Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rhubarb upside-down cake

This came from the little old ladies sitting at the table next to me one day last week.  The "Hostess" of the coffee party made this wonderful cake for her card club.  But it was so rich that she had extra. So she had to plan the coffee party to get rid of the rest of the cake.  After the coffee party, they went out for supper together. ??  Ah ha!  They have learned the secret of life, "Eat your dessert first!" 

I heard this story 2-3 times along with the recipe so I can't imagine how many times the two guests had heard it.  But they didn't seem to mind, because they kept asking questions to which the outcome was the story repeated all over again.  LOL
 Very lightly spray the bottom of your pan.

Pick, De-green and wash your rhubarb.
(Always pick rhubarb by pulling it straight out.  Don't just break it.)

Chop 5 cups of rhubarb
(I like to make sure the bottom of the pan is double thick.)

Measure 1 Cup of Sugar

Sprinkle sugar evenly over rhubarb

Sprinkle on box of Strawberry Jell-O over the top
(I used sugar free)

Add two cups of miniature marshmallows

Mix a cake mix according to the box.
(I wanted to make a chocolate cake but Dale likes Vanilla better.)

Pour the cake mix evenly across the mixture in the pan.

Cook until golden brown.

I confess...It smelled so good that 1/2 an hour out of the oven we had to have a piece.
(You can serve cake up or cake down.)

Refrigerate until cool.  This is what it should really look like if you are patient.
Again, you can serve it cake up or cake down. 

Top with cool whip or whipped cream
It is VERY good and the women were right, very rich.  This is without a doubt a party pleaser.  So here is your list:
5 cups rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 box Strawberry Jell-O
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 box cake mix
Cool whip or whipping cream

Enjoy :^)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The blossom is opening!

And if I stick my nose close, I can smell it. Friday night it was smelling enough that Duchess walked up to it and stuck her nose in the bloom. Duchess, our Doberman is not known for her good ability to sniff out anything (including her favorite treats.)

Strawberries ... I can't wait!

When I got home Friday Dale was reworking my raised strawberry beds.  Too much of the dirt settled last summer.  I had tried transplanting and planting new srawberries last year but the raised beds dried out and none of them made it.

When I purchased the blocks for the garden, I also picked up 10 new strawberry plants that boast large, sweet berries. I had transplanted all the strawberries Ann had given me two years ago and they had died. I figured as the season passed that I'd buy more.

Was I surprised when Dale and I took the garden tour and saw 30-50 strawberry plants!  Many of the plants were blooming. So I took a risk today and transplanted 30 of them into the raised bed. I saw there is now a topsy-turvy for strawberries.  Hmm. I might have to try one (just for S&G's). Oh, the risk because I've been taught not to transplant a plant in bloom.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Share your faith....

I was driving through New Ulm and I was impressed that this business owner had put this simple message on his board "He is Risen" the other side says "He is Risen Indeed".

It is a miraculous message that gives us hope, encouragement, and confidence in the fact that there is life after death.  We look forward to a reunion one day with Jesus and our other brothers and sisters in Christ that have gone before us.

Share God's love and encouragement with one person today even as simply as a smile and the words "God Bless You." You'll be amazed.

And.... God Bless You today. You are extra special to him  :^)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Good to be home...

I can't believe how much My Jenny has grown in the 5 days I've been gone.  Not only is she growing like a weed but I think her coloring is getting richer, almost a chocolate brown. The bottom of her posting is rolling up a bit; but, overall it is holding up well. 

When I got to my place to unload the car, Dale was there with Duchess and My Jenny. The dogs were playing in the yard doing a good job of staying on my property while Dale set up the new strawberry patches.  Depending on the weather, I might get to plant them this weekend.

