Authentic Compassion

Friday, November 28, 2008

Safety Patrol on Thanksgiving

We were blessed with a good day and felt so secure since we had an actual security patrol even as we walked around the grounds of our friend's home. Yep Sigmund the Dachshund - offical Body Guard. I'll post other things later on but figured a non food related post and nothing about shopping would be welcome today! It is damp and chilly here on Buhlaland this morning and I'm about to treadmill it with ipod in ears and too much in body! Added a picture of the dinner table our friends decorated - the thing which look like scrolls are crackers or poppers - usually done at Christmas but as I posted not long ago - I need a little Christmas right this very minute! They make a popping sound when you pull on the ends, then there is a joke , a gold paper crown and a little prize inside. Just for fun - fun and fellowship and full -- that summed up our Thanksgiving! Oh and safe - very safe with Sigmund the security patrol on duty!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks giving - yes I do

I'm giving thanks today and every day for :sunrise on Buhlaland and our goofy animals companions living with us (or letting us live with them).

My wonderful DH who hates to have his picture taken (so I do stealth photography while he works on furnitue).

For sweet memories of one no longer with us -she loved all the critters around here.

Oh yes and for the book - THE BOOK - guidance in this life and promise of the life to come. I pray you have a bounty of blessings and our country would begin to learn to be humbly grateful instead of grumbly hateful!(phrase borrowed from Chuck Swindoll )

Maranatha - freely translated - Come Lord Jesus

Monday, November 24, 2008

Retrospective (also known as a rerun)

Last Thanksgiving I was a great deal thinner,eating healthier (oh what a difference a year can make!) and cooking for three of us - DH, MIL and me. Looking back on my blog posts I wanted to post a reminder of the wonderful turkey breast preparation method we used. You could do the same thing with a whole bird -simply loosening the skin and making a LOT more herbal essences paste. Right now- sitting in the refrigerator, I have a 20 pounder bird we got supercheap from Albertson's last week. Although we are going to someone else's home for Thanksgiving dinner I will cook the big turkey in our roaster and freeze for future meals. The handsome buck goat, Tucker, lives in a pasture of the home we will be visiting - he is out of our herd and a very nice buck.

I feel spiritually compelled to be grateful for much this year -

1 Thessalonians 5: 12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.
23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

We've had a challenging year - our country is having a challenging year. My health hasn't been the best but it isn't a serious situation so we are grateful. Losing DH's mom was no doubt the low point of our year. Lots of losses this year, both through death and divorces - most people who died were known to be believers so we'll see them again, but miss them now anyway. We have enough - yesterday in church the pastor wanted us to write down three of our blessings - my very first one was Enough - not too much, not as much as we ask for - but enough to keep us working at being good stewards.

Bless all of you readers - this is one of the best holidays of the year - all about time together, food and family and friends. We are blessed this year to have friends who include us as family. Buhlaland is a good place to look back and even better place to enjoy the right now - with the promise of eternity for our tomorrows. Y'all be kind to yourself and one another. If I get in the cooking mode I'll be back with pictures and descriptions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'd like a zoo please

On a short visit to a friend's house I got to go outside ( Ok I really said - Let's go out I'd like to see your animals - I'm not very patient about waiting for someone to ask when I want to see critters!)

They have these two lovely llamas as guard animals for her goats. She raises miniature myotonic goats (the picture is a young myotonic named Ladybug if I'm recalling correctly) and he has a herd of mixed spanish goats for cleaning out the brush on their land. I do love these beautiful faces and interesting folks who keep all kinds of animals. My own animals here on Buhlaland keep us busy, amused and amazed but it is fun to see how other people live with their 4 legged friends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Going bananas! yes I am

I promised you cake and cake you'll have. I don't often put more complicated recipes up but this is worth the effort! First are the secret ingredients in the picture - banana liqueur, fresh nutmeg and frozen bananas. YEP slipped that one right in there, frozen bananas are something I began while running the bed and breakfast in Colorado. In B&B's you almost always have bananas going too ripe to use and nobody can make that much banana bread! So I learned to throw super ripe bananas into the freezer - then when I need ripe, squishy 'naners for muffins, bread or CAKE all I do is pop it into the micro for a minute or so - then measure the amount and ta DA you have usable mashed bananas.
OK here goes - I'll put the recipes in BOLD so you don't have to read my foolishness just to make a yummy cake. Update - I've heard from several people "I hate bananas" - well everyone is entitled to cake - so just use a good moist yellow cake recipe and add that yummy nut filling - I thought of doing yellow cake with raisins and nuts (a modified Lady Baltimore cake) so don't limit your indulgence horizons - go for it! It IS still a free country so you do NOT have to eat bananas unless you like bananas! Thank you and now we return to my previously posted razzamatazz.

