Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reformation Day, October 31

John Calvin's best senior pic

"Man's mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain."

 "Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.... Man's mind, full as it is of pride and boldness, dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity; as it sluggishly plods, indeed is overwhelmed with the crassest ignorance, it conceives an unreality and an empty appearance as God.... To these evils a new wickedness joins itself, that man tries to express in his work the sort of God he has inwardly conceived. Therefore the mind begets an idol; the hand gives it birth.... Daily experience teaches that flesh is always uneasy until it has obtained some figment like itself in which it may fondly find solace as in an image of God."

- John Calvin

"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end." - Hebrews 3:12-14

Large and small,
magnificent and humble -
places where Christians meet to worship God

This post is linked to
  Salisbury Cathedral
The Young Martin Luther
long before 1517

Have a blessed Reformation Sunday, friends!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hodgepodging Simon and Garfunkel

Autumn Silence
October 21, 2015

Join Joyce and the Gang
She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and join in!

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Oh yes, I like silence. I'm much more comfortable with silence than I am with constant noise. I like complete silence when I'm reading, studying, praying, and pondering. If doing thankless tasks like cleaning or washing dishes, I like to have music or talk radio in the background.

Actually, right now I have Nuria Rial singing Handel on Spotify. Beautiful!

Where I read and study
One of my two favorite quiet places
The other is the porch.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

If y'all don't mind, I'm going to pass on all things chocolate right now. I sort of overdid it with frozen yogurt  after watching the movie 'Bridge of Spies.' (Great movie, by the way) Nothing chocolate appeals to me right now. Normally, it would be Ritter Sport dark chocolate with hazelnut bar or Endangered Species Jaguar bar, but none of the above-mentioned are ever on my chocolate list. And I definitely don't want to ruin perfectly good dark chocolate or luscious ripe strawberries by combining the two.

 Mr. C's ancient jeans jacket

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

Blue jeans are wearable comfort food. Blue jeans and T-shirt. How often? About seven days a week. Even if I wear something nicer to church, I almost always change into 'real clothes' when I get home.

 Near Sunset

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

I don't think so. I'm not bothered by black cats or walking under a ladder (depending upon whether someone is holding a gallon of paint above me, however), and don't carry a rabbit's foot. I could, because I found only a rabbit's foot and thigh out by the garden. Evidently, Jazzie had decided that she couldn't wait for a snack.

 Jazzie, when she's not tracking a bunny

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

A gray-haired woman wearing blue jeans, t-shirt, polar fleece, and black Danskos. And that's about it.

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

What scares me a little is hearing Mr. C., in the middle of the night, suddenly whispering urgently, 'I hear voices.' What I usually do when I feel scared is to smack Mr. C's arm and say, 'Stop it!' because it scares me to death when he does that, and I always accuse him of trying to scare me. Last night, however, he really did hear voices. There was a radio station playing on my phone, which was charging on the headboard. Strange!

The silent majority

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Perhaps today will be the day I turn over a new leaf and actually get something accomplished.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's almost November. The drearies are about to set in.

Enjoy what's left of October, friends.

Barn and fence on 1 1/2 Ave.


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This post is linked to

Theresa's Good Fences 

and Eileen's Saturday's Critters

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gluten-free Pumpkin Cookies Recipe, Cream Cheese Frosting (The BEST!)

And from wonderful pumpkin, this delicious treat is made:

with cream cheese frosting 

I'd recommend freezing them after eating one or two. They're dangerously delicious!
Original recipe, before tweaking, is from

1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. sugar
1 c. olive oil (or other cooking oil - I happened to have olive oil)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin (or seed and bake your own at 350 for 1 1/4 hours, then scoop out the flesh and puree)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Krusteaz, which I found at Sam's Club.)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. pumpkin pie spice

Chopped walnuts (Optional for some, essential for me.)
Mini Semi-sweet chocolate chips (Optional for some, essential for me.)

2 oz. cream cheese, soft
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage, my favorite)
(Add enough additional powdered sugar to get the right consistency.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray.
Combine first six ingredients in your KitchenAid (Not necessary, of course, but I'm a big fan of KitchenAid) mixing bowl and whip until fluffy.

