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Friday, February 22, 2013

WHO Can We Count On?

(Abby can be counted on... to chew shoes, beg for cookies, and love us unconditionally.)  ♥


Who can we count on?  I mean, really??  

As children, we count on our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  That hopefully, God willing, we are raised with love, and are nurtured and protected as children should be.   As we grow and make friends, and later as we blossom into teenagers we date.   Even if time and circumstances have moved some/most/all of those childhood and high school friends from your life, you can look back, and remember fondly the ones you told your deepest secrets to, and you remember the ones who always had your back, no matter what.

Moving into adulthood, more boyfriends, more 'friends' in general.   I read a blog today that compared friendships to shoes.  Some are for when you're going to some place nice, and only need them occasionally.  Some are really painful to wear, and you're always a little bruised and sore from them.  And then there's the trusty pair that you've had for years, serviceable, that you can rely on through thick and thin.  I'm not sure how I'd like to be compared to a pair of shoes, but I certainly hope I'd be a worn comfy favorite sneaker or a well worn Birkenstock... rather than a stiff, hard seldom used high heeled shoe that causes blisters!!

But WHO can we count on?  Who's that comfy Nike?   I've had friends come and go out of my life.  I married, and I had children.   I count on my husband.   He's a good guy.  He loves us more than he loves himself.  He's not selfish, he's hard-working, and God bless him, he is blind to my fat.  LOL  Everything I cook he eats like it's fine cuisine.   He simply does not see that I am an overweight middle aged mother.  He still "see's" me as that skinny teenage girl that I was when he and I first met.  God bless him.  He is such a Prince to me! :)   Please remind me of that when I am annoyed with him.  Haahaaa!!   But yes.  I can count on him.  He's held my hands through frightening ordeals.  He's loved and protected us.  When our daughters are hurt, they want their daddy.  I'm a daddy's girl myself, so this makes my heart happy. 

Who can we count on?  A doctor who has taken an oath to save and protect life is wanting to force vaccinations, birth control pills, and other drugs on my children, all in the name of "health care".  Or because things are pushed by the pharmaceutical companies.  Or Planned Parenthood. Or because some pencil pusher with no medical experience at the insurance company decided a pill was better than therapy.   What about the doctor who is one of only of a few of a certain type of doctor in the city, but as it turns out, though he may have a lovely bedside manner, he is misdiagnosing patients left and right?   Who checks on these things?  Did he graduate at the top of his class?  Or did he just scrape by?  There's no way to tell.   I can tell you that I found out the hard way that we could not count on the last two doctors we had for our children.   I believe we finally got a good one, praise the Lord.  Can we count on her?  Time will tell.  I really, really hope so.  I am trusting God!

Can I count on someone who I think is my friend, but is counting my sins behind her back?  The friend who can only be friends if we believe the same way about every topic?  Or the friend who was a close confidant, but we both grew so completely different that we have nothing in common any more?  

Can I count on God?  Absolutely!!  No matter how 'far gone' that I go...  it amazes me how His love for us and His mercy... it's just so... Infinite!!  Funny thing about God, that you don't have with a human. :)  When you're arguing with a friend or family member... you both have to think over your part in it, and see how you can amend yourself to the other.   If you're "arguing" with God, LOL, it's not Him.  It's you.  Why?  Because He is perfect... you can COUNT on Him!  He's unshakable.  So unlike us. :)

As I've "matured", (shall we say?)  My husband and I grow closer.  My circle of friends has grown... smaller...   Significantly so.  But more precious.  Getting out those pruning shears, and cutting out those "dead vines".  Friendship needs to be LIFE-GIVING.   Everyone needs someone they can count on.  To love you , support you, to pray for you, and to be silly with.   I'd rather have one old battered pair of Birkenstocks than 50 pairs of shoes that kill my feet.  That old battered pair is THE pair I can count on.  No blisters.  Guaranteed comfy.  Is there for me every day, no matter the weather or how dreadful I look and/or feel. 

Who do YOU count on? 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Make Bread for Fasting



I don't recall if I've posted on fasting before, and quite frankly, right now I am feeling too lazy to look!  But even if I have, I truly feel it is worth reposting.  Above is the book on Fasting that I bought at the St Vincent de Paul thrift store in St. Augustine.   It was written by Father Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M., and was written in 1988.

