Monday, January 12, 2015

Special post for a dear friend of mine living in a rather quaint and lovely farmhouse in Tennessee.
Showing great interest in my secret receipt for stone soup I am pleased to provide it to her and the many (lol) faithful followers of my blog.

Once upon a time, all stories worth telling start with either that or “It was a dark and stormy night” so this one should tool  Any way, once upon a time late in the afternoon on a day that was overcast and with a gentle breeze from the South East.  Note that the wind usually came from the North West but on this day it was coming from the South East.  The gentle breeze from the South East was at the old man’s back as he entered the small settlement located at the edge of the forest near the little lake fed by a brook that appeared to spring magically from the woods and meander through the meadow finding its end in the larger water. 
The old man looked tired.  The old man felt tired.  The old man was tired, and hungry.
On his back, he had a pack, really a sack, that’s a fact.  And in his pack (sack) he had a pot, rather large and very empty of anything and everything as well as something, it was well filled with nothing.  He was obviously tired and probably hungry and it was after all nearing the time when most people would be supping their evening meal. 
No one in the town made any effort to invite him into their home, not even an offer for a piece of bread or a cold drink of water was made and he perceived this to be a place where people were somewhat miserly and shared not at all with a stranger nor even their neighbors.
The town square boasted a little park with the small stream gently flowing through it and several trees some of which had shed some branches that were perfect for a cook fire and soon became just that as the old man having started something to make a meal went to the stream and filled his cooking vessel with water and hung it over the fire to heat.
By now some of the women of the village were keeping an eye on him as they were nosy and even some of the women who were not really nosy but rather curious were also watching what he was doing and some did not even notice yet that he was there, yet.
Those closest noticed that while he was waiting for the water to boil he was holding in his had three stones about the size of a baseball but since baseball had not yet been created the women did not know that that was the size of the stones but they were definitely smaller than a softball and bigger than a golf ball so we would be safe to say they were about the size of a baseball and in fact they were that size.  They were also very smooth as if he had held them and rubbed them more than once or twice in the past but rather frequently for sure.  As the water in the pot began to boil, contrary to the most held belief that a watched pot never did, the old man carefully placed the three stones into the pot and after a few minutes he produced a large spoon from his pack (sack) and began to stir the waters.
Several of the women had drawn closer to see what he was doing and they watching as he blew on a spoon partially filed with the boiling water from the pot heard him say “Ah, so good.  If only I had a few potatoes, this would be the best stone soup ever.”  One of the women thought to herself, not out loud, “Perhaps if I gave him some potatoes I could learn the secret of making soup from stones” and she did give him several potatoes and sat down nearby to watch him stir his stone soup.
After a few minutes he took another sip smacked his lips said ahhh and then to no one in particular he said “So good, If only I had some vegetables this would be the best stone soup I have ever made”.  Naturally a neighbor of the first woman being jealous that maybe the secret of making soup from stones would become knowledge of someone other than her turned back to house and brought fort an armful of carrots, and celery, and parsnips and radishes and tomatoes which the man accepted and added to the pot of stone soup. 
After a few minutes he took another sip smacked his lips said ahhh and then to no one in particular he said “So good, If only I had some salt and a little parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme this would be stone soup that would be so good the bards would of it write a rhyme. (naturally with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme what would you expect)  An older lady hearing him speak thought to herself  “Why I have just that and I am sure that if I brought it to the old man he would share the secret of making soup from stones” and so she ran quickly to her house nearby and returned just a s quickly with the salt, parsley, sage and you know the rest which were quickly added to the pot of stone soup.
After a few minutes he took another sip smacked his lips said ahhh and then to no one in particular he said “So good, If only I had some chicken or beef or pork maybe some of each this would surely be stone soup that would be worthy to set before a king.” Three women this time turned to their homes and returned with the thought that it was a small sacrifice to perhaps learn the secret of making soup from a stone.  One woman brought two chickens ready for the pot another woman brought a large piece of beef and the last woman of course brought some, you guessed it, she brought some lamb because she did not eat pork so there and they were added to the pot and the old man stirred and stirred and …
After a few minutes he took another sip smacked his lips said ahhh and then to no one in particular he said “So good, this is the best stone soup I have ever made and would be so enjoyable if I had some friends to share it with over a bottle of wine and some beer.”  Well as you can imagine by this time the men of the village were beginning to wonder where their women were and also where their supper was and overheard the old man as they approached the gathering that consisted mostly of their wives and of this one old man who stirring a large pot of something that sure smelled like it would be good along with some wine and beer which the men quickly produced and as the women set the tables with bowls and spoons everyone was soon eating the soup the old man had made from three small stone.

Soon the people were talking to each other instead of about each other and sharing the first meal they had ever had together and soon they were discussing what price they would offer the old man for the three stones that were responsible for the delicious stone soup they had just eaten.  The village men made a very good offer which the old man accepted graciously as he relinquished possession of the stones and after being assured that they would prepare their stone soup exactly as the women had seen him do it and they would always have a delicious meal as a result the old man left with the gold they had given him and walked in the direction of the next village stopping for only a minute as he passed the small lake he stooped to pick up three small stones…….about the size of baseballs.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

WOW! Two days in a row.   Have to take some time off and regroup.

