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Friday, March 28, 2008

Blind Insight; Friday Fixin's!

internal vision




Its been a month of many things. I am not sure what to blog about these days...so many choices and so little time. Things have been busy but things have been good and in some areas, never better. I try to take and even make time to be thankful and give thanks. Everything we have is a gift and precious to be guarded. I try to learn my future lessons now. I suppose thats why I am fascinated by the idea of time travel. In the same breath; I could only wonder what horrors we would create if we were ever capable of such things. I would love to think that we would use such an ability to right the wrongs of the cosmos; but I know we would more than likely go steal all the greatest inventions and breakthroughs and almanacs from the future so we could live as kings now.

insight
A noun
1  insight, sixth sense
  grasping the inner nature of things intuitively
2  penetration, insight
  clear or deep perception of a situation
3  insight, brainstorm, brainwave
  the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation


framing perception


However; this blog is about "insight." It's that mysterious force that allows us to know the future or know which direction to go or when someone needs us, is injured or dead. I typically trust my insight and instincts far more than my eyes and ears. My wifey marvels, as do I, how I get to locations without directions even when I go in the completely opposite direction. (stubborn tank-full courage). I think it was Einstein or that said or Spoc I heard that said, "when you have eliminated the possible; then the impossible must be true..." other cool quotes and musings.... How do we activate the many unseen and unexplained gifts we all probably posess? Is there a sense after the sixth?

All that has made me hungry. So without further yammer; its time for a Double-Feature Fixins of Friday Fixins!
These recipes may produce unwanted calories, bulges or pounds. PLEASE exercise accordingly....

Pecan Chicken Breasts

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RECIPE: BAKED PECAN CHICKEN BREASTS

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INGREDIENTS:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
4 cups ice water and ice
4 t salt
3/4 cup ground pecans
2 whole eggs
2 T milk
2 T honey
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper, course ground fresh

DIRECTIONS:
Marinate the chicken breasts in iced salt water for 1/2 hour.
Beat milk with honey, then add beaten edds, salt and fresh
ground pepper. Put egg wash in one shallow bowl, and pecan meal in another. Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash, then into the pecan meal and pat the meal into the breast to form a crust. Place the breasts in a shallow baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 35 minutes at 375, or until the breasts are done through.


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RECIPE: CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE DIP

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INGREDIENTS:
1/2 c Raisins
1 tb Brandy
2 c Cream Cheese; Softened
1/2 c Whipping Cream
1/2 ts Vanilla Extract
1/4 c Dark Brown Sugar
1 ts Cinnamon; Ground
1/2 c Mini Chocolate Chips
1 x Cinnamon; Ground

DIRECTIONS:
Mix the raisins and brandy (making sure all the raisins
are coated) and let soak for 15 minutes. In another bowl,
beat the cream cheese and whipping cream until well
blended and smooth. Add the vanilla, mixing well. Blend
in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the "slushed"
raisins and chocolate chips, blending well. Garnish with
a light dusting of cinnamon. Serve at room temperature.
DIPPERS: Graham Crackers, Honeydew Melon, Strawberries,
Peaches, Dried Fruit, Pound Cake Cubes




That sums it up for a casual Friday strolling into an uncharted weekend. Fare thee well....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jesus Under A Bridge!




The WORD has the power to transform under any circumstances..."


Adventure is not hard to find if you're willing to follow the road less taken. Last night was one of those nites to remember. I promised a scoop of our "Bridge Experience" and I wont make this blog long enuf to really do justice. I really hope this doesnt sound hockey; but it was a nite of unparalelled wow! Yes, it was chilly. Yes, it was beneath a bridge outside. Yes, it was raw and completely engaging. Even as a typical skeptic or reservist; I was easily swept away with the passion of the organizers. That tidal wave was dwarfed by the no-holds-barred honesty of the message that ripped wounds into the souls of men/women and refilled crushed lives with hope. It was more than a "we want to help" message; it was a "you gotta make some "different choices for different results" message that encouraged becoming empowered. It was haunting to listen to the power of a simple but direct message echoing off the unflinching steel and concrete piercing the souls that lay desperate before the "good news". This message came AFTER everyone had been fed with a generous plate of food; even one pet dog. Clothes were distributed and a bicycle and tent given away. Amidst being introduced to folks, my eyes rarely left the people before me. In my mind, I thanked God that I were not they; knowing that most of America is one paycheck from homelessness. I saw couples and families begin to smile at one less night without a meal and a smile in the safety of a bridge ministry. I found myself occassionally forcing my eyes not to look too deep into the despair I saw staring back at me. I KNEW I was no better than they and it could have just as easily been me...but this is so NOT about me.


