Welcome To My Morning, Relax and Enjoy!

Friday, January 29, 2010

An Imprint On Your Heart


Some people come into our lives and leave imprints on our heart, and we are never the same. I found this statement on a picture frame a month after my mother passed on. I placed a photo of her under this statement.

My mother was one of those truly loving and caring people, and she left her imprint on many hearts. Whether it is a child, parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, pastor, teacher, or a lady you met once in a grocery store, we all have them in our lives.

Hopefully the imprint is a loving, and positive one. Those imprints are the ones I choose to hold on to, and the ones that have made me who I am. It was because this person shared a memory, a concept, or an unconditional hug of support during a trying time that made a deep impression on my soul.

They help us form personal ideals, and help us make informed decisions about important issues that affect those who interact with us on any given day. I believe that GOD has sent them to us, as they are his eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and feet. They, we are HIS likeness here on this tangible earth.

Yes, some people come into our lives and leave imprints on our heart, and we are never the same. Let us tell those in our lives that they have done so, and we appreciate their influence, and if they are long or recently passed on, we can wear their imprint on our actions toward others, or we could simply share with one other person the story of how that person left an imprint on our heart. 

An Excerpt from John Denver's On The Wings Of A Dream: 

There are those who will lead us
Protect us each step of the way
From beginning to end
For each moment forever each day
Such a gift has been given
It can never be taken away

Though the body in passing must leave us
There is one who remains to receive us
There are those in this life
Who are friends from our heavenly home
So I listen to the voices inside me
For I know they are there just to guide me
And my faith will proclaim it is so
We are never alone

From the life to the light
From the dark of the night to the dawn
He is so in my heart
He is here he could never be gone
Though the singer is silent
There still is the truth of the song

Monday, January 25, 2010

Generous and Benevolent, Are you?

A Homeless Shelter For Families
Last week I was sent a link to a group on Facebook, Requiring drug tests for all on welfare. I joined in order to read some of the posts and see just what was the reasons for such a page. I noticed that 98 percent of the posters were more concerned over the cost of welfare.

I commented back that most likely the cost for drug testing, the cost of foster care should the parent flunk the test, and the cost of rehabilitating the parent would be far more costly than the current situation. I responded to simply prove that when social problems are faced in a economical manner rather than a humanitarian manner we as a society go down a slippery slope to nowhere. In Victorian England, there were poor houses, prisons for the poor, should we go in this direction?

The majority of the posts on the said web page, were slanderous, and generalized all those on welfare as lazy, low life, and less than human. They were condescending, and many comments seemed to be written by illiterates, using fowl language, and cliche'.

One writer used a quote of Thomas Jefferson regarding welfare:
"To lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States,
that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the
general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general
welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not
to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the
debts or provide for the welfare of the Union."

I responded to his quote; That I do not look at some of our forefathers in an idolizing manner. That Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, cheated on his wife, and impregnated a slave who bore his child.

He wrote me the following letter:
I have kept his name anonymous to protect his true identity.


Dear Jardinami,

Slavery was a horrible chapter in our history and unfortunately the African tribes still enslave one another. I see you have joined the Adventist Book Center so I am assuming you are a Christian. I don't agree with impregnating a slave. Being that this man has been deceased for 200 years I am going to forgive him of his sexual indiscretions and celebrate his knowledge of what makes a country great, I choose not to judge him, as the New Testament states "you see the speck in your brother's eye, but you do not see the log in your own eye. When you take the log out of your brothers eye, then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your own eye"


Anonymous



Dear Anonymous,


I am quite aware of the biblical verse you state, and in fact I wrote a blog on it just last week.

It is for this very reason that I am disturbed by the ignorant, uninformed comments on that fan page about drug testing for those on welfare.

I worked at the Warren County Welfare Board from 1991-1999 during the Clinton Administration where I saw welfare reforms that were instituted by the very same Democrats that are constantly accused of creating bigger government.

I know that programs were put in place requiring all welfare recipients to first sign warrants for child support from the absent parent to pay support which went to the Welfare Agency as long as the support amount was lower than the amount of the cash grant.

If they got pregnant while on welfare, the new baby was not included in the grant, the grant did not go up, and that child's child support still went to the agency to offset medicaid and food stamps.

