HIGH FIVE DAY

TL 4-21 HIGH FIVE DAYIt’s thought that the HIGH FIVE started in professional sports.  It’s a way to celebrate a great moment or an accomplishment.  It’s like saying WAY TO GO to a team mate for a job well done.  High five the ones you love today, because they may not be around to celebrate with tomorrow – jus’ sayin’…

I’d give anything to high five my parents today.  They were married on this day in 1943.  Marriage is tough under the best of circumstances – and they stayed together and took their vows seriously.  Now they’re together in eternity.  I wish them an eternity of happiness and joy in the hereafter – and give them an air five today!

If you don’t have humans in your realm of influence, you can most certainly high five the cat!

cat-691175_1280

Get a high five from the kiddo out on the playground!

girl-586988_1280And you probably won’t run into this guy today – you have to wait until Christmas, ‘cuz he’s back at the North Pole trying to get rested up…  but if you could find Santa – you might get to high five him!

santa-claus-579113_1920I just think that is TOO CUTE!  🙂

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Who will you high five today?  What moments will you celebrate?  I’ll celebrate an exercise session when it’s over.  I’ll celebrate a pound lost – or even a half or quarter pound lost – as long as I lose and not gain.  It’s great to be going in the right direction!

http://www.nationalhighfiveproject.org/

Visit this link to find out how you can buy gear and help support some great causes.  And don’t forget to high five everybody for all sorts of reasons today!  🙂

 

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LAST DAY OF WINTER

TL 3-19 LAST DAY OF WINTER

I’m so ready, aren’t you???  Lately, I’ve been awakened by birds and sunlight streaming into my room.  Once we get past the initial shock of Daylight Savings Time, that’s when the real magic begins.  We look forward to tee-shirt weather and longer evenings.  Some of us also muddle through allergies, but it’s still worth it.HE'S STILL CREATING

In Kansas we’ve learned to approach the first day of spring with a cautious optimism.  I have memories of April snow storms!  One year I was hosting a birthday tea on April 2nd – and had to call around at the last-minute because there was a winter storm raging outside!  But I don’t feel that doubt this year like I have in years past – maybe because Easter is so early.  I think we’re safe from winter’s sneaky game this year.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.  – Henry van Dyke

I took my first walk outdoors yesterday.  For starters, I survived – yay!  I wore sweats and thought that would be warm enough, but the breeze was still fairly chilly.  My ears felt a little sore when I got home, but I’m no worse for wear.  There’s something special about knowing the walks will be outside.  I don’t enjoy walking on a treadmill and find it very dull.IT'S A PERFECT DAY TO FEEL GREATOur local Lowe’s is getting all set up for spring and summer in their garden center.  Whether you plant vegetables or flowers, there’s an excitement about playing in the dirt!  Even after we’re adults, we make mud pies – oh, come on – admit it!  You still like to make mud pies!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  – Mark Twain

Will you fly a kite this month?  It’s been years since I’ve done that!  I used to live across the street from a popular park where people would go to fly kites.  Those are good memories.  I used to take my Sunday School class to the park to fly kites and have a picnic in March.  I made them promise to show up for Sunday School – and most of them kept that promise.GOD HAS POURED OUT HIS LOVEWe plant the seed and God provides everything that little seed needs to grow into something wonderful.  It’s true for plants, flowers and people.  When we plant the seed of God’s Word, He makes it grow!  Just keep on plantin’…  that’s what we’re here for, right?  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

When I think of March 1st, a first grade band march plays in my mind by the same name.  :-/  The color green is predominant in March, and in Kansas it means we are in for some high winds!  😦  It’s not going to be too warm this month, but I’m ready to go outside more than I did in February – aren’t you?HANGING SHEETS ON THE LINE

My friend John just sent me another video – yay!!!  He’s taking a nature walk along the Little Walnut River.  There’s also a corny joke thrown in there…  well – you’ll see – LOL!!!  Oh – and I like that GREEN shirt!  🙂

http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2FBOCpe29Re3o&h=NAQGhuZ7w

I can’t think of a better way to spend the first day of March.  We’ve all suffered a little cabin fever over the past few months – especially my friends in the eastern United States.

We’ve enjoyed a very mild winter – so far.  I say that because I remember past years when we have mild winters and think we are home free…  then get a few inches of snow in early April.  I don’t think that will happen this year as Easter is so early.  We usually don’t have snow after Easter.