The recipes below I've gotten from Medjugorje sites.  I hope someone may find this post helpful.

How to Make Bread for Fasting

A recipe used in Medjugorje

I have this posted so I can find it, :) but anyone is welcome to copy it and use it. :)  I got it from  http://www.medjugorjemir.org/bread_for_fasting.htm

Fasting is good for the soul and the body, I hope that Lent is will not be the only time for us to do it.  If you want to know more, please check out 


Ingredients

3 cups white flour
4 cups wheat flour
1 pkg dry yeast or three tablespoons of active yeast
1\2 cup of lukewarm water
2 cup of very hot water
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of butter
1 cup of raisins (or fresh apple cut up into small pieces)
1 cup of almonds or walnuts
1 cup of Plain Oats

Blend flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour. After yeast dissolves in1/2 cup of lukewarm water (5-10 minutes), add to flour. Mix flour over yeast mixture making soft balls. Add salt, sugar, butter, oil, raisins (or apple) and nuts, 1/2 beaten egg to 2 cups of hot water. Pour over yeast. (Continually add flour and water as needed) Knead the dough until it comes clean from the bowl. Let it raise 10 minutes covered. Knead again until it has spring on it. Place in a well greased desired shapes. Brush the top with remaining egg and sesame seeds, oats, or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, until done and golden brown. (Use the “wet knife” test) Make 2 larger, or 3 medium loaves.

The quality of bread depends largely on the kind of flour used. A mixture of whole wheat flour and white flour can be used.

On fasting days it is crucial to drink a lot of water. Our Lady did not specify weather it should me hot or cold water, or give any other details of this sort, so each is free to decide these details for himself, in full freedom, from the heart, and according to the condition of his health. Fasting is easier when we ask God the day before for this grace, since to fast well is a grace we should not take for granted. As we ask our Father for “our daily bread”, let us humbly ask Him also for the gift of fasting on bread and water. To fast with the heart increases the power of our fast against evil, divisions and wars.

Here's another:

Oatmeal Bread for Fasting
By Deanette Pease.

"I thought I would share with you an awesome bread recipe. It is great for fasting. This recipe will make two loaves. This bread takes 4 hours from beginning to end. The bread also freezes very nicely. It was taught to me by an 86 year-old prayerful Italian woman. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer the kneading goes easier."  

Oatmeal Bread
Add 2 tablespoons of dry yeast to 1/2 cup warm water and let stand for 10 minutes (good yeast foams up)
In large mixing bowl add (mix well):
2 cups oat bran flour
3 1/2 cups white flour
1 flat tablespoon salt
1 cup quick (not old fashioned) oatmeal
Make a little hole in the center of your bowl before adding:
dissolved yeast
2 eggs beaten (eggs should be room temperature)
1/4 vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup of honey, maple syrup or light molasses (your choice)
3/4 cup of warm water (Add water little bit at a time, when bread is dry add a little more, if too soupy too much water, no fear - can always add a little more flour to stiffen up the dough). Roll onto floured surface and knead into a large ball. Place in a lightly oiled large bowl to let rise for 2 hours (on a warm place preferably). Cover with spray-oiled plastic wrap and let rise. Then when risen, punch down and roll onto floured surface again and split the dough into two balls. Roll flat and shape into elongated rolls and place in an oiled bread pan. Cover again with lightly spray-oiled plastic wrap. Let rise again for about an hour. When dough rises to just above the top of bread pan, (a rounded look), you can take egg white and a little water and brush lightly on top of bread and sprinkle quick oats on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 375 degrees for another 35-40 minutes. When bread is nicely browned and the top taps hollow sounding, take out and cool on wired surface. Tip: Let bread cool a bit before slicing or even better yet at least a couple of hours. Enjoy and good fasting to all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brain Fat, Autism, and Sucker Punches




What a long week it's been.  

Last week a lighting storm moved in, and, being as that we live in the Lightening Capitol, it really should not have been a surprise that our modem was struck, (as well as my neighbors modem, her phone, and her washer).  It's not the first time, nor will it be the last time, I dare say.  But, it was an inconvenience.  That, you can take to the bank.

