Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Enchanted Rock. Balanced Rock. Bear Mtn. Cross Mtn. Wildflowers. Peaches. Bats. Apollo 14.

Last "Travel Tuesday", we visited the City of Fredericksburg, TX, now let's go to some of the surrounding areas.


Enchanted Rock

"Fifteen miles north of Fredericksburg is the geographical landmark Enchanted Rock. The Rock is a huge, pink granite exfoliation dome, that rises 425 feet (130 m) above ground, 1,825 feet (556 m) above sea level, and covers 640 acres (2.6 km2). It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States, and was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1970. In 1994, the State of Texas opened it as Enchanted Rock State Natural Area after adding facilities. The same year, Enchanted Rock was added to the National Register of Historic Places."

Enchanted Rock, as seen from the trail leading to its summit.

"Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite pluton rock formation located in the Llano Uplift  Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which includes Enchanted Rock and surrounding land, spans the border between Gillespie County and Llano County, south of the Llano River.  It is the largest such pink granite monadnock in the United States. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, a part of the Texas state park system, includes 1,644 acres (665 ha). Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1936. Click here: TPWD: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area


Balanced Rock.

of Balanced Rock back when

Fredericksburg, TX (3.9 m SSW)
Eckert, TX (9.3 miles NE)
Cain City, TX (9.4 miles SSE)
Blumenthal, TX (10.1 miles SE)
Willow City, TX (10.5 miles ENE)
Luckenbach, TX (11.8 miles SSE)
Morris Ranch, TX (12.1 mi SW)

Near FREDERICKSBURG, Texas TX ~ The Balanced RockStonewall, TX (13.1 miles ESE)
Cherry Spring, TX (14.1 mi NW)
Bankersmith, TX (14.2 miles S)

"Balanced Rock was a famous local landmark that perched atop Bear Mountain ten miles (16 km) north of Fredericksburg. The natural wonder stone pillar, about the size of a small elephant, precariously balanced on its small tip. It fell prey to vandals who dynamited it off its base in April 1986."


Bear Mountain.

Adjoining Bear Mountain,

“Precambrian rocks reach the surface in the Llano region of Central Texas in the highest part of a broad domal arch, the Llano uplift, which appears on a regional geologic map as an island of igneous and metamorphic rocks surrounded by Paleozoic and Cretaceus sedimentary rocks.  The widest expanse of Precambrian rocks is about 65 mi ( 105 km), extending westward from the valley of the Colorado River through a subdued topographic basin drained by the Llano River. The broad, gentle basin carved into the Precambrian rocks is bordered by a discontinuous rim of flat-topped limestone hills which are the dissected edge of the Edwards Plateau. Within the basin and at its margins are erosional remnants and down-faulted blocks of Paleozoic rocks which form prominent hills, locally referred to as mountains.”


Park, Fredericksburg, TX -

Cross Mountain

"Elevation 1,915 feet (584 m). The first known record of Cross Mountain was in 1847 by Dr. Ferdinand von Roemer. Native Americans used the location to signal each other about intrusions into their territory. The area was part of settler Dr. John Christian Durst's 10-acre (40,000 m2) allotment. Durst found a timber cross on the mountain, indicating that Spanish missionaries had once used the site. Durst named the place "Kreuzberg," or Cross Mountain. In 1849, a priest named Father George Menzel erected a TX : Cross Mountain Park,new cross.

In 1946, St. Mary's Catholic Church erected a metal and concrete cross. The mountain has been used both for the Easter Fires pageant and for Easter sunrise services. Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark 1976."



Wildflowers"Over 5,000 wildflower species make their home in the State of Texas, products of the state’s different ecosystems. The Texas Hill Country is defined by limestone cliffs, granite outcrops and hidden springs, providing diverse habitats for wildflowers.


But if you want to take some home with you, don’t pick them—visit Wildseed Farms, the nation’s largest wildflower farm located just outside Fredericksburg."

Lavender flowers with bracts exhibiting a good example of the color lavender.

"Herb farms, grape culture, lavender production and wildflower seeds have become burgeoning businesses in Fredericksburg. Combinations of agribusiness with day spas, wedding facilities, or bed and breakfast accommodations is not unusual. There is even a Texas Hill Country Lavender Trail.

Lady Bird Johnson's passion for Texas wildflowers not only lives on in the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, but she also sparked off a high demand for seed. The 200-acre (81 ha) Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg was founded by John R. Thomas in 1983 as a result of that high demand, and produces 88 varieties of wildflower seeds. It is the largest family-owned wildflower seed farm in the United States and host of an annual Wildflower Celebration." More at: http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/attractions-activities/wildflowers/




"Gillespie County produces 40% of all the peaches grown in the state of Texas. Roadside stands line many of the roads leading into Fredericksburg, with a major concentration along Highway 290 between Fredericksburg and Stonewall and along Highway 87 South. The peach season runs from mid-May through the first week of August in a normal year. Several orchards offer pick-your-own. The Hill Country Fruit Council produces a listing of its members in a brochure entitled Fredericksburg-Stonewall Peaches, which is normally available at the Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center or visit www.texaspeaches.com. " or: http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/attractions-activities/peaches/




"Approximately 300 species of birds occur in the Texas Hill Country, where birding is great all year. The area is an overlap zone of ranges of eastern and western bird species, as well as some north and south species. Be sure to look for the endangered Black-capped Vireos and Golden-cheeked Warblers. An excellent place to view birds in Fredericksburg proper is the Live Oak Wilderness Nature Trail in Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Stop for a bird check-list at the park office. Pedernales Falls State Park, near Johnson City, has wildlife viewing stations, while Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, is also a premier bird-watching location." From: http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/attractions-activities/birding/


Old Tunnel


Old Tunnel entrance

"An abandoned railroad tunnel that is home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats every May through October.  Located 10.5 miles south of Highway 290 on the Old San Antonio Road.  The upper viewing deck is open nightly at no charge. The lower viewing area is open on Thursday through Sunday evenings for special educational presentations for a $5 per person fee.  Please call for the current bat emergence time:  (866) 978-2287."

Old Tunnel State Park (Bat Cave)"The Old Tunnel WMA is the smallest Wildlife Management Area in Texas, containing only 16.1 acres of land. Despite its small size, there are a variety of recreational and wildlife-viewing opportunities at Old Tunnel WMA. The abandoned railroad tunnel is home to up to three million Brazilian free-tailed bats (T. b. mexicana) and 3,000 Cave myotis (Myotis velifer) from May to October, more mammals than any other WMA. From May to October, visitors come to watch the bats emerge from the tunnel each night, and nightly educational programs provide guests with a better understanding of the life history and ecology of bats. See the book Frankie the Free-Tailed Batmedia download(PDF 1641 KB)."  From: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=17


On This Day:

Apollo 14 departs for the moon, Jan 31, 1971:

"Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a manned mission to the moon. On February 5, after suffering some initial problems in docking the lunar and command modules, Shepard and Mitchell descended to the lunar surface on the third U.S. moon landing. Upon stepping out of the lunar module, Shepard, who in 1961, aboard Freedom 7, was the first American in space, became the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon. Shepard and Mitchell remained on the lunar surface for nearly 34 hours, conducting simple scientific experiments, such as hitting golf balls into space with Shepard's golf club, and collecting 96 pounds of lunar samples. On February 9, Apollo 14 safely returned to Earth."



