Sunday, November 12, 2017

My Favorite Time of Day

I'm a morning person, always have been, so for me my favorite time of day is very early when the light begins its ascent in the eastern sky. I'm usually outside with my dog breathing in crisp, fresh air and looking up at the stars. I'm an old hand at spotting the Little Dipper and the North Star, which by the way, isn't the brightest one in the heavens as many of you have been led to believe. Its astronomical name is 'Polaris' and can be found by locating the last nova at the tip of the ladle's handle.

Before coming back into the house, I like to play this little game of trying to witness the appearance of dawn from the start. Funny thing though, because I take a few seconds to check on Shadow, pull a weed, or inspect a brown patch of grass, more often than not, I seem to miss daybreak's arrival altogether. 'Dawn', my latest attempt of poetic expression, gives you a more eloquent explanation of this unusual ritual, and I included it at the end of this post for your perusal.

Once inside, it's the silence that I absolutely love! The peace and quiet allow me to pray, meditate, and center myself without interruption. It's my own personal time to assess my 'self' identifying the areas which need a little work; it's my own personal time to get in touch with the Spirit within; and it's my own personal time to reflect on what I'm being called to do.

Since I'm up between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m., I have plenty of 'alone' time. Drinking that first cup of coffee and reading the newspaper while listening to the gentle breathing of my dog as she takes her early morning nap, is priceless! I wouldn't trade these special moments of my day for all the gold found in a rich man's house.

During the early morning hours, I also spend time writing. Whether doing a post for my blog, working on a new book, or just dabbling in poetry, this is when my mind is the clearest, my imagination, most creative, and my resolve to complete a story or poem is at an all-time high.

After three hours of precious silence, the creak of footsteps above me signals that the end is nigh. With the sound of running water, I know hubby is awake and will soon be coming down the stairs with a smile and a happy greeting. If I must forfeit the treasured moments of the early morning, giving them up to seeing my better half, sharing the newspaper, and talking about our plans for the day is well-worth the sacrifice. Besides, there's always tomorrow!

As promised, here is my latest poem, 'Dawn'. Comments and critiques are welcomed.


Sitting and waiting,
Facing the East
I will not fail.

Time passes slowly,
Like forever.
Steadfast though,
I dare not blink.

A mere distraction
Robs my resolve.
Yet again,
I’ve missed my chance.

   Far in the distance,  
Dawn has appeared.
Her presence made.

Strokes of light color
Splashed ‘cross the sky,
The blackest clouds.

Yellow and orange,
Some white, some blue,
She ousts the night.

Softly and subtle,
Her kind rays glow
But far from weak.

Amazingly strong,
So bold her intent,
Arming all
With hope and promise.

As Day brings the sun,
Dawn’s gift remains,

Perhaps tomorrow…

Sitting and waiting,
Facing the East
Her coming, I’ll see!

          Enjoy your day, no matter what part of it is your favorite! Blessings and Peace!

Monday, November 6, 2017


During a recent episode of the Dr. Phil Show, a divorced couple railed at each other's lack of parenting skills with regards to their thirteen year old daughter. The father's expectations of the girl included making good grades, following house rules, and abstaining from drugs, alcohol and sex. On the other hand, the mother allowed, even encouraged her child to quit school, smoke weed, drink, and have sex. Her main objective was to be a friend to her daughter not a parent!

Initially, the mother's lack of healthy parenting skills angered me, but upon further consideration, I concluded that she had gone astray and was in need of a serious wake-up call before she lost her precious daughter to drugs, alcohol, and sex forever.

Today's post is my attempt to deal with just one aspect of this dire situation, having sex too young and for all the wrong reasons.  I feel compelled to define both making love and having sex by utilizing simple metaphor. My hope is that their differences will be evident, one, a sacred union between two people who love and respect one another, and one, a human drive that once met dissipates until the next urge arises.


Yesterday, since we were having company for dinner, I decided to make one of my famous apple pies. I began by gathering all the ingredients needed for the crust: flour, salt, Crisco, butter, ice water, vinegar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. After placing everything on the counter, I went in search of my huge mixing bowl.
I'm never quite sure where I'll find things because when my hubby empties the dishwasher, if he doesn't know where something belongs, he tends to put it in the most unusual of places! Eureka! Found it exactly where it was supposed to be. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!"

