A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (17)What an interesting experience we had at our local McDonald’s restaurant the other day!  As you know, my husband and I are both type 2 diabetics.  We had been shopping at Walmart and I began to have symptoms of low blood sugar, which is very unusual for me.  I’m not a disciplined patient – that is to say, I don’t typically carry candy or glucose tablets in my purse.  I know…  I know – I should.

We quickly checked our stuff out and loaded it in the truck – then made a beeline for the McDonald’s across the parking lot.  To our surprise, there was some sort of meeting going on with goodies that each person brought from home!  I’m so impressed that the management of McDonald’s would allow folks to do that.  You’d think they would insist that they buy the food there, wouldn’t you?

There were all sorts of cakes and cookies and assorted things of that nature.  I was busy with my oatmeal and coffee (4 points, yep – I counted it)…  and a sweet little lady came to our booth and said,

It’s April birthday month and we have all kinds of goodies if you kids would like to have some birthday cake or cookies, help yourself!

Two things hit me simultaneously…  first – the term YOU KIDS is one I have not heard in such a long time; in fact, not since my sweet mama passed.  Secondly – the sheer sweetness she showed.  We were not a part of their organization or group or whatever, yet she showed such a kindness to us!

I didn’t know her, but she was inclusive by inviting us to be a part of their celebration.  She had no way of knowing that I had a birthday in April – but how very sweet it was of her to ask if we may want to help them celebrate another year of life for those in their group – whatever it was.  I have no idea, but I am so impressed with the manager of that McDonald’s for letting these sweet seniors gather there with their homemade birthday goodies.APRIL BIRTHDAY JOY

As we left the restaurant, I made a little detour to the counter and let the manager know that I thought it was very kind of him to let them gather every month for a birthday celebration.  He just grinned and gave me two thumbs up.  He told me they’d been doing that since the restaurant opened and he doesn’t mind a bit.  I didn’t ask what organization they represent – I’m not sure he even knew to be honest.

Some things happen on some days that just restore your faith in human nature.  This was a good day – a very, very good day.  Thank You, Lord for good days and good folks.  🙂

BOB WILLS DAY

TL 4-30 BOB WILLS DAY

https://youtu.be/9qcO19R8Jys

http://bobwills.com/

There was one song that my daddy insisted I learn to play…  SAN ANTONIO ROSE.  Playing it on the piano does not do the song justice, but I did play it for him – often!  I have some happy memories of my dad sitting by the stereo record turntable, listening intently to his Bob Wills album.  I’ve searched the internet for the album my dad played, but to no avail.  I’ll keep looking as I write.

I love the name of this town in Texas…  TURKEY, TX.  This is where the big Bob Wills Day celebration takes place every year!  Bob Wills is still the king…  indeed!  Country music has evolved (some of us use a different descriptive term) through the years, but classic country music is still the best in my humble opinion.

I love classic country music and offer no apology whatsoever for it.  I love Floyd Cramer’s slip notes and admire a strong, brilliant voice like Patsy Cline.  And nobody fiddled around better than Bob Wills!

What will happen today in Turkey, Texas?

Check out their page on facebook for more information:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bob-Wills-Day-Turkey-Texas/120154581334657

I read something there about a tribute to the late Merle Haggard.  I’m not sure if there are any original band members left from Bob Wills group, but if there are, it’s going to be a good time you can bet.  I’m sure the talent will be amazing for the day’s activities.

If you want to read the whole Bob Wills story, take a look at this:  http://www.famoustexans.com/bobwills.htm

He earned the title “king of country swing”, that’s for sure!

If you’re thinking about heading for Turkey, Texas today…  here’s one more link to look at:

http://www.bobwillsday.com/

It would be great to be there, but I couldn’t guarantee that I could keep tears from falling.  When I hear that country swing sound from Bob Wills and similar bands, I can’t help but think of my daddy.  If Bob Wills is playing in Heaven, I’m pretty sure my daddy is happy!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

Do you have a favorite fig recipe?  Please feel free to share it in the comments below.  We can never have too many, you know!

Before I share this amazing fig recipe, I want you to read this wonderful poem by Allison Elrod called First Fig. 

 

First Fig

by Allison Elrod

The fig tree has spread its generous
canopy across my late summer side yard.
Its branches are heavy with fruit.

Every day now, the figs grow softer
and fuller; they are taking the rain
and the warmth of a hundred summer days
and making them over into pleasure;
taut green skin and soft pink flesh.

Wearing only my nightgown
and my work boots, I have come
outside at dawn like some
post-modern Eve, yearning
for a taste of the fruit of the tree. I reach up
into the branches, reach up for the fruit
that hangs just beyond my reach,
the fig whose skin is just beginning
to bear the flush of readiness.

Maybe I am Eve. After all,
isn’t the light in my garden still
what came of “Let there be light?”
And isn’t everything to come
in human history beginning
on this very day, this very morning,
when this very fig—the one I am holding
in my hand—is finally ripe?

Or maybe, I am
a middle-aged woman outside
in my nightgown at six a.m.—
filled with happiness so pure it feels
like innocence—savoring the sweetness
of summer’s first ripe fig
before the light shifts,
before history resumes,
before I come inside to wake you,
temptation on my mind.

It’s day number two of NATIONAL FIG WEEK!!!  Here’s another recipe from my treasure trove of nutritious and delicious autumn dishes…  featuring the fabulous fig!

FIGGY FOCACCIA

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion

3 Tbs. olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Plain cornmeal

1 lb. bakery pizza dough

8 fresh figs, halved

1 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat grill to 350 -400 degrees.

Cut onion into 1-inch slices.  Brush with 1 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill onion slices without grill lid, 3-4 minutes on each side or until tender.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly dust work surface with cornmeal.  Stretch dough into a 10-12-inch oval onto work surface.  Place dough, cornmeal side down, on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil.  Rub oil into dough.  Arrange fig halves and grilled on dough, pressing lightly.  Sprinkle with rosemary.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 425 degrees on lowest oven rack for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Voila!  Enjoy!!!  🙂

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

Hello!  It is NATIONAL FIG WEEK!!!  For those of you who think that the only good thing about figs is found in FIG NEWTONS, hold on to your hat, because every day this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes using this naturally sweet fruit!

When I think of figs, I naturally think of one of my favorite books, The Bell Jar.  Chapter 7 talks about figs:

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.  From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.  – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7

I know we associate autumn with all things orange – pumpkins, cinnamon (okay, that’s brown) – but there are also some purples to consider when doing your holiday cooking and baking.  Here is fig recipe number one:

FIG AND LEMON CHICKEN (serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 c. Splenda brown sugar

1/4 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. water

1 1/2 lbs. dried figs

1 sliced lemon

12 chicken thighs

salt to taste

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. dried parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Splenda brown sugar, vinegar and water; set aside.

Place figs and lemon slices in the bottom of an 11 x 16-inch baking dish.  Arrange chicken thighs on top, then pour vinegar mixture over chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and dried parsley.

Bake for 50 minutes, basting frequently.  Turn figs over if they begin to burn.

Remove chicken from baking dish with slotted spoon onto serving platter.  Skim fat from juices and pour over chicken or put in gravy boat.

Garnish chicken with fresh parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

Note:  We always take the skin off our chicken before baking it.  I know…  I know – but it makes it healthier.  The good news is, with this recipe – it doesn’t matter if the skin is on the chicken or not – it’s so delicious you won’t miss the skin.  🙂

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY 2

https://youtu.be/fAlK6zxYknQ

Click image to enlarge

I’m not a Democrat, however I do wish Bill & Hillary Clinton a happy wedding anniversary!  They have enjoyed wedded bliss for 40 years today!  Bill & Hill tied the knot in Fayetteville, Arkansas on October 11, 1975.  This blogger was 14 years old and in Jr. High School back then.

Let’s have a little good-natured fun, shall we???  Bwahahaha…

Since they are so poor now (not only broke, but in debt since they left the White House), I’m not sure how they will celebrate…  but I have an old Coleman pup tent they are welcome to borrow.  They have to bring their own sleeping bags, blankets and lanterns A campout would be fun – but I do recommend taking a few blankets because it’s a little nippy at night.

I feel sorry for folks who graduate from Yale and become successful lawyers – then become career politicians…  don’t you?  It takes a special breed to stay in politics as long as these two have.  I can’t imagine having every little thing in my life and especially my marriage put under a giant microscope for God and everyone to see.  I hope it’s been worth it for them.  That sure is not the life I would wish for myself – not for any amount of money.  It’s amazing that they have stayed married – jus’ sayin’…  so many lies and so much deceit.  Do they know truth if it bites them?

