Mark Twain on Friendship
The following is the testimony of a man named Eli Lee. Eli was raised in an Amish community, but he found the teaching to not be in line with God’s Word.
I don’t know Eli. Never heard of him till today. But I believe I will meet him, and all others throughout history who have put their trust in Jesus as Savior, someday, in heaven.
Here is Eli’s story:
. . . . . .
From July 11, 2017
I was born and raised in the Amish culture. Growing up, I don’t ever remember desiring not to be Amish. I sincerely thought that being a part of the Amish was the only way I would have a chance to go to heaven one day.
. . . . . . . . . .
Copied from here:
That feeling of wanting to tell people about the things that are troubling you because maybe someone who is reading it can relate and not feel so alone themselves, or maybe someone could offer hope, but holding back the details because the echo of “who cares?” rings on in a mocking tone…
Knowing that few to no people read my blog, I am relatively safe to go with my first feeling and do some venting.
My blog here on WordPress is not like the dreaded Facebook where any one of 560 people might suddenly decide to post a rude comment to make themselves feel superior and knock me down a little further.
Why do I have such volatile people on my friend list in the first place? Well, they don’t show that side at first. It’s not until they get to know me more that they see things about me that they dislike and they feel safe to blast me.
Wow, does that ever sound familiar. That was the case with the ex. He seemed so nice at first. And he sure saw a lot about me that he disliked. I did him a favour and removed my reprehensible self from his presence, but he took it as an offense and did all he could do to punish me for leaving.
Of course, that is far in the past, yet he and his new wife retain an interest in keeping tabs on me. They find out about things I write on my Facebook timeline when it is set so supposedly only “friends” can read it. I don’t write anything I wouldn’t want to be read by them, but it is strange that they get my news without being on my friend list.
Apparently, someone on my friend list is an informant.
I must be important!
Sometimes I don’t feel like being so visible, so I retreat to another Facebook account that contains a smaller number of friends, none affiliated with the ex and co.
They all might read this, too.
I don’t care.
On an unrelated note, today I drank too much coffee. I had three cups. Normally, I have one or zero cups. It is late in the evening. I want to sleep but am too caffeinated, so I am writing here.
And today was emotionally exhausting.
That is all I will say about that.
I wish some really nice person would read this and message me with an offer to come take me to a cabin in the wilderness for free, telling me the only catch is that I produce at least 200 pages of my book draft before they will return to bring me home.
The really nice person could give me a day to pack. I’d bring my laptop, my journals, a toothbrush, toothpaste, some clothes, and some food.
The really nice person would come pick me up, drive me to the cabin, and then drive back to my house to care for my kids while I am gone. They would be a patient and loving soul, able to coach my family on the importance of initiative in doing chores, explaining to them how much it has been killing me to be the manager and executor of far more than a mother should do, and that if they don’t lighten her load considerably, her next departure will be permanent, as her strength will have expired and death will claim her.
I am tired. Maybe my mind will slow down and I can sleep.
Tomorrow might be better. Or worse. Who knows?
(And yeah… Who cares?)
I posted some pictures of my abs in an internet forum. A few ladies wanted to know what my exercise routine has been to get to this state after seven children. Well, personally, I am not happy with the way I look, and my post was intended to ask what I can do to get rid of waist fat. Maybe I’ve become a victim of Barbie Doll mentality, and probably shouldn’t worry so much about it, but I do.
Maybe some of what I’ve done will work 1000x better for others with a propensity to have better results. My legs are long, which cuts in on the amount of space between hip bones and rib cage, so I can’t expect to have a small waist. Still, I do want it a bit smaller.
Before I ever had any kids, I was into aerobic workouts. Since after I graduated from high school in 1985 and no longer had the “ten-miles-uphill-both-ways-barefoot” walk to keep me fit (truly, it was more like 2 miles downhill on the way there, and of course uphill on the way home), I started going to local gymnasiums where someone would lead a 30 minute workout in the late 1980s. The cost added up, though, and so I eventually put together cassette tapes of my own favorite songs and worked out to music in my house.
Then I discovered free workout videos on TV. I recorded them on a VCR and did them a few times a week.
In late fall of 1990, my ex-mother-in-law sent me a compilation of workouts, which I used while caretaking a barge that fall and winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It contained a couple of workouts by Jane Fonda, some by Kathy Smith, and one by some other people who didn’t impress me so I only tried the workout once and forgot their names.
During my first pregnancy, in 1992, I walked a lot on the mud flats of Muddy River, Alaska, during low tide. In my third trimester, I brought my mountain bike up from my old house in Washington and rode it around the logging roads. After my baby was born, I waited six weeks before launching back into workouts, starting with the gentler Jane Fonda workout and eventually working my way back to the longer one.