I made a nice long post, saved in my inbox drafts, that I had intended to post as a blog entry.  Whatever happened to it, I have no idea.  But I am annoyed that it is gone.  I couldn't even tell you what it was about.  LOL  Obviously it was not anything earth-shattering.  Haha!

We did go to mass on Ash Wednesday... confession, Holy Mass, and ashes...  Lent has been beautiful and we attended mass on Sunday too.  I am so glad we went.  Robyn gave up sodas for Lent... and she's had a very difficult time when someone else is having one, and she has to pass on a drink. :)   It's good for her though.  It's good for all of us.

Today, I took Robyn to her pediatric doctor appointment... the results of all her bloodwork was in, and the results of the MRI on her brain are back...  (let me explain), she was diagnosed with delayed myelination as an infant, and had developmental delays...  and being legally blind... they blamed the vision problems (she is legally blind), on the lack of myelin in the brain.  (for those who don't know... myelin is the 'fat' in the brain that enables all those little signals to travel back and forth to where they need to go.  Such as if I touch a hot stove, my brain is signaled instantly that OUCH THAT'S HOT, and I move my hand.  Ergo, if the signals can't get to where they need to.... well, you can see where that would be a problem.)   So they said (originally) that the part of the brain causing the vision issues was because of the delayed myelin.  That it was not fully developed, and they didn't know if it would or not, or if it did, how much.  Fast forward and she is now twelve years old.  And the MRI they just did says that her brain is fine.  That her myelin is fine... and normal for her age.  Uh huh.  Well then why can she still not see?  No one knows.  Her eyes are healthy, but her vision is still very very bad.  Weird.

So.... her doctor has recommended we see this other "big city" doctor in Miami.  *sighs*  I am wondering if the insurance will cover it, and I am fairly sure they will but have to wait on their official word.  They want to rule out certain things, and re-visit the world of genetics too.  *whimper*  We've already seen two geneticists in the past.  I am not anxious to do that all over again, but it's my daughter.. what else can I do?     To add to my joy... our doctor has diagnosed Robyn with Autism Spectrum. 




 She's high functioning, and leaning towards Aspergers.  
This, I have suspected all along.  We have (yet another) referral to another place that specializes in Autism, so I have my referral in hand, and my phone call made.  Now I await the call back for an appointment. 

I understand there are parents out there who have children with cancer, ... life-threatening illnesses, and we are very very blessed and I get that.  And trust me, I am thankful.  But I have to tell you... I did get a few tears when she told me we'd have to drive a long way to another city to see another doctor... the only one of his kind in the state...  it reminded me of when people have to fly with their sick child halfway across the country to get to a special doctor or hospital... again.. not that I am remotely comparing...  I'm not I swear... but it was a shock to me.  The autism and Aspergers I have seen coming for a long time.  So those did not surprise me.  But some issue I'd never even heard of before, another doctor, another city, and re-visiting Genetics... I just flat out did not see that coming.  Doc was nice... she sent Robyn out while she and I talked.  Thank the Lord... Robyn did not see Momma wipe tears..  I "reeled it in", and got my composure back.  I've been holding it in ever since.  I called my own mom, and had a talk with her... she and my sisters helped me feel better.  Like I told my mom... She's healthy, happy, she's doing fine... but I was not expecting this, and though God knows it could be much worse... this is still a pretty big pill to swallow.   I hate to "poor me"... but right now I just feel that way a little.  God will get us through all of this though.   Funny.  I thought a week ago was the worst...  and then we got through it and hahah BOOM!  Now this.  I can't help but laugh a little.  Surely I have "sucker" stamped right on my forehead for being such a blissful dork over the last week. :)   My joy is still there... I just don't particularly like those sucker punches ya get sometimes. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Apron to Long For

I love aprons.  I have 3 of them now, but not exactly as old fashioned as I'd like.   Therefore:  Putting this here so I won't lose it.  Can you imagine having an apron like this one?!?!?  You'd never splatter a single drop of anything on your clothes!!   Very Downton Abbey too, no?  ;)  LOL   What is it about old styles, traditions, and mannerisms that I love so much?!?

