Authentic Compassion

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Thought I was through blogging for 2009 but tonight reading another blogger's New Year's musings - I remembered something special I like to share with you - we all hear the first part frequently - but the complete prayer means so much more. I have posted this before, too many people only associate it with Alcoholics Anonymous. The Serenity Prayer is appropriate for us ending 2009 and looking to the future - walking one day at a time in our challenges but knowing - there will be storms but the same God who controls the storms is our refuge from them. Bless y'all - it is good on Buhlaland and we trust you receive serenity this year also.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ending up 2009

In case you haven't noticed - I don't blog regularly - I may need some blogamucil. We've had a roller coaster year - and I throw up on roller coasters. BUT - Christmas Day came to Buhlaland - we had guests with us for brunch in our breakfast room rather than our dining area. That comment was a segue - not the thing with two wheels Mall cops use - but a method of getting from one topic to another - obviously in this case not seamlessly. I digress---
Boxes of hardwood flooring for master bedroom renovation are stacked behind the big dining table! I'm keeping it real here folks - the flooring is behind big table, right next to the oxygen concentrator - I'm just a decorating fool.

Although not frugal - fresh flowers make me feel the house is more festive.

This year we put a Christmas swag on our office doors - you can see through the door to my computer desk - DH's desk is to the right.
Now you have a visual for the scene of the crime.

The day before Christmas DH finished redoing our little bathroom - color I bought believing it would be a dusty rose is more of a terra cotta rose' - not as orangey as in the photo but intense. Yes that's me taking the picture.

We got a pair of coasters from a sweet couple - we loved the verse and look of them so much we made one into a wall hanging for new bath decor.

North Texas has had an unusual amount of snow - don't care much for it but complaining has yet to change the weather so we trudge through and feed the goats a lot of extra grain/alfalfa. Picture is our neighbor's biggest longhorned steer - LHB - he looked almost majestic in the snow.

We were visited by a doe and her fawn who have been around here since early summer. Doe had a badly sprained or broken left front leg when she first showed up. Hoping to keep her quiet and avoid more damage - we kept the goats out of the pasture she settled in. DH threw hay and grain in for her and there was a trough for water. As summer went on - we saw a little speckled fawn with her. Now she is still appearing here regularly- we know it's her because she limps when she tries to run. A blog friend named the doe Prince - my friends name things strangely (witness my favorite goat - a doe named Norman).

We have officially been here ten years - moved onto this land December 13th, 2000. Unbelievable to me a decade has passed. DH and I were married on January 1,2000 (I was his Y2K Bug). We'll be celebrating our Tin/ aluminum anniversary - somehow that doesn't sound as romantic as Silver or Gold but makes picking a gift a lot cheaper - here you are my beloved- a roll of aluminum foil to acknowledge our love and commitment! Oh goodness. Now you know why I'm not blogging - my mind is skittering around like water drops on a hot griddle.
Wind made quite a sculpture of the snow -- Buhlaland can change so much from day to day. Our personal challenges are temporary --life is but a mist and gone. Enjoying the misty world this week - it is good on Buhlaland and I pray it is for you also. Happy New Year -

Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
From the Westminster Catechism

John 1:1-5 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
In a dark room - it is totally dark - but light one candle and the darkness no longer covers the light has pushed darkness back. I pray you seek the light and shun the darkness.
Bless y'all - may God
Bless you, your loved ones, and may God Bless America.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good Intentions Poor Results

First - merry Christmas Eve morning (such a confusing concept - I'm told by my European blog pals they have different words for these days leading up to Christmas, sounds good to me - simpler is better even if it takes more words and y'all know I like my words in quantity!)

The picture is yesterday morning here on Buhlaland - clouds,humidity and temperatures in the 70's . Today's picture would be rainy, turning to snow with a predicted accumulation of 2 inches ! Texas weather - ya gotta love it.

I know I promised recipes - actually made a new one and took pictures - then tasted it and went BLAH! so I thought you probably didn't want a BAD recipe. Have some cooking to do today - a Tres Leches Cake for our BFF's and dinner rolls for neighbors. Not so much cooking for the two of us - going to be a joyously quiet Christmas. Our lives are blessed with the continuing providence and mercy of our Lord. Rather than Jingle Bells this year - we are more in the mood of Mark Lowrey's Mary Did You Know?

