Shepards Prayer - Move Me Closer

This my wish and prayer...What about you?  Merry Christmas!


Wordless Wednesday

Snow is beautiful but also destructive!  This WAS a greenhouse!


Make Something Monday

Blue Boleyn Earrings


It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!!!!

Snow is so peaceful.  Here is what I have at my house now!


Heart-warming - From Service Dog to SURFice Dog!

I am an animal lover and when I came across this video I knew I had to share.  Get the Kleenex! 

Wordless Wednesday


Christmas Customs - Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a plant that grows on willow and apple trees (and in garden centres!). The practice of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and ward off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that's where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England! The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words 'Mistel' (which means dung) and 'tan' (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

*as seen on Why Christmas


Christmas Customs - Christingles

Christingle actually means 'Christ Light' and celebrates the light of Jesus coming into the world: but no one is really sure how the Christingles came into being.

There are several stories told of how the custom was started. There is an ancient Welsh service called a 'Celenig' where Christingles are used and the Moravian Church (part of the Czech Republic) has held Christingle services for over 200 years. This is how some Czech people think the first Christingle might have been made:

Many years ago, children were asked to take a gift to put beside the crib in Church. One family had no money for gifts but were determined to take something. They found an orange which they felt would be okay, but were disappointed to find it was going moldy at the top. However, they thought they would scoop out the bad bits and put a candle in the top and turn it into a lantern. Thinking that it looked a bit ordinary, one of the girls took a red ribbon from her hair and tied it around the middle. They had difficulty getting it to stay in place, so fastened it with four small sticks, on the ends of which they put a few raisins. They took their lantern to church and were afraid of the reactions of the other children. However, the priest acknowledged their gift and told the congregation how special it was for the following reasons:

    * The orange is round like the world.
    * The candle stands tall and straight and gives light in the dark like the love of God.
    * The red ribbon goes all around the 'world' and is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed when he died for us.
    * The four sticks point in all directions and symbolise North, South, East and West - they also represent the four seasons.
    * The fruit and nuts (or sometimes sweets!) represent the fruits of the earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain.

Some children in the U.K. make their own Christingles and gather together to light them in a Church Services that raise money for children's charities.

*as found on Why Christmas


Silent Night...The Story!

The words of Silent Night were written by a Priest called Fr. Joseph Mohr in Mariapfarr, Austria, in 1816 and the music was added by his school teacher friend, Franz Xaver Gruber, in 1818 for the Christmas service at St. Nicholas church in Oberndorf, Austria.

Fr. Mohr asked Franz Gruber to compose the melody with a guitar arrangement. It was several years later that Franz Gruber wrote an arrangement for the organ. Historians who have conducted research in recent years believe that Fr. Mohr wanted a new carol that he could play on his guitar.

There is a legend associated with the carol that says, Fr. Mohr wanted the carol to be sung by the children of the village at the midnight Christmas Eve service, as a surprise for their parents. But in the middle of practicing, the organ broke and not a note would come from it! So the children had to learn the carol only accompanied by a guitar. They learned the carol so well that they could sing it on its own without accompaniment.

However, there are no records to indicate that a children's choir was involved or that the organ was broken!

At Midnight Mass in 1818, Fr. Mohr and Franz Gruber sang each of the six verses with the church choir repeating the last two lines of each verse. Mohr set down the guitar arrangement on paper around 1820 and that is the earliest manuscript that still exists. It is displayed in the Carolino Augusteum Museum in Salzburg. There are a number of manuscripts of various 'Stille Nacht' arrangement that were written by Franz Gruber in later years.

The original words of the song were in German (and it was called 'Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht') and translated in to English went:

Silent night, holy night,
Bethlehem sleeps, yet what light,
Floats around the heavenly pair;
Songs of angels fills the air.
Strains of heavenly peace.

It's thought that the song might have traveled around the area with an organ repairman, Karl Mauracher, who could have taken an early arrangement with him in about 1820. Then two singing families (like the 'Von Trappes' in the Sound of Music) seem to have discovered the song and performed it as part of their concerts. In December 1832 the Strasser family performed it at a concert in Leipzig and it was first performed in the USA in 1839 by the Rainer family who sang 'Stille Nacht' at the Alexander Hamilton Monument outside Trinity Church in New York City. During this time the tune changed to the one we know and sing today!

It was translated into English in 1863 by John Freeman Young. The carol was sung during the Christmas Truce in the First World War in December 1914 as it was a song that soldiers on both sides knew!