First I measured out the flour and salt and, after sprinkling in a whisp of sugar and cinnamon, mixed everything into the bowl. I eyeballed the recipe's amount of Crisco and softened butter and added them in. Using a pie crust cutter, I furiously worked the concoction until tiny, pea-sized balls began forming. Once I'd completed that process, I dropped a tablespoon of vinegar into the ice water and poured small amounts of the liquid over the 'peas' while stirring them with a fork. In a few minutes, a cream-colored dough ball emerged, and after cutting it in half, wrapped each smaller ball in waxed paper and stuck both in the fridge for an hour.
If using vinegar in pie crust seems odd to you, try it just once and I guarantee you'll never go without it again. My Baba swore that the vinegar made her crusts flakier, and only divulged her secret to a chosen few. Consider yourselves chosen!

Now for the filling. Upon opening the fruit bin, I discovered there were no apples! I knew I purposefully bought two bags on Thursday to make the pie. Before I could question him, my hubby retrieved the fruit from the hall closet asking, "Where do you want me to put these?"
You can guess where I'd like to have suggested he put them, but I graciously refrained from doing so. 

After washing and peeling a combination of Gala and Granny Smith apples, I doused them with water and lemon juice which keeps the fruit from turning brown  (another technique my Baba taught me). I then placed them in another large bowl, added a handful of sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch and blended everything altogether and set them in the fridge, too.

Since the 'chilling' hour hadn't yet lapsed, I had time to clean off the counter, get out my rolling pin (actually I still have the one my Baba used), prepare the glass pie pan by spraying it with PAM, and place two pieces of waxed paper adjacent to one another which I use as a dough board.

Next I carefully removed one ball from the fridge, placed it onto the waxed paper, and trying to handle it as gently as possible since the heat from your hands can actually change the molecular make-up of the dough, covered it with another sheet of waxed paper and began rolling away. After achieving the desired pie shape, I lifted the top sheet off, picked up the dough by the bottom layer of waxed paper, and deposited it into the prepared pan.

It was time to add the filling. While in the fridge, the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch intermingled, forming a kind of syrupy liquid which is exactly what you should expect. Using my hands, I palmed every last bit of mixture into the shell and dotted it with pats of butter and set it aside while I tended to the upper crust. Once finished, I positioned it atop the juicy filling, gingerly squeezing the edges of the two crusts together to prevent seepage.
Again these little things were handed down to me from my Baba, who was the smartest woman I ever knew!

Finally I set the oven temperature to 410 degrees, and the timer for 20 minutes. While preheating, I brushed the top shell with egg whites.When the oven signaled 'ready', I placed the raw pie on the middle shelf and waited for the magic to happen. When a second ping sounded, I lowered the temperature to 375 degrees, again programmed the timer for an additional 25 minutes, and when finished, eagerly anticipated the emergence of a picture-perfect apple pie!  Lastly, I removed the pie from the oven and placed it on the cooling rack where it would remain until after dinner .

With our company's arrival, squeals of delight penetrated the air. They were enticed by the tantalizing aroma of apple pie, and had no qualms about expressing their elation.  "We knew you'd make one of your famous apple pies," one guest exclaimed, "You're the best!"

After enjoying dinner and meaningful conversation, I served each one at the table a piece of pie topped with vanilla ice cream. I watched as they took their first bites, and was extremely gratified upon seeing their smiles of contented satisfaction.

Although from start to finish, it took me about three hours to prepare, bake, cool and delight our company's taste buds, in my opinion, it was time well-spent!



Yesterday, since we were having company for dinner, I decided to buy an apple pie. I drove to the store, found a stack of humdrum choices, paid way too much for one, returned home, ripped the pie out of the box, set it on a plate and shoved it in the fridge. When our company arrived, the whiff of Febreze for Pets floated in the air causing one guest to remark, "How old is Shadow, now?"

After a dinner devoid of meaningful table conversation, I attempted to serve each of our guests dessert. Two of the women refused, one complaining of a headache, the other saying she was on a diet. All the men, however, woofed down the cardboard crust and canned filling in seconds. One even had the audacity to quip, "Hey, how about another piece?"

From start to finish excluding the shopping trip, it took no more than five minutes to unbox, plate, slice, and serve this facsimile of a pie, and in my opinion, was definitely far too much time spent on something that offered little in the way of satisfaction! I didn't see any smiles either!

AND THIS MY FRIENDS IS THE MEANING OF HAVING SEX! (metaphorically speaking except for the headache and being on a diet part )

I'm not sure if my simple metaphor to explain the differences between making love and having sex brings home my intended message, but for the sake of that child and her misguided mother, I had to try.

As parents, our primary job is to RAISE our children, NOT BEFRIEND them!