If I manage to make something special you can bet I'll be back to post a picture and recipe - there are so many wonderful resources on the internet for good recipes yet I find myself digging in a couple of old cookbooks (how old you ask? one was an award for being president of my 9th grade home ec. club! that is a LONG time ago) and a little box of recipes written (scribbled?) on 3 x 5 notecards. Comfort in what is familiar in a world which at times feels so alien. It is good on Buhland - being content in one's circumstances has become a mission for us - knowing when enough really is enough.

I believe I have posted a short reminder from Chuck Swindoll before but it still touches me - we pray we will have an opportunity to reach out to a sparrow or two - bless y'all
Wishing you a Warm and sharing Christmas
Linda Sue and Skip

"So, this Christmas season I pray that the warmth of the Savior's love will spread itself over you as never before. And that whenever and however possible, you will keep reminding yourself that there are still tiny, shivering sparrows who are too terrified to come in from the cold. Maybe, just maybe, this Christmas, because of something you do or say . . . they will. "Chuck Swindoll

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gear up for Grits!

Grits are not a gelatinous slab of pale goo on your plate - only the worst of southern cooks make grits which are not a tasty, basic corn dish adaptable in SO many ways.
I'm showing a spoon of freshly baked cheese and jalapeno grits. Wonderful side dish for brunch or supper. For a bit fancier presentation - bake in individual ramekins (also know as those little baking dishes).

1 cup quick cooking grits

2 cups water

2 cups milk

1 lb. Breakfast sausage – cooked and fat drained off

2 teaspoons Lawry’s season salt

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 15 ounce can cream style corn

¼ cup butter

3 beaten eggs

Preheat over to 375. Grease or spray with Pam a 13X9 inch baking dish. Bring milk, water and salt to boil and stir in grits. Cook grits over lowered flame stirring occasionally – until thickened but not stiff. Turn off heat, whisk in cheese, butter ,cooked sausage( and/or chopped jalapenos), cream style corn, then add beaten eggs. Bake in prepared baking dish for 45 minutes or until slightly puffed and browned on top.

NOTE: use “quick cooking” grits – not instant and whatever cooking directions are given on the box - use half water and half milk. For a kickier taste - add finely chopped jalapenos - I used about a tablespoon of dried jalapeno but you can add minced fresh or pickled jalapenos to your taste. Be careful - easy to get carried away and need a fire extinguisher at the table.

Try it - let me know if you like them. Highly adaptable dish - use chorizo instead of sausage or your favorite easily crumbled up meat (cooked bacon, venison sausage - almost anything goes)

We began making this dish while we owned a Bed and Breakfast in Colorado - because so many people have negative ideas of grits -we would tell them it is a ground corn dish! - worked because we had people from all over the world eat grits and love 'em.
It is comfort food on Buhlaland. I'll be back with more Christmasy cooking but have been wanting "real food" lately - sweets are coming soon!
Still cold here - ready for a burst of warm weather so we can do some fencing - goats got out last week and we've had to close off one of the pastures until the fencing can be done. Goats don't mind too much - they are getting extra rations of alfalfa to make up for less grazing area!
It is good on Buhlaland, the Lord provides such a bounty - for our eyes, stomach and heart!
From David JeremiahHe who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14). Our future is filled with optimism and hope because we know that someday we will be like Him. We cannot lose heart and settle for a bag-lunch life when a heavenly feast beyond all imagination awaits us!"
Now THAT is a feast worth celebrating - May your Advent days build anticipation for the coming of the King.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coziness Rulz

We live in Texas because we don't mind hot weather - we very much love mild weather. DH and I like to wear shorts and sweatshirts in the fall and warm winter days. I don't own woolen sweaters or dresses - we buy cotton.
All those statements lead up to the unpleasant truth ---we don't like cold weather! Instead of gritching about our unseasonably cold weather--we have worked hard on being cozy, comfy, snuggly as a buggly in a ruggly (whoa - getting far too cutesy here). Ahem - I mean - we are appreciating the beauty of a wood fire, wonderful bright Christmas flowers, sunshine coming in our big windows and warming the couch for napping. All that rambling done with - I am posting because it is pleasantly warm in our office, dogs are wrestling on the rug, hubs is talking on his cell phone - it may be 36 degrees outside but Buhlaland is both inside and outside. Inside we are comfortably warm - enjoying a quiet day and knowing all is good on Buhlaland.
I promise to be back with a recipe or two - wouldn't be Christmas without cooking!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Randomization is the pattern here

Trying to keep blogging although I still have trouble finding something worthy to say - last day of November 2009 - we had turkey vegetable soup from final chunk of Thanksgiving turkey breast .

