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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas! God Bless Us Every One!



These last couple of weeks have really been busy for me -- both personally and in my Ebay store--hence, very little time for blogging. People are shopping like crazy and  I've been shipping packages almost every day.


I baked bread for my neighbor gifts again this week and learned how to make clover rolls as well.   My bread baking as a homemade gift was even mentioned in one of my favorite blogs last week.  :) 


I was again a volunteer pianist  in one of our local hospitals during December.


Our home is decorated, Christmas gifts purchased and almost all of them wrapped and under the tree, food shopping will be done on Friday.     Our older college age son is staying with us for a few days which we love.  We have annual traditions such as Christmas Eve pizza, shaped sugar cookies and church together.   Christmas Day will bring fresh cinnamon rolls, praying together, opening gifts, a special meal (my  husband is grilling this year), and a movie that afternoon  or evening.    We have out of town relatives coming to visit on Dec. 26 (including some little ones!)  so that will be a treat as well.  It's such fun to experience Christmas with little children.  :)

Today I had a  mammogram and sonogram to check out a suspicious spot on one of my breasts and both turned out to be CLEAN.  Praise God--a special Christmas gift indeed.   That shadow had been hanging over us for a few weeks, so we are truly rejoicing with exceeding great joy at the mercy of God in this good news.

Here are a few photos from our holiday activities with friends and family, mostly low-key this year:

















For my friends on Facebook, check out my notes for our annual Christmas letter.  Cards are going out AFTER Christmas this year since our family photo is being taken over the weekend.  This is last year's...


May your Christmas celebrations center on Jesus who was born this day in the city of David so long ago to save us from our sin.  He is the best Gift of all.    [Luke 2]

Merry Christmas!





Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have You Heard of Earthing?

I love learning about new things, particularly as they relate to our health and spiritual lives, as well as practical information.  Last Sunday a couple of women were talking about "earthing".  This was a new term to me and I asked what it was.  One of the women gave me a crash course and suggested that I research it at the website of the same name which I did even that afternoon since it was so intriguing.



In a nutshell, from the site:
Earthing is about “grounding” your body to naturally discharge inflammation, pain and stress. It’s simple and it’s free. All you have to do is place your bare feet directly on the earth...

The site offers a free excerpt from the book which you can read HERE or listen HERE.   Very interesting reading but it may sound a bit "New Age-y" to you i.e. Feng Shui, which is also based on electromagnetic paths of energy.  The book uses the term "grounding" as when you have the three-pronged plug on your expensive appliances and computers to protect them from electrical charges that may occur in everyday life.    I know myself, that I, for some reason, am particularly sensitive to electromagnetic equipment and have had to purchase diodes to help with this.   [I have an extra diode in my Ebay store if you are interested in purchasing one.]  One of my sons seems to have this same sensitivity, yet my husband and other son do not.  I have no idea why... maybe they just don't notice it.

Anyway, I've been doing the earthing activity that is suggested--sitting outside with your bare feet on the ground for 20+ minutes for the last four days.  It's actually quite pleasant and I enjoy reading the Bible outside in the fresh air.



I did not feel "bad" before I started but I do feel better overall than I did.  I had had a lot of stress over the weekend and after just one day of the 30-minute outdoor/bare feet time, really did not notice the stress any longer.   We all know that fresh air and outside activities make us feel good anyway, so I am a little skeptical as you may be also.   I have noticed MORE sensitivity to electrical things when I touch them since doing my "exercise" began, and I'm not sure why that is.   Anyway, I'm my own guinea pig for a few more days before I check out any of the products that Earthing offers.  The research sounds reasonable and since I know my own body well enough to notice a difference, maybe it is a good thing--for me.  Check it out.  It may not be for everyone though, as THIS interesting article says...

UPDATE 4.29.12:  I decided to go ahead an purchase the half sheet and floor mat set.  Here is a photo of it on our bed so we both can use it.




Genesis 1:31 
And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Blues? Try Serving or Helping Others

I can't remember when I have had the winter / Christmas blues.  This past weekend I definitely did due to some stressful situations totally out of my control.  My husband was away for two days and  I was getting anxious about something that hadn't even happened yet!  Our imaginations can be a bad thing sometimes.  I was moping around a bit on Friday and a little on Saturday morning.  I had already committed myself to play the piano at one of our local hospitals over the holidays, so I got out the Christmas music on Saturday and played for about 30 minutes at home, then went on down to the hospital.  Thankfully, it's close to our home and since I had done this last year, I was already signed up and had my Volunteer badge / ID card.

What a difference playing and serving others made in my attitude!  I was so glad that I went.  I played for more than an hour, met some interesting people, cheered up more than a few and "warmed the heart" of at least one employee working in the lobby.   Now, I can't wait to go back next week  and play a few more times up through Christmas Eve/Day.

Next time you're in a slump, try reaching out to someone else and cheering them up.  There are many over the holidays who might need a friend, some conversation and a little company.  I know that I would hate to be in the hospital over the holidays, so again, I'm so glad that I am offering my gift of music to others  this Christmas season.  Who knows?  The familiar traditional Christmas carols may be the only "gospel" some hear this holiday time.  Most people know the words from memory, particularly the older ones, and it may become new to them for the first time in their time of need (loved ones in the hospital).  I pray that it does and that I can bless many in this way.




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LOCAL EVENTS: Christmas Music / Bach Festival Choir Winter Park Dec. 1, 2011

Looking for something to do this week / weekend?

Christmas in the Park / Tiffany Window Display is quite lovely.  We go just about every year as part of our Christmas traditions.  HERE is a post from 2009.

Christmas in the Park

Thursday, Dec. 1

6:15 pm - 8:00 p.m.