All clients immediately signed up for the workforce development program, were scheduled for interviews, and were even taught how to interview. If they turned the job down they were dropped from welfare.

If they quit a job they could not get any help not even food stamps. If they got caught cheating on welfare or food stamps they were arrested and fined, and if it happened on a third strike they were banned for life.

All immigrants who were not citizens and did not work in this country for the ten previous years to 1996, were dropped from all roles, including food stamps. The only non-citizen who could get help, and only medicaid, was one who was pregnant, and the unborn child was the sole reason, and then after birth for a few months. The medicaid program also covered non-citizen children up to the age of five.

I have seen many e-mail, and posts that state all kinds of misinformation, and they create hatred and discrimination.

I have seen self righteous, self proclaimed Christians accuse President Obama, and all Democrats of being baby killers. I have never killed a baby, nor do I approve of abortion. What many uninformed individuals do not know is that Roe vs Wade was passed by a Republican judge who was first appointed by Eisenhower, and then Roe vs Wade was passed during the Nixon administration. President Obama is upholding a law passed by a Republican. I pray continuously for all the politicians since Roe v Wade to over turn it, but more importantly I pray for all the immoral people of this society to turn to God and change their ways.

As for the cost of any social service program to improve the quality of human life whether it be welfare, food stamps, homeless prevention, health care reform, etc...I prefer to have our tax payer money go for that than to drop trillions of "shock and awe" dollars into the pockets of Halliburton in Iraq and Afghanistan or any other Bedouin-Mideast country that has been warring each other for thousands of years, and in the process killing innocent children, and displacing thousands, not to mention the cost of human lives in our courageously loyal troops.

As a member of the SDA church you should have read the predictions of Ellen G. White. If you do believe in her as a valid prophet of the Lord, and her teachings then you must realize that the end seems to be near.

I left the SDA church in 1970 when I felt as though the members of my particular church were trying to alienate me from my own family. I had a very loving Christian Lutheran mother who willingly allowed me to attend a SDA church after taking several bible classes run by the church. She always encouraged all of her five children to live for the Lord. She was the most forgiving, loving, and selfless person that I had ever known in my life.

I now live next to a SDA family. Jay runs the SDA bookstore at the Blue Mountain Academy. When I moved here I felt a kinship to this lovely family next door. We have grown close, and I have attended one service with them at Christmas time year before last. It was very nice.

I am now a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, our family has been members of the Lutheran Church since our ancestors lived in Germany. I still however have many doubts about all organized religion, but none about God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is my personal savior and friend. He has shown us all how to live, and I do pray to follow in his foot steps. I want to be more like Him.

And thus, I know he forgave Thomas Jefferson, but that doesn't change the fact that his behavior was such as to have created a child that could have been aborted or placed on the welfare roles had he lived in this day and age. If one is to state concepts for which all should live by, they should live a life in example as did our Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps a quote by him would have been more appropriate;

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys." Luke 12:33

Let us show our Father in Heaven, that we are Good, Responsible, Loving Stewards of HIS Creations. Let us help one another.

Yours in Christ, Diane Dunwell-Hoffman





I did not wish to get political on my blog, but I do wish to work at improving the human condition, and I hope this post does just that.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let Us Help One Another


I haven't written a blog since last Tuesday, the day the horrifying 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti. When I write an article or when I am writing a book, I investigate the words I use, especially the adjectives. I want to be sure that the adjective, adverb, or verb I use is the best choice in conveying my thought about the person, place, thing, or action.

The earthquake that took place on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 in Haiti was definitely devastating. Devastate means to lay waste, render desolate, and overwhelm. While I was sharing memories of my childhood, and the recipe for my parent's delicious steak sandwiches, children were loosing their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, pets, their homes, and becoming critically injured themselves with no ambulance, or hospital to take away the pain, and treat their serious injuries.

Overwhelmed is how I felt from simply watching the horrifying images on the television, and on my laptop. I have family, friends, and online friends who have been going through tough times with loved ones who have been injured, or fighting off serious illness. It is not my intention to make light of the struggle they have experienced, but to bring light to the issue that each and everyone of them still have family, health care, and comfortable shelter.

