for certain pleasures.

Sixty is the time we approach retirement and (hopefully) expect to slow down a bit. However, I sought a new career at age 60 and embarked back into the world of business to work another 12 years.

Seventy is very close to the allotted time that God says he has given to us for our days.

Eighty is a rather large number.  However in my spirit I am still young although my body does not always agree.

Last year in May, I did hit the big milestone of Eighty years young. I have joked that possibly at this age, I may be officially considered an “old lady.” NO, said one of my friends at church, 80 is still young.

The Bible tells us that as our days, so shall our strength be, and I am claiming that scripture for myself.

Long life to you all, and may you enjoy good health, happiness and the treasures of many friends and loved ones all of your Birthday celebrations.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

French Dressing from a Famous Restaurant

Many years ago our church sponsored a monthly paint class where we painted flannel backgrounds for the Missionaries. Our teacher was my mother’s neighbor and attended a rather large church. She invited ladies she knew to join with our class and we had fun meeting new Christian ladies as we all worked together for the Lord.

Most of the backgrounds we painted were out door scenes, but some were of the temple or inside a home. The missionary could use these backgrounds to tell Bible stories and place the figures that had a piece of flannel glued to the back. Flannel will stick to flannel, so the board was like magic as the children watched and listened to the Bible story.

These backgrounds are probably old fashioned now, because of Bible film strips, DVDs and flip charts with pictures that tell the story.

Anyway, we would always enjoy our day painting and then we benefited from a pot luck lunch.

I remember one day in particular when one of the ladies brought a tossed green salad and a French dressing on the side. That was the most incredible salad dressing I had ever had the pleasure of eating. We all exclaimed over her dressing and begged for the recipe.

She confided that this recipe came from a famous restaurant in Florida that they visited when her family was on vacation. The owner was king enough to share the recipe with her and now I gladly share it with you.

Warning - - Do not leave anything out of the recipe, or it will be ruined.


2 cups vegetable oil (I use Canola)
1 cup Heinz apple cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons ketchup
1 tsp dry mustard
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 clove garlic pressed in a garlic press (or chopped very fine)
1 tsp paprika

Whip ingredients and place into a quart jar. Chill in refrigerator.
Shake well before each using. Keep refrigerated when not in use.

 Photo courtesy of Photo Bucket

This post has been entered in Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do visit her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Little Things Cause me to be Thankful

Some silly little things still give me a thrill, for instance when I finally balance my check book, or observing the flowers I planted peek through, and begin to bud and bloom.

From the sun rise, to the sun set, viewing the moon and the stars, the first gentle rain, a babies smile, the smell of fresh bread baking are things that cause me to be thankful.

My husband still enchantments me as I see him each day. He remains to me as the 20 year old man that I married many years ago, with only a few physical changes here and there.

I especially enjoy my dogs as they play, and they beg me to join in with a game of fetch.

Working at my computer is of great satisfaction to me and to relax, I benefit from some of the online games, because they cause me to think and to exercise my mind.

Finding a genuine bargain, if at a local store, online, or at a yard sale is exciting to me. I am reminded to say “Thank you Lord, for all of your blessings, large or small.”

It is also good to verbally share with others how much you love and appreciate them. Your voice of affection will cause them to be happy! Finding contentment and satisfaction in our work, rejoicing in our friends and family brings health to our bones!

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Lest I forget, there is one more thing that delights and makes me happy, and that is when you lead a person in the sinner’s prayer, and they receive Jesus into their heart. Vicariously you experience their spark of new life and it is almost like you yourself are being born again at the same time as they encounter God.

Yes, serving Jesus makes me happy, and He brings me joy and gratitude in my day. Psalms 144:15 Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hit The Road Jack

My guess for the reason our daughters always brought their boy friends home was because we always had cookies or cake available for after school treats.

Our daughters were all gorgeous and outgoing, and our home abounded with both girl and boy friends.

Funny thing was when my husband was home, he refused to speak to the boy friends.

