When I was a child, every Saturday night I watched “The Lawrence Welk Show” with my folks.  I was already taking piano lessons, but when it was time to choose a band instrument to play in school, I was drawn to the “licorice stick” – the clarinet.

Most uncommon instruments are not the first choice of a musician.  Once you learn to play the clarinet, you can move on to the saxophone and several other reed instruments with identical or similar fingerings.

Today we celebrate uncommon and unusual instruments.  Here are just a few examples:


Other musical instruments considered uncommon are the bubble organ, laser harp, clackamore, fluba, dulcimer and double violin.

Making cool musical sounds with unconventional instruments is nothing new.  Back in the 1920’s, there was a musical saw quartet!


I think the most unusual and entertaining orchestra today is the VEGETABLE ORCHESTRA.  Have you heard of them?  I must admit, I have not – so let’s listen to this new sound together.

I just had a funny thought.  Maybe I should try to play a carrot because heaven knows I have a lousy armature and can’t play a traditional reed instrument to save my life!

Here is an unusual and calming sound.  Let’s take a listen…

Musical eccentricities abound these days because musicians are explorers and always trying new ways of doing things.  We want a certain sound and work until we get it.  I wouldn’t say we’re stubborn…  oh wait, yes I would.  Never mind.

Today would be a great day to get with the kids at the computer and google some of the more unusual musical instruments.  Maybe one of your kids will be a virtuoso in the vegetable orchestra.  Well – there are worse things, mom and dad.  After all, think of the cost of a carrot compared to the amount you would spend on a traditional licorice stick.  Jus’ sayin’…  🙂



Castor beans, sometimes used in traditional therapies, contain ricin one of the most toxic substances known. It may cause an acute and potentially fatal gastroenteritis as well as neurological and ophthalmological lesions. Poisoning may also lead to delayed visceral damages; however, the latter is quite rare. The toxicity is dose related and depends on the amount of castor beans ingested. There is no specific treatment and symptomatic management to reduce the load of the toxin needs to be initiated quickly and early when a case of poisoning is suspected so that serious complications will be avoided.

Why do you care?  You care because when I was very small, I ate some!  I actually took the jar to my mom and told her I ate them.  I was rushed to the ER and guess what they did?  Well, my stomach was pumped – they used…  charcoal.

How many uses are there for this wonderful black magical stuff?  More than you may think!  It’s good for grillin’…  but I think we all know that.

  • Mix charcoal into your compost pile to increase its carbon content. (If the pile smells like ammonia, it needs carbon.)
  • Using activated charcoal, you can make a teeth whitener. Just open a capsule and dip your wet toothbrush into it and brush your teeth.  Note:  if you have sensitive teeth, don’t do this more than once a week.  It can increase your sensitivity.
  • Make cut flowers last longer in the vase.  Put a lump of coal in the water underneath the stems to keep the water clear and fresh.
  • Zap your zits!  Mix 1/2 teaspoon each:  activated charcoal powder / water / Aloe Vera gel.  Mix with a Q-tip until it forms an ink-like texture.  Paint it on your face and let dry completely before rinsing off with warm water.  Charcoal draws the bad stuff from your pores and leaves you with clear, healthy skin.
  • The best way to remove rust from a cast iron skillet is to let the rust burn off over a charcoal grill.  After the rust is gone, let it cool completely and then re-season the cast iron as soon as possible.
  • I keep a charcoal briquette in my cedar chest.  It keeps my precious heirlooms, which includes photos, linens and clothing, from mold, mildew and musty smells.

Charcoal, whether activated or not, serves a greater purpose than providing a fire for the grill in the summertime, or pumping out a stomach.  I just thought you might like to know.  🙂





Most of us have had to fill out paperwork before having surgery.  They always want you to list your medications, including herbal supplements.  Have you ever wondered why?

Just as our prescription medication does a certain job, so the herbal supplements do a certain job.  I want to urge you to look through your medications, including the herbal supplements, and find out if there may be some interaction between them.


There are other sites that offer this service, but I trust WebMD.  If you are unable to find a drug or herbal supplement on here, please write down the name of it and contact your pharmacist about possible interactions.

While we should not discount the use of herbal supplements, I do think we should be aware of what they are capable of doing before just popping them because sister so-and-so has had great results with them.

Here are just a few drug interactions that I’m aware of.  In most cases, the herbal supplement basically does the same job as the prescription medication – so it’s like getting too much of a good thing – which is not always good.

