Discover Prompts, Day 5: Dish

We didn’t eat out often at all when I was a kid. If we did, it was a rare and exciting treat at the Dairy Queen or the A&W. Best root beer ever, in those frosty mugs! Once the tray of food was affixed to Dad’s window, he would pass our burgers, fries, and root beer back to us. I could have survived on the aroma alone ūüôā

But if you’d asked me about my favorite dish, it was–and still is–something homemade.

Mom was a great cook, taking so much pleasure in setting a table filled with aromatic, beautiful, and tasty food. My favorite? Her pot roast. Closely followed by spaghetti and meatballs, and an old-fashioned casserole called Shipwreck. Hamburger, potatoes, rice, carrots, onion, kidney beans, and tomato soup. Also, Meatball Oven Dish. Mom made hers in the Presto pressure cooker rather than the oven. Deeeelicious. She made great potato salad, fried chicken to die for, and of course no end of luscious–fattening–desserts ūüôā

She also, using the word in another sense, loved her dishes. She grew up in the Depression, dirt poor. No fancy dishes, nothing that matched, and quite a bit that was chipped or cracked. She didn’t have a full set of china until their 25th anniversary, and how she loved those dishes!

Later, she began collecting pink scalloped depression glass. She had quite a lot by the time she went to heaven. I’m not sure what happened to it.

Pink Depression Glass Bowl Scalloped Edge Etched Floral | Etsy

She had plates, saucers, cups, some serving pieces–I don’t remember it all. She gathered most of her collection after I was married and they moved to South Carolina.

It got it’s name from the Great Depression. Manufactured here in America, it was inexpensive and sometimes free. Quaker Oats, for instance, would put a piece of the glassware in every box of oats as an incentive to buy their product. Since the 1960’s, it has increased in value because it has become highly collectible. Complete sets, including serving dishes, candle holders, dessert fans with a place for a cup and a piece of cake or pie, would bring a better price than just a few miscellaneous pieces.

I think she loved her depression glass just as much for the memories it evoked as for it’s appearance. It was pretty, but it was also nostalgic. If you lived during the Depression and WWII, you understand that, right?

These days, brides expect to have a full set of china before they even say “I do.” My mom and dad gave me mine, and I still love it. I didn’t expect it, though. It was a gift, especially for Mom, that she would love to have received. She took great joy in giving it to us.

Dishes. Lots of stories. Someday, I would love to make a Broken China quilt. There’s history and heartbreak there.

BLOCK Friday: Broken Dishes Quilt Block - Fons & Porter | Quilting ...

The Castle

I’m back from our two-week trip to England to celebrate our 50th anniversary with family. What a glorious time we had! Beautiful weather, lots of good food and laughter, a time of singing around the piano, and much more. It’s good to be home, but I wish I could transport myself back and forth ūüôā

We visited Blenheim, home of Winston Churchill, and Warwick Castle. We spent time in the dining hall at Oxford, where some of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. We saw the Womping Tree on the grounds of Blenheim. So today’s prompt is perfect for me. I’m curious to see what I’m going to come up with ūüôā

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

The angry, howling wind stirred the sea to fury. Spray from the crashing waves rose up and drenched the ruins of Corfe Castle, but not for the first time.

No one lived there now except the ghosts. They roamed the ruins, reconstructing the castle as they had known it From William the Conqueror to the crumbling ruins of this century, they saw banquets and battles, births and deaths, blood spilled, mopped up, spilled again.

And so it would continue until nothing but dust remained. The sorrows and joys of life above the pretty little village below stained the land.

Those Feudal Days

RDP Wednesday ‚ÄstCOTERIE

early 18th century: from French, earlier denoting an association of tenants, based on Middle Low German¬†kote¬†‚Äėcote.‚Äô


You just never stop learning.¬† I didn’t know that originally, the word referred to a group of peasant tenant farmers who worked land owned by a feudal lord.¬†¬†

Image result for peasant farmers and their feudal lord

Notice the joy on the faces of those laboring peasants. 

Now we tend to think of it in terms of social groups, like a coterie of fashionably dressed ladies enjoying lunch together in a pricey restaurant 

Actually, what I think of is pigeons.¬† Messenger pigeons were kept in a¬†cote¬† where they were tended, fed, groomed, and trained. You don’t hear much about these birds any more, but at one time they were an invaluable aid to communications, especially in wartime.¬†

RDP: Coterie

I Like Fridays


Old English¬†Frńęged√¶g¬†‚Äėday of Frigga,‚Äô named after the Germanic goddess¬†Frigga, wife of the supreme god Odin and goddess of married love; translation of late Latin¬†Veneris dies¬†‚Äėday of Venus,‚Äô Frigga being equated with the Roman goddess of love, Venus. Compare with Dutch¬†vrijdag¬†and German¬†Freitag¬†.


