Authentic Compassion

Saturday, May 31, 2008


Remember when we called casual photographs "snapshots"? Definitely dating myself with use of the term. I wanted to share a few pictures with almost no interesting story behind them. The moon recently was so brightly shining just after sunset I took this picture - liked it then and still like it.

Other pictures are from our trip to the rock yard - how odd to live in the country and drive to a place to buy rocks . The little view of a rock waterfall is by the pond at the rock yard. Then we have a picture of the rocks we bought (called mossy builder stone) for DH to use around gate posts. Solar panel for gate openers seems to be working perfectly. The red flowers are wildflowers we saw while out on one of our listings. Not exactly breaking news from here on Buhlaland only real update is we are experiencing Texas weather - like a TexMex restaurant menu - gonna be chile tonight but it'll be hot tamale! Groans are cheerfully acknowledged!

Friday, May 30, 2008


My friend Sarah Skees posted encouraging news from the mission field. Don't go there expecting something cute or funny - this news is the gospel kind of truth. Sarah's brother Chad and his family are missionaries in Papua New Guinea. New believers always have a fire about the Truth but the man described in Sarah's posting absolutely held the truth up to his world and proclaimed it. Worth your time. We like to hear the amazing results of the Word of God - here in Buhlaland and across the world.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tres Leches is spanish for very wet

Finally chillated enough - we had (drank?) a piece of the tres leches (which really means three milks) cake for our lunch dessert. I'll put the recipe below - it is from Texas Cooking website. How does the cake taste - well moist is an understatement with a couple of cups of additional liquid poured over the cake after it has baked. Texture somewhat like a pudding cake and must be kept refrigerated. The whipped cream topping is definitely gilding the lily but somehow combines the other flavors. In my cake yesterday I used a liqueur made from coffee and tequila - would not do that again. Probably better with some other liqueur - if you do not use alcohol at all in the kitchen - I think flavoring the 3 milks mixture with cinnamon or a touch nutmeg might be very tasty. Fair warning - have a big glass of either milk, iced tea, coffee or something to drink because this is a very rich dessert.

Here goes the recipe copied directly from the website - the author on the website says----
"I have experimented with this cake, and my recipe has one variant to the original. I add a liqueur to three milks.
Pastel de Tres Leches 1-½ cups All-purpose flour 1 teaspoon Baking powder ½ cup Unsalted butter 2 cups White sugar (divided) 5 Eggs 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla extract (divided) 1 cup Milk ½ of a 14-ounce can Sweetened condensed milk ½ of a 12-ounce can Evaporated milk 1/3 cup Liqueur, Frangelico, Brandy or Chambord, for example (optional) 1-½ cups Heavy (whipping) cream Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. Cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When cake has finished baking, pierce it in 8 or 10 places with a fork or skewer, and let it cool. Combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and liqueur and pour over the top of the cooled cake. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Whipped Cream Topping: When ready to serve, combine the whipping cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 cup of sugar, whipping until thick. Spread over top of cake. Because of the milk in the cake, it is very important that you keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve chilled.
Version: Replace the sweetened condensed milk with cup of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut in the milk mixture. You can also add ¼ cup rum. Southern Version: In addition to the three milks, add 1/3 cup peach schnapps. You can add cup of diced, drained peaches to the batter. About cup of pecans can be added to the batter or sprinkled on top of the cake before serving. Now, if you like cherries, blueberries, raspberries or apples, you can add them to this cake much in the same way. Well, what about chocolate? Why not add some chocolate syrup to the three-milk mixture, or temper in some white chocolate. This is another one of those great recipes that allows for culinary adventure. Plus, it is just plain delicious"

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not exactly barbecued ribs

Tres leches cake is still chilling (not like "chillin" or "chillaxin" simply in a refrigerator for two hours). The side dish honestly turned out better than the entree. We had oven baked chicken strips with a honey mustard sauce - no big whoop. I found a Paula Deen recipe, modified it a bunch and it was yummy. Ingredients are in bold lettering -

Sumer Squash Casserole

Wash and coarsely chop 6 cups of squash (use a mixture of yellow, zucchini and or whatever sumer squash you have available).

