Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Public Option

I found this video while mucking around on Facebook. It's from a political commentator.
Now, I try to stay away from politics and political views, because after all, each is entitled to their own. But I wanted to share what I think is a human/humane perspective that so many people who believe they're right are not seeing.



I'm a Christian, always labeled myself as very conservative, but for some time now it appears that the movement of the conservative right really does not reflect my views or really even those of Christianity. In some areas perhaps they do of course, but greatly lacking in others. Above all, perhaps the greatest deficit is in compassion. And truthfully, there is just so much hatred spewing out among those groups that it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the message of loving one another is getting lost.

So under the flag of Christianity they feel justified in promoting agendas which really are aimed at protecting wealthy corporations. The most obvious example is efforts to not allow the public option in health care reform. I see this as blatant support of the insurance corporations and all their cronies. Remember these are the same folks who have made it difficult for families to get the adequate health care they need. These are the same folks you have to first get permission from to approve almost any medical procedure. It shouldn't be that way. On PBS I have seen documentaries of families being asked to make difficult decisions to be eligible for healthcare. One family even considered divorce as a viable alternative to qualify for aid for a very sick child. These awful things are happening all around us! Like Mr. Olbermann mentions, perhaps until it happens to you or a loved one can you fully understand what this is about and why it's so important to speak up!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reminder on the Eve

First, an apology to my bloggie friends. I have sadly neglected to keep up with reading your blogs as regularly as I always have. I always draw great joy and inspiration from all your writings. In my defense, I have been spending most of my free computer time over at the Swagbucks fan page. The reason being that tomorrow is the second 'birthday' of Swagbucks and all week the membership has been anxiously awaiting what promises to be a great time to be on board. Today being the eve of said celebration, you can pretty much bet I'll be on the site on and off all day. Some people there are even planning on pulling all nighters! At exactly midnight, the site is expected to put out several surprises, including a whole new look. At the gist of the matter  though is the promise from the head guy that large amounts of swagbucks will be put out during the celebration. Now to put in perspective, 45 swagbucks will buy you a $5 gift card at Amazon. That is the purchase of choice for most of the Swaggernauts. I've already got a hefty $45 in my Amazon account. Free money! You can't beat that, and all for using your computer the way you normally do when doing searches. There are a few pointers I could share with you should you decide to sign up, on how to increase your swagbucks, as well as a few pointers on what not to do. For example, right around midnight, should you happen to be an insomniac, if you do searches, you will almost certainly hit a swagbuck or two- which are called 'midnight bucks' by the way. But what you must not do is 'oversearch'.  Doing too many searches too fast will trigger their software to possibly deactivate you temporarily. So in searching, you have to pace yourself. A sure way is to just search as you normally do when you're looking for information on the web.What is interesting to note is that people think it's a scam when they hear about it. I am here to tell you it is not a scam. Proof is in the pudding as they say- my Amazon account in my case. Turns out there is money to be made in using search engines. And many companies are reaping those rewards. Isn't it time we also got rewarded for searching? I'm just saying......



Thought I'd share what my profile picture looks like over at Facebook.
Once this celebration passes I'm pretty certain I can go back to my regularly scheduled program. I will attempt to be more disciplined about posting on my blog, reading, catching up with blogs, and just generally living life as I've always known it.  But for now, this little Granny just wants to have fun! I just wanted to post a little reminder that now would be a great time to join Swagbucks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Praying for Renee

I want to add my prayers to those of the many friends and loved ones of a fellow blogger. Renee has been battling a life threatening disease for a long time now. Her daughter recently posted that she is in the hospital. We have all been praying and hoping to hear some good news. I extend my sincere wish that Renee will be going home to her family soon fully recovered. She is a lovely woman who is greatly loved and needed by her family.

My friend Gloria made a lovely post which is a reminder to keep Renee in our prayers. I will also add the candle to this post. Anyone wishing to use it on your blog may do so. May the Lord hear our prayers for a speedy recovery and healing of Renee! His will be done. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Good Reads and Fun Needleart

Busy Monday here. Great start to a new week! I see it as a positive when there's work to be done. Apart from the usual housework, garden type variety, I've got a book review to do in the weeks ahead. Got my books in the mail today. Looks to be some good reading!