John’s video has inspired me to get out and walk – how about you?  It improves every aspect of life to move around and change our surroundings once in a while.  There are even mental benefits to exercise – and that means so much.

It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before…
There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
And grass in the green field…
We from to-day, my Friend, will date
The opening of the year.
Love, now an universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
—It is the hour of feeling.
– William Wordsworth (1770–1850), “To My Sister”

Have a wonderful (but windy) March!  🙂

 

NATIONAL HEAVENLY HASH DAY

TL 2-2 NATIONAL HEAVENLY HASH DAYYes, it’s called HEAVENLY, but if you have diabetes like me, this little treat packs a sugar PUNCH and should be eaten with extreme caution!  Even if you substituted Splenda for sugar, that would do very little to lessen the intensity of the sweetness.2-2 SWEET

Heavenly Hash Bars

Makes approximately 12 squares or 16 clusters; can be doubled

1 cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 cups roasted, salted almonds, kept whole
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper with enough excess hanging over the sides of the pan to use as “handles”; spray paper with cooking spray.

Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and corn syrup in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often, and continue boiling the mixture until it reaches 218°F to 220°F on an instant read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Fold in chocolate and vanilla and stir until melted. Let cool for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, then fold in the nuts and marshmallows.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly with a silicone spatula. Refrigerate the candy until firm, at least two hours. Using the parchment paper handles, remove the candy from the baking dish and cut into squares. (It helps to use a knife dipped in hot water.)

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Pull 5 to 10 minutes prior to serving.

Recipe Notes:

To make clusters instead of bars: using a spring-form ice cream scoop, drop round clusters onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; pull out 30 minutes before serving.

If you indulge, ENJOY!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDThe birthday of Christ will arrive whether we are happy or sad, rich or poor, loving others or embracing hatred toward those who are not like us.  Our Savior will offer His love, mercy, grace and peace to our hearts whether we are willing to accept them or not.  He never changes – His mercies are new every morning.  We are offered a new day with no mistakes in it.  Will we accept this gift at Christmas?  I will accept it with open arms and pray that you will too.

Click image to enlarge

As we accept these wondrous presents in addition to the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, may we endeavor to share all of it with others.  There is another gift we have been given and need to be eager to share – it’s the gift of laughter!

Yes it’s a scary world we live in.  This is the first time in history I’ve heard the term terrorism thrown around as readily as the word smile.  We’re in the last days and we need to hold on to God’s strong, unfailing hand.  What can you do to make a co-worker smile and laugh today?

Humor can help people de-stress, but it can often be offensive.  Approximately 70% of those polled reported that workplace jokes they’d heard centered around making fun of co-workers based on factors like age, sexual orientation and even weight.

YOUR LITTLE SANTA BABY

Is there any hope for good clean humor in the workplace, or are we all doomed to have long faces and live in fear of offending a co-worker?  Well…  let’s see what we can come up with.

5eddafa931d569d1d55b2d33194cf58d
This is a birthday cake for vegans. LOL!!!  I know some vegans who would think that was really funny!
I thought this was cute. It's for a birthday, but how cute would it be to have a SANTA that looks like a co-worker setting in their chair?
I thought this was cute. It’s for a birthday, but how cute would it be to have a SANTA that looks like a co-worker setting in their chair?

This could only be offensive if you made the middle too big – LOL!!!  Of course, if it’s a Santa type deal – that should not be offensive…  ‘cuz the St. Nick – he’s got a belly – let’s admit it!  There’s always an “artist” in a group of co-workers – let them use that hidden talent to make a great look-alike face with sharpies.

These are just a couple of ideas to have a little fun in the workplace this Christmas.  Thanks to Pinterest for the cute photos.  I believe we can be fun and funny without being nasty and offensive in the workplace.  Let’s be honest – nobody wants to be there – and nobody wants to be offended by our co-worker’s attempted stab at humor.  If you’re going to do something funny – make it good – but think of the golden rule, do unto others and you’d have them do unto you!  🙂

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDI know that it’s more difficult to get into Christmas because of the terrorists attacks.  Believe me, I’m very saddened that once again our country has been a target – a soft target.  In spite of these happenings, we as Christians have a HOPE – in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He is worthy of our praise and worship.  He came to earth to save us and we celebrate that fact.

Click image to enlarge

Today’s goal is to take some photos of God’s beautiful creation.  I find photographs of beauty soothe my troubled soul.  Let’s take a moment today to thank God for all the beauty around us.