Preheat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the squash and cook - stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to break down or appear very well done - 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a double layer of paper towels - place the cooked squash in the lined colander, squeezing excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.

In the already used frying pan, saute a large coarsely chopped onion in about 3 or 4 tablespoons butter. Cook onion until transparent and beginnng to brown slightly.

Have ready 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of ground black pepper, salt and a dash of garlic powder. Add one small can diced green chilis and a small jar of diced pimento which has been drained. Mix all the ingredients together and put into a 2 qt. casserole dish, top with one cup of crushed cheddar crackers (I used the new Ritz toasted cheddar crackers). Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.

I'll be back with the cake later tonight or more likely tomorrow. The weather was hot and humid and the flags were flying all over town near Buhlaland.
God Bless Y'all Thank a veteran or the family of a fallen soldier for your freedom - cliche phrase but true - freedom is NOT free.

Coming attractions?

In case any one is stopping by Buhlaland today - I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day taking at least a little time to remember those who have served our country. We are doing work around our place today - DH working on that automatic gate opener. He got the solar panel installed over the weekend. I am not sure which overwhelming task I will accomplish today - weeding garden, ironing, cleaning house or going to Costco. One thing I hope to do is cook something good - so check back later and it might be Tres Leches Cake and some baby back ribs - pretty sure I'll do a squash casserole since my dear friends the Harpers brought us a big bag of summer squash from their garden. Woo Hoo for friends who share! Hope the sun is shining on your personal solar panels today - bless y'all - it is Memorial Day on Buhlaland and we are grateful for a change in our daily work and blessed to be able to enjoy our freedom.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Our friends I've mentioned before who are missionaries to the deaf are busy in Honduras. Mike has just gotten his video posting going and sent a link this week to their adventure in open water. You need to know - Martha doesn't swim and like me - isn't all that crazy about being so far from shore in a small boat. BUT this video will give you a good idea of a day in the life of a missionary. Mike's sense of humor is a touch on the wry side - hope you enjoy the surf, sand and joy. The Garifuna people visited in this video have a difficult life so different from here on Buhlaland. We are always reminded of our blessings.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A passing

Don't know how many of my occasional readers were familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman's family and adoption advocacy. Their youngest daughter was killed in a tragic accident yesterday. I've included the link to a tribute to her - if you watch the short video you'll be blessed by her charm and the obvious love in their family. Maria Chapman
When something so startling and apparently wrong occurs all I can do is to trust in God's faithfulness shown in Isaiah 55:8-12
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,"declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
The beautiful child has been welcomed into the presence of God Almighty - her family here on earth will mourn and we should pray for their comfort. Nothing to add.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sunset May 16,2008

Psalm 19(New Living Translation)
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.

3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.

4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.

6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.

Amen - at sunset last night it was praise time here on Buhlaland. The picture is straight out of a digital camera, downloaded and posted here -no human enhancement.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bottle cam

I'm in a silly mood tonight - decided to show the world what our little buck Snickers looks like from the perspective of his bottle. He still gets a dilute formula twice a day - it is as much for his emotions as his nutrition. Here's the guy - look at the suction he has on that bottle!! I recycle my diet coke bottles - 16 ouncers fit perfectly to the livestock nipples I buy at Tractor Supply. Sometimes we are too cute for words here on Buhlaland! Time for sleep for Snickers and for me - the moon is rising and my eyelids fall. Sleep well!

Creepy stuff?