When I asked him why he was so aloof to our daughter’s boy friends, he replied, “These boys are here today, but by next week they will be gone, and others will take their place.”

My husband did not desire to get emotionally involved and then in a few days need to give his allegiance to a new set of boy friends.

My husband never told any of these boys to “Hit the road Jack,” but that was his attitude.

Showing hospitality to our children’s friends was an easy way to get to know them better.

Some of the girl friends still keep in touch today, but the boys are long gone as marriage material later stepped forward for our children.

Errors in judgment abound and marriage is a commitment that needs both prayer and wisdom.

Our children are not perfect so errors were made, but after years of hurt and grief, things are better for two of them. Our other two daughters waited until they approached age 30 before finding a man worthy of their love and of their promise of allegiance.

Thinking back to my own rebellious teen age years and my flirty ways, it was my mother’s prayers that prevented me from making a long and tragic lifetime error.

Yes, in my teen years, on more than one occasion, I said these words, “Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more.”

Then one day, my heart was smitten, and my spirit agreed that this man was the ONE, and he was and has been for all these many years.

If needs be, and you are in a relationship that is not worthy of you, GO ahead and say these words, “Hit the road Jack.”

This post was entered in the One Word Carnival: The word is ROAD
Please view some awesome posts at this site:

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Heavens open, pour out their containment
Gushing swirling not knowing which way is best,
Deep opens and swishes churning its while,
Flooding everywhere, North, South, East and West!

Pouring, never ending, where does it all go?
Cold and hollow dashing to meet the destination,
Freezing bitter, throwing higher, deeper,
Questions, Why? There is no comprehension.

Lightening flashing, then darkness everywhere,
No light or shadows - - only sounds of thunder,
Cracking, rumbling noise of anger and of wrath,
Rolling, boiling flowing - - Only wonder!

Reaching out, arms outstretched, voices calling,
Over those who cry, befalls the covering flood,
I am lost, Jesus, save me lest I perish!
Cover me now with your precious blood!

Rushing, soothing wooing, loving
Gentle tender is the flow,
Washing, rinsing spotless clean
My Savior this I know!

View and listen to a lovely song on YouTube

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kombucha Tea

I am better now, but last year I was treated for a blood clod in my leg that left me many months on crutches, and often in a wheel chair due to pain, my ankle often continues to swell by nightfall.

Six months on Warfarin took care of my pain and soon I was able to walk with a cane and now I walk carefully but without a cane. Knees and joints still creak and groan a bit!

I try not to depend on medication, and instead I often use home remedies. My husband’s brother tells me that he found a tablespoon each of vinegar and honey helped his joints.

I tried that for several weeks and yes, I believe it did help.

Thinking back prior to my injury; I was brewing a weekly batch of Kombucha tea, but because I could not lift and carry my large gallon bottle to my dark guest room. I had to allow my “starter” to die. I needed a new Scoby (starter) to begin my new batch of tea.

I remembered that Kombucha has a tart taste similar to apple cider and sometimes a mild vinegar taste. My problem was that I did not have a Scoby (the starter). I decided to try the method to make the tea by using a bottle of raw natural unflavored Kombucha tea purchased from the grocery store for a couple of dollars. (not flavored)  I was told it would create a small Scoby for me.

I brewed a half gallon batch using 4 tea bags with 1/2 cup sugar and let it cool  Then I added  3 T of apple cider vinegar and poured in my bottle of store tea, covered it with a cloth and put it into a dark room.  After 8 days, it produced a very thin Scoby “starter.” This was enough for me to begin a larger amount of tea. Some call the "starter" a mother or a mushroom, but it actually resembles a small pancake. Its proper name is a Scoby which will turn your tea into a Probiotic health product. Your Scoby will produce more Scobys.

After my wait of 8 days, I poured my small batch into a couple of quart bottles and began each morning, and every evening to drink a “shot” glass full. I found it necessary to mix it with some fruit juice which a lot of people prefer to do.

Wow. My knees are feeling so much better after only a few days, and my ankles are not swollen quite as bad.  After a few weeks all the swelling was gone.

