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!