Friday, January 13, 2017

But This Music...A Neat Discovery...Cozy Recipe for You to Enjoy

I'll open up with this quote I found on a Midtown church site:

'When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself” that church will I join with all my heart and soul.'  -President Lincoln

It hits right-on doesn't it?  

I found the church site as I've been looking for my only first cousin on my father's side.  I knew if I could find the maiden name of my Uncle Wesley's young wife I could most likely find their once baby girl.  The other night it was on my heart to do another check.  I do that from time to time as I feel prompted and I googled her first name and Uncle Wesley's full name together.

I gasped and my heart skipped a beat as a 1940 society page came up from the university they had both attended.  My cousin and her mother, the bride of course, had the same first name thus it came up.  It was the wedding announcement and full description including the church they were married in.  I have found the cousin's online info, she is quite a bit older then I, at 75 she lives in the city, she was born a year after their marriage.  Her mother back in the 40s took the baby girl (my cousin) and had left and no one saw them after that to my knowledge.  My father was only around twelve years of age when this occured and was away at military school so didn't know detail or does and doesn't tell.  Knowing some control issues with my German grandfather it makes sense what happened.  Control as in controlling people is a bad thing, it comes in many forms and to all nationalities as we probably all know, If you don't know it, then you may be a controlling person.   Are you a good witch or a bad witch? asked Dorothy.  ; ) 

My uncle died several years later of cancer at 23, way too young.  I have his pocket watch, his Rice yearbook, his dress gloves from military school and his Kappa Sigma book, I even have his chaps he wore when he fence walked at the West Mansion with his horse, Punkin and Cowboy Will, (a most kind black cowboy).   Cowboy Will worked at the estate, he and Uncle Wesley were buddies and would sleep under the stars.  Uncle Wesley so loved those weekends at the estate grounds.   

Uncle Wesley and my father also enjoyed acting in their young years,  I actually have one very funny story I'll have to share in the future on my dad playing a monk in a most solemn scene, having to wear too short of tights on stage (climbing stairs). : ) 

To make this brief (yes, I shortened it), all of this hits way down into the soul as you may imagine.  My mother said she knew who Wesley was, he would walk in a room and everyone would turn to see this tall handsome young man with a Jimmy Stewart stature.  My Italian grandma said he and my father's eyes were like stars.    

With much prayer, a written note may be sent to my cousin.  We shall see.  It takes time and prayer for a possible release in my heart to do that.

Life is an adventure and a journal page.  I hope I make the most of  what I compose everyday.


I was listening to the light classical station and this came on, it seemed such perfect timing: 

Beautiful music.  Very fitting for the mood.  I have this song on a music cd I own as well.

Here are some relaxing shots at the Forest Cathedral..

We name almost everything here, and this little running buddy vehicle is no exception, he is named:  Sparky.  Cute isn't he?  Sparky was bought used and Jem painted him up.  Cute little Sparky was used for football games at a school on the field at one time.  I think he likes it here much better. : )   Jem (here) and our girls use Sparky for running things back and forth.  ..So cute I think.

loading ...
An adventure...I love old buildings.  Yes, I'm carrying my camera these days, it's rubberbanded together but I always remember the quote from Ansel Adams, it was something to the effect of...You can use a box camera and get good shots with a good eye. 

loading ...  I would like to share a recipe you all may enjoy.

The base recipe is here but I made it my own so to speak. : )

When Jem asked what it is (I always try to think up a fascinating name) ; )...I said it's Confetti Casserole!

Or we could call it Confetti Frittata!

Oven Baked Confetti Frittata

One large packagae of frozen hashbrowns

dozen certified free range eggs

1 chopped bell pepper

2 chopped onions

few chopped Roma tomatoes if you have them on hand

olive oil

garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Okie Dokie, let's get started...

Get your 13 x 9 baking pan and pour a little olive oil in the bottom.  Put your hasbrowns in that, sprinkle with garlic powder, a little bit of salt and peppa.

Pop it in the oven and brown the hash browns.  You may want to give it a stir.  I finally put it on broil for a minute to give it a good and final crisp.

In the meantime saute your bell pepper, then onions, then tomatoes.  This will be juicy but that's good, you won't need to add any other liquid.  Season a little with salt and pepper.

Scramble up your eggs and veggies plus the juice (broth) the veggies made.

Pour that over the hashbrowns and  bake til done, at around 425 or so.   Slice in squares as served.  Boofet (buffet) style.  My Italian grandma always pronounced, 'buffet', like boo-fet.  This makes me *smile*. 

This was a good comforting dish.  You could mix and match many different veggies, as long as you  keep those wonderful aromatic onions in. : )

This fed four big eaters plus a very large serving the next day. 

I served this with some baked broccoli florets from the oven.  I just put two bags of some frozen broccoli florets on a pan with olive oil, season and bake. 

