Monday Morning Musings –

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.  God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.  He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff–including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.  Then He carves you a new, smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.


It’s now 11 a.m. and I’m home from my 4th radiation treatment (31 to go); I thought it seemed quick today and they said “Yes! We didn’t need to take any xrays.” Interesting – I LIKE this quick visit! It’s chilly outside (47 degrees F.) and I’m slowly watching the changing of the seasons and noting what I’m seeing on my walk into the Cancer Center. Weeks ago I picked up a single pink rose petal on the sidewalk and kept it in my pocket just to remember the nice weather. Last week there was a tiny red maple leaf that took it’s place. Today the sidewalk was littered with small oak leaves – soon they will be replaced by snow – it’s Michigan and that’s a ‘given’ for us. I’m taking all of this a day at a time; I met a lady last week who has her treatments about the same time as mine; today I chose to start chatting with her. Her treatments are more intense than mine and I haven’t quite figured out how to approach discussing details but I’m sensing a pretty big amount of anger and doubt. With each sentence her voice is NOT hopeful and her words are curt; I’m trying my best to keep a positive outlook on my diagnosis and am VERY grateful that my cancer was found early. We both said we are doing the ‘day at a time’ approach but that gave me a small chance to quote one of my favorite Bible verses: “This is the day that the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) I have learned, through this ordeal, that each day has special meaning – even if it seems like it’s just another dull day – it’s a day that the Lord gave me – how I chose to use it is my choice – whether I use it to do some good or squander it – it’s my choice. I’m CHOOSING to try to do good, keep a pleasant attitude and give GOD the glory for my life, EVERY DAY because my outlook could have been very grim, if the cancer was not found early. Either way – another verse comes to mind: “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). What does that mean? For me, it means that IF I live, I try to live my life as my Lord would want me to; if I die – I know where I’ll be going, as promised in the Bible – my life will be hid in Christ. What MORE could I ask? it’s a WIN=WIN situation! THEREFORE I CHOSE TO BE HAPPY THROUGH THIS WHOLE THING! Yes, I know – I’m preaching (it happens sometimes) but I’m preaching what I sincerely believe – my life is NOT my own – it belongs to the Lord – He made me, He sustains me, He is with me through this and will be with me to the end.

I turned in another two chemo caps today (no photos – they were plain hats – a dark green mans cap and a white with blue border womens hat); that makes 16 caps so far. Later on today I’m hoping to go to JoAnn’s to see if I can find some really soft white baby yarn and maybe locate a skein or two of Bernat’s Baby Jacquard yarn (usually only Michaels has that, but we’ll see). That’s the really cool yarn that makes it own designs when you knit it (the pink one makes various pink colors mixed with dark greens on a white background which looks like pink flowers on a white background. They make blues, purples, yellows, oranges but not all of them knit up looking like little flowers). (Just got back from a trip to JoAnns – apparently JoAnn’s own yarn brand “Sensations” now makes a baby self-patterning yarn called Baby Muffin, so I bought a skein of their yellow combinations – we’ll see how it works up.

Another sort of ‘spur of the moment trip’ found us at Sears buying a new microwave oven. Our old one is circa the 80’s – a really big GE. The original died probably a good 6-8 years ago and we found it’s ‘twin’ at a friend’s garage sale – for $10! That one has lasted us up until now – a great deal considering it’s circa the mid-1980’s! The new one is shorter (they ALL are, now) but will hold a large casserole dish (this one has the glass rotating plate at the bottom). Our old one had a wind-up metal rotating base my husband’s sister got us for Christmas (it still works!). I’m going to post our old micro on our local Freecycle – it still works, just takes a little longer to warm things up. (sort of like a Timex watch – takes a lickin’ and still keeps tickin’! – remember that sales pitch?)

Not much planned for this coming week (which is a good thing, sometimes!); more knitting, special needs group and that’s about it. Tonight I’m planning on making a household ‘staple’for dinner: “Meat & Potato Pie” (I’m SURE I’ve posted that recipe before). It’s basically a big meatloaf in a 9 x 13 pan, frosted with mashed potatoes which are topped with shredded Cheddar cheese – the guys love it and it’s good for 2 dinners, so that’s always helpful.