After my second pregnancy, I got a device called “The Ab-Flex”, which was supposed to help core muscles. I don’t know if it really helped, or if it was more to do with the aerobic video tape that came with it. THAT was awesome. It worked a lot of muscles and made me sweat. Here it is on Youtube:
That video was my go-to, other than Jane Fonda now and then, and it helped me get back to my pre-pregnancy size and stay in shape. I used it after my third, fourth, and fifth babies, but it broke shortly after my sixth was born, so then I sought out a new copy. It seems to be rare and I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I opted for a few others. I tried a 15 minute routine by Teresa Tapp, and also one called “New Dimension” by Cindy Crawford. The latter I enjoyed very much and was able to start on it easily six weeks postpartum. It has a super gentle beginners level of about 15 minutes. The next level up is a few minutes longer but quite a bit more intense as it uses some hand weights. Then the third level is too long for my tastes, at over 40 minutes. I did it once and never did it again.
Six weeks after my seventh baby was born, I worked my way back into the Cindy Crawford DVD. That first routine is also nice for when I got out of the habit of working out for several months. I’d do it every other day for a couple of weeks and then start on the next level.
I forgot to mention that in 2001, after my fifth baby was born, I discovered Leslie Sansone walk videos. I got a couple of those and loved them. I also was using a stair-stepper machine at home, with computerized programs. I’d put on a headset, listen to music for a half hour, and stair-climb. For about 15 minutes of it, I’d also use hand-weights of 5 lbs each.
In 2012, I bought a Jillian Michaels DVD called “The 30 Day Shred”. I hated it, but I challenged myself to stick with it for 30 days. I documented my experiences throughout in a blog: https://ificandoityoucanprobablydoit.blogspot.ca/2012/03/level-1-day-1.html
I now have settled in with Leslie Sansone walk DVDs. My favorites are “Tone Every Zone”, the strength sessions of which I do with 6 lb and 8 lb hand weights; “Mix & Match Walk Blasters”, which is ten different ten-minute segments you can pre-program on your DVD player (I do three at a time, but sometimes four); and “Walk It Off In 30 Days”. The latter is the most intense Leslie Sansone workout I have ever done and I really like it. I also use 6 and 8 lb weights for the strength session, which is 30 minutes long, and I use 3 lb weights for the 30 minute cardio workout. I guess we’re supposed to alternate days, but I usually end up doing it more like 4-5 days a week rather than 7.
Oh, and walking. Walking is something I can’t overestimate as being important. A good quick pace for a half hour, with a few hills thrown in, feels so good. I started mixing it up with running last spring for HIIT (high intensity interval training). I’d do 25-30 minutes of that out in the rolling hills and winding country roads near my house, at least 3 times a week, plus extra walking just for fun, depending on where I felt like going.
Last fall, I bought a used treadmill for $50. I enjoy it, but it is in my un-insulated basement, which is very cold in winter, so I didn’t use it at all in December, January, or February. It’s great for doing HIIT workouts with a headset full of music, but not nearly as fun as being outdoors.
Of course, diet is important, too. In 2009, after my seventh baby, when I got up to 180 lbs, I was having a hard time losing the weight. Cutting calories and doing my usual exercise routines weren’t helping me get below 160 lbs. I had several other health concerns, too, and so I went to my naturopath. He told me to do the anti-Candida diet. The gist of that is to cut out all sugar – an addiction that is tough to break, but so worth it – and also I couldn’t have all kinds of other things I’d habitually eaten. Finally the weight started coming off. I got back to 120 lbs within eight months.
I am now 130 lbs, at 5’6″, but want to get back to 125, which has been my norm for the past decade or two, except for a few times when I dipped to 115 during some severe depression and heavy stress – I don’t want to be depressed and underweight, though.
I’ve been trying the ketogenic diet, and although I like the foods that are involved, I’m not having much success in losing the ten pounds I gained this winter. I’ve lost four pounds since starting in January, now three months ago. Maybe because I am 51, I need to accept 130 as the new 120? I hope not.
I guess that’s about it. I am looking forward to getting back into HIIT outside as soon as the snow and ice are gone around here.
The following is a comment written to me by my friend Chad in response to one of my blog posts (this one: Giving Up On Writing) . I found it so encouraging that I decided to put it in a document, highlighting a few points in Amazinga font, with the rest in Adobe Garamond Pro font, and to print it out and put it on my desk, so I can refer to it until it becomes ingrained. I also wanted to share it with others who might happen to find my blog. May it bless you as it has me.
“I felt like encouraging you to write at your leisure, and don’t let anybody dictate rules about that – not even you.
I’d suggest sitting down to write as often as you get the time, but notice that all I said was sit down to write – I didn’t say actually write necessarily, nor create an obligation to write and then feel lousy if nothing happens.
I’ve received that same advice (with more detail) and it’s the closest thing I’ve done to being something enjoyable and productive. Notice again, that I didn’t say it was enjoyable and productive – just the closest thing to it that I’ve tried.