I sure hope everyone is having a nice day.   Take care now, may we all remember that every day is a journal page, what shall we compose?  ...And that goes double for me.  *big smile*

Mo-Mo our sweet kitty says hello...  She is my little i.n.f.p. buddy.  

I'll close with more of my favorite music that suits the current mood in a good way, the theme to one of my most favorite movies:  To Kill a Mockingbird.   (1961)  Scout is very much me as she opens her cigar box...  How about you?

Signing off from the Forest Cathedral, take care until the next time!     -Amelia

(All black and white photos are by Robert Stock)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

TOTO, I've a Feeling We're not in Kansas Anymore...

On the way home from Midtown with Jem.  Ethereal.

Isn't this beautiful? 

A day in smalltown...

Clifford and Goat-Goat my friends and pretend pets.  We like to sip on tea and once again enjoy watching our friends from afar by the drive-thru after a big grocery trip.

 Why wouldn't anyone not understand enjoying these sights?  Peace and quiet, quiet and peace.  

An enchanting walk through the forest.  Would you like to come along?

Perfect for our walks in the forest.  A Turner Classic shirt with Dorothy and Toto in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."  ...And my old faithful tweed blazer.  I do find that particular quote quite handy at times. : ) 

A movie I so enjoy every year.

'Tenth Avenue Angel'.  (1946)  

Everytime we see this movie, Jem says:  That really is a good movie .

You see, at 3:15, little Flavia praying is touching to my heart in a personal way.  I love how the cow kneels just as the animals kneeled on the night of Jesus' birth.  The end of the movie is a happy one.  I do recommend!  Enjoy. 

 One evening here in the forest.

 By the way, do you like pretty music?  You may enjoy this!

I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Time brings Random Thoughts, Memories and a Christmas Show n' Tell of Sorts

A most sweet Sunday.  Lea, myself and Jem at one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurant delis in midtown...Live Christmas jazz was playing.  Don't hold it against us but Jem and I have our mouths full. We do say Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

One of my favorite old churches ever for various reasons.  Sometimes we treat ourselves to a visit there.

Jem, Lea and I sat up in the balcony...Lea took our pic.  Do you see the door behind us?  Where I sat I could see the stained glass window of Jesus holding his little lambs through it.  You see.  ...Many of us have things going on, we are in odd seasons of life for different reasons and the stained glass is just a beautiful, sweet and most poignant reminder of Jesus holding us.  I am reminded that I am His lamb.  Jem tried hard to get a shot of the beautiful window with Jesus holding and taking care of His lambs but it just didn't turn out this time. 

Following:   The view from here.  The original church was started around 1830.  There were Germans, American Indians, African Americans and you name it who attended here.  Did you know I am half German and half Italian?  Don't hold that against me either. ; )  There are days in which I'm not sure which side in the families I'm more disenchanted or enchanted with.  It's a bit like... Are you a good witch or a bad witch...said like Dorothy.  But it's more like...  Are you a good Italian or a bad Italian?  Or you a good German or a bad German?  I have to expound though, my Italian grandparents, the Oddos were the salt of the earth.  We were from the waterfront, not the city. My parents would go to the city to shop for clothing or go to the bookstore, or sometimes bring me to the museum or zoo to visit for a treat.  Down-to-earth were the waterfront Oddos and I am so very thankful for that. There was never talk of a brand name car or what type of a diamond one would wear. Life was about good eats and laughter in my humble Italian grandparents home. The nasa aeronautical crowd I went to school with thought more of education etc. The scientists drove small economy cars, the fishermen drove trucks and now I really do appreciate that part of life there. My family drove cars til they fell apart and paid cash for another brand new car or truck. A vehicle was a practical thing, not show for us.  I guess I've always been out of the box growing up in an older neighborhood instead of suburbs and it took me a while to realize the value of that. ...And I think being out of the box is pretty good. The German side?  My German grandfather was the black sheep and was never in contact with his family.  So, to make a long story short, there are and were some German docs around who were my great uncles (and down the line) and I never knew them.  I was recently blessed to run across a pharmacy owner who is a cousin and that meeting was a bit of an epiphany for me. Jem and I stopped by the pharmacy after noticing my unusual maiden name on the sign.  His very tall stature came walking out to meet me, and I saw my Uncle Wesley's stature.  The pharmacist's father was one of those doctors. Life is strange like that.  It's a mystery many a day.  Always an adventure, sometimes a quiet one and that particular way is fine with me.  Contentment is a missing ingredient in many I think.  I see the great value of contentment and try very hard to keep a healthy grasp on it.

I've been listening to a Bing Crosby Christmas cd, his voice is so soothing to me.  And to me, many times, it's more wholesome and wafts a sweeter spirit than the contemporary Christian music many times that is played.

The boys choir has that special sound in the following clip.  There is just something about it...


A really nice, heartwarming movie?  One of my favorites. It also has Bing Crosby in it as Father O'Malley in 'Going My Way'... Bing Crosby in the part of Father O'Malley reminds me of a special priest who was very kind to me when I was a little girl, Father Connally.  He left our church back then and it left an empty place in this shy little girl with the long brunette hair. I found him and wrote him a letter in the 90s and he sweetly replied and yes, he remembered me. 