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated an area in the United States from central Florida, over the gulf coast all the way to Texas, with the greatest devastation occurring in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is estimated that almost two thousand lives were lost, and thousands were displaced. Many were without emergency care, and the few hospitals were overwhelmed.

In April of 1994, it is estimated that between five hundred thousand and one million people were brutally murdered, pets, and homes destroyed, and not by nature but by the hands of the fellow citizens of Rwanda in central Africa. The rebels took over the hospitals, and all governmental structures. The United Nation troops that were trying to save lives, and bring order were being attacked and killed. This devastation went on for approximately one hundred days. During this time not one other nation including these United States stepped in to stop the slaughter.

Presently, there is a similar genocide occurring in Darfur where an estimated four hundred thousand people have lost their lives since February of 2003. More that two hundred and thirty thousand refugees have fled to tent cities in Chad, and as many as many as ten thousand have died in these camps because of the unclean, and unsafe conditions. It has now been seven years since it began and little has changed, and although many countries, including the United States have sent investigators, and the U.N. had sent some troops, the violence, and displacement continues to this day.

It is truly wonderful how everyone has recently stepped up to raise money and awareness to the plight of the people of Haiti, yet there really needs to be a united front against poverty, and all the horrible violence that it breeds. With all the wealth there is in this world, one would think that poverty could have been eradicated by 2010.

The people of Haiti were already wallowing in poverty, and struggling to improve it's lifestyle when this earthquake hit. When looking for the good that comes from a bad situation, that is my only thought. That perhaps now the International Community can help rebuild this nation and give it's people a better way of life.

I just heard on the news that dozens of Haitian orphans have arrived in Pennsylvania. My first thought was about how I will feel when I receive my first e-mail complaining of the illegal immigration of Haitians to our country, and how they are receiving welfare to help them get by. These e-mail have always been disturbing to me, and now I just delete them.

My mother taught us to care for others, she often said this: "You could be entertaining angels unaware." Each of us on Earth are the children of GOD, and we are all in this thing called Life together. We must learn to love unconditionally, and help each other in whatever way we can.

Let us show our Father in Heaven, that we are Good, Responsible, Loving Stewards of HIS Creations. Let us help one another.

The following video inspired this blog:



This child, no longer has family to hold his hand in his time of great pain, he no longer has a hospital to help him, or a shelter to go home to.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bud's Snack Bar Cheese Steaks


During the Spring of 1958 my father and his brother Dick, built a small building on the South West corner of Rt. 519 and Rt. 22, next to Bud Burgstresser's Sunoco Gas Station. Presently it would be situated a little toward Rt. 22 next to the abandoned former bank in the Walmart Strip Mall. Back then the area of the strip mall was a cornfield the stretched from Rt. 519 toward New Brunswick Avenue also known as Alternate Route 22. This area was known as Straw Church Circle before they turned the circle into a cross roads, adding traffic lights.


The building was almost square, with a slanted roof, and we called it the "Cup", but the sign on top read Bud's Snack Bar. My parent's signature sandwich was their steak sandwich, and what made them so good was her original sauce recipe. Dad had an Auto Detailer paint in cursive Bud's Snack Bar, and words like French Fries, Hamburgers, Milk Shakes, and Steaks on the sides of his 1959 green Ford pick-up truck.


Their steak sandwiches were the most popular item on the menu. Our french fries were always made with fresh potatoes, no frozen there. The hot dogs were made as Toby's Cup make them, deep fried in oil. The menu also included hamburger bar-b-que, also known as Sloppy Joes, and hamburgers. We sold ice cream, soda, floats, milk shakes, sundaes, pretzels, chips, Tasty Cakes, and candy. Dad also sold produce, such as potatoes, watermelons, and apples on the grassy area between the parking area and the corner.


We had lots of loyal customers and most of our friends loved to tag along when we worked the counter. During the interim slow periods we would sit on over turned apple baskets or milk crates, and play a game of trying to toss rocks in a basket, and trying to get passing truckers to blow their air horns with our motions of pulling on a horn/s chain using our arms. We would listen to songs on the radio like, Running Bear, Purple People Eater, and I Will Follow Him, and of course we sang along at the top of our lungs.


