…in the house….

<< Psalm 135 >>
New American Standard Bible

2You who stand in the house of the LORD,
         In the courts of the house of our God!

3Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
         Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.

4For the LORD has chosen Jacob for Himself,
         Israel for His own possession.

5For I know that the LORD is great
         And that our Lord is above all gods.

6Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
         In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.

7He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
         Who makes lightnings for the rain,
         Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.

8He smote the firstborn of Egypt,
         Both of man and beast.

9He sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt,
         Upon Pharaoh and all his servants.

10He smote many nations
         And slew mighty kings,

11Sihon, king of the Amorites,
         And Og, king of Bashan,
         And all the kingdoms of Canaan;

12And He gave their land as a heritage,
         A heritage to Israel His people.

13Your name, O LORD, is everlasting,
         Your remembrance, O LORD, throughout all generations.

14For the LORD will judge His people
         And will have compassion on His servants.

15The idols of the nations are but silver and gold,
         The work of man’s hands.

16They have mouths, but they do not speak;
         They have eyes, but they do not see;

17They have ears, but they do not hear,
         Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths.

18Those who make them will be like them,
Yes, everyone who trusts in them.

19O house of Israel, bless the LORD;
         O house of Aaron, bless the LORD;

20O house of Levi, bless the LORD;
         You who revere the LORD, bless the LORD.

21Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
         Who dwells in Jerusalem.
         Praise the LORD!

Talking about the house of the Lord.

Talking about the house of Israel.

Talking about those who stand in the house of the Lord,

And the praise, blessing, and reverence that they are to sing out!

The house of the Lord is a place of protection.

It is a place of heritage and remembrance.

He provides it for His children- for those He has called-

for those who call upon His Name- for His servants.

bread and frames 019

Next week, my husband and I are traveling to Meredith’s house

in Chincoteague.  We are going to work- but it is a welcoming

place and we are blessed even as we work.

Thinking about the long drive and the work ahead is not

daunting, because we are accomplishing a work of love.

And it is a time of communion for us- a time just for the

two of us to talk and work together.

It is good.


And last week Aidan and I put together a gingerbread house.

While we were working I told him a careful story of Hansel and Gretel.

There were no scary witches  to worry about.  He’s not even three

yet, so we talked about children leaving bread trails in the woods and finding

a wonderful house made of gingerbread and candy.  And how happy their parents

were to find them after looking all day.  And how their stomachs were too

full of candy so they were a little upset, but they felt so much better in their

own beds that night, safe and sound.

Because that is what we are looking for.  A house that is our home.

A place where we belong.  Where we are safe and sound.

The house of the Lord is that place.

We have come from unsafe situations in houses where there are

false gods.  We have lived amongst the “Egyptians” –looking for

safety and assurance in a place we don’t belong.  We lived in a land full

of idols- and are seeking a place with the one true God.


“know that the LORD is great
         And that our Lord is above all gods.

6Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
         In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.”

Psalm 135 – there is no place like home- in the house of the Lord.

Wordle fun


My friend Joanna at Zeb Bakes made me a wordle from Jonathan Feinberg’s Wordle site.

I really like it!

It is words from my blog- and some of the topics I’ve had up lately.

Want to play?  You can go to Zeb Bakes and follow Joanna’s VERY helpful instructions  and links that will

take you to the right place and grab the wordle for yourself.

And – Jonathan says you can use the wordle free- even for commercial use.

What I really like is that this is a view of my blog from my friend’s point of view-

and that really adds to the fun!  Because it gives a fresh perspective and I can see how well I’m


Thanks, Joanna!

Making a treat out of a trial.

I give up.

We had temperate weather for a weekend and then

WHOOSH back to winter.


Snow and temps below freezing.

BUT- I’ve decided that giving up can be sweet.


I made a orange snow sundae for dessert!


I was making candied orange peel and decided to use the left over

syrup and some scoops of snow from the deck to make a treat.


So I have some orange peel to decorate some cupcakes-

and a yummy frozen treat!



And look how pretty the sun on the snowy treetops look!

I thought I might update this post and add an old recipe for candied

orange peels.  In case you’d like to make some!

I love to use something I might have discarded to make something beautiful and delicious. My husband takes an orange in his lunch everyday. When he packs his lunch, the peel is thrown away as garbage. When I pack his lunch, I peel the rind off first and then peel the pith away- saving the rind( the orange part) and tossing out the thick white peeling underneath.

The thin orange rind is where all the oils and flavor are in the skin- so when you peel it off, make sure you don’t pick up the white part- it is bitter and unusable.Cover the rind with water and simmer for about 20 minutes, then pour off the water and repeat (Cover, Simmer, Pour off). The water will be a light orange each time- you are getting rid of the bitter flavor with the water baths.