It’s enjoyable more often than not, though.
It’s also enjoyable more often than it’s productive, and that’s an important piece to ponder, should you desire to do so.
One hint I can give you is that when I sit down at my desk, I’m not creating a law to follow; about accomplishment of any kind. I’ve learned that that never is a positive experience and rarely if ever produces anything, positive or not.
But what I do, instead, is first, enjoy a tiny little pocket of order – or quiet, as it’s commonly known. It usually takes a while for my brain to reach a state that I can call quiet. But when it does I just give myself license to enjoy it.
Praying and writing are not things I separate very often.
Then I just decide that I’ll write or I won’t.
I ask God, but I don’t strain.
I just enjoy a moment with Him, and I let it go where it goes, and if I happen upon some part of that time that maybe could be written down, then I start.
That’s the important part.
Peace is vital to the process, therefore laws and expectations are antithetical to it.
Since you do have a specific project in mind, maybe you can still just write whatever comes to you, and stay loose, and maybe you wander into your project, or maybe what you write spontaneously turns out to form an unexpected element of the main project? Or maybe it jars a memory loose that’s relevant to it, or maybe it inspires something unexpected… who knows? Not us, so why form expectations? It ruins the enjoyment, and it stifles creativity. It may never have anything to do with the book you’ve planned, but it may stand on its own as something you and others value for decades to come, and yet more, it may form the basis of a main project that you hadn’t previously even considered. But there’s only one way to find out what it’s going to be….
Prayer for me is a great way to enter the writing process, and writing is a great way to enjoy God. So I combine them, and I trust Him to lead the proceedings. And when I approach it that way, it’s much more peaceful and much more enjoyable, and more often fruitful – and in more than just one way. And if something is not enjoyable, and there’s no gun to your head, it’s not worth doing – in large part because the fruit (product) won’t be as good as it will be if it were an immersive, transporting experience for you, to create it.
Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.
Maybe you’re already doing this but lack the time to engage in such pronounced dissociation, or maybe you’re a different enough personality type that it’s not your thing (although I highly doubt that, from knowing you to whatever extent I do!).
Maybe, however, there’s some use you can make of something or other I’ve said – that’s what I hope, anyway – but either way, I pray you find time, inspiration, and most of all, enjoyment, in the desire and effort to produce, and in the process itself.
Can’t go wrong if ya pray for someone, no matter the quality of your advice! ☺
PS I apologize for the disjointedness and rambling, but I didn’t prepare and I didn’t edit. I rarely do in contexts like this – though folks may occasionally wish I had done! ?”
Biggest takeaway for me is this:
“Peace is vital to the process“.
Amen, so much amen, and aaaaaaaaamen! Yo!
Mom’s Whole Wheat Bread
(Yield: 6 loaves)
3 cups hot water
2 cups non-hot water
1/4 cup honey
2 TB pink salt
16-20 cups fresh whole wheat flour (freshly ground makes all the difference)
3 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup millet
2/3 cup olive oil
4 TB Saf Instant yeast
1 more cup of water
1. Put 3 cups of hot water in Bosch mixer bowl. Add the honey and salt. Turn on mixer till honey and salt are mixed in. Add 2 cups of cold water.
2. Add 8 cups of flour. Mix till just combined. Let it sponge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Put 1/2 cup of hot water in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Melt in 1 tsp honey. Add 1/2 cup cold water. Add the yeast. Stir it in. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, till it rises to top of the measuring cup. If it doesn’t rise that high, or it sinks, the yeast has failed and you need to repeat this step with new water, honey, and yeast.
4. Add the yeast mixture to the Bosch. Mix together briefly on speed 1.
5. Add egg, flax, millet, vital wheat gluten, and olive oil. Mix together briefly on speed 1.
6. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing between additions. As the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl, feel it to see if it is too sticky. Add flour in 1/4 cup increments till the dough feels right – not sticky, but not dry and flaky.
7. Knead on speed 1 for 6 minutes.
8. While the dough is kneading, oil the pans with about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of olive oil in each, plus a tiny dab of soy lecithin (about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp).
9. Dump the dough out onto the counter. You’ll need to gently turn the bowl until you can pull the dough hook up, and then the whole bowl will release easier.
10. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. You can use the kitchen scale or just eye it out.
11. Roll out each dough piece to a rectangle approximately as wide as a pan and 12-14” long.
12. Roll up each rectangle tightly, and pinch it closed on the ends and the front seam. Try not to let there be any big gaps or else air bubbles will form in the rising and cooking.
13. Cover the loaves with tea towels and let rise for 30 minutes. They should get to a bit above the pan sides. Don’t let it rise much more than 30 minutes or they will flop when baking.
14. While loaves are rising, get the oven temperature up to about 350. If using wood cook-stove, approximate as best you can, and adjust the cook time accordingly.