Wagging her tail, Misty trotted happily along her usual trail like she could see, when we went to pick up Jay.  That walk is the highlight of her day.

It started out cool, then the sun came out so it was pleasant working outside.  Prime and Bobbiecat watched our comings and goings from the screen porch.

Jay and I set up two yard sale tables outside, sorted out a lot of the items and set them up for display.   All the expensive items will be on tables in the RV port, under cover, as we have 20% chance of rain.   Then we covered the outside tables with big sheets of black plastic until the sale days.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Squirrels. Chipmunk. Lab Beagles. Scoop-A-Poo. Berlin. Gandhi. Kansas. Baseball.

For "Mammal Monday:

The squirrels might still be hibernating where you are, but here they think it is Spring.   Some ways to stop them from raiding your bird feeders.

Yankee Flippers

"Your squirrels will flip right out! The second a squirrel jumps on the Yankee Flippers perch, his weight activates a motor and the perch begins to spin. Your squirrel quickly loses his grip—and whoops—off he goes!"



"The SquirrelScatter squirrel proof bird feeder senses the weight of an unwanted visitor, and begins to slowly spin your feeder. It actually teaches the squirrel to forage elsewhere! "


Find humane alternatives to a squirrel problem

"Backyard squirrels can be troublesome, whether they're feeding on human food, eating seed left for birds or burrowing inside human homes. The annoyance some people feel toward squirrels causes inhumane actions such as shooting, trapping and poisoning, which the Humane Society of the United States reports is "unacceptable."

There are gentler ways to reduce a squirrel infiltration, and other ways to live peacefully with the animals.
Despite the fact that squirrels are a highly successful species and not close to endangerment, killing them is still wrong. Humans can dissuade the competent critters from feasting at their bird feeder by changing the type of seed on the menu.

The HSUS says that safflower seed and Nyjer thistle attract and nourish birds such as cardinals, chickadees and goldfinches, but that squirrels don't like it. Some birdseed is made with capsaicin as an additive. Birds don't feel the burn that this pepper ingredient causes in mammals.

Some people find it easier just to share some of the seed with the squirrels so they don't have to steal it. Bird watchers can keep the squirrels away from their feeders by sprinkling seed on the ground or providing them with their own feeder. "


 Chipmunk in "squirrel proof" bird feeder.

"I found this funny little guy stuck inside of my "squirrel proof" bird feeder. I have no idea how he was able to get into there. It's 6 feet off of the ground and hanging by a 3 foot chain. After completely filling his face with seed, he can't seem to fit though the cage to get back out. He finally makes it but I doubt he'll try that again."


Tattoos, Vocal Cord Removal Among Controversial Beagle Lab Tests.

Every year, about 70,000 dogs are tested on in labs in the United States, reports KTLA.  Watch Parker's KTLA report with video of both freed and caged lab beagles.

The dogs are injected with drugs, prodded, poked and illegally burned with chemicals.


"You've likely heard the term lab rat, but what about lab dog? Approximately 70,000 dogs are tested on yearly in the United States.  The dogs are routinely used in experimental surgical procedures and toxicology tests for cosmetics.
The breed of dog most tested on is the Beagle.  PETA's Lindsay Rajt told KTLA that "The people using animals in testing like the beagle because they are small dogs, friendly and docile. They can be manipulated."

It's common for labs to remove the dogs' vocal chords so their cries don't bother the technicians, and Parker alleges that some facilities beat and kick the dogs. Parker also called attention to the fact that only last week, a North Carolina grand jury indicted four lab workers on 14 felony animal cruelty counts. This charge was groundbreaking, since it is legal to test on dogs.

PETA has a guide listing companies that do and do not test on animals.

There is also an iPhone app for more information about animal testing. Find out more about helping the Beagle Freedom Project here

Rabbits, and cats, are used in experiments, too.

"Investigation Victory: Just one week after PETA released the results of its shocking undercover investigation of North Carolina--based contract animal testing facility Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc. (PLRS) and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), PLRS is surrendering nearly 200 dogs and dozens of cats and shutting its doors for good. This is a monumental victory and the first time that a laboratory has been forced to surrender animals and close under pressure on the heels of a PETA investigation and while facing a formal USDA investigation."


Scoop-A-Poo.  Encourage pet owners to collect their animal's waste so it will not wash into sewers and streams.

"The girl and her dog, they were fine (wow)

Until they left a doody -- that's a crime (bow wow)"

"The thing about dog waste is that it's the only bacteria source that people willingly leave on the ground," Janet Geer, spokesperson for a partnership of regional governments dedicated to improving local water quality, said "For some reason it doesn't sink in that it is raw sewage."  While Geer acknowledged the power of poop "to bring out the 6-year-old in a lot of people," she also emphasized the seriousness of the issue.   It's not just a stinky situation -- skipping scooping poses a public health hazard.

For one, pet feces carry bacteria, viruses and parasites into waterways that can cause unpleasant infections such as giardia and E. coli. More indirectly, the excrement also releases nutrients into the water that can feed algae, kill marine life, contaminate beaches and send unlucky swimmers home with bouts of diarrhea or hives.

As Luther states simply in the song: "Hey yo, you don't want to swim in poo"


On This Day:

RAF launches massive daytime raid on Berlin, Jan 30, 1943:

"On this day, the British Royal Air Force begins a bombing campaign on the German capital that coincides with the 10th anniversary of Hitler's accession to power.

Strategic bombing was the policy of using bombers to destroy an enemy's warmaking capacity, also referred to as "area bombing." Churchill described it as an "absolutely devastating, exterminating attack by very heavy bombers...upon the Nazi homeland."

To celebrate the anniversary of Hitler's 1933 appointment to the office of chancellor by then-President Paul von Hindenburg, both propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and head of the Luftwaffe Hermann Goering planned to give radio addresses to the German masses. Goebbels intended to bolster morale by hailing an impending victory in Russia: "A thousand years hence, every German will speak with awe of Stalingrad and remember that it was there that Germany put the seal on her victory." As the speeches were broadcast, RAF fighters rained bombs on Berlin, the beginning of devastating attacks on German cities that would last until the very end of the war. To make matters even worse for the Germans, the next day a massive surrender of German troops occurred at Stalingrad."