This time it's two books. "Dancing with My Father" is the one I have eagerly looked forward to reading. I assume it's about what it is like to trust completely in my heavenly Father, much as we do our earthly Fathers.


This one titled "Mother-Daughter Duet" promises to be about building a good Mom/Daughter relationship. Both are soft cover books.

Also busy over the weekend embroidering a baby blanket for a customer/friend.

Work consisted of merely adding a design and personalizing with name and a monogram.


I'm hoping she'll like the embroidery.

The blanket still shows some of the water soluble stabilizer. It comes off easily in the wash or by spritzing with some water. Not a big deal. I try to remove as much as possible, but I don't dare get too close to the stitches with my little scissors. Better to let the water take care of that. Hoping to get the parcel in the mail tomorrow.

Watched "Chuck" on the telly earlier. It's become my Sweetie's and my new favorite show. It's a little bit of James Bond mixed with some geek squad comedy. It's also the only one of the new shows I like. But then, I'll take the "Beverly Hillbillies" any day over any of the new-fangled shows. Which would explain why my new picture on Facebook is that of Granny.

Time to go check the Swagbucks fan page. Like everyone there who stays up late, I too am hoping for my midnight buck!

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 25

Well, in case anyone is thinking about signing up with Swagbucks, I really should let you know that perhaps this is the best time ever to do so. On the days leading up to February 25, TSG will be giving his followers on Facebook many opportunities to earn multi-denominational Swagbucks. That translates to more money for gift cards or items you want to buy. February 25 will be the second anniversary of Swagbucks coming to fruition as a search and win site. So anyone coming aboard around this celebration time will be sure to quickly see rewards. I wouldn't be promoting the site if I personally did not truly see how beneficial it has been for me. I refuse to make fraudulent statements, so right off I'm saying that you will not get rich instantly or stand to be the next great winner of a millionaire sweepstakes somewhere. What I will honestly tell you is that once the swagbucks start adding up, you will have enough to buy that gift you'd like to with your very own money. If it's teens using the site, they will be able to save enough for their own purchases, thereby helping the family budget.  And did I mention the word sweepstakes earlier? You do actually have the opportunity of 'buying' Swagstakes entries with your swagbucks. There are $100, $500 and even $1000 Swagstake entries you can snag with your swagbucks if you should want to take a shot at winning those large amounts. The entries generally only cost 1 to three swagbucks.

For transparency purposes, I will say that right now I have $25 in an Amazon account that I can use to buy anything I want there on Amazon.com, and I have 57 swagbucks in my Swagbucks account which I've accumulated just since I cashed in the other ones for the Amazon gift cards. I actually have enough right now to buy one more $5 gift Amazon gift card which I would then add to the $25 for a total of $30! And this is in just over a month! I'm not filthy rich, but I have that little 'nest egg' in Amazon. I could also have bought PayPal gift cards, but those cost quite a bit more. Almost everyone on the Swagbucks fan site buys the $5 gift cards, because they only cost 45 swagbucks.

And lest I forget to mention it, you can earn those swagbucks in a variety of ways, not just by using the search engine. On the Facebook fan page, TSG puts clues and codes that you then go looking for to insert into your account 'code' box, thereby adding more into your account. There are Special Offers that you may or may not choose to take advantage of, but where if you do, you can earn more swagbucks. Then there's the Shop and Earn page, where it's like shopping at your regular stores, but with the added incentive of earning swagbucks which when added to your account means more buying power. It's unbelievable how many ways there are to earn those swagbucks. Swagbucks, swagbucks, swagbucks, I know I keep repeating that word. It's hard not to- the list of reasons to join just goes on and on and on!