In 1963, my parents opened another business on the corner of Rt. 519/Third Avenue and East Central Avenue in Alpha, known as the Alpha Luncheonette. For three years they had kept both businesses running, closing the "Cup" in 1966, and selling the structure. It was a bitter sweet moment, as we no longer wanted to be tied to trying to keep two businesses going as a family, yet we would miss that quaint little "Cup" and all the memories it held.




Bud's Snack Bar Cheese Steak Sandwich


2 lbs. Chipped Steak Meat (Mom got hers from the meat counter at the former Central Super Market) We have gotten ours from the Marlin Meat Market near Pottsville, PA, and in most supermarkets you can find Landis in the freezer section.


2 Sweet Onions (Mom used Bermuda onions, I like to use Vidalia) Chopped/Diced


2 Green Bell Peppers Chopped/Diced


12 oz. can of tomato sauce (Mom used Hunts)


1 cup of ketchup (Mom used Heinz)


2 tablespoons of A-1 Steak Sauce

1 level tablespoon of sugar

1 lb. of fresh sliced white American cheese from a Deli

6 fresh six inch steak or sub rolls
(Mom got them from the former N.Y. Italian Bakery in Phillipsburg) I would suggest if you do not have a bakery, try the bakery section of the supermarket, the ones in the plastic bins, not in the plastic bag.


In a sauce pan, saute the chopped onions in the oil of your preference, (Mom used vegetable oil). Remove from pan and put aside. Add the chopped peppers to the pan and saute them, adding 1/3 of the sauteed onions to the peppers, add sauce, ketchup, sugar, and A1 sauce, and stir occasionally for 20-30 minutes over low heat in covered sauce pan.


In a large saute pan saute the chipped steak, breaking it apart using two forks pulling in opposite directions (if using a Teflon pan, break up frozen chip steak using fingers into small pieces as you add it to the pan). Add the remainder of the sauteed onions to the steak, and stir through. Steak cooks quickly over medium heat about seven minutes. Add cheese and cover until cheese is melted. About three quarters of the way through cooking the steak, add sliced rolls to a 350 degree pre-heated oven to toast them.


Add steak to the roll, and top with sauce. If you prefer a steak without cheese leave the cheese off a portion of cooked meat or all of it. If you want it to be a hot steak add hot peppers that are found in the condiment section of most supermarkets.


If you choose to not make your own steaks and want to eat one that compares, and live in a 30 mile radius of Phillipsburg, NJ Crossroads Restaurant in Hellertown, PA just off the exit of Rt. 78, make a left and it is just down the road a few blocks. The next best steak is from Joe's Steak Shop on S. Main Street in Phillipsburg.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged



"If you treat a man as he is, he will remain as he is; if you treat him as he ought to be and could be, he will become as he ought to be and could be." Goethe




Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healing to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites who think they are above sin.

Many recent events have caused me to ponder this bible verse. I have to freely admit that I am guilty of judging, with no right to do so. Sometimes I do it without intention, when trying to give advice to someone with good intentions. As a parent, who has made many, many mistakes in her own life, I can't help but try to give advice to my children, to spare them the hurt that I have brought on myself and those around me in the past.

When I do this, the feedback I get leads me to believe that they think that I am judging them for their behavior, and perhaps I am to an extent. But, I am also judging myself in the same instant for past mistakes. Mistakes/sins that I have sought forgiveness, and given just that by the one and only judge.

How often do we actually judge ourselves in just that way, while judging others? Our children, and grandchildren are living in a world filled with new temptations. We ourselves have been exposed to temptations that would have never occurred to our parents or grandparents.

In the first eight years of my mothers life she was raised by her grandparents. Each morning her grandmother dressed her in button up to the knee shoes. Not one other child in her class was wearing button up to the knee shoes in the early twenties. Her grandmother was an extremely plain Pennsylvania Dutch woman, who strongly believed in modesty, and meekness.

Each day my mother willingly deceived her grandmother, by stopping by her friend June Dutt's home to wear a pair of June's shoes to school, and changing them again on the way home. I am sure Mom carried some guilt within her for this innocent transgression.

What child today would be considered disobedient for not wanting to wear such an outdated pair of shoes? My paternal grandmother often said, " Children are to be seen and not heard." Now that is a rule to be challenged.