Gandhi assassinated in New Delhi, Jan 30, 1948:

"Mohandas Gandhi, the world's chief advocate of non-violence, is assassinated in New Delhi by a terrorist sponsored by a right-wing Hindu militia group. The murder came only 10 days after a failed attempt on Gandhi's life. Thirty-nine-year-old Nathuram Godse shot the great Indian leader as he made his way through a small crowd to lead a prayer session.

The father of Indian independence had angered Hindu extremists by his efforts to bring peace in the wake of the British withdrawal from India. Muslims and Hindus had been fighting a civil war since the decision to the Muslim-dominated western region of India had become separated as Pakistan. Religious-inspired riots were breaking out all over India when Gandhi went on a hunger strike in September 1947.

The fast almost killed Gandhi but it successfully suspended the fighting. However, he was forced to fast again in January in order to finally bring the sides together for a peace pact. Hindu extremists saw this as selling out the nation and plotted Gandhi's death. On January 20, the group detonated explosives inside the wall of a New Delhi house where Gandhi was, but stopped short of throwing a grenade at Gandhi because they feared that bystanders would be killed.

His ideas and tactics were later borrowed by Martin Luther King, Jr., who used them successfully in the 1960s civil rights protests.

The assassin Godse tried to kill himself after the attack, but was grabbed before he had the chance. Four accomplices were arrested over the next several days. Godse showed no remorse for his crime. Along with Narayan Apte, Godse was hanged to death on November 15, 1949, against the wishes of Gandhi's sons, who argued that the execution stood against everything Gandhi believed in."



Kansas enters the Union as a free state, Jan 29, 1861:

"On this day in 1861, Kansas is admitted to the Union as free state. It was the 34th state to join the Union. The struggle between pro- and anti-slave forces in Kansas was a major factor in the eruption of the Civil War.

In 1854, Kansas and Nebraska were organized as territories with popular sovereignty (popular vote) to decide the issue of slavery. There was really no debate over the issue in Nebraska, as the territory was filled with settlers from the Midwest, where there was no slavery. In Kansas, the situation was much different. Although most of the settlers were anti-slave or abolitionists, there were many pro-slave Missourians lurking just over the border. When residents in the territory voted on the issue, many fraudulent votes were cast from Missouri. This triggered the massive violence that earned the area the name "Bleeding Kansas." Both sides committed atrocities, and the fighting over the issue of slavery was a preview of the Civil War.

Kansas remained one of the most important political questions throughout the 1850s. Each side drafted constitutions, but the anti-slave faction eventually gained the upper hand. Kansas entered the Union as a free state; however, the conflict over slavery in the state continued into the Civil War. Kansas was the scene of some of the most brutal acts of violence during the war. One extreme example was the sacking of Lawrence in 1863, when pro-slave forces murdered nearly 200 men and burned the anti-slave town.

During the Civil War, Kansas suffered the highest rate of fatal casualties of any Union state, largely because of its great internal divisions over the issue of slavery."


U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members.

"On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.

The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area's Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game's greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939--thought by many to be the centennial of baseball--the Baseball Writers' Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.

Today, with approximately 350,000 visitors per year, the Hall of Fame continues to be the hub of all things baseball. It has elected 278 individuals, in all, including 225 players, 17 managers, 8 umpires and 28 executives and pioneers."


My Yesterday:

Misty-Maddie-Lake-29.Jan.12 When Misty and Maddie had their walk down at Jay's, I took a picture of the 'lack-of- Lake-Conroe' down there at that 'lack-of-boat-ramp'.  It even has grass growing on it. This is a different boat ramp from the one I usually show, it is on this side of the subdivision.

When we got here, I set up my laptop in the living room, so that Jay could watch the program for that morning: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/sin/you-have-destiny  He listened intently while he was rolling his cigarettes.  He hadn't been drinking sloshingly the night before like he usually does, so maybe God is working on him, or rather Jay is letting Him now.  I hope this continues, for Jay and his mother's sakes.

The RV port is still full of yard sale stuff, and I am hoping to get rid of some of it the first three days of February, weather permitting.  Good time to have a yard sale when a lot of folks get their checks.  We moved some items up on shelves, sorted some stuff out, and actually saw some of the table tops. 

Still lots of articles to be unpacked from boxes and displayed, but at least we made some headway yesterday.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

When Time and Chance Happen. Blessed Are Those Who Mourn. Destiny. Seminar.

Why am I posting this today?  Six years ago my granddaughter was hit by a drunk driver, and I am hoping this will be some comfort to all of us who knew and loved Susan.


When Time and Chance Happen to You

"How can we deal with devastating circumstances? How do you pull through without your life disintegrating?

"It was a warm, summer morning in New Bedford, Ohio. Soft breezes gently swayed the leaves on the maple tree in the front yard of our home. It was July 17, 1986. I had the day off work. It was promising to be an enjoyable one with my family.

The children were up out of bed, and Jonathan, our 1-year-old, was bouncing on my knee.  My wife enjoyed one of those peak moments of life that morning: Jonathan said "Mama" for the first time.

Later that same morning Daniel and Mary Ann, our two older children, watched as I adjusted the brakes on our Pontiac. In spite of busy fingers, dirty faces and countless questions, I completed the job in record time.  Then the children stepped back so I could test the brakes. I got in the car, shifted to reverse and slowly began to back up when I felt an abrupt and unexpected bump.

The children screamed.  What toy had I run over? I wondered.

So I continued to back up, expecting to see a smashed little red wagon. Instead I saw, there in the driveway, the lifeless body of Jonathan.

I jumped out of the car, and as I ran to my youngest son many questions raced through my mind. How could this have happened? How did he get under the car without my seeing him? I thought Jonathan was still in the house! How would I tell my wife? How could I comfort the children when I had just killed their brother?

My wife came running as the children looked on stunned. We stood there, numb in shock and grief, as we realized Jonathan was dead. What could we do? Where could we go for help?

Seek God, I thought. But then I wondered, Will God support me when I have just killed my son?  We called paramedics and accompanied our children into the house. A day that had begun so pleasantly had become a nightmare.

Tragedy Becomes Real

We live in a world of tragedies. We read of them in the newspaper and see them on television. We think they happen to other people but not to us. I know now, as the police reminded me that awful day, that these things can happen to anyone. The grim reality is that, even as you are reading this article, someone somewhere is experiencing a tragedy similar to ours.

How can we deal with such devastating circumstances? How do you pull through without your life disintegrating? Can you ever again enjoy life after such a tragedy, or are you doomed to suffer through an endless series of nightmares?

