Psalm 23 ~ my go to

A war room

Table Service

Psalm 23 has been my Scripture since I was saved. However, in the last month it has become a ‘super-Scripture’ to me. I usually read it aloud every morning.
I’ve had the awareness before that the ‘table’ He prepares before my enemies was a table for two (me and the Holy Spirit). In the past, I’ve seen it as a banquet. Holy Spirit and I are relaxing and dining in the presence of my enemies (spiritual enemies).
Today I saw it differently. It’s still a table for two, Holy Spirit and me. However, now it’s a ‘war table’ where battle plans are drawn up and later executed. The Holy Spirit is the commanding general.  The battle is the Lord’s. My job is to stand in faith, to stand on Scripture. And, the enemies are still spiritual enemies, wicked spirits.  Praise the Lord for this personal revelation at this time in my life. God is good.

Memorial Day ~ when we’ve been attacked on our soil

A memorial-day-354082_1920

Honoring the brave men and women in the American Armed Forces…and…

Whether the Corona Virus was designed to be a biological weapon and just got away from the Chinese Communist Party or not, in the aftermath they used it as if it were a weapon. They threatened the United States of America with the possibility of withholding our medicines which are manufactured in China.

This year, 2020, I honor those who have died in the line of duty in every branch of the US Armed Forces: The Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard. I especially want to remember those sailors and medical personnel on the two Navy hospital ships. I want to remember the Army that built entire hospitals in a matter of weeks. Hopefully none of them died of Covid19, but if they did, they were there for us, as they always are and I honor their sacrifice.

I also honor those working round clock in hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities who lost their lives fighting Covid19. I honor those in meat and other processing plants who lost their lives, cashiers and stock clerks in supermarkets and drug stores, and other necessary markets. Yes, also dollar stores. Truck drivers and delivery personnel who lost their lives due to Covid19 so that the rest of us could continue living, though living was restricted. I think of them all as first responders, those on the front lines who perished. Maybe they are the New Minute Men/Women, resisting a deadly virus sent to our shores by a foreign power, an enemy. This year it’s been a different kind of Memorial Day for me.

A Navy Hosp Ship

Waking Up With My ‘Roomie’ Sophie ~ and being a blessing

A Sophie

This is the day that the Lord has made;
 let us rejoice and be glad in it. ~ Psalm 118:24 [English Standard Version, ESV]

 

During this Cornona Virus pandemic, I was diagnosed with a health issue. I’m in the “vulnerable group” even without a health issue. You’d think Covid19 would be a time when I’d be totally secluded.  First one of my senior cats needed life saving surgery. That required three visits to the vet. When I paid the bill, that was my contribution to a local small business.

Then there were the weekly visits to the supermarket. My senior care medical office referred me to a specialist and I went into the hospital. So there were trips back-and-forth to doctors and to-and-from the hospital. I was one busy lady.  Through all of this my friends, neighbors, and my animals (Sophie and 5 cats) were such a blessing to me. Those who live with animals know they are keenly aware if the mistress of the house is not up to snuff. This is especially true of dogs. Sophie is 14 years old and 90% blind and she has been trying as best she can to take care of me.

In the midst of all this, I’d been asking the Lord for a way to bless somebody. Not so easy when you’re shut-in.

An aside: It so happened years ago when I lived in NYC, my husband and I bought a bicycle for our youngest daughter’s birthday. She had just finished 8th grade with good grades. I took her to the bicycle store and she picked out a candy pink wide-tired bike with a detachable bright-white basket  and a large bright-white bell. Of course, in September she went into 9th grade she became much too grown up to ride a candy pink bike. So, after not even a complete summer of use the bike sat in our garage. I brought it with me to Florida and I rode it…maybe four times in four years. It still looked brand new.

So, my friend (the lady across the parking lot in my condo complex who loves animals as much as I do and has watched mine when I’m away), told me her daughter called and mentioned she wants to get a bike to ride to the supermarket. A lot of people ride bikes in northeastern coastal Florida, especially for short trips. This was my blessing to give. My friend was so happy. She said her daughter talked about getting a baby seat to attach to the back of a bike so she could take her baby out riding. I gave her the bike and it really blessed me to do so.