Years ago I did a little mini-study about how the days of the week got their names.  It was most interesting, a carry-over of Greek and Roman mythology that has translated down through the centuries into other languages and cultures.

Related image

Frigga (Freya)¬† used a chariot pulled by cats.¬† So you know right there that the story is a myth ūüôā

I don’t think about Frigga when Friday rolls around ūüôā¬† I think about the beginning of my treasured four-day weekend, which is, for me, a reward for all the years of working five or six days a week.¬† At this point in my life, at age 71, I COULD retire.¬† I don’t want to just yet, though, and with every new client who comes into my office looking for help, I know I’m still where I need to be.

I do value my status as an independent contractor.¬† I can choose how much I work, and when I want to work.¬† That’s very nice.

During the school year, every other Friday I get to teach a class for the home school co-op our church hosts.¬† This year, we’re studying the Constitution and Current Events, which,¬† believe me,¬† is never boring.¬† Plenty of news to keep us talking, and figuring out what our Constitution is really all about.

So yes, I like Fridays.

RDP: Friday

How it Really Started



So I figured out that the earlier post I wrote today on¬†smorgasbord was actually yesterday’s post. Sigh.¬† This old granny seems to be having a hard time catching up.

Anyway, I’ve always wondered why it’s call¬†julienne,¬†but never looked it up.¬† So today’s the day. Annnnd, I found that the word comes from a soup of the same name, which is prepared with thin strips of vegetables garnishing it ‚ÄĒ in French a¬†potage julienne.

Okay, but I still don’t know why it’s called¬†julienne.¬†¬†Keep searching. I find this:

Early 18th century (originally as an adjective designating soup made of chopped vegetables, especially carrots): French, from the male given names Jules or Julien, of obscure development.

So here’s the story:

“Hey, Jules!¬† Get over here and slice these carrots¬† to toss into the soup!¬† You’ve been on break long enough!”

Jules sauntered to his work station, irritated at being made to do such menial work when he was so talented. He should be head chef, he’s just that good.

He scrubbed his carrots, topped them, skinned them, and cut them into manageable lengths. The, WHACK! in half, and WHACK in quarters.  He liked the looks of that so much better than the coin-shaped pieces they usually added to the soup.

He looked again, realized the pieces could be even thinner for faster cooking. WHACK!  went his knife, and he signaled to the chef that he was finished.

The chef, seeing what Jules had done, was at first thoughtful, then beaming with pleasure. “Exquisite! They will cook quickly, and give the soup a unique appearance.¬† Good job, Jules!”¬† He clapped Jules on the back as he beckoned another worker to carry the carrots to the soup pot.

And, to Jules’ endless delight,¬†potage julienne had been born; a soup that would carry his name to all kitchens of distinction for ages to come.





A Truce


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In a world torn apart by anger, hatred,¬† deceit, bribery, accusation and counter-accusation, there seems very little hope that man’s dream of peace on earth will ever come to pass. The dream of a one-world government, administered by a worldwide organization of wise and benevolent laws and law enforcement, has been written about; dreamed about. Some men, having risen to power in their own countries, have taken on the task of imposing their own conception of world peace. They have all come to ruin,¬† from the ancient Caesars to more modern Hitlers.

History is after all, the record of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow-man.¬† Warfare and the seeking of power is nothing new. The determination to silence all dissent, by death if necessary, is nothing new.¬† As long as evil lurks in this fallen world, in the hearts of mankind, there will be war.

So exactly what are we singing when we sing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King”?

On my other blog, I’m just ready to start chapter 33, which is halfway through the book of Isaiah. It’s a long book, and it takes some study to understand exactly what is going on.

Simply stated, that song that we think of as a Christmas carol is in reality about the time when Jesus Christ will return to earth and establish His thousand-year rule of the whole world from the exact geographical center of the earth, Israel.  Because Antichrist will have been defeated and Satan will be bound for 1000 years, there will be peace on earth. Complete, world-wide peace. Jesus, Messiah, will deal quickly and definitely with those in whose hearts there is still a spirit of rebellion.

