Monday, March 30, 2015

What I Learned at Disney World

On my vacation this week I observed several things. First, Joy is contagious. 

Second, people can be incredibly kind. I met a family who had driven all the way from Maine with their handicapped daughter and their service dog. The man gave up his seat on the shuttle bus for me. They were the nicest people and told me that they lived in the same town as Stephen King. He definitely had the Yankee accent!Most of the Disney employees were super friendly and asked us where we were from. One cashier was a college intern from Alaska; one of our waiters was from Brooklyn, New York; another from Hawaii; and the tall blonde with the beautiful smile who waited on us at the Princess breakfast was from Norway. And third, it proves that no matter what your native language is, or your native dress, put on your Nikes and a pair of Mickey ears, and the world is a better place.



Epcot



Epcot

                                                         
                                                        Space Mountain



Mae-Mae, my youngest granddaughter, almost four.


A storybook garden


Animal Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom

Once upon a time there was a grandmother who had always wanted to go to a magical place and take her grandchildren along...a place with castles and Princesses and where storybook characters come to life.








Yes, I finally went to Disney World for the first time. There are many reasons that I haven't gone before now...money being the primary deterrent. Everyone always said that it was outrageously expensive. Another is that I am not a fan of crowds and can suffer from claustrophobia. I am also middle-aged and overweight and not in the best of shape. Everyone warned me that I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the walking that is required. No matter. My youngest daughter and her family and I planned the trip within our budget. I used my military discount. I started eating healthier at the beginning of the year and lost ten pounds (Yay!) to try to get in better shape, and I decided to face my fear of crowds by going anyway. And we had a great time! Four days and four parks and my legs didn't give out at all. My daughter made all the arrangements, character dinner reservations and fast passes for the attractions and rides. In four days we ate at an Irish Pub, dined at a Polynesian restaurant with a bread pudding that was to die for; ate breakfast with the Princesses at a royal Scandinavian castle; dined with Chef Mickey and had breakfast at Hollywood & Vine with more Disney characters, and last, ate dinner at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and gang. We finished just as the fireworks started with a great view. During our visit we also went on a safari, saw a stunt car show, took the Great Movie Ride, saw a great musical, "The Festival of the Lion King" and learned about food and agriculture in "The Land." My granddaughters got to go on all of their favorite rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and Space Mountain and my son-in-law waited patiently to take the girls on "Soarin" when we didn't have a fast pass. And this is just a sampling of everything we did, because we tried to cram as much as we could on our first visit. I'm ready to go back, but only after I lose some more weight!



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow Days

We are still experiencing snow and sleet. Most of the snow is gone.
 I took this picture at dawn one week ago. 





Since we've had so many snow days I've been busy sewing. This little black and white dress was made from a recycled lady's skirt.


The pink and white dress was a pillowcase.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow in Alabama






At 6 a.m. this morning

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Healthy Eating

I've been trying to eat healthier. I've also been trying out some new recipes. So far, so good.


I love lentil soup. I make it the same way my German mother made it.



Great for breakfast - a yogurt parfait with granola and fresh fruit.


My vegetable quiche (no crust). I saute zucchini, squash, onion and red pepper
in olive oil, season as you please (I use a little of Mrs. Dash). Sprinkle grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
on top. Mix 2 eggs and 3 egg whites, a pinch of flour, and pour over veggies. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I had so many vegetables I saved the rest for another
quiche a couple of days later (see below).


This is a good way to eat your vegetables.



Monday, January 26, 2015

Solzhenitsyn

"If, as claimed by humanism, man were born only to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to death, his task on earth evidently must be more spiritual: not a total engrossment in everyday life, not the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then their carefree consumption. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one's life journey may become above all an experience of moral growth: to leave life a better human being than one started it." from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Harvard address in 1978. You can read the full speech here.

I came across this speech recently while searching for something else. In light of what is going on in the news today, particularly in our country, Solzhenitsyn's words sound prophetic.

Let me know what you think.


Friday, January 2, 2015

The Beginning of Wisdom

Originally posted on Oct. 28, 2009

Proverbs 9:10
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Today's daily scripture on my Facebook page made me think about what it means to fear the Lord. As a child I would attend churches where the old-fashioned 'fire and brimstone' sermons were delivered by a preacher with a sweaty brow and a thunderous voice. The man in the pulpit could definitely instill a fear of God. I remember when I was ten years old attending a little country church with my aunt. The preacher admonished us sinners to come forward and be saved. My aunt kept nudging me to go forward and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My family was not a church-going family and I didn't really know what it meant to be saved, so I wouldn't budge from my seat. I was christened as a baby in the Catholic Church, but apparently that didn't count. The Baptist preacher got louder and louder and still I would not budge. My aunt's nudging didn't move me and so I wasn't saved that day. It wasn't God that I was afraid of, it was the preacher.

What does it mean to fear the Lord?

Psalms 111:10 -"Reverence for the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. the rewards for wisdom come to all who obey him.

Psalms 115:11, "All you who fear the Lord, trust the Lord! He is your helper, he is your shield."

Psalms 103:17, "But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him".

Psalms 115:13, "He will bless those who fear the Lord, both great and small."

Psalms 33:18, "But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love."

Psalms 25:14, "Friendship with the Lord is reserved for those who fear him. With them he shares secrets of his covenant."

Proverbs 14:27, "Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death."

Prov. 31:30, "Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

I really like that last scripture. When I am old and gray, will my looks really matter?

God is amazing. Look at the blessings, the friendship, the rewards that he heaps on those who fear him? He is our helper, our shield, his love remains with us forever.

And why should we strive for wisdom?

Prov. 8:11, "For wisdom is more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can be compared with it."

Ecc.7:12, "Wisdom or money can get you almost anything, but it's important to know that only wisdom can save your life."

James 3:17, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. it shows no partiality and is always sincere."

And finally,
Job 28:28, "And this is what he says to all humanity: The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding."

Wherever you find wisdom in the Bible you will find understanding. To fear God, is to understand him.
That is the beginning of wisdom.

Blessings.