We set aside this day to remember all our blessings…. Read more
They come from all different places don’t they? They come in relationships, as experiences, sometimes as a word from a friend, or reading something that strikes us from someone we may never meet. Our chum Wendy, shared this list of anecdotes about some of life’s most valuable lessons and we wanted to share them with you:
1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”
2.Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.”
3.Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
4.Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
5. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.
6.Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.
9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
10.Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.
Whether it is understanding what real success is, or experiencing the love of a true friend, or appreciating the family God gave us, or being willing to share whatever it is we have, or recognizing God’s provision for us, we all need to be taught these life lessons, sometimes again and again. Each person in them learned something different but really they can all be summed up in what the Bible calls the two most important lessons or commandments:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
Your chums are grateful to be learning right along with you. What we want most of all, for each of you and ourselves, are lives very abundant with love and joy!
With all this talk about Queen Elizabeth II now being the longest reigning monarch in the United Kingdom, having just surpassed the length of Queen Victoria’s reign, we thought it might be fun to look at some facts about Queen Victoria. Besides the fact that hers was a love affair with her husband, Albert, which is what we often hear of this Queen, she accomplished a great deal in her lengthy reign. Read more
There are few people who do “pomp” better than the British and this was proved, yet again, yesterday when the Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in London. He and his wife were met by the Queen and apparently taken to their suite at the Palace by Queen Elizabeth herself. Read more
In 1989, in the hit film “Back To The Future II”, you may remember that Doc Brown and Marty McFly visited the future in October 21, 2015. Most of us remember this iconic movie series. We cheered for Marty and Doc and enjoyed the “crazy” gizmos they used and found in the future. In two days it will be October 21, 2015 and we will all be “Back To The Future”. Read more
Just over 60 years ago, on September 30, 1955, budding movie star James Dean died at age 24 when his sports car slammed into a Ford sedan near Bakersfield, California—just prior to the release of his signature film, “Rebel Without a Cause.” Six decades later, we explore some surprising facts about the persistent cultural icon, who’s sometimes referred to as “the first American teenager.”
It is easy to remember what happened on this day 14 years ago and feel sadness or anger or fear. All those emotions can paralyze us. Our memories of the past, and what we see daily on the news, can make us think that things are bad enough in the world that maybe we won’t ever achieve our dreams … that we can’t overcome those difficult circumstances in life over which we seem to have no control. So we thought it was important on this day to bring a story of triumph and hope, and a story that has a twist that will again remind us that there is a bigger story, a bigger plan going on that we are all a part of. Though it has no direct correlation to the 911 tragedy, it has everything to do with triumph, everything to do with outlook, everything to do with hope and always having a “never say can’t” attitude. So in that sense it has EVERYTHING to do with this day. Read more
A few years ago we did a post on varieties of hog dogs and how they are served regionally. It turned out to be one of the most popular and viewed posts we have ever done! Apparently you all love hot dogs as much as we do So today we have some more hot dog ideas for you just in time for your Labor Day celebrations. Read more
Maybe your weekend needs something special. If so, we have just the thing for you. And it is easier than you might think! I have always assumed that good Danish pastry would involve a yeast dough filled with butter and that it took hours to make. Not this version. This is simple and quite delicious….good to the very last crumb
This pastry is made in two stages and then baked to golden brown perfection!
Cut butter into the flour using a pastry blender. Mix in water and combine being careful not to over mix. You just want to moisten the flour until it mostly holds together. Form it into a ball. Use you finger tips to pat the dough into a circle.
This layer of pastry is also known by it’s French name – pate choux. It is basically the same recipe used to make the pastry for eclairs.
Bring butter, water, and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add in almond extract. Stir in flour and salt stirring quickly so that the flour doesn’t clump up. Mix well. Add in the eggs one at a time being sure to beat the mixture really hard after each egg is added, until it is completely smooth. Spread this over the top of the first layer and use a spoon to make indentations or put the dough in a piping bag and pipe it out making “rings” to hold the pastry cream filling.
Pastry cream filling:
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Stir milk and flour together well, and cook in a saucepan until thickened and bubbly. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and cool without stirring. Cover the top of this mixture with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a film or “skin” while cooling. Set aside. While this mixture is cooling, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla and almond extracts until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in half of the cooled mixture beating on very low speed, then beat in the second half of it until very smooth. Spoon the pastry cream into the circles or indentations in the second layer of pastry.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with glaze and top with slivered almonds. Cut into wedges and serve
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons warm milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix well until smooth. Drizzle over warm pastry.
Enjoy! It is good to the last crumb
Serves 8 generously
In 1994, Mississippi couple Sherry and Craig Blackledge, adoptive parents to a little boy, adopted an 18-month-old girl named Brooke. It was then that Sherry decided to write a simple but sweet letter she would give to Brooke, on her wedding day. Now, more than 20 years later, right before Brooke walked down the aisle to marry boyfriend Tyler Zugg, she finally read the letter.
Some pies are associated with a particular season or holiday. People just naturally think of pumpkin pie in the Fall or around the holidays for example. And fresh fruit pies seem to be naturally associated with summer. But chocolate cream pie? …. it’s just plain delicious any time of year Read more
Melissa Kieling, CEO of PackIt, a line of freezable personal coolers, with her three children, Brennan, 18; Garrett, 16; and Emma, 11.
Just five years ago, Melissa Kieling, a mother of three, was going though a divorce. Her suburban home outside of Los Angeles was in foreclosure, her car was repossessed, and she had $13 in the bank.
It’s summer and in most places it’s hot. What could be better to cool you off than a big tall glass of lemonade, especially Cherry Lemonade? If Miss Sadie had her way you would all be using this easy and quick recipe to make your own, just like she did here for her mother on Mother’s Day a year ago. (Actually she and her cousin Savannah make it all the time.) So grab some lemons and a little sugar, a pitcher, some ice and celebrate summer everyone Read more
We had to share this beautiful example of one person caring and touching another who seemed unreachable. This lovely older Jewish white lady uses Christian songs to reach this dear older black woman with Alzheimer’s disease, who no longer speaks or makes eye contact, in an effort to communicate love and safety to her. What happened was remarkable and very touching. Read more
For anyone planing a party or big get together this summer, one of the hardest things to figure out is how much you will need for your guests to drink. No one wants to overbuy and spend money on drinks that they don’t need to spend, but running out is not an option anyone wants to face either. Not having enough to drink turns a fun time into no fun at all. So today we have a guideline for party beverages that just might help you estimate for that fun time you are planning. Read more
If you have been around Two Chums for anytime at all you know that my family’s roots are from the South. I didn’t realize growing up that I was being raised in a very Southern atmosphere where Southern culture permeated everything we did. I didn’t know because my geographic upbringing was not in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, or Louisiana where I currently have family living, or in Mississippi or Missouri where my children went to college, my physical home was in Southern California. Read more