No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon course salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup finely diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup strawberry jam , warmed slightly to loosen

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, vanilla, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.
  • Then gently fold in the diced strawberries.
  • Transfer half of the mixture to a (chilled) 4 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch loaf pan; dollop half of the jam on top and swirl with a chopstick or knife. Repeat layers once.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.
  • Let ice cream stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

A MIND FULL OF CLUTTER

By Saralee Perel

Last week, instead of heading home on the highway, my husband, Bob, and I took an extra 10 minutes and drove along the scenic route. We passed gorgeous cranberry bogs, yards filled with roses, and farm stands overflowing with corn. All through the drive, I cried. 

Sweet Bob wanted to hear my thoughts. “I’m worried about your doctor’s appointment,” I said through tears. “I’m so sorry I spoiled our drive.”

“But I want you to talk to me.”

“Bob, the only purpose my worried thoughts served was to lose every precious moment of a beautiful drive with you.”

At that instant, I learned that one word could change life for the better. The word? Clutter. In a single day I said to myself, “clutter,” each time I noticed a pointless negative thought. I stopped counting after about a hundred. 

Recently Bob called from his cell. “I’m at the store. I’ll be home in 20 minutes.”

I thought, “What if he has an accident?”

Clutter.

By identifying the useless thought, I could stop it. 

This de-cluttering business goes way beyond the “what if?” container. The life of my cat, Eddie, was wonderful. But the second I think of him, I visualize his ending.

Clutter.

So I asked Bob, “What do you think of when you think of Eddie?”

He laughed. “I think about Eddie-proofing the house, like keeping the toilet paper in a coffee tin.” Then he laughed harder and said, “I think about when he’d jump in my shower and every time I’d pull him out and then close the bathroom door behind him, he’d decide it was a challenge. He’d turn the door knob, race back to the shower and use his paw to quickly slide the shower door open and jump right back in!” 

Last week we went to the movies. We couldn’t bring our dog, Becky, in the car because of the heat. I said, “Bob, I can’t stop thinking about how unhappy Becky is right now.”

The truth is, I can stop thinking about … anything. We all can. Do you see any purpose in me taking time away from enjoying the movies by focusing on leaving my pooch at home?

Today, Bob and I stopped at a farm stand and bought corn. Now, I could have done what I did last time, which was to complain about the heat (clutter) and stay in the car while Bob bought the corn. Instead I spent a wondrous 5 minutes with my husband picking out corn and counting all the colors of the geraniums. 

That beat sitting in a car thinking about the 7 calls I had to return. It was a simple uncluttered moment in time, when all I had was the feel of the corn silk, the aroma of the sweet basil, and the sight of a hummingbird on a petunia.

And all that I had … was plenty.

No-bake, Two-Minute Hawaiian Pie

What You’ll Need

  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple in syrup, undrained
  • 1 (6-serving-size) package instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared shortbread pie crust
  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained and halved
  • 8 maraschino cherries, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut

What to Do

  1. In a large bowl, combine crushed pineapple with its syrup, dry pudding mix, and sour cream; mix until well combined. Spoon into pie crust and decorate top with pineapple slices and cherries; sprinkle with coconut.
  2. Cover and chill at least 2 hours, or until set, before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip

  • As strange as it may seem to you, do not make the vanilla pudding according to package directions. Just add the dry pudding mix right in with the other ingredients.

Under God’s Watchful Care- Roberta Messner

While shopping at the estate sale of a woman who was moving to a retirement community, I happened upon the prettiest gold pin nestled inside yellowed tissue paper in an old, red and gold gift box. The pin was in the shape of a Christmas tree, and on its branches were small pearl ornaments. A stately rhinestone star crowned the tree.As I waited for my sister who was still shopping, I noticed a tiny golden angel on one of the branches. “Why, there’s an angel on this pin,” I said to the white-haired lady who was hosting the sale. “Wait a minute, there are two angels. No, there are three of them!”“Let me see,” the woman answered. She shook her head in amazement. “Why, I’’ve worn that pin going on twenty years now and I’’ve never noticed any angels on it.”As I drove away, above the hushed crunch of gravel, the woman’s comment gave me pause. You see, I never noticed the presence of angels in my own life until a passel of them showed up when I failed to engage the emergency brake on my car some years back. My automobile rolled down a hill and was headed for thirty or so shoppers at a neighborhood yard sale…until those angels intervened.Back then, I thought angels were something that graced other people’s lives, certainly not mine. Now, every time I get into my car, I ask God for His angels to protect me as I drive.I’ll put my new angel pin on the collar of my coat. When someone admires it, I’ll point out the three hidden angels I’ve grown to adore. I’ll also share with them the promise that God will give His angels charge over them.Thank You, thank You, thank You, dear God, for the promise of Your watchful angels.

The Cat Named Blessing— Mary M. Alward —

Human beings are drawn to cats because they are all we are not — self-contained, elegant in everything they do, relaxed, assured, glad of company, yet still possessing secret lives.

~Pam Brown

There were elderly residents at the nursing home where I worked, but there were some young ones as well. They were there because of life-altering illnesses. One of them, Diane, was only fifty-six, but she had muscular dystrophy. Her mother had passed, and Diane needed the services the nursing home could provide her. Everyone loved her, nurses and residents alike. She was full of cheer and positivity, spending her days using her electric wheelchair to visit the patients in all four wings of the home.

When Diane heard of the new trend of having animals in nursing homes, she approached Ruth, the administrator. She wanted the home to adopt a kitten and train it to visit the residents.

Ruth asked the head office, and the request was granted. Ruth went to the animal shelter and brought back a white cat with blue eyes. She was a beauty. Everyone loved her as soon as they saw her. Diane named her Blessing because she would be a definite blessing to all who lived and worked there.

Blessing took on her job with gusto. She would make her rounds to all the patients, and the ones who were sick were first on her list.

After a few weeks on duty, Blessing did something unusual. She crawled onto the bed with Mr. Russo and refused to leave, putting up a fuss when the nurse grabbed her and put her out in the hall. She was back in Mr. Russo’s room and on the bed in a flash.

Finally, the nurse was able to get her out of the room, but Blessing would not leave the door. She meowed loudly, almost like a scream. The fuss was so loud that they decided to let Blessing stay with Mr. Russo.

Through the night, Blessing stayed very quiet and lay on Mr. Russo’s bed right near his chest. Mr. Russo had been ill for some time, and he passed on during the night. Only after he passed did Blessing return to her own bed.

The next day, Blessing was back on the job, visiting all the patients. Two weeks later, the fuss that had occurred in Mr. Russo’s room was repeated in the room of Mrs. Adams. We left Blessing with Mrs. Adams, wondering if she would pass, too. Sure enough, around 7 p.m., Mrs. Adams passed on. Then Blessing went to her own bed.

Nothing else occurred for several weeks, but then Blessing caused a big commotion in another lady’s room. Sure enough, the lady passed later that morning. Was Blessing aware that these people were in their final hours?

Life went on at the nursing home, and Blessing continued to predict the passing of residents. Then one day, Diane got very ill. She was sent to the hospital, and Blessing checked her room several times a day.

When Diane returned to the home, Blessing jumped on her bed after a few weeks, and the entire scenario was repeated. She stayed there for eighteen hours without moving from Diane’s side. Shortly after 4 a.m., we saw Blessing heading for her bed. When we checked on Diane, she had indeed passed away.

Blessing lived at the nursing home for twelve years, but one day we noticed a lump on her hip. She was taken to the vet and diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The vet advised that she be put to sleep to ease her pain.

We made an appointment for the next day and took Blessing home to make one more round of the patients. This time, she was carried. That night, Blessing died in her own bed, a fitting end for this beautiful cat who had dedicated her life to the patients who lived there.

