Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mini Pumpkin Date Breads -- Great Gifts!!!

These cute and spicy little breads, wrapped festively, are a great solution for a low-key holiday gift exchange at work.

Mini Pumpkin Date Breads

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottoms only of 11 miniature loaf pans, 4 1/2x2 3/4x1 1/4 inches.

2. Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except dates. Stir in dates. Divide batter among pans.

3. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up 10 days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Snickerdoodle Recipe

I always love Holiday recipes! And this one is so simple as it uses the cookie mix you buy in the packet! LOVE those!

I'll be sharing more recipes during the coming weeks, and hope you do the same ---- sort of like a recipe exchange!!!!

Holiday Snickerdoodles

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Betty Crocker® red and green decorating icings
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, butter and egg until dough forms.
2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets. If desired, roll tops of warm cookies in additional sugar-cinnamon mixture. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired using icing.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Daybook Entry For November 24, 2008


FOR TODAY (November 24, 2008)...

Outside My Window It's a beautiful, Florida, sunny day today. It's been cold (at least for us Floridians!) the last few days, but today, it was in the 70's! The squirrels are gathering acorns, birds are scratching for seed under the Sycamore tree, and the huge leaves from that tree are scattered on the ground now, all brown and shrivelled up!

I am thinking. . . About how much better I feel! I seemed to bounce back after this #5 chemo treatment much sooner and better than I did with the others. I'll be so glad when #6 is done -- the last one. I am a little anxious about surgery. Don't know why. I was all gung-ho about it in June and July when I thought it was the first thing I'd have done. I'm wondering how long they will give me after chemo before scheduling it???

I am thankful for One million things. Things take on a different perspective and I see things from a different point of view this year as Thanksgiving approaches. I used to take for granted things like. . . .getting my mail, taking out the garbage, walking to my sister's house, making my bed, doing the laundry, cooking a meal, etc. Now???? I thank God for every good day I have when I can do some of these things, and I thank Him for my sister and brother-in-law who help me with what I can't do. I'm thankful for those who pray for me. I'm thankful for Buster who keeps me warm at night and who thinks I'm beautiful bald! I'm thankful for my sister-in-law's beautiful quilt that I snuggle in.

From the kitchen... Left over pot roast, egg noodles, corn.

I am wearing... LOTS of clothing. I've been cold for days!

I am creating... A grocery list for tomorrow.

I am going... Nowhere today.

I am reading... Cookbooks!!!! Don't know why. Guess I'm hungry again and with the holidays coming, I think I'd like a few special things. Chemo is Dec. 3, so I won't be wanting much for a few weeks after that, but then. . . .!!!!!

I am hoping... To get some cleaning done before next Wednesday. It's slow going as I lose steam pretty quickly.

I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer. Buster snoring behind me. Acorns rolling off the roof.

Around the house... Gathering up bags of garbage from my "cutting room!" Scraps of quilts, fleece, fabric, etc., have piled up to the ceiling and I need room in there. I filled one large bag and didn't make a dent!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Visiting with my sister and her son who is here from NJ. Cooking a turkey on Thursday with all the trimmings. Haven't thought past that.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I think I will never get tired of turkey and all the good foods that go with it. It's comfort food for me with lots of memories of childhood, places I've been, homes I've been privileged to share Thanksgiving in, family, friends, etc. Thank you, Lord, for all you've blessed me with over the years!


I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Am I, Lord?

Where am I, Lord?
Is there no name
For this forsaken place?
A place where things no longer are that were,
And things that are, I just can't seem to face?
In between --
That's how I feel,
Just -- in between!
Standing tall,
Yet --- wanting so to lean.

They say I'm doing good and look so well.
Walking on; yet, crawling in my shell!
I sing -- and smile -
And say, "I'm doing fine!"
Oh Lord, I'm doing great
At hiding all these gnawing thoughts of mine!
Where am I, Lord,
Just tell me where I am!
Am I lost,
Or found,
Please help your little lamb!

Just when I think
You've put me back together,
I fall apart,
I'm laughing with a friend at noon,
And then
The broken heart!
All I dealt with yesterday
And sorted out with You,
Today is just a mess
With doubts
So fresh and new!
I'm here,
Then there,
And oh, dear Lord,
Sometimes I know I'm nowhere!
And all the things
That yesterday I did,
Today I would not dare!

Where am I Lord,
Please, tell me where I am.
I've never walked alone before,
And I'm not sure I can!
It's not that I don't trust
That You will lead me on my way;
I just need some roadsigns
As I struggle day by day.
They say they like my smile
And to keep my eyes on you!
But all I see is clouds
And rain --
Oh, if they only knew!
I can't explain that I still hurt,
They'd never understand.
Oh Father,
Tell me where I am,
Grab my grasping hand!

Oh child, I am still your peace,
Oh, little lamb of mine,
I've never been so close to you,
I've been there
All the time!
I know the place seems new to you,
But you've been there before.
It's just that now you're here
And oh, you need it more!
Take the time
To just be still --
Take all the time you need.
Get to know this unknown place,
As here in prayer you plead.
Where are you?
Oh my child,
Please come to understand,
You've never left the safety of
The hollow of My hand!

--Cora Eelman

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jesus Loves Me!

92 YEAR OLD PREACHER............

A Church in Atlanta was honoring one of its senior pastors who had been retired many years. He was 92 at that time and I wondered why the Church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.
After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gate to the podium. Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....
'When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me... the only thing that would comfort was this verse.........
'Jesus loves me this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
we are weak but He is strong.....
Yes, Jesus loves me...
The Bible tells me so.'
When he finished, the church was quiet. You actually could hear his foot steps as he shuffled back to his chair. I don't believe I will ever forget it.
A pastor once stated, 'I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best.'
'Senior version of Jesus Loves Me'
Here is a new version just for us who have white hair or no hair at all. For us over middle age (or even those almost there) and all you others check out this newest version of Jesus Loves Me.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song.
Telling me in words so clear,
'Have no fear, for I am near.'
When my work on earth is done,
And life's victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I'll understand His love
I love Jesus, does He know?
Have I ever told Him so?
Jesus loves to hear me say,
That I love Him every day.

You know, "Jesus Loves Me" became MY all time favorite song years back for some of the same reasons as this 92 year old preacher. Somehow, the simplicity of this song that I probably learned while in the Nursery Department of our Sunday School never lost it's grip on me. Yes, I went through lots of Bible Studies, went to Bible School, went through all the digging into my past, why I became what I was, looked for all the junk I needed to deal with, read all the Christian psychology type books and went to work on fixing me and everyone else around me. But when all was said and done, it all boiled down to one thing: Jesus Loves ME, and just because HE said so! Isn't it just great that it's all so simple????? Yet, the world stumbles on it's simplicity, looks for ways to earn His love, blames Him for NOT loving them, or just plain old think they they are too good for Him.

Wrap your arms around Him today and hum that little tune into His ears!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to Give a Cat a Bath!

For all you cat lovers, please read all the way down to the end!!!!! I just couldn't help but post this!!!!! I needed a good laugh today!

Toilet Cleaning Instructions

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash and rinse."

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

The Dog

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Been Way Too Long!

Please forgive me, all of you, for my lack of posting during the last week or so. Sometimes I feel like I whine a lot about the effects of chemo, or that I'm just repeating the same story as the last time. I couldn't think of one new thing to say -- in fact, I have hardly been on the computer to check in on all of you. Just didn't feel all that good.

I must say, though, that this chemo #5 went better than the last one. Perhaps it was because the Dr. took me off the steroids, or because I armed myself with Ensure and Instant Breakfast Drinks so I would have more nutrition than Cream of Wheat!!!!! And since I knew some of the other bodily function affects of chemo from the other times, I was armed and ready before hand for all of that. No breathlessness this time at all.

I had my Dr. appointment today, and once again, all my whining complaints of aches and pains, etc., got lost in his tunnel vision of "it's simply amazing that the tumor is almost gone and I can't feel any lymph nodes under your arm at all!!!!" That is what matters to him. The other stuff I can wade through and get over, as far as he is concerned.

It's hard to explain, but it seems when you go through this as the patient, you get tunnel vision also. In the moment of feeling like road kill, there is no tomorrow, no "I'll get through this," no "pain is a good thing," etc. It's all about ME, all about the moment, and all about wanting the world to know that I'm a miserable wretch!!!! And then, the next day, all that is past like a miracle, and some other pain or flu like symptom comes up and you start focusing on that one!

In light of the doctor visit today, though, I must say, I have a lot to be thankful for. I know there are many cancer patients who do NOT respond well to chemo, and I could have been one of them. And. . . it is true that all the whining complaints do seem to disappear into the past as I come on the upside of the chemo. . . . and somehow, I go back for more. I remember thinking after the second one, how in the world does anyone get back in the car and drive back WILLINGLY to that place and let them pump that stuff into your veins????? But, you just do, because it is your only alternative.

Yes, there are the darkest of days when I wonder if God is there or even aware of the misery, and then there are days when I think I must be one of His biggest whiners and complainers on earth. But then, as the light begins to shine again and I can raise my head, I realize that He has been there through it all, listened to my heart, and carried me through.

Poor Buster! Sometimes he is soooooo bad. But he has a heart that seems to know I don't feel well, and when the day is ended and we go to bed together, that guy just lies there against me, sighs a big sigh, lets me pet him as he falls asleep, and we just know that tomorrow will surely come. How can a dog that is so bad wrap himself so tightly around your heart???????

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted!!!!

I was so glad I got to vote today! I knew if I had done the chemo thing last week that I probably wouldn't be able to make it. Then I saw that ad on TV where that girl in the wheel chair went through sooooooo much just to get to the voting place and I felt guilty that I thought I might not make it. But today, I felt better than I have in a long, long time, no lines, no waiting, good parking! Thank you, Lord!!!!!

I hope everyone casts their vote today! It's not only your right. . . . it's your duty.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When Challenger Flies!

I have a thing for eagles ---- always have. Occasionally, we see them soaring here in Florida, and every time I have seen one, it has been at a time when I needed the encouragement to remember that God will give me the strength to go on, to fly like an eagle, etc.

With Election Day tomorrow, I thought this was so fitting!

This video is so special!!!!! Please remember to turn off my music at the bottom of the page first.

Daybook Entry for November 3, 2008


FOR TODAY (November 3, 2008)...

Outside My Window It's a sunny, fall day, not like you get up north, but what we call "Fall" here in Florida! I really miss the vibrant colors of the trees in the northern states. I can remember as a kid bringing red, yellow, and orange leaves to school, putting them between wax paper, and ironing them so the wax would melt on the leaves, preserving the leaf and it's color. I had such creative teachers and we made cards with these leaves to take home for our parents! I was so proud to see mine tacked up on the door!!!! Here in Florida, oak leaves are turning brown and falling slowly, as are the acorns!

I am thinking. . . About seasons! How things change, come and go. . . how I've changed through the seasons of life, changing still. . . I hope for the better. Right now, I feel like my Sycamore tree outside my window -- leaves turning brown, shriveling up around the edges, but hanging on as long as possible!

I am thankful for This past week! An extra week to rest up, gain back some strength, eat some normal meals again. My taste has been so "off" with this chemo that my selection seems so limited!

From the kitchen... Some left over potatos augratin with broccoli, etc. Not enough left to have alone, so I'll have to come up with something to go with it.

I am wearing... Black slacks, maroon tee shirt, barefoot, bald head!

I am creating... Nothing! I saw some patterns for some primitive stitcheries that I would love to make, but right now. . . . it's all I can do to get done what I have to do.

I am going... Probably some grocery shopping, drug store, post office.

I am reading... Nothing. Can't focus or concentrate on anything. I think the name for it is "Chemo Brain Fog!"

I am hoping... I do ok with Chemo #5 this Wednesday. I made the decision to go ahead with at least one more. I'm feeling better, the breathlessness seems to be gone for now, and I worry more about the "what if's" if I DIDN'T get it than the "what if's" if I DID! So the scale tips towards getting the chemo!

I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer. Buster snoring behind me. Acorns rolling off the roof.

Around the house... Making a mental list of what I need to do before Wednesday. Wash bedding and clothing, make sure ebay stuff is taken care of, and any other housework I feel I can still do.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Haven't really thought past Wednesday and chemo. I'll be so glad when all this is over with and life gets some sort of "normality" back to it. I feel like everything revolves around these chemo treatments. Not that I'm not thankful ---- I truly am, as the alternative seems very black and hopeless. These miracle chemos have saved so many lives (and probably mine, too), but going through it is sooooo hard. Strange how I've come to DREAD it, yet, don't want to give it up for fear it has not done it's complete job yet.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I've always admired the people who have participated in these walks to raise money for a cure for breast cancer. But you know, until you go through this yourself, you just don't know what it means. I used to wonder at the emotions shown at these events, but until you have gone through this yourself, or had a loved one or friend who has gone through it. . . . you just don't know. This past weekend, I watched as the news showed the 3 day walk in Tampa, FL. I have no idea how they walked that far, as I can hardly make it across my yard to my sister's house! I can only say a big THANK YOU to anyone out there who has given of their time, money, emotions, blisters, and tears for those of us who go through this thing. PLEASE, for your own sake, get your mammograms!!!!!

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog