Thankful Thoughts - January 31, 2017

I am thankful for reaching the six-month mark since the office where I worked closed without experiencing financial disaster.  It hasn't been easy, but we are still managing to stay afloat, and we've learned to be much more careful with our budget and spending. Whatever future obstacles life brings, I will remember that God has always taken care of me thus far, and I believe He always will.

Thankful Thoughts - January 30, 2017

Tonight I am so thankful that my disabled senior friend has been able to find a good caring home for his beloved pit bull.  He will be moving to town this coming weekend and the trailer park where he will live does not allow pit bulls.  He has raised this dog from a puppy and was so worried about what would become of him.  It was hard enough to say goodbye, but the lady who adopted him was just right, maybe an angel in disguise.  I am also grateful that he will be able to keep his little doxy dog.

Quivering Heart

Sometimes life seems so unfair, we want to question why
We have no power to change things so we can only cry
Sweet kitty's life cut far too short, to angels she must fly
Her quivering heart is shattered as she whispers a goodbye
Written in memory of my dear friend Jamie's beloved Meisha, pictured above, who died this morning unexpectedly after a very short illness.  Jamie has suffered so much already, it seems unspeakably cruel that she has been handed yet another loss.  If I had the power to exchange the life of one of my precious furkids to save Meisha for her I would offer it gladly, but there are no such bargains to be made with God. Please add Jamie to your prayers, she lives with constant severe pain, and now with a broken heart. 
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word: quiver 


Thankful Thoughts - January 29, 2017

I am thankful for perspective. On days when little annoyances and frustrations disturb my inner calm, I know not to let it snowball into that "bad day, bad life" mentality. In the bigger picture I know I am very blessed and my life is very good.

Thankful Thoughts - January 28, 2017

I am thankful for reaching the point in life where I am ok with just being myself.  I do not have to succumb to pressure, or feel the need to jump on any bandwagons. I am a unique creation with a unique purpose and role to play.  If I listen to my heart, and listen when I pray, I can sleep at night knowing that I did the best I knew how, and what I believed to be right. I think too often we get caught up in the emotion of things without really thinking it through all the way, this causes over-reactions which can do more harm than good. I am thankful I have learned to slow down my reaction time.

Thankful Thoughts - January 27, 2017

I am thankful for the knowledge that God created all people equal, that no one is inferior by virtue of race, creed, color or national origin. I am thankful that I not only understand this, but that I believe it with all my heart.  Human rights are God-given rights. Love is more powerful than hate.

Thankful Thoughts - January 26, 2017

I am thankful for a day spent quietly at home.  I've been running around a lot this week, and I love having a day to catch up on reading and writing blogs.  I am always happiest in my own little home.

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part XII

 Lighting a candle to dispel the darkness, Uncle Jake sat quietly on an old chair in the cellar and began speaking. "If there is a spirit here with us, I need you to make yourself known; Uncle Levi, if you are here, please make some kind of sound so we know that it's you."
As soon as he uttered Levi's name the cellar became icy cold and a mason jar filled with preserved fruit fell off the shelf and smashed on the floor, startling Jill and Seth.
"Levi," Uncle Jake continued on calmly, "I know from what I've been told that a lot of bad things happened when you lived here.  I'm sure you're sorry for all the trouble you've given our family and we forgive you, but you can't stay here any longer because you are frightening Jill; I release you and I am ordering you to leave now and go to the light."
At first Uncle Jake's statement was met with silence, then a great rush of air blew past them, extinguishing the candle and moving up the stairs, rattling the cellar door and leaving the front door of the house wide open as it departed.
(To be continued) 
 ~Image Source~
 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "given"
Come and read some great stories and poems and share one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts - January 25, 2017

~Image Credit~

I am thankful for having enough... not too little, not extra, but enough to meet my needs.

