Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Husband Likes Hamburgers

It looks like our latest poll shows that 2:1 the favorite person to play an April's Fool joke on is our spouses. I am trying to think of a good one for my husband. I found this one on-line as one of the top 10 April's Fool jokes that have been recorded. My husband loves hamburgers.......I wonder if I could make a left-handed burger for supper on April 1st!!

In 1998, Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gossip.....The Sinful Grapevine

She walks into the work area and everyone quits talking immediately. I watch as her face blushes. She knows she is being talked about. No one understands the life that she has had to live. No one knows what has gone on behind closed doors as a child growing up. She has shared with no one the abuse that her husband dished out day after day of their married life. She is different. She doesn't socialize well with others. She gets on people's nerves with her constant trying to be liked and trying to help out. No one understands how unaccepted she has been all her life by those she has cared about the most. She just needs a friend. Gossip.......they were talking about her before she walked into the room. They were making fun of how she is always telling a story about something. They were rolling their eyes at her inability to complete a task in the way they felt it should be done. She is just a misfit. Now she stands there looking at them.....wondering what they were saying.......knowing what they were saying but pretending she didn't. How nice it would be if she had the courage to make them understand. Maybe they would even be her friend.

Christianity condemns all kinds of gossip. The Epistle to the Romans associates gossips ("backbiters") with a list of sins including sexual immorality and with murder. "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:28-32)

So there you have it. According to the Bible, gossip is as bad as sexual immorality and murder. Whew!! That's pretty heavy!! I have been guilty of gossip. How ashamed I am that I have hurt people by my comments. I have been asking God to allow the Holy Spirit to make me conscious every time Satan provides the opportunity to participate in gossip. I don't even want to sit there and listen. It's all about choice. I want to choose to understand her. I want to choose to look at her as Christ would look at her. I want to choose to be her friend.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday.......Washing Machine?!?!

The first United States Patent titled "Clothes Washing" was granted to Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire on March 27, 1797. Fire destroyed the patent office and no description of the device exists so it is not known what kind of washing device Briggs "invented."

When I was a little girl, I remember helping my Grandmother Hazlett with the laundry when I would visit at her house. She had an old wringer washer. There was a big open tub that the clothes would go into, and I would stand on a stool and watch them swish around. As soon as they were done, we would reach in and pull those heavy wet clothes out of the washer. There were two wooden rollers that we would feed the clothes through. My grandmother would constantly warn me about not getting my fingers caught in those rollers. The clothes would come out in long flat pieces all mashed together, and we would put them in the clothes basket to take outside to hang on the line. We would hang the shirts first, then the towels, and then my grandpa's work pants. Then she would take a long pole and hook it to the clothesline and raise the line high in the air. We would go back in and start the next load. I remember looking out the window from the breezeway and watch the clothes flap around in the wind.

When my own daughter was small, we used to hang the clothes out on the line. We no longer had the wringer washer, but she would lean her whole body into our modern washing machine and throw the clothes out to me. She would see how fast she could throw them out and giggle as they piled up on the floor while I pretended I couldn't keep up with her. We would take them outside, and she would hand me the clothespins while I would hang the clothes on the line. When we would take the clothes down, she would bury her face in them and remark at how good they smelled.

It's been a long winter. I am looking forward to hanging the clothes out and watching them flap in the wind. I sit here and close my eyes.........and I think I can smell the smell of spring on freshly washed clothes. Close your eyes and see if you can smell it too...............hmmmmm!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Favorite Hymns of Fanny Crosby Poll

Our poll this week shows shows that "He Hideth my Soul" and "Christ, the Lord is Risen Today" are two favorites. Below are some links that you can click on to hear these and other favorites written by Fanny Crosby.

Happy Birthday Fanny Crosby!!

Frances Jane van Alystyne (Fanny Crosby)1820-1915 Hymn Writer

About her blindness, Fanny said:
"It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me."
If I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind...for when I die, the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour."

Frances Jane Crosby was born into a family of strong Puritan ancestry on March 24, 1820. As a baby, she had an eye infection which an incompetent doctor treated by placing hot poultices on her red and inflamed eyelids. The infection did clear up, but the result was that scars formed on the eyes, and the Fanny became blind for life. A few months later, Fanny's dad became ill and died. Mercy Crosby, widowed at 21, hired herself out as a maid while Grandmother Eunice Crosby took care of little Fanny.

