Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Day before Thanksgiving! and a recipe

Almost all of Thanksgiving dinner is complete.  The menu:

Butternut-Apple Soup

Smoked Turkey

Cornbread Dressing

Fruit Compote

Turkey Gravy

Broccoli Slaw

Mini Bread Loaves

Cream Cheese Frosted Pumpkin Mincemeat Bars

The soup is a VitaMix recipe and will be made tomorrow right before we eat with squash from Oklahoma Food Coop and a Honeycrisp apple.

Steele smoked half a small turkey last Saturday.  We froze the other half, raw, for later.

Homemade cornbread dressing

Dried cranberry, apricot, fig, plum compote

Turkey gravy with chopped giblets and hard-boiled eggs

Broccoli slaw from the Oklahoma Food Coop

Sister Schubert Mini Bread Loaves

Homemade, and my own recipe, Frosted P-M Bars

Cream Cheese Frosted Sorta Healthy Pumpkin-Mincemeat Bars

15 oz can pumpkin puree

BOX of mincemeat (reconstitute with 3/4 cup water, per box directions, and let cool)

3 eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 cup flour

1 2/3 cup Splenda

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 13 x 9 pan.

Use a stand or hand mixer to mix pumpkin puree, eggs, mincemeat and applesauce well.  Sift all dry ingredients together and add gradually to wet mixture as the mixer is working the batter.
Pour into pan and bake 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and frost.  Refrigerate leftovers.


8 oz low-fat softened cream cheese

2 cup confectioner's sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 Tblsp milk

Beat first 3 ingredients together and add milk, if needed, to bring to frosting consistency.  Spread on cooled bars.

Count your blessings and enjoy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sorta Healthy Semi-Homemade Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

First, as much as I love my fellow Oklahoman, Pioneer Woman, I will NOT be posting step-by-step pictures of the "making of the recipe."  If you can't follow this recipe, no amount of pictures will help you.  Just sayin'.  BTW, this recipe came from my head, using ingredients I had on hand.

You will need:

Oatmeal Cookie Mix (17.5 oz)
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I use canned)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp water

Have everything at room temperature before you begin mixing.  Using pumpkin puree instead of butter decreases fat (and calories).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Mix spice, craisins and cookie mix together until craisins are well covered with cookie mix and spice. Thoroughly mix water, pumpkin and egg (or egg substitute) together, then add to dry ingredients.  Mix all ingredients until well-moistened and drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.  They don't flatten out because there is no butter and they are very tender and cake-like on the inside.  Let cool on cooling rack.  Should make about 36-40 small cookies.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Grace of Yes Book Club

Use this link to check out and follow a new online book club through Catholic Mom, written by the founder of the website.

"IThe Grace of Yes, Lisa Hendey explores the eight spiritual virtues she believes are the foundation of Christian life. Allowing readers to peek into the window of her own spiritual journey, she shows how the virtues of belief, generativity, creativity, integrity, humility, vulnerability, saying no, and starting over lead to generous living and the ability to joyously say yes to God.
Join us on Saturdays beginning November 3 as we explore and discuss what it means to embrace the grace of yes."
Mary, the Mother of God, changed the world when she said yes to the angel, Gabriel.  Who knows what our yes can do for the world?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thot for the Day

Ven. Fr. Solanus Casey: “Thank God ahead of time.”  He speaks of a certainty and confidence in faith, one that is undaunted by death and unwavering in the midst of inevitable trials.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Benefits of the Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 14 (NIV)
26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
    and for their children it will be a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

First, we need to understand what is meant by "fear of the Lord."

“When either the Hebrew Bible or Christian Scripture sanctions "the fear of the Lord," it is referring to what Eugene Peterson describes as "a fear that pulls us out of our preoccupation with ourselves, our feelings, or our circumstances into a world of wonder." Not dread but astonishment. Not terror but reverence. Not shaking-in-your-boots panic, but enraptured-with-love fascination."

Thus we begin to understand why Scripture says: "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him" (Psalm 33:8 NRSV). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ..." (Proverbs 9:10). "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others ..." (2 Corinthians 5:11).

The God who has showed himself in history as Jesus of Nazareth is not a thug who threatens and pushes people around. He is the God who creates such beauty in the world that we stand speechless, upholds us in our crisis moments so that we do not collapse, and would rather die on a cross than live without us.

Stand in awe! Fear his name! It is for your sake that he has given all.”

Now that we have a right discernment of the fear of the Lord, we can better understand the verses' meaning.  

The first verse tells us because Jesus loved us so much that He died for us He will be our fortress in times of trouble and a refuge for our children.  It is a great comfort for me to know that the Creator of the Universe will protect not only me, but my children also, against all evil.   

