Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Song

How is it possible that an entire week has gone by and I haven't had time to blog?...

Here it is, Sunday again....time to get your worship on with this one:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Song

This song is in memory of my friend, Cindy. Too short were her days here on this day, we will meet again...

There let the way appear steps unto heav'n;
All that Thou sendest me in mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!

Cindy...I'll be checking in on you smile down on him from Heaven...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fast Falls the Eventide....

...but I don't need to fear or fret

because I am basking in the soothing, glowing, warming light of...


Yep. The Erskine State Park is now in the chicken egg hatching business!

Olivia received a small incubator for Christmas. It has been sitting in the box - waiting for Spring.

The other day, Brillo Man returned to the house from his daily trek to the chicken coops. (Note - I said 'coops' - we now have two. More on that in another post)...anyway, he returned with five eggs in hand and gleefully announced, "They're still warm!!"


Okay - so he grabs the incubator (which was "some assembly required".) I told him he was on his own as I was busy cleaning the laundry room.

A few minutes later, he brings me a rectangle of aluminum foil and asks me if I can cut it in half.

Are you kidding?

Okay. Done.

The correct positioning of the foil is apparently essential in reflecting the heat from the small light bulb onto the eggs....


The temperature is critical. It must be between 90 and 102 degrees fahrenheit. Preferably closer to 100.

Three hours later...we are still waiting for the temperature to rise to the occasion so that the eggs may be placed.

Isn't it too late?

What do you mean?

Haven't they eggs been sitting out on the kitchen table too long. I mean...they're no longer warm.

Doesn't matter.

Doesn't matter?


Why not?

Because the hens will leave the eggs in a pile for awhile before one finally gets in a "brooding mood" and begins to sit on the eggs.

Oh. (What do I know? ...nothin')

SO...finally, after about four hours, the temperature is high enough that the eggs may be placed inside. By this time, Olivia is home from school and simply beside herself with excitement. She drew an "X" on one side of the eggs and a "deeley bopper O" on the other side of the egg. (Every "O" which Olivia draws contains a smiley face and antennae - or rather - deeley boppers.) We've got eggs with deeley boppers.... And they must be turned. Three times a day. The X's and Deeley Bopper O's will make it easier to keep track of which side is "the opposite" side.


For three days now we've been turning eggs three times a day.

How long do we have to turn these eggs, anyway?

21 days. Or maybe 22. But for sure, 21 - but never less than that. (...says Olivia, the chicken egg hatching expert.) And you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT TOUCH THEM WHEN THEY START TO HATCH!

I knew that.

So how do we know if these eggs are fertile? How do we know they're not going to just sit there and rot?

Olivia informs us that she knows they're fertile because she saw the rooster jumping on the hen. Which, by the way, how does that work? (I'm thinking I'm not ready to have that conversation yet....)

SO....moving right along. I've been told that we will candle the eggs to see if there's an embryo developing.

Wonderful. When do we do that?

Neither Brillo Man nor Olivia has any idea.

Well...maybe we should find out.

Because I just went over and turned the eggs...and I'm detecting a fowl (pun intended) odor.

...I'm thinkin'...Tractor Supply will be selling baby chicks in a few weeks...isn't that easier?

For all you reality TV fans, stay tuned for...The Hatching....(the miniseries...)


She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand...
-Job 39:14

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I will be heading to the lab to have my blood drawn. I hope the artist uses a nice bright shade of red.

Next stop...anyplace that serves breakfast! My physician did not specifically order fasting bloodwork, but being a Medical Technologist, I know that some of the tests the doctor ordered are best interpreted when the patient has been fasting. Needless to say - it's 9:15am as I type this...and I am HUNGRY!

Then I'll be going to The Good Shepherd Center to DONATE the things that are packed in the back of the van! Get those things out of my life and into someone else's who can use them!

After to StuffMart to exchange a pair of jeans which I purchased for Brillo Man for Christmas...they've been sitting in the house for too long now. Wrong size - he needs a size smaller! (Wish I had that problem...)

Then I'm going shopping for new glasses. (Note to self, bring your eyeglass prescription...) I have been wearing my current pair for a little over two years. In that two years, I think my left ear has grown larger - causing my glasses to sit higher on that side of my face - causing them to appear crooked. Because they are. Besides, my eyes have changed...and I need a stronger bifocal. Again.

That all should give me plenty of time to meet Brillo Man at his appointment at the VA clinic...we're attending a nutrition class together. Maybe I'll learn something about how to reduce my jean size...

Hopefully all will be accomplished in plenty of time to be here when Olivia gets off the school bus. Because, after will then be time to turn the eggs! (More on that in a future post!)

So...I'm off! Have a blessed day all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Things That Amuse Me

It doesn't take much to amuse me.

I'm sure you've figured that out if you've ever read some of my posts.

The other night, I couldn't sleep. It was Saturday night...time to turn the clocks ahead one hour for the start of Daylight Savings Time. What time does that officially happen anyway? Ah.. 2 am. Yep. I can do that. I can wait until 2 am. But what to do until then...

I was looking for something to do to keep myself amused. There's always YouTube...and besides, I hadn't yet chosen a song for my Sunday Song post...

In searching for Sunday Song post, I somehow came across this incredible(ahem) makup tutorial for Lady Gaga's Poker Face Makeup (Whatever that is...) Nevertheless, it piqued my interest. And actually, the artist in me found it a tad fascinating after all.

Then I discovered a video that some filmmaker guy posted with his theory about a cross-dressing time traveler appearing in a 1920s Charlie Chaplin film - it's long - over eight minutes - so don't click 'play' unless you have the time. Of course, much is repetitiveness, therefore, one doesn't necessarily have to watch the entire video to get his point....

Phooey. I did my due diligence. It was indeed a hearing aid. Click HEAR, I mean HERE for proof.

But as the clock was ticking away while I was wasting away the minutes, I was about to experience my OWN time travel! It was almost 2am!! The magical moment when time jumps ahead and we lose an hour. Yahoo!

Guess'll be happy to know that I captured the ENTIRE thing on FILM! (I'm thinking a film production career may be in my future, as the quality of what you are about to see just may astound you!)

Did you catch that? I hope you didn't blink. Because if you blink. You miss the entire thing! Just like that - in a split second...we all traveled ahead in time by one hour. Amazing.

Come back in the Fall and I'll show you how we all travel BACK IN TIME!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Song


Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
-Psalm 111:3

Friday, March 11, 2011

Are You a Random Popper?

Or do you prefer to pop in rows?

What am I talking about?

Why plastic bubble wrap, of course!

I was popping a sheet of bubble wrap. In rows. Because I'm a row popper.
When along came Olivia. She picked up the sheet that I had left on my bed and began to pop it. Randomly.

There's something all wrong about that.

Then she jumped on it!

Oh man!

Then she handed it back to me and said, "Here, I saved you some" and then proceeded to skip away downstairs to her "hang out space."

Are you kidding me?!

Now I have a sheet of partially popped plastic bubble wrap which is randomly popped - not to mention that it's now grimy from being pounced upon by an eight year old with dirty feet on my kitchen floor....


I accepted the challenge.

92 pops's all popped out.

And I feel good.

My tent (bubble wrap) is destroyed;
all its ropes (bubbles) are snapped.
-Jeremiah 10:20a

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Importance of a Name

Has anyone every mispelled or mispronounced your name? Does it bother you as much as it bothers me? I thought after I got married that my name would be so much easier for people to pronounce. Nope. I was wrong.

E-R-S-K-I-N-E Pronounced: ER'-skin

It's not Er-SKIIIIINE...with a long 'I'
It's not ERKS-skin...with an extra 'K'
It's not ERKS-steeeen...with an extra 'K', an extra 'T' and a long 'E'

It's just Erskine. Period. Simple Easy.

In thinking about my name, I started to think about God's name. One thing led to another and some research revealed the following information about "THE NAME" of God. His name, of course, encompasses so many names - and He is called by so many names. But at the very root...Hashem.

Shem is the Hebrew word for "name" (the "Ha" before it is the definite article). The Bible speaks of Solomon's temple in Jerusalem as the place where God's name would dwell—the place where his people could pray and be heard. Jesus himself prayed that the Father would glorify his name through him. He also promised to do whatever we ask in his name. Philippians 2:9-10 affirms that God has exalted Jesus and given him "the name that is above every name."

Hear the cry and the prayer
that your servant is praying
in your presence this day.
May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day,
this place of which you said,
"My Name shall be there,"
so that you will hear the prayer
your servant prays toward this place.
-1 Kings 8:28-29


Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said...

"Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive...

"When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance...

"As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name—for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name..."

When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do... the LORD said to him:

"I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
(From 1 Kings 8:22-9:3)

My prayer is that the Lord will teach me what it means to "hallow his name," to glorify, exalt, declare, and praise his holy name, to live in a way that honors his name so that others might find forgiveness, peace, and healing through the power of hia name.

God's name is associated with his glory, power, holiness, protection, trust, and love. To call on his name is to call on his presence. To act in his name is to act with his authority. To fight in his name is to fight with his power. To pray to his name is to pray to him. In fact, the very first mention of prayer in the Bible appears in Genesis 4:26: "At that time people began to invoke the name of the LORD" (NRSV). Though we are to exalt God's name and proclaim it to the nations, it is also possible to dishonor it, which is the same as dishonoring him. God's name is his reputation.

Though God's name is holy and powerful, it cannot be invoked as a magic formula. Rather, his name becomes powerful whenever it is uttered by men and women who are exercising their faith in God. Jesus taught his own disciples to pray by saying, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." In John's gospel, Jesus prays to his Father, saying, "I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me" and "I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known" (John 17:6, 26 KJV).

When we pray to Hashem (ha-SHAME), we are praying to the holy God who dwells in our midst, hearing and answering our prayers.

ErKstiiiine...not so important....

Monday, March 07, 2011


Breakfast: An orange the size of a softball. (And this one is small compared to some others from the bag which have already been consumed. Note - that's a SOFTBALL - not a baseball. This is a HUGE orange!

That's it. That's all I got.

Off to the eye doctor....Have a blessed day!


Then the land will yield its fruit,
and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.
-Leviticus 25:19


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday Song

This song is in honor of Diane's precious Mother.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Book Review: Fasting by Scot McKnight

At any given time, if you ask me what I'm reading, I may respond with several different titles. I have books in my Kindle - books in my iPhone - books on my PC - and books strewn all over our home! But recently, this book by Scot McKnight has captivated my attention.

Fasting is a book which takes on the subject with profound clarity. Such as none other I have read on the subject. The author stated something very early on which grabbed my attention. He says that fasting is not to be a manipulative tool to see what we can get, but rather fasting should be a response to a very sacred moment or event.

Repentance often expressed itself in the physical act of fasting. The moment of turning away from sin and back to God was so sacred and so filled with God's grace that the Israelites chose to refrain from eating.

Our repentance today doesn't often lead to the same place. Very good points to ponder in this book. We should fast, not because the fasting is some magic bullet to insure that our prayer requests are granted, but rather because the request is something so intense and we desire something so deeply. Eating in the midst of that intense plea would be almost considered sacrilegious.

The author states that he believes there are very real, tanglible benefits from fasting. but not to be utilized for what we want. Rather the benefits will emerge out of the greater context of fasting as we respond to the sacred moment. It is in our response to these moments that as we turn to God in faith that He will bring about the results that undo the grievous situations in which we find ourselves.

A study guide is included at the end which poses questions to stimulate small group discussions. All in all - a very good book - I recommend it. A departure from the "name it - claim it - fast it and grab it" theologies that sometimes infiltrate Christianity.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I felt as though I just needed a laugh today...

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...
-Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Flax Seed: The Low Carb Whole Grain

So - I've discovered a new favorite snack. Salted Corn Chips With Flax Seed from our local Amish Bulk Food Store:

They are delicious! I decided to do some reading about the benefits of flax seed in our diet. I had previously known that flax seeds are good for us...but had forgotten all the specifics.

Let me tell you - this tiny seed is mighty! I learned that it carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. And while it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax leaves grains in the dust.

Additionally I learned that flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance -- many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied. WhooHoo! Something to help me with weight loss issues!

Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese - which is awesome, because when we are under stress we completely deplete our supply of B-complex vitamins in our body ...therefore ...flax seed can help out if I'm stressed! I am really liking these new corn chips with flax seed!!

AND...they are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acid! Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Mounting evidence shows that inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. Yes! I come! Bring on more of those chips!

Flax Seed is also high in fiber. You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber -- both soluble and insoluble -- than flax. This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.

Flax Seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes. ...Don't even ask me about my peri-menopausal symptoms. This Flax Seed enriched Corn Chip can help with that??!! Whoa-baby! I'm heading back to the bulk store to buy some more!