The Bridge Ministry actively engages a severe need in American society we so easily step over or shurk off with some snide remark. Much like 911 proved; security is at best an illusion; safety but a dream — who BUT Jesus could offer a better deal. I remembered stories in the Bible where Jesus was often greeted with huge crowds in need. Some would argue that if any of that "stuff" were real; then 911, Katrina, child abuse and homeless people would never happen. I can remember praying for my dying mother wondering where was He. I was certainly sincere! I also know that a Lord doesnt answer to a servant; the answer was apparently beyond my "need-to-know." I cannot see the air; but I know its there; I was willing to go without all the answers. I watched the ministry below the bridge swell with faith as smiles and tears danced in place of each other before the altar call. A mass rose and came toward us. Everyone had different needs and different demons; just like we all do. Once upon a time I prayed because tradition and raising said so; now its only because I EXPECT something to happen. I knew I was where I was supposed to be at that moment in time. I told them that as we agreed to pray together. I wanted to hear what they were already thankful for and what they wanted. I also told them I wanted to hear the stories of what happened when I saw them again because I did EXPECT something to happen. The shorter man probably late 50s raised his steel grey eyes dripping with tears asking if I would be back to hear the story. I paused validating the truth within myself as I replied yes. I had no intention of just giving an answer I didnt mean. It was intense. I do not know how you get attached to hearts so quickly and look for new depths of love beyond your awareness; but I know somehow Jesus makes all things new and possible. I have NEVER been disappointed when He shows up; especially when I certainly am not so perfect or dilligent is searching for His secrets and conversation.



I would have thought that the constant frigid breeze with an occassional dust particle would have distracted me. I would have thought that the folding chair beneath me would have become stone. I would have thought I would have been more concerned about our safety and common sense as I stared into the eyes and even the abyss of need that lay sprawled before eyes already weary from a long day in front of a computer screen. I would have planned on an occassional smile out of only politeness. I met my friend Earl while shopping for a house. In the process I located a home and a friend helping other friends. I cannot say what such an experience equals in words; you would have to experience for yourself.



The Bridge Ministry meets every Tuesday nite at 6pm under the bridge by the Stockyard. Discover your depths and help others soar by sharing your precious time, smiles and love. You REALLY will be blessed and a blessing. WOW! As I reread this I realize it doesnt even come close to what I have to say about the experience. WOW!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jesus, Fallon and Easter Birthdays





Its Tuesday and its gonna be another exciting week of strangenesses....but I kinda like that. I have been on hiatus for a week to let my tiny brain rest and focus on other things. It was a great weekend! So here's a short recap. Friday nite we celebrated Cass' 40th birthday at Zanies. The headliner was great and very funny; but the surprise guest was Jimmy Fallon from Saturday Nite Live, which made the night even better. Tom was laid back in the cut and we all enjoyed food, friendship and laughs. Paris Hilton and Jimmy Saturday was a blur other than great quality time with sweetie and a killer workout that I am just now beginning to have soreness relief. Sunday, of course was Easter. We watched a tremendous program at church and had a great meal with the kids. No holiday is complete without gummy bears! Even the meal was non traditional....italian chicken spaggetti with green beans, mashed potatoes, blueberry muffins, corn and portebello mushrooms. Ahhh....I gotta get back to the gym.


holy bible and bars



So here we are at Tuesday. Tonite should be very interesting. In our house-hunting antics, we encountered some ministry folks who have night service under the bridge in downtown Nashville. Of course, that raised an eyebrow and I inquired for more details. "They weren't looking for voyeurs, there will be things to do," the slender but happy man replied while smiling from the side of his mouth. "Good," I retorted with my own smirk, "that sounds real to me. I'm in." I was told to be prepared for anything; miracles, drunks and wonder! Dress down and prepare to serve and share...what a cutline. Anyway, I am sure it will be food for a note-worthy blog later. I did find this great blog on Nashville Under the Bridge, I think.

I have always noted that Jesus didnt spend his time on a padded pew, accompanied by "church people" or locked int he confines of what is considered "traditional Christianity;" a term that has come to mean so many things these days. I prefer the path least taken. If possible, I don't want to walk; I'd rather be up there in the wild blue yonder where there are less limits and no walls and miracles are commonplace. I have known those who have claimed to see or have seen demons; its not that I dont believe them; but I want to see it with my own eyes. I want to be in the action and authority of the moment; not just on the sidelines in the jersey. I'll show you my scars after I wash off the mud and grass and blood from battle. The bottomline: if you think its bad when Bruce Banner gets angry; imagine Jesus.



Friday, March 07, 2008

The Friday Footrub



foot massage

Gentlemen, NEVER underestimate the power of a good foot massage. It is one of the most overlooked, for-granted-taken courtesies one can extend. This Friday Fixin' wont be in the skillet.



