“That’s what.” — She (A little Office humor)

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Hosea & Gomer on Discover the Word

I used to have another blog called Gomertopia. For years, it was home base for the Gomers, the world-wide family of fans of a rock band I love called Third Day. I started the Gomers in 2001. At one time, there were over 40,000 members. They call me Mama Gomer. (The name of this blog, More than Happier, is actually a line from Third Day’s song “Gomer’s Theme”. I’ve always loved line, because it sounds so screwy. I mean, it’s either, “He was happier” or “He was more than happy” not “He was more than happier.” But it’s cute, and I love it, so my title is an homage to Third Day and the Gomers.)

But life being a growing and changing thing like it is, I’ve moved here, and the Gomers home base has moved to Facebook. If you’re a Third Day fan looking for other Third Day fans, check out the Gomer family. They’ll make you feel welcome and loved.

All that to say this: I turned on my radio this morning and Discover the Word was just coming on KHCB. This show is three friends sitting around a table and talking through a Bible study. Their latest study concentrates on sorting through some things in the Bible that may be confusing. Today was the third and final part on the story of Hosea and Gomer from the book of Hosea.

The thing that is confusing about this book is why would God ask a prophet to marry a prostitute? Not a repentant prostitute, but one who still had ideas of continuing her lifestyle, married or not? But God, as always, knew exactly what He was asking Hosea to do. He wanted Hosea’s love for Gomer to reflect His love for Israel, who were prostituting themselves with other gods instead of loving God as their first and only love. It was God letting them see Hosea marry this unclean person who showed him no love or respect, yet he loved and cared for her. Then Hosea could say to Israel, “Do you think my wife is terrible?” and of course they would say, “Yes! You should stone her!” and Hosea could say, “God set this whole thing up to show you how you are treating Him!” and Israel would say, “Whoa…” You get the idea.

You can listen to all three parts of the discussion of Hosea and Gomer on the Discover the Word website, but the part that will really touch your heart is the third and final part. Click the link and give it a good listen. (It’s only about 13 minutes long.) You might need a tissue or two when you hear how much God loves you. It’s an amazing story that will give you some insight into the depth of God’s love.

Cookies for Breakfast!

Got to admit, this is what I had for breakfast this morning. (What? They’ve got eggs & flour in them, same as eggs & toast or pancakes, right? Cue Bill Cosby’s “Dad is great! Gives us chocolate cake” bit.)

After I posted my chocolate chip cookie recipe (below), my son J texted me, “Do we have the stuff to make cookies?” I thought that was quite the coincidence, but no. Seems J’s sweet girlfriend Andi read the blog, and it made her crave the cookies. So of course, J jumped to his feet to make some for her.

No, seriously. He’s just that kind of boyfriend, and it thrills me no end! I’m happy to say both my boys have learned much from their father about how to treat their woman. They are such caring boyfriends. Makes me happy, and makes Hubby proud.

So yesterday J made these cookies for Andi…and he let us have a few. They are so big and fluffy, I just couldn’t pass them up this morning. Now Andi and I are wondering if this would work for other things, like say I blog about ironing. Andi reads it and says, “Sigh, that reminds me. I have a few shirts I need to iron, but I just haven’t found the time.” Will J jump up and do it for her?

Never underestimate the influence of a good woman, nor the willingness of the man in love with her.

Better Chocolate Chip Cookies

If there’s one thing I can make really really well every time, and there’s really only one thing, it’s chocolate chip cookies. 

I get a lot of compliments on my cookies. People seem to think they are something special. I started making them when I was a teenager, and taking them to rock bands that I liked. I still do that from time to time. Mostly I make them for my kids…and myself. To tell the truth, our favorite part is the dough! 

I use the Toll House® recipe on the back of the NESTLÉ® Chocolate Chip package, but with a couple of changes. The first change my mom made back in the 60’s. Toll House cookies are amazing, but they tend to be flat, not fluffy. So Mom added more flour, adding 2 ½ cups instead of 2 ¼ cups. That gave the cookies more body.

When I started making them for my family, I changed the two sticks of butter or margarine to one stick of Butter Flavored Crisco® (both equal 1 cup). The Crisco fluffs the cookies up quite a bit!

