Gritty Chocolate Chip Cookies

***

Without fail, every autumn, the crisp air and bright foliage cause me to recall the time in 1979 I went with my girlfriend Carol and two of her friends—a married couple, Greg and Dorinda—on a day trip to Philadelphia.  We lived roughly 150 miles from the city, on Long Island, and Carol’s friend, Greg, drove.

 ***

I well remember that period in my life—my late teens; I had a particular fondness back then for strolling about big cities—especially on clear, bright autumn days such as this one.  And in Philadelphia, I recall how the crisp October breezes formed colorful whirlwinds—leaf devils—that skated through intersections and up and down the sidewalks—how the immense cumulus clouds, caught in 30-mile-per-hour winds, pushed massive shadows in their wake, down the streets and up the sides of buildings.

file3541250742483

It was interesting to see how the Old World existed alongside the New.  Buildings that might have been built in 1770 stood beside structures from perhaps 1970.  We ambled along a cobblestone road where a plaque in the ground informed us we were also traversing the roof of someone’s house from the late 1700s.

file1301250747268

***

Carol and I had been arguing (as usual), and (as usual), there were some hard feelings between us that day.  And although I was silent and morose as we walked from one historic place to another—learning new things about Ben Franklin and George Washington, seeing the Liberty Bell and all the touristy stuff—Greg and Dorinda were used to ignoring the tension between us.  And Carol, as was typical for her, had a great time with them—while ignoring me.

 file000519273864

I was nineteen, and although I worked full-time, I never had much money in my pocket.  I’d started the day out with maybe $10—but I knew I wouldn’t need much.  Most of our activities were free, and if we did pay an admission fee to anything, it wasn’t more than a dollar or two.  But everything cost me double because I also paid for Carol.  By late morning, Greg was a little peeved that I no longer had enough money for certain spontaneous activities or admission fees.  Greg and Carol were close friends, and so this created a kind of solidarity between them; now they could both be angry with me, and I could be angry with Carol—and now I could be a little peeved at Greg for being peeved at me.  Dorinda was never angry with anyone.

***

We grabbed a table at a pretty decent restaurant for lunch, and I found something on the menu that I really wanted that cost $6.  And although I was now down to about $2, I knew that Carol had a twenty, recently earned from her new job—her first steady employment.  So naturally, I figured that even though I was almost broke, like any long-time couple—friends—who are “there for each other”, she’d be there to pick up the slack.

When I gave my order to the waitress, Carol looked at me and asked, “Do you have any money?”  The waitress paused, Dorinda looked up at the ceiling, and Greg smirked.

“You do,” I said.

“Yeah, that’s mine,” she responded.  Thoroughly deadpan.

“Wow!”  (I actually said, “Wow!”)

Despite all the money I’d spent on her that day—indeed, over the past two years—all the gifts I’d lavished upon her—Carol clutched that twenty bucks as if her life depended on it.  It was hers.

And this was incredible.

I calmly asked Greg for his keys, got up, and politely told them I’d be waiting in the car.  I was so angry, I didn’t want to be anywhere near her.  She actually let me go hungry that afternoon when it was within her power to do otherwise.

The three of them took their time while I waited outside; it gave me time to think of all the times I had treated Carol to lunch during the past two years.

***

Later, at a museum, while the three of them watched a short film about the city’s history, I sat alone in a common area outside the small indoor theater, fuming and brooding—and trying to comprehend my girlfriend.  Unbeknownst to me, the architecture was such that the audience exited from a place below the balcony where I was sitting, and when the film was over, I was unaware that everyone was leaving.  While Greg and Carol walked (hurriedly, I presume) toward the street exit, I heard Dorinda’s shout from somewhere below me, “Eric!  We’re leaving!”  Had it not been for her, I would still be sitting there.

file4761250397213

***

So … long story, short … Philadelphia is one of my worst memories—but it’s also one of my best.

And it’s because God designed us so that time would smooth the rough edges of our less-favorable times in life—causing even the terrible experiences to somehow seem “not so bad, after all”.  We tend to gloss over the bad parts—and extol the good ones—so that in our minds we end up with an amalgam similar to sand in chocolate chip cookies.

***

Still, I hope my old girlfriend has better learned how to treat people who love her.  And I hope she has realized by now that I didn’t deserve to be abandoned in a city far from home—with no transportation—hungry—and without even enough money to buy a sandwich for dinner.