I need this flower in my hair - and matching gloves!
I need this flower in my hair – and matching gloves!
What a lovely shot of the sun with the snow!
What a lovely shot of the sun with the snow!
Awe... how cute are they???
Awe… how cute are they???
Will you walk toward the sun or away from it?
Will you walk toward the sun or away from it?
When was the last time you made a snow angel?
When was the last time you made a snow angel?
The allure of this photo should seem obvious... COFFEE!!!
The allure of this photo should seem obvious… COFFEE!!!
A frosty pine tree branch. Isn't that pretty?
A frosty pine tree branch. Isn’t that pretty?
Isn't this nice?
Isn’t this nice?
Alpine... wow!
Alpine… wow!
Do you ski??? Not me... I'm not even almost athletically inclined.
Do you ski??? Not me… I’m not even almost athletically inclined.
I don't know much about birds, but aren't they pretty?
I don’t know much about birds, but aren’t they pretty?
Covered bridges are so romantic - even in the snow!
Covered bridges are so romantic – even in the snow!
I like that fence - it looks better covered with snow.
I like that fence – it looks better covered with snow.
Isn't God's creation majestic?
Isn’t God’s creation majestic?
This looks so serene.
This looks so serene.

grand-canyon-981717 grand-canyon-956723Did you know it snows at the Grand Canyon???  I didn’t – but then, I’ve never been there – not even in good weather.  It’s on my bucket list to visit – and I’ll get there someday – sure hope to.

This forest is a wonderland of snow.
This forest is a wonderland of snow.
They look like crystal, don't they?
They look like crystal, don’t they?

The last ice storm we had here in Wichita was back in 1993.  I remember standing outside where it was so quiet – then suddenly there would be a loud CRACKLING noise – the sound of branches breaking off trees from the weight of the ice!  It’s a weird sound to be sure.  The folks just northwest of us had an ice storm over the Thanksgiving holiday – just in time to mess up their plans.  😦

Hopefully these photos have helped us focus on God and have reminded us that He is in control – of nature, the climate, man and the future of everyone.  May God richly bless you today.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (16)

… and meanwhile, back in Kansas – What is John Coyote up to?  Let’s take a look at his latest videos!

http://youtu.be/xlWjvaKDpGk

He said this video was taken at Little Walnut River, ten miles southeast of Augusta. Kansas.  There is a unique beauty here in Kansas – or maybe I’m just biased in my opinion – ya think? 

http://youtu.be/yoqQ95QLcOk

I want today’s post to serve as a gentle reminder that we should get outdoors while we still can.  Before long the weather will be too bad and we’ll be stuck indoors – and you know what that means…  CABIN FEVER!  What will you do before the first snow of the year?

If you live in or around Kansas, you might want to take in the 16th annual Homemade Holidays Craft Show in Ottawa on November 14th.  It’s held at the Ottawa and Franklin County Visitor Information Center at 1230 S. Ash from 9am – 4pm.  I believe it’s free – (at least I saw no mention of a charge).  For more information you can call them at 785-229-8030.

Are you in the mood for some relaxing music and a bunch of friendly folks?  THIRD SATURDAY is also going on in Ottawa through December 19th when everyone in the community comes together for a fun relaxing day.

November 21st is the annual Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights in beautiful downtown Salina, Kansas.  I didn’t see what time it begins, but I’m guessing it’s around 10-ish.

The Downtown Holiday Parade in Hutchinson, Kansas is also on November 21st at 10am.  Good luck being in two places at the same time.  Why do they do that?

Kansas has a Swedish community not far from Wichita called Lindsborg.  It’s a college town and they have unique shops and restaurants.  Every Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat from November 8th – January 24th they will have the Birger Sandzen Holiday Gift Show at the Memorial Art Gallery at 401 N. First St.  For more information about that you can call them at 785-227-2220.

An evening stroll may be a little brisk these days, but in Wellington, Kansas they have the First Friday Art walk at the No. 7 Coffee House at 115 S. Washington from 5pm – 7pm.  I guess you grab a cup of their coffee to keep warm before you walk – or even while you walk – good thinking, No. 7!  For more information you can give them a call at 620-326-6777.

There’s still time to get out and go before we get stuck indoors!  These are all fun activities – but I think my friend John has the right idea – just go out and enjoy nature!  You never know what you may learn.  🙂