By the end of the week, its really time for better things. I work to live; not the other way around. The weather mafia has forecasted impending snow! I am thinking of "better things." Not wanting to leave you out, I offer this nice article I found while planning out my weekend. Obviously, I am planning a great weekend of fireplaces and fantasy spaces. I can already hear the fireplace crackling while the ice melts in comforting elixers as the beads of water stroll down the side of the glittering glasses and we relax into the weekend together. Hmmm.... I guess this is where I should stop typing before this gets really good. :D


How to Give a Foot Massage


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
There's no better way to treat a friend or loved one than to give their sore feet a wonderful foot massage. Here's how to make that someone feel like they're in heaven!

Steps

  1. Soak feet in warm water for about 10 minutes. You may wish to include drops of your favorite essential oil or bath salts. Peppermint or lavender oil is preferred by many. Make sure feet are completely dry before starting massage.
  2. Apply a moderate amount of cream or oil to hands to add to comfort and ease. Make sure hands are warm to avoid discomfort. Mineral oil is not absorbed in the skin, and it wipes off cleanly.
  3. Begin by stroking top of foot, between cords located on top of foot at instep. Move in the direction toe to ankle. Then, continue by stroking sole of foot, first more gently, then increase pressure.
  4. Make circular motions with your thumb and fingers over the sole of the foot, and use more pressure in areas such as the heel or ball of the foot. Start from the top and work your way down. Do not neglect the sides.
  5. Hold the foot with one hand, use the other hand to rotate the foot, first at the ankle, and then near the ball of the foot. Be gentle. Repeat about 5 times in each direction.
  6. Knead the sole by holding the foot with one hand and making a fist with the other, using moderate pressure into the sole. Give enough attention to the arch.
  7. Begin with the big toe and working towards the pinky toe, take each toe individually. Roll the toe between your thumb and forefinger as you slide your fingers down the toe to the end, applying gentle pressure. Gently squeeze the end of each toe.
  8. Take your index finger and slide it between each toe about 5 times. To complete the massage, use your thumb and fingers to make the circular motions once again over the sole. End by stroking the sole and instep.
  9. Wipe off any excess cream or oil with a soft towel. Slip into thick socks to retain moisturizing, or slippers will suffice as well.
  10. Try to give equal attention to both feet, as the body abhors asymmetry.

Tips

  • Have receiver lean back against a pillow or a couch, and make sure he or she is relaxed and comfortable. Perhaps include some relaxing background music or lightly scented candles.
  • Massage slowly and gently to induce relaxation, and massage more quickly and deeply to induce stimulation.Throughout massage, if you feel tension building up in your hands, periodically shake hands loose of energy and continue massage.

Warnings

  • Be careful not to use too much pressure so as not to cause discomfort, but apply enough pressure so as not to tickle the soles, causing laughter. This can ruin the mood.
  • Make sure that the knees of the receiver are not locked (stretched all the way) while you massage. It will make them stiff and inhibit the blood circulation. Place a cushion or a rolled-up towel under the knee of the leg/foot you're working on to keep it relaxed and slightly bent.
  • Do not overuse the oil or cream, or hands will be too slippery.
  • If foot or feet are painful or overly sensitive, seek medical advice or care from a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Towels
  • Cream and/or oil
  • Warm water in a tub or basin
  • Bath salts
  • Favorite essential oil (preferably lavender or peppermint)
  • Pillow
  • (Optional) Soft background music
  • (Optional) Lightly scented candles
  • Thick clean socks or slippers

Related wikiHows



Sources and Citations



Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Give a Foot Massage. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

S-H - E - L - L --SHOCKED!




trapped inside



Behind the golden temple lies the strings of the grand puppet. Pay no attention to the shadows walking around behind these eyes. That they are, is what they are...staring into the depths of your hidden self; so hidden you probably won't discover it's there until..... It's a blessing; its a curse; its the way it is. A clam has a shell, a turtle has a shell, a bullet has a shell; conversely, so do people. But what people don't discover until they need it is the other shell — a skeleton below the shell burried beneath and in between all the fragile softness of our mortality.


shell shockedEven the brain has a shell, the skull. I was watching an episode of CSI last week and they had found a young woman who had fallen from the side of a cliff. Nothing unusual until I glance back to watch them discovering her brain 6 feet away up the hill from the body in perfect condition. I can't say the same for the shell.


But the turtle cannot leave its shell....we are bound to ourselves for the duration of our termination. Indeed we require our shells to survive; but they also ensure our death. Death owns the highways Life built and travels them recklessly perfect. Isn't perfection oddly cruel... Maybe its just poetic.





Glad my shell is inside....