SESAME STREET DAY

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As I read up on all things SESAME STREET, one article mentioned that this year marks the 47th anniversary of the popular children’s program!  I couldn’t believe it – where does the time go?  Do you remember watching Sesame Street on your local public television station?

Now, of course, they travel with the stage show Sesame Street Live.  Isn’t it great that the characters come to life for children everywhere?  I wish they would have had that back when I was a kid!  In 1969 I was 8 years old already.  By the time they hit the road – I had hit the road and lost interest in kid stuff.  LOL!

Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?  I think most kids like Elmo the best (certainly since the Elmo doll sold out a few Christmases ago).  My favorite…  wow – I hate to admit it.  I’m just gonna say it real fast…  my favorite is Oscar the Grouch!

I like the Cookie Monster too – but I like Oscar better.  Why would I like him?  I admire him because he’s not afraid to be a grouch.  He lives in a trash can and he’s grouchy.  You know what to expect.  He doesn’t try to be something he isn’t – and I like that.  A curmudgeon’s curmudgeon.  Oscar should write the how-to book on how to be a grouch with grace.  He’s a grouch, you know he’s a grouch, he’s okay if you’re not okay with that.  He doesn’t put on airs or fake being nice.

I wouldn’t have a problem inviting Oscar into my house.  Cookie monster would not be happy at my house because I don’t keep cookies on hand – but I’d try to bake some real quick if I knew he was coming.  Of course, the last batch would be burned.  The last batch that goes in the oven always burn because I get bored with the process and forget about them until the smoke alarm goes off.  :-/  Sigh.

Celebrate Sesame Street with your little ones today.  That’s the most fun, isn’t it?  It’s great to see the looks on their faces when you share something great with them.  Enjoy those moments together.  🙂

 

 

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ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

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There is nothing like a dream to create the future.  – Victor Hugo

Walt Disney’s Song Of South was released on this day in 1946.

History never looks like history when you are living through it.  – John Gardner

If you’re a child of the 1960’s like me, you watched a lot of Walt Disney movies!  Yes I know, by today’s standards this movie would never have been made – but back in 1946 it was a different story.  As a kid I saw Uncle Remus as a nice man with a song in his heart and a wonderful outlook on life – who happened to talk to cartoon friends.  Nothing weird or racist about that (well, except the whole talking to cartoon friends thing).  There’s nothing wrong with starting the day with a Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah attitude, is there?

In my defense, I was five years old when I saw the movie, so I’m not exactly the most qualified critic.  As a matter of fact, I think I may have fallen asleep the night my family went to see it at the Landmark Drive-In here in Wichita – on that summer night in 1966.  Our local drive-in had DISNEY MOVIE FRIDAYS when I was a kid.  We packed a picnic basket with my mom’s fried chicken & fixin’s… took the ol’ Rambler station wagon – backed into a spot and put the tailgate down.  Sat there and ate dinner while we watched the movie.  I almost never saw the end of the movie because after all that good food…  well – I went to sleep!  :-/

Disney has kept the film locked in its vault for the past 25 years.  If you were born after 1980, you’ve almost certainly never seen it in full, and it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon.  For better or for worse…  who knows?

I still like this song!

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How something as benign and pure as Uncle Remus could incur the scorn of some people indicates a warped mind.  These days it seems to me that some folks are looking for things to call racist.  Why can’t we celebrate diversity instead of allowing ourselves to be divided by it?  Song of the South, the performance, cartoons and especially the music were designed to bring a smile to children’s faces.  By the time I saw the movie in 1966, it was already 20 years old – and it brought a smile to my face!  It did what it was intended to do. 