There are all sorts of health claims for this tea, and I wonder about most of them, but they say it is an excellent builder for the immune system and will help detox your body too. Kombucha has been used around the world for centuries to help promote health and wellness and some call it the miracle elixir and swear by it.

Another health benefit of the beverage is its ability to speed up the body’s metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the greater one’s ability to lose weight and keep it off. Since the tea helps improve metabolism and the digestive process, it can also serve as a remedy for acid reflux. Kombucha tea contains acids that effectively calm the mind and body. Claims report that regularly drinking the tea will allow you to manage stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

If you search on e-bay, please use caution. Some sell the Scoby for very high prices, and some sell you a vile with only a sliver inside. It is best if you know a friend who will share a Scogy with you. I wanted to know where mine came from, so I chose the slow method by purchasing a bottle from my local grocery store and proceeding with a small batch first.

When brewing Kombucha, everything must be clean. Rinse all soap thoroughly from all utensils you are using. The cloth or paper cover on your jar is to prevent fruit flies from being attracted to your tea. You do not want your Scoby to collect mold of any kind.

Those who should not drink this tea are pregnant women, those who will be having surgery soon, and those on a blood thinner medication.

Some new to Kombucha should proceed with two tablespoons full twice a day and after a couple of days 1/4 cup twice a day, then 1/2 cup twice a day.

Once you have your Scoby, this is the Recipe:

Boil 2 quarts of water in a stainless steel pot (or glass pot) - - (boiling for 1 minute removes the chlorine.) - - remove from burner and add

1 cup white sugar - - stir well.  The Scoby will digest the sugar, so not to worry about this sugar.

Add 7 bags of black tea. (I use Lipton’s) Let brew 10 minutes then remove tea bags.

Let cool to room temperature (I cover with a lid and let set overnight)

Pour tea into a gallon jar. (large pickle jar, a gallon jar or glass sun tea jar)

Add Spring water to fill your gallon jar. (not distilled water)

1 cup tea from your previous batch.  OR - -
If you do not have tea from a previous batch add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar.

Stir with a clean wooden spoon that you only use for brewing your tea.

Add your Scoby and cover your jar with a clean cloth or paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Let set in a dark room or closet for 7 to 10 days.

Test for taste by inserting a clean drinking straw along the side and place your thumb on top of the straw. Remove the straw keeping your thumb in place and taste for flavor. If it is too sweet, leave for 2 or 3 more days. Tea should be tart and may be carbonated which is good.

When your tea has a bit of zip and tastes similar to apple cider pour into glass jars and cover. I use a funnel. Store your bottles in a cupboard until ready to drink. Refrigeration slows the carbonation.

I purchased some glass one quart jars with a snap seal. I found mine at Ross, but Wal-Mart has nice jars too. I also use clean empty glass Planters Peanut jars and save the lid. Clean empty glass Heinz vinegar bottles do well also. You can also use a glass sun tea jar for the family to drink when they desire.

Prior to drinking the tea I strain the tea into my glass using a small strainer.

To begin your tea experience, drink ¼ cup mixed with some juice morning and evening.

After a week you can increase the amount to half a cup two or three times a day.

This post has been entered in Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Do visit her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

I am not advocating a new way of life such as "New Age" or some others who practice odd therapies, but often we can glean from some of the health benefits they offer.

Kombucha can be purchased at your grocery or health food store, but home brewing will save you a lot of money and you can control the flavor of your tea.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


You may have wondered how to always say the right thing!

Sadly to say, I do not always pay attention to my own suggestions, but most of the time I do.

If you are wondering how to be a better wife, or husband, or parent, or co-worker, or teacher, this will help you as it did me.

Angry words, bad tempers, snide remarks come at you from a friend or loved one and you are stunned and are left there wondering, “Where did that come from?”

You ask yourself, “Now what do I say?” “What do I say next?”

Stop and don’t say anything for a few seconds while you send up an SOS prayer to God.

You ask the Lord, “What do I say now?” and wait some more.

