The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm stumped

clip art courtesy of
I'm really curious if you have any ideas about this one. I received an assignment requesting me to use the key words hair transplant Florida. If you've been around here for very long, you know that I accept a lot of assignments and always try to work the link into an everyday kind of post, and I think I'm pretty good at doing that, too. However, I could not come up with a single creative way to present this particular phrase.

What would you do if you were in my shoes? How could this phrase be used in a creative yet unobtrusive way?



Wow! Only one measly post this week (prior to this one, I mean) - did you miss me? (laughing) I have a perfectly good explanation for my absence: we have been enjoying time together as a family.

Mr. Incredible had taken this week off so that we could go help our former church with Vacation Bible School. However, due to the appearance of more cancer, Pastor Daniel (that's he and his family to the left) canceled the VBS, leaving us to decide what to do with our unexpectedly free week. In the end, we determined to go ahead and use the vacation to have some fun with the girls.

We went left on Sunday afternoon and traveled to our former church, arriving in time for the evening service. While it was good to see everyone again, it was also hard in some ways. Nothing stays the same, and life is not always kind. We were glad that Pastor Daniel was able to be in the evening service, and we got to talk with him and his family for a little while.

We spent the night with my mother and then traveled to Raleigh on Monday to visit the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Having seen Night at the Museum (hilarious movie!), Pookie Bear was very reluctant to enter the building until I told her that nothing was alive inside. We viewed all of the exhibits and attended a live science program where we all touched two alligators. They feel smooth, cool, and not at all scaly or rough. Afterward, we went to McDonald's for lunch and then to a mall that features an indoor play area. The girls loved it.

Monday night, Mom took the girls to visit their cousins while Robert and I got to go out alone for a change - really nice! We slept well and left my Mom's house around 7:00 the next morning.

We headed up to King's Dominion, an amusement park near Richmond, Virginia, arriving about 11:00 a.m. We had already planned that this would be the girls' trip. I honestly didn't think they would do very well, but all three girls behaved quite well with only a few minor upsets, mostly due to fatigue and the heat. Pookie Bear, always more timid than Miss Muffet, enjoyed the rides but preferred the smaller kiddie rides. Miss Muffet, my intrepid leader, loved the roller coasters and the wilder rides (if kiddie rides can be described as wild). She even wanted to ride Tomb Raider: Firefall (see photo at right, courtesy of King's Dominion) but we informed her that she would have to wait about 10 years before she could get on it.

What trip is complete without souvenirs? Passing up the Bic pens sporting the King's Dominion logo, the girls all chose Ty Beanies: Pookie and Miss Muffet chose Dora the Explorer Beanies, and Baby Bear chose the kitty cat from Blue's Clues. We left the park at 7:00 p.m., stopped for supper, and then headed home, arriving at five minutes after midnight on Wednesday morning.

Except for having to call the air conditioner repairman and dealing with ant infestations in two different rooms of our house, we didn't do much of anything on Wednesday. Thursday (yesterday), we went to the beach. It was the best weather we have had at the beach in quite a while: a cool breeze blew the whole time we were there, and the water was perfect - cool without being cold or hot. Pookie Bear and Miss Muffet splashed in the edges of the waves, and Baby Bear fell asleep. Mr. Incredible laid her on the blanket we brought and created a beach towel canopy over her. She awoke about the time we were ready to leave, so that all worked out quite nicely.

So now we're back, and I reckon I'll be right here if you need me. Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Put a photo on canvas

When Mr. Incredible and I got married, our entire wedding budget was $3,000, and we actually spent about $1,500. One item where we saved money was wedding photos. We I found a lady who was willing to photograph our wedding for $150. Yep, that's it. Honestly, I had no high expectations regarding her, and she wasn't a professional photographer, but we did end up with several nice photos. However, my husband always regretted that I never had a bridal portrait taken. He loves the professional portraits in their beautiful frames showcasing the bride in her lovely gown and her studied pose. The lack of such a photo never bothered me, but he really wanted us to have one. In the end, we decided on a photo we both liked and had Walgreen's enlarge it for us and then had it professionally framed. It looks nice, but I have since found a website that I wish I had come across when we wanted to get the picture made.