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:9 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

 

 

 

 

What’s A Virus Busting Diet? ~ healthy eating in a dangerous world

My people are destroyed for lac of knowledge;… Hosea 4:6 [English Standard Version, ESV]

I’ve researched a great number of websites on antivirual eating/foods. Most of them quote studies and research. I didn’t include those notations. I did select the foods that were common to and showed up on most of those sites.

These are the viruses we mainly deal with in 2020: covid19, the flu, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, the measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles, polio, common cold, rabies, ebolavirus disease and hantavirus fever,  herpes and cold sores. These viruses are much more difficult to heal than bad bacteria which we treat with antibiotics. However, we are not helpless. We can eat a diet that is hostile to viruses. And we can follow the advise of our doctors. And we can pray for healing. You can believe what you want. I, personally, believe food is not the healer. The Healer is God. God can work through prayer, doctors, a healthy diet. I believe healthy food provides a supportive environment for health and healing.

Antivirus Foods to add to your diet:

a garlic

Garlic and Onions: Garlic gives a threefold punch. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. . Raw garlic when it’s crushed or sliced gives the most benefit, but most people can’t eat it that way. When you cook it, peel and crush/slice it right before it goes into the pan. Jarred garlic bits in water is second choice, garlic powder third. Don’t use garlic salt. Studies have associated over salting with stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Garlic is part of the Onion Family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots) Everything in the Onion Family has anti-viral benefits.

            Steamed Broccoli w/Garlic and Red Onion: Combine ¾ C water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp fresh sliced garlic in a skillet and bring to a boil over a high hear. Add ½ C very thinly sliced red onion, 2 C broccoli florets and boil at high heat for 5-7 minutes (or to the tenderness you like). Individuals with a thyroid condition will have to boil the broccoli until it is very tender. If there’s too much liquid, drain some of it. At the end, add 1/4  tsp- salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, toss, and serve. You can sprinkle grated cheese on at the table, if desired. Serves 2.

Note: cancer patients who are cautious about frying foods can steam/saute foods. Spray the pan with pan spray, add the onions, garlic, veggies, meat/fish/poultry and begin to cook over a low flame. Slowly add 1/4 C – 1 C water, broth, cooking wine, wine, or even fruit juice. Slowly raise the heat to the desired temperature. Don’t drown what you’re cooking. This steaming/sauteing will remove the fear of carcinogens that comes with pan frying and grilling.

a tea

Black Tea/Green Tea: Tea plants have properties that protect the plant from viruses and fungi. This does translate to human consumption. Tea has been shown to fight a number of viruses.

a salmon

Fish/Seafood with Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, oysters. Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation and acts as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral agents. Chronic inflammation has been shown to lead to heart disease and cancer.

A orange-4663073_1920

Citrus and Leafy Greens:  provide Vitamin C which boots the immune system. Flavonoid rich foods. Many of the articles I’ve looked at report that when an imbalance of healthy antioxidants and harmful substances called free radicals occur in the body there is increased risk of stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Foods rich in Vitamin C help to restore the balance.

A nut-1569252_1920

Nuts and Seeds: provide supportive Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. All it takes is a small handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds. Caution: portion control is important. Nuts are a healthy virus fighting food but are calorie dense. Keep the portions small because overweight has no health benefits. 

A yogurt

Yogurt/Kefir: Yogurt is rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that support intestinal health. A large proportion of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt regularly (daily or at least 4 times a week) can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. Best is unsweetened plain yogurt, but any yogurt is better than none. At least one brand of Greek yogurt has no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It is slightly sweet. Drinking Kefir is also very good.

A asparagus

Foods rich in zinc: Zinc helps to keep viruses from attaching to cells and helps prevent them from replicating. Among the foods with the highest zinc content: garbanzo beans and other beans, asparagus and spinach, mushrooms, dark chocolate, nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts), oysters, shrimp and scallops, beef, lamb, and poultry.

My personal advice: take a multi vitamin every day and add a zinc and a vitamin C supplement to that.