Fanny's grandmother took on the education herself and became the girl's eyes, vividly describing the physical world. Grandmother's careful teaching helped develop Fanny's descriptive abilities, she also nurtured Fanny's spirit. She read and carefully explained the Bible to her, and she always emphasized the importance of prayer. When Fanny became depressed because she couldn't learn as other children did, Grandmother taught her to pray to God for knowledge.
A landlady of the Crosby's also had an important role in Fanny's development. Mrs. Hawley helped Fanny memorize the Bible, and often the young girl learned five chapters a week. She knew the Pentateuch, the Gospels, Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms by heart. She developed a memory which often amazed her friends, but Fanny believed she was no different from others. Her blindness had simply forced her to develop her memory and her powers of concentration more. Blindness never produced self-pity in Fanny and she did not look on her blindness as a terrible thing. At eight years old she composed this little verse:
Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see! I am resolved that in this world contented I will be!How many blessings I enjoy that other people don't!So weep or sigh because I'm blind, I cannot - nor I won't.

In 1834 Fanny learned of the New York Institute for the Blind and knew this was the answer to her prayer for an education. She entered the school when she was twelve and went on to teach there for twenty-three years. She became somewhat of a celebrity at the school and was called upon to write poems for almost every conceivable occasion.

On March 5, 1858, Fanny married Alexander van Alystyne, a former pupil at the Institute and now taught there as a professor. He was a musician who was considered one of the finest organists in the New York area. Fanny herself was an excellent harpist, played the piano, and had a lovely soprano voice. Even as an old woman (Fanny lived to be 95) Fanny would sit at the piano and play everything from classical works to hymns to ragtime. Sometimes she even played old hymns in a jazzed up style.

After her marriage, Fanny left the Institute, and in a few years she found her true vocation in writing hymns. She had an agreement with the publishers Bigelow and Main to write three hymns a week for use in their Sunday school publications. Sometimes Fanny wrote six or seven hymns a day. Though Fanny could write complex poetry as well as improvise music of classical structure, her hymns were aimed at bringing the message of the Gospel to people who would not listen to preaching. Whenever she wrote a hymn, she prayed God would use it to lead many souls to Him.

In her own day, the evangelistic team of Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey effectively brought Fanny Crosby's hymns to the masses. Today many of her hymns continue to draw souls to their Savior for both salvation and comfort: " Blessed Assurance," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me," "To God Be the Glory, " "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior," " Safe in the Arms of Jesus," "Rescue the Perishing," "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross," "I Am Thine, O Lord," and many more.

Though her hymn writing declined in later years, Fanny was active in speaking engagements and missionary work among America's urban poor almost until the day of her death in 1915. She sought to bring others to her Savior not only through her hymns but through her personal life as well. What happened when Fanny died? Perhaps one of her later hymns tells it best:
When my lifework is ended and I cross the swelling tide,When the bright and glorious morning I shall see, I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,And His smile will be the first to welcome me. I shall know Him, I shall know Him, And redeemed by His side I shall stand! I shall know Him, I shall know Him, By the print of the nails in His hand.

Fanny Crosby was probably the most prolific hymnist in history, writing over 8,000 hymns. As many as 200 different pen names were given to her works by hymn book publishers so that the public wouldn't know she wrote so large a number of them. She produced as many as seven hymns/poems in one day. On several occasions, upon hearing an unfamiliar hymn sung, she would inquire about the author, and find it to be one of her own!

If you were to take fifteen hymnals and stack them one on top of another, taken all together, that's about the number of hymns Fanny wrote in her lifetime! Of course, many of those have been forgotten today, but a large number remain favorites of Christians all over the world. In her lifetime, Fanny Crosby was one of the best known women in the United States and a strong Christian whose legacy of faithfulness to God is exhibited by the hymns that will be sung for all eternity!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Birds are Coming

Our poll this week showed that most people look for the robins on their front porch as a sign of approaching spring. This week on my way home from work, I saw a bright red cardinal sitting on a fencepost alongside the road. What a beautiful site!! Spring is this week, and I don't know about you but I am ready for a change. Keep your eyes open. Leave a comment when you see your first robin or cardinal or any other spring bird.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Success......Lady Bird's Thoughts

Success has many faces; it need not be circumscribed by a title, a job, a cause. Success is not always "getting." It is more often "giving." It does not consist of what we do, but rather of what we are. Success is not always an accomplishment. It can be a state of mind. The quiet dignity of a home, the relationship of the individuals in that home. The continuing expression of an inquiring mind can mean more in terms of success than all the surface symbols of status.
Lady Bird Johnson Dec. 22, 1912 - July 11, 2007

This Month in Women's History

  • March 3, 1887: Anne Sullivan arrived at the home of young Helen Keller to begin to teach her to communicate.
  • March 3, 1913: Woman suffrage supporters marched in Washington, D.C., disrupting the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Onlookers attacked while police stand by.