What creeps around here in addition to spiders, snakes and bugs ? The doggoned vines! Some of the older oak trees are covered with virginia creeper. In truth I like creeper, all that foliage looks so Sherwood Forest ish- doesn't it? In the fall it can turn a pretty bright red. Apparently creeper has a berry which is very nutritious for birds in the winter. For all these reasons - I like THIS creeper.
The alien looking plant is a Bull Thistle (which I mistakenly identified on the photo as Russian thistle - DUH Russian thistle is a tumbleweed!). How big is this nasty looking plant? Those cedar fence posts are a bit over 5 feet high! The whole leaf surface is covered with prickly stickery hard things. Even my voracious goats didn't nibble this thing when it was just a tiny sprout!

Last on my list of nasties is the ultimate evil - Poison oak or Toxicodendron diversilobum --my personal nemesis. I expend serious effort in avoiding the oils from this innocent looking plant. I can get a serious skin inflammation from touching something which has touched the oily leaves of poison oak. Remember the silly song by the Coasters? ~ you're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion, poison ivy veahea (phonetic spelling folks and poison oak is the western version of poison ivy)~. In reality I've found a silver colloidal spray does better than calamine in drying up my itchy blistery stuff. When we have a number of baby goats, I can get poison oak from them eating it and then nuzzling me for affection (only humans are affected by the oils of poison oak - so my cat and dogs can afflict me too).
WHEW this post is therapeutic for me y'all - baring my soul about mean plants. I'm laughing at myself and hope you at least got a smile ! Life is good here on Buhlaland -I only have a half dollar sized patch of poison oak on my left hand and my DH sitting by my side (well two very spoiled rat terriers are between us). Be well and avoid creeps (hmm sounds like dating advice doesn't it?)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Storms coming

Wednesday we spent several hours with friends who are also clients. In front of their new house they built a lake. I wanted to give you this information as an example of why you gotta love Texans and our sense of what constitutes landscaping. We were out by the lake and could clearly see on the horizon a big storm front moving in.
The scene was beautiful and majestic but we were getting weather alerts of potentially damaging hail, lightning and a tornado watch. Later while going through my pictures I realized we don't always see the storms headed our way so clearly. My friend Sarah is an example of staying safe in the shelter of the Lord even when the storms are raging.
I'm not sure if I've posted one of my favorite C.S.Lewis lines before or not - if so - please forgive me for being repetitious. In thinking of the storms of life --

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Amen -

The weather storm finally arrived and was not nearly so bad as predicted. Another truth in life is often we anticipate greater problems than we are given. It stormed violently near us -but not on Buhlaland - not last night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One of those catching up posts

When working around the apartments we manage, we enjoy seeing Lily's Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary. She enjoys putting more containers out and has a feeder for hummingbirds as well as bird seed for other kinds of birds. A lovely lady and a devoted exterior designer.

Think cactus and an image of prickly, stark growths in the desert come to mind. This week our pastures have been brightened with yellow blooms. Actually seeing blooms proves we have had an unusually lush spring. In drier years our goats eat all the cactus buds before they open.

How is life going for our little Nubian buck, Snickers? Being the only juvenile in the herd is a big disadvantage. Harder than being the only young goat is not having a real mommy - I'm not out with him as much as I was his first month or so. He still races back and forth along the pen gate when he hears me coming at "bottle time" - I'll continue to bottle feed him twice a day to bond him to me - makes him easier to handle. Snickers tries to avoid the big mean does. Snickers was looking for someone to play with or at least to avoid getting clobbered for no reason. In the background is Flip(the chief clobberer) stretching to nibble leaves in a tree. I think Snickers is thinking he'd like to go butt her in her fat belly (not much damage likely since he is hornless). Snick's life isn't all sad - he is growing quickly and often tussles with some of the small older goats. Once he reaches maturity those mean does will be fighting each other to lay next to him in the pens. Ah- not a tough life for him once he grows into his job. (For those who don't keep livestock - Snickers is to be a breeding buck - yep - that's his job).