Going My Way (1944

(Edit 12.23.16)  You may also be interested in 'The Bells of St. Mary", the sister movie that goes with 'Going My Way'.  Both are wonderful movies.

I heard this one today on Mar's jazz station.  I've always loved this music, Holiday for Strings (1955) David Rose and His Orchestra.  My mother used to have an exercise record, ...
  1. ... (Warner Bros. Records,1959) ~ Physical Fitness / Exercise album
...that she would exercise to that featured Holiday for Strings.  I loved it so much that when the girls were little we made a recording for our answering machine that featured this music.

I love the end. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, may God be with you,      Amelia

Monday, December 12, 2016

More of The Greatest Generation, I'll Be Seeing You, and...Don't be a Heelot

I thought I'd put up a few more photos of Lea with our great vets from Pearl Harbor!  This is Lea with her genuine Italian Goombadi!  Buddies for sure.  So sweet.

And is this not precious too?  This is Bob.  I think Bob was trying to teach Lea how to ballroom dance, saying "1-2-3" showing Lea the steps....  Lea started laughing at her own confusion and gave up...She just started doing a 60s go-go dance!  Later on the bus, whenever Bob, Lea's dancing buddy would catch Lea's eye, he would put his pointer finger up with a huge toothy smile as if to say...Remember, you are my dancing buddy!  Such a sweetie. 

Lea is home now! Thank God for a safe trip! The privilege of being with our vets was a lifetime chance as I'm sure you would agree.  So grateful and happy Lea was able to do that!  She was so very blessed by these brave gentlemen and the memory of those who went before us on those ships.  It blesses my heart that she was able to go do that. 

The homefront here, I took this a few mornings ago as dark clouds were coming in, I thought this was appropriate for the Pearl Harbor anniversary with the contrast of the American flag.

Here is a video with WWII footage with Bing Crosby I found this and thought was neat...

'I'll Be Seeing You'

I've been listening to a World War II Armed Forces cd set with the old Bing Crosby genuine radio programs.  Wow.  The country really pulled together and God was honored.

It's becoming late now....

What's for supper?  Zucchini with pasta gravy over brown rice pasta with ciabatta rolls for those who can have wheat. 

We are going to have a family movie night and watch Dolly Parton's Christmas Christmas of Many Colors:  Circle of Love.  Great-great movie! 

loading ...   I'll be seeing you!  Signing off from the Forest Cathedral, Amelia

You may enjoy one of my blogs from several years ago, 'Don't Be a Heelot'

I hope you are having a sweet Christmas season meditating on the real Christmas.

Here is a most excellent sermon:  I don't agree with everything every preacher expresses but this is a good sermon.  He goes into the materialism at Christmas and gives some interesting and even humorous examples, yet sobering, things many would not say.  He has a dry sense of humor so be ready for that. : )  He is quite a character indeed.  *big smile* 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Greatest Generation. WWII Vets. Pearl Harbor. Do You Know How Beautiful You Are?

Our oldest daughter, Lea is in Hawaii at the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  Tears stream down my face as I see these photos...

We love all of our vets and our hearts are so blessed and so touched by what you all do and have done.  Our hearts overflow with gratefulness for your great valor and sacrifice. 

So happy that Lea is there to volunteer and share that love and appreciation. 

This photo is of Pearl Harbor vet and homicide detective, Jim Leavelle who escorted Lee Harvey Oswald on that day in 1963 when Oswald was shot.  Lea relays he is such a sweet gentleman and insisted that she wear his famous hat. 

Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby as Oswald is being moved by police, 1963.jpg

 Awesome in the true sense.
 These men are true Greatness...How can we thank and honor them enough. 
 Remember.  Remember.  Remember.
 Pictures say it all.

All of our vets are beautiful.  They are everywhere and we appreciate them so much.

Here is a blog post I wrote several years ago of Marianna and me at the grocery store as a most precious WWII vet shared his memories and heart with us, one of our favorite things to do is having the privilege of talking to our vets as we can find these treasures in our everyday lives.

As a middle-aged parent, a homeschool mom, I feel like I put my very life into our girls...And now it is such a blessing to see fruits in their very lives.   God is so good, maybe we aren't able to do these things but our kids can. : )

That is a Blessing.

Do you know how beautiful you all are?

God bless America.

Today I am thankful for our veterans, the glory men.  Do they know how beautiful they are?


Hope to be able to add some more greatness soon...Lea tells me she has seen CBS news there; they did a neat mannequin video and more I'm sure, as well as FOX news interviewing.

You can go to 'The Greatest Generation' on Facebook to see more greatness along with the popular mannequin video of our vets and sweet volunteers (looks like a dimensional Norman Rockwell painting).  Lea is in it posing with her camera from afar. So neat I think!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  
 -Hebrews 12:1