Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Old Fashioned Tea Cakes

Cookies, Snickerdoodle, Golden Brown, Delicious

This recipe is from the 19th Century.


Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 cups flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda.

Mix all ingredients together and throroughly chill for at least 2 hours. Roll dough 1/8 inch think. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut into small cakes. Bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes.

My grandmother made these cakes when I was a child, and I recall their goodness to this day. Do I make them? No, but I remember them, and I wish I could find a baker who made them. I'd buy them.

Cooking and baking is an art. I have a friend who defines creating delicious concoctions as her passion. It relaxes her. Can you believe it?  A few other friends enjoy quilting. Fancy dishes and sewing are two activites I seldom try.

I wonder how many arts we've lost?  Anyone remember tatting?

Border, Banner, Decoration, Floral, Pink Roses, Lace

The border on the above banner resembles tatting. Ladies once made this "lace" out of sewing thread into designs. A senior friend once gave me a tea towel she'd embroidered and then tatted the four edges. I kept it in a special place. I didn't want to use it or ruin it. Hubby didn't realize the value of the piece, and while looking for towels to use as he changed oil, he chose that beautiful piece of art.

What arts of today will be gone in one hundred years?

Perhaps we should learn some of the old ones. Bring them back. There's one I never want to learn. Making art object from hair. Can you imagine? That tedious art began in the 15th century. People collected hair and then twined them into neclaces, bracelets, or wall art. Yuk. 

Let's have a tea cake and a cup of coffee. Maybe we'll color in a coloring book. It was once enjoyed in days gone by, but it's the rage now. Things do come back. But no hair necklaces for me.



Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Languages



You may have power with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.....Ephesians 3:18

The Apostle Paul spoke at least two languages, possibly four, and with all his understanding of words, he found it difficult to convey in language the love of Christ.

If he couldn't, how can we?

It's love to encounter, explore and experience. Spend a lifetime trying to grasp His love. You'll discover you can't.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dementia Report 9/26/19

Good morning, friends,

How does your day begin? Mine normally starts with a phone call from our daughter with Dementia. She normally calls between 5:00 and 6:00. 

She is forgetting more and more how Siri works. This morning, I answered the call, and heard her saying, "Call Gay Lewis."  She said this over and over, even though I yelled, "I'm here!  Here I am.  Hello."  I shrieked loud enough for the neighbors to hear. She finally heard me, and then said, "Oh, there you are." She told me they'd given her a shower, meds, and she was dressed. 

She then said, "One of the nurses doesn't like me." 

"That's okay, not everyone is going to like you," I responded. I have this conversation daily. There's no point in arguing the matter. She could be right. She requires a lot of patience.

She must wait until 7:00 for breakfast, and she doesn't know what to do with herself until the residents are up and about. I suggested she look at photo. They are under her bed. Once-upon-a-time, she could find them and enjoyed the pictures. As soon as we hang up, the phone rang again. We went through the same scenerio. Same conversation. A nurse doesn't like her. She forgot what she was going to look for pictures. I tell her again.

At breakfast, she'll join her group at the table. The groups and activities can keep her busy for awhile, and that's a good thing.

Her best friend was gone yesterday. She called and asked me if she could come to our house for the day. It broke my heart to tell her no. I'm working, and I couldn't entertain her. She barely understands this. It makes her sad to not be with me. She relies on me, even though she receives care from others.

When your child asks for something that you wish you could do, but you can't do, it's sad. Especially when that child's days are numbered.


Here she is at the beginning of the disease. We didn't know what was wrong with her when this picture was taken six years ago. She's the shortest one, the one in the blue dress.  Her reasoning had begun to decline back then. We were at a stadium event and she couldn't count ten rows back and thirteen inside to find the person we'd come to see.  At that time, we thought she merely needed glasses.

I wish that had been the answer. 