  • An anticoagulant prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with Chamomile, Ginger or Ginseng.  Large amounts of cranberry juice or a cranberry supplement should not be taken.  Green tea has a blood-thinning quality and could cause problems.  Coenzyme Q10 and Feverfew also thin blood.
  • An anti-depressant prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with St. John’s Wort, Yohimbe, or Goldenseal.
  • An anti-seizure medication prescribed by the doctor should not be combined with Ginko Biloba or Evening Primrose Oil.
  • An oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy should not be combined with Saw Palmetto.
  • If you ingest much caffeine, Echinacea should not be used.  It slows  digestion of the caffeine, causing headaches.
  • Acetaminophen interacts with Black Cohosh.
  • Pain medications interact with Valerian.
  • Buprenorphine interacts with Kava.

Obviously, this is not a complete list.  Of course, if you have more concerns, talk to your pharmacist. 🙂




Did someone say CHOCOLATE???

We’ve all heard about the benefits of dark chocolate, but sometimes you just have to break the rules and have a little milk chocolate.  Today’s the day, chocoholics!  Dig in!

Milk chocolate is different from other chocolates.  It’s got either dry or condensed milk mixed with the cocoa and is used to make candy bars, hot chocolate and other scrumptious (and sinful) desserts.

Yes, we’ve stuck to our diet pretty closely…  so today, enjoy a little piece of milk chocolate.  Why?  Well, if you need a reason, try this one – it will literally make you happier!  Milk chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine and a compound called anandamide.

An additional stimulant would be caffeine – in the coffee I’ll drink with my chocolate!

Take a look at this poem from Lucinda Berry Hill.  Just before she sent it to me, she commented that she never wrote funny poems until she met me.  LOL!!!  I said, “You’re welcome!”  I love how God helps us sharpen iron in friendships, don’t you?


Of all the destinations on my bucket list, today one is really on my mind – HERSHEY, PA!  Look at these links and tell me this doesn’t add up to a FUN vacation!






And there’s also a facebook page!


They’re on Twitter…


And…  Tanger outlet mall (for the shoppers among us – raising my hand!)


It’s on my bucket list – I really want to visit there one day!  I’ve heard that it smells like chocolate all the time.  Lucinda tells me it’s especially strong after it rains.  Yeah, she gets to live near there…  lucky ducky!

We won’t talk about what Wichita smells like after it rains…  sigh.

Anyway, today, enjoy milk chocolate your favorite way. It doesn’t have to be with a cup of coffee (but I highly recommend it)  😉  Happy Milk Chocolate Day!



Every right-wing, conservative, Christian in America is praying for hope and change in 2016.  No, not the fundamental transformation of the United States, but a return to the laws already in place that have not been enforced.  What a difference it would make if they would be.

There are a cast of thousands with their respective hats in the ring.  I’m not here to tell anyone who to vote for (like you’d listen if I tried), but I’m going to try to point one blatantly obvious fact out for you, just in case you missed it.

I hope Trump will continue to run under the Republican ticket.  If he runs under a 3rd party it will divide Republicans – split the party wide open!  This not only makes me nervous going forward, but it assures that we will lose the 2016 election.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  Split the Republican party?  Yep – and it would leave the Democrats laughing at us…  saying, “divide and conquer!”  It’d be awful if the Republicans were divided.  We need to remain united.  I pray we do.

In a prideful and arrogant tone, he says he does not pray to God for guidance.  He speaks with great candor which is refreshing, however, he lacks any sort of filter (certainly not a Holy Ghost brand of filter), and that concerns me greatly.

Why does it matter?  It matters because no man should consider himself more intelligent than his maker.  If he does not seek advice from a higher power, then he obviously thinks he IS the higher power and knows all.

He’s mistaken.  I’m not trying to be ugly.  Actually I’m being just as tactful as I can be…  but the fact is, he is mistaken.  We need God in America again…  and in order to get God and His principles back in America, it would make perfect sense in my brain that a Christian should hold the office of president.  Ya think???

Regardless of his economic status, perhaps he does not realize the true scope of the problem.  No one should go around putting down their competition, boasting about how much better they are.  The last time I saw that kind of campaign, I was in elementary school.  I was running for a seat on safety patrol and my competitor told everyone that I stole Twinkies from the coat room from other lunch boxes during lunch hour.

That was totally bogus…  my mom always packed a great lunch with my own Twinkie!  It was immature, but we were kids, so…  And yeah – I lost.  LOL.  I survived.