***

And every autumn, I reminisce about the events of that day—over and over.  I gleefully indulge in my gritty chocolate chip cookies.

So I guess it wasn’t so bad, after all.

 

Those Pesky Red Lines

48E2D657-A840-49D4-A31D-4A89FCB672CB_mw1024_s_n

Hey, Obama, this one’s for you.

Mideast: Tehran told U.S. diplomats to tell Israel to “await the consequences” for killing one of its generals. This is the radical state that our gangsta-in-chief thinks will abandon nuclear weapons development.  Tehran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, while speaking to the official Iranian news agency on Tuesday (January 27, 2015), said sarcastically, in a reference to  Obama’s called bluff on chemical weapons in Syria, “the Zionist regime has crossed our red lines.”

selfie012315_345.gif.cms

Now make sure I look really mature and presidential in this one, okay?

C’mon … why all the fuss?  Just because we have a president with no real interest in the job?  What’s wrong with having a ceaseless appetite for celebrity adulation, endless vacations, and a lifestyle that royalty could only dream of?

I never thought I would live in a country where the so-called “commander”-in-chief would actually degrade the Office of the President by hangin’ with his hoodies and getting in on some selfies.

I’m so glad that he’s planning to (someday) “degrade” those ruthless Muslim animals in the Islamist State.  They’re going to be so humiliated when this clown gets done “degrading” them.

It’s going to be a very long two years.

 

Climate change falling so far off the public radar, a major polling house didn’t even bother asking about it this year

Watts Up With That?

89094-boringGuest essay by Eric Worrall –

Climate Change is so low on the list of corporate priorities, that in Price Waterhouse Cooper’s latest survey of chief executive officers, climate concerns didn’t even make the list of questions.
According to The Guardian;

“In a critical year for action to prevent runaway climate change, one would hope the issue would rank high on chief executives’ list of business risks to worry about.
So it comes as a shock to discover that climate change appears so low on their list of concerns that professional services group Price Waterhouse Coopers did not even bother to include it in its global survey of business leaders.

PwC’s 18th annual global CEO survey, released Tuesday to coincide with the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, failed to even ask 1,322 business leaders about their global warming concerns after only 10% registered concern the previous year.

View original post 132 more words

Islam in the Workplace

For an unapologetic, articulate commentary on the “bloody nuisance” that Islam is, I strongly suggest that you go to this URL and watch Richard’s video essay: http://boodel636.blogspot.com/2015/01/islam-in-workplace.html?showComment=1421941893358#c4629707759240809259

The_Second_Pillar_of_Islam___The_Prayer_001

Another “arse in the air” showoff. “Look at me! Look at me! I’m SO devout. Aren’t you impressed?”

arse in the air 2

What next? A Prayer Room in every place of employment? Here’s an idea: You work at a gas station? Go pray in the bathroom.

What Is Beauty?

Beauty waits until the patience and depth of a gaze are refined enough to engage and discover it. In this sense, beauty is not a quality externally present in something. It emerges at that threshold where reverence of mind engages the subtle presence of the other person, place, or object.

~ John O’ Donohue

Maksymilianna — Not just a beautiful child—but a beautiful name as well.

 

file0001361911185

What we call Nature’s beauty is simply a result of God using our (His) Earth as an artist’s palette.

 

The Flagship Niagara. An object. But a complex object—built by man—but created by God through the talent that He gave them. And certainly a beautiful thing to look upon.

 

 

***

 

Perhaps God uses people more than any other medium to exhibit absolute, heart-rending beauty—the kind that causes the breath to catch, the heart to skip a beat, and the eyes to tear.

Our souls long to absorb pure beauty so that it becomes a part of us; we ache because we cannot become a part of it.   We reach out for it with our minds, our souls … and we wonder—in frustration—why we cannot hold it.  Instead, we are allowed to glimpse upon only a portion; the rest will not come to us until we are with God in heaven.

For we must be pure in order to comprehend, absorb, fully appreciate, and become a part of something that is pure.

~ Eric Uhland

elisabeth-toll

From the book by Elisabeth Toll, SYSTRAR – Four Sisters the Last Day of March. When God creates beauty like this, we yearn in our souls for something more—though we don’t even know what it is.

Music—any kind of music that touches a person’s soul—can make the heart ache and the tears well up.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Free!

