Monday, July 30, 2007

If your right-click on the download link, and choose 'open in new tab or window'
you won't be taken away from today's blog entry!

Our daughter Dezrae is out for a visit so I won't be putting up another entry for a few days or sooooo..... will be back next time with pics etc!

Just on the chance you have summer company (who doesn't?) and you are, like me, a KFC lover, you need to get on over to the KFC website and scoop some of the online coupons! Just click here to save some money!

I made the Kraft Margarita Pie on Friday. It turned out awesome. Tastes like a lemon lime creamsicle in a pretzel crust. Miles had a hard time wrapping his mind around the pretzel crust, but he got over it. It wasn't the flavor he had a problem with, it was the very thought of it being pretzels. But the salt actually complemented the filling, perfeclty. I'd make it again, though the price of Sweetened Condensed Milk near set my gorgeous husband on his behind!


Still in summer mode, drying fruit and spices, baking, baking myself at the beach. I'm even swimming some laps. I don't like to put my face in the water - never have. Miles would gladly teach me, but I'm not ready just yet, and really, it has not been a problem yet, unless a boat goes by and swamps me. Then, it seems I just open my mouth to get a gulp of air, and I wind up filled with water!

I'm getting my own process for drying and preparing herbs down to a fine science. I've set up a system where I can dry the herbs on cookie sheets lined with paper towels. I put a light screen overtop and leave them out on the patio for a few days. Luckily we have almost no humidity here, so they dry out quickly. When they are completely juiceless, I bring them into the house, where I grind small batches up using an electric coffee grinder we picked up at a yard sale for $1... no kidding, works like a charm.

Now another thing I learned is that the grinder must be cleaned out between different spices, so that the flavors don't mix. So, I don't even know where I exactly learned this, or perhaps I just guessed it - I take a small bit of bread and grind it after each spice. It cleans out the grinder nicely, and removes most of the scent of the previous spice. Bonus, I put the spiced breadcrumbs into a bowl and use it in recipes! I have been using a regular piece of bread, but I suspect crackers or even some dried crumbs would be better so they're not moist. Had some of our basil on mini pizzas, its wonderful.


first 'air mail' stamps

We have some homing pigeons fly over our place every day. They're quite amazing, really. I can remember the first few times I heard them go over, sort of a loud "foo,foo,foo!" sound of their wings cutting through the air. Generally, we see about a dozen, but at times there have been smaller groupings, as low as perhaps five or six. They fly incredibly fast - so fast that sometimes I've just caught the sound of them going over, and have been too late to actually see them. I guess it took just several hundred times of them passing overhead for me to wonder about them! My friend and I were out biking recently and discovered the house they call home, its about a kilometer south of us. So the following is what I learned doing research about these amazing fowl!

Homing Pigeons are a sort of tamed Rock Pigeons which have been selectively bred to fly over long distances. Homing Pigeons are called 'homing' because they always return back to their mate or 'homing' place. Their average speed to fly (reasonable distances) is about 30 miles per hour, but they can do bursts of speed up to 60 miles per hour!
Homing Pigeons can be, and have been, used to carry messages, written on thin paper placed in a small tube affixed to one leg. This is actually called Pigeon Post.

No one is EXACTLY sure how these birds navigate, though there are several theories out there.

Messenger Pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and later yet, by Genghis Khan. In 1860, Paul Reuter - who later founded Reuter's Press agency, used a fleet of 45 Homing Pigeons to deliver news and stock prices between Brussels and Aachen. The result of the Battle of Waterloo was delivered by a Pigeon to England. One of the first, possibly THE first regular air mail service was Mr. Howie's Pigeon-Post service. The service was between the Aukland, New Zealand suburb of Newton to Great Barrier Island, starting in 1896. For sure, the first the first 'airmail stamps' in the world were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram from 1898 to 1908.

Homing Pigeons were used extensively in wars, to carry messages back and forth. Even up to the 21st century, these birds were used by police in India in remote areas in cases of natural disasters.

Remarkable, no? Every time I see them fly over now, I have a renewed appreciation for these astonishing birds.


what is this? any guesses?

Miles took me to yardsales on Saturday. There were a good number of them, and the first three we went to were very good! I think we spent less than $15 but came away with a good number treasures. One item in particular which was unique and intriguing were three very large pinecones. We think they must be from a giant Sequoia tree, because the lady who sold them to us said they originally came from California. These pinecones are at least 8 -10 inches high, and must be 6-8 inches wide! The cones weigh several pounds each and the bristles are heavy - like a carved wood even, and the seeds within are big too. We think they'll make good decorations and wonderful conversation pieces.

I also got a new hummingbird feeder. Oh, we used to have one, but it developed a crack and would leak fluid and started attracting wasps, so we got rid of it. I wanted to be patient and trust that I would find another, and I did for a whole .50 cents. Its actually a pretty one, with a large clear globe to hold the sweet feed inside. Within 1/2 hour of hanging it, we had hummers! Yesterday I witnessed a standoff between two of them, one a teensy tiny guy, the other a larger, more showy one. The little one won out, with the larger guy sitting it out on a nearby telephone wire waiting it out till the first one had it's fill.

and this?

The Case of the Buzzing Bathtub

The bath was poured. She was looking forward to some time to soak away the remnants of sleep, to revel in the warmth and moisture - to submerge in the fragrance of her new orange blossom bath salts, and read a few chapters of a novel she'd been enjoying. Hanging her pajamas on the back of the bathroom door and tying her hair into a ponytail atop her head, she proceeded to the tub and readied her toe to break the still surface. Just a few inches short of the water, she pauses, cocks her head to the side, and listens.

The bathtub is buzzing!

How odd! She listens carefully, trying to determine exactly where the sound is emerging from. Her first thought is that she's accidentally switched on the electric heating - it has happened in the past, as the switch looks just the same as the light switch. No, thats not it. Could it be a pipe, humming? She turns the water on again and listens more. No, the sound does not change no matter what the water flow is. Well, at this point she makes a decision she'd best not chance getting in - what if it were something electrical? I mean she did want the bath to wake her up, but thats too extreme!

So she calls to her husband and he comes for a listen. Hmmm..... he goes over exactly the steps she did, plus he checks downstairs at the hot water tank etc. It's a genuine mystery... so we call our friend, who comes over. He too, listens, follows the same steps, and considers whether it might be the pump for the septic system. Then, he decides to check out the tub again. On a whim, he presses on the silver, bell-shaped plug - and the sound quits!

It appears the plug was not pressed down fully, so water was escaping in a small steady stream, and creating a vibration as it went. LOL!

Baths cold now. She begins again, fully awake. (of course, the she... is me!)


How's your summer going? Are you vacationing, or staying home. Do you have company? I hope you all are taking some time 'away from the world'. No matter if you are physically going somewhere or not, we all need some quiet time, and summer's a hard time to do that - unless you have a cabin in the woods or something like this. Being with people is nice, but if you're married we need time to connect with our spouses as well. Are you setting the best portion of your time and energy aside for your spouse? Remember, your guests should be entertained on the overflow of time spent with your loved one. If things aren't good between you, how can you have a quality visit with other folks? The calibre of the visit with others will be in direct proportion to your marital relationship with your husband at that time. Unless we keep clear perspective on what's most important sometimes we try to do things backwards, and thats a sure recipe for failure!

I was reading a passage in the bible recently and came across this scripture:

Deuteronomy 24:5

"If a man has recently married,

he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him.

For one year he is to be free to stay at home

and bring happiness to the wife he has married."

Now, this got me thinking - this time was not given to a man AFTER he'd been married for years - when he'd been retired. This time was given at the BEGINNING of the marriage. I believe this time was given to create a deep bond between the husband and wife, but also as an example for the couple to learn to invest time into their relationship, to set the habit, so to speak. Being this year came for a recently married couple, it was like a reward, a honeymoon, a vacation and would cause us to value setting time aside to connect. Its funny when you think of it. I'm sure that the lesson was not to be 'spend the first year together all the time, then for the rest of your married years do your own things, and be together' no, I'm sure it was to train us to value and treasure the time we spend with the one we pledged our lives to. And it stands to reason, if you're not spending time together, you aren't spending time in the word together - and God's the biggest part of our relationships. Your marriage to your spouse can only be a measure against your relationship with God. We must work for our marriages to reflect our relationship with our Creator.

