Saturday, August 13, 2011

Somebody Open a Window; It's Stuffy in Here

"No thank you, gentlemen. My own business occupies me constantly" Ebeneezer Scrooge replied when asked to help the poor.

I get a little preoccupied with my own affairs too when, for example, my checking account balance is under, well...let's just say under, and it's only one day after the paycheck went in. And I'm no Scrooge.

Sometimes I forget that there are people in hospitals saying their last goodbye to a loved one, or on an army base far away from anyone and anything familiar, or on a mission field with others whose cultural traditions seem to suck the life out of their family, or people who just got word that they lost their job.

The room gets quite stuffy when I'm only thinking of myself. Today I need to let some air in, to open the windows of my soul long enough to remember the things I have been blessed with, and to remember that I'm not the only one with troubles, and this is not the first or last of them.

Joseph's words do me good, too. "God meant it for good..."

In the overall scheme of things, and in the broad stroke of history, the graph of my fortune and prosperity would be quite high, even now. So would the spiritual blessing graph.

So let the breezes blow. I'm breathing in a new thought. It's just wonderful to be alive!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Royal Teas is Fit for a Queen

I am a coffee drinker who would like to switch to tea on occasion. Royal Teas with Grace and Style was just the nudge I needed to cross the beverage bridge into the delicate world of tea.

Filled with delectable pictures of tea table settings and luscious recipes, such as home-made clotted cream and salmon sandwiches for tea time, Eileen Shafer’s book is a treasure as a coffee table book (or a tea table book, if one may be permitted) and as an invaluable reference for the conscientious hostess. Her travels in England and in several areas of the American South, as well as many years of experience as a tea shop proprietor in the Midwest lend credence to her collection of interesting facts about the customs and traditions of serving tea. It is this expertise and passion which fuels her admonition to the reader to delight ourselves and our loved ones with an ancient pastime of refreshment.

Numerous quotations about tea from famous figures, a surprising number of them men, are sprinkled about the pages like ornamental blessings. Whether you are preparing a tea service for one or many Shafer’s genteel guidance will help you to serve like a queen. This lovely book compels one to try once again the age-old custom of taking tea.

I received a complimentary copy of Royal Teas as a member of the    
Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit
to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shootout at the Willow Oak Corral: Another Amazed by God Post

Okay, y'all. Jest cuz I saw Cowboys and Aliens and LOVED IT, doesn't give me the right to post about shootouts, right?

How about gunshots on my block, a hole in a neighbor's truck, and a miraculous escape from a gunman?
Will that do it?

Lat Saturday night around one o'clock in the morning, I heard what sounded like a cap gun. You know the sound. Tinny, small, quick pop, pop, pop. Three in a row.
It's always just firecrackers when I hear these. I ignored it.
Till the dogs started barking.

Then hubby went outside, being the brave masculine protector of the family that he is, and hid behind our van to see if anyone was, by chance, on our street. We lady folk huddled in the master bedroom at the back of the house and, well, freaked out. Everyone except me. I tend to be pretty low key most of the time. Mostly I just prayed for whoever it was out there, and for my husband.

He saw a man walking slowly down the middle of the street (there was a half moon out) and called out, "Hello?"
When there was no answer, and the guy kept walking toward him, my gallant hubby decided to save himself for his family and ran inside the front door, locking it behind him.

It was then that we heard , "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop." Five more of those.

They were not, in fact firecrackers, or caps from a cap gun.

Turns out some guys came to a neighbor's house to collect some money he owed them. One of the girls of the house was just returning home and seeing trouble ran into the house just when he fired the five shots. She felt the air rush past her, but she was not hit. One of the bullets made a pretty hefty hole in the neighbor's truck.

We'd called 9-11 after the eighth shot, and apparently they caught the guys.

"I'm glad you're okay." I told my neighbor. And once again, I was thankful.