Sunday, June 30, 2013

"The Sound of Chickens"

I saw a Chick-Fil-A car today. The window graphics made it look like a cow was looking out the window at me. Their theme is cows declaring "Eat more chikin!"

NPR had a bit yesterday about "free range eggs."
The caption for this photo read: "Cage-free chickens in Harold Sensenig's barn near Hershey, PA., get to roam and perch on steel rods, but they don't go outside." Inside one of those houses, 18,000 chickens are milling around on the floor. Some are perched on metal bars. A few are madly pecking away at the plastic covers on my shoes.Sensenig has a deal with a local egg buyer, Sauder's Eggs, which is paying twice the going rate for cage-free eggs. Sauder Eggs, in turn, supplies those eggs to Unilever and Aramark.
"It's more expensive to produce eggs this way, Sauder says. You need more buildings for the same number of chickens, because you can't stack the birds on several levels in the same house. There's also more work involved — somebody has to walk through the chicken house collecting stray eggs that chickens laid on the ground, rather than in their enclosed nests.
"But the industry, he says, is responding to "the perception that cage-free is a better product than eggs from a conventional cage house."
"Do you believe that?" I ask.
"Sauder pauses. "From a nutrition standpoint, the egg is the same," he says."

Bob loves Prairie Home Companion Jokes. Here is a great song he played for me recently.
Laugh along!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Some of the Most Exquisite Work

Signs, signs, as the museum owner said, history of America in signs.
Gold leaf, etched glass, fancy fancy stuff!
They rent their hall for parties to pay their electric bills. P & G was having a get together there the evening that we visited.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fun Outing with the Hunts!

Today we went to the American Sign Museum in downtown Cincinnati.
We saw everything from these HANDCARVED! wooden letters, to the first electric signs, neon, Hand lettering tools, gold leaf. It was great fun! Hope to take the Grandgirls one day.
Think I'll hook those girls with one of the You Tube videos.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why I like CNC

When I wrote recently about the turtles I could not find a suitable photo on line. I solved that by joining the Cincinnati Nature Center again so I can get my own photos! Here are a few reasons I like the CNC. Enjoy!
The honeysuckle was fairly wilted in the heat. Does so remind me of our visit with Betty and Dan!

Who ate the ripe black one?

More to come another day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


In spite of the heat and the relentless aging of my body, these grandchildren keep opening forgotten springs within me. I have had all 4 girls to Cincinnati Nature Center recently. I will take Rowan soon.
The delight of feeding fish and turtles carries on to another generation!
They also stir old chant from memory. In the grocery I began telling Ellie, "Left, left, left, right, left." That led to (can you remember?) I left my wife, alone in the kitchen, with 48 children, and nothing but gingerbread, left, left, ...You may know other rhymes for that march.
Then in the car after our errands I asked Lizzie if they ever played the game, "A, my name is Alice, and my husband's name is Al, and we live in Alabama where we sell apples." We took turns working the alphabet all the way home.
Hope your summer is great, too!

Our 25 Years Old Pressure Cooker

In Cincinnati we put a lot of pressure on our closer, Aroldis Chapman. Saturday he gave sad results as the Reds lost after Leake piched a terrific game, but Chapman could not end it well. It is hard to believe this "Cuban Missile" is only 25 years old! Watch these highlights and enjoy! Oh, and yes, we won Sunday!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trying to discern the best way

With so many of the promises of God there is human resistance and that applies to this one, too. Most often the verses I cling to seem to end with the warning that the people or person refused, would not, dug in their heels, went the other way, i.e., ignored the Lord's advice.
Seeking my way through the decisions about medication for chronic pain, the alternatives, the other available treatments besides medications, this verse came to mind.
Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says:“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
I keep asking "How have people managed this sort of pain for hundreds of years without the heavy medications?" Some answers are, "They hunkered down and bit the bullet." Guess I need to buy a bullet! "They were grumpy and suffered through it." Look out Grandkids! Now I KNOW why Grandma Snapp was so grouchy. She did not feel good. "Their suffering inspired years of research to find the best treatments and that includes these drugs." Oh.
So I ask for your prayers as I stand at the crossroads and look and ask for the paths, ancient or new, where the good way is and I try to walk in it. To some it may seem I am making too big a deal over this. But they fail to understand it is difficult physically and mentally to get on these medications and also difficult to titrate off them again. Having gone on and then off gabapentin in about nine months' time, I do not relish being hasty in this decision.
Meditation and prayer with a cuddly blankie... or "B" as Rowan calls it.
Might I find an encouraging support group that is not just grupy people complaining but talking about WHAT WORKS?
Please pray.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fiddlehead Ferns

One of my fascinations during Spring are the fiddlehead ferns. I learned somewhere that people used to harvest and eat them. Now before we get crazy with that idea, let me share what I have recently learned.
Not all ferns are safely edible. Bummer! The "fiddlehead" is just the term used to describe the fronds as they emerge and before they unfurl. My fascination began years ago as these delicate looking plants showed me how they brave ice and storms and winter winds to emerge through the leaf litter and proclaim Spring!
I bought one plant when we lived in our first house and it has borne countless other plants. We moved some to our new house and they have spread to give the shady back edge of our home a lacy fringe during summer.
For details, recipes, ideas, etc. see:
In my imagination, walking early spring trails in the Smokey Mountains I see mountain women gathering fiddlehead to steam for dinner. In today's on-line presentations they are used to top pizza, in quiche and run $18.00 to $20.00 per pound!
Leave it to a great chef to do this lovely presentation. Looks like nasturtium, fiddleheads, avocado, greens... hm, maybe viola petals?
Check the local Whole Foods near you net spring and see what you can create!
Love the imagination this photo stirs!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Raindance 88-8-28