If all goes well, I will also bake, rhubarb upside down cake, a batch of cookies, and dark chocolate covered carmels spinkled in sea salt with a white chocolate drizzle. Those pictures I'll post during the week because I use my real camera. Uploading from my phone limits me. I can't rotate or put captions on them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Coffee filters, water filters, filters for fish tanks, and light filters.  The purpose of every filter is to change from one thing to another.  A coffee filter with coffee in it allows you to turn water into coffee without getting the grounds in your drink.  Water filters and fish tank filters help to purify the water.  There are some light filters used in the theatre to change the mood of the scene and camera filters made to change the natural light to something that will produce a better photo. 
The same way other filters change an element, we all have our personal filters that are formed from the experiences of our life so far.  Every person that is reading this blog is interpreting it slightly differently. 
There are college professors that teach there is no right or wrong.   It is a matter of opinion.  But I’d like to argue that point.  Each of us has our filter that determines our right and wrong.  Does the fact that right and wrong maybe viewed differently by people mean that it doesn’t exist?  Absolutely not!  It does mean that I may not agree with your right.  But if I can understand the things in your life that set what is right and wrong for you, our differences will be minimized.
An Amish child would have a very different view in life than a child raised by a single mother in the inner city.  Their parents expectations for behavior will be different influencing their view of right and wrong.  For an Amish girl it would be wrong to wear pants.  For a young girl in the inner city it would be wrong to wear a dress outside playing.  It would be right to choose shorts or pants and a shirt. 
I think sometimes of the young kids on TV that are pulled out of abusive homes.  You hear about how they didn't understand their parents actions were wrong until they spent times at a friends house and saw something different.  Their filter said that abuse was natural and right.  But their filter began changing with outside influence. 
It is good to seek outside influences in your life so that your life filters can be corrected when they start getting foggy.  Only you can change your life filter.  The first step is accepting that you are looking through a foggy filter (like my glasses when I forget to clean them.) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thank You!

In the past week, the blog has nearnly doubled.  There was only one day with over 100 hits; but the average readership increased from 35 to 64.  I am still looking forward to the three days in a row that there are over 100 hits each day.  Thank you for reading my daily blogs.  Share them with a friend and in no time at all; we will have our first drawing. 

Virginia Blue Bells

Don't they look like a bunch of Southern Bell Formal dresses?
This flower holds a special place in my heart.  As we renovated the gardens that my grandmother cared for we found a small cluster of Virginia Blue bells.  During that time we literally took pictures of everything that bloomed (even the weeds).  We were learning.  As we were showing off the photos to a family member, we found out that the Virginia Blue Bells were brought up several generations back when the family moved to Minnesota. 
No, these are not those exact flowers.  These came from my boyfriend's lake house before he sold it.  But they have touched a tender memory of my family history.  Going back to the basics of life; sights, sounds, tastes and smells trigger memories.  Sometimes things trigger positive memories and sometimes painful memories are triggered. 
I work hard to heal the painful memories through forgiveness and understanding.  I also work hard to surround myself with triggers that bring the pleasant memories to the foreground.

Puppy Play

Puppies are so fun to watch as they play.  We planned ahead and removed the squeaky bubbles from inside the toy.  We found out with our first Doberman that if there is a squeak coming from inside a toy it would be ripped to shreds. 
So let's follow along with My Jenny's story. 
"You thought you could get the best of me but alas! I have you with a power lock.  Is someone counting this?  Am I at a 10 yet?"

"I am fierce!"
My tug-rope!
"What is wrong with you that you aren't playing with me like Mavorick, my brother does?"


"I'll bite you in the booper for not fighting back. G-ma I miss my brothers and sisters!  Mama plays so ruff!"
"My Jenny, you are playing pretty ruff with you teddy bear too." G-ma answered back.
"Me? Ruff?" My Jenny bent her head down and quickly grabbed the teddy bear sending him through the air.  Then ran up behind Mama to hide and look innocent.

"G-ma I am your little angle.  I wouldn't do anything.  I LOVE you!"
"I Love you too, My Jenny.  Let's schedule a play date with some of your brothers and sisters.  What do you think?"
"YEAH! Now? Is it time yet? Can we go now? Please, please, please!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Wacky side - Fruit Cake

No this is not the fruit cake that is passed around at Christmas time. 
This is one of my springtime fruit cakes. 
Are you sure that you are ready?
***Read all the instructions BEFORE you begin***
Buy a cake mix. (I like pudding in the mix.)