By the time that the carol was famous, Fr Mohr had died. Franz Gruber wrote to music authorities in Berlin saying that he had composed the tune, but no one believed him and it was thought that Haydn, Mozart of Beethoven had written it! But then the 1820 manuscript was found and in the top right corner Fr Mohr had written: 'Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber.'.

It's now one of the most, if not the most, recorded songs in the world!

*as found on The History of Christmas Carols


Recycle Your Light Bulbs!

Saw this great idea on a friends blog..Crafts by Amanda...She has taken old light bulbs and made beautiful Christmas Tree Ornaments.  Go over and check her crafts out!

The History of Christmas Carols -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com

The History of Christmas Carols -- Christmas Customs and Traditions -- whychristmas?com

Posted using ShareThis


Weather :: Can you Predict the Weather with a Snowball? :: Farmers' Almanac

Weather :: Can you Predict the Weather with a Snowball? :: Farmers' Almanac

Wordless Wednesday

Christmas Around The World - Africa

Preparation for Christmas in the Congo begins when some group is designated to prepare the annual Christmas pageant.

Christmas day begins with groups of carolers walking to and fro through the village, along the roadway, by the houses of the missionaries, singing the lovely carols known the world around. Often people may be awakened by a group of carolers beginning to converge on the house of worship. They return home to make final preparation as to the clothes one must wear and also as to his offering for the Christmas service.

The most important part of their Christmas worship service is the love offering, this is the gift in honor of Jesus. Then at about 8 or 9 o'clock everyone makes their way to the celebration of the birthday of Jesus.

Everyone who attends the service goes forward to lay down their gift upon the raised platform near the Communion table. Not one person will attend the service without giving a gift.

Now people have Christmas dinners after the service, preparing tables out in front of their home and inviting many of their intimate friends to share.

Christmas in South Africa is a summer holiday. In December, the southern summer brings glorious days of sunshine that carry an irresistible invitation to the beaches, the rivers, and the shaded mountain slopes. Then the South African holiday season reaches its height. Schools are closed, and camping is the order of the day. In South Africa there is no snow, but it has many flowers, many beautiful varieties of cultivated and wild flowers being in their full pride.

In the cities and towns carolers make their rounds on Christmas Eve. Church services are held on Christmas morning. Christmas Eve celebrations in larger centers include "Carols by Candlelight" and special screen and floor shows.

Homes are decorated with pine branches, and all have the decorated Christmas fir in a corner, with presents for the children around. At bedtime on Christmas Eve, children may also hang up their stockings for presents from Father Christmas.

Many South Africans have a Christmas dinner in the open-air lunch. For many more, it is the traditional dinner of either turkey, roast beef, mince pies, or suckling pig, yellow rice with raisins, vegetables, and plum pudding, crackers, paper hats, and all. In the afternoon, families go out into the country and usually there are games or bathing in the warm sunshine, and then home in the cool of the evening. Boxing Day is also a proclaimed public holiday usually spent in the open air. It falls on December 26 and is a day of real relaxation.

In Ghana, on Africa's west coast, most churches herald the coming of Christmas by decorating the church and homes beginning with the first week in Advent, four weeks before Christmas. This season happens to coincide with the cocoa harvest, so it is a time of wealth. Everyone returns home from wherever they might be such as farms or mines.

On the eve of Christmas, children march up and down the streets singing Christmas Carols and shouting "Christ is coming, Christ is coming! He is near!" in their language. In the evening, people flock to churches which have been decorated with Christmas evergreens or palm trees massed with candles. Hymns are sung and Nativity plays are presented.

On Christmas Day, children and older people, representing the angels in the fields outside Bethlehem, go from house to house singing. Another church service is held where they dress in their native attire or Western costumes. Later on there is a feast of rice and yam paste called fufu with stew or okra soup, porridge and meats. Families eat together or with close neighbors, and presents are given.

On the west coast of Africa, in Liberia, most homes have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is decorated with bells. On Christmas morning, people are woken up by carols. Presents such as cotton cloth, soap, sweets, pencils, and books are exchanged. Also in the morning a church service is held in which the Christmas scene is enacted and hymns and carols are sung. Dinner is eaten outdoors with everyone sitting in a circle to share the meal of rice, beef and biscuits. Games are played in the afternoon, and at night fireworks light up the sky.
*Information provided by Santa's Net.


Candy Cane Poem

Look at a CANDY CANE, what do you see?

Stripes that are RED like the BLOOD shed for me!

WHITE for my Savior, Who's sinless and pure!

"J" is for JESUS, My Lord that's for sure!

Turn it around And a staff you will see ---

Jesus, my SHEPHERD, Is coming for me!


The LEGEND of the Candy Cane

A Candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would help us remember who Christmas is really about. So he made a Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

    He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature of Jesus. Hard candy to symbolize the solid rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.

    The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the name of Jesus. It also represented the staff of the "Good Shepherd".

    The candymaker then included red stripes. He used three small stripes and a large red stripe to represent the suffering Christ endured at the end of his life.

    The candy became known as a Candy Cane - a decoration seen at Christmas time. The meaning has faded, but still gives joy to children young and old, whom Jesus loves and treasures.



Leave Tiger alone!


Heart-warming video!

I'm sure many of you have been touch by cancer in one form or another.  I lost my mother to cancer.  Here is a video that warm your heart.  It was made to bring more attention to breast cancer and to promote the pink gloves.  The money raised from the sell of the pink gloves will pay for women to have mammograms that can't afford it.  I think it's a great idea!



Conservatives vow to continue fight against health bill (OneNewsNow.com)

Conservatives vow to continue fight against health bill (OneNewsNow.com)

Let Freedom Ring!

Freedom...what does it mean to you?  So many have paid the ultimate price for MY freedom and I am forever grateful.  I hope this video touches you as it did me.  Freedom isn't free!


Work And Excercse At The Same Time!

This could be the answer to world peace!  ROFL


How Pumpkin Pies Are Made!

Just in time for the Holidays...the truth about pumpkin pies!  Enjoy...LOL!


Amazing Grace!!!

Hope you have a blessed day!


EcoStore USA Review and Give-away!

In 2007, a team of French scientists published research demonstrating that the two most common childhood cancers – leukemia and lymphoma – are overwhelmingly correlated to prenatal exposure to toxic chemicals used inside the home.

For women, groundbreaking research has also recently provided data to demonstrate a strong correlation between common household chemicals and the dramatic rise in breast and female cancers during the past decades. Regular contact with these chemicals – which are called “hormone disruptors” because they mimic natural estrogens – exposes women to increased risk of developing a female cancer.

Today we are more aware of these facts than a few years ago and are doing what we can to remove as much of the chemicals and preservatives from our lives as we can.

Mothers today are especially more conscious of what they expose their family to.  I've watched my daughter scrutinize everything that her son touches, or consumes, since before he was born.  I've even been taken to task from time to time about what I've given him and things I have in the house.  I don't blame her.  I did the very same thing when she was little except there wasn't as much information out there on products as there is today.

When I was asked by ecostoreusa.com to try some of their products, I jumped at the chance.  Eco Store USA is an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company www.ecostore.co.nz which makes plant based, non-toxic Household Cleaning, Baby, Personal Care and Pet Products that contain No Nasty Chemicals(tm).  All of their products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce their carbon footprint and no animals are used for testing in producing these products.

I decided to try the Lemongrass Soap.  The first thing I noticed was the pleasant light fragrance of lemongrass.  One of the things I've noticed about some of the "Eco" or "natural" soaps...there is no lather!  When I take my bath I want soapy lather and bubbles...lots of bubbles.  The ecostore Lemongrass soap was wonderful.  There was lather and bubbles.  It left a very clean feel and smell to my skin.  They also offer Coconut, Manuka Honey & Kelp and Vanilla Soap.  I can't wait to try the others.  O yes...they have a Baby Soap too.  Mom....you gotta try this.  With no harsh chemicals and no strong fragrance this soap is perfect for people, or babies, with sensitive skin.

Since I am an animal lover I decided to try the Pet Shampoo too.  I own a Corgi named Lilly.  I guess I take Lilly to the groomers about every 2 months and they do a good job, but after using the Pet Shampoo on her at home my husband remarked that her fur looked much better than when she went to the groomers.  I have to admit, her coat did look much healthier than it had in a long time.  Very fluffy and shiney.  As I said before, I like lather and bubbles and the Pet Shampoo had both.  And, because it has no chemicals or soap it's tearless.  That was great because I was always afraid I would get the shampoo in her eyes before.  I would recommend the Pet products to any Pet lover.  They offer Ear Wash, Herbal Fresh Shampoo (that's what I tried), Hypoallergenic Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioner.

Now, you don't have to take my word for it on these great,  "green", eco-friendly products.  You can win a $25 gift card, and free shipping, to try them for yourself.  Here's what you do:

First, go to ecostoreusa.com and sign up for their "No Nasty Chemical Newsletter".  Leave me post to let me know you did it, remember to leave me your email address.  Second, tell me what product/products you are most interested in and leave me a post. Finally, follow them on Twitter @ecostoreusa  and/or FaceBook and leave me another post.  That gives you three chances to win.  This offer ends December 4th so get busy and good luck.