Portions: Imagine your plate is divided into three sections like summer picnic plates. Your veggies go in the large space. Protein (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, etc) go in one of the small spaces. Carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes or red skinned potatoes with the skins on, whole wheat pasta, 1 slice of whole grain or multi-grain bread) goes in the other small space. If you are having fruit for dessert put it in one of those little bowls that look like finger bowls. Those are dessert bowls. The ones we tend to use are actually a cereal bowls.

A fruit

 

 

 

 

Salisbury Steak ~ stuck at home, make it homemade

A Salisbury Steak jpegMy Little Cooking Journey

I’ve never had homemade Salisbury Steak before. I’ve selected it in college and hospital cafeterias, but homemade is a totally different culinary experience. The opposite of gummy cafeteria fare, it’s full of flavor. And, it’s easy to make.

I had a pound of organic ground beef and I had yellow squash. So, Salisbury Steak was a logical choice with the squash as a side. I can’t give you recipes because I almost never use them.

The first thing I did, which I often do, is google “easy Salisbury Steak recipes”, then “Salisbury Steak with Brown Gravy recipes”. Basically you need a pound of ground beef, 1/2 C or so of bread crumbs. I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used the oats on hand which wasn’t enough for breakfast. Was it a 1/2 C? I don’t know. I just mooshed it into the meat with minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, 1 egg, salt, pepper, garlic. I had some made-from-scratch savory golden gravy (chicken stock base), and I threw a couple of tablespoons of that in with the meat for added flavor Then you make them into four oblong shaped patties. Sear them on both sides, and pour the rest of the gravy over them in the pan.  I didn’t let them get charred. In a few Youtube demonstrations, they got charred. Up to you. If you’re not experienced, don’t char them the first time. It takes 35 minutes to cook Salisbury Steak. If you’re a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove. Even if you’re not a beginner, don’t walk away from the stove.

I looked online at five or six recipes and a few Youtube demonstrations. One of them said to add diced red pepper. I had jarred roasted pepper, so I threw what I had left, drained, into the meat mixture and mooshed that baby up. Note: Preparing Salisbury Steak is like making meatloaf, except you use 1/2 C bread crumbs or rolled oats instead of bread. No bread in Salisbury Steak, and it has a higher meat content than meatloaf. You also must use Worcestershire sauce. You can cook the patties in jarred beef gravy. I’d add a little water to the jarred stuff when cooking.

Here’s the secret to making Southern Style Yellow (Summer) Squash. You wash and then cut them into rounds. Spray a pan and saute them for a bit. When they sizzle, add water, salt, pepper, some garlic…and simmer them to within an inch of their life. As the water evaporates, add more. Easy Peasy. You can let one or two of them get charred, for visual interest but don’t let them burn.  I add about a 1/2 C of cooking wine. That’s not traditional Southern, so don’t tell anyone. You can cook them for 35 minutes and they’ll be ready to serve with the Salisbury Steak. As with the meat, don’t walk away from the stove.

If you need a recipe, here’s one for Salisbury Steak I think is really easy to follow. It explains the difference between and hamburger patties and Salisbury Steak patties https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/salisbury-steak.

Throwing Out My Rug Runners ~ the devil made me do it

A A Runner Out

The Chinese Wuhan Corona virus is a great motivator.

This was something I’d been “fixin” to do anyway. Fixin’ is southern. I moved from Brooklyn (NYC) three and a half years ago to live in Florida and I’ve picked up a few southern tid bits to add to my vocabulary.

A person can be fixin’ to do something, as in they’d get around to it sometime-or-other. If there’s energy in their tone, it means they’re gonna get right on it. My relationship with the rug runners fell into the first category. I keep multiple animals in my condo unit, and the rugs are there to catch things. Of course I constantly vacuum them. However they were beginning to annoy me. This is hair shedding season and they were catching too much cat hair…and sometimes cat throw up. Blech.

COVID19 became a true motivator, as we enter what is being called the “peak.” The issue is the rugs do catch things and hold them. I was concerned about going to Walmart, to my doctor’s office (I have an appointment and although it’s not an emergency, it’s one I must keep), etc., and coming back home with the virus on my shoes. Then my rug runners might catch and hold it. So, the rugs that were annoying me anyway had to go.

There is one rug at the entrance. I’m going to wash it, and also replace that one if I feel that’s needed. I’m making a shoe station there. I will take off shoes I’ve worn outside and leave them by the door until this is all over.