  • March 4, 1933: Frances Perkins' appointment as Secretary of Labor announced -- first woman to serve as a member of the U.S. President's Cabinet.

  • March 8, 1702: Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch, ascended to the British throne. Women workers in New York City strike for higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions. Phyliss M Daley sworn in as navy ensign, the first black nurse to achieve that office.

  • March 9, 1976: West Point Military Academy accepts its first female cadet.

  • March 13, 963: Anna born - her marriage to Vladimir of Kiev led to the Christianization of Russia

  • March 20, 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin.

  • March 21, 1972: Equal Rights Amendment sent by Congress to the States for ratification.

  • March 24, 1820: Fanny Crosby born.

  • March 26, 1930: Sandra Day O'Connor born.

  • March 26, 1973: Ten women became the first women to be admitted as members of the London Stock Exchange.

  • March 27, 1912: Two Japanese cherry trees planted along the Potomac River in Washington, DC, by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador, Viscountess Chinda; the idea was a fulfillment of a long campaign by photographer and travel writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore.

  • March 30, 1932: Amelia Earhart became first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

  • March 31, 1776: Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John Adams: "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Our Easter Poll

By the latest poll, it appears that there are a lot of fond memories of Easter time. Coloring eggs has been one of my favorites over the years. As a little girl, I remember being so excited the night before Easter Sunday. I would be wearing that new frilly dress with those new white patent leather shoes with the pretty buckles. I wasn't too fond of the hat because the elastic used to make my neck sore though. I think the most vivid memory I have of the night before Easter was when my mother would wrap my hair with strips of cloth for rag curls. In the morning, we would RIP them out and she would wrap each strand of hair around her finger and make long ringlets. Those curls were in so tight they would last for a couple of days. Enjoy Easter with your family this year. But in all of the festivities, remember the sacrifice that Christ has made for us and the reason we celebrate this season.......because He lives!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Best Gift Ever

Every morning, I tell my boys good-bye, wish them a good day, tell them to be careful on the roads, and then tell them I love them. It becomes routine, I will admit. But on my way to work each day, I say a prayer for them and ask God to watch over them and teach them the things they need to know.

A huge winter storm hit today. We had anywhere from 4-7" between noon and 3:45 PM when it was time for me to go home. I got to my car and there was a message on my cell phone. It was from my youngest son, Ethan. He rarely says anything.....a quiet sort of guy. But the message went as follows......."Mom, I made it home from's about quarter after three. I just wanted to let you know I made it home. Uh careful the roads are bad. I'll be praying for you on your way home........this is Ethan. Whew!! I had to sit for a few minutes in the parking lot before I could drive the car. The eyes were a little watery. What a gift!! The best one ever!! My 17-year-old son calling to say he's praying for me........Thanks God!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who was St. Patrick?

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders
It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family's estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

Guided By Visions
After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice-which he believed to be God's-spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.
To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation-an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than fifteen years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

Bonfires and Crosses
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. (Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick's life became exaggerated over the centuries-spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.)

