Sunday, January 29, 2012


Dallas Arboretum

Ten Spiritual Tonics
Stop worrying.
Worry kills life.

Begin each day with a prayer.
It will arm your soul.

Control appetite.
Over-indulgence blogs body and mind.

Accept your limitations.
All of us can't be great.

Don't envy.
It wastes time and energy.

Have faith in people.
Cynicism sours the disposition.

Find a hobby.
It will relax your nerves.

Read a book a week
to stimulate imagination and broaden your view.

Spend some time alone,
for the peace of solitude and silence.

Try to want what you have,
instead of spending your strength trying to get what you want.

~Abraham L. Feinberg~

Monday, January 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday

Thank you for the many gentle thoughts on our recent loss.
We are still adjusting to life without our furry friend.
My husband misses him most in the mornings, when they would stroll through the neighborhood.  I miss him most in the evenings, when I am often home alone.
Now, the great debate rages on whether or not to acquire a new four footed family member.
It is the first time in our 28.5 year marriage that we have not had a dog.
Bluff was my husband's miniature schnauzer when we married.  I had to pass his approval before we could even date!

Next came Dizzy.  He was a rather difficult Dalmation.  After moving to a home in the inner city, I felt the need to have a dog that offered a little more protection.  Bluff remained inside, while Dizzy mostly patrolled the backyard.  Dizzy managed to contribute to his own demise by eating everything in sight, including his water and food bowls, toys, bedding, pecans (shells and all) when they dropped from the trees, the roof of his doghouse, and most anything that would fit in his mouth.  He was a beautiful dog, but not very smart.

Shortly afterwards, Bounce bounded into our lives to patrol and protect our home and yard.
He was an Airedale terrior who never realized just how big he really was.  He would see our smaller dogs sitting in our laps, and believe that he could do the same.
He slipped and slid on our hardwood floors with huge paws, keeping me on my toes as I rushed to catch and save anything breakable in his path.

My husband is probably the one person to visit the dentist and come home with a dog, instead of the usual complimentary toothbrush and toothpaste sample.
That is how we acquired Blitz, our second miniature schnauzer.
Blitz was the most laid back dog ever.  Doorbells never phased him, and were unworthy of a bark.  Toys were to look at, sniff and then ignore.  He loved to be held or sit on your feet, but wet puppy kisses were not his thing.
Our young son decided Blitz needed someone to teach him the finer points of playing and puppy kisses. 

So, Rambo entered our lives and hearts.
He never managed to teach Blitz to enjoy toys, or give those wet kisses.  Instead, he assumed those roles, and we seem a little lost without him and them.

I often receive inquiries on the source of poems and sayings I share in the Blessings posts.
Many of them come from books on the shelves in our library.  When we built this house, the trend was to include a home office.  We went a different route and built a library.  The room also houses my childhood piano and my mother-in-law's childhood rocking chair.  I featured the sweet needlepoint cushion she made for it here.  She also stitched the needlepoint which now covers the piano bench.

Recently, a reader inquired specifically about this poem.
Unfortunately, I have no additional information on its origin or author.  I first found it in a book of poetry gifted by a family member. 

I try to always give credit to the author or origin of writings.  I have even conducted internet searches for the source of some, before they are used.

I was unable to reply to this reader personally, due to the fact they left no email address and are a no-reply reader.
I hope they read this entry, or return to the original post and read my reply.

This is my latest addiction!
I evidently missed all the commotion and fanfare when it first began hitting more grocery shelves and blogs last year.

Some say it is an alternative to peanut butter, but I would never put the two in the same class.
I enjoy peanut butter, but love this!  A tablespoon contains fewer calories than peanut butter, and seems a little more healthy overall.  It is also safe for those with nut allergies.

My favorite indulgence is smearing a little on crisp apple slices.
After the holidays, I always find it a little difficult to return to more healthy eating.  A juicy apple, with a little dab of this, seems to satisfy my sweet tooth without too much harm to the hips.
I found my jar at World Market, but believe it can be found other places, too.
Check the Biscoff website for more information and recipes.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


  Helleborus niger

Give the best you have received from the past
to the best that you may come to know in the future.

Accept life daily not as a cup to be drained
but as a chalice to be filled with whatsoever
things are honest, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Making a living is best undertaken as a part
of the more important business of making a life.

Every now and again
take a good look at something not made with hands --
a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream.
There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace
and, above all,
the assurance that you are not alone in the world.
~Sidney Lovett~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rambo . . .

For fourteen years you filled our lives with unconditional love, wet kisses, and silly antics.
You never did learn the command of "sit and stay", but you will stay forever in our hearts.
As you scampered across that rainbow bridge, your buddies Bounce and Blitz no doubt waited to welcome you.  Maybe they introduced you to our first schnauzer, Bluff.
I just am not sure how to tell your human best buddy that you will not be here to welcome him home again.
Rest in peace, sweet friend. 
Our home will never be the same.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Amaryllis blooming during Christmas holidays

A breath of prayer in the morning
Means a day of blessing sure;
A breath of prayer in the evening
Means a night of rest secure:

A breath of prayer in our weakness
Means a clasp of a mighty hand;
A breath of prayer when we're lonely
Means Someone to understand;

A breath of prayer in our sorrows
Means comfort and peace and rest;
A breath of prayer in our doubtings
Assures us the Lord knows best;

A breath of prayer in rejoicing
Gives joy and added delight,
For they that remember god's goodness
Go singing far into the night.

There's never a year nor a season
That prayer may not bless every hour,
And never a soul need be helpless
When linked with God's infinite power.

~Frances MicKinnon Morton~

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Blessings

A church in Charleston, 2009

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"

And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me toward the hills and the breaking of day . . .

from "God Knows" by Minnie Louise Haskins
Published 1908
Popularly known as "The Gate of the Year"

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