Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For my green friends

Here's a link to St.Jude'sRanch
a place to send your Christmas cards, where they will be happily recycled.
I just have to read mine first!
Don't worry Davi, after all that hard work, I'll hang on to yours.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Big Picture

I hope you'll take a few moments to click on these links.
They're a visual of 2008. I am struck with the high percentage of pictures that show the fear and horror and sadness that people around the world live with every day of their lives.

Where are the dogs?? That's a real solution for making the world a better place!

The one photo that isn't here is of Don Yoon, whose family was tragically killed by an F18 crash landing on their house. I can't get the image of him kneeling over their graves out of my head.

I hope you'll join me in prayer that 2009 will bring a measure of peace to our world.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Christmas Paradox

By the time you can finally sit down and enjoy your family they're gone!
However I have lots of pics to look at over and over!
Here's but a few of the happy events of Christmas 2008:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Most beautiful baby

I suppose there could be room for dispute, but in my humble opinion, Lila Rose is THE most beautiful baby in the world and I'm so grateful to God for sending her to us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008



We got all bundled up to take a walk, but then when we actually felt the 39 degree weather we came back inside.

hmm - yesterday when I got here it was 80 degrees.

Incredible photo, incredible man

Taken by Jon Katz after an ice storm on Bedlam Farm
See more extraordinary photos at: JonKatzphotos

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Holidays from Savannah!

Happy Holidays from Savannah!
Originally uploaded by UGArdener

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah

Santa Lucia

Bringing light into a dark world, “Santa Lucia” is a symbol of hope for the people of Sweden. Dressed in white with a crown of candles in her hair, Saint Lucia also serves as a beautiful visual reminder of the start of the holiday and Advent season each year. Santa Lucia Day is traditionally celebrated on December 13.
According to legend Santa Lucia appeared to a starving people of Scandinavia, on what was then the darkest and shortest day of the year, and brought them light, nourishment, and hope."

For more than a thousand years, the Swedish saint of light has been celebrated by Swedes and, more recently, Scandinavian-Americans. In Sweden, on the morning of Santa Lucia Day, the eldest daughter in each family dresses in a white robe with red sash, and wears a wreath of lingonberry branches and candles on her head. She carries coffee and a breakfast of sun-colored saffron buns and gingerbread cookies to her parents in their room. Her sisters and brothers follow; the girls carry candles and the boys wear tall, pointed caps.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sleep Apnea Part 2

You might remember the choices I had to treat my mild sleep apnea:
do nothing
lose weight
sleep on my side
wear a dental guard
be fitted for a cpap

Being the conscientious person that I am, I chose #4, the least invasive, least hard work on my part, solution.
I met with DrMorgan
today. He comes highly recommended by my sleep doc, Dr. Cronin and happens to be a buddy of the Krenkler family.
It was quite informative and seemingly the right choice. After examining a series of photos and xrays, Dr. Morgan determined that I was a good candidate for the oral appliance. The way he described my condition is that I have a 10 lb. tongue in a 5 lb. bucket.
See photo:

In other words my tongue is too big for the narrow confines of my jaw and interferes with my breathing (that's in very simple terms). Actually it narrows the passageway and causes my brain to think I'm not really breathing so then it sends out signals to call in the adrenalin guys which play havoc with my blood pressure, etc.
The lovely assistant in his office (so taken with Wyanne that I gave her a brochure) spent some time making a mold of my bite and I get to go back on New Year's Eve to try my new best buddy.
I happen to fall in the asymptomatic category - waking up in the morning with pure verve, but if any of you suspect that sleep apnea is part of your lifestyle, I urge you to check it out. All in all it's been a very informative adventure.

Monday, December 8, 2008

When live gives you red pepper jelly that doesn't set

make basting sauce.

Rose and I had such a good time making our pepper jelly. She calls it boonie pepper jelly, which she used to make with the officer's wives when they were stationed on Guam. Boonie pepper is an Anglicized name for Thai pepper.
We followed the recipe below and were on such a roll - thrilled that we got 35 jars made. Unfortunately the next morning we discovered that only some jars had set. Definitely a mystery as to why some did and some didn't. We have a couple of choices - go back and reboil and rejar - OR use the unset ones for basting sauce. So far we've tried it on grilled steak, grilled shrimp and as a topping for eggs, all of which were delicious. I'm voting for the latter choice.

Red and Green Christmas Jalapeno Jelly

Cook Time: 10 Minutes Ready In: 30 Minutes
Yields: 36 servings
"This is a beautiful jelly of red bell peppers and green jalapenos. It's a perfect relish to many holiday favorites, or serve it with cream cheese on a cracker."
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped jalapeno
5 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 (6 fluid ounce) container
liquid pectin
1. Remove stems, veins and most of the seeds of the bell and jalapeno peppers. Mince peppers in a food processor.
2. In a 5-quart pot over high heat, combine bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
3. Stirring constantly, add the pectin and let mixture continue to cool for 2 minutes more. Now stir for 1 minute.
4. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and top with sterilized lids. Secure lids with bands and allow jars to cool slowly, creating a vacuum seal.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 12/8/2008

When live gives you lemons

make limoncello.

Reading Davi's blog made me think you needed to be Italian to appreciate this delicacy,
but, another friend Gayle, part of the gathering  of long time friends this weekend, convinced me it was easy and splendid.  She sent me the recipe this morning, so here's goes the vodka and lemon. The two week time period will overlap with my visit to Austin, but I've figured out a great place to let it set - the semi cleaned up bar.  Hopefully that won't be the start of a new collection of clutter that Davi will have to come over and help me deal with.


7 cups (serving size: about 1/4 cup)

4 cups vodka (Davi says you have to use grain alcolhol-Everclear, but I'm going with Smirnoff)
1/2 cup lemon rind strips (about 7 lemons)
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1. Combine vodka and rind in a bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks. Strain through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

2. Combine 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Add to vodka mixture.

3. Divide limoncello evenly among 3 sterilized (750-milliliter) bottles, and seal.

Note: Store in the refrigerator up to 1 year.

Apparently Danny DeVito is such a big fan he bottles his own.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Prayer of Pope John Paul II
December 8, 2003
Queen of peace, pray for us!
Our gaze is directed toward you in great fear, to you do we turn with ever-more insistent faith in these times marked by many uncertainties and fears for the present and future of our planet.
Together we lift our confident and sorrowful petition to you, the first fruit of humanity redeemed by Christ, finally freed from the slavery of evil and sin: hear the cry of the pain of victims of war and so many forms of violence that bloody the earth. Clear away the darkness of sorrow and worry, of hate and vengeance. Open up our minds and hearts to faith and forgiveness!
Mother of mercy and hope:.
Help every human being of every race and culture to find and embrace Jesus, who
came to earth in the mystery of Christmas to give us 'His' peace.
Mary, Queen of peace, give us Christ, true peace in the world!


The Immaculate Conception, a solemnity, is the patronal feast of the United States. As this feast occurs early in Advent, it is a perfect time to consider Mary and her important role in the celebration of Christmas.

Homily heard at Mass this morning at St. Therese:

God gave Mary the key to kingdom of heaven at her conception and she treasured and cared for it through all her joys and sorrows. He gives us the same key at Baptism, but we're not nearly so careful; we lose/misplace it all the time through petty grudges, angry words, judgmental thoughts, envy. The fortunate thing is that God loves us so much He's always willing to give us another key. All we have to do is come to Him with repentance in the sacrament of Reconciliation. I'm looking forward to joining Gabrielle as she receives her first Reconciliation this Thursday and asking God to please give me another key.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

With a little help from my friends

From this:

To this:

My blogger buddy (who comments every day), book sharer, paper crafter, clutter buddy, Wordscraper pal, good friend, was such an inspiration to me yesterday.  She challenged me to share our clearing piles efforts by the end of the day, via photos.  It was exactly the motivation I needed.
I'm only about half way finished, but what a great start.
Thank you, Davi.
I'm showing my appreciation by directing you to her incredible blogs:


Then to top it off, our mutual friend, Willie, reluctant, but coming around blogger, ditto the above, except for clutter buddy (she doesn't have any), CCI incredible mentor, dropped in (I love drop in friends!!!) and was able to admire my beautiful table.
What a great day!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I need you!