I receive a Christian Newsletter by Jim Burns from and the last installment is about marriage. Jim lists 5 roadblocks to spiritual intimacy in our marriages, and they are as follows:

  • busyness

  • low level anger

  • lack of forgiveness

  • lack of respect

  • spiritual warfare

The article is thought provoking and insightful - isn't your marriage worth the investment to read this and choose an area to work on? You might want to go to and sign up for the newsletter - or if you find the site a bit confusing to find this particular one, just email me at and I will forward one to you!

Also, I published this passage about a month ago - but I think I will publish it again here, today, as a reminder of how we can work to make our marriages the best way we can be (this, by the way only takes ONE - if you decide to follow the following list you should see some sorts of results... often its when we let go of our EXPECTATIONS that a difference is made) This passage comes from Love Life for Every Married Couple, by Ed Wheat, MD

NINE WAYS TO EDIFY (your spouse)

1. Make the irrevocable decision to never again be critical of your partner in word, thought or deed. This may sound like an impossibility, but it is not. It is simply a decision backed up by action until it becomes a habit you would not change if you could.

2. Study your partner. Become sensetive to the areas where your partner feels a lack and think of ways to build up your partner in those areas particularly.

3. Think every day of positive qualities and behaviour patterns you admire and appreciate in your mate.

4. Consistently verbalize praise and appreciation for your partner. Be genuine, be specific, be generous. You edify with the spoken word.

5. Recognize your partner's talents, abilities and accomplishments. Communicate your respect for the work he or she does.

6. Husband, show your wife publicly and privately how precious she is to you. And do not express admiration for another woman. This is never edifying to your wife. Keep your attention focuse on her!

7. Wife, show your husband that he is the most important person in your life - always. Seek his opinions and value his judgement.

8. Respond to each other physically and facially. The face is the most distinctive and expressive part of a person. Your mate wants to see you smile, eyes sparkling in response to him or her.

9. Always eshibit the greatest courtesy to each other. You should be VIP's in your own home!

and this!

Today in History:

1784 - French writer Denis Diderot died after eating an apricot his wife had warned him not to eat. His final words were "How in the devil can it hurt me?" Diderot was one of the foremost writers of the 18th-century "Age of Enlightenment".

1845 - The saxophone, invented by the Belgian musical instrument maker Adolf Sax five years earlier, was officially introduced into the military bands of the French Army on this date.

1898 - The first magazine automobile ad was printed in "Scientific American". The Winton Motor Car Company from Cleveland, Ohio, asked people to "dispense with a horse".

1932 - In Los Angeles, California, the Olympic Games opened. In 1984, the Games would again grace Los Angeles, the same venues of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

1937 - Organized today was the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA) as part of the American Federation of Labor. The union was open to all radio performers except musicians. Later the union would become The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to include television people.

1942 - On Victor Records, Frank Sinatra recorded his last of 90 recordings with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. His last song was "There are Such Things", which would reach number one in January of 1943. For the rest of his career Sinatra recorded on Columbia Records as a solo singer.

1942 - Legislation signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt created the WAVES. The participants of the Women's Auxiliary Voluntary Emergency Service were a part of of the United States Navy.

1956 - 11-year old singer Brenda Lee, from Lithonia, Georgia, recorded her first hit song for Decca Records; "Jambalaya" and "Bigelow 6-500". As Brenda Mae Tarpley she had been professionally singing since age six. She would record 29 hit songs in the 1960s and become a successful country singer in 1971. Brenda Lee racked up a pair of number one songs with "I'm Sorry" and "I Want to be Wanted". During her career, she recorded a dozen hits to reach the top 10.

1956 - The motto "In God We Trust" was adopted as the United States national motto by President Dwight Eisenhower. The phrase, originally printed on US coins during the Civil War, was adopted as the national motto in part as a response to the growing influence of the Soviet Union around the world.

1975 - Former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa (real name was James R. Hoffa) disappeared outside a restaurant near Detroit, Michigan. Seven years later Hoffa was declared officially dead. He was imprisoned in the 1960s for mail fraud and embezzlement of funds, but his prison sentence was commuted by then President Richard Nixon. Hoffa began labor organizing in 1930.

