Friday, July 31, 2009

Rhubarb Cake by Linda's Sweet Mom

A few days ago, Linda @ Linda's Patchwork Quilt commented that she had made some rhubarb cake... Now, we have a LOT of rhubarb in the garden... soooo,
I asked her for the recipe... which was passed along by her mom...

Rhubarb Cake by Linda's Sweet Mom

In a small bowl sift together:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

In large bowl cream together:
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar

add one egg
beat one minute

one cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts
~ ~ ~

beat in flour mixture alternately with one cup milk (four first and last)
fold in 2 cups cut up rhubarb (1/2 inch slices)and 1/2 cup coursely chopped walnuts.

place in greased 13 x 9 inch pan
top with mixture of 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tsp. cinnamon

bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees and 5 minutes more at 375

She adds "All ovens are not the same so use good judgement."

***I substituted Smart Balance for the shortening and only used 1 cup sugar.***
***Still came soooo good***

It is delicious!!!
I made two batches!These two went in the freezer for next week when Dad visits.Here they are...fresh out of the oven! Son, Jason, is going to LOVE it!
If there's any left by the time I can get to his apt.!
~Thank you, Linda...and Linda's Mom~
This will be a favorite all year long!
(I'm freezing all the extra rhubarb I can!)

Linda and I participate in Multitude Mondays and Walk With Him Wednesdays
@ Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience... Definitely worth a visit!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sky Watch Friday - Nice start- Flooding Finish! 7-30-09

This is how the week started ... Pretty nice!This is how this Wednesday morning started... Pretty nice! This is how Wednesday finished...
With flooding rains!
Forecast called for up to 5"

Enjoy all the wonders of skywatching at the site that offers sky view from the four corners of Earth!
Go to:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Okay to Take a Nap!

Yesterday I was able to spend a lot of time with my sister.
Any time we can steal for sister time is cherished.
We are sisters and best friends.
It's been over 30 years, but we still miss Mom...and need her, so we are also like 'a mother' to one another.
* * *
We walked together,
stopped along the way and had lunch at the cutest ol' fashioned diner together... ... and prayed together...

After she left, I continued to 'care for myself.'
I had two cups of tea.
It was also a beautiful afternoon.
...just warm enough...
with a beautiful blue sky and puffy clouds drifting by.
My oversize chair invited me over for the nap I've needed to take for months.
...a mid-day recovery...
I fell for it.
When I slowly opened my eyes, almost two hours later, a mourning dove was sitting on one of the bird feeder perches.
...just looking at me...
... watching me ~ like I watch her...
She sat there for the longest time.

I took these photos today of the doves that visit the feeder.

Then, I noticed... no food in the bottom feeder...
I guess they know who to stare at long enough for a little supper!

ps. Thank you Roo @
for leading me to Picasa 3 Posted by Picasa to make such fun collages!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

EKG for the Soul

~Amazed, once again~

I've been taking my journal with me to Sunday service...
since I end up losing my note-taking insert that's handed out beforehand.

My journal... I will not lose!

This morning's sermon was great...
I took messy notes, not to miss a word.

He talked about the process involved with a stress test for the heart.

The electrodes are wired all over your chest.
They will produce information as to the condition of the heart.
You walk fast on an incline gradually increasing...gripping tightly breaking into a jog. It will determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity. A good deal more information can be gathered if it is a radioactive stress test.

Our pastor then went on to use the EKG as a metaphor.
*I love metaphors*

What if we could use a similar test to check the condition of the soul.
What is our spiritual EKG?
What makes our spirits/hearts race?
What are our treasures...earthly or heavenly ?

Because heart disease runs in my family... and I have been at the treadmill for a stress test...The word "BLOCKAGE" came to my mind! And, so, while listening to his sermon, this question arose within me?

What is BLOCKING my heart / my spirit from a life of Grace?

This is my soul-work for the week.

Amazingly... after I returned home from church,
my very special perpetual calendar revealed a prayer for me to start this week's soul-homework:

My wonderful heavenly greetings from God!