Choose a white cake mix and cut your water in half.
Did you see that tip?  Cut your water in half because most fruit has some of it's own juice.  Prepare the pan as directed on the box and pour your batter in the pan.
I used black-berries and strawberries.
Choose 2-3 kinds of your favorite fruits.  Rinse them off well. (Okay - taste test a couple just to make sure that you aren't going to poison anyone.)
Sprinkle cut up pieces of fruit over the top of your cake.
Cut up your fruit into bite size pieces. (Remove pits if your fruit contains pits.) Sprinkle the fruit over the top of your cake. 
Doesn't this look a bit like a painting?
Cook until golden brown.  Different fruit will cook into the cake differently.  If you want the fruit to fall more into the cake, use more water OR put half the cake mix in the pan, sprinkle the fruit on top then spread the rest of the cake mix over the top.  Personally, I like the more decorative top.

Give your friends a piece - okay give them two so they don't fight over it.
Top the cake with cool whip and left over pieces of fruit.  For those feeling really ambitious - buy whipping cream and use real whipped cream.  ENJOY this quick twist to a box cake that gives it a refreshing spring twist!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Update....I didn't mean to leave you hanging

A Pound of Fat.  :^(
So when after a week you are down a pound, is that worth celebrating?  I’m not up (and when I weighed last it looked like I was going to be up)  So YES!  I’m going to celebrate because I’m headed in the right direction.  I’ve been trying to work more fruits and vegetables into my diet.  And I’ve been doing half hour work-outs every other day.  The other days I only get the walk I do with the dog, the wild housework when I get home from work as my exercise. 
Visualizing Stage

I laid out the blocks to get an idea where we needed to dig.  This would have been a bit easier if it would have been tilled just days before I needed to move the dirt.  But the garden needed tilling so they could plant the potatoes, radishes, and early lettuce.  They were planted earlier last week before the rains started coming perfect timing for the newly planted seeds but not so perfect for my project.  I dug out just enough to figure out where the front line was going to end up.  I had a good idea to use a cheaper block for the line that is going to be partially below the visible level.  But as usual, each one was poured just enough different that the corners didn’t line up.  So I will end up using a third of the blocks somewhere else and buying enough later for the top layer.  (Don’t worry I have two other places in mind to put the blocks.) 
I’m hoping that it will be better weather this next weekend to make some real progress. - - For those people who are precise; no, they are not level.  I was "visualizing" where I needed to go next. A part of a process that has my boyfriend confused.     :^)

It opens more each week.  Cool!
The flower is opening up very slowly and luckily no smell yet.  I still have hope that it will be warm enough outside that when it starts smelling that I’ll be able to set it outside.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Many Christians try to fit God into a box.  We call that box our church and we think that the boxes we each create is the only box or the right box. It is after all the box where we are most comfortable.

I believe that God meets us where we are at. Some like to sing and dance in the worship service. God accepts their worship.  Some feel comfortable with rituals; kneeling for some prayers, standing for others.  God set up rituals/traditions for the Jewish people because he understood they needed that. We each choose a church that we feel comfortable attending. We choose boxes that look and feel god to us.  They add the color to our world that we need added. 

At work they tell me that I like to play in other peoples sandboxes. So it shouldn't be surprising that I'm doing the same thing at home.  I am not Catholic but I periodically attend a Catholic church.  My brother and sister-in-law are Catholic.  Her uncle is a priest and in the "small world" that we live in I purchased my last house about two blocks from his church. I had the absolute blessing of attending a special mass celebrating the 50th anniversary of Fathers Jack Brunner and Richard Gross. As they said today, being a priest isn't simply a vocation. It is a way of life.

It was a beautiful service and afterwards the parishoners served a delicious meal. Congratulations men and thank you for your years of serving God.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Is it really Green?