Here’s our changed recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2½ cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of butter or margarine 1 stick Butter Flavored Crisco sticks (1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium sized bowl. Mix lightly with a fork. In a large bowl, with a fork or electric mixer (I use a fork. Easier to clean up afterwards, and you won’t over-mix them.) Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. (I dump it all in at once.) Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts (optional). Drop by rounded tablespoon onto lightly greased baking sheets. (I take a stick of butter and use it to grease my Air-Bake cookie sheet. The Air-Bake sheet keeps the bottoms from burning. You only have to grease it before the first batch. It’ll stay greased after that.)

3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Pan Cookie Variation: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars. 

Slice and Bake Cookie Variation: Prepare dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen 

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks. 

Everything to Everybody (or We’re All Superwomen, Right?)

When I started this blog, the idea was to post three to five times a week. Hubby thought that was a tad ambitious, but I said I wanted it to be alive and consistent. Well, consistency has never been one of my strong suits, and here it’s been a week with no posts at all.

Remember my mom? Being about as coordinated as I am, she tripped over her ottoman and broke her wrist. So for the past couple of weeks, especially last week, I’ve been playing chauffeur, nurse, helper, maid, etc. to my mom.

She has kept me very busy.

That’s what kids are for, right? …to take care of their parents in their old age? I think I read that somewhere. And I hope when it’s my turn to be the one who needs help, my kids will happily and not begrudgingly do the same for me.

Really, I don’t mind that much. We have fun. I mean, I’d run her all over the city three days a week, and relax and love the weekends with Hubby and the kids and pets…if the house and laundry and bills and everything else magically kept themselves up.

But they don’t. I have to find a way to do everything and be everything to everyone who needs me. (Cue the laughter/big sigh/guffaw/head shake/etc. of all those who read this and feel the same way, at the same time knowing it’s impossible, and that we should just cut ourselves some slack.)

I love being with people, and I love to help people, but I also LOVE to be alone. I can’t get any work done if other people are here. I’m too easily distracted. I have to be alone and in the zone. I’m a Mary who loves to just hang out, but with a Martha in my head making me feel guilty for all the work that’s not getting done while I’m being social. (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” but I often wonder, if Martha had sat at Jesus’ feet instead of cooking, and in a little while everyone was hungry…what then? They couldn’t call for pizza delivery.

I’m guessing Martha was a perfectionist (and a bit of a martyr) and Jesus was telling her to get her priorities in order, not to be so consumed with making everything perfect to exclusion of fellowship with those around her. The keyword is “Balance”.

Balance sounds good, but my gears take a real long time to shift. Hubby tells me I should do a little of this and a little of that every day. I can see where he’s right, but I don’t operate that way. It takes me so long to get started on anything that once I do, I don’t want to stop. But I’m working on this balance thing.

So here I am, on one of the two days I have by myself at home this week, and I’m putting on the blinders and not seeing the mess to do some writing. And then the plan is to do some cleaning. And some laundry. And some organizing. And some ironing. And some…well, you get my drift.

I need a clone.

Dirty Soda Cans Hazardous to Your Health?

I was all set to blog about the dangers of drinking from soda cans before you wash them off. It has to be hazardous to your health to drink from a can after rats have peed on it and cockroaches have scurried across it in the warehouse, right?

Turns out, there aren’t really that many dangers. I mean, it’s unlikely that you will die or even get sick if you drink out of a soda can that you didn’t wash off first. At least, according to two trusted sources, Snopes and Myth Busters. Even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (aka the CDC) don’t have anything on their site about what I presumed might be a health hazard.

And that’s good. One less thing to worry about.

I mean, I wouldn’t neglect at least wiping the top of the can off before I drank out of it, just to be safe.

At our house, we keep the soda cans that won’t fit into the refrigerator on the floor of the garage. I don’t think there are many rats in our garage (I hope not!) but I know there are a couple of mice, and just possibly a few (dozen) bugs. And they might be walking across our soda cans when they take their midnight strolls. Maybe even stopping for a potty break atop one of the cylindrical aluminum insect outhouses. Even if our garage was free from creepy crawlies, it’s pretty dusty out there.

And who knows when the stock boy at the grocery store who stocked the shelf with my Vernor’s Ginger Ale last washed his hands?!  *shudder*

So I wash the tops of my cans, and the side where my mouth is going to be, before I open the can, just for my own piece of mind. Even if it just gets the dust from the garage off, a little soap and water never hurt anyone or anything.

Except…be sure to rinse it well before you open it. Last Tuesday I didn’t, and soapy ginger ale ain’t no good for nobody. Yuck.