Two other special greetings stories:
All Things Bright and Beautiful
At the Potter's House

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chino goes to Camp Maria's

All week my husband and I have been dog sitting
for our oldest daughter...
These two pups live in a small apartment downstate.
Coming here is like going to doggy camp!
What fun Chino had this morning running from window to window to stare at the bunny. I think the bunny was just teasing him... as it hopped from one viewpoint to another and stared back ;o)
It will be nice, though, to have the house down to our two ol' girls: Muffin and Misty(the two gray fuzzy ones on each end).

Grace & Joy,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sky Watch Friday 7-24-09

~Through the Bridge and Onward Home~
On the way to L.I. we took the ferry out of Connecticut
...It cost almost $70 ONE WAY for ONE HOUR
(car, driver + one passenger)
We only went one way!
...To save money, it was city driving for the way home...
Entering the Tappan Zee Bridge ... as we cross the Hudson River north of New York CityLove having a cellphone camera handy!...through the middle...
Just about to clear....
For upstate 'country' folks, it's quite a trip driving around the 'big city.'...a must when we visit family downstate...

Enjoy all the other people who notice
calm, sunny, stormy or dramatic skies ...
...then reach for a camera at
Sky Watch Friday!

Living Green Goes Way Back

My clothesline just before our weekend company...
Fresh, crisp sheets. There's nothing like the smell and feel of them.

I love hanging laundry...
I've been late to work because I will take the time for it.
There's something natural and earthy about it...
...the line ~ connecting women and time...
My mother, my grandmother...
...Prayers for the person who wears the clothes I'm holding...
who snuggles in the sheets that are drying in the breeze.

Have you ever left laundry in the rain? That's even better...
Rainwater soft is a real thing!

With all the talk, I wonder who's really living green?
I hope our outspoken politicians and movie stars air-dry their laundry!

I know many of us have ... for a long time...

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Dominant < I >

Our son, Jason, recently had eye surgery. On our drive home from his surgery, J' explained a few more details about his eyes. His doctor told him that his right eye is his 'dominant eye.'

Now, Maria, being who she is,
had to use the opportunity to make a play on words.

"Dad and I are occasionally in a contest to see who will be the
The Dominant < I > "

My retorts usually sound like this:
Oh, if we're taking your car, then I'll have to take everything out of my car.
I do the most dishes, no contest.
It's not just my stuff that makes the basement intolerable.
Despite the way I last drove on the highway...
I still unabashedly "backseat drive."

Jason and I agreed it's all just small stuff...
... I am eternally grateful for that...
Chris and I call a truce to these tiny moments during which we wrangle for 'dominance' or historical accuracy by saying the magic words:
"It goes waaaay.... back."
We laugh at ourselves and get off our high horses!

At 21 years of age, and our youngest, Jason is already so very wise...
He smiled a knowing smile.

For 31 years, Chris and I have assigned to God the role of the "Dominant < I >"
... The Great I Am...
We often laugh at ourselves as we try to assume His place in the center of our marriage...and find ourselves acting more like 'turkeys.'

When we let go of our need to control each other and every situation ...We resume loving...and God is back in the center. us wisdom, patience, love and faith.

Is God the Dominant < I > in the other areas of my life?

Matthew 10:39
He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Keeping Marriage Holy

~ Let Us Always ~

Have gratitude and passion for each other.

Have strength to outlast times of stress or routine.

Honor, Listen, Cherish, and Nourish one another's dreams and gifts.

From this day forward...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sky Watch Friday ~ A Setting Thunderhead! *7-17-09*

... Good bye Thunderheads ~ For Now ...
...A cumulonimbus split through the cirrus clouds......then...
...sank into the eastern sky...
Leaving us with a bright sunrise ...that stayed in a blue sky all day!
Grateful for the stretch of fabulous weather! But...

Wait! What was I thinking? ... They're Baaack!
On the way home today (Friday 7/16) from grocery shopping.
Building thunderheads and nasssty storm clouds...
Auntie Em ... Auntie Em!
Back to sun again! Thank you God!