Imagine the judgment of "powers that be" of the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692 if they stepped into our homes today. Unless you are Amish, living the original plain Amish life without electricity and all the frills of our "English" life, you most likely would be judged a witch, for the TV, Computer, Microwave, Dishwasher, and even that pet cat sleeping peacefully on the arm of the chair.

I suppose we all really do have that plank in our own eye, without the right to judge others for their specks, and just suppose we could learn to forgive ourselves, wouldn't that make it easier to forgive those who trespass against us. Actually, many times they aren't even doing anything to us, and we are judging them for what they do to themselves.

"Let go, let God", the hardest concept for we humans to embrace. We really think we are in charge, and have a real hard time giving it all over in order to free our soul of such earthly burdens.

We need to do this A.S.A. P. I got this from my friend Deb on Facebook, Always Say A Prayer!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Passionate


Passionate-adjective
having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid

Have you ever watched children who were fervently at play. They have this unconscious ability to completely envelope their whole being in acting out or performing the tasks involved with joy and passion.


It is as if there is an innate quality, that can be left by the wayside by adults who are consumed in just getting by on a daily basis. In speaking for myself, I know I have this passion within my soul, and have tapped into it on many occasions, however I also have left it by the wayside too often, and for long stretches of time.

I have had a passion for cake decorating, gardening, writing, and oil painting. I even dabbled once in a passion for learning to play the piano. I was teaching myself with a workbook, the lessons ended abruptly after a make shift recital. You know someone is a true friend when they sit through something like that, and tell you the truth. The song of choice was the first song in the book, "Long, Long, Ago" and my friend, was honest and told me to play it, "Far, Far, Away!" Thus the end of my passion for playing the piano.

There have been physical limitations that have quelled my passion for cake decorating and gardening. I purchased some new paint brushes and a fresh new canvas in September, and have yet to start a new painting, let alone finish the lighthouse painting I started two years ago. I really do enjoy oil painting, but I suppose the passion has gone.


I will always have a passion for writing, and it is also cathartic. But I really don't think that anyone could say that when I am writing, my expression and excitement could be compared to a child at play. To me writing is intense and thought provoking, yet rewarding when you have that eureka moment.

I really have a passion for visiting Victorian homes/mansions, museums, and gardens. I do believe that my passion for such jaunts, shows up on the expression on my face, and in my
enthusiasm.

When researching the word passionate, I came across an article directed at men who have lost their passion for life. This article gave some great advice to get out with other men, who have similar interests and connect passionately within that interest. Perhaps, they will go bowling, hiking, or attend sporting events together.

Perhaps within a person's passion in reading, cooking, baking, exercising,
there are many avenues to explore, such as a book, poetry, or dinner club and a spinning class. When we are passionate about something, we can stimulate our "joy genes" and give new meaning to the same old, same old. So go out and find your choice diversion from the hum drum of life and be as passionate as a child playing in a sand box.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Elvis and Andrea!


If Elvis Presley had not died he would have been seventy-five today.

Back in the Sixties my sister Irene had dated a young man named George who was a huge Elvis fan. He took my siblings and I to the Starlite Drive In on Fremansburg Avenue just outside of Easton, PA to see several of his movies. George worked as a projectionist at the State theater and we saw several movies there too. One day he set up a projector in the basement of our parent's store on the corner of E. Central and Third Avenue in Alpha, NJ and several of the neighbors joined us in watching an Elvis marathon of movies.

I guess his obsession with Elvis brought Elvis a little closer to me, even though I was a Beatles fan. The day he passed away, I was driving around Easton Center Square when I heard the news on the radio in my car. I was on my way back home from visiting with my friend Jan where I had helped her make a Marching Mickey Mouse birthday cake for her son Michael. They played Suspicion, and I cried. I felt as though a good friend or family member had passed on.

Elvis is known as the King Of Rock N Roll. His mixture of black and white sounds, coupled with sensual body gyrations made him controversial, especially after his appearance on the Milton Berle Show, when Ed Sullivan declared him unfit for family viewing and didn't want him on his popular show. He then appeared on the Steve Allen show, which drew more viewers than the Ed Sullivan show, thus sparked an interest in the powers that were in charge of the Ed Sullivan show. On September 9, 1956, one third of our country's entire population at that time were tuned in to see Elvis perform for the first of three scheduled appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show at a whopping fifty thousand dollars an appearance. On that day he became an icon of our generation.