It's a long story, but I had a funky Thanksgiving, missing 4/8ths of my family (that includes cousin Mary), so when Friday came I moved right into Christmas, playing Christmas music long before I usually do, thinking of a time when all 8 of us plus will be together. I can only hope that I won't get sick of it before Christmas, but I don't think so because we'll be so blessed to be together.
Anyway I have a burning question for all of you readers (some weeks I get up to 63!). I know there are a lot of lurkers out there, which normally I don't mind, but now I want to know - What's your favorite Christmas album???????
Here's mine for today:

I'm sooo grateful to Davi who comments nearly every day on my blog and Lynne who sometimes jumps in.
What about the rest of you? I'd so love to hear from you. Two of my favorite bloggers, Davi and Jane LaFazio, have both said, "I live for comments." I don't feel that strongly, but just this time couldn't you pleaaassse join in? And if not, maybe you could email me and tell my why because I'm wondering if I have the settings wrong and it's too difficult.

Right up there with Jon Katz

I think this photo Derek took of Lila and Murphy is extraordinary.
Thank you thank you!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Gifted Man

If you love animals or nature, or, even better, both, please check out this blog:
Jon's photos are breathtaking and his words uplifting. He's also a columnist forSlateMagazine . The name of his column is Heavy Petting. Gives you an idea of his wonderful sense of humor.
Here's a sample of a couple of entries:

November 24, 2008 - To those of you who struggle with fear, or sadness, or who are worried, or who need encouragement to live your lives, and don't always get it, take heart. Lenore has a message for you, as do I. Don't take yourself too seriously too often.
It will be okay, the world is filled with joy and sorrow, and but also love and hope. So smile. Lenore, the Hound of Love, has more power than markets or money. If you look at her, you will smile.

I've been looking for the last color in the woods, as the leaves turn and the temperature drops. I found these two far out on the path this afternoon, and a few more behind them. This might be the last color for awhile, until I come across something else.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

At Thanksgiving

I'm so thankful all my family and friends who Stand by Me!
You're always in my prayers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Blessed Day

A Closer Look

Use # 100, from the chapter, labs as gurus:

This text is from

A gift to myself

This 1995 Lucy Rigg calendar was a steal on ebay - 95 cents.
I can envision such lovely envelopes.
Just a reminder - don't throw away old calendars - they make marvelous envelopes. I can show you how if need be.

Unexpected Surprises

Along with the lovely heart from Janet, three more gifts brightened my day:

sweet angel wrapping paper from thoughtful Tracy - more envelopes for sure!

a visit from Mary and Jilly brought this touching book!

Sherry shared this premier issue of Living Crafts - full of great ideas, especially the felted hearts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what a lovely surprise

My heartfelt friend, Janet, sent this beautiful piece to add to my heartstone collection. It's by far the most colorful!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Originally uploaded by Sir Nadroj

cute, huh?

Laugh out loud funny

I'd almost forgotten how much I love NPR's This American Life.
I happened to catch a repeat episode on my ipod: How to win friends and influence people.
The intro about Paul Feig and the first segment, by David Sedaris, are both hilarious.
198: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Stories of people climbing to be number one. How do they do it? What is the fundamental difference between us and them?

Paul Feig is the recent author of the children's book, Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!.

Host Ira Glass talks with Paul Feig, who as a sixth-grader, at the urging of his father, actually read the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. What he found was that afterwards, he had a bleaker understanding of human nature—and even fewer friends than when he started. (9 minutes)

Act One. To Make a Friend, Be a Friend.