And then I read this: Note that flax seeds need to be ground to make the nutrients available (otherwise they just “pass through”)

In case you missed it in the delicious, flax seed enriched, salty corn chips contain WHOLE flax seeds.

So... Nevermind.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Our Words

I recently watched a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network entitled Master Class. The "teacher"?: Maya Angelou.

You know that silly question that you are asked every now and again - "If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? I would answer that question with an emphatic: MAYA ANGELOU. She is someone I have admired for quite some time. She shares her life's experiences with a lot of wisdom and grace. And I think she does it very well.

During this show, Ms. Angelou spoke of the power of our words. She reminded the viewer that in the Bible it states, "in the beginning was the Word." She talked about how words are so much more than words - but rather they take on the flesh. "They get in the walls, in the floors, in the carpets." ....I believe that is so very true. Have you ever walked into a room after two people have "had words?" Have you ever walked into a building and just "felt" that something wasn't quite right?

I believe those feelings are the result of the words that have been spoken in that place. Negative words breed negativity. Positive words breed positivity.

We also know from God's Word that we have the power of life and death in our tongues. What we speak has the ability to tear down or build up. Our job as Christians is to edify one another, to speak to one another with love and peace. We have no business spreading gossip and murmuring and complaining and speaking lies about one another.

Sometimes we speak, not being aware that the very thing we say out of our mouths could cause dramatic situations in our lives or the lives of others. How many times have we spoken things into existence, and wondered later about the very thing that manifested?

We go through life day after day saying things about others and about ourselves not knowing and unaware of the words that are going out into the atmosphere to complete what we have spoken.

When God created the heavens and the earth he spoke it into existence. He said let there be light and there was light. In His word He says we will do greater works. If that is so and the Word says The Power is in our tongue then we should be able to speak to that mountain and it shall be moved, We should be able to speak to that bad situation in our lives and it shall be moved. We need not speak of the problem, but speak what the Word says about whatever situation we go through, by speaking the solution through the Word.

When we feel down we should speak and say that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus that strengthens me.

When we feel unworthy we should say that I am the righteousness of God. When you feel as though you have enemies at every turn you should say that No weapon formed against me shall prosper any tongue that rises against me in judgement God shall condemn it.

We need to change our thinking. We do that by the renewing of our minds, reading God's Word daily. The enemy does not want us renewing our minds. The enemy doesn't want us to know that we have power in our tongue to speak to situations, he wants us to be ignorant to the Word of God, As the Bible says My people perish from lack of Knowledge.

Lets start renewing our minds through the Word of God...and begin to speak life!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Art. We Need More Art.

Or at least I need more art!

I haven't been creating nearly as much as I should. And I miss it.

Something happens in my brain when I create art. It makes me feel good. I'm thinking that it must be akin to the addict who gets a high when he or she takes a drug. Or the endorphins released when a chocoholic eats a piece of dark, rich, sweet, creamy chocolate. I know nothing of the former....but I do know something about the latter! (Now I want chocolate....)

Moving right along...

This past weekend, Olivia and I created some art together. She actually held an art class for Brillo Man and I, teaching us how to make her paper dogs. At first, I thought we would be making paperdogs - as in paperdolls...a string of pups. But no, she had something else in mind. She instructed us to fold the corners of a sheet of paper in order to create ears. Then color the ears. And NO the center of ear could not be any other color besides PINK because pink is the official color of the inside of a dog's ear. At one point I reminded her about the old Harry Chapin song Flowers Are Red.

Still didn't matter, she insisted the insides of the dog's ears must be pink. (I must be failing as a parent...)

Step by step we made dogs - with crowns or hats. And they had to have names. She named hers SPOT - because of the spot around its eye, of course. Spot has the best crown. Because, after all, she is Olivia's creation. Mine was Sidney (Sidney was sticking out her tongue (created by Olivia) because Sidney wanted to have ears that weren't pink.) Brillo Man's dog was Beng (pronounced Benji - but spelled Beng because that's how Olivia spelled it.) Beng is cool because Beng is the one with NO spot and black ears! (I'm not sure how he got away with that.)

Next art lesson...we will work (again) on seeing things in different ways. I will remind Olivia that it's okay to paint the flowers (or the dog's ears) in whatever colors we want!

A Different Perspective
Deborah Erskine
February 2011

In the meantime...I'm going in search of some chocolate!