Raindrops are splattering on the surface of the pond.
...when do they cease to be raindrops
and become part of the pond?
The surface of the pond is alive ....
...circles running into each other
creating colliding dashes.
Turtles break the surface and
burst below again
in a hurried hunt for brunch.
They seem delighted by the pond's behavior ....
... bouncing water
... dancing circles that make turtles
carefree and rambunctious.
You promised repeatedly Lord that
"In returning and rest we are saved
In quietness and trust is our strength."
You said we will be like a well-watered garden.
Lord, when does the anointing become a part of us
and no longer distinguishable as something separate?
Dance on my pond, Jesus.
Splash my mirror surface
until I ripple
an the ripples intersect
to where the pond no longer looks like me, but You
... blended in holy, bouncing raindance
.... boisterous with Your Presence
.... glistening indescribably
and like the turtle
I will dive into the center-down silence
to feast on the fruits of Your Presence.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Baked Alaska"

New York Daily News reported Wednesday on the weather in Alaska ... I was particularly interested since we able to visit Alaska in 2012. "On Tuesday, the official afternoon high in Anchorage was 81 degrees, breaking the city's record of 80 set in 1926 for that date."
With 19+ hours of daylight that is a BUNCH of sunbathing!
"All-time highs were recorded elsewhere, including 96 degrees on Monday 80 miles to the north in the small community of Talkeetna, purported to be the inspiration for the town in the TV series, "Northern Exposure" and the last stop for climbers heading to Mount McKinley, North America's tallest mountain. One unofficial reading taken at a lodge near Talkeetna even measured 98 degrees, which would tie the highest undisputed temperature recorded in Alaska."
That is a snow pile in the foreground at the Talkeetna Roadhouse when we were there May of
2012! Good luck with the explosion of mosquitos this heat will bring. Poor bears and other wildlife!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Drawn up Short

Drawn up short: to bring or to come to a stop suddenly or abruptly
Again, I am at this place of how do I possibly live with this chronic pain and not take the heavy drugs prescribed for me? The drugs designed to trick my brain into thinking the pain is not so bad. The drugs that mess with my brain chemistry.
Reminded of Shawn McDonald's lyric from "Rise."
"Well I keep on coming to this place
That I don't know quite how to face
So I lay down my life in hopes to die
That somehow I might rise."
Trying to lay down my concepts and ideas of how to live and instead pick up what The Lord has for me.
During the struggle this morning, I was reminded of this song. I learned the melody as a child and these lyrics when my first born was still an infant. I shared them with Hawley when Tina came along. He used to sing them "Please, be still..."
Braham's Lullaby melody with these lyrics:
"Peace, be still.
Peace, be still,
Lo, I am with you always.
All sustaining, ever-caring,
All abiding Life and Love.
Peace, be still.
Peace, be still,
In the Presence of God.
He will guide
And protect,
Rest in God's arms of Love."
And so, I will try to do just that.
Again I declare:

"I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will praise You, for I love You better than life - even better than quality of life.

And I will add this declaration:
"I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will breathe, "Peace, be still", for You are with me always.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Not by Hearsay

"The grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but experience.
And that is what makes all the difference."
Thomas Merton Thoughts in Solitude
Have you been silent lately? I have had difficulty getting myself still and quiet for listening for a week or so. There is a lot going on over here. But I know that "In returning and rest I am saved; in quietness and trust is my strength."
Our summer schedule has changed again. Rowan all day Monday then Grandgirls overnight and here all day Tuesday.
Last week the girls and I made a roasted turkey and a new-to-me pesto with parsley, fresh oregano, sage and even mint! It was tasty though not as oily as the other recipe I use. Will make it again! Ellie loved chopping things like carrots and celery. Lizzie enjoyed stripping off the leaves for the pesto. Tuesday we will make pizza for lunch from scratch. Pizza is Lizzie's current favorite food.
Grateful that The Lord can speak to me even in the midst of the grandkiddos!
May all your experiences of God not be by hearsay.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 14 Flag Day

Missed finishing this post due to exhaustion. Bob is very slowly on the mend from double pneumonia. Trying to get myself back on track now!
Mother's Day has passed for the year. Father's Day has not yet arrived. I have many friends who marvel that their Mom has died, some years ago, and they still miss her. If my Mom had lived she would be 100 this year! She has been gone 38 years, and yes, I still miss her.
When I went looking for these photos to upload I noticed that my mom and Bob's both wore short white gloves to our outdoor wedding in 1970! My, how times change!!
Here's to you Mildred Ann. I still pass on your recipes for baked beans, vegetable beef soup, chicken and dumplings and Concord grape pie. I miss you, even as I now am living longer on this earth than you did.
She died in her sleep and we found her on Flag Day. Rest in Peace, Mom.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


"The essence of life is not to find the one thing that satisfies us
but to realize that nothing can ever completely satisfy us."
Don't know who said it, but oh so true if we are honest with ourselves!