1976 - The International Olympic Committee announced that three athletes were ejected from the 21st Olympiad games for using anabolic steroids, which were used for illegally building muscles.


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  1. Good Afternoon Barb:)
    Thank you so much for coming to see me.I know you are busy with your daughter and it means so much to me that you stopped by to say hi.:)You are soo sweet to do that!
    Tomorrow is my youngest grand daughters bday and then Wednesday is my Anniversary.Thirty six years.:)I went with my DH for four years before we got I have loved this man for fourty years.:)Since I was thirteen.LOL We are very close...we do bible study together and are committed to the Lord.That makes a close bond.Us together with the Lord.:)We were both born again when we were eight.My Dh is a year older than me and we didn't know each other then..but the Lord put us together.:)I LOVE the way his mind works.hehe.:)
    Have a wonderful visit with your daughter..and I will catch you later.:)


  2. Thanks so much for the comment on my blog today- and I've snagged the watch- LOL, just busy with a vintage LO of my dad and it's PERFECT!!! And oh you were mentioning the "salt and sweet"- we South Africans eat everything like that- it's YUMMY!! haha. Sending hugs and a big thank you again

  3. Where to begin! :D

    With your blog I think. Wow what a fabulous read today.

    Your descriptions are so wonderful. On swimming, (the only exercise I take and I am really missing it at the moment), you had me wanting to put on my costume and join you, with the herbs I could almost smell them, the pizza got my taste buds going and yard sales where I could spend my rumaging.

    Homing pigeons was my Mum's Dad's hobby. My Mum loved all the birds and for as long as I can remember she fed them always having a soft spot for pigeons, even if they often deposited a mess! On the morning she passed on my brother and I went to her bungalow, made a cup of tea and sat in her garden. We looked up and there was a single pigeon stood on the roof. I can't describe how we felt but in that moment Paul and I just knew she was safe.

    The bath made me smile too :D My baths are precious and I love to indulge.

    Finally, on your blog, I want to thank you for posting Nine Ways. I have a personal online gratitude journal in which that I give thanks for five things every day. Basically it's a simple blog template on blogspot but I keep it personal. Some times it's big things more often it's the small things I write down. Each is only a sentence or two in length. I hope it's ok that I printed a copy of these ways to read more closely and think about some more.

    I'll post another post about your comments to me :)

  4. Ooopps. Noticed the time need to encourage my teenagers to go to bed!

    Will be back in the morning re lululemon :)

    Good Night . . . Sue

  5. Thank you for the watch!

  6. AnonymousJuly 30, 2007

    Thank you for the watch element and the great read today. Your stories are always a treasure to read. Love the photos too. Just can't figure out what todays photos are. :)

  7. WONDERFUL goodie and AWESOME blog entry again today!!
    i have no clue of what those pix are lol looking forward to finding out! ;)
    We probably won't go anywhere this year but DH's son & his wife are coming out to visit soon, from Minnesota. that will be nice :D
    the pigeons can be soo coo coo cool lol. we have one of the few top World famous breeders out here and his birds are so neat to watch!
    i have yet to get my hummer feeder back up this season, thanks for the reminder! hehe
    Have a WoNDERFUL day and thanks for sharing all you do!!! Enjoy your visitors, company, swims, recipes & summer in general, (i do lol)till your return!! just know you are missed! hugs! :D

  8. Thank you so much for your free work! We all appreciate it! This blog post has been added to the freebies list at

  9. Hi Barb, Just letting you know that I have linked you with your "pocket watch" on my blog- will let you know the link to the LO as soon as I get it up- having "internet provider" issues today and driving me NUTS!! LOL
    Thanks again for the watch as I have a photo of my grandfathers one which I own- but haven't had to time to extract it and your timing was JUST PERFECT!!! Thank you

  10. Enjoy your daughter time friend. Loved your blog post. Homing pigeons, the bathtub buzzing mystery (giggle) and marriage tips all rolled in one. Thanks for caring for us blog readers even in your busiest times. My blog has been getting a bit less attention this week as well. Busy with guests, with writing, with 'hiding-out' and with learning.