Information taken from

Guilty......or Not Guilty

I was given a citation for failure to control with my recent snow escapade. Unfortunately, the Goshen Township Police misled me and told me that I had to be cited in order for my insurance to cover any damage to my car. I then had to appear in court where the judge informed me I had been misled and did not need to be cited. As a result, she reduced the fine to $5.00.
This was my first court room appearance, and it proved to be quite interesting. When things happen in my life, I always try to get the message that God is trying to send me. I believe that everything happens to us for a reason. As I was sitting in the audience waiting for the judge to arrive, I observed the behavior of those around me. Most of the 60+ people present were men. I heard many of them saying negative things about the judge, the justice system, and how they would handle the judgment given them. Most of them were leaving the impression with the people around them that they didn't have much fear of the judge or anything she had to say. There was a lot of "tough guy" syndrome in the air. I sat there talking with God and asking that things would go according to His will. I also was asking Him to show me the reason for all of this. I watched as the judge called each of those men by name. I watched them walk forward to stand before her. I listened as she read them the charges that had placed them there. Then I heard her ask each of them how they were pleading......guilty or not guilty. Funny...... none of them seemed to be disrespecting her while they were standing before her. None of them were saying the things that they had said earlier they were going to. None of them were arguing with her. But here's the clincher..... all of them accepted the sentence that she brought down on them whether they liked it or not. Some were taken to jail.....some were given hefty fines.....some were send to rehabilitative programs. It wasn't until the next morning that it dawned on me what had happened the afternoon before.
Many, if not most of our society, feel that life can be lived the way they choose whether it complies with God's laws or not. We feel that we can beat the "spiritual justice system." Many will even speak of God as if He has no real authority, they have nothing to fear from Him, and his future judgment on them really doesn't matter. Many have no fear of the end of their life and say they do not fear God's judgment. those in court yesterday.........their words and actions are meaningless.....because....."Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [Jesus Christ] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of THOSE ON EARTH, and of those under the earth, and that EVERY TONGUE should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" --Philippians 2:10-11........whether they like it or not.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Gardening, Old Wives' Tales, and Family

It's March 1st and time to start planning your garden. Spring is just around the corner. Get out those seed catalogs and start dreaming. Plot out where all those plants are going to go. Our latest poll showed that 60% of you prefer a vegetable garden and 40% like their flower gardens.

When I was a little girl, I used to help my Grandfather Hazlett plant his vegetable garden. We would walk along the rows that he had made. I was closer to the ground (that's what he told me) so I got to put the seeds in the rows. He would use a broomstick and make a hole and I would squat and carefully place the seed. Many weeks later, (of course after daily checking!!) I would see the fruits of my labor start to sprout. Years later, my father would have a garden. I was still closer to the ground (so he convinced me) so I got to place the plants and cover up the seeds. I had progressed in my skills over the years, so I also got to use the hoe and remove the weeds!! Once the produce started to come, I would snap the beans, peel the tomatoes, and help my mother do the canning. I can remember hearing those jars pop as they sealed. I would hear all the old wives' tales that had been passed down through the generations in our family as my mother and I would stand at the sink or the stove. Gardens......In a world of modern technology and fast paced living, it's nice to go back to a simpler time......old wives' tales, gardening, and making memories with those we love. Plant something this year with someone.....make a memory!!

Snow.....Snow.....and More Snow!!!!

Do you have snow in your yard? As I look out my window, I see LOTS of snow!! February is now over, and our weather man informed us that we had 31" of snow this month. A record setting month!! Are you tired of it yet???? Here are some interesting facts.......

Did you know that.......

  • Based on National Weather Service records for 1961 through 1990, Rochester, New York averages 94 inches of snow annually and is the snowiest large city in the United States. Rochester has a population more than 200,000 and annual municipal snow-removal budget of $3.7 million (1995 figures).

  • Buffalo, New York, is a close runner-up in terms of U.S. large cities with the most snow. A 39-inch snowfall in 24 hours in early December 1995 cost the city nearly $5 million for snow removal.

  • Almost 187 inches of snow fell in seven days on Thompson Pass, Alaska in February, 1953, according to the National Snowfall and Snow Depth Extremes Table provided by the National Climatic Data Center.

  • Each year an average of 105 snow-producing storms affect the continental United States. A typical storm will have a snow-producing lifetime of two to five days and will bring snow to portions of several states.

  • In the early 1900s, skiers created their own terminology to describe types of snow, including the terms "fluffy snow," "powder snow," and "sticky snow." Later, the terminology expanded to include descriptive terms such as "champagne powder," "corduroy," and "mashed potatoes."

  • Practically every location in the United States has seen snowfall. Even most portions of southern Florida have seen a few snow flurries.

  • In the western United States, mountain snow pack contributes up to 75 percent of all year-round surface water supplies.

  • Nationwide, the average snowfall amount per day when snow falls is about two inches, but in some mountain areas of the West, an average of seven inches per snow day is observed.

And just when you think you have it bad......take a look at this.....

Cleared train tracks in the Sierra Nevada at Blue Canyon, California, after a snow storm in 1917. (Source: NOAA/Department of Commerce. Courtesy of the Historic National Weather Service Collection. Photograph originally published in "Monthly Weather Review," October 1919, p. 698.)

Facts taken from