Even when we have rough spells of weather or personal challenges, God's creation reminds us - we are blessed. I took a picture of our roof with blue skies after dark clouds - exactly how life so often happens right over head here in Buhlaland.

Crank up your speakers and listen to Job's praise - no matter what the situation might be - blessed be the Name.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where in the world were Linda's recipes?

If you are a regular here on Buhlaland you might notice I promised something but didn't deliver. I promised recipes and pictures over the weekend - BAD very BAD to promise and not deliver. Let the excuse -making begin! Although I spent hours making the meal and used wonderful ingredients - it didn't really result in a WOW meal. Chicken cordon bleu, pasta salad, tossed green salad and a toasted cheese bread were on the menu. I usually do a variation of chicken cordon bleu by using smoked gouda in place of the more traditional swiss cheese or havarti - then wrap the bundle with a generous slice of prosciutto. Tried something different and - not so great. Even less yummy was the crumb topping (I used matzo meal. Free culinary advice - in general don't use ingredients you find in the pantry when you were looking for something else.)Oh and for all you sharp eyed folks - YES I know there is a toothpick in the chicken - when I wrap up the chicken bundle it has to be held together somehow. I am also posting a picture of the cherry pie I made for MIL for Mother's Day. Couldn't find the kind of frozen cherries I wanted (I wasn't up for going into the big city to shop) so used two extraordinarily expensive cans of pie cherries, one small bag of frozen sweet cherries and a handful of dried cherries thrown in due to my free floating insecurity. I like to decorate the rim of a pie with and theme for the day was hearts. I'll put the pie crust recipe up another time - MIL said "this crust could be a good cookie" - hmm not sure if that was a compliment or not -I choose to say compliment.

So all in all - I saved you the waste of time reading a couple of recipes and maybe even trying one or both and then going "hmm - she doesn't know what the heck she is cooking about". Whew - I'm safe again - babbled my way through a posting.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Changes are coming

Dear visitors, friends and readers of any description - I'm changing up the style of my blog as far as layout and colors etc. I'm not happy with it at this very moment but I've run out of time. Please feel free to comment on whatcha like or don't like - the banner picture was this morning from our front pasture - I love it but you say what you think.

Little picture contained in this post is evening light coming through the small stand of live oaks just west of our house - I do love springtime! OK this weekend will be a recipe or two and something else which I have yet to decide upon - whew. Time to get my tail feathers moving here in Buhlaland.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blogging for Therapy?

I don't get it - honestly even stranger is the article I had a link to has already disappeared! If you had been able to read the article, some woman blogs about issues in her life I wouldn't talk about with the average church pastor. I've admitted becoming less social in my personal life, so I must be bucking the trends. Apparently literally millions of people are blogging about intimate life situations, their suicidal issues, their bad relationships, their obsessions and stuff "I-don't-even-want-to-know-the-name-of" issues.
By now anyone who visits here realizes I use a reference book which unfailing has worked in my life--
Proverbs 24: 3,4 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
In blogging - it is easy to write about details of our lives or comment on another's situation because we think we understand. Scripture and life experience tell us often needing more knowledge to understand how little we know. Chuck Swindoll sometimes mentions a problem in Sunday School classes - the SYI format. Share Your Ignorance - yep folks - I appreciate hearing comments and reading other people's blogs. I'll often ask questions and appreciate the advice or experience of others. I would NOT ask y'all to help me through a period of clinical depression. Certainly I believe MY readers are good hearted and smart people - but so far I haven't accumulated a following of psychiatric or medical experts. Even as bizarre as the world seems, not many people would try to do their own appendectomy or ask their neighbor to do a little surgery for them. Why are millions of people exchanging advice on living their lives on the internet!? I'm not talking about suggestions on how to train your dog, clean a stain or make a good goulash. I'm reacting to casual polls about intimate or spiritual issues. I quit reading one blog because the author was putting up theological questions, admitting they are not qualified to answer but asking their readers "so what do you think"? By any definition, that kind of blogging is SYI - spew out an opinion. The blogs where people are asking blue or beige tile for my hall bathroom? are fun for the readers. Definitely not likely to ruin the person's life if they take internet opinions to help them make a decision. Issues of scriptural instruction, how to deal with a drug addicted child, what to do with a cheating spouse - doggone it folks, a risky business to ask anonymous strangers who have NO stake in how your life works out -" what should I do?"
I'm getting down off my soapbox - I promise. PUHLEEZE please don't take this tirade personally if you are a sane person who comments on blogs - I love the interaction and have a long list of blogs I read and comment on with some consistency. I love hearing from visitors, regulars and "lurkers". I'm venting about those things which you would find in newsfeeds under "Offbeat". The stories or blogs which leave me whispering a prayer of protection for those poor idjits who are checking their horoscopes and latching onto the latest Oprah fad - y'all this is your life - we don't have rehearsal time here!
Now to some final words we find useful here on Buhlaland - one verse has always made me grin -(I'm old not mature!)- scripture talking about eating sweets until you vomit - biblical bulemia?
Proverbs 25:16,17 (NIV)
16 If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.