Banana One Egg Cake
2 cups cake flour (I used softasilk)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup Crisco
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tablespoon banana liqueur

1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease/flour two 8 inch cake pans. Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, soda , nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk, shortening, egg, liqueur all at once and beat at medium speed on power mixer for about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is blended in. When blended - pour evenly into prepared cake pans. Bake about 25 minutes or until layers test done when you insert a toothpick in the cake. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.

Toasted Walnut Filling
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon water
1 egg yolk slightly beaten
3/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts

Mix brown sugar, butter and water in saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolk. Blend into remaining hot mixture. Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and stir in walnuts.

Light Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce package) Neufchatel cheese
1 tablespoon butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese and butter at high speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed just until mixture is light and smooth. Gently stir in vanilla.

To assemble cake - place one cooled layer on cake stand and spread all the walnut fillling evenly over that layer. Place second layer on top and press down slightly so the top layer is connected with the filling. Frost cake with cream cheese frosting and store covered cake in refrigerator.

Delicious - light banana flavor enhanced by the liqueur - if you don't like to use alcohol in your cooking just go with vanilla.

I promised and truly delivered. Cake is tasty, rich and worth the effort for special occasion. It is overly sugared today on Buhlaland - but good - very good!
As my friend Pam would say - 'tis so sweet!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I promise not to lose my head over this

Bad jokes are my standard humor - I chose a title for today's post from the Marie Antoinette award from my blog pals Lanny and Kathleen . We all know a bit about Marie Antoinette-primarily she was beheaded during the French Revolution. Most of the other things we think are generally incorrect but that's no surprise when referring to women in historically prominent positions is it? Marie (I'll be so bold as to call her by her first name) was evidently rather outspoken at times,one reason for the honor from Lanny who believes I am honest in my blogging (well I don't show y'all my scales or pictures of me in a leotard so I'm obviously not revealing everything here!) Kathleen likes my photos and tying our everyday life to scripture (which isn't hard since our faith IS our life here on Buhlaland). I'm humbled and realized after seeing both your blogs - pretty much everyone I thought of "honoring" you've already tagged! So let me say I'm tickled by you thinking of me and appreciate more than you know the relationships we have in our bloggy world. Even though Marie Antoinette apparently never said "let them eat cake" (supposedly in response to information the common people were starving and had no bread)- you could guess my response to this honor - I'll make a cake! Pictures and recipe to follow! Love to you all and here is a picture and scripture for today -
Isaiah 11:6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.

We don't have any leopards here on Buhlaland but we surely have goats who lie down in peace. The verse from Isaiah is referred to as the "Peaceable Kingdom" - indeed it will be a wonderful day when we are all living in peace with one another and even predators and prey will have nothing to fear. Bless y'all and thank you again Lanny and Kathleen!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Newsflash or Hotflash - take your choice

Newsflash it IS autumn in Texas - I love the oak trees turning red colors instead of our normal green to brown sequence.

The up close and personal of a rose leaf is because I'm still loving the macro - takes a lot of motivation for me to practice something and the macro - it is doing it for me. Look at those dewdrops - so perfect and crystalline.

I think we have a winner in the contest( voting rights limited to DH, Linda Sue and our guest consultant from Montana but your opinions are always welcome!) for colors of paint in master bathroom renovation - crisp celery come on down. Dark wood stain on ash (type of wood not burnt stuff) is for the bathtub apron (whatever is not not tub or tile) and double vanity to be built by my super skilled DH. Tile is - well it is the tile. Accent color will be aubergine (I love that word! It is fancy schmancy for dark but bright purpley).