    Trevor (from church) is teaching me all the ins & outs of Quickbooks & we're getting me up to speed on Lawrence's business so I can take over the books. 2 hours on Friday, 6 hours yesterday & probably at least another full day today, if not more tomorrow. A bit exhausting but I'm learning so much! He's a great teacher!

    But looking forward to when things slow down a always, looking forward to Fall. Hope we can catch up soon! HUGS!!!

  11. hey! Hey! 10 more days before we escape for a 2 weeks vacations. We are going camping for a week and then we rented a cottage for another week. The kids are so tired, I can't wait for them to get a break, very well deserve. Your book is in the mail .. snail mail .. should take a few days. Thank you so much for lending it to me. We haven't taken any decision yet but I am thinking about it .. a lot! Have a great week. XXXX

  12. You made that margarita pie recipe sound so good, I'm going to try it! Thanks for telling us about it. Also, it was pretty cool to be able to listen to the blog entry! Been a while since I've been to your site to visit!

  13. Thanks for the watch! I made that margarita pie recipe too, and it was yummy! I'm thinking about trying out an orange version. I stock up on the sweetened condensed milk during the holiday baking season (November/December) since it is so much cheaper. I only paid $1/can last year.

  14. AnonymousJuly 31, 2007

    Hi Mrs. Miles, I appreciate reading your blog when i get the chance. The insertions of scripture and your biblical insights very much enhance the quality. Also thank you for the link to KFC. We enjoy it also and will be grateful for the savings as we have to make our finances go as far as they can.

  15. As usual your blog fills me up, thank you so much. I love the pocket watch.. and please!!!! what are those pictures.. hehe I havent a clue.. I thought maybe it was a picture through a fish tank.. but I dont think so now. I just dont know.. or was it something in your bath water.. lol... did you get board with the cold water and decide you had to take pictures of it?

    Hugs.. Joy

  16. I'm enjoying reading your blog - you make everything so interesting! I'd decided not to download any more freebies, because I have way too much unused stuff already,- but the watch is so perfect for many of my older photos! Thanks for sharing such a precious item!
    I also enjoyed the Nine Ways and will copy them to my computer to read often. I noticed there was only a small reference to physical response to the other. I remember years back almost forcing myself to touch and hug my dh often because he wasn't very much of a touchy feely person himself. What a difference this has made over the years, it's no longer awkward, and he quite expects it from me now. I also think it's important to be the one to say "I'm sorry" and never say "I told you so".
    After fifty years, I'm still very much in love!

  17. Love the watch. Thank you.

  18. Thank you so much for the great watch!

  19. That pocket watch is gorgeous. Thank you so much for making it available as a freebie.

  20. Great watch, and as always great blog. I've updated, so drop by for some more from Ireland - love that Maeve Binchy comment - I wish!

  21. Hey there Mrs. Miles!

    Such a lovely long blog entry ... I had to take 2 sittings to read it all ... so I could absorb it ... in between visiting etc. But I'm afraid I can't take too long to comment at the moment ... maybe tomorrow once I am in Williams Lake and stuck in the dreary apartment I will be able to stop and have a longer chat!

    TTFN ... Ciserooooo

  22. 8-2-07
    Good morning Barb:)
    Just wanted to stop by to say HI..and let you know I am thinking about you.:)
    I forgot to tell you about my pidgeon I will tell it now.
    When I was around eight years brothers wanted homing pidgeons.They got two...we ended up with around thirty.LOL They were everywhere...babies in a nesting house my brothers made.You could see pidgeons on every roof top around our back yard.LOL.I have no idea what the neighbors thought about it...I was too young at the time to care.LOL The pidgeons would fly and then it would look like they would drop from the sky and then they would spread their wings and fly some more.They were a lot of fun..but a big mess too.:)
    I hope you are enjoying your time away from us.:)hehe.

    Have a wonderful day!

  23. Very nice entry with the stories about the pigeons, the bath tub, and the married life. It was interesting to know that part of the Bible you mentioned, there very interesting bits like that in the Bible and we rarely know of them. So many thanks for sharing it with us.

    The watch is really beautiful, and would look fantastic in layouts. Thanks so much for sharing it with us and best wishes. :O)


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