Its-free

by Andrew Malcolm (Investor’s Business Daily)

Some really big news coming from President Obama today: He’s got an idea of free community college for everyone for two years.

Like many exciting Obama ideas, it sounds too good to be true. Remember the $2,500 health insurance savings he promised on every family’s health insurance costs under ObamaCare?

But according to a video teaser POTUS taped sitting at — no, wait — sitting on his desk aboard Air Force One, Obama’s going to outline the plan today at Knoxville’s Pellissippi Community College as part of his State of the Union preview tour.

Then, as we described here earlier this week, he’s going to describe it again on national TV during his State of the Union address on Jan. 20.

“Put simply,” Obama explains, “what I’d like to do is see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it.”

Free

Wait, there’s more!

“That’s right, free for everybody who is willing to work for it.”

If you’re one of the youth legions who fell for Obama in 2008, you might wonder why your hero waited on this sweet freebie until 75% of his two terms were gone and you’d accumulated in excess of $100,000 in student loans. But that’s your problem.

“Under President Obama’s new proposal,” his White House website excitedly touted, “students would be able to earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree, or earn the technical skills needed in the workforce — all at no cost to them.”

“Responsible students” would get free community college tuitions as long as they attended class at least half-time and maintained a 2.5 average during steady progress toward a degree. This would save each student about $3,800 a year, Obama said he figures.

Obama also figures all 1,100 community colleges in all his 57 states would want to participate.

imagesIt’s somewhat surprising that the Democrat would announce such a major giveaway on a Friday, a day usually reserved by his administration for document dumps of bad news timed to gather minimal attention. But he’s competing for media time and space with a new Congress that thinks it’s an equal branch of government.

The president’s cost totals are typically a little vague. But the federal government (meaning, you if you pay taxes) would fork over 75% of the tuition subsidy’s price tag and states would ante up the remaining 25%. Obama sees no problems there.

Like many Obama plans, this new spending idea equals a sum total exceeding the digits available on my calculator. But that doesn’t matter right now because none of this is ever going to happen.

obama-flipping-bird

Wait! What’s that I see? Could it be? No; no commander-in-chief would ever flip his own country the bird! (I mean … he couldn’t. After all, he’s too busy carrying a coffee cup in one hand while dissing the Marines with the other.)

 

Remember Obama’s similarly-financed idea for universal pre-K back in 2013? That swell-sounding, $75 billion idea went nowhere in a Congress half-controlled by Democrats. Although, as planned, the proposal did help Obama control a few news cycles, a couple of Sunday talk-show segments and provided him a tasty, if hopeless, talking point ever since.

Today, Congress is totally controlled by budget-conscious Republicans. So are 31 governorships, two territories and most state legislative chambers.

Other than that though, President Obama’s generous plan for free college for everyone today is a clear Go.

AP1079-its-a-wonderful-life-movie-poster 3

It WAS a wonderful life–before Osama .. Obama … Hussein … (whatever) was born.

 

 

That’s Not What America’s About

We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States.  … Imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary, or news reports, that they don’t like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.

That’s not who we are. That’s not what America’s about.

Can you guess who said that?

index

Can you believe he said that?

index2

We are UNhurried schoolers.

This blog is a wonderful testament to the benefits of homeschooling.
Read and enjoy.

(If I had kids they would never set foot in a government indoctrination center.)

itisallaboutfaithblog

We are UNhurried schoolers. It’s a beautiful way to learn!

Yes, we’re homeschoolers.

Yes, we’re unschoolers.

Yes, we’re interest-led schoolers.

Yes, we’ve been public schoolers (many years.)

Yes, we’ve attended private schools (a couple years.)

Yes, we’re teaching our kids about survival, writing, reading, math, history, science, home economics, Bible, financial peace (with Dave Ramsey,) and much more.

But not all at the same time.

The best part about learning with my Homeschool Homies is that we are absolutely NOT in a hurry anymore.

We are learning. We are learning every day (even in the summer and on holidays.) And my kids LIKE it!

Today as I was teaching my 12 year old daughter how to use the sewing machine, I heard one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard in my whole life.

As we were not rushed… (because I do not believe true learning happens as quickly…

View original post 136 more words

Wrong Number

So I answer the phone, and this twelve-year-old girl wants to order a pizza.

“You have the wrong number,” I tell her. She apologizes, and that’s the end of it.