Each year, on the first Thursday of December, the Morse Museum helps launch the holiday season in Winter Park when it lights up Tiffany windows in Central Park and presents the Bach Festival Choir, Youth Choir, and Brass Ensemble in concert. This December is the 33rd annual celebration of Christmas in the Park.


More info HERE.

Then, on Friday night, Dec. 2, a free movie in the same park.  This Friday's feature:  A Christmas Story

More info HERE.

Bring a picnic, blankets and seats and enjoy the fresh air and outdoor entertainment.  


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Starbucks 12 Days of Sharing 2011

My friend from Coupons Make It Free did all the work, but just wanted to let you know that Starbucks begins its 12 Days of Sharing this Thursday, Dec. 1.  Here are the specials they will be having:


December 1st:
Holiday Starbucks Petites 4 pack $3.95 (regularly $5) or 2/$6 (regularly $10)

December 2nd:
Starbucks Christmas Blend 1 pound $9.95 or Starbucks Via Ready Brew Christmas Blend 12pk $7.95

December 3rd:
Holiday Themed 16 oz. Cold Cup $9.95 (regularly $12.95)

December 4th:
Holiday Mugs $4.95 (regularly $8.95)

December 5th:
Starbucks Coffee Sampler Gift Pack $9.95 (regularly $14.95)

December 6th:
Let’s Merry or Red Cup Tumbler $7.95 (regularly $10.95-$11.95)

December 7th:
50% off Cranberry Bliss Bars 6 pack $6.95 (regularly $13.95)

December 8th:
Any Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack $7.95 (regularly $9.95-$11.95)

December 9th:
Free Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 3 pack with purchase of 1 pound Christmas Blend $14.95 (regularly $17.90)

December 10th:
Tazo Tea Sampler or Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Gift Pack Sampler Pack $12.95 (regularly $16.95-$19.95)

December 11th:
Holiday Boxed Mugs $6.95 (regularly $9.95)


December 12th:
FREE Brewed Coffee During the Month of January 2012 when you buy and use the 16oz Tumbler on sale for $19.95 (over $70 value)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LOCAL EVENT: Home for the Holidays Orlando Philharmonic FREE Concert


FREE Local Concert

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Pops Concert "Home for the Holidays"


When: Sunday, November 27, 2011 @ 4:00 PM
Where: Central Park in Downtown Winter Park
Cost: FREE
Contact: 407-896-6700
Website: http://www.orlandophil.org
The City of Winter Park invites you to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops concert in Winter Park’s charming Central Park. Conductor Albert-George Schram will lead the Philharmonic in a beautiful program of holiday favorites for all ages featuring the Holiday Singers, and the Florida Youth Program Singers under the direction of Robin Jensen. This free public concert is made possible by the Charlotte Julia Hollander Trust. 


Audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable, canned or dry food items to help restock the pantries at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Bring a blanket and a picnic and get ready for a concert program of holiday favorites that will be sure to put everyone in the spirit of the season.

More info at THIS LINK

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day to You and Your Family

Happy Thanksgiving Day!





Psalm 107:1 
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, 
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Menu

Here is our menu for Thanksgiving Day.   You've probably got some or all of these on yours, too. :)



THANKSGIVING DAY MENU

Cranberry juice / ginger ale punch

Baby corn
Roasted turkey
Oyster dressing
Homemade gravy w. giblets
Twice baked potatoes**
Green bean casserole
Fresh green beans
Whole cranberry sauce
Rolls

Almond Toffy**
Chocolate Trifle** 
Coffee / Hot Tea

**We have friends coming to join us and they are bringing these two items. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


Recipe: Homemade Oyster Dressing for Thanksgiving Christmas Holidays

Almost everyone has stuffing / dressing for Thanksgiving and often for Christmas or New Year's as well.  Here is my recipe for Oyster Dressing (my husband's favorite) which always gets devoured to the last little bit...



INGREDIENTS

  • Stove Top Stuffing, 1 -2 boxes (or Pepperidge Farm)
  • Bread of any type
  • Water chestnuts
  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  •  Smoked oysters, 2 small tins
  • Butter, 1 stick, melted
  • Chicken broth (canned or homemade) to moisten

I start with one box of Stove Top stuffing because it is seasoned so well.  Then I grind up bread to crumbs in my little food processor.  You can use 2 boxes of stuffing or just one and have more natural bread if you prefer.  That's what I usually do.  You just need about 4-5 cups of bread something with seasonings in it.

  



Next, I process  a can of water chestnuts...and other nuts (pecans or walnuts taste great in this).



Then add an entire can of whole cranberry sauce...



Then the oysters.  It doesn't look very tasty at this point but the oyster flavor is spread throughout the dressing when you process it in to a paste like this.




Then pour on the butter.  For this quantity I added 1 cup of broth, either homemade or canned.  Add enough to moisten the dressing.



Mix it all together ... I use my hands to make sure it's all moist.  It will be quite dense, and put it into a large covered casserole dish.  I'll bake it on Thanksgiving Day for about an hour at 300 degrees, just before we sit down to dinner.  It really is delicious.

I'll add the final photo after it is cooked tomorrow.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Animated Card

HERE is a cute animated pumpkin pie card  an old friend sent me. Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week / Giving Thanks

HERE is a link to previous posts about Thanksgiving.   Enjoy!




To hear a beautiful song about thankfulness sung by Josh Groban, click HERE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Fun: Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios Osborne Lights

I went with two girlfriends this weekend to Disney's Hollywood Studios and we were able to see the Osborne Light Spectacular.  The only other time I'd seen it was for about 10 minutes and it was shut down due to an electrical storm  while we were there. This was so much fun!

Enjoy!














 More photos can be seen at THIS LINK.

Video of one of the light shows is HERE.
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