I’m a true Floridian now. I’m not living in fear. I do go out for necessities. I’ve visited two friends to help keep them and myself up and cheerful. Attitude is so important. I’m treating this like I would a Cat 5 Hurricane (only this is of much longer duration). I prepared three weeks ago building a food and household products supply. I forgot about toilet paper. It never occurred to me there would be a run on TP. Thankfully, I was able to get a 6-pack last week and a 4-pack this week. So, I have enough of everything now. I take washing hands and hand sanitizing very seriously, especially when I’m out and immediately when I get home. I try to stay 4-6 feet away from people when I’m out. I do talk people. I need that, and so do they. I have not been wearing a cotton mask, yet. I’ve heard it protects others more than oneself. However, I do believe it offers some self-protection, and if this gets much, much worse (and I pray it won’t) I will wear some type of face covering which I will change and wash frequently. And very important, I’m limiting how much news media I’m listening to. They stress the worst scenario, scare tactics to garner higher ratings.

When people from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut flee the virus and run to Florida, please do NOT treat my new and beloved state as carelessly as you’ve treated your own home. I lived in New York City for thirty-five years, so I do know what I’m talking about. Don’t throw your cigarette butts and trash on our sidewalks. If you see that you’ve come to a semi-tropical paradise and want to stay, at least for a while, don’t try to turn it into the place you just fled. Florida is a paradise because we don’t think like you. We don’t rush like you do. It took me about four months to slow down when I got here. There is culture shock. But I knew there was something special here, and I wanted it. I didn’t want to bring New York City with me. I liked that people were kind to each other down here, polite, and took time for each other. I loved that I never, ever heard the F-bomb uttered on the streets. We don’t use the F-bomb as five parts of speech in one sentence. I can still do that, I chose not to on purpose. We don’t think it’s cool. It’s truly slovenly.

So, I pray for America at this time of the COVID19 pandemic. I pray for the world. This plague is not of God. There is no disease or sickness in God. This is outside the shelter of His wings. So, pray, and seek the shelter of His might shadow in this pandemic storm. He loves you and will be there for you, if you seek Him.

Psalm 91 New American Standard Bible [NASB]

Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in [e]trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

Not Self-Isolating ~ just the normal writer’s day

cakeI spent the morning cross-promoting for other writers who will in turn cross-promote for me. As often happens, I wanted to get away from my laptop and decided to bake.

I’m not a master baker. I bake very simple things and the Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake is one of them. I thought, I’ve got a canister full of flour, and one full of sugar, as well as all the necessary baking ingredients. With people hoarding food, why not bake a breakfast cake to enjoy for the next few days.

While the cake was baking, I started reading Harry Wegley’s RIVEN which I will review as soon as I complete it. Another thing that’s normal for me to do at home I wouldn’t characterize as “self-isolating.”

I’ll spend the afternoon rough-drafting the next chapter of my work in progress, LAST DAYS, a detective novel, not an apocalyptic story. Again, not self-isolating, although I’m home alone. Tonight I’ll watch some TV and probably read some more of Harry novel, which is a lot more apocalyptic than LAST DAYS, would ever be thought to be.

I usually have to bake a cake a few times to be sure of it before I post the recipe. I’m sure of the Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake. I made the variation with chopped pecans and swirled in brown sugar. I didn’t ice it for myself, though I would’ve glazed it if I had company coming. They’re not coming. They’re all self-isolating.

Wonder One Bowl Vanilla Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup 2% milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream or light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. spray well with pan spray, an 8″ square or round pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • Add egg, 2% milk, sour cream, and oil. Whisk together. Add hot water and whisk well until the batter is smooth. It will be runny but that’s okay.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap the pan gently against the counter to release any air bubbles. Now is when you can add chocolate chips on top, stir in chocolate or caramel syrup, stir in teaspoons of brown sugar and chopped pecans, or anything else that’s not too heavy.
  • Bake cake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in a few places comes out clean.

You can ice with any frosting you like, drizzle a glaze, or dust with powdered sugar. You can also eat it without icing, especially if you’ve stirred in a lot of goodies.