Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Very Special Old Photo, a Vegetarian Stroganoff Recipe and Contentment

An old photo I would like to share:
Our little Lea, my sweet mother, now 86 and our beloved Al who went to be with the Lord in 1991.  The first real heartbreak of my life...  I'll never forget when I received the news over the phone from my terrified mother that Al had a heart attack and then another call...Al died.  I ran outside in a long yellow Garfield tshirt nightgown and looked up to the stars in the sky crying so hard my cries were silent, I tried so hard to pull our Al back down to me out of the starry night...

Al was our little daughters' best friend, grandpa and a kind father-figure to me.  Kind.  I do believe that kindness is missing these days.  He would walk our little girls to the corner store in their old neighborhood and buy them a snack and drink and they soooo loved that.  Rebecca would be born later and I missed Al being there.  Once again he was very missed.  Perhaps in the future I will tell more 'Al stories'...  You see, we should all be Als.

Al was from the Bronx by the way, he was one of the last true stone cutters, and most talented sculptor.  He composed Dr. Cooley's monument.  He was talented but never ever blew his horn...I loved Al.  Very much.  I think of Al every day.  Yes, two separate words, every and day.  : )  It's more important and sobering like that I think...

I think back and how he must have been very patient with me, a sweet young lady but one who could also be a quiet but vocal dunderhead at times but I also was one who was fiercely loyal to him, he knew it too, in his own quiet way, he knew I was all for him .   Now, I know how it is to be spoken to by a younger dunderhead.  I had one younger woman acquaintance tell me that no one ever reads blogs anymore, wasn't that nice of her to write? ; )  Oh my!  Not a very encouraging kind of thing to say or write wouldn't you agree?

The photo above was in 1983 when Lea turned one year old, isn't this the sweetest thing ever?

Time flies as we all know.

Lately I've been having a lot whirring around in the theatre of my mind and soul.  God is faithful throughout.  Life goes on and many a day I feel as a real genuine empty-nester! : )  How did that happen?  loading ...

One of our four daughters is married, and of course the other three little women have jobs of their own now until God sends His choice to them and I'm pleased as punch to have them here at home until that time. : )  I am a minister of my home here as I plan our suppers and such.  I do take supper very seriously.  It is a time for all to gather round and talk and laugh, laugh and talk, sometimes discuss but not too much.  We keep supper time, casual, light and cheerful with lotsa good eats.  It was Ronald Reagan who said:

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
-President Ronald Reagan

Watcha been doin' Miss Amelia?

I have been doing a lot of cooking lately and making Little Dresses for Africa along with vintage-type of fun cotton print dresses for myself.  It's so nice to grab a dress for the day to dress up for a grocery outing or dress down for home.  It is a very special thing to celebrate our femininity. : )  Today it's a cotton sleeveless homemade tunic with cats and dogs on it and black knit capris...That's a fun look too right?  I also had the most fun opportunity to surprise a little girl's grandma with two little homemade skirts. (I found out the little girl didn't have school clothes this year except for some new tshirts).  That was such a blessing to do that and the little girl was so excited that she was wearing one of the skirts the first day of school!  Yes!  So fun being an angel in cotton so to speak.   So fun....My blessing.

loading ...  Anybody been to a Dollar General store lately?  Oh my.  The fall decor is out and Mar and I made our special trip there and found some adorable fall dish towels...The lady that worked there said...  I can tell ya'll are having a good time!  It's truly the simple things isn't it? 

And you know what else I found there?  I found a beautiful dark-fall-red medium size crossbody bag.   There was one left, it was my color and I was debating.  I had purchased a dark brown bag on ebay but this one...  When it rang up at the register, the name of the bag that came up was ...  Amelia  

God knows what we need.  He is good.  

Here is a recipe I will share :

loading ... Mrs. Amelia's Vegetarian Stroganoff   ....a most soothing supper

6-8 servings of brown rice noodles (any kind of pasta or noodle will work)

2 T oil

2 onions

6 T brown rice flour (whatever kind you prefer)

4 c. vegetable broth.   (I buy veggie cubes from Vitacost Braggs Aminos works in water as well!)

