Category Archives: Just for Fun…

Writer’s Block, Jokes, and Such

Do you love to write? If so, you’ve probably experienced “Writer’s Block” at some point…a time when you just can’t concentrate on what you’re doing. Usually I have so many ideas bubbling in my brain that I can’t write fast enough, but this morning I felt rather zombiesque so concluded that it might be time for a pick me up…which usually sends me to my friend Dave’s Face Book page, because Dave always posts jokes that make me laugh! Okay, so not all these are from Dave’s page, and some of them are more inspirational than laughable, but I’m shamelessly sharing some favorites from FB, because I figured if I am feeling a bit sad today, then you might need a little good cheer as well. I hope they brighten your day as they have mine. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). I’m not personally experiencing the shadow of death, but I’m attending a funeral today, and a friend is having surgery for cancer next week, so I’m definitely feeling the weight of loved ones passing through the shadowlands.

Homemade, Gourmet Caramel Corn

Do you ever find yourself wishing for the perfect salty/sweet snack?  If you keep popcorn, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup around (…and maybe a bag of chocolate chips), there’s no need to rush out to the store for a salted caramel ice cream sundae!Try making homemade caramel corn instead. Even Weight Watchers says popcorn is a reasonable treat, and if you go a little light on the butter and caramel…well, I’d be lying to say it’s good for you, but it might not be as fattening as many store bought snacks!

Homemade Caramel Corn

8 cups popped corn (salted and buttered however you like it; make sure all the unpopped kernels are removed so you don’t break your teeth while you’re eating it later.) Place into two or three pans with lots of room left over for stirring in the sauce.

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (this is the “secret” ingredient and is necessary for best results)
1/2 cup water
1. Boil until the medium-ball stage (not soft, but not yet really hard if you drop a drop into a tiny cup of cold water).2. Turn off heat and add 2 teaspoons baking soda.
Stir quickly; it will become frothy. Pour it immediately over the popped corn in your pans.
Mix thoroughly with a big spoon.3. If you like peanuts or mixed nuts, add them at this point (8 oz. or less)4. If you want to be really gourmet about it, spread the caramel corn out on a cookie sheet and finish by drizzling 12 oz. melted chocolate chips (takes about 1 minute in the microwave) over the top.  Of course, if you do that, your kids will love you, but they might get fat! 🙂
5. Enjoy right away. You can store what ever is left over (if there is any…there might not be, because it’s pretty addictive) in air-tight containers. If I’m making it to take on a trip, I spread it on cookie sheets in a slightly warmed oven (like 150°F) for an hour or so to let it dry until it’s brittle, but I actually prefer it a little softer.)

“Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isaiah 7:15). I used to wonder what this verse means, but I believe it’s saying that if we are given good things and give good things to those we love—physically and spiritually—we will be discerning enough to choose what’s good and refuse what’s bad. If we’re not treated to what is good, we may not understand just how bad the sawdust of this world really is!

Not Shock, but Cultural Surprises in Asia via Haiku

Alan and I had a lot of wonderful experiences in Asia, many of which were surprisingly pleasant (such as green tea ice cream),a few that we pretty much all disliked (such as silkworms), and many that were very different but turned out well even though they weren’t at all what we were expecting!I was constantly struck by the beauty of South Korea and the immaculately manicured cities in Japan. Just for fun, I wrote a few haikus commemorating some of the cultural surprises.

On Asian Restrooms   (Yes, this is a bathroom…in the Seoul Tower) Such fancy bathrooms!  Soap on bars and heated seats, But—don’t stand on them!
(In some rural areas, you squat over a hole in the floor. Twenty-two years ago,
I rode a train where the toilet was a hole in the floor emptying onto the track! Times have really changed since then! Now some restrooms are ultra modern, with music, heated seats, and several types of special wash and dry options!!)

On Asian Cuisine  The food looked so strange  I was afraid I would not  Like it, but I did!

On Asia’s Beautiful Flowers  Flowers overhead,  Underfoot and all around.  Asian majesty.

On Pets  Everywhere you go There are pampered pets in tow Like happy children.

But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34; may we embrace each other all over the world, even in areas where others seem strange!).

Waiting for Baby

I’m waiting for a baby again,
But it’s not nearly as hard as it was when
I was waiting for my own, because even though I don’t know how long it will take,
I know it’s not exactly my body that’s at stake.
Nevertheless, it is the body of my son’s wife,
And for them…I would give my own life,
So it’s still very stressful, particularly since last time was more nightmarish than dreamy,
And they ended up with a 1.5-pound micro-preemie.
Still, their first baby is now a happy, chappy two-year-old,
Who might sass his mom but so far for me has been good as gold.
However, I get P.T.S.D. at the mere thought of babysitting
And every time I even think about it I break out in a sweat and imagine quitting
Before I even arrive at their door
Which will doubtless happen more and more
Because the more babies you have, the more help you need,
And even though it might be easier to lay down my life than do a good deed,
I’m pretty sure what they’re going to need are more good deeds
Rather than a grandmother  in absentia without any leads.
BTW, am I the only grandmother out there who’s paranoid of crying toddlers?
Are the rest of you seasoned babysitters and able toddler jogglers?
Maybe it comes from being the baby in my family and my dad hiring me to grade college exams for more than people paid babysitters,
Or maybe it comes from never having any time off for thirty years when my own seven kids were wild and woolly little kidders.
Whatever the source of my anxiety, you couldn’t pay me to watch kids for a mountain of cash,
But I’ll do it for love’s sake…though I’d feel more at ease spending an afternoon with Ogden Nash.

