God’s Tips for Getting the Most Out of Life

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If God was writing this post, he’d give you tips for getting the most out of life. I’m pretty sure about this because I’ve read Dr. Eben Alexander’s book, “Proof of Heaven.”

In that book, God shows us what a sublime adventure we’re going to have after we die.

God would say, “Look, I’ve given you a beautiful earth on which to live if you’re not be too busy to see it, the challenges which put you into situations so you’ll learn and grow, and, people who will help you along the way.”

People who seem to have extra-ordinary success know the law of attraction and know that their thoughts do create the reality of their life.

The highest and best way to live is to take each moment in your life and to life it fully. If you do this, you won’t miss the small and wonderful things that come your way.

Choose to be happy. All the while, death is waiting. Dr. Alexander shows us that if we live every experience fully, then death takes nothing from us, although it does change everything.

Dr. Alexander, a brain surgeon, unexpectedly lay in a coma, not expected to live. His family gathered around his bedside, prayed, sang and talked to him. During his visit to the exquisite time beyond, as a professional physician he tried hard to remember his experiences in heaven.

(Fran, a lovely doctor who I met recently at Washington University, wrote her thesis on the importance and significance of family being with you during at such a time as Dr. Alexander’s. She actually has met the doctor/writer.)

When he slowly returned from the coma, his son gave him the best advice anyone can give a writer. “Dad,” he said, “Don’t tell me. Write it down.”

Enjoying life’s experiences, however good or bad, is the rational thing to do. You’re here. Be filled with joy and let things you dream come true. Victor Frankl was even able to do so in a Nazi death camp and lived to write about it in “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

If God were speaking, he’d say, “The greatest gift anyone can give me is to be pleased with my creation.”

I believe he likes to hang out with a person who does.

Baked Oatmeal Recipes

She thinks you'll love this blog.

She thinks you’ll love this blog.

Oatmeal is thought of as a simple breakfast dish. These two recipes have the potential to prepare it for a high-class buffet or special guests.

My son, Tony, likes to move through life fast as possible so he just uses the packets from a box and pours over the hot water. He’ll be visiting the Lazy Bee in two weeks so this will be served along with the rhubarb pies and crisps he loves.

This “Old-Family” recipe is from the recipe boxes of Barb, Becky and Liz who bake it for family visits.

OATMEAL CREME BRULEE

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar (to add later)

Mix all ingredients together in an 8 inch square pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove and spread the brown sugar over the top. Return to over and melt 2-3 minutes under the broiler until bubbling.

This second recipe reminds me of an elderly guest I had at Hillside House, my B&B in Spokane. A memorable person because of the fact she had a harrowing escape from the Nazis. She said, “I’ve been making oatmeal a lifetime and this is the best I’ve had.”
I wonder how she’d like this oatmeal made in a crockpot.

CROCKPOT OATMEAL

1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups dry quick oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk

Pour the oil into a slow cooker and grease the bottom and sides.
Add the ingredients and mix well.
Bake on low for two and one half hours.

Resplendent Beauty

Ti-Pees are like a poem.  They bring great pleasure.

Ti-Pees are like a poem. They bring great pleasure.

“I’ve never been inside one of these before,” she said reclining comfortably within the just put-up ti-pee. I’ve always wanted to see what one is like inside.  This feels so soothing.  Makes me want to sit here a long time just doing nothing.”

Ti-pees in the opinion of my guest, as well as others, agree that they have an elusive beauty.  Perhaps once inside one, there is something that flits quickly as the special feeling that comes when two people are saying their wedding vows, one that’s quivery and brings a glow that has depth, meaning and joy.

The whiteness of its tall grandeur as it stands resplendently within the forest makes you want to see what the inside.  The quality of first sight of the interior is not easily expressed. In fact, it’s not what you’ve anticipated at all.  It’s certainly more spacious inside than it appears when viewed from the outside.  Once inside, they have an unexpected calm presence.