So, is it wrong to sing this Millennial praise to celebrate the first coming of Jesus as a baby in a stable in Bethlehem?¬† No, I don’t think so.¬† There couldn’t be a Second coming, after all, unless there had been a first coming.

We’ll be observing the birth of Jesus Christ in just a few days.¬† There is a wonderful true story about the cease-fire that was called in WWI so that Christmas could be observed in the trenches, and how the soldiers from both sides tentatively and then joyfully emerged from those trenches to observe a day of peace together.

It’s always Jesus Christ Who brings true peace, whether to a war-torn world or a torn and wounded heart.

History of the World


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The word itself originally meant a witness;  more specifically, a witness who suffered and/or died because of his steadfast refusal to forsake his belief or allegiance.

There have always been martyrs in the history of our world. ¬†I could be said, I suppose, that Adam and Eve’s son Abel was martyred by his angry brother, Cain, because Abel chose to obey God’s specific demands for a sacrifice. That ticked Cain off, because he had chosen to change God’s terms to satisfy his own ideas, so he killed his brother.

And so, down through the centuries, people have been killed by other people because they won’t deny what they believe, or who they are; they continue to speak up (witness) for their cause, and it really ticks people off when these martyrs aren’t intimidated or won’t just shut up when they are told to do so.

Has America seen anyone suffer and/or die for their beliefs, or for who they are?

Of course. Slavery was a form of martyrdom, wasn’t it? We could look at the treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. Government; we could look at the internment camps for the Japanese during WWII. ¬†We could talk about Americans who were determined to gain freedom from England, and who were hung or shot as spies and traitors. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence suffered greatly for their boldness; some died.

Image result for patrick henry give me liberty

Every country, every nation in the history of the world has its history of martyrs and martyrdom. ¬†That’s because, with the shifting of power from one tribe or nation to another, there is always death and destruction. It has been so since the Tower of Babel when God confounded the language of mankind, and people were dispersed all over the known world according to the languages they spoke. ¬†Why did God do that? ¬†Because mankind had become so arrogant as to think they could build a tower high enough to reach God Himself, and become as important as He was.


We can all respect those who have faced death and been steadfast in the face of suffering. What we¬†don’t like so much is a person who really creates his own tragedy and drama, and wears his “suffering” like a badge of honor. The woman¬†who trumpets her self-sacrifice for her family to anyone who will sit still long enough to listen. The man who lets everyone know that he has given up everything to take care, for instance, of aged parents. We don’t like people who brag about how much they are suffering.

Such behavior demeans the true nobility of one who gives his life without flinching because he believes in the rightness of his cause.

I Love to Teach


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I’m a teacher. Learning is precious to me. ¬†I’m looking forward to teaching a class at our church’s home school co-op. ¬†It will be all about the history and specific political meanings behind some of our most well-known nursery rhymes and fairy tales. Doing the research has been enlightening, to say the least.

The Grimm’s Brother’s Fairy Tales were grim, indeed. ¬†Horrible, bloody, often tainted with sexual impropriety. ¬†I won’t be sharing that with my students. They range from 7th-12th grades, and I don’t think they need to know that our Disney-fied ¬†versions were much darker originally. Some of that I was already aware of. Other things, not so much.

For instance, did you know that in most of the stories we know, it wasn’t the step-mother who was evil, jealous, and murderous? ¬†No, it was the mommy. ¬†The dear, sweet, nurturing mommy. Huh. ¬†Maybe Disney’s version has been responsible for a lot of unfair characterization of step-mothers, you think?

¬†The nursery rhymes are more fun, although most of them did have a dark side. There is a ¬†belief out there, not shared by all, that “Ring Around the Rosie” has to do with the bubonic plague. ¬† Maybe, maybe not.

ring-around-the-rosie-theredish-com    plague1

Anyway, this information has been most interesting to gather and to put into classroom form. My students, the ones who attend my church, are telling me they really can’t wait. ¬†How cool is that? ¬†There are several who don’t attend our church,but who made it clear at the end of our last class in April that they were already looking forward to the fall subjects.

There is nothing any more satisfying than to teach students who enjoy learning.  I love it.

Don’t Look at Me Like That!


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Some time ago, I had a client in my office who would NOT look at me.  Even when I spoke his name, he would not make eye contact. We went through the entire first session with him looking off to the side, down at the floor, or even closing his eyes when he spoke.