(You guessed it, I wrote this while my daughter-in-law was in labor on April 18, 2017. On the bright side, I won the family guessing game concerning what day the baby would be born!  🙂  )

Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5).

(P.S.—Actually, Sammy’s being a doll for me, and we’re doing just fine!)

God is Like…

This is a forward from my cousin, Jim, and I have no clue where it originated, but it really made me smile, so I’m passing it along. If any of you know who the teacher is, please let me know so I can give proper credit! Thanks.

A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in 20 ways to communicate ideas about God.

Here are some of the results:

God is like
BAYER ASPIRIN
He
works miracles.
God is like
A FORD
He’s
got a better idea.
God is like
COKE
He’s
the real thing.
God is like
HALLMARK CARDS
He
cares enough to send His very best.
God is like
TIDE
He
gets the stains out others leave behind.
God is like
GENERAL ELECTRIC
He
brings good things to life.
God is like
WALMART
He
has everything.
God is like
ALKA-SELTZER
Try
Him, you’ll like Him!
God is like.
SCOTCH TAPE
You
can’t see Him, but you know He’s there.
God is like
DELTA
He’s
ready when you are.
God is like
ALLSTATE
You’re
in good hands with Him.
God is like
VO-5 Hair Spray
He holds through all kinds of weather.
God is like
DIAL SOAP
Aren’t
you glad you have Him? Don’t you wish everybody did?
God is like
The
U.S. POST OFFICE
Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from
His appointed destination.
God is like
Chevrolet
He’s
the heartbeat of America.
God is like
Maxwell House
Good to the very last drop.
God is like
B
o u n t y
He is the quicker picker upper, can handle the tough jobs,
And He won’t fall apart on you.
God is like
The Energizer Bunny
He keeps going, going, and going.

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:2-4, ESV).

 

 

Poems from Friends for NaPoMo 2017

“We never have to hold our feelings inside. Whether we express ourselves through speech, poetry, or photography, every one of us has a voice with something of value to say. Now, we can be heard.”~ Brandon Fernandez, who as a teenager founded “Expressions,” a program designed to teach young children how to express themselves through poetry and photography.

So, today I want to share two poems submitted by friends, one original, and the other by the famous poet, Ogden Nash. It’s not too late to send me a poem! There are still three weeks left in April!  🙂

Title: “When Grey Clouds Gather”

Author: John Tobasco
Date Written: 7/16/2016

“When grey clouds gather and cover your sky,Just put on your wings and fly up real high. Above those grey clouds you’ll find brilliant blue, So lift up your head and look for a clueOf things not yet here and others gone by.

And when you look down to those on the groundRemember the times when you weren’t found, And think of the times when you couldn’t find Anything that resembled real peace of mind,And all the people that helped you touch down.

And, here’s a poem to make you smile (or wince):Author: Ogden Nash  (but shared with us by Linda Davis)
THIS IS GOING TO HURT JUST A LITTLE BIT

“One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hoping.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.
It is hard to be self possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest,
so hard to remain calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm,
So hard to give your usual cheerful effect of benignity,
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on
And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn’t a nerve in your head that isn’t being jerked on.
Oh, some people are unfortunate to be worked on by all thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to be polished
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstances that add to your terror
Is that it’s all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,
But all the same how can you be sure, when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other, that he won’t get mixed up, the way you do when you try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa.
And then at last he says, “That will be all”, but it isn’t because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something I suspect is generally used to put a shine on a horse’s hoof.
And you totter to your feet and think, Well it’s over now, and after all it was only this once,
And he says, “Please come back in three months.”
And this, O Fate, is I think the most vicious woe that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition,
When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is:  so that he won’t have to go the dentist.”

      Finally, here’s a little poetry from the Bible’s book of Psalms:1  “I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.” (Psalm 121, selected verses, ESV)

(Thank you to my son, Daniel, and his dental team for the last photo. The others were taken on my last trip to Hawaii.)

Hiakus and Photos: Shopping in South Korea

“Love is the poetry of the senses.”  ~Honoré de Balzac

On Busy Public Transport in Asia   To go by subway    Train or bus is cheaper, but  You might have to stand!

 

On Shopping in South Korea  Second Market stalls  Filled with exotic wares, but   They all seem so strange!

 

On the popularity of Octopus Golden-haired children  Would you like some pie? We have  Lots of octopi!

On Trying to Buy Gifts  Shopping for presents…  Where shall we go?  We cannot   Read a single sign!

It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.  How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4:2-4, ESV. God’s miracles and signs are everywhere. Can you read them?)