From experience I can say that, yes, you can eventually enjoy life, even after the worst of tragedies. Eventually the pain subsides. If handled properly, the memory of the tragedy can serve as a motivation that will bring positive changes to your life.  Perhaps this article—a message from one who has been there—will bring hope and encouragement to people who have experienced similar trials.

Time and Chance

The first thing that comes to mind in the aftermath of a tragedy is the big question why. Why did this happen? Why did it happen to me? Why did it happen to my loved one?

On the heels of those thoughts and emotions come the if-onlies. If only I had done this or not done that. If only I had known my baby was under the car.

But the reality is that I did not know. If I had known, the accident would not have occurred.

King Solomon pondered these questions when he set his heart "to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 1:13See All...).  After his study of the vagaries and uncertainties of human experience, he concluded that "time and chance happen to them all" (Ecclesiastes 9:11See All...).

Time and chance had paid us a visit. Jonathan, whom I had last seen as a bouncing baby in the house, was lured by curiosity to creep underneath the car. Why didn't he come to the side of the car where I was working so I would have been aware he was there? Why did he crawl beneath the car where I couldn't see him? How did he get there in the first place? Why did he have to be positioned in the path of the tire the moment I backed up?

God intervenes powerfully for His people on many occasions. But, as Solomon pointed out, time and chance affect us all.

Help is Promised

When time and chance happen to His people, God sometimes chooses not to intervene when He sees that His intervention would not work to our ultimate good. Nevertheless, He promises that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28 See All...).

Furthermore, God promises we will not suffer anything that is not common to man or more than we can bear. Most important, God always provides a way of escape to endure such trials (1 Corinthians 10:13 See All...).

These promises are certain, and my family found great comfort in them. Yes, God allows trials for our ultimate good, but He always provides a way out. Often in the aftermath of a tragedy we find ourselves in a state of shock. We need something as solid as a rock to anchor to—and that rock is Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4 See All...).   Friends can help, but ultimately God is the One who sees us through and heals our wounds.

Jesus Christ knows that a natural human emotion is grief. We mourn when a loved one dies, especially when one dies unexpectedly. In the hours just before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples He would "go away"; He would die. "But because I have said these things to you," He said, "sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away . . ." (John 16:5-7  See All...).

Can you imagine how the disciples must have felt when they heard their Leader say this? But then He gave the key to overcoming tragedy and overcoming long-term mental and emotional distress: ". . . For if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send [it] to you" (John 16:7 See All...).  Jesus was sending help, and that help would guide, strengthen, comfort and empower His people at all times, especially when they were in trouble. This helper is none other than the very power of God, the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:19 See All...).

Luke wrote that the brethren in the early Church, after experiencing great persecution and witnessing the martyrdom of Stephen, "had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied" (Acts 9:31 See All...);   See also Acts 4:1-31 See All...; 5:17-42; 6:8-15; 7:1-60).

Paul wrote to Timothy to urge him "to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:6-7  See All...).

During a time of tragedy, more than anything else we need love, comfort and a strong, sound mind filled with wisdom to maneuver through the emotional jungle. Such help is readily available. God promises His Spirit and a liberal supply of wisdom to those who ask Him (Luke 11:13 See All...);  James 1:5 See All...).

Accepting Reality

The first step toward a healthy recovery from debilitating tragedy is to accept the reality of what happened. This is a necessary step, even though it may seem easier, at first, not to face it.

Reality can be excruciating, even nightmarish, but it is necessary to deal openly with events and discuss them, especially with your immediate family and close friends. You need not be ashamed of your emotions.

I remember recounting the event to a close friend and finding great comfort in doing so.

In our case the whole family was at the scene of the accident. Two of our children saw their beloved younger brother die. The experience was traumatic for them, but children have an amazing ability to come to grips with abnormal circumstances if they are simply told the truth. They accept reality and God's promises with an inspiring innocent faith that adults would do well to develop.

Our children immediately accepted and were soothed by God's promise of a future resurrection for their little brother.

Knowing the truth about life after death was of great comfort to us and gave us hope. We knew our son would live again. This reassuring knowledge helped us accept the reality of what had happened.

Pitfalls to Avoid

In charting your way through the maze of emotions, you need to avoid certain things. Otherwise you may cause yourself much additional pain.

The first thing our pastor told my family when he arrived at our home was, "Whatever you do, don't start blaming each other or God." I will be forever grateful for this wise counsel. It helped us avoid many pitfalls.

It is only natural to want to blame something or someone for what happened, but that is a useless, unproductive waste of time. No matter how much blame or accusation is leveled against something or someone, it will not change the reality of what occurred. It will only extend the emotional anguish and prolong the process of accepting what happened.

This, of course, does not mean that if criminal activity were involved appropriate legal action should not be pursued, but leave that to the lawyers and courts. Don't allow a court of accusers to convene in your mind. It will only perpetuate the misery.

It is especially important not to accuse or lay blame if a member of the family appears to have been the cause of the accident. In our situation this was the case. This could have been fertile ground for accusations, blame and hurtful arguments. However, we realized we needed each other's encouragement and comfort, not accusations. This realization saved us untold grief and greatly strengthened our relationship.

The grim reality was that our situation was exactly as Solomon described—a product of time and chance. As the police officer told me that day, sometimes no matter how careful you are accidents will happen.

Dealing with Emotions

At times like this many strong emotions come forth, ranging from anger to guilt, from anxiety to utter despair. These are entirely normal during bereavement. It is important to bring and keep them out in the open until the healing is complete. Make sure communication stays strong in the family. Discuss the tragedy as often as necessary to allow each family member to come to terms with it.

This is especially important with children. They may be little, but their minds hold an amazing capacity to discern fact from fiction. They find comfort in facts but feel insecure and distressed when they hear vague answers.

Emotions are a natural reaction to human experience. They help us develop sensitivity and compassion for others. We begin to understand why and how God is sensitive to our needs.

Allowing Tragedy to Change You

After you have accepted the reality of what has occurred, it is important to ask yourself some questions: How can this help me make positive changes in my life? What can I possibly learn from this experience that will improve my life and the lives of others? What could be the reasons God allowed me to suffer like this?

Notice the words of Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3 See All...).   This is an apt description of God, and in the next verse the apostle gives one reason God allows us to suffer: He "comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:4 See All...).  These are insightful words indeed! God expects us to use our experiences to comfort others in the same way He comforts us. In the process of doing so we find the greatest comfort of all—joy. You will find joy as you reach out to others, comforting and encouraging them with the sensitivity you have to their circumstance because of your own experience.

The amazing thing is that you will find this will speed your healing process like ointment in a wound. This is why Paul could say: "I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 7:4 See All...).