1 1/2 pounds mushrooms  or I used 1 package of veggie italian 'sausage' found in the produce department

1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. salt (if needed)  Braggs is salty.

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 T. tomato paste

Sautee onions in oil, I used olive oil, add flour, add broth, add thyme, sage, salt and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes.

Add vinegar.

Serve that over pasta or noodles.  

I cook the mushrooms in olive oil, sprinkling with garlic powder while cooking and serve on the side, Jem is not a mushroom kind of guy!  He's cute but doesn't like mushrooms! Ha!  

OR  I brown the sliced and quartered Italian veggie sausage with a little oil in the oven, and serve that on the side as a side to go on top.  If you like, you can add parsley to garnish the pasta or noodles if you want to be fancy.   


loading ... From my Streams in the Desert devotional this morning:  

In lieu of the above thoughts on our Al...

"...may I remind myself that it is my great privilege to enter into "the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings" (Phil. 3:10) and I am therefore in great company.  May I also remind myself that all the suffering is designed to make me a vessel suitable for His use.

...Pain leads to plenty, and death to life -- it is the law of the kingdom!  from In the Hour of Silence"

Streams in the Desert, by L.B. Cowman

  Have a sweet evening, loves!  Amelia

 All retro photos except the first personal photo on blog by Robert Stock

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Our Beautiful Gentle Giant, Buddy. Our Hearts are Broken.

We will miss you so much Buddy.  Our dear beautiful gentle giant, Buddy.

Last week, Aug. 3, Buddy didn't come in after he was last seen playing with Gracie, one of our other large dogs out by the pond.   Jem and I became suspicious when night fell and Buddy didn't come into the house...The next morning our precious Buddy was not in the living room waiting for us and Jem knew to drop everything and get on his scooter to find him...Buddy was found in our pond, he had passed away. I saw Jem stop on his scooter and just sit there.  He drove back up to the porch, I'm standing there in my robe...Jem says, Buddy is dead.  In the pond.  I blindly just walked in pjs and robe to the pond saying,  No, this can't be...this cannot be....   It's amazing how we remember things in these times...  The light colored sand and dirt being like powder below my feet, the  shoes I was wearing as I stared down...

We have no idea really what had happened, we first thought perhaps a snake bite but after research I'm wondering about a heart attack, something vascular in nature. 

One of Buddy's favorite things was going in the pond lapping water up with his tongue just getting the biggest kick out of it all...I would laugh and laugh, he was a delight to watch in those times.

Jem and I at the pond, I could see Buddy's precious hamster-like ears below the water that I had so lovingly pet, often remarking that they were like velvet, the swirly part of his white fur by his arm...   Jem gently taking Buddy out of the pond turning his large body over...Jem finally trudged to the big tractor after quiet deliberation, and drove it to where Buddy lay...And we lovingly put Buddy in the large scoop of all things...It seemed so horrible, so undignified for our precious Buddy but it was all we could do to get Buddy to his place of rest,we had no extra help that morning.

Jem said it was agonizing for him, bringing Buddy to the back of the property, the same trail he and Buddy happily traipsed many a day...just the evening before.   Jem was and is taking it hard and so am I.  So am I.

I cannot tell you the times our precious bulldog would sit on my feet, guarding me.  Where I napped, he napped.   When our married daughter, Michelle would come over with her kitten, Buddy would sit in front of whoever was holding the kitten in typical, nanny fashion.  He was so very sensitive, he sensed feelings keenly, much like me...He was afraid of our cats, running across the room from them...He would give us his large paw and we would say... Yeah... Buddy.  Big baby Buddy.  Sometimes I would get his large cheeks in my hands, as I smiled and move them playfully, gently, lovingly saying...Buddy, Buddy, Buddy....Big Baby with my lips in a pout. 

 When Buddy first found us. 
Buddy had been dumped in our area and it was obvious that this beautiful creature had been abused, he was literally afraid of his own shadow.   Just last week he had jumped and ran from his own shadow, much like me, I had thought to myself...