The next thoughts that come to your mind are for you to speak in a soft gentle, kind but firm voice.

You may need to speak a few more words, so be patient and pause, then pray again: “What do I say next?”

For each occasion they will not be the same words, but they will be inspired words.

One occasion for me, was when my Pastor was raking me over the coals. I prayed that question: and the words came forth: “What would you have me do?”

Apparently those were the words my Pastor needed to hear, for he sighed and it was like the wind had been knocked out of him. Our meeting was over and we were both at peace.

You have nothing to loose, so the next time there is an occasion of anger with your friend, neighbor or loved one, give it a try.

Before you retaliate and strike back, STOP and simply pray: “Lord, What do I say next?”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Smile and the World Smiles with you

I was fresh out of High school and trying to decide whether to enroll in San Francisco State college or go to work. I could not make up my mind.

Taking the Red train to San Francisco and equipped with a map and directions, I made my way to the college to take the entrance examination. It was a long and difficult test, but a few weeks later I was notified that I had passed and was accepted as a student.

In the mean time, I had applied for a job at an Insurance Company as a clerk typist. They also gave me a test, and sad to say, the gentleman was very kind and told me that I took too much time to answer the questions as the test was timed.

He continued, “Why don’t you come back tomorrow when our office manager is here and take the test again?” He suggested: “This time when you take the test, hurry as fast as you can, and by now you are by now familiar with some of the questions so you should do well.”

I returned the next day and sure enough this time the test was sufficiently easier, and I passed with flying colors and was hired.

One of my duties was to take relief for the switchboard operator when she took her breaks and on her lunch hour. She was an excellent teacher, but the company wanted me to have professional training from the telephone company as well.

A day was scheduled and the entire time was spent learning all about the old fashioned switch board. Several phone lines were available and when a light turned on, you slipped one of two pegs into that slot and using the company name gave a short greeting. Depending on who they desired to speak to, you had names on holes up and down the board and when you made the connection with the second peg and pulled back on a lever their particular phone would ring.

The instructor told me to smile when I answered each call. She reasoned because your smile will travel to the customer. The first person your customers meet is the switchboard operator and your smile will encourage them to do business with your company.

There were other duties assigned to me besides typing insurance contracts, and additional clauses to policies. There was filing, and I also helped in the mail room using the postage meter for out going mail.

The insurance agents used an old fashioned Dictaphone to record memos and letters to clients. These were a cylinder black disk that could be reused. At the end of the day, I often would shave the old cylinders so they could be used again.

My job was exciting for a first real job, but the part I liked best was smiling over the switchboard telephone.

Smile and the world smiles with you!
Photo courtesy of Image Bank

This post was inspired by Ann Kroeker's Post at: http://annkroeker.com/2011/05/10/enchante/
 You will enjoy her enchanting article!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bossy our Guernsey Holstein Cow

Prior to our move to Oakland, we lived at the edge of town in Exeter in the rear of a house that my dad purchased for $250.

Dad partitioned off the front into an apartment and we rented it to a lady and her son. I believe the front apartment had the bathroom, and our family had a path to the alley where stood our outhouse. In those days, a Sears Catalog was the paper used for outhouse personal care.

When we moved to Oakland I had just celebrated my 5th birthday, so I know that everything I remember prior to that time, I had to be between 3 and 4 years old. A child can remember quite far back, with pieces here and there forgotten as they did not make much of an impression.

Thinking back, I remember that we could not keep Bossy, our cow at home because even though we lived on the edge of town, we were still within the city limits. Also Bossy made a lot of noise when she mooed and that disturbed the neighbors. She would let you know very loudly that it was time to take her milk.

Each morning my mother and I would walk a long ways, Mom carrying a clean bucket so she could milk old Bossy, and we would have milk for our day. The farmer, who kept Bossy for us, would milk our cow at night and keep the milk for his family.

One day in particular, Mother asked me if I would like to learn to milk our cow. Well it certainly did appear to be easy, so of course I said, “Yes, let me try.”