If he really cared about the Republican party, he’d back off and cool it.  Will he run under a new ticket?  If that happens – we’re sunk.  Honestly, our party needs to get its collective act together.  I’m both mad and sad…

I have no other candidate to endorse at this point, but…  there are some fine Christian Republican candidates running…  ones who would lean on God for guidance.

As you contemplate the candidates, always remember that this is all God’s perfect timing, not ours.  In His time all things will be made known.  In His time we will be taken to heaven.  Remember to always keep Christ before you.


I want to encourage you not to choose a candidate to back with feelings of frustration alone.    Please pray about who you will vote for – I mean really pray about it.  Our country is at a crossroads – we need to get this RIGHT!  May God help each one of us as we do our part to regain what dignity for America we can.  🙂


HEBREWS 7:26 ON 7/26

TL HEBREWS 7 26 ON 7 26

For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.  – Hebrews 7:26

As Christians, we must strive to pattern our lives after our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is so far above us in His manner, His thinking, His wisdom.  He is sinless and holy and perfect!  He has no addictions or any sinful inclination.  He dwells in us! 

He is harmless and free from all transgression.  There is no deceit in his mouth and no false motives.  He is undefiled.  He is the one we look to and keep close to us to help us be better.

Purity is not a trait that comes naturally to humans.  We need help.  Christ is our help when we face temptations and His Holy Spirit helps us when we fall.  When we ask God, in Jesus’ name, to forgive our sins, He sets us back on our feet and tells us to go and sin no more.

When we face trials and suffering in life, He walks beside us.  When we come to the end of the road, He will be there to cross over with us, hand in Hand.  His precious, nail-pierced Hand will not let go.

I used to fear judgment day.  Then I heard the most wonderful explanation from a good friend and pastor.  He said, “When your name is called on judgment day, you point to Christ and say the name Jesus.  On that day, God will not see you, He will see Jesus in you.”  I will point and say, “That’s Him.  That’s my Savior.” 

He will be with me here and He will stand beside me through the judgment.  He is exalted above the heavens because He alone is worthy of my praise.

No matter who the president is, Jesus Christ is KING!  🙂

MATTHEW 7:25 ON 7/25

TL MATTHEW 7 25 ON 7 25

 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.   – Matthew 7:25

Jesus closes the Sermon on the Mount by letting us know it’s not good enough to just hear His words…  they must also be obeyed.  He refers to the man who would hear and obey to a man who built his house on a rock, and the man who hears and does not obey to a man who built his house on sand.

Palestine was a land of hills and mountains.  It was subject to sudden and violent rains.  The Jordan became rapid, so the streams running among the hills, whose channels would have usually been dry, became suddenly swollen with the rain.  It would quickly pour down into the plains below, sweeping away everything, including poorly built houses.

If a house was built on sand or shaky base, obviously it would not stand.  The rising, bursting stream would cause the house to fall.  SPLAT…  as the song says!  Rocks in that country were common, and it was easy to secure them to build a solid foundation.  Those who are wise did so.

This was a comparison that every Jew could relate to.  They understood exactly what Jesus was saying.  If you are wise, you will not only hear the teachings, but obey them.  Foolish men will listen but not allow the words to speak to their spirit.

Just as they were given a choice then, we are given the same choice today.  We can be wise and obey the words of Christ, or we can continue in our foolishness.  Will we stand on the Rock or will we build on sinking sand?  🙂





Wikipedia provides a wealth of information about drive-through windows, such as how they began and the outrageous places they use them.  Drive-through weddings?  Yep!  You saw it here first!  I didn’t see anything about drive-through divorce, but I’d be for that!  Just kidding!


Everyone has a “drive-thru” story, whether it be good or bad.

My husband hates tomatoes like most people hate laundry day.  He will eat ketchup, salsa and pizza sauce – but tomatoes, forget it!  We were in a hurry and used the drive-through at Burger King (you know, the ones who say you will get it “Your Way”???)  He ordered a regular hamburger with NO TOMATO.

He quickly checked the burger – and there was a big ol’ slice of tomato on it!  The last time I saw that Burger King, there was a tomato slice sliding down the window…  we have not been back.

When I use the drive-thru at the bank, I usually have my dog in the car and they put a milk bone dog biscuit in the basket along with the deposit slip!  I really like that!  Of course, it’d be better if they’d put a dog biscuit and a Snicker’s candy bar in there, but…

One day I went to an Arby’s drive-thru across town.  There was a cast of thousands in the line and I suspect the person taking orders was probably new and a little nervous.  By the time I got to the window to pay, it was quite clear that something was wrong because people in front of me were coming IN to the store to complain.