About a month later, it happens again. And I recognize the girl’s voice. I tell her, “Wrong number. Sorry.” Why am I apologizing? She made me get off the couch.

My phone is silent for many, many weeks. Until she calls again.  And this time (and I’m very proud of myself for my on-the-spot cleverness, because I did not plan this in advance) I say, “Okay, hold on a second,” while I reach for the order pad over by the pinball machine.  I’m going to put a stop to this.

“Okay, whattaya want?”

“A large pie (that’s what we call ’em in New York) with roasted peppers, mushrooms, and meatballs.”  (I love meatballs and mushrooms on a pizza.) 

IMGP7994 I’m at a loss for what to say; I’d never worked in a pizza place. “Uh huh …”

 “A Sicilian with pepperoni and anchovies …”  (I love anchovies on a pizza too.  Maybe I should move in with these people.)

104_large5_large

I write the order in the air so that I know how long it should take. “Uh huh …”

“Okay … uh … mushrooms …” I’m stuck again. Stage fright.

 And then I put myself in my shoes if I were ordering a pizza, and I say, “What’s the name?”

“Higgins.”

Then I forget for a moment where I work; suddenly I’m wearing my Chinese food shoes. “Okay, ten—fifteen min.”

“Huh?”

“Oh, uh … fifteen minutes.”

“Thanks.”

I jump back into my pizza shoes. “Yeah.”

Click.

I chuckle and think how I would give anything to be standing at the counter picking up my order when little Miss Higgins comes in for hers.

And then I forget about it.

***

A few days later, I’m in the paint/wallpaper/hardware store with my boss picking up supplies for our job that day. It’s taking awhile, so I go outside to wait. I start reading the matchbook covers on the ground, the 15-Minute Parking signs, the phone number in the window of the pizza place next door. The phone number … in the window … of the pizza place …

No, it’s not my phone number; it’s theirs. But the handwriting on the glass makes it look like mine. My number ends in 6778. But the pizza guy’s number ends in 6118, and the little hooks at the top of the ones could easily be mistaken for sevens. This is too delicious—one of those coincidences you read about only in fiction.

Later that day, my boss and I make it a point to go in there—instead of our favorite deli—for lunch. Because I just gotta know. And when Rico gives me my slices, I ask him, “So did Higgins come in here a few nights ago for an order and you guys didn’t have it ready?”

“Yeah. How’dja know?”

“Because I took their order.”

“What?”

“Yeah,” I said. “They kept calling me, and I got fed up with them getting the wrong number, so I took their order.”

“That was you?!” Rico screams.” “We were lookin’ all over the place trying to find their order! Nobody knew nuthin’ about it!”

I really couldn’t help bursting out, and I almost sprayed Coke all over the place. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Sorry.” And I meant it. I liked Rico. And he was okay with it.

And the Higgins girl? Well, I never heard from her again.

“It’s the thought that counts” is MESSED UP!

itisallaboutfaithblog

We hear people say, “Well, it’s the thought that counts.”

Um… WHAT?!?

Maybe those are not the best words to live out.

For example:

I saw her drowning and I THOUGHT about helping but I don’t run very fast and by the time I got there it’d probably be too late sooo…

“Yes it’s our anniversary and I THOUGHT about saying something or getting flowers but you know, Honey, it’s the thought that counts!” (Yeah. How did that work out?)

I heard you were grieving the loss of your child and THOUGHT about checking on you but it’s probably not my business.

The teacher said this homework was due today but I’m sure she knows it’s the THOUGHT that counts so it’s an easy “A.”

I thought about Jesus and I think He is real and I THOUGHT about Heaven and Hell, THOUHT about accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and…

View original post 227 more words

It Is OKAY To Like YOU

itisallaboutfaithblog

Remember that time when you did that thing you thought you couldn’t do? And remember how you were a little amazed by that? And if you’re honest with yourself, maybe you did it better than you thought you could?

When you think about YOU do you think more about that stuff or the “other” stuff… you know… the times you messed up… again?

The way we think about us in our own heads, about how we messed up, about how often we mess up, is just too much for our spirits sometimes. Be kinder to you.

Would you let someone else talk to you the way YOU talk to you? Would you let someone else talk to your husband, wife, kids, or parents the way you talk to you? Is it kind of… possibly… bullying yourself?

Stop.

Please?

Take a breath and think something nice about you.

It is OKAY…

View original post 152 more words

One of “those” jobs

itisallaboutfaithblog

Some people who do good jobs may never hear a “Thank you.”

