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Archive for March, 2013

Douglas looked up for the first time.  Tears had gathered in his eyes, but he felt a sense of warmth in his heart.  The others were still silent in the living room.  Only Daniel and Mark could be heard playing in their room.  I better feed the boys, he thought.  But he slowly walked to his office.  He had a strong sense of needing to be alone.  Once he had closed the door and seated himself, he read Danielle’s letter slowly once more stopping several times to try to visualize her writing what he read.

When he had finished reading it again, he dropped to his knees in an effort to pray.  He now asked without the anger he had felt until recently, “God, Lord of heaven and earth, why?”  For a moment he remained silent.  He neither spoke nor did his mind turn to consider any other thought.  It was as if he was in a void.  There was no sound except the precise ticking of the wall clock above his desk.  He remained silent and still for a moment longer, then a word began to nudge into his mind.  More subdued he asked once more, “Why God?”

A week ago I finished proof reading and editing a third novel, “Beyond the Breaking Point”.   Please check back again.  In a few days I’ll post the first of several excerpt from it.

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The beauty of this earth

I had a wonderful day yesterday.  What can be better than to spend a day in the mountains with your son and grandson skiing, feasting on pure air and awesome scenery?Mount Cain trip 007Mount Cain  trip B 23 001 (1)Mount Cain  trip B 23 001 (2)

 

Mount Cain trip 010Mount Cain trip 014Mount Cain trip 015

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Tea’s healthy cup

As promised in the earlier post, below is the briefest of summaries of the second little book in the set I purchased recently and that speaks of the health benefits found in tea.  The last book in the set informs of the healing power of nuts.  I’ll write a short summary of it in a future post.

In recent years tea has gained in popularity again as a healthy drink.  Long ago Chinese people had believed that tea  was a remedy for many things from headaches to melancholy.  In the past decade studies showed that tea contains three ingredients that pack healing power.  These are flavonoids, fluoride and caffeine.  The greatest benefits come from flavonoids.  Certain kinds of tea pack more flavonoid punch than vegetables and fruit, and the beauty is they have few, if any calories.  The downside is that some teas may react with medication a person is taking.  A word with the doctor should A cup of teaclear up what to do about drinking tea.

There are many types of flavonoids.  One called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is found in green tea is believed to be very high in antioxidant.  Black tea, research shows, has the most fluoride which strengthens teeth and bones.  However, it is important not to exceed the healthy amounts of fluoride.  Here again it is a good idea to consult your doctor.  Black tea contains the most caffeine.  It is a stimulant, increases heart rate, and boosts metabolism which helps burn fat aiding in weight loss.  While recent studies have shown caffeine to have health benefits it does react with some medication and can become problematic.

In short, recent studies suggest that certain kinds of tea may have health benefits.  Among the benefits are heart health, help in preventing several cancers and control of diabetes.  Like with the post on dark chocolate’s benefits this post is only to help quench your thirst.  You can find more on the healing power of tea in this little book called “The Healing Power of Tea, ” written by Rebecca D. Williams and published by Publication International, Ltd.

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For this weekend I want to do something a little different from the proverbs in less than ten words.  Browsing in a local store a few weeks ago I noticed a book with a title that had me wanting to do somersaults.  I picked up what I thought was one book, “The Healing Power of Chocolate”.

It turned out that what I had in my hands was a package of three books.  The first one was the before mentioned “The Healing Power of Chocolate” by Carol Turkington and her consultant Diane L. McKay, Ph.D., F.A.C.N. .  I love chocolate, and thought I held in my hand the permission slip to eat it to my heart’s delight.

The author examines several different kinds of chocolate from their history and harvesting to the shelves of our stores.  The author tells us that chocolate does not cause acne, is not that bad on teeth, but is high on calories.  However, chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, has many positive health benefits according to the book.   Its healing qualities include: Lowering risks of heart disease and stroke by its effects on blood pressure, blood vessel function, clotting and cholesterol.  It is said to have healing effects on certain cancers and diabetes too.  Studies have also shown that memory and cognition are enhanced by dark chocolate.  The author cautions us lovers of chocolate to cut down on other food intake to compensate for the calories contained in the chocolate eaten.  So it is wise to be smart about eating this treat daily.  I know it’s an extremely brief summary of the benefits of  chocolate.  I only mean to whet the appetite to learn more.

ChocolateHere is the downside.  Not all chocolates pack the same healing power.  Certain dark chocolates are the best.  Harvesting, preparation and handling have an effect too, and of course you must eat it responsibly.  The author points out and emphasizes the need to lower calorie intake of other food items in order to have that daily chocolate treat and not increase the calorie intake.

Interested to learn more?  The book is published by Publications International.Ltd.

Check back in a few days when I will try to say a few words about the healing power of tea, the second book I found in the package.   (more…)

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Think of flowers

Our feelings are often shaped by what we see around us.  Cloudy, wet and cool days can bring on the blues.  The sight of a snake invokes fear in many.  Seeing an early flower in a flower bed covered in snow can give us a feeling that spring is not far off.  Feelings are a state of our mind.  Think of flowers on a cool, cloudy day.  So here in ten words or less is this week’s encouragement.

Flowers also bloom when the day is cloudy and cold.           DSCF0841

And the riddle to keep your mind sharp is to make meaning from this following group of words.

by not be troubled let day your a cloudy heart

 

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Now he saw Deborah walking from the school building.  She was one of the first to come through the front door.  Hurriedly he left his vehicle.  It only took him a few seconds to reach her.  “Hi, Deborah,” he said smiling at her.  “Your Auntie Lois sent me to pick you up.  She wanted to be here herself, but got held up by her work.  She couldn’t make it on time.  So she asked me to fetch you and take you to her.  Wanna come along?  My car is right over there, see?”

Deborah hesitated for a moment.  Then she said, “I thought I was to take the school bus today?” funny school bus

“Your Auntie Lois sent me.  That’s all I know.  She wanted me to bring you to her, because she wanted to do a bit of shopping with you.”  He suddenly became frightened.  What do I do now, if she doesn’t believe me and won’t come, he thought.  I can’t very well grab her and run to the car.  It’ll draw a crowd.  My plan and I’ll be history.  “But suit yourself,” he continued.  “I have to hurry back to work.  I’ll tell her you had wanted to take the bus.”  He felt as if he had already drawn enough attention to himself and began to slowly walk away, even though he felt like running to his car.

Deborah suddenly ran after him.  His words had sounded genuine to her.  “All right,” she said catching up to him, “take me to Auntie Lois.  I love going shopping with her.  What’s your name, anyway?  Auntie Lois has never mentioned you.”

“I’ve only started to work there a couple weeks ago.  You can call me Jack.”  He breathed a silent sigh of relief.  Quickly, he opened the back door of his car and closed it again for her as soon as she had seated herself.  Then he got into the car and forced himself to pull away slowly.  He hoped not to draw more attention to his departure.

Once the car started to move Deborah asked, “Where are the seat belts?”

He chuckled looking into the rearview mirror.  “There aren’t any.  This car is older than seatbelts.  I guess you’re  old carnot used to riding in old cars.”

“My dad has an old truck with no seatbelts,” she replied.  Deborah thought it was strange that her aunt would be working with a fellow with such an old car who dressed not at all in the way she had observed people who worked in offices dressed, but she remained silent for the moment.  She saw him take a small item and spray something in his mouth that smelled of mint.  “Have you been drinking?’ she asked innocently.

He turned around for a second and laughed at her.  “Now, aren’t you being nosy?  So what if I had a couple?”

“You could crash up and hurt us and somebody else.  My dad said it’s sad that some people hurt so much that they have to drink to forget their troubles, and when they drive after drinking they just heap more troubles on themselves and on others.  My dad and I and the boys and everybody in our family are hurting right now too, but we’re not going to start drinking.”

Jack was taken back for a moment by what she had said.  “How old are you anyway, seeing you know so much?”

“I’m a big girl now.  Now that my mommy has gone to heaven, I have to help look after my little brothers.  I’m seven.”

Jack was shocked.  He slowed the car down.  “Your mom went to heaven?” he asked softly.  “When did she do that?”

“She died just a little while ago.  I miss her a lot.  I’m just glad I have my dad, my Auntie Lois and my grandma and grandpa at home.  My little brothers help too.”

Jack choked back feelings of empathy that started to come over him.  “I’m sorry,” he said, drove on and thought, I can’t let this bother meI’ve come too far.

Deborah continued to talk to Jack as if he was a friend.  It was not until she noticed that they were driving away from where her aunt worked that she became alarmed.  “Hey, where are you going?” she asked loudly.  “This isn’t the way to where my auntie works.  You let me out right now, or I’ll jump out.”

He grinned.  Go ahead.  You’ll be able to do magic if you can open those back doors from the inside.”  He emphasized magic and began to whistle a tune.

Deborah argued and pleaded with him without stopping until they reached the cabin.  Jack had laughed and sometimes had come close to tears listening to her.  He was glad to reach the cabin where he hoped he would get some rest from her barrage of words.  He led her to the back room.  “Why are you putting me in here?” she asked with surprise.

“That’s so you won’t get any funny ideas and try to run away?”

“How can I run away?”  We’re in a place I don’t know and far away from where I live.  How can I run away?  You’re funny.  Besides, this place is a mess.  I can clean it up for you, if I can stay out here.”

He thought about what she said and knew she had figured it out right.  “All right, if you behave yourself and don’t drive me crazy with all your talk, I’ll let you come out and do some cleaning tomorrow morning.  It’ll be dark soon and you won’t see enough by the little oil lamp to clean up.”

But I have to change into my play clothes in the morning, and I don’t have them with me?  How can I wear this outfit all the time?”

Jack scratched his head.  He hadn’t thought far enough ahead to worry about her clothes.  “We’ll figure something out,” he said.  The kid’s bright; he thought and realized that he had already grown to like her.  As much as her continual chatter had annoyed him at first he knew he had missed talking and listening to others.  “I’ll bring you something to eat in a little while, and don’t be scared.  I won’t bite you.”

Deborah had noticed the decks of cards on the table.  “What are those?” she asked pointing to them.

“They’re playing cards.  I play with them to keep me company when I’m here alone.” ??????????????????????????????????????

“I feel sorry for you.  Everybody should have a mother and father and brothers and aunties and grandparents and friends like Brenda and Brittany and Carmen.  Carmen takes me horseback riding and my friends all play with me.  Want me to play a game or two with you?”

“What do you know about playing cards?”

“My grandpa taught me to play a card game called Dutch Blitz and Twenty-one.  We could play twenty-one.  I’m real good at Twenty-one.”

“How do you play that?”

“You know!  You get two cards and if they don’t add up to twenty-one you can ask for another one.  The person who gets twenty-one or is closest to it wins the game, but you lose if you go over twenty-one.  I’ll teach you, if you like.”

Her grandfather taught her a type of poker game, he thought grinning.  What else are grandfathers for?  He looked at Deborah and said silently, “What do I do with her?  I’ll have to get more food into the house, and I never thought about her clothes.  She’s a neat kid.  I hope I haven’t frightened her too much.”  Out loud he said, “All right we’ll play a few games, but don’t you feel bad if I win every game. I hate to lose, and I’ve played cards for a long time. Sometimes I’ve won a lot of money at playing cards.  And remember not to be scared.  I won’t hurt you.”

They played for half an hour and except for two hands she had beaten him every time.  He laughed.  “I should have you with me when I go on tour.  You’re a card shark.  But away you go.  Get ready to go to sleep.  I’ll make something to eat for us.”

The panic Douglas, Ruth and Henry felt was great when the school bus did not stop in front of their driveway to let Deborah get off the bus.  “I’ll call the school.  Henry you or Ruth please telephone Lois on your cell to see if she’s picked Debbie up,” he said anxiously.  His hand shook.

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