They come in many sizes.  The one at the Lazy Bee is neither too small or too large.  It’s looks just right as it takes its place in the forest as it creates a magical space place. both inside and out.

The hard to define moment upon first sight of its interior might be comparable to smelling fragrance of

Photo can't capture its inner beauty.  Venturing inside does the trick.

Photo can’t capture its inner beauty. Venturing inside does the trick.

sheets just brought in from the clothes line, perhaps the lingering sweet taste of lobster, or the sight of a mother speaking softly to a little child.  Defining moments.

A ti-pee is like a poem in its pleasantness either from a distance or when sitting within. The softness of the spell it can cast brings surprising joy into a stressful world.

Tips to Keep Bugs OFF Your Vehicle

You can keep bugs off your vehicle with an easy method.  Read on.

You can keep bugs off your vehicle with an easy method. Read on.

If bugs are bugging your vehicle, don’t be frustrated when you attempt to clean them off. They stick as if they found a way to embed themselves forever.

I’ve discovered a method that works.  I’ve used it on jeeps, my old convertible, RV’s, trucks.

Summer is the time when the living is easy.  WAR against these flying critters is frustrating and not the way to live.

Here’s what you do.  You get down to cleaning off the vehicle in whatever means you use: Soap pads, heavy duty detergent in water, etc.

Then, find a tall can of WD40.  Spray that waxy substance on the grill, bumper, license plate, car hood, mirror backs.

After your vehicle returns to home base, just wipe off the waxy ingredient and reapply.

Fans of Skin-So-Soft say that works, too.  You can make your summer more fun instead by eliminating the frustrating work of cleaning off unwelcome bugs.

The Specialist — The Trial of Adolf Eichmann

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann – The Specialist – shows the trial of a top Nazi who directed the transport of victims to concentration camps in WWII.

Watching Eichmann, a thin, precisely-speaking and dogmatic villain as he presents his innocence is not only compelling but chilling to view.

He was captured by Israel’s intelligence agency, The Mossal, in Buenos Aires with the alias Ricardo Klement.  The shape of his ears from his SS files concluded that his appearance had been altered but he was the same as Eichmann.

Asked to identify himself when he was kidnapped and taken to a safe house in Buenos Aires, he first gave his name as Klement, his alias.  On the third time of asking he responded in his usual arrogant manner, “I AM Adolf Eichmann.  This is indeed my name.”  Then he asked for a glass of wine.

He was charged with fifteen counts of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against  humanity, war crimes and membership of a hostile organization.

An elaborate plan spirited him out of the country without alerting Argentinian authorities.  An El Al plane brought an official Israeli delegation to the city as a cover for taking the high-value target back to Israel.  He was passed off as a sick airline employee, dressed in an El Al uniform and heavily sedated in first class.  (If he had been alert, he would have FELT it to be only way to travel.)

The film, The Specialist, is of his trial in Israel in which 99 Holocaust victims gave evidence.  He was sentenced and hanged in May l962, the only time in Israel’s history that the death penalty has been enacted.  His body was cremated and the ashes scattered at sea beyond Israel’s territory waters.

One interesting piece of the Eichmann story is that Himmler’s daughter helped plan and execute the plans of many Nazis in major positions and gave them the means to escape with new identities at war’s end.  Every year on her birthday, they return to honor her.

Eichmann was identified by a Holocoust victim whose daughter was dating Eichmann’s son and became suspicious of the boy’s father.

The Specialist is not to be confused with another film, a thriller, with the same title where Sylvester Stalone and Sharion Stone give excellent performances in l994 and in which she wears exquisite designer clothes, even by 2015 standards.

Anyone interested in WWII may be interested in viewing “The Specialist, Trial of Adolf Eichmann.”

Presenting the Perfect Pie

No doubt, making this pie is one of the most memorable things I've ever done.

No doubt, making this pie is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.

I’ve been baking pies a long time.  I even won a medal once at Waterloo Iowa’s Dairy Cattle Congress for an apple pie, but this recipe for rhubarb pie is so incredible in all ways, that I must share its secrets.

