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WELCOME!!!

Saturday, January 26

Prayer Requests and Disney MGM Parade

I ask all of my readers for prayers for the following people. There are many in need of prayer and we prayer warriors need to lift these people up to the Lord.

Deena at Can I Be Pretty in Pink. Deena is battling breast cancer and found out yesterday that she is in Stage 4 Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. Yesterday Deena had devastating news. This is what she says on her post:

I couldn't play chemo..as my white blood count is too high
somewhere there is an infection..so antibiotics
this week and back NeXT Friday..2/1 at 8:15 AM for
blood work and try it again.


The cancer is in stage 4..in more lymphs thru my body
my adrenal glands, another 1 cm node to the left of my aorta,
in my 9th rib..rib is breaking down..in my spine and
numerous areas of my skeleton (bones)

God's Word says that if any two shall agree in Jesus' name, it will be done for you. Let's all join in prayer and agree that Deena will find the strength for her journey and that God's Will be done.

Denise at Shortybear's Place Denise has diabetes. She is having much pain in her eyes as well as other health problems.

Mary at Isabella's Closet Mary needs prayer for both her health and her financial situation.

Denise at Samaritan Women Denise needs prayer for back problem and for her son, Chris.

Anna at Nature Trail. Anna is recovering from an ankle injury.

My mother was getting better but has once again relapsed. I'm not sure why this keeps occuring, but the doctors can't find out what's going on. She is to see a lung specialist on February 8th.

Michelle, my daughter, who believes the cyst on her ovary is growing. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing, but ask that you pray for her. She has been in more pain in the last week or so.

Please lift these women up in prayer. They all need a healing touch from our Father.

Now for a little fun. I'm going to take you along with me to Disney's MGM Studios. We visited there on January 3rd while on vacation.

When we arrived at the Park, we parked in Film. Jordan was tickled to death, as Goofy was on the sign. His favorite Disney character is Pluto, but Goofy runs a close second. He wanted me to take a photo.



When we got off the tram, the gates loomed in the distance. It has been years since hubby and I visited MGM.
Each Disney Park has a Christmas tree near the entrance. This is the one at MGM.
When we got in the gates and looked to the right, we saw the scene below. It was lovely.

We were only there a few minutes when Disney employees began pushing the crowd back for the MGM parade to start. Below is a photo of a woman who was near the head of the parade. She and I interacted and had a lot of fun. The boys thought I was being silly and I was. After all, what is life if you can't act silly once in a while. This woman was awesome.
While watching the parade we saw Chip & Dale. I can never remember which is which, but I do believe Dale has a black nose and Chip a red nose. The one with the black nose was my favorite when I was a child.
We could see a lot of vintage cars in the distance and then along came Milan.

Dopey is always a lot of fun and I got a great shot of him. He was interacting with the little kids very near to us.
A great contrast of good and evil. All of Disney's villians paraded by. This is Darth Vader. There were other villians but I couldn't get a decent photo. As they approached, they seemed to look to the opposite side of the street. I have a photo of Hook's back, but decided not to post it.
If you remember the post about the squeaking penguin stuffed toy from the Newport Aquarium, you will know why these penguins below were a hit with the boys. Jordan was ecstatic. LOL Who can blame him? They were very cute.
And who wouldn't want to see Buzz, Woody and all the gang from Toy Story? The boys are a little old for them, or they think they are. We all loved the vintage cars though.

And then who should come along but Ariel, a Disney Princess. Of course the boys are at the age when they think Disney Princesses are gross, but they really did enjoy seeing all of them. They just won't admit it. LOL
And Jordan's favorite Disney character - none other than Pluto himself. The crowd had a lot of fun interacting with him.

And what boy wouldn't love Pinnochio? He came right up to us. The boys enjoyed seeing him.
And of course no Disney Parade would be complete without Snow White. The evil stepmother was also in the parade.

And finally, the stars of the parade. Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Don't you love that vintage car?
Here is another shot of Mickey and Minnie. And Brandon's favorite Disney character, Donald Duck was in the car with him. Believe it or not, Goofy was driving.

I hope you have enjoyed the Disney MGM Studios Parade. I will post more about this day of our vacation in a few days.
Have a wonderful weekend and stay safe and warm. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, January 25

Friday Show and Tell

It's Show and Tell Friday and today I'd like to show you one of the headvases that I've collected over the years. I call her my southern belle. She is perfect in every way. The beautiful applied roses on her hat and dress set off her outfit. Her face is pleasant with painted eyelashes and a rosy glow to her cheeks. She has a beautiful rosebud mouth.