Resources for further reading:

    * www.ChemTrust.org.uk
    * www.EnvironmentalHealthNews.org
    * www.ReallyNatural.com
    * www.ChemicalsHealthMonitor.org
    * www.Env-Health.org

Rudant, J, F Menegaux, G Leverger, A Baruchel, B Nelken, Y Bertrand, C Patte, H Pacquement, C Vérité, A Robert, G Michel, G Margueritte, V Gandemer, D Hémon and J Clavel. 2007. Household exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood haematopoietic malignancies: the ESCALE study (SFCE). Environmental Health Perspectives 115:1787-1793.

From the Chemicals Health Monitor Project (CHM), retrieved from: www.chemicalhealthmonitor.org.


Freaky Friday!!

OK...Halloween is over but the people down the road haven't figured that out yet. Here is what you see when you go by their house and it's even Freakier at night!!!!

What not to do!

I worked in a warehouse many years ago and saw several forklift accidents but nothing to this degree.


Thank you!

Dear Veteran - Past, Present and Future - THANK YOU! for your sacrifice for me and my family!  You are my Hero and I will forever be grateful.  My father served in WWII and he was a Hero to me as well.

Wordless Wednesday



Today would have been the 80th birthday of my aunt Barbara McMurray.  She was one of hundreds that die from Alzheimer and she was one of the reasons I recently took part in the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. She was, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful and gracious women (besides my mom) I have ever known.  Not just beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well.  Our families were very close and my fondest memories are of the times we all spent together.  Either at their house, the beach or at grandmothers house.  She was like a second mom to me and my cousins were more like sisters.  Those were good time and good memories.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY Aunt Barbara...I know Jesus has a great party planned!  Wish I could be there!



TUTU Tuesday



These are called "Ear Pops".  They fit over your ears like an ear muff but are easier to work with.

Olive Medley Pinwheels Recipe

Winter Woods Chili Recipe

Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes




Friends Are Special

Don't know how many of you use Twitter but I have met some very special people there.  Many people don't understand Twitter but for me, being unemployed for the past year, it allows me to stay connected to people and the outside world.  I wanted to share with you a video that one of those friends made and dedicated to me and some others.  I thought it was very sweet and thoughtful and it made my day.  Hope you enjoy!


Thank you Jesus for making me "New Again"

All About Lemons

Article with everything you ever wanted to know about Lemons.  (click on lemons)




The Amazing Cucumber

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
 2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?  Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.   (WOW)

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!   (DOUBLE WOW)

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache?  Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free.  Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge?  Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes?  Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a cucumber sliced rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?  Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?  Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!


Paper Back Book Swap

If you are one of those people that loves to read paperback books, here is a site that might be of interest to you.  The paperbackswap.com site lets you swap your paper back books for different paper back books.  I have some friends that have stacks and stacks of paper back books and don't know what to do with them.  The site is free (right now) and the only cost to you is the postage to mail the book to the person that wants it.  Check it out!
"We help members Swap, Trade & Exchange Books with each other for Free. Mail a book. Get a book. Any book you request is yours to keep, share or trade. No late fees. No processing charges. No hidden charges. Every time you mail a book to another member, you can request one for yourself."


Keeping Warm!

Everything is trying to stay warm.  Thinking about sticking my feet in this mix too!  How many cats do you see?


TuTu Tuesday



It's getting cold around here and I can't find my scarf from last year (probably gave it to someone that was cold) so I had to make another one really quick.  Here it is!  Now my neck will be warm (until I give this one away and have to make another).  O well...that's just the way I am!


Funny Friday

Saw this on a friends blog and just had to share.  Hope it makes you smile! =-)


God's Amazing Pharmacy!

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and  fish... All before making a human. He made and  provided what we'd need before we were born. These  are best & more powerful when eaten raw.   We're such slow  learners...

God left us a great clue as to what foods  help what part of our  body!

A  sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The  pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye... And YES, science now shows carrots  greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the  eyes.

A  Tomato has four chambers and is red. The  heart has four chambers and is red. All of the
research shows tomatoes  are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart  and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound  heart and blood vitalizing food.

A  Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums.  Even the wrinkles or folds on  the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen  neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium inyour diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak.  These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes,  Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this?  It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow.  Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.


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