David Sedaris has this instructive tale of how, as a boy, with the help of his dad, he tried to bridge the chasm that divides the popular kid from the unpopular...with the sorts of results that perhaps you might anticipate. (14 minutes).

Act Two. Stay in Touch.

After the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. diplomats had to start working the phones...to assemble a coalition of nations to combat this new threat. Some of the calls, you get the feeling, were not the easiest to make. Writer and performer Tami Sagher imagines what those calls were like. (6 minutes)

Song: "Calling Countries," Boomtown Rats

Act Three. People Like You If You Put a Lot of Time Into Your Appearance.

To prove this simple point—a familiar one to readers of any women's magazines—we have this true story of moral instruction, told by Luke Burbank in Seattle, about a guy he met on a plane who was dressed in a hand-sewn Superman costume. (13 minutes)

Act Four. Just Be Yourself.

Former TAL producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about what it's like to date Lois Lane when she's on the rebound from Superman. Jonathan Goldstein is currently the host of CBC's Wiretap, and the author of the novel Lenny Bruce is Dead. (13 minutes)

Song: "Mr. Pleasant," The Kinks

yea, it came!

I metJennifer at the Harvest Festival and loved her art with affirming words!
I special ordered JOY in red and it came yesterday.

A lovely day in second grade

Wyanne was genuinely happy to be back with the kids - and vice versa!

Can't wait to see Lila in this

This little baby shrug is featured on the Christina Skye Romance Novel website, christina skye
The heroine of Christina's new book, "Code Name Blonde", is a knitter as is Christina. The pattern was developed to give the readers a chance to knit and dream of exciting adventures.

Sleep Study Results

I've been delaying posting my results as I wanted to better understand them (requiring extensive internet research) and to be able to mark up my polysomnograph to point out specific results (but that also would require too much learning time) so I'll just do the best I can with what I've got.

These are the numbers doctors use to tell you where you fall in the scheme of things:
Apnea/Hypoxia Index (AHI) is the number of events/hour. 5-15 = mild OSA, 16-30 moderate OSA, >30 severe OSA.
OSA stands for Obstuctive Sleep Apnea.
I'm the the mild area with 13.
I'm also asymptomatic. I get up easily in the morning and am not overly tired during the day.
The little green lines at the bottom show how many apnea events I had and you can see on the right hand side, I had significantly less while wearing the CPAP mask.
I have several choices of treatments:
doing nothing
losing weight
sleeping on my side
wearing a mouth guard
wearing a mask.

The mask would probably guarantee me the best sleep, but I found it quite daunting. I can fully see, though, that it would make all the difference to people who fall in the severe range and if that were my case I wouldn't hesitate.
I'm pretty sure most people have some level of apnea, but many are in denial. There are so many other body parts/functions that need fixing that sleep goes on the back burner, but, in reality, if you fix your sleep, it results in fixing some of those other problems like high blood pressure and acid reflux (which fortunately I'm not bothered by).
I am going to try the mouth guard and see if it makes any difference in my snoring. There was one incidence during the night where my oxygen flow dropped to 70% (shown in the little blue lines across the top), not a good thing.
I'm going to post some links to give you more detailed information and I do urge anyone who thinks they might have apnea to talk to their doctor about it.
All in all, it wasn't quite as fun as I thought it would be, and I was glad I didn't have to go to work the next morning, but I would certainly do it again if it would make a difference in my health.
video from mayo clinic
talk about sleep

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Easy Way to help

At La Costa Canyon High School, there is a class that is focused on making a difference in the world. The class members are hoping to raise money by collecting books to make education (schools) better in Uganda .. See link for more information schoolsforschools
What they need: BOOKS
Their goal: 250,000 of them (yes- a quarter of a million)
Deadline: December 17th, 2008

What kind of books? ANY kind- kid books, grown up books, fiction, non-fiction, books on tape, books on CD, self help, good books, boring books, school books, etc… The only books they cannot take: phone, moldy or damaged ones.

Here's Rod's contribution:

Let me know if you have any and I'll see that they get delivered to the right place.