Authentic Compassion

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The lonely walker?

OK - he wasn't really lonely - I was behind him taking pictures of the beautiful morning. DH was finishing up our walk about two mornings ago - it was in the low 40's type cold so we don't linger on our 2 miles. I liked the look of this picture (after I cropped out all the vehicles,trailers and stuff to the side!) Nothing earthshaking here - we've had a good week and I'm so grateful that my husband is a person who likes to exercise. We are aging (beats the alternative) so it takes more work to keep things working.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
The beauty of nature and the joys of a good husband - those things I see - but what is unseen is our blessing in Buhlaland.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goatishness all around - Ho Ho HO!

I'm too delighted - I was mentioned in a blog! Not even MY blog! Woo Hoo! Clever Pam at Kids Kitchen posted a picture of two tiny goats in a Christmas parade (goats are wearing antlers - very ungoatlike - goats have horns or not in the case of most of OUR goats). Remember - fame only lasts for maybe 15 minutes - check it fast or I'll be gone -

Woo Hoo y'all are going to be glad!

Maybe not - I may be overstating but due to the lethargy induced by a 3 day food frenzy - I'm working on hype here. Our sweet mother in law gifted us already (she really doesn't like that wait until Christmas morning thing and we don't do the lots of gifts for Christmas thing) for our Christmas/wedding anniversary (which is January 1). We're getting a new camera! Yep - it was a compromise camera -not the total bells and whistles and "we'll never need another camera because this one upgrades" but definitely not just a point and shoot cheapie on sale everywhere. I have great hopes for publishing some pictures of birds - pictures in which you can see something more clearly than the tree in which a bird might possibly be sitting. Also will have zoom features so will get those "deer in the back pasture" issues straightened out. Exciting final note - we'll have movie capability -so perchance I can learn to post short snippets of our exciting lives! End of this tirade is that we will have a nice digital camera I can use and we both will enjoy. Other than pictures for real estate and blogging - we don't take many pics. But I bet in the coming weeks - it'll be shutterbugging time on Buhlaland. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving food and memories

Don't panic, of course we spent time praying in gratitude for the OVER abundance of our blessings - we had a great walk early,just as the sun was coming up. DH and I are delighted with the beauty of where we are living.

That being said -

I hate to shock people, but for those in the south or raised by southerners - Thanksgiving is about the food, well the food and the football. Unfortunately for my "adoring public" - not much of the food turned out great. I tried several "low fat, no cholesterol, super healthy" recipes due to our current need for cholesterol lowering, fat reducing getting fittedness (not bothering to use spell checker today!). Mashed potatoes were excellent, cranberry sauce was good, gravy was OK, green beans were simply a vegetable. BEST part was the turkey breast. For 3 of us - a whole bird would have been too much. Earlier in the week, a tv chef did a herb and olive oil mixture under the turkey breast skin before cooking it and I decided to try her method. WOW - very moist, lots of flavor and the best we've done. I semi brined the breast ( for the last 2 hours of thawing it was in a huge bowl of lukewarm water salty water and seasonings). After drying off the turkey, loosened the skin to make a pocket in which to put the herbal essences (that sounds like I used hair products doesn't it?) In a Cuisinart,finely chopped onion,olive oil, fresh rosemary, fresh sage, flat leafed parsley, sea salt and a mixture of freshly ground peppercorns (white, pink , green and black - available at WalMart ). Put prepared turkey in a small roaster - in oven around 350 degrees for an hour, put the roaster cover over it for another hour. After the second hour timer went off - I began testing with digital thermometer until it reached about 175 internally. Just delish and will do this again for sure - you could use any kind of seasonings and make it totally different.

My Mom was a great cook - she made everything from scratch and our holidays were amazing meals, we'd wake up to the smell of sage, onions and celery on Thanksgiving. She usually baked the dressing separate from the turkey. Drier dressing makes a great receptor for gravy!

Dressing in my household is artery clogging level of fattening because it is made with a couple of sticks of butter,6 or 8 whole large eggs and lots of rich cornbread. To go low fat , used healthier recipe for cornbread and whole wheat bagels - added usual sauteed in broth chopped celery, onions, parlsey, pimento and mushrooms, generous measure of poultry seasoning - then eggbeaters instead of real eggs with low fat chicken broth to moisten. Turned out to have a lot of texture (euphemism for a little grainy) and plenty of taste.
Thanks Mom for teaching me to try new things (even some that definitely went in the trash )- if you don't try you don't find great new foods or for that matter new people, adventures or ways to remove facial hair.
The smells and work of a holiday definitely create nostalgia for being at home with my parents and brother - watching the Macy's parade on TV, nibbling on whatever goodies were already on the dessert table and being together as a family with inside jokes and eye rolling lame stories- all the stuff you don't know you'll ache for and miss until much later in life.

Here in Buhlaland, we ate well, too much and talked a lot about memories. It is good.

Never rains in California - but sometimes it snows in Texas!