M9423 | Misses' Pioneer Costumes | View All | McCall's Patterns

http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m9423-products-7182.php?page_id=915

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Embracing Lent


Today is better.  No ugliness, no fighting, no ..... feeling that the devil is living in my home.  I sprinkled holy water and blessed salt and prayed through a certain section of the house, and begged prayers from one and all.  To say that is has helped is an understatement.   Today I am doing it again, and this time I'm getting the entire house.   I've also taken to adding blessed salt (just a pinch) to all of our food, and a drop of holy water to each pitcher of tea or whatever drink I make.   The most problematic part of the house is void of a crucifix... that will be changing asap.  I had a Medjugorje holy water font in there before, but mysteriously, it "broke".  Hmmm.  I will get small crucifixes, get them blessed, and am putting them WAY UP HIGH over the door.   I aim to do that to every door of the house.  Including our front and back doors.  Which leads me to the question, do I put them up on the inside over the door, or outside, over the door?  I'm a bit confuddled on that point.

 Our parish is having masses at 7:15 and at noon, with confessions before each.   I may actually try to make that early one.  (which will truly be an act of God if I can make it there that early!)

So today I did a bit of shopping...  picking up some Lent staples, such as canned tuna,  and ingredients for a few, easy to prepare meatless comfort food meals that don't include beans.  (I have a shelf full of beans already!)  With my non-Catholic husband, who dutifully is meatless with us, I try to make things he likes so it is easier on him.   

So today I get out my purple candle holder... dusting off and redecorating my little alter table, (an old pie safe).   Lent, lent, bring on Lent!!  How I cannot wait!!  The ashes, the incense, the immersion in prayers and readings... the fasting and abstinence... the smallness of us and the bigness of God.   I feel I must make haste... and clean like Jesus is coming over (physically) for a visit!   I want to put away the distractions... but can I do it?  Will I make an effort to do this every day?  Will it last?  

I have been such a fickle Catholic... I've been hit and miss at mass for about a year now... some days I flat out did not want to go... and then at the end of the day, I felt a sadness that I didn't.  Some days I just felt too overwhelmed or tired or drained to go... it's been a struggle... and I know that it was the devil giving me excuses in my ear to use and to say, and reminding me of sadness and frailties and so forth.  Old Smut Face has been busy.  And I want, with all of my heart, to TOTALLY tick him off. :)   I think embracing Lent is a good place to start.

Monday, February 11, 2013

You're Not Alone....Lent is Nearly Here...



As anyone can see, I have been most negligent of this blog... I got to the point I wondered if this was not an indulgence in pride, and for that matter, did anyone even read it anyway?   What do I have to offer?  What difference does what I think make?  However.  I have come to the conclusion that out there, is someone else out there.. and she's sad and confused and selfish and prideful like me... with all the doubts and fears and struggles like I do.  And if you're out there, you're not alone, and I love you.  Keep your chin up.  Keep your dignity, and stay faithful to God and where your God-filled heart leads you.  He is all we have.

So tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday.  So bring on the Pancakes and leftover chocolate before Ash Wednesday, where we'll attend mass, receive our ashes, have Confession (hopefully) and spend the next forty days abstaining, fasting, and growing closer to God.   Some years I'm not too shabby at this.  Some years I fail miserably.  I am determined to make this year awesome, spiritually.  

The last few days have been my own personal hell.  I have not cried so much since I lost my friend Stephanie, and my darling Grandpop... my heart feels ripped out.  And then today, we find out about our beloved Papa's resignation.  Pope Benedict is leaving the Seat of Peter vacant at 8PM, February 28th.   I love our Papa... and this adds to my tears and grief.   However, after some thought and prayer, I have given it all to God..   I just sort of went, "Here You go.  I am too little and too weak... I am giving this to You."  And I got a feeling of peace, immediately.  I am still upset about the personal things that have occurred, but God is with me... and He is making it easier for me to bear.

The last few days have taught me a few things.  I have a few wonderful, beautiful friends that I love with all my heart... and that even in my selfish, most prideful times when I'm ignoring God... He still does not ignore me.  :)   What a wonderful Father we have!!   Such a miserable thing that I am... but He just dusts me off and hugs me anyway.  How awesome is THAT??!!   I am blessed beyond measure.  :)

Have a great Lent everyone.  Love to you all, from me, here in Dixieland. :)
Peace be with you!