Last week we waved a fond and rewarding farewell to 13 of our goats - 2 more to be sold this week. Will have at least 9 or 10 new kids in January or February. We are deliberately trying to keep the herd much smaller. Market isn't that good and we are needing to cut back on expenses (hay round bales are currently $60)

Freeze warning for this week so I cut all the remaining peace rose blossoms - can you believe it - this bowl of fragrant flowers on November 30!?

On the walking website I use Walker Tracker- I participated in a challenge - the reward of the challenge was for each ranking (from least steps to most steps walked during a specific time) to send a home made craft, art work or baked item to the person finishing ahead of you. I was blessed with this nifty knitted dishcloth from a walking pal in Norway! You can see the pattern of a goat's head knit into the cloth. Pretty cool huh?

Next is a picture of my beloved DH - working in his shop to install a new (larger) pet door for our barn cat Moe. The sparks were pretty impressive - Moe didn't stick around for this part.

So that's it - from soup to nuts - or goats to grinders! It is good on Buhlaland - God has blessed us with a beautiful place and the sense to enjoy it! Hope it is good where you are too.
"Worry doesn't empty tomorrow of it's sorrows, it empties today of it's strength." Corrie Ten Boom
Don't worry - be healthy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Very quiet Thanksgiving on Buhlaland - still "quarantined" due to suppressed immune system for DH. He was out yesterday putting some decorations on the gate to our place - we have lights on the porch of our house but you cannot see them from the road. Still mild weather here - very long autumn which is fine by us!

Recipe experiment for Fresh Cranberry Scones turned out to be a new family favorite. Little more complicated but oh my the results were worth a bit of effort. Yes they are outrageously rich - mini sized ones are perfect with a cup of coffee or your favorite hot tea. I use freshly grated nutmeg - isn't much trouble and the flavor is fabulous.

Cranberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, chilled and diced
1 cup fresh cranberries roughly chopped
1/3 cup white sugar
Grated zest of one orange or about 2 teaspoons of dried grated orange rind
½ cup chopped nuts – we used pecans but walnuts would be good too
¾ cup half and half cream or heavy
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 degree F (190 C)
In a large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles.
In a separate bowl, toss the chopped cranberries with white sugar; add to flour mixture along with orange peel and nuts. Mix lightly.
In a large measuring cup – beat together cream and egg, slowly pour into dry ingredients. Mix with a rubber scraper until dough forms. On a well floured board, knead dough 4 or 5 times being careful not to over handle. Divide dough in half. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (sprinkle a little more flour if necessary on board you were using) Shape each half into a 6 inch circle – slice each circle in to 6 wedges (although we liked the ones I sliced into smaller wedges best) Place scones on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake until golden browned – about 20 minutes.
While scones are baking – mix together a glaze of 2 cups powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make a moderately thin glaze. When scones are done – put on a platter or wire rack and drizzle glaze over hot scones.
It is yummy and beautiful on Buhlaland this week - that is very good! Hope you all had a blessed holiday - with family or sweet memories of family times - the Lord has given us so much for which we should be giving thanks. I'm thankful for the wonderful new friendships in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Peace to You

Galatians 5: 22-26
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other

Peace is a topic I'm thinking about a lot lately - working on staying in the Spirit and not so much in the flesh. Even though we were supposed to have a hard frost last night - these Peace roses are still blooming this morning in our side garden. Although it isn't the hardiest or loveliest rose plant - I love the Peace rose. It's name evokes the calm a garden can bring. Fruit of the garden is like the fruit of the spirit - it must be cultivated, tended daily and kept with an eye on the future.
Life on Buhlaland is moving along - we are learning a new "normal" with occasional reminders our lives will never be the same as before. Before what? well in this statement I was referring to a serious health issue facing my husband but it can also be viewed in a spiritual way - our lives have never been the same as before we received salvation. It is very good on Buhlaland to stop and smell the Peace roses and appreciate the beauty of our created world -in constant awareness of the Creator.