Do you have a story to share? How did your day begin as a caregiver? 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Kids Say the Cutest Things



When my grandson was five, he went with us to a church hymn singing. He sat on the front row.

I introduced the singers, and one-by-one, they came to the front of the auditorium to sing a hymn.

Toward the end of the evening, a dear, sweet, older lady arose from the back of the sanctuary and approached the platform.  As she came down the aisle, she announced, "'I'm going to sing In The Garden.'"

My grandson turned his head to watch her come forward, and then turned to look at me and said in his loud voice, "Why can't she just sing in here like everyone else? Ask her to stay in here."

We all laughed. Children understand statements in a literal fashion. 

If you've never heard the song, you can hear it here.



Monday, September 9, 2019

Houston: A Romantic City



Houston is huge.

According to Top Five Anything
Houston is the 4th largest city
in the United States.
We have 1.494 persons per square mile
2.099 million people.



I took this picture recently as we flew into Houston Hobby from Denver. Now get this! My phone gave me the street address we were flying over. How about those apples? Odd, right?  When I'm on the ground and ask the GPS where I am, the thing tells me, but from the air? Wow! If I'd taken the picture a few minutes earlier, I would have been over my own neighborhood.  



The picture taken from the airplane window is near the Memorial area of Houston, and the dark areas are a park. When I produced professional videos, I took a team to that very spot. We captured fantastic shots of nature.




Back in the day, when kids were young, we frequented Herman Park. It's near the medical complex.



It's a large, beautiful, open space.





When my daughters were small, we'd wander through the zoo and ride the train around the park before we came home. They looked forward to the treat. 

As we rode the train, we often saw couples sitting on blankets enjoying the day and each other. The park can accomodate thousands at the same time, and the Houston vistas lend themselves to romance. Even with the drastic, summer heat, Houston is a romantic city. 


I've written more than a dozen books and most are set in this huge city. All my books have couples who fall in love. Most marry and live happily-ever-after in Housotn.

You know what I wish?

I wish these 2.099 million Houstonians would  buy my books!

Poopty doopty!!!!

I'd be thrilled if one million Houston residents bought a Gay N. Lewis book.

Merciful heavens!!!!

I'd be beyond bliss if a mere thousand people who visit Herman Park today would buy my books.

Of course, if they did, you'd probably read my obituary in the Houston Chronicle. 

I'd be dead from sheer joy and excitement.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sad Day


Yesterday, I was sad.

I wrote in my praise journal during the morning hours and listed my blessings as they came to me.

So much for postive thoughts and prayers.

Regardless of my good intentions, dispair came.

But...............it could have been worse. No telling how bad the day would have been if I hadn't counted blessings at daybreak.

The day didn't go well.

I made four one hour round trilps to take my daughter to the doctor.  She has dementia. A total of four hours driving, plus stops to eat and see a doctor. A doctor who said the visit was a wasted trip.

Listtening to my child ask the same questions over and over requires stamina. Converstations to someone who can't remember they just asked the question or made the comment requires patience. Feeding her bites while people stared is painful. Helping with bathroom activities is difficult. Caregiving to one who is helpless requires stamina and patience.

I've never had a lot of those attributes. Stamina or patience. Many caregivers experience fatigue. I'm not alone in that department.

Dementia is a thief. It comes upon one slowly and never leaves.

The illness robs the patient of a sound mind and body.

The Devil of a Disease steals the loved one from families.

Why doesn't God lead science to the cure for these heartbreaking diseases like dementia, cancer or ALS? The list goes on.

I've asked Him. Many times. He hasn't respondid with an answer.

But .....who am I that He should answer? Me? A mere, sinful mortal? One who has never done that much good in the world?  He didn't answer Job, and Job was a righteous man. Why would I think He should respond to me? Such hubris on my part! 

No answers. Just  tears.

But there is always hope in tomorrow.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Are you in a Lonesome Valley?