The orders were not going to the right people – it was a mess.  I decided to just take whatever was in the bag because I didn’t have time to waste inside.  Besides, the poor girl looked so frazzled, I didn’t want to make it worse.

I ended up with an Arby-Q sandwich, and a migraine headache.  Apparently that sauce packs a punch!  Oh well…  life goes on.

Interesting things happen when you have little ones in the car.  Combine that with the fact that we were heading for McDonald’s on Halloween, and it’s a recipe for fun squared!  My friend was in the passenger seat and her daughter was in a car seat in the back.

The guy at the window was a vampire…  and he was pretty convincing!  My friend’s daughter was screaming bloody murder!  For the next ten miles we both tried to console her.  I think it scared the vampire guy a little bit too – he apologized all over the place.  I told him maybe next year he should consider being a clown or something (although some people are scared of clowns – like…  um…  me!)  :-/

Hmm…  maybe I’ll swing by Starbuck’s and use the drive-thru…  that sounds like a good way to celebrate, don’t you think?  🙂








The night is almost gone, and the day is near.  Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  – Romans 13:2

On this day in 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history broke out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city.  It began in the early morning hours and lasted four days.

It was only stopped after 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops were involved.  The death toll came to 43 and 342 were injured.  Nearly 1,400 buildings were burned.  The 12th Street Riot was the worst U.S. riot in 100 years, occurring during a period of numerous riots in America.

The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Johnson, identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968.  In 1967 alone, 83 people died and 1,800 were injured.  Property valued at more than $100 million was damaged, looted, or destroyed.

America, we must study our history, not so we can repeat it, but so we can find a better way of solving problems.  Rioting, senseless death, injuries, destruction is not the way to solve problems.  Let’s look at the late 1960’s and see how that ended.  Do we really want the 2000’s to be a carbon copy?  Have we not learned anything from our sad history?

God’s way is to pray and obey.  If we look at God’s Word, we see that we are to lean fully on Him for guidance and be obedient to His Word.  Nowhere in the Bible does it condone violence or rioting, destruction and hate.

When will we learn that drawing racial lines and causing division are methods that get us nowhere?  It accomplishes exactly nothing and leaves people dead in the streets!  What about that is right?  God cries at these times.

I cry too when I see the division is evident once again.  As a child of the 1960’s, it’s apparent to me that history is beginning to repeat itself, and it makes my heart sink.  Let’s come together and pray for America because frankly, with God’s help, we can be better than that!  Now that we’ve examined what happened in the 1960’s.  Let’s not allow history to repeat itself.  🙂


MATTHEW 7:22 ON 7/22

TL MATTHEW 7 22 ON 7 22

 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’     – Matthew 7:22

I’ve read this portion of Scripture with a more personal implication.  Did I not play the piano for church services every Sunday and in Your name did I not write poetry and blog posts?  When it hits home, some days I have to say …  ouch!  I have to drop my pride, stop in my tracks, bow my head and let the Lord know that I know it is NOT about me.  It’s all about Him…  His love, His mercy, His grace, His peace and His wonderful love.  I deserve hell but because of His sacrifice on Calvary (and nothing else), I get heaven.  It’s about His mercy, His grace, His love.


God knows our hearts, minds and motives.  Do we do what we do for Him – or is it for attention from others?  We should do good deeds, to be sure – however, to lay the whole weight of our salvation upon what we have done in Jesus’ name instead of Jesus Himself – His sacrifice, where our salvation comes from, we are missing the mark.  It’s dangerous to put our trust in all the works we do in Christ’s name instead of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross – the only way we will be assured of eternal life with Him in heaven.

It’s never been about us – and it’s always been about Christ Jesus.  He suffered on the cross and willingly sacrificed His life for all of us.  That is where our focus needs to be.  If we lose sight of that and get all wrapped up in ourselves, it’s time to ask forgiveness and begin again.

This is probably one of the most important passages in the Sermon on the Mount.  I don’t think anyone misses the mark on purpose.  Sometimes we get caught up in the “doing” and before long, it’s about us instead of Christ.  The devil wants to work on our ego, our accomplishments, our good works…  he eases Christ out of our minds and away from our focus – but outwardly, it looks like we’re doing the right things.  But doing the right things with the wrong motive…  um…  why bother?

Keeping God through Christ the center of our lives in an ongoing process. It cannot be done once and then forgotten. We have to keep choosing God, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  But I want Him to know that I know…  it’s all about Him.  🙂