The inside of the vase is clean and I don't think she has ever been used for flowers. She is one of many headvases that I've collected over the years. The first was one that my grandmother gave me when I had my appendectomy in 1962. I fell in love with headvases and over the years have picked up ones that caught my eye.

Hubby and I have made a decision to get rid of some of the dust collectors in our home. Over 19 years together, we have accumulated way too much stuff. So my southern belle is now for sale in my Ebay store.

There is a time in our lives when we need to clear out the clutter from our homes and this is it for us. I will miss her in a way but whoever purchases her will get many years of enjoyment out of her, just as I have.

Show and Tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home. If you'd like to participate, please follow the link to her site. It's fun and easy.
Michele at Writing the Cyber Highway has tagged me for a meme Procrastination Roadblocks and How to get Around Them. The meme originated at Rebecca Laffar-Smith, at Writer's Round About. Let's see if I can do this.

1. As far as my writing is concerned, there are times when I just do not feel like writing. Yet a deadline is always looming in the distance. Sometimes I get my writing done far ahead of time. At others, I just keep putting it off. For me the deadline is what finally pushes me to push procrastination to one side and get down to business.

2. I have several blogging friends who are a great inspiration to me. When something that I dislike doing needs to be done I visit their websites and read a post or two. The inspiration that I find on these blogs gets me moving and before I know it, the job is done.

3. Quiet time is something that I require in order to function at a normal level. Once I have my quiet time, I can usually tackle anything.

4. Hobbies are a great inspiration. If I am procrastinating, sometimes I will take an hour to do a hobby. Right now I'm making the boys a scrapbook of our vacation. Just an hour of working on the scrapbooks can inspire me to tackle tasks I'd rather not do.

5. Take a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea. Green tea or a cup of herbal tea is definitely relaxing. After a refreshing cup of tea I seem to have more energy to take on tasks that need to be done.

6. Spend time with the grandsons. The boys can get Grandma moving. When I look at the world through their eyes, it gives me a different and more positive outlook on life. My grandsons are often a source of my inspiration.

7. Read the Bible or pray for someone in need. God's Word is a great way to become inspired and praying for those who are in need inspires me to do the best that I can do.

Now I am to tag some people. Here are my choices:

Mama Bear at Bears in Exile
That is enough tagging. If anyone else would like to do the meme, you are most welcome. If you decide to participate, please leave a comment so I can read your list.

Have a wonderful weekend and be safe on the roads and enjoy time with your family.
~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, January 24

National Tea Month and Presenting of Awards

Did you know that January is National Tea Month in the USA? I had no clue until I read it on several blogs. Since I'm a tea lover, this got me thinking about tea and it's healing properties, so I did a search on Go*ogle and what I found was most interesting.

First of all, we all know tea is a diuretic. Yes, it removes the excess water from your body. But there were other facts that were quite fascinating.

If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, you might be interested to know that green tea can help control blood glucose levels. If your blood glucose levels have high peaks and low dips, green tea can aid in leveling them out, as can cinnamon. Green tea is also known for its cancer fighting capabilities and is believed to aid in weight loss.

For centuries different types of tea has been used for medicinal purposes. Centuries ago, tea was also a status symbol. Only the rich and wealthy were able to afford tea. In 1666, tea sold in Holland for $80 a pound, and of course we've all heard of the Boston Tea Party that took place in Boston Harbor prior to the American Revolution.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about tea. One word of caution! Before using tea medicinally, be sure to contact your doctor.

And now to hand out a couple of awards. The Make My Day Award was presented to me by both Deena of Can I Be Pretty in Pink and Virginia of Small Reflections. Thank you so much, Ladies. You certainly did make my day with this beautiful award and you make my day everyday with your lovely comments and cheerful attitudes. I am honored that I bring brightness into your lives.


I would like to present the Make My Day Award to the following people:



Carolyn at Talk to Grams


Lady Di at Kitty Justice
Betty at Country Charm

Thank you, Ladies, for bringing brightness and cheer into my lives as I visit you. Your blogs are beautiful and bring such a positive attitude into the world.