Add about 3/4 cup fresh water and 1 cup sugar and stir to dissolve sugar, then put on low heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. The peels will become translucent and the sugar water will become a simple syrup.

Put fine sugar in a filter or plate and, using a fork, lift out the orange peel and dredge in the sugar.

Cover both sides and set aside onto wax paper.

To make flowers, use a long piece of peel and after dredging in sugar,

roll into a rose shape while still warm and pliable.

Shape into rose by wrapping peel tightly at base and flare out the “petal” top.

Allow to dry on wax paper until it isn’t sticky, and then you can garnish cakes- or dip into dark chocolate for candy, or just use in recipes- like in Irish soda bread or hot cross buns.

And, pour the simple syrup into a bottle and save to use in orange flavored punch or sauces or dressings.

It’s a wonderful addition to many recipes.

Psalm 42- patterns of darkness and light.



1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
   When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
   day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember
   as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
   under the protection of the Mighty One

with shouts of joy and praise
   among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
   therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
   the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
   in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
   have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
   at night his song is with me—
   a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
   “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
   oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
   as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
   “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
   Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
   for I will yet praise him,
   my Savior and my God.

I have diabetes, and my health insurance has a plan

that includes a phone call every couple of months that

goes over my prescriptions and general health to see

if I am keeping well and doing the prescribed activities,

etcetera.  They ask a battery of questions- and one that

always makes me smile and answer neither yes nor no is

“Have you experienced any depression that has affected your

work or social activities within the last 3 months?”

Yes. No. Maybe.

It is the middle of February.  We have been through a brutal

winter.  There has been very little sunshine. 

Am I depressed?  Sometimes.

I hate answering these questions in regard to my physical health only.

This is a very deep condition.  One with mental, spiritual and family

implications and I basically hedge and lie.  I say, no.  I am not

depressed to the point that it affects me socially or in the amount of

work I can accomplish.

I think depression is very much a part of the healthy human condition.

I once heard Billy Graham say that he had never been depressed and it

made him less real and effective for me ever since.  If you haven’t

ever looked up at life from a place of profound depression then I don’t

think you you have ever seen the true face of mankind. 

God put Jeremiah into a position where he was in a pit.  In a prison of

despair and depression to give him a view of the depravity and void man

is in when separated from God. 

So, am I depressed?


Does it affect my activities?


Can it be overcome?


Do I know where to go to find solace and comfort?


Of course, the same questions could be asked about Joy!

Do I know Joy?


Does it affect my activities?


Is this an overcoming emotion in my life?


Aren’t we all a mixture of emotions and points of view?

We NEED shadows- they are created by our place in the sunshine-

I don’t intend to dwell in the darkness, but it adds character and truth

to my life and testimony. 

And for me, that testimony is set down in the first lines of this psalm-

As the deer pants for streams of water,
   so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. 
   When can I go and meet with God?




Experiencing Life through the light and shadows-

Experiencing it in the Light of God’s truth.

Coffee Grinders- a love story.

shadows and romance 008shadows and romance 009shadows and romance 012

shadows and romance 016

My sons love coffee.

They love the flavor, aroma, history, geography and the effects

of coffee.

I am a tea drinker.  I WAS an exclusive tea drinker.  No Coffee, for me,

thank you very much!

That was until my youngest son started making it and offering it to

me every day.

“Would you like a cup of coffee, Mom?”

“Sit down and have a cup of coffee with me, Mom.”

Seriously- how can a loving mother- offered a chance to sit and talk

over a cup of coffee with her son -refuse?

So I started drinking coffee between my tea times.

Now, I’m addicted- I WANT that cup of coffee every day.

And I , too , love the romance of coffee.  It is exotic- grown in climates so

unlike my own, gathered mostly by hand, dried and packaged and sent

off to be roasted to perfection and then shipped to us- bursting with flavor and

a fragrance that is so rich and hearty that is almost enough just to smell it!

shadows and romance 003

But I digress- this is a story of brother’s love.


These brothers.

For Christmas this year, they wanted to get the other something he

would love.  Something special.  Something important.

Something that he could REALLY use.

And so – they chose something that was just what they would have wanted

for themselves.    An automatic burr coffee grinder.

Not knowing that his brother was choosing exactly the same gift for him,

they purchased and admired and wrapped their gifts- I think regretting that

they couldn’t give it a try first.  On Christmas morning, they exchanged their

gifts- and although they were different models and makes- they were so

pleased to give AND receive a burr coffee grinder for Christmas.