In another bowl, mix the next five ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the mixing bowl as the mixer is running and mix on low to medium. Gradually mix in the nuts and chocolate chips. (The amount is up to you).

When everything is combined, drop dough by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. I use a jellyroll pan and get a dozen cookies per sheet, because I tend to make them rather large.

Bake for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on the pan until the cookies have cooled - then remove.

Combine the frosting ingredients and frost the cookies when they're cool. Do NOT stack these cookies unless you want one big huge glob of cookie. (I learned this the hard way) This time I left them out on the counter after frosting until the frosting was completely set, and only then did I put them in a container to freeze. I also used parchment between the two layers. Hopefully that will work.

Ready to eat - or for the freezer

Official taste testers and trusty assistants


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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday's Critters

Tuppence in her favorite pose

As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, Tuppence moves into my spot on the bed and spends most of the day there.  During the night, she prefers my pancake-thin pillow and grudgingly gives me only a wee corner of it.

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Christmas Soaps are Ready

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Thursday, October 22, 2015


We visited our daughter and family in Wausau on Saturday, where I took these photos of the bridge at the park. Unfortunately, it was during the [unavoidable] brightest light of the day, so they're not my favorites. Still, it's a pretty park, and I love the beautiful Wisconsin River.

 On the way home,
sunset over Highway 29



AND NOW, what you've all been waiting for...


Thanks to everyone who participated in our HomemadeSoapnSuch Christmas Soaps Giveaway!

Yesterday evening at 8:30 CDT, our young grandson (with us for the week) reached into the hat to select four winners, each of whom will receive one bar of their choice of HomemadeSoapnSuch soaps.

And the winners are:





Please email me with your choice of soap and your postal address.  Thanks! 

Judy (at) soapnsuch (dot) com

P.S.  I hope to be catching up on blogs beginning next week!

Natural, handcrafted vegan soaps!

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hodgepodging The Comfort Zone

Some of the plants brought in for the winter

Join Joyce and the Gang
She writes the questions;
we write the answers.
Plug them into your own blog
and join in!


1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?

No, didn't see any of the movies, but that theme reminds me of a book I loved, 'A Swiftly Tilting Planet' by Madeline L'Engle. What was I doing in the fall of 1985? Beginning our fifth year of homeschooling. And celebrating the first birthday of our second daughter. And celebrating an early Thanksgiving in the middle of October, because it makes so much more sense to do it then. Who feels all that thankful when the skies are cloudy all day and the temperature has dropped precipitously. Yes, I do feel thankful for many things all the time, but it's easier to be cheerful in mid-October than the end of November.

Can't we all just get along?

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?

Definitely want to go to the PAST.  I know more of what's there and what to expect. And there are a lot of times in the past that would be interesting to see, if I could choose. The building of the great cathedrals of Europe, the founding of our country, the Lewis & Clark expedition, etc. etc. Of course, I'd pack penicillin. And I'd want guarantee of a quick escape if necessary.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good?

The internet is an object that can be used for good or ill. The internet doesn't determine how it is used. Humankind has a profound ability to selfishly abuse any good thing, so it's up to us to use it wisely, for good. All bad ideas start in the heart/mind of the human, not the internet. I don't worry about technology advancing. If I were to worry about anything, it would be that it would no longer be there for us to use.

4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?

Rosemary Chicken - not to be confused with Lavender Chicken (which I've accidentally made).
My favorite fast food, because I dislike most of it, would have to be Chipotle. I don't get it often, but it is good!

 Even Tuppence Can Get Them Confused

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now?

No time like the present - spending time with our grandson, who is here for the week.

 Proof that he's actually doing his schoolwork

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?

The Ye Olde Country Schoolhouse that I attended in grades 1 and 2.  It is no longer there, having been sold and moved off the school property to a nearby farm. I think it's even been torn down from there in the past couple years. It always makes me a bit sad that old schoolhouses or barns or other buildings I liked have disappeared from the landscape. 

Part of the problem is the American compulsion to always build newer and 'better.' Part, in Wisconsin, is also our climate, where unheated buildings will eventually fall on their own because the foundations are destroyed by our deep frost and spring heaving of the ground. 

 Woodside School
Good times were had here.
None of them was connected to schoolwork.

