Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I've been terribly remiss in keeping up with this blog! Hopefully at some point I'll get it together and once again be a decent blogger. However, I didn't want to miss an opportunity to wish those of you who may chance by here.

Take a moment--or more--to thank God for his blessings. In my case, there are too many to count. All the praise and glory goes to Him!

And now, my Thanksgiving forecast that has become a tradition on my blog!

Thanksgiving Forecast

Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34F in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established. Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops. By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The kind of story that makes me glad I'm in Christian radio

I just got off the phone with a lady who is a classic case of Christian radio meeting her need at the point where she desperately needed it.

She had contacted me yesterday wanting to know the name of a song that played Monday night. I couldn’t find the log for Monday (long story), and she could only remember one small phrase from the song. I did a Google lyric search, but it proved fruitless.

I ended up calling her (she had left her phone number) to find out if she could remember any more details.

Come to find out, her husband died of swine flu Monday night (he had other underlying conditions). When she left the hospital and got in her car, one of her son’s rap CD’s was playing. She got rid of that, and although she says she never listens to our station, she somehow ended up at 100.9 FM.

The song that was playing grabbed her immediately. She wanted to have it sung at her husband’s funeral Saturday.

With a little detective work, I figured out that it was Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise”—a great song, but one that most of us that play it are probably a little tired of hearing.

But it was the first time she had heard it, and it met her at her point of need. She said it was perfect for her husband, who was blind and had been plagued by health problems for years.

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

She also says she’ll be listening to us more from now on.

I shared the story on an e-mail group that includes many Christian radio announcers. Here's the thing: even the songs that we may be a little tired of hearing are still speaking to people’s hearts and ministering. Everything we play and say on the air is potentially something someone needs to hear right at that moment.

What an awesome responsibility…and privilege.

Here is Chris Tomlin's "I Will Rise."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

My deepest, warmest gratitude goes out to all US veterans, both past and present, who served our country! A special thank you to my brother David, a Marine Gulf War veteran.

The following was written by my friend Kathy Guzzo, whose son Brian served in the Marines.


The following is a description of a group of people who by their nature and through intense training, do their best to be persons of integrity in even the toughest situations.

A Veteran could be anyone’s child, spouse, parent, neighbor, or friend; but in reality, they ARE someone’s son or daughter, mother or father, wife or husband, fiancĂ© or best friend all who are deeply loved.
They are selfless having put their own career and family’s, hopes and dreams on hold in order to be a part of the toughest, most respected and feared military in the world, a part of a brotherhood that is so much bigger than what they were as an individual.

When they enlisted they traded activities like dating, sporting events, hunting, parties, paint balling, movies, and cruising around in their vehicles, for the opportunity to carry a rifle, while wearing a bullet proof vest in a slow moving, armored vehicle on roads filled with hidden explosives.

They gave up comfortable name brand t-shirts, jeans, hoodies and shoes for long sleeve scratchy camouflage uniforms they wear 24/7 for days at a time without laundering.

They gave up talks around the dinner table, cell phones, wireless electronics, and video games, for a few cherished minutes of delayed filled phone calls, sporadic costly internet access while being extremely thankful for letters received by what is now known as snail mail.

They weren’t able to listen to new music or watch newly released movies or sporting events on a big screen. Instead, they heard the orders given by their Commanding Officers, bombs exploding, and rumblings of gunfire as if they were part of the latest award winning war movie.

They gave up home cooked meals; pizza, fast food, ice cream, and lattes for power bars, instant coffee tasteless powdered meals to which they added warm water.

They missed the birth of children, first words, first steps, the death of loved ones, holiday celebrations, weddings, reunions, vacations, graduations, the change of seasons, and many other events as they endured the loneliness of days that melted together as one.

They gave up hugs, kisses, smiles, and laughter from those they love most, for hatred and evil seen in the eyes of the enemy.

They forfeited nightly sleep in a comfortable bed under a solid roof, to get sporadic rest in a sleeping bag, tucked under a truck, under the stars, in a tent, on anything from lava rocks to sand and if they were lucky in a plywood building.