He was deeply spiritual, and served in the U.S. Army from 1958-60. He loved his mother and built the Graceland Mansion for her. He was known for his generosity, and was surrounded by family and friends at Graceland.

I never realized before today that my cousin Paula's daughter Andrea shared the same birthday as Elvis. Happy Birthday to Andrea, and a fond remembrance of my childhood memories of Elvis!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Greatest Oak


We live in a society of instant gratification. We have been led to believe that it is perfectly fine to say," I want it and I want it now." We have been told that if we aren't always happy, we need to take a pill, or make a drastic change. Once there was a sayings "Patience is a virtue." "Good things are worth waiting for."

The following poem has been a long time favorite of mine:



Sweet Peril

written by George McDonald

Alas, how easily things go wrong! A sigh too much, or a kiss too long, And life is never the same again.

Alas, how hardly things go right! ‘Tis hard to watch in a summer night, For the sigh will come, and the kiss will stay, And the summer night is a wintry day.

And yet how easily things go right, If the sigh and a kiss of a summer’s night Come deep from the soul in the stronger ray That is born in the light of the winter’s day.

And things can never go badly wrong If the heart be true and the love be strong, For the mist, if it comes, and the weeping rain Will be changed by the love into sunshine again.



I like to hold onto this saying: The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Passing along a humorous re-cap of 2009

I am passing along this cute little re-cap of 2009, the author is unknown, it came in the form of an e-mail. It is a compilation of nine jpegs.

































































































My Birthday In Heaven~For Juliann


As written by Diane Dunwell- Hoffman
January 3, 2010
for
Juliann Lee Dirisio on her Seventh Birthday in Heaven

My Birthday in Heaven


Please celebrate this special day with love for those who are near,
As I am at peace with happiness divine, so please don't shed a tear.

Today was the day when on earth my life began that's true,
But on the day I left that plane, eternal life began anew.

Just as the song lives on each day in the coo of the mourning dove,
I celebrate with those who've passed with pure undying love,

There's only joy, and contentment, no room for sadness and pain,
Hold me in your heart, until that day, you hold me in your arms again.






Saturday, January 2, 2010

My MIni Bucket List


Just a few random thoughts about creating a bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things a person may have always wanted to do before they kick the bucket. Check it off, before you check out!

Number one on my list is to live at least thirty more years in good health.

Go for a horse drawn sleigh ride through the white and drifted snow, as a family.

Visit the John Denver Sanctuary, in Aspen Colorado. While I am there I will look up Mr. Dickerson...LOL!!!

Visit Prince Edward Island, and the home of L.M. Montgomery.


Well, right this very moment it is not even very long, but I can add more as they come to me.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!


I am a creature of tradition. I need to carry out all of our family traditions or I feel as though I have missed something. So today whether I am hungry for it or not, I just had to make Sauerkraut and Pork, with mashed potatoes. Well, it did turn out to be delicious, and I did not overeat. Dessert was a popcorn ball, yes, a popcorn ball. I still have tons of Christmas cookies, but I was in the mood for a popcorn ball.

A new year is here, and I still just can't fathom that we are in this new century, let alone ten full years of it. Last night my daughter Jamiann brought up about all those cans of soup I bought in December of 1999, along with the batteries, flashlights, gallons upon gallons of water, and I even filled the tub, just in case we needed the extra water.

Well, we all know how that played out. We were eating soup for months. I even gave some of it away. It is nice to know that it all was a false alarm. But, the direction our planet has taken since then, especially our own country, is not a false alarm. We definitely need to instill a sense of higher morals in all of the young people in our family. We need to live by example, with an understanding, loving, peaceful, and responsible disposition.

I have no big New Year's resolution. I do however hope to be led by God's guidance to aspire to the example of our Lord Jesus. I pray to be more Christlike in the New Year. That is my one and only goal. Let us pray for each other.


Lord, I want,
A mind through which Christ thinks;
A heart through which Christ loves;
A voice through which Christ speaks;
A hand through which Christ helps.

Amen