I woke up this morning with a headache, which is extremely rare for me, but I wondered if a cup of coffee might cure it. However, my health insurance requires a fasting cholesterol, which was this morning, so there was to be no coffee or tea for me until after my blood draw! I survived, and I’m feeling fine without any socially acceptable chemical dependence, but it reminded me of all the funny coffee jokes my friend Sarah E. puts on her Face Book page. If you love coffee as much as I do, I hope you’ll take a two-minute coffee break and enjoy these!… . “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
(1 Peter 4:8-10)
(Thank you, Sarah E., for sharing so many fun things to make others laugh! Truly, laughter is good medicine!)
Have you ever heard of the Great British Baking Show? I hadn’t until our son Joel introduced it to us last spring by showing us the final “round” from one season where the three contestants were to make “opera cakes.” If you enjoy baking, you might enjoy this program, although they make things that are way too complicated for me, as one who is a bit on the pragmatic side. I’d never heard of opera cake before, but on the show, the women dreamed up amazing cakes with seven tantalizing layers, everything from lemon to lavender, and peanut butter to chocolate. I was probably drooling while watching, but I didn’t think much about it until we were on a cruise of the Adriatic Sea the next month…and, guess what?! We were actually served a piece of traditional opera cake, which is a French cake made from layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup and layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, then crowned with a chocolate glaze. It was one of those kiss-your-fingers desserts, and after I returned home, I thought sometime I should try it. However, I never have, but I’m still enamored with the idea, and sometime when I’m in a very festive mood and want to celebrate (and think I can afford the calories), I will definitely attempt it. Seven layers…what would you have? Mine would have layers of chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry cake with cherry, peach, and buttercream fillings topped with chocolate glaze. On The Great British Baking Show, the cakes were obviously supposed to be thin (and two of the three turned out too thin), but mine would look more like P.F. Chang’s Great Wall…and I wouldn’t mind that it wouldn’t win a prize on their show! If you ever make one, please send me a photo! If I ever make one, I’ll add it at the bottom. Happy baking. 🙂
2 Samuel 6:19, where David is celebrating the return of the ark: “And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.” There are times when it’s good to celebrate!
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.
Posted in Cartoons and jokes, Encouragements for Living, Grief, Just for Fun..., On writing
Tagged Blonde joke about Disneyland, Funny Facebook posts, Joke about chain letters, Jokes about tired moms, Psalm 23:4, Quote by Sir Edmund HIllary, What I do when I get writer's block
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.
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!
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!).
Posted in Family News, Grandchildren, Haikus, Just for Fun..., Southeast Asia Splendor, Travels Around the World
Tagged Amazing bathrooms in the Seoul Tower, Cultural differences and surprises, Culture shock, Do you like to eat silkworms?, Green tea ice cream, Leviticus 19:34, Photos of dressed up dogs, Seoul Cherry Blossom Festival, World's most amazing toilets
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!)
Posted in Autobiography, Family News, Grandchildren, Humor, Just for Fun..., Life with Toddlers, Memoirs, Poetry, Relationships
Tagged Anxiety about babysitting, Poem about waiting for the birth of a child, Poetry in the style of Ogden Nash, Psalm 30:4-5