The second great benefit that can come from a tragic experience is an unrelenting motivation to enter God's Kingdom. The death of a loved one should naturally fill us with a sense of obligation and responsibility to seek that Kingdom—if not for our own benefit, certainly for the benefit of the deceased.

For me, the death of our son has served as the single biggest motivation in my life. It has helped me focus on what is most important: seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33 See All...).   When we seek the Kingdom of God, He promises us an abundant life (John 10:10 See All...).    A better and more meaningful family life is sure to result when you focus on the Kingdom of God and use your experiences to help others by showing compassion and encouraging them.

Looking Forward

The final step is to look to the future. The Bible is replete with promises of a future life for the deceased. Jesus himself said, "He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live" and that "the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth" (John 11:25 See All...; 5:28-29).  The prophet Ezekiel saw the resurrection of the dead in a vision from God and graphically recorded it for us in Ezekiel 37.

I remember my first thought when I saw my son dead in the driveway: He will live again. He will be resurrected to life.

It is important to talk about the deceased as years go by, to keep them a part of the family. We have had many inspiring discussions with our children about our son and their brother and what things will be like in the new life. They know and understand God's promise of a better life in this world to come.

Zechariah prophesied a time when "old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets" (Zechariah 8:4-5 See All...).  This is most assuredly not a description of Jerusalem today, but it is the sure reality of the world tomorrow.

Time and chance are a reality we face. They are simply a part of life. But, with God's loving help, His healing comfort, tragic experiences can motivate us to a more positive and abundant life, one that is focused on the Kingdom of God."     Article by John Miller  From:  http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/when-time-and-chance-happen-you/


Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

“I walked a mile with Pleasure, she chatted all the way; but left me none the wiser, for all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow and ne’er a word said she; but, oh, the things I learned from her when Sorrow walked with me!” —Robert Browning Hamilton

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. See All...). It is hard to understand how we can be blessed while going through great sorrow and pain. Sometimes things come crashing into our lives that cause us great sadness, mourning and throw us out of sync. No one wants to go through sorrow, yet life is simply not filled with laughter and joy all the time. Believe it or not, it is not good for us.

Grief comes many times throughout our lives, such as when there is a death of a loved one, the death of a pet, the loss of a job, or the loss of advancement in a job. It can come through divorce, the loss of a friend, a move from one community to another, the loss of a dream (goal), the aging process, or when children leave home by going to school or by getting married. Grief can come from marriage itself, financial difficulties, the illness of a friend, or a friend moving. The list could go on and on.

In John 11, we read about the death of Lazarus who was Mary’s brother (Mary, the one who anointed Christ’s feet with fragrant oil). Her brother was ill, so she sent word to Christ Jesus who loved Lazarus. You have heard the expression, “Boys don’t cry”—well, Christ wept. Many thought He wept because of His love for Lazarus, but He actually mourned over their lack of faith in Him and in the Father. Verse 4 states that when Jesus heard that Lazarus was ill He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”   Then, in verse 40, He states, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Those who are able to feel the pain of the loss of a loved one are better off than those whose feelings are numb. Psychologists now confirm that people who never feel sorrow can never feel joy. It is literally true that the happiest people are those who experience the depths as well as the heights of human emotion.

It is much like coming through a cold bitter winter or a horrible storm. When the sun comes out, then and only then can we truly appreciate the sunshine. If it were always sunny, how could we truly appreciate it? There is an old Arab proverb that says, “Sunshine all the time makes deserts.” Nothing grows in the desert that is continually filled with sunshine! It is the rain that brings forth the greatest growth. (Ecclesiastes 7:4The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.See All...) says, “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” So why is it good to mourn?

What I have learned about sorrow

* Going through sorrow causes us to stop and take stock in our lives.
* It makes us ponder the whys of past or current events.
* It gives the opportunity to draw closer to God.
* It gives God and others the opportunity to love and comfort us.
* It teaches us how to comfort others.
* It gives us understanding of other’s sorrow and grief.

Through sorrow, we grow strong as we let God into our hearts through the broken places. L. B. Bridgers discovered this the day he lost his wife and family in a tragic fire in their residence in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, on March 26, 1911. His response was to write the song, “He Keeps Me Singing.”

“There’s within my heart a melody.
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
‘Fear not, I am with thee. Peace, be still,’
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing.
Keeps me singing as I go.”

Let us be kind and patient with each other in times of sorrow. It is a necessary part of growth. Be there for one another. Encourage one another and remember there is hope and sunshine after the rain that produces growth in you and in others.

The Friendship Book, written in 1950, has a quote about suffering. “When misfortune comes to you, it is two things. It is a pity. Who would choose to be bereaved, to have to tread a hard road, to be out of work, to suffer pain, to have sadness in his heart? But it is also a challenge. It is a challenge to make the best of things, to keep on somehow, to be patient, brave, and hopeful; a challenge never to let misfortune make you bitter or break your spirit. And the wonder is this—that so often misfortune brings a blessing with it to those who accept the challenge.”

Going through sorrow is certainly a challenge, but there is a promise that God holds out for all of mankind. Revelation 21:4 states, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (King James Version).”

Yes, blessed are all of us who go through periods of mourning, for we shall be comforted, the sun will come out, and spiritual growth will emerge!" article by Janet Treadway From: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/blessed-are-those-who-mourn//


The program for today: http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/sin/you-have-destiny



If you have been reading my Sunday postings, you have heard of the Kingdom Of God seminars.  Jay and went to one yesterday, 40 miles from here.  It was very interesting, even Jay enjoyed it, and wants to go back.  Maybe this is the turning point when he will lay off drinking so much beer. The 100+ people were very friendly, not trying to "out-Jones" each other, and not condescending like some congregations.  They served some delicious, healthy, finger food afterwards, so we sat at one of the big round tables, enjoying the companionship of these lovely people.  All this was free, and they did not ask for donations.  They try to do everything the way Jesus would have done it.  Very refreshing these days of 'mega-churches'.

January 23, 2012 - "Attendance at recent seminars have been encouraging. God is working with many people at this time."

We both enjoyed our time there, and are ready to go back another day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

News: Sunset Act. Making Fun of God. Abortion. Saturdays. Saigon. Challenger. Nat. Geo. Faucets.

News, Some New, Some Old.

Sunset Act, Purpose:

"To provide for the periodic review of the efficiency and public need for Federal agencies, to establish a Commission for the purpose of reviewing the efficiency and need of such agency, and to provide for the abolishment of agencies for which a public need does not exist."

"For those in Congress who are committed to cutting wasteful spending, a federal Sunset Law is a powerful tool. No longer will federal agencies, once created, assume immortality.

Sunsetting shifts the burden of proof, forcing agencies to regularly justify their existence to American taxpayers who will have a real say in whether they deserve our precious tax dollars.