7. Describe your comfort zone.

My daughter sent me this cartoon. I got a chuckle out of it.  I hope you can zoom in to read it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm doing school with our grandson this week (he's homeschooled) and I like the choice of materials his mom has compiled for him. When school is out, we do stuff outdoors, like clean some of the algae from the garden pond (a problem that didn't exist before the DNR's new regulations, but that's another story), fill the pond with water for the winter (needs to be filled with water so it can freeze and not allow the soil under the liner to cave in, which would otherwise happen in the spring when the ground thaws), and remove the pump to store for the winter.  He's a fun and clever kid. 

A messy time of year at the little garden pond



Giveaway closes tonight at 8 PM CDT

on Cranberry Morning

 Check out all my handcrafted soaps at


and at

Our ETSY Shop 

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Natural Vegan Soap GIVEAWAY - Christmas Soaps

Today and tomorrow only, (Tuesday and Wednesday) we're having a giveaway of our natural, handcrafted vegan soaps for Cranberry Morning blog followers!


There will be FOUR WINNERS among the entrants, each winner receiving one bar of HomemadeSoapnSuch handcrafted soap - their choice. (This can be any soap from among the approximatelly 38 different types.)

Here's what you need to do:
(Don't worry, it's easy.)

1. Be a follower of my Cranberry Morning blog. (Yes, this super-eclectic blog)

2. Visit OR and choose the soap you would like if you win.

3. Come back to this post and leave a comment, telling me which soap you would like and how you follow Cranberry Morning.

That's all there is to it! Remember, this quick Giveaway ends Wednesday night at 8 PM.

I will announce the winners on my Cranberry Morning blog post on Thursday. Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you via email.


And Good Luck to all the entrants!

...and more! Check out all my handcrafted soaps at

Saturday, October 17, 2015

St. Mary's, Marathon City, WI

St. Mary's, Marathon City, WI

'Jesus had not done what Messiahs were supposed to do.  He had neither won a decisive victory over Israel’s political enemies, nor restored the Temple (except in the most ambiguous symbolic fashion).  Nor had he brought God’s justice and peace to the world; the wolf was not yet lying down with the lamb.  But the early gospel traditions are already shaped by the belief that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah; Paul regularly calls him Christos, and if that term had become for him merely a proper name (which I dispute) that only goes to show how firmly Jesus’ messianic identity was already established by Paul’s day.  For Revelation, Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.   

'The historian is bound to face the question: once Jesus had been crucified, why would anyone say that he was Israel’s Messiah? Nobody said that about Judas the Galilean after his revolt ended in failure in AD 6.  Nobody said it of Simon bar-Giora after his death at the end of Titus’s triumph in AD 70.  Nobody said it about bar-Kochbar after his defeat and death in 135.  On the contrary. Where messianic movements tried to carry on after the death of their would-be Messiah, their most important task was to find another Messiah.  The fact that the early Christians did not do that, but continued, against all precedent, to regard Jesus himself as Messiah, despite outstanding alternative candidates such as the righteous, devout and well-respected James, Jesus’ own brother, is evidence that demands an explanation.  

' As with their beliefs about resurrection, they redefined Messiahship itself, and with it their whole view of the problem that Israel and the world faced and the solution that they believed God had provided.  They remained at one level a classic Jewish messianic movement, owing fierce allegiance to their Messiah and claiming Israel and the whole world in his name.  But the mode of that claim, and the underlying allegiance itself, were drastically redefined.

' The rise of early Christianity, and the shape that it took in two central and vital respects, thus presses upon the historian the question for an explanation.  The early Christians retained the Jewish belief in resurrection, but both modified it and made it more sharp and precise.  They retained the Jewish belief in a coming Messiah, but redrew it quite drastically around Jesus himself.  Why?

  'The answer the early Christians themselves give for these changes, of course, is that Jesus of Nazareth was bodily raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.  It is Jesus’ own resurrection that has given force and new shape to the Christian hope.  It was, they insist, Jesus’ own resurrection which constituted him as Messiah, and, if Messiah, then Lord of the world.'

- from Jesus' Resurrection and Christian Origins. N.T. Wright

Have a blessed Lord's Day.


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