Such behavior can say many things, and my job is to figure out exactly what that is.

Maybe he’s shy.

Maybe he’s a liar.

Maybe he’s fearful of revealing something shameful.

When I finally, very gently, asked him why he couldn’t or wouldn’t look at me, he turned so red that I regretted my question; however, I’ve learned to wait out such situations, because I really needed the answer if we were going to make any progress.

Finally, he looked up.  He was a nice-looking guy, middle-aged, normal in most ways that I could see. What he said  was this:

“I grew up being told not to look at my mother ‘that way,’ to keep my eyes off the girls, that looking someone in the eye was a man’s way of challenging authority. A lot of stuff like that. It was considered rude, and I still can’t do it ¬†without feeling as if I’m being completely inappropriate. It’s one of the reasons I’m here. I work with people, and I need to be able to look at them.”

As he spoke, his eyes once again slanted off to the left, and his eyelids closed about halfway. He’d mastered the technique of looking without looking directly.

“What is it you do?” ¬†I asked.

“I’m a teacher. I work with high school kids. I learned recently that behind my back they call me ‘Mr.Eyes’ because I rarely look at any of them ¬†straight on. ¬†I need to get this fixed. Can you help me? “

“Sure,” I said. But inside, I was wondering how. This was a new one for me. But I’ve read and researched, and he’s making great progress. The other, as we finished up, he shook my hand, looked me straight in the eyes, and thanked me for helping him learn to tell himself the truth about all the things he’d learned as a kid growing up.

After he left, I did a little victory dance.

A Crisis of Faith


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This one could go a lot of different ways. ¬†America is in financial crisis, as well as political and moral crisis. We are threatened as we have never been threatened before. ¬†In case you haven’t been paying attention, our enemies have brought the conflict to our own shores, successfully, for the first time in our history. And we’re not fighting back.

Or we could talk about the crisis of the pandemic of pornography in our country and across the world; the horror of sex traffic, of the drug cartels, and of violence against law and order. We could talk about epidemic unemployment, the devaluation of the dollar, the collapse of cities like Detroit. We could discuss the dangers of losing our First and Second Amendment freedoms in the name of “safety.”

Or we could talk about the incredible ignorance of some of our so-called Millenials, those ranging in age from about 18 to 35. ¬†They’ve never been taught the true history of our country. ¬†They don’t know what war George Washington fought, or who won the Civil War, or why it was fought. They have no idea who some of the founding fathers were, and if you ask them about present-day politics, they’re pretty blank there, too. Yes, yes. ¬†I know that not all of them are so uninformed, but way too many of them are. ¬†They are the future of our nation, and they know very little about our past.

We could talk about the crisis of the moral decline that I deal with every day that I work. Don’t ever try to tell me “It’s just sex, it doesn’t really matter.” That’s lie. It’s not “just sex.” ¬†A girl has to deal with the aftermath in a different way than a guy does, but there are consequences for both. ¬†I know someone who was promiscuous some years ago, falling for the lie that sex is just a normal human behavior, and shouldn’t be thought of as wrong or immoral outside of marriage. ¬†She has HPV now, and her greatest fear is that she may have passed it to any of her sexual partners before she realized she had it. ¬†And that’s just scratching the surface of the deep problems I try to help with that are the result of sexual promiscuity. ¬†When I was a kid, there were two STD’s that we knew about. Today, there are over 145 strains of STD’s. ¬†That should make all of us stop and think.

Some of that promiscuity ¬†is connected with pornography, which is also not “just a thing, not important, a victimless crime.” Please. ¬†Do some research, and you’ll find that ¬†those women who perform in such videos don’t usually live to a ripe old age. ¬†Some of them die of murder because they don’t want to perform any more. A lot of them die of drug overdoses. ¬†It’s not exactly a glam life.

The crisis that underlies all the rest of them is one of godlessness. ¬†God is no longer cool. He doesn’t even really exist, you know? ¬†I mean, He’s like, just a myth, you know, like all those other dudes like Jupiter and those ones in the Greek or whatever. ¬†There’s no such thing as sin, dude, it’s just that sometimes we make poor choices, mistakes, you know? Heaven and hell? ¬†Fairy tales. ¬†Satan? ¬†Cool, man. ¬†There are some great horror movies about him, you know?

We’ve lost our minds in this country. We’ve certainly lost our moral compass, and our sense of the holiness of God.

And that is indeed a crisis.