They gave up ‘regular’ jobs where they would have been safe and secure sitting, in order to be an open target on a road filled with hidden mines or IEDs, or busting doors down looking for the enemy, never knowing what they would find.

They gave up the enjoyment of long hot relaxing showers and a dip in a hot tub, for an occasional dousing on a hot day with bottled water and cold showers in the middle of winter.

They gave up heaters and air conditioners in their home for daily temperature extremes from mountainous winters of below zero with howling winds to sandstorms and a stifling 140 degrees in the desert.

They left the freedoms, culture, familiarity, and knowledge of the country where they were raised, and entered a hostile environment different in every area, from clothes and food, to religion and languages. A place filled with hidden enemies where they couldn’t always tell if those they met were friend or foe.

They willingly took the risk of being injured physically, scarred emotionally or even dying for a duty and purpose they felt called to fulfill.

Veterans are valiant men and women, with an immense pride in having been a part of the history of our great country. They are sometimes as young as 18, who chose to forfeit all these things understanding they’d gain so much more in order to preserve and protect a way of life for the love of a country built on freedoms and liberty.

They are not seeking attention or high forms of praise, they only want to be appreciated, not criticized, for following through with the job they chose that they have been trained and sent to do. For them simple thanks goes a long way.

Veterans developed a sense of maturity and respect for life at a young age. Through their training and life changing experiences, they became responsible, honorable, and dedicated. The words “I can’t” were removed from their vocabulary, as they became self-assured individuals knowing that they could accomplish anything they set their minds too.

They’ve learned that some victories unseen with the human eye can be a victory within themselves and that battles aren’t always won on the front lines, but in the preparation and training that is endured behind the scenes.

They have a deep sense of loyalty, which grew through the life and death experiences they shared with their fellow comrades. At a moments notice, Veterans are available to help their family, friends, or one of their friends, even at the risk of their own lives.

So regardless of the branch in which they served, their rank, whether they served during a time of peace or a horrendous war, Veterans young and old are courageous heroes that have earned this country’s deepest thanks, respect and honor. Americans need to be continually supportive of them for not only whom they are, the sacrifices they’ve made, but also for the difficult yet amazing job they’ve done in protecting and preserving our great country. Any less than that would be a disgrace for us as citizens of the United States.

Written by a Proud Mom of a VFW in honor of her son and the USMC 2/3 “Island Warriors” 2004-2008

© 2009 Kathy L. Guzzo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today is National Young Reader's Day

Today is National Young Reader's Day, and I took the opportunity to ask my listeners what books they enjoyed reading as a youngster and what books they read to their children now. Here are some of the replies I got on Facebook:

The Little Princess

Pippi Longstocking, Nancy Drew and any biographies

Jack London's The Call of the Wild and the Little House series...
My boys like me to read Roald Dahl's books to them: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Matilda, and The BFG.

The Little House on the Prairie Series and The American Girls Collection

Roald Dahl books, as well as Women and Biographies

Al the dog books (Big Red, Irish Red, etc) from Jim Kjelgaard. He wrote at least 20, I think

A couple of years ago I wrote this post on Young Reader's Day, so bear with a re-run:

I've been a voracious reader ever since I could string words together on a page, and I had some definite favorites as a child.

I blogged about some of my favorites on 12/15/05:


I went to a British school for two years, and read "Jane Eyre" at the age of eight or nine. It remains one of my favorite books of all time other than the Bible...probably my very favorite.

I remember one Christmas, when I was nine or ten, I got several classics, including "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, and "Villette" by Charlotte Bronte. But probably one of my very favorites was a large anthology of Enid Blyton.

Enid Blyton
was a British writer who was very prolific. I loved everything she wrote, including a series she did about a girl's boarding school called "Malory Towers."

[NOTE 11/14/06): I'm delighted to find that you can buy many Blyton titles new now, and they are also available new or used on sites like eBay and]

The anthology was a huge,almost coffee-table size book full of her stories. I loved that book and wish I knew where it was today. (By the way, I still have many of the hardcover books my parents gave me in those days, and re-read them every now and then...even the ones that were for children.)

(I blogged last year about my delight in finding one of my childhood favorites, "Red Knights from Hy Brasil," by Christine Savery.)

It was during this era that I also fell in love with Noel Streatfield's "shoes" books, C.S.Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, and anything by Louisa May Alcott.

Beirut also had a Christian bookstore in those days, owned by a British missionary society. They had a great selection of books from Moody Press (anybody remember the Danny Orlis series?) as well as many by British authors. Again, I still have many of those books.

And today I ordered another of my childhood favorites...

It's "Auntie Robbo," by Ann Scott-Moncrieff.

I've probably read this book at least once a year throughout my entire life. The problem is, my copy--yes, the paperback one my parents bought for me circa 1966--is coverless and missing the last couple of pages of the book.

The engaging, quirkily humorous story is about an eighty-something Scottish lady who is highly eccentric and stubbornly independent, and who totally refuses to act her age.

Seen through the eyes of her great-nephew Hector, who is a boy of eight or nine, Auntie Robbo is a highly admirable and fascinating character. The two live a carefree and rather undisciplined life in the Scottish hills, and Hector's perfectly happy with the status quo.

When the second wife of Hector's late father shows up to claim him as her own--Hector has never met this obnoxiously annoying lady until now--Auntie Robbo and Hector go on the run. Their adventures make for delightfully absorbing reading, even at my advanced age.


I did get my copy of "Auntie Robbo," by the way, in very good condition, and thoroughly enjoyed re-reading it.

Baby Josiah is here! Yay!

My 2nd grandson, Josiah Daniel Swanson, was born yesterday--November 9, 2009! Josiah was three weeks early, but he weighed in at a healthy 6 lb 6 oz, and is doing well at this writing. Thanks to many who prayed!

Josiah joins my first little grandson, the adorable Payton.

No pictures yet...but I'm planning to go to Texas at Thanksgiving, and you know I'll be taking pictures like a madwoman!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Miracle Substance???

Can hydrogen peroxide cure everything from plugged sinuses to toothache, kill foot fungus and whiten your laundry?

Those are some of the many claims of an e-mail that’s currently making the rounds…and the answer isn’t a clear-cut “yes” or “no.” Peroxide actually IS beneficial in many instances, and it’s definitely a helpful bottle to keep in your medicine cabinet. But some of the claims about peroxide are unproven, and it’s NOT a good idea to ingest it orally.

The e-mail starts out like this:

“I would like to tell you of the benefits of that plain little ole bottle of 3 per cent peroxide you can get for under $1.00 at any drug store.” Some versions of the e-mail go on to pit peroxide against bleach.

Both and tell us that the e-mails are a mixture of fact and fiction. For example, the e-mail touts peroxide as a mouthwash---but according to it should only be used in that capacity on a limited basis, and I quote:

“The FDA has approved 3% solutions of hydrogen peroxide for use as a mouthwash. Most sources said to use it only for a short time, however, such as part of a treatment of a mouth infection. A report from Well-Connected (written or edited by physicians at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital) recommended against extended use, saying that overuse may actually damage cells and soften tooth surfaces. We were not able to find any authoritative information about hydrogen peroxide and canker sores."

How about using peroxide to clean your kitchen counters or rinse off your wooden cutting boards? That’s absolutely true…The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved hydrogen peroxide as a sanitizer.

You can also use it as a vegetable wash to kill bacteria...and cleaning with hydrogen peroxide will be helpful if your house becomes a biohazard
after being invaded by toxic mold, such as those with water damage.

As for helping foot fungus, getting rid of skin infections or sinus infections, those are disputed and just haven’t been proven.

Bottom line: hydrogen peroxide can help with many things and probably won’t hurt with others. But most experts agree that you should NOT ingest it orally or have it injected into your system.

Clearing up another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop...reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that SEND button!
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