Had Shane and Aubrey over for experimental diner yesterday.  Combined three different stuffed pork chop recipes and came up with something edible but not remarkable.  Next time I will stay with something I have had more experience with.  Meatloaf.

Thought for taday:

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  Hebrews 13:15
Yesterday we talked about rejoicing in the day which God has made.  Today we look at expressing that joy.
The fruit of our lips is the giving of thanks to God.  If you know Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord, praise should spring from you automatically.  If the world has kept you quiet, now is the time to speak.  Breaking an old habit or making a new one takes only a little practice done consistently.  Here is the challenge for me, and for you who accept, for this New Year. 
“”Each day I will make a conscientious effort to mention the name of God or Jesus in every encounter I have with another person.  Realizing that at first I will probably only make it 1 in 10 but with practice my ratio will improve and one day it will come naturally for me.””
Without opening my mouth and giving God credit for my joy, the world will think I am just a happy nut.  We casually thank those who hold a door open for us or pick up something we drop or do some act of kindness toward us.  Why not speak out loud our thanks to God for what he does for us?  Let people hear God’s name used in praise.
As you go thru the day, count how many times you see or hear God’s name used in vain as a curse word or obscenity or “a malevolent appeal to a supernatural being for harm to come to somebody or something”. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be part of a change in the world that made the number of times you heard God’s name used in praise and thanksgiving more often than in blasphemous oaths?

Preaching to myself and having you as a sounding board.  

Watched one of my favorite movies this afternoon and reminded myself why I need to go have another adventure.

 If you have never watched "UP" I would suggest it as a family pic with something for every age.  Think I will start the Lord Of The Rings trilogy for this evening.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What is new for the New Year.

This is about to get real.

Welcome to 2015 with no resolutions but some simple goals or purposes for my life going forward.  
For instance:  Having not been to the Casino for a while (short while) I went on New Years eve for a particular purpose.  Over the past twenty one (yes 21, I counted them) years I have been a fixture at the local casino.  Some times I was there 27 out of 31 days in a month.  "It's my entertainment" would be my response to anyone who judged.  Having little "purpose" in my life, it was alright for me to spend hours watching the wheels go round.  Like the chicken pecking at the bell in hopes of getting some seed, I was occasionally rewarded with a win.  Yet, at the end of the year I was always a loser. Well, "It's my entertainment".  

Midnight December 31, 2014 I hit the button and watched the reels go round for the last time as a compulsive gambler.  No longer do I desire to waste both time and money in the pursuit of oblivion. 
God has given me new aspirations for the future and new places to expend the resources he has given me.  Not just my money, but my time and my energy.  It is my intention to spend more time in the Word of God, more energy in praising him in various ways and more resources in honoring him.

Also new, looking at the very real possibility of being "back on the road again".  More about that as the adventure begins again.

Attempting to write more.  That will include this blog, my website which should be up this week ( notes on FB  and possibly the story some of my children have encouraged me to write for a long time.

The following is a FB post from today.  These thoughts are mine and I take full responsibility for them, be they accurate, correct, or not to your liking.  They are what I am thinking. If you are old enough you might understand the admonition to "never give him a soap-box".

FB post:
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.   Psalm 118:24
Something to think about as we move into the NEW YEAR.  This day we see before us is one that the LORD has made.  This day is perfectly created just for us.  How good or bad it turns out depends mostly on our walk with God.  If we start the day spending time with Jesus, in the Word of God and in prayer, we will find the day full of joy and blessings.  Even the troubles will be easier to deal with, walking hand in hand with our LORD. 
The Psalmist does not suggest we may be happy in the day. An order is given “we WILL rejoice and be glad in it” No matter what is set before you this day, thank God and praise Him who made the day and everything in it.  If it is a challenge to overcome, we can with God’s help.  If it is a blessing, praise Him from whom all blessings flow.  Tell others why you are so “Happy” in the “New Year”.
Try to bring the name of GOD into every conversation.  You do not have to preach, just say something like:  “Praise God” or “This is a beautiful day that God has made” or “Jesus has given me so much to be thankful for”.  Use your imagination to find ways to bring the name of God into every conversation or salutation.  The world does, cursing and blaspheming the name of God.  Let us “rejoice and be glad in it” giving God the praise for the day that He has given us.

My daughter Noelle's niece in Utah just gave birth to a little boy Killin Everly who looks surprised to see us.

Under the heading of you don't have to like it, you don't have to agree with all of the song, there are parts i would prefer were worded different.  However,  the message that "life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone" is what I want you to hear.  If you are still living you can get the thrill back.  I am.  
OK OK I sat down here at 0730 to read a little , comment on FB a little, post a little and it is 1043 already.  Think I will get something to eat.

Later, Gator.Oh, wait.  It is the Seminoles that are late....