Mother showed me how to sit on the small stool and how to place my hands and fingers and then she said; “OK now it is your turn.”

I have been told that cows know who is a friend - - and who is a stranger, and somehow old Bossy shut down her milk supply and the faucets did not work for me.

That was the first and last time I ever tried to milk a cow.

Although I was born out in the country on my Grandparents ranch, I believe I am still a city gal and probably always will be, even when I reach that city of gold in the heavens.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cheese for Other uses!

Cheese is used most commonly for cooking and eating and at our home we keep a variety of different types in our refrigerator.
However cheese does have other uses too. You are probably thinking about the old fashioned mouse traps when cheese is used to catch an unwelcomed critter. I have also used peanut butter on a mouse trap and that works well too.

Let me share with you another use for cheese that has helped us with a problem with our dogs. We have three great dogs, and we try our best to keep them healthy.

Each month we give them a preventative pill to keep them free from Heart Worms. They like the soft chewy kind, but on my last purchase I ended up with some firm pills that they did not want to accept.

My husband had the perfect solution and this is what he did. He took a slice of cheddar cheese from the refrigerator and cut it into three even strips.

Next he cuts one third off of each of those slices. Taking the larger two thirds, he wraps the pill and made sure our dogs could see the other small piece waiting.

It is a good thing our dogs like cheese, so as he held up the small piece so they could see it, and offered the wrapped pill, they quickly took it knowing they could have the other piece as well. It worked like a charm, and their prevention is good for another month.

If you have dogs that need tablets for a reason, and they hesitate to take their pills. Cheese is good and it deceived our puppies into taking their medicine.

In life, we need to be cautions because Satan often tries to hide something undesirable by making it look decent and respectable. That is what he told Eve, Just take a small bite and prove to yourself that you have been kept back from something good.

As Christians we must be wise and harmless as a dove and watch out for that old trickster! (He usually does not use cheese!!)

This post was entered in Wide Open Spaces  There and Back again!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mothers Were Created by God

Soon I will be sending a wee one to another world,
Who will watch over and care for this tiny life?
Who will teach this one to learn and to love?
To instruct in kindness not in hate and strife!

Who will feed and clothe this child?
Who will kiss away the tears when they fall?
Where will I find such a one, a paradigm?
Who will be there when they weep and call?

Looking high and low no one could be found,
Where is one I can trust – is there no other?
The answer is simple and plain to see,
I will give this child a loving mother!

Then there are other lives, so tiny and some not,
I will search until a home I find - - -
Where shall I place these forgotten babes?
There must be a mother’s heart longing to be kind!

I sought and found some who were barren,
Yet they desired a child to love and hold,
Yes, I will consign this adopted one
In the safe arms of this “mother” to enfold!

Where else may I place a child who needs an abode?
Not all children born into families do fare,
Because of the many realities of life,
Existence is complicated and difficult to bear!

The saying “Life happens,” is true and often - -
Reasons beyond belief send many to despair,
I have found an answer for this child,
In a “good” Foster Home, they will find solace there.

What I seek is a Mother’s heart,
For those who are not a mother in kind, can be,
For according to My word,
The need is great for “Mothers in Israel” you see!

Reach out and love a child with kindness and encouragement!

by Hazel Moon 05/07/2011


“Bring your family over for some coffee and cookies, was an invitation from my husband’s boss that was unusual, but his wife wanted to meet us and our young children.

While we chatted, she served us some unique and colorful cookies along with a cup of coffee.

I asked her how she got the cookies to crack and crinkle on the top, and she was happy to share her secret. Of course I asked her for the recipe and as she wrote it down she said, “I always called these cookies, ‘Missouri Cookies’ because the lady who gave me the recipe was from Missouri.”

Well, I knew my children would DELIGHT in helping make these cookies, so I decided to change the name to fit our family. Here I share with you my recipe for “Missouri Cookies” with their new name.

You can rename them again with your name in there to make them yours!


