Wednesday, September 20, 2017


For some reason, this quote came to mind around the time I was editing some photos I had taken of a mason jar full of flowers that my sister gave me for my birthday.  

I decided to put the quote on one of my pics, and instead of trying to look through some of my books in order to locate it, I decided to try to look it up online by doing a search with some of the words I remembered from it--I did not recall the author of the quote, by the way.

After googling for a while, I came up with nothing, so I thought, oh no, I wonder how long it's going to take me to find it, as I have a number of books it could have been in.

Blessedly, I found it right away, its page number and brief description scribbled down on a scrap of paper that I opened right up to in the first book I tried.

Now having the author's name, I decided to google it again, and it was then that I discovered why the wanted words weren't coming up...

It was because the quote is actually a paraphrase of a few lines from an extremely long poem (or poem duo), so the words are different in each.  At a later date, I did end up finding this link, with a quote that's almost exactly the same as mine.

You'll find info about the poem, "Christmas-Eve and Easter-Day," here and here.

Here are links to both parts of the poem.

The source of my quote is found in lines 289-295 of Section V of the "Christmas-Eve" part of the poem.  I'll post that section below...

"But also, God, whose pleasure brought
Man into being, stands away
As it were a handbreadth off, to give
Room for the newly-made to live,
And look at him from a place apart,
And use his gifts of brain and heart,
Given, indeed, but to keep for ever."

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Sunday, September 17, 2017



While browsing books to post here on my blog, I happened upon this one, and the description sounds really good...

"Firebird is a children's book that parallels the life of Samantha Crawford, a storybook artist in the inspiring new film, 'Unconditional,' who has lost sight of God's love.

Firebird is a bright orange baby oriole who just loves the sunshine, but whenever a storm blows in, he frets and asks Mama why God allows the rain to take the sun away.  Only when Firebird is old enough, does he venture up through the thunder and lightning to see what's on the other side.  With a rough flight that makes him want to give up, Firebird rises above the storm to discover the sun shining where it has always been--and learns that God never lets the storm take the sun away.  With this truth, Firebird basks in the sunshine, but also learns to rejoice in the rain."

I think "the problem of pain" is a very tough topic, so to come across a children's book that addresses it is interesting.  Who knows--this book might turn out to be more helpful than some of the resources out there that are for adults (and you know what, that wouldn't surprise me a bit ☺).

I'm not familiar with the movie this book is based on, but it sounds affecting...

"Samantha Crawford is living a storybook life.  That is, until her husband is killed in a senseless act of violence, causing her to lose her faith and her will to live.  But will a death-defying encounter with two children--and a reunion with her childhood best friend--bring things into perspective again?  'Unconditional' is inspired by true events."

By the by, I like the note on Matthew 18:3 that's in my MacArthur Study Bible

become as little children:
"This is how Jesus characterized conversion.  Like the Beatitudes, it pictures faith as the simple, helpless, trusting dependence of those who have no achievements and no accomplishments to offer or commend themselves with."

*There are opinions expressed in this study Bible that I *strongly* disagree with, but a lot of the teaching is very helpful.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017


My sister introduced me to Kozy Shack Rice Pudding a year or two ago, and I must say it's really delicious.  Plus, I love that it's all-natural.

She told me she found it at Lowes Foods, which is a grocery store I rarely shop at, since it's farther from where I live than other stores.  When I decided to go and fetch some of this pudding last week, I headed over to Lowes, though to be honest, I've never looked for it anywhere else (though I've never happened to spot it anywhere else either).

In pulling up the company's website, I see an idea for a yummy add-in for this pudding: fruit!

{source: Kozy Shack's website}

I'd love to try some of the company's other puddings, though the only one other than the Original Recipe Rice Pudding that they sell at Lowes is the Tapioca--boohoo.  I know raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla extract are very popular in rice pudding, and Kozy Shack has two varieties with those ingredients.

I'm also a major crème caramel fan, so that looks delish too.

*This rice pudding contains dairy, but there are recipes out there that sub in soy- or almond milkcoconut milkcream of coconut, and cashew milk.

*Mint might be an interesting topper for rice pudding.

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This summer, when I made a trip to our state farmer's market, which is located here in Raleigh, NC, I got a freshly made orangeade, and it was so, well, refreshing, especially since it was extremely hot outside!

In fact, as I was standing at the counter in those sauna-like conditions, watching two college-aged girls create my libation, these words fell out of my mouth:

"You two are saints."

And I meant it.☺

Yes, I'm aware of what the Biblical definition of sainthood is, so I was using the term in a nonreligious (though extremely appreciative, and yes, even spiritual) way.

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I think orangeades are delicious and would be a great transition-treat when moving from summer into fall.  I know that, here in Raleigh, the weather has become much more mild during the fall than it used to be; as of late, warmer temps sometimes persist all the way through December.

This blogger mentions the popularity of oranges during the Christmas season, so maybe orangeades should be seen as more of a year-round thing.

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In addition to being yummy, oranges are a good source of vitamin C, which has many health benefits.  This vitamin can even have a positive effect on mental health!

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So, how to juice them oranges?

This blogger uses a citrus juicer by Mastrad, and it allows one to put all, none, or some of the pulp into their orangeade.  Here's a video which shows how to use it.

Here's Amazon's list of best-selling citrus juicers.  I see they have some electric juice machines listed, which would work well for those who don't want any pulp *at all* in their drink.

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In terms of recipe variations, I noticed that this one, this one, and this one call for lemon juice.

Here's a recipe for lemon-lime orangeade.

Here's a recipe for sparkling orangeade, and it contains lime juice, while this sparkling version calls for both lemon- and lime juices.  According to the latter piece, these two juices "kick up the main ingredient of orange juice."

This recipe for lemon orangeade calls for frozen orange juice concentrate instead of fresh oranges.

This one incorporates Seville oranges.

And wow, this one calls for a pinch of salt and vanilla extract!! It also calls for lemon juice and either club soda or flat water.

This recipe subs in honey for sugar and also calls for orange zest (and it contains lemon juice as well).

This one contains raw honey (and lemon juice).

And here's a simple recipe that calls for honey instead of sugar.

Interesting: an orangeade sports drink, anyone?  It would appear the only thing that makes this orangeade sporty is the addition of sea salt!

Lastly, this Lavender Orangeade, and this Cinnamon, Honey, & Orange Blossom Orangeade might be tasty.


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Thursday, September 7, 2017


Before moseying into fall, I wanted to post some pics I took at the NC Farmer's Market in late June.  My 13-year-old nephew was in town, plus it was my birthday, so it was a nice little outing, despite the sweltering heat.☺

Someone was selling vintage china with air plants sitting inside.  I'm glad I was able to buy a teacup and saucer, along with a little bowl.

Butterbeans are one of my favorite late-summer things.  How do I cook them?  I put them in a pot; cover with water; bring to a boil; and simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Sometime during that time, I add butter and salt.  I like my butterbeans to be sitting in buttery "broth" when I eat them, so I don't cook all of the water out.  After being refrigerated, any remaining liquid has usually been absorbed, so I add a bit of water (and some more butter) to my bowl before reheating a serving.  Apple cider vinegar is also really good on them--as it is on green beans, black-eyes peas, and collard greens, btw ;)

I love all of the fun colors in these blossoms and buckets.  There was a plastic tarp hanging above these, and someone saw that I was trying to take a pic of them and offered to hold it up so I could do so.

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