Canvas on Demand is a fabulous company that offers photo enlargement services. They don't, however, merely enlarge your photograph; instead, they enlarge it as a ready-to-mount canvas. Standard services include standard gallery wrap (the canvas is wrapped around the side of the wooden frame and stapled, enabling you to mount it without having to purchase a frame first) and the standard Photorealistic photo reproduction (no special effects but does include cropping and enhancing the color, hue, brightness, and sharpness of your photo). Canvas on Demand also has many special techniques from which to choose: Light BrushStrokes to create the look of an oil painting, Black and White to Sepia, Photo Restoration, Background Replacement, and more. They offer many canvas sizes and can even combine elements from different photos to create that image you always wished you had.

Doesn't that sound great? I'm excited to tell you that because I accepted this special opportunity, I am going to be receiving a 16x20 canvas of my choice of photo! I'll let you know how it turns out, but I am betting that the canvas will be excellent.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Speaking of Debt

Perhaps people would think twice about adding to their load of debt if they watched this sobering graphic (under the header, on the right) for even a couple of seconds. (Sorry - the link no longer works. It showed the current amount of the national debt, and it appeared to increase by $100,000 nearly every minute). I believe our national finances reflect our personal finances!

Hat tip: A Better Mousetrap


Friday, June 22, 2007

Eliminate debt

Did you know that not all debt is created equal? There is smart debt, and there is stupid debt. Credit card debt is nearly always stupid debt, for you are borrowing money for a purchase that will not even hold its value, let alone appreciate. Smart debt is money borrowed for something that will increase in value. A mortgage would normally be classified as smart debt. Student loans and car loans could also be smart debt. Weigh your options a very carefully before applying for a student loan or a car loan. (The rest of this paragraph was added after the inital post to clarify my point of view.) Carefully, I say, because the moment you owe more than your car is worth, that instant the car loan becomes stupid debt. If you rack up student loans to obtain a degree you never use, that could also be stupid debt.

What happens when you are overwhelmed with debt? Consolidation may be an option for you. With the ever increasing cost of a college education, most people see no other option but to get students loans . Student loan consolidation may be a wise choice if you are drowning in student loan debt. It is possible to end up with a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments when these loans are consolidated. Shop around and read the fine print.

Consolidate credit cards by transferring balances on high interest cards to cards with a low (or no) interest rate. Make sure you close out the accounts that have a zero balance. This will prevent you from charging on those cards again. Simply cutting up the cards is not enough. Call the credit card company; tell them to close the account, and ask them to report it to the credit bureaus as having been closed at the consumer's request.

Having worked as a mortgage loan processor, I don't recommend refinancing your home to consolidate debt. Too often, the people who do this use the equity in their home to pay down or pay off credit card debt only to go right back and run their credit card balances through the roof. They end up losing some, if not all, of the equity in their home and find themselves in even greater debt than before the consolidation. Some people have even lost their homes this way.

Of course, the best way to defeat the debt monster is to resolve to add no new debt and to faithfully pay off debt each month. If you have balances on multiple credit cards, others have suggested paying off the card with the lowest balance first. This will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Then, take the monthly amount you used to pay toward that card and add it to what you normally pay on the card with the next lowest balance. When that one is paid off, add the monthly payment from both paid-off cards to the card with the next lowest balance, and keep repeating the process until the debt is gone. Don't think that when one card is paid off you can take the money you would have paid on that card and blow it on yourself. That won't help you.

Follow the advice of wise financial counselors. I like Mary Hunt (of Cheapskate Monthly fame), Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace University program), and Larry Burkett (Crown Financial Minstries). All three are Christians whose counsel is based on Scripture. As many can testify, their plans work. Whatever you do, if you are overloaded with debt, get help.


To-Do list

I think every homeowner has a to-do list. It is never completed, for as soon as you check off an item, two more take its place.