OK- it’s not exactly O. Henry’s , Gift of the Magi’s, but it is such a sweet

gift exchange that I had to share it.

  • Please forgive me, Jordan.
  • Luke, I know you understand.


The first grinding was pretty impressive!


spring and tulipan 008

When Robin and I were little girls, Valentine’s Day was one of our

favorite holidays.  We would bring home all the valentines we

had received from our classmates and tape them up on the

wall of the staircase coming down from her bedroom- then we would

dress up in our finery and take turns at being the “Queen of Valentine”.

It was a little sappy- even for us- but this was before it was cool

for every little girl to play at princesses and we had precious

little play time. 

We grew up in a working business family.  When we got home from school

in the winter we changed our clothes, grabbed a quick snack and went

out into the greenhouse to fill packs with dirt so that our mother could

transplant seedlings – tomatoes, peppers, petunias, etc. to sell in the

Spring.  When it was dark, we would come in for dinner, watch a little

television and get ready for bed.

And Valentine’s day wasn’t really busy in the greenhouse- not like Easter

or Memorial Day- so we stole some time from work to play.

Over the years, it remained our holiday.  We made each other special

valentines and a special lunch that we shared.  We also shared the

boxes of chocolate and flowers that our men gave us.

To us, it was special- not ROMANTIC!  WE were the Queens of Valentine’s

Day.  It would have hurt more if either of us had forgotten the other, than

if we didn’t have a guy or a date.


Today, I was sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store, waiting for my

husband to pick up an item we had forgotten, when I saw a woman with a pot

of primroses in her cart.  From the back, she reminded me of Robin- same height

and weight, same hairstyle and color- and as I watched her examining and

arranging the flowers and then write out a card and place it  in the plastic card

fork- I somehow knew that she was going to give that plant as a gift to her sister.

I watched and waited as she carefully put the plant into a decorative bag she

pulled out of her back seat and then placed the bag onto the front seat of her

car.  Then she pushed the cart back to the cart stall and made a phone call.

A couple of minutes later, a woman pulled up behind the car, and I saw her

present the gift to her friend- with a hug.

Maybe.  Maybe that is what happened.  It may have been a gift for a sick friend.

It may have been meant for their grouchy demanding mother.  Perhaps it was

going to end up on the table of her daughter’s teacher.  I guess I could have

made up any story to go with the little drama I had seen. 

But tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.

And something about this lady reminded me of Robin.

So- as I sat there- I thought of all the hoopla that goes on with Valentine’s Day.

And of the angst of single women who aren’t in a relationship-

also of the married women who are neglected and don’t feel like a Valentine, anymore.

Mostly, however, I thought about how Valentines are about love, and consideration.

And I thought about what a glorious gift we gave each other all those years ago-

because we chose each other to be our valentines.



Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

Sunday Psalm-121- guest blogger

Meredith's Hawaii 178

Psalm 121
A Song of Ascents.

1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills
         From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord
         Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
         He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
         Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
         The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
         Nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
         He shall preserve your soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
         From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Psalm 91 is referred to as the psalm of The safety of abiding in the presence of God,

this psalm should be sub titled as finding God’s presence.

It is a psalm of ascents, of religious pilgrims climbing towards the temple mount to worship.

My Bible titles it,  God the help of those who seek him.

Whereas Psalm 91 speaks to the protection God the Father provides for His Son, this psalm

refers to the protection He provides His children.

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills

from whence comes my help?”

Why does the psalmist look to the hills?

Because it is a throw back to an ancient patriarchal worship site-

Abraham’s mount Moriah; Jacob’s Bethel and Shiloh where the ark of the covenant rested

during the time of the judges. 

A place where rocks could be found to build an altar for a whole burnt offering.

Just as God could keep His Son from having His foot dashed against a rock,

our God could keep our feet from slipping .

His care is constant day and night.

It is as constant as the ordinances of the sun and the moon, which

He created and as His authority over them.  He has extended

it over us as well – even as “ the shade at our right hand.”

His presence preserves us from evil; His presence is not stationary- it

is mobile  It preserves our”going out and coming in.”

It endures forever “from this time forth and even forever more.”

-this study provided by Frank Fodor-Christmas morning and group pics 014

Beef stew- a recipe


There are many recipes for beef stew out there.

I don’t like most of them, they seem to be meat and vegetables in a soupy base.

This is actually made with an oxtail base and finished off with toothsome dumplings.

It is slurry thick with goodness and sticks to your ribs on a cold winter’s evening.