Thankful Thoughts - January 24, 2017

I am thankful for Papa Bear's caring heart. Whenever I tell him about someone who needs assistance he immediately starts thinking of what he can do to help.  He is a Freemason, and charitable acts are one of the core principles of this fraternal organization.

Just A Smidgen

"If I asked my Mom how much cinnamon to add to the eggnog when I was growing up "just a smidgen" was her likely reply. She was taught to cook and bake long ago, with approximate measurements like a smidgen, pinch, dash, or dollop, and there were no handy measuring spoons (like those pictured above) for such amounts back then. Somehow she could tell how much flour, butter or spice to add just by look, feel and taste, and everything she made turned out perfect. Now I have the wooden spoon she used to stir things up with, it belonged to her mother before her.  I've figured out the reason everything she made tasted so good... she always stirred in a smidgen of love.
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word:
 smidgen - noun; a very small amount or part
 Come and share your five lines with us!

Thankful Thoughts - January 23, 2017

I am thankful for the blessings that two friends I love received today.  One was able to secure new office space, and the other was offered a job, both were much needed. I am so happy these prayers were answered!

Thankful Thoughts - January 22, 2017

I am thankful for answered prayers. I believe that God always answers our prayers. Prayers are our connection to God, and He has the power to change things in people's lives. We don't always know the answers for ourselves or others, but God does!

Thankful Thoughts - January 21, 2017

~Image Credit~
I am thankful for the blessing of renewed hope for a family member that has been struggling. Nothing warms the heart more than hearing someone with hope in their voice for the first time in a long time.

Thankful Thoughts - January 20, 2017

I am thankful that I live in the USA.  The events of this week really bring home how blessed we are as citizens to have freedom of speech, and the freedom to dissent, along with all the other freedoms we enjoy.  There are many places in the world where freedom of expression is not tolerated.

Thankful Thoughts - January 19, 2017

I am thankful for reaching the point in life where I feel comfortable stopping someone who is attempting to badger me.  Sometimes we can ignore, sometimes humor works, and sometimes just a sweet but short "I've got this, no need for you to worry about it" sends the proper message.  I am thankful that I am no longer a frustrated doormat in life.

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part XI

Talking with Jill and Seth about previous inhabitants of the old farmhouse, Uncle Jake recalled that Catherine's Uncle Levi, her father's brother, had stayed with them awhile but had a drinking problem. He made Catherine and her mother Naomi very uncomfortable, following them around the house and making crude remarks at every turn.
One night an intoxicated Levi had put his arms around Naomi as she was cooking supper, enraging Catherine's father, who threw him out of the house and told him never to return.  The next morning they found his body a short distance from the farmhouse where he had apparently stumbled and fallen, smashing his head against a large rock.  Catherine's father, still angry, had declared that he was better off dead.   
Uncle Jake wondered aloud if Levi's unsettled spirit could be causing the disturbance in the cellar, and on a cloudy, moonless night he headed down the stairs with Jill and Seth, determined to find out.
(To be continued) 
 ~Image Source~
 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "turn"
Come and read some great stories and poems and share one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts - January 18, 2017

I am thankful for the bright blue skies and sunshine I am greeted with most mornings.  On gray, cloudy days, I tend to feel dreary and unmotivated.  The blue sky canopy always seems so big here because the land is so flat.  Sunshine makes me smile.  (Until we reach 100 degree days in summer, but that's another story :-)

Thankful Thoughts - January 17, 2017

I am thankful that whenever I am struggling with something I know that I am not left to handle it on my own.  God is always with me.  Faith guides me, faith sustains me, faith gives me hope and brings me to a place of peace.

Thankful Thoughts - January 16, 2017

I am thankful for little luxuries like the icemaker in our fridge.  I make iced tea daily and use a lot of ice to cool the pitcher down quickly.  I remember the days of refilling metal ice trays for the freezer, dripping as they were carried across the floor from the sink, and my mom rationing the cubes until more had time to freeze.  We take things like icemakers for granted while there are places in this country where people can't even get a glass of water from the faucet that's safe to drink. 