Our home still needs to be painted, inside and out. The windows need to be replaced. They are really old, about half don't even stay up without being propped open (hazardous with the girls around), and the gas between the panes has caused that filmy appearance that cannot be cleaned. Ugh! After the girls are older, we will need to replace the carpet. Enough said there! Both of the counter tops of our bathroom vanities are made out of some cheap material that stains way too easily. I would love to replace that some day. If we stay here after we have all of our children, we will need to add on to the house.

Like I said, the list is never completed; it only gets longer. What are some of the items on your to-do list?


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Beautiful birth

Newborn babies are often ugly, red, and misshapen from the rigors of birth, but they are undeniably beautiful in their own right. Innocent and fragile, they are unspoiled by life.

So, too, is there a beauty to be found in the newborn believer. Freed from sin's dominion, a new innocence surrounds the baby Christian and a hunger for God pervades his life. Older Christians often gain new encouragement from the exuberance of new Christians.

I'd like to share my story with you. (This is long but is, I think, worth the read.)

I grew up in a truly Christian home where God and His Word affected every aspect of life. My parents' Christianity was more than the average "church time" Christianity. They didn't just claim Christ with their mouth; they lived Him in every facet of their lives. For example, if we children wanted to go to a friend's house, we asked Mom and Dad for permission, of course. However, they wouldn't just say yes or no. Instead, as a matter of course, they would open the Bible to a random passage, choose a verse, and see if it appeared to give a positive or negative response. Now, I realize that this seems very extreme, and I can't say that I follow this course of action myself, but it is a great illustration of how much God was a part of everyday life.

Of course, having Christian parents and growing up in a Christian home didn't save me, for salvation is an individual decision that only I could make for myself.

I always wanted to please my parents and do what was right. When I was very young, possibly four or five, I can remember my Dad explaining salvation to me and asking if I would like to get saved. I said yes because I knew that would please my Dad, but I certainly didn't understand what I was doing. This profession of salvation did nothing for my soul, for the desire to please your parents is not what saves you.

When I was about nine years old, we had half a watermelon for lunch one Sunday. Mom put the rest in the refrigerator and told us not to touch it because we would eat it after supper that night. Loving sweets of any form, I found the watermelon irresistible. I took a thin sliver from the top and then a little more. I'd leave and come back to eat "just a little more" until I was horrified to realize that I had eaten a huge chunk of watermelon. When Mom saw the watermelon, she was angry and demanded to know who had eaten it. Knowing that I would be in trouble once I told her that I was the culprit, I lied and vehemently declared that I had nothing to do with the crime. After church that night, she told me that she knew I was the guilty party and that, instead of only being punished for disobedience, I would be punished for lying to her as well. At this point, I burst into tears and sobbed out that I needed to be saved. The ruse worked: Mom and Dad gladly led me to "salvation," and I got out of the much-deserved punishment. This profession did nothing for my soul, for "salvation" for the purpose of evading punishment is duplicitous, and God will not honor lying.

Two years later, my family attended revival preached by J. Harold Smith. On the last night, he preached his famous sermon, "God's Three Deadlines," about people passing the deadlines that God sets for our salvation. Scared of going to hell, I went forward and made a profession of salvation.

In the years that followed, I lived the Christian life to the best of my ability. Anyone who knew me would have declared me to be not only a Christian, but a good one. Yet I struggled with assurance of salvation for a long time. I couldn't understand wherein the problem lay. I had asked Jesus to save me from my sins, and He promised that whosoever comes to Him will not be cast out. Then why the constant battle for assurance?

Over the past year, the battle intensified. I tried confessing my sins to God, sure that my unconfessed sin was the cause of my doubt. I grew weary of the struggle, and at one point I even told God, "I am tired of fighting! Go away and just leave me alone!" I immediately regretted thinking that, for it seemed as though God did go away, which terrified me. If I truly wasn't saved, I sure didn't want Him leaving me alone to die and go to hell!