Some people hear complaints and listen to our problems all day long.

Write a quick note to people who do a good job. (And maybe even to their employers also.) It may be the very thing that lifts them to do even better at their jobs.  For sure it will give positive energy!

Here are a few:

U. S. Armed Forces

Marriage Counselor

Online Support

Car Mechanic

Bus Driver

Server

Trucker

Farmer

Trash Service

Teacher

Mail Carrier

Doctor

A/C Repair

Dad

Mom

Jesus

I can’t possibly think of all the thankless jobs people do.  I’m certain I’ve missed a million and 12 jobs that definitely belong on this list.

Thank you for doing your jobs and especially the jobs where you hear complaints and face giants all day long.  We appreciate you and you should get to hear it.

View original post

While The World Sleeps Under Lead-Gray Skies

Edge Induced Cohesion

Today I began an earlier shift that requires me to be awake before 5AM. As most anyone who knows me knows, I am someone who is quite naturally a bit of an insomniac, who finds it fear easier to stay up late at night than it is to appreciate the morning. Although some poets [1] have been immensely fond of the early morning with its suggestions of the beginning of glorious day, in order to start the day off with reflection and creation, I tend to be an author of the dark night, writing of the horrors that leave a soul unable to rest in peace in the depths of sleep, and who fight against the approaching darkness rather than welcoming it as a beloved friend.

So far, there is a lot to appreciate about working an earlier schedule, aside from the fact that it requires me to go to…

View original post 542 more words

One of God’s Best Inventions – The Cacao Bean!

The botanical name for the tree that produces cacao beans is Theobroma Cacao—from the Latin Theobroma—literally “food of the gods”, and Cacao—a Nahuatl-derived Spanish word.

choco01

The American English pronunciation of “cacao” is kuh-KOW, from the original version kuh-KAH-oh. The common British pronunciation is kuh-KAH-oo.

crop_sm_Cocoa-Beans      The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency and revered for their medicinal qualities for centuries.

7686329-bar-of-chocolate-and-cocoa-beans

The more frequently used word, cocoa, is widely believed to have its origins in a spelling mistake—possibly made by a British import agent in the 17th century.

file000379031314

To the quiet, boring girl in class

The Matt Walsh Blog

untitled (36)

I got this message from “quiet” Kate a few days ago:


Dear Matt,

So sorry for bugging you when I know you get SO many emails everyday! My mom loves your blog, she told me and my dad about it. She reads your new entries out loud almost every day at the dinner table! I bet you’re super creeped out now lol but don’t be. She’s not a crazy stalker. Well… she’s not crazy anyway lol. Anyway, after she told me about you I went and looked up your blogs. I love so many of them! I especially loved what you wrote about introverts. I don’t know if you remember it (this was a few months ago) but you stood up for introverts and said you are one yourself…. which was a surprise!

I’m writing to you because I’m very introverted also. I’m in tenth grade and I’ve been this way…

View original post 2,140 more words

They Just Want Noise

The truth is, most of them [the presumptuous kids in your class] just want you to speak because your silence intimidates them.  They don’t want to hear your ideas and your perspectives (or anyone else’s, besides their own), they just want noise.  They want noise because we live in a culture that’s afraid of what will happen if everyone shuts up long enough [for someone] to formulate an original thought or two.

When you need or want to communicate something, you communicate it—and effectively, I might add.  Someone calling you “quiet” for only speaking when you have something to say is like them calling you “anorexic” for only eating when you’re hungry.  This country is full of enough blathering loudmouths who drone on and on with pointless banalities nobody cares to hear.  Just because you’re purposeful with your speech doesn’t mean you’re “weird.”  Let them wrestle each other in puddles of their own verbal vomit.  You don’t want any part of that, and why would you?

Let them call you quiet.  Pretty soon, you’ll be climbing mountains and they’ll still be down at the base, talking about the weather.

—From a response to a tenth-grade girl on The Matt Walsh Blog, March 24, 2014

 

Click here for a related article by me.

Jitterbug Boy

So you ask me what I’m doin’ here …

Holdin’ up the lamppost,

Flippin’ this quarter, tryin’ ta make up my mind …

If it’s heads I go to Tennessee, tails I buy a drink,

If it lands on the edge I keep talkin’ … to … you …

—Tom Waits, from Jitterbug Boy