Posts

Don't Mess with Dr P !

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I have a fondness for all things Dr Pepper! I used to prefer the real thing that included Imperial Pure Cane Sugar! Back in the day, I would try to get to Dublin, Texas occasionally to get my “Dr P fix” in the little 8-ounce glass bottles. That is how Dr Pepper should be enjoyed! Now, I’m trying to go a little healthier these days and, every so often, will try some zero sugar products. That’s why I was tempted recently to buy a twelve-pack carton of Dr P “dark berry!”😮 Dr. Pepper and A Not-So-Fav Variety I found this oddity prominently on display at the Bloomington Hy-Vee. I stood there trying to figure out what this “Limited Edition” anomaly of Dr Pepper was all about when I looked up just as another guy standing across from me was putting two 12’s in his cart. I blurted out, “Have you ever tried this before?” He quickly responded, “No, but I was trying to imagine this “dark berry” in an ice-cream float!” That convinced me to give it try (sans ice cream the first time)! Texans have

The Danger of Deceit!

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I am not a gardener, but I do enjoy putting out a few plants in a raised box each season. On the day after Mother’s Day, I set out three tomato plants, a Chile and a jalapeno pepper, along with a small watermelon and squash plant. I wasn’t expecting much, but I love to see things grow. Looking back over these past three months of uneven precipitation, I have been surprised with the fruit that has been harvested from six of the seven of these humble little plants! While the zucchini did not fare so well, the others have produced beyond my expectation! Tomatoes and Peppers Agriculture metaphors are often used in the writings of Scripture. Jesus regularly drew out teaching points from the everyday work of those who tilled the soil in His first century setting. Can you imagine how engaging and easy the style of the Lord was as He communicated with the common people of His day? He would begin a parabolic truth with the attention getting phrase, “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed…

Avoid Turnovers!

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The meteorological fall is upon us now that September has come. Soon, on the 22nd, it will become official. With this season, pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies will begin to take the center stage of our preferred desserts at family dinner gatherings. While I delight in the peaches of late summer, Monique can’t wait for fall and the apple harvest. She recently purchased a special batch of Granny Smith’s and turned them (pun intended!) into a delicious pastry of apple turnovers! Culinary turnovers are triangular pockets of puffy pastry dough, stuffed with fresh fruit filling, sealed with a fork in a decorative pattern, and then baked to perfection. We love to eat them warm out of the oven! Warm, Yummy Apple Turnovers! There are other definitions for “turnovers.” This word can have business and financial applications. It is also used frequently in sports when, for example, a basketball team loses possession of the ball due to a personal foul, a pass that goes out of bounds, or because of tra

"Suck it Up!"

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I have been uncomfortable in closed spaces for several years. It has nothing to do with claustrophobia induced by elevators or large crowds of people. My issues causing panic and anxiety emerged during the advanced diagnostic testing (MRI Scans) my doctors repeatedly prescribed to determine the source of chronic back spasms thirty years ago. As it turned out, regular exercise and dropping forty pounds of excess weight were the needed remedies! While I haven’t had the need to undergo another MRI in recent years, my urologist recently recommended that I undergo a PET C-Scan to track how my prostate cancer was progressing. I immediately became anxious about that test. Although C-Scans are not as confining, they do require the patient to remain completely motionless for about 30 minutes while the scanner passes from head to toe. I thought, “Oh boy! Here we go again! To tolerate this, I may need a light sedative this time!” "Don't be a baby! Man up!" Two days out from the te

Our Dog Whisperer!

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Many of us have seen movies and shows on television where a horse or dog whisperer is featured. These trainers are gifted in dealing with animals. Famed dog trainer, Cesar Millan has been helping dog owners with their pets through his syndicated television series for years. Sometimes, I think it is the owner that needed more behavior modification than the pet needed training in basic manners! 😉 We have an unlikely “dog whisperer” in the family these days. Charlie, our eight-and-a-half-year-old grandson, has evolved in the last two years to become very adept at caring for his full-blooded boxer, Groot. Charlie hasn’t always been fond of dogs. In fact, he was petrified by the sight of them just a couple of years ago. I have a uncomfortable memory of one incident that happened near our home. The Whisperer and cousin, Eloise, getting acquainted with Mocha, the littlest New Mexican. Charlie and his siblings were riding their scooters on the nearby church parking lot when all at once he

The Butter Cow!

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Monique and I have been going to the Illinois State Fair together since we were in college. Living in Springfield now more than thirty years, I can’t remember too many times when we have missed the event and when we did, it was likely because we were out-of-state on vacation. So, this past Friday, we made yet another trek to the fair to check out the Craft's Building for this season’s garden products and watch a live cooking demonstration, enjoy the equine exhibition in the Coliseum and of course, eat our favorites of Vose’s Korndogs in addition to a pork sandwich and a lemon shake-up at the nearby Pork Pavilion! 2022 Butter Cow by Artist Sarah Pratt After making our rounds, we closed out the afternoon with a visit to the Dairy Building. There, we capped the day off with a cold treat of twisted and swirling chocolate and vanilla ice-cream in a cone. While touring the dairy products, it was hard not to gaze immediately upon the butter cow on display in the center of the exhibit. It

Transparency Required!

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Back-to-school is looking a bit different this year for many middle and high schoolers. Several schools are now requiring students to pack their textbooks, supplies and personal items in translucent plastic or mesh bookbags. School safety concerns are driving much of this. The thinking is that if the school gear is transparent, it might discourage mischief. I am not sure what impact this is going to have on the issue of mass shootings since some of these offenders come from outside the school population. Image credit: clipartix.com We recently attended an exceptionally large church with several thousand in attendance. As we entered the lobby foyer, I took note that uniformed police officers were strategically positioned throughout that gathering space. I have long advocated that churches should be more vigilant about their vulnerability as soft targets for violence. Back in the day, I encouraged training for our Sunday greeters to include being alert to any suspicious backpacks. We eng