The second verse tells us that our fear of the Lord will be a fountain of life for us because we will be drawn out of ourselves into wonder and love for Our Lord, releasing us from the snares of death [". . .to depart from the snares of death; sins, transgressions, as Aben Ezra interprets it; these are the works of men's hands, in which they are snared; these are the cords in which they are holden, and so die without instruction; the wages of them are death, even death eternal: likewise there are the snares of the world and of the devil, temptations to sin, with which being ensnared, lead to death; now the fear of the Lord is a means of delivering from and of avoiding those snares, and so of escaping death." (Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible from].  
Another benefit will be that our self-centeredness will dissipate and we will become a fountain of life to others to save them from the snares of death for ". . .it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35 NIV)."

These are turbulent times and knowing that we have a Protector that wants to to shelter us allows us to have peace.  This will draw others and we can then bring them to The Fountain of Life, so they can have the same protection and peace.

Many Blessings,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Favorite Poem


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
            A PSALM OF LIFE
                    SAID TO THE PSALMIST
    TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
        Life is but an empty dream ! —
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
        And things are not what they seem.
    Life is real !   Life is earnest!
        And the grave is not its goal ;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
        Was not spoken of the soul.
    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
        Is our destined end or way ;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
        Find us farther than to-day.
    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
        And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
        Funeral marches to the grave.
    In the world's broad field of battle,
        In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
        Be a hero in the strife !
    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
        Let the dead Past bury its dead !
    Act,— act in the living Present !
        Heart within, and God o'erhead !
    Lives of great men all remind us
        We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
        Footprints on the sands of time ;
    Footprints, that perhaps another,
        Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
        Seeing, shall take heart again.
    Let us, then, be up and doing,
        With a heart for any fate ;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait. 

This poem expresses how I want to live my life.  I've loved this poem since I was first introduced to it, as a teenager.  I hope it touches you also.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An interesting poem

The Brewing of Soma by John Greenleaf Whittier, located at

I wanted to see the whole poem, as I found an excerpt from it, that really spoke to me, when I was researching Psalm 131 in the Layman's Bible Book Commentary, published by Broadman Press back in 1981.   I have a real problem, as do many of my contemporaries, of being too busy.  I long for the Lord's dewdrops of quietness to enable me to cease my striving (busyness).  I want to spend time soaking in the Lord's love so that I can spread His Love to others (take from our souls the strain and stress. . .let our ordered lives confess the beauty of Thy peace).
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
  Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
  Thy beauty of Thy peace.
I think there are many who would benefit from this refreshment for their own souls.  Interesting how the poem is as applicable to our time as when it was written, in 1872.  People seeking, in all the wrong places, what can only be found in the Lord.  I think this has been a problem from the dawn of time.



J.G. Whittier
This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.

"These libations mixed with milk have been prepared for Indra: offer Soma to the drinker of Some." Vashista, translated by Max Muller. The fagots blazed, the caldron's smoke Up through the green wood curled; "Bring honey from the hollow oak, Brink milky sap," the brewers spoke, In the childhood of the world. And brewed they well or brewed they ill, The priests thrust in their rods, First tasted, and then drank their fill, And shouted, with one voice and will, "Behold, the drink of the gods!" They drank, and lo! in heart and brain A new, glad life began; They grew of hair grew young again, The sick man laughed away his pain, The cripple leaped and ran. "Drink, mortals, what the gods have sent, Forget you long annoy." So sang the priests, From tent to tent The Soma's sacred madness went, A storm of drunken joy. Then knew each rapt inebriate A winged and glorious birth, Soared upward, with strange joy elate, Beat, with dazed head, Varuna's gate, And sobered, sank to earth. The land with Soma's praises rang; On Gihon's banks of shade Its hymns the dusky maidens sang; In joy of life or mortal pang All men to Soma prayed. The morning twilight of the race Sends down these matin psalms; And still with wondering eyes we trace The simple prayers to Soma's grace, That verdic verse embalms. As in the child-world's early year, Each after age has striven By music, incense, vigils drear, And trance, to bring the skies more near, Or life men up to heaven! Some fever of the blood and brain, Some self-exalting spell, The scourger's keen delight of pain, the Dervish dance, the Orphic strain, The wild-haired Bacchant's yell, - The desert's hair-grown hermit sunk The saner brute below; The naked Santon, haschish-drunk, The cloister madness of the monk, The fakir's torture show! And yet the past comes round again, And new doth old fulfill; In sensual transports wild as vain We brew in many a Christian fane The heathen Soma still! Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our foolish ways! Reclothe us in our rightful mind, In purer lives Thy service find, In deeper reverence, praise. In simple trust like theirs who heard Beside the Syrian sea The gracious calling of the Lord, Let us, like them, without a word Rise up and follow Thee. O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above, Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee The silence of eternity Interpreted by love! With that deep hush subduing all Our words and works that drown The tender whisper of Thy call, And noiseless let Thy blessing fall As fell Thy manna down. Drop thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess Thy beauty of Thy peace. Breathe through the hearts of our desire Thy coolness and Thy balm; Let sense be numb, let flesh retire; Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still, small voice of calm!