Mix in large bowl until creamy:
1 cup shortening (or butter)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp almond flavor (or vanilla)

ADD 1 egg and blend well

In your sifter place these ingredients
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cream of tarter

Sift the above into the first bowl and blend well

Add 1 cup coconut and blend all together.
(if your family does not like coconut, substitute 1 cup quick oats)

Roll dough into small balls. In two custard cups fill one with water and the other some white sugar. Dip each ball into the water then into the sugar and place on cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. To please your children, add food coloring to the water to give your cookies a delightful look!

This post has been entered in Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays at http://annkroeker.com/
Please visit her site and gather up some delicious and nutritious recipes.

This recipe is very old, so I might call it a Vintage Recipe.  Linked up today with Joy at Joy of Deserts.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother’s Day

Stopping at Wal-Mart to pick up some personal items for mom, and a card and a potted plant, I continued on my way to visit Mother.

Mother’s day is approaching, and I wanted to pay an early visit to my mother at her Assisted Living home.

At the front desk, I left two packages of Reese Peanut Butter cup candies for the staff that diligently and lovingly care for the residents at Larkspur Lodge.

This home specializes in Dementia residents, and since my mom's memory has been drifting in and out for many years, she often does not recognize me. She pats my face and then I hold her hands, and I tell her, “This is the Day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

I can understand her words, when she says “God Bless you,” but the rest of our conversation is a mumble and I do not catch a word.  However I nod my head and answer yes, and she seems to enjoy the banter.

Mom took the flowers and then gave them back. She held the card and seemed to enjoy the smiley face of the sun shining, although she may not have understood the message as I read it to her.

At times I feel so guilty for having found it necessary to place her in this facility instead of continuing to keep her in our home.  Then I realize my own body and that of my husband is not as young as we once were.

Also I am reminded by my son-in-law, that I am showing her love by giving her the care that she needs at this time in her life, and she does enjoy the girls who shower her with much attention and tender care.

One of the girls asked me to provide some photos of Mother’s days as a young girl. My husband and I went to Staples and had reprints made and the girl was so happy to receive her copies.

She showed them one by one to mother, and mother would point to herself in the photos.

It is difficult to know how much she understands, but she does understand love.

Mother is 99 years old and her “Mothers” day is fast approaching.

Soon and very soon, We shall see the King!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tree Climbing Dog

In the 1980’s we lived for a time in the city of San Ramon, CA and purchased a dog wife (Mindy) for our old Blue Tick Hound Dog, Old Blue. Mindy soon blessed us with a rather large litter of 10 living puppies.

Now Mindy was not equipped with enough faucets to feed all the babies at once, so we resorted to supplement with baby bottles and formula. We didn’t mind because it was fun to care for and feed those growing pups.

Just in time for Christmas we placed an advertisement in our local paper, and soon prospective buyers came to select one of our family of puppies. One by one they were taken away, until we had 3 male growing pups left, along with their mom and dad, plus our daughter’s Irish Setter!

All this was in the city with neighbors close by !!

My husband could not bear to part with the last 3 males, as he said it was like giving up his own children. The neighbors began to complain, because hounds do howl and we had a dog gone yard full.

Rotating dogs helped a bit; some into the laundry room, others into a side yard and the big dogs into the main yard. Keeping the yard clean was also a task, and the neighbors complained again by calling the health department on us.

It was either give up the dogs, or move out into the country. What we should have done, and what we ended up doing were two different things.

To make a long story short after a year of house hunting and much red tape and a lot of hassle, we finally moved to a 20 acre place in the hills and fenced in a large area for our dogs to run.

Hound dogs love to hunt, and one of our young hounds could climb the cyclone steel fence and over he would go. Then he would run for miles and eventually he would return home.

One day we could hear him bellowing in the distance. My husband climbed into his pickup truck and took his shot gun with him not knowing what our pup had cornered.

Following the sound of the baying, he soon discovered our pup, JR at the base of a tree, where he had treed a bob cat. When JR saw my husband, the dog began to climb the tree.

My husband tried to coax JR to come down, so he could attach a leash and bring him home, but our dog was too high up in the tree and very excited and simply refused to retreat. He was on point and after his prey!!