Finally, on Monday morning, June 18, 2007, God used a dream to get my attention. In it, my former pastor's wife made a simple statement about our being sure of our salvation. Apparently, she saw something in my face, for she laid her hand on my arm and asked me, "Aren't you?" As I sobbed out that I was not sure, she called to her husband, and the dream faded. I woke to find tears streaming down my face as I realized that, in my dream, I had finally admitted what I was too proud to admit in my waking moments: I was not sure of my salvation.

The first thought that came into my head was to call my (current) pastor's wife. As I got up to turn on our bedroom light, Satan fought me with all his might. That may sound weird to you, but, believe me, the battle was real.

"Just think what people will say; everyone knows you are a Christian! Think about what your Mom will say - she'll be so disappointed that you're making another profession. Don't call Mrs. W.; it's too early, and you don't want to disturb her. Besides, you're already a Christian. Remember that profession of faith you made nearly 20 years ago?"

"No!" I literally said this out loud. "I am going to get saved!"

I reached for the phone book and found my pastor's name. I dialed the number, but when it rang, I was disappointed to hear the church's answering machine come on. Of course!

Satan tried again. "Don't bother her. It's too early!"

"No!" I repeated as I found my pastor's home number. I dialed the correct number but was disheartened when my pastor answered. I wanted to talk to his wife! I asked for her, and he immediately handed her the phone.

"I hope it's not too early and that you aren't too busy, but I just wanted to talk to you," I said.

"Well, I'm packing for the missions conference, and we have to leave in a few minutes," was her reply.

"I just want to get saved!" I burst out.

"Oh! Well, let me give you to my husband," she replied.

Pastor led me to salvation, and I prayed, asking forgivenes for my sins and acknowledging that I had been trusting in my profession of faith for my salvation but that I now trusted in the Person of Jesus Christ for my salvation. After I hung up the phone, the chorus to an old song kept ringing through my mind:

For it's real; it's real.
Oh! I know it's real.
Praise God, the doubts are settled,
For I know, I know it's real!

Do pray for me. If Satan cannot keep a person from getting saved, the next best thing to is to keep him (her, in my case) from serving the Lord. He has already launched a strong attack, and I do not want to be derailed in my Christian life.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'll be back shortly

I know it is highly unusual for me to have gone so long without posting anything, but life just took one of those completely unexpected, unforeseen twists. I need to work through some things, but I do plan to be back within the next couple of days. God bless you all.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Additional services generate interest

Even though I cannot yet fulfill my dreams of traveling Europe the world, I decided that I can "travel" there via web sites and printed materials. There are so many good web sites that make me feel like I have had at least a taste of world-renowned locales: Rome, Prague, London, Vienna, and so many other cities.

As I visited various sites, I noticed that many travel sites write small articles about the cities to which they provide service. I think that is a smart idea. If I were trying to decide between multiple destinations, I would like to have ready access to information regarding events and activities available at each destination. A site that provides such a service will give me reason to remember them.

As an entrepreneur, it would behoove me to learn the lesson these sites aptly demonstrate: providing quality information related to your niche will make your site memorable and provide a reason for casual surfers to return.


Playing video games with my husband

clip art courtesy of

I like to spend time with Mr. Incredible, for, you see, I love him very much. Our interests are often quite different, however, which leads to some difficulty in finding activities we both enjoy. Mr. Incredible wants me to play video games with him. (I'd really rather read.) He likes the shoot-em-up kinds of games (Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon - for instance), while I lean more toward the tamer games - like Tiger Woods PGA Tour. Mr. Incredible actually did buy the golf game so that we could play together. I thought that was rather nice. We both enjoyed creating our own custom players, trying to make them look as much like us as possible. Outfitting the characters is fun as well. I really like the Titleist golf line, at least in the game. (I've never golfed in real life, unless putt-putt counts!) In the end, the compromise is worth it to me. I'm willing to do something for which I don't really care if it means that I get to spend time with Mr. Incredible and make him happy.

How do you spend leisure time with your spouse?