The award below was presented to me by Hootin' Anni. She is such a dear. We visit each other on almost a daily basis. Anni's blog always brings a smile to my face. She has such a positive outlook on life. Thank you, Anni. I'm honored.


I would like to present this award to the following people:




All of the people above go out of their way to make their blogs unique in a special way. Thanks to all of you. I always enjoy visiting.

I could go on and on with the people whose blogs I love to visit, but I limit myself to five recipients of every award that I pass on. Sometimes I chose to give an award to everyone. However, this time I wanted to mention these people who make the blogging world a great experience for their readers.

Have a great weekend and stay safe. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, January 23

Giveaway Winner, Book Review and Other News


And the winner of the Valentine/200th post giveaway is.....................

Well, before I tell you, let's take a look at all the names that were entered in the draw. As people posted, I wrote their names down on three-ring paper - every other line. There were a lot of you and I was so happy that so many had entered. Thank you!
Then I cut them up and at 6am this morning, I asked hubby to draw a name. First he mixed them up really well..........

Then he drew the name of the winner. And the winner is ....... drum roll, please......

Brandy at Mommy's Quiet Spot. Please drop in and congratulate Brandy for winning her first ever giveaway. Brandy, I will need your name and mailing address as soon as possible so you will receive this beautiful pink box before Valentine's Day.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter by commenting on my post. I always enjoy hearing from my friends and readers.

Our weather yesterday was nasty and dangerous. Highway 401 was littered with cars that had run into whiteouts while going too fast. At Woodstock, Ontario, about an hour and a half drive from Toronto, over 40 cars were in a pile up and east of Toronto at Belleville, there was another accident that involved cars and tractor trailers. Whiteout conditions were at their worst and part of the 401 was closed for hours.

Here, we couldn't see across the street. I haven't seen such bad conditions for years. The roads were covered in snow and were very slippery. Black ice was a danger to motorists. I have no statistics on injuries or fatalities, but I do know that at least one person was airlifted to hospital. Another man was trapped in his car for a half hour and many motorists were standing beside their cars in the frigid temperature.

Remember, if you're traveling in a snow storm, be alert and keep your speed down. The Ontario Provincial Police are blaming the accidents on speed and inclement weather. Arrive Alive! Reduce your speed in adverse weather conditions.



I have just finished reading Danielle Steel's Echoes. I used to be a big Danielle Steel fan, but had drifted away from her stories. Since I am taking part in the history reading challenge for 2008, I thought this one looked interesting. Though it wasn't on my list, I wanted to read it and checked it out of the library.

In the book, the guns of WWI boom in the distance for the Wittgenstein family during the summer of 1915. The oldest daughter, Beata, a Jewish beauty, travels to Geneva with her family and falls in love with a young French officer by the sparkling waters of Lake Geneva.

Beata's family is strongly against the young couple being together as her love is a French officer. Not only is he not Jewish, but he is Catholic. Beata follows her heart and leaves home to marry her love, which causes her to be banned by her family. They sit shiva for her, as to them she is essentially dead.

The young newlyweds create a life of their own and hide the fact that Beata is Jewish from everyone, including their daughters. But the guns of war loom again and Beata is frightened for her family. Even her daughter, Amadea, a Catholic nun, is in danger because of her Jewish ancestry.

As her mother, sister and friends vanish into the death camps, Amadea goes into hiding. Found by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp, Amadea begins a horrifying journey of survival when she escapes from the camp and is found by the French Resistance.

The story of Amadea and her family is set against a vivid backdrop of history and the horrors of being Jewish in Europe during WWII. This is the harrowing story of betrayal, love and war that will keep you turning pages to find out if Amadea survives.

On a much lighter note, my friend, Tammy, let me know that today was National Pie Day. How delicious. Grandma could make the best pie in the world. She made every kind of pie - date, raisin, apple, blueberry, cherry, lemon and more. So here is Grandma's recipe for apple pie, only I will give you the recipe that I use.

Grandma made her own pie crust from scratch. For some reason I never was able to make it come out right and it was very frustrating. I don't make pie often, but once in a while for hubby. I have diabetes, so unless I use Spl*nda or some other artificial sweetner, I can't eat much of it. So this is what I do.

Grandma always used Tenderflake lard to make her pies and Tenderflake pre-made pie crusts are available at the grocery store, so I buy those. I know it's cheating but it's so much faster and I don't have to go through the frustration with the crust.