The last thing I said to our big baby Buddy out by our back garden near the shade of the Lilac bush...I was taking care of our blind little dog and Buddy was looking up at me feeling rather insecure as he most often felt when I gave attention to our other dogs...I said...  I love you Buddy, I love you Buddy.   You are MY Buddy!  He looked at me in what seemed a nonchalant way and went in the direction of the pond...That was the last time I saw our Buddy.

Jem and I both are heart broken.  We miss our Buddy.

His friend, Coffee is lost at times, she would nap with her friend, Buddy. 

Buddy and Coffee

A hard week.  Very hard, very difficult.

loading ... Following are two blog entries with photos and sweet thoughts on our Buddy.
Buddy Heart Valentino, a recent blog entry

When Buddy first Found Us my entry from two years ago... 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Two Sunday Sermon Shorts: "The Love of Money" & "Pride" ...And 'Why Voting for Trump is a Good Moral Choice'

On the love of money and the love for God....
"If you are attracted to one, you will reject the other."  -Zac Poonen

Two Sunday Sermon audio shorts for today:

The Love of Money...  and   Pride  by Zac Poonen from  

loading ...  
Photos by Robert Stock

Allow me to say, you can have a love of money without being rich.  And you can be rich, without pride, being a responsible behind-the-scene steward for the Lord's Work with humility. 


And last but not least...

Why Voting for Trump is a Good Moral Choice  by Wayne Grudem

The author leaves no stone unturned.   ...And I agree.   Yes, at this point, I am voting my conscience.  I personally cannot stand to leave our Supreme Court at risk for generations, not to once again mention the Unborn.  To me, it's the Jesus thing to do.

Here are two more articles for good measure:

To the Never-Trumper - A Biblical Case for Trump

Megachurch Pastor David Jeremiah Reveals How His Vote Will be Decided 

Goodnight, loves.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

'Religiosity & Spirituality' by Zac Poonen Only 12:44 ...Concerns for the Country & the Sanctity of Life, is it Forgotten?!

loading ...

 Do we know Christ personally?   ...Or is it just a go-to-meetin' kind of thing?

Today's sermon offering that we most enjoyed:
'Religiosity and Spirituality' by Zac Poonen

Zac Poonen nails it again from


Praying for our country.  Who will  do the best thing for the unborn?  I am seeing so much insulting and pettiness along with hateful name calling but not so much concern for the unborn.  Hey, brothers and sisters, this is no time to prove prideful piddly party concerns.   Pence sounds pretty darn good to me. He has been proactively prolife, an unashamed Christian.  I've heard motives etc. questioned.  Who the heck cares even if that is the case?  Who will get the job done at this point!  ...We have Supreme Court Justice positions to fill as well.  Good grief!   The house is on fire and the unborn babies are in it. The Sanctity of Life is in the Balance!  ...Many things are. 

loading ...
Have a peaceful Sunday night, loves.   

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Wowee Sunday With Zac

loading ...

This is one of the BEST sermons we have heard in a long, long, long time. We aren't hearing sermons like this much anymore!   We highly recommend:
Zac Poonen

I hope everyone is having a peaceful Sunday as we pray for our nation.

Here at the Forest this evening:

Tonight for supper we keep it easy, it's God's day of Rest. : )  We usually do scrambled real free-range eggs with toast and perhaps grits if we feel like grits.  ...Or perhaps an avocado sandwich on a good ol' bun, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes etc.  These sandwiches are so delicious.  I learned this idea in smalltown, I told the local grill that I was a vegetarian and they were so quick to kindly, delightfully with a smile, offer an avocado burger (no meat).   I had never thought of that so it really has helped me to learn of a new option when in restaurants.

Have a nice week dear ones.  I will end with this prayer from Francis of Assisi I have always loved since a little girl:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Good Sunday With Leonard and Frederick

loading ...

Jem and I listened to this sermon today, I think you too may glean from this timeless sermon.  We drove into uso town listening to this and stopped at a most beautiful park to pray...