There was only one option, and although he hated to do it, my husband shot the bob cat.

JR continued to climb trees, every time he saw my cat in a tree. One day, my cat said, “That is enough,” and he took off down the hill to find a new home. Weeks later my cat returned one evening to let me know that he was okay and then he was gone again.

One evening JR returned after a long night run, and collapsed on the driveway and died. At least he died happy, and by now he is probably climbing all the trees in dog heaven.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Playing House

As a child I had a small tea set with tiny cups, saucers and a miniature tea pot. My sister and I would dress up in my mother’s old dresses and wear her high healed shoes and pretend that we were playing house.

We would set up our table that my dad had made for us, and my sister and I would have a tea party. It wasn’t real tea only water but to us it was fun playing make believe. Our dolls were our children and although they all had names, they were not living breathing persons.

As we grew older we dreamed of having our own home and our own family and not a pretend household.

Having been raised in a Christian home, and being taught about marriage, we did not even consider “Playing house,” prior to marriage. That is just how it was with us in the 1940’s and it should be taught more today!

In these days, sad to say, it is common and accepted by many to “move in” with another person and participate in the wedlock activities with out the legal matrimony ceremony.

Some would blame the movies, TV, magazines, for planting the suggestions in the minds of our populace. However the truth is, our world has been deceived into thinking that “Playing House” is OK and normal, just because others are doing it.

In God’s original plan, He stated in His Word, that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and enjoy holy matrimony.

Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

The “One flesh” relationship is a holy and also a spiritual happening. Today, many do not understand and realize that the sex act also becomes a spiritual union, and is to be set aside for that one special person who will become the marriage partner.

In another place the Apostle Paul instructs against loose living and having affairs:

1 Corinthians 6:16-20 What? Don’t you know that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, said he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

May I urge you to consider - - that if you have been “playing house,” that you make a decision to make some changes in your lifestyle as quickly as possible.

First repent and ask God to forgive you then take those necessary steps to correct your situation.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Games People Play!

I grew up in a small church, where all the members were like family. One of the young couples enjoyed encouraging the new people, by inviting them to their home, or suggesting that they join with others who were going out for Sunday dinner.

One of these new couples to the church was Mable and Perry who quickly got involved in the church activities. Some of the evening classes offered were training to become a teacher, and other interesting studies about the Bible.

We noticed that Mable would often make snide remarks to Perry and he would answer back with similar hateful comments. They seemed to enjoy playing games of putting each other down with their conversation. Perhaps it was because Mable was much older than our friend and she was not in good health.

Mable often stayed home for the evening classes, but Perry seemed excited about learning more about the Lord.

Now our church secretary lived only a couple blocks away from the Church, so she usually walked to and from Church. She was a single lady, and much respected by our members.

Perry was concerned that she not walk home when it was dark, so he often offered her a ride to her apartment. To show her appreciation she would invite him in for a cup of coffee and some cookies. Now that all sounds innocent enough when you think about it.

One Sunday, Perry called a meeting after church for all the members. He wanted to make a confession.

Without going into all the details, he said that He and Mable were not legally married and they had lived together for many years, and he wanted to make things right before God.

If you were the Pastor, what would you say? It would seem that the simplest response would be to perform a marriage ceremony as quickly as possible, for Mable and Perry.

However that was not what Perry had in mind. He stated that he and Mable would separate and pray about the situation, and the meeting was closed.

It wasn’t long after that meeting, that Perry announced that since he was not legally married to Mable that he had proposed to our church secretary and she had accepted.

Soon the happy couple were married and moved to Oregon where Perry had arranged to have his job transferred. You think that was quick? Forget it! It was well thought out.

Mable was devastated, and our friends comforted her and cared for her.  She died about a year later, and we all thought it was of a broken heart.

Old Perry had us all fooled, but in reality, he had only fooled himself. The games people play and tell themselves that it is OK are varied and many.

Now I do not suspect any of you, but if you are playing these kind of games, it is time to quit!  Nuff said!