Hope to post more often - hard as it is to believe - I've run out of words! Keep the peace rose in your hearts this holiday season - don't be frazzled and unhappy because you aren't Martha Stewart (remember she has a STAFF who actually do all that gardening and laundry!) be grateful for the people in your life - Bless y'all - it is good and rosey here on Buhlaland.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yep - it is autumn

Tried to find some clever theme for blogging today - not feeling clever but have been reveling in the beauty of our little bit of Texas recently. We've had unusual rainfall for September and October - resulting in a November
of rare autumnal color. We often have brown and beige autumns - after a long dry summer the poor trees are just wanting to shed those leaves sucking the sap out of them and heal over the winter. This year - looks more like the trees want to hang onto their finery a while longer.
We haven't had a frost yet - cool nights and mid to high 70's in the days. Good it isn't like this all the time - we'd be over run with people moving to Texas! As it is - here on Buhlaland it is GOOD to be enjoying autumn - we're grateful.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Horns and hides

Wanted to return to our excursion on Saturday - to the ITLA show. Our neighbor and his two teenagers showed animals and they did well. First picture is Big Jo (the son) and his dad fluffing Gladiator's tail getting ready to show. According to what they told us, there is great emphasis on the animals being as natural as possible (well not all the poo and mess usually on an animal at pasture), size of horns (or on younger animals the horn base size showing potential) as well as overall conformation are important. The colors are so varied I wanted to share some of the pictures with you.
The rather distant shot of the show ring and judging includes cow/calf exhibitors - the small calf is two days old! Was born at the show and accompanies the cow during the showing on a small soft halter - although after a few minutes the calf was worn out decided to lay down. Young exhibitor had to carry the calf for the judging!

Next is a good sized set of horns - and interestingly enough this steer was from Maryland!

A few shots of "backstage" - a place you have to be careful when taking pictures - I made sure my flash was off, some of the animals are new to being shown and a little nervous. You do not want animals weighing a ton or more being nervous! Another cow and calf - taking it easy.

The steer with it's back to us is an unusual color the exhibitors said is called gorilla colored. Most people like multi or speckled coloration on their longhorns but I though this one looked like a weimaraner mutation!

The big brindle is the last I'll put up - impressive animal all the way around - if you want to know more about what is desirable or the history of long horns this link tells quite a bit.

Blog posts totally different this week - but on Buhlaland we are blessed with friends and neighbors who bring love, challenges and variety to our lives. It is Good on Buhlaland today - especially since the furnace is working (chilly in Tejas today!) And That's No Bull! (lame joke - I know!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saddest Verses in The New Testament

We are still not able to go to traditional (as in at a building with hundreds of other people) church services due to DH's immune issues. We watch and are blessed by the teachings of some preachers (both on television and internet) but sit in jaw-dropped amazement at the total lack of scriptural authenticity in others. Today in our devotionals we read a section in Matthew which struck me as the saddest verses in the NT - now don't come at me saying verses around the crucifixion are sadder - we know Christ's sacrifice was for a purposeful plan the Father had to give us a way back to Him.

The Narrow and Wide Gates NIV Matthew 7:13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

I've read these verses at least a hundred times in my 6 decades of life- but this morning those words "only a few find it" hit me so hard. Jesus taught clearly to thousands a truth which the world wants to ignore. MOST will choose the easy road and be led to destruction. Following the teachings of some spiritual leaders will not get you to that narrow gate.
Just a few verses later it is clear how the end will be for those who deliberately misconstrue His words and teachings- (the Message paraphrase)Matthew 7:21-23"Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.' "

I realize, dear readers, we are all at different stages in understanding. If you haven't been reading the Bible regularly I highly recommend it as a daily activity. We believe the Holy Spirit reveals to us when we are ready - when we have "ears to hear". Apparently I am at a point where I need to realize not everyone we love is going to choose the narrow road - we'll continue to pray for opening their eyes to the truth , for their hearts not to be hardened - but it isn't up to us. So it is good on Buhlaland - we have the blessing of scriptures to read and eyes to see and ears to hear - even when those eyes are shedding tears.
As an editorial note - I'll enable comment moderation for this post - seems to be a number of folks out there with particular demons to exorcise in their minds who like to post comments.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Who you lookin' at?