The pie is so tasty, the balance of tart and sweet to perfection, the crust golden in color and depth, that I still sense the flavor two days later.  As soon as it came out of the oven, it had the persona of perfection.  Two days later I can still sense the taste and will be making it again this morning before it gets too hot outside.

You see I sacrificed the last remaining piece. I gave it to my pie-discerning neighbor Bob Yoder who pays big bucks for a pie at pie auctions.  Before I knew it, he’d returned with a pile of rhubarb from his garden and left it on my back deck.

Life is all about presentation: the way you dress, your hair style, the way you even arrange dishes in your dishwasher or on the sink, prepare flower arrangements, organize your home.  This pie is lives a life of perfection.

4 cups fresh rhubarb  (cut in 1/2 pieces and do USE fresh)

4 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca

l egg

2 teaspoons cold water

Pastry for double-crust 9 inch pie (I use half butter and half lard)

1 tablespoon butter

Place rhubarb in a colander and pour the hot water over it in a big bowl and set aside.

In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and tapioca.

Drain rhubarb.  Add to the sugar mixture and toss well.  Let stand for 15 minutes.

Beat egg and water.  Add to rhubarb mixture and pour into bottom pastry. Dot with butter.

Cover with remaining top pastry and flute the edges.  Cut slits in top crust.

Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 for the remaining 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Attention Men: The Color of Your Sox Is Important

She knows what a woman prefers.

She knows what a woman prefers.

My independent poll of a few men did confirm the reality of the color of a guy’s sox choice.  I asked, “Would you wear sox with crazy patterns and colors?”  A firm, ‘No,” was the immediate response.

A guy recently asked Amy Alton, the Advice Goddess in Santa Monica, “I’m a 31-year-old straight guy.  I dress boringly- except for my sox.  My buddy says my crazy pattered sox make me look weird and less manly.  In other words, do women prefer guys who wear black, brown or gray sox (or, white for sporting events)?

I agree with Amy’s answer, that yes, guys, your sox are costly signals.  To wear certain sox, she says, can be risky for any man.

I remember that when I was dating a guy in Iowa who was a flashy dresser, when he came with a hole in the back of one of his sox, his appeal dropped significantly, or I never wanted to see him again even if he wasn’t wearing Superman insignia with little red capes.

As for insignia on a guy’s underwear, that doesn’t count.  It’s not up for public view.  It’s his right to wear, especially if it is a gifted garment bearing a significant message such as ‘Temptation.’

Breakfast Treat

This recipe is unique in today's world.  Somehow it got lost back in the l930's.

This recipe is unique in today’s world. Somehow it got lost back in the l930’s.

Mother would make this light, fluffy cake after Dad left for work.  The neighbor ladies were stay-at-home moms so they could come over to enjoy the coffee cake when it came out of the oven.

Somehow the recipe seemed the perfect thing to serve guests this week.  I had included it in the first of my three little recipe books.  Mable, who is a member of a blue grass band and who loves to quilt and who has an orchard in Libby, Montana, with 400 fruit trees, asked for more!  As we discussed unique recipes she said she’d send me her recipe for BAKED OATMEAL.  Now that’s one I really want to try.

FILLED COFFEE CAKE

Sift 1 1/2 cups flour and 3 tsp. baking powder with 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 cup of sugar.

Cut in 1/4 cup shortening (I used butter).

Blend in an egg that has been beaten with 1/2 cup milk.   Then, add 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

THE FILLING

Mix the following together in a small bowl and sprinkle on top:

1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. melted butter and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Pour dough into a greased pan about 6 x l0 and spread with this filling.  Then, spread with dough again and top with filling.

(Dough is difficult to spread, but can easily be done with your fingers.)

BAKE 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Are You As Adventuresome?

This man loves the toughest and most austere ancient lands for his research.

This man loves the toughest and most austere ancient lands for his research.