Thankful Thoughts - January 15, 2017

I am thankful for the fun of sharing a little friendly sports team competition with family. Papa Bear is of course a fan of both Texas football teams - the Cowboys and the Texans.  My son has always been a Patriots fan.  My sister's family and my niece in the Midwest are Vikings fans.  There is a lot of friendly text banter going back and forth on game days.  After the Cowboy's defeat tonight, only the Patriots are still contenders for the Super Bowl, so we'll all be cheering for them in their game against the Steelers next weekend.

Thankful Thoughts - January 14, 2017

I am thankful for friends I can be real with and who are real with me.  Not every day can be a great one, we celebrate those, but we also need to be able to share the times that are hard, the times we need someone to listen and care.  I value real relationships and the trust that fuels them.

Thankful Thoughts - January 13, 2017

I am thankful for sweet memories of childhood and the things my mother did to care for us.  I am still enduring the miseries of a cold, and pretty much took it easy today.  I made myself a cup of hot tea with honey and some cinnamon/sugar toast, just as my mother did when we were sick as children. It was as much about comfort as being hungry.  I'm sure that my mother was watching me and smiling.

Thankful Thoughts - Janauary 12, 2017

I am thankful for realizing that there is no possession I own which is as valuable as the people who are part of my life. I like my things, especially my electronics, as much as the next person, but I would give them away in a moment if doing so could somehow end the suffering of people I love who are dealing with so much pain.  Things come and go in our lives, nothing lasts forever except love, which is God's gift to us.

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part X

Jill didn't like going down into the cellar of the old farmhouse, she told Seth something about it made her feel uneasy, not to mention the rank odor of something decomposing with no identifiable source.  Jill remembered her grandmother saying that disturbed spirits tend to inhabit the highest or lowest areas of a home, and she wondered if that's what she was sensing in the cellar.
"I've been told that Catherine never wanted to go down there either," Uncle Jake told Seth and Jill. "She said she always felt like someone was watching her.  After she told her mother that she felt something brush against her leg as bent over to get some potatoes from the bin they never sent her to the cellar alone again."
"We need to get to the bottom of this," Seth declared, "I won't have Jill feeling uncomfortable in our house."
(To be continued) 
 ~Image Source~
 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "rank"
Come and read some great stories and share one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts - January 11, 2017

I am thankful for the Christmas Cactus Papa Bear gave me last year.  It is thriving and blooming profusely again this season.  The bright pink blossoms are gorgeous!  I keep a small bowl of them in the refrigerator because the cool temperature keeps them fresh, and they make me smile each time I open the door.


Imelda had been frantically searching through the house all day.  Joe had given her money from their tax refund to put away for a computer for their son's birthday, and now she couldn't remember what she'd done with it.  She went to bed feeling anxious, and tossed and turned all night, having weird dreams about needing mittens and gloves and searching for them.  She woke up in the morning exhausted and puzzled by her dreams, and then it hit her... running to the storage bin in the back of  her closet she pulled out a pair of winter gloves.  She was so relieved that she started laughing as she felt the stiffness of folded money in the palm of the glove.
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word relieved.

 Come and share your five lines with us!

Thankful Thoughts - January 10, 2017

I am thankful for our four furkids, they add so much love and laughter to our lives. They have filled up the vacant spots in our "empty nest" and are never far from wherever we are in the house.  At least one is always occupying a lap or within arm's reach, at the moment they all are.  They love us unconditionally, and always greet us at the door. The house would be far too quiet without them. <3 <3 <3 <3

Thankful Thoughts - January 9, 2017

I am thankful for homemade soup on a day when we both have sore throats and colds. I made turkey noodle soup for supper using leftover turkey from our New Year's dinner and my sister's recipe that is easy and delicious, along with grilled cheese sandwiches. Soup is great comfort food.