Christmas decor planning and purchasing resulted in artificial greenery for two door sprays (artificial greenery is practical in Texas - real stuff costs a fortune and dries to flashpoint fire danger in a week). Going with cardinals and semi natural looking decorations (we actually have cardinals who are on Buhlaland but I cannot convince our feathered friends to pose for an entire holiday season -or even to stay still long enough to have a picture taken!) Yes I know the Santa Cowboy is a little corny but you should know my corn level can be quite high. Garden Ridge has their usual 50% off sale and Michael's had a lot of mark downs. I'll go back this weekend (Michael's not GR) for more cardinalishness and perhaps a strand of nifty bells for our over the fireplace wreath.

About the hot flash thing - not in years but I thought it might be comforting to younger women readers(and random fellows who check blogs) truly the passage of years will make it better ! It is fun this week on Buhlaland - even the idjit goats getting stuck (actually only the one - Violet - constantly getting her horns stuck in the fence wire) results in laughter not irritation.

Nothing deep here and that is another item to add to my List of incredible things for which I'm grateful to God about.
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Photo by Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep,though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

I live with a Vietnam Vet and my father was in the military during WWII and the Korean Conflict. My cousin is a military chaplain who has done a couple of tours in the Middle East and several other cousins are veterans. Veterans - the people heroic enough to throw up with fear but still do their job to defend freedom. Men and women have certainly served honorably, people who leave their homes and family to do something unimaginable - be called to possibly sacrifice your life for the good of others. The poem about Flanders Field should admonish the leaders of our country and all others.
Thank you to veterans around the world and their families.
This video is God Bless America - but we know brave people all over the world sacrifice for freedom.
Enough from me -

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Decorator - I'm not

Dear friends - it is Sunday a good day for cleansing the soul. Deep breath and I begin to confess-----I am a crummy decorator. I furnish a house, stick stuff around and go to the kitchen. I am not a person who thinks textures, palette and styles -- if I like something, can afford it or already have it - I stick it somewhere in my house. A sad thing - a childless older woman without style. BUT I approach home decorating the same way I do art or music - I know what I like when I see or hear it!

The picture above is last years pitiful Christmas card display (actually we had cards stuck in the frames of pictures in our foyer also but I didn't take pictures of 'em). Without my clever and craft skilled mother in law this year to be a driving force in even putting UP a tree or decorations we were considering taking a pass on Christmas decor this year.

Bad idea - just like skipping church (which we are doing today due to contagious type colds) when you do it once it becomes so much easier to keep on with a Scroogish attitude about secular Christmas. We'll never get over the awe and joy of the real reason for Christmas - the incarnation of our Lord and Savior. But all the mess and hoopla - bah humbug.

Ta DA - BooMaMa to the rescue. She is sponsoring her annual bloggy tour of homes. Now I have a deadline to decorate, document and declare Merry Christmas to all! December 15th and the challenge is accepted. At the very least, we will be pushed to get the bath tub out of our living room by then! Oh I found a very classy shot incorporating most of our holiday decorating from last year - woo hoo. Will be trying hard to go bigger and better this year - just a warning not to go away too long or you'll be amazed and stunned at my decoratin' mad skillz. The laughter can now commence!
Thinking holidays here on Buhlaland, missing those loved ones who have gone on to glory, planning to invite some folks over for holiday cheer (y'all want to come?). Elections schmections - we are talking holidays now! Woo Hoo - what's that I hear - one of my favorite holiday songs (not religious at all but expresses my heart for sure!) I'm sure we need a little Christmas in our nation and definitely here on Buhlaland - it is GOOD!

Friday, November 7, 2008


A dear bloggy friend gave a passionate explanation regarding our recent presidential election. Unfortunately due to difficult circumstances I've removed the link to the blog since for now it is gone. The large number of social, religious and financial conservatives who voted for another candidate or simply against the Democratic slate are being told in the media and often in person "get over it we won you lost deal with it". We in the blog community are dealing in our different ways. Like a tea kettle - we sometimes have to let off steam and blogs are a useful tool for steam letting.
I am philosophical about the election results (comes with age - I've seen ten presidents come and go) however I admire passion in a situation where I'm already getting the impulse to do a "whatever" . The issue of standing firmly for right is important. Abraham Lincoln said “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
My posting isn't meant to stir up antipathy toward Mr. Obama. He is about to enter the most difficult elected position in the world. I do not believe he is a secret Muslim or most of the strange rumors running through the internet. I do know he promised many things to many people. If he were to keep even a fraction of his campaign promises it will be quite a ride for our country. As a citizen in a civilized society I respect the office and Mr. Obama as a human. 53% of this country's voters chose Mr. Obama - not a landslide but a clear victory. Old saying "be careful what you ask for, you just might get it" means to me now people can watch the results of a one party executive and legislative federal government.