Now this is wise advice - don't be the person everyone tries to hide from when you "drop by".
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house— too much of you, and he will hate you.

I promise Buhlaland will be back to our usual recipes, goats and sunrises soon. God is working on us here and I started blogging to remind myself of where I was and where it seems I am today. Today -it's good on Buhlaland but you have to get away from the cell phones and computers to be aware of the goodness.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Raisins = healthy!

Raining, storming like crazy, didn't sleep well, tired, stressed -
I must have sweets! The raisins surely cancel all the sugar and butter. So I firmly believed at 6 this morning.
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Stir these 6 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Cut in with a pastry blender until very crumbly looking:
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – NOT softened much
¼ cup Crisco.

Stir in one cup of raisins
One cup of milk
Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead a few times. Roll out to one inch thickness and cut with 2 inch biscuit cutter (or in my case - a smallish wine glass works perfectly) OR simply cut into squares. Place on a buttered baking sheet and place into preheated oven. Check in about 13 minutes take out of oven when biscuits are beginning to turn golden brown.
Mix together 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons milk or orange juice. Drizzle topping over warm biscuits – remove biscuits to serving platter and serve warm.
Recipe was adapted from a Southern Living cookbook published in 1999.
First picture was within 3 minutes of coming out of the oven. Second picture - one biscuit within 3.15 minutes of coming out of the oven. It was GOOOOOOODDD on Buhlaland today -

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our special blessing

Here is our most recent picture of Elius - he'll be ten in July. Isn't he handsome? We have been blessed to be his sponsors for almost 3 years now. We can't say often enough or strongly enough go here child waiting longest and commit to change the life of a child. For less than the cost of going out for a pizza and movie night once a month - you will be blessed beyond belief. You may not be able to change the world but you can change the world of a child and his or her family. The link goes to Compassion International, specifically the page where you can select a child by your own preferences - we chose a child "waiting longest" and Elius became part of our life. Do it - I mean seriously - do you NEED another high fat and sodium meal or do you offer the bread of life to someone? Here on Buhlaland, we are carrying new pictures in our wallets and showing everyone!

the Lord has done this

Psalm 118:23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. 24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

If you've visited here before, you'll know I am still working through some challenges. Challenges haven't changed but as I pray and read and wait upon the Lord - I'm changing. A couple of days ago I took this picture. Sunrise - didn't have to be made with iridescent light, dozens of shades of blue and peach, light and dark but God does this every day - somebody sees the majesty of His creation. I felt better - my emotions were soothed, I felt - what's that ??- oh yes - Joy.

Later the same day - our tiny side pond had the first lily bloom of the season. It's good on Buhlaland in the spring and I'm learning - prayer doesn't have to change the situation to be answered.