We support the Federal Sunset Act and encourage members of Congress to join Representative Brady in bringing accountability to our massive federal bureaucracy."

- Thomas Schatz, President (http://www.cagw.org/about-us/staff/thomas-schatz.html )

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunset_provision  and

"If the President wants to seriously streamline the federal government and save money, I would invite him to embrace the Federal Sunset Act modeled on successful consolidation programs in more than twenty of our states. A bipartisan sunset law, which sets an expiration date on every federal agency and program and requires them to prove their value to the taxpayers or face elimination, that's how you eliminate obsolete and duplicative federal programs." January 15, 2012



Making Fun of God?

January 17, 2012 - "God and Christians are under attack. Award shows, animated programs and even documentaries seem to make fun of God, faith, and the Bible. What can be done?

It's been all over the news with the condemnation of Christianity out there in the world today. Whether it's Tim Tebow and praying in public or whether it's at the Golden Globe Awards, it seems that people just cannot resist putting down any form of Christianity."



January 27, 2012 - "For those struggling with guilt over a past action there is a path to forgiveness and redemption."

The previous messages on this subject:

Roe v. Wade: Abortion's 39th Anniversary. The US Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973 but can we really call it freedom and liberty?
Abortion and History.  Nations have declined when they choose a culture of death over life.


Some Amazing Facts about Saturday.  "History's Greatest Hoax."



On This Day:

Cease-fire goes into effect, Jan 28, 1973:

"A cease-fire goes into effect at 8 a.m., Saigon time (midnight on January 27, Greenwich Mean Time).

When the cease-fire went into effect, Saigon controlled about 75 percent of South Vietnam's territory and 85 percent of the population. The South Vietnamese Army was well equipped via last-minute deliveries of U.S. weapons and continued to receive U.S. aid after the cease-fire. The CIA estimated North Vietnamese presence in the South at 145,000 men, about the same as the previous year. The cease-fire began on time, but both sides violated it. South Vietnamese forces continued to take back villages occupied by communists in the two days before the cease-fire deadline and the communists tried to capture additional territory.

Each side held that military operations were justified by the other side's violations of the cease-fire. What resulted was an almost endless chain of retaliations. During the period between the initiation of the cease-fire and the end of 1973, there were an average of 2,980 combat incidents per month in South Vietnam. Most of these were low-intensity harassing attacks designed to wear down the South Vietnamese forces, but the North Vietnamese intensified their efforts in the Central Highlands in September when they attacked government positions with tanks west of Pleiku. As a result of these post-cease-fire actions, about 25,000 South Vietnamese were killed in battle in 1973, while communist losses in South Vietnam were estimated at 45,000."


Challenger explodes, Jan 28, 1986:

"At 11:38 a.m. EST, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Christa McAuliffe is on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher from New Hampshire, won a competition that earned her a place among the seven-member crew of the Challenger. She underwent months of shuttle training but then, beginning January 23, was forced to wait six long days as the Challenger's launch countdown was repeatedly delayed because of weather and technical problems. Finally, on January 28, the shuttle lifted off.

Seventy-three seconds later, hundreds on the ground, including Christa's family, stared in disbelief as the shuttle exploded in a forking plume of smoke and fire. Millions more watched the wrenching tragedy unfold on live television. There were no survivors.

In 1976, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) unveiled the world's first reusable manned spacecraft, the Enterprise. Five years later, space flights of the shuttle began when Columbia traveled into space on a 54-hour mission. Launched by two solid-rocket boosters and an external tank, only the aircraft-like shuttle entered into orbit around Earth. When the mission was completed, the shuttle fired engines to reduce speed and, after descending through the atmosphere, landed like a glider. Early shuttles took satellite equipment into space and carried out various scientific experiments. The Challenger disaster was the first major shuttle accident.

In the aftermath of the explosion, President Ronald Reagan appointed a special commission to determine what went wrong with Challenger and to develop future corrective measures. The presidential commission was headed by former secretary of state William Rogers, and included former astronaut Neil Armstrong and former test pilot Chuck Yeager. The investigation determined that the explosion was caused by the failure of an "O-ring" seal in one of the two solid-fuel rockets. The elastic O-ring did not respond as expected because of the cold temperature at launch time, which began a chain of events that resulted in the massive explosion. As a result of the explosion, NASA did not send astronauts into space for more than two years as it redesigned a number of features of the space shuttle.

In September 1988, space shuttle flights resumed with the successful launching of the Discovery. Since then, the space shuttle has carried out numerous important missions, such as the repair and maintenance of the Hubble Space Telescope and the construction of the International Space Station.

On February 1, 2003, a second space-shuttle disaster rocked the United States when Columbia disintegrated upon reentry of the Earth's atmosphere. All aboard were killed. Despite fears that the problems that downed Columbia had not been satisfactorily addressed, space-shuttle flights resumed on July 26, 2005, when Discovery was again put into orbit."



National Geographic Society founded, Jan 27, 1888:

"On January 27, 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C., for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge."

The 33 men who originally met and formed the National Geographic Society were a diverse group of geographers, explorers, teachers, lawyers, cartographers, military officers and financiers. All shared an interest in scientific and geographical knowledge, as well as an opinion that in a time of discovery, invention, change and mass communication, Americans were becoming more curious about the world around them. With this in mind, the men drafted a constitution and elected as the Society's president a lawyer and philanthropist named Gardiner Greene Hubbard. Neither a scientist nor a geographer, Hubbard represented the Society's desire to reach out to the layman.

Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue of National Geographic magazine. Readership did not grow, however, until Gilbert H. Grosvenor took over as editor in 1899. In only a few years, Grosvenor boosted circulation from 1,000 to 2 million by discarding the magazine's format of short, overly technical articles for articles of general interest accompanied by photographs. National Geographic quickly became known for its stunning and pioneering photography, being the first to print natural-color photos of sky, sea and the North and South Poles.

The Society used its revenues from the magazine to sponsor expeditions and research projects that furthered humanity's understanding of natural phenomena. In this role, the National Geographic Society has been instrumental in making possible some of the great achievements in exploration and science. To date, it has given out more than 1,400 grants, funding that helped Robert Peary journey to the North Pole, Richard Byrd fly over the South Pole, Jacques Cousteau delve into the sea and Jane Goodall observe wild chimpanzees, among many other projects.

Today, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions. National Geographic continues to sell as a glossy monthly, with a circulation of around 9 million. The Society also sees itself as a guardian of the planet's natural resources, and in this capacity, focuses on ways to broaden its reach and educate its readers about the unique relationship that humans have with the earth"


My Yesterday:

After walking Misty and Maddie when I went to get Jay, we started getting everything ready to put a faucet in the cargo trailer's sink. I have always disliked the two-knobbed white faucet on my utility sink.  My hands don't turn knobs very well.  The faucet I bought at the thrift shop is a lift up single-lever type. So we swapped them out.  Jay took the utility sink loose from the cabinet next to it, which has a big draining board with a row of perforations at the low end to drain into the sink.  Then we took it outside to work on it.