Thankful Thoughts - January 8, 2017

I am thankful for unlimited calls and large data plans on our cellphones which make it possible to talk, text, and share photos with family and friends as much and as often as we want. My kids live 1000 miles away and this is how we stay in touch.  I often think of how my mother would have loved that. 

Thankful Thoughts - January 7, 2017

I am thankful for coming to point at last where I can say, "I forgive you" and mean it, in a few situations where I've been harboring resentment for awhile... a long while. That doesn't mean I excuse what happened or think it was ok, it means that I've released its emotional hold on me. I can look at those people and situations with detachment,  and move on. I needed that peace, letting go feels good.

Cheese Biscuits Recipe

In her comment on the latest segment of my serial story Secrets of the Old Farmhouse Zoe inquired about a recipe for cheese biscuits.  This is one of my favorites from the Internet.  They are drop biscuits, so super-easy and taste great (very similar to the Cheddar Bay Biscuits of Red Lobster fame).

Garlic Cheese Biscuits 

Original recipe makes 1 dozen
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
For the Topping:2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided½ teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (or ¼ teaspoon dried)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the milk and cheddar cheese; stir to combine. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top back at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Thankful Thoughts - January 6, 2017

I am thankful for my warm little house on cold days like this, and for not having to leave it today.  It is down in the teens here tonight, which we aren't used to.  My heart goes out to those with inadequate clothing and shelter this time of the year.  Please clean out your closets and donate warm clothes, coats, hats, gloves and blankets for some folks that could really use them!

Thankful Thoughts - January 5, 2017

I am thankful for Zoe offering to pick up Six Sentence Stories after I had set it aside. I love the challenge of writing with a cue word and length limitations, even if we do cheat a bit with run-on sentences. :-)  I look forward to every Thursday and reading what everyone has shared. If you've never tried it, come and join us some week, it's fun!

Secrets of the Old Farmhouse - Part IX

When Jill started making Seth's favorite cheese biscuits to accompany their stew for supper she had no idea that she was stirring up memories from the past as well,  but seeing a shadow move across the kitchen doorway out of the corner of her eye got her attention.  She called to Seth, who came running when he heard her scream.
Shaking, Jill told him she was sure she felt a hand touch her shoulder as she bent over to put the biscuits in the oven, so together they searched the house and farmyard carefully but found no one.
When supper was ready Jill put the basket of warm biscuits on the table and turned to dish up the bowls of stew; returning to the table she saw that one of the biscuits had been broken in half.
Telling Uncle Jake about this strange occurrence the following morning, Jill and Seth were taken aback when he began to laugh.
"Sounds to me like Catherine's father was joining you for supper," Uncle Jake said, "cheesy biscuits were his favorite food, and they only had them at the beginning of the year, because their relatives in Wisconsin always sent them a big wheel of cheddar cheese for Christmas."
(To be continued) 
 ~Image Source~
 I'm joining Zoe at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "cheesy"
Come and read some other great stories and share one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts - January 4, 2017

I am thankful for living in a place that has mild winters.  Although snow is beautiful, I do not miss shoveling snow, driving or attempting to walk on ice, or being cold and achy because of it. We do have a few days of wintery weather each year, but nothing like I grew up with in South Dakota. Each area of the country has it's good points and bad points, and I can find plenty to grumble about living here, but mild winter weather is a plus for West Texas.


Begin, begin... begin again
Never stop restarting
Each day brings another chance
To succeed before departing
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word
beginnings - noun; initial stage or part of anything;
origin; source, first cause

 Come and share your five lines  with us!

Thankful Thoughts - January 3, 2017

I am thankful for my blog friends, most of which I've never met in person.  We are connected by the words we share and the caring that has grown between us.  Although I spend most of my days alone now, I never feel lonely, there is always someone awesome to connect with at the click of a few keys. The magic of the Internet is discovering there is a whole world of wonderful people you never would have met otherwise!