Almost nothing needs to be said - this steer wasn't thrilled to be forced to stand up while I took pictures - several pictures - but this shot expressed it all - get the Marty Feldman eye? We had a good time OFF Buhlaland land today - visiting a long horned cattle exhibit/show with friends. It was good and I grin every time I see "Big Gus" and his ticked off look (he is really a mild mannered fellow for weighing in the range of 1000 lbs!) Oops - I checked and Gus weighs in over a ton so sorry big guy - I was shorting you a bit on the total body weight!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It is autumn on Buhlaland

Tap Tap Tap -- pecking on screen to get attention? anybody in there???
yes we are around - little going on other than day to day life. Cluckers continue to provide 6-8 eggs a day but DH beginning to grumble about the work involved (putting them up at night and now we put a load of sand in the run because they are digging to China in there!) so I'll enjoy them while I can.

On a totally different note - this song has been playing in my head for several days - in my head I sound just like Selah does singing it -- too bad in the physical world I sound more like one of my silly cluckers! Sit back a minute and revel in the wonderful merciful Savior.

All the beauty of the created world and heaven is promised too! It is good on Buhlaland and we are continually amazed by the mercy of our Savior.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still a tad moist!

No words for this - unusual and unseasonal don't even come close! Wet webs in rosemary, cluckers in muddy run, shortstack of fungi on oak stump, droplets of water on the culinary sage - yep - it is wet in North Texas and Buhlaland is good - soggy but good. For those of you who are loyal (or not) readers - you know we've had some serious health challenges. God is so faithful and good -
doctor's appointment on Monday gave us both some much needed reassurance and sleeping SO much better. Not trying to be mysterious - if you have a real interest leave a comment and I'll send a link to our health site for fuller information Honestly - I feel as if our lives have become such an open book - sometimes a comic book and sometimes a mystery thriller - but read on friends read ON!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ready for sunshine!

Texas isn't known for chilly wet Octobers - we often wear shorts to the State Fair and for that matter - have been known to plan on shorts for Thanksgiving barbecues! We have been experiencing more rainy, cloudy, sunless days than I can recall. I realize our current health issues don't help my outlook on how blah these sunless days are. When I went out to let the cluckers out of the Coop Mahal two mornings ago - these fascinating tiny umbrella fungi were all

over the ground near an old tree stump.
How cool is that? The rosier mushroom was from a couple of weeks ago - before the ground became truly soggy. The brightly lit one is back under a clump of oaks - had to use the flash on camera because it is SO DANGED dark all day. In what feels like miserable weather - we get interesting growing things here on Buhlaland - that's good 'cause I'm working at not being grouchy with all the mud mess. Not succeeding too well but it is Monday morning (I started this post last week - am I a slave to procrastination or merely a skilled practitioner?)
On a less frivolous (and whiney!) note - Max Lucado has a way with words - and today I decided to end this bit of foolishness from Buhlaland with something from Max:
Faith is trusting what the eye can’t see.
Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel.Eyes see storms. Faith sees Noah’s rainbow.Eyes see giants. Faith sees Canaan.Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees His blood.Your eyes see your grave. Your faith sees a city whose Builder and Maker is God.Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker. But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.
With that attitude adjustment - I can venture out into this drizzly foggy morning - and know there will be sunshine again on Buhlaland - I have faith. It is good

Monday, October 5, 2009

FTC to Regulate Blogging

Bloggers who write reviews or give away products are going to have to pay attention to the new rules - I am not big enough potatoes to warrant receiving freebies to promote on my blog - but some of y'all might be so read the article and make sure you understand - fines are substantial!

FTC to Regulate Blogging - Science News Science & Technology Technology News -

Posted using ShareThis

It is small potatoes on Buhlaland and that is just perfect to us!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Autumn Bounty

The local outdoor market displayed their fall merchandise this week - familiar smell of ristras (the dried red peppers hanging from ceiling) and wild versions of gourds - the one white with orange one looks like it has spider veins (some of us are more familiar with that beauty of aging than others!). We don't be doing a fall display - partically because nobody sees it (we live off the road) and also because the basic pumpkin in the big display goes for $5.95 upward to $25-30! Lots of money when they aren't even good for pies! I've posted a picture of the pie pumpkins display - $2 each or 3 for $5 .
What does all this have to do with Buhlaland? - well we like the fall weather we are having - cooler and more rain in the forecast and we get a kick out of the decorating lots of people are doing. God created beauty for us -

from Genesis we see God making things beautiful - for the sake of beauty
Genesis 2:8-9 (New Living Translation)
8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So for enjoying the fall colors and decorations - we can say thank you to the Creator and appreciate - it is good and feeling autumnal here on Buhlaland.