                                     Search & Win

I know that once anyone sees how great the site is they'll want to let all their friends and loved ones know about it. This post is just a heads up to how great the timing is right now to be a part of this web site. For anyone who does decide to join, I urge you to become a fan of the site on Facebook, and just read what goes on there. You will learn a lot! Also read the FAQ's, as well as the discussion threads. You will be glad you did, because you'll also hear about what web sites to stay away from due to viruses or problems with getting swagbucks credited. I would want anyone joining to be really educated about the site so it will be a much more enjoyable experience. So I hope you do join, and the sooner you do, the sooner you'll be racking up those swagbucks!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baking Love

Today I awoke to a chilly, drizzly day. As for me, I love days like this. The misty rain stopped early though. I am grateful for any amount of rainfall. I know it's good for our garden. And so all day I have been indoors, puttering inside the house.

Then for an early dinner I made a meatloaf chock full of veggies, with a side of baked potato and green beans. Meatloaf for me is a perfect opportunity to use up as much of the herbs and spices in the pantry before they go stale. So I add a little bit of everything-- thyme, marjoram, parsley, chervil,  savory, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, even ground up juniper berries (a wonderful aroma) and of course a good dose of curry powder...... oh yes, and salt and pepper. After shaping the loaf I add a sprinkling of worcestershire sauce and a layer of tomato ketchup. Finally some strips of bacon on top and in the oven it goes for about an hour and a half.

I started thinking early in the day that meatloaf would go really nice with some home baked bread. Since the weather got me in the mood for baking the timing was great. Once I get started mixing up a batch of dough I am reminded that this is my first love of all things creative. It just feels so good to play with masa (dough)! I decided to make some short baguettes. In Mexican culture they are called 'bolillos'. As I understand it, the recipe is one of the many left from the time of the French occupation in Mexico. I just know they're good! Mine aren't nearly as perfectly shaped as a bakery one would be:




And good they were! Love the way the kitchen smells when I bake bread! It's like you step inside the house and the aroma is the first thing you notice- makes you want a slice slathered with butter! I'm just going to have to get in the habit of baking more often. And you know what else is so wonderful? I know exactly what ingredients went into the making of it. Only flour, yeast, water, and salt. The sesame seeds are optional and they're good for you too. Big reason to make your own!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mex-Ita

It has been said that necessity is the Mother of invention. For dinner I was making chicken envueltos also called 'flautas', and you absolutely have to have salsa when eating envueltos. Well that, and Mexican rice and refried beans of course. Anyhow, I was out of fresh tomatoes, which I prefer, and upon checking my pantry, I discovered I didn't have any cans of crushed or whole tomatoes to make it with. What's a cook to do? I may have very well discovered a new version of Mexican hot salsa, or hot sauce. I could probably name it MexIta sauce, since it's a mixture of Mexican and Italian flavors. I happened to have different brands of jars of Italian pasta sauces. Now I knew Prego or Ragu just wouldn't do, because they have such a strong 'oregano' or classic spaghetti sauce flavor. I needed something that was more about tomatoes and less about Italian spices. So there I was in the middle of my kitchen reading ingredient labels. I found this one, but I took the picture after I had rinsed out the bottle:


I proceeded to use it by first toasting the dried 'chile de arbol' pods over a skillet, then tossing into boiling water with three large cloves of garlic, cooking until well hydrated and softened. After draining the chiles, I added them with the garlic to the tomato sauce in the blender. You do have to be careful at this stage because suddenly breathing in the fumes can induce an uncomfortable coughing fit! The resulting product was thick and smelled earthy and rustic and just plain delicious. And the color! Oh, what a festive shade of red!



Who would've thought that it works! I really like the texture the tomatoes give the salsa. It's a velvety almost unctuous feel that is hard to describe. It's an intense flavor, different from your traditional hot salsa. It doesn't have the bright, crisp and clean flavors of traditional Mexican sauces. This is something different. A sauce for when you want something a little 'different'. So next time you're fresh out of an ingredient, use and make do with what you have. You just might find that you've discovered a special treat! I'm thinking I may have to do a poor man's copyright on this!

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