The Bible says 365 times "fear not". I'm not afraid, not as angry as some and not so pious as others. As I said the day after the election, the sky is blue and I have coffee in my cup - I also want to say I'm praying for America,for peace in Jerusalem and leaders in this world to be moved by the Leader of the eternal world.

WHEW - I got far above my paygrade (sorry that was a petty shot but I'm keeping it in) in this tirade. I'll quit vowing to myself not to talk about politics because apparently we are all not finished with our discussion in the blogosphere.

It is good here on Buhlaland- sunshine, goats well fed, DH and I both healthier. I pray it is the same for you. (maybe not the goat thing - I realize that's a tad too specific!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The buttery deliciousness I had planned -- wasn't. Tried a new recipe for one of my old absolute favorites. Snickerdoodle cookies are a sure thing for me,butter and cinnamon with a sugary outside on a tender cookie. But I said to myself "self - a new recipe quite different might be better". Baked 'em, tasted and said to myself - "crud, no - they were very much not better".

NOW - to an oldie which is easy but sadly enough does not contain butter!

Macadmia Coconut Macaroons (hence the Macamacaroons)

1 (14 ounce) pkg. coconut

(I used Angel Flake by Baker's)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

6 tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

4 egg whites

1 tsp. almond extract

Mix coconut, sugar, flour, salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by tablespoons on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (OR greased and floured cookie sheets).

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cookie edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to cooling racks.

Melt a cup of chocolate chips in the microwave. Smear a little chocolate on top of a cooled macaroon - dip into a small bowl of chopped macadmia nuts. Cool in the refrigerator then seal into a plastic bag.

If you prefer - use some other kind of nuts or ignore the whole variation and put a half of a candied cherry on top of the cookie before baking it.
They are a tasty extra for a cookie platter . Keeping it real - I wish the Snickerdoodles had turned out well! It is all good on Buhlaland the occasional disappointing cookie isn't a big deal - probably a good thing so I didn't eat too much!
By my reckoning - this may be my 100th post for the year of 2008 - I'll go back and check the numbers but I promise not to repeat the "100 boring as heck things about me" I did for the original 100th blog post!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We didn't stay up watching tv results and not happy with several of the election outcomes but --- hmmm got outside early this morning. Yup - sun is shining, sky is blue, I have coffee in my cup and internet access. Life after November 4th is simply - November 5th. Don't like many of the results of votes cast yesterday but as Abraham Lincoln said “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

I'm going to bake something wonderful and do a few more loads of laundry - life goes on and we continue our need to pray, seek God's will and rejoice DH's eye injury wasn't serious (piece of sawdust scratched his eye - relief that it wasn't a big problem - thank you God). If the baking goes well - I'll share recipe and picture of results. Obviously - my life on Buhlaland is based on faith, work and liberal amounts of butter!

UPDATE Sorry friends you have no idea how much I thought about posting an update saying I was wrong - the world was crashing to a heap of rubble but you should know by now - I don't get all that worked up. Real reason for update is : no baking today - long appointment with potential clients and overwhelmed with sneezing (dratted ragweed). Something soon though - I promise!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Depends on how close you are

From a distance - fall colors look like sweeps of color, groupings of identically shaded leaves.

But really close - you see the individual leaves of varying shades and shapes. Each is beautifully and intricately made.

Life can be like that - you see someone else's life and it looks so good or not good from a distance. Get up close and you'll see the veins and shapes and colors. Sometimes it will be a good thing - you'll get to know someone and form a connection. Others will be a disappointment, something looking so good from afar looks quite unreliable or phony up close.
I'm posting this about people, elections and trees. We try to look closely, not just see the blur of colors but really understand how a tree is up close. Some people and issues are not going to survive looking closely at them. Others will become even more precious - here on Buhlaland it is usually good when we can get close. I think in America - not so much right now - too many things won't survive real inspection. Trust you all voted and prayed. No matter what happens - look closely at things you usually hurry through or past - it all matters.
Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?