When I bought my house, I tried to make as many "green" choices as possible. I put the new style lightbulbs in and here I am today taking them all out. First of all there are trace levels of mercury in them and they can't be disposed of in the garbage.  Secondly, I read an article that claimed they interfered with cell phone signals. 
I don't believe everything I read. But cell phone coverage in my house is terrible.  It should be easy for me to see if there is an improvement.  I have zero proof that having one light bulb over another will make a difference in my medical condition.  But I've never bought geraniums because I'm alergic to them. So why should I have a light bulb in my house that contains even trace levels of mercury in it when the murcury levels in my body are so high.
After much thought, my feet took me over to the local hardware store to buy several packs of new bulbs. But now what to do with the stack of light bulbs that I don't trust?
I am also concerned that in the marketing ploy to get sales many things are marketed as "green" that are not.  Fabric made from bambo is one thing that comes to mind.  I saw some at the state fair. It was so soft and nice looking. Then I did some research and found out that the process to change this fast growing tree into fabric is very caustic.  I chose not to buy anything with bamboo fabric.  In my mind, the costs out-weigh the green benefit.
What are your thoughts??

What are little boys made of?

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.  There is nothing better for a little boy than to cuddle up at night with his dog protecting him. Nothing better than rough-housing with the dog in the middle of the living room floor and taking his best friend for a walk.  Dogs are mans best friend...even if that man is still a boy.

Having a dog can transform an old man into a young boy or change a young boy into a man.  But when all is said and done all their lives are better because of their friendship.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Over 100 hits on a day!

Baby steps in any goal.  I can't see how many are "privately following" so I will do the drawing when there are over 100 for 3 days in a row. (The second portion of the criteria.)  We have day one under our belts.  Two more days in a row over 100 and there will be a drawing.  So check back every day. When I do the drawing you will be able to enter by answering a question in the comment section. 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach...

That is what my mother and grandmother taught me as they taught me how to cook.  Dale has been doing so much to help me at my house, taking care of the blocks and mowing lawn, running daytime errands for me just to name a few things.

I bought two T-bones for grilling (the dogs need a treat too), cooked a couple of yams and sautee'd onions and mushrooms. We were going to have salads too but there was already too much food. 

Even though my sweetheart is a fabulous cook in his own rites, making this meal for him was a special way to say "Thank you <3"

The next step in posting

My Jenny went to her vet appointment today.  They removed her stitches and put the posting cones around her ears.  Look at the nice job the vet did! We have one of the best vets around for ear-cropping and only about 7-8 miles away.  He is internationally know for this soon to be, lost art.  They don't teach ear cropping it is a skill passed down from one generation to the next. 

Now it is a time of patience as we wait, re-post, and wait some more. (The vet will be doing all the posting.  We wouldn't want wrap it too tight and damage the ear or too loose and ruin the shape.) 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Turtle Clock

In season and with a license you can harvest turtles.  Last year we harvested a couple of good sized turtles.  Dale is an expert at cleaning and cooking turtle.  Nope... not turtle soup.

A man that lives at a nearby lake makes turtle shells into clocks. This one really turned out nice!  He has three wall clocks, a microwave clock and the stove clock all in sight. I wonder where he is going to hang this one and how? (Think about it.)

The next one we may try to prepare the shell ourselves. Installing the mechanics don't look that difficult but I bet you need a really sharp drill bit.  HEY I just realized ~ numbers missing! Just like the one learned on as a kid!


Tuesday the dentist was able to finish replacing the rest of the fillings in my mouth.  No more silver fillings in my mouth! Wednesday the dentist worked me into his schedule to do the final adjustments. I was able to take a few hours of vacation and leave for the rest of the day.

So with the extra few hours in my wild evening, Dale with his truck and I in my car went to Home Depot to pick up the blocks for my garden project.  Here is the extra blessing ~ we found out today that Home Depot gives a 10% discount to vetrans if they show their military ID at the checkout!  So the blocks only cost $204.06 keeping me under budget. Yeah!

At a time when discounts are small and manipulative, I was surprised to see 10%.  And hmmmm the irony that is the exact amount God asks us to Tithe.  I believe God has a sense of humor and blessing 10% off my project fits that category. 

Sometimes I think we forget to stop and give thanks for the blessings.  So thank you Lord for blessing even in the small details. (By the way, they also called an associate to help us load the bricks.  Dale had them unloaded before I got home. My special sweet love!)   :^)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not every good deal is a savings...