Title refers to the song by Albert Hammond " It never rains in California But girl don't they warn ya, it pours, man it pours." The weather people sure didn't warn us , we got these HUGE snow flakes off and on for several hours. 'course since it had been over 80 degrees the day before - nothing stayed - it was mostly melted by morning. It is unusual to have this kind of weather at Thanksgiving (I recall wearing shorts and sweatshirts many holidays). Has been a year of unusual weather but it is OK in Buhlaland - we have heat, firewood and WAYYYY too much food.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Can you see the Phoenix?

The picture was from a couple of mornings ago - can you see the Phoenix (bird) - wings are spread left and right, head is on long neck in the middle. I love the concept - rising from the ashes - renewed. Feeling quite renewed and quiet in my spirit today.
From Proverbs 31 Woman daily devotional today - talking about being contented - which is truly being thankful. We all say "Happy Thanksgiving" yet we believe being happy is dependent on our circumstances instead of being happy(joyful) with the Lord's true peace.
Paul elaborates on what to think about instead of our worries -- whatever is good, true, honorable, pure, lovely, praise worthy, and right. Many things can fall into these categories, but Christ encompasses them all! This is not just "positive thinking," this is "spiritual thinking."

That's right isn't it (BTW that was all from the devotional today trying to give credit where it is due)?
We are full , watching videos, football games and nibbling. Try some raw almonds spray with buttery flavored pam season with your favorite season salt. Microwave for at least a minute and a half. Crunchy, salty and lots of fiber - good for you and WAY better than chips and dip.
I'm heading back upstairs to family room - more football, reading and being with my DH and MIL. Can I fix you a plate? We've got PLENTY - and that is good in Buhlaland!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Can't get enough of the morning light

The white fence in the background is our house - I am entranced with the golden light this fall. Rarely have such warm weather this late in the year and never have had all this grass. Supposed to get a cold spell Wednesday so it will all change. I promise to post some recipes and pictures of the finished product - just not today - today I'm praising God for letting us be in this place at this time. Am praying for some sick people and a couple of dying children - The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen. That's the update from Buhlaland - where the sun shines and flowers bloom and our hearts are grateful.

Long horned bad attitude

Our neighbor has long horned cattle - a peculairly Texas "thang". This is a steer actually - which means it was a bull but isn't now a bull. His name is Little Big Horn or LBH. No - he isn't a big sweetie - he can be quite aggressive but most of the time - he just eats and makes -- well what cattle make after they eat. For those who wonder if we really live in Texas country - yes ma'am we do. Love it here in Buhlaland and in the case of this steer - good fences DO make good neighbors!

Aliens in the pastures?

See the strange light behind her? A goat with no horns and glowing Hmmm might something strange occur in our back pastures? Whoa! What's that? A crop circle (play along with me here) - see big bare round place where all the ground is covered with grass. Eeek - now a fluffy creature walking through the crop circle - oh really it is Moe Cat striding along. So maybe it isn't a crop circle but a place we burned tree limbs two years ago that is still sterile enough so the grasses don't grow there. The light - well it is autumn in north Texas and we get mornings like this very often. Nubiana being an alien creature - now THAT is a strong possibility. I am just silly here on Buhlaland today.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

He makes it look so easy

I sometimes have trouble believing that DH can always do everything - he said he could just drive the tractor up on the trailer. Obviously once again - he can do it and I'm impressed - how cool is it on Buhlaland? Pretty cool! See it is the little things in my life that just tickle me!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Simple recipe

I'm feeling like cooking - but knowing that my willpower is almost nil I'll post some recipes without pictures. This is SUCH a good spread - if you have oranges around use a half tablespoon of freshly zested orange peel and it'll be a burst of extra flavor. Good as a spread on bagel or breakfast breads - you just can't go wrong with cream cheese! Bon Appetit!

Cranberry Orange Dip
Combine ½ cup coarsely chopped dried sweetened cranberries

½ cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

8 ounces softened Cream Cheese (Neufchatel would cut the fat content)

1 teaspoon dried orange peel

3 tablespoons orange juice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

With power mixer – combine cream cheese, dried orange peel, orange juice, cinnamon and vanilla extract. When that is well combined – stir in the dried cranberries and toasted pecans. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with apple wedges, bagel chips or buttery crackers.
NOTE: I think next time I’ll add a tablespoon or so of orange liqueur to give a little more flavor. The longer it sits in the fridge the more it "sets up" – so it isn’t a panic if when you first make the spread it is a little thin – the cranberries will soak up some of the liquid. If you think you’d like a bit of "zest" to this – add a teaspoon or to taste of horseradish.

Can't have too much fall color

Never can have too much fall color, in Texas we often go from dusty greenish to dusty deadish when we've had drought. This fall has been a pleasant surprise - after all the rain this summer we are having a dry spell and colors are finally showing up. Top picture is a similar view to a picture posted last month - from the larger goat pen toward the back of our property. Closer up on oak leaves - yes it isn't the blaze of maples or sumac - but tastefully done don't you think?
Cannot get enough of the tall dried grasses - we've had this land for 8 years and haven't ever seen such tall pasture grass.