Ray came over to spread the fertilizer on the lawn (grass and weeds), but there was still dew on the ground.  So he was roped into doing some other jobs first.  The removable metal legs on the utility sink had become ratty looking, so Ray primed and painted them.  I spent most of the time cleaning up the white faucet that was on the utility sink.   That sink gets used for cleaning all kinds of things, and the faucet was quite grubby.  I hope everyone will take better care of the chrome one.  With it's lift-up handle, maybe it won't be so apt to get paint, etc. on it.

We rolled out the plumber's putty, and installed the 'new' faucet on the utility sink before we put it back in place, easier that way.  The used faucet works great.

Ray put their two 'outside-daytime-only' cats up in their beds in his utility room to keep them out of the way of the spreader, and spread the fertilizer as soon as the dew had dried.  Then he watered in the whole area. http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Cornmeal-Uses-and-Reports_vq18.htm  Hopefully, it will kill the cockleburs, and dandelions.

It was lovely and sunny, great to be working outside.  The high was 67° yesterday.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do You Want Cauliflower With That? Yes, If You Don't Want Bleach .


For "Foodie Friday", Kick the unhealthy white flour habit:

Original Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Casserole

Who loves macaroni and cheese? This version features cauliflower to give it a healthy boost.

Added to Recipes on Fri 01/13/2012

Ingredients:  Serves 8

  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus ½ cup for topping the casserole
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, seasoning the water with salt.  Spray an 8x8 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Cook the cut cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry.  Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and then whisk in the cream cheese and mustard, continuously whisking until smooth.

Stir in the 1 1/2 cups of cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.  Remove the sauce from the heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir all to combine.

Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Helpful Hints:  To save on paper towels, we’ve found that you can place the cauliflower in a colander and drain the excess water by pressing down on the florets with a heavy bowl.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 190. Fat: 15g. Protein: 7g. Fiber: 3g. Net Carbs: 4g."       From: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/original-cauliflower-mac-and-cheese-casserole


Cauliflower Pizza

"A skinny secret from guest Caroline, this delicious cauliflower pizza is a popular diet dish that is easy to make and incredibly versatile. Bake the crust in half an hour and throw on your favorite toppings."


  • 1 cup cauliflower, grated
  • 1/2 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp fennel
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • Garlic powder, to taste


Chop pepper, onion and tomato. Set aside. Steam the cauliflower, let it cool and then grate it.

Combine grated cauliflower with the mozzarella and egg in a large bowl. Spray a circular or rectangular metal pan with cooking spray before spreading the dough evenly. Sprinkle the dough with fennel, oregano, parsley and basil. Add garlic powder.

Bake at 450° F for 12-15 minutes. Remove the dough from the oven and sprinkle chopped green pepper, onion and tomato, as well as the remaining mozzarella cheese on top. Return the pizza to the oven. Turn the heat up to broil and leave in until the cheese has melted and the crust is crispy." From: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/cauliflower-pizza


Another one, plus several other cauliflower recipes:

Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

"This pizza is a wonderful alternative to your favorite guilty pleasure. What is very exciting is that it’s loaded with vegetables and is low on the glycemic index scale. This means you prevent unnecessary insulin spikes that lead to mood swings and weight gain. If you are on a Health plan you know to avoid certain foods at night that cause us to store fat, well this meal is perfectly fine for your supper meal! Feel like you are having something treat-like and make this pizza this week!"

Cauliflower Crust Ingredients:








• 1 cup cooked plain Cauliflower Rice (as shown above or microwave if you are in the worlds biggest hurry. It pains me to even suggest this, just don’t add any water)
• 1/4 cup egg whites, or 1 large egg, or 2 small. 
• 1 cup low fat mozzarella cheese OR Feta
• 1 tsp oregano
• 2 tsp parsley

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
2. Slightly grease a cookie sheet (or use my favorite baking stone)
3. In a bowl combine cauliflower, egg whites and cheese.

Press evenly on to the pan and sprinkle with the oregano and parsley.
4. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven – *see below).
5. Remove the crust from the oven. Add organic, natural pizza or pasta sauce (see Simple Marinara Sauce below), toppings and lightly with the cheese.
6. Place under a broiler at high heat until cheese is melted and golden. Remove and Enjoy!
*Tip – Here are my main tips to make your crust crusty:
1. Make sure your cauliflower is dry after washing (no water to cook).
2. Spread your crust out thin (not too thin – just a thin layer).
3. Bake until crust-like. If you peak at your crust at the recommended cooking time and the middle is still not cooked… cook longer."

Toppings *see recipe ideas below.


Garlic Breadsticks

"These also are wonderful as garlic breadsticks. For garlic breaksticks follow the above recipe but add garlic salt (2 tsp). Form the crust “dough” into sticks on a sheet instead of the pizza crust shape. These garlic breadsticks are great for dipping in soups or chili. They are also great to just dip in your all natural pizza sauce or the Simple Marinara Sauce below.

DAMY Veggie Pizza

• Sun-Dried tomatoes (Chopped)
• Low Fat Mozzarella or Feta Chopped
• Chopped Broccoli
• Diced onion
• Spinach
• Black Olives Sliced
• Red Bell Peppers
• Simple Marinara Sauce

Chicken BBQ Pizza

• All natural BBQ sauce in place of the pizza sauce
• Grilled chicken (sliced)
• Red pepper slices
• White onion slices
• Low fat Mozzarella

Hawaiian Pizza

• Ground turkey
• Pineapple chunks
• Roasted red pepper sauce
• Mushroom slices
• Feta cheese

Spicy Sausage Pizza

• Spicy Sausage (see recipe)
• Red Pepper Slices
• Orange Pepper Slices
• Onion Slices
• Mushroom Slices
• Simple Marinara Sauce
• Hot Sauce

If you want to get really healthy on me – here is a great, simple pizza sauce recipe

Simple Marinara Sauce

Makes about 3 cups
Use this simple marinara sauce as a topping for your pizza or as a dipping sauce for your garlic breadsticks.

• 1/2 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
• 1 cup finely chopped white onion
• 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
• 2 tbsp no-salt-added tomato paste
• 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added chopped tomatoes
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
• 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring broth to a simmer. Add onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium, stir in tomatoes and cook about 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally to make sure mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve."