Disney bought the rights to Uncle Remus’ Tales by Joel Chandler Harris in 1939 and built the movie scenario from there.  I found a wonderful website dedicated to this movie.  Everything you would ever want to know (and a few things you didn’t think you cared about) are here.  There are trailers and all sorts of facts about the movie.

http://www.songofthesouth.net/

I hope we don’t over-analyze these older movies and determine that they should be banned based on ideals that were clearly not considered at the time the movies were made.  It really was a different era in the late 1940’s.  World War II was finally over and people were needing someone to come along and make them feel happy.  That person was Uncle Remus and we have Walt Disney to thank for bringing Song of the South to us.  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.  –  Proverbs 14:26

We all know there are five stages of grief:

  1. DENIAL
  2. ANGER
  3. BARGAINING
  4. DEPRESSION
  5. ACCEPTANCE

WAITING WHILE I WAIT

I can’t forget the loss.  Am I supposed to forget???  I keep asking, “What’s next, Lord?”

Here’s the deal…  about the time I’ve reached acceptance and think, “I’m gonna be okay”, something happens and I’m suffering a setback of sorts.  Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me humble.

It may not help that I’m still living in the city I grew up in, but  I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.  If I were to leave Wichita, I think I’d feel like a fish out of water for a very long while.

Yesterday I was driving to the Walmart and had a little time to kill.  I decided to drive by my childhood home.

As I slowly crept down Charles Street, so many memories came to mind, starting with the street itself.  I remembered a dirt road.  For the first three or four years of my life, our street was dirt.  Then I noticed that the barbed wire fence around our neighbor’s field was gone.  John had 3 horses in there for years.  We had an apple tree in the back yard, so the horses got to eat apples once in a while.  I enjoyed feeding them!

Mom and dad had a non-fruit bearing, flowering crab apple tree in the front yard – only it DID bear fruit – and boy was it a mess; however, along with the messy crab apples were the most beautiful dark pink flowers!  I remember my mom in the yard with a rake picking up the crab apples every year.  The raking would begin around late August or early September.  I guess that struck a chord inside.

Then I lost it – I just lost it – again!  When does that stop happening???  The floodgates opened over a memory about crab apples???  Seriously???

The answer from God seems to be, “Bloom where you’re planted”.  So, here I am!

Am I stuck, or is the enemy trying to make me feel that way?  Is it bad to bounce from one stage to the other?  Some days I do just fine, but I guess I set myself up for a relapse.  How can I ignore the house where I grew up?  I was just a few blocks from it and decided to go visit some memories.  Maybe I need to visit so I don’t forget.  Yeah, like I could ever forget…  not gonna happen.  🙂

NATIONAL COTTON CANDY DAY

JUNE 11TH IS NATIONAL COTTON CANDY DAY

Today we celebrate the fun food that nearly every child has eaten at one time or the other…  COTTON CANDY!  It’s so much fun because who would think of eating cotton?  But cotton candy almost immediately melts in your mouth and is so yummy and sweet.

6-11 FUN AND LOVE

As we get older and have to face the big issues in life, it’s good to take a moment to close your eyes and think about fun moments of childhood.  Today I will close my eyes and think about eating cotton candy at the circus.  Every spot that got wet turned into a sticky mess!

The best technique is to pull a bite-size piece, but even then you have to make sure you didn’t get your fingers wet – lol.  It’s just messy no matter how you eat it – but isn’t that part of the fun?

This sticky mess is known as cotton candy in the United States, India and Canada.  It’s called candy floss in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.  My favorite name for it is fairy floss.  If you’re in Australia, that’s what you call it.

Most cotton candy is sold from a bag these days, but when I was a kid, we got to watch them make it.  It’s a form of spun sugar with dashes of flavoring and food coloring added.  It’s made by heating sugar and spinning the liquefied sugar out through tiny holes where it re-solidifies in minutely thin strands of “sugar glass”. 

Don’t you wonder who sits up at night thinking these things up?

Though cotton candy packs pounds on the body, it contains mostly air and weighs about an ounce.  When I was a kid, cotton candy was sold on paper batons.  Today it’s sold in plastic bags and you don’t get to watch them make it.

There are similar confections like the Persian Pashmak and the Turkish Pismaniye, but Pismaniye is made with flour and water in addition to sugar. 