Mixed candied nuts

Ingredients

  • 2 9.25 ounce containers mixed nuts lightly salted
  • 1/4 cup pecan halves unsalted
  • 1/4 cup whole almondsunsalted
  • 1/4 cup cashews unsalted
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice or your fav seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add white sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin spice (optional) and sea salt and stir to combine.
  • In a medium-large mixing bowl combine all of the mixed nuts, walnuts, almonds and cashews, toss to combine.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together egg white, vanilla and water until it becomes foamy.
  • Add egg white mixture to mixed nuts and toss to combine, making sure to evenly coat all of the nuts.
  • Top the nuts with the sugar mixture. Stirring to evenly coat.
  • Add nuts to prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Stir nuts mixture once 10 minutes is up and then bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Repeat.
  • Stir nuts once more and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove nut from oven and allow to completely cool.
  • Store in a large mason jars.

White chocolate sugar cookie bark

  • 2 (12 ounce) packages white chocolate chips , divided
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco shortening , divided
  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, , softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  • Line a 8 1/2 x 11 baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the white chocolate chips from 1 bag in a medium microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals on low, stirring in between. Repeat until melted and smooth. Add in 1 tablespoon of the Crisco and mix until smooth and combined.
  • With a spatula, spread white chocolate in an even layer on the parchment paper. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes until hardened.
  • In the meantime, with a handheld mixer, cream together the sugar cookie mix, butter, and milk until thoroughly combined. Place on top of the chilled white chocolate and press to spread almost to the edge. Place back in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
  • Melt the second bag of chocolate chips in the same manner as the first. Mix in the remaining tablespoon of Crisco. Spread over the cookie dough and immediately cover with sprinkles. Chill for another 10 minutes until completely set.
  • Break into small pieces and serve.

Lemon and white chocolate Chex snacks

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce box Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  • Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Pour the powdered sugar into a 2-gallon re-sealable food storage plastic bag and set aside.
  • Place white chocolate chips, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 45 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until the chocolate has melted and the mixture can be stirred smooth.
  • Pour half the melted chocolate mixture over the top of the cereal, gently fold with a spatula. Poor the remaining mixture over the top and fold gently to combine (doing this in two steps helps make sure all the cereal is evenly coated.)
  • Transfer the coated cereal to the bag with the powdered sugar; seal bag and gently toss until all the cereal is well-coated.

3 ingredient quick sugar cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar , divided
  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional, but recommended)
  • rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils(optional, but recommended)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat together butter and 2/3 cup sugar until combined. (It will be a little gritty – that’s ok.)
  • Add in flour and blend well (then blend in the vanilla, if using.)
  • Using a cookie scoop, roll the dough into 1-inch balls.
  • Gently roll the balls in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until lightly coated; transfer to the baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  • With the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press down on the balls to flatten. Sprinkle with some nonpareils (if using) and lightly press down again just so they stick. (The dough should end up being between an 1/8-1/4 inch thick, so 3/16 to be exact. They will look pretty small in circumference, but they will spread a bit to a normal size cookie.)
  • Bake for 14-16 minutes or until just slightly golden around the edges and on the bottom.
  • Remove form the oven and let rest on the baking sheets for at least 10-15 minutes (don’t skip this step!) Then eat or transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Instructions

Can this recipe be used for cut-out cookies? Unfortunately, no. Since the recipe doesn’t include any eggs, the dough doesn’t bind well enough and the cookies could end up crumbling when you use a cookie cutter.
Can these be frosted? Yes, you can definitely frost these with royal icing or drizzle a simple icing on top. Whisk together some powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until you get the desired consistency. Drizzle and allow to set.
Decorate with sprinkles or nonpareils: Feel free to gently press some sprinkles or nonpareils onto the cookies before baking them.
How many calories in a sugar cookie? One of these sugar cookies is only 90 calories. Great with a cup of coffee.

  • Use a cookie scoop: Using a small cookie scoop is best for ease and cookie uniformity, so they all cook at the same rate.
  • The thickness matters: Once the raw dough balls are flattened, they should end up being between an 1/8-1/4 inch thick, so 3/16 to be exact. (They will look pretty small in circumference, but they will spread to a normal size cookie.)
  • Leave space in between: Cookie dough should be placed on the cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart, because they do spread while baking.
  • Cool properly: After baking, these cookies need to remain on the cookie sheet for at least 10-15 minutes before moving them to cool completely, because they are fragile at first. Once cooled, though, they’re sturdy.