Ground Turkey Sausage:

• 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
• 2 tsp Olive Oil
• ½ tsp Garlic Powder
• 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
• 1 tsp Fennel Seed
• ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
• ½ tsp Smokey Paprika
• ¼ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
2. Add the ground turkey and all seasonings and cook.
3. Chop turkey while frying to hamburger consistency.
4. Cook until browned completely!
5. Add to your pizza


Whipped Cauliflower “Potatoes”

"Use these whipped potatoes instead of your regular potatoes tonight for supper. I bet no one in the family notices and if they do it will be because they are so darn yummy. They feel so naughty but they’re not. They are a must try this week! They are “whipped potatoes.” No where in this recipe will you find potatoes! Instead we will be using cauliflower! We choose this due to the many health benefits of coniferous vegetables (phytonutrients and vitamin C). Aside from all the wonderful health benefits of cauliflower this recipe is delicious! You will be addicted!

• 1 large head cauliflower
• 3 garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup fresh herbs (chives work particularly well)
• Sea Salt
• Fresh Ground Pepper
• ½ Cup Onion
• 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1. Chop cauliflower into smaller chunks – about bite-size pieces works well.
2. Peel garlic cloves and cut in half, lengthwise. Chop onion into slices.
3. Steam cauliflower, garlic and onion for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower and garlic are tender enough for a fork to easily pass through.
4. Combine steamed cauliflower, garlic, onion, olive oil, fresh herbs, pepper, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until everything comes together into a mashed potato-like consistency. I like mine whipped. Top with a little pepper for looks and enjoy your guilt free whipped potatoes.
TIP: if you love a sour cream and chives on your whipped potatoes; top your whipped cauliflower with a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt and some fresh chopped chives! So delish!


Cauliflower Fried Rice

"This recipe is sure to become a regular in your kitchen; it is easy, simple and yummy.

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
• ¼ tsp sea salt

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Sauté onion over medium heat for 10 minutes, until soft.
3. Meanwhile, place cauliflower in a food processor with the “S” blade and process until the texture of rice. (TIP: if you do not have a food processor do not fret, you can simply use a cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into rice. Works awesome!!
4. Add cauliflower to skillet, cover and cook 5-10 minutes, until soft, then add salt.
5. Enjoy this “rice” in soups, as a side for supper in place of rice, or in a casserole. Serve as your “rice” side dish with chicken, or fish, veggies and a side salad for a complete meal!

For “Fried Rice” simply add some spices to this dish, red peppers, mushrooms and some ground turkey (see the spicy turkey sausage recipe below) and have a wonderful “Fried Rice” meal!"

From: http://www.damyhealth.com/2011/03/the-secret-life-of-cauliflower/


Why All The Fuss about Bleached Flour?

Do You Want Bleach With That?

"The truth about white bread.  What is enriched bleached white flour?"


The Little-Known Secrets about Bleached Flour...

flour, white flour, bleach, bleached flour, alloxan

"Nearly everyone knows that white flour is not healthy for you, but most people don’t know that when white flour is bleached, it can actually be FAR worse for you.

It’s generally understood that refining food destroys nutrients. With the most nutritious part of the grain removed, white flour essentially becomes a form of sugar. Consider what gets lost in the refining process:

  • Virtually all of the vitamin E

  • Fifty percent of the calcium

  • Seventy percent of the phosphorus

  • Eighty percent of the iron

  • Ninety eight percent of the magnesium

  • Fifty to 80 percent of the B vitamins

  • Half of the beneficial unsaturated fatty acids

And many more nutrients are destroyed -- simply too many to list.

The Journey of the Wheat Berry

Have you ever wondered how white flour is made?

The website Healthy Eating Politics has an interesting article about the process.

Most commercial wheat production is, unfortunately, a “study in pesticide application,” beginning with the seeds being treated with fungicide. Once they become wheat, they are sprayed with hormones and pesticides. Even the bins in which the harvested wheat is stored have been coated with insecticides. If bugs appear on the wheat in storage, they fumigate the grain.

A whole grain of wheat, sometimes called a wheat berry, is composed of three layers:

There are 3 parts to a wheat kernel (sometimes called a wheat berry):

1)  The BRAN is the hard outer covering of the wheat kernel, high in fiber & nutrients.

2)  The GERM is the nutrient-rich embryo that will sprout and grow into a new wheat plant. 

3)  The ENDOSPERM is the biggest part (83%), the "insides" of the kernel - mostly starch.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Diets rich in "whole grain" foods and other plant foods low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
WHITE FLOUR is made from the endosperm only = NOT a whole grain

WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR combines all 3 parts of the wheat berry
= a whole grain.

  • The bran

  • The germ

  • The endosperm

The bran is the layer where you’ll find most of the fiber, and it’s the hard outer shell of the kernel. The germ is the nutrient-rich embryo that will sprout into a new wheat plant. The endosperm is the largest part of the grain (83 percent), making up most of the kernel, and it’s mostly starch.

White flour is made from the endosperm only, whereas whole-wheat flour combines all three parts of the wheat berry.

Old time mills ground flour slowly, but today’s mills are designed for mass-production, using high-temperature, high-speed steel rollers. The resulting white flour is nearly all starch, and even much of today’s commercially processed whole wheat flour has lost a fair amount of nutritional value due to these aggressive processing methods.

White flour contains a small fraction of the nutrients of the original grain, with the heat of the steel rollers having destroyed what little nutrients remain. But then it is hit with another chemical insult--a chlorine gas bath (chlorine oxide). This serves as a whitener, as well as an “aging” agent.

Flour used to be aged with time, improving the gluten and thus improving the baking quality. Now, it is treated  with chlorine  to instantly produce similar qualities in the flour (with a disturbing lack of concern about adding another dose of chemicals to your food).

According to Jim Bair, Vice President of the North American Millers Association:

“Today, the US milling industry produces about 140 million pounds of flour each day, so there is no way to store the flour to allow it to age naturally. Plus, there is a shelf life issue.”

It has not been determined how many mills are bleaching flour with chorine oxide, but we do know the use of chlorides for bleaching flour is considered an industry standard."   More at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/03/26/The-Little-Known-Secrets-about-Bleached-Flour.aspx



As long as she is on familiar turf, near-blind Misty will quicken her pace, so I made her trot instead of her usual 'sniffing stroll', down at Jay's.  She doesn't eat much, but she is getting fat.

We went into town, the main goal was to find a faucet for the stealth-cargo-toyhauler trailer. (Album on the sidebar) When my kitchen faucet went kaput, I 'stole' the new one out of the trailer.  We looked in Lowes, Home Depot and a thrift shop.  My, how faucets have gone up, but what hasn't? I couldn't find the kind I wanted, but bought one that I can use at the thrift shop.

Organix is changing the packaging on their organic dog food, so I got some at half price at Petsmart.  That's my kind of shopping.

The weather was back to sunshine, after all that rain yesterday.