Lonesome Valley
chorus:
Well, you got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself
Nobody here can walk it for you
You got to walk it by yourself
verses:
Now Daniel was a Bible hero
Was a prophet brave and true
In a den of hungry lions
He showed what faith can do for you
Now some folks say that John was a Baptist
Some folks say he was a Jew
But the holy Bible tells us
That he was a preacher, too
Now though the road be rough and rocky
And the hills be steep and high
We can sing as we go marching
And we’ll win that one big union by and by

Lyrics and band found on link above.
The song writer says you've got to walk that lonesome valley. All by yourself.
Is this really true?
It seems as though it is at various times in our lives.
A loved one dies. Divorce comes. Financial ruin. Family leaves you. Job loss. Depression that won't go away. A loved one goes into the depths of Alzheimer's.
But the truth of the matter is this: God walks with us in that lonesome valley if we let Him.
Perhaps we don't "feel" Him. We don't "see" Him, nor do we "hear" HIm.
That doesn't mean He's not walking beside you. He can be our quiet companion.
Walking with Him in His silence is a comforting, peaceful walk. 
I'm walking in that valley. He's silent as He walks with me. How about you?



Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Holy Humor

These jokes and Christian One Liners aren't original with me. They've been around a long time, but they still can make me smile.


Holy Humor

          A father was approached by his small son who told him proudly, "I know what the Bible means!"
          "Okay," said his father. "What does the Bible mean?"
          “It stands for 'Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.”



          There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
          "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk.
          "Only the Ten Commandments," answered the lady.





Christian One Liners

Don't let your worries get the
best of you;  remember,  Moses started out as a basket case.

 Chri


Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.

It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose,  but mosquitoes come close.




When you get to your wit's end,  you'll find God lives there.

People are funny;  they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;  if it was perfect,  you couldn't belong.



If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.

God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead.  So why should you?

Some minds are like concrete thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Peace starts with a smile.

I don't know why some people change churches;  what difference does it make which one you stay home from?!

A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.

We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.

Be ye  fishers of men.  You catch them - He'll clean them.




Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Don't put a question mark where God put a period.

Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

God grades on the cross, not the curve.

God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.




He who angers you, controls you!

If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!

Prayer: Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.

The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.

We don't change the message, the message changes us.

You can tell how big a person is by what it takes  to..........discourage him.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails= 4 given.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

White, White, White


Don't wear white after September 1.  Are you familiar with that southern rule?

I've lived with it all my life, and as September approaches, I'm wondering who made that decree and why?

My mom and her sisters were sticklers about this dress code stipulation. After Labor Day, all our white clothing was hidden from view.

No one knows for sure why ladies don't wear snowy clothing or shoes when August ends. Some think the admonition was based on wealthy women wearing white in the early twentieth century. They could afford light weight fabrics such as linen, and they often chose white. The less fortunate, who wanted to appear rich, followed suit. By the middle of the century, fashion magazines advocated the "no white rule."


Back in that previous century, fashion designers, who wished to sell clothes, began to tout an all seasons wardrobe. They promoted heavier, darker fabrics for fall and winter. Lighter ones meant spring and summer.





And don't forget to hide the white shoes!  They are also an anathema after August 31st. I never liked them anyway. They make my feet look like large boats. If I wear a white dress or pants, I wear beige shoes. 

I have a confession to make. This past summer, I broke my "no white purse rule." I bought one. First one ever. Can you believe it? Well, it was large enough to carry the items I needed. I put it into the charity bag after about a month. It was a nice bag, but it was white. That white rule is deeply ingrained into my psyche.

I once bought a white bathing suit to take on vacation. Boy! Was that a colossal mistake. I wore it once and then threw that devious garment into the trash can. Here’s another helpful hint. Don’t ever wear a white t-shirt in the rain.

We had a cold front push through yesterday. The temperature dropped from 101 to 96 here in Houston. Our heat will stay with us through October. So.....why shouldn't we wear white longer than normal?  It's cooler, and with washing machines, white is easy to clean. Back in the old days, laundry was more complicated.

I'd like to wear my white, lightweight slacks, until November rolls around, but I won't. Sigh.


After all, I'm a southern girl. 




In my Sarah Series, Sarah, the haphazard angel, wears a white muslin robe. She wishs for colors and bling, but she hasn't earned the right to be sparkly yet. Perhaps in time. For now, she wears white. She also wants to learn to walk in red heels. Most of the time she's barefoot. Sarah follows a few rules, but she breaks others. Have you read any of my Sarah books? She makes you laugh.




Sunday, August 18, 2019

Houston Hot



It's that time of year again. My car often tells me I should have stayed inside and never ventured out. Centerpoint Energy phoned yesterday to ask us to use as little energy as possible. Less A/C, turn off lights, less cooking, etc.

I'm all for the don't cook in the kitchen part.

It's too hot to think of  preparing food. The only thing cooking around here is me. Somebody stick a fork in me. I'm done. Get me out of this intense heat.

A three digit temperature in Houston with our humidity can make one sick. 

I can't imagine people out in this weather, but many get out there and participate in outdoor activities.

I think they're crazy.

As I leave for church in a few minutes, I'll pass the golf course. Those golfers don't mind the heat as they chase that tiny ball around the course. I recently had one of the golfers explain to me that he couldn't come to church. The heat bothered him. Seriously?

I always dread August down here. These are the days I wish I had oodles of money and could spend six months in another location.

Of course, everything is relative. While traveling recently, I met a man coming to Houston from Iraq.  I said to him, "It's hot in your country, too." He said, "Yes, I come to Houston to cool off."

When my son-in-law served our country with the Army in Iraq, he  described the unbearable heat over there as,"Hades." He later was stationed in San Antonio. While on the River Walk on an August night, he found himself praying to go back to Iraq.  He was kidding, of course, but the Texas heat is definitely unbearable.  Our August weather makes us realize Hell is the place to stay out of.

And that brings me to a close.  The only way to the cool, place, heaven, is to admit you are a sinner and ask Jesus to forgive. 

Do you have your place in heaven established?

I do. No temperature gages needed there. 








Wednesday, August 14, 2019

White Wheat


"The fields are white to harvest."  
Words of Jesus. John 4:35

I've read that verse all my life, but I'd never seen actual fields of white wheat.  On a recent trip to the US state of Organ, I saw them. Zillions of acres of white wheat, and they looked much like these in the picture above. They appeared more golden to me than white, but the grain is known as white wheat. 

In Jerusalem, the turrain is a bit different, but the wheat looks the same.


Here's a picture such as Jesus saw. 
Here's the blog where you will find it. You'll also read a wonderful explanation of the analogy.

When Jesus spoke those words, he was giving an analogy. Like the mulitite of fields waiting to be gathered, people are ready and waiting to know about Him.

Some wheat fields will not be harvested. Perhaps the farmer is sick. Maybe weather ruined them. It might be that the equipment broke down. On the other hand, perchance the worker doesn't know how to collect the wheat. Of course, he might be merely lazy.

I think it's the same with followers. Numerous crops will yield new disciples. These new followers are to become farmers to the wheat.

If you are a Christian, what kind of farmer are you?  Which kind am I?

Those white fields can't wait. They need us.




Thursday, August 8, 2019

If You Wrote the Ending






This book is one of my favorites. I'm in love with Marshall, the pastor in this story. He's a baseball jock and macho handsome. He's doing his best to come to terms with his anger over the death of his wife and son.

I'm also in love with Sam. Like Marshall, he's tall and handsome. He's a good ole southern man from Georgia.  He and his daughter, KC, are experiencing challenges. Sam understands forgiveness. He loves Rebecca and wants a mom for KC.

Rebecca is an independent woman in the year 1975. During those days, women fought for rights, and Rebecca had the freedom of a good profession. Many women didn't during those years, but Rebecca needs to forgive her family for what they did to her. 

As I wrote the book, I wasn't sure who I'd have Rebecca marry. Sam or Marshall. Like Rebecca, I loved them both in different ways. They are good men and would make a wife happy. I changed the ending several times before publication.


Which one did you want Rebecca to marry? I'd love to hear from you.



Sunday, August 4, 2019

Whisper Your Secret. It's Safe.


If you are listening, would you tell the secret given to you?

I keep secrets.

HOWEVER

If your life is in danger, I'll reveal the secret to help you.

Otherwise, no, I'll keep it forever.

When would you tell?


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Family Secrets


An author loves to get books, especially ones she's written!  Yay!  Here are my Family Secrets! 

This book is one of my favorites. I'm in love with Marshall, the pastor in this story. He's doing his best to come to terms with his anger toward God for taking away his family. Rebecca is an independent woman in the year 1975. During those days, women fought for rights, and Rebecca had the freedom of a good profession. Many women didn't during those years, but Rebecca needs to forgive her family for what they did to her. Sam, and his daughter, KC, are experiencing challenges. Sam understands forgivness. As I wrote the book, I wasn't sure who I'd have Rebecca marry. Sam or Marshall. Like Rebecca, I loved them both in different ways. They are good men and would make a wife happy. I changed the ending several times before publication.

Please read it and tell me who you loved best. Sam or Marshall?  I know you'll love KC, the precious five year old girl.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Cruise Your Troubles Away


enjoy cruises. Have you ever been on one? If you haven't, I hope you can go one of these days.

The first cruise I ever went on, I went by myself.  Yes, that's right, alone, me, without hubby.

I boarded a flight in Houston, flew to Los Angeles, and boarded a Royal Caribbean ship headed to Mexico. One of the excursions was Catalina Island.

So now you know how the book, Sarah and a Midnight Cruise to Catalina Island came about.

Carolyn, the heroine in the book, must go alone. She works in a retail establishment, and no vacations are allowed after September 1.  

At the time, so did I.

Carolyn's dad dies, and her vacation plans change. She must go alone or not at all.

True. Same as me.

When Carolyn arrives in LA, the airline reports her luggage went to Dallas.  They assure Carolyn they will get her bags on the ship.

Yep. That actually happened.

Authors often write from personal experiences. This book is one of those.

We'd buried my dad three weeks earlier and my life felt out of control.  Hubby couldn't go with me, and I needed a time out.

Sure, I was a bit scared to take this adventure, but it turned into a serendipity experience.

The small, organized stateroom was perfect for me. Everything had a place. The tiny room was peaceful. It was totally the opposite of my current, chaotic, life.

At a time when I couldn't put my life together, it was wonderful to have someone who could.  The ship's personnel did their job, and as they did so, they comforted a bereaved woman.  

I wonder how many times we go through life doing our job, and unknowingly bring solace and help to a hurting soul?

It takes a mere smile and a happy greeting to turn someone's dark moment into a brighter one.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Tell Secrets




Five Star Review on amazon! 

"Two widowers find themselves in love with the same woman, Rebecca, but she has vowed to never marry or have children. Family secrets keep her estranged from her family, but with the love of her suitors and trust in God, her past is resolved.

This interestingly written novel delves into the emotions of the well-rounded characters set against the backdrop of tumultuous changing times in the 70s. Each of them have issues in their past for which they find forgiveness and amends are made. The emotions are raw and the author’s prose squeezes the reader’s heart. Your tears will flow before the beautiful ending." --Vicki Caine.https://amzn.to/2YSS1YP


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Devil or Angel?



Which cake do you like best? 
Angel food or Devil's food?

In our house, hubby prefers the angel and I prefer the devil.

What does that say about us?

One of us is in heavenly trouble.


My mom made them homemade.

If I bake them, I get help from Betty and Duncan.







Thursday, July 18, 2019

First Kiss


Do you remember your first kiss? 

What did you feel as you anticipated the lips to yours? Scared? Excited? Nervous? Inexperienced? 

Did you have someone teach you the art of kissing? Maybe you learned at home. Practised on your hand. Watched movies to see how it was done. We all knew one would come our way, but when, where, and with whom was another question.

Does the memory of the first kiss bring excitment to this day?''

A kiss leads to other things.  

The era of the Women's Liberation and Free Love came along in 1975.  It was permissible, even expected to kiss strangers and proceed with whatever came next.

I suppose that still goes today too.  For some, anyway.

In my latest book, Rebecca's hormones rage when she's in the presence of two men. It's free love, if she wants it, she can have sex with either one. How about one on one night, and the other the next night? Try them out? See which one is the best in bed? But she knows love isn't free. Sex isn't always love, nor is it free. Consquences come with an intimate act.

She lives with the secrets of an intimate act. She understand the heartache. 

What to do? She hasn't spoken to God in years, and she doesn't plan on visiting with Him now. Options: She can live a lonely life or she can have one man after another in her bedroom. Either option brings consequences.

Available now through Amazon
Print or eBook





Sunday, July 14, 2019

Free Love in 1975





Dallas, Texas, 1975. A dark time in history but also a time of change. President Kennedy had been assassinated twelve years earlier. Although civil rights were revolutionizing, Dallas schools weren’t integrated until 1971.
Rebecca Davis, a nurse, has suffered racial bigotry, and due to it, she hasn’t seen family in fifteen years. They hid secrets from her, and she won’t forgive them. Ever.
A drunk man killed Marshall Donavan’s wife and baby. Marshall, a minister, can’t forgive the drunk and feels like a hypocrite to his church for preaching forgiveness.
Sam Bradford, former druggie, has forgiven himself for his foolish Woodstock behavior. He and his five-year-old daughter, KC, love Rebecca, and Rebecca loves KC—the daughter she can’t have.  Due to her secrets, Rebecca vowed to never marry.
Marshall develops a friendship with the reluctant Rebecca. Rebecca tells both Marshall and Sam that friendship is all she can offer.
Sam, unaware of Rebecca’s friendship with Marshall, is shocked to find him and Rebecca in the hospital cafeteria. The chemistry is obvious. Conflict arises and Rebecca finds herself caught in an emotional tug-o-war between the two men.
Is it possible to love two men at once? Rebecca is distraught, but regardless, she can’t marry. The only solution? Move away.
Desperate not to lose her, Marshall convinces her to reveal to Sam and him the skeletons in her past.
Rebecca was engaged fifteen years earlier. When her fiancĂ©’s father discovered Rebecca’s Cherokee, Indian blood, he grew angry. The aristocratic, narrow-minded, father determined Rebecca not good enough for his son. To prove her unworthy, he hired detectives to unravel family history and revealed the detective’s report hours before the wedding ceremony. Her parents were not who she thought they were. Her fiancĂ© abandoned her.
            After her disclosure, Marshall and Sam assure Rebecca they don’t care about her DNA, but she believes marriage legally impossible due to laws preventing marriage between cultures. Marshall informs her the Supreme Court had overturned such laws in June, 1967. Even though pockets of racial hatred existed in Dallas and other places, the views of inter-racial marriage were changing. Legally, she was free to choose one of them to marry—but her heart is bound to both. She loves them both but in different ways, and what happens to KC if she chooses Marshall?
Which man should she choose? Only God can bring about a solution to her dilemma.




Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tell All Book




She covered up what he uncovered 



After she discovered the awful secrets, she vowed to never let anyone else know about them. At all costs to her, she'd never tell.

No one would experience racial bigotry at her expense. Never again. Secrets hurt.

A book of redemption and forgiveness.

Available in eBook or Print.

Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah at Christmas