And the dominoes continue to topple

clip art courtesy of

I told you about the "dominoes" lined up to topple in our home. One more domino has been added to the line. Mr. Incredible just casually mentioned that if we ever have a home with an extra room, he wants to put in not only a marvelous home theater system but also home theater seating! Oy! Will it never end? I must admit it would be nice to watch a movie in nice leather seats set up stadium style. (smiling)


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Drama from the girls

I mentioned Mr. Incredible's family's pig picking, but I didn't tell you that it was this past Saturday. We had a great time, and the barbecued pig was delicious. The day was not without its drama, however.

Pookie Bear started the excitement. Two canisters of homemade ice cream were being made, and Pookie Bear and Baby Bear enjoyed playing in the cooler, splashing the cold water from the ice leftover from freezing the ice cream. Suddenly, Pookie started complaining that her hands were too hot. I dismissed her complaints, thinking that they probably were feeling warm because of being so cold. (You know what I mean, right?) Then she showed me that white spots were starting to appear. I still dismissed her complaints, though I did think that was rather strange. When she started crying and saying that her hands were getting too big, I knew we had a problem. I rushed her inside the house and opened a Benadryl capsule, dissolving the contents in a glass of soda to make it palatable. I never did figure out what caused the reaction, but after a couple of hours, her hands were back to normal.

Baby Bear was not wearing her shoes, having picked up on my love of going barefoot. She walked outside, only to step on a bumblebee that was collecting pollen from the clover in the yard. As soon as she started screaming, I knew something was really wrong. The bee's stinger was still in her poor little foot. I pulled out the stinger and took Baby Bear inside the house where an application of meat tenderizer seemed to help with the pain. I cuddled her inside the house for a while, amusing her with Mama's stethoscope that she uses to check her and Papa's blood pressure. (Stethoscopes are great tools for distracting children's attention, or at least that is what I find with my girls.) After a couple of hours, she, too, was back to normal.

Toward the end of our stay, Mr. Incredible took all of us out on the paddle boat. Baby Bear with playing with the lid of a compartment in the back of the boat when Miss Muffet climbed from the front seat to the back, pinching Baby Bear's finger in the process. More tears!

Thankfully, that was the last dramatic event of the day. We all enjoyed ourselves, but everyone was glad to get back home, too. How did your weekend go?

clip art courtesy of


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Warning: sporadic posting this week

Vacation Bible School is in full swing, and I don't know how often I will post this week. I will return to my obsessive normal posting schedule next week. If you would like to read a couple of stories I wrote for this VBS, they are posted at Little Fun; Little Learning.

During my absence, you might like to check out the Carnival of the Recipes Grilled Food Edition over at Thrifty Mommy. Oh, and stop by Layne Daniel's blog. He received the results of the MRI that was done last week - not good. I'm sure he and his family could use some encouragement right about now.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Carnival of Beauty Is Up

So head over to Through the Glass to see what others have to say about The Beauty of Strong Men. You can read my post here.


Pig picking time

clip art courtesy of

It's that time again: time to break out the folding chairs. This time it is Mr. Incredible's maternal grandmother's side of the family that is getting together. (Did you follow that description alright? *smile*)

Summer is the time for barbecues, and a favorite North Carolina barbecue is referred to as a pig picking. I had never heard of such a thing until I moved up here and married Mr. Incredible. For those of you who do not understand to what I am referring, let me explain. At a pig-picking, a whole pig is barbecued. I have only seen this done with one of those big smoker style barbecuers, but I have heard that the pig may also be barbecued in a pit. Carolina-style barbecue sauce, a vinegar based mixture, invariably makes its appearance along with the requisite side dishes: green beans, cole slaw, and boiled "'taters." Homemade ice cream and other desserts provide the finishing touch to the meal, and afterward everyone lounges around in chairs, their gluttony satiated - for a short while, anyway. Everyone gets a chance to socialize and catch up on family happenings. It's actually quite fun.

What does your family do at reunions or get-togethers?


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Carnival reminder

Don't forget that you have until noon on Saturday to submit your recipe for this weeks' Grilled Food edition of the Carnival of the recipes. I have submitted three recipes that, used together, will make a complete meal:

Corn Grilled in Its Shuck (Little Fun; Little Learning)
Zesty Mustard Chicken (Rants, Raves, and Rejects)
Grilled Seasoned Potatoes (here at The Porch Light)

Stop by Thrifty Mommy on Monday to view all the grilled food entries.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Beauty of Strong Men

(I promised you this post was coming.)