15. Place loaves in oven and bake for 28-30 minutes if using a gas or electric oven – watch it if using wood-heated oven. Could be done in as little as 20 minutes if it got too hot, or longer than a half hour if not hot enough. I wouldn’t put it in any lower than 300, though.
16. Remove loaves from oven. Take them out of the pans and place on cooling rack/cutting board. Mist them on the tops and sides with clean water. Cover with tea towels. When cool, put in bags. These store very nicely in the freezer for several weeks.
I feel absolutely crushed when I realize I have said something that was taken the wrong way – or my wording was with insufficient care and failed to get its intent across – and caused someone to feel offended. Ugh! I apologize and wait until they assure me they now understand and all is fixed.
Sometimes, though, I don’t get that assurance.
It is an awful feeling, whether it is between a friend and me or between a stranger and me. All the more careful am I thenceforth about what I say.
I wonder, if I were less sensitive to the feelings of others, how I would instead react. I guess that is the way a lot of the arguing souls are in the comment wars I see on social media? Hardened? Not caring how their words are received, as long as they get their say?
I know what it is like to be argumentative, rude, and outspoken, as I used to be that way, more in my childhood and teen years, toward people who were rude to me, or with whom I disagreed. I didn’t back down. I had to one-up them and show them how smart I thought I was.
Gradually, though, I changed. Life experiences changed me. Choices changed me. Pain changed me. I absorb perhaps more than I should, but that, too, is a choice.
I am far from complete, and that is evidenced by my still screwing up and accidentally hurting others, causing pain that is penultimate only to the pain I feel for having caused theirs.
Is this what love is, Lord?
Is this the way Your love is?
To possess and be possessed by
Something so immense
That it cannot be pounded down into words
That are comprehensible by mortal man,
But by the pounding of two hearts in harmony
The definition is felt between them?
Will love be made clear
When at last we are in Your light,
Where no shadow hides even the nuance
Of joy from the one who needs to read it,
Where every colour and texture of sunset
Sings an endless harmonized song
Never fading to darkness?
The longing for closeness
After long last completed,
The taste having turned into fullness
Which satisfies yet appetizes the spirit
With joy You have yet to reveal?
Can we know what Your love is
Apart from having known love on earth?
Or is it as foreign to us as is heaven
To eyes which have not yet seen?
~ unearthed from a draft I wrote some time ago
I have heard it said, “Don’t waste your time with crappy coffee.”
However, I wasted some time finding a good cup of coffee.
In the summer of 2017, finally allowed to go home after 19 days of evacuation, my family and I were trying to get out of Prince George. The shorter route still had a long section closed due to the forest fires, so we had to take the long way home – 7 hours, instead of 3.5.
I wanted a good cup of coffee to start my drive, but the nearest decent cafe was in downtown PG, 20 minutes away, whereas we were out in College Heights, just leaving my third daughter’s house after saying goodbye.
I had a Tim Hortons gift card, sent to me by my second daughter, and so I took the family to the nearby drive-through to fuel up on treats. I decided to give Tim’s coffee another chance, even though I had a disliking for it. I ordered a small coffee with two honeys and three creams.
I took one sip and scrunched up my face, saying, “Bleah!”
It tasted like there was no sweetener in it at all. I drink coffee for the taste as much as for the perk, and if it ain’t sweet, it ain’t good.
“I need to find some real coffee,” I said.
One of my sons suggested Starbucks. I squinted at him from the driver’s seat and said, “Ewwww?”
“Come on, Mom,” he said. “Give it a try. It might be better than Tim’s.”
“I dunno,” I said. “I had it once before and it was gross.”
“Just try it,” he said.
I went for it. While in the drive-thru lineup, I spotted a garbage can and asked my son to take my Tim’s coffee to it. He got out and did so.
I ordered a coffee with two honeys and some cream. When I took my first sip, the same “bleah” came out of my lips.
On our way out of town, we stopped at a 7-Eleven. While the kids took the dog for a walk, I went straight to the nearest trash can and put that Starbucks coffee into it. Then I went in to 7-Eleven and loaded a cup with my old standby: half full with dark roast, topped up with English toffee cappuccino, amended with four International Delight hazelnut creamers, and cooling it slightly with three of the 18% half-and-halfs (half-and-halves?).
As I walked out of the convenience store, I thought, “If I’m going to drink crap coffee, it might as well taste good!”
At home, I feel good about sticking to organic beans that I grind fresh before each cup, sweetening only with stevia, and cooling it off with cashew milk, but on the road, it seems that 7-Eleven has the best brew for my tastes.
I’m not usually one to throw food away, but those first two coffees were NOT good. I know a lot of people like them, and some might gross out over my choice of 7-Eleven java, but it’s a matter of taste.
Another blog entry with little to no point, but I felt like telling that story.