For the most part, it’s not the cotton candy that matters, but the memory that encompasses it.  In my life, it was fun at the circus or the state fair with my parents.  Good times – yeah, really good times.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

 

Last week my husband and I were in Blackwell, OK, just about an hour south (via the turnpike) of Wichita.  He was getting gas at the Conoco station because it was 20 cents a gallon cheaper than gas back home.  We don’t typically drive an hour to save money on gas, but it was a nice perk since we were going that way anyhow.

I had nothing in particular running through my mind – (for all of you who know me in real life, this comes as no surprise) – then I saw a robin holding a very long blade of grass, hopping between two cars.  It struck me as funny – there were vehicles everywhere and there’s a bird – a very busy bird – making a nest in the eave of the building!  I felt privileged to be given the opportunity to witness it and thanked God.  I love spring, don’t you?

The sight took me back in time and made me think of something I have not thought about for a long time.  Tears began to stream, as they are as I write this now – but it’s okay because they are happy tears, the kind that come when a sweet memory is revisited.

When I was about 7 years old, I spotted a bird’s nest on a low branch of the pine tree in our front yard.  I excitedly ran into the house to let mom and dad know about my discovery.  Daddy sat me down to explain some ground rules.  I listened intently.

  • You can’t go too close to the nest
  • You can’t touch the nest (I remember thinking, “If I can’t go close to it, how can I possibly touch it?”)
  • You can borrow my binoculars to stand on the porch and look into the nest.  I felt so grown up.  Daddy didn’t let just anybody borrow his binoculars.
  • You can’t tell the neighbor kids about your discovery. (Did he KNOW those kids, or what?)
  • If you see something that doesn’t look right, don’t try to do anything yourself.  Find me or mom to help you.

Okey doke – I got that!  I used my daddy’s binoculars to check on the little nest every day.  The pretty blue robin eggs just stayed in one spot for what seemed like forever.  Then one day I checked on them – and the eggs had hatched – and there were 3 of the cutest baby birds!

Daddy wanted to name them Larry, Moe and Curly – but I wouldn’t hear of it.  They were Dexter, Samuel and Robbie.  No, I don’t know why – don’t ask me!

It was such fun to watch mama robin come back to the nest and feed them.  I’ve always been so impressed with the instincts and intelligence God endowed birds with – I mean, to me they are very smart!  I don’t understand people who use the phrase “BIRD BRAIN” – I take it as a compliment – LOL.

One day I peeked in on them – there were two baby birds.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to leave the nest yet – so I rushed in the house and screamed bloody murder to get someone’s attention.  Daddy was having his morning coffee but came running anyway.  I reported my findings to him with panic in my voice.  If that baby was not in the nest, it meant it had fallen out – and who knows if it was still among the living!

Daddy told me to stay in the house and he would go check things out.  He came in with the baby bird, miraculously breathing, in a small container.  He said, “Robbie fell out of the nest.  I think we need to help him, don’t you?”  I nodded my head in fervent agreement.  The task was at hand, and we were up for the challenge.  We prayed for our feathered friend and got to work.

We used a dropper to feed Robbie.  He did okay and I was tickled.  He grew and thrived!  I knew I could not keep him, but the day we had to set that bird free was the most difficult day.  Robbie knew he could not stay with us.  It could be my imagination, but I think he gave us a nod as if to say “Thank you for helping me” before flying away.  God answered our prayer.  Our baby was gonna be okay.

Once in a while, especially in the evening after working on the lawn, as we sat together as a family at the picnic table out in the back yard, my dad would see a robin and say, “Hey Linda, I think that’s Robbie!” 

Well, only God knows if our little Robbie ever really came back to see us, but I’d like to think he did visit us on occasion.  Wink!  😉

WORLD NUTELLA DAY

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2-5 THE NUTELLA FELLA

It’s WORLD NUTELLA DAY!!!  This special day was started back in 2007 by people in social media, but the product has been around for over 50 years!  Once you’ve tasted this hazelnut and cocoa spread you will be a fan too!  There is even a fan page on facebook – check it out!  http://www.facebook.com/WorldNutellaDay

 All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.  – John Gunther

The most popular way to enjoy Nutella is on toast or pancakes.  It’s fun and healthy to add blueberries or strawberries to the mix.  Pineapple rings and kiwi fruit taste pretty good with it too.  Is it a snowy February where you live?  Are you having a craving for chocolate?  Nutella is a great way to curb the craving without breaking the calorie bank – especially on a snowy day!

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Nutella and banana slices are good on English muffins.  I’m making myself hungry! 

How about a high protein cake in a mug using Nutella???

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Croissant with Nutella and strawberry slices???  Very nice!

How about some hot chocolate???  It’s not as healthy – but it sure looks yummy!  🙂

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Remember the days before Nutella when we ate peanut butter and banana sandwiches?  Now that Nutella is here, we replace regular peanut butter and get a better sandwich.  There is no hydrogenated oil in Nutella and there is cocoa in it, so hey – if there is chocolate in my spread…  that makes me very happy – how about you???

Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first.  – Josh Billings

With all this butter, I can’t promise that this is the most healthy recipe I’ve ever seen, but it does look good.  I wouldn’t recommend eating the whole thing in one setting.

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Have you heard of the Nutella “Spread the Happy” Truck Tour?  They’ve taken it on the road!  This video is from July 2014 – and at that time they were celebrating 50 years of spreading happy!  I had no idea it had been around that long!

 

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I like no bake cookies.  These are fun and easy – and delicious!

I do know that once you try Nutella you will get hooked.  It’s delicious with crepes, pancakes, toast or English muffins.  I even use it in my oatmeal.  You may even find yourself eating it by the spoonful!  Wink!  😉

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SHE FOUND HER BETTER HALF FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

 

12-23 THE TRANSISTOR SISTERS

On Christmas, may we keep this thought in mind:

 Kindness and respect are gifts we can give one another everyday and anytime. It’s free and paid with an open heart!  – Valerie McKinney

On this day in 1947, the first transistor was invented by Bardeen, Brattain & Shockley in Bell Labs.  Later in 1954 the popular transistor radio came along.  Billions of these little dudes were manufactured during the 1960’s and 1970’s.  They were typically pocket-sized and changed popular music listening habits because we could listen to the radio anywhere we went with ease.  By the 1980’s, cheap AM transistor radios took a back seat to devices with higher audio quality, such as portable CD players, personal audio players and boom boxes.

My radio was very small – pocket-sized and nestled in a little brown leather pouch with holes punched in it to let the sound through.  There was a slot in the side of the leather pouch where the two dials were – one dial for changing channels and one for controlling volume.  Heaven forbid you should use the volume control at night when everyone was trying to sleep – and let it slip from your grip!  You could potentially wake up the whole house!  My first transistor radio didn’t have a jack for an ear piece – but after I accidentally turned up the volume at night a few times – my folks got me a second one that did have a jack for an ear piece.  And I know you think it was something like headphones – but no – it was more like ear buds – but only one!  Yep – one little plastic ear bud – !  I used to worry that I’d lose my hearing if I kept putting it in the same ear, so I traded ears every time.  It may have helped – who knows really?

When I was a kid, my transistor radio went to bed with me.  I listened to talk radio while all my friends were listening to the top 40 on KLEO.  I have always enjoyed listening to the news – current events has always intrigued me, although nowadays it often frustrates me.  LOL!

I listened to Wichita’s KWBB- talk radio.  Yes, by today’s standards the audio quality of the transistor radio was poor.  We traded the sound quality for convenience but did not seem to be bothered by it.  The tiny radio operated on one 9-volt battery (I kept a stash of them in my dresser drawer).  On that radio I heard news of Watergate and various other scandals.  I was lulled to sleep by debates and commentaries about various subjects.

But at 11pm, after the news was over – that was my favorite time to listen to my radio.  The CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER came on!  It was an hour of radio drama – and I loved it!  My little transistor transported me into another place and sometimes into another time!  Not long ago, I acquired the entire collection of CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER on CD.  I can listen to the stories anytime I like – but nothing will take the place of being in bed under the covers listening to my transistor radio.  🙂

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx