Friday, October 29, 2010

Flashback Friday, Podcast-Style

Vintage Halloween Postcards

Hi everyone! I'm participating in Mocha with Linda's Halloween-themed Flashback Friday, sharing my memories of, and ambivalent thoughts about, celebrating Halloween.

Click on the player for my podcast, which is about 7 minutes long.

I'm also linking back to Company Girls Coffee. Click on an icon to participate in either one,or both!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Thirteen Flashback: 13 Great Movie Quotes


Casting about for something to blog about today, I thought I'd resort to one of my lazy, um, I mean, fun postings of something out of the archives of Notes in the Key of Life.

I decided on re-posting one of my Thursday Thirteen lists. Thursday Thirteen was a meme I used to take part in, a few years back.

Before posting, I thought I'd better check up and find out if Thursday Thirteen is still around. And guess what? It is.

So, although I can't promise I'll participate every week (it can be kind of hard to come up with a list of 13 anything, after a while), I'll definitely be participating today.

Oh, and one of the quotes justifies my visual ode to Russell Crowe above. :)


This was the subject of our Fun Poll on the Marlar in the Morning show 101QFL a while back, and I thought it would make a good Thursday Thirteen. Here are some favorites (some of mine, some of other peoples') in no particular order...

--"What we do in life echoes in eternity." "Gladiator," 2000.

-- "You're gonna need a bigger boat." "Jaws," 1975.

-- "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer." "The Godfather Part II," 1974.

Al Pacino in The Godfather

-- "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" "Caddyshack," 1980.

--"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary." "Dead Poets Society," 1989.

--"Every man dies, not every man really lives."--"Braveheart," 1995.

--"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."--"The Princess Bride," 1987

--"I'm your huckleberry."--"Tombstone," 1993.

Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer in Tombstone

--"Round up the usual suspects." --and--

--"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."--"Casablanca," 1942

--"Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."--"Ferris Bueller's Day Off," 1986

--"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."--"Chariots of Fire," 1981

--"Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly. I'm a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior." "Amazing Grace," 2006

What are your favorites?

Participate in the Thursday 13

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

So, I'm addicted to pretty books...

Everyone knows I love to read books...but it doesn't stop there. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love the smell of books. I love bookstores, bookshops, and libraries...pretty much any gathering of books.


And I love pretty books. I love old books that were made when books looked pretty just because that's how books were made.

I have a few very old books, and some really pretty books, and if my camera was working, I would show them to you. :(

I have a total of seven book-cases in my house. Oh, I forgot to tell you. I love book-cases!

I honestly think books look pretty just lying around a house...on an end table, on a coffee-table, even on a chair or sofa, turned over because someone's in the process of reading it.

I've never forgotten Louisa May Alcott's description of the March family's home in Little Women:

It was a comfortable old room, though the carpet was faded and the furniture very plain; for a good picture or two hung on the walls, books filled the recesses, chrysanthemums and Christmas roses bloomed in the windows, and a pleasant atmosphere of home-peace pervaded it.



Me in a book! I did this with a very fun site called can create all kinds of fun images there.

Despite the well-deserved popularity and convenience of things like Kindles, I don't think real, tangible books will ever vanish. I have a feeling there are a lot of people like me, who love books to much to let that happen. What do you think?

Today I'm participating in Monday Life Made Lovely. Click on the icon to participate or find out more!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Best Lentil and Bean Chili Ever!

My friend Staci mentioned the other day that she's tired of making the same old flavor-packet chili, and I told her I have a recipe for a wonderful home-made chili.

This is actually from the Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar book that my mom got for me right after I learned I have type 2 diabetes. You can read more about the book here.

It became my diabetes bible, with wonderful information about lowering your blood sugar with healthy eating, and a ton of delicious recipes that have become favorites with my family.

You can order this wonderful book on

This chili uses lentil beans (which are fantastic for your blood sugar) and dark red kidney beans. My family members rave about how delicious it is!

You can garnish the chili as you please with diced avocado, grated cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and sour cream (reduced-fat if you wish.)