~Popcorn And Dirty Bare Feet~By, B.J. Taylor

“Don’t slam that door!” I yelled at the boys for the fourth time. The screen door slammed again. My sons were five and six that hot, sticky August afternoon. School was out, and they were home for the summer. I was constantly wiping fingerprints off the refrigerator door, scrubbing the kitchen floor, picking up dirty dishes, and doing loads of laundry. I strived to make a perfect house, a perfect yard, perfect dinners on the table at night, and perfect kids. It was so hard to keep up, though, and I was exhausted. When my husband came home, he announced at the supper table, “Let’s go to the drive-in movies tonight!” The last thing I wanted was more work to do. “Yippee! We’re going to the drive-in,” both boys hollered in unison as they threw up their arms up in glee. “Oh, Stan, does it have to be tonight? I’m so tired.” “Come on, it’ll be fun,” he coaxed. Yeah, it was fun for him, but who had to get the boys in their pajamas, pack the car with pillows and blankets, and pop the giant bowl of popcorn to bring along? “Okay, boys, you go upstairs and get your pjs on, and I’ll make the popcorn,” I said grudgingly. Bringing out the old popcorn kettle, I added oil, then just enough kernels to cover the bottom. Slowly I moved it back and forth across the flame on the stove, and the kernels slowly popped. My mind raced. Why do I have to do more work tonight? All I want is a bubble bath away from everyone and everything. The kernels began popping all at once, pushing the lid of the kettle up and spilling popcorn out the sides. My emotions were bubbling over too, but I shoved the feelings of anger aside. The wonderful smell filled the house, and the boys came running. “Can we have some now?” they pleaded. “Wait until we get to the drive-in,” I answered, as I finished pouring melted butter over the popcorn that now filled a huge green bowl. After shaking salt over the top, I put the lid on and stowed the bowl in the back of the station wagon. “It’s almost dark. Let’s go,” Stan yelled to the boys and they ran to the car and climbed in. It was only a ten-minute ride to the drive-in theater. We found a spot toward the front, pulling close to a metal pole that held a speaker. Right after the car stopped, the kids ran to the swings to play. “Be careful and don’t get dirty,” I called out to them. As the first cartoon melody began playing on the big screen, they crawled into the back of the old wagon, huffing and puffing. They propped themselves against the bed pillows and munched popcorn and giggled with delight as first one cartoon character and then another danced across the screen. It was a pleasure to see them having so much fun; I bit my tongue from saying anything to spoil the messy moment. After a while it grew quiet; both boys were sound asleep. I cast a glance at the back of the car and saw the huge green bowl now spilling the last of its contents. Amidst the popcorn lay our two children with the dirtiest bare feet I’d ever seen. Oh, how I wanted to scrub them right then and there, but then I looked at the smiles on my sons’ faces as they lay in a peaceful slumber. Why am I so worried about perfection? Does it really matter if the house isn’t perfectly clean or the dirty laundry is piling up? Would it hurt to relax and enjoy them while they are here with me instead of trying to bend them to fit into the mold of what I think perfect children should be? It was at that moment I realized those two little boys were already perfect. Those dirty bare feet could be washed in the morning, along with the empty popcorn bowl. “This was a good idea, honey,” I told Stan as I snuggled up close while we watched the final movie in the triple feature. “It was just what the boys ? and I ? needed.”

Give us this day

Nescafe arranges a meeting with the Pope at the VaticanAfter receiving the Papal blessing, the Nescafe official whispers ‘Your Eminence, we have an offer for you.Nescafe is prepared to donate $100 million to the church if you change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘give us this day our daily bread’ to ‘give us this day Our daily coffee.’The Pope responds, ‘That is impossible. The prayer is the word of the Lord. It must not be changed.”Well,’ said the Nescafe man, ‘we anticipated your reluctance. For this Reason we will increase our offer to $300 million.”My son, it is impossible, for the prayer is the word of the Lord and it Must not be changed.’The Nescafe guy says, ‘Your Holiness, we at Nescafe respect your adherence To the faith, but we do have one final offer….We will donate $500 million – that’s half a billion dollars – to the great Catholic Church if you would only change the Lord’s Prayer from ‘give us This day our daily bread’ to ‘give us this day our daily coffee.”Please consider it.’And he leaves.The next day the Pope convenes the College of Cardinals.’There is some good news,’ he announces, ‘and some bad news.’The good news is that the Church will come into $500 million.”And the bad news your Holiness?’ asks a Cardinal.’We’re losing the Wonder Bread account.’

Pineapple Casserole (it’s good)

INGREDIENTS

  • ▢ 3/4 cup butter room temperature
  • ▢ 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • ▢ 3 large eggs
  • ▢ 20 ounces canned crushed pineapple drained well
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ▢ 4 cups French bread cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Stir in the pineapple and lemon juice to combine.
  • Fold in the bread cubes.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Watermelon salad

Ingredients

• 1 small watermelon (3 pounds), rind removed, cut into 1-inch chunks, and chilled • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice or lemon juice • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt • Small pinch of freshly ground black pepper • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese 

Directions

Step 1

In a small mixing bowl, combine oil, lemon or lime juice, salt, and pepper. Step 2

Pour the dressing over the chilled watermelon along with the mint. Toss very gently and sprinkle with feta.

The Ultimate Summer Salad

Ingredients

• 2 large limes, divided • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced • 1 1/4 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped • 1/4 cup packed finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves and tender stems for serving • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1 medium head butter lettuce (about 1 pound), such as Boston or Bibb, chopped • 2 Persian cucumbers, or 1 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced • 6 ounces multi-colored cherry tomatoes (about 1 cup), halved • 2 large ripe peaches, pitted and sliced • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Step 1

Grate the zest of 1 large lime finely. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the zest and reserve the rest of the zest for the salad topping. Juice the lime and add 1 tablespoon to the bowl. Step 2

Add 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add half of the red onion slices and toss to coat. Set aside for at least 15 minutes. Step 3

Add the following to another small bowl: juice from the remaining 1 1/2 limes, garlic, 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine. Step 4

In a large salad bowl, add lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peaches, and feta cheese. Step 5

Garnish the salad with pumpkin seeds, onion (discard the remaining liquid), lime zest, and additional cilantro. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