Grandma Mary's Apple Pie
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Mix brown sugar and flour together. Place half of the mixture in a pie crust.

Wash, peel and slice Spy apples, or another type of baking apple until the pie plate is heaping.
When you have the apples sliced into the crust, add the remaining brown sugar/flour mixture.

Loosen the other pie crust from the tin plate and carefully place it on top of the apples.

Use a pastry wheel and a bit of warm water to seal the crusts together.

Trim.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when you insert a knife. Serve piping hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mouth watering delicious.

Tuesday, January 22

Valentine and 200th Post Giveaway

***This is a sticky post. To see my regular post, please scroll down. Thanks***


Can you guess what's in this pretty box below? I don't think so, nor would I expect you to. In honor of Valentine's Day and my 200th post, I'm having a giveaway. The pretty box is packed full of goodies for someone to enjoy. I'm having the giveaway early so that the lucky winner will get their prize in time for Valentine's Day. Please add my Valentine Giveaway graphic to your blog and inform others so we will have lots of participants.

Rules: I'm hoping that this giveaway will help bring some new blogging friends into our lives, so you must have a blog and leave a comment to enter the giveaway. If you win, I will need your shipping address immediately so I can get the parcel out to you in time for Valentine's Day.


The deadline for entering the contest is Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at midnight my time, which is EST. Thank you for your participation. Now let's have some fun. ~Blessings, Mary~

T-Shirt Contest and Other News

Denise from Samaritan Women has started a new blog, Sew the Word and she's having a T-Shirt contest. This looks like it is going to be FUN, FUN, FUN. Denise has a little shop at her home and she designs all kinds of wonderful things. Here is an example of the T-Shirt.

And this is what Denise has to say about the contest:

THIS IS JUST TO GET YOUR JUICES FLOWING IT IS NOT THE DESIGN...............
I have wanted to do this for a while and Sharon over at Sit With Me A While has encouraged me to jump in there and do it sooooooooooooo here is the deal...
.........I do graphic design and screen print and I want to design a tee shirt for the all the ladies here in the blog world.. I want you ladies out there and men if they are around to submit the caption of the shirt.......... Now I have a little shirt at the top of this post and it is just to get your juices flowing...... A Caption ..... Like Blogger Buddies--- Ladies of the Blog--- Friends of Cyber..... ok you get the idea... There are some very very clever ladies out there and I know that one of you can come up with something sooooooooo special. After we close the contest I will post all the ideas and we will vote on them.........
.... The clever lady that submits the winning caption will win a free shirt... Then the shirts will be on sale on my blog and I promise that they will be at a very good price..... I want all the ladies and men to have a shirt....... How much fun is this going to be....
The shirts will not be limited to one color but to several colors that will suit the design..... I will use heavy weight cotton Tee's and I will find some V neck Tee's for the ladies that do not like the conventional Tee...... I have been screenprinting since 1988 and I will do quality work...
..........I am going to show some of my work on the side bar so that you can see that I can do a good job with this project..
but I need your help...... come up with a very catchy caption and I will design the shirt ...... I will keep this open till 12 noon on Valentine's Day.. that will give us pleanty of time to get the word out .............. Put on your thinking cap..............

Denise is a very talented woman and this is a wonderful idea, so head on over to Sew the Word and take part in the contest.


In other news, it has been snowing here all night and all day. We don't have a lot of accumulation but there were whiteouts this morning. My SIL started off for the 1.5 hour drive to work and a half hour into his trip, turned around and came home because of the whiteouts. The roads were really slippery this morning as well, though they are pretty much clear now. The salters and sanders worked all night to get the roads in decent shape for the commute to work this morning and the city streets weren't too bad. It's the country roads, which my SIL travels that were bad.



Daughter, Michelle, is having some pain from her cyst and she believes that it's growing. She has had a tough month with having a tooth removed, the news of her surgery and now pain. Please keep her in your prayers.

Not much else going on around here. The usual. I didn't get my laundry done yesterday, so am doing it today. I wanted to go to the scrapbooking store to see what I could find for the boys' scrapbooks that I got them at Animal Kingdom. If any of my readers or friends are experienced scrapbookers, any ideas or advice would be very welcome. This is my first attempt and I want the scrapbooks to be perfect. If I get them done in time, I plan to give them to the boys for Easter. If not, I will either give them to them for their birthdays or wait until next Christmas.

