1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup Spenda Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup low-fat yogart
1 cup ripe bananas, smashed
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour (wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
dash or two of ground ginger powder

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Smash bananas, add oil, eggs, yogart, and sugar. Blend in flour, soda, salt and spices. Pour into a 9×9 glass baking pan that has been sprayed with Pam, and bake until tester comes out clean.

One of the Ten Commandments the Lord gave in the Old Testament is “Honor your father and your mother . . .”. By honoring your parents not only will you have a long life and a good life, it will be a much more peaceful one. But what if your parent is not “honorable”? Honorable by definition is: worthy of being honored, honest, upright, or bringing honor. Honor’s definition brings respect, good reputation, integrity, adherence to principles considered right, integrity. First problem is to separate the parent as a person and not as the action. Maybe what the parent is doing is not honorable and deep down they are honorable. All parents have imperfections. Also, remember even if one is not a parent, one is a person. How each of us react to others, especially parents, says more about us than the other person.
As with all relationships, time and understanding communication develops good bonds. Spending time with another or even time reviewing situations that reveal whether or not a parent is honorable is the best evaluation of character. One must place themselves where they see outside of the problem. By doing this, one realizes the situation revealed the parent or person is not so much the problem as the event “made” the person choose the un-honorable path. We each have our own weaknesses; thus because ours is not the same as our parent or the other person, we can’t determine who is honorable and who isn’t. We each can only determine whether or not we act “honorably” by acting in a compassionate, understanding manner and not vengeful (by telling lies about the one who wronged us, doing physical or any type of harm) retaliation for any dishonorable act the parent is perpetrating on the child. This is the “peace of the Lord” displayed in the Gospels where Christ was under fire of false accusations about who He was and was not. Therefore, Christians must act as their name-sake “Christ-like” and do the honorable thing and most times that is as He did: do nothing against His accusers, even if we have the power to return “nasty” comments. Only take it to the Lord and “cast your cares at His feet”.
Matthew 16:57-62
PS When one is in this situation, it is best to spend LOTS of time with the Lord, either reading Bible or some sort of meditating with the Lord. Getting and keeping out of the picture until one is “centered” and at peace with view of how the Lord sees every angle of the situation.

Writing a blog is much like raising a child.  The same major problems exist in both.  From “birth” the “parent” wants to have success in the end product.  There are similar concerns in blogging.  Who influences how the product’s personality comes out, what to do with the problems that are revealed, how to handle outside criticism?  And then there is the actual growing process, how much and what kind of outside help do you get?

As in giving a child birth, it is assumed this is a planned event, but not always.  Some see others with a baby and want one of their own, so they start with “creating” one.  Blogging is the same.  A future blogger sees blogs they like and want one of their own — which is a good thing because it is a sharing of likes.  Unlike the baby, though, a blog’s personality is easier to control by the blogger.  The question of why one likes a type of blog is one of the first to creating their own blog.  Is it to ” converse” as in sharing interests or to display the beauty of the world?  Look around on the internet and one finds a lot of variety in format.  Pick what is most interesting for you.  The criticism of a blog can be the key to supplying a need through a blog of your own.  For example, when starting this blog, the blogger viewed several blogs already online and developed a blog that was the type they wanted to see and interact.  The two ways this blog “likes” other blogs are 1) we like the blog but wouldn’t do it ourselves and 2) we like it and may or may not integrate with a twist of our own.  The twist of your own can be what is lacking in the blog liked.  This is what this blog thinks when someone comments about “this or that should be done on this blog” :  as in being a parent, one finds there is a lot of well-meaning unsolicited suggestions people who are not “raising” your “baby” give.  Some of it is okay but each suggestion has to be reviewed and ruled in or out by the writer of the blog, not the visitor.  And like parenting, most outside suggestions are well-meaning and good.  Also like parenting, there are those who try to influence your blog by telling you, sometimes with malicious words, what you are doing wrong.  Just ignore them as the Writer’s Digest website on blogging rules states.  People who really care don’t use harsh criticism to guide you in how to be more “appealing to others” direction.

This is the first segment of this category.  For those seeking answers go to Writer’s Digest website :  writersdigest.com and read about writing and blogging by title of articles.  Blogging is mostly just doing it and doing it consistantly.  Just like parenting a child, what do you want to see your “baby” do and then share it with the rest of us.  Kindred spirits will find you.

Check out www.writersdigest.com for writing ideas and www.writersmarket.com for those interested in selling your writing.  Have a GREAT day this Happy New Year!!