A priceless site for sermons, old and new.

loading ...  And now this evening for an excerpt from today's reading from a book I am enjoying...A book by Frederick Buechner, The Eyes of the Heart.

I actually read a couple of pages outloud including this excerpt to Jem this afternoon on our back porch...The author tells of several ways God showed Himself and His Care and Love so very clearly. 

...Trust that if God is anywhere, God is here, which means that there is no telling where God may turn up next ---around what sudden bend of the path if you happen to have your eyes and ears open, your wits about you, in what odd, small moments almost too foolish to tell.  If God is ever, God is now, in the in and out of breathing, the sound of the footstep on the stair, the smell of the rain, the touch of a hand on your bare shoulder where you kneel at the door...  
Chapter five,  Pg. 97

Yes, God is everywhere and anywhere if we are still and notice.  It goes to show what a nemesis this culture of busyness is, the overload many willfully carry, the sad, sad state of many who simply cannot sit still. 

Have you seen or felt God's Presence this week?  I noticed it in quite a few ways; the morning glow in our bathroom upon waking, twice this has happened recently, it reminded me of my Grandma Oddo ...    

His Still Small Voice as I sat in an armchair in a lovely old hotel room on a sixth floor looking at the fluffy clouds in New Orleans... God spoke to my heart and brought me to tears that He has been with me for many years protecting and caring...  

Willie, a precious black lady who has become our friend who has worked at the grocery for years...I ask her how she is and she says she is so blessed that every day is a good day with God.  I also know she has undergone two brain surgeries successfully and she has sweetly reminded me that God does not want us to complain (for no apparent reason she reminded but it was in good timing).  She shares how she shared with her doctors how she would not rush to surgery but she needed two weeks to pray first before surgery.  She is a precious sister in Christ.  The salt of the earth. The Salt of the Earth.  A True Messenger of Christ. 

Goodnight Loves, May we be that salt of the Earth.   May we be Messengers of Christ.    

Friday, June 17, 2016

'The Story of G.I. Joe' (1945) Total Greatness...Total

I treated myself to a movie today, and we will be watching it once again as a family tonight.

This movie is one of the most touching movies I've seen in a while...I had forgotten the greatness.  The feel of the old 40s movies...the total moral climate was so very different on so many accounts. 

Before the G.I. Joe doll ever came about...

Story of G.I. Joe

This movie is from the life and times of the life and writings of Ernie Pyle long recognized as one of the great American war correspondents.  Ernie Pyle lived with the troops, sharing food and spending time with the soldiers as one of them.   It earned Pyle a Pulitzer prize. 

President Eisenhower said... "The greatest war film he had ever seen."

The movie is done through the eyes of a regular soldier.  Many WWII veterans  said this came closest to capturing their own experience.

The one and only Robert Mitchum is in the movie as the Captain...and oh what a great Captain he is.  I love the character he plays.   A gentle but strong leader.

One scene I thought was very interesting was the soldiers enjoying an Artie Shaw big band song on the Zero Hour radio program...and then Tokyo Rose comes on with Psychological Warfare...

Many of the extras were real G.I.s and Veterans.  Correspondent Ernie Pyle, like many of the soldiers you will see went to Okinawa and died there, they sadly were unable to see this great film...I can't even imagine.  Yes, Ernie Pyle never saw the film...see his biography and you will see he was buried in his helmet.  All of our soldiers, how can we thank them enough?

The little dog that goes through the movie is one of the most precious things I have ever seen...

Just a very quick blog here to celebrate and share this great movie.   The Story of G.I. Joe.   (1945)  

See it in entirety..   You too will be touched.  You could use the points of this movie, from Ernie Pyle, to G.I. Joe all the way to the wiles of Tokyo Rose and who she was for a good and interesting humdinger of a history lesson.

Thank you dear ones for the comments of the last post, I have been off radar and have been lame on replying but I do appreciate the thoughtfulness left.

Have a most blessed evening...    Signing off from The Forest Cathedral