I hope each of you have a wonderful day. I enjoy reading your comments and visiting your blogs, but am still not fully caught up since vacation. Thank you all for visiting me and commenting. I value your friendship.

If you haven't entered my giveaway, be sure to do so today. Enteries will be closed at midnight tonight EST. The winner will be announced on tomorrow's post. Good luck to everyone that enters. I wish you could all win, but unfortunately there can be only one winner.

~Blessings, Mary

Monday, January 21

Florida Trip Day 7 January 2/08

I woke up at 6:30am, got ready and headed down to the lobby. I wanted to check on all of my blogging friends and I figured I would be able to get on the free computer at that time of the morning. I was right.

By the time the boys got up and we had breakfast, time was marching on. We headed to Disney to take in a day at the Magic Kingdom. We wore our winter coats. It was cold, even by our standards -48 degrees F. Not exactly what you'd expect in Florida. People had on gloves, hats, scarves and winter coats. It didn't help any that there was a brisk wind.

The entrance to Disney World
We parked in Sleepy and were close enough to walk to the park gates. The tram was just heading out when we got there.Just inside the gates, who did we bump into but Mary Poppins.

The train station from outside the park.
Main Street USA all decked out for Christmas

And another of Main Street USA. Beautiful decorations.
Cinderella's CastleCharacters from Song of the South just outside Splash Mountain.

I couldn't imagine that the boys wanted to go on Splash Mountain when it was so cold and windy, but they did. And they did get a little wet. They asked to go again, but I said no. I was afraid they would get sick. They did go on Big Thunder Mountain. We checked out the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean that we'd missed three years ago, but the lines were 2 hours long. So that was out!

It was so cold that we spent most of our time buying hot drinks and looking in souvenir shops to get warm. We saw the Tiki Show, which is talking and singing animated birds and the boys and Grandpa climbed up the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.

We headed for the souvenir shops again and Jordan bought himself a Mickey Mouse watch as a souvenir. Good choice. Brandon wanted to wait. He's more careful with his money and wants to look around before he chooses. Another good choice.

We left the park around 6:30. It was just too darn cold to do anything. Even shutterbug Grandma behaved herself and didn't take many photos that day. We certainly weren't going to stay for the fireworks.

We had dinner and when we got back to the hotel, Dwight and the boys went swimming. After that I tucked them in bed and before long we were fast asleep. A great end to a very cold day.

Note: I'm not going to post anything more about our Florida trip for a few days. Not sure what exactly I'll be posting, but I'll think of something. I'll continue with Florida photos and stories later in the week.~Blessings, Mary~

Sunday, January 20

Here's to the Long Distance Truckers - Trucker Saves Lives in Toronto, Ontario


It is cold here and I mean really cold. The wind is blowing at 37 km per hour, which almost 23 miles per hour and this makes it feel much colder. It was a good day to stay inside where it was cozy and warm and that's exactly what I did.

It is -12 Celcius, which is 10.4 Fahrenheit, but with the windchill factor it feels like -22, which is 7.6 Fahrenheit. It's been colder, I know, but just coming back from 70 degree Fahrenheit weather last week when we were in Florida makes it feel like 40 below.

On tonight's news forecast out of Toronto, they reported that there had been a 100 car plus pile up on the 400 highway. This is north of Toronto and they interviewed some of the people who were involved. They said they were driving south when suddenly out of nowhere, there was a whiteout. A whiteout, for those who don't know, is when the wind blows snow and causes the visibility to drop to zero. I've experienced my share of whiteouts and they're not pretty. The road was also icy, so other vehicles skidded out of control.

Many cars stopped on the road, which is something you don't do on the 400. That would be akin to stopping in the middle of Interstate 75. Someone's going to hit you in the rear end and that is exactly what happened. Then there was a chain reaction and soon there was over 100 cars involved.

There was a hero in all of this. A long distance trucker who was on his way to Wisconsin saw that he was going to hit several cars that had crashed into one another, so he, being a wise and brave soul, turned his rig off the road and drove into some bushes. If he had hit those cars, someone would have been killed. Instead, he put his life on the line and drove off the road. Luckily, he nor his truck were hurt. Someone was watching over him today.

So, here's to the long distance truckers who pride themselves on driving their big rigs safely and doing all they can to spare lives when they're in a dangerous situation. I pray that angels watch over this man as he and his big rig makes their way toward their destination of Wisconsin.