LEMON DROPS

It was late in the evening. I had just settled down in my rocking chair and put my feet up on the footstool. The cup of hot tea was nice and warm in my hands. In just a few minutes I would go upstairs to bed like the rest of my family, but just for the moment I was going to sit and savor the peace. The window was open near my rocking chair. I could hear crickets chirping and little tree frogs singing down by the creek. A whippoorwill called from down the hollow, and another one answered. The air was still warm from the summer’s day heat. We sure could use some rain. In the distance I could hear dry leaves crunching like an animal was rustling through them. Probably that armadillo again, I thought. There was a burrow out behind one of the barns, and I enjoyed watching her while she snuffled around in the early mornings. Something was different about this noise, however. It was getting closer to the house, and was beginning to sound like something much bigger than a little armadillo browsing for bugs to eat. Closer and closer it came. I began to wonder if the rumors I had heard were true. Was there really a bear in the neighborhood? I began to feel goosebumps as I sat frozen in suspense. I now could hear footsteps, heavy and slow, moving right outside my window. Crunch, crunch went the dead leaves. Then I saw something glide by just above the window sill. It was curly, and looked like a tail of some sort. Cue the shark attack music. Da-dum…DA-dum…DA-dum, DA-dum, DA-dum! “Lemon, is that you?” I whispered. A startled sort of “Grunt?” was the reply. My heart was still pounding, but I felt an immense relief. It was only my daughter’s blue ribbon Yorkshire sow. I slipped on a pair of shoes and stepped out the front door. “Lemon, what are you doing out of your pen?” I asked. Lemon, who had been nosing through my flower bed, turned around with all the ponderous grace of the QE2 doing an about-face. She grunted again in pleasure. She was happy to see me, as always. The white sow walked beside me through the dark like an obedient puppy. She was a very affectionate animal for a pet that weighed close to six hundred pounds. Her abdomen was swelled with all the piglets she carried. I patted her rounded side as we walked. Lemon went back into her pen with no trouble. I scratched her favorite spot behind one ear before I left and walked back to the house. I had just settled down in my chair again and taken a sip of tea, when I heard leaves crunching. Oh, no, not again! Suddenly, two huge ears and a pink snout appeared above window sill. I sighed, “Yes, Lemon, I’m coming.” This time I went upstairs and called for reinforcements. Obviously, Lemon was restless tonight and needed to be put up safely. We couldn’t take the chance of anything happening to her or her babies. With a sleepy husband in tow, I carefully picked a path through the darkness. This time, however, Lemon led the way. She marched forward like a pig on a mission, passing by her pen and leading us to the barn. She waited patiently while we opened the door, then walked into an open stall. This was the place she had delivered her last litter of pigs, and it now stood clean and ready for Lemon’s due date next week. The sow took a long drink of water, then eased herself down and rolled over onto her side. She was now the picture of contentment. My husband studied the breeding records. “Well, she’s not due for a few more days, but if this is where she wants to be tonight, we’ll let her stay in here.” Lemon’s response was a huge sigh. The next morning, we were greeted by the sight of eight, brand-new baby pigs snuggled next to Lemon, each one a miniature replica of their now much slimmer mother. “Oh, look at all the Lemon Drops!” my daughter exclaimed as she leaned down to pat one little white pig. It blinked tiny blue eyes as it nuzzled her fingers. Outside I heard a soft pattering of rain begin, and a rumble of thunder. Our dry spell was over. The much needed rain had arrived. Lemon Drops and raindrops, what a wonderful way to start the day!

~Unknown

Remember Slow Food?

‘Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favorite Fast FoodWhen you were growing up?”We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up, I informed him.’All the food was slow.”C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?”It was a place called ‘at Home,” I explained! ‘Mom cooked every Day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the Dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate I Was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was Going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the Part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.But here are some other things I would have told him about my Childhood if I figured his system could have handled it:Some parents NEVER owned their own house, never wore Levis, never Set foot on a golf course, never traveled out of the country or had A credit card.In their later years they had something called a revolving charge Card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears& Roebuck. Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly Because we never had heard of soccer.I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one Speed, (slow) We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 11.It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air At midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; It came back on the air at about 6 a.m. And there was usually a Locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.I was 19 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called ‘pizza pie.’ When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese Slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned That, too. It’s still the best pizza I ever had.I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was In the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, You had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t Already using the line.Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered Newspapers–my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It Cost 7 cents a paper, of which he got to keep 2 cents. He had to Get up at 6 AM every morning.On Saturday, he had to collect the 42 cents from his customers. His favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and toldHim to keep the change. His least favorite customers were the ones Who seemed to never be home on collection day.Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in The movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were Responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity Or violence or most anything offensive.If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may Want to share some of these memories with your children or GrandchildrenJust don’t blame me if they bust a gut laughing.Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?

Take The Time

This was written by an 83 year old women to her friend.I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and Admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time Working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of Experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize These moments now and cherish them.I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good China and crystal For every special event such as losing a pound, getting the Sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good Blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can Shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not Saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it For clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank. “Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my Vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want To see and hear and do it now.I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known that They wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for Granted. I think they would have called family members and a Few close friends. They might have called a few former friends To apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think They would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, or for whatever Their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry If I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written Certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often Enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to Put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and Luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, Tell myself that it is special.If you received this it is because someone cares for you. If You’re too busy to take the few minutes that it takes right now Forward this, would it be the first time you didn’t do the little Thing that would make a difference in your relationships? I can Tell you it certainly won’t be the last. Take a few minutes to Send this to a few people you care about, just to let them know That you’re thinking of them. “People say true friends must Always hold hands, but true friends don’t need to hold hands Because they know the other hand will always be there.”