If there were a contest for the best authentic Indiana Jones alive today, this guy would be on top of the pile of candidates.  As we traveled the sites of the ancient Pueblos in the Southwest, I asked a couple archeologists if they knew him.  One archeologist who was restoring a wall at the Aztec site, said that he’d run across Craig Childs during his the ten years work in the Canyon of the Ancients preserving the past before the dam was in place.

I’m glad Craig is real.  I was fortunate to pick his book, House of Rain,  in the Chaco Culture Center gift shop.  It was a great adventure for me just to follow his description of how he made his way through impossible territories we were viewing.

Here’s one example from his book:

“It was a route I had used off and on over the past ten years, a thin outcrop of rock over a free-fall drop, the only way through. it is the checkpoint through which all travelers must pass when moving from one region of Canyonlands into the next.

“Dangling off this rock shelf, I would have to cross it, then jump down to another ledge below.  I took off my pack–no room to climb down with it on my back–and as I turned to make my jump, I noticed above me pieces of a ruin I hadn’t seen before, simple stones neatly placed, the grin of a low wall in an overhead cliff.

“I scrambled up to see if a human hand had really made this place.  Teetering on the tips of my boots, trying not to leave footprints in the dust, I found a chamber filled with rubble, many of its stones having fallen away.  It was Anasazi.  Right above this pinch, they had built a guardhouse from which they could see anyone coming, a natural bottleneck controlling the entire region.

“Among the archaeological sites I have seen in Canyonlands, many are positioned in a way that makes me think the Anasizi were constantly checking their backs, keeping an eye on movement in these canyons.  Pressed by the thrust of war and overcrowding in the thirteenth century, they vanished into this hard, convoluted desert to escape the burning pith of their civilization.

“If you wanted to hide somewhere, guaranteeing no one would follow, this would be the place to go.

“I turned around and shot down from the ruin, jumping over the edge of the pinch.  I reached back with the full extent of my fingertips to grab my pack, then disappeared down the deep, stone rabbit hole below.”

Craig roams in the worst of weather, rain, sleet, snow, extreme heat, often setting caches of water along a proposed route.  Not only does he do what seems impossible, he puts a reader right beside him.  As an added bonus, he adds his knowledge of the area, the people and their lifestyles.

Exciting stuff in a world with so few heroes.

Unforgettable

Canyons of the Ancients windswept mesas and ruins hold secrets from the past.

(Look closely at this photo and you’ll see the Hovenweep campground with wind breaks placed behind each picnic table within each camp site.)

Unforgettable, that’s what you are.” You can almost hear Nat King Cole signing as you drive across the vast mesas where once lived thousands of Pueblo People, more commonly known as the Anasizi, to drive the many miles it takes to reach it.

When the traveler finally reaches the campground and continues by foot to the canyon rim, the sites below or across the canyons beckon. The faint of heart, however, view the massive cave dwellings from above and watch hikers make their way below into the canyons.

The wind here is such a constant that wind breaks are needed for campers. A Mormon first reported these impressive sites in southeastern Utah when he was leading an expedition in 1854.

Photographer, William Henry Jackson, in l874 first used the name: Hovenweep, which is the Ute/Paiute for ‘deserted valley.’.

Say the name, Hovenweep, out loud. If you do, it may stay with you. The tall towers, outlines of multi-room pueblos, shaped stones, small cliff dwellings, rock art lie scattered across the landscape and leave little doubt that a huge population once lived in this high desert.

Despite the marginal growing conditions (and the wind, of course, which never seems to stop), the ancient ones raised corn, beans, squash and other crops in small fields and terraces and built little dams for irrigation. Their wisdom of astronomy helped calculate growing seasons.

Like the wind, severe drought came They fled to the Mollogon rim with its forests and better water. Some historians believe that aggressive people arrived. The terrible climate change brought them from the north here to wage war and disaster.

Many Pueblo ancestors believe this is sacred land and that one day they may return to live here again.