Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tattoos of Grace 2

Ron and Jeanette
In my post Tattoos of Grace I,  I shared with you how I discovered my son's Robot Executive tattoo. Although I didn't like the idea of a permanent picture on my (twenty-something) baby's arm, I respected his right to have one. 

But his second tattoo convinced me of the value of this art for nourishing the soul. In certain cases. 

Several years after Robot Executive's arrival on Ron's shoulder, I noticed a second tattoo on his other arm. It was a simple drawing he'd found in one of his dad's old clip art books. 

A hand gripping a rubber stamp that read "APPROVED," which had been imprinted on the surface below it. 

I stared at it for a minute before speaking. "Wow. I think you prophesied on this one, Ron." 

"Oh no, Mom, I just thought this was kinda funky and cool. There is nothing deep about it." 

But I--the Mama--knew better. I recalled all his years of self-doubt, asking the Lord for direction in his career, wondering where he fit in the whole puzzle of life. Now it seemed he had come to a place of accepting himself and the gifts God had placed in him. He was embracing the Lord's approval of Ron Levellie as a person, not for the laughs he could elicit from others or the good deeds he could do. But for himself. Made in God's image. Approved. It was more than just a fun piece of art stuck on his upper arm. 

It was a tattoo of grace.
At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. It helps me accept the tattoos on my son, and it helps me see that if we are in Christ, we're approved by God, regardless of our differing tastes and styles. So there. 

Do you think we unwittingly make statements about ourselves by choices we make? 
Have you ever changed your mind about something, like I did about my son's tattoos? 
Do you have a tattoo?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

In search of healthy snacks

 When I asked my lovely, sweet friend, Diana Savage--who looks a decade younger than her birth certificate says--what her favorite healthy snacks were, her response was varied:

~ air-popped popcorn, drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese
~ a small handful of mixed nuts
~ an un-skinned apple, cored and cut into wedges, then sprinkled with cinnamon
~ one toasted slice of homemade whole-grain bread with peanut butter and raisins or dried cranberries on top
~ a small bowl of plain Greek yogurt with honey (or Splenda, for those fighting Candida), topped with sliced fresh fruit and homemade granola

Then I called on my Facebook friends to ask what they reached for when a munchy moment snuck up on them. Here are a few of their comments: 
  • Apple slices spread with peanut butter
  • Cruskit biscuits topped with low-fat cottage cheese, smoked salmon (or roast chicken breast) and avocado.
  • Garlic hummus and pita bread.
  • Sugar snap peas. And organic dark chocolate. But not with the peas. Usually.
  • Plain popcorn... altho' I prefer it salted and buttered, which isn't so healthy.

  •  Raisins and walnuts. Beyond that my eating habits say I shouldn't have lived past twelve.
  •  Frozen banana chunks blended with peanut butter, vanilla. cocoa and a little milk. Really thick  chocolate shake. all healthy!
  •  Almonds. And I like mozzarella cheese sticks, too
  •  Does dark chocolate count? Okay, fresh raspberries then!

No way Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit. It was chocolate, cookies, ice cream, and ding dongs, I'm sure of it.

My favorites? 

  • Apricots, 
  • muenster cheese, 
  • popcorn, 
  • dark chocolate sweetened with stevia or honeyIn , and 
  • almonds 

And what is your favorite healthy snack?

P.S. Because I am in Rye, New York this week at the Guidepost Writers Workshop. I may be late in responding to your comments. I thank you very much for your prayers that I retain all I'm learning and be a blessing to the other participants. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

A Surefire way to Predict Winter Weather

The Woolly Worm Report

drawing copyright Ron Levellie
Did you know there is a surefire way to predict winter weather? According to early American folklore, you can forecast the harshness of an upcoming winter by examining the brown band around a wooly worm’s middle. The thinner the brownish red band, the harsher winter will be.  
flikr image
But I have my own methods.  As we go on a walk up the country lane near our home at Nevins and I spot a wooly worm scooting across the pavement, I’ll note its coloration. If it’s dark brown or black, representing the bare earth, I predict a mild winter with no snow. If it’s orange—a happy, warm color—I maintain the upcoming winter will be warmer than usual. And if the wooly worm is white or tan, I report that winter will be fast and fun, with snowfall only on Christmas Eve.