Beauty can be found in many places - often in the most unexpected of places. This week's Carnival of Beauty topic is The Beauty of Strong Men

I don't know about you, but "beauty" is not the first word that pops into my mind in relation to men. (Sorry, guys, no offense intended!) Beauty just doesn't seem like a masculine word. However, as I considered what I would write, I discovered more and more ways that strong men are beautiful.

First, let's talk about what it means to be a "strong man." That phrase immediately conjures up the image of a body builder with bulging muscles and little to no body fat. Physical strength is very attractive in a man. Men are often envious of the fellow with the great physique, and women talk about how handsome he is and may fantasize about being "his woman." We all know what happens eventually: time takes its toll, and all that physical beauty diminishes and ultimately disappears.

The good news it that strength, like beauty, is more than just physical attributes. A man need not be a muscle-bound body builder to be beautiful, for integrity and strength of character create a beauty that, unlike physical beauty, will weather the ravages of time. The pudgy man who walks with God and has developed godly character commands more lasting admiration than the handsome male who is also haughty.

I admire that which is upright and sturdy - a fine house, an old oak tree, whatever is made with quality. A man who walks with God develops strong character and becomes a man of integrity who can be an example for others to follow as he follows Christ. (I will soon post on what to do when a good man falls.)

A strong man is a leader; he may only lead his family, but he is a leader, nonetheless. My husband is such a man. Quiet and unassuming, he may not command much attention in public, but I know that he will take care of his family, and I can count on his guiding our home. I have confidence in his judgment and know that no decision will be made rashly but with much prayer and reflection. I admire Mr. Incredible for his strong character and find him as handsome now as I did on our wedding day. Sure, I know that time is already working its changes, but somehow I still see him as the handsome groom who made my heart race as I pledged to be his wife.

In all of this rambling, I have been trying to make the following point: the greatest beauty of strong men is the beauty that reflects Christ and lights the way for those who follow behind. I thank God for the strong men who have stood tall and inspired me in my Christian walk.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thoughtful Tuesday

"There has never been a husband shot while doing the dishes."
-original speaker unknown; quoted by Pastor Bill Wingard


A few announcements

You know I enjoy blogging. If I didn't, I wouldn't blog at multiple sites: Little Fun; Little Learning, RS Designs, and here at The Porch Light. Well, I have quietly added another blog to my list. I use Rants, Raves, and Rejects as my opinion blog. So far I only have 8 posts up, but this blog will feature my opinion about everything from products to websites to politics (perhaps) to religion to ... you name it. If have an opinion about something, I'm posting it at Rants, Raves and Rejects.

By the way, I just realized that I failed to notify you, my friends, that RS Designs now has its own domain - I'm keeping the old site ( live but am not posting there any more and am only leaving it up so that people will know how to find the new site. The new site has a much more professional template and overall setup. If you're interested at all, I'd like your input regarding the new site.

I'm always finding new "toys" to try on my blogs. You may have noticed that a couple of my recent posts have featured a "Read More" link at the bottom. I found that hack at a wonderfully informative blog, Hackosphere. I previously used their method for creating a 3 column blog template. This time I used their coding to create Expandable posts with peekaboo view. The instructions were very easy to follow, but if you wish to implement this feature on your blog, do remember to check the box to view expanded widgets on your template, or you will not be able to follow the directions. (Don't ask how I know this!)

One other new feature I have added to all of my blogs it the newsletter. Take a look at the top of my right sidebar, and you will see the button where you can subscribe to The Beacon, the newsletter for this blog. Subscription is absolutely free, and you will receive e-mail notification of all new posts. As I figure out how to use this service, I may feature other items in the newsletter as well. My newsletters are all provided by, a fantastic free service.

The picture of Rants, etc. is the result of my reading's post Learn how to take a screenshot. How simple is that?