My work is awesome! There is a stove top, a couple of microwaves, and we have paper plates and plastic ware.  My lunch today wasn't that hot but as I went to pick up the first bite, the tines rolled back. It made me think of the things we do to save money. 

Yesterday my boyfriend made pancakes. But he bought a cheap mix which made flat pancakes that didn't come out of the pan well. The mix said that it would make 6-8 pancakes but after trying to make the first two the last third was thrown away with a few choice words.  (A hungry man cooking when nothing is working right is not a pretty site.)

I went to the store and bought the mix that was about fifty cents more per box. After mixing it up per the directions on the side of the box, I got 6 plate sized pancakes. He was a full (and happy) man again. 

So do you spend $12 for a shirt on sale that lasts one season or $30 on a shirt on sale that will last for several years? Quality needs to balance savings for it to be a "good deal".  (Cash only! Specials on credit are only a deal if they are zero percent financing and you get them paid off by the deadline. Careful of the small print!)

Share some of your "good" or "not so good" deals!

Updated flower picture

No smell yet....but the bloom is getting closer to opening.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Get the Lead out...

…and the Mercury too.  I have been doctoring for a couple of years with unusual aches and pains, fatigue, etc. all the symptoms common with Fibromyalgia.  I wasn’t going to accept that as a diagnosis because all they do is treat the symptoms and medicate, medicate, medicate.  I wanted to get to the cause of the problem. 
Then out of the blue, a friend sent out a letter of “Healing Praise” he had tested high for mercury in his system.  Had all of his fillings replaced and gone through a heavy metal cleansing and is now living a healthy life.  Could it be….??? That I have too much mercury in my system too? 
Finding a Doctor that would prescribe a Toxic Element test was a challenge.  Taking the test was a bigger challenge.  I reacted badly and was down flat for over a day.  The thought that I need to re-take this test at least three more times has me a bit concerned.   The process is that you take the test.  If you are at toxic levels, you begin a cleanse.  As the pool of toxins comes out of your soft tissues the level of toxins in your urine actually increases before it diminishes to safe levels. 
I got my results today.  Normal for Lead is <=1.4 and mine is at 11.4; normal for Mercury is <=2.19 and mine is at 14.40; normal for Platinum is <=.033 and mine is at 0.123 a lot of data to get my brain around. 
The high levels of Platinum interferes with the absorption of food in my system which means I’m not getting all of the nutrients out of my food.  I need to do more research regarding the lead and mercury in my system.  One study that I read stated that mercury attracted sugar and therefore people with excessive mercury in their system were likely to show signs of type 2 diabetes.  Go figure (my sugar levels have been increasing steadily for at least two-three years). 
Now for the biggest challenge… I need to go through a year-long detox and along with that I will be trying to lose the extra weight that I carry.  Both together should get rid of my Type2 Diabetes and the other aches and pains.  I will try to document the things that I learn about high levels of Lead and Mercury in my system as well as my weight loss. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fishing Time

A sunny Saturday in the springtime only means one thing... FISHING! This was My Jenny's first time in the boat. Duchess stands head in the wind as the boat cruises full speed across the lake. My Jenny tucked in close to me and cried a bit until I took my hat and  covered her.  She didn't like speeding across the lake.

Once we were anchored both dogs did their snoopy rounds checking everything out until they both fell asleep.  My challenge for this summer will be to design a shade cover like an umbrella that can give the dogs shade on the hotter summer days.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seder Service

For those who don't know; a Seder is also called the Passover Meal. The Christian Communion is taken from part of the Seder. I was at Seder this morning with a Messianic Rabbi. (That means he is a Jew that believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior.)
It was amazing to hear the Jewish perspective of their traditions and how what God put in place from the beginning were prophecies that pointed to Jesus as the Savior. All of our senses are involved in the service, sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.  If you ever have a chance, go to a Seder service with a Messianic Rabbi. 
Just before he left Rabbi shared, "I think we spend too much time telling God how big the mountains and problems in our life are instead of telling the mountains and problems how big our God is!"  So true, isn't it?