Here’s a link of traditional and modern wedding gifts through the years:

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0770817.html

None of these things seem quite right for this special couple.  What is the right gift for Bill & Hill…  for their 40th wedding anniversary???  Wow – what should we get them?  Let’s see…  well – there are a few things on Amazon that look like good choices.  How about pillow cases – one says Mr. Always Right and the other one says Mrs. Always Right – ???

There’s a T-shirt for Bill that says, “I don’t need GOOGLE my wife knows everything.”

Or this T-shirt:

il_570xN.288945163

Oh wait…  that’s the T-shirt I’m giving my husband next year.  LOL!  I’m kidding – I’m kidding.

Ah – I see a ball cap that says, “After 50 years she still puts up with me.”

Yes, this is their 40th wedding anniversary…  but I’m pretty sure it feels like 50.  :-/  I’m kidding…

I do wish Bill & Hillary a lovely 40th wedding anniversary.  I hope they get to spend it with friends and family.

I do very seriously pray for this country and for future leadership.  I pray everyone wakes up to the truth – God’s truth – very soon.  I hope one way or the other, they learn that what they do matters and they are not above the law.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (18)

I THANK GOD FOR YOU TODAY

We’re celebrating another day of life today – how do we celebrate?  I’m so glad you asked!  We celebrate in various ways, including taking as good of care of ourselves for each other as we can.  I think I’ve read every self-help book ever written.

Today I want to share some information I’ve gleaned through the years.

  1. Have the nurse at your doctor’s office check both arms when they take your blood pressure.  Why?   Just 15 points or more between the systolic blood pressure readings in your left and right arms could signal heart disease.
  2. Fit a gentle jog or brisk walk into your day.  It could add about 5 years to your longevity.  Just 30 minutes a day will do the trick.
  3. Crossword puzzles are not a waste of time.  When you stimulate your brain with games or puzzles, you keep serious disease like Alzheimer’s at bay.
  4. If you do a lot of typing or texting (and who doesn’t these days?), make sure to stretch your wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.  How?  Rest your palm on your thigh with wrist and knuckles straight.  Completely bend your first-finger joints (which is difficult if those muscles are tight).  With your fingertips tucked under and your nails touching your leg, apply pressure over the knuckles with your other hand.  Hold for seven seconds and repeat 10 times.
  5. Take a deep breath and think of a blessing.  It will give you an instant lift spiritually and make you feel better about yourself.  I’m not crazy – try it!  It works!
  6. Say a prayer for someone who has wronged you.  You absolutely cannot continue to rent out a part of your mind to someone who has wronged you.  Pray for them and kick them out of your brain.  You’ll feel lighter and happier – and they have been prayed for.

Your well-being and happiness are important, especially to your family members.  If you are angry, stressed and uptight, that’s not fair to them.  Give them a great gift – take care of yourself!  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE6

Today I wish my parents a happy wedding anniversary in heaven.  My folks were married at a judge’s office here in Kansas.  My mom’s brother and sister-in-law stood up with them.  It goes to show that the expense and fanfare of a big wedding is not necessary to ensure the marriage is a success.

The things we do outlast our mortality…  They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs.  Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.  – R.J. Palacio

We used to celebrate together.  I used to take them to dinner or take a cake to the house.  In 1976 I bought them an anniversary clock – for their 30th anniversary.  We made some precious memories and they are more precious now.

4-21-73
Mom & Dad’s 27th Wedding Anniversary

When their anniversary fell on a Sunday, we went to church and then to the Bonanza restaurant for lunch.  Truth be told, most Sundays we headed for the Bonanza for lunch after morning worship service.

4-21-79
Mom & Dad’s 33rd Wedding Anniversary

 

I hope they would be pleased with me today.  They taught me so much about living and loving.

Thank you mom and dad for all the lessons you taught me.  Thank you for giving me a model for marriage and showing me how it should work.  In a time when people choose to walk away instead of work on relationships, thank you for teaching me how to compromise and love another person more than I love myself.

Thank you for showing me every day that having purpose and meaning in life increases well-being and satisfaction.  To love another person completely will ultimately make me more happy than expecting love from him.

Thank you for instilling Christian values in me because God is the source of love.  I know if God is in the midst of marriage, it will be successful.  🙂