I hope you find this information relevant and even helpful. I know I love to learn new tricks, and I suspect most of you do, too.


Grilled seasoned potatoes

clip art courtesy of

Thrifty Mommy is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes, and the theme is "grilled food." The advent of summer means that it is time to head for the grill. I love when we grill out - probably because I don't grill; Mr. Incredible does. I do all the food prep, and he handles the actual cooking. That's a nice break for me, and he really enjoys grilling out; so this is definitely a win-win situation for us.

All right; here is my contribution to the "grilled food" roundup:

Grilled Seasoned Potatoes

10 medium potatoes
1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix (or) seasoned salt to taste
butter or margarine

aluminum foil

Wash the potatoes, leave the skin on, and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Tear off two pieces of aluminum foil about 8-10 inches each. Onto the center of each piece of foil, place half of the cubed potatoes. If using the soup mix, pour 1/2 of the package over each mound of potatoes; otherwise, sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt. Add several pats of butter. Fold the foil over the potatoes, rolling the edges together to make sure that each packet is securely sealed. Place on a preheated grill and cook for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serves 6.

If you have a favorite grilling recipe, why don't you participate in this week's Carnival of the Recipes? Submission is easy, and entry deadline is noon on Saturday. Happy grilling!


Monday, June 04, 2007

This and that

As a lover of Jane Austen's works, I was intrigued to find the link to this quiz over at Through a Glass. I took it out of curiosity and was amused by the results. This is the first quiz I have taken where the results were actually fairly accurate; I struck out the one part with which I did not agree. I would have chosen to be a different heroine, but the description of Marianne fits me quite well.

I am Marianne Dashwood!

:: M A R I A N N E ::

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a little too vocal in your honesty. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels [not romance novels, mind you] and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply and love passionately.
Take the Quiz here!

In other news, I am planning to participate in the Carnival of Beauty again. The topic is The Beauty of Strong Men, and Susanna of Through a Glass is hosting. Be watching for my post in the next couple of days. If you have or would like to participate(d) in the Carnival of Beauty, you should know that some changes have been made; I believe these changes will greatly enhance the Carnival. I love this Carnival, though I have not participated frequently, and I would love to see more participation.

Like the title says, this post is about this and that, and I guess this is the end. Good day! *smile*



I received an assignment to post about California mortgage refinance, a product offered by This brought to mind a subject that increasingly weighs on my mind: refinancing our adjustable rate mortgage.

Some people like their ARMs, but others, like myself, prefer the security that comes from knowing that your interest rate will not vary with the ebb and flow of the market. If you, like us, chose an ARM, refinancing to get a fixed rate is usually a good idea. An ARM's rate will vary in relation to interest rates; a fixed mortgage is exactly that: the interest rate will never change during the life of the loan.

Although our credit is excellent, we had to opt for an ARM because Mr. Incredible had only worked at his job for a couple of months and his new job was is a different line of work than was his previous position. The ARM was the best option for us at the time, but I look forward to refinancing it next year.

Do any of you have any advice about or experiences with this topic?


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Only one "sure thing"

Do you ever hear people refer to something as "a sure thing"? People put their faith in everything from their bank account to their investment portfolio to their Las Vegas Real Estate holdings to... (insert whatever here). Often, their faith is misplaced: investments fold, unexpected expenses drain away savings, real estate loses value, and that on which they most counted simply collapses.

When the one thing in which you place your faith gives way, the effects can be devastating. During the stock market crash, many people who lost "everything" committed suicide. Their trust was in their money, and their god failed them. People who idolized a spouse only to find out that spouse was unfaithful have fallen into deep depression. Their trust was in another human, and that human failed them.

You know the old saying that implies that the only thing you can count on is death and taxes. Even that statement is not entirely accurate. Jesus will come back for His children one day, and those who are raptured at that time will never die. I'm glad to say that I know of a person who is more dependable than even death and taxes: God will never leave me or forsake me. No matter how dark the situation or how forbidding the circumstances may seem, God is with me and will never let me go.