This is the magical pot of stew that you have read about in fairy tales- it’s aroma

wafting out the doorway and enticing hungry and  weary travelers to come in and

sit and eat.

You need to start early in the day to make this for dinner, although it only gets

better with time- so if it isn’t completely ready in time for dinner- order in some

pizza or Chinese and serve this the next day.

It is worth the wait.


2 medium sized oxtails

1 medium sized onion

1 stalk celery

Oxtails are often fatty- I braised the oxtail with the vegetables (adding about 2 TBS water)

until the water mostly evaporated and the fat had laid down a good coating on the bottom

of the large pan.  Discard the onion and celery.

1-2 lbs. of stewing beef or chuck roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 large onion, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

3 large carrots, peeled, chopped

1 parsnip, peeled, diced

1 cup frozen peas

2 TBS paprika

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

3 cups beef broth or water

Salt and pepper, to taste ( I use about 1 good tsp each)

Dumplings, recipe to follow

With the pan still hot from the oxtails, and the cooked vegetables discarded,

drop about half of the cubed beef into the pan and sear.  When it is lightly browned

you can add the rest of the beef and brown on medium high heat.

Add onions and turn heat down a little – cook until onions become

translucent.  Add paprika and stir, then add vinegar and put lid on pan

letting  the beef simmer in the spice and vinegar mix for about 10 minutes.

This sets the flavors into the beef making each bite succulent.

Now add the tomatoes and again, cover the pan and allow to simmer for another 10-20 minutes

– this will break down the tomato and give the meat a nice deep flavored sauce.

Add vegetables (except the peas), bay leaf, and 2 1/2 cups water or broth and season with salt and pepper.

You may need to add just a little more or less broth- you want a very liquid-y look

because you are going to let it simmer for at least an hour and a half.

Taste a small piece of beef after the long simmer and if it doesn’t almost melt in your

mouth, cover and allow it to simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Now, add 1/2 to 1 cup broth and raise the temperature until it comes to almost a slow boil.

Make dumplings.


1 1/2 cups plain flour

large pinch of salt

1 large farm fresh egg

1/4-1/2 cup water

Place flour and salt in bowl and make a well in center of bowl.

Slightly beat egg and 1/4 cup water together and pour into well.

With a fork, keep beating the egg, adding a bit of flour from the sides

as you go along- if it seems too dry add some more water.  You want

a sticky dough. 

Using a teaspoon, wet the tip in the stew and take a small amount of

the dumpling dough and slide the spoon into the stew to release the

dumpling.  Make the dumplings as small as the beef chunks you started

off with.  This will take some time, but the dumplings are worth it, believe me.

When you have made dumplings out of the whole bowlful, cover the stew,

add the frozen peas,

and let the dumplings cook about 12 minutes or more.  Taste and make

sure they aren’t raw in the middle.

The stew should not be boiling fast, turn the heat back down to low – fish

out the bay leaf and serve.

My husband loves to eat the oxtails in his stew.  If you don’t have anyone

who loves meat that much, fish them out as well, and you can cut off the

meat from the bone and add it back into the stew.


Hanging with the icicles!


Sub zero temperatures.

This is not about the weather.  Or at least, not complaining about the

weather.  But we have been going through a cold snap.


My rhododendren is partially encased in ice.

In fact there is a symphony of ice sculpture around the house.



Even my glass bowl of marbles is frozen in place.

So I’m spending a lot of time in my kitchen.

Where I can be warm inside and out! Smile


There is nothing like beef stew and dumplings with fresh bread to warm you up!


And if you want to warm up your kitchen, make a batch of granola- nutty and grainy-

salty and sweet- baked for 4 hours at 275 degrees F !   It makes the kitchen toasty and

the aroma is just plain wonderful!  Bakeries don’t smell this good!!!

I could put up recipes.

Do you want them?

Because I’d RATHER show you some pictures of buttons.

I collect buttons.  Or I did.

I’ve used them in a lot of projects.


Like wreaths…





And pins and trees-


I just can’t find my button box right now.

And that is frustrating.

Kind of like hanging with icicles- cold and drippy with only a puddle at the end.

I’m going back to my craft room to look again.

Wish me luck!

Guess what I’m knitting?


AND following a pattern to make!


Handwarmers- or fingerless mittens!

I made the hat a couple of years ago.

The scarf I knitted up whilst watching Lord of the Rings.

And the fingerless mitts ?  Allison of Yellowbird Yarn Room- –

my knitting coach and friend shared a copy of a pattern she

was making.

So – I now have a whole winter knitted set!


And it is so warm and “toasty” *!

*- toasty is the name of the pattern for the mittens!

What are you making ?