Psalm 119:89-90
Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
And all God's people said "Amen" - it is a good day in Buhlaland.

Who was that visitor?

Went for a walk in our back pasture - we don't go back there all that often so are occasionally surprised (sometimes dismayed) by what shows up. Saw these footprints in a sandy wash - not sure but think it is racoon. Hmmm what WAS that masked man? Definitely not the Lone Ranger because there were more footprints all over the wash! Isn't it exciting to be in Buhlaland?

Friday, November 9, 2007

It is Well

It Is Well With My Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Refrain:It is well, with my soul,It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,Let this blest assurance control,That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!My sin, not in part but the whole,Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,Even so, it is well with my soul.
Horatio Spafford is the author of one of my dear husband's favorite hymns so I decided to do some googling. From a majority of reasonably reliable sources (the internet is a tool but not a gospel!)it appears that Mr. Spafford was a very active Christian and a friend/supporter of the great evangelist D.L. Moody. Spafford and his family were also active in the abolitionist movement (working for the freedom of those held in slavery). He'd had previous tragedy in his life (loss of a son, financial disaster from the Great Chicago Fire). According to sources including in November of 1873 Mr. Spafford planned to take his family to Europe for both a vacation and to help Moody in evangelistic work. Spafford was held up in Chicago but send his family ahead as planned. Due to a mid Atlantic collision with another ship, the ship carrying his family went down. All four of his daughters ranging in age from two to eleven, were among the 226 people lost that day. His wife was one of the few survivors and according to several reports sent her husband a telegram stating "Saved alone." He immediately left to join his wife in Europe. The captain of the ship upon which Spafford was traveling notified him when they passed over the spot where his children had perished. He was inspired to pour out his faith and grief in the words of It Is Well. Knowing the back story made it even more a statement of abiding joy for me. I often get high centered on that concept - that happiness depends on our circumstances but joy is an inner quality. Working on knowing that joy is my choice, can't always change our situation but can defnitely change how we choose to react. I am far from having that strength, but I see it often in a family from our church, the Ogles, struggling with years of cancer treatment. We hear from a pastor in Pakistan about how their church is embattled with violence and the chaos around them, but he has joy. Maybe one of the reasons we are discontented is we were made for eternity and this is all temporary. But is is well in Buhlaland and it is well with my soul. God isn't finished with me and y'all can be glad that He works on flawed vessels! Holidays are coming up - greed and pettiness seem to take root but we can choose to be joyful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where do these colors come from?

Interesting to me about the pink tinge in the clouds. So pretty this morning while we did our walk - the one shot looks almost like a pink rainbow in those cold blue grey clouds. Wasn't as cold as we thought it would be - but it was pretty over Buhlaland.

I really do cook occasionally

I know way back when I started this self indulgent blogging boogey - I said I'd be sharing recipes and lots of food ideas. Welllll today I made chicken spaghetti and a citrus pound cake for a sweet young family who just had a baby boy - HI Hollis - cutest little guy I've seen in a long while. It was fun doing this - chicken spaghetti is one of those things I almost never make for our household (too much food, too rich and DH prefers chicken and dumplings if I'm doing the boil a whole bird thing). The cake was made with both lemon and orange. Just a touch of amaretto to give it a complexity - that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Might eventually post recipes but most likely - if somebody asks I'll email 'em. don't want to keyboard for that long tonight. We are still controlling cholesterol and fat so had very controlled dinner here in Buhlaland - but a gal can dream can't she?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ever think they are circling?

Vulture floating on thermal above our house - Hmmm - I guess I need to be a lot more active? Even vultures have their role, cartoons portray them so dumb - but they are the clean up crew of nature. Wish they did windows? Just a thought

Autumn Glory

Definitely just an exercise in ego if I try to say anything smart or clever about the beauty of autumn coming to our little piece of Texas. Views are early in the morning, looking mostly into our back pasture areas, not as vibrant a display of color as other parts of the world - but maybe that is what I love, the subtlety of change. It is pretty this week on Buhlaland - but then I've said that before! Great quote from Jim Elliot : "Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." Autumn is definitely the will of God - so live it up!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Funky cats

Moe is the black one, Seal is the grey one. They are truly the odd couple. Moe is our barn cat - he came to us when we moved into the infamous apartment in the barn/workshop. Seal is supposed to be a house cat, pureblood Devon Rex. Seal is happier now than he seems to have ever been. Although he definitely spends more time indoors than out - most mornings he can hardly wait to go outside, butt into Moe and take off to see what they can find. They occasionally mix it up - Seal loses those arguments. But in these two pictures, they were following us out to the goat pens,(shadows are the front gate to pens) . No great meaning to the pictures, just tickled me that they were watching out for our dogs (the picture where they are both turned away) and Seal was concerned about the loud sounds of acorns hitting the roof of the metal building next to the pens. They know they belong here. Just goofing around in the sunshine with my cats (they believe I am their person not they are my cats). It is often just this exciting on Buhlaland - and I like it like that!