Anyway-speaking of food – here’s more recipes for ya!


Bratwurst Potato Skillet

3/4 C. oil
12 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/4″ slices
12 fully cooked bratwurst, cut into 1″ pieces
6 small onions, chopped
2 C. chopped green pepper
3/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. + 2 T. orange juice
1 T. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper

In heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-
high heat. Add potatoes; cover &
cook 10 minutes or until browned &
crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.Add
bratwurst, onion & green pepper; cook
and stir 5 minutes or until meat is
heated through and vegetables are
crisp-tender. Combine soy sauce,
orange juice, basil, salt & pepper; add
to skillet. Cook & stir 1-2 minutes longer
or until meat & vegetables are evenly
coated. Serves 12.
(recipe: Dot-RDJ 10/28/11)
Pumpkin Pancakes

1 C. flour
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. milk
1/2 C. canned pumpkin
2 eggs
2 T. melted butter

Mix ingredients in order
given; cook as you would plain
(recipe: Lisa Mc – RDJ 10/28/11)
Corn Nuggets

oil for frying
2 eggs
1 C. mlk
2 C. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 C. frozen whole kernel corn,
thawed & drained

Beat eggs, stir in remaining
ingredients. Drop from a
spoon into hot oil & fry
until brown. Drain on paper
towels and serve warm.
(recipe: Sue-RDJ 10/28/11)
Good Earth Casserole

1 C. chopped walnuts
3 T. oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
3 C. broccoli
1/2 C. water chestnuts, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/4 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated
Buttered bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Heat & stir walnuts in oil until
lightly browned. Remove from oil &
save. Add onions & mushrooms to
remaining oil; brown slightly. Add
broccoli;stir fry until tender crisp, about
8 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts &
garlic, remove from heat. Add walnuts,
soy sauce & sour cream. Stir lightly
to coat vegetables. Place in casserole
dish; sprinkle cheese evenly; top with
breadcrumbs. Bake until cheese melts,
about 20  minutes.
(recipe: minddoc-RDJ 10/28/11)
Pumpkin-Stuffed Chicken w/

Honey Sage Glaze

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

7 oz. canned pumpkin
2 T. cream cheese
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

3 T. butter
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 T. honey

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Carefully slice a pocket into thickest
part of each chicken breast. Season
with lemon juice, salt & pepper.
In a bowl, combine pumpkin, cream
cheese, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper;
mix well. In a pan over medium heat,
add butter & sage. When butter is melted,
stir in honey; remove from heat. Stuff
chicken breasts with pumpkin stuffing
and place in baking dish. Pour half of
honey-sage glaze over chicken breasts,
reserving remaining half. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove and baste with remaining glaze.
Place back in oven until chicken is fully cooked,
about 25 more minutes. Chicken is cooked
when it reaches 165 degrees F. Let rest out
of oven 5 minutes before slicing & serving.
(recipe:Kadija Bridgewater-McLeish- Perdue Co)
Pumpkin Coconut Oatmeal Bars

1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. flour
1 C. quick-cook oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs, beaten
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1/4 C. cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. shredded coconut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine crust ingredients in bowl
until evenly mixed. Press mix into
bottom of greased 8 x 8 pan. Bake
10 minutes. Combine all filling
ingredients; pour over warm
crust. Return to oven 45 minutes
or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean.
TIP: You can use parchment
paper in bottom of pan in
addition to greasing to help
release bars easily & prevent
crust from over browning.
(recipe: HomeMadeSimple)
Chocolate Chip Date Nut Cake

1 pkg chopped dates
1 C. boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 C. Crisco
1 C. Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add boiling water to bowl with soda
and dates.  Let sit until cooled.
Cream together Crisco, sugar then
add egg and vanilla.  Mix together
flour and salt.  Alternate mixing in
dates and flour mixture to butter
mixture.  Sprinkle top with chocolate
chips and chopped walnuts.  Bake
30 minutes.
(recipe: DDJ – 09/30/11)

So that’s the ‘going’s on’ around here for the  moment;

hope you have a great day (and night, if you’re going

out Trick or Treating).




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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Would have loved to go trick or treating but people frown on 76 year old kooks in costumes marching around in the dark!

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