The original recipe does NOT call for meat of any kind. I usually add a pound of very lean ground beef or ground turkey breast, just because my husband prefers chili with meat...but if you want to leave it vegetarian, I'm sure it would be just as good.

By the way, I could not find this recipe online, so it shows how much I love all of you that I'm typing it out! :)

I'm giving you the vegetarian version--if you want to add ground beef or ground turkey, brown it separately, drain it, and add it to the pot when you're simmering your onions and carrots.

Lentil and Bean Chili

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 cup diced carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cans (10 ounces each)diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 cans (15 or 19 ounces each) dark red kidney beans
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots (and meat if you're using it). Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. Add the tomotoes, beans, and pepper. Return to a simmer. Cook, covered, over medium low heat until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer. One serving is 1 cup. Left-overs will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutritional facts for the chili WITHOUT meat:
199 calories, 12 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium

*photo source
*photo source

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who is Dasha?

A photographer whose work is breathtakingly lovely

I've mentioned earlier that my returning interest in blogging has coincided with a renewed interest in reading other blogs...granted, I seem to have more time to do that since I don't have a regular job anymore.

And as I also mentioned earlier, the main thing I've noticed is that more blogs seem to be decorated with incredibly beautiful pictures.

Apparently, photo sites like flickr, tumblr and weheartit have made it easier to share pictures on your blog, as long as you give the photographer or source proper credit.

Some of the loveliest floral still life pictures that I've been seeing carry the signature "Nikonchuk Dasha." But who in the world is Dasha?

Nothing I can find on the internet seems to make it clear, although I’m pretty sure she’s a woman and Dasha is probably her first name.

If you Google the name, you’ll find various photo forums, many of which are all or partly in what looks like Russian.

I did find this tidbit, apparently written by her:

I was born in Mariupol (Ukraine) in 1982. I take a great interest in a photo about one year. I understand that I need still in many respects to learn and to try much - is me and stimulates:)

I wish I could find out more about this amazing photographer. If you know anything, please let me know. In the meantime, enjoy some of her beautiful images, via this website and this one.

I'm linking back today to Company Girl Coffee Time...feel free to join me by clicking on the icon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calligraphy, sweet-n-spicy, music, game shows, SOUP!--I've been tagged

Calligraphy by Timothy Botts, probably my most admired calligrapher--he uses it as an artform to glorify God. His work is amazing!

Feeling a bit under the weather today, so I'm being lazy and just doing some reading...including catching up on blogs.

Ashley of Chapter Four--who I've known through the internet for years now!--has tagged me with some questions. The way it works: I answer the questions, then make up seven of my own and tag someone else.

Here are my answers to Ashley's questions...

1. What hobby do you most enjoy, and how did you get involved with it? Is reading a hobby? Because honestly, that is the thing I enjoy the most when I have any leisure time.

However, I have gone through phases where I was really into other things--for example, there were a few years in the 80s where I was avidly into cross-stitching.

One thing that has been a constant, but I confess I probably don't do often enough, is calligraphy. I'm pretty good at calligraphy, and have used it for gifts and projects many times throughout the years. Just this past summer, I addressed wedding invitations for a young woman who was getting married.

Actually, being asked this question makes me realize I should do more with my calligraphy.

How did I get into it? I started attempting it when I was a very little girl...I can remember looking up handwriting in the World Book Encyclopedia and trying to copy the different fonts pictured there.

I'm a chronic doodler, and doodling calligraphic-type fonts became a regular part of my doodling--which was great practice.

Later, I discovered calligraphy pens (both the fancy pen-and-ink kind and the markers, used for scrapbooking and the like (which are much easier to deal with), and found out how much more beautiful this writing is when done with a pen tip actually made for calligraphy!

I also met a friend named Lucy, who taught school with my husband, who was a talented calligrapher and used that talent often. That encouraged me to develop my own calligraphy.

2. If you had to spend one month in any area of service at your church, what would you choose?--Definitely the music area. I already sing in the choir and some special groups, but I've sung all my life and it's my favorite form of worship.


3. Sweet or savory?--Both--at the same time! :) I actually thought of Asian dishes that combine the two when I saw that question.

I have a terrible sweet tooth, which has been tamed somewhat by having Type 2 diabetes. However, I do love spicy foods, and I literally crave salsa--especially salsa that's heavy on the lime and cilantro. So I'm going to have to plead both on this question.

4. What is your favorite soup? Ahhh, soup! What a wonderful topic for this time of year. Believe it or not, my number one answer is going to be quite prosaic:

Campbell's Tomato Soup.

That tomato soup--made with water and NOT milk, by the way--is probably my ultimate, number one comfort food of all time.

Why? When I was a child, my mom actually made being sick a pleasure for us. Being sick meant staying home from school, getting a new coloring book and crayons, and being fed a grilled cheese sandwich with Campbell's tomato soup and 7-up.

I still love the flavor of that soup. The last time I was in Texas, I was keeping my 3-year-old grandson Payton and she was keeping her 2-year-old granddaughter Arden, and they suddenly realized they were hungry--a couple of hours after supper, of course.

My mom made them Campbell's tomato soup, which Payton had never had before, and they LOVED it.

Comfort food aside? I love a wonderful chicken gumbo soup...Famous Dave's has an incredible chicken and wild rice soup...and you can't beat a really delicious vegetable soup. But there is almost no soup I would turn down. I love soup!

This is a great season for chili-type soups as well. Here's a delicious recipe I've blogged about in the past.

5. What was your favorite school subject?I think I'd have to say history. History can be a fascinating topic, especially if you have a really good teacher, of which I've had several.

Even as a little girl, attending a British school in Beirut, Lebanon, I was taught British history and was fascinated. Later, living in Texas in junior high, I learned about Texas history, and that too is truly interesting. I guess I just love history!

Queen Elizabeth I as a young woman. Were her dresses amazing or what???

6. What was your college major? Do you use it currently, or do you work in a different area? As a Bible college student, my major was missions, but I work in broadcasting and voice-overs. I would say working at a radio station during my Bible college years had more impact on my future career than did my actual studies.

7. If you could compete on any game show (either traditional like The Price Is Right or Jeopardy! or "reality"-based like The Amazing Race or The Biggest Loser), which would you choose and why? Well, never The Biggest Loser, although that's one of my favorite shows! There's no way I would be able, or WANT to endure what trainers Jillian and Bob put those people through.

I have a lot of trivial knowledge, so people have told me I should go on something like Jeopardy. However, I have huge gaps in my knowledge, so I don't think I would do very well (although I like to play along at home.)

Thanks so much, Ashley, for tagging me!

I'm tagging Ann-Marie at The Left-Handed Rabbit, and here are my questions:

1. Given a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
2. Who is your most admired woman, living or dead, and why?
3. (Besides the Bible, of course) What is your favorite book, and why?
4. Do you re-read favorite books? (If so, care to name which ones?)
5. What is the biggest difference (other than gender!) between you and your husband?
6. (Sorry to borrow this one from Ashley, but) What is your favorite soup?
7. If calories, weight gain or health were no object, what food would you eat all you wanted of? (bad grammar, I know!)

I know Ann-Marie hasn't been blogging much lately, but she's a wonderful writer with a great sense of humor, so I do hope she answers these. :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Autumn Loveliness

...Participating in Life Made Lovely Monday a day late...

This picture of my front yard was actually taken last year. The fall colors have not been as brilliant this year in Northern Illinois as they were last year.


I think this autumn picture of an estate in Norway is just gorgeous.


This is a cottage in England.




To me, this picture of my little grandson, Payton and Josiah, is the loveliest autumn picture of all!

Click on the icon to find out more about Life Made Lovely Monday!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five Question Friday

Some leaves in my yard

This is a lot like The Random Dozen meme that I participate in, but I thought it would be fun to do this one today!

Five Question Friday is hosted by My Little Life.

Here we go!

1. What is your favorite Halloween candy?


Little orange mellocreme pumpkins are the Devil. As a type 2 diabetic, I should steer clear of these things, but I can hardly resist them. And of course, I can't eat just one. Or two. Or five. How can something that's pretty much just pure sugar be SO GOOD?

2. Do you fold your socks?


When two socks of a pair actually come through the wash together, yes, I do! Actually, I tuck one inside the other the way my Mom always did.

Lately I've been having better luck keeping socks mated, but I'm still of the school of thought that some socks take off to seek their fortunes elsewhere.

3. What is something that you wish you had been warned about?

My youngest grandson, Josiah, as a newborn--he's almost one year old now!

This goes back a number of years for me, but if you haven't had a baby yet, or you JUST had a baby, take note.

I wish someone had warned me about just how very hard the first couple of months are.

Although I took Lamaze classes, and read everything I could get my hands on, no one really said, "Look, the first six to eight weeks may be BRUTAL. But you WILL get through it."

That's why I always tell new and expectant moms this very thing. Yes, it may be very hard at times. You may feel like putting the baby back inside you at times. But you will get through it, and it will be wonderful when you do.

Also, my favorite mantra to new and expectant mommies: "Just repeat to yourself: THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS."

4. What is the most significant difference between you and your significant other?

Couple of biggies. First of all, my husband is basically an optimistic person, and I'm basically pessimistic. I don't like being that way, but I am...I'm always afraid something's going to go wrong, the other shoe is about to drop.

Doug is usually optimistic, and I love that. I love having my husband telling me everything's going to be all right, even if I don't always believe it.

Probably the other big difference is that my husband is very athletic and loves sports. I have never been athletic, and I'm only marginally interested in sports.

5. What are three words you would use to describe yourself? (And, just for fun...if your significant other is around, ask him/her what 3 words they would use to describe you!!)

Hubby's not around, so I can't pick his brain on this one. To describe myself?

Just off the top of my head, I'd say outgoing, loving, and inquisitive.

To take part in Five Question Friday, just click on the icon. And have a great and blessed weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm resurrecting my book blog!

Given my love of reading and all things book-related, I decided to resurrect my long-dormant blog, Cindy's Book Club.

The blog used to be attached to an actual book club. For a few months, a few years ago, I hosted a book club as part of my radio job with 101QFL.

Although it provided a lot of fun and fellowship during its short life, the book club was eventually discontinued.

However, the blog site remains...and I've decided to do something with it. Cindy's Book Club will be a site where I put my book reviews, book discussions, and pretty much anything to do with books.

Initially, I'll bring some of my older author interviews (which are transcribed--not in audio form) to the blog.

These books are no longer new--in some cases they go back as far as 2003, when my other blog, Notes in the Key of Life, began--but they are certainly worthy of some new publicity!

Today, I highlight Jane Kirkpatrick's Tender Ties series.

I'll also use this blog to link to reviews on other blogs and sites, so if you have a book blog, please give me your link in my comments section, and I'll make sure I follow you and put you on my blog list!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I answer the Random Dozen, audio-style!

Oatmeal Carmelitas--I talk about them in this podcast!

Once again, I'm participating in The Random Dozen, sponsored by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee! Just click to listen...and catch the links below the podcast!

Want to try those Oatmeal Carmelitas? The recipe here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Life Made Lovely: Lovely photos


For the first time, I'm participating in Life Made Lovely, hosted by Blessed Little Nest.

The purpose? To share "what you did, are doing, or want to do, to make your life more lovely."

Well, I've noticed lately that there are more blogs that are simply gorgeus to look at...often because of the beautiful photographs they post.

I immediately wondered, "Where is everyone getting all these incredibly beautiful images?"

And I think I've found at least one answer:


Tumblr is a blogging service, like blogger and wordpress, but it appears to me that it is mostly about pictures. I personally wouldn't choose it as the place to have a blog that's mostly about writing, but people are constantly posting the loveliest pictures.



Credit is given to the photographer when available, or at least there is a click-through to the website where the photo was found.


I have to say that looking at these pictures has honestly made my life more lovely! You can't look at these images without experiencing a wonderful feeling from the beauty and spirit of the photos.

So I thought I would just share a few of them on my blog today. Hope it makes your life a little more lovely today!

Click on the icon to participate in Life More Lovely.


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