Scientific? Hardly. Accurate? Rarely. But my overly biased wooly worm reports make us laugh every time. And giggles help us get through the long, freezing months better than gripes.  I imagine even the wooly worms laugh. At me. 

I may not be able to predict the weather, but I’m convinced that the Apostle John predicted accurately when he told us Jesus is coming soon. I hope you and I will spend eternity together with Him, in that lovely city where every day is bright, and every wooly worm gives a sunny report.

The above is an excerpt from my book The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul, a combination of funny stories and articles on how humor helps.

Do you like Winter? Or Summer? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Love's Guiding Light by Andrea Boesharr

I am pleased to have Andrea Boesharr on Hope Splashes today, talking about her newest novel, Love's Guiding Light. 

Jeanette: What genre(s) do you write and why?

Andrea: I write Christian Romance (both historical and contemporary) & Women’s Fiction. I love romance. Relationships intrigue me. God’s workings in the lives of His people are enthralling. Best of all, I know they are real. That’s why I just have to write about them. I want to give others the same hope and encouragement that I’ve found in Jesus Christ.

J: What inspired your idea for Love’sGuiding Light?

A: About a decade ago, I wrote a novella that was included in several multi-author collections. When the copyrights reverted to me, I decided to rework the novella and add scenes because I dearly loved the story, but I realized I could fill it out, develop the characters, and make it better as a longer story. And I believe, by the grace of God, that I did.

J: What is the setting of this novel?
Notrh Point Light as it stands today
A: Milwaukee’s North Point Light. When I first researched it, the Coastguard owned the lighthouse and cottage, and both were in sorry need of repair. Sadly, my request to tour the place was denied  because they couldn’t guarantee my safety. So I imagined what the old cottage might have looked like. In the process, I fell in love with the lighthouse and called it “my lighthouse.”

Amanda Lewis is about to lose the only home she's ever known--the cottage at the North Point Light in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her mother had received the commission to operate the lighthouse, but tragedy rips away that commission.

Captain Ezra Danfield is new to the city. He plans to give his daughter stability, which includes a home and proper schooling. But a violent storm on Lake Michigan threatens their lives on the night of their arrival, and it’s Amanda Lewis, operating the North Point Light, who guides them safely into Milwaukee's harbor. Ezra makes a point to thank her, and when she asks for his help, he cannot refuse.

However, Amanda has a few cockamamie ideas that could ruin her life, so Ezra must put a stop to them--even if it means shedding light on the darkest recesses of his heart.
Buy the book here: https://amzn.to/2QCEUXS

J: Thanks for joining us today, Andrea. I ordered Love’s Guiding Light for my kindle and I look forward to reading it! And the cover is lovely too!

For more information and to sign up for Andrea’s newsletter, log on to her website. https://andreaboeshaar.com/
Find Andrea on Facebook: @Andrea.Boeshaar
Follow Andrea on Twitter: @AndreaBoeshaar

 Do you read novels, non-fiction, or both? 

How many books do you read at at time? 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Low-fat Caramel Bars for Fall

Would you rather cook, or bake? If you said "Bake," you might enjoy this low-fat recipe for caramel bars, one of our favorites for fall. Each 2”x 3” square contains only 2 grams of fat, and it’s a breeze to put together.

Golden Goodie Bars
2 ¼ cups of Bisquick® or other baking mix
1 ½ cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1.      Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.      Blend baking mix, eggs, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Stir until mixed well. *
3.      Spread dough in greased and floured (or sprayed with non-fat cooking spray) oblong pan, 13 x 9 x 2. I like to sprinkle fall colored cake decorations on top before baking, to give it a festive look.
4.      Bake about 30-35 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.
*You can blend in 1 cup of chopped nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips, but this will add to the fat content. 
This is a fun, fast recipe for little ones to help with, since it only has four ingredients, and it’s nearly impossible to ruin!

Do you have a favorite fall recipe that your family loves?