Here’s a new one for us:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Splenda granulated
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla(real)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
8+ oz. Dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat soften butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl until well mixed and smooth. Add egg, brown sugar, vanilla and beat into mix. Add Splenda and blend well. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and add to the creamy mixture gradually until well blended, may be crumbly. Mix in the dark chocolate chips and roll into balls of 1″ diameter. (Larger balls will make fewer cookies but larger ones.) Drop onto lightly oiled cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake 7-11 minutes or until light brown around the edges and bottom. Cool.

Does anyone remember the song that has the phrase “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”? Someone called me to ask how do you roast chestnuts. . . . yes, they know at least some of my adventures in the kitchen! And they also know that even though I may create havoc in my own kitchen, I do know the proper procedure is what is best to follow. Yeah, do what the published recipe says. (That is why any recipes I publish are only the safe tested ones! No disasters, thank you.)
So after establishing what a chestnut was via the internet. The caller goes to the grocery store and buys a bag of several “chestnuts”. Next thing I hear from the person is: “it says in the recipe to pierce shell with a forked utensil.” When they did this the whole nut went flying off the counter. So having my curiosity activated, I go over and look at these pierce-defying “chestnuts”. “Well, I see what the problem is: these are not chestnuts, they are hazelnuts!” (This is not the end of this adventure) The person decided to roast them in the oven anyway —- AND against my advice not to do so! The saying is right — the Lord watches over children and fools. These air-tight-in-the-shell hazelnuts did not pop, or explode in the oven; they burnt black as coal. They were promptly dumped into the trash without further exploration to see what the nut meat inside looked like or tasted. Such a waste of a disaster!

Discovered today, I might have woke up in a world gone crazy! What is going on with everyone??! Some comments from the facebook: “Relationships are about trust. If you have to play detective, then it’s time to move on.”
“Be thankful for all the difficult people in your life, and learn from them. They have shown you exactly who you do not want to be. “
“It’s funny how someone who was just a stranger last year, can mean so much to you now. It’s terrible that someone who meant so much to you last year, can be just a stranger now. It’s amazing what a year can do. “
The really sad part of these comments is that they may be the nicer aspects of the past year. Maybe the more important perspective is why one relates to these comments. This author can pin one person as the source of all the lessons these comments have produced.
We won’t even address how crazy politicians are getting. Can one blame the December 21, 2012 effect on that?
Will reflect on this and write thoughts on it.

One of the hardest things to do is to pray for a burden to be removed and know that the Lord chooses not to do so. Paul requested the “thorn in his side” be removed many times and the Lord chose to let it remain. Why would a loving God do that? While many have speculated what the thorn in Paul’s side might be, one should focus their analysis on the purpose of allowing the trial or burden of the thorn in his side. One of the many verses in the New Testament about one’s trials having a good purpose is in James 1:2-5. One is to be joyous because the testing is for spiritual growth of some kind. Out of the trial’s growth comes faith and endurance, producing perfect and complete wisdom of the Lord.
As one is going through the trial, the fog of the situation clouds one’s vision. Where the person blindly goes and how depends on where one’s spirit is with the Lord. The closer one stands and listens to the Lord through meditating prayer and reading of His Word, the better the situation goes. And out of the situation comes the kind of wisdom only the trial can reveal to each of us. This is the reason for the “thorn in the side” trial each of us experience. Not because someone “bigger” than us wants to punish for some seen or unseen sin one might have committed. This does not mean one’s sin goes unpunished, it means not all bad situations or trials are because of sinning. Many times trials produce the best spiritual growth.
When one reviews the trials of a life, it most often will reveal the best times of spiritual learning and the Lord’s wisdom come out of the times of greatest struggle. So like the double edged sword, the bad news is there will be cutting away and pain. The good news is like the pruned grapevine, the end product of this is delicious wisdom from spiritual growth.

Recommended reading is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, and the Bible, of course.

“For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend;” Psalm 55: 12-13

It is hard to remember all the qualities of Christ when one is in the situation of being falsely attacked by a family member or close friend. Most of us do not react in a Christian manner. This is not surprising because these situations usually blind-side us, and they escalate into flaming battles fast. The answer to one’s turmoil is in the remaining of the psalm.

First of all, the Christian must turn to the Lord and “call” upon Him “And He will save me.” vs 16. Trusting that the Lord has “allowed” the situation to occur for purposes of His own. This is hard for one to understand because as a parent (as the Lord is to His own), the pain of a child is almost unbearable. So a Christian’s pain of the events becomes an unbelievable trial that for some reason is happening. This is the trial of getting through the pain and how to mend the harm. Understanding the reasons why the Lord allowed the situation is not always revealed, especially at the time.

Verse 17 continues to show that sometimes it takes all day prayer: “Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.” Notice the words complain and murmur. At times in the Old Testament, those who complained and murmured were “eliminated”. As a Christian, one has the privilege of being able to bring a complaint to the Lord and He will “hear my voice.” The complaint is to be a “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous (Christian) to be shaken.” vs 22.

If a Christian truly does the casting upon the Lord eventually the best thing comes into one’s life. Patience and trust in the Lord will bring the correct closure of the situation. Verse 23: “But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.” Even if one never sees the downfall of the accuser. Trust in Him.

Explorers are adventurous people.  They are full of curiosity and probably very intelligent.  Also, they probably couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t have the same desire to look past the known edges of one’s life.  Columbus had a frustrating time convincing royalty the need to spend money to back his expansion of their known world.  He wasn’t  the only one; all explorers had somewhat the same problem.  Imagine the inner need to solve and the feeling not everyone had the same drive to reveal the answer.

Most of today’s conflicts rise from the same “need”.  Each “cause” wants to not only convince everyone else that it is the most important agenda in life but the best solution lays within “their” ideal resolution.  This idea is not only applicable in the physical aspect of one’s life, but the psychological.

To explore the mind  of another is confusing and frustrating.  Because rarely does anyone else think and resolve a problem with the same tactics or methods.  Many times in one’s zeal to solve a problem,  they clash and break things by ripping away ideas or items that are not ready to be treated in this manner.  An example of this is on cable television on two separate shows about hoarders.  One of the shows portrays a group of “clearers” who come in and in the span of a few days clears off most of the hoard, makes the place look like a picture in “Home and Garden”, and then they leave.  The other “hoarder” show (“Hoarders:Buried Alive”), a team comes in shows the hoarder how to select and gets them involved with the clean up much the same way but with the big difference being they leave and come back six months later to see how much the hoarder has done on their own with all of the therapy both shows have the hoarder in.  The point of the difference is that the hoarder not only does the clearing out more on their own in “Buried Alive” but at a pace “safer” for the severance process in the hoarder’s mind.   It might be interesting to see the “six months later” version of the “Hoarders” show.  Many of the hoarders would likely be the same or headed back to the previous direction especially those resisting the therapy.

While not everyone hoards items in the physical world, most of us carry “baggage” in our minds.  Removing or even changing a viewpoint of another is tricky.  As in hoarding, the person in “need” of changing has to carefully be guided to the point they are spearheading the process and not someone else.  Otherwise, disaster occurs.  Depending on what does occur and what factors are in play in many areas will determine how the eventual outcome will end up looking like.  Hopefully, time will not only heal but distance will settle damages done.

Cooking on a new oven-stove is always a calculated risk.  Probably why one should not try an unfamiliar recipe on a new one.  There are too many variables that can and possibly do go wrong.  So how does one break-in a cooking appliance?  First of all, a confession: some of us do not follow rules and guidelines well.  In fact, one might say “When all else fails, read the instructions.”  This leads to an adventure all of its own.  Especially if the appliance is on fire at the time.

Okay, another confession: it did not get that bad . . . this time.  What could have happened was heating up the entire house and not cooking what was in the oven.  This oven, while only fairly new was foreign to the user.  The gages and gadgets manufactures put on electrical equipment today places all of us over the age of 50 years in a state of confusion.  What was wrong with bonding with the appliance by getting to know it’s special quirks?

The appliance’s quirks were not the problem this time.  It was the questionable intelligence of the user.  Well, maybe not so much that as the ability to place a rectangular peg into a rectangular hole.  Rectangular shapes are similar in appearance; but while a square is easier to place either direction, a rectangle is not so compliant.  So when one tries to place a rectangular cookie sheet into a oven, it makes a difference which direction the long ends go.  By placing the long ends of the cookie sheet front and back instead of sideways the door will not shut.  After several attempts to shut the oven door (after all the cookie sheet WAS made to go into a oven!), it was discovered the blocking problem was not the latch on the oven door but the protruding cookie sheet.

Still does not explain why the potatoes didn’t bake in a round pan that allowed the oven door to close.

Reminded the writer of a story about handing down cooking hints to children and grandchildren:

A young newly wed woman had “inherited” a recipe to bake a leg of ham.  While trying to follow the recipe, she came to the part after placing the ham in the pan, it stated “cut off two inches of the leg of ham and place into the oven.”  Puzzled and not wanting to waste food, she called her mother and asked why cut off two inches of the ham.  Her mother thought and replied “I don’t know.  I always did because that was what the recipe said.  I’ll call your grandmother (the original owner of the recipe) and ask her.”  So the mother did, and the grandmother said, ” Because the pan was two inches shorter than the leg of ham.”

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